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Links 4/12/2011: GNOME 3.4 and Torvalds, More GNU/Linux Games

Posted in News Roundup at 6:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

[I’m on vacation for a week starting now]

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Blender is amazing!
  • Apache: Old, out of touch, but worth it…

    The Apache Software Foundation has come under withering attacks lately, with accusations of its politics and bureaucracy getting in the way of its ability to foster open-source software.

    The common rallying cry of the Apache attackers is GitHub, a source-control system that has almost blossomed overnight into the industry’s top open-source code repository. But while GitHub clearly does offer a superior code-hosting alternative to Apache and other foundations in many respects, it is deficient in one of the most important ways: branding.

  • Lightspark Open Flash Now Works On Windows

    There’s a new release of the open-source Lightspark software for handling Adobe SWF/Flash support on the Linux desktop. New to Lightspark 0.5.3 among other changes is a working Microsoft Windows port.

  • Netflix opens “portal” for its open source projects
  • Events

    • Thoughts on conferences

      Over the last four years or so, I have attended numerous conferences in many different locations. It has been, really without any exceptions, an incredible experience. Conferences are one of the main ways that our communities come together and meet face-to-face—something that’s important to counterbalance the standard email and IRC development environment.

      In that time, I have also seen many different ways to organize, schedule, and produce those conferences, and, as is the case with free software projects, there are bits and pieces that conferences can learn from each other. What follows is my—fairly opinionated obviously—distillation of what works well and less well, which will hopefully be useful as new conferences spring up, or as existing ones plan for next year.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Why Hasn’t Google Put ChromeOS Out to Pasture?

        Google has been on a killing spree the last few months, whacking projects that are non-essential to the company strategy or that haven’t caught on. Even though this has angered some users, Google is still stubbornly clinging to one of its biggest dogs to date: ChromeOS and the Chromebooks.

  • SaaS

  • Databases

    • NoSQL hopeful cozies up to Hadoop data-muncher

      NoSQL data store CouchDB has become Hadoop’s latest convert with delivery of a connector tying together the two big-data architectures.

      CouchDB user Couchbase has announced a certified Couchbase Hadoop Connector, developed with Hadoop shop Cloudera.

      The connector potentially simplifies movement of data between the Couchbase Server, which Couchbase says is “powered” by CouchDB, and the Cloudera Distribution including Hadoop (CDH). Couchbase uses capabilities of CouchDB such as mobile and sync. Both CouchDB and Hadoop, meanwhile, are Apache Software Foundation (ASF) projects.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • TDF Celebrates 100 Extensions

      Little over one month ago The Document Foundation announced their new online extension repository. At that time it had maybe a couple of dozen total extensions and templates, but now the number totals over 100.

      A short note from Florian Effenberger expressed the projects pride and gratitude towards those who have been contributing. OpenOffice.org had a wide selection and many articles were devoted to the bounty. Today, LibreOffice is well on its way to closing the gap.

      The extension site is easy to use because one can sort and search through the extensions. You can sort by LibreOffice version, or one of several criteria such as Highest Rated, Most Downloaded, or Newest. Extensions can also be filtered by category such as Language Tools or Writer-Extensions. And it doesn’t require Javascript to function.

  • Project Releases

    • Genode 11.11 Released With Virtualization Options

      Genode, the interesting research (non-Linux) operating system developed on a unique framework architecture, recently experienced the release of Genode OS 11.11. This operating system, which brought Gallium3D support last year, now has a variety of virtualization modules available.

  • Public Services/Government

  • Programming


  • Copyrights

    • Copyright Corruption Scandal Surrounds Anti-Piracy Campaign

      Anti-piracy group BREIN is caught up in a huge copyright scandal in the Netherlands. A musician who composed a track for use at a local film festival later found it being used without permission in an anti-piracy campaign. He is now claiming at least a million euros for the unauthorized distribution of his work on DVDs. To make matters even worse, a board member of a royalty collection agency offered to help the composer to recoup the money, but only if he received 33% of the loot.


Links 3/12/2011: Plasma Active on Archos G9, Ubuntu Precise Pangolin Alpha 1 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 2:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • What Linux n00bs Need to Know

    “Linux is like that classic muscle car, in that if you are willing to put in the hours and don’t mind spending your weekends under the hood, you’ll have yourself a sweet ride at the end of the day and the knowledge you built and tweaked it with your own two hands,” said Slashdot blogger hairyfeet. “But if you aren’t willing to put in the work, all it is gonna do is make you frustrated.”

  • FlickStream: Linux Inside

    Behind every successful business, there’s Linux and open source. That might be an exaggeration, but it’s not an exaggeration to say that Linux and open source are at the core of FlickStream. The Linux-powered service adds all sorts of custom content to the Linux-powered Roku digital video player.

    I’m not one of those people who doesn’t own a television or get hooked on favorite series. I don’t have a problem with spending too many hours in front of the boob tube, mindlessly losing myself in dramatic story lines or unbelievable plots. In fact, I wish I had more time to sit in front of our big flat screen, and if I did, I wouldn’t be flipping through the cable channels. Instead, I could lose myself in the wealth of options that my magical little Roku box streams onto my screen.

  • Readers’ Choice Awards 2011
  • Desktop

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.2-rc4

      This doesn’t look tons smaller than -rc2 or -rc3, but it really is. Yes, there are some ARM updates and fixups to the new Exonys DRI code, and a questionably late ocfs2 update, but if you ignore those three areas (and most people can happily ignore them), things really are calming down pretty nicely.

    • The Cause Of The Xen Linux Performance Issues

      Recently I published some controversial benchmark results of the Xen performance on the Linux 3.0 kernel compared to bare-metal and KVM virtualization along with noting awkward Linux power management when using Xen. The results were valid and have now been confirmed by Xen developers and they have narrowed down the cause of the serious performance issues.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Intel Talks About Their GPU Drivers, Wayland, Etc

        Last month there was a presentation in Brazil by Eugeni Dodonov of the Intel Open-Source Technology Center. The focus was on Intel Linux Graphics and the “following the open-source road from kernel to UI tool-kits.”

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Calligra Sprint Lays Ground For First Release

        In the weekend of November 11, more than twenty Calligra developers braved the fierce weather of Helsinki to meet up again! Well, the weather wasn’t that fierce actually, but it could have been! We met up in the office tower that houses Nokia’s research department during the weekdays for two days of hacking, presentations and meetings. For several attendants it was their first travel to a community gathering: welcome Smit Patel, Brijesh Patel and Dimitrios Tanis!

      • Plasma Active on Archos G9 tablet

        Plasma Active is innovative technology for a smarter mobile user experience…the latest member of the Plasma Workspaces family from KDE. The touchscreen interface is more than just an application launcher. Rather than the commonplace grid of applications, an Activity view shows a single project, task or idea, gathering all related documents, people, web sites, media and widgets. By creating multiple Activities, a mobile device can be customized to respond effectively as the user moves between contexts. Plasma Active is based on Qt and KDE technology, enabling quick and efficient development of touchscreen user experiences.

      • KDE Harmattan Sprint Makes Advances in the Mobile Space

        Over the last couple of years the KDE Mobile project has been evolving as it targeted many embedded platforms. Currently, the focus is on the shiny Nokia gadgets (N9 and N950) running the platform called Harmattan. Eleven talented developers met in person at a recent KDE Sprint, giving a boost to porting KDE Applications onto this platform, creating new working relationships, and discussing various issues around the KDE Mobile project for handsets.

      • plasma bug days reminder
      • plasma bug day 1

        Today was the first of two Plasma Bug Days we’re hosting this week in #plasma on irc.freenode.net. It started at noon UTC and people started rolling in. With the help of Ann Marie and Marco, we got the volunteer bug hunters up to speed and working with a high degree of effectivity.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Want to Tweak GNOME 3? There’s a Site for That

        Not only did the arrival of Linux Mint 12 deliver a comforting stepping stone for users uncertain about GNOME 3, but Thursday saw the launch of a site dedicated to helping GNOME 3 users further customize that desktop with an array of available extensions.

        Even as Ubuntu’s Unity draws continued criticism, in other words, GNOME 3 appears to have gotten a nice boost over the past few days.

      • GNOME 3 Gets New Extension Website
      • Back to the Future with GNOME Shell Extensions

        When GNOME 3 was released, the marketing material emphasized how the new interface was uncluttered and contained nothing that users didn’t need. In effect, the advertising copy was a repudiation of everything that the GNOME 2 series had become after seventeen incremental releases in nine years.

        A praiseworthy cleanup, you might imagine. So why are most of the extensions for GNOME 3 designed to put the clutter back, and make GNOME 3 look and act more like GNOME 2?

        Not all the extensions coming out have that intention. You can find several extensions for Zeitgeist, the combination calendar and file manager. There is also the usual array of minor enhancements, such as windowsNavigator, which enables keyboard selection in overlay mode, and xrandr-indicator for configuring monitors — both welcome enhancements, but neither of which greatly affects how users work.

      • Five Useful GNOME Shell Extensions

        With the GNOME Extension catalogue now online it’s never been easier to add extra features to your GNOME Shell desktop.

      • Marlin File Browser for GNOME – Overview
      • Turn Ubuntu Into The Best Gnome 3 Desktop

        Ubuntu is undoubtedly one of the most popular Linux-based distros out there (yes, I know LinuxMint is creating quite a buzz out there, kudos to the hard working LinuxMint team.)

        The reason of Ubuntu’s (and LinuxMint’s) success is partly in its ease of use. Unfortunately, Ubuntu’s move to Unity has changed that. Unity while offers new features, has also taken away what people were used to, and they are complaining.

      • Gnome 3 Whips Ubuntu Unity, Launches Shell Extensions Site

        The Gnome project has dropped a bomb today by announcing a site for Gnome 3 Shell extensions. The site is in alpha stage and brings the much needed extensions for Gnome 3 Shell under one site.

      • Top 5 Gnome 3 Shell Extensions You Can’t Live Without

        LinuxMint showed us a completely different side of Gnome 3 by pre-installing and activating useful shell extensions which brings back the much missed functionality in Gnome 3. This customization has made LinuxMint even more popular among Gnome 3 users, and among those who are unhappy with Unity due to its lack of customization [read how to Turn Ubuntu Into LinuxMint].

  • Distributions

    • Screenshot Tour: VectorLinux 7.0 Standard Gold

      VectorLinux was released this week. I have never installed VectorLinux at all so this was new to me. VectorLinux 7.0 Standard Gold is available on one easy to install CD. You can download it from VectorLinux or purchase it on CD from Linux CD Shop. They also have a LiveCD version to give it a test drive. As I mentioned above installing VectorLinux 7.0 was very easy. Below are some screenshots of the process

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • 10 things Mandriva is doing right for Linux

        Some time ago, I stopped paying attention to Mandriva. I felt that this Linux distribution, which hails from France and is financially backed by Russia, wasn’t quite sure what it wanted to be. All has changed now. Mandriva knows where it is and where it’s heading. Mandriva Linux Powerpack 2011 is available for purchase and is one of the finest releases I have come across in quite some time. What makes it so good? Let’s break it down.

      • Mandriva’s New Media Player for Linux

        Denis Koryavov, lead user interface developer at the ROSA Laboratory, proudly announced last evening, November 30th, the immediate availability of a new media player for all Mandriva users.

        Called ROSA Media Player (or ROMP for short), the new media player for Mandriva/ROSA is based on the source code from popular MPLayer and SMPlayer video players.

    • Red Hat Family

      • CentOS-4 End Of Life 3 Month Notice
      • Red Hat’s Linux changes: Fixes or ISV positioning?

        Recent proposals from the Fedora Project that could change the fundamental infrastructure of Linux have been met with caution and critical analysis. They also may raise questions on why Fedora and its commercial parent Red Hat seem to be pushing away from existing standards.

      • Fedora

        • PreUpgrade: Upgrade Fedora From One Version To Another

          If you are a Fedora using running Fedora 15 or even Fedora 14 and want to upgrade to the latest, and the greatest, version of Fedora, you can easily do that using PreUpgrade. The goal of PreUpgrade is to provide a way for Fedora users who wish to upgrade from one release to a newer version of Fedora by easily pre-resolving and downloading all the necessary packages before rebooting the system into the Fedora installer to complete the update.

