EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS


Links 1/12/2010: Red Hat Buys Makara, Replacement for GNOME-Do (Mono) Noted

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

GNOME bluefish



  • The Top 5 Linux-esque Geek mods
  • 5 Operating Systems Making News This Week

    5 Operating Systems Making News This Week
    A response from Microsoft was that “Attempting to unlock a device could void the warranty, disable phone functionality, interrupt access to Windows Phone 7 services or render the phone permanently unusable.” That sounds worrying, but the Chevronwp7 team moved quickly to reassure potential Windows Phone 7 jailbreakers that Microsoft’s claims are “patently false as we use the same exact procedure the official Phone Registration tool uses.”

  • Desktop

    • Dual Booting Means Something Else in Uruguay

      I came across an article which mentioned Uruguay was distributing dual-booting PCs to students. I was concerned that that other OS would be distributed deliberately to students but no, its XO-Sugar and GNOME dual booting.

    • Dell’s new Vostro V130 – Ultra-Thin Ubuntu Laptop

      Dell have unveiled a new update to their ‘small business’ Vostro laptop line – the super-thin Vostro V130.

      Available pre-installed with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, the Vostro V130 builds on its predesscor the V13, maintaining the slim profile, light weight and full-bodied performance that a netbook is unable to offer.

    • Ubuntu Light’ available to download from Dell

      We haven’t heard much about Ubuntu Light – the simplified ‘instant on’ version of Ubuntu intended for use on dual-boot laptops preinstalled on Windows – since it was announced back at UDS-M in Brussels last May.

    • On Dell PCs, Ubuntu Plus Windows Could Be A Winning Combo

      Of course, Linux-based, lightweight instant-on operating systems–such as Splashtop–have shipped on Windows systems before, and we’ve written about how dual-OS systems have a bright future, including dual-OS tablets. But anytime Dell ships a secondary OS–or an option for a free one–alongside Windows, it’s worth noting due to the sheer distribution volume that Dell has. The folks at Canonical should actively pursue this type of relationship with Dell.

    • Lean & Mean Dell Vostro V130 For Ubuntu Users
    • How to Buy a Computer Preloaded With Ubuntu

      1. System76

      Specializing in Ubuntu-powered laptops, desktops and servers, Colorado-based System76 is particularly notable because its success has just recently prompted it to start serving the United Kingdom as well. With a commitment to the ideals of open source software, System76 aims to help make it easy for consumers, businesses, schools and governments to make the transition to the world of open source software through world-class hardware, software and support. System76 ships to the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

      2. ZaReason

      California-based ZaReason will install a variety of free and open source operating systems on its laptops, desktops and servers, including not just Ubuntu but several of its derivatives along with Debian and Fedora. International shipping is available.

  • Server

    • Leveraging Linux for Supercomputing

      High-performance computing (HPC) applications such as numerical simulation — whether for forecasting, mechanical and structure simulation, or computational chemistry — require a large number of CPUs for processing. To meet these needs, customers must buy a large-scale system that enables parallel processing so that the simulation can be completed in the shortest possible time. Such solutions are available in two forms: scale-up and scale-out.

      Traditionally, scale-up customers have had no choice but to purchase high-cost, proprietary shared-memory symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) systems for HPC needs with proprietary operating systems such as AIX, Solaris, HPUX and others. These SMP systems require significant investment in system-level architecture by computer manufacturers.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Google

    • Who Would Use The Google Chrome Operating System?

      The bottom line is this – if you use a browser today for the majority of the time you are on your computer, then you are already a great fit for the Google Chrome OS. And if you use an Office Suite for the bulk of your work, then you’re also a potential candidate for the OS. But if you work on your computer without a connection then you need to embrace the full OS and the apps that go with it. Because without a pipe to the outside world the Google Chrome OS is just an empty browser – no fun at all.

    • Google has a problem retaining great engineers? Bullcrap.

      Once again, there’s been another story about how Google is having trouble retaining talent. Despite all Eric Schmidt’s attempts to tell folks that Google’s regretted attrition rate has not changed in seven years, this story just doesn’t want to seem to die. (And those stories about Google paying $3.5 million and $7 million to keep an engineer from defecting to Facebook? As far as I know, total bull. I bet it’s something made up by some Facebook recruiter who needed to explain how she let a live prospect get away. :-)

  • Ballnux

    • Continuum phone’s secondary display isn’t much use, says review

      Since January 2010, there have been two major OS builds — Android 2.1 and Android 2.2 — with Android 2.3 on the way soon. Google’s last count had more than 60 handsets running on Android. After this holiday season, that number must be more than 70.

    • T-Mobile G2 security walls come tumbling down, now completely hackable

      This news won’t be as historic as the Berlin Wall tumbling down but for T-Mobile G2 owners, it’s certainly historic. For those unaware, T-Mobile and HTC decided to make the G2′s hardware near impenetrable.

      If one tried to customize the device, it would reboot itself and return to its stock settings. While T-Mobile claimed they did it to prevent devices from bricking, most people have seen it as a major headache.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 2.6.37-rc4

      As suspected, spending most of the week in Japan made some kernel developers break out in gleeful shouts of “let’s send Linus patches when he is jet-lagged, and see if we can confuse him even more than usual”. As a result -rc4 has about twice the commits that -rc3 had.

      Why am I not surprised?

    • More Interesting Benchmarks Are On The Way
    • Linux kernel shows growing mobile influence

      An increasing number of contributions to the open-source Linux kernel are coming from mobile and embedded equipment vendors, according to an annual report about to be released by the Linux Foundation.

    • Holiday Cheers and Credit Card Fears

      Specifically, companies need to address firewalls (PCI-DSS Requirement 1), encrypt transmission of data when sent over public networks (PCI-DSS Requirement 4), and perform regular audits (PCI-DSS Requirement 11).

      All of these are easy to do on Linux. Linux’s native firewall tools (iptables) are well-suited to setting up the kind of configurations you need to be PCI compliant. But, of course, there are plenty of software and hardware solutions available as well.

    • Linux kernel: 13 million lines, over 5 patches per hour
    • Big Business backs Linux

      To be specific, the Linux Foundation found that “over 70% of all [Linux] kernel development is demonstrably done by developers who are being paid for their work.”

    • Linus on branching…

      A few months ago, Linus Torvalds shared some interesting thoughts and concerns regarding the Git branching patterns being used in Kernel development.

      Since learning what Torvalds has to say is always enlightening, I wanted to delve into the points he mentioned, because they align pretty closely with the techniques we recommend with Plastic SCM. Obviously, the points apply to Git, Plastic SCM, and any other SCM with good branching support, too.

    • Kernel Log: Coming in 2.6.37 (Part 1) – Graphics

      The Nouveau driver now supports power management and can address the GeForce 320M, and the code for Intel graphics cores now supports the video units on Sandy Bridge processors, which are due to be released shortly. A number of changes to the Radeon KMS driver should improve its performance.

    • Paid developers power the Linux kernel

      The Linux Foundation is releasing its “Who Writes Linux” analysis, illustrating who crafts the code, the pace of its evolution, and which companies are behind the kernel’s development.

    • Wireless firms playing bigger role in Linux

      With the success of Google’s free Linux-based Android platform, Linux has become a key force in the smartphone software market. Google aims to copy its success in desktop search to the fast-emerging mobile Internet space.

      All top smartphone makers, excluding Nokia and Apple, use Android in their flagship phones.

      Earlier this year Intel and Nokia, the world’s largest smartphone maker by volumes, merged their mobile Linux versions into MeeGo, which has reached consumers through one small tablet manufacturer. But the bigger rollout from Nokia itself is expected next year.

    • Graphics Stack

      • [ubuntu-x] Xserver 1.9 / 1.10 decision

        At UDS we decided to defer deciding between Xserver 1.9 and 1.10 for Natty until the close of the 1.10 merge window, to gauge how dangerous 1.10 is likely to be.

        The merge window closes tomorrow, and there doesn’t seem to be anything particularly flammable. There’s lots of cleanup, the new input stuff that we’ll be getting anyway, and some extra GLX infrastructure which drivers may want to hook into.

      • The Vega State Tracker Gets Cleaned, OpenVG 1.1

        Chia-I Wu, the developer who previously worked on the EGL state tracker, brought Mesa to Android netbooks, and allowed Nouveau to work on Wayland (and now is doing work for LunarG), has some improvements to the Vega state tracker. Namely he has cleaned up this Gallium3D state tracker for Mesa and additionally has a branch containing OpenVG 1.1 support.

        The Vega state tracker implements OpenVG support on the Gallium3D driver architecture but up to this point it’s only implemented the Khronos OpenVG 1.0 specification. With thousands of new lines of code added to the cleaned-up Vega, OpenVG 1.1 is now ready. The new features include mask layer support, text support, and a new color transformation stage.

      • NVIDIA Quietly Uploads New Linux Driver

        This NVIDIA graphics driver is marked as the 260.19.26 beta, but they have yet to officially announce this new release or even provide a change-log.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Kwin + desktop switching – the solution

        I am starting to suspect that I am the only person on the face of the Earth who actually uses this functionality. The metacity patch was rejected, the mutter patch seems to have gone to limbo (not a single developer bothered to reply to the feature request with patch over the last few months), and now it won’t enter kwin too. However, from the experience, the kde developer’s feedback was the best one, and it actually gave me some ideas on how to do this functionality without changing a single line of code within kwin.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • Linux Distribution: Lightweight Portable Security

      The Lightweight Portable Security distribution was created by the Software Protection Initiative under the direction of the Air Force Research Laboratory and the US Department Of Defense. The idea behind it is that government workers can use a CDROM or USB stick to boot into a tamper proof, pristine desktop when using insecure computers such as those available in hotels or a worker’s own home. The environment that it offers should be largely resistant to Internet-borne security threats such as viruses and spyware, particularly when launched from read-only media such as a CDROM. The LPS system does not mount the hard drive of the host machine, so leaves no trace of the user’s activities behind.

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia under the snow

        Finally, first alpha ISOs should be ready in January 2011. The first ISO has been delayed a bit as we want to be sure of starting with clean and rock solid basis.

      • A Mepis User Rooting for Mageia…WHY NOT?

        Today I read something very good: Mageia Alpha 1 will be ready for January, 2011!!!

        At this point some users of other distros may be thinking “so what? My distro is much better anyway!”

    • Red Hat Family

      • 30 Nov 2010: Vulnerability and threat mitigation features in Red Hat Enterprise Linux (Updated)

        Two years ago I published a table of Vulnerability and threat mitigation features in Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora. Now that we’ve released Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, it’s time to update the table. Thanks to Eugene Teo for collating this information.

        Between releases there are lots of changes made to improve security and we’ve not listed everything; just a high-level overview of the things we think are most interesting that help mitigate security risk. We could go into much more detail, breaking out the number of daemons covered by the SELinux default policy, the number of binaries compiled PIE, and so on.

      • Red Hat acquires Makara

        Enterprise open-source software vendor Red Hat has acquired cloud software provider Makara, Red Hat announced Tuesday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

      • Red Hat At $1 Billion

        Based on the run rates of the current quarter, Red Hat will likely reach $1 billion in annual revenue in 2011. Only a handful of companies, probably less than 20 software firms, have ever hit this milestone. Red Hat will be the first open source-focused company to break the billion dollar barrier. Certainly Richard Stallman did not envision this when he created the paradigm of Free Software. Such an event may be more in tune with what Eric Raymond, Tim O’Reilly, and others had in mind when they reframed Free Software as Open Source.

      • Red Hat Accelerates PaaS Strategy with Acquisition of Makara
      • Great Minds Think Alike: How Makara and Red Hat will Open Up the Cloud

        With today’s announcement that Red Hat has acquired Makara, I am thrilled finally to be able to write about why we were excited about this opportunity from the very first time we began discussions with Red Hat.

      • Fedora

        • Usability Fedora vs Windows

          Procedure to get the device running on Fedora (first time usage):

          * Plug in the device on any USB port
          * Enter the PIN in the pop-up
          * Enjoy mobile Internet connection

        • Omega (Dalmation) Release

          Omega is a completely free and open source Linux based operating system and a Fedora remix suitable for desktop and laptop users. It is a installable Live image (1.2 GB) for regular PC (i686 and x86_64 architecture) systems. It has all the features of Fedora and number of additional software including multimedia players and codecs by default. Omega plays any multimedia content (including MP3) or commercial DVD’s out of the box.

          * Simple and effective GNOME Desktop Environment. Other choices available in the repository
          * Plays MP3 and all your multimedia content out of the box.
          * Openoffice.org office suite
          * Extra utilities and games.
          * Xine, Mplayer, vlc and more!
          * Includes the latest updates

        • Fedora 15 — Wallpaper Submissions Open

          With Fedora 14 out of the door we are working on the artwork for Fedora 15 Lovelock. Our first step, as usual, is gathering general artwork concepts. Do you have an idea how could Lovelock wallpaper look like? Feel free to submit concept art on our wiki! The theme is lovelock, let you fantasy run wild.

        • F15 Artwork Supplemental Wallpapers Submissions
        • Red Hat Buys Makara, Adds PaaS to Its Cloud Mix

          Until Makara, Red Hat hasn’t had a cloud offering designed entirely with the cloud in mind, so its presence as a cloud vendor is now a lot stronger. And, until now, no major software vendor has presented this degree of choice in its cloud strategy – something customers regularly cite as important. Will cloud computing be the area where Red Hat finally takes a market leadership position instead of acting as a thorn in the side of Microsoft and VMware?

        • Election Results for FAmSCo, FESCo, and Fedora Board seats
        • Fedora Project announces election results

          The four open FESCo seats were filled by Christoph Wickert, Adam Jackson, Matthew Garreett and Marcela Mašláňová. All seven FAmSCo seats were up for re-election in this cycle. Out of the twelve candidates, Neville A. Cross, Larry Cafiero, Rahul Sundaram, Gerard Braad, Igor Soares, Pierros Papadeas and Caius Chance were all voted to the committee.

    • Debian Family

      • Training Session on Python Packaging

        As part of the Training Sessions initiative organized by the Debian Women project, this week a lesson about Python packaging will be held. The lesson, which is aimed at an intermediate audience, will focus specifically modules and applications packaging and will be held by Piotr Ożarowski who is member of Python Applications Packaging Team and Debian Python Modules Team.

      • DebConf 11 to take place July 24-30, 2011
      • This Week in Debian Episode 10
      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • The State Of Unity In Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha 1

          The first alpha release of Ubuntu 11.04 is set to arrive this Thursday and one of the most prominent changes to be found in Canonical’s April 2011 Linux distribution update is the Unity desktop by default rather than GNOME2 or the GNOME 3.0 Shell on the desktop — up to this point Ubuntu’s Unity had just been used on the Ubuntu Netbook Edition. For those that have yet to try out the latest Ubuntu “Natty Narwhal” packages in preparation for this first alpha release, you are probably curious how far along is this new Unity desktop. Well, fortunately, Canonical’s Rick Spencer who is the Director of Ubuntu Engineering has provided a Unity update.

        • Small but mighty improvements to managing files from the web
        • 10 Alternatives to Default Applications in Ubuntu 10.10

          All the alternative applications and runners-up were chosen to blend well in the GNOME environment, which means all of them (except for Thunderbird) are GTK-based.

        • Screenshots: Desktop Unity in Natty

          Desktop Unity became the default Desktop Environment in Ubuntu 11.04 recently. Though its quite a bit buggy, it does look good!

        • Ubuntu’s Unity interface: What to expect

          Recently, Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu shocked the Ubuntu Linux world when he announced that the next release of the popular Linux, Ubuntu 11.04, would use Unity instead of GNOME as its default desktop interface.

          Why move from pure GNOME to Unity? As Shuttleworth explained to the Ubuntu developers, “Lots of people are already committed to Unity — the community, desktop users, developers, and platform and hardware vendors.” In particular, he noted, “Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) favor Unity. They’re happy to ship it.”

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Welcome aboard Ultimate Edition 2.8 Gamers

            Happy Thanksgiving. Please be forewarned at time of posting Ultimate Edition 2.8 Gamers it is not fully mirrored so expect slower download speeds. Typically it takes 5 hrs or more to mirror across all 31 servers & sorry for the redundant screenshots.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Secure NFC platform supports Android, Linux

      French near field communications (NFC) chip manufacturer Inside Contactless announced an Android- and Linux-ready NFC system-in-package for short-range wireless transactions.

    • Linux e-reader ships with 2450-dpi pen input

      Asus launched its Linux-based Asus Eee Note EA800 (previously Eee Tablet) e-reader, available now available in Taiwan for about $230 and due in the U.S. in 1Q 2011, according to various reports. The Eee Note has an eight-inch, 1024 x 768 monochrome display with Wacom touchscreen technology, permitting 2450 dots per inch (dpi) pen input.

      Asus announced the Eee Note EA800 in June under the name Eee Tablet. In August — while announcing an Android-based Eee Pad EP101TC tablet, said to be due in March 2011 — the company revealed that the Eee Tablet might undergo a name change to Eee Note, and would start selling in October for about $300.

    • Refrigerator features Linux touchscreen computer
    • Panasonic Jungle “doing something very different”

      Announced last month, Jungle will run MMOs and online games on a customised Linux platform.

    • Phones

      • Who Builds Linux? These Days, More and More Mobile Devs

        Typically — and understandably — many Linux committers have come from enterprise-focused IT companies. And those companies, including Oracle, Intel and IBM, still rank high on the list of Linux supporters.

        However, this year, the Linux kernel is also seeing a lot of support from companies (and developers embedded at companies) in the mobile page, including TI, Analog Devices, Qualcomm, Nokia and others.

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • MeeGo conference: Intel’s and Nokia’s visions of MeeGo

          We are just at the beginning of a massive change in the way we use computers, and traditional desktops and laptops will be giving way to more and more internet-connected devices—that’s the vision presented in two keynotes at the first ever MeeGo conference. But in order for that vision to come about, there needs to be an open environment, where both [Aviva Stadium] hardware and software developers can create new devices and applications, without the innovation being controlled—often stifled—by a single vendor’s wishes. Doug Fisher, Intel’s VP of the Software and Services Group, and Nokia’s Alberto Torres, Executive VP for MeeGo Computers, took different approaches to delivering that message, but their talks were promoting the same theme.

      • Android

        • Winamp for Android beta with SHOUTcast integration and improved UI released

          For the most part, the SHOUTcast experience hasn’t changed much since I looked at an alpha build a couple of weeks ago. It’s a bit prettier, and it’s now a lot easier to Favorite a station. Most importantly, SHOUTcast integration just works — you search by genre, or keyword, and start listening to music within seconds.

    • Tablets

      • iPad alternatives: the ultimate Android tablet round-up

        Archos 101 Internet Tablet


        Another Android 2.2 device, which is good, especially at this price point. More expensive tablets have opted for Android 1.6 instead, so Archos deserves credit for going the extra Android mile as slate slash touch computing is more enjoyable, if not perfect, with the later OS version.

      • Archos releases Android 2.2 update for its Archos 101 Internet Tablet

        This’ll take you by surprise. The recently-released Archos 101 Internet Tablet, which Archos promised would receive an official update to Android 2.2 soon after launch, has indeed received it’s “FroYo” update. Very soon after launch. Well done, Archos.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Life after Google Summer of Code

    My name is Oscar Castañeda, I am a student from Guatemala currently doing a master’s in Computer Science at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in The Netherlands. For the 2010 Google Summer of Code I completed a project with the Google Open Source Programs Office as my mentoring organization and professor Michel van Eeten (TUDelft) and Nitin Bhide (Founder SVNPlot) as my project mentors.

  • Lightworks Video Editor Open Sourced

    Lightworks, a professional non-linear video editor, is now available as open source. Their website hasn’t been fully updated yet, so I can’t say under exactly *which* license is has been released. Lightworks is Windows-only at the moment.

  • 2010′s 5 biggest Linux and open-source stories

    For a while there, Canonical, Ubuntu Linux’s parent company, was focusing on the server and the cloud. Ubuntu would love to give RHEL some competition, but the backers of this popular Linux distribution have also refocused on the desktop with the introduction of Unity as its primary desktop interface.

    I’m excited by this development. I think Unity, which will also be Ubuntu’s gateway into smartphones and tablets, will make a great way for users who don’t know Linux to finally start using Linux. Unity may never be my favorite interface, but I’m an old guy who remembers the first interface wars as being between the Bourne shell and the C shell, not this new-fangled GNOME vs. KDE stuff. For people who don’t care about Linux internals and never will, Unity may be just the desktop they need.

  • 3 Open Source Design Apps: The Pro, the Novice and the Trainee

    The advantages of open source software really become evident when it comes to using design applications. This category of software is one that not everyone needs — that is, unless you need software to help you create illustrations for Web design or print publication projects.

  • Events

    • Public administrations and open source software

      A conference on the use of free and open source software in Europe’s public administration, is organised by Fundeceyt, a foundation for the development of science and technology in the Spanish region of Extremadura, on December 1 and 2.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Add-ons Manager Test Day
      • AskUbuntu firefox Add-on
      • Mozilla exec tells Microsoft, Google and Apple to ‘stop being evil’

        A representative of Firefox web browser developer Mozilla, has criticised computing giants for ‘unwanted plug-ins’ installed by the companies into the Firefox browser.

        “Why do they think this is okay?” asks Asa Dotzler, famously outspoken Mozilla director of Community Development in a blog entry referring to the practice of installing plug-ins to Firefox when installing software from Apple, Microsoft, Google and ‘others’.

      • Welcome to Browser War III, Brought To You By Open Source

        The shots are really flying in Browser War III, the mother of all browser wars. In this version of the browser war, open source is playing the part of the arms dealer, giving all of the combatants the ammunition to fight. The latest combatant is Flock, which today announced its long anticipated v.3.5. With this release Flock is offering a “socially aware” browser that is built on the open source Chromium platform. Prior to this Flock was built on top of the open source Mozilla.

        With this release Flock is making no bones about who it considers its primary competition, RockMelt. I wrote about my early impressions of RockMelt a week or two back. I was not all that impressed then and in using it since, am still not. I find the window that pops up when searching all but useless. I almost always just click to open search in a tab. I never initiate a chat with all of the people on the right edge and go to the facebook, twitter and the other pages themselves, rather than use the left edge pop ups. The latest update has an endless stream of little pop ups telling me every new tweet and facebook post that my friends put up. With well over 500 on both facebook and twitter, you can imagine how annoying this could be. I have now shut that down. But I digress.

      • Flock Social Browser Declares War on RockMelt With Version 3.5

        Flock, the self-described “social web browser,” is responding to the launch of RockMelt with the release of Flock 3.5, which boasts greater speed and added functionality.

        The browser touts social integration, primarily through a sidebar that lets users update their FacebookFacebookFacebook, TwitterTwitterTwitter and LinkedInLinkedInLinkedIn statuses. It also has a multitude of link-sharing features, the ability to group friends across multiple services and a “Social Search” feature that displays what a user’s friends are saying about a specific query.

      • Firefox 4 beta 8 slated for Dec 7

        Firefox 4 Beta 8 is now slated for availability on December 7.

        Beta 8 was tentatively scheduled for release Nov 30th but the team continues to fix blockers, nail down security holes and synchronization issues.

        The open source browser team plans at least two more beta releases before making available a release candidate. Firefox 4 is not expected to be available until the first quarter of 2011.

  • Blender

    • Create an Underwater Scene
    • Blender: No Maya. No RAM.

      To achieve that figure of USD 46.6 billion and USD 32 billion, India needs tens of thousands of Blender-driven start-ups and professionals. Everyone can blend. Engineering students can enlist for Google Summer of Code or similar projects to further develop Blender’s features.

  • Databases

    • CUBRID 3.1 Beta: New Data Types. New Functions

      We are proud to announce the beta release for CUBRID 3.1! Even thought this is beta, it is very close to production level. Starting from CUBRID 3.x release we changed our Release Model. Now on for every release we will have one beta, then the production version. We decided so because the pace of new features introduction or performance enhancements in CUBRID is relatively high. So we want users to test out the new features during the beta releases, and report issues if found. However, each beta release will undergo the same quality assurance test environment as the next stable version will do. So, practically, beta is a stable release with a beta label. This is to ensure that once the stable version is out, the release is really stable. This is about the new CUBRID Release Model.

    • CUBRID vs. MySQL vs. PostgreSQL Release Period Comparison
    • MySQL vs. PostgreSQL, Part 1: Table Organization

      I’m going to be starting an occasional series of blog postings comparing MySQL’s architecture to PostgreSQL’s architecture. Regular readers of this blog will already be aware that I know PostgreSQL far better than MySQL, having last used MySQL a very long time ago when both products were far less mature than they are today. So, my discussion of how PostgreSQL works will be based on first-hand knowledge, but discussion of how MySQL works will be based on research and – insofar as I’m can make it happen – discussion with people who know it better than I do. (Note: If you’re a person who knows MySQL better than I do and would like to help me avoid making stupid mistakes, drop me an email.)

    • Back Up a MySQL Database Using PHP and Cron Job
  • Oracle

    • Who’s driving this thing?

      The Monday morning prior to the planned switchover to GitHub, Oracle Senior VP of Tools and Middleware Ted Farrell sent a message to the users list expressing concerns he had regarding the migration of the Hudson codebase from Java.net to GitHub:

      Oracle’s goal is to grow the community and make hudson stronger. You all might not be aware of this, but the actual hudson user base is very large. Much bigger than what you see on the mailing lists or in the forums. The unfortunate part of that is how many of these users do not contribute to the core, and do not participate in these discussions. They want to do that, but don’t feel like they can be heard. We want them to be heard. We need to make the hudson community a place that will welcome all the hudson users and encourage its growth and longevity. We will be announcing some changes in the upcoming weeks that we believe will foster that.

      For now, however, we are going to stay on the java.net infrastructure. We believe it is important for hudson to stay connected with the rest of the the java community, as well as take advantage of some of the cool changes we will have coming to java.net. Moving to GIT can be done while staying on java.net. It is not a requirement to move to github.

      Because it is open source, we can’t stop anybody from forking it. We do however own the trademark to the name so you cannot use the name outside of the core community. We acquired that as part of Sun. We hope that everyone working on hudson today will do as they claim to want, and work with us to make hudson stronger.

  • CMS

    • Windows Live Spaces Doubles WordPress.com Signups

      Two months ago, we announced together with our friends at Windows Live that bloggers on the Windows Live Spaces service were being offered the opportunity to move their existing blogs over here to WordPress.com to join the best blogging community on the planet.

      Since then, we’ve seen an explosion in the number of sites joining WordPress.com every day. With the addition of Windows Live Spaces sites moving to WordPress.com, Windows Live users who are new to blogging coming here, and word-of-mouth from our current and very passionate users, the number of people joining WordPress.com has doubled to over 900,000 per month (up from around 400,000 per month before the migration). We’re thrilled to see this explosion and to be introducing so many people to publishing with WordPress. With the recent releases of many new features and several new themes, and more of each on the way, it’s a great time to be on WordPress.com.

    • Garmin using Drupal

      Garmin, the satellite navigation company, is using Drupal for their Danish site: http://garmin.dk.

  • Education

    • Startl $25,000 Prize for Open Educational Resources – Deadline December 10, 2010

      In partnership with the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Graduate School of Education at University of Pennsylvania, Startl will announce the winner this spring during the Milken PennGSE Education Business Plan Competition. The Startl Prize for Open Educational Resources awards the best business plan that leverages openly licensed content to change the paradigm around the production, delivery, sharing, and experience of learning. The intention is to catalyze models that increase access to and dramatically lower the cost of learning. Startl is seeking to inspire entrepreneurs to think creatively about how to incorporate open principles into their core business strategy.


    • GRUB2 gfxmenu theming guide

      BURG. That fancy themeable bootloader we chant about at least once a month, ever growing in popularity and continuing to rack up new themes by the week.

      It’s easily one of the most popular ‘hacks’ for the more-experienced user to apply.

    • The Emacs 30 Day Challenge

      As you may already know, emacs is more than a (cross-platform) text editor. Some say that it is like a whole operating system (and some devil worshippers say that it lacks a good text editor…). For the next 30 days (starting December 1, 2010) I’ll check it as well as I can. I will work just with emacs.

  • Government

    • Norwegian Regions and Municipalities Have Gone Open Source

      Norway is becoming a real open source country. With all nineteen county administrations using some form of open source — from operating systems, to content management systems, to the Open Office package, open source has certainly hit the Norwegian market.

      Open source has been in a fairly mature state for a while now, providing enterprises with the ability to deal with even the most critical tasks. So it’s not surprising that the Norwegian government has chosen open software.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Crowdsource Is Not Open Source

      I’ve heard a few conversations in the last week treating open source interchangeably with crowdsourcing. Despite sounding the same they are very different, and the key difference is the ownership of the outcome.

    • archive.org Art History 2

      More art catalogues and price lists available for download on archive.org.

    • Open Data

      • Interested in open government data in Europe?

        As you may know the OKF is working on an EU funded project called LOD2. Part of the project aims to bring together openly licensed, machine-readable datasets from local, regional and national public bodies throughout Europe. It will also provide free/open source tools and services for those interested in reusing open government data.

    • Open Hardware

      • Using the Canon Hack Development Kit

        Such thoughts motivated an anonymous programmer going by the online name VitalyB to reverse engineer the firmware for Canon’s PowerShot series of digital point-and-shoot cameras. With hacker-level control, he could do things the engineers at Canon had never thought of. In 2007, he made public the fruits of his labor: the Canon Hack Development Kit, or CHDK, which Andrei Gratchev, a programmer working for eASIC Corp., of Santa Clara, Calif., and other developers have since broadened. Now you can find a version for just about any one of the Canon PowerShot series.


