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07.19.11

Links 19/7/2011: Ubuntu 12.04 Event Planned, GParted 0.9.0 Out

Posted in News Roundup at 7:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • 8 Places to Find Help for Your Linux Server
  • Toyota’s open road

    Now why would a car company want to join a nonprofit consortium made up of mostly technology companies dedicated to fostering the growth of Linux? The answer is, it makes business sense.

  • Loosing work because I use Linux

    Their online application was three pages long. Even though I saw the above block on the first page I had a small hope it wasn’t a strict requirement because after I checked “no” to having Windows I was able to select that I used “Linux” from a drop down menu. Tutor.com then proceeded to waste another ten minutes of my time while I filled out the next two pages. Immediately after hitting the “submit” button I was informed that my application had failed.

    I understand they have certain system requirements, but why they felt it was necessary to waste my time filling out the last two pages after I already marked that I did not use Windows is beyond me. What is also beyond me is why they choose to develop their browser based software for the Windows only Internet Explorer instead of any of the cross platform browsers that exist. Oh and did I mention that they opted to support iOS before they added support for non-Windows desktop operating systems?

  • Desktop

    • Wolverton: A look at the new Samsung Series 5 Chromebook

      Chrome OS is also theoretically much more secure than standard laptops. Because Chromebooks are designed to be connected to the Internet, little data is stored on the machine itself. And because everything is focused on the browser — which Google updates frequently — there’s less chance of a malicious program running in the background.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linus Torvalds delays Linux 3.0 launch due to a subtle bug

      Torvalds announced back in May that the Linux 2.6.40 kernel will be rebadged as the Linux 3.0 kernel. The projected release date of Linux 3.0 was supposed to be today, but in a post on Google+, Torvalds explained that the discovery of a “subtle pathname lookup bug” has delayed the release.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • 5 Absolutely Useless Compiz Plugins

      Compiz is no doubt the best compositing manager for Linux. It has been a part of Ubuntu for a long time and is actively maintained as well. Since the addition of the contentious Unity plugin, Compiz has become the most popular and reliable compositing manager easily surpassing GNOME 3′s Mutter.

      Being a part of a big project like Ubuntu, developers are coming up with amazing new plugins like Modal dialogs. This, of course, doesn’t mean that there aren’t any useless plugins for Compiz. Here are 5 such plugins that find no practical applications whatsoever:

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE 4.7: Long-Term Vision, Ongoing Myopia

        hree years ago, KDE was the innovative desktop, and GNOME the conservative one. Today, KDE is the conservative desktop, doing incremental releases, while GNOME is divided between GNOME 3 and Unity, each as innovative and as controversial as the other.

  • Distributions

    • ArchBang: A small review

      ArchBang is a simple GNU/Linux distribution, which provides you with a lightweight Arch Linux system combined with the Openbox Window Manager. Suitable for both desktop and portable systems – It is fast, stable, and always up to date. (Source: ArchBang front page)

      I like fast, stable and up to date distros. But of course most of them say that.

    • New Releases

      • Zorin OS Lite Release Candidate
      • Announcement: RapidDisk (rxdsk) 1.0b Stable release

        I am writing to announce the release of my Linux RAM disk kernel module. Yes, the Linux kernel has the brd module already integrated into it, and also the zram module it the staging tree. And yes, you can instead utilize ramfs or tmpfs for RAM based file systems. But RapidDisk or rxdsk is a bit different.

      • 18 July 2011: GParted 0.9.0

        The most significant change in this release is the ability to compile and link with libparted 3.0.

        GParted retains full functionality when compiled and linked with libparted versions prior to 3.0, for example libparted-2.4.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • I owe you an apology, PCLinuxOS

        Two years ago, when I first entered this vast world that Linux is, I came to realize that there was a distribution that was mentioned over and over: PCLinuxOS. I became curious and followed some old posts in multiple threads. To be honest, being a total newbie, I felt sort of intimidated by the vocal followers of this distro and my aversion grew stronger when I visited the forum and was greeted by the rules. Boy, did I ever read something harsh!

        [...]

        From all of this, my biggest conclusion is that I, because of my lack of experience with Linux, acted unfairly. However, as Ezra Pound said of Walt Whitman, “I am old enough now to make friends”. Yes, PCLinuxOS… I owe you an apology.

      • Another day, Another PCLOS – Xfce Edition 2011-07

        Following the releases of PCLinuxOS 2011.6 and PCLinuxOS 2011.07 MiniMe KDE comes PCLinuxOS Phoenix XFCE Edition 2011-07 Final. As you can probably gather, it features the low-weight high-performance Xfce desktop which makes it perfect for machines a few years old. It also can be quite pretty and configurable.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Review: Scientific Linux 6.0 “Carbon”

        Overall, I was pretty pleased with Scientific Linux 6.0 “Carbon”. It recognized all my hardware correctly, software worked well on it, and it was fast, recognizable, and easy to use.

      • Fedora

        • Newly-expanded Fedora Logo Guidelines

          Due in major part to Ian Weller’s extensive work on expanding Fedora’s logo usage guidelines, we now have updated logo usage guidelines that cover the usage of the Fedora logo in more detail, including:

    • Debian Family

      • Debian invites you to Debian Day
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • How to Freshly install Ubuntu Linux 10.10
          • Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Developer Summit Event Announced

            As expected, the second Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS) event for 2011 has been officially announced a couple of minutes ago by Jono Bacon in an email. The Ubuntu 12.04 Developer Summit event will take place in Orlando, Florida, USA from 31st October to 4th November.

          • Wireless dominoes
          • Canonical to simplify Ubuntu certification

            Canonical has announced that it will be changing its commercial certification programme in order to make it simpler for consumers to understand. The certification programme allows original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and original design manufacturers (ODMs) to apply for their systems to be validated and endorsed to work with the popular Ubuntu Linux distribution.

          • Ubuntu Certification Is Changing
          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 224
          • [Oneiric Updates] Some Upcoming Changes in Unity
          • Flavours and Variants

            • UbuBox “SalentOS” 11.04

              The idea to make a personal operating system, flashed in my head for quite some time, but for one reason or another I never managed to get to work seriously on such a project. In these days I decided to commit myself “full time” to it and I did it, also pushed by the wave of news that are coming in the world of the penguin! I did not, initially, planned to make UbuBox “SalentOS” public. Then, along the way, thanks to the advice of some friends and the realization that the system satisfy me, I said “Who knows … maybe this could satisfy someone else too. Why not make it public?”.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Meraki Slims Down Cloud Routers

      The underlying operating system in the MX50, MX60 and MX70 router is a customized Linux base that Meraki has enhanced.

    • Tiny Wi-Fi device server ships with Linux SDK

      Lantronix is now shipping a wireless device server module with a Timesys LinuxLink software development kit (SDK). The PremierWave EN includes a 400MHz Atmel ARM9 processor, an Ethernet port, and a dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n modem, and ships with Linux-based Lantronix firmware — offering secure tunneling, configuration, diagnostics, LAN bridging, and remote access applications.

    • Plustek announces upgrades to its MultiManager video management software

      Plustek Inc., the leading manufacturer of the innovative Linux-based standalone Network Video Recorder (NVR), announces today a notable upgraded to its Centralized Management Software “MultiManager.” This version introduces powerful enhancements and new features to further improve monitoring effectiveness and efficiency. The new “Smart Cycling Control” tool brings added convenience to multiple-channel monitoring. Additionally, alert notification functionalities are improved to assist users in staying on top of alarms and to better respond to emergencies. User permissions also are better refined, providing more control and flexibility to the system. Last but not least, several other developments to image and video output file types, video recording performance, and user operations are made.

    • Phones

Free Software/Open Source

  • Business reporting group promotes XBRL tools

    Non-profit consortium in the US offering cash prize to encourage development of new software resources

  • Events

    • Blender Conference 2011 registration opens

      The Blender Foundation has announced that registration for 2011 Blender Conference is now open. The 10th annual event will take place from 28 to 30 October at the De Balie in Amsterdam.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla lays out multi-process Firefox engineering goals

        Mozilla’s Chris Blizzard has detailed the non-profit organisation’s plans for the engineering behind Firefox, as it looks to make the browser spread even more of its workload between multiple processes. Blizzard notes that, although the multiple process model for Firefox is not a panacea, “it does gives us a leg up on some of the more systemic problems”.

      • Mozilla outlines goals for multiprocess browsing implementation

        Mozilla’s Chris Blizzard has published a blog entry that outlines the goals of Mozilla’s renewed effort to bring multiprocess browsing to the Firefox Web browser. The post highlights the key advantages that deeper process isolation will bring to Firefox and addresses some of the underlying requirements for Mozilla’s implementation.

      • Mozilla: We don’t hate enterprise users!
      • Announcing Mozilla Enterprise User Working Group

        Recently there’s been a lot of discussion about enterprises and rapid releases. Online life is evolving faster than ever and it’s imperative that Mozilla deliver improvements to the Web and to Firefox more quickly to reflect this. This has created challenges for IT departments that have to deliver lots of mission-critical applications through Firefox. Mozilla is fundamentally about people and we care about our users wherever they are. To this end, we are re-establishing a Mozilla Enterprise User Working Group as a place for enterprise developers, IT staff and Firefox developers to discuss the challenges, ideas and best practices for deploying Firefox in the enterprise. It will be a place to ask questions and get information about Mozilla plans.

      • Firefox development team lays out efforts to improve speed, stability and performance.
  • SaaS

    • Hadoop & Startups: Where Open Source Meets Business Data
    • OpenStack turns 1. What’s next?

      OpenStack, the open-source, cloud-computing software project founded by Rackspace and NASA, celebrates its first birthday tomorrow. It has been a busy year for the project, which appears to have grown much faster than even its founders expected it would. A year in, OpenStack is still picking up steam and looks not only like an open source alternative to Amazon Web Services and VMware vCloud in the public Infrastructure as a Service space, but also a democratizing force in the private-cloud software space.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle admits Sun work needed in Aussie market

      According to Oracle, it is not stepping away from the SPARC server line. MacDonald said that the company would not favour x86 over SPARC. “We will continue to treat x86 and Sparc equally, the same as Solaris and Oracle Enterprise Linux,” MacDonald said. “We are a two chip/operating system [company] and we will continue to foster those [offerings],” MacDonald said.

    • IBM donates open source code

      Hoping to further sharpen OpenOffice’s competitive viability against Microsoft Office, IBM is donating the code of its Symphony open source office suite to the non-profit Apache Software Foundation, says ComputerWorld.

  • CMS

  • Semi-Open Source

  • Funding

  • Public Services/Government

    • CISL and communities strengthen FLOSS office suites

      On Friday, July 1, at the International Free Software Forum (FISL) in Porto Alegre – Brazil, the Brazilian Government’s Free Software Implementation Committee has signed, along with the communities of the LibreOffice and OpenOffice projects, maintained respectively by the The Document Foundation and Apache Foundation, a Letter of Intent which signals the mutual interest of cooperation with the FLOSS office suites.

  • Licensing

    • CFP: Legal and Licensing Aspects of Open Source at OWF 2011

      Licensing is an important component of every free software and open source project. This is especially true as an increasing number of corporations are adopting and distributing open source applications and code. This track considers various legal and licensing aspects of open source, both from a community and a corporate perspective.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Migrate Git Project from GitHub to Google Code
    • Google Code gains native Git support

      Google has added native support for Git, the distributed revision control system developed by Linus Torvalds, to its Google Code project hosting site. Now, when developers create a new project, they can choose between Git, Mercurial and Subversion as their project’s version control system – support for Mercurial was added in April 2009. The long awaited change also applies to Eclipse Labs, a Google-hosted portal launched in May 2010 for open source projects based on the Eclipse platform.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • ODF Plugfest: “ODF still needs to establish itself”

      Five years after being adopted as an official ISO standard, the Open Document Format (ODF) still appears to have a long way to go, despite the support it has received from politicians and administrative agencies. Andreas Kawohl from the civic centre and IT processing department at Freiburg City Council told Friday’s session of the ODF Plugfest in Berlin: “ODF is a long way from being able to function as a standard format for exchanging documents”. According to Kawohl, 2000 administrative staff in Freiburg are now using both Microsoft Office and OpenOffice, with 70,000 OpenOffice documents generated over a six month period, but hardly anyone outside of the organisation is able to use them.

Leftovers

  • The Unix revolution—thank you, Uncle Sam?
  • Security

    • Passwords are made obsolete with Mozilla’s BrowserID
    • Mozilla pushes simplified Browser ID login system
    • Skype Holes

      If you really know how Skype works, you know it’s about as safe as juggling firecrackers. Skype, the popular VoIP program, relies on every PC running Skype between you and who you’re calling to serve as stepping stones for your conversation. That’s bad. What’s worse is when Skype doesn’t check to see if Skype calls are actually sent, or received, by the right people.

      Or, to quote Levent “Noptrix” Kayan, the security researcher that uncovered this hole, “Skype suffers from a persistent Cross-Site Scripting [XSS] vulnerability due to a lack of input validation and output sanitization of the ‘mobile phone’ profile entry. Other input fields may also be affected.”

  • Finance

    • Wall Street’s Euthanasia of Industry

      Michael, I read the in the newspapers that the great recession, so-called, has long since ended, but unemployment remains stubbornly high with only a measly 18,000 jobs created in June. I believe the term that was coined some time ago is a jobless recovery. What is a jobless recovery?

      We call that a depression – in this case, caused mainly by debt deflation. Just because the stock market is being inflated by the Federal Reserve doesn’t mean that the economy itself is growing. It’s shrinking – from a combination of families and businesses having to pay off debts rather than spend their income on goods and services, and the government’s shift of taxes off finance, insurance and real estate (FIRE) onto labor and industry.

  • Censorship

    • CFP: Legal and Licensing Aspects of Open Source at OWF 2011

      I’m pleased to announce a research result that Eric Wustrow, Scott Wolchok, Ian Goldberg, and I have been working on for the past 18 months: Telex, a new approach to circumventing state-level Internet censorship. Telex is markedly different from past anticensorship efforts, and we believe it has the potential to shift the balance of power in the censorship arms race.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Shaw Places Spotlight on Net Neutrality Rules With Online Video Service Plans

      Two of the leading issues before the CRTC – over-the-top video and usage based billing – have come together as Shaw has announced plans to launch a new online movie service designed to compete with Netflix. Subscribers to the service, which will cost $12 per month, will be able to watch on their TV and computer. Most notably, Shaw says that the service will not count against subscriber data caps. Given the problems users of over-the-top video services have encountered with the caps, the Shaw approach places the spotlight on the CRTC net neutrality guidelines and undue preference rules. [Update: Shaw now says that watching movies via the Internet will count against user caps]

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Lawyer Trying To Trademark Bitcoin Threatens Techdirt With Bogus DMCA Takedown

        And what are these “offending works?” Well, looking at the DMCA notice (full notice embedded below), he appears to be claiming that both the header and the footer from his law firm’s legal correspondence, as well as the header of Magellan Capital Advisors LLC, are copyrights held by him. If you don’t recall, Magellan Capital Advisors was supposedly Pascazi’s “client,” in the attempt to trademark Bitcoin, and a letter sent from Magellan with the header in question was available on the USPTO website as Pascazi’s “evidence” for Magellan’s use of “Bitcoin” in commerce. You can see this part of the DMCA notice identifying “the works” here…

    • Copyrights

      • ACTA

        • Notes on ACTA and Access to Medicines

          The analysis is based on the December 2010 text, the “Final ACTA text following legal verification”. The later 2011 version does not contain substantial changes other than: “This Agreement shall remain open for signature by participants in its negotiation,17 and by any other WTO Members the participants may agree to by consensus, from 1 May 2011 until 1 May 2013.”

