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07.30.10

Links 30/7/2010: KDE 4.5 Screenshot Tour, Canonical Responds to DeKoenigsberg

Posted in News Roundup at 2:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • 10 reasons why your kids should be using Linux

      In this article, I will give you 10 good reasons why you should do just this. In the end, you can decide for yourself whether they’re reason enough to migrate those young users away from other operating systems.

    • Remember the year of the Linux desktop?

      For me the year of the Linux desktop was 2005. I started around 12/1998 and found distributions that I tried at the time still a bit rough and sometimes crash-prone, not really much better than Windows ’95. The real problem though was my ISA Winmodem. I never managed to get it to work and was too cheap to buy an external one which would have solved the problem. That was my decision and I cannot blame Linux for it. Then W2K came along and worked well for many years after applying some registry hacks and tightening of security. It got a bit long in the tooth by 2003, but it took until 2005 for Ethernet broadband to arrive at my household. I decided to give Linux another look shortly after and haven’t looked back since – VectorLinux, Debian Sarge, Ubuntu Breezy Badger (5.10). I was able to do everything I wanted and more. I would never have bothered to learn Vim on Windows although it is available. I would never have got into the capabilities of networking tools as much, or into protocols, NAS and file servers (due to not wanting to purchase Windows server licenses).

  • Applications

    • GLX-Dock 2.2 Enters Beta With Greater Usefulness

      The first beta release of GLX-Dock 2.2 is now available for those looking to add a Mac OS X-like dock to their Linux desktop. The GLX-Dock 2.2 release is focusing upon improving four core areas of this open-source application dock: being unobtrusive yet useful and simple while also introducing a new panel view.

    • Linux-based Hard Drive Data Recovery Tools

      Thankfully, there are tons of available Linux-based rescue tools that can get the job done quickly and easily.

    • Games

      • 211 free Wine-compatible Games in one download

        How does the thought of 211 completely free wine-compatible games available in one download, complete with slick launcher and per-game info, sound to you?

      • Alien Arena (latest release date July 29, 2010)

        Do you like fast paced deathmatch? How about rich, colorful, arcadelike atmospheres? How about…retro Sci Fi? Then you’re going to love what Alien Arena has in store for you! This game combines some of the very best aspects of such games as Quake III and Unreal Tournament and wraps them up with a retro alien theme, while adding tons of original ideas to make the game quite unique.

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE 4.5 Screenshot Tour

        KDE 4.5 is coming out in August but I simply couldn’t wait to try it out a few days before the release. Hence, I got my hands on the Release Candidate v2 via kubuntu-beta ppa.Apart from some dazzling eye candy,KDE4 has matured a lot when it comes to stability.Here’s a screenshot tour and review of KDE 4.5 RC2 (click on each image to enlarge).

        1)The Desktop : As compared to the earlier KDE versions,the desktop looks more attractive with the Blur effect enabled.Also the system tray icons blend in with the theme.

        2)System Settings : The system settings menu has undergone a bit of shuffling along with some new additions.

  • Distributions

    • Sabayon 5.3 LXDE Screenshots

      I recently tried the new Sabayon 5.3 LXDE release and found it to be lightweight yet still hold up Sabayon’s feature packed, out-of-the-box way of doing things. The Sabayon 5.3 LXDE flavor is ideal for users who have lower hardware specs or prefer the speed of the lighter environment. Built on top of Sabayon “SpinBase” ISO images, this is said to be only a preview of upcoming spinoffs of the Sabayon project.

    • SystemRescueCD

      Yet another recovery OS has been updated this month. SystemRescueCD 1.5.8 is a minor update (the 2nd release in 3 weeks) to provide new standard kernels (2.6.32.16), alternative kernels (2.6.34.1) and a new version of the gparted package.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Friday Five: Red Hat’s Max McLaren

        Max McLaren has for the past five years been pushing the cause of open source software in Australia in his role as general manager of Red Hat in Australia and New Zealand. But he hasn’t always been — he used to work just as hard for proprietary software as a Lotus Notes stalwart. Max is this week’s guest on the Friday Five.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • My Motivation for Doing Opensource

          When I was the maintainer for the Linux Test Project , while my initial reason for doing it was because my employer requested me to, the reason why I stuck with it for so long (even when my job and employer changed) was because I knew people needed it. It felt good to know that I was helping to improve the “reliability, robustness, and stability of Linux”…it felt good to know that I was helping Red Hat, Novell, Terrasoft, and God knows how many other distros test their releases…it felt good to know I was helping IBM, Intel, HP, and loads of other technology companies test their hardware against Linux…it simply felt good. Hell, I even created the infamous crash test tux logo over a weekend because I thought it would give the project more of an identity…which lead to shirts being printed…banners being made…and me sitting for hours in a 2 person booth in the “dot org” pavilion at too many Linux World Expos to mention. As a project, we were always happy to receive testcases, bug fixes, and improvements from our users and others looking to help, and not once did I ever point the finger at someone using the test suite to improve their for-sale product and say, “you’re not giving enough!”….because I wasn’t doing the work for that reason. Now I’ll admit not participating as much as I should since passing on maintainership, but it’s not because I switched jobs, companies, or career paths…it’s because I got married, bought a house, and had 2 kids…and even got a dog…so

        • Red Hat, Canonical and GNOME Contributions

          I think the GNOME Census report is excellent, and it provides some excellent visibility into contributions in GNOME, but it only takes into account upstream contributions to GNOME itself. What the report doesn’t take into account are upstream contributions that are built on the GNOME platform but (a) not part of official GNOME modules, and (b) hosted and developed elsewhere, such as Launchpad. As such, while the report is accurate for showing code and contributions accepted into GNOME, there are also many projects built on GNOME technology that are not taken into account due to non-inclusion in GNOME modules or being developed outside of GNOME infrastructure.

        • What’s new in Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

          Compiz
          There are minor changes in default set of animations for Compiz which makes the desktop experience better.

          Since Maverick is still undergoing heavy development, certain elements might be changed. I will keep you updated about the changes.

        • Ubuntu 10.04: A Second Look

          After I review an operating system or Linux distribution, it’s always fun to go back and try out the product again, with all updates, and see how it’s improved. Ubuntu 10.04 was something I thought was pretty decent, but not decent enough to steal me away from Arch. However, I know others that are Ubuntu users and my wife is a big fan as well, so I still continued to have exposure to it even after having reviewed it. Here are my thoughts on Ubuntu 10.04 and how it stands today.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Android

      • uTorrent Web Now Available on iPad and Android

        After adding support for the iPhone last month, BitTorrent Inc. has now made the remote access ‘Web’ feature of its uTorrent Falcon client compatible with the iPad and Android devices. uTorrent users can now remotely control their downloads from wherever they are on their favorite mobile device.

      • Android wallpaper app that takes your data was downloaded by millions

        That means that apps that seem good but are really stealing your personal information are a big risk at a time when mobile apps are exploding on smartphones, said John Hering, chief executive, and Kevin MaHaffey, chief technology officer at Lookout, in their talk at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas today.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Could open source tools make Facebook the next AOL?

    Open-source social, or “open social,” networking services are not new. StatusNet has been running an open source implementation of its Twitter-like microblogging service for several years, called Indenti.ca. But no open-source service has gained Facebook- or Twitter-proportioned success.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • RMS AMA

      1. corevette: If you could have one proprietary package/software released as Free Software, which would it be and why?

      RMS: I have not made an effort to study the possible candidates, since unless a genie offers me a wish of that kind, the results wouldn’t enable me do anything constructive. Thus, I can only respond based on the few proprietary programs I happen by chance to know about.

      Of the programs I know of, I think freeing Autocad would give the biggest boost to the free software community. It is used in a wide range of activities, and our CAD software lags quite a bit,

  • Openness/Sharing

    • $20 Wikipedia Reader Uses 8-Bit Computing Power

      In all, it can hold the equivalent of 5,000 books, including an offline version of Wikipedia, and requires no internet connection. The Reader will cost $20 when 10,000 or more of it are manufactured. Without that kind of volume, the each Reader will cost about $35.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Security/Aggression

    • WikiLeaks Secret Records Dump Stays in Legal Clear: Ann Woolner

      With his prematurely white hair and his Australia-tinged English, 39-year-old Julian Assange has become the face and voice of what is surely the most massive leak of U.S. classified documents in history.

      His online organization, WikiLeaks, devotes itself to government and corporate whistle-blowers and the documents they offer. It stands as a buffer between them and whomever had the secrets being bared, whether documents on Cayman Islands bank accounts, video showing Americans firing on civilians in Baghdad or Sarah Palin’s e-mail.

    • Wikileaks war logs revelations will be far-reaching, say MPs

      The portrait of a chaotic and failing war revealed in the secret military files casts serious doubts on the government’s policy in Afghanistan and its plans to withdraw British troops by 2015, politicians said today.

    • Wikileaks: Q&A with Jacob Appelbaum on “The Afghan War Diaries”

      Jacob Appelbaum: The 15,000 documents are part of the set of Afghanistan documents. They are being redacted for harm-minimizing purposes as requested by our source, and will be made available as is applicable with respect to the relevant security concerns.

  • Environment

    • Met Office report: global warming evidence is ‘unmistakable’

      A new climate change report from the Met Office and its US equivalent has provided the “greatest evidence we have ever had” that the world is warming.

    • Global warming signs unmistakable: report

      A new report by 300 scientists has flagged the past decade as the hottest on record and compiled 10 “unmistakable” indicators that the world is getting warmer.

      But the scientists mostly stayed away from discussions about the cause.

    • Rising sea temperatures linked to decline in food chain

      Sea temperatures are rising, but what effect that might have is up for discussion.

      A study published in Nature today finds a strong link between higher sea surface temperatures and a major decline in phytoplankton or ocean algae, which forms the base of the marine food chain.

    • Climate check-up ‘screams world is warming’

      A report on the world’s climate has confirmed that 2009 was one of Australia’s hottest years on record and provides more evidence of global warming.

      Three hundred scientists from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association compiled the report, which the association’s data centre chief Deke Arndt says paints a compelling picture.

      [...]

      The list of last year’s extreme weather events includes a flood in Brazil that left 376,000 people homeless, heavy rainfall in England that damaged 1,500 properties and three intense heat waves in Australia, one of them coinciding with the Victorian bushfires that killed 173 people.

    • Tata to sue Greenpeace over turtle game

      Greenpeace India launched the game at the start of June, the latest step in its seven-year campaign against Dhamra port, which is due to open this summer at Bhadrak in Orissa, a state on India’s eastern coast. The environmental group alleges that the development will endanger local turtles. Turtle Vs. Tata, which is still live online and has been played by nearly 25,000 people, places a turtle in the role of Pac-Man battling against Tata logos in the place of ghosts.

    • Hackers shut down EU carbon-trading website
  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • White House proposal would ease FBI access to records of Internet activity

      The Obama administration is seeking to make it easier for the FBI to compel companies to turn over records of an individual’s Internet activity without a court order if agents deem the information relevant to a terrorism or intelligence investigation.

    • China jails writer for 15 years for ‘endangering state security’

      Human rights groups have attacked the heavy sentence a Chinese court has imposed on a Uighur writer who posted critical articles online and spoke to foreign journalists after last year’s riots in Xinjiang.

    • CNN anchors attack the scourge of anonymity

      CNN’s Kyra Phillips and John Roberts spent a good five minutes yesterday expressing serious concern over what they called “the dark side” of the Internet: the plague of “anonymous bloggers” who are “a bunch of cowards” for not putting their names on what they say, and who use this anonymity to spread “conspiracy,” “lunacy,” “extremism” and false accusations (video below). The segment included excerpts from an interview with Andrew Keene, author of Cult of the Amateur: How Today’s Internet is Killing our Culture, who explained that the Real Media must serve as “gatekeepers” to safeguard the public against the dangers of anonymity on the Internet. Roberts demanded that bloggers should “have the courage at the very least to put your name on it,” while Phillips announced: “something is going to have to be done legally. . . . these people have to be held accountable, they’re a bunch of cowards.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Sometimes It’s OK To Steal My Games

      Sometimes
      This blog post is about the bright side of software piracy. It’s about the times when not only is it OK to steal my games, but, in fact, I get something out of it. Perhaps an unusual topic for a blog post from a game developer.

      [...]

      Because, when I’m being honest with myself, which happens sometimes, I have to admit that piracy is not an absolute evil. That I do get things out of it, even when I’m the one being ripped off.

Clip of the Day

Copyright vs. Community – Richard Stallman


07.29.10

Links 29/7/2010: Android 3.0 Preview, Mint KDE

Posted in News Roundup at 5:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Has Dell’s Marketing Team Lost Their Marbles?

