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Links 18/3/2011: Ubuntu 11.10 Release Schedule, OSI Reform

Posted in News Roundup at 6:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • Switching To Linux – Tale Of A Former Mac User Who Is Also A Musician

      Switching to Linux is easy for most of us. You just have to download and burn a Linux distribution and boot your computer with it. If the Linux distribution you have chosen is a modern one, then you can finish installing it on your machine in 6 steps or less.

    • The Austin Prometheus Project

      In 2008, I was granted an appointment with an executive within Time-Warner’s Corporate Responsibility Department. After a 40 minute wait, I was asked by the receptionist what my appointment was for. I explained that I needed to discuss Internet connections for the disadvantaged. An hour and 15 minutes after that, I was informed that the executive was called away unexpectedly and she would not return for the day. She would contact me and reschedule the appointment.

      The call never came and my subsequent calls were never returned.

      How nice.

      That’s fine…what Austin business hasn’t done for their own, the Free Software and Linux communities have stepped in and allowed us to do our work.

      But not this time.

      I’ve made arrangements for Time-Warner to connect Anthony’s home to the Internet and I am going to pay for the first month and the setup fees from my own pocket. I can’t do this often but in this case, I believe it to be important.

  • Google

    • 5 things Google Chrome OS does better than OS X (or anything else)

      After reading the article “5 things OS X does better than Linux”, I felt compelled to post this. OS X may be user-friendly and do plenty of user-friendly things, but those user-friendly acts pale in comparison to those which Google Chrome OS (which is based on Linux) does.

    • Chrome Stable Release
    • How Google can make Chrome OS succeed

      Google’s Linux-based Chrome OS operating system should be with us by now. But at that point last December when we were led to believe our netbooking futures were about to be redefined, Google postponed our date with destiny and asked us to try again in another six months.

      It seemed the road ahead wasn’t quite as clear as Google wanted it to be, and six months is presumably enough time for the masters at Menlo Park to fine-tune their revolution and get things back on track.

  • Kernel Space

    • The DRM Pull Request For The Linux 2.6.39 Kernel

      David Airlie has just emailed Linus Torvalds with his main DRM (Direct Rendering Manager) pull request for the Linux 2.6.39 kernel that 2.6.38 was released earlier this week. As was mentioned a few days ago, the Linux 2.6.39 kernel will feature a number of interesting changes to the open-source graphics drivers, among other areas.

    • AMD Fusion E-350 Linux Performance

      By now you have likely seen the AMD Fusion E-350 APU showcased on a number of Windows web-sites, but how is this AMD Accelerated Processor working in the Linux world? At Phoronix today are the first in-depth Ubuntu Linux benchmarks being published from this promising, low-power solution designed to compete with Intel’s Atom.

    • Linux Kernel 2.6.38 Brings Support for AMD Fusion

      We are proud to announce that today, March 15th, the immediate release of the highly anticipated Linux kernel 2.6.38.

    • What’s new in Linux 2.6.38
    • Panasonic Joins Linux Foundation

      The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced that Panasonic is joining the organization as a Gold member.

      The Linux Foundation merged late last year with the Consumer Electronics Linux Forum (CELF), of which Panasonic was a founder. CELF members were grandfathered into The Linux Foundation at the Silver level. With work on embedded Linux and open compliance accelerating, Panasonic chose to increase its level of work and commitment to The Linux Foundation at the Gold level of membership.

    • AMD Looks To Ramp Up Its Linux Engineer Count

      NVIDIA isn’t the only one looking to expand its Linux team, but AMD is now in a mad dash to dramatically ramp up its engineering teams. AMD has been looking to hire at least another open-source developer in recent months to work on its graphics stack, but Advanced Micro Devices has now announced they’re looking to hire over one thousand “tech professionals” where the software engineers are skilled in Linux and open-source development.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Awoken 1.9 Icon Set Brings in a Darker Version of Theme, Customization Script, PPA & Lot More!

        AwOken icon theme is among the most downloaded and highly rated icon themes for GNOME and we had no second thoughts while including AwOken in our listing of top 10 most popular Icon themes for Ubuntu GNOME. AwOken version 1.9 brings in a lot of changes that includes a new darker version of the theme as well as a very useful customization script. To make things even easier, now you will able to install AwOken icon theme in Ubuntu using PPA.

  • Distributions

    • Calculate 11.3 Screenshots
    • Elementary OS Beta Reviewed – Looks Very Polished, Minor Niggles

      I concede that I am a big fan of Elementary Project and the goodies it brought to the Linux desktop eco system. I also accept the fact that, reviewing a developer only preview of an application and calling it “not ready yet” is kind of self defeating. But the kind of expectations a project like Elementary OS carries around makes it vulnerable to close scrutinisation at every level. Consider this as one such *very* early Elementary OS review.

    • New Minty Freshness (GTK Theme) Version Brings Nautilus Elementary Support, Many Other Improvements

      Minty Freshness is a new theme created by Skies Of Azel, the Orta theme developer, especially designed for Linux Mint Debian Edition (the theme could become the default LMDE theme).

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Fedora, Importance of GNU/Linux Competition, and Technological Freedom

          I have been working with Fedora 11 since last Friday (just waiting for my home computers to get back online with the new line activated) and as much as I try to love Fedora, I cannot help feeling that Kubuntu and Ubuntu have been giving me less hassle. Deep inside I wanted to declare that Fedora was better, but the experiences simply suggest that any such claim would be wishful thinking, even deceptive. The problem is that Canonical was made quite arrogant (hello Hubris!), which harms Ubuntu on technical and communal grounds alike. Canonical could use more competition.

        • Developing With Fedora 11

          Is Fedora ready to become the most widespread GNU/Linux desktop? Probably not yet. But for development? Sure, why not? Fedora 14 is more mature, but that too has some wrinkles which I covered here before.

        • Fedora 15 vs Ubuntu Natty Narwhal – The Battle for Your Next Desktop

          With the changes coming to the desktops of some major Linux distributions, it looks like we’re beginning to see some welcome differentiation between how each distro presents itself to users. Fedora and Ubuntu are of course well known as some of the most popular and user-friendly Linux systems, and while they have many similarities, their next major releases are both taking a new approach to the desktop. Ubuntu has decided to drop their Netbook spin and run their homegrown Unity desktop across the board. Fedora however has jumped on board with Gnome 3, confident that it will have all the form and function their users want. While we’ve already discussed both desktops before, Fedora and Ubuntu are both offering more than a makeover, and it’s time to dig deeper.

        • Fusion 14 Screenshots
        • Fedora shows off Gnome 3.0

          Fedora braves the first release of Gnome 3.0.

          Living up to its reputation for being one of the more adventurous Linux distributions on offer, Fedora 15′s alpha release includes Gnome 3.0.

          The new Gnome desktop interface has been years in the making and has had its final release delayed multiple times as the developers hunted down bugs and put the finishing touches to what promises to be this year’s big shift in Linux desktops.

    • Debian Family

      • I use hp-setup to add my HP LaserJet 1020 printer to Debian Squeeze
      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • I Have Installed Ubuntu…What’s Next?

          Does this sound familiar to you? You have taken the plunge and install Ubuntu on your computer. The next moment, you have no idea what to do next and where to head. Now, before any doubt creeps in and you are wondering if you have make the right choice leaving the comfort zone (Windows or Mac) and venture into the unknown ground, let us show you what you can, and should do after installing Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu 11.10 Release Schedule
        • “2 sided Unity Dock”, Now A Reality [Video]

          This is working code, not mockups anymore!

        • Timeline: The Greatest Show on Earth

          By curious coincidence, one of the most defining weeks in the entire history of GNOME — and a turning point for Canonical’s relationship with the project — happened to take place during a week-long stock market catastrophe.

        • Big dreams for Ubuntu Ocelot

          Oneiric Ocelot. It’s the name of the next release of Ubuntu, which was announced earlier this week by Ubuntu chief Mark Shuttleworth.

          The name is reserved for the Ubuntu 11.10 release scheduled for debut in October 2011 and follows the long tradition of giving Ubuntu releases names based on animals. In this case it is the Ocelot, a leopard-like cat. The Oneiric name refers to dreaming, obviously implying the intentions for the next release of Ubuntu.

        • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • New Xilinx ISE and Linux

      Xilinx recently released version 13.1 of their ISE Webpack toolkit. If you haven’t used ISE, its the tool that lets you build logic descriptions for FPGAs using schematics, Verilog, or VHDL. You can simulate your design or build bitstreams suitable for use with most of the Xilinx FPGA or CPLD products. I applaud Xilinx for making a Linux version available although I have often noted quirks on the Linux side that seem pretty fundamental.

    • Phones

    • Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • OSI adds three to board and begins reform

    A recent meeting of the Open Source Initiative (OSI) in San Francisco saw three new members of the board filling the two empty board seats and the beginning of a reformation for the group’s governance. The organisation, which has managed the Open Source Definition and reviewed licences for their compliance with that definition, is looking to expand its role to engage as “a meeting point for global open source communities at large”.

  • Board Meeting Report

    The Open Source Initiative (OSI) Board meet this weekend in San Francisco for its annual face-to-face meeting (generously hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation). There were two significant topics on the agenda. First, we had to review the substantial number of nominations for the two Board seats that become vacant on March 31st when Danese Cooper and Russ Nelson leave the Board due to term limits after a decade each of service. Their involvement in OSI has been pivotal, with Danese serving as treasurer for many years and Russ leading the license review activity. Both will be missed.

  • Events

    • NASA Open Source Summit announced

      NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) has announced that it will hold its first ever summit on open source software development later this month. According to NASA, the Open Source Summit will bring together engineers, policy makers and open source community members to talk about “the challenges within the existing open source policy framework and propose modifications to facilitate NASA’s development, release and use of software”. The event will take place on the 29 and 30 March at the Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California.

  • Web Browsers


    • GNU Free Call: A Proposed Free Phone To Skype
    • FSF Leadership Change

      I got a call on Friday evening from Peter Brown, the Executive Director of the Free Software Foundation (FSF). It’s been my great pleasure to know and work with Peter over the last five years or so. While I was at Sun I liaised with him over the GPLv3 process, to arrange for Richard Stallman’s video about OpenJDK and then later when Sun resumed its donations to FSF as a Corporate Patron.

  • Programming

    • Subject: [PHP] PHP 5.3.6 Released! – msg#00000

      The PHP development team would like to announce the immediate availability of PHP 5.3.6. This release focuses on improving the stability of the PHP 5.3.x branch with over 60 bug fixes, some of which are security related.

    • What Your QA Team Can Learn from Open Source Development Projects

      Studies show that major FOSS projects have fewer defects per lines of code than proprietary software. Free and open source projects follow slightly different protocols than their proprietary counterparts. You can apply some of these processes in your team to your benefit, even if you’re developing proprietary software.

    • 7 of the Best Free Graphical User Interfaces for R

      R is an open source programming language and software environment for statistical computing and graphics. It consists of a language together with a run-time environment with a debugger, graphics, access to system functions, and scripting.

      The R language is extremely popular for developing statistical software, and is also frequently used as an analysis tool amongst data miners. R is an implementation of the S programming language, developed by Bell Laboratories, adding lexical scoping semantics. R offers a wide variety of statistical and graphical techniques including time series analysis, linear and nonlinear modelling, classical statistical tests, classification, clustering, and more). Combined with a large collection of intermediate tools for data analysis, good data handling and storage, general matrix calculation toolbox, R offers a coherent and well developed system which is highly extensible.


  • Third-party Twitter applications under threat

    Soon the only way to get at Twitter might be through “official” software produced by the company itself.

    The firm has angered many software developers by suggesting they stop making “clients” that let users write, read and respond to Tweets.

  • Aligning SSD Partitions

    I happen to live in a city with a MicroCenter store and I just bought a new 64GB SSD that uses a SandForce 1222 controller. I’ve been interested in testing the real-time data compression of the SandForce controller on a number of benchmarks and applications. So I finally have one! But before I jump into testing I need to think about configuring the SSD.

    The challenge we face is that partitions happen on cylinder boundaries (remember that fdisk in Linux uses “heads” and “tracks” to define cylinders). If this cylinder boundary is not aligned with the “page” of an SSD, then the SSD can easily undergo extra work during a read/modify/write cycle, perhaps causing extra write cycles to be used and performance to be reduced. If you aren’t going to partition your SSD then you don’t have to worry about this too much although it definitely doesn’t hurt.

  • 10 best alternative operating systems
  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Complexity and Design in Warfare

      The need for a different approach to address DOD’s operational problems is particularly well articulated in this excellent document – The U.S. Army Commander’s Appreciation and Campaign Design (CACD):

      “The complexity of warfare in the early twenty-first century poses special challenges to the United States (U.S.) Armed Forces. The services developed much of their doctrine, organizations, and equipment during the Cold War in preparation for war between states. At the time, this type of war was the most dangerous threat to our Nation’s survival, but it was not the most likely form of conflict – then or now. In fact, throughout the Cold War and the period that followed, war between states has been the rarest form of conflict in which the United States engaged. U.S. joint and service doctrine must advance beyond the old paradigm of war between states and between armies of regulars that are organized, trained, and equipped according to a similar logic.”

    • U.S. military funds creepy android & felinoid robots

      Robot specialist Boston Dynamics has just received a contract from the U.S. Defense Department’s DARPA agency to develop two new robots. Atlas, a humanoid bot, will “climb and maneuver in rough terrain [with] human-like agility,” while Cheetah, a felinoid bot, will “sprint faster than a human, corner like a race car, and start and stop on a dime,” says the company.

  • Finance

    • Anonymous leaks Bank of America e-mails

      Online activist group Anonymous has released a cache of e-mails which it claims show impropriety at Bank of America.

      The leak, which includes correspondence between staff at BoA subsidiary Balboa Insurance, details plans to delete sensitive documents.

      It does not explain why the files were to be removed or how this supports Anonymous’ accusation of criminality.

    • Goldman Sachs–The Legacy

      Now that we can be very sure that the Wall Street firms that brought us “How to Create a Recession Through MBSs” will never be prosecuted, then we should be able to laugh our fool heads off.

    • Goldman Sachs in Kremlin investment fund talks

      President Dmitry Medvedev has held talks with Goldman Sachs chief Lloyd Blankfein about the bank’s possible participation in a direct investment fund the Kremlin is looking to create to attract foreign capital.

    • Goldman Puts Mortgage-Servicing Unit Up for Sale

      Goldman Sachs has put its mortgage-servicing subsidiary, Litton Loan Servicing, up for sale amid continued concern over whether borrowers were improperly evicted from their homes.

      “Goldman Sachs is exploring strategic options for Litton Loan Servicing, which include a possible sale,” a firm spokesman, Michael DuVally, told DealBook in a statement.

    • Inside Job director on Geithner, Goldman, and criminal bankers

      Inside Job, which recently won the Academy Aware for best documentary film of 2010, continues to be a conversation starter. Paul Krugman titled his latest column in The New York Times, “Another Inside Job.” Time Magazine’s Joe Klein evokes director Charles Ferguson’s now-famous acceptance speech at the Oscars in which the filmmaker lamented that so far no one has gone to jail for crimes to committed during the financial crisis of 2008.

  • Privacy

    • Obama Administration calls for new privacy law

      The Obama Administration is backing a new data privacy bill of rights aimed at protecting consumers against indiscriminate online tracking and data collection by advertisers.

      In testimony prepared for the Senate Committee on Commerce Science and Transportation, the Commerce Department’s assistant secretary, Lawrence Strickling, said that the White House wants Congress to enact legislation offering “baseline consumer data privacy protections.”

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/UBB

    • Broadband Power for the People?

      The larger telecom firms are mandated by government to lease their bandwidth to smaller ISPs and resellers. However, until now, they were prohibited from passing per-gigabyte fees on to these customers. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has attempted to placate small providers by granting them a 15% discount on cable and telecom companies’ retail rates – but the small ISPs are less than impressed with this wholesale rate. In fact, many regard it as just another retail price. From the perspective of small business, the discount is hardly compensation for the new power imbalance: it merely slows the journey toward an Internet oligopoly or monopoly.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Judge considers costs for ACS Law

        Controversial law firm ACS Law returned to court on Wednesday as the cases it brought against alleged file-sharers were officially closed.

        Andrew Crossley, the solicitor at the heart of the controversy, was absent from court but could still face heavy fines.

        Judge Birss is considering whether ACS Law should pay the defendants’ costs.

        Ralli, the law firm which represents five of the accused, is seeking £90,000.

Clip of the Day

Galaxy Tab vs Rooted Nook Color

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 17/3/2011: New Kernel, New Firefox

Posted in News Roundup at 6:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Pogson Thoughts/Advocacy

    • April, 2011 – The Month The Desktop Changes

      CompuLab/Trim Slice plans to ship a desktop PC that fits in your hand with Ubuntu GNU/Linux.

    • HP: In a Race to be the King of the Linux Desktop etc.

      Now, HP is becoming a part of my career as Linux advocate. They intend to push WebOS/Linux everywhere:

    • Growth of GNU/Linux on the Desktop

      Wikipedia which gets the vast majority of its clicks from English-speaking countries, shows that other OS with 82% share in February 2011 but 87% in February 2010, a -5% share change in one year. Wikipedia counts ARMed visits. In the same period Linux jumped from 1.65% to 2.47% share, a growth rate of 50%. We see now that iPad2 has sold out so the ramp in ARMed clients will continue. People who want Internet access Now! on a tablet will not be willing to wait weeks for their fix.

    • How The Mighty Art Fallen
    • Kerala Continues to Exploit FLOSS

      Kerala, India, has deployed GNU/Linux widely in schools. Now it’s the turn of the politicians. They have supplied themselves with laptops loaded with Ubuntu GNU/Linux and saved thousands of dollars in licensing fees. They gave back some of that for training/familiarization but the end result is that they are happy with the choice.

    • Munich’s Migration To GNU/Linux – Latest

      This shows an interesting feature of GNU/Linux. While the migration from that other OS to GNU/Linux took years and is still not finished, the migration from Debian GNU/Linux to Ubuntu happens immediately. That says something for compatibility and open standards. It also helps that the migration is not just a migration of clients but the whole system of managing clients has improved. At this rate the job will be complete some time in 2012.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 2 6 38

      Summary: This release adds support for a automatic process grouping (called “the wonder patch” in the news), significant scalability improvements in the VFS, Btrfs LZO compression and read-only snapshots, support for the B.A.T.M.A.N. mesh protocol (which helps to provide network connectivity in the presence of natural disasters, military conflicts or Internet censorship), transparent Huge Page support (without using hugetblfs), automatic spreading of outcoming network traffic across multiple CPUs, support for the AMD Fusion APUs, many drivers and other changes.

    • 2.6.38: making things Just Work
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Back to the Basics with Debian

        It feels good to be stable. It feels good to not have to worry about programs crashing, the net disconnecting, or not being able to install programs.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • “Copygate” Fiasco Exposes the Ugly Side of Ubuntu

          But, incredibly, it gets even worse. Next we had the “Peanutgate” scandal, in which Jono Bacon (full time Windows evangelist, and part time Ubuntu Community Manager) described detractors’ complaints about this misappropriation as the “views of the peanut gallery”. It should be noted that the members of this “peanut gallery” included Banshee developers, Gnome developers and various highly respected Linux luminaries, such as Jef Spaleta and Chuck Frain, the latter of whom has just quit in protest, from his position as leader of the Ubuntu Maryland Local Community Team. In his own words, it was his “tipping point”. I can’t say I blame him.

          And to think, it seems like only yesterday that Jono Bacon was lecturing all those nasty Open Sauce people about showing some Open Respect®.

          Hmm, Bacon could do with learning some Open Respect® himself.

          In the midst of all this scandal, it would have been easy to miss the furore, which I hereby dub “Copygate”, kicking-off over in Ubuntu’s proprietary new and improved Open Sauce Launchpad®, as fanboys ranted like mad ranty things about the evils of X.org, that stalwart of the Linux desktop, which Canonical has condemned to death for the crime of “Not Invented Here”, to make way for their shiny new toy, Wayland.

        • Ubuntu Linux and GNOME: The Disputes continue

          Linux is the supercomputer operating system of choice; thanks to Android, Linux is becoming the most popular smartphone operating system of them all;and Linux continues to make gains in the server market. But, when it comes to the desktop, no matter how you measure it, Linux has never how more than a tiny share of the desktop market. Why? Well, I can give you lots of reasons, but one that Mark Shuttleworth founder of Canonical, the company behind the popular Ubuntu Linux distribution, has pointed out that there’s a lot of disorganization and disorder in Linux desktop developer circles.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Linux Mint 10 LXDE released!

            New features at a glance:

            * Software manager
            o Application icons
            o Better categorization
            * Update manager
            o Ignore updates
            o Download size
            * Upload manager
            o UI, speed, ETA
            o Connection test
            o Cancel / Run in background
            * System improvements

          • Spotlight On Linux: CrunchBang

            CrunchBang is a lightweight Linux distribution based on Debian. It comes in OpenBox and XFCE editions, and a very dark visual theme. It’s the OpenBox version that I took a look at.

            Being based on Debian is a point is its favor as it means that standard trouble shooting and standard packages work on the system. The documentation on the website assures that CrunchBang is, essentially, a standard Debian installation with a few additional custom packages.

            Installation takes a familiar path. It’s a usable system when booted from the CD image, and hard disk installation is invoked by running a program from the desktop.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo/Maemo

        • Nokia spreading FUD?

          At the moment this very much looks like FUD to sell the proprietary Qt licenses. But perhaps Nokia knows about specific problems for Free Software, so I have sent this question to Knut Yrvin, Open Source Community Manager at Nokia, and will wait for his reply.

        • Don’t write off Nokia and Qt yet

          Even though I understood that this was not going to be some sort of fork, and that Nokia said they were committed to Qt development, I could not understand how or why Nokia would continue to remain involved in Qt development for the long-term. Commercial revenue from Qt would presumably be shared with Digia now (and therefore decreased), and Symbian and MeeGo’s (the two Nokia platforms that use the Qt libraries) respective prominence in Nokia is also expected to decrease, as the prominence of Windows Mobile 7 devices rises.

        • Save the Date – Qt Contributors’ Summit

          As we move forward with our Open Governance project, we believe that by summer it will be about time to put people together in one location. There are many topics to discuss for us, developers already contributing today and those sitting on patches for tomorrow.

      • Android

        • Android apps get terminated

          What’s the difference between a cyborg and an Android? I believe one represents a more human form than the other, putting that aside though, it appears that certain apps on the Android marketplace are being terminated due to being of an alleged malicious nature.

        • Intel works with notebook makers to push into Android tablet PC market

          Intel has already invited 6-8 notebook makers to work on devices featuring the new Intel/Android platform and is expected to showcase models at IDF Beijing, which will be hosted in China on April 12-13, at the earliest if related R&D goes smoothly, otherwise the company will announce the related models at Computex Taipei 2011 at the latest, the sources noted.

        • Steer clear of Android Market and its DRM

          Google recently made headlines after they identified some malware being distributed through the Android Market. Not only did they stop distributing those apps, but they used their “remote kill switch” to remove the apps from phones where they were already downloaded. This is a kind of Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) that all computer users should avoid.

    • Tablets

      • The Problem with Tablets: 10 Things They Can’t Do
      • Still talking about desktops … haven’t we moved on?

        The desktop computer remains a fixture in just about every business – a fixture that still needs to be maintained, secured and eventually, refreshed. At the same time, the pressures to provide more flexible, cost-effective access to corporate systems is leading organisations to look at mobile and cloud computing desktop alternatives.

        So why are we still talking about desktops?

      • Netbooks vs. Tablets

        - Size and Weight. This is supposed to be one of the ultimate advantages, and I will admit that tablets are in general thinner and lighter than netbooks. But, how much of an advantage is that in practical terms? It still doesn’t fit in your pocket, you still have to either put it in your bag, backpack, briefcase or whatever, or have a special cover/case for it, don’t you?

Free Software/Open Source

  • What does Community really mean? (Part 1)

    So how does the notion of community get into the mix? That is not an easy one to answer. Let’s just say that because Free and Open Source Software conveys certain freedoms and mandates the availability of the code in its source form, anyone can hack it.

  • What the heck is FreeDOS?

    I went to the PIKOM PC Fair yesterday and I noticed several brands sold with “FreeDOS”. These brands include Acer, Asus, HP, and (I’m told) Dell. None of the sellers seem to know what FreeDOS is, and when asked about it most of them offer to install an unlicensed (illegal) copy of Windows 7 for free with the purchase of the computer. Some even claim that FreeDOS is no operating system and that users need to install Windows.

    In the article title, I’m being slightly disingenuous. I know exactly what FreeDOS is. I’ve used it and I like it. It’s an excellent and active free software project, similar in it’s licensing and (lack of) restrictions to most Linux distributions, but that’s where the similarities stop.

  • Site Gives Students Web Access to Open Source Computation Tools

    A small UK company has launched a set of free open source computation utilities for college students. The Bamboo Toolbox includes access to software developed by open source communities that runs in a Web browser hosted by Hughes Bennett Education. If a student wishes to save computations, he or she can subscribe to a “personal notebook” for a small monthly fee.

  • Events

    • Open Education 2011

      Open Education encompasses a wide range of ideas and practices: open educational resources, open learning support, open credentialing, open access, open scholarship, open teaching, and others. Sometimes open education is enacted by a national government or as an institutional initiative, other times an open education practitioner can feel like a lone voice crying in the wilderness. There is terrific diversity in the field of Open Education, and this diversity is one of the field’s greatest sources of strength.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 4 launch presages tougher browser battle for Mozilla

        The completion of Firefox 4 Release Candidate 1 yesterday — on March 9, as advertised — sets the stage for a big battle of the browsers in 2011.

        RC1, posted late yesterday, is available on Windows, Macintosh and Linux, and its stability and performance metrics suggest that the final Firefox 4 code should ship sometime this month.

      • Firefox 4, It Is Done

        At today’s Firefox planning meeting, we found no issues that would cause us to create a second release candidate. That means, in all likelihood, that the Firefox 4 RC that you’re using now *is* Firefox 4.

      • Thunderbird To Get Ubuntu One Integration

        Yesterday we wrote about Thunderbird being integrated to Ubuntu’s new user interface, Unity. However Thunderbird’s integration into Ubuntu is not about to end at that.

      • Mozilla CEO: Firefox Faced Advertiser Backlash Over “Do Not Track” Feature

        In January, Mozilla announced plans to add a “Do Not Track” feature to Firefox, a tool that would allow users to opt out from having advertisers and other sites track their web-surfing habits. As Mozilla has readily admitted, the feature is far from perfect: Backwardly, tracking companies would actually have to agree not to monitor a user’s browsing patterns, even once he or she opts out.

        However, according to Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs, that hasn’t stopped the feature from ruffling the feathers of advertisers, who, despite serious public concerns over privacy, depend on personal user data to boost the value of their ads.

  • SaaS

  • Databases

    • Internet databases MongoDB, Drizzle upgraded

      Two performance-minded databases created for supporting Internet services and cloud computing have been revised: MongoDB has been updated and Drizzle has reached its first production-ready release.

      10gen has released version 1.8 of its open-source non-relational database MongoDB.

    • Oracle’s MySQL plans take aim at Red Hat and Microsoft

      Oracle threw its own punches at Red Hat and Microsoft today by detailing expanding integration of its MySQL with Windows and Oracle’s heftier databases in the 2011-12 timeframe.

  • Education

    • Free Software University

      Marrying technology, innovation and this curious internet thing of giving stuff away for free, consultant and Cong-base Englishman, Lloyd Hardy, is hoping to kick start an online learning revolution.

      Hardy proposes to deliver university courses for free over the internet using an “open source” model. Open source has revolutionised the delivery of technology since the late 1990s. Famous examples include the Linux operating system, the Firefox browser, the Apache web server and the OpenOffice suite. These and thousands of other products are available at the equally famous price of zero euro.


    • GNU Free Call Announced

      GNU Free Call is a new project to develop and deploy secure self-organized communication services worldwide for private use and for public administration. We use the open standard SIP protocol and GNU SIP Witch to create secured peer-to-peer mesh calling networks, and we welcome all participation in our effort.

    • Cell phones are ‘Stalin’s dream,’ says free software movement founder

      Nearly three decades into his quest to rid the world of proprietary software, Richard Stallman sees a new threat to user freedom: smartphones.

      “I don’t have a cell phone. I won’t carry a cell phone,” says Stallman, founder of the free software movement and creator of the GNU operating system. “It’s Stalin’s dream. Cell phones are tools of Big Brother. I’m not going to carry a tracking device that records where I go all the time, and I’m not going to carry a surveillance device that can be turned on to eavesdrop.”

    • please Donate to Gnash

      To make a long story short it’s really hard to develop Gnash. basically the rules in the reverse engineering of Flash make it so that to work on the project you can never have used a version of Adobe flash for your own personal use to begin with. Now there are not a whole lot of computer users or developers for that matter who have never installed some version of adobe flash player so this greatly limits the number of developers that can work on this project. What is more is the project has gone broke at the moment. So in order to develop anything they need to pick up some regular funding. At the moment you can send one time donations to them through this website: Open Media Now . I have sent an email to rob saying that they should turn to a monthly donation model.

    • FSF announces new executive director

      The appointment follows the departure of Peter T. Brown, who has been the Foundation’s executive director since 2005.

    • FSFE Newsletter – March 2011
    • Let’s Play With GNU Screen
  • Project Releases

    • KTorrent 4.1 is out

      After many months of work, new major releases for ktorrent and libktorrent are available.

    • XBMC 10.1 is released ! PPA Ubuntu and LinuxMint

      XBMC 10.1 is released, The main focus of this release is to address a bug that could cause XBMC to freeze when updating a skin. To increase stability, it is adviced to update to this new release.

  • Licensing

    • Copyright assignment is killing the “free” in free software

      Now, many others could benefit of such an improvement, and we don’t want to maintain a forked version of CUPS, so we forwarded it upstream, who looked interested. But upstream now being Apple, they requested a stupid copyright assignment agreement.

    • Cloud Computing (SaaS) Licenses – Is AGPL the solution?

      It is supported by many that the AGPL license for network services which run in a cloud brings back the fairness provision that the original GPL intended and returns the freedom that FLOSS promises to all users and developers. But does the APGL license really provide all that?

      The AGPL license tries to bring software that works as a service closer to the PC based model for FLOSS licensing by linking the source provision requirement to the modification of the underlying code and its user interaction over a network . Copyright remains in derivative works and provides the potential users with the right to have access to source code. Moreover, with the use of AGPL the vendor is being “watched” somehow so he can not start behaving badly. But there is something that is concerning in all these. Data is the primary challenge of FLOSS in cloud computing so it is easily understood that access on the source code does not help if the data from a service in the cloud are still inaccessible.


  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Florida State Lawmaker Takes Heat For Bill That Would Require Teaching Of ‘Non-Evolution’

      Florida GOP State Senator Stephen Wise is drawing fire with a legislative proposal that would require schools in the Sunshine State to dramatically change the way evolution is addressed in the classroom, primarily by requiring the teaching of an alternative he calls “non-evolution.”

      According to his legislation, public school teachers would have to “teach a thorough presentation and critical analysis of the scientific theory of evolution” to students.

