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Links 6/8/2010: GNU/Linux Still in Sub-notebooks, Oracle’s Eclipse Plug-in

Posted in News Roundup at 6:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • IT in the 21st Century

    I encountered a case of IT staff not knowing about GNU/Linux last year. I received a CD that would have been useful on our local web server. However, the file-names all over the CD were in random case. In some places file-names were all lower case, or all upper case or even mixed for the same file. I ended up editing dozens of index-files to use the identical name in all instances. This took hours of work. I e-mailed the distributor my changes. They had no clue that these things matter. Since they wanted their stuff to work in all schools, they thanked me for my input. Similarly, Manitoba Education uses a database that runs MySQL and Java but will not work on GNU/Linux. Can we say “hard-coded C:\paths”, boys and girls? How much pain does using open standards and rendering them non-open cause? Lots.

  • Desktop

    • Pondering the Potential of the $200 Linux PC

      There must be something about the US$200 price point — for the second time this summer, Linux bloggers have been pondering the notion of a $200 computer.

      Back in June, it was Phil Shapiro who kicked off the conversation by demonstrating how to configure an Ubuntu machine for less than $200.

    • Shopping With Lenovo

      When I clicked on “Help me decide” next to choice of OS, “Linux” appeared as a tab. I could see the merits of the versions of that other OS but was overjoyed with this information when I clicked on “Linux”:
      “While all ThinkPad notebooks and ThinkCentre desktops will ship with an operating system, ThinkStation workstations may be ordered without a preloaded operating system for users preferring an open-source solution.”

      OK! I took a look at ThinkStations… and there is a similar model for $60 more with a more powerful processor and a second drive bay. They also have thin clients as a choice under workstations but they are about the same price as these low-end desktops.

      How different is that experience compared to Dell because Dell isolate everything. Of course, Lenovo could do better. They could offer no OS etc. for all their PCs…

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME 2.31.6 Release Arrives GTK3-Free

        Vincent Untz has just announced the release of GNOME 2.31.6, which is the first development snapshot of GNOME 2.32 following the announcement last week that GNOME 3.0 is delayed until March 2011. With the 2.32 release not being the 3.0 milestone, the 2.32 release will continue to use GTK+2 rather than the still-in-development GTK+3.

        Most of the GNOME packages have retained GTK+2 API support while adding in the GTK+3 capabilities and can be configured to use either tool-kit version at build-time. However, a few GNOME packages didn’t keep the GTK+2 support around, so for this GNOME 2.31.6 release some packages needed to be reverted to their 2.30 state so that this would be a GTK+3-free release. By the GNOME 2.32 beta, however, these packages should be fixed to work with either GTK+ version.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • 3 Aug 2010

        Here are my rough notes from DebConf 10. Nothing should be taken as a direct quote of the speaker who is supposedly associated with the talk as my own thoughts are interwoven with their points, the person switches around between they and I and we all the time… I made them for my own reference and publish them in the hope you might find them interesting but they must not be relied on. Happy hacking :P

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Linux Mint 9 KDE (Isadora)

            Summary: Linux Mint 9 KDE is Kubuntu as it should have been. This release adds new applications, a new software manager and so much more. It’s well worth a download for anybody interested in using KDE as his or her desktop environment.
            Rating: 4.5/5

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Jolicloud 1.0 Review (Ubuntu Based Netbook OS)

        Jolicloud 1.0 is now available for all so I decided to install it on my netbook (Asus EeePC 1005 HA) and write a review for the WebUpd8 readers while waiting for the best netbook Linux distribution to be out – no, not Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10 but Aurora.

      • Building a better netbook

        So, what could improve on this situation? I think you know where I’m going with this … yep, good ol’ free and open source Linux, and specifically Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) Netbook Edition.

        Ubuntu Netbook Edition uses the GNOME window manager with the most excellent custom Ubuntu Netbook Edition interface and includes pretty much every application you might want on a general purpose, portable system.

        But here’s what makes Ubuntu Netbook Edition so great: It is ridiculously easy to install and knows about a huge range of peripherals; it’s easy to configure; it isn’t a resource hog; and it runs really, really fast even on the 1.66GHz Atom N450.

        I downloaded UNE, installed it onto a 4GB USB drive ($10 from Fry’s!) using the Universal USB Installer, stuck the USB drive in the NB30, restarted the NB30, went into the BIOS set up and moved the USB drive above the HDD, told the BIOS utility to save the configuration, and, voila! The whole process (other than the download) took minutes and, on reboot, Ubuntu Netbook Edition was up and running in seconds.

      • Netbooks Escape Monopoly

        Mainstream netbook makers like Acer are down to $199. If they want to keep up volume and increase margins they will have to skip that other OS soon.

      • Techville: Wireless Windows Woes

        I put together a bootable flash drive with Ubuntu 10.04 on it and a 1 GB persistence file, and booted to it. I installed the Broadcom STA Wireless driver and rebooted. Thanks to the persistence file, the driver remained intact upon second boot, and I immediately had access to four wireless networks. For those not counting, that’s two more than every other PC in the room saw. And for those wondering, both boots and the driver install took less time than it took to boot the native Windows image once.

        Thanks to Ubuntu, my netbook runs faster and more stably than anybody else’s in the office, and the hacker in me is satisfied without my ever having to hack anything. I realize, too, that Ubuntu isn’t exactly a lightweight distro, and that Puppy (yes, I know it’s really Ubuntu) or Knoppix or even a custom-built Slackware would almost certainly run faster and more stably. But considering the convenience factor of getting Ubuntu installed (20-30 minutes), its built-in support for encrypted file systems (a mandate for these netbooks), and its overall great appearance and performance, it’s probably the best distro for this netbook at the moment.

      • Acer announces a dual boot netbook

        The Aspire One AOD255, first shown at this year’s Computex, will feature Google’s Chrome operating system along with Microsoft’s Windows XP.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Wave

    • Google Wave code could live on in future open source projects

      There may be enough code out there already for ambitious developers to pick up where Google left off. While it’s easy to think Google’s failure indicates that it’s unlikely anyone else will succeed, Trapani notes that many successful open source projects are based on abandoned projects and forks.

    • The triumph of document layout and the demise of Google Wave

      I am frequently overly enamoured of the idea of where we might get to, forgetting that there are a lot of people still getting used to where we’ve been. I was forcibly reminded of this by Carole Goble on the weekend when I expressed a dislike of the Utopia PDF viewer that enables active figures and semantic markup of the PDFs of scientific papers.

  • Oracle

    • Oracle releases an Eclipse plug-in

      FULL SERVICE IT VENDOR Oracle has released a set of free plug-ins to help developers use Eclipse to code for Java Enterprise Edition 6.

      The Oracle Enterprise Pack supports the popular Eclipse integrated development environment (IDE). The company is also promoting several new features, including improved debugging for Weblogic Script Tool scripts, visualisation of MBeans and syntax highlighting for Python.

  • Education

    • Time for school IT to teach Open Source

      If you live in a world of daily technology use, rapidly changing online services, social networking, instant messaging and an explosion of new devices, new form factors and new platforms the ‘essential skill’ of creating a Microsoft Access database or writing an essay in Microsoft Word will seem as interesting and relevant to you as learing to drive a horse and cart to the owner of a Ferrari… that is, not much.

      The schoolchildren’s response is not only understandable, it shows intelligence and realism way beyond those who have chosen this set of historical anachronisms to teach them.

      Everything interesting happening in Information technology is driven by Open Source, enabled by Open Source, or contains a big chunk of Open Source.

      You think I exaggerate? not at all… Open Source is the technology of choice behind everything of interest in the online world, and social networking sites are jam-packed with OSS old favourites (and not just LAMP stacks) and sparkling new ones. Cloud and SaaS? even conservative firms like Gartner will tell you these are up to 90% composed of Open

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content

      • Free Access to U.S. Research Papers Could Yield $1 Billion in Benefits

        A new economic analysis finds that making taxpayer-funded scientific papers freely available would yield more than $1 billion in benefits to the U.S. economy over 30 years—five times the costs of archiving the papers.

        A team led by John Houghton, an economist at Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia, examined the potential payoff of expanding a National Institutes of Health (NIH) policy requiring grantees to post their peer-reviewed manuscripts in a free database after a delay. A proposal in Congress would extend the policy to 11 more research agencies and shorten NIH’s 12-month delay to 6 months. Supporters say taxpayers should have free access to the results of research they paid for; publishers worry that they will be put out of business.

      • Five Reasons to Keep NoSQL on Your Radar

        Whether you are a fan of NoSQL, cynical of its merits, or just curious about its development goodies, there’s no escaping the presence and growth of NoSQL. In the next 18 months, at least half of all new websites will use NoSQL databases, reports GigaOM Pro Research.


  • Massive Censorship Of Digg Uncovered

    A group of influential conservative members of the behemoth social media site Digg.com have just been caught red-handed in a widespread campaign of censorship, having multiple accounts, upvote padding, and deliberately trying to ban progressives. An undercover investigation has exposed this effort, which has been in action for more than one year.

  • Steve Furber: why kids are turned off computing

    One of the UK’s tech leaders believes students are staying away from computing classes because they teach nothing but the boring basics.

    Professor Steve Furber – the legendary Acorn and ARM processor designer – is working with the Royal Society to figure out why the number of students taking A-Level computing classes has halved in the past eight years, and why students who love technology aren’t signing up to study the subject.

  • UFO files: Winston Churchill ‘feared panic’ over Second World War RAF incident

    The claims are contained in thousands of pages of declassified files on UFOs, released on Thursday online by the National Archives.

    The 18 files, which cover from 1995 to 2003, are made up of more than 5,000 pages of reports, letters, and drawings drawn from correspondence with the public and questions raised in parliament.


    Dr David Clarke, author of The UFO files and Senior Lecturer in Journalism at Sheffield Hallam University, said the “fascinating” files showed the level of concern about such “bizarre incidents” during the war.

  • Ignorance of the Law Is No Excuse

    Ignorance of the law is no excuse. That’s the standard line motorists hear when they say they weren’t aware of the speed limit, or gun owners hear when they say didn’t know about the gun laws in the jurisdiction they happened to get arrested in. Yet that ignorance is pretty understandable in an America where just about everything is being criminalized. At the federal level alone there are now more than 4,500 separate crimes, and that’s not counting the massive regulatory code, violations of which also can sometimes be punished with criminal charges.

  • Go Daddy Sued for $100 Mil for Aiding MJ Casino

    A $100 million war has erupted over the unauthorized Michael Jackson online casino — and now GoDaddy.com could be on the hook for allowing the casino owner to register the site with them.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Judge Napolitano: The Plain Truth – The Government Lies to You!! Freedom Watch 7/31/2010
    • Yes, Afghanistan is Vietnam

      With public opposition to the Afghan war growing, the US needs to rethink policy over politically schizophrenic ally Pakistan.

    • NATO acknowledges civilian deaths in Afghan clash
    • Pentagon Demands WikiLeaks Return All Documents

      The U.S. Defense Department demanded WikiLeaks return secret military reports from Afghanistan leaked to the website and purge all copies from their records, including tens of thousands of reports already publicly posted.

      “We want whatever they have returned to us and we want whatever copies they have expunged,” Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell told reporters today at a news briefing.

    • Wikileaks vs the Pentagon:Phony Fingerpointing

      Consider the following statement offered by Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at a news conference last week. He was discussing Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks as well as the person who has taken responsibility for the vast, still ongoing Afghan War document dump at that site. “Mr. Assange,” Mullen commented, “can say whatever he likes about the greater good he thinks he and his source are doing, but the truth is they might already have on their hands the blood of some young soldier or that of an Afghan family.”

    • Chasing WikiLeaks

      Marc Thiessen draws upon my article in The New Yorker to make his case against Julian Assange, the editor of WikiLeaks, and to argue that American “military assets” could be used “to bring Assange to justice.” Using the military for this purpose would be a terrible idea. WikiLeaks may not be a conventional news organization, but it is not “a criminal syndicate,” as Thiessen asserts, and the notion that the Defense Department should go about destroying privately run Web sites (with infrastructure in friendly countries), because of what those sites publish, suggests a gross misuse of military force. Rather than treating WikiLeaks like a terrorist cell, the military is better off accepting that the Web site is a product of the modern information age, and that it is here to stay, in some form or another, no matter who is running it.

    • The Trouble With Unconstitutional Wars

      Many are saying that the Wikileaks documents tell us nothing new. In some ways this is true. Most Americans knew that we have been fighting losing battles. These documents show just how bad it really is. The revelation that Pakistani intelligence is assisting the people we are bombing in Afghanistan shows the quality of friends we are making with our foreign policy. This kind of thing supports points that Rep. Dennis Kucinich and I tried to make on the House floor last week with a privileged resolution that would have directed the administration to remove troops from Pakistan pursuant to the War Powers Resolution.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Gulf oil spill: White House accused of spinning report

      The White House was accused today of spinning a government scientific report into the amount of oil left in the Gulf of Mexico from the BP spill which had officials declaring that the vast majority of the oil had been removed.

  • Finance

    • Crop Circle of the Day – Quote Stuffing and Strange Sequences

      In our original Flash Crash Analysis report, we dedicated a section to an observed phenomena we termed “Quote Stuffing”, in which bursts of quotes (at very high rates) with extremely unusual characteristics were observed.