  • Google, Groupon and calling Technology Bubbles

    This morning we learn that Google is apparently going to pay $6 billion for an online coupon company, Groupon (or is it $5.3bn – there is a $0.7bn earnout, not clear if its part of the $5.3bn or not). In the Real World, these are basically shoe-leather sweatware businesses and typically trade at about 1x revenue or thereabouts, but this is a 10x price at least (Groupon “self reports” monthly revenues of $50m, and I’m betting that it’s not being conservative).

  • MySpace Is for Sale; Could Google Buy?

    Who would buy MySpace? When News Corp. bought the social network for $580 million five years ago, it was on top; now MySpace trails Facebook and isn’t trying to catch up. And News Corp is finally talking about selling.

    In an interview with Reuters, News Corp. COO Chase Carey said Rupert Murdoch’s media conglomerate was open to selling MySpace or taking on a new partner. Carey couched the possibility of a sale as just one of many options, but his comment followed months of rumors about MySpace going on the block. Chase also said that the timing for a sale has improved greatly now that MySpace is done with its relaunch, which positioned the site as a multimedia hub rather than a direct Facebook competitor.

  • Father of British computing Sir Maurice Wilkes dies
  • BitTorrent Based DNS To Counter US Domain Seizures

    The domain seizures by the United States authorities in recent days and upcoming legislation that could make similar takeovers even easier in the future, have inspired a group of enthusiasts to come up with a new, decentralized and BitTorrent-powered DNS system. This system will exchange DNS information through peer-to-peer transfers and will work with a new .p2p domain extension.

  • The 2010 ABA Journal Blawg 100
  • ICAN’T

    • Peter Sunde Seconds The Idea Of An Alternative Root DNS

      In October, after the COICA bill was postponed (until now, essentially), I suggested that as long as the internet was bound by a DNS system centralized enough to be gripped at will by the United States government, it was in fact too centralized. An alternative to traditional DNS, currently presided over by ICANN, seems the only option if the current level of freedom of information on the internet is to be maintained.

    • Olympians threaten ICANN with lawsuit

      The International Olympic Committee is threatening to sue the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers if they don’t receive protection for IOC trademarks in ICANN’s upcoming revisions to its generic top-level domains (gTLD) guidelines.

    • Alternative Roots

      We’ll assume that if you found ICANN Wiki, you likely understand what a domain name and DNS is and have an understanding of what root servers are.

      For those who would desire a quick refresher, DNS is a hierarchical system designed to, among other things, allow us humans to use text strings to access content or services by converting those strings as shorthand for the IP addresses (instead of having to learn or memorize numbers) on the global information network. (Grossly oversimplified)

  • Health/Nutrition

    • UN rates Dominica #1 in Caribbean healthcare

      The World Health Organization (WHO) has carried out the first ever analysis of the world’s health systems, rating Dominica no. 1 in Caribbean healthcare.

      The WHO used five performance indicators to measure health systems in 191 member states, finding that France provides the best overall healthcare followed by Italy, Spain, Oman, Austria and Japan.

    • Factory Farms Decreasing in Number, But Increasing in Size: 20 Percent Growth in 5 Years

      Despite small but significant signs that the country wants to move in a different direction, factory farms across the country are growing at an unprecedented rate—not in number, but in size.

  • Security

    • Savannah.gnu.org compromised
    • Tuesday’s security updates
    • Cryptographers crack system for verifying digital images

      Cryptographers have cracked software used to verify that images taken with Canon cameras haven’t been altered.

      Russian password-cracking company ElcomSoft said on Tuesday that it’s able to extract the original signing key from the Canon Original Data Security Kit and use it to validate fake photos. Canon has billed the service as a way to verify the originality of an image and to confirm that global positioning coordinates, data, time, and other metadata hasn’t been changed.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Gary McKinnon needs coalition to stand up to US bullying

      WikiLeaks cable shows the US rebuffed a sensible solution in the case of the harmless computer hacker

    • Wikileaks – Pride and Prejudice

      While the newest wave of documents leaks out through media, I thought I would look more at the last batch. A torrent took only a few minutes to bring in the goods and I left the torrent run to give back some bandwidth. The previous “war logs”, redacted heavily, are

      * as CSV spreadsheet
      * as SQL

      If you are not familiar with MySQL, I will give a summary of what is required to use the SQL version. The spreadsheet is huge and needs lots of space. For the SQL version, you need a server or PC running MySQL or other SQL database.

    • Iranian nuclear scientist killed in bomb attack
    • Wikileaks moves to Amazon’s cloud to evade massive DDoS

      Controversial information disclosure site Wikileaks reportedly faced an intense distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack this morning. The site was temporarily disrupted by the onslaught, but is functioning again after migrating its services to Amazon’s cloud.

      Wikileaks recently published thousands of confidential diplomatic cables that were sent between the US State Department and embassies around the world. The leaked documents shed light on US intelligence gathering efforts and reveal sensitive information pertaining to US foreign relations. The disclosure of the cables has proved embarrassing for the US and a number of other governments.

    • While TSA Looks At You Naked, Child Finds Loaded Gun Magazine Left On Southwest Plane

      Another day, another series of bizarre TSA-related stories. While the TSA still won’t provide any evidence that its efforts have actually made air travel any safer and continues to defend its security efforts as necessary, CNN is reporting that a child on a Southwest flight found a loaded gun magazine in a seatback pocket, which was kicked to the floor as the child climbed over the seats. Apparently, a law enforcement official (not an air marshal) who was allowed to take the clip on the plane, left it in the seat.

    • TSA uproar moves to Capitol Hill

      The briefing came as a new Washington Post poll shows that half the American public opposes the controversial enhanced pat-downs, the paper reported Monday. The poll also showed that almost two thirds of Americans – down from 80 percent earlier this month according to another poll the administration has widely cited to defend the policy — support the use of digital scanning machines at airports

    • Getting your “baggage” handled by the TSA? Yeah, there’s a badge for that
    • TSA’s Failure Based On The Myth Of Perfect Security

      Along those lines, the Unqualified Offerings blog (via Julian Sanchez) does a nice job explaining how the incentives line up to create this ridiculous situation. Basically, he notes that a terrorist attack on an airplane will happen. Some day. No matter what we do to try to prevent it.

    • Just Because ‘National Opt-Out Day’ Didn’t Do Much, Does It Mean People Don’t Care About TSA Searches?
    • Torture Tort Terror

      Obama uses national security as a cover for violating people’s rights.

    • Menstruating woman subjected to TSA grope because panty-liner obscured her vulva on pornoscanner

      A self-described “rule follower” went through an airport pornoscanner wearing a panty-liner (she was menstruating). Because the hygienic item obscured the screener’s view of her vagina vulva, she was made to endure a humiliating fondling, “so invasive that I was left crying and dealing with memories that I thought had been dealt with years ago of prior sexual assaults.”

    • US says leaks are a crime, threatens prosecution

      Striking back, the Obama administration branded the WikiLeaks release of more than a quarter-million sensitive files an attack on the United States Monday and raised the prospect of criminal prosecutions in connection with the exposure. The Pentagon detailed new security safeguards, including restraints on small computer flash drives, to make it harder for any one person to copy and reveal so many secrets.

    • China: “Hang the Slaves of the West”

      Most of the listed “Slaves of the West” are political liberals and human right activists. On the screen capture below you can see profile pictures of human rights lawyer, Teng Biao, citizen right activist Xu Zhiyong, political science scholar Qin Hui, prominent writer Yu Jie, and Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo.

    • WikiLeaks cables: US spurned Gary McKinnon plea from Gordon Brown
    • A few questions about the WikiLeaks release

      Once again, WikiLeaks has thrown governments and journalists into a maelstrom of fear, uncertainty and doubt. It’ll be weeks, if not longer, before we know the full scope of the diplomatic cables, but a few things are already clear enough.

      What we know is being covered relentlessly here and across the Web. It’s what we don’t know that I’d like to note. So, here are some questions, many of which prompted by tweets and commentary elsewhere, for the major players in this drama.

    • US lawyers look at criminal law in WikiLeaks probe

      A senior defense official says lawyers from across government agencies are studying whether it might be possible to prosecute WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange under the Espionage Act.

    • Harper advisor calls for assassination of Wikileaks director
    • In defence of WikiLeaks

      In this morning’s post, my worldly co-blogger characterises the content of the tens of thousands classified diplomatic cables as mere “gossip”, and maintains “that grabbing as many diplomatic cables as you can get your hands on and making them public is not a socially worthy activity”. I strongly disagree.

      Greg Mitchell’s catalogue of reactions to the leaked cables is a trove of substantive information. For example, drawing on the documents made available by WikiLeaks, the ACLU reports that the Bush administration “pressured Germany not to prosecute CIA officers responsible for the kidnapping, extraordinary rendition and torture of German national Khaled El-Masri”, a terrorism suspect dumped in Albania once the CIA determined it had nabbed a nobody. I consider kidnapping and torture serious crimes, and I think it’s interesting indeed if the United States government applied pressure to foreign governments to ensure complicity in the cover-up of it agents’ abuses. In any case, I don’t consider this gossip.

    • WikiLeaks row: China wants Korean reunification, officials confirm

      China supports the “independent and peaceful reunification of the Korean peninsula in the long term” and cannot afford to give the North Korean regime the impression it has a blank cheque to act any way it wants, Chinese officials based in Europe said today.

    • WikiLeaks US embassy cables: live updates
    • Prince Andrew Not Solely Despicable

      The problem with the wikileaks method of releasing the documents through mainstream media outlets, is that they are then interpreted for the public by a lazy and incompetent group of “Journalists” whose arses have grown plump on the rewards of retailing spoonfed propaganda.

      So the mainstream missed the underlying stories and context, simply because they are too lazy and stupid to know the facts. The Prince Andrew story is a typical example. The Guardian reports that the US Ambassador disapprovingly notes his jolly (and stupid) remarks about corruption:

      “In an astonishing display of candour in a public hotel where the brunch was taking place, all of the businessmen then chorused that nothing gets done in Kyrgyzstan if President [Kurmanbek] Bakiyev’s son Maxim does not get ‘his cut’.

    • Hillary Clinton questions Cristina Kirchner’s mental health
    • US embassy cables culprit should be executed, says Mike Huckabee

      The Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee has called for whoever leaked the 250,000 US diplomatic cables to be executed.

  • Big Brother Watch Report – The Cost of CCTV: £314 million

    The authorities that spent the most on CCTV during the 2007 to 2010 period are:

    1. Birmingham (£10,476,874.00)
    2. Sandwell (£5,355,744.00)
    3. Leeds (£3,839,675.00)
    4. City of Edinburgh (£3,600,560.00)
    5. Hounslow (£3,573,186.45)
    6. Lambeth (£3,431,301.00)
    7. Manchester (£3,347,310.00)
    8. Enfield (£3,141,295.00)
    9. Barnet (£3,119,020.00)
    10. Barking and Dagenham (£3,090,000.00)

  • Homeland Security’s Domain Name Seizure May Stretch The Law Past The Breaking Point

    We had a bunch of questions concerning the legality of Homeland Security’s seizure of domain names via its Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) group. The whole thing seemed of extremely dubious legality. And it appears we’re not the only ones to think so.

  • Interpol issues arrest notice for WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange

    The international police organization Interpol has issued a Red Notice for the arrest of WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange, in connection with a sex crime investigation in Sweden.

    A Red Notice is a kind of international wanted poster seeking the provisional arrest of a fugitive, with an eye towards extradition to the nation that issued the underlying arrest warrant. Interpol transmits the notices to its 188 member countries, including Britain, where Assange is believed to be located. Interpol has no authority to compel a subject’s arrest. It issued 5,020 Red Notices last year for a variety of crimes.

  • Koreas’ sea border area seen as a recipe for war

    The view from this South Korean island takes in the undulating hills of North Korea just seven miles (11.25 kilometers) away and the seafood-rich waters all around — a region of such economic and strategic importance to both countries that one expert calls it a recipe for war.

    Violence often erupts in this slice of sea claimed by both countries. Boats routinely jostle for position during crab-catching season, and three deadly naval clashes since 1999 have taken a few dozen lives.

  • The moral standards of WikiLeaks critics

    Do you have that principle down? If “a single foreign national is rounded up and put in jail” because of the WikiLeaks disclosure — even a “single one” — then the entire WikiLeaks enterprise is proven to be a “disaster” and “Assange is a criminal” who “should be in jail.” That’s quite a rigorous moral standard. So let’s apply it elsewhere:

    What about the most destructive “anarchic exercise in ‘freedom’” the planet has known for at least a generation: the “human disaster” known as the attack on Iraq, which Klein supported? That didn’t result in the imprisonment of “a single foreign national,” but rather the deaths of more than 100,000 innocent human beings, the displacement of millions more, and the destruction of a country of 26 million people. Are those who supported that “anarchic exercise in ‘freedom’” — or at least those responsible for its execution — also “criminals who should be in jail”?

    How about the multiple journalists and other human beings whom the U.S. Government imprisoned (and continues to imprison) for years without charges — and tortured — including many whom the Government knew were completely innocent, while Klein assured the world that wasn’t happening? How about those responsible for the war in Afghanistan (which Klein supports) with its checkpoint shootings of an “amazing number” of innocent Afghans and civilian slaughtering air strikes, or the use of cluster bombs in Yemen, or the civilian killing drones in Pakistan? Are those responsible for the sky-high corpses of innocent people from these actions also “criminals who should be in jail”?

  • Wikileaks – News and Background

    The Wikileaks phenomenon — the existence of an organization devoted to obtaining and publicly releasing large troves of information the U.S. government would prefer to keep secret — illustrates just how broken our secrecy classification system is. While the Obama administration has made some modest improvements to the rules governing classification of government information, both it and the Bush administration have overclassified and kept secret information that should be subject to public scrutiny and debate. As a result, the American public has had to depend on leaks to the news media and whistleblowers to know what the government is up to.

  • Wikileaks: view of man behind Pentagon Papers leak
  • WikiLeaks Site Kicked Off Amazon’s Servers

    Sen. Joe Leiberman says the move by Amazon.com Inc. comes after congressional staffers called the company Tuesday to inquire about its relationship with WikiLeaks.

    The site, which just released a trove of sensitive U.S. State Department documents, took up residence on Amazon’s self-service Web servers after a rash of Internet-based attacks started Sunday against its Swedish host, Bahnhof.

  • Scary Times (#TSA, #Wikileaks, DNS)

    Let me start out with a disclosure and disclaimer: I am an employee of an agency that is part of the Department of Homeland Security (home of the “rainbow of doom”). I do not speak for them. They do not speak for me. It is fairly typical for management and employees to have differing opinions on the issues that affect them, whether those differences are of degree and emphasis or deep philosophical differences.


    Unless Americans of all stripes wake up and replace the current Democrat / Republican duopoly with a good-sized number of competitive parties, including those that are committed to curtailing these privacy violations, our nation will become more like those seventy to one hundred years ago in Europe. Seeing what the result was, I personally wish to avoid that.

  • TSA harasses mother about breast milk

    TSA agents in Phoenix insisted on x-raying a mother’s breast milk, causing her to miss her flight.

  • TSA scans uniformed pilots, but airside caterers bypass all screening

    Salon’s Patrick “Ask the Pilot” Smith describes the farcical state of airport security, in which uniformed pilots are prohibited from carrying a butter-knife, but airside catering and maintenance crews pass freely in and out of the “sterile” side of the airport without any screening…

  • WikiLeaks cable reveals secret pledge to protect US at Iraq inquiry

    The British government promised to protect America’s interests during the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war, according to a secret cable sent from the US embassy in London.

    Jon Day, the Ministry of Defence’s director general for security policy, told US under-secretary of state Ellen Tauscher that the UK had “put measures in place to protect your interests during the UK inquiry into the causes of the Iraq war”.

    The admission came in the cable sent on 22 September 2009, which recorded a series of high-level meetings between Tauscher and UK defence officials and diplomats, which involved the then foreign secretary, David Miliband.

  • TSA male agents target female travellers (w/poll)

    Up to now, TSA has been saying that only men will do the “enhanced pat downs” on men, and only women will do them on women. They are lying. Rape survivor Celeste was flying out of O’Hare when TSA did this to her

    Since Celeste didn’t agree to go through the scanner, the enhanced pat down began. “He started at one leg and then ran his hand up to my crotch. He cupped and patted my crotch with his palm. Other flyers were watching this happen to me. At that point I closed my eyes and started praying to the Goddess for strength. He also cupped and then squeezed my breasts. That wasn’t the worst part. He touched my face, he touched my hair, stroking me. That’s when I started crying. It was so intimate, so horrible. I feel like I was being raped. There’s no way I can fly again. I can’t do it.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Climate change scientists warn of 4C global temperature rise

      A hellish vision of a world warmed by 4C within a lifetime has been set out by an international team of scientists, who say the agonisingly slow progress of the global climate change talks that restart in Mexico today makes the so-called safe limit of 2C impossible to keep. A 4C rise in the planet’s temperature would see severe droughts across the world and millions of migrants seeking refuge as their food supplies collapse.

    • A climate journey: From the peaks of the Andes to the Amazon’s oilfields

      Last month I went on an extraordinary, epic journey through the Andes mountains of Peru and Ecuador. The aim was to record the stories of the largely hidden people on the frontline of climate change, and see how communities and governments are trying to adapt.

      I began at 16,000ft on the snows of Mount Cayambe in Ecuador where the glaciers are in full retreat, and ended in the oilfields of the Amazon. In between, I came across water conflicts, deserts growing, rivers shrinking, extreme temperatures and diseases spreading, individuals who have seen the snows disappear in their lifetimes and are fearful for their future, and governments seriously worried that they will soon be unable to feed or provide water and power for their populations.

    • Climate change will cost a billion people their homes, says report

      Devastating changes to sea levels, rainfall, water supplies, weather systems and crop yields are increasingly likely before the end of the century, scientists will warn tomorrow.

      A special report, to be released at the start of climate negotiations in Cancún, Mexico, will reveal that up to a billion people face losing their homes in the next 90 years because of failures to agree curbs on carbon emissions.

    • Chilling Photos Show London After Global Warming
    • BP Sued in Ecuadorian Court For Violating Rights of Nature

      A coalition of environmentalists have filed a groundbreaking lawsuit in Ecuador against the oil giant BP for violating Ecuador’s constitution which recognizes “the rights of Nature” across the globe. Plaintiffs include Nnimmo Bassey, the president of Friends of the Earth International and the Indian scientist Vandana Shiva.

  • Finance

    • Ireland bailout: From €1,100 a week to living on the streets of Dublin

      Living in a tent inside an empty underground car park Malcolm Quigley’s fall from full time worker and home owner to destitution personifies the plight of those who have lost out in Ireland’s economic crash.

      The 38-year-old tries to maintain his dignity despite having to shelter beneath an apartment block in south-west Dublin surrounded by discarded rotting food, drink bottles and the detritus of tin foil and used needles from heroin addicts who also use the place to shoot up.

    • A Client Is Not a Counterparty

      Jesse Eisinger put up an interesting piece yesterday at DealBook, reporting on a series of transactions conducted by Goldman Sachs in 2008 and 2010. He uses it to illustrate what he and many other people seem to view as an insoluble dilemma: how to distinguish between market-making by investment banks and proprietary trading. The distinction is an important one, as Mr. Eisinger explains, because the so-called Volcker Rule in the new Dodd-Frank financial regulation regime severely limits investment banks’ proprietary trading and investment activities.


      The first clue comes from the fact that €1.2 billion of the corporate loans underlying the securities in question “came from Goldman’s own balance sheet.” This means one of two things: either Goldman purchased these corporate loans from the original lenders (or secondary market holders) for its own account, or it loaned the money itself to those corporations.

  • PR/Lobbying

    • For the Holidays, an Atheism Billboard

      Among the many advertisements lining I-495 in New Jersey en route to the Lincoln Tunnel is a new one promoting atheism for the holidays rather than another gift.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • U.S. Government Seizes 82 Websites: A Glimpse at the Draconian Future of Copyright Enforcement?

      Over the past few days, the U.S. Justice Department, the Department of Homeland Security and nine U.S. Attorneys’ Offices seized 82 domain names of websites they claim were engaged in the sale and distribution of counterfeit goods and illegal copyrighted works.

    • Chinese activist held over Tiananmen picture

      A Beijing activist was detained on a charge of inciting subversion after posting a photo online of China’s 1989 pro-democracy demonstrations, which the military eventually crushed, killing hundreds of people.

      It is the first time Bai Dongping, 47, has been arrested, although he was taken out of Beijing “on holiday” by police or told to stay inside his home during high-profile events such as the Olympics, his wife, Yang Dan, said today. Bai was taken away on Saturday, Yang said, and Beijing police called her the following day to tell her why.

    • Beyond the Check-In, the Era of Persistent Location Beckons

      Check-ins have given consumers a glimpse of the power of location and the deals they unlock. But there’s another world awaiting as mobile users learn to appreciate the era of “persistent location,” in which a user’s location is passively used to deliver relevant information. That’s the term used by Xtify CEO Josh Rochlin, whose company has built a geo-messaging platform that allows companies and brands to target their customers with location-specific messages.

    • Location, Location, Location: Three Recent Court Controversies on Cell Phone & GPS Tracking (and a Congressional Hearing, Too)

      Welcome to the 21st century, where we all carry tracking devices in our pockets and where one morning you might find an FBI-installed GPS tracking device on your car. In this age of location-based-everything, the legal question of whether or not the government has to get a search warrant based on probable cause before secretly tracking you becomes all the more important. Three recent court developments from across the country — and a Congressional hearing — put a fine point on this key privacy controversy for the mobile era.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Comcast demands fees for Web movie viewing, Level 3 says

      Comcast has demanded that broadband backbone provider Level 3 Communications pay it a recurring fee for delivering video traffic to Comcast customers, Level 3 said Monday.

    • Comcast Comments on Level 3
    • Forget Net Neutrality; Comcast Might Break the Web

      The fight that erupted today between Level 3 and Comcast involves an esoteric agreement between two of the Internet’s big players colliding with a series of equally arcane policy arguments, but at its core this fight is about money. Yet what began as a commercial dispute may end up fundamentally changing how the web works and who pays for it.

    • What The Comcast/Level 3 Fracas Is Really About: Money

      The headlines are pretty rough: Comcast hates Netflix! Net neutrality is dying! Communist forces from Russia and Cuba are attack a small town in Colorado and a ragtag band of high school students band together to fight them (although, arguably, this may have nothing to do with Comcast/Level 3)! But what’s really going on here?

    • Amazon charges Kindle users for free Project Gutenberg e-books

      Kindle readers, take note: You may have been paying for books you could legally download for free–in nearly identical editions–elsewhere.

      The titles in question aren’t just public-domain books that have long been freely available at such sites as Project Gutenberg. They appear to be the exact Gutenberg files, save only for minor formatting adjustments and the removal of that volunteer-run site’s license information.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Don’t Blame ‘Piracy’ For Your Own Failures To Engage

      Can’t compete with free? Then you can’t compete period. Because if all you have to offer is what others can manage to offer for free, then you don’t actually have anything to offer to start with. Thing is, you DO have something to offer… you just don’t seem to want to offer it. Oh, and that last part, about there being no connection between fans and creators? That’s YOUR job, not the fans’. You have to make that connection. We’re not mindless moths, fluttering about the heat of your light, desperate to slam our bodies against the fixture. You connect with us, since you’re doing the selling, not the other way around….

    • Copyrights

      • Nevada court hits copyright troll with Fair Use surprise

        A Nevada judge has given copyright troll Righthaven until mid-December to explain why one of the law firm’s targets wasn’t exercising its right to Fair Use when it republished a newspaper article on its website.

        “The court hereby orders the plaintiff to show cause why this case should not be dismissed under the 17 U.S.C. § 107 Fair Use exception,” US District Judge James C. Mahan of Nevada told Righthaven on November 15. Mahan also issued a “show cause” hearing on the suit for December 15.

      • PC Mag Responds To Legacy Recording Industry’s ‘Complaint’ Letter

        Not a particularly surprising response, but kudos to PC Mag for sticking to its principles, and not feeling bullied by these industry folks.

      • Greg Bear doesn’t want Poul Anderson’s classic stories going in the public domain

        We’ve been sort of excited to see Project Gutenberg putting up so many classic science fiction stories that have gone into the public domain. But at least one writer isn’t thrilled about it — Greg Bear has been involved in a battle with Project Gutenberg over whether stories by Poul Anderson and other authors are in the public domain just because the magazines which published them originally failed to renew the copyright on the stories.

      • The economic impact of consumer copyright exceptions: A literature review
      • Disney head thought Jack Sparrow ruined Pirates of the Caribbean, says Johnny Depp

        Disney bosses were initially dismayed by Johnny Depp’s character in the Pirates of the Caribbean films, the actor has revealed. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Depp recalls the perplexed horror in which studio executives held Captain Jack Sparrow, the pirate loosely based upon Keith Richards.

      • Indoctrinated by copyright

        How do you stop people enjoying their natural liberty to communicate? How do you prevent them telling each other’s stories, singing each other’s songs, engaging in free cultural intercourse?

        How do you end the war against file-sharing? How do you stop immortal corporations persecuting and predating upon the populace?

      • P2P settlement lawyers lied, committed fraud says new lawsuit

        Sending settlement letters to accused Internet movie pirates has become big business in the US this year, but a new class action lawsuit seeks to put the brakes on one of the main “settlement fraud and extortion” outfits: the law firm of Dunlap, Grubb, & Weaver.

        Dunlap, Grubb, & Weaver (DGW) is a Virginia law firm that set up shop last year as the “US Copyright Group,” and it has sued the people behind 16,000 IP addresses for sharing indie films on file-sharing networks. Those accused are given the chance to settle for $1,500 or $2,500 before being sued by name, though to date no such named lawsuits have been filed.

      • The Age of Music Piracy Is Officially Over

        Mark down the date: The age of stealing music via the Internet is officially over. It’s time for everybody to go legit. The reason: We won. And all you audiophiles and copyfighters, you know who fixed our problems? The record labels and online stores we loved to hate.

Clip of the Day

TSA invades House Party

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 30/11/2010: Zeitgeist in KDE, New Gnome Shell Coverage, RHEL 6.0 Benchmarks

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

GNOME bluefish



  • A history of viruses on Linux

    We recently gave you a brief history of viruses on the Mac and as requested by a user we wanted to give you a history of viruses on Linux. Given the tight security integrated into Linux, it is difficult to take advantage of a vulnerability on the computer, but some programmers have found ways around the security measures. There are several free options for anti-virus on Linux that you really should use, even if it isn’t always running – a weekly or monthly scan doesn’t hurt. Free anti-virus solutions include: ClamAV, AVG, Avast and F-Prot.

  • Desktop

    • The good and bad news about Dell and Ubuntu

      In short, from a Windows user’s viewpoint, Ubuntu Light is a feature. I find it really annoying that Dell isn’t just not advertising Ubuntu Light; they’re not even telling their internal staff about it. My friend knew on seeing the Ubuntu Light setup windows appear knew what Ubuntu was and she had some idea what it would be good for. Most users would find it puzzling at best.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Zeitgeist coming to KDE

        The KDE desktop has taken the lead to bring the semantic desktop to users with their KDE 4.0 release. Although it had a rough start back then, IMHO Nepomuk always stood out as a major and remarkable service/technology.

      • GNOME’s Zeitgeist Is Coming To The KDE Desktop
      • Zeitgeist coming to KDE

        The KDE desktop has taken the lead to bring the semantic desktop to users with their KDE 4.0 release. Although it had a rough start back then, IMHO Nepomuk always stood out as a major and remarkable service/technology.

      • How a “Welded-to KDE 3.5 User” Began a Move to KDE 4.4 – Part 2

        In this second part of a two part guest editorial and tutorial Dr. Tony Young (an Australian Mycologist by trade) shares his trials, tribulations, successes and disappointments in working with the new version of KDE. In this installment he configures media players, K3b, Crossover Office, Lucid and Post Script and his final thoughts on his adventures.

      • Last Week in Amarok

        Similar artists applet now shows artist tags from Last.fm, and the full artist biography is shown when the artist image is clicked. It’s very nice to be able to listen to a stream from Last.fm, go to the Artist’s page in Last.fm, or even check out similar artists to any that sound interesting! A great way to Explore Your Music.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.0 Benchmarks

        There’s been a number of individuals and organizations asking us about benchmarks of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.0, which was released earlier this month and we had benchmarked beta versions of RHEL6 in past months. For those interested in benchmarks of Red Hat’s flagship Linux operating system, here are some of our initial benchmarks comparing the official release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.0 to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5, openSUSE, Ubuntu, and Debian.

      • Red Hat to Present Technology Announcement via Webcast on November 30

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that members of the Red Hat executive team will host a press conference that will be broadcast live via webcast on Tuesday, November 30 at 11am ET.

      • Red Hat Closing in to Resistance

        New York, November 29th (TradersHuddle.com) – Shares of Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT) are trading very close to calculated resistance at $43.68 with the current price action closing at just $43.32 placing the stock near levels that make it difficult to buy.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora board election results

          I’m happy to announce the results of our recent round of elections for at-large seats on the Fedora Board, FESCo, and FAmSCo.

    • Debian Family

      • How to find the right Debian packages: high-level search interface

        The Debian archive is known to be one of the largest software collections available in the free software world. With more than 16,000 source packages and 30,000 binary packages, users sometimes have trouble finding packages that are relevant to them.

      • An Invitation to Debian Novice Night – December 1, 2010

        It may be short notice, but if you are new to Linux, interested in Debian and live or work in the New York metro-area, check out Novice Night. It’s coming up this Wednesday. Info below is from Debian-NYC.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu 11.04: Network Manager Finally Gets AppIndicator Support

          Even though there was already work for getting ConnMan in Ubuntu (since 10.10), an update today in Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal brings appindicator support for the Network Manager applet (you can see the changelog here). This is very important since Ubuntu will ditch the notification area soon, therefore the connection manager has to use an indicator applet.

