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


Links 4/5/2011: KDE Publishes 2010 Report, Red Hat Eyes $1 Billion in Revenue

Posted in News Roundup at 5:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux skills: A hot commodity for job hunters

    While only a few years ago Linux skills were just one in a series of possible assets for job applicants looking to stand out, in today’s fast-paced, highly competitive workforce, it can actually be a make-or-break element. In fact, a quick search of job sites shows more than 8,000 technical jobs requiring Linux. Add to that recent reports showing demand for Linux skills has exceeded Unix for the first time ever and this is one trend IT professionals need to be aware of.

  • Switch Off Windows, Tune Into Linux And Drop Out

    For me Linux/Ubuntu (the operating system I use) reminds me of America in the sixties. Linux is the free love movement, the hippies, the switch off, tune in and drop out people, flower power, smoking joints and dropping acid.

    While Microsoft/Apple are corporate America, drudgingly ploughing forth in their slow, monotonous way towards profits and percentage points, working your way up the corporate ladder, teams of lawyers to protect everything you make, say or do.

  • Linux as Social Justice Symbol – I Think Not

    Linux and Open Source is a meritocracy. To move up the food chain in Open Source development, you have to prove your coding prowess. Everyone has the opportunity to contribute, but only the gifted or those that work hard succeed. It does not mean that everyone born can contribute. Linux and Open Source under the various GPLs offers FREEDOM not free of cost.


    Linux is about freedom – freedom to choose which components to use, freedom to alter the source code as desired, and the freedom to redistribute for profit or not.

  • Does Linux need third-party anti-virus?

    Tasmania’s Department of Education has gone to market for anti-virus software for its 40,000 desktop PCs and 1,000 servers, specifying solutions must be able to secure not only Microsoft Windows, but also Mac OS X and Linux, in a move that has once again raised the question of to what degree the alternative platforms require dedicated security software.

    In a request for tender document issued last week, the department said it required anti-virus/anti-malware protection software for its environment, for the “Microsoft Windows, Macintosh and Linux-based operating systems”.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • [Interview with Linux Torvalds]

      LinuxFR : You’ve been doing Linux for about 20 years now and it’s a hard job. Is it still fun ?

      Linus Torvalds : Oh, absolutely. It’s still fun. And partly exactly because I’ve been doing it for 20 years, I wouldn’t call it “hard”. It’s still challenging and interesting, but I think I’m good at it.

      LinuxFR : Why did you choose to switch the kernel from his original non-GPL copyright to the GPL licence ? Was it an ethical or a practical choice ?

      Linus Torvalds : Practical. I think my original license contained the ethical parts I cared about, but it turns out that it was too strict about that whole “no money” thing, and it also wasn’t well enough known. Moving to the GPL fixed the problems that people had with my original license, and had the advantage that it was a known entity and also a lot more likely to stand up in court than the short blurb I had written originally.

    • How Linux Was Announced to the World in 1991 [pic]
    • GL Announces Linux Drivers & APIs

      GL Communications Inc. announced today the release of Linux Driver Support for Universal T1 E1 and OC-3/12 STM-1/4 Cards. Speaking to newsmen, Mr. Vijay Kulkarni, CEO of the company said,” The Internet as we know it today would not exist without “open source software”, a model based on collaborative software development available free to anyone. Its roots are in academia, colleges, and universities where open and free exchange of ideas (and software) is a way of life. The Internet is powered by open source, like Linux, Apache, TCP/IP, DNS, PHP, the list is endless.”

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE e.V. Publishes Final Report for 2010

        The report summarizes KDE activities in the last three months on 2010, including sprints and trade shows attended by KDE contributors with the support of KDE e.V. It features the individual supporting membership campaign ‘Join the Game’, and how KDE benefits from it. There is a showcase for community artwork, including the report itself. New KDE e.V. members are presented, as is an overview of KDE e.V.’s finances.

  • Distributions

    • GParted Live: A Boot Disk ISO You Can’t Afford to Be Without

      If you ever need to partition or edit the partitions on your hard drives without an existing OS on the computer, then GParted Live should be in your PC toolbox. The free GParted Live is based on a live version of Linux, (i.e. one that will boot from a disc or USB drive), and the Gnome Partition Editor, a.k.a. GPartEd, or more commonly GParted. GParted Live boots quickly, and handles virtually any partition type, including nearly all Linux, OS X, and Windows types.

    • Reviews

      • #! CrunchBang 10 “Statler” Review

        When I see distributions like this one or Bodhi i always start with a positive feeling, others distro have used me to install everything and more and then i spend time to remove stuff that I did not had requested.
        In this case, CrunchBang install the minimum indispensable and discreetly asks if you want extra things, and then I have at my disposal the repository of Debian so I can really have fun and install anything.

    • New Releases

      • Tiny Core Linux 3.6 brings improved installer
      • antiX MEPIS 11 is Available for Download

        After one year of development, antiX MEPIS 11 has been released earlier today (May 3rd) on mirrors worldwide (see download link at the end of the article), available for 486 and 686 architectures).

        Dubbed Jayaben Desai, the antiX MEPIS 11 operating system is a light, fast and very complete/flexible desktop Linux LiveCD based on SimplyMEPIS and Debian Testing distributions. This version defaults to a completely customized icewm-Rox desktop environment.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat to hand off Enterprise Linux 6.1 RC1 at summit this week
      • Momentum Grows for Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced momentum for the adoption of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization by North American channel partners as part of the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Accelerator Program. Launched in June 2010, the Program has driven the adoption of the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization portfolio through training and support of virtualization-certified Red Hat channel partners.

      • Nimbula Partners With Red Hat to Support Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization and Deltacloud

        Today at the Red Hat Summit, Nimbula, the Cloud Operating System Company, announced that Nimbula Director will support Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 2.2, which provide a strong foundation for today’s cloud deployments. Nimbula will also work with the Deltacloud community to ensure support for Nimbula Director in the Deltacloud project.

      • Red Hat CEO predicts $1 billion revenues within the year

        Linux giant turns increasingly competitive to protect profits. Rory MacDonald investigates…

        Enterprise Linux champion Red Hat announced record fourth-quarter earnings this month following the launch of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 (RHEL 6). As many companies closed up their financial year, the world’s most profitable open source company announced that its revenues for the financial year (FY) 2011 were up 22 percent at $909.3 million.

      • Red Hat Summit: Linux Meets Cloud and Virtualization

        At Red Hat Summit this week, CEO Jim Whitehurst will attempt to turn a rare triple play. Indeed, Whitehurst and the Red Hat team will strive to more clearly connect the dots between Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) and Cloud Foundations — a set of educational tools that can help channel partners get started with cloud computing. Here’s the update.

      • Fedora

        • FUDCon North America 2012 will be in Blacksburg, VA

          I am pleased to announce that the FUDCon conference in the North American region in 2012 will be held from January 13th through 15th, 2012 on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA. We had two excellent bids for the North American FUDCon (Blacksburg, VA and Needham, MA) and both were excellent proposals. It was a
          difficult decision to make, and I’d like to personally thank all those who took the time to submit bids and to help in the decision-making process.

    • Debian Family

      • Five Debian Based Alternatives to Ubuntu 11.04

        I made a post last month outlining some of my thoughts on the Unity desktop Ubuntu rolled out with it’s latest 11.04 release. If you are one of the many that has mixed feelings about the Unity desktop then odds are you may be looking for alternatives to the latest Ubuntu release. The following is a round up of alternatives that won’t leave you feeling completely lost as they still use the apt-get package manager.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Natty Narwhal: the First Linux for Newbies?

          Whenever a new version of an operating system is released, it’s common to see a wave of reviews following on its heels, assessing how the software compares with what came before it and weighing its new pros and cons.

        • DO NOT Install GNOME Shell in Ubuntu 11.04 Natty from GNOME3-Team PPA, For Now Atleast

          Do not try to install GNOME Shell in Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal from GNOME3-Team PPA, at least for now. I was trying to do just and ended up with a completely unusable Ubuntu now. Even PPA-Purge was not able to fully recover my Ubuntu 11.04. I should have really read this warning before trying to install GNOME Shell in Ubuntu 11.04.

        • Debugging with X11Vis

          Recently on the Xorg-Devel mailing list, Michael Stapelberg, who is the author of the i3 window manager posted a new tool, which presents a nice alternative to both xtrace and xscope called x11vis. This tool allows you to monitor every single X Request and have a report on what your program is doing, much like strace will tell you what’s going on with IO and valgrind will tell you what’s going on with memory. It’s especially important for window manager authors like myself since a lot of the bugs that we face are often complicated X11 related timing issues, race conditions, requests that don’t get processed or mysterious events that seemliness’s come out of nowhere.

        • Indicator-Sensors Displays CPU / Motherboard Temperature On The Panel Using An AppIndicator [Ubuntu]

          These days we’ve got a lot of comments requesting for a temperature monitor applet with Ubuntu AppIndicator support that displays the CPU / Motherboard temperature, Fan speed, etc. on the panel.

        • Natty Refreshed, Slackers Rejoice and More

          It is Linux distribution releases that make the Linux Planet go around. This past week was a big week for releases, with two very different distros releasing their latest and greatest offerings. It was also a big week for browser releases with new Firefox and Chrome browsers for Linux.

        • What Is The Target Audience For Natty Narwhal?

          Tired of learning all those difficult technical terms like “Applications” and “System” just to get to your favorite porn site or play another online game of Slash Your Neighbor?

          Well, relax. You can just install our new word-free desktop, Nasty Nonwhale, and you’ll never need words again. You’ll use pictures for everything, pictures that are as simple and limited in what they can do as the ones on your phone. In fact, we’ve reduced the functions you can access to the point that less than a dozen big, colorful icons will show you everything you’ll ever be able to do with your computer.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Linux Mint XFCE Roller Coaster

            I have been trying to use Broadcom 4311 WiFi card on most Linux distro I have tried so far. This card is built into my Compaq C300 laptop. I think it became my idee fixe at some point. Especially when I was taking Debian-based systems for review.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux signage PC enables programmable waiting-room content

      Jayex announced a Linux-based digital signage computer aimed primarily at waiting-room applications. Available with multimedia and client call software, the “Web Media M4″ is built around a dual-core Intel Atom D510 clocked at 1.66GHz and offers 1GB of RAM, 250GB of storage, HDMI and VGA ports, as well as Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and USB connectivity, says the company.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Databases

    • PostgreSQL 9.1 Gets Synchronous

      The open source PostgreSQL database is gearing up for a major new release.

      PostgreSQL 9.1 is now available in beta, introducing a number of new features. Among the new features is support for synchronous replication for the database.

  • CMS

    • Putting Drupal to Work

      Last week, you installed Drupal and were left hanging at the point of basic configuration. This week, you’ll take the short path to Drupal setup. Of course, you’ll only see a fraction of Drupal’s capabilities in this tutorial but you’ll have enough information to discover the rest on your own. For those of you who don’t know, Drupal is an open source content management system (CMS) that powers some of the Internet’s most high profile sites. Do a Google search to find out who but trust me, you’re in good company.

  • Business

    • Thinking open source: How startups destroy a culture of fear

      Software engineers of corporate America are wired in a way that promotes fear. It hurts creativity and growth. And open source is finally changing that.

      Let’s try the following exercise: Write down three things that come to mind when you see the following email subject from your company’s CEO in response to your new open source project announcement.

    • Don’t Sell Your Love Cheap: How To Successfully Earn a Living with FOSS, Part 3

      There’s also a third aspect. Perhaps the IT professionals have not even bothered to understand their true worth in the industry; or are just too lazy to seek a job that offers dignity and delight. In fact, some of the most exciting and demanding jobs in the industry today are based around FOSS, and all such jobs are offered by the top companies.

      So, if you feel you’re stuck, and being exploited in a low-paying job in the FOSS industry, here’s what I think you should do. Get to know your true worth by applying to another FOSS-based company, and then confront your employer with the written offer made to you. If your employer refuses to give you a fairer deal, you should quit. It’s about time FOSS companies that exploit freedom-loving employees get a wake-up call.

      If there are no FOSS companies that offer you a similar job description and/or package, then definitely apply in other companies. Yes, I mean in proprietary-software companies. You should know your true worth, and should know whether you really do have desirable and marketable skills. Once you become aware that you do, you’ll find it’s very difficult to let yourself continue to be exploited.

  • BSD

    • OpenBSD 4.9 adds support for NTFS file system

      Six months after version 4.8 arrived, the OpenBSD project development team has announced the release of OpenBSD 4.9, its free BSD UNIX-like operating system. According to developer Bob Beck, version 4.9 is the 29th release on CD (30th via FTP) and includes a number of new drivers, performance improvements and new features.

      The x86 and amd64 versions of OpenBSD 4.9 now feature read-only support for the NTFS file system and a vmt(4) driver for VMware tools support as a guest OS, both of these are now enabled by default. Other changes include the ability to boot on machines with up to 64 cores, support for AES-NI instructions found in the latest Intel CPUs, and further improvements to suspend and resume.


  • Programming


  • BBC executives still paid too much, says Lord Patten

    Lord Patten, the new BBC chairman, has admitted that some of the BBC’s executives are still paid too highly and that not being able to pay top dollar for talent is something the corporation “has to live with” in return for not having to “flog advertising and subscriptions”.

    Speaking on Radio 4′s Today programme, Patten said that the corporation was working through a series of cuts that would scale back the number of senior executives by about a quarter. “In some circumstances, yes [pay is too high],” he said.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • After literature and MP3: Baidu’s encyclopedia accused of copyright infringement in China

        Baidu’s open online encyclopedia Baidu baike (“Baidupedia”) was accused of copyright infringement by unofficial members of Chinese Wikipedia recently.

        The infringement involves quoting and modifying Wikipedia’s content without specifying author or source, sharing not in accordance with Wikipedia’s CC-by-sa-3.0 license, and without permission from Wikipedia.

Clip of the Day

Sarah Vaughan: I Can’t Give You Anything But Love

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 4/5/2011: New PCLinuxOS Magazine, Firefox Fork, Linux Preinstalled on ARM

Posted in News Roundup at 8:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • 10 Reasons Why the Linux Desktop is Still Flapping its Wings

    A few weeks ago, the Linux Foundation chief Jim Zemlin openly said that bashing Microsoft is ‘like kicking a puppy’, every Linux user saw some amount of truth to that. If some disagree, they can always look at Android, Amazon’s Kindle, and a bucket load of Linux-based gadgets that have sprung up in the market recently. Also, when it comes to servers, Linux has managed to beat Microsoft hands down. The conformation came straight from the horse’s mouth when Steve Ballmer admitted that Linux’s server share is 60% as opposed to Microsoft’s 40%. Having said all that, Linux desktop’s market share stands at a meager .71 % in the United States, which is even less than Apple iPad’s userbase. So, what are the reasons why the Linux desktop is still far behind its server counterpart? Why the Linux desktop still isn’t winning? Let’s take a deeper look at the problem.

  • PC, or Not PC, That Is the Question for Linux Users

    It may be true that “the clothes make the man,” as the old saying goes, but can anything similar be said of a user’s computing preference?

    Indeed it can, at least if a recent Hunch survey is anything to go by. Mac users are generally a much more interesting bunch, according to Hunch’s “Profile of a self-described Mac person vs. PC person,” which was published recently as an infographic.

    In fact, Mac users are younger, more liberal, more urban, more educated and more likely to eat Shawarma than PC users are, according to the report. Oddly, they’re also more likely to consider themselves “computer-savvy gearheads.”

  • Desktop

    • 10 Ubuntu 11.04 Pre Installed Laptops and Netbooks

      Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal is released finally and it is getting some rave reviews from around the web(Recommended read: top things to do after installing Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal). Eager to buy a laptop or a netbook pre-installed with Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal? Here is a quick list of Ubuntu 11.04 pre-installed laptops and netbooks from prominent manufacturers.

    • Trim-Slice, compact Tegra2 Desktop, now released for $199

      Here’s a powerful super compact Nvidia Tegra2 ARM Cortex-A9 Dual-core 1Ghz based Desktop box, for now seems to run something like Ubuntu 11.4 (ARM netbook edition?), but the software support is a process that is a work-in-progress. Their pricing starts at $199 for the basic model, I will try to get a review unit, what do you think about this type of compact ARM Powered desktop?

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Splash screens and QML

        If you were to pass by Sebas’ house these last few days of Tokamak 5, you’d see a window full of post-its that contained tasks that we plan to do (can be seen on Kevin’s blog).


        The theme is rather simple – black/white KDE logo with rotating gear that fades into the logo that can be seen in the screenshot. If you are wondering why the text says ‘Friday’, it is because we are recognizing the fantastic song made popular by our idol Rebecca.

        Tokamak 5 is approaching the end – only Marco and I still linger around (and Sebas, naturally) – and that is going to end tomorrow around noon.

      • KDE: Unity Setup

        How to-ish:
        Basically you add the Window Menu bar widget to a panel. Then you move the panel to the top. You add a second panel to the left with a task bar widget in it. Tweak the size and make it autohide. Also, notice that the Title Bar disappeared in the full screen window. Well you can do that with any window manually but with a little handy work, you can actually have kwin hide the title bar when you maximize the window. (This is one of the areas that would require work to reach unity’s level of functionality though as no window controls go into the panel.

      • The next step: Coisceim

        In the old KDE PIM Platform applications owned the data and provided a scriptable access interface to it over D-Bus. In the new platform however, applications only provide a user interface to the data, and the data interface is provided by Akonadi. That makes the applications themselves far smaller, making it easy to split them up and create more purpose-built applications to fit with what the user wants. Newspeak centerward make easy newapplications indeed.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • On pointer control

        GNOME 3 has been designed to ensure that it can be used by those who have a low level of pointer control, either because they are not well practised at using pointing devices or our software, because they might not have good control over the hand and fingers, or because they are using low quality hardware. This is one way in which GNOME 3 is easier to use than GNOME 2.

      • Adventures in Gnome 3 part 2: The Wifening

        My wife has a Dell laptop that normally runs Windows 7 on it. I don’t push or whine about that, it’s her machine and she can run whatever she wants. I very very rarely have to do tech support on it, which is a good thing because at this point all of my Windows skills are gone. However, a minor catastrophe recently caused her hard drive to go bad (she dropped it), and Windows would constantly warn her, then BSOD, then the machine wouldn’t even boot and the BIOS would say it couldn’t find the internal hard drive. In short: it was totally screwed.

      • GNOME Panel Dock

        When GNOME 3.0 was released some weeks ago, I finally switched to gnome-shell by default. Performance is quite good in my laptop, so the only problem was getting used to the new user experience.

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • May 2011 issue of The PCLinuxOS Magazine released

        The PCLinuxOS Magazine is a product of the PCLinuxOS community, published by volunteers from the community. The magazine is lead by Paul Arnote, Chief Editor, and Assistant Editors Andrew Strick and Meemaw. The PCLinuxOS Magazine is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 Unported license, and some rights are reserved.

      • Mageia 1 Beta 2 – Almost Ready for the Big Day

        A while ago we had a poll here and a review of Mageia came second just after Scientific Linux. Mageia is a new distribution and this is only the second beta, but it’s due for release in around 30 days so I thought we’ll take a sneak preview now. No doubt there will be more reviews coming all over the web once this is out.
        The old Mandrake Linux, before it became Mandriva which of course Mageia is a fork of, was the first Linux distribution that mostly worked for me. The first actually was Corel Linux 1.0 (the one and only), but it was slow on a 266MHz Pentium 2. So I’m approaching Mageia with a lot of good will and high hopes but realistic expectations.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Names its 2011 Certified Professional of the Year

        Red Hat has announced Director of Open Source Consulting at Emergent LLC Quint Van Deman as the 2011 Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year.

