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08.21.10

Links 21/8/2010: Wine 1.3.1, Urbi Goes AGPLv3

Posted in News Roundup at 2:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Podcast Season 2 Episode 15

      In this episode: Ubuntu 10.10 is going to add gesture support and 11.04 is going to be called the Natty Narwhal. Debian 6.0 has been feature frozen while Oracle sets its sights on Google. Discover how we fared with our Nethack challenge and how we filled the Open Ballot section without an Open Ballot.

    • FLOSS Weekly 131: Vyatta
  • IBM

    • IBM: Innovation is the key driver for CIOs, not Cost

      Remember ten years ago, IBM made a $1 billion bet on Linux, and in so doing, helped create the momentum for Linux in the enterprise data center that we all enjoy today. Back then, IBM concentrated on three areas:

      - Making Linux better – providing contributions to help improve Linux with respect to reliability, availability and serviceability

      - Enabling IBM products – both across major server lines and throughout the IBM middleware portfolio

      - Extending Linux into new opportunity areas – Helping to expanding the total addressable market for Linux (e.g. Real-Time, HPC, SoNAS)

  • Kernel Space

    • DisplayLink Is Already Looking Towards Linux 2.6.37

      The Linux 2.6.36-rc1 kernel was released earlier in the week and while it will still be a couple months until the Linux 2.6.36 kernel will be officially released, the developers behind the open-source DisplayLink graphics driver are already looking forward to the Linux 2.6.37 kernel. This next kernel release that will make it out in early 2011 will bring new features and fixes to this driver that supports many graphics products over USB.

    • Decorate with Linux
    • Graphics Stack

      • Progress On The ATI R600g Gallium3D Driver

        Since our last R600g status report, some of the changes to this driver that will eventually replace the R600 classic Mesa driver include support for new TGSI opcode instructions, segmentation fault fixes, OpenGL occlusion query support, fixed pitch alignment, user-clip plane support, an improved texture format checker, point/sprite rendering support, and various other technical changes. Some of the new instructions supported include POW, COS, SIN, SSG, SEQ, SGT, SNE, FRC, FLR, DDX, DDY, SGE, SLE, TXB, and many more. You get the point.

      • The ATI Evergreen Mesa Code Has Now Landed

        Nearly two hours ago we shared the news that there’s finally open-source 2D/3D/video acceleration for ATI’s Radeon HD 5000 “Evergreen” family of graphics processors, which is currently the newest and best consumer-grade GPUs from AMD’s GPG unit. At the time though only the xf86-video-ati DDX driver code was publicly pushed into a branch of the driver, but now the 3D portion of the code has publicly landed.

      • Notes from the LSF summit storage track

        LWN readers will have seen our reporting from the Linux Storage and Filesystem Summit (day 1, day 2), held on August 8 and 9 in Boston. Your editor was unable to attend the storage-specific sessions, though, so they were not covered in those articles. Fortunately, James Bottomley took detailed notes, which he has now made available to us. Many thanks to James for all of what follows.

      • How To Configure The AIDE (Advanced Intrusion Detection Environment) File Integrity Scanner For Your Website

        A file integrity scanner is something you need to have. Imagine a hacker placing a backdoor on your web site, or changing your order form to email him a copy of everyone’s credit card while leaving it appear to be functionally normally.

  • Applications

    • IBM Lotus Symphony – Weird but good

      Lotus Symphony is an interesting project. Although somewhat archaic and seemingly outdated, it is a very useful office suite, with many new, modern features on top of an older design.

      The 32-bit only version and the Hardy stamp for the Ubuntu version give an impression that IBM does not place too much focus on this program. And yet, lots of cool and modern options are available in the software, making it quite useful and relevant. It’s a confusing mix of old and new, wrapped in unique.

      Overall, Lotus Symphony performed well. If you don’t mind spending some time getting used to new looks and some non-standard features, the office suite will serve you rather well. It has that deep, corporate tinge that only giants can offer. Well, it’s free, so you’re welcome to try and see for yourself.

      Version 3 is coming soon and it will be based on OpenOffice 3, so you should expect a very decent, very modern office suite, with lots of IBM-specific additions. I believe Lotus Symphony 3 will be a very useful software. But only time will tell.

    • Gmail Voice and Video Chat – Too Little too Late?

      After waiting two years for the service, most Linux users that want video chat capabilities are probably already using Skype or something similar by now. The next few weeks will tell for sure, but this service may not be of much interest to Linux users anymore anyway.

    • Guake drop down terminal

      Drop down terminals were originally inspired by in game consoles like ones found in first person shooters like Counterstrike and Quake. Yes, Guake is just Quake starting with a ‘g’ instead of an ‘q’. Drop down terminals run in the background and can generally be toggled on and off by pressing one of the function keys (F12 by default in Guake). This simplifies life for people that make regular or sporadic use of the command line. Instead of starting a new terminal window or navigating to a currently open one, you can toggle the terminal on, execute the necessary commands, and have it out of your way again by just hitting one key. It really simplifies tasks like compiling code while working on a project and routine administration tasks.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine

      • Wine Announcement

        The Wine development release 1.3.1 is now available.

        What’s new in this release (see below for details):
        – Support for drag & drop between X11 and OLE.
        – New ipconfig.exe builtin tool.
        – Support for favorites in builtin Internet Explorer.
        – Beginnings of a shell Explorer control.
        – A number of DirectDraw code cleanups.
        – Improvements to the calendar control.
        – Various bug fixes.

  • Desktop Environments

    • Xfce

      • Lightweight Linux Desktop Alternative: Xfce

        GNOME and KDE may be the first desktops that come to mind when you think of the Linux desktop, but they’re not the only ones. From the overly minimalistic Rat Poison window manager to the eye candy of the Enlightenment E17 desktop, Linux has just about every type of desktop you can imagine. Want a desktop that’s lean and resource friendly without giving up features? It’s time to take a look at Xfce.

        For many users, the major desktops feel a little bloated. Fast hardware is cheaper than ever, but performance is still king on the Linux desktop. The ideal desktop is somewhere in the middle ground, between overly minimalistic and overly bloated. Xfce is right at the center of the Venn Diagram of features vs. speed. It’s lightning fast and still offers most of the features users have grown accustomed to. The problem? Most new users, and even some experienced Linux users, aren’t familiar with Xfce.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • ASRock Core 100HT NetTop

      Last summer we reviewed the ASRock NetTop ION 330, which was the first Atom-powered NetTop computer that had come out of this vendor known for their affordable motherboards. The NetTop ION 330 combined an Intel Atom 330 CPU with NVIDIA’s ION platform to provide a low-power PC while offering modest computing and graphics capabilities.

    • Hardware manufacturers and the proprietary problem

      This is why I get so frustrated when people quickly dismiss Linux. I don’t have a problem with them preferring Windows, or even passing up the idea of giving Linux a try. But I do find it quite depressing that there’s no appreciation of what’s going on under the surface. I’m not talking about a sudo command, or lines of code. I’m talking about an ethos that standards are there to help consumers, to provide a level playing field for us all.

      Instead, it seems the legwork is being done, and then greedy manufacturers are rubbing their hands with glee as they mess around with said standard in a bid to line their own pockets. It can and should be stopped. But sadly, I fear that not enough people – aside from a quick grumble in a pub – really care that much. For what it’s worth? I do.

    • Mini PC includes dual-core Atom, Ion 2 graphics
    • Video-focused ARM/DSP SoC gains Linux development kit

      ChipWrights announced a Linux application development kit (ADK) for its CW5631 SoC, aimed at low-cost IPTV STBs and IP cameras. Like ChipWrights’ Linux-based CW5631 SDK announced earlier this year, the H264-ready ADK supports the CW5631, which combines a 400MHz ARM9 core, a DSP, and a RISC core.

    • Low-cost PowerQUICC chips offer flexible interconnect options

      A Linux-ready evaluation kit called the MPC830x-KIT is available, containing a single MPC830x carrier card. There are also system-on-modules available for each of the MPC830x devices, and Freescale also offers an MPC8308-RDB reference design board.

      All the evaluation boards and modules are provided with a Linux 2.6 board support package (BSP) that includes optimized drivers to support peripherals, says the company. The BSP is also said to include a quick-start guide and a six-month evaluation license for CodeWarrior development tools.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Exclusive: Dell Thunder prototype preview (video)

          Christmas came early at Engadget HQ this year, as evidenced by the picture above — you’re looking at two Dell Thunder prototype smartphones, each with some surprising quirks, and hints that they might include global HSPA, AWS for the likes of T-Mobile, and maybe even a dash of CDMA support. We’ll warn you ahead of time that these are labeled EVT1 for “engineering verification test” and date back to the April leak, so they’re about as early as you can get — don’t expect the final handset to arrive without some significant differences. Good? Then peek the gallery below, hit the break, and let’s get on with the show.

        • Exclusive: T-Mobile G2 in the wild!

          These shots of a real, live G2 confirm what we’d already suspected from renders: this is basically an Americanized version of the upcoming HTC Vision.

        • Next Version of Android to be Called “Honeycomb”?
        • Android 3.2 Honeycomb to Follow Gingerbread 3?

          Android 2.2, or Froyo, is just now rolling out to smartphones including the Droid 2 and HTC Evo 4G, but the blog TechRadar today is citing “multiple sources” as confirming that the next version of Android will be called Honeycomb, following the dessert-themed monikers of the mobile OS. Prior versions of Android were codenamed Cupcake, Donut, Eclair and Froyo.

        • Droid X upgrade to Android 2.2 leaks out

          What we’re looking at here is allegedly the leaked over-the-air update to Froyo that Verizon plans on deploying to Droid X customers in the next few weeks, which means two critical things for customers: it should generally be faster all the way around, and — of course — you’ve got support for Flash, which was a big topic of interest at Motorola’s launch event for the phone a couple months back.

        • Ubuntu ported on Galaxy S
        • Ubuntu ported on Samsung Galaxy S

          It was merely a week back when Coralic, through his blog enlightened how to develop a chroot environment for ARM architecture based processors and run Ubuntu Linux OS.

          A week back Armin Coralic, posted on his blog details on how to create chroot environment for ARM architecture based processors and run Ubuntu Linux OS. However this Ubuntu Linux version is a stripped down form of the same. Later, Coralic posted a step-by-step method of porting Ubuntu on Galaxy S.

        • 7 Best Android Apps for System Administrators

          System Administrators are always in need of applications to remotely monitor their networks, administer the servers, and get stats. The Android smart phone comes to the rescue with an enormous number of such remote apps to help the administrator remotely access his system. Seven of the best android apps for system administrators follow.

        • Will Google Drop a Chromlet on Black Friday?

          If true, the move will fulfill Google’s announcement earlier this year that it would launch Chrome OS tablets in time for the holiday season.

          However, it’s not yet clear how Chrome OS tablets will coexist with those running the Android operating system, which is also offered by Google. Will they be targeted at different markets?

          Also, could Oracle’s (Nasdaq: ORCL) lawsuit against Google hamper sales of Chrome tablets?

        • 75 Awesome Android Apps
        • Adobe AIR to arrive on Android later this year

          Adobe has confirmed that it will deliver its cross-platform Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR) environment for Google’s open source Android mobile operating system by the end of this year.

    • Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • The Urbi Robotic Software Platform Goes Open Source

    Urbi is an advanced robotics operating system, already available for a large number of robots like Aldebaran® Nao, Segway® RMP or Lego® Mindstorm, among 15 other different robots. One of its main innovations lies in a new orchestration script language called urbiscript, which natively integrates parallelism and event-based programming. Next to Urbi, Gostai also offers the Gostai Studio graphical programming tools, and compatibility with various simulators, making the Urbi framework one of the most advanced and complete solution for robot and complex system programming available today.

  • Urbi robotics software open sourced

    Urbi source code is licensed under version 3 of the GNU Affero General Public License (AGPLv3).

  • The State of Open Source System Automation

    The number of servers (both physical and virtual) is becoming uncountable. Automation of system administration is a must to handle the deluge; else swarms of sysadmins would be needed to handle all these systems.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • Healthcare

  • Project Releases

    • Phoronix Test Suite 2.8 Beta 2 Is Shining
    • The OpenSolaris-Based Nexenta Core Platform 3.0 Released

      Nexenta Core Platform 3.0 is derived from OpenSolaris Build 134, which is roughly what was supposed to be released as OpenSolaris 2010.02, then OpenSolaris 2010.03, and lastly prior to its slow death was just referred to as OpenSolaris 2010.1H. Nexenta CP 3.0 is also carrying various back-ports and other fixes onto the b134 stack.

    • Javascript server Node.js moves to 0.2.0

      Inspired by frameworks such as Ruby’s Event Machine or Python’s Twisted, Node.js avoids thread based networking and moves to an event driven model, where one thread executes all the code as demanded by events, such as the opening of network connections, or the completion of I / O operations. This has the advantage of being memory efficient and avoiding dead-lock issues, as there are no locks. Within Node.js code, HTTP is a first class protocol, with a library designed to allow for the handing of streamed data through the framework.

    • Clojure 1.2: A combination of scripts and functional programming

      The Clojure developers have released version 1.2 of their dynamic programming language. Clojure is one of the youngest programming languages executable on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and has recently been competing for public attention with the increasingly popular Scala language. The Lisp dialect is dynamically “typed” and was developed specifically for the JVM. A general-purpose language, it aims at combining the advantages of script languages with those of multi-threaded programs.

  • Licensing

    • Which Licence is Best for the Future?

      The GNU GPL might seem the obvious answer. After all, the GPL was drawn up specifically to make collaboration work and to create a community based on sharing code. But the experience of the last ten years of open source business has shown that, ironically, the GNU GPL actually allows companies that adopt it to act more, not less, like a traditional closed-source company.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open-source’s roots in the 19th century

      Wired states that the first instance of open-sourcing occurred in 1839, which is much earlier that most people might think. This progenitive incident also has some basic principles in common with more recent events in the computer field of somewhat dubious distinctions. I will leave those particulars out, but it shouldn’t be hard to figure out which companies I’m talking about in the events to follow.

      Try to guess which modern examples follow the example set by Louis Daguerre if you want.

      Before Daguerre came along, a permanent photo would take about eight hours to make. At the time, photographers could only make a negative image on a pewter plate. Daguerre worked out a chemical process that reduced this time to mere minutes, and etched out a positive image. Without that process, a significant step in the history of photography might never have happened. So what tips can we glean from Daguerre’s example

Leftovers

  • My Favorite 10 xkcd Comics Part-1
  • Five billionth device about to plug into Internet

    Sometime this month, the 5 billionth device will plug into the Internet. And in 10 years, that number will grow by more than a factor of four, according to IMS Research, which tracks the installed base of equipment that can access the Internet.

  • Security/Aggression

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Tech industry holds closed door talks on open internet

      Last week a crowd of about 100 people marched to Google’s headquarters in California to present boxes that they said contained 300,000 signatures upholding the values of net neutrality, a founding principle of the net that states that all web data is treated equally no matter where it comes from.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Should you be able to copyright a shirt?

        On Aug. 5, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) introduced S.3728: the Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act. He’s got 10 co-sponsors — including three Republicans — and a big idea: to extend copyright protections to the fashion industry, where none currently exist. That’s right: none. I — well, not I, but someone who can sew — can copy Vera Wang’s (extremely expensive) dress and sell it to you right now (for much less), and Wang can’t do a thing about it.

        We’re used to the logic of copyright. Movies, music and pharmaceuticals all use some form of patent or copyright protection. The idea is simple: If people can’t profit from innovation, they won’t innovate. So to encourage the development of stuff we want, we give the innovators something very valuable — exclusive access to the profit from their innovations. We’ve so bought into the logic that we allow companies to patent human genes.

      • 7 Sources of Free Sounds for Multimedia Projects

        In my posts 11 Techy Things for Teachers to Try This Year and How To Do 11 Techy Things In the New School Year I mentioned podcasting and video creation. When creating podcasts and videos adding music and other sounds can enhance your students’ presentations. Here are seven tools that your students can use find and or create sounds for their multimedia presentations.