Links 19/7/2011: Why GNU/Linux Feels Better Than Mac OS X, Howard County Library Uses Ubuntu

Posted in News Roundup at 4:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Price of “7″ Premium is $56

    An Italian retailer, Monclick, is selling identical eeePC 1215P with “7″ Premium and Ubuntu. The price difference comes to $56 with that other OS costing that much more. Well, they aren’t identical, quite; that other OS comes in red while Ubuntu comes in black, but who cares? They’re both N570 Atoms at 1.5gHz with 2gB RAM and 12.1inch screen so they are, officially, not netbooks.

  • How to best choose hardware for Linux

    Let’s say you want to buy a laptop and install a Linux distro on it. However, you’re facing a sort of a dilemma. Unlike Windows, which often comes preinstalled and configured with all the necessary drivers, you do not really know if your distro will fully support the underlying hardware. You might end up with a non-functioning system that will require a long time fixing and tweaking.

    So what do you do? How do you choose hardware that will make your Linux flavors behave without compromising on your actual needs? No worries, I will help you. Today, you will learn how to make the best decisions when it comes to purchasing hardware for Linux.

  • Ubuntu VS OS X

    So, if you were like me, and curious about Mac OS X, you can see I am not overall impressed.

  • How Linux saved my computer from Windows Update

    Without the Linux CD, I’d have been stuffed.

  • Desktop

    • Howard County Library and Ubuntu

      Well today I stepped foot inside Howard County Library in Woodbine, MD for the first time and saw that all of their computers were in fact still using Ubuntu. It was so much cooler in real life than what I read about it.

    • On Linux Distributions and Desktops

      However, what names come into mind when you think about Desktops? I believe that in this case, the names which feel most like it are Mac, Windows, Android, Meego, BeOS, ChromeOS, JoliCloud, and so on. Some of them are running proprietary OSes, some of them are partly open, and some of them are actually based on a Linux distribution or a Linux kernel and libraries stack.

      And finally, what comes into mind when you think about the term ‘Linux Desktop’? Without holy wars and discussion which distribution is better (notice the word distribution here), I believe that it is hard to escape from the names as Ubuntu, Mandrake, Linspire, SLED, and similar solutions.

      Some of you perhaps have already got my point. What makes a “Desktop” is not a mere combination of packages, applications, community and artwork; but it is the integration and common feeling among all of its components, and somewhat inherited desire of having a ‘standard’ way of doing everything. And Linux Distributions, on their turn, inherently have the essence of freedom of choice, flexibility and multitude of combinations of applications and goals within, which make them much more flexible on one hand, but much less focused on another.

      Why Linux distributions will never (in my humble opinion) beat Windows or MacOS on desktop? By a one simple reason – they are too flexible. They provide too many options and possibilities by default, without a ‘standard’ way of doing things, and while everything works and is usually tightly integrated, this is still a combination of packages and applications, and not a Desktop. This is not a bad thing – by the contrary, I believe that this is awesome! But this opposite to what is expected from a Desktop experience.

    • Look What’s On Amazon.com’s Best Selling List!

      That’s right folks. On 2011-7-17 at 0634 Winnipeg time, items 8 and 9 in notebooks ordered by “Bestselling” are “Chromebooks” from Samsung.

    • 7 days in the cloud: My week with the Samsung Chromebook

      But, brave soul that I am, I decided to give it a try. This is what I found. I warn you now, it’s a tale of both triumph and tragedy. Well, OK, so it’s really a story of what worked and what didn’t work, but you get the idea.

    • Flash Drive Linux vs. Standard Linux Desktops

      Flash drives have had a long-lasting relationship with Linux distributions. These portable storage devices are among the most reliable for out of the box hardware support on the Linux desktop. Clearly, using flash drives to run Linux has its benefits for various types of users.

      As luck would have it, I was told of a company that is apparently running individual installations of Linux on flash drives for each of their employees. Apparently cost was a major motivation, but so was the need to VPN into the office from home without needing to configure a separate piece of software for each person.

  • Kernel Space

    • Test Driving GNU Hurd, With Benchmarks Against Linux

      Last week there was a GNU Hurd status update, which generated a fair amount of attention as it stated there are plans for a Debian GNU/Hurd release in conjunction with Debian “Wheezy” when it’s out in late 2012 or early 2013. After being in development for more than 20 years, the Hurd is finally taking some shape. The Debian GNU/Hurd installer for Wheezy is even now working, which I tried out and ended up porting the Phoronix Test Suite to GNU Hurd. In this article is a brief look at Debian GNU/Hurd along with the first-ever benchmarks of Debian GNU/Hurd against Debian GNU/Linux.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Missing Functionality From The Linux Graphics Drivers

        While NVIDIA yesterday released a new Linux driver, it was quick to be pointed out in our forums that NVIDIA Optimus Technology still is not officially supported under Linux. But that’s not all that’s missing from their proprietary driver.

        Also still missing is support for Fermi overclocking (overclocking the GeForce 400/500 series). Last August is when I mentioned that it was missing and NVIDIA confirmed they had it disabled in their Linux driver (but not under Windows) for all Fermi hardware. When testing out the NVIDIA GeForce GT 520 last week, I noticed the support was still missing when trying to enable CoolBits. I asked NVIDIA’s Andy Ritger for a status update concerning Fermi overclocking on Linux, but he hasn’t yet responded to that message from five days ago.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Seven Great Enlightenment (DR17) Themes
    • Get Over The Old UIs

      Anyway, it had the KDE 3.5X series desktop environment as default. I thought, cool! I’ll like this probably. Then I paused. You all should know that pause, right? It’s the one where our mind is actually being rational for a minute and starts spinning trying to figure something out. Then it’s almost as if a bell gets rung once and the answer’s there. My mind was telling me that it remembered that the last time I looked at a distribution using the KDE 3.5X series I thought it looked antiquated at best.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Community Keynote Interview: Stuart Jarvis

        Stuart: At the moment I mainly try to keep KDE’s marketing in good shape. This means working with the promo team to keep up to date with happenings in our community, and spreading the word about events through articles on the official KDE news site, KDE.News. It also means getting involved in writing press releases about the latest software news and doing a bit of people management to get things done on time.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Slackware Family

      • Slackware Turns 18

        Slackware 1.0 was released by Patrick Volkerding exactly 18 years ago in 16 July 1993 in an official release when he was still a student. At that time, it was distributed under 24 disks (yes, floppy disks) and it only has two series, A and X. No one will ever thought that it’s now being the oldest maintained Linux distribution up to now Applause

      • A Weekend with Kongoni 2011

        My experience with this new CD was a bit worrisome at the beginning. I inserted it and let its automatic boot go…but got the unpleasant error message that the live CD was not found. Since I had nothing else to do, I rebooted the computer and pressed “enter” before the 10 seconds for the automatic boot were over.

      • Learning to Slack with Kongoni!

        Some days ago, I had said that I was bored since my multi-boot systems were working perfectly. I also said that I wanted to try Kongoni GNU/Linux.

        Since booting the live CD wasn’t enough, my quest for knowledge led me to actually installing this Slackware-based distro. Three were my main motivations to add yet another head to my hepta-boot desktop computer:

        1. I have not tried a purely Libre distro.

        2. I’ve always wanted to try Slackware, but I feel I’m not yet up to it.

        3. I felt it was about time for me to see if I could do well with a text-based installation.

    • Mandrake Family

      • PCLinuxOS Phoenix XFCE Edition 2011-07 – Final is here

        PCLinuxOS Phoenix Edition 2011-07 is now available for download, PCLinuxOS Phoenix Edition 2011-07 features the following updates.

      • A first look at PCLinuxOS 2011.6

        Under the hood PCLinuxOS is still a good distribution. It has a nice installer, the KDE desktop has pretty good defaults and it comes with a wide selection of useful software. It’s the presentation that I feel could use some improvement. I don’t mean the grey theme — it’s not my favourite colour, but at least it’s not purple. No, by presentation I mean, for example, the default icons on the desktop. Most users aren’t going to regularly access their firewall configuration, their localization settings or the LibreOffice Manager. Most users will want to access their web browser and e-mail client on a daily basis, but those icons aren’t on the desktop or the quick-launch bar. The application menu does quite a bit of nesting in some places, even if the sub-menu has just one item in it. Synaptic is a capable package manager, but it’s not as newcomer-friendly as Mageia’s software manager. What it boils down to is that, if we put Mageia beside PCLinuxOS, I think an argument can be made that the latter is more appealing from a technical, “let’s tweak the settings,” point of view, but loses points in presentation and user-friendliness.

      • PCLinuxOS 2011.6 – You don’t give me love
      • Mageia 2 Release Details Revealed

        After an extensive discussion with the community on the Mageia developmental mailing list, Anne Nicolas revealed the results concerning Mageia release and support cycles as well as the release schedule for Mageia 2. The consensus was to use basically the same cycle used in Mageia 1.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Debian 7 might come in a GNU Hurd version

        As you all might be aware Debian is a popular Linux distribution that forms the basis of many other more popular distributions such as Ubuntu. Hurd on the other hand is something you might not be aware of.

        While Linux is most popularly considered a family of operating systems, Free Software Foundations purists reserve that name for the kernel, or the very core of the operating system. They prefer to call the resultant distribution of kernel and software running on the kernel as GNU/Linux since it is a combination of GNU software and the Linux kernel. Debian is thus known as Debian GNU/Linux.

      • Debian invites you to Debian Day

        During Debian Day, the conference opens its doors to anyone interested in finding out more about Debian and Free Software, inviting enthusiasts, users, and developers to a full day of talks on several subjects — such as Free Software in government and enterprise, and involvement — as well as a string of talks about the Debian Project and operating system.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical Finally Hiring Consumer Marketing Expert!

            Canonical has been doing ads focused on business and it’s business products for at last a few months. But the question was when would they finally start advertising Ubuntu itself? Well that time is getting very near. On July 14th Canonical posted this job ad on it’s career portal.

          • Ubuntu 11.10 Says Goodbye to the ‘Me Menu’

            The ‘Me Menu’ will no longer be installed by default in Ubuntu 11.10.

          • Leaky Unity in Oneiric
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Sometimes things don’t go all that well (Linux Mint 11) (Harry Potter was better)

              I installed Linux Mint 11 last night. And this morning. And again this morning. I think I’m done now.

              I’ve been using Linux Mint for several years and just loving it. It’s the most stable, most newbie-friendly, most media friendly Linux I know. Release 7 was terrific, 8 even better — and there I happily stayed until I began having browser woes. I knew there could be hassles jumping three versions forward, but Mint is so friendly I wasn’t worried.

              Ha!

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • 80 “Funnest” Open Source Applications

    In the summer, we like to take a break from all the serious open source applications that we usually cover and take a look at some apps that are just plain fun.

    This year, we’ve updated our list of the “funnest” open source applications with more games than ever before. In fact, the 2011 list has 74 games in all, including 46 that we’ve never featured before. At the end, we’ve also included a few apps that aren’t really games, but are still pretty fun.

    Notably, the majority of the apps on this list run on multiple platforms, so you should be able to find plenty of games for your system, no matter which operating system you run.

    If you’d like to call attention to a great open source game that isn’t on our list, please make a note in the comments section below.

  • The open source “shallow fork” approach to pre-deployment

    The not-for-profit Outercurve Foundation’s systems infrastructure and integration gallery has launched a new developer competition.

    The open source group’s work with “CoApp” is focused on this community driven “package management system” for open source applications on the Windows Platform.

  • Control Points and Steering Mechanisms in Open Source Software Projects

    Most commercial software today depends on open source software. The commercial software might be using an underlying open source platform, or it might be incorporating open source components, or it might be provided as a commercial open source product itself. Whichever the case, the software firm behind the commercial software needs to ensure that its interests are met by the open source software projects it depends on. This article shows how commercial software firms manage or steer open source software projects to meet their business needs.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Firefox world loses Web dev guru to Chrome

        For years, an extension called Firebug has been a powerful tool that kept Web programmers loyal to Firefox.

        But now, as browser makers add their own tools geared to attract those who build Web sites and applications, the lead Firebug programmer has taken a job with Chrome, CNET has learned.

        “Monday, I start work on next-gen Web dev tools at Google on the Chrome browser team. Consequently I will no longer be contributing routinely to the development and maintenance of Firebug for Firefox,” John J. Barton told members of a Firebug mailing list yesterday.

      • Mozilla Challenges Google: Open Source Chrome Isn’t Good Enough

        There are people who claim that Mozilla does not have the guts to openly challenge Google in the same way the company attacked Microsoft in the mid-2000s. Mozilla’s official competitive strategy can be described as almost being mushy in a time when the company needs to be more aggressive than ever to make its case. But the company gets more confident and its chairman has just told us that, while Google is the lesser of two evils, Firefox will have to evolve to sustain its role as the Robin Hood of the open web.

    • Mozilla

      • At last, the Bird became the Thunderbird

        Well, today I want to talk about Thunderbird 5, a recent update to the popular Email client from Mozilla that I believe is worth talking about.

      • Firefox Is Going 64-Bit: What You Need To Know

        Firefox product manager Asa Dotzler determined that figuring out the 64-bit confusion surrounding Firefox will be “near the top” of his to-do list this summer and fall. One could conclude that Mozilla has no idea at this point what people are expecting from a 64-bit version of Firefox, so Dotzler is asking for some feedback. Considering the advantages and disadvantages of 64-bit – are you ready for a 64-bit Firefox?

      • Firefox at 64-bit: Do You Care?

        Mozilla has begun collecting feedback on what appears to be a more serious approach to move Firefox for Windows from 32 to 64 bit.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Discordant Notes Surround IBM’s Symphony Move

      It was just early June, of course, when Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) decided to donate OpenOffice to the Apache Foundation rather than to LibreOffice — a move at least one blogger equated with a “spiteful child, smashing their toys instead of sharing.”

      Well, so much for any kind of lasting quiet since then. Last week, none other than IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced that it was donating its Lotus Symphony office suite to the Apache OpenOffice.org project, thus throwing its own weight behind the Oracle-affiliated project as well.

    • OpenOffice.org and Symphony: Did IBM Do the Right Thing?

      Along with that sigh of relief, however, red flags began to fly in the FOSS blogosphere because IBM had a hand in Oracle’s decision. Experience has taught open sourcers to be suspicious, and there was plenty of fodder here to make one wary of Big Blue’s possible motives, mostly revolving around IBM Lotus Symphony, the freeware suite that utilizes OpenOffice code. Since the permissive open source Apache License allows a commingling with proprietary code in a way strictly forbidden by the GPL and its derivatives, it was feared that OOo would be neglected as IBM and Oracle focused their efforts on proprietary add-ons to create non-free versions of OpenOffice.

