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02.07.12

Links 7/2/2012: Firefox 11 Enters Beta, Canonical Disappoints KDE

Posted in News Roundup at 7:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

[Back next week]

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • A Look at 3D Printing and Open Source

    Arthur C. Clarke said “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” And it’s still magical when you understand how it works. 3D printers are here, they’re cool, and there is a large and enthusiastic open source 3D printer movement.

  • Apache releases Commons Validator-1.4.0, Commons Configuration 1.8 and Hive version 0.8.1…

    Three more additions from the Apache family this week! The Commons validator helps in both client and server side data validation. The Commons configuration software library offers an empirical configuration interface which enables an application to read configuration data from several sources. And Apache Hive data warehouse software helps in querying and managing large sets of data that resides in distributed storage.Find out what the the 3 latest releases have in store for you!!!

  • Piracy and the value of freedom

    I think you’ve heard about the piracy happening in the waters surrounding Somalia. Entire ships are captured, and their passengers are often hurt and sometimes even killed.

    Interestingly enough, the term often associated with this kind of kidnapping and killing is also frequently used in computing terms for something quite different. Copying something and giving it away for free, without any motive for profit and without taking anything away from the original.

  • EclipseSource Launches RAP Mobile

    EclipseSource, a developer of commercial solutions based on open source Eclipse technologies, has just unveiled RAP mobile, an alternative for developing apps in Java based on the Eclipse Rich Ajax Platform (RAP).

  • Facebook may release its core C++ library this year
  • OSI Announces New Initiatives

    OSI is changing, and you can help! I spoke at FOSDEM in Brussels on Saturday, on behalf of the Open Source Initiative (OSI) where I serve as a director. My noon keynote covered a little of the rationale behind OSI and a quick synopsis of its last decade from my own perspective and then announcements on OSI’s behalf about the work we’re doing to make OSI strong and relevant for a new decade.

  • “Free software from legal control”
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 11 Beta Lands in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

        The upcoming Mozilla Firefox 11.0 web browser and Mozilla Thunderbird 11.0 email client just landed in the daily builds of the Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Alpha 2 (Precise Pangolin) operating system.

        Though it will not be the default web browser, as there will be more releases of it until Ubuntu 12.04 LTS reaches maturity on April 2012, Firefox 11.0 will bring the ability to migrate bookmarks, cookies and history from the Google Chrome web browser.

      • Firefox 11 enters beta, brings add-on sync
      • Firefox 11 Gets SPDY

        Mozilla is taking a page from Google’s Chrome development and is gearing up to implement a new protocol to help accelerate the Firefox web browser. The open source Firefox 11 browser, which is now in beta, will include the SPDY protocol. The current stable release of Firefox is version 10, which was released last week.

      • Firefox: Aiming for One Million Contributors

        Ayala spoke at FOSDEM about developing Firefox in 2012, and new approaches that Mozilla is taking to try to reduce time and effort required for contributing to the browser.

      • Firefox 11 Brings 3D Web Page Visualizer and CSS Style Editor
  • SaaS

    • Alfresco enter the cloud & mobile era

      Alfresco are an interesting company who grew out of the original web open source movement. Founded in 2005 by ex Business Objects exec John Powell and ex Documentum founder John Newton, Alfresco’s birth dna is as a full, open source Enterprise Content Management System (’ECM’), complete with rich metadata tools and deep standards compliance.

      It’s been an interesting journey for a company that was funded by blue chip VC’s to disrupt the sleepy ECM marketplace – presumably the name ‘Alfresco’ was chosen to define their ‘outsider’ status to competitors such as Sharepoint and Documentum (owned by EMC since 2003).

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • All proprietary software are malicious: Stallman

      Exhorting students to fight against proprietary software that stifled the freedom of users, software freedom activist from the United States, Richard Stallman, on Monday said that all such programs were malicious in nature and pushed the users into the “grip” of the developers.
      Addressing a packed hall at IIT Madras, the founder of GNU project said that by using such “non-free” software, people were in danger of being entrapped in a moral dilemma as they are forced to comply with the end-user agreements.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content/Education

      • Why Pay for Intro Textbooks?

        If ramen noodle sales spike at the start of every semester, here’s one possible reason: textbooks can cost as much as a class itself; materials for an introductory physics course can easily top $300.

        Cost-conscious students can of course save money with used or online books and recoup some of their cash come buyback time. Still, it’s a steep price for most 18-year-olds.

      • UC Santa Cruz library chooses Creative Commons

        In response to requests for reuse of its content, like guides and how-to information, the University of California Santa Cruz library has adopted a Creative Commons (CC-BY) license for all of its content.

        “Many of us like to use Creative Commons licensed material in our own writing and teaching, so it made sense for us to do this,” says Katie Fortney, the Library’s Scholarly Communications Officer. “Here at the Library – at most libraries – we’re paying a lot of attention to copyright and technology issues, and we want people to know that.”

    • Open Hardware

      • Five open source hardware projects that could change the world

        Open source hardware is increasingly making the news, as Ford partners with Bug Labs to “advance in-car connectivity innovation”, thousands of US Radio Shack stores start stocking Arduino, and Facebook releases the plans for energy-efficient data centre technology via Open Compute. But could it change the world? Andrew Back takes a look at five projects which just might.

Leftovers

  • Five Reasons why Windows 8 will be dead on arrival

    Some of my die-hard Windows friends are very excited by Windows 8 arrival later this year. Others fear that Windows 8 will be a repeat of Microsoft’s Vista disaster. Me? I know Windows 8 will be a Vista-sized fiasco.

    Before jumping into why I think far most PC users will still be running Windows 7 in 2016 than Windows 8, let me explain that while I prefer Linux as my desktop operating system, I don’t see Windows 8 charge into a brick wall as being a pro-Linux or anti-Microsoft issue.

  • 5 free operating systems that aren’t Linux

    The war of operating systems started decades ago, and the first mainstream desktop OS war took place between the Macintosh and Windows operating system. Operating systems are the first bit of software that go into our computer. As PCs dominated the market, Windows became the most used and most popular operating systems ever. It’s stayed that way for close to two decades.

  • Security

    • DDoS Attacks: Size doesn’t matter

      People often think that Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks-you know like the ones that knocked the Department of Justice, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), and Universal Music recently–require hundreds of attackers generating gigabytes of traffic per second to pound a Website down into the ground. Ah, no they don’t.

  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs CEO Blankfein Identifies with Struggling Americans After Bonus Cut in Half

      Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein revealed Wednesday that he too is feeling the pinch of the weak economy as his company announced a 47-percent plummet in earnings, the most severe drop since 2008. As a result, the financial group decreased Blankfein’s annual bonus, seemingly in tandem, by nearly 44 percent. Blankfein, who was raised in a Bronx housing project, said the dramatic reduction in pay evoked memories of his humble origins. After being awarded a paltry $7 million — down from $12.6 million the previous year — Blankfein put on a brave face and told reporters: “Sure, it’s hard. I’m like so many Americans who’ve had their compensation shredded to a questionable living wage. And, you know, it’s easy to complain — to say, ‘why they’d even bother,’ or to think of the stipend as a hollow gesture in the face of horrendous morale. But then I take a look around and consider myself lucky that I’m even employed. The bank already fired 2,400 people. Unlike Mitt Romney, they didn’t seem to enjoy it. I’m grateful, actually.”

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • The Super Nonprofits Influencing Elections, Under the Radar

      While the popular understanding of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision is that it opened the door to unlimited corporate spending, last week’s FEC filings showed that many of the millions that Super PACs received in 2011 came not from corporations, but from deep-pocketed individuals and corporate CEOs. What remains unknown is just how much corporate money is secretly flowing through another vehicle being used to influence political outcomes, the 501(c)(4) nonprofit.

    • ALEC’s Influence in Ohio Runs Deep

      The influence of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in Ohio runs deep, according to a new report released by Progress Ohio, together with the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), People for the American Way, and Common Cause. The report shows how Ohio’s legislators are working in tandem with corporate leaders to deregulate key industries, privatize education and dismantle unions.

  • Privacy

  • Intellectual Monopolies

02.06.12

Links 6/2/2012: PCLinuxOS 2012.02 and Mint KDE Reviews

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • BT Vision plans to leave Mediaroom

    BT Vision is apparently preparing to drop the Microsoft Mediaroom platform and put in place a browser-based replacement running on Linux. The migration away from Mediaroom would be an embarrassment for Microsoft, which developed a special variant to cater for the BT Vision hybrid broadcast and broadband service. BT is a partner in the planned YouView platform, which also specifies a Linux operating system.

    Microsoft created Mediaroom as a platform for IPTV or internet protocol television services, aimed at top tier telcos. BT was an early customer. Others include Deutsche Telekom and AT&T. With more than eight million households through over 40 operators, it is one of the most widely deployed commercial IPTV middleware platforms.

  • Hail the penguin

    Last year Linux celebrated its 20th birthday. The operating system began life as a cut-down version of the commercial Unix system, which turned 40 last year, and has become the largest distributed software development project in history.

    The kernel – the bit between the hardware and software – consists of more than 11 million lines of code contributed by more than 500 companies and tens of thousands of developers around the world. It has been estimated that commercial redevelopment of Linux would cost more than US$3 billion, yet it’s yours for free.

  • Desktop

    • Writing and GNU/Linux

      He really expects e-books to dominate in book publishing and is at the tipping point. He likes the way FLOSS works for him.

      FLOSS has so many tools for writing. I like LyX for larger projects because it scales nicely. The applications does less during writing and saves the heavy lifting for the rendering process so I can maximize my productivity. The less my PC does to get in my way, the better I write. I use LibreOffice for routine stuff and it also provides a good spreadsheet for handling tabular data. I should also use a FLOSS database to keep track of stuff but WordPress does that already and Google is great so I have not done that yet. I could probably scrape MrPogson.com for hyperlinks and generate a good database for my writing automatically. Whatever we imagine we can do with FLOSS.

    • Don’t Get Excited Over Coreboot Laptops Yet

      There was the Coreboot main track session today at FOSDEM 2012 about Coreboot support on laptops and other areas, but unfortunately, there isn’t much to get excited about at this point.

      While Coreboot has made much progress in providing a “free” BIOS / UEFI for modern systems (particularly those based upon new AMD hardware), there is still much work left to be accomplished. There was an expectation that at this FOSDEM event there would be a new laptop shown off running Coreboot with the expectation that a new vendor might be shipping this device with Coreboot this year.

    • Scholarly work using Linux

      In Linux, I do not have to install anything for my computer to do all that: the OS includes all the functionalities I need. From KOrganizer, I get the computer to wake me up with a song and to launch Firefox and LibreOffice with my article without exposing my computer to any malware. I simply used the process for a song but selected “application/script” instead of “sound”. Then I wrote libreoffice3.4 for “application” and added the path where the file was in “arguments”.

      But that’s not all: Linux has a great tool for copying citations from PDFs: Okular. Its fabulous feature to select text from virtually any PDF, copy it, and paste it truly facilitates the process of adding citations to one’s article. Even in the rare cases when it is not possible to get the selection as text, you can paste it as an image with Okular…simple and quick.

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Intel Gallium3D For Mesa 8.0

        With the Mesa 8.0 release right around the corner, in recent weeks there have been a number of benchmarks on Phoronix looking at this latest open-source OpenGL library and its drivers, including Gallium3D. In this article though are new benchmarks from one of the areas not explored yet: the Intel Gallium3D driver performance.

      • Intel Haswell Graphics Driver To Be Opened Up Soon

        While the Ivy Bridge launch is still a number of weeks out, Intel will soon be publishing their initial hardware enablement code for next year’s Haswell micro-architecture.

        There’s already been Haswell compiler support patches, but for the open-source graphics drivers there will soon be the first bits of public code. The Ivy Bridge Linux support code is mostly all molded into shape, so some attention has already turned to the Ivy Bridge-successor Haswell.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Integrating Shutter With KDE 4.7

        Did you know that you can integrate Shutter with KDE 4.7? Yes, you sure can. Shutter is an excellent tool for screen captures regardless of your desktop environment.

      • KDE Development – A Beginner’s Guide

        During a recent 5 day sprint, four KDE contributors planned and produced a handbook for beginning KDE developers. We had assistance from several generous organizations, worked hard, and learned a lot.

  • Distributions

    • RebeccaBlackOS – First Live CD Running Wayland Display Server
    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • PCLinuxOS 2012.2 has been released

        Bill Reynolds announced the availabilty of PCLinuxOS 2012.2 with Linux Kernel 2.6.38.8 and desktop environment KDE 4.6.5. It is available in 32-bit and 64-bit architecture. PCLinuxOS is mainly forked from Mandriva and very easy to use operating system.