      Now, I don’t want this to sound as though it’s a rant against Dell. I’m actually a fan of their products. But when idiotic PR like this comes out, you really have to wonder who in their right mind gave this stuff a stamp of approval. The bottom line is simple. Use what you want and works best for you. Don’t be afraid to try new things. There’s a reason why there are several operating systems out there, variety. Hopefully Dell’s marketing team gets their head out of the sand sometime soon.

  • Server

    • Systems Administrators Changing Roles

      Systems administration is not going to go away completly, but I do see a future where there are less of these positions available. Consolidation of equipment isn’t just something that’s happening in your data center, it’s happening across the entire spectrum of IT related fields. The sysadmin of tomorrow will most likely have to handle hundreds or thousands of nodes (as many do today) that provide services to thousands of customers. As hardware becomes more reliable, and virtualization technology also becomes more reliable, the need for dedicated systems administrators for managing the operating system and physical servers decreases. As more and more software vendors start packaging their applications as virtual appliances, the skills needed to adequately manage these packages shifts from the operating system to the application.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Basket – A Multi-Purpose Note Pad For KDE

        Basket Note Pads is a multipurpose note-taking application for KDE. Business people can use it to keep track of important tasks and notes. Writers can use it to organize their thoughts. Students can use it for note taking. And generally anyone can use it as a virtual paste bin or clip drawer.

      • Linux Mint 9 KDE released
      • Linux Mint 9 KDE Review and Screenshots

        As I stated in the introduction, I think Linux Mint is a top 3 distribution for desktop users. A beautiful interface, powerful tools for beginners, and a decent application selection set it apart from most other Linux distributions. Please comment on your favorite KDE distribution, I think I’ve found mine.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Android

      • Android 3.0: what you need to know

        Even though most Android users are still waiting for Android 2.2, details about the next version – Android 3.0, or Gingerbread – are starting to emerge.

        Android 3.0 release date is looking like Q4 of this year, possibly around October. And Gingerbread may already be in some testers’ hands – Phandroid has shown an unverified photo of a test build of Android 3.0 running in the wild.

  • Sub-notebooks

    • Toshiba NB300 review

      The netbook market has moved beyond its infancy and most manufacturers have now found their feet. Like the well-entrenched notebook scene, the market’s biggest netbook makers have hit upon their preferred technology combination and standardised designs have been cropping up over the last couple of generations. Since Intel’s N450 Atom processor boasts such excellent power-saving capabilities over previous chips (courtesy of its integrated graphics processor and improved manufacturing process), it has powered almost all netbooks released in the same period – Toshiba’s mini NB300 was no exception.

  • Tablets

    • Apple iPad’s rivals are coming

      Guess what? They’re finally starting to show up. The Dell Streak, a cross between a smartphone and a tablet, will be out later this summer. It will first show up with Android 1.6 under the hood, but it will be user upgradeable to the latest release Android 2.2, Froyo.

      At the same time, Kmart, of all places, is advertising the Augen 7-in. tablet, the GENTOUCH78, on sale for just $150 through July 31. Don’t rush out to your local Kmart, though. The demand has already been so high for this tablet, even sight unseen, that most Kmart retail stores are handing out rain checks.

Free Software/Open Source

  • The U.S. Government and Its Partners Open Up To FOSS

    Free and open source software often makes a great deal of sense from a financial and logistics perspective. The product is generally free, and the source code is available for editing if the product does not met the technical needs specified by the user. In a rapidly evolving world, people at high levels in the government have come to the realization that FOSS may offer higher levels of software development flexibility than the traditional proprietary models. The fact that FOSS helps to alleviate some of the pressure created by tight budgets and other fiscal constraints doesn’t hurt. In this article, I will take a hard look at the great inroads being made by FOSS into the processes and programs of the U.S. government and its partners.

  • SaaS

    • OpenStack: Open Standards Meet The Cloud

      But there is more to OpenStack: it also gets the power of open standards and how this relates to the cloud. Cloud Computing is the wild west of computing right now with competing strategies and technologies fighting for dominance. The Linux Foundation is pleased to see this new entry that is based on open, collaborative development as well as open standards. Without open standards in cloud computing, we could be headed to the same vendor lock that once gripped the industry. Based on what I can see from the Open Stack project, Rackspace’s aim seems to be to eliminate vendor lock in. If so, I think we will see a huge acceleration in cloud uptake by companies small and large who have been hesitant to enter.

  • BSD

    • OpenBSD — I’m back (and I’d like to think you care … but I know you don’t)

      And as far as Flash goes, you can still run Flash 7 in the Opera Web browser, but the near future for the Web should mean that HTML 5 will make video a much easier proposition in non-Windows/Mac environments.

      If you do have a spare machine in your stable — and who doesn’t, do a little distro-hopping. And a few BSD experiments couldn’t hurt. You’ll learn something. That I guarantee.

Leftovers

  • Security/Aggression

  • Environment

    • More Evidence That BPA Laces Store Receipts

      People interested in limiting exposure to bisphenol A — a hormone-mimicking environmental contaminant — might want to consider wearing gloves the next time a store clerk hands over a cash-register receipt. A July 27 report by a public-interest research group has now confirmed many of these receipts have a BPA-rich powdery residue on their surface. But you can’t tell which ones on the basis of a visual inspection.

    • Fight Over Fracking

      The state of New York has some of the cleanest drinking water in the country, but natural gas drilling is threatening water resources there. At issue is whether drilling companies know enough about how to protect groundwater sources from contamination by a drilling procedure called “fracking,” the term used for the hydraulic fracturing of rock formations to make them produce more gas. Citizens also doubt whether existing rules and regulations can assure drilling companies will do enough to protect water sources, and whether there are enough qualified staff people to enforce current and future drilling regulations.

    • Chez Sludge: How the Sewage Sludge Industry Bedded Alice Waters

      The celebrity chef Alice Waters is probably the world’s most famous advocate of growing and eating local, Organic food. In February 2010 her Chez Panisse Foundation chose as its new Executive Director the wealthy “green socialite” and liberal political activist Francesca Vietor. Vietor’s hiring created a serious conflict of interest that has married Waters and her Foundation to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) and its scam of disposing of toxic sewage sludge waste as free “organic Biosolids compost” for gardens.

  • Finance

    • Get Serious About The Deficit and Cut Military Spending

      The United States is far and away the world’s leader in military spending. In 2009, America spent over $663 billion on defense. That massive amount equals 4.3% of our 2008 Gross Domestic Product (GDP). That number is sure to grow next year.

    • Tell the President to Put Warren to Work!

      One of the strongest parts of the Wall Street reform bill that just passed Congress is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). But whether the new bureau delivers on its promise to protect consumers depends in large part on who runs it. The agency was the brain-child of Harvard Professor Elizabeth Warren who has championed consumers and taxpayers for decades.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Big Falsehoods: An updated guide to Andrew Breitbart’s lies, smears, and distortions

      Following the dissolution of Andrew Breitbart’s smear of former Obama administration official Shirley Sherrod, Media Matters provides an updated look at how his sensationalist stories have been based on speculation, gross distortions, and outright falsehoods.

    • Enough right-wing propaganda

      The smearing of Shirley Sherrod ought to be a turning point in American politics. This is not, as the now-trivialized phrase has it, a “teachable moment.” It is a time for action.
      This Story

      *
      Enough right-wing propaganda
      *
      Ruth Marcus: Time for the slow-blogging movement
      *
      Standing up to the Breitbarts

      The mainstream media and the Obama administration must stop cowering before a right wing that has persistently forced its propaganda to be accepted as news by convincing traditional journalists that “fairness” requires treating extremist rants as “one side of the story.” And there can be no more shilly-shallying about the fact that racial backlash politics is becoming an important component of the campaign against President Obama and against progressives in this year’s election.

    • Health Insurers Leaning on State Insurance Commissioners to “Reform” Reform

      The nation’s biggest insurers — not happy with provisions of the four-month-old health care reform law that would force many of them to spend more of the money they collect in premiums for their policyholders’ medical care — are pressuring regulators to disregard what members of Congress intended when they wrote the law, so that they can keep raking in huge profits for their Wall Street owners. If they are successful, many policyholders will soon be shelling out even more than they do today to enrich insurance company shareholders and CEOs. Billions of dollars are at stake, which is why the insurers and their symbiotic allies are pulling out all the stops to gut a key part of the law that would require them to spend at least 80 cents of every premium dollar they take in for medical care.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • The first million seller e-book is….

        I knew e-books would be big. What I didn’t know would be that they would get so big, so fast. On July 28th, Amazon announced that Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoohas become the first e-book to sell a million copies.

        It won’t be the last. Stephenie Meyer and James Patterson are quickly closing in on what Amazon is calling the “Kindle Million Club” for authors who have sold over a million Amazon Kindle e-books. Charlaine Harris and Nora Roberts with more than 500,000 Kindle book sales each, will soon join them.

      • Digital Copywrongs

        New DMCA exemptions are an improvement, but the basic paradox of telling consumers how they may use electronics remains unaddressed.

      • ACTA

        • Statement on ACTA in Plenary

          It appears Commissioner De Gucht found out recently what technical difficulties are inside the ACTA package.

          In response to a few requests let me add the following talking points:

          * Moving ACTA to WIPO or WTO: In our jargon we call such a demand a “poison pill”. An innocent reasonable demand which demonstrates a problem underlying the process and is unacceptable for its proponents. ACTA is about forum shopping on purpose. ACTA emerged because WTO and WIPO are blocked. Yet, an international treaty of that kind needs to be administered.

          [...]

Clip of the Day

Mozilla Thunderbird – Quick Filter


Links 29/7/2010: Linux Foundation Members, New GNOME Shell Mockups

Posted in News Roundup at 3:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux is dough, windows is glass.

    The thing with operating systems, any operating system, is that they have logic errors. In other words they have bugs. Bugs are simply mis-calculations that a programmer has made in designing logic structures or the programmer fumble fingered when typing in a variable and missed an “i” or something (those are the hardest bugs to find :(). For what ever the reason an operating system or its user based programs can, do and will crash. The most important thing is how does the operating system handle this crash.

    Now lets simulate an operating system crash using analogy’s. If you have children, or are a big child yourself (I am fat, grey and balding yet still a child :) then you most probably know about play-doh ™. If you can grab a hold of some then take a handful and throw it at the floor as hard as you can. What happens? It goes splat, and flattens out but is still in one piece. That is what happens when Linux crashes.

    Next find a piece of glass, it could be an old window pain, a bottle (preferably empty from the beer you just finished) or a regular glass that you won’t miss. Take that glass and throw it as hard as you can against the floor. What happens? Of course it smashes into a million pieces. OK, not a million pieces but I am claiming artistic license here :) This is what happens when windows crashes.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • New Benefits for Linux Foundation Members

      We are extremely lucky to have the support of so many who are individual members of the Linux Foundation. Their $99/year membership helps ensure we can continue protecting, promoting and advancing Linux and support the work of Linus Torvalds himself.

    • Kernel Log: Coming in 2.6.35 (Part 5) – Drivers

      Expanded support for USB 3.0, a new subsystem for the use of infra-red remote controls, and an EDAC driver for Nehalem processors are just a few of the many new or improved drivers.

      In the release email on the sixth beta version of Linux 2.6.35, Torvalds indicated that it could be the last beta for this kernel version, so it’s probable that the final of 2.6.35 will be released in the next few days.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Going fast with DWM

      Likewise, installing DWM couldn’t be easier. Simply download the tarball from dwm.suckless.org and extract the contents. Then run make in the resulting directory. The result is a single executable, dwm. If you then run make install, make will install a man page and install the dwm executable in /usr/local. For testing, I simply ran dwm from my home directory.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Cloud Foundations: Edition One

        Red Hat Cloud Foundations Edition One provides everything needed to help you plan, build, and manage a private cloud today. Red Hat delivers the most complete and comprehensive cloud solutions in the market, with the flexibility that comes only from the open source leader. Red Hat’s cloud vision is unlike that of any other IT vendor. We recognize that IT infrastructure is – and will continue to be – composed of pieces from many different hardware and software vendors that must work together. We recognize that customers want to grow and improve their IT systems and operations gradually and not through wrenching change.

      • Vyatta Takes Open Networking to Japanese Market

        Vyatta, the leader in open networking and network virtualization, today announced it has signed Japanese systems integrator Entertainment Imaginers Inc. (Emaginers) as the first Authorized Vyatta Reseller in Japan and is supporting the newly formed Vyatta Japan User Group. These announcements reflect growing interest in Vyatta’s open networking solutions in Asia.

