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07.23.10

Links: Many New Releases of GNU/Linux, More Tablets

Posted in GNU/Linux, News Roundup at 4:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Blue balloon

Summary: Latest steps taken towards operating systems freedom

GNU/Linux

  • Sony now facing single class-action for PS3 other-OS removal

    Sony did not make many friends in the tech community when the company forcibly removed the option to install Linux via a mandatory firmware update. The problem was simple: Sony had previously pushed this feature as an advantage its system held over its competitors, and later assured gamers that it would continue to be supported. That is, until Sony became spooked about the possibility of piracy. Lawsuits were filed, and Ars Technica has now learned that the court will bundle all seven suits into a single class-action case.

  • Use GNU/Linux

    GNU/Linux is an operating system. It allows us to run computers and create, find, change and display information better than that other OS:

    * Of the million busiest web sites 66% use Apache
    * The London Stock Exchange is switching to GNU/Linux because it works
    * 90% of the top 500 supercomputers use GNU/Linux
    * Brazil installed 356800 GNU/Linux desktops in schools

  • Relationships

    Fortunately, the world is filling up with young people for whom migrating to GNU/Linux is a welcome, refreshing change. The current generation of young people will live in a world where there is choice in computing platforms. There are many forces leading to that result. One of them is exposure to GNU/Linux in schools. Another is the access to GNU/Linux on low-priced gadgets (smartphones are getting to that state soon…).

  • Good News From All Over
  • Desktop

    • Linux First Steps

      First, most of the people who write me aren’t interested in the fine details of Linux. They are just sick and tired to death of Windows’ endless security problems or its costs. Indeed, most of them aren’t that interested in learning Linux. They just want a cheap operating system that will let them read e-mail, browse the Web, and run some office applications without worrying about malware.

      So, here’s what I tell people who just want a good, working PC, and couldn’t care less about the specific differences between “free software” and “open source” or how KDE 4.4 compares to GNOME 2.30

    • Windows vs Ubuntu: in a nutshell

      You may recall how Dell dug itself into an almighty hole last month, after proclaiming that Ubuntu was safer than Windows, before swiftly changing its mind and declaring itself more neutral than Switzerland.

      Well, now the PC maker’s had time to think the matter through, another page has appeared on the Dell website, condensing the whole Windows vs Ubuntu debate into about 100 words.

      From Dell’s perspective the choice is clear. You should choose Windows if (and I swear I’m not paraphrasing here):

      * You are already using WINDOWS programs (e.g. Microsoft Office, iTunes etc) and want to continue using them
      * You are familiar with WINDOWS and do not want to learn new programs for email, word processing etc
      * You are new to using computers

    • Why does Dell hate Linux so much?
  • Server

    • Canonical Seeks Ubuntu Cloud Wins at HostingCon
    • Canonical Seeks 10 Ubuntu Cloud Hosting Partners

      How do you eat an elephant? In small bytes. That old saying applies to Canonical’s emerging Ubuntu cloud strategy. Instead of attacking the entire hosting industry and attacking big rivals like Red Hat and Microsoft head-on, Canonical is quietly pursuing 10 hosting partners to pilot Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud. Here are the details from HostingCon in Austin, Texas.

    • Ubuntu Linux brings IBM DB2 to the cloud

      Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, has always had many user and developer fans. Enterprise business fans? Not so much. Canonical hopes to change that with today’s, July 21, launch of a virtual appliance of IBM’s DB2 Express-C software running on the Ubuntu cloud computing platform, in private and public cloud configurations. The company also announced that IBM has validated the full version of DB2 software on Ubuntu 10.04.

    • Canonical, IBM: Expanded Ubuntu DB2 Cloud Partnership Coming
    • Canonical launches IBM DB2 database virtual appliance

      Canonical has released a virtual appliance for running instances of IBM DB2 database software, the company announced on Wednesday. The software appliance will contain a copy of IBM’s DB2 Express-C, which will run on the company’s Linux-based server distribution, Ubuntu 10.04 Long Term Support Server Edition.

    • Will Canonical-IBM Relationship Attract Oracle to Ubuntu?

      Canonical and IBM, as expected, have expanded their relationship. The latest move involves a virtual appliance, comprising IBM’s DB2 Express-C software running on the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud. At first glance the Canonical-IBM relationship is a nice win for Ubuntu. But perhaps there’s a deeper story angle here… involving Canonical’s continued pursuit of Oracle on Ubuntu. Here’s the speculation.

  • Audiocasts

    • Podcast Season 2 Episode 13

      In this episode: A SCO representative finally reveals some of the Linux code SCO had a problem with and OpenSUSE 11.3 is here. Listen to the results of our new challenge, and we ask whether the likes of Red Hat, Novell and Canonical contribute enough back to the community.

  • Google

    • Release Early, Release Often

      Over the next few months, we are going to be rolling out a new release process to accelerate the pace at which Google Chrome stable releases become available. Running under ideal conditions, we will be looking to release a new stable version about once every six weeks, roughly twice as often as we do today.

      So why the change? We have three fundamental goals in reducing the cycle time:

      * Shorten the release cycle and still get great features in front of users when they are ready
      * Make the schedule more predictable and easier to scope
      * Reduce the pressure on engineering to “make” a release

  • Graphics Stack

    • A line in the sand for graphics drivers

      Support for certain classes of hardware has often been problematic for the Linux kernel, and 3D graphics chips have tended to be at the top of the list. Over the last few years, through a combination of openness at Intel and AMD/ATI and reverse engineering for NVIDIA, the graphics problem has mostly been solved – for desktop systems. The situation in the fast-growing mobile space is not so comforting, though. As can be seen in recent conversations, free support for mobile graphics looks like the next big problem to be solved.

  • Proprietary Applications

  • Instructionals

  • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

    • Successful KDE Finances Sprint Held

      On April 23rd, developers from various finance-related KDE applications gathered in Eschborn, near Frankfurt, Germany for the first ever KDE Finance Sprint. The fellowship was composed of developers from KMyMoney, Kraft and Skrooge. This was a week after the ash cloud stopped all flights over Europe. Until the last minute, it was not clear whether those who were coming by plane would be able to make it. Fortunately, the airports opened just in time. Read on for a report for the meeting.

    • Albert Astals Cid: KDE Edu, Okular, Akademy and Life

      Last time in the KDE contributor interview series, we talked with the KDE developer Stephen Kelly from KDE PIM. We’ve been digging around in the KDE interview vaults and found this interesting discussion we had with Albert Astals Cid on 12 May 2010. Albert is well known in KDE from his work with KDE España, as maintainer of Okular and the KDE Edu applications. The original interview in Italian is also available.

    • Creating plasmoids with JavaScript

      With KDE 4.4, plasmoids can now be written in JavaScript or QtScript, thus opening up a whole new class of applications. Marcel shows how easy it is to build JavaScript plasmoids.

    • Ever wanted your ownCloud?

      Akademy is a great time to meet people and understand some of the exciting new projects and buzzwords in KDE. One project that has been generating a lot of interest recently is ownCloud, the KDE cloud computing project launched by Frank Karlitschek. We caught up with Frank to understand ownCloud better, find out about the current status, and plans for the future.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Pinguy OS – Distro Review

        My favourite type of distros are Ubuntu based. For some time now I have been making a case for why you should be using Linux Mint. Even though I think Mint is fantastic, I still make it a point to try other distributions. I made a pit stop at Zorin 3 for a short while and even though it had many wonderful qualities it didn’t quite knock Linux Mint out of my top spot.

    • New Releases

      • [T2] 8.0 Changes

        User visible

        * GCC 4.5(.0)
        * GlibC 2.11(.2)
        * X.Org 7.5
        * preliminary (basic) support for LLVM/clang
        * preliminary (basic) support to target MinGW / Win32
        * over 200 new packages (now nearly 3221)
        * most existing packages received an update
        * over 10000 SVN revisions since the 7.0 branch!

