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09.02.10

Links 2/9/2010: New Survey Shows Red Hat GNU/Linux Increasingly Replacing Windows

Posted in News Roundup at 12:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Server

    • Mainframes Have a New Need for Speed

      The first is virtualization, which more IT organizations are starting to consolidate on faster servers. Virtual machines hunger for memory and the mainframe, most likely running Linux, provides an efficient shared memory architecture.

    • IBM launching world’s fastest microprocessor

      Such workloads include data managed by DB2/IMS, and general Java performance on Linux, though we imagine the cards should fall about 60% faster as well when you beat solitaire.

    • MokaFive outs bare-metal PC hypervisor

      MokaFive thinks the market does indeed want a bare-metal PC hypervisor, and so, according to Padmanabhan, the techies at MokaFive have grabbed a popular Linux distro – the company won’t say which one – and ripped out everything that was not necessary and locked it down to turn it into a hypervisor for running the Moka Player.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Podcast Season 2 Episode 16

      In this episode: Sony was legally allowed to remove the ‘Other OS’ feature from the Playstation 3, according to Australian lawmakers. Glibc is now really free and KSplice gets into Fedora. We report back from the mid-point of our games development challenge, and ask, what’s your favourite Linux improvement?

  • Applications

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • TrygTech Announces Linux-based BSP for Topaz i.MX25 CPU Module
    • Phones

      • Android

        • Motorola Defy: Android 2.1 goes rugged with water, dust and scratch resistance

          Remember the Motorola i1? Moto has just added its second rugged(ish) Android handset in the 3.7-inch Gorilla Glass-fronted Defy. It’s dust-, scratch-, impact-, and water-resistant. Matching up to the IP67 durability spec means it’s expected to resist being submersed in up to a meter of water for up to half an hour — making it a pretty awesome option for taking your Android to the beach, 854 x 480 is your screen resolution, backed up by an OMAP 3610 chip running at 800MHz (there had to be some tradeoffs, right?).

        • Motorola spins rugged Android phone and a new Milestone

          Motorola has long made ruggedized phones running Linux, but the Defy is only its second such Android model after the Motorola i1 was unveiled in March. The Defy offers a larger display and more features than the 3.1-inch i1, but it lacks the phone’s push-to-talk capability designed for Sprint’s iDEN-ready Nextel Direct Connect service.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • HP netbooks get dual-core Atoms

        HP has revamped two of its 10.1-inch netbooks to include Intel’s recently announced, dual-core Atom N550 processor, along with optional Broadcom video accelerator chips. Both netbooks are available with Windows 7, but the Mini 210 also offers a Linux-based “QuickWeb” fast boot option, and the Mini 5103 is available with a full SUSE Linux installation.

    • Tablets

      • Archos releases five budget Android tablets

        In terms of the individual models’ hardware, the information Archos has disclosed is sparse. To assess the devices’ suitability as internet tablets, such details as their display resolution and battery life would be helpful. In terms of software, Archos offers its own Android apps for rendering videos, photos and music.

      • Haptic technology targets Android tablets

        Immersion Corp. announced technology designed to enable touch feedback effects for tablets and other devices running either Android or Windows 7. The “TouchSense 2500″ solution has already been built into Toshiba’s dual-screen tablet, the Libretto W100, the company adds.

Free Software/Open Source

  • You can make money with open source. Literally.

    This is an old story–two years old, to be specific. But it was new to me when I heard it at LinuxCon, and it was new to a lot of others in the room too. And it was a great story, so I wanted to share it further.

    In 2008, the Dutch Ministry of Finance held a competition to design a coin that would honor the country’s architecture.

    To briefly describe the coin, on one side is a portrait of Queen Beatrix. But on closer examination, the portrait is made of of the names of Dutch architects. The names aren’t all readable with the human eye, which the designer describes as a “compact disc” of information in the ancient format of a coin.

  • Open Source Problem-Solving Tool Helps FOSS Teams Stay Focused

    If you’ve ever been gridlocked in a group decision-making process, you know how quickly things can go from frustrating to downright unwieldy. Even with a common goal in mind, it’s easy to get bogged down in data and competing opinions. Analysis of Competing Hypothesis (ACH) is an open source application that’s been helping the CIA with its research methodologies for years and it’s freely available to the public to help groups look at — and solve — problems objectively.

  • Open Source, Low Cost GSM Cell Service Offered at Burning Man
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Drumbeat: what’s next?

        But, the fact of the matter is, Mozilla isn’t naturally good at this. We’re more often than not too earnest about the web. We need to develop or lighter sexier side. Especially if we want millions of people across the web to join and support our cause. In terms of Drumbeat next steps, this is a major area we need to work on.

  • SaaS

    • CloudBees Launches Hudson as a Service

      The vision of CloudBees is to offer a Java Platform as a Service. This is cool, but the market will take time to evolve. The interesting twist that CloudBees has come up with is to offer real services to the Java community as a Cloud based service (kind of like how SalesForce is useful to sales teams, CloudBees will initially be very useful to development teams).

    • Skygone Cloud Powers Open Source Web Mapping Suite – OpenGeo Cloud Edition

      Skygone Inc., a leader in geospatial cloud computing, today announces the launch of OpenGeo Cloud Edition; the first fully-supported, open source web-mapping software suite delivered to users via cloud computing.

    • How Facebook Scales with Open Source

      As Facebook has grown, the company has worked to develop a number of tools to handle this data, both in terms of the storage and the delivery of content, and it has open sourced many of these. Facebook has been built from the beginning on open source technologies, according to David Recordon, Facebook’s Open Source Programs Manager. But Facebook’s use of open source goes far beyond the LAMP stack (or even, beyond the LAMP stack plus Memcached). The company has also created and released several open source projects and participates heavily in others, most notably perhaps, Hadoop.

    • Have we reached a tipping point for cloud-based VoIP?

      Given the expectation that most people have now of being able to reach anyone, at any time by e-mail, IM or voice, that would seem to be the case. And by building upon the open source base, that will happen even faster.

    • “Open Standards Of Cloud Computing, Key Challenge To Open Source”
  • CMS

    • Version 4 of Plone CMS released

      The Plone developers have released version 4.0 of their open source content management system (CMS). The developers have improved performance, included a new theme, reduced the system’s memory requirements and implemented an improved user and group management feature.

    • Vividwireless goes social, open source to attract uni students

      Like the Unwired site before it, vividwireless’ website has gone the open source route and is based entirely on the Drupal content management system; a second local win for the community after the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) also launched its Drupal site last week. The company charged with building the site, PreviousNext, has continued to work with the ABC in using Drupal to launch social networking initiatives as well as whole sites including the Hungry Beast, ABC Digital Radio and the forthcoming ABC Music site revamp.

    • ‘Diaspora’ – open source Facebook alternative launches September 15th
  • Education

    • Kitsap Regional Library Catalog System Ailing

      King County libraries have based their software development on Evergreen, an open-source integrated library software system developed by a group of up-and-coming IT geeks for Georgia’s statewide library system.

  • Business

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Software Freedom Day 2010
    • Ohio LinuxFest 2010: sudo install freedom

      The eighth annual Ohio LinuxFest is September 10-12 in lovely Columbus, Ohio. As always, this is a free event chock full of interesting hands-on Linux and free software solutions. Register at the Supporter level for $65 and you’ll get lunch, one of the gorgeous t-shirts pictured here, and that warm fuzzy feeling that comes from supporting an event like this.

  • Project Releases

    • Mahara: Who’d Have Thought?

      One of the things that warms the cockles of my heart is the widening ripple of open source. Starting, as it did, with core system software, it is now moving ever further into more specialised areas.

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • What would scholarly communications look like if we invented it today?

      I’ve largely stolen the title of this post from Daniel Mietchen because I it helped me to frame the issues. I’m giving an informal talk this afternoon and will, as I frequently do, use this to think through what I want to say. Needless to say this whole post is built to a very large extent on the contributions and ideas of others that are not adequately credited in the text here.

    • Open Hardware

      • Apertus Open Source Hardware and Software Targets HD Video Cam Market

        The success of a consumer-grade open-source HD video camcorder may not sound as appealing today due the declining costs and prices of consumer camcorders from Canon, Panasonic, Sony, JVC, and others over the years, but the prospect of a geek-oriented model makes the Apertus stand out in the crowd. The Apertus camera uses the open source Elphel software along with an open source hardware reference design, combining the Aptina CMOS sensor to accommodate C-mount and CS-lenses and a range of shooting modes, including RAW image files.

  • Programming

    • GitHub launches “Pull Requests 2.0″

      GitHub has announced “Pull Requests 2.0″, a revamping of the Git pull request system which enhances the system’s collaborative capabilities. GitHub provides hosted repositories for Git, the distributed revision control system developed by Linus Torvalds, enhancing the system in its own web front end and tools. GitHub has become one of the most active venues for open source developers to share, discuss and develop their code, building on Git’s ability to allow developers to clone a code repository and work with the code without having to coordinate pushing changes back.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Web versus Apps: what is missing in HTML5

      3D gaming: There is at the moment no way to create something like the Epic Citadel demo, or Carmack’s RAGE engine on iOS. The only potential alternative is WebGL, that is (like the previous links) based on OpenGL 2.0 ES, and paints on the HTML5 canvas (that, in the presence of proper support for hardware compositing, should allow for complex interfaces and effects). The problem is that browser support is still immature – most browsers are still experimenting in an accelerated compositing pipeline right now, and there are still lots of problems that need to be solved before the platform can be considered stable. However, after the basic infrastructure is done, there is no reason for not seeing things like the current state of the art demos on the web; modern in-browser Javascript JIT are good enough for action and scripting, web workers and web sockets are stable enough to create complex, asynchronous event models. It will take an additional year, probably, until the 3D support is good enough to see something like WoW inside a browser.

Leftovers

  • The Tweet Paywall

    I encountered for the first time today in accessing Steve Daniels’ book about Kenyan craftsmen, Making Do. Tweeting about the book (with my own verbiage) got me a digital copy of the beautifully illustrated book for free.

  • `Top Gear’ Driver `Stig’ Named as Ben Collins After BBC Loses Court Ruling

    News Corp.’s HarperCollins revealed the identity of the “Stig,” a test driver who appears on the television show “Top Gear,” after the British Broadcasting Corp. lost a ruling to keep his identity secret.

    The publisher said racing driver Ben Collins is the masked man who tests the performance of cars on one of the U.K.’s most popular television shows. The announcement came after High Court Judge Paul Morgan in London refused a request from the BBC to keep the character’s identity secret. HarperCollins plans to publish the driver’s autobiography on Sept. 16.

  • In Defense of Links, part three: In links we trust

    The history of Web linking has been a long chronicle of controversies we didn’t need to have: irrelevant debates over issues like so-called deep linking (if you really don’t want to be linked to, why are you on the public Web?) or the notion of a power-law-driven A-list in blogging (if you want to become a celebrity, other media are far more efficient). To this list, we can now add the “delinkification” dustup.

    It’s hard to imagine the benefit for ourselves, or for the Web, of a general retreat from linking. Writing on the Web without linking is like making a movie without cutting. Sure, it can be done; there might even be a few situations where it makes sense. But most of the time, it’s just head-scratchingly self-limiting. To choose not to link is to abandon the medium’s most powerful tool — the thing that makes the Web a web.

    A long time ago, I wrote a column titled Fear of Links about the then-burgeoning movement of webloggers. I urged professional writers to stop looking down their noses at links and those who make them: “A journalist who today disdains the very notion of providing links to readers may tomorrow find himself without a job.”

    That was 1999. Today, we live in that piece’s “tomorrow.”

  • Science

    • God did not create Universe: Hawking

      God no longer has any place in theories on the creation of the Universe due to a series of developments in physics, British scientist Stephen Hawking said in extracts published Thursday from a new book.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Compromising Twitter’s OAuth security system

      Twitter officially disabled Basic authentication this week, the final step in the company’s transition to mandatory OAuth authentication. Sadly, Twitter’s extremely poor implementation of the OAuth standard offers a textbook example of how to do it wrong. This article will explore some of the problems with Twitter’s OAuth implementation and some potential pitfalls inherent to the standard. I will also show you how I managed to compromise the secret OAuth key in Twitter’s very own official client application for Android.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • German Military Study Warns of Potential Energy Crisis

      This week a study on peak oil by a German military think tank was leaked on the Internet. The document shows that the German government is closely studying the issue of peak oil, and is aware of the potential for serious consequences as oil production declines. The study is reminiscent of the Hirsch Report, commissioned by the U.S. Department of Energy, that warned of the risks posed by peak oil.

    • Friends of the Earth urges end to ‘land grab’ for biofuels

      European Union countries must drop their biofuels targets or else risk plunging more Africans into hunger and raising carbon emissions, according to Friends of the Earth (FoE).

      In a campaign launching today, the charity accuses European companies of land-grabbing throughout Africa to grow biofuel crops that directly compete with food crops. Biofuel companies counter that they consult with local governments, bring investment and jobs, and often produce fuels for the local market.

    • Tokyo Two: Online March for Justice

      Greenpeace anti-whaling activists Toru Suzuki and Junichi Sato (the “Tokyo Two”) have been facing trial for nearly two years in Japan and now a verdict will be announced on Monday September 6th.

    • Gulf oil rig explodes off La. coast

      An offshore oil rig has exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, west of the site of the April blast that caused the massive oil spill.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Lawyer Offers Self Help To Sued BitTorrent Users

        In recent months thousands of US BitTorrent users have been sued for allegedly having shared movies such as The Hurt Locker and Far Cry. Because the settlement amount proposed by the copyright holders is less than hiring a defense lawyer, many defendants have not sought legal representation. Acknowledging this injustice, attorney Graham Syfert is now offering a cheap solution to the problem.

      • ACTA

        • The Truth about Fakes (and Piracy)

          My reading of this is that whatever the industries concerned might say about how awful, deceptive and damaging fakes and piracy are to the economy, ordinary people – and the newspapers that try to mirror their views – know that the true picture is rather different. It also means that ACTA is even more wrong-headed than even I thought.

Clip of the Day

MSI Company Profile


Credit: TinyOgg

Links 2/9/2010: Red Hat at Year Highs, Fake ‘Open Source’ Called Out

Posted in News Roundup at 8:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Choosing an Open Source Systems Management Solution

    The Little 4 may be smaller in terms of their bottom lines, but in terms of systems management capabilities, there’s nothing little about the open source offerings from Zenoss, Hyperic, GroundWork Open Source, and The OpenNMS Group.

  • Events

    • Nomination period open for Nordic Free Software Award

      The Nordic Free Software Award given to people, projects or organisations in the Nordic countries that have made a prominent contribution to the advancement of Free Software. The award will be announced during FSCONS 2010 in Gothenburg.

  • Web Browsers

  • Databases

    • PostgreSQL 9.0′s first release candidate arrives

      The first release candidate for version 9.0 of the PostgreSQL open source database has been released after four months in beta. The developers expect no changes in commands, interfaces or APIs between the release candidate and the final release, though there may be more release candidates before then, depending on bug reports. The most prominent feature in the new release is integrated replication using “Hot Standby” and “Streaming Replication” while other features include full support for 64-bit Windows, improved reporting queries, SQL standard per-column triggers, enhanced Perl and Python integrations and easier database permission management.

  • Oracle

    • The end of OpenSolaris?

      Sun aspired to be central to the next network-inspired boom, and it was understood that to do that, you had to be promiscuous, available, familiar, and easy-to-acquire. Hence open source, and hence OpenSolaris, and hence creating an OpenSolaris distribution (rather than just offer the source).

    • The State of Oracle/Sun Grid Engine

      Let’s take a look at the good news. According to DanT’s Grid Blog Oracle has plans for Grid Engine. As Dan mentions, Grid Engine does not compete with any Oracle product and like other resource managers has applications outside of HPC, which probably means Cloud based solutions.

  • Education

  • Semi-Open Source

    • Comment: The hype is over

      However, it didn’t quite work out that way: Commercial open source software, it turns out, is just the same as any other commercial software; the only difference is that one gets to take a peek at the source code (and often only certain portions of the code, see The H Open feature “Open core, closed heart?”) and can download a free trial version with varying degrees of functional restrictions from the internet.