  • Funding

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Interview with MusicBrainz developer Kuno Woudt
    • Creative Commons Chief Technology Officer

      The Chief Technology Officer manages all aspects of the company’s technology infrastructure and provides strong leadership in setting the overall technology direction and goals for the organization. Responsibilities are twofold. First, directly managing the staff responsible for supporting the technology needs of staff; managing the organization’s intranet and internet services; directing the organization’s varied development projects; ongoing technical oversight of the company’s products and services; and solving the most challenging of technology development problems facing the organization. Second, the CTO is a visionary, looking beyond the existing curve with respect to opportunities and innovations that Creative Commons can explore and embrace to remain timely and relevant to its broad constituency.

  • Licensing

    • Harmony 1.0 Reflections

      The month before the Harmony 1.0 release was quiet, and I was starting to wonder if anyone other than the drafting group was even paying attention any more. So, I was pleasantly surprised to see the posts start to appear last week after the Monday release. Some more positive, some more negative, but the most important thing right now is that people are engaging with Harmony, thinking through what the agreement templates mean, and how they fit in the general FLOSS ecosystem. So far I’ve read posts by: Bradley Kuhn, Dave Neary, Jon Corbet, Mark Webbink, Richard Fontana (part 1 & part 2), Simon Phipps, Stephen Walli and a Slashdot mention (glad for links in the comments if you come across others). I’ve observed a few common themes, so I thought it might be useful to take a step back and ponder through them.

    • Why I would not sign a Harmony Agreement

      Jos blog post today reminded me that I had a look at the Harmony Agreements and tried to decide for me whether I would consider to sign such a CA. To make it short: signing a Harmony Copyright Assignment is for me unacceptable. I think it could be valuable to others why I would not sign such an agreement. As a note: I have signed the KDE Fiduciary Licensing Agreement, so I am not in general opposed to licensing agreements.

Leftovers

  • Security

    • What I’ve learned from (nearly!) a year of open source

      Whilst Agnitio v1.0 was only released 7 months ago I announced that I was writing the tool at SecurityBSides Las Vegas last year and that it would be “free for anyone to download and use” (see slides 49, 50, 51 and 53 here). That particular statement makes me think of one thing in particular I learned and I will cover later in this post.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • ALEC and the Tobacco Industry

      The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is an influential, under-the-radar organization that facilitates collaboration between many of the most powerful corporations in America and state-level legislative representatives. Elected officials then introduce legislation approved by corporations in state houses across the U.S., without disclosing that the bills were pre-approved by corporations on ALEC task forces.

    • Common Cause Alleges ALEC Violates Non-Profit Status

      Common Cause has asked the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to investigate the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) for possibly violating its tax-exempt status. The request came one day after the Center for Media and Democracy unveiled “ALEC Exposed,” a website uncovering more than 800 model bills created by the corporate-funded organization.

    • ALEC Hotels

      ALEC’s Annual Meetings and Task Force Summits are held in some of the nation’s top travel destinations, at swanky hotels where state legislators and corporate executives enjoy lavish accommodations and exclusive excursions. A registration form for ALEC’s 21st Annual Meeting in Tampa, Florida invited members to “come and experience endless sandy beaches, sunny days, beautiful sunsets and the cool gulf breezes,” at the posh Hyatt Regency, which features more than 17 golf courses within 35 minutes of the hotel. In fact, a golf tournament and clinic sponsored by the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company was one of the event’s top activities.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Lawsuit Accuses 70-Year-Old Retired Widow of Downloading Porn via BitTorrent

        We’re fairly certain if you take a random sample of folks in their 70s and ask them to describe what BitTorrent is, the majority of them will tell you to hush up because you’re interrupting Matlock. Even folks much younger who aren’t entrenched in the tech world aren’t likely to be all that familiar with BitTorrent, but they’re all fair game for sue-happy firms looking to score quick settlements for big media.

Reader’s Picks

07.16.11

Links 16/7/2011: PCLinuxOS Reviews, Kororaa 15 Coming

Posted in News Roundup at 11:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Wikimedia Traffic Analysis Report – Operating Systems
  • Windows Got Me Lost, Linux Came To Rescue On The Roads Of Brussels

    Not again Microsoft. Incidents like these were one of the reasons why I threw your crappy products out of my door and migrated to GNU/Linux.

    Well, now I did not know where was I. After two stops, the bus came to a halt. It was not the NATO stop. The driver said something in French, which meant that’s the last stop. I told him that I wanted to go to NATO. He said bus won’t go there. The message was supposed to flash on the display, but Microsoft Windows screwed it. My appointment was at 12 and it was already 11.50. I was 3 Km away from the NATO HQ.

  • Graphics Stack and Compiz

    • NVIDIA 275.19 Linux Driver Published

      While NVIDIA is already in the middle of working on the 280 driver series and there’s been a public beta of that, this Friday morning NVIDIA has released a new 275.xx stable release. While this release is still tagged in the 275 series, it does contain a few worthwhile fixes and new hardware enablement.

    • Maximized windows which must be larger than the screen size

      There’s been an odd case that I’ve not seen one window manager be able to handle correctly. It’s the case where you are required to resize a window to be smaller than than it’s defined minimum size, because you are tiling it, semi-maximizing it or maximizing it. Basically attempting to fit a big object into a small space because the user requested it.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • The Dark Side of Distrohopping

      As fun as distrohopping is, it’s not all wine and roses. There’s a dark side to never being able to stay with one distro and that’s what I’ll talk about in this column.

    • New Releases

      • Introducing Linvo GNU/Linux

        A new distribution flew onto my radar today and thought it might be interesting to take a quick look. Linvo is Bulgarian hailed distribution based on Slackware featuring the GNOME 2.32 desktop. Yesterday, developers released Linvo 2010.12.6.

        I say new because it’s new to me and the Distrowatch database, although its version numbers go back to 2009.0. News posts on the Website start March 13, 2009 with what appears to be the first release on March 28, 2009.

      • Kongoni GNU/Linux 2011 (Firefly) released.

        I’m very happy to announce the stable release of Kongoni 2011 (codename Firefly). Most bugs and glitches have been removed and we can say now that Kongoni is ready for the stable release.

        Some extensive work has went into the Live CD and initrd. We have moved to initramfs for the Live CD, udev is used now and there is no limitation in space when creating the initramfs as we dropped dd and mkfs.ext2 in favor of cpio. This also should make the Live CD a bit faster and much more reliable.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • PCLinuxOS 2011.6 KDE review

        PCLinuxOS has all the tools it needs to be one of the best Linux or BSD desktop distributions, but for some reason, they always manage to miss the mark. It is understandable that for a community distribution, the community decides it wants, but at some point, the developer(s) should take a stand and educate the less knowledgeable member if the community why certain ideas should not be implemented. Comments posted by some of its members here should give you an indication of what I am trying to convey.

      • PCLinuxOS 2011.07 MiniMe KDE Released
    • Gentoo Family

      • Pardus 2011.1: Turkish Delight

        I have written in my previous review that Pardus is OS which deserves very close attention.

      • Gentoaster – Week 7 progress report

        This week has been excellent in terms of progress. The Gearman worker/client is now complete, and can be used to queue builds. I’ve tested this setup on a few different machines and it seems pretty solid as long as you configure the paths correctly. Also, as part of this, builds will now isolate all their activity into a single directory. It’s not chrooted as such, like I said in my previous progress report, because the use of binaries from the host is required. I’m not entirely sure chrooting makes any sense after giving it some more thought, because they’d still be root and they could break back out of the chroot anyway. However, all input to this tool is heavily sanitised before it reaches Gearman, so the potential threats should be dealt with before they even reach the build tool.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Up Close & Personal with Red Hat CEO James Whitehurst

        BY going through some famous books about magic, James Whitehurst hopes to find a spell that can create an even closer bond between him and his nine-year-old twins, Jack and Emma. He finished reading the whole Harry Potter series last year in the hope that he could share more with his son and daughter, whom he says are so fascinated with the fantasy tales of the boy wizard.

        You see, while Whitehurst is passionate about his job, nothing is more important to him than his family. “Family always comes first,” the president and chief executive officer of Red Hat Inc, the world’s leading provider of Linux and open-source solutions for the Internet, tells StarBizWeek.

      • Fedora

        • Kororaa 15 (Squirt) Beta released

          The first beta release of Kororaa 15 (codename “Squirt”) has hit the mirrors, and is available for download, in 32 and 64 bit with KDE 4.6 and GNOME 3.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Toshiba Thrive: Boxy, but it’s good.

          That’s what I thought when I heard Toshiba was introducing its own tablet, another “me too” in the Android space, the Thrive.

          I mean, we’ve already got the Motorola XOOM, the Acer Iconia A500, the Asus Transformer, and now the ultra-sexy and thin Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, which is generally regarded as the front-runner out of all of these devices and the only one of this group that currently presents any real challenge to Apple’s iPad 2.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Kogan Agora PRO review

        The Kogan Agora PRO is a lightweight budget laptop with 11.6in screen and Ubuntu 11.04 operating system.

      • 12.1-inch netbook runs Ubuntu on dual-core Atom

        Asus released a netbook that comes with an unusually large 12.1-inch screen and — at least in some markets — Ubuntu Linux. The Eee PC 1215P includes a dual-core Atom N570 processor, 1366 x 768 pixel resolution, up to 2GB of RAM and 320GB of hard disk storage, six hours’ battery life, and optional Bluetooth, the company says.

      • ASUS Preinstalls GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • A Grab Bag of Unsung Open Source Gems
  • Project Harmony, Open Hardware License and Open Hardware Repository

    First, Project Harmony has released version 1.0 of its contributor agreement templates. Version 1.0 includes a rather nifty Agreement Selector tool that generates both individual and entity agreements for your project. Project Harmony does not come down on the side of license-in versus assignment-in; its primary benefit is to assure standardization of language regardless of approach. Check it out.

  • How I learned to stop Architecture and love Free Software

    When I was finishing high school I was destined to continue my academic life studying Architecture. I took special art classes to get prepared to study one of the fine arts I always loved, and so I did, I entered the architectural school at my hometown in the Canary Islands.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • The safest web browser?

      Surely not a difficult question to answer? Just look at the statistics for security vulnerabilities- especially those that were exploited by malware “in the wild” before a patch was issued and how long those vulnerabilities remained unpatched.

    • Browser Wars: Usage stats for June 2011
    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Webian Shell Takes On Google Chrome OS

        Anyone who was around during the original browser wars between Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Netscape might remember the ill-fated ‘webtops’ that both Microsoft and Netscape attempted to create. In both cases, each company tried to build a kind of operating system shell that centered around the Web browser as the main or only interface.

        These early webtops were both horrible failures that basically set the whole idea of browser-as-operating system back 10 years. But maybe they were just way ahead of their time. Because now, two of the browser leaders are once again pushing browser-only interfaces.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • OpenOffice: Always the Bridesmaid, Never the Bride

      If yesterday’s announcement by IBM is any indication, the answer is “not likely,” despite the fact that Big Blue’s latest commitment to OpenOffice, on its surface, sounds like good news. The reason? It’s too little, and too late. Here’s why.

      First, let’s start with the announcement. As reported in various venues (e.g., ComputerWorld, The Register and Heise Online), IBM will be donating the standalone source code for its ODF-compliant Lotus Symphony office suite to the Apache Foundation. As you’ll recall, Oracle became the owner of OpenOffice after acquiring Sun Microsystems. After issuing various mixed signals, Oracle officially decommitted to supporting OpenOffice, and contributed the code in early June (but not the trademark) to the Apache Foundation, where it can now be downloaded under version 2.0 of the permissive Apache License.

    • Google’s Java Jam

      Oracle’s lawsuit against Google is “a test case really for whether or not Oracle will be able to monetize Java in the mobile space,” according to IDC’s Al Hilwa. Developers use Java for the attractive tool that they know and love at the top end of the technology. But whether at the bottom end of the technology it breaks any of the rules with the way the Dalvik engine works is what is being tested.

    • OpenOffice.org in Apache: The Next Step

      A few weeks ago, I wrote about what submitting OOo to Apache meant for the various parties involved. In particular, I said “IBM can continue to develop Symphony, with a licence it’s happy with.”

  • Programming

07.15.11

Links 15/7/2011: Thunderbird In Ubuntu 11.10, Kubuntu With KDE SC 4.7

Posted in News Roundup at 7:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Redesign set to make Firefox more responsive

        Mozilla has begun turning the Firefox crank faster with a rapid-release development cycle. So what’s in store now that we can expect a new version every six weeks?

        A lot, including 64-bit support on Windows and a plan to reduce the open-source browser’s memory usage. But the most far-reaching change probably is a project called Electrolysis that splits Firefox into multiple somewhat-independent processes.

        Electrolysis holds the potential to improve responsiveness, smooth graphics performance, take better advantage of multicore processors, and tighten security. Mozilla already added one Electrolysis element to Firefox 3.6–the separation of plug-ins to their own patch of memory–but now programmers are spinning up the project again to tackle more.

      • Forget oAUTH?! Mozilla’s Browser ID

        Since the beginning of the Internet era, your email address and your ability to verify that it’s actually yours has been the lynchpin of Internet identity.

        You want to join a new site/service? Sure! Just verify your email address…

  • Funding

    • Jaspersoft Seals $11M

      Jaspersoft, a maker of business intelligence software, has inked $11 million in a round of venture capital led by Red Hat and SAP Ventures. New investor Quest Software joined in the round, which also included participation from existing shareholders Doll Capital Management, Morgenthaler Ventures, Partech International, Scale Venture Partners, and Adams Street Partners. The money will be used for expansion and potential acquisitions. Jaspersoft is based in San Francisco.

    • Will Red Hat Buy Jaspersoft?

      Amid its march toward $1 billion in annual revenues, Red Hat continues to invest more money in Jaspersoft — an open source business intelligence company. The VAR Guy has openly wondered — multiple times — if Red Hat will ever fully acquire Jaspersoft. Hmmm…

      No doubt, Jaspersoft is an attractive company. More than 14,000 commercial customers use Jaspersoft’s business intelligence software, which is available on premise and in the cloud. Backed by $11 million in new funding, Jaspersoft is considering “potential strategic acquisitions,” according to a prepared statement.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Stallman to give talks in Israel

      Free Software Foundation chairman Richard Stallman will give two talks in Israel next week, according to information supplied by him.

      Stallman will be giving a talk on Copyright vs Community in the Age of the Computer Networks at the Baladna Youth Club in Haifa on July 21 in Haifa

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Interview: Thomas Thwaite, designer and technologist, peeks into the future

      Thomas Thwaite, designer and technologist, is perhaps best known through his Toaster Project. The Toaster Project was an attempt to build a toaster from raw, self-mined materials. The project exposed the complexity of seemingly simple and everyday technology. It leaves us to wonder how technology will change our lives in the future, and shows how we all need others to get even simple products.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • FBI Probing News Corp Over 9/11 Victims Allegations

    The FBI has opened an investigation into whether reporters for Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp hacked into the phone records of 9/11 victims, according to the FBI’s New York office.