  • Finance

    • The Final Hearing of the FCIC


    • Live Reporting from the Wisconsin Protests

      Since Monday, February 14, tens of thousands of Wisconsin residents have been flooding the State Capitol in Madison in protest of Governor Walker’s proposed budget “repair” bill that would end 50 years of collective bargaining for Wisconsin workers. CMD reporters are out providing live coverage of these historic events. Send your stories, photos and videos to us at: PR Watch Editor!

    • For Hedge Fund Baron, Trial Poses a Steep Risk

      A decade later, Mr. Rajaratnam is taking the biggest calculated risk of his life. Beginning Tuesday, he will be seated at the defense table in a federal courtroom in Manhattan. In the biggest insider trading trial in a generation, Mr. Rajaratnam, 53, is fighting charges that he made $45 million trading on illegal stock tips.

    • Where the Proposed Foreclosure Fraud Settlement Falls Short

      You may know by now that American Banker has uncovered the 27-page term sheet that could form part of a global settlement between state and federal regulators and mortgage servicers. The term sheet describes a host of actions to which the servicers would have to conform, most of which reflect current law with a couple that go a little bit further.

      I’m a slight bit late to discussing this term sheet, so I’ll refer you to some other worthy commentators and analysts for the details. Cheyenne Hopkins at American Banker has a nice synopsis of the terms, as does HuffPo’s Shahien Nasiripour. Georgetown Law Professor Adam Levitin finds the terms to be strong, while Felix Salmon finds any settlement of this type to be doomed, mainly because of the lack of strong enforcement for non-compliance.

    • Mortgage Settlement Term Sheet: Bailout as Reward for Institutionalized Fraud

      American Banker posted the 27 page term sheet presented by the 50 state attorneys general and Federal banking regulators to banks with major servicing operations.

      Whether they recognize it or not, this deal is a suicide pact for the attorneys general in states that are suffering serious economic damage as a result of the foreclosure crisis. Tom Miller, the Iowa attorney who is serving as lead negotiator for this travesty, is in a state whose unemployment was a mere 6.2% last December. In addition he is reportedly jockeying to become the first head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. So the AGs who are in the firing line and need a tough deal have a leader whose interests are not aligned with theirs.

    • Republicans Seek to Slow Agency’s Work on Derivatives Regulation

      Federal regulators are running out of time to write hundreds of new rules for Wall Street. Yet Republican lawmakers — and even some regulators — want to slow the pace.

      Representative Scott Garrett of New Jersey is the latest prominent Republican to rebuke the speed at which the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is writing rules. In a letter dated March 3 to the agency chairman, Gary Gensler, Mr. Garrett complained that a “rapid pace” prevented the financial industry from fully digesting proposed rules for derivatives trading.

    • Banks Like Proposed Fraudclosure Settlement

      Today’s bank rally lets you know exactly what the Street thinks about the proposed mortgage settlement. The big up could reflect the belief that it is a giveaway/bailout, and lets the banks get off scott-free from their criminality.

    • Banking Mammoths – Top 10 U.S. banks have $11 trillion of the $13 trillion in total banking assets. The problem? We have over 7,650 banks. The banking oligopoly leads to a concentration of wealth at the top.

      The too big to fail problem is still an issue that needs to be dealt with even though many would like to ignore it like a big dark secret. The FDIC is holding up a system with $5.4 trillion in deposits and no deposit insurance fund. I know a lot of Americans have a hard time believing this but this is a cold hard fact. The entire banking edifice of our nation is held up on pure faith combined with the backing of our largest banks and government. This wouldn’t be such an issue if banks operated as responsible stewards of the economy but instead they have used the taxpayer wallet as some kind of endless buffet piggybank. What is even more troubling is based on the latest data, the top 10 bank holding companies in the United States are reporting $11 trillion dollars in assets. Now why is this a problem? The FDIC insures 7,657 banks with $13 trillion in assets. In other words, over 84 percent of all banking assets are in the hands of the big ten banks

    • Another Sign the Market Is Rigged? Ex-Goldman Board Member Charged With Insider Trading

      Yesterday, the SEC charged a former board member of Goldman Sachs, Rajat Gupta, with insider trading.

      Gupta allegedly passed confidential information about Goldman and Procter & Gamble, where Gupta was also a board-member, to a hedge-fund friend named Raj Rajaratnam. Rajaratnam, who has already been charged with insider tradin

    • Goldman’s Pariah Status Fades With BoE’s Broadbent Appointment

      The Bank of England’s appointment of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) Senior European Economist Ben Broadbent to its Monetary Policy Committee shows governments are again looking to the firm for top decision makers, less than a year after it settled U.S. fraud claims.

      Broadbent, who has worked at Goldman Sachs since 2000, will replace Andrew Sentance at the end of May, the Treasury in London said yesterday. He joins a panel that has split four ways on policy for the first time since the central bank’s independence in 1997.

    • How Goldman Sachs Speculates and Avoids Tax
    • Goldman Sachs Weighs Competing Lehman Liquidation Plan, Creditors Say

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) may propose a liquidation plan for bankrupt Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. that would give it more money and compete with two rival plans for the defunct company, two creditors said.

      Goldman Sachs, which owns claims against a Lehman derivatives unit, is considering proposing its own plan to pay creditors, said John Beiers, chief deputy county counsel for San Mateo County in California, and another creditor familiar with the matter. The county has joined hedge fund Paulson & Co. and other bondholders to push a plan that would pay them more than one filed by Lehman.

    • Why Isn’t Wall Street Behind Bars?

      “Forgive me, I must start by pointing out that three years after our horrific financial crisis caused by massive fraud, not a single financial executive has gone to jail, and that’s wrong.”

      That was what filmmaker Charles Ferguson said at the Academy Awards last week, as he accepted an Oscar for his documentary Inside Job. It got us wondering the same thing…

      So we thought we’d talk to a couple of people inside the world of international finance.

    • Jamie Dimon And Lloyd Blankfein Are Now Advising The Kremlin

      The Kremlin is desperate to turn Moscow into a throbbing global financial center, but they need some help to do it.

      Right now Moscow is ranked 68th out of 75 cities in the Global Financial Centers Index, says Bloomberg.

      So who have they asked for some help? Pretty much every bank chief from another global financial center: Wall Street.

      Lloyd Blankfein, Jamie Dimon and Vikram Pandit have all just been recruited by the Kremlin to advise Russia on how to turn Moscow into a finance hub, Bloomberg reports.

    • Bill Daley, White House Chief Of Staff, Pressed About Lack Of Jail Time For Wall Street Culprits

      White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley declined on Sunday to bring the president into the debate over why no major player in the collapse of the financial system in 2008 has gone to jail.

      Appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Daley, who worked as an executive at JP Morgan prior to joining the White House, said it wasn’t the role of a politician, let alone a president, to weigh in on judicial matters. Besides that, he added, the reforms that Obama instituted years after the crash occurred were indicative of his dissatisfaction with the financial sector.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/UBB

    • AT&T will cap DSL and U-Verse internet, impose overage fees (update)

      Ladies and gentlemen, the days of unlimited broadband may be numbered in the United States, and we’re not talking wireless this time — AT&T says it will implement a 150GB monthly cap on landline DSL customers and a 250GB cap on subscribers to U-Verse high speed internet starting on May 2nd. AT&T will also charge overage fees of $10 for every additional 50GB of data, with two grace periods to start out — in other words, the third month you go over the cap is when you’ll get charged. DSLReports says it has confirmation from AT&T that these rates are legitimate, and that letters will go out to customers starting March 18th.

    • Kroes’ No disconnect strategy

      In a similar fashion the digital rights group EDRI is pushing for a smart human rights provision inside the consumer directive to allow for checks and balances in the context of internet disconnection. But it looks like all observers lost sight what the consumer directive under Schwab is about to achieve or cover. For anti-circumvention purposes unlicensed access to radio spectrum seems key. I also remember the techniques used by German journalists in Tunesia during the World Summit of the Information Society to fence off the intimidating Tunesian authorities and communicate their news reports back home. It always concerned me that our governments were not providing the technical assistance they were able to provide.

  • DRM/SCOny

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Police Return Seized Hardware to Victorious BitTorrent Admin, Trashed

        Last month the second case against a UK-based BitTorrent site came to an end. Two administrators of FileSoup – the longest standing BitTorrent community – had their case dropped by the authorities and were free men once again. This week, personal belongings that were seized during the house raids were released and returned, but what should have been a celebration turned out to be a great disappointment.

        When FileSoup administrator Geeker had his home raided in the summer of 2009, police and the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) literally trashed his place. In a previous interview Geeker vividly recalled the events.

      • ACTA

        • US Proposals For Secret TPP ‘Son Of ACTA’ Treaty Leaked; Chock Full Of Awful Ideas

          The early reports on TPP was that the USTR would only consider ratcheting up intellectual property laws to more draconian states. It would not even consider the idea of decreasing the already too strict levels of intellectual property laws. It also would not bother with increasing consumer protections or important exceptions to stronger intellectual property law — even if it’s been shown that those exceptions have a much greater impact on the economy than the IP laws themselves.

Clip of the Day

cows & cows & cows

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 7/3/2011: Forbes Says Microsoft’s Market Share is Down to 75%, Linux 2.6.38 is Coming, Xoom Reviews Out

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

GNOME bluefish



  • Ten ways Windows fails but Linux does not

    As an experienced Linux user, I’m obviously at ease with the way Linux and Linux desktops work. But when I use Microsoft Windows, I often feel as if I have run into a brick wall. Although Windows is a functional operating system — and most computer users employ it — it is far from being a trouble-free environment. Of course, Windows users say they run into challenges with Linux, but I find my experience to be at odds with that view. So I thought I would share the frustrations I encounter daily with Windows, which are non-issues with Linux.

  • Upgrading PCs

    Install Debian GNU/Linux on both. On the newer machine do a full desktop installation and open the ports for XDMCP and X. On the older system do a minimal installation plus X. Add the line “X -query ipaddress of newerPC” without the quotes and ipaddress is the network address on your LAN for the newer PC to /etc/rc.local.

    The older machine will boot in about 30s and open a login screen to the new PC. Logging in will take 5s. Once you have opened and closed OpenOffice.org it will take as little as 2s to open it again. So, you get a 5X performance improvement and can use it on two computers for $0 and some time.

  • US Department of the Navy Switching to Thin Client Technology

    Point of sale systems are one strong point for GNU/Linux thin clients. It is interesting to see that GNU/Linux actually declined in POS shipments in Canada/USA for 2010 while having 20% shares and growth in other parts of the world.

  • Did Alexandre Dumas Use Linux?

    Porteus system is relatively new system on the Linux sky.
    It came to light when developer of SLAX, Tomas M. gave up the project. Even before that, there was a fork called “SLAX remix”. Now it is named Porteus.
    The name sends us to two facts.

  • Denver Museum promotes Linux

    But even cooler yet was they explained how they did it and they used “Linux”. Usually when they list an operating system, I assume it’s a paid advertisement, but in this case it just said “Linux”.

  • Desktop

    • 5 Things OS X Does Better than Linux
    • Forbes Estimates M$ Down to 75% Share of PCs

      Forbes bases its stock-price estimates on a steady rise in notebook production. I expect notebooks will take a hit with the rise of smart-thingies which have huge growth. They do see a potential 10% drop in share price if M$ fails to capture significant share of mobile devices. That capture is not going to happen this year, so I see M$ falling in share of OS rapidly. According to the graphical calculator, if M$ slides to 50% share this year and 30% in the next few years, share price could drop 20%. Too bad, eh? Forbes calls it a “danger”.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Looking For Linux Hardware In A Easy Shopping List

      After talking about the first week of OpenBenchmarking.org, which was a great success, news of this open and collaborative testing platform made its way to the front page of Slashdot. This resulted in a huge increase in benchmarks pouring in over last night and they keep coming in today. Thanks to this greater data set, here’s a new feature that will interest many of you: the ability to easily find compatible GPUs / motherboards / CPUs / disks that are ranked upon how they perform with a given driver and operating system.

    • Linux 2.6.38 Kernel Multi-Core Scaling
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Pastebin Plasma widget

        Being a Linux sysadmin, The need often arises to share debug logs, configuration files or text snippets using services such as pastebin. Usually I use a tool called pastebinit which is a powerful commandline application that makes the process of submitting text snippet to pastebin very easy. Today I found a kde plasma widget which does same. Although not as powerful as pastebinit, I found it to come very handy when the need arises to share text from a GUI based app like Kate text editor or a browser. It also allows for uploading of images to Image upload sites like imagebin, imagineshack, or imgur. This little widget makes process of posting debug codes and config files to pastebin dead easy. (and sexy too :p ) I made a video to Show how it works.

      • KDE Commit Digest for 20 February 2011
      • KDE Hybrid Launcher for Task Manager Plasmoid

        Sup people this be gotbletu, this is my first guest post on here.

        There is this cool feature that KDE 4.6 has with the ‘Task Manager’ Plasmoid.It’s called “Show A Launcher For [Program] When It Is Not Running”. Thats kind of a long ass name, so I personally call it the “Hybrid Launcher” hahah

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • Revisited: Pardus 2011

      So what’s the deal? Pardus did great in recognizing my laptop webcam, graphics card capabilities in terms of desktop effects, and wireless card, but for some strange reason packages cannot be installed or managed otherwise during the live session, unless I’m missing something big here. That’s really a shame, because I don’t want to have to install Pardus on my computer just to figure out whether or not I can install and successfully use Skype. And why am I emphasizing Skype so much? It’s really the only application I need to install (aside from maybe a couple games if I feel like it) that’s not included by default in Pardus. So this is my request to the Pardus developers: please make the package manager usable in the live session! It helps to know what works and what doesn’t before installation.

    • Best Lightweight Linux Distro

      You maybe already know that TinyCore is the smallest Linux distro, it takes only 10MB of disk space, however it does not contain any applications. Other well-known small Linux OSes include Puppy Linux, Slax Linux and Damn Small Linux, they are pretty but takes more than 50MB of disk space.


      SliTaz allows to create a bootable live USB stick for itself, it can also be installed to local hard drive.

    • Reviews

      • First Post: Tiny Core 3.5

        Tiny Core Linux. The name immediately hints at the creator’s intentions, but only once I had booted up the LiveCD did I really know how “Tiny” it was. With the .iso file (available here) being about 10 megabytes, one could easily download Tiny Core 3.5 over dialup!

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat corporate timeline

        2004: Red Hat raised $600 million through a bond offering. Red Hat acquired AOL’s Netscape server software for about $25 million in cash in September, and in November, opens its first office in China, in the capital city of Beijing.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian takes security very seriously… but how? 4 mars 2011

        By default, there is no reason to not believe them. But while talking with the administrator of Samba Bugzilla in bug 7121, I realized this was far from being true! What follows is specific to the Bugzilla case, but I guess there are plenty of other similar examples for other Debian packages.

        This security report set the urgency to « High », and despite the corresponding bug report has been reported to Debian more than a month ago asking the maintainer of the Bugzilla package to release new versions, nothing has been done so far. Even Secunia marked this security issue as « moderately critical », which is the third level out of five. And I myself emailed the Bugzilla package maintainer at Debian a few days ago, but got no response so far.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu Security: Holes Found, Holes Fixed

          Oh my God! There are security holes in Ubuntu 10.04! The sky is falling! Bill Gates is the maker of the one true operating system; forgive us Bill for we have worshiped at the feet of false Penguin idols. Oh please, give me a break!

          Linux, like all other operating systems and software, has security holes. Always has, always will. No one ever said Linux was perfect. It’s not. It never will be.

          What makes Ubuntu and Linux better than most of their competitors aren’t that they are flawless. It’s that when bugs are found, they fixed as fast as possible and then the fixes are pushed out to users immediately. There is no monthly Patch Tuesday. If there’s a significant problem, its tracked down and fixed. Period. End of statement.

        • Unity in Natty: is it for me?

          Unity 3.6.0 recently landed in Natty, bringing a lot of long expected goodnesses, along with some unexpected weirdnesses and regressions.

          I thought sharing my experience at this point in time could be useful to some.. If you are looking for an “everything is just perfect” post, you should probably stop reading.

        • Submit Unity Feedback for Ubuntu 11.04

          Ubuntu Project, through Jason Warner, sent an e-mail a couple of days ago, asking people to submit their feedback about the Unity interface of the upcoming Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) operating system, due for release at the end of April, 2011.

        • No More Compiz Desktop Cube Plugin In Unity [Ubuntu 11.04]

          Do you use the Compiz Desktop Cube plugin? I don’t use it so I didn’t notice this but it seems you can’t enable the Desktop Cube in Ubuntu 11.04 if you use Unity

        • Microphone Volume Control Added To Sound Menu Of Ubuntu 11.04

          Consistency across different applications is one of the main focus in Ubuntu 11.04. Ubuntu already has a unified sound menu from which users can manage the volume levels of different music players.

          However, one thing that has always bugged me was the microphone volume control. Usually when a voice call arrives, say in Skype, users have to manually set the microphone volume level from the Sound Preferences.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Google frags fragmentation with Fragments API for older Android versions

          In a post on the Android developer blog, Google has announced the availability of a new static library for Android developers that provides a more portable implementation of the Fragments API. This will allow third-party Android application developers to take advantage of Fragments without having to sacrifice backwards compatibility with existing Android handsets.

          Google recently launched Android 3.0, codenamed Honeycomb, a significant new tablet-optimized version of its Linux-based mobile operating system. Among the major features introduced in the update is an assortment of new APIs that aim to make it easier for third-party application developers to build Android applications that work seamlessly across multiple form factors—such as tablets and smartphones.

        • Ars reviews the Motorola Xoom

          Don’t jump for the Xoom just because it’s the first—they rushed it out prematurely hoping to capitalize on exactly that.

        • Why a Xoom?

          Q: But aren’t there other Google Experience devices coming to market? Like the Samsung 10.1 tablet? A: Indeed there are. And I’m told that not only is the Samsung almost half a pound lighter than the Xoom, its screen is brighter to boot. The problem for me is that it’s incompatible with Verizon’s network, and is likely headed to AT&T. I already have an AT&T WAN connection in my Nexus One, so my preference was for a Verizon compatible device. I think it’s also possible, even likely, that Google will pay slightly closer attention to the Xoom as it’s the flagship launch device. Which can’t hurt.

    • Tablets

      • Android, MeeGo & WebOS need to get going on tablets: Now

        I have a confession to make. I use Linux more than I do any other operating system by a wide margin, but I also use a lot of Apple products. In house at the moment are two Mac Minis; a MacBook Pro, a pair of iPod Touches, and, oh yes, an iPad mark 1. I know I’m not the only Linux or Windows guy who likes his Mac stuff too. In recent months I’ve been to both open-source and Windows tech. shows and I’ve seen MacBooks, iPhones and iPads everywhere. Now, with the iPad2 on the runway, if Android, MeeGo, webOS, and yes Windows too, want to play a sizable share of the tablet market, they need to make moves now or the iPad 2 is going to run them over.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Facebook and open source: ‘we’ve come a long way’

    David Recordon: I really got started working with open source when I was a teenager. I was using YaBB SE (PHP forum software), and started helping others within the community.

    At the time, I knew C++ and a bit of Perl, but really hadn’t done much web programming. PHP was easy to pick up and I loved the immediacy of being able to just hit save and then refresh my browser. Over the next few years, I got more deeply involved in the project, helped launch the rewrite as Simple Machines Forum, and built a forum-hosting business with my friend Joshua Dickerson.

  • Open source or proprietary: Killing creativity or enabling end-users

    Open Source Software has been a huge blessing to the software community and businesses in general.

  • Events

    • FOSDEM 2011 – A Personal Account (with all personal details withheld)

      FOSDEM – a geek trip to Brussels. Going abroad to experience different cultures. Or at least, a chance to eat chips, suffer rain, and watch American TV in a different country.

      If I had to sum up this year, then the theme was Annoyances. Having been every year for the last ten, maybe I’m just too old and crabby for these things now. But it seemed like the zealots, the idiots, the chavs, and the social retards had all teamed up to irk me at a

  • Education

    • Partimus

      By using Free Open Source Software and repurposed hardware, we aim to do our part to help bridge the digital divide.

    • Another Real-life Open-Source Test: An Academic Presentation

      Lately, I haven’t been able to write much. The reason? I was busy finishing up some details for my thesis-advancement presentation that took place last Friday.

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • The Slur “Open Core”: Toward More Diligent Analysis

        Later — shortly after I pointed out Mark Shuttleworth’s fascination with and leanings towards this practice — I realized that it was better to use the preexisting, tried-and-true term for the practice: “proprietary relicensing”. I’ve been pretty consistent in avoiding the term “Open Core” since then. I called on Shuttleworth to adopt the FSF’s recommendations to show Canonical, Ltd. isn’t seeking proprietary relicensing and left the whole thing at that. (Shuttleworth, of course, has refused to even respond, BTW.)

        Sadly, it was too late: I’d help create a monster. A few weeks later, Alexandre Oliva (whose positions on the issue of proprietary software inside the kernel named Linux I definitely agree with) took it a step too far and called the kernel named Linux an “Open Core” project. Obviously, Linux developers don’t and can’t engage in proprietary relicensing; some just engage in a “look the other way” mentality with regard to proprietary components inside Linux. At the time, I said that the term “Open Core” was clearly just too confusing to analyze a real-world licensing situation.

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD needs fresh Blood!

      As for FreeBSD Gnome Team, well I can’t say much about gnome but whenever I see the cvs commits in marcuscome tree, it seems like most work for the upcoming gnome3 is done by kwm@, and supported by marcus@, mezz@ and avl@. Gnome includes not only Gnome things but it also include gtk and cairo, the one that always cause problems in a major update. I think the team would love to have some fresh blood in the team.


  • Daley: Obama doesn’t sweat 2012 politics
  • PMO: The Govt of Canada now renamed ‘Harper Government’
  • Science

    • 11 Epic Technology Disasters

      Nature and politics kill far more people than technological accidents but failures of machines still take a toll on both a personal and social level. Separating machine failures and negligent maintenance from unforeseeable circumstances isn’t easy and no doubt there are some accidents worthy of mention that we’ve missed. In any event, these are the eleven worst tech-related disasters where mechanical or engineering failure played a significant role. And by “worst,” we’re considering death toll but not using it as the exclusive metric. Some disasters like the destruction of the space shuttle Challenger resulted in only a few deaths but nonetheless had a worldwide impact.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • US congressman claims there is no Israeli occupation

      Brooklyn congressman, Max Weiner, recently debated former congressman, Brian Baird, on the Israel/Palestine issue. Weiner is loved by many progressives but is unfortunately a PEP (progressive except Palestine) and has drawn the wrath of the leftist Israel/Palestine blogosphere over his comments at the debate held at the New School in New York, NY. Watch the whole debate here.

    • Children in East Jerusalem Get Short Stick of the Occupation

      Over the past six months, if you were following Palestinian and Israeli news, hardly a day would go by without reading a report that more children were detained in East Jerusalem. Now, various reports are coming out that confirm these impressions: children of East Jerusalem are being injured and arrested at an alarmingly high rate.

    • David Hicks on Guantanamo: Torture ‘an everyday experience’

      David Hicks was one of the first “war on terror” detainees to be sent to the US military prison at Guantanamo the day it opened in January 2002.

      In a February 16 article, Truth-out.org’s Jason Leopold introduced Hicks as “the Australian drifter who converted to Islam, changed his name to Muhammed Dawood and ended up at training camps in Afghanistan the US government said were linked to al-Qaeda, one of which was visited by Osama bin Laden several times.

    • Anti-terrorism and uprisings

      The string of uprisings in North Africa have laid bare Western governments’ relationships with regimes in the region, which pro-democracy activists argue have long been fixated on anti-terrorism, immigration and oil.

      Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader, appears to be on the brink of joining Tunisia’s Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak – both ousted by their own people. In Algeria, meanwhile, Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s government is holding firm, clamping down on protests and carrying out limited reforms in a bid to lull anti-regime rage.

    • John McCain: Gadhafi Is ‘Insane’

      Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., reiterated his call for a U.S.-backed no-fly zone over Libya this morning and called Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi “insane.”

    • The People Vs. Jason Kenney: Why this Racist should be Deported

      I received the following ad for a protest rally in an email from Dave Diewert, my prof of the two-week class i just took at Regent called Solidarity, Resistance, and Liberation: the Way of God in the World. Didn’t make it to the rally today, (I had to write a paper), but that doesn’t mean we can’t still talk about how horrible this man’s policies are!

    • Is Islam the Problem?

      A wise visitor from outer space who dropped in on Earth a millennium ago might have assumed that the Americas would eventually be colonized not by primitive Europeans but by the more advanced Arab civilization — and that as a result we Americans would all be speaking Arabic today.

      Yet after about 1200, the Middle East took a long break: it stagnated economically, and today it is marked by high levels of illiteracy and autocracy. So as the region erupts in protests seeking democracy, a basic question arises: What took so long? And, a politically incorrect question: Could the reason for the Middle East’s backwardness be Islam?

      The sociologist Max Weber and other scholars have argued that Islam is inherently a poor foundation for capitalism, and some have pointed in particular to Islamic qualms about paying interest on loans.

    • USA: Twittersphere Debates Kristof Column on Islam
    • Afghan president rejects U.S. apology over killings

      Afghanistan’s president on Sunday rejected a U.S. apology for the mistaken killing of nine Afghan boys in a NATO air attack and said civilian casualties are no longer acceptable.

      According to a statement from his office, Hamid Karzai told Gen. David Petraeus, the top commander of coalition forces in Afghanistan, that expressing regret was not sufficient in last week’s killing of the boys, ages 12 and under, by coalition helicopters.

    • Gaddafi and rebel forces in heavy clashes in town of Zawiya

      Forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi launched a second attack on the western Libyan town of Zawiya on Saturday, after rebels drove back a heavy morning offensive in the most intense clashes of the uprising.

    • Libya Live Blog – March 5
    • Things grow worse in Libya and the Internet is switched off

      Which, all things considered, might have been exactly what happened. You see Libya’s Internet is owned and controlled by the government through a telecommunication company Libya Telecom & Technology. Even its site is down now.

    • Games in the Desert of Libya

      It is written that 8 British men were picked up at Suluq on Friday after a helicopter was spotted there. A story was floated that one had a diplomatic passport and was trying to contact the new regime…

    • Libya Live Blog – March 6
  • Cablegate

    • The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog—Special Weekend Edition!

      10:50 Interesting comparison: Bradley Manning gets one hour outside his cell every day, allegedly. A death row prisoner in the U.S., who has written an op-ed in NYT today, says he gets two hours outside. And he admits he killed his wife and three kids.

      10:40 Just announced: Assange to speak at the Cambridge Union on March 15, his first public speech in four months.

      8:10 Great background piece on the Bush administration’s use of forced nudity to punish or get prisoners to talk. “In 2004, the CIA told President George W. Bush’s lawyers how useful forced nudity was for instilling ‘learned helplessness’ in prisoners, though the repeated emphasis on nudity took on a lewd and sadistic quality.”

      7:50 A reader points out that in the Wash Post story on Manning that I mentioned last night (at 7:40) there’s mention of progress in Juan Mendez’s UN investigation which I don’t think I’ve seen elsewhere: “The conditions of Manning’s confinement have become controversial, with the United Nations special rapporteur on torture saying he submitted a formal inquiry to the State Department about Manning’s treatment. The State Department confirmed Saturday that U.S. officials ‘have met with the special rapporteur and are preparing a formal response.’”

    • WikiLeaks cables recount how U.S. pressured allies

      They have received little attention in the United States, but a set of WikiLeaks disclosures of confidential documents has caused an uproar in Europe by showing that U.S. officials pressured Germany and Spain to derail criminal investigations of Americans.


      A Spanish judge announced a criminal investigation in January 2009 into whether six lawyers in President George W. Bush’s administration had approved torture. They included former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and John Yoo, the UC Berkeley law professor whose memos as a Justice Department attorney authorized the near-drowning technique called waterboarding.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Researchers find more plastic in the guts of Arctic seabirds

      When biologist Jennifer Provencher headed to the Arctic, she signed on to help assess how seabird diets are changing as temperatures climb in the North.

      She never expected to find plastics on the menu. But she and her colleagues at the Canadian Wildlife Service are pulling remarkable amounts of trash from birds in some of the remotest spots on Earth.

      Fulmars are strong flyers that skim the surface swallowing tasty tidbits, and 84 per cent of the ones the researchers examined from two Arctic colonies had plastics in their guts.

  • Finance

    • Providence RI Fires All Of Its Public School Teachers. Union Leader: ‘This Is A Back-Door Wisconsin’

      The union leader’s assessment is right on target: This is, indeed, a “back-door Wisconsin.” The Providence school board just eviscerated the union contract so they can fire the most experienced (and most expensive) teachers at the end of the school year — instead of laying them off.

    • Subject: Senior moment – A 98 year old woman in the UK wrote this to her bank.

      The bank manager thought it amusing enough to have it published in the Times.
      Dear Sir,

      I am writing to thank you for bouncing my cheque with which I endeavoured to pay my plumber last month. By my calculations, three nanoseconds must have elapsed between his presenting the cheque and the arrival in my account of the funds needed to honour it. I refer, of course, to the automatic monthly deposit of my Pension, an arrangement, which, I admit, has been in place for only thirty eight years. You are to be commended for seizing that brief window of opportunity, and also for debiting my account £30 by way of penalty for the inconvenience caused to your bank.

    • How Goldman Sachs Influences the Economy in Ever Widening Circles

      A Goldman Sachs guy is on the hot seat again. Here, in all its glory, is the accusation from the SEC. We wonder whether the people who work at Goldman Sachs learn how to use the system to their advantage and carry their efforts far and wide or whether Goldman Sachs’s mantra that money is all makes ethics passe.

    • Jon Stewart Calls Out Fox News’ Hypocrisy Comparing Teachers, Wall Street (VIDEO)

      Thursday night’s “Daily Show” featured Jon Stewart doing what he does best: calling out hypocrisy in the media. After a segment on the intensified battle between Gov. Scott Walker and Wisconsin unions, Stewart took a look at how Fox News was reporting on the story, specifically compared to how they covered similar threats to the Bush tax cuts and bailed-out bank CEOs’ salaries.

      Stewart showed plenty of pundits saying that when it comes to taxing those who make $250,000 a year, you’re taxing people who are “not rich” and even “close to poverty” if they have a family of four with kids in college. But when it comes to teachers in Wisconsin, the same pundits say they, as government employees, should expect to see cuts in their ample $50,000 a year salary plus benefits.

    • Goldman Sachs’s Gary Gensler and the CFTC

      Gary Gensler, alumnus of Goldman Sachs, has already been discussed elsewhere on this blog where we presented his previous incarnation as one who wished to exempt CDSs and other derivatives from regulation.

      The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which was signed into law on July 21, 2010, gives both the CFTC under Gensler and the SEC regulatory powers over derivatives known as swaps. The Act repeals the exemption from regulation for security-based swaps. Regulators have to consult with each other before implementing rules or issuing orders. Both CFTC and SEC consult with the Federal Reserve about defining swap related terms.

  • Civil Rights

    • Wanted: Native JS Encryption

      I’d like to challenge all browser vendors to put together a comprehensive JS API for encryption. I’ll use this blog post to prove why it’s necessary and would be a great move to do so.