      As we continue to monitor the markets for evidence of Quote Stuffing and Strange Sequences (Crop Circles), we find that there are dozens if not hundreds of examples to choose from on any given day. As such, this page will be updated often with charts demonstrating this activity.

    • FT: The High Frequency Trading Scam

      No. The disadvantage was not speed. The disadvantage was that the “algos” had engaged in something other than what their claimed purpose is in the marketplace – that is, instead of providing liquidity, they intentionally probed the market with tiny orders that were immediately canceled in a scheme to gain an illegal view into the other side’s willingness to pay.

      Let me explain.

      Let’s say that there is a buyer willing to buy 100,000 shares of BRCM with a limit price of $26.40. That is, the buyer will accept any price up to $26.40.

      But the market at this particular moment in time is at $26.10, or thirty cents lower.

      So the computers, having detected via their “flash orders” (which ought to be illegal) that there is a desire for Broadcom shares, start to issue tiny (typically 100 share lots) “immediate or cancel” orders – IOCs – to sell at $26.20. If that order is “eaten” the computer then issues an order at $26.25, then $26.30, then $26.35, then $26.40. When it tries $26.45 it gets no bite and the order is immediately canceled.

    • The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, but with money: another look at HFT

      But just because the markets are electronic doesn’t mean you can’t take a picture of them. Market analysis firm Nanex has produced some very compelling visualizations of the type of sub-second trading that goes on in our electronic exchanges. A number of the pictures are from BATS—a fully electronic exchange that consists of a bank of computers in Jersey City—but others cross multiple exchanges.

      Nanex’s visualizations page contains an ongoing catalog of the traces that stock-trading bots leave in the market, as they move individual symbols up and down in price thousands of times per second. The obvious, repetitive, algorithmically generated patterns produced will be familiar to any physicist or electrical engineer—the stock market is a now a networked collection of high-frequency oscillators and feedback loops of varying sizes, where computers cycle stock prices by the millisecond.

    • Capitalists of Chaos and Catastrophe

      US small business sentiment is down. Consumer income is down. Consumer spending is down. Pending home sales are down. Worldwide, crops are threatened by drought and floods. And while some claim that a US bumper crop will ease the problems, American corn is not exactly a perfect substitute for Russian and Ukrainian wheat, which go a long way towards feeding extensive segments of Middle East and Northern African populations.


      Needless to say, if you’re speculating on food commodities like wheat, whether it be through Commodity ETF’s or elsewhere, and you fancy yourself to be a Capitalist of Chaos, what’s not to like about failed crops and rising price uncertainties? You can corner markets, the way cocoa honcho Anthony Ward has, you can sell derivative instruments to pension- and market fund managers chasing yield without sufficient savvy, and at the end of the day, you can be filthy rich. Just don’t feel too bad about the hungry, starving and dying, or about those who see their pensions and other savings vanish. Hey, if you didn’t do it, someone else would, right?

      The biggest irony in all of it, of course, remains that the biggest players in these ultimate dog eat dog Darwinian capitalist schemes use US and EU taxpayer money to play the games. They wouldn’t be here anymore, sitting at their crap tables, if you wouldn’t have handed them the money to play their ultimate to-the-death fighting games with. If nothing else, it seems to be a fitting end to yet another economic system doomed by a lack of morals.

    • The Treasury’s Worrisome Position

      Former Secretary of State George Shultz famously quipped about Washington: “Nothing ever gets settled in this town. You have to keep fighting, every inch of the way.” This is proving just as true for banking reform as for other aspects of American government policy.

      For example, Senators Carl Levin of Michigan and Jeff Merkley of Oregon, after considerable effort, were able to place strong language in the Dodd-Frank financial-sector legislation — enacting a version of the “Volcker Rule” that would require big banks to become significantly less risky. While this idea originated with Paul Volcker, the former Fed chairman and senior adviser to President Obama, and was announced with great fanfare by the president himself in January, it was clear – from the beginning and throughout the detailed negotiations this spring – that the Treasury Department was less than fully enthusiastic about this approach.

    • Geithner: Let Bush tax cuts expire
    • The Treasury Position – On The Volcker Rule

      Amazingly, Mr. Geithner made no reference to the Volcker Rule, either explicitly or even implicitly – despite the centrality of this idea to the recent debate. It appears to be nowhere at all in his list of priorities (or on the “to do” list of Michael Barr, the responsible Assistant Secretary, who gave a follow-up speech on Wednesday). He is apparently signaling to all the regulators involved that this is not a top priority for the administration and – presumably – they should toe this line if they would like to be reappointed. Treasury carries great weight on these issues, even with nominally independent regulators, and in the Treasury interpretation big banks would be allowed to rearrange their activities so they can still effectively take big risks – earning big returns in good times and creating major problems for the rest of us when the cycle next turns down.

    • Let Them Eat Wedding Cake

      The world has not witnessed such total failure of government since the final days of the Roman Empire. A handful of American oligarchs are becoming mega-billionaires while the rest of the country goes down the drain.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Police chief sues AT&T for giving wife phone records

      The police chief for Industry filed a lawsuit against AT&T Mobility recently, claiming the company improperly released his cell phone records to his wife.

      Garold Ray Miller filed the claim for invasion of privacy in Beaver County last month, but it was moved to federal court on Tuesday.

    • Digital Privacy: If You’ve Done Nothing Wrong, Do You Have ‘Nothing to Hide’?

      A few years back, I did a long newspaper story about the FBI snooping on the private records of ordinary citizens. As my old editor Michael Kinsley likes to say, the scandal is what’s legal. The Patriot Act unleashed the FBI to search your email, travel and credit records without even a suspicion of wrongdoing. The FBI was doing it, in secret, tens of thousands of times a year.

      As I dug into the story, government officials kept telling me that law-abiding Americans have nothing to fear. Why object to surveillance if you have nothing to hide? Joseph Billy Jr., a top FBI supervisor for whom I had great respect, told me, “I’ve had people say, you know, ‘Hey, I don’t care, I’ve done nothing to be concerned about. You can have me in your files and that’s that.’ Some people take that approach.”

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Net Neutrality Brawl: FCC Is Not Happy with Google and Verizon

      The Google-Verizon net neutrality saga has taken yet another strange turn as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has ended closed-door talks with several companies over the future of net neutrality and has lashed out against the practice of paying for faster transmission of data over the Internet.


      The entire affair has blown up into a PR nightmare. Google and Verizon have both denied they are attempting to end net neutrality, but they have confirmed that they are talking to one another. It seems as if the two are trying to define net neutrality through an agreement and model their definition as a standard for the industry.

    • Google and Verizon Near Deal on Web Pay Tiers
  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Local arts and wisdom protected

      The Culture Ministry will add 25 traditional arts, wisdom and folklore as well as muay thai to its national intellectual copyright protection list.

    • My Dough Girl In Trademark Trouble With Pillsbury

      My Dough Girl’s menu features perky and pretty cartoon women in the style of 1950s pin-up girls. Each, like yellow-bikini-clad Betty—who has an oatmeal cookie with apricots and cherries named after her—are namesakes and mascots of various cookies. The menu doesn’t feature mascots actually made of dough such as the pudgy Pillsbury Dough Boy, but nevertheless, Dough Boy-trademark owner General Mills is demanding the locally owned cookie shop come up with a new name.

    • Copyrights

      • Der Spiegel

        You may recall that Eckhard Höffner has been examining the history of copyright in Germany – finding that in its absence there was an explosion of knowledge – that due to the late enforcement of copyright in Germany, Germany emerged from a poor agricultural country in 1800 to the leading science nation in 1900. The German media being more advanced than the U.S. media Der Spiegel,the preeminant German weekly news magazine with a print run of about 1 million, and one of the most widely circulated magazines in Europe has picked up the story.

      • Why World War I Recordings Won’t Enter The Public Domain Until 2049

        That seems like an important paragraph to show to folks who insist that copyright on sound recordings must obviously be covered by copyright and/or that it’s a “natural right” to include sound recordings under copyright. Clearly, even Congress felt it was likely to be unconstitutional for quite some time.

      • ASCAP Continues Propaganda Campaign With Laughably Bad Video [Updated]

        While ASCAP is apparently too busy to debate Larry Lessig, they aren’t too busy to produce silly and ridiculous propaganda. ASCAP member Damian Sol notes that he recently received an email from ASCAP asking him to “spread the word” about ASCAP’s new propaganda video that compares getting songwriters paid for music to getting chickens and cows paid for their eggs and milk. Seriously. I’d embed it here, but the technologically savvy folks at ASCAP are apparently too clueless to figure out how to include an embed on a video they claim they want people to “share.”

      • Law journal can publish information from court file

        A D.C. Superior Court judge abruptly lifted a temporary restraining order on Friday that had barred a legal journal from printing information it obtained from a court file, ending a dispute that legal observers said was destined to become one of the biggest First Amendment cases in years.

        The battle began when a reporter from the National Law Journal was investigating a story about money owed to a District law firm by POM Wonderful, a health juice manufacturer.

      • Copyright Getting In The Way Of Historical Realism On Mad Men [Updated]
      • UK Music Biz Kept Growing Before The Digital Economy Act; So Why Was It Needed?

        The report does spend some time noting that there are some significant differences in the US and UK markets, so it probably doesn’t make sense to directly extrapolate out the results. However, this certainly does call into serious question the reasoning of BPI and others for the Digital Economy Act. What it shows, quite clearly, is that the industry was doing a very good job adapting on its own. It even makes you wonder if the BPI/IFPI/RIAA lobbyists are actually upset about this report, which sort of takes away the entire crux of their “help us politicians, you’re our only hope” claim.

Clip of the Day

Richard M. Stallman Speech for Curitiba Event 2003


Links 5/8/2010: Linux 2.6.35 Benchmarks, Jared Smith (Fedora Leader) Interviewed, 200,000+ Linux Phones Per Day!

Posted in News Roundup at 6:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • What Linux Hardware Upgrades Make Sense?

    While Linux runs great on most any hardware, it runs even better on a machine with ample memory and a recent CPU. Upgrade options abound for even the most hardware hacking averse. In this monthly roundup we’ll take a look at options to get your Linux system running even better without breaking your budget.

  • Desktop

    • 5 ways to ease desktop PC-induced pain

      Fix #2: The Open-Source Desktop PC

      Linux on desktop PCs offers the same cost savings potential as it does on server platforms: no upfront licensing costs. Novell’s SUSE Linux, Red Hat and, most recently, Canonical’s Ubuntu all have operating system distributions available via GSA Advantage.

    • OS Difficulty Myths

      Linux: First, Linux is scalable to a point that is kind of stupid. Linux can run mainframes and super computers, as well cell phones, and even less powerful embedded devices. Clearly, that gives it a wide range of application that neither Macintosh nor Windows can really deal with. Secondly, Linux has proven itself far more stable than its commercial competitors. Still, Linux lacks good CAD software, and good arguments have been made against Linux for tax, accounting, and other business related software not being up to par with commercial applications available for Windows and MacOS X. The general security, scalability, stability, and responsiveness of Linux make it perhaps the most capable general purpose operating system. So long as you are not using it for CAD, gaming, or certain very specific business tasks.

      Verdict: Each OS has its purpose. Each OS is easy to use.

  • Kernel Space

    • The Linux Kernel column #90 – the state of the kernel

      I gave the keynote speech at this year’s Linux Symposium. The talk was entitled the ‘State of the Kernel’, and summarised the past year of kernel development. Attempting to summarise an entire year in the space of an hour is a daunting challenge and required over 70 hours of preparation in order to review each of the many proposals and discussions that have taken place. With that work done, however, I’d like to share a few of the things I have learned with readers.

    • Running The Linux 2.6.35 Kernel With A Core i7 Notebook

      While we benchmark the latest Linux kernel code on a daily basis at kernel-tracker.phoromatic.com using our automated testing platform built on the Phoronix Test Suite, now that the Linux 2.6.35 kernel was released, we have run a formalized set of kernel benchmarks on a ThinkPad W510 notebook with an Intel Core i7 CPU to see how the Linux 64-bit kernel is running with this high-end notebook under the Linux 2.6.32, 2.6.33, 2.6.34, and 2.6.35 releases.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Sabayon 5.3 Xfce & Lxde – a few impressions

        Good installer, easy to use and full of choices without overwhelming the new user
        Virtualbox and mouse integration working from the start
        A very standard Xfce
        Good looking fonts
        Effortless localization
        Helpful links and pointers how to use the system everywhere
        Great package manager works well and fast, updates without hiccups, good package search
        Friendly update-notifier with links to package search and website
        Xfce and Lxde versions fit on a CD rather than the DVD-size download of bigger environments
        Gnome network manager applet used

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Interview with New Fedora Project Leader Jared Smith

          Earlier this year, former Fedora Project Leader Paul Frields announced he’d be stepping down from the post and that Fedora and Red Hat were searching for a new project leader. At the end of June, Frields announced that Jared Smith would be taking up the position. Since this is a pretty important job in our community, we thought it’d be a good idea to talk with Smith and learn more about him and his plans for Fedora.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Android Invasion Has Begun: 200K Droids Activated Daily

          Google Wave may be gone, but there are still reasons to rejoice in Googleville. One of them is the continuing good news about sales of smartphones running Google’s Android operating system. While the shock of Searchzilla’s announcement that it was driving a stake into the heart of its experiment in collaboration, its boss revealed to a gathering of reporters at Techonomy in Lake Tahoe, California that Android smartphone activations have reached 200,000 a day.

