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11.23.11

Links 23/11/2011: SeaMonkey 2.5, Google To Kill Knol

Posted in News Roundup at 7:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Five Gifts for Linux Lovers

    Is there a Linux lover in your life? Someone who loves to debate the advantage of Debian Linux over Ubuntu? Someone who wears a Tux the penguin t-shirt out to lunch? Then, these gifts might just be what they-or you-need to be happy this holiday season.

  • Server

    • EMC adds Linux support, metering to Atmos cloud software

      EMC today unveiled upgrades to its Atmos Cloud Delivery Platform that add new metering services and additional administrative reporting and controls.

      In addition, the Atmos GeoDrive, a piece of software that presents cloud storage as a drive letter on client systems, can now be deployed on Linxux servers. Previously, it could only be used on Windows systems.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux kernel patch slashes power hunger

      Linux users working on laptops and other portable devices may soon have cause to rejoice thanks to a new kernel patch that finally promises to fix power regression problems associated with recent versions of the software.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE On Wayland For KDE SC 4.8, 4.9?

        Yesterday in Darmstadt, Germany I met up with Martin Gräßlin, the developer known for leading KDE’s KWin compositing window manager advancements, and a few other Linux developers. A few words about KDE on Wayland were said.

      • Congrats to the MyPaint team!

        Yesterday, the MyPaint team released version 1.0.0! Warm hugs and congratulations to their entire team! Read all about it on the MyPaint website. MyPaint is a digital painting application with some unique features, like its brush engine (well, we’re still working on making that usable in Krita) and its infinite canvas. Our projects are connected through frequent meetings between the developers on IRC and in real life, the OpenRaster file format, and our users!

      • plasma bug days

        We want to make Plasma Workspaces 4.8 a great release, and one way to reach that goal is to take care of the defects that creep in. To do that, we need your help to groom the bug database. We also realize that to do that, many of you would appreciate some help and teamwork.

        It’s been a while since we’ve held Plasma bug days. They worked very well in the past so we’re resurrecting them.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Styling problems: living with both Gtk2 and Gtk3

        A couple of weeks ago, the harddisk in my small frontend, the one I’ve been using since last January after Yamato started acting up too much to be usable as a desktop as well, decided to give up. It wasn’t much of a bother as I was planning to replace it anyway: the small frontend was supposed to become an HTPC in short time, but for the moment it’s not of importance either since, as I noted previously I recently got a Sky subscription so that I can have most of the content I care about in my bedroom without having to spend time “finding” it.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Looking for a Linux & free software-friendly interaction designer

        For me, it is my dream job and it is also the best job in the world. My personal passion for making free software easier to use is encouraged & celebrated, and I’m always in the company of folks much smarter than I with a never-ending supply of interesting and challenging projects to work on together. The position also comes with the satisfaction that it is, even if only in a small way at times, making the world a better place. Not only does Red Hat work to make more free software available and to make its power more accessible, saving time, money, and pain for businesses: with Red Hat’s support, for example, I’ve been involved in initiatives to teach kids how to use free software and to develop openly-licensed course materials for teachers interested in their own free software programs. It’s a position that has never been boring and through which I’ve been able to travel internationally and constantly learn and grow as a person.

      • Welcome Ceylon to the public eye

        I’m really excited by Ceylon and what it might mean for other things we’re doing in Cloud and JBossEverywhere. So expect to hear more about this effort in the coming months, because just like Java, it’s going to continue to evolve. And can we please stop these “my language is better than your language” arguments? There’s room in this evolving polyglot world for a few more, even if just to allow people to stretch their mental legs and see what works and what doesn’t. Everyone is entitled to their opinions and reasoned arguments are always allowed; but flamewars, especially if they’re subjectively based, don’t help anyone.

      • Welcome to Ceylon
      • Fedora

        • Navigating in GNOME 3/Shell in Fedora 16

          The more I figure out how GNOME 3/Shell works in Fedora 16, the more I like it.

          I’m not at the point where I can say, “Oh, it’s totally better than GNOME 2,” but I’m increasingly able to do things the way I’m accustomed to doing in the GNOME Shell environment.

          I will refrain from comparing how things work in Fedora 16/GNOME Shell vs. Ubuntu 11.10/Unity until I spend more time in the latter. But this comparison is at the forefront of my thinking about which direction my Linux desktop use will go in during the year ahead.

        • Mousetrap in a Hat: Fedora 16 XFCE
        • The 5th Pillar of Fedora
    • Debian Family

      • People behind Debian: Stefano Zacchiroli, Debian Project Leader

        It’s been one year since the first People behind Debian interview. For this special occasion, I wanted a special guest… and I’m happy that our Debian Project Leader (DPL)—Stefano Zacchiroli—accepted my invitation.

        He has a difficult role in the community, but he’s doing a really great job of it. He’s a great mediator in difficult situations, but he’s also opinionated and can push a discussion towards a conclusion.

        Read on to learn how he became a Debian developer and later DPL, what he’s excited about in the next Debian release, and much more.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • The Ubuntu Commons

            One of the most wonderful things about Open Source and collaborative community is that every community member participates in a commons; a shared area of community real-estate in which we can all contribute.

            As an example, with most small Open Source software projects, the commons is the code-base, the website, documentation, IRC channel, mailing list etc. Within that project’s commons people can contribute in different ways, such as writing code, fixing bugs, updating the website, creating documentation, providing support etc.

          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 242
          • Ubuntu 11.10 Review

            The look has not changed much in Ubuntu 11.10, but the features sure have. For those unable to use Unity 3D, Unity 2D is now available as well. The login manager is now LiteDM which is fast and efficient. A new window switcher has also been added and there have also been improvements to the lenses feature. Ubuntu as always, is free to try, and remains one of the top choices for Linux newcomers. For a long time Ubuntu was the most popular choice among Linux users, but for the time being the position may have been respectively passed on to Linux Mint. At least temporarily…

          • Ubuntu Linux desktop tips
          • Unity and GNOME Shell are more alike than different

            I’ve been spending time each day working in Ubuntu 11.10′s GNOME 3/Unity and Fedora 16′s GNOME 3/GNOME Shell desktops.

            They’re more alike than you think. Rather than do things the GNOME way, Ubuntu/Canonical decided to take its own direction with Unity, which is now, like GNOME Shell, built on top of GNOME 3.

          • Ubuntu Linux losing popularity fast. New Unity interface to blame?
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 12 “Lisa” Review

              Linux Mint has always been known as the great alternative to Ubuntu. In fact, after Ubuntu implemented the Unity desktop, many people switched ship and flocked to Linux Mint as their next “easy-to-use and user-friendly” distro. According to DistroWatch, Linux Mint has even overtaken Ubuntu as the most popular distro. Well, that was Linux Mint 11, which is still based on Gnome 2, the desktop that most people are familiar with. What about Linux Mint 12?

              In the latest release of Linux Mint (version 12, codenamed Lisa, Release Candidate), the developers of Linux Mint decided to embrace the new technology and use Gnome 3 in place of Gnome 2. As we all know, Gnome 3 comes with a brand new user-interface (aka Gnome Shell) that is confusing to many. It is interesting to see how the developers of Linux Mint intend to tame this beast, without failing the expectation of its users.

            • What Should You Expect from Linux Mint 12

              Clement Lefebvre, the founder, project leader, developer and maintainer of the Linux Mint project, is working very hard
              these days to release an operating system that will enchant many Linux users.

              Long story short, the upcoming Linux Mint 12, dubbed Lisa, is an operating system based on the Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) distribution and powered by Linux kernel 3.0, featuring a new user interface based on the GNOME 3 desktop environment.

            • Linux Mint 12 Has Been Released, Download Now
            • Could MATE Be the Savior of the GNOME 2 Linux Interface?

              Right or wrong, plenty of Linux users — such as this guy — have been less than happy with the interface changes wrought by the advent of Unity and GNOME 3. Lucky for these people, there’s hope in the form of MATE, a fork of GNOME 2 that bills itself as “a non-intuitive and unattractive desktop for users.” Curious what MATE was all about — and pretty fed up myself with Unity — I recently gave it a spin. Here’s what I found.

              It’s true: Try as I have, I just can’t learn to love Unity. The concept itself is fine and I can even live with its biting lack of customizability, but I just can’t take the bugginess anymore. Random things happen when I try to switch between applications — trying to open recently used files via the dash launches Nautilus instead, and the whole thing just generally doesn’t work the way I need it to on a production machine.

            • Linux Mint Is a Refreshing Palate Cleanser

              Like it or not, GNOME 3 is the new direction for the Linux OS. But that doesn’t mean you have to learn a lot of new OS habits overnight. Two varieties of Linux Mint may be especially attractive for those making the transition. Mint 11 will allow you to maintain your current habits for the time being. Mint 12 gives you a steady and easy path to transitioning to GNOME 3.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Samsung video jabs Iphone users

          KOREAN ELECTRONICS GIANT Samsung might be behind a video that pokes fun at Apple and its Iphone users.

          A video posted to Youtube looks like an advert from the firm, but has not been posted to a company account. It’s a professional looking number however, and is rather good. We’ve asked Samsung to confirm whether it is the company’s work but so far have not had a response.

        • Facebook phone rises from the dead, again
        • Rugged Android handheld does RFID, bar code scanning

          Adlink announced a ruggedized Android handheld computer with IP65 protection and and optional 1D scanning and 2D bar code imaging. The TIOT 2000 runs Android 2.3 on an ARM11-based 800MHz Qualcomm processor, and is further equipped with a 3.5-inch, 320 x 240-pixel resistive touchscreen, a five-megapixel camera, plus a full slate of wireless features including 3G and optional RFID.

        • Android robots spy, race, and mix cocktails

          A startup called Romotive is readying a small, tank-tread “Romo” robot controlled by Android and iPhone smartphones that communicate to the robot via audio signals. Meanwhile, a prototype bartending robot called the iZac — based on a Motorola Xoom tablet and Arduino Mega controller board — has been created by developer Nick Johnson via the Android Open Accessory Development Kit.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • How to sideload apps on the NOOK Tablet (Amazon Appstore, GO Launcher EX)

        The Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet ships with a couple of great apps pre-loaded including Pandora, Netflix, a decent email app, and an excellent eBook reader. There’s also an app section of the B&N Shop where you can browse for additional apps for the tablet — but the selection is pretty limited.
        Fortunately it’s pretty easy to install third party apps on the NOOK Tablet. You don’t even need to root the tablet or install any custom firmware to do it. You might need a microSD card though.

      • Android e-reader debuts Mirasol display technology

        Kyobo Book Centre and Qualcomm MEMS Technologies (QMT) announced an Android 2.3-based e-reader, said to be the first device to use QMT’s sunlight-readable Mirasol color display technology. Equipped with a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, the Kyobo E-Reader provides a 5.7-inch, 1024 x 768-pixel display and offers “weeks of reading” on a single charge, the companies say.

Free Software/Open Source

  • FuseSource Open Source Messaging Powers Roadside Assistance for Millions of UK Drivers

    Open source middleware is delivering reliable messaging and routing for the UK’s largest and newest network for roadside assistance. The Automotive Network Services, developed and managed by Apex Networks, is using FuseSource distributions of Apache projects to link 90% of the UK’s 32 million drivers with tow trucks, garages and emergency first responders.

  • Has open source outgrown the Apache Way?

    Organizations like the Apache Software Foundation, the Linux Foundation, and the Free Software Foundation have long been a part of the open source and free software ecosystem. But some in the FLOSS community are beginning to wonder if these venerable organizations need to change in order to keep up with the changing demands of FLOSS.

    Yesterday, I read what could be the most articulate presentation of this line of reasoning from Yammer Developer Advocate Mikeal Rogers. Rogers also happened to be Employee Number One at CouchOne from 2010-2011–a tenure that certainly pertinent to his arguments.

  • Occupy Your Kids with Open Source Games during the Holidays

    Add to it the pets underfoot and your children complaining that they want to play on the Wii when grandpa wants to watch the Law and Order marathon on USA, and you have potential for a grumpy household.

  • Apache considered harmful

    Apache was founded about 12 years ago, a time when companies were still very afraid of open source and many people in the open source community were very afraid of companies. The world hasn’t changed that tremendously, big companies still use an open source stamp as a marketing tool, commonly referred to as “open washing”, and some in the enterprise are still wary about open source, particularly when it comes to certain kinds of licensing.

  • Open Source (Almost) Everything

    When Chris and I first started working on GitHub in late 2007, we split the work into two parts. Chris worked on the Rails app and I worked on Grit, the first ever Git bindings for Ruby. After six months of development, Grit had become complete enough to power GitHub during our public launch of the site and we were faced with an interesting question:

    Should we open source Grit or keep it proprietary?

    Keeping it private would provide a higher hurdle for competing Ruby-based Git hosting sites, giving us an advantage. Open sourcing it would mean thousands of people worldwide could use it to build interesting Git tools, creating an even more vibrant Git ecosystem.

  • Mozilla

    • SeaMonkey 2.5 improves add-on control

      The SeaMonkey Project has announced the release of version 2.5 of its “all-in-one internet application suite”. Based on the same Mozilla Gecko platform as Firefox 8, the update includes several under-the-hood performance and stability improvements, while also improving on the way in which add-ons are controlled.

  • SaaS

    • Using OwnCloud and PageKite could get you in trouble with Verizon

      These days, everybody is talking about cloud computing, and many people use it in one form or the other. But popular cloud computing services are provided by a third party, which means that you store you data on a server somewhere, so that you can access it any time, from anywhere. But there are cloud applications that any person can use to host their own private cloud, from their home.

  • Databases

    • Announcing Heroku Postgres

      Until now, Heroku’s Postgres database service – originally launched in 2007 – has only been available to Heroku customers for use with Heroku platform apps. Today we’re excited to announce the launch of Heroku Postgres as a standalone service.

      With measured service uptime of four nines (99.99%), and designed data durability of eleven nines (99.999999999%), the service is trustworthy for mission-critical data. As of today, these production-quality Heroku Postgres databases are independently available for use from any cloud platform, provisioned instantly, metered by the second, and without contract.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle v. Google – Motions In Limine

      Judge Alsup has now invited the parties to jointly submit a list of the four motions in limine that are most deserving of oral argument. (629 [PDF; Text]) Presumably, each party will name the two of its own motions it most wants to argue before the judge. How the remainder will be disposed of, given that neither party has filed a response to the motions in limine of the other, is unclear. The list is due to Judge Alsup by December 7.

  • CMS

    • Google To Kill Knol, Its Wikipedia Competitor

      Google has announced that it will kill Knol, its Wikipedia competitor. Interestingly, Google co-founder Sergey Bring donated half a million dollars to Wikipedia foundation, last week.

      Google launched Knol in 2007 to help improve web content by enabling experts to collaborate on in-depth articles. In order to continue this work, Google has been working with Solvitor and Crowd Favorite to create Annotum, an open-source scholarly authoring and publishing platform based on WordPress.

    • Open Source Web CMS XOOPS Improves Ease of Use in Latest Release
  • Funding

    • Investment Protection With Open Source

      I have heard it said that companies don’t want open source because they want the security of a relationship with a big business. But this outlook reflects misunderstandings of the real values of open source. I believe it to be yet another consequence of the “price frame”.

      There is an overall price-related message-frame that proprietary software companies like to use around open source. In each instance, an idea completes the phrase “open source may come with free licenses but…” in creatively manipulative ways. In many cases, the resulting statement conceals a weakness of proprietary software by casting it as a weakness of open source.

      In the case of software investment protection, the phrase gets completed “… but you need a proprietary vendor for long-term investment protection”. That’s a deceptive statement and I suggest that actually the open source model – done well – offers more security than the proprietary model.