      • Netrunner 2 – Official Release

        Today, we released the official Netrunner 2 – Blacklight ISO.
        Compared to the RC, we fully integrated Ubuntu Software Center back again,
        and updated VLC to 1.1.0.

      • Linux Mint 9 LXDE released!
      • [Tiny Core Linux] v3.0

        All new kernel, modules, libraries, and support for unlimited loops make up the new Tiny Core / Micro Core 3.0. Freedesktop support and many improvements to Apps Audit and OnDemand features. Also support for RAID disks and new bootcode to blacklist modules.

    • Fedora

    • Debian Family

      • Debian declassification delayed

        In 2005, the Debian project voted to declassify messages on the debian-private mailing list after a period of three years. That is easier said than done, apparently. The General Resolution (GR) calls for volunteers to do the work of declassification, and few Debian Developers seem eager to do the work required to make it happen.

      • Flavours and Variants of Ubuntu

        • Cloud-oriented distro gets site-specific

          The team behind the cloud-based Peppermint variant of Ubuntu Linux released a scaled-down, fast-booting, site-specific browser (SSB) version. The “Peppermint Ice” distro switches to Google’s Chromium as the default browser, and while still supporting native apps, is even more focused on web-based apps than is Peppermint.

          Written by Kendall Weaver, the creator of the Pepperment distro, which shipped in May (see farther below), Peppermint Ice was designed as a mechanism for launching web applications and/or cloud applications such as SaaS (Software As A Service) apps, says the Peppermint team. When a web based application is called from within Ice, the distro also pulls up a custom SSB using the default Chromium Browser, the open source version of Chrome. Chromium is used in place of the Firefox browser used as the default in Peppermint.

        • Peppermint Ice Is Here: Screenshots Included

          After tons of popularity surrounding the Peppermint OS release last month, today Cloud lovers get a treat in the first release of Peppermint Ice, version 07142010. This Peppermint project was developed around the Chromium web browser and a new SSB or Site Specific Browser developed by Kendall Weaver aka “Ice”. This is where Peppermint Ice got its name. If you want to compare Peppermint Ice to Peppermint OS One, I did a Peppermint OS One screenshot review last month you might find useful.

        • VLC Default In Kubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat?
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux-ready NAS devices run dual-core Atoms

      Synology America is shipping two network-attached storage (NAS) devices running its Linux-based Synology DiskStation Manager 2.3 software. The desktop DiskStation DS411+ and rack-mount RackStation RS810+ are both equipped with dual-core Intel Atom D510 processors, as well as four bays supporting up to 8TB each, with the RS810+ expandable to 16TB via Synology’s RX410 add-on unit.

    • MontaVista revs IDE for new Linux build engine

      MontaVista Software announced a new version of its Eclipse-based integrated development environment (IDE) for embedded Linux. DevRocket 6.1 has been upgraded to better support the MontaVista Linux 6 commercial embedded Linux development platform, adding tight integration and a graphical interface to the new MontaVista Integration Platform build platform, plus enhanced analysis and debugging tools, says MontaVista.

    • Nokia/MeeGo

      • Android may have the phones, but MeeGo may get the cars

        Google’s Android is already hot in smartphones, and it’s going to be hotter than hot in Linux-powered tablets. So, where does that leave Intel and Nokia’s embedded Linux, MeeGo? In the dust? Actually, it looks now like MeeGo is going to have its own niche where it will be the embedded Linux of choice: Car entertainment, Internet, and navigation systems.

        Tomorrow, the Linux Foundation will announce that GENIVI, a non-profit auto industry alliance committed to driving the adoption of an open-source IVI (In-Vehicle Infotainment) reference platform. With members like BMW, GM, Peugeot Citroen, and Renault this is a big deal. These aren’t hangers-on in the car business; these are core car companies.

    • Android

      • Sony Ericsson earnings up thanks to Android

        Sony Ericsson has returned to profitability thanks in part to its Android phones, and it’s contemplating dropping its Symbian and Windows Mobile phones, says the Wall Street Journal. The company has found success with its Android-based Xperia X10 and Xperia Mini and Mini Pro, says the story, and the company is now prepping a mid-range Xperia X8 model.

      • Ex-Palm VP Says It’s A Two-Horse Race Between Android And iPhone

        As Palm’s VP of developer platform, part of David Temkin’s job was to build out the app catalog. But now as VP of mobile at AOL (NYSE: AOL), his focus is on Android and iPhone. “We are in a eyeball business. To the extent that Palm (NSDQ: PALM) or Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) turns it around, we’ll pay more attention to it. It’s a two-horse race.”

      • Android leads booming location based services market, study says

        IE Market Research Corporation (IEMR) released a report projecting that the global market for GPS navigation and location-based services (LBS) will rise by 51.3 percent through 2014 to $13.4 billion, and will be led by Android. Meanwhile, location-enabled search and advertising will see the biggest growth in market spending, growing at 131 percent by 2014, says IEMR.

      • Barnes and Noble spins Nook for Android app

        Barnes & Noble released a Nook for Android application, competing with a similar Android app released for the Kindle, and Amazon announced that its Kindle e-books are outselling its hardcover books by almost two to one. Meanwhile, Entourage Systems, which makes the Entourage Edge dual-screen Android e-reader, announced several e-book content partnerships.

      • Working Windows 95 Port for Android
      • Five deadly sins of Android Development

        1 Poor Performance
        If your application is not responsive enough, your users will receive an ugly ANR (Application Not Responding) message. An ANR is thrown when your application is not able to respond to user input within five seconds, or the Broadcast Receiver does not complete in ten seconds.
        An ANR message allows the user to either close the application or wait for it to respond. You know what most users will do, so optimise your application for performance. Or else.

      • Re: Apple. Will history repeat itself?

        My question is: Is Apple doomed to repeat its own history? Should we continue to expect Apple market share growth? Or will this plateau as more and more Android devices flood the market offering more affordable and feature rich mobile computing experiences?

      • Master Android Development

        Android is changing the way that Linux is perceived. It has become the single most widely adopted type of Linux on embedded devices. It is not only popular in the smartphone space but also expanding its coverage to tablets, set‑top Boxes, televisions and appliances. For an Android application developer, this means a broader market to reach out to. We have already covered the introduction to Android development back in issue 83, so this time we go beyond the ‘hello world’ basics and give you the tips and recipes you need to become a better Android developer…

    • Sub-notebooks

    • Tablets

      • Sharp, Lenovo, and Toshiba ready consumer tablets

        Presumably, the new version will maintain the Intel/Windows base, but replace Skylight Linux with the Linux-based Android, although this was unclear from the report. The Skylight netbook is definitely coming out with Android, says CNET, but the fate of the IdeaPad UI is still up in the air.

      • Android tablet to offer telephony

        Tattu Mobile is prepping an Android-based tablet based on ZiiLabs’ ZMS-05 SoC, with the help of Intrinsyc’s RapidRIL telephony technology, says Intrinsyc. Meanwhile, CNET reviewed the Dell Streak Android tablet (pictured) and dubbed it “the best Android-based tablet we’ve seen so far.”

07.22.10

Links: Net Neutrality and Digital Economy Act Under Fire

Posted in News Roundup at 2:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Big Ben in London

Summary: General news with emphasis on the Internet

Leftovers

  • Lobbyists Promote Asbestos Use in the Developing World

    Asbestos has long been known to cause debilitating and often fatal diseases such as lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis. It is banned or restricted in 52 countries, and its use has plummeted in the United States since its peak in the early 1970s.

    But since the mid-1980s, a global network of lobbyists has spent nearly $100 million to maintain a market for asbestos, according to an investigation by the Center for Public Integrity. Borrowing a page from the tobacco industry, these trade associations have funded scientists whose studies raised doubts about the health risks of asbestos and have preserved significant sales by focusing on the developing world.