Clip of the Day

Richard M. Stallman Speech DebconfII Indonesia


08.20.10

Links 20/8/2010: PlayStation 3 Allegedly Hacked, MeeGo-based Nokia N9

Posted in News Roundup at 11:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • GNU/Linux Share of Minds

    A recent survey of IT decision-makers leads to the inescapable conclusion that FLOSS on the server will soon take many mission-critical roles that it has not already taken. Competitive forces will do the rest. Business is about making money and if your cost/performance is better with GNU/Linux you have the potential to compete well against others who cling to the old ways. About the only thing soon left to the monopoly will be managing its own clients. FLOSS can do everything else much better. Eventually the last barrier will fall, acceptance of that other OS on the client as the standard.

  • PlayStation 3 Security Foiled by Jailbreak USB Stick?

    Sony’s PlayStation 3 was long popular with the homebrew and tech-savvy gamer crowd, in part because Sony initially supported running Linux on the console. However, Sony removed Linux capability in a firmware update earlier this year, allegedly to staunch game and content piracy, and since then PlayStation 3 security has been garnering more than a little attention from enthusiasts and console modders eager to get back inside the console.

  • Rumor: Playstation 3 Has Been Jailbroken

    Hopefully Playstation 3 users won’t lose more functionalities (like Linux) because of this.

  • Sony PS3 gets jailbroken to run Linux

    According to PSX Scene a bunch of open source hardware hackers have released a dongle called PS Jailbreak that will turn the PS3 back into a Linux machine.

  • Poll: One in five plan to buy Apple Mac

    The remaining 7.7 percent answered ‘Linux system’.

    “I’ve been using Linux for too long. I can see no good reason to switch to Windows,” commented octal.

  • Desktop

    • Dell, Let Me Help You With the Maths

      but it took in only $2.9 billion for consumer PCs. Imagine if those PCs had shipped with GNU/Linux and they had been able to pocket another $50-$100 per PC. That would have been another $100-$200 million revenue. Compare that to a $21 million loss.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Google

  • Kernel Space

    • The 2010 Linux Storage and Filesystem Summit, day 2

      The summit was widely seen as a successful event, and the participation of the memory management community was welcomed. So there will be a joint summit again for storage, filesystem, and memory management developers next year. It could happen as soon as early 2011; the participants would like to move the event back to the (northern) spring, and waiting for 18 months for the next gathering seemed like too long.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Open-Source 2D, 3D For ATI Radeon HD 5000 Series GPUs

        AMD continues to abide by their commitment to provide open-source support for their graphics cards and as proof of that this afternoon they have released their initial hardware acceleration code that supports the ATI Radeon HD 5000 “Evergreen” family of consumer grade graphics processors. While this Evergreen support isn’t yet finished and for the time being is targeted towards Linux developers and enthusiasts, you can now play around with your ATI Radeon HD 5000 graphics processor on an open-source driver while having 2D EXA, X-Video, and OpenGL acceleration.

        The ATI Radeon HD 5000 series family launched back in September of last year with the Radeon HD 5850 and Radeon HD 5870 graphics cards, which was followed by the launch of other GPUs like the Radeon HD 5750, Radeon HD 5770, and Radeon HD 5970. Following those product milestones, in December there was the release of some Evergreen shader documentation and by this February, there was finally Evergreen KMS support for utilizing kernel mode-setting and other basic functionality with your new ATI Radeon hardware. This initial KMS support was merged into the Linux 2.6.34 kernel, but it went without any X-Video or 2D EXA acceleration support. In April there was another AMD code drop for Evergreen and it implemented the command processor, interrupts, and graphics initialization support along with providing new microcode for these ASICs.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Choosing a Distribution of GNU/Linux

      3.

      There are many more factors than 7 that could have been tested. Updates, local services, games, etc. all may affect choices. Installing and trying things out from several distros is an option users of that other OS lack. Installing using a package manager is cool. It’s fast and you use the same tool to install the OS as the applications. Be sure to visit Distrowatch.com to help choose your distro.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Pursuing Certification For RHEL 6, Hypervisor

        Red Hat is pursuing a certification for its Linux OS and virtualization, paving the way for government agencies to use the technology to create secure, virtualized IT environments and private clouds.

      • GARM Technologies Partners with Cloud Linux Inc.

        Cloud Linux Inc., a software company dedicated to serving the needs of hosting service providers, today announced that GARM Technologies, a hosting provider, will add CloudLinux to its shared hosting infrastructure. The company says that GARM Technologies specialize in shared and VPS hosting and selected CloudLinux for its new Lightweight Virtual Environment (LVE) technology that will deliver substantial performance improvements to its hosting customers.

      • Support of Red Hat Enterprise Linux extended by 3 years

        Red Hat has added an additional 3 years to support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) via its new “Extended Life Cycle Support” (ELS). Available as a paid subscription, the added package prolongs the support of the Linux distribution for corporate customers from seven to ten years; this of particular interest to customers who are currently still using RHEL3, which was released in October 2003, as the regular support for this distribution will expire at the end of October.

      • Oppenheimer Reiterates Outperform Rating on Red Hat (RHT)

        Oppenheimer is out with a research report this morning, where it reiterates its Outperform rating on Red Hat (NYSE: RHT); it has a $40.00 price target on the stock.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Massive Changes Coming to Ubuntu 10.10 ‘Maverick Meerkat’ Installer

          Proposed welcome screen looks pretty, readable and non-intimidating. Thats more like it. As a long time Ubuntu user, I really know how far these changes can help a newbie trying his luck in the new found Ubuntu world.

        • Ubuntu’s SPARC & IA64 Ports Have Been Killed

          A few months back we reported that the IA64 and SPARC versions of Ubuntu were in trouble and would be decommissioned if no individual(s) were to step-up and maintain these ports of Ubuntu Linux for these architectures that are much less popular and common than x86 and x86_64 hardware. Well, there still is no one backing the Intel IA64 and Sun SPARC versions of Ubuntu Linux so they are being dropped completely.

        • Canonical Teaches Ubuntu to Phone Home Every Day

          No user-specific data is sent, Phoronix notes; rather, the package reportedly transmits only the operating system version, the machine product name and a counter.

        • Ubuntu 11.04 Release Schedule

          The release schedule for Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) operating system has been published on the Ubuntu wiki. The distribution will be released at the end of April 2011.

        • Reasons to switch to Ubuntu from Microsoft Windows

          It’s hard to say why features are left the same or barely upgraded, but it is most likely done to familiarize the general public with Microsoft Windows itself. Interestingly enough, it comes in many forms and with different features, and the price seems to always be somewhere in the clouds, large price to pay for something so stale.

          Perhaps one of the worst features of Microsoft Windows are the fact that users are extremely bound by computing law, even if they haven’t noticed it because of customizable features. For example, Microsoft Windows cannot match the customizing abilities of Mac and Ubuntu, and it never will.

          One should find it hard to believe that developers would even consider working with Microsoft Windows to create new applications and games if it wasn’t for its popularity. The operating system itself is extremely unstable, one rouge application could crash the whole system or at least freeze the screen.

        • Canonical discontinues Itanium and SPARC support in Ubuntu

          Ubuntu 10.10, code-named Maverick Meerkat, will not be ported to the Itanium and SPARC platforms. The Ubuntu developers were already dissatisfied with the quality of the two ports in the recent 10.04 LTS release, because the two processor platforms have been without a dedicated maintainer for some time.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Unison Ultra Tiny Linux OS Now Available for Actel SmartFusion Devices

      Actel Corporation (Nasdaq: ACTL) and RoweBots today announced the immediate availability of Unison, an ultra tiny Linux® compatible OS for SmartFusion™ devices. Developers now have the option for Linux-based embedded design when using SmartFusion intelligent mixed signal FPGAs. With continued broadening of its ecosystem, Actel continues to provide ease of adoption of SmartFusion devices for embedded designers.

    • ChipWrights Stacks Linux Application Development Kit with Major Enhancements for IPTV Set-Top Boxes and IP Cameras

      ChipWrights, Inc.’part of AD Group’New Linux Application Development Kit for the CW5631 System-on-Chip provides the components to develop low-cost IPTV set-top boxes and IP cameras and significantly improve time to market. The Kit’based on the OpenEmbedded build system’leverages thousands of open source packages.

    • Phones

      • Programming for Androids with App Inventor

        Other open source mobile platforms are available, including Maemo on the Nokia N900 and the LiMo platform. Palm’s WebOS is also worth keeping an eye on, which is Linux based even if closed source. That said, none of these make programming quite so easy as Google have just done for Android.

      • Nokia/MeeGo

      • Android

        • Symbian popularity drops as Android advances

          “The software giant will have a difficult time maintaining its market share above 5 [per cent] as the launching of its new Windows Phone 7 OS has been delayed to the fourth quarter and sales of Windows Mobile smartphones [are] still showing no signs of rebound.”

          We have hand it to Digitimes for showing such diplomacy. A more frank version would be that the Vole is sinking without a trace, Windows Phone 7 will be late and nobody wants its current crop of phones, but then again not everyone displays our lack of tact and sensitivity.

        • Android App Roundup: 75 of the Best Mobile Linux Downloads

          Unlike the rigidly controlled Apple App Store, the Android Marketplace is a bit freewheeling. It can be hard to tell the gold from the dross. To help you find the gems, here’s a list of 75 of the best apps the Android Marketplace has to offer.

        • Google’s Tablet to Run Android or Chrome OS?

          When Google first briefed the media last November on its plans to help spawn a new generation of Chrome OS-powered netbooks, the company said the first set of devices would be released this fall.

          Despite some analyst’s skepticism that the effort is on track, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), as recently as last week, said it expects Chrome OS netbooks to be available later this year.

        • Acer may delay tablet PC launch for another quarter to wait for Android 3.0

          Acer’s ARM/Android-based tablet PC is expected to be delayed to the first quarter of 2011, from the fourth quarter of 2010, as the company plans to wait until Google launches Android 3.0, which will feature support for larger display resolutions, according to sources from notebook players.

    • Tablets

      • Google Chrome OS tablet headed for Verizon?

        HTC is building a Chrome OS tablet for Google, set for a Verizon launch on Nov. 26, an industry report claims. Meanwhile, Pandigital released its second seven-inch Android-based e-reader tablet, with more memory than before plus a smaller, lighter design.

      • Google targeting Apple iPad with Chrome tablet?

        Google Android was always going to be the heart of many Linux-based iPad like devices. That’s not news. What is news is that Google and Verizon appear to be working together to create a Chrome operating system-based tablet.

        According to a report from the Download Squad, HTC is building the Chrome OS tablet. The device will be sold in partnership with Verizon starting on November 26th. That date is already engraved in every retailer’s heart as Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving and usually the biggest shopping day of the year.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Waiting out FLOSS

    Some proprietary software businesses assume that FLOSS projects/businesses will die from lack of income. They expect they can buy up the projects and convert them to proprietary products or kill them. They don’t get FLOSS. It’s the licences that keep FLOSS free, not the price. FLOSS can be forked and escapes the trap. The current suit by Oracle to capitalize on Java or to kill it will fail both because there is no legal basis for the suit and because even if Java is killed, FLOSS can work around the problem. If Oracle wishes to become a patent troll, its days are numbered as everyone will know it is risky to do business with them. They cannot sue the world as SCOG found out.

  • Ready to be an open source contributor but don’t know where to start?

    OpenHatch is a place for developers who want to be involved in open source but don’t know where to start. You can go to the site and search for a way to contribute based on a language you know or a project you like. You can even search for “bite-size bugs,” the bugs that have been tagged by a project as being specifically good for new contributors.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla: Firefox Security Bug Won’t Fool Users

        A bug in the Firefox browser that can be used to bypass an alert for obfuscated URLs is unlikely to trick users, according to Mozilla.

      • Firefox 4 beta 4 adds hardware acceleration

        Mozilla hopes to release its fourth beta of Firefox 4 on Monday, adding hardware-accelerated graphics for some Windows users but leaving it turned off by default.

        Also coming is a major user interface change called tab sets, formerly known as tab candy.

  • Databases

    • CUBRID vs. MySQL: SSD Performance Test Results

      The test confirmed that TPS levels of CUBRID and MySQL database systems increase on SSD equipped machines. During the I/O Bound workload CUBRID had 4.2 times increase in TPS, while MySQL had 2.8 fold improvement.

  • Oracle

    • Oracle’s anti-OSS stance

      The next to fall victim was the PostgreSQL database. Although not owned by Oracle, the open source database software is a competitor to MySQL, now owned by Oracle. Sun Microsystems was contributing servers for the development of PostgreSQL, but at the end of July Oracle shut these down, leaving PostgreSQL work in limbo, and raising further questions about Oracle’s commitment to open source.

    • Is Oracle building its own software stack?

      I begin to wonder if Oracle is beginning to build its own stack. What brings this to mind is the announcement by Edward Screven, chief corporate architect, that Oracle wants to give companies access to a world where data centers have become “service centers.”

      Oracle has long had many of the parts: an operating system, Unbreakable Linux, and now Solaris; a DBMS, of course; and with the acquisition of Sun, Java and all the middleware you could ever want.

    • Is Oracle Taking OpenOffice.org Closed-Source?

      I have written many articles in the past about how much I love OpenOffice.org. In fact OpenOffice is one of the applications that first gave me the confidence to switch to GNU/Linux six years ago. Today I downloaded and installed the latest stable version of OpenOffice, version 3.2.1. This is the best version of OpenOffice that I have ever used from a technical standpoint. However, there were a few things that I noticed that gave me great reason for concern. Based on what I saw, I have serious doubts as to whether OpenOffice.org will continue to be free software/open source in the distant future. Oracle seems to be allowing forces that could be seen as hostile influence, or at least interact with, the OpenOffice community. Perhaps more disturbingly, they appear to be trying to distance OpenOffice from the free software license under which it has propagated for so many years.

    • Is Oracle going after Google because Ellison is buddies with Jobs?

      I can think of all kinds of reasons why Oracle is suing Google over its use of its Java IP (intellectual property) in Android. Making money from its Java patents strikes me and most experts as the most likely reason. But, I’ve also heard suggested, time after time, that the real reason is that Larry Ellison, Oracle’s CEO is buddies with Steve Jobs, aka Mr. Apple and he wanted to help Apple fight Android.

      Could that be the case? Here’s the logic that supporters of this theory use. First, Google and Apple are competiting head-to-head in the smartphone space. The iPhone certainly has more users, but the Android phone family is quickly catching up.

  • Healthcare

    • VA sees problems in open-source development for VistA

      The Veterans Affairs Department sees advantages in using open-source software to modernize its Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA) system, but it anticipates several problems if it takes that step.

      The VA issued a request for information Aug. 11 asking for industry to deal with anticipated concerns related to open-source development for VistA.

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • The State of Free Software

      * Free Software has come from being ignored and ridiculed to being required by everyone. The world of IT now depends on Free Software.

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Launchpad programming with Linux

      Mike wrote a guide for programming MSP430 microcontrollers using the TI Launchpad under Linux. It makes use of the open source compiler MSPGCC rather than using a code-limited proprietary IDE.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Coder cooks up Java-built Flash Player

      A version of Flash is being built using Java, two years after Adobe Systems opened the player’s closed formats to external inspection.

      Programmer Joa Ebert has demonstrated a Java build of Flash executing SWF. The player is apparently called JITB, and it was recently unveiled at an event in San Francisco.

    • Venezuelan press ban on crime pictures

      The leading Venezuelan newspaper El Nacional printed the word “censored” across a white space on its front page today.

Leftovers

  • Connecticut AG Conducts E-Book Price Fixing Investigation
  • The Government’s License To Steal

    Almost none. This weekend, the Indianapolis Star ran a front-page article looking at where all the forfeiture money is going. I’d like to link to it, but in an apparent effort to keep the paper as irrelevant as possible, the Star has lately adopted a policy of not putting its most important pieces online. But as it turns out, Indiana attorney Paul Ogden actually beat the paper to the story by several weeks. Last month, Ogden put up a post on his blog that came to many of the same conclusions the Star published this weekend. Here’s what Ogden found:

    * Of Indiana’s 92 counties, just five have paid any forfeiture money into the school fund over the last two years. Three of those made just one payment. One county made a single payment of $84.50. Only one county could arguably be seen as complying with the law: Wayne County made 18 payments totalling $38,835.56.
    * The total amount of forfeiture money paid into the account from all 92 Indiana counties over the two-year period was just $95,509.72.
    * To put that figure into perspective, Ogden notes that attorney Christopher Gambill—the private attorney who, as I noted in my article, handles civil forfeiture cases for three Indiana counties and argued the case for Putnam County to keep Anthony Smelley’s money—made $113,145.67 in contingency fees off just a single forfeiture case.