      But what about vendor independence? There is only one company that can offer vendor support for SugarCRM. Lower costs? Commercial open source vendors need to cover their development costs just like every other software vendor. Low entry requirements? Not least because of the competition from the open source community, more and more proprietary applications now also offer free trial or community versions. And don’t you dare mess with the code if you wish to have vendor support.

      The “commercial open source” model, it seems to me, has outlived itself. Sure enough, vendors such as Alfresco or SugarCRM have established themselves in the market – because their products stand up to those of their proprietary competitors. Not because their software is open source, however – this “only” gave them an added edge compared to other start-ups. However, this effect is now gone, and companies who develop open source software are no longer considered extraordinary.

    • Open source 4.0: excellent for dancing

      By commercializing open source projects indirectly, through complementary products and services, multiple vendors are able to seize a commercial advantage and run with it without endangering the core open source project. As long as they continue to collaborate on the non-differentiating code, the project should benefit from being stretched in multiple directions.

      There will inevitably be some vendors that want to have their cake and it eat – benefiting from the work of others without sharing – but that is an inherent risk with community-developed open source, and I would argue that most have learned that they stand to gain more from collaborating than they do from forking and that it is in their own commercial interests to contribute to the common good.

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD Will Continue Supporting ZFS

      Pawel Jakub Dawidek has announced he has prepared a port of the ZFS v28 file-system for FreeBSD, which is a newer revision of this advanced Sun/Oracle file-system than what is currently available in FreeBSD 8.1. This updated ZFS file-system brings a number of new features to FreeBSD-ZFS users including data de-duplication support, triple parity RAIDZ (RAIDZ3), ZFS DIFF, Zpool Split, snapshot holds, forced Zpool imports, and the ability to import a pool in a read-only mode.

    • ZFS Support Will Continue In FreeBSD
  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GNU Spotlight with Karl Berry (August 2010)

      This month we welcome Jose Marchesi as maintainer of the new package recutils, Mike Gran as maintainer of the new package guile-ncurses, and long-time maintainers Bruno Haible, Jim Meyering, and Simon Josefsson adding the new package vc-changelog to their duties.

    • Software Freedom Day to be marked in Melbourne

      Software Freedom Day, a day observed worldwide to spread the message of free and open source software, will be marked in Melbourne on September 18 from 10am to 4pm at the State Library of Victoria.

  • Government

    • Can councils rise to the Open Source challenge? Should they?

      There was an interesting little piece in the Guardian few days ago suggesting that local authorities could save £51 million by moving some council employees to Open Office* and ODF**, and away from Microsoft Office and their document format, with the total savings rocketing to £200 million if every council employee in the country moved over.

      This sensible proposal came from Cllr Liam Maxwell who’s reponsible for IT in the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead, and I’m sure Cllr Maxwell would be the first to acknowledge it’s not a new suggestion. The office suite – as a commodity piece of software – has long been seen as one of the easiest ways to get open source onto people’s desktops and save money in the process.

      I’m certain Cllr Maxwell also appreciates that there are issues, some of which are mentioned in the Guardian, but they’re not made very clear and it’s worth expanding on them.

  • Licensing

    • Could this Lawsuit Undermine the GNU GPL?

      As Welte says, this really is outrageous: it’s GPL’d code, and the embedded system manufacturer is somehow trying to claim that it has the right to stop someone else from using and modifying that code on those devices – as if the hardware made any difference. But the whole point of the GPL is that others must be able to take software distributed under it and use it as they wish.

      I suspect that with some careful explanation from Welte (and others), the company will see that it doesn’t have a case, and the court action will be quietly dropped. On the other hand, if the case were to go forward and resulted in a win for the company concerned, it would represent a major problem for the GPL. Stay tuned…

    • More GPL enforcement work again.. and a very surreal but important case

      Right now I’m facing what I’d consider the most outrageous case that I’ve been involved so far: A manufacturer of Linux-based embedded devices (no, I will not name the company) really has the guts to go in front of court and sue another company for modifying the firmware on those devices. More specifically, the only modifications to program code are on the GPL licensed parts of the software. None of the proprietary userspace programs are touched! None of the proprietary programs are ever distributed either.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • The Sharing Economy

      Sharing. It’s one of the first things most children are urged to do.

      Few children, though, have the presence-of-mind to ask their parents when they last shared their weed-eater, their water blaster or even their car.

      The fact that virtually every garage has one of each of the above suggests the concept of sharing has some way to go in the adult world.

      Yet if dwindling resources and growing population is the biggest issue of our times, this will need to change. Everyone with one item of everything is not a sustainable thought.

    • The Case For Open-Source Design: Can Design By Committee Work?

      The following is an investigation into the difficulties of extending the open-source collaboration model from coding to its next logical step: interface design. While we’ll dive deep into the practical difference between these two professional fields, the article might also serve as a note of caution to think before rushing to declare the rise of “open-source architecture,” “open-source university,” “open-source democracy” and so on.

    • Open Data

      • The ABCD of Open Scholarship

        We had a wonderful meeting yesterday with Dave Flanders (JISC) David Shotton’s (Oxford) group (#jiscopencite) and our #jiscopenbib (Cambridge/OKF) – more details later. We really believe these projects can make a major change to Open Scholarship. We came up – almost by chance with the ABCD of Open Scholarship:

        * Open Access
        * Open Bibliography
        * Open Citations
        * Open Data

    • Open Hardware

      • Arduino Projects: Getting Started

        Anyone who has ever hacked around in their PC will have been hit with an urge to take their tinkering to the next level and create a custom-built device, but few actually try – believing such things to be far too complicated. At least, until the Arduino appeared on the scene.

        Originally developed in Italy in 2005 as a tool for students building interactive design projects, the Arduino is a microcontroller-based prototyping board – but one that pretty much removes the barriers to entry that previous electronic prototyping systems had.

  • Programming

    • September Project of the Month: GPL Ghostscript

      The end of the year is right around the corner (already!) but we’re not quite done showcasing projects that have been with us for 10 years or more. September’s Project of the Month is GPL Ghostscript, a complete set of page description language interpreters including PDF, PostScript, PCL5, PCLXL, and XPS.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Bill would let repeat offenders hide record

    Six state senators want to give a break to ex-convicts who might be haunted by their criminal records when they attempt to land jobs.

    Senate Bill 291 would remove court and police records from public view by allowing nonviolent criminals with multiple convictions to apply to seal records documenting their offenses after five years of clean conduct.

  • Northern Ky. teacher wins $11 million judgment against gossip Web site

    A gossip Web site has been hit with an $11 million judgment for libel and slander after posting false accusations that a Northern Kentucky teacher who works on the side as a Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader was exposed to two venereal diseases.

  • Perhaps Avoiding Links Is Really A Way To Get People Not To Read The Details Of The Studies You’re Misrepresenting

    Earlier this year, as part of a discussion about Nick Carr’s most recent book we pointed to some reports that noted Carr appeared to misrepresent the scientific research to support his point. It appears that others are finding more examples of this as well. There was a little web-hubbub that I ignored earlier this year when Carr declared that links in documents were bad, and he was shifting all his links to the end. This was apparently based on some research, Carr claimed, that showed links in text are really distracting. Personally, I found that premise to be laughable, as I think after my second week online I stopped being distracted by links and quickly learned to use them effectively.

    Still, without having a chance to dig into the research, I didn’t have much to say on the subject. However, Scott Rosenberg is digging in and finding that, once again, it appears that Carr is conveniently misrepresenting the studies he relies on to support his anti-link thesis. T

  • The new banana republic

    All governments need to be watched. You never know when one of them will slip in a nasty tax on the quiet or pass a seemingly simple notification that can be the undoing of entire communities or of the environment. That is the nature of the beast. But how vigilant can people be with a government that will try to alter the entire complexion of a critical law-in-the-making by sneakily replacing a clear-cut ‘or’ with a lethal ‘and’—under the very noses of the MPs opposed to legislation?

  • Why our jobs are getting worse

    And all this was enabled by technology. The modern supermarket – with its electronic scanning and inventory controls and price reductions decided by a software program run out of head office – is probably more hi-tech than any web-design firm. The result is that the man or woman in charge of your typical supermarket (or other chain shop) now has little to do with the selling or arrangement of goods: nowadays they concentrate on driving their staff to meet the targets set by head office. Their job is not so much retail-management as rowing cox.

  • Science

    • Ancient brewers tapped antibiotic secrets

      of ancient Nubians shows that they were regularly consuming tetracycline, most likely in their beer. The finding is the strongest evidence yet that the art of making antibiotics, which officially dates to the discovery of penicillin in 1928, was common practice nearly 2,000 years ago.

      The research, led by Emory anthropologist George Armelagos and medicinal chemist Mark Nelson of Paratek Pharmaceuticals, Inc., is published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Special constable jailed for Wigan ex-soldier attack

      A Greater Manchester Police special constable convicted of assaulting an off-duty soldier and lying about the attack has been jailed for three years.

      Peter Lightfoot, 40, was filmed hitting Mark Aspinall while attempting to arrest him after he had been thrown out of a Wigan club last July.

    • After Katrina, New Orleans Cops Were Told They Could Shoot Looters

      In the chaotic days after Hurricane Katrina, an order circulated among New Orleans police authorizing officers to shoot looters, according to present and former members of the department.

    • Vladimir Putin says ‘unsanctioned’ protesters can expect police brutality

      Vladimir Putin today angrily dismissed protests against his regime as “provocations” and said anyone who took part in unsanctioned street rallies against the Kremlin should expect a “whack on the bonce”.

    • Hay-what?

      So, in essence, the outside public – including Iranians – are asked to believe that a) Haystack software exists b) Haystack software works c) Haystack software rocks d) the Iranian government doesn’t yet have a copy of it, nor do they know that Haystack rocks & works. (And who could fault them for not reading Newsweek? I certainly can’t). For someone with my Eastern European sensibilities, that’s a lot of stuff to believe in. Even Santa – we call him Ded Moroz – appears more plausible in comparison.

    • Andy Coulson discussed phone hacking at News of the World, report claims

      The prime minister’s media adviser, Andy Coulson, freely discussed the use of unlawful news-gathering techniques while editor of the News of the World and “actively encouraged” a named reporter to engage in the illegal interception of voicemail messages, according to allegations published by the New York Times.

    • Blair Almost Ordered London Plane Shot Down On 9/11

      Those who were in London on 11 September 2001 may recall the wild speculation flying around about potential attacks on our own city. Several hijacked planes were heading for London, the whole of Canary Wharf was being evacuated…anything might happen. Fortunately, we were hit by nothing more than rumour. But a new revelation from Tony Blair’s memoirs reveals how close we came to accidental tragedy.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • ‘Phantom’ oil slick was a smear against Climate Camp

      What’s ironic about all this is that the big news on the Guardian’s website isn’t an investigation into whether or not the police deliberately misled the public by duping lazy newspapers into regurgitating a fake smear story. Rather, some journalists think that it’s the Climate Camp who are the ones supposedly controlling the media.

  • Finance

    • Goldman feels heat in suit vs. Dollar Thrifty

      The investment bank, which is still trying to burnish its reputation after settling fraud charges brought this year by the Securities and Exchange Commission, stands accused in a lawsuit of using information it gleaned from one client to win business from another.

    • Ex-Lehman CEO says regulators refused to save firm

      The former chief of Lehman Brothers told a panel investigating the financial crisis that the Wall Street firm could have been rescued, but regulators’ refused to help – even though they later bailed out other big banks.

      Richard S. Fuld Jr. told the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission at a hearing that Lehman did everything it could to limit its risks and save itself in the fall of 2008.

    • No holiday for labor unions

      Labor Day this year comes draped in mourning. More than half of all workers have experienced a spell of unemployment, taken a cut in pay or hours, been forced to go part-time or seen other such problems during and after the Great Recession.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • The Billionaires Bankrolling the Tea Party

      Another weekend, another grass-roots demonstration starring Real Americans who are mad as hell and want to take back their country from you-know-who. Last Sunday the site was Lower Manhattan, where they jeered the “ground zero mosque.” This weekend, the scene shifted to Washington, where the avatars of oppressed white Tea Party America, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, were slated to “reclaim the civil rights movement” (Beck’s words) on the same spot where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. had his dream exactly 47 years earlier.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • William Gibson jacks into Google’s cool menace

      I don’t like William Gibson’s Op-Ed piece on Google in today’s New York Times merely because, barely a week after I went all Jeremy Bentham Panopticonic on the cat bin lady, he writes that “Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon prison design is a perennial metaphor in discussions of digital surveillance and data mining, but it doesn’t really suit an entity like Google.” Even though it’s kind of a put-down (perennial!), still, great minds think almost alike, right?

    • India lifts threat of block on BlackBerrys

      Stepping back from the brink of a crackdown, India’s ministry of home affairs said RIM had made “certain proposals for lawful access by law enforcement agencies and these would be operationalised immediately”. It did not offer any detail on these concessions and RIM, which is based in Toronto, declined to comment.

    • Sneaky Senate Trying To Slip Internet Kill Switch Past Us

      Sensing Senators don’t have the stomach to try and pass a stand-alone bill in broad daylight that would give the President the power to shut down the Internet in a national emergency, the Senate is considering attaching the Internet Kill Switch bill as a rider to other legislation that would have bi-partisan support.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • AT&T: Net rules must allow ‘paid prioritization’

      AT&T said Tuesday that any Net neutrality plan restricting its ability to engage in “paid prioritization” of network traffic would be harmful and contrary to the fundamental principles of the Internet.

      Telecommunications providers need the ability to set different prices for different forms of Internet service, AT&T said, adding that it already has “hundreds” of customers who have paid extra for higher-priority services.

    • AT&T calls net neutrality advocate a conspiracy theorist

      In a letter to the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), AT&T tried to rubbish points made by the group, calling them “not exactly true”. The argument revolves around the notion of “paid prioritisation” of Internet connectivity, something that net neutrality activists are fiercely against.

      AT&T claims that the Free Press, in supporting Diffserv, is in direct contradiction to its support of equal packet rights. Diffserv is one of a number of mechanisms proposed to provide differing quality of service (QoS), though typically it is run on customers’ routers.

      The telecom behemoth argues that paid prioritisation will not create an Internet ‘rich club’, saying that small to medium businesses voluntarily take AT&T up on the offer. However the fact that a few firms purchase managed connectivity from AT&T doesn’t really change the fact that applying such policies at the network core is something that will concern the majority of users. Judging by the lengths to which AT&T goes to promote it, those fears won’t be allayed any time soon.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Mixing it up without IP

      Intellectual property exists to promote progress. Its purpose is not to ensure that no one’s ideas are stolen or that creative people can earn a living, unless those things are needed to promote progress in a field. The granting of temporary monopolies in the form of patents and copyrights is the price we pay for progress, not a goal in itself.

      It might be completely true that bartenders are shamelessly stealing from each other, and that’s certainly something we should condemn, but we probably shouldn’t get the law involved unless we can show that this theft is causing mixology to stagnate. Along with fashion, cooking, and even magic, we’re in an industry that’s arguably better off with weak IP. This decade’s boom in craft cocktails is a sign that we’re doing OK without stricter protections, and I’d be worried that additional threats of lawsuits would have a chilling effect on the sharing of new techniques and recipes.

    • Copyrights

      • Indian gov’t issues music royalty directive

        A long-standing issue over revenue terms between private FM radio stations and music labels here saw the Copyright Board issuing a directive Wednesday laying out a revenue-sharing model instead of the earlier fixed-cost structure.

        The Copyright Board, part of the Ministry of Human Resources Development, has been mediating a bitter dispute over the last couple of years between FM stations and music labels over establishing a revenue model between both parties. Private stations launched here over five years ago after the government auctioned licenses inviting private players in radio broadcasting.

      • Consumer survey on copyright access barriers

        Access to Knowledge: Reports of Campaigns and Research 2008-2010The biggest barriers that consumers face in accessing copyrighti works are those created by copyright law. Even so, consumers around the world will choose original copyright works over pirated copies, provided that they are available at an affordable price.

      • ZeroPaid Interviews Russell McOrmond 2 – Canadian Bill C-32 (Part 2 of 3)

        A law closer to the language of the WIPO treaties wouldn’t protect this practice. In the short term even the USA DMCA doesn’t protect this practise. Bill C-32 would legally protect this practise, given circumventing access control technical measures and even providing tools to change the locks on what we own are being made illegal.

