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11.14.12

Links 14/11/2012: Android 4.2 Source Code, Mozilla’s Shumway Project

Posted in News Roundup at 11:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Who Would Buy A $199 Chromebook With 3.5 Hour Battery Life And HDD?

      Google is all set to shake the stagnated desktop PC market held hostage by Microsoft. There has not been any revolutionary innovation in the desktop PC space which is monopolized by Microsoft. It took Apple to shake it with the incredible Retina display (Microsoft wouldn’t have minded keeping 1024×800 for another 10 years). Google is all set to change this and Windows 8 is going to offer all the help it can to the wider adoption of Chromebooks.

      The recently announced ARM-powered Samsung Chromebook is selling at mere $249 which is going to make quite a lot of laptop users rethink, especially those who spend all of their PC time inside a browser. Before people could place their orders, just a day before Neuxs 4 was going on sale, Google dropped another bomb on Microsoft with the announcement (and immediate availability) of a $199 Acer Chromebook.

  • Kernel Space

    • Interview: Linus Torvalds – I don’t read code any more

      I was lucky enough to interview Linus quite early in the history of Linux – back in 1996, when he was still living in Helsinki (you can read the fruits of that meeting in this old Wired feature.) It was at an important moment for him, both personally – his first child was born at this time – and in terms of his career. He was about to join the chip design company Transmeta, a move that didn’t really work out, but led to him relocating to America, where he remains today.

    • ‘Personality Cults’ and the Open Source Channel
    • A Template For Writing Linux Kernel Drivers

      LDT has been published, a Linux Driver Template for helping new Linux kernel developers begin writing hardware device drivers.

    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA 310.19 Linux Driver Carries Enhancements

        There’s a new release available in the NVIDIA 310.xx Linux graphics driver series. The NVIDIA 310 Linux driver is already great for its big performance improvements thanks to Steam/Source coming to Linux and threaded OpenGL optimizations, but now the driver has been made even better.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Dropping GNOME Fallback Mode: The Right Decision, Wrongly Handled

        You have to pity the GNOME project these days. Even when it does the right thing, it does so in a way that maximizes controversy.

        I’m talking about the project’s recent announcement about dropping support for fallback mode. Since it was first introduced with the GNOME 3.0 release the fallback mode has provided an approximation of the GNOME 2 desktop for users who lacked the hardware acceleration needed for the latest desktop environment. Now, GNOME developers have announced that the upcoming 3.8 release will not include the fallback mode.

      • GNOME Shell 3.6.2 Has Been Officially Released

        The GNOME developers announced last evening, November 12, the immediate availability for download of the stable GNOME Shell 3.6.2 user interface for the GNOME 3 desktop environment.

        GNOME Shell 3.6.2 is the second maintenance release for the GNOME Shell 3.6 UI, which is part of the GNOME 3.6.2 desktop environment update, due for release tomorrow, November 14, 2012.

      • GNOME Dev Responds to Criticism of Open Source Interface

        One might reasonably assume that the controversy surrounding the design of GNOME 3, which was released well over a year ago, would have abated by now. But in one of the clearest signs that it hasn’t, a leading GNOME developer recently posted a strongly worded tirade against critics of the open source desktop environment — namely, the “crazies” and “yellow journalists.”

        The developer, Federico Mena-Quintero, published his thoughts on his personal blog, not any official GNOME outlet. Still, as one of the cofounders of the GNOME project, he carries a lot of weight within the open source community.

  • Debian Family

    • Derivatives

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu Core Desktop on the Nexus 7: Getting Involved

          A little while ago I talked about our goals to get the core Ubuntu Desktop running on the Nexus 7. Again, just to be clear: the goal here is to get the lower level foundations of the Ubuntu Desktop running efficiently on the Nexus. This work is focused on optimizing the kernel, X, networking, memory consumption etc of the core of Ubuntu and not focused on making Unity into a tablet user interface. You can’t build a great house without a solid foundation.

        • New video offers a peek at Ubuntu for Android
        • Devs port Ubuntu to Rockchip (RK3066) devices

          Rockchip’s stalwart RK3066 can best be described as a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 chip with clock speeds up to 1.6 GHz.

          The processor powers a number of tablets as well as PCs-on-a-stick, including the Z2C, Minix NEOG G 4, Kimdecent, Droid Stick T10, MK802 III, UG802 and the UG007.

        • Could Ubuntu Power Your Phone?

          Ubuntu on smartphones remains a totally theoretical proposition. But that hasn’t stopped Canonical from releasing a video showcasing all the cool things that Ubuntu could do if it did run on phones. Is the company getting ahead of itself, or is this a sign that Ubuntu might finally be poised to make the jump to the mobile world?

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Parsix 4.0 Arrives with GNOME 3

            Parsix is a wonderful distribution that offers a complete starter system with its own repositories while remaining compatible with Debian. Version 4 was just released and “brings tons of updated packages, faster live boot, improved installer system and quality new features.”

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Giant pandas threatened by climate change

      Giant pandas could be left hungry and struggling to survive by global warming, scientists have warned.

      A new study predicts that climate change is set to wipe out much of the bamboo on which the bears rely for food.

  • Finance

  • Censorship

    • Free speech? Man arrested for burning poppy photo

      Lawyers and campaigners have taken to Twitter to criticise the arrest. “Dear idiots at @kent_police, burning a poppy may be obnoxious, but it is not a criminal offence,” tweeted legal commentator David Allen Green, who rose to prominence when working on the case of “Twitter bomber” Paul Chambers.

      “What was the point of winning either World War if, in 2012, someone can be casually arrested by @kent_police for burning a poppy?”

    • Google hit with $200,000 damages bill over Mokbel shots

      A Melbourne man who won a defamation case against search engine giant Google has been awarded $200,000 in damages.

      Milorad Trkulja, also known as Michael, sued the multinational over images of him alongside a well-known underworld figure that appeared in its search results.

      A six-person Supreme Court jury found last month that Mr Trkulja had been defamed by the images, which he first contacted Google about removing in 2009.

    • Update On “Is Anybody Down?” Investigation And Bumptious Legal Threats From Craig Brittain And Chance Trahan
    • ‘Revenge Porn’ Site Owners Escalate Their Failure, Going From Bogus DMCA Notices To Bogus Legal Threats

      Needless to say, the criticism hasn’t ceased and nothing has been taken down. In fact, the boys have moved past the DMCA process and have moved on to completely bogus legal threats to us here at Techdirt, and a number of other sites as well. As described by Popehat, who has received an identical threat, it appears that Trahan and Brittain have decided to dive right into the always-entertaining “bumptious legal threat” arena.

  • Privacy

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Twitter limit: University of Washington caps live game coverage for media, threatens credential revocation

      It looks like college coaches aren’t the only ones restricting Twitter use. Todd Dybas, a reporter for the Tacoma News Tribune, Tweeted yesterday that he was “reprimanded” by the University of Washington Athletic Department for apparently Tweeting too much during Sunday’s 85-63 win over Loyola.

    • Copyrights

      • Pirate Bay Founder Arrested Again On Suspicion Of New Hacking & Fraud Offenses

        Every other Friday there is a court hearing in Sweden to discuss the continued detainment of Gottfrid Svartholm. A request to detain the Pirate Bay co-founder for an additional two weeks was granted yesterday but not without more drama being added to the proceedings. Gottfrid was arrested under suspicion of being involved in a second hacking case along with accusations of four instances of serious fraud and four attempted frauds. Further details of the alleged crimes are being kept secret.

      • The Cake Copyright Is A Lie; Safeway Just Doesn’t Want To Be Mocked

        A few folks have sent in this story on the blog of the wonderful (and super popular) site Cake Wrecks, which (as the name suggests) highlights hilariously bad cake designs, supposedly done by “professionals.” Not surprisingly, the site is well known among those who wield cake decorating bags. However, some do not appreciate the wonders of such a site… especially when it features their own cakes. Cake Wrecks recently put up a blog post in which it reveals that at least one Safeway (a part of the giant supermarket chain) has apparently told its bakery that there is a “no photography” rule, officially set up to avoid having its cakes show up on the site — though, they’re using copyright as their excuse:…

      • The Raw Power Of Louis CK: Even HBO Is Opening The Garden Gates

        Yesterday, Louis CK announced the seemingly impossible: his next comedy special will air on HBO, and also be available as a DRM-free download like his revolutionary Beacon Theatre show. Yes, even the network so infamous for its tight grip on content that fans have literally begged it to take their money can’t ignore the overwhelming success of CK’s open, inexpensive, highly accessible approach to content distribution.

      • Will The Next Secretary Of State Support Internet Freedom Or SOPA?

        Last week, we noted that one of Hollywood’s favorite Congressional Reps., Howard Berman had lost his re-election bid (in part due to re-districting, putting him up against another incumbent). For years, Berman has been a go to guy for the entertainment industry looking to pass dubious copyright expansion bills. Berman used to run the “IP Subcommittee” of the Judiciary Committee — which you would think is a major conflict of interest, since he (literally) represented part of Hollywood. Amusingly, when he moved on to head the Foreign Affairs Committee, the next line for the IP Subcommittee was Rep. Rick Boucher — a noted copyright reform advocate. Magically, the Judiciary Committee made the IP Subcommittee disappear. When Boucher lost in the next election, and a maximalist was available again, magically the subcommittee reappeared.

        Either way, as a bunch of sources have been reporting, now that Berman lost, he’s on the short list of possible candidates to become the new Secretary of State after Hillary Clinton steps down early next year.

      • Musicians Weave Elaborate CNET Conspiracy Theory In Attempt To Get BitTorrent Banned

        Last year, we wrote about a silly and uninformed lawsuit filed by eccentric rich guy Alki David against CBS. David has an online TV company, FilmOn, which has some similarities to Aereo and other online rebroadcasters. The networks sued the company, of course, and David has since gone on an odd and vindictive campaign against them. As someone who tends to think services like his should be both legal and embraced, I’d like to support him, but his legal campaign is just ridiculous and now has the possibility of causing real and serious harm. His reason for suing CBS was that a few years ago CBS bought CNET, and CNET has (for many, many years) run a site called Download.com. Download.com is a service that many software providers use to distribute their software. David claimed that because Download.com (a site owned by CNET which was — only relatively recently — purchased by CBS) distributed Limewire — which was eventually found to be infringing — that CBS was also guilty of copyright infringement. That original lawsuit was dumped pretty quickly, after the judge noted that David had failed to show what copyrights were being infringed (a key piece in any copyright claim).

      • RIAA: Pirates Are Bigger Music Fans Than Average Consumers

        After a study pointed out that file-sharers spend more money on music than their non-sharing counterparts, the RIAA felt the need to respond. The music industry group is now characterizing news reports on the findings as “misleading” and is ready to burst the bubble. According to the RIAA there is a straightforward reason why P2P users buy more – they are simply better engaged music fans than average music consumers. … Eh?

      • Copyright Industry Madness Takes Six Years To Catch Up With The Worst Satire Of It

        Six years ago, a satire site wrote a story about how the copyright industry wanted more money if you invited friends to watch a movie in your living room. This notion has now been patented in new technology: automated headcounts coming to a living room near you, to enable new forms of restrictions. Apparently, the copyright industry takes six years to catch up with the very worst satire of it.

      • Confused Irish Newspaper Editorial Argues That Search Engines Need To Pay Newspapers

        First of all, they seem to be claiming that search engines that index content, show a snippet and link people to the original content are “piracy.” That’s crazy talk. Furthermore, while they don’t name the “search engine” they claim that it “offered” these articles. Of course, if it really posted all the articles itself, then there is no need to change copyright laws — the company could already sue them for infringement. However, assuming that they’re really talking about Google or just about any other search engine, what they really mean is that the search engines aggregated the content and linked people back to the original. The “cost” to produce those articles is irrelevant to the overall discussion. Yes, it costs money, but it’s the job of a business model to bring in even more money. If the business geniuses who run your paper are too clueless to figure out how to monetize the traffic from Google, then perhaps you deserve to go out of business.

11.13.12

Links 14/11/2012: Linux Mint 14 RC, India’s Educational Android Tablet

Posted in News Roundup at 8:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • A world without Linux: Where would Apache, Microsoft — even Apple be today?

    Dabbling in alternative history is always a haphazard exercise. The intertwining of myriad factors and actions, mixed together in an infinitely complex historical equation that determines the future, renders any attempt to excise a certain variable essentially impossible. However, it can sometimes be educational and illuminating to try and poke holes in the edges of recent history to see where we might have wound up. Also, it’s fun and potentially full of surprises.

    Case in point: What would the world be like if Linus Torvalds hadn’t uploaded his v0.0.1 Linux kernel to a public directory in 1991? What if the world never knew Linux?

  • Linux Top 3: Mint, Martian Blueberries Fedora and Supercomputer Domination
  • Mint 14 RC Screenshots
  • FOSS: A Linux Conversion

    My friend Jerry is 70+ years young. Jerry has also been a client of mine on and off over the past several years for on-site support calls at his home office. Recently he was telling me how his aging Dell Dimension 2400 with Windows XP was running so very slow it was frustrating. We all know the story, the Microsoft OS was suffering from crud creep after several years of use. A cleanup and/or reinstall was needed to get it back to running faster. The other option is a new PC. Jerry is on a fixed income and cannot afford to replace the PC with a new one running “Microsoft Latest OS!” at this time. I talked with Jerry about his options, and he decided to give Linux a shot on this old Dell.

  • Early builds of XBMC for Linux ported to Allwinner A10 devices

    One of the nice things about tablets, mini PCs, and other devices with Allwinner A10 processors is that it’s very easy to get Ubuntu, Fedora, or other Linux-based operating systems to run on them. And once of the nice things about those operating systems is that they make excellent media centers when you add the open source XBMC media center software.

  • Desktop

  • Server

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Intel Pushes Their Linux-Friendly Xeon Phi

      In addition to NVIDIA and AMD announcing new high-end server/workstation GPUs to coincide with this week’s SuperComputing SC12 conference in Salt Lake City, Intel has announced new details and release information on their Xeon Phi co-processors.

    • Qualcomm DragonBoard S3 APQ8060 Preview

      The S3 DragonBoard is sold by BSquare at a price of just under $500 USD. The deployed operating system for the DragonBoards is Google’s Android. The S3 DragonBoard will be benchmarked on Phoronix in the near future. There isn’t any Linux distribution yet ported to this DragonBoard so benchmarks will be done on Android as well as (hopefully) through a Linux chroot on Android.

    • Jim Zemlin: Proprietary Software Is Doomed

      SPAIN: Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation tells Silicon News that Linux and open source must win in the end

    • ARM atomic operations

      Modern 32-bit ARM processors are becoming increasingly more complex than was the case with the implementation of previous generations of the architecture. Processors implementing version 5 of the architecture do not support Symmetric Multi-Processing (SMP), while newer architecture versions add not only full capability for SMP (and its related supporting architectural extensions), but even go as far as to enable the implementation of designs based upon AMP (Assymmetric Multi-Processing[0]) – commonly known as Big.LITTLE. These newer features require changes to the underlying architecture, to support memory ordering operations, cache coherent access to shared memory, atomic operations, and so on. This article summarizes some of these changes, with a view toward Fedora developers needing to modify ARM code, especially to implement support for atomic operations. Much greater documentation is available online, especially on ARM’s own website.

    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA, AMD Push High Performance GPUs

        With SuperComputing’s SC12 conference kicking off today in Salt Lake City, AMD and NVIDIA have both come out with their new high-end GPU products for compute purposes.

        NVIDIA’s top offering for servers and workstations are the Kepler GK110-based K20 and K20X. The K20X is capable of peaking at 1.31 Teraflops for double-precision floating point math or 3.95 Teraflops when doing single-precision floating point operations. The K20 meanwhile can achieve 1.17 and 3.52 Teraflops for double and single precision floating point, respectively. The memory bandwidth with ECC disabled for the Tesla K20X tops out at 250GB/s while packing 6GB of GDDR5 video memory. The K20X has 2688 CUDA cores on its GK110 die while the K20 has 2496 cores.

  • Applications

    • Extreme Graphics with Extrema

      High-energy physics experiments tend to generate huge amounts of data. While this data is passed through analysis software, very often the first thing you may want to do is to graph it and see what it actually looks like. To this end, a powerful graphing and plotting program is an absolute must. One available package is called Extrema (http://exsitewebware.com/extrema/index.html). Extrema evolved from an earlier software package named Physica. Physica was developed at the TRIUMF high-energy centre in British Columbia, Canada. It has both a complete graphical interface for interactive use in data analysis and a command language that allows you to process larger data sets or repetitive tasks in a batch fashion.

    • Proprietary

      • How Lightworks Falsely Rides Open Source Publicity Train

        2 years ago, Lightworks made a promise to the open source community. A promise that has made them darlings of the open source spotlight. A promise that the have yet to fulfill. One blogger takes serious issue with this lack of fullfilment, and rightly so. Blogger Nekohayo offers in depth insight into the failed promises of Editshare.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • AI Research Goes Open

        When it comes to AI research, Wei Qi, or Go, shows that machines still have some way to go to beat human beings… but they’re closing in

      • More Steam Linux Games to Pick Up

        The game runs natively on Linux and numerous Steam Linux users have confirmed this. The deal is still on if want to get the game for one fourth price.

        Now two more first person shooters, Killing Floor and Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45 are fully working on Linux via Steam.

        Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45 can be purchased for $10 from Steam. There is 75% off on Killing floor on GetGamesGo which sends Steam key to your email. So you can pick up the game for $5 only which is otherwise priced at $15 on Steam.