    • Debian Family

      • The Neatest Thing About Debian GNU/Linux

        There are a lot of things I like about Debian GNU/Linux. At the moment APT is the thing I love most. I just upgraded my most complex system, Beast, from it’s thin client, using SSH to the next release and I did not even have to reboot the thin client. Everything I use is working smoothly on Wheezy, which actually is still in “testing”. How smooth is that?

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Precise Pangolin Alpha 1 Released!
          • THE Ubuntu Success Story

            Last night, I came home from a meeting, kissed my wife, and was walking back upstairs when my coat started vibrating. I pulled my phone out to see that I was too late, and wasn’t able to answer a phone call from my dad. I called him back, and here’s a summary of the beginning of that conversation.

            Me: “Hi dad.”

            Dad: “Hi”

            Me: “Did you call? What did you need?”

            Dad: “I did. I installed Ubuntu and now I’m trying to figure out how to install the driver for my video card.”

          • First Alpha of Ubuntu 12.04 Arrives: Precise Pangolin

            If you’ve been waiting for the next version of Ubuntu, which is a major upgrade, you can now try it in an alpha version. We covered Ubuntu 12.04, dubbed “Precise Pangolin,” in this post. In addition to catering to individual users, version 12.04 has cloud computing features, Long Term Support and other offerings that will cater to the businesses that the Ubuntu team is increasingly focusing on. You can download the alpha version of Precise Pangolin here, and here is more on what to expect from it.

          • Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Alpha 1 Precise Pangolin Released | What’s New | Download
          • Canonical releases first alpha of Ubuntu 12.04

            Canonical has released the first alpha build of Ubuntu 12.04, dubbed “Precise Pangolin,” and the organization said that the latest version would be a long term support (LTS) release.

            Version 12.04, available for x86 and 64-bit platforms, is based around the Linux kernel 3.2 release, and a lot of work has gone into bugfixing around this for Ubuntu’s code, including problems with how it interacts with Intel’s Sandy Bridge and Centrino hardware. The code also includes version 9 of both Firefox and Thunderbird from Mozilla.

          • Feeling Adventurous? Ubuntu 12.04 Alpha 1 Released

            If you’re feeling a little adventurous this weekend, the first alpha is out for the upcoming Ubuntu 12.04 release. Code-named Precise Pangolin, the alpha release contains software updates and (likely) some exciting bugs that you can help squash.

          • Upstart from the SysAdvent site

            This site it’s a sysadmin relative of the Perl Advent Calendar: One article for each day of December, ending on the 25th article. With the goals of of sharing, openness, and mentoring, the authors aim to provide great articles about systems administration topics written by fellow sysadmins.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Kubuntu 11.10 Review

              A masterpiece in asthetics combined with a highly functional desktop environment ensures that the release of a new version of Kubuntu is highly anticipated by many Linux users. For all the Kubuntu lovers, 11.10 brings a long list of improvements that will surely excite everyone. Kubuntu offers something for everybody and is built on the highly stable Ubuntu core. With Kubuntu you have access to all the powerful KDE applications, and the polished KDE Plasma desktop. The interface does not seem to have changed much, but under the hood things are running better than ever. Another excellent release by the Kubuntu team, they never disappoint.

            • Linux Mint 12 GNOME 3

              The moment so many have waited for is finally here. Linux Mint 12 has been released! This update to Linux Mint has had many people on edge since it marks the move from the older version of GNOME to GNOME 3.2. GNOME 3.2, as you might already know, has had many detractors. Linux Mint users have wondered how on earth such a popular distribution would make a transition to such a reviled and hated desktop interface.

            • Is Linux Mint an Ubuntu-Killer?

              Suddenly, everyone’s talking about Linux Mint. A six-year-old distribution based on Ubuntu and Debian, Linux Mint has always enjoyed considerable popularity, but, in the last month, it has started receiving dramatically more attention.

              This attention has two main reasons. First, pundits have been debating the meaning (if any) of the fact that Linux Mint has received over two and a half times more page views than Ubuntu on Distrowatch for the past month.

            • Linux Mint 12 “Lisa” Adds Customized GNOME 3 Shell to Beginner-Friendly OS

              Linux Mint, probably the most beginner-friendly Linux system out there, has hit version 12 with quite a few neat features and improvements. Chief among them is a new shell based on Gnome 3 (preferred by at least one Lifehacker editor, new themes, and the choice of DuckDuckGo as the default search engine (which is easily changed, if you’d like). It’s free to download and try out on just about any computer.

            • Ubuntu on the move more than in decline

              Ubuntu has been taking some criticism and heat for its falling Distrowatch rankings. I don’t doubt that after years of popularity, we’re finally seeing a bit of a return to the desktop Linux world of old when a new distribution shot up every week or month, then faded, then re-appeared … and so on. However, when I consider where Canonical and Ubuntu are heading, I question the significance of desktop OS standing and Distrowach rankings.

              First off, I must say that Ubuntu’s slip off the ‘king of the hill’ game on Distrowatch came at the expense of Linux Mint, another polished, user-friendly Linux. It wouldn’t surprise me if some Ubuntu users may be migrating to Mint or other distributions largely out of frustration or dislike of the new Unity interface over the previous primary interface, Gnome. However, I think the move will be worth it in the long run to Ubuntu, as I’ll explain further.

              If considering desktop OS, the most important aspect to me as an enterprise software analyst is enterprise desktop, and Ubuntu does well there. I’m sure there are plenty of shops running other flavors of Linux, including Mint, Gentoo, Fedora, OpenSUSE, Debian and many, many others, but for corporate desktop, the list quickly thins. Nevertheless, this is where Canonical has had some big victories, including the French police. In terms of consumer and user desktop PCs, the category itself is disappearing into converged and touch-capable devices, further distancing us from the ‘distro wars’ of the past.

            • Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Alpha 1 Has Linux Kernel 3.2

              Softpedia is the first to announce today, December 1st, that the first Alpha version of the upcoming Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin) operating system is now available for download. As usual, we’ve grabbed a copy of it in order to keep you up-to-date with the latest changes in the Ubuntu 12.04 LTS development.

            • Review: Linux Mint 12 “Lisa” GNOME + MATE

              GNOME 3 Fallback seems to offer everything I’m used to in GNOME 2, minus the Linux Mint Menu/MGSE Menu, so I’d need to use a standard accordion-style GNOME menu. That said, considering that I’m probably going to replace Linux Mint 9 LTS “Isadora” with Linux Mint 13 LTS “M[...]a” and considering that GNOME plans to phase out GNOME 3 Fallback as it makes GNOME 3 Shell accessible to a far wider range of hardware, I don’t know if that’s really an option worth keeping in mind. Finally, I had no issues with MATE, and it really is just GNOME 2, and I can do with it what I’ve done with Linux Mint and GNOME 2 for the last 2.5 years. As MATE gets worked on even more, I have faith that I’ll be able to use it without any hitch when the next version of Linux Mint comes out, and I think that’s what I’ll end up using. What I would like to see though is a live CD that comes only with MATE, so that I could try the live session and check out MATE’s true stability and usability without committing it to a hard drive. In any case, given that at least one option (MATE) has given me a great feeling and the other two (GNOME 3 Shell and Fallback) have become pretty amazing environments in their own rights in the hands of the Linux Mint developers, I give version 12 “Lisa” my highest recommendation. Phew! (I was really apprehensive about this release and was afraid that GNOME 3 customization might elude even the Linux Mint developers, but thankfully, that is not at all the case.)

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Best Linux Devices of 2011

      Android this year surpassed both iOS and Blackberry as the most popular smartphone OS, further catapulting Linux into the spotlight in the mobile device industry. Just a couple months ago, Amazon announced what analysts say is the first real threat to the iPad, the Amazon Kindle Fire. This introduction once again put Linux in the spotlight by allowing a major comapny like Amazon to build a self-branded device that is, as BusinessWeek reporter Brad Stone described, “cheap, pretty, and puts Amazon in perfect position to take a bite out of Apple – and every online transaction you make.”

    • OK Labs spins Linux- and Android-ready automotive hypervisor

      OK Labs announced a Genivi Linux and Android-ready “OKL4 for In-Vehicle Infotainment” (IVI) hypervisor, designed to keep infotainment and telematics environments separate despite running on the same processor. Meanwhile, Wind River announced a deal with IVI provider Clarion to use its Wind River Platform for Infotainment in an Android-based system.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • First developer version of Android 4.0 for x86 processors
        • Android 4.0 bathes in praise, appears on early Nexus models, dev boards

          As favorable reviews and promises of device support pile up for Android 4.0 (“Ice Cream Sandwich”), it has received an early CyanogenMod9 port to the Samsung-built Google Nexus One and Nexus S phones. Meanwhile, ZiiLabs released a video of Android 4.0 running on its new Jaguar tablet reference platform, and Embedox posted another of ICS running on Variscite’s OMAP4460-based VAR-SOM-OM44 module.

        • Android arrives on the hospital TV

          HCI announced an Android-powered infotainment terminal for hospital patients, enabling users to browse the web, communicate with staff and patients, and view customized content as well as watching TV. The RoomMate Generation III devices come with 22-, 26-, 32- and 42-inch screens, plus Ethernet, serial, USB, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and various remote control accessories.

        • Chicken and Egg – Apps and OS

          M$ had a huge headstart on GNU/Linux locking in OEMs, retailers and ISVs for years. In 2008, Apple started its “app store” tm and Android/Linux started it’s “market place” a few months later. Now, Apple has 2/3 of the app market and Android/Linux has about 1/3 with nearly one million mobile apps between them.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Quanta shipments of Kindle Fire reach 3-4 million units

        Shipments of 7-inch Kindle Fire tablet PCs from Quanta Computer to Amazon have reached 3-4 million units, according to industry watchers. However, Quanta declined to comment.

      • Samsung’s Cortex-A15 SoC enables tablets with 2560 x 1600 resolution

        Samsung has begun sampling its first ARM Cortex-A15 processor, aimed at high-end tablets and capable of supporting resolutions up to 2560 x 1600 pixels. Scheduled for production in 2Q 2012, the Exynos 5250 is equipped with two Cortex-A15 cores clocked at 2GHz, providing what the company says is four times the graphics performance of its previous top model.

      • Buy our new 10.1-inch tablet today, get ICS in January, claims Acer

        Acer announced a new 10.1-inch tablet, initially featuring Android 3.2 but due for an January upgrade to Android 4.0 in January. The Nvidia Tegra 2-based Iconia Tab A200 is slightly leaner and lighter than the earlier 10.1-inch A500, also adding a USB 2.0 host port, but it lacks its predecessor’s HDMI port and rear-facing five-megapixel camera.

Free Software/Open Source

  • LLVM 3.0 requires Clang and DragonEgg

    Version 3.0 of the Low Level Virtual Machine (LLVM) compiler infrastructure has been released, six months after the last major version, LLVM 2.9. For the new update to the Low-Level Virtual Machine, the developers removed “some old baggage” that had built up in previous versions, for example, LLVM 3.0 no longer supports the llvm-gcc frontend; developers will instead have to use Clang or DragonEgg. Similarly, file formats from earlier LLVM versions, such as .bc and .il no longer work in the new version.

  • FLOSS for Neuroscience: An interview with the NeuroDebian team
  • Events

    • Jacob Appelbaum watches the watchers – fourth keynote for linux.conf.au 2012 announced

      A developer for The Tor Project, Appelbaum trains interested parties globally on how to effectively use and contribute to the Tor network. Since its initial release, Tor has enabled roughly 36 million people around the world to experience freedom of access and expression on the Internet while keeping them in control of their privacy and anonymity. Its network has proved pivotal in dissident movements in both Iran and more recently Egypt.

  • Web Browsers

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle v. Google – That Didn’t Take Long

      No sooner did the parties file their respective positions on the subject of patent marking with the court (see Proof of Patent Marking) than Judge Alsup has issued an order on how to move forward. (636 [PDF; Text]) Except for the deadlines (Judge Alsup allowing more time for responses than Google had proposed), the court has, as we anticipated, largely adopted the approach suggested by Google, although at this first step Judge Alsup is only interested in getting a complete list of products the parties contend embody the patents. Where the court then elects to go remains to be seen.