      • Foreworld as Foretaste

        That is, piracy isn’t a real problem if you *out-innovate* the pirates, making your paid-for offering better than their free one. Indeed, if you do, pirated copies become like tasters, encouraging people to upgrade and pay for the full, latest version. Similarly, by the sound of it, part of the strength of this project will be the interweaving of other elements into the text – again, something that pirates can’t offer.

      • Compartilhamento legal! – Brazil is putting an end to the ‘war on copying,’ at R$ 3,00 per month

        An overlapping constellation of civil society and art actors focussed their submission on a single issue: file-sharing. Under the slogan “Compartilhamento legal! R$3,00 de todos para tudo,” this network is proposing to legalize non-commercial file-sharing in exchange for a levy on broadband Internet access. The idea is nearly as old as peer-to-peer file-sharing itself. It has been tested in technology and in law making a few times. Here and now in Brazil, it feels like it might actually become a reality.

Clip of the Day

emacs text editor


Credit: TinyOgg

09.01.10

IRC Proceedings: September 1st, 2010

Posted in News Roundup at 11:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

#boycottnovell-social log

Enter the IRC channels now

Links 1/9/2010: Linux in Ukraine, ‘Green Party’ of Belgium Moves to GNU/Linux Desktops

Posted in News Roundup at 3:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Aussie gamer loses Playstation court fight

    A gamer who sued Sony over an upgrade that removed functions from his Playstation 3 console has lost a court claim against the company.

    Adelaide man Michael Trebilcock wanted $800 in compensation, claiming the upgrade meant the console could no longer be used as a computer.

  • Ukraine to Create is Own GNU/Linux Distro

    I’ve been writing for a while about Russia’s on-off idea of creating its own GNU/Linux distro. It looks like Ukraine is following suit. Via Google Translate:

    its purpose is to optimize the expenditure of budgetary funds and the solution using unlicensed software in state bodies.

    According to estimates from officials, the savings of switching apparatus to free software can be 87%.

  • Desktop

    • An Application Dock for Linux

      I am a PC, Mac, and Linux user. At night I dual boot between Vista and Ubuntu and during the day I use a Mac almost exclusively. As a result, there are many things I like about using my Mac at work and would not mind seeing them on my home desktop. Since buying a Mac right now for personal use is out of the question I have to make do with what I already have. At any rate, one of the Mac features I actually like is the Dock. For those of you who are not Mac users, the Dock is basically a bar at the bottom of the desktop where application icons can be displayed that will launch the application once clicked on. It’s attractive and useful and I have wanted one on my non-Mac desktops for some time now.

    • My Linux Experience

      Long story short, I use Ubuntu because it was the first distro that actually worked without pulling teeth, and it still works fine for everything I do. I’ve had a few issues with it, I think they push some changes too soon without ironing bugs out – which incidentally is why I don’t use Fedora, I like my stuff to tend towards stability rather than cutting edge. I’ve tried Debian but it seems TOO slow moving. Ubuntu just works, it does everything I want it to, and I have never really been left wanting.

    • Is your company afraid of Linux? (3 of 3)

      Most Linux distributions are free to download and use, although, there are a few Linux enterprise shops that provide licensing and professional support for their product. SUSE (now a division of Novell) and RedHat are two of the most popular. SUSE’s enterprise server license ranges form $400 to $1500. RedHat is anywhere from $400 to $1,200. These license plans “include” professional support anywhere from email-only support to 24×7 phone support. Each license is renewable yearly because of the licenses focus around their professional support plans.

    • BE: Political party moving to a complete open source desktop

      Ecolo, a green political party in Belgium, is planning to complete its move to a complete open source desktop system by the end of 2011. On the 220 workstations in its main office, it will gradually replace the underlying operating system to Ubuntu Linux, says Sebastien Bollingh, the party’s ICT manager.

  • Google

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE SC 4.5 Falls Short

        It’s great that the new focus has been on solidifying the desktop, but with new regressions and no major must-have features to make this release worthwhile, I simply can’t recommend it in its current state. For now, I recommend sticking with KDE 4.4 for the time being and blocking this release if your distribution allows it. I’m confident though that future point releases will solidify KDE 4.5, and when that happens I may consider taking another look.

      • Reviewed: KDE 4.5

        Trepidation. That about sums up the feeling of upgrading to a new version of KDE. You want to like it, but are afraid that whatever has been fixed will be counterbalanced by something rather sucky. This version of KDE has seen 16,022 bugs fixed and 1,723 new feature requests added, so the balance is in favour of not-sucky. Or is it?

        For the most part, the improvements in this version of KDE aren’t the things that you see, but the things that you don’t see any longer. Chief among the long list of user grievances in 4.4 was the behaviour of system notifications – no longer. Now the notifications look better and don’t clog up the screen for 10 minutes every time you try to copy a file somewhere it can’t fit.

        [...]

        Our Verdict: Now with less suck, the 4.x series moves from being merely usable to almost desirable. 8/10

      • KDE and the Masters of the Universe – 2010-08-31

        This week on KDEMU, Paul sends a shout-out, Gamaral sends a shout-out and Jeff sends a shout-out right after sharing what Amarok, KDE Sysadmin and CampKDE are all about.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • A Good Reason to Use PCLinuxOS 2010

        CFS trades higher kernel overhead for maximizing interactive performance. On mobile devices, the higher overhead means running the processor at higher speeds, which builds more heat. Heat is the enemy of every mobile device.

        For a bit of background, Con Koliva developed the Rotating Staircase Deadline scheduler, which inspired Ingo Molnar to develop CFS. Seeing the problems with CFS, Con Koliva designed BFS (Brain Fucked Scheduler), an expression of how he felt about writing yet another scheduler. Con Koliva designed BFS for those devices with less than 16 cores, which, to the best of my knowledge, covers all mobile devices, and older non-mobile desktops.

        Although it first appeared in September of 2009, there was not an immediate rush to switch from CFS to BFS. Android has a development branch that includes BFS. It was not included in the Froyo (Android 2.2) release, as a customer survey did not show any differences. At this time, only Zenwalk 6.4 and PCLinuxOS 2010 use BFS as the default scheduler. As it matures, you may see BFS appear in other mobile projects, such as MeeGo.

      • PCLinuxOS
    • Gentoo Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • You can help the defenders.

        Here’s a brief snippet of what I wrote to the advisory-board list this morning:

        Red Hat Legal provides numerous services as counsel to the Fedora community, including defending Fedora trademarks against possible encroachment. Occasionally, people who have no connection to our community attempt to use the Fedora trademark to signify business efforts that have no connection to the Fedora Project, our distribution, or the Fedora community. Red Hat Legal is currently working on just such a defense. They’ve asked me to pass on a request for assistance in gathering physical evidence of our use of the Fedora logo worldwide prior to January 30, 2007.

      • Today: Open Your World webcast with Stefan Lindegaard on the Open Innovation Revolution
      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

      • A day of failure with Debian

        The Broadcom driver has been annoying me since I got the ProBook. The only distro on which I managed to manually install it is Fedora. On Ubuntu, I now connect to the Internet using my ZTE MF110 modem and use Hardware Drivers (jockey?) to automatically install it. On a side note, I couldn’t do that with Kubuntu, because KNetworkManager is too buggy to let me connect to networks that do not support 2G data (which Digi Mobil Romania is).

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 208

          Hot on the heels of the announcement of the Natty Narwhal, I am tickled pink to announce the details of the next Ubuntu Developer Summit taking place in Orlando, USA from 25th – 29th October 2010. We also have a brand new Ubuntu Developer Summit website which provides all the details about how to get there and why UDS is interesting if you are in our community, if you are an upstream, and if you are a vendor.

        • Default Wallpaper for Ubuntu 10.10 – Looks Like the Inside of a Barf Bag

          I made no secret of my dislike for the “Aubergine” wallpaper in Ubuntu 10.04. If you had asked me when that was released if I thought Ubuntu/Canoncial could come up with something worse, I would have said no.

          Unfortunately, I would have been wrong. Ubuntu has revealed the default wallpaper for their 10.10 release. I swear to you, it looks like the inside of a barf bag. Every time I look at it, I get a very strong urge to contribute more to that bag… Take a look for yourself. Read the comments. Ugh. Bletch.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Reviewed: Linux Mint 9 KDE

            Despite this, Mint is up there with Kubuntu as a coherent KDE desktop. If you’ve used Gnome Mint, but fancy lots of apps with a capitalised K in the name, this is the logical choice.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Palm Reveals webOS 2.0 SDK Beta

        Palm released new information on webOS 2.0, the Linux-based mobile OS that powers the Palm Pre and Pixi.

        The announcement highlighted 7 core features new to webOS 2.0. It’s confirmed that webOS 2.0 will feature multi-tasking in the form of Stacks. Stacks groups related applications into fanned stacks similar to a deck of cards, reducing clutter. webOS 2.0 automatically groups similar applications together, but it’s possible to manually group applications as well.

      • WebOS 2.0 Pushed to Developers
    • Tablets

      • Hands-On With Stream TV’s Surprising, Open Source-Friendly Tablet

        If anyone unseats the iPad, the victor might be the one that doesn’t try to beat Apple at its own game. We checked out Stream TV’s eLocity Android tablet first-hand, and this plucky contender may put up a serious fight.

        To say that the eLocity A7 isn’t going directly head to head with the iPad isn’t to say that it’s not out to impress. The solidly built 7-inch tablet is powered by NVIDIA’s beefy, dual core Tegra 2 processor, will run Froyo out of the box and is capable of outputting a plethora of formats at 1080p via an included HDMI cable.

Free Software/Open Source

  • XBMC 10.0 Beta 1 features new Add-ons system

    XBMC 10.0 Beta 1 is available to download from one of the project’s mirrors. XBMC source code is hosted on SourceForge and is licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL). The most recent stable release is version 9.11 from the end of December, 2009.

  • Time for IBM to become an open source hero

    I’m not asking IBM to do something against its interests here. Quite the contrary. It is very much in IBM’s own interest that it step up and lead the open source movement. That’s something IBM representatives have been telling their customers and business partners for some time, that you give in order to get.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox’s New “JaegerMonkey” JavaScript Engine is Revving Up, About 20% Faster Already

        Firefox 4.0 is probably going to be one among the most important release Mozilla team has ever made. Competition is breathing down its neck like never before. Even IE, in its latest avatar(read IE9) is fast becoming a better piece of software. Mozilla’s answer to all this lies in upcoming Firefox 4.0. Already a lot of improvements have been made. But the biggest change is going to be the the new JavaScript engine called “JaegerMonkey”.

  • Databases

    • Famous Online Game and Online Word Processor use CUBRID Database

      Today is a Big day at Naver.com, Korea’s No.1 Search Portal with 34 million subscribers and 17 million daily unique visotors. Today Naver launches its new Online Word Processor Service backed up by CUBRID Database Server in an Open Beta state. The Word Processor service runs on CUBRID 2008 R2.2 with High-Availability feature ON. There is an approximate estimate that CUBRID Database will be process several million batch requests every day.

    • EnterpriseDB: Open Source Database Attracts More Funding

      EnterpriseDB, which provides enterprise-level open source PostgreSQL database services, has announced its completed a round of funding, adding KT (formerly Korea Telecom) and TransLink Capital to its list of investors. Here’s the story.

      While the company didn’t disclose the financial terms of the investments, EnterpriseDB’s press release says that TransLink Capital co-founder Jay Eum has joined their Board of Directors. At TransLink, Eum is also responsible for managing investments in companies like Carbonite and XSigo, so he has experience in the IT space.

  • CMS

    • Drupal Releases New Code of Conduct

      Drupal released its new Code of Conduct on Monday with the intention of preserving the community and environment that has sprung around the open source content management system.

      “The new Drupal Code of Conduct states our shared ideals with respect to conduct. Think of this as coding standards for people,” Moshe Weitzman said in the announcement on Drupal’s website.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Interview with Bradley Kuhn of the GNOME Advisory Board

      At that time, Richard Stallman asked me to remain on the GNOME advisory board as a volunteer, primarily to provide ongoing continuity to FSF’s representation on the Advisory Board. From 2005-2010, that position was in fact the only official duty that I carried out for FSF. But, as a side point, non-profits are very different from for-profits in this regard; it’s quite common for important roles to be held by volunteers. Since non-profits operate in the public good, many experienced professionals are willing to give their time without compensation.

  • Openness/Sharing

Leftovers

  • Holy Smokes! At 5.2 GHz IBM Chip is Super Fast

    IBM today announced that it has developed a computer chip that has a record-breaking clock speed of 5.2 GHz. The chip — dubbed z196 processor — is going to be used in a new IBM mainframe system, the zEnterprise 196. IBM developed the chip for big honking computers whose primary job is to crunch copious amounts of data, especially for banks and retailers who are seeing a big shift in their business with the rise of mobile.

  • Science

    • Announcing PLoS Blogs

      Today we are pleased to announce the launch of PLoS Blogs a new network for discussing science in public; covering topics in research, culture, and publishing.

      PLoS Blogs is different from other blogging networks, because it includes an equal mix of science journalists and scientists. We’re excited to be welcoming our new bloggers, including Pulitzer Prize winner Deborah Blum to the network.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Will we ever recover from the financial crisis?

      Well, define recovery. If recovery is getting back to the low unemployment levels that preceded the crisis, then no, we might not ever recover. If recovery is just getting back to some more normal-looking growth and job numbers, it’s still going to take a very long time.

    • Obama says reviving economy the most urgent task

      President Barack Obama says his central responsibility as president is to restore the nation’s fragile economy and to help put the millions of people who lost jobs back to work.

    • 10 bailed-out banks spent $16.3M lobbying in 1H

      The 10 banks that received the most bailout aid during the financial crisis spent over $16 million on lobbying efforts in the first half of 2010, as the debate over financial regulatory reform reached its height.

    • Fed officials discussed further stimulus steps

      Federal Reserve officials signaled at their August meeting that they would consider going beyond a modest program to purchase government debt if necessary to boost the economy.

    • SEC says it lacked authority to charge Moody’s

      The Securities and Exchange Commission has declined to seek fraud charges against Moody’s Investors Services over its ratings of risky investments that led to the financial crisis.

      But the SEC said it decided against seeking civil charges only because it determined it lacked authority to charge a foreign affiliate of Moody’s.

    • Tradition ends: No Michigan state fair this year

      Rabbit breeder Rob Usakowski typically spends the week before Labor Day helping his daughters show their Jersey Woolies and Holland Lops at the Michigan State Fair.

      This year, he and his family are home after Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm canceled the fair, saying debt-ridden Michigan could no longer afford to subsidize it. Granholm’s decision makes Michigan the only Midwestern state and one of few nationwide without a state fair.

    • Hands off Social Security

      The White House deficit commission is reportedly considering deep benefit cuts for Social Security, including a steep rise in the retirement age. We cannot let that happen.

      The deficit and our $13 trillion national debt are serious problems that must be addressed. But we can — and must — address them without punishing America’s workers, senior citizens, the disabled, widows and orphans.

    • Source: JPMorgan Chase halting proprietary trading

      JPMorgan Chase & Co. is shutting down its proprietary trading desks and eliminating around 80 jobs to comply with new restrictions on investment banks, a source familiar with the situation said on Tuesday.

      The source spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because JPMorgan Chase isn’t formally announcing the move.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Ecommerce directive: EU Commission sneaks out filtering review

      The review of the E-commerce Directive asks whether network filtering can be effective and whether there are liability issues for “web 2.0 and cloud computing”. Given that it is under the remit of the French Commissioner, Michel Barnier, how are we to read this strange approach to a consultation which specifically does NOT want to hear the citizen perspective?

      In the middle of the summer holidays, when few were around to notice it, the European Commision has sneaked out a highly controversial review of the Ecommerce directive. The review is consulting on the use of Internet filtering and monitoring and search engine linking. It appears to have been influenced by the pharmaceutical, luxury goods and copyright industries. And in a move that is sure to inflame the user community, the Commission has specifically ruled out responses from citizens’ groups and NGOs.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Does Steven Levitan Also Want A Cut Every Time You Buy A TV?