      • Valve Is Working On A New Game Engine

        Valve is working on a new game engine following in the success of their widely-popular Source Engine that is now running nicely on Linux.

        In an informal interview with Valve while a few 4Chan members were touring Valve’s Bellevue offices, Gabe Newell was asked about a new game engine and his response was “we’ve been working on new engine stuff for awhile.” Details though aren’t clear at this time whether it’s a “Source 2″ engine or something radically different.

      • OpenMW Open-Source Game Remake Sees New Release

        OpenMW, the project to create an open-source remake of the Elderscrolls III: Morrowind game, continues to move along. This weekend was the release of a new version with many changes.

      • A Popular Open-Source Game Still Years From Beta

        There’s an interesting and very promising open-source first person shooter game that does offer impressive graphics but is still a couple years from reaching a beta state.

        The game that’s still a ways out from being in beta is Unvanquished. Back in July was the first time I looked at it when it appeared to be a very promising open-source game that was derived from the Tremulous first person shooter and using the id Tech 3 game engine but with integrating the XreaL renderer enhancements.

      • Q&A with Hero-U’s Corey & Lori Cole
      • How to upgrade your Linux box for Steam

        When you consider that none of us could have much of an interest in Linux if it wasn’t for the hardware it runs on, x86 hardware gets relatively little attention.

        This might be because Linux is now so stable, and performs well enough on older hardware, that we seldom need to think about it.

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Qt Developer Days in Silicon Valley

        Qt Developer Days 2012 are the premier Qt events of the year. The 2012 Conference for Europe started today in Berlin co-hosted by KDE e.V.; there will be news and more information from the Conference over the next few days. Meanwhile, preparations are well underway for Qt Developer Days – North America in Silicon Valley, which will take place December 5 – 7. It is presented by ICS, KDAB and Digia and is being organized by ICS.

      • KDE vs. Gnome in daily life

        This is not a competition. The thing is, you can install any which program on any which distribution, pretty much, regardless of what desktop environment you choose to choose. Instead, this is a friendly reality check for people who prefer this or that operating system. Let’s say you wish to use only the native applications developed for your particular flavor of the desktop. How would your productivity or efficiency or peace of mind change then?

        We will pit Gnome programs vs. KDE software, across a range of categories. No browsers this time, since we did them only a few weeks ago, so you have your plethora of pinia … I mean browsers to test and compare. Today, we will focus on other applications, like file managers, image and photo software, office suites, media players, and a handful more. I will try to be objective, a near impossible task, and give you an overview when and where the KDE tools take a lead and which Gnome apps you will want to prefer for your daily use. And at no point in the time-space continuum will be debate the merits of the desktop environments as a whole. That’s a different subject for a different article.

      • cults of personality redux

        In a recent blog post, I slammed cults of personality in Free software communities. Some noted in the comments that this was not the only challenge we faced, and I completely agree. On the one hand, it’s a bit of an odd observation to make: of course all complex results have complex sets of causal factors. Entire volumes have been written about this aspect of complex challenges, and a thread I’ve noticed in a number of pieces I’ve read is that the shear number of causal factors makes it hard for people to untangle and overcome the challenges presented. It’s like we become distracted by too many topics and forget that you eat an elephant one bite at a time and not all at once; that it is OK to examine and address issues in a piecemeal fashion.

        Others noted that there are some good affects that come from these cults of personality. This is also true. But it’s sort of like saying, “Since I put $100 in the bank today, I will have $100 to spend.” That may be true, but if you already spent $500 using your credit card .. no, you don’t have $100 to spend. You owe $400. This is simple math that most people get intuitively, but when we apply it to systems analysis it often gets missed. Most things people do have some advantage (locally, individually, in the here-and-now, etc), and that is usually how they get entrenched in the first place. Full accounting, which means looking at the broad spectrum of results, is required to come to a full and proper sum, however. Some benefits are not good enough when there are large amounts of documented negatives.

      • Do Personality Cults Dictate the Direction of Open Source?

        Are open source software trends driven by cults of personality? That’s the question that Aaron Seigo, a contributor to the KDE Project, asks in a new post. The Var Guy makes a pretty good argument that although open source users line up behind pundits such as Mark Shuttleworth, Linus Torvalds and Richard Stallman, these people don’t dictate the direction of users and developers as much as Seigo thinks. While noting that fact, it’s also worth noting that cults of personality may have an even more pronounced effect on proprietary platforms than open source ones.

      • the sun is a billion little spotlights

        So let me put my spotlight where my mouth is: To everyone who was at the Linux Color Management Hackfest: you are my inspiration for today. I hope you had an awesome time and I can’t wait to use (and tinker with, of course ;) the results when they find their way into a nearby source code repo. :)

      • Qt 5.0 Beta 2 Released As The Final Approaches

        With Qt 5.0 Beta 2 there’s more bug-fixes and other work to prep for the long-awaited official release of Qt5. This release of Qt is also packaged with Qt Creator 2.6 that sports new features for developers. At this time they have also finalized upon all of the official Qt modules for the 5.0 release.

      • Amarok Rating Stats
      • Qt marches on with 5.0 release, sets sights on iOS and Android
    • GNOME Desktop

      • On fallback mode

        I’m just going to preface this by admitting something: I love GNOME 3. It works (for me) and is, in my opinion at least, beautiful in its simplicity. When I show almost anyone my computer, the response is almost always positive – comments usually include ‘thats cool!’ or ‘I like that!’. Its interface is streamlined and non-intrusive, and for myself and many others, allows us to do what we want, without unnecessary intrusion by the GUI.

      • Features Coming In For The GNOME 3.8 Desktop

        While many GNOME Linux users are upset over GNOME 3.8 dropping its fallback mode, this next release of the GNOME desktop environment is set to offer a number of new features.

      • A re-designed Notifications API will soon land in Gnome!

        Many application (ie Skype, Lifearea, Dropbox etc) are still using Legacy Notification Icons in Gnome Shell, and apart that the ugly result, it is also unpractical in use both for desktop and touchscreens.

        While there is no plan to map the legacy GtkStatusIcon model, the new notification API promises to make everyone’s life easier and it will bring some new exciting features!

  • Distributions

    • ROSA 2012 (Server)
    • ROSA Enterprise Linux Server 2012 released
    • ROSA Enterprise Linux Server “Helium” 2012
    • ROSA Server, A New Russian Red Hat Enterprise Clone

      ROSA, a Moscow-based software development company focusing upon open-source software projects, has today announced RELS. The ROSA Enterprise Linux Server is yet another clone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

    • Top 5 Reasons to have a Linux Live CD

      Ubuntu is one of the most popular free and open source software available. A 2012 survey revealed it is the most popular Linux Distribution on desktop and laptop PCs. Below are some of the reasons why you should have Live CD / DVD with Ubuntu, or other Linux distribution.

    • Zenwalk Linux 7.2 (in its various forms)

      The Zenwalk Linux distribution is one which I’ve always respected for its design philosophy. The project aims to be light, straight forward to use and the default installation comes with one program per task. This means that while the application menu is full, there isn’t much overlap in functionality. Zenwalk is based on Slackware and attempts to remain compatible with its parent distribution. Version 7.2 of Zenwalk came out recently and I decided to download the Live edition of the distribution.

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva announces cloud solution

        The French GNU/Linux company Mandriva has entered the cloud market with a solution of its own based on its own GNU/Linux distribution for management of IT infrastructure.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat evades query about Garrett’s ‘rape’ post
      • Oracle: Get your Red Hat Linux patches from us, it’s easier

        In the latest episode in its ongoing pissing match with leading Linux vendor Red Hat, Oracle has set up a new service that allows Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) customers to more easily browse the source code of changes Red Hat has made to its version of the Linux kernel.

      • Oracle releases Git repository with RHEL changes

        Oracle is now providing a public Git repository, called RedPatch, which includes the source code of all changes that Red Hat makes to the kernel of its Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) distribution. Oracle equates this to its own Oracle Linux and Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK) products and says it is providing the same kind of repository for that distribution. The new RedPatch repository for RHEL allows users to browse individual patches with Git and redistribute them under the GPL.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Project News – November 12th, 2012

        * Code search engine for Debian
        * Bits from the DPL
        * One step closer to “Wheezy”
        * Other news
        * Upcoming events
        * New Debian Contributors
        * Release-Critical bugs statistics for the upcoming release
        * Important Debian Security Advisories
        * Work-needing packages
        * Want to continue reading DPN?

      • Debian Developer

        Today, I officially got approved by the Debian Account Managers as a Debian Developer (still waiting on keyring-maint and DSA). Over the years, I have seen many people complain about the New Member Process. The most common complaint was with regards to the (usually) long amount of time the process can take to complete. I am writing this blog post to provide one more perspective on this process. Hopefully, it will prove useful to people considering starting the New Member Process.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Will 2013 Be the Year of the Ubuntu Desktop?

            As I came up with the title for this article, I did so fully realizing that many of you will likely groan at the thought of yet another “tis the year of the Linux desktop” article. However unlike other articles, I have actual concrete examples of why I think that it’s fair to suggest that 2013 could be a huge year for Linux on the desktop.

            But before we dive into what 2013 has in store for Linux, Ubuntu, and Linux desktop adoption, let’s take a look back at previous instances where year of the Linux desktop was proclaimed.

          • TypeCatcher: The Best Font Fetcher For Ubuntu
          • Ubuntu Tweak 0.8.2 Ready For 12.10
          • Your Next Android Phone May Come With An Ubuntu PC

            Android is pretty versatile as far as operating systems go. It can be a lot of things, but we still haven’t seen Android take on the PC space in a big way just yet. Ubuntu might just change that.

            Ubuntu, one of the most popular Linux distributions available, will soon be available on Android phones sporting multi-core processors. The application allows the Android phone to perform normally when it’s a phone, but it transforms into an Ubuntu PC when connected to a monitor, keyboard and mouse.

          • Canonical Presents New Ubuntu for Android Commercial

            Canonical published a few days ago a new animated commercial for their upcoming and ambitious Ubuntu for Android project (watch it above).

            Allowing users to connect a multi-core Android phone to an Ubuntu desktop, Ubuntu for Android was originally announced by Canonical at the beginning of 2012.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 14 Almost Ready

              Linux Mint 14 is nearing final with the announcement of its release candidate yesterday. Available in 32 and 64-bit with your choice of MATE or Cinnamon, this release “comes with updated software and brings refinements and new features to make your desktop even more comfortable to use.”

              Version 14 is based on Ubuntu 12.10 and ships with Linux 3.5, GCC 4.7.2, and Xorg X Server 1.13.0. The new features list includes items such as the upgrade to MATE 1.4 which “not only strengthens the quality and stability of the desktop but it goes beyond GNOME 2 by fixing bugs which were in GNOME 2 for years and by providing new features which were previously missing.”

            • 32-bit support in Linux Mint 14 RC 64-bit
            • Linux Mint 14 Release Candidate
            • Linux Mint 14 approaches with release canddiate

              Linux Mint founder Clement “Clem” Lefebvre has announced the availability of a release candidate for version 14 of his project’s Linux distribution. Code-named “Nadia”, the RC of Linux Mint 14 is based on Ubuntu 12.10, and is available with either Cinnamon or MATE as the default desktop environment.

            • Parsix GNU/Linux 4.0 released

              We are very proud to announce the immediate availability of Parsix GNU/Linux 4.0 code name Gloria.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux on a Nspire CAS CX Calculator
    • Sinclair BASIC comes to Raspberry Pi

      The 80′s are so now, as hot on the heels of the RISC OS’ Raspberry Pi debut comes the equally retro-tastic news that the BASIC version used in the Sinclair ZX Spectrum can also run on the Pi.

    • TI launches its £10 Stellaris ARM Cortex-M4F LaunchPad

      There’s been a lot of coverage on HEXUS and other websites of the card-sized computer, the Raspberry Pi and its intent to introduce people to the world of programming at a low-price, however, despite best attempts, the Pi, with its embedded Linux operating system, doesn’t exactly have the lowest entry-point and is focused more on high-level applications programming.

      Whilst the Pi and several ARM Cortex-AX boards, targeted at applications programming have been dominating the news, ARM and its licensees have been making leaps and bounds in the low-power microcontroller market, slowly bridging the performance gap between complex applications processors and what had typically been small, simple 8-bit microcontrollers, such as Atmel’s AVR and the PIC chip.

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Nexus 7 Is On Top Of The Holiday Shoppping Lists

        According to a survey done by TechBargains, a deal aggregation website that combines intelligent curation with real-time price-value discovery algorithms, Nexus 7 is on top of the shoppers wish-list this holiday season. The survey was conducted on TechBargains among 1255 respondents in October 2012.

        According to the survey 53% of the people want to buy a tablet this Christmas. Among those 53%, one out of three want a Asus Nexus 7. This edges out the 30% for ipad, 24% for ipad mini and 24% for Kindle Fire HD. “With more tablets on the market to fit every size budget, our survey reveals consumers are even more interested this year versus last year in giving and receiving a tablet – the must have tech gadget this holiday season,” said Yung Trang, president and editor-in-chief of TechBargains.com.

      • Indian President Unveils Aakash 2.0 Tablet

        India is taking its Aakash tablet seriously. None other than the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee announced the release of the new Aakash 2.0 on National Education Day. (Sunday 11th November)

        The party in New Delhi was also a big video conferencing event, where hundreds of teachers throughout the land joined in with proceedings whilst showing off the Ten Thousand Teachers Training Programme – live video interaction with participants.

      • India gives Android-based educational tablet another go

        On the country’s National Education Day yesterday (Sunday), India’s president Shri Pranab Mukherjee unveiledPDF a new Android-based tablet computer for the education sector. The Aakash 2.0 succeeds another version of the tablet which was introducedPDF in India last October but, according to some media reports, failed to establish itself due to poor overall performance.

      • How a $20 tablet from India could blindside PC makers, educate billions and transform computing as we know it
      • Fund-seeking PengPod wants to inspire Truly Linux tablet movement

        (Phys.org)—Hey, kid, want a tablet that’s capable of Linux and Android dual booting for one hundred bucks? The smart kid will answer, ok what’s the catch? The catch is that, even if things go very well, it won’t be on the shelves before next year and that, to reserve this open source rendering you have to go through the crowdfunding site, indiegogo. The tablets are called PengPods. The goal is to eventually bring forth a line of both Linux/Android tablets and also mini PCs. All devices are designed with an Allwinner A10 or A13 processor. For delivering the best of both worlds, Android and Linux, they run Android and boot Linux from an SD card. The advantage is said to be that the Linux enthusiast does not need to jump through hoops to have Linux.

      • QOOQ Linux/QT tablet for foodies, Revolutionizes Meal Preparation

        Do you enjoy preparing food in your kitchen and wouldn’t mind owning a tablet that can help transform the process of at home cooking, along with gaining content from leading chefs? Well, if you are in the USA, French firm UNOWHY has now announced the launch of the QOOQ tablet, which is the first interactive touch screen slate especially designed for the Kitchen.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Survey: Newcomer Experience And Contributor Behavior In FOSS Communities

    Have you been a recent contributor to any big FOSS project like Debian, GNOME, Gentoo, KDE, Mozilla, Ubuntu, NetBSD, or OpenSUSE? How have you felt as newcomer to the open source community you participated in? Did you meet trolls who made your life difficult to join the community or you encountered friendly people who helped you fit into easily? What was you experience in joining the project and about making contributions whether they be technical or non technical?

  • Pidgin and the Impending Shutdown of Windows Live Messenger

    And before anyone goes there, we can’t support Skype. There is no documentation of the protocol available to us, nor is there code we can borrow from a cleanly reverse-engineered alternative implementation. All that exists is SkypeKit, whose license agreement explicitly forbids its use in open-source software. The license also forbids use in “server applications” which precludes doing something like wrapping a simple closed-source XMPP daemon around SkypeKit. It is not currently possible to legally support Skype, so we won’t try.

  • Google Books engineer creates open source book scanner

    There seems to be a lot of lessons wrapped up in this story. One, never under estimate the things you can create with a vacuum cleaner. Two, there are benefits to giving employees personal time. And three, a 1,000-page book can be scanned in an hour and a half with the right equipment. Or so we’ve learned from Google Books engineer Dany Qumsiyeh, who – along with team mates – has created a $1,500 book scanner and made it open source.

  • In depth: Software-defined storage

    By contrast, if a company wants to add capacity to its server estate, software technologies such as open source operating system Linux and server virtualisation allow it to add cheap, commodity hardware as and when it is needed.

    So far, however, these forces have not been applied to storage. “The liberating effect that virtualisation and open source have had in the server world over the past ten years hasn’t really taken place in the storage world yet,” explains Simon Robinson, vice president at 451 Research.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla launches Popcorn Maker 1.0

        Over the weekend, at its Mozilla Festival event in London, the company announced the launch of version 1.0 of Popcorn Maker, its free web application for authoring interactive videos. Described as “a new way to tell stories on the web”, Popcorn Maker was developed as part of Mozilla’s Webmaker programme, which aims to encourage users around the world to learn about and use “the open building blocks of the web”.

  • SaaS

    • CloudStack: Filling Two Niches Open Source Enterprise Cloud Management
    • Can Hadoop Survive its Weird Beginning?

      Hadoop has arrived as a force in the business computing landscape because it offers people the ability to store and analyze data at scale for an affordable price. But Hadoop is not like other efforts to commercialize open source in some important ways. In addition, it is arriving at a time in which some of the traditional advantages of open source-based business models have eroded because of cloud computing and other developments.