        The award recognizes and honors the hard work, skills and creativity of those holding Red Hat certifications.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Project News – May 2nd, 2011
      • Debian Women Offers Building Packages from Source Tutorial

        Are you enthusiastic about Debian and thinking about contributing? We want to guide you in the basics.

        We are convinced that there are a lot of people out there that want to get involved with Free Software but don’t know where to start. For Debian, the most common task you’ll do as a contributor is rebuilding a package.

      • Debian May Begin Rolling Release Branch

        A discussion has begun in the quiet corner of Debian testing about offering a rolling release branch in addition to its current line-up. Well, sort of. Lucas Nussbaum has posted details of the intriguing discussion on his blog.

        Nussbaum recognizes that rolling releases are quite popular and offers the numbers of those using Debian testing and the growing popularity of Arch Linux as evidence. Some others may remember PCLinuxOS as well. He states that many users find the software in stable Debian perhaps a bit too stale or old. So a rolling release could be possible with little extra effort based on the testing branch.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Hints on installation of Ubuntu 11.04

          Ubuntu 11.04 comes with a new theme namely Unity. It is a 3D theme that requires 3D display driver.

        • Ubuntu 11.04: Installation stumbling block and post-install impressions
        • 16 things we’d change about Ubuntu

          Ubuntu is a popular Linux-based distro but, like everything in life, it isn’t perfect.

          There’s plenty that could be improved, both in terms of software and the way it goes about doing things.

          Here’s what we think would improve it.

        • Ubuntu Unity – A New Direction No-One Expected. Also, Custom Launcher How-To

          Ubuntu Natty Narwhal is here, yep, 11.04 has landed. (Is it just me or is there less Internet fanfare than before?) Along with Natty came the much discussed, loved-hated, maligned-adored, yet universally greatly expected Unity Interface.

        • Will Ubuntu 11.04 Bring Unity?

          Last week, Canonical released the latest version of its desktop Linux operating system, Ubuntu. Affectionately nicknamed “Natty Narwhal,” Ubuntu 11.04 is notable not just for being the most recent step along the company’s six-month development cycle, but it could very well also be the one that catapults Ubuntu—and Linux itself—into the same pantheon of popularity as Windows and Mac OS X.

        • My Impressions of Ubuntu 11.04

          This was a big week for Ubuntu Linux with the release of new version 11.04, ‘Natty Narwhal’ of the popular GNU/Linux operating system. There’s been loads of discussion over the last few months leading up to this, primarily over the decision to use the new Unity desktop interface instead of Gnome Shell. Some people like it; some hate it. Well, I just had to see for myself what all the fuss was about. I tried out Ubuntu 11.04 Beta about a week ago and found it a little too simplistic and not easily configurable. The final release just came out a few days ago, so I decided to install it on my experimental HP Compaq computer. I believe the only way to really see how an operating system works is to install it and use it for a while. Here are my impressions of ‘Natty Narwhal’ after two days.

        • Ubuntu’s New Unity Interface Makes Linux Friendly For The Mainstream

          A few days ago Canonical Ltd. released the newest version of the company’s popular Linux distribution, Ubuntu 11.04. featuring a completely new user interface called “Unity.” The Unity interface is aimed at mainstream computer users, not just Linux geeks. Mark Shuttleworth, Canonical founder, says that the Unity interface’s beautiful graphic design elements represent a new direction for Ubuntu and, hopefully, one other free software developers will follow. This Linux has long been one of the more aesthetically-pleasing distros, but Unity takes it up a notch. Is tempting mainstream users the only motivation, though?

        • Ubuntu 11.04 is a free operating system with a cool new interface

          This alternative to Windows has a strong identity of its own that is easy to use and makes good use of widescreen monitors

        • Ubuntu’s new face

          The newest version, 11.04, features a radically different interface called Unity that had its roots in the now-discontinued Netbook Edition. With 11.04, also known as Natty Narwhal, everybody uses the netbook interface by default.

        • Ubuntu Linux 11.04

          The latest edition of Canonical’s free operating system brings a new front-end to the popular Windows alternative

          A new edition of Ubuntu arrives every six months, bearing a new zoological codename. The latest is version 11.04 (reflecting its April 2011 release), known to its friends as the Natty Narwhal.

          You’ll notice one change before you even download the installer: the Netbook Edition has been retired, so there’s now only one ISO for all home computers. It’s a wise move; one standard installation makes life easier for beginners and developers alike.

        • Ubuntu gets a dock a decade late [Mac zealot warning]

          When Canonical last week issued the stable Ubuntu Linux 11.04, the build has brought out a bunch of new features and interface tweaks that’ve freshened up the overall aesthetics while improving usability. One of the most striking changes is the new Unity desktop environment (requires 3D acceleration) that puts a Dock-like application launcher to the left edge of the screen.

        • Can Ubuntu finally give Windows a run for its money?

          Microsoft isn’t exactly the most-loved company in the world, and part of that arguably has to do with its dominant position in the OS market. Its flagship product, Windows, has improved recently, but frustrations caused by its checkered past are, for some, hard to forget.

          For years, many computer industry professionals have hoped that strong Windows alternatives would emerge. Much of this hope was based on the idea that highly-polished GUIs for Linux-based operating systems could offer consumers Windows-like experiences and give Microsoft a run for its money.

        • no background wallpaper problem after upgrading to Ubuntu 11.04 Natty

          Ubuntu 11.04 has come out for few days, if you choose to upgrade from a previous Ubuntu edition you may encounter no wallpaper displaying problem in Unity. There’s only a white background and wallpaper chosen in Appearance window won’t display any more.

        • My thoughts on Ubuntu Unity

          Over the weekend, I made the painful mistake of upgrading to Natty Narwhal 11.04, the newest release of Ubuntu Linux. I was previously running 10.04 and realized I was stuck with Qt 4.6 and I desperately needed a feature in 4.7. After starting the upgrade process, I realized I actually had missed the last upgrade 10.10, which was required before upgrading to 11.04. I installed that and realized it contained Qt 4.7. I could have stopped there and be content, but I didn’t.

        • Unity – Banshee Radio Stations
        • Flavours and Variants

          • Ubuntu 11.04, Natty Narwhal: Successes and Failures

            Few releases of any distribution have received as much attention as Ubuntu 11.04 (codenamed Natty Narwhal). Most of the buzz is about the switch to the new Unity desktop — and deservedly so, since it is radically different from the GNOME desktop it replaces. However, Natty also features some changes to widgets, the installer, and the Ubuntu Software Center, many of which — like Unity itself — reflect Ubuntu’s ongoing concerns about usability and design issues, while having mixed levels of success.

            This concern has always loomed large in Ubuntu. However, it became even stronger several years ago, when Shuttleworth decided that usability and design were areas where Ubuntu and its corporate arm Canonical could “make a significant contribution” to open source software. Since then, Ubuntu has introduced such innovations as the app indicators, the repositioning of title bar buttons, and a new color-coded default theme reminiscent of Apple’s.

          • Ubuntu Unity not all that unifying

            Ubuntu’s new Natty release is out but does the new Unity interface live up to its billing?

            Right now I am at a loss as what to think of Unity, Ubuntu’s new desktop interface.

            Like many long-time Ubuntu fans I was eagerly awaiting Ubuntu Natty, the latest release of Ubuntu. Most of all I wanted to try out Unity, the new interface that Mark Shuttleworth has been promoting as the next big step forward for Ubuntu Linux. I’d tried various versions of Unity during its development but was mostly disappointed, a fact I put down to it being early testing software. When Natty was released Unity would so much better, I rationalised.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Sandia’s mini supercomputer runs Linux on 196 Gumstix ARM modules

        Sandia National Laboratories is demonstrating its latest mini supercomputer at ESC Silicon Valley this week, incorporating 196 TI OMAP3530-based Overo Tide modules running Linux. Being used for botnet research as part of Sandia’s MegaTux project, the “StrongBox” product combines 28 Gumstix Stagecoach boards, each with seven Gumstix Overo Tide computer modules.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Mozilla

    • The Day I Nearly Dumped Firefox

      So, as the result of an extremely small, unforeseen glitch, I find myself a satisfied user of the Chromium browser. Despite my initial frustration, I still have Firefox on my machine, and it’s still my main browser, but the experience has made me wonder how many other people hit these apparently small obstacles, and are driven to download Chrome or Chromium, say – and like it so much that they do switch? Could that explain the current rise of Chrome, and the gentle decline of Firefox’s market share?

      Obviously, Mozilla can’t test every add-on when it upgrades Firefox. But perhaps there is something that can be done to the architecture so that this kind of thing simply doesn’t happen for such minor upgrades. Alternatively, maybe there should be a roll-back feature so that you can always undo such upgrades when you find they have problematic consequences.

    • 13 features that make each Web browser unique

      Many cynical users assume Web browsers do little more than dutifully render HTML. The content is the most important part, they say, so it makes little difference which browser you use.

      This may be true for basic tasks, but for all their similarities, browsers differ in subtle and significant ways, thanks to the hard work of vendors looking to establish any edge that might attract more users to their stack of code. There are even some features that make each browser unique, and in the technology world, unique functionality often points the way forward.

    • Firefox 4 Breaks the 10% Mark
    • First Firefox 5 Beta Build Posted

      Mozilla is trying to establish a new 6-week product cycle for its Firefox web browser and has just posted the first build of Firefox 5, not quite six weeks after the release of Firefox 4, which crossed the 10% market share mark over the weekend.

      It feels as if Firefox 4 was just released, at least if you did not crawl along the seemingly never ending beta process of the browser last year. The next version is already knocking on your door and due for a first beta release on May 17. The first build has made its way out of the Aurora channel and was promoted from version 5.0a2 to 5.0 beta (build1).

    • Firefox 4.0.1: Firefox is out (of memory) !

      I’ve been running various builds of Firefox 4 on Linux since the betas were beginning, months ago. They were very stable. And then 4.0.0 was released, and recently 4.0.1, and with both I’ve had a lot of crashes.

    • Early reaction to Firefox 4.0.x — I can feel the speed

      While Firefox 4.0 is no faster than the Google Chrome web browser, 4.0 is certainly faster than Firefox(es) 3.5 and 3.6, all of which I’ve run extensively on both the Linux and Windows platforms.

      And while there’s a lot to like about Chrome/Chromium (I run the one in Windows, the other in Linux — currently Debian Squeeze, if you want to know), I lean toward Firefox/Iceweasel because one of my key web-accessed applications not only prefers it but pretty much demands it. (It could be worse; the same app used to prefer Internet Explorer and begrudgingly work in Opera).

    • To Toggle, or not to Toggle: The End of Torbutton

      In a random bar about two years ago, a Google Chrome developer asked me why Torbutton didn’t just launch a new, clean Firefox profile/instance to deal with the tremendous number of state separation issues. Simply by virtue of him asking me this question, I realized how much better off Chrome was by implementing Incognito Mode this way and how much simpler it must have been for them overall (though they did not/do not deal with anywhere near as many issues as Torbutton does)…

      So I took a deep breath, and explained how the original use model of Torbutton and my initial ignorance at the size of the problem had lead me through a series of incremental improvements to address the state isolation issue one item at a time. Since the toggle model was present at the beginning of this vision quest, it was present at the end.

      I realized at that same instant that in hindsight, this decision was monumentally stupid, and that I had been working harder, not smarter. However, I thought then that since we had the toggle model built, we might as well keep it: it allowed people to use their standard issue Firefoxes easily and painlessly with Tor.

    • Firefox4: Change Minimum Tab Width [Quick Tip]

      In Firefox 3.x, there used to be an option in about:config called “browser.tabs.tabMinWidth” which you could change to specify the minimum tab width. And changing that to “0″ would allow you to have all the tabs visible at all time, without having to scroll through them.

    • 10 Reasons why I will not upgrade from Firefox 3.6 to Firefox 4!

      This trend was observed in stats revealed by StatCounter Global stat for Browser usage in April 2011. The graph shows that in April 2011, the usage share of Firefox 4 is less than half of Firefox 3.6; despite that Firefox has been around for more than a month!

    • A new and improved AwesomeBar for Firefox by Mozilla

      Mozilla is working on a number of improvements for Firefox that they are developing as extensions, some of which might actually make it into the Firefox code in the future. Some previous Mozilla add-ons to have received this treatment are Personas, Panorama and Sync.

      Firefox has maintained a distinction between the search bar and the location bar till now because of the privacy implications of having a combined bar, and Mozilla’s staunch pro-privacy stance. However the advantages of having a combined bar are quite clear.


    • Cory Doctorow: Techno-optimism

      Herein lies the difference between a ‘‘technology activist’’ and ‘‘an activist who uses technology’’ – the former prioritizes tools that are safe for their users; the latter prioritizes tools that accomplish some activist goal. The trick for technology activists is to help activists who use technology to appreciate the hidden risks and help them find or make better tools. That is, to be pessimists and optimists: without expert collaboration, activists might put themselves at risk with poor technology choices; with collaboration, activists can use technology to outmaneuver autocrats, totalitarians, and thugs.

    • British Telecom: please include freedom in your new music service

      British Telecom is a leader of telecommunication and digital content markets, and has a reputation for product innovation. Plans recently reported for a new not-for-profit music download service [1] for BT’s 5.5 million broadband customers have sparked much discussion, and once again placed BT at the fore of the future of digital content delivery in the UK.

      Amongst those speculating about the nature of the new service are the growing number of BT customers who use Free Software [2] web-browsers, operating systems, and multimedia players. Currently these and other Free Software users are unable to enjoy many popular content delivery systems such as Spotify, Steam, and iTunes, because they are not compatible with Free Software, or require the waiving of users’ rights and freedoms in order to use them [3] [4] [5]. The nature of BT’s new service, and the extent to which it respects the freedom of it’s users, are therefore of particular concern.

  • Project Releases

    • Speed dial, private browsing, user agents

      So Midori is going full speed ahead, we support the new libSoup cache now (WebKitGTK+ 1.3.11 or greater required) which supersedes the old extension, support for F6, F7 and Ctrl(+Shift)+Tab and Tab in completion and a faster speed dial, which is still in the middle of even greater improvements, so stay stuned for more goodness in the future.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • Electronic resurrection through open source

        Over at Make: Online last week, Phillip Torrone posted “If You’re Going to Kill It, Open Source It!”–his wish list of dead products that he’d like to see given to an open source community for new life. It’s a great suggestion–freeing the knowledge that went into a product gives it a little life after death and could give a unprofitable or seemingly useless project a better reason for existence.


  • Hardware

  • Security

    • Re: Botnets exploit Linux owners’ ignorance

      After Flaming retort, I have another rebuttal. Another piece of scaremongering, with overhyped drama and sensationalism, wrapped in tech lingo to make the crowds shudder with fear and reverence. While the general rule says: don’t feed the trolls, as in I’m merely bringing attention to an article that does not merit any, I think it’s important to show the other side of the spectrum.

      Today, I want to talk to you about a short article called Botnets exploit Linux owners’ ignorance, which presents a grim picture of botnets actively engaging in cyber warfare against Linux [sic] and its owners. Naturally, there’s always the not so subtle hint that the solution is in your pocket. Let’s digest the original report, see what it says and what it means, and how thing relates to the average computer user.

  • Cablegate

    • Another attempted attack on opposition radio station journalist

      Arnulfo Aguilar, the director of Radio Uno, an educational radio station based in San Pedro Sula, narrowly escaped an armed ambush outside his home on the outskirts of the city on the night of 27 April which he blames on the army. A station that supports the opposition National Front for Popular Resistance, Radio Uno has often been targeted by the security forces since the June 2009 coup d’état.

      Ten masked gunmen were waiting for Aguilar as he arrived home after leaving the station. After spotting them, he managed to elude them by taking a different route into his house. Some of the gunmen nonetheless got into the yard but fled after hearing him call his neighbours and the police for help. The police reportedly waited more than an hour before responding.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/UBB

  • DRM

    • Interview with Leo Babauta

      2) Since August 2009 you joined Identi.ca, the free microblogging platform. Social networks can be overwhelming due to their great amount of messages and friends. How do you manage to stay updated without burning up?

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Berlin Wall artists sue city in copyright controversy

        The East Side Gallery is one of Berlin’s most popular tourist attractions, a 1.3km-long brightly painted stretch of the wall which divided east and west for almost 30 years.

        But now the outdoor exhibition space is embroiled in an expensive copyright controversy after Berlin council destroyed some artworks painted on the wall and reproduced others without the permission of the original artists.

        The city of Berlin, which owns the wall and the land around it, is being sued by 21 artists over the way the council handled recent renovation of the gallery.

Clip of the Day

Unity Interface – Craptastic Mac Wannabe – Ubuntu 11.04

Credit: TinyOgg

Links 3/5/2011: OpenBSD 4.9, Firefox 6 Prioritising GNU/Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 3:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Tassie education dept wants Mac, Linux anti-virus

    Tasmania’s Department of Education has gone to market for anti-virus software for its 40,000 desktop PCs and 1,000 servers, specifying solutions must be able to secure not only Microsoft Windows, but also Mac OS X and Linux, in a move that once again raises the question of whether the alternative platforms require dedicated security software.

  • Server

    • GNU/Linux Marches On

      Netcraft reports that, of the top 40 hosting providers, one used F5-big_IP, 6 use FreeBSD, 24 use GNU/Linux, 2 use 2003 and 2 use 2008. I believe the market has spoken. GNU/Linux provides great performance/price. The same advantages seen running applications on the server present themselves running applications on the personal computer: low price, reliability, ease of administration, less malware, etc. Use Debian GNU/Linux.

  • Google

    • Is Today’s Google Really Open?

      With the current raging controversy over the delayed release of the source code to Android Honeycomb by Google, many an analyst have questioned whether the Google of today is really as opened as they’d like us to believe. As a stauch Google fanboy, I set out to find out what the meaning of “open” is in the first place, and what better place to seek that answer than from Google itself.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Kernel Boot Statistics: 2.6.24 To 2.6.39

      A clean installation of Ubuntu 8.04.4 LTS was done on two systems and the boot time of every Linux kernel release from 2.6.24 to present (2.6.39-rc4) was measured using Bootchart. The kernel was the only change made each time to the system.

  • Applications

    • 5 RSS Feed reader on linux

      If you follow news sites or blogs probably you are using some online service or a program to aggregate all the news into one more convenient point. This is doable thanks to RSS feed.

    • 9 of the Best Free Linux Data Mining Software

      This article focuses on selecting the best free software for performing data mining. Hopefully, there will be something of interest here for anyone who needs to make strategic decisions when confronted with large amounts of information.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Gaming with Trine

        In conclusion, I think Trine is a great game. It’s flexible in that a person can spend just ten minutes bashing undead foes or get lost in an hour of solving puzzles or pass the time exploring. The controls are intuitive and the difficultly curve is gradual. The levels are varied and well laid out and I’ve encountered no serious problems with the game play. In short, Trine is a lot of fun.

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

  • Distributions

    • GParted Live: A Boot Disk ISO You Can’t Afford to Be Without

      If you ever need to partition or edit the partitions on your hard drives without an existing OS on the computer, then GParted Live should be in your PC toolbox. The free GParted Live is based on a live version of Linux, (i.e. one that will boot from a disc or USB drive), and the Gnome Partition Editor, a.k.a. GPartEd, or more commonly GParted. GParted Live boots quickly, and handles virtually any partition type, including nearly all Linux, OS X, and Windows types.

    • Reviews

      • Is there a blue pill for Qubes OS?

        Those who regularly follow the Black Hat briefings probably remember Joanna Rutkowska who presented a novel attack against Windows Vista (and any Operating System running on an x86 architecture, in general). She was the first researcher to demonstrate a piece of malware (bluepill) that could run in root or host mode in a current x86 architecture and push the Operating System one layer (ring) below.