      • PCLinuxOS 2012.02 Review

        There are quite a few distributions out there that are geared towards the novice user, and PCLOS does a great job at it. The website does have a community where one could ask for help and there is even a monthly magazine that they publish monthly with tips and tricks for Linux users. That right there is worth a few bonus points as they are trying to keep a community and help a new user. They have also published a

        What I found strange in PCLOS is what the developers chose to have on the desktop by default. The applications they chose doesn’t make much sense in my opinion as there could have been better ones selected, say Firefox and Thunderbird, compared to LibreOffice Manager, Network Center, Firewall Setup and Localization manager.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Flavours and Variants

            • inux Mint 12 KDE review

              Linux Mint 12 KDE is the latest update to the line of Linux Mint editions that are based on Ubuntu Desktop and use the K Desktop Environment. It is actually the first release of the KDE edition in a very long time. The last release before this one was Linux Mint 10 KDE, which was released in February 2011. (See Linux Mint 10 KDE review.)

              So we moved from Linux Mint 10 KDE to Linux Mint 12 KDE because Linux Mint 11 KDE did not make it out of the developer’s box.

            • LinuxMint12 KDE has been released! | Screenshots Tour

              LinuxMint 12 KDE has been released, this edition comes with the latest and recently released KDE 4.7.4. This is the first release of Linux Mint using Hybrid ISO images. Traditionally, tools such as ‘Startup Disk Creator’ or ‘UNetbootin’ were needed to install Linux Mint via USB. With hybrid images, you can simply use the ‘dd’ command or a graphical front-end to make a bootable USB stick with no efforts which acts exactly like a live DVD.

            • Xubuntu 12.04 LTS Alpha 2 Screenshot Tour

              On February 2nd, Canonical unleashed for testing the second and last Alpha version of the upcoming Xubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin) operating system.

              Xubuntu 12.04 LTS Alpha 2 is powered by Linux kernel 3.2.2 and is built on top of the Xfce 4.8 desktop environment. It features a new greeter and desktop theme, as well as minor changes to various packages and default settings (including the size of the Terminal font).

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • U.S. government, military to get secure Android phones

          Some U.S. officials this year are expected to get smartphones capable of handling classified government documents over cellular networks, according to people involved in the project.
          The phones will run a modified version of Google’s Android software, which is being developed as part of an initiative that spans multiple federal agencies and government contractors, these people said.

        • 10 beautiful Android Live Wallpapers
    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Details Emerge About the Spark Linux-Based Tablet

        There’s a new tablet in town (well, on its way to town, at least) called the Spark. The Linux-based tablet, based on the Zenithink C71, was announced several days ago, but the fellow behind the project, KDE developer Aaron Seigo, released more details on his blog in a convenient Q&A format.

      • Linux unveils open source tablet

        The Spark, an open source tablet that will be available for purchase by May this year, is part of the Linux-based MeeGo project, which is hosted by the Linux Foundation, iTWire reports.

        The device will run open source software, as well as a mix of free content, such as digital books from Project Gutenberg, as well as content and apps for purchase, PC World states.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Help OSI – Complete Our Survey!
  • HP Opens Up Its Switches to OpenFlow

    HP has been a supporter of the OpenFlow effort for several years, but previously had not offered full commercial support on its switching platforms.

    “We have been working with OpenFlow and had a special licensed version available for over four years,” Saar Gillai, Vice President, Advanced Technology Group, and CTO at HP Networking told InternetNews.com. “Now, based on strong demand from our customers, we’re putting out a fully supported commercial release that any of our customers can download and use on their switches.”

  • Big Switch releases open source controller for OpenFlow
  • OMB Shared First should include open source, says group

    Open source advocates urge the Office of Management and Budget to expand its Shared First strategy to include open source software development in a Feb. 2 comment posted online.

  • Open Source Initiative affiliates announced at FOSDEM

    Open Source Initiative (OSI) board member Simon Phipps has announced a group of affiliate organisations who will be providing advice to the OSI as it reforms itself from a self appointed board-based organisation eventually to a member-based organisation. The affiliates, announced during Phipps’ presentation at FOSDEM in Brussels, are the Apache Software Foundation, Creative Commons, Drupal, the Eclipse Foundation, FreeBSD, Joomla (via Open Source Matters), KDE, the Linux Foundation, the Mozilla Foundation, Plone, Sahana and Wikiotics. The OSI is also undertaking an anonymous survey to gauge what a future personal membership of the OSI should mean in practice.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 3.5 Will Be Released on February 8

      The Document Foundation proudly announced on February 4th that the third and last Release Candidate version of the upcoming LibreOffice 3.5 open source office suite is available for download and testing.

    • LibreOffice making steady progress

      A little more than a year after The Document Foundation was set up to look after LibreOffice, the fork of the former OpenOffice.org project, it seems that Oracle did the users of the latter office suite a great favour by neglecting it.

  • Education

  • Healthcare

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Alfresco Embraces SaaS and the Cloud with Its New CMS Platform

        In a big endorsement of the SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) model, enteprise content management system (CMS) maker Alfresco is embracing cloud- and mobile-based usage of its platform with its new Alfresco 4 release. The open source CMS platform is used by 2,500 enterprises in 55 countries according to the company, and users need to access the content from their mobile devices, share and sync on the go, and more. The new platform is accessible from tablets as well as smartphones, and also allows users to publish straight to social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook.

  • Public Services/Government

    • New Hampshire Passes ‘Open Source Bill’
    • How Did This Get Past Microsoft? New Hampshire Passed An Open Source Software Bill

      New Hampshire (motto: “Live Free or Die”) has passed HB418, a House bill which legislates the requirement that state agencies “consider open source software when acquiring software and promotes the use of open data formats by state agencies. This bill also directs the commissioner of information technology to develop a statewide information policy based on principles of open government data.”

      Whew! According to bill author and Linux kernel contributor Seth Cohn (commenting on Slashdot), this is the first open source and open data bill to pass in any state, ever. Now, it does not require state government officials to pick the open source alternative over the proprietary one at any point in time, but simply to officially document their justification for their software policy.

    • Live Free or Die in New Hampshire
  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Finance

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • White House Petition Demands TPP Process Be Open & Transparent

      It seems that, with every issue that comes up around here, people are quickly putting together White House petitions on the White House’s “We The People” site. The latest, in response to all of these stories about secrecy concerning the negotiations on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), is a petition demanding that the process be more open and transparent.

    • Copyrights

      • ACTA

        • ACTA Attack

          ACTA is perhaps one of the most sinister developments in the history of the Internet, and beyond, not only because of the Draconian legislations it proposes, but also because of the manner in which they were proposed.

          You see ACTA has never been democratically scrutinised or debated. It was created and negotiated entirely in secret by private corporations, not transparently by democratically elected representatives, and then ratified without any democratic mandate (by “executive order”). Indeed, the US government actually went so far as to describe these boiler-room “negotiations” as “a matter of national security”.

        • The EU Commission’s Repressive Plans Beyond ACTA

          The EU Commission is relentlessly defending ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, which faces widespread opposition in Europe and beyond. Falsely portraying ACTA as an acceptable agreement, the Commission is paving the way for its ultra-repressive copyright enforcement agenda, as revealed in documents just released. Citizens and their elected representatives across Europe must denounce this dangerous drift of the policy-making process, which is bound to undermine freedoms online and the very architecture of the Internet, and instead require a thorough reform of copyright.

        • European spring is over

          The European Parliament has sent me the legal service’s opinion on ACTA. It is almost completely blacked out.

          On 4 October the Legal Affairs committee requested the opinion of the Parliament’s legal service on ACTA. The service concluded the opinion on 8 December. I requested the document on 10 December.

          On 19 December the Legal Affairs committee decided to make the opinion public.

          There was a first indication things were going wrong on 11 January. The Parliament’s register wrote me: “Due to ongoing consultations in view of disclosure of the requested documents, we would like to inform you that in accordance with Article 7(3) of Regulation 1049/2001, we need to extend the reply’s time limit by adding 15 working days.”

          On 4 February (letter dated 31.1) I received the blacked out document. Apparently, the Legal Affairs committee’s decision was overridden. By whom? Probably by the Parliament’s Bureau.

02.05.12

Links 5/2/2012: Lenovo in India, Netrunner 4.1 is Out

Posted in News Roundup at 12:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • SaaS

    • Banks Push Hadoop Envelope to Open Big Data’s
      Secrets

      Given the promise of new analytics technologies, becoming more data-driven is on the minds of most IT decision makers these days. In a recent report on the impact of big data on analytics, “More than half of the organizations polled identified analytics as among their top five IT priorities,” says Julie Lockner senior analyst and VP of data at the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), an IT strategic advisory firm based in Milford, Mass.

      “With the promise big data is poised to bring,” says Lockner, “organizations are exploring their options for solving business challenges with emerging [data] technologies. It’s just not practical or cost-effective to use traditional [database] platforms and technologies that were designed before the big-data era.”

    • Big Data: Will Open Source Software Challenge BI & Analytics Software Vendors
  • Semi-Open Source

    • Analyzing Magento Community Edition

      Magento Community Edition is an open source system, which means that it can be downloaded for free, and modified to suit specific programming and/or design requirements. What’s unique and valuable about this model (compared to hosted solutions-where one is locked into a specific company for hosting and support) is that an ecommerce entrepreneur can have complete control over his/her website.

  • BSD

    • KMS For FreeBSD Is Still A Work In Progress

      FreeBSD still lacks mainline support for kernel mode-setting (KMS) on modern hardware, but at least it’s still being worked on.

      As I routinely get such questions via email, for those wondering about the state of kernel mode-setting (KMS) or the ability to use the latest Linux DRM (Direct Rendering Manager) drivers on FreeBSD, it’s still out-of-tree and is considered a work-in-progress to be used by experienced BSD desktop users.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Lecture on free software

      A lecturer on ‘Copyright v/s Community in the Age of Computer Networks’ was delivered by Richard Mathew Stallman developer of GNU/Linux at the BKB Auditorium at Gauhati University today.

  • Open Access/Content

    • Elsevier Publishing Boycott Gathers Steam Among Academics

      Elsevier, the global publishing company, is responsible for The Lancet, Cell, and about 2,000 other important journals; the iconic reference work Gray’s Anatomy, along with 20,000 other books—and one fed-up, award-winning mathematician.

    • U of T and Western sign agreement with Access Copyright

      I am very pleased to announce the agreement of a voluntary licence between Access Copyright, University of Toronto and Western University (formerly University of Western Ontario). The attached press release went out at 7:00 pm today (Monday) and is now on our website.

    • U. of T. and Western Capitulate to Access Copyright

      In an astonishing development that has caught all but a handful by surprise, U. of T. and Western have signed copyright deals with Access Copyright that appear to be an early and complete capitulation to an important battle over the costs and parameters of access to knowledge in Canadian post-secondary institutions.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Microsoft Loses US Smart Phone Market Share — Again
  • Finance

    • Goldman to face mortgage debt class-action lawsuit

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc was ordered by a federal judge to face a securities class-action lawsuit accusing it of defrauding investors about a 2006 offering of securities backed by risky mortgage loans from a now-defunct lender.

  • Censorship

    • Transport Canada Issues DMCA Takedown Over On-the-Record Response

      Transport Canada has reportedly issued a DMCA takedown notice to Scribd over an on-the-record response it provided to a journalist. The move is particularly odd (though not unprecedented, see here and here) given the document was issued to a journalist and the government changed its crown copyright licence last year to allow for private and non-commercial public use without the need for further permission.

  • Civil Rights

    • Assange followers give a stand-out performance

      WIKILEAKS founder Julian Assange faces a tense wait after seven judges of the British Supreme Court adjourned to decide whether he will be extradited to Sweden to face allegations of sexual assault.

      The two-day appeal by Assange against a lower court’s decision to uphold the validity of a Swedish arrest warrant marks the end of a year-long legal battle to avoid extradition, sparked by allegations by two women in 2010 that he sexually assaulted them.