  • Databases

    • Education for the real world: Open course on open source NoSQL databases

      Back in March of this year, the University of Albany Student Chapter of the American Society for Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T) organized its second Open Source Festival. The event brought together enthusiasts of open source from industry, government, and academia in the New York-Albany area. There, I shared my experience of teaching an open source class at RPI and the work that OSEHRA was doing on further promoting the use of open source software in healthcare. Among other topics of discussion was the need to educate college students on the basic concepts of NoSQL databases.The concern was coming from the now widespread use of the M database across healthcare applications and the lack of awareness about M in the academic community—most courses focus on Relational Databases. It is worth pointing out that M is both a language and a database, more specifically, a hierarchical NoSQL database, and it is used in thousands of clinical facilities worldwide.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Apache OpenOffice seeks Quality Assurance volunteers

      The Apache OpenOffice project has put out a call for volunteers to join its Quality Assurance Team. Ahead of the Apache top-level project’s next major release, Apache OpenOffice 4.0, the developers say that they “need to grow our Quality Assurance (QA) capabilities to keep up with the output from our programmers.”

  • BSD

    • Should There Be A Unified BSD Operating System?

      There’s a call for unification of the four largest *BSD operating systems in a move to create a “unified BSD” with the best features in order to better compete with GNU/Linux.

      It’s unlikely that this call for unification will result in any action, but an independent user has written a brief statement cross-posted to several BSD mailing lists about a Unified BSD? The user asks why the BSD community can’t band together and form a unified platform rather than fragmenting their resources into several different projects/forks/distributions. He wants to see the four largest BSD variants merged: FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, and DragonflyBSD.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Should Free Software Be Used Only For Good

      A debian developer for the Mono framework received a bug against Mono source code. The source code contained code from the JSON project, which uses a curious license. The license is a free software license with one difference, It has an additional condition for users of software written by the JSON.org team, The Software shall be used for Good, not Evil.

      This causes a problem for the maintainer, who wants to include the Mono framework into Debian. Debian is more than simply a piece of software to download; it’s a collection of free software.

      Software in the Debian repository must adhere to the Debian free software guidelines. The JSON.org license applies to every project using the JSON.org code, and the non-standard license has a history of causing problems. In particular, the code’s author seems to derive enjoyment from just how often people ask him to remove ‘Use for Good, Not Evil’ from the license’.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Doing government websites right

      Today, I have a piece over on Tech President about how the new UK government website—Gov.uk—does a lot of things right.

      I’d love to see more governments invest two of the key ingredients that made the website work—good design and better analytics.

    • Open Source Could Clean Up US Elections

      Open source software could be a paradigm for a national voting system in the United States that could still allow states and counties to customize and adapt the technology. Taking the Linux operating system model, a common open source core or kernel of the software could be developed and distributed to elections officials in each of the 50 states.

  • Licensing

    • Debating Continues Over Possible Kernel GPL Violation

      For the past few days there has been a much-viewed and very polarized discussion happening on the Linux kernel mailing list about a possible GPL violation within the Linux kernel.

    • Proprietary Linux extensions reportedly violate the GPL

      Linux developer Andy Grover has posted to the kernel developer mailing list (LKML) to accuse RisingTide Systems of violating Linux kernel licensing conditions with its RTS OS storage operating system. This has led to a discussion in which prominent kernel developers, a RisingTide employee and a legal representative for the company have explained their positions. Discussion has also turned to NVIDIA’s proprietary Linux drivers and related cease and desist notices.

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Xenix: The Microsoft Unix That Once Was

    One would not normally associate Microsoft with Unix. While Microsoft’s interest(s) in Unix may remain minimal in recent times, history tells a very different story.

    Let us take a quick journey down memory lane, back to the late 1970′s and into the early-mid 80′s. In 1979, Microsoft formed an agreement with AT&T Corporation to license Unix from AT&T. And then Microsoft licensed out its renamed Unix to OEM vendors, including Intel, Tandy and SCO. Those companies then ported it to their own hardware architectures and requirements.

    Microsoft was hit by a legal problem of the “UNIX” name not being able to be used. Therefore, Microsoft was forced to come up with their own Unix distribution name. Xenix was chosen. AT&T licensed Unix to Microsoft and then Microsoft passed on the same Unix software re-branded as Xenix.

  • Posting Too Much On Facebook Is A Sign Of Emotional Instability
  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Sourcefire Integrates Malware Detection with IPS
    • Ruby update fixes hash flooding vulnerability

      The Ruby developers have released an update to the 1.9.3 series of their open source programming language, fixing a denial-of-service vulnerability. Ruby 1.9.3 patch level 327, labelled 1.9.3-p327, corrects a hash-flooding issue that could be exploited by an attacker to cause a high CPU load that can result in a denial-of-service. The problem can be caused by an error when parsing specially crafted sequences of strings.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • If You Eat Something, Say Something: DHS Sounds The Alarm On The ‘Terrorist Implications’ Of Food Trucks

      It’s interesting (or maybe just kind of sad) that various government agencies see possible terrorists everywhere but rarely, if ever, catch one. Despite the large number of personnel being thrown at the problem (along with lots of money), actual terrorists seem to be in limited supply.

      But these agencies haven’t let their lack of success temper their vision of a nation under constant imminent attack. Public Intelligence recently posted a Powerpoint presentation from the NYC fire department (FDNY) discussing the unique safety issues mobile food trucks present. Along with some actual concerns (many food trucks use propane and/or gasoline-powered generators to cook; some *gasp* aren’t properly licensed food vendors), the presenter decided to toss in some DHS speculation on yet another way terrorists might be killing us in the near future.

    • Without an agreement, Reid eyes last 2012 effort on Cybersecurity Act

      Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) may take another crack at passing cybersecurity legislation next week although Republicans and Democrats still haven’t reached a compromise on the matter.

      Reid is aiming to bring the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 to the floor at the end of next week after the Senate votes on Sen. Jon Tester’s (D-Mont.) sportsmen’s bill, according to Senate aides.

      The bill’s prospects look dim, however, as it appears the bill still lacks enough Republican support to clear the upper chamber. Observers expect the bill to fail just as it did in August, when Senate Republicans blocked a motion to move the measure forward after arguing that it would saddle industry with new burdensome regulations.

    • Harry Reid Wants To Try One More Time To Force Cybersecurity Bill Through Congress
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Petraeus Case Shows FBI’s Authority To Read Gmail, Other Email Services

      Your emails are not nearly as private as you think.

      The downfall of CIA Director David Petraeus demonstrates how easy it is for federal law enforcement agents to examine emails and computer records if they believe a crime was committed. With subpoenas and warrants, the FBI and other investigating agencies routinely gain access to electronic inboxes and information about email accounts offered by Google, Yahoo and other Internet providers.

      “The government can’t just wander through your emails just because they’d like to know what you’re thinking or doing,” said Stewart Baker, a former assistant secretary at the Department of Homeland Security and now in private law practice. “But if the government is investigating a crime, it has a lot of authority to review people’s emails.”

  • Copyrights

    • Toshiba: You Can’t Have Repair Manuals Because They’re Copyrighted And You’re Too Dumb To Fix A Computer
    • iFixit CEO launches open Toshiba service guide scheme

      Toshiba’s argument is that this violates its copyright. True, of course, but when such documentation no longer has a commercial value companies like Toshiba should become less defensive, just as many games developers, for instance, turn a blind eye to making games long past their sell-by date available to fans.

    • Toshiba laptop service manuals and the sorry state of copyright law

      As you would be no doubt already aware, I run a section of my blog here devoted to the free sharing of laptop service manuals. This is a side project I have run for the last three years, gathering as many repair manuals as I could find on the internet and rehosting them on my website for anybody to download and use.

      I have unhappy news for you all. Since I was first contacted by Toshiba Australia’s legal department, I have been attempting to discuss with them the potential for me to continue to share their laptop service manuals on my site. Their flat and final response was “You do not have permission [to disseminate Toshiba copyright material] nor will it be granted to you in the foreseeable future.” As a result, all Toshiba material that was on my website is now gone, permanently.

    • Obama Considering Prominent SOPA Supporter for Cabinet

      President Obama is reportedly considering appointing one of the biggest supporters of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) as his new Secretary of State.

    • A month after download law, consumers spending less on music: survey

      On Oct 1, knowingly downloading copyrighted music and video in Japan became punishable by up to two years in prison and a 2 million yen penalty.

      The law was passed in June after the Japanese music industry, the second largest in the world after the U.S., reported continued financial losses, with analysts suggesting that just one in 10 downloads were legal.

      Since the law came into effect, there have certainly been some changes, and many Internet users have become reluctant to click that download button for fear of receiving a hefty fine, meaning that the law has been a success in a way.

    • UK Newspaper Licencing Agency Says Musicians Need To Pay To Quote Reviews
    • Famed quotation isn’t dead — and could even prove costly

      It may be one of the most-quoted lines in American literature — and if you dare to quote it, you might have to pay.

      In late October, Faulkner Literary Rights — which represents Nobel Prize-winning author William Faulkner’s estate — sued representatives of Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” for misquoting the famous line, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”

11.12.12

Links 13/11/2012: India’s Android Tablets, Tails 0.14

Posted in News Roundup at 10:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Why experiment with Linux?

    In the last couple of weeks we’ve seen the announcement or release of a number of new products: the iPad Mini, an updated version of the full-size iPad, and Microsoft’s Windows 8 and Surface tablet.

    A lot less attention was paid to the October 18 release of one of the most widely-used Linux distributions, Ubuntu. That’s unfortunate, because Linux in its various flavors is a solid operating system. It’s even used by such major companies as Google on both their servers and their desktops.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • CloudSigma’s Membership to The Linux Foundation Reinforces its Position as a Customer-Centric Public Cloud Provider
    • Nagios plugin to check an OCSP server with hardcoded certificate
    • Ext4 Data Corruption Bug and Solution
    • LM_Sensors 3.3.3 Improves Linux Hardware Sensors

      With most of the interesting hardware monitoring/sensor drivers are living within the mainline Linux kernel, this week’s LM_Sensors point release update isn’t particularly interesting. The new release-, LM_Sensors 3.3.3, adds in support for humidity sensors within the sensors command. Additionally, the sensors-detect command no longer probes I2C adapters on graphics cards.

    • Linux 3.7-rc5
    • Download Linux Kernel 3.7 Release Candidate 5

      Linus Torvalds announced earlier today, November 11, that the fifth Release Candidate of the upcoming Linux 3.7 kernel is now available for download and testing.

    • VIA Kernel Mode-Setting Still Not Ready For Mainline

      It’s been several months since having anything to report on the state of VIA graphics under Linux. VIA hasn’t been doing anything officially to better their Linux support and the “OpenChrome” development community is quite limited and small. While the long-in-development OpenChrome DRM driver for providing VIA kernel mode-setting support has yet to be merged into the mainline code-base, it’s still being developed.

    • Thoughts on the ext4 panic

      In just a few days, a linux-kernel mailing list report of ext4 filesystem corruption turned into a widely-distributed news story; the quality of ext4 and its maintenance, it seemed, was in doubt. Once the dust settled, the situation turned out to be rather less grave than some had thought; the bug in question only threatened a very small group of ext4 users using non-default mount options. As this is being written, a fix is in testing and should be making its way toward the mainline and stable kernels shortly. The bug was obscure, but there is value in looking at how it came about and the ripples it caused.

    • Graphics Stack

      • The Wayland LiveCD Now Supports XWayland

        It’s the Rebecca Black OS that serves as a live platform for experimenting with Wayland. There was a new release at the end of October but now it’s been updated again to handle the recent XWayland patches. XWayland allows for running X11 applications on top of Wayland. THe XWayland code should be merged into the mainline X.Org Server for the 1.14 release in March.

      • Intel 2.20.13 Driver Update Carries More Bug-Fixes

        For a while Chris was releasing new Intel X.Org driver updates weekly but that has settled down now with most SNA fall-out and other recent changes having been worked out. However, on Sunday morning he found it time to release the xf86-video-intel 2.20.13 driver.

      • Linux Consumers Should Still Avoid S3 Graphics

        Whenever writing about VIA Technologies on Phoronix, S3 Graphics always comes to mind due to its relations with HTC and VIA. In fact, it’s the only time that S3 Graphics usually ever comes to my mind aside from when talking about S3 Texture Compression. Anyhow, after writing this morning about the VIA KMS driver still not being mainline, it’s worth reminding uninformed Linux users that S3 Graphics products remain poorly supported under Linux.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Fedora and LVM

          Those following the progress of the Fedora 18 development cycle cannot have failed to notice that the rework of Anaconda, the distribution’s installer, is not going as smoothly as one might have liked. Complaints are common, and there is a real risk that installer problems will end up being what users remember about this release. Given that, it may seem surprising that the Fedora developers intend to change one of the fundamental decisions made by the developers of the new installer.

    • Debian Family

      • Help us to release “Wheezy”: participate to our BSP marathon
      • Tails and Claws

        One other thing I like about Tails, and I brought this up briefly in the review of Liberté, is there are a few different approaches to take when a user wants to perform an action which is not recommended. The operating system can allow the action, the operating system can warn the user of the potential danger and then give the user a choice as to whether to proceed, or the system can block the action. Liberté opted to block unsafe actions. Tails, on the other hand, takes what I feel is the more desirable approach of educating the user about the potential dangers of their actions and then letting the user decide whether to take the risk. It is a style which protects the operator, but doesn’t presume to know better than the user and I like this approach. Last, but not least, I found the documentation on the Tails website to be clear and fairly easy to navigate. The developers have done a good job of trying to educate their users, both explaining what Tails is and what it is not, and I see that as a good starting point. To date, Tails is probably my favourite security-oriented distribution.

      • Squash Some Debian Bugs, Party And Contribute To Community

        If you are a Debian user and you want to contribute to the community, then you have your chance this fall with the Debian BSP Marathon. You might know that the next release of Debian, codenamed “Wheezy”, is in the testing phase and your contribution might be helpful to speed up the release date.

        So what is a BSP? According to the Debian wiki: “A Bug Squashing Party is a come-together (either virtual or reallife) of Debian Developers and Debian enthusiasts on a specified timeframe where these persons try to fix as many bugs as possible.”

      • Tails 0.14
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 12.10: your next OS?

            With Ubuntu 12.10, Linux has grown up and learned to do its own marketing. It’s snappy, it’s tasteful, and it’s aggressively attacking ground in which competitors’ customers lie. That’s good. But it won’t succeed, not yet.

            Why?

            Because in order for people to believe anything free can be good – anything at all – it has to be really good. As in, a better package than something you’d pay for. And Ubuntu 12.10 is good – but it’s not that. Not yet.

          • Introducing Ubuntu Google Play Lens for Unity
          • Ubuntu 12.10 review – Why so regressive?

            The Ubuntu team had an awesome LTS release with Pangolin, so they can afford to play silly with Quantal Quetzal. Indeed, Ubuntu 12.10 is a fairly buggy release overall, with lots of regressions. There are some tiny improvements, some visual polish, but you also get a whole lot of new problems, Amazon thingie notwithstanding. To name a few, memory and CPU usage, network activity, weird artifacts, dumb programs, bad virtual machine performance, and still more. Not at all what we used to see in Ubuntu.

          • Ubuntu GNU/Linux PC Sales

            Ubuntu GNU/Linux has shipped on $7.5 billion worth of hardware in the last 2 years,

          • A second go at Ubuntu 12.10

            A STUBBORN streak led me to try installing Ubuntu 12.10 (a.k.a. Quantal Quetzal) on my home PC again, after an anti-climactic failure last week to get past the “Preparing to Install” screen the first time around.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint Nadia Release Candidate Out

              The Linux Mint team has published a new release candite for the upcoming version (14) of Linux Mint, codenamed Linux Mint Nadia. This release is based on Ubuntu 12.10, and comes with MATE and Cinnamon desktops.

            • Download Linux Mint 14 Release Candidate, Based on Ubuntu 12.10

              Clement Lefebvre, father of the Linux Mint project, proudly announced a few minutes ago, November 11, that the Release Candidate of the upcoming Linux Mint 14 operating system is now available for download and testing.

              Being based on Canonical’s Ubuntu 12.10 (Quantal Quetzal) operating system, Linux Mint 14 RC (Release Candidate) is powered by Linux kernel 3.5 and includes lots of new features and updated packages.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • PengPod, A Dual-Booting Android and Linux Tablet

        True, the Android operating system is based on Linux, but many dyed-in-the-wool Linux users would prefer a tablet running “real” Linux, which is exactly what Peacock Imports is trying to do with its line of PengPod Linux tablets.

      • How a $20 tablet from India could blindside PC makers, educate billions and transform computing as we know it
      • India gets $25 Android tablet

        The long-awaited low cost Aakash 2 tablet from UK firm Datawind has finally been officially launched in India, complete with several new hardware enhancements which the government will be hoping helps spur student learning.

        The Aakash 2, which is commercially available as the UbiSlate 7Ci for Rs 3,500 ($US64), is costing the Indian Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) Rs 2,263 ($US43), although government subsidies will put the price charged to students at just Rs 1,130($US24.65).

      • OLPC Comes to Canada

        Belinda Stronach is promoting use of OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) in aboriginal schools in Canada. I can relate to that. In many aboriginal communities, the ratio of students per PC is ~10 when most educators seek a range from 1 to 3. OLPC Canada is getting started with a first goal of 5000 OLPCs. It’s just a start. The need is at least 100K. OLPC has the advantage over using recycled desktop PCs, the solution I used, because they are a better size for small children and their classrooms.

