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10.02.10

Links 2/10/2010: Wine 1.3.4, Firefox Claimed at 70% in Indonesia

Posted in News Roundup at 4:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux on TV: ‘The Glades’ – detectives run GNOME on a Windows-branded PC

    The detectives, no doubt eager to solve their case, save money & get it all done a little bit faster, are running a GNOME-based operating system on Windows branded HP computers.

  • Linux News Roundup: Fedora 14 Gets MeeGo, Madriva Is Reborn
  • Server

    • Identi.ca and WordPress.com Sharing Service

      As I recently discovered WordPress.com has a pretty neat sharing service support. It essentially adds a bunch of social network links to the bottom of your pages. Which makes a lot of sense, because every content provider (e.g. a blogger) would like their content to be spread to the world and what better way to archive this than by giving the user the means to easily share something they like or find interesting.

      One problem though. Since I am a free software advocate and suppose that you, my readers, are too, I prefer Identi.ca (which is using a free software microblogging software) over Twitter. Yet WordPress.com does not have a share button for Identi.ca…

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Kindle 3 Kernel

      I really dig the Kindle 3. The small improvements add up to a significant improvement in usability. As my friend Chris put it, “as soon as I turned it on I realized I did the right thing.”

      For the curious, I got ahold of the Kindle 3′s source code and generated a patch against 2.6.26 (I did the same for the Kindle 1′s kernel).

    • Linux 2.6.32.24 stable kernel update
    • Thoughts on Linux multitouch

      Two weeks ago, I was in Toulouse, France, at a multitouch workshop organised by Stèphane Chatty. After the workshop, in the same week was XDS. The workshop had a nice mix of people, Benjamin Tissoires whom I credit with kicking off much of the multitouch work with his evdev hacks, Pengfei, a PhD student of Stèphane, and Chase Douglas from Canonical, involved with their multitouch efforts. Ping Cheng from Wacom, Gowri Ries and Pascal Auriel from Stantum represented the hardware side. And Zeno Albisser and Denis Dzyubenko from Nokia for the toolkit side (Qt). We talked multitouch for two days and I think we got a lot done – not in code but in concepts and general design questions. The current state is essentially that both hardware and software guys are waiting on us, the X server, to integrate multitouch.

  • Applications

    • REDCap: A Tool for Collecting Clinical Trials Data

      In the course of my day job I tend to get drawn into interesting niche projects because of my Linux expertise. Recall that the Mothership (that corporate entity located somewhere on the East coat which pays me fairly well to work for them) is *shudder* a Windows shop, primarily.

      However, Open Source Software is making not-too-subtle encroachments into even this bastion of All Windows All The Time. I got a call one day a couple of weeks ago from a semi-stressed project leader who at the suggestion of the client was being encouraged to use an application built entirely out of open source components. We have it running on a virtual Linux server. It’s called REDCap, and was developed by Vanderbilt University. Basically, it is a web-based interface to an underlying mysql engine. It is a highly specialized database tool developed specifically to support data collection for clinical studies.

    • command line alternatives to wget and so much better!

      Most people including myself are hooked on using wget to do whatever quickies that we need to do on our servers. I use it in my scripts, crontab entries and even site mirroring and web crawling.

    • Proprietary

      • AutoCad

        AutoCad which is frequently touted as a killer app unavailable on GNU/Linux has some new developments:

        * some cloud services which may with GNU/Linux to view drawings via a browser

        [...]

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine

      • Wine 1.3.4 Adds New Features, Supports ARM

        New to Wine 1.3.4 is support for right-to-left mirrored windows, Winelib now supporting the ARM architecture, a new taskkill.exe built-in application, the Inetcpl control panel being fleshed out, AcceptEx has been implemented, and there’s improved security checks for SSL connections. There’s also the usual translation updates and bug-fixes. The Wine library now supporting the ARM architecture is good for those interested in wanting to run Windows applications on your ARM-based netbooks or other mobile-focused devices.

    • Games

      • Catalyst Deluxe And Anirah Released !

        If you like MahJongg and solitaire card style games then you would be happy to learn that two games were recently released, one is free as a beer, other cost $10.
        Those games are made by the indie company named Lost Luggage Studios.

      • The Linux Box – a conceptual open source gaming platform

        Would you buy an open source gaming console? How about some purpose made open source gaming software that you could install on your computer? Do you think there is a market for this?

        [...]

        The latter two are already familiar concepts, with games already available for download on many platforms (Steam, App Store, Android Market, Ubuntu Software Center etc) and as you should all know, games have been available for purchase from a store since… well… since ever.

      • 10 is the magic number – of Linux gaming compilations

        Welcome to the tenth mega compilation of Linux games. The magic number! … one more … This time, I truly do not have any grand opening. The only thing I’d like to mention is that the games included in the Humble Indie Bundle, as mentioned in my Linux news article, will be reviewed separately, in the eleventh compilation.

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GTK+3 Completes Its Rendering Clean-Up

        Just days after the release of GNOME 2.32, focusing on GNOME 3.0 development for next March has now regained center stage. It was in August that GTK+ began using more of Cairo for its tool-kit drawing and then dropped DirectFB support, but with today’s release of GTK+ 2.91.0 (the latest GTK+ 3.0 snapshot) the rendering clean-up of GNOME’s tool-kit is complete.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat in a financial-news nutshell

        Those of us who write for the insular world of the open-source-software enthusiast don’t often think about how the rest of the planet looks at Linux and other free software.

      • Money Flow Positive for Red Hat, Inc.; RHT
      • Red Hat near Resistance
      • OSS nets Red Hat prize

        Red Hat says the award recognised OSS as the most successful Advanced Business Partner in the region this year and acknowledges its work migrating datacentres at major corporates locally to Red Hat’s Enterprise Linux platform.

      • Fedora

        • McGrath: Proposal for a new Fedora project

          What am I talking about? HTML5 and javascript. Javascript has gotten significantly faster in just the last two years. In some cases over 100 times faster then just 2 years ago. Who drove that? Google and Chrome. Why did they do it? They realize HTML5 is disruptive technology. What we think of advanced “web technologies” today, are still based on html 4.01. Not changed in over 10 years. Ajax was a nice addition 7 or so years back but the foundations, the primitives are 10 years old.

        • Fedora Updates Policy

          Yes, finally there’s an updated updates policy for Fedora.

          I think it’s worth reading because, as the announcement says, it can be improved, clarified and adjusted; but it’s a very good starting point.

          I was writing a more or less deep review of the document, but my internet connection failed, Chromium crashed (!), and here I am writing this post again, so instead of explaining something that you can read yourself in the policy page, I’m going to focus in the most interesting part: the releases.

          The updates on the branched release are divided into pre beta, beta to pre release, pre release and release. Although the updates policy helps to have a more solid release, the updates after the release are a very important part of the user experience (for example, it’s an excellent way to polish the rough edges of the release).

    • Debian Family

      • Is Linux Mint Debian Edition All It’s Cracked Up to Be?

        There are a number of different operating systems today based on the latest Linux kernel, and because Linux itself happens to be open source, anyone can monopolize on the concept and create their own Linux distribution, Ubuntu being one of the distros that rose from the dust of the once great Debian. Debian was an excellent distribution in it’s day, but it fell out of favor for a number of reasons…

      • SimplyMEPIS 8.5 [Review]

        MEPIS is a Linux distribution (a.k.a “distro”) that is designed to give new users a no frills experiece when trying it for the first time. It is based on Debian and gives users the option of either running it as a LiveCD or installing it permanently on your hard drive. When run in the LiveCD mode, the OS gives users the ability to test drive the OS from either their USB stick or a DVD and explore all the available features without making any permanent changes to the filesystem of the host machine. This would mean that you could try this distro on your MAC or Windows PC and then install it later if you so choose.

        [...]

        Eventually, it comes down to you, the user. With MEPIS 11 in the pipeline and Linux distributions available dime a dozen for you to test, MEPIS or any other popular distro would be ideal for you if you want to break free (literally `0) from the shackles you are wearing while using proprietary operating systems like Microsoft’s Windows. The community fourms are always there to help if you do have any questions and the least you could do is try the LiveCD for yourself and see if it suits your needs.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu Gives Maverick a shot in the ARM

          Amongst the many improvements the Ubuntu ARM team have made happen this cycle are support for the community-driven, high-performance, embedded Dual-core ARM Cortex A9 mobile development OMAP4 Panda board and the forthcoming Beagle board XM which boasts 512mb of low-power RAM and a nippy 1Ghz Cortex A8 processor.

        • Spreadubuntu Logo

          Spreadubuntu is a repository for marketing material by and for the community, with the goal of increasing the market share of Ubuntu.

          It will see a theme update soon, to match the new visual identity of Ubuntu. I have been kindly asked to help with the logo.

        • This week in design – 1 October 2010
        • Ubuntu emoticons
        • New t-shirts
        • Observations On Long-Term Performance/Regression Testing

          At the Ubuntu Developer Summit later this month in Orlando for the Ubuntu 11.04 “Natty Narwhal” release, it looks like performance testing may finally be discussed at length by Canonical and the Ubuntu developers.

        • Ubuntu 10.10 “Maverick Meerkat” RC Comes Out With a Ton of Improvements

          Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat release candidate is here and it’s packed with a slew of new features. The amount of changes happening with Ubuntu lately is quite overwhelming. Here’s a quick look through the improvements in the new Ubuntu 10.10 release candidate.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Android 2.2.1 Update Appears for Nexus One

          Google’s flagship device, the Nexus One, is always the first phone to receive the latest software updates. It was the first to obtain the initial over-the-air update to Android 2.2 (Froyo) and this update provided the basis for much development and discussion across the site.

        • Android IM apps: which one should you use?

          I’m a big fan of instant messaging apps. They’re fun and easy—plus, like Google Voice, they’re sometimes a money-saving alternative to texting via your mobile number. Living on the west coast, they’re one way I keep in touch with my east coast family, especially my busy brother and my mom, who loves her iPad’s expandable, easy-on-the-eyes fonts. Plus, I sometimes ping Ars’ staff on their IM accounts to work out stories (hey Nate, Eric!).

    • Tablets

      • StarNet Brings Fast, Secure Linux Desktops to iPad

        StarNet Communications of Sunnyvale, California, a leading developer of X11 connectivity solutions, announced iLIVEx, a fast, secure and fault-tolerant X11 client that turns the Apple iPad into an X terminal for powerful Linux and Unix mainframe and supercomputers.

        iLIVEx is available from the App Store for $14.99. It allows iPad users to connect to Unix and Linux desktops and applications hosted on remote Unix and Linux servers. iLIVEx features an ultra-thin data transfer protocol allowing for LAN-like performance, even over 3G connections. iLIVEx connections also run over securely encrypted SSH tunnels. Built-in session persistency allows users to reconnect to their remote desktops should the iPad get disconnected, turned off or the user temporarily switches to another iPad app.

Free Software/Open Source

  • The 7 principles of successful open source communities [Flash/Video]
  • Lightspark May Work Towards A Gallium3D State Tracker

    We have previously reported on Lightspark working on a new graphics engine for this open-source project to implement the Adobe Flash/SWF specification. This new graphics engine leverages OpenGL and Cairo, but now the lead developer is considering a different approach.

  • Keeping Free Software/Open Source Vendors Honest

    I really like the recent trend of communities forking free software projects when they become unhappy with the direction that the parent company or organization is taking. The first example of this in my memory was when the creator of MySQL, Michael Widenius, created a fork called MariaDB due to his unhappiness with the purchase of Sun Microsytems by Oracle. Widenius feared that Oracle would damage or destroy MySQL, the free software database that his blood, sweat, and tears created and that Sun faithfully supported. Recent events have shown that his fears were valid. More recently, former members of the OpenOffice.org Foundation created a fork of OpenOffice called LibreOffice due to similar fears. Today, it was announced that some members of the Madriva community have created a Mandriva fork called Mageia because they no longer trust the direction in which Mandriva is being taken.

  • Forking Time

    MySQL alone has had at least four forks (Percona, Our Delta, MariaDB, and Drizzle).

  • Integration Watch: The myth of open-source forking

    Core developers of large projects are almost always paid developers. This is true for Eclipse, JBoss, Red Hat, most Google projects and, notably, OpenSolaris, among many others. These developers are either employees of companies that have a commercial interest in the finished product, or that derive revenue from ongoing support of the product. These developers, then, don’t have any reason to join a fork. In fact, they have strong reasons not to.

  • Events

    • The European way of open source

      One thing I have learned at the Open World Forum is that Europe’s approach to open source is highly political, but not in the way you think.

    • Connecting the Social Web with OStatus at Future of Web Apps in London

      Sometimes late, but always on time, Future of Web Apps added me as a speaker this week to the Carsonified-powered Future of Web Apps London event. After some swapping my schedule around since I’ve been speaking about the Federated Social Web at Joi Ito and Digital Garage’s New Context Conference in Tokyo, I’l be speaking mid-day in London about connecting the social web.

    • Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité

      The last decade has seen many open source activities run for the benefit of a single company, but the roots of software freedom can be found in the synchronisation of part of the interests of many equal participants. The next phase of open source should embrace “open-by-rule” and have the liberties of every participant respected equally. We have already seen OpenStack and The Document Foundation arise; I believe there will be more.

      The benefits that businesses derive from open source – especially flexibility, vendor independence and the cost savings that result from both through accelerated and simplified procurement – arise from Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité. Jeffrey Hammond presented research showing lower barriers to adoption of open source software in enterprises as their understanding of and comfort with open source improve.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • So how on earth did Firefox reach 70% market share in Indonesia?

        Mozilla is paying special attention to Indonesia these days because Firefox has become the leading browser in the country with up to 70 percent market share. Exactly why, we’re unfortunately as baffled as Mozilla is.

        On Sept 27, the Mozilla Foundation’s chairperson, Mitchell Baker, and its director of Asia business development, Gen Kanai, and id-mozilla, the Indonesian Mozilla community, held a public talk at Blitz Megaplex at Pacific Place in Jakarta about Mozilla’s market-leading position in Indonesia.

      • Firefox says Swiss Consumer Protection office not to be trusted

        I’m not sure if my hat is going off to Firefox for being a good watchdog, or to the Swiss Consumer Protection office, ironically, for slipping up on this one. I wanted to see their new web page on how to find out where your wooden furniture (and other objects) comes from.

      • GNUzilla – News: GNU IceCat 3.6.10 released

        This new version includes all changes made upstream in Firefox 3.6.10.

        Now the privacy extension gives an alert everytime a bookmark containing javascript code is stored.

        Now, by default, HTML5 local storage is disabled. If you desire it, then it must be manually enabled.

      • Mitchell Baker on This Week in Asia podcast

        Mitchell was interviewed by Bernard Leong and Daniel Cerventus, two of the hosts of This Week in Asia podcast.

      • The Future of the Web: How Firefox Panorama and Aza Raskin will shape the Web

        When you are designing and creating a browser that’s used by 400,000,000 users of the Web, it goes without saying that a lot of responsibility lies in your hands. A crippling bug or fundamentally flawed user interface not only turns people away from your browser, but from the entire Internet. When a geriatric user with Window Me and IE6 announces that they can’t make a website work, it’s not their fault. It’s not the Web’s fault either: it’s the browser! Fortunately, a rather gifted designer is at the helm of Firefox.

  • Databases

    • MySQL fork Drizzle goes beta

      With the release of Build 1802, Drizzle, the community driven fork of MySQL, is now officially “beta” software. The new version includes an enhanced version of drizzledump which can now be used to migrate databases from MySQL to Drizzle without any intermediate files. When connected to a Drizzle server it will perform a normal dump, but it it detects a MySQL server it converts all structures and data into a Drizzle compatible format which can be sent directly to a Drizzle server.

    • MariaDB 5.2.2-gamma is released

      MariaDB 5.2 is finally released as gamma (RC). I had hoped to release this in July at Oscon but our new QA person, Philip Stoev, find at the last moment some problems with Aria recovery and virtual columns that we wanted to fix before doing the release.

      The new features in 5.2 are quite isolated and as most have been in use by members in the MySQL community for a long time, we don’t expect any big problems with 5.2 and we should be able to declare it stable within a few months.

  • Oracle

    • Oracle is an open source of concern

      BY VIRTUE of its purchase of Sun Microsystems last January, Oracle has acquired not just a venerable computer hardware maker but some of the open source community’s best-known applications and building blocks, ranging from database MySQL to the Java platform to operating system Solaris.

      Even the free and popular Microsoft Office challenger Open Office now belongs to Oracle.

      Oracle isn’t a newcomer to open source – software that is community-produced by developers, often made available at zero or nominal cost, with the software code freely available to anyone to examine or modify. It has long supported many open-source applications and has been a champion of open-source operating system Linux for years.

      [...]

      To kick things off, James Gosling, the eminent Sun engineer who created Java – a computing platform that was designed to enable developers to write a program once then run it in any computing environment – quit Oracle soon after he became an employee by virtue of its purchase of Sun.

  • CMS

    • Learning Drupal Fundamentals

      Since many of you have your own open-source projects to promote and support, but may not be as well-versed in web development, I will create an open-source project site for the Billix distribution to demonstrate site building. When you’d like to expand beyond your SourceForge page, you can turn to Drupal.

    • The Awesome Croogo – Free and Open-Source PHP CMS

      Croogo is a free, open source, content management system for PHP. It is built on top of the popular MVC framework CakePHP and is targeted towards developers, designers and administrators. It was first released on October 2009 by Fahad Ibnay Heylaal, and continued to see 6 more releases in less than a year. The project is currently at version 1.3.2 beta, and is being actively developed.