  • The meaning of #StupidScientology

    Now let me introduce you now to the Church of Scientology in the United Kingdom.

    I will leave you to form your own opinion of them, to be expressed once you have received legal advice.

    One member of this organisation, which is of course NOT recognised as a “church” in the United Kingdom, did some searches of Twitter.

    Presumably he used the search terms “Scientology” and perhaps “Church”.

    Or perhaps he used the search terms “Scientology” and “stupid”.

  • OS Review: Haiku Alpha 2

    At the time, this open source re-implementation of BeOS, held a great deal of promise: It was fast, visually clean and surprisingly full featured for an “Alpha 1″ release of any operating system (certainly more polished than early alpha/beta releases of Windows or MacOS X tend to be).

  • Security/Aggression

    • Tomlinson’s killer not charged

      Breaking news has just come in concerning the police officer who assaulted Ian Tomlinson at the G20 protests last year. Tomlinson died shortly afterwards, but the incident in which he was struck by a police baton while walking home from work, and thereafter pushed to the ground by an officer, was captured on camera and released to the public.

  • Environment

    • EPA slams State Department tar sands pipeline study

      As John Podesta has said, the phrase “green tar sands” is like “error-free deepwater drilling” and “clean coal”. Thankfully, a key Canadian energy goal – construction of a 1,700 mile pipeline to bring dirty tar sands oil from Alberta to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast – has hit a significant speed bump, the U.S. EPA. CAP’s Tom Kenworthy has the story.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • T-Mobile to Abandon Net Neutrality for Mobile Video

      T-Mobile is planing to ask companies like Apple and Google to pay for their mobile offerings, according to an interview that René Obermann, CEO of T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom, gave the German Manager Magazin. Obermann said the company could charge more for offering better quality of service or high transfer rates for mobile video or music, which should be “priced differently.”

      He added that well-produced and successful online platforms should not be able to use the mobile Internet for free. Deutsche Telekom is already in discussions with Google about this very subject, according to Obermann. The Telekom CEO didn’t say whether T-Mobile would want to use this approach universally or restrict it to countries with less stringent net neutrality protections. The company operates mobile networks in more than 10 European countries, as well as in the U.S.

    • A potential Net neutrality win-win-win

      The Net neutrality debate remains polarized, with broadband network operators opposing consumer groups and Internet content providers. Even the current discussion of legal authority for regulation elicits hyperbole, and many observers assume that final resolution of the issue will entail a win for one “side” in the debate and a loss for the other.

      Although such a zero-sum game existed when Congress was considering competing versions of Net neutrality legislation a few years ago, there now is a real opportunity for an outcome in which network operators, consumers, and content providers all would be better off than they are today. This would be a win-win-win result, without compromise.

      Radical solutions to Net neutrality, one way or the other, are politically impossible today. Neither the imposition of substantial common-carrier regulation nor, for example, permission to block lawful Web sites could be accomplished in Congress or at the Federal Communications Commission. Heavy government intervention is unwelcome, and the fundamental openness of the Internet obviously has been good for consumers and innovation.

  • Copyrights

    • The Stock Photo Industry’s Massive Copyright Campaign

      Since the RIAA has stopped its litigation campaign, the odds of being sued for one night of casual, or even less-than-casual music sharing is almost nil. The same is true for movie file sharing. Though the U.S. Copyright Group has ramped a very large litigation campaign it only targets a small subset of movies, largely independent films such as “The Hurt Locker” and even then can only target a small percentage of the potential sharers.

      Surprisingly, your best chance of getting hit with a copyright infringement demand letter, almost certainly, is for posting stock photos to your blog or website. Though it may seem like a relatively harmless thing, stock image companies have been especially aggressive in dealing with copyright infringement and have mounted a campaign that has lasted almost a decade against those who use their images without permission.

      [...]

      Simply put, image matching technology has moved forward a great deal in the last five years and the early adopters of it were primarily stock photo and image companies. However, rather than simply issuing takedown notices or cease and desist letters, many of the companies, most prominently Getty Images, have been sending out demand letters, telling infringers they have to pay as much as $1,000 or more per image.

    • Anti-Piracy Group Accused Of Blackmailing Teen File-Sharers

      Anyone familiar with file-sharing operations and those who seek to disrupt them will be aware that there are many techniques used by both sides to thwart the other. While tracking solutions, fancy technology and sheer numbers perpetuate the fight, there are claims that a more traditional technique is in use against file-sharers – good old-fashioned blackmail. But that weapon can work both ways.

    • We are not amused? Jokes, twitter and copyright

      The Grauniad reports today on the latest spat in the turf war that is developing on Twitter between comedians trying out jokes and material, and passing other parties quietly re using thus material, sometimes explicitly under their own name.

    • ACTA

      • Will ACTA outlaw the EU home copy and other liability rules?

        The proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) text will require far-going changes to EU legislation with regards to compulsory licenses.

        Knowledge Ecology International has stressed the importance of liability rules. Under such rules, rights owners can not exercise injunctions against infringements of intellectual property rights, but only are entitled to compensation. This is important in cases of government use, public health, interoperability, the fight against climate change, etc.

    • Digital Economy (UK)

      • A Guide to the Digital Economy Act – Part 1

        Sections 3-7 of Digital Economy Act form a framework for an Initial Obligations Code. This is a set of rules, drafted or approved by Ofcom (and to be put into law via a statutory instrument by Parliament), which gives instructions to ISPs and copyright owners on how they can or must deal with cases involving online copyright infringement. The Act contains some guidelines as to what must be included in the Code (in the new Section 124E of the Communications Act but it is up to Ofcom to come up with a final version. This is expected to be done by September, so it can be sent to the EU for approval (about three months) before coming into force early next year.

      • Draft filesharing code flawed, says Open Rights Group

        Ofcom’s draft code to cut down on illicit filesharing is flawed and should be torn up and redrafted, according to the Open Rights Group (ORG), an advocacy organisation pushing for more freedom on the internet.

        The ORG said that the draft code “misses vital requirements to outline the standards of evidence” in determining whether to take action against alleged filesharers – and that this means it fails to comply with the Digital Economy Act, passed at the tail end of the Labour administration, which puts an onus on Ofcom to reduce the amount of illicit filesharing in the UK.

      • Will The House Of Lords Block The Digital Economy Act?

        Last week I had tea with Lord Lucas in the House of Lords (I know – whodathought?). He wanted to have a chat about what the Lords could do to help artists and music creators.

        As soon as we sat down, he brought up the Digital Economy Act, a subject that had been discussed at length during the Westminster eForum, which he attended, a few days earlier. It was the part pertaining to the possible temporary disconnection of persistent illegal downloaders that had created heated discussions among indie labels and ISPs. “It’s dead in the water,” he proclaimed. “There’s no way we will alienate our voters and punish individuals.”

        [...]

        Lucas concluded that we need copyright reform. He doesn’t want any restrictions on usage, but obligatory remuneration – an impressive idea, but almost utopian in its implementation. Like so many who present a panacea to the music industry, he fell slightly short in his understanding of it. For example, he was under the impression that different songs were paid at different rates by the PRS, according to their genre and popularity. I explained that the composers of a popular song only get paid more because it gets played more.

Links: PC-BSD 8.1 and Lightspark 0.4.2 Released, Other Free Software/Open Source News

Posted in Free/Libre Software, News Roundup at 1:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

European oehoe

Summary: Today’s news about digital freedom and openness

Free Software/Open Source

  • Morevna – An Open Source Anime Project Using Open Source Tools Only

    Morevna is an open source anime project made using open source tools like Synfig, Blender, GIMP and Krita. Unlike Project London Movie, Morevna is not only created using free and open source tools, but Morevna anime will also be released and distributed as free content. This project definitely deserves a lot of appreciation.