    • Oracle v. Google – Proof of Patent Marking

      Google, on the other hand, used all of the permitted five pages to explain that it isn’t quite that simple. (635 [PDF; Text]) According to Google, it does plan on presenting evidence of “the practice (or failure to practice) by Oracle and/or its licensees of each of the six patents still being asserted by Oracle in this action.” Google suggests that the presentation of this evidence could disrupt the trial, depending on the extent of the dispute. Consequently, Google suggests that the parties “narrow the issue now, by identifying the patents (if any) over which there is a legitimate dispute about whether Oracle or its licensees practiced the asserted claims.”

      One worthwhile distinction to draw between the two communique’s to the court. Oracle makes no mention of licensee products that may practice the asserted patents, focusing solely on Oracle products. Google makes clear that Oracle licensee products are also in the mix.

    • Oracle v. Google – Oracle Loses on Motion Regarding Leonard and Cox Reports
  • CMS

    • WordPress 3.3 approaches with first release candidate

      Lead WordPress developer Ryan Boren has announced the arrival of a first release candidate (RC1) for version 3.3 of WordPress. Boren says that “Release Candidate stage means we think we’re done and are about ready to launch this version, but are doing one last check before we officially call it”.

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Layered Open Source – A better open core model?

        The term open core is poison for an open source project today isn’t it?

        More often than not, the term open core refers to some crippled piece of open source software that only really works when paired with some type of proprietary shell that make the software usable.

        Yet, the open core model – is still what many open source software firms (or at least, those that have raised venture funds) are embracing.

        There is another way.


    • Software free-for-all: Put your question to Richard Stallman
    • Benchmarks Of GCC 4.2 Through GCC 4.7 Compilers

      To see how the GCC 4.7 release is shaping up, for your viewing pleasure today are benchmarks of GCC 4.2 through a recent GCC 4.7 development snapshot. GCC 4.7 will be released next March/April with many significant changes, so here’s some numbers to find out if you can expect to see any broad performance improvements. Making things more interesting, the benchmarks are being done from an AMD FX-8150 to allow you to see how the performance of this latest-generation AMD processor architecture is affected going back by GNU Compiler Collection releases long before this open-source compiler had any optimizations in place.

    • Stallman: Facebook IS Mass Surveillance

      The father of free software philosophy spoke to RT on evil developers, spying social networks, the almost-legitimacy of Anonymous hacks and the condition under which he would take a proprietary program and a million dollars.

      Stallman is the man behind the concept that every computer program must be free for users to study and modify as they want. This is the only way to ensure that by using the software users do not compromise their human rights, he says.

    • Facebook Agrees to Change Privacy Practices
  • Project Releases

    • Flex 4.6 SDK gets last non-Apache release

      Adobe has released version 4.6 of the open source Flex SDK and proprietary Flash Builder development environment. This is apparently the last release of the Flash application framework under Adobe’s remit; in November, Adobe announced its intention to hand development of Flex over to an open source foundation, later clarifying that it did, in fact, mean the Apache Software Foundation.

    • Version 1.0 of QEMU published

      Following four release candidates, the QEMU project has announced the arrival of version 1.0 of its open source system emulator. QEMU can be used as a stand-alone desktop virtualisation product or be used to emulate guest hardware, such as an ARM-based board on a standard x86 PC.

    • gv 3.7.3 released

      I am pleased to announce that GNU gv 3.7.3 has just been released. It is available for download in the GNU ftp, ftp://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/gv

    • NeonView 0.6.0 Released With New Features
  • Public Services/Government

    • EU Funding Could Hurt Open Source Licensing, Critics Say

      The European Commission unveiled the Horizon 2020 funding plan on Wednesday, including €13.7 billion (US$18.3 billion) for innovation in key areas such as information and communication technologies, nanotechnologies, biotechnology and space.

      However, the proposal effectively states that any resulting product must be promoted in Europe first. Article 41 of the proposal states that “with regard to results which are generated by participants that have received E.U. funding, the Commission may object to transfers of ownership or to grants of an exclusive licence, to third parties established in a third country not associated to Horizon 2020.”

      This renders open source licensing impossible, said Member of the European Parliament Christian Engstrom.

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open source cancer research

      When it comes to treating, curing, and preventing cancer, modern medicine has largely failed. You could argue that cancer is far too complicated to unravel in the few millenia we have been documenting it. Or that the billions we spend annually on research is far too little. Established incentives and policies that perpetuate research silos certainly seem to slow success.

      Medical researchers have been trained in a professional culture where secrecy reigns, where they must protect their own interests. The dominant culture discourages sharing research findings and collaborating on projects. It has become more important to protect vested interests than to take advantage of the huge collaborative network that is available in academia.

  • Programming


  • Hearing Set For SCO’s Motion to Partly Reopen SCO v. IBM ~ pj

    Sometimes when this old earth is spinning around and around, just for a moment it stops at just the right place.

    And so it is that Judge Clark Waddoups has set a hearing for oral argument on SCO’s motion to restart parts of SCO v. IBM, a motion IBM opposes. Guess when he scheduled it for? April!

  • I accidentally Nexenta

    Nexenta Core Platform is an OpenSolaris-based system with a Ubuntu application base and the flexible and powerful APT package management. Sounds like a marvelous idea. But then, I have already tested another such system, with little success. Well, a man must never lose hope. Let’s see what Nexenta 3.0 can or can’t do. Expectations are high, the fear even higher.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • The White House Needs to Listen to Consumers on How Best to Implement Health Care Reform

      The Obama Administration will be making some important decisions over the coming weeks that will determine to a large extent whether consumers or health insurers will be the biggest beneficiaries of health care reform.

      When Congress passed the Affordable Care Act last year, it included a controversial provision that insurers insisted on, but which is undoubtedly the most unpopular part of the law: a requirement that all Americans not eligible for a public program like Medicare or Medicaid must buy coverage from a private insurance company.

  • Security

    • Security: Linux, OS X, Unix and Malware (Viruses)

      After a lot of research over the past month I have come to the conclusion that costly Unix, OS X and Linux anti-malware programs, such as Norton anti-virus on OS X, are a waste of money. It is not that unix-like systems are invulnerable to attack, but that the types of attacks I have seen mentioned over this month will get right through most anti-malware software on systems that are vulnerable. All these anti-malware solutions seem able to do is protect your Microsoft using friends and clients to whom you might forward an infected e-mail sent to you from someone else using an infected Microsoft Windows system.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Yasha Levine Released From Jail, Exposes LAPD’s Appalling Treatment of Detained Occupy LA Protesters…

      I finally got home Thursday afternoon after spending two nights in jail, and have had a hard time getting my bearings. On top of severe dehydration and sleep deprivation, I’ve got one hell of pounding migraine. So I’ll have to keep this brief for now. But I wanted to write down a few things that I witnessed and heard while locked up by LA’s finest…


      While people are now beginning to learn that the police attack on Occupy LA was much more violent than previously reported, few actually realize that much—if not most—of the abuse happened while the protesters were in police custody, completely outside the range of the press and news media. And the disgraceful truth is that a lot of the abuse was police sadism, pure and simple:

      * I heard from two different sources that at least one busload of protesters (around 40 people) was forced to spend seven excruciating hours locked in tiny cages on a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Dept. prison bus, denied food, water and access to bathroom facilities. Both men and women were forced to urinate in their seats. Meanwhile, the cops in charge of the bus took an extended Starbucks coffee break.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • CMD Condemns Continued Corporate Voting on Model Bills at Arizona Meeting

      PHOENIX–The American Legislative Exchange Council opens its annual conference to set the agenda for the coming year in Arizona this week, on the heels of the stunning defeat of one its long-standing legislative leaders, Senator Russell Pierce, who was recalled by voters earlier this month.ALEC plans to feature other alumni, including Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, at a conference underwritten by global corporations at the posh Westin Kierland resort in Scottsdale. ALEC has previously denied press credentials to organizations whose reporting has been critical of ALEC, such as the Center for Media and Democracy, Think Progress, and others.


Links 2/12/2011: WikiLeaks ‘Spy Files’, Open Internet at Risk

Posted in News Roundup at 12:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Should Tablets and Smartphones be Considered “PCs”?

    A new debate’s upon us! No one would argue the fact that smartphones, tablets and similar devices are “computers”, but would it be appropriate to label the same devices “PCs”? With an analyst firm doing just that recently, we’ve decided to take a look at multiple factors to see if such a classification is a good or bad thing.

  • Issue 153: Wallpaper
  • Desktop

    • Is Linux being taken seriously?

      Roll back the calendar only 5 years…

      After playing around Linux for a few months I decided to get a version installed on an old Dell Inspiration 3200 laptop so I could surf the Internet without fear. Such an old laptop didn’t have a built-in WiFi adapter, so I used a PCI Card WiFi adapter plugged into a PCI Card slot. A WiFi card that was very common but it had no Linux driver. I used the Windows driver and NDISWrapper to get the WiFi working with Linux

      In my first ½ year of experimenting with Linux (mid 2005) many basic functions were not part of the kernel (2.4) of the RedHat 7.2. I had to write scripts to mount and access my digital camera or USB FlashDrives.

      Windows NTFS support on RedHat 7.2 was non-existent. Then NTFS support in Linux became experimental. Now it’s completely transparent and build in. It “Just Works”

  • Server

    • Why Supercomputing Matters

      To your typical IT organization, the Top500 Supercomputing list released twice a year — while interesting — has little bearing on today’s operations. Grand proclamations and goals, such as reaching Exaflop performance by 2018, also have little impact on the day-to-day goings-on in most data centers. (As quick background info: A FLOP is the number of FLoating Point Operations performed Per Second; an Exaflop is 1018 or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 FLOPs.)

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Gtk heading for a bumpy time in mobile space?

        In an effort to slim down and improve its cross-platform capabilities, the developers of the Chrome browser and ChromeOS itself appear to be shifting away from Gtk use.

        This bit of information was quietly pointed out earlier in the month on the Aura window manager pages for the Chromium Projects. Chromium is the open source implementation of Chrome and ChromeOS, and Aura is the new window manager and shell environment that will support the various interface elements on these implementations.

  • Distributions

    • The end of the Linux distro wars

      Don’t use DistroWatch as a measuring stick in any way for the popularity of a Linux distribution.

      Seriously, stop it.

      In fact, why are we even asking the question at all?

      “Popularity” is a term that smacks of our days in high school, when we thought we should care about social standing and where we fit in that ranking. Now apparently, we seem to be locked into this notion of figuring out which distro is most popular, too.

      This is a silly question, for multiple reasons.

    • Distro Dance
    • New Releases

      • VectorLinux 7.0 Screenshot Tour
      • Vector Linux 7.0 GOLD Released

        With all the excitement and discussion surrounding the recent release of Linux Mint 12 (and Fedora 16, and openSuSE 12.1), it is easy to overlook the smaller Linux distributions. Vector Linux is a good example of this, with their recently announced 7.0 distribution. The relatively small number people behind the Vector Linux distribution have put a phenomenal amount of work into this release – I saw the first VL7.0 Beta releases early this year, and there have been several Release Candidates since about May or June. The result of all that hard work is what I consider to be one of the nicest of the Slackware-based “easy-to-use” Linux distributions.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva Introduces New Media Player

        Today Denis Koryavov, lead interface developer at ROSA Labs, announced a new media player for ROSA/Mandriva. ROSA Media Player (ROMP) is a fork of MPlayer and SMPlayer with a sleek design and new features. Today a beta of 1.0 was made available to test and Koryavov says it’s stable.

    • Gentoo Family

      • Sabayon 7 KDE review

        Aside from a few applications failing to start before updates were applied, another issues I observed with Sabayon 7 KDE is that a connected printer was not automatically configured, even though cupsd, the printer daemon, is started out of the box. In Pardus, a KDE-based distribution that made the list of the top 6 KDE distributions for 2011, any connected printer in the printers database is automatically configured.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Sorting out Red Hat Linux based distributions

        Recently it was published by DistroWatch that the Linux Mint distribution has passed Ubuntu and is now considered the most popular. In order from most popular on down, this list at DistroWatch starts with Linux Mint, followed by Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, and openSUSE. There are others listed as well.

        But I wanted to take a moment and touch on Fedora and the Red Hat based distributions to distinguish the differences among them. I am a huge fan of the Red Hat based distributions. Why? Well, I’ve used them since the early days of Linux distributions, and have been hooked ever since. I’ve had excellent luck with Red Hat, I like the tools that Red Hat develops and places in their distributions, and there is a huge support community for it. I’ve also found that Red Hat is a good company, and stands behind its products. It has been VERY supportive and active in the open source community for decades, and continues to show its commitment to open source software. I also think their software models are highly successful, with the Fedora / Red Hat split that we saw in 2003. Back then I was surprised with the split at first, but after a couple of years using both Fedora and Red Hat Linux, I soon discovered that the move to split the two was ingenious. I will explain why below.