      We recently wrote about how TV producer Steven Levitan was publicly complaining that content creators deserve a cut of any IPO proceeds that Hulu gets, if it does go public. We pointed out what a ridiculous sense of entitlement was involved in such a sentiment, but rather than back down, Levitan is apparently only just beginning. The Hollywood Reporter interviewed him about his views on this, and he simply kept on repeating the same ridiculous concept that as a content producer he somehow deserves the money that Hulu makes. He also complains that TV companies should either keep shows offline under the false belief that TV shows are less likely to be pirated (no, stop laughing, he’s serious) and that if they must go online, they should include all of the commercials seen on TV. Because, apparently, recognizing that you’re dealing with people watching shows under very different circumstances and in very different ways apparently has not occurred to Levitan.

    • Copyrights

      • If Fashion Copyright Harms So Many, Why Is Congress Pushing For It?

        It’s even worse than that, actually. In many cases, there are plenty of us willing to speak up about the harm caused by greater protectionism, and the vast amounts of actual evidence and research showing how these policies are inherently going to do more harm than good — but very few people in Congress listen. Why? Because the industry has done a rather impressive targeted PR job of branding anyone who actually presents evidence and facts about the harm done by copyright law as simply supporting “piracy,” which then gets lumped in with all sorts of other awful things. It’s really a shame.

      • Introducing Copyright
      • Edwyn Collins stopped from sharing his music online

        he Scottish star’s manager has criticised MySpace and Warner Music for not allowing the singer to stream A Girl Like You, claiming he didn’t own the copyright

      • ACTA

        • It´s a bird, it´s a plane… no it’s “ACTA light”.

          Today in the European Parliament in Brussels Luc Devigne from DG Trade briefed the International Trade Commission in a closed door meeting on the latest round of the ACTA negotiations. He gave the impression that thanks to the EU many things were being “scaled back” to calm the worries of citizens and certain industries such as Internet Service providers or generic medicine producers.

          He insisted that lots of progress was made in DC on most topics and that now the text was “less complicated”. At the same time he stated that there was a still a “long way to go” to bridge the gap between the US and the EU on issues of scope of rights covered in border measures (EU broader, US narrower), geographical indications, industrial design and border measures concerning not only import but affecting goods being exported and in transit. The US only wants trademarks, and copyright in border measures that will be limited to imports (as established in TRIPS), while the EU wants this extended At the same time he repeated that all patents were out of border measures and criminal sanctions and that nothing in ACTA would affect “access to medicine.”

Clip of the Day

Object Oriented Programming


Credit: TinyOgg

Links 1/9/2010: Chakra 0.2.0, Ksplice Free for Fedora

Posted in News Roundup at 8:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux Journal Insider – October 2010
  • Software and licensing requirements for vCloud Director

    I personally welcome the fact that vCloud Director is based on Linux.

  • So Apple’s live streaming to everyone tomorrow…except Windows and Linux users.
  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • ZFS as a Linux kernel module
    • Torvalds Causes Mob Scene at LinuxCon Brazil

      The Linux Foundation today kicked off its two-day debut of LinuxCon Brazil. Attendees got a rare opportunity to see both Linus Torvalds and Andrew Morton on stage, together, and in person. Based on this snapshot from Intel’s Dirk Hohndel, I think attendees were very excited about that opportunity.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE 4.5: Your New Desktop Awaits

        Not only is KDE 4.5 a far superior desktop to its predecessor, I would go as far to say that it has finally surpassed 3.5 in both usability and performance. That’s a bold statement considering how the desktop has evolved.

        But what have the developers done to make 4.5 so much better than that all other iterations in the 4.x branch? What they did was work some serious developer Kung Fu. The difference between 4.4 and 4.5 is very noticable. Let’s take a look at some figures from the KDE bug statics:

        * 16022 bugs fixed
        * 1723 feature requests filled

  • Distributions

    • Will Google’s Chrome OS Be a Huge Hit?

      Back in April of 2008, I wrote about a small company working with Google and delivering a PC running a Googleized version of the Linux Operating System. Notably, that company is still around while similar attempts in the end-user Linux arena such as Jolicloud are getting much more press.

      Many, back then, mistakenly took the gOS name as the Google Operating System. It actually stood for Green Operating System (and apparently is now a Linux build called the Good Operating System).

      Google is expected to introduce the Chrome OS in the fourth quarter of this year and there have already been a variety of leaks pointing to hardware displaying the product. Google also owns Android which is already a rapidly growing hit in the mobile market. One Google employee commented recently that, at some point, the two projects by Google will likely converge.

    • Chakra

      • Chakra 0.2.0
      • Chakra GNU/Linux 0.2.0 Screenshots

        This recent release of Chakra GNU/ Linux, codenamed ‘Jaz’, provides users with many new features. Chakra 0.2.0 features the Linux kernel 2.6.33.7 with LZMA support, KDE SC 4.4.5, X.Org 1.7.7, access to 5670 software packages, a new cinstall multi-tool for creating and managing bundles and packages and many other enhancements. Read the official release announcement for details. I found several useful applications setup and ready to go including K3B burning, Bluedevil bluetooth management and Bangarang for connecting to media and TV.

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Ganart Technologies Builds Financial Transaction Cloud on Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization

        Ganart endeavors to bring consumable banking to the masses by developing software and systems in a cloud that offers its customers consistency with their financial services from end to end. When it first began developing these systems, Ganart built a datacenter based on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system.

      • Increased Clientele for Red Hat

        A leading provider of open source solutions, Red Hat Inc. (RHT – Snapshot Report) continues to support organizations with a varied business demand in the Information Technology (IT) infrastructure. IT based organizations are aggressively adopting Red Hat’s open solutions and Virtualization technology to grow their businesses.

      • Fedora

        • Ksplice Now Free for Fedora Users

          Ksplice, the technology that allows Linux kernel updates without a reboot, is now free for users of the Fedora distribution. Using Ksplice is like “replacing your car’s engine while speeding down the highway”, and it can potentially save your Linux systems from a lot of downtime. Since Fedora users often live on the bleeding edge of Linux development, Ksplice makes it even easier to do so, and without reboots!

        • A story about updates and people

          A bit of discussion about update policy in Fedora has been brewing lately and I’ve been reading and thinking (and stewing and moaning and wringing my hands) about the discussion a lot.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian developer Frans Pop passes away

        Early in 2006, he became the release manager for the Debian Installer project, taking over from veteran Joey Hess.

        According to the Debian project, Frans was a maintainer of several packages, a supporter of the S/390 port, and one of the most involved members of the Debian Installer team.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Get the Linux Mint GNOME Menu in Ubuntu

          Ubuntu is far and wide the most popular Linux distrobution, although Mint certainly has its advantages for beginners, such as the menu organization. Ubuntu Forums member KdotJ shows us how to add Mint’s GNOME menu to your Ubuntu desktop.

        • Ubuntu for Non-Geeks
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linksys WRT160NL

      Linux-based and with a decent set of features, this wireless router supports many new technologies, and can be quite exciting. It includes Wireless-N, detachable antennae, USB and third-party firmware support. The last bit here would arouse the enthusiast inside you, but can this make for the area where it comes up short?

    • Asus RT-N16

      Like motherboards, the hardware Asus is known for making, you can use many different third-party router operating systems (aka firmware) on the RT-N16. Equipped with an overclockable 480Mhz CPU and 128MB of RAM, the router performed great in our trials when it was running DD-WRT, one of the most well-known Linux-based open-source router firmware options.

    • Navigation display SoC gains Linux development support

      Lineo Solutions and Timesys have collaborated on a new LinuxLink subscription supporting the 500MHz Renesas SH7724 SoC (system on chip). The Timesys LinuxLink subscription supports Renesas’ SH7724-based MS774 development board and offers a Linux 2.7.33.6 kernel, drivers for touchscreens and other peripherals, plus the usual LinuxLink tools and services.

    • Phones

      • Ready or not: how mobiles became so much more than just phones

        Powerful operating systems such as Android have allowed developers to increase mobile phones’ potential to become all-round portable communication devices. Being lost is impossible with the latest mobiles and you can already get applications that use a mobile’s GPS receiver to find your nearest pubs, cash machines and hospitals. That information can then be routed through another application that will show you a map to get to your destination. All of that on top of the social networking, the newspapers you can download and the life organising you can do – all on the move.

      • Android

        • Android Fork Brings Froyo To 12 Smartphones

          The CyanogenMod team uses an instance of Google’s gerrit tool for code review and patch submission, helping make this former backport of Android 1.6 to T-Mobile’s G1 into thriving development for the G1/MyTouch/MyTouch 1.2, Droid, Nexus One, HTC Aria, HTC Desire, HTC Evo 4G (minus 4G and HDMI output), Droid Incredible, and MyTouch Slide. HTC Hero (including Droid Eris) are coming soon for 6.0, with Samsung Galaxy S devices expected to be supported in 6.1.

        • ViewSonic ViewPad 7 official: Android 2.2 and ‘full’ phone functionality

          We know you’re positively giddy with excitement to get at this OlivePad rebadge and ViewSonic is today fanning those flames of desire with a little bit of pre-IFA PR. Made official today, the 7-inch ViewPad 7 will try to lure in Android lovers with its tasty Froyo parfait, underpinned by hardware that includes front- and back-facing cameras, 3G for both phone and data transmissions, and a full-sized SIM slot.

        • Hands On With Stream TV’s Surprising, Open Source-Friendly Tablet

          To say that the eLocity A7 isn’t going directly head to head with the iPad isn’t to say that it’s not out to impress. The solidly-built 7″ tablet is powered by nVidia’s beefy, dual core Tegra 2 processor, will run Froyo out of the box, and is capable of outputting a plethora of formats at 1080p via an included HDMI cable. Eye catching stats. When the eLocity team stopped by our offices, they were sure to tout its media muscle, showing off some truly impressive HD content stored on the diminutive tab, through either 4 GB of internal storage or Micro SD.

        • Archos adding a slew of Android tablets including the 101

          With two Archos 5 tablets in my rearview mirror, I am definitely looking forward to the new 101. The nomenclature is shorthand for the 10.1″ screen with 1024×600 resolution.

        • Motorola Charm Rooted!
        • Motorola launches three new Android devices

          The MING devices from Motorola are touch smartphones, with a transparent flip-screen to protect its touch surface. The devices have run on a home brewed Linux based operating system up until now, but Motorola has just announced three new MING phones, all running on Android.

        • Apple’s App Store Vs Android App Store

          Apple’s app store is well equipped with 250,000 apps and 70% apps from them are supplied purely through payment. Whereas, Android’s apps 64 % of the 95,000 are supplied at free of cost from Google’s Android market.

          [...]

          vAndroid is at present not having any approval process and this creating a chance for the hobbyist apps to float on the Android. Also, Android encourages its developers to use open-source and Linux platform. This is another primary reason for the apps availability at free of cost in Google’s Android market.

        • Android Apps Mostly Free, iPhone Apps Mostly Paid
        • Apps: why free rules on Android, paid rules on iPhone

          [O]n Apple’s App Store, roughly 70 per cent of the apps are paid while on Android Market, it’s almost exactly the other way around, with 64 per cent free apps.

        • Indian eCommerce Leader Adopts Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization

          Of course, the other major selling point for many buyers will be this phone’s OS. It runs on Google’s Android 1.6 system, which is user friendly and open-source. The fact that it’s open source opens up the playing field to developers who might not otherwise have the financial muscle to develop their apps from the ground up. That means more apps for the user. Android has been around since 2008 but it’s only in the past 12 months that growing support from developers and handset makers has prompted some commentators to claim it poses a serious threat to Apple’s iPhone iOS dynasty.

        • Red Hat Outlines Its Cloud Strategy

          Last week open source software vendor Red Hat (RHT) laid out its vision for a comprehensive Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solution as a part of its Cloud Foundations.

    • Sub-notebooks

    • Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source tools at heart of DARPA’s virtual satellite network

    next stage of development for the military’s advanced virtual satellite system that promises to replace monolithic spacecraft with clusters of wirelessly-interconnected spacecraft modules.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

  • Healthcare/Biology

  • Funding

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • FooPlug

      Set up your own plug computer to run GNU social — we built one, and called it the FooPlug.

  • Project Releases

    • CEDET 1.0 adds IDE features to Emacs

      Version 1.0 of CEDET – a “Collection of Emacs Development Environment Tools” – has been released and brings to the Emacs editor features typically found in Integrated Development Environments such as project management, smart code completion and help, symbol reference analysis, code generation, advanced code browsing and UML diagramming. The features are ones that “developers have come to expect from an editor” say CEDET’s developers and are focused on, but not restricted to, C and C++ development. For example, the completion engine is generic and can work with any language which has an appropriate parser; a per-language support matrix shows which features are supported with which languages.

    • Lightspark 0.4.4 open source Flash player released

      The Lightspark project has released version 0.4.4 of its free, open source Flash player. The latest version of the alternative Flash Player implementation includes a number of bug fixes and several new features.

    • Introducing fise, the Open Source RESTful Semantic Engine

      As a member of the IKS european project Nuxeo contributes to the development of an Open Source software project named fise whose goal is to help bring new and trendy semantic features to CMS by giving developers a stack of reusable HTTP semantic services to build upon.

    • Open Source Digital Voice Codec

      It is released under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL).

  • Government

    • The future of the government forges

      It sounds obvious, but the idea remains revolutionary. For the first time, there would be a single repository for source code that could be shared between the hundreds of agencies, commands, and programs in DOD. Developers would be able to share their work in a familiar, web-based environment. A previous version of forge.mil was pulled for unknown reasons, but the current iteration is based on the TeamForge product from CollabNet. If you’ve used SourceForge, you get the idea. The DOD is the largest consumer, and one of the largest developers of software in the world. Much of this software is redundant, locked up by vendors and integrators, can’t work with other software, and nobody remembers how to maintain it. There’s no doubt forge.mil was long overdue.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • The Four Freedoms of Free Culture

      This has led to a proliferation of harmful and incompatible CC-NC and CC-ND licensed works, mistakenly labeled “Free.” Mako Hill points out that while Creative Commons pursued its goal of “Balance, compromise, and moderation,” it failed to define or defend any core freedoms. Indeed, there seems to be no concern about what the “Free” in Free Culture means. To most it means, “slightly less restrictive than modern copyright.” Even so, most CC licenses are more restrictive than pre-1970′s copyright (because modern copyright’s extended terms and more draconian punishments for infringements still apply).

    • Open Source Education: Free Textbook Archive
    • Cassidy: Former Sun chief Scott McNealy’s better idea for school textbooks

      Curriki has a start and a long way to go. Jones says college professors, teachers and authors have uploaded 38,000 educational pieces to the site, www.curriki.org. It has about 135,000 registered users. No question the site needs to become easier to navigate, Jones and McNealy acknowledge. And despite the volume of contributions, there are considerable gaps for those looking for a complete K-12 experience.

    • CSR and Innovation Part III: Open Source

      More importantly open source proponents argue that opening the field up to the global population of software innovators allows for more brain power than keeping it ensconced in the limited framework of proprietary secrecy. This results in an overall better product as the aggregation of creative minds is more expansive. It also means speedier resolutions of software glitches. (Indeed, in one of the most secretive arenas of software development – quantitative trading – many have warned about the alarming number of simple coding errors such as the one responsible for the “flash crash” on May 6, 2010).

    • Interview With Jean-Claude Bradley – The Impact of Open Notebook Science

      And in the spirit of the open source software movement, he reached out to the wider scientific community in 2008, launching a crowd-sourcing project called the Open Notebook Science Challenge. “We have drawn up a list of different compounds and solvents that are priorities and students are asked to measure their solubility,” he says.

    • Open Hardware

      • Now, open source hardware

        The concept of open source is now generally well understood in relation to software, but can it be extended in a clear-cut manner to hardware too?

        Yes, say a group of open source hardware enthusiasts, who have been working on the draft version of a definition of open source hardware. They hope to finalise it at a summit, scheduled for September in New York.

        Open source in the context of software implies not only the free availability of source code, but also the freedom to modify and redistribute it. The concept has widened and is being applied in other domains too.

      • How My Dad Is Trying to Save the World With Open-Source Machinery

        But don’t take my word for it; go through the slideshow below, which was prepared for Maker Faire Africa and which describes four the four core interrelated machines, which can be used in everything from a village blacksmithy to a full-scale factory or trade school. The best part? Dad’s giving them away — this is an entirely open-source project. The problem? Getting people in the NGO/development community to even understand what a machine tool is and why one would be valuable. If you can help spread the word, please do! His contact info and links to more information are in the slideshow, so please check it out.