          That’s an increase of more than 200 percent since over this year’s first quarter, when activations were around 65,000 a day. At 200,000 activations a day, one million Android phones would be sold every five days, six million every 30 days and from August 1 to the end of the year, 30 million new handsets would be in consumers’ hands.

        • Androids, iPhones Prepped for Battle in Army’s First-Ever App Contest

          Unleash the iPhones of war! The Army’s announced the winners of its first-ever mobile phone app development contest. And the general behind the program says some apps will be in the field “within a year.”

        • The Open Source Army of the Future

          Anyway, as part of my news-catch up today I read this announcement from the U.S. Army about Apps for the Army, an “application-development challenge… used to help the service more quickly acquire software applications.” Soldiers and Army civilians were eligible to team up and develop software applications based on the iPhone OS or Android. They had 90 days, and 140 people competed. Today the 5 winners and ten runners-up in all five categories were announced.

          The winners included a program that breaks down a new physical fitness manual of 400 pages into an multimedia presentation, one that helps potential recruits size themselves up, and the Telehealth Mood Tracker app, which “allows users to track their psychological health over a period of days, weeks and months using a visual analogue rating scale.” An honorable mention went to an App that would turn an iPhone essentially into a black box in case of “extreme shock events” — so, for instance, if an IED exploded nearby. It would take a series of pictures and report its location, the time, etc. to help with compiling a report later on.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Oracle

    • odt2braille brings Braille to OpenOffice.org

      The release of odt2braille by the Belgian university Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, has brought the ability to work with Braille to OpenOffice.org. The extension adds a “Braille” menu to OpenOffice.org’s Writer which allows users to translate documents into Braille formats such as .brf or .pef or send the content to Braille printers for embossing. The development was supported by the EU funded AEGIS project. Previously AEGIS helped deliver odt2daisy which allows for the creation of DAISY3 format digital audiobooks from OpenOffice.

  • BSD

    • BSD as Operating System

      Introduction to MidnightBSD
      The FreeBSD Ubuntu challenge
      Network monitoring with Nagios and OpenBSD PART 1
      Replacing Microsoft Exchange Server
      Maintenance Systems over BSD
      Low Resource PCs with FreeBSD
      Making the Unknown Giant Visible and Known

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Citizen science: People power
    • We All Love The Bazaar Now

      While the world of Big Brands was initially too caught up in its sermons and fine words to notice the dwindling congregations, it has now woken up and joined the burgeoning world Bazaar. In fact, I suspect, many people, wish they had stayed in their pulpits where they were easy to avoid. But some brands are becoming very savvy and offering goodies including new soapboxes for people to use. Like the ‘Best Job In The World’ campaign run by the Queensland Tourist Board, that invited people to share their wares and talents in exchange for the type of adventure that sets the Bazaar buzzing.

    • Open Source Project Management with web2Project

      It’s easy to overlook open-source projects when exploring project management tools. But an open-source tool like web2Project can be the easiest way to choose a tool that will continue to grow with your needs.web2Project allows you to look to the future of what your organization needs, while still being able to get to work today.

    • U.S. Department of Education includes OER in notice of proposed priorities for grant programs

      The set of proposed priorities specifically mentions OER. Essentially, if the priorities are adopted, it could mean that grant seekers who include open educational resources as a component of an application for funding from the Department of Education could receive priority. OER is included in Proposed Priority 13–Improving Productivity:

    • Open Data

      • How The Guardian is pioneering data journalism with free tools

        Data Blog editor Simon Rogers gave me an action-packed interview in The Guardian’s London newsroom, starting with story walkthroughs and ending with a philosophical discussion about the changing role of data in journalism. It’s a must-watch if you’re wondering what the digitization of the world’s facts means for a newsroom.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Open Folklore
      • Why I want everything OA, right now

        I’ve started using Mendeley. I like it a lot, so far. Papers, but with a networking aspect. CiteULike, but with a quick PDF full-text search aspect. Free. Cross platform. Good stuff.


        The But isn’t Mendeley’s fault. It is a result of the evolution of our methods of scientific communication. I’m usually a fan of iteration, evolution. Not this time. I want instant, sweeping change.

        I want to share all the PDFs in my Mendeley library with everyone. Right now.

  • Standards/Consortia


  • Gov 2.0 as means not end

    It’s often tempting to think that Gov 2.0 is common ground between those who always want smaller government and those who want government to help its citizens. To an extent, this is true: opening up services lets citizens and businesses do more for themselves, and means government doesn’t have to grow for more things to happen. In some cases, government can even get smaller.

    But government-as-platform doesn’t absolve us from asking what fundamental services should be provided by a government, as opposed to private industry. This is a big question. We didn’t come up with a single universally-agreed answer before Gov 2.0, and Gov 2.0 will neither answer it for us nor let us evade the question.

  • Getting Past The Hurdles Of Micropayments

    Much of the press coverage around Flattr, the “social payments” startup, focuses on the fact that it was founded by Peter Sunde, who is perhaps better known for being the (former) spokesperson for The Pirate Bay. I have no doubt that this is a big reason why the company got a lot of its initial attention, but I think what’s a lot more interesting is that this is one of the first “micropayment” platforms that actually tries to get around the historical problems of micropayments for content. There have been lots of micropayment companies out there, and almost all of them failed — and it wasn’t difficult to see why. First, they underestimated the “mental transaction costs” that micropayments entail. Just making the decision if something is worth paying for is a huge “cost” for users. Second, they heavily underestimated the “penny gap,” which is the effort that it takes to get someone to go from “free” to paying even a penny. Next, it’s an attempt to fight the basic economics of what supply and demand is pushing for the content be priced at. And, finally, required micropayments make it very hard to promote that content via word of mouth or sharing.

  • How Asimov’s Robot Laws Ended Up on Last.fm’s Server

    Like many websites, Last.fm’s web server contains a file called robots.txt, whose job it is to instruct the robotic web spiders employed by search engines like Google to ignore certain directories on the site.

  • Second Circuit Seeks More Input on Fleeting Nudity

    According to one of the parties in the case, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has asked both sides for supplemental briefs in the NYPD Blue indecency case, wanting to know what effect a recent ruling by a three-judge panel of that same court has on the FCC’s fleeting nudity enforcement policy under challenge in the NYPD Blue case.

  • Conservative Digg Cabal Uncovered

    A blogger for liberal sites such as AlterNet and News Junkie Post has reported discovering a conservative group of online users who systematically work together to bury, or vote down, stories on liberal subjects and by posters they believe to be liberal, in order to keep those stories from becoming more widely known.

    “A group of nearly one hundred conservatives have banded together on a Yahoo Group called Digg Patriots (DP), and a companion site at coRanks to issue bury orders and discuss strategies to censor Digg and other social media websites,” reported the blogger, known as oleoleolson, who is the Senior News Editor and Chief New Media Strategist for News Junkie Post. “DP was founded on 21 May 2009. Since then, over 40,000 posts have been logged at a steady rate of around 3000-4000 per month. The “Patriots” Network on coRank is a tool to submit Diggs to a group list as opposed to sending an e-mail every time. It also has some tools that make submitting to the list as easy as clicking on a bookmark.”

  • Health

    • The Deadly Neurotoxin Nearly EVERYONE Uses Daily (VIDEO)

      According to statistics published by Forbes Magazine [i] based on Tate & Lyle estimates, aspartame had conquered 55 percent of the artificial sweetener market in 2003. One of the driving factors behind aspartame’s market success is the fact that since it is now off patent protection, it’s far less expensive than other artificial sweeteners like sucralose (Splenda).

  • Security/Aggression

    • Naked Pictures!

      The government has assured us that the images made from “Digital Strip Search”” imaging technologies like millimeter wave and backscatter imaging wouldn’t be saved. They lied. It turns out the U.S. Marshals Service saved more than 35,000 “whole body” images of people who entered a U.S. courthouse in Orlando, Fla.

      And, if the U.S. Marshals Service can do this, why should we trust the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to keep their word about deleting these images? I can’t think of any good reason, can you?

    • It’s official: Saudi Arabia bans BlackBerrys

      The rumors are true: Saudi Arabia has become the second country inside of a week to block access to Research in Motion’s BlackBerry devices on grounds of national security.

    • For Kevin Mitnick, staying legal is job No. 1

      Kevin Mitnick was eager to participate in a social-engineering contest at the Defcon hacker conference in Las Vegas last weekend and was told he would target Microsoft in the event.

      He figured it would be fun to show off his schmoozing skills, which he so easily used to trick employees at tech companies in the 1990s into handing over passwords and other sensitive information, ultimately landing him in jail.

  • Finance

    • Peak Capital – Our Ultimate Limit?

      So, the degradation of the world’ GPS system is not something unexpected, nor it is unrelated to such problems as peak oil or the depletion of mineral resources. It is just another kind of peak: “peak capital.” Maybe GAO has been too pessimistic; maybe we’ll decide that the GPS system is so important that we can’t let it decay. But, in any case, it is a sign of the times: the fifth problem.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Technology Lessons from the Wikileaks Saga

      The truth, or at least more of its constituent parts, will out. In the big picture, that’s a good thing. Those who have the most to fear from an open environment are ones with closed agendas, for whom public debate is a threat rather than an opportunity. Long-term strength lies in persuasion grounded in fact, rather than on carefully constructed artifice.

    • Latest Attempt To Create Federal Journalism Shield Law May Carve Wikileaks Out Of The Protections

      Apparently Senators Chuck Schumer and Dianne Feinstein are quickly drafting a special amendment that says the law wouldn’t apply to “websites that serve as a conduit for the mass dissemination of secret documents.” That’s obviously targeted directly at Wikileaks, but it certainly could impact other sites that store documents as well, and that could create problems.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Google, Verizon Try to Shape Net-Neutrality Law

      A Google spokeswoman declined to comment while a Verizon spokesman said in a statement that the companies have worked on an agreement for 10 months. “We are currently engaged in and committed to the negotiation process led by the FCC” that will allow both sides to “reach a consensus that can maintain an open Internet and the investment and innovation required to sustain it,” he said.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • DMCA Exemption Process Highlights The Folly Of The DMCA

        Last week, of course, we paid a fair bit of attention to the latest round of DMCA exemptions, which come along every three years. It was surprising that the Copyright Office and the Library of Congress seem to keep moving the bar (slowly, slowly) towards a more consumer friendly approach, as compared to the early exemptions which never helped consumers at all. Still, the exemption requests that got rejected show how arbitrary the process appears at times.

      • The Corruption of Our ‘Public Domain’

        Did you know that the definition of ‘public domain’ as ‘the few published works not protected by copyright’ is very recent?

        All published works are supposed to be in the public domain. This was the original pretext behind copyright – to incentivise the delivery of novel and educational works into the public domain – for the public’s benefit (albeit at the cost of cultural liberty).

      • Internet Ban Proposed for Serial Copyright Infringers

        The Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill, which allows for large fines and six month Internet suspensions, has already passed its first reading in the New Zealand Parliament. However, according to copyright advocates, it doesn’t go far enough. Instead of simply disconnecting repeat infringers, they are calling for a heavier punishment that would take people’s right to Internet access away.

      • The price of privacy

        Once-abundant privacy is now scarce. Once-scarce publicness is now abundant.

        It’s the second half of that that interests me most since I’m writing a book about that.

        So if we’ve seen Lessin’s Law on Privacy, then Jarvis’ Corollary on Publicness (which is my synonym for publicity because publicity as a word is so freighted with marketing meaning now) is this:

        Now publicness is free.

      • Can We Please Stop The False Dichotomy Of ‘Creators’ vs ‘Consumers’ When It Comes To Copyright?

        It’s a shame that the recording industry and its lawyers want to turn this into an us vs. them situation. It’s not. Plenty of people want to create a situation where there are wider opportunities for everyone acting as both creators and consumers, to really allow creativity to flourish. But you don’t do that by locking up creativity and pretending that many of those creators don’t appreciate art.

      • Estimating the Economic Impact of Mass Digitization Projects on Copyright Holders: Evidence from the Google Book Search Litigation

        Google Book Search (GBS) has captured the attention of many commentators and government officials, but even as they vigorously debate its legality, few of them have marshaled new facts to estimate its likely effects on publishing and other information markets. This Article challenges the conventional wisdom propounded by the U.S. and German governments, as well as Microsoft and other competitors of Google, concerning the likely economic impact of mass book-digitization projects. Originally advanced by publishing industry lobbying groups, the prevailing account of mass book-digitization projects is that they will devastate authors and publishers, just as Napster and its heirs have supposedly devastated musicians and music labels. Using the impact of GBS on the revenues and operating incomes of U.S. publishers believing themselves to be the most-affected by it, this Article finds no evidence of a negative impact upon them. To the contrary, it provides some evidence of a positive impact, and proposes further empirical research to identify the mechanisms of digitization’s economic impact.