    • New Releases

      • 29/04/2011 — SMS version 1.6.0 Released!
      • [Tiny Core Linux] v3.6

        Much improved Tiny Core Installer, now offering a GUI for both USB and frugal hard drives. Updated critical system module, squashfs. Many updates to improve error handling, large files, and auditing / updating the extensions. Many user interface improvements and additional supported options in: ab, appbrowser, appsaudit, cpanel, flrun, fluff, mousetool, tc-install, tce-load, and wallpaper.

      • [OpenBSD 4.9]

        The current release is OpenBSD 4.9 which was released May 1, 2011.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Distro fatigue keeps me in the Squeeze of Debian

        I tried out the Fedora 15 Alpha. GNOME Shell wasn’t working on my hardware for some reason. I also tried Ubuntu 11.04, and Unity does work. OpenBSD 4.9′s release is imminent.

      • bits from the DPL: the start of the term
      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • 5 things I like in Ubuntu 11.04 (Unity) and 10 things which I don’t

          Here we are! Long awaited and much discussed version of Ubuntu is here. It is Ubuntu 11.04.
          This version was long awaited because of one 2 main reasons:
          1) As of 11.04 Canonical stopped free distribution of CDs with Ubuntu via partner Shipit. It’s a pity, because that was a way how I got my first ever Ubuntu CD.

        • Ubuntu-running dual-core ARM desktop ‘Trim-Slice’ goes on sale
        • CPU Frequency Scaling applet in Unity
        • Nice themes for Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal
        • Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot Release Schedule
        • Are You Afraid Of The Dark Ubuntu Unity?
        • Ubuntu 11.04

          Summary Table:
          Product: Ubuntu 11.04
          Web Site: http://www.ubuntu.com/
          Price: Free
          Pros: New Unity interface; user ratings and reviews in the Software Center; easy install routine that includes the ability to upgrade from the Live CD.
          Cons: Unity interface is a “love it or hate it” affair that will either bring people to Ubuntu or drive them away, the jury is still out on that and we won’t know for a while which way things will go.
          Suitable For: Beginner, intermediate and advanced Linux users.
          Rating: 4/5

        • Ubuntu Insistant Upgrades & Testing
        • Can Unity create first consumer-class Linux distro?

          Yesterday, I read Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols’ discussion with Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth on the merits of Unity, and saw an interesting point that Vaughan-Nichols raised, but did not follow as far as I would have gone. Citing another blog lamenting GNOME 3.0, the “official” new GNOME shell that’s out and about, as “Defective by Design,” Vaughan-Nichols states:

          “GNOME 3.0, like too many Linux/Unix interfaces, was designed by software developers for software developers..”

          Unity, on the other hand, was built with Canonical’s usability testing and performance goals in mind. Which is why, we have heard Canonical reps explain ad nauseum, Canonical chose to take a different path with Unity rather than stick with a pure GNOME 3.0 environment for Ubuntu.

        • Linux desktop interface evolves

          No, this is not going to be a post about Ubuntu 11.04′s specific implementation of the Unity desktop. I’ll be trying 11.04, but not for a little while. Rather, this is about the Linux desktop in general, and how it’s maturing.

        • Are You Afraid Of The Dark Ubuntu Unity?

          Ubuntu Natty 11.04 is officially released! Some of us have already upgraded either during the development stages of natty or now after the stable release. However there are still a few who would like to hang on to their dear old gnome 2.x.

          This could be either due to fear of the new Unity interface or a general tendency to stay in the comfort zone of Maverick Meerkat. However I hope this article would help change that.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Kubuntu lets me down again

            I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m not going to fight with Kubuntu or KDE to try to make it stable the way Gnome is. At this point it’s fairly obvious that the problem relates to the Nvidia proprietary drivers, but I’m using the same drivers with Gnome, and having no trouble. If the current Nvidia driver breaks Kubuntu, then Kubuntu’s not ready.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • How Free Software Brought Motorola Back From Graves

      Those who question the relevance of open source or Mukt (free) Software need to look at Motorola, a company which was broken down by the attack from corporate raider Carl Icahn.

      The company was forced to split its business. But is now back as one of the giants of the mobile world. The credit goes to only and only one element — Linux. It was Linux-based Android which saved the company.

      Motorola has reported its financial results registering net revenues of $3.0 billion, up 22 percent from first quarter 2010.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Google Talk Enables Video Chat On Android Smartphones

          Google recently launched Google Talk with video and voice chat for Android phones. With the service, users will be able to video or voice chat with their friends and family directly from an Android phone. Calls can be placed over 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi connections. According to Google, the new features will first roll out to the Nexus S phones over the next few weeks as part of the Android 2.3.4 over-the-air update. Google Talk with video and voice chat will launch on other Android 2.3 and higher devices in the future.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • Saturday at LinuxFest NorthWest

      First day of LFNW is going well. We gave away lots of CDs and DVDs. Lots of positive feedback on Gnome 3. Jesse, Adam, Tom and Robyn all stopped by to help. OLPCs were a hit. One of the cool thing about the OLPC was when a five year old complained about speak not pronouncing her brother’s name correctly, I noticed her mother was speaking a foreign language, so I set speak to use that language and it pronounced the brother’s name correctly! The mother got real interested in the OLPC and explored Scratch while her daughter moved on to mazes.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Review – SeaMonkey 2.0.14

        All in one solutions can be very appealing. Since I have multiple communication methods online and SeaMonkey is touted as an “all in one Internet solution”, I simply had to put it to the test against my browser of choice and the associated packages I use. With the release of 2.0.14 what better time?

        I’m sure SeaMonkey will be available for many in their respective repo’s, but since I wanted the latest version and wanted it now, I downloaded direct from the site. The comparison for this review will be with Chromium 11.0.696.25 (and I suppose X-Chat & Thunderbird too) which are currently installed on my system. Presently I am also running Compiz with the desktop cube effect, I have 4 available desktop spaces with each desktop space being given to Chromium, Thunderbird and X-Chat. The remaining workspace is left empty for anything else.

      • Firefox 6 For Linux To Be As Fast As Firefox Currently Is On Windows (And Less Sluggish)

        As linux users ourselves, we have been frequently fed up with the sluggish nature of the Firefox browser on Linux. Some time back,we told you about Opera 10 which was a bit less sluggish on Linux but then Google Chrome changed everything. However, for many Linux users Firefox is still the most preferred web browser and things are gonna change for sure for Firefox on Linux.

        Mozilla’s Mike Hommey has announced on his blog that his team at Mozilla has finally managed to get the Linux builds of Firefox to use GCC 4.5 with aggressive optimization and profile guided optimization enabled. All this simply means that we can now expect a faster and less sluggish Firefox browser on Linux (both 32 bit and 64 bit systems). The experience is going to be much closer to the Windows builds of Firefox.

      • The Best Firefox Security Add-Ons

        One of the biggest features and strength of the Firefox web browser is its extensions engine and the support it receives from the Firefox community. Users find thousands of different add-ons for virtually any purpose in the official extensions gallery over at Mozilla. Mozilla tries its best to promote popular and interesting add-ons, but the sheer amount makes that attempt more or less futile.

        The best Firefox security add-ons is a guide for Firefox users who want to improve their web browser’s security and protection from attacks on today’s Internet. That does not necessarily mean that you need to install all of the add-ons to protect your browser from malicious attacks, as some may only be useful if you visit specific websites or types of sites regularly.

        The list concentrates on security related add-ons, not privacy related. Only extensions that are compatible with at least Firefox 4 have been included in the list.

      • Why is Firefox slower on Linux than Windows?

        Have you tried Firefox 4 on Linux and then tried Firefox on a friend’s Windows 7 PC? The experience isn’t the same and that’s not good news for Linux users.


  • Programming

    • PHP Dependency Injection Creates More Maintainable Code

      Although not originally conceived as such, PHP has over the years evolved into a very capable object-oriented language, with countless enterprise projects and a number of powerful frameworks such as Symfony taking full advantage of these mature features. Of course, the advantages of object-orientation can only be fully exploited when implemented in conjunction with best practices such as encapsulation and inheritance. One such “implementational” best practice is dependency injection, a design pattern that facilitates the decoupling of otherwise dependent components.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • UK Government Open Standards Survey

      Government must be better connected to the people it serves and partners who can work with it – especially small businesses, voluntary and community organisations. Government ICT must play a fundamental role in making life easier and I want to ensure that it does.

      One of our first goals is to organise Government data and systems using an agreed set of standards that make our ICT more open, cheaper and better connected.


  • Federal govt goes shopping for new search service

    Requirements for the service including conforming to the OpenSearch protocol and support for compressed and uncompressed versions of non-HTML documents like PDF, RTF, CSV, Microsoft Office formats and Open Document formats.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Osama bin Fragged: a review of terrorist propaganda games

      It’s rare that the president addresses the country without giving any details about what will be discussed, but the topic of last night’s address became known well before President Obama spoke. The military forces of the United States had finally found Osama Bin Laden, we were able to put boots on the ground, and in a firefight that lasted 40 minutes, the world’s most wanted terrorist was killed. In an often ill-defined war on terror, this was a dramatic win.

  • Cablegate

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Peak Oil – April 2011 Update

      The US Energy Information Administration’s January oil production figures are out, and they show record oil production. Where are we headed from here?

  • Finance

    • Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World, By William D Cohan

      n the 1860s, when the clothing merchant Marcus Goldman offered cash, at a suitable discount, for bills yet to be paid by others, he used to stuff the accumulated IOUs under his top hat.

      Goldman’s clients could tell how busy Marcus was by the tilt of his headgear, a degree of transparency that would not always be displayed in the decades that followed.

  • Privacy

    • South Korea, Europe start iPhone location tracking investigations

      South Korea’s Korea Communications Commission is now asking Apple questions about the location data being stored on iPhones and iPads and backed up to users’ computers. South Korea joins the governments of France, Germany, and Italy, which late last week notified Apple that they also had questions about location data collection. These investigations follow stern letters from US Sentaor Al Franken (D-MN) and US Representative Ed Markey (D-MA), both of whom asked Apple to answer why the data is retained on users’ devices, how it is collected, and what Apple does to protect users’ privacy.

      Last week, a news firestorm started after the public revelation by researchers Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden that iPhones and iPads keep a log of location data based on cell tower and WiFi base station triangulation in a file called consolidated.db. The news led many to believe that Apple was using or could use the information to track iPhone and iPad 3G users, and raised privacy concerns that the information could make it into the wrong hands.

    • Sony apologizes, says 10 million credit card accounts may have been exposed in network attack

      Sony has revealed that 10 million credit card accounts may have been exposed two weeks ago when a hacker broke into the company’s computers in San Diego and stole data from 77 million PlayStation Network accounts.

      During a news conference in Tokyo on Saturday, Kaz Hirai, Sony’s executive deputy president, offered the company’s first public apology by an executive and promised to compensate customers.

    • Privacy Lost: The Amazing Benefits of the Completely Examined Life

      Your iPhone’s tracking you. Your game network just surrendered all your personal data. And your mom is posting your potty-training videos on Facebook. Like many of us, you’re laboring under the delusion that privacy matters–that there’s such a thing as too much (public) information. It’s time to get over it! Soon we’ll all recognize the positives of exposing every aspect of our lives. What a relief it will be when we’ve finally revealed everything and have nothing left to hide. Herewith, the potential benefits of our upcoming, privacy-free utopia:

      • Better security, plus entertainment, 24/7: Tune into the airport security “Grope-cam” channel.

  • Civil Rights

    • Wisconsinites Get Revved up for Worker’s Rights

      Hundreds of Wisconsinites lined Madison’s Capitol Square Saturday to welcome bikers from all over the Midwest and to protest Governor Scott Walker’s attack on Wisconsin unions. Just when Walker thought he had memorized all the chants and signs, Wisconsinites revved it up a notch.

      Every kind of bike, from Harley-Davidsons to Huffys, descended onto the Square from Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd and South Hamilton Street. Eric Hartz, the organizer of the event, complemented the thunderous entrance with songs from the Raging Grannies, a social justice organization made up of older women. Other speakers included Sen. John Erpenbach, Sen. Mark Miller, Rep. Cory Mason, Rep. Peter Barca, Milwaukee Public School Teachers and the City of Middleton Fire Fighters.

    • May Day March Unites Workers

      May Day, or May 1st, became International Workers’ Day in 1886, when it was the beginning of a multi-day general strike in Chicago in which workers demanded an eight-hour work day. On May 4, 1886, the strike ended in what became known as the Haymarket Affair.

  • DRM

    • Day Against DRM – Two Days Away

      Clear your schedule for a worldwide day of action against DRM. On Wednesday, May 4th, we will be taking action to raise the stakes and increase awareness about the threats of Digital Restrictions Management — in a very significant way!

      Awareness is a key part of defeating DRM. Whether protesting outside Apple Stores in Hazmat suits as we have done in years past, handing out leaflets in front of public libraries, or sending direct complaints to senior executives at Sony, action gets attention, and creates space for change.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Judge Slams Copyright Troll Lawyer John Steele’s Latest ‘Fishing Expedition’

        The mass infringement lawsuit shakedown plan is looking shakier and shakier these days as more and more courts keep hitting back on these cases. More and more judges (with one notable exception) are recognizing that these lawyers are just using the court system to pressure people into paying up… and they don’t seem to like it very much. The latest involves Chicago divorce lawyer-turned-porn P2P shakedown lawyer, John Steele. Steele has already had some trouble with judges buying his arguments. Steele is also the guy trying to set these lawsuits up as reverse class actions — a strategy that failed miserably the first time around.

        However, despite that loss, Steele has tried again for another reverse class action. Earlier, the judge denied Steele’s motion for expedited discovery. Expedited discovery is a pretty standard thing that almost every court grants as a matter of course, but we’ve now seen a few courts in these mass infringement lawsuits refuse, after realizing the only purpose behind expedited discovery is to get the names/addresses of people in order to hit them up with settlement offers. In this case, the judge specifically ordered the court clerk not to issue subpoenas in the case, to stop Steele from getting the info he needed to pressure people into settling. Steele still pushed forward, trying to get the court to approve things so he could send out the subpoenas and get the names.

Clip of the Day

Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal uses Unity Desktop by Default! [UDS N Day 1]

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 2/5/2011: New Tablets Running Linux, More ACTA Backlash

Posted in News Roundup at 10:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • A Fishy Tale

    Linux is like an ocean. Water keeps coming from the rivers, and there are a lot of rivers around. There is much to see if you want to, while doing all your regular swimming activities. You can travel the ocean far and wide and be wiser, or you can stick to your school and enjoy your locale. You take the call. You can migrate to a different part of the ocean in search of peace/adventure. You take the call. Typical of an ocean, you find big fish, small fish, medium fish, etc. You can be lost and ask for directions or befriend them and swim more of the ocean. You take the call. This is freedom. With so much freedom, comes so much power. With that much power, comes that much responsibility. You can use it according to the book and be safe, or take a few wrong steps and learn lessons the harder way. Of course, nowadays there are nicely laid out paths in the ocean for new fish to start out, cutting the intimidation. So, you can learn a few things about the ocean and, if you want a little more, the adventure is limited only by your imagination.

  • Desktop

    • Desirable OS

      It has been a long time if ever that Linux has been described as a desirable OS but it is happening now. A survey of smartphone-lovers finds that more intend to buy Android/Linux next rather than iOS or worst, Phoney 7. Underneath it is the same stuff that consumers have not been choosing for a decade but the change is understandable. While the forces of evil denigrated GNU/Linux as “communism” and “cancer” and their multitudes of “partners” repeated the chants until the media believed them and common wisdom in the retail trade was than no one would buy GNU/Linux, the makers of smart phones have been uncontaminated. You can see ads on television for smart phones with Android/Linux from the manufacturers, ISPs, banks, etc. and many millions of people are showing them to their friends. The “partners” have been bypassed. The monopoly is now irrelevant.

    • Building a PC
    • HeliOS Buillds Its Future

      With six guys, plus Skip and me, we got the sheet rock to the new HeliOS building and got it unloaded. We will probably start hanging it this evening or tomorrow, then the fun part starts…we get to find someone who knows how to tape, mud and float.

    • Exclusive Interview With System 76 CEO Carl Richell

      Muktware: What is System 76? Can you tell us something about how and when you conceptualized the company and what was the driving force behind it?
      Carl Richell: We started discussing System76 back in 2003 but not seriously until 2005. We felt that GNU/Linux had come a long way and deserved an OEM building high quality pc’s backed by dedicated support.

      There was also this newfangled distro called Ubuntu. It clearly had traction. There was already a great community and a unique and attractive business model behind it. Shortly thereafter, we shipped our first laptops and desktop with Ubuntu 5.10 Breezy Badger.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • New look for KDE Edu

        The KDE Edu Team is proud to present its new website at http://edu.kde.org as the central place to start to discover KDE Edu.

        With this new website, we are also officially presenting the new KDE Edu logo as the stamp for KDE in Education. The logo emphasizes the opportunity for people to grow their knowledge freely in various fields with KDE Edu programs. The concept was started in May 2010 by Alexandre Freitas and finalized by Asunción Sánchez Iglesias.

      • Put the World in Your Pocket with Marble

        Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have the whole world at your fingertips? How about cradling it in a single hand, putting it in your pocket and taking it with you wherever you go? With KDE’s Marble Virtual Globe on your mobile phone, you can do just that.

      • KDEnlive 0.8 Released – Best non-linear video editor for Linux

        For a long time I’ve been a big fan of kdenlive. I’ve written a two articles about it. One is a general overview of video editing on Linux and the other is more specific to kdenlive. For a number of years, video editing on linux – at least at a consumer level – has been patchy at best. This is somewhat ironic given the heavy use of linux in major Hollywood block film production. However, with the advent of kdenlive, things are looking pretty good and with the release of version 0.8, there have been some great features added for the more advanced users, while still retaining a simple and easy to use UI.

      • Things I want to see in KWin

        Now with the GSoC application timeline ended, I feel like blogging about some more ideas what I want to see in KWin in our next releases, but are not enough for a GSoC. Nevertheless most of it is in the scope that it can also be handled by new developers. But some parts have to be done by KWin/Plasma developers.

      • Show your Yahoo calendars in KOrganizer ? so easy…

        A few days ago, Jeremy explained how to add your Google calendars to Kontact, how about doing the same with your Yahoo calendars ?

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • A tale of two distros: Slackware 13.37 and Ubuntu 11.04 released

      After months of development, one of the most important Linux distributions was released today. Of course I’m talking about Slackware 13.37. Oh, and the Ubuntu Project released 11.04 today too — though by reading the press release you’d never know Ubuntu was actually a Linux distribution.

    • Supporting Slackware Linux Project
    • Reviews

      • Chakra GNU/Linux review

        Chakra is a Linux distribution based on Arch Linux. It evolved from a hobby project to what is now, from my initial assessment, a very solid desktop distribution with features not yet available on established Linux distributions. The developers warn that, “This is alpha software, it could eat your hamsters.” It did not eat my hamster, but the time I spent installing and reinstalling it on multiple machines and in a virtual environment was very eventful.

        For this review, the first for Chakra on this website, I will let the screenshots do most of the “talking.” I like this approach better because, as they say, a picture is worth more than a thousand words. A screenshot with one or two paragraphs conveys more than a dozen paragraphs of colorful descriptions.

        The version of Chakra that is the subject of this review is Chakra GNU/Linux 2011.04, code-named Aida. It was released on April 27, 2011.

    • New Releases

      • RIPLinuX 12.1
      • [Ubuntu Rescue Remix] Version 11.04

        Version 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) of the very best Free-Libre Open-Source data recovery software toolkit based on Ubuntu is out.

        This version features and up-to-date infrastructure and several new packages including Dump, a backup and restore solution as well as Clamav, the best in free-libre Antivirus software.