  • Superman Lawyer Claims Warner Bros. Lawsuit Is A SLAPP

    Earlier this year, we wrote about the odd decision of Warner Bros. studio to personally sue Marc Toberoff, the lawyer who successfully represented the heirs of the creators of Superman to win back some of their copyright, by using copyright’s termination rules. Toberoff is making a career of this, and has been helping numerous other content creators start the process of reclaiming rights using the termination process — which makes him somewhat… disliked in the entertainment industry. Still, to sue him personally seemed quite extreme. As we noted at the time, the lawsuit seemed to be based on the idea that Toberoff is a jerk and a savvy business person. As we noted at the time, that doesn’t appear to be illegal.

  • OMG! My Job is Threatened

    I was horrified to read, “The days of DIY system administration are rapidly coming to a close.” All those lovely GNU tools about to be replaced by automatons. Sigh. Change is a given in IT. Fortunately my system is small enough my home-made configuration works well and it will take some effort to implement puppet or one of the other automatic systems.

  • Autotune The News Becomes A Billboard Hit

    From a cultural perspective, though, this whole story again shows how culture is changing in very interesting and powerful ways. When we talk about things like “remixing” and “mashups,” we tend to hear from a chorus of folks who brush off such things as mere copying and not worthy of being considered art in itself. But there’s a lot more to it than that. What makes culture culture is the shared experiences around that work. This song is not only musically interesting, but also calls attention to a horrible incident that happened as well. And, again, some will brush it off as being meaningless, but the power with which it has interested so many people is not something that should be ignored.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Council’s CCTV Spy car on double yellows again

      Medway Council’s CCTV spy car has once again been captured parked on double yellow lines.

      The all-seeing camera car, one of two operated by the council, was parked in a cul-de-sac outside Blockbuster’s Chatham town centre store, off Best Street, on Saturday, July 31.

    • Ex-soldier forbidden from cutting grass around mother’s grave

      Derek Evans started tending the cemetery where his mother is buried after noticing the grass needed cutting.

      The Army pensioner bought a £300 lawnmower and within a year was helping spruce up the gravesides for more than 70 grateful owners.

    • Ciggy Busters

      Gutsy students from Medway have been snatching shoppers’ cigarettes, in an effort to persuade them to kick the habit.

    • Feds: No charges in Philadelphia school laptop-spying case

      Federal prosecutors will not file charges against a school district or its employees over the use of software to remotely monitor students.

      U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger says investigators have found no evidence of criminal intent by Lower Merion School District employees who activated tracking software that took thousands of webcam and screenshot images on school-provided laptops.

    • US combat forces pull out of Iraq

      Sources say that the final section of combat troops in Iraq, the United States Army’s 4th Stryker Brigade, based at Fort Lewis, Washington, have made their way across the border between Iraq and Kuwait, formally ending combat operations within Iraq.

    • Iris Scanners Create the Most Secure City in the World. Welcome, Big Brother

      Biometrics R&D firm Global Rainmakers Inc. (GRI) announced today that it is rolling out its iris scanning technology to create what it calls “the most secure city in the world.” In a partnership with Leon — one of the largest cities in Mexico, with a population of more than a million — GRI will fill the city with eye-scanners. That will help law enforcement revolutionize the way we live — not to mention marketers.

    • Facebook login page still leaks sensitive info

      Facebook’s login system continues to spill information that can be helpful to phishers, social engineers and other miscreants attempting to scam the more than 500 million active users of the social networking site.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Biotech Beets Banned

      Last week, a federal district court judge in northern California issued an injunction against planting biotech sugar beets next year. Why? He accepted the activist argument that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) must issue a full environmental impact statement (EIS) under the National Environmental Policy Act before permitting the improved sugar beets to be grown. An EIS is required when a federal government agency engages in actions that might be “significantly affecting the quality of the human environment.”

    • Rising temperatures reducing ability of plants to absorb carbon, study warns

      Rising temperatures in the past decade have reduced the ability of the world’s plants to soak up carbon from the atmosphere, scientists said today.

      Large-scale droughts have wiped out plants that would have otherwise absorbed an amount of carbon equivalent to Britain’s annual man-made greenhouse gas emissions.

    • Environment needs Muslim support

      In early March, just days after the Kingdom of Morocco announced plans for a landmark environmental charter called “the first commitment of its kind in Africa and the Arab world”, Mohamed Attaoui was sentenced to two years in prison in the Atlas mountains. His crime? Speaking out against illegal logging of shrinking cedar forests and corruption among the ranks of the forest service and local government officials.

    • Activists set up Climate Camp at Royal Bank of Scotland headquarters

      Hundreds of climate activists have occupied land at the Royal Bank of Scotland’s headquarters in protest at its multi-billion pound loans to the oil and mining industries, including firms involved in exploiting Canadian tar sands.

      The protesters cut through a perimeter fence on Wednesday night, erecting scores of tents and marquees on landscaped meadows a few hundred metres from the headquarters building.

    • BP oil spill: scientists find giant plume of droplets ‘missed’ by official account

      A 22-mile plume of droplets from BP’s Deepwater Horizon well in the Gulf of Mexico undermines claim that oil has degraded

  • Finance

    • Barclays settles ‘data stripping to beat sanctions’ case

      Barclays – which is settling criminal charges of breaking US sanctions by effecting wire transfers with Cuba, Iran, Libya, Sudan and Burma – was accused of stripping out identifying data in the transfers, it has emerged. The bank is awaiting court approval for the $298 million (£190 million) settlement.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • San Francisco’s Free “Organic Biosolids Compost” is Toxic Sludge, and Not Good For You!

      Independent testing commissioned by the Food Rights Network found toxic contaminants in San Francisco’s sewage sludge “compost.” In the sludge product given away free to gardeners from 2007 to March 4, 2010, are contaminants with endocrine-disruptive properties including PBDE flame retardants, nonylphenol detergent breakdown products, and the antibacterial agent triclosan. The independent tests were conducted for the Food Rights Network by Dr. Robert C. Hale of the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences.

    • USA Today Drinks the Tea

      USA Today’s article emphasizes the decentralized nature of the Tea Party movement, reinforcing the idea that it is solely a grassroots movement. That has been far from the case. USA Today doesn’t mention that, unlike other “grassroots movements,” the Tea Party benefits from major media sponsorship by Fox News, and receives financial backing from corporate lobbyists. The article also fails to describe the many factions of the movement and their origins, which are confusing to many: the Tea Party Patriots (arguably the least well funded and most “grassroots” faction of the movement); the for-profit Tea Party Nation (a domestic for-profit business entity that sells baubles like bejeweled tea bags for $89.95 apiece) and the Tea Party Express, which is basically a professional PR campaign sponsored by FreedomWorks, which is headed by former Republican Majority Leader-turned-lobbyist Dick Armey.

    • Big Farmers Use PR to Boost Their Image

      Documentary movies about the American food industry, like “Food Inc.,” “Fast Food Nation”, “King Corn” and “Supersize Me” for the first time gave millions of people a hard look at modern food production practices, including distasteful realities like factory farming. As a result, more people have become skeptical of modern farming practices and mindful about where their food comes from. But big farmers are starting to fight back.

    • Target Gets “Flashmobbed” for Supporting Right-Winger

      Last month, it was revealed that Target contributed 150,000 to the gubernatorial campaign of conservative, anti-gay candidate Tom Emmer. Agit-pop activists have something to say about that: “Target ain’t people so why should they be, allowed to play around with our democracy!” Watch:

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Google rattles Germany

      Google Inc.’s plans to launch its “Street View” mapping service in 20 German cities by year’s end has ignited a debate in Germany over how to reconcile the country’s cherished privacy laws with the realities of the digital age.

    • Ten ways to protect your privacy online

      9) wi-fi – if you’ve got wi-fi at home, give it a good password (see above). Otherwise it allows intruders in with few barriers to overcome.

    • Julian Assange wins Sam Adams Award for Integrity

      The award is judged by a group of retired senior US military and intelligence personnel, and past winners. This year the award to Julian Assange was unanimous.

    • Michael Moore praises suspected WikiLeaks source

      Filmmaker Michael Moore is praising an Army private suspected of releasing classified war records to WikiLeaks and said he would contribute to his defense.

    • North Korea Twitter account banned in South Korea

      South Korea has blocked access to the official North Korea Twitter account, a matter of days after the secretive state started posting messages.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Pirate Bay Typo Squatter Applies For US Trademark On Pirate Bay As Well

      It should be no surprise that various malicious typo squatters have targeted The Pirate Bay with fake sites that try to install malware, however Torrentfreak looked a bit deeper and found that one of the typo squatters, a company called BladeBook, appears to be trying to trademark the actual name, as well. Apparently, BladeBook’s Craig Pratka first filed for the trademark the same day that it was announced that The Pirate Bay had been sold to GGF, a deal that eventually fell apart (as did the initial trademark application).

    • Copyrights

      • The High Cost of Copyright:

        In my classes in IP law and copyright, I sometimes have difficulty conveying to students the “cost” side of the copyright regime. That is, though we often make reference to implementing the right copyright “balance” in our law, I think students (and others, for that matter) are often uncertain as to exactly what is being balanced against what. The benefits of a copyright regime are pretty obvious — if you give people a property interest in their creations, they’ll be able to work out market arrangements to receive compensation for them; knowing that in advance, they’ll create more works of art than they otherwise would absent that protection, and we’re all better off as a result. That’s easy enough to see. What’s harder to see is why that principle should ever be limited — if protection yields more creative works, why won’t more protection yield more creative works (to the benefit of all)? Why not make copyright perpetual, and copyright rights as broad and as deep as possible — won’t that get us even more creative works to enjoy? [That’s a viewpoint that many in Congress apparently share, as copyright protection has indeed gotten longer and longer and deeper and broader over the past 50 years or so — helped along, I suppose, by those stacked bundles of unmarked hundred dollar bills left in Congressional anterooms by representatives of the “copyright industries” — hey, don’t sue me, that’s just a joke).

      • Shameful Moments In American History’s Copyright Censorship

        Here is one of the nation’s most prominent television critics at the time effectively admitting that a single copyright suit prevented countless of creative comedic works from being produced at the time – a shameful fact that is surely ignored in most law school and history classes today.

      • Grooveshark Pulled From Apple App Store Amid Record Label Complaints

        After several months of battling App Store reviewers, the on-demand music service finally released its official iOS app last week. The reason for the app’s removal? According to the Grooveshark blog, Apple received a takedown notice from Universal Music Group UK.

        In February, UMG filed a lawsuit against Grooveshark over the service’s use of IP. Grooveshark has also battled — and settled — with the music label EMI.

      • Professor Says News Should Get Special 24 Hour Protections So No Aggregator Can Link To It

        We’ve seen all sorts of really bizarre and downright dangerous plans to change copyright law to favor newspapers, but a new one, posted at Henry Blodget’s Business Insider may be the most ridiculous of all. It starts off with a bunch of really bad assumptions, and then suggests special copyright protections for publications against aggregators, including that no one could repost (even fair use reposting) any content from a daily publication for 24-hours or a week for weekly publications:

        A first suggestion would be to provide newspaper and other journalistic content special protection, so that no part of any story from any daily periodical could be reposted in an online aggregator, or used online for any use other than commentary on the article, for 24 hours; similarly, no part of any story from any weekly publication could be reposted in an online aggregator or for any use purpose other than commentary, for one week.

      • Las Vegas Review-Journal Thinks Suing Sites Over Copyright Will Mean More People Link To It

        Amusingly, the article also has the Righthaven folks admitting some “kinks” that need “to be worked out,” such as the time it sued the very source for an article (apparently, this has happened more than once). In the one case that we wrote about, after that came to light, Righthaven dropped the lawsuit. I’m guessing that after some more lawyers start fighting back against Righthaven, it’s going to discover quite a few more “kinks” in its system.

      • Rocker John Mellencamp likens Internet to A-bomb

        Rocker John Mellencamp said on Tuesday that the Internet was the most dangerous invention since the atomic bomb, although new technology could paradoxically delay the inevitable demise of rock ‘n’ roll.

      • Felicia Day’s Success With The Guild Highlights The Importance Of Authenticity With A Community

        This is a key point that often gets lost in business model discussions. When we talk about different offerings, it’s amazing how much people discount the importance of authenticity as a scarcity. We see it all the time with companies who want to sponsor something, and then have tremendous level of control — losing all of the authenticity and, with it, much of the value (and, eventually, audience). It’s nice to see a situation where a company (in this case, Microsoft) properly recognized when not to get too involved.

      • Our shrinking commons

        “Federal law provides severe civil and criminal penalties for unauthorized reproduction, distribution or exhibition of copyrighted motion pictures.”

        What’s with the many movies we watch at home launching with this threat? You can’t even fast-forward past it! And what’s with day-care centers being threatened for decorating with Mickey Mouse images? And club proprietors who must caution open-mike artists against strumming published songs? Are rockers who fold in a few seconds from some popular work, and visual artists who quote commercial imagery, really thieves?

        It wasn’t always that way. Such cultural expression was, for centuries past, sharing, not theft. We’ve moved radically far in a long process of intellectual enclosure, privatizing and shutting down a vigorous cultural commons.

        Lewis Hyde, MacArthur Fellow and professor at Kenyon and Harvard, offers a brilliant and absorbing account of the development of restrictive and enduring private ownership of shared experience. “Common as Air” develops, in Hyde’s own words, “a model and defense of our ‘cultural commons,’ that vast store of unowned ideas, inventions and works of art that we have inherited from the past and that we continue to create.”

Clip of the Day

Microsoft The Embarrasing moments


Links 20/8/2010: Google Chat Now on GNU/Linux, GNOME 2.32 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 5:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Supporting Multi-Touch In Non-Multi-Touch Linux Apps

    After the release of the Ubuntu Multi-Touch stack called UTouch and the X.Org Gesture Extension, the rising question would be the support of everyday applications, as only a few applications in Ubuntu 10.10 will properly support UTouch. Standard applications which are non-multi-touch-aware only recognize events which come from the keyboard and the mouse like key-presses and mouse clicks.

  • Desktop

    • [compiz] The final piece of the puzzle
    • LLVMpipe & Compiz 0.9 Still Don’t Play Along

      LLVMpipe is an especially interesting Gallium3D driver since it allows accelerating the state trackers atop any modern CPU, but for any close to decent level of performance when using OpenGL you need a hefty multi-core CPU (here’s some LLVMpipe benchmarks just from last week) that supports the latest SSE4 instructions as well. While some OpenGL games will run with LLVMpipe and the performance of this driver that leverages the Low-Level Virtual Machine is much faster and better than Mesa’s old software rasterizer or the Gallium3D Softpipe driver, Compiz nor the GNOME Shell (and most other compositing window managers) yet work with this driver.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Linux Outlaws 163 – The Frostbite Empire

      In this special episode we interview blind Linux user Jonathan Nadeau about his company Frostbite Systems that sells blind-optimised computers, his podcast network Frostbite Media and much more…

    • Episode 0x2D:Updated Discussion

      Karen and Bradley discuss the enforcement activities of the Software Freedom Conservancy, recent conferences and medical devices.

    • Podcast 81 Mona Interview (GentooApologetin)

      Interview with longtime Gentoo user Mona, third place finisher in the recent 2010 Gentoo screenshot contest. If you would prefer to read the interview, Mona provided a transcript below.

    • Podcast Season 2 Episode 15

      In this episode: Ubuntu 10.10 is going to add gesture support and 11.04 is going to be called the Natty Narwhal. Debian 6.0 has been feature frozen while Oracle sets its sights on Google. Discover how we fared with our Nethack challenge and how we filled the Open Ballot section without an Open Ballot.