      The appeal ended in a war of words between Assange’s barrister, Dinah Rose, and Clare Montgomery, QC, representing the Swedish Judicial Authority, as each sought to persuade the judges to support their respective positions not only on the fate of Julian Assange, but on the future of a controversial extradition treaty that operates throughout the European Union.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • You Will Never Kill Piracy, and Piracy Will Never Kill You
      • Ten Key Questions and Answers About Bill C-11, SOPA, ACTA, and the TPP

        In recent days there has been massive new interest in Canadian copyright reform as thousands of people write to their MPs to express concern about the prospect of adding SOPA-style rules to Bill C-11 (there are even plans for public protests beginning to emerge). The interest has resulted in some completely unacceptable threats and confusion – some claiming that the Canadian bill will be passed within 14 days (not true) and others stating that proposed SOPA-style changes are nothing more than technical changes to the bill (also not true). Even the mainstream media is getting into the mix, with the Financial Post’s Terrance Corcoran offering his “expert” legal opinion that CRIA’s lawyers are likely to lose their lawsuit against isoHunt.

      • ACTA

        • Acta goes too far, says MEP

          The French MEP who resigned his position in charge of negotiating the international Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (Acta) has said it “goes too far” by potentially cutting access to lifesaving generic drugs and restricting internet freedom.

        • Maladministration complaint against the European Parliament

          I just filed a maladministration complaint with the Ombudsman against the European Parliament for systematically lying about the existence of documents:

          The European Parliament cultivates secrecy.

          On 21 June 2011, the coordinators of the International Trade committee (INTA) decided to ask the Parliament’s legal service an opinion on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). The INTA committee’s Chairman, Mr Moreira, sent a letter to the legal service. In the letter, the Chairman allegedly left out a question on safeguards against disproportional criminalisation. While this was known in Parliament, no Member took action to solve this. I requested, among other documents, the coordinators’ minutes of the INTA committee.

        • Ambassador Apologises for ACTA, Anonymous Announces Attacks (adds)
        • Smoking gun on ACTA Criminal Sanctions

          We discovered a smoking gun on the criminal sanctions aspect of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). A declassified document reveals that the Commission made proposals and fundamentally steered the negotiations on criminal sanctions in ACTA for which no corresponding EU harmonisation exists. There is no “Acquis” element on criminal enforcement of intellectual property rights, yet. Criminal sanctions in ACTA were formally negotiated by the Council “Presidency” on behalf of the EU member states.

        • Can Poland stop ACTA?

          The EU Council and Commission have opposing opinions on whether Poland can stop ACTA. Who is right? – only the Court of Justice may tell.

          According to ZDNet, Poland may not ratify ACTA, which could spell the end of ACTA for the entire European Union:

          “Tusk’s backtracking could spell the end of ACTA for the entire European Union. If Poland or any other EU member state, or the European Parliament itself, fails to ratify the document, it becomes null and void across the union.”

          ZDNet added: “The European Commission confirmed to ZDNet UK that if just one member state does not ratify ACTA, the deal will not enter into force anywhere within the EU.”

02.04.12

Links 4/2/2012: Ubuntu 12.04 Alpha 2 Preview, ACTA Backlash in Europe

Posted in News Roundup at 8:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • More FUD Gone

    One of the key elements spread by FUDsters is the doubt about being able to do real stuff using */Linux. The naysayers trot out some pet application that they may never have used as an example of an application not available on FLOSS systems. The reality is that FLOSS on a general-purpose computer can do just about anything. Take Android/Linux, for instance. It’s on hundreds of millions of personal computers now and things like AutoCAD are available to run on it. The ISVs cannot pass up platforms that popular. And, yes, Android/Linux is a Linux distro…

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

    • The Best Calendar App for Linux

      The Best Calendar App for LinuxLinux users have a few calendar programs to choose from, but none of them are particularly spectacular—in fact, most of them aren’t very good at all. As such, we’re bending the rules of the App Directory and recommending that you use the awesome Google Calendar webapp for all your scheduling needs.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Linux games compilation 11 – Don’t fear the numbers!

        Long time no see. It’s been a while since I’ve last written a mega-game compilation. You may believe that I’ve given up Linux games. Not at all. Linux gaming is alive and kicking. Not moving forward quite as fast as I’d like, but some games are making tremendous progress, others are sending awareness waves through the fabric of humanity, others yet are fresh new titles, a testament to the slow, yet persistent growth of Linux on the domestic market. More commercial games would be nice, but we’re not here to debate finance or politics. Not much anyway.

        Truth to be told, one day, I am going to run out of available titles for these kinds of reviews, so we will have to switch back to single game articles only. Not today. Luckily for you, I’ve managed to lay my hands on several more useful games, which you will probably like. Let’s see what we have.

      • MegaGlest: a fantastic, free software strategy 3D game

        When the Glest team started “Glest” as a college project a few years ago, they probably didn’t expect their game to go such a long way. While “Glest” stopped being developed a couple of years ago in 2009, it was forked in two different projects: GAE (Glest Advanced Engine) and Megaglest (the game I am reviewing in this article). So, how is it? The answer is simple: this game is incredible, polished, enjoyable, addictive, smart, and plain simply fantastic.

        A few years ago, the general consensus was that games could only be developed thanks to big investments, and that there could never be a really good games released as GPL. This theory was proved wrong several times, and I can say that MegaGlest is yet more evidence that fantastic games released for free can — and do — exist.

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

02.03.12

Links 3/2/2012: BT Vision Goes for Linux, Linux 3.3 With Android

Posted in News Roundup at 4:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux Format 155 On Sale Today – Discover Linux!
  • Desktop

    • 2012 Linux Computer Buyer’s Guide
    • The Rise of GNU/Linux on the Desktop

      don’t know what has changed in NetApplications’ world but in the real world, a rate of growth like that would make GNU/Linux the dominant desktop OS in 3.5 years. Android/Linux is on a more modest pace and will take over the world in 4 years.

    • Soon You Will Be Running Android On Your PCs

      In an exclusive interview with Muktware, Greg-KH one of the leading figures of the Linux world, told us “The 3.3 kernel release will let you boot an Android userspace with no modifications, but not very good power management. The 3.4 kernel release will hopefully have the power management hooks that Android needs in it, along with a few other minor missing infrastructure pieces that didn’t make it into the 3.3 kernel release.”

      Google will finally wash the last remaining stain from their linen as they bring back the Android kernel to the mainline Linux kernel.

    • Coreboot Is Set To Start Booting Laptops

      This weekend in Brussels at FOSDEM along with many interesting X.Org discussions and laying out the plans for Wayland 1.0, the Coreboot project has an exciting announcement: showing off the first mainstream laptop with Coreboot support.

  • Server

    • Cray cuts the cost of its midrange supercomputers

      Supercomputer outfit Cray has announced that it is trying to make its mid-range efforts cheaper.

    • Oracle Drags Microsoft, Red Hat Into Itanium Lawsuit Swamp

      As Oracle and HP’s lawsuit over the doomed Itanium chip drags on like some Dickensian subplot, it’s time to introduce two new characters: Microsoft and Red Hat.

      Both companies were served with subpoenas last Thursday by Oracle, which seems hell-bent on unearthing every embarrassing detail on Itanium and then flushing them into the public record.

      On Monday, thanks to Oracle’s lawyers, we learned that HP is paying close to $700 million to keep Intel cranking out its unpopular Unix superprocessor until 2017. Oracle is trying to make the case that HP’s public act of pretending that people liked Itanium was not marketing but fraud. We’ll leave that one for the courts to decide.

    • How Web savvy are Romney, Gingrich and Obama?

      President Barack Obama recently held a Google+ video Hangout; Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich promised to have a permanent U.S. moon-base by 2020; and fellow Republican Mitt Romney, along with Gingrich and Obama, are against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT-IP Act (PIPA). So, as politicians go, these guys are all pretty tech-savvy right? Well, yes and no. If you look at their Web sites, which is what Strangeloop, a Web site optimization company, did, you’ll find that neither Republicans nor Democrats are as up to speed as you might like.

    • [Case Study] Lessons in High Performance Computing with Open Source
    • BT Vision throws Microsoft Mediaroom under a bus for Linux

      UK hybrid TV service BT Vision plans to be the first customer to discard Microsoft’s Mediaroom software, almost imminently, after at least a year-long effort to put in completely new software building blocks to rejuvenate the service.

  • Kernel Space

    • Hauppauge USB Receiver Tested Under Linux 3.2

      Support for the Hauppauge Aero-M USB receiver under Linux has improved with the release of the 3.2 kernel earlier this month. After some initial testing I’m happy to report its performance operating under Linux is as good as it is in a Windows environment. The Linux drivers also come with a unique feature that isn’t easily available in Windows.

      I tested the Aero-M using Arch Linux with the latest kernel, 3.2.2-1 and the Kaffeine media player, which I find superior to WinTV under Windows in that it supports the ATSC program guide and scheduling recordings using the program guide.

    • Linux 3.3 Will Let You Boot Into Android: Greg-KH

      Greg KH has quit SUSE and joined The Linux Foundation as a fellow. We interviewed Greg to understand if there will be any change in his role and responsibilities and engagement with the Linux community. We also asked about the status of Android kernel in the mainline Linux kernel.

    • Graphics Stack

      • The First Shots Of “Limare” Running On Linux

        Limare is the open-source program (the code will be dropped by early next week) that was designed to assist in reverse-engineering the ARM Mali 200/400 graphics processors. It’s a simple program, similar to reNouveau or the r600demo back in the day, for drawing simple objects to the screen.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE Tablet Sparks Starts Shipping In May

        Slowly but steadily KDE project has positioned itself at the right spot when tablets are becoming mainstream. You can pick KDE Desktop for your main PC, KDE netbook for your netbook and now Plasma Active 2 for touch based devices such as tablets. Aaron Seigo, the lead of the KDE team, has revealed more information about the KDE powered tablet.

      • Spark answers

        I’m going to attempt to answer as many questions about the Spark tablet as possible here. The questions I’ll be answering are ones found in comments in my blog, on discussion sites around the Internet and that came in by email or irc. Let the fun begin!

      • Spark, free-software Linux tablet, to ship in May
      • The Hunt for Unobtrusive Chat

        Once apon a time, Instant messaging or ‘Online Chat’ was a primary task on it’s own. That is, I remember the days when I would switch on my computer, sign in to ‘MSN Messenger’ (as it was called back then), have a voice conversation with my father (who was working in England at the time), and then be done with it. However, over the last few years, not only have we started to rely more on it, but it’s also become more of a secondary (or even tertiary) task. For example, these days I keep in contact with the rest of the telepathy-kde (or is it kde-telepathy now, or just ‘ktp’ yet?) team on IRC while I’m developing; talk to my friends (with a steam voice call) while playing a game and so on.

        The thing is that, things like that need to be able to be done simultaneously while still maintaining maximum efficiency. Which becomes painfully impossible when you have to switch windows, or the way most IM clients are implemented these days.

        So, shortly before joining the Telepathy-KDE team, I set out to figure out what would allow me to talk to someone while doing my work with the minimum overhang (interruptions).

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • Video Review: DreamLinuix 5.0 Really Dreamy?
    • Parabola GNU/Linux: Freedom Packaged
    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • PCLinuxOS 2012.2 Released

        oday, February 2, is Bill “Texstar” Reynolds’ birthday, but it’s the community who received the present. PCLinuxOS 2012.2 KDE was released today in a full sized version as well as a mini.

        This release ships with Kernel 2.6.38 and KDE 4.6.5. It comes packed with lots of your favorite apps like LibreOffice (installer), Firefox, TvTime, VLC, and the GIMP. The appearance hasn’t changed since the last release, but some additional goodies have been added. One of which is the PCLinuxOS Documentation Portal which will take users to the various features of the PCLOS Website or service.

      • PCLinuxOS KDE 2012.02 Has Been Released

        The PCLinuxOS KDE and KDE MiniME 2012.02 operating systems have been released today, February 2nd, and are now available for download.

        PCLinuxOS KDE 2012.02 is powered by Linux kernel 2.6.38.8bfs, optimized for maximum desktop performance, and the KDE SC 4.6.5 environment.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • About Fedora 16

          Before Fedora 16 was released, I was quite excited about all the features that were being planned for Verne. I was looking forward to installing both the GNOME and KDE versions on the same computer and test each back to back, under the same hardware and OS. Unfortunately, I had my share of ISSUES, and that kind of put me off a bit. After a while testing other distros, I had some spare time and decided to go for Fedora 16. Like I said, I tested GNOME and KDE back to back, but before I go on about that comparison (which will be an article in itself), I wanted to share some of my impressions on Verne, both from KDE and GNOME perspectives.