  • Programming

    • Rails 3: New release completes integratation of Merb

      The Rails inventor said that more than 1600 contributors submitting thousands of commits over about two years have jointly made Rails “better, faster, cleaner, and more beautiful”. New features include a router which allows declarations that are based on the REST (Representational State Transfer) architecture and an interface to simplify the addition and management of plug-ins. Overall, the new Rails is considerably more modular than previous versions and more dependency agnostic, allowing developers to easily use Test::Unit, Prototype or DataMapper and other libraries instead of Rails’ default libraries.

    • ★ On Copyright Aggregation

      Communities whose members are termed “contributors” rather than “members” or “participants” may well be unequal places where your interests are subsidiary to those of the copyright owner. They are often dominated by users and fans of the software rather than by co-developers, since the inequality makes it hard-to-impossible for a genuine co-developer to align any fragment of their interests on equal terms. Indeed, this inequality is seen by some dual-license proponents as one of the attractions of the model as they seek a community of enthusiasts and (hopefully) customers that they can exploit without competition.

    • R-evolutionizing Predictive Analytics – New Market Report Published

      The R open-source data mining language is quickly becoming the lingua franca of the budget-constrained data analyst who wants to harness the power of predictive analysis without a steep, complex, and expensive learning curve. Taking advantage of a gap in the market, Revolution Analytics was formed to commercialize R and raise its applicability in commercial settings.

    • August 30, 2010
      Open Source R Language Could Revolutionize Business Intelligence

      The R programming language could be coming to a workplace near you — if it hasn’t arrived already. The big deal about R is that it can analyze Big Data, those exploding data sets that have traditionally defied analysis.

      R is the brainchild of Ross Ihaka and Robert Gentleman (known as “R” and “R”), academics at the Department of Statistics at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Since Ihaka and Gentleman wrote the original R paper in 1993, R has become the lingua franca of analytic statistics among students, scientists, programmers and data managers.

Leftovers

  • Only Some Conspiracy Theories Welcome at Huffington Post

    Because today, the very same Huffington Post published this wonderful post from dangerous nutcase Jenny McCarthy about how autism is caused by vaccines and can be cured with experimental treatments that the established medical community doesn’t want you to know about. We can only assume that as soon as the editors discover this conspiratorial nonsense, they will promptly remove it.

  • “Glenn Beck sex tape” one of few things beneath HuffPo’s editorial standards

    Yesterday, former Air America editor in chief Beau Friedlander had a silly little blog at the Huffington Post in which he promised a $100,000 bounty for a Glenn Beck sex tape. The post was actually a barely coherent, largely inaccurate history of neoconservatism, plus complaining about Glenn Beck, that ended with a paragraph offering “a $100,000 payday to the person who will come forward with a sex tape or phone records or anything else that succeeds in removing Glenn Beck from the public eye forever.”

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • American Politics is Getting All Koch’ed Up

      The grassroots pressure group Americans for Prosperity (AFP), that actively fought health care reform, boasts “our citizen activists” are “the heart and soul” of the organization. So AFP wants the public and the media to believe. But an exhaustive report in the August 30, 2010 issue of The New Yorker magazine, shows that the heart and soul behind AFP are really the oil billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch of Koch Industries, whose privately-owned oil enterprise has made them among the richest men in America.

    • Tiki Barber Hires PR Agency In Attempt To Repair His Image

      The paper reports that Barber is working with 5WPR to help change the perception of his affair with Johnson.

    • Tiki Barber’s image upgrade

      Tiki Barber has hired a third p.r. agency to polish his image after splitting with his then-pregnant wife, Ginny.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Reading, Writing, and RFID Chips: A Scary Back-to-School Future in California

      According to a story from the Associated Press, the students will wear a jersey at school that has the RFID tag attached. The tag will track the children’s movements and collect other data, like if the child has eaten or not. According to a Contra Costa County official, this is a cost-savings move, as teachers used to have to manually keep track of a child’s attendance and meal schedule.

    • Judge Rejects Gov’t Request For Cell Tower Data, Noting Recent 4th Amendment Rulings

      We recently wrote about a somewhat surprising ruling by the appeals court in the DC circuit saying that long-term use of a GPS to track someone without a warrant violated the 4th Amendment. What was surprising about this is that, while state courts had ruled similarly, the federal courts had almost universally ruled that such tracking was legal.

    • Porn-browsing Oz minister quits

      The point of the Great Australian Firewall is revealed at last today – it’s to keep Aussie politicians in line.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Beach towel designer roundly defeated in court

      More than three decades after Clemens Franek moved to Los Angeles and teamed up with aspiring actor Woody Harrelson and aspiring screenwriter Bobby Farrelly to sell beach towels whose circular shape helped beachgoers tan evenly, a Chicago appeals court has said the invention can’t be trademarked.

    • Copyrights

      • Zaptunes: Unlimited MP3 Downloads For Just $25 A Month. To Good To Be True?

        San Francisco based Zaptunes has launched offering unlimited DRM free mp3 downloads for $25 per month. They say they’re adding songs constantly, but have started with 8 million tracks from all four major labels and many indies. To kick things off, the $25 is waived for the next 30 days.

      • US Commerce Secretary Sides With RIAA: Warns ISPs To Become Entertainment Industry Cops

        It’s no secret that US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke is quite confused over intellectual property issues. There has yet to be a case where he’s actually questioned a highly biased or debunked industry study on the issue, and he seems to enjoy celebrating with the entertainment industry, even as the government has debunked the studies he relies on. But it’s really sad that he doesn’t even seem to consider the other side at all. His latest move is to side with the RIAA and effectively warn ISPs that they need to become copyright cops for the entertainment industry establishment.

      • Making the case for patents by making a case against them

        I’ve been hanging around the ‘Balanced Copyright For Canada‘ Facebook group recently. The name of the group is a misnomer. Balance has nothing to do with what the founders of the group intend. In fact the impression that I get is that they think that the ACTA treaty is too lenient.

Clip of the Day

A Preview of Alice 3.0, Introductory Programming in 3D


Credit: TinyOgg

08.31.10

Links 31/8/2010: KDE 4.5.1, Linux 2.6.36 RC3, ACTA Threat Looming

Posted in News Roundup at 6:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Corporate America’s Cruel Linux Hoax

    Corporate America is playing a cruel joke on Linux desktop. Businesses benefit from free Linux, improving their bottom line on the shoulders of Linux — all the while ignoring (and damaging I think) the Linux desktop.

    Linux servers toil in back rooms bringing big bucks to companies smart enough to use them. What do these companies install on their employees’ desktops? Windows, of course! It is no small irony that some (if not most) of Linux’s biggest beneficiaries are Linux desktop’s worst sponsors.

    This hardly seems fair, and worse, seems almost unethical. The ultimate irony is that Corporate America spurns a technology it loves — a technology poised to reap benefits much like the benefits of Linux servers.

  • Desktop

    • [HeliOS Project] Movin’ On…

      The first part of that procedure is to take care of our substantial amount of E-waste we have collected.

      We have a bunch of it.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 2.6.36-rc3 Kernel Released

      Linus Torvalds has just done a Sunday afternoon release of the Linux 2.6.36-rc3 kernel. With the merge window for the Linux 2.6.36 kernel having closed a few weeks ago, the third 2.6.36 release candidate isn’t too exciting unless you were affected by one of the kernel’s outstanding bugs.

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE Releases 4.5.1

        Today, KDE updated the Applications, Platform and Plasma Workspaces to 4.5.1, new releases bringing a number of important bugfixes on top of 4.5.0. 4.5.0 was released only three weeks ago and receives monthly service updates. 4.5.1 is the first in this series of bugfix and translation updates. These releases improve stability and the user experience further, while not bringing major new features or bigger changes to the user interface. 4.5.1 is a safe upgrade for anybody running 4.5.0. 4.5.1 has been dubbed “Cronjob” as it is one of the regular releases published by KDE, just like a cronjob does.

      • KDE Software Compilation 4.5.1 Released: Codename “Cronjob”
  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Vyatta Is The Best Open Source Networking Software

        Vyatta has announced that IDG’s InfoWorld has honored the company with a third consecutive Bossie Award.

        The 2010 Bossie Award for the Vyatta open routing and security software once again validates Vyatta’s long-standing technology leadership and provides further impetus for the industry to standardize on open source networking.

      • Fedora

        • Want to reinvent management? Start with the managers.

          Let me share one example from the open source world that has blown me away. Over the years, The Fedora Project, at least from where I sit, has been a model of a leadership culture.

          I’ve watched as one great leader after another, from Michael Johnson, to Cristian Gafton, to Greg Dekoenigsberg, to Max Spevack, to Paul Frields, has finished a successful stint as Fedora Project Leader and then willing passed the baton on to the next leader in line. In fact, Paul just finished his turn as leader a few months back.

          Paul’s note announcing the new Fedora Project Leader made me happy. It articulated all three of the points above, showing leadership, humility, and a willingness to do what it takes to serve the project purpose above personal aspirations. I remember Max and Greg expressing similar sentiments as they were ending their terms as project leader.

        • Darwin meets Dilbert: Applying the Law of Two Feet to your next meeting

          The concept was first introduced to me in the Fedora Project wiki. The Fedora marketing organization holds regular meetings, mostly by online chat, and they publish notes on the wiki. Their meeting guidelines mentions the Law of Two feet and asks contributors to use their best judgment in which meetings they choose whether or not to attend.

    • Debian Family

      • I post not to bury Debian but to praise it

        Can I see myself running Ubuntu again? Sure. But I can’t see a time when I won’t have a use for more than one instance of Debian.

      • Debian Project mourns the loss of Frans Pop

        Frans was involved in Debian as a maintainer of several packages, a supporter of the S/390 port, and one of the most involved members of the Debian Installer team. He was a Debian Listmaster, editor and release manager of the Installation Guide and the release notes, as well as a Dutch translator.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • VLC in Ubuntu Gets a New PPA And It’s Working Great!

          Think you all knew this already, the c-korn/vlc ppa has been removed by the author himself. You can’t live without PPAs in Ubuntu especially for most downloaded apps like VLC. Guys at LFFL have made a dedicated PPA for VLC. I just gave it a try and it worked awesome.

        • Thinking different at Canonical

          The old world depends upon case studies, press releases, and such. The new world feels more fluid to me: it’s Puppet Labs’ wiki that allows users to self-identify their Puppet adoption. It’s Twitter campaigns. It’s word of mouth, individual to individual.

        • OSS4 on Ubuntu (Lucid Lynx)

          After upgrading to Ubuntu 10.4 LTS, I was happy to notice that audio in all applications (including Skype) was finally working perfectly! However, I was less happy to notice that Pulseaudio was using quite a lot of CPU-time, and that the sound quality was absolutely awful… So I decided to give OSS4 a try. After some googling, installing a few packages and some minor configuration, OSS4 was up and running, and I must admit the improvement in sound quality is rather significant!

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Motorola Launches 3 Android Phones In China

          The phones combine a superior Android touchscreen experience with updated MING styling and features, and include the MT810 for China Mobile’s TD-SCDMA network, the XT806 for China Telecom’s CDMA-2000 network, and the A1680 for China Unicom’s WCDMA network.

        • Take a Closer Look at the Portrait Slider Motorola XT300 [VIDEO]

          Remember the mini Droid slider that emerged in late July? It’s back, but this time, it’s in much clearer form. Hit the jump for a few images and videos of the device in the wild, showing a very MOTOBLUR-ish UI. Thanks to Mobiflip.de, we know know that this little fella has a BACKTRACK pad (Backflip, Charm) and runs Android 2.1 under the hood.

    • Tablets

      • This Week Is a Coming-Out Party for Android Tablets

        You Want A Top Performer. In addition to Samsung, it’s likely that Toshiba will enter this market at the IFA show as well. Details about the Folio 100 with its 10-inch touchscreen leaked earlier this week and if correct, the specifications show a high-powered device thanks to Nvidia’s Tegra 2 processor. Carrypad has benchmarked the Toshiba AC 100, a smartbook that has similar guts to the Folio 100, and found that certain performance marks exceed that of the Google Nexus One running Android 2.2 by a factor of three. The device can also flawlessly play back a 1080p video file at 13 Mbps bit rate, showing performance prowess that could sway some from an iPad to an Android tablet.

      • ViewSonic ViewPad 7 Android Tablet announced

        ViewSonic have today announced the ViewPad 7, the world’s first 7″ Android tablet with phone capability. Click through to learn more…

Free Software/Open Source

  • Less Expensive Alternative to Microsoft Exchange

    Open-Xchange software integrates e-mail, calendar, contact and task management with advanced groupware features such as information management and document sharing. Users’ productivity is enhanced through unique teamwork features, like team view, single-password document sharing, and shared calendars, contacts, tasks and documents. With mobility support, users can have access to their data anywhere, anytime and with virtually any device.

  • Events

    • 23 LinuxCon talks available online

      Over 20 sessions from LinuxCon 2010, held Aug. 10-12 in Boston, are now available for free online viewing courtesy of the Linux Foundation. The sessions span a wide range of topics, including: open source licensing; technical considerations pertaining to the Linux kernel, applications, and tools; server, mobile, and cloud computing issues; business considerations; panel discussions; and more.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chromium gets GPU acceleration

      With the GPU process in place, the developers are now able to begin accelerating the handling of some of the content in the browser. Pages are divided into multiple layers, with some being rendered on the CPU such as those containing simple text and images and some being rendered on the GPU, such as CSS styled text, images and videos or WebGL or 2D Canvases. The layers are the composited into a single page for display. Currently, the browser does this composition on the CPU, eliminating most of the performance gained with the previous use of the GPU, but if the –enable-accelerated-compositing flag is used when starting Chromium, the composition will happen within the GPU allowing the performance gains to be realised. A design document explains the new GPU accelerated rendering architecture in more detail.

  • Databases

    • EnterpriseDB Gets VC Funding From TransLink Capital

      EnterpriseDB has received a strategic investment from KT (formerly Korea Telecom) and has accepted venture capital funding from new investment partner TransLink Capital.

      The new funding will enable EnterpriseDB to expand its product and marketing operations to capitalize on the upheaval in the database market caused by consolidation and an enterprise platform shift to virtualized and cloud infrastructure.

    • CouchDB – The Open Source NoSQL Database
  • Project Releases

    • Finally out the door: Dharma Beta1

      Today we announce the first beta in what we hope is a very short pre-release cycle. Dharma has been in development for over 9 months now, and we’re quite happy with the result.

      The improvements are too many to name, but head over to the milestone page to get an idea. By far the biggest new feature is the Add-ons system. Our community is full of talented script-writers, skinners, and designers; we wanted XBMC to display their full potential. The result is a powerful and flexible system that allows for complete customization of the XBMC experience. Gone are the days of digging for the latest version of buggy plugins, or incomplete skins in our forums. Most of our users probably never even made it that far.

    • Phoronix Test Suite 2.8 Enhances Automated Testing, Benchmarking
    • xzibit 0.01 – release

      xzibit 0.01 is now available for download. xzibit is a per-window VNC system; its development is supported by Collabora Ltd. This version is just a taster of what’s possible: there’s a fair amount more in existence that you won’t see unless you play around. More of it will be more easily visible in later releases.

  • Open Access/Content

    • Project Gutenberg: Timeline Events

      Google wouldn’t even announce its “invention” of eBooks for about 5 more years, Project Gutenberg wouldn’t have 10,000 titles for another 2 3/4 years, so just think of the changes we have in store by 2020, the next decade.

  • Open Hardware

    • Meet Apertus – A Project Aimed at Building an Open Source Cinema Camera

      As any typical Open Source project, more people got involved and the thread hit more than 1000 posts in 2009. Then they decided to build a dedicated website for the still unnamed project. Finally, after long discussions, the project was named Apertus.

      [...]

      I think, Linux users are probably the best at understanding the importance of this project and its limitless possibilities. “Once you got used to working with a truly open system, you will suddenly realise how limiting your previous one really was”, thats exactly how I feel right now being a Linux user for the past 3 years.

  • Programming

    • Can programming language names be trademarks?

      It does matter. No one should be able to use trademark law to control truthful speech about a product. The Examining Attorney in the Lua application raised this point, but it wasn’t a good enough sell for the TTAB. Indeed there is a legal theory – nominative fair use – that says one can use others’ trademarks to refer truthfully to the others’ products, but this is a judge-made doctrine, not statutory, of varying parameters in different courts, and not even accepted by all of them.