      • New $199 Acer Chromebook Is Cheaper Than Samsung’s

        Signs are stil appearing that Google is aggressively pushing Chrome OS, after a somewhat lukewarm early reception for it. Recently, we covered the arrival of Samsung’s new Chromebook portable computer running Google’s Chrome OS and selling for the strikingly low price of $249.Now, Acer is out with a new C7 Chromebook, shown here, that sells for only $199. These devices, at these price points, along with some of the bundled deals that come with them, signal that a number of Google’s expected Chrome OS strategies have finally come to fruition.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

    • Facebook open sources its MapReduce successor

      Facebook has open sourced its Corona scheduling component for Hadoop, which the company calls “the next version of Map-Reduce”. Facebook is using its own fork of Apache Hadoop which is optimised for the massive scale of its operations.

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Community Live: DIYbio at Manchester Science Festival 2012

      DIY biology is a hot topic and has piqued the interest of the Wellcome Trust and NESTA in the UK and the FBI in the US. What has it got to do with open source and hacking? Quite a lot as it happens and those curious could get their hands dirty, metaphorically speaking, at a series of workshops held in Manchester over the weekend of 3 and 4 November 2012.

  • Programming

    • Top 5 Programming Tools for Kids

      The Raspberry Pi has created a lot of interest in the press for its low cost and credit-card size. The main reason for the creation of the Raspberry Pi was to see it used by kids all across the globe to learn programming. Computer classes in the UK have been constrained by the national curriculum for ICT, with students having to limit their computing activities to learning applications such as Word and PowerPoint, and using the internet to help with their school work. However, learning how to use Microsoft Office is often of little or no interest to students. Students are motivated by interactive activities such as programming, as they like to make things to find out how they work.

Leftovers

  • When Is a Mandate Not a Mandate?

    When it comes to explaining election results, there’s no precise way to determine whether voters gave the winner a “mandate”–defined by Oxford as “the authority to carry out a policy, regarded as given by the electorate to a party or candidate that wins an election.” That makes it interesting to see how media use the expression–and which presidents they think earned one.

  • White House website deluged with secession petitions from 20 states
  • Government says mounting damages claims support case for secret courts

    Seven fresh claims for damages involving highly sensitive national security evidence have been made in the past year, the government has revealed. Three cases have been settled confidentially.

  • Science

    • Charles Darwin gets 4,000 write-in votes in Georgia

      A Georgia congressman who attacked the theory of evolution found himself with an unlikely opponent in Tuesday’s U.S. election, when 4,000 voters in one county cast write-in ballots for the 19th century father of evolution, British naturalist Charles Darwin.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • The Plot to Destroy America’s Beer

      Brian Rinfret likes imported beer from Germany. He sometimes buys Spaten. He enjoys an occasional Bitburger. When he was 25 years old, he discovered Beck’s, a pilsner brewed in the city of Bremen in accordance with the Reinheitsgebot, the German Purity Law of 1516. It said so right on the label. After that, Rinfret was hooked.

      One Friday night in January, Rinfret, who is now 52, stopped on the way home from work at his local liquor store in Monroe, N.J., and purchased a 12-pack of Beck’s. When he got home, he opened a bottle. “I was like, what the hell?” he recalls. “It tasted light. It tasted weak. Just, you know, night and day. Bubbly, real fizzy. To me, it wasn’t German beer. It tasted like a Budweiser with flavoring.”

    • Pfizer caught “gaming the system,” loses Viagra patent in Canada

      Pfizer’s legal monopoly on one of its top-selling drugs just got shredded in Canada. The Canadian Supreme Court has ruled 7-0 the company should have its patent taken away because the drug company attempted to “game” the system, grabbing a patent without disclosing what their invention really was.

      Pfizer was able to acquire its Canadian patent without naming the compound required to make Viagra, namely, sildenafil citrate. The Canadian patent system, like all patent systems, is a kind of bargain between patentees, who are given a limited monopoly on a particular product or process, and the public, which is supposed to benefit from the disclosure of a new invention, the justices noted in their opinion.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • How to kick that Amazon habit

      Amazon is an extraordinary phenomenon. It is ruthlessly efficient, has low prices and excellent delivery (or “shipping” as it says, in distressing Americanese). It is renowned for economies of scale and tight cost control – and now for aggressive tax avoidance. The UK’s biggest online retailer has avoided paying corporation tax on profits it makes from billions in sales here.

    • The Safety Net is the Glory of America and the unending Wall Street Nightmare

      Wall Street’s leading “false flag” group, the Third Way, has responded to the warnings that Robert Kuttner, AFL-CIO President Trumka, and I have made that if President Obama is re-elected our immediate task will be to prevent the Great Betrayal – the adoption of self-destructive austerity programs and the opening wedge of the effort to unravel the safety net (including Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid).

    • From Liberal Victory to Disempowerment in Six Easy Steps

      The greatest and most enduring significance of Tuesday night’s election results will likely not be the re-election of Barack Obama, but rather what the outcome reflects about the American electorate. It was not merely Democrats, but liberalism, which was triumphant.

    • The People’s Bailout

      This is a long post but it’s about something pretty interesting so I hope you’ll indulge …

      Like many folks, Occupy Wall Street has been some doing good work in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, helping people on the ground.

      Now OWS is launching the ROLLING JUBILEE, a program that has been in development for months. OWS is going to start buying distressed debt (medical bills, student loans, etc.) in order to forgive it. As a test run, we spent $500, which bought $14,000 of distressed debt. We then ERASED THAT DEBT. (If you’re a debt broker, once you own someone’s debt you can do whatever you want with it — traditionally, you hound debtors to their grave trying to collect. We’re playing a different game. A MORE AWESOME GAME.)

    • Superstorm Sandy—a People’s Shock?

      Less than three days after Sandy made landfall on the East Coast of the United States, Iain Murray of the Competitive Enterprise Institute blamed New Yorkers’ resistance to big-box stores for the misery they were about to endure. Writing on Forbes.com, he explained that the city’s refusal to embrace Walmart will likely make the recovery much harder: “Mom-and-pop stores simply can’t do what big stores can in these circumstances,” he wrote.

      And the preemptive scapegoating didn’t stop there. He also warned that if the pace of reconstruction turned out to be sluggish (as it so often is) then “pro-union rules such as the Davis-Bacon Act” would be to blame, a reference to the statute that requires workers on public-works projects to be paid not the minimum wage, but the prevailing wage in the region.

    • Victory of the Lesser Evil
    • Drums Beating to Privatize Social Security

      This Real News Network interview with Bill Black provides an overview of why Wall Street and the Administration are so keen to gut well loved and socially valuable safety nets for the elderly, in particular, Social Security. This talk is a good introduction for people who may not understand how high the stakes in the budget fight are and why the economic arguments used to justify it are bogus.

    • Thames Water – a private equity plaything that takes us for fools
  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Melinda Gates Talks Eugenics

      This July, we will be celebrating the centennial anniversary of London’s First International Eugenics Conference of 1912. One century later, on July 11, 2012, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (the largest private foundation in the world) and the British government will co-host a new London conference on eugenics with global coalition partners such as American abortion chain Planned Parenthood, British abortion chain Marie Stopes International, and the United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA). The only difference is that the July 2012 London conference will never acknowledge that eugenics is its driving idea. Melinda Gates has claimed that the conference, which is officially dedicated to “deliver[ing] more modern family planning tools to more women in the world’s poorest countries,” should involve “no controversy.”

    • Final Factcheck: Political Lying Perfectly Balanced

      So the Republican claims about Obama’s welfare plan were “over-the-top”–which I guess is another way of saying flatly untrue. The questionable “counterspin” (hey!) Kessler is talking about would appear to be mostly about something Bill Clinton said, based on a letter written by Secretary of Health & Human Services Kathleen Sebelius. The core of the Republican claim–that Obama was seeking to end the work requirements under current welfare law–is not supported by any evidence. But Kessler, even on this controversy, wants to make it seem like the deception is bipartisan.

    • PR industry: “Our bad actions are Wikipedia’s fault.”

      Yet another PR agency is blatantly busted doing the thing we patiently warn them against over and over, with the consequences we warn them of over and over.

      The apparently-unanimous industry response, per PR Week: “It’s all Wikipedia’s fault, they should make it easier for us to spin.”

      PRCA in particular appear to have turned their opinion 180° since June, when they heartily endorsed the CIPR/WMUK guidelines.

  • Censorship

    • Spanish magazine sentenced to a 10,000 Euro fine for investigating corruption in the Catalan health system

      On 24 October, Sibina and Dante were found guilty of defamation against Josep María Via, health advisor at the Government of Catalonia. Dante and Sibina accused Via, amongst others, of links with corruption. They were convicted to pay a fine of 10,000 Euros. Josep María Via justified his complaint with the title of the video (“The biggest robbery in the history of Catalonia”) and specifically the word “robbery”. Of the original sum of 20,000 Euros, the judge considered only half of the complaint and finally condemned the magazine to pay 10,000 Euro. Via, who manages the Hospital del Mar in Barcelona, said he would give the amount to charity.

  • Privacy

    • Companies are Mining your Facebook/ Twitter Info… and Selling it (Beckett)

      Yesterday, we got a rare look at how information on your public social media profiles—including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn—is being harvested and resold by large consumer data companies.

      Responding to a congressional query, nine data companies provided answers to a detailed set of questions about what kinds of information they collect about individual Americans, and where they get that data.

      Their responses, released Thursday, show that some companies record — and then resell — your screen names, web site addresses, interests, hometown and professional history, and how many friends or followers you have.

    • Big Brother UK: 8 million children recorded on massive secret database

      A newly uncovered clandestine computer network, known as the ‘One System,’ can reportedly share children’s personal details across different UK agencies, including age, sex, address and their school behavior records – all without parents ever knowing.
      One of Britain’s biggest government contractors has created a database containing the personal details of 8 million children, the Sunday Times revealed.
      The database was created by Capita – a company specializing in IT systems – and includes information on a child’s sex, age, exam results, if they have special needs, bad behavior like absenteeism and how many minutes late they are to lessons.

    • Election 2012 — Privacy and Unfinished Business

      It was a little more than a decade ago that the United States was rocked by the events of 9/11. Much happened on that day, including a sharp turn away from personal privacy and toward national security. Up went the cameras and the Patriot Act, and down came many laws that help safeguard privacy. A new industry for domestic surveillance emerged.

      But does it need to be this way? At the beginning of a second term for President Obama, it is time to move beyond the paranoid strategies for public safety that have dominated both Democratic and Republican presidencies.

  • Civil Rights

    • Thousands protest while troops surround Potala Palace

      In the early hours of this morning around 5,000 young Tibetans took part in the biggest protests to happen in Tibet since March. The students marched through the streets of Rebkong County, stopping to demonstrate outside a local government building.

      The protest come one day after China mobilised paramilitaries to suppress the protests carried out in Rebkong yesterday.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Listen to Steve Wozniak when he talks about the internet and freedom

      WHAT A WEEK it has been. A hurricane thrashed New York City and New Jersey on the US east coast last weekend, killing over 100 people with fierce winds and storm flooding, demolishing entire seaside communities and cutting power to millions of homes and businesses. The region had only started to recover before it got hit by another storm. Tens of thousands of people are still without power and heat, and are miserable and starving due to transit disruption and petrol shortages.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Big Agriculture Bankrolls Defeat of California’s Proposition 37

      Opponents of genetically modified food will continue to fight despite defeat in California (Photo by asianfarmers via flickr) Opposition of Proposition 37 was spearheaded by large agribusiness and chemical companies—such as Monsanto and Dow—and big food manufacturers—including PepsiCo, Nestle, and Conagra—who dumped more than $45 million into the fight. Monsanto, a leading maker of genetically engineered seeds, contributed $8.1 million alone against the measure which would have required labeling on genetically modified food.

11.10.12

Links 11/11/2012: Qt On Android, Debian Back To GNOME, Firefox is 8

Posted in News Roundup at 11:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Twitter survives election after Ruby-to-Java move

    Micro-blogging site Twitter experienced record traffic as the results of the 2012 US Presidential election were announced on Tuesday night, but the service never faltered despite the increased load – something Twitter engineers credit to the company’s move from Ruby to Java for its backend software.

  • VMware Does Complicated Dance With Open Source
  • VMware updates micro version of open source Cloud Foundry PaaS
  • The Trend Of Open Source And Proprietary Software Business Model

    Open source software has been there for a long time. Its popularity is increasing each and every day and has reached such a level that it’s hard to find a domain which does not have an open source presence. Companies are reluctant to buy proprietary software due to the cost involved. In most cases, open source software seems to be a viable option.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • Education

  • Healthcare

    • NIH showcases informatics researchers as new open source ventures launch

      After the National Institutes of Health grew interested in bioinformatics, following breakthroughts in the 1990s, the National Centers for Biomedical Computing were created with the goal of advancing the field by a few leaps and bounds, because IT systems hadn’t quite caught up to molecular biology.

      The nine centers were founded through the 2000s, and with the advent of new data processing and visualization tools, there’s been “an explosion of knowledge” in biomedical research, said Brian Athey, from the University of Michigan Medical School’s National Center for Integrative Bio Informatics (NCIBI).

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Beer: The open source beverage of choice

      Beer is truly the most democratic, egalitarian, and open source of all beverages. It is for both common folk and connoisseurs. It is for the masses. And, from my experience as a homebrewer and beer geek, you will rarely find a beverage that can be so liberating (in more ways than one).

    • Crowd-sourcing a cure

      On September 10, 2012, the Italian data artist who is passionate about the open-source medium, posted on the website he created, Open Source Cure (artisopensource.net): “I have a brain cancer. Yesterday I went to get my digital medical records: I have to show them to many doctors. Sadly they were in a closed, proprietary format and, thus, I could not open them using my computer, or send them in this format to all the people who could have saved my life… I opened them… so that I could share them with everyone. Just today I have been able to share the data about my health condition with 3 doctors. 2 of them already replied.”

    • Open Hardware

      • Compost your server

        It takes talent, luck and charisma to become a rock star (or money, connections and good looks, depending on how you look at it). It’s much harder to become a rock star of the open-source hardware movement. One way to do it is to create a compostable server chassis. No big deal, right?

      • Build Your Own Arduino Powered MP3 Jukebox
  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • The party game is over. Stand and fight
  • Should Microsoft sell its search engine Bing?

    It was quite expected from the beginning that the Redmond giant Microsoft is not going to earn huge profits from Bing. Unveiled in 2009, Bing is Microsoft’s online search engine, which was launched to compete with the search leader Google.

  • Microsoft Surface is not durable

    The cover surrounding the touch panel of Microsoft’s Surface tablet, appears to be far from durable, as users are reporting that within mere days of receiving their version, it began to split and come away from the frame.

    The problem is being experienced by multiple users, each of them reporting the same thing: where the keyboard magnetically attaches to the main body of the device, the cover seam begins to split. On top of this, many have also reported that the Windows 8 logo hasn’t been etched or embossed into the frame and has already begun to wear.

  • Apple seeks standard to appease angry university net managers

    Under fire from its customers in the higher education market, Apple has proposed creating a new industry standard that would fix problems with its Bonjour zero configuration networking technology that is causing scalability and security problems on campus networks.

  • Microsoft’s Big Hidden Windows 8 Feature: Built-In Advertising

    Despite the fact that I’ve been using Windows 8 for the past three weeks, I somehow managed to overlook a rather stark feature in the OS: ads. No, we’re not talking about ads cluttering up the desktop or login screen (thankfully), but rather ads that can be found inside of some Modern UI apps that Windows ships with. That includes Finance, Weather, Travel, News and so forth. Is it a problem? Let’s tackle this from a couple of different angles.

  • Hey, Rush Limbaugh: ‘Starting an Abortion Industry’ Won’t Win You Female Voters

    Like a lot of people, I listened to Rush Limbaugh the day after the election. Pure Schadenfreude, I admit it; I just wanted to hear the reaction. I searched the right-wing media landscape far and wide and tried to find even a hint of self-examination, self-criticism, and I didn’t find much. Then again, they didn’t lose the presidential vote by much, so they didn’t take the election result as a total repudiation of their belief system, as they probably shouldn’t have, anyway.

  • Science

    • Further Evidence That IQ Does Not Measure Intelligence

      Every ten years, the average IQ goes up by about 3 points. Psychologist James Flynn has spent decades documenting this odd fact, which was eventually dubbed the Flynn Effect. The question is, does the Flynn Effect mean we’re getting smarter? Not according to Flynn, who argues that the effect simply reveals that IQ measures teachable skills rather than innate ones. As education changed over time, kids got better at standardized tests like the IQ test. And so their score

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Photography Advocate/Journalist Acquitted After Arrest Over Filming Police; Intends To Sue Back

      We’ve linked to the blog, PhotographyIsNotACrime.com (PINAC), a few times in the past (it recently moved locations). Its author, Carlos Miller, not only covered a number of cases involving photographers being arrested or harassed for photographing buildings, police or something else, but was a defendant in just such a case himself. Miller was arrested back in January while videotaping police at an “Occupy Miami” event. Not only was he arrested, but his camera was confiscated and the police deleted footage from the camera — including footage of the encounter that led to his arrest. The police claimed that Miller had disobeyed an order by the police to “clear the area.” However, the videotaped footage — which Miller was able to recover despite the deletion — showed a different story. It showed a clearly-aware-of-his-rights Miller making the case that he was doing nothing wrong. Furthermore, other journalists were allowed to stay in the area, and one of those journalists, Miami Herald reporter Glenn Garvin, testified at the trial about how he was allowed to stay. In fact, he went to the officer who arrested Miller and asked her if he needed to move, and she told him he was “under no threat of getting arrested.”