      • FT Claims Paywalls Are Morally Necessary… And Then Shows How Immoral The FT Is

        Remember, this is the guy who was just saying that if a publications primary duty was to advertisers rather than readers, it was morally abhorrent. But, even here he admits that the subscriptions are driven by… advertisers. If this was really about getting the influence of advertisers away from newspapers, why is he playing up the increased ad revenue due to the paywall?

      • Beach Boys take on Katy Perry’s ‘Gurls’

        Reps for the Beach Boys are threatening to sue Katy Perry after she included their classic line “I wish they all could be California Girls,” in her song “California Gurls.”

        Rondor Music has fired off a letter to Perry’s label, Capitol Records, demanding Mike Love and Brian Wilson — who penned the 1965 classic “California Girls” — be given a writing credit on Perry’s hit summer song, as well as royalties.

Clip of the Day

FSCONS 2008 video cast.

Links 5/8/2010: Jolicloud Still in the News

Posted in News Roundup at 9:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Community Paves Way for Developers to Improve Internet Access for the Aging, Disabled

    Aiming to greatly ease the barriers that the aging or people with disabilities experience in participating in Internet activities, the OpenAjax Alliance (OAA) announced it has created new open source tooling technology to help software developers make it dramatically easier for them to access and use Web 2.0-enabled business, government and consumer web sites. The new tooling technology simplifies the way Web applications are tested for compliance with current accessibility standards and guidelines, helping to speed up delivery of new accessible Internet applications.

  • CMS

    • Web Company Using Joomla to Improve People’s Lives in Western China

      “Our company, Global Nomad, was started originally in 2005 as a non-profit with the aim of providing free web development training for unemployed locals here on the Tibetan Plateau in western China where we are located, and then hiring them to do the back-end development work for clients’ websites.

      In 2008 we made the switch from non-profit status to that of a wholly foreign-owned enterprise, and since then are steadily growing as a web development company as our name spreads and our local employees’ skills expand. Because of the free (sometimes even paid) training that we have provided for our local employees, they now are implementing Joomla onto client websites, thereby earning an income and becoming financially independent… which is significant in light of the current situation in western China of high unemployment rates and “brain drain” to the bigger cities in the eastern half of the country.

      Most of our clients come from the West including the US, Europe, and Australia, and thanks to the high-speed internet available even way out here in remote western China and open-source software such as Joomla, locals who used to be jobless can now earn a decent living implementing Joomla and doing back-end coding work for our clients.

      When I saw your invitation to interview web development companies who are using Joomla to make a living and become independent, I thought “perfect”! That is precisely what is happening here within our company. Please visit our website for more information about us (www.itsglobalnomad.com) and I do look forward to hearing from you.”

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD 8.1 release uses different open source philosophy

      FreeBSD may not receive the attention that Linux does, but its latest upgrade could provide some instruction to the makers of Ubuntu about how to do open source releases. The makers of Ubuntu and the popular Linux Mint usually add new features to every release of these Linux distributions, whether or not these are features that the average users will ever need.

  • Project Releases

  • Licensing

    • SFC wins default judgement against GPL violator

      The default judgement was made on the basis that the company had ceased to respond to discovery requests from the court or the SFC. The SFC was awarded $90,000 damages and $47,685 legal costs. Westinghouse Digital Electronics was also ordered to hand over equipment in its possession that contained GPL code and forbidden to distribute devices which contained the BusyBox software.


  • Security/Aggression

    • Open letter to the media about the misuse of the term “hacker”

      Dear Sir/Madam,

      in the past weeks, especially in connection with the story about FBI’s action against a cybercrime which lead to the arrest of a suspect in Slovenia, the word “hacker” has been used several times in the media in the wrong context and the wrong way. Since this term is differently understood by the experts then by the lay public, we feel it appropriate to warn about it in this open letter[1].

      “Hacker” comes from the verb “to hack”, which is an expression that originated in the 50′s of the previous century on the MIT[2] and means solving a technical problem in an unique way. In the computer jargon it is still used to label inventive and original modifications of a programme or system, based on a deep understanding and in a way that was originally not intended.

  • Finance

    • China fund raises finance to match Liverpool asking price

      The Chinese government fund represented by Kenny Huang has spent the past fortnight raising precisely the amount of cash required to finance a bid for Liverpool. Sources have confirmed to Digger that the China Investment Corporation, the sovereign wealth fund to the world’s most populous nation, is the organisation being fronted by Huang, who yesterday admitted interest in bidding for Liverpool.

    • They First Make Mad: Summertime Tales of National Bankruptcy

      Both Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and then New York Fed President Tim Geithner assured senators in April 2008 banking committee testimony that the assets assumed by the Fed in its bail-out of Bear Stearns were “investment grade.” In loading its own balance sheet with unprecedented credit risk, the Fed not only made the American people guarantors of toxic paper – and placed the value of the US dollar at greater risk – it materially misrepresented the quality of the securities involved. While credit quality and credit risk were at the heart of the unfolding banking crisis, the Fed itself was claiming that $30 billion in collateral it assumed consisted of only currently performing and investment grades assets. But the collateralized debt obligations and mortgage-backed bonds involved had already been downgraded at the time of the testimony.

    • UBS AG Hires Away Executives from Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) and Bank of America (NYSE: BAC)

      UBS AG announced on Sunday that it will hire executives from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) and Bank of America Corp (NYSE: BAC) to build out its mortgage and lending business in the United States.

    • Goldman mulls private equity spinoff: report
    • Goldman Sachs Makes Plans To Spin Off Proprietary Trading: CNBC
    • Goldman Sachs Team to Reunite in Hedge Fund Merger

      Former top traders with Goldman Sachs will be working together again as two hedge fund firms merge.

      London-based Montrica Investment Management, with $1.1 billion in assets under management, is merging with TPG-Axon, an $8 billion New York-based firm, according to an investor letter.

    • Goldman Sachs holds its political tongue

      If you were running for office this year, would you want Goldman Sachs stumping for your election?

      Talk about radioactive. The firm epitomizes everything that Main Street hates about Wall Street these days — rescued by the feds from billions of dollars in losses in the collapse of 2008, it quickly rebounded to post billions of dollars in profits. In the meantime, a federal lawsuit showed how Goldman created at least one exotic mortgage-backed product that was designed to fail, soaking one set of clients for the benefit of another. Nice!

    • Political Ads Off Limits, Goldman Promises

      The move was an unexpected sign of restraint after a major Supreme Court ruling this year that gave corporations the power to devote unlimited amounts to electing or defeating candidates for federal office.

    • Goldman Sachs Was Just a Small Fish in the Big CDO Pond

      The Wall Street investment bank was hardly alone in creating CDOs designed to fall in value and was hardly alone in betting against the housing market. Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal article on Deutsche Bank makes that clear. The German bank wasn’t just creating and selling mortgage securities to some of its clients, it also was advising other clients to bet the other way, and sometimes doing so itself.

    • Goldman Sachs runs afoul of residents over retail outlets

      The media is certainly hot and heavy for Goldman Sachs (GS) scoops. We noted recently the New York Times reported Goldman had Battery Park residents angry over the loud ferries it had been using. Now comes news from the Daily Telegraph that the gilded bank has also offended some people living near its fancy 200 West Street global HQ.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Aussie opposition will scrap firewall

      Joe Hockey, shadow treasurer, has told Australian radio that the Liberal Party will oppose the Australian government’s planned compulsory net filter.

      Communications minister Stephen Conroy has staked his reputation on blocking content from the internet which would be censored if it were a film for cinema release. The government announced a review of the contentious plan last month.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Is Google About to Sell the Internet Down the River?

      Indeed, this last factor is a crucial element of Net neutrality – not some minor, optional element that can be discarded. Consider a hypothetical situation when the Web was invented. Suppose we had the kind of pseudo-Net neutrality Schmidt seems to be advocating. According to this, it would have been perfectly permissible to allow the then-leading services like Gopher or WAIS traffic (anyone remember them?), say, to be delivered more quickly than Web traffic. So existing Gopher and WAIS incumbents (such as they were) could have conspired to throttle the Web. That is, if Schmidt’s proposed “bridge”had been around then, there probably wouldn’t be the Web as we know it – and certainly no companies based on searching it…

      The situation is exactly the same today, with the difference that we don’t know what new services will be developed and run across the Internet. But we do know that we need an absolutely level playing field if they are to stand a chance of challenging current leaders and maybe replace them. Sadly, if Google’s “compromise” goes through, we may see the situation where large companies with vested interests can discriminate against new entrants, with the result that online innovation is crimped.

    • Google, Verizon Compromise On Net Neutrality
  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • ACTA

        • Collateral Damage: The Impact of ACTA and the Enforcement Agenda on the World’s Poorest People

          Its unlikely to be the impact which the IP Enforcement Agenda is having on the poorest people in the world. Its unlikely because its apparent from both the latest leaked text of ACTA and the preceding leaked text that no consideration is being given to threat posed to the poorest people in the world by ACTA. The likely impact of the threat on the poorest people in the world is already indicated by the instantiation of an expansive “enforcement” agenda. I’ve pointed to some of the obvious consequences in a working paper hosted by the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property at Washington College of Law.

Clip of the Day

windows 95 on android

Links 5/8/2010: Amadeus Systems Moving to GNU/Linux, Intel Can’t Use Threats Anymore

Posted in News Roundup at 2:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Not Having Linux Skills is IT Malpractice

    The Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field is famous, but the Microsoft Reality Distortion Field is much, much bigger and more pervasive. How else to explain so much devotion to a malware-ridden, inefficient, overpriced under-performing computing platform? Oh I know, those license fees don’t really matter, and Windows 7 is really good and really secure any day now! World wide botnet? Don’t be silly, when Linux gets popular it too will be riddled with malware.

    Yes, many people really do believe that stuff, even in the face of years of overwhelming data to the contrary.

    Should Linux admins also know Apple and Windows? Yes. Because, again, the real world is mixed environments. Running mixed networks, making a good business case for Linux adoption, making a migration plan, and performing migrations requires knowledge. It also makes you appreciate Linux more.

  • Amadeus systems to sit on Linux by 2012

    Airline IT systems and transactions business company Amadeus yesterday announced it will completely migrate its commercial airline transaction processing systems onto Linux by 2012, saying proprietary platforms were “very limiting” and criticised the lack of open standards in the industry.

  • Desktop

    • What Does Your Desktop Look Like?

      Driven by an urge to move out of my old, stale (to me, anyhow: I’ve been using KDE for years) KDE desktop environment, I went on an install binge, successively slapping Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.04 (UNE), plain ol’ Ubuntu 10.04, and Linux Mint 9 onto unsuspecting hardware that I had laying around. Yes, I know these are all Debian-based distros. I’ve served my RPM time with Mandrake/Mandriva, RHEL, CENTOS, and Fedora. It’s Debian-based distros for me from now on, if I have a choice.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Sub-notebooks

      • OLPC and FOSS@RIT–Education innovation the open source way

        An initiative within the Laboratory for Technological Literacy caught our eye since it focuses on free and open source issues–FOSS@RIT. The FOSS@RIT group officially began in January 2009, as an offshoot of RIT’s Department of Interactive Games and Media. A course in Interactive Games and Media generated interest in open game development for the One Laptop Per Child project (OLPC), and led to the creation of FOSS@RIT. Though the group still does lots of work with OLPC development and education projects, it also has a broader purpose that includes general educational efforts around open source tools and processes, particularly in education.

      • Give Your Netbook an OS Makeover with Jolicloud
      • Jolicloud 1.0 netbook operating system now available for download

        Jolicloud is available as a free download. Founder Tariq Krim says premium features will be available later this year.

      • Netbook operating system Jolicloud launches

        Setup for Jolicloud is simple: Simply download and run the tiny installer, and follow the on-screen instructions to create a dual-boot installation of Jolicloud and Windows. Alternatively, you can download an image file to create an installation CD, or create a bootable USB flash drive.

      • Netbooks in name only?

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source initiative will help the disabled

    THE OPEN AJAX ALLIANCE (OAA) is using open source web 2.0 initiatives to improve Internet access for the elderly and disabled.

    The OAA announced the open source tooling technology to help developers create accessible web 2.0 enabled sites that meet online accessibility standards. The guidelines followed are the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, version 2.0 (WCAG 2.0), considered as the industry-wide global standard for accessibility.


  • Intel Can’t Use Threats, Bundled Prices Under Accord, FTC Says

    Intel Corp., the world’s largest computer chipmaker, can’t use threats, retaliation or exclusive deals to block customers from buying competitors’ products under a settlement of antitrust charges, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said.

    The settlement covers graphics chips, central processors and chipsets, the FTC said.

  • Science

    • Astronauts To Repair Cooling System On ISS

      The cooling system is essential for maintaining the temperature inside the station. There are two “loops” in the system, one that uses water and draws heat from the inside of the station and one that dumps the heat into space, which uses ammonia as the fluid. Ammonia is used because it freezes at a much lower temperature than water.

    • Gamers beat algorithms at finding protein structures

      The Nature article makes it clear that researchers in other fields, including astronomy, are starting to try similar approaches to getting the public to contribute something other than spare processor time to scientific research. As long as the human brain continues to outperform computers on some tasks, researchers who can harness these differences should get a big jump in performance.