  • 50 Open Source Replacements for Popular Financial Software

    Whether you just want to balance your checkbook or you need to track the finances of a large global corporation, you can find open source software to do the job. For our list of open source financial tools, we cast a wide net and included applications related to enterprise resource management, point-of-sale and even employee time tracking. Not to mention traditional accounting and financial management tools.

    One trend worth noting — a huge number of the open source tools on this list, particularly the business applications, are now available on a software-as-a-service (SaaS) basis. For businesses, this model seems to make sense, as it gives them access to support and reduces the need for in-house staff to deploy and monitor applications. It also enables a more mobile workforce and keeps costs low. And of course, this model is also great for open source vendors as it gives them another way to monetize their open source projects.

    Without further ado, here are fifty open source applications that might be able to replace the financial software you currently use for your home or business.

  • Master file renaming tasks with KRename

    If you haven’t run into a situation where you need to rename multiple files in one go, you haven’t been using a computer for long. When the next time comes, turn to KRename. Its simple graphical interface makes renaming files easy for average users, and it offers a powerful template language for advanced users with more complex renaming tasks. Although it was written for the KDE desktop, KRename works under other Linux platforms and even on Windows.

  • Web Browsers

    • Web Browser Grand Prix 2: Running The Linux Circuit

      Last week we showed Opera 10.60 to be the world’s fastest Web browser. That was in the Windows world. But where do Chrome, Firefox, and Opera stand in Linux? Today we find out. Adding the Win 7 results, we’ll also learn which OS has the speediest browser.

    • Mozilla

  • SaaS

    • Is OpenStack Cloud Computing Rocket Science?

      There’s a real explosion of cloud platforms and management tools, it seems you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting one these days. In the commercial proprietary solutions space you have – CA’s 3Terra AppLogic, Enomaly, Nimbula, RightScale. In open source there are Eucalyptus, Cloud.com, Open Nebula and Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud. There are a bunch more that I failed to mention. It makes you wonder do we really need another one? How much different can they be?Rackspace Champion’s Open Source Cloud I am not sure but the newest one appears to be rather significant.

    • NASA drops Ubuntu’s Koala food for (real) open source

      NASA is dropping Eucalyptus from its Nebula infrastructure cloud not only because its engineers believe the open source platform can’t achieve the sort of scale they require, but also because it isn’t entirely open source.

      NASA chief technology officer Chris Kemp tells The Reg that as his engineers attempted to contribute additional Eucalyptus code to improve its ability to scale, they were unable to do so because some of the platform’s code is open and some isn’t. Their attempted contributions conflicted with code that was only available in a partially closed version of platform maintained by Eucalyptus Systems Inc., the commercial outfit run by the project’s founders.

    • NASA and Rackspace part the clouds with open source project
    • Exploring the software behind Facebook, the world’s largest site

      In some ways Facebook is still a LAMP site (kind of), but it has had to change and extend its operation to incorporate a lot of other elements and services, and modify the approach to existing ones.

  • BSD

    • PC-BSD 8.1 Released

      The PC-BSD Team is pleased to announce the availability of PC-BSD 8.1 (Hubble Edition), running FreeBSD 8.1-RELEASE, and KDE 4.4.5

    • PC-BSD 8.1 ‘Hubble Edition’ released
    • FreeBSD Core Team 2010 Elected

      One of the features that sets FreeBSD apart from other open source opeating systems, is its governance structure. FreeBSD is not owned by a company, though many companies use it and contribute code back, but yet is run as if it were a company, with the Core Team taking decisions and steering the Project.

    • FreeBSD 8.1-RELEASE available
    • Latest Funded Projects

      The FreeBSD Foundation funds various projects each year and there are several interesting projects in progress:

      * DAHDI (formerly known as Zaptel) FreeBSD driver port–this project will make it possible to use FreeBSD as a base system for software PBX solutions

      * resource containers and a simple per-jail resource limits mechanism

      * userland dtrace

      * BSNMP improvements

      * jail-based virtualization

  • Project Releases

    • Lightspark 0.4.2 open source Flash player released

      The Lightspark project has released version 0.4.2 of its free, open source Flash player. According to Lightspark develoepr Alessandro Pignotti, the alternative Flash Player implementation is “designed from the ground up to be efficient on current and (hope fully) future hardware”.

  • Government

    • Who will trust open source security from the government

      Operating as the Open Information Security Foundation, and working with a number of government-related private companies, a team headed by Mark Jonkman of Emerging Threats and Victor Julien of the Vuurmuur firewall project are offering an intrusion detection and prevention engine with multi-threading automatic protocol detection for a wide variety of protocols.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Traditional Knowledge: The ITKI and the Dilemmas of Sharing

      It’s an ambitious effort to preserve, restore and promote the re-use of traditional skills and inventions from all over the world.

    • Driving UK Research – Is copyright a help or a hindrance?

      We risk stifling the development of new tools, both commercial and academic, and new knowledge under the weight of a legal regime that was designed to cope with the printing press. At the same time a simple statement that this kind of analysis is fair dealing will provide certainty without damaging the interests of copyright holders or complicating copyright law. These new uses will ultimately bring more traffic, and perhaps more customers, to the primary documents. By taking the simple and easy step of making automated analysis an allowable fair dealing exception everyone wins.

    • Open Source Schools Steering Group

      After the election and looking to the post-Becta future, Open Source Schools has been making new plans to ensure that the community is able to respond to the changing educational landscape where the benefits offered by open source are becoming ever more important.

    • Open Data

      • Open Data in Agriculture and Why It Matters

        Opening up food and agricultural data requires an information architecture and infrastructure that does not currently exist. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization is a leader in providing easily accessible, highly usable, and surprisingly current data, but right now it is far ahead of the pack in terms of transparency in reporting.

Links: GNU/Linux Spreads in India, Netbooks

Posted in GNU/Linux, News Roundup at 1:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Indian ring

Summary:News about GNU/Linux, structured with the new site format in place

GNU/Linux

  • How useful is anti-virus in Linux? (Part 1)
  • How useful is anti-virus in Linux? (Part 2)
  • A lesson in Linux: Eating one’s own dog food

    There is an old saying in the Linux community (actually in just about every community – but I heard it from a Linux developer first) “eating your own dog food” (or the shorter “hipster friendly” version dogfooding. This basically means using the product you create. It can also be associated with practice what you preach. Sometimes this ideology sneaks up behind you and stealthily bites you on the bum. This recently happened to me…and I thought I would share the experience with you to illustrate that user error is best way to an insecure Linux installation.

  • Another Educational Institute Opens Its Gates To Open Source

    Pune-headquartered Bharati Vidyapeeth has its institutions spread across India.In 2009, it adopted open source technology when it implemented the TechnoMail enterprise mailing solution to fulfil its communication needs.

    With around 180 educational institutions under its umbrella,Bharati Vidyapeeth has become a leading national-level educational organisation. Today, it touches the lives of 2.5-lakh students, employs around 8,000 people and has used open source technology for smooth communication across the board to improve productivity. TechnoMail, the enterprise mailing solution by TechnoInfotech built on an enterprise Linux platform, was adopted in 2009 to provide a single communication platform that went a step ahead of just e-mail and catered to the organisation’s active and passive communication.

  • Truecrypt 7.0 Linux AES-NI Benchmark with i7-620M on Dell Latitude E6510

    The new Truecrypt 7.0 release is almost 7 times faster compared to 6.0 on my i7-620M with AES-NI. It is some hundred mb/s faster now than dmcrypt (which runs my system-encryption on Debian Squeeze), but that is expected since truecrypt makes use of multiple cores AND aes-ni and dmcrypt only supports 1 thread per mounted device, so unless you create a RAID consisting of multiple dmcrypt-devices, you can only use 1 core.

  • Linux Desktop: Command Line vs. User Interface

    In the Linux desktop world, the graphical user interface is here to stay. Old Unix hands may grumble, but the fact remains that, without all the efforts poured into GNOME, KDE, Xfce and others, Linux would not be as successful as it is today.