    • Torture Continues to be Legitimized by U.S. Legal System

      In another blow to human rights, freedom, the law, and morality, the 7th Circuit Court has exonerated Donald Rumsfeld from prosecution for allegations of being a primary architect of U.S. torture policy.

    • Innocents are killed by drones

      THE evidence suggests that innocent bystanders are killed and injured often in US drone attacks – not occasionally.

      The evidence is contained in a report compiled by Shahzad Akbar, the director of the Foundation for Fundamental Rights and the British human rights charity, Reprieve.

    • Navy SEALs punished for revealing secrets to video game maker

      Seven U.S. Navy SEALs have been reprimanded for giving up classified information connected to their tradecraft so a video game could seem more realistic, according to a navy official.

  • Cablegate

    • U.S. WikiLeaks Criminal Probe ‘Ongoing,’ Judge Reveals

      U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady of Alexandria, Virginia, noted the investigation in a legal flap surrounding three WikiLeaks associates who lost their bid to protect their Twitter records from U.S. investigators. The three had asked the court to unseal documents in their case. In May, O’Grady ordered the documents remain under seal for six months. On Wednesday he renewed that order, based on a government filing.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Secret Documents Show Weak Oversight of Key Foreclosure Program
    • Ex-Goldman trader’s fraud caused $118 million loss: U.S. regulator

      U.S. regulators on Thursday accused a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc trader of defrauding the Wall Street bank of $118 million in a scheme of fabricated trades and fake entries.

    • Cisco VP Threatens To Stalk Memo Leaker… Driving More Attention Than Original Memo

      Internal memos from large companies leak all the time. It happens. Companies don’t like it, but most learn to deal with it. Sometimes, they go a bit nuts. For example, you may remember the spying scandal at HP, in which the board tried to stop leaks by spying on phone records and other info, including trying to spy on various journalists. Apparently some companies just go a bit nutty when they think they have someone to track down, where execs suddenly think they can act like they’re in some sort of spy movie. Apparently this is now happening at Cisco as well. A few weeks ago, Network World reported on Cal State’s decision to use Alcatel-Lucent instead of Cisco, claiming that it saved the university $100 million. As is fairly typical at companies when such bad news is in the press, an internal memo was sent around on how to respond to questions about this story. And… as is fairly typical at such companies, the internal memo leaked to bloggers who posted it. The memo itself is fairly tame and about what you’d expect given the situation.

    • Chris Spannos: Greece Between Austerity and Fascism

      The European Union has been awarded a Nobel Peace Prize. But it is today’s Greek anti-fascist movement that deserves an award for doing what European states have so far failed to do — confronting the rise of violent neo-Nazi movements on the continent.

      Although fascism is not new in Greece, it has seen a resurgence in the Golden Dawn party, which won 18 parliamentary seats in the last election. Some polls indicate that approximately half of Greek police support Golden Dawn and that the party enjoys legitimacy in wide social circles. Police sometimes even refer crime victims to Golden Dawn for follow-up on law enforcement and citizen protection.

    • Bitter cold inside a disaster shelter
  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Inside the Secret World of the Data Crunchers Who Helped Obama Win

      In late spring, the backroom number crunchers who powered Barack Obama’s campaign to victory noticed that George Clooney had an almost gravitational tug on West Coast females ages 40 to 49. The women were far and away the single demographic group most likely to hand over cash, for a chance to dine in Hollywood with Clooney — and Obama.

    • Lauren Lyster Interviews Dan Ariely on Financial Fraud, Moral Hazard, and the Psychology of a Cheater

      I would not necessarily compare the deterrent effects of punishments for a capital crime, which is often a crime of passion, with financial fraud. And beyond some point no matter how severe the punishment may become, the deterrence is not commensurately increased.

      The problem is that there is little or no personal penalty these days for even the most egregious forms of financial misbehaviour and fraud. There is a fellowship of mutual corruption at the heart of the money system.

      And as some have warned for years, political capture and moral hazard have broken the Anglo-American financial system with profound implications for the real economy. What I find appalling is when so called progressive economists dismiss this important principle for the sake of their models and expediency.

  • Censorship

    • Australia comes to its senses, abandons Internet filtering regime

      The Australian government has now, after years of testing and preparing, formally abandoned a plan to filter its domestic Internet. Officials now say that it will use Interpol’s “worst of” child abuse site list as a way to shield Ozzies from truly awful content.

    • Google Is Blocked in China as Party Congress Begins

      All Google services, including its search engine, Gmail and Maps, were inaccessible in China on Friday night and into Saturday, the company confirmed. The block comes as the 18th Communist Party Congress, the once-in-a-decade meeting to appoint new government leadership, gets under way.

  • Civil Rights

    • AT&T is glad to expand service, but wants pesky FCC regulations dropped

      On Wednesday, AT&T announced a plan to invest $14 billion in expanding its wireless and U-Verse service around the country. At the same time, the company submitted a petition to the Federal Communications Commission asking for an end to the “conventional public-utility-style regulation.”

    • Voter Suppression Efforts Blunted by Vigilant Advocates and High Turnout in Wisconsin and Nationally

      With most voter ID laws blocked before the 2012 elections and local election officials and civic groups prepared for True the Vote’s intimidation tactics, some of the worst fears about voter disenfranchisement were averted in Tuesday’s vote. But partisan voting laws and continued confusion over election administration led to long lines — prompting President Obama to note “by the way, we have to fix that,” in his acceptance speech.

    • Why was an Indian man held for sending a tweet?

      How can a virtually unknown Indian boost his Twitter following a hundred-fold overnight?

      Ravi Srinivasan did it by becoming the first person in India to be arrested for a tweet. The 46-year-old runs a packaging business in the southern Indian city of Pondicherry.

    • Law Blog Fireside: Chris Hansen, the ACLU’s Longest-Serving Attorney

      Mr. Hansen, 65, joined the group in 1973 and became senior staff counsel 20 years later, a role that allowed him to pick and choose issues to litigate around the country, from gene-patenting to Internet censorship to failing schools. Friday is Mr. Hansen’s last day.

    • Malala day: an inspiring girl reminds us of the power of the Internet

      This week, I’m just back from Azerbaijan – so human rights issues are very much on my mind.

      The European Union is not just a common market; and not just a guardian of peace. It’s a place of fundamental rights. Rights that we treasure, protect and assure for our citizens. And nor is the Internet just a set of technologies, or just a space for business opportunities. It is the new frontier of freedom. And people like the inspiring young Malala Yousafzai are a reminder of that.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Multi-Stakeholder Discussions á la Internet Governance Forum For WIPO?

      The need to bring all stakeholders together to discuss the future of copyright appears to have gotten a push from this year’s UN-led Internet Governance Forum.

      Trevor Clarke, assistant director general for the Culture and Creative Industries Sector of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), said during a workshop on “Rethinking Copyright” today that the multi-stakeholder environment is “the best and and most appropriate” when it comes to the debate on copyright in the digital age. WIPO is preparing for such multi-stakeholder discussions, Clarke told Intellectual Property Watch.

    • UN Wants Multi-Stakeholder Discussions On ‘Rethinking Copyright’ — Ignores That The Only Stakeholder That Matters Is The Public
    • AT&T Admits That The Whole ‘Spectrum Crunch’ Argument It Made For Why It Needed T-Mobile Wasn’t True

      You may recall that back when AT&T was trying to buy T-Mobile, a big part of the argument was a spectrum crunch around its wireless efforts. The company insisted — strenuously — that it would not be able to expand 4G LTE services to more than 80% of the population unless it had T-Mobile. That argument ran into some trouble when a lawyer accidentally posted some documents to the FCC which admitted that the company could fairly easily expand its coverage to 97% of the population of the US without T-Mobile (and, in fact, that it would cost about 10% of what buying T-Mobile would cost). Suddenly, the argument that it absolutely needed T-Mobile rang hollow — even as the company continued to insist exactly that. Still, the FCC suddenly was skeptical and AT&T, seeing the writing on the wall, gave up on the merger.

    • Teen Hacker Banned From The Internet For Six Years

      A teenaged hacker known as Cosmo the God, who was involved in a number of big site takedowns earlier this year, and who is considered a “social engineering mastermind” has been sentenced to probation. The terms include a ban on internet access until his 21st birthday, six years from now, according to a Wired article by Mat Honan. For many years, we’ve questioned whether or not it’s reasonable (or even practical) to ban people from the internet for computer related crimes. It seems not only stupid and counterproductive, but just plain bizarre. The internet is so integrated into our lives these days that taking the internet out of your life is a lot more complicated than some might imagine.

    • Teenage Hacker ‘Cosmo the God’ Sentenced by California Court
  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • GEMA Gets Bailed Out By Germany’s Parliament; Allowed To Proceed With Venue-Killing Rate Hikes

        The threat posed to Germany’s underground club scene by all-around IP thug GEMA is no longer just a threat. Back in July, GEMA decided to “streamline” its convoluted fee structure. Naturally, it decided to smooth things over in a upward motion, raising the fees charged to these clubs by up to 1,400%. This sparked protests against GEMA’s tactics and a petition with 60,000 signatures was brought to the Deutsches Bundestag (Germany’s parliament). Unfortunately, the Deutsches Bundestag punted, suggesting those unhappy with the new fee structure negotiate directly with GEMA. [However you spell "LOL" in German goes here.]

      • Viral Video Of 9-Year-Old Girl Football Star… Taken Down Because Of Music
      • Music Publishers Win $6.6 Million in Song Lyrics Copyright Case

        The copyright infringement lawsuit concerned the online publication of lyrics to works by Van Morrison, Ray Charles and others.

      • $6.6 Million Ruling Against Lyrics Site, Once Again, Shows How Short Sighted Music Industry Is

        For many years now, we’ve covered how music publishers have gone after all sorts of sites that post song lyrics, arguing infringement. As we’ve noted time and time again, this whole thing seems short sighted in the extreme. Lyrics sites don’t take away from interest in a song, they only increase it. And, yes, publishers have different interests than the musicians or labels, but it still seems counterproductive to sue and take down sites that were increasing interest in the actual music, as lyrics sites do. Unfortunately, lots of lyrics sites have been forced offline because the rates the publishers want are insane. A few years ago, a bunch of publishers went after Brad Greenspan’s LiveUniverse for its lyrics offerings. Greenspan — who was associated with MySpace in the early days as its parent company Intermix’s CEO — has, well, a colorful history. He’s spent many years stamping his feet about how Rupert Murdoch should have paid more for MySpace back in the day.

11.09.12

Links 9/11/2012: Qt Creator 2.6.0, Ubuntu 13.04 Daily Builds

Posted in News Roundup at 7:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Windows 8 is a one way street for consumer PC users

    If you buy a Windows 8-powered HP consumer PC, or from any other PC vendor, you’ll get no help from them if you decide you’d rather have Windows 7. And Linux? Forget about it!

  • Server

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • ending the cults of personality in free software

      Free software has a history of creating and supporting cults of personality. Since it is a widespread human phenomenon, it is easy to understand how this happens. It is, however, unhelpful and destructive and we really ought to actively discourage it, starting by putting aside the current cults.

    • The free software media and cults of personality

      .
      I’m not naming names, but if you follow community news, you’ll know that all these things have happened in the last month, as well as many, many times before. Moreover, each time that they happen, they distract people from more important matters.

    • Trying out Systemd
    • AMD Shuts Operating Systems Research Center, Fires Linux Employees
    • Did AMD shoot itself in the foot by laying off open-source talent?
    • The Z-Factor: Meet the Simon Cowell of Linux

      Such moves have not always been welcome. I’ve criticised the Linux Foundation for getting beyond its roots and getting in the way of its sponsors. By taking sides with MeeGo, for example, the Foundation threatened to undermine its credibility with other Linux-based mobile projects.

      [...]

      Zemlin and the Linux Foundation, however, go one step further. Zemlin is an active advocate for Linux, constantly in the news and on his blog, whether ripping on patents, taking pot shots at Microsoft Windows, or talking up Linux in automobiles. In other words, he helps to make the Foundation’s brand bigger, giving it more credibility within the development community and, perhaps particularly, the sponsoring vendor community. No one has raised money more successfully for an open source foundation than Zemlin has.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Benchmarking NVIDIA’s R310 Linux Driver Improvements

        This week NVIDIA began advertising their new “R310″ Linux graphics driver that “delivers [a] massive performance boost to Linux gaming” as a result of Valve releasing their Steam Linux Beta. The NVIDIA 310.xx Linux graphics driver not only improves the performance for Valve’s Source Engine games, but many Linux OpenGL games. In this article are benchmarks from three graphics cards to highlight the optimizations.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Experimentation vs. Tradition: The Future of Innovation on the Linux Desktop

      A few years ago, users had two — maybe three — major choices for a Linux Desktop. Now, several user revolts later, they have eight or more.

      But while this increased choice may be good for users in the short term, how will it affect long-term development? It may be that this diversity means either less innovation in the future, or a constraint of innovation to one or two unpromising directions.

    • A New Day Dawns In Linux With The Near Arrival Of E17 (stable)

      If you want less of your system consumed by your desktop and more left to your apps, then E17 is pretty much right near or at the head of that field. – Carsten Haitzler, Enlightenment

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Qt Creator 2.6.0 Out, Includes Experimental Android Support
      • plasma sdk accreting

        If you have used plasmoidviewer, plasamengineexplorer or plasmawallpaperviewer from past releases of KDE Workspaces while developing Plasma components, you may be surprised to find them gone in the upcoming 4.10 release.

      • Qt Creator 2.6 Development Environment Released

        Qt Creator 2.6 introduces “Kits” as a replacement to the feature known as “Targets” in earlier versions, the integrated development environment also adds experimental Android support, improved C++11 support, and many bug-fixes throughout.

      • Qt Creator 2.6.0 introduces Kits

        Version 2.6.0 of Qt Creator has been released with a change that, its developers say, will affect almost every user: the new release of the cross-platform integrated development environment (IDE) introduces “Kits” as a replacement for the “Targets” that were in versions 2.5 and earlier.

      • Slax 7.0 packs a KDE 4 live OS into 183MB

        With the arrival of a first release candidate, the next major release of Slax, version 7.0, is nearing completion. Slax is a fast and full-featured Linux operating system based on Slackware that includes KDE 4 as its default desktop. The small distribution weighs in at less than 190MB and is designed to run as a live system from a CD or USB drive.

      • Slax is bare bones modular Linux
      • Calligra 2.5.3 Released

        he Calligra development team has announced the third bug fix release (2.5) of Calligra office and productivity suite. As this is a stable release with numerous bugfixes, it’s advisable to upgrade to this release as soon as possible to enjoy the latest features and extra stability of the apps.

      • Guest post: Newcomer experience in KDE and other FOSS communities – Survey

        This is a guest post from Kevin Carillo, a researcher I’ve been working with to help us improve KDE’s newcomer experience. If you fit the criteria please do take the survey. It’ll help improve the experience of new contributors and thereby help improve KDE. Thanks!

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Gnome 3.8 is dropping Fallback Mode
      • Gnome 3.8 To Drop Fallback Mode: Oops! I Did It Again

        As a Gnome user you know that in case you are using a computer that doesn’t support 3D acceleration by default, you will be switched to Gnome’s fallback mode. This mode though using GTK3, looks like the earlier 2.x version of Gnome shell. Users who were not satisfied by changes in Gnome 3 shell used the fallback mode as it looks and worked similar to older version. There is some bad news.

      • The Ups and Downs of GNOME 3

        One of the most interesting parts of being Executive Director of GNOME has been riding the wave of feedback on GNOME 3. I took the position after GNOME 3 was already released, and it was that beautiful vision of the GNU/Linux desktop that inspired me to leave a job I loved. Since then, the highs have been really high and the lows have been tough. One of the very visible disappointments we had was aggressive criticism from Linus Torvalds, which started a cascade of detraction by others and a perception of a real decline in the GNOME community. It’s been difficult to reconcile all of the ups and downs. At GUADEC, we had such a rich experience with great participation by a broad community (and with a very high percentage of active attendance by newcomers) while at the very same time the blogoverse was exploding with news that our contributor diversity had completely dwindled away.

      • GNOME (et al): Rotting In Threes
  • Distributions

    • PUIAS Linux review – Say what?

      Alas, it was not meant to be. I was hoping for another solid RedHat clone, and this distro ought to be that, but probably in a more conservative setup, with mechanical disks or something of that sort. I must add that CentOS did not have any such issues, plus it comes with its own live CD/DVD versions, so you can test before committing.

      All in all, I do not really know what to say about PUIAS. Except the fact that it refused to install on SSD, there’s nothing else that I can add. I have no idea what it looks like, how it behaves, whether the extra repositories offer all the goodies normal people need and all that. Therefore, this review ends without a verdict. That would be all, gents. Almost pointless, I know, but then, I had to share.

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva Alpha Tests New Name, Mageia Needs Artwork

        The second alpha of upcoming Mandriva 2012, announced on November 6, reflects some progress while other issues remain. Mageia ran a contest for artwork during the version 2 developmental phase, and it was such a success, they’re doing it again for 3. So, test Mandriva and draw some pretty pictures for Mageia.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Two Weeks With Spacewalk

        After using Chef and Puppet, I have the opportunity to compare and contrast the pair with Spacewalk, the open source component of RedHat Satellite. Spacewalk represents one perspective on data center management applications, which if you are more inclined to work in the command line might not agree with you. Spacewalk, Chef, and Puppet are configuration management and data center automation tools, and if there is any truth to the state of such tools today, it is that we still have so much farther to go.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 18 Delayed Further, To Be Released Next Year
        • Fedora 18 Linux Delayed to 2013
        • Happy Second Anniversary Fuduntu!