      • Red Hat Deepens Commitment in Asia-Pacific Region

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading 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. The appointments include two newly created roles focused on expanding the Red Hat partner ecosystem in Asia Pacific and accelerating the use of open source technology in enterprises in Asia

      • Fedora

        • Criteria and documentation.

          Ideally, anyone in Fedora ought to be able to be absent at any point in our release cycle without unduly affecting any of our release processes. The more we make it possible for any contributor to follow a process like judging against criteria, producing media and art, spinning release candidates, and so forth, the closer we get to that goal. The result is a more sustainable Fedora Project.

    • Debian Family

      • Spotlight on Linux: SimplyMEPIS 8.5.x

        With rock solid stability, a pretty interface, handy applications, original tools, multimedia support, proprietary driver installation, and APT — SimplyMEPIS has it all. The only two characteristics one might see as disadvantages are packages that may be a version or so behind some other cutting-edge distros and repositories are not as fully populated as some of the other larger projects. But SimplyMEPIS is compatible with Debian, so one could use packages from that project if needed. In fact, Debian repositories are already setup in APT/Synaptic. Add to that a one-CD download and easy installer one finds SimplyMEPIS is just simply wonderful.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • UbuntuWeeklyNewsletter/Issue203

          In This Issue

          * Last call for Maverick server papercuts
          * Ubuntu Maverick open for translation
          * Native readers: extending the Beta
          * MOTU Interview: Maia Kozheva (sikon / LucidFox)
          * An Interview With Silver Fox
          * Ubuntu Developer Week Re-Cap
          * Ubuntu Stats
          * Approval and Re Approval Process
          * LoCo Council July Meeting minutes
          * Delivering the Ubuntu Colombia Contact
          * Stepping Down from Ubuntu Bangladesh
          * Dun Laoghaire July Geeknic
          * Ubuntu-fr at Les Vieilles Charrues
          * Launchpad News
          * Ubuntu at Non-Technical Events
          * More cleansweep.
          * Discussion request: multilingual posts on Planet Ubuntu or not?
          * The Official Ubuntu Book – 5th Edition
          * This week in design – 23 July 2010
          * Getting Started with Ubuntu 10.04 is now available in Greek!
          * How to Ask Smart Questions by Martin Owens
          * Ubuntu One iphone client, source code released
          * Ubuntu Translation Teams Healthcheck
          * An invitation to join Ubuntu’s Q&A group on Shapado.com
          * Akademy 30 second interviews, Eben Moglen, Helsinki, Prague
          * “Blog about what you’re doing”
          * Bugs vs Blueprints
          * In The Press
          * In The Blogosphere
          * Windows or Ubuntu?
          * Linux Box To Market Ubuntu
          * Dell drops Ubuntu PCs from website… for now
          * Is Linux Too Much for One Mere Mortal to Handle?
          * Rackspace’s Risky Open Cloud Bet
          * Featured Podcasts
          * Weekly Ubuntu Development Team Meetings
          * Upcoming Meetings and Events
          * Updates and Security
          * and much much more!

        • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Reality Check: The future of smart phones is open

        The future of smartphones is coming, and it is wide open … as in open source.

        The signs are clear that mobile app developers, and by default, designers of smart phones, are marching inexorably toward an open source world. Consider these recent developments…

      • Android

        • How to Choose the Right Android ROM for You

          There are tons of great reasons to root your Android phone, but once you do, you’ll likely be overwhelmed with all the custom ROM options out there. Here’s how to go about finding—and installing—the one that fits your needs.

        • Motorola Droid X Pre-order Backlog Continues

          Motorola Droid X is on its way to become season’s most popular smartphone, as all the Verizon stores have exhausted the stocks till August 4 or even later and the pre-order backlog continues. Motorola needs to be careful here as the backlog might turn into a lost opportunity for the smartphone maker. According to reports, the customers who visited stores since last week have been asked to place pre-orders or order via phone delivery.

        • Motorola Droid X Sold Out Through Aug. 4

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open vSwitch: Can you use an open source distributed virtual switch?

    The Open vSwitch Project – which is backed by network control software startup Nicira Networks – provides downloadable coding for the open source virtual switch, which is licensed under Apache 2. It currently supports Xen, XenServer, KVM and VirtualBox but can be ported to other virtualization environments.

  • Sourcefire Rolls Out Open-Source ‘Razorback’

    The makers of the popular open-source Snort intrusion detection platform today unveiled a new open-source platform — a detection framework that unites existing security tools, including IDS/IPSes.

  • Sony Pictures Imageworks and Industrial Light & Magic Join Forces on ‘ALEMBIC’

    At the ACM SIGGRAPH conference today visual effects houses Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) and Sony Pictures Imageworks announced a co-developed open source project titled Alembic.

  • Open source Razorback project targets malware, zero-day exploits

    Sourcefire, best known for its Snort intrusion-prevention technology, Tuesday is unveiling a new open source project called Razorback that’s designed to spot malware and especially zero-day exploits.

  • What Happens

    I wanted to play with brush lines and I was thinking back to a chat I had with my good friend David about Free Software and lack of User attachment to sticking with Free products when their only desire is practicality. This of course can make a very transient user base who will leave at the first sign of trouble.

  • Events

    • Update from OSCON: The Open Source Movement Tackles Health Care

      Many people argue that because open source involves a community of developers always working to improve the code, open source actually encourages more rapid innovation and improvement than does a closed, proprietary system. And while it’s taken several years to make this case, open source has seen widespread adoption in enterprise. Companies no longer balk (as much) at the thought of using tools like Apache, Linux, or Mozilla Firefox, all open source software. And while enterprise application remains much of the focus of open source development and of the OSCON conference, the event introduced a health care track, pointing to the myriad of ways in which open source technologies, along with open data, can enhance health care delivery.

  • SaaS

    • Twitter to Open Data Center in Salt Lake City Area

      Twitter said the new facility will provide it with “a much larger footprint in a building designed specifically around [its] unique power and cooling needs,” while housing “a mixed-vendor environment for servers running open source OS and applications”.

  • CMS

  • Business

    • Adobe buying Day – Quick Analysis

      Others have hit up the content management angle (there important here-and-now) and the open source angle (which is definitely interesting given Day’s involvement with Apache). I’ll go over one longer term idea of of how the commendation of existing Adobe assets (including, most importantly Omniture) and Day gets close to a new category of IT use.

    • Openbravo achieves 1.7 million downloads, records demand for Professional Edition, and 160 new add-on modules

      Openbravo web-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution for small and mid-sized businesses has now been downloaded more than 1.7 million times, making Openbravo the leading provider in its market space.

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Hybrid licensing strategies for open source monetization

        Open core and open foundation have different evolutionary lineages: open core is a variation on dual licensing as practiced by the likes of MySQL and Sleepycat that also borrows heavily on the value-added subscription model as practiced by Red Hat and JBoss. Meanwhile open foundation has its roots in the commercialization of BSD, which pre-dates the concepts of open source and free software, as well as Apache.

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD Foundation Newsletter, July 27, 2010

      In this Edition:

      * Letter From the President
      * Fundraising Update
      * Flattened Device Tree Project
      * Userland DTrace Project
      * FreeBSD Jail Based Virtualization Project
      * Resource Containers Project
      * HA Storage Project
      * BSNMP Improvements
      * DAHDI FreeBSD driver port
      * FreeBSD Lectures Captioning Project
      * Upgrades to the Ports Building Cluster
      * AsiaBSDCon 2010
      * BSDCan 2010
      * BSD Toolchain Summit
      * MeetBSD Poland 2010
      * 2010 Grant and Travel Grant Recipients
      * Testimonial – Building a Business on FreeBSD
      * Financials

  • Licensing

    • What’s in a License?

      The GPL ensures that any developer who works on a piece of software is given copyright to the portion they worked on and gives users and other developers the right to copy, distribute, and/or modify it. So, if I find a piece of open source software that I find useful, I can legally send copies of that program to all my friends and colleagues who can use it and pass it along as well. Just try this with Microsoft Vista which has strict requirements in the EULA with the number of installations allowed.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • OGC and OSGeo collaborate on documentation

      According to Cameron Shorter, coordinator of the OSGeo-Live project, “OGC standards underpin our geospatial Open Source applications, and hence OGC this support from the OGC will greatly enhance the Open Source documentation being developed.”

    • Open Data

      • The Public Access Crusade of Carl Malamud

        Despite being public property, government documents are not necessarily free or easy to obtain. Carl Malamud of Public.Resource.Org details his decades-long quest for open access to “America’s Operating System.”

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Google’s Mobile Search Market Share: An Estimated, Whopping 98.29%

    Google currently boasts a mobile search market share of 98.29%, with it closest competitor Yahoo taking up just over 0.8% of market share and Microsoft’s Bing barely touching even half that, according to recent data from StatCounter as relayed by Pingdom.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Britain to launch Afghan war inquiry

      The performance of the US-led foreign troops in the Afghan war was further undermined this week after whistleblower site Wikileaks published thousands of secret military documents unveiling that foreign armies fighting in Afghanistan indiscriminately killed civilians and tried to cover up civilian casualties.

      The British parliament’s defense committee is an influential panel whose inquiries are aimed at scrutinizing the government’s performance.

    • The Inevitability of Wikileaks

      In a world that already hosts 4chan, Pirate Bay, and a whole host of spammers, crackers, and other malefactors, it’s crazy to think that a host would not be found for secrets governments don’t want revealed.

    • Stratfor.com: WikiLeaks and the Afghan War

      At first glance, it is difficult to imagine a single database in which such a diverse range of intelligence was stored, or the existence of a single individual cleared to see such diverse intelligence stored across multiple databases and able to collect, collate and transmit the intelligence without detection. Intriguingly, all of what has been released so far has been not-so-sensitive material rated secret or below. The Times reports that Gul’s name appears all over the documents, yet very few documents have been released in the current batch, and it is very hard to imagine intelligence on Gul and his organization, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) directorate, being classified as only secret. So, this was either low-grade material hyped by the media, or there is material reviewed by the selected newspapers but not yet made public. Still, what was released and what the Times discussed is consistent with what most thought was happening in Afghanistan.

  • Environment

    • US food waste worth more than offshore drilling

      MORE energy is wasted in the perfectly edible food discarded by people in the US each year than is available in oil and gas reserves off the nation’s coastlines.

      Recent estimates suggest that 16 per cent of the energy consumed in the US is used to produce food. Yet at least 25 per cent of food is wasted each year. Michael Webber and Amanda Cuellar at the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy at the University of Texas at Austin calculate that this is the equivalent of about 2150 trillion kilojoules lost each year.

  • Finance

    • Initial jobless claims drop to 457,000

      New jobless claims fell last week for the third time in four weeks but remain elevated. The decline is a sign that the economy likely added jobs in July, although not enough to lower the nation’s high unemployment rate.

    • AP survey: A bleaker outlook for economy into 2011

      The latest quarterly AP Economy Survey shows economists have turned gloomier in the past three months. They foresee weaker growth and higher unemployment than they did before. As a result, the economists think the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates near zero until at least next spring.

    • With Squeeze on Credit, Microlending Blossoms

      Amanda Keppert is convinced that she would have lost Mandy’s Korner, her hot dog stand in San Jose, Calif., if she had not received a type of loan that is more common in the third world than in the United States.

    • Fed’s Report Shows Slowing Growth

      While the economy has continued to pick up, growth has become uneven in recent weeks, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday in its latest regional report. In some regions, the Fed said, economic activity had started to slow.

    • Republicans block small business lending bill

      The bill would create a $30 billion government fund to help community banks increase lending to small businesses, combining it with about $12 billion in tax breaks aimed at small businesses. Democrats say banks should be able to use the lending fund to leverage up to $300 billion in loans to small businesses, helping to loosen tight credit markets.

    • Job Subsidies Also Provide Help to Private Sector

      States are putting hundreds of thousands of people directly into jobs through programs reminiscent of the more ambitious work projects of the Great Depression.

    • 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.

      The trend is the latest sign that the nation’s foreclosure crisis is worsening as homeowners battling high unemployment, slow job growth and an uneven rebound in home prices continue to fall behind on their mortgage payments.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Fans lend their voices to Fairouz, the silenced diva

      Fans of Fairouz, the Arab world’s most famous singer, are up in arms about a bitter legal row that has stopped her performing live. From Beirut to the Gulf – and as far away as Australia – the diva’s supporters are making their voices heard to complain that she is being cruelly silenced.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • $17M for Legal Fees Is Money Well Spent, RIAA Says

        The Recording Industry Association of America is defending more than $17 million spent on legal fees in 2008 after bloggers claimed the organization’s aggressive pursuit of damages for illegal downloading was yielding little legal in the way of legal recoveries.