    • Rapid7 Secures $50 million in Series C Funding
  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Project Releases

    • Google Plugin for Eclipse (GPE) is Now Open Source

      Because of the large ecosystem that has developed around GWT, App Engine, and Google’s Cloud services, and because our primary mission is to help users (as opposed to creating proprietary development tools), it makes a lot of sense for us to open source GPE and make it easier for the community to enhance and extend the tools.

    • Apache Hadoop 0.23 is Here!

      I’ll present a short overview of the release in this post, more details are available in my recent talk on Apache Hadoop 0.23 at Hadoop World, 2011.

  • Public Services/Government

    • More open source software at European Space Agency

      The European Space Agency (ESA) wants to publish more of its software using open source licences. It is considering to use a source code tracking system to help untangle code that can be made available as open source and programs that, for whatever reason, can not.

    • French government tenders for open source support

      FOSS icon The French government has published a request for tenders to provide ICT support. The authorities are looking for a three-year support contract, worth two million euros and covering two-thirds of the country’s twenty-two ministries as well as the Court of Audit. According to Le Monde InformatiqueFrench language link this will include departments ranging from the Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Justice and Freedom to the Ministry of Sports and Ministry of Culture and Communication.

    • European Space Agency looks to open source more code

      The European Space Agency (ESA) hopes to promote more collaboration by open sourcing more of its software where possible. The effort is one of the facets of a recent case study of ESA by the Open Source Observatory and Repository (OSOR.eu). ESA produces software for its own use to, for example, evaluate and analyse data from its missions. Software it has already released under open source licenses includes POLSARPRO, a tool package for manipulating polarmetric data, BEAM, a platform for analysing remote sensing raster data, and NEST, used for analysing mission data archives.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Release often … enough
    • New Relic Expands Performance Monitoring as a Service with Python

      How exactly should you gain visibility into the performance levels your customers are seeing when they use your Web applications? One method that’s still in wide use is compelling users to install plug-ins and background processes. But for many users, that’s not just performance monitoring, that’s behavior monitoring. You don’t want your analytics tool straying too far into the realm of potential privacy violations.

      Until HTML5 can fully implement its standard methodology for capturing browser performance specs, Web developers need alternatives. One candidate, provided by a company RWW spoke with called New Relic, is to have Web apps servers supply performance measurement agents to clients while the apps themselves are being served. These agents communicate not with your server, but with New Relic instead, and the results are made visible as analytics charts through your browser.

    • Fear and slow loading: Eclipse celebrates 10 unsettling years

      In November 2001, IBM made its Java tools IDE and platform, developed for WebSphere Application Studio, available under an open source licence. It was the beginning of Eclipse, which now claims 65 per cent of the Java IDE market. But why was Eclipse founded and what has been its impact over a decade?

    • ActiveState Commits to Free Stackato Micro Cloud for Developers

Leftovers

  • ‘Apple’s iPhone 4S ate our SIM cards’

    The “phone” bit of the new iPhone 4S has stopped working properly for some users who are experiencing repeated SIM card failures, according to customer help forums on the Apple website.

    The SIM stutter appears to be affecting customers running the new iOS 5.01 on the iPhone 4S: those affected report frequent error messages detailing “invalid SIM”, even while using SIM cards they know have worked with other phones.

  • Apple cult mocked by Samsung in Galaxy S II ad
  • 7 Reasons Why Apple is More Evil than Microsoft

    Thanks to the hard work and vision of Steve Jobs, Apple has managed to evolve from a mere cult to a mainstream phenomenon. Fanboys, celebrities, politicians and geeks who adore their products have exalted the billion-dollar company to a technological pseudoreligion. A silent witness to Apple’s magnificent ascent from failure to stardom has been Microsoft.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Health Insurers, Lobbyists Re-Tuning Their Spin Machine

      One of the reasons why Congress has been largely unable to make the American health care system more efficient and equitable is because of the stranglehold lobbyists for special interests have on the institution.

      Whenever lawmakers consider any kind of meaningful reform, the proposed remedies inevitably create winners and losers. Physicians’ incomes most likely will be affected in some way, as will the profits of all the other major players: the hospitals, the drug companies, the medical device manufacturers, and the insurers, just to name a few. The list is long, and the platoons of highly paid and well-connected lobbyists who represent their interests comprise a large private army that conquered Capitol Hill years ago.

  • Security

    • Tool kills hidden Linux bugs, vulnerabilities
    • Google’s open source geezer gets shirty about security

      Google’s hackerishly hirsute Open Source Programs Manager, Chris DiBona, stormed the IT headlines this week when he stuck his paddle into the computer security world and stirred.

      In a blog posting which was at least as far above the line in gung-hovity as it was below the line in orthography, DiBona openly referred to vendors of Android anti-virus software as “charlatans and scammers.”

    • Microsoft and Some Press Catch Up to the 21st Century

      While many of us do simultaneous facepalms and giggle at a decade-late decision, others question the legality of doing so. A multi-billion dollar industry has grown, based on the absolute porous operating system that is Microsoft Windows.

      I’m sure Windows fans will protest, saying such things as:

      “Well, I’ve run Windows for years and NEVER had a virus”.

      Of course, when he says that, he should also hold up a sign to identify himself as belonging to the 1%.

      Personally, I cannot suss where this will land legally. It’s hard to argue with the fact that MS is finally going to at least try to address the issue of virus/trojan/malware security. But then again, we all know most anti virus “protection” is a reaction to something that’s already happened on the system….

  • Finance

    • Who’s Wrecking America? Meet Your 1% Nominees

      Of course, simply bandying names about isn’t the point. The point is that the activists fueling social movements like Occupy need to be able to understand exactly how oppression works and which individuals are controlling the process. Where would our nation be if, in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s, activists had spoken only of the systemic issue of segregation and didn’t have George Wallace and Bull Connor to single out as perpetrators? We at Brave New Foundation are helping build a narrative so that citizens can draw a straight line between the cheats and bullies misusing their wealth and the economic predicament in which our country is now ensnared.

      We aren’t alone in this effort. Our partners include progressive media truth tellers like AlterNet, TruthOut, the Nation, PoliticusUSA, CARE2, the Center for Media and Democracy, the Young Turks, Campaign for America’s Future, Free Speech TV, Thom Hartmann, and MichaelMoore.com.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • FCC finds AT&T’s purchase of T-Mobile not in the public interest
    • It’s becoming their Internet — it should be our Internet

      Responding to Rob Reed’s Google+ post on the dark side of huge corporate entities — read: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube — controlling what we see and don’t see on the Internet, I wrote a couple of responses (instead of one because you can’t edit an existing post or comment on Google+’s Android client), which I will repeat here because, a) they’re not bad and b) I’m against “giving away” content to social networks and c) the irony of us having this discussion about Facebook on the newest, shiniest corporate-created social network, Google+ is particularly rich (and I acknowledge my part in it).

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Cautious Optimism Follows SOPA Hearings: Don’t Get Cocky

        Crisis averted, so far. Last week’s hearing on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) was stacked in favor of the Internet blacklist bill but we seem to have come out unscathed.

        Public outcry against the bill rallied enough opposition to keep it from sailing through. Google testified against the bill, MasterCard voiced some objections, and tens of thousands of users lit up their representatives’ phone lines thanks to Tumblr. But it’s not over.

        Following the proceedings, I spoke with Electronic Frontier Foundation activist Parker Higgins. “Considering the makeup of the meetings, and how expectations were, it went really well” says Higgins. “It remains to be seen what happens next, but given positive experience [at the hearing] and outpouring through the EFF and other groups, things look better today than they did earlier this week.”

11.22.11

Links 22/11/2011: Ubuntu 12.04 Plans, OpenPGP JavaScript implementation

Posted in News Roundup at 7:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • No Quickflix movies for you, GNU/Linux user

    Movie fans are rejoicing over the opening of Quickflix in Australia and the possibility of streaming movies to their PCs without having to look over their shoulders.

  • Tool kills hidden Linux bugs, vulnerabilities
  • M$, Finally Admitting Installation Is Second-Rate, Promises Improvement

    That’s still not close to what I normally expect from GNU/Linux but, what the heck, they are newbies.

  • Desktop

    • How Committed Is Google To Chrome OS At This Stage?

      When Google announced Chrome OS in 2009, it got a tremendous amount of hype, primarily because it presented a new cloud-centric model for working with applications and unusual approaches to operating system security. Google has had problems, though, translating the hype into a realistic strategy for proliferating Chrome OS-based systems, dubbed Chromebooks. Although Samsung and Acer have steadily backed Chromebooks, they have not made a big splash, and now some analysts are questioning whether Google’s OS will ever become a dominant force.

  • Kernel Space

    • AMD FX-8150 Bulldozer Overclocking On Ubuntu Linux

      While in the weeks since the launch of the AMD FX “Bulldozer” processors we have looked at many areas of computing performance for the FX-8150 CPU, from the compiler tuning to multi-core scaling, one area that hasn’t yet been covered under Linux is the AMD FX-8150 overclocking. But this article changes that.

    • Journal: end of the line for syslog?

      Lennart Poettering and Kay Sievers have developed a new Linux logging system with the aim of replacing syslog. The two Red Hat developers hope that their Journal daemon will resolve a number of perceived problems with syslog, the current industry standard for logging on Unix systems.

    • Kernel Log: real-time kernel goes Linux 3.0

      The patches for real-time support are now based on a much more recent kernel version. Torvalds has revoked a change merged into 3.2 which had come under widespread criticism from developers. AMD and Intel have released new graphics drivers.

      With the release of real-time (RT) kernel 3.0.9-rt25, Thomas Gleixner has declared that the Linux 3.0-based RT tree is now ready for use in live systems. He noted that this new version series represents a major leap forward and that development has run pretty smoothly, despite major revisions to many of the core techniques.

    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA Releases 290.10 Linux Graphics Driver

        NVIDIA announced yesterday the 290.10 Linux graphics driver with numerous changes.

        Aaron Plattner announced the 290.10 Linux binary driver release with fixing numerous bugs, improving the performance of FBO bind operations under Xinerama (~30%), and support for pre-VBO DrawArrays command in the server-side GLX driver module. Bug/regression fixes make up a majority of the changes.

      • An X.Org Server 1.12 Snapshot Arrives

        Over the weekend there was the first X.Org Server 1.12 development snapshot released by Keith Packard. This isn’t an official alpha or beta development build yet, but rather just a snapshot to indicate the current development progress of this next major release. Going forward the plan is to tag such development releases at around the same time there are new stable point releases for the previous series.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • New Video of Multitouch Couch Table

          This time it runs Bodhi Linux 1.2.0

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Five Golden Rules for a Successful Ubuntu Desktop Migration

            So, you like the idea of deploying an Ubuntu desktop to all or some of your users. You like the way Ubuntu’s light-client model can give your older desktop machines a new lease of life. You like the fact that Ubuntu is secure, portable, and easy to manage. Best of all, you like that it costs nothing to license, and comes with a host of enterprise-grade apps that cost nothing to license either.

          • Building a Precise Pangolin: A summary of UDS success

            The Ubuntu Developer Summit – UDS – is a major event in the Canonical calendar. Taking place every six months, it is the Ubuntu event which defines the focus and plans for our up-coming version of Ubuntu. In the first week of November, over 800 people, from Canonical engineers and employees, Ubuntu community members, partners, ISVs, upstreams and many more gathered to discuss and plan for the upcoming Ubuntu 12.04, code-named Precise Pangolin.

            UDS covered 420 sessions, under nine tacks, from desktop to design, community to server and cloud. Attendees worked in the usual collaborative and open environment and spent the week pooling their experience and expertise and sharing best practise resulting, as always, in the very best ideas. Right now, those ideas are are represented in hundreds of blueprint documents and are being put into action by developers, community and Canonical, who are already driving forward for April’s launch. As a practical demonstration of that openness you can track our progress here (note, it’s early days!): http://status.ubuntu.com/ubuntu-precise/.

          • Canonical dropping CouchDB from Ubuntu One

            Canonical is discontinuing its use of CouchDB as part of its Ubuntu One data synchronisation service. The announcement was made by John Lenton, Senior Engineering Manager at Canonical. CouchDB has been used in Ubuntu One to provide a synchronisable way of storing and distributing arbitrary structured data which included contacts, notes and playlists.

          • Ubuntu Juju Delivers Cloud Server Magic

            Canonical is set to release Ubuntu 11.10, codenamed the Oneiric Ocelot this week, with a key focus on the cloud.

            Among the cloud-focused technology components that are set to debut in the new Linux distribution is something that Canonical is branding as Juju. With Juju, Ubuntu is aiming to deliver a cloud orchestration technology for server admins.

          • Will Ubuntu PCs in Retail Succeed Where Mail Order Failed?

            In recent weeks Canonical has announced major initiatives to sell Ubuntu PCs in Asia and Europe, just like it tried — and mostly failed — to do five years ago in the United States. But will things be different this time? Here are some thoughts.

            Five years ago, when Dell began shipping laptops and desktops in the United States with Ubuntu pre-installed, there were lots of reasons to believe Linux just might take off among the masses. Dell not only offered Ubuntu but actually promoted it for a while. The introduction of Windows Vista around the same time left many consumers eager to consider alternatives to the Microsoft universe.

          • Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) and other shells

            Recently I ‘upgraded’ to Ubuntu 11.10 and was faced with being, as I thought, ‘forced’ to use Unity if I wanted to stay with Ubuntu in its latest version. Having stuck with Unity for a few weeks I can say that I still dislike it.

            I started to look for a solution and fairly quickly found that I had made the same mistake as many other commentators — even in Ubuntu 11.10, Unity is only the default UI. When Ubuntu 11.04 shipped it had the easy fall-back at logon of ‘Ubuntu classic’, which gave users a choice of selecting the GNOME 2 UI at startup. Mark Shuttleworth had said, in the run-up to 11.10, that in Oneiric Ocelot this choice would no longer be available.

          • Canonical Moves One Step Closer to Mobile, TV Computing

            It’s official: Canonical’s foray into the world of phones, tablets and even TVs has begun. Or at least, that’s what the introduction of formal development channels for these categories suggests. Here’s the latest, and what it says about Ubuntu’s future.

            It’s been pretty clear for a while that Canonical was steering Ubuntu in the direction of portable devices; hence, its focus on the uTouch library for improving touchscreen support on Linux beginning back in 2010 and the introduction of the Unity interface, which aims to cater to screens of all sizes and touchabilities.

          • Canonical Community Team 12.04 Plans
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Lubuntu 11.10 Review: You Don’t Have To Quit Ubuntu

              I have been playing with couple of distros in the past week. I tried Linux Mint, Fedora 16 and openSUSE (Gnome as well as KDE). I found each distro to be the leader in its own class. For disclosure, I am a long time Ubuntu user and have been switching between Fedora 16 and openSUSE 12.1 ever since they are out. Apart from a few issues there is no major hurdle that keeps me away from any of these distros.

            • First Look at Linux Mint 12

              It’s a really good month for Linux distributions. First we got Fedora 16, then openSUSE 12.1, and now we have the preview release of Linux Mint 12. This release has the answer to the question: Just what is the Mint team going to do with the desktop?

              With GNOME moving from the 2.x series to 3.x, the big question was whether Linux Mint would find a way to stick with the old school GNOME or move to 3.x. The answer appears to be “yes.” Let me explain.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Cotton Candy: The USB Sized ARM PC That Runs Ubuntu
    • It Doesn’t Get Much Smaller Than This, But It Could Be Cheaper

      We are getting close to “perfection” with thin clients and all-in-one computers but this gadget must be “it”. Using only USB power, the thing can run a modern distro like Ubuntu/Linux or Android/Linux and can be used with any PC that can boot a USB drive. It’s still pricey for the material in it. I expect eventually such gadgets will sell for a bit more than a USB drive costs. The HDMI port, card reader, electronics and ARM CPU do cost something but the price should be ~$100 to really hit the market hard. Still, this thing will sell and widely.