  • Security/Aggression

  • Finance

    • Defining Prosperity Down

      Yes, growth is slowing, and the odds are that unemployment will rise, not fall, in the months ahead. That’s bad. But what’s worse is the growing evidence that our governing elite just doesn’t care — that a once-unthinkable level of economic distress is in the process of becoming the new normal.

      And I worry that those in power, rather than taking responsibility for job creation, will soon declare that high unemployment is “structural,” a permanent part of the economic landscape — and that by condemning large numbers of Americans to long-term joblessness, they’ll turn that excuse into dismal reality.

    • Consumer Spending, Incomes Flat in June; Saving Up

      U.S. consumer spending and incomes were unexpectedly flat in June while personal savings were the highest in a year, implying an anemic economic recovery for the remainder of this year.

    • Foreclosure activity up across most US metro areas

      Households across a majority of large U.S. cities received more foreclosure warnings in the first six months of this year than in the first half of 2009, new data shows.

    • Arizona, California, Nevada and Florida Have Highest Foreclosure Rates in the United States – Las Vegas Leads with 6.6% Filings
    • Homeownership Drops to Near 50-Year Lows

      Despite months-long speculation that the nation is primed for a housing recovery, homeownership — a tenet of the quintessential American life — is far from making a comeback.

    • Superman Comic Saves Family Home From Foreclosure

      While many businesses have been hurt by the recession, the comic book collection industry has received a boost. It all started in the spring of 2009, in the bleakest days of current downturn, when ComicConnect sold a copy of Action Comics No. 1 for $317,200 – a record at the time.

    • Commodity ETFs: Toxic, deadly, evil

      The warning screams at you: “Do Not Buy Commodity ETFs!” Yes, this Bloomberg BusinessWeek cover reads like National Enquirer or a flashing neon sign on the Vegas Strip.

      And just in case you didn’t get the warning, B/W repeats it twice more, on the cover: “Do Not Buy Commodity ETFs … Do Not Buy Commodity ETFs.” Then, as if afraid you still won’t get it, they scream even louder: Commodity ETFs are “America’s worst investment.”

      Worst? Add toxic, deadly, evil. Commodity ETFs are rapidly becoming a malicious virus breeding chaos in the global markets pricing all commodities: food, farm lands, metals, oil, natural gas, livestock, water and other natural resources are the assets under commodity derivatives and their ETFs, pricing that’s now controlled more by Wall Street speculators than the weather, adding wild swings in volatility and trillions in global derivative risks.

      And once again the usual suspects, the Goldman Conspiracy of Wall Street Banksters, are in the lead.

    • Can you have a middle class without middle-class jobs?
    • What do Republicans believe on state aid?

      he basic idea behind Brown’s bill is that state aid should be funded using preexisting stimulus dollars. That’s what he talks about in the video. He doesn’t say anything about conditions. And to double-check, I read the bill. Still nothing.

    • More Workers Face Pay Cuts, Not Furloughs

      A new report on Tuesday showed a slight dip in overall wages and salaries in June, caused partly by employees working fewer hours.

    • Gov’t OKs $600M in housing aid for 5 states

      The Obama administration plans to send $600 million to help unemployed homeowners avoid foreclosure in five states.

    • Market Data Firm Spots the Tracks of Bizarre Robot Traders

      The trading bots visualized in the stock charts in this story aren’t doing anything that could be construed to help the market. Unknown entities for unknown reasons are sending thousands of orders a second through the electronic stock exchanges with no intent to actually trade. Often, the buy or sell prices that they are offering are so far from the market price that there’s no way they’d ever be part of a trade. The bots sketch out odd patterns with their orders, leaving patterns in the data that are largely invisible to market participants.

      In fact, it’s hard to figure out exactly what they’re up to or gauge their impact. Are they doing something illicit? If so, what? Or do the patterns emerge spontaneously, a kind of mechanical accident? If so, why? No matter what the answers to these questions turn out to be, we’re witnessing a market phenomenon that is not easily explained. And it’s really bizarre.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • ‘I’ve Got Nothing to Hide’ and Other Misunderstandings of Privacy

      In this short essay, written for a symposium in the San Diego Law Review, Professor Daniel Solove examines the nothing to hide argument. When asked about government surveillance and data mining, many people respond by declaring: “I’ve got nothing to hide.” According to the nothing to hide argument, there is no threat to privacy unless the government uncovers unlawful activity, in which case a person has no legitimate justification to claim that it remain private. The nothing to hide argument and its variants are quite prevalent, and thus are worth addressing. In this essay, Solove critiques the nothing to hide argument and exposes its faulty underpinnings.

    • Most Consumers Support Government Cyber-Spying

      Sixty-three percent of people believe that it is acceptable for their government to spy on another country’s computer systems

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • FBI asks Wikimedia Foundation to remove seal from websites, Wikimedia declines

      The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has asked the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF), host of Wikinews and its sister projects, to take down its image of the FBI seal from its websites. However, the WMF declined, saying that FBI lawyers had misinterpreted the relevant federal law.

    • Copyrights

      • ACTA

        • Nokia Criticizes ACTA Substance and Process

          Nokia’s global director of brand protection has published a critical column on ACTA in the World Trademark Review (sub required). The column says that ACTA is unnecessarily broad and that by excluding key countries from the negotiations, those countries “are practically forced into a position of opposition.”

Clip of the Day

Stallman in the program Dissertation of Channel Andalusia


Links 4/8/2010: Preview of KDE 4.5, KDE 4.5 RC3 in Mandriva 2010.1

Posted in News Roundup at 4:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Preview of KDE 4.5

        Plasma, KDE’s desktop shell, has a few new features added in SC 4.5. Among them are the preview button in Folderview. Instead of hovering over a folder and automatically giving you a popup access window, hovering your mouse will show an “up arrow” button that gives the same functionality, making it less intrusive.

        KDE has also added many new features and fixes to KDE games, admin tools, and other included software. KDE 4.5 is available for many operating systems, including Linux, FreeBSD and other Unix variants, Windows, and Mac OS X. Most Linux distributions provide updated binaries through their software repositories. You can also download KDE from the project’s website and build it from source. KDE is free and open source software, and the new version 4.5 is expected to be released today, August 4.

      • KDE release day for 4.5.0 delayed

        Today an email from the release team was sent out notifying KDE developers and packagers that the release of the next KDE software compilation, containing versions 4.5.0 of the Dev Platform, Workspaces and application modules, will be delayed by a week.

  • Distributions

    • Weaknet Linux – Penetration Testing & Forensic Analysis Linux Distribution

      WeakNet Linux is designed primarily for penetration testing, forensic analysis and other security tasks. WeakNet Linux IV was built from Ubuntu 9.10 which is a Debian based distro. All references to Ubuntu have been removed as the author completely re-compiled the kernel, removed all Ubuntu specific software which would cause the ISO to bloat, and used a non-Ubuntu-traditional Window Manager, with no DM. To start X11 (Fluxbox) simply type “startx” at the command line as root.

    • Hacking is easy…

      Now, Gentoo has currently a number of hacks over Rubygems (the library, and the package manager) for two main reason: supporting the Portage-based install of gems in the old manner (as in calling gem from within the eclass), and supporting multiple Ruby implementations to be installed at the same time.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • KDE 4.5 RC3 available for Mandriva 2010 Spring !!

        The third release candidate release of KDE 4.5 was released last week and again thanks to neoclust and mikala who did all the rebuild work this time, we have packages for Mandriva 2010 Spring since a couple of days now. Packages for both i586 and x86_64 are available. Here are the upgrade instructions:

      • Mandriva2010 Spring..

        1.faster boot
        2.quick response.
        3.better fonts.
        4.default wide range software
        5. large repository media(Free DVD version)..

      • August 2010 Issue of The NEW PCLinuxOS Magazine

        In the August 2010 issue:

        Xfce 4.6.2: Xfce Settings Manager, Part 3
        Xfce 4.6.2: Customize Your Xfwm Theme
        Xfce 4.6.2: Customize Thunar’s Context Menus
        Video Encoding: Step-By-Step
        Linux IS Ready For The Desktop
        OpenOffice 3.2: Calc
        Clipping Objects Together To Create Cool Graphics With Inkscape
        Ms_meme’s Nook: Linux Time
        Forum Foible: Fun With PCLinuxOS
        Computer Languages A to Z: Modula2
        Command Line Interface Intro: Part 11
        Screenshot Showcase
        Alternate OS: Haiku, Part 2
        Game Zone: World Of Goo
        Firefox Add-ons: Xmarks Marks The Spot
        and much, much more!

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat gets bump as markets rise

        After a 200-plus point increase on Monday, the Dow was set to give up some of those gains. U.S. futures pointed to a weak opening, CNBC reports.

      • Red Hat vs. Ubuntu: Why upstream commits matter

        There has been some ‘debate’ that has bubbled to the surface again recently about Ubuntu vs. Red Hat on the issue of who contributes what to Linux.

        Red Hat leads the Linux world with its contributions to the core Linux kernel and it also leads with its contributions to the GNOME desktop project as well. Ubuntu on the hand does contribute (not as much), and is focused on ‘fit and finish’ for the most part.

        I personally don’t have much issue with the fact that Ubuntu doesn’t contribute as much upstream as Red Hat — though it is something that matters. Let me explain.

    • Debian Family

      • On extending Debian membership to non-programming contributors

        Stefano raised again the issue of providing some kind of Debian membership to people that contribute to Debian in unusual ways (not involving deep purely technical skills), like doing translation, documentation, marketing, design, etc.


        It’s true that the name “Debian Developer” is suboptimal for non-programmers. But it’s also suboptimal for most DDs, since most of us don’t strictly develop software: we “just” maintain packages, mainly developing meta-data around the upstream source code. “Debian Developer” is how we call our full-fledged project members. Do we want to classify those non-programming contributors as second-class citizens? If not, we need to make them “Debian Developers”, not some strange other name.

      • DebConf 10: Day 2

        Stefano delivered an excellent address to the Debian project. As Project Leader, he offered a perspective on how far Debian has come, raised some of the key questions facing Debian today, and challenged the project to move forward and improve in several important ways.

        He asked the audience: Is Debian better than other distributions? Is Debian still relevant? Why/how?

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Canonical Adjusts Ubuntu Linux Partner Strategy

          Canonical has made a subtle but important shift in its channel partner strategy. Sure, the Ubuntu Linux promoter continues to engage with solutions providers. But increasingly, Canonical wants to recruit hosting partners and cloud partners onto the Ubuntu bandwagon.


          The VAR Guy is intrigued but key questions remain. For starters how does Canonical intend to compete with Novell’s Intelligent Workload Management (designed for on-premises and cloud environments) and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV), which Red Hat is promoting to cloud partners?

        • Main frozen for Alpha-3
        • Making room in the sound indicator

          In Maverick we’re adding the new Ayatana indicator for sound, Conor Curran’s very classy implementation of MPT’s very classy spec. It’s a Category Indicator, like the messaging menu, so it allows apps to embed themselves into it in a standard and appropriate way. You can have multiple players represented there, and control them directly from the menu, without needing a custom AppIndicator or windows open for the player(s). The integration with Rhythmbox and, via the MPRIS dbus API, several other players is coming along steadily.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • MeeGo for IVI 1.0 Screenshots

          If you’re wondering exactly what MeeGo is, it’s a combination of Intel’s Moblin and Nokia’s Maemo project. This lightweight combination targets smartphones, netbooks, tablets, mediaphones, connected TVs and In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) systems. This specific release is for Atom-based IVI systems. These systems are designed to deliver things like navigation, entertainment, and networked computing services inside of cars, trucks, buses, planes and more. On their website MeeGo states “As vehicles become connected to the internet, the demand for internet-based entertainment applications and services increases and MeeGo strives to accelerate the pace of innovation in IVI.” I couldn’t help downloading MeeGo for IVI V1.0, taking some screenshots, and writing some of my thoughts on the new features. Be sure to visit the cart where you can buy MeeGo on USB.

      • Sub-notebooks

        • JoliCloud Finally Launches

          JoliCloud is based on Linux, and is looking to go after cloud clients such as netbooks and tablets. However, the Paris-based company started by former Netvibes founder Tariq Krim is also exploring ways to recycle old computers and make them cloud compatible — targeting an economically sensitive demographic. Krim thinks web OS-based machines are going to find favor in the educational realm as well.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Six open source projects you should be using

    Nagios: Open source network and system monitoring and notification
    I’ve been a fan of Nagios for a long time. Nagios is a soup-to-nuts network and system monitoring and notification tool that has an extensive list of plug-ins and a vibrant community. There is a steep learning curve to set it up, but once that’s done, you’ll have your finger on the pulse of the entire IT plant.

  • CMS

    • Drupal has a two-prong enterprise strategy

      The news peg here is an agreement with Cap Gemini to promote Drupal as part of its Immediate platform. On his blog Buytaert compared it to the decision by Dell and IBM to ship Linux on their machines in 2007.

  • Business

    • Australia to Host Global Open Source Leaders

      Leaders of Ingres, Jaspersoft, Liferay, Sugar CRM, Pentaho and Red Hat are converging for the inaugural SPLASH Conference in Sydney on August 10, 2010. The main reason of the meeting is to share ideas with local firms in Australia.