          Happy second anniversary, Fuduntu! Today we celebrate the second anniversary of the Fuduntu Linux distribution, and what a year it has been!

        • Happy Second Anniversary Fuduntu!
        • Fedora 18 slips into next year

          After five previous slips of the release date and a shortening of the beta cycle, the Fedora developers have had to now push the Fedora 18 release into January 2013. The revised schedule currently sees a beta release planned for 27 November and a final release on 8 January 2013. The original planned final release date was 6 November.

        • GNOME 3.6 Test Day today!

          It’s that Test Day time again, folks! Depending on where you are, tomorrow or today – Thursday 2012-11-08 – is GNOME 3.6 Test Day. We’ll be testing various areas of GNOME to ensure the desktop is working smoothly for the upcoming Fedora 18 release. If you have some time to drop by and help GNOME continue to get better, please do!

        • No Fedora
        • Fedora 19 Will Have Another Unique Codename

          After the codename proposal period for Fedora 19, the list of potential codenames for this next Fedora Linux release have been narrowed down by Red Hat and now it’s time to vote for the official name.

    • Debian Family

      • Reflecting on 14 years of free software

        14 years ago last month, I created my first PGP key to sign up to be a Debian developer. I recall what brought me to that place. I had been trying to improve my skill-set for my resume and wanted to learn to program.

        Considering Linux was free compared to development software on Windows (and it ran on my Pentium 90MHz CPU when BSD didn’t), it was an easy choice. However, I had no idea what I was getting into.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 13.04 Daily Builds Out
          • Ubuntu 13.04 Daily ISO Images Are Now Available

            The first daily ISO images of the upcoming Ubuntu 13.04 (Raring Ringtail) operating system were made available by Canonical on the regular FTP website.

          • Privacy in Ubuntu 12.10: Full Disk Encryption
          • Note to EFF: FDE implementation in Ubuntu’s Ubiquity is only at 50%

            In Privacy in Ubuntu 12.10: Full Disk Encryption, the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Micah Lee gave the non-profit organization some credit for pushing Mark Shuttleworth and crew to implement full disk encryption (FDE) in Ubiquity, the graphical installation program of Ubuntu Desktop.

            That feature, together with LVM, the Linux Logical Volume Manager, made their debut in Ubuntu 12.10, the latest release of the popular Linux distribution. (See Ubuntu 12.10 review.)

            while their’s no arguing the fact that the EFF’s campaign played some part in getting FDE implemented in Ubiquity, Micah’s article failed to mention that FDE is only available in the automated partitioning modes. What that means is that if you opt to create partitions manually for installing your copy of Ubuntu
            12.10, you lose the benefits of FDE. There are workarounds, but straight from the installer in Ubuntu 12.10, you cannot configure FDE on manually created partitions.

          • I don’t care

            There’s an old saying: to each their own. That’s how I feel about most things. Everything that I just mentioned, and more, is a matter of personal choice. Mine, yours, and everyone else’s. In my case, it’s also about what works for me. It’s not about ideology or what’s popular or even me going against the grain.

          • Welcome to the Skunk Works

            A few weeks ago, Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth announced a new project initiative dubbed “skunk works”, that would bring talented and trusted members of the Ubuntu community into what were previously Canonical-only development teams working on some of the most interesting and exciting new features in Ubuntu.

          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 290
          • What Canonical Could Have Done With The Shopping Lens

            Ubuntu 12.10 was released last month with the Amazon shopping lens enabled by default. This was met with much criticism (even EFF raised its concerns) mainly about how user data is being handled or submitted to Amazon and other 3rd parties. While most of the issues have been addressed, the lens is still on by default. So if you search dash, you may likely find the Amazon results too, along with local files, apps and video results.

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Facebook warehousing 180 PETABYTES of data a year

    Facebook’s data warehouses grow by “Over half a petabyte … every 24 hours”, according to an explanatory note The Social Network’s Engineering team has issued to explain a new release of open source code.

  • Trying out FreeDOS
  • Cross-device cross-platform incompatibility incongruence

    There is now, it seems, a cross-device compatibility imperative rising.

    We know this of course. Windows 8 is very much positioned as a ‘desktop, to tablet, to mobile handset’ cross-device operating system and Apple’s iOS has (arguably) already been in this space for some time already.

    Carrying this thought forward, we might argue that Android’s 68 percent share of the mobile market means that users will now be looking for a reliable way to interchange data between Android devices and Macs or PCs.

    The question is, with Microsoft plus Apple plus Android all potentially vying for a slice of the cross-device pie, will we run into a cross-device cross-platform incompatibility problem?

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox to make life harder for HTTPS snoopers

        Mozilla has equipped its latest Firefox beta, 17, with a list of domains for which the browser must use HTTPS encryption for all communications. The feature is designed to prevent man-in-the-middle attackers from reading and manipulating plain text data traffic when particularly sensitive pages are accessed. The list complements the Strict Transport Security (HSTS) HTTP header extension that enables servers to force browsers to establish HTTPS connections only.

      • Mozilla Posts New Firefox OS Online Presentations for Developers

        Mozilla is moving quickly ahead with its plans to become a big player in the smartphone business, and is retaining its focus on emerging markets. There have been many updates on the development of the Firefox OS mobile platform here, and Robert Nyman, a Technical Evangelist for Mozilla, has posted a Flickr gallery of screenshots of the young operating system.

        Any emerging mobile platform depends heavily on developers becoming attracted to it, and Mozilla Hacks is now reaching out to developers with new videos and slideshows. Here are the details.

  • SaaS

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • The Document Foundation Certification Program

      The Document Foundation has begun certifying premier developers in their quest for world productivity domination. Certification “is not just another piece of paper, or an abbreviation next to the name,” it means recognition for the “ability to hack LibreOffice code to develop new features or provide L3 support to enterprise users.”

  • Business

  • Funding

  • Project Releases

  • Licensing

  • Programming

    • Examining Programming Language Framework Popularity

      Having concluded that an examination of the relative performance of programming languages on GitHub and StackOverflow yields interesting results, programming language frameworks are an obvious next step. Given the importance of frameworks in leading programming language adoption, understanding better the traction behind individual frameworks would be useful. With GitHub and StackOverflow representing obvious centers of gravity within the development world, they are clearly in a position to provide some insight into framework-related developer activity.

Leftovers

  • SKorea’s secret: Runaway teen prostitution

    South Korea is paying a high price for its rigorous education system – a major reason for its economic success – with teenagers increasingly turning to prostitution after fleeing home to escape academic pressure.

    An estimated 200,000 youths – at least 60 per cent female teenagers – roam the country’s streets. About half have worked as underage prostitutes, according to the latest government figures.

    Many say they initially ran away to be with friends instead of studying, and later ended up selling their bodies to earn money to survive.

    “In high school, I would say that massive academic pressure is the main driver pushing kids onto the streets,” says a professor at a prominent South Korean university, who requested anonymity because of the issue’s sensitivity in the country.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Over Half a Million Dollars Couldn’t Stop Colorado Community From Banning Fracking

      Despite over half a million dollars spent by the fossil fuel industry in Longmont, Colorado, residents voted Tuesday to make the city the first to ban hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” in the state. The city of 87,000, nestled at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, voted 59 to 41 to ban the controversial method of extracting shale oil and gas, as well as to ban the storage of the toxin-laden wastewater in the city limits.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Democrats Lose Control of Wisconsin State Senate, Leaving Republicans With Full Control Again

      Election night was a good night for national Democrats; President Obama won reelection, and Democrats gained two seats in the Senate. The news was not as good for local Democrats in Wisconsin, though, who lost their hard-fought majority in the Wisconsin State Senate, the only thing standing between Governor Scott Walker and Republicans’ full control of the Wisconsin Legislature.

    • Apparently Attacking A Candidate For Being A World Of Warcraft Player Is Not An Effective Campaign Strategy

      Last month, we were among those who reported on an absolutely bizarre strategy by a candidate for the Maine state Senate to demonize his opponent, Colleen Lachowicz, by highlighting her enjoyment of World of Warcraft and then taking some of her statements about the game completely out of context, to imply they were political statements that had relevance beyond inside the game. Even after this was widely mocked, the folks behind the mailer defended it.

  • Censorship

    • Gawker’s Anti-SLAPP Victory Could Be Good For The Web – But Judge Refuses To Publish The Ruling

      A few months ago, Eric Goldman wrote about a good ruling by a California court to knock out a bogus defamation claim against blog site Gawker. There were a few interesting elements to the ruling, including that it used California’s anti-SLAPP law, and that it was willing to look at the context of the use of certain words like “scam.” But, most importantly, it noted the fact that the Gawker piece included numerous links/citations to sources, which meant that anyone could dig deeper to understand the details themselves.

    • Judge Quickly (But Temporarily) Blocks New CA Law That Takes Away Anonymous Speech Rights

      So, we had just written about the unfortunate (if expected) news that voters in California had overwhelmingly passed a ballot measure which (among other things) would take away anonymous speech rights from anyone on the state’s sex offender list (which could include things like people arrested for urinating in public, or consensual sexual activity between teenagers). That seemed both extreme and unconstitutional. We noted that we expected the law to be challenged, though I had assumed it might wait until the law was used. Instead, the EFF and ACLU immediately teamed up to challenge the law, arguing that it was unconstitutional…

    • ACLU and EFF Challenge Free Speech Restrictions in California’s Proposition 35

      Today the ACLU of Northern California (ACLU-NC) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a federal class-action lawsuit to block implementation of unconstitutional provisions of Proposition 35 – a ballot measure passed by California voters Tuesday that restricts the legal and constitutionally protected speech of all registered sex offenders in California.

    • Oakland chief filtered out Occupy e-mail

      People who’ve e-mailed Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan over the past year about Occupy Oakland probably didn’t get much of a response.

      That’s because he used a spam filter to dismiss messages sent to him with “Occupy Oakland” in the subject line, according to a federal court filing Monday. Same goes for the phrases “stop the excessive police force,” “respect the press pass” or “police brutality.” Instead of landing in his in-box, those messages went straight into his junk mail folder, which he apparently never looked at.

    • Oakland Police Chief Only Wants to Read Complimentary Email
    • Police Chief’s Custom Spam Filter Blocks Occupy Protestors, Brutality Complaints And (Oops) Federal Monitors
    • Conroy backs away from internet filter

      THE federal government has abandoned its long-standing commitment to introduce a national internet filter and will instead ban websites related only to child abuse.

      Following years of debate about trying to censor the internet, the Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, said the government would no longer proceed with ”mandatory filtering legislation”. It would, however, use powers under the Telecommunications Act to block hundreds of child abuse websites already identified on Interpol’s ”worst of” list.

    • Conroy abandons mandatory ISP filtering

      Tells ISPs to filter child abuse material using INTERPOL block list.

  • Privacy

    • Putting a price on our data

      We’ve previously warned that with free services, consumers are no longer the customer – they are the product, to be monitored, profiled and sold on. With 96% of Google’s $37.9bn revenue in 2011 coming from advertising and Facebook’s advertising revenue in Q3 2012 reaching $1.086bn, the value of our data has been the oil to the digital revolution.

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • ITU Boss Explains Why He Wants The UN To Start Regulating The Internet

      We’ve written a few times about why we should be worried about the ITU (a part of the UN) and its attempts to regulate the internet, to which some have responded by arguing that the ITU/UN doesn’t really want to regulate the internet. However, the Secretary-General of the ITU, Hamadoun Toure has now taken to the pages of Wired, to explicitly state why he believes the UN needs to regulate the internet.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Pfizer Can’t Keep Its Viagra Patent Up In Canada

      oday, in a ruling from the Supreme Court of Canada, Pfizer lost its Canadian patent on Viagra as the result of a long-fought battle with rival pharmaceutical manufacturer Teva, which sought to make a generic version of the popular drug.

    • Trademarks

      • APNewsBreak: Budweiser seeks removal from ‘Flight’

        Denzel Washington’s character in “Flight” drinks a lot throughout the film, but his portrayal of a highly functioning alcoholic pilot isn’t going down well with brewing company Anheuser-Busch or the distributor of Stolichnaya vodka.

    • Copyrights

      • Judge Rejects Fox’s Attempt To Shut Down Dish’s Autohop Feature, But Indicates It May Still Infringe

        Earlier this year, we wrote about the TV networks suing Dish Networks for its new Autohop feature. Dish created a neat bit of innovation, which automatically recorded all prime time shows for people to watch later, and as long as you watched the day after the shows aired, it would auto-skip the commercials. This is the kind of thing that a user could set up themselves, though it’s a bit cumbersome, and too many DVR providers have shied away from automated “commercial skip” features after the TV industry sued ReplayTV over such a feature (despite many VCRs having it already). Ridiculously, the networks, led by Fox, claimed that skipping commercials is a form of copyright infringement.

      • Video About Fair Use, Remix & Culture Taken Down Over Copyright Claim (Of Course)

        A few years back, we had a post highlighting an absolutely fantastic video by Julian Sanchez about the value of remix culture. The video made a key point that often gets lost in these debates: that remix culture is often more about the culture than the remix, but that copyright law makes that difficult. It focused mainly on a viral remix video that took a song from the band Phoenix, called “Lisztomania,” but which was put to video clips of people dancing in various John Hughes films (mainly from the classic scene in “The Breakfast Club.”) That was interesting enough, but what was even more interesting was how it then followed that lots of others recreated the video in their own image. So groups got together in various hipster locations (Brooklyn, San Francisco) and created their own videos recreating the dance moves on their own to go with the new song. It was really quite interesting, and showed how important remixing and fair use was to culture, and how it could take something and make more with it.

11.08.12

Links 8/11/2012: AMD Lays Off Linux Developers, Fedora 18 Delayed Again

Posted in News Roundup at 8:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Piwik among winners at open source awards

    Hundreds of people were due to celebrate the achievements of the open source software industry at its biennial awards in Wellington last night.

    Technology awards can resemble a Hairy Maclary book, with lots of repetition as the same familiar names doing the same things crop up on every page.

    But Don Christie, managing director of 150-person open source firm Catalyst IT, one of the award’s top sponsors, said these had again attracted a healthy tally of about 100 entries.

  • CloudStack makes first release from Apache incubator

    The CloudStack project, based on Citrix’s CloudStack code which was contributed to Apache earlier this year, has had its first official release from within the Apache Incubator, where it is currently being mentored and matured into a future top-level Apache project. The Apache CloudStack 4.0.0-incubating release offers a Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud orchestration system. Apache CloudStack competes with other open source IaaS platforms such as OpenStack, the European OpenNebula and the Amazon AWS-API compatible Eucalyptus.

  • Open Source Awards compared, contrasted with US thinking

    Having the Open Source Awards presentation ceremony last night, on the same night as the US election results were announced, allowed some analogies to be made between the spirit of open source and democracy.

    In both systems, everyone is welcome to make a contribution and the profit motive is absent, said Awards judge and senior advisor at the Inland Revenue Department, Austin Sinclair, introducing the award for Open Source use in government.

  • Events

    • Five Favorite Sessions from LinuxCon Europe 2012

      LinuxCon Europe has been buzzing with energy and lively ideas ever since its kickoff on Monday morning. As day two sessions wound down and everyone was gearing up for the much-anticipated Intel-sponsored reception at Gaudi’s Casa Batillo, we took a few moments to check in with attendees. They told us what’s inspiring them at this year’s conference—and how they’ll funnel that inspiration into action when they return to their workplaces next week.

    • LinuxCon Europe: Growing an Open Source Community

      The OpenStack team, a software community collaborating on a standard open source platform, had to solve this dilemma—and solve it fast—when the tech community became “ludicrously excited” about their new project. “We experienced growing pains … I guess I’m supposed to call them ‘opportunities’,” said Monty Taylor, manager of automation and deployment at Hewlett-Packard, and one of the creators of the project.

      In his Scaling an Open Source Community keynote presentation on Tuesday morning at LinuxCon Europe, Taylor explained how OpenStack overcame early challenges to create a truly non-hierarchical environment focused not only on open source, but also on open design, open development, and an open community.

    • ApacheCon NA, EclipseCon and Northeast Linux Fest calling for papers

      Several open source oriented conferences are calling for the submission of papers to their 2013 events. ApacheCon North America (NA), EclipseCon and the Northeast Linux Fest are all accepting talks from interested community members.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google has released Chrome 23 for Windows, Mac and Linux

        The Chrome team has officially announced the latest update for Chrome, which arrives as Chrome 23 and for Windows, Mac and Linux users. More specifically, Chrome version 23.0.1271.64 has been released. This update will arrive automatically for current Chrome users. Or alternatively, those not using Chrome and those feeling like they simply cannot wait even a second — you can grab the latest version by navigating to google.com/chrome.

      • Google Releases Chrome 23 Stable for Linux
      • New Version of Chrome Adds Do Not Track Privacy and Boosts Batteries

        Google is out with the new Stable Release version 23 of the Chrome browser, which is notable for several reasons. Thanks to the way it handles video decoding, users on portable devices such as laptops who are, say, watching YouTube videos will get longer battery life. And, with this version of Chrome, Google has finally adopted the Do Not Track privacy protection scheme that lets users choose not to be followed when online.