    • Intel embedded suite adds Yocto support

      Intel released an update to its Linux-based, Intel Atom-focused Intel Embedded Software Development Tool Suite, adding support for the Yocto 1.1 embedded tookit. Version 2.3 supports the latest Intel Atom models and optimizations, and updates components including the compiler, performance libraries, and analysis and debug tools, says the company.

    • Entire Computer Built Into USB Thumb Drive
    • Super Tiny Computer Puts Android on Your TV, Laptop
    • Phones

      • HP & Intel open Palm sale talks; webOS printers still in pipeline

        HP is still quietly shopping webOS around among with other Palm assets, according to sources, but insisting that potential buyers of the platform agree to license it back for use in future HP printers. Intel has just entered discussions with HP, a source close to the negotiations spilled to VentureBeat, while Qualcomm – despite sidestepping any suggestions of interest in webOS – is also said to be still in the running.

      • Android

        • The Facebook Phone: It’s Finally Real and Its Name Is Buffy

          After years of considering how to best get into the phone business, Facebook has tapped Taiwanese cellphone maker HTC to build a smartphone that has the social network integrated at the core of its being.

        • Steve Wozniak, Apple Co-Founder, Gets His Galaxy Nexus

          Steve Wozniak is the genius, the mad engineer who created what we call today Personal Computers or PCs. He co-founded Apple with the other Steve whose skill were around creating business model around anything.

        • Facebook taps HTC to build Android-powered Facebook phone (rumor)
        • Android’s lead over iOS hits 2x mark on mobile ad network
        • Your Android Apps Can Run On a Computer, Too

          A couple of years ago, there was much debate about whether Android would inspire the kind of inspiration among app developers that developers have for Apple’s iOS. There were even those who said that no app ecosystem would come close to Apple’s App Store. Today, though, Android apps are flourishing, and you may very well run them already on a phone, a tablet or both. Did you know, though, that you can run them on a computer as well? While it only works on Windows at this point (it is coming soon in a Mac version), BlueStacks App Player lets you do so.

        • How To Run Android Apps on Your Windows PC
        • Free software runs Android apps via Windows XP
        • Android 4.0 keyboard now available for older versions

          The Galaxy Nexus is almost here, but even if you’re not in the market for a new phone you can sate your Ice Cream Sandwich appetite a little thanks to an XDA developers user, who extracted the keyboard application from Android 4.0 and made it available as a free download for Android 2.2 and 2.3. It’s not the full 4.0 experience — voice input isn’t working, and not all languages were ported over — but the keyboard’s improved autocorrection, new look and feel, and a few other features came over in the transfer. We installed the keyboard on a Droid X2 running Gingerbread, and it activated and worked seamlessly.

        • Where’s Android headed? Everywhere!

          Ask him where he sees Android headed, and he’s confident that the open source mobile operating system will be ubiquitous, powering digital devices across the board – from fridges and heaters to every kind of mobile device there is.

          “We’ll see it power everything … even cars, maybe,” says the 24-year-old Android developer from Portugal. In Bangalore to attend and deliver the keynote address at Droidcon India, the first-ever international Android conference in the country, Diogo Ferreira is convinced that Android has the potential to transform the digital world as we know it. For instance, he talks about a CISCO gadget presentation where he saw a smartphone with a tablet built into it (that’s made on Android), so when you’re going for a meeting you can simply pick up the tablet from the phone and proceed. Being open sourced, Android, he believes, has the potential to go places. “The exciting thing is that it’s so open that if someone wants to, they can simply take the code and take it in any direction.”

Free Software/Open Source

  • OpenPGP JavaScript implementation allows webmail encryption

    Researchers from German security firm Recurity Labs have released a JavaScript implementation of the OpenPGP specification that allows users to encrypt and decrypt webmail messages.

  • OpenPGP implementation for webmail encryption
  • Open Source and the Open Road, Part 1

    Automotive electronics are becoming more sophisticated each year, and it’s reaching the point at which some cars may soon need built-in operating systems in order for people to use them properly. Not too far in the future, if you buy a new car, you may find that Android or a Linux-based OS is riding shotgun.

  • Web Server NGINX Partners With CDN Firm Jet-Stream
  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Faster JavaScript apps with Google Chrome

        Google is working on an alternative technique aimed at tangibly speeding up response times for interactive JavaScript applications in Chrome. Although Google’s V8 JavaScript Engine has made steady progress in the way it processes the scripting language in the past, interactive applications such as Google Maps, games like Angry Birds and WebGL experiments place additional demands on the engine. A new incremental garbage collector is aimed at improving “interactive performance”.

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 8 update fixes crashing bugs

        Mozilla has released the first maintenance update to version 8 of its open source Firefox web browser. According to the release notes, Firefox 8.0.1 is a minor release that addresses two crashing bugs though there are 13 bugs listed as known issues that are “to be fixed in future versions”.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Interview with Björn Michaelsen about the Hackfest

      Please, tell us something about you and your activities? And how you became involved with Open Source Software and LibreOffice?

      I started to get involved with Open Source when I was still a student. I got involved quite a bit with Gentoo (the Linux distribution) in its early days, somewhere around Gentoo 1.2. I even wrote some tools for it, only to scratch my personal itch, but it seems that for example ‘etc-proposals’ is still quite popular. I kept being involved in Open Source, although my first job after graduating from the university was not Open Source related. In 2008 I joined Sun’s OpenOffice Writer team, motivated by the opportunity to work on one of the biggest – and most important – Open Source projects in the world. I learned quite a lot about the codebase and the product there and in turn could bring in some experience from the sometimes chaotic, but always dynamic ways of Open Source projects. As of February 2011 I am employed by Canonical and take care of LibreOffice releases on Ubuntu. Since that date I am contributing code changes directly to LibreOffice. Later I also joined the Engineering Steering Committee of LibreOffice.

    • Oracle v. Google – Update on the Reexaminations

      As was noted in Google’s filing last Friday with respect to the proposed trial plan [PDF; Text] the reexaminations of the six asserted Oracle patents are currently running largely in Google’s favor. [Note: a seventh patent, the '447 patent which remains in reexamination is no longer being asserted by Oracle.] Google argues that this should sway the court in favor of staying at least the patent infringement action until final determinations on each of these reexaminations by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

      The most recent action by the USPTO has been the issuance of an Action Closing Prosecution on the ’720 patent. ACP Dated 11-18-2011 [PDF]. In that action the USPTO maintains its rejection of all of the contested claims of the ’720 patent, including the six claims asserted in the litigation. Oracle has 30 days in which to respond to the ACP and attempt to convince the examiner that the decision is misplaced.

  • CMS

    • XOOPS Project releases XOOPS 2.5.4

      XOOPS is one of the most successful Open Source CMS solutions, constantly winning top places in various competitions, and receiving various awards.

  • Education

    • Flinders replaces WebCT with open source system

      Flinders University is in the final stages of a multi-year effort to replace its 13-year-old WebCT learning management system (LMS) next year.

      The project began in mid-2009, as Blackboard phased out support for WebCT Vista – on which Flinders Learning Online (FLO) was based – after acquiring WebCT in 2005.

      Staff saw Blackboard Version 9, launched that year, as a “new product anyway”, so the university decided to consider other LMS vendors.

  • Funding

    • Google Co-Founder Donated Half A Million Dollars To Wikipedia

      The co-founder of Google Sergey Brin has donated $500,000 to Wikipedia Foundation. Sergey made the donation via his The Brin Wojcicki Foundation. The foundation was started by Google co-founder Sergey Brin and 23andMe co-founder Anne Wojcicki.

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Apple and jail made cool

      What Stallman wrote was “Steve Jobs, the pioneer of the computer as a jail made cool, designed to sever fools from their freedom, has died … we all deserve the end of Jobs’ malign influence on people’s computing. / Unfortunately, that influence continues despite his absence. We can only hope his successors, as they attempt to carry on his legacy, will be less effective.”

      In a follow-up, Stallman expanded his argument: “The important thing about Jobs is what he directed Apple to do to those who are still living: to make general-purpose computers with digital handcuffs more controlling and unjust than ever before … Jobs saw how to make these computers stylish and smooth. That would normally be positive, but not in this case, since it has the paradoxical effect of making their controlling nature seem acceptable.”

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Embracing the Big open-source Society

      In this age of austerity, public sector IT leaders are constantly looking for alternative solutions to deliver more with less.

      In this context, it is perhaps surprising that the government’s overall approach to open-source solutions has been lukewarm to say the least, especially by comparison with other European countries including the Netherlands and France, which have embraced open source to deliver greater value through collaboration and efficiency to the taxpayer.

    • OpenVPN Modified for Dutch Government Use

      Fox-IT was contracted by the Netherlands National Communications Security Agency to make security modifications to OpenVPN, a leading open-source VPN product, which make the software suitable for government employee use. This development ensures that Dutch government employees can securely access work files outside their office.

  • Licensing

    • How scary are GPL violations?

      Since the source code is usually available, software under a free or open open source license can be re-used within another software project rather easily. That is, after all, the whole point of FLOSS. But the potential for FLOSS license violations within software projects is, like any other license, always there.

      Critics of FLOSS licenses are usually quick to point out that the very openness of FLOSS source code actually promotes more license violations. Protect yourself, these critics urge, and avoid FLOSS altogether–or at the very least purchase commercial compliance services and products.

  • Open Hardware

    • Q&A: Future of robotics is open source; raises ethical questions

      During my interview with Cousins at the Compass Summit he speculated that an open-source software base could provide a boost to the robotics industry, similar to how Apple’s App Store creates more utility for iPhones and how video game attachments support particular games.

  • Programming

    • jQuip: “90% of jQuery, 13% of the size”

      A new open source JavaScript library claims to offer 90 per cent of the popular jQuery library’s functionality at only 13 per cent of the size. jQuip – JQuery-in-parts – is small enough that it can be included as source to avoid external references in web pages, according to the developers. It offers the $() selector syntax and methods including each, attr, bind, unbind, append, prepend, before, after and many more. It also supports a wide range of events and static methods. Plugins allow jQuip to expand its capability to detect documentReady and perform CSS manipulation and Ajax calls. Any call not implemented currently throws a “not implemented” exception. The animation methods hide, show, fadeIn and fadeOut work, but do not animate.

    • PyPy 1.7 widens the performance “sweet spot”

      The PyPy development team has released version 1.7 of its “very compliant” Python interpreter with integrated tracing just-in-time (JIT) compiler. The developers say that the focus of the new update was widening the range of code that PyPy can speed up, which the developers refer to as the “sweet spot”. In their benchmarks, PyPy 1.7 performs approximately 30 per cent faster than 1.6 and “up to 20 times faster on some benchmarks”.

    • What I’m thankful for as a developer

      Open source tools

      Developer tools have benefited more from the free and open source software revolution than any other category of software. When I was learning C programming in the early 1990s, Borland’s offer of an integrated MS-DOS C compiler, editor, debugger, and linker for $150 came as a revelation. Developer tools for commercial Unix systems cost thousands.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • How technology can help the elderly – and how you can be part of the action!

    One of the things I’m most passionate about in my current role is the social benefits of the Digital Agenda. Because new technology isn’t just about boosting our growth and productivity: it also offers significant opportunities to protect and include everyone in our society.

    In particular, technology can help the elderly: because by innovating we can address the challenges of ageing. In an initiative led by the EU, we’ve just agreed some very clear actions so we can do this. Actions with a positive impact for older people, and those who live with and care for them.

    For example, did you know that falls are the leading cause of injuries among the elderly? By preventing falls through early diagnosis and screening, technology can lead to an amazing decrease in the number of elderly people who need to be treated after an accident. This means more elderly people can keep their independence longer – and also reduces the burden on our stretched health and social care systems. Most of all, it could have a lasting impact on how we value and interact with the older generation.

    New technologies can promise these kinds of changes – and many others besides. But it takes a whole range of people to deliver them. After all, innovation in this area could come from anywhere – doctors, carers, governments, the ICT industry, entrepreneurs, or the elderly themselves. To make progress, and to deliver the kind of changes that really help those in the care frontline, we need cooperation and mutual understanding between all those groups.

  • Security

    • Google Open Saucer wades into Android security FUD

      Google’s open source supremo Chris DiBona has lashed out at companies flogging antivirus software for Google’s Android operating system, calling them “charlatans and scammers”.

      He apparently became incadescant with rage after he saw a press report about “inherent” insecurity of open source software, which is used not just in Android but also Apple’s iOS, he said.

      DiBona said that Android, iOS, and Research in Motion’s BlackBerry OS don’t need antivirus software.

    • Google Open-Source Programs Manager Calls Out Anti-Virus Software Companies
    • Mobile Malware Crisis? Not So Fast

      “Virus companies are playing on your fears to try to sell you bs protection software for Android, RIM, and iOS,” DiBona charged. “They are charlatans and scammers. If you work for a company selling virus protection for Android, RIM, or iOS you should be ashamed of yourself.”

  • Finance

  • Civil Rights

    • Stop the Internet Blacklist Legislation

      The Internet Blacklist Legislation – known as PROTECT IP Act in the Senate and Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House – is a threatening sequel to last year’s COICA Internet censorship bill. Like its predecessor, this legislation invites Internet security risks, threatens online speech, and hampers Internet innovation. Urge your members of Congress to reject this Internet blacklist campaign in both its forms!

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Culture According to Sarkozy: Digital Obscurantism and Contempt for Rights

      Paris, 18th of November 2011 – Nicolas Sarkozy is attempting a sleight of hand at today’s G8/G20 Forum d’Avignon on culture, economy and the media: posing as the defender of digital culture and the Internet. La Quadrature du Net reminds of his disastrous record, and calls on citizens to judge by themselves with the upcoming votes in the Council of the EU and the European Parliament, in particular on the anti-counterfeiting ACTA agreement.

    • The CRTC’s Declaration of Independent ISP Independence

      Last week, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission released its much-anticipated usage based billing decision. While the ruling only focused on the use of data caps (or UBB) as between Internet providers, the issue garnered national attention with over 500,000 Canadians signing a petition against Internet data caps and the government providing clear signals that it would overrule the Commission if it maintained its support for the practice.

      My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes the resulting decision seemed to cause considerable confusion as some headlines trumpeted a “Canadian compromise,” while others insisted that the CRTC had renewed support for UBB. Those headlines were wrong. The decision does not support UBB at the wholesale level (the retail market is another story) and the CRTC did not strike a compromise. Rather, it sided with the independent Internet providers by developing the framework the independents had long claimed was absent – one based on the freedom to compete.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Koha creators asking for help in trademark dispute

        Koha is a free library management system created by the Horowhenua Library Trust in New Zealand. This software has been the subject of an ongoing fight with a US company called LibLime, which seems to want to take the software proprietary; LWN reported on this dispute in 2010.

    • Copyrights

      • Copyright isn’t working, says European Commission

        People have come to see copyright as a tool of punishment, Europe’s technology chief has said in her strongest-yet attack on the current copyright system.

        Digital agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes said on Saturday that the creative industries had to embrace rather than resist new technological ways of distributing artistic works. She added that the existing copyright system was not rewarding the vast majority of artists.

        “Is the current copyright system the right and only tool to achieve our objectives? Not really,” Kroes said in a speech to the Forum D’Avignon thinktank. “Citizens increasingly hear the word copyright and hate what is behind it.”

      • EU Commissioner calls the term copyright a hated word

        The EU’s Digital Agenda Commissioner, Neelie Kroes, has criticised the current system for the protection of intellectual property rights. In her traditional speech at a cultural and media forum in Avignon on Saturday, the Dutch politician said that the millions of dollars invested trying to enforce copyright have not stemmed piracy. Speaking with unusual frankness, Kroes said that citizens increasingly hear the word copyright and hate what is behind it. “Sadly, many see the current system as a tool to punish and withhold, not a tool to recognise and reward [creative work]“, she added.