      • Red Hat’s sales architect exits on Linux high

        At a company that values engineers as highly as Red Hat does, Pinchev still commands profound respect, not to mention fear, despite not being able to write a line of code. Over the last nine years, Pinchev’s relentless, dogged determination to increase sales has paid for huge contributions to the Linux kernel and open-source software, generally.

      • Fedora

        • PreUpgrade: Upgrade Fedora From One Version To Another

          If you are a Fedora using running Fedora 15 or even Fedora 14 and want to upgrade to the latest, and the greatest, version of Fedora, you can easily do that using PreUpgrade. The goal of PreUpgrade is to provide a way for Fedora users who wish to upgrade from one release to a newer version of Fedora by easily pre-resolving and downloading all the necessary packages before rebooting the system into the Fedora installer to complete the update.

        • Distro Hoppin`: Fedora 16

          Another interesting addition inside the context menu is the “Restore Missing Files” option, which lets you connect to an on-site or cloud server to recover from accidental deletions.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • CrunchBang 10 “Statler” refresh R20111125

          Although officially a version 10 refresh and still under the “Statler” moniker, the latest Crunchbang release constitutes some notable changes.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • My Unity TV Mockups

            Inspired my Mark Shuttleworth’s recent post about Alan Bell’s Unity TV mockups, I’ve decided to try my hand at some. Alan did his using Pencil, which is an awesome tool for UI mockups that I wrote about previously, so it was easy enough for me to get started. Here is my first one, a mockup where just the Launcher and Unity panel are showing (no Dash):

          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 243
          • Is Ubuntu Still The Most Popular Linux Distro?

            For the past few years, Ubuntu has been considered the most popular Linux distribution. Recently, there has been a flurry of blog posts claiming that Linux Mint is now more popular than Ubuntu. While Linux Mint seems to have gained greatly in popularity since the first release in 2006, all meaningful statistics (if there is such a thing) point to Ubuntu’s clear lead in usage and popularity.

          • Beautiful Icons for Your Favorite Ubuntu Games
          • Ubuntu Linux Everywhere

            In his own words: “By 14.04 LTS Ubuntu will power tablets, phones, TVs and smart screens from the car to the office kitchen, and it will connect those devices cleanly and seamlessly to the desktop, the server and the cloud.”

          • Apache CouchDB developers respond to UbuntuOne issue

            Jan Lehnardt, Chairman of the Apache CouchDB Project Management Committee (PMC), writing on behalf of the CouchDB developers, shed some light on why Canonical dropped its use of the CouchDB NoSQL database from the cloud synchronisation service Ubuntu One. The announcement by Canonical had created some uncertainty about CouchDB and its capabilities. The message from the developers is “Do not worry, the project is alive and well” said Lehnardt.

          • Ubuntu’s Precise Pangolin Alpha 1 Released
          • Get an Early Peek at Ubuntu Linux 12.04 ‘Precise Pangolin’
          • Gnome 3 Whips Ubuntu Unity, Launches Shell Extensions Site

            The Gnome project has dropped a bomb today by announcing a site for Gnome 3 Shell extensions. The site is in alpha stage and brings the much needed extensions for Gnome 3 Shell under one site.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • 8 Exciting Features of Linux Mint 12 “Lisa”

              Linux Mint, which has effortlessly managed to usurp the top spot from Ubuntu (according to DistroWatch ranking), has just released its latest version. Codenamed “Lisa”, Linux Mint 12 is based on Ubuntu 11.10 and features a perfect blend of GNOME 3 and the newly designed Mint GNOME Shell Extensions (MGSE).

            • Ubuntu Declines, Linux Mint Soars: DistroWatch Figures

              Linux Mint appears to be soaring in popularity at the expense of high-profile distros such as Ubuntu, figures from DistroWatch have suggested. The site’s latest page hit numbers show a sharp decline in the last month for Ubuntu, which having occupied second spot throughout year has now dropped to fourth place, behind even Fedora, openSUSE and top performer, Mint.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Is Apache still good for open source?

    The Apache Software Foundation has been making life better for open-source developers since 1999, but has its time passed?

    A recent blog argues that nonprofit ASF is causing more harm than good by being mired in the past.

    “It is my belief that we are, right now, in the middle of a very large evolution in the ecology of open source,” wrote Mikeal Rogers, a developer advocate at Yammer, a private, secure social network for companies. Yet Apache remains focused on problems that no longer exist — removing barriers to entry — creating a “chasm between Apache and the new culture of open source,” he said.

  • Events

    • Make it so, SCALE

      A little history: Mimi Cafiero (yes, that’s my girl) and Malakai Wade, two teenage girls who are helping to organize SCALE 10X’s young people’s conference, staunchly proclaimed that, “We are not kids.” So the title of SCALE 10X Kids Conference was in peril from the start.

  • CMS

    • WordPress the most popular open source CMS for second year running

      According to the fourth annual study by water&stone, WordPress, Joomla and Drupal are the three most popular among 20 free web content management systems, narrowed down from an initial list of 35. WordPress is in the lead by a long way, followed by Joomla. Having lead the field two years ago and been overtaken by WordPress last year, it is natable how Joomla’s popularity has declined since last year. Among the .NET-based CMS players, DotNetNuke dominates, while among Java-based CMSes, Liferay and Alfresco are the joint leaders.

    • Drupal, Cajun Style

      As I wrote earlier this week, few markets have such a rich selection of quality open source products as does the content management systems (CMS) space. One of the leaders in the open source CMS market is Drupal. In fact this blog post is written on a Drupal system. Down in the Big Easy on December 8th and 9th there will be a Drupal conference called Drupal on the Bayou.

  • Public Services/Government

    • IT: Sicily to consider law promoting the use of open source

      The regional administration of the Italian island of Sicily is to consider a law nudging public administrations to use of free and open source software. The proposal, by Massimo Ferrara, a member of the Democratic Party, might also help prevent the break-up of a school on the island, the Instituto Majorana, involved in producing instruction videos on this type of software.


  • Cablegate

    • New WikiLeaks ‘spy files’ show global surveillance industry

      WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange launched the website’s new project Thursday, the publication of files it claims shows a global industry that gives dictatorships tools to spy on their citizens.

      In parallel to Assange’s announcement, Wikileaks’ partner Owni.fr released evidence that a French firm helped Moamer Kadhafi’s former Libyan regime spy on opposition figures living in exile in Britain.

      It had already been revealed that the electronics firm, Amesys, had worked with the Libyan regime — and French rights groups are attempting to take the group to court — but Owni’s files will prove embarrassing.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Pro-Walker Ads, Courtesy of Koch Industries

      The Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity (AFP) has teamed up with Wisconsin’s right-wing John K. MacIver Institute on a website and TV ad to support Governor Scott Walker as he faces recall. AFP and MacIver are aiming to convince residents that Walker’s fiscal policies have been good for the state.

    • New Report Details ALEC Influence in Arizona

      Last year, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) attracted attention when reporters revealed Arizona’s SB1070 anti-immigration law was pre-approved by ALEC corporations that stood to benefit from its passage. As ALEC’s legislative and corporate members descend upon Arizona for meetings this week, a new report (pdf) shows that ALEC’s influence in Arizona goes beyond SB1070 to include bills that suppress voting, attack worker’s rights, privatize public education, and limit environmental protections.

  • Censorship

    • US judge orders hundreds of sites “de-indexed” from Google, Facebook

      After a series of one-sided hearings, luxury goods maker Chanel has won recent court orders against hundreds of websites trafficking in counterfeit luxury goods. A federal judge in Nevada has agreed that Chanel can seize the domain names in question and transfer them all to US-based registrar GoDaddy. The judge also ordered “all Internet search engines” and “all social media websites”—explicitly naming Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Bing, Yahoo, and Google—to “de-index” the domain names and to remove them from any search results.

  • Civil Rights

    • So, there’s a rootkit hidden in millions of cellphones

      The rootkit belongs to a company called Carrier IQ and it seems that it has low-level access to the system that allows it to spy on pretty much everything that you do with your handset. This, on the face of it, seems like an extremely serious breach of security, privacy and trust.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Piracy vs. an open Internet

      To avoid the reach of U.S. copyright laws, numerous online pirates have set up shop in countries less willing or able to enforce intellectual property rights. Policymakers agree that these “rogue” sites pose a real problem for U.S. artists and rights holders who aren’t getting paid for the rampant distribution of their music, movies and other creative works. The question is how to help them. Lawmakers keep offering proposals, but they don’t seem to be getting any closer to the right answer.


Links 30/11/2011: Lenovo and Android, CyanogenMod 7

Posted in News Roundup at 11:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Server

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Clonezilla live clone system with multi-restore

        Version 1.2.11-23 of the Clonezilla live CD has been released with an updated software collection. Based on the unstable branch of Debian (known as “Sid”) from 28 November, this update to the open source clone system for hard disk partitioning and duplicating includes the 3.1.1-1 Linux kernel, version 0.2.38 of the Partclone partition image utility and Gdisk 0.8.1

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu team questions Distrowatch share slide figures

            Ubuntu developer Michael Hall has questioned the latest data from Distrowatch, which suggests that it is slipping in popularity when compared to rivals such as Linux Mint.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Does Linux Mint 12 Measure Up?

              After a fairly routine release with Linux Mint 11, the team is back with a new look and a lot of changes in the offing. As with any release with a major overhaul, Linux Mint 12 has some hits and misses.

              We took an early look at Mint 12 after the team pushed out the first release candidate. As far as the look and feel goes, there’s not been a lot of changes with Mint 12 since the RC. But now that the release is final, let’s take a look at some of the changes and see whether you should be rushing to upgrade or install Mint 12.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • In the Mobile OS War, Can Android Ice Cream Sandwich Save Google’s Lead?

          If your answer to which mobile device operating system has the most market share is “iOS,” this article will set you straight. Google, with its open source Android OS and multiple manufacturer strategy (which leverages HTC, Samsung, and Motorola to create Android phones), has managed to take the lead in terms of market share, capturing 45% of users in the US alone.

        • Android signage system includes 10.2-inch touchscreen

          I Display announced an interactive digital signage computer that runs Android 2.3. The I View Android is equipped with a 10.2-inch, 1024 x 600 resistive touchscreen that swivels on an optionally battery-powered base, a microSD slot, a USB 2.0 port, and Wi-Fi, says the company.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Lenovo unveils three new Android tablets–5, 7, and 10 inchers

        Lenovo is hoping to shake up the tablet market with three new devices scheduled to hit its home base of China as early as December.

      • Wait Two Years and See How Android Is Doing on Tablets

        The funny thing is, these sentiments echo the reactions that Android itself got shortly after its release. As recently as March of 2009, everyone was questioning why there weren’t more smartphones running Android, including us. And what happened just before March of 2009? Mobile World Congress did. This is the conference where everyone decides what is going to succeed and fail each year on the mobile front, but in 2009, people who saw few Android phones and pronounced Android dead were dead wrong. Android is now flourishing.

      • Lenovo spins two Android tablets, one five-inch smartphone

        Lenovo announced three dual-core Android gadgets destined for China: a five-inch LePad S2005 I smartphone, a seven-inch LePad S2007 tablet, and a 10.1-inch LePad S2010 tablet. In the U.S., meanwhile, AT&T announced the 4G LTE-ready LG Nitro HD smartphone, featuring a dual-core 1.5GHz processor and a 4.5-inch display with Galaxy Nexus-like 1280 x 720 resolution.

      • CyanogenMod 7 Hacked Onto The Kindle Fire, Let The Modding Madness Begin!

        The $199 Kindle Fire just took one step closer to instant fame. XDA-Dev member, JackpotClavin, managed to flash CM7 onto the Fire using ClockworkMod. The result is a Fire running a custom build of Android and a whole lot of excited fanboys.

Free Software/Open Source

  • New Open Source Search Engine YaCy Gives Users More Online Control

    A new open source search engine has been launched to take on Google, Bing and Yahoo.

    The YaCy, backed by free software activists, comes with desktop software and allows users to index search results on their own. The search engine developers believe it makes the platform much more accurate and more difficult to censor.