    The reason for the desktop’s success is obvious. A desktop requires much less knowledge than a command line, and is suited to maybe 80% of the most common tasks that an average user needs. If the desktop needs much larger applications, that hardly seems a problem on a modern computer.

    All the same, the command line continues to have distinct advantages over the desktop. Although casual users often consider the command line as prehistoric as a giant sloth, it continues to give you more options and more tools that the desktop ever has or is likely to.

  • Linux Professional Institute Announces Volunteer Prizes and Community Initiatives

    The Linux Professional Institute (LPI), the world’s premier Linux certification organization (http://www.lpi.org), announced a number of initiatives for its community members: these include LPIMall.com (http://www.lpimall.com) — a webstore for LPI affinity products for Linux professionals, a survey of LPI alumni, and prizes for volunteer contributors from around the world who assist with LPI’s exam development program.

  • Desktop

    • System76 second gen Starling Netbooks look gorgeous, Available to pre-order now

      First off let’s get the boring bit out of the way: As netbooks go, the Starling is atypical of its competitors – Atom, RAM, Screen size. Counting against it slightly are a standard 3 Cell battery which will see you eek out 3.5 hours at best and the inclusion of 0.3MP webcam which, compared to most other netbooks, it pretty subpar. But at a base price of only $389, a gorgeous exterior and guaranteed compatibility from the off – including suspend and resume – it’s more than a match for it’s competitors.

    • Dell at it again: Windows vs. Ubuntu Linux

      Dell updated its Europe site with a “Windows or Ubuntu?” page. I can understand Dell wants to continue to market PCs with both operating systems, however the information posted on this page is fragmented, at best.

      On the page it states “Choose WINDOWS if:” and lists a few points:

      “You are already using WINDOWS programs (e.g. Microsoft Office, ITunes etc) and want to continue using them”. No mention of Wine, which actually allows Windows programs to run on Linux. Instead, they could have provided a link to WineHQ’s Applications page, for customers to check application compatibility if they are considering Ubuntu Linux.

    • 4 Reasons Every Windows User Should Have An Ubuntu Live CD

      Think Ubuntu is useless? Think again. Ubuntu can be an extremely effective tool for repairing and working on computers, even if you consider yourself a Windows purist. This is because Ubuntu is capable of loading completely from a Ubuntu Live CD, giving you access to your computer in ways Windows can’t – or when Windows is completely broken.

  • Audiocasts

    • Episode 0x2C: Eben on Software Liability

      Eben talks about “When Software is in Everything: Future Liability Nightmares Free Software Helps Avoid” to the Scottish Society for Computers and Law (SSCL) in Edinburgh, Scotland on June 30. Karen and Bradley introduce the talk to listeners.

  • Kernel Space

    • Cool User File Systems: ArchiveMount

      Have you ever wanted to look inside a tar.gz file but without expanding it? Have you ever wanted to just dump files in a .tar.gz file without having to organize it and periodically tar and gzip this data? This article presents another REALLY useful user-space file system, archivemount. It allows you to mount archives such as .tar.gz files as a file system and interact with it using normal file/directory tools.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • Using KDE4 – Day 4
      • Using KDE – Day 5

        I had a lot to do today, and KDE4 proved a welcome ally in getting the job done – it was not obtrusive at all. This is probably my bias speaking here, but I think Gnome is less obtrusive – possibly because there is less going on. For what it is worth the Ubuntu notifications tend to be intrusive – I like them, but they tend to break your concentration if they pop into view in the corner of your vision.

      • Optimizing KDE’s energy profiles

        Even though I identified (and fixed) that this was due to the switchable graphics (both cards were running and sucking power), I was eager to optimize the power consumption. After some research, I came up with the following solution.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • 10 best Linux distros for 2010

      Hardware compatibility, ease of use, the size of a software repository. These three attributes are unique to each Linux distribution. But at the same time, each Linux distribution is at liberty to take and mix whatever it wants from any other.

      This creates a rather unique situation, where good ideas quickly spread, and bad ones fail. And as a result, there are dozens of distribution updates each month, hundreds each year, in a race to leap-frog the each other in the race to the top of the DistroWatch.com charts.

    • Reviews

      • PCLinuxOS

        • PCLinuxOS 2010 review

          PCLinuxOS is a APT-ified, Mandriva-based Linux distribution. It’s one of those distributions that offer a separate version for virtually every existing desktop environment. Four of them – Enlightenment, LXDE, Openbox and Xfce are recommended for intermediate to advanced users, while the GNOME and KDE versions are recommended for all user levels (beginner to advanced).

          [...]

          I left out Mint because it is an AWESOME distro. If it ever gets based on Debian testing, it will give PCLinuxOS a run for its money to take over my PC’s.

        • PC Linux OS : Radically Simple

          As you probably expect at this point, I absolutely recommend PCLinuxOS 2010. I have been using it for only a couple days, but I have the feeling that it is the best Linux release I have tested in years.

          PCLinuxOS 2010.1 is excellent for any kind of user, but probably most recommended for new comers. It brings down the need for CLI typing to almost zero.

          Don’t take my word for it, DOWNLOAD it and give it a try! You will not be disappointed.

      • Jolicloud

        • A tour of Jolicloud’s netbook Linux OS

          Over the last week, Jolicloud started rolling out the first complete version of its Linux distribution to existing users.

          The distro is highly netbook-centric and, until Jolicloud 1.0, looked very much like the Ubuntu Netbook Remix on which it is based. However, the new version looks significantly different to the ‘pre-final release’ that preceded it. That was an unusual move for the company, as major user interface (UI) changes tend to be tested in beta before their final release.

        • Why I’m jolly impressed with Jolicloud 1.0

          I may have found it. Jolicloud is not perfect, but I’m struggling to think of a rival Linux distro that can be so easily picked up and run by an average user. Let’s just get this out the way first: the weakling Booklet 3G flies on Jolicloud. I do not miss Windows 7 (a great OS for bigger, brawnier computers) one little bit.

        • How to dual-boot Jolicloud and Windows on your Netbook
    • Genealogy

      • Archives and history library to present computer genealogy software workshop july 8

        The Archives and History Library of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History has started a Genealogy Club which will meet on the second Thursday evening of each month from 6 – 7 p.m. The programs, which will focus specifically on genealogy-related topics, will take place in the library at the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston. All sessions are free and the public is invited to attend.

      • Linux Genealogy Live CD

        Would you like to try Linux but you don’t want to reformat your PC’s hard drive? There’s an easy way to take Linux for a “test drive” without affecting your PC. It’s called a Live CD.

        A Live CD, (or DVD, or USB external disc) is a CD containing a bootable computer operating system. With most Live CDs, that operating system is a version of Linux.

        [...]

        I think you will agree that the Linux Genealogy Live CD is an easy method of trying Linux and of trying the included genealogy applications without spending any money.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat 19.50% Above its May 6th Flash Crash Low of $26.81 (RHT)

        Red Hat (NYSE:RHT) is currently trading 19.50% above its May 6th low of $26.81. Investors are looking to see if this ‘flash crash’ low can act as support signaling the stock has completed a bottoming process.
        In the past 52-weeks, shares of Red Hat have traded between a low of $20.58 and a high of $32.6 and are now at $32.03, which is 55.60% above that low price.

      • Red Hat Inc. (RHT) EVP, CFO Charles E Jr Peters sells 2,879 Shares
      • Fedora

        • A new Fedora for the XO-1 release. Now with Sugar 0.88 !!

          Today I have released the 1st build of Fedora for the XO-1 which includes Sugar 0.88. You can get it here. Installation instructions are here

          Since this build includes Sugar 0.88 I have changed the numbering scheme. This is build 100. Builds 16 and below will continue to be available and include Sugar 0.84.