      • Is copyright working?

        What do you think of, when you think of copyright? A tool to recognise and reward artists? Or a tool to punish and withhold material?

        For me the answer should clearly be the first. But all too often, in the digital age, it is seen as the second.

        Our current copyright system is not succeeding in its objectives. I agree we should fight against piracy. But it’s becoming increasingly hard to legally enforce copyright rules, a battle that costs millions of dollars with little signs of victory.

      • ‘We had no evidence for anti-piracy law’, UK government admits

        The UK government had ‘no evidence’ to support the Digital Economy Act, the UK’s anti-piracy and censorship law, it has emerged in a parliamentary select committee.

Links 22/11/2011: Chromebooks Get Cheaper, $60 Android Tablets, Woz Gets Android

Posted in News Roundup at 7:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • 10 things you must teach new Linux users

    During TechRepublic’s Live Event, I said that I could hand a Linux machine to new users and give them the information necessary to make sure their transition to Linux was successful–and they wouldn’t be hounding me constantly on how X is done or asking, “What is Y?”

    I could tell by the faces of the audience members that some of them wanted to know how I could make such a bold statement. With that in mind, here are 10 pieces of information to pass on to new Linux users that will ensure a successful transition.

  • Over time, Linux package dependencies show predator/prey relationship

    You’ll frequently hear references to a “software ecosystem” on various platforms, but it’s relatively rare to see someone take that sort of terminology seriously. A group of evolutionary biologists, however, has now used the tools of ecosystem analysis to look at the evolution of Debian releases, examining things like package dependencies and software incompatibility.

  • Thoughts of Thankfulness From Linux Land

    The run-up to the holidays got many in the Linux blogosphere thinking about some of the things their thankful for, and a community of technology lovers sharing free and open software was near the top of many lists. “In the end, it’s the people you end up interacting with who are more important than the actual technology,” blogger Barbara Hudson told LinuxInsider.

  • Desktop

    • Chromebooks drop to $299, gain Chrome OS update

      Google announced that the Wi-Fi only version of the Samsung and Acer Chromebooks, including a newly announced black version of the Samsung Chromebook, will drop $50 in price to $300. Google also released updated firmware for the Chromebooks’ Chrome operating system, featuring a new login page and a revamped New Tab page that offers new shortcuts.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Who cares about your dang Desktop Environment?!

      If you are into such things, and you place your faith on those distro popularity numbers over on DistroWatch, you’ll see that Ubuntu has dropped from its number one position, a position now held by Linux Mint. Heavens, no! Surely the universe is about to implode! And isn’t even 2012 yet!

      Sorry about that. The reason for Ubuntu’s decline from that venerated number one position has been speculated on by tea leaf readers everywhere (i.e. my fellow tech journalists). Much has been made about the Canonical’s embrace of Unity over traditional GNOME and I am among the guilty when it comes to that. I happen to dislike Unity but I do like GNOME 3. This, oddly enough, puts me at odds with the majority of people who runs GNOME in one way or another though more people seem to hate Unity than GNOME 3 — I could be wrong. The question, however, is this . . .

      Has Canonical shot itself in the foot, giving up its number one position, by adopting and sticking by Unity? Does the choice of desktop environment matter that much? Are Linux users, who traditionally just install and run whatever they want, regardless of what it presented to them, really that irked about Unity that they are abandoning Ubuntu? Okay, that’s at least three questions.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • A good GNOME 3 Experience

        I’ve been using GNOME 3 full time for over 9 months, and I find it quite usable. I’ve had to learn some new usage patterns, but I don’t see that as a negative. It’s a new piece of software, so I’m doing my best to use it the way it’s designed to be used.

        Sure, it’s different than GNOME 2. It’s vastly different. But it is a new UI paradigm. The GNOME 2 experience was over 9 years old, and largely based on the experience inherited from the old Windows 95 muxed with a bit of CDE. There were so many things that the GNOME hackers wanted to do — and lots of things all the UI studies said needed changing — that the old pattern simply couldn’t support.

  • Distributions

    • A first look at ZevenOS 2.0 “Neptune”

      Aside from the window decorations I don’t see any connection between this project and BeOS. One could get the same effect by taking a distro like SimplyMEPIS and changing the desktop theme. It’s tempting to write off ZevenOS as just another Debian derivative with a different collection of artwork, but I’m not sure that’s a fair evaluation. ZevenOS 2.0 “Neptune” doesn’t just have nice artwork, but a good collection of programs and easy-to-access documentation. It does a good job of being user-friendly while staying out of the way — desktop effects, for example, were not in evidence. ZevenOS may not be in the same class as some other Debian-based distros, such as Linux Mint “Debian” edition or SimplyMEPIS, but it’s not doing badly for such a young project. Hopefully the developers will expand on the installer and add a dedicated update utility for future releases. If you’re already happily using a Debian-based distro I don’t think there is anything here to win over hearts and minds. On the other hand, new users, especially those seeking a distribution with a German-focused forum, may find what they’re looking for in ZevenOS.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva’s Powerpack 2011 propels it back into the forefront of Linux distros

        Back in the nineties, one of the top Linux distributions was, without a doubt, Mandrake Linux. Well, that eventually turned into Mandriva which wound up caught in the midst of an identity crisis. It was becoming clear which distributions were for the new users and which distributions where for the hard-core, well-versed users. All other distributions did nothing but struggle to remain afloat. Some went away and some simply continued to fluctuate.

        Mandriva was one of the latter. Unsure of which route to take, Mandriva at any given moment was a distribution that wanted to make new users happy, while at the same time, make experienced users proud to proclaim they were among the legions of Mandriva users.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 16 Verne with Gnome 3 – Absolute disappointment

          First, the good stuff. Fedora 16 did not have a single application crash or a SELinux alert, which is a great thing. There was the Samba problem, but it was not a crash per se. And thus endeth the good stuff. Now, the bad stuff. Where should I begin?

          Wireless takes ages to switch access points, Samba sharing is buggy, network gets slow, you must click three times just to get to your applications, and only then start sorting out what you might want or need. The interface is jerky and not very responsive. You can’t tell if you have open applications in any way, you get big, ugly prompts interfering with your work, the whole layout is annoying and counter-productive. Few of these elements should be blamed on Fedora, but Fedora’s developers chose it and they must bear the price of that decision. As a product, Verne suffers from bad integration and zero excitement.

          I have just decided I will not be testing another Gnome 3 release for at least one year, or maybe ever. In the upcoming SUSE review, it’s going to be KDE only. Well, maybe Linux Mint. I was never a great Fedora fan, but some of the releases actually made sense. You always had beta quality, little to no support, no fun software, and things changed rapidly, but the operating system could be made usable, it was fast and it was elegant in its own special way. What we have here is a Panda bear tripping a claymore wire.

        • Unknown Horizons 2011.3 for Fedora and EL6
        • Kororaa 14 Is No Longer Supported
    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

            Shuttleworth, don’t be stupid. Admit that diversity is a good thing and live with it or you will soon be obsolete like that other OS.

          • Rhythmbox Is the Default Player for Ubuntu 12.04

            Jason Warner, Ubuntu Desktop Manager at Canonical, decided to make Rhythmbox the default music player in the upcoming Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin) operating system.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 12′s Three Desktops

              The popular Linux distribution, Mint, will be giving its users three different distinct flavors of the GNOME for their desktop in its next release, Linux Mint 12, Lisa.

              Like any Linux you can, of course, switch it to your own choice of desktop. Many, indeed, offer users a choice of desktops. Mint, for example, while primarily a GNOME-based distribution, also offers its users a version that uses the LXDE desktop for its interface.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux-based GameGadget wants to become the iPod of classic portable gaming

      Anyone who wants to game on the go has a number of choices. There’s the Nintendo DS and 3DS, the PSP or the upcoming PS Vita, and then the growing competition from App Store and Android Market games running on smartphones or media players. Is there room for yet another platform? GameGadget hopes there is.

    • Phones

      • Is Amazon prepping a Kindle Phone?

        Amazon is preparing a Kindle Phone for 4Q 2012, expected to sell for as low as $150 to $170, says Citigroup. Meanwhile, Foxconn, which is rumored to be building the smartphone, will help build an upcoming 8.9-inch version of the Kindle Fire, says a report, and Piper Jaffray has upgraded its Kindle Fire 4Q sales estimates from 2.5 million to four million units.

      • Android

        • Google guru blasts Android virus doomsayers as ‘charlatans’

          Google’s open-source program manager has launched an entertaining rant against firms offering mobile security software, accusing them of selling worthless software and of being “charlatans and scammers”.

          Chris DiBona, Google’s open-source programs manager, argues that neither smartphones based on Google’s Android nor Apple’s iOS need anti-virus protection. Anyone telling you different is a snake-oil salesman, he said.

        • Asus Padfone specs leaked by GLBenchmark

          The Padfone is a smartphone-tablet hybrid. It includes a fully functional Android smartphone, along with a tablet docking station. Just slap the phone into the docking station and you can use a higher resolution 10 inch display instead of a 4 inch phone screen. The dock also has its own battery.

          [...]

          Right now it also appears to have a top clock speed of 918 MHz, but that could change by release.

        • Apple co-founder gets Google Android phone

          Wozniak, who has previously expressed his admiration for the Google Android operating system, was given a Samsung Galaxy Nexus device when he visited the search giant’s campus. He had previously said on Twitter that he was thinking about getting one, which is the first phone to run Google’s Ice Cream Sandwich operating system.

          Wozniak was, however, also first in line the for the Apple iPhone 4S when it was released earlier this year. He has previously said that he bought Google’s first phone, the Nexus One, on the day it was released and that he tries to keep up with all the latest mobile developments.

        • HTC to focus on quad-core tablet PCs and smartphones in 2012

          HTC will focus on the production of quad-core tablet PCs and smartphones in the first half of 2012 competing with comparable devices to be released by rivals including Asustek Computer, Acer, Samsung Electronics and Lenovo, according to industry sources.

        • Top Free Android Comic Book Viewers
        • Apple co-founder gets Google Android phone

          Wozniak, who has previously expressed his admiration for the Google Android operating system, was given a Samsung Galaxy Nexus device when he visited the search giant’s campus. He had previously said on Twitter that he was thinking about getting one, which is the first phone to run Google’s Ice Cream Sandwich operating system.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • $60 tablet aims to bring internet to developing world

        They say the beauty of UbiSlate, an Android-based tablet, is that users will be able to obtain quality internet access using existing low-speed cellphone networks.

      • Don’t call it a tablet: the Kindle Fire reviewed

        Before it was announced, the Kindle Fire was rumored to be Amazon’s entry into the Android tablet market. To get a serious tablet, even a small one, at the Kindle Fire’s price of $199 would have been a holiday miracle.

        But in our time with the Kindle Fire, it fell far short of what tablets should be able to accomplish. As a vector for Amazon’s video and music stores and huge e-book selection, it’s great. As an e-reader, it’s merely OK. As an Internet and app portal, it falls short of Amazon’s promises.

      • Kindle hackers give Nook a thorough rooting

        The Android-based device, only unveiled by Barnes & Nobles in the US last week, was pwned by the same group of developers who previously rooted the Amazon Kindle Fire. In both cases rooting the devices gives users the ability to install apps themselves, rather than been restricted to those offered by the manufacturer.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Apache moves Geronimo to OSGi base

    In an attempt to help developers create more modular enterprise Java programs, the Apache Software Foundation has reconfigured its Geronimo application server to a set of standards established by the OSGi (Open Services Gateway initiative) Alliance.

    An application server based on the OSGi standard “is a lot more dynamic and provides a lot more structure to the developers,” said Kevan Miller, chairman of the Geronimo Project management committee.

  • Open source biometrics technology for mobile devices, PCs and servers

    DigitalPersona has open sourced its new MINEX-certified FingerJetFX fingerprint feature extraction technology.

    FingerJetFX, Open Source Edition (OSE), is free, portable software that device manufacturers and application developers can use to convert bulky fingerprint images into small, mathematical representations called fingerprint “templates” for efficient storage or comparison.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle v. Google – The Pretrial Issues

      Now that almost all of the motions have been disposed of (the remaining motion open being Oracle’s motion to exclude portions of the damage reports from Drs. Leonard and Cox on behalf of Google), the focus turns to how to conduct the trial, and once again we see the sides at odds. This is not really surprising. How issues are dealt with at trial and the instructions given to the jury will be huge factors in the outcome of this dispute, especially on the copyright side of the ledger.

Leftovers

  • Chief rabbi: Steve Jobs’ Apple lust spreads misery, despair

    Steve Jobs has created a consumer society that makes many of us sad because we don’t have the latest iPhone, said the UK’s Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks. Speaking at an interfaith gathering attended by the Queen, Sacks compared the iPad to the tablets of the Ten Commandments that Moses brought down from the mountains.

    “The consumer society was laid down by the late Steve Jobs coming down the mountain with two tablets, iPad one and iPad two, and the result is that we now have a culture of iPod, iPhone, iTunes, i, I, I,” he said.

    “When you’re an individualist, egocentric culture and you only care about ‘I’, you don’t do terribly well.”

  • Dennis Ritchie: The geek Prometheus
  • Security

  • Finance

    • Weekly Financial Biz Recap: Citigroup and Goldman Sachs Employees Bail, Warren Buffett Antes Up

      Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) announces an unusually high number of partner retirements internally in recent weeks. Kevin Kennedy and Jeff Resnick are among the top well-known Wall Street names leaving. Kennedy was running Latin American operations, and Resnick was head of commodity trading.

      [...]

      Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM)have sold CDS protection on more than $5T of debt around the globe. However, don’t expect to get detail on which it was that sold. The banks have hedged themselves perfectly, and are not likely to divulge how they did so, unless they suffer a run similar to what has occurred to Jefferies (NYSE:JEF).

    • Thomas Cook plunges on £1bn debt fears

      Shares in Thomas Cook Group fell by more than 70 per cent after a further deterioration in trading forced the troubled tour operator to renegotiate the terms of its £1bn net debt burden for the second time in a month.

      [...]

      Paul Hollingworth, finance director, said: “We are confident that we will get the full support of our lenders. The rational and right thing for them to do is to support Thomas Cook over this period until we can trade robustly in the peak season.”

      The announcement prompted Thomas Cook to delay the release of its full-year results, which were originally scheduled for November 24.

    • Views on the OCCUPY Amendment

      As the struggle in the streets intensifies, and Occupy Wall Street refuses to remain silent, it’s good to know there are champions in Congress who have stepped up to the challenge of amending the US Constitution. It’s called OCCUPIED: Outlawing Corporate Cash Undermining the Public Interest in our Elections and Democracy, here.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • New Book Discusses the Media’s Role in Perpetuating Racism

      An epic new book examines the crucial role press and media have played over time in perpetuating racist views in American culture. “News for All the People: The Epic Story of Race and the U.S. Media,” by Juan Gonzalez and Joe Torres, examines Americans’ chronic discontent with the media. The book reveals how racial segregation in the media has historically distorted the news and gives numerous examples of how publishers and broadcasters have actually encouraged violence towards minorities and ethnic groups through their coverage.

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Interview with a Pirate

        In 2009, Amelia Andersdotter, a member of the Swedish Pirate Party (Piratpartiet), won a seat at the European Parliament in Brussels, but her official appointment was delayed until this year. Despite the delay in taking her seat, Andersdotter will still be the youngest member to hold a seat in the current parliament.

        The Pirate Party and open source software are intertwined. Back in December 2009, the group released a Tor server for anonymous communication and an Etherpad service, PiratePad, for real-time collaboration on texts.

11.21.11

IRC Proceedings: November 20th, 2011

Posted in News Roundup at 12:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now

Links 21/11/2011: Steel Storm 2, GNOME Mentoring Program for Women

Posted in News Roundup at 7:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux is a tortoise.