    • Sony to obtain IP details of all visitors to Geohot’s site

      Lets consider this for a minute – Every visitor. There would be many who would have visited just out of curiosity and many of them who wouldn’t even own a PS3, there would be news outlets looking for further information in order to make a more comprehensive report and there would be those who maybe even just clicked on a link by accident. As a result of Sony’s court success, it will have all those people’s IP details that visited geohot over the last 26 months.

  • DRM

    • The EFF Letter: Sony’s subpoenas “impact the free speech interests of myriad third parties”

      Wired’s David Kravetz has published the EFF letter [PDF] it sent to the judge in SCEA v. Hotz, and I have it for you as text.

      George Hotz’s lawyers agreed to the subpoenas issuing, so long as the information gleaned is kept attorneys’ eyes only, according to the letter [PDF] Sony sent the Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero, and the judge merely signed off on it. I don’t see Hotz’s lawyer signing the letter too, which I’d normally expect. Why he’d agree to such a broad reach is disturbing. EFF noticed, telling the judge that the subpoenas implicate free speech interests of third parties not involved in the litigation, but nobody else seems to care. EFF is most concerned about the subpoena to YouTube, but the one I find overbroad is the subpoena to the company that hosts his web site, as I’ll show you. No one else is looking out for the third parties in this picture, so if I were one of the third parties and I knew it, I’d be on the phone to my lawyer or EFF super pronto, asking him if I could block.

Clip of the Day

Ubuntu on CR-48! Windows 7 Launcher on Android, and Copyright Infringement Sucks [3/6/11 Vlog]

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 6/3/2011: Fedora 16 Codenames, Android Grows in Tablet Market

Posted in News Roundup at 2:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • 3 Good Reasons To Buy an Open-PC

      As of December, however, another option emerged that’s well worth checking out–it’s even better, in fact, from the perspective of software freedom. It’s called the Open-PC, and it offers “a PC for everyday use built by the Linux community for the Linux community,” in the project’s own words.

    • ZaReason Teo Pro Netbook: Test Drive Ready for Takeoff

      I’ve had an affinity for netbooks since they entered public consciousness sometime in late 2008. Despite the limitations of my Dell Mini 9, I loved it dearly. Now that Atom CPUs are getting more powerful, drives are getting smaller, and components are maturing, ZaReason has decided to pack together a good chunk of that new hardware into its new Teo Pro Netbook, and the company was kind enough to send me a review unit. Here are some first impressions …

      Check out the full tech specs of the Teo Pro here, but the unit packs 2GB of RAM and a 1.66 GHz Atom CPU. SSD options are available, but my unit came equipped with 160GB HDD.

    • Canada’s government ought to adopt Linux on all its computers

      In mid February there were news reports that Canadian government computers at the Finance Department, Treasury Board, Defence Research and Development Canada had been hacked and information mined by persons unknown, most probably operating out of China.

      The federal government said little about this but confirmed that as soon as the activity, which began in January, was discovered the affected departments were immediately shut off from the Internet and a long, difficult process was begun to see if any other departments had been affected.


      But best of all, Linux is open source software (the programming code is available to anybody and free for programmers to use and adapt). Government programmers can write their own programs or additions to programs for whatever they need, without restriction. They can get exactly the kind and level of security they want and the specifications will be unique, making the job of hackers much harder since every such system is different. What might work in one for a hacker won’t in another.

  • Server

    • London Stock Exchange: What really went wrong

      The London Stock Exchange has made a U-turn on the system requirements placed on data vendors such as Thomson Reuters, Interactive Data and Bloomberg, after three weeks of problems since the launch of its new trading platform.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • CAOS Theory Podcast 2011.03.04

      Topics for this podcast:

      *Advantec switches to open source to deliver HR as a service
      *Erlang Solutions solves devops problems with open source programming
      *art of defence and Qualys open source security projects
      *EnterpriseDB benefits from focus on PostgreSQL community
      *Puppet Labs steps up commercial play with Puppet Enterprise

    • Episode 157: Floating in the Air
  • Kernel Space

    • Yocto and OpenEmbedded Combine Forces: What Does It Mean?

      Two major embedded Linux projects formally joined their efforts this week, a move that simplifies the landscape for device makers and embedded software developers. Yocto, a Linux Foundation (LF)-stewarded project that creates development tools, and OpenEmbedded, a community-driven distribution build system, announced their “alignment” on March 1st. The merger includes governance changes and new corporate collaborators, but for the average Linux developer, the main effect will be a streamlined embedded development process.

    • A Week With OpenBenchmarking.org

      OpenBenchmarking.org has now been live for just under one week since launching it (and Phoronix Test Suite 3.0) from the Southern California Linux Expo when talking about making more informed Linux hardware choices. Here’s some statistics on how it’s going.

    • A 13 Line Patch That Boosts Intel Sandy Bridge Performance

      After some initial Linux troubles, last month we finally got Intel Sandy Bridge graphics working under Linux. The latest Intel CPUs (such as the Core i5 2500K) with integrated graphics are blazingly fast, and the classic Intel Mesa driver was fast compared to other open-source Mesa / Gallium3D drivers, but it still was a ways behind the low-end discrete graphics cards with the proprietary AMD / NVIDIA drivers for Linux. It was also shown that the Intel Linux Mesa driver is much slower than the Intel Windows driver for Sandy Bridge, as we had also found was the case for previous generations of Intel graphics. Committed to the Mesa mainline Git repository this week though was a very important Sandy Bridge change. While the commit only touched 13 lines of code (11 lines of new code, 2 lines of changed code), it has dramatically improved the Sandy Bridge Linux performance as our results show in this article.

    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA 270.30 Works With X.Org Server 1.10 Final

        Due to RandR 1.4 being pulled from X.Org Server 1.10, the video driver ABI had to be bumped to again, and this was at the last possible minute with X.Org Server 1.10 being released just days later. For the open-source X.Org drivers this just means recompiling the driver for the latest binary interface. For the binary blobs, this means NVIDIA and AMD must put out new releases.

      • Will Floating Point Textures Be Merged Into Mesa?

        Lucas Stach has brought a proposal to the Mesa mailing list of merging Mesa’s floating point textures and render targets code branch into the mainline Mesa repository. Floating point textures have been available in OpenGL for years, but has yet to enter mainline Mesa as it’s a patented feature.

  • Applications

    • The Sad State of Hashcash

      So today, I received an email from one of the readers of this blog. He wanted to get into OpenPGP with his email, and asked if I could help him get started with some tutorials, how-tos, etc. I was flattered that he valued my opinion. So, I responded to each of his questions and discussion points the best I could. However, during the reply, I reminded myself of Hashcash.

    • Some Conky Favorites of mine

      I have come to love Conky, even with its quirky, sometimes plain complicated configurations. I think a GUI application to handle these themes would be a blast, but for now, I simply enjoy having my system monitor beautifying my desktop.

    • Proprietary

    • Games

      • Life is in alpha–Killing the myth of the open source failure

        In writing my first article about open source games, it became apparent that I had plenty of ground to cover, and not just specific to games. It’s a known trend in open source: The majority of started projects never finish. If you think this is a problem that needs solving, I will argue that you are mistaken. This time around I want to address the topic of ‘making the journey worth your while.’

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME3 Live USB Image 0.0.6 – The return of the Cantarell

        I just pushed release 0.0.6, because the two previous releases (0.0.4 and 0.0.5) were no longer using Cantarell font by default and William spotted the error yesterday.

        Main change : Cantarell font is now used for applications and GNOME Shell (and I also added yelp and more translations for some packages).

      • criticism towards GNOME Shell

        Reading all the controversy around the decision by the GNOME Shell designers to remove the minimize and maximize buttons from GNOME shell reminds me quite a bit of the discussions around Plasma. Especially for stuff like the brilliant yet controversial Folderview widget.

      • Gnome Shell 3, Good Bad & Ugly

        Gnome Shell triggered another controversy when the designer team decided to remove the minimize and maximize buttons. Honestly speaking, both Ubuntu’s Unity and Gnome’s Shell 3 are introducing new User Interfaces, something KDE did with KDE 4.x series. KDE 4.x was a radical moved but users adopted and now they love it. I think Gnome Shell and Unity are good signs — at some point you need to break the status quo and let the innovation take the driving seat.

        openSuse community manager, Jos Poortvliet wrote in a blog, “Reading all the controversy around the decision by the GNOME Shell designers to remove the minimize and maximize buttons from GNOME shell reminds me quite a bit of the discussions around Plasma. Especially for stuff like the brilliant yet controversial Folderview widget.”

      • I’m biased, but still…

        Try minimizing this window if you’re using the GNOME 3.0 Shell.

      • GNOME 3 on Gentoo and related news

        Now that it’s been a few days since the release cycle entered UI freeze, we have been able to evaluate whether or not you folks (i.e., our users), will be able to transition from GNOME 2 to GNOME 3 without too much pain. We came to the conclusion that there is no particular hurry to let go of GNOME 2.32, and that we should wait for things to settle down before unleashing GNOME 3 on our users.

      • Hurray! I’ve landed on Planet GNOME!

        I’m currently the maintainer and most active developer of GNOME Activity Journal (previously known as GNOME Zeitgeist), but i’m also involved with the whole Zeitgeist infrastructure. Randomly i hack in other projects like Unity, Emesene, Emesene2, Cloudsn, and others.

  • Distributions

    • Sabayon Linux 5.5 XFCE, LXDE, E17, ServerBase, OpenVZ Released

      We are happy to announce the immediate availability of E17, XFCE, LXDE, SpinBase/OpenVZ, ServerBase Sabayon 5.5 “Spins” built on top of Sabayon “SpinBase” ISO images.
      The E17 ”stable-releases-are-for-n00bs” Desktop Environment, the well known XFCE and LXDE environments, theSpinBase+OpenVZ template ready to be used in server deployments, and last but not least, ServerBase, a very minimal Sabayon release with a server-optimized Linux kernel.

    • Reviews

      • Review: AUSTRUMI 2.2.9

        Unless you’re from Latvia, there’s a good chance that this is the first time you are seeing either the name AUSTRUMI or a review of it. So what is it?
        AUSTRUMI is a Latvian Slackware-based distribution that uses FVWM as the window manager.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat (RHT) Trading Near $42.51 Resistance Level
      • [CentOS-announce] CentOS 4 i386 and x86_64 release of CentOS-4.9

        The CentOS development team is pleased to announce the release of CentOS
        4.9 for i386 and x86_64.

        This release corresponds to the upstream vendor 4.9 release.

      • Fedora

        • First day with Fedora 14

          Yesterday I have switched from Ubuntu 10.10 to Fedora 14 I have chosen to try Fedora because it has an open governance model with a clear leadership. While there are a clear special capacities from the sponsor (RedHat), at the highest level the project is managed by an Executive Board, the board is composed with a mix of RH appointed and community elected members.

        • Bacon Is Still Talked About For Fedora 16

          It’s that time of the year again when the Fedora Project seeks out a codename from the community for their next Fedora release. Once again, Bacon is proposed as a codename.

          Other suggested codenames include Noguera, Bonnet, Sagan, Mt. Orne, Legation, Iao, Dreadlock, Barona, and Rasputin.

        • Out with Windows 2000, in with Fedora 14

          Overall I’ve noticed that Fedora 14 is very well done.

    • Debian Family

      • Linux, Open Source & Ubuntu: Debian 6.0 Branches Out Beyond the Project’s Linux Roots

        Debian 6.0, also known by the Toy Story-inspired name “Squeeze,” branches out from its Linux-centric roots with new, technology preview variants based on the FreeBSD kernel.

      • Adventures in Debian

        Debian comes with Iceweasel and GNASH. Well, Youtube and other video Websites don’t work real well if at all with that combo. GNASH does seem to work with Firefox, so just installing Firefox from tarball was all that was required there.

      • Debian or Ubuntu, which is the best place to contribute?

        As a user it’s relatively easy to choose between Debian and Ubuntu. Everybody has their own personal preference and it doesn’t take much time to try both. But when it comes to contributing, the time investment is bigger and you might want to think twice about it. Where is your time better spent?

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Making your own Unity Place

          In 11.04 we include 2 places. The Files Place (keyboard shortcut Super-F) and the Applications Place (keyboard shortcut Super-A).

          If you imagine your desktop as one entity, the Applications place is a focused place looking just for your applications, and the files place we look for your recently used files, downloads, and favorites. And Places give the user a method of filtering those results as seen the top right of the screenshot.

        • Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal Alpha 3 Review, Screenshots, Download Links

          It hasn’t been long since we last reviewed Ubuntu Natty Alpha 2 and now, Ubuntu Natty Alpha 3 is already here. This is yet another milestone in this major build up towards the much anticipated release of Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal final on April 28, 2011. As is expected, latest Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Alpha 3 comes packed with a number of new features and major bug fixes. Quick review of Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal Alpha 3.

        • UDW: Day 4 over, last day to come

          It’s a shame, I know, but unfortunately it’s true: Ubuntu Developer Week is almost over. We rushed through 4 days in no time now and today is the last day.

        • Stepping Down As Ubuntu Maryland Leader

          On March 4, 2007 I started the Ubuntu Maryland Local Community Team. Now on March 4, 2011 I’m announcing to the community at large that I’m stepping down as leader of the group I founded.

          This is a decision that has been coming for a while. Part of it is just the amount of time I’ve had with the role of leader. I believe I’ve taken the group as far as I can. I don’t feel that I’ve blocked any thoughts or ideas in my time, but I want to make the change as visible as possible and allow the group to take things in a different direction with new blood at the helm.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • My Thoughts on Bodhi Linux

            Bodhi Linux is a relatively new Linux distribution that is based on Ubuntu but uses the Enlightenment desktop environment/window manager. I’ve recently mentioned Bodhi here, but since then I’ve installed the second release candidate (0.1.6) of Bodhi Linux on my upstairs computer, and after using it for about five or six days I can definitively say that I love it!

          • Call for Help: Tips and Tricks in the Kubuntu Chapter

            I have been writing the Kubuntu chapter for The Official Ubuntu Book ever since it came out and now I can barely believe we are on the 6th Edition of the book. In the chapter there is a section of the chapter titled “Tips and Tricks” which need some serious updating.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo/Maemo

        • Meego on pandaboard
        • DoodleDrive Alpha Preview Release

          The “game” we created with my son on Wednesday, DoodleDrive, got a lot of attention and many of you wanted to try it out yourselves. I have now created a new project to Forum Nokia Projects where you can download the binaries (sis for N8, E7, C7… or deb for N900).

      • Android

        • iDect iHome Android phone

          As well as smartphones and tablets Google’s Android operating system has started cropping up in media players, ski goggles, car stereos and even headphones, so it’s perhaps not too surprising that it’s now turned up in the humble landline home phone.

        • How to Find Your Lost or Stolen Android Phone for Free (Smartphone Tip)
        • Google’s Android Spurs More App Jobs Than iPhone

          Employers requested experience or skills with Android in 987 job postings on Dice as of Mar. 1, more than the 970 jobs asking for iPhone expertise, Bloomberg Businessweek.com reported today. The number of available positions mentioning either Android or iPhone surged more than threefold from a year ago, when the site listed 273 Android-related jobs and 312 iPhone-related jobs.

          Demand is swelling for Android programmers as Google woos makers of mobile applications to keep up with the growing popularity of its software. Android became the world’s best-selling smartphone platform last year, according to researcher Canalys, yet it trails in total number of apps, with more than 120,000 compared with the 350,000 programs in Apple’s App Store.

    • Tablets

      • Can Android beat iOS and dominate the tablet market?

        Apple currently remains on track to win 70% of the tablet market this year with its next-gen iPad 2. However, one analyst believes Android-based tablets will triumph over the iPad in the long-term.

        Indeed, according to RBC Capital Markets General Manager Mike Abramsky, Apple’s current dominance of the tablet market is likely to be a short-lived phenomenon.

Free Software/Open Source

  • The New Ushahidi Community Website Is Live!

    Today we are very pleased to announce the beta release of the Ushahidi Community Website! This site has been in the works for several months and couldn’t have been possible without generous support from Small World News, Konpa Group and most importantly, the talented Rob Baker.

  • Events

  • OpenGL and Web Browsers

    • WebGL finalized, brings hardware-accelerated 3D to the browser

      Khronos Group today released the final specification for WebGL, a specification that brings OpenGL hardware-accelerated graphics to the web browser.

      The organization has been working with Apple, Google, Mozilla and Opera to implement the specification in popular browsers, with the technology now available in developer builds.

    • Khronos Puts Out The Final WebGL 1.0 Specification

      From the Game Developers’ Conference happening this week in San Francisco, the Khronos Group has announced the release of the official WebGL 1.0 specification. This is the OpenGL ES derived specification designed for providing hardware graphics acceleration within HTML5 modern web-browsers.

    • Thunderbird 3.1.9 Update Now Available for Download

      An update for Thunderbird 3.1.9 is now available for Windows, Mac, and Linux for free download from www.GetThunderbird.com. This release prevents a crash after update that is affecting some users.

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 3.6.15 compatibility update now available
      • First developer release of Web Apps Project

        We are excited to announce the availability of the first milestone release of Mozilla’s Web Application project. Web Apps are applications that run on any device, and can be distributed through any store or directly by the developer. This release contains stable APIs, developer utilities and documentation to help you get a jumpstart on building Web Apps and stores.

      • Firefox 3.6.15 compatibility update now available

        Firefox 3.6.15 is now available as a free download for Windows, Mac, and Linux from http://firefox.com. As always, we recommend that users keep up to date with the latest stability and support versions of Firefox, and encourage all our users to upgrade to the very latest version, Firefox 3.6.15.

        We strongly recommend that all Firefox users upgrade to these latest releases. If you already have Firefox, you will receive an automated update notification within 24 to 48 hours. This updates can also be applied manually by selecting “Check for Updates…” from the Help menu.

  • SaaS

    • StatusNet Launching New SaaS – Stops Accepting New Members for Year Old Service

      StatusNet announced this morning that it will unveil a new service and is deferring accepting new members on StatusNet Cloud Service, the offering it launched last year.

      StatusNet Cloud Service launched last March with personal, community and private plans that were offered as a SaaS. Initial customers included Motorola Corporation and Canonical Ltd.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Education


    • Ask Richard Stallman anything!

      Well, within reason. In a few days we’re going to meet up with the great man, the founder of the GNU project and free software movement as we know it. Never one to mince his words, RMS has strong views on software freedom and has campaigned rigourously to stop us being locked into a world of proprietary code and DRM.

    • ‘No sysadmin’ is the key to Freedom Box
  • Government

    • Councillor an Independent

      COFFS Harbour City Councillor Paul Templeton is the latest candidate to throw his hat in the ring for election to the State seat of Coffs Harbour on March 26.

      Cr Templeton, who attended Saturday’s Pacific Highway Forum, says he is concerned about ‘standard’ issues like roads, health and Part 3A planning approvals, but at the end of the day he wants to listen to what the community really wants and take that to the State Parliament.

      “The expectations of the community are changing rapidly and legislation is not keeping up,” he said.

      Cr Templeton is the information technology and information management officer with the Mid North Coast Division of General Practice.

      The 41-year-old IT systems administrator has lived on the Mid North Coast since he was 16, the past 14 years in Coffs Harbour. His extended family lives in the Nambucca Valley.

      Married with a six-year-old son, Paul Templeton’s interests include the free and open source software movement.

    • GR: First migration of a Greek Public Organization to Free Software

      The Musical Studies Department (MSD) of the Ionian University in Corfu has recently taken the initiative to become the first ever Public Organization and educational Institution in Greece that officially embraces Free and Open Source Software in its infrastructure.

    • Lion’s share of IT contract spend is taken by four government departments

      Of nearly £16bn spent on IT projects currently underway, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) spends the most, with £4bn locked into IT contracts, followed by the Home Office (£3.9bn), the Department of Health (£3.5bn) and the Cabinet Office (£1.5bn).

  • Openness/Sharing

    • I can’t bake croissants: a fable on project documentation
    • Million Song Dataset Million Song Dataset

      The Million Song Dataset is a freely-available collection of audio features and metadata for a million contemporary popular music tracks.

    • Open Data/Transparency

      • Universities need to lift the lid on donations

        Sir Howard Davies resigned as director of the London School of Economics council last night due to controversial links between the LSE and Libyan money. An inquiry headed by Lord Woolf will now investigate the links between LSE and Gaddafi, including a £1.5 million donation from Saif Gaddafi – who was awarded a now-contested PhD by the university in 2008.

      • The Curious Case of Media Opposing Government Transparency

        My gosh there is a lot going on. Republicans – REPUBLICANS(!) who were in charge of America’s prison system are warning Canada not to follow the Conservatives plan on prisons, the Prime Minister has renamed the government, after himself and my friends at Samara had in Toronto the Guardian’s Emily Bell to talk wikileaks and data journalism (wish I could have been there).

        It’s all very interesting… and there is a media story here in British Columbia that’s been brewing where a number of journalists have become upset about a government that has become “too” transparent.

        It’s an important case as it highlights some of the tensions that will be emerging in different places as governments rethink how they share information.

        The case involves BC Ferries, a crown corporation that runs ferries along critical routes around the province. For many years the company was not subject to the province’s Freedom of Information legislation. However, a few months ago the government stated the crown corporation would need to comply with the act. This has not pleased the corporation’s president.

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • W3C Launches Patent Advisory Group for XML Signature and XML Encryption
    • W3C Invites Implementer Feedback on XML Security 1.1 Specifications

      The XML Security Working Group published four Candidate Recommendations today: XML Signature Syntax and Processing 1.1, XML Encryption Syntax and Processing 1.1, XML Security Generic Hybrid Ciphers, and XML Signature Properties. XML Signatures provide integrity, message authentication, and/or signer authentication services for data of any type, whether located within the XML that includes the signature or elsewhere. As companion documents, the Working Group has released new Working Drafts of XML Security 1.1 Requirements and Design Considerations and XML Security RELAX NG Schemas.


  • Quebec headed toward ‘radical option’ on religious minorities, sociologist fears

    One of the great thinkers who helped calm Quebec’s reasonable accommodation debate is stirring it up again, saying he fears the province may be headed toward a “radical option” to deal with religious minorities.

    Gérard Bouchard, the sociologist who travelled the province with philosopher Charles Taylor to study Quebec’s integration of minorities, said the province still lacks coherent rules to govern accommodation.

  • Putting China on the Innovation Map

    That’s because it’s a mapping site – here’s Beijing – and hence highly visual, but rather different to Google Maps because it uses an axonometric projection, which makes it look a little bit like SimCity. Paradoxically, this makes it easier to grasp the lay of the land. Moreover, many individual buildings are named (in Chinese, of course), provided a handy level of detail, and you can also pull out categories like food or entertainment.

  • How Recent Changes to Twitter’s Terms of Service Might Hurt Academic Research

    There is a lot to be learned from our tweets. Laugh if you will. Go ahead. But Twitter has become an important historical and cultural record. It’s a site for real-time news and information, to be sure. The stuff of history with a capital H. Politics. Natural disasters. Revolution. It’s a site that marks our cultural as well (is that history with a lower case H?). Ashton Kutcher. Charlie Sheen. The Oscars. Lower case or capital H – these 140 character exchanges have created an invaluable record for researchers looking at history, politics, literature, sociology.

  • Twitter Puts the Smack Down on Another Popular App: Whither Twitter as a Platform?
  • Courtney Love to Pay $430,000 to Settle Twitter Defamation Case (Exclusive)

    The settlement ends a case that was watched as closely for the unique legal issues in play as the often-erratic behavior of the defendant. Simorangkir, who became embroiled in a dispute with Love over a $4000 payment for clothing, accused the Hole frontwoman of ruining her business with a series of allegedly defamatory tweets posted during a 20 minute rant in 2009. The trial, which was originally scheduled for late January but was postponed when the parties began talking settlement, would have been the first high-profile courtroom showdown over what constitutes defamation on Twitter.

  • India manager ‘killed by workers’

    A senior manager at an Indian steel factory has been burnt to death in the eastern state of Orissa by a group of his workers, police say.

    RS Roy of Graphite India Ltd died on the way to a hospital in Bolangir district on Thursday evening.

    Police say

  • 5 Key Issues Impacting the Future of Facebook
  • Chipping In to Pay the Man Who Helped Introduce the Internet to So Many of Us

    f you used the Internet using Windows in the early to mid 1990s, chances are you connected with a little program called Trumpet Winsock. It was one of the only ways to get dial-up access using Windows 3.1. I, like so many others, connected to the Internet for the very first time using it. And I, like so many other, had completely forgotten about that program until today.

  • Hyperlocal Heartbreak: Why Haven’t Neighborhood News Technologies Worked Out?

    Neighborhood news aggregator Outside.in has been acquired by AOL, according to multiple reports this morning. Apparently it’s being bought for less than the big pile of money that high-profile investors put into it, back when hopes were high. It’s sad, really: the ambitious hyper-local news technology services of the last few years don’t seem to be working out very well.

  • Science

    • Audio slideshow: Beautiful science
    • The rise of the picosecond

      A second is a long time in cash equities trading. Four or five years ago, trading firms started to talk of trading speeds in terms of milliseconds.

      A millisecond is one thousandth of a second or, put another way, 200 times faster than the average speed of thought. In the time it took your brain to tell your hand to click on this article, a broker or market-making firm trading in milliseconds could fill hundreds of orders on an exchange.

    • What scientists really think about animal research

      Animal research has always been a polarizing topic; while it greatly advances science and medicine, it also causes the deaths of thousands of animals each year. PETA, the Animal Liberation Front, and other animal rights groups are outspoken about their side of the issue, but we hear less from the scientists who are actually conducting the research. An informal poll by Nature last week describes scientists’ feelings about animal research and their reactions to animal rights activism.

      Nature polled almost 1,000 biomedical scientists around the world, over 70 percent of whom conduct experiments on animals. Not surprisingly, a vast majority of the respondents—over 90 percent—felt that animal research is essential to scientific advancement. However, about a third also reported that they had “ethical concerns about the role of animals in their current work.” In particular, researchers are concerned about minimizing pain in their subjects, using the smallest number of animals possible, and “respecting” their subjects. Fifty-four researchers said that they had actually changed the direction of their research as a result of misgivings about their research practices.

    • Cancer rise and sperm quality fall ‘due to chemicals’

      Sperm quality significantly deteriorated and testicular cancers increased over recent years, a Finnish study says.

      The study in the International Journal of Andrology looked at men born between 1979 and 1987.

    • Is This Uncanny Valley-Scaling Robot Proof Of Our Impending Demise?
    • In an Alberta town, parents fight for a secular education

      It wasn’t until her seven-year-old son asked her if he’d burn in hell that Marjorie Kirsop became concerned.

      A Catholic education is the only local option for the Kirsop family and everyone else in Morinville, Alta., a community of 8,100 northwest of Edmonton. It’s a unique situation, rooted in the town’s origins as an outpost of French-Canadian Catholicism in the late 1800s. But this fall, when five-year-old Sarah Kirsop declared she had converted to Catholicism, her mother joined a group of local families who are challenging the status quo.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • The privatisation of blood donations

      The proposed privatisation of NHS Blood and Transplant service, or parts of it, will instinctively make people shudder and we are right to be concerned about how commercial motives will change the service.

      At Anthony Nolan, we know a lot about blood. We have provided stem cells for transplant to people with blood cancers and similar conditions since 1974. We set up the world’s first bone marrow donor register and have always worked closely with the NHS. In fact our fundraising enables us to support the cost to the NHS of acquiring cells for these life saving transplants.

  • Security

    • Security updates for Friday
    • NSA Winds Down Secure Virtualization Platform Development

      The National Security Agency’s High Assurance Platform integrates security and virtualization technology into a framework that’s been commercialized and adopted elsewhere in government.

    • Vendor-sec host compromised, shut down

      As moderator of vendor-sec and one of the sysadmins of lst.de I noticed a break-in into the lst.de machine last week, which was likely used to sniff email traffic of vendor-sec. This incident probably happened on Jan 20 as confirmed by timestamp, but might have existed for longer.

    • Crackers destroy security mailing list for Linux distributors

      The infrastructure of the members-only security mailing list “Vendor-Sec” for open source vendors has been severely damaged according to a post published by Markus Meissner at the OSS Security mailing list. At Vendor-Sec, Linux and BSD distributors discussed undisclosed vulnerabilities in the kernel and open source software. Some of the information was embargoed to give vendors time to close their holes.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Libya: Gaddafi son says bombs were ‘misunderstanding’

      • Father-of-seven from Manchester reportedly shot dead
      • Gaddafi to be investigated by ICC over crimes against humanity
      • Gaddafi forces strike oil export hubs in Brega for second day
      • Dmitry Medvedev warns of “civil war”

    • 20 Years After Rodney King, Who’s Holding Cops Accountable?

      Twenty years ago today Rodney King was dragged out of his Hyundai sedan just after midnight and beaten by Los Angeles police after an eight-mile chase through San Fernando Valley that ended in Lake View Terrace. Officers surrounded the 25-year-old taxi driver and construction worker and kicked, tased and beat him with their batons held like baseball bats. The attack was illuminated by the a spotlight provided by a LAPD helicopter hovering overhead, and the headlights of police cars that surrounded King’s car.

    • More carry-on luggage costing TSA millions a year

      Choosing to carry your luggage onto a plane instead of checking it with an airline might save you a few bucks at the ticket counter but it’s costing taxpayers about a quarter-billion dollars a year.

      Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told Congress this week that luggage fees have prompted more passengers to hold onto their bags, which means more items for Transportation Security Administration officers to inspect at security checkpoints at a cost of about $260 million annually.

    • Windsor man pleads guilty to torching cruiser at G20

      A Windsor man facing two years in prison for setting a heavily damaged police cruiser on fire during the G20 summit in Toronto last summer says he has been made a scapegoat in the aftermath of the riot.

    • Hillary Clinton: “We’re Losing the War”

      None other than the US Secretary of State herself, Hillary Clinton, paid fulsome tribute to Al Jazeera last Wednesday, March 2. Appearing before a US Foreign Policy Priorities committee, she was asked by Senator Richard Lugar to impart her views on how well the US was promoting its message across the world.

      Clinton promptly volunteered that America is in an “information war and we are losing the war,” and furthermore, that “Al Jazeera is winning”.

    • Justice Cranks Up Its Covert War on Whistleblowers

      According to federal prosecutors, Stirling was the source behind reports published by New York Times reporter James Risen (identified as “Author A” in its pleadings) that exposed a horribly botched, indeed hare-brained plot by the CIA designed to disrupt the Iranian nuclear program. In particular, one chapter in Risen’s book, State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration, describes a CIA-authored scheme to use a Russian double agent to deliver to the Iranians a set of technical drawings that had been carefully doctored so as to be worthless. However, the double agent turned on the CIA in the end, disclosing the flaws that had been built into the design. The end result: the CIA operation had actually advanced Iran’s nuclear project. So what was the purpose of the strenuous U.S. government effort to punish Stirling for making it public? Justice contends that the disclosure harmed national security. But the decision to go after Sterling seems to have more to do with his violation of the intelligence community’s code of omertà, under which no agent ever speaks about another’s mistakes.

  • Cablegate

    • [Old] Julian Assange condemns Australian Labor government at public meeting

      WikiLeaks’ founder and editor Julian Assange strongly condemned the Labor government of Prime Minister Julia Gillard in a pre-recorded address broadcast to a large public meeting convened in Melbourne last Friday.