Clip of the Day

Climate Denial Crock of the Week – Heatwave Edition Part 2


Links 29/7/2010: OSCON Coverage, Gnash Needs Donations

Posted in News Roundup at 10:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Dell to Continue to Sell Ubuntu Systems, Just Not on Its UK Website

      But, while ‘Dell no longer sells Ubuntu laptops’ makes for a great headline, it’s not exactly true. In fact, Dell is expanding its offering with the first desktop system available for quite a while and has started shipping systems with Ubuntu 10.04. However, it has stopped selling Ubuntu machines in its UK online shop.

  • Google

    • What is the Chromium Project?

      Most people know what Google Chrome is and some have already started using the web browser. Yet, few are aware of the fact that the Google team is working on an operational system (OS) that will be part of the open-source project.

      The Chromium Project is the open-source project behind the OS and the browser.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME 3.0 release delayed by six months

        The GNOME project has been under pressure to come out with a snazzy, new look after, KDE, the other commonly used DE for Linux, underwent a massive transformation a few years ago.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • System76 Continues Linnux Netbook Line With Second-Gen Starling

          A little gem from the System76 has just been released as the second generation Starling netbook. As far as specs go, System76 keeps on with the norm. They have the Atom, the 10″ screen size and the almost typical memory and storage size. However, they do have something that sets them apart. They offer their products — netbooks, laptops, desktops, et al — with appropriate versions of Ubuntu Linux pre-installed.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Open source installer offered for Plug Computer

      Marvell announced the availability of an open source installer, simplifying software deployment on its Linux-based Plug Computer reference design. The Easy Plug Computer Installer (EPI) is the first wizard-based installation tool for Marvell’s Plug Computer, which is being supported by more than 20,000 developers worldwide, says Marvell.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Lumigon to Launch Android Handset In Time For Halloween

          Danish company Lumigon has announced that they’ll be launching their first Android handset this October. The handset, known as the T1, will be launching on October 20th, with pre-orders beginning on September 20th. The T1 will sport a 480 x 320 resolution 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen, a Freescale 1Ghz i.MX51 processor, a 5MP camera with flash and some 720p video output goodness thrown in. WiFi, A-GPS, accelerometer, and Bluetooth are also included.

        • 10 years on: free software wins, but you have nowhere to install it

          I am typing this as I am finally connected in shell to my Android phone. The prompt reminds me that it’s based on the Linux kernel (it’s free), the Dalvik virtual machine (it’s free), and free libraries. Millions of Android devices are shipped every day, each one is a Linux system. Today, it’s phone. Soon, it will be tablets: Android 3.0 (coming out at the end of the year) will finally be very suitable for tablets. Apple alone will have to face fierce competition on pretty much every front. Microsoft… who? They are more irrelevant every day. I should be happy, right? Well, sort of. Looking back at how long it took me to get this shell prompt makes me worried. Very worried. We are heading towards a world where we no longer own the hardware we buy — and there is no point in having free software if you can’t own your hardware.

        • How To Be An Android Power User

          Android hardware offers some of the most powerful smartphones we’ve ever seen. The Android Market app store is growing strong, and the Android user base is growing just as fast. Android phones are flying off the shelves faster than they can be created, so we think it’s about time we put together a guide for the Android power user. On the following pages, we’ll walk you through what you need to know about Google’s mobile OS and how to make the most out of it.

    • Tablets

      • 35 Dollar Indian Pad? Go Indians, Go!

        By now you probably have heard about the “pad” computer designed in India that is being touted as costing thirty-five U.S. Dollars to manufacture. While there is very little in the way of technical details about it, some information has been published that says it consists of:

        * An ARM9 Architecture Processor from Freescale (I.MX233): 5 USD

        * Memory: 3 USD

        * WiFi b/g: 4 USD

        * Other “discrete” components: 3 USD

        * Battery: 5 USD

        * 7” 800×480 resistive touch screen: 15 USD

        for a total bill of materials: 35 USD, and rumors that in the future this will drop to 20 USD and even 10 USD. The system is “Linux based”, but does not say if it is based on Android, ChromeOS or some other Linux-based distribution. There is also no mention of persistent storage other than the fact it has a USB connection that could be used for flash.

        As other reporters and blogs have pointed out, there is no mention of the PCB for the motherboard (assuming it has one), nor the assembly, packaging, transportation, testing, returns, etc. The reports run hot and cold about how much this system will really cost, whether it will have enough power in the system to be useful, whether it will ever really be produced, whether it is “rugged enough”. There was no mention of the operating temperatures of the unit. There are a lot of very hot places in India, and of course the system has no fan. There were also lots of comparisons with the OLPC, which I feel are unfair since the OLPC was solving slightly different problems, and was a leader in the effort.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Shift to Open Source Could Save Trillions, Govt Claims

    A government campaign to migrate to open source software instead of paying for proprietary products could save the state as much as Rp 3.6 trillion ($400 million), the State Ministry for Research and Technology said on Wednesday.

    The campaign, introduced in 2004, called “Indonesia, Go Open Source,” was fueled in part by the obligatory use of legal software, as defined in the 2002 Law on Intellectual Property Rights.

  • Your World Of Text Goes Open Source

    Popular “write-what-you-want-because-our-whole-site-is-a-canvas” website Your World of Text yesterday announced that it was doing what many copy-cats would hope it would: release the source code.

  • Will Open Source Boost SAP?

    I reported in “The SAP Foundation” that open source software could chew into some SAP licensing and services revenue. I knew that Linux Journal had reported in June 2010 that SAP “has invested in many of the top open source companies, through its SAP Ventures arm. Well-known names it has backed include Alfresco, GroundWork, Intalio, JasperSoft and Zend; earlier investments include MySQL and even Red Hat.” Several years ago, a client alerted me to SAP’s strong interest in Eclipse. Since that conversation, SAP has become more active in the Eclipse Foundation as a Strategic Developer.

  • OSCON/Events

    • OSCON returns to Portland, seeks civic contributions from developers

      This week, Portland is once again at the center of open source technology.

      More than 3,000 software developers from around the globe have descended on the Oregon Convention Center for the O’Reilly Open Source Convention — OSCON — one of the largest gatherings of its kind. It’s also among Portland’s biggest national conferences.

    • New Languages, and Why We Need Them

      Creators of two dozen new programming languages–some designed to enable powerful new Web applications and mobile devices–presented their work last week in Portland, OR. The reason for the gathering was the first Emerging Languages Camp at the O’Reilly Open Source Convention.

  • Education

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Don’t Be Too Quick to Dismiss Open Core

        I have some concerns about how these companies will handle open source contributions to the free “core” software if the contribution gets too close to the functionality offered in the commercial add-ons. Under open source, traditionally all contributions should be accepted (or not) based on technical merit or the scope of the software.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Funding Plea

      So the Gnash team is broke, and has been for most of a year. This has forced many, but not all of the Gnash developers to find paying work, and mostly stop working on Gnash. The few of us left focused on Gnash like to eat and pay bills.

  • Project Releases

    • Sporadic NAEV Newsletter Vol. 1

      As the changelog indicates, we’ve been working on two of the major features of 0.5.0. Namely, the all-famous big systems and electronic warfare. Currently development is being done off of master to keep that “playable” while we develop separately. There are two branches you can check out:

      bigsys (Has big systems – Last updated in May.)
      ewarfare (Has big systems and electronic warfare – Cutting edge.)

  • Licensing

    • Urbi SDK 2.1 Is Now Completely Open Source

      Gostai, a company that specializes in robotics software has announced that it is opening up its Urbi operating system. Urbi is a robotics operating system used by a number of very well-known, commercial robots. The company already shared the component architecture and the libraries under an open-source license and will now do the same for the Urbi kernel. Urbi is being released under an Affero GNU GPL v3 license.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • A Novel Approach: Free Books For Donations

      The Kindle, the iPad and e-books are all part of a revolution that’s shaking up the publishing business. The big question is how to ensure the book industry can remain profitable?

      There’s at least one publisher, however, that doesn’t care about profits. For the past two years, the Concord Free Press, has been publishing books and giving them away for free.

      Writer Stona Fitch, the founder of the press, shows a reporter around the headquarters in Concord, Mass., just west of Boston. The tour takes less than a minute: It consists of two tables in an office.

    • Open Data

      • Politician Profiles: Senator Kate Lundy

        Senator Kate Lundy has become known in the technology community as a fierce advocate of government engagement and Gov 2.0, pushing for support of many of the recommendations made last year by the Government 2.0 Taskforce, and pre-empting the declaration of open government by Finance minister, Lindsay Tanner. Lundy has also been involved in many of the government’s committees into technology, including the recent Senate select committee on the National Broadband Network.

  • Programming

    • GitHub Hits One Million Hosted Projects

      GitHub, the source code hosting and collaboration service, has hit a major milestone tonight: the site is now hosting one million projects, confirmed Scott Chacon, VP of Research and Development at GitHub. Approximately 60 percent of these projects are full repositories – that is, shared folders with code spread across multiple files – while the remaining 40 percent are “gists”, or short code snippets contained in a single file, like this one, for example.

    • Sourceforge invites corporations to the new forge

      Sourceforge has been rewritten, from the ground up, with improvements across-the-board from the Wiki to issue tracking, from code management to discussion.

      But that’s not all. Sourceforge is making a renewed play for the corporate market, and has its first big win in Adobe, which has moved its open source development to Open@Adobe.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • The Web has never been as exciting!

      In my opinion, combining CSS3, new APIs (including WebGL) and HTML5 is enabling the Web as a development platform to make a huge leap forward. I have worked with the amazing Paul Rouget in order to have a video of his demos in order to share my excitement.

Leftovers

  • Guest Post: Here’s Why Google’s Paywall Will Work (And The Times’ Will Fail)

    The search giant will apparently launch “an integrated payment system” allowing users to buy news content with just “one click”. Newspass would allow publishers to use a single infrastructure for Web, mobile and tablet computers to monetise their content.

  • Re-inventing Publishing for the Digital Age

    Which means that once I – or anyone – has bought a copy of the PDF, it can be freely shared, subject to those conditions. Which means that it *will* be available online, sooner or later (assuming it’s worth reading, and hence sharing), and that all the search engines will find it. So why slow down that process of discoverability by forcing someone to buy one copy? Is it really worth losing all that free marketing and visibility in the intervening days or weeks for the sake of £4.95?

  • Security/Aggression

  • Environment

    • Russian subs dive deep for new energy sources

      Russia has some of the largest energy reserves in the world, but it keeps searching for new sources – even if it means going underwater.

      Two Russian deep-water submersibles have once again taken a dive in Lake Baikal, to study recently found fields of gas hydrates, a possible fuel of the future.

    • Study: Solar power is cheaper than nuclear

      The Holy Grail of the solar industry — reaching grid parity — may no longer be a distant dream. Solar may have already reached that point, at least when compared to nuclear power, according to a new study by two researchers at Duke University.

  • Finance

    • Two Goldman Lawsuits on Abacus Placed on Hold

      A New York judge put two shareholder lawsuits against executives and directors of Goldman Sachs Group Inc on hold until progress is made on 16 other lawsuits related to a controversial debt transaction involving the Wall Street bank.

      The lawsuits, brought in state Supreme Court by Robert Rosinek and Morton Spiegel, accuse Goldman officials, including Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein, of breaching their fiduciary duties by letting the bank enter transactions involving risky collateralized debt obligations tied to subprime mortgages.

    • Goldman Sachs Creates Derivatives Clearing Unit

      Derivatives are private bets between two parties on how the value of assets like crops or measures like interest rates will change in the future. The market is dominated by about 20 large banks worldwide.

    • Goldman Sachs still under a microscope

      A federal commission investigating the causes of the financial crisis has been among the most visible challengers, suggesting it could hire outside accountants to audit the data Goldman keeps on its derivatives businesses.

    • Sorkin: Some Backup for Goldman on A.I.G.

      New documents released show the bank living up to its reputation as the smart set, eliminating much of its its exposure to the giant insurer through a combination of collateral calls and hedges made through other institutions.

    • Banks Charge States Millions in Debt Binge to Fix Subprime Bust

      Bank of America Corp., owner of the most-active subprime lender, Countrywide Financial Corp., earned $2.9 million in interest and fees for a line of credit Arizona used through June to balance a budget undermined by the housing- market collapse.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Wetlands Front Group Funded By Big Oil Wants To Ensure Taxpayers Foot The Bill For BP’s Gulf Destruction

      A group of oil companies including BP, Shell, ExxonMobil, Citgo, Chevron and other polluters are using a front group called “America’s WETLAND Foundation” and a Louisiana women’s group called Women of the Storm to spread the message that U.S. taxpayers should pay for the damage caused by BP to Gulf Coast wetlands, and that the reckless offshore oil industry should continue drilling for the “wholesale sustainability” of the region.