  • Education

    • RMS and I, Teaching the Kids

      I had an interesting class with my grade 9 students today. Usually it is very hard to keep their attention long. Today, I played a video of Richard M Stallman speaking in a college lecture theatre about Free Software. They gave him rapt attention. They got it. I followed up with a bit of history of GNU, Linux and the SCOG v World saga.

  • Government

    • UK Adopts Open Government License for everything: Why it’s good and what it means

      Yesterday, the United Kingdom made an announcement that radically reformed how it will manage what will become the government’s most important asset in the 21st century: knowledge & information.

      On the National Archives website, the UK Government made public its new license for managing software, documents and data created by the government. The document is both far reaching and forward looking. Indeed, I believe this policy may be the boldest and most progressive step taken by a government since the United States decided that documents created by the US government would directly enter the public domain and not be copyrighted.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Video Labs: P2P Next Community CDN for Video Distribution

      As Wikimedia and the community embark on campaigns and programs to increase video contribution and usage on the site, we are starting to see video usage on Wikimedia sites grow and we hope for it to grow a great deal more. One potential problem with increased video usage on the Wikimedia sites is that video is many times more costly to distribute than text and images that make up Wikipedia articles today. Eventually bandwidth costs could saturate the foundation budget or leave less resources for other projects and programs. For this reason it is important to start exploring and experimenting with future content distribution platforms and partnerships.

    • Data

      • Open Source Policy Map: suggestions for getting started (student project)

        Thanks for your reply – it inspired me to go back and do a little more poking around, in the hopes of giving you more resources to get started. How to do everything is ultimately up to you – consider these notes as options you can choose whether or not to take, possible pointers for places to look if you’re unsure where to begin.

        On the technical side, I’d suggest looking at the OpenGeo stack, in particular the OpenLayers javascript library, for implementation. It’s an open source mapping library and they have very supportive core developers and a growing community. Some documentation:

        http://workshops.opengeo.org/openlayers-intro/

        http://docs.openlayers.org/

        http://openlayers.org/dev/examples/

      • How to be a data journalist
    • Open Hardware

      • On Feminism and Microcontrollers

        Our paper tries to measure the breadth of LilyPad’s appeal and the degree to which it accomplished her goals. We used sales data from SparkFun (the largest retail source for both Arduino and LilyPad in the US) and a crowd-sourced dataset of high-visibility microcontroller projects. Our goal was to get a better sense of who it is that is using the two platforms and how these groups and their projects differ.

        We found evidence to support the suggestion that LilyPad is disproportionally appealing to women, as compared to Arduino (we estimated that about 9% of Arduino purchasers were female while 35% of LilyPad purchasers were). We found evidence that suggests that a very large proportion of people making high-visibility projects using LilyPad are female as compared to Arduino (65% for LilyPad, versus 2% for Arduino).

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Google JPEG alternative aims to speed up the Web

      In its continuing attempts to make the Web faster, Google is trimming down the size of image files, which make up about 65 percent of the bytes on the Web.

      Google announced late Thursday afternoon that it’s releasing a developer preview of a new image format, which it’s dubbed WebP. An alternative to the JPEG format, which is typically used today for Web pictures and images, WebP should “significantly” reduce the byte size of images, Google promises.

    • Pytextstat 1.0

Leftovers

  • Explore the world with Street View, now on all seven continents

    To clarify, the Street View imagery for Antarctica includes panoramas of an area called Half Moon Island – such as this view of penguins and this one of the landscape. The blue dots you see throughout the continent when dragging the pegman are user-contributed photos.

    We introduced Street View back in May 2007, enabling people to explore street-level imagery in five U.S. cities. We were excited to share a virtual reflection of the real world to enable armchair exploration. Since then, we’ve expanded our 360-degree panoramic views to many more places, allowing you to check out a restaurant before dining there, to explore a neighborhood before moving there and to find landmarks along the route of your driving directions.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Ancient giant penguin unearthed in Peru

      The fossil of a giant penguin that lived 36 million years ago has been discovered in Peru.

      Scientists say the find shows that key features of the plumage were present quite early on in penguin evolution.

      The team told Science magazine that the animal’s feathers were brown and grey, distinct from the black “tuxedo” look of modern penguins.

  • Finance

    • Top 10 Ideas for Goldman Sachs New Ad Campaign

      Top 10 Ideas for Goldman Sachs New Ad Campaign

      10. Under Buffett’s protection since 2008

      9. Putting the zero in zero-sum game.

      8. Government Bailout: $29 billion
      SEC Settlement: $550 million
      Doing God’s work? Priceless.

      7. Helping you forget about Bernie Madoff one CDO at a time

      6. Goldman Sachs: America’s Counterparty

      5. Let us do for you what we did for Greece.

      4. Like we give a fuck what you think about us . . .

      3. Goldman Sachs: There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s JPMorgan.

      2. The Rothschilds were Pussies

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • The stench of dictatorship

      The raids carried out by the FBI against antiwar activists last week are an ominous warning to the entire working class. The police-state tactics show the extent to which basic democratic rights—including the right to free speech and political association—have been undermined in the US.

      The Obama administration ordered the invasion of the homes of several individuals—primarily members of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO)—and the seizure of documents, computers, cell phones, cameras and other personal and political material. Those targeted have been summoned to appear before a grand jury on October 12 and may face criminal prosecution for “material support” for terrorism.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Web founder warns of Internet disconnect law ‘blight’

      Tim Berners-Lee, the man credited with inventing the world wide web, warned Tuesday of the “blight” of new laws being introduced across the globe allowing people to be cut off from the Internet.

      “There’s been a rash of laws trying to give governments and Internet service providers (ISPs) the right and the duty to disconnect people,” he told a conference on web science at the Royal Society in London.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • [CC Labs] October 2010 Tech Update

        Inspired by the Wikimedia Foundation, I wanted to give a brief update on the past month’s technology work at Creative Commons.

      • Boy Scout Magazine Says Don’t Listen To Legally Burned CDs, As They’re Too Similar To Piracy

        Four years ago, the MPAA worked with the local Los Angeles chapter of the Boy Scouts of America to create a special “activity patch” for Boy Scouts to repeat propaganda about how evil file sharing is. For some reason, that story got renewed attention earlier this year, when a few sources came across the 2006 story without checking the date on it. While there’s really nothing new on that story, it does appear that the Boy Scouts are making some absolutely ridiculous suggestions to parents about how to talk to your kids about copyright issues.

        That link is to an article in the latest issue of Scouting Magazine, supposedly about the “ethics” of file sharing, and how parents should talk to their children about it. And, yet, it’s entirely one-sided, quoting the RIAA’s claims about “losses,” but oddly leaving out the stacks upon stacks upon stacks upon stacks of research showing that musicians are making more money these days, via alternative business models. You would think that would be a relevant part of the discussion… but it’s totally absent. Someone, apparently, failed their “research the facts” merit badge.

        But where the article goes totally off the rails is in telling parents that their children are too stupid to understand the nuances of copyright law, and because of that, they should take an extreme position: one so extreme that they shouldn’t even listen to legally burned CDs…

      • Anti-Piracy Lawyers Face DDoS Before Pivotal Court Decision

        Undeterred by the online destruction of ACS:Law, UK lawyers Gallant Macmillan will head off to the High Court on Monday to demand the identities of hundreds more people they claim have been detected sharing files online. While the ISP that holds the identities says it will resist the demand and ask for the hearing to be adjourned, the judge and jury of Operation Payback will pass down their verdict tomorrow, sentencing Gallant Macmillan to a DDoS attack.

      • ACTA

        • Danger of international accord on repressive policies in final ACTA talks, says RSF

          As the 11th round of negotiations for an Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) gets under way in Tokyo, Reporters Without Borders reiterates its opposition to the way these talks are being held behind closed doors without democratic consultation and to the potentially repressive positions being taken by the countries involved. The negotiators aim to conclude the accord or at least finalize its main points, but the latest draft is unacceptable and must be changed if not abandoned altogether.

          According to the latest leaks, on 25 August 2010, the wording of the section on the Internet entitled “Special Measures Related to Technological Enforcement of Intellectual Property in the Digital Environment” has been softened but it still gives governments a lot of scope to introduce repressive provisions including filtering and a “graduated response” leading to the disconnection of illegal downloaders.

        • Deal or No Deal?: Japan ACTA Round Ends With Near Agreement

          The Tokyo round of ACTA negotiations concluded earlier today with countries saying that they “resolved nearly all substantive issues and produced a consolidated and largely finalized text.” Earlier reports from Reuters indicated that the latest round of ACTA negotiations in Tokyo, Japan has failed to produce an agreement. That report indicated that there is still disagreement over scope, including geographical indications and patents. A later report indicated that there was a basic agreement.

        • Joint Statement From All The Negociating Parties to ACTA

          The 11th and final round of the negotiations for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was concluded successfully in Tokyo, Japan on October 2. The Government of Japan hosted the negotiations.

        • Global anti-counterfeiting agreement still weeks away

          Negotiators for an international anti-counterfeit accord failed to reach agreement after more than a week of talks on Saturday, but European Union officials said a final deal was just weeks away.

        • ACTA Truth or Pravda?

          ABC reports that Agreement Reached in Tokyo Anti-Counterfeiting Talks

          I tried to comment on the article, but even after jumping through hoops, it wouldn’t let me. If it has to pass a moderator my comment is certainly dead in the water. Which is a good reason to have a blog, so I can comment on articles full of misinformation like this one.

          Why shouldn’t Kraft be prevented from calling their product “Parmesan” or have to pay royalties to Parma, Cognac, Roquefort or Champagne for infringing on these legally trademarked names? Isn’t that the point? REAL Parmesan cheese comes from Parma. Kraft’s Parmesan Cheese is COUNTERFEIT. That’s what ACTA is all about… stopping piracy, right?

          Isn’t that why they want these laws? So THEY get paid every time. But paying someone else is a problem. They don’t want to have to pay others, I guess they like the RIAA/CRIA music business model where everything possible is done to avoid actually paying the artists.

      • Canada

Clip of the Day

Konsole Demo


On YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtRBoi1At_0

10.01.10

Links 1/10/2010: Sabayon GNU/Linux 5.4, MeeGo Linux Can Run on Google-branded Phones

Posted in News Roundup at 12:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Leftovers

  • Arm Plans to Add Multithreading to Chip Design

    Arm plans to add multithreading capabilities to future architectures as it tries to boost the performance of its processors, a company representative said on Tuesday.

    The company is looking to include multithreading capabilities depending on application requirements in different segments, said Kumaran Siva, segment marketing manager at Arm, at the Linley Tech Processor conference in San Jose, California.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • ACTA

        • Mexican Government Answers KEI’s Concerns About ACTA

          KEI has received a letter dated September 28, 2010, from Lic. Alfredo Rendón Algara – Director General Adjunto de Propiedad Industrial of Mexico (IMPI). The letter from the Mexican government is in response to KEI’s earlier letter to C. Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, Presidente Constitucional de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos, regarding the position of the Mexican government in the ACTA negotiations. (See also the reply from the President, here). In general, the letter is defensive, and fails to engage in most of the substantive concerns of our earlier letter.

          The following are notes from the letter of Lic. Alfredo Rendón Algara:

          The letters claims that “the deteriorated international trade”, “the intimate connection” between piracy and terrorism, specially on music, the losses produced by “Chinese and pirate” goods, and “the obsolescence of previous international instrument on intellectual property” are the main reasons that move the Mexican government to become part of the negotiations of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.

Clip of the Day

Bruno Haible – “Contributing Reusable Code to Gnulib”


Credit: TinyOgg

Links 1/10/2010: Fedora Hiring, Ubuntu Starts Mobile Music Streaming, WebP Comes From Google

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Marcan Names PS3 Linux Bootloader on Firmware 3.41 AsbestOS

    Nintendo Wii developer Marcan has been sharing updates via Twitter on his progress with a PS3 Linux bootloader, one that is currently working on PlayStation 3 Firmware 3.41 (including on the PS3 Slim) and now named AsbestOS.

  • Desktop

    • 5 Things Linux Does Better Than Mac OS X

      I think the success of the Mac is mostly a matter of marketing. Whatever your own personal beliefs, though, there’s no denying that there are certain things Linux clearly does better than Mac OS X. If you’re trying to decide on a platform for your business, these factors are worth keeping in mind.

    • The $100.00 (USD) Coolest Linux Workspace Contest Finalists

      I apologize for the long delay of presenting the finalists of our $100.00 (USD) Coolest Linux Workspace Contest. But, as they say, it’s better late than never. So today, I’m going to present to you the 5 finalists, and we will let our readers and site visitors ultimately decide on who really deserves to win the most coveted price.

  • Server

    • A Day in the Life of Facebook Operations

      What does facebook sysadmins have to support?

      * Monthly 700 million minutes of time spent on fb
      * 6billion pieces of content updated
      * 3 billion photos
      * 1 million connect implementations
      * 1/2 billion active users

      Infrastructure Growth

      * fb reached a limit on leasing datacenter space
      * fb is building their own http://www.facebook.com/prinevilledatacenter
      * currently serving out of california and Virginia

      Initially a LAMP stack. LB -> Web Servers -> Services/Memcached/Databases

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • ATI R600 Classic Mesa 7.9 Performance

        As we have talked about in numerous articles now and delivered various benchmarks for different graphics processors from those using a classic Mesa DRI driver to the newer NVIDIA/ATI hardware with Gallium3D support, Mesa 7.9 brings a lot to the table. There are many new features to be found in Mesa 7.9 for all drivers, but in this article, we are specifically looking to see how the OpenGL performance of the classic R600 driver has changed compared to Mesa 7.7 and Mesa 7.8.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Panel Discussion – Death of the Desktop @ COSSFest 2010 [Flash/Video]
    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • On the fly Preview on Quanta (also, my first real code for KDE)

        Since I begin to use KDE, my big desire It was to contribut with code, but I would have to study different things (indeed that was what I wanted the most: a challenge), and I admit that I thought many times that I would never be able to do it. So I decided to make talks about “KDE for Beginners” (beginners like I was), It was a quickly way to promote and contribut to FOSS, more quickly than to develop.

        I made one talk before Akademy, in the Seminar of Free Software Tchelinux at Caxias do Sul, and after, I made two talks, one at International Free Software Forum and the other happened in the 4th Seminar of Free Software Tchelinux at Pelotas. In these talks I met more KDE users, and who knows coming soon contributors as well.

  • Distributions

    • Linux Distro as Food ?

      Debian

      The Debian Project is an association of individuals who have made common cause to create a free operating system. This operating system is called Debian GNU/Linux, or simply Debian for short. Debian systems currently use the Linux kernel. Debian comes with over 20,000 packages (precompiled software that is bundled up in a nice format for easy installation on your machine) – all of it free.

    • Reviews

      • Review: ArchBang 2010.09 “apeiro”

        Overall, I think ArchBang has regressed a bit from its testing version, from not loading properly under 192 MB of RAM where the previous version could to not being able to handle Mozilla Firefox at all. It has a lot of potential, but I’m intentionally damning it with faint praise, as it definitely could use more polish and more testing. While #! has never failed me in this regard, #!’s website and documentation always includes the warning, “CrunchBang Linux is not recommended for anyone needing a stable system or anyone who is not comfortable running into occasional, even frequent breakage. CrunchBang Linux could possibly make your computer go CRUNCH! BANG!” While I think it’s funny that #! phrases its disclaimer in this way and is upfront about any possible stability problem, I find it odd that #! has this warning at all given its stability; I think ArchBang needs a similar warning, though what does “ARCH! BANG!” mean?

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • New development release name has been chosen, Cauldron!

        In Mandriva the development release was named Cooker. The development release of Mageia will be, like Cooker, a rolling distro. The idea here is that any new packages go into the development release first, where they’re tested and any bugs found in them are fixed; then when the development cycle nears its end the repositories are frozen in preparation for pushing a new stable release (after that the development distro starts again). Of course it’s not recommended to run development releases on day-to-day production machines as, by its very nature, it’s unstable and prone to break. Things tend to break quite a good number of times in development releases however they get fixed pretty fast too, so if you like living on the cutting edge don’t hesitate to join forces with those brave souls who’ll be testing Cauldron; the more the testers the better the stable release that’ll follow as more bugs will get squashed this way.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 14 Beta is released! Screenshot Tour
        • You must be this tall to ride: __

          How do you get contributors? You recruit from your pool of users! How do you get users, to widen your potential contributor pool and to spread your free software / free culture message? You reach out to them, providing them a compelling reason to care. Okay, great, that’s easy right? We just get out there and send our message out – it’s a great cause – folks will want to help, right?

        • Fedora is hiring

          People regularly ask me about how they can work for Red Hat, specifically, how they can work on Fedora for Red Hat. Usually, my answer is “Contribute, do good work, get noticed, and you’re likely to be hired”, but at the moment, two positions have opened up.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu Maverick Meerkat — First Impressions

          Wow.

          That’s what I can say about Maverick so far.

        • Canonical announces Ubuntu One music streaming service

          The Ubuntu One service originally launched last year with cloud file storage capabilities and support for synchronizing the user’s e-mail address book and notes. Canonical later added the Ubuntu One music store, which integrates into GNOME’s Rhythmbox audio player. When the user purchases music from the store, the files are deployed directly into their Ubuntu One cloud storage space and are automatically propagated to all of the computers that the user has connected to Ubuntu One. The new music streaming feature complements the music store by giving the user mobile access to their music. It’s worth noting that the streaming feature works with any MP3 that the user uploads to their Ubuntu One storage account, not just the songs that they have purchased from the Ubuntu One music store.