  • FBSOTD: Benefits of ‘Open Source’ software

    In Tuesday’s Facebook story of the day FOX 31 fans wanted to know how they can benefit from open source projects.

    ‘Open Source’ software is a code open to computer programmers who each have the option to make adjustments.

    Computer technicians say sometimes the software can be better than original programs, because they have a whole community contributing information.

  • New Open Source Search Not a Google Killer

    Even a company with Microsoft’s financial muscle has failed to make a major dent in Google’s position as the world’s search engine of choice. But a group of European online activists are apparently trying to create a D.I.Y. alternative. Or at least that was what was being reported.

  • Web Search By The People, For The People: YaCy 1.0

    The YaCy project is releasing version 1.0 of its peer-to-peer Free Software search engine. The software takes a radically new approach to search. YaCy does not use a central server. Instead, its search results come from a network of currently over 600 independent peers. In such a distributed network, no single entity decides what gets listed, or in which order results appear.

  • Events

    • Google I/O 2012 developer conference extended

      Google has announced that its 2012 Google I/O developer conference has been extended from two to three days, and will now take place from 27 to 29 June 2012 at the Moscone Center West in San Francisco. In a Google Code blog post, Product Marketing Manager and Developer Monica Tran says that the company “recently received an unexpected opportunity” to add another day to the event and choose to do so based on feedback from attendees of last year’s conference.

  • CMS

  • Funding

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Why We Chose ‘Open Science’

      The Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle grew out of a simple question I posed in 2002 to a constellation of top people in the field: What’s the most useful thing we could do to propel neuroscience forward? The consensus became our inaugural project—a comprehensive, molecular-level, three-dimensional map of the mouse brain to show precisely where every gene is active, or “expressed.” It was the first step on a long road to understand how genes function in the human brain, knowledge that will point to ways to better diagnose and treat brain ailments.

  • Programming

    • NetBeans 7.1 nears as release candidate arrives

      Oracle’s NetBeans developers have published the first release candidate of version 7.1 of their IDE. NetBeans 7.1 is due for final release on 14 December and introduces support for JavaFX 2.0, the UI toolkit that Oracle is planning to release as open source and incorporate in a later release of Java.

    • What’s Exciting About LLVM 3.0 & The New Clang

      LLVM 3.0 with the adjoining Clang update is the first major update to the Low-Level Virtual Machine since the LLVM 2.9 release last April. LLVM 3.0 was scheduled for a November release (but it was delayed slightly) and marks the point of deprecating LLVM-GCC in favor of DragonEgg, which allows for LLVM optimizers to be used with the mainline GCC compiler front-end via a unique plug-in. Other interesting changes for LLVM 3.0 are listed below.


  • Security

    • Netfilter developers working on NAT for ip6tables

      Patrick McHardy has announced the release of patches for the ip6tables IPv6 packet filter under Linux on the netfilter project’s developer mailing list. The patches allow the software to replace the address information in IPv6 data packets with different information as an implementation of Network Address Translation (NAT). McHardy says that the netfilter NAT patch modifies the source code, which previously only worked with IPv4, to suit IPV6, making targets such as SNAT/DNAT or MASQUERADE, REDIRECT and NETMAP available to the IPv6 packet filter. The developers have also converted the FTP and SIP NAT helper modules to support IPv6.

  • Finance

  • Censorship

    • EU Court of Justice: Censorship in Name of Copyright Violates Fundamental Rights

      The European Court of Justice just rendered a historic decision in the Scarlet Extended case, which is crucial for the future of rights and freedoms on the Internet. The Court ruled that forcing Internet service providers to monitor and censor their users’ communications violated EU law, and in particular the right to freedom of communication. At a time of all-out offensive in the war against culture sharing online, this decision suggests that censorship measures requested by the entertainment industry are disproportionate means to enforce an outdated copyright regime. Policy-makers across Europe must take this decision into account by refusing new repressive schemes, such as the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), and engage in a much needed reform of copyright.

Links 30/11/2011: Kororaa 16 Beta, Firefox 11 Mentioned

Posted in News Roundup at 9:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

  • Kernel Space

    • First-Ever Automotive Linux Summit: Two Communities Become One

      Nearly 125 years ago, German inventor Karl Benz introduced his Patentmotorwagen Number 1, the world’s first automobile designed to be propelled by a motor. Twenty years ago, Finnish computer science student Linus Torvalds posted on the Internet…Ok, ok, you know the rest.

      But fast forward to November 28, 2011, in a conference center overlooking picturesque Yokohama Bay (in Yokohama/Japan and not on Oahu/Hawaii for the surfers among you), and we begin to see these two worlds collide in collaboration for the future of computing. The Linux Foundation yesterday hosted the first-ever Automotive Linux Summit, a conference designed to bring together experts from the automotive industry and Linux and open source software community.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Argentinean Tango with Gecko: Ututo XS

      I have already written couple of times about distributions from this country: country of tango, football, beef and Linux. Results of my trips were different.

      First time I tried Dragora Linux, and could not move further than to the initial screen: this Linux distribution does not have Live version.

    • A sneak Peak into the new Pinguy Mini OS 11.04.1

      Pinguy has launched a mini Avatar of its popular Pinguy OS 11.04.1 and has christened it Pinguy OS Mini 11.04.1. It has been completely designed on the basis of the main OS and comes with all the fixes and tweaks found in its parent. However what makes it different is the nature of applications. You do not have all those pre installed apps you would find in the Main OS, on the Pinguy OS Mini 11.04.1. Let us take a closer look.

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia 2 On Its Way

        The Thanksgiving holiday week didn’t seem to slow the Linux news any. Linux Mint is still in the headlines for stealing some of Ubuntu’s thunder, openSUSE is getting rave reviews for its 12.1 release, news emerges from the Vector camp, and Mageia released an early developmental build of its upcoming version 2.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Kororaa 16 Beta Released

          Chris Smart recently announced that Kororaa 16 Beta has been released. Kororaa is a Fedora-based distribution aimed at making everyday desktop computing a bit easier straight out of the box. Version 15 was released in September followed by an update in October.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu will now track Mozilla updates

            The Ubuntu developers are now tracking Mozilla’s rapid release cycle, releasing the updated version 8.0 of Mozilla’s Firefox and Thunderbird. Previously, Ubuntu distributions would have stuck with the major version they were released with, say 3.0, and only updated to the minor versions as they arrived, 3.0.1, 3.0.2 and so on. But Mozilla’s switch to a rapid release schedule for Firefox and Thunderbird, which sees a new major version every six weeks, has placed Canonical and other distribution makers with a decision: whether to stick with their old policy and support a version of a browser that would no longer be supported upstream within months, or follow the rapid-release cycle, even if it means updating major versions.

          • Ubuntu: Wake up and smell the Unity against you

            In the past few months, Ubuntu seems to have experienced a serious drop in popularity. It can be said that Linux distributions rise and fall when something new becomes the latest and greatest, but this turnaround seems sudden and could possibly be due to some recent design changes on Canonical’s part.

          • Canonical questions Distrowatch share slide figures

            Hall explained in a blog post that the figures on Distrowatch, while handy, aren’t an accurate guide to the actual number of users a particular build has. For example, he points out, Red Hat is 42nd on the list, but has a much larger installed base than that ranking would indicate. The figures are useful for gauging interest, but nothing more, Hall suggests.

          • Ubuntu May Be Coming to a TV Near You

            According to Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth, there are a few developers who want to develop such a platform and have met in a chat to nail down some of the priorities of a Ubuntu-TV project.

          • The “Ubuntu Pig Thesis”, Revised

            Yes, it’s me again. That guy who just won’t stop looking into the future and trying to determine when Ubuntu will cross the chasm. Admittedly, in August 2010 it was looking bleak.

            At that time our favourite, freedom-respecting, complete operating system with “community-awesomeness” was in clear and present danger of losing mind-share. And, like sharks drawn to blood in the water, the mainstream tech press (the Ubuntu “Non-Consumer” Journalist Community) began their feeding frenzy. Meanwhile we forged on with making Ubuntu even better, growing our local communities and spreading the word wider and farther than ever.

          • Reports of Ubuntu’s death are greatly exaggerated
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 12 debuts ‘Lisa’ as belle of the ball

              The Ubuntu variant famed for delivering a minty fresh taste to Linux has officially arrived at version 12. Code-named “Lisa,” the distribution introduces a new desktop that’s based on GNOME 3.2, yet offers extensive user customization courtesy of Mint Gnome Shell Extensions (MGSE). Open source fans will find the default search engine is now DuckDuckGo, which touts crowd-sourcing and a no-tracking privacy policy. Those concerned with aesthetics will certainly appreciate two new themes, Mint-Z and Mint-Z-Dark, and the distro also delivers upgrades to Firefox,

            • The End of the Distro Wars

              “Popularity” is a term that smacks of our days in high school, when we thought we should care about social standing and where we fit in that ranking. Now apparently, we seem to be locked into this notion of figuring out which distro is most popular, too.

              This is a silly question, for multiple reasons.

              First, the real data is hard to get. There is no common download tracker for distros. If you think DistroWatch is it, think again. DistroWatch doesn’t count downloads or boxes: it counts page hits for each distro’s page on that site. “Only one hit per IP address per day is counted,” the site explains.

            • Lubuntu 11.10 review: Lightweight Linux

              Canonical’s decision to go with Unity for the default Ubuntu Linux desktop interface was hardly met with universal acclaim. Likewise, GNOME 3 has been the target of criticism by some due to its interface changes. So where is one to go for an operating system with a classic desktop UI that just works out of the box?

              Luckily the key strength of free software is, as you would expect, the freedom to innovate and tweak until you come up with something that suits your needs. Of course sometimes this can tend to be a illusory — it can be hard to gather a strong community to support Feline Fanciers Linux (sadly) — but it’s not as though upsets are impossible when someone takes on the big guns of the Linux world.

            • Linux Mint 12: A much-needed, much-improved Linux desktop

              Outside of the desktop, the distribution is fairly straight-forward, and well done. There is one other feature that should be noted. When you fire up Firefox you will notice a different default search engine. Linux Mint has partnered with the Duck Duck Go search engine (which is built entirely on open source software – although currently the source for Duck Duck Go is closed). Now this might not be a big deal to some, but it should be known that Duck Duck Go does contribute to the open source community. What is also of note is that Duck Duck Go does not track search results and does not personalize searches based on your history. So if you’re looking for a more pure search engine, the new Linux Mint default might suit you.

            • Are DuckDuckGo’s Bing Ties a Problem for Linux Mint?

              The DuckDuckGo search engine is one of those new features thanks to a partnership between the projects whereby DuckDuckGo and Mint share the revenue generated by sponsored links within the search results seen by Linux Mint users.

              DuckDuckGo offers a number of advantages for privacy-focused users, as I noted yesterday; it’s also built in part on open source software, and it contributes to the open source community.

              In the past few days, however, there have been a few suggestions made that the search engine filters out free and open source software such as Linux and LibreOffice, largely because it draws in part from results from Microsoft Bing.

            • Linux Mint 12 (Lisa) Review – with Screenshot Tour
            • Mint solves Ubuntu Unity challenge

              Ubuntu always strives to make Linux easy. From its very first release in October 2004 Ubuntu was engineered to remove complexity while retaining the power of Linux.

              I’ve been a fan since day one and, with very few exceptions, it has been a rewarding and painless experience. At least until now.

              The problem now is Unity, Ubuntu’s new default desktop interfacet. Unity is ugly, clumsy and horrible to use. The alternative, Gnome3, is not that appealing either. Gnome3 is better looking than Unity but it is also a radical departure from Gnome2 which requires a lot of getting used to.

            • Screenshot Tour: Linux Mint 12 GNOME
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Ice Cream Sandwich

          No new version of the Android mobile operating system has been quite so eagerly awaited as v4.0 or Ice Cream Sandwich as it’s more colourfully known. The reason is not hard to explain: Android has streaked ahead of iOS in the bums-on-seats stakes but there is still the feeling that the user interface lacks the polish and grace of Apple’s mobile platform.

        • CyanogenMod 9 (Ice Cream Sandwich) for Nexus S

          Over the past week, ROM Manager extraordinaire Koush has been frantically working on making a working build of CyanogenMod 9 (Ice Cream Sandwich) for the Samsung Nexus S. The custom ROM, which is built purely from the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), has now reached “alpha 11.” All major features are present and no significant bugs remain. It’s too early to say that the build is ready for prime time or mission-critical work — the final release of CM9 is due in the new year — but it’s certainly stable enough for daily use. If you want to see CyanogenMod 9 in action, we’ve embedded our hands-on video at the end of this story.