      Using the age-old PR trick of featuring celebrity messengers to attract public attention, America’s Wetland Foundation is spreading a petition accompanied by a video starring Sandra Bullock, Dave Matthews, Lenny Kravitz, Emeril Lagassi, John Goodman, Harry Shearer, Peyton and Eli Manning, Drew Brees and others.

    • ID card astroturf – No2ID beats the truth out of IPS

      A cackling Phil Booth, No2ID National Coordinator, writes to tell us that six months after he first pestered the Identity & Passport Service about its quotes from ID card-toting happy campers in its publicity material, it has confessed – um yes, all but one of those quoted worked for the government.

      “We can confirm that eight of the nine people quoted on the website at the time either worked for the Identity and Passport Service (IPS), the Home Office or another government department or agency”, said IPS in an FOIA response (pdf) yesterday, just a week after Phil requested an IPS internal review of its failure to provide a substantive response to his request dated 3 March.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Four Journalists Kidnapped in Mexico

      Four reporters, including two from Televisa, Mexico’s most powerful television network, have apparently been held since Monday by drug traffickers unhappy with coverage of last week’s arrest of a prison director who allegedly armed prisoners, provided them with cars and then allowed them to leave the penitentiary to commit mass murders.

    • FTC Leaning Toward Do-Not-Track List for Online Ads

      As it prepares a major report with guidelines for protecting consumer privacy online, the Federal Trade Commission is mulling a simple mechanism that would allow users to opt out of behavioral tracking across the Web, the head of the agency told a Senate panel on Tuesday.

    • WikiLeaks and a failure of transparency

      In some cases, such opacity is by mistake. But in WikiLeaks’ case, it is by design. Just two weeks before Afghan War Diary was released, Wired published an enterprising story on WikiLeaks’ finances. The reporter, Kim Zetter, tracked down a vice president of the Berlin-based Wau Holland Foundation, which apparently handles most contributions to WikiLeaks’ contributions. The story provided some idea as to the scale of the WikiLeaks budget — the group needs about $200,000 a year for basic operations — but the vice president offered only a promise of more disclosure next month. And from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange? No comment.

      I understand the need to protect whistleblowers and other sources. But when it comes to the group’s finances, can’t they cut out all the James Bond stuff? I don’t need names and addresses of donors, but can’t we have a little more transparency and accountability?

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Just two Chinese ISPs serve 20% of world broadband users

      If you need a reminder of just how big China is—and just how important the Internet has become there—consider this stat: between them, two Chinese ISPs serve 20 percent of all broadband subscribers in the entire world.

      Telegeography has updated its world Internet service provider database and finds that the sheer scale of China dwarfs just about everyone else. China Telecom is the largest ISP in the world, with 55 million subscibers. Second is China Unicom, with just over 40 million.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • US: Copyright of Sound Recordings of World War I Music

        There is good and bad news. The good news is that since WWI occurred before 1923, sheet music from that period would be in the public domain in the U.S.

        The bad news is that no sound recording made before 1972 has federal copyright protection. They are instead protected by state common law copyrights, and will not enter the public domain until in most cases 1 January 2049, regardless of when they were recorded. (I have a section on sound recording copyrights in the chart at http://copyright.cornell.edu/resources/publicdomain.cfm ). Note that state protection is afforded even to European recordings, most of which enter the public domain in their home country after 50 years.

      • ACTA

        • Jailbreaking Decision Is Temporary Relief

          Second, global trade. US legal norms for technology businesses for patents and copyrights may still be forming (for patents they are still “only” the result of case law), but that hasn’t stopped the US Trade Representative (USTR) and US trade missions globally from treating them as if they were handed down on stone tablets. They have been using conformance with “US norms” as a trading card in their rough games of political poker with various world governments. You know the sort of thing. “Nice export industry you have there for your agricultural produce. It would be a shame if anything happened to it. You can make sure it doesn’t if you legislate to prevent your citizens harming our noble media industries.” Kipling wrote about it eloquently, but people are still paying the USTR-geld.

          Which is probably the intent of the copyright- and patent-dependent companies sponsoring the action anonymously through their trade associations. If they can get foreign governments to make hard rules where they can only persuade their own governments to make soft rules, the battle is all but won for them. They can use “international harmonisation” as the justification to get the draconian rules reinstated. That seems to be the reason ACTA has been given so much endorsement by the USA, as well as why they have been so keen on veiling its proceedings in secrecy. It’s not just USTR either – the equivalent functions in the European Commission seem to be working just as hard against their citizens’ interests.

        • Civil Society Groups Warn EU On ACTA

          An international set of civil society groups today sent a letter to the European Union trade commissioner outlining concerns that the latest, leaked, version of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement under negotiation will introduce “new and unbalanced intellectual property rules” which “would condone overzealous and erroneous enforcement of intellectual property for medicines and thereby pose a danger to public health, while doing little to protect consumers from unsafe products.” O

Clip of the Day

Android 2.2 (Froyo) on the HTC HD2


Links 29/7/2010: GNOME Census, Sales of Android Gear Almost Quadruple

Posted in News Roundup at 2:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Missile defense contractor taps Sabalcore Computing for design deal

    ASI officials said that having real-time access to Sabalcore’s Linux-based network is cost-saving and essential to its work, especially its use of a fluid-dynamics calculation program in designing the aerospike component.

  • Desktop

    • The PC Is Not Dead; Long Live PCs

      Looking at some of the sources of the “PC is dead” mantra, it is usually a new technology that inspires the prediction:

      * Internet in 1994
      * Thin Clients in 1996
      * Smart phone in 2002
      * Virtualization in 2005
      * Cloud in 2007
      * Netbook in 2008
      * Slate in 2010

    • The Dell Dance

      Is Dell a global corporation with the corporate knowledge that GNU/Linux does well in and outside the USA? Does Dell actually know how to sell stuff? Imagine a car dealer with “Keep Out” signs all around the lot. Image a fish monger with huge signs saying “Our fish stink!”. That’s what Dell is doing with Ubuntu and GNU/Linux.

  • Server

    • VMI Enters Into LOI to Sell SaaS Technology to Applied Voice and Speech

      Company officials said that the UCN250 is a highly scalable and reliable Linux and SIP-based SaaS platform that will be integrated intoAVST’s ( News – Alert) unified communications (UC) solution portfolio to accelerate AVST’s ability to address the evolving communications requirements of current and future AVST customers.

    • IBM’s Next-Gen ‘System of Systems’ Mainframe

      This isn’t the first time IBM has delivered a wholly realized hybrid system. In 2006, the company announced the integration of its System i and BladeCenter servers, which allowed hardware, OSs and applications (including Windows) to be commonly managed via the System i platform. That same year, IBM and the Los Alamos Lab announced Roadrunner, a supercomputer utilizing both AMD (NYSE: AMD) Opteron and IBM Cell BE microprocessors, and that became (in 2008) the first system to break the petaflop sustained performance barrier.

  • Events

    • Australian Linux conference issues call for papers

      Organisers of the 11th Australian national Linux conference have invited those who wish to present papers at the January 2011 event to submit their proposals by August 7.

    • Linux Poll: Six Questions to Reveal Biggest Success and Failures

      As the conference focused on all matters Linux, LinuxCon brings attention to the most cutting-edge Linux advancements taking place today and the work being done to take them into the future. LinuxCon is the pinnacle for understanding what is happening with Linux at the developer, IT management and business levels of every enterprise.

      Since LinuxCon debuted in September 2009, a lot has happened in the Linux and open source space. Android is expected to outship iPhone; MeeGo is being built to power a whole new generation of computing devices; HP acquired Palm and its WebOS. And, that’s just in the mobile computing space! Linux is powering the largest cloud providers in the world, and it’s the foundation for most IT managers’ virtualization strategies. Linux is also the underlying technology for nearly every major web-based company – Facebook, Google and more.

  • Google

    • Chrome dev too stable? Try new Chrome Canary

      Google later this year plans to release a browser-based operating system called Chrome OS. Although it runs Linux under the hood, the applications run within the browser, one incarnation of the concept known as cloud computing.

    • OpenXcell Now to Offer Professionals for Android Application Development

      It was not long before that Google introduced Android operating system to work on Linux kernel and then it enhanced itself with Android Inventor that helped it to get programmed easily for small applications. While normal people can only develop small applications like creating tunes, images etc. with the help of Android operating system, therefore OpenXcell is now offering a helping hand to assist people with the creation of complex business applications.

    • Google Makes Custom Web Typography Ridiculously Easy

      Back in May, Google rolled out its Font Directory and the Google Fonts API. The idea was that these tools would make it simpler for designers and devs to embed a wider range of fonts in their sites and applications.

    • Lantronix Furthers Its Commitment to Linux
    • Vision Solutions CEO on Double-Take: ‘Virtualization is exciting’ for us

      Arnold:: We don’t have a Linux product today in the IBM world, and Linux is one of the fastest growing segments. We can take Linux from the Intel base at Double-Take and bring it to our customer base in Power systems. On the other side, we see many companies with Power systems with lots of Intel and this allows us to talk to customers we haven’t spoken to before. For customers that have integrated these technologies in their shops, we can bring them products nobody else has today.”

  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel Summit 2010 planning process begins
    • Graphics Stack

      • AMD Ups The Workstation Ante With A New FirePro Driver

        Whether you are an owner of an ATI FirePro V3800 that retails for just over $100 USD, the proud owner of an ATI FirePro V8800 that goes for over $1,300 USD, or any of the FirePro products in-between, you will want to update your graphics driver when AMD puts out their next stable software update. Back in March AMD put out an amazing FirePro Linux driver that increased the performance of their workstation graphics cards already on the market (and the other Evergreen-based workstation cards that entered the market soon after) by an astonishing amount. Our independent tests of this proprietary Linux driver update found that the performance in some workstation applications had increased by up to 59% by simply installing this updated driver while other OpenGL tests had just improved rather modestly with 20%+ gains. AMD though is preparing to release another driver update for Microsoft Windows and Linux that ups their workstation graphics performance even more! We have run some tests of this new beta driver against their older driver with both their low-end and ultra-high-end FirePro products and have found the improvements again to be astonishing.

      • The Gallium3D R600 Driver Now Has Texture Support
      • Patches to run Wayland on Radeon graphics card
      • ATI releases Catalyst 10.7 drivers
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Next generation OpenGL compositing in 4.6

        In this blog post I want to give an overview on what I am planning and working on for KWin in KDE SC 4.6. The big topic for 4.6 is performance – in 4.5 we introduced the blur effect and our designers want to extend the usage of blur to all windows. This is currently not yet recommendable (yes there are widget styles on kde-look which offer this function, but KWin is not ready for it!), so we have to work on it.

        [...]

        And what next? We still have many things to improve. Especially window rendering has to be changed to cache the geometries (when it makes sense) and the clip regions. The clip regions are one of the reasons why I want to switch to Shaders (other reasons are Nuno’s wishes for effects – if you want to work on awesome effects get in touch with one of us). The API still needs some more cleanup and our compositing stack has to be split into parts for GLX and EGL. Nevertheless I think the API is already in a state where I think of daring to compile KWin effect library this weekend on Maemo to see what breaks (effects would not yet compile).

      • OpenGL 4.1 Spec Finalized

        The Khronos Group announced that finalizing the OpenGL 4.1 specifications had been completed and that its release would be immediate. The new API specification is fully backwards compatible and adds several new features including 64-bit floating-point component shader inputs for higher geometric precision and the ability to query and load binary for a shader program objects.

      • OpenGL 4.1: 3D interface for Mac OS X and Linux
    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME Census

        Today at GUADEC I presented the results (Slides are now on slideshare) of the GNOME Census, a project we have been working on for a while. For as long as I have been involved in GNOME, press, analysts, potential partners and advisory board members have been asking us: How big is GNOME? How many paid developers are there? Who writes all this software, and why?

        [...]

        I see this information being useful for companies interested in using the GNOME platform for their products, companies seeking custom application development, potential large-scale customers of desktop Linux or customers buying high-level support who want to know who employs more module maintainers or committers to the project.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 107

        Summary:
        · First Look: Jolicloud 1.0
        · Announced Distro: Tiny Core Linux 3.0
        · Announced Distro: Linux Mint 9 Xfce RC
        · Announced Distro: ClearOS Enterprise 5.2
        · Announced Distro: eBox Platform 1.5

        [...]