      • Google Chrome Adds Support For Do Not Track
  • SaaS

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • The Document Foundation Announces First Group of LibreOffice Certified Developers

      The Document Foundation has announced the first group of LibreOffice Certified Developers, recognized for their ability to hack LibreOffice code to develop new features or provide L3 support to enterprise users.

      Other skills and knowledge needed to become a Certified Developer include, researching and developing solutions to new or unknown issues, designing and developing one or more courses of action, evaluating each of them in a test case environment, and implementing the best solution to the problem. Once the solution is verified, it is delivered to the customer and given back to the community.

  • Education

  • Business

  • BSD

    • LLVM’s Clang Is Finally The FreeBSD x86 Compiler

      After talking about FreeBSD’s transition to Clang as the default C/C++ compiler rather than GCC, the move has finally happened where for x86/x86_64 systems the LLVM-based compiler has replaced GCC.

  • Project Releases

    • FreeMedForms project reaches version 0.8.0

      It is always a pleasure to announce the official release of the new stable version 0.8.0 of the FreeMedForms project. This anniversary version (the FreeMedForms EMR one and its main admin) brings two major innovations:

  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

    • Open Access/Content

      • Australian university joins Stanford’s open-source online platform

        Class2Go, developed by a group of Stanford engineers, will be the basis for online courses at the University of Western Australia accessible through mobile devices. The mobile app will then be available for use by Stanford – and anyone else.

        The beauty of open-source technology is that people around the world can build things together. Like bricolage, technology can grow flexibly as developers respond directly and creatively to users’ needs and imaginations.

      • How Stanford plans to teach the world with open-source online classes

        Online classes are nothing new, but the University of Western Australia wants to take the technology one step further with the help of Stanford’s recently launched Class2Go platform. Using an open-source approach to content creation, Class2Go not only allows educators to fine tune their teaching material, but also provides a tool that can be used by anyone regardless of location or enrollment status. As explained by PhysOrg, David Glance, director of the Centre for Software Practice at the University of Western Australia, feels that platform paves way to the new methods of learning used in universities, allowing students to take entire classes using their smartphone or tablet via an app.

      • rSmart to Share Higher Ed Open Source Expertise at the 2012 EDUCAUSE Annual Conference
    • Open Hardware

      • Arduino gets piggyback from Raspberry Pi

        The AlaMode board makes it possible to build a bridge between the Raspberry Pi mini-computer and the Arduino prototyping platform and the many shields available for it. Although the Arduino-compatible board connects to the Pi’s GPIO header, the two boards operate independently, sharing data via the GPIO connectors. The AlaMode board is able to connect standard Arduino shields.

      • Open Source, Soccer-Playing Robots for All!

        What’s cooler than a humanoid robot? Why, a humanoid robot that plays soccer, of course. And you can get one for just 25 grand.

        The robot, developed by researchers at the University of Bonn, is more than just another droid headed for the intensely competitive RoboCup tournament. The little guy features some serious technical upgrades with a simple design and open source code so others can build their own ‘bot. The software and CAD files (.zip) are available on GitHub.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • APIs

      If you’re creating Web apps, you’re designing APIs. Here are some things to keep in mind before you begin.

      The Web was designed for people. When Tim Berners-Lee created the trio of standards that make up the Web—HTTP, HTML and URLs—the intention was for people to browse Web sites, submit information to them and be at the heart of the experience. But for some time now, the notion of the Web as a set of sites that people browse has been somewhat untrue. True, hundreds of millions of people visit an equally large number of sites each day; however, more and more of the visitors to sites aren’t people, but programs.

    • The newsroom’s ally: Ally-Py

      Software architect Gabriel Nistor talks to Trevor Parsons about Ally-Py, the new Free Software framework designed to get the most from web APIs.

Leftovers

11.07.12

Links 7/11/2012: Steam Closed Beta, KDE 4.9.3 is Out

Posted in News Roundup at 1:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • The Linux Setup – Brian Proffitt, Writer

      I love Brian Proffitt’s setup for two reasons. First of all, it’s OpenSUSE, my current distro of choice, and I always love to see that represented here. But also, Brian’s setup is shockingly stock. And in more and more of these interviews, we’re seeing people who are able to get an impressive amount of work done without a lot of configuring or manipulating. It makes me appreciate what a great time it is for desktop Linux. And reading some of this week’s Windows 8 reviews, I wonder if a lot of Windows users might be jealous of just how easy Linux has become.

  • Server

    • U.S. panel labels China largest cyberspace threat, report says

      China is increasingly using hackers to infiltrate U.S. military computers and defense contractors, according to a draft of Congressional report obtained by Bloomberg.

    • Brocade Acquires Linux Software Defined Networking Vendor Vyatta
    • Why do super computers use Linux?

      In our last few posts we discussed the fact that over 90% supercomputers (94.2% to be precise) employ Linux as their operating system. In this post, a sequel to our last posts, we shall attempt to investigate the potentials of Linux which make it suitable and perhaps the best choice for supercomputers OS.

    • Brocade to acquire Vyatta

      Brocade has announced that the company is acquiring the privately held Vyatta. Brocade produces a range of data and storage networking products, and considers the acquisition to be a good fit. Vyatta specialises in developing a software defined networking (SDN) and builds that software atop of an open source Debian-based distribution, Vyatta Core, which it commercialises as Vyatta Network OS.

  • Kernel Space

    • New Members Join Linux Foundation

      Componentality Oy is an automotive Research and Development company that builds passenger-oriented devices for public transportation; entertainment and connectivity for cars and road infrastructure; and unique technical solutions for special purposes in the automotive field, focusing on DSRC communications and eCall/ERA GLONASS systems.

      Host Concepts is a software development company specializing in Guest Interaction Experiences. From hotels and restaurants to cruise ships, cars and convention centers, the company designs, develops, supports and hosts custom software solutions. They specialize in universally accessible applications designed and coded for web, mobile and native operating systems.

      Micware is software integrator and is developing Linux-based software stacks for reference hardware systems for Automotive Grade Linux (AGL).

      MIRACLE LINUX (an apt name) is a Linux distributor for enterprise and embedded market based on Japan. It is also co-owner of Asianux Co. Ltd. which is based in China . The company has more than 13 years of experience in the field of Linux business.. It is joining to participate in the Long Term Support Initiative and the Automotive Grade Linux workgroup.

    • AMD Closes The Operating System Research Center

      AMD has indeed shutdown its Dresden-based Operating System Research Center (OSRC) in the latest round of cost-cutting efforts.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Marek Continues Improving Radeon Performance

        There’s been another improvement to Mesa with the Radeon Gallium3D R600 driver by Marek Olšák that can improve the OpenGL performance in certain situations for this open-source AMD Linux driver while also conserving memory usage.

      • Radeon Driver Is Now KMS-Only, 7.0 Released

        Alex Deucher announced the release of the xf86-video-ati 7.0.0 driver this morning, which is the first open-source ATI Linux graphics driver release that is strictly KMS-only.

      • NVIDIA 304.64 Driver Fixes Performance, New GPUs

        The NVIDIA 304.64 Linux graphics driver was released today with support for new graphics cards, address performance issues related to recent Linux kernels, and provide other fixes for those relying upon this closed-source driver.

      • Clock-For-Clock, Nouveau Can Compete With NVIDIA’s Driver

        Similar to last week’s testing of comparing the open-source vs. closed-source Radeon Linux driver performance from a stock Ubuntu 12.10 installation, the tables have now been turned to look at NVIDIA hardware on this latest Ubuntu Linux release. Benchmarks were done of the stock Nouveau open-source graphics driver, the official NVIDIA proprietary driver, and the proprietary driver when it was underclocked to match the clock frequencies as used by the reverse-engineered Nouveau driver.

      • XWayland Gets Updated

        Daniel Stone has updated the XWayland patches for supporting X.Org/X11 applications on Wayland.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Second alpha of Mandriva Linux 2012 dons “Moondrake” disguise

        The second alpha of Mandriva Linux 2012 has been released under a new name: “Moondrake GNU/Linux 2012″. In the release announcement, Mandriva Linux Project Leader Per Øyvind Karlsen says that “The name of the distribution used for this release isn’t actually the final name chosen, but only one of the likelier candidates under consideration, which we’re taking out for a test drive to try it on for now and prepare for a rebranding process.” While a possible new name has yet to be chosen for the distribution, last month it was announced that the foundation for the open source project would be called “OpenMandriva”.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Linux Top 3: Fedora 18 Delayed, Tiny Core Advances and a Shot in the ARM

          There are some Linux distributions that hold steadfast to their release schedules no matter what. That’s not the case with Fedora, which is aiming for quality and stability and will often delay a release and its milestone components for that reason.

          Fedora developers decided to push back the Fedora 18 beta release by at week during a go/no go meeting on Thursday November 1st. The decision to delay the beta release was due to a number of blocker bugs as well as issues with the upgrade tool.

          The anaconda installation tool currently has 7 blocker bugs listed for it that will need to be addressed for the release to go forward.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Valve opens Steam for Ubuntu to first wave of beta testers

            After receiving over 60,000 beta applications since last week, Valve has begun sending out the first wave of invites for the Steam for Linux beta today.

            The Linux version of Steam currently only works on Ubuntu 12.04, reflecting what Steam for Linux team member Frank Crockett said in a statement was “an overwhelming majority of beta applicants [reporting] they’re running the Ubuntu distro of Linux.” Other popular Linux distributions will be supported in the future, Valve said. The service will be opened to more beta testers going forward, then expanded to all Linux users “once the team has seen a solid level of stability and performance across a variety of systems.”

          • Open Source Ubuntu OS Makes Strides in Emerging Markets
          • Steam for Linux Beta Arrives, Only For Ubuntu

            Valve has launched a limited access beta for its new Steam for Linux client. There was an encouraging excitement around Steam for Linux. Valve received over 60,000 responses to its request for participants in the Steam for Linux Beta within its first week. The company has selected the first round of beta participants from those early adopters.

            The arrival of Steam for Linux owes a lot to Microsoft which has started to turn Windows from a platform for OEMs and developers into a Microsoft only product inspired by Apple’s walled garden.

          • Day 1 of LinuxCon Europe 2012 in Pictures

            The event started with keynotes from Canonical’s Mark Shuttleworth…

          • Ubuntu 12.10: Unity Just Sort of Grows on You

            The Unity Launcher shows a hefty finessing — this is the icon bar that is hard-wired to the left edge of the screen for launching frequently used applications. Its displayed icons are more appealing visually with their rounded, uniform appearance. The ability to hide the Launcher bar until the mouse pointer touches the left screen edge makes the Unity icon row less annoying.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Here Comes Newebe, A New Kind Of Distributed Social Network

    Diaspora was one such project, which has become a community venture recently. Dispora stores user information in pods, which are servers where information and data of the users are stored. As its open source, user can run a pod in his own server and invite friends and co-workers to use it. Thus he may form a private social network without relying on other third party social site.

  • MIT Develops Open Source Game A Slower Speed of Light

    Are you a science buff who is curious how the world would look like if you travel at the speed of light? Will it twist everything around you as the light from different objects reach you at a different interval as per the special theory of relativity? How will everything look like if the speed of light is slowed down? This is what an open source game developed by MIT Game Lab tried to do.

  • New Open Source data storage solution coming soon
  • Contribute to an open source project no matter your experience level

    Okay, that has nothing to do with the subject of this post, but when I tweeted out a request for suggestions for an opening line, that was the most interesting response (thank you, @kantrn). I got others that were a lot more helpful (thank you, @justinlilly)—that’s the power of community, right?

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Foundation to Pay $1.5 Million to Settle Up with the IRS

        For years now, a lot of people have misunderstood how the nonprofit Mozilla Foundation works. It is, of course, one of the most influential entities in all of open source, but Mozilla gets the vast majority of its revenues from Google, in exchange for favorable search placement in the Firefox browser, which benefits Google. According to the nonprofit law blog, last year the Mozilla Foundation got 88 percent of its revenues from Google.

        The IRS has been investigating the Mozilla Foundation with an eye toward the taxes that it pays, and the good news for Mozilla fans is that Foundation Chairman Mitchell Baker has announced that Mozilla is getting off with a very light $1.5 million tax bill.

      • Firefox vs. the Web

        One of the most hotly debated topics in years is now bubbling up in the Mozilla community as people debate the position of Web vs. Firefox.

        There was a time when Firefox was just a browser, the view by which freedom loving people could see and interact with the web. The primary brand was Firefox as an enabler of the Web. That’s now sliding a bit as Mozilla brands Firefox as its own operating system and ecosystem of app.

        “To what extent, if any, are we willing to promote ‘the open web’ or ‘HTML5′ over ‘Firefox’, when the success of one and the success of the other are in tension?” Mozilla staffer Gervase Markham wrote in a mailing list message.

      • Have some Mozilla with that Windows

        The only way I can describe this to you is that it’s the most idiotic ruling ever handed down by any group or judge anywhere. I’m shocked that it’s really come to this. OK, the story is this: The European Commission (EC), whoever they are and whose real purpose and power is questionable, handed down a ruling that stated that Microsoft has to give Windows users in Europe a browser choice. And, the fact that they didn’t in Windows 7 Service Pack 1, means that Mozilla lost millions of downloads of its Firefox browser. Mozilla estimates that loss in the range of six to nine million downloads during the non-compliance timeframe.

  • Education

    • Hampshire College distributes free software bundle to all incoming students

      Hampshire student and FSF campaigns organizer Kira shares the success of their ambitious project to help fellow students get started with free software. The achievements of Kira’s organization, LibrePlanet/Students for Free Culture, is exciting and replicable outside of Hampshire. Kira provides suggestions to help other students realize the same changes at their schools.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GCC 4.8 Compiler Development Is Over

      Recently I reported that GCC 4.8 was nearing the end of stage one development — the period during which features and new development work can be merged — and will be moving to stage three. As of this morning, GCC 4.8 / the trunk code-base is now into this next stage where only bug-fixes and new ports not requiring changes to other parts of the compiler can be made. New functionality/features are not allowed during this period that will last for approximately two months until the official release happens.

    • LibreWRT: What we use for wifi at the FSF

      I would like to take a few moments to introduce Buffalo, the access point and router which provides network connectivity to portable computers in the FSF’s office.

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • UK Government finalizes Open Standards Principles: The Bigger Picture

      Last week, the UK Cabinet Office released its Open Standards Principles: For software interoperability, data and document formats in government IT specifications. It became effective November 1, 2012, and applies to IT specifications for software interoperability, data, and document formats for all services delivered by, or on behalf of, central government departments, their agencies, non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs), and any other bodies for which they are responsible.

      For the open source community and advocates of open standards, the UK’s Open Standards Principles policy is a welcome and positive development. It follows a lengthy, and often tumultuous, consultative process that began in 2011.

Leftovers

  • Looking Past Search

    Can we make search organic again? Or should we look past search completely?

    Searching has become shopping, whether we like it or not. That’s the assumption behind the results, and behind recent changes, at least to Google’s search features and algorithms. I’m sure this isn’t what Google thinks, even though it is a commercial enterprise and makes most of its money from advertising—especially on searches. Credit where due: from the moment it started adding advertising to search results, Google has been careful to distinguish between paid results and what have come to be called “organic”.

  • Science

    • Why Conservatives Turned Against Science

      A prediction: When all the votes have been counted and the reams of polling data have been crunched, analyzed, and spun, this will be clear: Few scientists will have voted for Republican candidates, particularly for national office. Survey data taken from 1974 through 2010 and analyzed by Gordon Gauchat in the American Sociological Review confirm that most American scientists are not conservatives.

  • Hardware

    • ARM, Imagination Technologies Take Over MIPS

      MIPS Technologies has announced today that their patent portfolio is being bought out by a company largely backed by ARM while Imagination Technologies will be taking over the MIPS company.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Iran Sanctions Take Unexpected Toll on Medical Imports

      Sitting on one of the many crowded benches in the waiting room of the International Red Crescent’s pharmacy in central Tehran, Ali, 26, was working his phone. After nearly six weeks of chasing down batches of Herceptin, an American-made cancer medicine, Ali, an engineer, was wearing out his welcome with friends and relatives in other Iranian cities, who had done all they could to rustle up the increasingly elusive drug.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Human Rights Defender Brutally Attacked by Moroccan Police

      Washington) RFK Human Rights Laureate Aminatou Haidar is the latest victim of systemic violence and police brutality by the Moroccan government against the Sahrawi people. The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights (RFK Center) has received multiple reports in the last week that indicate dramatically increased police presence, repression, and assault against civilians in El Ayun, the of capital of Moroccan-controlled Western Sahara, coinciding with Ambassador Christopher Ross’s arrival in the area.

    • Israeli soldiers arrest son of detained Palestinian activist at West Bank protest

      The 16-year-old son of Bassem Tamimi, a detained Palestinian rights activist in the occupied West Bank, was himself arrested by Israeli soldiers today during the regular weekly protest against the encroachment of Israeli settlers onto Palestinian land.

      Wa’ed Tamimi was arrested along with four activists during the demonstration on Friday afternoon in the West Bank village of al-Nabi Saleh, 21km northwest of Ramallah.

    • The Kafkaesque World of the No-Fly List

      Is there a good reason that Long is on the no-fly list? I have no idea. There might be. But what’s outrageous about this, aside from the sheer number of people we’ve placed on the no-fly list over the past decade, is the lack of judicial oversight. Someone has put you on the list, but you don’t know who. There’s presumably a reason for being put on the list, but no one will tell you what it is. There’s a procedure that provides you with a “redress control number,” but it often appears to be meaningless. If you go to court, a judge will tell you it’s a national security issue and there’s nothing to be done about it. It’s a cliche to call this kind of system Kafkaesque, but what other word is there for it?