        • GO Ubuntu Unity (donate)
    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Will sprint for freedom: Report from the NYC CiviCRM code sprint

    Late last month, I attended a two-day code sprint in New York for CiviCRM, the free software constituent relationship management system. I want to say a few words about it because I thought it was a great experience, and a good model for other free software projects to follow (many already do!).

    CiviCRM is a “graduate” of the FSF’s High Priority Projects list. A system for nonprofits to organize their fundraising and communicate with supporters had been on the list for quite a while, because this was an area where many people told us they were still forced to use proprietary software.

  • YaCy takes on Google with open source search engine

    A project calling itself YaCy – pronounced “ya see” – aims to break Google’s headlock on the search market by giving away an open source search engine that can be used both online and within an intranet.

    The YaCy engine is based on peer-to-peer connections rather than search queries being run thorough a central server. Users download the software and act as peers for search, ensuring that no content can be censored and no search results can be recorded and analyzed on central servers.

  • Open-source skills best hope for landing a good job

    In the midst of a weakening global economy and rampant uncertainty as to when the recession will lift from North America and Western Europe, one thing is certain: open-source technology skills may be the best hope for landing a good job. As reported by The Wall Street Journal, open source claims five of the top 10 keywords in Indeed.com’s job listings, with Hadoop, Puppet, Android, and jQuery making the list, along with HTML5, a proxy for various open-source projects like ext-JS, SproutCore, etc.

  • OSE developing blueprint for building industrial machines in post-apocalypse era

    Open Source Ecology is creating what it calls the Global Village Construction Set (GVCS) — a technology for ecology — that can help humans quickly build machines and a mini civilization in the event of a catastrophic event. Maybe overkill, but it’s nice to have a blueprint for survival — and an open source one at that.

  • 25 Ways Open Source is Catching On Beyond Software

    At a conference earlier this month, WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg told attendees, “not just software, but everything should be open source.”

    Apparently, he’s not the only person who thinks this, because open source philosophy is spreading far beyond the software industry.

    This month, we’re taking a look at 25 projects that are taking open source in new—and sometimes unexpected—directions. While not all of these projects involve open source licenses, they do all embrace the ideals of the open source movement. That is, the source materials are freely available for anyone who wants to re-use and/or modify them.

  • The Flowering of Open Innovation

    While the foundation provides an improved legal structure through better licensing and provenance tracking, it also acts as a neutral space for ownership and collaboration. For all corporate participants to feel they aren’t giving away their innovation investments to partners and competitors or the public at large, a central neutral owner for the IP becomes essential to growth. Foundations serve as that neutral holder of IP.

  • The silent drum-beat
  • What’s a Free Software Non-Profit For?

    Much was written last week that speculated about the role of foundations and the always-changing ways that developers write Free Software. I must respectfully point out that I believe this discussion doesn’t address the key purpose of doing Free Software work as part of a non-profit organization.

  • Events

    • Free Software – Defending Your Freedom
    • Invitation for Participation in SCALE: The Next Generation

      The Southern California Linux Expo is proud to announce a conference for the next generation of free and open source (FOSS) community enthusiasts. SCALE: The Next Generation will be held Saturday, January 21, 2012, at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport hotel. We invite the youth of the FOSS community to share their enthusiasm and excitement about FOSS projects with the other young people. Talk submissions are reviewed by a committee of youths, parents, and volunteers planning the conference and evaluated solely on their merits. We request that submission dates be strictly honored in order to provide the committee enough time to choose the best set of proposals.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 11 Gets Vibrator API

        Mozilla developers have landed some interesting new mobile features for the upcoming Firefox 11 for Android release. The new features will enable the browser to take full advantage of underlying hardware features, including the ability to vibrate, use a camera, check battery status and send an SMS.

  • Databases

    • Salesforce Heroku Offers Standalone Cloud-Based PostgreSQL Database

      The platform-as-a-service provider, owned by Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM), announced the new offering – a standalone cloud-based PostgreSQL database – last week. The company has offered its cloud-based database services to customers of the Heroku platform since 2007, but this new release extends it to customers who only want the database.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle Sun ZFS Storage Appliance Buyer’s Guide

      Oracle CEO Larry Ellison likes to think inside the box these days. Following on from the success of the company’s Exadata and Exalogic releases, he rolled out several more Oracle/Sun big box solutions–Exalytics for analytics/Business Intelligence (BI), the Oracle Big Data Appliance and a new line of Sun ZFS Storage Appliances.

  • CMS

    • Survey Says: WordPress Leads Open Source CMS Market

      According to water & stone, the “big three” open source CMSes from 2010 continue to dominate in 2011. WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla all topped the company’s survey of open source CMSes, with WordPress “clearly outpacing” Drupal and Joomla.

      The survey started with 35 systems, which were narrowed down to 20 after getting the survey responses. The report primarily looked at rate of adoption and brand strength. All we really care about is rate of adoption, so let’s look at that.

  • Funding

    • Cisco, Google Ventures and VMware Back Puppet Labs with $8.5 Million

      Puppet Labs announced today that it is receiving $8.5 million in Series C financing from Google Ventures, Cisco and VMware. The new round of financing brings Puppet Labs up to $15.75 million, which begs the question – what does the IT automation company need with that kind of dosh?


    • GNU Typist 2.9.1 released

      Changes in 2.9.1:
      - Native Language Support added on Windows
      - fixed support for UTF-8 on Windows
      - re-added vim syntax highlighting and updated manual
      - updated Polish translation, thanks to Jakub Bogusz
      - several fixes to the build system

  • Public Services/Government

    • Government to publish new public datasets

      The government is to release a new tranche of public datasets, including information on healthcare, travel and the weather, chancellor George Osborne is to announce in his Growth Review tomorrow.

  • Programming


  • Security

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • The Koha Saga: A gift that keeps giving

        The world of libraries is not one we normally associate with passion and high drama. And yet that is precisely what the long-running saga of Koha, the open source library management system, has been filled with.

    • Copyrights

      • SOPA Gets Taiwanese News Animation Treatment

        Want to know when a bit of news has really hit the mainstream? It’s when the Taiwanese company Next Media Animation does a computer generated animation of the story. These videos have become a media sensation. Guess what they just took on? Yup, the battle over SOPA, which they animate by showing Hollywood lobbyists seeking to attack the internet, and showing not only how tech companies teamed up to fight this, but that internet users are pushing back. Amusingly, they make use of the imagery from the UC Davis pepper spray incident to show how Hollywood and the government can “knock out” sites under SOPA.


Links 29/11/2011: Droid 4, Thunderbird 8.0 in Ubuntu 11.10

Posted in News Roundup at 8:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux Aus’s Rusty Wrench award returns

    After an absence of four years, Linux Australia’s award for outstanding service to the FOSS community is back.

  • Presenters to get first warning: Linux Aus

    The process to introduce an official code of conduct for Linux Australia events is continuing, with the Linux Australia council today issuing a re-drafted code for the consideration of members, including a proposed new warning system for inappropriate speakers.

  • Linux Gratitude

    Is Linux so inconceivable that it is hard for users to say thank you? In her podcast Why don’t more people say thank you?, Cathy Malmrose does a great job telling her own story as an analogy for trying to understand the Linux user community. Cathy is the CEO of Zareaon right here in Berkeley and a supporter of BerkeleyLUG. Please let her know your thoughts and/or comment here.

  • TLWIR 26: DiBona, LibreOffice Templates, iPad 2 and Linux Mint
  • Kernel Space

    • The Lustre Distributed Filesystem

      There comes a time in a network or storage administrator’s career when a large collection of storage volumes needs to be pooled together and distributed within a clustered or multiple client network, while maintaining high performance with little to no bottlenecks when accessing the same files. That is where Lustre comes into the picture. The Lustre filesystem is a high-performance distributed filesystem intended for larger network and high-availability environments.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

    • GNOME Desktop

      • What People Are Saying About GNOME [Part 4]
      • Faience Gnome Shell Theme And Faience Icons

        Faience Gnome Shell theme is fully compatible with Gnome 3.2 and older older version of Gnome 3.0 as well. Faience Gnome shell and icons theme designed by Matthieu James “tiheum” deviantart user.

        Faience icons theme based on Faenza icons. The latest update of Faience icons includes many new applications such as “Blender, Compiz Config Settings Manager, Desura, File-roller, Gajim, Gmail, Google Music Frame, Mail notification, System monitor”. Also missing links fixes, new mime types, and new icon sizes.

  • Distributions

    • Parted Magic – The Ultimate Linux Tool
    • Linux from Scratch: I’ve had it up to here!

      As you may be able to tell from my recent, snooze-worthy technical posts about compilers and makefiles and other assorted garbage, my experience with Linux from Scratch has been equally educational and enraging. Like Dave, I’ve had the pleasure of trying to compile various desktop environments and software packages from scratch, into some god-awful contraption that will let me check my damn email and look at the Twitters.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • How Mandriva was built

        The distro now known as Mandriva has been making headlines since its inception – unfortunately not all of the press has been flattering. It’s the distro the community first loved, and now just loves to hate.

        Way before Ubuntu and the current slew of desktop-friendly distros – when running Linux on your desktop was a measure of your geek cred – the technologically challenged turned to Mandriva.

    • Red Hat Family

      • HP Project Odyssey’s Biggest Server Winner: Red Hat Linux

        Hewlett-Packard is facing a difficult time in the server market. Indeed, IBM is gaining momentum amid HP’s missteps with Itanium, the latest Gartner research suggests. Now, HP is trying to save face with a server initiative code-named Odyssey. But here’s the big twist: Odyssey’s biggest potential winner is Red Hat.

      • Red Hat sales exec is moving on

        Linux software company Red Hat is seeking a new top sales executive to replace Alex Pinchev, who is departing in January.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Why You Should Not Ditch Ubuntu

            Ubuntu has been facing some backlash ever since they introduced Unity. I don’t know how many users actually migrated to other distros, but some long time Ubuntu users did switch to Linux Mint from my Google+ circle. I don’t think that’s a good sign for the distribution and the company behind it, Canonical.

            I also don’t think there is anything wrong with Canonical of Ubuntu, it’s change that was inevitable. Ubuntu uses Gnome as its desktop environment and the Gnome project was moving forward with the long-awaited version 3. Gnome 3 brings some radical changes to the UI, which was extremely important to keep it ready for the new breed of devices which as ‘touch-enabled’. Gnome 3 meant change; change in the way a user interacts with his PC, change in functionality, usability and features. There were some conflict of ideas which lead Ubuntu team to create their own shell instead of using Gnome 3 shell, it was called Unity. It was not a new concept, Ubuntu already had that interface for netbooks.

          • Asus and Ubuntu in Portugal
          • List Of Unity Keyboard Shortcuts
          • ‘Foss Yeaaaah!’ – A Song About Unity, GNOME and Ubuntu
          • A few useful tweaks for Ubuntu
          • Dare To Be Different: Ubuntu’s Popularity Is Not Declining

            Like a domino effect of mis-information, this week has been chock full of reports by tech news sites that Ubuntu’s market share is declining, being surpassed by the Ubuntu spin-off and close cousin Linux Mint.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • 12 Reasons to Try Linux Mint 12

              For any new release of a popular Linux distribution, there are typically numerous fans eagerly awaiting the software’s final debut. For Linux Mint 12, however, that anticipation may well have broken all previous records, so anxious have Linux fans been to see the new release’s answer to the controversial desktop environments increasingly appearing in other operating systems.

            • Ubuntu shows DistroWatch decline as Mint soars

              Linux Mint appears to be soaring in popularity at the expense of high-profile distros such as Ubuntu, figures from DistroWatch have suggested.

              The site’s latest page hit numbers show a sharp decline in the last month for Ubuntu, which having occupied second spot throughout year has now dropped to fourth place, behind even Fedora, openSUSE and top performer, Mint.
              The figures are perhaps more surprising given that Canonical released the latest version of Ubuntu, 11.10, on 13 October, within the period covered by the measurements, which look at the average number of hits per day from unique IP addresses.
              Assuming the numbers are a meaningful reflection of actual download interest (and it should be pointed out that the site itself does not make any definitive claims), why Ubuntu might be on a downward slope is an open question. The temptation will be for commentators to blame the arrival of the contentious Unity interface, which replaced Gnome/KDE, from 11.04 (Nutty Narwhal) onwards.