      The event took place with just four days notice, yet a capacity audience of more than 600 people attended, with hundreds more turned away to watch a live video feed of the event, broadcast on a large screen outside the city’s Federation Square venue. The turnout demonstrated the enormous support for WikiLeaks among ordinary people in Australia, and their opposition to the persecution of Assange on bogus rape allegations by Swedish authorities.

    • Bradley Manning and the stench of US hypocrisy

      He now also finds himself faced with a rare charge known as “aiding the enemy” – a capital offence for which he could face the death penalty.

      The revelation will no doubt have come as a blow to Manning, although given his ongoing treatment it is likely he already feared the worst. Made to endure strict conditions under a prevention of injury order against the advice of military psychiatrists, he is treated like no other prisoner at the 250-capacity Quantico Brig detention facility in Virginia. Despite that he is yet to be convicted of any crime, for the past 218 consecutive days he has been made to live in a cell 6ft wide and 12ft long, without contact with any other detainees. He is not allowed to exercise or have personal effects in his cell, and for the one hour each day he is allowed free from his windowless cell he is taken to an empty room where he is allowed to walk, but not run.

    • WikiLeaks suspect: Where Army sees traitor, some see whistleblower

      But Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg sees cause for alarm in Army’s prosecution.

    • In restricted speech, former MI6 chief credits WikiLeaks with ‘tidal wave’ of revolutions

      Former British intelligence chief Sir Richard Dearlove gave a speech not long ago where all recordings were prohibited. During that talk, he credited secrets outlet WikiLeaks with helping spark revolutions across the Middle East, saying they provide a stark example of the ways technology is changing how people relate to their governments.

      Unfortunately for Dearlove, someone in the audience was recording, and now the whole world gets to see his formerly restricted speech.

    • Ex-UK spy boss says WikiLeaks sparked Egyptian revolution

      The former head of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service has credited WikiLeaks and other secret-spilling sites with sparking the revolutions sweeping the Middle East.

      At what was supposed to be an off-the-record appearance last month at the Cambridge Union Society, Former MI6 Chief Richard Dearlove said that the technology WikiLeaks harnesses is fundamentally strengthening the hand of the individual as he goes up against powerful organizations.

    • Wikileaks reveals illegal Peru mahogany exports in US stores

      Peru’s government has secretly admitted that 70-90% of its mahogany exports were illegally felled, according to a US embassy cable revealed by Wikileaks.

    • The WIKILEAKS NEWS & VIEWS BLOG for Thursday, Day 96

      9:15 “Anonymous Will Avenge Manning.” That’s headline on DailyKos piece by Anonymous-connected Barrett Brown. He also talked to NY Daily News: “Not 24 hours after the U.S. Army announced it had filed 22 counts against reputed WikiLeaks source Army Pvt. Bradley Manning, Anonymous issued a new threat Thursday. ‘The decision to charge Bradley Manning with a capital offense in addition to other charges is a provocation, and Anonymous is set to respond accordingly,’ spokesman Barrett Brown wrote on DailyKos. He said the group will keep going after corporate execs involved in plots against Wikileaks.” And, he told The Daily News: “We are looking at information on various military officials.”

      9:10 Mariah Carey admits cable was true–she did get $1 million from Gaddafi son in 2006 to sing four songs for him. Beyonce and Nelly Furtado, also caught, have announced they will donate money to charity where Mariah promises proceeds from one song. No word yet from 50 Cent and Usher.

    • Shooters walk free, whistleblower jailed

      Due to the enormous request Panorama has produced an English version of our film about the alleged WikiLeaks Whistleblower Bradley Manning.

    • Bradley Manning may face death penalty
    • Soldier in Leaks Case Was Jailed Naked, Lawyer Says
    • Bradley Manning ‘forced to sleep naked’

      The US army private suspected of giving classified material to WikiLeaks was forced to sleep naked in his cell at a Marine Corps prison near Washington, which his lawyer has said is inexcusable.

    • America’s Dreyfus Case

      Although the U.S. doesn’t have a Devil’s Island, and American soldiers can’t be sent to Gitmo, the military has found a way to make life hell for Pfc. Bradley Manning. Not only has he been held ten months without trial, most of the time in solitary, now he is being stripped naked every night before he goes to bed, his lawyer says.

      Lawyer David Coombs said the decision was made by the commander of the Quantico, Virginia, brig, Chief Warrant Officer-2 Denise Barnes. A Marine spokesman, Brian Villard said it is not punishment.


      The Dreyfus Affair became a national scandal in France, attracting the attention of some of the country’s greatest writers. “J’Accuse,” by Emile Zola was the most famous attack on the phony charges.

    • Meeting on 2nd March in Parliament House Canberra with MPs re Julian Assange.

      Among others, MPs Andrew Laming, Malcolm Turnbull, Doug Cameron and Sarah Hanson-Young were in attendance, along with parliamentary staff members.

    • Editorial – Media Currently Publishing
    • WikiLeaks spokesman wins Journalist of the Year in Iceland

      Icelandic journalist and WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson won the country’s Journalist of the Year award for 2010, Iceland’s National Union of Journalists said.

      “Kristinn said when receiving the award that this was the third time he was getting an award for outstanding work in journalism, but that he had also been fired three times for his work,” NUJ official Frida Bjornsdottir said.

    • WikiLeaks calls more charges against soldier a “vindictive attack”

      Private First Class Bradley Manning, who has been held in solitary confinement at a military jail in Virginia, is now facing 22 more charges related to leaking classified information to WikiLeaks, the BBC reported. The news comes just after the announcement that WikiLeaks has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

      In the charges, the Army accused Manning of “wrongfully and wantonly” allowing secret intelligence information to be published online, thus aiding “the enemy,” explained the Los Angeles Times.

    • Special report: Weapons and the art of diplomacy

      When Lockheed Martin wanted to sell C-130 military transport planes to the government of Chad in early 2007, the U.S. embassy in N’Djamena was ready to lend a hand.

    • Swaziland ‘imports firearms through Mozambique’

      Swaziland is importing two containers of firearms through a Mozambican port, two years after Britain blocked an arms shipment to the southern African kingdom, Mozambican state media said Friday.

      The arms arrived in Maputo, the Mozambican capital, on a Panamanian vessel on February 28 from an unspecified country, state daily Noticias reported.


      In December 2008, Britain blocked a Swazi move to buy arms worth $60 million (43 million euros) from a British company over “end-use concerns,” according to a US embassy cable leaked by WikiLeaks.

    • Harvard Law Reviews WikiLeaks Censorship

      Harvard Law Professor Yochai Benkler is about to release a comprehensive study on the U.S. government and media’s role in censoring WikiLeaks. The forthcoming report , to appear in the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, is titled “A Free Irresponsible Press: WikiLeaks and the Battle over the Soul of the Networked Fourth Estate.” In the report, Benkler dissects the mechanisms that have censored WikiLeaks.

      A working draft of the report has been made available online. The draft exposes how the U.S. government, mainstream media, and the emerging corporatocracy have been working together to infringe on the First Amendment Rights of the “networked fourth estate” sites, like WikiLeaks. Essentially, the government has been tripping over its feet to find ways to stop Wikileaks from expressing speech which Benkler argues is clearly protected by the U.S. Constitution and solidly supported by Supreme Court precedent.


      With false statements coming from the State Department, key Senators, and the White House, major credit cards, Pay Pal, and host of other sites like Amazon cut off ties with WikiLeaks. Benkler points out that legally, the U.S. government did not have the right to shut down WikiLeaks. However, by a series of “extra-legal” means, the government was able to temporarily shut down the site and its revenue stream.

    • Colombian armed forces collaborated with neo-paramilitaries: WikiLeaks

      Neo-paramilitary groups with former armed forces personnel as members were able to infiltrate the state by exploiting their military connections, according to a WikiLeaks cable.

    • The serial deceit of Geoff Morrell

      On January 26, 2011, Defense Department spokesman Geoff Morrell stood before the Pentagon press corps and made a series of patently false statements about Bradley Manning (the video is here). Even taking into account the position Morrell occupies — in which a penchant for telling the truth is not exactly a job requirement (it actually would be disqualifying) — this Press Conference was an extraordinary display of pure official mendacity.

      Morrell was asked several times about the evidence — first reported here — that Manning was being held in repressive and inhumane conditions: specifically, 23-hour/day solitary confinement, a prohibition on exercising in his cell, and being allowed out only 1 hour per day to “exercise” which entails walking around alone in a room, shackled.

    • Is Bradley Manning being treated like a Guantanamo detainee?

      This is “an embarrassment to our military justice system and should not be tolerated…No other detainee at the Brig is forced to endure this type of isolation and humiliation.” But, no other detainee is at the center of a case that US military and government officials seem to have decided to use as an example case that could put in fear in any other military or government official who might seek to disseminate information to any organization like WikiLeaks in the future.

    • Waiting patiently in the shadows

      Dylan Welch meets the Icelandic journalist who quit his job to work at WikiLeaks.

      Outside the Frontline Club in London, winter has draped itself across the city; inside, in the club’s small first-floor member’s room, WikiLeaks’s second-most famous employee fixes the Herald with a far frostier gaze.

    • What Americans really think of Kibaki and Raila

      The US embassy assessed President Kibaki to be in good health and firmly in control while Prime Minister Raila Odinga is depicted as a politician who would put his presidential ambitions ahead of reforms.

    • What’s An F-16 Worth? About 80,000 Tons of Chicken

      In connection with a special report, Reuters has scrubbed WikiLeaks, looking for State Department cables related to diplomatic efforts to help facilitate sales of American weapons systems abroad. The Atlantic Wire highlights a couple of the deals today, including one attention-grabber involving a 2005 effort by the government of Thailand to purchase fighter jets.
      The Thais considered Russia’s Sukhoi model, Sweden’s Saab and Lockheed Martin’s F-16. But there was a catch: They didn’t want to pay cash, but were willing to give up 80,000 tons of frozen chicken.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Shark fishing in Japan – video

      Sharks are fished on an industrial scale at the port of Kesennuma, 250 miles north of Tokyo, which accounts for 90% of Japan’s shark-fin trade

    • Best Rare-Bird Pictures of 2010 Named

      A picture of an endangered Asian crested ibis soaring over China is a first-prize winner in the first annual World’s Rarest Birds international photo competition, organizers announced in January.

      Launched in 2010, the competition ranked pictures of birds that fall into three categories determined by the International Union for Conservation of Nature: endangered or data deficient, critically endangered or extinct in the wild, and critically endangered migratory species.

    • The Eastern Panther is Extinct

      The Eastern Panther is ExtinctThe U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has has determined that the legendary Eastern Panther (also known as the eastern cougar, puma, catamount and mountain lion) is extinct, and likely has been since the 1930s. There have been numerous reported sightings throughout the years, but the FWS says they were other species, “including South American cats that had either escaped from captivity or were released to the wilderness as well as wild cougars from Western states that had migrated east.”

  • Finance and Corruption

    • Damage estimate at Wisconsin Capitol goes from $7.5 million to … uh … $0?

      Amazing. In just one day, the estimate went from $7.5 million to $0. Now that’s a budget repair bill.

    • We need Scott Walker here

      Facing a $3.6-billion deficit, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker recently declared his state “broke.” To overcome this fiscal challenge, Mr. Walker proposed cutting generous public sector pension and health care benefits, and threatened immediate layoffs if concessions were not made. He also introduced legislation to restrict collective bargaining in the public sector and limit future wage increases to the rate of inflation.

    • “Koch Whore”: The Scott Walker Story

      Republican Governor of Wisconsin Scott Walker speaking to a liberal blogger whom he believes to be David Koch. I have picked some of the choice quotes from the tapes which can be heard by clicking the links below.

      REAL WALKER: ”He’s not one of us” – in reference to Democratic Wisconsin State Senator Tim Cullen.

      FAKE KOCH: “We gotta crush those unions.”

      REAL WALKER: “We stay firm, we’ll wait it out. If they want to sacrifice thousands of workers to be laid-off, we’re not going to compromise.”

      FAKE KOCH: “Bring a baseball bat” – in reference to meeting with Wisconsin Democrats.

      REAL WALKER: “I have one in my office, you’d be happy with that. I’ve got a slugger with my name on it.”

    • The real scandal at the LSE

      There is a revealing remark in the minutes of the debate that took place in October 2009 at the governing council of the London School of Economics over whether to accept a donation of £1.5 million from Saif Gaddafi, son of the Libyan dictator. Fred Halliday, the school’s professor of international relations, had warned the council that accepting the money would taint the LSE’s reputation, but his concerns were dismissed by a fellow academic, David Held, professor of political science. Refusal, Held protested, would cause “personal embarrassment” to Saif Gaddafi.

      Concern for Gaddafi Jnr’s feelings, rather than Halliday’s hard-headed analysis, evidently won the day. The governing council accepted the loot (of which £300,000 was subsequently paid) from the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation. The fact that among those members giving their assent to supping with the devil was Sharmi Chakrabarti, the director of Liberty and merciless scourge of those who compromise principles of justice, only adds to the air of unreality that surrounds the whole shameful episode. She has since spoken of her “bucketfuls” of regret.

    • Building Ford Nation

      Earlier this week, the mayor threatened to unleash “Ford Nation” on Premier Dalton McGuinty should the province refuse the city’s request for more money.

      It may have come off as a spur-of-the-moment turn of phrase, but Ford Nation is very real and about to change the political landscape of Ontario.

      For months, members of Ford’s former campaign staff have been quietly drawing up plans to form a right-wing advocacy group. The intention is to monetize and organize this huge ideological voting base, essentially forming a quasi Tea Party North.

    • Nelly Furtado and the public shame of private concerts

      Nelly Furtado played for Muammar. Well, maybe not Muammar. She played for the clan. In Italy. Perhaps she played and the Gaddafi family sang along and they threw each other in the air and then the concert ended and Nelly cashed her cheque. Maybe she bought some gold-plated bathroom fixtures and maybe a racehorse named Like A Bird and she probably even donated some of the money to the Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club, which is just around the corner from me in Toronto, and where Nelly learned how to swim when she was a pre-teen. But then, Tunisia fell. And then Egypt fell

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Themis: Questions about Palantir surface in HBGary Federal’s aftermath

      Palantir Technologies, Berico Technologies, and HBGary Federal, along with lobbyist law firm Hunton & Williams, are all linked to separate plots that involve the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Bank of America. The links were exposed via emails published to the Internet by Anonymous.

      Based on the publically available information, the idea was for the four organizations to help the Chamber develop a plan that would discredit critics. Moreover, Team Themis, a name selected by the three firms who collaborated with Hunton & Williams, are also linked to plans made for Bank of America in order for them to deal with the “WikiLeaks Threat”.

    • Hacked e-mails show Web is an increasingly useful tool in dirty-tricks campaigns

      Although much of K Street spends its time plying the halls of Congress on behalf of well-heeled clients, there is a growing dark side to Washington’s lobbying and public-relations industry: figuring out new ways to undermine and sabotage opponents.

      This little-discussed aspect of the influence business came into view in recent weeks with the release of thousands of hacked corporate e-mails, which detail a pair of high-tech dirty-tricks campaigns aimed at supporters of WikiLeaks and foes of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

    • Daily Star reporter quits in protest at tabloid’s ‘anti-Muslim’ coverage

      The Daily Star has been accused of printing fictional stories by a disgruntled reporter who has resigned over its “hatemongering” anti-Muslim propaganda.

      In a resignation letter, Richard Peppiatt said he was leaving after the Star gave sympathetic coverage to the far-right English Defence League last month.

  • Censorship

    • Internet traffic in Libya goes dark amid upheaval

      Internet services in Libya, already spotty throughout the country’s violent upheaval, appeared completely halted in an attempt to stifle information about the insurrection.

      The move, coming ahead of planned protests in Libya, appears similar to Egypt’s response to the demonstrations that led President Hosni Mubarak to step down last month. The Libyan government controls the country’s primary Internet service provider.

      Arbor Networks, a Chelmsford, Mass., network security company said Friday that all Internet traffic coming in and out of Libya had ceased, starting at about noon EST Thursday (7 p.m. in Tripoli, Libya). Google’s transparency report, which shows traffic to the company’s sites from various countries, also showed that Internet traffic had fallen to zero in Libya.

    • Libyan Disconnect
    • Google’s Blogger banned in Turkey over soccer broadcast piracy

      A Turkey court has issued a statewide ban on Google service Blogger, locking 600,000 Turkish bloggers out of their personal diaries.

      The ban was imposed in response to a complaint from satellite TV company Digiturk. The company claimed that soccer matches it was broadcasting had been posted on Blogger.

    • Apple: you must be at least 17 years old to use Opera

      This week, the Opera web browser became the first non-native browser made available in Apple’s Mac App Store. While Apple approved the browser, it still managed to hurt its competitor by putting this ridiculous label on it: “You must be at least 17 years old to download this app.”

    • [Old] Al Jazeera English Blacked Out Across Most Of U.S. [UPDATED]

      Canadian television viewers looking for the most thorough and in-depth coverage of the uprising in Egypt have the option of tuning into Al Jazeera English, whose on-the-ground coverage of the turmoil is unmatched by any other outlet. American viewers, meanwhile, have little choice but to wait until one of the U.S. cable-company-approved networks broadcasts footage from AJE, which the company makes publicly available. What they can’t do is watch the network directly.

  • Privacy

    • Facebook PhoneNumbers & Security

      Since I’m finishing my novel and committed to uploading it to CreateSpace Sunday night, I’m *not* supposed to be blogging!

      But this is a pretty serious FaceBook privacy breach passed on my by friend Mary, and the sooner people know the sooner they can pull their numbers.

  • Civil Rights

    • 47 U.S.C. § 230: a 15 Year Retrospective

      Co-sponsored by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, this symposium will unite some of the key figures in the history of 47 U.S.C. § 230, widely regarded as the most important internet specific law.

    • Constitutional Amendments Exclude Women Candidates for the Presidential Elections

      “The Egyptian Coalition for Civic Education and Women’s Participation” has received and reviewed the constitutional amendments. These amendments have led to great worries amongst the coalition for they did not achieve what the Egyptian people aimed for, nor meet the revolution’s demands. As such the amendments are restoring the system of the past regime.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/UBB

    • LQDN Responds to the Parliamentary Pre-report on Net Neutrality

      La Quadrature du Net sent its response (in French) to the pre-report prepared by the French Parliament’s working group on Net neutrality.

      Mindful of the importance of Net neutrality for the future of our networked societies, the French Parliament’s Economic Affairs Committee has set up a working group led by Laure de La Raudière (UMP) and Corinne Erhel (SRC). After hearing many stakeholders, including La Quadrature du Net and not-for-profit ISP FDN, the working group submitted a pre-report (in French) at the beginning of February.

  • DRM

    • Are iPad magazines being killed by greed?

      Pete Kafka at All Things Digital reports today that publisher Conde Nast is set to increase the price of the iPad versions of its Vanity Fair and GQ titles by $1 and $2 respectively. The reason is increased production costs after they switched from an in-house publishing system to an Adobe-built solution, but the result? Well, digital magazines haven’t exactly taken off so far. Who’s going to want them at an even higher price?

    • World Book Night: A book so good they want to give it to you for free

      As reading on electronic devices becomes more common, and panic over the perceived Kindle Catastrophe dies down, people who oversee physical books are thinking more creatively about what they can offer by contrast. So books become more precious as objects (design becomes more important, clever new formats are invented) and booksellers are – or should be – turned to as curators of our cultural lives.

    • Judge Lets Sony Unmask Visitors to PS3-Jailbreaking Site

      A federal magistrate is granting Sony the right to acquire the internet IP addresses of anybody who has visited PlayStation 3 hacker George Hotz’s website from January of 2009 to the present.

      Thursday’s decision by Magistrate Joseph Spero to allow Sony to subpoena Hotz’s web provider (.pdf) raises a host of web-privacy concerns.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • The Revolution Will Not Be Properly Licensed

      We have SonyBMG taking administrator-level control of several million customers’ computers to prevent copying of mere music. European authorities mandating wiretapping capabilities of all telecom equipment. Car manufacturers installing remote kill switches in cars. Microsoft embedding the same type of kill switches in their software, along with Apple and Google doing the same to our phones. Intel embedding the same kill switches in processors. Amazon deleting books off our bookshelves.

    • British biz roasts Hargreaves’ ‘Google Review’

      Against this, the CBI’s submission, “Exploiting Ideas”, is a reality-check. The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) describes intellectual property as Britain’s “Crown jewels”, and notes that investment in “intangibles” now exceeds investment in physical assets by about 50 per cent. Aerospace and pharmaceuticals turn over £37bn between them, copyright accounts for 8.2 per cent of GDP (or £100bn) and trademarks – typically forgotten – £18bn.

    • Copyrights

      • Moby Says The Major Record Labels ‘Should Die’

        Moby is no stranger to speaking out against the major record labels. After the original Jammie Thomas ruling, he spoke out saying that the RIAA should be disbanded. More recently, he’s highlighted how giving away free music has been helpful in making money and pointed out that the major record label’s entire strategy seems based on trying to “make the future die.” So it’s hardly surprising to hear him say that he thinks the major labels should die.

      • Copyright gone mad!

        Earlier this week, BoingBoing covered the story of Zazzle – an online merchandise company – taking down a badge which read “While you were reading Tolkien I was watching Evangelion”. The original story alleged that this was prompted by the Tolkien Estate claiming copyright infringement, though subsequently it has emerged that it was actually Zazzle acting on their own initiative who caused the withdrawal of the product.

        While innocent in this particular case, the Tolkien Estate is notorious for a broad interpretation of copyright law. They have recently issued a cease and desist notice to the author of a novel which includes Tolkien as a character, and I have seen reports of similar actions on their part on at least two other occasions. Even more amusingly, back in 2004 the Estate and Warner Brothers claimed ownership of the word “shire”. (The Oxford English Dictionary, unsurprisingly, disagrees.)

      • Pirate Party Calls Protest As Movie Sharer Jailed For 30 Days

        Following an investigation into the online sharing of a new movie, Serbia’s High-Tech crime unit has swooped on an apartment in the capital Belgrade where they arrested a 51-year-old man. Following interrogation and an apparent confession, in just one day a judge has ruled the man can be detained in jail for 30 days. The Pirate Party are now calling for protests today.

      • Copyright reform is needed in UK: letter to the Telegraph

        We co-signed this letter, published today in the Telegraph, calling for copyright reform in the interests of economic growth.

      • Yahoo, BT and more launch UK ‘Cloud Radio’ project. What’s that?

        Here’s an intriguing story – a consortium of technology and media companies including Yahoo, BT, music streaming service We7 and content production company Somethin” Else, have been awarded an £1.8m grant to work on a ‘cloud radio’ service codenamed ‘Apollo’.

        What’s that? As Digital Spy reports, the project will look into the development of “next-generation personal radio and music services that can work across any internet-connected device, such as mobiles, tablets and web TVs”.

      • ICE Arrests Operator Of Seized Domain; Charges Him With Criminal Copyright Infringement

        While Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) group has been seizing lots of domains under questionable legal theories, it has been slow to follow through on any sort of actual lawsuits. However, with one of the domains seized a month ago, channelsurfing.net, ICE has now arrested someone and charged him with criminal copyright infringement, such that he’s now facing five years in jail (as well as fines). This is interesting, because when that domain was seized, we had noted that channelsurfing did not appear to host any content itself, but merely embedded content from other sites. That raises an awful lot of serious questions: specifically, what part of copyright law is infringed here. The site does not host any of the content. It does not make any copies. It does not distribute the content. All it does is put in a snippet of code that a user’s web browser then uses to request content from another site.

      • IFPI, UK Police, Credit Card Companies Push People To Pirate Music, Rather Than Pay For It

        Bizarre move out of the IFPI. It’s gleefully announced a new deal, in conjunction with the London Police and Visa and MasterCard to cut off credit card services to online music stores who the IFPI accuses of selling infringing MP3s. This is really targeting sites like MP3Fiesta, which is sort of a modern version of Allofmp3.com. Of course, what they seem to be missing is that both of these sites were examples of people, who would otherwise likely be downloading totally unauthorized versions, being willing to pay for MP3s at a much more reasonable price. What I never understood was why the music industry never realized that these sites actually showed a business model that worked. Tons of people were happy to pay for the music when the prices seemed much more reasonable. What these services really showed was how much the industry has artificially inflated the price of music.

      • Rep. Lofgren Challenges IP Czar On Legality Of Domain Seizures

        A friend of the site sent over a great video of Rep. Zoe Lofgren quizzing IP Czar Victoria Espinel about the recent domain name seizures. It’s clear that Lofgren has been well-briefed on the topic (which makes her one of very few elected officials). Lofgren has always been really good on copyright issues, so this isn’t a huge surprise, though I wish she were more vocal on some of these issues.

Clip of the Day

Koch Whore: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker

Koch Whore: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, part 2

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 5/3/2011: OilRush is Coming, hypePad 2 no Match for Good Android Tablets

Posted in News Roundup at 3:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux over Windows..? Well, the argument continues

    There are no second thoughts about it. With GNOME and KDE, Linux desktops are top-of-the-line products that are sleek, compact and innately user friendly. Linux desktop in fact go beyond being user friendly they are outright flexible. On Linux you simply change distros you no longer want or need. You keep what you need and simply build along as your requirements grow. Most times your Linux desktop is a reflection of your mind. You are doing intense mind-games then you will have the toughest looking distro running. Need to space out and want some relax time then in come the light-hearted distros tickling your brain cells. Bet you cannot even think of creativity with a Windows on your desktop.

  • Pain and Suffering in Germany, or How Linux Lost to XP

    With all the world aflutter about the latest “i-thingie” to emerge from the Hallowed Halls of Cupertino, it’s been a great week for catching up on Linux news from around the world.

    Expecting the usual assortment of triumphant tales regarding our favorite operating system, however, Linux Girl’s jaw fairly hit the floor when she came across something entirely different.

    It’s the sad, sad story of the German Foreign Office, to be specific, which recently chose to reverse a decade-old migration to Linux. Now, it’s switching back to Windows instead.

    “Although open source has demonstrated its worth, particularly on servers, the cost of adapting and extending it, for example in writing printer and scanner drivers, and of training, have proved greater than anticipated,” explained The H, where the story was apparently first reported.

    Claiming that user complaints have been a problem as well, the government has nevertheless declined to provide any specific figures.

  • Desktop

    • Getting Started With Linux: Fine-Tuning Your Hardware

      On some systems, Ubuntu and other Linux systems will install as if they they had always been right there on your system. Other times, there’s a piece missing. Here’s how to patch up the last piece (or two) of your system if not everything’s working right off.

    • Ubuntu-ready Cortex-A8 nettop and netbook drop prices

      Genesi announced price reductions and a new Ubuntu 10.10 update for its small-format, fanless line of Efika MX computers, which run on Freescale Semiconductor’s 800MHz Cortex-A8 i.MX515 system-on-chips. The five-Watt Efika MX Smarttop nettop costs $129, while the 10.1-inch, 12-Watt Efika MX Smartbook netbook costs $199.

    • 10 things I miss about old school Linux

      I’ve been using Linux since the days of Caldera Open Linux 1 and Red Hat Linux 4.2 (prior to the creation of Red Hat Enterprise Linux). Since those days, I have seen a lot of things come and go. I was glad to wave goodbye to most of the things that have gone by the wayside. However, I actually do miss some of the bits and pieces that have slipped out of the mix. Some of these are software, while some of them are more ideas/ideals. Let’s venture into the time machine and go retro with our memories of Linux.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Longterm kernel
    • Linux
    • AMD Provides Coreboot Support For Fusion

      AMD has been quite friendly towards the Coreboot project (what used to be LinuxBIOS) with releasing support for new chipsets and other engineering assistance. This support has not dried up at all but has only expanded with AMD’s recent release of Coreboot code to support the Embedded G-Series Fusion processor.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Open-Source AMD Cayman GPU KMS Support

        Nearly two months ago AMD released Radeon HD 6000 series open-source support — complete with kernel mode-setting and Mesa/Gallium3D OpenGL driver acceleration support — but this support had only covered the “Northern Islands” ASICs and not the newest Radeon HD 6900 “Cayman” graphics processors. Cayman’s design is much different from the Northern Islands and previous-generation Evergreen GPUs, but the open-source support for these highest-end AMD graphics processors is beginning to emerge.

      • A restart for RandR 1.4

        Having pulled it from X.Org Server 1.10 at the last moment, the X.org developers are taking another look at RandR 1.4, the X resize, rotate and reflect extension. It’s now hoped that it will make it into X.Org Server 1.11, due in August. Long time X and Debian developer, Keith Packard, has posted an entry on the X.org mailing list calling for a protocol review.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • E17- Enlighten your Desktop!!

      Enlightenment E17 or DR17 is a desktop environment that can serve as both the window manager and a desktop environment at the same time in your OS. What makes it really cool is that it brings out the best features out of your PC as compared to the commonly used KDE and GNOME (both require slightly high end hardware). Hence you will be able to run the latest, hottest software even in your old PC.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • It’s alive!

        I’m very excited to announce that qt-atspi has seen some major progress lately. Frederik Gladhorn has been kicking some major butt and has gotten it into much better shape than it has been previously.

      • digiKam Software Collection 2.0.0 beta3 is out…

        digiKam team is proud to announce the 3rd digiKam Software Collection 2.0.0 beta release!

      • KDE Ships March Updates

        March 4th, 2011. Today, KDE has released a series of updates to the Plasma Desktop and Netbook workspaces, the KDE Applications and the KDE Frameworks. This update is the first in a series of monthly stabilization updates to the 4.6 series. 4.6.1 brings many bugfixes and translation updates on top of 4.6 series and is a recommended update for everyone running 4.6.0 or earlier versions. As the release only contains bugfixes and translation updates, it will be a safe and pleasant update for everyone. KDE’s software is already translated into more than 55 languages, with more to come.

      • KDE 4.6.1 Changelog
    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • The Sabayon 5.5 experiment was a success!

      Sabayon, for those not familiar with it, is a primarily desktop oriented system originally based on software coming from the Gentoo Linux project. Sabayon, since it is at Version 5.5, has long since created many of its own tools, and though there is still some Gentoo Linux lineage there, the package manager it uses is its own creation, and so is most of the work, but like any good free software system, it certainly uses and benefits from technology elsewhere, and in this case, Gentoo formed the framework for much of the initial work.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat defends changes to kernel source distribution

        Red Hat CTO, Brian Stevens, has defended the company’s change to how it distributes the kernel source code in a blog posting. The company had changed its policy on how it distributed the source to its Linux kernel, a key component of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). Where it had previously shipped out a standard kernel with all the patches which needed to be applied to make that kernel into Red Hat’s version, for RHEL6 it switched to shipping an archive with those patches pre-applied and details of the patches not explicitly listed.

      • Is Red Hat violating the GPL?

        But now things seem to be changing. A few months back, Red Hat settled a patent suit with a patent troll, Acacia, over alleged patent infringement in JBoss, software that Red Hat owns.

      • Red Hat: ‘Yes, we undercut Oracle with hidden Linux patches’

        Red Hat has changed the way it distributes Enterprise Linux kernel code in an effort to prevent Oracle and Novell from stealing its customers, making it more difficult for these competitors to understand which patches have been applied where.

      • Commitment to Open

        I joined Red Hat in 2001, naive yet undaunted about the potential to transform the IT industry through open source. Our engineering group at the time was no more than 50 people. How could our relatively small team compete in the land of giants? Simple. Because the license Richard Stallman wrote, and Linus Torvalds selected for Linux, nearly 20 years ago, and Linus’ benevolent leadership of the kernel since, was key in creating a model for open collaboration.