        • Unity – What is it good for? An in-depth review.

          Unity could work, if it meets several important requirements: beauty and functionality.

        • Unity in Natty Evaluation 1

          Today I am finally finding Natty to be usably stable. So long as I stay away from Open Office, it seems to be running quite fine. So, I updated my maverick spider diagram in an attempt to capture where I think Unity is in the journey to being the Ubuntu desktop.

          In this first natty diagram, yellow is the target, blue is maverick, and that orangy color is my subjective assessment of Unity as it is today. You can review the criteria that I chose from assessment in a previous post.

        • Natty: Off To a Great Start!

          A little while back I blogged about the work planned for Natty in the community team. I just wanted to provide a quick status update to summarize progress so far in the cycle.

        • Testing Natty and Unity Safely With a USB Stick

          There is quite the buzz in the community about the new Compiz-driven Unity, and I know many of you are keen to play with it. Of course, do remember that it is incredibly early in the cycle and more things are likely to be broken than fixed as the transition is made. Some of you will be bummed out with the announcement that there will be no Maverick PPA for Unity, but fortunately, it is really easy to try Natty and Unity in a way that won’t involve sacrificing your current stable installation, or even touching your hard drive. You simply install and boot from a USB stick, and I wanted to share how to get this running.

        • LXC: Ubuntu Working to Improve Containers

          I’m not familiar enough with Ubuntu Development to know just how far this might go but at the very least it appears that some Ubuntu developers have identified as a goal to make LXC usable for production stuff and to put it on par with KVM.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Kubuntu 10.10 Review

            A few years back, Ubuntu was my first taste of Linux. As I spent more time using it, I found there were other “flavors” available (namely Kubuntu, Xubuntu, etc) Sharing many things with its big GNOME brother, it felt natural for me to get my first cup of KDE through Kubuntu.

            Unfortunately, back then KDE was going through some major changes (KDE 4.0), which added to the questionable stability of Kubuntu itself made the whole experience frustrating and disappointing. Initially, I thought it could be down to my lack of understanding of KDE, or perhaps that I didn’t install Kubuntu correctly. After reading many forum posts, though, I quickly realized that most people agreed that Kubuntu was not a good implementation of the KDE desktop. The average reply was recommending other alternatives, such as OpenSUSE, Mandriva, PCLinuxOS, etc.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks

      • No silver lining in Chrome OS delays

        Schmidt reiterated at the Web 2.0 conference in November that Android is optimized for devices where touch-screen input rules, while Chrome OS is meant more for devices with traditional keyboards. The last time Google provided a significant update about Chrome OS, Sundar Pichai, the leader of the Chrome OS project, said Google was drawing up specific Netbook hardware requirements for partners that were likely to involve larger screens and keyboards than the industry standard Netbook.

Free Software/Open Source

  • What’s wrong with proprietary IM (ICQ, AIM, YIM, MSN/WLM)

    To conclude, I’d suggest either joining a trusted XMPP server or better yet run your own server. Personally I’m very happy with Gabbler since they promise not to log any data about you and would recommend them (sadly they don’t accept new accounts at the moment). There are quite a few XMPP servers though that provide a smilarly sane privacy policy out there.

  • Migrations From MATLAB to GNU Octave

    If you are interested in converting fellow staff and their students to Octave, remember that it suits an educational environment much better as it encourages sharing and collaborating, not asking for permissions, paying heavy fees/fines, and begging developers to fix bugs rather than have access to the source code, which in turn enables participation. Additionally, most of the basic functions are truly compatible with MATLAB’s and the lack of JIT optimisation, for example, should not matter much in an educational setting. Not many people create MATLAB GUIs either, so there is hardly a need for such advanced functionality. At a later date I hope to make some screencasts about Octave.

  • Open source software more suitable for Oxford

    Open source software is more attractive and better suited to traditional education needs, the IT head of Oxford University has said.

  • Five reasons to be grumpy about 2010

    Last week, at least for those of us in the United States, was time to give thanks. And while I have plenty to give thanks about personally, I can’t say the same thing when it comes to FOSS developments. Looking back on 2010, it’s been kind of a crappy year.

  • An Environment to Test Linux and OpenOffice? What about an Academic Dissertation?

    The members of the tribunal were very satisfied…I ended my degree in Education successfully thanks to Open Source. THANK YOU, LINUX; THANK YOU, OPEN OFFICE!

  • Web Browsers

  • Oracle

    • New: OpenOffice.org 3.3.0 Release Candidate 7 (build OOO330m17) available

      OpenOffice.org 3.3.0 Release Candidate 7 is now available on the download website. Unfortunately, not all Windows builds are complete yet as the remaining still needs to be signed. Please be patient.

    • Time to Move On

      I joined Sun over 20 years ago; since then I’ve worked on many projects, enjoyed Sun’s culture and had a blast during the GlassFish years. The interregnum between the IBM rumor, the Oracle announcement and the Change in Control was way too long, but by February we started integrating the team and the products into Oracle.

    • Moving Java forward through the JCP?

      Mark Reinhold recently pointed out that he, Joe Darcy and Brian Goetz had submitted their OpenJDK work on features for JDK7 and JDK8 to the JCP for standardization. Normally I am somewhat sceptical about the JCP. I don’t believe the JCP fosters a truly open process and discourages Free Software implementations. But Mark, Joe and Brian seem to be proving me wrong. Of course that shouldn’t have surprised me, since they have shown themselves to do everything in the open and actively involve the community in all their OpenJDK work. All their code has been published under the GPL for everyone’s free use.

    • Oracle erects mystery Sparc SuperCluster

      It looks like Oracle chief executive officer Larry Ellison is getting ready to whip out his hardware again and measure it up against wares from IBM and Hewlett-Packard.

      While the United States was getting ready to stuff tens of millions of turkeys last week, Oracle put out a teaser saying that on December 2 it would announce the details of a “New Sparc Solaris Sunrise SuperCluster,” which will sport “world record database performance.”

  • CMS

    • WordPress welcomes Microsoft refugees!

      Of course WordPress gets new users out of this agreement and the blogging service which I think is the definitive choice for blogging on the net will expand with the mass migration of the refugees from Microsoft.

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Manufacturing Contempt through the Commoditization of Practically Everything
    • Summary theses on the emergence of the peer to peer civilization and a new political economy

      1. Our current world system is marked by a profoundly counterproductive logic of social organization:

      a) it is based on a false concept of abundance in the limited material world; it has created a system based on infinite growth, within the confines of finite resources

      b) it is based on a false concept of scarcity in the infinite immaterial world; instead of allowing continuous experimental social innovation, it purposely erects legal and technical barriers to disallow free cooperation through copyright, patents, etc…

    • Open Data

    • Open Access/Content

      • Almost 60% of Wellcome-funded papers in PMC are fully open access

        The Wellcome Trust’s Open Access policy has always made it clear that it considers dissemination costs as legitimate research costs and as such provides grantholders with additional funding, through their institutions, to cover open access charges.

        In view of this I thought it would be interesting to see how many papers, attributed to the Wellcome Trust and available through PMC and UKPMC, were “fully” open access papers, in accordance with the Bethesda Principles.

  • Programming

    • Migrating to Distributed Version Control

      A few weeks ago I migrated two major projects to distributed version control systems (DVCS), leaving only one project in Subversion, the one hosted on Savannah. As you can read in my prior posts, I have resisted switching over to DVCS. However, recently I’ve understood the benefits propounded by DVCS adherents, and I’ve found that it has more features than most tutorials let on.


  • Complaining about information overload in the time of Ecclesiastes
  • Xinhua, NBC forge business partnership in TV news service

    Xinhua News Agency and the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) here Tuesday to establish a multi-level business partnership in the area of international TV news service.

  • 490 – Map of the World’s Countries Rearranged by Population

    What if the world were rearranged so that the inhabitants of the country with the largest population would move to the country with the largest area? And the second-largest population would migrate to the second-largest country, and so on?

  • Picasso’s Electrician Claims to Own Hundreds of Works
  • Science

    • Spanish woman claims ownership of the Sun

      After billions of years the Sun finally has an owner — a woman from Spain’s soggy region of Galicia said Friday she had registered the star at a local notary public as being her property.

    • The mismeasurement of science

      Albert Einstein’s greatest scientific “blunder” (his word) came as a sequel to his greatest scientific achievement. That achievement was his theory of gravity, the general theory of relativity, which he introduced in 1915. Two years later, in 1917, Einstein ran into a problem while trying to apply general relativity to the Universe as a whole. At the time, Einstein believed that on large scales the Universe is static and unchanging. But he realized that general relativity predicts that such a Universe can’t exist: it would spontaneously collapse in on itself. To solve this problem, Einstein modified the equations of general relativity, adding an extra term involving what is called the “cosmological constant”, which, roughly speaking, is a type of pressure which keeps a static Universe from collapsing.

    • CERN … fascinating insight into scientific collaboration

      The end of a busy week. I promised to write about CERN, so here we go (there is a full set of photos of the visit here). CERN is a unique organisation, a truly global corporation where people from all over the world work together on nuclear research. Often they are working together virtually, but often also “on-campus” so to say near the French border outside Geneva. Having seen it now I fully understand why people strive to go there, if only for a few weeks of summer school. It is obviously a defining experience.

    • RNA, obey

      Scientists are one step closer to learning how to program cells the way other people program computers.

      Researchers led by Christina Smolke, a biochemical engineer at Stanford University, report the accomplishment in the Nov. 26 Science.

      Smolke and her colleagues created RNA devices that could rewire cells to sense certain conditions and respond by making particular proteins. Such technology might be harnessed for creating cell-based therapies and cancer-fighting treatments. Someday, scientists might also be able to flip an RNA switch to make plants more tolerant to drought or coax yeast to produce industrial chemicals.

    • science@creativecommons T-shirts now available in the CC store!

      November has been an exciting month for science at Creative Commons. Earlier this month we hosted a Creative Commons Salon in San Francisco on the promises and pitfalls of personalized medicine, which you can now watch online. We met a matching giving challenge by Hindawi, the open access scholarly journal publisher (disciplines from neuroscience to pharmacology), who doubled $3000 in donations to our annual fundraising campaign. We also saw BioMed Central, the world’s largest OA publisher, provide in-kind support for our fundraising campaign.

    • NASA Sets News Conference on Astrobiology Discovery; Science Journal Has Embargoed Details Until 2 p.m. EST On Dec. 2

      NASA will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. EST on Thursday, Dec. 2, to discuss an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life. Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution and future of life in the universe.

    • Ray Kurzweil’s Slippery Futurism

      His stunning prophecies have earned him a reputation as a tech visionary, but many of them don’t look so good on close inspection

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • WikiLeaks: the revolution has begun – and it will be digitised

      Diplomacy has always involved dinners with ruling elites, backroom deals and clandestine meetings. Now, in the digital age, the reports of all those parties and patrician chats can be collected in one enormous database. And once collected in digital form, it becomes very easy for them to be shared.

      Indeed, that is why the Siprnet database – from which these US embassy cables are drawn – was created in the first place. The 9/11 commission had made the remarkable discovery that it wasn’t sharing information that had put the nation’s security at risk; it was not sharing information that was the problem. The lack of co-operation between government agencies, and the hoarding of information by bureaucrats, led to numerous “lost opportunities” to stop the 9/11 attacks. As a result, the commission ordered a restructuring of government and intelligence services to better mimic the web itself. Collaboration and information-sharing was the new ethos. But while millions of government officials and contractors had access to Siprnet, the public did not.

    • Trial to begin December 7th in TSA checkpoint case

      We’re reported before on the arrest of Phillip Mocek just over a year ago at a TSA checkpoint at the airport in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and his prosecution by local authorities on trumped-up criminal charges.

      Now, after several postponements, Phil Mocek’s trial is scheduled to begin with jury selection on Tuesday morning, December 7th, 2010, in Albuquerque. The trial is expected to last 2-3 days. There’s more information here.

      (The trial has been postponed several times, and might be postponed again, but this date appears to be for real, and Mr. Mocek is making firm travel plans — by land, not by air — to be in Albuquerque.)

    • Robert Redford, the Newsmedia and the WikiLeaks’ Cablegate

      WikiLeaks was gifted with a heap of really important information. In order to ensure dissemination, they passed them around to five major news outlets located in 5 different countries. Each were aware the others had the story, so they ALL had no CHOICE but to publish, with or without corporate or government approval.

      In this way, WikiLeaks guaranteed that the story broke and spread.

      UK: The Guardian US embassy cables leak sparks global diplomacy crisis

      SPAIN: El Pais The greater infiltration of history reveals the secrets of American foreign policy (Google translation to English)

      USA: New York Times: Cables Obtained by WikiLeaks Shine Light Into Secret Diplomatic Channels

      FRANCE: LeMonde WikiLeaks: Behind the Scenes of American diplomacy (Google translation to English)

      der Spiegel: Greatest Data Leak in US Military History

    • US embassy cables: The job of the media is not to protect the powerful from embarrassment

      Is it justified? Should a newspaper disclose virtually all a nation’s secret diplomatic communication, illegally downloaded by one of its citizens? The reporting in the Guardian of the first of a selection of 250,000 US state department cables marks a recasting of modern diplomacy. Clearly, there is no longer such a thing as a safe electronic archive, whatever computing’s snake-oil salesmen claim. No organisation can treat digitised communication as confidential. An electronic secret is a contradiction in terms.

    • China directs local media outlets to stop reporting WikiLeaks content China stops WikiLeaks reporting

      While the world’s media are afire with yesterday’s WikiLeaks data release of secret US diplomatic cables, the local media in China are strangely quiet.

      The reason, according to a Twitter update by Al Jazeera English’s correspondent in China, Melissa Chan a short while ago, is that China’s Propaganda Department have directed all domestic media outlets to stop reporting the WikiLeaks content.

    • Can Wikileaks be stopped?

      The entire world seems to be looking at Wikileaks after the release of some of the almost 250,000 diplomatic wires from U.S. embassies and consulates around the world. Endless lines will be written about this, my own view is close to what Simon Jenkins writes in his commentary piece in The Guardian, the media has the right to embarrass the powerful.

    • Why I Will Not Analyze The New WikiLeaks Data

      The latest leak typifies the identity and culture of WikiLeaks and by continuing to analyze new disclosures I am tacitly supporting this, which is something I will not do. WikiLeaks’ motivation is that of a court jester, to mock and ridicule the contradictions of a state. However, they present themselves as a sage with the wisdom to adjudicate the public relevance of all information, which is the greatest contradiction of all.

      To be clear, this is an entirely personal decision, and is not meant to discourage others from endeavoring to glean insight from this new data. The substantive value of the day-to-day machinations of diplomats, however, is dubious at best—even at aggregate.

      Openness of information can lead to great things, not the least of which is the democratization of knowledge in ways never before possible. Shoving private messages into the public sphere without any context or care for the consequences can lead to misunderstanding, fear, and aggression. Unfortunately, WikiLeaks appears to be in the business of promoting the latter.

    • Oregon mosque attended by bomb plot suspect target of apparent arson

      The FBI announced a $10,000 reward Sunday for information leading to the arrest of the person or people responsible for an apparent attack on an Oregon Islamic center that was attended by the man authorities say was behind a foiled bomb plot at a recent Portland Christmas tree lighting.

      A fire appears to have started sometime early Sunday morning at the Salman AlFarisi Islamic Center in Corvallis, Oregon, authorities said. The building suffered some fire and smoke damage.

      Mohamed Osman Mohamud, who was seized in connection with the plan to detonate what he thought was an explosives-laden van at a Portland tree-lighting ceremony Friday night, occasionally attended the center, the mosque’s imam told CNN.

      The blaze – discovered by a police officer who was driving by – was likely set intentionally, said Carla Pusateri, a fire prevention officer with the Corvallis Fire Department.

    • Congressman wants WikiLeaks listed as terrorist group

      The incoming chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee says WikiLeaks should be officially designated as a terrorist organization.

      Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), the panel’s presumptive next head, asked the Obama administration today to “determine whether WikiLeaks could be designated a foreign terrorist organization,” putting the group in the same company as al-Qaeda and Aum Shinrikyo, the Japanese cult that released deadly sarin gas on the Tokyo subway.

    • Wikileaks removed from ACMA blacklist

      No parts of whistleblower website Wikileaks are now on the Australian blacklist of banned websites, according to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

      In March 2009 the ACMA revealed that a number of pages on Wikileaks were put on the blacklist of banned websites because the pages linked to websites on Denmark’s blacklist.

    • Cablegate: Journalists in defence of WikiLeaks [Update 1]

      John Kampfner, The Independent / Index on Censorship: Wikileaks shows up our media for their docility at the feet of authority

      “All governments have a legitimate right to protect national security. This should be a specific, and closely scrutinised, area of policy. Most of our secrecy rules are designed merely to protect politicians and officials from embarrassment. Documents are habitually over-classified for this purpose. The previous government made desperate attempts to stop legal evidence of its collusion in torture from reaching the public. Ministers argued, speciously, that this was to protect the “special intelligence relationship” with Washington. It will be intriguing to see how much information is allowed to be published when Sir Peter Gibson begins his official inquiry. Precedent suggests little grounds for optimism.

    • Wikileaks: the Web Watches and Waits

      It’s also not hard to see US hardliners calling for Wikileaks to be “taken off the Web” by blocking its address (the COICA approach). Of course, that wouldn’t stop people accessing Wikileaks – there are plenty of ways of getting around this. That might then prompt the US to attempt to wipe the address off the official Internet completely, with the support of other governments around the world that are already increasingly unhappy with the threat that Wikileaks poses to their control.

      That collusion is likely to be forthcoming. Indeed, Australia has already put Wikileaks on its own censorship blacklist once – ironically for daring to reveal details of Denmarks’ censorship blacklist. Apparently, though, it is currently off Australia’s (but it will be interesting to see for how long once the revelations from the cables start flowing…)

    • The Guardian gave State Dept. cables to the NY Times

      New York Times editors said Sunday that although the paper’s reporters had been digging through WikiLeaks trove of 250,000 State Department cables for “several weeks,” the online whistleblower wasn’t the source of the documents.

      But if WikiLeaks—which allegedly obtained the cables from a 22-year-old army private—wasn’t the Times source, than who was? Apparently, The Guardian—one of the five newspapers that had an advanced look at the cables—supplied a copy of the cables to The Times.

    • TSA Scanner Proof Underwear Protects Your Privates from Government X-Rays

      A special, lead-free powdered metal is decoratively affixed to men’s boxers or briefs. When TSA screeners try to check your most personal space, the X-ray will reveal a less embarrassing natural shape, a fig leaf. You can pick these up in a “USA Patriot 3 Pack,” one red, one white, one blue for $50. A one pack goes for $18. (Click through the sideshow to see X-ray views.)

    • WikiLeaks degenerates into gossip

      More broadly, though, this release seems to me to mark another step down for the WikiLeaks concept. WikiLeaks’s release of the “Collateral Murder” video last April was a pretty scrupulous affair: an objective record of combat activity which American armed forces had refused to release, with careful backing research on what the video showed. What we got was a window into combat reality, through the sights of a helicopter gunship. You could develop different interpretations of that video depending on your understanding of its context, but it was something important that had actually taken place.

    • China Trying to Plug Wikileak?

      Can the world’s most elaborate censorship system put the clamps on the Internet’s most prolific source of confidential information?

      A day after WikiLeaks began to release a quarter-million diplomatic cables sent from U.S. embassies, propaganda authorities in Beijing appear to be trying to control how much of the content of those cables leaks through to the Chinese public.

    • Wikileaks: US sought DNA, passwords of world leaders

      The big story circulating around the globe is that Arab nations have been urging the US to bear down on Iran.

      “King Hamad pointed to Iran as the source of much of the trouble in both Iraq and Afghanistan,” one November 2009 cable discloses.

      According to the memo, Bahrain’s Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa was speaking to General David Petraeus. “He argued forcefully for taking action to terminate their nuclear program, by whatever means necessary. ‘That program must be stopped,’ he said. ‘The danger of letting it go on is greater than the danger of stopping it.’”

      But the cables are also chock full of intelligence-gathering bombshells.

    • WikiLeaks cables: ‘Rude’ Prince Andrew shocks US ambassador

      Prince Andrew launched a scathing attack on British anticorruption investigators, journalists and the French during an “astonishingly candid” performance at an official engagement that shocked a US diplomat.

      Tatiana Gfoeller, Washington’s ambassador to Kyrgyzstan, recorded in a secret cable that Andrew spoke “cockily” at the brunch with British and Canadian business people, leading a discussion that “verged on the rude”.

    • TSA Terrorize A Disabled 4 Year Old Boy By Removing His Leg Braces, Then Forcing Him To Walk
    • Israeli Government Documents Show Deliberate Policy To Keep Gazans At Near-starvation Levels

      This documents the statement made by a number of Israeli officials that they are “putting the people of Gaza on a diet”.

    • Who is killing Iran’s nuclear scientists?

      Assassins on motorbikes have killed an Iranian nuclear scientist and wounded another in identical attacks this morning. They drove up to the scientists’ cars as they were leaving for work and attached a bomb to each vehicle which detonated seconds later.

      The man who was killed was Majid Shahriari, a member of the engineering faculty at the Shahid Beheshti in Tehran. His wife was wounded. The second attack wounded Fereidoun Abbasi, who is also a professor at Shahid Besheshti University, and his wife.

    • GOP nutbars out over WikiLeaks … and Dems?

      The only life I see in imminent danger is Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, the country’s former president, will probably have Berlusconi whacked in an omerta-style hit now that it’s been revealed we see Silvio as Vlad the Impaler’s sock puppet.

      I can’t wait for the full 250,000 pages to be sorted through and commented on; I “can’t wait” with baited scare quote breath for GOP wingnuts and ball-less Democrats to try to outdo each other in either real or fake hysteria.

      And, given its recent missive, I can’t wait, and “can’t wait,” for The Nation to bury its head further up Obama’s ass by saying the Koch brothers are funding Julian Assange.

    • WikiLeaks re-taunts feds with US Amazon mirrors

      WikiLeaks is hosting its cache of confidential US Statement Department cables on US-based Amazon servers, just as it did with with the classified Iraq War documents it released last month.

    • WikiLeaks US embassy cables: as it happened


      Hillary Clinton and several thousand diplomats around the world are going to have a heart attack when they wake up one morning and find an entire repository of classified foreign policy is available, in searchable format, to the public … Everywhere there’s a US post, there’s a diplomatic scandal that will be revealed … It’s beautiful, and horrifying.

      So wrote Bradley Manning, the 22-year-old former intelligence analyst, suspected of being behind the leak of more than 250,000 dispatches from US embassies around the world.

    • Noam Chomsky: WikiLeaks Cables Reveal “Profound Hatred for Democracy on the Part of Our Political Leadership”
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • BP sued in Ecuador for violating the “rights of Nature”

      Ecuador’s recent constitutional recognition of the “rights of Nature” is getting its first major workout in a groundbreaking lawsuit against BP: “This morning we filed in the constitutional court of Ecuador this lawsuit defending the rights of nature in particular the right of the Gulf of Mexico and the sea which has been violated by the BP oil spill. We see this as a test case of the rights of nature enshrined in the constitution of Ecuador–it’s about universal jurisdiction beyond the boundaries of Ecuador because nature has rights everywhere.”

  • Finance

    • Mind the gap: bumper bonuses are back, yet millions struggle on welfare in US

      Growing inequality at the heart of the US economy is being laid bare this holiday season.

      Conspicuous consumption is back on Wall Street, in anticipation of bonuses close to pre-recession levels. Some American companies have just posted the largest quarterly profits ever. Meanwhile, one in five families is relying on food stamps to get by and unemployment remains stuck at around 10%.

    • Some Very Creative Economic Fix-Its

      It’s a cheerless truth about the post-Thanksgiving start of the Christmas season, traditionally the bell lap in America’s year-long steeplechase of buying. There has been a rebound in consumption since the grimmest days of the Great Recession, but that has not been joined by an uptick in hiring or a robust expansion.

    • How Congress’ tax-cut decision may affect economy

      On this, economists agree: Extending tax cuts passed under President George W. Bush for low- and middle-income people would strengthen the weak economy.
      The question is what to do about the highest-paid 3 percent of taxpayers. Should Congress let their tax cuts expire at year’s end as scheduled? Extend them for only a while? Or make them permanent?

    • Next Financial Crisis May Start in Washington, Says Bair

      You can add one more item to the list of problems keeping Sheila C. Bair up at night. The nation’s capitol, she fears, will be ground zero of the next financial crisis.

    • Attention: Deficit

      Do you consider yourself a deficit alarmist?
      No, I’m a deficit realist.

    • Trustee for Madoff victims files 40 lawsuits in NY

      Relatives of both Bernard Madoff and his wife are among those being targeted in 40 lawsuits announced Friday by the trustee endeavoring to recover money for victims fleeced by the disgraced financier.

      Twenty-two of the lawsuits were filed against relatives of Madoff and his wife, trustee Irving H. Picard said in a news release. Eighteen lawsuits were filed against former employees of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, he said.

    • Big New York insider trading probe spawns another

      An insider trading case last year that federal authorities said was the biggest ever is providing a recipe for another case that may be even bigger.

      The current case is largely an extension of work that led to the arrest of Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam in October 2009. The Galleon investigation marked the first time that federal authorities used wiretaps in an insider trading probe.

    • Don’t Just Tell Us. Show Us That You Can Foreclose.

      Some in the industry believe that questions about this issue — known as “legal standing” — are trivial. They say it’s just a gambit by borrowers’ lawyers to throw sand in the foreclosure machine. Nine times out of 10, bankers say, the right institutions are foreclosing on the right borrowers.

    • The Give and Take of Liar Loans

      This same company is now insisting that other lenders that made stated-income loans — loans that Countrywide eagerly bought to fatten its balance sheet — must repurchase them on the grounds that, golly, the loans turned out to be fraudulent. The hypocrisy is breathtaking.

    • The Irish Non-bailout

      So, a credit line at 5.8 percent interest. Considering that Ireland was able to borrow at that rate as recently as mid-September, and was falling off a cliff then, why is this supposed to solve the problem?

    • Imperious Institutions, Impotent Individuals

      Whatever happens to the economy, the threads that weave individuals and institutions together will continue to fray until leaders of all sorts rethink their fundamental assumptions about the relationship between human beings and organizations.

    • The bill for PFI contracts is an outrage. Let us refuse to pay this odious debt

      You’ve been told that nothing is sacred; that no state spending is safe from being cut or eroded through inflation. You’ve been misled. As the new public spending data released by the government shows, a £267bn bill has been both ringfenced and index-linked. This sum, spread over the next 50 years or so, guarantees the welfare not of state pensioners or children or the unemployed, but of a different class of customer. To make way, everything else must be cut, further and faster than it would otherwise have been.

    • Exclusive: WikiLeaks Will Unveil Major Bank Scandal

      First WikiLeaks spilled the guts of government. Next up: The private sector, starting with one major American bank.

      In an exclusive interview earlier this month, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told Forbes that his whistleblower site will release tens of thousands of documents from a major U.S. financial firm in early 2011. Assange wouldn’t say exactly what date, what bank, or what documents, but he compared the coming release to the emails that emerged in the Enron trial, a comprehensive look at a corporation’s bad behavior.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Anti-Allah outburst earns EDL supporter £200 fine after protest in Leicester

      A man has been fined for making offensive comments about Allah during the English Defence League protest in Leicester.

      Lee Whitby was found guilty of using racially aggravated abusive words during the protest in the city centre on Saturday, October 9.

    • Home Office concedes to meeting

      The Home Office, after several weeks of requests from ORG and others, has agreed to a meeting of civil society representatives next week concerning their review of enforcement of RIPA’s interception laws.

    • Peter Sunde Wants To Create Alternative To ICANN

      “According to Peter Sunde’s Twitter feed, he has been suspicious of ICANN for a long time. The non-profit corporation is tasked with managing both the IPv4 and IPv6 address spaces as well as handling the management of top-level domain name space including the operation of root nameservers.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • In praise of dead trees

      The important aspects of e-reader devices come from the restrictions which digital text place on the reader. Because of the digital restrictions management put on e-book files, you cannot share books with your friends. You cannot borrow them from the library. You cannot make a copy in a different format. That is exactly what the publishers and proprietors of e-readers want. Content providers want each consumer to be in a silo. Every good and work they want to consume would be purchased directly, and sharing would not be possible, since every purchased would be bound to the original consumer.

    • Netflix Partner Says Comcast ‘Toll’ Threatens Online Video Delivery

      Level 3 Communications, a central partner in the Netflix online movie service, accused Comcast on Monday of charging a new fee that puts Internet video companies at a competitive disadvantage.

      Level 3, which helps to deliver Netflix’s streaming movies, said Comcast had effectively erected a tollbooth that “threatens the open Internet,” and indicated that it would seek government intervention. Comcast quickly denied that the clash had anything to do with network neutrality, instead calling it “a simple commercial dispute.”

    • Level 3 Alleges Comcast Demanded Fees To Deliver Internet Content

      Network services provider Level 3 Communications on Monday alleged Comcast forced it to pay recurring fees to transmit Internet video and other content to cable customers, but the MSO countered that Level 3 misrepresented negotiations between the two companies and was trying to get a “free ride” on its network.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Intellectual Property Appears to Figure Prominently In Wikileaks Cablegate

      Intellectual property policy has long been closely linked to U.S. trade policy, so it should come as little surprise to find that it appears to figure prominently in the cables obtained by Wikileaks. Although only a couple hundreds have been posted thus far, the Guardian has supplied a full list of all 251,287 cables. The list includes tags for each cable, so that the subject matter can be decoded. The Guardian has also posted a glossary of the tags, but omits KIPR, which appears to be the intellectual property tag (I base this conclusion on the correlation between the KIPR tag and the WIPO tag, to a specific reference to copyright in one of the cables, and the fact that IPR is a common acronym for intellectual property rights).