    A source with knowledge of the FBI investigation confirmed news of the probe to TPM, saying it’s been launched in part because of Rep. Peter King’s (R-NY) high-profile letter calling for an investigation.

  • Cablegate

    • How Wired Magazine Helped The US Government Try To Frame Julian Assange (And Failed)

      Firstly, and most importantly, it’s now clear that Julian Assange did NOT know if Bradley Manning was the source who leaked the US cables to WikiLeaks. Manning tells Lamo that Assange “knows little about me” and “he takes source-protections uber-seriously.” Furthermore, he says, Assange “won’t work with you if you reveal too much about yourself.” Assange even instructs Manning to lie about his identity!

      This blows apart the US government’s protracted efforts to suggest that Assange actively enticed Manning to hand over the cables, and thereby charge the Australian with criminal activity. In fact, it was only through his own protracted sleuth work that Manning even knew who HE was talking to: “it took me four months to confirm that the person i was communicating [with] was in fact assange”.

  • Finance

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Classic Horror Films You Can Legally Watch for Free

        The Internet Archive is home to gigabytes of media that anyone can view or download for free. Finding what you’re looking for can often prove problematic however, mainly because there’s just so much to see. Those of you who are fond of suspense, thrills, blood and guts will be pleased to know we’ve hacked and slashed our way through the tripe to find some of the best scary films available in the public domain.

Links 15/7/2011: PCLinuxOS KDE MiniMe 2011.07, Symphony Contribution to Apache

Posted in News Roundup at 5:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Two Months To The X.Org Chicago Conference
      • VP8 Gallium3D Support In Mesa Is Being Worked On

        Besides pipe-video landing in Mesa, there’s some more good news to report when it comes to accelerated video playback over Mesa/Gallium3D. There’s a VP8 state tracker for this Google format that’s actively being developed.

        Back in March one of the proposals this year was to create VP8 support over VDPAU in Gallium3D. Originally this began as an H.264 VDPAU state tracker and then targeting WebM or Theora instead. In the end the GSoC proposal was for VP8 in Gallium3D via the VDPAU state tracker. However, the proposal was not accepted by Google due to technicalities.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Intel AppUp Workshop at Desktop Summit

      The DesktopSummit 2011 team is pleased to announce the Intel AppUpSM Application Lab: MeeGo Series. The session will take place at the Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany as part of the Desktop Summit. Intel® is the Platinum Sponsor of the Desktop Summit.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Trending Gnome 3 alternative distros

        Gnome3 on its release on April 6 2011 was touted as the next generation of GNOME in nine long years. The highlight of Gnome 3, is the brand new user interface, modern desktop for modern technologies. Besides, Gnome 2 had a very long life and maintaining it, technically, was reaching the point of ‘critical mass.’ Secondly, Gnome 3 aims to get rid of a lot of clutter on the desktop.

      • Expected Changes In GNOME Shell 3.2

        Here’s a list of what to expect in GNOME Shell 3.2 (to be released on September 28), according to Allan Day, one of the main GNOME Shell developers:

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Scientific Linux: Enterprise Infrastructure on the rise

        Scientific Linux, among other distros, tries to provide an answer to this whole fiasco. If you are, for example, a grade school or a high school you can’t really afford to pay Microsoft for 40+ Windows 7 licences and a Windows 2008 Server, especially if your students are going to use those computers to do a little C++ or Java programming at most.

        The researchers at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) know how limited funds can be. Ironically, in the world, research and education are among the most underfunded branches of society, so the less you have to spend on necessities, the more resources you have for your actual research.

      • Virtual Bridges Joins Open Virtualization Alliance, Extends Support for Linux Desktops
    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot Alpha 2 Review, Screenshots, Download Links

            Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot Alpha 2 is released already and the changes we expected to see in Ubuntu 11.10 is slowly starting to show up. Among other things, the most important change is the arrival of GNOME 3.0 stack. Ubuntu is not based on GNOME 2.x anymore. Most of the default Ubuntu themes have been ported to GNOME 3.0 and lot of other things are changing as well. Read our detailed Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot Alpha 2 review.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Just how “open” is open source vendor-neutrality?

    This week’s release of Jaspersoft Studio represents a new option for Eclipse-based business intelligence (BI) design environments.

    This product release sees Jaspersoft become an official member of the Eclipse Foundation — which is interesting, as its tools compete with those of existing Eclipse projects.

    If you’ve not visited Eclipse for a while, in it’s own words, “Eclipse is an open source community, whose projects are focused on building an open development platform comprised of extensible frameworks, tools and runtimes for building, deploying and managing software across the lifecycle.”

  • As Facebook Shows Its Fear, Open-Xchange Bounces Back

    The arrival of the Google+ social network has caused a battle to erupt over ownership of Facebook users’ contact information, and on Wednesday open source provider Open-Xchange fought back against Facebook’s earlier deactivation of its OX.IO export tool.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla in the New Internet Era — More Than the Browser

        Mozilla’s mission is to build user sovereignty into the fabric of the Internet. We work to ensure that the the Internet remains open, interoperable and accessible to all. To do this we build products, we build decentralized participation worldwide, and we build the ability for people to create their own experiences in addition to consuming commercial offerings.

        Internet life is undergoing immense changes. The mobile revolution has huge implications, from new devices to operating systems to user expectations. The social experience means a lot of personal data about me becomes central. The increasingly ubiquitous nature of computing devices (phone to tablets to microwaves to lights and electric meters) means the amount and kinds of data being generated are changing dramatically.

      • Mozilla Delivers New Firefox Versions at Rapid-Fire Pace

        Mozilla announced its intent to pursue a new rapid release cycle early this year, and while the company’s recent release of version 5 of the Firefox browser is being met with much less criticism than the previous version 4, we’ve reported on the fact that not everyone is happy with the speed of the releases. Enterprise IT administrators may be among the most unhappy observers. Still, if you’re keeping track, Mozilla is more on target to please users with rapidly delivered, high-quality versions of Firefox than it ever was before.

        It’s worth remembering that heading into this year, just before Mozilla announced its new rapid release cycle plans for Firefox, the browser hadn’t even reached version 4.0. Meanwhile, Google Chrome was snapping up browser market share with new and improved versions showing up every couple of months. In fact, Chrome’s development cycle is a big part of why Mozilla stepped up its release cycle for Firefox.

      • Firefox Leaps Ahead With Versions 6, 7, and 8
  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Symphony contribution

      Also, as the PC Magazine review notes, we’ve done some really good UI
      work. I invite you to download Symphony [2] and take a closer look at
      this. Yes, it is different from what OOo has today. And a move of
      that magnitude has an impact on documentation and translations as
      well. But the feedback we’ve received from customers and reviewers
      is very positive. Do we integrate parts of the Symphony UI? That is
      something for the project to discuss and decide on.

      Finally, we will be proposing [3] a new incubation project at Apache,
      for the ODF Toolkit. These Java libraries enable new kinds of
      lightweight document processing applications. We think this would
      work well as an Apache project, and we look forward to moving that
      into incubation and developing that complementary project forward.

    • IBM to donate Symphony code to Apache for consideration
    • IBM throws its source code and support behind OpenOffice

      Of all the companies that support OpenOffice, there were only two that didn’t support the LibreOffice fork: Oracle and IBM. I could understand Oracle. While Larry Ellison, Oracle’s CEO, didn’t really care about OpenOffice–after all Oracle essentially gave OpenOffice away to The Apache Foundation–I also know that Ellison wasn’t going to let The Document Foundation, LibreOffice’s parent organization, dictate terms to him. But, I’ve never quite understood why IBM didn’t help create LibreOffice. Be that as it may, IBM will be announcing tomorrow that it’s donating essentially all its IBM Lotus Symphony source code and resources to Apache’s OpenOffice project.

    • SAP joins OpenJDK Java project

      SAP has joined the OpenJDK project, an Oracle-led initiative producing an open source implementation of Java that also has gained support of such companies as IBM and Apple in recent months.

  • Business

    • Open Source Earns New Opportunity With Channel Partners
    • Semi-Open Source

      • Jaspersoft joins Eclipse Foundation

        Open source business intelligence software specialist Jaspersoft has joined the Eclipse Foundation and presented Jaspersoft Studio, which integrates into the Eclipse IDE. The development environment enables developers to build reports and integrate them into existing applications free of charge. Potential data sources for reports include relational, “big data” and NoSQL databases, as well as text files.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Hurd Progresses – Debian GNU/Hurd by end of 2012?

      The GNU Hurd developers are moving forward with their work on the free software operating system. According to the most recent progress report from the project, there is now a “real plan” to release a Hurd variant of Debian with the release of Debian 7.0 Wheezy.

  • Project Releases

    • Compiz 0.9.5 Has Arrived

      Sam Spilsbury has just tagged Compiz 0.9.5 for release as the latest development milestone for this compositing window manager.

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • New book from Creative Commons celebrates the power of open

      By the end of 2010, more than 400 million works had been licensed with Creative Commons licenses. That’s 400 million musical compositions, news items, academic manuscripts, artworks, blueprints, presentations, photographs, books, blog posts, and videos whose owners believed traditional copyright restrictions didn’t allow their creations to properly circulate, grow, and flourish.

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Insurance Exchanges Tilted Toward Health Insurers, Not Consumers

      The insurance industry made it abundantly clear this week that it is in the driver’s seat — in both Washington and state capitols — of one of the most important vehicles created by Congress to reform the U.S. health care system.

      The Affordable Care Act requires the states to create new marketplaces — “exchanges” — where individuals and small businesses can shop for health insurance. In the 15 months since the law took effect, insurers have lobbied the Obama administration relentlessly to give states the broadest possible latitude in setting up their exchanges. And those insurance companies have been equally relentless at the state level in making sure governors and legislators follow their orders in determining how the exchanges will be operated.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • ‘Ex-terrorist’ rakes in homeland security bucks

      Walid Shoebat had a blunt message for the roughly 300 South Dakota police officers and sheriff’s deputies who gathered to hear him warn about the dangers of Islamic radicalism.

      Terrorism and Islam are inseparable, he tells them. All U.S. mosques should be under scrutiny.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. drops bid for BSkyB

      Political and public outrage over the phone-hacking scandal involving some of its newspapers forces News Corp. to withdraw its $12-billion offer to take over Britain’s biggest satellite broadcaster.

  • Privacy

    • Apple Pays Out $946 in ‘Locationgate’ Settlement

      Apple has begun shelling out dough for its location-tracking debacle lovingly referred to as “Locationgate.”

      Apple was ordered to pay out 1 million South Korean won ($946) in compensation for collecting user geolocation data without permission in May, Reuters reported Thursday. The payment was made to a lawyer named Kim Hyung-suk.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Rogers facing Internet throttling deadline

      nada’s largest cable Internet provider admitted to unintentionally throttling access to World of Warcraft — a popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) with more than 11 million subscribers around the world.

      The Toronto-based company disclosed its activities after one of its customers filed a complaint with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in February.

    • What to do About Retail Usage Based Billing: A Modest Proposal

      OpenMedia.ca, which spearheaded the public uproar over usage based billing earlier this year, launched a Vote Internet campaign that quickly attracted political support. The campaign asks candidates to be pro-Internet, which includes standing up for an open and accessible Internet and stopping the “pay meter on the Internet.” While this predictably raises claims of retail price regulation, addressing concerns about retail UBB need not involve a return to regulatory approvals over retail pricing of Internet services.

      I’ve argued that UBB is fundamentally a competition problem and that addressing the competition concerns (which OpenMedia also supports) will address many of the concerns. Increased competition takes time, however, and in the meantime there are legitimate concerns about the use of UBB in Canada at the retail level given the approaches in other countries and the pricing far above costs. In addition to discussing those issues, my UBB paper makes a modest proposal for addressing retail UBB that includes greater transparency and a reasonableness standard. The proposal – which I’ve called the creation of Internet Billing Usage Management Practices or IBUMPs – is explained below.

07.14.11

Links 14/7/2011: More Linux in Cars, Wine 1.3.24

Posted in News Roundup at 6:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Teaching open source in South Africa: Part I

    Africa is the world’s second-least developed continent–after Antarctica. If you look at a world map of computer science and open source contributions, you will be struck by the blank canvas that is Africa. We are quite isolated over here and don’t really have the habit of open source participation. A few dedicated souls spend inordinate amounts of time in basements and campus computer labs adding their efforts to the open source community, but the distance that separates us from the developed world is one that is as much about technology and access to technology as it is about physical distance and finances.

  • Is Open Source Driven Forward By Pragmatists or Purists?
  • Waiting for Outlook and Blackboard. Let’s have lunch?

    Open Source is so utterly opposite of proprietary software that corporations have to go to great lengths to pretend that the buyer is getting any value at all. Typically, government and other high-profile contracts, usually a result of bribery AKA lobbying, are what seals the deal for these big companies. Yet, after 20+ years of iron-fisted control of software patents, government regulations, and suing the hades out of everyone it can, Microsoft couldn’t stop Open Source from stomping it to the ground. Android is about to become the most widely used Operating System in the world, and is already far ahead of Redmond based MSFT.

  • I was talking about something a little different

    SOS Open Source analyzed Zarafa, the open-source alternative to Microsoft Exchange, maintained by the homonymous company headquartered in the Netherlands (Delft) with offices in Germany and Brasil. The Zarafa Summer Camp 2011was the perfect venue to share our findings around Zarafa (presentation), if you missed our keynote read below to know more this open source messaging and collaboration platform.

  • Where Did All the Idealism Go?

    As a writer, I am more comfortable reporting the news than making the news. For that reason, I’m reluctant to encourage the discussion started by my article, “Tech Pundits Surrender: The Retreat from Free Software and Open Standards” about the use of proprietary software when it’s convenient. At the same time, I can’t help wondering when idealism became a dirty word in free and open source software (FOSS).

  • A Telecom Service Provider Handles Huge Volumes of Data Using FOSS

    Singh has had varied experiences having worked on Android application development, MySQL database, C++, and PHP / Apache / MySQL /PostgreSQL (LAMPP). He embraced PostgreSQL during his stint with Mavenir Systems, and was so impressed with it that he started using it extensively in other projects. The first project Singh used it on was for NextGen, a telecom services group.

  • 10 best (unknown) open source projects

    That’s right folks, another ten best! But this time I’ll wager you’re not familiar with any of them, or at best one or two. The free/open source software world is vast and full of excellent applications for all occasions. An interesting trend is the growth of large distributed projects such as OpenTox and AMEE. FOSS presents a natural platform for building large distributed projects because of the low barrier to entry– open code, open standards, and freely-available robust, high-quality high-performance software.

  • Mozilla

  • SaaS

    • Piston Cloud Computing Raises $4.5 Million For Open Source Cloud

      Piston Cloud Computing, Inc., a software company developing commercialized OpenStack software for businesses, has raised $4.5 million in funding. The round was led by Hummer Winblad and True Ventures, with Divergent Ventures and others participating. Lars Leckie from Hummer Winblad, and Puneet Agarwal from True Ventures will join Piston’s board of directors.