      • Red Hat defends Linux kernel move

        There is no company on Earth that contributes more to the Linux kernel than Red Hat. That said, Red Hat has recently come under some scrutiny for the way it packages the kernel in RHEL 6 – some mis-informed people have gone so far as to question whether or not Red Hat is violating the GPL.

      • Scientific Linux 6.0 released
      • Fedora

        • Welcome to the Fedora Trusted Computing Project!

          The Trusted Computing Project provides a collaboration area for interested parties with trusted computing requirements to discuss their needs with developers as well as hardware and software partners. Areas of interest would include but not be limited to the use of the Trusted Platform Module (TPM), trusted boot, trusted hypervisors, and other areas that insure the integrity of the computing system from the hardware on up.

        • Red Hat Brand guru John Adams analyzes the POSSE brand

          I had a great lunch on Tuesday with John Adams from the Red Hat Brand team – he’s one of the main guys responsible for maintaining Red Hat’s corporate personality and presence, and I was curious about how he’d see POSSE as a brand of its own. Notes follow, posted with John’s permission. As a technical person who has no formal training in marketing or branding, getting to see how John thought about these sorts of topics was an education in itself.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian wins two of seven categories at the Linux New Media Awards 2011

        The Debian representatives were quite busy at this year’s Linux New Media Awards, which were presented yesterday during CeBIT in Hanover, Germany. They first took the stage when the award for “Best Open Source Server Distribution” was presented by Peter Ganten, Managing Director of Univention GmbH. In presenting the award he emphasized that Debian has done pioneering work not only in the technical field but also in the definition of free software standards and processes.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • S04E01 – New Frontier

          Laura Cowen, Mark Johnson, Tony Whitmore and Alan Pope return to bring you episode 1 of season 4 of the Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo Team!

        • PowerNap Improvements for Natty

          For all of those who don’t know, “PowerNap is a screen saver for servers except it doesn’t save your screen, it saves the environment and lowers your energy bill.”

        • Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha 3 Is Out [Screenshots And Video]

          The Ubuntu 11.04 live cd installer finally got upgrade support so you’ll be able to upgrade from older Ubuntu versions using the CD (very useful for those with bad or no internet connection).

        • UDW: Day 3 over, day 4 to come
        • Ubuntu’s new Overlay scrollbars for Natty

          Ubuntu 11.04 continues with the surprises as Mark Shuttleworth and Ubuntu design team unveil ‘overlay scrollbar’s.

        • Ubuntu Maryland Leader Quits, Is Canonical Hijacking Ubuntu?

          Ubuntu Maryland Leader Chuck Frain is stepping down as the leader of the group which he founded. In a blog post he has given reasons behind his decision and they raise some serious questions. He said that Ubuntu has changed from a community driven project to a company controlled product. “When I began this group I believed in the Ubuntu project was a community driven distribution that was supported by Canonical and guided in some ways to their commercial needs. After all, they were a company that were going to specialize in support for the Free Linux distribution…”

          “I was happy with Canonical’s position and guidance until the announcement of UbuntuOne. Here was software in two pieces, one open source and one closed source. The client on the desktop is open and free for anyone to use, modify, etc. However the piece that makes it all useful, the server, is closed.”

        • Ubuntu Linux – Not yet a Pariah but heading there

          Yes, the most popular Linux distro is working hard to become the pariah of the FOSS community. To give you a typical example, take the case of the GNOME / UNITY switch.

          If I were Shuttleworth, I’d not ship Ubuntu with my in-house DE just yet. I’d rather ship the usual GNOME but put a small script somewhere to inform users that “look, we’re planning on shipping our own DE but think it’s not ready yet. We’ll need all the feedback we can get from you before shipping it as default. Click here if you want to install Unity and help us test.”

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Xubuntu Natty Artwork

            As one of Xubuntu’s artwork contributors and member of the Shimmerproject I would like to take some time now – towards the end of this cycle – and discuss (at least parts of) the design process during the development phase for Natty (11.04). This is planned as a review and in a way (implicitely) a preview: you can see the direction Xubuntu is heading for since Maverick and Natty and hopefully the project will continue this way.

          • Edubuntu 11.04 Alpha 3 Released

            Edubuntu 11.04 (codenamed: Natty Narwhal) is the next version of Edubuntu due for release in April 2011. Development on the system is in full swing and today marks the third tested installable development version. It is still in an early state and has known problems, it is not recommended for anything else than testing and experimental purposes for people who are interested in Edubuntu development.

          • Linux Mint 11 Will Use GNOME 3.0 By Default

            As you probably know, Linux Mint 11 “Katya”, the next Linux Mint version that will be based on Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal will not use Unity by default. Well, as it turns out, Linux Mint 11 will move even further from Ubuntu and will ship with GNOME 3.0 by default, even though Ubuntu 11.04 will use Gnome 2.32.x.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Matt Asay Backs Up the Wahmbulance

        [H]e’s either playing a game on readers or backing up the wahmbulance (losing himself in self-pity) with his latest at The Register, complaining that open source apps may be dead on mobile.

      • From messiah to pariah: The death of open source on mobile

        Part of this comes from open-source licenses clashing with app store policies. It’s perhaps not surprising that Microsoft isn’t a big fan of GPL software within its Windows Phone Marketplace, but given its still-small market share, it may also not be a big deal. Of far more concern is the fact that Apple has started pulling GPL software from its virtual shelves.

        This may not be that big of a deal. After all, open-source software developers long ago got used to skirting standard distribution channels, and will likely find workarounds like alternative app stores (Sourceforge App Store, anyone?) or may simply use the web to distribute HTML5 apps.

      • Nokia/MeeGo/Maemo

        • World First from Saab: Saab IQon – Open Innovation in Car Infotainment

          Saab Automobile is changing the auto industry infotainment landscape by engaging external partners in ‘open innovation´ for the development of its new IQon infotainment concept, using Google´s Android operating system.

        • [LMN] Birmingham UK – MeeGo Meetup

          Time to get together for another Birmingham UK MeeGo meetup. The interest in the Operating System has increased and also we now have some available devices, So it should be a good time to be had by all.

        • DoodleDrive – Game Jam Afternoon

          My older son was a bit sick today so I stayed home to be with my kids. As usual kids didn’t know what to do and I came up with the idea if we’d create a simple game with help of latest Qt SDK 1.1 Beta that was released a day ago. …and so we did :) This is a small “documentary” of the process.

        • RIM reportedly to launch BlackBerry Messenger on iOS and Android

          It looks like RIM is finally going to introduce its own version what many third-parties have been trying to implement across smartphone platforms, by introducing its BlackBerry Messenger service on both iOS and Android.

        • MeeGo on the N900 officially targeted by Nokia

          Exciting news. Jukka Eklund, Product Manager at Nokia, just announced that Nokia will be officially directing efforts towards supporting MeeGo on the N900 as Developer Edition. For this purpose, there would be a dedicated team within Nokia who will bring full MeeGo support on the N900.

      • Android

        • Meganoid now available in the Market: a must for all fans of 8-bit platform games

          OrangePixel has a series of titles in the Market, and the company is perhaps best known for the popular Mini Army: an interesting version of the classic Snake game. The developer has now released a new title that at least for fans of all things 8-bit almost seem too good to be true.

          The game is called Meganoid, and it’s an homage to 80s and 90s games such as Mega Man and Metroid (hence the name). I personally grew up playing 8-bit Commodore 64, Sega and Nintendo games, so Meganoid’s retro, pixelart graphics, and its bitpop soundtrack and effects are right up my alley.

        • Nielsen: Android Pulls Ahead Of RIM And iOS For U.S. Smartphone Share

          Nielsen has just released new data on U.S. smartphone share. According to the report, smartphone powered by Android operating systems (29 percent) is pulling ahead of RIM’s Blackberry (27 percent) and Apple iOS (27 percent).

    • Tablets

      • Tablets’ rise knocks HDD shipments

        “Among the various computing segments in which HDDs are used, the netbook—with lower computing capabilities than either a desktop or laptop—is considered the most vulnerable to being supplanted by tablets, which do not use hard disks as storage media.”

      • Jobs proclaims the iPad II is the saviour of the universe

        Jobs started off by describing Android tablets as the year of the copycats – a bold prediction, for sure. The iPad II is the third of Apple’s attempts to crush the PC opposition. It won’t be Jobs’ first attempt. The British event is being held at the BBC TV Centre, a cluster of fanbois – but the poor hacks that work there do, we think use Dell. Apple loves the BBC but not as much as Apple loves News International.

      • iPad 2 vs. original iPad: what’s changed?
      • Apple’s key designer Jonathan Ive said to be ‘thinking of move to Britain’

        Jonathan Ive, the designer behind the iMac , the iPhone and the iPad and an absolutely key man at Apple, may be considering a move back to Britain. That is the story whizzing round the world of high tech.

      • The Android community must fight generalizations on Honeycomb tablet price

        I fully understand when people around the iPad 2 announcement make blanket statements that “Android tablets are too expensive”, because I take everything connected to an Apple event through a bias filter. But, when those same comments come from Android sites and in the comments of our stories, I feel like I need to say something: We need to stop the generalization. We can’t use the Xoom as a sample of the entire Android tablet ecosystem. Not all Android tablets are expensive and not all are going to be expensive.

      • iPad 2 vs. Android tablets: who’s winning? [Comparison Chart]
      • Steve Jobs’ reality distortion takes its toll on truth

        In what seems like a ritual at this point, I watched Apple’s iPad 2 keynote in disbelief, noting the factual errors that kept coming up minute after minute. See previous:

        * How Steve Jobs turned a finger spot into a death grip
        * Google responds to Steve Jobs’ activation counting accusations
        * Why does Android have Steve Jobs rattled?

Free Software/Open Source

  • 3 Companies Using Open Source

    It’s very interesting to note that a recent study revealed that approximately 85 percent of companies globally are using open source software. Not surprisingly, the main motivator for using open source software is cost. Other indicators point to the fact that this software provides companies protection from becoming locked into a single vendor.

  • Events

    • FOSS Marathon in Jodhpur
    • Impressions from the Southern California Linux Expo 9x

      If you weren’t in Los Angeles last weekend, you missed all the fun. No, not the OSCARS. I’m talking about the Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE). Once again, the SCALE folks put on one of the best FOSS community events on the planet and handled a 20% increase in attendees with few glitches.

      According to Larry Cafiero, one of the SCALE guys (as well as being one of the “beards of open source,” ahem), SCALE drew more than 1,800 attendees. And those are the ones who actually registered. The event moved from the Westin LAX to the Hilton LAX to cope with the attendance — and it grew by about 20% this year, so that the space was still close to capacity.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

    • ‘Linux kernel for the cloud’ gets new government

      Rackspace has overhauled the governance of OpenStack – the eight-month-old open source effort to build Amazon-like “infrastructure clouds” – relinquishing some of the control it gained by acquiring one of the project’s other major contributors.

      After acquiring Anso Labs – the tiny outfit that built the Nova compute fabric comprising half of OpenStack – Rackspace controlled seven out of nine seats on the project’s board, known as the project oversight committee. Rackspace built the other half of OpenStack, a storage platform, and it cofounded the project with NASA, which had commissioned Anso to build Nova.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • VirtualBox 4.0 OpenGL Acceleration Leaves Room For Improvement

      VirtualBox, the Sun/Oracle virtualization platform, has supported OpenGL acceleration and Direct3D acceleration within virtual machines for more than two years. When the host system has hardware GPU acceleration, OpenGL/Direct3D calls can be passed from the guest to the host when the VirtualBox guest driver is installed. There has been the Linux 3D support since VirtualBox 2.2 and was initially limited to OpenGL 1.4 support and in the summer of 2009 it turned to OpenGL 2.0. We had not delivered any early benchmarks as the initial support was too buggy, but even with the recently released VirtualBox 4.0, while the support is usable and stable for the most part, it is still far from being very efficient and will crash under some OpenGL software.

    • LibreOffice applied for GSoc 2011

      I just have filed the form for LibreOffice to be part of the next edition of Google Summer or Code. The list of the selected organizations will be out on March 18th. This will be a nice adventure to help us improve our mentoring skill and help students getting introduced to an open source community. All the details of the application are available on the GSoc wiki page.

    • EU: AFUL supports the Document Foundation and calls on public and private actors to follow suit


  • Government

    • Open Source Procurement: Subscriptions

      When you procure proprietary software, you buy a right-to-use license and then a support agreement. But when you buy open source, you already have the right-to-use from the OSI-approved free license, so you should compare the subscription cost with just the cost of a proprietary support agreement. Right?

      Wrong! The open source subscription includes all the same elements as the combination of both purchases. In most cases, if you are receiving equivalent value, you should expect to pay similar prices.

    • MHRD must give Tenders to FOSS Companies and avoid .NET programming language. Rs 1.6 crore goes in M$ partner.
    • The Monopolistic Tendencies of Open Source Software
    • More Fun with Anti-Open Source FUD

      “Open source operates as a de facto cartel” – now that really is a splendid bit of FUD that deserves closer examination.

      This extraordinary conclusion seems to flow from the earlier flawed analysis of what happens when there are open source companies operating in a market. In fact, there are several quite different flaws there.

      The first is “consider an all-OSS world in which each company offers consumers exactly the same shared code as every other company”: but that’s not how open source markets operate. Typically, there are many different code bases for a given sector: GNU/Linux and the BSDs for operating systems; Firefox, Chromium and Konqueror for browsers; Thunderbird and Evolution for email etc. This means that it’s actually extremely easy for new companies using open source to enter those sectors.

      Indeed, the rapid rise of Google’s Chrome/Chromium is a neat counter-example to the erroneous statement above. It entered the browser sector and proceeded to do rather well, probably halting the growth of Firefox as well as taking away market share from Internet Explorer. Yes, that market did not consist entirely of open source browsers, but given its success against Firefox, it seems clear that it could have entered just such a market and flourished because of its evident merits.

      But for the sake of argument, let us accept the possibility that there are markets where all the companies based on open source use the same code base. The argument is then “no company can then compete by writing more OSS code than its rivals” with the result that “this lack of competition suppresses code production.”

      Leaving aside the fact that hackers code for all sorts of reasons that have nothing to do with competition, using the metric of how much open source code misses the point: by definition it’s generally 100% – that was the premise. And it’s not how much that counts, it’s how good that matters. And this is where the differentiation comes in.


      To summarise, one of the key advantages of encouraging the growth of open source in a particular sector is to undermine existing proprietary cartels by supporting open standards and thus opening up that market to new entrants. Governments rightly concerned about such cartels should be supporting open source wholeheartedly as one of the best and most efficient ways of countering them – not seeking some mythical and counterproductive “balance” with closed source and its deleterious consequences.

    • System Error: fixing the flaws in Government IT

      Agreeing standards is hard, as is implementing them correctly. Standards for the web have taken >10 years to develop and mature, and in many respects are still not very well embedded: Microsoft have really only just got there with IE9, and that remains to be seen. And this is in an industry where the incentives to make everything work are huge. I’m really not at all sure that the incentives to use open standards for the NHS spine and people’s tax records are even nearly as strong, where suppliers may be reluctant to facilitate the involvement of others.

    • FR: Candidats.fr initiative to raise election candidates’ awareness of free software

      In the light of the cantonal elections of 20 and 27 March 2011 in France, April, a non-profit organisation promoting and advocating free software, relaunched ‘Candidats.fr’, an initiative whose aim is to raise the future local councillors’ awareness of this software.

    • Can we use collaboration to solve government’s big problems?

      Aneesh Chopra, the White House’s chief technology officer, was at HIMMS last week talking about government as a platform for innovation. He referenced the open and transparent process that led to the Direct Project, which saw dozens of vendors, some of them competitors, working together with the ONC to establish a secure way to send health information as a possible template for bringing together stakeholders to create innovation.

    • Government open source plan hindered by lack of security clearance

      Open source software is effectively banned from government IT because products cannot get official clearance from GCHQ security experts, a meeting of the BCS was told this week.

      Tariq Rashid, lead architect for the Home Office, raised the issue with the BSC Open Source Specialist Group on Tuesday as part of an investigation into the reasons why government doesn’t make more use of open source software.

    • ES: Cenatic nominates free and open source community for award

      The entire community of free and open source software developers is nominated by Cenatic, Spain’s national competence centre on open source, for this year’s Prince of Asturias Awards. The centre is calling on members of the community to support its nomination.

      The community enables the sharing of knowledge, provides access to technology on a worldwide level and helps to eliminate financial, social, cultural, language and geographical barriers, Cenatic writes in a statement. “Our candidate deserves recognition.”

  • Openness/Sharing

    • International Journal of the Commons
    • The Big Idea: Creating Shared Value

      The capitalist system is under siege. In recent years business increasingly has been viewed as a major cause of social, environmental, and economic problems. Companies are widely perceived to be prospering at the expense of the broader community.

      Even worse, the more business has begun to embrace corporate responsibility, the more it has been blamed for society’s failures. The legitimacy of business has fallen to levels not seen in recent history. This diminished trust in business leads political leaders to set policies that undermine competitiveness and sap economic growth. Business is caught in a vicious circle.

    • Open Data

      • “Ladies Mapping Party” Strengthens Google’s Africa Maps

        If you like the idea of a quilting bee but prefer your bits electronic instead of fabric, you might be interested in a “ladies mapping party.” 70 Kenyan women were, and showed up to a Google-sponsored ladies mapping party at Nairobi’s iHub in February.

        The women used Google Map Maker, and their specific local knowledge, to fill in schools, health centers, market centers, community development projects, restaurants and roads in a country too often neglected by cartographers.

      • Zonability founder shares thoughts on apps, open data, advice to civic developers

        Zonability is a zoning information web application for ‘property owners, renters, sellers, buyers, remodelers, investors, and neighborhood watchdog groups.’ It was an Apps for Californians winner and is now competing in the NYC BigApps 2.0 contest. Founder Leigh Budlong discusses her work, challenges with open data, thoughts on Gov 2.0 and shares lessons-learned advice to other civic developers.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Welcome to the SPARC Open Access Newsletter, issue #155

        OA has the momentum of thousands of forward steps every year, in every academic field and every part of the world. But some developments are larger than others, and some are large enough to count as watershed events. I’ve noticed an upswing in watershed events recently and want to point out half a dozen of them. Pointing them out doesn’t amount to a prediction, any more than tremors predict earthquakes. But if you were too preoccupied with local noise to notice these tremors, take a moment to notice them.

  • Standards/Consortia


  • Senate Passes Two-Week Funding Bill, Avoids Shutdown

    With a looming March 4 deadline before the government runs out of funding, the Senate voted 91-9 to approve a House measure providing funding for two weeks while making $4 billion in cuts with bipartisan backing.

    The move averts a shutdown, but the gulf between the two parties remains wide as Republicans are calling for $61 billion in cuts that Democratic leaders and the White House claim would costs hundreds of thousands of jobs. Democrats say they support scaling back spending, but only if the reductions don’t damage the fledgling recovery or essential services.

  • How We’re Financing Meaningful Journalism

    But as Craigslist, Google, Groupon, et al. have sucked up the ad dollars that once supported journalism, many downsized-but-not-out journalists have plugged into collaborative editorial and funding networks to launch investigative, explanatory, watchdog, audience-generated, and enterprise stories (here’s one example from my own work)—a movement we have only just started to see and understand.

  • The threat to non-print archives

    Whilst the UK’s attention is drawn to the Hargreaves Review of the IP framework, a lesser-known statutory instrument is in the pipeline which could have a severe effect on legal deposit libraries if it is drafted into law.

    The Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) consulted publishers and libraries on the legal requirement for publishers to provide non-print (electronic journal articles, e-books, tables, diagrams but not sound recordings or films) published items alongside print items to legal deposit libraries.

    The consultation closed on the 11th January 2011, and a statutory instrument (SI) has been prepared with a view to being introduced into law. However, this SI is not satisfactory and has some incredibly restrictive clauses in it which would allow publishers to embargo access to the material within the libraries.

  • Can the Tories skate back onside in Quebec City?

    The Harper government’s refusal to fund arenas or other facilities for professional sports teams has dropped like a bombshell in Quebec City, where Mayor Régis Labeaume called it “suicidal” to stop now.

  • Who’s really innovative?

    Fact is, inventing an innovative business model is often mostly a matter of serendipity. Despite that, a fortuitously fortunate founder often ends up being venerated as a perpetually prescient prophet. As a result, the company becomes over-dependent on the vision of one or two key individuals and never develops a broad-based capacity for ongoing business model innovation. When the founder’s vision fades, the pace of innovation slows and the company tumbles down the innovation league table.

    In 2006, Starbucks, Southwest, IKEA, and eBay all ranked among Business Week’s top 25. Yet four years later, none of these companies were that highly ranked. As bambinos, they were industry revolutionaries, but as they aged, they fell out of the innovation vanguard (though all remain well-run companies).

  • 2011 Report on Link Rot

    How reliable are those URLs in your OPAC? The Chesapeake Project Legal Information Archive which harvests and preserves relevant digital information from the web, has been producing reports on “link rot” for several years. They define link rot as “a URL that no longer provides direct access to files matching the content originally harvested from the URL and currently preserved in the Chesapeake Project’s digital archive.”

  • Wisconsin Republicans call for arrest of missing Democrats

    The Wisconsin Senate passed a resolution today that calls for the arrest of the 14 Democratic senators who left the state two weeks ago, if those senators do not return by 4:00 pm today.

  • Science

  • Security

    • Thursday’s security advisories
    • Teenagers jailed for running £16m internet crime forum

      Three teenagers who founded and operated one of the world’s largest English-language internet crime forums, described in court as “Crimebook”, have been sentenced to up to five years in custody.

    • The wartime economy

      A recent report claims that cybercrime is costing the UK economy £27 billion annually. But Wendy Grossman argues that the report may be over-stating the case

    • Malware decreases, Trojans still dominate

      According to data gathered by Panda Security, only 39 percent of computers scanned in February were infected with malware, compared to 50 percent last month.

      Trojans were found to be the most prolific malware threat, responsible for 61 percent of all cases, followed by traditional viruses and worms which caused 11.59 percent and 9 percent of cases worldwide, respectively. These figures have hardly changed with respect to the January data.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Cablegate

    • Operation Set-the-Record-Straight

      This should not come as a surprise. Authority figures rarely want to cede power to others. Nevertheless business leaders, government officials, and IGOs need to realize that there is no turning back. The technology is here to stay. The only question remaining is: where do we go from here? The consensus from these entities seems to be to target Wikileaks in order to cut the head off the proverbial snake. However, those who propose this measure fail to comprehend the size and scope of this lofty idea.

      The cyber security giant H.B. Gary realized this when it started testing the waters in defense of Bank of America. In anticipation of a presumably embarrassing document dump by Wikileaks, Bank of America retained H.B. Gary Federal—by recommendation of the U.S. Department of Justice—as a security consultant. Everything seemed okay and out of the public eye until the CEO of H.B. Gary, Aaron Barr, began antagonizing the internet activist group known as Anonymous, which operates in tandem with Wikileaks’ transparency efforts worldwide as a guard dog. In both private correspondences and public statements, Barr boasted of having information that would cripple the infrastructure of the group and render them ineffective.

    • Capital charges filed against Bradley Manning

      Things just got even worse for Pfc. Bradley Manning, the alleged source for WikiLeaks’ cache of U.S. military and State Department documents. The Army announced today that it has filed 22 new charges against Manning, in addition to the 12 counts he was initially charged with after his arrest in May.

    • Rally for Wikileaks in Brisbane 01
    • Why WikiLeaks Is Raising Money Using MasterCard and PayPal Again

      Remember when PayPal, Mastercard and Visa stopped processing donations to WikiLeaks because it leaked secret State Department cables? At the time Julian Assange blasted the firms as “instruments of U.S. foreign policy” because the move cut off one of the organization’s major sources of fundraising. But over the past few weeks, the logos of PayPal, MasterCard and Visa have quietly returned to WikiLeaks and the site is back in the business of asking supporters to send money its way.

      So, did the firms that cut WikiLeaks off last year have an about-face? At the time, MasterCard pulled the plug in a huff, claiming its rules “prohibit” customers from taking part in “any action that is illegal.” PayPal responded in kind, saying its policy is to ban an organization from using its services if it “encourages, promotes, facilitates or instructs others to engage in illegal activity.”

    • PFC Manning Stripped Naked Again

      PFC Manning was forced to strip naked in his cell again last night. As with the previous evening, Quantico Brig guards required him to surrender all of his clothing. PFC Manning then walked back to his bed, and spent the next seven hours in humiliation.

      The decision to require him to be stripped of all clothing was made by the Brig commander, Chief Warrant Officer-2 Denise Barnes. According to First Lieutenant Brian Villard, a Marine spokesman, the decision was “not punitive” and done in accordance with Brig rules. There can be no conceivable justification for requiring a soldier to surrender all his clothing, remain naked in his cell for seven hours, and then stand at attention the subsequent morning. This treatment is even more degrading considering that PFC Manning is being monitored — both by direct observation and by video — at all times. The defense was informed by Brig officials that the decision to strip PFC Manning of all his clothing was made without consulting any of the Brig’s mental health providers.

    • WikiLeaks: Cable Revives Horror of Colombia’s “False Positives” Carnage


      When Major General Mario Montoya Uribe was appointed commander of the Colombian army in March of 2006, the US embassy in Bogota was largely unaware of his background and bona fides. The American ambassador to Colombia at the time, William Wood, reported in a cable WikiLeaked on Friday, that relatively little was known about Montoya aside from his many decorations as a career military man, his close personal relationship with then-president Alvaro Uribe, and persistent but as yet unsubstantiated rumors that the commander was corrupt and tied to conservative paramilitary forces throughout the country.

    • Labor’s destructive secrecy

      The Age today published new Wikileak revelations about the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) and its policy vis-a-vis China…

    • Julian Assange lodges extradition appeal

      Lawyers representing the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, have lodged papers to appeal against his extradition from Britain to Sweden to face allegations of rape and sexual assault.

    • US cable throws more mud at Huawei

      A US diplomatic cable leaked by WikiLeaks has further hampered the efforts of network equipment vendor Huawei as it aims to win more global business.

      Huawei and fellow Chinese-held networking vendor ZTE have already been banned from contracts in India over national security fears.

      In a cable released on WikiLeaks, Huawei and rival Chinese telco supplier ZTE are credited with providing “good and cheap” equipment that often wins government procurement tenders.

    • WikiLeaks: Feudal Social Relations in the Brazilian Countryside

      This past fall, I had the opportunity to observe the first round of Brazil’s presidential election. In a logistical feat, the government managed to draw correspondents from all over the world for the occasion while taking care of all travel amenities. Politically and economically, Brazil has been on a roll over the past ten years or so, and the country has spared no expense when it comes to showing off its many accomplishments. Yet peer beneath the surface, and the South American powerhouse is still pre-modern in many ways. That, at least, was the impression I got from reading recently disclosed U.S. diplomatic cables from the whistle-blowing outfit WikiLeaks.


      According to WikiLeaks documents, the Brazilian military held socially retrograde views of indigenous people in the countryside. As recently as 2009, U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Lisa Kubiske noted that officers held the general opinion “that the Indians don’t produce anything but the farmers do, so the farmers should be the ones using the land.” In a sign of the times, Augusto Heleno, a four-star army general, received rousing applause after speaking out against indigenous demarcation at Rio de Janeiro’s Military Club. Following his broadside, Heleno ominously declared “the Army High Command is an organization that serves the Brazilian state, not the government.”

    • In the Age of WikiLeaks, the End of Secrecy?

      I am a big believer in technology, and I’m a big believer in openness when it comes to the flow of information. I think that the more freely information flows, the stronger the society becomes, because then citizens of countries around the world can hold their own governments accountable. They can begin to think for themselves. That generates new ideas. It encourages creativity.

      Obama added, “The truth is that because in the United States information is free…I have a lot of critics in the United States who can say all kinds of things about me. I actually think that that makes our democracy stronger, and it makes me a better leader because it forces me to hear opinions that I don’t want to hear.”

      Or take Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. No American official has been more eloquent in expressing support for the power of the Internet than Clinton, who gave a highly visible speech on “Internet freedom” on January 21, 2010, in Washington, where she waxed poetic about how “the spread of information networks is forming a new nervous system for our planet”…

    • Former President George W. Bush Prejudices the Legal Process Against Julian Assange

      When a former president of the United States weighs in on an ongoing criminal investigation, there is considerable risk that his comments could make it impossible for justice to be fair and objective.

      Recently, former President George W. Bush said that Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, “has willfully and repeatedly done great harm to the interests of the United States.” He made this statement, through a spokesman, in explaining why he was canceling a speech he had agreed to deliver to the Young Presidents Organization. He said he “had no desire to share a forum with” Assange, even though Assange was to speak by videoconference and they would not literally be sharing a platform or forum.

    • Much ado about leaky cables is hilarious

      There is a comical and yet revelatory side to spillage of US secret diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks. Comical in that they expose the wishful thinking of some our politicians, some of which border on the absurd. The cables are also revelatory as they unmask secret desires of those who seek to rule us — especially on what they think of people they kneel before and pretend to be friends with 24/7.

      You see from the WikiLeaks cables from Nairobi’s US embassy that, Kenyan politicians trust and worship foreigners more than their fellow countrymen. It may be a colonial hangover, what Ngugi Wa Thiong’o calls neocolonialism, that our leaders open up to foreigners and can literally bad-mouth their mother if that assures them they have a white man’s ear.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Republicans attack Obama’s environmental protection from all sides

      It started on a sultry day in Houston when hundreds of protesters, mostly oil company employees, were bussed to a concert hall in their lunch hour to rally against a historic first step by Congress to reduce the pollution that causes climate change.

      The event marked the start of a backlash by wealthy industry owners and conservative activists against Barack Obama’s green agenda. Now it has snowballed into what green campaigners say is the greatest assault on environmental protection that America has ever seen.

    • What Is a Sacred Mountain Worth?

      A Vancouver-based company, First Majestic Silver Corp, has ignited fierce controversy over plans to mine silver from a mountain considered by an indigenous nation to be the birthplace of the sun.

      The Huichol called the Canadian mining project an “unlawful imposition” and part of a “a deepening war of extermination against our native peoples” in an October 2010 manifesto entitled Declaration in Defense of Wirikuta.

    • More big snowstorms on the way as world’s climate warms

      In each of the past two winters, the northeastern US has been hammered by three Category 3 or above snowstorms. This has happened only once before in the last 50 years, during the winter of 1960-1961.

      “Heavy snowstorms are not inconsistent with a warming planet,” says Jeff Masters, director of meteorology for the Weather Underground website.

      “In fact, as the Earth gets warmer and more moisture gets absorbed into the atmosphere, we are steadily loading the dice in favor of more extreme storms in all seasons, capable of causing greater impacts on society.”

    • Stop oil sands from blowing into Europe!

      The European Union (EU) is about to make a decision that could define if we move towards a better, cleaner world or a short-sighted, dirty energy future.

    • UK facing 1970s-style oil shock which could cost economy £45bn – Huhne

      Britain is facing a 1970s-style oil price shock that could cost the UK economy £45bn over two years, the climate and energy secretary, Chris Huhne, is expected to warn in his first intervention on the issue since the start of Middle East political crisis.