        • Review: Installation and first Look: Fuduntu 2012.1

          Fuduntu started off as a customized Fedora install, but recently forked Fedora to create their own special distro that borrowed a bit from Ubuntu and a bit from Fedora. It has a very nice look when it first starts up and I almost forget that it’s Gnome 2.x:

        • Anaconda to the Rescue
        • Compiz Is Likely To Get The Boot From Fedora 17

          While Fedora 17 has a massive amount of features to look forward to, updates to Compiz is likely not on the agenda. In the coming days, Compiz and its related packages for this compositing window manager are likely to be removed from the Fedora 17 package-list.

          Compiz is on the list of packages that are set to be “retired” from Fedora. There’s a whole list of the packages set to be retired from Fedora 17 in this mailing list message.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Precise Pangolin Alpha 2 Released!

            The Ubuntu team has announced the release of Precise Pangolin Alpha 2, which will in time become Ubuntu 12.04.

            Kate Steward writes on a mailing list, “Alpha 2 is the second in a series of milestone images that will be released throughout the Precise development cycle. This is the first Ubuntu milestone release to include images for the armhf architecture, for the ARM CPUs using the hard-float ABI.”

          • Precise Pangolin Alpha 2 Released!

            Pre-releases of Precise Pangolin are *not* encouraged for anyone needing a stable system or anyone who is not comfortable running into occasional, even frequent breakage. They are, however, recommended for Ubuntu developers and those who want to help in testing, reporting, and fixing bugs.

          • Ubuntu 12.04 Development update
          • Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Alpha 2 arrives for testing

            As expected, the Ubuntu release team has published the second alpha of version 12.04 of its Ubuntu Linux distribution, code-named “Precise Pangolin”. Aimed at developers and testers, the development milestone release uses the 3.2.0-12.21 Ubuntu kernel which is based on the recent 3.2.2 Linux kernel.

          • Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Precise Pangolin Alpha 2 Released
          • How Much Gnome 3.4 Will Be There In Ubuntu 12.04?

            Ubuntu 12.04 is an LTS version so the team has to be very careful about what they pick or drop as this is the version which is used by enterprise customers or by those who want a stable system well supported for a longer period of time. They have to be careful about the individual applications as well, so they are picking different versions of applications from the Gnome stack.

          • Ubuntu 12.04 ARM Performance Becomes Very Compelling
          • Unity: Very Intrusive & A Nightmare To Maintain

            Along with the discussion around a rolling-release version of Fedora Linux, having been discussed recently has been the possibility of providing Ubuntu’s Unity desktop as an alternative desktop environment for Fedora. This is obviously a topic that gets some riled up.

            The discussion about Unity desktop packages as a possibility for Fedora has basically died since there’s no Fedora package maintainers interested in doing the legwork at this point and most importantly is that Unity doesn’t take advantage of many of the upstream GNOME APIs. With incompatible API implementations for some packages, this makes working with Unity a pain if wishing to still fully support the GNOME 3.x desktop in a streamlined manner.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Make Switching From Windows To Linux Easier With Zorin OS

              Despite the many reasons why people preach the use of Linux, actually going through with the switch is a completely different story. I know this only too well as I went through the exact same process before everything came together and I fell in love with Linux. However, I have to admit that it took a while with numerous attempts at using Linux for more than a week.

              It’s not that Linux is hard to use or understand, but it simply doesn’t fit the Windows mindset that most people have. Expecting to do everything in Linux exactly like in Windows is where problems start appearing, which can easily deter a good number of users. Thankfully, there is now a Linux distribution that could make the process a whole lot easier.

            • Linux Mint 12 KDE released!
            • Linux Mint 12 KDE released
            • Can Lubuntu Lure Windows 8 Users?

              One of the biggest challenges that Windows users will soon face is the transition to an unknown territory called Metro which will be introduced with Windows 8. The PC interface has remained same ever since Apple took the concept from Xerox and made it popular through Lisa. It has improved and evolved over ages, but just like the front seat of a car has remained same for some good reason, just the way QWERTY keyboard has been around for ever.

              Given the monopoly that Microsoft has in the desktop market, Windows 8 will come pre-installed on new PCs and users will be forced to use it. I don’t know how the market will react to this massive change. Windows 8 could be yet another Vista in the making. Yes, it will be an incredible OS for touch based devices which is in the league of GNU/Linux’s Gnome 3 Shell or KDE Plasma Active which is optimized for touch-based devices.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • FTDI adds touch capability to its open source platform

    Future Technology Devices International (FTDI) has added a touch control input/output application boards for its Vinco development module.

    The Vinco Touch Key applications board, which the supplier calls a shield mates with the Vinco motherboard, and incorporates a STMicroelectronics STMPE821 8-channel general purpose input/output (GPIO) capacitive touch key controller IC.

  • Open source software should be used to secure public sector systems, IT bosses are told
  • Free Software Is Just Fine

    FOSS is supported in many ways:

    * Open source – Make the source openly available.
    * Open standards – Use or create common available specifications.
    * Open development – Accept development contributions (source, review, test) from outside contributors.
    * Data ownership – Allow users to maintain ownership of their data by being able to move their data between their choice of solutions or remove their data entirely.

  • Events

    • SambaXP 2012 conference call for papers

      The Samba eXPerience organisers have announced that the eleventh international Samba conference will take place from 8 to 11 May 2012 in Göttingen, Germany at the Hotel Freizeit. The event is open to both users and developers of the open source Windows interoperability suite for Linux and Unix.

      The conference will include tutorials on 8 May, with the main conference taking place on 9 and 10 May. For the first time, there will also be a BarCamp on Friday 11 May at which attendees can speak to members of the Samba Team about conference topics and Samba in general.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla developing Web push notification system for Firefox

        Mozilla is developing a push notification system for the Firefox Web browser. It will allow users to receive notifications from websites without having to keep those sites open in their browser. The system will also be able to relay push notifications to mobile devices.

        The project is part of Mozilla’s broader effort to ensure that the Web is a competitive platform that can match the capabilities of native applications. Introducing support for push notifications will help to close the gap, because the feature is one of the major advantages that native mobile clients have historically offered over the browser for accessing Web services.

      • Seamonkey review: Firefox’s Lightweight Hyper-Functional Cousin

        Seamonkey has an interesting history, in that it is both older and younger than Firefox. Older, because originally it was built from Mozilla Suite code (for those of you that don’t know, Mozilla Application Suite is the parent of Firefox, and was originally built from the code of Netscape Navigator which was open-sourced in 1998). Seamonkey is also younger than Firefox in that Seamonkey’s first version, 1.0, was not released until 2006, 2 years after Firefox 1.0. Quite a few people are not even aware of the existence of Seamonkey or the Mozilla Suite, thinking that Firefox was the successor to Netscape Navigator, created deliberately to enact their vendetta against Microsoft for their monopolistic practices that killed Netscape. But glorious fantasies aside, Mozilla Application Suite was the real successor.

  • SaaS

    • 2 Ways To Ease Hadoop Growing Pains

      Interest in Hadoop is booming, so it should be no surprise that commercial vendors are piling on with products that promise to make the open source big data platform more reliable, more versatile, less expensive (by reducing required hardware investments) or faster.

      Enter EMC Isilon and RainStor, both of which say they’re plugging gaps in Hadoop to meet enterprise-grade needs. Each vendor brings a new twist to HDFS, Hadoop’s distributed file system. EMC Isilon has tied its network-attached storage to HDFS, while RainStor has added a database on top of the file system that promises high compression as well as support for SQL analysis.

  • CMS

  • Business

  • BSD

    • GhostBSD 2.5 review

      GhostBSD is a desktop distribution based on FreeBSD. It comes as an installable Live DVD image and is developed by Eric Turgeon and Nahuel Sanchez. The latest edition, GhostBSD 2.5, based on FreeBSD 9, is the project’s fourth release, and was made available for public download on January 24 (2012).

      This article provides the first review of this distribution on this website, and it is based on test installations of the 32-bit version. The boot menu is shown below.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

  • Licensing

    • Understanding Open Source Licensing

      In works licensed under an open source license, anyone is permitted to modify and redistribute, as long as a given set of criterion are met. But, that’s the simple definition. Life in the open source licensing world is much more complex than that. Before going any further, let us catch a glimpse of what an open source license means and what are its associated caveats. Strictly speaking, an open source license must comply with the definition specified by Open Source Initiative, as laid out at http://opensource.org/ docs/definition.php:

    • GPL enforcement sparks community flames

      The debate over enforcement of the GPL took an interesting turn this week, after one developer’s call for more projects to begin enforcement proceedings against alleged GPL violators of the Linux kernel.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Sharing: Culture and the Economy in the Internet Age – By Philippe Aigrain

      Sharing: Culture and the Economy in the Internet Age is out! Philippe Aigrain, co-founder of La Quadrature du Net, in collaboration with Suzanne Aigrain, describes the creative contribution, a financial model designed to sustain an expanding creative economy in a context where sharing is recognized as a right.

    • Open thread: An open House of Representatives?

      Today, the US House of Representatives is hosting a 2-day conference about how they can be more open and transparent about what they do under the dome. They are exploring ideas and recommendations on how to create transparency on how legislative information is created and made available for public access. You might be following the conversation on Twitter (#LDTC) or watching the live webcast.

    • Open Data

  • Programming

    • Join the M revolution
    • Programming is the new High School Diploma
    • Zarafa launches git.zarafa.com

      Messaging and collaboration specialist Zarafa has announced the launch of git.zarafa.com, its own Gitorious distributed version control system. The company says git.zarafa.com is intended to enable developers to “innovate, contribute and get real time updates from the Zarafa software development team”.

    • Komodo IDE 7.0 adds Node.js, LESS and CoffeeScript support

      ActiveState has announced the release of version 7.0.0 of its Komodo integrated development environment (IDE) for Python, PHP, Ruby, JavaScript, Perl and web development. The new version includes a code collaboration tool for sharing changes to selected users in real time and a sync feature for synchronising key bindings and preferences across multiple machines. Komodo 7.0 language support has been extended with editing and syntax checking for Node.js, CoffeeScript, LESS, CSS, EJS and Mojolicious. New code profiling features have also been added, but currently only support PHP and Python.

Leftovers

  • Confused about iPads in Education

    Maybe I’m just not “hip” enough to see the need for them, but it seems to me if we want to revolutionize how our students learn using technology they would be better served if that technology came in the form of something other than an “iPad” or capacitive tablet of any sort. Whats your take on it?

  • VeriSign, maintainer of net’s DNS, warns it was repeatedly hacked

    VeriSign, the company that manages a key internet database for routing traffic to websites and email addresses, exposed private information after being hacked on multiple occasions in 2010, the company quietly disclosed late last year.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Whistle-blowing Scientists (Trying To Prevent Dangerous Products From Reaching The Market) Sue FDA For Snooping On Their Personal Email Accounts

      Last year, we wrote about the federal whistle-blowing act, which was designed to give protections to federal employees who blow the whistle on federal fraud and abuse. For reasons that still aren’t clear, that bill was killed by a secret hold by either Senators Jon Kyl or Jeff Sessions. That fact only came out due to an amazing effort by the folks at On The Media, who kept hounding all 100 Senators to find out who would possibly kill such a bill. Recently, On The Media revisited the topic, noting that there was a new version of the bill. The report also talks about just how vindictive the government has been against whistleblowers. Even as President Obama has insisted that whistleblowers are important and should be protected, that’s not what’s happening in real life, with many getting stripped of their responsibility and demoted — all for daring to point out waste, fraud and abuse. The worst example to date, remains the horrifying story of Thomas Drake, who was threatened with 35 years in jail in a bogus vindictive lawsuit against him, due to his blowing the whistle on a bogus NSA project.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • One Nation, Under Guard

      Bad news about the impending police state here in America: it’s already here. From the indefinite detention (without trial) of terrorism suspects both foreign and American to the escalating militarization of our nation’s police forces, there’s little to indicate that any level of government is willing to “walk back” the overreach of law enforcement, much of which stems from the Patriot Act’s anti-terrorism aims.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • ‘Gasland’ Journalists Arrested At Hearing By Order Of House Republicans (UPDATES)

      In a stunning break with First Amendment policy, House Republicans directed Capitol Hill police to detain a highly regarded documentary crew that was attempting to film a Wednesday hearing on a controversial natural gas procurement practice. Initial reports from sources suggested that an ABC News camera was also prevented from taping the hearing; ABC has since denied that they sent a crew to the hearing.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • ALEC Education “Academy” Launches on Island Resort

      Today, hundreds of state legislators from across the nation will head out to an “island” resort on the coast of Florida to a unique “education academy” sponsored by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). There will be no students or teachers. Instead, legislators, representatives from right-wing think tanks and for-profit education corporations will meet behind closed doors to channel their inner Milton Friedman and promote the radical transformation of the American education system into a private, for-profit enterprise.