    • 4 Tools for Teaching Kids to Code

      Developed by the MIT Media Lab, Scratch is a graphical programming language for children age 8 and up. Since its release in 2007, over one million projects have been shared on the site. That sharing aspect is important as projects posted are available to others to download and remix. Scratch is available free of charge, and runs on Mac, Windows, and Linux computers. For those working in Scratch, the new Scratch Wiki is a good resource.

    • Open Source R Language Could Revolutionize Business Intelligence

      The R programming language could be coming to a workplace near you — if it hasn’t arrived already. The big deal about R is that it can analyze Big Data, those exploding data sets that have traditionally defied analysis.

      R is the brainchild of Ross Ihaka and Robert Gentleman (known as “R” and “R”), academics at the Department of Statistics at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Since Ihaka and Gentleman wrote the original R paper in 1993, R has become the lingua franca of analytic statistics among students, scientists, programmers and data managers.

Leftovers

  • 10 Best Hacker Movies (Films about Computer Hacking) of All Time

    1. WarGames
    WarGames is a film about a young hacker who unknowingly gains access to WOPR, a United States military supercomputer programmed to predict possible after-effects of nuclear war. He gets WOPR to run a nuclear war simulation, initially perceiving it to be a computer game, which caused a national nuclear missile scare and nearly initiates World War III.

  • Murdoch’s New iPaper: One Last Tragic Roll Of The Digital Dice

    But no – the story’s true, albeit with a technological twist that makes the move sound only 1% less suicidal: Murdoch’s new paper (launching ‘by the end of the year’) will be available only on tablets like the iPad. And readers will have to pay to view it. Oh, Rupert, you crazy old lunatic.

  • Skype might be bought by Cisco

    THE RUMOUR MILL has spun out a yarn claiming that Cisco is about to buy the Voice over IP outfit Skype.

    This is unexpected as Skype is getting set to go public. For Cisco to succeed in a bid it will have to write the cheque before that happens.

  • Silicon Valley’s Dark Secret: It’s All About Age

    My advice to managers is to consider the value of the experience that the techies bring. With age frequently come wisdom and abilities to follow direction, mentor, and lead. Older workers also tend to be more pragmatic and loyal, and to know the importance of being team players. And ego and arrogance usually fade with age. During my tech days, I hired several programmers who were over 50. They were the steadiest performers and stayed with me through the most difficult times.

    Finally, I don’t know of any university, including the ones I teach at, that tells its engineering students what to expect in the long term or how to manage their technical careers. Perhaps it is time to let students know what lies ahead.

  • Science

    • Modern Science Map

      Despite many of the scientific disciplines mapped having more ancient origins, I have restricted the map to modern science starting from the 16th century scientific revolution.

    • What It’s Like Going 307.7 MPH in an EV

      “Most of your sensation of speed is a visual sense, but at Bonneville it’s just a huge open plain of salt. It’s all white,” he says. “If you combine the relative lack of visibility with the lack of visual reference points and add in the control tests you have to do, you don’t quite get the sensation of speed I expected.”

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Hatching Bigger Government

      It’s true that the FDA is charged with assuring food safety. But really, the government can’t do that. The task is too big and too complex. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to do it, because the pressures of competition force producers to make sure their goods are clean and wholesome.

  • Security/Aggression

    • We Fail More—So Put Us in Charge

      The Post article says that Lynn “puts the Homeland Security Department on notice that although it has the ‘lead’ in protecting the dot.gov and dot.com domains, the Pentagon — which includes the ultra-secret National Security Agency — should support efforts to protect critical industry networks.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Not carbon offsets, but carbon upsets

      In theory, carbon offsets are a way to lower the cost of emissions reductions. Credits are awarded when a project is less greenhouse gas-intensive than it would have been in the usual course. These credits can then be sold to polluters and used to satisfy their emissions reduction obligations which would have been more expensive to undertake directly. In practice critics have pointed to numerous problems with offsets. Most fundamentally, they fail to incentivise the kind of structural transformation toward a low-carbon future that we desperately need.

    • EPA proposes grading system for car fuel economy

      The Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation on Monday proposed a fuel economy label overhaul to reflect how electric and alternative fuel vehicles stack up against gasoline passenger vehicles.

      The federal agencies released two new labels that officials expect to be finalized early next year and used in 2012 model year cars. The published labels will be available for public comment for 60 days.

  • Finance

    • Why Cheaper Money Won’t Mean More Jobs

      The sad reality is that cheaper money won’t work. Individuals aren’t borrowing because they’re still under a huge debt load. And as their homes drop in value and their jobs and wages continue to disappear, they’re not in a position to borrow. Small businesses aren’t borrowing because they have no reason to expand. Retail business is down, construction is down, even manufacturing suppliers are losing ground.

    • Goldman swims downstream for PetroAlgae IPO

      Since the financial crisis, Wall Street banks have gone further down market as they look to collect fees and stay competitive in the league tables.

    • O’Brien: Grim numbers point to the end of the venture capital era

      Silicon Valley has passed an important milestone that may mark the end of one era and the beginning of another.

      This dividing line in history was revealed this summer in the latest report from the National Venture Capital Association, which showed that 10-year returns on venture capital investments had turned negative at the end of 2009, and nose-dived during the first quarter of 2010. Let me translate what might sound like some insider mumbo jumbo: Venture capital investing, the lifeblood of the valley’s innovation economy, has become a sucker’s bet.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • I know where you are…

      The ubiquity of smartphones with geolocation capabilities (i.e. the ability to pinpoint you on a map) means that we’re now starting to add our physical location to the mass of data we hand over.

    • Car Registration Snoops Planned

      An audit of 155 of the 432 local authorities allowed to use the ­database showed that the DVLA’s ­system was accessed 750 times a day in the 2009/10 financial year.

      However, it was discovered that ­councils were using the system to track down people for a variety of offences including horse fouling, littering and owning out-of-control dogs.

      The DVLA sent out letters to chief executives of 56 authorities where ­serious breaches of the system had been uncovered and the councils received a red coded warning.

    • Trust Me: You Can Trust Us

      In April I wrote a column about the secretive habits of three large police departments in Virginia’s Washington, D.C., suburbs: Fairfax County, Alexandria, and Arlington. As Connection Newspapers reporter Michael Pope showed in a series of reports that began in March, they are among the least transparent departments in the country, having interpreted Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act in a way that allows them to turn down nearly all requests for information.

      Recently there have been a couple of attempts to make Virginia’s law enforcement agencies more transparent. As I reported in June, Nicholas Beltrante, an 82-year-old former cop and Navy medic, started the Virginia Citizens Coalition for Police Accountability. And in January, state Sen. John Edwards (D-Roanoke) introduced a bill that would force police to turn over public records in cases where the investigation has been completed.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Who Writes Pro-Cable Internet Legislation? Cable Does
    • Wholesale access still mandated, but with an extra 10% mark-up; Bell to lobby cabinet again

      As the large telephone and cable companies continue to push fibre deeper into their old copper networks to offer increasing broadband speeds and new services to their customers, the CRTC affirmed Monday the incumbents must continue to rent space to third party ISPs under its mandated access policy and the Commission’s speed matching rules.

    • Which ebook sellers will allow publishers and writers to opt out of DRM?

      My August Publishers Weekly column reports in on my experiment to see which of the major ebook stores would carry my books without DRM, and with a text disclaimer at the beginning that released readers from the crazy, abusive license agreements that most of these stores demand as a condition of purchase. Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kobo were all happy to carry my books without DRM, and on terms that gave you the same rights you got when buying paper editions. Sony and Apple refused to carry my books without DRM — even though my publisher and I both asked them to.

    • Canada is a telecom backwater, says bold backer of Wind Mobile

      In the eyes of Wind’s critics, the firm is just another pawn in Mr. Sawiris’s global chess game. He has made no secret of his belief that telecommunications around the globe will inevitably be dominated by just a handful of giant firms. With Mr. Sawiris already in merger talks with Russian carrier VimpelCom Ltd. to create a sprawling telecom titan worth about $25-billion, his vision of an age of huge global providers seems near indeed.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Commercialization of IP In Canadian Universities: Barely Better Than Break Even

      Last week, Statistics Canada released its latest report on the commercialization of intellectual property in Canadian universities. Canada spends billions of public dollars on research funding each year and the government has been increasingly focused on how best to commercialize the results. While there are several possible approaches to doing this, the government and some universities have been focused on building patent and IP portfolios as part of a conventional commercialization strategy. The alternative could be an open access approach – encourage (or require) much of the intellectual property to be made broadly available under open licences so that multiple organizations could add value and find ways to commercialize. The universities might generate less income but would better justify the public investment in research by providing the engine for larger economic benefits.

    • Fake goods are fine, says EU study

      A new European Union-funded report has declared that buying designer goods can benefit consumers and the companies whose brands are being ripped off.

    • Copyrights

      • Musopen Wants to Give Classical Music to the Public Domain

        Music lovers take note: the classical music archive Musopen needs your help to liberate some classic symphonies from copyright entanglement. Museopen is looking to solve a difficult problem: while symphonies written by Beethoven, Brahms, Sibelius, and Tchaikovsky are in the public domain, many modern arrangements and sound recordings of those works are copyrighted. That means that even after purchasing a CD or collection of MP3s of this music, you may not be able to freely exercise all the rights you’d associate with works in the public domain, like sharing the music using a peer-to-peer network or using the music in a film project.

      • Trade groups: policing our digital copyrights is just too hard

        Eagles drummer and singer Don Henley has a world of trouble on his mind, and he hopes that Congress will lighten his load… by gutting the best part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Defending his copyrights in the digital age is just too hard for Henley and his labels, because it requires constant vigilance of both mainstream user-upload sites like YouTube and dodgier destinations like BitTorrent trackers.

      • Music tech guru says Web is not the enemy

        John Mellencamp, known for such ’80s hits as “Jack and Diane” and “Hurts So Good,” last week said the Web is the most dangerous creation since the atomic bomb. Stevie Nicks, the Fleetwood Mac songstress, concluded in an interview this week that the “Internet has destroyed rock.”

      • Jimmy Fallon Hits A Couple Of Emmy Home Runs That NBC.com Can’t Replay

        Another odd chapter in NBC’s mixed viral video history: it can’t post two of the clips that have the best chance of catching on from the 2010 Emmys. Host Jimmy Fallon knocked it out of the park with an energetic Glee-esque opener to Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run, a mixed pre-taped and live-action number featuring Jane Lynch, Glee kids, Jon Hamm, Tina Fey, and a cameo by Tim Gunn that quickly got social media buzz. The clip should have been online before the next commercial break for NBC (NYSE: GE) to take advantage of that buzz—and to take ownership before others started passing it around.

      • Pirate Bay Movie Fully Funded In Three Days

        Just three days after filmmaker Simon Klose started a fundraiser to complete his upcoming Pirate Bay documentary, the seed funding goal of $25,000 has already been reached. The Pirate audience has been extremely generous, with a full 27 days left the counter currently sits at $28,099.

      • Serving the Public…?

        Dubbed “the Ipod Minister,” Moore was one of the ‘forces’ behind last year’s Copyright Consultation and this year’s Digital Economy Consultation. Still, Minister Moore’s technical savvy seems limited to purchasing and promoting Apple products; this letter incident highlights Moore’s woeful lack of technical expertise, which ought to make him a poor choice to occupy a position of power over Canada’s digital economy or copyright reform.

        Canadians deserve to have legislators who at least understand the issues.

      • Second Newspaper Chain Joins Copyright Trolling Operation

        A Las Vegas company established to sue bloggers who clip news content is expanding its operations to a second newspaper chain.

        Righthaven LLC has struck a deal with Arkansas-based WEHCO Media to expand its copyright litigation campaign, in which bloggers and aggregators across the country are being sued on allegations of infringement.

        Until now, Righthaven CEO Steve Gibson’s sole announced client had been Nevada-based Stephens Media. Righthaven has issued more than 100 lawsuits since its spring inception on behalf of the Las Vegas Review Journal — Stephens’ flagship.

      • ZeroPaid Interviews Russell McOrmond 2 – Canadian Bill C-32 (Part 1 of 3)

        Canadian Copyright is already strong enough to deal with nearly all legitimate interests of copyright holders. Bill C-32 doesn’t modernize copyright beyond the level it obtained in 1997, but largely pushes forward controversial ideas that originated prior to 1997. I believe that current Canadian copyright is better than it will be under C-32. While I think that modernizing Copyright is a good idea, I don’t believe C-32 moves towards that goal.

      • Obama administration: “Piracy is flat, unadulterated theft”

        “I think it’s important to lay down a marker about how the Obama administration views this issue,” he said of online copyright infringement. “As Vice President Biden has said on more than one occasion, ‘Piracy is flat, unadulterated theft,’ and it should be dealt with accordingly.”

      • ACTA

        • iTnews asks: Can a caretaker Government sign ACTA?

          Representatives from the United States Trade Representatives’ office told Reuters that the U.S. wished to resolve all remaining issues at these September talks. The exact date and location for these talks has not been released to the public, nor was a draft of the agreement after the last round of talks in Switzerland.

          Political uncertainty in Australia may hamper its role in approving a final ACTA draft, as the nation awaits negotiations between the two major parties and independents to determine whether the ALP or the Coalition will form government.

        • ACTA Officials Firm on September Completion Time

          Earlier this month, we noted that officials working within ACTA are saying that September is when the negotiations will be finalized. Another report has surfaced that seems to confirm these intentions.

          ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) has had quite a roller-coaster of a ride over the years it was being negotiated. Negotiations started as far back as 2007, but we only heard about it part way through 2008 when one of the now earliest versions of the agreement leaked on to Wikileaks. By comparison to before, it must have been nice to work under the total veil of secrecy with no PR backlash working against the negotiators.

Clip of the Day

Barcelona- I have the password to your shell account


Credit: TinyOgg

Links 31/8/2010: Linux Developer Community From Wind River, Multitouch Tablet

Posted in News Roundup at 8:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Burning Man’s open source cell phone system could help save the world

    Today I bring you a story that has it all: a solar-powered, low-cost, open source cellular network that’s revolutionizing coverage in underprivileged and off-grid spots. It uses VoIP yet works with existing cell phones. It has pedigreed founders. Best of all, it is part of the sex, drugs and art collectively known as Burning Man. Where do you want me to begin?

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Thousands of Firefox add-ons already work on Firefox 4
      • Firefox 4.0 Feature Freeze Delayed to September 10

        In the first half of September 2010 Mozilla will deliver a new Beta development milestone of Firefox 4.0 which will contain the same features as the final version of the next major iteration of the open source browser.

      • Firefox 4 Review: App Tab, Panorama and Sync

        Mozilla has recently released the fourth beta of the Firefox 4 browser. I have been testing it since the first beta and I am happy to see the progress and the addition of new features with each beta. I have held on the review of Firefox 4 because most of the features are still unstable or not in place. With the release of beta 4, things are becoming more stable and plenty of new (and revolutionary) features are added to it, so it would be a great time to do up a review. There will probably be another one or two more beta before we see the release candidate and the final version.

  • Healthcare

    • EU: International team developing open source hospital information system

      An international team of software developers specialising in medical systems is working on a hospital information system. Earlier this month on the OSOR Forge, the project began soliciting others to join the team. “If you are willing to participate of this great community, there are plenty of things to be done, from translation, quality control, adding new functionality to localization.”

      The developers, including specialists from Brazil, Germany, Greece and France, aim to build a system for managing electronic medical records, manage hospital information and health information. Services include prescriptions, billing, patient information, managing epidemiological and statistical data and management of medical stock. The entire project is published using the GNU GPL open source licence.

  • Solaris

    • StormOS Hail Beta – A very stormy experience

      On paper, StormOS is an excellent technological concept: it is based on Nexenta, which itself is based on Solaris, and packaged with Ubuntu user-land and package management system. In theory, you get Ubuntu-like behavior on top of a UNIX kernel. Sounds like a healthy marriage.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • The Gnashing of teeth

      For better or worse, I can think of no other single tool whose development would do more to give GNU/Linux parity on the desktop. You can tell the priority that many groups in the community place on Gnash from the fact that Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, and openSUSE

      Still, the Gnash project has announced this milestone before. In 2007, Gnash announced compatibility with Youtube videos — only to have the goal posts moved by the site’s decision to standardize on a more recent version of Flash. In 2008, Gnash could, in fact, handle Youtube videos, but not small bits of Flash on sites like WordPress, where it is used to give a graphical representation of page hits. So, I was prepared to be disappointed.