      In Thursday’s keynote speech on the impact of the oil crisis, Huhne argued that an $100 (£61) a barrel price for oil transforms the economics of climate change in Britain.

  • Finance

    • The Guy Who Calls You “Chief” And 24 Other People To Avoid On Wall Street

      There are lots of critical skills you need to succeed on Wall Street. It helps to understand market forces. A facility with numbers is useful.

      Having a feel for group dynamics is necessary to succeed on trading desks and deal teams. Superb time management, verbal acuity, and judgment are all important.

      But, mostly, what you need to do is avoid the things that will destroy your career. And most of the things that will destroy your career go under the general heading of “people.”

    • The World’s Ominous Reckoning

      Discussions about possible solutions to the debt crisis tend to degenerate into ideological bickering because ideologies provides an inadequate framework in which to understand the nature of the problem and discover real effective solutions. Fiscal conservatives want to cut social spending so as to avoid raising taxes on the rich and privileged class. Political liberals have largely caved in to the same interests because they think that supporting the privileged class’s agenda is their only hope of gaining power. They will pay lip service to a social agenda and throw a few crumbs to the masses in an attempt to get elected, but they will ultimately advance the same elitist agenda, as have Presidents Clinton and Obama. Progressives argue that budgets can be balanced by cutting the military budget and raising taxes on the rich, but they remain impotent because political power has been so thoroughly centralized that popular progressive agendas have not a prayer of being implemented. Even if they were, they would simply make matters worse because under the present money and banking regime, a balanced government budget is not possible. How can the debate move beyond ideologies, and common ground be found?

      Samuelson, like almost all conventionally trained economists, blames the woes of Ireland, and every other country, on failures in policy. He says, “Most European economies suffer from the ill effects of some combination of easy money, unsustainable social spending and big budget deficits,” but he fails to address the deeper questions of why? Why has money been easy? Why is social spending unsustainable? Why have budget deficits been too big?

  • Censorship

    • China warns foreign media not to cover protests

      Chinese police are further intensifying pressure on foreign reporters, warning them to stay away from spots designated for Middle East-inspired protests and threatening them with expulsion or a revoking of their credentials.

      The warnings show how unnerved the authorities are by the online calls for protests every Sunday. The appeals, which started two weeks ago, have attracted few outright demonstrators but many onlookers, loads of journalists and swarms of police.

  • Privacy

    • ICO evidence raises Freedoms Bill data worries

      The Information Commissioner (ICO) has just published a critique of the Home Office’s Freedoms Bill, which is being sold to the public as reining in New Labour’s surveillance state.

      Although there is general applause for the fact that the Government has recognised that there has been excessive intrusion into privacy, the ICO’s analysis points to a number of serious deficiencies.

  • Civil Rights

    • Muslim student sues FBI over GPS tracking device placed on his car without a warrant

      The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) this week filed a civil rights lawsuit against the FBI on behalf of Yasir Afifi, a Muslim-American student of Egyptian descent who lives in Santa Clara, California.

    • Richard Peppiatt’s letter to Daily Star proprietor Richard Desmond

      You probably don’t know me, but I know you. For the last two years I’ve been a reporter at the Daily Star, and for two years I’ve felt the weight of your ownership rest heavy on the shoulders of everyone, from the editor to the bloke who empties the bins.

      Wait! I know you’re probably reaching for your phone to have me marched out of the building. But please, save on your bill. I quit.

      The decision came inside my local newsstand, whilst picking up the morning papers. As I chatted with Mohammed, the Muslim owner, his blinking eyes settled on my pile of print, and then, slowly, rose to meet my face.

    • 6 Things Social Networking Sites Need to Stop Doing

      That’s what makes increasingly annoying and/or invasive social networking practices so much harder to swallow. We want all of the below to stop and, barring that, at least not get any worse. But if they don’t, what are we going to do? Ditch our computers and go live in the woods?

    • Native Women Seek Justice at U.N.

      The United States is facing international scrutiny for its apparent failure to prosecute criminals who enter indigenous territories to prey on Native women and girls.

      Between 60 and 80 percent of violent victimisation of Native American women is perpetrated by non-Natives, says a U.N. expert on legal matters related to women’s rights violations worldwide.

      Rashida Manjoo, the U.N. special rapporteur on violence against women, notes that in the U.S., indigenous women are much more vulnerable to abuses than any other ethnic group in the country.

    • Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa

      On 26 October 2005, the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa received its 15th ratification, meaning the Protocol entered into force on 25 November 2005.

    • Cabinet Office gathers international examples of Big Society

      The Office for Civil Society has published a report citing international examples of Big Society initiatives.

      The aim of the report is to look at how other countries run their public services or organise local community projects that UK citizens or organisations can take inspiration from.

      It is not intended to be comprehensive review of what exists but to see how the Big Society is in action elsewhere and provide ideas for adaptation here.

    • Beijing to track citizens with their cell phones

      As if the Great Firewall is not enough, the Chinese government is now looking into monitoring the movement of 17 million cellphone users in Beijing, China by tracking the signal of their mobile devices.

      Purportedly to improve Beijing’s public travel and reduce traffic congestion, the new initiative, literally translated as “Platform for Citizen Movement Information” proposes to track each individual citizen’s movement in real time via cell phone signals, as reported on the Beijing Municipal People’s Government website.

  • DRM

    • Scorned librarians and the eBook piracy underground

      Early last year was the first time I found out one of my books was on a torrent site. It knew it was just a matter of time, and I was kind of relieved. Pleased, even. Like many authors, I have Google Alerts on certain things, and some of those things are my books. Really, I expected this.

      E-books and the ability to share or not to share them: that is the question every publisher and distributor is agonizing over. But no one seems to be answering it with anything short of clutching their petticoats and jumping up on the nearest chair.

      Maybe I shouldn’t be so cavalier as an author to regard people stealing my work like this; after all, I hope to exist off of royalties.

    • The rise of the 99-cent Kindle e-book
  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • ‘Self-incriminators’ may be forced to tell the court what they know

      People accused of misusing confidential commercial or technical information have lost the right to avoid self-incrimination in court cases, following a High Court ruling.

      The ruling means that a law previously thought to apply only to intellectual property cases now applies to any case in which confidential commercial or technical information is involved, according to one expert.

    • Genetics Company Myriad May Shift From Patents To Proprietary Data

      Myriad Genetics, a United States-based biotechnology company with exclusive patent rights over a key breast cancer diagnostic test in the US, may shift its patent strategy from its inventions to guarding its data in the face of drawn out litigation and upcoming competition, an industry journal has reported.

      The Genomics Law Report has published an analysis by a group of US academics and attorneys on how the company is likely to react to future competition.

    • Copyrights

      • Top 40 Countries for Copyright Piracy & Cyberlockers

        The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is preparing for its annual “Special 301” report, which describes the adequacy and effectiveness of US trading partners’ protection of intellectual property rights (IPR). It is due to be presented to Congress in the next month or so.

      • Minecraft Creator Says ‘No Such Thing As A Lost Sale’
      • Piracy is Theft? Ridiculous. Lost Sales? They Don’t Exist, Says Minecraft Creator

        The “piracy is stealing” argument raises its head in the media every week and is on the lips of anti-piracy outfits and copyright holders every day. To them, every unauthorized copy is a lost sale and another small dent in the company spreadsheet which, when added to a million others, will destroy it bit by bit. To the maker of Minecraft, however, its an opportunity. Piracy is theft? You must be kidding. Lost sales? They don’t exist.

      • Portuguese Government Creates Honeypot To Combat Piracy

        In Portugal, a collaboration between a Ministry of Culture affiliated organization and the local music industry has resulted in a protocol that calls for such a honeypot, in order to shame, scare and threaten those who download music without authorization.

      • Leaving A Major Record Label… And Seeing How The Music Business Is Thriving

        A few years ago, after seeing Ethan Kaplan speak, I had suggested that Warner Music promote him. At the time, Ethan was VP of technology for Warner Bros. Music, one of Warner Music’s sub-labels. I’d followed Ethan’s writings for a while, but hearing him speak convinced me that he was definitely one of the folks inside a major record label who really understood where things were headed. There definitely are a few such folks mixed in here and there, but they’re not always easy to find, and they usually don’t get the attention they deserve within those labels. Warner Music didn’t promote him until sometime last year, when they moved him up to the parent company, Warner Music Group, but the company’s top management still never seemed to recognize quite what they had in Ethan in terms of his ability to recognize where the market was heading and how a major label could (and should) respond to those challenges. So it was disappointing, but of little surprise when he left Warner Music a month ago. I have little doubt he’s now in high demand from a variety of forward-looking companies doing technology stuff in the music space, and I imagine he’ll pop up somewhere interesting soon.

      • ACTA

        • Mexico: ACTA Public Hearings Kick Off

          The controversial Anti-Counterfeit Commercial Agreement –widely known as ACTA– is currently under discussion in the Mexican Senate in response to opposition from civil society to the way the treaty’s negotiation process is being conducted.

Clip of the Day

HTC Flyer Hands-on and Palm Rejection Test

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 4/3/2011: Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha 3, Firefox 4 Days Away

Posted in News Roundup at 3:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Sydney Linux group may merge with Linux Australia

    The Sydney Linux User Group may be wound up by the end of the month and function instead as a sub-committee of Linux Australia if a motion drafted by its president, James Polley, is passed at the AGM on March 25.

  • Weighting for Good Web Stats

    Now, China has a high usage of GNU/Linux compared to Canada or the USA but, if the client sites of Net Applications are more likely to be visited by businesses or organizations using XP than GNU/Linux, overweighting them could certainly exaggerate the tenacity of that other OS share.

  • Desktop

    • Dell Inspiron M101z review

      Dell’s latest netbook cum sub-notebook boasts the latest AMD technology and dual boots with Ubuntu. We’re still in shock, but have pulled ourselves together long enough to bring you a full review…

    • Linux Leaders: Debian and Ubuntu Derivative Distros

      Most of the netbook-centered choices are based upon Ubuntu, and emphasize social media and cloud computing. They include Aurora (formerly Eeebuntu), Easy Peasy, and Jolicloud.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • What is Your Favorite Desktop?

      KDE and GNOME were always the two top favorites. In 2005 KDE got 53% of the votes while GNOME received 27%. In 2008 KDE got 46% and GNOME 39%. Last month KDE earned 41% of the vote in contrast to GNOME which got 37%. We can conclude that for a while GNOME was catching up with KDE as it gained in popularity while KDE declined. This could probably be attributed to the rise of Ubuntu and the release of KDE 4. But the anomaly of GNOME’s recent slight recline could reflect on diminishing use of Ubuntu in response to their move to Unity or perhaps users are moving to other desktops again in response to the move to Unity. We can only speculate. However, it is interesting to note that the new addition, Unity, to the poll this year netted a 2% take. While that would make up the decrease in GNOME this year, KDE still decreased as well by 5%.

      The interesting numbers for KDE and GNOME make the third, fourth, and fifth placements even more relevant. Xfce came in third all three years of polling. In 2005 it got 8% of the vote, 6% in 2008, and 6% in 2011. So while it lost 2% between 2005 and 2008, it remained the same this year as it did in 2008. Could that 2% have moved to GNOME?

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Back to Basics with KDE 4

        After our review of KDE 4.6, we received a great deal of positive comments, but not all of them were sparkling assessments of KDE’s functionality. For that reason, I have decided to get back to the basics this week with a little how-to guide for KDE 3 users who may be reluctant to switch to KDE 4, Gnome or other desktop users who avoid KDE because of certain usability problems, and anyone who might be new to the software and its unique desktop interface.


        KDE also has a “Multiple Monitors” configuration that gives you extra settings for virtual desktops, screen maximization, and more.

      • KDE Commit Digest for 13 February 2011
      • Qt and the Future of KDE

        Qt remains the strong, cross-platform foundation of everything we do. Combined with KDE technologies, we believe Qt is the compelling framework for cross-platform software development. There has never been a better time to shape the future of computing. Join us and make that future a future that is free.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME 3 Beta: Ever So Slightly More Than a Pretty Face

        GNOME 3 still lacks its own applications dock. And the GNOME panel that lets you pin icons to it for quick launch is gone. So I use Avant Window Navigator for my comfort zone. I discovered early on that AWN is still going to be a vital part of my desktop navigation after the official upgrade to GNOME 3. See my review of AWN here.

        Even worse, the change to GNOME 3 disables Compiz, so all of the cool special effects — mostly desktop eye candy but still some nifty features — are left behind permanently, according to GNOME3.org.

        The new GNOME shell uses the Mutter window manager to provide its own style of eye-popping animation effects. Compiz is a compositing manager that can also be a window manager. It improves user interaction by adding fancy effects to the desktop windows. In layman’s terms, Mutter and Compiz are like oil and water. They do not mix.

      • Track Me! Just Track Me, GNOME Project!

        The upcoming GNOME 3 release will be making some controversial changes, such as removing the Window List from the panel making for a more “task-based environment” as they say, they’re also removing the Minimize and Maximize window control buttons and Desktop icons (at least at the moment that’s what it seems like.)

        These design changes along with some inflexible and controversial Power Management settings, more and more people are expressing disinterest in GNOME 3.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Kororaa GNU/Linux is back

        GNU/Linux distributions are like ships in the night – they come and go and sometimes disappear from sight altogether. Some last just a few months, while others, despite being the brainchild of a single individual, stay on for years and years.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • [p]review: Fedora 15 + GNOME 3.0, a skippable release

          So now that the Alpha release for Fedora 15 has been declared gold, all the features are in, only polish and bug fixing are to be applied until final, is the time for previews are reviews, it was also the time for me to look at the new default desktop and understand what is coming. The executive summary of my review is: from a desktop point of view, this is a release to skip, and I am not talking about the Alpha, but about F15 altogether.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian announces first South American Security Mirror

        The Debian project is proud to announce the availability of the first official security.debian.org mirror in South America. security.debian.org carries all the security updates of the stable and oldstable releases.

      • Spotlight on Linux: Debian GNU/Linux 6.0 “Squeeze”

        Rock solid stability, timely updates, and easy package management are top reasons Debian is used on a large number of desktops and laptops.

      • People behind Debian: Christian Perrier, translation coordinator

        Christian is a figure of Debian, not only because of the tremendous coordination work that he does within the translation project, but also because he’s very involved at the social level. He’s probably in the top 5 of the persons who attended most often the Debian conference.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu 11.10 Release Schedule

          The Ubuntu team is already planning for the release of Ubuntu 11.10, it will be released on the 6th of October 2011.

          Here is a list of dates when the Alpha and Beta versions will be released.

        • Ubuntu, the cloud OS

          We made a small flurry of announcements last week, all of which were related to cloud computing. I think it is worthwhile to put some context around Ubuntu and the cloud and explain a little more about where we are with this critical strategic strand for our beloved OS.

          First of all, the announcements. We announced the release of Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud on Dell servers. This is a hugely significant advance in the realm of internal cloud provision. It’s essentially formalising a lot of the bespoke work that Dell has done in huge data centres (based on a variety of OSes) and making similar technology available for smaller deployments. We attended the Dell sales summit in Las Vegas and we were very encouraged to meet with many of the Dell salespeople whose job it will be to deliver this to their customers. This is a big company, backing a leading technology and encouraging businesses to start their investigations of cloud computing in a very real way.

        • Open Letter to Ubuntu – fix the patching schedule

          We love the operating system. We use it almost exclusively at Yooter’s offices, but we do have one serious complaint.

          Over the past 6 months we have logged nearly daily updates to the linux based operating system. To the point where nearly every single day we have a new patch. We want to propose a change to the way Ubuntu patches the system.

        • Stepping down considerately

          I have started as an Ubuntu user in 2005, I have found it a promising project mostly because it was aimed at “humans” users, while most similar projects had still a greater focus on developers or development oriented aspects.
          Getting involved was easy, the developers could be found on IRC some of them more friendly than others but always there, a point of connection with the community.
          As soon I had some know-how I have started participating in the forums, each question was an opportunity for teaching, learning or improving, it was a great experience.

        • Interview: Ted Gould on Ubuntu Unity

          Linux Magazine’s Senior Software Editor Brockmeier, talks with Ted Gould of Canonical about the upcoming release of Ubuntu Unity. In this interview Ted touches on Unity’s UI design decisions, hardware drivers and bundled software.

        • Xnoise is a Fast, Lightwieght Music Player for Ubuntu

          Xnoise is a fast, lightweight and minimal music player for Ubuntu based on a unique track list queuing feature where users can drag and drop tracks or group of tracks from multiple albums/artists on a playlist.

          The layout is quite simple with a left sidebar that shows song artists and other metadata in a hierarchical structure and a right column that shows your playlist. Xnoise also comes with lots of plugins that bring Lastfm integration, native notifications support, album covers and the new Ubuntu sound menu integration.

        • Ratings&reviews “Was this review helpful?”
        • Thanks Ubuntu

          Nothing is free (as in beer). Somebody throughout the years has been sponsoring this: parents, universities, companies, individuals, etc. Who is paying bills for all the bandwidth, disk space, buildbots, that you have ever used? Surely it wasn’t yourself all the time.


          This “flame war” was actually very boring…

        • Introducing Overlay Scrollbars in Unity
        • Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha 3 Is Out [Screenshots And Video]
        • Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha 3 Released with Lots of New Features
        • Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha 3 Released – Overview and Screenshots

          Ubuntu 11.04 ‘Natty Narwhal’ Alpha 3 has been released today that brings many fixes, improvements and new features over the last Alpha 2. For Ubuntu 11.04, a feature freeze is already in place and Alpha 3 is first release after that.

        • Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha 3 released
        • Flavours and Variants

          • Bodhi Linux 0.1.6 RC2 – First Look and Initial Impressions

            My immediate reaction? I love the theme/profile selection. I love the tablet/netbook usability. I love how minimal/lightweight it is. Just a few things keep it from being 100% for me… click “Read More” below to watch the video and see why…

            If you’re interested in trying it out, head over to bodhilinux.com.

          • Kanotix 2011-03 Is Based on Debian 6 Squeeze

            Kanotix 2011-03 Hellfire has been released. The latest release of the KDE-based distro uses the recently launched Debian 6 Squeeze and adds a number of packages and fixes along with a modern kernel.

            Kanotix 2011-03 Hellfire uses the rather old, but stable, KDE SC 4.4.5, with some customizations, and introduces Libre Office 3.3.1 which replaces OpenOffice.org.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Saab demos in-car Android infotainment system with open API

      Saab Automobile unveiled an Android-based in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) concept supported by an open API and app store. The “Saab IQon” system is equipped with an eight-inch touchscreen, provides streaming multimedia, navigation, and on-board storage, and offers API access to more than 500 sensor signals that can be remotely relayed back to Saab dealerships.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Packt Publishing Supports Open Source by $300,000 (So far)

    You’ve probably noticed that I’ve reviewed a couple of books for Packt before; they asked me and I was happy to (I got a free book for my time and learned some new stuff). Last year I felt rather honoured when asked to be a judge on their popular Open Source Awards – In the Open Source E-Commerce Applications category.

  • Events

    • DrupalCon Chicago is Only Days Away–Focused on Design, Usability

      Here at OStatic, we’ve had good success running our site on the open source content management system (CMS) Drupal, and Drupal has been steadily spreading out, becoming popular at countless sites, and arriving as the publishing platform that many online newspapers and media outlets now favor. From March 7th to 11th, DrupalCon Chicago–a huge conference dedicated to the CMS–will be held, and there will be a special focus on design and user experience. Here are some of the details on the conference, and some useful Drupal resources and introductory materials that we’ve collected.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

    • Latest Releases of Karmasphere Products Further Hadoop Usability and Performance in the Enterprise
    • DMTF highlights demand for cloud license management relief

      Still, concerns and cost pains associated with license management are part of a theme that has been resonating among both customers and providers, and I believe it is among the primary drivers of open source in cloud computing. Open source is not only associated with cost savings, it is associated with greater ease and simplicity in licensing. After all, if you’re concerned about figuring out and paying for the cloud computing resources you use instead of taking advantage of those resources, you can always just use the free, unpaid software if it is open source. While there may well be similar licensing headaches awaiting customers of commercial open source software, the fact of the matter is open source does provide more flexibility and open source is no-doubt associated positively with cost savings, license management savings and general user empowerment.

      We also discussed the importance of license management and related open source advantages when we highlighted the year 2011 for Linux. In addition, the work of the DMTF and the issue of license management also plays into our recent take on the pillars of openness in today’s enterprise IT landscape.

  • Databases

    • 5 of the Best Relational Database Management System for Linux

      A Database Management System (DBMS) is described as a set of computer programs that manages the creation, maintenance, and administration of a database. It is a system software package that supports the use of unified collection of data records and files known as databases. A DBMS could utilize any of a variety of database models, such as the network model or relational model.

      A relational database management system (RDBMS) is a DBMS in which data is stored in the form of tables, and the relationship among the data is stored in the form of tables as well. Nowadays, majority of popular commercial and open-source databases are based on the relational database model.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Survey: Oracle bad for Java, MySQL (infographic)

      On March 3, database vendor EnterpriseDB is set to release the results of its survey conducted at the JavaOne conference last September in San Francisco.

      More than 600 IT professionals completed the survey, the results of which provide a bit of insight into community sentiment regarding Oracle’s control of open-source projects Java and MySQL.

    • Surprised? Survey Suggests Oracle Bad for Open Source

      Open source database vendor EnterpriseDB is taking the fight to database market leader Oracle via a survey showing that respondents generally don’t trust Oracle on prices, think Oracle is bad for Java and don’t really like Larry Ellison. Although EnterpriseDB acknowledges the survey — which was answered by more than 600 JavaOne conference attendees — is unscientific, the results do seem to mirror the thoughts on Oracle that pop up again and again in the IT press. And the infographic is fun.

    • LibreOffice Suite Features Unique to Open Source Community

      Lest anyone complain that the free-software world doesn’t offer enough choices, there are now two major open source office suites vying for the hearts and minds of choosy end users. But since both of these products — OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice — derive from the same codebase, what actually sets them apart? Here we take a look at a few features unique to LibreOffice.

    • Using Oracle Berkeley DB as a NoSQL Data Store
  • Business

    • Openbravo Introduces Agile ERP with Openbravo 3

      Openbravo, the leading web-based Open Source ERP provider, today released the next-generation of its flagship open source Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. Openbravo 3 introduces the concept of ‘Agile ERP’ to a software category known historically for bloat and cost overruns. Openbravo’s Agile ERP approach is a significant departure from mainstream ERP, which forces businesses to over-pay for massive, yet inflexible systems. Unlike today’s conventional ERP, organizations can deploy Openbravo in as little two weeks, then add modular functionality as the needs of their business evolve.

    • Semi-Open Source

  • BSD

    • PC-BSD 8.2 review

      PC-BSD is a desktop distribution based on FreeBSD. The latest stable release, PC-BSD 8.2, was made available for public download last month. This article presents a review of this latest release.

  • Project Releases

    • Spring GemFire 1.0.0 Released!

      I am pleased to announce that the first GA release of the Spring GemFire 1.0 project is now available for both Java and .NET! The Spring GemFire project aims to make it easier to build Spring-powered highly scalable applications using GemFire as distributed data management platform.

  • Government

    • German Open Source Experiment: Things Not Going To Plan

      Unfortunately, all of the reports that I have been able to find and translate lacked the precise details or hard figures that proved that Linux had failed. The forums and discussion threads on various sites are bubbling with comments hinting that Microsoft may have stepped in with huge financial incentives to switch. However, there have been no reports of a backlash from the workers themselves now that they are being to being moved back to Windows and other proprietary software, and we need to ask some tough questions about why.

    • FR: Candidats.fr initiative to raise election candidates’ awareness of free software

      In the light of the cantonal elections of 20 and 27 March 2011 in France, April, a non-profit organisation promoting and advocating free software, relaunched ‘Candidats.fr’, an initiative whose aim is to raise the future local councillors’ awareness of this software.

      The association wishes to advise local councillors on related issues, in particular open standards and the use of open free software in government and communities. For this purpose, April invites everyone to participate in the campaign by contacting candidates and encouraging them to sign the Free Software Pact.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Introducing PhiloGL: A WebGL Framework from Sencha Labs

      For some time now I’ve been working on a Sencha Labs project to build a WebGL framework and today I’m very proud to release it. It’s called PhiloGL and it’s intended for advanced data visualization, creative coding and game development.


  • Former Tory MPs speak out against Conservative ‘in-and-out’ scheme

    The Conservative party wanted them in, but they wanted out.

    Two former Tory MPs say they refused to join the party’s “in-and-out” election financing scheme, adding to the number of Conservatives who say they had misgivings about the system.

    Inky Mark, who resigned his Manitoba seat last year, said his staff was contacted by party officials during the 2006 election campaign. He said the officials asked of they could deposit several thousand dollars in his campaign account and withdraw it later to buy advertising.

  • Tories re-brand government in Stephen Harper’s name

    And lest anyone forgets, a directive went out to public servants late last year that “Government of Canada” in federal communications should be replaced by the words “Harper Government.”

  • Science

    • Bruce Winstein, physicist, 1943-2011
    • Fermilab releases a new version of Scientific Linux

      For more than 12 years, Fermilab has supplied thousands of individuals in the scientific community with the operating system that forms the foundation for their exploration of the universe’s secrets. The Linux operating system produced at Fermilab enabled the laboratory, and other high-energy physics institutions to build large physics data analysis clusters using affordable, commercially available computers.

      The newest version of the Scientific Linux is now available.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Battle rages over Libyan oil port

      The Libyan air force has bombed the oil refinery and port town of Marsa El Brega as battles between forces loyal and against Muammar Gaddafi continued to rage in several towns across the North African country.

      “We just watched an air force jet … fly over Brega and drop at least one bomb and huge plumes of smoke are now coming out,” Al Jazeera’s Tony Birtley said on Wednesday.

    • Police services review of G20 moves to next phase

      The Toronto Police Services Board’s investigation of the G20 summit has concluded its research phase and will now move into the interview stage of the process.

      This update was provided Thursday at a police board meeting at police headquarters on College St. The civilian review, headed by retired judge John W. Morden, will scrutinize policing issues surrounding the G20 summit this June, which saw 1,105 people arrested.

    • Tories rebrand Gov’t of Canada as ‘Harper Gov’t’
    • Ivory Coast on brink of civil war as seven women killed at protest march

      Seven women have been massacred during a peaceful protest in Ivory Coast as the country appeared to stand on the brink of all-out civil war.

      More than 200,000 people have fled, and the nation that was once a model of stability in west Africa is now experiencing bloodshed and economic meltdown.

    • Not $1 more

      Despite all the tough talk, neither the President nor the Congress are proposing to cut overall spending on war and weapons. In fact, BOTH parties are still talking about an INCREASE in spending for the Pentagon, which already gets more than 50% of all the money Congress votes on, and that doesn’t even *count* the money for the actual wars.

  • Cablegate

    • Lawyer: Bradley Manning Left Naked In Jail Cell

      A lawyer for Bradley Manning, the Army private charged with passing along secret government files to WikiLeaks, said Manning had been stripped naked in his Quantico, Virginia, jail cell for seven hours Wednesday. Manning’s lawyer, David Coombs, said Manning was only given his clothes Thursday morning after being required to stand outside of his cell naked after an inspection. First Lt. Brian Villiard, a Marine spokesman, said a brig duty supervisor had ordered Manning’s clothes taken from him, and said it would be “kind of inappropriate” to explain what exactly happened. Manning is being held as a maximum security detainee and is confined to his cell for 23 hours a day. One of Manning’s friends, David House, said Thursday that he had visited Manning the previous weekend and the soldier’s mental condition is deteriorating as a result of his prison conditions. Manning is also under suicide watch.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Coal safe come ‘hell, high water’

      STATE Treasurer Kim Wells has vowed to protect Victoria’s brown coal competitive advantage ”come hell or high water”, warning he will not put at risk hundreds of thousands of jobs that rely on cheap power.

      In an interview with The Age, Mr Wells also said the government had not yet decided whether Victoria would sign up to the federal government’s carbon tax, but would honour a commitment to cut state greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent over the next decade.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Regulators Reject Proposal That Would Bring Fox-Style News to Canada

      As America’s middle class battles for its survival on the Wisconsin barricades — against various Koch Oil surrogates and the corporate toadies at Fox News — fans of enlightenment, democracy and justice can take comfort from a significant victory north of Wisconsin border. Fox News will not be moving into Canada after all! The reason: Canada regulators announced last week they would reject efforts by Canada’s right wing Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, to repeal a law that forbids lying on broadcast news.

  • Civil Rights

    • US Supreme Court: 1st Amendment Shields Westboro Baptist Church – The Decision as Text – Updated

      The US Supreme Court has just ruled [PDF] that the First Amendment shields Westboro Baptist Church from tort liability for picketing at military funerals. The case centered on whether the “speech is of public or private concern, as determined by all the circumstances of the case.” The court held that it was public speech, and hence protected. Because it’s a controversial case, and the opinion is a narrow one with a vigorous dissenting opinion by Judge Samuel Alito, I thought it would be useful to do a text version for you so you can understand the nuances.

  • DRM

    • Impoundment Issues and an Agreement on “Narrowed” Subpoenas in SCEA v. Hotz – Updated

      The parties in SCEA v. Hotz have been trying to work out their differences about the impoundment protocol. The parties can’t agree, so they have written a joint letter to the magistrate judge, Judge Joseph Spero, laying out their conflicting positions. If you recall, the presiding judge, Hon. Susan Illston, told the parties to work these things out with the magistrate judge. So this is following up with that directive.

      The parties have reach an agreement on the scope of the third-party subpoenas on Bluehost, Twitter, Google, YouTube, Softlayer and such regarding jurisdictional discovery that Sony feels it needs to counter George Hotz’s Motion to Dismiss. Or more exactly, SCEA says they have reached agreement. The parties still don’t agree on subpoena to Paypal, an issue already before the court.

Clip of the Day

Unboxing the HTC Desire HD/Inspire 4G

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 3/3/2011: Linux 2.6.38 RC7 and

Posted in News Roundup at 5:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • Full migration to Linux

      These users now use Evolution as your mail client and OpenOffice as office suite, all running on Linux Fedora 14, and with some benefits own Linux networks…

  • Ballnux

    • HTC Magic / T-Mobile G1 gets Honeycomb port, Android past and future fused together (video)

      The original gangster of Android, T-Mobile’s G1, just refuses to quietly fade into the annals of history. Even in spite of its long overdue end of retail life last summer, the handset continues to see support from grassroots modders and tweakers, with the latest project being the most ambitious of them all: an Android Honeycomb port. A pair of xda members have succeeded in splicing Android’s most senior hardware with its very latest software and the results are available to see on video after the break. As usual with these builds, half of the phone’s functions have still to be enabled and the UI lag seems like it’ll be a permanent feature whatever happens, but still — it’s Honeycomb on the G1!

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 2.6.38-rc7
    • A New, Unique Linux Hardware Blog

      If you’re a Linux enthusiast and/or a computer hardware enthusiast, a new blog has launched this morning that definitely should be of interest to you.

      This new blog focuses upon benchmarks, performance testing, new hardware launches, computing trends, Linux software performance, etc. It’s the OpenBenchmarking.org blog. But before wondering if it’s just a Phoronix blog or something else mundane, it is not. In fact, it’s based upon community content and test results. The blog’s content, in fact, is mostly auto-generated.