    • ALEC Exposed, for 24 Hours
  • Censorship

    • This Week in Censorship: Arrested Bloggers in Vietnam, Google’s New Censorship Policy, and China Blocks Tibetan-Language Blogs

      As we have previously covered, the Vietnamese government continues to crack down on bloggers and writers who have spoken out against the Communist regime. Alternative news site, Vietnam Redemptorist News, has been targeted by the state and several of their active contributors have been arrested. Paulus Le Son, 26, is one of the most active bloggers who was arrested without a warrant.
      Vietnam is increasingly applying vague national security laws to silence free speech and political opposition. He is one of 17 bloggers who have been arrested since August 2011. Charged with “subversion” and “activities aimed at overthrowing the people’s administration”, there is a campaign to release him and the others who have been detained

    • When Judges Are Determining Whether Or Not Art Should Exist… We Have A Problem

      We’ve written about the somewhat horrifying ruling in the Richard Prince appropriation art case before. If you haven’t been following the details, Prince is an appropriation artist, who takes works he finds elsewhere, and modifies and transforms them into different pieces of artwork. The law around this kind of artwork is tragically murky — with some cases ruling that appropriation art is fair use, and some ruling otherwise. The Prince case got extra attention for a few reasons. One is that Prince is considered one of the biggest name artists around, and his works can sell for millions of dollars. The second is that this case also implicated the gallery that showed Prince’s work, raising some serious questions about secondary liability for galleries, and whether or not galleries themselves must become copyright experts. Finally, the ruling suggested that Prince’s artwork — valued at a few million dollars — might need to be destroyed..

  • Civil Rights

    • Do You Like Online Privacy? You May Be a Terrorist
    • WikiLeaks aside, Assange case strikes core of civil liberty

      JULIAN Assange’s current court appearance in Britain has nothing to do with sex or United States diplomatic cables or even with WikiLeaks. But it may make an important contribution to European law.
      The United Kingdom Supreme Court will be considering the point I raised on his behalf when a Swedish prosecutor claimed to be a ”judicial authority” empowered to issue a warrant to have him extradited to prison in Stockholm. My written argument began quite bluntly: ”The notion that a prosecutor is a ‘judicial authority’ is a contradiction in terms.”
      Judges must, as their defining quality, be independent of government. Police and prosecutors employed and promoted by the state obviously cannot be perceived as impartial if they are permitted to decide issues on the liberty of individuals.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Jenzabar Continues To Try To Censor Criticism Via Trademark Bullying

        Some people continue to insist that intellectual property and censorship are two totally separate issues, but that’s ridiculous. Yet another example is in the ongoing case concerning software company Jenzabar, which we’ve covered before. If you’re just picking this up now, one of Jenzabar’s founders, Chai Ling, many years ago, was one of the student leaders of the Tiananmen Square uprising — a point that the company regularly used in its PR efforts. A documentary film from Long Bow Productions showed Ling making some comments years ago about how she hoped the uprising would lead to bloodshed, in order to incentivize a wider uprising. Most people might write off such comments as extreme comments in the heat of the moment from a young, immature activist, and let it go. If Ling had just said that she regretted the comments, the whole thing would have probably blown over.

    • Copyrights

      • The Supreme Court’s Golan decision gives short shrift to the public domain

        In a decision that favored the 1% (copyright owners) over the 99% (consumers and the public domain), the U.S. Supreme Court recently held that neither the Patent and Copyright Clause of the U.S. Constitution nor the First Amendment prohibits the removal of works from the public domain. Golan v. Holder, No. 10-545. Prior blog coverage of the case: certiorari granted and the 10th Circuit opinion.

        The majority opinion was written by Justice Ginsburg for herself and five other justices. Justice Breyer, joined by Justice Alito, dissented. (Justice Kagan recused herself, as she had participated in the case as Solicitor General before being named to the Court.) The line-up of justices was therefore essentially the same as the 7-2 opinion in Eldred v. Ashcroft, 537 U.S. 186 (2003), which upheld the Constitutionality of copyright term extension, with Justice Alito replacing Justice Stevens in dissent, and Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Sotomayor replacing Chief Justice Rehnquist and Justice O’Connor, respectively, in the majority.

      • Book Review: Bounce, Tumble, and Splash! by Tony Mullen

        YouTube is good, but not ideal, and the lack of a download link is somewhat annoying. So I spent some time researching good free media hosting sites for large files and ISOs. Torrent sites are particularly good for hosting the high-definition versions.

        These days I get a little paranoid doing this, and indeed, if so-called “anti-piracy” laws are passed (like SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, or others as-yet-unnamed), there really might come a time when I suddenly start running into walls because these sites have been cut off, blocked, and people like me who are looking for them are profiled as “potential copyright offenders” to be prosecuted or otherwise harassed. Because a list of what the MPAA and RIAA’s think of as “rogue sites” looks an awful lot like a list of “free distributor sites for free culture media”. Many of them have a mixture of legal free content and illegal pirated content. Sometimes it’s hard to tell which is which.

      • The Death of File Sharing

        Last week’s violent government attack on the hugely popular site Megaupload — the U.S. government arresting Belgian citizens in New Zealand, of all places, and stealing at gunpoint servers bank accounts and property — has sent shock waves through the entire digital world.

        The first shock was the realization that the gigantic protest against legislative moves (SOPA and PIPA) that would smash the Internet turned out to be superfluous. The thing everyone wanted to prevent is already here. SOPA turns out not to be the unwelcome snake in the garden of free information. The snakes have already taken over the garden and are hanging from every tree.

      • Shoe on the other foot: RIAA wants to scrap anti-piracy OPEN Act

        The Recording Industry Association of America found itself in an unusual position this week: opposing an anti-piracy bill that’s gaining momentum in Congress.

        “The OPEN Act does nothing” to stop online infringement and “may even make the problem worse,” the industry group says in a statement it is circulating on Capitol Hill this week. “It does not establish a workable framework, standards, or remedies. It is not supported by those it purports to protect.”

      • Book Review: No Safe Harbor by the US Pirate Party

        When I first heard the expression “Pirate Party”, I was sure it was some kind of a joke. When I found out they were actually getting elected to representative seats in Europe, though, I certainly started taking the idea seriously. But could a political party in the USA actually get somewhere with a name like the “United States Pirate Party”. Certainly not without a good platform introduction — and that’s what this book of essays is all about.

      • Rather Than Bitching About The Failure Of SOPA/PIPA, Rupert Murdoch Should Take A Closer Look At His Own Policies

        Danny Sullivan recently put forth an open letter to Murdoch, talking about the difficulty of getting The Simpsons legally, despite paying for it…

      • Neil Young on music and Steve Jobs: ‘piracy is the new radio’
      • Why History Needs Software Piracy

        Amid the debate surrounding controversial anti-piracy legislation such as SOPA and PIPA, our public discourse on piracy tends to focus on the present or the near future. When jobs and revenues are potentially at stake, we become understandably concerned about who is (or isn’t) harmed by piracy today.

      • Red Box To Warner Bros: Shove That 56-Day Rental Delay Up Your Ass!
      • BEACH BOYS LYRICIST TELLS PAINTER TO CEASE-AND-DESIST

        Perhaps no one was more excited by the long-awaited release of the Beach Boys’ unfinished 1966 album Smile than Erik den Breejen. Even before Smile came out late last year, the young painter (and lifelong Beach Boys fan) had set to work on a series of paintings that transformed the lyrics into brightly colored text-blocks, assembled into shapes of ocean waves and smiling lips.

      • ICE Seizes 300 More Sites; Can’t Have People Watching Super Bowl Ads Without Permission

        Despite the massive failures of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) program to seize domains on questionable legal theories, it’s right back at it. ICE has just seized over 300 domains apparently all related to the Super Bowl (of course). They did this last year too… and now the US government is in court over it with the Rojadirecta sites. Many of the sites were selling counterfeit merchandise, which is a more reasonable target, but still seems to be overblown. I’m still at a loss as to how this is any of the government’s concern, rather than a civil issue that could be taken up by the NFL itself. Do we really want law enforcement officials spending time working for the NFL?

      • The SOPA/PIPA Protest Shows Why There Needs To Be Complete Transparency With TPP
      • Before the Movie Begins

        Please note that the use of any recording equipment to capture this film is strictly forbidden, including: camcorders, cameras, cell phones, charcoal, ink, paint (oil or water-based), and the human brain. On leaving the theatre, you will be assaulted by baseball-bat-wielding ushers, who will pummel your skull until you forget what you have seen.

        Any remaining memories are yours to keep and enjoy, provided you do not discuss them with others or make them available via mankind’s collective unconscious. In addition, your experience of this film may not be remixed in any form; dreams involving any of its characters must adhere strictly to the film’s actual plotline and running time, and must also comply with copyright laws in your state or territory. Any sexual fantasies based on it may not exceed the film’s M.P.A.A. rating.

      • Steele files an opposition to EFF’s brief: nothing but insults
      • If Politicians Pushing SOPA/PIPA Want To Create Jobs, They Should Support The Internet — And Stop Treating Copyright Companies As Special

        A key element of the political rhetoric around SOPA/PIPA was the idea that it was about jobs, and that jobs are so critical in the current economic climate that safeguarding them overrides any other concern the Net world might have about the means being proposed to do that. But then the key question becomes: who are really more important in terms of those jobs – the copyright industries, or companies exploiting the potential of the Internet that would be harmed if the Net were hobbled by new legislation?

      • ACTA

02.02.12

Links 2/2/2012: DEFT Linux 7, Mozilla Firefox 10

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Userful releases Multiseat Linux virtualisation

      SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Userful has launched its Multiseat PC sharing software for Linux with added Ethernet compatibility.

      Multiseat enables businesses and schools to turn one Linux system into multiple stations using HP’s t200 thin client. The software is bundled with the t200, keyboard and mouse for $99.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • A Short Q&A with New Linux Foundation Fellow Greg Kroah-Hartman
    • Exclusive Interview With Greg Kroah-Hartman [Video]

      Kroah-Hartman created and maintains the Linux Driver Project. He is also currently the maintainer for the Linux stable kernel branch and a variety of different subsystems that include USB, staging, driver core, tty, and sysfs, among others. Most recently, he was a Fellow at SUSE. Kroah-Hartman is an adviser to Oregon State University’s Open Source Lab, a member of The Linux Foundation’s Technical Advisory Board, has delivered a variety of keynote addresses at developer and industry events, and has authored two books covering Linux device drivers and Linux kernel development.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Introducing Wayland’s Weston Launcher

        The other Wayland-related news yesterday besides the surprise announcement that the Wayland 1.0 stable release is approaching was the first-shot attempt at “weston-launch”, an easy launcher for the demo Weston compositor.

      • Using An OpenCL Kernel In GStreamer

        There’s now a GStreamer plug-in to utilize OpenCL within this popular Linux video framework so that an OpenCL kernel can be applied against a video stream.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva lives to fight another fortnight

        Chief operating officer Jean-Manuel Croset said that an “external entity” that had expressed an interest in buying the company had not been able to do so because of objections by a minority shareholder.

      • MCLinuxPC 2012 – The Whole Kitchen Sink

        Kind of bubble sort, distributions come up, tumble down, some grow, some die unmaintained. First we had Slack, then Redhat, Mandy, Mepis, Ubuntu, PCLinuxOS… and now Mint. Most often the popularity of a distribution depends on the degree of “out of the box” functionality it offers, plus how well it integrates the various bits and pieces. IMO, only three distributions championed in this regards – Mepis, PCLinuxOS and Mint.

        Now on to the business. Here I am reviewing MCLinuxPC 2012, a remaster that comes from one of my favorite distributions that manages rpm packages on synaptic, by Sefy. No awards for guessing. But I won’t reveal the name for two obvious reasons: first, this remaster has gone too far in including the software not allowed to be legally redistributed, second, it’s not been publicly announced.

      • Should Mandriva Have Focused On More Than Just the OS?

        If you follow the Linux scene, it’s been hard to miss the brinksmanship with bankruptcy that Mandriva has been involved in. Susan has been covering the drama, and many OStatic readers have weighed in on it, some bewildered at how a respected platform went so awry, and some not surprised at all. Among those who follow commercial Linux vendors, though, there is a growing concensus that Mandriva S.A. failed to offer more than just an operating system.