  • BSD

    • 10 differences between Linux and BSD

      How often do you hear people lumping together Linux and any of the BSDs? I’ve done it on occasion, and I hear it all the time. Of course, there are plenty of similarities between Linux and BSD: They are both based on UNIX. For the most part, both systems are developed by noncommercial organizations. And I must say that both the Linux and BSD variants have one common goal — to create the most useful, reliable operating system available.

  • Government

    • CIA Software Developer Goes Open Source, Instead

      For three years, Matthew Burton has been trying to get a simple, useful software tool into the hands of analysts at the Central Intelligence Agency. For three years, haggling over the code’s intellectual property rights has kept the software from going anywhere near Langley. So now, Burton’s releasing it — free to the public, and under an open source license.

      Burton, a former Defense Intelligence Agency analyst and software developer, speaks today at the Military Open Source Software Working Group in Virginia. It’s a gathering of 80 or so national security tech-types who’ve heard a thousand stories about good ideas and good code getting sunk, because of squabbles over who owns the software.

  • Licensing

    • More GPL Enforcement Progress

      LWN is reporting a GPL enforcement story that I learned about during last week while at GUADEC (excellent conference, BTW, blog post on that later this week). I wasn’t sure if it was really of interest to everyone, but since it’s hit the press, I figured I’d write a brief post to mention it.

      As many probably know, I’m president of the Software Freedom Conservancy, which is the non-profit organizational home of the BusyBox project. As part of my role at Conservancy, I help BusyBox in its GPL enforcement efforts. Specifically and currently, the SFLC is representing Conservancy in litigation against a number of defendants who have violated the GPL and were initially unresponsive to Conservancy’s attempts to bring them into compliance with the terms of the license.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Update on Open Source Initiative’s adoption of the Open Knowledge Definition

      A few weeks back we blogged about Russ Nelson’s proposals for the Open Source Initiative (OSI) to adopt the Open Knowledge Definition, our standard for openness in relation to content and data.


      Here are the questions we arrived at (thanks to Skud aka Kirrily Robert for taking notes):

      1. What happens with data that’s not copyrightable? 1a. What about data that consists of facts about the world and thus even a collection of it cannot be copyrighted, but the exact file format can be copyrighted? Many sub-federal-level governments in the US have to publish facts on demand but claim a copyright on the formatting.
      2. What about data that’s not accessible as a whole, but only through an API?
      3. We’re thinking that OKD #9 should read “execution of an additional agreement” rather than “additional license”.
      4. Does OKD #4 apply to works distributed in a particular file format? Is a movie not open data if it’s encoded in a patent-encumbered codec? Does it become open data if it’s re-encoded?
      5. What constitutes onerous attribution in OKD #5? If you get open data from somebody, and they have an attribution page, is it sufficient for you to comply with the attribution requirement if you point to the attribution page?


  • Can open business practices survive an acquisition?

    In a recent case study about the company, the New York Times details how, almost immediately following the deal, friction emerged between the two companies. In an effort to stay the course of their mission statement, Honest Tea added a “no high-fructose corn syrup” label to the packaging of its Honest Kids line of children’s drinks. Coke saw this label as disparaging and potentially damaging to its other product lines and asked Honest Tea to change or remove the claim from its labels.

  • Wave Goodbye To Google Wave

    Maybe it was just ahead of its time. Or maybe there were just too many features to ever allow it to be defined properly, but Google is saying today that they are going to stop any further development of Google Wave.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • How WikiLeaks Is Changing the World

      After dumping 90,000 documents from the war in Afghanistan, and with a treasure trove of millions of files on other topics from around the world waiting to be released, everywhere-and-nowhere Internet leak hub WikiLeaks is once again the center of a discussion about the changing landscape of investigative journalism and the relationship between the media and the state secrets it reports. Nobody questions the importance of WikiLeaks, but not everyone is pleased.

    • Surprise! Feds stored thousands of checkpoint body scan images after all

      US agencies have long defended the use of body scanning devices at airports with the promise that all images will be discarded as soon as security staff have viewed them.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Hadopi’s Secret Internet Spying Spec Leaked

        As a part of France’s three strikes law, the organization in charge of implementing the program, Hadopi (which, we should remind you, was caught infringing itself in using a font it did not license for its logo), has been tasked with figuring out a way to actually block people from the internet, or to stop them from using certain file sharing programs. While there were public consultations on how to do this, the actual technical spec was supposed to have been kept secret.

      • Flattr: A Social Micropayment Platform for Financing Free Works

        The idea is pretty simple. Flattr functions very nearly like a social networking or social bookmarking site — but with money. Sites that support Flattr provide a button that members of Flattr can push to signal their appreciation. When they do, the Flattr site gets a notification.

        At the end of each month, each member’s clicks are added up. Their monthly balance is then divided up equally among all of the clicked “things”. These are paid out, micro-payment style, to the recipients. The total amount spent by the donor, though, is constant — they set this choice from their Flattr account. So the amount they spend is totally predictable, no matter how many times they click.

Clip of the Day

MPX demo video

Links 4/8/2010: Motorola Open Sources Droid X, Oracle Fixes Eclipse, and “Open Core is Dead”

Posted in News Roundup at 12:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Unruly Customers

    M$, too, had a lot of willing and unwilling customers who have now seen the light and broken out of their jail. Fortunately there is no doubt in most people’s minds that it is legal to migrate to GNU/Linux. They know PCs are somewhat more open than an embedded thingie. That wasn’t always so. I have met people who thought it was against the law to replace the OS, but lately, folks have been installing GNU/Linux on their own or with some help and a few are buying PCs installed with GNU/Linux.

  • Instructionals

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • how to get more people wikiing?

        Today’s blog entry is a simple question:

        What would motivate you to contribute to KDE wikis such as Techbase or Userbase?

        Within the Plasma team, developers put a fair amount of time and effort into writing tutorials, with some more taking shape on our Community wiki pages. We’re about to start on content on Userbase, starting with documenting how Actitivies work from a user’s point of view in the 4.5 release. Other teams within KDE are doing similarly.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Red Hat Is The Top GNOME Contributor
      • Ubuntu To Get Ayatana Sound Indicator

        Ubuntu’s next version, code-named Maverick Meerkat, is slated for the November release. Mark Shuttleworth once again emphasized the ongoing work on improving the art-work of Ubuntu.

        Ubuntu is planning to add a new sound indicator to enhance the ‘music’ experience under Ubuntu. Mark Shuttleworth is toying with the artwork of the indicator.

      • GNOME Commit-Digest Issue 95

        This week… 1817 commits, in 202 projects, by 221 happy hackers (and 396 were translation commits).

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat appointments to boost APAC growth

        Red Hat, provider of open source solutions, today announced six senior management appointments to boost its Asia-Pacific management team and position the company for growth in the region.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian developer conference under way in New York City

        The tenth annual Debian Developer Conference has opened in New York City, marking the first time the event has been held in the U.S. The event will explore the latest developments with the Debian Linux distribution, which is popular among embedded Linux developers, and also offers the foundation for Linux distros including Ubuntu Linux, Xandros, and Google’s Chrome OS.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Introducing Lubuntu

            A light-weight version of Ubuntu Linux has hit download mirrors everywhere. While it is not yet officially supported by Canonical, the company behind the world’s most popular Linux distribution, this version of Ubuntu has in the last three months wormed its way up the Linux charts to become the twelfth most popular version of Linux. The name of this light-weight version of Ubuntu is Lubuntu,

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Motorola Open Sources Droid X

          It appears Motorola may have finally given us what we wanted: the open source software for the Droid X. That’s right, now developers can mess around with the 4.3-inch beast even more! This isn’t quite as exciting as the 1-Click Root that came to the Droid X just a few days ago, but it’s still news. And I’m sure some crazy dev will have Froyo up and running on the Droid X in no time.

        • Droid X: More Athlete Than Aesthete

          With the Droid X, Motorola’s slapped a huge hunk of screen onto a stone-cold slab of a phone that still manages to sit comfortably in the hand and in the pocket. It’s got processor muscle, sharp screen resolution, and an interface that looks kinda ugly even after you customize it. Those widgets and controls might be worth a little homeliness, though.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Negroponte’s OLPC Offer Shows Staying Power of Open Projects

        Now that is a friendly, charitable letter, and it illustrates something that the many nay-sayers didn’t realize when criticizing the OLPC effort: It’s extremely common in the open source world for an initial idea to find itself without wings, and then flourish and fly in a metamorphosized new version. It’s entirely likely that the OLPC assets are exactly what Indian developers need to deliver a good device at a low price point.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Datamatics Migrates Core Solutions To Ingres

    Within the framework of this partnership, Datamatics has expanded its BSS portfolio and migrated its core solutions to Ingres Database, including its main applications in the ‘Order to Cash’ sector and ‘DSS Document System Solution’ for template-based mass document generation.

  • OpenChrom: a cross-platform open source software for the mass spectrometric analysis of chromatographic data

    The software is independent of the operating system, due to the fact that the Rich Client Platform is written in Java. OpenChrom is released under the Eclipse Public License 1.0 (EPL).

  • Facebook Meets Open Source Diaspora

    Since Diaspora is based on Open Source, it will be easier to be scrutinized by authorities and by you to see if it is compromising your data. Another major fact is open source technologies are much more secure than proprietary technology. The simply rule was given by Linus Torvalds, the father of Linux, “Given enough eyeballs, every bug is shallow.” In common man’s language. ‘If every one in your neighborhood is aware and cautious, criminals can never succeed there. ‘

  • Pacific Fibre man, open source champ elected to InternetNZ

    Lance Wiggs, Don Christie, and Dave Moskovitz were elected councillors.

  • Corporates have an appetite for open source software, says Deloitte

    Large companies are increasingly using open source software to conduct pilots, according to Deloitte consultant Mark Lillie.

    I met up with Mark today, who is a consultant in Deloitte’s technology group. We were talking about the IT market in general and some trends.

  • Metasploit To Get More Powerful Web Attack Features
  • Events

    • SPLASH To Unite Open Source Leaders

      The inaugural SPLASH Conference, to be held in Sydney on Tuesday, August 10, 2010, will unite leaders from Ingres, Jaspersoft, Liferay, Sugar CRM, Pentaho and Red Hat to share insights with Australian technology companies.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Brief Update — CEO Search

        A while back we announced that we were starting to look for a new CEO for the Mozilla Corporation as John Lilly moves to Greylock Partners sometime later this year. Here’s an update of what’s going on.

  • SaaS

  • Oracle

    • Oracle Demostrates Great Community Support and Fixes Eclipse

      Every once in a while I am reminded of the lunacy of the Internet, especially headline writers. On Monday of this week, Oracle released an update to the Java 1.6 update 21 that fixes a problem in a previous version that broke Eclipse. All the details can be found in the bug or Neil’s good summary. The good news is that Eclipse is no longer broken!!

      The irony however is that the issue just yesterday shows up on Ed Burnette’s ZDNet blog ‘Oracle Rebrands Java, breaks Eclipse‘ and the pillar of all Internet lunacy, slashdot Oracle Java Company Change Beaks Eclipse . Credit to Ed for actually reporting and testing the fix.

  • CMS

    • Building a Website – Smart and Easy

      Joomla! – One of the pioneers of the open source CMS software programs, constantly up dating their options, and thousands of programmers world wide offer all sorts of special apps.

      Drupal – Drupal is an amazing piece of technical engineering, simple to use and lots of options to make wonderful websites.

      WordPress – WordPress is not so much a website application but more in the form of a blog, many different options are offered and all the templates look really beautiful.

  • Business

    • Nagios Enterprises Gains Over 200 Nagios XI Customers In First Half Of 2010

      Nagios Enterprises gained more than 200 Nagios XI customers in the first half of 2010, setting the stage to become one of the fastest-growing Open Source technology companies in the market. Interest in Nagios continues to gain strength as more companies around the world look to deploy effective IT infrastructure monitoring to ensure operational continuity and minimize the business impact of IT outages.

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Open Core is Dead

        I was wanting to take a break from Dev-Jam to put down some thoughts I’ve been having during this recent renaissance of the “open core” debate when I realized something:

        Open core is dead.

        At least as a business model. While I don’t expect it to go away overnight, I do expect to see very few new companies using the model and those commercial software companies that tout themselves as open source reframing their marketing to de-emphasize it.


    • GNU Hackers Meeting in the Hague 2010

      This GNU Hackers Meeting took place on Saturday 24 July and Sunday 25 July. We organised a hacking space on Monday 26 July and Tuesday 27 July and encouraged people to stay for the extra days. The main GUADEC conference was on Wednesday 28 – Friday 30. This meeting featured a workshop on GNUnet, free secure networking and decentralised applications.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open science is, to some, humanity’s best hope

      Jackson says open science will speed innovation in the same way the open source code movement revolutionized Internet applications. He also wants transhumanists to support the thousands of backyard tinkerers, known as citizen scientists, who are already studying microbes, mapping genomes, and seeking cures for diseases. He calls himself a citizen scientist. At Humanity+, he described the LavaAmp — a pocket-size device for amateur DNA researchers — he is helping to develop.

      Jackson recently hosted the Open Science Summit in Berkeley, Calif., which again highlighted the importance of sharing data. One of the speakers was Alexander Wait Zaranek, a research fellow in genetics at Harvard Medical School who is working to build bridges between open-science organizations, citizen scientists, and industry.