        Ubuntu-Rescue-Remix features a full command-line environment with the newsest versions of the most powerful free/libre open-source data recovery software including GNU ddrescue, Photorec, The Sleuth Kit and Gnu-fdisk.

      • Ubuntu Rescue Remix 11.04 Is Available for Download

        Right after the announcement for Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal), Andrew Zajac proudly announced the immediate availability for download of the Ubuntu Rescue Remix 11.04 operating system.

        Ubuntu Rescue Remix 11.04, the rescue and computer forensics Linux distro, is based on the most recent Ubuntu 11.04 release. It comes with lots of updated packages and an up-to-date infrastructure.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • A newcomer in Mageia: Maven

        The Java packaging in Mandriva 2010.1 (from which Mageia was forked) was just unusable. Many of the packages were obsolete and not really maintained. The task of updating packages had become very difficult as Maven, a now very common Java project build tool, was not properly integrated in the distribution. Many Java libraries installed using the old packages would not be usable by Maven. Moreover the version of Maven was obsolete and would not allow building recent software. This was a serious problem for maintaining the Java stack.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Fedora15 steps out

          Latest beta release from Red Hat-backed project makes the switch to Gnome3

          The big issues in the world of Linux right now are the Gnome3 desktop interface and Ubuntu’s pending Natty release which will use the Unity desktop interface by default. The tried and tested Gnome2 desktop is finally making way for a new generation of desktop effects and most users will find the change jarringly different.

        • Fedora 15 with GNOME 3 & some cool upgrades!

          The next version of Fedora, Version 15 is available for download as a beta version. The beta version was released and a reworked boot loading system will be featured by this OS. The major changes for the Linux distribution are hopefully taken care of and the complete release is scheduled for May 2011; it is to be noted that this period of release is approximately a month after the release of Ubuntu 11.04. New releases of Fedora can usually be expected about once every six months.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • 17 Top Rated Applications in Ubuntu Software Center You Should Have in Natty Narwhal

          Ubuntu Software Center in 11.04 has got a really nice ratings and reviews system in place that allows us to review our favorite applications and install top rated applications in one click. So here is a list of 17 highly rated applications not installed by default in Ubuntu 11.04.

        • Ubuntu One Music app adds support for playlists, OGG Vorbis, iTunes

          Canonical released Ubuntu 11.04 this week, giving the operating system a dramatically new user interface as well as some new features and performance tweaks. The company also recently launched an updated version of the Ubuntu One music app for Android.

          Ubuntu One allows Ubuntu Linux users to store music online and access it from a computer or mobile device. The service is free to use for 30 days, but you’ll have to sign up for a subscription after that.

        • My Dream Ubuntu One Feature
        • Ubuntu Linux 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) is out
        • Ubuntu 11.04 – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
        • Is Ubuntu 11.04 Beating Apple’s Mac OS X in User Experience?

          Canonical yesterday released the final version of Ubuntu Linux 11.04. For quite some time Ubuntu will get a new release twice per year – one in April and one in October. As usual with updated distributions, the release comes with updated software. In this case however, the software responsible for the appearance of the desktop was changed. While previous Ubuntu releases relied on Gnome as a desktop manager, with 11.04 Ubuntu makes the switch to the Unity desktop environment.

        • Thoughts On Ubuntu 11.04 “Natty Narwhal” After Using It For A Day

          As you should know, Ubuntu 11.04 was released yesterday. I have used the development builds of Ubuntu 11.04 on and off during the development cycle. However, it is not a very good idea to do to do a review during the development phase. So, as soon as the final release of Ubuntu 11.04 was available, I downloaded it and installed it on my laptop. (I actually used zsync to update the image of Ubuntu 11.04 beta that I had.) So, after using it for one whole day, here are my thoughts on Ubuntu 11.04 “Natty Narwhal”.

        • Unity Shadow Tweak
        • Unity Compiz Tweaks
        • Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal): How to remove chat and mail icons (indicators) from system tray
        • My first look at Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal
        • Ubuntu 11.04 Carrot Dangled in Front of Windows and Mac OS X Users

          Despite its runaway popularity when compared to other Linux distributions, Ubuntu still struggles to capture the attention of the general computing public. With recent releases, Canonical has clearly been looking at ways to make Ubuntu more appealing to the average Joe — and Natty Narwhal offers plenty of features that could make it an appealing alternative to Windows and Mac OS X.

        • Ubuntu 11.04 – Excellent, but still rough around the edges
        • On Ubuntu 11.04

          I did an in-place upgrade of the Ubuntu 10.10 running on my mother’s netbook to Ubuntu 11.04. I had it run overnight, and by morning, voila!, I had Natty Narwhal on the computer. The upgrade went by without a hitch; real sweet, considering this was a Wubi installation.

          I can’t say I’m too fond of the new Unity interface yet, though. I like the simplicity, but I’ve just gotten far too used to the old way of working. Unity just hides several icons so it was at first confusing to look up applications. That said, I’ll keep this on for a month or so and see how this works out for me.

        • Ubuntu 11.04 Unity – A Big Leap Forward For Linux

          It’s here. The newest version of Ubuntu sports an entirely new user interface: Unity. It also includes a much-improved Software Center, alongside the usual updates for the thousands of free programs Ubuntu offers. Download it now at Ubuntu.com.

        • Turning Wireless on Causes Laptop to Freeze on Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal? My Work Around
        • Install Google Earth and Fix ugly fonts problem in Ubuntu 11.04 Natty
        • How to get back launch bar and top bar after ubuntu 11.04 (Natty) upgrade
        • Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal): Use ‘normal’ GNOME instead of Unity
        • Ubuntu’s app management better than Apple’s
        • Ubuntu Can Innovate Faster Than Windows, MacOS

          Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Ubuntu, is a known frequent blogger. If Steve Jobs personally replies to the emails of users, which the company later denies as Jobs’ comments. Shuttleworth, the guy who has been to the space, shares his views in public and allows comments. Of course his blogs are not proprietary.

        • Ubuntu Books | The Top reference books for using Ubuntu
        • Installing Ubuntu 11.04

          Ubuntu 11.04, also known as the Natty Narwhal, arrived on April 28th, 2011 and is the 14th release of the Ubuntu operating system.

          Even if the Ubuntu 11.04 operating system includes a smarter installer, we’ve created the following tutorial to teach both Linux newcomers and existing Ubuntu users how to install the Ubuntu 11.04 operating system on their personal computer.

        • Linux Mint > Ubuntu 11.04

          I’ve been playing around with Ubuntu 11.04 on a couple of machines for almost a week now. Ubuntu 11.04 has an entirely new user interface to it making doing even the simple things very difficult. Even opening a shell is a major task. You have to click on an apps icon. Then carefully maneuver the mouse to a little triangle that will display all the apps and wait 5 seconds for the interface to respond. Then you must slowly and carefully scroll down. If your mouse deviates outside the area you must restart from scratch because the window will close. In another 5 seconds you’ll find the terminal app. Now if you want a second terminal, shell that is, you can’t get it. The menu only lets you open a single shell. The final kick in the nuts is the color scheme the shell uses. It’s very hard to read.

        • Steel Storm Episode II : Burning Retribution is Coming Soon to Ubuntu Software Center

          Fast paced, 3D top down shooter, Steel Storm : Burning Retribution a.k.a. Episode II will soon land into Ubuntu Software Center where users can easily buy this game in one click.

          Kot-in-Action, the game development studio behind Steel Storm has already successfully delivered Episode I which is featured in Top 100 indie games for the year 2010 by IndieDB. They are now coming up with Episode II which packs in more features, more action and more adrenaline rush. With 25 full missions and a multiplier mode that allows upto 16 players to play together, this is surely an action you would like to watch for this year.

        • Shuttleworth on Ubuntu 11.04 Linux & Unity

          Shuttleworth opened by saying that the main point of Ubuntu 11.04 with Unity was “to bring the joys and freedoms and innovation and performance and security that have always been part of the Linux platform, to a consumer audience.”

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Review: Edubuntu 11.04 “Natty Narwhal”

            Before I get on with the rest of this post, I need to apologize for not having posted anything this week. It turned out to be a good deal busier than I anticipated, and even otherwise, there wasn’t a whole lot to write about, at least at the beginning of the week. I did say in the latest “Featured Comments” article that I would review the latest release of Ubuntu — version 11.04 “Natty Narwhal”. That is still happening, but for reasons that will become clearer, I will not write reviews of Ubuntu/Kubuntu/Xubuntu/Lubuntu just yet, but will wait a day or maybe a little more.

          • Lubuntu 11.04 Released

            Right after the announcement for Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal), Mario Behling proudly announced last night (April 28th) that Julien Lavergne has released the lightweight Lubuntu 11.04 operating system.

          • Kubuntu Returns to Glory with 11.04

            After years of giving Kubuntu releases unfavorable reviews, that time has finally come to an end. I’m proud to say that Kubuntu is back, and us KDE fans have a distribution to root for now. I hope that going forward, Kubuntu continues with this level of quality. I’m not sure if Kubuntu will remain my main distribution forever, because I prefer the rolling release style of Arch, but that’s just a personal preference. But I can say this, I know first hand how hard it is to get Linux to work with this laptop considering the current state of Intel’s drivers, so I applaud whatever the developers did to make the latest Kubuntu work so well. The distribution as a whole is amazing. Give it a try when it’s released on April 28th, you’ll be glad you did!

          • Xubuntu 11.04 Released With Xfce 4.8, Gmusicbrowser Default, New Artwork [Screenshots]

            Along with Ubuntu 11.04, Xubuntu, Kubuntu and Lubuntu were also release. In this post I’ll try to cover the changes in Xubuntu 11.04 – a very interesting Ubuntu flavor based on Xfce.

          • Peppermint One review

            Peppermint is another Ubuntu derivative distribution, in a similar vein to the likes of early CrunchBang and Mint.

            It has two unique selling points. The first is speed without feature compromise, as the entire system has been tuned for lightening-fast operation.

          • Linux Mint: Two Years, Going Steady

            Two years ago to the day was the first time I installed Linux on my computer. Sure, I had seen other people use it and had used it on other people’s computers (though not so frequently), but I had never before put an OS other than Microsoft Windows on my own computer until that day. I had talked to a friend of mine about it before because I was planning to do it for a while; I thought of installing Ubuntu, but he suggested Linux Mint, as it would be easier for me to get used to and work with. I took that advice, and on 2009 May 1, as I took a break from studying for AP exams and felt quite fed up with Microsoft Windows XP, I downloaded the Linux Mint 6 “Felicia” GNOME ISO file, got InfraRecorder for Microsoft Windows XP, burned the live CD, and went on my way.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Rugged, Atom-powered handheld runs Linux
    • Review of OpenPandora Handheld Gaming Device

      The buyer (me) acts as the investor for this project since their pre-order money will be used to fund the project. It was originally pre-ordered for $330, but after over a year of waiting for the production to take place I canceled it. Now in addition to pre-ordering, the Pandora can be bought and shipped in a week for a premium price of $500 which I took the opportunity, but is it worth the cost? Let’s find out..

    • Phones

    • Tablets

      • HP Flexes WebOS Muscles, Snubs Microsoft On Windows Tablets

        In one of his boldest pronouncements since joining HP last November, CEO Leo Apotheker told Fortune this week that HP doesn’t intend to release new Windows 7 tablets anytime soon. “HP smartphones and tablets will be running WebOS, only WebOS, at least that’s for the near future, that’s the plan,” Apotheker in an interview published Monday.

        While it’s premature to interpret HP’s decision to focus exclusively on WebOS tablets as a sign of strain in its Microsoft partnership, there’s no denying that mobile industry competition is a notoriously savage beast. At the very least, we could be witnessing a shift in how HP and Microsoft compete in the mobile space.

      • Nook Color 1.2 Review: Near-Perfect, but a Gap Remains

        The Nook Color is simultaneously disappointing and pleasing. Why? At $249, the Nook Color does a lot of things pretty well. Well enough, in fact, that you think “the Nook Color would be perfect if only…” — if only it had Bluetooth and supported an external keyboard, or if only it supported a wider range of apps, or if only Barnes & Noble were willing to let customers install any app, like the Amazon Kindle app.

        But for the price, the Nook does quite a bit. I would recommend it without hesitation to anyone that wants a eBook reader with a little bit extra. If you’re on a limited budget, the Nook Color is also a really good choice. For heavy readers who also want a tablet and a decent app selection, the Nook is not a good choice.

      • Toshiba’s Honeycomb Tablet Hits the FCC With Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

        Toshiba may finally be set to bring their tablet out as the FCC has given them the green light to sell it. This one only has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth inside of it, but we expected as much.

Free Software/Open Source

  • OpenGamma financial analytics platform now open sourced

    UK-based OpenGamma has been developing a unified platform for financial analytics which will allow financial services firms to combine their data management, calculation engines and analysis into a single framework. The platform, which is still in development, has now been released as a open source developer preview, dual-licensed under an Apache 2.0 licence or a commercial licence. The preview is described as a “beta-quality release” that has been through OpenGamma’s testing and QA processes.

  • Comparison of Open Source Application Servers

    The role of application servers has grown significantly in IT architecture over the past few years as the cloud becomes the new frontier for application development–a frontier that offers more opportunity and challenges than the Web ever did.

    That’s not to say that the Web space is over and done. We have come a long way from simple CGI requests, and Java-based application servers dominate the application server space on the Web, handling everything from interfaces and data access to availability and scale.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla patches Firefox and Thunderbird
      • Mozilla: Firefox 5 slated for a June 21 release

        According to an update at the Mozilla releases page, Firefox 5 looks like it’s headed for a release on June 21, less than two months away. We haven’t heard anything about what new features the next version of Firefox will have, but when Mozilla said that Firefox 4 would be the last time they waited months between major releases, they meant it.

      • Mozilla engineers visit Indonesia to ‘better cater to user needs

        Six engineers from San-Francisco-based tech group Mozilla, the developers of the Firefox browser, will meet Indonesian users at the Firefox 4 Launch Party, which will be held in six cities from April 29 to May 7.

        Viking Karwur, the manager of Mozilla Indonesia Community, said this delegation was twice as large as the delegation to the previous launch party.

      • Firefox 4 about:memory

        You blame Firefox 4 to be a memory hog? Check it out first by typing about:memory in the address bar. You’ll get a nice detailed report of your browsers memory usage. While it’s not guaranteed you’ll understand every statistic available in the report, you can at least peek at the overall memory use, and see how much it’s fragmented by comparing “memory mapped” and “memory in use” numbers.

      • A few more Firefox 4 tips

        Several weeks ago, we had an article that taught us how to restore sane browsing configurations in Firefox 4 after switching over from Firefox 3.6, including look and feel and addons compatibility. Now, we will talk about several more tricks and changes that should make your Firefox 4 experience even more pleasant.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle wins round one in bare-knuckle Android patent sui

      Oracle has won an early round in what is sure to be an epic battle against Google over Android’s use of Java.

      This week, Judge William Alsup issued a “claims construction” order in which he sided with Oracle on the definition of four out of five patent terms that will help determine outcome of the company’s lawsuit against Google and Android. On the fifth term, he sided with neither company, choosing to lay down his own definition. Oracle and Google have until May 6 to respond to the order.

    • Java SE 6 update 25 brings faster server startup

      Oracle has released Java SE 6 Update 25 (6u25); this update contains no security updates to the Java runtime, but does include wider platform support with Windows 7 and SP1, Windows 2008 R2 with SP1, Oracle Linux 6 and Oracle Solaris 11 Express 2010.11 added to the supported list. Also supported by the update are Internet Explorer 8, Firefox 4, Google Chrome 10 and VirtualBox 4.

    • Oracle and Google Try to Reduce Their Claims & Judge Issues Tentative Claims Construction Order

      The parties in Oracle v. Google have been asked by the judge to reduce the number of claims, so the case can actually be reasonably tried. So they have each filed their suggested cuts. Also the judge has issued a *tentative* claims construction order, asking for reaction from the parties and saying he may well make changes on his own initiative as more evidence is on the table.

  • CMS

    • An In-Depth Interview With Dries

      When we began this interview, Dries was on a Drupal tour in Australia, calling from a hotel room in Sidney. For Dries, trips like this are becoming more and more common, allowing him to meet an increasing number of the people all over the globe using and developing Drupal. He listens to success stories and challenges faced in adopting or migrating to Drupal. “It helps me as the project lead to talk to as many Drupal people as I can”, he explained. Later this year he’s planning an around-the-world tour, literally flying around the world visiting as many countries as he can to talk about Drupal.

  • Education

    • ‘Open source on the rise in UK schools’

      The United Kingdom’s institutions for higher and further education are increasing their use of free and open source software, concludes OSS Watch, a public service organisation, following a survey. Most needed are tools to accurately determine the total cost of ownership (TCO) for software, both proprietary and open source.

  • BSD


    • GNU gv 3.7.2 released

      I am pleased to announce that GNU gv 3.7.2 has just been released. It is available for download in the GNU ftp, ftp://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/gv

    • Help Keep the Pressure on Sony- FSF

      We asked you to email Sony CEO Howard Stringer during our last call to action
      and Sony responded by shutting off his email address. Many of you then sent
      emails to the next email address we posted, Nicole Seligman, Sony Executive VP and General Counsel. Your action was effective — it was an important part of the overall public pressure put on Sony to back off.

      And back off they did. Sony ended up settling its lawsuit against George Hotz (aka geohot). Hotz has agreed to not use Sony devices in an ambiguous “unauthorized” fashion — in fact, he’s boycotting Sony anyway — and the accusations brought up in the case by Sony remain unproven.

  • Government

    • FR: Research institute donates hardware to free software developers

      Free software developers in France can soon write and compile their solutions using computer hardware donated by a French national computer science research institution. The institute, which preferred not to be named, is donating a hundred computers to the French chapter of the Free Software Foundation (FSF).

  • Programming

    • 5 Reasons Java Developers Should Learn and Use AspectJ

      Aspect-Oriented Programming (AOP) is a programming paradigm which focuses on modularizing system-level concerns (like logging, transaction management, security, performance monitoring, etc.) in the applications. In AOP language, these system-level concerns are called “crosscutting concerns” because they crosscut all the layers of the application.

      AspectJ, a compatible extension to the Java programming language, is one implementation of AOP. AspectJ is very widely used in a lot of Java frameworks (like Spring), but still most developers do not know AspectJ. Developers often think that AspectJ is difficult to learn or it makes your code complex, and they decide not to learn this very powerful and useful technology. In this article, I will write down five reasons why I think Java developer should learn and use AspectJ.

    • Case Statement
  • Standards/Consortia

    • Simple Java API for ODF Release Notes

      We released the Simple Java API for ODF version 0.5.5 today. In this version, we provide high level methods for image and text span. Now you can add images to text, spreadsheet and presentation documents. The position of the image can be specified by a rectangle, a paragraph or a cell. With text span, you can set a different style to a small unit of the text content. An interesting demo has been upload to website to demonstrate how to add a 2D barcode image to a presentation slide.

    • Links for the end of April

      # Events-wise the month of May will be busy. I will attend the OASIS Board of Directors’ meetingin Berlin and meet with the Bitkom. The week after that Ars Aperta will join a session on the political and legal issues pertaining to Free Software development during the Linux Solutions 2011 event in Paris. I will also give another talk during the same event as part of the Document Foundation and our experience with forks. Spoons shall come next year.


  • Say What? Top Five IT Quotes of the Week

    Amazon’s cloud failure, Oracle’s open source success and Instapaper decides that free doesn’t pay the bills.

  • European and national multi-modal journey planners
  • Yahoo Finds Delicious Buyer

    Yahoo is selling off its delicious social bookmarking site, after nearly five years of ownership.

    Technology startup AVOS, founded by YouTube founders, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, is acquiring delicious for an undisclosed sum from Yahoo. Hurley and Chen sold YouTube to Google for $1.65 billion in October of 2006.