      • February 2012 Issue of The PCLinuxOS Magazine Released
    • Debian Family

      • From Mint to Debian on a server

        Not too long ago I posted that I’d switched my two servers from Ubuntu to Linux Mint. I was impressed by Mint’s polish and ease of setup, and was using it everywhere else, so for consistency when I built new servers, I used Mint 10 for those too.

        They’ve been working fine – flawlessly, in fact – but in retrospect I think it was a mistake. Mint 10 is reaching the end of its support life in April, and there’s no upgrade path. You have to reinstall. I’ve tried “unauthorized” methods for version upgrades to Mint in the past, and they don’t usually work all that well. I knew I’d eventually face this issue, but now that it’s almost upon me it seems like much more of a hassle than it did back when I built these boxes. So when I came upon an opportunity to move to 64-bit on one of the servers, I decided to change now.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Obsidian joins Ubuntu Advantage Reseller programme

            Leading open source software and services provider, Obsidian, is pleased to announce that it has strengthened its relationship with Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu operating system, by joining its Ubuntu Advantage Reseller partner network.

            Ubuntu Advantage is a package of services and tools that help customers deploy and manage Ubuntu on servers, desktops and in the cloud. Delivered by Obsidian, supported by Canonical, it includes support services from Ubuntu experts as well as Web-based software for the ongoing management and monitoring of physical and virtual systems.

          • Desktop-Tweaking Tools For Ubuntu Linux

            Ubuntu Linux got a new look when the much-debated Unity was unveiled to users. The modern, search-based interface was liked as much as it was hated, making it one of Canonical’s most controversial decisions. The problem with Unity was not just that it was a new interface; the main issue this reborn Ubuntu faced was of basic usability gone wrong. So, as obvious as it may seem, many people are trying hard to disencumber themselves from this ‘innovation’. While most of those efforts are spent making alternative distros, some are busy tweaking the desktop.

          • Multi-Monitor Update and Greeter Prototype
          • [Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter] Issue 250
          • Unity 5.2: What’s new, and a call for testing
          • Are You Ready to Test Unity 5.2 in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS?

            Canonical announced a few minutes ago, February 1st, that the Unity 5.2 interface is ready for testing on the Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin) platform.

          • Alternatives to Ubuntu

            Old-school Ubuntu fans who aren’t a fan of the new Unity-based direction of the operating system might find something to like in some of the official Ubuntu spin-offs.

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Screenshot tour: Roku 2 streaming media player

      This Screenshot Tour was created to accompany our upcoming detailed review of Roku’s latest streaming media player device family. The tour comprises about 140 screenshots showcasing the Roku 2 media player’s menu system; its extensive library of movies, TV shows, and Internet content channels; its ability to stream from USB drives and LAN shares; the device’s setup functions; and more.

    • Phones

      • WebOS Swings Along the Open Road

        WebOS was “a beautiful thing when HP demonstrated it — HP just failed to get the world excited about it with a thorough advertising campaign and particularly getting ISVs and developers interested,” opined blogger Robert Pogson. “I hope that freeing the source code will have the desired effect. WebOS is too good a thing to lose.”

      • Android

        • NTT Docomo’s Android phones have Mickey Mouse user interface

          NTT Docomo announced a pair of 4.3-inch Android 2.3 smartphones whose styling, user interface, and content all have a Disney theme. Both have dual-core Texas Instruments OMAP4430 processors, but the “Disney Mobile on docomo F-08D” is clocked to 1.2GHz, offers HD resolution, and has a 13-megapixel camera, while the “Disney Mobile on docomo P-05D” offers 1GHz performance and a 960 x 540-pixel OLED screen.

        • CyanogenMod v9 Experimental Build for Sprint Epic 4G Touch
        • Whitepaper for Sony Xperia S gives us a detailed look at its specs

          While we’re not expecting to see the Sony Xperia S until early March, we’re gradually seeing more and more details on the device trickling out. British retailer Clove has received a copy of the Whitepaper for the Xperia S and within its 18 pages we get a pretty detailed look into its specs.

        • Kernel source released for AT&T Galaxy Note
        • Huawei Honor spotted at the FCC with AT&T bands

          One of Huawei’s most popular mid-range phones, the Honor (also known as the Glory, or the Mercury on Cricket) may soon be headed to AT&T. The phone was spotted going through the storied halls of the Federal Communications Commission, seeking certification for a US release. The phone had radios compatible with AT&T’s 3G and HSPA+ bands. As always with FCC filings, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s coming to any particular carrier – phones are often certified for the benefit of showing them off to potential partners.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • SDG Systems Announces Trimble Yuma® with GNU/Linux®

        SDG Systems announced today the availability of the Trimble Yuma rugged tablet computer running the Linux operating system. The Yuma with Linux provides an open source alternative for field data collection, military or industrial applications.

Free Software/Open Source

  • SFC director Kuhn reacts to BusyBox flame war

    Kuhn was reacting to the flame war that has grown out of Linux developer Matthew Garrett’s criticism of efforts to develop a replacement for the popular BusyBox program that provides minimalist replacements for the most common utilities usually found on a UNIX or Linux system.

  • Interview: Jaisen Mathai of OpenPhoto
  • Google is killing Free Software

    I’m not sure I should presume intent because of Hanlon’s razor, but a lot of smart people concerned about Free Software work at Google, so they should at least be aware of it.

    The first problem I have with Google is that they are actively working on making the world of Free Software a worse place. The best example for this is Native Client. It’s essentially a tool that allows building web pages without submitting anything even resembling source code to the client. And thereby it’s killing the “View Source” option. (You could easily build such a tool as Free Software if instead of transmitting the binary, you’d transmit the source code. Compare HTML with Flash here.)

  • Events

    • Get Your Embedded Linux On: Join Me at Yocto Project Developer Day

      Building an embedded Linux distribution can be a daunting task. From the Board Support Package (BSP) to Kernel configuration, root file system setup and the selection many additional software package there are many choices to make and taking the wrong turn can easily lead to a dead end and many hours of wasted time.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Delivers Firefox 10, Shifts Approach to Extensions
      • Mozilla’s first Extended Support Release arrives

        As expected, Mozilla has released the first Extended Support Release of Firefox, based on Firefox 10, for organisations. The release is the culmination of what began as complaints from the enterprise community that the rapid release schedule of Firefox was leaving them unable to qualify Firefox for use within their organisations. Mozilla reactivated its Enterprise Working Group who worked to create the ESR proposal for particular versions of Firefox to be supported for up to a year. The proposal was later refined and scheduled to launch with Firefox 10. The ESR release of Firefox 10 is not for individual users who Mozilla expect want to see the latest features and technologies in their browser.

      • Firefox 10 and Thunderbird 10 Arrive on Ubuntu 12.04
  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • TDF To Base Foundation In Germany

      The Document Foundation (TDF) has announced that it will base its community-driven entity in Berlin, in the legal form of a German Stiftung. This kind of structure is recognized worldwide as a legally stable, safe and long term entity, providing the ideal cornerstone for the long term growth of the community and its software.

      “For the first time in 12 years, the development of the free office suite finally takes place within an entity that not only perfectly fits the values and ideals of the worldwide community, but also has this very same community driving it. The future home of the best free office suite is built and shaped by everyone who decides to participate and join. And the best is: Everyone can contribute and is invited to do so, to further strenghten the free office ecosystem,” says Florian Effenberger, Chairman of the Board at TDF.

  • CMS

    • Your CMS Is Not Your Web Site

      First and foremost, the job of a CMS is (not surprisingly) to manage your content. It keeps content in raw form, separate from the presentation layer in which it eventually should appear. A CMS also allows you to deliver content in multiple formats, such as JSON, RSS and Atom feeds. Many legacy and proprietary content management systems rely on creating static HTML output to use for a Web site, but most newer or open-source content management systems are developed in a way that they can be queried directly and return Web-friendly markup.

  • Business

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD and PC-BSD installers in pictures

      In January, FreeBSD hit its 9.0 release, and PC-BSD followed soon after with its FreeBSD-based 9.0 release.

      FreeBSD takes the tried and tested method of having a text-based installer. Although this release contained a new installer called bsdinstall, it is very similar to the older sysinstall process.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • You did your part, now it’s our turn to do more for you!

      Well, you did it! We raised $300,000 for free software during our winter fundraising drive, thanks to your contributions.
      Even better, we also exceeded our “behind the scenes” goal, which was to sign up at least 400 new members over the two months. I’m really thrilled to welcome so many new supporters, including our 423 new associate members.

    • GNU spotlight with Karl Berry (January 2012)

      In addition to the usual releases, a new installment of the Lilypond Report has been published. It includes release news, an interview, Prelude #1 in Scheme, and more.

  • Project Releases

  • Licensing

    • Some Thoughts on Conservancy’s GPL Enforcement

      As most of those who know me are aware, I’ve been involved in GPL enforcement for more than 12 years, across three different organizations, the most recent one being here at the Software Freedom Conservancy. Since 2001, I’ve written dozens of articles, blog posts, and given at least fifty talks and CLE classes about how to do GPL compliance, and how enforcement actions tend to occur.

      This weekend at SCALE, I gave a version of a talk I’ve given many times (also available as an oggcast), which I’ve usually entitled something like 12 Years of Copyleft Compliance: A Historical Perspective. I decided to retire this talk last weekend at SCALE (in part because it’s now coming up on 13 years), but before I put that material aside, I thought I’d write a blog post summarizing the more salient points that I make in that talk.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Ending the Symphony Fork

      A fork is a form of software reuse. I like your software module. It meets some or many of my needs, but I need some additional features.

      When I want to reuse existing functionality from another software product, I generally have four choices:

      1. If your module is nicely designed and extensible, then I might be able to simply use your code as-is and write new code to extend it.
      2. I can convince you to modify your module so it meets my needs.
      3. I can work with you in your open source project to make the module (“our” module in this case) meet our mutual needs.
      4. I can copy the source code of your module and change the code in my copy, and integrate that modified module into my product.

Leftovers

  • Finance

    • Holder & Obama’s Propaganda is “Belied by a Troublesome Little Thing Called Facts”

      Elite financial institutions officers engaged in fraud face a dramatically reduced risk of prosecution compared to 20 years ago when financial fraud was far less common. TRAC reports that the number of financial institution fraud prosecutions under Obama is less than one-half the number 20 years ago. Bush (II) was slightly better than Obama in prosecuting non-elite financial institution frauds, but both were pathetically bad.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Google Bursts Microsoft’s Myth About Privacy Policy

      Google has clearly stated that users can opt-out of Google’s ad targeting as well as prevent Google for logging your search history. Google has in fact consolidated information at one place so it is easier to understand and be controlled by users as compared to lengthy documents full of incomprehensible legal jargons. Users are still in full control as they always were while using Google service.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Estonia Next In Line To Receive US ‘Encouragement’ To Adopt Harsher Anti-Piracy Laws

      Numerous Wikileaks cables have highlighted the pressure that the US has brought to bear on several foreign governments behind closed doors in an attempt to get the latter to pass maximalist copyright laws. But it’s worth noting that plenty of arm twisting takes place openly. Here, for example, is a letter (pdf) from the American Chamber of Commerce in Estonia addressed to the Minister of Justice, and the Minister of Economic

    • Copyrights

      • The Sky Is Rising!

        For years now, the legacy entertainment industry has been predicting its own demise, claiming that the rise of technology, by enabling easy duplication and sharing — and thus copyright infringement — is destroying their bottom line. If left unchecked, they say, it is not only they that will suffer, but also the content creators, who will be deprived of a means to make a living. And, with artists lacking an incentive to create, no more art will be produced, starving our culture. While it seems obvious to many that this could not possibly be true, since creators and performers of artistic content existed long before the gatekeepers ever did, we’ve looked into the numbers to get an honest picture of the state of things. What we found is that not only is the sky not falling, as some would have us believe, but it appears that we’re living through an incredible period of abundance and opportunity, with more people producing more content and more money being made than ever before. As it turns out… The Sky Is Rising!

      • White House Says It Can’t Comment On Possible Chris Dodd Investigation
      • Hollywood Gets To Party With TPP Negotiators; Public Interest Groups Get Thrown Out Of Hotel

        We’ve been talking about the ridiculous levels of secrecy around the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) agreement — a trade agreement that is being designed to push through basically everything that Hollywood wants in international copyright law. Last week, we mentioned that various civil society groups were planning to hold an open meeting about TPP in the same hotel where the negotiations were being held (in Hollywood, of course).