    • CacheFlowe releases open-source robot vocal software to welcome our digital overlords
    • Open Access/Content

      • Open source book publishing gets a boost

        One that I found rather amusing was via FLOSS Manuals (a project I’ve written about before – a group effort to get good manuals written for all the amazing FLOSS out there). The Amsterdam-based foundation has been working on another project: Booki.cc. Booki’s a new book production platform, which takes the same concept as FLOSS Manuals – collaborative online book writing – and expands it beyond the realm of just manuals.

  • Programming

    • Global Tech Company Contegix to Sponsor Open Source Language Project Clojure

      Contegix, a privately held technology firm specializing in Internet infrastructure and hosting services, announced their agreement to provide sponsorship to Clojure development language project.

    • Open-source ‘R’ gets Hadoop integration

      Lately, you can’t talk about business without talking about “big data,” which, incidentally, is the focus of the latest package from Revolution Analytics. Revolution Analytics, which commercialized the open-source R statistics language, emphasizes expanding the use of R beyond its academic roots to business.


  • Consumers v Intel

    What bugs me about government regulation of monopolists is that while after a decade or so of investigation, complaints and courts, the consumer is usually left out of the picture and the monopoly gets to keep its ill-gotten gains by paying off the government and other businesses. Previously Intel paid AMD to go away instead of compensating them for the many years when major portions of the market were closed for no other reason than that Intel bribed OEMs to avoid AMD. Who knows how much AMD’s business could have grown in those years?

  • New wave of evictions threatens Gypsies

    Human rights campaigners have condemned a wave of evictions and court actions against Gypsies and Irish Travellers which they say are threatening to extinguish a whole way of life.

    Dozens of families face the prospect of being pushed off plots of land they own and forced to move back into illegal “side-of-the road” and wasteland camping. Children will be unable to go to school and the elderly and infirm unable to access health services, say the campaigners.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • A dark ideology is driving those who deny climate change

      Life can be hard in Moscow. The Russian capital is sweltering in temperatures that reached a record 37.7C last week. Vast stretches of peat bog surrounding the city have dried out and caught fire covering Moscow with choking smog. The changing of the horse guard in Cathedral Square was cancelled as sentries wilted in traditional woollen uniforms. Elsewhere, more than 2,000 Russians – many drunk – drowned trying to cool off in lakes and rivers and at least 10 million hectares of crops have been ruined. States of emergency have been declared in 23 regions.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Facial recognition technology and CCTV – a potent mix

      You may have noticed recent television advertisements plugging holiday cameras with facial recognition technology good enough to pick out your loved ones in crowds and keep them in focus in holiday snaps.

    • More spys in the skies
    • Surveillance Commissioner issues whitewash report

      I’ve written elsewhere about the Chief Surveillance Commissioner, who issued his Annual Report into surveillance in the United Kingdom this week. It shows that the level of covert surveillance in this country is shocking – these operations are now part of our nation’s everyday life.

    • UAE to block BlackBerry web features

      The United Arab Emirates is to block key features on BlackBerry smartphones because of national security concerns.

      The move could prevent thousands of users from accessing email and the internet on the handsets starting in October, putting the federation’s reputation as a business-friendly commercial and tourism hub at risk.

    • Stealthy Government Contractor Monitors U.S. Internet Providers, Worked With Wikileaks Informant

      A semi-secret government contractor that calls itself Project Vigilant surfaced at the Defcon security conference Sunday with a series of revelations: that it monitors the traffic of 12 regional Internet service providers, hands much of that information to federal agencies, and encouraged one of its “volunteers,” researcher Adrian Lamo, to inform the federal government about the alleged source of a controversial video of civilian deaths in Iraq leaked to whistle-blower site Wikileaks in April.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Game copiers for Nintendo DS ruled illegal in UK

      A High Court has ruled that devices that allow gamers to play pirated video games are illegal in the UK.

      The ruling specifically targets a range of popular devices which can be used to store and play copied games on the Nintedo DS handheld console.

    • Copyrights

      • UK music industry revenues up 4.7% to £3.9bn in 2009

        This morning, PRS for Music is launching its annual Adding Up The Music Industry report, which puts numbers to recorded music, live music and B2B music revenues in the UK.

      • Dear Jeff Zucker, Whether You Like It Or Not, Content Will Stay Free

        Sorry, Jeff, but you don’t get to decide that. The technology and the market have already decided that the content is or will be free online. It might not be authorized. It might not be legal. But the content is free. “Should” has nothing to do with it, because the technology and the market don’t care about “should.” Yes, this sucks for those who only understand how to run a business when they’re a gatekeeper who controls things, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t really good businesses built on free content. NBC should know this, since an awful lot of its history was built on exactly that… And I don’t recall Zucker’s predecessors whining about that darn “free” broadcast TV.

Clip of the Day

Tux in the ring

Links 4/8/2010: MeeGo ‘Leak’, GNU/Linux Skills High in Demand

Posted in News Roundup at 6:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Google Search in Firefox Bar Alone Is Bigger Than Bing, Yahoo; Bidding War Coming Soon

        That little search bar at the top right of your Firefox browser is driving 9.18% of searches, according to research by advertising network Chitika, Inc.

        That’s a huge chunk in a market where Google handles more than 80% of searches and its competitors Bing and Yahoo! handle just 8.56% and 6.69%, respectively – suggesting a huge bidding war may be brewing for November 2011 when Google’s contract with Mozilla is up.

      • Fresh Candy for Firefox: Tab Candy Makes Tabs Managable

        I’m writing this column about Tab Candy while I also have my Webmail open, Twitter and Identi.ca, a page showing flight information and travel plans, and the Linux Magazine backend open. That’s a light load, because I’m traveling. In my home office I usually work on three or four writing projects at a time, plus social media sites, mail, and so on.

  • SaaS


  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Ecuador pledges no oil drilling in Amazon reserve

      Ecuador has agreed to refrain from drilling for oil in a pristine Amazon rainforest reserve in return for up to $3.6bn (£2.26bn) in payments from rich countries.

      Under a pioneering agreement signed with the United Nations, the oilfields under the Yasuni reserve will remain untapped for at least a decade.

      The money is about half of what Ecuador would make by selling the oil.

  • Finance

    • Beyond State Capitalism

      Although peopleʼs rights to their commons are often recognized and validated in smaller
      communities, scaling these lessons to the global level will require a new dimension of
      popular legitimacy and authority. The world community is rapidly evolving a sense of
      social interconnectivity, shared responsibility and global citizenship, yet the sovereign
      rights of people to the global commons have not been fully articulated. In declaring our
      planetary rights for these commons, we shall be confronting many decisive questions:

      (1) Are modern societies prepared to create a framework in which the incentives
      behind production and governance are not private capital and debt-based
      growth, but human solidarity, quality of life and ecological sustainability?

      (2) How soon — and how peacefully — will the subsystems of the Market State
      integrate their structures of value-creation and sovereign governance with the
      greater biophysical system of ecological and social interdependence?

      (3) Can the global public organize effectively as a third power to develop checks
      and balances on the private and public sectors and establish the resource
      sovereignty and preservation value needed for a commons economy?

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • DRM and Other Forces Overriding the Three Laws of Robotics

      Globally, consumer rights and even human rights are eroding as some vendors infect their consumer electronics with Digital Restrictions Management mechanisms and as DMCA — the law that tries to protect DRM — is being secretly negotiated by a few strong countries and to be forced upon the rest of the world as treaties (ACTA 1, 2). These strong forces are overriding the three laws of robotics (if there ever will be at all) with something else.

      As Asimov pictures it, a robot should give highest priority to (L1) protecting human beings (L2) obeying human orders (L3) protecting itself, in that order, above anything else. Any robot in Asimov’s Sci-Fi is equipped with a positronic brain that will go nuts, so to speak, if it ever breaks these laws. This is to a society heavily dependent on robots what a fuse is to an electronic device. Imagine the threat one faces living in a world full of robots without these laws.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Digital Economy (UK)

        • A Guide to the Digital Economy Act – Part 5


          * The measures on copyright infringement will not come into effect until January 2011 at the earliest.
          * All these measures will involve (initially) is sending letter to those accused of infringing.
          * ISPs are under no obligation to monitor their subscribers’ Internet use.
          * Technical measures cannot come into force until further consultation has been done and the regulations have been approved by Parliament.
          * It is up to the copyright owner to prove the infringement happened and an IP address was used.
          * It is up the the accused to prove that they did not commit the infringement if “their” IP address was allegedly used.
          * The government could put in place a method whereby websites and content could be blocked by ISPs due to alleged copyright infringement.

Clip of the Day

Android Multi-Touch Pinch-To-Zoom


Links 3/8/2010: Apache Climbs, Zenoss Joins The Linux Foundation, Illumos Launched

Posted in News Roundup at 6:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • Welcome: One Thing to Know Before You Migrate to GNU/Linux

      The silly article goes on for lots of pages/clicks until five things are listed to denigrate GNU/Linux. The truth is there is only one thing to know about migrating to GNU/Linux. Any problems you encounter will be solvable and once solved will not recur.

    • Is Linux Really Harder to Use?

      When North Americans learn to drive a car, they learn to drive on the right side of the road. Those in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, of course, learn to drive on the left. Neither option is “more difficult,” per se, they’re just different. Once you’re used to one approach, however, it can feel awkward at first to do the other.

      So it is with computer operating systems. Desktop Linux is simple, elegant and logical, but it works differently from Mac and Windows.

      In Linux, the graphical user interface (GUI) is optional, for instance. The desktop environment can be completely customized, and package managers let you install software in just a few clicks, no surfing the Web or searching for serial keys required.

    • If Linux is not for Everyone, Neither is Windows

      When contrasting Linux and Windows, one frequently hears the fallacy that Linux is not an OS anyone can use. Read this reaction about it. That recurrent argument is based on several misconceptions that I would like to discuss but, first, let us clarify something: there exists no such a thing as an easy, perfect OS. There is always a learning curve when using a system and the more you get exposed to an OS, the more “manageable” it seems. But easiness of use is only a perception, a mirage. Now, let us take a look at the misconceptions.

  • Server

    • July 2010 Web Server Survey

      Microsoft also experienced a loss this month, serving 648k fewer hostnames worldwide and also losing 265k active sites. A big contributor to this was a loss of 388k hostnames due to lower activity on Microsoft Live Spaces.

    • Desperately Seeking LAMP 2.0

      Today, though, people are so lost in the fog of cloud computing, that they have largely forgotten about LAMP’s appeal. Cloud computing may well go beyond LAMP in terms of its power and potential, but so far it lags woefully behind LAMP in terms of simplicity and ease of implementation. Today, though, people are so lost in the fog of cloud computing, that they have largely forgotten about LAMP’s appeal. Cloud computing may well go beyond LAMP in terms of its power and potential, but so far it lags woefully behind LAMP in terms of simplicity and ease of implementation.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

    • Microsoft Exchange Alternatives for Linux

      Looking for a Linux-friendly groupware suite that can take the place of Microsoft Exchange in your organization? You’ll find a wide range of alternatives for Linux that offer most (if not all) of Exchange’s functionality.

      If your organization has standardized on Microsoft Exchange, switching may be a bit tricky (but can be done). But if your organization hasn’t started down that path, it’s a good habit to avoid. The good news is you’ll find several robust Exchange alternatives for Linux.

    • Bibble 5, DAM for Linux, and data portability

      So I’m evaluating Bibble 5 Pro (version 5.1f). I had to process over 1,000 images this weekend and LightZone was killing me. I really like LightZone. But, damn… it is slow. It does have batch processing capabilities but they’re not particularly robust (there’s no way to apply some adjustments but not others, for example).

    • Gloobus Preview + Nautilus Elementary = Absolutely Beautiful!

      Gloobus Preview is a beautiful file preview application for Linux. Select a file and click space bar to have a quick preview of the file, as simple as that. And when I say file, they include music, videos, images, documents and everything else!

    • Instructionals

  • Distributions

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Workstation Benchmarks: Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu Linux

          As I alluded to recently, the second round of Windows 7 vs. Linux benchmarks — with the first round consisting of Is Windows 7 Actually Faster Than Ubuntu 10.04 and Mac OS X vs. Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu benchmarks — are currently being done atop a Lenovo ThinkPad W510 notebook that is quite popular with business professionals. With the high-end ThinkPad W510 boasting a dual quad-core Intel Core i7 CPU with Hyper-Threading plus a NVIDIA Quadro FX 880M graphics processor, we began this second round of cross-platform benchmarks by running a set of workstation tests. In this article we are mainly looking at the workstation graphics (via SPECViewPerf) performance along with some CPU/disk tests.

        • Ubuntu 10.10’s New File System: btrfs by Christopher Tozzi

          As far as production goes, btrfs is not yet an appropriate choice; as its documentation makes explicitly clear, it is “not suitable for any uses other than benchmarking and review.” So while the Ubuntu installer might provide btrfs as an option, I wouldn’t go putting it on the root partition of any production system until it has matured a little more.