            • Linux Mint 12 ships as distro’s popularity soars

              The final version of Linux Mint 12 (“Lisa”) was released, with “MGSE” extensions to GNOME 3.2 that let users create a more GNOME 2.3x-like environment. Based on Ubuntu 11.10 and Linux 3.0, Linux Mint 12 features upgrades to Firefox 7.0, LibreOffice 3.4.3 and Thunderbird 7.0.1, and introduces a new DuckDuckGo default search engine.

            • Not moving just yet

              Vaughan-Nichols cites the Page Hit Ranking on DistroWatch, a Web site that tracks Linux distributions, as the authority for this claim. Now if you look at the Page Hit Ranking, sure enough, Linux Mint has beaten Ubuntu consistently, whether it is in the last month or the last 12 months. But what do these average hits per day really mean?

              Here is what DistroWatch has to say (emphasis mine): “The DistroWatch Page Hit Ranking statistics are a light-hearted way of measuring the popularity of Linux distributions and other free operating systems among the visitors of this website. They correlate neither to usage nor to quality and should not be used to measure the market share of distributions. They simply show the number of times a distribution page on DistroWatch.com was accessed each day, nothing more.”

              In other words, the Page Hit Ranking merely reflects the number of times DistroWatch visitors call up the information page about a particular Linux distribution. It does not reflect the number of visitors that each distribution gets on its Web site, much less the number of times a distribution is downloaded and installed.

              DistroWatch is pretty clear about this, so it is surprising how pundits such as Vaughan-Nichols can pass this lightweight ranking as the basis for declaring that Linux Mint is now the most popular distribution.

            • What’s that sound?

              Over the weekend, Philip made available some updated CrunchBang Statler images. The changes were somewhat profound and, as Philip points out in his blog, “the new images are not really about additional features, but more about what has been removed and/or cleaned up (although there are a few new features to look forward to).”

              CrunchBang is going the window manager route with Openbox, so that means Xfce version of CrunchBang is retired. the main thing to have been removed/retired is the Xfce version. “Besides,” Philip writes, “there are plenty of brilliant Xfce based distributions available, and if you know what you are doing, installing Xfce under Debian is really not too difficult.”

            • Updated CrunchBang Statler images

              Yesterday, I made available some updated CrunchBang Statler images. I have made a good number of changes to Statler, probably more than I should have, but the changes were considered and needed to be made in order to progress.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • ARM releases free Android development toolkit

      ARM announced a free edition of its Eclipse-based development toolkit that’s aimed at Android developers. ARM Development Studio 5 (DS-5) Community Edition (CE) helps create performance- and power-optimized native software by integrating a graphical debugger for code generated for the Android Native Development Kit (NDK) and a version of the ARM Streamline Performance Analyzer, the company says.

    • Raspberry Pi deserves Slackware

      Some time ago I ran into this website promoting a very cheap computer the size of a credit card. The Raspberry Pi is being created by a charitable foundation. It is designed to “plug into a TV or be combined with a touch screen for a low cost tablet“. Typically its target is “teaching computer programming to children“, but such a cheap computing device will certainly have “many other applications both in the developed and the developing world“.

      You have to see the device to believe it, I guess. The videos and photos look very promising. It’s not in production yet but according to the developer team’s schedule first shipments should commence before the end of the year.

    • Phones

      • Cricket ZTE Chorus brings entry-level Muve Music for $39.99, but it’s not a smartphone

        Be careful though, because you’re apparently also giving up Android for a generic “Linux OS” when you go that route — the Muve Music plan for Android phones is $65 per month and not available on the Chorus.

      • Android

        • Nexus S PowerSkin Review

          Smartphones have become many a persons entire world in the palm of their hand (if you’re reading this then you’re likely one of those people, just like me). But having this wealth of information at your fingertips comes at a price, mainly your phones insatiable hunger for power. So when I got an opportunity to test out a PowerSkin case for my Nexus S I jumped at the chance.

        • Droid 4 details surface days ahead of expected launch

          Verizon and Motorola have had a very busy fourth quarter together, having collaborated on no less than three top-tier Android-powered smartphones. First we had the Droid Bionic arriving months later than initially expected and only weeks after the Droid 3. Jump forward another few weeks and then we have the Droid RAZR slashing its way into the lineup and contending for best of year honors. What’s next? How about a Droid 4 less than one month after that?

Free Software/Open Source

  • You Won’t Get Fired for Using Apache

    In March of 2010, I sat on a panel with Justin Erenkrantz (Apache), Mårten Mickos (Eucalyptus), and Jason van Zyl (Maven/Sonatype) at the Eclipse Conference debating the future of open source [coverage]. The audience asked questions on licensing, development models and the direction of open source generally. One of the questions concerned the role of foundations like Eclipse, and whether they represented the future or if that would be written instead by commercial producers of open source.

  • Apache Server Hit by Reverse Proxy
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Thunderbird 8.0 Officially Lands in Ubuntu 11.10

        After Firefox 8 officially landed in Ubuntu 11.10 last week, earlier today (November 28th) Canonical announced that the Mozilla Thunderbird 8.0 email client is now available on the official software repositories of the Oneiric Ocelot operating system.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle v. Google – Why Jury Instructions Make A Difference – Updated: A Comparative Chart

      Back on October 15 the parties, Oracle and Google, filed their joint proposed jury instructions (539 [PDF]. Because of the length of this document we didn’t review it at that time or provide an html version, but we don’t want to ignore it either.

      Jury instructions, as we will see, can be critical in “guiding” the jury toward an approach to a verdict favoring one party or the other. That is why, although the filing is denominated a joint filing on jury instructions, it is really a filing that evidences all of the disagreements the parties have with the approach suggested by the other.


  • Public Services/Government

    • Open source: The government’s commitment so far

      The promotion of open source and open standards is a key tenet of the government’s ICT strategy, but did the publication of the Open Source Procurement Toolkit earlier this month and recent government initiatives provide the boost needed to increase understanding and procurement of open source within the public sector?

  • Programming

    • The Top Myths About Sourceforge

      Since starting at Sourceforge about a month ago, I’ve been paying close attention to media and Twitter mentions of Sourceforge. I’ve been astonished at the sheer volume of misinformation that’s just accepted as fact. I suppose when things are said often enough, you just can’t help believing them. Here’s some of the most common ones.


  • Health/Nutrition

    • Best Health Care System? Not in the USA, Despite Constant Spin to Make Us Believe It

      A little more than a year ago, on the day after the GOP regained control of the House of Representatives, Speaker-to-be John Boehner said one of the first orders of business after he took charge would be the repeal of health care reform.

      “I believe that the health care bill that was enacted by the current Congress will kill jobs in America, ruin the best health care system in the world, and bankrupt our country,” Boehner said at a press
      conference. “That means we have to do everything we can to try to repeal this bill and replace it with common sense reforms to bring down the cost of health care.”

  • Finance

    • ‘60 Minutes’ shines spotlight on homeless Fla. teens (Video)

      A powerful piece on “60 Minutes” on Sunday night shone a light into life as a homeless teenager in Florida. Though the show gave faces and stories to the impact the recession has had on South Florida, the Internet lit up with concern for two teens in particular, brother and sister Arielle and Austin Metzger. The siblings live in a van with their father, an unemployed carpenter.


Links 28/11/2011: Linux 3.2 RC3, VectorLinux 7.0

Posted in News Roundup at 4:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • A Visit to Brazil

    I was checking out DuckDuckGo search engine and used its setting to prefer .br and found VivaOLinux. It is a GNU/Linux-friendly site and I did not find any trolls in my brief visit. How refreshing. It’s in the top 10K sites in Netcraft stats. Compare that with DesktopLinux.com in USA which just scrapes by to get in the top million sites.

  • Desktop

  • Server

    • Review: Thumbs-Up On Oracle Database Appliance

      If you thought the past 10 years had brought forth an explosion of data — particularly when it comes to SMBs — just wait for the next 10. With mobile devices becoming incredibly powerful data collection devices, and with social media, new use patterns and more powerful processing, database technologies would appear to face a ton of challenges.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Top 5 Linux Distributions

      As a Linux user, I am sure, you will be interested to know which is the most popular Linux distribution. Till recently, if you go by Distrowatch stats, Ubuntu ruled the roost as the most popular Linux distribution. However, after Ubuntu team made a switch to the Unity interface, its popularity has declined considerably.

    • Linux, Open Source & Ubuntu: 10 Custom Linux Distros That Ease IT Administrators` Workload
    • New Releases

      • Download CRUX 2.7.1 With Linux Kernel
      • Parted Magic update brings fixes for multi-boot CD issues

        A new version of Parted Magic, simply labelled “2011_11_24″, has been released. According to the release announcement post on the project’s News page, the update to the open source, multi-platform partitioning tool includes the 3.1.2 Linux kernel and brings “some major changes that might cause some issues with the Multi-Boot-CD crowd”.

      • VectorLinux 7.0 Standard Gold

        The final release of VectorLinux 7.0 (code name ‘GG’) is now available. This release is the result of nearly two years of blood sweet and tears since the very successful release of VectorLinux 6.0. With the enthusiasm of a small group of packagers, our repository now hosts over a thousand up to date packages. VectorLinux is the fastest Linux desktop in it’s class bar none. We have exceeded our original goals of VectorLinux 7 and produced a beautiful, full featured stable desktop that is fun, fast and efficient.

      • VectorLinux 7.0 goes gold after two years

        The developers of the compact VectorLinux distribution have announced that, nearly two years after the release of version 6.0, they have released version 7.0 of their operating system. Described as “the fastest Linux desktop in its class bar none” by its developers, VectorLinux 7.0, code-named “GG”, sports a desktop based on Xfce-4.8, with an option to use FluxBox as an alternative desktop.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia 2 Alpha 1 released for testing

        The Mageia project has announced the release of a first alpha of version 2.0 of its Mandriva Linux community fork. According to the Development Planning schedule, the first milestone will be followed by two more alpha releases, two betas and a release candidate; the final version is expected to arrive on 3 May 2012.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • fslinux_build: Debian Custom Build Script
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu penguins build Linux TV challenge

            Open-sourcers are taking Ubuntu Linux in the direction of Google TV and Microsoft’s Xbox 360.

            A list of priorities for something called Ubuntu TV have been thrashed out by Ubuntu developers with the blessing of Mark Shuttleworth. The Ubuntu daddy has corralled the points here.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 12 screenshot preview
            • The Perfect Desktop – Linux Mint 12 (Lisa)
            • DistroWatch: Ubuntu Drops, Linux Mint Still On Top
            • CrunchBang Linux 10 R20111125 Available for Download
            • CrunchBang 10 update goes exclusively OpenBox

              Developer Philip Newborough has announced the release of an updated image of CrunchBang 10 “Statler” R20101205, a Linux distribution based on Debian Squeeze; CrunchBang 10 was originally released in March 2011.

              This release has some new additions but mainly focuses on the removal and cleaning up of the distribution. Previously, “Statler” was available with either the lightweight Openbox window manager or XFCE. But Newborough says that he wants to concentrate on giving “the best out-of-the-box Openbox experience possible” and, to that end, has retired the Xfce version as “there are plenty of brilliant Xfce based distributions available”.

            • Linux Mint 12: A Great desktop Linux stays Great

              Installing Mint is a snap. All you need do is download the ISO, burn it to a CD, DVD, or USB stick and then re-boot your computer with it and follow the instructions. On my PCs, the entire process took about half-an-hour. One nice thing about Mint, and other Linux distros, is that they’ll work well on old PCs with as little as 512MBs of RAM. For most people though I’d recommend running Mint on a system with at least 1GB of memory.

              You cannot though do an in-place update of Mint 11. That’s by design. Mint’s developers feel that if you just upgrade an already existing Linux, you’re likely to carry forward potential problems or out of date software. So, you’ll need to back up and restore your home directories and files. I did this by backing them up to an attached USB drive. It’s a trifle annoying, but it’s not really a big deal.

            • Linux Mint 12 Review: The Best Gnome 3 Shell Implementation

              LinuxMint team has dropped the bomb with the release of version 12, which offers a unique Gnome experience. Linux Mint is also enjoying its new limelight with esteemed #1 spot on Distrowatch. However, the journey was not that smooth for the team.