    • Copyrights

      • Warp Speed at the Copyright Board – Towards an Interim AC Tariff?

        If you think that the Copyright Board has been moving quickly on the AC proposed $45/$35 1,300% increase tariff up to now, it has just pushed the warp speed button.

      • AC’s proposed $45/$35 Tariff – Board Ruling of Nov 25 2010 on Intervenors etc.
      • A Brief History of Copyright
      • YouTube Reinstates Ally ASL’s Account

        Allyson Townsend, better known to her fans as Ally ASL, made headlines earlier this month when YouTube shut down her account after Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group complained that her videos, which featured Ally translating pop songs by Kesha, Owl City and others into American Sign Language, were violating those songs’ copyrights.

      • Anti-Piracy Lawyers Sued For Fraud, Abuse and Extortion

        The US Copyright Group thought it had found the ideal scheme to turn piracy into profit when it started filing lawsuits against tens of thousands of BitTorrent users this year. But the defendants in the Far Cry lawsuits have now become the plaintiffs in a class action filed against the anti-piracy lawyers and their partners. Among other things, the lawyers are accused of fraud, extortion and abuse.

      • US Copyright Group Sued For Extortion, Conspiracy & Fraud

        Well, the whole mass automated “pay up or we’ll sue” legal business may be getting a bit more interesting as Evan Brown notes that one of the folks sued by US Copyright Group has struck back with a class action lawsuit alleging that the law firm behind USCG, Dunlap, Grubb & Weaver, is engaged in extortion, fraud and conspiracy. The lawsuit looks to include in the class the nearly 5,000 people sued by USCG for sharing the Uwe Boll film Far Cry. The lawsuit highlights — as we pointed out earlier this year — many of the alleged infringements happened prior to registration, meaning that there would be no statutory damages available.

      • The Pirate Bay Decision, or the Political Persecution of Sharing

        The decision to sentence the co-founders of The Pirate Bay to jail is both absurd and unfair. It illustrates how an obsolete copyright law and its indiscrimate application are harmful to society as a whole. Such an incomprehension of technological, economic and social realities should not mask the fact that this decision is above all political.

      • French Author Plagiarizes Wikipedia; Does That Mean His Entire Book Is Now CC Licensed?

        PrometheeFeu alerts us to a fascinating situation happening in France. Apparently, a successful French author, Michel Houellebecq, recently came out with a novel, La Carte et Le Territoire. However, it turns out that Houellebecq copied decent chunks of three separate Wikipedia articles in the novel, without any credit or indication that he was quoting another source. This is what is normally referred to as plagiarism — or, in some views, sampling. This isn’t all that surprising, and we hear stories of plagiarism in books all the time. In fact, we tend to think that people get way too upset over such things in books. After being called on it, Houellebecq appears to have admitted to copying those sections.

      • Supreme Court refuses innocent infringement P2P case

        The US Supreme Court today refused to hear the case of a file-swapper who claimed she was an “innocent infringer,” but one justice at least understands the absurdity of the current law.

        The case concerned Whitney Harper, who shared some music on the family computer when she was a teenager and was subsequently hit with a lawsuit from the RIAA. Harper claimed that she was an “innocent infringer” who went straight when she learned about copyright law, and that she had thought P2P use was basically like (legal) Internet radio.

      • EFF Asks Judges to Protect Identities in Porn-Downloading Lawsuits

        The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has asked judges in Texas and West Virginia to block requests to unmask accused file sharers in several predatory copyright troll lawsuits involving the alleged illegal downloading of pornography.

        The cases were filed by two different companies and involve different copyrighted adult material. However, the tactics are the same. In both cases, the owners of the adult movies filed mass lawsuits based on single counts of copyright infringement stemming from the downloading of a pornographic film, and improperly lump hundreds of defendants together regardless of where the IP addresses indicate the defendants live. Consistent with a recent spike in similar “copyright troll” lawsuits, the motivation behind these cases appears to be to leverage the risk of embarrassment associated with pornography to coerce settlement payments despite serious problems with the underlying claims.

      • After Police Raid, Mulve File-Sharing App Operator Cleared Of Wrong Doing

        After being in quiet development for some months, in September the Mulve music downloading app hit the mainstream. Very quickly everything went sour, with British police swooping on the guy who registered the Mulve domain and placing him under arrest on a range of charges from copyright infringement through to conspiracy to defraud. Today we can report the outcome. For once it’s good news.

      • US Government Responds To Domain Seizures, Ignores The Big Question

        The Department of Justice (DOJ) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have just confirmed the seizure of 82 domains as part of Operation in Our Sites 2. The authorities claim the actions were targeted at websites that were involved in the illegal sale and distribution of counterfeit and copyrighted goods, but fail to explain why a BitTorrent meta-search engine was included.

Clip of the Day

KDE 4.5.8 Base – Brief Preview

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 29/11/2010: Puppy Linux/Quirky 1.4 is Out, CentOS 6 Out Soon

Posted in News Roundup at 1:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Linux Outlaws 178 – I Want It Dead!

      On the show this week: Novell being bought with IP being sold off to a Microsoft spinoff, more crap from Fedora on SQLNinja, IE presumably cheating in benchmarks, Jolibook being sold in the UK, awesome kernel patches while Linus lays down the smackdown for bad ones and more…

    • Linux Radio
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KWin Is Now Running On OpenGL ES 2.0

        For a while we have known that KDE developers have been interested in supporting OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0 (and OpenGL 3.x) within the KWin compositing window manager as well as using more OpenGL within the Plasma Desktop and on the KWin front the developers, led by Martin Gräßlin, they have been making great progress towards KDE SC 4.7 where this work will be introduced.

      • LinuxDay in Dornbirn, AT … or an extraordinary day of success stories

        It is 11pm and I am on my way home from LinuxDay in Dornbirn, Austria. It was a long but amazing day. Myriam, Mark and myself were at the KDE and Amarok booth. Surprisingly Christoph (a local KDE on Gentoo user/hacker) supported us rather the whole day.

      • Seven Improvements Needed in KDE

        The Desktop Toolkit is the small widget that sits on the upper right on the edge of the screen. Originally shaped like a cashew, it now looks like a tab. Click on it, and you find all sorts of useful tools: Add Widgets, Add Activity, Lock Widgets, and others. However, some users never seem to have looked at it, considering that Fedora has a package called kde-plasma-ihatethecashew whose sole purpose is to remove it.

        What people have noticed is that the Desktop Toolkit gets in the way. Place a panel at the top of the screen, and it overlays the similarly shaped panel customization button so that you can never be sure what you are clicking.

        You can drag the cashew to some other place (mine is on the bottom left), but many people haven’t noticed that, either. At any rate, no matter where you place it, the Toolkit looks like a menu, but doesn’t close when you click elsewhere on the desktop; instead, you have to click on the button again.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Reviews: Triaging a trio – Upstream OS, Fuduntu and LightDesktop

        All in all it was a disappointing week for me. Upstream OS provided me with a lengthy start-up process which hit a few bumps along the way. Fuduntu is basically a Fedora clone with GIMP and OpenOffice, driving up the size of the ISO. LightDesktop’s concept intrigued me, but the project needs to add some applications and improve on the installer before I would recommend it. It’s at least trying something different and I believe that to be worth while. I found it interesting that both Upstream OS and LightDesktop booted into login screens rather than automatically loading the desktop. Fuduntu’s concept of having a different scheduler and some tweaks to swap are interesting ideas, but I think the project would be better off presenting itself as a Fedora community spin rather than a separate distro.

    • New Releases

      • Puppy Linux founder releases Quirky 1.4

        Puppy Linux founder Barry Kauler has announced the release of version 1.4 of Quirky. The Quirky Linux distribution is a platform for trying out new, “quirky ideas” and is in the same family as Puppy Linux, but its creator points out that it’s a “distinct distro in its own right.”

    • Red Hat Family

      • Google Insights and Tweets for CentOS 6

        CentOS 6 is just round the corner and what better way to watch the build up than Google Insights and Twitter. Below are two widgets of interest first being Google Insights with the search term “CentOS 6″ and the second is a Twitter widget from TweetGrid searching for the hash tag #CentOS6

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 12 approaches end of life

          Fedora Project developer Kevin Fenzi has issued a reminder that Fedora 12, code named “Constantine”, will reach its end of life (EOL) on Thursday, the 2nd of December, 2010. Originally released in mid-November of last year, Fedora 11 featured the 2.6.31 Linux kernel, version 2.28 of the GNOME desktop environment, KDE 4.3 and a number of software updates. As of the 2nd of December, no new updates, including security updates and critical fixes, will be available. The developers strongly advise all Fedora 12 users to upgrade to Fedora 13 or 14 to continue receiving updates.

    • Debian Family

      • About ZFS in Squeeze (2)

        This means that Debian Squeeze will be one of the first GNU distributions to support ZFS.

      • Let’s build a Debian for Development Data

        I just returned from an intense week in the UK: an IKM Emergent workshop in Oxford, and the Open Government Data Camp in London had me almost drowning in “open data” examples and conversations, with a particular angle on aid data and the perspectives of international development.

        As the result of that, I think we’re ready for a “Debian for Development Data”: a collection of data sets, applications and documentation to service community development, curated by a network of people and organisations who share crucial values on democratisation of information and empowerment of people.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu Sound Menu plugin for Exaile music player

          Exaile music player users who wouldn’t mind controlling playback via the new Ubuntu Sound Menu can now get in on the action thanks to a new plugin created especially for this purpose.

        • Compiz in November 27 daily build of Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal
        • Exclusive Interview: Ubuntu Is The Number 1 Desktop OS

          Ubuntu, the Canonical-sponsored operating system is gaining new grounds – in both enterprise and consumer segments. The Company now has new challenges — the challenges which develop as a company grows. We talked to Prakash Advani, Partner Manager – Central Asia at Canonical, to understand how Canonical is preparing Ubuntu for the future.

          What are the challenges? Is Canonical planning to enter the hardware business and offer an Apple-like solution, fully optimized hardware for the OS? Has Ubuntu missed the tablet bus as Android, despite being not prepared for this form-factor has seen great adoption? What is Canonical’s stand on Apple using Canonical’s brand Launchpad? Will we see professional film-editing software on Ubuntu? Will you be playing the Call of Duty on Ubuntu any soon? There are many such questions buzzing every Ubuntu user. If you want to find out the answers, read on…

        • Flavours and Variants

          • A retro retro desktop facelift

            Well that’s a giant leap forward. :roll: Nothing like swirling together a vague tribute to an IceBuntu desktop, which was itself a vague tribute to the old Feisty Fawn desktop. Yeah, I’m really going out on a limb there.

          • Evolution of my netbook UI

            So how about you? What kind of Ubuntu interface do you use on your netbook? Do you just use Unity? Something more like my setup? I’m really curious about Kubuntu, but it’s a real CPU hog at this point. I haven’t figured out how to fix that yet.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • Squeak, Scratch and Etoys on Ubuntu and Maemo

          It runs nicely on just about every platform, and I’ve been running it on Ubuntu as well as on my Nokia N900 cellphone for some time.

          I started my daughter off with simple logo type program commands. Soon, she was drawing triangles, squares, hexagons, circles, and designs that I used to create with a spirograph when I was a kid.

          We moved on to exploring a few other bits of programming and hit a few walls. The sound wasn’t working and some of the simple commands did not seem to do anything, so I figured maybe it is time to make sure that everything is up to date.

          Scratch runs in a Squeak virtual machine. “Squeak is a highly portable, open-source Smalltalk with powerful multimedia facilities.” I had been running Squeak 3.9 on my various machines, and Squeak 4.1 is now out. So, I’ve started my upgrade to Squeak 4.1.

      • Android

        • VA-API Support For Google Android Platform

          We have been tipped off that a few VA-API patches have hit the upstream libva tree for furthering along Google’s Android support for this video acceleration API. VA-API is arguably the second best video playback acceleration API available to Linux users, after the NVIDIA-created VDPAU.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Symbian Sputters Towards Open-Source Irrelevancy

    Remember two years ago when Nokia open-sourced the Symbian mobile operating system? The thinking was that cell phone manufacturers who depended on the Symbian OS could help keep it going. But it was already too late.

  • Librarians, developers push open-source alternative

    There is already a community around open-source library software, says Don Christie of open-source developer Catalyst IT, but it is developer-focused. The support and marketing around Koha and related products is not well coordinated, he suggests.

    ONL is an attempt to remedy that shortcoming, making New Zealand’s libraries more aware of the existence and potential of open-source software in the field.

  • Events

    • 9 Videos from the 2010 Blender Conference

      1. Ton Roosendaal – Keynote Presentation

      2. Andy Goralczyk – Speed Modelling

      3. Jonathan Williamson – Topology

      4. Pablo Vazquez – Compositing in Sintel

      5. Soenke Maeter – Lighting and Compositing in Sintel

      6. Beorn Leonard, Lee Salvemini and Jeremy Davidson – Bringing Sintel to Life

      7. Andy Goralczyk & David Revoy – Art Collaboration

      8. Andrew Price – The Big Issues

      9. Andrew Price – How to Raise Your Profile as an Artist

  • CMS

    • Hands-on: a first look at Diaspora’s private alpha test

      As the abuses and technical gaffes of the mainstream social networking operators contribute to growing concerns about privacy and autonomy in the cloud, it’s possible that users who are sensitive to such issues will begin to appreciate the availability of more open alternatives. Even if the open source options never gain serious mainstream momentum, they have the potential to draw some attention to the underlying issues that they are trying to solve. Diaspora doesn’t have to topple the entrenched giants in order to inspire positive changes in the industry; it just has to get a critical mass of people to start thinking more seriously about privacy issues and the right kind of interoperability.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Art Magazines, Journals and Catalogues at archive.org

      Scans of old (19th and early 20th century) art magazines, journals, and catalogues can be found on archive.org along with text extracted from them. These are a very useful resource for study of the history of art.

      Google Books is better for searching for them, but archive.org is better for downloading them.

  • Programming

    • Data Analysis with Open Source Tools Book Review

      Given the broad number of open source data collection and analysis libraries and utilities freely available on the Internet, the concept of combining data analysis with open source tools is a topic worthy of deeper exploration. How well does author Philipp Janert fair with this effort? Read on to find out.

      This is the second book review I’ve written in the past month that was written by a physicist turned software developer and book author. However, unlike Ruby on Rails Tutorial author Michael Hartl, Data Analysis with Open Source Tools Mr. Janert has pursued a consulting practice in algorithm development, data analysis, and mathematical modeling. As such, his specialty makes him the ideal subject matter expert to write such a book.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • HTML5 and Flash battle it out for the future of the internet

      Whether your computer is showing colourful fish floating in an aquarium, bouncing balls, or a mouse pointer that takes on the form of a paintbrush, it’s probably thanks to Flash technology.

      But soon, many of these same features could be delivered by HTML5, an up-and-coming web standard. That would mean freedom from Adobe and its Flash Player plug-in. But will this new technology spell the end of Flash, Experts say – maybe.

      The recent decision by Apple boss Steve Jobs to pick HTML5 over Flash has caused the debate to perk up again. But at the end of the day, both technologies have their advantages – and their limitations.


  • The internet’s cyber radicals: heroes of the web changing the world

    A generation of political activists have been transformed by new tools developed on the internet. Here, a leading net commentator profiles seven young radicals from around the world

  • How Feelings of Gratitude Breed Happiness and Well-Being

    If you need another reason to give thanks at the dinner table on Thursday, how’s this: people who maintain an “attitude of gratitude” tend to be happier and healthier than those who don’t, according to a lengthy and instructive article this week in the Wall Street Journal.

  • The Vulture Transcript: Sci-Fi Author William Gibson on Why He Loves Twitter, Thinks Facebook Is ‘Like a Mall,’ and Much More

    When William Gibson published his seminal sci-fi novel Neuromancer in 1984, it seemed improbably dystopic. More than a quarter-century later, so much has changed that he now writes in the present tense. His latest book, Zero History, is the final volume of a loose trilogy that concentrates on a culture increasingly obsessed with branding and, well, stuff (though Gibson prefers the term “artifacts”). “I’ve always been, for whatever reason, very conscious of the world of things,” he says. We spoke at length with him about plenty of these things — from the iPad to those old-fashioned anachronisms called “books.”

  • NAO to publish new report on NPfIT – did BT get excessive payments?

    The National Audit Office is carrying out a new, fast-track investigation into the NHS IT scheme, including an inquiry into whether BT received £400m over market prices.

    The NAO has confirmed that it plans a further audit of the National Programme for IT [NPfIT], after a request by Conservative MP Richard Bacon, a long-standing member of the Public Accounts Committee, who has followed the scheme since its inception in 2002.

  • Science

    • Satellites Used to Track Black Friday Mall Traffic

      Those satellites in space don’t just take spy pictures. On this Black Friday 2010, they are actually taking pictures of you, and your rush to Black Friday deals.

      The research is being done to see what consumer demand this year means for retail stocks. The trend, so far, has been favorable.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Passive smoking kills 600,000 a year, including 165,000 children, says WHO

      More than 600,000 people, including 165,000 children, die every year from passive smoking, a report from World Health Organisation experts says today.

      The estimates from the first analysis of the true global toll are based on the best available data across 192 countries and the known effects of exposure.

    • Cigarette Makers Aggressively Recruit Smokers in Foreign Countries

      Philip Morris International has been especially aggressive in fighting marketing restrictions overseas. The company has deployed a $5 million campaign in Australia to fight a government plan that would require cigarettes be marketed in plain brown or white packages. PM designed the campaign to make it look like it was coming from small store owners, and got help financing it from competitors like BAT and Imperial Tobacco. The companies also argue that higher cigarette taxes will stimulate smuggling, but tobacco industry documents reveal that global tobacco companies are not only complicit in cigarette smuggling, but that they oversee it, and even depend on it to gain access to closed markets.

    • A Verbal Slip on Countdown

      During my interview on Countdown with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC Wednesday night, I explained the sinister work of an industry-funded front group to discredit Michael Moore as a filmmaker and citizen and especially of his 2007 movie, Sicko. The PR firm hired by health insurers to do the evil deed set up and operated the front group, which it named “Health Care America,” to conduct a fear-mongering campaign designed to scare people away from the movie’s core message: that every developed country in the world except the United States has been able to achieve universal coverage for their citizens largely because they don’t allow big insurance companies to call the shots like they do here. I wrote about this in my book, Deadly Spin, in the chapter entitled “The Campaign Against Sicko.”

    • Insurers Gave U.S. Chamber $86 Million Used to Oppose Obama’s Health Law

      Health insurers last year gave the U.S. Chamber of Commerce $86.2 million that was used to oppose the health-care overhaul law, according to tax records and people familiar with the donation.

      The insurance lobby, whose members include Minnetonka, Minnesota-based UnitedHealth Group Inc. and Cigna Corp. of Philadelphia, gave the money to the Chamber in 2009 as Democrats increased criticism of the industry, according to a person who requested anonymity because laws don’t require identifying funding sources. The Chamber got the money from the America’s Health Insurance Plans as the industry urged Congress to drop a plan to create a competing government-run insurance plan.

    • Big Health Insurers Funneled $86.2 Million Through Chamber to Oppose Health Care Reform, in Just 2009

      The health insurance industry plowed $86.2 million into drumming up opposition to the health care reform bill, and that was just the money they spent in 2009. Big insurers UnitedHealth Group, CIGNA Corporation and others funneled the money to America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the industry’s lobbying group, which in turn gave it to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which is acting as a front group for big industries to influence elections.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Review of the TSA X-ray backscatter body scanner safety report: hide your kids, hide your wife

      I am a biochemist working in the field of biophysics. Specifically, the lab I work in (as well as many others) has spent the better part of the last decade working on the molecular mechanism of how mutations in the breast cancer susceptibility gene, BRCA2, result in cancer. The result of that work is that we now better understand that people who have a deficient BRCA2 gene are hypersensitive to DNA damage, which can be caused by a number of factors including: UV exposure, oxidative stress, improper chromosomal replication and segregation, and radiation exposure. The image below shows what happens to a chromosome of a normal cell when it is exposed to radiation. It most cases, this damage is repaired; however, at high doses or when there is a genetic defect, the cells either die or become cancerous.

    • A conspiracy of sentiment

      Yesterday Paul Chambers lost his appeal against his fine and conviction for posting a joke on twitter which was prosecuted under the anti-terrorist legislation.

      The case was so obviously ridiculous that everyone thought common-sense would prevail, but eschewing humour and reality, Judge Jacqueline Davies deemed the tweet “menacing in its content and obviously so. It could not be more clear. Any ordinary person reading this would see it in that way and be alarmed.”

    • US warns WikiLeaks against leak

      Whistle-blower website reportedly to release millions of confidential diplomatic cables between US government officials.

    • North Korea “readies missiles” as China seeks talks

      North Korea has placed surface-to-surface missiles on launch pads in the Yellow Sea, Yonhap news agency said, as the United States and South Korea began military drills and China called for emergency talks.

    • The Big Lie Selling You War With North Korea

      In short, the torpedo recovered from the ocean where Cheosan was attacked is NOT the same torpedo shown in the North Korean plans. As I stated above, there are additional differences as well between the blueprints and the actual torpedo, but the actuators are the clincher.

      The torpedo recovered fronm the oceasn where the Cheosan was sunk is not the North Korean torpedo shown in the blueprints.

    • Indian president backs Syria’s claim on the Golan Heights

      Speaking at a joint conference with Syrian President in Damascus, Indian President Pratibha Patil says India consistently supported Arab goals in the region.

    • Israel recruits citizen advocates in Europe

      Israel has instructed its embassies in 10 European countries, including the UK, each to recruit 1,000 members of the public to act as advocates for its policies in a new public relations offensive.

      A cable from the foreign affairs ministry was sent to embassies last week, with instructions from Avigdor Lieberman, the controversial and extreme right-wing foreign minister, to adopt a range of measures aimed at improving Israel’s standing in Europe.

    • Cables Obtained by WikiLeaks Shine Light Into Secret Diplomatic Channels

      A cache of a quarter-million confidential American diplomatic cables, most of them from the past three years, provides an unprecedented look at back-room bargaining by embassies around the world, brutally candid views of foreign leaders and frank assessments of nuclear and terrorist threats.

    • China directs local media outlets to stop reporting WikiLeaks content

      While the world’s media are afire with yesterday’s WikiLeaks data release of secret US diplomatic cables, the local media in China are strangely quiet.

      The reason, according to a Twitter update by Al Jazeera English’s correspondent in China, Melissa Chan a short while ago, is that China’s Propaganda Department have directed all domestic media outlets to stop reporting the WikiLeaks content.

    • US embassy cables leak sparks global diplomatic crisis

      • More than 250,000 dispatches reveal US foreign strategies
      • Diplomats ordered to spy on allies as well as enemies
      • Saudi king urged Washington to bomb Iran

    • Siprnet: where America stores its secret cables

      How did such an enormous electronic database come into existence and then apparently be so easily leaked? The answer lies in the tag “Sipdis” which appears on the string of address codes heading each cable.

      It stands for Siprnet Distribution. Siprnet is itself an acronym, for Secret Internet Protocol Router Network. Siprnet was designed to solve the chronic problem of big bureaucracies – how to share information easily and confidentially among large numbers of people spread around the world. Siprnet is a worldwide US military internet system, kept separate from the ordinary civilian internet and run by the defence department in Washington.

    • Ten Theses on Wikileaks

      Disclosures and leaks have been of all times, but never before has a non state- or non- corporate affiliated group done this at the scale Wikileaks managed to with the ‘Afghan War Logs’. But nonetheless we believe that this is more something of a quantitative leap than of a qualitative one. In a certain sense, these ‘colossal’ Wikileaks disclosures can simply be explained as a consequence of the dramatic spread of IT usage, together with a dramatic drop in its costs, including those for the storage of millions of documents. Another contributing factor is the fact that safekeeping state and corporate secrets – never mind private ones – has become rather difficult in an age of instant reproducibility and dissemination. Wikileaks here becomes symbolic for a transformation in the ‘information society’ at large, and holds up a mirror of future things to come. So while one can look at Wikileaks as a (political) project, and criticize it for its modus operandi, or for other reasons, it can also be seen as a ‘pilot’ phase in an evolution towards a far more generalized culture of anarchic exposure, beyond the traditional politics of openness and transparency.

    • A Superpower’s View of the World

      251,000 State Department documents, many of them secret embassy reports from around the world, show how the US seeks to safeguard its influence around the world. It is nothing short of a political meltdown for US foreign policy.

    • The TSA is invasive, annoying – and unconstitutional

      The protest on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving was called National Opt-Out Day, and its organizers urged air travelers to refuse the Transportation Security Administration’s full-body scanning machines.

      But many appeared to have opted out of opting out. The TSA reported that few of the 2 million people flying Wednesday chose pat-downs over the scanners, with few resulting delays.

    • Washington has a “Love Affair” with Terror

      Many questions remain unasked as the U.S. continues its war on terrorism. One is whether Washington possesses the moral right to condemn terrorism when its own hands are so bloody.

      Let’s examine our use of terror directed against civilians to achieve political or military goals, beginning with the atomic devastation of Japan. “Little Boy,” exploded over Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, killed 130,000 people immediately (including a dozen U.S. POWs) and 200,000 within five years, all but some 20,000 of them civilians. Twenty-five square miles of civilization were gutted.

    • Raise A Glass to Wikileaks

      The well paid securitocracy have been out in force in the media, attacking wikileaks and repeating their well worn mantras.

      These leaks will claim innocent lives, and will damage national security. They will encourage Islamic terrorism. Government secrecy is essential to keep us all safe. In fact, this action by Wikileaks is so cataclysmic, I shall be astonished if we are not all killed in our beds tonight.

      Except that we heard exactly the same things months ago when Wikileaks released the Iraq war documents and then the Afghan war documents, and nobody has been able to point to a concrete example of any of these bloodurdling consequences.

    • TSA Groin Searches Menstruating Woman

      Yesterday we received a letter from a customer who wore her GladRags Pantyliner through a security scanner and was so traumatized by her resulting TSA genital search that she wanted to warn other women. (Read her letter below). Her past history of sexual assault made this experience a nightmare for her. At first we thought yes, we will warn people not to put themselves through this risk.

    • IDF: Covering Up the Murderous Crimes of Cast Lead

      On closer examination of sources it appears that Lt. Col. Aliyan left his position as Rotem commander in May 2008, six months before Operation Cast Lead. Therefore, he is not the Rotem commander who suppressed the death report in the following post. My apologies for not vetting the source more carefully. But thanks to two other Israeli sources we’re all convinced that we now have the right guy.

    • Settlers make water sources a tourist site and bar Palestinians from entering
    • US Should Withhold Support for Haiti’s Upcoming Election

      Haiti is scheduled to hold elections on Nov. 28, and nothing — neither the cholera outbreak that has killed more than 1,000 people nor the fact that more than 1 million earthquake survivors remain homeless — seems likely to convince the Haitian government or its international backers that the vote should be postponed. It should be. Why? The electoral process is rigged. Unfortunately, the Obama administration seems happy to go along with the charade.

    • Inside the Whitehall kettle
    • Student protests: Met under fire for charging at demonstrators

      Scotland Yard is under pressure after video footage emerged of police officers on horseback charging a crowd of protesters during a demonstration against increases in university tuition fees, 24 hours after they denied that horses charged the crowd.

      Footage posted on YouTube showed mounted police riding at speed into a crowd of around 1,000 protesters who had gathered south of Trafalgar Square on Wednesday night.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Oil companies and banks will profit from UN forest protection scheme

      Some of the world’s largest oil, mining, car and gas corporations will make hundreds of millions of dollars from a UN-backed forest protection scheme, according to a new report from the Friends of the Earth International.

      The group’s new report – launched on the first day of the global climate summit in Cancun, Mexico, where 193 countries hope to thrash out a new agreement – is the first major assessment of the several hundred, large-scale Redd (Reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation) pilot schemes. It shows that banks, airlines, charitable foundations, carbon traders, conservation groups, gas companies and palm plantation companies have also scrambled into forestry protection.

    • Four degrees and beyond: the potential for a global temperature increase of four degrees and its implications

      The 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change commits signatories to preventing ‘dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system’, leaving unspecified the level of global warming that is dangerous. In the late 1990s, a limit of 2°C global warming above preindustrial temperature was proposed as a ‘guard rail’ below which most of the dangerous climate impacts could be avoided.

    • Cancún is indeed a nest of serpents – sitting in a vast, toxic rubbish dump

      Next week, Mexico hosts the UN convention on climate change in Cancún. It is ironic that such an important conference on the environment should take place in a country whose environment has been devastated, and in a city that exemplifies everything you should not do if you wish to protect the environment.

    • World is warming quicker than thought in past decade, says Met Office

      The world warmed more rapidly than previously thought over the past decade, according to a Met Office report published today, which finds the evidence for man-made climate change has grown even stronger over the last year.

    • Get Touched by TSA, Win an iPod Touch

      What fun! We’re tracking all of these, and we’ll be getting in touch with the 10 iPod Touch winners (picked at random) on Monday, November 29 — because we want to catch all the time zones, and don’t want to miss you over the holiday. We’ll then contact you via Twitter to get your shipping info, and we’ll get your iPod Touch in the mail ASAP.