        • Ubuntu One Blog: Mobile music streaming public beta now available
        • Future Ubuntu Releases Will be Shipped With LibreOffice, Says Mark Shuttleworth

          OpenOffice’s future was doomed from the day when Oracle acquired SUN Microsystems. The eventuality became even more obvious when they pulled the plug on OpenSolaris. Thankfully, OpenOffice is an open source software and leading contributors of the original project has forked OpenOffice and the new project will be called LibreOffice.

        • Ubuntu 10.10 RC Available for Download Now

          A few minutes ago, the Ubuntu development team unleashed the Release Candidate (RC) version of the up-coming Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) operating system, due for release in October 10th, 2010. As usual, we’ve downloaded a copy of it in order to keep you up-to-date with the latest changes in the Ubuntu 10.10 development.

        • Using Ubuntu One Cloud Storage: From Basic to Creative
        • Flavours and Variants

          • Lubuntu Maverick Beta 2 iso available

            Julian Lavergne has released the Lubuntu Maverick Beta 2 iso is now available for testing. This is the last testing iso before the final release of Lubuntu 10.10. As the iso is still not build with Ubuntu architecture, this release and the final one will be named “Beta”.

          • GnackTrack

            GnackTrack is a Live (and installable) Linux distibution designed for Penetration Testing and is based on Ubuntu. Although this sounds like BackTrack, it’s most certainly not; it’s very similar but based on the much loved GNOME!

  • Devices/Embedded

    • MIPS touts its quad-core IP as an Atom-beater

      Android was specifically cited as an operating system platform for the latter, but the 1074K CPS is said to run any MIPS32-compatible software, which would include Linux and Windows CE. At CES in January of this year, MIPS showed off a number of Android-based set-top box designs from its partners using MIPS-based Sigma Designs processors.

      The 1074K CPS core is supported by tools from CodeSourcery, CriticalBlue and others, including MIPS Technologies’ own development tools and probes, and symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) versions of Linux, MIPS adds.

    • Phones

Free Software/Open Source

  • O.S.A.N. Accouncement

    This is a community project. Its goal is to advertise Free / Libre / Open Source Software and Projects among the community and on non-commercial web sites. Nobody is making money out of this. Publishing banners and text advertisments is free for FLOSS projects. Likewise there is only a good feeling to be earned by hosting our ads. No money involved nowhere.

  • Nagios Trademark Truth

    I would greatly appreciate the Nagios Community’s assistance in helping me to resolve this issue by pressuring NETWAYS and Julian Hein to do the right thing and return what is not rightfully theirs.

  • Nagios Trademark Statement

    Nagios Enterprises posted a blogpost at their community site, accusing me, Julian Hein the owner and managing director of NETWAYS to have taken away their Nagios trademark and that they want it back. While some of the facts in the blogpost are true, some assumptions are not, some are taken out of their context and some may be just a result of misunderstandings.

  • Events

    • Open World Forum keynote panel: Challenges of open communities

      During this afternoon’s final keynotes at the Open World Forum, five panelists met to discuss a few of the challenges of geographical and physical barriers open communities face.

      The panel was moderated by Cedric Thomas, CEO, OW2 Consortium, who was joined by:

      * Bertrand Delacretaz, Director, Apache Software Foundation
      * Mike Milinkovich, Executive Director, Eclipse Foundation
      * Simon Phipps, Director, Open Source Initiative, Chief Strategy Officer, ForgeRock
      * Louis Suarez-Potts, Open Office Community Manager, Oracle

  • Web Browsers

    • 2 Simple Chromium Extensions For Ubuntu Users

      We featured a post on ‘Three Must have Firefox Add-ons for Ubuntu Users’ some time back. I wanted to do a similar post for Chrome/Chromium but could not find many extensions specifically made for Ubuntu users. So I decided to share these two extensions available as of now.

    • Warning: Google Chrome Apparently *Removing* Key Privacy Feature
    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla CTO: Why Firefox wins over Chrome

        Eich noted however that the upcoming Firefox 4 release will compete well in the speed category against Chrome. But speed and a minimal user interface alone are not what will continue to make Firefox a great browser. He added that at one point Google approached him to try and get the Chrome engine into Firefox, but that didn’t work out due to both technical and philosophical reasons.

  • SaaS

  • Databases

    • Let’s Open Joomla! to a Wider Audience

      Until now have already ported other famous Web applications like WordPress, MediaWiki, and phpBB. Today Joomla is one of them! We did our best to make a smart porting. We haven’t altered a single functionality of the Joomla package, but created the CUBRID intermediary classes which parse the original MySQL queries to CUBRID compatible queries. At this moment the developers focused on bringing the CUBRID support. The final stable release will allow users to deploy the same Joomla distribution with both CUBRID and MySQL Database systems with no difference except for the performance. As we mentioned in the previous blog, the final stable version is expected to have higher performance on CUBRID than on MySQL due to the Web optimizations of the CUBRID Database. Let’s cross our fingers for this.

  • Oracle

    • Goodbye OpenOffice. LibreOffice, Here I Come!

      I loved OpenOffice! For 6 years, OpenOffice was my bedrock and one of the key tools that allowed me to free myself from the chains of proprietary software. For that, I will forever be grateful. I am certain that the affection that I had for OpenOffice and its development team will be reborn as I discover LibreOffice. It would be pretty cool if the entire OpenOffice Team signed and sent a resignation letter to Oracle stating that they would be moving to the Document Foundation. Can you imagine the deafening silence when Oracle tried to recruit people to work on OpenOffice? One thing that Oracle did not realize is how badly they shot themselves in the foot when they decided to sue Google. Google has some very powerful friends in the form of Redhat, Canonical, and Novell. It is not surprising that all of these friends now support LibreOffice. I too will be supporting LibreOffice as I wave my old friend OpenOffice goodbye. It was great knowing you. LibreOffice, here I come!

  • CMS

  • Semi-Open Source

    • BlackBerry Widgets Renamed WebWorks, Goes Open Source

      BlackBerry Widgets, a web-based development platform RIM had released in October, has been renamed WebWorks, and will be an open-source project. Using the BlackBerry Web App Packager, developers will be able to create full-fledged programs using familiar web languages, like HTML5, CSS, XML and the like.

  • BSD

    • I brought out the OpenBSD 4.7-stable laptop and ran the latest patch

      Now that I know how to patch my OpenBSD-release installation and keep it updated as OpenBSD-stable, I pulled out the Toshiba Satellite 1100-S101 now running 4.7-stable, applied the latest patch, then rebuilt the kernel and rebooted.

      As I wrote in the earlier entry, once you have the sources and know how to apply patches and rebuild the kernel and system, keeping a patched OpenBSD box is pretty easy.

  • Project Releases

  • Licensing

    • Neo-proprietary tactic considered harmful to open source

      At some point, one could even argue that the most successful open source company (RedHat) is very closed to this model : they offer a great product for free (the RedHat Linux Distribution) and monetize services of only a small percent of their users.

      Fauxpensource has several definitions and even if this is not yet a widely used term. Some synonims are open-core or neo-proprietary. Neo-proprietary is the term I will use in this post as there is no common sounds or part with Open Source.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content

      • Hal Plotkin Releases Free to Learn: An Open Educational Resources Policy Development Guidebook for Community College Governance Officials

        Yesterday Hal Plotkin announced the release of Free to Learn: An Open Educational Resources Policy Development Guidebook for Community College Governance Officials. The guide explains how the flexibility and diversity of Open Educational Resources (OER) can improve teaching and learning in higher education, all while retaining quality and enabling resource sharing and collaboration. Free to Learn features case studies and highlights several interviews with leaders of the OER community. The document suggests that community colleges are uniquely positioned to both take advantage of OER opportunities and to become pioneers in teaching through the creative and cost-effective use of OER.

  • Programming

    • The Humble README

      The README file goes back to the dawn of computing. We’re pretty sure Grace Hopper had one in a filing cabinet, right next to a folder marked “Bug”. It is a time-honored tradition: developers pour their heart and soul into a README file and users promptly ignore them. We probably can’t do anything about that here at SourceForge, but we can try.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Science

    • IBM characterizes single-atom DRAM

      The ultimate memory chips of the future will encode bits on individual atoms, a capability recently demonstrated for iron atoms by IBM’s Almaden Research Center in San Jose, Calif., which unveiled a new pulsed technique for scanning tunneling microscopes (STMs).

      Pulsed-STMs yield nanosecond time-resolution, a requirement for designing the atomic-scale memory chips, solar panels and quantum computers of the future.

      “My hope is that we can spawn a great following doing nanosecond time resolution and atomic-scale spatial resolution with their STMs,” said Andreas Heinrich, a physicist in the IBM’s Almaden Lab.

      STMs, invented at IBM in the 1980s, have become the workhorse of the semiconductor materials industry. Their resolution extends all the way to the atomic scale, allowing individual atoms to be imaged. Unfortunately, STMs are slow at making such delicate measurements. Now IBM has perfected a new pulsed-STM technique that puts its ability to measure time on par with the nanoscale accuracy as its distance measurements.

  • Finance

    • Admission of Guilt With No Consequences…We Need Justice For All

      The story of bank fraud, committed by the banks themselves is an ongoing story that has been on the side lines since the very beginning of the “meltdown” in 2007. Banks lied then to protect themselves, they continued to cheat and lie to protect themselves, they lied (along with our highest elected officials) to get our money so that they could steal from us even more.
      This is a story of a financial system gone bad. It is a story of a government taken over by a financial system gone bad and it is a story of a once free people in a nation whose Constitution has gone bad. Everything we once had and stood for has been destroyed by our banks.

    • JPMorgan Suspending Foreclosures

      The lender, JPMorgan Chase, said on Wednesday that it was halting 56,000 foreclosures because some of its employees might have improperly prepared the necessary documents. All of the suspensions are in the 23 states where foreclosures must be approved by a court, including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida and Illinois.

      The bank, which lends through its Chase Mortgage unit, has begun to “systematically re-examine” its filings to verify that they meet legal standards, a spokesman, Tom Kelly, said.

      Last week, GMAC Mortgage said it was suspending an undisclosed number of foreclosures to give it time to take a closer look at its own procedures. GMAC simultaneously began withdrawing affidavits in pending court cases, throwing their future into doubt.

    • Let’s Ramp Up The Fight Against Illegal Foreclosures and Fraud By Banks

      I have been writing on the topic of fraud by the banks since the beginning of the so called “mortgage meltdown” began in 2007. There was fraud during the bubble committed by the banks, not the loan originators as they claimed. Yes there was fraud at the originator level but without the coaching and approval of the banks the street level fraud would have been held to a minimum as it had been for years.

      Now the next wave of fraud being committed by the banks – illegal foreclosure – are being totally ignored by our courts and most of all by our government. This fraud has been public common knowledge for several years now but NO ONE LISTENS.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Tie Theory

      Like Gladwell, I too grew up with stories of the civil rights movement. A lot was accomplished. Great odds were overcome. And of course it makes for high drama. Which is great on a movie screen but for the people living it, not so much. In fact, I’m guessing that most activists would prefer not to give up their lives or their freedom or their livelihoods to meet their goals. Think how much more Mr. King might have accomplished had he lived.

    • EU Commission takes UK to court over web privacy

      The European Commission is taking the UK to court for failing to comply with EU rules on internet privacy.

      The case in the EU’s Court of Justice – called an “infringement procedure” – could lead to a fine for the UK if the judges support the Commission’s view.

      The EU began investigating the UK last year, suspecting that UK law provided insufficient safeguards against illegal interception of internet traffic.

    • Lawyers to continue piracy fight

      A London law firm has pledged to continue to target file sharers, despite controversy surrounding the acquisition and care of users’ data.

      Gallant Macmillan is to go to the High Court on 4 October to seek the personal details of hundreds of PlusNet users.

      Internet service providers have pledged to take a tougher stand before handing over data, after the leak of thousands of users’ personal details by ACS:Law.

    • In the wake of the ACS:Law email leaks, will the BPI disclose their P2P surveillance methods?

      ACS:Law have managed to highlight the perils of companies operating as private surveillance agencies. By collecting extremely sensitive information – and letting it into the wild through their own incompetence – many people will be suffering serious personal trauma.

      Possibilities of this, or smaller scale abuse, are exactly why Peter Hustinx warned that private surveillance was unlikely to be a proportionate means of dealing with copyright infringement, compatible with privacy rights.

    • What BT, Sky and other ISPs should do about the likes of ACS:Law

      Open Rights Group spoke to BT today, and has requested a meeting with Sky to discuss how they handle future applications for people’s data when they are thought to be infringing copyright.

    • EU taking UK to court for privacy deficiencies highlighted by Phorm

      The result was that the EU Commission threatened to take the Uk to court. Such action is extremely rare, but today, they announced that they will do exactly that.

      At the time, ORG made a technical analysis of Phorm alongside the Foundation for Information Policy Research and wrote to Commissioner Reding and her Commission’s officers in the wake of the Phorm complaint.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • 3 More Adult Companies Sue 1,100 Bit Torrent Users

        Another wave of bit torrent piracy suits were filed Wednesday.

        The latest action targets 1,100 John Does in three suits waged by CP Productions Inc., First Time Videos and Future Blue Inc.

        All three suits were filed by attorney John L. Steele at U.S. District Court in Chicago and seek to identify each user through their Internet service providers. Each asks for injunctive relief and damages.

      • RIAA Continues to Be Attacked from DDoS Flood

        Security firm PandaLabs recently spoke with hacker group Anonymous about its global cyber-war with the pro-copyright industry. Called “Operation Payback,” the DDoS assault was triggered by a similar attack on file sharing sites by an Indian firm. Now Anonymous is in offensive mode and looking to sign on more members by sending out flyers and recruiting people through Facebook, Digg, Reddit and other sites.

        Their mission? To fight back against the anti-piracy lobby. “There been a massive lobbyist-provoked surge in unfair infringements of personal freedom online, lately,” one member said. “In the USA, a new bill has been proposed that could allow the USA to force top level registrars such as ICANN and Nominet to shut down websites, all with NO fair trial. Guilty until proven guilty! Our tactics are inspired by the very people who provoked us, AiPlex Software. A few weeks back they admitted to attacking file sharing sites with DDoS attacks.”

      • White House IP Chief Talks Tough on Online Piracy

        Victoria Espinel, who serves as the nation’s first intellectual property enforcement coordinator within the Office of Management and Budget, said the administration is working with a variety of stakeholders, including Internet service providers, search engines and payment processors, in what it is billing as a “voluntary cooperation initiative.”

Clip of the Day

Jaromil – “dyne:bolic and dyne.org”


Credit: TinyOgg

09.30.10

Links 30/9/2010: 48-Core Limit in Linux, Red Hat Looks Into Austin Expansion, Ubuntu 10.10 is Near

Posted in News Roundup at 7:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Operating Systems in Schools

      GNU/Linux is the clear choice for me. Here is an article written by one who shares my views. He describes use of GNU/Linux in schools in British Columbia, Canada. Wherever cost-effective performance is wanted GNU/Linux should be the first choice. I cannot imagine a more appropriate situation than schools. Students and staff need reliable IT and students need IT that is transparent and affordable to them so they can tinker as needed. Students learn by doing. They do not learn by doing what M$ wants them to do.

      A teachable moment with GNU/Linux happened in my classroom yesterday. My students have seen the inner workings of a PC, installed GNU/Linux and used GNU/Linux since school began.

  • Server

    • Current Operating Systems May Only Make Sense Up To 48 Cores

      MIT’s Frans Kaashoek has provided some clues and said that current operating systems, especially Linux can scale to take advantage of multiple cores with minor modifications to the underlying OS code. He and his team simulated a 48-core chip through an 8 x 6 core setup and monitored the performance change when cores were activated one by one. “At some point, the addition of extra cores began slowing the system down rather than speeding it up.” The explanation is that multiple cores often do redundant work and process the same data, which needs to be kept in the chip’s memory for that time. As long as the memory is used, it is not available for other tasks and a performance bottleneck is the result: When the number of cores increases, tasks that depend on the same data get split up into smaller and smaller chunks.

    • Multicore may not be so scary

      Research suggests that the free operating system Linux will keep up with the addition of more ‘cores,’ or processing units, to computer chips.

  • Applications

    • Hotot Twitter application gets a Daily Build PPA for Ubuntu users

      Users of the visually impressive Twitter application ‘Hotot’ may wish to add the projects’ daily-build PPA to automatically gain the latest features and fixes as the app strides towards a stable release.

    • Novacut distributed video editor has 40 hours left to reach reality

      Time is running out for an innovative new video editor inspired by collaborative distribution tools like bzr and git to gather enough ‘crowd-sourced’ funding to make it into reality.

    • CLI Companion Makes It Easier To Use The Terminal

      CLI Companion is a tool aimed at making the terminal easier to use: it’s a GUI that displays a list of commands and an embedded terminal under it. The application comes with a list of commonly used commands by default, each having a short description and if you want to find out more about a certain command, simply right click it and select “Help”. This will display the “man” (manual) for the selected command.

    • Penguin in the picture: top video editors for Linux fans

      When it comes to video editing platforms, Windows and Mac own the field. They run the software from Adobe, Apple, and Avid that’s preferred by professionals, and most –including all Windows machines – come with free, basic editing software for everybody else.

      In my third piece on how media and storage applications for Linux – and particularly Ubuntu – compare, I’ll be looking at how Linux stacks up against Windows and OS X in what seems a closed race.