  • Google

    • Google now supporting voice and video chat on Linux

      Google now supporting voice and video chat on Linux

      Google has finally updated their web based talk service to support voice and video chat on Linux.

    • Google’s App Engine now multi-tenant capable

      Further details about the release can be found in the release notes. Version 1.3.6 of the Google App Engine SDK is available to download from Google Code.

    • Chrome Web Store Slated For October Launch, Google Taking A Mere 5% Cut Of Revenue

      Gaming portal 1Up.com has detailed a presentation given by Google developer advocates Mark DeLoura and Michael Mahemoff at GDC Europe that contains new details about the Chrome Web Store — a feature first announced at Google I/O that will allow users to purchase web applications from their Chrome web browsers. During their talk, the Google employees revealed that the Web Store is going to (probably) launch in October, and they gave more details on how the web store’s payments would work.

    • Android Developers Bemoan Paid App Limits

      Android developers can distribute their software for free in 46 countries, but they can only sell apps in 13 countries: Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States.

  • Kernel Space

    • The IRMOS realtime scheduler

      In the context of the IRMOS European Project (Interactive Real-Time Applications on Service-Oriented Infrastructures), a new realtime scheduler for Linux has been developed by the Real-Time Systems Laboratory of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa. The purpose of this article is to provide a general overview of this new scheduler, describe its features and how it can be practically used, provide a few details about the implemented algorithms, and gathering feedback by the community about possible improvements.

    • Graphics Stack

      • ATI’s 2D Performance With X.Org Server 1.9

        With the imminent release of X.Org Server 1.9, last week we delivered benchmarks of Intel’s 2D driver performance with X.Org Server 1.9. In those tests we found Intel’s UXA (UMA Acceleration Architecture) performance only changed a bit — for either better or worse — with the updated X Server, but today we are looking at the 2D EXA performance using ATI Radeon hardware using this soon-to-be-released X Server.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Ingo Malchow
      • KDE 4.5 Trades Revolution for Evolution

        By the standards of previous releases in the KDE 4 series, KDE 4.5 is tame. It has few new applications, and introduces no new technologies. Yet with its combination of small innovations and interface improvements, KDE 4.5 still manages to be a release worth installing. Although it does not try to expand the concept of the desktop, it does make KDE easier to use in dozens of small and satisfying ways.

        Released August 10, KDE 4.5 is already packaged for many major distributions, including Fedora, Mandriva, openSUSE, and Ubuntu, although in some cases you will have to look in the developmental repositories rather than the main ones. Source code is also available from the project. Those who want to try it before installing can download the latest CD from openSUSE’s KDE Four Live site.

      • The KDE 4.5 Semantic Desktop

        My last article I spoke about the new KDE Activities features Search and Launch Containment Activity (see my article “Using the KDE 4.5 Search and Launch Containment Activity“). This is the first visible sign of KDE’s use of the Nepomuk Semantic Desktop. Nepomuk is a system that uses metadata throughout the desktop to aid in file search and peer to peer collaboration. So far the project has yet to reach its full potential (as it is quite new to the desktop).

        Strigi, on the other hand, is the desktop search daemon that runs on the KDE desktop. It is these two components that help to create the KDE 4.5 Semantic Desktop (a desktop who’s data is easily shared between components). In this article I will introduce you to these two components and how you interact with them to make your KDE desktop as fluid as possible.

      • Working Upstream.

        On the website of an Austrian (no kangaroos!) newspaper, I read an interview with Canonical’s Jono Bacon. In this interview, Jono talks about the process of developing central components of the desktop inside Canonical. The process is basically that Canonical’s design department, Ayatana develops components. When they are finished, they’re offered for inclusion into GNOME, which was not a successful in all cases yet. According to Jono this is “working upstream”, explaining that in this context Ayatana is the upstream. GNOME is seen as a provider of components, building blocks for Ubuntu’s user experience.

        The definition Jono handles of upstream development is quite different from how it works for me. I can speak of personal and professional experience in this context, as I have been working quite a lot on central components of the Plasma Desktop (and Netbook as well). I have done this work both, as a voluntary contributor in my Free time (pun intended), and continue to do so in my working hours for open-slx. open-slx happens to sell and support Linux deskop operating systems.

      • Ubuntu One – The KDE Way

        Over the past couple of months I had the great opportunity of taking part in this year’s Google Summer of Code. I moved out to bring Ubuntu One to the KDE desktop and I think I was rather successful with it, now all I need to do is find someone who is willing to maintain it … ;-) Now that Google Summer of Code is over I will continue focusing my efforts on Kubuntu and general distribution development which is the reason I would very much like to find someone who is willing to maintain it.

      • How to Install KDE 4.5

        For other Linux distributions, FreeBSD, and other operating systems, you should check the official websites, wikis, announcement sections of forums, and mailing lists to see if KDE 4.5 will be included in their repositories and/or future releases.

      • The KDE 4.5 Notification Area
      • KDE and the Masters of the Universe – 2010-08-18

        This week on a very steamy episode of KDEMU we have Lydia Pintscher, GSoC and Season of KDE cat herder.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME 2.32 Beta 1 Is Here

        The first beta of the upcoming GNOME 2.32 has landed to give early adopters, distro builders, developers and generally curious people a taste of things to come.

        GNOME 2.32 Beta 1, technically GNOME 2.31.90, is somewhat of a new development since the next release of the popular desktop environment was supposed to be the all-powerful GNOME 3.0.

      • The GNOME Developers Put Out The First SeedKit Release

        The GNOME developers have announced their first public release (v0.1) of SeedKit, consisting of both the GNOME SeedKit Viewer and the SeedKit library. GNOME’s SeedKit is designed to blend web technologies (namely HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript) into the GNOME desktop by allowing native user-interfaces to be written in these web technologies. SeedKit leverages GTK+, WebKit, and Seed to lower the barrier to creating new user-interfaces for the GNOME desktop. SeedKit was inspired by Palm’s WebOS SDK and Mozilla’s JetPack.

  • Distributions

    • Untangle Gateway- An open source solution for blocking spam, spyware, viruses, adware and unwanted content on the network
    • Reviews

      • Lightweight Distro Roundup: Day 2 Linux Mint LXDE

        Day Two. Our weapon of choice: Linux Mint 9 LXDE.

        On the face of it Linux Mint LXDE is just a tweaked Lubuntu, but there is more to it than that.

        It features (many) more software packages on install, codecs pre-installed, and some “heavier” packages like Thunderbird.

      • Arch Linux – Minimal, Lightweight, Flexible & Easy to Use Linux Distribution

        Arch Linux is a lightweight, flexible and simple Linux Distribution which is targeted at competent GNU/Linux users. Its Development focuses on a balance of minimalism, elegance, code correctness and modernity. It provides a minimal environment upon installation, (no GUI), already compiled and optimized for i686/x86-64 architectures. We already discussed about a lot of Linux Distros and also How to create your own Linux Distribution.

      • Lightweight Distro Roundup: Day 4 – Sabayon Five-Oh LXDE

        Today we give Sabayon Five-Oh a run. Three of the four distros we reviewed this week have been using LXDE as its desktop environment.

        Sabayon is the first distro we are having a look at that have not been Ubuntu based or a variant of Ubuntu.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva S.A. – Financial and Strategic Analysis Review – new company profile and analysis released

        Mandriva S.A. Mandriva is an online retailer of Linux software products. The company is engaged in the development and distribution operations of Mandriva Linux products, software applications, storage devices and drives, USB speakers, support and training applications and goodies. Mandriva’s main products are Mandriva directory server, Linbox rescue server, corporate server 4, Pulse 2 and corporate desktop. The company also
        provides online download of its software products. The company caters to corporate enterprises, government organizations, and educational and technical institutions. The company has operations across 140 countries, and offices across France, Brazil and the U.S.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Pursuing Certification For RHEL 6, Hypervisor

        Red Hat is pursuing a certification for its Linux OS and virtualization, paving the way for government agencies to use the technology to create secure, virtualized IT environments and private clouds.

        The Linux vendor has entered into an agreement with Atsec information security to certify Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 under Common Criteria at Evaluation Assurance Level (EAL) 4, according to a Red Hat blog post.

      • Red Hat (RHT) Price Soars Above the 50-Day Moving Average

        Red Hat shares have crossed above the 50-day moving average on lighter than usual volume. The crossing of the stock price above the moving average may signal the beginning of a bullish trend. Today, shares of RHT rose $0.86(+2.77%) to $31.88. RHT traded between the range of $31.20 – $32.08. Today’s trading activities for Red Hat stock may be a sign that the shares will continue to head higher in the foreseeable future assuming the moving average has upward slope.

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux Extended Life Cycle Support Launched

        Today, the Red Hat team is excited to launch Extended Life Cycle Support (ELS) for Red Hat Enterprise Linux. This is an optional subscription offering that provides support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux for longer than its standard seven-year life cycle.

        With Extended Life Cycle Support customers can receive limited software maintenance and technical support services for an additional three years, extending the life cycle of Red Hat Enterprise Linux to a full ten years. The seven-year life cycle of a Red Hat Enterprise Linux release generally applies to major versions, so, for example, the standard life cycle of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 runs from October 2003, when it was released, to October 2010. For customers who purchase ELS, which is sold as an add-on to an existing Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscription, the support life cycle can be extended to October 2013.

      • Fedora

        • Droid X and Fedora.

          I’d heard really good things about the new generation Android phones, especially their playing nice with Linux hosts. So I decided it was high time I tried something new rather than simply queuing up for a new and spiffier prison cell (iPhone). Based on the reviews of service in Consumer Reports, Verizon was far and away the leader in customer satisfaction. I decided to concentrate on their offerings, and was thrilled to find the new Droid X (info: Flash site) was now shipping, albeit with a few weeks’ wait.

        • fedoracommunity.org website design progressing

          So a while back I talked a bit about the fedoracommunity.org website project that the Fedora Websites team has been working on, including the vision behind it and the work that had been done on it up to that point.

        • Fedora 14 Alpha is go!

          As John posted last night, Fedora 14 Alpha was declared ready for release next week. Although there was a one-week slip to handle the fact that our blocker list wasn’t clear, Fedora developers and testers in the community have worked hard together both to resolve the remaining issues and make sure that our Alpha would pass the release criteria. There were a number of developers who hopped in to fix things quickly to yield package builds that would clear the runway, so thanks to all of you guys.

    • Debian Family

      • Where do Debian Developers Come From?

        In a study not likely to cause controversy, Christian Perrier has published the results of his analysis of the number of Debian developers per country. He ran the analysis last year for the first time, so one can see the progress or recession in the last year. No matter where you call home, the numbers are quite interesting.

        The land that gave the world Linus Torvald also gives the world the most Debian developers per million population. Ranked number one last year as well, Finland is home to 3.92 active developers per one million souls. In second place is Switzerland with 2.83 per million. New Zealand holds a very respectable third place with 2.51 per million. The United Kingdom beats out the United States with their 1.03 developers per million to .53. In last place is the Ukraine, China, and India. Making their first showing this year is Ecuador with one new developer or .07 developers per million people. Sweden, who ranked third last year, fell to sixth this year. Ireland has gained three new developers bringing their total to nine which allows them to hold ninth place, up from 13.

      • Debian Project News – August 9th, 2010

        Welcome to this year’s ninth issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian community. Topics covered in this issue include:

        * The Debian project Release Team announces an official Freeze
        * Annual Debian Developer Conference 2010 ended
        * A free (as in speech) Debian book in the making
        * Second alpha version for “Squeeze”-based Debian Live images
        * Net-installation CD images with firmware available
        * Debian Edu/Skolelinux 6.0.0 alpha0 test release
        * ZFS support in unstable on kFreeBSD ports
        * Debian-Accessibility is using Blends web sentinel
        * Debian GIS project will release Blends metapackages in “Squeeze”
        * DebiChem project will release Blends metapackages in “Squeeze”
        * DebConf11 logo contest
        * When should services started by init.d scripts be operational?
        * Different statistics about Debian
        * Building all files from source

      • Debian: Yesterday’s Distribution?

        For another thing, while some distributions are more concerned than others about ease of use, today what increasingly determines that factor is not distributions themselves so much as the desktop that is in use. Using GNOME or KDE on Debian is not so different than using GNOME or KDE on Ubuntu, despite Ubuntu’s recent usability efforts.

      • Developers with feet in Debian and Ubuntu

        This is a list of people who are in ubuntu-dev or ubuntu-core-dev AND have their key in the Debian keyring, it’s not an indicator of how active that person may or may not be. Here are the scripts they used if you’re interested in working on this sort of thing.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 206

          In This Issue

          * Ubuntu Global Jam: We Need Your Events!
          * Feature Freeze in place for Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat)
          * Making Ubuntu More Accessible
          * Talking about Ubuntu Studio with Scott Lavender, Project Lead for Ubuntu Studio
          * Another Heated Discussion In the Ubuntu Community
          * Ubuntu Stats
          * LoCo News
          * Launchpad News
          * This week In Design – 13 August 2010
          * Finding The Ubuntu Font Design
          * How are your users feeling? Example from Rhythmbox
          * An Update to the Ubuntu Light Themes
          * Awesome Work Others Have Done
          * Hugs For Bugs!
          * Can We Count Users Without Uniquely Identifying Them?
          * Revving up the Ubuntu Manual Project for Maverick
          * Behind MOTU Relaunches As Behind The Circle
          * In The Press
          * In The Blogosphere
          * Linux Foundation Makes Enterprise Open Source Boring
          * KDE’s New Releases Make a Splash
          * LinuxCon Grapples With Challenges, From Mobile To Multicore
          * Fotoxx — the Greatest Little Linux Photo Editor You’ve Never Heard Of
          * Zenoss Releases 2010 Open Source Systems Management Survey Report
          * Weekly Ubuntu Development Team Meetings
          * Upcoming Meetings and Events
          * Updates and Security
          * UWN Sneak Peek
          * And Much Much More!

        • Reasons to Love Ubuntu
        • Ubuntu 11.04 Codename “Natty Narwhal” Release Schedule
        • Calling my shot

          I predict that Ubuntu 11.10 will be named “Ostentatious Ocelot”.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Peppermint Ice review

            Does Peppermint Ice, the new cloud-oriented desktop distro, have what it takes to do for desktops what Jolicloud and Google Chrome OS are doing for netbooks?

Free Software/Open Source

  • Be A Community Manager

    Some communities put a great deal of emphasis on the developers/testers group with limited time for users while others engage the users at a higher rate than developers/testers and also increase time on champions. I believe in solution B as an engaged user community significantly increases the feedback for developers and allows the project to expand into a significant force in the industry. I also believe that champions come from the user group and the more champions a community has the more successful it is.

  • Open-source cuts through intell community’s red tape

    Intelligence analysts will soon have a new idea- and decision-management tool. Called Analysis of Competing Hypotheses, the software is an open-source version of a proprietary program developed for the intelligence community.

    ACH allows analysts to start with a great deal of data and find those data points that support or undermine various hypotheses, but it is a single-user system. Matthew Burton, a Web strategy consultant and former Defense Intelligence Agency analyst, has tried for three years to develop a collaborative version so that multiple analysts could study the same hypotheses simultaneously, but he has been stymied by incompatibility with proprietary software specifications and licensing issues.

  • Open Source Contributor Agreements: Some Examples

    The first part of this article explained the purpose and scope of Contributor Agreements in open source projects. This article presents an overview of some Contributor Agreements that are used in the community.

    Contributor Agreements come in all shape and forms, ranging from full-fledged Contributor License Agreements (CLA) that have to be signed to informal consent to some set of rules. This article will take a look at a number of different agreements in order to show that community norms can vary widely.

  • Performance vs Readability: the biggest dilemma

    Let’s say you want to start a FLOSS project.
    How many people did that up to now? Many.
    But there is a problem, or better, a conflict of goals.