  • Databases

  • CMS

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Introducing Jonathan Nadeau, FSF campaigns intern

      My name is Jonathan Nadeau and I’m a husband, a father of three, and a blind GNU/Linux user. I’m also the host of three podcasts about free software. I interview project leaders of free software and GNU/Linux distributions. This summer I’m interning with the FSF’s campaigns team.

      [...]

      Once I started using a free screen reader with a free operating system, I had freedom in my own computing, and realized the importance of free software for accessibility — it is important for people who depend on accessible software to understand the freedoms that come with using free software, and no longer be stuck in a world of relying on nonfree accessibility software.

  • Project Releases

    • CUBRID 8.4.0 GA is now available for download

      About two month ago we have released a beta version of the new CUBRID 8.4.0 which proved once again that it is a powerful database with great optimization for Web applications. It featured twice faster database engine and over 90% MySQL SQL syntax compatibility. We had greatly

    • Fresh PuTTY

      PuTTY developer Simon Tatham has announced the release of version 0.61 of his cross-platform, open source Telnet and SSH client. The latest version comes more than four years after PuTTY 0.60: Tatham says that the project has received “quite a lot of email asking if PuTTY was still under development, and occasionally asking if we were even still alive. Well, we are, and it has been! Sorry about the long wait.”

  • Public Services/Government

    • Canary Islands – Open source software to forecast and manage forest fires

      Capaware is an open source 3D geographical multilayer framework which allows to obtain realistic images of land and to navigate a given area virtually. Based on the environmental conditions of the area (humidity, vegetation and wind, among others), Capaware “gives a real-time forecast which allows to know the evolution and intensity of a fire.” said José Pablo Suárez, Professor at the Department of Cartography and Engineering Graphic Design, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

  • Licensing

    • Out Of Tune With Community

      Controversial in certain circles, the work of a loose grouping of people to create a set of standardised contributor agreements for open source projects at “Project Harmony” has reached its 1.0 milestone. At the website you’ll find a release version of the agreements.

      Contributor agreements are used to accumulate copyrights into the hands of a single organisation. They are especially associated with open source projects like MySQL which use a “dual license” or an “open core” business model, but are also used by projects like Apache to provide flexibility and by the FSF to allow them to prosecute companies who fail to abide by the license.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • 6th ODF Plugfest

      The sixth ODF plugfest will take place in Berlin on July 14/15 2011, and will be hosted by the German Federal Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Economy & Technology.

    • ODF Symposium

      The conference is about the results of an R&D project “Developing a software quality assurance service package for applications of OpenDocument Format”. The project is supported by the Hungarian National Techology Program and its main objective is to establish sound quality assurance procedures for ODF applications.

Leftovers

  • Cablegate

    • Wired publishes the full Manning-Lamo chat logs

      Yesterday — more than a full year after it first released selected portions of purported chat logs between Bradley Manning and government informant Adrian Lamo (representing roughly 25% of the logs) — Wired finally published the full logs (with a few redactions). From the start, Wired had the full chat logs and was under no constraints from its source (Lamo) about what it could publish; it was free to publish all of it but chose on its own to withhold most of what it received.

      Last June — roughly a week after Wired’s publication of the handpicked portions — I reviewed the long and complex history between Lamo and Wired Editor Kevin Poulsen, documented the multiple, serious inconsistencies in Lamo’s public claims (including ones in a lengthy interview with me), and argued that Wired should “either publish all of the chat logs, or be far more diligent about withholding only those parts which truly pertain only to Manning’s private and personal matters and/or which would reveal national security secrets.” Six months later, in December, I documented that numerous media reports about Manning and WikiLeaks were based on Lamo’s claims about what Manning told him in these chats — claims that could not be verified or disputed because Wired continued to conceal the relevant parts of the chat logs — and again called for “as much pressure as possible be applied to Wired to release those chat logs or, at the very least, to release the portions about which Lamo is making public claims or, in the alternative, confirm that they do not exist.”

  • Finance

    • America for Sale: Does Goldman Sachs Own Your City…Yet?

      In Chicago, it’s the sale of parking meters to the sovereign wealth fund of Abu Dhabi. In Indiana, it’s the sale of the northern toll road to a Spanish and Australian joint venture. In Wisconsin it’s public health and food programs, in California it’s libraries. It’s water treatment plants, schools, toll roads, airports, and power plants. It’s Amtrak. There are revolving doors of corrupt politicians, big banks, and rating agencies. There are conflicts of interest. It’s bipartisan.

    • Want to Solve All Your Problems, Rupert Murdoch? Become a Banker.

      Rupert Murdoch’s got problems. His employees are being arrested, he’s losing his latest acquisition, and he’s just been called to testify before Parliament. But there’s an easy way for Mr. Murdoch to protect himself from these inquiries and save his company at the same time: Turn the News Corporation into a Wall Street bank. There won’t be any prosecutions, and the government will even sweeten the deal with billions of dollars in easy money. And if Murdoch follows the trail blazed by bankers like Jamie Dimon at JPMorgan Chase, soon they’ll be begging him to acquire more companies.

      Murdoch and Dimon. One runs an organization that, as we now know, broke the law so many times it could be called a criminal syndicate. And the other is Rupert Murdoch. Yet Murdoch’s fighting for his corporation’s future while Dimon’s name is being floated as a possible Treasury Secretary. Murdoch’s losing his chance to expand market share, while our government helped Dimon’s bank become more too-big-to-fail than ever by grabbing up Morgan Stanley.

      Now that’s juice. Murdoch’s been a power broker on three continents and his Fox empire has reshaped this country’s political landscape, but Dimon’s taken the power game to a whole ‘nother level.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

07.13.11

Links 13/7/2011: KDE 4.7 RC2, Pardus Linux 2011.1 Out With KDE SC 4.6.5

Posted in News Roundup at 5:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • FOSS advocate who’s free, frank and fearless

    Journalist, FOSS advocate, feminist – Carla Schroder is all these and more. But more than anything it is her straight talking that marks her out – when she takes a stand on issues she is driven by conviction.

  • Lots of Support for One Percent!

    Why do you think so many offer support for a platform that is supposed to be so under used?

  • BootMed Teaches You How to Save Ailing PCs

    I’m sure the idea of using Linux to help teach Windows users how to recover their files has invoked a few chuckles amongst the Linux community as well as grimaces from Microsoft, though it’s nothing radically new: I use Slax and Parted Magic all the time to recover data from Windows PCs. BootMed is not dead-simple–you must at least understand the concepts involved and be fairly proficient at navigating a file system–but it’s a boon for less experienced users that want to learn the basic processes of recovery and of course, recover things.

  • Desktop

    • Slow?

      This is because Linux is immune to Windows viruses and spyware. Linux doesn’t require all that extra antivirus software. These Windows anti-virus programs run constantly in the background and eat up valuable processing resources.

      Plus, with Linux, you can choose from a number of desktop environments to run. These can be feature rich (Like KDE and Gnome) or streamlined and light weight (Like LXDE or XFCE).

    • Schneier on USB sticks

      I can plug an unknown USB stick into my computer, because all my Linux computer will do is open a File Manager window to show me what’s on the USB stick. There is no “autorun” function — one of the stupider ideas to come from the Microsoft brain-trust. If I want to run a program from a USB stick, I have to specifically request it.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • I finally found you Xfce and I am not going to let you go!

      When I first installed Fedora 15 to try GNOME3 was fascinated by it’s look and differences from the older versions, I still like it but after a couple weeks using it started to work very slow and crashed many times, now finally decided to move to Xfce but not removing GNOME 3 because maybe one day I will come back but not until I upgrade my computer. Applications start very fast, don’t crash, it’s simpler and reminds me the ClearLooks of Gnome 2.6 from F13 and F14.

    • The idea behind Contour
    • Creating the Perfect Fluxbox Desktop on Linux

      Fluxbox is a fast, lightweight, very customizable window manager for X. Fluxbox is a great choice for Linux users who favor speed and efficiency, and setting up their working environment just the way they like. Today we’ll look at some super-saver speed tricks such as grouping applications with tabs, tear-off menus, sticky buttons, the infamous slit, and more.

    • Choosing the Best Linux Desktop: KDE, Unity, GNOME

      The perfect desktop would be the one you design yourself. Failing that, which of the main Linux desktops is right for you?

      A few months ago, this question came to a choice between GNOME and KDE. Now, with the introduction of GNOME 3 and Ubuntu’s Unity, the question has become more complex.

      Should you accept the latest innovation, or go with a desktop that proves itself? A simple desktop, or a complex one with all sorts of customization? One that doesn’t change, regardless of whether you are using a mobile device or a workstation, or one that changes to fit the limitations or advantages of each computing device?

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE SC 4.7 approaches with RC2 release

        The KDE.org developers have issued a second release candidate (RC2) of version 4.7 of the KDE Software Compilation (KDE SC). The development team is now focused on finding and addressing any last-minute “show stopper” (major) bugs, as well as completing translations and documentation. Users are asked to test the release and report any bugs that they find. The final release of KDE SC 4.7.0 is scheduled for 27 July 2011.

      • KDE Software Compilation 4.7 RC2 Released

        The KDE team has announced on July 11th the second Release Candidate version for the upcoming KDE Software Compilation 4.7 environment.

        The KDE developers proudly announced that last evening, July 11th, the KDE Software Compilation 4.7 RC2 (Release Candidate), a version that is focusing on fixing last-minute bugs and finishing the required documentation and translations.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME 3: Bearable with GNOME Shell Frippery

        A while ago I read about this project, a small collection of scripts with the aim at creating a more GNOME 2 like user experience with the name of GNOME Shell frippery, so I had to try it out on my experimental install and took a few more screenshots to illustrate the effect. I’m also suspecting that many users are still unaware of it.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • SMS version 1.6.1 Released!

        Superb Mini Server version 1.6.1 released (Linux kernel 2.6.39.3)

        This minor release upgrade brings the latest stable linux kernel version 2.6.39.3.
        SMS-1.6.1 features the latest stable releases of various packages, such as,
        perl-5.14.1, mysql-5.1.58, postfix-2.8.4, cups-1.4.7, httpd-2.2.19, samba-3.5.9 and gcc-4.5.3.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • ALT Linux | Fame & Publicity Not their target

        I wrote few lines on AltLinux.com international community forum – in English
        back in 2007 showing a desire for little needed publicity for ALT Linux because whenever I talk about this distribution anywhere I am told they have never heard about it . Michael Shigorin replied in these words

      • Mandriva joins the CompatibleOne consortium

        French Linux provider, Mandriva, has announced that it has joined the industry consortium CompatibleOne – a research project working on the development of a free cloud infrastructure using open standards and interoperable open source technologies. Its members include companies such as Bull and Inria.

    • Gentoo Family

      • Pardus 2011.1 screenshot pre-review

        Pardus is a desktop-oriented Linux distribution with roots in the National Research Institute of Electronics and Cryptology (UEKAE), Turkey. The latest table version, Pardus 2011.1, was released just yesterday.

        Like Pardus 2011, Pardus 2011.1 is made available via DVD installation images, and also via Live DVD testing-only images. While a review is still in the works, here a few screenshots to whet your appetite.

      • Press Release: Sabayon Linux 6 XFCE, LXDE, E17

        We are happy to announce the immediate availability of E17, XFCE, LXDE, built on top of Sabayon “SpinBase” ISO images.
        Here we go again, this is the last set of Sabayon 6 releases, we have Sabayon 6 LXDE, a very lightweight Desktop Environment for elderly systems, that fits on a single 700Mb CD.
        Then there is Sabayon 6 XFCE, which has been turned into a valid GNOME alternative, breaking the 700Mb size barrier, provided with multimedia applications, office productivity apps, NVIDIA, AMD GPU drivers and much more.
        Last and probably least, there is the somewhat i-like-broken-stuff-and-not-being-able-to-change-wallpaper Sabayon 6 E17, well, it’s Enlightenment 17, subversion snapshot, for the braves.

      • Pardus Linux 2011.1 Has KDE SC 4.6.5 and Firefox 5

        Gökcen Eraslan proudly announced yesterday, July 12th, the immediate availability for download and upgrade of the popular Pardus 2011.1 Linux-based Turkish operating system.

        Dubbed Dama Dama, the final and stable version of Pardus 2011.1 is powered by Linux kernel 2.6.37.6 and it’s available as Live and Installation images for both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Tax-on-web with Debian and Firefox

        In Belgium, we can fill out our tax form online on the Tax-on-web site using a smartcard reader and our electronic identity card. Unfortunately, things are rather complicated to set up, partly because the eID authentication is based on SSL renegotiation, a feature which is disabled by default in recent Firefox versions because it can be insecure. It is a bit disappointing that we have to rely on potentially vulnerable technologies to authenticate with our eID, but there is not much choice if you do not want to fill out the paper forms (or are too late, so that the electronic way is the only option).

      • Derivatives

        • Knoppix 6.4: can you spot the difference?

          Knoppix is Live CD (DVD) system based on Debian.
          Debian gives Knoppix very stable and large platform.
          What has changed in Knoppix since my last review? I’d say not much.
          Most of these changed are due to new version of Debian. Squeeze changed Lenny, and now Knoppix uses Squeeze as stable repository. Other that that? LibreOffice became official office manager. Then… Argh, to be honest, I can’t name any other difference. Can change of default wallpaper be the one? I doubt.
          From my perspective, Knoppix now simply follows the trend to update packages up to the latest version of those. Nothing significant happens in this part of Linux world.
          Somebody can call it stagnation. Somebody can call it stability.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Unity: A GUI for Beginners and Experts
          • Fantastic engineering management is…

            The art of software engineering management is so different from software engineering that it should be an entirely separate career track, with equal kudos and remuneration available on either path.

            This is because developing, and managing developers, are at opposite ends of the interrupt scale. Great engineering depends on deep, uninterrupted focus. But great management is all about handling interrupts efficiently so that engineers don’t have to. Companies need to recognise that difference, and create career paths on both sides of that scale, rather than expecting folk to leap from the one end to the other. It’s crazy to think that someone who loves deep focused thought should have to become a multithreaded interrupt driven manager to advance their career.

            Very occasionally someone is both a fantastic developer and a fantastic manager, but that’s the exception rather than the rule. In recognition of that, we should design our teams to work well without depending on a miracle each and every time we put one together.

          • Nuxeo DM added to Ubuntu
          • Top 5 Alternatives to Ubuntu Linux

            There is still a huge myth among Linux users that KDE 4 is unstable and hard-to-use. Well, that may be the belief of people who haven’t used KDE before, but for the ones who have already used it, there’s nothing like it. KDE4 is a stable desktop environment made purely for the masses with the average user in mind. What’s more, it comes with all the fancy effects that will make a Windows or Mac user jealous. In fact, ZDNet Australia even did a survey demonstrating a KDE 4 PC and telling the users that it is the next version of Windows. Guess what, almost everyone loved it. The survey simply proves the point that KDE4 is a modern interface that is ready for the masses.