    Lets face it. Modern day Linux installations are nowhere near as fast as they were a few years ago. It seems that they have been adding in everything, including the kitchen sink. To be fair, the kitchen sink will be used somewhere down the line. Actually, the standard desktop Linux installation generally has everything already installed to do ninety five percent of all needed tasks. Without having to install anything else.

    This means that you have a fully capable word processor, spreadsheet program, presentation program, graphics program, music player, cd burner, chat, mail, web browser and kitchen sink. Right out of the box so to speak. This is so much more than proprietary offerings can give. Even if those proprietary systems do supply some functionality out of the box. It is nowhere near the functionality of the add ons which you absolutely must have to be able to do any work.

  • Why Linux Isn’t Only for Geeks

    If you’ve ever owned a Windows computer chances are your computer was at one point infected with a virus. The solution to this problem is not purchasing antivirus software.

    The answer to this problem is abandoning Windows as your main operating system, however to some this might seem an impossible thing to do. Apple computers are rather expensive and while they can run Windows as a secondary operating system most people would prefer to be able to run Windows applications on their primary operating system without a noticeable slowdown.

    This is where Linuxcomes in as an all around great performer. Linux has very few viruses written for it and due to the many different versions and “flavors” of Linux it is hard to write a virus for this platform. Linux is still not perfect and does have security features implemented to protect you from the few threats that are present or any threats that may arise in the future.

  • Kernel Space

    • The Journal – a proposed syslog replacement
    • Linus Torvalds: Locked Down Technologies Lose in the End

      “Technologies that lock things down tend to lose in the end,” said Torvalds when asked about Microsoft’s secure boot feature, which he likened to Apple’s use of DRM technology. “People want freedom and markets want freedom,” he added.

      Secure boot is a feature in Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system designed to protect against low-level hacker attacks, but it could also end up preventing users from installing Linux on a PC shipped with a pre-loaded copy of Windows 8.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Krita 2.4 reviewed

        We still haven’t released, and at the Calligra sprint we decided to have at least one more beta, but that hasn’t prevented Linux Format to give Krita as their “hottest pick” award in their Christmas issue, issue 152, which you can get from good news agents everywhere!

      • The Great Features of KDE Workspaces and Applications Part II – Klipper

        Today I’d like to introduce Klipper, easy, small and very useful tool included in KDE Workspace since…well, always. That’s the scissors icon sitting in the systray area. Basically it is a history of your clipboard but it can do much more. Very important thing is that the contents persist between sessions, so if you have something in your clipboard, you log off/reboot/shutdown and then you log back in, you still have your whole clipboard history ready and the most recent entry already in clipboard, so you can paste it immediately.

      • Kstars, a desktop Planetarium that’s not just an Educational “Toy”

        Have you ever wondered what that bright object in the pre-dawn morning was that you couldn’t help notice? Or is that reddish star Mars? Is that fuzzy mass of white a wispy cloud or a galaxy?

      • Plasma Workspaces Wallpaper Contest

        With the KDE 4.8 releases drawing near, it’s time to change the look of the default desktop. Every two major releases, the main wallpaper of the Plasma Workspaces changes to maintain a fresh style.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME mentoring program for women continues

        As part of the GNOME Outreach Program for Women, the Foundation has announced the twelve women who will be sponsored and mentored to work on open source projects. The internships will run from 12 December 2011 to 12 March 2012. The programme builds on previous successful internships which have seen participants work on on-screen keyboards for the GNOME Shell, Empathy avatars, educational Braille software and many other applications.

  • Distributions

    • Commodore OS Vision Beta 6

      Last night i was searching for a new Linux OS to install on my laptop and when i was looking on distrowatch i found the Commodore OS Vision. Commodore OS Vision is based on Linux Mint 10 (Ubuntu 10.10) and is still under development. It comes with GNOME 2 so all the desktop effects are there and installed by default… just watch the video!!

    • Top 6 Linux and BSD graphical installation programs
    • New Releases

      • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 174

        Summary:
        · Announced Distro: Linux Mint 12 Release Candidate
        · Announced Distro: openSUSE 12.1

      • Tiny Core Linux v4.1

        Continued upgrades to the base system including pcmciautils, sudo, freetype, imlib,libpng, and busybox. New boot codes of “cde” and “pretce”. cde for easy remastering. pretce for raid and lvm support. Improved support for Microcore which includes Ondemand, and icon options when used with the X extensions. Several bug fixes and enhancements as requested by the community. See change log for all the details.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva Powerpack 2011 released

        Mandriva has released Powerpack 2011, a commercially enhanced version of the company’s Mandriva Linux distribution. The system comes with the Linux kernel 2.6.39 and uses KDE 4.6.5 as the default desktop.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Why I’m quitting the Debian Lineup

        Being an advocate of Linux Mint, which is a derivative based on Ubuntu, which is a derivative of Debian; I noticed a nasty bug back in July of 2011. Ubuntu 11.04 was released in April of that year and I waited for the bugs to be shaken out of the rug and finally installed it.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • 7 Hidden Features Of Ubuntu 11.10 You Might Not Know Of

            As the latest version of Ubuntu was released, the team of developers have been hard at work adding some convenient features. However, some are more known than others, while others will surprise you when they pop up. Some aren’t even installed by default but can be very useful. So what are these features that can make a major difference?

          • Bringing The PackageKit Interface To Ubuntu

            The PackageKit DBus Interface is coming to Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, but it’s not full PackageKit support and integration.

            Back during the Ubuntu 12.04 Developer Summit in Orlando, PackageKit integration was talked about. However, it’s not bringing PackageKit to Ubuntu Linux, but rather just their interfaces and they will interact with Canonical’s own design.

            Sebastian Heinlein yesterday wrote to PackageKit DBus Interface in Ubuntu – It is the API that matters! to the Ubuntu development mailing list. He’s the developer working on bringing the PackageKit system D-Bus interface to the Ubuntu desktop by adding a compatibility layer that in turn will make it poke AptDaemon, which is Canonical’s preferred software management service for Ubuntu.

          • death by a thousand cuts

            It’s amazing to me what features drive decisions when choosing a technology. In my case, it’s a clock applet, but let me set a little bit of a context first.

            I stopped configuring my UI environment several years ago, opting instead to use the experience that had been designed for me by the fine folks at Ubuntu. This wasn’t entirely just blind trust or pleasure – but rather that the defaults were sensible enough, and I wanted to be in the business of doing things, not spending an hour deciding what font I wanted my desktop to display. I believe I’ve been doing this since dapper, if not earlier.

            Until now.

            I tried. I mean, I’ve bitched at Jorge some in person, but I ran Unity starting with Natty up until last week. I ran it as provided, as intended, and I tried to learn to think about things in the way it was asking me to.

          • Ubuntu’s Global Menu Is A Stupid Idea

            I have been using Fedora 16 for a week now and since its quite stable I have been using it instead of my trusted and much loved Ubuntu. One of the reason behind using Fedora over Ubuntu is Unity. I love Unity, but at the moment there is very little customization possible, which makes it a bit hard to reshuffle things around according to one’s needs. Gnome 3, on the contrary, offers much more customizations, thanks to Gnome-Shell Extensions. Before trying Fedora I was using Gnome 3 Shell in Ubuntu, instead of Unity.

            I must also add that I love Ubuntu. No other distro can match the work Ubuntu team has done to make GNU/Linux useful for an average user. Even if I am using Fedora, there is no denying the fact that Ubuntu has a very important place in the consumer desktop space — which presumably is not the market of Fedora.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • USB stick packs ARM Cortex-A9 CPU, runs Android or Ubuntu

      FXI Technologies announced a USB stick-sized computer that can run Android or Ubuntu on a 1.2GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor. The “Cotton Candy” will include 1GB of RAM, a microSD slot, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and an HDMI port, the company says.

    • Tiny USB Stick Brings Android to PCs, TVs

      Google has made no secret about its plans for Android. Smartphones and tablets are just the beginning — the company wants Android everywhere. And thanks to FXI Technologies’ Cotton Candy USB device, we may not have to wait long to see Android on more than just our mobile devices.

      FXI essentially built an ultra-lean computer inside a small USB stick. Stick it into any device that supports USB storage, and Cotton Candy will register as a USB drive. From there, you can run the Android OS in a secure environment inside your desktop, courtesy of a Windows/OSX/Linux-compatible virtualization client embedded in the device.

    • Phones

      • A Promise Kept – Never Again Nokia

        A few months ago, when the Trojan Horse from Microsoft made the decision to switch Nokia to Windows Phone, I swore that I would never buy another Nokia product. Yesterday was the first time that I put that promise into action.

      • Android

        • Motorola Mobility shareholders approve Google merger

          Motorola Mobility shareholders have approved the sale of the company to Google. However, it will be federal regulators who have the final word on whether the deal will go through, and they have yet to make their decisions.

        • Android 4.0 arrives as Galaxy Nexus goes on sale

          Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus, the first phone with Google’s Ice Cream Sandwich version of Android, has gone on sale in the United Kingdom.

        • Amazon planning Kindle smartphone in 2012?

          Amazon looks like it’s not content with just having a shot at the e-reader and tablet market, with reports emanating from Asia that it wants a smartphone too.

          According to CitiGroup, Amazon is looking to launch a smartphone in Q4 2012 in association with Foxconn International Holdings, and will aim it at the cheaper end of the market.

        • Motorola Mobility sued for allegedly stealing source code
        • Top 5 Audiobook Players for Android

          Unlike iOS, Android doesn’t come with a dedicated Audiobook player. However, that shouldn’t stop you from listening to your favorite books. The Android Marketplace offers some great apps that can play and manage audiobooks really well. Not only will these apps let you play audiobooks in MP3, OGG and M4B formats, they’ll also allow you to manage, tag and organize your favorite books easily. So, if you’re itching to listen to that nail-biting bestseller you just downloaded, here’s a list of five of the best audiobook players and managers for Android.

        • Small Taiwanese Firms Finally Get Some New Android Code

          Google had pledged to release the source code for Honeycomb, also known as Android 3.0, but then delayed its release indefinitely. It provided Honeycomb only to bigger manufacturers, such as Acer and Motorola, while smaller companies had to stick with earlier versions of the software.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Android tablet mimics iPad display specs

        Archos announced an Android 2.3 tablet with an iPad-like display: 9.7 inches, 1024 x 768 pixels, and IPS (in-plane switching). The Arnova 9 G2 is equipped with a single-core 1GHz processor, 8GB of storage, a front-facing videocam, plus micro-USB, USB, and microSD connections — but so far, no price tag.

      • HTC Launching Quad-Core Tablet at MWC? (Update – it’s called Quatro)
      • Nook Tablet starts shipping a day early

        Barnes & Noble has begun shipping their latest product, the Nook Tablet, one day ahead of schedule. While it might not seem like much of a deal on the surface, it puts the tablet in stores and, more importantly, in hands earlier than expected. The sooner these are in a retail environment, the better as the next few weeks will be heated to say the least.

      • Nook Tablet Now Runs Kindle, Aldiko, & More – No Hack Required

        Earlier today I was griping about how Amazon had quietly made it difficult to install competing reading apps; today I get to dance for joy because I’ve learned how to install third party apps on the Nook Tablet.

        A reader tipped me to the secret (Thanks, Geert). There’s a thread over on the XDA-Forums where someone discovered a loophole in the Nook Tablet firmware.

      • Amazon Posts Kindle Fire’s Open Source Code

        Unlike some vendors which shall remain unnamed (*cough*, HTC, *cough*), Amazon didn’t make us wait for the mandatory open source bits of the Android Fire’s kernel and released them over at their Source Code page the same day the tablets themselves started arriving in consumers’ hands. The download, which comes as a compressed tar.gz, weighs in at a whopping 809MB.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Google’s Eclipse Plugin open sourced

    Google’s IDE integration for GWT, Speed Tracer and App Engine, which is known as Google Plugin for Eclipse (GPE), has been open sourced under the Eclipse Public Licence. The tools had previously been proprietary, but Google said in a blog posting that the size of the ecosystem around GWT, App Engine and the company’s cloud services meant the idea of open sourcing the tools made “a lot of sense for us” as it was easier for the community to improve the tools.

  • jQuery Mobile 1.0 finalised

    After a “year of refinements” the jQuery Mobile developers have finalised version 1.0 of the HTML5-based user interface libraries and framework for mobile platforms. Based on jQuery core and jQuery’s UI library, the platform has been developed to work with Apple iOS, Android 2.1-2.3 and Honeycomb, Windows Phone 7 and 7.5, Blackberry 6.0, 7 and Playbook, Palm WebOS, Firefox Mobile, Opera Mobile, MeeGo 1.2, Kindle 3 and Fire, and the desktop versions of Chrome 11-15, Firefox 4-8, Internet Explorer 7-9 and Opera 10-11.

  • Commercial, Open Source App Suites Offer Alternatives To Microsoft Office

    “Microsoft Office doesn’t dominate the way it used to,” said Doug Heintzman, strategy director for IBM collaboration solutions, including the company’s free Lotus Symphony personal productivity application suite. “This is a very dynamic and changing landscape.”

  • Typesafe to integrate Play 2.0 into its Scala stack

    The open source Java/Scala web framework Play 2.0, recently released as a beta, will be integrated into Typesafe’s Scala based application stack. Typesafe, which launched in May, has built its Typesafe Stack, aimed at providing all the tools needed for Scala developers to create applications which address multi-core and cloud-scale computing workloads. The announcement by Typesafe notes that the addition of Play will make the stack “a complete web platform”.

  • Open Source Nurtures Innovation

    With his usual rigour, Stephen O’Grady considers whether open source is innovative over on his blog. As ever, his view – that “innovation is a function of incentive, not the software development model” – is worth understanding and accepting, but I think there’s more to consider here. While it provides no guarantees, I believe an open source environment potentially makes software innovation cheaper and easier.

    As a proprietary developer, you are responsible for the eternal care of every line of code you add to your software. In the early days, you can be very productive, creating clean, fresh software that is compelling and doing so fast because you’re in complete control of the process. But the code you create is your sole responsibility, and as it gets more and more substantial – and as you have more and more paying customers depending on it – the burden of sustaining it grows.

  • Open source backup software lags in the cloud and VM backup
  • Events

    • Open Source India 2011 Kick-Starts Today!

      Gear yourself up for three consecutive days of learning and exciting time with 3,000+ open source innovators, enthusiasts, and gurus at Bengaluru’s NIMHANS Convention Centre. The technology world is looking at open source technology for future innovations. Thus, the 8th edition of OSI Days, which will run through 22 November 2011, becomes even more important. It aims to commemorate and celebrate the true spirit of open source, and aims to strengthen and consolidate the Indian open source community.

    • More Linux lessons at hub

      Linux Users Victoria is holding a second, free information session for people keen to learn more about the original computer operating system, similar to Windows and Android, but with one major exception ? there is no cost.

    • Lucene Eurocon 2011: Day Two
  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

    • Own Your Cloud: Interview With PageKite Founder

      Cloud computing is the buzz word, even if most users don’t even fully understand what it is. One thing is for sure, putting all your eggs in one basket is always a bad idea, especially when someone else is holding the basket. So, the best cloud is the one that you own. We are aware of ownCloud, which you can easily run on your local server. But your ISP doesn’t let you assign an IP to your network, so you can’t access your ownCloud from outside your network. That’s the problem that PageKite solves. We interviewed the CEO and founder of PageKit,e Bjarni R. Einarsson, and discussed various aspects of the Cloud computing and how a user can take control of his/her own cloud.

  • CMS

    • Dr Dre of the Internet

      Dr Dries Buytaer, the Dr Dre of the Internet and founder of Drupal, the world’s most used open source Content Management System (CMS), was in the city on a visit to ISB and IIIT-Hyderabad.