    In one hand, you have the need of making your code fast enough. Which task is even more complex if you are using an interpreted language (for reasons out of the scope of this blog post). On the other hand (:D) there is the very important requirement of keeping your code human readable.
    Languages, in general, have several “syntax levels” basing on developer’s skills. Newbies tend to stick to what is the standard way of writing, say, a for loop, while more skilled people are able to exploit all the potential of the language by using very exotic “code constructs”. Again, I don’t want to get into any particular language here, I just want to explain the trade-off that a developer, especially a FLOSS one has to accept when writing software

  • Free Interaction Design for your FLOSS Project

    Now, I know there are tons of you out there who are ready for interaction design help and are definitely willing to work with designers, because I hear from you all the time! There’s not enough interaction designers in the FLOSS community, and I believe programs like Matt’s that engage up-and-coming designers in the FLOSS community early on will help build up our interaction designer population. They provide a wonderful mutual benefit – the design students get to work on real-life projects, not just throw-away designs that are abandoned forever at the end of the semester – and the developers involved get the design help they desire but have such a hard time finding because of the dearth of designers. Help provide these students a great experience in interacting with our community, and maybe they’ll stick around!

  • Reaching Out To Which Community?

    That non-technical user is the future of FOSS. If we don’t reach out to that person and get them using FOSS, it’s only a matter of time before Linux on the desktop is synonymous with OS/2. Yes, I acknowledge that Linux powers the Internet, and most of the search traffic and the most e-commerce and most supercomputers, etc . . . but that’s not enough. People have to know they are using Linux and FOSS and that means it has to power their desktop. In the absence of an awesome Linux desktop marketing machine (Canonical is good, but they’ve got a ways to go before they can match the awesome marketing of Microsoft, or that up and comer, Apple, it’s up to us. The community. We’ve got to speak with something resembling a unified voice, delivering a consistent, inclusive message.

  • Reducing Code Risks with Open Source
  • Ready to be an open source contributor but don’t know where to start?

    In early 2009, as the stories of many websites begin, a few college friends were considering what kind of project they might start together. In this particular case, the result was OpenHatch.

    OpenHatch is a place for developers who want to be involved in open source but don’t know where to start. You can go to the site and search for a way to contribute based on a language you know or a project you like. You can even search for “bite-size bugs,” the bugs that have been tagged by a project as being specifically good for new contributors.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 4: One generation ahead of everyone else speedwise
      • Mozilla Sees You Using Chrome Alongside Firefox

        Blizzard also notes that the next major version of Firefox, 4.0, will be “a generation ahead” in terms of Javascript speed, but does it really matter if it’s so much faster than Chrome. Every iteration of benchmark tests between the two seems to show them neck-and-neck. As Blizzard notes many people are doing, I’m going to stick with both open source browsers, which, at this point, are defining browser innovation.

      • The popularity of Firefox around the world

        Although the growth of Firefox has stagnated a bit lately due to the increasing competition from rival browsers, it’s still one of the biggest success stories in the history of the Internet and has the second-largest user base of any web browser.

        Firefox has a widespread global user base, but we wanted to find out where it is most common, or another way of looking at it: how are the Firefox users distributed?

  • Oracle

    • When open source sells out.

      An open source project is generally conceived and implemented by a single person or small group. This conceiver and controller of the open source project has the most knowledge of the project. It is their vision which determines the direction of the project and they have the ultimate say in what contributions are accepted. When an open source project is sold out it is generally with their blessing and they continue working on the project under the mantle of the new owner.

    • OpenOffice by the book

      Called Open The Door, the book is not so much a manual for the office suite as it is a guide to making the most of OpenOffice.org. So while it includes advice on installing and using OpenOffice.org on Windows and Mac OS X machines, it is also focused on helping users make effective use of OpenOffice.

    • Illumos begins diverging from OpenSolaris

      According to Garret D’Amore, Illumos project leader, the recently launched derivative is beginning to diverge from OpenSolaris. D’Amore has noted in his blog that he believes the last commit to Oracle’s public repository for ON, the core of OpenSolaris, has been made. According to a leaked memo revealed earlier this week, Oracle are ceasing open development of Solaris and will discontinue OpenSolaris, migrating users to Solaris Express 11.

    • The OpenSolaris-Based Nexenta Core Platform 3.0 Released

      Last week we found out that Oracle is killing off OpenSolaris and that there will no be OpenSolaris 2010.xx release as we’ve been waiting on for months, their Solaris code-base will be developed behind closed-doors, and only after the enterprise Solaris release will there be a “Solaris Express” release intended as the replacement to OpenSolaris. Though derived from the OpenSolaris code-base there has been a few community derivative operating systems such as Nexenta, StormOS (based off of Nexenta Core Platform but shipping as a desktop OS), and BeleniX. While OpenSolaris may now be dead, Nexenta at least is still living and today they’re out with their Nexenta Core Platform 3.0 release.

    • Oracle loses another DTrace creator

      Leventhal said, in a blog posting, that at Sun he had found himself “surrounded by superlative engineers” and that he felt lucky to have worked with Cantrill and Shapiro on DTrace. Most recently, Leventhal had been working on Fishworks, Sun’s Solaris based storage system technology. Leventhal does not say what he will be doing next, only that he is “off to look for my next remarkable place and time beyond the walls of Oracle”. It is possible he could follow in Cantrill’s footsteps; within days of leaving, it was announced he had become Vice President of Engineering at Joyent, one of the companies involved in the OpenSolaris derivative Illumos which was launched at the beginning of August.

    • Oracle vs Google: Triple Damage!
  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Eben Moglen on what it takes to keep defending FOSS

      Eben Moglen’s keynote address at LinuxCon last week, “Doing What it Takes: Current Legal Issues in Defending FOSS,” called for a strategic shift in the free software movement. Moglen, the founding director of the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) and one of the principal drafters of the GPLv3, said the economy of sharing and the economy of ownership are not mutually hostile, but mutually reinforcing, then outlined three steps for ensuring the continued coexistence between the free software and business communities. For those who missed Moglen’s speech, here is a summary of his ideas on what it will take to ensure the health of the FOSS ecosystem.

  • Government

    • Spook developer speaks! An interview with Matthew Burton

      I’ve never seen it in action, but DHS’s Virtual USA project sounds remarkable. On top of using open source software to build it, the objective of the project is to break another government taboo: sharing information with other agencies and levels of government. Having been an intelligence analyst who relied a lot on mapping tools and was constantly frustrated by the inability to share geographic data even within your own building, it’s apparent that if Virtual USA delivers, it’s going to dramatically change how first responders work.

  • Programming

    • Vim editor learns Python 3

      More than two years since the 7.2 release, Vim creator Bram Moolenaar has announced the arrival of version 7.3 of his open source text editor. Vim, an acronym for “Vi iMproved”, was originally created for the Amiga computer as an extended version of the vi editor, with several additional features aimed at editing source code.

Leftovers

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Russian Scholar Warns Of ‘Secret’ U.S. Climate Change Weapon

      As Muscovites suffer record high temperatures this summer, a Russian political scientist has claimed the United States may be using climate-change weapons to alter the temperatures and crop yields of Russia and other Central Asian countries.

      In a recent article, Andrei Areshev, deputy director of the Strategic Culture Foundation, wrote, “At the moment, climate weapons may be reaching their target capacity and may be used to provoke droughts, erase crops, and induce various anomalous phenomena in certain countries.”

    • Earth’s Overdraft Notice
    • Why has extreme weather failed to heat up climate debate?
    • Scientists dispute White House claim that spilled BP oil has vanished

      Earlier this month, government scientists reported that about 75% of the oil had been captured, burned off, evaporated or broken down in the Gulf.

      But University of South Florida scientists, returning from a 10-day research voyage, said they found oil on the ocean floor in the DeSoto canyon, a prime spawning ground for fish far to the east of BP’s rogue oil well. Preliminary results suggested that oil was getting into the phytoplankton, the microscopic plants at the bottom of the Gulf food chain.

  • Finance

    • The Revolving Door Between Goldman Sachs and the Obama Administration

      At a time when Congressional hearings are set to call testimony from some Goldman Sachs employees, it is vital to understand how widespread that institution’s ties are to the Obama administration. This diary shows the pervasive influence of Goldman Sachs and Goldman created institutions (like the Hamilton Project embedded in the Brookings Institution), employees and influence peddlers in the Obama administration.

    • UPDATE: The Revolving Door Between Goldman Sachs and the Obama Administration
    • Wonkbook: GM announces IPO; FinReg covers banker pay; small biz losing jobs; the tax cuts and you

      In what is due to be among the biggest stock offerings in history, GM has announced its initial public offering after being bailed out by the federal government. You’ll be hearing a lot about this as the administration tries to sell its record this fall. Meanwhile, a little-noticed provision in FinReg will allow the federal regulators to limit executive pay if they so choose; the bulk of private-sector job losses are coming from small businesses; a handy interactive graphic allows you to see how different approaches to the expiring Bush tax cuts would affect you; a handy paper will help you figure out the Fannie and Freddie debate; and a handy cover of some 90s alt-rock will start your morning right.

    • New rules on student debt shouldn’t be limited to for-profit colleges

      The Obama administration wants for-profit career colleges to better prepare students for gainful employment and to improve debt-repayment rates. The government is threatening to pull access to federal student aid for colleges that fail to show progress.

      Under the administration’s proposed rules, if a program graduated a large share of students with excessive debt compared with potential earnings in their chosen fields, it would be required to disclose this information to current and prospective students.

    • Wall Street reform gives regulators power over executive pay

      The pay decisions made by regulators will apply not only to banks but also to brokerages, credit unions, investment advisers, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and other financial firms with $1 billion or more in assets.

    • SEC will discuss ‘proxy access’ rules for shareholders to nominate directors

      The SEC has considered permitting so-called proxy access since 2003, only to back away in the face of opposition from companies. Public pension funds, including the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (Calpers), say the change is needed to make directors more accountable to investors rather than rubber stamps for management.

    • Judge criticises US over ‘soft’ fine for Barclays BankJudge criticises US over ‘soft’ fine for Barclays Bank

      A judge has attacked the US government for striking a “sweetheart deal” with Barclays to settle criminal charges that the British bank flouted international sanctions by doing clandestine business with Iran, Cuba, Libya, Sudan and Burma.

      At a court hearing in Washington yesterday, judge Emmet Sullivan refused to rubber-stamp an agreement under which Barclays consented to pay $298m to settle charges that its staff deliberately concealed transactions with financial institutions in regimes frozen out by US foreign policy.

    • Prosecutors under fire from US judge over leniency for Barclays

      Barclays Barclays told a US court that the bank has tightened its procedures and improved staff training. Photograph Andy Rain/EPA

      A US judge reluctantly accepted a $298m (£191m) fine from Barclays today to settle criminal charges of flouting international sanctions, despite criticising federal prosecutors for using “kid gloves” by failing to throw the book at specific executives within the British bank.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Net Neutrality: Threat or Menace?

      My personal take on Net Neutrality is that ISPs should treat all packets equally. I do not like the idea of being forced to host all my videos on YouTube or another huge site that can afford to make special deals with broadband providers such as Brighthouse, my local cable TV monopoly, instead of on my friend Joe’s Globaltap hosting service.

    • U.S. Representatives Urge Net Neutrality

Clip of the Day

KDE Plasma Mobile Tablet edition


08.19.10

Links 19/8/2010: Ubuntu 10.04.1 LTS, Many New Events

Posted in News Roundup at 6:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Server

    • Innocuous Network Solutions Web Widget Served Malware

      Growsmartbusiness.com is running a standard LAMP (Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP) stack and was hit with the Trojan Horse/PHP backdoor attack r57shell.

    • Windows in the cloud: long boot times, other difficulties not seen with Linux

      Running Windows servers in the Amazon cloud may have just gotten a lot easier, but a project by the management vendor RightScale to improve Windows support shows that people who use the Microsoft operating system in cloud networks face difficulties not seen in the Linux world.

    • The right to know – and to condemn to death

      Some news stories can be misleading, such as a recent one about the next version of Linux. It was reported that the “next Linux kernel has been released with a tidy little warning from Linus Torvalds for code committers to pay more attention and be more careful”.

      Many read this to mean that the next Linux version has problems. The actual story and comments from Torvalds was concerning the way people are dropping items into the Linux-next bucket which is for the next version(s) after the latest release. He and Andrew Morton have been annoyed that some of the items are not very stable and when it sits in that pile, people expect to see it in the next release. Linux-next is supposed to be for items ready for the next merge, not items that still need a lot of work before they can be. It pays to read a little deeper into some news stories.

    • Kernel Progress Entering New Era of Innovation

      The last 12 months in Linux kernel development may have been less than exciting, but that may be just a breather before what’s coming up next, according to kernel developer and Linux Weekly News editor Jon Corbet.

      Last week at LinuxCon, Corbet delivered what has become a ubiquitous fixture in many Linux gatherings: The Kernel Report, a highly detailed and informative look at the current state of the Linux kernel, and what’s on the way. Corbet’s unique position as journalist and kernel developer lends the Kernel Report a sweeping scope over many facets of kernel development.

      Corbet is in strong company. 2,800 developers worked on the last five kernel releases, 16.6 percent of them volunteers. Red Hat, Intel, Novell, and IBM filled the remaining top five contributors’ slots, respectively.

  • Instructionals/Technical

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Accenture predicts open source adoption, but does it “join in” too?

        Technology consulting and outsourcing firm Accenture used its appearance at the Red Hat Summit and JBoss World in Boston earlier this summer to talk about mainstream adoption of open source. As such, the company says it is continuing its own investment in open source solutions and that it predicts the systems integration services around open source is a £4 billion market.

        [...]

        According to the Red Hat corporate blog channel, “Accenture is already investing in open source solutions like AMOS, which is built on Red Hat solutions. Accenture continues to invest in open source through its Innovation Centre for Open Source, which leverages Red Hat Solution Stacks, including JBoss Enterprise Middleware. Red Hat has worked with Accenture to create the Accenture SOA Reference Architecture, Accenture Foundation Platform for Java, Accenture Mobility Operated Services, and the Accenture Public Service Platform.”

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu 10.04.1 LTS Is Available for Download

          This first maintenance release brings to its dedicated users a lot of security updates and corrections, all with a single goal: to keep Ubuntu 10.04 LTS a stable and reliable Linux distribution!

          Ubuntu 10.04.1 LTS fixes some installation bugs, various upgrade issues, improves support for many hardware components, and fixes annoying desktop bugs.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Taking the Android plunge

          The technology in question is the T-Mobile Pulse Mini smart (sic) phone, which runs the Android operating system. A smart phone with an Open Source operating system, that has a Remember The Milk app which means I can Get Things Done, all for under four ponies? What could possibly go wrong?

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Software Soaring to Success

    Linux server operating system vendors like Red Hat and even Novell could be heading for bumper sales over the next 12 months. Almost 40 percent of organizations are planning on migrating mission-critical workloads to open source software in that time frame.

    That’s Accenture’s line anyway, and perhaps the mega-consulting firm has good reason for saying so: It asked 300 private and public sector organizations with annual revenues in excess of $500 million about their plans for open source software, and announced the results earlier this month. “What we are seeing is a coming of age of open source, ” said Paul Daugherty, Accenture’s chief technology architect chappie.

  • Keep it simple, stupid

    Koroth says that their company firmly believes in the power and strength of Open Source. Worldwide inventions have taken place because of the Open Source movement, he says. Further, it is simply because of Open Source technologies that people like him can start a company, and now be able to break even. “We will give back to that technology. People ask us if it isn’t an issue that people may be downloading Fedena and using it in their own name. But I believe that if the technology is good, they will come back, they will return to the source for more!”

  • Events

    • Linux Security Summit 2010 – Wrapup

      The first Linux Security Summit (LSS) was held last Monday, 9th August in Boston, in conjunction with LinuxCon 2010 North America.

      This event has its roots in the Linux security development community which emerged in the early 2000s, following the development of LSM and with the incorporation of a wide range of new security features into Linux. We’d previously met, as a community, in OLS BoF sessions, various conference hallway tracks, and at project-specific events such as the SELinux Symposium. There have also been very successful security mini-summits at LCA in 2008 and 2009, and a double security track at the 2009 Plumbers Conference.

    • New Zealand Open Source Awards open for nominations and judges announced

      The panel includes two New Zealand Open Source Society (NZOSS) Presidents, current President Rachel Hamilton-Williams and past-President Don Christie; Foo Camp founder & author Nat Torkington; WebFund Chairman and tohunga rorohiko, Dave Moskovitz; Richard Wyles, Director of Flexible Learning Network/Mahara; and Telecom Mobile Engineer and gadgets and geeks evangelist Amber Craig.