      • Angry Birds boss: ‘Piracy may not be a bad thing: it can get us more business’

        Rovio Mobile learned from the music industry’s mistakes when deciding how to deal with piracy of its Angry Birds games and merchandise, chief executive Mikael Hed told the Midem conference in Cannes this morning.

      • CreativeAmerica Literally Resorts To Buying Signatures

        Remember CreativeAmerica? This is the slickly produced operation that claims to be a “grassroots” organization in favor of SOPA and PIPA… but which is actually funded by the major studios, staffed by former MPAA employees, and has had all the major studios directly pushing employees and partners to sign up for the program — even to the point of threatening to take away business if they don’t sign.

        This is also the group that was caught copying an anti-SOPA activism letter, and using the exact same words as if it was written by themselves (I guess they’re fine with plagiarism). It’s also been caught using funny math to pump up its tiny number of supporters.

        In December, we joked that CreativeAmerica had resorted to buying support, after it released a big (and expensive) advertising campaign all over TV and on some big screens in Times Square. Not exactly a “grass roots” operation.

        Either way, it appears the group has gone more direct now: to the point that it’s literally paying people for signatures.

      • iPhone Data Debunks Recording Industry’s Report On How French Three Strikes Law Increased Sales
      • New tactic in mass file-sharing lawsuit: just insult the EFF

        An old legal aphorism says, “If the facts are on your side, pound on the facts. If the law is on your side, pound on the law. If neither is on your side, pound on the table.” After reading the latest salvo in the P2P porn copyright wars, it’s clear that some poor table has been abused horrifically.

      • Venn diagrams: the intersection of morons and judges

        So what’s next? Outlaw links to proxies and anonymizers? Outlaw access to proxies and anonymizers? Outlaw sites who offer proxies, anonymizers, TOR or VPN? Outlaw technologies like proxies, anonymizers, TOR and VPN? Outlaw writing about proxies, anonymizers, TOR and VPN? Maybe I should emigrate to North-Korea or China. As long as you leave politics alone, you can at least blog about technology!

        Of course it doesn’t stop there. The weakest link in the current torrent architecture are the centralized torrent repositories. However, other technologies will emerge that eradicate this flaw as well and become completely decentralized. All that is left then is deep packet inspection, a technology that ironically has recently been banned by that same juridical system.

      • ACTA

        • Due diligence of negotiating criminal laws in the ACTA process

          Just an test inspection into ACTA negotiations formerly covered by secrecy. These allegations are pretty serious. Be reminded, the Criminal chapter of ACTA directly corresponded to the yet unadopted IPRED2 directive. The Commission had no competence to negotiate Criminal sanctions (because IPRED2 is not adopted, though the negotiating mandate mentions criminal enforcment which are also directly referenced in the Digital chapter).

        • Stop ACTA in Europe, February 11th

          More news on the ongoing ACTA protests in Europe. 1000 people attended a protest against ACTA in Poland last week, and more protests are on the way.

        • Slovenian Ambassador Apologizes For Signing ACTA [Updated]

          Update: As a few of you have sent in here is a Google translated version of her “apology.” The translation isn’t great… but it appears she’s saying that the government told her to sign it, and she didn’t know if she could push back, but now that she understands ACTA, she doesn’t like it, and she appears to hope that people will protest ACTA and stop it from getting implemented. If anyone has a better translation, please let us know…

02.01.12

Links 1/2/2012: Red Hat’s Realtime Linux, ACTA Lies

Posted in News Roundup at 3:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • TLWIR Special: GNU/Linux Petition Featured on WhiteHouse.gov!

    On January 30th, 2012, I started a petition requesting that the U.S. government broaden their use of Free Software and Open Source software to save money. I deeply believe that this one step is PART of the solution to the problem of the crushing national debt that the United States is currently facing. Will shifting to Free Software completely solve the crisis? No, it will not. Software expenditures are a very small part of our national budget. However, at some point, if we do not want our nation to go bankrupt, we will have to have the discipline and the fiscal restraint to say “no more”. The United States is not an infinite repository of cash, as many vendors seem to think. Decades of overspending have left us in quite a mess, and I believe that Free Software can help.

  • Heads Up for Linux
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • SMPlayer: A Flexible, Feature-Filled Media Player With a Frustrating Flaw

        SMPlayer is a media player that suffers from no lack of features — drilling down into its menus will quickly convince you. And despite the extent of these features, using them is nothing but simple. But SMPlayer unfortunately does lack one feature that some users may sorely miss: It can’t seem to read directories from CD/DVD music collections inserted in the optical drive.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Improves Realtime Linux

        Red Hat (NYSE:RHT) is out with its first major enterprise supported Linux release will full support for the Linux 3.0 kernel. The Red Hat MRG 2.1 platform provides Messaging, Realtime and Grid capabilities and was last updated in June of 2011 with the 2.0 release.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 12.04 Update Improves Multi-Monitor Experience

            An update to Ubuntu 12.04 (daily builds) has tweaked the Unity UI to make the systems more useful on multi-monitor set-up. I noticed it when I rebooted the system after an update. Now, launcher is available on all monitors, in addition to the top banner and menu items.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Boxee kills computer clients to focus on Boxee Box

      If you are a fan of the Boxee app on your Mac or PC, you had better hold onto your copy the software and be sure to back it up. Boxee has officially killed support for its computer clients and the last version of the software for Windows, Mac, and Linux has been removed from company servers. As of yesterday, the software is no longer available for download on the Boxee website.

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • LibreTab… not?

        In a perfectly orchestrated marketing campaign for a 100% free-libre tablet called Spark that will run KDE Plasma Active, Aaron Seigo writes today about the problems they are facing with GPL-violations.

        Apparently, every Chinese manufacturer is breaking the GPLv2 by not releasing the sources for their modified Linux kernel. Conversations and conversations with Zenithink (designers of the Spark), Synrgic (designers of the Dreambook W7), etc have arrived nowhere. To the point that CordiaTab, another similar effort using Gnome instead of KDE, has been cancelled.

Free Software/Open Source

  • BusyBox replacement project fuels animated verbal spat

    BusyBox gained a measure of fame a few years ago when it became the subject of a lawsuit in the US, some say the first case in courts in that country to test the GPL. A number of similar suits followed, the contention always being the same: BusyBox was being used by some company or the other in violation of the terms of its licence, the GPL.

  • Local development company offers affordable open source solutions
  • EnterMedia Open Source Digital Asset Management Releases Version 8.0
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 10 Released, Running On Ubuntu 12.04

        Mozilla team has announced the release of Firefox 10. The latest version is available for Linux and Android, in addition to other platforms. The latest version is already available in the Android market. It may arrive on different Linux distros gradually. If you are running openSUSE you may want to enable the Mozilla repository to keep your Firefox/Thunderbird updated.

      • Mozilla releases Firefox 10, adds developer tools

        Mozilla has released version 10 of its Firefox browser as part of its accelerated six-week build cycle, and has also included a pack of developer tools aimed at simplifying life for website operators.

  • SaaS

  • Business

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open collaboration: living or dying by a community

      People like me tend to get the credit when things go right, and the axe when things don’t, but in the open source world it’s you who ultimately decides the fate of a project. Engineers and managers and designers work hard, this is true. None of that matters unless we have an involved community simultaneously pointing at the shiny object up in the clouds while holding our feet firmly to the ground.

    • Open Data

      • The imperative of openness for data society
      • Another Reason We Need Open Government Data: To Avoid Information Asymmetries

        Inspired by this work, Nicklas Lundblad has written an interesting speculative piece about what the rise of predictability through the analysis of huge data sets might mean for society and openness. He notes that one of the “theorems” of psychohistory is that for it to be effective the data sets and the predictions derived from them must be kept secret from the populations involved – the idea being that if they were able to analyze that same data themselves, they might change their actions and thus nullify the predictions.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Industry-Funded Software Research Goes Open Source

        Universities like open source licenses because they allow a community of developers to grow up around efforts such as Sakai or Kuali. But what about large technology companies that fund software research on university campuses? In some cases, it turns out that they prefer open source, too. When Intel launched Science and Technology Centers (ISTC) at Stanford University, UC Berkeley, and Carnegie Mellon University in 2011, for example, its policy was open source all the way…

  • Programming

    • Teaching software libraries by example

      Many libraries use Doxygen or a similar tool to convert comments in their code into HTML documentation. This goal here is to explain what each function and class is and does. In some cases, this is all the user gets. This is equivalent to saying “This is a hammer. It is used to hit nails. This is a nail, it is used to hold wood together.” and then expecting the user to be able to build a house. This is simply not the right kind of information for the user to be able to learn to use the tool for their needs.

Leftovers

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • The Price of Growth

      Growth. It’s what every economist and politician wants. If we get ‘back to growth’, servicing debts both private and sovereign become much easier. And life will return to normal (for a few more years).

      There is growing evidence that a major US policy shift is underway to boost growth. Growth that will create millions of new jobs and raise real GDP.

  • Censorship

    • Dutch ISPs Refuse To Block The Pirate Bay Without A Direct Order

      While some Dutch ISPs have been ordered by a court to block access to The Pirate Bay (after fighting it in court for years), the order only applied directly to two ISPs: xs4all and Ziggo. BREIN, the local anti-piracy group, had then demanded that other ISPs also start blocking access.

  • Privacy

    • Microsoft’s Bogus Attack On Google’s Privacy Policy

      Microsoft, the abusive monopoly in the Desktop segment, is slamming Google for its recent policy changes through an ad campaign claiming that Microsoft puts user ahead. Which, too me and many other is further from the reality. [A very good analysis by Danny Sullivan]

      While Google is trying to simplify things for users so they know about the privacy policies, Microsoft has its privacy policies spread out so its very hard to understand what your rights are and how much control you really have.

    • More Bad Ideas from the E.U.

      Now that the European Union’s member states are flailing around attempting to implement their miserable cookie directive, the European Commission has decided it’s a good time to further retard the Internet.

  • Civil Rights

    • Tourists deported from U.S. for Twitter jokes (Updated)

      Two U.K. tourists landing in L.A. were detained and deported because of tweets joking about “diggin’ up” Marilyn Monroe and “destroying” America.

      According to DHS paperwork, Leigh Van Bryan was matched to a “One Day Lookout” list, placed under oath, and ultimately denied entry and put on a plane back to Europe.

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Four sources for Free-Licensed 3D Modeling Textures

        This week I discovered some new resources for texture graphics to use in 3D modeling. Textures are essential for most 3D modeling projects of any complexity, and good textures can sometimes make very simple “low-poly” models look much better.

        I just came across a post about different source materials for Blender modeling. The original included a lot of non-free materials, but along with it, I found some very nice sources for free-licensed textures:

      • ACTA

        • ACTA: Commissioner De Gucht Lies to the EU Parliament

          The EU Commission “Trade” Directorate-General is lobbying the EU Parliament, presenting a one-sided and plainly distorted view of ACTA to face the growing citizen opposition. The EU’s executive branch, which negotiated ACTA behind citizens’ backs, is now shamelessly relaying the copyright industries’ lobbying pitch, in yet another sign of its collusion with business interests.

        • The Avaaz Petition on ACTA and the Commission campaign
        • ACTA’s Back

          Now that the US bills SOPA and PIPA have been put on ice, attention has returned to their parent, an international treaty called ACTA. I’ve written extensively about ACTA before, but in summary it is an international treaty that has been secretly negotiated to ensure as little input as possible from the citizens of any country.

Links 1/2/2012: Humble Indie Bundle for Linux and Android, Bid for Mandriva Fails

Posted in News Roundup at 5:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux at CES 2012: Everything You Need to Know

    Linux has been gaining some serious mileage over the years. Linux and other high-end Open Source software like Blender are not some hobbyists-only stuff anymore and the whole technology world is slowly starting to realize the positive and unbiased influence Open Source and Linux has on everything technology. Linux was quite prominently featured at just concluded International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2012 in various different forms. Let’s go find out what those ‘various forms’ were. Read on.

  • User Friendly? I Choose Expert Friendly

    I don’t know about you but to me the term user friendly is everyday becoming more like a pejorative rather than a feature. Let me explain: I’ve realized than almost everything requires time and effort (sometimes a lot) in order to have it just the way you want it. This is specially true if you really care about customizing your environment . Let me give you an example: vim. Vim is a fantastic editor and in my opinion the best editor around. Nevertheless I’ve spent a lot of time and effort just to learn how to edit with it and playing with the configuration file just to make it perfect for my needs. At almost every level of software tools or programs there’s at least one that take this approach.