              Earlier this year when Ubuntu switched to Gnome 3 and came with Unity as the default shell, Clement Lefebvre told me that they won’t switch to Gnome 3 or Unity. The statement was applauded by the LinuxMint users. However, we did understand that it was a huge technological challenge for the LinuxMint to not adopt Gnome 3.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • New ARM Dev Toolkit for Android Addresses Platform ‘Hodgepodge’

      This morning, ARM is taking a significant step toward ironing out Android’s multiple versioning issues that Linus Torvalds himself called a “hodgepodge” earlier this year. It’s releasing suites of developers’ tools, including a free community edition, of its ARM Developers Studio (DS-5), this time including a graphical debugger that it says will eliminate the need for devs to use a clunky, command-line debugger for tuning native code.

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet review [Video]

        If you’re looking for a low-priced tablet this year, Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet is one you’ll want to consider.

        At $249, the Nook Tablet is a bit more expensive than the Amazon Kindle Fire, the Nook Color and the Kobo Vox, each of which are selling at about $200. But, the Nook Tablet is a better piece of hardware than its $200 rivals and the extra dough wouldn’t be spent in vain.

      • Get an Acer Iconia 10-inch tablet for $229.99

        And come on: $229.99?! That’s only $30 more than you’d pay for a 7-inch Kindle Fire. And it’s $20 less than the Nook Tablet. If you’re in the market for a 10-inch slate, this is without question the deal to beat.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Devs tempted to hit the source at appMobi’s free bar

    Mobile developers with an AJAX leaning can now get free access to the source for appMobi’s development toolkit, allowing them to incorporate bits of appMobi tech into their own apps.

  • Science prize goes to an open source project

    The monthly Science Prize for Online Resources in Education (SPORE) from Science magazine has this month been awarded to an open source project. The winner, Open Source Physics, is a web site that provides tools and resources for interactive computer-based modelling; it is intended to help teach students at all levels the principles of computational physics.

  • Crashing Google Wave Finds New Life in Open Source

    Google recently announced it will shut down Google Wave, the company’s web app for real-time collaboration, in April 2012.

    Google had previously all but abandoned Wave, ceasing new development over a year ago, but soon all traces of Wave will be removed from the web. Wave will become read-only in January 2012, meaning users will no longer be able to create new waves. After that Google Wave users have until April 30 to export their content before the service shuts down completely.

  • Why free software is not a job killer

    At first, this seems a little bit odd. As much as I love and enjoy using FLOSS and value it for its steadiness and security, I also understand that I must also devote some time to maintaining it, just like any proprietary system. What’s funny about my particular situation is that because I don’t use Windows that often, I actually spend more time maintaining security updates on my Linux machines than I do my Windows client. But when you only use a PC an hour a week or so, versus near-24/7 uptime, you get that. If I were using my Windows computer more often, I know the maintenance time would be much higher.

    And that’s just the client machines I have. I’ve done enough systems administration to know that there are almost as many tasks in administering FLOSS software as proprietary. Sure, there’s a lot less time spent looking for viruses on a Linux machine, but I still have to manage user accounts, provision machines, etc.

  • Events

    • CeBIT 2012: Call for projects

      Open source projects can now apply for free booth space at next year’s CeBIT trade show, which will take place from 6 to 10 March 2012 on the world’s largest fairground in Hannover, Germany. For the fourth year in a row, open source will have a presence at the event, with various organisations and projects from around the world represented in Hall 2.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Time up for Oracle’s HTML5 killer?

      Sun Microsystems in 2007 announced a re-imagining of GUI platform Swing with JavaFX. Swing, Sun said, had reached an architectural dead-end and need a reboot to compete on modern, Rich Internet Application (RIA) platforms.

  • CMS

    • The Big 3 continue to dominate the Open Source CMS race

      “WordPress turned in another strong year, clearly outpacing both Joomla! and Drupal,” notes lead analyst Ric Shreves. “Looking beyond the Big 3 we find a considerable amount of movement in the market, with several smaller systems turning in solid performances this year. Concrete5, in particular, had a very strong year.”

  • Healthcare

    • Summa Health System Launches New Site with Jahia

      Jahia, provider of Java-based open source CMS solutions, announced today that Summa Health System (summahealth.org) has re-launched its website using Jahia, chosen based on its interoperability with a wide range of content repositories, making Jahia the de facto “online digital hub” for Summa Health’s content.

  • Business/Other

  • Project Releases

    • Node.js 0.6.3 integrates NPM

      The Node.js developers have announced the release of version 0.6.3 of the JavaScript-based, event-driven, application framework. A new feature in the release is the addition of NPM, Node Package Manager, to the Node.js distribution. NPM was independently developed to offer Node users a simple way of packaging and distributing libraries of code and has become the de facto standard for Node.js packaging.

    • Version 1.0 of YaCy distributed search engine released

      After more than 5 years of development, the YaCy developers have released version 1.0 of their open source, decentralised search engine. The GPL-licensed YaCy peer-to-peer search engine is designed as an alternative to search services, such as those provided Google, that are centrally managed by one company.

      Like file sharing peers, all search engine peers will contribute search results and use the results contributed by others. An important advantage, say the developers, is that YaCy content cannot be censored. Karsten Gerloff, President of the Free Software Foundation Europe described the project as a “vital building block” for the “future world of distributed, peer-to-peer systems”.

  • Public Services/Government

    • UkGovcamp: walk a mile in our sandals and realise some serious savings
    • Open source: Is the government doing enough?

      Open source is currently in use across several government departments, with Drupal powering the Cabinet Office website and some DirectGov services, Transport for London’s Oystercard using an open source infrastructure, and the Department of Health using open source to work with EU partners.

      In addition, some departments are creating their own open source technologies, such as the Department for the Climate Change, which has created FoxOpen. However, most of the technology used by government remains proprietary, with the Department for Work and Pensions, for example, still using comprehensive proprietary products from single vendors such as IBM.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Will HTML5 kill mobile apps?

      By forcing Web developers, and ultimately Adobe, out of the Flash business, Apple made HTML5 apps better. That’s good for Safari users, but it’s also good for users on other Web platforms, like Android. If there’s a truly good universal platform for online apps, it stands to reason that the smart developer will build apps for it, since this way the app will be available to the largest number of users. Right?


  • Finance

    • Secret Fed Loans Undisclosed to Congress Gave Banks $13 Billion in Income

      $7.77 Trillion

      The amount of money the central bank parceled out was surprising even to Gary H. Stern, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis from 1985 to 2009, who says he “wasn’t aware of the magnitude.” It dwarfed the Treasury Department’s better-known $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. Add up guarantees and lending limits, and the Fed had committed $7.77 trillion as of March 2009 to rescuing the financial system, more than half the value of everything produced in the U.S. that year.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Will Paradis Fail To Can Canadian Spam?

      Last year, a Quebec court upheld the largest spam damage award in the world, ordering Adam Guerbuez, a Montreal-based email marketer, to pay Facebook $873 million dollars for sending millions of spam messages to users of the popular social network. Two months later, the Conservative government passed long overdue anti-spam legislation that finally established strict rules for electronic marketing and safeguards against the installation of unwanted software programs on personal computers, all backed by tough multi-million dollar penalties.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Koha trademark: top lawyer says Trust has stronger case

        A leading ICT lawyer in New Zealand says the Horowhenua Library Trust, which is getting ready to lodge an objection to the registration of the Koha trademark for software by an American defence contractor, has a stronger case than its opponent.

        Rick Shera, a partner at Lowndes Jordan Barristers and Solicitors in Auckland, and the first lawyer to have qualified as a New Zealand Computer Society Information Technology Certified Professional, was commenting on the case of the Koha project, an integrated library system.

    • Copyrights

      • Copyright coming to the Supreme Court of Canada

        The copyright bar and the Supreme Court are gearing up for two big days of copyright appeals. The five appeals are being heard back to back on December 6 and 7, 2011.

        Earlier today the Court circulated the draft schedule for the arguments. It lists all the parties, the interveners, the lawyers involved, and the order in which the cases are going to be heard. It is going to be a very interesting two days for copyright in Canada.

Links 28/11/2011: iodoom3, Android Scare

Posted in News Roundup at 5:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

  • Server

  • Applications

    • NewsBlur: The Open Source Feed Reader with Brains

      Google Reader is the undisputed champ among Web-based RSS and Atom feed-readers. But while the search giant gets plenty of karma points on the software freedom front, Google Reader’s status as a commercial product means that from time to time, features have to come and go. The latest change is the removal of social-networking “share this” functionality, as Google Reader gets merged into Google Plus. The open source feed reader NewsBlur is ready to make a play for your attention, adding not just link-sharing but multi-user rating and intelligence.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Copy of BEEP to give away from Gameolith!
      • Will it be Desura’s Linux client Vs USC?| Gaming

        The wait until now was for a Linux client to run games Desura streams. However, now that it is here, users face a new dilemma – Download from Desura or desuraUbuntu Software Centre?

      • iodoom3 Source Code Project Underway

        Remember that source code project to overhaul the Quake 3 Engine and make it more secure, viable and updated for game management projects? Well, the same team behind the ioquake3 source code project, which overhauled the engine for better and more platform support as well as all sorts of other goodies, is at it again this time using the Doom 3 source code.

        For now the project has only been just announced and that means that the team is consolidating resources and setting an outline for what the project will eventually blossom into.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Death of Copyright Is Greatly Exaggerated

        Red Hat makes money giving away software and selling support services.

        Adam worries about a future where “copyright exists on paper only,” but all of the above business models rely, in one way or another, on copyright protection. Hollywood uses copyright law to shut down pirate movie theaters. Apple uses copyright law to shut down unauthorized clones of its hardware products. Even Red Hat relies on copyright law to help it enforce the GPL license, which prohibits third parties from incorporating open source code into proprietary products. The fact that these businesses have chosen monetization strategies that don’t involve selling copies of content directly to the general public doesn’t mean they don’t benefit from copyright protection.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Top Free Android Scientific Apps

          Science is the effort of trying to understand how the physical world works. From observation and experimentation, science uses physical evidence of natural phenomena to compile data and analyze the collated information.

        • SwipePad: A Must Have App for Every Android Device

          SwipePad is a simple application that lets you launch any app with a single swipe action from within any other app. Upon being recommended by a friend of mine, SwipePad was one of those applications I installed immediately after receiving my first Android phone. Since then, SwipePad has become an integral part of my daily life that I almost started seeing it as one of those core apps for Android which comes as default.

        • Android scare: percentages do not tell the real tale

          In its eagerness to put a computer running its software on every desk, Microsoft has spawned a number of ancillary industries, the most pernicious of which is the anti-virus group. McAfee is a major force in this industry.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source: democratising the internets

    You probably use open source software every day, but it’s equally as likely you have no idea what it is or who is building it.

    Fortunately for us, Gavin Jackson is one chap who knows what it’s all about and he came into the studio to give Louise Maher the low down.

    “Open source software is any software that has been released under a licence that allows people to download the source code for viewing, for modification and also for redistribution,” Jackson explained.

    “A lot of big business relies on open source technology, they probably wouldn’t exist without it, so it’s an interesting phenomenon.”

  • appMobi Open Sources HTML5 Technologies

    HTML5 development shop appMobi will now open source key elements of its mobile technology in an attempt to accelerate industry migration to HTML5. This move will see the appMobi cross-platform device APIs released to the community contribution model of development and, as a consequence, also embrace support of HTML5 development for both Android and iOS platforms. appMobi will also release the source code for its mobiUs browser, which sets out to allow HTML5 web apps to perform identically to native apps.


  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs Has Taken Over

      On November 25, two days after a failed German government bond auction in which Germany was unable to sell 35% of its offerings of 10-year bonds, the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble said that Germany might retreat from its demands that the private banks that hold the troubled sovereign debt from Greece, Italy, and Spain must accept part of the cost of their bailout by writing off some of the debt. The private banks want to avoid any losses either by forcing the Greek, Italian, and Spanish governments to make good on the bonds by imposing extreme austerity on their citizens, or by having the European Central Bank print euros with which to buy the sovereign debt from the private banks. Printing money to make good on debt is contrary to the ECB’s charter and especially frightens Germans, because of the Weimar experience with hyperinflation.

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