    • David Farrar joins Open Source Awards judging panel
    • OpenOffice.org Celebrates Tenth Anniversary at OOoCon in Budapest
  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome Dev 6.0.495.0 Released, Chrome 7.0 Coming Right Up
    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla eases fears over phishy URL alert

        Developers of the open-source browser have known of the URL warning bypass since at least June, when it was reported here. Under most circumstances, Firefox will display a warning when users click on links that contain addresses that have been obfuscated to hide their true destination. But when users encounter encoded URLs in inline frames embedded in a webpage, no such alert is delivered.

  • Oracle

    • Oracle sticks a fork in Illumos, OpenSolaris community

      The problem the OpenSolaris open source community has faced in the last several years is that important parts of the code distributed with OpenSolaris is closed sourced. But when he launched Illumos, D’Amore said progress has been made in some key areas of the Solaris closed source code. However, critical work in certain closed areas still needs to be done, such as the NFS/CIFS lock manager, full kdf module/daemon, trusted extensions and other drivers.

    • Shuttleworth: Oracle dooms its prospects in open source business

      Oracle’s ill-advised patent infringement case against Google will backfire, and hurt its prospects in the growing open source business market.

      That, according to Ubuntu creator and Linux giant Mark Shuttleworth, is the natural outcome of Oracle’s case against the Linux-based Android operating system.

    • Larry Ellison Goes Postal On Fortune Writer

      Oracle CEO Larry Ellison is on a feisty emailing tear, in the wake of his pal Mark Hurd’s ouster as CEO of HP.

      First, Ellison emailed the New York Times to tell them that HP’s decision to kneecap Hurd after a sex scandal was the worst HR move since “idiots” on Apple’s board fired Steve Jobs long ago.

      That prompted Fortune writer Philip Elmer-DeWitt to point out that Oracle seemingly had different ethical standards than HP, noting that Ellison had “a long history of office dalliances and at least one sexual harassment lawsuit (decided in his favor).”

  • Healthcare

    • VA moves toward open source for electronic health record system

      The Veterans Affairs Department asked industry, government agencies and academic researchers last week for insights on using open source software as a key component of a modernized electronic heath record system, a move that could have serious implications for the Obama administration’s initiative for adoption of digital medical files nationwide.

    • Open VistA for AHLTA?

      Last week the Military Health System detailed plans to replace its AHLTA electronic health record system — loathed by its clinicians — with a new system based on commercial products.

      At about the same time, the Veterans Affairs Department issued a request for information seeking comments on developing a new version of its VistA electronic health record system based on open source software and asked, “How would other federal agencies participate or benefit from an open source approach to VistA EHR?”

  • Government

    • WhiteHouse.gov Expands Open Source Efforts

      The White House has jumped aboard the open source bandwagon. And we’re not talking about some cleverly named Silicon Valley upstart. This is the real deal.

      In late April, White House blogger Dave Cole announced plans to release some of the custom code the White House has developed.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Web Could Be Stylized by New W3C Font Platform

      The World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Fonts Working Group has launched version 1.0 of the The Web Open File Format (WOFF). This format will provide a platform for open source and commercial providers of fonts to make their creations easily available across the Web, according to W3C fonts activity lead Chris Lilley.

Leftovers

  • Finance

    • Investors Chide Michael Dell

      Dell’s shareholders delivered a sharp rebuke of Michael S. Dell, the company’s founder and chief executive, when a fourth of the investors withheld support of Mr. Dell in a recent vote.

      In a regulatory filing released Tuesday, Dell disclosed that about 378 million of 1.5 billion votes opposed Mr. Dell’s continued presence on the company’s board. Dell held its annual meeting with shareholders earlier in the month.

    • Michael Dell given an unsubtle hint by displeased shareholders
    • How Two Former Ringtone Giants Are Faring As That Market Crumbles

      Last week, on the eve of Jamba’s party, News Corp. confirmed rumors of its intentions to sell off the mobile division, and Fox Mobile, like other ringtone providers, are left scrambling to find new business models as the clock runs down out their traditional revenue streams.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Your fears confirmed: “up to” broadband speeds are bogus

      Broadband providers in the US have long hawked their wares in “up to” terms. You know—”up to” 10Mbps, where “up to” sits like a tiny pebble beside the huge font size of the raw number.

      In reality, no one gets these speeds. That’s not news to the techno-literate, of course, but a new Federal Communications Commission report (PDF) shines a probing flashlight on the issue and makes a sharp conclusion: broadband users get, on average, a mere 50 percent of that “up to” speed they had hoped to achieve.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • ACTA

        • Negotiators confirm ACTA not really a “counterfeiting” treaty

          What’s in a name? Not much, when it comes to the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. As Luc Devigne, the top EU negotiator on ACTA made clear today, he has no intention of limiting ACTA to, you know, its name.

          ACTA negotiators gathered today for an informal luncheon at which some outsiders were invited, including several civil society folks. According to American University’s Mike Palmedo, who attended the DC event and took notes later sent to Ars, “[Devine] asked more than once how you could have an ‘IP Enforcement’ treaty and not include patents—and dismissed suggestions that ACTA was specifically an ‘Anti-Counterfeiting’ treaty rather than a broader enforcement treaty.” (Australia still objects strongly to including patents in ACTA, but the EU wants them included.)

Clip of the Day

digiKam for KDE4 : new drawing sketch search tool


08.18.10

Links 18/8/2010: PC-BSD 8.1 Reviewed, Vim 7.3 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 5:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • Mini-Education Summit LinuxCon Boston 2010

      I spent most of last week at LinuxCon helping Spot at the Fedora booth. However, the day before the main conference, Sebastian Dziallas organized a Education Mini-Summit to take place in conjunction with LinuxCon.

      I gave a talk on the Inkscape class Red Hat has done plus some other related initiatives, including one we are planning for next fall with the Free Software Foundation. The slides are available here.

  • BSD

    • PC-BSD 8.1 review

      PC-BSD 8.1 was released on July 20, 2010, roughly five months after version 8.0 was released. Some of the suggestions made in the review of PC-BSD 8.0 have been carried out in this latest release. In fact, the changes were made within one month of that review being published. It is an encouraging example of how some distro developers respond to suggestions (or critical reviews).

      While I still think that PC-BSD is not yet ready for the masses, it is coming along very well. This review will offer another detailed look at some of the good and bad sides of this FreeBSD-based distribution, with the attendant recommendations and suggestions for improvement.

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Truth-o-Meter, 2G: Andrew Lih wants to wikify fact-checking

      WikiFactCheck wants not only to crowdsource, but also to centralize, the fact-checking enterprise, aggregating other efforts and creating a framework so extensive that it can also attempt to be comprehensive. There’s a niche, Lih believes, for a fact-checking site that’s determinedly non-niche. Wikipedia, he points out, is ultimately “a great aggregator”; and much of WikiFactCheck’s value could similarly be, he says, to catalog the results of other fact-checking outfits “and just be a meta-site.” Think Rotten Tomatoes — simple, summative, unapologetically derivative — for truth-claims.

Leftovers

  • NY Times Tests A Paywall With A Regional Paper

    The idea is to hide certain local content behind the paywall — which will charge a whopping $14.95 per month to access. Now, looking around, it certainly does appear that the Telegram & Gazette is really the only major news source in Worcester (feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but I can’t find anything else significant). However, with various local news operations springing up all over the place, it certainly seems like it could make sense for one of them to quickly target Worcester and get a nice jump in traffic.

  • Blizzard Wins $88 Million in Private Server Lawsuit

    Back in October, Blizzard Entertainment filed a lawsuit against Alyson Reeves and her company Scapegaming, for violating the end user license agreement of World of Warcraft by setting up a private server for her own profit. On Thursday, the California Central District Court ruled in favor of the game maker and ordered Scapegaming to pay back “$3,053,339 of inappropriate profits, $63,600 of attorney’s fees, and $85,478,600 of statutory damages.”

    What, you ask, is a private server, how do you make a profit off of it, and why is it against the EULA? Allow me to explain.

  • Court Says California Mall Can’t Ban Customers From Talking To Each Other

    The Westfield Galleria in Roseville, California takes the comfort of its patrons seriously–so seriously, in fact, that it wants them to shut up and focus on shopping, or else ask for permission first if they want to talk about any topic that’s not mall related. Last week, the state’s 3rd District Court of Appeal found that the rule violated the state’s constitution, so now mall shoppers can gab as much as they want to each other.

  • Health

    • Can you hear me now? More teens can’t

      The authors of the report in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. eliminated ear infections and exposure to loud noises in the environment as causes for the hearing loss, but could not identify a specific cause. A recent Australian study, however, found a 70% increased risk of hearing loss associated with the use of headphones to listen to portable music, and many experts suspect they are the primary cause of hearing loss in teens.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Infected Widget Compromises Parked Domains

      Researchers at Armorize Technologies reported that as many as 5 million parked domains belonging to customers of Network Solutions fell victim to an infected widget and were serving up a side order of malware.

    • Hackers: ‘ColdFusion bug more serious than Adobe says’

      A recently patched vulnerability in Adobe’s ColdFusion application server may be more serious than previously thought following the public release of exploit code and blog posts claiming it can be used to take full control of systems running the software.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Will this summer of extremes be a wake-up call?

      This summer has been one of weather-related extremes in Russia, Pakistan, China, Europe, the Arctic – you name it. But does this have anything to do with global warming, and are human emissions to blame?

    • Vedanta’s Indian mining project under threat

      In a strongly worded report, a four-member committee set up by India’s environment ministry accused Vedanta Alumina, a subsidiary of the London-listed firm, of violating forest conservation and environment protection regulations and displaying “total contempt for the law”. The report also noted “an appalling degree of collusion” by local government officials with Vedanta.

    • Protect nature for world economic security, warns UN biodiversity chief

      According to the UN Environment Programme, the Earth is in the midst of a mass extinction of life. Scientists estimate that 150-200 species of plant, insect, bird and mammal become extinct every 24 hours. This is nearly 1,000 times the “natural” or “background” rate and, say many biologists, is greater than anything the world has experienced since the vanishing of the dinosaurs nearly 65m years ago. Around 15% of mammal species and 11% of bird species are classified as threatened with extinction.

  • Finance

    • US Treasury is Running on Fumes

      With the US bankrupting itself in wars, America’s largest creditor, China, has taken issue with America’s credit rating. The head of China’s largest credit rating agency declared: “The US is insolvent and faces bankruptcy as a pure debtor nation.”

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Big Brother: Obama Demands Access to Internet Records, in Secret, and Without Court Review

      The Obama administration is seeking authority from Congress that would compel internet service providers (ISPs) to turn over records of an individual’s internet activity for use in secretive FBI probes.

      In another instance where Americans are urged to trust their political minders, The Washington Post reported last month that “the administration wants to add just four words–’electronic communication transactional records’–to a list of items that the law says the FBI may demand without a judge’s approval.”

    • Chinese dissident Yu Jie tells of jail threat for criticising PM Wen Jiabao

      The political pressure on writers in China is growing, an outspoken critic of the government said today, as his highly sensitive book about the country’s premier went on sale in Hong Kong.

      Yu Jie said state security had warned him last month not to proceed with the release of his book, China’s Best Actor: Wen Jiabao.

    • Thailand blocking WikiLeaks — official

      Thai authorities have used their emergency powers to block domestic access to the WikiLeaks whistleblower website on security grounds, a government official said Wednesday.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

Clip of the Day

LXDE development tree visualized with Gource


08.17.10

Links 17/8/2010: Palamida Joins Linux Foundation, Natty Narwhal is Next Ubuntu

Posted in News Roundup at 5:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Is Linux the computing Tower of Babel?

    There is a story called “The Tower of Babel”. It is based in ancient times where all people spoke the same language and made a decision to build a tower to reach the heavens. Then, according to the story, the big guy from above saw their hubris and decided to scramble their languages and spread these people around like Vegemite on toast. If you don’t know what Vegemite is then beware of Australians offering sandwiches :)

  • Desktop

    • Desktop Linux Showdown

      Last week I gave a presentation at LinuxCon in sunny Boston entitled Desktop Linux Distribution Showdown. The premise was to compare the three most popular desktop distributions to find out which is most user-friendly. It wasn’t easy, and the results might (or might not) surprise you.

    • Touch Slate PC: Made in Pakistan

      You are running a Linux Ubuntu Operating System on the laptop — Considering the Ubuntu penetration into the consumer market, what’s the target audience for this?

      We have customized the UBUNTU OS to feel and work like Windows OS. One major reason was the price of Windows 7 for touch screen is approximately US$ 110, which is 1/4th the price of the complete machine, and we have yet to find a customer willing to pay for the Windows OS. We installed Open Office and can install all Windows-based software through WINE, hence all Windows machine file formats are supported and interchangeable with those on our machine without any issues.

  • Server

    • LSI 3ware RAID Controller Cards Selected by Blue Box Group to Boost I/O Performance for Cloud-based Customers

      The improved data transfer rates and ease of management of 3ware 6Gb/s controllers, combined with Pogo Linux’s robust Intel(R)-based Iris servers, provide Blue Box Group with a scalable, high-performance infrastructure from which to build its cloud-based application and database solution.

    • Oracle dumping HPC: Genius or foolhardy?

      Oracle doesn’t seem to understand that HPC is the birthplace of IT innovation. Many of the technologies used in enterprise computing today got their start in HPC, including clustering for scale, the use of Linux for computationally complex tasks, and high-speed storage and networking gear.

    • IBM Bolsters Power7 Server Lineup

      IBM on Tuesday continued its introduction of servers based on its new Power7 architecture with the debut of several midrange systems, including one purpose-built for data intensive business analytics applications, and a high-end system that features 250 processor cores.

  • Kernel Space/OIN/LF

    • PyMT 0.5 advances multi-touch for Python

      The PyMT developers have announced version 0.5 of their Python multi-touch user interface library. PyMT 0.5 supports Windows 7 and Mac OS X multi-touch APIs and, in this version, now supports Linux multi-touch kernel events, which were introduced in the 2.6.32 Linux kernel.

    • Linux defense group invests in mobile ID security

      Linux patent defense organization Open Invention Network (OIN) announced a partnership with Arizona State University’s Arizona Technology Enterprises (AzTE) office, focused on mobile device identity management research. As part of the agreement, OIN acquired key intellectual property from AzTE aimed at providing “intellectual property for defensive purposes” for open source software on mobile devices, says OIN.

    • Palamida Joins Linux Foundation

      Palamida has become the newest member of The Linux Foundation. It will participate in The Linux Foundation’s new Open Compliance Program.

      The Linux Foundation’s Open Compliance Program includes a set of tools, training curricula and a new self-administered assessment that will allow companies to ensure compliance in a cost-effective and efficient manner. It also includes a new data exchange standard so companies and their suppliers can easily report software information consistently.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Open Invention Network Sponsoring Innovative Mobile Device Identity Management Research at Arizona State University

        A defensive patent management organization formed by IBM, NEC, Novell, Philips, Red Hat, and Sony to support Linux systems, OIN has established a uniquely collaborative business model attractive to universities. OIN licenses the technologies from its defensive patent pool on a royalty-free basis. It typically works with universities on technology and patent acquisitions, funded research, and defensive publication programs.

      • Intel’s GLSL2 Branch Is Merged To Mesa Master

        As we reported last month, Intel’s Open-Source Technology Center developers responsible for working on their open-source Linux graphics stack has been wanting to merge their GLSL2 shader compiler into the mainline Mesa code-base by the end of August so that it can be released as part of Mesa 7.9 by the end of this quarter. Over the night this milestone was hit and the GLSL2 compiler is now in Mesa master and has replaced the antiquated GL Shading Language compiler long used by Mesa.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KMyMoney 4.5 for KDE Platform 4 released

        After more than 15 months of development, the KMyMoney team has released the first stable version of their personal finance manager built on KDE Platform 4. KMyMoney 4.5, which aims to be the best, free personal finance manager, is now based on KDE 4 and competes with such similar finance applications as GnuCash, a cross-platform personal and small-business financial-accounting program.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GTK+2, GTK+3 Plays More With Cairo For Drawing

        With GNOME 3.0 not being released now until March of 2011, GNOME 2.32 is being released next month and will continue to focus on dependable and trusted GNOME 2.x technologies, such as the GTK+2 library rather than GTK+3 that’s been in development for quite a number of months and is already supported by most GNOME modules.