        • Fedora websites design status

          A long time ago, but not so long ago, http://fedoraproject.org was a simple splash page with just a bunch of links. Later on, it redirected straight to the wiki. After a release or two bringing the entire wiki down (and halting contributors from getting work done!) because of high-demand on the website for downloading releases, a very simple, lightweight set of static pages was put together to help alleviate the problem. It is the base of that lightweight static page set that we have been using for quite some time these days.

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu at Non-Technical Events

        We seem to be quite good at turning up to technical events such as LUG meetings, technical conferences and other self-organised events and telling everyone how great Ubuntu is. However we seem to spend a lot of time preaching to the converted, speaking to people who already run Ubuntu or some other distro, rather than ‘converting’ people who have little or no exposure to Ubuntu.

      • Ubuntu Developer Week 2010: End Notes

        The second and last Ubuntu Developer Week online event for 2010 took place between July 12th to July 16th and covered various aspects of the Ubuntu and Kubuntu development process, from crash-courses in getting started with development to more advanced topics, such as Ubuntu hacking, creating applications for Ubuntu with Quickly or working with the Django web framework.

        On the last day of UDW, we’ve had the pleasure of talking a few minutes to Daniel Holbach, one of the organizers of this wonderful educational event, which takes place twice a year. Daniel was a bit sad because UDW was almost over, but on the other hand he was very enthusiastic about the number of participants who attended, and the quality of the event: “Again I’d like to thank everybody for helping out with making Ubuntu Developer Week rock as hard as it did. 350+ attendees, 25 sessions, lots of covered topics and everything happened in a very seamless fashion. Awesome. Thanks again!,” said Daniel Holbach on his personal blog.

      • Ubuntu Customization Kit 2.2.1 is out!
      • Is Ubuntu Commercially Driven?

        Simply that users and members of the community are confused by what commercial actually means. Commercial is not against the community, the community is commercial, people are employed to work on Ubuntu, work with Ubuntu and to be a part of the community. A varied commercial community would actually be kinda nice, imagine if we had a Dell community manager, or a system76 guy in IRC who was chatting away to the rest of the community of users *and* business people. Take a look at Organisations Learning to contribute to FOSS the right way.

        [...]

        My personal concern is the lack of commercial involvement of Ubuntu’s users, basically it goes like this: Canonical is a business and is interested in making enough money to pay it’s developers a wage. What they work on is based around what makes money. The money comes from Dell and HP. The developers work on what Dell and HP want. Users never get a direct say in the development of Ubuntu because A) They have no commercial relationship with Canonical and B) Canonical doesn’t co-operate wonderfully on DX with other programmers (commercial or non) preferring instead to announce features at the last minute and rail-road decisions and opinions of others.

      • Ubuntu 10.04.1 LTS Delayed To Next Month

        Canonical’s Robbie Williamson has provided an update on the status of the Ubuntu 10.04.1 LTS release, which is the first re-spin since the Long-Term Support release of the Lucid Lynx in April. Ubuntu 10.04.1 incorporates the package updates and minor fixes committed to Lucid since the original release. Ubuntu 10.04.1 was supposed to be released next week, but now it’s been postponed to August.

      • Flavours and Variants

        • Lubuntu 10.04 Review

          Overall, I was impressed with the distribution. It’s lightweight, easy to install, and small enough to run largely from within my machine’s 2GB of RAM. The one quibble I have with it is the default selection of applications. The logic of what was included is consistent with the desire to deliver a truly “light” Ubuntu respin, but in my experience some of the choices resulted in a system that wasn’t as easily usable as other variants of the mother distribution. But the beauty is that that was easy to fix, and the underlying operating system was responsive and reliable.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Woot! Indian Government Builds $35 Laptop

      Indian government has a reputation for false claims when it comes to technology breakthroughs – the $10 laptop, which wasn’t really a laptop (turned out to be a USB stick) and then the Google Earth Killer, i.e. ISRO Bhuvan added to the technology achievements of the governemnt and brought international shame.

      Today, the Union Minister for human Resource Development, Kapil Sibal unveiled a low cost computing-cum-access device which will be priced at $35, and expects the price to gradually drop to $20 (and ultimately to $10!).

    • Android

      • AppBrain Breaks Down the Current State of Android Apps

        AppBrain estimates that 5,500 applications out of over 70,000 officially recognized titles are installed on 99.9-percent of all phones. The other 65,000 apps are installed on less than .1% of phones. In other words, about 8-percent of all apps in the Android Market can be found on just about every phone. The other 92-percent languish in relative obscurity.

      • Linux Syncs Great With Droids

        Interest levels in syncing music collections have notched up a bit of late with the introduction of a plethora of new Android-based super phones. That is, unless you happen to be one of those owners with a large quantity of digital music encumbered by digital rights management (DRM) better known as copy protection. In that case, you might want to do some research into converting said digital files into a more portable format. Meanwhile, for the rest, with media ready to load up on a new cool phone, we’ll take a look at Linux options.

Links: Putting GNU/Linux On One’s Netbook, Free Software Week in the Basque Country, and Leftover News

Posted in Free/Libre Software, News Roundup at 3:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Socialism and independence for the Basque country
Photo from the Basque Country

Summary: One last bunch of news items for the day

Devices

  • Why You SHOULD Try Linux On Your Netbook…

    The biggest plus about Linux Distros (besides being free that is) is that nothing gets released before it has been peer reviewed through beta and alpha stages, so everything, from Operating systems to the thousands of programs available, is stable (unless you intentionally want to test something in beta or alpha stage that is). In other words, you’ll be downloading fully developed and stable software. Because of the manner in which software is developed and tested, most of it tends to be free of unnecessary bloat and tends to be incredibly well written and light. As a result your Linux distros can run from a bit over 50MB for the minimalist super light distros, to about 3-4GB for the fully installed full featured distros. Compare that to Mac OS which is about 10-12 GBs in size or windows which is a bit over 20GB. This means that Linux by and large can run very well with all of it’s features on older systems with lower specd hardware (and if a particular distro doesn’t run as efficiently as you would like, there is always another one that will). Linux is famous for giving old computers a new lease on life or by turning lower specd modern computers (such as netbooks) into full-fledged computers by running modern, powerful and up to date software. Again, VERY NICE!

Free Software/Open Source

  • A better Knitter

    Everybody has a hobby, and for every hobby there’s software to help the hobbyist – even for something as apparently non-technical as knitting. A few 2-D visualization programs help knitters create patterns or turn a specific image into a chart, and that’s helpful, but if you want a full simulation of the fabric so you can tell not only what it’s going to look like, but how it’ll behave in your hands, your best bet is Knitter.

  • Careers Q&A: Damian Hickey’s gentler approach to open source

    Though only having been in the IT business for 11 years, ZacWare chief executive officer and founder, Damian Hickey, has already survived government work in two locations and has since become a contributor to the open-source community through his Joomla!-based Jentla multi-site content management system (CMS) offerings. Computerworld Australia recently talked to Damian about the transition from government IT to self-employment, and the perils of arrogance when looking for a job.

    [...]

    We earn our income from subscriptions around support, we don’t earn any income from licensing. The whole software world is tending to move in the direction of software subscriptions now and services-based income streams as well.

  • A Free Software week in the Basque Country

    With sights like the old town of San Sebastián and the Guggenheim museum at Bilbao, the Basque country in northern Spain is certainly worth a visit. But the reason that I and FSFE staffer Rainer Kersten spent a week there had nothing to do with old houses, art or pintxos. (Well, *almost* nothing to do with pintxos.) We went there to meet with people from the vibrant community of Free Software activists, to give talks and to build links between the local and the European level.

Leftovers

  • Escalating the war on piracy: domain names

    There have been several reports about the next stage in the War on Piracy (must avoid making off-topic comments about the inherent stupidity of declaring armed hostilities against abstract concepts). I am talking of course about “Operation In Our Sites” (must not comment about some poor smug bureaucrat who thought the pun was funny). This new project from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is designed to execute domain name seizure warrants against websites engaged in movie piracy. In other words, ICE will ask a court to issue a warrant against these websites, and these will have their domain names removed.