  • Finance

    • Europe Probes Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Investment Banks Over Default Swaps

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and 14 other investment banks face the first-ever European Union antitrust probes into the swaps market, following investigations by U.S. regulators.

      The EU is examining whether 16 banks, including Citigroup Inc. and Deutsche Bank AG, colluded by giving market information to Markit Group Ltd., a data provider majority-owned by Wall Street’s largest banks. It will also check if nine of the firms struck unfair deals with Intercontinental Exchange Inc.’s European derivatives clearinghouse, shutting out rivals.

    • Did Lloyd Blankfein Misunderstand Goldman’s Mortgage Bets?

      Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein and other top executives at the firm may not have understood the positions they were taking in the mortgage market, according to a report released today by the Senate Investigations subcommittee.

      The report—which runs to 635 pages—details how Goldman built up a massive short position in mortgage-related assets following the collapse of two subprime Bear Stearns hedge funds. This was referred to as “the big short” within Goldman.

    • Look For Shares Of Goldman Sachs Group To Potentially Rebound After Yesterday’S 1.48% Sell Off (GS)
    • Hazing at Goldman Sachs

      There is perhaps no more telling detail about what kind of person works at Goldman Sachs than the story of the Memorial Day weekend meeting William Cohan relates in his book “Money and Power.”

    • “Goldman Sachs Is Out-Of-Control Genius”

      “How did Goldman Sachs take over the world?” Jon Stewart asked William Cohan, the author who is spilling all of Goldman Sachs’s secrets in a new book.

      “Spoiler alert,” Stewart said last night, “Goldman did it by going short on the world. They bet against the world and they won.”

      “No matter what firm I worked for, they always wanted to be Goldman Sachs.”

    • How Goldman Sachs Beat the Bubble

      Contrary to the silly subtitle his publisher no doubt foisted on him, William D. Cohan does not argue that Goldman Sachs rules the world. A judicious author, Cohan avoids hyperbole in “Money and Power,” a definitive account of the most profitable and influential investment bank of the modern era.

    • How Goldman Sachs created the food crisis

      Frederick Kaufman’s piece for Foreign Policy examines how the Goldman Sachs Commodity Index (GSCI) is responsible for the increase in food prices.

    • EU investigates activities of 16 investment banks

      Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, and 14 other investment banks face a European Union antitrust probe into credit-default swaps for companies and sovereign debt, regulators said Friday.

      The European Commission said it opened two antitrust probes. It will check whether 16 bank dealers colluded by giving market information to Markit, a financial information provider.

    • Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Among Banks Probed by EU Over CDS
    • Big payday for Goldman Sachs team

      Six New Zealand-based Goldman Sachs partners are expected to cash in when Goldman Sachs US takes full ownership of its Australian and New Zealand operations, with senior partners expected to clear up to $40 million.

      According to the Australian Financial Review, local partners include Byron Pepper in the investment banking division, Duncan Rutherford in the securities division and Rebecca Cottrell in federation legal division.

      Local managing director Andrew Barclay is also a partner, and the Star-Times understands other local partners include executive director David Goatley and Bernard Doyle, a New Zealand-based strategist.

      Barclay, Cottrell and Rutherford are also listed as directors of the New Zealand business.

      The exact shareholdings of each partner is not known and Goldman Sachs was not prepared to comment.

    • The Volcker Rule and Goldman Sachs

      In my paper, Conflicted Gatekeepers: The Volcker Rule and Goldman Sachs, I consider the conflict of interest restrictions in the Volcker Rule provisions. These provisions, namely Sections 619 and 621 of the Dodd-Frank Act, purport to impose fiduciary-like standards on banks in their arm’s length relationships with sophisticated counterparties. Section 619 generally prohibits banks from engaging in proprietary trading and affiliating with certain private funds; it permits some activities as exceptions to this general prohibition, but subjects such activities to the requirement that they not give rise to material conflicts of interest, including conflicts between banks and their “counterparties.” Section 621 purports to ban material conflicts of interest between banks (in their capacity as underwriters) and investors in offerings of asset-backed securities.

    • [KR139] Keiser Report – Murderers & Martyrs!
  • Privacy

    • Leaked Emails From Google Show How Important Location Data Is To Android

      The San Jose Mercury News landed some leaked emails from Google CEO Larry Page, as well as other top Google executives, which show how important gathering location data is for its mobile plans.

      Last year, Motorola, one of Google’s biggest mobile partners, was planning on using Skyhook Wireless’s location data for its handsets over Google’s location data.

  • Civil Rights

    • Supreme Court denies right of farm workers to unionize

      The Supreme Court of Canada has abandoned Ontario’s farm workers and the charter of rights has failed them, UFCW Canada national president Wayne Hanley said Friday after the union lost a 16-year court battle to allow agricultural workers to unionize.

  • DRM

    • Did Richard Stallman Invent the eBook?

      One thing that hasn’t changed — things that I’ve always read on my computer — are GNU manuals. GNU manuals are written in an ingenious format called TeXinfo which enables the author to produce appropriate output for several different ways of reading: PDF, HTML and the online info format, most easily read in Emacs. If you’re running GNU/Linux, you will find tons of manuals in this format by typing “info” into a terminal. Within Emacs, type “F1 h” (that’s press and release F1, then press and release ‘h’). Either way you should get a menu of topics, each covered by its own info manual.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Wikileaks on New Zealand Copyright: US Funds IP Enforcement, Offers to Draft Legislation

        This week I published multiple posts Wikileaks cables revelations on the U.S. lobbying pressure on Canadian copyright including attempts to embarrass Canada, joint efforts with lobby groups such as CRIA, and secret information disclosures from PCO to U.S. embassy personnel (posts here, here, here, here, here, and here). Wikileaks has also just posted hundreds of cables from U.S. personnel in New Zealand that reveal much the same story including regular government lobbying, offers to draft New Zealand three-strikes and you’re out legislation, and a recommendation to spend over NZ$500,000 to fund a recording industry-backed IP enforcement initiative. Interestingly, the cables regularly recommend against including New Zealand on the Special 301 list, despite the similarities to Canadian copyright law that always garner vocal criticism.

      • Wikileaks: America will foot the bill for record company enforcement in NZ if NZ will let America write its laws

        Michael Geist sez, “Wikileaks has just posted hundreds of cables from U.S. personnel in New Zealand that reveal regular government lobbying on copyright, offers to draft New Zealand three-strikes and you’re out legislation, and a recommendation to spend over NZ$500,000 to fund a recording industry-backed IP enforcement initiative. For example, an April 2005 cable reveals the U.S. willingness to pay over NZ$500,000 (US$386,000) to fund a recording industry enforcement initiative. The project was backed by the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ) and the Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS). Performance metrics include:”

      • ACTA

        • There is indeed no EU acquis on criminal measures
        • The EU Commission lacks basic reading skills

          In January 2011, prominent European academics issued an “Opinion of European Academics on Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement” (ACTA). The academics invite the European institutions, in particular the European Parliament, and the national legislators and governments to withhold consent of ACTA, “…as long as significant deviations from the EU acquis or serious concerns on fundamental rights, data protection, and a fair balance of interests are not properly addressed”.

          In April 2011, the European Commission’s services put on-line comments to the European Academics’ Opinion on ACTA. The Commission denies ACTA is incompatible with EU law.

Clip of the Day

Obama’s Speech: Osama Bin Laden dead HD CTV NEWS

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 30/4/2011: Systemd and a Lot of Ubuntu Coverage

Posted in News Roundup at 9:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • The naming of parts: Time for “Linux Inside”?

    Names matter in free software. Just think of the number of electrons that have been spilt arguing over whether it’s “Linux” or “GNU/Linux”.

  • Linux, a slice of heaven for programmers.

    I have just read among one of the pc news articles which I browse every day, that gartner has finally, officially, stated that Linux is one of the fastest growing operating systems available today. Faster than microsoft even. According to gartner, Linux is rising while windows is falling.

    What this means is that more and more programmers will be attracted to the Linux platform as another revenue stream for their programs. When they do decide to stick their toe into Linux waters they will be very pleasantly surprised.

  • 4 Great Sources of Information About Linux and Open Source

    If you’re new to Linux and free/Open Source software, or even if you’re a more seasoned user, then you’re often looking for more information. Not just documentation, but also useful tips and tricks.

    The team here at Make Tech Easier works hard to provide as much quality information as we can. But we can’t write about everything (though we’re trying!).

  • Linux on a Fingernail

    This issue of Linux Journal is all about how to get Linux in your pocket. In this article, I go one better and tell you how to get Linux on your fingernail. Now, before you get too excited, I won’t be discussing some new nano-computer being used by James Bond, unfortunately. Instead, I discuss how to put Linux on a micro-SD card (or any other USB drive, for that matter). Using this, you can run Linux on any machine that can boot off a USB device.

  • Desktop

    • Linux Needs To Change! So They Tell Me

      Everyone’s heard of the year of the desktop, right? At least every new year a 100 or more people write about it too, no? Know why? Because someone did once and every other person has copied them since. It’s like a catch-phrase, it takes one person to say it so one person can hear it. Next thing you know the whole world is saying the same thing. It’s no different for all the people who think we need to do this or that to get people from other operating systems over to using a Linux Kernel based one. Someone wrote that once and everyone has run around saying the same thing since. You can see it in almost every comment area, forums, mailing list. People in the media within our community love it when they don’t have something else to talk about, it’s a good source for page hits. You can even see it from developers, even ones from well known professional projects. I look on in awe.

    • Life in a Linux-less World

      Linux has been with us for two decades now, but what would the technology world be like if Linus Torvalds had never gone about creating it? It’s impossible to know for sure, but lots of scenarios do come to mind: Microsoft may actually have been weaker, Apple may have ruled the smartphone world unopposed, and the enterprise would likely look very, very different.

    • What If Prince William And Kate Middleton Were Linux Fans

      Today is great day in the UK. Day of another Royal Wedding.
      Not only because this is just another Bank Holiday in this country. But also because this day continues monarchy. Hopefully Prince William and Kate Middleton will have baby soon, who can inherit British throne.
      I actually don’t know if William and Kate are Linux fans or not. Maybe they even have not heard about this great operation system.

  • Server

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • The longterm Linux kernel is released
    • Response to “Why systemd?”

      So I read Lennart’s blog post entitled Why systemd?. In it, he makes a number of comparisons between systemd and the two other Linux init systems that are still in widespread use (this being the third init system some distributions have adopted within the last few years). Overall, he makes a good argument that systemd has many nice and exciting features, and I’m sure they are of interest to various people who want their init system to be SYSV on steroids. Here are some of them…

    • Graphics Stack

      • Open-Source AMD Fusion Graphics Still Mixed

        While AMD was very fast to provide open-source Fusion graphics driver support under Linux (along with official support in their proprietary Catalyst driver), the support has not ended up working out too well for us. It has regressed since the November push. As mentioned in March, the E-350 Fusion Linux support took a dive in terms of its graphics support with some outstanding bugs. Since then, the support has improved and is now largely usable, but there are still some big issues.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • A new Linux desktop appeal

      With Gnome and Ubuntu shaking up the Linux desktop market it might be time to look at an alternative desktop interface

      With the Gnome project radically overhauling its desktop environment with Gnome3 and Ubuntu switching to the Unity environment, many Linux desktop users could be looking for alternatives this month. Here, then, are a few viable alternatives it you’re not sold on Gnome3 or Unity.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Fire Up Your Electrons!

        The scripting system is still powered by QtScript, but is now handled in such a way that it is able to control many more aspects of the game engine, and generally much more consistent.

      • tokamak 5 begins
      • Tokamak 5, Day 2

        Yesterday, in defiance of the weather reports, the day was sunny and reasonably warm and set the stage for a very productive day 2 here at Tokamak in the Netherlands. We held four design sessions in the morning: 2 on libplasma2 (specifically the dual topics of isolating QGraphicsView from the core code and using Qt Components), one on plasma-desktop defaults (a button to show the activities, an auto-hiding pager when virtual desktops drop to one, some default launchers that track the default file manager and web browser, and much more) and one on a new first-boot screen designed with OEM style installs in mind.

      • a typical day at Tokamak 5

        We just finished our daily progress meeting here at Tokamak 5 where we take turns moving our (self-)assigned sticky notes on the kanban window into the “Done” category. We each share what we’ve done the previous day, what we’re working on now and what (if any) blockers we’ve encountered.

      • KDE Commit Digest for 24 April 2011
    • GNOME Desktop

      • The Board 0.1.3

        Time for a new development snapshot release of The Board! I’ve just uploaded the 0.1.3 tarball. Get it while it’s hot! So, what are user-visible changes?

        The main feature of this release is the webcam support in photo elements with Cheese. It’s fun, it’s magic! A couple of useful key shortcuts were added: Ctrl+N to add a new page and Delete key to remove selected elements. An important crasher fix—caused by an update in gobject-introspection—is also included.

      • The crazy Zeitgeist week…
  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Dual-core panel PC’s for hospital patients

      Advantech announced an “infotainment terminal” for hospital patients that includes a 15.6-inch touchscreen and a single- or dual-core Intel Atom processor. The PIT-1502W offers a resistive touchscreen with 1366 x 768 pixel resolution, a two megapixel camera, Wi-Fi, RFID, and a smart card reader, according to the company.

    • Rugged, Atom-powered handheld runs Linux
    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo/Maemo

        • Nokia Kills MeeGo and Symbian- Finally

          Nokia has finally nailed the coffin for Symbian and MeeGo by announcing it will cut R&D staff dedicated to those two platforms, with some being transferred to Accenture, obviously to get them out of sight till Symbian dies a slow death.

        • LG working on MeeGo Linux tablets, phones, and more?

          LG is holding a session at the MeeGo Conference next month where the company will show off devices running MeeGo, including tablets, phones, and in-vehicle entertainment systems. It’s not clear at the moment if this means that LG will definitely be bringing these devices to market, but it at least shows that the company is putting some of its research dollars into MeeGo.

      • Android

        • Why Midrange Android Phones Aren’t Worth the Sacrifice

          While these phone’s list prices blow the competition out of the water (as they range from $100 to free with a new contract), you can still find high-end phones on Amazon for just as cheap. Instead of grabbing a $100 phone, for example, you might be better off snatching up the slightly-old-but-still-awesome Droid Incredible, for example, a mere $80 on Amazon or the slightly less old HTC G2 for $100.—and it’s probably a better phone than even the $100 midrange phones. These deals aren’t permanent, but every few months Amazon seems to have a slew of steep discounts on high-end phones that make buying midrange phones unnecessary.

          If you don’t want to be beholden to when Amazon or other outlets have deals on certain phones, or you want to get a phone for free, the lower-end phones are probably a fine buy, as Tested notes. But with a bit of patience and hunting around, you can almost certainly get just as good a deal on a higher-end phone—thus avoiding the sacrifice of a slow processor or the latest version of Android. Hit the link to Tested’s article on midrange phones, and share your thoughts on the subject in the comments.

        • Manage Your Photo Gallery from Android Using ReGalAndroid
        • Xoom sales still flag as developers rethink Android tablets

          Verizon says it is happy with Motorola Xoom tablet sales, despite a Global Equities estimate that only 25,000 to 120,000 units — a small fraction of the 500,000 to 800,000 units said to have been manufactured — have actually sold. Meanwhile, increasing frustration with Android fragmentation, as well as a rough-edged Android 3.0 (“Honeycomb”) release, has tipped mobile developer interest back toward the Apple iPad, claims an Appcelerator/IDC survey.

        • MIPS Honeycomb port in progress

          MIPS Technologies says it’s working on a port of Android 3.0 (“Honeycomb”) to the MIPS architecture, and also announced a 15 percent year-to-year increase in revenues for its fiscal third quarter. Meanwhile, MIPS and new licensee Ali Corp. of Taiwan announced Ali’s Linux-compatible, MIPS32-based “M3701G” chipset, designed for triple-play set-top boxes.

        • Dear Google: Here’s your roadmap out of Android Honeycomb hell

Free Software/Open Source

  • Dropbox snuffs open code that bypassed file-sharing controls

    Dropbox – the San Francisco startup that offers a free service for sharing files over the net – has suppressed a fledgling open source project that lets anyone use the service outside of its control, saying the project exposed Dropbox’s proprietary protocol and could be used for piracy.

    The open source project is called Dropship, and it provides a means of sharing files via Dropbox using only their hashes. It saves hashes of a file in JSON format, and anyone can then use the hashes to load the file into their Dropbox account. This could be used to share, yes, copyrighted content, which is officially barred by the company. “Dropship is a tool that attempts to access the Dropbox servers in an unauthorized manner,” a Dropbox spokesman tells The Register.

  • [VIDEO] Free and Open Source Software in Developing Countries
  • Dropbox Attempts To Kill Open Source Project

    Yesterday morning I woke up much earlier than I wanted. Instead of lying in bed, wishing I was asleep, I decided to get up and check out Hacker News. Better to waste my time reading industry news than lying around. One headline in particular caught my attention: “Dropship — successor to torrents?“. The name was an obvious reference to Dropbox and the suggestion it could replace torrents was enticing. Data storage and distribution has been a long time interest of mine and I can’t resist reading about the industry. I had no idea that by the end of the day I’d have received a fake DMCA takedown notice, correspondence with Dropbox’s CTO, and witness the near killing of an open source project.

  • 2600hz Launches First-Ever Distributed, Open-Source Communications Software
  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Benchmark The Browsers! Which One Is The Best?

      Every article presented here about browsers always generates some controversy about which browser is the best? With the arrival of new browsers market leaders, a series of 14 tests held to know the most comprehensive and impartial browser as possible.

    • Chrome

      • Chrome 11: Google’s web browser learns to listen

        Google has released the stable version of Chrome 11. After the update, users will have version 11.0.696.57 of Google’s web browser. As previously reported, Chrome 11 features the addition of a new logo that drops the previous 3D bubble look for a flatter and more simple look.

      • Latest Google Chrome Build Now Supports Speech Input

        The latest stable release of Google’s Chrome browser features speech input through HTML. What this simply means is that you can now translate your voice input into other languages using Google Translate right in the browser.

      • Google Chrome Patches Net Bug Hunters $16,500

        Google paid out a record $16,500 to developers for plugging 27 Chrome Web browser vulnerabilities, paving the way for the launch of the Chrome 11.

    • Mozilla

      • 10 Must-Have Free Firefox 4 Add-Ons

        As appealing as Firefox 4 is, it could be better at searching, keeping information secure, and performing other important tasks. Each of these freebies adds to the browser’s functionality and ease of use.

      • Mozilla Fixes Vulnerabilities in Firefox 4
      • Firefox 4.0.1 fixes several security issues
      • Firefox gets faster on Linux

        Linux users have always been a big part of Firefox‘s vocal fan base, and today a group of Mozilla developers has repaid their devotion with some good news. Mozilla’s Mike Hommey reported this morning that his team of coders finally managed to get both 32 and 64-bit Firefox builds for Linux to compile with GCC 4.5. The updated compiler has been available since April 2010, but Hommey’s team tried twice last year without success to make the switch. Now that they’ve been able to pull it off, Firefox on Linux should perform every bit as well as it does on Windows — with the possible exception of hardware acceleration, where Firefox’s utilization of Direct2D still gives Windows Vista and 7 a performance edge.

  • SaaS

  • Databases

    • What’s New in Upcoming CUBRID Manager 8.4.0

      CUBRID 8.4.0 is coming out very soon, so is the CUBRID Manager. In this article I would like to explain briefly how we gathered the user requests for the CM 8.4.0 and which of them have been implemented.

    • Database Sharding with CUBRID

      Our development team has just released the User Specs for the Sharding feature which we are going to implement this year in CUBRID. In this blog I will explain the overall plan and how the database sharding will work in CUBRID.