    • Simple Scan: Linux Finally has a Scanner Anyone could Use

      Sometimes we don’t change our habits even when we have the opportunty to make our lives easier. At least it’s true of me in terms of scanning after upgrading to Ubuntu Lynx (10.04). I don’t know why, but even though I saw that extra possibilitiy in the menu when I needed to scan, I continued using SANE — good, but a bit complicated.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Primal Carnage Says Goodbye To Unigine

        The only problem is we have yet to see a Linux client make a premiere yet for any title using the Unreal Engine 3. We will not see that until Valve’s Steam Client makes a premiere on Linux in the coming months. At that point, it’s a matter of whether a Linux version of Primal Carnage for Linux is actually released. Unreal Tournament 3 for Linux has still not been released, or will it likely ever be.

      • Pioneers – a strategy board game for Ubuntu
  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • The Ideal Linux Distribution, As I See It

      The ideal candidates for this are PCLinuxOS and Linux Mint “Debian”; both are rolling-release distributions but test their packages extensively to ensure the stability and high quality of the packages. Both include Mozilla Firefox, but only Linux Mint “Debian” offers OpenOffice.org. Both include graphical package managers and most proprietary codecs (out-of-the-box). Finally, both have excellent support for mice, webcams, and printers. As PCLinuxOS doesn’t have OpenOffice.org, I’m going to continue with just Linux Mint “Debian”.

    • In praise of floppies

      Are you a Linux guru? Do you want to be a Linux guru? You’ll dazzle them at your Linux guru job interview by mentioning that you always install grub to a floppy, so your computer is unbootable without it. It’s like a primitive boot lock!

    • Reviews

      • Salix OS Live 13.1.1 LXDE

        Salix OS is a distro based on Slackware. Slackware, as you probably already know, has not had a reputation as being the easiest distro to use. Salix OS makes Slackware accessible to more users by making it easier to install, configure and manage. You can get Salix OS with the Xfce or LXDE desktop environments. For this review, I decided to use the LXDE version of Salix OS.

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Reports: Red Hat eyeing Austin among cities for possible new headquarters

        Red Hat Inc., a leading provider of Linux software, is looking at Austin among other cities as it considers possibly moving its headquarters from Raleigh, N.C., according to news reports and Raleigh’s mayor.

        Mayor Charles Meeker said Wednesday that Red Hat reportedly is looking at cities including Austin, Atlanta and Boston as it evaluates its need for additional space. It now occupies more than 188,000 square feet at its headquarters at North Carolina State University’s Centennial Campus, the Raleigh News & Observer reported Tuesday.

        “They’re a prominent company headquartered here, and naturally we’d like to see them stay,” Meeker said.

        Red Hat reported revenue of $748 million last year. It has 3,400 employees worldwide, including more than 600 in Raleigh. The company also has 65 offices around the world, including one in Austin on MoPac Boulevard (Loop 1).

      • Software-maker Red Hat considers Austin HQ

        Software company Red Hat Inc. is eyeing Austin for a possible headquarters move, potentially bringing hundreds of white-collar jobs.

      • Red Hat Linux is Mad Money

        He clearly understood that Red Hat doesn’t sell software license, they sell the support and services around the software. Whitehurst explained that the Open Source business model is about providing the mission critical support and reliability that big companies need.
        At one point, Cramer asked why Red Hat isn’t selling him Linux for his desktop. Whitehurst’s response was classic – desktop users are used to the Blue Screen of Death and don’t need mission critical support.

      • Sitting at the intersection of brand and culture

        But my experience running People & Brand at Red Hat has shown me there are endless opportunities to better connect HR and brand efforts within organizations. If making an organizational change is out of the question, I’d definitely recommend getting the HR and brand groups together to look for additional opportunities to collaborate.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora ♥’s Python 3

          Awhile ago Dave Malcolm transferred to the Fedora team inside Red Hat to sort out the issues looming with the Python stack within our distribution. Red Hat and Fedora has always been huge admirers of the Python programming language, using it to build a large part of our tools and infrastructure. When the opportunity arrived to build an operating system that children could tinker with and customise, we decided to base the application and desktop layer on top of Python – a tradition SugarLabs continued when they took over the development of Sugar.

          Because we value the huge benefits Python has brought to Fedora and Linux, it isn’t enough for us to simply build on top of a great system. We feel the infrastructure and Python upstream communities themselves are worthy of investing in and have taken an active role in helping to port and maintain a number of Python 3 modules.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu font set as default for Ubuntu 10.10

          Ubuntu’s newly designed font, the work of typographers Dalton Maag, will indeed be used as the default desktop font in Ubuntu 10.10.

          Whilst the new font will only be used in the interface of the desktop, with it being held back as the default for documents and the Terminal, it will certainly make a wonderful first impression on Ubuntu users – both new and old.

        • Fingerprint Reader from Validity Inc. getting official Ubuntu support

          OMG! reader Tobias Knight faced such a situation with a fingerprint reader made by Validity Inc. With the open-source driver on-hold, and wanting to make use of the device, he asked Validity Inc. whether they had any plans to provide support for Ubuntu users of their devices.

          They replied with some good news: -

          “We plan to release Ubuntu support package by the end of the year. It will include proprietary sensor daemon with sample for fprint. We do not have plans for Fedora, but the same package might work (no guarantee).”

        • Ubuntu on ARM, the best since sliced bread !!

          Have you already heard about the new shiny TI OMAP4 CPU ? If you haven’t yet and are interested in ARM stuff you surely will very soon. Ubuntu will additionally to the already known OMAP3 images release images for the OMAP4 architecture with the 10.10 Maverick release.

        • ‘Party the real way for Ubuntu 10.10’ says Vancouver LoCo team

          “Don’t Call It A ‘Party’ If It’s Not!” yells the catchy slogan from the Ubuntu Vancouver LoCo team in their promotional call-to-arms for celebrating Ubuntu 10.10’s release next month.

        • Ubuntu 10.10 beta preview

          Perhaps the most important evolution is the updated Ubuntu Software Center. The application store now has more than just free software, and installation of third party applications is just as easy as Apple’s App Store or Google’s Android Market. The changes from 10.04 are subtle but it’s easy to see that the Ubuntu Software Center could become a major selling point and a money-spinner for Canonical.

          There are the usual accoutrements of updates to the kernel and applications software such as browsers, productivity applications, social networking clients and media players. Ubuntu One, the cloud based storage system that is in public beta, has been intertwined more deeply within the operating system, allowing users to backup folders with a simple right click.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • Tuxrace for the Nokia N900

          A top speed of 75km/h, 3D, a good object to use and an objective, its called Tuxrace! It is compatible with your Nokia N900. Use a penguin to catch each fish with many different levels. The sliding penguins name is Tux. That is the origin of the name of the game.

      • Android

        • Some Android apps caught covertly sending GPS data to advertisers

          They used TaintDroid to test 30 popular free Android applications selected at random from the Android market and found that half were sending private information to advertising servers, including the user’s location and phone number. In some cases, they found that applications were relaying GPS coordinates to remote advertising network servers as frequently as every 30 seconds, even when not displaying advertisements. These findings raise concern about the extent to which mobile platforms can insulate users from unwanted invasions of privacy.

        • Star Wars DROID R2-D2 Available

          The limited edition DROID R2-D2 will be available online at www.verizonwireless.com and in select Verizon Wireless Communication stores beginning Sept. 30.

          With a graphic design to look like the iconic Astromech Droid from the Star Wars Saga, the DROID R2-D2 by Motorola will be packaged in a custom box resembling carbonite and come with a Star Wars media dock and wired stereo headset. Exclusive content comes pre-loaded on the special edition smartphone, including:

          * R2-D2 notification sounds and ringtones
          * Four live wallpapers
          * R2-D2 Clock Widget
          * “The Best of R2-D2″ video with the original Cantina music
          * Exclusive Binoculars App

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • StopBadware Bay Area Event October 4

      StopBadware is offering an exciting opportunity for anyone in the Bay Area interested in Internet security: Join StopBadware and The Commonwealth Club the evening of Monday, October 4 in Menlo Park, CA, for a discussion on how to keep the Net safe. Three Internet pioneers—all StopBadware Board members—will lead a conversation entitled Keeping the Net Healthy: How Can We Develop an Immune System for the Internet? with opening and closing remarks by StopBadware’s Executive Director, Maxim Weinstein.

    • ICT2010 OFF TO GREAT START
  • Databases

  • Oracle

    • Lustre file system finds life post-Oracle

      Despite reassurances from Oracle, advocates of yet another ex-Sun Microsystems technology are voicing concern about the future of their software. In this latest case, the technology is Lustre, a file system widely used across the supercomputing community.

      “Lustre is in a bit of a flux at the moment. The community feels a little bit that Oracle is turning its back to them, and there is discussion going on over whether or not Oracle is forking the code,” said Brent Gorda, CEO of Whamcloud, a San Francisco-based, venture capital-funded company recently started to service the potential market of HPC (high-performance computing), Linux-based Lustre users.

    • Oracle’s New Kernel: Custom Tuning or Proprietary Lock-In?

      In a year, “my guess is they’ll roll out a new Sun Solaris setup with a nice sticker that says, ‘Optimized for Oracle Database,’ and while they’ll pay lip service to Linux, they will wind down and then kill off their Linux offering,” predicted Slashdot blogger hairyfeet. “And while Linux guys will scream it will make tons of money because it gives a corporation ONE vendor to deal with.”

    • Sun Employees Leaving Oracle In Lockstep

      It has not been easy for Oracle, for as many employees of Sun were supposed to remain, it now is beginning to look as though they are all getting fed up and leaving, perhaps because they were sold a bill of goods, and now they find no merchandise.

      Over at TechEye, the news of two more major players are found to be leaving Oracle as quickly as they can disentangle themselves.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Free Software PDF Readers

      What would you think about a sign on the highway stating “You need a Volkswagen to drive on this road. Contact your Volkswagen dealer for a gratis test drive – Your Government”? When it comes to PDF reading software, many governments do this every day. With the pdfreaders.org campaign we will turn the spotlight on public institutions who behave in this way, exposing how frequently such non-Free advertisements appear.

  • Government

    • UK Open Government Licence removes barriers to re-use of public sector information

      Launched today by the National Archives, a new UK Open Government Licence (UK OGL) is said to remove many of the existing barriers to re-use of government held information. The new licence is claimed to be simple. flexible and compatible with other recognised licensing models such as the Creative Commons licence.

      The UK OGL will be applicable across the entire public sector throughout England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Replacing the existing Click-Use Licence it will enable the free re-use of a broad range of public sector information, including Crown Copyright, databases and source code. Users will not be required to register or formally apply for permission to re-use data.

    • Pirate Bay User Database Exploited By Spammers

      A large number of The Pirate Bay users have received an email, allegedly from the site’s operators, inviting them to join the private BitTorrent tracker Demunoid. The Pirate Bay team has distanced itself from the senders, but it remains a mystery how the spammers gained access to the site’s user database.

    • Access Copyright Strikes Back re Status of 99 of 101 Objectors

      Here’s an update on the Access Copyright (“AC”) proposed tariff that would, if approved, result in a cost if about $60 million a year to the Canadian post-secondary educational sector. There is no such mechanism in place in the USA, where much of the money collected will inevitably end up.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Transparency, participation, and collaboration: The distinguishing principles of open source

      Collaboration is about collective engagement for the common good and is the fastest route to open source project success. If an open source project is a neighborhood, then collaboration is the barn raising. Distinguishing this from “participation,” collaboration is about helping others in the community because doing so advances the project and its usefulness for everyone.

      My favorite example of collaboration is knowledge sharing through forums, blogs, and idea exchanges (in some circles, called ideagoras). On JasperForge, Jaspersoft’s open source community web site, there are more than 160,000 registered members who have collectively offered nearly 80,000 forum entries across all the listed top-level projects. The variety of questions and issues being addressed by and for community members within the forums is staggering. And, the vibrancy that emerges through this exchange of skill is core to large-scale community success.

    • South Africa welcomes POSSE

      One of the most important programs at Teaching Open Source is the Professors’ Open Source Summer Experience (POSSE). POSSE is a weeklong bootcamp that gets professors and POSSE instructors productively lost. The idea is to help educators understand how to include being productively lost in their curriculum.

      Being lost is a special state in open source projects. Although we discuss the open source way of doing things and most of us seem to practice similar techniques, the actual navigation within a project is always unique. Getting a first patch accepted for even a small bug involves the issue/bug tracker, coding practices, patch submission processes, and at least a few rounds of human interaction with people in different roles and different timezones. The same is true for any contribution, from documentation to translation.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • WebP, a new image format for the Web

      As part of Google’s initiative to make the web faster, over the past few months we have released a number of tools to help site owners speed up their websites. We launched the Page Speed Firefox extension to evaluate the performance of web pages and to get suggestions on how to improve them, we introduced the Speed Tracer Chrome extension to help identify and fix performance problems in web applications, and we released a set of closure tools to help build rich web applications with fully optimized JavaScript code. While these tools have been incredibly successful in helping developers optimize their sites, as we’ve evaluated our progress, we continue to notice a single component of web pages is consistently responsible for the majority of the latency on pages across the web: images.

      Most of the common image formats on the web today were established over a decade ago and are based on technology from around that time. Some engineers at Google decided to figure out if there was a way to further compress lossy images like JPEG to make them load faster, while still preserving quality and resolution. As part of this effort, we are releasing a developer preview of a new image format, WebP, that promises to significantly reduce the byte size of photos on the web, allowing web sites to load faster than before.

Leftovers

  • Coalition Movement Camp work party set for 10/10/10

    You’ve seen the film, Coalition of the Willing and perhaps read the opensource.com interview. On October 10, 2010, Coalition of the Willing launches the second phase of the Coalition project: the Coalition Movement Camp 10/10/10 Work Party — a flash mob development party for the climate movement. This is your opportunity to log on, converge, and swarm!

  • Science

    • Levitating graphene is fastest-spinning object ever

      A flake of exotic carbon a few atoms thick has claimed a record: the speck has been spun faster than any other object, at a clip of 60 million rotations per minute.

      Graphite is made of stacks of carbon sheets. Separate these, and the result is graphene, which shows a suite of novel properties, including incredible strength.

      Bruce Kane at the University of Maryland in College Park sprayed charged graphene flakes a micrometre wide into a vacuum chamber. Once there, oscillating electric fields trapped the flakes in mid-air.

  • Security

  • Finance

    • Bailout Not Over, Taxpayers Still Owed $2 Trillion In Federal Reserve Loans and TARP Program Funds

      While it is true that many TARP bailout programs have ended, Center for Media and Democracy research shows that money is still due to taxpayers under the TARP. More importantly, the research shows that the U.S. Treasury Department’s ten TARP programs represent less than seven percent of the $4.7 trillion disbursed by the U.S. government in an effort to aid the financial services industry. Far more money has been disbursed by the Federal Reserve to prop up the financial system than by the U.S. Treasury, and those loans are still outstanding.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Democracy After Citizens United

      Lawrence Lessig argues that the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission will lead to further corruption of Congress by making legislators more dependent on special interests rather than on voters. Allison R. Hayward, John Bonifaz, and Gabriel Lenz join the discussion. Moderated by Stephen Ansolabehere, Professor of Political Science at Harvard University.

    • US demands right to snoop the world

      No sooner does the world agree to one request from US law enforcers for the right to snoop on its citizens than they are back with yet more demands. This week, however, the US may finally have pushed too far: the EU is not happy – and it is pushing back.

      First up is the news that, little over a month since signing up to the Swift agreement that both enables and restricts the US’ right to collect information about bank transfers in and out of the United States, the Obama administration has unilaterally decided to tear up the agreement and claim the right to monitor any and every financial transaction, whether it can show good cause or not.
      Click here to find out more!

    • Thursday’s security advisories

      Translation: The Senate Judiciary Committee won’t be considering the dangerously flawed “Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act” (COICA) bill until after the midterm elections, at least.

      This is a real victory! The entertainment industry and their allies in Congress had hoped this bill would be quickly approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee with no debate before the Senators went home for the October recess.

    • Wiretapping the Internet

      The government wants to force companies to redesign their communications systems and information networks to facilitate surveillance, and to provide law enforcement with back doors that enable them to bypass any security measures.

      The proposal may seem extreme, but — unfortunately — it’s not unique. Just a few months ago, the governments of the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and India threatened to ban BlackBerry devices unless the company made eavesdropping easier. China has already built a massive internet surveillance system to better control its citizens.

    • “Piracy” & Privacy – Can the UK ever get it right?

      What a great place the UK is for Web users. We have reports of law firms making “requests” for information about accounts alleged to be downloading pornography with personal details linked to that pornography leaked on the Web. Phorm with its Webwise allegedly snooping in on your browsing usage for directed advertising and the DEB looming on the horizon…..what a lovely picture of “Digital Britain”.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Public consultation on the open internet and net neutrality

      DG Information Society and Media has launched a public consultation on key questions arising from the issue of net neutrality. European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes, announced in April 2010 her intention to launch this consultation in order to take forward Europe’s net neutrality debate. The consultation is part of the Commission’s follow-up to its commitment – one of the prerequisites for the successful conclusion of the 2009 EU telecoms reform package – to scrutinise closely the open and neutral nature of the internet and to report on the state of play to the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

Clip of the Day

Laurent Guerby – “The GCC Compile Farm”


Links 30/9/2010: GNU/Linux Growth in Data Centres, XtreemOS Opening Up

Posted in News Roundup at 11:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 116
  • Windows users face as many choices as Linux users

    When I want to install Windows or Linux, I can opt for support by a company, or not. If I want support for Windows, I have to buy it from Microsoft or one of their resellers. When I want support for Linux, I have to buy it from RedHat, Novell, Oracle or Canonical.