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 13: what you need to know

          Corporate backing and a large supportive community – almost all Linux distributions can boast of at least one half of that.

          Fedora, since its inception in late 2003 as Red Hat’s community distribution, has nurtured around itself a devoted community. It has achieved this after providing, release after release, an innovative and complete distribution that demands attention and respect.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • The Ubuntu Software Management- A little clarification

          One of the greatest strengths of Linux over other OS is the centralized software and update management tools that come built in. This means that whenever there is an update to any of the packages or softwares you have installed, you are sure to not miss it. This alone goes a long way to improve the security of a Linux system.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Exacq Introduces Low-Cost, 8 and 16 Input exacqVision EL-S Hybrid NVR Line

      Using embedded Linux on a solid-state drive ensures that the unit will be available to users in the event of a hard drive failure.

    • Phones/Mobile

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • MeeGo and Intel Atom to power next-gen car stereos

          Windows-based in-car entertainment systems give us the heebie-jeebies — Blue Screen of Death might be rather too literal — so we’re delighted to see that a Linux operating system, backed by Intel Atom chips, could soon get a crack at the automotive action. Genivi, a car-industry alliance including BMW, Intel and Nokia, has chosen the MeeGo Linux OS and — by proxy — Intel Atom CPUs as the basis for its forthcoming In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) system.

        • MeeGo heading for your BMW
        • The Competition: MeeGo [OSCON2010]

          Development of MeeGo, the operating system that’s the result of the marriage of Intel’s Moblin and Nokia’s Maemo platforms, is pushing ahead full steam. Being that its a Linux based open source project, I’ve been able to catch a few presentations and even handle some preproduction hardware and software here at OSCON. It’s been relegated to netbooks so far in its short time on the market, but its set to hit handsets in October of this year. It’s more similar to Android in terms of how it’ll be distributed (and it’ll likely be just as open), but there are similarities to webOS in terms of what developers can do with the platform.

      • Android

        • Sales of Android soar 350% in first three months of 2010

          Sales of Google’s Android-based phones have sky-rocketed in the UK over the past three months according to new figures.

          Research published by German-based GfK Retail and Technology has revealed that Android operated phones now cover a 13 per cent share of the UK’s smartphone contract sales compared with a mere three per cent at the start of the year.

        • Acer launches a high end Android smartphone

          The Acer Stream is destined for demanding users with a bob or two to spare but just misses out on the Froyo release of Google’s Linux based OS, settling for Android 2.1 instead.

    • Tablets

      • $35 Computer Tablet to Feature Solar Design

        Still considered a novelty as it’s still in its first-version infancy, the iPad may have a new competitor on the market. A new Linux operating system-based tablet was introduced in India as one of the “world’s cheapest” innovations.

      • Afterthought: Is a $35 Tablet Even Feasible?

        Other than broad capabilities and vague details about this $35 mystery Indian tablet, little is known about the endeavor. R&D officials have yet to release processing power or memory capacity, leaving many people speculating this is some sort of media stunt to gain press for the advancement of Indian technology or to aid political figures along in the polls.

      • KMart stocks a $150 Android tablet

        Cheap Android tablets are officially starting to show up in the US. While we’re still waiting for higher end devices like the Dell Streak to go on sale, dirt cheap tablets running Google Android have been hitting the streets in China and other Asian countries for the past few months. Some of these cheap tablets are even available in the US thanks to companies that import goods from overseas. But now it looks like you may not even have to resort to ordering from obscure retailers to get your budget Android fix. Because Kmart is selling an Android tablet for $149.99.

      • $149 Android Tablet coming to……K-Mart?
      • iPad gets odd rival in $150 Android tablet at Kmart
      • Tablets

        This second half of 2010 should be quite hot for such devices. The manufacturer, Augen, makes all kinds of consumer gadgets and is not a “partner” of M$ and so in uninhibited by taxes and exclusive dealing with M$. Their retail partners may be uninhibited too. KMART sells products from M$, too, but may not have gotten the message. Interestingly Augen and KMART push Android and not ARM. Perhaps it is the year of Android, too.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Lockheed Martin goes open source, people freak out.

    Wait, what? Open source advocates have, for years, been trying to encourage more code to come out from behind corporate skirts. Where companies can build business models around governing and supporting open source projects, we want them to take the plunge. If more code is open, that makes everyone smarter. And that, my friends, is exactly what Lockheed Martin did today. Someone who probably never contributed code in their lives just gave the community a project they’ve been working on for months, or even years. I think that’s amazing. In return, this brave developer gets painted as a nefarious secret agent out to steal our thoughts and bug our laptops. Or whatever.

  • Databases

    • Oracle shuts down open source test servers

      Oracle has shut down servers Sun Microsystems was contributing to the build farm for open source database software, PostgreSQL, forcing enthusiasts to scramble to find new hosts to test updates to their software on the Solaris operating system.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Proprietary software puts pacemaker users at risk

      “Our intention is to demonstrate that auditable medical device software would mitigate the privacy and security risks in IMDs by reducing the occurrence of source code bugs and the potential for malicious device hacking in the long-term,” the report states. “Although there is no way to eliminate software vulnerabilities entirely, this paper demonstrates that free and open source medical device software would improve the safety of patients with IMDs, increase the accountability of device manufacturers, and address some of the legal and regulatory constraints of the current regime.”

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Creating online community the open source way

      There really are no right and wrong answers to the open source way, but we’re trying lots of things. It’s important to remember that the principles of the open source way should be used as guidelines when making decisions. But you should always be as transparent as possible with your community.

Leftovers

  • Finance

    • Goldman reveals where bailout cash went

      Goldman Sachs sent $4.3 billion in federal tax money to 32 entities, including many overseas banks, hedge funds and pensions, according to information made public Friday night.

      Goldman Sachs disclosed the list of companies to the Senate Finance Committee after a threat of subpoena from Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Ia.

      Asked the significance of the list, Grassley said, “I hope it’s as simple as taxpayers deserve to know what happened to their money.”

      He added, “We thought originally we were bailing out AIG. Then later on … we learned that the money flowed through AIG to a few big banks, and now we know that the money went from these few big banks to dozens of financial institutions all around the world.”

      Grassley said he was reserving judgment on the appropriateness of U.S. taxpayer money ending up overseas until he learns more about the 32 entities.

Clip of the Day

GPLv3


07.28.10

Links 28/7/2010: Linux Mint 9 KDE is Out, GNOME 3 Delayed

Posted in News Roundup at 3:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The Linux Box Achieves ISO 9001:2008 Certification

    The Linux Box, a software development company specializing in open source technology, has earned ISO 9001:2008 certification.

  • Linux Format wallpapers
  • ["Get a cat"]
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • VLC backend for Phonon 0.2.0

        The VLC backend for Phonon is released!

      • BlueDevil, the new KDE bluetooth stack is here

        BlueDevil is a set of components, which integrates bluetooth within the KDE SC, for example adding a system preference module (KCM), or allowing to browse the files in a cell phone from you favorite file browser.

      • Blue smile
      • Linux Music Players: Amarok vs. Clementine

        Open Amarok and Clementine side by side, and the philosophical differences become apparent immediately.

        The difference goes far beyond the fact that Clementine uses two panes — one for music sources and one for playlists — while Amarok adds a third pane for context information. The number of panes does indicate a difference in assumptions about what users have want, but it is the least of the differences.

        Instead, the largest difference is that Amarok’s design philosophy is influenced by the current interface design theories, while Clementine’s are more oriented towards stone geeks, including every detail imaginable.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Linux Storm: Stormy Peters

        Stormy: I first got involved with open source software around 1999 or 2000. I was managing the HPUX desktop and we decided that having GNOME, a free and open source desktop, on HPUX would be advantageous for users. It was a platform with a vibrant community and new features that customers wanted. The technical part turned out to be the easy part. The harder part was explaining what open source software was and how HP’s intellectual property would not be compromised, and how free and open source software was changing the software business. I ended up with a new job teaching people about open source software and creating the Open Source Program Office.

      • Terminator for GNOME lets users split terminal windows

        Although a command line isn’t a necessity anymore in modern desktop Linux distributions, there are many situations where it’s still the most efficient way to perform and automate tasks. I often spawn terminal windows in clusters on my desktop while I’m working so that I can monitor and switch between a number of simultaneous operations. A large number of terminal windows can be frustrating to manage, however, and can look cluttered on a desktop.

      • GNOME 3 not ready yet, release pushed back to 2011

        The developers behind the GNOME project have gathered in the Netherlands this week for the annual GUADEC conference. During a meeting that took place at the event, the GNOME release team made the difficult decision to delay the launch of GNOME 3, the next major version of the popular open source desktop environment.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • PClinuxOS: Radically Simple

        At the end the hardware requirements of each distribution depend much on its components (Desktop Envorinment, Window Manager,…) which are in many distro’s the same, what makes PClinuxOS different from the rest is that PClinuxOS is “Radically Simple”. I have not found anyother distribution which is simpler.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Ships JBoss Enterprise Portal Platform 5.0

        Red Hat Inc. has launched its next-generation portal solution, JBoss Enterprise Portal Platform 5.0, offering organizations a flexible, open source alternative for building, deploying, integrating and managing on-premise and cloud-based applications.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android vs iPhone vs Palm Pre vs Maemo: which is best?

        Mobile Linux is an unprecedented success. In a market that has been dominated for years by the likes of Nokia and Microsoft, it’s a credit to our favourite operating system that it has been able to quickly adapt and slot into the mobile ecosystem over a such a short period of time. It’s also amazing that our open source operating system is rivalling Apple without the massive research and development budgets, without the singular vision and without curtailing users’ freedom, albeit with help from the likes of Google.

        What’s most impressive is that Linux-based mobile phones can beat the iPhone without resorting to free software idealism. In many cases, they’re just better. Simple functions like modifying your home screen, or replacing your music and photo browsers, are almost impossible on the iPhone, and ridiculously easy on all three of the platforms we’ve looked at. Their APIs aren’t controlled by a single developer, they don’t force draconian limitations on their use, and you’re free to create and install any kind of application you choose, regardless of the moral judgements of the developers behind the platform.

        But the best reason is that they all run Linux, and while you might not be able to get into the operating system as much as you can on your desktop, you can’t completely escape from it either. Many Linux tools and applications have been ported to these devices, and much of the third-party software you find in their app stores has been derived from open source projects. This means you’re probably already familiar with them, and it also means that there’s a great sense of longevity in these phones. The hardware may change, and so too may the operating system and APIs, but the free software bedrock upon which they’re built won’t change, and can only go from strength to strength.

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • Nokia N900, the ultimate smartphone?

          I bought a Nokia N900 a litte more than a month ago, after having wanted one ever since when Nokia first released word that it was coming out with this new Linux based smartphone.

          [...]

          The included software is pretty good, but if you are not going to install 3rd party software then this really is not the phone for you.

      • Android

        • Why Android won

          The OS wars in the mobile space appear to be over and there are two left standing, the iPhone and Android, a Linux distro.

Free Software/Open Source

  • MagicMail Adds Collaboration, Mobility from Open-Xchange

    LinuxMagic will incorporate the Open-Xchange software in its MagicMail offering that is designed as a turn-key solution for ISPs and telcos with 2,000 to 200,000 users. MagicMail comes with integrated anti-spam protection and support from LinuxMagic, one of the foremost experts in e-mail and spam security, as well as a stable redundant infrastructure built on Linux technology.

  • Web Browsers

  • Project Releases

    • GNU make 3.82 released!

      The next stable version of GNU make, version 3.81, has been released and is available for download from http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/make/.

  • Openness/Sharing

Leftovers

  • Genome Nobelist: The hard numbers of population growth

    The topic of population is moving up the agenda again. It was very much discussed 40 years ago. Then, with the green revolution, people felt things would be fine because the world population was increasing and everyone wasn’t starving to death as predicted. But now we are facing a whole series of resource limitations. We are also facing the results of our own emissions – it is only in the last 10 years that we’ve had the hard evidence to say that rising levels of carbon dioxide really are leading to rising levels of global warming.

  • Leaked report on Land grabs

    Today’s Financial Times has a preview of a much-awaited World Bank report on land grabs. The Bank has, for months, been promising the arrival of a report that makes a cast iron case for why allowing rich foreign investors to buy land in poor countries is win-win-win-win. The release date for the report keeps slipping because it appears that even the Bank is struggling to massage the facts to fit its case. From a leaked version of the report:

    “Investor interest is focused on countries with weak land governance,” the draft said. Although deals promised jobs and infrastructure, “investors failed to follow through on their investments plans, in some cases after inflicting serious damage on the local resource base”.