    • Will the 2011 MySQL Conference Be the Last One?: A Q&A

      This year marked my fifth year at the MySQL Conference. With some distance between the Oracle acquisition, this year’s show provided an interesting glimpse into the status of MySQL, both the project and the ecosystem. Let’s get to the questions.

      Q: Before we begin, do you have anything to disclose?
      A: Yes. Prior to its acquisition by Oracle, Sun was a RedMonk client. And prior to its acquisition by Sun, MySQL was a RedMonk client. In addition, multiple entities that compete directly or indirectly with MySQL are RedMonk clients, including Akiban, Basho, IBM, Lucid Imagination, Membase, and Microsoft.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice development on track after Oracle move

      The Document Foundation on Friday announced a second beta for LibreOffice 3.4, the offshoot of the OpenOffice.org codebase, one week after Oracle said it would no longer sell a commercial version of the productivity suite.

      “Please be aware that LibreOffice 3.4 Beta2 is not yet ready for production use,” the Document Foundation said on its website. “You should continue to use LibreOffice 3.3.2 for that.” Release 3.4.0 is currently scheduled for delivery on May 31, according to the site.

    • Another LibreOffice Developmental Release Emerges

      The Document Foundation today announced another developmental release on the way to LibreOffice 3.4. Release candidates will be delivered throughout May with the final expected May 31.


    • GNU Guile 2.0.1 released

      We are pleased to announce GNU Guile 2.0.1, the first and overdue maintenance release of the brand new 2.0.x stable series.

    • GNU Chess 6 released

      Version 6 is a major change of GNU Chess, because it is based on Fruit v2.1, a completely different chess engine. Fruit was written by Fabien Letouzey, thus he is the primary author of GNU Chess v6.

    • Volunteers needed to convert pages from a proprietary wiki to MoinMoin

      We are looking for volunteers to help write code to convert a free software project’s documentation wiki pages and associated history from a proprietary format to MoinMoin, a free software wiki written in Python.

  • Licensing

    • Free Art License 1.3

      The Free Art License grants the right to freely copy, distribute, and transform creative works without infringing the author’s rights.

      The Free Art License recognizes and protects these rights. Their implementation has been reformulated in order to allow everyone to use creations of the human mind in a creative manner, regardless of their types and ways of expression.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • ARM processor shipments — and profits — are booming

        Buoyed by sales of smartphones and tablets, ARM Holdings reported a 35 percent increase in year-over-year profits. The company added that shipments of processors based on its designs were up 33 percent, while 39 different licensees signed up during the first quarter of its financial year.

  • Programming


  • Why We Need An Open Wireless Movement

    If you sometimes find yourself needing an open wireless network in order to check your email from a car, a street corner, or a park, you may have noticed that they’re getting harder to find.

    Stories like the one over the weekend about a bunch of police breaking down an innocent man’s door because he happened to leave his network open, as well as general fears about slow networks and online privacy, are convincing many people to password-lock their WiFi routers.

  • The Possibilian

    When David Eagleman was eight years old, he fell off a roof and kept on falling. Or so it seemed at the time. His family was living outside Albuquerque, in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains. There were only a few other houses around, scattered among the bunchgrass and the cholla cactus, and a new construction site was the Eagleman boys’ idea of a perfect playground. David and his older brother, Joel, had ridden their dirt bikes to a half-finished adobe house about a quarter of a mile away. When they’d explored the rooms below, David scrambled up a wooden ladder to the roof.

  • Ian Hislop attacks Andrew Marr over super injunction

    Private Eye editor Ian Hislop has accused the BBC’s Andrew Marr of hypocrisy after he admitted taking out a controversial super-injunction while working as a journalist.

  • Buying computers in multiple languages

    Very interesting petition from a French citizen. What strikes me is that the petitioner asked for regulatory changes while the Commission in its answer restricts itself to positive law, positive competition law.

  • Hardware

  • Security

    • Discrete Geometry Viewer – Quantum fun!

      Discrete Geometry Viewer may not be useful to everyone, but it will surely delight geeks and geek artists, who have gained a powerful new tool for image manipulation. Apart from its immediate scientific value, DGV also has educational aspects and can be used for stunning visualization effects that are otherwise virtually impossible to achieve.

      Personally, I think DGV is a great project. Whether it’s ever going to hatch from its infant phase depends mainly on the interest of the author, who could be pursuing other ideas once he completes his PhD. One thing is sure, this can be a smart ice breaker for all those terrified physics students, expecting years of boredom at the university. Lure them in, make them feel safe and comfy, thinking they are going to enjoy themselves. Well, they might actually get amused pasting pictures of Stalin and Mark together, even if they fail at the solid state physics exams.

  • Finance

    • Microsoft Stuck as Near-Record Discount Fails to Win Investors

      Yet the stock is stuck, Bloomberg Businessweek reports in its May 2 edition. It closed at $26.38 yesterday versus its average of about $27 since the start of 2001. The shares, which first surpassed $26 in 1998, have lost about 7.1 percent including dividends in the past decade while the S&P 500 returned 30 percent.

    • Former SAC Manager Pleads Guilty to Insider Trading

      As the jury continued to deliberate in the trial of Raj Rajaratnam, the government notched another guilty plea in its investigation of insider trading at hedge funds.

      Donald Longueuil, a former portfolio manager at SAC Capital Advisors, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and securities fraud before Judge Jed S. Rakoff in Federal District Court in Manhattan.

    • The Post Is on Another Planet: Job Growth in the First Quarter Was Not Strong

      The calls for the bankruptcy of the Washington Post (a.k.a. Fox on 15th Street) are getting louder. The post told readers that:

      “The job market was a bright spot in the first quarter … with the unemployment rate falling and job growth coming in strong.”

    • EU targets 16 major banks in swaps market probes

      The European Union’s competition watchdog is investigating the practices of some of the world’s largest banks, as well as a clearing house and a financial data firm, in the market for credit default swaps.

      The two probes home in on a market that has come under fire for lacking transparency and allegedly worsening market turmoil during the financial crisis.

    • Profit Jumps at Exxon and Shell

      Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell reported huge increases in their first-quarter profit on Thursday, helped by higher oil prices and earnings from refining.

      Exxon Mobil, the largest American oil company, said net income rose 69 percent to $10.7 billion, or $2.14 a share, in the first three months of this year, from $6.3 billion, or $1.33 a share, in the same period last year.

    • Gas prices jump to $3.91 a gallon, heading to $4

      The average price for a gallon of gas in the U.S. is now within a dime of $4.

      Drivers in 22 states are paying more than the national average of $3.91 per gallon. In Alaska, California and Connecticut they’re paying $4.20 or more.

      With one day left in April, gas prices are up 30 cents for the month. On average, the increase has been slightly more than a penny per day. At that rate, the national average for gas would reach $4 on Sunday, May 8. In 2008, when gas hit a record of $4.11 per gallon in July, it didn’t cost $4 until June 8.

  • Wisconsin/PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Madison’s Battle of the Brats

      The “World’s Largest Brat Fest,” which will take place over Memorial Day weekend at Willow Island at the Alliant Energy Center, will serve brats donated by Johnsonville Sausage of Sheboygan Falls, WI. Johnsonville owners (the Stayer and Stayer-Maloney families) and other principals of Johnsonville Sausage contributed a total of $48,450 to Scott Walker’s gubernatorial and other 2010 Republican state campaigns, according to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign’s Campaign Finance Database.This prompted Madison activists such as Sam Hokin to call for a boycott of Johnsonville and other corporations that contributed to Scott Walker. Tim Metcalfe, president and co-owner of Metcalfe’s Market and organizer of the “World’s Largest Brat Fest,” issued a statement on March 20th that “Brat Fest has, and continues to be, truly apolitical… My hope is that these traditions and civil accord can continue.”

    • Could Michigan-style “Martial Law” Be On Its Way to Wisconsin?

      Rumors have been circulating about a little-known initiative to subject Wisconsin local governments to “stress tests” and other new constraints. Many believe the proposal resembles the “martial law” bill that was recently passed in Michigan, which allows the state government to dissolve local governments in a “fiscal emergency,” and worry that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker or his friends in the legislature could be cooking up a similar plan.

    • Governor Walker’s Self-Managed Medicaid Mishaps

      Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s op-ed in the New York Times last week advocated for a Medicaid that promotes innovative, self-managed and flexible care that would allow individuals to stay in their own homes. Despite these statements, Governor Walker is eliminating a Wisconsin Medicaid innovation that worked toward these stated principles, a newly-created and relatively inexpensive statewide registry that helps vulnerable people with disabilities stay out of assisted living facilities and control their home healthcare.

  • Privacy

    • Sony’s security breach raises questions around data protection

      The Sony security breach is serious. Obviously it is hugely distressing if you are one of the huge number of people affected but it also raises questions on when should we, the public, be told about a serious security breach? Also what constitutes a security breach?

      In most US states, companies are required to report data breaches as soon as they happen. Let me be clear, I have no doubt whatsoever that Sony would have acted as quickly as possible once the full extent of the security breach was known, but the fact that it appears that a whole week went by before a public announcement was made has raised a few eyebrows. We do know that the EU is already looking in detail at a Data Protection Directive which will potentially introduce a mandatory reporting process for all organ

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Embryo patent row could dash Europe’s stem cell future

      Europe’s highest court has been urged to declare stem cell patents immoral and therefore illegal. Researchers warn this will destroy prospects for stem cell treatments in Europe, driving potential investors to patent-friendly China, Japan and the US. New Scientist explores what is at stake.

    • This is self-explanatory

      We find it extraordinary that Hong is apparently unaware of the IEEE publication. Although Hong does cite Phillips’s paper, we find that he does so in a somewhat misleading way and makes only cursory references to Bose. In particular, he does not refer to the crucial papers of Bose cited above.

      We hope you find these observations useful. We believe that they not only serve to debunk the claims of Marconi’s priority, but also to provide another illustration of the fact that inventions do occur without the protection of intellectual property.

    • Copyrights

      • Righthaven Suffers Blow in Copyright Crusade

        A federal judge blasted Righthaven’s copyright-collection business model in a ruling that says an Oregon nonprofit was justified through fair use to post an article by the Las Vegas Review Journal.

        “[Righthaven's] litigation strategy has a chilling effect on potential fair uses of Righthaven-owned articles, diminishes public access to the facts contained therein, and does nothing to advance the Copyright Act’s purpose of promoting artistic creation,” U.S. District Judge James Mahan ruled Friday.

      • ACTA

      • Digital Economy (UK)/HADOPI

        • BT and TalkTalk lose challenge to Digital Economy Act

          As no doubt you have heard by now, four out of the five judicial review claims on the Digital Economy Act brought to court by BT and TalkTalk have been dismissed. BT and TalkTalk argued that the Digital Economy Act was illegal under privacy and e-commerce laws, that the impact on business was disproportionate, and that the UK failed to notify the EU of the impending implementation of the law. Mr Justice Parker ruled today that all of these issues were not feasible reasons to deem the Digital Economy Act illegal except for the cost order which mandates that ISPs pay 25% of the charges incurred in implementation. A review of this cost order will now take place.

          We at Big Brother Watch are disappointed in this ruling. Our very own Dan Hamilton said today,

        • Judgment in the Digital Economy Act Judicial Review

          After only three weeks, Mr Justice Kenneth Parker has handed down his judgment in the Judicial Review of the Digital Economy Act. In summarising thousands of pages of evidence and submissions and the four-day hearing, the judge rejected nearly all of the grounds for the review, only allowing the challenge to part of the allocation of costs. The full text of the judgment can be found here and summaries of the hearings here.

          The first point to note is the number of parties. While the case was between BT, TalkTalk and the government, there were thirteen interested parties involved, including six notorious pro-copyright lobby groups and four unions. This gives an indication of the intense lobbying pressure behind the Digital Economy Act, and why the previous government felt compelled to act the way they did.

Clip of the Day

How Apple Genius Bar Works – South Park

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 29/4/2011: Linux 2.6.39 RC 5, Slackware 13.37

Posted in News Roundup at 3:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Ten places Linux and open source can thrive

    Some people might be surprised at the numbers of organisations that are now employing open source, says Jack Wallen. But which areas of activity could most benefit from its greater adoption?

    Some industries with few outward signs of open source are already taking advantage of it, while in others it has no presence whatsoever. What is certain is that they could all benefit — in ways ranging from cost-effectiveness to reliability.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 2.6.39-rc5
    • Why systemd?

      systemd is still a young project, but it is not a baby anymore. The initial announcement I posted precisely a year ago. Since then most of the big distributions have decided to adopt it in one way or another, many smaller distributions have already switched. The first big distribution with systemd by default will be Fedora 15, due end of May. It is expected that the others will follow the lead a bit later (with one exception). Many embedded developers have already adopted it too, and there’s even a company specializing on engineering and consulting services for systemd. In short: within one year systemd became a really successful project.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • New Kdenlive Released, Gets Rotoscope

        The Kdenlive Team has announced the release of version 0.8. The latest version of the popular film-editing software has some cool features which include: Multi track editing; Realtime effects and transitions; Image, color, titles, video and audio clips; customizable layout and ability to export to various formats.

      • User experience, one pixel at a time

        A couple of weeks ago, I’ve been attending 2011 user experience Sprint, in Berlin. That was interesting and nice and productive and everything, and above all it was my first live encounter with other KDE people, including Nuno.

        There’s been (notably) quite some discussions about how information and functionality should be presented to users, organized and formulated, in order to be complete but not overwhelming, sexy, gratifying, and elegant.


        Things one notices:

        * more visible pressed tool buttons at the top
        * new slider at the bottom
        * and new folder icons (quite unrelated with this post actually), on which Nuno has been working lately (and I’m sure he would blog better than I about it).

        Things one does not notice (but with which we are happy):

        * improved holes for the scrollbars, progressbars, and main view (note notably how the main view bottom corners are better rounded)
        * improved (well, bug fixed) rendering of the capacity bar at the bottom.

        To give proper credit to whom it belongs, some of the improvements above have been primarily instigated by Peter Penz, Dolphin dev.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Tablets

      • Convert Your NOOk Color Into An Android Tablet

        Barnes & Nobel announced that NOOK Color’s update to Android OS 2.2/Froyo offers system improvements, enhanced browser performance and a more complete Web experience giving customers access to enjoy even more video, interactive and animated content.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Modo Labs Launches Open-Source Mobile Development Framework

    Modo Labs, a provider of open-source content-delivery solutions for mobile, has debuted its Kurogo Mobile Framework for developers.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google Releases Chrome 11 Stable for Linux

        The Google Chrome developers at Google proudly announced last evening (April 27th) the stable release and immediate availability for download of the Google Chrome 11.0.696.57 web browser for Linux, Windows, Macintosh and Chrome Frame platforms.

    • Mozilla

      • Iceweasel/Firefox 4 in Debian Squeeze – I make the leap

        I contend that it’s not necessary nor even desirable to upgrade an entire Linux distribution or BSD installation just to get some shiny newness like Firefox 4.

      • New Flamerobin snapshot revision 2100 in #debian

        The main change is that now it requires firebird2.5-dev instead of firebird3.0 headers and decided that is better to have a flamerobin 0.9.3 in the distros released for the next 1-2 years with a stable firebird 2.5.x and add firebird 3.0 requirement when is ready and stable ~1-2 years

      • Firefox AwesomeBar HD, Nothing That I Want

        Different teams and individuals are working on the Firefox web browser. Some are improving the web browser’s core, others are working on the interface or experimental extensions that may one day be added to the web browser’s core.

        One of those experimental spin-offs is the AwesomeBar HD which is now available as a beta release for Firefox 4 and newer versions of the web browser. As the name suggests, it has something to do with Firefox’s address bar.

      • Mozilla overhauling Firefox graphics, JavaScript

        In the quest for better browser speed, Mozilla has begun work on new Firefox engines for running JavaScript programs and displaying graphics.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle May Cease Support of Popular Linux Distributives Too.

      In a bid to further consolidate its server business in general and mission-critical server in particular, Oracle may in future cease support of popular Red Hat and SUSE Linux operating systems, according to an analyst. This currently seems to be a problem for a lot of customers using Intel Corp.’s Itanium-based systems from HP, who are unsure about the future of Itanium in general and HP-UX in particular.

  • BSD

    • Did You Know You Can Try BSD With VirtualBSD?

      A while ago back in January I came across this announcement on OSNews.com and made a mental note that this was something I had to try.
      VirtualBSD 8.1 was released on or around 4/01/2011 and it basically gives you a pre-defined FreeBSD 8.1 installation with Xfce 4.6 and a range of applications in a virtual machine. It is a desktop ready FreeBSD 8.1-RELEASE in the form of a VMware appliance but can also in a few steps be made to run with VirtualBox. Read the instructions for that here.
      As I already had VMware Player installed I went for using it as intended. Most of what I’m going to write you can also read on the VirtualBSD site so feel free to skip over.


  • US Supremes deal death blow to class action lawsuits

    The US Supreme Court has granted a whopping victory to AT&T, the US Chamber of Commerce, and supportive corporations, by reversing previous court decisions that had prevented corporations from requiring individual arbitration of customers’ complaint.

    By issuing its 5-4 decision on Wednesday, the Court has essentially stripped away individuals’ rights to band together in class-action lawsuits should a corporation choose to include an arbitration requirement in its contracts or licensing agreements.

  • Finance

    • How Wall Street Thieves, Led by Goldman Sachs, Took Down the Global Economy — Their Outsized Influence Must be Stopped

      The Senate report calls for tighter regulations so that banks can’t play these games ever again. It calls for more effective regulatory agencies and rules, and it wants major reforms on the way the rating agencies work — much of this already contained in the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill. But in addition, the subcommittee obviously wants more federal prosecution of Goldman Sachs and others as it asks that “Federal regulators…. identify any violations of law…” (p 638).

    • As Wall St. Firms Grow, Their Reputations Are Dying

      Reputation is dead on Wall Street.

      This is not to say that financiers and financial institutions still do not commit foolish misdeeds. Rather, so long as the authorities do not find law-breaking, the penalties are few.

      The list of examples is long.

    • Don’t Let Goldman off the Hook

      With crises mounting daily—wars, deficits, debt limits, natural disasters—it’s tempting to forget the cataclysms of the past. In particular, America seems to have amnesia about the Wall Street-induced catastrophe that destroyed so much of our economy. We still haven’t learned its lessons, and if we don’t pay attention, we’re soon going to pay again for its perpetrators’ callous disregard for the public interest.

    • Taking on Wall Street

      Lorin Reisner ’83 and Kenneth Lench ’84 were about to take on perhaps the most important lawsuit in the history of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

      It was April 2010, and Reisner, the deputy director of the SEC’s enforcement division in Washington, D.C., and Lench, head of a key unit in the division, were preparing a civil fraud suit against Wall Street powerhouse Goldman Sachs.

      The Brandeis graduates had helped successfully convince the SEC’s five commissioners to vote for the suit, arguing that 
Goldman misled investors about complex securities at the heart of the mortgage meltdown. But opposition within the agency was so fierce that it led to a nonunanimous vote to pursue the suit.

    • A.I.G. to Sue 2 Firms to Recover Some Losses

      The American International Group, the giant insurer rescued by the federal government during the financial crisis, on Thursday will file the first of what could be a series of lawsuits against Wall Street firms, contending that it was the victim of fraud.

    • Report: Republicans’ Hidden $34 Trillion Tax On Seniors

      A new report by economists at the liberal Center for Economic and Policy Research looks at House Republicans’ plan for privatizing Medicare from a new angle, and finds that it could increase Health Care costs for beneficiaries by a staggering $34 Trillion over 75 years.