    • Yocto Project Aligns Technology with OpenEmbedded and Gains Corporate Collaborators

      The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced that the Yocto Project will align with the OpenEmbedded community to advance embedded Linux. The Linux Foundation today is also announcing a variety of new companies that are participating in these embedded Linux efforts.

      The Yocto Project is merging technology with the OpenEmbedded community and extending governance to include OpenEmbedded representatives. In addition, the projects are planning to share a common OpenEmbedded Core consisting of software build recipes and core Linux components, preventing fragmentation and reinforcing the OpenEmbedded methodology as an open standard for embedded Linux build systems.

    • Stable kernel
    • Linux
    • Glamorous pictures?

      The event last weekend was a “no cameras” event, and while we’ll have pictures, I don’t have them yet.

      And I think I’ll keep them private when we get them – no need to embarrass the beautiful people any more than we already did.

      So to make up for that, here’s a glamorous shot from about seventeen years ago that maddog (on the left) found the other day. It’s from DECUS, New Orleans, 1994.

    • Graphics Stack

      • The Mesa S3TC External Library Hits Version 1.0.0

        For those that use libtxc_dxtn, the external S3TC library to Mesa to provide S3 Texture Compression support, version 1.0.0 is now available.

      • Intel Is Readying The xf86-video-intel 2.15 Driver

        With it nearing the end of the quarter, Intel’s OSTC team working on their Linux graphics driver stack is readying their quarterly driver update. Along with the Linux 2.6.38 kernel and Mesa 7.11 as some of the key components to make up this quarter’s Linux package, the xf86-video-intel 2.15.0 X.Org driver will also be released. In preparing for this milestone, Chris Wilson has released the first development snapshot of this DDX driver.

      • Mesa 7.10.1, Mesa 7.9.2 Stable Releases

        While there are already lots of exciting work within Mesa’s Git master repository for Mesa 7.11 within core and classic Mesa along with the Gallium3D area, for those users sticking to stable releases, Intel’s Ian Romanick has announced the releases of Mesa 7.9.2 and 7.10.1.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Call for Participation

      The Desktop Summit 2011 is a joint conference organised by the GNOME and KDE communities in Berlin, Germany from the 6th August 2011 to the 12th August 2011. Held annually in cities around Europe, GUADEC and Akademy are the world’s largest gatherings of those involved with the free desktop or mobile user interfaces. Developers, artists, translators, community organisers, users, and representatives from government, education, and businesses and anyone else who shares an interest are welcome. GNOME and KDE are Free Software communities that drive the user interfaces of many Linux-powered devices, ranging from smartphones to laptops, or personal media centers. This year, for the second time, both communities have decided to organise a single, joint conference expecting over a thousand participants, covering both projects as well as related technologies.

    • Zeitgeist proceedings for GNOME 3.0, Unity and KDE

      Currently the Zeitgeist team is back from a short hiatus after the successful hackfest, leading to a release of Zeitgeist and all the belonging modules as part of the 0.8 cycle on the 15th of March.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Fitts Is An Interesting “Big Buttons” Metacity Theme

        Fitts is a new Metacity theme created by albyrock87 (Alberto) who’s also behind the cool new Avant Window Navigator Lucido style and also a Synapse developer. The theme is based on a mockup by rAX and is designed to use big buttons so they are easy to click.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Follow Mageia calendar and stay tuned!

        Mageia now provides a calendar so that you can follow everything happening in the project. For now, we’ll use Google Calendar as it was fast to set up but later we will switch to a self-hosted calendar.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Upstart 1.0 “This is a fertile land, and we will thrive” released

          The trouble with a “1.0″ release is that the temptation is for that version to be the one with all the features you want when your users want it to be stable. This is a 1.0 release of the latter kind, based on the 0.6.x code that was shipped in both the most recent Ubuntu LTS and RedHat Enterprise Linux releases. If you’re running Upstart anywhere right now, it’s highly recommended that you update to this version, there shouldn’t be any surprises!

        • Upstart 1.0 released
        • Ayatana overlay scrollbars: something truly Natty

          A wit said of Google Wave “if your project depends on reinventing scrollbars, you are doing something wrong.” But occasionally, just occasionally, one gets to do exactly that.

          Under the Ayatana banner, we’ve been on a mission to make the desktop have less chrome and more content. The goal is to help people immerse themselves in their stuff, without being burdened with large amounts of widgetry which isn’t relevant to the thing they are trying to concentrate on. And when it comes to widgetry, there are few things left which take up more space than scrollbars.

        • Unity To Get Overlay Scrollbars!
        • Flavours and Variants

          • Linux Mint 11 “Katya” to use GNOME 3

            Linux Mint Founder and lead developer Clement Lefebvre has announced that the next major release of his Ubuntu-based Linux distribution will feature the GNOME 3.0 desktop environment, which is expected to be finalised on the 6th of April. According to Lefebvre, unlike Canonical’s Ubuntu, Linux Mint 11, code named “Katya”, will not use Unity, instead opting for GNOME 3 “using a traditional desktop layout” without the GNOME Shell.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo/Maemo

        • Widelands for MeeGo Tablet

          This is Widelands patched for touchscreen friendly UI.
          It’s running on Lenovo Ideapad with MeeGo 1.1.90 and Cordia on top.

          I originally made the touchscreen Widelands wersion for Maemo 5 and as you can see it runs just fine on MeeGo.

        • [MeeGo-dev] tablet release…

          Hi everyone… I know there are a lot of questions about the open sourcing of the meego tablet pre-alpha that was shown couple of weeks ago… I just want to let you know that we are planning on open sourcing the tablet UX code in the next few weeks. This was planned to go open source at the same time we showed it, but given few complications, we had to delay this a bit…

        • Nokia strategy for MeeGo after Microsoft partnership

          MeeGoExperts has an overview of MeeGo-tablet 1.2 UX: The MeeGo Tablet User Interface (UI) is different to most tablet manufacturers as it does not have a wall of icons or widgets, but alternatively has a series of panes. Each Pane can be assigned a particular category such as Photos / Video / Music or Twitter. We can see these also being used for additional business functionality such as Email and Calendar as well as other social networking clients.

        • Come and get em, More updates to MeeGo 1.1 and 1.0

          The MeeGo team have released two MeeGo Software updates, including the 3rd update for MeeGo v1.1 Core, Netbook, and In-Vehicle and also the 7th update for MeeGo v1.0 Core and Netbook.

        • How Much Will MeeGo Cost Nokia: Can It Afford Not to Pay?

          Nokia’s new strategy to use Microsoft’s software is both plan A and B for the Finnish handset maker, but plan C may stand for “costly.” The company is reportedly paying out bonuses to keep developing its MeeGo platform. Today’s Mobile Business Briefing blog says salary increases and bonuses are going to developers and engineers in the MeeGo area in order to maintain progress on the first MeeGo handset, dubbed the N950. Although Nokia has announced plans to use Windows Phone 7 on future smartphones, the company officially committed to delivering at least one MeeGo product this year.

        • Initial work on porting GNUstep over N900
        • Meego qtdemos tegra2
        • QmlBook
      • Android

        • 5 Incredible Android Tablets Showcased at Mobile World Congress 2011

          Mobile World Congress 2011 was quite literally overwhelmed by the sheer number of new Android OS based devices. Among the devices, the ones who completely stole the limelight were the Tablets. Almost all major hardware manufacturer has a Tablet in the pipeline and most of them are running open source Android OS. Here we are going to feature some of the best and most promising Android based Tablets unveiled at Mobile World Congress 2011.

        • Android developers form ‘union’ to protest Google policies

          A group of Android developers have formed the Android Developers Union, a movement that intends to protest Google’s Android Market policies.

          The group has made seven demands and claims that its members will, if demands are not met, move to other platforms and attempt to dissuade fellow developers from working with the Android platform. Among the Android Developers Union’s demands are a renegotiation of the 32% Google cut on applications sold through the store, more payment options and public bug tracking.

        • Google TV to get Android Market access “shortly”

          W00t! A platform-specific version of the popular Android Market is expected to arrive on Google TV sometime in the very near future.

”It will happen shortly,” Logitech VP Ashish Arora confirmed during a OTTCon keynote speech.

        • Android Marketplace coming to Google TV soon, what apps would you want?

          With the news about Android tablets coming these days, it might have been easy to forget that Google TV still exists, and it turns out GTV is about to get a big boost. At the Over-the-Top TV Conference (OTTCon) in San Jose yesterday, Ashish Arora,?the VP and general manager of Logitech’s Digital Home Group (of which GTV is part), was asked about the Android Market on GTV.?He didn’t give an exact time frame, but he said that the Android Market would “definitely” be on GTV this year, and that it would likely happen in the “very short term”.

        • Google kills 21 Trojan apps in the Android Market that were stealing data

          We’ve heard various reports of malevolent apps in the Market over the last couple of years, but the malware in question has rarely posed any real threat and few users have been affected. This particular piece of malicious code, however, seems to have been unusually cunning and insidious.

          Apparently, someone stole 21 well-received apps, infused them with root exploits and then republished the applications in the Market under different names. In just four days, the hijacked apps were downloaded between 50 000 – 200 000 times.

        • The unofficial list of Honeycomb optimized applications [from the forums]

          After unboxing your Motorola Xoom last week, and playing around with all the Honeycomb goodness that it brought to your life, the time to find some fun apps has come, and we want to help you out.

        • ZeptoLab’s popular puzzle game Cut the Rope is coming soon to Android

          Cut the Rope is an addictive puzzle game with cutesy graphics and sound effects in the same vein as Angry Birds. By slashing ropes and coming up with clever ways to use the game’s physics engine, you need to avoid various enemies and obstacles in order to bring the candy to a creature called “Om Nom.” Just like Angry Birds, the game also lets you collect stars.

        • Japan Phone Makers See Opportunity in Android

          Japanese mobile phones are a gadget lover’s dream. They double as credit cards. They can display digital TV broadcasts. Some are even fitted with solar cells.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • The Humanitarian FOSS Symposium 2011
    • Join us at the Reader Round Table!

      Can you get to Bath, south-west England by 7pm on Wednesday 30th March? Do you want to chat about Linux and free software with other Linux fans in a nice pub? Let us know. We’re planning to organise a Linux Format reader (and TuxRadar podcast listener) get-together where we chew over big topics in the Linux world, and put the results in our magazine.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Add-ons Review Update – Week of 2011/03/01
      • Announcing Add-on SDK 1.0b3

        The Jetpack team is pleased to announce the release of Add-on SDK 1.0b3. This version, the third in the series of beta releases of Mozilla’s downloadable software development kit for building Firefox add-ons, includes better documentation, new features, and a bunch of bug fixes.

      • Thunderbird 3.1.8 Update is Now Available
      • Firefox 3.6.14 and 3.5.17 security updates now available

        Firefox 3.6.14 and Firefox 3.5.17 are now available as free downloads for Windows, Mac, and Linux from http://firefox.com. As always, we recommend that users keep up to date with the latest stability and support versions of Firefox, and encourage all our users to upgrade to the very latest version, Firefox 3.6.14.

      • Test add-on features, Hackasaurus, Build a virtual park, Game on spotlight and more…

        In this issue…

        * Test add-ons related features this Friday
        * Firefox for mobile now with more power
        * Help us build a Virtual Park
        * Mozilla Game on spotlight: Far7
        * Hackasaurus in Long Beach!
        * Next MDN Doc Sprint: April 1-2
        * Meet Mozillian Karsten Düsterloh
        * Software updates
        * Upcoming events
        * Community calendar
        * About about:mozilla

      • Is Mozilla Open-By-Rule?

        Host to the Firefox browser and the Thunderbird mail client among many other projects, the Mozilla Foundation is one of the largest and most significant open source projects. Long-term contributor and employee Gervase Markham has kindly provided the data for an open-by-rule scorecard for Mozilla.

      • Firefox and Thunderbird security updates
      • Knowledge Base Days – Preparing for Firefox 4
      • Firefox 4 RC expected to ship roughly on March 9

        Mozilla is planning to spin the first release candidate for Firefox 4 this Friday and the code is aimed to be released to beta testers as early as next Wednesday, March 9, developers said during a call today.

      • Mozilla’s Comments in Response to the FTC’s Inquiry on Privacy

        Last week Mozilla submitted comments to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission in response to their request for comment on a proposal describing a new framework for protecting consumer privacy in both online and offline environments. The FTC sought input on a broad range of of issues from online privacy protections for children to the blending of distinctions between PII and non-PII. More than 400 comments were submitted from a wide array of interests including individuals, consumer groups, advocacy coalitions, advertisers, social networks and all kinds of service providers. You can see the complete list here. It’s worth reading a few of these to get a sense of the discourse (i.e. Future of Privacy Forum, Facebook, CDT, and US Chamber of Commerce)

      • Wiki Wednesday: March 2, 2011
      • Updated Skype Toolbar Extension Available

        On January 20th, 2011, the Skype Toolbar extension was added to Firefox’s add-on blocklist for causing Firefox to crash and imparting a significant performance hit on DOM manipulation. We’ve been in contact with Skype since that time, and have provided information to identify the crashes our users are seeing, along with suggested methods to reduce the performance impacts of their extension.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Government

    • Open Source by Any Other Name…

      Now, in a 100-page report, those two paragraphs might seem to be rather thin gruel, but actually I’m not too worried by this apparently perfunctory dismissal of open source and its virtues. Because it turns out that the entire report is essentially an espousal of precisely those virtues, albeit without fully admitting that fact.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Launching the Open Genealogy Alliance

      Open Rights Group has co-founded the Open Genealogy Alliance in order to start looking at an alternative future for the sector based on open data, open standards and innovation through collaboration across the public, private and voluntary sectors.

    • Videoing council meetings redux: progress on two fronts

      Tonight, hyperlocal bloggers (and in fact any ordinary members of the public) got two great boosts in their access to council meetings, and their ability to report on them.

    • Open Data

      • Introducing FigShare: a new way to share open scientific data

        FigShare is being developed with the great work done by the Open Knowledge Foundation in mind. Ongoing converstaions with them about their CKAN project mean that we are all pulling in the same direction, and all data stored witin FigShare will be listed on a new CKAN science group.

      • Open Government Data in Slovakia

        When we started to build a data catalogue of all possible flows of public finances to the private sphere in 2003, we had no idea it would be a perfect fit with the open data movement’s efforts. As former journalists, we simply saw the great advantage of having all kinds of public data (freely accessible thanks to the freedom of information act) brought together in a searchable database format. After years of FOIA requests and litigation, Fair-Play Alliance now offers the most comprehensive catalogue in Slovakia. We track flows of public money (subsidies, tenders, EU funding, grants, tax pardons, political sponsorship etc), as well as information on people in the public domain (e.g. elected officials, management of state institutions or state controlled companies, advisors in politics).

    • Open Access/Content

      • Project Gutenberg adds their 40,000th free eBook!

        Project Gutenberg, the granddaddy of all eBook libraries, announced today they have put number 40,000 of internally produced free eBooks online as of March 1st.

        This raises their grand total to 100,000, as they receive a number of eBooks from other producers worldwide. These figures even subtract 15,000 for various duplications.

      • State of the Art: Public Access to Publicly Funded Educational Materials

        In the U.S. and around the world, there’s been increasing interest from policymakers in exploring the benefits of publicly funded open educational resources (OER). OER are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others.

  • Programming

    • RStudio: An Open Source and Cross-Platform IDE for R

      RStudio a is free and open source IDE for R programmers. It’s available for Linux, OSX and Windows – and you can run it from the Web. It’s built with HTML and JavaScript and looks pretty slick. You can find it on Github here.

      According to the RStudio blog, the team plans to monetize the product by selling services such as support, training, consulting and hosting.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • W3C Launches HTML5 Chinese Interest Group

      W3C has launched the HTML5 Chinese Interest Group, whose mission is to facilitate focused discussion in Chinese of the HTML5 specification and of specifications closely related to HTML5, to gather comments and questions in Chinese about those specifications, to collect information about specific use cases in Chinese speaking region for technologies defined in those specifications, and to report the results of its activities as a group back to the HTML Working Group, as well as to other relevant groups and to the W3C membership and community. Learn more in the charter (available in Chinese as well), join the Interest Group, and learn more about the W3C HTML Activity.

    • Beyond HTML5 – Peer-to-peer conversational video

      We’ve in a previous blog post shown you our work on conversational voice and video using “beyond HTML5″ solutions. In that work we used websockets and a media relay to route streams between peers. Now we’d like to show you how we have extended this to use peer-to-peer streaming.

      Peer-to-peer streaming means that voice/video frames are streamed directly between peers, without any server in between. The effect is lower latency and more efficient network utilization. Up until now, however, web browsers have lacked the capability to communicate peer-to-peer. Instead, communication has traditionally relied on a shared relay server in the network.


  • The Very Rich Indie Writer

    Amanda Hocking is 26* years old. She has 9 self-published books to her name, and sells 100,000+ copies of those ebooks per month. She has never been traditionally published. This is her blog. And it’s no stretch to say – at $3 per book1/70% per sale for the Kindle store – that she makes a lot of money from her monthly book sales. (Perhaps more importantly: a publisher on the private Reading2.0 mailing list has said, to effect: there is no traditional publisher in the world right now that can offer Amanda Hocking terms that are better than what she’s currently getting, right now on the Kindle store, all on her own.)

  • How can news sites cross the language barrier and appeal to foreign readers?

    In August 2010, the Audit Bureau of Circulation published figures from the first half of the year. While there were several magazines that managed to hold steady with circulation, the industry as a whole saw a 2.3% drop. One magazine that has consistently bucked this trend is The Economist. While other news weeklies like Time and Newsweek have shed swaths of readers over the last few years, The Economist’s sales have nearly doubled in the last decade. There are no-doubt multiple reasons for this widespread appeal, but I’d posit that the magazine has benefited greatly from the fact that it is one of the only publications that deals with a scarcity in news.

    In their pre-Internet heyday, general newsweeklies like Time and Newsweek were able to provide an overview of the previous week’s national news. The average news consumer in Portland, Oregon didn’t have ready access to news in Virginia, for instance, and so these publications produced a quick spread of the nation’s domestic affairs. These days, of course, a consumer from Portland can easily follow a link to a story in the Richmond Times Dispatch, a story that would provide much more comprehensive coverage of Virginia affairs than Time or Newsweek ever could. As Om Malik detailed recently at Gigaom, the internet is creating an unbundling of content, where a publication’s content is only as good as its most visited article. With this new media ecosystem, the Newsweeks and Times of the world have to compete with every other US-based publication, driving down their worth.

  • BBC Multimedia Journalism Head Clifton Redundant

    BBC News Online is to lose one of its most experienced journalism executives, when Pete Clifton is made redundant next month.

  • Recap: A Practically Radical webcast with Bill Taylor and Polly LaBarre

    Bill Taylor, the co-founder and editor of Fast Company magazine, joined us for today’s edition of our Open Your World Forum series to talk about his new book, Practically Radical. Bill was joined by Polly LaBarre, the co-author of his earlier book, Mavericks at Work: Why the Most Original Minds in Business Win. Polly was also a part of the original Fast Company team and served as senior editor for nearly a decade. Like Mavericks, Practically Radical is already a Wall Street Journal bestseller.

    “Bill undertook a multi-year journey doing what he does best, which is exploring and scouring the world for the organizations and individuals that are setting the stage for the future,” Polly said. He sought the answers for companies and leaders who are looking to change their organizations in a meaningful way. How do you lead your industry, and how do you conduct yourself as a leader?

  • How did Google lose, and find, all those e-mails?

    Tens of thousands of Google e-mail users got a shock early this week: All of their e-mails and contacts disappeared.

    Google said Monday night that it was in the process of restoring all of these messages, however. “We’re very sorry,” the company said in a blog post.

    The burning question here is, how did Google lose all of these e-mails, and how was the company able to get them all back, if they in fact were lost?

  • Science

    • Giving children the power to be scientists

      Children who are taught how to think and act like scientists develop a clearer understanding of the subject, a study has shown.

      The research project led by The University of Nottingham and The Open University has shown that school children who took the lead in investigating science topics of interest to them gained an understanding of good scientific practice.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Mexican Drug Lord Officially Thanks American Lawmakers For Keeping Drugs Illegal

      Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera reported head of the Sinaloa cartel in Mexico, ranked 701st on Forbes’ yearly report of the wealthiest men alive, and worth an estimated $1 billion, today officially thanked United States politicians for making sure that drugs remain illegal. According to one of his closest confidants, he said, “I couldn’t have gotten so stinking rich without George Bush, George Bush Jr., Ronald Reagan, even El Presidente Obama, none of them have the cajones to stand up to all the big money that wants to keep this stuff illegal. From the bottom of my heart, I want to say, Gracias amigos, I owe my whole empire to you.”

    • Dear Rep. Franklin: I Submit My Used Tampons as Evidence

      I applaud your efforts to support the rights of zygote citizens of Georgia by criminalizing miscarriages and investigating every instance of fetal death as a potential crime. The bill you are trying to pass is clear that the Georgia State Assembly knows that life begins at the moment of conception, and that any fertilized egg that dies is a human death that we should all grieve. I couldn’t agree more, and I would like to help.

      As I’m sure you know, more than 50% of fertilized eggs –Georgia citizens! — naturally don’t implant, and are flushed out of the body during menstruation. I am personally concerned that my own murdering woman-body may have flushed out some human beings, and I may have flushed them down the toilet without knowing that I was disposing of Georgia citizens in such an undignified way. This must be remedied. I would like to be sure that I am not killing any more Georgia citizens — and that if I am, they are able to receive a proper funeral and not a burial at sea, and that our state police can dedicate valuable time and resources to investigating their deaths.

    • Don’t swallow this pill

      Are the European Union and its multinational pharmaceutical companies now pressuring the Indian prime minister’s office? In recent months, as negotiators from India and Europe have been thrashing out the details of a free trade agreement to be signed within months, people living with HIV have been hitting the streets. From New Delhi to Nairobi and Brussels to Bangkok, they have been protesting against the very real threat posed to India’s ability to supply life-saving generic medicines to people across the developing world.

      Publicly, both sides have assured that the trade deal will not harm access to the affordable generic medicines, and have reiterated, as if by rote, the primacy of people’s health over economic interests. But the Indian press now reports that the PMO, under pressure to conclude the deal, has asked the concerned government department to reconsider intellectual property (IP) provisions it had earlier rejected.

    • Glaxo Gets Its Day in Court

      Yesterday, lawyers for GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK) made opening statements in its lawsuit against competitor Abbott Labs (NYSE: ABT). Glaxo and its co-plaintiffs, Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD) and CVS Caremark (NYSE: CVS), have alleged damages of $1.5 billion and are seeking triple damages of $4.5 billion in the case.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Egypt: Stop Military Trials of Civilians

      Egyptian military authorities should stop using military tribunals to prosecute civilians, Human Rights Watch said today. The military should also halt detentions of peaceful demonstrators and end violence by soldiers against protesters and detainees, Human Rights Watch said.

    • Arabs may impose Libya no-fly zone

      The Arab League has said it may impose a “no fly” zone on Libya in co-ordination with the African Union if fighting continues in Libya.

      Wednesday’s Arab League ministers’ meeting in Cairo rejected any direct outside military intervention in Libya, where Muammar Gaddafi is trying to put down a revolt threatening his four decades in power. They reiterated their condemnation of his use of force.

    • U.S.-led coalition admits it killed 9 Afghan boys in error

      Troops in attack helicopters that belong to the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan mistakenly killed nine boys Tuesday with machine-gun and rocket fire as they collected firewood, thinking that the children were Taliban insurgents, the international forces acknowledged Wednesday.

      U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus, who heads the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, ordered all field commanders and helicopter crew members to study their orders again on when coalition aircraft can open fire on people on the ground.

    • How The Great Game emptied the Pentagon

      In April 2009, The Great Game opened at the Tricycle theatre in London, and last year we revived the production and took it on a US tour. Before leaving for America, General Sir David Richards, then head of the British army, hosted a day-long performance for the British military. Taking to the stage, he said that, had he seen these plays before going to Afghanistan in 2005, they “would have made me a much better commander”.

      He told me he would do his best to ensure that people from the Pentagon saw it. We opened in Washington in September, and the production was warmly welcomed, but our fortnight’s run was ignored by the Pentagon and Capitol Hill – until a few days before its end, when a congresswoman was asked by General Petraeus, in Kabul, to send him a tape of the plays. Then, on the last Saturday performance, General “Mick” Nicholson came. He was incredibly enthusiastic and asked to meet the cast. He was about to be posted to Kabul as head of operations for Petraeus, and thought it vital that more people from the Pentagon saw the plays.

    • Plan to cut police pay slammed by federation

      Home Secretary Theresa May’s warning that police officers face cuts to their pay and conditions undermines the independence of a review and will attack officers’ morale, the Police Federation said today.

      Simon Reed, vice-chairman of the organisation which represents rank-and-file officers in England and Wales, said it was clear the Home Secretary undervalues the work of the police, despite her claims to the contrary.

      “Officers will see straight through that,” he said.

    • Qaddafi Military Spending Below Sweden, Leaves Authority Gap

      In a region with a history of rulers who strengthened their armies to keep a grip on power, Muammar Qaddafi has been doing the opposite.

      Qaddafi spent an average 1.2 percent of gross domestic product on the military in the three years through 2008, the lowest in the Middle East and North Africa and also less than Sweden or Denmark, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute or Sipri, which tracks defense spending. Before it was split by an uprising that started last month, Libya’s army had 50,000 men, half of them draftees, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

    • Plagiarism: The Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V boom

      A German minister has resigned after copying huge chunks of his doctoral thesis, while the London School of Economics is probing whether Colonel Gaddafi’s son lifted chunks and used a ghost writer for his own. So is plagiarism out of control?

    • Nine Afghan Boys Collecting Firewood Killed by NATO Helicopters

      Nine boys collecting firewood to heat their homes in the eastern Afghanistan mountains were killed by NATO helicopter gunners who mistook them for insurgents, according to a statement on Wednesday by NATO, which apologized for the mistake.

    • WikiLeaks Trying To Make It Appear Like U.S. Troops Are Intentionally Murdering Iraqi Civilians
    • Calls to punish those behind Standard Group raid

      Renewed calls to have those behind the infamous Standard Group raid of March 2006 brought to account were made as the media house marked the fifth anniversary of the attack.

      Five years ago, heavily armed and hooded mercenaries hired by individuals in Government attacked the Group’s premises in Nairobi, burned newspapers, and confiscated KTN equipment that are still under police custody.

      Imenti Central MP Gitobu Imanyara, Senior Counsel Paul Muite, and Kenya National Commission on Human Rights Commissioner Hassan Omar, who were among special guests, called for an end to impunity and action against those named in a report, which Parliament adopted last November.

  • Cablegate

    • Bradley Manning Charged with “Aiding the Enemy”

      Both MSNBC and Marc Ambinder are reporting that the government is issuing new charges against Bradley Manning. Now that the government’s case against Julian Assange is falling apart, the Pentagon is ratcheting up the pressure on Manning by charging him with “aiding the enemy.”

    • Manning faces new charges, possible death penalty

      Following an intensive seven-month investigation, the Army on Wednesday filed 22 additional charges against Pfc. Bradley Manning, accused of illegally downloading tens of thousands of classified U.S. military and State Department documents that were then publicly released by WikiLeaks, military officials tell NBC News.

    • The Syrian regime could be the next Middle Eastern domino to fall

      With the Tunisian and Egyptian regimes gone and street protests roiling cities from Algiers to Tehran, many people are now wondering which domino might fall next. Syria, whose secular, militarized dictatorship most closely resembles the fallen regimes of Tunisia and Egypt, may not be next in line, but appears nonetheless to be approaching a tipping point.

      Of course, the old “domino theory” in international relations was only a crude way of emphasizing that different parts of any region are linked to each other. For today’s Arab world, a better metaphor might be a chessboard, from which the removal of even a pawn inevitably alters the relationships among all the other pieces.

    • WikiLeaks cables expose Peruvian politicians’ subservience to Washington

      Two weeks ago, El Comercio, Peru’s most influential newspaper, began publishing secret cables from the US embassy in Lima released by of WikiLeaks. What has been released so far reveals the degree of submission and dependency on US imperialism by all the major political parties of the Peruvian bourgeoisie.

      The day after El Comercio made public its possession of 4,000 pages of WikiLeaks cables, Washington’s ambassador to Peru, Rose Likins, visited the director of the newspaper Francisco Miró Quesada, to express “her concern over the publication of the embassy documents, which are labeled as classified by the US Department of State,” said El Comercio. “It is uncomfortable,” added ambassador Likins, “to be in this situation.”

      Miró Quesada assured the ambassador that his intention was not to dig into US internal affairs and that the newspaper “would not put in danger the honor or the integrity of people who could feel threatened,” reported El Comercio.

    • Confinement Conditions Persist

      Despite a change in command at the Quantico Brig, PFC Manning remains in maximum custody and under prevention of injury watch. On January 19, 2011, the defense filed an Article 138 complaint with the Quantico base commander, Colonel Daniel Choike.

    • Laws ‘aimed to limit’ Chinese investments

      The embassy report on MrColmer’s remarks, titled “New Foreign Investment guidelines target China” and classified “sensitive”, is among US embassy cables leaked to WikiLeaks and provided to the Herald.

    • DreamWorks lines up WikiLeaks film based on Guardian book

      Steven Spielberg’s Hollywood studio looks set to oversee WikiLeaks: the Movie after securing the screen rights to WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy, the book by Guardian journalists David Leigh and Luke Harding.

      Reportedly conceived as an investigative thriller in the mould of All the President’s Men, the film will be backed by DreamWorks – the studio founded in 1994 by Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen.

      Leigh and Harding’s book charts Julian Assange’s life and times, from his itinerant childhood through to the creation of the WikiLeaks website in 2006. It also provides the inside story of Assange’s explosive partnership with the Guardian and the release, last December, of more than 250,000 secret diplomatic cables.

    • Exclusive – WikiLeaks: How the Cola war was won in Libya

      An unpublished U.S. diplomatic cable obtained by WikiLeaks tells the previously undisclosed story of how an American corporate powerhouse — the $35-billion (21 billion pounds) Coca-Cola Co.(KO.N) — got caught up in a fierce fraternal dispute between two of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s sons.

      The contretemps among the freres Gaddafi over a local bottling plant escalated into a heavily armed confrontation resembling a Hollywood gangster film, as a classified 2006 U.S. cable put it.

    • Inhumane Treatment of WikiLeaks Soldier Bradley Manning

      The US army private, 23, has been held for 23 hours a day in a sparsely furnished solitary cell and deprived of a pillow, sheets, and personal possessions since July 2010.

      Amnesty International last week wrote to the US Defence secretary, Robert Gates, calling for the restrictions on Bradley Manning to be reviewed. In the same week, the soldier suffered several days of increased restrictions by being temporarily categorized as a ‘suicide risk’.

    • 5 environmental revelations from WikiLeaks

      How the Dalai Lama feels about climate change and Canada’s inferiority complex are just a few of the issues to come to light through classified diplomatic documents.

    • WikiLeaks: ‘Kibaki unwilling to act on graft’

      One of President Kibaki’s most trusted aides told the US ambassador that the President had lots of information about Cabinet-level corruption but was reluctant to act.