  • Finance

    • Chasing Returns

      I’ve spent much of this long weekend curled up on the couch reading Too Big To Fail, Andrew Ross Sorkin’s history of the financial crisis of 2008. I’ve wanted to read this book since it came out last year but it took me a while to get to it. I’m enjoying it very much.


      But I do think we are seeing signs of excess in the markets we invest in and I do think we are seeing investors chasing returns in deals they don’t fully understand. That is a red flag. And I am choosing to observe it, pay attention to it, and share it with all of you.

    • In Ireland, Low Corporate Taxes Go Untouched

      Cut Ireland’s minimum wage? Check. Collect more in property taxes from beleaguered homeowners? Check. Raise the corporate tax rate, which could plug the gaping hole in Ireland’s tattered balance sheets even faster? Well, no.

    • The Rise and Fall of Celtic Tiger – Ireland

      History is awash in rags-to-riches stories; they not only inspired generations of would-be entrepreneurs by offering a formula for success, but also provided the world with remarkable iconic figures to look up to.

      However, we hardly hear about rags-to-riches and then back to square-one stories. The economic crisis that is engulfing Ireland, the Celtic Tiger, is an intriguing case in point.

    • Thousands protest against Irish bailout

      More than 100,000 Irish citizens took to the streets of Dublin today to protest against the international bailout and four years of austerity.

      Despite overnight snow storms and freezing temperatures, huge crowds have gathered in O’Connell Street to demonstrate against the cuts aimed at driving down Ireland’s colossal national debt.

    • UPDATE: Thousands March In Dublin Demanding Irish Default, Election

      Thousands of people marched through Dublin Saturday, demanding the Irish government default on the country’s debts, call an immediate election, and reverse plans for tough budget cuts and financial support from the International Monetary Fund.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Stop the Internet Blacklist!

      Just the other day, President Obama urged other countries to stop censoring the Internet. But now the United States Congress is trying to censor the Internet here at home. A new bill being debated this week would have the Attorney General create an Internet blacklist of sites that US Internet providers would be required to block. (The first vote is scheduled Thursday, November 18!)

      This is the kind of heavy-handed censorship you’d expect from a dictatorship, where one man can decide what web sites you’re not allowed to visit. But the Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to pass the bill quickly — and Senators say they haven’t heard much in the way of objections! That’s why we need you to sign our urgent petition to Congress demanding they oppose the Internet blacklist.

    • The Rise of Web Censorship

      You see, Torrent-Finder, which is back up under a new domain name, Torrent-Finder.info doesn’t host Torrent file or even BitTorrent file trackers. It’s just a search engine dedicated to file torrents such as movies, TV shows, or software programs. You can find the same file torrents with Google if you know what you’re doing. Torrent-Finder, and sites like it, just makes specific kinds of file searches easier.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • An apology to ebooks

      So I eventually succumbed. My joy of tech over won my aversion to the e-book reader and I bought a Kindle. The years fighting it and making better and better arguments for not needing or wanting one suddenly slip away.

      And I apologize. I still love and define myself large parts of myself by my physical library but I have become a follower. Instead of constantly needing to carry books inside my heavy laptop bag I have this little device. I can choose from a great library of works and I can read them in a dark corner in a crowded bus.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Operation Payback on The Pirate Bay appeal

        Vivendi Universal, EMI, Warner Music and Sony Music’s main IFPI (International Federation of Phonographic Industry) is down.

        We’re currently getting ‘try again’ messages for http://www.ifpi.org/.

      • Copyright Lawyers Sue Lawyer Who Helped Copyright Defendants

        Attorneys for the U.S. Copyright Group have filed a lawsuit against a lawyer who sold “self-help” documents to people who had been sued by the USCG, demanding that he pay the costs involved in dealing with the people who used the documents he sold.

        Try to stick with me here, because this one gets weird. Back in August, an attorney by the name of Graham Syfert began selling documents that would allow defendants in lawsuits filed by the U.S. Copyright Group to respond in court without having to fork over the huge piles of money needed to hire an attorney. The USCG sued “thousands” of BitTorrent users who had downloaded films like The Hurt Locker, Far Cry and Call of the Wild, demanding a settlement of $2500 to avoid the much more expensive proposition of going to court.

      • Sites With Government Seized Domains Are Moving On, On Twitter

        Last week while everyone was waiting for the COICA bill to move through Congress, the US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency one upped the Attorney General and seized domain names from a group of over 70 copyright infringing websites. A visit to the blacklisted domains now results in the ominous looking message from Homeland Security below.

      • January 1, 2011 will be Public Domain Day

        Every new year since the first copyrights expired, back around 1724, the world has looked forward to expiration of copyrights and the public domain availability of the works that have been kept under publishing monopolies.

        This coming January 1 Europeans will see a nice list of great works entering the public domain as the copyright terms expire, some listed below, but the United States, where their landmark Supreme Court Case decided that an extended copyright term could last literally forever, a person can no longer look forward to such happenings.

Clip of the Day

Richard Stallman

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 28/11/2010: Pwnage Radio Launched, Fedora 3-14 Benchmarks

Posted in News Roundup at 7:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Moving Desktop Windows users to Linux

    This week I’ve had two more colleague that want Linux also. Both with XP. I guess it was because they saw a not experienced user doing so well with Linux. Soon both computer will soon boot Ubuntu instead of XP.

  • It’s not the same hearing a thunder and seeing lightning!

    I wanted to post about that, but I was preparing my yearly report for the Professor Assembly and, therefore, had no time… but it occurred to me that I would use the chance to contribute by showing all professors how a computer running on Linux works. So, although they had a Vista 7 Starter laptop ready for the reports, I asked permission to use my modest netbook running Mandriva.

    All my colleagues displayed their reports using the Vista 7 laptop and one professor suffered the embarrassment of MS PowerPoint 2007 not responding as she expected. I cannot say that was an “atypical behavior”: all of us have seen something like that happen time and again. I felt bad for her due to the fact that she told me that she slept till late because she invested a lot of time to create a beautiful PowerPoint presentation for the occasion.

    When my turn came, I had my netbook ready and woke it up from hibernation (Yes! It DOES work in Mandriva 2010.1), unplugged the VGA cable from the laptop and plugged it to my netbook. As a good OS should behave, Mandriva picked up the signal and let me configure the display in a matter of five seconds. The picking up of the signal made me a little anxious because, prior to the meeting, they had to change the projector because 7 Starter did not let them change the display size of the screen (How about that!) and I had everything ready with the previous device.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Podcast News – Pwnage Radio

      Things to expect on Pwnage Radio

      - Discussion of Free Software and Open Source products of personal interest to me.

      - Discussion of Apple, Steve Jobs, Oracle and Microsoft.

      - Discussion about the Fedora Project and other Fedora related news.

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Why More Companies Don’t Contribute To X.Org

        Being brought up from the discussion surrounding the RadeonHD driver being vandalized, which wound up just being a prank by two X.Org developers to torment one of the former RadeonHD developers, was a discussion why more companies don’t contribute back to X.Org. Do companies think the X.Org code is too hard? That it’s not worth the time? Is it all politics?

        Here’s the beginning of this new thread. Reasons expressed by other developers range from Microsoft F.U.D. to vendors just wishing X.Org would go away, provide the vendors with a competitive advantage by not pushing their patches upstream, to their code just being in a poor and unreliable state. There’s also the matter that with the modularized X.Org state, it’s easier to keep and maintain an out-of-tree DDX driver than it is maintaining an out-of-tree kernel driver on Linux.

      • Wayland Now Has A Nested Compositor Back-End

        Wayland has received quite a number of new patches in the past month from a variety of different developers, including the ability to run Wayland off a Linux frame-buffer, but now this weekend it has picked up another interesting feature: the ability to run another Wayland compositor instance within itself. There’s now patches out there for running a nested/session compositor of Wayland on top of an existing Wayland Display Server that in turn is running on a X11/DRM compositor and communicating with the hardware.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Konqueror in KDE 4.5: Huge Step Forward
      • 7 KDE Apps to Get After Installing Kubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

        Clementine – KDE4 port of Amarok 1.4 – full review
        Kubuntu comes with Amarok 2.2.0, but if you’re happier with the look and feel of the older Amarok 1.4, Clementine is the perfect replacement. It offers an interface similar to the one of the KDE3 version of Amarok, and currently it integrates a pretty fair amount of features. Clementine comes with a file browser, radio support, Last.fm song submission, sortable playlists, cover manager, equalizer, cross-fading, tray icon integration, OSD, music library. Considering it isn’t included in the Ubuntu Maverick repositories, here is a tutorial I’ve put up a while ago to install it.

      • KDEMU with Nuno Pinheiro

        This week, on KDE and the Masters of the Universe, The man from the future Nuno Pinheiro.

      • KWin runs on OpenGL ES

        Last weekend I could announce that KWin compiles with OpenGL ES headers. This weekend I was able to proceed even more: I got the first windows composited using OpenGL ES 2.0. Not everything is working and there is still lot’s of work to be done and it has not yet been tried on actual devices (yes you can use OpenGL ES on a desktop), but nevertheless it’s a very important step.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Universal Subtitles

        I found the coolest tool, Universal Subtitles. With Universal Subtitles you can easily transcribe a talk, add subtitles or captions or translate any video on the web.

        I’ve been trying to transcribe my Would you do it again for free? talk forever and I always give up – I can’t type fast enough to keep up and manually pausing required more hands than I have. Universal Subtitles let me type and automatically paused and let me catch up whenever the video got ahead of me. Then I could go back and edit, adjust the timing, etc. Now I could also go back and translate the subtitles into other languages.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Arch Linux review

        Yesterday, I upgraded to 2.6.36 and there were two error messages at boot time. One was about tomoyo-init scripts and the other was about HDA-Intel being unknown hardware. The former is harmless and the later was easy to resolve using the wiki. There still remain two things about Arch that annoy me:

        * an okular issue with deja vu files; and
        * false positives with rkhunter.

        Yet again, they are mostly upstream issues. Thus, Arch linux is a nice distribution; but it may not be the best choice for new users.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • The Performance Of Fedora Core 3 Through Fedora 14

          There are a few areas where Fedora 14 is slower than its predecessors are, but overall Fedora 14 is doing better or on par performance-wise to earlier releases.

        • Communities and Support channels

          Recently (as it does from time to time) the question of professionalism and good behavior in Fedora’s support channels has come up again. Personally I spend a lot of time helping out on irc in #fedora, so thats the channel I can most speak about, however, I am also somewhat active on the fedora users list and somewhat rarely look at fedoraforums.

          First a bit of history: I was at Fudcon (version 10 in Boston, 2008). I had been involved with fedora for years at that point, but I hadn’t really ever spent a lot of time in #fedora or working with support channels. In the State of Fedora talk at the end of the day, Paul Frields noted that he had dropped into #fedora and had a very poor experence. People were cursing, being abusive and all around unhelpfull. So, this seemed to me a great chance to step up and help out there. I found that for the past many number of years, the channel had basically 2 active and very overworked operators, and a smaller group of helpers. So, we formed the irc-support-sig, got more operators setup, tried to setup guidelines and encourage people to help. There are some great folks involved, spending a lot of their time and energy helping others now. I would personally say the channel is a great deal better now than it was in the past. Is it perfect? By no means.

        • Scilab in Fedora GNU/Linux
        • My First Major Disappointment in Fedora (Updated)
        • Fedora Wishlist Feature: Old Versions
        • GraphicsMagick-1.3.8: GNU Octave in Fedora and Ubuntu
        • Fedora 14 post-installation setup
        • Fedora 14 is not for Novice

          Fedora is quite popular distro and now I am going to depict experience with Fedora 14. I feel it not for novice user so I provide a easy to use Codec installation for novice user.

    • Debian Family

      • Why isn’t Debian Edu using VLC?

        In the latest issue of Linux Journal, the readers choices were presented, and the winner among the multimedia player were VLC. Personally, I like VLC, and it is my player of choice when I first try to play a video file or stream. Only if VLC fail will I drag out gmplayer to see if it can do better. The reason is mostly the failure model and trust. When VLC fail, it normally pop up a error message reporting the problem. When mplayer fail, it normally segfault or just hangs. The latter failure mode drain my trust in the program.

      • Updated Debian GNU/Linux: 5.0.7 released

        The Debian project is pleased to announce the seventh update of its stable distribution Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 (codename “lenny”). This update mainly adds corrections for security problems to the stable release, along with a few adjustment to serious problems.

        Please note that this update does not constitute a new version of Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 but only updates some of the packages included. There is no need to throw away 5.0 CDs or DVDs but only to update via an up-to-date Debian mirror after an installation, to cause any out of date packages to be updated.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal Update Finally Sets Unity Default (For Desktop) [Video]

          Unity (which now shows up as a plugin in CompizConfig Settings Manager) has finally been made default in Ubuntu (desktop) 11.04 Natty Narwhal yesterday, as you can see in the Ubuntu meta changelog. That means that if you download the latest Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal daily build and boot from it, you should get Unity without having to install / enable anything. The same changelog mentions that Screen has been removed from the desktop version.

        • [Full Circle Magazine] Up, up, and away with issue 43!

          We’ve got issue 43 out with more of the great FCM goodness that you’ve come to enjoy. This month, we’ve got stuff like:

          * Command and Conquer.
          * How-To : Program in Python – Part 17, Virtualize Part 6 – Debian & Xen, and Editing Photos With Raw Therapee.
          * Review – Conky & Untangle.
          * Top 5 – Backup Ideas.
          * Readers Survey 2010 Comments & Replies!
          * plus: Interviews, Ubuntu Games, My Opinion, My Story, and much much more!

        • Ubuntu PPA Problem – Reason for Concern?

          With the release of Ubuntu 9.10 late last year Canonical introduced PPAs, which is short for Personal Package Archives. A PPA allows anyone that has signed the Ubuntu Code of Conduct to easily distribute software they have packaged to Ubuntu users. This revolutionary idea allows those who do not have the capability to establish their own repository to easily provide package updates to their users. Want the latest version of Openshot or PiTiVi? Then simply add a PPA to your system that packages up to date versions of these softwares and you will be set to go!

        • Latest Ubuntu “Maverick Meerkat” looks like a winner

          The latest Ubuntu 10.10 operating system, codenamed “Maverick Meerkat” is being touted as an alternaive best-of-breed Linux-based OS for Filipino PC users.

          Rather than just a simple update from Ubuntu 10 (Lucid Lynx), the Ubuntu 10.10 is set as an “evolutionary” step in visuals and system performance benefits, which are seamlessly integrated to ensure maximum productivity for the user.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Wherein the author foolishly breaks his Mint installation

            Yesterday, fresh from my success at building/installing Firefox 4 Beta 7 on my Ubuntu boxes, I decided to try it on my old laptop. This thing is pretty ancient – a Dell Latitude D610, I’m guessing about six or seven years old. It was running Mint 9, which is basically Ubuntu 10.04 with some slight modifications, so I thought the FF4 build and install process would be pretty much the same as on the two Ubuntu 10.10 machines I’d already installed it on.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Symbian Foundation web sites to shut down

    As a result, we expect our websites will be shutting down on 17th December. We are working hard to make sure that most of the content accessible through web services (such as the source code, kits, wiki, bug database, reference documentation & Symbian Ideas) is available in some form, most likely on a DVD or USB hard drive upon request to the Symbian Foundation. Preparing this content will take some time, hence it will not be distributable before 31st January 2011. A charge may be levied for media and shipping.

  • Recommended reading: Control and Community by The 451 Group

    The 451 Group’s annual report on the state of the open source business world is out. Already the title: Control and Community suggests they are once again on top of what has been going on this year. Analyzing about 300 open source related businesses they not only “get it right”, but were actually able to uncover some facts even I was unaware of and this impressed me a lot. If an analyst can dig up statistics to back up something that I already “intuitively” know in my heart, that is a useful service. But if they can make me go “ah, I didn’t know that” on a topic I consider myself quite an expert in, the I’m impressed!

  • What Apache Wave means and does not mean
  • Events

    • CeBIT – Free Exhibit Space Offered to FOSS projects

      CeBIT, held in Hanover, Germany each year, is the largest IT trade show in the world. Companies come from all over the world to show their goods and services to each other, and to make deals. For several years now Linux New Media, the publishers of various Linux magazines around the world has sponsored a “Linux Park” at CeBIT.


    • Secure key exchange for peer-to-peer communication and VoIP

      Now there is one other trick that GNU SIP Witch in particular can do which will make this methodology and both anonymous and verified secure calling over VoIP much more widely available. GNU SIP Witch can choose to act as a media proxy. It can do this by rewriting the SDP to goto SIP Witch managed RTP ports. Doing so, these ports could take in unencrypted RTP streams and encrypt using media cipher keys that GNU SIP Witch computes. This would be done if the calling party or the called party do not already independently support secure calling on their own. This means any existing SIP VoIP application, including SIP phone devices, can suddenly be used to make entire secure calls without any modification. Moreover, SIP Witch can selectively use secure calling depending on if the endpoints are on the same subnet or not, or placed at each workstation as a local proxy and assure all call traffic, including internal traffic is always secure, especially if there is concern with internal espionage. This maximizes the range of secure deployment scenarios and all without requiring the introduction of new secure VoIP user agents.

  • Project Releases

    • PyPy 1.4: Ouroboros in practice

      We’re pleased to announce the 1.4 release of PyPy. This is a major breakthrough in our long journey, as PyPy 1.4 is the first PyPy release that can translate itself faster than CPython. Starting today, we are using PyPy more for our every-day development.

    • Lightspark 0.4.5 With New Graphics Engine Nears

      Lightspark 0.4.5 is nearing release with its new graphics engine. The release candidate for Lightspark 0.4.5 just came this Saturday, boasting this new graphics engine that more heavily leverages Cairo for graphics drawing and offloading more of the workload to the graphics processor for this free software project aiming to implement the latest Adobe Flash/SWF specification. Besides faster and smoother playback (and lower CPU utilization in most cases) with this new graphics engine, this open-source Flash player also now has better input support.

  • Government

    • Interested in open government data in Europe?

      As you may know the OKF is working on an EU funded project called LOD2. Part of the project aims to bring together openly licensed, machine-readable datasets from local, regional and national public bodies throughout Europe. It will also provide free/open source tools and services for those interested in reusing open government data.

    • Open Government Data Goes Global – OGDCamp Keynote

      I’m Rufus Pollock from the Open Knowledge Foundation. We’re delighted to have such great a group of people here and many thanks to all of you that have come, especially if you’ve travelled a long way.

  • Openness/Sharing


  • Tony Blair defends religious faith

    The former prime minister said it was true that “people commit horrific acts of evil in the name of religion”.

    But Mr Blair, who converted to Catholicism after leaving government in 2007, said it was also true that religion inspires acts of extraordinary good.

  • R1 (Final) Features Poll

    This poll will remain open until Sunday December 12, 2010 (approximately 19:00 UTC). Afterwards, the results will be merged onto the FutureHaikuFeatures wiki page on the Haiku Project’s Development Tracker.

  • U.N. Takes Stand Against Freedom of Speech, Religion: This Week in Online Tyranny

    The United Nations has again passed the resolution forbidding “defamation of religion.”

  • Science

    • There’s a Fine Line Between Scientist and Supervillain

      What superpowers have been developed? Full scale war between the developed world and other strong militaries hasn’t happened since World War 2. The only way we would find out what powers have been developed would be by risking nuclear war. So maybe we’ll never know what powers have been developed.

  • Security

    • Twitter hacker spreads Tsunami warning from government advisor’s account

      As many people have found, Twitter is a fantastic tool for spreading important news rapidly.

      In the past it’s been used to share information about fires in Los Angeles, emergency landings in the Hudson River, and most recently helping aid be transported effectively to disaster stricken Indonesians.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Rob Ford – Show Your Respect For Taxpayers By Firing These Police Officers

      Rob Ford ran a campaign for Mayor of Toronto based on the concept of respect for taxpayers. Now he’s mayor-elect, taking office in December. Is Rob Ford really going to show respect for taxpayers, or was it all a sham just to get elected?

      Now admittedly Rob Ford’s campaign was about financial respect. He has for years complained about city hall wasting taxpayer money. But what use is ‘financial respect’, if he shows no respect for the people themselves?

      Specifically I’m talking about the policing situation during the G8 and G20 meetings which ran from June 25 to June 27, 2010 (further information on the G8 and G20 summits can be found at the G8 Information Center and the G20 Information Center, both of which sites are operated by the University of Toronto, and of course the Wikipedia G8 and G20 pages.).

      During the G8 and G20 meetings, it became apparent that there is a rogue element of the Toronto Police Service. This rogue element took advantage of security concerns to abuse the public that they are sworn ‘To Serve and Protect’ (the Toronto Police Service slogan), and to breach the values exposed in the Toronto Police Service’s Mission Statement. I don’t believe that this rogue element is a large portion of the force. I’ve known too many cops, and the vast majority take their charge seriously. But there are always a few bad apples, and you cannot store rotten apples with good apples, or the rot will spread to the good ones as well.

    • So, when is the U.S. Government going to seize the Google domain?

      One of the most worrisome things is happening on the web right now and with increasing frequency. Domains are being seized by the U.S. Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security under the auspices of ICE. Not only are they being seized but it is happening without any notification but also apparently with the assistance of ICANN.

    • Police in the UK are seeking authority to close domains

      As first reported by the BBC, The Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) is seeking the authority to close domains engaged in certain “criminal” activities, which includes not just website domains, but domain registrations such as email, and perhaps phones, too*. The police have submitted a plan to Nominet, a company which oversees all .uk web addresses. And more than a few liberal minds in London, numerous IT lawyers among them, are concerned.

    • Call the TSA’s Office of Strategic Comms when you’re threatened with arrest for airport photography

      Flyingfish knows he’s allowed to photograph TSA checkpoints from public areas in the airport. He knows this because it is the TSA’s publicly stated position.

      But a refused-to-identify-himself TSA agent and a state trooper at Hartford’s Bradley International Airport don’t know this, so they detained Flyingfish, told him he was in big trouble — that he had, in fact, committed a “federal offense.”

    • UK Gov issues DA notices over WikiLeaks bomb

      The UK Government has issued Defence Advisory Notices to editors of UK news outlets in an attempt to hush up the latest bombshell from whistle-blowing web site WikiLeaks.

      DA Notices, the last of which was issued in April 2009 after sensitive defence documents were photographed using a telephoto lens in the hand of Assistant Commissioner Bob Quick as he arrived at No 10 Downing Street for a briefing, are requests not to publish, and therefore not legally enforceable.

      Which means there are no ‘official’ repercussions for ignoring the notices, but they are generally adhered to.

      The news came to light in two Tweets from WikiLeaks one of which said, “UK Government has issued a “D-notice” warning to all UK news editors, asking to be briefed on upcoming WikiLeaks stories.”

    • UK Asks News Outlets Not To Publish WikiLeaks Bombshell, US Prepares For Fallout
    • US contacts Turkey over WikiLeaks files: diplomat

      The United States has been in contact with Turkey over new files to be released on the Internet by WikiLeaks, Turkish officials said Friday, stressing Ankara’s commitment to fighting terrorism.

      According to media reports, the planned release by the whistle-blowing website includes papers suggesting that Turkey helped Al-Qaeda militants in Iraq, and that the United States helped Iraq-based Kurdish rebels fighting Turkey.

    • Bracing for WikiLeaks’ Release of Diplomatic Documents, State Department Warns Allies
    • WikiLeaks release could damage diplomatic relations, former envoy says
    • WikiLeaks could alter way diplomats relay info: Expert
    • Allies braced for WikiLeaks claims

      The US administration and key allies around the world are braced for the release of a vast quantity of sensitive diplomatic files on whistleblower website WikiLeaks.

      In Washington, the State Department denounced the leak of classified material as “irresponsible” and warned that it would place lives at risk.

    • Oregon bomb-plot suspect wanted ‘spectacular show’

      A Somali-born teenager plotted “a spectacular show” of terrorism for months, saying he didn’t mind that children would die if he bombed a crowded Christmas tree-lighting ceremony, according to a law-enforcement official and court documents.

      He never got the chance. Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, was arrested Friday in downtown Portland after using a cell phone to try to detonate what he thought were explosives in a van, prosecutors said. It turned out to be a dummy bomb put together by FBI agents.

    • Was This The Original Intent Of Homeland Security?

      I just realized that I may not be as fully informed about the role of Homeland Security as I should be, when this morning I read in a small piece on Neowin about DHS seizing over 70 domains for their proximity to sites known for piracy.

      I did not know this had anything to do with the purview of DHS, as I was under the mistaken impression that the stated purpose of the department was the physical security of persons and property in the United States of America.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Taibbi: How Can We Expect Wall St. Thieves to Stop Stealing Unless We Throw Them in Prison?

      Often, the most provocative ideas arise after swigs of whiskey. This is especially true when a Rolling Stone reporter is around — and, as I recently learned, it’s all but guaranteed when that Rolling Stoner is Matt Taibbi, aka the heir to the magazine’s gonzo throne.

      I had the chance to hang with Taibbi last week after he spoke to a Denver audience about his new book, “Griftopia,” which argues that Wall Street’s bubble-bailout cycle has been one of the greatest — and least prosecuted — crimes in history. His presentation was serendipitously timed, coming the same week as a local Bonfire of the Vanities-esque scandal was underscoring the speculator class’s privilege. In Colorado’s own Bonfire of the Rockies, a local prosecutor had just reduced hit-and-run charges against a fund manager because the prosecutor said a felony would have “serious job implications” for the Sherman McCoy in question.

    • NAB pay bungle hits thousands

      FURIOUS consumers are demanding compensation after a NAB computer bungle delayed millions of wages, pensions, family payments and business transactions across Australia.

      Tens of thousands of anxious people could still be without cash for the weekend because of backlogs from the shambles.

      The IT nightmare left some families destitute, throwing grocery and Christmas shopping, birthday party plans and even holidays into chaos.

    • The Shock Doctrine Push to Gut Social Security and Middle Class
  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Why Do Americans Keep Getting Suckered By Right-Wing Lies?

      Almost half of the public is either misinformed or subject to unanswered right wing narratives. If I believed that there was a chance of Sharia law being imposed in the United States I too would be gravely concerned. If I believed that most Europeans and Canadians had inferior health care to that of average Americans, I too would be against health care reform. If I believed that man-made global warning did not exist or that there were nothing we could do about it and that environmental efforts were responsible for unemployment I’d be against cap and trade. If I believed that prisoner abuse would make my family significantly less likely to be killed by terrorists, my thinking about torture would be different. And if I believed that the problems with the economy had been caused by too much government instead of too little, that my personal freedom was threatened by the government instead of large corporations, I’d probably be in a tea party supporter and a Republican.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • OpenDNS: We’re Being Blocked By Verizon Wireless

      OpenDNS was founded in 2006 and quickly made a lot of fans around here due to their fast, reliable DNS servers and DNS services. It has been a profitable business; in 2008 it was estimated that OpenDNS generates a whopping $20,000 per day off of their DNS redirection relationship with Yahoo. Every DNS outage over the last four years effectively acted as an advertisement for OpenDNS, and the company has grown substantially — now serving roughly 20 million users.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • YouTube to pay royalties to filmmakers in France

        YouTube will begin paying French artists when their works show up on the site, thanks to a new deal with three French royalty societies. The agreement only affects videos viewed in France, Belgium, and Luxembourg, but it does cover clips and movies uploaded to YouTube from 2007 all the way through 2013.

      • High Court ruling implies headlines are copyright – we’re one step away from links

        The UK’s High Court has ruled that news monitoring agencies will have to pay publishing companies to use their web content, effectively re-classifying headlines as separate literary works subject to copyright.

        The moves follows a legal battle between the Newspaper Licensing Agency, owned by eight of the UK’s largest newspaper groups, and Meltwater, a news monitoring agency. Although cutting agencies like Meltwater pay the NLA a fee for reproducing full-length articles, this case was supposed to clarify the limits of the NLA’s licensing scheme.

      • Indexing and hyperlinks infringe copyright

        The High Court of England and Wales has decided on an interesting test copyright case regarding linking and news aggregation by public relations firms. The case is that of Newspaper Licensing Agency Ltd v Meltwater Holding BV [2010] EWHC 3099 (Ch). The claimants in the case are the Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA), an industry association for several newspapers in the UK, and several other individual newspapers. The defendants are Dutch PR firm Meltwater, and the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA), the industry body for PR consultants in the UK.

Clip of the Day

Duke Nukem 3D for the Nokia N900

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 27/11/2010: Many New GNU/Linux Releases and Devices

Posted in News Roundup at 3:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux touchscreen computer runs on dual-core Atom

    Philadelphia-area start-up Telikin has started taking orders for a “crash-resistant” computer with an 18.6-inch touchscreen and a custom Linux stack aimed at computer novices. Apparently based on the MSI Wind Top AE1920 all-in-one PC, the $700 Telikin computer incorporates a dual-core 1.8GHz CPU, 2GB of SDRAM, a 320GB hard disk drive, and four USB drives.

  • Server

    • Another step forward for ARM-based servers?
    • 10 Free Server Tools Your Organization Needs

      This list of 10 free, essential tools is an amalgam of tools for all sizes of companies and networks. The range of tools covered here are generally cross-platform (i.e., they run on multiple OSes) but all are extremely useful to the system administrator, network administrator and first-level support personnel. While all of these tools are free to download and use in your network without payment of any kind to their developers or maintainers, not all are open source. The 10 essential tools listed here, in no particular order, are from various sources and represent the very best in tools currently used in large and small enterprises alike.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE’s Marble Team Holds First Contributor Sprint

        The first Developer Conference for the Free Software Virtual Globe Marble ended successfully on November 7. Almost a dozen developers from the Marble community (the “Marbleheads”) met for a weekend sprint at the basysKom office in Nuremberg.