  • Environment

    • Billionaire polluter David Koch: Global warming is good for you

      This is the big pull-out quote from a profile in New York Magazine of the billionaire polluter behind the Tea Parties, whose family outspends Exxon Mobil on climate and clean energy disinformation.

      NY Mag gives Koch free rein to spread that disinformation, with not a single quote by any scientist disputing it. Of course, if conservatives continue to listen to Koch and the groups funded by him, like the Cato Institute and Heritage Foundation — and block all efforts to get off our current emissions path — then we are headed towards very high concentrations of carbon dioxide, which will dramatically reduce the land available to produce food, even as we add another 3 billion mouths to feed (see “Intro to global warming impacts: Hell and High Water“).

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Why a Uyghur Journalist Was Sentenced 15 Years

      On July 23rd, 2010, a Uyghur journalist, activist and blogger named Gheyret Niyaz (a.k.a. Heyrat Niyaz, 海莱特·尼亚孜) was sentenced to 15 years in prison. His crime, according to many reports, was “endangering state security” by conducting an interview with a Hong Kong newspaper shortly after the Urumqi riots of 2009. He played no role in the actual riots.

    • Every Small Business Needs A Privacy Policy

      Online privacy policies have taken center stage as social networking sites and search engines have recently come under fire for sharing user information.

    • Use of parking enforcement cameras suspended in west of borough

      Complaints from drivers prompted Hounslow Council to switch off CCTV cameras in some part of the borough.

    • Blackburn town centre CCTV cameras ‘faulty’

      CRUCIAL evidence of Blackburn town centre incidents could be being missed because of faulty CCTV cameras.

    • Your mobile app is spying on you

      The odds are pretty good that if you’re a big consumer of mobile apps, the private information on your phone has been collected and sent somewhere without your knowledge.

      That’s the finding of the App Genome Project mammoth study by Lookout, a mobile security company that has scrutinized more than 300,000 apps on both the iPhone and Android mobile phone platforms.

    • 100 million Facebook pages leaked on torrent site

      A directory containing personal details about more than 100 million Facebook users has surfaced on an Internet file-sharing site.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • ASCAP Boss Refuses To Debate Lessig; Claims That It’s An Attempt To ‘Silence’ ASCAP

        We were among those who were amazed at ASCAP’s misguided and factually incorrect attack on EFF, Public Knowledge and Creative Commons. ASCAP’s Paul Williams falsely made the claim that those three groups were against copyright and against compensating content creators. Nothing could be further from the truth. All three groups responded politely to the bizarre and factually incorrect attack, and many ASCAP members who support these groups and use Creative Commons licenses expressed their displeasure with ASCAP for such a blatantly misleading letter. Larry Lessig responded with a blog post, again pointing out the blatant errors in ASCAP’s attack, noting that these groups actually look to help content creators by providing them tools to better exercise their rights. In that blog post, Lessig also challenged Williams to a debate so they could iron out their differences and ASCAP could (hopefully) retract their false attacks on these groups, and focus on helping artists again.

      • Digital Economy (UK)

        • Digital Economy Act “not fine” – great understatements of our time…

          One of the consequences of this act is that internet service providers (ISPs) will be require to keep a dossier on individuals suspected of illegal file-sharing. Individuals will be identified via an IP address associated with them (an ID assigned to equipment connect to the internet).

        • DE Act: could the UK Parliament revisit it?

          The Digital Economy Act, and the issues raised by it, will be addressed by a new Committee of the UK Parliament. At its first meeting yesterday, it was rights-holders v citizens. But where were the telcos?

Clip of the Day

Dell Streak


Links 28/7/2010: OpenBTS Debuts

Posted in News Roundup at 9:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Review: Running Linux on the HP Envy 14

      After two weeks I am still very happy with my purchase. All in all is the HP Envy 14 a good choice for Linux users. Compared to my DELL XPS M2010, the important components all work out of the box or with moderate work. I really can recommend the machine to everyone, even non-Linux users. HP managed to give PC enthusiasts a real Mac alternative.

  • Server

    • Windows Server 2003, Bye-Bye

      Windows Server 2003 is the server realm equivalent of Windows XP. As is the case with XP, it’s hard to let go. But, what will you choose to replace it? Windows Server 2008 has promise. What about Linux? And, if you choose Linux, which distribution will work best for you? Have you considered a commercial Unix to cure what ails your data center? Whichever one you choose, you’d better hurry. Windows Server 2003, as much as you love it, is beyond Microsoft’s end of life for mainstream support. That date passed you by on July 13, 2010. (Extended support, however, will be available through March 2015.)

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Open-source, software-based GSM cellphone network

        It’s called the OpenBTS Project, and pundits are claiming it could reduce user costs to $2/month in the developing world.

        OpenBTS is an open-source Unix application that uses the Universal Software Radio Peripheral (USRP) to present a GSM air interface (“Um”) to standard GSM handset and uses the Asterisk® software PBX to connect calls.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • OpenSQL Camp Europe: Time to cast your votes!

      During my absence, Giuseppe and Felix kicked off the Call for Papers for this year’s European OpenSQL Camp, which will again take place in parallel to FrOSCon in St. Augustin (Germany) on August 21st/22nd. We’ve received a number of great submissions, now we would like to ask our community about your favourites!

Leftovers

  • Anti-Corruption Law in Effect This Year

    Law 9840 prevents candidates who have been convicted of any one of a range of crimes, including electoral fraud, from running for public office. The law passed unanimously through the senate on May 19th, and was ratified by President Luis Inacio da Silva. Last week the law passed a final hurdle when by a vote of six to one the Federal Election Board, which is actually a court composed of judges that has enforceable power, upheld the applicability of the law to October’s elections. Had the law failed to make it past this panel, the act could have been significantly derailed, opening the door to further challenges from opposing parties.

    Electoral fraud has persistently dogged Brazilian politics over the years, and public office has become something of a haven for those with criminal records (of which there are many), largely because the Brazilian constitution makes it extremely difficult to prosecute accused officials. Though there are frequent Parliamentary Investigation Commissions convened to look into infractions by officials, Brazilians remain cynical as to their efficacy, since prosecution, or even removal from office, rarely results.

  • Security/Aggression

  • Environment

  • Finance

    • Wall Street Wanders After Durable Goods Report

      Shares on Wall Street wandered early Wednesday after another disappointing economic report.

      The Commerce Department’s durable goods orders report for June indicates manufacturing growth is slowing. Orders for goods expected to last at least three years fell 1 percent last month. That was well short of the 1 percent gain that economists had forecast.

      Economic reports have generally shown that the recovery is slowing and growth will remain weak.

    • Why Congress should let the Bush tax cuts expire

      You know what happened next. The refund came. The supposed surplus evaporated. The Social Security surplus was spent. Instead of being paid down, the $3.3 trillion national debt ballooned to $9 trillion.

    • On tax fight, Obama can’t afford to lose

      If Obama fails to alter the political dynamic and finally slay the anti-tax dragon, it’s game over for his economic agenda.

    • In Study, 2 Economists Say Intervention Helped Avert a 2nd Depression

      The paper, by Alan S. Blinder, a Princeton professor and former vice chairman of the Fed, and Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, represents a first stab at comprehensively estimating the effects of the economic policy responses of the last few years.

      [...]

      Told about the findings, another leading economist was unconvinced.

      “I’m very surprised that they find these big impacts,” said John B. Taylor, a Stanford professor and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. “It doesn’t correspond at all to my empirical work.”

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Telstra cops $18m fine for exchange block

      Telstra has been ordered to pay $18.55 million to the Commonwealth for breaching the Trade Practices Act and its carrier licence conditions by locking broadband competitors out of its telephone exchanges.

      In the Federal Court in Melbourne this morning Justice John Middleton found against the telecommunications giant, saying it contravened the act and its licence on 27 occasions between July 2006 and April 2008.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Pirate Party Offers Servers and Hosting To Wikileaks

        This week Wikileaks released more than 90,000 government documents related to the war in Afghanistan. When added to the perceived damage caused by its earlier leaking of the ‘Collateral Murder’ video, Wikileaks is now undoubtedly a serious target for U.S. authorities. After becoming The Pirate Bay’s ISP, The Pirate Party now says that if needed, they will supply servers and hosting to Wikileaks.

      • Music Publishers Demanding 360 Rights From Artists

        Music publishers were once thought of as safe havens for artists. They nurtured songwriters, introduced them to the industry and sought ways to broaden their income with covers and placements. Now, it appears that they want more – a lot more – than a piece of the act’s publishing in exchange for their efforts.

Clip of the Day

Trisquel GNU/Linux 2.1(Pro) – Instalar Galego


Links 28/7/2010: eBox Platform 1.5, $150 Linux-powered Tablet

Posted in News Roundup at 5:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Server

    • Linux-based hybrid video server supports 40 channels

      Exacq Technologies is shipping a line of Linux-based hybrid video surveillance appliances with Intel Atom processors. The ExacqVision EL-S systems offer eight or 16 analog inputs and up to 24 IP inputs, allowing creation of systems with up to 40 channels overall, says the company.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • AMD Catalyst 10.7 For Linux Has Eyefinity Support

        As was widely anticipated, today AMD is rolling out their Catalyst 10.7 graphics driver for Windows and Linux platforms. On the Windows side, their Catalyst 10.7 rolls out support for OpenGL ES 2.0. ATI Radeon HD 2000/3000/4000/5000 series graphics cards (along with the FirePro hardware) running Windows can now take advantage of OpenGL ES 2.0 support with HTML5 for in-browser graphics rendering. However, that support hasn’t yet made its way to the Catalyst Linux driver, but there are other changes packed away in this month’s update.

      • Kristian Shows Off GTK+ 3.0 On Wayland

        Earlier this month the Wayland TODO list was updated — a month after it received some summer love — and now we some new information from the founder of the Wayland Display Server, Kristian Høgsberg.

      • Latest ATI Video Driver Has Support for Ubuntu 10.04

        Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) proudly announced a few minutes ago, July 26th, another improved version of its ATI Catalyst Linux display driver, available for both x86 and x86_64 architectures. ATI Catalyst 10.7 introduces final and stable support for the Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Lucid Lynx) operating system, early support for the newly released openSUSE 11.3 distribution, and official support for the ATI Eyefinity technology.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Forking KDE 3: Trinity KDE’s Timothy Pearson

        Pearson tried other desktops, “but nothing really satisfied my needs. This left me with one choice: to maintain KDE 3.5.” That, in turn, forced Pearson into crash courses in assembling Debian packages and C++ applications development with the help of others in the Kubuntu community. Over the past two years, he has been maintaining KDE 3.5, and adding new features to the code base.

      • Exporting and publishing

        It is fair to say that digiKam is a clear winner in this respect. Aperture exports to far few services, but does so in a very nice way. Aperture keeps track of what you have exported as long as you export it to one of the services mentioned before. Think about it: will you really never log in to your Flickr account? Even if you are managing plenty of albums? And are you never willing to change anything straight there? I doubt it and I rate the way Aperture manages your export as nice to have! Therefore, digiKam is the clear winner here: you are free to choose whatever service you like and digiKam will manage your exports without problems!

      • Reviewed: KOffice 2.2

        This version of KOffice is much improved, but whether this is enough now, with the growth of online office options, is debatable. KDE’s social strategy means that in the future, adding cloud options – whether that’s working with Google Docs, MS Live Office or whatever Facebook comes up with – shouldn’t be too problematic. With the input of Nokia, which is now supporting the project as part of its mobile strategy, the developers seem to be intent on consolidating what’s available rather than adding superfluous fluff and online storage is likely to be a big part of that.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • eBox Platform 1.5 Is Based on Ubuntu 10.04

        eBox Platform 1.5 has been released. The latest version makes the switch to Ubuntu 10.04 and comes with several new features and components. Despite not being labeled as such, eBox Platform 1.5 is a beta of sorts and is only intended for testing purposes. Eventually, it will become eBox Platform 2.0, once all of the bugs have been squashed. Otherwise, all of the planned features have been implemented and there will be no additions moving forward.

      • What? Already? Yep, it’s Kiara 15!
    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu, the Cloud and the Future — Neil Levine

          After the cloud summit last week at OSCON, I sat down with Neil Levine of Canonical to see what was in store for Ubuntu cloud-wise (Canonical is a partner of ours in our cloud ISV program). Neil is the VP of Canonical’s corporate services division which handles their cloud and server products.