    When defining a distribution as a ‘collection of software’, Microsoft offers different distributions of Windows for different goals. Microsoft offers ten different Windows distributions for servers, called Windows 2008, and six distributions for desktops, called ’7′. If I want, I can still buy the older six distributions of Windows Vista.

    Those distributions are aimed at different needs: Microsoft has a software collection for netbooks, another for developing countries, one for enthusiasts and small businesses, one for the family, one distribution with all those features included, and one for large enterprises – which has its own distribution channel. Because of a requirement of the EU, all those have a distribution with or without Windows Media Player. The cheaper versions have different distributions per language.

    Looking at corporate backed Linux, the situation is not that different: There are different distributions for different goals. The only difference is, there are more companies to buy from if you want ‘enterprise Linux’. When it comes to ‘consumer Linux’, not so much, Canonical seems about the only choice, now Mandriva seems fading and Linspire disappeared. Most Linux distributions include all languages and a media player, leading to less choices to be made.

  • Real Men Run Linux (and not Windows)

    Last Wednesday was The Day. IE9 had me convinced that it was time to finally leave Vista behind and move to Windows 7, ignoring the iron rule that you should never change a running (Windows) system. I got what I deserved: A failed Windows 7 upgrade that destroyed my Vista installation, a screwed up hard drive with new partitions and useless support from Microsoft. Having spent more than 40 hours to restore my PC, once again, I am ready to leave my wimpy self behind. It is time to switch to Linux.

  • Server

    • Data centres increasing reliability on Linux

      “The penetration of Linux has been going up even in the data centre, and this has been to Dell’s advantage and benefit,” he said. “Linux is replacing Unix based systems with more growth coming from open source.”

      [...]

      “We now see as much as 40 per cent of data centres being built on Linux,” he said. “When you look at cloud computing, you’re seeing higher penetration of software companies which are open source, and I think this trend will only continue.”

    • XtreemOS Consortium Announces Public Access to Open Test Bed

      The XtreemOS consortium, an FP6 European research project, funded in part by the European Commission, is pleased to announce the opening of a publicly accessible test bed.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Download Faenza Icon Theme For KDE4

        KDE4 users will be glad to know that the gorgeous Faenza icons theme has been ported to KDE4. Unfortunately since this pack is not supported by Thieum (the original Faenza icon theme author), the package is not available in the Equinox PPA – but that shouldn’t be such a big issue since the icons are very easy to install.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME 2.32 released

        The GNOME development team has released version 2.32 of the GNOME desktop for GNU / Linux and Unix. It includes numerous bug fixes, but relatively few significant new features because many GNOME developers have moved on to working on GNOME 3. Version 3 of GNOME was originally scheduled for release about now, but in July the release date was put back by six months to April 2011 because the GNOME release team felt it wasn’t sufficiently mature.

      • Celebrating the release of GNOME 2.32!
  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Is Red Hat Just Too Red Hot?

        “When it comes to tech,” Cramer said Tuesday, “value destruction is far more important than value creation.”

        [...]

        Of course, you may wonder how Red Hat makes its money given that open-source software is free for anyone to use. Well, it earns revenues through services. Any system, open source or not, needs maintenance and that’s where Red Hat comes in. The company presently controls 75% of the pay-for-support Linux market, but has also used acquisitions to move into virtualization, consulting, middleware and storage-infrastructure software, expanding its addressable market to $50 billion.

      • Red Hat: The New Big Monopoly?

        First, I think it’s misleading (at best) to say these companies are “stealing” Linux. How is what they are doing any different from what Canonical, Novell, and Red Hat do to Linux? Are they also “stealing” Linux to make their own distribution? I feel like this is the point of free software — allowing anyone to build customized versions of software to fit their own needs; good for Oracle and Amazon for taking full advantage of the benefits of Linux and free software. I don’t think Oracle and Amazon are going to prevent loading other Linux distributions; it’s just that the bundled distribution will be Oracle Linux or Amazon Linux AMI, as opposed to Microsoft Windows or Ubuntu.

      • Mad Money goes up close, personal with Red Hat CEO
      • Fedora

        • Fedora 14 beta takes MeeGo for a spin

          This release will also see the expansion of Fedora’s netbook “spin” – as the Fedora project calls them – integrating MeeGo for mobile devices. For most users that means netbooks, though MeeGo is designed to support multiple platforms – think in-dash car systems, handsets and more.

        • Security features of Linpus Lite 1.4

          Linpus Lite 1.4 is the latest update to the Linux distribution published by Linpus Technologies, Inc. of Taipei, Taiwan. Though designed for use on netbooks and low-power computers, it is one of the best distributions that I have reviewed for publication on this website. It boots up real fast and shuts down even faster. It features a slick installation program (see the screenshots) and a Simple Mode interface that would make it an ideal distribution for tablet computers.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Release Candidate Is Out – See What’s New!

          Ubuntu 10.10 Release Candidate has just been released. There aren’t too many visual changes since the beta version (most of the visual changes happened before the beta so see THIS post), but there are a few things worth mentioning. Read on to see what’s new in Ubuntu 10.10 Release Candidate (since Ubuntu 10.10 beta)!

        • Ubuntu developing open source font family

          In his blog Tuesday, Ubuntu creator and lead developer Mark Shuttleworth announced the publishing of the first source code for Ubuntu — the font — and revealed plans for an entire open source font family.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Linux Mint: the tastier Ubuntu

            So what’s the bottom line on Linux Mint? Actually, I like it a lot! So much so that I just might decide to blow away my main desktop’s long-standing Ubuntu OS in favor of a tasty new Linux Mint alternative.

          • The Gaia ’10 Linux Desktop

            Reader gabriela2400′s desktop uses the Gaia customization set to completely revamp the Linux interface into a beautiful work of art, complete with wallpapers, icons, and a custom GTK theme.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Minimalist kiosk distro revs to Ubuntu 10.04 foundation

      Linutop released version 4.0 of a Ubuntu Linux-based distro optimized for kiosk applications on small, energy-efficient fanless PCs, including legacy 386-based PCs and the company’s own mini-PCs. Linutop OS 4.0 is based on Ubuntu 10.04 (“Lucid Lynx”), has a 700MB footprint, is available in a bootable USB key, and offers a variety of display and security features, says the company.

    • Vision control PC supports six IP video cameras

      Lanner announced an Atom-based PC that supports up to six IP video cameras and is designed for vision control applications. Featuring a separate Ethernet controller for each port, the LEC-2026 runs fanlessly, supports either hard disk or CompactFlash storage, and has connectors for both a VGA monitor and a serial console, the company says.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Life-sized robotic android running Android

          Check out this fantastic life-sized robotic RIC Android from RT Corporation and Brilliant Service. The arms and head are controllable, walks on two legs, and can be controlled via an Android smartphone

Free Software/Open Source

  • Teambox is an Open Source, Social Network-Influenced Online Project Management App

    Teambox is a neat online project management app that integrates what works with social networking to try to make a more enjoyable and effective collaborative experience. Plus it’s open source, so you can fully customize it, too.

    While the idea of bringing a Twitter-like experience into a working environment doesn’t really sound too appealing at first, it’s actually a more speed-appropriate channel for communication (which we like). It’s good for reducing email volume, plus project communication is heavily status updates anyhow. While I found the idea off-putting at first, it really looks to be an effective means of communication in the workplace.

  • Events

    • Open World Forum opens with optimism

      The Open World Forum began this morning in Paris with several keynotes that were universally optimistic about the future of open source and the importance of openness.

  • Web Browsers

  • Databases

    • Couchapp Walkthrough: Part 2: The couchapp tool
    • MySQL fork Drizzle goes beta

      With the release of Build 1802, Drizzle, the community driven fork of MySQL, is now officially “beta” software. The new version includes an enhanced version of drizzledump which can now be used to migrate databases from MySQL to Drizzle without any intermediate files. When connected to a Drizzle server it will perform a normal dump, but it it detects a MySQL server it converts all structures and data into a Drizzle compatible format which can be sent directly to a Drizzle server.

      Other improvements in what is officially referred to as Drizzle7, include the introduction of Sphinx based documentation and the ability for the Drizzle server to understand MySQL’s network protocol, which should allow MySQL applications to run with Drizzle with only minor changes. The current development work is expected to be completed in February 2011.

  • Oracle

    • Everyone but Oracle demands Java independence

      Earlier this month, the Java Community Process (JCP) – the only body with the power to ratify and approve changes to Java – passed a resolution calling on Oracle to spin the group out as an as a independent, vendor-neutral body where all members are equal. In 2007, Oracle itself called for such a spin-out, and this month’s resolution insists that Oracle live up to its three-year-old proclamation.

  • Blender/Video/Graphics

    • Online film release: September 30

      Well you never know… Amsterdam can flood or so. But we target at next week thursday for spreading our film online! Work on the DVD with the loads of extras still continues, when this goes to be duplicated I’ll notify you!

    • OpenShot bug suggests UI redesign
    • Novacut – FLOSS ideals for Video editing

      Why am I excited about this and telling you about it (and aside from them seeking donations via Kickstarter)? Because in their video (embedded below) they sold me with the promise that not only will artists be able to share their final product, but Novacut will also allow others to see the process that the creator took to make that product. In effect, the source files of the video. We have this for code, most definitely. We also are starting to have this more often for music with people uploading the individual tracks to community sites like ccmixter.org. But aside from really awesome projects like the Blender Foundation, there isn’t much of this for the video world.

    • Inkscape is finalist of Open Source Awards 2010

      Packt Publishing announced finalists of the Open Source Awards 2010, and Inkscape is among them in the Open Source Graphics Software category! Voting for the winner among finalists started this Monday and will last till November 5.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Richard Stallman and the free software movement

      Richard Stallman is something of a legend in the global software community. In 1983 he created the free software movement, through which highly trained and often highly paid professionals give their time to producing software for the public good.

      The movement produced the GNU operating system, a free alternative to proprietary software such as the Microsoft or Apple operating systems. GNU is a both a humorous “recursive acronym” standing for “GNU is Not Unix”, and the animal mascot of the GNU system and GNU Project.

    • Quillen: The curse of Ref. A

      In the fall of 2003, I was getting comfortable with GNU/Linux after ditching Microsoft Windows because I was sick of the Blue Screen of Death. In Linux, I found many new programs to play with, among them one called “wget,” which would fetch the entire contents of a website and store it on my computer.

    • Free Form: Free Software News for September 29th 2010
  • Government

    • UK.gov refines pub sector software code, database re-use licence

      UK public sector workers have been handed a new Open Government licence this morning from The National Archives office that allows easier re-use of some gov data.

      It is interoperable with the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) licence, but it also comes loaded with a number of restrictions.

      Public sector employees throughout Blighty can use the licence, which covers databases and software source codes to copy, publish and distribute information. Data can additionally be adapted and “exploited” commercially, said The National Archives office.

Leftovers

  • Late Night Frustrations

    I use Evolution as my mail/contacts/calendar/task manager. About three days ago my outgoing email stopped working. I could access the incoming email, but all outgoing email simply stayed in the outbox of Evolution. When I tried to schedule the email for delivery, dialog boxes would come up telling me that my smtp server was denying access. Almost simultaneously I saw a brief tweet from my ISP mentioning that they were “working on a problem” (but no real description of the problem), so at first I thought the issue was with the ISP.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • UK to Europe: Trees Not Tricks!
    • Earth-Like Planet Can Sustain Life

      A new member in a family of planets circling a red dwarf star 20 light-years away has just been found. It’s called Gliese 581g, and the ‘g’ may very well stand for Goldilocks.

      Gliese 581g is the first world discovered beyond Earth that’s the right size and location for life.

      “Personally, given the ubiquity and propensity of life to flourish wherever it can, I would say that the chances for life on this planet are 100 percent. I have almost no doubt about it,” Steven Vogt, professor of astronomy and astrophysics at University of California Santa Cruz, told Discovery News.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Singer imprisoned for publishing “subversive songs”

      ‘Torture Without Trace’ was banned by Chinese authorities in central Henan province in November 2009 after 3,000–5,000 copies of the album had already been sold within a month after its October-2009-release in the Amdo region of eastern Tibet. A member of the Henan Mongolian Autonomous Region Arts Troupe, Tashi Dondrup is a popular music star in the region.

    • Privacy Is Ultimately about Liberty While Surveillance Is Always about Control

      Speaking on behalf of the GNU Telephony project, we do intend to openly challenge and defy any such a law should it actually come to pass, so I want to be very clear on this statement. It is not simply that we will choose to publicly defy the imposition of such an illegitimate law, but that we will explicitly continue to publicly develop and distribute free software (that is software that offers the freedom to use, inspect, and modify) enabling secure peer-to-peer communication privacy through encryption that is made available directly to anyone worldwide. Clearly such software is especially needed in those places, such as in the United States, where basic human freedoms and personal dignity seem most threatened at present.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Putting the EU in (Net) Neutrality

      The deadline is 30 September, and the address for submitting comments is mailto:INFSO-NETNEUTRALITY@ec.europa.eu. The document also asks for “the name of a contact person in your organisation for any questions on your contribution .”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Internet Access And Human Rights Highlighted Alongside UN Human Rights Council

      Can the digital environment be used in a way that promotes real human rights? A group of activists speaking yesterday alongside the ongoing UN Human Rights Council believes that it can, and provided several examples of work they are doing to make that happen.

      The internet can facilitate community building, and help coordinate the activities of human rights activists, speakers said. But there are dangers. There is a new action before the European Parliament that would challenge anonymity online, which demonstrates the risk that new technologies could become new tools in the hands of governments in order to control, rather than to encourage more participation, said Marco Perduca, a member of the Italian Senate for the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational & Transparty.

    • Trademark Rights for Sound Recordings

      Recently, the USPTO issued a trademark registration certificate for his “sensory mark.” The mark consists of a sixteen-second musical introduction that Oppedahl uses for his recorded lectures on patent law practice.

      [...]

      The USPTO has registered a number of sound marks, including the NBC chimes in 1972. Harley Davidson eventually withdrew its application to register a mark on the sound made by the roar of its V-Twin engine.

    • Copyrights

      • Guest column: Copyright is no justification for digital locks

        Many creators start with views similar to what Stephen Ellis wrote in this space on Friday. While some retain this naive view, others take the time to learn how the technology in question works. They change their views once they speak with independent technical people, and go through the legal and economic analysis of real-world technology. Far from digital locks protecting copyright, they are the greatest threat to copyright and the interests of creators.

        I will not speak about audiences of copyrighted works. I am a creators’ rights activist trying to protect the interests of fellow creators, and oppose the C-32 digital locks based on this. The fact that digital locks also harm the interests of consumers is in addition to its harm to creators, not a matter of allegedly balancing the interests of one over the other.

      • Cmec Copyright Consortium Pursues Legal Option On Fair Dealing Rights For Students In Canadian Schools

        The Copyright Consortium of the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC), is appealing the July decision of the Federal Court of Appeal upholding the Copyright Board of Canada’s photocopying tariff for K-12 educational institutions. This decision establishes a narrow interpretation of “fair dealing” in the federal Copyright Act as it pertains to making copies of learning materials for distribution to students.

      • The Pirate Bay Appeal Day 2: Lost Sales

        The Pirate Bay appeal is moving forward faster than expected. On the second day representatives for the music and movie industries talked about lost sales and revenues they claim can be attributed to The Pirate Bay. In addition, the prosecution uncovered ad sales and money trails to portray The Pirate Bay as a commercial organization.

      • ACTA

        • ACTA Negotiators ‘Meeting’ With Consumer Advocates Involved ‘Negotiators Eating With Negotiators’

          We already discussed how ACTA negotiators last week announced the timing of a “meeting” lunch for negotiators with consumer rights groups in such a way that it was impossible for most of those groups to attend, and then the negotiators refused to reschedule to a more convenient time. Of course, some people were able to make it, and their reports suggest that ACTA negotiators never really intended to talk to consumer rights groups in the first place…

Clip of the Day

“The GNU Record Utilities”


Credit: TinyOgg

09.29.10

Links 29/9/2010: GNOME 2.32, Fedora 14 Analyses

Posted in News Roundup at 6:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux in Schools

    France’s Gendarmerie Nationale, the national police force, is in the process of switching its 90,000 workstations to Ubuntu Linux.

    [...]

    In 2006, the Kamloops School District started its journey into Linux at the Barriere Secondary School when the principal, Dean Coder, switched the entire school over to Linux. After the success of that pilot project the school district had difficulty keeping up with the demand from schools to help them switch. In September 2009, the transition was largely complete throughout the school district.

    [...]

    Linux is no longer a fringe operating system, but has widespread adoption at the high end of the market with organizations and companies at the leading edge of science and technology. Students who learn Linux may find a substantial advantage in job opportunities compared to those trained in Windows only.

    Schools can benefit by lower costs. In these days of tight education budgets, money saved on computers can be put toward special programs, teachers and assistants, or reduced school fees.

  • Desktop

    • Loss Leaders and Linux

      This also highlights what I believe to be the single biggest factor which limits widespread adoption of Linux on the consumer desktop: the lack of preloaded systems in retail stores. Yes, you can order a system with Linux preloaded from Dell or from Linux boutique vendors like System76, ZaReason or LinPC.us and that probably has helped with the growth of Linux desktop market share a little. However, until Linux systems are available side by side with Windows systems and are price competitive with Windows systems, including loss leaders, I don’t see how Microsoft’s hold on at least 80% of the market is going to be broken. This is particularly galling when systems that are sold with Windows perform so poorly when compared with the same system running Linux.