    • Software Freedom Day is Coming!

      On September 18, it is international Software Freedom Day. Software Freedom Day aims to celebrate Free Software and the people behind it. It wants to spread the word about Free Software and help people find each other.

  • Government

    • Learning from project success and failure

      When big UK government IT-related projects have failed, people have asked: how could such basic mistakes be made and repeated? In some cases it was because of what in the US is called – and I apologise for repeating such a grotesque phrase – the “normalization of deviancy”.

    • EU: Rise in use of EUPL for publishing open source software

      The European Union’s open source licence, (European Union Public Licence, EUPL) is being used more and more. A third of the projects available on the European Commission’s software development site, the OSOR Forge, 47 out of 147 projects, are published using the EUPL. On Sourceforge, a commercial venture for open source software development based in the US, the licence is now selected by 49 projects. One year ago there were non.

      The EUPL was written to be used for distributing open source software applications built for or by the European Commission. No wonder that on the OSOR Forge, many of the projects using the EUPL are published by European Commission and the EU’s member states.

      The EUPL was reviewed favourably last month in a document on copyright an licences French Ministry for the Budget, Public Accounts and the Civil Service. “The EUPL can be used and produced, in the framework of some litigation, in courts and administrations of numerous EU member states, without the obligation or the risk to call upon a sworn translator. The EUPL is also compliant with the European Member States laws.”

    • UK: ‘Government use of ODF would help break vendor lock-in’

      A UK government’s decicion to use ODF (Open Document Format) for its electronic documents, would help public administrations overcome vendor lock-in for office applications, says Liam Maxwell, councillor for Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead. He says the move will start the process to the billions of savings that British government needs to find in unproductive areas of spending.

      According to Maxwell, the borough wants to start using OpenOffice, an open source suite of office productivity tools on many of its 1400 workstations. It also wants to increase the use of free Internet-based office tools. “We are slowly moving our councillors over to use Google-docs.”

    • EE: Tallin city and college fund poll and referenda application

      Diara, an open source application allowing public administrations to us the Internet to organise polls, referendums, petitions, public inquiries and allowing to record electronic votes using electronic ID cards, is developed with support from the city of Tallin and the College of Technology in Estonia.

      A first version of Diara was made available at the OSOR Forge, the OSOR’s software development website last week. Says Hillar Põldmaa, one of the developers, Diara: “We just finished the registration, and we are now starting to upload the code of the application, including the English documentation.” The Estonian version is already available on Google’s forge.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Lewis Hyde, author of Common as Air: Revolution, Art, and Ownership

      The point being: for a long time I’ve been aware of the commons narrative in regard to ideas and for a long time I’ve thought of something as old as patent law as being among the methods we’ve devised for moving potentially private knowledge into the public sphere.

    • Scholars Test Web Alternative to Peer Review

      Now some humanities scholars have begun to challenge the monopoly that peer review has on admission to career-making journals and, as a consequence, to the charmed circle of tenured academe. They argue that in an era of digital media there is a better way to assess the quality of work. Instead of relying on a few experts selected by leading publications, they advocate using the Internet to expose scholarly thinking to the swift collective judgment of a much broader interested audience.

Leftovers

  • AMD jettisons ATI brand name, makes Radeon its own
  • Breaking the Internet in one easy step

    For about an hour on Friday, about 1 to 2 percent of the Internet went higgly-piggly.

    The confusion was caused when a major Internet registry — known as Réseaux IP Européens Network Coordination Centre (RIPE NCC) — inserted additional information into the database entries used by routers to direct data packets to the correct destinations. The addition, which was part of its research into Internet infrastructure, complied with standards, but many routers — including those made by Cisco — could not handle the change, said a representative for the registry in a statement published Friday.

  • Science

    • Heaps of Fossils From Evolutionary ‘Big Bang’ Discovered

      One of paleontology’s most revered fossil sites now has a baby brother. Scientists have discovered a group of astonishing fossils high in the Canadian Rockies, just 40 kilometers from the famous Burgess Shale location.

      [...]

      Until now, paleontologists had thought one reason the Burgess fossils were so well preserved was because they settled in thick deposits at the bottom of an ancient ocean protected by a submarine cliff. But the Stanley Glacier fossils weren’t formed in the presence of such a cliff, suggesting that creatures can be fossilized in amazing detail in other environments.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Innocent man spent three months in jail after CCTV blunder cops mistook rose for knife

      AN innocent man was thrown in jail for three months – because he was carrying a rose.

      Cops viewing CCTV thought the single rose Stephen McAleer had in his hand as he walked home was a knife.

      He was arrested and sent to Barlinnie Jail on remand. And 28-year-old Stephen’s prison ordeal only ended when he was cleared at a two-day trial this week.

      A CCTV expert enhanced the images and testified that the item he was carrying was a rose in a plastic sleeve, which tapers to a knife-like point at the end of the stem.

    • Israeli actors to boycott new West Bank theatre

      Dozens of Israeli actors, playwrights and directors have signed a letter refusing to take part in productions by leading theatre companies at a new cultural centre in a West Bank settlement, prompting renewed debate over the legitimacy of artistic boycott.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • The rare earth element big squeeze

      If a conservative is a liberal who just got mugged, then an advocate of government intervention in the economy is nothing more than a free market believer who just realized that China dominates an industry with major implications for national defense and renewable energy technology.

      That’s the primary conclusion to be gleaned from a review of three recent studies of Chinese dominance of rare earth element mining and processing, “Rare Earth Elements: The Global Supply Chain,” a report published by the Congressional Research Service in July, the Government Accountability Office’s “Rare Earth Materials in the Defense Supply Chain,” published in April, and China’s Rare Earth Elements Industry: What Can the West Learn?” published by the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security in March.

  • Finance

    • SATIRE: U.S. Economy Grinds To Halt As Nation Realizes Money Just A Symbolic, Mutually Shared Illusion

      For some Americans, the fog of disbelief surrounding the nation’s epiphany has begun to lift, with many building new lives free from the illusion of money.

      “It’s back to basics for me,” Bernard Polk of Waverly, OH said. “I’m going to till the soil for my own sustenance and get anything else I need by bartering. If I want milk, I’ll pay for it in tomatoes. If need a new hoe, I’ll pay for it in lettuce.”

      When asked, hypothetically, how he would pay for complicated life-saving surgery for a loved one, Polk seemed uncertain.

      “That’s a lot of vegetables, isn’t it?” he said.

    • SEC change makes Goldman top target

      Goldman Sachs is target No. 1 for activist investors looking to shake up corporate boards now that the Securities and Exchange Commission has made it easier for shareholders to nominate directors.

      Corporate governance activists are looking to replace Goldman directors at the firm’s annual meeting next spring unless the board strips Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein of his position as chairman.

    • Axa cuts Goldman stake by half

      Goldman Sachs’ largest investor slashed its stake by more than half in the last quarter as the bank contended with civil fraud charges by US securities regulators and brutal market conditions that crimped its results.

    • Axa cuts stake in Goldman Sachs: documents

      Goldman Sachs last month disclosed that its profits had slumped 82 percent in the second quarter when the company was hit by a massive US fraud settlement and a new British tax on bonuses.

    • Get Briefed: George Walker

      Prior to working at Neuberger Berman, Walker was a partner at Goldman Sachs ( GS – news – people ) and part of the company’s partnership committee.

      Walker is on the Mayor’s Board for New York City as well as the board of directors of Local Initiatives Support Cooperation. He is also the vice chair of the board of trustees of The New School.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • How Involved Should The Government Be In Protecting Online Privacy?

      Rotenberg responds that individuals really can’t do much in response, and uses the example of Google Buzz’s privacy screwup as an example. But, the response to that sort of proves Harper’s point rather than Rotenberg’s. Right after Google screwed up with the Buzz launch, in a manner that caused serious privacy concerns, the public and the press responded within hours, calling out Google for what it had done, and forcing Google to backtrack almost immediately and admit that it had screwed up. What more could the government have done? If it was solely up to the government, there would have been a months (years?) long investigation, and finally some sort of wrist-slap and a fine. The public response to Google’s misstep and the concerns that raised among many people about their privacy in using Google seemed to function fine, and should (one hopes) cause Google to think a lot more carefully before making a similar mistake in the future.

    • Trying to exclude WikiLeaks from shield law stinks

      One of the odors emanating from Washington, D.C., these days is from journalists marking their territory.

      Whatever awkwardness previously existed as journalists desiring a federal shield law wooed the legislators they’re supposed to be watching, it’s now worse. In recent weeks, the two groups have publicly joined forces to exclude WikiLeaks from possible protection under the bill. In doing so, journalists have managed both to look territorial and to endanger the independence they’re striving to create.

      On Aug. 4, Sen. Charles Schumer, the New York Democrat and Senate sponsor of the Free Flow of Information Act, announced that he intended to include in the proposed law new language specifying that WikiLeaks and organizations like it would not be able to use the act to protect the identities of confidential sources.

      [...]

      As comforting as it might be to “real” journalists to incorporate editorial oversight into a shield law and to use it to distinguish further between the “us” who are entitled to the law’s protections and the “them” who are not, at least two dangers exist in that approach.

      First, does anyone — including the most mainstream of traditional journalists — really think it a good idea that Congress and judges define, analyze and evaluate what is appropriate “editorial oversight”? For decades, news organizations have struggled to resist those efforts in libel cases and, so far, those struggles have succeeded. If those same organizations now invite legislators and judges into their newsrooms to see how worthy their reporters are of protection under a shield law, they shouldn’t be surprised if the legislators and judges decide to stay.

      Second, is the free flow of information really served if the act’s protections are denied to those who don’t have or practice editorial oversight? As Schumer acknowledged in his statement, the act already contains language that would limit or deny protection to those who provide or publish classified military secrets. Specifically exempting WikiLeaks and other organizations that might otherwise qualify for protection under the act in at least some cases seems designed not to enhance the free flow of information but to channel that information to mainstream sources.

    • Three digital myths

      The release of the Afghan War Diaries on Wikileaks, with stories published in The Guardian, the New York Times and Der Spiegel by agreement with Wikileaks, has made news around the world. Le Monde Diplomatique, in conjunction with Owni and Slate.fr, have also made the documents available online via a dedicated website. The security implications of the leaked material will be discussed for years to come. Meanwhile the release of over 90,000 documents has generated debate on the rising power of digital journalism and social media. Many of the discussions are rooted in what I call internet or digital myths — myths which are rooted in romantic, deterministic notions of technology.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Who Steals the Gene from Off the Common

      The anonymous poem above was written in protest at the enclosure of common land in England – the process of converting the commons to private property and handing it over to a single proprietor. In two rhyming couplets, the poet managed to sum up the massive resentment felt by the commoners, resentment that has found eloquent expression over the last 500 years at the hands of writers as diverse as St Thomas More and Karl Polanyi.

      Economists have told a very different story, however. With a few significant recent exceptions, they portrayed the process of enclosure as benign. Private property avoided the “tragedies of the commons” such as underinvestment and overuse. Thus it allowed an expansion of productive capacity that produced more social wealth – even if unevenly distributed – and helped feed more people. Enclosure, in this story, was a triumph; getting unproductive common resources back into the engine of the market.

    • Copyrights

      • Attacks On The Creative Commons Licenses

        Consider the lawsuit which forced Internet Service Providers to block The Pirate Bay in Italy. It’s the equivalent of blocking your neighbor’s lane by flooding it, so that he can’t deliver his harvest to market, leaving all of the sales to you, and allowing you to raise your prices to the maximum the market will bear.

      • Mark Waid is Right

        Mark’s speech reminded everyone that copyright was invented to limit the amount of time that a family or estate could lay claim to an idea after the death of that idea’s creator. That it was not created to protect the creator or ensure that their family line could forever control their intellectual property. He suggested that contributing to the greater culture is something artists should consider as important (maybe more important) than making a living as an artist. And then he made the boldest statement of the evening by suggesting that the file-sharing genie was out of the bottle and rather than spend fruitless hours trying to get it back in, we should all just stop being afraid of this new culture and instead embrace it and try to harness its power.

      • P2PU launches 3rd round of courses, with “Copyright for Educators”

        The Peer 2 Peer University, more commonly known now as P2PU by a growing community of self-learners, educators, journalists, and web developers, launches its third round of courses today, opening sign-ups for “courses dealing in subject areas ranging from Collaborative Lesson Planning to Manifestations of Human Trafficking.”

        P2PU is simultaneously launching its School of Webcraft, which is a collaboration with the Mozilla Foundation and “is a powerful new way to learn open, standards based web development in a collaborative environment. School of Webcraft courses include Beginning Python Webservices and HTML5.”

      • Wrongfully Accused Of File-Sharing? File For Harassment

        There are tens of thousands of people out there receiving letters from lawyers which demand payments to make potential copyright infringement lawsuits go away. Those wrongfully accused have been fighting back in a number of ways, and not without success. Now a team of lawyers is offering to coordinate a group action, with the aim of gathering compensation for victims through harassment claims.

      • US movie tickets get biggest price hike in history

        Don’t weep for the movie biz. While still concerned about camcording and P2P piracy, the industry has been hauling in the cash at the box office. 2007, 2008, and 2009 all set new historic highs for movie theater revenue in the US and Canada, and 2010 looks poised to do even bigger business.

        “Theater owners have gotten away with the biggest year-to-year increases in ticket prices ever,” says Hollywood-focused publication The Wrap, “with average admission costs spiraling upward more than 40 cents in 2010, or over 5 percent.”

      • ACTA

        • ACTA & the Telecoms Package: a mutually supportive relationship?

          The ghostly spectre of the Telecoms Package that has stood behind ACTA, is becoming more clearly discernible. And a devious PR move by the ACTA negotiators is bad news for Internet users.

          Following the Washington meeting of the ACTA (Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement) negotiators in August, it is now emerging that the requirement for secondary liability on ISPs could be dropped. Apparently, this is at the request of the US.

        • 1 Step Forward 500 Steps Back, ACTA Will Violate Your Rights

          It’s been said that “all good things must come to an end.” That phrase certainly holds true now. It seems like it’s only been a month since the changes to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) were passed by Congress, allowing us to jailbreak our phones as well as other things that should have always been part of our rights as consumers. No longer could we be told what we could or could not do with our own property. However that brief reprise has basically come to an end thanks to the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). Now on the surface ACTA actually doesn’t sound like a bad idea. At it’s core its an international institution similar to but seperate from organizations like the United Nations and the World Trade Organization. It’s purpose, “to establish international standards on intellectual property rights enforcements.” Which in itself isn’t such a bad thing, the U.S. alone loses around $200 billion each year as a result of the fake goods being traded on the global scale and plenty of artists have had their work stolen and used for profit without any hope for legal action. The problem however comes with semantics, and what’s being specified as intellectual theft in this agreement.

          [...]

          It’s blatantly obvious that our privacy and freedom is at stake but what else is actually being threatened? Below we have compiled a very surprising list.

          1. Your Privacy – Think going through the airport is violating now? Wait until they search EVERYTHING you own for pirated data. And we haven’t even gotten to ISPs being required to monitor ALL of your online activities in order to enforce these laws, since they will be responsible for “allowing” you to download not-so-legal things.
          2. Your Money – You’re ISP watching you is more work for them. So they will charge you for it (and those nasty little legal fees they incur when you download illegal things or someone sues them for violating their no-longer existent rights.)
          3. Your Health – How can that happen? Well generic drugs are contraband under ACTA. So increase that insurance premium (assuming you have insurance, if you don’t just don’t get sick) and if you happen to be traveling with your medication… try not to die when they confiscate it.
          4. Your Video Quality – Under ACTA free and open source media software such as VLC, MPC & the CCCP project would be illegal since all purchased media must be DRMed (any non-purchased media must be piracy) and open source software can’t use DRM technology.
          5. Your Freedom – ACTA gives governments and ISPs the right to block websites deemed “unsuitable” (a word that isn’t defined in the agreement). That opens the doors to your government acting like China and banning anything they don’t want you to see. (Note: There is no YouTube, Facebook, Blogspot in China.)