  • Finance

    • Excluded from invitation list for Obama’s signing of Wall Street reform: Wall Street titans

      When President Obama steps Wednesday onto the stage at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center to sign Wall Street reform into law, many of the titans of Wall Street will be absent.

    • Germany’s Merkel: stress tests credible

      German Chancellor Angela Merkel sought to counter skepticism about Europe’s bank stress tests ahead of their publication, saying Wednesday that the scenarios against which banks’ strength is to be tested will be realistic enough to be credible.

    • Goldman Sachs to Face a `Headwind’ in Germany, Nussbaum Tells Handelsblatt

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc. may face a “headwind” for business in Germany even after a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Handelsblatt reported, citing Berlin Finance Senator Ulrich Nussbaum.

    • Europe freezes out Goldman Sachs

      European governments are turning their backs on Goldman Sachs, the all-conquering investment bank that has suffered a series of blows to its reputation, capped by the biggest ever fine imposed on a Wall Street firm.

    • Broker-dealer duty in SEC’s hands

      Even as the president prepares to sign the financial reform bill, lobbying groups are rearming for a second round of advocacy for a universal fiduciary standard. This time, however, the battleground is not Congress but the Securities and Exchange Commission, to which Congress punted the issue.

    • Goldman Sachs Waives Tax Deduction on SEC Settlement

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc. agreed to waive tax deductions it could have claimed after paying a $550 million penalty in a settlement with U.S. regulators, giving up as much as $187.5 million in savings.

    • RBS May Launch Civil Suit Against Goldman Sachs – Source

      Royal Bank of Scotland PLC (RBS) is considering launching a civil suit against Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) to recoup additional losses sustained through its investment in a controversial mortgage-backed security…

    • Will the Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) Settlement Play With the Public?

      This much is clear. We haven’t heard the last about Goldman Sachs’ settlement with the SEC.

    • Settlement in fraud case against Goldman Sachs: A cover-up of Wall Street crimes

      The Abacus CDO, the SEC indictment indicated, was devised for precisely that purpose. The CDO was a so-called “synthetic” instrument—meaning investors did not actually buy any securities. Rather, they gambled on the future price of a selection of securities, much as people gamble on a horse race.

    • With Settlement, Blankfein Keeps His Grip

      Even before the official announcement arrived an hour later — that Goldman would pay $550 million to settle federal claims that it had misled investors in a complex mortgage investment — the financial markets gave Mr. Blankfein, Goldman’s leader, a resounding thumbs up, The New York Times’s Graham Bowley writes.

      Goldman’s share price jumped nearly 4.3 percent on hopes that Mr. Blankfein and his bank had, in a stroke, put one of the most embarrassing episodes in the bank’s recent history behind them.

    • SEC Was Split Over Decision to Settle With Goldman Sachs

      The paper goes on to say that the SEC probably had some doubts about the strength of its case, and the news that the commissioners did not vote unanimously may undermine the agency’s PR that it was a major victory.

    • SEC settlement is a major victory — for Goldman Sachs

      The SEC’s $550 million settlement with Goldman Sachs is naturally being touted by the feds as a major victory, “the largest penalty ever assessed against a financial services firm in the history of the SEC.” Maybe. But there’s another way to look at it.

    • The Goldman Sachs Settlement, the Wall Street Journal, Warren Buffett, and the White House

      But perhaps another tidbit might well be considered. Earlier this week President Obama met with Warren Buffett at the White House. Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. had invested $5 billion in Goldman Sachs. According to the New York Times report on July 14th “the meeting covered everything under the economic sky”. Were the gathering storm clouds of the Goldman litigation part of the vista in view as well?

    • S.E.C. Pursuing More Cases Tied to Financial Crisis
    • We can use less of a casino mentality on Wall Street

      Observers noted that the fines were a fraction of the $13.4 billion in 2009 profits at Goldman. Since 2008, Goldman has been a federally insured bank holding company that was bailed out of the financial crisis along with Citigroup, AIG and other financial giants whose exotic products and executive gluttony nearly choked to death the financial system.

    • Obama’s Risky Business

      The financial reregulation package just passed by Congress is far from a comprehensive reform of American finance. Despite the enormous threat to the world’s financial markets created by the failure of Lehman Brothers and the stunning excesses of insurance giant AIG and banking conglomerate Citigroup, the reforms are in truth modest. Neither the Obama administration nor Congress opted to cut banks down to size, and the bill is only placing mild limits on risky banking activities. The giant financial institutions, meanwhile, are as big—even bigger—than ever and bankers’ compensation is once again at stunning levels.

    • The “War” On Wall Street May Be Over: Who Won?

      In fact, the current “war on Wall Street” seems all but over even before the President signs the financial “reform” bill. We have seen very few criminal prosecutions coming out of Obamaland. The recent settlement with Goldman Sachs was limited to one transaction, and quite affordable for the bank that’s been called a “vampire squid on the face of humanity.” Their shares went up when the slimy deal was done, and in any event, that $550 million they paid just represented 15 days of profit taking.

  • Copyrights

    • Google Explains Why Making Special Copyright Laws For Newspapers Is A Mistake

      We’ve written a few times about how ridiculous the FTC’s proposals to “save journalism” are. They’re much more focused on saving newspapers, not journalism. And they seem to totally misunderstand the problem — or to believe the problem is some amorphous threat from “internet aggregators,” which is based on no actual evidence. Google has now responded to the FTC’s proposal, and, as Jeff Jarvis notes, effectively “taken the FTC to school” on the basics of journalism economics and copyright.

      [...]

      Hopefully the FTC pays attention, but you could see them just dismissing Google as a “biased” party. The newspapers pushing these sorts of solutions are barking up the wrong tree, and hopefully the FTC realizes this, rather than providing a big crutch for the news organizations unwilling to adapt to a changing market.

    • Police To Receive Evidence Against ‘Large Scale’ File-Sharers

      An IFPI-affiliated anti-piracy group has announced that it has gathered evidence on dozens of file-sharers and will shortly hand it to the police. The group says it will hand over the results of its investigation into large scale file-sharers to the authorities this month and warns that the law allows those convicted to be jailed for up to 4 years.

    • Digital Act To Create Pirate ISPs In UK

      Service providers will split up to make smaller ‘pirate’ ISPs, in response to Ofcom’s draconian file-sharing proposals, says the Pirate Party

Links: Distribution Reviews, Sabayon Linux 5.3 “Extra Spins”, Fedora Community Web Site Design

Posted in GNU/Linux, News Roundup at 3:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Zabaglione

Summary: Distributions news accumulated in recent days

  • Five distros for “slow” machines

    One or two of the five distros I mentioned yesterday had been labeled as “lightweight” either by their designers or the community around them, and I was probably pushing that definition just a little bit when I gave them the chance to run at 150Mhz on 32Mb of memory.

  • Reviews

    • First look at Unity Linux 2010.1 – Mini Review

      Unity Linux had their first release on 09/07/2010 after around 1.5 years of development. The project was created in 2009 by former developers from the PClinuxOS (hereafter abbreviated PCLOS) community. One of them was KDulcimer who at the time had his own project TinyMe based on PCLOS, which according to the website started in 2006. His distribution would in the future be based on Unity Linux. So much for how the two are intertwined.

      [...]

      I have to say I like this basic distribution and the philosophy behind, there is definitely a niche for it. The artwork is an inoffensive non-blinding white swirl on dark-blue background, good for my sensitive eyes, with a Mint leaf floating around giving a fresh impression, and for convenience sake you got ‘halt’ and ‘logout’ buttons on the desktop to access these functions. Mandrake/Mandriva has always been my favourite rpm based distribution and one of the first I used back in the 90′s, and I’m glad to see it and its many innovations living on in so many forms. Mandriva is of course in ongoing financial troubles and after so many years of it I’m a bit pessimistic if that will change any time soon. So what will projects like Unity Linux do if Mandriva disappears?
      For the moment at least they are still around, so let’s enjoy this little spin-off if you don’t have long term planning needs.
      Unity also runs well in Virtualbox, with guest additions pre-installed. As you would imagine due to its size, it ran well with 384MB memory, but will probably be happy with less.