        While most development work on this primary tool-kit of GNOME is still focused towards GTK+ 3.0, GTK+2 continues to receive a bit of love with GTK+ 2.22 being the last planned stable release. Making way towards GTK+ 2.22 there was the release of GTK+ 2.21.6 last night as one of the final development snapshots towards this release that bids farewell to GTK+2. GTK+ 2.21.6 is being checked-in with the many other official GNOME modules that are providing updates for the GNOME 2.32 Beta release that’s expected later in the week.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Does your organization need a “no policy” policy?

        At Red Hat, employees were given a lot of freedom, much more than in any other company I’d ever worked for. Yet Red Hat also had a strong culture of accountability. What we found over the years (these values were first articulated back in 2002) would probably be counterintuitive to many people:

        The more freedom the company gave, the more accountability it received in return.

        We watched this play out over and over in different parts of the company. More freedom in a department = more personal accountability from employees in that department. Conversely, the less freedom, the less accountability.

      • Installing CentOS Server for Production

        Installing a Linux server is easy, especially if you download one of the latest CentOS ISOs. There’s a nice wizard to walk you through the installation process, and it’s perfectly acceptable to do a standard default install. But, if you intend to do any serious hosting or expect production quality performance out of the system, or if you are just as particular as I am, than a bit of customizing of the install at the beginning could save you lots of time later on down the road.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Dell Expands KACE Systems Management Marketing Team

          An Ubuntu Linux veteran has joined Dell as part of the PC giant’s effort to focus on systems management. Ken Drachnik, a former manager at Canonical (promoter of Ubuntu) has joined Dell as director of product marketing for KACE, The VAR Guy has confirmed. Here are the details and the implications for Dell’s systems management strategy.

        • N-imal?

          And so, we come swiftly to a conclusion: allow me to introduce the Natty Narwhal, our mascot for development work that we expect to deliver as Ubuntu 11.04.

        • Ubuntu 11.04 Is Codenamed The Natty Narwhal

          Mark Shuttleworth has just announced via his blog that Ubuntu 11.04, which will be released in April of 2011, is codenamed the Natty Narwhal.

        • Canonical developer decodes Apple’s Magic Trackpad

          Canonical developer Chase Douglas says Ubuntu 10.10 will have multi-touch support for Apple’s Magic Trackpad, iPod, iPad, iPhone, MacBook and MacBook Pro. Canonical’s announcement yesterday that it had released uTouch 1.0, a multi-touch gesture recognising stack for multi-touch based devices, prompted queries about which Apple multi-touch devices were supported. In a Canonical log posting, Douglas has listed the supported devices and announced that he has decoded the protocol for Apple’s Magic Trackpad.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • SODIMM-sized SBC has onboard flash, microSD slot

      Keith and Koep GmbH announced a SODIMM-sized, Linux-compatible single board computer (SBC) and a compact baseboard to go with it. The Trizeps VI offers Marvell Armada 100-series processors clocked at 800MHz or 1.1GHz, up to 256MB of RAM and 512MB of flash storage, and an onboard microSD socket, while the baseboard adds an Ethernet port and HDMI, among other functionality.

    • Boxing Clever: Livestation On Boxee, EMI On PS3’s VidZone, Sky On I-Can

      Live TV news aggregator Livestation is taking an app on to Boxee, the internet TV media centre software for Mac, Windows, Linux and AppleTV.

      For the time being, Livestation’s premium channels, which it is now trying to push, are available on Mac and Linux only.

    • Cheap Linux wall warts small on size, big on possibilities

      Every geek and technology lover will undoubtedly have stumbled across online adverts for tiny headless Linux-powered devices that are barely larger than the power point they plug into. What can you actually do with them? Plenty, it seems!

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Google releases Froyo and new Voice Actions widget

          Froyo is currently available only on a few phones, including Google’s Nexus One and some HTC Evo 4G and original Droid phones. It will soon ship on the Droid 2, and next month will be available for the Droid X, while many other Android devices will be updated in the coming months.

        • Tablets, eReaders, and More Coming from Verizon as 2H Details Emerge

          Motorola isn’t taking their foot off of the gas, bringing an XT610 which is said to feature a Droid X-like screen size (4.3-inches) but with hardware more in the middle of the pack (think 3.2 or 5-megapixel camera and slower CPU). PhoneArena’s source says to expect a $100-$130 price point with a contract. Also arriving in October is a Motorola A957 “Sick” which likely comes from a “Dude, check out how sick this phone is!”

    • Sub-notebooks

    • Tablets

      • Archos thinks small for next Cortex-A8 Android tablet

        A 3.2-inch, Android 2.1 tablet called the Archos 32 has been spotted on the FCC’s website. Like the Archos 5 and Archos 7, the Archos 32 is said to run on an ARM Cortex A8 system-on-chip (SoC), and offers GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, accelerometers, and composite video out, according to a manual posted on the FCC site.

Free Software/Open Source

  • OpenLuna Picks Up Where NASA’s Moon Mission Leaves Off

    Though the Obama administration is ending NASA’s moon mission, not everyone is taking the news lying down. A group of engineers and scientists have teamed up with a handful of universities and companies in the space industry to form a collaborative volunteer organization called the OpenLuna Foundation. Together, they hope to pick up space exploration where NASA left off and eventually settle a manned outpost on the surface of the moon.

  • 50 Open Source Replacements for Really Expensive Software

    The “Great Recession” has businesses and consumers alike looking for ways to cut costs. That includes looking for cheaper alternatives to expensive software.

    In most cases, open source applications offer much lower prices, even if you need to purchase paid support. With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of open source alternatives to software that tends to cost a lot.

    This list comes with a few caveats. First, it’s nearly impossible to find prices for the very most expensive software you can buy. Many enterprise software vendors don’t release their prices because they negotiate separately with each customer or because their licensing schemes are so complicated that they could never explain them adequately in less than 5,000 words.

  • OpenOffice Base – A Simple And Useful Database Management Tool

    When most people think OpenOffice, they think of word processing or spreadsheets. What many people do not realize is that OpenOffice also includes Base, a database system roughly equivalent to MS Access. Many businesses and individuals use these systems to allow even non-technical people to enter, store, retrieve and organize their data. Using Base, you can follow simple steps to create an easy, user-friendly way for people to store and retrieve information using custom-designed forms and reports.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • FoxToPhone sends URLs from Firefox to Android phones

        FoxToPhone, formerly known as SendToPhone, is an extension for Mozilla’s Firefox web browser that allows users to send their current web page directly and almost instantly to their Android-powered device using an address bar button. Users can also send any link, image or page to their mobile device by simply right clicking on it and selecting the appropriate action. Additionally, highlighted text can be sent directly to the phone’s clipboard.

  • Healthcare

    • Laws governing medical devices in the EU and their effect on free and open source software

      States of the European Union recently implemented Directive 2007/47/EEC of September 5th 2007 concerning Medical Devices. This Directive amended Directive 93/42/EEC from June 14th 1993. Given that this Directive should now have become part of the national legislation of each EU Member State, it is a good time to take a look at how the provisions of the Directive could apply to open source software.

  • Business

  • Project Releases

    • jQuery Mobile Project announced

      The jQuery Project developers have announced the launch of the jQuery Mobile project, a new project for a cross-platform mobile version of their JavaScript framework. According to jQuery creator John Resig, as part of the new mobile project, the core jQuery library is being improved to work across the various major mobile platforms and their browsers. Resig says that the developers are working to release “a complete, unified, mobile UI framework”. Current expectations are that this will be completed in late 2010.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • A Programmer’s Discussion: Procedural vs. OO

      So I have been writing code of one sort or another for over 15 years (mostly Perl) and there is still one thing I don’t get … what is the advantage of object oriented programming (OOP) over procedural programming (PP)?

      I want to have an open discussion on the topic. Obviously I deal with both OOP and PP, but I am strongly in the PP camp. I am wondering “did I miss the boat”? I heard that Perl 6 will have very strong OOP and possibly will be pure OOP only, so if Larry Wall (way smarter then me) thinks it is a good idea, I must have missed something.

Leftovers

  • Defamation reform – the role of juries

    Lord Lester explained that in his Bill he had reversed the presumption that trial is by jury rather than by judge in defamation proceedings because, in the present situation, the prospect of jury trial supposedly makes it more likely that parties hold out for the prospect of argument before juries rather than settling the case early, which would generally be in the interests of the parties (and, incidentally, save the state costs). I question whether the practical consideration about the likelihood of cases settling earlier is worth changing the principle of trial by jury, but – regardless of the accuracy or merits of that decision on its own terms – I would highlight the great risk involved in this approach.

  • How Do Native Apps and Web Apps Compare?
  • Health

    • Potter to NAIC: Be a Hero to Consumers

      A consumer watchdog told insurance commissioners here that consumers are looking to state regulators to protect them from health care companies’ tendency to put shareholders first.

      Wendell Potter, a former insurance company executive who is now affiliated with the Center for Media and Democracy, Madison, Wis., addressed attendees at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC’s) summer meeting Saturday.

  • Security/Aggression

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Welcome to the Infotainment Freak Show

      In a media atmosphere that prefers entertainment over enlightenment, segments such as the one occurring on Aug. 10 on Morning Joe have become the norm. Rather than spend time talking about issues of substance, Joe Scarborough and his team instead decided to spend a whole segment of his show poking fun at Rep. John Boehner new tan. It’s not as if anything else more important is occurring at the moment in the world, right? Infotainment, as epitomized by this segment, often reigns supreme in the mess that is the contemporary American “news” industry.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Pirate Party Strikes Hosting Deal With Wikileaks

      During his visit to the the Swedish capital Stockholm, Wikileaks spokesman Julian Assange struck a deal with the local Pirate Party. The Party, which participates in the national elections next month, will host several new Wikileaks servers to protect the freedom of the press and help the whistleblower site to carry out its operation.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • iiNet counts meaningful ISPs on one hand

      There are only “four and a half” meaningful players left in Australia’s internet service provider (ISP) market, iiNet supremo Michael Malone said today, with companies like Primus and Eftel not relevant any more in terms of providing competition.

    • Reports Of The Web’s Death Are Greatly Exaggerated Through Lies, Damn Lies & Statistics

      In fact, much of both articles seems to be wishful thinking to support a view that the two authors — Chris Anderson and Michael Wolff — hope the world will come to eventually, rather than what seems to actually be happening. In both cases, it feels like they take the misleading graph at the top as the starting point, and then justify it, even though it’s not painting an accurate picture. There is this new fascination with app madness as the latest new thing — and companies love it because they think it gives them back some of the control they’ve lost to the open web. But, openness tends to find its way through. Closed systems are great for leading a charge to a new level, but they almost always stall out as more open solutions leapfrog them in the end. Apps are still digital, after all, and it’s tough to keep anything digital closed for too long.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • U2 Manager Blames ‘Free’ And Anonymous Internet Bloggers For Industry Troubles

        Paul, the people responding to your speeches and interviews and columns with these concerns are not some bogeymen from the dark with no name reaching out to “attack” you. We’re people who love music and worry about an industry that is making many misguided and dangerous decisions that do more to harm the music world than the new services and technologies you apparently haven’t taken the time to understand. We’re not attacking you. We’re pointing out the very big flaws in your ideas. Rather than repeating the same flawed plans — with gratuitous and incorrect claims of some anonymous mob that’s out to get you — perhaps you could respond to the actual points that we’ve raised? Or is asking for that just a form of an attack?

      • Lawrence Lessig’s new journey (part one)

        Lessig is a visionary when it comes to digital freedom and is one of the most inspirational people I’ve ever had the priviledge of meeting in person. I’m a huge Creative Commons fan. I see it and his work as championing one of the basic things there is to know and learn in life: sharing. We’re all part of one big community and, every chance we get, I feel like we should share knowledge, thoughts, science, research, art, and anything else that we know or create.

      • uTorrent Backs Artist, Bundles Album With New Downloads

        Following in the footsteps of The Pirate Bay and the successful BitTorrent distribution platform Vodo, uTorrent has now embraced an artist of their own. Starting today, all new uTorrent downloads will be bundled with the latest album from PAZ, an up and coming musician who hopes to achieve stardom through BitTorrent.

Clip of the Day

Ixquick’s New Proxy Service!


Links 17/8/2010: Linux in Portugal, ~55,000,000 Android Phones This Year

Posted in News Roundup at 12:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Cash and Community: Incentives and Open Source Development

    This is a concern for some members of the FOSS community, like Bradley Kuhn of the Software Freedom Law Center and Software Freedom Conservancy. During the session, Kuhn expressed dismay that “too many people make money” working on FOSS funded by corporations, and not enough projects are being driven by hackers looking to scratch their own itch. Kuhn’s concerns are echoed by a number of contributors in the FOSS community, who say that a strong community should include developers who work on a project out of passion rather than for a paycheck. While Kuhn doesn’t say that projects should be without corporate contributions, he says that too many projects are initiated and driven by companies rather than growing organically and becoming useful to companies over the long run.

    Sun’s purchase by Oracle highlights some dangers of corporate-driven FOSS projects, or projects depending too deeply on corporate largess. Many projects funded by Sun have floundered since Oracle took over the company, and other efforts — such as GNOME’s accessibility work — have taken a hit because Oracle laid off the only developers paid to work on those projects full time.

  • Business

    • New Report Details The Rise of Business Intelligence Software

      Not long ago, OStatic did an examination of Business Intelligence (BI) software applications and suites, and it got a lot of notice. That’s probably because BI is one of the fastest-growing categories in the whole open source arena. In fact, when we covered the results of North Bridge Partners’ 2009 Future of Open Source Survey, I noted that many of the respondents said that they see open source Business Intelligence applications as highly likely to cause disruption in the next five years. Now, there are new signs that BI software is gaining solid entrenchment.

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Ray Kurzweil does not understand the brain

      There he goes again, making up nonsense and making ridiculous claims that have no relationship to reality. Ray Kurzweil must be able to spin out a good line of bafflegab, because he seems to have the tech media convinced that he’s a genius, when he’s actually just another Deepak Chopra for the computer science cognoscenti.

  • Finance

    • The heresy of the Greeks offers hope

      The crisis that has led to Greece’s “rescue” by European banks and the International Monetary Fund is the product of a grotesque financial system that itself is in crisis. Greece is a microcosm of a modern class war rarely reported as such, but waged with all the urgency of panic among the imperial rich.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Amazon Case: We’re In!

      Last Friday, the district court in the Western District of Washington granted the motion to intervene that the ACLU filed on behalf of our clients in the lawsuit (PDF) challenging the North Carolina Department of Revenue’s (DOR) repeated requests for Amazon’s customer records in the course of its tax audit of Amazon. These customer records reveal highly personal and intimate details of people’s lives that DOR does not actually need for its tax audit, including what books people are reading, what films they are watching, and what other private and expressive materials they are purchasing. The First Amendment bars the government from demanding and collecting this information.

    • Lawsuit: Disney, others spy on kids with zombie cookies

      According to the complaint, each of the Clearspring affiliates independently and knowingly authorized the company to track users, even on non-Clearspring affiliated sites. A Flash-based tracking cookie was allegedly installed by the affiliate sites without users’ knowledge, and would recreate itself by digging into the Flash storage bin for the same user information if deleted. Essentially, users who were trying to remain privacy-conscious by regularly deleting their cookies were not able to rid themselves of the cookies deposited by Clearspring.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Why Intellectual Property Rights in Traditional Knowledge Cannot Contribute to Sustainable Development

      This paper makes a simple point: If sustainability (however defined) is the goal, intellectual property rights in traditional knowledge do not move us toward the achievement of that goal. The reason is that the only social policy justification for recognizing intellectual property rights at all is that they supposedly serve as an incentive to create socially desirable works of authorship and inventions. They are not and should serve as a reward for past achievements. In other words, outside of their usual incentive function of promoting new technology, intellectual property rights in traditional knowledge have no role to play in the sustainability analysis. This is not to say that traditional knowledge is irrelevant to sustainability; indeed, there is good reason to believe that much can be learned from study and implementation of traditional practices in a wide range of fields. Nor is it to say that intellectual property rights in general play no role in advancing the goal of sustainability. The incentives supplied by intellectual property rights to authors and inventors may help induce new technologies and methods for preserving what is left of the natural state of the planet and its ecosystems. The point is only that intellectual property rights in traditional knowledge can do no good (in promoting sustainability) and may do much harm, by tying up knowledge in exclusive rights that inhibit its application to sustainability (or anything else) without any compensating social gains.