      • KDE and Ovi Hold First Collaborative Sprint

        The weekend before Qt Developer Days 2010 in Munich, Nokia invited thirteen members of the KDE community to get together in their offices in that same city for a developer sprint. The topic was Ovi and KDE, specifically how they can work together to widen adoption for both communities, both from a software development perspective and from a purely collaborative effort perspective. The developers were also invited to the main Qt Developer Days (DevDays) event too.

      • A week of post-beta bug squashing!

        In January the KDE community is set to ship major new versions of the Plasma workspaces, the KDE applications and the KDE development frameworks. As usual, a series of beta versions and release candidates is released in the months leading up to the release day, with the purpose of letting users test the changes in the upcoming versions and help us find and fix bugs and regressions.

      • KDE releases openCloud web-based storage app update

        The KDE project has announced the release of version 1.1 of ownCloud, an open, web-based storage application which runs on a user’s personal server. According to KDE contributor and openCloud founder Frank Karlitschek, thanks to a growing development team, the 1.1 update includes a variety of bug fixes, as well as new features.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Endian 2.4.1
      • pQui 3.1
      • Untangle 8.0 is available!
      • BackTrack 4 R2 Released!
      • Chakra 0.2.4
      • Clonezilla 1.2.6-45
      • Salix Xfce 13.1.2 images are released!

        We are happy to announce the immediate availability of the collection of Salix Xfce 13.1.2 iso images. These include both 32-bit and 64-bit standard installation images, as well as a 32-bit live image, that can be used with an optical disk or a usb drive. Both standard and live images can be used for installing Salix Xfce to your harddrive, using a text-mode or a graphical installer respectively. As with all Salix releases, installation can be performed in one of three different modes, “full”, “basic” and “core”. The live image includes, among others, a persistence wizard, that will let the user keep changes, including extra installed packages, personalization etc, between different live sessions. LiveClone is another tool specific to the live image; using it users will be able to easily roll their own custom version of the Salix Xfce Live, that they will be able to install directly to a usb drive or create a new iso image for burning to a CD. These custom images will have all the features the official live image has, including the ability to install the customized system to a harddrive!

      • [IPFire] Core Update 42

        Today we are going to release Core 42 which is a bugfix release and we strongly recommend to install this as soon as possible.

      • Rocks v5.4 (Maverick) is released for Linux on the i386 and x86_64 CPU architectures

        Rocks v5.4 (Maverick) is released for Linux on the i386 and x86_64 CPU architectures.

      • ZevenOS 3.0 release announcement

        Besides that ZevenOS 3.0 also has a lot of new stuff in the Desktop area.
        Thunar has gained a new contextsensitive entry to convert images.
        The deskbar was updated to have a freedesktop.org compliant dynamic menu which is editable with standard tools just like alacarte. Besides that the deskbar gained a lot of contextual menus which allow you to have access to commonly used actions, like change time & date or mute the volume. The quicklaunch items now also have a context menu which allows you to quickly access files & folder bookmarks, webbrowser bookmarks mediaplayer actions and e-mail creation. The deskbar also gained a speed and ressource improvement.

      • Elastix 2.0.3
      • Macpup 511

        Macpup 511 is the latest and is based on puppylinux 5.1.1,”Lucid Puppy”, An official woof build of puppy Linux that is binary-compatible with Ubuntu Lucid Lynx packages.MP511 contains all the apps from Lucid puppy .Extra apps like Firefox, Opera or Gimp are available for easy download from the Quickpet App on the ibar or the Puppy Package Manager.MP511 also includes the Enlightenment E17 window manager. The EFL libraries version 1.0.0 Beta and E17 version 52995 where compiled and installed from source..Please note that not all the options in the E17 system shutdown menu work with puppy linux.That is why the exit menu was added.This menu will also allow you to change window managers to Jwm or Icewm.

      • Unite17_2010_02

        Few sentences of the changes:

        * Brand-new exterior and interior, because I took the liberty of use the testing repo’s.
        * The E17 at least not alpha, but beta :) . Of course, there are still some annoying bugs, such as that if you want to start an application, which would need administrator rights, something incomprehensible error message we see, that stops the program starts. However, just write in the Sakura (terminal emulator) the smart-root –gui command, and simply launch the package installer or Control Center with the drakconf command, if you have the problem. The Live installer works fine. Of course, this is a non-permanent nature of the error occurs, but often.

      • Announcing Jibbed 5.1

        And again it’s NetBSD time. The long awaited new version of the LiveCD has finally arrived. It is freshly built from the NetBSD 5.1 sources, which is the first feature update of the NetBSD 5.0 branch. It includes many bugfixes and contains the latest packages from pkgsrc. As always, it uses Xorg from base and the xfce4 window manager.

      • VortexBox 1.6 released

        We are pleased to announce the release of VortexBox 1.6. This release has Fedora 14, 4K sector driver support, and support for USB 2 and 192/24 USB DACs. The main goal of this release was to get VortexBox on a more current release of Fedora. This has many benefits including faster boot time, faster files transfers, and better hardware compatibility.

      • Announcing NetBSD 5.1

        The NetBSD Project is pleased to announce that version 5.1 of the NetBSD operating system is now available. NetBSD 5.1 is the first feature update of the NetBSD 5.0 release branch. It represents a selected subset of fixes deemed critical for security or stability reasons, as well as new features and enhancements.

      • NexentaStor Community Edition 3.0.4 released

        NexentaStor Community Edition 3.0.4 is now available. The major change is inclusion of many fixes to OpenSolaris b134 from later releases, and appliance enhancements.

    • Debian Family

      • Goodbye Fedora, welcome back Debian, Part 1

        After Fedora 14 proved a non-starter on this Lenovo, I could have gone straight to Ubuntu 10.04 or 10.10. But I wanted to get back to Debian, a fast, stable (even though Squeeze isn’t technically Stable, capital “S,” it’s plenty stable, small “s.”)

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • 6 Things to Look Forward for in Upcoming Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal

          The next major Ubuntu release cycle is slowly coming alive. Ubuntu 11.04 codenamed Natty Narwhal is going to feature some of Ubuntu’s most significant changes ever. All in all, Ubuntu 11.04 is going to be *the* most important release ever as far as Canonical is concerned. Now, lets see what makes this upcoming Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal release special.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Android: Too Much of a Good Thing?

          Dear Vendors, please don’t try to sell more phones by adding proprietary software on top of Android. If you add software, contribute it back to the community. If you want to sell more phones, make better phones than your competition. (Please!)

        • NFC heads for Android and new commerce network

          Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and T-Mobile announced a new “Isis” venture that will roll out a mobile commerce network based on smartphones embedded with near field communications (NFC) networking chips. Isis supporters include Apple and Nokia, as well as Google, which revealed this week that Android 2.3 will add support for short-range NFC wireless communications.

        • Verizon ships faster, global roaming version of Droid 2

          Verizon Wireless has begun selling a new version of the Droid 2 Android slider with a faster 1.2GHz processor and quad-band GSM global roaming. Otherwise identical to the previous Droid 2, the Motorola Droid 2 Global is also said to offer an improved keyboard and lower battery life.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Unlocked Palm Pre 2 available in U.S.

        An unlocked version of Hewlett-Packard’s Palm Pre 2 smartphone is now available in the U.S. via Palm.com and HP’s SMB channels for $449. The upgraded 1GHz Pre 2 runs the new version 2.0 of the Linux-based WebOS operating system.

    • Tablets

      • Acer unveils Android smartphone, two Android tablets

        Acer announced three Android tablets due in April 2011, as well as a “Clear-Fi” media-streaming service and an “Alive” app store. The Android tablets include a Dell Streak-like 4.8-inch, telephony-enabled “smartphone” model with 1024 × 480 resolution, a dual-core, seven-inch, 1280 × 800 tablet, and a 10.1 inch model with 1080p video playback.

      • Acer Puts Its Tablet Cards on the Table

        Acer on Tuesday entered the tablet PC market, announcing that it will launch two Android tablets and a third running Windows 7 in early 2011.

      • Android tablets forecast to grab 15 percent share in 2011

        Tablet computers based on Android will comprise 15 percent of the worldwide market in 2011, nibbling at Apple’s iPad share similar to the way Android smartphones gained on the iPhone. That’s the prediction from IMS Research, which adds that by 2015, Android tablets will have garnered 28 percent of the market.

      • Android-powered color e-reader ships ahead of schedule

        The Android-based Nook Color offers a seven-inch display, 8GB of storage space expandable through a microSD slot, Wi-Fi capability, Web surfing, and the option to share selected passages from e-books via Facebook and Twitter.

      • Android ties iOS in ad impressions

        Android now matches Apple’s iOS in ad impressions, with each mobile operating system garnering 37 percent, says Millennial Media. Meanwhile, fellow mobile analytics firm Chitika estimates that the original Motorola Droid has the highest mobile traffic in the U.S. among Android devices at 19 percent, followed by the HTC Evo 4G and Droid X.

Free Software/Open Source

  • SaaS

    • Observation: Cloud computing is nothing new

      Cloud computing is not only the latest buzz term, it might well be the model of computing that powers the 21st century. However, it’s easy to forget that personal computing, in which each user has a standalone system that can operate without a network, is itself a relatively new approach.

      The first practical computers were enormous behemoths composed of clicking resistors and vacuum tubes. Much of the early development of these multi-ton monsters had been spurred by the allied code-breaking effort during World War II. For the first thirty years of the history of general purpose computers, computer time was the exclusive privilege of large institutions and governments.

  • Healthcare

    • Wendell Potter: “My Apologies to Michael Moore and the Health Insurance Industry”

      APCO Worldwide, the PR firm that operated the front group for insurers during the summer of 2007, was outraged — outraged, I tell you — that I wrote in the book that the raison d’être for Health Care America was to disseminate the insurance industry’s talking points as part of a multi-pronged, fear-mongering campaign against Moore and his movie. An APCO executive told a reporter who had reviewed the book that I was guilty of one of the deceptive PR tactics I condemned: the selective disclosure of information to manipulate public opinion.

  • Programming

    • The Languages of Hacker News

      Two weeks ago, iHackerNews.com made available a Hacker News related dataset via bittorrent. For those of you unfamiliar with Hacker News, it’s a portal for developers to discuss relevant items of interest run by Paul Graham’s Y Combinator. Hacker News may not be considered representative of developers broadly, but it is generally well trafficked by alpha geek types, and thus conclusions drawn from it have predictive value.

      The dataset that was made available included a little better than 1.7M items from Hacker News in a basic XML structure. Believing that this represented collective wisdom of a sort, I collected the set shortly after it was made available, which proved to be shortly before it was taken down.

    • Java 4-Ever Trailer


  • Father says his faith cost his custody

    An Anderson father says that because he professed religious doubt in a custody hearing, a judge took his children from him.

    Craig Scarberry, 29, this month was stripped of joint custody of his three children, Kaelyn, 7; William, 6, and Ayvah, 4, because he changed his religion from Christian to agnostic.

  • Pigford funding passes out of Senate

    On Friday, the Senate passed funding approval for the $1.25 billion Pigford settlement announced last February. The settlement – aimed at putting to bed a class-action brought by black farmers who claim long-time discrimination by the USDA — was brokered following nearly a decade of legal wrangling.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Legal doubts over EU plans to give states choice on whether to grow GM

      Europe’s plans to let countries choose for themselves whether to grow or ban GM crops would be unacceptable under EU and probably international law, says official legal advice offered to member state governments and leaked to the Guardian.

      The advice is highly embarrassing for the European commission (EC) which has long advocated more openness by member states about the technology. The EC appeared to make a major concession in July when it told the 27 member states that they could decide for themselves.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • New Orleans police on trial over killing in chaos following Hurricane Katrina

      There’s not much mystery about how Henry Glover ended up a charred corpse in a burned-out car in the heart of New Orleans. One police officer has admitted to shooting the young black man. Another has confessed to throwing flares into the car where Glover lay covered in blood on the back seat. He then put a couple of shots through the window as the vehicle was consumed by fire. The officer has since called that “a very bad decision”.

    • Security researcher: I keep getting detained by feds

      A security researcher who specializes in online privacy had his laptop and cell phones temporarily seized after returning to the U.S. on an international flight last night.

      Moxie Marlinspike told CNET in an interview today that he had been detained and questioned after an international flight last week and appears to be on a federal “watch list” for domestic flights too but doesn’t know why.

      Asked if he is a volunteer with WikiLeaks, a whistleblower Web site that the U.S. government is seeking to shut down for publishing classified Afghan war files, Marlinspike said: “Definitely not. If anything, I’m slightly critical of WikiLeaks. I question the efficacy of that project.”

    • Israeli army condemns publication of Gaza ‘war criminals’

      Israel’s military today condemned the publication of the names and photographs of 200 Israeli soldiers on a website that labelled them war criminals.

      The site also published the home addresses and ID numbers of many of the Israelis. They included senior commanders and low-ranking soldiers whom the site claimed took part in the three-week offensive in Gaza that began in December 2008. The accuracy of the published details could not be confirmed.

    • Dance Troupe Mistaken for Terrorists

      On November 17th, the Lincoln Tunnel was closed for nearly an hour while police chased a group of people dressed in camouflage who were seen running through the tunnel. Officers of the FBI-NYPD Joint Terrorism Task Force as well as armed Port Authority police sped after the suspects, finally catching them as they neared the Manhattan end of the tunnel and forcing them to their knees at gunpoint.

      Turned out the dramatic operation had protected New York from the onslaught of eight 16-year-old dancers who were trying to make it to a TV appearance.

    • We doctors must protect all victims of torture and malpractice

      In his analysis of the videos revealing the brutal interrogation of Iraqi prisoners by British soldiers, Dr Brian Fine of the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture says: “All allegations of torture and other ill-treatment should be fully investigated and anyone found to be responsible brought to justice” (Important step toward the truth, 6 November). But what if those responsible include his professional colleagues and mine?

      The accompanying news article raises precisely this concern, stating that “almost all the former inmates complain that they were severely beaten when arrested … On arrival at a British base, most of the inmates say that they were photographed and examined by a military doctor who would take no interest in their injuries” (Abuse claims lift cloak of secrecy over Britain’s Iraq interrogation base, 6 November).

    • Student protests: school’s out across the UK as children take to the streets

      Tens of thousands of students and school pupils walked out of class, marched, and occupied buildings around the country in the second day of mass action within a fortnight to protest at education cuts and higher tuition fees.

      Amid more than a dozen protests, estimated by some to involve up to 130,000 students, there were isolated incidents of violence and skirmishes with police, mostly in central London.

    • TSA Abuses, Dental X-Rays, Children — and How to Lie About Radiation

      This topic should be of concern to everyone — you should read the article. It’s of special note if you have children, since they are particularly sensitive to radiation.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • UN scientists say emission pledges fall well short of halting climate change

      UN research shows that the pledges and promises made last year by 80 countries to reduce climate change emissions fall well short of what is needed to hold the global temperature rise to 2C and avoid the worst consequences of global warming.

      The findings by 30 leading scientists suggest that if countries do everything they have promised, there will still be a 5bn tonne gap per year between their ambition and what the science says is needed. This gap, said the UN, is the equivalent of the emissions released by all the world’s vehicles in a year. Many countries have committed themselves to holding temperature rises to no more than 2C (3.6F) by 2080 but to achieve this global emissions must be reduced from 56bn tonnes annually today to 44bn tonnes by 2020.

    • World’s first tiger summit ends with £330m pledged amid lingering doubts

      The high-profile conservation conference called by Russian president Vladimir Putin and World Bank chief Robert Zoellick mobilised political, financial and celebrity support behind a goal of doubling the number of wild tigers by 2022.

    • Section of Gulf of Mexico closed to shrimpers after tar balls found

      The tar balls are being analysed by the US Coast Guard to determine if they are from the catastrophic BP oil spill.

  • Finance

    • Matt Taibbi: Courts Helping Banks Screw Over Homeowners

      Throughout the mounting catastrophe, however, many Americans have been slow to comprehend the true nature of the mortgage disaster. They seemed to have grasped just two things about the crisis: One, a lot of people are getting their houses foreclosed on. Two, some of the banks doing the foreclosing seem to have misplaced their paperwork.

    • Germany aims to take Europe’s reins amid eurozone’s woes

      Autumn, Berlin, 2013 and Angela Merkel is anxiously eyeing a third term as German chancellor. The Germans are fed up with Europe. They’re used to being the paymaster, but there are limits to their largesse.

      The Greeks, the Irish, the Portuguese, maybe even the Spanish, have pushed those limits to breaking point through reckless spending, feckless policy–making and then asking the Germans to write them a large cheque.

    • Demand overwhelms program to prevent homelessness

      In rural communities and urban areas alike, one of the least expensive and most unheralded new initiatives of the stimulus bill is quietly saving hundreds of thousands of Americans from homelessness.

      Now housing advocates want Congress to boost the program’s $1.5 billion funding as the vast need for more assistance becomes evident nationwide.

    • Don’t bail out Ireland, free it

      Britain has just promised £7bn towards a €90bn package aimed at rescuing Ireland’s economy. But the bailout has not worked. Instead, we are sinking billions into a temporary rescue of the euro that will prolong Ireland’s economic misery. So we should change course and prepare to offer a dramatically different solution – help Ireland decouple from the euro and allow the country to default on its debts.

    • Belgium joins financial markets’ hit list

      Hold the moules et frites: Belgium has joined Portugal, Spain and Italy on the hit list of countries that may be heading for financial crisis.

    • Irish austerity plan to save €15bn

      More than 24,000 jobs will be cut, taxes raised and welfare payments reduced in plan announced by Brian Cowen

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Cigarette Giants in Global Fight on Tighter Rules

      As sales to developing nations become ever more important to giant tobacco companies, they are stepping up efforts around the world to fight tough restrictions on the marketing of cigarettes.

      Companies like Philip Morris International and British American Tobacco are contesting limits on ads in Britain, bigger health warnings in South America and higher cigarette taxes in the Philippines and Mexico. They are also spending billions on lobbying and marketing campaigns in Africa and Asia, and in one case provided undisclosed financing for TV commercials in Australia.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Chinese dissident plans empty chair protest for Nobel peace prize ceremony

      A Chinese veteran of the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989 is acting as a go-between in preparations for next month’s controversial Nobel peace prize award ceremony in Oslo.

      The Chinese government reacted furiously to the choice of the dissident Liu Xiaobo as this year’s recipient of the prize and is pressuring other countries to boycott the event. Liu is serving an 11-year prison sentence for “inciting the subversion of state power” by publishing pro-democracy tracts. However, Yang Jianli, now a Harvard-based campaigner for democracy and a friend of Liu and his wife, Liu Xia – currently under house arrest – believes that his empty chair on 10 December will send a message more powerful than any speech or slogan. Yang was asked by Liu Xia on 15 October to work with the Nobel committee to prepare the ceremony.

    • Pakistani woman facing death for blasphemy may be pardoned
    • Life of woman sentenced to death by stoning could be spared
    • The ‘Fix.’ Top FBI Officials Push Silicon Valley Execs to Embrace Internet Wiretaps

      In a further sign that Barack Obama’s faux “progressive” regime will soon seek broad new Executive Branch power, The New York Times disclosed last week that FBI chief and cover-up specialist extraordinaire, Robert S. Mueller III, “traveled to Silicon Valley on Tuesday to meet with top executives of several technology firms about a proposal to make it easier to wiretap Internet users.”

      Times’ journalist Charlie Savage reported that Mueller and the Bureau’s chief counsel, Valerie Caproni, “were scheduled to meet with senior managers of several major companies, including Google and Facebook, according to several people familiar with the discussions.”

Clip of the Day

Unity Default In Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal [Pre Alpha!]

Credit: TinyOgg

Links 27/11/2010: GNU/Linux HPC at University of Warwick, Unigine Targets GNU/Linux, Wine 1.3.8 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 5:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Things for Which I’m Grateful

    Third, I’m grateful for all the Linux distribution developers that have not only provided an operating system that have kept my machines humming, but also allowed me to find my niche. Some of my favorites are MEPIS, Sabayon, PCLOS, Mint, Mandriva (who first released me from Windows), Debian (for my server), and openSUSE.

    Next, I’m grateful for all those application developers that help me get work done while running Linux. At the top of that list is Aaron Seigo and the gang at KDE. I’ve used KDE for over 10 years now and KDE had a big hand in freeing me from Windows. Others are Liferea, TVtime, Firefox, GIMP, OpenOffice.org, Drupal, Apache, GNU tools, and so many more.

  • Black Friday in the Linux Blogosphere

    So Turkey Day has come and gone for another year here in the good old U-S-of-A, but what comes next might be even better — at least from a geek’s perspective.

    That’s right, it’s Black Friday once again, and the tech shopping deals are ripe for the picking.

    Who has time to worry about Novell (Nasdaq: NOVL), Attachmate, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) or all those vulnerable newly acquired patents? And that next round of the ages-old “Year of Linux on the Desktop” debate will just have to wait. There’s shopping to be done!

    Linux Girl is considering an excursion into the netbook waters this year, and is now gathering her strength for the adventure down at the blogosphere’s Broken Windows Lounge.

    It might take more than a few Peppermint Penguins to make that happen, of course. In the meantime, she couldn’t resist asking her fellow geeks what their own shopping plans entailed.

  • Server

    • University of Warwick to spend £1.3m on Linux supercomputer

      The University of Warwick has awarded a contract for a new Linux-based High Performance Computing (HPC) facility to OFC.

      Under the £1.3 million contract, HPC solutions provider OFC will deliver the facility at the university’s Centre for Scientific Computing (CSC), where it will be mainly used for research in the field of magnetohydrodynamics (MHD). MHD is the study of dynamics of electrically-conducting fluids such as plasma and metal liquids.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Linux Audio Blog #5

      This edition includes comments on Xerox and Microsoft, wireless keyboards and mice on Linux, the importance of source code, Adobe Flash as a control mechanism and older software, 24 minutes in duration. I may have misspoke about the Xerox Alto, it came out in 1973.

    • Podcast Season 2 Episode 22

      In this episode: Attachmate Corporation pays $2.2 billion for Novell. A Linux kernel patch dramatically improves desktop performance, while Fedora considers a move to Wayland. We ask whether a lack of blockbuster games is holding Linux back, and hear us completely forget discovery of the fortnight.

  • Kernel Space

    • Introduction to inotify

      inotify is a Linux kernel subsystem that acts to extend filesystems to notice changes to the filesystem, and report those changes to applications. It replaces an earlier facility, dnotify, which had similar goals.

      The original developers of inotify were John McCutchan, Robert Love and Amy Griffis. It has been included in the mainline Linux kernel from release 2.6.13 (June 18, 2005), and could be compiled into 2.6.12 and possibly earlier releases by use of a patch.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Work Is Back Underway On Clover: Mesa’s OpenCL

        Some two years ago there was a branch of Mesa created by Zack Rusin named “Clover” with intentions of providing OpenCL over Mesa. While it looked hopeful at first, this code to support OpenCL over Mesa was never finished and after a while it didn’t receive any further work. It’s been months since there’s been much activity in this area of GPGPU support for Mesa/Gallium3D, but recently Zack has renewed his interest in getting Mesa Clover working.

      • Demo Of Wayland Display Server In Ubuntu

        Ubuntu is going through a lot of changes now. It will use Unity for the desktop instead of GNOME Shell in the next release i.e. Ubuntu 11.04. However one of the biggest changes is that X.org will be replaced by the Wayland Display Server. This is a huge change and will likely take a few years.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Variety On the Desktop

      Do you get kinda’ tired of the same ol’ offerings for your windows managers; be they KDE, Gnome, Xfce? I trolled Xfce-Look and snarfed up most of the good stuff there over the past couple years. Sometimes though, you just gotta’ do it yourself. Here’s how to customize already existing Xfce themes the easy way.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE Look Part 5: KOffice 2

        Back when I first started using Linux I was using a very underpowered computer that I got donated as part of my research at school. So OpenOffice.org was a real pain in the butt to use. It took forever to load! KOffice, on the other hand, loaded up quickly. At that time, with KOffice 1, they had the presentation program, the spreadsheet, and the word processing program.

      • Bug Squashing: preparing the 4.6 release
      • KDE 4.6 Beta 1 – a first look

        This is a BIG DEAL. The KDEPIM suite of applications, including kmail, kaddressbook, korganiser and knotes has been ported to the akonadi framework. This change was originally scheduled for KDE SC 4.5, but was deemed too buggy to be included. 4.6 sees its introduction, and finally we can see how this technology works, and where the KDE developers may take this forward.

      • Amarok and my Stats Fail

        So, as I mentioned before, I wanted to try and make sure to get mostly unheard music on my random playlist so I could go through all my music. So I put in a bias to make sure that there was an 80% that the next song picked was unplayed.

      • The kde-www war: part 1

        In my initial post, I talked about the wall of text. I described some of the symptoms of the wall of text, and proclaimed that kde.org is terrible. I listed some of the basics of cleaning up text, and gathered some information about the “why” of kde.org.

        Unfortunately, KDE.org is representative of a very large and vibrant community, and although formatting and eyecandy insertions will come in good time, we have to first understand the site’s structure to make informed decisions before tidying up small details. KDE.org’s wall of text problem is not simply due to a few bad aesthetic choices, but instead a side-effect of a more fundamental problem in KDE-www’s structure.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Evolution, re-evolved

        Time for the second instalment of the Evolution redesign saga. My first run threw out some ideas and generated some really useful feedback (thanks for that, everyone). Since then, I’ve gone back and developed the designs into something a little more coherent and much more Evolution-y.

      • This Is Cool: An HTML5 Back-End For GTK3

        Version 3.0 of GTK+ that is set for introduction with GNOME 3.0 already boasts a bold feature set. GTK+ 3.0 is less dependent on X11 (meaning it can work with Wayland and better support on Mac OS X, etc), provides X Input 2 support, uses Cairo more for drawing, eliminates DirectFB support, and boasts cleaner rendering. A new feature though for GTK+3 is being worked on and its quite interesting: an HTML back-end that allows GTK applications to run natively within a HTML5 web-browser off a web server.

      • HTML 5 Canvas: the only plugin you need?

        The answer is no, of course. And Canvas is not a plugin. That said, here is an interesting proof of concept blog and video from Alexander Larsson: a GTK3 application running in Firefox without any plugin.

      • GAJ becomes Draggable

        With these last mods Gnome Activity Journal becames fully compatible with Drag ‘n Drop…..well, you can’t drop a file on GAJ and expect that it’s added to the current day’s list: you can’t because it doesn’t make sense. Except for that you can do everything else: you can drag ‘n drop an item in your Desktop and the item is copied, you can drag an item in a chat conversation and the item’s uri is copied and much more.
        Wise men say that a screencast is better than 1000 words…so here you are (in this screencast you can see also the other feature I’ve implemented: audio preview).

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • DoudouLinux: A Fun Linux Distro For Kids

        Linux is really a versatile piece of software. You can use it as your daily working OS, a server that runs most of the website in the world, as a multimedia center or even as a way to promote your religion. A more creative use of Linux is to turn it into an educational piece of software for kids. We have gone through several ways of configuring Linux for kids. DoudouLinux is yet another Linux distro that you will want to check out.


        It is always interesting to see how Linux is used in various aspect of our life. DoudouLinux is definitely one of such interesting project that deserved to be commended. It is dead easy to use, so let your kids try it out and let us know if he/she likes it or not.

    • New Releases

      • BackTrack 4 R2 Has Support for USB 3.0

        Offensive Security, leaders in Online information security training, proudly announced a few days ago, on November 19th, the immediate availability for download of a new BackTrack 4 release, their extremely popular security oriented operating system.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • News about the [Mageia] association

        Here it is! The association has now been officially created as you can see on the “Journal Officiel”. (You can now send us postcards and gifts! :-) )

        The association base members:
        - President: Anne Nicolas
        - Secretary: Arnaud Patard
        - Treasurer: Damien Lallement

      • What’s Coming in Mandriva 2011

        After the wonderful news that Mandriva would be continuing as usual despite financial difficulties and an exodus of developers comes the technical specifications and other tidbits for Mandriva 2011. There are quite a few exciting changes ahead, many of which prove that Mandriva is still a cutting edge distribution.

        With 2011, Mandriva will be switching to RPM5. This news was announced by Per Øyvind Karlsen last week and is the first item in the list. RPM5 is actually a fork of RPM with the main goals of supporting XAR, an XML based archiving format, and featuring an integrated dependency resolver. This move has been in the works for quite some time but Mandriva 2011 will be the first release fully committed. Per Øyvind Karlsen said RPM5, “is the only sensible choice.” Relatedly, their software center is scheduled a face-lift for a “more modern and simple to use interface.”


        A release candidate is scheduled for April 25 and final is planned for May 30.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • HP Deskjet 3050 j610 on Debian Squeeze

        HP Deskjet all-in-one printers are selling for silly prices at the moment. I recently saw a Deskjet 2050 j510 printer/scanner in PCWorld for £40 and was tempted. Then I saw the same printer in Asda for £35 and was even more tempted. Then I saw a HP Deskjet 3050 j610 wireless printer/scanner in PCWorld for £34 and almost couldn’t resist- I just thought I should check compatibility with Linux.

      • People behind Debian: Colin Watson, the tireless man-db maintainer and a debian-installer developer

        Colin Watson is not a high-profile Debian figure, you rarely see him on mailing lists but he cares a lot about Debian and you will see him on Debconf videos sharing many thoughtful comments. I have the pleasure to work with him on dpkg as he maintains the package in Ubuntu, but he does a lot of more interesting things. I also took the opportunity to ask some Ubuntu specific questions since he’s worked for Canonical since the start. Read on.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Certify this! The automated testing of Ubuntu SRUs

          Testing Stable Release Updates (SRU) for Ubuntu in the certification lab is a de-risking move that will enable the Ubuntu Platform team to release SRUs frequently (bi-weekly). This week was the first time that we did it! but there is still areas for improvements.