    • This damn Linux has more holes than swiss cheese

      Unlike Microsoft Windows, Linux has a deserved reputation as a bullet-proof operating system. To teach computer security a University lecturer has deliberately produced the most damn vulnerable Linux you’ll ever see.

    • Taking a Walk on the Zen Side of Life

      I didn’t have many complaints when it came to Zenwalk’s security. The install process sets a password for the administrator and allows the user to create additional, unprivileged accounts. I did have two concerns. While I was using the distro the repositories were populated with updates, but there didn’t seem to be any notification for the user when security updates were available. I’ve been spoiled recently by systems which automatically check for me. My other concern is Zenwalk runs a secure shell service by default, which allows remote root logins. Preventing root from remotely logging into a machine is a policy I’d like to see more distributions adopt.

    • User Review of Puppy Linux 5.0

      Lucid Puppy Linux 5.0 was released back in May of 2010, but as one of my favorite distros, I have been playing with it heavily since then. I have been so impressed with the new version that I wanted to take a moment and write a quick review of this release.

      You can find the official release page here, along with download information.

  • New Releases

    • Sabayon Linux 5.3 “Extra Spins” releases

      Our crew, is happy to announce the immediate availability of XFCE, LXDE and SpinBase/OpenVZ Sabayon 5.3 “Spins” built on top of Sabayon “SpinBase” ISO images.
      Under the “Extra Spins” umbrella, the Sabayon developers are going to experiment new Stable Releases with different package compositions.

  • Red Hat Family

    • Red Hat SPICE protocol advances but release could be a year away

      The open source remote access project will include 3D acceleration, network tunneling, and perhaps iPad, iPhone, and Android tablet support

    • HP, Red Hat chase Solaris shops

      Server maker Hewlett-Packard and commercial Linux juggernaut Red Hat have teamed up to help shops using Oracle’s Sparc/Solaris platforms make the jump to Linux-based x64 iron.

      While the two companies did not say so, the migrations services being offered today through HP Services are no doubt a reaction to Oracle’s spiking of HP’s Solaris OEM agreement last month. Under that agreement, HP was able to bundle Solaris on its ProLiant rack and blade servers and sell Solaris support contracts, much as it does for Microsoft’s Windows, Novell’s SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, and Red Hat’s Enterprise Linux.

    • Fedora

      • fedoracommunity.org Website Design
      • Fedora vs Ubuntu

        When it was launched in late 2004 it was up against a number of distributions that had been in development for years: Red Hat, Fedora, Suse Linux and Mandriva (then still called Mandrake). These were well-developed distributions with their own fans and unique features. Ubuntu, based on Debian, had a solid base but had a long way to go to be as user-friendly as it planned.

        Fast forward almost six years and Ubuntu has delivered. For many users it has been the perfect starting point for their Linux adventures. For others it offers the stability that they want from an operating system. It also has a huge fan-base and is the dominant voice in Linux marketing.

  • Debian Family

    • Display AppImage Icons OS X Style
    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • Test Ubuntu Software Center 2.1.5(Plugin Support) in Ubuntu 10.04
      • Profile Roulette
      • Firewall Tools for Ubuntu Security

        “Does Ubuntu have a firewall, and how do I turn it on?” is a popular question among new Ubuntu users. The answer is a bit complicated, but it’s an understandable inquiry for those migrating from the Windows world. WorksWithU addresses that question below by taking a look at Ubuntu’s firewall and some of the tools available for managing it.

      • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 202

        In This Issue

        * Ubuntu Free Culture Showcase calls all artists to contribute to next version of Ubuntu
        * Operation Cleansweep: We Need You!
        * Ubuntu Accessibility Team Personas Survey
        * ISO testers for the Hall of Fame
        * Ubuntu User Days Wrap-Up
        * Ubuntu Stats
        * Rocking The LoCo Council
        * Ubuntu: a computer operating system built around community
        * Ubuntu Chicago Bike Tour
        * The Early-Summer LoCo BBQ at hutchnate’s house was a tasty success!
        * Ubuntu Honduras LoCo Team Wakes up
        * Launchpad News
        * Ahmed Kamal Joins the Horsemen
        * Reviewers Team and Operation Cleansweep
        * Ubuntu Manual Project core philosophy
        * Man Your Browser

        [...]

      • Communities

        I’m an Ubuntu and FOSS kinda guy, I’m not happy with software that isn’t FOSS and I don’t find any sense in proprietisation of code. Having said that there are times when I must be a little more considered and not simply shun an entire site because it’s not foss.

        Heaven known that deviantArt is one of the most proprietary, confused and messed up places I know. Bad copyright advice, no public domain option, admins that consistently ignore open formats like png and svg. FOSS Software isn’t promoted at all in any way. So why in Slartibartfast’s fjords would I want to hang my coat over there?

        Well no matter what I do there _will_ be artists over there who use Ubuntu, people who may need help with wacom tablets, upgrades or finding help. There will be people who use Windows or Mac but don’t have FOSS tools yet or perhaps wouldn’t do better with Ubuntu instead. There are artists who’d love to get involved with the wider community but for what ever reason are disconnected by social chance.

      • Ubuntu 10.10 with built-in GMA 500 support

        Officially, Ubuntu does not come with built-in support for the GMA 500 drivers. We gave a workaround to this problem way back in Oct 2009 when the Ubuntu had just released Ubuntu 9.10. People expected Ubuntu to include these drivers in the Ubuntu 10.04 that never happened.

      • More cleansweep.

Links: Week With KDE, Bangarang, and KDE Audiocast

Posted in KDE, News Roundup at 3:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Chess battle

Summary: KDE news from the past few days

  • My first week on KDE, part 1 – Screenshots

    Last month I mentioned that I was looking at switching my desktop environment (DE) from GNOME to KDE and I was considering a move away from Ubuntu completely. About a week ago I installed KDE on my computer and started tweaking things to see how I like it. It’s not too bad, actually. As you can see from the shot on the right I’ve been able to make my desktop a combination of eye candy and functionality. I killed the top panel but was able to keep some of the applets thanks to plasmoids.

    [...]

    I decided to tweak my desktop a little more and made a few more screenies to show the changes. I moved the digital clock to the bottom of my desktop, mostly to keep it visible if I maximize an app window and can’t see the time in the original position. I also added a Timer plasmoid to replace the timer on my GNOME panel. It doesn’t work as nicely as my GNOME timer did since I can’t set up times associated with a specific task, and I haven’t figured out how to get a sound played when the timer reaches nil, but I do get a nice obvious notification so it’s not so easy to miss as long as I’m at my computer. I also moved the Shutup plasmoid to the lower right corner to make better use of my screen real estate. I added two plasmoids on the lower left to switch my wallpaper and to give me quick access to the files I used to keep on my GNOME desktop.

  • Using KDE4 – Day 2
  • Using KDE4 – Day 3

    Day Three. I am at work, sitting at my desk waiting for a vehicle before I go out. I thought I’d take the time to comment on some things I have noticed with KDE4 so far.

  • Bangarang – A KDE Media Player That Has Every Potential To Became a KDE Default

    Now, the default Dragon Media Player of KDE have a serious competition in Bangarang. Dragon player is simple yet totally functional, which I think are the most basic trait to became the default in any desktop environment. On the other hand Bangarang is new, it’s good and it is rapidly improving.

  • KDE and the Masters of the Universe – Reaching For Greatness

Links: Programs and New Games for GNU/Linux Desktops

Posted in GNU/Linux, News Roundup at 2:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Game boy

Summary: News about applications and games that run under GNU/Linux

Applications

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