            Bringing KDE to the Ubuntu fanatics comes Kubuntu, the KDE version of the world’s most popular Linux distribution. Kubuntu comes with a great set of applications like Amarok, Kopete and Gwenview. For the “newly switched” users, there are familiar applications like Libreoffice and Firefox. Kubuntu Natty includes the latest stable version of KDE 4 without much customization.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • The Future of Various Linux Mint Editions

              Today, I was reading DistroWatch when I saw an interesting tidbit about how Linux Mint’s KDE Edition is moving to a Debian base, though the developers originally intended this KDE release to be based on Ubuntu as before. I think the reason why I felt as surprised as I did was because as opposed to the other editions (Xfce, Fluxbox) which were announced as moving to a Debian base without any previous statements regarding them, the developers did say the KDE edition of Linux Mint would be based on Ubuntu, and judging from the forum posts, this decision seems to have been rather abrupt, as opposed to being more carefully planned.

            • inux Mint 11 KDE to Be Based on Debian, Maybe
  • Devices/Embedded

    • PandaBoard first impressions

      This week I received a couple of PandaBoards, courtesy of our friends at Canonical by way of our friends around Kubuntu. The goal is to get Plasma Active running well on the platform.

    • Hi-res e-reader first to offer direct Google eBooks access

      Google announced that iRiver’s Story HD e-reader will be available July 17 at Target, and will be the first device to offer Google eBooks support via Wi-Fi. In related e-reader news, the Philadelphia Media Network will offer deeply discounted Android tablets to Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News subscribers, and e-reader/tablet vendor Augen appears to have gone under.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Android leads U.S. smartphone race, says Pew

          Android took the top position among U.S. smartphone market share with 35 percent, followed by Apple’s iPhone and RIM’s BlackBerry, each with 24 percent, says a Pew Research study. Android is particularly strong among younger adults and African Americans, says the study.

          Some 35 percent of owners who call their phones a “smartphone” use an Android phone, estimates Pew Research. This is compared with 24 percent share each for users claiming to use Apple’s iPhones or Research in Motion’s BlackBerry handsets.

        • Harman adopts Android connectivity protocol for infotainment systems
        • Android mini-tablet integrates pico projector

          NionCom is preparing an Android 2.3 mini-tablet reference design that includes an embedded pico projector, capable of displaying content on a wall or screen sized up to 100 inches diagonal. The “MemoryKick Vision” offers a 4.3-inch capacitive WVGA display, 4GB flash memory, a 500GB hard disk drive (HDD), Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, plus HDMI in and out ports, according to a story in Picopros.

        • Google Android reference design uses mini joystick

          A mini joystick module from austriamicrosystems has been selected by Google for the new Android Open Accessory Development Kit (ADK).

          The kit is an open-source electronics prototyping platform and is aimed at developers, engineers, hobbyists and artists interested in creating interactive objects or environments.

        • It could have been different: Android, Google and all that

          If there’s one thing that is totally clear, is that Android is ravaging the smartphone market, and all those that are feeling the heat are trying to use the most innovative and transparent approach to stop it: sue Google and its partners out in the oblivion. Software patents, design patents, copyrights, plain trolling- anything goes if it can help in stop the Droid juggernaut. At the same time, Google is under attack for its delay in publishing the Honeycomb source code, attacked for the half-backed results that can be witnessed in some tablet products, all of this in an environment where Android phone makers are obtaining extraordinary revenues, in large part thanks to those contested products (Samsung comes to mind).

          Of course, hindsight is 20/20 as they say, and it’s easy to “predict” that the extraordinary success of Android would have generated such a defensive attack. It is however at least predictable, given the extreme litigation of software companies, that patents would have been used as a blunt instrument to fend off competitors. Could things have been different? I believe so, and I also believe that Google made some errors in its decision, especially in trying to create a control point (the “Google experience”) instead of favoring a more long-term vision.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Toshiba Thrive tablet offers Android 3.1, full-sized ports

        1280 x 800 display, and full-size HDMI, USB 2.0, and SD connections

      • Touching on the state of webOS

        HP may be taking the extraordinary step of actually licensing webOS to run on other manufacturers’ devices, despite earlier statements to the contrary. That stance seems to have gone by the wayside, as HP has come to the conclusion that in the mobile marketplace, it’s no Apple, and hanging on to an HP-only device channel may not be a great idea.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Time And Materials? – NOT!

    Recently I noted that people seem to think there is only one business philosophy for Free Software, and that is to charge for “time and materials”. In reality this is a fairly bad business philosophy, and will quickly drive the programming community to very low wages.

    I have known many business philosophies with Free Software, and I will discuss a few of them here. But first I would like to discuss the concept of “time and materials” usually associated with “Total Cost of Ownership” and the concept of “Return on Investment”
    or the value of the solution, which is where I feel that FOSS really shines.

    In the world of proprietary software you may be trying to fit a square “box” of software into the round “hole” of the business problem. You may put as many “square boxes” of software (which you can neither change the size nor shape of the solution) as you want, but there will always be a “business problem” that will show through, unaddressed, and forcing you to change the way your customer does business to fit the way the software works.

  • 63 Open Source Replacements for Popular Financial Software

    Whether you’re looking for financial software to manage your personal finances, your small business or for a large enterprise, the open source community offers a lot of options. The business-focused products are particularly robust, with a huge list of solutions, many of which offer commercial support and/or hosting.

    We last updated our list of open source replacements for popular financial software about a year ago. This year, we’ve revisited the list, updating links and details and adding quite a few projects that we haven’t featured before.

  • Open Source and the Democratization of IT

    How do enterprises face up to the generational shift to new and more empowered users? How can businesses react and exploit more applications and data resources and do so in a managed and governed fashion? We’re finding that modern, lightweight, and open source platforms that leverage modular architectures are a new and proven resource for the rapid and agile integration requirements.

  • Samba may consider accepting corporate-donated code … fixes only?

    Should Samba switch gears and accept corporate contributions for the first time?

    We’re not talking about funding. We’re talking about code.

    That’s the question Samba chief Jeremy Allison is asking his large open source community, which to date has only accepted code with personal copyrights.

  • Fairware: Supporting Open Source Projects
  • XBRL group offers $20K for best open source app
  • The Internet Archive Selects Kaltura Video Technology to Support HTML5

    The Internet Archive, a nonprofit repository of digital media assets, has implemented a video solution from Kaltura, a provider of the world’s first Open Source (News – Alert) Online Video Platform.

  • Why I (still) steer away from Microsoft products

    Recently I was reminded yet again of why I purposely avoid Microsoft products altogether. I wrote a while ago about migrating a relative from Windows 2000 to Fedora Linux 14. The migration went well, and they are still today happily using Fedora 14.

  • FLOSS: Accept no substitutes

    Free-as-in-freedom software is very often free-as-in-beer, too. This is normally a good thing. But one open source project developer is calling out a troubling problem with free software: counterfeit applications.

    The problem, according to VideoLAN developer Ludovic Fauvet, is this: VideoLAN’s highly regarded VLC Media Player, which is licensed under the GPL, is being redistributed by various organizations’ websites, some of which claim that VLC is actually their application to distribute. These websites attract users with paid Google AdWords ads that come up in various media-player related searches.

    Right off the bat, this would be a clear violation of VideoLAN’s intellectual property, but it gets worse. Many of the sites that redistribute VLC have wrapped the binary in installers that also install malware in the form of adware and spyware on unsuspecting user’s computers, too.

    “What bothers us the most is that many of them are bundling VLC with various crapware to monetize it in ways that mislead our users by thinking they’re downloading an original version. This is not acceptable. The result is a poor product that doesn’t work as intended, that can’t be uninstalled and that clearly abuses its users and their privacy,” Fauvet wrote in his blog.

  • Why I’m smarter than an Open Source surrender monkey
  • Web Browsers

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • OpenOffice + Apache = Open Content Innovation

      I will let other people debate Oracle’s motivations, Apache vs. The Document Foundation (TDF), etc. but here are a few interesting facts: OpenOffice is one of the most successful and vast open source projects in the world (1.2 million downloads a week and 135 million known distributions). OpenOffice.org gets 10x the number of unique visitors as the Apache.org homepage itself, according to Compete. By measures of downloads and web traffic, OpenOffice is as relevant as ever.

    • AT: Department of Justice’s migration to OpenOffice a success story

      According to an online magazine aimed at users of the Linux Operating System, since 2008 the Austrian justice ministry has migrated several thousands of desktop PCs to OpenOffice, in a “complete success story” worth highlighting.

    • Status of Establishing the Foundation

      Thanks to the invaluable work of our lawyer, we now finally have a close-to-final draft of the legally binding statutes. The creation of these took a lot of time, because many of the ideas and processes we have outlined in our Community Bylaws are innovative, and implementing them in a legal framework is indeed a challenge. However, all of these ideas are important and show the values and roots of our community, so taking time for legally establishing them is very well spent.

  • CMS

    • Magid on Tech: WordPress still popular despite social networking

      Despite the rise in social networking sites — Facebook, Twitter and the new Google+ — blogs continue to flourish. For example, WordPress.com over the weekend announced that more than 50 million blogs are powered by WordPress.com’s open source software. About half of those blogs are hosted by WordPress.com, while the others are hosted on rented servers or the bloggers’ own servers.

      WordPress.com hosts sites for free, though there are features you can buy, including paying $30 a year to remove ads and fees to increase storage.

    • WordPress Now Powers 50 Million Blogs: How to Start Your Own

      WordPress.com announced that there are now more than 50 million blogs powered by WordPress’s open source software. About half of those blogs are hosted at WordPress.com while the others reside on blog owners own servers or server space rented from hosting providers.

    • The future of WordPress: Q&A with founder Matt Mullenweg
  • Business

  • Funding

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • A Status Update On GNU Hurd: Java, Debian, Money

      The Q2’2011 update for the long-in-development GNU Hurd operating system says that Java is coming to Hurd this summer as part of Google Summer of Code, but in the process of porting Java, the student is also filling in some parts of Hurd’s componentry in order to handle the Java run-time.

      Additionally, the first Debian GNU/Hurd spins with a graphical installer is now available. It’s publicly available here. Debian GNU/Hurd can run within a KVM/QEMU virtualized environment, but it’s hardware support is still shoddy (the network adapter support is limited to what was found in the Linux 2.0 kernel, for instance).

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • PT: Consensus among political parties on open source and open standards in the Public Administration

      Gonçalo Caseiro, Member of the Board of the Agency for the Public Services Reform (Agência para a Modernização Administrativa – AMA, in Portuguese), gave a presentation that addressed the issues of interoperability, open standards and open source in the PA, the AMA’s perspective on these issues, and provided examples of actions taken in recent years within the PA.

    • Kenya opens its books in revolutionary transparency drive

      When violence erupted after the 2007 Kenyan elections, a team of activists produced Ushahidi – a digital open-source platform to monitor crises in near real-time. Taking its name from the kiswahili word for testimony, or witness, Ushahidi has since been deployed to monitor unrest in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, track violence in Gaza, and gather global reports about the spread of Swine Flu. Around the same time, a partnership between Vodafone and Safaricom, Kenya’s largest mobile operator, produced M-PESA, the mobile banking system that has revolutionised the way many Kenyans manage their money.

    • Canberra’s open source policy stumbles on compliance

      The Australian Government’s latest commitment to open source software has been undermined by patchy compliance by the agencies it informs.

      While the Government’s revised guide urged agencies to consider cost, customisation, end-user training, reliability, lock-in and license obligations when choosing between proprietary and open source software options, already there are examples of non-compliance with the policy.

      Despite the guide instructing agencies “to insert a statement into any Request for Tender that they will consider open source software equally alongside proprietary software”, no such statement was published in Austrade’s recent request for tender (RFT) for an Online Recruitment System (C11/0403).

    • United Kingdom’s government to accelerate its use of open source software in public services
  • Licensing

    • AVM Denies GPL Violation Claims

      German router maker AVM says GPL campaigners are backing software which would break the Fritz!Box

      German router maker AVM has defended itself against claims that it is breaking the terms of the GPL licence on its Fritz!Box broadband routers, but GPL creator Richard Stallman has said the firm is in breach of the licence.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • News of the World dead, that’s OK – all press going open source online

      Truism #1 – Newsrooms to face tougher economic challenges and more challenging workflow issues than ever before.

      Truism #2 – Stories now need to be written for a more live, dynamic, potentially changeable publishing medium. So writing from the ground up for paper-based publication is not necessarily good sense.

      Truism #3 – Open source document management and content management tools now exist to bring tangible cost savings to bear.

    • Carnegie Launches Open-Source STEM Network

      Milgrom-Elcott says it’s an approach that worked for cystic fibrosis (CF) research and treatment practices. During the mid 1990s, CF patients at different clinics had wildly different life expectancies and lung capacities. As doctors began to share the best practices for treating patients, the life expectancy gap narrowed, and CF survival rates improved. 100kin10 hopes to mimic this transparency and openness.

    • Data

      • Open source storage is on the march

        From being the poor relation to deployment in pretty much every institution, public and private, open source software (OSS) in the shape of Linux and others has taken over a huge proportion of the world’s servers.

        It was quite a mountain to climb. At first, sceptics — a group that included me — struggled to see how the business model could work. Could the software developers sustain themselves by giving away the software? Could they keep up with commercial developers? Would enterprise users get the kinds of support they were used to? And would the software be robust and as feature-rich?

    • Open Access/Content

      • South Korean schools to go paperless

        But add Open Access/Open Source to the equation, and the long-term savings usually outweigh the costs (here’s an app that lets educational buyers calculate exactly what they stand to save). Clunky hardcover textbooks, constantly in need of repair or replacement, with built-in obsolescence, are a major expense for schools. As soon as decent, curriculum-connected free versions are online, they can be used anywhere. Once forward-thinking Canadian classes take the plunge, it’s unlikely they’ll ever go back.

  • Programming

    • static single assignment for functional programmers
    • Project Euler
    • Python 3.2.1 now available

      The Python developers have released Python 3.2.1, a bugfix release for February’s Python 3.2 with no new functionality. It fixes more than 120 bugs and regressions in the most recent release of the widely used dynamic scripting language, including a fix for a urllib and urllib2 medium severity security issue (CVE-2011-1521) which had been corrected in older versions of Python in recent months.

    • Ruby creator joins PaaS company Heroku

      The creator of the Ruby programming language, Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto, has joined Heroku, the cloud application platform provider, where he will work as the chief architect for Ruby. The news release states that Matsumoto will, in close collaboration with the Ruby open source community, continue his work on the Ruby scripting language he designed in the mid-90s. The creator of Ruby will keep his post at Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten’s Institute of Technology, and he will also continue to work as a researcher for the Network Applied Communications Laboratory.

    • Ruby daddy Matsumoto joins Heroku Rails crusade
  • Standards/Consortia

    • RDF in ODF: Abiword & Calligra

      RDF has been slowly making it’s way into Office applications. The ODF standard includes support for shipping RDF/XML file(s) inside the zip file that is an odt file. This RDF can also be linked to particular part(s) of the document text so that you and your computer both know where the RDF is most relevant. For example, if “Fred” in the document has his phone number, location, and cake preference in RDF, that can all be linked just to the four characters “Fred” so that it all makes sense. Strange as it might be, not everybody likes Baumkuchen, and it is fairly likely not to be relevant to a stock quote in another part of the document.