    • U.S. Economic Growth Slows to 1.8% Rate in Quarter

      Total output grew at an annual pace of 1.8 percent from January through March, the Commerce Department said Thursday, after having expanded at an annual rate of 3.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010.

      When the year first began, economists had been expecting a much more robust growth rate of about 4 percent, only to be barraged by bad report after bad report as the days wore on. Turmoil in the Middle East set off a jump in oil prices. Winter blizzards shuttered businesses and delayed construction, causing investments in nonresidential structures like office buildings to fall by 21.7 percent compared with an increase of 7.6 percent at the end of 2010. Imports, which are subtracted from output, surged, and military spending sank.

    • ExxonMobil earnings up 69 percent
    • More people applied for unemployment benefits

      More people sought unemployment benefits last week, the second rise in three weeks, a sign of the slow and uneven jobs recovery.

      Applications for unemployment benefits jumped 25,000 to a seasonally adjusted 429,000 for the week ending April 23, the Labor Department said Thursday. That’s the highest total since late January.

    • Sokol Is Accused of Misleading Buffett on Trades

      Berkshire Hathaway directors have accused David L. Sokol, once considered a possible successor to Warren E. Buffett, of misleading the company about his personal stake in a specialty chemicals manufacturer that Berkshire recently agreed to acquire.

      Mr. Sokol, who resigned in March, never told Mr. Buffett that he had bought his stake in Lubrizol after Citigroup bankers had pitched the company as a potential takeover target, according to a report by the audit committee of the Berkshire board that was released on Wednesday.

    • Wonkbook: The Fed chooses a side

      Ben Bernanke’s first press conference wasn’t much for pomp and circumstance. Bernanke sat, he didn’t stand. The few cameras in the room didn’t hunt for the dramatic angles or work to heighten the tension between the chairman and his interrogators. Very few jokes were cracked, and Bernanke made no major missteps. It looked like what it was: an economist talking to econowonks about the economy. But tucked inside the talk of “anchoring inflation expectations” and “the economy’s central tendency” was perhaps the most important economic policy statement that Americans will hear this year: the Fed, Bernanke admitted, has chosen a side.

    • The FDIC’s Resolution Problem

      Under the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation (Title II of that Act), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is granted expanded powers to intervene and manage the closure of any failing bank or other financial institution. There are two strongly-held views of this legal authority: it substantially solves the problem of how to handle failing megabanks and therefore serves as an effective constraint on their future behavior; or it is largely irrelevant.

      Both views are expressed by well-informed people at the top of regulatory structures on both sides of the Atlantic (at least in private conversations). Which is right? In terms of legal process, the resolution authority could make a difference. But as a matter of practical politics and actual business practices, it means very little for our biggest financial institutions.

    • Economy slowed by high gas prices, bad weather

      The economy slowed sharply in the first three months of the year. High gas prices cut into consumer spending, bad weather delayed construction projects and the federal government slashed defense spending by the most in six years.

      The 1.8 percent annual growth rate in the January-March quarter was weaker than the 3.1 percent growth in the previous quarter, the Commerce Department reported. And it was the worst showing since last spring when the European debt crisis slowed growth to a 1.7 percent pace.

    • Profit Jumps at Exxon and Shell

      Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell reported hefty increases in their first-quarter profit on Thursday, helped by higher oil prices and earnings from refining.

      Exxon Mobil, the largest American oil company, said net income rose 69 percent to $10.7 billion, or $2.14 a share, in the first three months of this year, from $6.3 billion, or $1.33 a share, in the same period last year.

      The earnings beat some analysts’ expectations, and marked the fifth quarter in a row that Exxon reported an earnings increase.

  • Privacy

    • Jobs Says Apple Made Mistakes With iPhone Data

      Hoping to put to rest a growing controversy over privacy, Steven P. Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, took the unusual step of personally explaining that while Apple had made mistakes in how it handled location data on its mobile devices, it had not used the iPhone and iPad to keep tabs on the whereabouts of its customers.

  • DRM

    • Sony, Security, and Bovine Waste

      You see, another really annoying feature of the PS3 is Sony’s removal of the Other OS option, which made it possible for people who bought a PS3 to install Linux if they were so inclined. The removal of this option was something that happend basically as soon as I got my PS3. Shame on your Sony for telling people they could use your device for a specific purpose then taking that feature away from your paying customers. To make matters worse on this front, Sony thinks it’s okay to harras, sue, and otherwise make their customers’ lives a living hell for trying to return the functionality customers paid for. Ask George Hotz how reasonable Sony is when their legal thugs come knocking. In case you haven’t been following this, George Hotz, aka geohotz, figured out a way to jailbreak the PS3 and got sued for doing so.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Steve Jobs’ Android jabs may cost him App Store trademark

        Quick: When you hear the phrase “app store,” what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

        That’s the question a couple of tech’s biggest players — Apple and Amazon — are fighting over right now. Apple says “app store” is synonymous with its iOS App Store alone; Amazon says the term is generic and can be used by anyone.

        You’ve heard about this battle, right? Apple is suing Amazon for using the term “app store” (or, more specifically, “Appstore”) in the name of its new Android application store. Apple claims it owns the trademark and has exclusive rights to the term.

      • Apple’s App Store lawsuit gets a response from Amazon

        Apple had filed a lawsuit in March against Amazon’s use of “App Store” in their newly launched Amazon AppStore. Apple had informed Amazon that using the term “App Store” was unlawful because they owned the rights to the term itself. In the lawsuit Amazon indicates that the term “App Store” is too generic for Apple to lay claim to the name itself.

    • Copyrights

      • Wikileaks Cable Confirms Public Pressure Forced Delay of Canadian Copyright Bill in 2008

        A new Wikileaks cable confirms that the Conservative government delayed introducing copyright legislation in early 2008 due to public opposition. The delay – which followed the decision in December 2007 to hold off introducing a bill after it was placed on the order paper (and the Fair Copyright for Canada Facebook group took off) – lasted until June 2008. The U.S. cable notes confirmation came directly from then-Industry Minister Jim Prentice, who told U.S. Ambassador David Wilkins that cabinet colleagues and Conservative MPs were worried about the electoral implications of copyright reform…

      • The Massive Treasure Trove Of Historic Jazz Recordings That Almost No One Has Heard… Thanks To Copyright

        The museum is rushing to digitize the collection (much of which has deteriorated or was destroyed), but the only way to hear it is to make an appointment at the museum. They insist they’re going to try to tackle the copyright issues to release the music, but it’s clear that’s going to be an incredibly difficult task. What’s really unfortunate is how all of these works should be in the public domain, if we just went by what the law said when they were made. Yet, thanks to copyright maximalism, the world and our culture suffers completely unnecessarily.

      • ACTA

        • When DHS Questioned ACTA
        • Homeland Security’s 2008 letter to USTR: ACTA is a threat to national security

          On August 7, 2008, Stewart Baker, the Assistant Secretary for Policy at the Department of Homeland Security, sent a one page letter and a three page “Policy Position on Border Measures of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.”

          Stewart Baker was the General Counsel of the National Security Agency from 1992 to 1994, and was appointed the first Assistant Secretary for Policy at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) by George W Bush.

Clip of the Day

HTC Desire Z running Gingerbread/Cyanogenmod 7 (And debian linux with lxde)

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 28/4/2011: AMD (ATI) Catalyst 11.4, Red Hat GNU/Linux Growth

Posted in News Roundup at 6:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Germans stick Linux on 10,000 PCs

    While most of the world has been ignoring Linux on the desktop, it appears that the makers of Ubuntu have managed to score a lucrative deal with German insurance giant LVM Versicherungen.

    Canonical, which makes Ubuntu, will convert 10,000 PCs to use Ubuntu Linux across the entire company.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Ballnux

    • Pricey Droid Charge phone unveiled by Verizon, Samsung

      Verizon Wireless will begin selling a 4G LTE-ready 4.3-inch “Droid Charge by Samsung” Android phone on April 28 for a whopping $300 plus contract. Meanwhile, Verizon says the 4G- and Android-ready HTC Thunderbolt has been a hot seller, and Motorola has confifmed that the Verizon launch of its Droid Bionic phone will be delayed until summer.

    • LG plays catch-up via ARM Cortex license

      For example, the Optimus 2X (right) — claimed on its December 2010 launch to be the world’s first dual-core smartphone — and Optimus Pad tablet both employ Nvidia Tegra 2 processors, as does the LG-manufactured G-Slate (below) promised by T-Mobile. Meanwhile, the similarly Android-based Optimus 3D phone uses a Texas Instruments OMAP4 processor, likely the OMAP4430.

    • become a hacking ninja in a matter of seconds
  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • On platforms

      At some stage the seminal KDE vs Gnome paper vanished from its original home, and while it’s still available in a few places (such as here) it set me thinking. What are the fundamental differences between Gnome and KDE development? There’s lots of little differences (2006: Gnome parties on a beach. Akademy has melted ice cream in the rain) but they’re both basically communities made up of people who are interested in developing a functional and interesting desktop experience. So why do the end results have so little in common?

      Then I read this and something that had been floating around in my mind began to solidify. KDE assumes a platform and attempts to work around its shortcomings. Gnome helps define the platform and works on fixing its shortcomings.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE-Telepathy – A Vision for Integration

        The first preview release for KDE-Telepathy is getting closer. Our release-tracker bug now only has 9 bugs blocking it and many of these already have patches on reviewboard. Our first release will be made separately from the KDE Software Compilation, and should be compatible with installs of 4.6.x or trunk. It will be suitable only for people who like to try out new technologies before they are ready for the mainstream. It will not be feature complete (although we hope many of the basic features will be implemented). It will not be polished (although we do want to know about any bugs or issues you find – that’s why we’re making this release). It will also not be especially deeply integrated with the rest of the KDE S.C. or the Plasma workspaces. There will be a plasma applet for bringing accounts on and offline, but the rest of it is much like a traditional Instant Messaging application.

      • Pimping my Desktop: have KWin Desktop Effects improved in KDE 4.6.2?

        KWin Desktop Effects in past releases of KDE 4 were lacking in comparison to Compiz. After installing KDE 4.6.2 recently I decided to see if there has been any progress, and was pleasantly surprised. Although KWin is still not quite up to the standard of Compiz in all areas (the behaviour of 3D windows, especially around the corners of the Desktop Cube, being one example), KWin’s Desktop Effects are now very pleasant and a viable alternative to Compiz. I’ll talk you though my Desktop-pimping exercise using KWin on my main laptop running KDE 4.6.2, and then I’ll describe briefly a similar exercise using Compiz on the same machine.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • ‘Nautilus Facebook Uploader’ for Linux adds video uploads, description editing, more
      • A look at GNOME Shell

        GNOME 3 and GNOME Shell were finally released, after years of development, just a few days ago. Their release was obviously raising enormous expectation, so it should come as no surprise that so shortly after it took place there are already tons of material both positive and negative about it. Exciting times, if you ask me.

      • Gnome Announces New GSoC and Outreach Program for Women Interns

        The Gnome project announced that the Gnome 3.0 release included more contributions by women than any previous release, an increase the project attributes its new internship program. The Outreach Program for Women, which ran from December 2010 until March 2011, paired eight interns with Gnome project mentors. The Gnome project also announced that it accepted seven women to participate in the Google Summer of Code. Check out the press release for a complete list of the new outreach program and female GSoC participants, mentors, and projects.

        The Gnome project announced that the Gnome 3.0 release included more contributions by women than any previous release, an increase the project attributes its new internship program. The Outreach Program for Women, which ran from December 2010 until March 2011, paired eight interns with Gnome project mentors. The Gnome project also announced that it accepted seven women to participate in the Google Summer of Code. Check out the press release for a complete list of the new outreach program and female GSoC participants, mentors, and projects.

      • GNOME Outreach Program for Women Attracts Many New Contributors

        With 15 female interns accepted for the Outreach Program for Women and Google Summer of Code, GNOME 3.2 will be in a good position to beat this record.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo/Maemo

        • LG possibly looking at MeeGo for smartphones
        • Qt 4.7 and KDE 4.6 going stable, finally!

          After a lot of bug-wrangling both by upstream and by our Qt and KDE teams, we now feel confident that Qt 4.7.2 and KDE 4.6.2 are ready for stabilization. If you are a stable tree user (amd64, ppc, x86), the upgrade from current Qt 4.6.3 and KDE 4.4.5 will arrive at your machine soon, with lots of new features. (The KDEPIM applications such as kmail, kontact, or akregator will stay at trusty version 4.4 since development there is still ongoing.)

      • Android

        • Android: Data Shows Consumers Prefer It–But Those Are Consumers

          Recently, many reports have arrived showing the open source Android mobile OS beating Apple’s iPhone and iOS in market share terms, with some over-enthusiastic observers pronouncing the iPhone “dead in the water.” We’ve already cautioned that some of the market share numbers for Android should be taken with a grain of salt, because Android is becoming hugely popular as a consumer smartphone OS, but is not accepted as secure or standardized by many businesses and organizations. Furthermore, in Apple’s recent quarterly financial report, the iPhone was shown to have gigantic momentum. In the latest Nielsen survey, Android once again comes out on top in terms of being the “most wanted” smartphone platform, but that–again–is among consumers.

        • Verizon tips Droid Incredible 2, plus rugged Casio Commando phone

          Verizon Wireless announced two new Android 2.2 phones, led by HTC’s four-inch, global-roaming Droid Incredible 2 phone, which features dual cameras, including an eight-megapixel model. The ruggedized Casio G’zOne Commando, meanwhile, offers a 3.6-inch WVGA display, a five-megapixel camera, 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS, as well as special field-ready apps linked to the phone’s sensors.

        • Android Apps for Photographers

          Your Android device is not only good for snapping photos and sharing them with others. Using the right apps, you can turn it into a handy photographic companion which can handle a wide range of photography-related tasks. And the best part is that some of the best photography-related apps won’t cost you a dime.

        • Android now most desired smartphone OS in U.S., study says

          Nielsen reports that 31 percent of U.S. smartphone subscribers said they would prefer Android for their next phone, compared to 30 percent for the iPhone. Overall, Nielsen estimates that 37 percent of smartphone subscribers and 50 percent of recent subscribers use Android phones, up sharply from January.

    • Sub-notebooks

    • Tablets

      • Lenovo preps Honeycomb tablet with keyboard dock

        Lenovo is readying an Android 3.0 tablet that offers a pen option and plugs into a keyboard dock, says and industry report. Meanwhile, Archos announced its seven-inch, Android-based 7c Home Tablet, and Samsung is rumored to be building Amazon’s first Android tablet.

      • Right tablet for the job: iPad alternatives

        One of the major hardware players that have been quiet until now is Acer. The company jumped feet first into the netbook market with its Aspire range and got some good traction in that area. Now Acer is reportedly ready with its first real tablet device: the Acer Iconia Tab A500. The Iconia will run Android Honeycomb and sports a 10.1-inch screen. Official pricing and release dates for South Africa have not been announced yet.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Credativ’s Open Source Support Is An Answer To FOSS Support Woes

    Ask many IT managers and business owners why they don’t adopt open source software, and a common answer will be “lack of support.” After all, many projects don’t offer formal support, relying on wikis and forums for answering questions. That’s why it was big news in 2009 that Credativ, Europe’s largest service and support company focused on open source, was expanding its operations in the United States. Its Open Source Support Center is positioned as a one-stop shop for support for almost all significant open source applications and platforms, including the many flavors of Linux distros, development languages, and databases. Credativ has expanded its efforts to provide comprehensive open source support around the world since 2009, and its efforts appear to be working.

  • Google Puts $6 Million Into Open Source Summer

    I’ve been writing about the Google Summer of Code since 2005 when the program debuted. It’s a program that I’ve seen grow and excel every year since.

    The Summer of Code is an effort to bring students into the open source world, matching them up with mentoring open source organizations. The students work on a project with the open source group, helping both the project as well as themselves.

  • Dropbox fends off open source file-sharing application

    Dropbox is not getting much in the way of good news lately. First the company was caught out over changes to its terms of service (TOS), now the company is fending off a open source project called Dropship.

    According to Dan DeFelippi, Dropbox is trying to deep-six Dropship. What’s Dropship? It’s an application, under the MIT license, that makes it possible to use Dropbox sort of like a file-sharing network. If you have a hash of a file that’s stored in a public folder on Dropbox, anybody can copy the file into their own folder. So if you have, say, a couple of MP3s by Jukebox the Ghost, you could provide the hashes and suddenly Dropbox is automagically propagating the MP3s to a bunch of accounts.

  • The Next Best Thing to Open Source?

    According to Notch, Minecraft is moving to an Android-like model for its mods development. You will be able to sign up for free, accept a license, and get access to the complete source code via SVN (one can tell these aren’t F/OSS people… SVN, seriously?) to develop mods.

  • SaaS

  • Databases

  • Sun/Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

    • Drupal at Warp Speed

      Doesn’t it give you a warm feeling when you’re asked to do a week’s work in twelve hours or less? It should. It should give you a warmer feeling when you can do it in far less time. Give your C-Level suitors this one in under an hour and they’ll think you’re as magical as Mr. Scott aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise. Mr. Scott often surprised the always demanding Captain Kirk with his ability to fix just about anything within the very tight time constraints placed on him. Instead of dilithium crystals and altered phaser electronics, you’ll have to work with Ubuntu and Drupal.

      As of this writing, the latest version of Drupal is 7.0 and the version that installs to your system via the default Ubuntu repositories is 6.18. The speed of setup should sufficiently offset the fact that the software isn’t the latest available.

    • Making money in open source: Drupal future looks bright

      Who says there’s no money in open source? Demand for Drupal talent is growing, and opportunities abound for developers, designers and artists, and related disciplines such as database and system administration. Let’s take a look at what some Drupal consulting firms are doing, and get an inside view from a Drupal core maintainer.

  • Education

    • Open Source Group Seeks Support from Higher Ed for Mobile Initiative

      Jasig is launching a new open source project called uMobile and is calling on colleges and universities to contribute to the effort.

      Jasig is a consortium of higher education institutions and commercial organizations from around the world dedicated to the development and promotion of open source software to benefit colleges and universities. It also holds an annual conference spotlighting open source in education. This year’s spring conference will be held May 23 to 25 in Westminster, CO.

  • Healthcare

    • VA Calls for Open Source Health Record Proposals

      The Veterans Affairs Department released last Friday its request for proposals for an outfit it calls a Custodial Agent to manage an “open source ecosystem” for development of its next generation electronic health record.

      VA said it plans to use the Custodial Agent to set up and manage a code repository that will be used to update its current Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA) health as well as provide software to the entire health care community.

    • OpenClinica Hosts Global Conference in Boston
  • BSD

  • Project Releases

    • First Blender 2.57 bug fix update released

      Over the next two months the developers will “keep working on finishing a couple of left-over 2.5 targets”, noting that if all goes well, the upcoming 2.58 release will be the final in the 2.5 series. After that, development on the 2.6x cycle will begin, targeting new updates every 2 months.

  • Government

    • EU: Free software advocates want procurement rules improved

      Europe’s rules on public procurement should be improved to allow better access to free and open source software applications, according to advocacy groups and the OSOR project. They responded to a public consultation by the European Commission. The groups want the rules to request free and open source licencing terms.

  • Programming

    • Python for Android

      Mobile app development for smartphones is hot. This is no more prevalent than in the Android space where the activity level oftentimes is frenzied. However, when it comes to building a “real” Android app, it seems there’s only one programming choice: Java (although it is possible with a lot more work to use C/C++ with Android’s Native Development Kit). That said, Google wisely chose the popular Java programming technology upon which to base its Android SDK, which runs a customized VM.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Change Tracking: Why?

      As some of my past posts have mentioned, the OASIS group is currently working out how it wishes to extend support for change tracking in ODF. The change tracking feature allows you to have an office application remember what changes you have made and associate them with one or more revisions. There are many examples where governments might want such traceability, but small businesses are likely to find this functionality valuable too.