      While the passion of developers came as a pleasant surprise, what made his “eyes pop” was, all of India.

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • SugarCRM: More Business Partners, Less Open Source Talk

        Like so many open source software companies, SugarCRM seems to be talking more about business growth and partner momentum, and less about open source technologies. The latest example: SugarCRM’s Q3 billings rose 69 percent vs. Q3 2010. Moreover, SugarCRM recruited 38 new partners during Q3, raising its worldwide partner engagements to 343 companies. Impressive. Here’s how SugarCRM has been evolving to deliver that type of growth.

        First, The VAR Guy needs to be clear: SguarCRM certainly isn’t abandoning open source. The company continues to promote its open source community and open source values. And CEO Larry Augustin has carefully described his views on open source.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Linux super-duper admin tools: gdb

      Let’s talk debug. So you wrote a piece of code and you want to compile it and run it. Or you have a binary and you just run it. The only problem is, the execution fails with a segmentation fault. For all practical purposes, you call it a day.

  • Project Releases

    • ColorHug open source colour management announced

      Developer Richard Hughes has announced the development of ColorHug, an open source colorimeter for measuring the colours displayed on a screen and creating a colour profile. Hughes began working on colour management in Linux two years ago and decided to create the device after finding that existing hardware was closed and proprietary. He wanted to make colour management accessible to end users and, with a background in electronics, set about designing the hardware.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Open government leaders support funding for key transparency initiatives

      OMB Watch and the Sunlight Foundation today [November 16, 2011] released an open letter to the U.S. Senate supporting continued funding for the Electronic Government Fund’s important transparency projects. The letter echoes the Obama administration’s policy statement issued Nov. 10.

      The letter calls for full funding for the E-Gov Fund, which pays for flagship projects such as USAspending.gov and Data.gov. In April, Congress short-sightedly slashed the E-Gov Fund by 75 percent, from $34 million to $8 million, drastically reducing the fund’s ability to maintain current transparency tools or develop new ones. The House Appropriations Committee has proposed a slight increase for the fund next year, but Senate appropriators proposed an additional cut.

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Google Code-In 2011 about to start

      Eighteen open source organisations have been selected for this year’s Google Code-In contest for pre-university students. The contest starts on November 21st so it’s time for students to select the tasks they want to work on.

    • Five years of open-source Java: Freedom isn’t (quite) free

      Open source Java has a long and torrid history, rife with corporate rivalry, very public fallings-out, and ideological misgivings. But has all the effort and rumpus that went into creating an officially sanctioned open JDK been worth it?

      Java co-creator James Gosling certainly thinks so – although he didn’t seem entirely open to the idea in the early days.

    • Version 5.0 of Open64 compiler improves performance

      The developers of the Open64 compilers have released version 5.0 of the tool, with improved performance, bug fixes and changes to the infrastructure of the compilation system. Open64 is an open source optimising compiler for x86-64, IA-32 and IA-64 platforms. Historically, Open64 is derived from SGI’s Pro64 compiler for MIPS architectures; versions of the compiler for MIPS and other architectures such as CUDA and PowerPC are available from other sources. The main release of Open64 concentrates on Intel and AMD architectures and offers pre-built C, C++ and Fortran 95 compilers.

    • Java’s ‘Steve Jobs’ moment in 2012?

      The OpenJDK project followed shortly after Sun’s open-sourcing of Java in November 2005; it’s both a free-and-open-source implementation of Java Standard Edition (Java SE).

      The project has seen a fresh lease of life under Oracle, Sun’s buyer, who has tempted IBM away from the Apache Software Foundation’s Harmony Java SE project and who also recruited Apple to OpenJDK. OpenJDK also has a new set of governance rules, albeit rules that hand Oracle and IBM a duopoly over ultimate control of the project and, therefore, the roadmap.

    • Why devops is no silver bullet for developers

      In the survey, Puppet Labs finds that 55 percent of respondents ranked the automation of configuration and management tasks as the top benefit expected from the devops movement. Another 13 percent ranked it in their top three expected benefits.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • The trials and tribulations of HTML video in the post-Flash era

      Adobe reversed course on its Flash strategy after a recent round of layoffs and restructuring, concluding that HTML5 is the future of rich Internet content on mobile devices. Adobe now says it doesn’t intend to develop new mobile ports of its Flash player browser plugin, though existing implementations will continue to be maintained.

      Adobe’s withdrawal from the mobile browser space means that HTML5 is now the path forward for developers who want to reach everyone and deliver an experience that works across all screens. The strengths and limitations of existing standards will now have significant implications for content creators who want to deliver video content on the post-flash Web.

Leftovers

  • Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures and M$ Is Oh So Desperate

    In the marketing wars over cloudy documents M$ has launched a campaign to get back the defectors from Office 365 to Google Docs. A sign of their desperation is a blog post in which they trot out US advertisements by Google requiring skills with Excel. They find 88 such ads. When I look I find Google has 1500 ads out there without any need for Excel, suggesting Google’s use of Excel is less than 10% of desktops… Ouch! Thank you, M$, for advertising Google Docs.

  • Google enhances WebP to take on PNG

    Google has enhanced its open source image format WebP. The latest update adds a new lossless compression technology and supports transparency information for images. This, the developers say, allows the format to be an alternative to PNG; it was originally introduced as an alternative to JPEG, with its lossy compression of image files promising files up to 39 per cent smaller but retaining the same quality. PNG, a very popular image format for the web, is the target for the Google developers now, especially with the support for transparency.

  • Security

  • Finance

  • Copyrights

    • Pirate To Join European Parliament As Youngest Member

      In a few weeks Amelia Andersdotter will be the second Pirate Party member to take a seat at the European Parliament in Brussels. The 24-year-old Swede was voted in more than two years ago, but due to bureaucratic quibbles her official appointment was delayed. TorrentFreak catches up with the soon-to-be youngest MEP to hear about her plans and expectations.

11.20.11

Links 20/11/2011: GNU/Linux in Tamil Nadu, Flex Donated to Apache

Posted in News Roundup at 8:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Clarifying the “secure boot attack”

    Obviously, this protection is based on all the components of secure boot (ie, everything that runs before ExitBootServices() is called) being perfect. As I said, if any of them accept untrusted input and misinterpret it in such a way that they can be tricked into running arbitrary code, you’ll still have problems. But when discussing the pros and cons of secure boot, it’s important to make sure that we’re talking about reality rather than making provably false assertions.

  • The Linux Week In Review 25
  • Desktop

  • Server

    • TOP500 List of Supercomputers Released

      Linux has dominated the list so long, it’s not even broken out in the statistics when TOP500 lists are announced. With the November 2011 list, Linux holds steady at 457 of the 500. That’s right – 91.4% of the top 500 supercomputers in the world are Linux-based.

  • Kernel Space

    • A Journal Comes To systemd

      The new feature to systemd is the “journal”, which for providing new system logging functionality. From a quick glance, a replacement for syslog.

    • How does Linux kernel detect and plug in your hardware? Kernel, sysfs, udev and dbus collaboration.

      I have been administrating Linux systems for a while now and were always strugling to „dig deeper“. Today I found myself wondering how does Linux detect, plug in my hardware and show that pop-up window asking me to choose what I want to do with my flash drive. So I launched my web browser and began to search for an answers in forums, tutorials and how-tos which almost ended in complete failure. I say „almost“ because I did find some of the answers but they all were scattered and incomplete or too old. So I had to use „heavy artillery“ and read through all those manuals… And I think I finally get it how it works :) This is what I will try to explain further. *I really hope I didn’t misunderstand something*

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE Commit-Digest for 6th November 2011
      • Google CodeIn 2011: A Chance for the Next Generation to Join KDE

        KDE is honored to be chosen again this year to be part of Google Code-In. Pre-university students aged between 13 and 17 are offered a great chance to contribute to KDE by choosing from a large pool of tasks, depending on their skills—code, translation, videography, user interfaces, research and more. Spread the word about the contest to any students and parents you know.

      • KDE and Colour Management

        Colour Management has a long way to come to the Linux desktop. Like on other computing environments first came single applications like Scribus, CinePaint or Krita and proved colour management be useful and mature. Now the open source Desktop stacks are following. Most advanced and wide spread inside colour managed applications is colour correction for monitors.

      • Debugging nepomuk/virtuoso’s CPU usage
      • Kraft 0.44 released
    • GNOME Desktop

      • Gnome Pie Is A Slick Application Launcher For Gnome [Linux]

        There are thousand and one ways to launch application in Linux. You can use the Application menu, via the dock, use a app launcher like Synapse or Gnome Do or simply press “Alt + F2″ and type the name of the application. Gnome Pie is yet another application launcher that allows you to quickly launch your applications, except that it is slick and highly configurable.

      • GNOME 3.2.2 Released

        A lot of bugs have been fixed in this new release along with some static analysis bugs. Some of the existing modules have new versions too. The “Forgotten Release” release is new to this new version which fixes a lot of memory leaks in the log viewer. In addition, this new release has updated translations as well.

      • Gnome Shell Introduction

        Now finally the Gnome Shell guide you have waited for. Surely some users are still broken-hearted about the loss of the Gnome panel and other components of Gnome 2. Gnome Shell is getting better every day, and there are certainly some features that are becoming quite popular. Gnome Shell is designed to be even more user-friendly than Gnome 2. Not only that, Gnome shell was created to look absolutely stylish and offer users a fun experience. New integrated instant messaging and advanced system notifications are reported to be some of the most popular upgrades. But more on that soon!

      • Overlay Scrollbars, No Maximized Window Titlebar By Default In GNOME?
      • Using the GNOME file manager’s FTP capabilities to manage my Ode site
      • What People Are Saying About GNOME [Part 3]

        The GNOME 2011 User Survey is still going on, so be sure to participate. For those wanting to know what other Linux desktop users are saying about the GNOME3 desktop environment, here’s one thousand more comments. (After publishing part 1 and part 2 previously.)

  • Distributions

    • Ubuntu Alternatives, Xfce, & Having A Go With Fedora 16!

      A little over a year ago I fired up the then latest version of Fedora (13) and found much that I liked. Ultimately though, it just wasn’t the right tool for the job and I ended up going back to Ubuntu and Linux Mint.

      Fast forward another year, a few more releases have come out from Fedora, and Canonical has been making some choices that, while likely great long-term for Ubuntu, are a bit awkward currently for some of its user base.

    • Red Hat Family

      • A new lover… RHEL 6.1 Desktop

        There’s Community Linux… and Enterprise Linux… which is one the best? I don’t know and I don’t care, for a tinkerer anything works out… For a long time that I wanted to move back to Enterprise Linux and there were two choices to contemplate, and I’ve picked the red one… My laptop count still does weight in favor of green (2 vs 1)…

      • The Cloud Will Be Open Source And Ubiquitous

        When you architect servers with virtualization, distributed computing and the ability to handle big data, so a single Web site or job can take power of the whole system when needed, that’s a cloud.

        Salesforce.com (CRM) (whatever you may think of it) is not a cloud. It is Software as a Service (SaaS), something that can result from a cloud architecture but does not require a cloud. The same can be said for Apple’s (AAPL) iCloud. It too is SaaS, which could come from a cloud or from a standard enterprise set-up.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 16 KDE Review: Gnome 3 vs KDE 4

          After playing with Gnome 3 under Fedora 16 and openSUSE 12.1, which made me a happy GNU/Linux user. I tried to see the issues people have with Gnome 3, most issues are not about ‘status-quo’ these issues are genuine so I looked at the alternative and tried to see how suitable is the second most popular Desktop Environment, KDE, for a Gnome user. I am writing this review as an average user. Advanced users know what they need – they are like mountaineers, they don’t much care about such things. So, let’s see how good is Fedora 16 KDE for an average Gnome user.

          Gnome 3 Is In The Same Boat As KDE
          The beauty of Linux is ‘diversity’. You can have what you want as you are not stuck in the one-size-fits all model. There are couple of DEs (desktop environments) you can try if you are not happy with the one that comes with your OS. Fortunately, most leading distros, including Ubuntu, Fedora and openSUSE come with almost all the top DEs to choose from. Gnome and KDE are the most popular ones.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian, World’s Easiest GNU/Linux Distro You Can Install

        Here’s how to do it and here’s where to find the CD or USB drive image. These links point to the squeeze/stable branch of Debian GNU/Linux so there could be a few less bugs than you expect with Ubuntu.

      • Derivatives

        • Unexpected uses of a knoppix thumbdrive system.

          Knoppix is pretty cool. It’s a linux live system on a USB stick, which by itself is not something too impressive anymore. This is something that’s been done for years now, with other systems like Damn Small Linux, Puppy Linux, based off the original Knoppix I believe.

          But the Knoppix guys really have a good setup. You can encrypt local storage on the stick so that someone else can’t get to your data if you lose the drive. You can install applications that are persistent and available the next time you boot the stick. In essence, you have a portable computer that just borrows whatever hardware you boot it on.

        • Tails, the incognito live system, gets 0.9 release

          Tails, “The Amnesic Incognito Live System”, a live CD or USB distribution of Linux which is designed to preserve privacy and anonymity, has been updated to version 0.9. The developers also urge users of the previous version, 0.8.1, to upgrade due to “numerous security holes” in that release.

          Tails is based on Debian GNU/Linux and comes with several built-in applications which have been configured with security in mind. For example, it relies on the Tor anonymity network to protect the user’s privacy online, and all outgoing connections are forced to make use of its ability to bounce internet traffic between multiple nodes. As a live CD or USB, Tails can be booted on a machine without being installed on the hard disk. It is configured to never use the hard disk even if, for example, there is some free swap space on it. It also attempts to wipe the RAM memory of the computer system as it is shutdown. Despite these capabilities, the developers do warn prospective users of the limitations of the technology.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 11.10 live from USB — first impressions

            Since I spent some time running Fedora 16 with GNOME 3/GNOME Shell via a live image, and I judged it as working well but not as polished in the design department as Ubuntu 11.04/11.10 with Unity, I figured I should give Ubuntu 11.10 a try with its live image and see what I thought.

            So I grabbed a 64-bit Ubuntu 11.10 ISO. Since I was already in Debian Squeeze, and Debian and Ubuntu ISO images these days are “hybrid” images that can be burned to CD the usual way, or easily (very easily!) dropped onto a USB thumb drive, I found the 4 GB drive I used for my Ubuntu 11.04 test and put 11.10 on it. It’s this easy (use the filename of the ISO you downloaded and the filesystem location of your USB drive):

          • Welcoming Our New Horseman: Michael Hall
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Cortex-A8 dev board takes on the BeagleBoard-xM

      Embest is shipping a single board computer based on the Texas Instruments Cortex-A8-based DM3730 or AM3715 system on chips. The DevKit8500D — also available from Premier Farnell’s Element14 engineering community as the DM3730-EVK Evaluation Kit — is equipped with DVI-D, Ethernet, USB 2.0, and serial expansion interfaces, plus options including touchscreens, wireless modules, and cameras.

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Microsoft Surface Beaten By 65 Inch Android Tablet

        Microsoft has been playing with the concept of touch-screen for ages without having developed any product that can be used by ordinary user or which targets a mass market.

        The company is now working with Samsung (the leading Android phone maker who are wrongly paying Microsoft Android taxes) to release their 40 inch Surface tablet running on Windows 7 and Surface 2.0 software.

        Ironically, within a week of the announcement an Android tablet has beaten Microsoft’s surface by creating a bigger — 65-inch — tablet running on Android.

      • Amazon Kindle Fire shipments upped to 6 million in quarter

        A market research firm has boosted its projection for Kindle Fire shipments in the current quarter, as the Amazon tablet is proving to be one of the hottest consumer devices this holiday season.