Leftovers

  • Microsoft to Windows XP diehards: Just under 3 more years’ support

    ‘Eventually, there comes a time to give us more money’

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • About ALEC Exposed

      In April 2011, some of the biggest corporations in the U.S. met behind closed doors in Cincinnati about their wish lists for changing state laws. This exchange was part of a series of corporate meetings nurtured and fueled by the Koch Industries family fortune and other corporate funding.

      At an extravagant hotel gilded just before the Great Depression, corporate executives from the tobacco giant R.J. Reynolds, State Farm Insurance, and other corporations were joined by their “task force” co-chairs — all Republican state legislators — to approve “model” legislation. They jointly head task forces of what is called the “American Legislative Exchange Council” (ALEC).

    • ALEC and “Tort Reform”

      The Regulatory Compliance Congruity with Liability Act is part of a set of “tort reform” bills from ALEC that limit corporate responsibility at the expense of average Americans. ALEC, the corporate-funded national organization that lets Big Business hand state legislators “model bills” to introduce in their state, has been pushing “tort reform” since about 1986 with the support of Big Tobacco, the insurance industry, and other major corporations.

  • Censorship

    • No Net Filtering in the Name of Consumer Protection!

      Having just pushed a draft executive order to establish total administrative censorship of the Internet, the French government is now attempting to extend Net filtering, this time through a bill on consumer protection. Tonight and tomorrow, the bill will go through the French Parliament’s Committee on Economic Affairs. The latter must absolutely reject this new attempt to control the Net. French citizens can help defend the Internet by calling the members of the Committee.

    • Open Internet: how to be open about how closed you are

      Today, the Broadband Stakeholder Group had the second meeting discussing what to do to protect the Open Internet: a process started after Ed vaizey’s meeting including Sir Tim Berners-Leee.

      Today was what should have been the easy part: talking about transparency of ISPs over network discrimination, or “traffic management”. You can see that all major ISPs have now published a standardized policy such as this from Sky or this (sigh) jpg from Virgin

    • Indian Govt Goes Open Source, America Should Learn From It

      Governments across the globe are going open source, other than those who are either close to Microsoft or who have been bought by them. Emerging economies such as India and Brazil know the value of open source It boosts local economy instead of filling the pockets of multi-national companies who have little or no interest in the development of the region.

      The government of India, despite desperate measures from companies like Microsoft has always been pro-free software or open source. The government has prepared a draft for the “Policy on Device Drivers for Procurement of Hardware for e-Governance”.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

    • Copyrights

      • IPRED: the European Commission Must Listen to the Citizens!

        Paris, July 11th, 2011 – The European Commission just published the synthesis of the responses to the consultation on the revision of the anti-sharing “IPRED” directive. Among these are a large number of responses from European citizens worried about the transformation of Internet technical intermediaries into a private copyright police. La Quadrature du Net congratulates all citizens for their watchfulness and their responses. The Commission can no longer ignore the citizens’ opposition to its project to reform the IPRED directive.

      • Lobbyists Ramp Up Pressure To Get PROTECT IP Passed

        The world’s largest lobbying organization, the US Chamber of Commerce (which thrives off the fact that many people mistake it for a US government body), along with the biggest lobbyists representing the recording and movie industry, have ramped up their efforts to get PROTECT IP approved as quickly as possible. The groups held a conference on Capitol Hill and then began visiting Senators to talk about how much they needed this protectionism, because they’re unable to adapt to a dynamic internet where they’re no longer the gatekeepers. Who’s doing this? Well, along with the Chamber of Commerce, we have NBC Universal, Sony Music and Pictures, Walt Disney Company, the MPAA, the RIAA, News Corp. (watch your voicemails, senators), the National Association of Theater Owners, Warner Music and the American Federation of Musicians.

Reader’s Picks

07.12.11

Links 12/7/2011: Pardus 2011 Released, New President of Executive Board at Mandriva, Firefox 8 Previews

Posted in News Roundup at 5:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 155
  • The Linux Setup – Lateef Alabi-Oki, Scribes text editor

    My name is Lateef Alabi-Oki. I’m a software developer, IT consultant and computer technician. I’m modestly known in the Free Software community as the maintainer of Scribes, the esoteric, unconventional, unorthodox text editor for Linux and Unix-like systems. I also maintain less popular projects like Striim (the Internet Radio Player), Germinal (the terminal emulator designed to be used with a terminal multiplexer like Tmux), gomodoro (a pomodoro timer) among others.

  • 13 fun Android apps for Linux/Unix fans!
  • My favorite Linux.

    Soon the task of re-installing and re-installing Windows got so frustrating I decided to get rid of Windows altogether and install Linux in its place. So began my search for a Linux distribution that works with my old hardware and my wireless card, and I have tried plenty of distributions with no luck. I tried Ubuntu, Fedora, FreeBSD, Damn Small Linux, Puppy Linux, and a bunch of others. They were either too demanding on my resources or didn’t work well with my wireless card.
    After some more searching I have finally found a nice flavor of Linux that’s perfect for my needs, and it’s the one I’m using right now.

  • Desktop

    • ‘Satchbook’ is a powerful, but pricey, Ubuntu laptop

      With a 15.6″ screen, a dual-core i5 processor and 8GB of DDR3 RAM German company Rockiger‘s Satchbook might read like a MacBook Pro, but it comes with Ubuntu preinstalled.

    • Commodore 64’s revival

      It can run also on Windows 7, even though it has the base of Ubuntu.

    • The Linux Desktop: We’ve Arrived.

      Linux Desktop articles are all over the place. I can hardly open up a browser without tripping over one. Most of them are negative whine-fests, complaining that Linux is too hard for new users, or has become too dumbed-down for technical users, or the fonts are ugly, or the next generation desktop environments are too different, or… well I could go on, but I think you get the point. So today, I feel like whining about the whiners. Give em’ some of their own medicine, and bring something a bit different to the table: A positive viewpoint on the state of the Linux Desktop. Don’t look so shocked, just keep reading.

      We have what we need folks! The Linux Desktop has arrived. The solid foundation of GNU’s tools and the Linux kernel; topped with many desktop environment choices and all the wonderful Linux desktop applications has got us there. Due to the hard work of the entire Linux developer community there is now a viable, open, free, full desktop computing alternative for those who seek it out. There are user friendly distributions out there for non-techies, and highly technical ones for those who prefer to build a custom desktop experience. Available in your favorite distribution’s repositories are three modern and beautiful desktop environments to choose from. Ubuntu’s Unity is becoming more polished and user friendly. KDE is mature and highly configurable. And Gnome 3 takes the minimal, “get out of my way so I can get stuff done” desktop philosophy to new heights. For those that prefer more classic desktop experiences there is the fast, stable, fully featured xfce4; and the super-fast lxde desktop. For the nerdiest of the nerds there are multitudes of fully configurable window managers out there; from tiling powerhouses like Xmonad, to flexible floating window managers like Openbox. Linux users have never had more choice and quality available for their desktops.

  • Server

    • IBM heaves new System z minis at mainframe shops

      In the hope of continuing the System z upgrade boom that started last summer, Big Blue has rounded out its lineup with a midrange – what IBM calls “Business Class” – mainframe, the System zEnterprise 114.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • AMD Pushes gDEBugger Away From Linux, Mac OS X

      gDEBugger, a program developed by Graphic Remedy for debugging, profiling, and analyzing OpenGL (and OpenCL) applications, was a very useful tool for graphics developer. gDEBugger worked with GPUs from all major vendors, is capable of locating graphics pipeline performance bottlenecks, allowed dynamically editing GLSL shaders in real-time, and had many other capabilities. This powerful utility was even made free of charge to Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux users. Graphic Remedy was acquired by AMD last month and already the non-Windows users have been shafted with their OS support being dropped.

    • Visualizing Linux Performance Data In New Ways

      One of the items I’ve been working on recently for Phoronix Test Suite 3.4-Lillesand is new ways to visualize performance result data generated by the many test profiles and suites available via OpenBenchmarking.org. Here’s one of the new ways that was committed over the weekend to the Lillesand Git code-base.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Mesa Gets OpenGL 3.0 Floating-Point Depth Buffers
      • XreaL Is Still Around, But Without Any Release

        XreaL, the heavily modified Quake 3 game engine that its developer says is the most advanced open-source game engine, is still in-development even without an official release for this project that’s been around for years.

        Back in 2009 when we first featured XreaL, the graphics were incredibly impressive with many advancements made to the ioquake3 engine not found in other incarnations of the game. The feature-set was incredible. Back then the attempt was to turn XreaL into a full-fledged game, but the artists and engine developer parted ways and it turned into more of an effort just to make the best game engine possible.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Prettyfying Your LXDE

      LXDE, the Lightweight X11 desktop environment, has gained quite a following over recent years seemingly coming from nowhere, and many distribution spins are now using it for their user interface. This is really a follow-up to my previous post about beautyfying Xfce. Because both are using gtk+ the same themes will work and the same engines are needed to make them look as intended.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Amarok vs. iTunes

        In my old company long standing employees get an iPod when they leave. I’m happy with my Sansa Clip+, but since my wife wanted one I was very ok with that. Since it’s currently not possible to set up an iPod Nano (6th gen) with Amarok as I was told on IRC I finally installed iTunes. And I must say I was impressed.

      • KDE Commit-Digest for 3rd July 2011
      • Process Photos with digiKam’s Batch Queue Manager and a Bash Script

        One of digiKam’s lesser known features is the ability to link scripts to notifications. At first sight, this may seem like a rather obscure functionality, but it can be put to some clever uses. Say, you want to keep a portfolio of selected photos on a mobile device. Resizing multiple photos to a specified size to make it easier to view them on the mobile device and transferring the processed photos from digiKam to the mobile device manually is not very practical. And this is where the ability to trigger scripts via notifications can come in handy. You can attach a simple Bash script to the Batch queue completed notification, so it’s triggered automatically when the Batch Queue Manager tool is done processing photos.

      • rekonq, 1 feature a week. #1
    • GNOME Desktop

      • GDM3Setup: GUI To Change GDM3 Wallpaper, Theme, Logo And More

        Last week we’ve posted about changing the GNOME 3 login screen background / GTK3 theme via command line but if you want to use a GUI for this, you’ll be glad to know that one already exists: GDM3Setup.

        GDM3Setup is a simple GUI tool to tweak GDM3 (GNOME3 login screen). Using it, you can change the following GDM3 settings: wallpaper, GTK3 theme, icon theme, logo, disable the login screen user list or restart buttons.

      • drwright: GNOME-native typing breaks in GNOME 3
      • XpGnome

        At our latest Linux Users Group meeting, I was given a copy of the May 2011 issue of Linux Format magazine. In the midst of an article about convincing Windows users to switch to Linux, was a sidebar about XpGnome. It’s a script that customizes the Gnome desktop to make it look like Windows XP.

  • Distributions

    • Damn Small Linux: Still Damn Fun

      I’ve described how to refurbish mature computers in several articles. The emphasis has been on machines in the four to ten year old range — Pentium IV’s, D’s, M’s, III’s and Celerons. But what if you have a really old computer, like a Pentium II, I, or even a 486? Can you use it for anything worthwhile? A vintage distro named Damn Small Linux answers “yes.” This article describes DSL and tells how to make 1990′s computers useful again. Screenshots follow the article.

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • PCLinuxOS Review: What Does PCLinuxOS Have to Offer?

        In the quest to find the perfect Linux distribution, we often hit an obstacle that makes the grass look greener on another distro’s lawn. When we reach that point, the first instinct is to turn to another distribution and hope that something fresh will also be something better. This time around, I decided to see if PCLinuxOS was indeed greener.

        Time and time again, I have learned that something new is not always something better. Take Ubuntu’s switch to a new desktop shell with Unity in Ubuntu 11.04. This switch has left a number of Ubuntu users pondering other distributions in search of more familiar territory.

      • Mandriva, at the heart of the CompatibleOne project

        The realm of remote, scalable and automated computing, also known as Cloud Computing, is currently progressing at a very fast pace.

        CompatibleOne is a research project, under the aegis of the two competitiveness clusters System@tic and SCS, aiming at facilitating the deployment, the configuration and the administration of public, private or hybrid Clouds using open standards and interoperable open-source technologies.

      • New President of Executive Board

        Dominique Loucougain will replace Arnaud Laprévote in the position of President of Executive Board (Directoire) for Mandriva France.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat clone CentOS 6.0 arrives late, but with security updates
      • CentOS 6.0 Release Notes
      • Release for CentOS-6.0 i386 and x86_64

        We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of CentOS-6.0 for i386 and x86_64 Architectures.

      • At Long Last, CentOS 6.0 ISOs Finally Surface
      • CentOS 6.0 Released, It’s Based on RHEL 6.0

        The CentOS development team, through Karanbir Singh, proudly announced last evening, July 10th, the immediate availability for download of the CentOS 6.0 operating system.

        The new CentOS 6.0 operating system is based on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.0 distribution, and it brings all the features that are present in the RHEL distro, with which is 100% binary compatible.

      • A Changing Web Culture Fits With Red Hat

        Jim Whitehurst sees user collaboration as the wave of the future, not only for technology companies but for the business world at large.

        His company’s business model is built on it: He’s chief executive and president of Red Hat Inc., the only publicly traded open-source software company. With open-source software, users in addition to vendors make changes and share them. Red Hat provides technology consulting and sells services and updates for its core product, the Linux operating system.

      • Scientific Linux 5.6 Live released

        Just over two weeks after the official release of Scientific Linux 5.6, the Scientific Linux (SL) developers have announced the arrival of the LiveCD and LiveDVD variants of version 5.6 of their Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) clone. The LiveCD/DVD versions allow users to run the distribution directly from a CD or DVD drive without having to install it. Alternatively, it can also be installed to the local hard disk or users can run the LiveCD image from a USB flash drive.

      • Fedora

        • Podcast: Igor Pires Soares – Fedora Project
        • Well balanced Red Hat sits easily in the region

          AUSTRALIA continued to be an important engineering base for Linux provider Red Hat despite the strong dollar.

          Global chief executive Jim Whitehurst said it was committed to its Brisbane engineering hub that serves a global market and employs about 150 people.

          Australia is the second-largest market for Red Hat after Japan in Asia-Pacific, considered the company’s fastest-growing region.

          In recent months, security software firm Symantec was forced to close its enterprise research unit, citing the currency factor, but Mr Whitehurst said Red Hat was not in the same boat.

        • Fedora 15 Configuration Series: A Review Of Ailurus

          Ailurus is a great little program to add on to a fresh installation of Fedora 15. I would compare it to something along the lines of Ubuntu Tweak, in which the user is presented with a set of clean up tasks, system information, a package manager, and even a good solid set of repositories to choose from. I only wish I had found it a little earlier than I did as it would have made adding the initial repositories a breeze when I first installed Fedora 15.

    • Debian Family

      • Linux Mint 11 KDE to Based on Debian, Maybe

        Linux Mint 11 GNOME was released nearly two months ago. Some of us have been waiting for the KDE version to test (and possibly use) and wonder where it is. Today a blog post by Clem gives a clue.