      Late last year there was an ODF plugfest held in Brussels where it was decided that an Advanced Document Collaboration subcommittee should be formed to work out how to serialize tracked changes into ODF.


  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Taming Brussels lobby

      The European Parliament’s Constitutional Affairs committee approved a report by Italian centre-right MEP Carlo Casini, which demands a single register of lobbyists, shared between the European Commission and parliament.

      There has been a parliamentary register for many years, as lobbyists have to sign up to gain an access pass to the building.
      The Commission introduced a ‘Register of Interest Representatives’ in 2008, under the guidance on then Administrative Affairs Commissioner, Siim Kallas, who remained adamant that the register be voluntary. The move was controversial as transparency campaigners wanted a mandatory register.

  • Privacy

    • TomTom user data sold to Dutch police, used to determine ideal locations for speed traps

      We like it when the accumulated speed data from GPS devices helps us avoid traffic incidents and school zones. As it turns out, though, there are some other uses for the same stats. Dutch news outlet AD is reporting that such data captured by TomTom navigation devices has been purchased by the country’s police force and is being used to determine where speed traps and cameras should be placed. TomTom was reportedly unaware its data was being used in such a way, but if the police would only agree to sell the data on the location of its speed cameras and traps back to TomTom, why, this could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Is It Rude To Link To Someone Without First Asking Permission?

        Earlier this week, I wrote an analysis of some silly claims from Canadian IP lawyer James Gannon’s sarcastic suggestion that copying money is just like copying content. Gannon stopped by in our comments… and oddly did not respond to a single point that I raised about his faulty analysis. Instead, he only commented to claim that it was somehow rude or discourteous of me to link to his piece and to discuss it without first asking for permission. I found this somewhat shocking. I’ve never heard that it’s common courtesy to ask before you link to someone. Yet Gannon insisted that most people who link to him first ask his permission and he suggests, snidely, that his readership has higher “standards” in regards to how they view content.

      • ACTA

        • Senator Wyden releases redacted version of October 29, 2010 CRS report on ACTA

          On April 26, 2011, Senator Wyden released a redacted version of the Congressional Research Service (CRS) report on ACTA that has been the subject to an ongoing Freedom of Information ACT (FOIA) dispute with USTR.

          (More context here, here and here).

          This is a link to the report that USTR claimed they could not release because of restrictions on its use by Senator Wyden.

Clip of the Day

SARKOZY : COUP de BOULE du pêcheur

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 27/4/2011: Mageia 1 Beta 2, Sony Data Breach

Posted in News Roundup at 6:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • What does Disney, PS3 and Kindle have in common?

    Disney & DreamWorks on Linux

    To say that Hollywood dream studios are Linux playgrounds today, is most definitely not an understatement. Linux has won hands down on server technology as well as pure artwork. Believe it or not, entire renderfarms and artist desktops in these studios are Linux ecosystems.

    Linux offers end-to-end graphic solutions, in most challenging and competitive of environments in these studios and has finally emerged a winner. It gives an opportunity for technologists, system engineers to delve into creative art using the most scalable, reliable and most importantly free software solution called Linux.

  • ‘PC User’ Doesn’t Mean ‘Windows User’

    First off, the term “PC” includes Macs, so that’s a poor term to use for distinction.

    Second, given the diversity of computing environments today, it is no longer accurate to assume that someone on a non-Mac PC is using Windows. Linux users are growing rapidly in number, and I doubt most would categorize themselves in the same group as Windows users.

    That, indeed, is probably at least part of the reason a full 23 percent of respondents to the Hunch study didn’t classify themselves in either the PC (Windows) or Mac camps: the two camps are neither well-defined nor comprehensive, since they leave out Linux users altogether.

  • Can’t pick an OS? Always Innovating pushes triple-boot Android, Chrome, Ubuntu platform

    Always Innovating, the company that brought us a tablet/netbook hybrid that you could stick to a refrigerator is back. But this time instead of focusing on its own hardware, this time the company is showcasing software it’s developed which can run on the $149 BeagleBoard compact computing platform.

    The software is called Super-Jumbo, and for good reason. Basically it’s a single disk image which combines four operating systems: Google Android 2.3, Ubuntu 10.10, Google Chromium OS, and AIOS, a custom operating system developed by Always Innovating.

  • AI runs Android, Chrome OS, Ubuntu & more on Beagleboard simultaneously [Video]
  • The GNU/Linux Adventurer’s Backpack
  • This We Can Fix Now…

    Six years and over 1200 computers later, I believe that HeliOS has gained some significant insight into how people react to the Linux Desktop.

  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel Log: Coming in 2.6.39 (Part 2) – Storage and file systems

      Various internal changes to the block layer that were specifically mentioned by Linus Torvalds are designed to enhance performance and scalability. The Ext4 file system is also said to offer improvements in this respect. Still classified as experimental, Btrfs now offers Batched Discard functionality, and LIO (Linux-Iscsi.org) includes a loop-back function.

    • How Hardware Companies Determine Their Linux Base

      Landing in the Phoronix e-mail inbox last night was a question by a reader asking how hardware vendors determine the operating systems used by their customers and their respective market-share since there isn’t anything to “phone home” and report usage statistics. In other words, this reader had just purchased four desktop processors and he was wondering how to inform AMD that he’s a Linux user. This is in hopes of going towards their Linux tally and eventually increasing their Linux level of support.


      Petition lists are also common for Linux users, such as OpenTheBlob.com for NVIDIA, but those tend to have little effect as well.

    • 2011 Linux.com Store T-shirt Design Contest: 20 Years of Linux
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Google Summer of Code Projects Accepted & the Return of Season of KDE

        The KDE community is excited to accept 51 students into the Google Summer of Code program this year. Their projects will touch KDE on almost every level, and integrate the students into our community. Some are likely to become longtime KDE contributors. The next month will be spent on community bonding, getting to know the people and the code behind the project they’ll be working on. From May 23rd until the end of August, they’ll be working with their mentors to complete their own projects.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME 3: Seven Pros and Cons

        Switching to GNOME 3 is both an opportunity and a distraction. On the one hand, it is the opportunity to put aside some annoying behaviors in earlier GNOME releases. On the other hand, GNOME 3 is a distraction because its changes can get in the way of long-established work methods.

        As a result, you need to weigh GNOME 3′s pros and cons carefully before deciding to make the new desktop part of your everyday computing — unless, of course, you are the sort who automatically rejects or embraces change simply because it is new.

      • Gnome users are revolting

        There are claims that Gnome 3 is too dumbed down for Linux users. I have to admit I’m a little frustrated at not being able to test Gnome 3 properly, because my CD drive is failing, causing my Fedora 15 beta live Gnome 3 session to crash regularly.
        One of the main objections to Gnome 3 seems to be the lack of minimise and maximise buttons on windows. However, I have been able to try out the way Gnome 3 handles windows, and it seems intuitive and more efficient in a minimalist way than the previous method. “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler,”* said Einstein, and to my mind the Gnome team have done this: “Made of easy” indeed.
        Of course there is no bottom panel to minimise windows to. Grabbing a window and bumping it up to the top panel will automatically maximise the window; grabbing it again and pulling it down will minimise it to the desktop.
        Simple. And elegant.

      • Equinox Adds 3 More Themes, PPA for Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal Updated

        Faenza icon theme for Natty PPA has already been updated and now its the turn of Equinox themes for Ubuntu 11.04 to be released. And the latest Equinox theme pack, created by Tiheum(who also created beautiful Faenza icon theme) comes with 3 brand new themes – Equinox Dawn, Equinox Dusk and Equinox Midnight respectively.

      • GNOME Login Screen Mockups, Videos

        Linux desktop is on a roll. First came the revamped KDE 4.0 which took the level of User Interface(UI) fit and finish of Linux desktops to another level. Then came the GNOME Shell and Ubuntu Unity desktop interfaces. But one thing they all lack, especially GNOME Shell and Unity, are good looking and user friendly login screens. And here are some very interesting login screen mockups for GNOME.

  • Distributions

    • Spotlight on Linux: Toorox

      Toorox is a Gentoo-based installable live CD that features your choice of KDE or GNOME desktops. It comes with lots of useful applications including system configuration tools, easy package management, and proprietary code installers.

    • New Releases

      • MEPIS 11 almost Here! Testing RC3

        MEPIS 11 RC3 comes with Firefox 4 and Konqueror as its browsers, K3b for burning media, Amarok to play sound files and several video players (KMplayer and GNOME Mplayer.) It also has the GIMP to edit images and for its office suit, it includes LibreOffice 3.3.2. KDE partition manager has substituted GParted since MEPIS 8.5. Faithful to its tradition, MEPIS 11 can be used as a rescue CD or as a live OS should you decide not to install it.


        Desktop effects are deactivated by default, but they work once enabled.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia 1 Beta 2 Released

        oday the second beta of the inaugural release of Mageia was released. This release has received lots of bug fixes and software updates as well as a nice theme change. The development branch is now frozen until after final which is due in little over a month.


        Overall, Mageia is looking good. Other than the package manager, all other software and tools seem to work fine – not that I tested everything for this quick look. I’m certainly looking forward to final release.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Measuring Unity Usability for Ubuntu 11.04
        • Ubuntu 11.04: Pre Installation Requirements

          Before you proceed to download and install Ubuntu you need to check few things.

          1. Your PC must have a working CD/DVD drive for installation through CD/DVD
          2. If you have a netbook please check that there is a USB port which can be used to install Ubuntu 11.04.
          3. Check if your PC (especiallay desktop) supports USB boot. Majority of laptops and netbooks support boot from USB. However, desktops usually don’t support USB boot. In case you have a desktop PC, we recommend using CD/DVD method.

        • An Ubuntu Adventure: The Unboxing of the DELL 2120

          The first step is to make some space in the system to install Ubuntu. So I booted Windows 7 and from the “computer management – disk management”, I managed to shrink the windows partition to 60 GB.

        • Switching to Ubuntu Part One: Basic Apps

          Continuing our series of articles on the benefits of open source software and how computing for free is a very real possibility that many users are engaging in right now around the world, it’s time to take on board the full implications of migrating from Windows to Linux, in this case the Ubuntu platform.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Peppermint Two Plans Publicized
          • Goodbye Linux Mint 5 LTS

            Clement Lefebvre and the community behind the Linux Mint project announced yesterday, April 25th, on their official blog that Linux Mint 5 LTS (Elyssa) operating system will reach end-of-life on April 28th, 2011.

            Today we are sorry to announce that starting with April 28th, 2011, the Linux Mint 5 LTS (Elyssa) operating system will no longer be supported with security or critical fixes, and software updates. This comes right after the EOL (end-of-life) announcement for Ubuntu 8.04 LTS (Hardy Heron), issued by Canonical two weeks ago, on April 11th.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

    • OLPC

      • M.I.T. Media Lab Names a New Director

        That makes the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s decision to name a 44-year old Japanese venture capitalist who attended, but did not graduate, from two American colleges as the director of one of the world’s top computing science laboratories an unusual choice.

        On Tuesday, the university plans to announce that Joichi Ito, known as Joi, will become the fourth director of the M.I.T. Media Laboratory, which was originally founded by the architect Nicholas Negroponte in 1985 and has since become recognized for its willingness to take risks in developing technologies that are at the edge of the computing frontier.

    • Tablets

      • HP CEO: Microsoft still our BFF (but no Windows on webOS tablets)

        APOTHEKER Well, there is the app store, for which we will get something, there are some additional services for which we probably will be able to charge something for. And if we add additional features on top of WebOS, it’s a little bit early to talk about them right now, we might be able to charge something for that as well.

        FORTUNE: If you’re going to enable your PCs to do more, yet you said your tablets and your smartphones will be purely WebOS, why not make that a heterogeneous experience as well?

      • Review: Barnes & Nobles’ Nook Color goes Android Tablet

        If you must have a great tablet, and you’re willing to pay the price for it, Apple’s iPad 2 is still the one to get. But, if you’d like a good tablet at half-the-price, the newly firmware renovated Barnes & Noble Nook Color may be all the tablet you need.

        Today, April 25th, as has long been expected, the Nook Color got its 1.2 update. This transforms the Nook Color from being an e-reader to being a low-end Android tablet by replacing its operating system with Android 2.2 (Froyo) and adding an App Store.

      • Sony’s Android tablet pair includes dual-screen model

        Sony announced a pair of Android 3.0 tablets that integrate Sony’s Qriocity video and audio, Sony Reader ebook content, and Playstation Suite games. Due to arrive this fall, the Sony Tablet S1 is a 9.4-inch model with a wedge-shaped design, while the S2 offers a folding clamshell format with dual 5.5-inch screens that can be viewed as a single display.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Top 50 Portable Open Source Apps

    If you travel frequently, it can be frustrating to have to use a system that doesn’t have your favorite open source software already installed. Fortunately, many of the most popular open source applications come in portable versions that you can take with you on a USB thumb drive or other portable media.

    What makes an application portable? These apps can run from any portable device (a thumb drive, CD, DVD, portable hard drive or other device) without needing to be installed directly on the hard drive of the system you’re using. They also don’t leave behind any files on the host system, and they don’t interfere with other software installed on that system.

  • Free software and redundancy as a marketing benefit

    Outsiders often criticize free software because it offers too much choice. Choice confuses people, they say, and free software would be more efficient if everyone concentrated on improving the best application in each category instead of developing alternatives. To me, this argument has always seemed conditioned by monopoly, but recently I found reason to believe that it couldn’t be more wrong.


    This contrast shows the practical value of redundancy. Superficially, redundancy seems wasteful, and a common short-sighted view is that you can improve efficiency by getting rid of the redundancy. When all is well, that view may even have some validity.

  • IRPF-Livre 2011: Death and Taxes

    Brazil, April 25, 2011—Last week, billions of people around the world celebrated their faith on a Nazarene liberator and his miraculous victory over death. On the 21st, Brazil also remembered the death of Tiradentes, martyr for the country’s independence, who survived only in memories and in history books. Our gift, hereby announced, doesn’t contain Easter Eggs, that symbolize rebirth, resurrection or the creativity of computer programmers, but it has to do with one of the two certainties in life. Although it doesn’t avoid death, it enables escaping from an unfair tax charged by the Brazilian government in the form of freedom. We offer IRPF-Livre, 2011 version, a Free alternative to the illegally privative software imposed on Brazilian taxpayers to prepare their annual Income Tax returns (IRPF).


    IRPF-Livre, that we have maintained since 2007 as part of our campaign against the deprivation of freedom by governments through Imposed/Tax Software, was updated in accordance with changes in legislation and the undocumented file formats required by Receita Federal do Brasil (RFB).

  • Web Browsers

    • Browser wars, 2011

      It wasn’t that long ago that things were as dull as used dishwater when it came to Web browsers. Then, along came Firefox and suddenly it wasn’t just an Internet Explorer world anymore. Today, in 2011, Google’s Chrome Web browser, not to mention Apple’s Safari and Opera Software’s Opera, are all good choices for your Web browser.

    • Mozilla

      • FireFox 4 Scaling Well

        There is always a period of time after you requisition hardware that you are a little nervous about performance. Very happy to report that Firefox is scaling very well and we have jumped over the magic number of 100 concurrent users in FF.

        The only open issue right now in regards to Firefox is that it still is having an occasional oddity in regards to NFS. From watching patterns, it seems like if you are downloading a big (1GB+) file and writing it over NFS, the server get’s sluggish. It never comes to a crawl, but has a noticeable slowdown. I was able to make this work better by downgrading from NFS4 to NFS3. I’ll see if I can figure it out and submit a proper bug report.


        I believe this server could easily handle another 100 users, and can easily be upgraded in terms of RAM.

      • Note to Mozilla: Guilt is not a business model

        I doubt if many people will be convinced to use Firefox because it somehow makes the world a better place. Consumers and companies are far more pragmatic in their decision processes. We want something to work, and hope to get it at the lowest possible cost.

      • Firefox Speed Tweaks
      • Thunderbird and external notification sounds
      • Introducing ecryptfs-recover-private — Recover your Encrypted Private Directory!
  • Healthcare

    • Important Information on the Biological Effects of Cell Phones and Wireless Technologies

      On the site linked below, you can listen to an interview with Dr. Karl Maret. Dr. Maret is the president of the Dove Health Alliance, a nonprofit foundation that focuses on the creation and promotion of global research and education networks in Energy Medicine.

      Dr. Maret trained in both electrical and biomedical engineering before his medical studies. He has recently begun educating physician groups specifically on the biological impacts of communication technologies, such as cell phones and wireless technologies.

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source


  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content

      • Decoding Human Genes is Goal of New Open-Source Encyclopedia

        A massive database cataloging the human genome’s functional elements — including genes, RNA transcripts and other products — is being made available as an open resource to the scientific community, classrooms, science writers and the public, thanks to an international team of researchers. In a paper published in the journal PLoS Biology on April 19, the project — called ENCODE (Encyclopedia Of DNA Elements) — provides an overview of the team’s ongoing efforts to interpret the human genome sequence, as well as a guide for using the vast amounts of data and resources produced so far by the project.

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Samsung, LG & Cisco Throw Their Support Behind WebM

      Google is announcing a new community cross-licensing initiative for its WebM open source video format this morning, which includes backing from major CE makers like Samsung, LG Electronics and Cisco. Google open-sourced WebM about a year ago, hoping to establish an open and royalty-free video format for the web that could eventually replace today’s de facto web video standard, H.264. The cross-licensing initiative is meant to ensure that companies interested in using WebM aren’t scared off by threats of patent litigation.


  • Security

  • Privacy

    • Apple Accused in Suit of Tracking IPad, IPhone User Location

      Apple Inc. (AAPL) was accused of invasion of privacy and computer fraud by two customers who claim in a lawsuit that the company is secretly recording movements of iPhone and iPad users.

      Vikram Ajjampur, an iPhone user in Florida, and William Devito, a New York iPad customer, sued April 22 in federal court in Tampa, Florida, seeking a judge’s order barring the alleged data collection.

    • Sony PlayStation suffers massive data breach

      Sony suffered a massive breach in its video game online network that led to the theft of names, addresses and possibly credit card data belonging to 77 million user accounts in what is one of the largest-ever Internet security break-ins.

      Sony learned that user information had been stolen from its PlayStation Network seven days ago, prompting it to shut down the network immediately. But Sony did not tell the public until Tuesday.

    • Hacker Got PlayStation Network Users’ Info

      Sony Corp. (SNE, 6758.TO) said Tuesday a hacker had obtained customer information, possibly including credit-card numbers, of members of its online PlayStation Network, a potential problem for the quickly growing field of online gaming.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Lessig: Copyright isn’t just hurting creativity: it’s killing science (video)

        Copyleft crusader and Harvard professor Larry Lessig gave a new talk at CERN last week about copyright and how it has affected open access to academic or scientific information, with a bit of commentary about YouTube Copyright School. As usual, it’s blistering commentary. “It’s time to recognize that free access – as in ‘free’ as in speech access – is no fad, and it’s time to push this non-fad war broadly in the context of science,” says Lessig.

        Whereas copyright tends to focus on protecting artists’ ability to make money from their work, scientists don’t use similar incentives. And yet, her work is often kept within the gates of the ivory tower, reserved for those whose universities or institutions have purchased access, often at high costs. And for science in the age of the internet, which wants ideas to spread as widely as possible to encourage more creativity and development, this isn’t just bad: it’s immoral.

Clip of the Day

Colbert Vs. Wikipedia

Credit: TinyOgg

« Previous Page« Previous entries « Previous Page · Next Page » Next entries »Next Page »

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources




Samba logo

We support

End software patents


GNU project


EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com

Recent Posts