    • Copyrights

      • CLA statement on Bill C-32, An Act to Amend the Copyright Act
      • How to save the music industry

        My message was quite simple – and remains so today. We are living in an era when “free” is decimating the music industry and is starting to do the same to film, TV and books. Yet for the world’s internet service providers, bloated by years of broadband growth, “free music” has become a multi-billion dollar bonanza. What has gone so wrong? And what can be done now to put it to right?

        To my amazement, my speech was splashed across the world media. Partly this was due to the timing – President Sarkozy of France had just become the champion of the global music industry, tabling a new law requiring the telecom companies to finally crack down on internet piracy for the first time. But there were other reasons too.

      • A Big Fat Thanks To Record Execs

        In their recent edition, Rolling Stone Magazine has issued a thank you letter to the record label executives. Hopefully they’ll read it and get the bigger picture. It is a very wise and concise note that brings to light the changing nature in which individuals discover and spread music. Hats off to Rolling Stone for trying to get the RIAA and the music big wigs to open their eyes.

      • ACTA

        • Privacy challenges facing the European Union from ACTA

          The WP29 observed that the current text of the ACTA at the very least encourages the implementation of the controversial three strikes policy, which requires disconnecting purported intellectual property infringers, by collaboration between Internet service providers and right holders. Even worst, this policy does not seem limited to piracy and counterfeiting, which was the initial purpose of negotiating the ACTA, but it would extend to infringement of any kind of intellectual property rights, even patents (Articles 2.18.3 and 2.18.3 quarter).

Clip of the Day

Big Buck Bunny (excerpt)


Links 17/8/2010: Multitouch Linux, X.Org Gesture Extension, Texas Memory Joins Linux Foundation

Posted in News Roundup at 7:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • ARM backs Linux server chip start-up

    A US start-up chipmaker called Smooth-Stone has raised tens of millions of dollars to develop and sell ARM-based processors for servers, which ARM says will likely run Linux.

  • 5 Free or Open NAS Servers

    Here we’ll look at five different NAS servers provided by the open source community…

  • Free Linux-Based 2X CloudClient OS Achieves VMware Ready(TM) Certification
  • Treasury, Linux Australia collaborate on tax tools

    The Australian Treasury has begun working with Linux Australia to make its AUSkey and Standard Business Reporting (SBR) systems compatible with open source platforms.

  • Server

    • A Map to Your Nearest Data Center

      In preparation for the launch of its new backup and migration tool, Turnkey Linux has done some work to automate selection of the nearest regional data center.

    • IBM Unleashes 256-core Unix Server, Its Biggest Yet

      The Power 795 is IBM’s biggest Unix server to date. It’s aimed at companies that run large-scale database applications or want to consolidate multiple Unix or Linux workloads onto a single system using IBM’s PowerVM virtualization software.

  • Google

  • Multitouch

  • Kernel Space

    • Texas Memory Systems Joins Linux Foundation

      The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced that Texas Memory Systems has become its newest member.

    • Graphics Stack

      • AMD updates ATI Stream Software Development Kit

        The development platform brings a range of tools to the developer community including support for OpenCL 1.1, in addition to Ubuntu 10.04 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5.

      • Texas Memory Systems Joins Linux Development Effort
      • Introducing The X.Org Gesture Extension

        Earlier this morning Canonical had announced the UTouch Framework, which is their multi-touch framework to be formally introduced with Ubuntu 10.10. Canonical developers crafted up their own multi-touch solution and even their own gesture language for Ubuntu, rather than leveraging any similar free software projects, but — to some surprise — it turns out they are now going to try to engage with upstream developers to at least have a formalized extension to the X.Org Server for gestures.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • KDE & GNOME cross-desktop development

      Fortunately, you can take care of this yourself, thanks to the Portland Project. Portland is a joint OSDL/freedesktop.org initiative to provide developers with stable APIs for desktop Linux and other free desktop platforms.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KMyMoney Team Announces First Platform 4 Release

        The KMyMoney team is pleased to announce the release of the first stable version built on KDE Platform 4. With over 15 months of development, this is the starting point for a series of KMyMoney versions leveraging the stellar features offered by the new Platform.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 110

        · Announced Distro: VectorLinux 6.0 SOHO Edition
        · Announced Distro: Untangle Gateway Platform 7.4
        · Announced Distro: Salix OS 13.1.1
        · Announced Distro: Puppy Linux 5.1

        [...]

      • Texas Memory Systems Joins Linux Development Effort

        After more than a year of development, developer Tom Kerremans has announced the release of version 3.4 of the Trinity Rescue Kit (TRK). TRK is a Live distribution – bootable via a LiveCD, LiveUSB or over a network – that’s based on Mandriva Linux and is specifically aimed at recovery and repair operations for both Windows and Linux systems. For example, it includes a number of tools for recovering deleted files, resetting passwords and cloning drives.

      • Trinity Rescue Kit 3.4 Comes with Linux Kernel 2.6.35

        Trinity Rescue Kit (TRK) 3.4 has been released after more than a year of development. TRK is a Live CD distro aimed at rescue and repair tasks on both Windows and Linux PCs. TRK 3.4 comes with the latest Linux kernel 2.6.35 and quite a number of new features.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Linux light – PCLinuxOS 2010.7 Openbox

        So this edition is a bit of a mixed bag. With plenty of apps it is a good base as is or if you want to add a more cut down custom KDE or Gnome installation, but it’s probably best for fans of Openbox who would like to create their own custom spin with MKLiveCD for the road. In these few days I have come to appreciate the simple elegance and functionality of this window manager when paired with tint2, and the PCLOS utilities help administration. There were no dead menu entries and the menu updated every time I installed an application, like emelfm2 for better file management options. Performance was quite good too (responsive unless opening the Control Center) and I can’t find anything else to complain about, except maybe the branding and the ugly included wallpapers. But this is, with no menu buttons, not as prevalent as in the versions with the major desktop environments, and Gdm theme and wallpaper are quickly changed. Most important to me, my wireless Ralink worked without any fuss while running from CD. Once installed, it lost connection to my WPA2 encrypted network a few times, but these teething problems quickly seemed to disappear and did not reoccur after a cold boot, and once again all was well. Nothing is perfect, and while other distributions may not suffer the problems I have discovered, most are also more difficult to set up in the first place. As always, you make your choice.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Wipro partners with Red Hat

        Wipro, a provider of IT services, has partnered with Red Hat, a provider of open source solutions. The two companies have strengthened their strategic partnership through joint marketing and integration opportunities designed to bring open source solutions to enterprises across India.

      • CirtexHosting Adds CloudLinux to All Servers

        CirtexHosting, a leader in Linux Web hosting, today announced it has added CloudLinux on all hosting servers, which is designed to increase server stability and prevent downtime, ultimately improving performance for customers.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 14 Artwork Progressing!

          Time is running short for us to iterate this wallpaper for Fedora 14 Beta! Want to try your hand? All of the sources are available, and it’s a great excuse to try out Blender if you haven’t gotten a chance to yet. :) Not up for working on the design, but have some feedback you’d like to share? Join the conversation on the design-team mailing list, or drop your feedback in the wiki or in this blog post’s comments.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ding, ding – Sound Applet mock-ups round II

          Wyatt Kirby, whose sound applet mock-ups found favourable fandom both here and on Mark Shuttleworth’s blog, has put pixel to, er, palette and come up with a newly revised design.

          For those new to the whole ‘Sound Menu Saga’ I’ll be brief: Ubuntu 10.10 has a new sound menu which controls things like thythmbox and system volume. Some people like it & some people like it less so.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • TI launches 720p-ready Cortex-A8 SoC

      An evaluation module and BSP are currently offered for Linux and Android (the latter via Mentor Graphics), while Windows CE support will be available from Adeneo in the fourth quarter, says the company. RTOS versions are also under development by various vendors, says TI.

    • Tablets

      • Video: Take a Look at the $35 Tata Tablet

        The first video demonstration of the tablet prototype, above, shows that the computer will run on the Android OS instead of the rumored Linux setup. The video seems somewhat sped up, perhaps so as not to give a true indication of the using experience. And oddly enough, the tablet seems to be using a touch-stylus-interface, even for typing.

      • The Android-powered Augen GenTouch78 is no iPad

        The tablet does have some good things going for it. While it’s made from black plastic, it has a solid feel. Better still, it comes with a form-fitting, faux-leather case. I don’t know about you, but whether I pay $170 for a GenTouch78 or $500 for an Apple iPad, I appreciate getting a real cover to protect it without shelling out additional cash.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Project Snowstorm: Our New Open Development Program

    Almost two years ago, we set about revamping the Second Life Viewer and in March of this year we released Viewer 2. Over that two year period, we took a heads-down approach to our design and development process to create a Viewer that would be easier for new Residents to use. This heads-down approach meant we had very limited contact with you, and left many Residents feeling alienated. Now, we are making some big changes to better communicate with you and include you in our development process. Specifically, we’re beginning a new open-source program — known as Project Snowstorm — that will show you exactly what we’re working on and will also start to bring Resident contributions into our mainline Viewer build. We’re extremely excited to be firing up this program, and we’re confident it will lead to a better Viewer, one that benefits from the tremendous talent and creativity we’ve seen from the most committed members of our development community.

  • How corporate America went open-source

    According to recent surveys, more large companies are committing to open-source software. How the platform went from closet to corporate.

  • How open source is like a good marriage

    Zenoss’ Open Source Management Report indicates 98% of enterprises now have open source. Satisfaction with the product is growing, although support and documentation continue to lag. Half of enterprises are using cloud resources.

  • How To Find a Customer in a Divided IT Universe

    Frequently, these companies are also contributing innovation back to into the open source community. The myriad NoSQL projects are just one example of this trend. Many take things much further: modified Linux kernels, custom compilers, internally developed networking control planes, even building their own servers and switches.

  • Open software passes Australian tipping point

    Almost two in three Australian enterprises now has a policy or strategy in place regarding the use of Free Open Source Software, with just about every enterprise using elements of open source in their day to day operations.

  • Cost isn’t the only rationale for open source adoption

    “Going open source saves us $4 to $4.5 million each year in IT spending, and we have much better performance and reliability, so why wouldn’t we use it?” Simhambhatla quipped.

  • Open source software a frequent flier on Virgin America
  • Virgin America’s IT infrastructure is primarily opensource

    Virgin America is using mostly open-source software in its IT infrastructure, according to the airline’s CIO, Ravi Simhambhatla. The move from proprietary software is saving Virgin America millions of dollars, but that’s not the main reason for the transition, reports Sean Michael Kerner in an article at CIOUpdate.

  • Whisper – New Voice Solution for OpenSim

    Today, vComm Solutions of Switzerland released Whisper, a high quality voice solution for OpenSim based on the popular Mumble open source VoIP client. The key feature of this solution is that it enables avatar lip sync and speaker indication to work correctly, in addition to providing very stable, high quality voice.

  • Get App-y: Open source software not just for techies

    • Gimp.org, for photo editing. Doug Hoke, The Oklahoman’s photography director, told me about Gimp as a substitute for Photoshop, which costs about $700. Photoshop is still the industry standard, and Gimp isn’t organized as clearly as Photoshop, but the software application has the advanced photo editing features that professionals use. I can usually find the tools I need when using Gimp.

    • Scribus.net, for layout and desktop publishing. I found this through The Oklahoman’s Glen Seeber. I haven’t played around with it much. I’ll use it as an alternative to Adobe InDesign, which can cost $1,000 or more in a package.

  • Why do FLOSS developers keep ranting?

    Many of us do FLOSS coding for the ultimate glory of just doing it. Learning, filling empty days with something to do or simply because they need to feel important for somebody else (I’m pointing the finger to you, behated [my opposite of beloved] library developers).

  • Events

  • SaaS

  • Oracle

  • CMS

  • Project Releases

    • Vi IMproved 7.3 Released w/ Fixes + New Features

      Marking the end of two years of development is the release of Vim (Vi Improved) version 7.3. While this is considered a minor release of Vim, there are a handful of new features along with many bug-fixes.

  • Licensing

    • Westinghouse Digital Ruling: Less than Meets the Eye

      The court ruled that Westinghouse Digital Electronics, LLC (“Westinghouse”) had infringed on the copyright in the BusyBox software by failing to comply with the terms of the GPLv2 in its distribution of the Westinghouse high definition televisions (“HDTV”). Although Westinghouse had originally “answered” the complaint, it then withdrew from participation in the suit, apparently due to financial difficulties, and ceased to respond to discovery requests from the plaintiff. If the failure to respond to discovery requests is due to “willfulness, bad faith or fault,” the court can grant a default judgment and Judge Scheidlin granted the motion. The financial problems of Westinghouse are evident through its use of the “assignment for benefit of creditors” procedure. The “assignment for benefit of creditors” is a California state law procedure similar to federal bankruptcy law to wind down companies. In this procedure, the company assigns its assets to a third party licensed by California who, then, disposes of the assets and then pays off the creditors of the company. Unlike bankruptcy law, the assignment for benefit of creditors does not “stay” litigation.

  • Openness/Sharing

Leftovers

  • Free Parking Comes at a Price

    Many suburbanites take free parking for granted, whether it’s in the lot of a big-box store or at home in the driveway. Yet the presence of so many parking spaces is an artifact of regulation and serves as a powerful subsidy to cars and car trips. Legally mandated parking lowers the market price of parking spaces, often to zero. Zoning and development restrictions often require a large number of parking spaces attached to a store or a smaller number of spaces attached to a house or apartment block.

  • AP decides not to LOL

    The Associated Press almost shared a page with LOLcats.

    Pet Holdings Inc., which owns a network of blogs that post pictures of felines with silly captions, and videos of men getting hit in the groin on its Fail Blog, had been wrapped in rather lengthy negotiations with the Associated Press until this week.

    The talks began to stall when lawyers for the I Can Has Cheezburger proprietor were worried about wording in the contract. The Associated Press finally axed the project on concerns over “journalistic integrity,” Pet Holdings Chief Ben Huh said in an interview Monday.

    For the prestigious wire service to even consider associating itself with a business that makes a living from fan-made cat pictures may have seemed unthinkable a decade ago.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Earth’s Overdraft Notice

      According to the Global Footprint Network humanity crossed a threshold three decades ago when we stopped being able to live off of nature’s interest — “consuming resources and producing carbon dioxide at a rate lower than what the planet was able to regenerate and reabsorb each year” — and started living beyond nature’s capacity.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Net neutrality protesters lay siege to Google (for an hour)

      With that, a dozen or so protesters (and Ars) rode from the city’s Opera Plaza to Mountain View, California, headquarters of Google, now fallen from grace since the release of its watered-down net neutrality manifesto with Verizon.

      The objective—to deliver 300,000 signatures protesting the move.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • uTorrent Backs Artist, Bundles Album With New Downloads

        Following in the footsteps of The Pirate Bay and the successful BitTorrent distribution platform Vodo, uTorrent has now embraced an artist of their own. Starting today, all new uTorrent downloads will be bundled with the latest album from PAZ, an up and coming musician who hopes to achieve stardom through BitTorrent.

      • Broadcast audience aging faster than population

        “It should be a concern, but it doesn’t seem to be a concern at the moment,” said Steve Sternberg, who wrote the report for Baseline Inc., an information source for the film and TV industries that is owned by The New York Times Co. “You don’t want to have CBS, ABC and NBC all having median ages in their mid-50s.”

Clip of the Day

Motorola DROID 2 for Verizon review – part 1


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