  • Server

    • Tesla GPUs Come to IBM BladeCenter

      I think the most significant announcement at this year’s GPU Technology Conference was the one that didn’t get a press release. You have to forgive IBM, as they had a lot of Deep Things going on, I guess, but this is a big deal; Tesla M2070 GPUs are coming to BladeCenter.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME 2.32 Release Notes

        GNOME 2.32 is the latest version of the GNOME Desktop: a popular, multi-platform desktop environment for your computer. GNOME’s focus is ease of use, stability and first-class internationalisation and accessibility support. GNOME is Free and Open Source Software and provides all of the common tools computer users expect of a modern computing environment, such as e-mail, groupware, web browsing, file management, multimedia, and games. Furthermore, GNOME provides a flexible and powerful platform for software developers, both on the desktop and in mobile applications.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 14 Preview: What’s New in Fedora 14?

          Fedora 14 is on track for a final release date of November 02, 2010. If all 14 does is improve upon 13, Fedora will have another winner on its hands. Why? Fedora 13 was one of the strongest releases the Red Hat sandbox has had in a while. And with what Fedora 14 has under and above its hood, the next release should up the ante yet again for the Fedora distribution.

        • Spicy Fedora 14 Adds New Linux Flavor

          One new feature that desktop users may benefit from is the SPICE virtualization support included in Fedora 14. SPICE, the Simple Protocol for Independent Computing Environment, is technology that Red Hat gained as part of its acquisition of Qumranet in 2008.

        • Fedora 14 adds MeeGo — and spiced-up virtualization

          The Fedora Project announced the Beta release of “Fedora 14 “Laughlin,” featuring faster JPEG downloads and MeeGo 1.0 for Netbooks. The Fedora 14 Beta also adds improved debugging and IPMI server management, and debuts the “Spice” virtualization desktop framework and “Systemd” management technology for faster start-ups.

    • Debian Family

      • Quick Impressions – Linux Mint Debian

        Linux Mint is exploring the “Rolling Distro” route.

        Recently they launched Linux Mint Debian Edition, or LMDE. I took some time to play with it, waiting for a proper time to do a full install and review.

        My impressions so far are largely positive though…

        [...]

        In short, I think that LMDE is a good direction for Linux mint, should they decide to go this direction. I believe that the six month upgrade cycle is beginning to irk some Ubuntu users, and a rolling distro can be a solution to the upgrade cycle.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • What is Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud?
        • Ubuntu 10.10 Preview: Steady Progress for Maverick

          Maverick Meerkat, the next release of Ubuntu and its official derivatives, is scheduled to hit the Internet in two weeks’ time. When it does, users will find a more polished release that continues Canonical’s five-year trend of providing steady incremental improvements. Ubuntu continues to make small usability changes that push each desktop experience slightly forward without tripping up users, but all most people will notice is a faster, more stable Linux distribution.

          The public release of Maverick is slated for October 10 in order to play off of the day’s binary-like date (10/10/10). ISO images of the beta release are available (via both HTTP and Bittorrent) through ubuntu.com for Ubuntu Desktop, Netbook, and Server, as well as mainline variants such as Kubuntu, Edubuntu, Ubuntu Studio, and several others. I tested the Desktop release for several days, as it is the most commonly-selected option.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • MeeGo Looks Pretty Great On Everyone Else’s Phones

          Just because Nokia’s been slow to deploy MeeGo doesn’t mean the developers over at MeeGo Wiki have to be. They’ve already managed to port the operating system to a Nexus One, Dell Streak, and HTC Desire.

        • MeeGo Gets Ported to Additional Smartphones

          Intel and Nokia have been stingy about showing off official MeeGo hardware, but that hasn’t stopped intrepid members of the MeeGo community from porting the open source mobile OS to other mobile devices.

      • Android

        • Coders tip Google Android for eclipse of the Steve

          Seventy-two per cent of developers believe that Google’s Android is “best positioned to power a large number and variety of connected devices in the future,” whereas only 25 per cent favor Apple’s iOS, according to a new study.

          Appcelerator – the outfit whose Titanium dev kit was recently freed from the threat of Jobsian destruction – has now teamed with tech research mainstay IDC on its regular mobile developer studies, and their first joint effort indicates that although developers are currently more interested in Apple’s platform, they see lots o’ Google in the future.

    • Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • ElastixWorld 2010

      PaloSanto Solutions is pleased to announce that the inaugural ElastixWorld 2010 will take place over two days on November 18-19, 2010 in Quito, Ecuador, and you’re invited!!

      The main objective of this event is to share a common area with community members, hardware vendors, resellers and Elastix users alike, where we can exchange and expand on ideas related to product capabilities, future development and direction, experiences from implementers, feedback from users, and other related topics.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome 60 times faster

      According to its Chromium blog the version 7 of the Chrome browser could get a healthy speed boost.

      Chrome already holds a strong position when it comes to speedy performance so increasing this even more could leave all other browsers in the dust.

    • Mozilla

      • Jetpack 0.8 helps automate web site mashups

        Until recently, if you wanted to automatically modify the display of web site pages when you accessed them, you needed the Greasemonkey extension, but now the latest version of the still-in-development Jetpack, you can do the same with JavaScript. Jetpack 0.8 adds the PageMod API, which allows JavaScript code to be registered for execution when specified pages are loaded. Users can then add their own JavaScript instructions to the registered code to modify the formatting or the colour scheme. More advanced users and developers can add new interactive elements into the page to add functionality to an existing web page.

      • Firefox Never Coming to iPhone

        I a recent blog post on the official Mozilla blog, Prabhakar Raghavan laid out future plans for Firefox Home and in the process put the question of whether the popular open source browser would ever make the jump to the iPhone.

        The blog, titled “Firefox Home — looking to the future,” Raghavan outlined new features for Firefox Home, the cloud-based iOS app that synchronizes bookmarks, passwords, and tabs between Firefox and an iOS device. Some new features mentioned in the post include the ability to share links, reviews, and comments directly with Facebook friends and Twitter followers via Firefox Home.

  • Oracle

    • How Should OpenOffice.org Fix Itself?

      OpenOffice.org has established itself as the free alternative to Microsoft’s Office suite—but not necessarily the better alternative. Now the project heads are breaking off and starting LibreOffice. It’s a great chance to remake the project. So, what should they prioritize?

    • New: OOo-DEV 3.3.x Developer Snapshot (build OOO330m9) available
    • OpenOffice.org 3.3.0 needs QA

      People interested into good quality of OpenOffice.org 3.3 should at least start now to check the current OOO330m9 developer milestone to find show stopper issues. In a few weeks we will start OpenOffice.org’s release candidate phase. Please have a look at the new implemented features.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • The FSF and Project Harmony

      We just published an article about contribution agreements for free software projects from our president Richard Stallman. You should read it if you haven’t already, but put briefly, it makes the point that organizations that collect contribution agreements for free software projects should not make that software proprietary, and recommends you ask for specific language in the contributor agreements you sign to ensure that your code is always available as free software.

  • Project Releases

    • vtiger CRM 5.2.0 released

      The vtiger developers have announced the release of vtiger 5.2.0 with over 50 new features / enhancements and over 350 bug fixes. A popular, community developed Customer Relationship Manager (CRM), vtiger claims over 1.5 million downloads to date and is used by Nokia and the German Postbank, among other corporate customers.

  • Government

    • Estonian Government publishes open source policy

      According to a report on osor.eu, the Open Source Observatory, the government of Estonia has published its policy on open source software. Estonia plans to recommend use of the EUPL for code developed or funded by Estonian public administrations and plans to create a software forge for this software.

    • Calls for action on UK Government Open Source

      Among the other speeches at the event, Glyn Moody’s speech that emphasised that open source and open standards were good for everyone was well received as was Alan Lord of the Open Learning Centre (OLC) who spoke of the challenges faced by small, medium and large organisations implementing Free and Open Source Software.

      The obstacles currently facing advocates of public use of open source are rarely anything to do with the software itself. As Mark Taylor of Sirius IT pointed out in his speech, the top five companies take 80% of the governments IT spending. In the US, this figure is 50% and in the Netherlands as low as 20%. This means that UK Government IT projects is centered around these incumbent companies, who have historically supplied proprietary software.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Fund-raising and self-publishing (the open source way), Part one

      The primary open source graphics offering is a package named Scribus, a desktop publishing tool based on the same Qt framework as KDE, Skype, and LyX. Proprietary equivalents of Scribus are Adobe PageMaker, PagePlus, QuarkXPress and Adobe InDesign. However, Scribus cannot read these formats as developers were concerned with copyright and the complexity of working backwards through the code.

      This program was developed by the Scribus team, a group of programmers who evidently did not promote themselves. The earliest reference on Wikipedia is from 2001, and the nicks of programmers presently maintaining the program were all that could be found through the Scribus website.

    • Open Hardware

      • Arduino launches two new boards

        Open source hardware group, the Arduino Team, has announced two new Arduino micro-controller boards for open source hackers and developers to experiment with. Arduino’s board designs offer a micro-controller with numerous analogue and digital connections and a USB / Serial interface. The board designs are open source and there is a thriving community which uses the boards to create interactive objects and experiment with electronics. Some community members even use the design to build their own version of the Arduino board themselves.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Interested in free video formats? We need your help!

      We’re looking for a few volunteers willing to commit an average of a few hours per week as reliable technical consultants helping people transcode their videos to free formats like WebM and Ogg Theora.

      In particular, we want to provide this assistance for people who record videos of Richard Stallman’s speeches around the world, and other FSF events.

Leftovers

  • Funeral Directors Want To Put Monks In Jail For Offering ‘Unauthorized’ Coffins

    Ah, regulatory capture. Down in Louisiana, there’s a law that makes it a crime (yes, a crime) for anyone other than a funeral parlor to sell “funeral merchandise.” This rule is enforced by the state’s “funeral regulatory board,” which (you guessed it) is mostly dominated by funeral parlor industry insiders. Now, a few years back, you may remember, there was a big Hurricane called Katrina. Among the massive damage done to the state of Louisiana, it also knocked down much of a large forest of pine trees on the property of the Benedictine monks at St. Joseph Abbey. With so many downed pine trees, the monks, in a lemons-into-lemonade type of moment, decided to use the downed trees to make hand-crafted caskets.

  • The Internet Needs a Dewey Decimal System

    I need for people to be able to carry to the library the word processing they’ve done on donated computers to print on our library printers. These $2 flash drives are ideal for that. The fact that these flash drives come with a bootable version of Linux, well, that’s even nicer.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Arresting your customers isn’t the best PR

        One of the great things about the Internet is accessible information. The point is that it is a network of interconnectivity… that’s why it’s called the INTERnet.

        Many people still don’t get this. So sometimes old articles disappear. Which can lead to broken links.

        I just discovered a whole pile of broken links in my ACTA Articles, A.C.T.A. is BAD, errata: A.C.T.A. is BAD and A.C.T.A. is still BAD

        The Chicago Sun Times has removed the articles about Samantha Tumpach, the 22 year old Chicago woman who spent two nights in jail for videorecording her sister’s 29th birthday party.

        [...]

        Statements made by movie company executives in the articles I had linked to indicated they believed this arrest was justified under existing US law (DMCA).

        The Press Association story about the New Moon Director trying to make it up to her is also gone. (Funny how that served to point up the corporate heartlessness.)

        I don’t know whether the articles being expunged is a case of the Chicago Sun-Times not grasping the way the Internet is supposed to work, or if the embarassment factor (the theater chain, the movie company and the laws that allowed the arrest come out of this look very bad) had anything to do with it. Either way, my blog posts are left riddled with broken links as a result. Even the Wayback Machine can’t help (lending credence to the embarassment theory)

Clip of the Day

Mark Shuttleworth in China


Credit: TinyOgg

Links 29/9/2010: Dell to Bring 7-Inch Linux-based Tablet; Mageia Gets a Logo

Posted in News Roundup at 2:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Mocking fortunes

    X windows:

    The ultimate bottleneck.

    Flawed beyond belief.

    The only thing you have to fear.

    Somewhere between chaos and insanity.

    On autopilot to oblivion.

    The joke that kills.

    A disgrace you can be proud of.

    A mistake carried out to perfection.

    Belongs more to the problem set than the solution set.

    To err is X windows.

  • The joy of installing hardware in Linux

    I want to write about the bright side of Linux hardware management and support.

    IS THERE A BRIGHT SIDE?

    Contrary to what many believe, Linux hardware support is superb, which is not the same as saying it supports every single hardware part or device under the sun. This is a key concept that has been misinterpreted (and misused at times).

  • Desktop

    • Chasms and Imagination

      GNU/Linux on the desktop has long ago ceased to be a geek/early-adopter thing. It is being accepted on the mainstream/mom and pop desktop now. That started happening with the netbook. Many millions of netbook users are not geeks and don’t know an OS from an application. They know GNU/Linux works and love it. OEMs have passed up that opportunity in some ways but consumers have not. They have bought GNU/Linux whenever and wherever it has been offered.

    • Uncluttered Minds Do Not Care…

      Chase, Ami and Zeneda are three fairly recent recipients of HeliOS Project computers, ages 12, 13 and 11 respectively.

      When we go into a home to give a child a computer, one of the first things we do is explain to them that we have installed Linux on their computer, not Windows.

      This announcement is usually met with even stares or shrugs.

    • How I converted my Office to Linux

      I use Linux for my TV, notebook, development (work & hobbies), electronics and thin clients.

      [...]

      Im a programmer at heart and although I do a lot of administration at work I try my best to minimise this with the use of technology be it hardware, software or scripts. What we had to start with Mixture of large noisy desktops Running Windows XP 100Mbps 24port switch 6 Staff, with requirements for 10 desktops (display screens, boardroom, casual employee and test computers) Safety net I had many safety nets as I was migrating…

  • Server

    • Dell Servers Certified to Run Ubuntu Server Edition

      It’s a small step for Dell and symbolic victory for Ubuntu Server Edition, Canonical’s Linux distribution. Specifically, selected Dell PowerEdge servers are now certified to run Ubuntu Server Edition. Does that mean Dell is shifting away from Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Novell SUSE Linux? And what are the implications for Linux channel partners?

    • Amazon Web Services unveils PHP tool kit

      Amazon Web Services (AWS) has released a toolkit to make it easier to develop applications in PHP that will run on Amazon’s cloud, the company said on Wednesday.

      Using the AWS SDK for PHP, which works with PHP 5.2 or later versions, developers can build applications that use different parts of Amazon’s cloud, including Simple Storage Service (S3), Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) for computing capacity, and the SimpleDB database.

    • Red Hat KVM Virtualization Powers Banking Startup

      Financial services firm Ganart’s experience with the open source code as the basis for its check cashing kiosks indicates how Red Hat is positioning itself for growth in private clouds.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Harmony brush adoption in Krita: Sketch

        Besides my sponsored work on Krita, I work in my spare time (if I find some) on some new features. I did a thesis about brush painting and I still enjoy this topic. So when I find some new interesting brush, that might be usable, I’m trying to adopt it in Krita as a new brush engine. Few months ago I discovered project Harmony and I liked the brushes there. Especially Sketchy, Shaded, Chrome, Fur and Long Fur. The idea for those brushes comes from concept of connecting neighbour points. The concept was realized first in Scribbler and Harmony was inspired. Then I adopted the Harmony version in Krita.

      • 5 Intriguing KDE Apps

        The beauty of an open development platform is that anyone can take a stab at creating an application. KDE, which is built upon the Qt application and UI framework, is a shining example of this. A quick look at KDE-Apps.org reveals that new apps are added daily. I periodically browse through the latest KDE apps to see if anything stands out, and I found these five, some of which are in early development.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • How will GNOME 3.0 be Received?

        After a week of using GNOME Shell, the preview of GNOME 3.0, on Fedora 13, that is the closest I can come to a prediction about how GNOME’s new desktop will be received when it is officially released in the spring of 2011.

        On the one hand, GNOME Shell is an attractive and easy to use interface that integrates multiple workspaces better than any desktop that I’ve seen. On the other hand, it requires some adjustments in the way you work, and, in its present form, feels inflexible — although part of that inflexibility may be due to features that haven’t been implemented yet.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Spotlight on Linux: SliTaz GNU/Linux 3.0

        In the world of small size distributions, SliTaz is one of the most remarkable. Not only does it have one of the smallest download images, but it can also run on modest hardware while offering graphical applications with familiar interfaces. It’s one of the wonders of the Linux world.

        SliTaz ships as an installable live CD and features an attractively configured OpenBox window environment. Not only is it attractive, but also very familiar. Expected elements are in place on a lower panel such as an application launcher, system tray, task manager, pager, and traditional menu system. With the 30 MB ISO, one might expect only commandline applications, but SliTaz offers graphical applications for many tasks. For example, the Midori Web browser is featured and it offers many of the amenities that other more popular browsers have such as Speed Dial (visual bookmark page), tabs, and Private Browsing. Using the SliTaz Package Manager, get-flash-plugin can be installed to fetch and install Adobe’s Flash Player.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Best of Proposed Mageia Logo

        The Mageia project is a fork of Mandriva Linux. It is a brand new project, announced on September 18, 2010. There is an ongoing discussion about different aspects of the project, and one of those discussion revolves around the project’s logo. There have been some very good and some not so good logos proposed by community members, and what is being presented in this article are some of the proposed logos.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu Software Center will have Zeitgeist Integration in Ubuntu 11.04 ‘Natty Narwhal’

          Ubuntu Software Center will have Zeitgeist integration in Ubuntu 11.04 as announced by Michael Vogt on his blog. Seif Lotfy, from Zeitgeist Developers’ Team proposed the idea of possible integration of Zeitgeist into Ubuntu Software Center.