      The information on the State House visit is contained in one of thousands of cables leaked by whistleblower website, Wikileaks.

    • The Spy Who Hated Wikileaks (LOVE POLICE EXCLUSIVE)
    • Bradley Manning could face death: For what?

      The U.S. Army yesterday announced that it has filed 22 additional charges against Bradley Manning, the Private accused of being the source for hundreds of thousands of documents (as well as this still-striking video) published over the last year by WikiLeaks. Most of the charges add little to the ones already filed, but the most serious new charge is for “aiding the enemy,” a capital offense under Article 104 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Although military prosecutors stated that they intend to seek life imprisonment rather than the death penalty for this alleged crime, the military tribunal is still empowered to sentence Manning to death if convicted.

    • Article 104 Offense

      “Enemy” includes (not only) organized opposing forces in time of war, (but also any other hostile body that our forces may be opposing) (such as a rebellious mob or a band of renegades) (and includes civilians as well as members of military organizations). (“Enemy” is not restricted to the enemy government or its armed forces. All the citizens of one belligerent are enemies of the government and the citizens of the other.)

    • ‘Alfonso Cano’ will never negotiate: WikiLeaks

      An ex-FARC commander said in 2006 that “Alfonso Cano,” now the supreme leader of the guerrilla group, would never negotiate, but that “Ivan Marquez” wanted peace, according to a WikiLeaks cable released by Colombian newspaper El Espectador.

      In the diplomatic cable dated June 21, 2006, former FARC commander alias “Nicolas” said, “Mono was pragmatic only because he doesn’t believe in negotiation; he’s a man of action. Cano would never negotiate, for the opposite reason, that he’s too political … Ivan Marquez would be disposed to peace. He said that after 40 years of fighting it’s time to end it but without betraying Marxist principles … The Army should get Cano and Mono, to allow Marquez to breathe and lead.”

    • Alleged WikiLeaker could face death penalty

      Manning’s counsel has a blog post up today with a copy of the statute that could put Manning away for life. Article 104 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, “Aiding the Enemy-Giving Intelligence to the Enemy,” prohibits giving to the enemy, where “intelligence” is defined as information that is “true, at least in part.”

    • Birgitta Jonsdottir Interview on Wikileaks

      Icelander Birgitta Jonsdottir – poet, author, activist, and member of parliament – has now broken with WikiLeaks, but she is continuing to devote herself to making her country a haven for information, a Switzerland of the bytes. In the meantime, the American judicial authorities are trying to reach Julian Assange through her Twitter details.

      Last week, Birgitta Jonsdottir was in our country for a while at Deburen’s invitation in order to take part in an evening of debate on the state of the media today, partly organized by the Pascal Decroos Fund and the Investigative Journalists’ Association. We met with her at the Vooruit (arts center) in Ghent. She immediately wrong-footed us: Instead of the eccentric Goth about whom we had read, we were welcomed by an elegant person with a captivating laugh. She talked in a soft voice but with a very great deal of passion about the importance of freedom of information. Although her “Movement” is not a real party and she surfed to parliament in 2009 on a wave of popular anger about the banking crisis, she has turned out to be a born politician who knows what she wants and how she is to achieve it.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • U.S. Approves First Deepwater Drilling Permit In Gulf Of Mexico Since BP Oil Spill

      The U.S. has approved the first deepwater drilling permit in the Gulf of Mexico since BP’s massive oil spill.

      The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement announced Monday that it issued a permit to Noble Energy Inc. to continue work on its Santiago well about 70 miles southeast of Venice, La. Drilling will resume nearly one year after BP’s blowout created the worst offshore spill in U.S. history.

    • Federal researchers declare eastern cougar extinct

      U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service confirms there are no breeding populations of the big cats left in the eastern U.S.

    • Federal government to cut environmental spending

      The Harper government is projecting some major cuts over the next year to several of its environmental initiatives, including climate change and clean air, according to newly released federal estimates.

      The numbers, released Tuesday by the Treasury Board Secretariat, show a 59 per cent cut in global-warming and air-pollution spending as part of more than $1.6 billion in annual, governmentwide reductions to environmental services across the different federal departments. The shift is the equivalent to a 14 per cent reduction in spending that also includes a $222-million or 20 per cent reduction in spending at Environment Canada.

    • African lions under threat from a growing predator: the American hunter

      American hunters are emerging as a strong and growing threat to the survival of African lions, with demand for trophy rugs and necklaces driving the animals towards extinction, a coalition of wildlife organisations has said.

      Demand for hunting trophies, such as lion skin rugs, and a thriving trade in animal parts in the US and across the globe have raised the threat levels for African lions, which are already under assault because of conflicts with local villagers and shrinking habitat.

    • What Are Species Worth? Putting a Price on Biodiversity

      We live in what is paradoxically a great age of discovery and also of mass extinction. Astonishing new species turn up daily, as new roads and new technologies penetrate formerly remote habitats. And species also vanish forever, at what scientists estimate to be 100 to 1,000 times the normal rate of extinction.

      Over the past few years, as I was working on a book about the history of species discovery, I often found myself coming back to a fundamental question: Why do species matter? That is, why should ordinary people care if scientists discover one species or pronounce the demise of another?

    • Bicycle master plan is expected to be approved by the L.A. City Council

      It’s been a long ride, but bicycle riders’ push for for new routes and services is paying off. The plan calls for 1,680 miles of interconnected bikeways.

    • Queensland Reconstruction Authority

      Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has established the Queensland Reconstruction Authority to develop, implement and manage a statewide plan for rebuilding and reconnecting communities affected by the flooding and cyclones.

    • Saving Ethiopia’s “Church Forests”

      There are some 35,000 church forests in Ethiopia, ranging in size from a few acres to 300 hectares. Some churches and their forests may date back to the fourth century, and all are remnants of Ethiopia’s historic Afromontane forests. To their followers, they are a sacred symbol of the garden of Eden — to be loved and cared for, but not worshipped.

    • Rare leopard caught on candid camera
  • Finance

    • The scandal no one talks about: Income inequality

      Some figures to consider: The bottom 80 percent of American households have lost ground in share of income since 1979. The top one percent, meanwhile, has seen its slice of the pie increase more than 120 percent. What these shifts translate to is this: The top 10 percent of Americans earn nearly three-quarters of all income in the country, leaving the poor with whatever is left. Stephen Colbert views this as the beginnings of a major problem, because disparity leads to revolution. The solution: All the rich people should start their own country.

    • Bernard Madoff, the financiers’ fall guy

      Don’t shoot the messenger is usually a good rule to live by. But it is hard when it comes to Bernie Madoff, the former billionaire serving a 150-year jail term for running history’s biggest Ponzi scheme.

      Yet, in recent jailhouse interviews, Madoff has given a valuable insight into causes of the Great Recession, whose awful impact has blighted millions of lives across America and around the world. No one can deny Madoff’s activities were an appalling fraud, but, he insists, what about the involvement of everyone else in the global financial system.

    • ECM Publishers: Sen. Franken offers three ideas to help cut government spending

      OpEd piece by Sen. Al Franken – It’s easy to agree that we should cut government spending. It’s harder to agree on what government spending we should cut.

      We can’t just say, “Let’s cut $500 billion” or make vague promises about “increasing efficiency.” Serious budget proposals should be clear about exactly what we’d be cutting, saving, and sacrificing.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Rupert Murdoch BSkyB takeover gets government go ahead

      Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation has been given government approval for its controversial takeover of BSkyB.

    • Rupert Murdoch BSkyB takeover gets government go-ahead

      Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation has been given government approval for its controversial bid to take over BSkyB.

      The green light follows News Corp’s offer to spin off Sky News as an independent company.

    • Chris Dodd shows how Washington works

      Over the last two years — particularly during the debate over the financial reform bill — Sen. Chris Dodd served on multiple occasions as chief spokesman for, and defender of, the interests of Wall Street and corporate America. That led to widespread speculation that the five-term Connecticut Senator, who announced that he would not seek re-election in 2010 in the wake of allegations of improper benefits from Countrywide Financial, was positioning himself for a lucrative post-Senate lobbying job — i.e., peddling the influence and contacts he compiled over five decades in “public service.”

    • Customer service on Twitter

      Great, right? A company that gets the joke and participates meaningfully in an actual conversation with a full awareness of the context.

      Here’s how not to do it, courtesy of United Airlines. Mena Trott, a co-founder of Six Apart, had her flight to NYC randomly cancelled on Monday night by “a robot”.

    • Conflicting horse race numbers fuel raging debate over reliability of political polls

      A battery of conflicting federal horse race numbers is pouring fuel on a raging debate over the reliability of political polls.

  • Privacy

    • Federal Communications Commission v. AT&T, Inc.

      Corporations do not have a right of personal privacy for purposes of Exemption 7(C) of the Freedom of Information Act, which protects from disclosure law enforcement records whose disclosure “could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.”

    • Supreme Court Case Could Jeopardize Medical Record Privacy

      The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) asked the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday to focus on the privacy issues at stake in a battle over the sale and data mining of medical records, urging justices to reverse a ruling that could jeopardize patient privacy.

    • Facebook will soon share users’ phone numbers and addresses with 3rd parties

      It’s been a while since we’ve had an uproar over Facebook’s handling of its users personal information, so we suppose the time is ripe.

      So cue the online outrage: Facebook announced today in a letter to Congress that the social-media platform is moving forward with plans to give third parties access to user information, such as phone numbers and home addresses.

    • Almost half the UK is now on Facebook

      Joanna Shields, VP EMEA at Facebook, stated today that the popular social network now has 30 million UK users, equating to almost half of the UK population.

    • Sequencing A Child’s DNA — And Convincing An Insurance Company To Pay

      Geneticist Elizabeth Worthey worked on the first-ever treatment of a patient based on DNA sequencing, helping doctors decide to give a bone marrow transplant to a 6-year-old boy who had suffered through more than a hundred operations. Now Worthey, an assistant professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin, is part of a team working to comb through the sequences of five more children.

  • Civil Rights

    • Documents Reveal TSA Research Proposal To Body-Scan Pedestrians, Train Passengers

      Updated with the TSA’s response below, which denies implementing airport-style scans in mass transit.

      Giving Transportation Security Administration agents a peek under your clothes may soon be a practice that goes well beyond airport checkpoints. Newly uncovered documents show that as early as 2006, the Department of Homeland Security has been planning pilot programs to deploy mobile scanning units that can be set up at public events and in train stations, along with mobile x-ray vans capable of scanning pedestrians on city streets.

    • Passing Through

      In 2003 Tim Wu, a professor at Columbia Law School, published an article on the once-sleepy subject of telecommunications policy. In it, he coined the term “net neutrality” to capture the idea that network operators—the Comcasts and Verizons of the world—should not be in the business of regulating the information traffic that passes through their networks. The term took hold, and the article launched Wu to cyber-rock-star status.

    • 10 Women Who Secretly Control the Internet
  • Internet/Net Neutrality/UBB

    • ISPs must advertise average broadband speeds, not ‘up to’ speeds, says Ofcom

      ISPs should be forced to advertise the typical speeds available on internet access packages and not the theoretical maximum currently advertised, telecoms regulator Ofcom has said. They should also not be allowed to cap ‘unlimited’ services.

      Advertising regulators should change the rules so that the speeds available to customers in the middle of the range of actual available speeds is advertised at least as prominently as ‘up to’ speeds, it has said.

    • House Panel Delays Net Neutrality Vote

      A House panel postponed a vote Tuesday to nix the Federal Communication Commission’s controversial “net neutrality” rules. The repeal effort would still go forward, but after another hearing, said Republicans on the Energy and Commerce Committee.

      Conservatives seek to block the FCC’s December ruling, which prevents Internet providers from giving preference to certain types of content. Verizon Communications Inc. sued in federal appeals court to block the rules. Other Internet content companies say the rules keep the Internet fair.

  • DRM

    • Australia Considers New Digital Lock Exceptions

      Australia’s Attorney General has said he is looking into establishing new digital lock exceptions under that country’s copyright law.

    • Europe confirms raids on ebook publishers

      European officials were accompanied by local competition regulators. The UK’s Office of Fair Trading started investigating ebook pricing last month.

      The Commission said the raids were just a first step and not necessarily evidence of guilt.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Michel Barnier tells the European Blind Union the EU does not support a treaty for persons with disabilities

      KEI comment: According to Barnier’s logic, the EU should not be pursuing any new treaties on any copyright issue or intellectual property issues. Why then, is the EU pressing for a WIPO treaty for broadcasting organizations, or the ACTA agreement? Why did the EU press for the 1996 WIPO WCT and WPPT digital copyright treaties, and then not sign them for many years? Why does the EU press for binding IP chapters in trade agreements with Canada, India and other countries, which only involve at best a single country outside of the EU?

      A Joint Recommendation would be an “authoritative interpretation of the Berne Convention,” but not of the TRIPS agreement, and it would be authoritative only in the areas where it actually says something. If you enter into a negotiation on something that requires everyone to agree, strategically, you end up with something that may be very weak, or even harmful to consumers — given the capture of some national delegations by publishers.

    • Trademarks

      • If App Store’s Trademark Is Generic, So Is Windows’

        Toe, The writes “In response to Microsoft’s attempt to dismiss Apple’s ‘App Store’ trademark application, Apple references Microsoft’s claim to the Windows trademark. ‘Having itself faced a decades-long genericness challenge to its claimed WINDOWS mark, Microsoft should be well aware that the focus in evaluating genericness is on the mark as a whole and requires a fact-intensive assessment of the primary significance of the term to a substantial majority of the relevant public.’”

    • Copyrights

      • Is Bing doing a better job than Google on torrents?

        Late last year, Google announced it would be blocking autocomplete on searches for “torrents” They did this in a rather blunt way, blocking any attempt to use the word in an autocomplete, regardless of the likely copyright status of the content searched for.

        We argued that this would create a subtle but important discrimination against legal torrent distribution, by making it a bit harder and less suggestive that you might try searching for, say a “Linux torrent” or a “Yes Men Save the world torrent”. After all, if the Yes Men want you to find their film on torrent, why should they and you be pushed back?

      • News Flash: Your Music Is Not Your Product

        I’m tired of having the same conversation over and over again.

        The conversation about how we should go about dealing with “thieves” and “pirates” “stealing” our “product” like so many shoplifters. I’m just gonna say it.

        It’s absurd.

        Music is not, and never was, a product.

        When a label executive tells you that they are “not in the business of selling discs”, (or vinyl, tape, t-shirts, etc.) and that they are actually “selling music,” they are, at best, fooling themselves, or at worst, lying to your face. Moving plastic, vinyl, paper and/or any other tangible good they can dream up is exactly what the recording industry has been about since it was established.

      • An Important Dent In The Copyright Monopoly

        Yesterday, the Legal Affairs Committee in the European Parliament voted unanimously to introduce an exception to the copyright monopoly to benefit the public at large. This is an important dent in the monopoly’s sanctity.

        Christian Engström, Member of European Parliament for the Pirate Party (and also a member of the Legal Affairs Committee), explains the win on his blog. In short, blind people today are banned from sharing Braille books across borders — they must be individually translated into Braille in each country, which would be a waste of resources if it were done, which it isn’t. Instead, the disabled are subjected to a so-called book famine where the culture and knowledge simply isn’t available to them.

      • Ubisoft Uses ‘Copyright’ Claim To Block Americans From Seeing Its Own Ad For Ridiculous ‘Adult’ Wii Game

        Jay points us to the news that Ubisoft is offering up a new video game for the Wii, in Europe only, called “We Dare,” which appears to be a ridiculously awkwardness-inducing game designed to try to make people engage in sexually suggestive activities with one another. Since the game is only being offered in Europe, the advertisement for the game, which the company placed on its own YouTube account, is blocked for viewing in the US — though, ridiculously, it says this is so for “copyright” reasons.

      • Anti-Piracy Outfit Suffers Huge DDoS Attack, Blames Usenet Users

        Dutch anti-piracy outfit BREIN has been subjected to a major DDoS attack which has taken its website offline. The Hollywood-backed group has been making a number of enemies with its actions in The Netherlands so the range of culprits is quite large. Nevertheless, BREIN chief Tim Kuik says he thinks he knows who is behind it.

        When it’s your job to go around disrupting various communities on the Internet, it’s perhaps inevitable that, rightly or wrongly, you’ll become somewhat of a hate figure among some. Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN, with chief Tim Kuik at the controls, is understandably unpopular within files-sharing circles. That position can have its consequences.

      • Senator Franken Defends Censoring The Internet Because He Doesn’t Think Hollywood Should Have To Change Biz Models?

        This is pretty disappointing, on any number of levels. First of all, his repeated use of the technically and legally incorrect words “stealing” and “theft” are troubling. Second, his repeating the totally debunked claims that this is somehow costing “tens of billions of dollars.” The GAO has already debunked those numbers as having little to no basis, and it’s disappointing that Franken would repeat them. But the key point is that yes, of course it changes the entire business model for the industry. But that’s what new technologies do. They change the business models for legacy companies and it’s not our government’s job to protect those legacy companies and their business models, even if our elected officials used to work for those companies.

      • Balanced Copyright Facebook Group – Persona Management Software Example?

        It’s always interesting watching the comments on the Balanced Copyright Facebook group. Like Trained seals the members spew forth ‘Good news’ and ‘Finally they are taking action’ for every ‘Pro-IP’ action reported, and his ‘How terrible’ and ‘No wonder Canada is a pariah’ for every post saying negative things about Canada.

        Curiously none of them appear to have ever done any research at all on the subject, and when pressed for details, they get upset.

        That is, of the few that actually seem to be human. When Anonymous raided HBGary, some of the emails that they released talked about ‘Persona Management Software‘, and based on an evaluation of the posts in the Balanced Copyright group, I’m beginning to wonder if most of the ‘people’ who are responding aren’t really bots.

        For example most posts made by the Group itself are liked by a lot of people. Liking something on Facebook requires just clicking on a button. It would be fairly simple to get a bot to do that, and to get the bot to vary the number of likes, so that it doesn’t look too suspicious.

        There are also a lot of weird comments, where it looks like the commenter hasn’t read the thread at all. Admittedly busy people often don’t bother to read an entire thread. But when comment 10 appears to apply comment 2, and ignores comments 5, 6, and 8, all of which commented on the same angle to the original post, you have to start wondering.

        When you look at the number of people who are commenting, and making sense (based on the original post and the earlier comments in the thread) there can’t be more than 4 or 5 real people who are actually taking part.

Clip of the Day

OpenACTA – Antonio Martínez Velázquez #GTACTA

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 2/3/2011: Linux Everywhere, GIMP 2.8 Plans

Posted in News Roundup at 6:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Powered by Linux

    Linux Everywhere

    Do you Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)? You use Linux! Do you do shop at Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN)? You use Linux! Do you have a router for your home network? Do you have NAS (Network Attached Storage) on your home network for shared backups? Do you own a Logitech (Nasdaq: LOGI) Squeezebox? Do you Tivo your shows?

  • Desktop

    • Windows shuts door on user, Linux welcomes the guest!

      It happened a few nights ago. My sister pulled out her laptop & was all set to do her work on it. As the login screen on her windows vista laptop prompted, she religiously entered her credentials only to be shown the door out by windows.


      Linux came to the rescue when Windows seem to have shut its door on its loyal user.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Is Linus’ Law still valid?

      But I wonder if that Linus’ Law is really as effective today as it was 10 years ago. Today Free Software is much richer and more complex than it was in the 90s.

    • Kernel Log: Coming in 2.6.38 (Part 4) – Storage

      Expected in March, the forthcoming kernel will contain the new LIO target framework for implementing Storage Area Networks (SANs). Also new are a kernel-side media presence polling feature for disk drives and various Device Mapper optimisations that are relevant for desktop systems.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Dropbox for KDE

        A question I have been coming across a lot lately has been, “How do I get Dropbox to work with KDE?” Most have probably noticed that when you go to the Dropbox website and go to download it, it is for GNOME and the Nautilus file manager. Unfortunately for us KDE users, we don’t use Nautilus. Or I could say fortunately for us KDE users, but I am sure that will start all kinds of flame wars in the comments. Instead, KDE utilizes Dolphin as its file manager. I will use this post to show you how to quickly get Dropbox installed and up-and-running in KDE, without the use of the terminal or command line.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Why Did They Take My GNOME Buttons Away?

        To answer this, Allan Day, GNOME Marketing Contractor, has offered his explanation. For him, there are a number of factors for the removals. First he says that the minimize button is no longer of any use in GNOME 3 as there is no dock or window list. Where would a window minimize to? GNOME wants to focus on the new rather than trying to make the old work in some logical manner. Overall, he thinks this makes for a more streamlined experience.

  • Distributions

    • Getting Started With Linux: Pick The Right Linux Flavour For You

      Don’t try to set up Arch Linux during a lunch break. Do dig into Arch Linux if you want to learn way more about Linux, get a system at just the right size and configuration for your needs, and want a crash course in how to tweak a Linux system for better performance.

      Want some detailed guidance on the process? Whitson already showed us a step-by-step Arch installation, ending up with a system he’s still digging into today.

      As noted, we couldn’t possibly cover all the distributions out there, or even give full due to some of the more popular varieties: openSUSE, Debian, Sabayon, and the adorable and teeny-tiny Puppy. No slight intended, but we just don’t have as much experience with them. If you think a particular distribution is very friendly to beginners, whether yourself or another first-timer you know, give us the scoop on it in the comments.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Scientific Linux 6 RC2 is released| with screenshots

        Scientific Linux (SL) is a Linux distribution produced by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). It is a free and open source operating system based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and aims to be 100% compatible with and based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

      • U.S. Government Configuration Baseline for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5

        On February 28, 2011, the U.S. Government Configuration Baseline (USGCB) for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 was released. The long awaited Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP) content is the next phase in supplanting the legacy Bourne shell scripts collectively known as the System Readiness Review (SRR) scripts.

        In 2010, the USGCB replaced the Federal Desktop Core Configuration (FDCC) which has always been associated with Microsoft® software. The USGCB initiative is to create security configuration baselines for Information Technology products widely deployed across the federal agencies.

      • Controversy surrounds Red Hat’s “obfuscated” source code release

        Red Hat has changed the way it ships the source code for the Linux kernel. Previously, it was released as a standard kernel with a collection of patches which could be applied to create the source code of the kernel Red Hat used. Now though, the company ships a tarball of the source code with the patches already applied. This change, noted by Maxillian Attems and LWN.net, appears to be aimed at Oracle, who like others, repackage Red Hat’s source as the basis for its Unbreakable Linux. Removing the visibility of information about which patches have, or have not, been applied will be difficult for companies like Oracle who use the patch information so they know what state the Red Hat kernel is in before applying their own patches.

      • Fedora

        • Defaulting to open.

          One of the fundamental principles I think our community expects from Fedora is that we default to open wherever possible. In other words, unless carrying out a process in an open and transparent way would be impossible (legal reasons, for example), we should do it. And by and large, we really do.


          This post was prompted by a couple instances recently where I saw teams not reaching out for each other to ask questions or give information. I haven’t seen evidence of any widespread trends; in general, Fedora team members do a great job of communicating across teams. These instances were exceptions to the rule, but it would be fantastic if those exceptions never happened at all. (Zero may be an unattainable goal, but that doesn’t make it the wrong goal.) I’m not calling out specifics simply because they wouldn’t change the value of the ideas and practices discussed here.

    • Debian Family

      • Testing SimplyMEPIS 11.0 Beta 2 again, then antiX core and aptosid

        I used the version of SimplyMEPIS, Version 11.0 Beta 2 that I had already installed on my Gateway 2000 series portable 17″ PA6A system, but when I moved on to antiX core and aptosid, I ran both of these systems directly from DVDs that I had recently created. But I did something else; I loaded their images completely into memory.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Wayland snapshot available for Ubuntu 11.04

          A snapshot of the Wayland display server has been uploaded to the Ubuntu 11.04 Universe repository. Canonical developer Bryce Harrington says in his announcement that this has little relevance to end users and is experimental code intended to act as a foundation and starting point for packaging and further development work.

        • Canonical: Hardened corporate or community leader?

          Open Source is starting to become a very lucrative business model these days and I think we have Google to thank for that. However, this means money is coming in for people who didn’t get much before and who feel that it’s long overdue.

        • Ubuntu fast becoming Linux pariah

          Bruce Byfield said that political manipulation of the various software projects has miffed a lot of Open Saucers. They feel that Ubuntu is choosing projects on the basis the ability to dominate the projects that dominate its software stack.

          Shuttleworth got miffed at the glacial pace that Gnome was making interface improvements and he moved to beef up interface software called Unity and this meant that many Canonical developers were suddenly not supporting Gnome.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo/Maemo

        • froglogic Confident of the Qt Platform’s Future

          froglogic announces its continued support for, and confidence in, the Qt platform. After making significant investments in Qt and MeeGo, Nokia recently announced that it will use Windows Phone as the operating system for its smartphones. As a result many questions about the future of the Qt Platform have been raised. froglogic would like to share its take on the situation and on Qt’s future.

Free Software/Open Source

  • It’s the Free Software, stupid!

    Heated discussions are going on in the KDE community in the aftermath of the announcement of Nokia’s platform strategy change. Rationality often goes out of the window when people feel such a change goes against their personal values or beliefs. In the past days, I worked on an analysis of the impact of the changes on KDAB, Qt and the Free Software communities we work with, especially KDE. KDAB is rooted deeply in the KDE community, and many of our developers work with Qt and KDE for years now. We are sharing the same worries and hopes, so the results may be interesting for others as well. This post is about Qt, KDE, Free Software, politics, devices, markets, strategies – it does not get much better than that. Read on.

  • Open Source Software is not Free

    I believe this statement to be true for a number of reasons. The important thing to recognize is that I believe the “free” in this quote and the “free” in FOSS are two different types of “free”. In the quote the “free” refers to a monetary value. Even if you pay no monetary value for software – that software cost someone, somewhere, something. Whether that something is a paycheck for the software developer coming from a company backing the project or it is simply a dedicated individual hacking at code during his spare moments – that “free” software comes at a cost to someone.

  • The Ins and Outs of Open Source Audits: Part One

    No matter what industry your business is in, you’re almost certainly using open source software. The question is whether you know how you’re using open source, what licenses are in play, and whether you’re meeting all of your license requirements. If you can’t answer all of these questions — and most businesses can’t — you may want to perform an open source audit as a starting point. Why? An audit can answer the question of what Open Source Software (OSS) is present in your code and what licenses that OSS falls under.

  • Open Source Junction: cross-platform mobile apps

    The open source mobile app space is getting increasingly crowded. The recent opportunities for developers to produce and distribute mobile apps through a range of app stores is taking the developer world by storm. If, as the saying goes, all people dream of writing a poem at least once in a lifetime, then perhaps there aren’t many developers out there either who haven’t dreamed of building a great mobile app themselves.

  • thebigword Goes Open-Source as Lisa Shuts Down

    The global language services company, thebigword, has announced it will open-source part of its language technology software in order to support industry standards.

  • Events

    • SCALE 9X: It’s a wrap

      More people: SCALE had been flirting with overwhelming success all weekend. Friday’s “problem” at registration was that the folks in that department faced a lot more people than normally come on a Friday, to the point of where 800 of the attendees for the weekend came on Friday. The final tally — 1,802. So 1,002 folks came over the weekend to make this a record year for SCALE, and as a result, it makes the outlook for FOSS this year really robust. So get out there and FOSS it up, folks.

    • Scale 9x: Day 3

      The final day of SCALE 9x arrived far too early, since the Gentoo developers were still recovering from the merriment the previous evening/morning. We congregated in the hotel room Mike & I shared. You know you’re having some good times when hotel security places a call to your room, asking you to keep the noise down.

  • Funding

    • Boxee Gets $16 Million in Funding for its Media Center Platform

      New frontiers lie ahead for open source media center platform, Boxee, which we’ve covered ever since it was born. Today, the company is announcing a very healthy infusion of $16.5 million in venture funding, featuring some heavy-hitting new investors, and ones that had already invested. Boxee’s previous round of funding was only $6 million and came when the company had only 12 employees.


    • Exciting developments in GNU Radio

      GNU Radio had a pretty good year in 2010, and we are already on track for an even more productive year in 2011. While we only produced one release in 2010, a large amount of work went into our source repository to improve the quality and stability of the project, and we are on track for a new release soon that incorporates many of these fixes into a new stable release. From here, we have been implementing some major improvements and additions to GNU Radio that will be part of the releases in 2011, so 2010 was an important year for getting us to the next major milestones.


      We are directly pursuing this by hosting the first GNU Radio conference in September of 2011.

  • Government

    • Open Source Tool Helps US DoD Eye in the Sky To See

      The US Department of Defense is awash in digital images and videos taken by a variety of sources including satellites, manned airplanes and unmanned drones. Going through all of that imagery by hand would take untold resources that the DoD just doesn’t have. Instead the DoD has turned to a computer vision program to help sort through the imagery. The programs they use are supplied by Kitware and get ready for this – are open source! That’s right the US Department of Defense is using open source computer vision solutions to help identify potential threats.

    • Death, taxes and open source software certainties

      Open source software gets a lot of positive press. Along with death and taxes we can say that this is a fair certainty. But are there hidden and very blatant flaws that we should be looking out for and be aware of?

      The Coverity Scan 2010 Open Source Integrity Report was launched at the end of last year to examine open source software integrity and was originally initiated between the company itself and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

  • Programming

    • Origins (Part 01)

      It may seem odd to people today, but programming came around long before the computer. Actually, it came about so much earlier that it wasn’t really recognizable as such. The three earliest examples I can think of are the Antikythera Mechanism, the Castle Clock, and the Jacquard Loom. The Antikythera Mechanism was a mechanical computer designed to calculate astronomical positions. It is estimated to be from about 150 BCE, and is thought to be of Greek origin. Much later The “castle clock” of Al-Jazari (1206 CE) displayed the orbits of the Sun and Moon, along with the Zodiac. On the Castle Clock, one could change the length of day and night, important for the seasons. The first largely reprogrammable (something more than day and night on the Castle Clock) device that I found anything about was the Jacquard Loom. The Jacquard loom used punch cards to change the pattern of weaves going through the device. This was so profound a revelation that our early computers used these cards as well. These three innovations are by no means the limit of pre-computer programming, but they were important achievements. They show the want of mankind to automate tasks before significant means to do so had been made available.


  • Mayor Ford would aim to privatize TCHC

    Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says he would “absolutely” consider privatizing the Toronto Community Housing Corporation in the wake of revelations of wasteful spending and untendered contracts at the agency.

    Ford made the comment in a Wednesday morning interview with Toronto radio station Newstalk 1010.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Fox News uses fake footage to make Wisconsin protests seem violent

      Doesn’t seem to get much lower than this. Remember the peaceful protests for worker’s rights in Wisconsin that Vanessa wrote about last week? Via Amanda Marcotte, it looks like ever-trustworthy Fox News is using fake footage to make it seem as if the Wisconsin protests are violent.

    • UK: Stop Rupert Murdoch!

      Murdoch has exploited his vast media empire to push war in Iraq, elect George W Bush, spread resentment of muslims and immigrants, and block global action on climate change. And he has interfered with our democracy — determining our election results, bolstering political careers in exchange for influence and destroying others with media smears when they refuse to do his bidding.

Clip of the Day

Gigabyte M528 MID, Ubuntu Mobile UI

Credit: TinyOgg

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