        • Is Ubuntu Unknowingly Introducing FUD?

          What I am reminded of is the Windows equivalent of what may happen, which used to be called DLL Hell. It would happen when all the earlier features of a DLL were not carried over into a new one, and a program would fail because it was looking for those features in an identically named DLL file. It worked both ways, with some programs failing because their newer DLL had been overwritten by an older installation program , and the replacement of the newer DLL with one of earlier timestamp and functionality.

          The fact however, that Ubuntu has the ability to act as a clearing house for all the code that works its way into the Ubuntu distribution should mean that these things will not happen. Still, there might be some hair pulling for the coordinators at Canonical along the way.

        • Natty Narwhal Alpha 1 Coming December 2

          Get ready to get your hands dirty. Alpha 1 of Natty Narwhal is coming December 2, 2010. Kate Stewart, on behalf of the Ubuntu release team, announced on the mailing list, “This first milestone is important for testing the new kernel on a variety of hardware, as well as the result of the autosyncs from Debian and first wave of merges and package updates.”

        • Three ways for Ubuntu to help developers

          Developers are a crucial part of any successful software platform. In the same way that an operating system is “just” a means for people to use applications, a platform is “just” a means for developers to create applications and make them available to people.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Bodhi Linux may just be your favorite new lightweight distro

            Bodhi Linux is an Ubuntu-based distribution that supplants the usual desktop environment of GNOME, KDE or XFCE with something lighter – and better looking: the Enlightenment desktop.

            Bodhi is based on Ubuntu 10.04, uses the LXDM login manager and the Enlightenment desktop environment. It comes with a minimal selection of pre-installed applications and an even lower set of hardware requirements.

          • Ultimate Edition Gamers 2.8 Includes Linux Games for All Ages

            Announced by TheeMahn on November 25th, Ultimate Edition Gamers 2.8, a popular Linux distribution based on Ubuntu, brings to Linux users lots of pre-added games in a 4GB, downloadable DVD ISO image. Being built off Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) by hand, Ultimate Edition Gamers 2.8 is definitely one of the most awaited and fun Linux operating systems.

          • Linux Mint: Good for Low-Requirement and Paranoid Users

            Two days ago, I helped a friend (whose identity I will not reveal here) perform a Linux Mint installation on her computer. That computer had Microsoft Windows 7 on it which was becoming extremely slow and unreliable by her own count. Because of this, she was willing to try something new. She doesn’t really do much aside from web browsing and document creation; hence, I figured that something like Linux Mint would be perfect for her.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • This intelligent fridge runs Linux on an ARM chip

      Need proof that technology is all consuming and eventually will make it’s way into every crevice of our society? Then look no further than this Electrolux fridge. It runs Linux and has an ARM chip embedded.

    • First product of ProFUSION and Electrolux partnership

      These innovations were possible thanks to the use of opensource softwares like GNU/Linux and the EFL libraries. By uniting the strengths of Electrolux and ProFUSION, the platform was optimized to extract the most from the Freescale i.MX25 processor. All the modifications done in these opensource projects were sent to their respective communities and will also be available at Electrolux’s website.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • The best netbook distro of 2010 – Linux User group test

        And the winner is… Jolicloud 1.0

        Jolicloud is hands down the most impressive Linux distribution designed for netbooks. Discarding the tried and tested desktop metaphor and building a new interface from scratch is a risky proposition, to say the least. But Jolicloud’s developers did a fantastic job of developing an interface that not only makes the most of the netbook’s limited screen estate, but is also intuitive enough even for non-technical users. But the look is only part of Jolicloud’s appeal.

        The distro boasts a few unique features that make it a truly cloud-oriented and social computing platform. The system makes it supremely easy to install conventional and cloud-based applications, and the ability to sync them between multiple machines is a real boon for netbook users. In addition to that, the distro sports its own social feature that lets you follow other Jolicloud users. All in all, we are deeply impressed with Jolicloud and can highly recommend it to anyone looking for a distro that has the potential to transform your humble netbook into a cloud computing platform with a pinch of social functionality.

      • Chrome OS device codenames revealed

        Bearing in mind Google’s focus on speed for Chrome OS, the name makes a lot of sense.

        The search giant is only looking to devices with solid state drives, which boot faster than traditional hard disk drives, because speed is very much the core tenet of the entire operating system.

        The first devices, which are likely to be netbooks rather than tablets, are expected to make an appearance early next year, with CES 2011 a likely venue.

      • For Google, the Browser Does It All

        Google says it will become clearer by the end of the year, when the company will introduce to the public a lightweight netbook computer that runs Chrome. Though Google declined to give details of the device, it is expected to be manufactured by another company and branded by Google, similar to the way Google released its Nexus phone, which runs on Android.

        Google has high hopes for Chrome, and as the company weathers criticism for relying too much on search advertising for revenue, its executives have been describing Chrome as one of Google’s new businesses with huge potential.

        With Chrome OS, Google is stepping once again into the territory of its archrivals, Microsoft and Apple, both of which make operating systems as well as widely used desktop software like Microsoft Office and Apple iPhoto and iTunes.

      • Jolicloud Jolibook review

        he Jolicloud Jolibook — oh, it’s a real product, and it’s an interesting one at that, but one we’re not entirely sure you need for £279 ($443).


        And ultimately, that’s what it comes down to — if you’re looking for a netbook that’s all about Jolicloud, the Jolibook and its crazy lid will fit the bill, but if you’re not all about one Linux OS, giving up Windows, or having a cartoon all over your netbook you’re best just scooping up one of our preferred netbooks like the Toshiba Mini NB305 or HP Mini 5103, downloading Jolicloud 1.1, and making a Jolibook of your own.

Free Software/Open Source

  • A proposal for effective, volunteer-friendly user support in LibreOffice

    OpenOffice.org has failed to provide effective user support via email. LibreOffice can and should avoid the same mistake.

  • Impressive 3d slide transations for OpenOffice presentations

    If you want to jazz up your open office presentation, you can install openoffice OpenGL transition library to get very cool 3D transition effects.

  • SOS Open Source Reports: Open Source Monitoring, Icinga vs Nagios

    Some background information on Nagios and Icinga. Nagios – whose name is a recursive acronym (”Nagios Ain’t Gonna Insist On Sainthood”) ironically refers to the original name NetSaint changed to avoid trademark troubles – is among the most popular open source network management tools and application. Nagios has been designed and developed by Ethan Galstad over the last 11 years. Recently Ethan started to empower other developers, a transition that is slowly happening. Icinga is a Nagios fork born over one year ago, which aim was and is to make it a community-led project, probably not devoid of business logic. Nagios and Icinga Sustainability.

  • Google Wave Gets a Second Life from Apache

    Rumors of the death of Google Wave are perhaps somewhat exaggerated. Google may have pulled the plug on the short-lived Google Wave, but the concept lives on in an open source project being embraced by the Apache Software Foundation.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla releases Thunderbird 3.3 Alpha 1

        The Mozilla Project developers have announced the release of the first alpha for version 3.3 of Thunderbird, code named “Miramar”. According to Mozilla Messaging Product Manager Rafael Ebron, Miramar Alpha 1 is aimed at “testers, extension developers, and other friends who are curious to follow the development of the next release of Thunderbird”.

      • Firefox 4 Beta 7 Boasts 3D, GPU, Java Enhancements

        On Wednesday, Mozilla released Firefox 4 Beta 7, with significant JavaScript improvements, more support for accelerated graphics, and even 3D support.

        Furthermore, Mozilla said, the plug-in API support is now considered stable so that developers can begin finalizing their plug-ins for the final version of Firefox 4, now due in 2011.

      • Ubuntu: Install Firefox 4 beta 7 with font rendering fixes
  • Business

  • Project Releases

  • Government

    • Nichi Vendola explains (but does he?) his Berlusconi-like deal with Microsoft

      The day after signing a Berlusconi-like deal with Microsoft, Nichi Vendola, president of the Puglia Region, published an explanation on the website of its party. These are my comments to the main parts of that article.

      Vendola: “Who is the enemy for Puglia and for Italy? Is it Microsoft, or any other software giant?”

      Stop: The first enemy is lack of competence and interest in ICT by Public Administrators. Is this the case with Vendola? Maybe not, but frankly this explanation isn’t enough to be sure, even if there are some good parts in it.

    • Italian region asks for help to avoid software lock-in… to Microsoft

      Today, after the initial surprise caused by knowing that Left party leader and president of the italian region of Puglia, Nichi Vendola, has just signed a Berlusconi-like deal with Microsoft offering an explanation that, alas, doesn’t really explain much, we started to know something about the content of the deal (because the bigger, problem in this whole business, much more of the presence of Microsoft, is lack of transparency).

      The Region of Puglia published a press release titled, more or less, “Protocol of understanding between the Region of Puglia and Microsoft. Vendola says: (this is for) technological neutrality (a summary of the press release was also published by Italian newspaper Corriere del Mezzogiorno.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • No Proprietary Recipes – Meet The First of Its Kind Open Source Restaurant!

      Instructables is the first of its kind Open Source restaurant in the world, perhaps the only one to exist on planet Earth. There are no secret recipes at Instructables restaurant, everything is Open Source. You can simply log on to instructables.com and download your favorite recipes at no extra cost.

    • Wikipedia as (Multilingual) Word-Hoard

      This facet is even more important for languages with a relatively small numbers of speakers, or perhaps threatened with outright extinction. Wikipedia acts as a natural focus for the creation of texts in these languages that might otherwise be missing – a repository of linguistic wisdom that can be shared and built on. In this way, it plays an important role not just in spreading knowledge about the world, but also about the languages that people use to talk about that world.

    • Action Sharing Competition – The Last Days
    • Open Data

      • Give Us All Open Data – But Not Yet

        As a I wrote a couple of days ago, the current flood of open data announcements, notably by the UK government, is something of a two-edged sword. It’s great to have, but it also imposes a correspondingly great responsibility to do something useful with it.

        Interestingly, this isn’t just my view, but also that of someone who has probably done more to make open data happen in the UK than anyone else: Tom Steinberg, who was the driving force behind key sites like WriteToThem and FixMyStreet.

      • In at the deep end: how to get started with COINS Linked Data

        A tweet today from … someone?! … alerted me to the fact that COINS data has just been published as Linked Data over on the TSO Open Up Labs website. The documentation is still in the works, and as yet there aren’t any example queries available showing how to get started with querying the dataset, so I thought it might be worth trying to pull a few simple queries together to at least providing a jumping off point for exploring the data via the SPARQL interface.

      • UK Government Licensing Framework

        The UK Government Licensing Framework (UKGLF) provides a policy and legal overview for licensing the re-use of public sector information, both in central government and the wider public sector.

        It sets out best practice, standardises the licensing principles for government information, and recommends the use of the Open Government Licence (OGL) for public sector information.

      • Linked Open Data cloud takes shape

        Linked Open Data Around-the-Clock (LATC) is a new project that aims to make it easier for government agencies and web developers across the globe to gain access to information from other organisations.

    • Open Hardware

      • Fiat brings open hardware and crowdsourcing to car manufacturing

        Starting with a very basic premise—’What will cars be like in the future?’—car manufacturer Fiat began the Fiat Mio project to capture the many different answers to that question. The project sought to conceptualise and ultimately manufacture a concept vehicle that was informed by the crowd.


  • 5 Technologies The Internet Is Transforming

    The creation of the Internet has created plenty of good in the world. People now have access to more information, tighter connections with more friends, and the ability to make a difference. But some things haven’t had an easy time making the adjustment.

    Here are just a handful of technologies that the Internet is transforming for better or for worse.

  • The diplomat, the bishop, the bomber, and the fruit bat

    What speech acts are permitted under the various restrictive laws current in the British Isles, and what penalties accrue to people who step outside the bounds laid down by the law? As I have often mentioned here before, the UK has no real constitutional guarantee of free speech, so a lot of things that any American would take to be unquestionably expressible turn out to bring down fines or imprisonment if you say them in the UK. But since all the cases have hidden complexities, and the issue strikes me as important, and I am currently the only Language Log correspondent in the British Isles, I thought I would give you an update. I will deal with four cases: the Ranting Diplomat, the Mad Bishop, the Robin Hood Airport Twitter Bomber, and (perhaps the strangest of them all, a story from Ireland): Fruit Bat Fellatiogate.

  • Government to seek experts’ views on public service reform

    The Government today invited experts, public service managers and providers of public services to submit their ideas for public service reform.

    Their views will help shape the Government’s Public Service Reform White Paper, announced in the Spending Review, which will be published next year.

    The Government wants to reform public services by shifting power away from central government to the local level – to citizens, communities, and independent providers, so that they can play a greater role in shaping services.

  • FedEx Finds Radioactive Shipment That Vanished Between N.D. and Tenn.

    FedEx says it has located a shipment of radioactive rods used in medical equipment that had vanished while being sent from North Dakota to Tennessee.

    The rods, which are used for quality control in CT scans, were found at the FedEx station in Knoxville, Tenn., FedEx spokeswoman Sandra Munoz told FoxNews.com Friday.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Biggest consumers of antibiotics in China: Livestock

      We all know that, thanks to worries about superbugs, taking antibiotics isn’t the best course of action when all you’ve got is a bit of a cold… but it seems like we may be throwing them in our bodies anyhow just through the food we eat. According to China Daily, almost half of the antibiotics – 97,000 out of the 210,000 produced in China – are being used on livestock.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Robert Fisk: Oceans of blood and profits for the mongers of war

      Since there are now three conflicts in the greater Middle East; Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel/”Palestine” and maybe another Lebanese war in the offing, it might be a good idea to take a look at the cost of war.

    • student cuts protest – pics and account (part two)

      at around 3pm, i spotted a line of around 80 police standing in front of the national gallery at the top of trafalgar square.

      this was odd because in the square there were very few people and only half a dozen students with a banner.

    • TSA Turned Off Naked X-Ray Machines

      In order to block its real enemies, free Americans, TSA closed down its chertoscanners today so that people could not opt out. Gee, it turns out the expensive equipment was not necessary to fight terrorism after all, and was only designed to humiliate and dehumanize tax victims.

    • Obama says, “Don’t touch my junk”

      In this funky, funky remix, a fiery Barack Obama tells the TSA: “Don’t touch my junk.”

    • Student protests: Met chief warns of new era of unrest

      Britain’s most senior police officer warned today of a new era of civil unrest as the national campaign against university fee increases and education cuts gathered momentum.

      Sir Paul Stephenson, the commissioner of the Metropolitan police, said the two large-scale student demonstrations of the past fortnight had been marred by a previously unseen level of violence, adding: “The game has changed.”

      His comments were seized on by critics, who said the hard-line rhetoric risked escalating tensions with students organising the nationwide grassroots campaign against education cuts.

    • London police brutally kettle children marching for education

      Writing in the New Statesman, Laurie Penny documents the brutal, savage treatment dealt to the London demonstrators who marched against cuts to education and found themselves “kettled” (detained without arrest, toilet, shelter, or charge) for eight hours in freezing weather; many of those kettled were children and young teens, as well as pregnant women.

    • Napolitano Eyes Tighter Security for Trains, Ships, Mass Transit

      Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said this week that her department is considering beefing up security on trains, ships and mass transit amid a public backlash over the body scanners and “enhanced” pat-downs at airports across the country.

      When asked what terrorists will be thinking in the future, Napolitano said Monday on “Charlie Rose” that they will “continue to probe the system and try to find a way through.”

    • ‘They were staring me up and down’: Woman claimed TSA security staff singled her out for her breasts

      A woman has complained that the TSA’s new security measures saw her picked out for further screening because of her breasts.

      Eliana Sutherland had been flying from Orlando International Airport and said she felt objectified by security workers.

    • Toxic extinguisher fired at student protesters by police medic

      A police medic sprayed a fire extinguisher at point-blank range into a crowd of student campaigners, it was revealed on Thursday night.

    • Student protests in London: A street-level view of the day

      Fires, fights and parties break out as a new generation of young protesters take their anger over education cuts to the streets of Whitehall. WARNING: This video contains strong language

    • Wikileaks must stop “dangerous” leaks: military

      Whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks is endangering the lives of U.S. forces and people who support the United States around the world, the top U.S. military officer said, ahead of the expected release of more classified U.S. documents.

    • US briefs allies on WikiLeaks dump
    • SIU clears officers in G20 probe

      Brendan Latimer was knocked down by a herd of fellow protesters during a G20 demonstration at Queen’s Park.

      Lying on the ground, police moved in and arrested the delivery worker. That’s when one of the officers allegedly struck him in the face, causing a fracture.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Another extreme drought hits the Amazon, raising climate change concerns

      What connection might these droughts have to rising concentrations of GHGs in the atmosphere and what might we expect during the course of this century as GHG concentrations continue to rise?

      The connections between rising GHG concentrations on the El Niños is a matter of scientific interest and debate. El Niño-Southern Oscillation patterns in the tropical Pacific appear to be changing and some research suggests the changes may be related to climate change (see El Niño in a changing climate, Nature, 24 September 2010). However, the science is very much unsettled, so we cannot say anything definitive about the relationship between rising GHGs and the El Niños that preceeded the 2005 and 2010 droughts.

    • Michael McCarthy: The end of abundance

      If we ask ourselves what has been lost, that we really care about, in the last 50 years, what has gone from the natural world in Britain that was special and is now much missed, we might come up with many different answers.

      Some people would undoubtedly say the red squirrel, stunningly beautiful for a small mammal, in fact almost feminine in its beauty, and now driven to extinction south of the Lake District (apart from a few corners) by its grey cousin. Others might instance the cornflower, that heart-stopping bloom of the crop fields, which was of such an intense deep blue that it almost seemed to be radiating heat. Intensive farming did for that.

      Butterfly enthusiasts might mention the large tortoiseshell, handsome as a lion, which wasn’t common but still appeared to be flourishing in a few places after the war, and then was suddenly gone (nobody really knows why). And many bird lovers would doubtless bring up the red-backed shrike, the magnificent mini-predator that was still pretty visible half a century ago but then dwindled to nothing by 1990 (although the odd pair still breeds here).

      You could lament the disappearance of any of those, and if you put them together, you’re embarking on a true litany of loss. But although I regret them all as keenly as the next person, they’re not what I mourn most. I mourn the loss of abundance.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Glenn Beck believes in four insane things before breakfast

      According to host Glenn Beck’s own transcript, Beck’s very next utterance was to proclaim that the “mystery” jet contrail recently seen in California (explained weeks ago (even by Fox News online) as almost certainly an optical illusion created by still air and a jet contrail from a known UPS delivery flight) was in fact a secret two-stage missile launch by the Chinese government to assert their power over America, “sending a signal that the world has changed.”

      Beck then went on to state that the Chinese “control the world.”

      Did Sarah Palin, would-be leader of the United States, disagree with any of this? Nope.

      Palin’s verbatim response: “Well, that’s right.”

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Mobiles as reliable surrogate for people tracking

      Location breadcrumbs left by mobile phones, along with other communication traffic data, are kept as part of a mass surveillance operation. They are collected by the mobile networks, retained for a year, and handed over to the police and other bodies on request. This is such an accepted fact of life that lack of traffic data has become suspicious. As shown in Voluntary electronic tagging, not carrying a mobile phone was considered a ground for arrest in Germany in 2007 and in France in 2008.

    • Facebook defends NHS for sharing data

      Facebook has defended a move by the National Health Service (NHS) to share data about the pages social networkers look at, claiming its helps ‘educate’ web users on the latest health issues.

      The social network told PC Pro: “By deciding that I ‘like’ something, that will come up in news feeds and that will drive people to those pages that have a ‘Like’ button”.

    • Police to get major new powers to seize domains

      Police could soon have the power to seize any domain associated with criminal activity, under new proposals published today by UK domain registrar Nominet.

      At present, Nominet has no clear legal obligation to ensure that .uk domains are not used for criminal activities. That situation may soon change, if proposals from the Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) are accepted.

    • UK police want new censorship powers

      If proposals from the UK’s Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) go through Britain, already deeply in thrall to the entertainment cartels in its role as corporate copyright cop, will step even closer to becoming a true police state.

    • Congress Passes Web Censorship Bill, Two Hip-Hop Sites Shut Down

      Congress finally hammered out a bill on last Thursday (November 18), called the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA), which would empower the government to take action against websites offering unauthorized copyrighted or counterfeit content.

      Last week Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the bill, in which the Attorney General gains the right to shut down websites with a court order if copyright infringement is deemed “central to the activity” of the site.

    • US Government Seizes 77 Domains Including Torrent Meta-Search Engine

      It’s fairly simple these days for enforcement agencies to call a torrent site infringing. It’s been done many times. But in this case, Torrent-Finder does not host a tracker or any torrent files. It’s only function is search. All the search results from existing torrent sites are displayed in an iframe. This may be a subtle distinction lost on those not familiar with the technology. But in practice this is a huge difference from sites like The Pirate Bay. it brings up some interesting questions. For example, is just linking to a torrent site considered infringing behavior?

    • Is this the most ironic YouTube blocking ever?

      This is such a jewel that I felt like sharing. Click on this link with a video presentation from Larry Lessig entitled “What CC Was For?” When you try to go to the presentation, you are introduced to this screen…

    • Home Office: citizens not directly concerned by interception law

      ORG received a response to our complaint about the truncated, unpublicized RIPA consultation today, the day after we sent a joint civil society letter to Pauline Neville Jones.

      The consultation will create new powers to fine organisations who engage in illegal interception, and decide who will investigate. Currently, this may not include the police, and the fines may be laughably small – perhaps only £10,000.

    • Girl arrested for allegedly burning Qur’an

      A 15-year-old girl has been arrested in the West Midlands on suspicion of inciting religious hatred after allegedly burning an English-language version of the Qur’an – and then posting video footage of the act on Facebook.

      The teenager, from Sandwell, in the Birmingham area, was filmed on her school premises burning the book. Police have confirmed the incident was reported to the school and the video has since been removed from the social networking site.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • UBC Library launches license database

        With the agreement between Access Copyright and Canadian universities expiring at the end of the year, UBC Library is taking a lead on promoting responsible use of copyrighted and licensed material, including databases and journals. This includes the development of the License Information Database, which answers many questions that instructors may have about using the Library’s resources.

      • Don’t like digital locks? Then don’t buy the products: Minister

        Heritage Minister James Moore has some simple advice for consumers who don’t like his government’s proposal to make breaking digital locks on DVDs, e-Books and other content illegal: Follow his example and don’t buy them.

        The proposed copyright bill — the subject of a heated debate Thursday at a special parliamentary hearing considering amendments to the legislation — would make it a violation to circumvent a digital lock under any circumstance, including for personal use.

      • Heritage Minister hasn’t seen workable MP3 levy proposal

        Heritage Minister James Moore is not opposed to discussing a levy on MP3 players, but says no group has ever come forward with a detailed proposal on how it would work.

      • Liberals Preparing C-32 Amendments on Digital Locks & Fair Dealing

        The Wire Report reports that the Liberals are preparing amendments to Bill C-32 to address digital locks and fair dealing. The digital lock reforms will apparently address the consumer rights concerns, as Garneau notes in the article that “we believe that if somebody has legitimately bought a work and wants to transfer it to another device for personal use only, that should be allowed.” In order to ensure that consumers have those rights, it would be necessary to both remove the digital lock restrictions in the consumer provisions and amend the general anti-circumvention provision (to do one without the other would still leave consumers locked out).

      • Study Of Public Domain, Copyright At WIPO Offers Recommendations

        A better definition of the public domain is needed, but copyright and public domain are not antagonistic, said a study commissioned by the World Intellectual Property Organization presented this week. Also this week, a book on the role of copyright in access to knowledge in Africa was launched.

        The study was presented in a side event to the WIPO Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP), which monitors the implementation of the 45 recommendations of the WIPO Development Agenda and is meeting from 22 to 26 November. Among those recommendations, some are specifically targeted towards the preservation of the public domain.

      • Court Says UK Papers Can Command Levies From Pay-For News Monitor Customers

        In an important first-instance ruling, the UK High Court has upheld a stipulation that operators and customers of paid digital news monitor services should pay newspapers for crawling their stories.

        The case was lodged by UK news publishers’ Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA) against PR monitor Meltwater, to gain endorsement for their stipulation that the services and their customers, who subscribe to receive alerts containing mentions of their company, must pay them for the privilege of “copying” news stories.

      • The Free Standard Gets Bigger And Bigger

        Yesterday’s issue was 88 pages. Today’s is a record-breaking 92 pages. Why? Because the adverts are rolling in. As editor Geordie Greig likes to joke, his paper isn’t so much free, it’s priceless.

        No wonder its main owners, Alexander Lebedev and his son, Evgeny, are said to be very happy with the way things are heading.

        Doubtless, the other (25%) shareholder, Associated Newspapers is pleased too (though also probably miffed at never taking the plunge itself when it had the chance).

      • U.S. Government Seizes BitTorrent Search Engine Domain and More

        Following on the heels of this week’s domain seizure of a large hiphop file-sharing links forum, it’s clear today that the U.S. Government has been very busy. Without any need for COICA, ICE has just seized the domain of a BitTorrent meta-search engine along with those belonging to other music linking sites and several others which appear to be connected to physical counterfeit goods.

      • The Pirate Bay Appeal Verdict: Guilty Again

        The verdict against three people associated with The Pirate Bay just been announced. The Swedish Appeal Court found Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij and Carl Lundström guilty of “contributory copyright infringement” and handed down prison sentences ranging from 4 to 10 months plus damages of more than $6.5 million in total.

      • Pirate Bay trio lose appeal against jail sentences

        Three of The Pirate Bay’s founders have lost an appeal against their prison sentences in a Swedish court.

        Fredrik Neij, Peter Sunde and Carl Lundström appealed their one-year jail sentences, which were doled out last year after they were found guilty of helping to make copyright material available via the torrent site.

      • Copyright Law is a 404 Not Found

        It is a truism that slow-moving law cannot keep up with fleet-of-foot digital technology, so that makes the rare court decision dealing with the details of how people use the Web of particular importance. Here’s an interesting case that has just been handed down.

        Reading the entire judgment (I did so you don’t have to), I don’t think the judge did a bad job. The big problem is simply that copyright law just cannot cope with what is going on routinely a billion times a day.

        The case was about a company indexing content from a group of newspaper publishers.

      • Zimbabwean law will put legislation, parliamentary gazette, etc, under state copyright

        Joeblack69 says, “Our Justice Minister in Zimbabwe is currently steering a bill through Parliament that I believe requires scrutiny. The General Laws Amendment Bill, among other issues, seeks to amend the Copyright and Neighbouring Act by giving copyright protection to legislation, notices and other material in the Government Gazette, court judgments and certain public registers. Copyright in all these documents will vest in government. Government, as copyright holder.”

      • Creativity and the Law

        The first thing I noticed was that all of these legal scholars accepted an instrumental view of IP law: that the purpose of IP law (which includes patent, copyright, and trademark) is to foster maximum societal innovation, for the good of all. I didn’t hear a peep about a competing view that you might call the property view: that my ideas and creations are my personal property, and I have an inalienable right to own them, just like I own my house or my classic BMW motorcycle. That’s fine with me, because I also believe that IP law should be designed to foster the maximum creativity of all. My own studies of creativity demonstrate how each new creation is always a rather small advance on the large body of knowledge and expertise that has come before, so being overly possessive about your own ideas is always an error.

      • ACTA

        • European Parliament sells out to ACTA

          Yesterday the European Parliament adopted the resolution on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), a trade agreement between various states and global economy players, proposing solutions for copyright violations and so-called piracy from a sole economic perspective and ignoring any social or sustainability impacts this may bring about. The resolution was adopted with a slim majority. The majority was slim mostly due to the concerns by several parliamentarians about the procedure and implications of the resolution. Not only is it doubtful whether it is possible to adopt ACTA within the current EU framework, but the whole basis of the document raised objections amongst the EP factions.

        • EU Parliament Rubber Stamps ACTA Approval
        • EU Parliament Resolution Signals Support For ACTA

          The European Parliament approved a resolution Wednesday signaling its willingness to support a controversial trade agreement aimed at boosting international cooperation in combating counterfeiting and piracy.

          The resolution calls on the commission, the European Union’s regulatory arm, to move forward with submitting the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement to the European Council and parliament for a vote while stressing that the agreement “requires parliament’s consent and, possibly, ratification by the member states in order to come into force.”

Clip of the Day

Lisp Game Development Screencast 1

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 26/11/2010: KDE SC 4.6 Features and Minor News (Happy Thanksgiving)

Posted in News Roundup at 12:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • The quest for more – when $20 billion isn’t enough

    Simon Brew wonders if there are 20 billion reasons why the spirit of open source is being distorted…

  • LPC: Michael Meeks on LibreOffice and code ownership

    Back when the 2010 Linux Plumbers Conference was looking for presentations, the LibreOffice project had not yet announced its existence. So Michael Meeks put in a vague proposal for a talk having to do with OpenOffice.org and promised the organizers it would be worth their time. Fortunately, they believed him; in an energetic closing keynote, Michael talked at length about what is going on with LibreOffice – and with the free software development community as a whole. According to Michael, both good and bad things are afoot. (Michael’s slides [PDF] are available for those who would like to follow along).

    Naturally enough, LibreOffice is one of the good things; it’s going to be “awesome.” It seems that there are some widely diverging views on the awesomeness of OpenOffice.org; those who are based near Hamburg (where StarDivision was based) think it is a wonderful tool. People in the rest of the world tend to have a rather less enthusiastic view. The purpose of the new LibreOffice project is to produce a system that we can all be proud of.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 4 Minefield Now With Improved Add-Ons Manager

        One of the design elements that I did not like in the development builds of Firefox 4 until now was the add-ons manager. I have reviewed it in detail in the article How To Uninstall Add-ons In Firefox 4. Basically, what I did not like was that it looked kinda messy, hard to read and out of place.