          All the same, the new file system promises a number of significant advances on both Ubuntu desktops and servers. In my experiments with it, it’s also worked pretty well, and I’m excited to explore the new possibilities it offers to Ubuntu users as it continues to develop.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Phones

        • Android

          • Android is Awesome

            The question becomes “Why do OEMs not push GNU/Linux?”. The answers are many. OEMs have a tight margin. If unit sales were to drop even a little, their margins and income could drop seriously. They do not want to take the risk so, at best, they want GNU/Linux to be a sideline as Dell has made it. That seems quite unwise in view of the performance of Android. Margins can increase quite a bit per PC if the licence for the OS is taken out of the total. An OEM can either increase share by cutting prices a bit more than competitors selling that other OS or an OEM could charge what they would charge for that other OS and keep the change, increasing margin. Combinations are also possible, cutting a bit in price while cutting out payments to M$. The fact that no large OEM has done this suggests that M$ is paying them handsomely to keep out GNU/Linux.

Free Software/Open Source

  • 10 things traditional software customers want to know about open source

    I talk to many customers who have installed what I’ll call “traditional” or “commercial” software but what some people call “closed” or “proprietary” software. The most savvy customers understand that most traditional software contains a lot of open source software, and you need to think about open source not just at the application but also at the library level. These customers usually have enterprise installations and either run or outsource huge data centers, have multiple hardware and software platforms, and care a lot about quality of service, service level agreements, maintenance, support, and cost.

  • Oracle

    • Will Illumos Bring OpenSolaris Back To Life?

      Today sees the launch of the Illumos Project, heralded last week in a message on the OpenSolaris mailing lists. The announcement caused much excitement, with many assuming it was a fork of OpenSolaris or another OpenSolaris distribution.

    • Illumos sporks OpenSolaris

      If you were hoping that someone would fork the OpenSolaris operating system, you are going to have to settle for a spork. You know, half spoon and half fork. That, in essence, is what the Illumos, an alternative open source project to continue development on the core bits of OpenSolaris, is all about.

      The disgruntled OpenSolaris community has been ignored by Oracle since it acquired Sun Microsystems back in January, and the project’s governing board has threatened to commit ritual suicide by the end of August to try to get Oracle participating in the open source Solaris development effort.

    • OpenSolaris’ child, Illumos, goes forward without Oracle

      Nexenta, an open-source organization that’s been trying to “combine the OpenSolaris kernel with the GNU/Debian user experience has announced a new open-source effort called “Illumos”. Illumos, Nexenta proclaims “is a 100% community-driven and owned effort that aims to provide an alternative to a critical part of the OpenSolaris distribution, freeing it from dependence on Oracle’s good will.”

      This effort, Simon Phipps, former chief open-source officer for Sun and an Illumos supporter, said is not meant to be a fork of OpenSolaris. Still, as the group said in their announcement, “Oracle has significantly reduced their support for OpenSolaris as a distribution.” Actually, that’s too kind. Oracle has essentially ignored OpenSolaris and paid no attention to the OpenSolaris Governing Board.

    • Illumos launched as OpenSolaris derivative
  • Funding

    • Status.net Gets $1.4M to Take Open-Source Twitter Into the Enterprise

      Status.net, which distributes open-source microblogging software similar to Twitter, has closed a round of financing that it plans to use to take its services into the enterprise market. The Montreal-based startup has raised $1.4 million from New York venture fund FirstMark Capital, along with BOLDstart Ventures, iNovia Capital and Montreal Start Up, and FirstMark partner Scott Switzer — founder of the open-source advertising platform OpenX — will join the company’s board of directors. The new round brings the total amount raised by Status.net to $2.3 million.

  • Government

  • Licensing

    • BusyBox and the GPL Prevail Again

      I thought you’d want to hear about what’s just happened in the Software Freedom Conservancy v. Best Buy, et al case. It’s another BusyBox case regarding infringement of the GPL, mostly about high definition televisions with BusyBox in them, and while the case is not finished regarding other defendants, it’s certainly set another precedent. One of the defendants was Westinghouse Digital Technologies, LLC, which refused to participate in discovery. It had applied for a kind of bankruptcy equivalent in California. Judge Shira Scheindlin of the Southern District of New York has now granted Software Freedom Conservancy, a wing of Software Freedom Law Center, triple damages ($90,000) for willful copyright infringement, lawyer’s fees and costs ($47,865), an injunction against Westinghouse, and an order requiring Westinghouse to turn over all infringing equipment in its possession to the plaintiffs, to be donated to charity. So, presumably a lot of high-def TVs are on their way to charities.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • How Lawyers Can Help Us to Share

      Berkeley attorney and Shareable.net contributing editor Janelle Orsi is the co-founder of the Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC), which aims to help social enterprises, worker-owned co-ops, and other mission-oriented enterprises sort through legal red tape. The co-author of The Sharing Solution, published by Nolo in 2009, Orsi also has a private legal practice focused on mediation and helping people share housing, cars, land, and other commodities. We talked to Orsi about the legal gray areas that social entrepreneurs can find themselves in, and what SELC is doing about them.


  • UK.gov smiles and nods at commentards

    More than 9,500 comments were published on the Programme for Government website, which was launched on 20 May, days after the formation of the coalition.

    Whitehall departments published their responses late last week to no fanfare, revealing as they did that not one policy will be changed as a result of the exercise.

  • Change is good. But show your work!

    An anonymous bug filer noticed that the Times seemed to have changed a statistic in the online version of a front-page story about where California’s African Americans stood on pot legalization. As first published, the story said blacks made up “only” or “about 6 percent” of the state population; soon after it was posted, the number changed to “less than 10 percent.” There’s “>a full explanation of what happened over at MediaBugs; apparently, the reporter got additional information after the story went live, and it was conflicting information, so reporter and editor together decided to alter the story to reflect the new information.

    There is nothing wrong with this. In fact, it’s good — the story isn’t etched in stone, and if it can be improved, hooray. The only problem is the poor reader, who was reading a story that said one thing at one time, and something different when he returned. The problem isn’t the change; it’s the failure to note it. Showing versions would solve that.

  • New online business model will succeed, says Rupert Murdoch
  • The Politics of Email: Son of Reagan liberally attacks Apple, Google and Microsoft

    Michael Reagan, the eldest son of former US President Ronald Reagan, has accused people who use email services from Apple, AOL, Google, Hotmail and Yahoo! of “supporting the Obama, Pelosi and Reid liberal agenda” and ultimately “hurting our country”.

  • No Wonder it Sold for a Dollar

    Newsweek is running an amazingly bad story today titled “Taliban Seeks Vengeance in Wake of WikiLeaks”. Granted, I have my own beef with Julian Assange but how can an editor let that article go out when the author admits there is no known correlation or causation…

  • Why we can’t ditch 3D glasses just yet

    This is the first in a series of blogs based on a seminar given at the BBC by Buzz Hays, chief instructor for the Sony 3D Technology Center in Culver City, California – where they teach the professionals how to make better 3D. The series starts with an answer to the most common complaint about 3D.

  • The Ghosts of World War II’s Past (20 photos)
  • Environment/Wildlife

    • Fires still spreading in parched Russia

      Russia is mobilising more forces to fight hundreds of wildfires still raging across a vast area east and south of Moscow amid a record heatwave.

    • Rand Paul: Mine safety regulations aren’t needed since “no one will apply” for jobs at dangerous mines

      In April, two miners were killed at the Dotiki Mine in Western Kentucky after the mine’s roof collapsed. The non-union mine had been cited for 840 safety violations by federal inspectors since 2009, and the Kentucky Office of Mine Safety and Licensing issued 31 orders to close sections of the mine or to shut down equipment during the same period. But when asked about the incident, Kentucky’s Republican Senate candidate, Rand Paul, said “maybe sometimes accidents happen.”

  • Finance

    • Why not Elizabeth Warren?

      Whether Elizabeth Warren heads the nascent Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection has become the first pitched battle in how the recently passed financial reform laws are put into practice. If the episode so far is any indicator, the battle between interests and reformers is far from over.

      Detractors say that Warren lacks experience, that she’s not impartial, and that she could make it so expensive to extend credit that only the richest Americans and biggest businesses could get a mortgage, a credit card, or a loan. But these knocks against Warren obscure the likely impact that she would have on the bureau. And mostly, they are straw men.

    • Why We Really Shouldn’t Keep the Bush Tax Cut for the Wealthy

      From a strictly economic standpoint — as if economics had anything to do with this — it makes sense to preserve the Bush tax cuts at least through 2011 for the middle class. There’s no way consumers — who comprise 70 percent of the economy — will start buying again if their federal income taxes rise while they’re still struggling to repay their debts, they can’t borrow more, can no longer use their homes as ATMs, and they’re worried about keeping their jobs.

    • Geithner defends Obama policy on tax cut extension

      Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Tuesday it would be “deeply irresponsible” for the Obama administration to support a wholesale extension of Bush era tax cuts, including breaks for the wealthy.

      Geithner said in a nationally broadcast interview that President Barack Obama strongly believes those reductions should be retained for the “95 percent” of taxpayers with individual incomes under $200,000 a year and families below $250,000.

    • Geithner tells bankers not to fear new financial regulations

      Timothy F. Geithner, traveling salesman, swept through Manhattan on Monday making a pitch to skeptical bankers, business leaders and even the mayor.

      His central message: Far-reaching financial regulations signed into law by President Obama last month aren’t something to fear. Rather, they are the foundation of a stronger economy for the months and years ahead.

    • In devising punishments, SEC faced with competing interests

      What’s $75 million?

      For Citigroup, it’s a week of profits, less than 0.1 percent of its market value, a rounding error on a balance sheet worth more than $2 trillion.

    • Countrywide settlement pays fraction to investors

      Former shareholders of fallen mortgage giant Countrywide Financial Corp. are in line to recoup a fraction of their investments now that a Los Angeles judge has approved a settlement worth more than $600 million settlement.

      The payoff doesn’t come close to compensating for the money lost by investors. But it could prompt more lenders to settle legal disputes at the center of the housing bust.

    • 99 Weeks Later, Jobless Have Only Desperation

      Ms. Jarrin is part of a hard-luck group of jobless Americans whose members have taken to calling themselves “99ers,” because they have exhausted the maximum 99 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits that they can claim.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Julian Assange Responds to Increasing US Government Attacks on WikiLeaks

      It’s been ten days since the whistleblower website WikiLeaks published the massive archive of classified military records about the war in Afghanistan, but the fallout in Washington and beyond is far from over. Justice Department lawyers are reportedly exploring whether WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange could be charged with violating the Espionage Act of 1917 for publishing the classified Afghan war documents. Meanwhile, investigators in the Army’s criminal division have reported

    • Secretive group seeks recruits, finds skepticism

      A secretive volunteer group that tries to track terrorists and criminals on the Internet went to the Defcon hacker conference this past week in hopes of recruiting information security experts, but it will first have to overcome some skepticism.

      That’s because most information security professionals have never heard of the group, called Project Vigilant. The group’s director, Chet Uber, came forward Sunday at a press conference run by Defcon organizers to try to recruit volunteers from among the show’s attendees. “We need more people,” he said. “By increasing the numbers, we increase the likelihood that we will get the work done.”

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • No, The Fifth Amendment Does Not Complicate Net Neutrality

      Lyons then tries to twist this into a claim that it’s like an easement on physical property. Again, this is simply untrue. The third parties are not proactively going onto anyone’s network. They have set themselves up and connected directly to the open internet (via their own ISPs to which they pay handsomely for bandwidth) and the only times their content crosses those other networks is when the end users (i.e., the customers of these ISPs) reach out and request that the content be sent to their computer. That’s how the open internet works. If the ISPs don’t like it, they shouldn’t have offered an internet service. To twist this and claim that the internet is somehow a “private network” of these ISPs and service providers who connect to the open internet are somehow “invading” that private network is the height of sophistry.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • FBI claims no-one may publish its seal

      The FBI ordered wikipedia to remove its seal from the article there about the bureau. It threatened to litigate. Unfortunately for the FBI, the law it cited is the one that forbids making counterfeit badges, and Wikimedia’s lawyers mocked them in its response.

      John Schwartz in the NYT: “Many sites, including the online version of the Encyclopedia Britannica, display the seal. Other organizations might simply back down. But Wikipedia sent back a politely feisty response, stating that the bureau’s lawyers had misquoted the law. ‘While we appreciate your desire to revise the statute to reflect your expansive vision of it, the fact is that we must work with the actual language of the statute, not the aspirational version’ that the F.B.I. had provided.”

    • Wikipedia and FBI in logo use row

      A row has broken out between Wikipedia and the FBI over the use of its seal.

    • Copyrights

      • Pirate Bay Founder Appeals “Political Gagging” Court Order

        Early 2010, a Swedish court banned Pirate Bay co-founders Gottfrid Svartholm and Fredrik Neij from operating the site. Last month, the site’s former spokesperson Peter Sunde was also banned and faces a heavy fine for non-compliance. He has now appealed that decision, with his lawyer describing the court ruling as “political gagging”.

      • Digital Economy (UK)

        • Hadopi’s secret 3-strikes security spec leaked

          Government certified security software: the French government’s Hadopi wants to spy on everything on your computer, every time you log on, otherwise you cannot defend yourself against breach of copyright allegations. How far does this breach our right to privacy or freedom of expression?


          Although the consultation is supposed to be public, the details of the specification that Hadopi is requiring were kept secret. The leak is significant because it reveals a proposal for surveillance on Internet users’ own computers.

Clip of the Day

Compiz NOMAD Demonstration

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