      • Kindle tablet? Check. Kindle smartphone? Maybe next year

        The Kindle Fire tablet has only been available for a few days, but already Amazon could be looking to launch a smartphone, according to a new report.

        According to a note from Citigroup analysts obtained by All Things Digital, Amazon is believed to be currently working with well-known manufacturer Foxconn to develop a smartphone slated to be released in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Free Software/Open Source

  • An other Open Source Colorimeter

    Richard Hughes, the author of colord, developed in the recent months new hardware for measuring monitor colours. The ColorHug called device shall come at a relatively low price. It shall be useable for LCD/LED monitors providing input to calibration and profiling software. The most wide spread open source colour management system, which can create ICC profiles from colour measurements, is Argyll.

  • Open Source WYSIWYG Visual Editor for UI Mockups

    Maqetta is an open source project that provides WYSIWYG visual authoring of HTML5 user interfaces. The Maqetta application itself is authored in HTML, and therefore runs in the browser without requiring additional plugins or downloads.

    Maqetta allows User Experience Designers (UXD) to perform drag/drop assembly of live UI mockups. One of Maqetta’s key design goals is to create developer-ready UI mockups that promote efficient hand-off from designers to developers. The user interfaces created by Maqetta are real-life web applications that can be handed off to developers, who can then transform the application incrementally from UI mockup into final shipping application.

  • Adobe Donates Flex to Apache

    In a move that appears to be another step away from its Flash platform, Adobe has submitted the code for its Flash-based Flex framework to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) to be managed as an independent project.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Introducing Mozilla Conductors

        In the last couple of months I’ve be involved in a surprising number of conversations about how to make communication through Mozilla bugs and
        discussion threads more productive. This ranges from how to keep the discussion on point, how to keep the discussions about the substance and not the people, and what to do if one feels uncomfortable. The topic is raised by both long time contributors and new participants, and ranges from asking for help in how to deal with the topic, to noting how much poor communications makes it difficult to work effectively.

  • SaaS

    • Big Data Attracts Big Money

      More than $350 million has been invested in Hadoop and NoSQL technology to date. A top VC tells us why.

      The move towards Big Data and NoSQL is being fuelled by big money, as investors bet on the next big thing in technology.

      One of those venture capitalists is Frank Artale, a partner with Ignition Partners and an investor in Apache Hadoop startup Cloudera and NoSQL vendor Couchbase. In an exclusive interview with InternetNews.com, Artale explained that Ignition wanted to have a footprint in cloud and Big Data for a variety of reasons.

      In his view, there is the potential for several large multi-billion dollar companies to exist in the Big Data space, which is one of the reasons the firm invested in Cloudera.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice Visio Import filter: the goodness soon on your desktop

      It has been a long time since I last time blogged about the LibreOffice Visio import filter. My silence did not prevent a pretty cool code from falling gradually into our git repository. To the point where now we are working on the last 5% of features that normally take the 95% of development time. But, let us see what happened since my July blog:

    • Trying to visualise Open Source OpenOffice.org derivatives

      The caveats. As to my motivation (please remember to play the man not the ball): I do not intend to make anyone afraid, uncertain or doubtful. If graphs scare you – please look away at this point. These graphs are built from estimates, hopefully they are fairly un-controversial ones, I detail them at the bottom. This is probably misleading in all sorts ways I didn’t discover yet. My hope is that it provides a more helpful picture of the world today than this history graph that gets a frequent airing. By rendering only the last two years, we de-clutter lots of lapsed projects, and by not rendering version numbers we can use perceptual area for showing something more useful: an estimate of user-base. As/when I discover major bugs I’ll update this, it is a work in progress:

  • CMS

  • Semi-Open Source

    • New admin GUI for Zarafa

      Internally, Z-Admin is based on Yaffas with a customised ZCP theme and several Zarafa-specific modules. The modules are developed on the Zarafa Community Hub, while Yaffas is hosted on SourceForge.

  • BSD

    • A Simple OpenBSD Router For Your Virtual Machines

      I tend to use VirtualBox a lot at home for experimenting with different operating systems or trying out scenarios that are too dangerous to “do it live”. While I could just give these virtual machines a bridged connection, I like to try to keep things as close as possible to the original environment, especially for “forensic” inspections.

    • FreeBSD 9.0 RC2 Arrives Late, Pushes Back Final

      The good news: FreeBSD 9.0 RC2 is now available. The bad news with that announcement: FreeBSD 9.0 RC2 is late, which also means the third (and last) release candidate has been pushed back along with the final release. Hopefully FreeBSD 9.0 will arrive in time for Christmas.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • The Richard Stallman saga, redux

      But the commentary was by no means all negative. Several readers wrote in to express their own appreciation of Stallman. Chris Hanson, a research scientist at MIT who says he has known Stallman for 20 years, contributed the most telling appraisal.

      “Most people that I know are seriously alienated by Richard’s politics and by his uncompromising attitude; I’m often uncomfortable around him as well,” wrote Hanson. “But he has a knack for getting to the heart of things, and once you understand where he’s coming from, the things he does make perfect sense. In fact, it’s hard to understand how else they could be done. It’s sad that so many people reject him out of hand, often while mouthing some empty boilerplate phrase about how they admire him for his programming skill or something. As if one part of him could be separated from the other.”

      “I don’t always agree with him,” added Hanson, “but I always listen carefully to what he has to say. Richard is a genius, a man with a clear and unusual vision, and like others before him, he comes in a quirky and difficult package. Mozart wasn’t too well-liked among the cultured people of his day, either; perhaps someday someone will make a movie about RMS, his dry humor, temper tantrums, and beautiful vision of people working together.”

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • 7th ODF Plugfest in Gouda
    • Khronos Group releases OpenCL 1.2

      The Khronos Group has announced the ratification of version 1.2 of the OpenCL (Open Computing Language) standard. Developed under the industry panel’s leadership, the standard defines parallel programming interfaces for applications that run on different OpenCL-compatible processors. The OpenCL standard is designed to enable other general applications to harness the computing power of graphics processors by allowing computations to be distributed across multiple graphics processors and CPUs. OpenCL uses a subset of the ISO-certified C99 C dialect with added parallel programming extensions.

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • The Supreme Court Will Uphold Health Care Reform, and Here’s Why

      Opponents of the Affordable Care Act who believe the Supreme Court will declare the law unconstitutional are going to be disappointed next year when a majority of the nine justices vote to uphold it. It will likely be a 5-4 decision, but moderate conservative Anthony Kennedy will, I’m confident, recognize that without the law, the free-market system of health insurance, so highly valued by conservatives, will implode, sooner rather than later.

      The high court announced earlier this week that it will hear oral arguments on the constitutionality of the law next March. A decision is expected in June, just a few weeks before the parties hold their conventions. Regardless of which way the justices go, the decision will ensure that health care reform will be as contentious a campaign issue as it was in 2008.

    • CMD Opposes Gutting of Telemarketing Regulations

      The Center for Media and Democracy is asking Congress to reject a bill that could “open up everyone’s cell phones, land lines, and business phone numbers, without their consent, to a flood of commercial, marketing and debt collection calls,” according to a letter signed by the Center and a number of public interest groups. The Mobile International Call Act of 2011 amends the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), a statute that regulates telemarketing and limits telephone solicitations and robo-calls. The bill purportedly makes sensible updates to the TCPA to allow consumers to be notified about fraud, appointment cancellations, drug recalls, late payments, and the like. However, other provisions of the bill would allow businesses to make pre-recorded robo-calls “for any commercial purpose that is not a solicitation.” This applies to any consumer’s cell phone, even for those that have placed themselves on the Do-Not-Call list. The bill also exempts modern automated predictive dialers from the TCPA, “permitting repetitive ‘phantom’ calls to cell phones doctor’s offices, hospital rooms and pagers.”

  • Security

  • Finance

    • What price the new democracy? Goldman Sachs conquers Europe

      The ascension of Mario Monti to the Italian prime ministership is remarkable for more reasons than it is possible to count. By replacing the scandal-surfing Silvio Berlusconi, Italy has dislodged the undislodgeable. By imposing rule by unelected technocrats, it has suspended the normal rules of democracy, and maybe democracy itself. And by putting a senior adviser at Goldman Sachs in charge of a Western nation, it has taken to new heights the political power of an investment bank that you might have thought was prohibitively politically toxic.

    • JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs Sued for Alleged MF Global Misstatements

      JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. units were sued by two pension funds over claims they made misleading statements about the exposure of MF Global Holdings Ltd. securities to European sovereign debt.

      As a result of the misstatements, MF Global’s stock traded at “artificially inflated prices,” the funds said in the complaint filed yesterday in federal court in Manhattan. “While the extent of MF Global’s exposure to European sovereign debt was concealed, the defendants were able to raise some $900 million in the offerings.”

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Intellectual Monopolies

11.19.11

Links 19/11/2011: Linux Mint 12, ACTA Secrecy

Posted in News Roundup at 11:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Man Survives Steve Ballmer’s Flying Chair To Build ’21st Century Linux’

    Yes, the story is true. At least according to Lucovsky. Microsoft calls it a “gross exaggeration,” but Lucovsky says that when he walked into Ballmer’s office and told the Microsoft CEO he was leaving the company for Google, Ballmer picked up his chair and chucked it across the room. “Why does that surprise anyone?” Lucovsky tells Wired.com, seven years later. “If you play golf with Steve and he loses a five-cent bet, he’s pissy for the next week. Should it surprise you that when I tell Steve I’m quitting and going to work for Google, he would get animated?”

    The famous flying chair shows just how volatile Steve Ballmer can be, but it also underlines the talent Mark Lucovsky brings to the art of software engineering. Lucovsky joined Microsoft in 1988 as part of the team that designed and built the company’s Windows NT operating system — which still provides the core code for all Windows releases — and after joining Google, he was one of three engineers who created the search giant’s AJAX APIs, online programming tools that drew more traffic than almost any other service at Google. “[He's] probably in the top 99.9 percentile when it comes to engineers,” says Paul Maritz, the CEO of virtualization kingpin VMware, who worked with Lucovsky as a top exec at Microsoft.

  • Desktop

    • Chrome OS Linux 1.7.932 Has Google Music Manager

      The Chrome OS developers announced today, November 17th, the immediate availability for download of the Chrome OS 1.7.932 Live CD operating system, which brings the new Google Music Manager.

    • Life with a ChromeBook

      During May’s Google IO developer conference, the first netbooks using the Linux-based ChromeOS were announced from Acer and Samsung. This was a public follow up from the very public beta of ChromeOS netbooks kicked off in December. One of the morning keynotes was dedicated to describing the new netbooks and their features. In June, the ChromeBooks finally shipped and were available for purchase from Amazon and Best Buy. Amazon actually sold out of Samsung Chromebooks in the first week.

      ChromeOS was the cover topic 2 years ago on the July 20th (2009) issue of Information Week. In that article, the bottom line was “… Google has a shot at gaining respectable consumer market share if it produces a slick, fast, secure OS that delivers a great web experience. And if Google succeeds with consumers, it is logical to expect it to steer that momentum toward the enterprise.”

  • Kernel Space

    • New Kernel Patch Slashes Linux’s Power Appetite

      Linux users working on laptops and other portable devices may soon have cause to rejoice thanks to a new kernel patch that finally promises to fix power regression problems associated with recent versions of the software.

    • Linus Torvalds Takes Aim at Proprietary Tech, and Apple

      (Brazil has recently squared off with Apple over policies on iTunes.) Apple co-founder Steve Jobs delivered a defense of the company’s tendency to deliver proprietary tools in Walter Isaacson’s biography of him. He told Isaacson that “people are busy” and don’t want to be bothered with incompatible products and products that don’t just seamlessly work. “They’re busy doing whatever they do best,” Jobs said “and they want us to do what we do best. Their lives are crowded; they have other things to do than think about how to integrate their computers and devices.”

      It seems that that explanation is not good enough for Linus Torvalds.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Comparison of major Linux package management systems
    • New Releases

    • Gentoo Family

      • Sabayon 7 on Acer Aspire One D255

        The Acer Aspire one is a a 1Gb, Intel Atom Netbook PC, and while you may think the netbook is dead, having a low powered throw in the bag computer is never a bad thing. However even in these heady days when Microsoft are willing to convince you that Windows 7 will happily run on devices such as this, and then effectively killed the market a customers just couldn’t figure out why their £200 netbook ran like a dog there is still hope with the Gnome 3 based Distro..

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Getting the Blooming Flavor of Fedora 16 KDE

          If you have read my review of Fedora 16 KDE Live, you should understand that I liked this Operating System. That’s why I decided to give it a chance to show all bloom in installed version of Fedora.
          In order to run installer, I booted my Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo Pi 1505 laptop using same Live USB as before.
          Before running the installation, I activated WiFi connection.

        • Fedora 16: A GNOME lover’s paradise

          After several delays, Fedora 16 has been delivered. While hold-ups are a characteristic of the distro’s release cycle, these latest ditherings have put the latest version of Fedora a few weeks behind its main competitor, Ubuntu.

          Fortunately for Fedora fans this release is well worth the extended waiting time, offering an updated GNOME Shell, the Linux 3.0 kernel and plenty of the under-the-hood improvements that Fedora is known for.

    • Debian Family

      • I’m back home with Debian

        I have been struggling with my conscience recently over using Ubuntu as a server. From a technical perspective, it’s an excellent choice. It has regular releases, can be both stable and cutting edge, has thousands upon thousands of packages, supports a lot of hardware, has a very pragmatic approach to enterprise server requirements, and much, much more. With all these benefits Ubuntu has been a favorite of mine for a long time. But recently I have been thinking more philosophically.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • 3 Interesting Ubuntu Unity Mobile Mockups

            User created ideas and concepts have always been an hallmark of popular Linux based distors like Ubuntu. We have featured such awesome works by loyal users, ranging from awe inspiring Ubuntu Unity mockups to professional looking LibreOffice mockups. Shuttleworth, during the recently concluded Ubuntu Developer Summit(UDS), made it clear that they will be taking Ubuntu to smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs. Inspired from that, some users have already created interesting mockups based on the idea of mobile Ubuntu Unity.

          • Ubuntu launches at retail in Portugal with ASUS

            As of this week, Ubuntu is now on sale in over 100 retail outlets in Portugal.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Kubuntu 11.10 review

              Kubuntu 11.10 is the latest stable release of the desktop Linux distribution sponsored by Canonical Ltd., a Linux software provider based in London, UK. It is based on Ubuntu, but uses KDE, the K Desktop Environment. According to the Release announcement, Kubuntu is a “perfect OS for casual users, social butterflies, Linux gamers, software developers, professionals, and anyone interested in a free, open platform that is both beautiful and useful.”

              That statement, by the way, applies to every (desktop) Linux distribution.

            • Lubuntu 11.10 review – Alternative to Unity?

              I just figured out I never did give the LXDE desktop paired with Ubuntu a proper review. We did have several stabs at Kubuntu, Ubuntu with Gnome classic and Unity, even the Xfce-flavored Xubuntu, but not this one. Now that it is officially endorsed by the company shipping the most popular Linux distro, it’s time to dig in and see whether Lubuntu can deliver the missing zen lost in the Gnome 2 and Unity guard change.

              Lubuntu is supposed to be a simple, lightweight alternative to heavier, more fully featured desktops, so it seems like a logical choice for older hardware. But then, all my past experience shows that these dietary environments are always lacking in something, never quite as good as the top two or perhaps top three desktops. And there’s the matter of spotlight and quality assurance. That said, maybe Lubuntu can deliver?

            • The most popular Linux is…

              Trying to figure out what the most popular Linux distribution is isn’t easy. We can safely say that Red Hat’s Rat Hat Enterprise Linux is almost certainly popular server Linux. You don’t close in on a billion in annual revenue without a lot of users. You could argue that it’s Android since there are over two hundred million Android smartphones out there, but I was thinking of PCs. So, which distribution do most individual people use on their computers?