        • Ubuntu’s Advantages Over Windows and Mac

          Yet Ubuntu, provides a different approach one where there’s one comprehensive software updating system. Ubuntu has a centralized repository of applications system. The only third-party applications that slide into the main repository are the ones that comply and pass the tests given by Canonical, the company that produces Ubuntu. If they pass and prove to work with the OS, they are in. This allows Ubuntu’s main repository to always have the very latest version of Google or Opera, for example. So the one it does have will usually install easily, work smoothly, and remain updated automatically.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Mobile Tools: Android Vs. iPhone for Small Business

          Choosing a good mobile smartphone is crucial for many small businesses. The right smartphone can make all the difference between being productive on the road and being ineffective away from the office. Small business owners looking to choose a mobile smartphone for themselves, or their workers, should think strongly about passing up the iPhone for an Android.

        • Would open source have prevented Apple bruising?

          It does appear the iPhone4 may have gone out the door too fast and without the usual carrier testing, and this may be evidence of the pressures Apple is feeling regarding speed of development given Android’s traction in applications and market share.

    • Tablets

      • In Search Of… Android Tablets

        There’s also the issue of key shortages in important component parts — 10″, 7″ and 5″ LCD and OLED touchscreen displays produced by the major Korean, Chinese and Japanese manufacturers are all being eaten up. And Apple is apparently one of the biggest consumers of the existing pipeline. If the demand for iPad screens is becoming difficult to meet, then surely Android Tablets from the major consumer electronics OEMs are going to have manufacturing procurement issues as well.

      • Kmart touts $150 Android tablet

        Kmart has begun touting a seven-inch “Gentouch78″ Android 2.1 tablet for $150, as well as a Linux-based seven-inch color e-reader called “TheBook eReader,” both from Augen. Meanwhile, TheStreet quotes analyst Ashok Kumar as saying Motorola will release a 10-inch tablet this November running Android 3.0.

      • Seven-inch Android 2.1 tablet targets Indian market

        Indian retailer Infibeam.com is readying two seven-inch tablet computers to be sold in India, one running Android 2.1, and one running Windows CE 6.0. Both known as the “Phi,” the devices have different CPUs and dimensions, but both offer 800 x 480 pixel resistive touchscreens and up to five hours of battery life, the company says.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Deacon: Musings on Starting an Open-Source Project

    I’ve been using open-source software since the late-nineties – I can still remember the intrigued excitement I felt when my friend Seth first told me about a free system called “Linux”, and showed me the LRP box humming along in his attic. In April, nearly two college degrees, countless thousands of lines of code, and over a decade later, I felt that same excitement when I decided to launch my own open-source project. “Deacon” (short for Droid+Beacon) was on its way to becoming a library for Android developers who wished to add push-notification capability to their Android applications. The Deacon library would avoid requiring the use of any third-party server for push delivery, affording complete autonomy for app developers – and embodying the spirit of freedom and choice that the Android platform represents.

  • Sony Pictures Imageworks: SIGGRAPH 2010

    Imageworks adds to its Open Source initiative, announced at Siggraph09, with the release of its sixth program, OpenColorIO, which provides a framework for sharing color transformations across computer graphics workflows. Imageworks has also scheduled a press conference with Industrial Light & Magic on Tuesday morning to announce another important Open Source development.

  • Lockheed Martin Launches Eureka Streams™ Open Source Project for Enterprise Social Networking
  • Will Adobe See the Light (of Day)?

    The content management company Day Software may not be the world’s most famous outfit making money from open source – perhaps a function of the fact that it is located in Basel, hardly known as a hotbed of hackers – but it’s certainly an important one, particularly in the Apache part of the open source ecosystem.

    That’s partly because Day’s Chief Scientist, Roy Fielding, was co-founder of the Apache Software Foundation, author of the Apache Software licence, and creator of the Apache web server.

    [...]

    Two things concern me here. The first is the emphasis on integrating proprietary technologies like AIR and Flash with Day’s products. The second, more worrying, is the total absence of any mention of Day’s open source work. Does this mean that Adobe is taking over Day in order to turn its products into purely proprietary offerings? Will it simply abandon Day’s work in supporting Apache projects?

  • SaaS

    • Apache Hadoop project gains momentum

      Hadoop is a top-level Apache project that provides a Java software framework for storing, managing, processing and analysing the massive datasets produced by enterprise web and cloud computing applications.

  • Databases

  • Business

    • One Year and 120,000 Downloads Later: Kaltura Launches Version 2.0 of Its On-Prem Community Edition Open Source Video Platform
    • Semi-Open Source

      • What you can do to help get rid of open core

        As a general rule, it is important to realize that the managers who run open core companies don’t work in the same universe as the average open source blogger (like myself) does. For instance, that SugarCRM get’s criticism for being closed source on Slashdot is of course helpful, but let’s face it: has anyone ever changed their business strategy based on some rants on Slashdot? Ok, so MySQL actually had to backtrack on its plans to further close source backup modules, because Sun (in its desperation, more than anything else) was sensitive to such criticism, but MySQL’s managers themselves would not have cared, they were used to being bashed by a small group of PostgreSQL fanboys anyway each time MySQL was mentioned on the site.

        And that’s what you have to remember when talking about open core. The business managers practicing open core will not care to educate themselves about values of the open source community, Open Source Definition, Building a vibrant community or any of the things we in the open source community have learned to value. To them, such arguments are just one word against another, indistinguishable from the teenager who has to mention “PostgreSQL” as a reflex every time someone mentions “MySQL”. Who’s to say what’s right or wrong, there are so many opinions…?

      • OpenGamma and Open Core Components
      • Open Core, Natural Feature Divisions, and OpenGamma
      • The basis of OSS business models: property and efficiency

        There are two possible sources for the value: a property (something that can be transferred) and efficiency (something that is inherent in what the company do, and how they do it). With Open Source, usually “property” is non-exclusive (with the exception of Open Core, where part of the code is not open at all). Other examples of property are trademarks, patents, licenses… anything that may be transferred to another entity through a contract or legal transaction.

      • Open Source Business Models (for Compiere)

        The basic question: How do you want to make money?

        After open sourcing your product, your income options are reduced. Here are the usual options:
        Service based

        * Consulting
        * Support, Maintanance
        * Hosting

        Product based

        * Product add-on / extensions
        * Sponsored develipment
        * Legal (commercial license, hold harmless agreement)

  • Licensing

    • The issue of license proliferation »

      When I was on the ICANN board, we were dealing with the issue of Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs), an initiative to allow non-latin characters in domain names. Technically, it was difficult and even more difficult was the consensus process to decide exactly how to do it. Many communities like the Chinese and Arabic regions were anxious to get started and were getting very frustrated with the ICANN process around IDNs. At times, it seemed like the Arab Internet and the Chinese Internet were ready to either fork away and make their own Internet to solve the problem or were ready to introduce local technical “hacks” to deal with the issue which would have broken many applications that depended the standard behavior of the Domain Name System.

      [...]

      Copy-left licenses such as the Free Software Foundation’s GNU Public License require derivative works be licensed under the same license. This feature – and to many coders this is a feature, not a bug – however, makes it challenging to combine code from projects with different licenses because of the requirement on how derivatives must be licensed. These islands of code looked a lot like a forked Internet, existing IM networks and email before the Internet connected them together.

    • Lawsuit Averted As WordPress and Thesis Settle Differences Over Themes And The GPL

      Free (libre) and open source software is one of the best examples of an alternative to restrictive copyright, but even within these communities there can be heated debates about licensing. The WordPress community just witnessed such a debate between the founder of WordPress, Matt Mullenweg, and the developer of a popular premium WordPress theme, Chris Pearson, over whether or not themes are subject to the GPL (WordPress’ license). The GPL applies to derivative works of a program—requiring that they, too, must be licensed freely—but Pearson maintained quite publicly that he wasn’t subject to it and could use a proprietary license for his theme. This caused tension between him and Mullenweg, until last week, when Pearson gave in and switched to a split GPL license.

      [...]

      This kind of disagreement also highlights the fact that free software licenses (like the GPL) and the free culture licenses they’ve inspired (like some of those offered by Creative Commons) are ultimately hacks on a restrictive copyright system; they’re merely tactics to reverse the negative effects of overly restrictive copyright, but not at all the ideal scenario. For example, we’ve seen concerns over how Creative Commons licenses act as a contractual layer on top of copyright, and non-commercial restrictions can also be a source of tension. Sometimes these disputes help a community to better develop its position on copyright and licensing, but other times, they’re a sign that these licenses are still just a hack on a less than ideal system.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • PP4_0.1: Repositories for Scientific Data

        I shall be blunt. The only place where Scientific Data should be stored is in domain-specific repositories.

      • Court secrecy: The courts are open but justice is a closed book

        The courts’ refusal to allow people to tape-record benefit a few private companies whom the court approves in cosy deals. These people have exclusive right to tape record or listen to official recordings. The cost to the individual of hiring them is about £150– 250 per hour of typing and even before the transcription process begins, you must sign a form stating you will pay whatever amount the company decides. You could be out tens of thousand of pounds and there’s no way to challenge the bill as only the company is allowed access to the raw tapes.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Immigration pushes EU population above 500 million

    Overall, population increased in 19 EU countries and declined in eight, with the highest rates of growth in Luxembourg, Sweden, Slovenia and Belgium. Lithuania, Latvia and Bulgaria saw the largest overall reductions in population.

  • Science

    • Kepler Scientist: ‘Galaxy is Rich in Earth-Like Planets’

      In a recent presentation, Kepler co-investigator Dimitar Sasselov preempted the official announcement that the exoplanet-hunting Kepler Space Telescope has discovered about 140 candidate worlds orbiting other stars that are “like Earth.”

    • If the Earth Stood Still

      The following is not a futuristic scenario. It is not science fiction. It is a demonstration of the capabilities of GIS to model the results of an extremely unlikely, yet intellectually fascinating query: What would happen if the earth stopped spinning? ArcGIS was used to perform complex raster analysis and volumetric computations and generate maps that visualize these results.

    • The Titanic in 3-D

      A team of scientists will launch an expedition to the Titanic next month to assess the deteriorating condition of the world’s most famous shipwreck and create a detailed three-dimensional map that will “virtually raise the Titanic” for the public.

    • Panasonic launches 3D camcorder for budding James Camerons

      Not enough 3D content available on your fancy new 3D TV? Then make your own. Panasonic has become the first major manufacturer to launch a consumer videocamera that can record in 3D.

  • Security/Aggression

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Chatroulette collecting IP addresses, screenshots

      The founder of online video chat-room sensation ‘Chatroulette’ has revealed the company has been storing the IP addresses and even taking screenshots of users engaged in inappropriate conduct whilst connected to the service.

    • Privacy Lawsuit Targets Net Giants Over ‘Zombie’ Cookies

      A wide swath of the net’s top websites, including MTV, ESPN, MySpace, Hulu, ABC, NBC and Scribd, were sued in federal court Friday on the grounds they violated federal computer intrusion law by secretly using storage in Adobe’s Flash player to re-create cookies deleted by users.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Are Investment Ticker Symbols Covered By Trademark Law?

      Here’s an interesting trademark law dispute that hits on something I never would have considered before: can there be trademark protection in a ticker symbol? My first reaction, honestly, was that the whole concept is silly. A ticker symbol is unique, and anyone buying a particular product should simply know what they’re investing in, and that includes entering the correct ticker.

    • Copyrights

      • For An Industry Being Destroyed By ‘File Sharing,’ Film Industry Keeps Reporting Record Numbers

        The movie industry keeps sending very, very mixed messages. It keeps insisting that its business is being decimated by file sharing, but then keeps putting out reports bragging how well it’s doing. Reader ethorad points us to a page put up by the UK Film Council about the movie business in the UK, where it makes a pretty compelling case that the movie business is thriving, despite all the reports of doom and gloom. Some key highlights:

        * The core UK film industry has grown 50% over the last 10 years
        * UK box office takings at record levels, with growth of over 60% over 10 years
        * They have had a 500% return on their investments in film

      • So What DMCA Exemption Requests Got Rejected?

        Many of the rejections were basically over situations where the Copyright Office said there was no real evidence of an actual problem, so nothing to worry about. Still, just the fact that many of these situations had to be proposed and were rejected shows how ridiculous copyright law is today. The fact that we have to go begging to the Copyright Office every three years for simple exemptions like this, which can (and often are) rejected, is not how modern society should work. Technology is changing how people can and do interact with content. This whole process (even the fact that it only happens every three years) has the whole thing backwards. We shouldn’t have to ask for permission to use technology to do what it allows.

      • Digital Economy (UK)

Clip of the Day

openBSD 4.6 Recording


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