      • Derivatives

        • SimplyMEPIS 11.0 review – Spartan, but ok

          Compared to MEPIS 8.0, the 11th release by number is somewhat better, but I can’t say how much of that is technology and how much actual progress in the mindset and the execution. In its current form, MEPIS deserves around 7/10, maybe 8/10, but not more. Its huge potential is still waiting to be unleashed, but it won’t happen in this release.

        • Everything’s Fine…Shall I Try an Update?

          While several of my colleagues and students are having a great time fighting viruses and malware or trying to get their mainstream, highly-reputed systems to work again, both my mutant penta-boot netbook and my grotesque hepta-boot desktop have been working fine. Thus, more out of boredom than for any other reason, I decided to check for and install their corresponding updates. Since it had been a few months since my last update, I thought things could get complicated and thus I could join my colleagues’ frustration…let’s see:

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Growing Pains

            Ubuntu over the years has grown to be easier and easier, so easy that I would probably put anyone on it now days. Unfortunately for me as Ubuntu has grown easier I have grown softer. And I never realized how much Ubuntu had moved away from the standard Linux installation because the changes were implemented so slowly. A new installer here, some new GUI configuration tools there. Gradually I was point and clicking more than I was using CLI.

          • Moving away from Ubuntu

            I decided to abandon Ubuntu on my home desktop after the upgrade to 11.04 Natty Narwhal. I knew there were some things that I couldn’t like, but I didn’t know it would cripple the very base of the operating system. These are the things that went bad:

            * The upgrade finished with obscure errors.
            * can’t log in graphically without safe mode.
            * system console (CTRL+ALT+F1 etc.) appears as a white background and unreadable characters.
            * packages have been left in an unclean state.

          • Ubuntu 11.10: Screenshot preview

            Ubuntu 11.10 Alpha 2 was recently released for the brave and adventuresome to test. I did not do much of a testing, but ran the system in a virtual environment to see what it looks like. Aside from the kernel, there is really no major change, as far as I could tell, from the last stable release, which is Ubuntu 11.04. (See Ubuntu 11.04 review.)

          • UbuntuDeveloperWeek

            Welcome to the Ubuntu Developer Week! We will have one week of action-packed sessions from July 11th 2011 to July 15th 2011!

          • Canonical Copyright Assignment

            Ted Gould’s debate with Bradley Kuhn and others about the Canonical Copyright Assignment Agreement (CAA) is quite illustrative and one of Ted’s remarks provides a good launching pad for me to express why I find the CAA so objectionable.

          • QA Community Coordinator Required

            I am looking to hire a new member for my team (the Community Team) here at Canonical. I am looking for a bright, motivated, and experienced person to build, maintain and develop a cohesive, productive and effective Ubuntu QA community.

            This role will be full-time working at Canonical, you will be working from home with regular travel to various events (such as UDS and team sprints), and you will be working in a fast-paced, productive, and energetic environment. This is a really exciting role that is designed to bring huge value to the Ubuntu community in the area of quality by refining, optimizing, and growing our QA community participation.

          • Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot Alpha 2 Released, Overview and Screenshots
          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 223
          • Using Ubuntu on the Desktop
          • Scrollbar Updates in Ubuntu, and Why They Matter

            If you’ve used Ubuntu’s Unity interface, which (for better or worse, depending on whom you ask) became the default with the appearance of Ubuntu 11.04 last April, you probably noticed that the scroll bars in most windows looked different. Departing from the decades-old paradigm that most computer users have known for decades, Ubuntu now compacts scrollbars into a smaller unit intended to be more functional.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Bodhi Linux… Ubuntu might have a competitor

              Bodhi Linux is yet another attempt to convince users that you don’t have to pay 54£ (Windows 7 Home Premium) in order to use your computer for basic tasks like writing emails and browsing the Internet. Based on the ever-so-popular Ubuntu Linux, Bodhi pushes the boundaries a bit further in ease of use, resources required and “ohhhh prettyyy” factor.

              On thing I would like to mention about Bodhi, before starting the actual review, is their website: http://www.bodhilinux.com/. It’s not often that a Linux distro (especially an “indie” one like this one) has such a well rounded and useful website. Their QuickStart section is more than useful if you’ve never used Linux before. Check it out here: http://www.bodhilinux.com/quickstart/quickstartEN/.

              [...]

              I’m quite impressed by this distro, it’s pretty, it’s fast, it’s light, I… I just can’t find a fault…

            • Trying Kubuntu 11.04

              At the end of the week, I find myself in agreement with the people who told me that Kubuntu, in avoiding the innovation of Ubuntu, had created a solid desktop experience.

            • Linux Mint 10 screen capture tour

              Linux Mint 10 (Julia) was released Nov 12, 2010 which feels like eons ago in Linux land. But hey I wanna play around with it before I jump to Linux Mint 11.

              Overall feel is good, installation was uneventful. The interface is pretty clean and well structured. This is what I like best with Mint. Anyway, this is old news but would like to keep a log of how the installation screen looks like. Below are the screen captures.

            • Is Linux Mint a Better Choice than Ubuntu?

              For many advanced Linux enthusiasts reading this, I doubt that any recent changes to the Ubuntu desktop swayed you very much. Most of you already have had plenty of time to select alternative distros — from Fedora to Arch Linux — should you decide you want to.

              Each distribution has its own set of advantages and differences. But for those people who cannot bear to part with some features that are considered to be unique to Ubuntu, Linux Mint might be a viable option to look into.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • WebOS products do not run that other OS

      I was looking for information on what products HP is releasing with WebOS and found this at the foot of a page about printers:
      “WebOS products do not run Windows”. In a world where many OEMs “Recommend” that other OS, that is really strange wording. It could be a way to assert branding:

      * WebOS is not that other OS

      What a warped world we live in that things like that have to be communicated…

    • Phones

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source as a differentiator?

    What is an “open source company”? What is the real differentiation element introduced by Open Source? These and more questions were introduced by a great post by Matthew Aslett (if you don’t follow him, go and follow now. I’ll wait. Yes, do it. You will thank me later.), called “The decline of open source as an identifying differentiator“. It is an excellent analysis of how companies mostly stopped using the term “open source” in their marketing materials, and has a follow up (here) that provides a summary of the main responses by other analysts and observers.

  • FOSS and the Freeloader Factor
  • In Giving Back, Brazil Sets a Good Open Source Example

    Recently, we’ve covered the many debates going on surrounding whether organizations that use open source software are properly giving back to the development communities that they benefit from. According to some observers, the disparity between using and contributing doesn’t matter, while others feel strongly that organizations that use open source software should help develop it or invest in development. On this topic, Simon Phipps has an interesting post up on the Brazilian government’s decision to invest in OpenOffice and LibreOffice, based on its usage.

  • Why a Devout Capitalist Loves Free Software

    When I first began using Linux as my primary operating system, I did so to try to solve some problems I was having with Microsoft Windows. My computer had begun to feel like it was not under my control. Updates were being downloaded and installed during inopportune times and they were requiring me to completely shut down my computer nearly every time, or nagging me to do it anyway. I was running anti-virus software that was buggy and bloated and slowing down my computer. In order to maintain all of the recent security updates, I had to literally hand over the contents of my hard drive to Microsoft on a regular basis to prove that I had not hacked Windows (Windows Genuine Advantage). My music, videos and even the font files on my computer were told what they could do by Microsoft’s DRM efforts. Being a lover of liberty and a bit of a security freak, I was rubbed the wrong way with many of the issues that Microsoft had taught me I just had to live with.

  • The responsibility in open source

    I’ve written before about the genuine renaissance open source software represents and the vast implications that openness provides. I’ve admitted that computer science, based on its relative unwillingness to share great ideas, has lagged behind other hard sciences in its understanding of how and where value is created.

    I’ve also written about the principles of open source software and how the mere gifting of source code, while important, does not actually generate the majority of value for the community. Instead, the real value comes from adhering to the principles of open source–transparency, participation and collaboration–and I’ve tried to evangelize this is the real method upon which commercial open source companies help create success.

  • FOSS vs Proprietary – Who cares about ‘The War’

    Free software and open standards have always been a point of debate for the confusing line between hardcore tech world and the whole other world of users. However, very recently, tech pundits have beaten a retreat on the issue, claiming that free software and open standards do not really matter much. This can only be understood better if one understands the factors that have always been taken in to account in the face off between free and proprietary software or open and close standard hardware.

  • XBRL Group Offers Cash Prize for Open-source Tools

    A U.S. nonprofit consortium is hoping the prospect of a US$20,000 cash prize will help spur the creation of open-source software tools companies can use to work with the XBRL (Extensible Business Reporting Language) standard for financial reporting.

  • Mozilla

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • VirtualBox 4.1 Beta 2 gains PCI passthrough support

      The VirtualBox development team has released a second beta of version 4.1.0 of its open source desktop virtualisation application for x86 hardware. The latest development preview brings a number of changes over the previous beta, including fixes to the experimental WDDM (Windows Display Driver Model) graphics driver support for Windows guests that was added in Beta 1.

  • CMS

    • Twitter Selects Acquia and Drupal to Power Developer Community Website

      Acquia, the leading provider of commercial solutions for Drupal, announced today that Twitter selected a Drupal-based community solution for its new Twitter developer website at dev.twitter.com. The site, which was developed with support and guidance from Acquia, launched today.

    • Twitter using Drupal

      Starting today, Twitter’s developer community lives and breathes on Drupal! Check it out at http://dev.twitter.com.

      This is a big deal for Drupal — it’s not every day that one of the hottest technology start-ups switches one of its sites to Drupal. At Acquia, we have been working with Twitter on this site but couldn’t talk about it for the longest time. I’m glad we finally can because it’s a great use case for Drupal.

      Twitter has 750,000 developers who have created nearly a million apps, making 13 billion API calls per day. Those are some astonishing figures! A population that big requires a lot, as we in the Drupal community know.

    • Ten Content Management Systems for Photo Galleries

      When it comes to sharing your images on your website in the form of a web gallery, the CMS options for managing the same are many. Whether you wish to create an online portfolio, or simply want to share some photos, choosing the ideal CMS for your web gallery goes a long way in effectively managing the gallery! In this article, we bring to you some of the best known CMS options for web gallery management.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Publication: Guide to Open Source Software

      The Guide to Open Source Software for Australian Government Agencies, Version 2.0 has now been revised and finalised following the public feedback.

    • Open Source In the Bavarian Government of Munich, Germany: Interview

      Anton Borisov interviews Oliver Altehage, Change Manager for LiMux-Project to understand the options and deployment of GNU/Linux and open source in the Bavarian Government of Munich, Germany.

      Anton: Oliver, the City of Munich is famous for its open-source initiative, when Microsoft products must be substituted to Linux and open-sourced applications. Could you please shed some light on this idea, because I know it has original roots in 2000′s.
      Oliver: That is true. First idea was created in 2001, first concept appeared in 2002. Decision for migration of the city parliament was taken in 2004, and migration itself was started in November 2006.

  • Licensing

    • The trouble with Harmony: Part 2

      In opting to follow the maximalist model of contributor agreements, Harmony inherits, and thereby legitimizes, all of that model’s problems. There is growing awareness that the maximalist approach can impair the effectiveness of the open source community development model, creating unnecessary barriers to contribution. Rather than attempting to address those problems, Harmony merely hides them in attractive packaging.

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • From C++ to HTML5: Opera ports game with web standards

      Even before the introduction of the WebGL standard for rendering 3D graphics in a browser, it was already clear that a browser can be a suitable platform for graphically complex games. To demonstrate the browser’s potential capability in this arena, Mozilla has released the Flight of the Navigator demo and the Opera developers are working on a technology preview of what they think can be achieved. The question though is what is practically possible now if, say, an entire game were to be implemented using currently available web standards. Now, an Opera developer can answer that question.

  • Leftovers

    • Unix still data center darling, says survey

      Unix systems may not be all the rage that they were two decades ago, but in nearly eight out of 10 data centers based on them, their use is either holding steady or increasing.

      That’s the assessment of a recent survey of the HP, IBM, and Oracle Unix customer bases by Gabriel Consulting Group, which has just finished up its fifth annual slicing and dicing of Unix customer sentiments.

      Unix systems have successfully colonized their neighborhoods in the data centers of the world, and are resisting the onslaught of Windows and Linux on those systems’ relatively inexpensive x64 iron. The Unix colonists are also resisting all of the marketing muscle and money that is dedicated to evicting them.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • For-Profit Health Insurance: Where the Real Death Panels Lie

        On behalf of Grigor and Hilda Sarkisyan, I would like to invite Republican Rep. Phil Gingrey of Georgia to attend the 21st birthday celebration of the Sarkisyans’ only daughter, Nataline, this coming Saturday, July 9, in Calabasas, California.

        Gingrey could consider it a legitimate, reimbursable fact-finding mission. He clearly needs to have more facts about the U.S. health care system before he starts talking about death panels again.

        Gingrey seems determined to keep alive the lie that the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a., Obamacare) will create government-run death panels in the Medicare program.

    • Finance

      • Goldman Shareholders Re-Elect Directors, Approve ‘Say-on-Pay’

        Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the fifth- biggest U.S. bank by assets, said shareholders re-elected the company’s directors and approved a compensation plan for top executives.

        Directors were re-elected with 90 percent of the vote and the pay awards for named executive officers were approved by 73 percent in a so-called say on pay vote, General Counsel Greg Palm said today at the New York-based bank’s shareholder meeting in Jersey City, New Jersey. None of the proposals submitted by shareholders was approved, Palm said.

      • Goldman Traders Tried to Manipulate Derivatives Market in ’07, Report Says

        Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) mortgage traders tried to manipulate prices of derivatives linked to subprime home loans in May 2007 for their own benefit, according to a U.S. Senate report.

        Company documents show traders led by Michael J. Swenson sought to encourage a “short squeeze” by putting artificially low prices on derivatives that would gain in value as mortgage securities fell, according to the report yesterday by the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. The idea, abandoned after market conditions worsened, was to drive holders of such credit-default swaps to sell and help Goldman Sachs traders buy at reduced prices, according to the report.

    • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

      • Rupert Murdoch’s Big Newspaper Scandal

        Media mogul Rupert Murdoch moved quickly to shut down one of his oldest media holdings — a 168 year-old, best-selling weekly British tabloid newspaper called News of the World — amid charges that the paper’s journalists hacked into the telephones of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, murder victims and their families, and bribed police in exchange for information and tips. News of the World was Britain’s best-sellling Sunday newspaper. Its last issue will be this Sunday, and will not carry any commercial advertisements.

      • How Intrepid Netroots Activists Toppled Glenn Beck

        The campaign was a true netroots effort. An online petition sent to Beck’s advertisers was signed by 285,000 people, and the number of advertisers who responded by dropping their ads from Beck’s show exceeded 300.

        Just two months into the boycott, Color of Change announced that it was costing Fox News $600,000 per week. Fox remained in denial, and two months later, Fox’s Rupert Murdoch, recently involved in his own scandal for breaking into the cell phones of crime victims and dead service members, supported Beck by saying he was right when he made the offensive comments.

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