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Neil Barofsky on the Need to Tackle Banking Reform

      Between President Obama’s ineffectual proposals and Mitt Romney’s loving embrace, bankers have little to fear from either administration, and that leaves the rest of America on perilously thin economic ice. Neil Barofsky, who held the thankless job of special inspector general in charge of policing TARP, the bailout’s Troubled Asset Relief Program, joins Bill to discuss the critical yet unmet need to tackle banking reform and avoid another financial meltdown.

    • Liberals fear grand bargain betrayal if President Obama wins

      Labor unions and liberal interest groups are going all-out for President Barack Obama’s reelection — but they’re just as ready to turn that firepower back on him if he betrays them with a grand bargain.

  • Censorship

    • Media freedom at home and abroad

      I’m shortly off to Baku for the Internet Governance Forum. Azerbaijan is a country with serious issues of media freedom – where journalists regularly face arrest or imprisonment, and the suppression of very basic human rights. While I’m there I’ll be raising a number of concerns about how protection and promotion of human rights.

    • It’s Time to Stop Using the ‘Fire in a Crowded Theater’ Quote

      Ninety-three years ago, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote what is perhaps the most well-known — yet misquoted and misused — phrase in Supreme Court history: “The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic.”

      Without fail, whenever a free speech controversy hits, someone will cite this phrase as proof of limits on the First Amendment. And whatever that controversy may be, “the law”–as some have curiously called it–can be interpreted to suggest that we should err on the side of censorship. Holmes’ quote has become a crutch for every censor in America, yet the quote is wildly misunderstood.

    • Harry Fox Agency Claims Copyright Over Public Domain Work By Johann Strauss

      The Harry Fox Agency (HFA) is the main licensing agency for mechanical licenses (i.e., actual reproductions of recorded works — which is different from things like ASCAP who handle licenses for performances). While it doesn’t get into as many ridiculous copyright scrapes as others, it still has been known to insert itself where it doesn’t belong at times. The latest, courtesy of BoingBoing is that HFA made a copyright claim on a YouTube recording of Thailand’s Youth Orchestra (Siam Sinfonietta) playing the Radetzky March by Johann Strauss. The work is 164 years old and clearly in the public domain. Furthermore, since HFA only covers mechanical licenses, and this is a new performance, not a use of a recorded song that HFA has rights over, the whole thing is completely ridiculous.

    • Oakland chief filtered out Occupy e-mail

      People who’ve e-mailed Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan over the past year about Occupy Oakland probably didn’t get much of a response.

      That’s because he used a spam filter to dismiss messages sent to him with “Occupy Oakland” in the subject line, according to a federal court filing Monday. Same goes for the phrases “stop the excessive police force,” “respect the press pass” or “police brutality.” Instead of landing in his in-box, those messages went straight into his junk mail folder, which he apparently never looked at.

    • Russia’s secret internet blacklist

      The Russian state has created a blacklist of blocked websites and internet addresses – but the list itself is secret.

      It was drawn up following the enactment of a statute called the “law to protect children from information detrimental to their health and development”, which is ostensibly aimed at protecting minors from harmful content.

  • Privacy

    • FTC to apply pressure on Do Not Track

      The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC ) is planning on increasing the pressure of the participants in the W3C standardisation process for the Do Not Track (DNT) header. “If by the end of the year or early next year, we haven’t seen a real Do Not Track option for consumers, I suspect the commission will go back and think about whether we want to endorse legislation” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz talking to Politico.

    • Why Privacy Is the Future of Competition

      Data protection legislation may protect our data locally, but internationally privacy is not just a personal issue, it lies at the heart of ensuring competitive markets.

    • Why We Need New Rights to Privacy

      Thanks to the real state website Zillow, it’s now super easy to profit from your neighbor’s suffering. With a few easy clicks, you can find out “if a homeowner has defaulted on the mortgage and by how much, whether a house has been taken back by the lender, and what a house might sell for in foreclosure,” as the Los Angeles Times recently reported. After using the service, you can stop by the Johnsons’ to make them a low-ball offer, perhaps sweetening the exploitation with a plate of cookies.

  • Civil Rights/Voting

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • End Of Bogus Trademark Lawsuits Over AdWords In Sight

        For years, we’ve pointed to the series of ridiculous trademark lawsuits filed against Google over Adwords, and wondered when it would finally be settled and understood that advertising on a third party site against a competitor’s trademark is just good marketing, not trademark infringement. To bring up an analogy, many of us are used to supermarkets that display coupons near competing products — or where you get handed competing coupons printed out at checkout. This is the exact same concept. It’s perfectly reasonably that if you’re searching for a certain brand name, a competing company may seek to buy clearly marked advertisements that attempt to offer you a better deal. There’s no confusion by the consumer and no “dilution” of the original brand. It’s just good competition. Even more bizarre is the fact that these lawsuits targeted Google, rather than the advertiser directly. After all, Google just provides the platform. If an ad is actually confusing to users, then the only trademark claim would be against the company who actually created the confusing ad, not the platform that hosts it.

    • Copyrights

      • Epic’s ‘Music First’ Approach: Delay Album Release; Drop Band When They Leak It

        Last month, we wrote about how the band Death Grips, an indie sensation who had signed with Epic Records (owned by Sony Music), had decided to release their latest album for free all over the internet, after some sort of dispute with Epic over the release date. The band was already considered one of the top authorized downloaded bands on BitTorrent due to earlier releases it had put online for free itself. However, with Epic trying to take a standard “slow down and wait” approach, the band posted its new album to various file lockers and started tweeting out links, noting that “the label will be hearing the album for the first time with you.”

      • Will Disney Block Star Wars Fan-Made Content?
      • EU backs away from copyright sanctions in Canada trade deal

        Following a meeting of the European Union member states on 5 October, leaked documents have shown this week that the EU plans to back away from criminal sanctions in its copyright agreement with Canada.

        CETA, the Canada-EU trade agreement, is currently being negotiated. It initially included many paragraphs lifted directly from the controversial ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) pact that was shot down spectacularly by the European Parliament earlier this year. ACTA triggered widespread protests from citizens concerned that it would breach their online civil liberties.

      • Kim Dotcom loses new domain in preemptive strike by government
      • Response to the CMS committee inquiry on the creative economy
      • Kink.com Owner Inoculating Against Piracy By Selling The Scarce

        Usually when I have the godly duty of writing about porn on this site, it has to do with a pornographic company acting (shockingly) nefarious. Maybe they’re reaping millions in a judgment over a handful (unintentional innuendo) of films. Or else they’re attacking speech using IP laws to silence critics of their jack-ass-ery. It might be very easy for readers to assume that pornographers as a whole (still unintentional, I swear) would be aligned against the philosophies and economics that we discuss every day. They’re an easily painted “bad guy” for a host of social reasons.

      • Author Explains The Joy Of Helping Russian ‘Pirate’ Translate His Book

        It was about five years ago that we first wrote about best selling author Paulo Coelho revealing that he was eagerly helping create pirate foreign translations of his books, and noting that sales of legitimate copies always seemed to increase whenever he did this — initially pretending to be someone else, under the username “pirate coelho.” The first time this happened was in Russia, where the Russian translation resulted in his books — which had almost no market previously — suddenly shot up into huge sales (from less than 1,000 to over 100,000). While he’s seen similar success stories elsewhere, it really seems like the Russian ebook market is an interesting one to observe.

11.06.12

Links 6/11/2012: OEMs Explore Linux (HP Included), Linux 3.7 RC4 is Out, Red Hat Explores China, GNOME 3.8 Features Outlined

Posted in News Roundup at 11:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • British have invaded nine out of ten countries – so look out Luxembourg

    Britain has invaded all but 22 countries in the world in its long and colourful history, new research has found.

  • Republicans target three Florida Supreme Court justices
  • Trial lawyers who frequent the Supreme Court also financing pro-justices ads

    The three Florida Supreme Court justices had angered lawmakers and voters, embarrassed the high court and faced uncertain futures.

    In 1975, Justices Joseph Boyd, Hal Dekle, and David McCain were accused of giving behind-the-scenes favors to friends and writing opinions to benefit campaign-contributors. Boyd eventually was reprimanded after lawmakers required he take and pass a mental exam. Dekle and McCain resigned before the Florida House of Representatives could impeach them.

  • Why Don’t We Know How Much “Dark Money” Groups Have Spent On the Election?
  • The next president of austerity

    THE PRESIDENTIAL election between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney is incredibly close.

    It’s close in the way you read about every day in the media: Opinion polls show the two candidates are neck and neck, with just days to go. But it’s also close in ways you never hear about–not from the press, nor the candidates, nor their supporters. On important political questions, Obama and Romney stand so close to each other that their similarities outweigh their differences.

  • Koch’s Americans for Prosperity Brings Ann Coulter to Madison in a Last-Minute Push to Stop “Obama’s Failing Agenda”
  • Cops Raid Free Poker Tournament, Because in Florida Gambling Does Not Require Betting

    For years the Nutz Poker League, along with several competitors, has been running free tournaments at bars and restaurants in the Tampa Bay area. It makes money by taking a cut of what players spend on food and drinks. The players accumulate points based on their spending as well as their poker performance and can ultimately win prizes such as vacations, cruises, laptops, cameras, and “various unique poker gifts.”

  • Woman Utterly Pillaged via Airbnb

    What was missing was nearly as disturbing as what was scattered; a Passport, credit card, cash and Emily’s grandmother’s jewelry were missing from the locked, smashed up closet; also missing were an external backup drive containing “my entire life,” and an iPod, camera and old laptop; Ugg boots and a Roots cap. Also creepy was how the vandal emailed her repeatedly during his or her week long stay, “thanking me for being such a great host, for respecting his/her privacy, telling me how much he/she was enjoying my beautiful apartment bathed in sunlight.”

    Emily has been working with the San Francisco police — they reportedly have a suspect — and with her banks and the credit bureaus. She says she hasn’t slept or eaten in days.

  • Do bans on texting while driving actually increase accidents?
  • Hardware

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • UK supreme court says rendition of Pakistani man was unlawful
    • Hillsborough survivors: police bullied us to change evidence
    • Teargas fired at protesters in Kuwait City

      Kuwaiti security forces have fired teargas to disperse a banned demonstration by about 2,000 opposition supporters against new voting rules for parliamentary elections due on 1 December.

      Kuwait, a US ally and member of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, has so far avoided the mass pro-democracy unrest that has toppled rulers in four other Arab countries since last year, but tension has mounted this year in a long-running power struggle between parliament and the government which is dominated by the ruling al-Sabah family.

    • Cop used Taser gun on 10-year-old boy
    • Supreme Court is asked to be skeptical of drug-sniffing dogs

      Aldo the German shepherd and Franky the chocolate Lab are drug-detecting dogs who have been retired to opposite ends of the ultimate retiree state.

      But their work is still being evaluated, and on Wednesday it will be before the Supreme Court. The justices must decide whether man’s best friend is an honest broker as blind to prejudice as Lady Justice, or as prone as the rest of us to a bad day at the office or the ma­nipu­la­tion of our partners.

    • Girl gets a year in jail, 100 lashes for adultery

      The District Court in Jeddah pronounced the verdict on Saturday after the girl confessed that she had a forced sexual intercourse with a man who had offered her a ride. The man, the girl confessed, took her to a rest house, east of Jeddah, where he and four of friends assaulted her all night long.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • Ridiculous: Vietnam Sentences Musicians To Jail For Songs That Protest Government Actions
    • Vietnam Sentences 2 Musicians to Prison Terms on Propaganda Charges

      A court in Vietnam has sentenced two musicians to prison for writing and distributing protest songs, a decision that drew fire from the United States and international human-rights groups, The Associated Press reported. The musicians, Vo Minh Tri and Tran Vu Anh Binh, were convicted on Tuesday of spreading propaganda against the state after a half-day trial in Ho Chi Minh City, a defense lawyer said. Mr. Tri received four years in prison, Mr. Binh six.

    • First Ever ‘Withheld’ Tweet Was Faked By F-Secure Researcher

      According to reports this morning, Twitter has withheld the first Tweet from one of its users on copyright grounds. Normally, disputed Tweets will simply disappear if there is a complaint, but one belonging to F-Secure’s Chief Research Officer Mikko Hypponen has now been replaced with a copyright notice. While Twitter has indeed introduced a welcome policy change that will lead to more transparency, the first ever “withheld” Twitter comment was faked by a rather mischievous F-Secure employee.

    • DMCA Censorship: ‘Revenge Porn’ Site Owner Tries To Censor Criticism With Bogus Takedown Notice

      Now, Craig Brittain, the owner of “revenge porn” site “Is Anybody Down” (whose first skirmishes with Marc Randazza were covered here) is trying to remove posts criticizing his site, his inability to keep his story straight, his likely extortionate “photo takedown service,” and, well, pretty much everything, actually. He’s sent a DMCA notice demanding the removal of three posts at Popehat, claiming that these posts contain copyrighted material.

  • Civil Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Stupid Lawyer Tricks (And How the PTO Could Help Stop Them)

        We’ve seen some absurd trademark threats in recent years, but this one sets the bar at a new low: The Village Voice is suing Yelp for trademark infringement based on Yelp’s creation of various “Best of” lists. Yes, that’s correct, the publisher behind the paper (as well as several other weeklies around the U.S.) has managed to register trademarks in the term “Best of ” in connection with several cities, including San Francisco, Miami, St. Louis and Phoenix. And it now claims that Yelp’s use of those terms infringes those trademarks and deceives consumers.

    • Copyrights

      • Dotcom lawyers move to dismiss charges, again

        Internet millionaire Kim Dotcom’s American lawyers have launched another bid to dismiss charges against his file storage company Megaupload.

        His lawyers today filed documents in the United States Federal Court in Virginia, arguing Megaupload is being denied due process by not having been granted a court hearing, ten months after Dotcom was arrested at his mansion in Auckland.

      • U.S. says Kim DotCom swore not to recreate MegaUpload

        Kim DotCom, the flamboyant founder of the now defunct MegaUpload, made news today by announcing the coming of Mega, a new cloud storage service that is similar to MegaUpload.

      • MPAA: No MegaUpload data access without safeguards

        The Motion Picture Association of America told a federal judge in Virginia today that any decision to allow users of the embattled file locker to access their own files risks “compound[ing] the massive infringing conduct already at issue in this criminal litigation” unless proper safeguards are taken to prevent the further dissemination of illegally copied material. (See the MPAA’s brief embedded below.)

      • DUPLICITY – Copyright parasites stay silent?

        There’s nothing like the smell of duplicity in the morning and maybe that stench is strongest around the annals of the copyright parasites that seek to lobby, legislate and fine, those “evil” people they call “Pirates”.

        Of course over the years there has been much pillaging and plundering, but I’d suggest thats more from the large corporatations selling you second rate entertainment products under the false promises of big budget advertising. ”Piracy” has a nasty habit of exposing the rubbish, whilst highlighting the good stuff (which seems to make healthy profits). So maybe Piracy is responsible for highlighting the poor, low quality products that people dump onto the market? No wonder some people in the industry are scared.

      • How to get your readers to love paywalls

        Okay, maybe “love” is too strong a word, but a new study suggests that newspapers enacting paywalls should emphasize financial need, not profit motives, when announcing them to readers.

        The study, “Paying for What Was Free: Lessons from the New York Times Paywall,” is by Columbia University associate research scientist Jonathan Cook and Indiana University assistant professor Shahzeen Attari. They surveyed 954 New York Times readers shortly after the paper announced, in March 2011, that it would enact a metered paywall, and then again 11 weeks after the paywall was implemented. In the post-paywall survey, participants read one of two “justification” paragraphs, one emphasizing a profit motive and one emphasizing financial need (that paragraph concluded, “if the NY Times does not implement digital subscriptions, the likelihood that it will go bankrupt seems high”).

      • The Public Apparently Isn’t Interested In Sound Economics

        So I hear there’s some sort of election happening this week (have you heard anything about it?). Earlier this year, we wrote about an awesome effort by the folks at NPR’s Planet Money to bring together a group of five different economists, from all over the political spectrum, and see if they could find points that all of them agreed upon. They came up with a list of six things that all of them agreed would be smart ideas for a President to implement — and what was striking about all six was that not a single one of them was anywhere near politically tenable. Every one of them would be argued down immediately.

      • Kim Dotcom now plans to give New Zealand free broadband pipe to US

        On the heels of the announcement of Megaupload’s pending resurrection as Me.ga, Kim Dotcom has come up with a yet another way to promote himself, annoy the US and New Zealand governments, and rally public support in his battle to stop his extradition and end the copyright infringement case against him: he wants to give everyone in New Zealand free broadband service.

      • Slovakia: Protesting SOZA’s Newest Copyright Fees

        Recently, the Slovak Performing and Mechanical Rights Society (SOZA) has once again tried to push the boundaries of what’s acceptable.

      • Biden Takes Part In MPAA Board Meeting; Suggests Studios Tell Paying Customers They’re Thieves

        For all their talk about piracy and yearly losses measured in billions, the big movie studios sure do seem to enjoy smacking their paying customers around with anti-piracy warnings and ads. Consider the poor sucker who actually went out and paid cash money for the latest shiny disc and now has to watch a multitude of eagle-laden logos and horrible analogies parade unskippably across his or her screen before finally being allowed to watch the unskippable trailers before finally being allowed to watch 15 seconds of unskippable animation before they can actually watch the movie they’re now regretting having shelled out actual retail price for.

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