              For years, Ubuntu has been the number one end-user Linux, but, somewhat to my surprise, it looks like Ubuntu has to face not just a challenger, but indeed it appears that Ubuntu has already been dethroned by Linux Mint, my own current favorite Linux desktop distribution.

            • Linux Mint 12

              Linux Mint was officially released on November 12, for almost a week now. Be sure to check it out if you haven’t had a chance to look at it yet. For those not familiar with the Mint distro, Linux Mint is based on the latest release of Ubuntu, but with a few wrinkles. For starters, it works out of the box with full multimedia support.

              So, no more hassles in trying to get your DVD movies and other multimedia formats to work, which is a common problem for people starting out with Ubuntu. You also get a Windows-like menu system. Hey, anything helps to smooth out the transition when switching from Windows to Linux.

            • How to make Linux Mint look like OS X

              You might be wondering why we’d spend time morphing elements of the Linux Mint desktop into the shape of OS X, but there are several great reasons.

              Firstly, while recent Linux desktops like Unity and Gnome Shell take many of their cues from OS X, they don’t give you the option of only changing what you want to. Our piecemeal modifications will let you add only the features you want, while getting some of that OS X eye candy and usability. This isn’t a betrayal – it’s an example of Linux’s adaptability.

            • Linux Mint 12
            • Review: Pinguy OS 11.10 Beta

              For those who don’t know, Pinguy OS is basically Ubuntu plus everything and the kitchen sink. Also, the interface is made to look much more like Apple’s Mac OS X, with a top panel featuring a global menu, along with docks and similar themes. However, there have been some changes out of necessity because as of version 11.10 “Oneiric Ocelot”, Ubuntu no longer officially supports GNOME 2, so Pinguy OS has also had to upgrade to GNOME 3. As a result, the whole “Apple Mac OS X” look has had to be adapted to the new interface and restrictions (and there are many such restrictions) of GNOME 3. I’d like to see if it still remains as usable and friendly as before.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Amazon will launch a Kindle phone next year

          ONLINE DEPARTMENT STORE Amazon already has its Kindle e-reader and its Kindle Fire tablet, and it could branch out into Kindle smartphones too.

          The device, so far dubbed the Kindle Phone for want of another name, will be launched around this time next year in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to All Things D. The information comes from Citigroup’s research department which bases its theory on intelligence gathered from supply chains.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Women in FOSS: men need to do more, says senior dev

    A long-time member of the FOSS community believes that men need to do much more about increasing the participation of women in the community and improving their experience of being part of the community.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Silent installation – following up

      In my earlier post about administrative installation of LibreOffice i described how its possible to use the program ORCA to manipulate the msi-file by creating a new mst-file.

      Unfortunately this subject is not very well documented from the developers. if you are a developer and find that I am giving wrong or inaccurate information then please notify me ASAP.

      Lately I have investigated some more details and possibilities in the installation process.

    • Now you can buy LibreOffice merchandise
    • Oracle v. Google – Oracle Names Final Three Deponents

      On Monday of this week Judge Alsup settled the issue of whether Oracle would be permitted to depose any or all of the technical witnesses on which Drs. Leonard and Cox relied in preparing their damages reports by granting Oracle the right to depose any three of seven such witnesses. (Copyright Fight Moves To Trial; Oracle Gains Some Depos) Oracle had already identified Tim Bray and John Rizzo as two of those deponents, and Google had agreed to produce them. So what the judge’s ruling really did was to limit Oracle to one additional deponent out of the remaining five witnesses. Oracle has decided that deponent will be Dan Bornstein, a witness Oracle has already deposed for two full days.

    • Oracle v. Google – Google Wins One and Has a Second Deferred

      Google won a victory on its motion to strike the “rebuttal” report of Dr. Serwin. In an order issued yesterday Judge Alsup sided with Google, granted the motion, struck Dr. Serwin’s report, and ordered that Dr. Serwin could not testify at trial. (622 [PDF; Text]) This means that Dr. Serwin’s survey is out the window, as well.

      Judge Alsup not only granted Google’s motion, he appeared to level a good bit of criticism at Oracle’s counsel, calling the attempt to introduce the Serwin report a “highly unusual maneuver.” Judge Alsup also said that “in twelve years of using this form of case management scheduling order, this is the first time anyone has suggested [that reply reports were not explicitly limited to the authors of the opening reports].” He went on to say: “Oracle’s argument that Google has not been prejudiced is meritless. As explained above, the practice urged by Oracle is inherently unfair and frustrates important case-management objectives.” Turn out the lights, the Serwin party is over.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • This holiday season donate support to free software!

      Are you dreading the end of this month and all it entails in terms of mall-parking expeditions and frenzied spending amidst crowds of other buyers? Are you looking for a break from the gimmes and some respite from advertisers’ leitmotif that “you have needs”? Break with the year end’s usual rampant consumerism and give your loved ones a gift that makes a social difference: give back to the community by giving a membership as a gift, and make a positive change for you and your gift recipient.

  • Project Releases

    • wdiff 1.1.0 released

      Translations can now make use of plural forms. While this means a drastic improvement for some languages, it may also mean that some languages for which no such plural forms are available yet might be lacking user visible message strings, not only error messages, but also for e.g. statistics. You might want to check the translation status if your users have problems with English.

    • gnutls 3.0.8
  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content

      • Mexico’s Largest University to Post Online Nearly All Publications and Course Materials

        The National Autonomous University of Mexico, better known as UNAM, has said it will make virtually all of its publications, databases, and course materials freely available on the Internet over the next few years—a move that some academics speculated could push other universities in the region to follow suit.

        Campus officials at UNAM, Mexico’s largest university, said the program, known as All of UNAM Online, could double or triple the institution’s 3.5 million publicly available Web pages, as the largest collection of its kind in Latin America.

  • Programming

    • [Bazaar developers' blog] What I did on my Rotation

      Bazaar is the version control system used by top open source project hosting site Launchpad so I was surprised to come across a bug which prevented bzr from talking to Launchpad properly on errors. “This is really important to fix. We need error reporting.” said Jonathan Lange over 2 years before. Pleasingly I could fix it, very satisfying. I had to learn about the hooks mechanism in bzr which shows up some of the downside of Python, you have to guess the arguments to send the hook. But who needs API documentation when you can just read the code? :)

Leftovers

  • What is Usenet and How Does it Work?

    Have you heard of Usenet? Maybe your father once mentioned something about his Usenet account in college. If you are unaware of what Usenet is, don’t worry. You are about to find out.

    Usenet was initially an idea hatched by 2 Duke University students in 1979. It was soon available on college campuses around the world. Access was eventually granted to early internet service providers who gave free access to their subscribers.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Digital divides: UBB as part of a much bigger broadband mess

      1) Leadership. The FCC has been making headway with a real broadband strategy over the last 18 months, along with a set of network neutrality rules, because the vision comes from the top – the White House. Harper and his cabinet have never cared about world-class retail broadband, because that would put them on the wrong side of the consumer vs business divide.

    • CRTC goes REM on UBB: everybody hurts, sometimes

      The CRTC’s usage-based billing decision is in and boy is it a lot to digest, which is perhaps why there were so many conflicting reports in the media as to who exactly the winners and losers are or will be. After reading and digesting the long document and speaking to a number of the small internet providers that will be affected by it at the ISP Summit dinner on Tuesday night, it’s hard to see how anybody really wins with this decision. Burdened with the impossible task of trying to make everybody happy, perhaps this was the CRTC’s desired outcome.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Universal Music Sues Insurer To Pay For Its Copyright Infringement

        Earlier this year, the four primary members of the Canadian Recording Industry Association (now Music Canada) – Warner Music Canada, Sony BMG Music Canada, EMI Music Canada, and Universal Music Canada – settled the largest copyright class action lawsuit in Canadian history by agreeing to pay over $50 million to compensate for hundreds of thousands of infringing uses of sound recordings. While the record labels did not admit liability, the massive settlement spoke for itself.

      • Creative Commons at WIPO

        This week, Andres Guadamuz (CC Costa Rica) is representing Creative Commons at the 8th Session of the Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The agenda [PDF] promises review of several pending recommendations as well as a discussion of future work by the CDIP. Consistent with protocol, Creative Commons prepared a statement for the opening session, which you can read here, as well as find CC’s prior statements and presentations at the CDIP and other WIPO meetings and conferences.

      • File Sharing Lawsuits Progress in Canada as Dozens Face Payment Demands

        Earlier this fall, I wrote about the return of file sharing lawsuits to Canada as the copyright owners of the film the Hurt Locker obtained a court order requiring three major ISPs – Bell, Videotron, and Cogeco – to reveal the identities of dozens of subscribers alleged to have downloaded the movie. I noted that the targeted Canadians would likely face the prospect of demands to pay thousands of dollars in order to settle the case (or spend thousands in legal fees fighting the claims in court).

      • ACTA

11.18.11

Links 18/11/2011: Android/Google Support at Motorola

Posted in News Roundup at 8:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • How misinformation can still hurt FLOSS

    There seems to be a bit of confusion out there about what open source means in terms of security: specifically, there’s a pervasive notion that because software is open source, it’s inherently insecure.

    Seriously?

    Apparently these folks have completely forgotten about software like sendmail, Apache, MySQL, SSH, and oh, what’s that platform called… the one with the penguin… oh yeah: Linux. The applications and platforms are regarded in the industry has highly secure and generally free of malware in the wild.

    And yet, when Google Open Source Programs Manager Chris DiBona recently quoted an article that said that “critics have been pounding the table for years about open source being inherently insecure,” I decided to locate that article… I found myself running smack into what I believe is a serious error.

  • Open source biometrics technology for mobile devices, PCs and servers

    DigitalPersona has open sourced its new MINEX-certified FingerJetFX fingerprint feature extraction technology.

    FingerJetFX, Open Source Edition (OSE), is free, portable software that device manufacturers and application developers can use to convert bulky fingerprint images into small, mathematical representations called fingerprint “templates” for efficient storage or comparison.

  • FOSS over Miami

    Here’s a little Larry-the-Free-Software-Guy history for those of you who don’t already know it: I grew up in Miami and didn’t move to San Francisco until I was 29 (and that was the summer of 1987, so you can do the math). More specifically, I grew up in a strip of unincorporated Dade County sandwiched between North Miami and North Miami Beach. So you’ll understand why I have a tendency to pull for the Dolphins and the U on occasion, and I don’t think twice about driving 30 or so miles down Highway 1 into Monterey County to visit The Whole Enchilada because it has the only Key Lime Pie in this region close enough to be considered Miami-class. Listening to Jimmy Buffett puts me back among the palm trees, retroactively sweating in the 80 degree/90 percent humidity coziness for which South Florida is known worldwide.

  • Web Browsers

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Nov. 21: Free Software’s Stallman

      Richard Stallman, the founder of the GNU Project and the Free Software Foundation, will present a visiting lecture from 7-9 p.m., Monday, Nov. 21, in Mitchell Hall at the University of Delaware.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Wintel is Fragmented

    UPDATE A part of the changes to make “8″ will be a consolidation of re-re-reboots into one reboot per month where possible. The trolls here who claim re-re-reboots are no problem for competent users are again proven wrong. Even M$ admits re-re-reboots are a problem that needs fixing. Of course re-re-reboots don’t bother those of us who use GNU/Linux because we get to choose when and if we reboot. I have enjoyed that capability for a decade and love it.

  • The OS Wars: We Have A Winner

    You would not have shown your face at, say, ApacheCon, with a MacBook.

  • Google’s Brin and wife plop half-million into Wikipedia’s hat

    The Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit publisher of Wikipedia and its affiliate sites, has received a $500,000 grant from the Brin Wojcicki Foundation, a philanthropic organization set up by Google cofounder Sergey Brin and his wife Anne Wojcicki, cofounder of “personal genetic information” website 23andMe.

  • Security/BIOS

    • Attacks on secure boot

      This is interesting. It’s obviously lacking in details yet, but it does highlight one weakness of secure boot. The security for secure boot is all rooted in the firmware – there’s no external measurement to validate that everything functioned as expected. That means that if you can cause any trusted component to execute arbitrary code then you’ve won. So, what reads arbitrary user data? The most obvious components are any driver that binds to user-controlled hardware, any filesystem driver that reads user-provided filesystems and any signed bootloader that reads user-configured data. A USB drive could potentially trigger a bug in the USB stack and run arbitrary code. A malformed FAT filesystem could potentially trigger a bug in the FAT driver and run arbitrary code. A malformed bootloader configuration file or kernel could potentially trigger a bug in the bootloader and run arbitrary code. It may even be possible to find bugs in the PE-COFF binary loader. And once you have the ability to run arbitrary code, you can replace all the EFI entry points and convince the OS that everything is fine anyway.

    • UEFI Debugging Tools

      One of the many things I work on is UEFI support. It’s an interesting thing to work on, in part because there’s a lot of new development and it’s at a fairly low level, which is just the sort of thing I like.

      Often during UEFI development, we’ll see a bug and need to diagnose whether it’s a problem with the hardware, the firmware, the bootloader, the OS kernel, or even a userland program. One case of this is when console graphics don’t work right.

    • GPT disks in a BIOS world

      Starting with Fedora 16 we’re installing using GPT disklabels by default, even on BIOS-based systems. This is worth noting because most BIOSes have absolutely no idea what GPT is, which you’d think would create some problems. And, unsurprisingly, it does. Shock. But let’s have an overview.

  • Finance

    • State orders Goldman Sachs to repay investors for misleading sales tactics

      Florida’s securities regulators announced a settlement agreement with Goldman, Sach & Co. that has required the investment firm to back back an estimate $20 million in so-called “auction rate securities” because the company claimed they were liquid and secure when they were not.

    • Middle-class areas shrink as America divides into ‘two-tiered society’ of rich and poor

      The portion of American families living in middle-income neighborhoods has declined significantly since 1970, according to a new study, as rising income inequality left a growing share of families in neighborhoods that are mostly low-income or mostly affluent.

    • Our friends from Goldman Sachs…

      Serious and competent, they weigh up the pros and cons and study all of the documents before giving an opinion. They have a fondness for economics, but these luminaries who enter into the temple only after a long and meticulous recruitment process prefer to remain discreet.

      Collectively they form an entity that is part pressure group, part fraternal association for the collection of information, and part mutual aid network. They are the craftsmen, masters and grandmasters whose mission is “to spread the truth acquired in the lodge to the rest of the world.”

      According to its detractors, the European network of influence woven by American bank Goldman Sachs (GS) functions like a freemasonry. To diverse degrees, the new European Central Bank President, Mario Draghi, the newly designated Prime Minister of Italy, Mario Monti, and the freshly appointed Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos are totemic figures in this carefully constructed web.

  • Privacy

    • Wintel is Fragmented

      When I wrote about Google making it possible to opt-out of their Wi-Fi access point mapping program, I made a mistake. I thought Google was still using its StreetView cars to pick up Wi-Fi locations. Nope, Eitan Bencuya, a Google spokesperson, tells me that Google no longer uses StreetView cars to collect location information. So, how does Google collect Wi-Fi location data? They use you.

  • Civil Rights

    • Going Incognito

      The Internet can be a dangerous place. Once it was the scam artists and the damage they wrought that users had to watch. These days it seems it’s more governments trying to oppress citizens and so-called respectable companies looking to track and sell your movements that strike fear in the hearts of Penguistas. Perhaps it’s time to go Incognito.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • EU Adopts Resolution Against US Domain Seizures

      The European Parliament has adopted a resolution which criticizes domain name seizures of “infringing” websites by US authorities. According to the resolution these measures need to be countered as they endanger “the integrity of the global internet and freedom of communication.” With this stance the European Parliament joins an ever-growing list of opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act .

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