  • Desktop

    • Linux: A Getting-Started Guide

      Are you fed up with Microsoft Windows and ready to give Linux a try? Here’s how to get started. This guide for Linux discusses who the Linux OS is right for, what you need to get started, and how to turn your Windows PC into a dual-boot computer so you can have the best of both worlds–Linux and Windows.

    • Userful Releases Next Gen MultiSeat Linux Solution for $99 HP t200 Thin Client
    • The Dilemma of the Linux Desktop

      Both Unity and Cinnamon are reactions to GNOME 3. However, Unity is the result of Ubuntu’s inability to work with the GNOME project, not a difference in design policy. While Unity and GNOME 3 are very different interfaces, both are the result of a top-down process, in which the design is chosen by lead developers and allegedly supported by usability principles.

    • Linux multiseat solution advances to Ethernet with HP thin client

      Userful Corp. announced a new version of its multiseat Linux PC sharing software, now Ethernet-ready and bundled with a $99 HP t200 thin client. The “Userful MultiSeat with HP t200 thin client” solution turns one Edubuntu-based Linux PC into up to 15 computer stations, enabling faster networking than the previous USB-only release, says the company.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Clonezilla Live 1.2.12-10 Has Linux Kernel 3.2

      Steven Shiau proudly announced today, January 30th, a new stable release of his popular Clonezilla Live operating system, used for cloning hard disk drives.

      Clonezilla Live 1.2.12-10 is available for both 32-bit and 64-bit platforms and includes major improvements and assorted bugfixes.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • The diminishing of the operating system

        Mandriva S.A., the company behind the Mandriva Linux distribution, has been given a temporary reprieve from fiscal collapse, following a shareholder skirmish that has left the ultimate fate of the Linux vendor still in doubt.

        COO Jean-Manuel Croset made a brief statement in a blog post yesterday indicating that even though the funds from the minority stakeholders from Russia had not been received, Mandriva had found financial assistance from the Paris Region Economic Development agency that would carry the company through until mid-February.

      • Bid for Mandriva fails

        The external bid for financially troubled Mandriva has been blocked by a minority shareholder. The news was announced by Mandriva COO Jean-Manuel Croset in a brief blog posting. Croset says the company’s financial situation is though “far better than expected” and this will allow the company until the middle of February to find a new solution to its problems.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Linux Users Will Get A Heads-Up Display Instead Of Menu Tabs. Say What?!
          • Ubuntu 12.04 Dash Gets Rid Of Default Shortcuts

            As we earlier reported Ubuntu Dash is getting rid of default useless huge icons (I haven’t seen any use of it yet). The update has arrived. We are running Ubuntu 12.04 to keep an eye on the progress and we just noticed updates to Unity which removes those default 8 icons from the Dash and replace them with more useful shortcuts.

          • Canonical Adds Unity Settings in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

            At the request of many Ubuntu users who hated the Unity interface, introduced with the Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) release, it looks like Canonical is trying hard to make it more user friendly by adding new functionality and allowing users to easily configure it.

          • Ubuntu 12.10 Developer Summit Sponsorship Open
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Mint’s Cinnamon: The Future of the Linux Desktop? (Review)

              Over the last few years, we’ve seen radical changes to the Linux desktop. Some, despite initial opposition, such as the KDE 4.x re-start, took a while to gain favor, but eventually became popular. Others, such as GNOME 3.x have alienated many users and first Ubuntu’s Unity and now it’s Head-Up Display (HUD) have not been greeted with overwhelming approval even by hard-core Ubuntu Linux users. So, Linux Mint’s developers have decided to go back to the past with a GNOME 2.x style desktop: Cinnamon. So, how well have they done? I give them an “A” for effort, but only a “B” for execution.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Proprietary Software Support vs. Open Source Support – Common Misconceptions
  • Pandora’s Box 2.0: Opening proprietary code

    What does it take to open up a proprietary application and make it a successful open source project? To answer this, Glyn Moody takes a look at some prominent successes and failures and identifies the best practices.

  • Mentors fuel growth for open-source communities

    Mentorship programs help people working on open-source projects build a community, make decisions and to maintain projects beyond their initial idea. Some communities use programs that require one-on-one mentorship, while others allow existing members to on-board new members at their own pace. Either way, these programs all aim to ensure the success of the projects.

  • Foradian Technologies’ open source software soon in 50-plus languages

    After implementing open source school management software in 15,000 schools under the Kerala Government’s Sampoorna school management system project, the Mangalore-based Foradian Technologies Pvt Ltd is looking at India and overseas for growth.

  • Fact: Open Source Software saves money

    Just today, I ran across an experience with Microsoft Excel. A need for generating Code 128 barcodes in Excel came up. Immediately upon looking, there are naturally additional plugins for Excel that will do this. And there are several of them out there, all developed by a different party. They are not super cheap, however, and are about half of the cost of Microsoft Office itself. Not only this, but they are victim to very strict licensing as well. Some offer a one-time cost per workstation, and others offer a site license which must be renewed by year. But the same concept applies, the more you want to use the software, the more you must pay.

    Unfortunately where the Code 128 barcode solution is needed, Microsoft Office is deployed currently. Just for personal knowledge, I looked and found that OpenOffice/LibreOffice Calc has a plugin for generating Code 128 barcodes, and it’s FREE. In fact, the plugin itself is open source as well.

  • Taming knowledge with open source
  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • Databases

    • PostgreSQL cloud database announced

      PostgreSQL specialist EnterpriseDB has announced the availability of Postgres Plus Cloud Database on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Users can run either PostgreSQL or the PostgreSQL-based Postgres Plus Advanced Server with the database-as-a-service (DBaaS) cloud service without needing to undertake major installation or configuration work.

  • CMS

  • Education

    • Open Source Higher Education

      Open CourseWare and other open educational resources are beginning to draw the attention of higher education policymakers and other leaders. Why? These web-based educational tools hold the promise of both reducing the cost of high education and helping learners to complete their degrees by providing access to top quality course materials and instruction.

  • Business

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD Made Much Progress Last Quarter

      The FreeBSD project has published their quarterly report outlining some of the advancements made by this leading BSD operating system in the last quarter of 2011. A lot of progress was made, but still there’s some work left to be accomplished.

  • Public Services/Government

  • Licensing

    • open beyond licensing

      When I first let the world in on our “little” project to create an open tablet there were some who wondered openly about the licensing of the software. It’s an important question that deserves a clarifying answer:

      We are not using the OS (Android, in this case) provided by the hardware manufacturer. We are also well aware that some of the people in the hardware supply chain are violating the terms of the GPL. This was amazingly frustrating for us and caused significant delays as we went in search of GPL friendly vendors. We found that in the market of affordable device makers in China, they just don’t exist. There’s a cultural as well as legal hurdles that have led to this unfortunate situation, and I personally think Google has a lot to answer for when they allow such companies open access to their app store while they must be aware of the license violations that are going on. So it’s an unfortunate situation, but we’re problem solvers, we’re bad-ass Free software developers who see a problem and bang on it until it falls over, right?

      We decided to go with Mer, the community continuation of MeeGo, as our base OSS. With the amazing help of the Mer community, we have been able to bring up a non-Android, built-from-source kernel on the device and even boot into Plasma Active. There is still work left, and we still do have some binary drivers, but this progress is already one massive crowbar that’s prying open the doors that have been shut on the world of ARM based devices.

    • The ongoing fight against GPL enforcement

      GPL enforcement is a surprisingly difficult task. It’s not just a matter of identifying an infringement – you need to make sure you have a copyright holder on your side, spend some money sending letters asking people to come into compliance, spend more money initiating a suit, spend even more money encouraging people to settle, spend yet more money actually taking them to court and then maybe, at the end, you have some source code. One of the (tiny) number of groups involved in doing this is the Software Freedom Conservancy, a non-profit organisation that offers various services to free software projects. One of their notable activities is enforcing the license of Busybox, a GPLed multi-purpose application that’s used in many embedded Linux environments. And this is where things get interesting

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Git Gets Enterprise Equipped

      Developer tool provider AccuRev will release a package designed to help enterprises incorporate the increasingly popular Git open source version-control software into their development operations, the company announced Tuesday.

    • Learning Python: a good IDE can help

      Recently, I started trying to learn Python. And, no, not because everyone seems to be learning to code this year. Doing this has been on my back burner for a while, and I’ve finally decided to take the reins.

    • 7 Best Free Alternative Git Clients

Leftovers

  • Beer ‘must be sold’ at Brazil World Cup, says Fifa

    Beer must be sold at all venues hosting matches in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, football’s world governing body, Fifa, has insisted.

  • M$, It’s Just Not Happening

    It’s not going to happen, M$. About 30% of PCs are running XP and many of them are a bit old. To buy 450 million new PCs to replace them, in 800 days would need 500K machines per day, about 45 million per quarter. The world is only shipping 90 million PCs per quarter and many are getting GNU/Linux or MacOS. Don’t hold your breath expecting a 50% pop in revenues the next few quarters. M$ has been selling 50 million licences for “7″ per quarter but that includes consumer, business, replacements and new purchases. The replacement part is not the whole ball of wax.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Paying for Cancer Treatment for Children in America with a Car Wash, Bake Sale and Fish Fry

      “It shouldn’t be this way,” read the subject line of an email I received Friday morning from a conservative friend and fellow Southerner. “People shouldn’t have to beg for money to pay for medical care.”

      At first, I thought he was referring to my column last week in which I wrote about the fundraising effort to cover the bills, totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars, that the husband of Canadian skier Sarah Burke is now facing. Burke died on January 19, nine days after sustaining severe head injuries in a skiing accident in Park City, Utah. I noted that had the accident occurred in Burke’s native Canada, which has a system of universal coverage, the fundraiser would not have been necessary.

  • Finance

    • John Reed on Big Banks’ Power and Influence

      Bill Moyers talks with former Citigroup Chairman John Reed to explore a momentous instance: how the mid-90s merger of Citicorp and Travelers Group and a friendly Presidential pen — brought down the Glass-Steagall Act, a crucial firewall between banks and investment firms which had protected consumers from financial calamity since the aftermath of the Great Depression. In effect, says Moyers, they put the watchdog to sleep.

  • Copyrights

    • Pirate Party Docks at Berlin’s Parliament

      The recent U.S. shutdown of the Hong Kong-based file-hosting service Megaupload has led other file sharing sites to tighten their content sharing practices, for fear of facing criminal charges. Seven of Megaupload’s executives were charged with copyright violations, racketeering, and money laundering, while CEO Kim Dotcom, a German-Finnish citizen, was arrested along with four others and could face up to 55 years in prison.

    • Copying Is Not Theft, But Censorship Is

      This morning a friend shared with me some amusing American Sign Language videos, and in return I wanted to share with him my favorite ASL video of all time: B. Storm’s interpretation of the Gnarls Barkley song Crazy. Only I couldn’t because it was gone. Why? Because “This video contains content from WMG (Warner Music Group), who has blocked it on copyright grounds.” This is appalling for many reasons, not least of which being the video is almost certainly fair use.

    • Former Survivor member sues Newt Gingrich for using ‘Eye of Tiger’

      Newt Gingrich might feel like Rocky Balboa when he takes the stage at campaign events to Survivor’s 1982 hit “Eye of the Tiger,” but it’s the co-writer of the song who is ready for a fight.

    • Pro-SOPA Folks Push Fact-Challenged Op-Eds

      It seems that, in the wake of the big protests that helped shelve (for now, at least) SOPA and PIPA, the pro-SOPA folks have started pushing people to write op-eds in various publications about how important SOPA/PIPA are — while simultaneously dismissing the concerns of those who opposed the bills. I keep seeing more of them, but wanted to dig into three recent examples, all of which show how the pro-SOPA folks are trying to distort the debate through either outright falsehoods, or carefully misleading statements.

    • Pro-SOPA Folks Push Fact-Challenged Op-Eds
    • ACTA

      • As Anonymous protests, Internet drowns in inaccurate anti-ACTA arguments

        After the Internet’s decisive victory over the Stop Online Piracy Act earlier this month, online activists have been looking for their next target, and a growing number of them have chosen the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which was signed by the EU last week. Indeed, the renewed focus on ACTA even led a group of Polish politicians to hold paper Guy Fawkes masks—the symbol of Anonymous—over their faces in protest at the way ACTA has been pushed through. In the US, over 35,000 people have signed a petition urging the White House to “end ACTA,” despite the fact that it has already been signed by the US.

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