        • zeitgeist support landed in software-center trunk
        • Googlubuntu Aims To Make Your Linux Mint / (K)Ubuntu Searches More Relevant

          Thanks to a tip from a friend, and the newly redesigned (and much maligned) Digg, a really handy, highly customized search engine was recently brought to our attention named Googlubuntu. How did we miss it? What Googlubuntu is, as you might guess, is a specialized search engine that pries through relevant ‘buntu domains in order to help you get your ‘buntu-fied answers faster – and presumably to weed out the nonsense stuff.

        • Ubuntu 10.10 Beta 1 and a Dell M4500

          My Linux life has been pretty stable and mundane lately (other than a DAVMail outage, mentioned below). The main desktop runs Ubuntu 10.04, and it has been humming along without issue. Every now and then the summer rainstorms come along and pop the mains, and it and its companion PC, a Windows 7 system, crash to the ground. When power returns, the Linux system spins right back up and keeps right on going. The Windows 7 system committed Harikiri a couple weeks ago after one of the power hits, and it was a slow painful process to get it put back together. The office UPS system went to meet its maker a few month back, and I guess I should have replaced it sooner. I did not replace it because I had a new laptop coming, and I was rethinking the need for desktop PC’s at all. Laptops have their own built in UPS’s.

        • mFatOS – A fat Ubuntu

          mFatOS has a few big issues that need to be smoothed out.

          First, there are just too many programs available. I can understand variety and color, but it’s just too much. Adding applications for the sake of adding them does not help the average user. Sometimes, less is more.

          Second, the integration of various elements. Ubuntu logos all over the place, hard-coded repositories for developer’s country, applets in non-English configuration, browser history, GRUB menu layout, all of these are not done with enough care to make it feel professional enough.

          mFatOS joins a long series of quickly remastered Ubuntu forks, including OzOS, MoonOS, Zorin, Ultimate Edition, and some others. Like most of these, the integration of elements is not good enough. The magic is in the little details. Unfortunately, it takes months and months of dedicated work by entire developer teams and can’t be done easily.

          It’s very decent, it works well, it’s fairly suitable for the typical Linux user, and the offline stuff is a blessing for people with bad Internet. However, mFatOS does not have a critical WOW factor. If you’re looking for a heavily loaded distro that has it all, take a look at openSUSE Edu-Li-f-e. You may even want to consider PCLinuxOS. Another suitable choice could be Scientific Linux. Last but not the least, let’s not forget the one true fork of the highly successful Ubuntu family, Linux Mint, which really takes the remastering business to another level.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Tablets

      • Dell to Launch 7-Inch Tablet in Weeks Ahead

        Dell Inc. will launch its seven-inch tablet in the next few weeks and a 10-inch tablet within 6-12 months, Dell Greater China President Amit Midha said Wednesday.

      • Next Up for Netflix: Android Phones and Tablets?

        Now that Netflix has an app on the iPad and the iPhone, it could soon make a push into the Android ecosystem, based on job postings that have cropped up on the company’s website recently. The creation of an Android app could expand Netflix’s addressable audience on consumer electronic devices even further, especially with a group of new Android-based tablets set to launch.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Databases

    • Open Source Databases Have Come of Age

      Client/server systems with SQL interfaces jockey for position against upstart NoSQL systems with intimidating (and exciting) new models for data representation, distribution and consistency. In addition, more than a dozen embedded and special purpose databases have grown up to serve the needs of applications too small or too agile to require a full RDBMS.

  • Oracle

  • Government

  • Licensing

    • The “Free Beer” Hangover

      Changes to the way mailing lists work are nothing new. I am a member of several Yahoo Groups. But I am also a member of a number of Google Groups and a mess of mailing lists running on Mailman. While reading the complaint, I had two thoughts.

      First, I was reminded of comments made by Stormy Peters at LinuxCon this year. She was talking about Facebook and Google and by implication Yahoo, when asking us if we were aware of all the things that these services provide and the licenses, for lack of a better word, that they provide them under. She pointed out that they are essentially offering free beer and we, as users are drinking it up without any thought of the costs afterwards. And as the folks decrying the changes in Yahoo’s Groups are discovering, some of those costs are pretty high.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Wikipedia Adds BitTorrent Powered Video Streaming

      Streaming capabilities have been added to BitTorrent via the Tribler client, and more recently uTorrent. Thus far the implementation of these technologies into major websites has been lacking. That position changed this week as the Wikimedia Foundation partnered with P2P Next to use BitTorrent-powered streaming for their video content.

    • Tunnel vision: Sydney movie maker stopped from listing free BitTorrent film

      A top movie website has rejected a thriller about a TV crew being hunted in tunnels – and the producers, including Andrew Denton, believe it’s because they want to give it away free.

      Sydney independent film producer Enzo Tedeschi said he tried five times since June to get the film, The Tunnel listed on the Internet Movie Database, IMDb.com.

      But each time it has been rejected and Mr Tedeschi – who has had other films accepted – believes it is because he wants to distribute it through BitTorrent – which is best known for the illegal sharing of movies and music.

      Getting listed on IMDb is important to a producer, as the site is considered the premier database used by industry professionals, including those in Hollywood.

      “Some people think that by releasing our film legitimately on peer-to-peer networks that we are condoning piracy,” said Tedeschi, who has worked in television and film for a decade.

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Finance

    • Home prices to take hit next year in many markets

      Don’t take the latest snapshot of U.S. home prices too seriously.

      The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city index released Tuesday ticked up in July from June. But the gain is merely temporary, analysts say. They see home values taking a dive in many major markets well into next year.

      That’s because the peak home-buying season is now ending after a dismal summer. The hardest-hit markets, already battered by foreclosures, are bracing for a bigger wave of homes sold at foreclosure or through short sales. A short sale is when a lender lets a homeowner sell for less than the mortgage is worth.

    • Recession rips at US marriages, expands income gap

      The recession seems to be socking Americans in the heart as well as the wallet: Marriages have hit an all-time low while pleas for food stamps have reached a record high and the gap between rich and poor has grown to its widest ever.

    • Sour economic mood in living room and boardroom

      Americans in both the living room and the boardroom are growing more fearful about the economy, creating a Catch-22 for the job market: Shoppers won’t spend until they feel more secure, and business won’t hire until people start spending.

      The eroding views were revealed Tuesday by two separate surveys, one that found everyday Americans are increasingly pessimistic about jobs and another that found CEOs have grimmer predictions about upcoming sales.

    • Biz leaders gloomy on economy

      A wide swath of U.S. businesses Tuesday reported that the economy has slowed significantly in the last few months, and they said that the tax stalemate in Washington was a major reason that flagging consumer sentiment is now endangering the recovery.

      In separate reports, big business members of the Business Roundtable, along with manufacturers, home builders and the oil industry gave gloomy assessments of the recovery and said Congress’ decision to postpone action on tax cuts until after the election was weighing heavily on consumer sentiment.

    • Where Are All the Prosecutions From the Crisis?

      A consistent question since the financial crisis in 2008 is why has the federal government not prosecuted any senior executives for their roles in the collapse of firms like Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns or the risky investments that led to bailouts of onetime financial giants like the American International Group, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. How can companies worth billions of dollars just a few months earlier suddenly collapse in 2008 without someone being held responsible?

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • New sex laws: Conservatives ‘very concerned’

      Toronto judge Susan Himel says Canada’s prostitution laws meant to protect women and residential neighbourhoods are endangering sex workers’ lives.

      If her decision to strike down the laws stands, “prostitutes will be able to communicate freely with customers on the street, conduct business in their homes or brothels and hire bodyguards and accountants without exposing them to the risk of criminal sanctions”, says the Toronto Star.

      But the Stephen Harper government is “seriously considering” an appeal against the decision, says Xtra!.

      “Yesterday we had the naming of the commissioner for the Public Inquiry in Vancouver for the missing women,” NDP MP Libby Davies, part of a special parliamentary committee on sex laws, is quoted as saying in the story, going on:

      “These are related issues — what happens to women who are on the street who are involved in the sex trade, and the risks that they’re at. This is something that can’t just be swept under the rug and pretend it doesn’t exist.”

    • People Behind the Internet Question Plan to Block Piracy Sites

      A group of engineers with legitimate claims to helping invent the Internet — and we’re not talking about Al Gore — are opposing a Senate bill intended to fight copyright infringement, saying it would endanger the system of domain names that underlies the Interne

    • Political Porn Scandal Revealed as Internet Bungle

      The arch-conservative Christian Democratic Party is staunchly against pornography and defended the allegations, claiming any website visits logged were for “research purposes.”

      But Paul McLeay, the minister for the state’s ports and waterways, resigned after admitting he looked at adult and gambling websites on his parliamentary computer.

      However, further investigation revealed that McLeay — guilt aside — possibly resigned prematurely, while Nile probably was using the Internet for research purposes.

      Analysis of the audit left investigators red-faced when it was discovered that mainstream news websites had been classified as “adult” because of advertisements or links to matchmaking and dating sites.

    • Thai Webmaster Arrested for Online Speech

      On Friday, the Director of a popular alternative Thai news portal Prachatai was arrested by the Thai government. Chiranuch Premchaipoen — popularly known as Jiew — was charged under the intermediary liability provisions of the 2007 Computer Crime Act and for “Lèse Majesté,” or defamation of the Thai royal family. She faces a 32-year prison sentence.

      Jiew’s crime? In 2008, Prachatai published an interview with Chotisak Onsoong, a Thai man known for refusing to stand at attention during the Thai Royal Anthem — a dangerous political act in Thailand, though not technically a crime. The interview received huge attention, drawing over 200 comments from Thai citizens. On April 28, 2008, complaints were filed against Prachatai alleging that several comments on that interview were a defamation to the Monarchy. An arrest warrant for Jiew was issued on Septemeber 8, 2009, but no summons was received by Jiew until her arrest this past Friday.

    • Which words does Google Instant blacklist?

      Some folks at the Hacker publication 2600 decided to compile a list of words that are restricted by Google Instant.

      Except in extreme and special cases, Google is known for anything but censorship, but as we’ve said before, there are some terms the web giant’s new instant search feature won’t work with.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Public consultation on the open internet and net neutrality

      DG Information Society and Media has launched a public consultation on key questions arising from the issue of net neutrality. European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes, announced in April 2010 her intention to launch this consultation in order to take forward Europe’s net neutrality debate. The consultation is part of the Commission’s follow-up to its commitment – one of the prerequisites for the successful conclusion of the 2009 EU telecoms reform package – to scrutinise closely the open and neutral nature of the internet and to report on the state of play to the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Seriously? ASCAP Still Wants A Performance License on Downloads

        The download part of the decision may seem rather obvious to the outside observer, though in the post-analog land grab, traditional definitions seem to carry little weight. “[We] are, of course, disappointed in the Court’s decision that there is no public performance in the transmission of certain musical downloads,” ASCAP told Digital Music News. “We are studying the decision and will determine what further action is appropriate.”

      • A Field Guide to Copyright Trolls

        With all of this talk about copyright trolls and spamigation, it is easy to get confused. Who is suing over copies of Far Cry and The Hurt Locker? Who is suing bloggers? Who is trying to protect their anonymity? Who is defending fair use? What do newspapers have to do with any of this? In order to cut through the confusion, here’s a concise guide to copyright trolls currently in the wild, with status updates.

      • BT embroiled in ACS:Law porn list breach

        BT has admitted it sent the personal details of more than 500 customers as an unsecured document to legal firm ACS:Law, following a court order.

        The news could put BT in breach of the Data Protection Act, which requires firms to keep customers’ data secure at all times.

        The e-mails emerged following a security lapse at ACS:Law.

        A BT official admitted “unencrypted” personal data was sent, adding it “would not happen again”.

Clip of the Day

Karl Goetz – GNewSense


Links 29/9/2010: Linux 2.6.36 RC6, MeeGo Ported to More Devices

Posted in News Roundup at 8:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 2.6.35.7

      I’m announcing the release of the 2.6.35.7 kernel. This is only needed if you run Xen, there was a typo that caused problems. My fault, sorry.

    • Linux 2.6.36-rc6 Kernel Released

      The Linux 2.6.36 kernel is just about here. Linus Torvalds has now released the sixth RC build of this upcoming 2.6.36 build. In the past week since 2.6.36-rc5 was released, there’s been many more regression fixes going into the kernel, but still it’s not in a state ready for release by Linus’ standards.

    • Graphics Stack

      • The ATI R600g Driver Gets Boosted By A New Design

        We’ve said it a few times already that the R600g driver continues to advance, but this open-source Gallium3D graphics driver that provides hardware acceleration for ATI R600/R700/Evergreen ASICs (the Radeon HD 2000/3000/4000/5000 graphics cards) has now received another huge boost with what has been dubbed as the “new design” and with the latest Mesa Git code these new code paths are used by default.

        Jerome Glisse describes the R600g driver’s “new design” on the Mesa development list for those interested in all of the technical details behind it and/or were curious what the stream of Git commits against Mesa master referencing this new design were all about.

  • Applications

    • Xnoise music player adds Sound Menu integration
    • OpenShot 1.2.2 Now Supports Export of Video in HTML5 WebM Format

      As you should know already, the WebM project is dedicated to developing a high-quality, open video format for the web that is freely available to everyone. Latest Open Shot 1.2.2 now has an option to export your videos in WebM format.

    • Rhythmbox Needs an Overhaul, 100(or less) Papercuts for Rhythmbox Maybe?

      Rhythmbox is, as you all know, the default gnome music player and default music player for Ubuntu as well. Canonical integrated Ubuntu One Music Store with Rhythmbox through a plugin with the release of Ubuntu 10.04 “Lucid Lynx” and the implementation works pretty good. The store has a discreet selection of music if you live in UK or USA, for everyone else it’s a very small selection of music, but that’s another story.

    • gThumb 2.12.0 (Stable) Has Been Released [Ubuntu PPA]

      Finally, after a long period of development, a new stable gThumb version has been released: 2.12.0. We’ve been following the gThumb development here at WebUpd8 so you should already be up to date with all the changes. To mention just a few new features since the last stable version (not development!): Facebook, Flickr, PicasaWeb and Photobucket export, import from Flickr and PicasaWeb, gThumb can now play videos and many many other new features and improvements which I’ll not cover since we already talked about all of them throughout the gThumb 2.12 development posts (gThumb 2.11.x was the development branch for gThumb 2.12). You can read all about the gThumb 2.12.0 new features by browsing our gThumb posts.

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Software Center with a dose of Zeitgeist and maybe Teamgeist

        Today the Zeitgeist team showed Michael Vogt a possible integration of Zeitgeist with Software Center. And guess what he likes it and he will look into making it become a soft dependency. He will look into merging our branch soon. All it does is tell you how many times you used an application in the detailed view.

      • Ubuntu Software Centre with a pinch of Zeitgeist? More please!

        Stat fans looking to get a informational fix on the applications they use may be interested to hear news on semantic tracking tool Zeitgeist’s latest possible excursion into the desktop – via the Ubuntu Software Centre.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat v. Oracle: Which is More Standards Compliant?

        RHEL 5 was released in February 2007, while LSB 3.2 was still being put together for its January 2008 release. So Red Hat did put a little effort into getting compliant with the then-cutting edge LSB release. I might suspect that when RHEL 6 comes out, it will be compliant with LSB 4.0 (or whatever’s available at that time). But I have some concerns: Red Hat hasn’t gotten any of its RHEL-5 point releases updated to LSB 4.0 yet, even though it has had plenty of opportunity to do so.

        While I have issues with Oracle’s spin-doctor moves to lock more users into its hardware offerings, I think I will be a little hard-pressed to call Oracle Linux a complete knock-off of RHEL. In this instance, it seems clear that Oracle, which has not always been the best open-source player, has actually put in the extra effort to maintain current LSB certification.

      • Red Hot?
      • Fedora

        • Is Fedora’s Boot Time Increasing?

          The last time we closely examined the boot performance of Fedora Linux was in 2008 when comparing the boot times from Fedora Core 4 through Fedora 8. However, with more distributions taking pride in recent months over shortening their boot time — with Canonical for example having worked towards a ten second Ubuntu boot time — we decided to see how long it’s taking Fedora to put its hat on these days. With the three Intel notebooks we used from our recent Fedora power consumption review, we measured the boot times using Bootchart on the Fedora 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14 Alpha releases.

        • Graphics Test Week starts tomorrow!

          It’s been creeping up, and now it’s time: the world-famous Graphics Test Week begins tomorrow, with the Fedora 14 Nouveau Test Day! That is 2010-09-28. As always, the event runs all day in #fedora-test-day on Freenode IRC (you can connect with WebIRC). To complete Graphics Test Week, the Radeon Test Day takes place the following day, Wednesday 2010-09-29, and Intel Test Day takes place Thursday 2010-09-30.

          As always, we’ll be testing a range of graphics driver functions, and we need as many people as possible to join in so we can evaluate the widest possible range of hardware and identify as many bugs as possible for the developers to fix. You can do all the testing from a live image – no need for an installed copy of Fedora 14, though you can test that way too if you like – and the testing is very easy, there are step-by-step instructions for each test and for entering your results. And of course, there’ll be many people in IRC to help with testing and debugging.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Community Artwork – Building Bridges

          With nearly all of the design work complete for Maverick Meerkat some folks are reflecting on Community and the path which lead to here. The Ubuntu Artwork Team and perhaps others are trapped by the pressure to produce in a manner which competes with established professional players and finding resources with the time and skills to complete tasks on time. With the desire to move Ubuntu into the mainstream, Canonical added talented resources to the design team leaving Community members standing on the side line to wonder how they can get back into the game. To add additional confusion to the mix the paradigm changed as new players entered and challenged existing norms.