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Non digital commons a lot more complicated than Free Software

      In September 2010 I went to the Open World Forum to present some first results of my research about local impacts of Open Data. The Forum was an interesting and varied event, that gave space to very interesting talks, keynotes and comments about freedom, education and gender diversity in software. Another great moment for me was the contribution to the final panel by John Wilbank, Vice-President for Science Creative Commons.

    • Open Hardware

      • Extend your Arduino

        The Arduino is a small programmable device that can hold a small program and perform tasks such as reading temperature sensors, turning on or off switches, and can even serve as the ‘brain’ for a robot. I have used the Arduino (actually freeduino) for projects related to HVAC and hydroponics automation.


  • Oracle whacked by DoJ complaint

    An industry group of 130 hardware maintenance providers has complained to the Department of Justice that they’ve been unfairly squeezed since Larry Ellison bought Sun Microsystems.

    The Service Industry Association has been complaining about Oracle’s tactics for some time, but has now written to the DoJ.

  • Eat a Bagel, Lose Your Baby
  • Mother, shall I put you to sleep?

    Young family members of this district in southern Tamil Nadu have been pushing their infirm, elderly dependents to death because they cannot afford to take care of them.

  • Ghosts of Unix past, part 2: Conflated designs
  • Health/Nutrition

    • US response to cholera in Haiti, fund exclusive elections

      In the face of a cholera epidemic that has claimed the lives of over 1000 people, infected many thousands and is feared to intensify due to widespread flooding in the wake of Hurricane Tomas, officials have stated that the elections scheduled for November 28 will go ahead as planned. While some candidates have questioned the wisdom of holding elections during such turmoil, a rising chorus of critics is disputing the elections’ very legitimacy and is urging the US, a primary funder, to take responsibility in guaranteeing a truly democratic process.

    • CDC Says Haiti’s Cholera Due to “One Event”
  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Twenty-First Century Blowback?

      From 2001 to 2010, the US military spent about $32 million on construction projects in Oman. In September, the Army upped the ante by awarding an $8.6 million contract to refurbish the Royal Air Force of Oman’s air field at Thumrait Air Base.

      US efforts in Bahrain are on a grander scale. This year, the US Navy broke ground on a mega-construction project to develop 70 acres of waterfront at the port at Mina Salman. Scheduled for completion in 2015, the complex is slated to include new port facilities, barracks for troops, administrative buildings, a dining facility, and a recreation center, among other amenities, with a price tag of $580 million.

    • Barack Obama’s hopes for a nuclear-free world fading fast

      Barack Obama’s hopes of reshaping US foreign policy stand on the brink of failure tonight, after two of his most cherished initiatives — nuclear disarmament and better relations with Moscow — were dealt serious setbacks.

    • Guantánamo Bay prisoner payouts a first step to ending legacy of torture

      The government insisted today that it had started to draw a line under the legacy of complicity in rendition and torture that it inherited from the Labour administration by settling claims brought by 16 former Guantánamo inmates.

    • Guantánamo: security services must be protected, says Ken Clarke
    • Do Airport Screenings Really Make Us Safer?

      TSA’s activities provide substantial fodder for both citizen and professional journalists. YouTube is full of citizen-made videos of TSA agents engaging in questionable activities, like aggressively patting down a three year old child or pulling the pants off a wheelchair-bound, 71 year-old man to examine his knee implant.

    • Silvio Berlusconi ally was link to Sicilian mafia, judges rule

      he man who spearheaded Silvio Berlusconi’s entry into politics was also an intermediary between the media magnate and the Sicilian mafia, judges in Palermo ruled last night.

      In a lengthy written judgment on one of the Italian prime minister’s closest associates, the judges said that before entering politics Berlusconi paid “enormous sums of money” to Cosa Nostra for protection and later handed over funds to safeguard his network’s relay stations on Sicily.

    • Vox Taxi – Vox Dei

      I am not prepared to subscribe to such an anti-democratic statement. But if we want to move towards peace, we undoubtedly have to remove this huge rock blocking the road. We must infuse the public with another belief – the belief that peace is possible, that it is essential for the future of Israel, that it depends mainly on us.

    • Who’s correct about human nature, the left or the right?
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Pants on Fire: the Whoppers of the 2010 Elections

      Throughout the course of the 2010 Congressional midterm campaigns, candidates threw out countless fibs, questionable assertions, whoppers and half-truths. These are our candidates for the most misleading campaign ads of 2010, what are yours?
      Big Lie #1: Health Care Reform Guts Medicare

    • Capitol Hill’s Top 75 Corporate Sponsors

      Want to follow the money? Below, the 75 heaviest hitters in corporate campaign cash, 1989-2010.

      1 AT&T

      2 National Association of Realtors

      3 Goldman Sachs

      4 American Association for Justice

      5 Citigroup

      6 American Medical Association

      7 National Automobile Dealers Association


  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Egypt blogger out after 4-yrs in jail

      An Egyptian blogger has been released after serving four years in prison on charges of insulting Islam and the president, a human rights group said on Wednesday.

      The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) said blogger Abdel Kareem Nabil, 26, known as Kareem Amer, was in bad health and was beaten by security officers before his release on Tuesday.

      The Interior Ministry was not immediately available for comment.

      Amer, a student at the state-run religious al-Azhar University, was arrested in 2006 on charges of insulting Islam and President Hosni Mubarak in his blog posts. He was sentenced to four years in prison and expelled from the university.

    • Liu Xiaobo’s Nobel peace prize may not be given out at December ceremony
    • WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange wanted by Interpol over rape case

      An international arrest warrant is being issued for the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, after Swedish prosecutors were today granted permission to detain him for questioning in a rape case.

    • BlackBerry to ‘allow Indian government to monitor messages’

      BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) is ready to allow Indian authorities access to the emails and messages of its most high-profile corporate customers, according to a ministry official in the country.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • ISPs should be free to abandon net neutrality, says Ed Vaizey

      Internet service providers such as BT should be allowed to abandon net neutrality and prioritise users’ access to certain content providers, the communications minister Ed Vaizey said in a speech today.

    • Oregon Senator Wyden effectively kills Internet censorship bill

      It’s too early to say for sure, but Oregon Senator Ron Wyden could very well go down in the history books as the man who saved the Internet.

      A bill that critics say would have given the government power to censor the Internet will not pass this year thanks to the Oregon Democrat, who announced his opposition during a recent committee hearing. Individual Senators can place holds on pending legislation, in this case meaning proponents of the bill will be forced to reintroduce the measure and will not be able to proceed until the next Congress convenes.

Clip of the Day

Nokia X7 00 Symbian^3 Nokiasaga com

Credit: TinyOgg

Links 25/11/2010: KDE SC 4.6 Beta1, Wayland Ease

Posted in News Roundup at 2:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel Log: Fast response times via process groups

      The automatic creation of process groups should keep the desktop interface responsive even when a large number of processes are making the CPU sweat. Meanwhile, the development of 2.6.37 is in full swing, and new stable kernels replace their predecessors; 2.6.35, on the other hand, has reached the end of its life.

      Last week, a small patch of only about 200 lines, designed to significantly increase the interactivity of desktop applications in some situations where a CPU works to capacity, sparked considerable debate in Linux circles. The discussions about the code modification had already started a month ago; a reworked version of the patch subsequently received extra attention when Linus Torvalds gave it a lot of praise last week, commenting that his system was clearly more interactive when compiling a kernel.

    • Finland’s brand strategy builds on the ideas of free software

      Finland’s national brand strategy project released their report today on the Tehtävä Suomelle website. The basic idea is to promote the Finnish capability for getting things done, and the communal approach to problem solving.

    • Graphics Stack

      • It’s Becoming Very Easy To Run Wayland

        When Wayland started out in 2008 it was very difficult to build and run this lightweight, next-generation display server. Wayland leverages the very latest Linux graphics technologies and at that time all of Wayland’s dependencies had to be patched or built from branched sources and Wayland even had its own EGL implementation at the time (Eagle) rather than Mesa and overall it was just a high barrier to entry. Wayland at that time also worked with only the open-source Intel driver, while now it can work with most any KMS / GEM / Mesa driver. It was not until recently that it became possible to build Wayland from mainline components beginning to ship in new Linux distributions, thereby making it much easier to experiment with the open-source display server. Now it’s to a point where you can just run a simple script and be up and running with a Wayland Display Server in just minutes.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • 4.6 Beta1 Brings Improved Search, Activities and Mobile Device Support

        KDE releases 4.6 beta1 of Workspaces, Applications and Development Frameworks, bringing significant improvements to desktop search, a revamped activity system and a significant performance boost to window management and desktop effects. Efforts all across the KDE codebase pay off by making KDE’s frameworks more suitable for usage on all devices. The release provides a testing base for a stable release in January 2011.

  • Distributions

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Watch Unity People Place in action [Video]
        • Here come the Ninjas

          We also want to make it easier for new members to start working on Ubuntu. When a new member is interested in helping Ubuntu, they would like to help fix bugs in Ubuntu but are often lost.They do not dissociate Ubuntu from Upstream packages or projects. They just want to help Ubuntu and fix bugs. As a new member interested in fixing bugs in Ubuntu, where do they ask? Where do they start?

        • Rolling Releases Make no Sense for a Linux Distribution Like Ubuntu

          It seems reasonable to assume that Mark Shuttleworth’s comments were targeted more in the direction of mobile devices. The leap by online authors to equate this with a total change of the Ubuntu development infrastructure seems rather foolish and let’s one wonder if this was one of those “Oops I did it again – let’s bash Ubuntu” attitudes again. In particular since such news could potentially confuse lots of partners, developers, and users of Ubuntu and could undermine its current strong position.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • John Lilly at Mozilla

        John is not leaving Mozilla per se, although he won’t be around the office day-to-day anymore. As he joins Mozilla’s Board of Directors, his influence and guidance will continue.

  • Databases

    • Leaving MariaDB/Monty Program

      When I joined the company over a year ago I was immediately involved in drafting a project plan for the Open Database Alliance and its relation to MariaDB. We wanted to imitate the model of the Linux Foundation and Linux project, where the MariaDB project would be hosted by a non-profit organization where multiple vendors would collaborate and contribute. We wanted MariaDB to be a true community project, like most successful open source projects are – such as all other parts of the LAMP stack.

      So we went ahead and told about this vision when we promoted MariaDB and recruited users and contributors or customers to our company:

      * In Monty’s keynote at this year’s MySQL conference we positioned MariaDB as a unifying force in the universe of competing MySQL forks.
      * I have personally spoken abou this in public places, such as when Drupal was adding MariaDB support, using it as an obvious argument in favor of MariaDB.
      * Most recently I defended MariaDB’s status as a community project vigorously on Brian Aker’s blog. Little did I know that while I was doing so, the plan had already been changed…

      I’m sure there are other occasions too that I wasn’t involved in, like convincing Linux distributions that MariaDB is preferable to MySQL, or that we should get a free booth in the dot-org pavilion at a conference.

  • Oracle

    • Hudson java.net migration status update

      Even worse, there’s no ETA — it’ll definitely take a week, but since this is a Thanksgiving weekend, it can take longer, Oracle said.

      I find this situation plain unacceptable, and e-mails from the earlier migration effort made me doubt if the new infrastructure is any better. I also had a pleasure of working closely with CollabNet folks over the past years and I was also involved in some earlier conversation and experiments about the new java.net infrastructure, and when it comes to performance and monitoring, CollabNet folks really knew what they are doing. So I had multiple reasons to worry if the new infrastructure can handle the load of java.net, which the old CollabNet-hosted one couldn’t handle.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • What the new government transparency website could mean for journalists and media

      The government yesterday launched a searchable database of business plans, structures, salaries and other data for its departments. The launch of the online transparency database is the latest move by government to shift power away from central government and increase its accountability to the public.

      “We’re going to smash open state monopolies. We’re going to invite new providers in. And in one of the biggest blows for people power, we’re shining a bright light of transparency on everything government does. Because each of these Business Plans does not just specify the actions we will take. It also sets out the information we will publish so that people can hold us to account… Plain-English details about the progress of the reforms and the results they are achieving,” said Prime Minister David Cameron in a speech yesterday.

    • Sony chooses open

      Phrases I considered for this post’s title ranged from “surprising choice” to “sign of the apocalypse.” More than a few years ago, I remember buying my first piece of Sony hardware–a video camera. It was one of the first that also let you take digital stills, which it saved to a tiny, purple, proprietary Sony memory stick that was an expensive pain to replace or get a spare of. And that was how I first learned that Sony was mostly only interested in Sony.


      Of course this isn’t the first surprise turn to openness from Sony. They launched their first Android-based handset just over a year ago, and rumors are that the “Playstation phone” likely to be announced December 9 will be Android-based as well. Interestingly enough, Android 3.0 (“Gingerbread”) will be released three days earlier on December 6. If all the rumors add up to be true, it could be a game-changer for gaming on Android.

    • Making it easier to share
    • Open Data

      • International Open Data Hackathon – 63 cities, 25 countries, 5 continents

        …and counting. Never could any of us have imagined that there would be so many stepping forward to organize an event in their cities.

        The clear implication is that Open Data matters. To a lot of people.

        To a lot of us.

        If you are in the media, a politician or the civil service: pay attention. There are a growing number of people – not just computer programmers and hackers, but ordinary citizens – who’ve come to love and want to help build sites and applications like fixmystreet, wheredoesmymoneygo, emitter.ca or datamasher.

      • A simple change in the law could open up online access to the BBC’s archives

        In the melee of the last days of the Labour government, among the casualties were clauses in the digital economy bill that would have solved the intractable problems that stand in the way of giving public access to this country’s great archives of radio and television programmes.

        Think of George Orwell and W H Auden, of Laurence Olivier and Peggy Ashcroft, of any British artist or musician you can name. The BBC’s archives are a treasure trove of their work, of interviews with them and discussions and documentaries about them.

    • Open Access/Content


  • UK net migration climbs to 215,000
  • Government ‘cites national security to suppress embarrassing information’

    The government was today accused of increasingly citing national security in court cases in order to justify suppressing potentially embarrassing information.

    The charge was made in a letter to the attorney general, Dominic Grieve, from Shami Chakrabarti, the director of the civil rights group Liberty.

    The letter followed many cases in which Chakrabarti said ministers and their lawyers abused their position by demanding unwarranted secrecy.

  • America’s Thanksgiving – the historical foundation
  • Science

    • The Insanity Virus

      Schizophrenia has long been blamed on bad genes or even bad parents. Wrong, says a growing group of psychiatrists. The real culprit, they claim, is a virus that lives entwined in every person’s DNA.

    • Scientists attach barcodes to mouse embryos – human ones coming soon

      Fans of the film Blade Runner may remember a scene in which the maker of an artificial snake is identified by a microscopic serial number on one of its scales. Well, in a rare case of present-day technology actually surpassing that predicted in a movie, we’ve now gone one better – bar codes on embryos. Scientists from Spain’s Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), along with colleagues from the Spanish National Research Council, have successfully developed an identification system in which mouse embryos and oocytes (egg cells) are physically tagged with microscopic silicon bar code labels. They expect to try it out on human embryos and oocytes soon.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Haiti: Ground Truthing Cholera in Mirebalais

      In very worrisome news Tuesday, the Haitian Health Ministry estimated that the cholera outbreak in Haiti is resulting in an average of 32 deaths every 24 hours since the epidemic began on October 20.

    • McDonald’s and PepsiCo to help write UK health policy

      The Department of Health is putting the fast food companies McDonald’s and KFC and processed food and drink manufacturers such as PepsiCo, Kellogg’s, Unilever, Mars and Diageo at the heart of writing government policy on obesity, alcohol and diet-related disease, the Guardian has learned.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • The ‘Safe Haven’ Myth

      Richard Holbrooke, America’s special envoy to South Asia, maintains that if the Taliban succeed in Afghanistan, “without any shadow of a doubt, Al Qaeda would move back into Afghanistan, set up a larger presence, recruit more people and pursue its objectives against the United States even more aggressively.” That, he insisted, is “the only justification for what we’re doing.” This is an especially ardent presentation of the “base camp,” or “safe haven,” myth. Stressed by virtually all promoters of the war, this key justification–indeed, the only one, according to Holbrooke–has gone almost entirely unexamined.

    • Ex-Transit Officer Sentenced To Two Years In Shooting Death Of Unarmed Man

      A Los Angeles judge sentenced a former transit officer convicted of shooting an unarmed man on an Oakland train platform to two years in prison.

    • Stephen Fry leads protest tweets against Twitter joke verdict

      Stephen Fry took just minutes to reiterate his offer to pay the fine of Paul Chambers, the 27-year-old man convicted of “menace” after making a Twitter joke about blowing up an airport.

      Chambers today lost his appeal against the conviction and £1,000 fine, Judge Jacqueline Davies dismissing his case on every count. The former accountant’s offending tweet – “Crap! Robin Hood airport is closed. You’ve got a week and a bit to get your shit together otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!” – sent publicly to a Northern Ireland mother he met online, was found to be a menacing threat to security.

    • Twitter jokes: free speech on trial

      Thursday was a bad day for free speech. It came to light that a plastic surgeon has been threatened with a libel action for expressing concerns and scepticism about a breast enhancement cream (no, really!) and we read reports of the RSPB being sued for libel by two people for criticisms one of its scientists made of a study they carried out on baby grouse in Wales (yes, seriously!).

      But also in the crown court in Doncaster, Paul Chambers lost his appeal over a Twitter joke. The facts of this case have been well narrated by David Allen Green among others. His message, which appears on the screens of his 600 followers if they are watching, said: “Crap! Robin Hood airport is closed. You’ve got a week and a bit to get your shit together otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!!!”

    • British deny George Bush’s claims that torture helped foil terror plots

      British officials say there is no evidence that waterboarding saved lives of UK citizens, as Bush claimed in his memoirs

    • George Bush accused of borrowing from other books in his memoirs

      Now it appears that Decision Points is not so much the former president’s memoirs as other people’s cut and pasted memories.

      Bush’s account is littered with anecdotes seemingly ripped off from other books and articles, even borrowing without attribution – some might say plagiarising – from critical accounts the White House had previously denounced as inaccurate.

      The Huffington Post noted a remarkable similarity between previously published writings and Bush’s colourful anecdotes from events at which he had not been present.

    • Cameron in China: What does Beijing think of us? Let’s start with hypocrisy
    • China court jails father of ‘tainted milk’ child

      A Chinese court has handed down a two-and-a-half year jail sentence to a man who organised a website for parents of children who became ill from drinking tainted milk after his own son became sick.

      The court found Zhao Lianhai guilty of “inciting social disorder”, his wife Li Xuemei told Reuters.

    • Bombs Away: Afghan Air War Peaks With 1,000 Strikes in October

      The U.S. and its allies have unleashed a massive air campaign in Afghanistan, launching missiles and bombs from the sky at a rate rarely seen since the war’s earliest days. In October alone, NATO planes fired their weapons on 1,000 separate missions, U.S. Air Force statistics provided to Danger Room show. Since Gen. David Petraeus took command of the war effort in late June, coalition aircraft have flown 2,600 attack sorties. That’s 50% more than they did during the same period in 2009. Not surprisingly, civilian casualties are on the rise, as well.

    • No charges for destroyed CIA tapes

      A special prosecutor cleared the CIA’s former top clandestine officer and others Tuesday of any charges for destroying agency videotapes showing waterboarding of terror suspects, but he continued an investigation into whether the harsh questioning went beyond legal boundaries.

      The decision not to prosecute anyone in the videotape destruction came five years to the day after the CIA destroyed its cache of 92 videos of two al-Qaida operatives, Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Nashiri, being subjected to waterboarding, a form of simulated drowning. The deadline for prosecuting someone under most federal laws is five years.

    • Nato summit to outline Afghanistan withdrawal plan
    • Stop and search plans are ‘discriminatory’, watchdog warns
    • TSA Administrative Directive: Opt-Outters To Be Considered “Domestic Extremists”

      If the information recently acquired by Doug Hagmann of Northeast Intelligence Network is accurate, then something really big is happening in America right now – and it’s most certainly not a step towards individual liberty.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • World’s forests can adapt to climate change, study says

      It is generally acknowledged that a warming world will harm the world’s forests. Higher temperatures mean water becomes more scarce, spelling death for plants – or perhaps not always.

    • Arctic oil spill clean-up plans are ‘thoroughly inadequate’, industry warned

      The next big offshore oil disaster could take place in the remote Arctic seas where hurricane-force winds, 30ft seas, sub-zero temperatures and winter darkness would overwhelm any clean-up attempts, a new report warns.

      With the ban on offshore drilling lifted in the Gulf of Mexico, big oil companies such as Royal Dutch Shell are pressing hard for the Obama administration to grant final approval to Arctic drilling. Shell has invested more than $2bn to drill off Alaska’s north coast, and is campaigning to begin next summer.

    • Greenland wants $2bn bond from oil firms keen to drill in its Arctic waters
    • Tony Hayward: Public saw us as ‘fumbling and incompetent’

      The former boss of BP admitted last night that the oil giant had been completely unprepared for the Gulf of Mexico accident that nearly sank it financially.

      When the crisis hit, BP was forced to make up its oil spill disaster response as it went along, something that made it look “fumbling” and “incompetent” in the eyes of the public, said Tony Hayward.

    • Dispersants’ Toxic Legacy

      In the weeks after BP’s massive oil spill in the Gulf, a number of environmental groups and scientists began raising concerns about the huge volume of chemical dispersants the company was spreading in the water. These chemicals are used to break the oil into smaller globs, which causes them to sink and supposedly biodegrade faster.

    • Royal Society: “There are very strong indications that the current rate of species extinctions far exceeds anything in the fossil record.”

      Prior to this year, I wrote about extinction only occasionally — since the direct impact of unrestricted greenhouse gas emissions on humanity seemed to me more than reason enough to act. But the mass extinctions we are causing will directly harm our children and grandchildren as much as sea level rise. In particular, I believe scientists have not been talking enough about the devastation we are causing to marine life (see “Geological Society: Acidifying oceans spell marine biological meltdown “by end of century”).

    • Dear Stewart Brand: If we can’t trust your claims on DDT, why should we trust you on anything else?
    • Rise in number of sunburnt whales

      An increase in the number of whales with sunburnt skin has been documented by scientists after they took photographs and tissue samples of the animals.

      In the worst-hit species – the blue whale – researchers found that the numbers affected rose by 56 per cent between 2007 and 2009, which they said has “worrying” implications for their health.

    • Climate change: science’s fresh fight to win over the sceptics

      Vicky Pope, head of climate-change advice at the UK Met Office, agreed. “We are currently collecting vast sets of data for our studies of the climate and we are going to have make these available in forms that can be used by interested groups. They can then see for themselves that our analyses are sound and correct. It means a lot of extra work but if that is the price for making sure we demonstrate the dangers posed by climate change then we will have to pay it.”

    • Indonesia eyeing $1bn climate aid to cut down forests, says Greenpeace

      Indonesia plans to class large areas of its remaining natural forests as “degraded” land in order to cut them down and receive nearly $1bn of climate aid for replanting them with palm trees and biofuel crops, according to Greenpeace International.

  • Finance

    • Nothing Grows Forever

      PETER VICTOR is an economist who has been asking a heretical question: Can the Earth support endless growth?

    • Rich Vail Fund Manager Hits Cyclist And Runs, Gets Off Because Charges Might “Jeopardize His Job”

      The rich are different from you and me; they get to hit and run, almost killing a cyclist, but get off without serious charges because it is hard to be money manager for Smith Barney if you have a record. District Attorney Mark Hurlbert is not charging Martin Joel Erzinger with a felony, because “Felony convictions have some pretty serious job implications for someone in Mr. Erzinger’s profession,” which is managing billions for rich people.

    • Johann Hari: Clegg – the man who betrayed us all

      Clegg 2.0 promised to protect the poor. Clegg 3.0 throws the poor out of their homes and makes it harder for them to go to university

    • Is the Deficit Commission Serious?

      I’ve been trying to figure out whether I have anything to say about the “chairman’s mark” of the deficit commission report that was released today. In a sense, I don’t. This is not a piece of legislation, after all. Or a proposed piece of legislation. Or even a report from the deficit commission itself. It’s just a draft presentation put together by two guys. Do you know how many deficit reduction proposals are out there that have the backing of two guys? Thousands. Another one just doesn’t matter.

    • Ireland resists calls to seek EU financial aid
    • DeLay Is Convicted in Texas Donation Case

      Tom DeLay, one of the most powerful and divisive Republican lawmakers ever to come out of Texas, was convicted Wednesday of money-laundering charges in a state trial, five years after his indictment here forced him to resign as majority leader in the House of Representatives.

    • EU gives green light for Russia joining WTO

      Russia and the European Union struck a deal yesterday (24 November) to phase out Russian export tariffs on raw materials, paving the way for Moscow to join the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said.

    • Thanksgiving: A Time to Think about Gift Economies?

      This post was published earlier. But Thanksgiving (in the US) seemed like a good time to think about the ideas again.

      When I sat down to research this post, I thought I would write a post about barter, since it seemed like if our current financial system failed, barter would be one possible form of back-up. But when I started to research barter, the first thing I came across was this statement:

      Contrary to popular conception, there is no evidence of a society or economy that relied primarily on barter. Instead, non-monetary societies operated largely along the principles of gift economics. When barter did in fact occur, it was usually between either complete strangers or would-be enemies.

      So I decided to step back a bit, and look into gift economies.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Search and Surveillance Bill: causes for concern

      The Search and Surveillance Bill, currently being considered by the Justice and Electoral Select Committee, has been presented as bringing together and modernising the laws surrounding state powers to search people and property, and conduct surveillance.

      While there are some procedural improvements when state agencies conduct surveillance, with time limits and reporting procedures, the Bill as a whole is concerning. It extends state powers beyond Police and intelligence agencies to an array of other state agencies. This page aims to explains the problems presented by the Bill.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Is There Some Reason That Barry Sookman Refuses To Quote The WIPO Treaty?

      In his article Separating copyright fiction from facts about C-32’s TPM provisions, Barry Sookman once again avoids the issue. Curiously, the target of his tirade, Michael Geist also avoids the issue.

      As I pointed out earlier this month in my article The TPM Provisions in Bill C-32 Are Not In Compliance With The WIPO Internet Treaties, neither of them seems willing to actually quote the clear wording of the treaty. Mihaly Ficsor, who supposedly was involved in drafting the treaty, never gets around to quoting it either, even when I blasted back at him three times (here, here, and here).

      In fact the three of them have a record for inaccuracies that is totally unbelievable. I rather expect that most regular readers have noticed this by now. I don’t like lies of omission. Talking about a treaty, without quoting the treaty is a lie of omission in my eyes.

    • Patent Office Agrees To Facebook’s “Face” Trademark

      Facebook is just a payment away from trademarking the word “Face.” As of today the U.S. Patent And Trademark Office has sent the social networking site a Notice of Allowance, which means they have agreed to grant the “Face” trademark to Facebook under certain conditions.

      All Facebook needs to do is pay the issue fee within three months of today and the “Face” trademark will be issued and be published in the official USPTO gazette and everything.

    • Copyrights

      • Open Letter to ‘Operation:Payback’
      • UPDATED: Industry Execs Call Out PC Mag For Encouraging Piracy

        Irked by an article published in PC Mag listing a number of alternative P2P services in the wake of the LimeWire shutdown, a number of music industry executive earlier this month sent the news outlet an angry letter that all but accused the publication of encouraging copyright infringement.

      • How Do You Measure The ‘Benefits’ Of Copyright?

        One of the major problems we have with the way copyright law today is developed is how much of it is faith-based — with supporters insisting that more stringent copyright law is obviously “better,” without presenting any evidence to support that. The history of copyright law is filled with examples of this sort of argumentation in favor of stronger copyrights.

      • ACTA

        • How ACTA Will Increase Copyright Infringement

          Every so often, we get copyright system supporters here in the comments who, when they run out of arguments, go with something along the lines of “but it’s the law, and it’s your duty to respect the law.” It’s a rather authoritarian point of view and there are all sorts of reasons why that makes little sense. We don’t need to go into the full philosophical arguments, but one key one is that you should never respect something just because someone says you should — only because it has earned the respect. Glyn Moody has a fascinating post highlighting a new paper about ACTA that suggests the process by which ACTA was agreed upon has all sorts of problems. Moody calls out one paragraph in particular that I think is quite important:

          there is the question of public perceptions as to the value and fairness of the agreement. A perception that it is fair as between stakeholders is important to IP law, which it is not readily self-enforcing. By this I mean that IP law requires people to self-consciously refrain from behaviours that are common, easy, and enjoyable: infringement is so easy to do and observing IP rights, particularly copyright, involves, particularly these days, some self-denial. IP law therefore needs support from the public in order to be effective, and in order to receive any such support IP law needs to address the needs of all stakeholders. 135 Treaties that strengthen enforcement without addressing the needs of users look unfair and will bring IP law further into disrepute.

        • Why ACTA is Doomed (Part 2)

          What’s really fascinating for me here is that it clearly describes the trend towards owning *every* piece of music and *every* film ever recorded. The concept of owning a few songs or films will become meaningless as people have routine access to everything. Against that background, the idea of “stopping” filesharing just misses the point completely: few will be swapping files – they will be swapping an entire corpus.

Clip of the Day

Woman Wears Bikini At TSA Airport Security

Credit: TinyOgg

« Previous Page« Previous entries « Previous Page · Next Page » Next entries »Next Page »

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources




Samba logo

We support

End software patents


GNU project


EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com

Recent Posts