        • Ubuntu Hardware Summit Success !
        • ARM A15: A Game Changer

          ARM based devices are ubiquitous, just like Linux. You may of not of even heard of ARM, just like you may not of heard of Linux, but making a phone call or searching on Google means you could already using their technologies.

          ARM, just like Linux, is a quiet pioneer, prevalent in the background just waiting for the opportunity to become mainstream. Whether mainstream is the goal, prevalence most definitely is on the agenda.

        • Something New and Beautiful: Ubuntu, distilled, in type

          Ubuntu is a global phenomenon, and we knew at the start we didn’t have the breadth of eyeballs close at hand to keep the font on track as it expanded. So we planned a process of expanding consultation. First within Canonical, which has folks from nearly 30 countries, and then within the Ubuntu community. We published the font to Ubuntu Members, because we wanted folks who participate and contribute directly to Ubuntu to have the strongest say in the public process of designing the font. We heard from Greek, Turkish, Hebrew, Arabic, Indian, Chinese and many other cultures. Not everyone has glyphs in this first round, but everyone has had a hand in bringing us to this milestone.

        • Interview with Leann Ogasawara

          My name is Leann Ogasawara and I’ve been working for Canonical for the past 3 years. Since joining the Ubuntu Kernel Team, I’ve been involved with QA and triaging, stable maintenance, and am now this cycle’s Ubuntu 10.10 kernel release manager.

        • ‘Party the real way for Ubuntu 10.10’ says Vancouver LoCo team

          “Don’t Call It A ‘Party’ If It’s Not!” yells the catchy slogan from the Ubuntu Vancouver LoCo team in their promotional call-to-arms for celebrating Ubuntu 10.10’s release next month.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • LMNR (Linux Mint Netbook Remix)

            I’ve stumbled upon a version of an as-yet-unnanounced new edition of Linux Mint, LMNR (Linux Mint Netbook Remix). It appears to be a netbook UI on top of the regular Linux Mint 9 Gnome edition. It looks very nice, and appears to be the answer to those with small screen netbooks who want the polish of Linux Mint.

          • Edubuntu 10.10 boasts many surprises

            Ubuntu’s education spin ‘Edubuntu’ has gained a new-look installer, some new applications and much more for its 10.10 release coming next month.

            Talking about the changes Edubuntu’s Jonathan Carter notes that whilst 10.10 doesn’t see the spin receive as big a overhaul as 10.04 had it nevertheless continues to build on the work laid down then, making for a ‘very good’ release.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • MeeGo port for Dell Streak, HTC Desire and Nexus One

          Various developers have ported the handset variant of MeeGo, a platform mainly sponsored by Intel and Nokia, to a variety of smartphones that ship with Google’s Android. A page in the MeeGo wiki provides details about the ports’ current state of development and shows a Nexus One and a HTC Desire with the MeeGo handset user interface. Another photo shows a MeeGo command line log-in prompt on a Dell Streak.

    • Tablets

      • Chromium OS infiltrates iPad, makes itself comfortable

        What is this madness we see before us? Hexxeh, he who provides your nightly Chromium builds, has dropped a small but perfectly formed bombshell by revealing that he’s managed to install Google’s nascent OS onto Apple’s hotcake of a tablet, the iPad.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Practical Open Source Software Exploration
  • What makes Zeitgeist tick

    Zeitgeist is a prototype developed by BBC Research & Development to discover and track the most shared BBC webpages on Twitter. An overview of the project has already covered in our previous post.

    Today we’re publishing the full source code of this system under the GNU GPLv3 licence on github at http://github.com/bbcrd/zeitgeist.

    This post will discuss the technical architecture of the system, how we approached various problems, and our technical learnings from building the system.

    From a research point of view, we were particularly interested in two things:

    * The Twitter Streaming API and how it worked in practice
    * Whether a messaging pipeline architecture would be a good fit for this problem domain

    The system consists of an interface to the Twitter Streaming API which passes tweets to a processing pipeline. The pipeline finds and extracts links to the BBC, resolving shortened and redirected urls. Continuously-running background jobs extract page metadata and handle retweets and deletions. Finally, there’s a web interface to present the results to end users, which was written using the well-tested software stack of Sinatra, Thin and nginx, all fronted by a Squid proxy. The Zeitgeist database is mysql, the modelling done using Datamapper.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Elementary Firefox hits version 2.0

        An updated version of elementary styled Firefox theme ‘Firefox elementary’ has been released today.

        The theme helps to seamlessly integrate Ubuntu’s default web browser into your Elementary themed desktop.

  • Databases

    • Couchapp Walkthrough – Part 1

      Couchapps are a particular way of using couchdb that allow you to serve web applications directly from the database. These applications generate HTML and javascript to present data from couchdb to the user, and then update the database and the UI based on their actions.

      Of course there are plenty of frameworks out there that do this sort of thing, and more and more of them are adding couchdb support. What makes couchapps particularly interesting are two things. Firstly, the ease with which they can be developed and deployed. As they are served directly from couchdb they require little infrastructure, and the couchapp tool allows for a rapid iteration. In addition, the conveniences that are provided mean that simple things can be done very quickly with little code.

      [...]

      In addition to all the client-side tools for interacting with the database, it is also possible to make use of couchdb features such as shows, lists, update handlers validation functions in order to move some of the processing server-side. This is useful for various reasons, including being more accessible, allowing search engines to index the content, and not having to trust the client not to take malicious actions.

  • Oracle

    • James Gosling Interview – 9/22/10

      James Gosling: Well, the tshirt had been kinda fun. I am yet to see anyone wear one.

      Moderator: (jokingly) yeah, we’ve been all “taken care of” by the Oracle employees already, that’s why you don’t see us wearing them.

      James Gosling: Various Oracle employees have been instructed not to wear them. I’ve noticed this is a great tshirt to wear in big crowds around here because the seas just parts, ‘cuz people are like, ‘I don’t want to be near that.’ Which I find really funny. And the whole free java thing is kind of a weird history with me because Sun from day zero is an open source company and this whole weirdness that we have about open source was not a weirdness open source but a weirdness about the actors and the games in the drama. So when the start of the Java foundation thing happened in 2007 what we have to understand is that that was entirely orchestrated by Oracle. Oracle wrote that bizarre clause that went in that one set of meeting minutes, they wrote that. They went around to everyone in DC and said it is the sense of the executive committee that the Java community would be best served by the established new Java and Java foundation. And so if you’re an open source contributor, participant, that all sounds really good. And fundamentally we agreed with that. The problem was that A. it was driven by Oracle whose motives were more than slightly not what we wanted them to be, and they had strong-armed a bunch of people into signing in ways that made them uncomfortable. And some folks like IBM I mean, IBM’s been kind of weird on the whole topic because on the one hand they do everything they can to try and screw Sun over, I mean they didn’t name eclipse casually

      Moderator: I was surprised that they aren’t the ones that bought Sun

  • BSD

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Generation Facebook and higher education

      Many challenges lurk at the intersection of the open world of FOSS and the (traditionally) closed world of the college classroom. Perhaps it is because I’m reading The Starfish and the Spider with my first-year students right now, but I believe there are a lot of opportunities for educators who embrace the chaos and find ways to support their students in entering into and flourishing in the connected world of decentralized learning.

  • Programming

    • Interview with James Gosling

      About a half hour into our libations in walks a legend: James Gosling, creator of Java itself. Nervously, but keeping our cool, we approached and introduced ourselves. We left it at that. As the beers flowed, our courage and machinations began too as well. “What if, now just what if, we could get Gosling to do a cast?” But doubting thoughts prevailed: “Nah we aren’t big enough” “Do we really want to disturb a guy drinking his beer?” Quickly some of the Coder’s wives keyed into our anxiety over the issue. Wanting to play match maker, they approached James and asked him if he’d be willing to do a podcast with us. And wouldn’t you know it, he whipped out his iPhone (yay James!), opened his calendar and said “Sure! What works for you guys?”

Leftovers

  • Once More, With Feeling: Embracing ‘Free’ Doesn’t Mean You Make No Money

    I usually like The Guardian, but Lindvall’s work is not up to its normal standards. Free is a part of a business model. That’s all anyone’s saying. And when you say that it means you do believe in a larger business model, which means making money. I’m always amazed at how people like Lindvall seem to have their brains stop in their tracks when they get to the big 0, and never reach the other side of the tracks where it’s explained how you use that $0 to make money elsewhere.

  • AOL Acquires TechCrunch

    The rumors have proven true: AOL is snapping up Michael Arrington’s TechCrunch family of sites. The site will share a stable with AOL’s other major tech property, Engadget, along with TUAW, Switched, and DownloadSquad. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but Business Insider has a source claiming the site went for $25 million.

  • Science

    • Basic Religion Test Stumps Many Americans

      Americans are by all measures a deeply religious people, but they are also deeply ignorant about religion.

    • PICTURES & VIDEO: British team proves flapless flight with Demon UAV

      Manoeuvring without the aid of control surfaces has been demonstrated by an unmanned air vehicle designed by a British team of industry and academic specialists.

    • Why cell phone talkers are annoys-makers

      Cell phone users irritate so mightily because their background chatter forcibly yanks listeners’ attention away from whatever they’re doing, says psychology graduate student Lauren Emberson of Cornell University. Overhearing someone spewing intermittent exclamations into a handheld gadget lacks the predictability of hearing a two-way exchange and thus proves inherently unsettling, Emberson and her colleagues report in an upcoming Psychological Science.

    • Solar cells thinner than wavelengths of light hold huge power potential, Stanford researchers say

      In the smooth, white, bunny-suited clean-room world of silicon wafers and solar cells, it turns out that a little roughness may go a long way, perhaps all the way to making solar power an affordable energy source, say Stanford engineers.

      Their research shows that light ricocheting around inside the polymer film of a solar cell behaves differently when the film is ultra thin. A film that’s nanoscale-thin and has been roughed up a bit can absorb more than 10 times the energy predicted by conventional theory.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • DHS Launches Cyber Attack Exercise

      For three or four days this week, the Internet will come under a virtual attack from an unknown adversary, and it will be up to the government and private sector’s coordinated efforts to root out the cause and work together to keep systems up and running — at least within the simulated confines of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cyber Storm III exercise, which begins Tuesday.

      The Cyber Storm series of exercises simulates large cyber attacks on critical infrastructure and government IT assets in order to test the government’s preparedness. Specifically, this year’s exercise will be the first time DHS will test both the draft National Cyber Incident Response Plan (an effort to provide a coordinated response to major cybersecurity incidents) that will be publicly released later this year and the new National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (the hub of DHS’ cybersecurity coordination efforts).

    • Soldier confesses to ‘thrill kill’

      In a disturbing video, a young corporal admits his role in the killings of unarmed Afghan civilians — alleging that his superior egged him on

    • FBI drive for encryption backdoors is déjà vu for security experts

      The FBI now wants to require all encrypted communications systems to have backdoors for surveillance, according to a New York Times report, and to the nation’s top crypto experts it sounds like a battle they’ve fought before.

      Back in the 1990s, in what’s remembered as the crypto wars, the FBI and NSA argued that national security would be endangered if they did not have a way to spy on encrypted e-mails, IMs and phone calls. After a long protracted battle, the security community prevailed after mustering detailed technical studies and research that concluded that national security was actually strengthened by wide use of encryption to secure computers and sensitive business and government communications.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Shell in row over Brazilian Indian land grab

      Brazilian authorities have written to energy giant Shell expressing concern over the activities of its new Brazilian joint-venture partner, which is producing biofuels from land taken from an impoverished Indian tribe.

      Last month, Shell signed a $12 billion deal to produce biofuels from sugar cane with Brazilian biofuels giant Cosan. But some of Cosan’s sugar cane is grown on land officially recognized as belonging to Guarani Indians.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Motorcyclist wins taping case against state police

      A Harford County Circuit Court judge ruled this afternoon that a motorcyclist who was arrested for videotaping his traffic stop by a Maryland State Trooper was within his rights to record the confrontation.

      Judge Emory A Pitt Jr. tossed all the charges filed against Anthony Graber, leaving only speeding and other traffic violations, and most likely sparing him a trial that had been scheduled for Oct. 12. The judge ruled that Maryland’s wire tap law allows recording of both voice and sound in areas where privacy cannot be expected. He ruled that a police officer on a traffic stop has no expectation of privacy.

    • An Open Letter From Internet Engineers to the Senate Judiciary Committee

      Today, 89 prominent Internet engineers sent a joint letter the US Senate Judiciary Committee, declaring their opposition to the “Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act” (COICA). The text of the letter is below.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Guest column: Copyright is no justification for digital locks

      Many creators start with views similar to what Stephen Ellis wrote in this space on Friday. While some retain this naive view, others take the time to learn how the technology in question works. They change their views once they speak with independent technical people, and go through the legal and economic analysis of real-world technology. Far from digital locks protecting copyright, they are the greatest threat to copyright and the interests of creators.

      I will not speak about audiences of copyrighted works. I am a creators’ rights activist trying to protect the interests of fellow creators, and oppose the C-32 digital locks based on this. The fact that digital locks also harm the interests of consumers is in addition to its harm to creators, not a matter of allegedly balancing the interests of one over the other.

    • TalkTalk, BT: we’d put iPlayer in the slow lane

      The UK’s two biggest ISPs have openly admitted they’d give priority to certain internet apps or services if companies paid them to do so.

      Speaking at a Westminster eForum on net neutrality, senior executives from BT and TalkTalk said they would be happy to put selected apps into the fast lane, at the expense of their rivals.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Challenge To Graham Henderson: Please Point Out Who Believes Music Should Just Be A Hobby

        There’s been a bizarre shift lately in the recording industry’s attempt to demonize people who believe in embracing new business models and new technologies in the music business. We just wrote about Universal Music’s Jim Urie claiming that “copyleft” supporters don’t care about art, and along those same lines, Zeropaid points us to Graham Henderson, the head of the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA — which is almost entirely dominated by foreign companies) going to Washington DC to lobby in favor of more draconian copyright laws.

      • Appeals Court Tells ASCAP: A Download Is Not A Performance

        A few years back, we covered the legal fight pitting ASCAP against Yahoo and RealNetworks, where the two internet companies were told to pay up based on a ridiculously arbitrary fee formula, including a totally made up multiplier called the “music-use-adjustment-fraction.” The really scary part was that it calculated the revenue based on all of Yahoo’s revenue. So, yes, even though Yahoo makes most of its revenue in ways that have nothing to do with music, its total revenue is used as part of the calculation. The one good thing that came out of the legal fight was the court making it clear to ASCAP that a download is not a performance, which requires a separate fee. As you may recall, ASCAP has been trying to claim just about anything involving music is a “public performance,” in a weak attempt to get more cash.

      • The “legal blackmail” business: inside a P2P settlement factory

        UK pornographer Jasper Feversham was fed up. The Internets were sharing his films, quality work like Catch Her in the Eye, Skin City, and MILF Magic 3. He wanted revenge—or at least a cut. So Feversham signed on to a relatively new scheme: track down BitTorrent infringers, convert their IP addresses into real names, and blast out warning letters threatening litigation if they didn’t cough up a few hundred quid.

        “Much looking forward to sending letters to these f—ers,” he wrote in an email earlier this year.

        The law firm he ended up with was ACS Law, run by middle-aged lawyer Andrew Crossley. ACS Law had, after a process of attrition, become one of the only UK firms to engage in such work. Unfortunately for Crossley, mainstream film studios had decided that suing file-sharers brought little apart from negative publicity, and so Crossley was left defending a heap of pornography, some video games, and a few musical tracks.

      • Law firm faces huge fine over leak of personal files

        A law firm that pursues the owners of internet accounts linked to alleged illegal downloads of music and films was warned yesterday it faces a swingeing fine after the personal details of a further 8,000 people were leaked online.

        The Information Commissioner Christopher Graham said that ACS:Law, which has sent thousands of letters to suspected internet “pirates” asking them to pay compensation of £500, could be forced to pay up to £500,000 if it is found that the company has flouted data protection law by failing to safeguard personal details on its computer system.

      • 7 Bit Torrent Piracy Suits Target 5,469

        In one of the largest swoops targeting bit torrent piracy, numerous suits were filed Friday against 5,469 suspected of poaching porn off the Internet, XBIZ has learned.

        West Coast Productions, Combat Zone, Third World Media and Patrick Collins Inc. filed seven suits at U.S. District Court in Martinsburg, W. Va., against the bit torrent users whose IP addresses were tracked.

        All of the suits were filed by attorney Kenneth J. Ford at U.S. District Court in Martinsburg, W. Va., and seek to identify each user through their Internet service providers. Each asks for injunctive relief and damages.

      • A Look At The Technologies & Industries Senators Leahy & Hatch Would Have Banned In The Past

        The more I look at the “Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act,” (COICA) bill proposed by Senators Patrick Leahy and Orrin Hatch (and co-sponsored by Sens. Herb Kohl, Arlen Specter, Charles Schumer, Dick Durbin, Sheldon Whitehouse, Amy Klobuchar, Evan Bayh and George Voinovich) the worse it looks. The idea behind the bill is to give the Justice Department the ability to avoid due process in shutting down or blocking access to sites deemed “dedicated to infringing activities.”

Clip of the Day

Ralf Wildenhues – “Recent developments in GNU Autotools”


Credit: TinyOgg

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