Clip of the Day

Firefox 4 Beta 4 Panorama


08.30.10

Links 30/8/2010: Militant Red Hat Board, Rails 3.0, OLPC Healing, OpenOffice.org Conference in Budapest

Posted in News Roundup at 3:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Bootability

    My advice? Don’t dual-boot. If you need to run that other OS, do so in a virtual machine so that it can clobber its virtual boot-loader and not yours. VirtualBox makes this very easy and you get the added benefit that you can run both OS simultaneously without having to re-re-reboot.

  • Are these actually PC problems?

    Those in the list are not PC-bound issues, but OS problems. The press should start reporting them as what they really are: the intrinsic flaws of Windows, not of PCs. My Mandriva desktop has none of those. Nor does my Mandriva netbook. As far as I have heard, the other members of the Linux family (Mepis , Pardus, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Fedora, Sabayon, Arch, and the rest) that run on PCs stand solid against viruses.

    However, before you migrate to Linux, you must know that, as in any change of OS, a successful migration depends on intelligent choices and understanding of the situation.

  • There IS a Linux for you.

    You can be assured that no matter how many people around you are using Linux, your computer is a reflection of yourself and not of some faceless marketing mogul. This is because Linux is open source and open source is all about freedom. Freedom is choice and anything which tries to limit our choice is trying to reduce our freedom.

  • Kernel Space

    • Benchmarks Of ZFS-FUSE On Linux Against EXT4, Btrfs

      For those not familiar with the GPL-licensed Linux FUSE module, it is a Linux kernel module that has been living within the mainline kernel since the Linux 2.6.14 release and it allows non-privileged users to create their own file-systems in user-space with the FUSE module then providing a bridge to interface with the Linux kernel. FUSE is also available for BSD, OpenSolaris, and Mac OS X operating systems too. With FUSE file-systems living in user-space, they do not need to comply with the GNU GPL since only the FUSE module is loaded against the Linux kernel, but there is an overhead associated with this approach. Besides ZFS-FUSE, there are dozens of other FUSE file-systems including ClamFS, httpFS, ChunkFS, vmware-mount, and GnomeVFS2 FUSE. The most recent release of ZFS-FUSE is version 0.6.9 and is based upon Zpool version 23 (much better than Zpool 18 being used by LLNL/KQ Infotech at this time, with post-18 revisions adding features like de-duplication support) and supports NFS sharing, PowerPC architecture, a multi-threaded ioctl handler, and other improvements. ZFS 0.7.0 is the release presently under development and is expected for release in early October. For our testing of ZFS-FUSE, we used both the latest stable 0.6.9 release and a 0.7.0 Git snapshot as of their latest official code in their Git repository as of 2010-08-28.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • I am part of the game!

        There are several ways of being part of the KDE game: you can develop, translate, be an artist, help users, take care of our infrastructure, organize developer sprints. A lot of ways right? But some people just lack the time to join the game in any of the areas that I just listed but still want to contribute in some way to the project.

        [...]

        And you? What are you waiting for? Help KDE and be part of it: Join the Game!

      • KDE and NVidia

        The above combination was never a painless experience, still at some point in past it seemed to be better to have a NVidia card on Linux then anything else, so I continued to buy them whenever my system was upgraded. Lately although it started to make me rather bad.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Under these rocks and stones

        Of the three distributions mentioned here, I don’t think any of them are likely to become mainstream in the Linux community. Puppy is well established in its niche and seems happy there. The Me-OS project, I feel, has some potential if the developer can keep up with the work which goes into maintaining a distro. Like Puppy, Me-OS is taking a slightly different path and it’ll be interesting to see where they end up. ImagineOS felt like the odd one out of these three. It doesn’t really bring anything new to the table, I didn’t find anything in its approach to be eye-catching. It sits on a strong Slackware base, but I think the project needs to add something if it wants to attract new members.

      • A bit about Parted Magic 5.3 and UnetBootin

        Today I want to talk about a specialist Linux distro which has saved me from pretty nasty situations more than once, Parted Magic 5.3. I believe that the best introduction to this fabulous distro is its feature list (extracted from the Parted Magic Official SITE).

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Making a Statement without Saying Anything

          Creating the default wall paper for Ubuntu is not an easy task. No matter the outcome there will be some who like it and others who won’t.

          So why does it matter? Throw something together and call it good.

          The answer is the default wall paper in many cases is the first expression of quality. To illustrate; if I am viewing a high quality automobile but hate the color or some other design detail what impression do I walk away with?

        • The joke that is Maverick’s default wallpaper

          As many of you know, I tend to be the first to criticize anything in this community of people who are often afraid to voice their opinion about something. This time, however, I’m not going to do the talking, I’m just going to share some comments.

        • [Full Circle Magazine] Issue 40

          This month we begin using the new Ubuntu font and a new FCM logo created by Thorsten Wilms!

          * Command and Conquer.
          * How-To : Program in Python – Part 14, Virtualize Part 3 – OpenSolaris, and ADSL Modem As A Switch.
          * Review – SOFA Statistics.
          * Top 5 – Favourite Apps.
          * plus: MOTU Interview, Ubuntu Games, My Opinion, My Story, and now with all new LoCo and Translation Team interviews!

        • Incredible Stories Of Free Software and Open Source

          A story I share at every Ubuntu Developer Summit is that when I started working as the Ubuntu Community Manager I got a lovely email from a kid in Africa who would walk two hours to his local town where he would spend his own money to buy Internet time in an Internet cafe to contribute to Ubuntu and then walk two hours back home. This story was powerful to me. It told me that my job is to help that guy get the most out of his hour, to justify his investment of energy and expense to just get involved in the first place. His story was inspiring, encouraging, and an impressive example of commitment. I always share this story at UDS as an inspiration for us to get the most out of each one-hour session.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Kindle hardware vs Kindle app: What’s the better reading experience?
    • Phones

      • Android

        • My Droid Incredible Video Review on Steroids

          Incredibly, I got the incredible** chance to review the Droid Incredible and see if it lives up to its reputation of incredibility of putting out incredible video, picture quality, sound and more. I was incredulous, so you will see how the Incredible fared by after my incredible amount of video scrutiny. Incredible!

    • Sub-notebooks

      • XO Laptop Helps Healing

        Haiti Partners participated in a pilot with Waveplace and OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) of 200 xo laptops in April and May of this year. Last week I (John Engle) visited with about 20 students from our various partner schools to see how they’re progressing. Respecting one of OLPC’s principles, all students in our partner schools keep the laptops so that they can continue learning.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Three Open Source Ticketing Systems

    If open source folks know anything, and they do, it’s how to build tools that enable collaborative development. Case in point: ticketing and issue tracking systems. If your shop needs a reliable, flexible, and scalable ticketing system take a look at Bugzilla, Request Tracker (RT), or Trac to find the best tool to keep your projects on track.

  • Michael Tiemann Opens Up

    Michael Tiemann is the brain behind Cygnus, the first company to offer support to Linux and other assorted Free Software programs. He is now involved in open source ‘affairs’ at the OSI. Swapnil Bhartiya discusses the past, present and the future with Tiemann in this exclusive interview.

  • Oracle OOo

    • ♥ Thinking of OOoCon

      My best wishes to all my friends attending the OpenOffice.org conference in Budapest this week.

    • OpenOffice saves a company budget

      The installation is painless…now the true test will be time. If the end-users can get used to a different office suite to handle their templates. But ultimately what this little experience taught me was that as much as people like to claim how cheap the TCO of MS products are to business, there is always a situation that begs to smack that assumption upside the face. This was one of those. Not many business have 10,000 dollars to drop on a software update – especially one that will only serve to solve a printing issue. Yes the printing was a critical aspect of the users’ jobs, but not enough to force the hand to upgrading to Office 2007 on terminal server.

  • CMS

    • Diaspora Clarifies: Open Source On September 15, Consumer Alpha In October

      A few days ago, we noted that Diaspora was three weeks away from unveiling their open-source Facebook alternative. But a small update today clarifies one important point. On September 15, Diaspora will release the open source code for the project. But it won’t be until October that the first consumer-facing alpha is available.

    • Drupal on the rise in government with ALRC website win

      The Drupal community has notched up another win with the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) joining the ranks of organisations implementing the open source content management system (CMS) for its web presence.

  • Project Releases

    • Rails 3.0: It’s ready!

      Rails 3.0 has been underway for a good two years, so it’s with immense pleasure that we can declare it’s finally here. We’ve brought the work of more than 1,600 contributors together to make everything better, faster, cleaner, and more beautiful.

    • [Durian] Nearly finished!
  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • Meet Apertus, The Open Source HD Cinema Camera

        A while back I listed 10 of the most promising real world Open Source projects on this blog, and today I want to add one more contender to that list: Apertus, an Open Source cinema camera project.

        Led by Oscar Spierenburg and a team of international developers, the project aims to produce “an affordable community driven free software and open hardware cinematic HD camera for a professional production environment”. Let’s take a quick tour of the hardware and software components that constitute Apertus, before moving on to address some concerns about the overall viability of the project.

  • Programming

    • Managing Developers 101

      Of course, as Luke Welling, Web Team Lead at Message Systems, a digital messaging management company and co-author of the “Bible” of commercial PHP/MySQL programming, PHP and MySQL Web Development, pointed out at an OSCON seminar in Portland, OR, that’s true of many corporate programming projects.

      So what can you, as IT management, do about this? Well, for starters, Welling suggested that managers fight the attitude that sloppy programming is acceptable because IT can always “throw more and faster processors” at any performance problem. Sometimes, you can’t fix performance problems with hardware. You need to convince developers and their team leaders that writing to the minimum hardware requirements, rather than the maximum, is the smart thing to do.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • On HTML5 killing Flash

      The other issue to keep in mind are the “Hollywood” interests. They saw what an open format like MP3 did to their music buddies and are not interested in that kind of disruption. People who own movies and TV are going to want as much DRM as possible, and new video formats that don’t satisfy those requirements are going to be tough to spread. Sure, there’s piracy, but once Hollywood gets it’s act together and figures out a Netflix/Hulu model, I think most people will pay. Most people already pay $80+ a month for cable which a bunch of crap no one wants to watch, so there’s a tolerance for a subscription budget, esp. if it’s for shows you actually want to watch.

    • Lightspark Flash Player Continues Marching Forward

      It was just earlier this month that we were talking about Lightspark now rendering faster and supporting H263/MP3 video when the first Lightspark 0.4.3 release candidate was made available. This open-source project that only reached beta in May aims to provide a completely free software implementation of Adobe’s Flash/SWF specification, continues to advance rapidly. Lightspark 0.4.3 was already released and this morning the 0.4.4 release has even made it out the door.

Leftovers

  • Weird Science votes all the useful people off the island

    You’ve been extremely helpful, so bugger off: What started out as a routine study of group behavior ended up turning a bit surreal. According to the authors of a new paper, they started out trying to find out how long a group would tolerate members that abused the common good. In the process, they found that members who put the most into the common good were quickly expelled from the group. Not entirely believing it, they replicated the findings—twice. Some of the hate comes from the overly officious group members, who viewed those who gave more than they needed to as breaking the rules. But some of it also comes from people who think that altruistic behavior like this simply raises expectations unnecessarily.

  • Paul Weiss and Lowenstein Ordered to Pay $1.96 Million for Filing Frivolous Suit Against Ron Perelman’s In-Laws

    Bergen County, N.J., Superior Court Judge Ellen Koblitz doesn’t seem too worried about sparing the reputations of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison and Lowenstein Sandler. In June, you’ll recall, she found that the two firms had filed a frivolous suit on behalf of billionaire Ronald Perelman in a family dispute over hundreds of millions of dollars. On Friday she issued a final opinion (pdf), rejecting the firms’ arguments for mercy and ordering them to pay $1.96 million in legal fees to the defendants, Perelman’s former father-in-law and brother-in-law.

  • Traditional Offshore Outsourcing on the Skids

    U.S. H-1B, L-1 visa reform under a new border security appropriations act also discriminates against offshore outsourcing providers, critics and advocates alike say, as it penalizes Indian IT service providers while ignoring US IT service providers who are also heavy users of H-1Bs like IBM, Accenture and UST Global.

  • Conrad Black Case Targets Net Defamation Jurisdiction Standard

    Conrad Black’s ongoing legal fight in the United States has attracted considerable attention in Canada, yet my weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) there is a side courtroom battle at home over alleged defamatory content on the Internet that merits closer attention. The case, named Black v. Breeden, involves postings such as press releases and reports on the Hollinger International, Inc. website that Black claims were defamatory. Several Ontario media organizations published the allegations contained in those releases.

  • Gov’t loses case for citing Wikipedia

    For going to court with an argument referenced from Wikipedia, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) lost an appeal to reverse a decision nullifying a couple’s 19-year marriage on the ground of psychological incapacity.

    “The Republic, with all the resources and manpower at its disposal, has all the means with which to counter the expert testimony offered by [the ex-wife]. Most certainly, the Republic has access to government institutions, i.e., National Center for Mental Health, which has qualified psychiatric experts whose opinion it could have sought to evaluate [the woman] and her spouse,” the Court of Appeals special 15th division said in a 13-page decision.

  • Blockbuster Bankruptcy, Yet Again, Highlights How It’s Not Easy To Just Copy The Disruptive Innovation

    Late last week, there were a ton of press reports about how Blockbuster was preparing to declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September. It’s not shutting down, but just trying to restructure its debt, get out from under a bunch of store leases and try, try again. That said, this is yet another example of the fallacy of the claim of many that if you have a good idea some big company will just come along, copy it, and be successful. It also demonstrates the huge difference between idea and execution.

  • Why Online Won’t Kill the Radio Star

    Vivian Schiller, president and chief executive of NPR, came to the public-radio organization in 2009 after 25 years in media, including stints at NYTimes.com and CNN. She talked with Kara Swisher about the rise of Internet radio, getting programs on Apple Inc.’s iPad and forming partnerships with other nonprofit news organizations. Here are edited excerpts of their conversation.

  • Will Cisco Swoop in to Buy Skype Pre-IPO?

    This wouldn’t be the first brush with big cap tech interest, as Skype had been operating under eBay’s (EBAY) ownership from 2005 to 2009. eBay bought Skype in 2005 for $2.6 billion and sold most of the company at an estimated valuation of $2.75 billion to a group of private equity investors in 2009. Ebay, to this date, maintains a 35% ownership interest.

  • How the Washington Shakespeare Company came to offer Shakespeare in Klingon

    Don’t you love that remarkable moment when roSenQatlh and ghIlDenSten exit the stage and Khamlet is left alone to deliver the immortal words: “baQa’, Qovpatlh, toy’wl”a’ qal je jIH”?

    No? Well, it always kills on Kronos. That’s the home planet of the Klingons, the hostile race that antagonizes the Federation heroes of “Star Trek.” We learned back in ’91 in “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country” that the Klingons love them some Shakespeare. Or as he’s known to his ridged-foreheaded devotees in the space-alien community: Wil’yam Shex’pir.

  • Science

    • Use of rare earth metals outstripping supply

      Those of you who have spent time staring at a periodic table are undoubtedly aware of the large insertions that are typically stuck below the chart, since they’d make the table unreasonably wide otherwise. The top of these two rows is typically called the Lanthanide series, and it contains the rare earth metals, like dysprosium, holmium, and praseodymium. Although these exotic-sounding metals find their way into displays and lasers, they’re primarily notable for their use in powerful magnets that appear in everything from electric motors to disk drives. And, according to a new Congressional analysis posted by the Federation of American Scientists’ Secrecy News blog, the world is using them up faster than it can produce them.

      The report itself doesn’t really have much information that couldn’t be obtained elsewhere, but it puts it all together in a very readable package. Right now, we’re using about 134,000 tons of rare earth metals a year, but mining only 124,000 tons; the difference is made up using ore stocks that have been mined but not yet processed.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • NIH Orders Immediate Shutdown of Intramural Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research

      Responding to a court order issued a week ago, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) this morning ordered intramural researchers studying human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) to shut down their experiments.

      NIH’s action—probably unprecedented in its history—is a response to a preliminary injunction on 23 August from U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth. The judge ruled that the Obama policy allowing NIH funding to be used to study hESC lines violates a law prohibiting the use of federal funds to destroy embryos.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Indian E-Voting Researcher Freed After Seven Days in Police Custody

      FLASH: 4:47 a.m. EDT August 28 — Indian e-voting researcher Hari Prasad was released on bail an hour ago, after seven days in police custody. Magistrate D. H. Sharma reportedly praised Hari and made strong comments against the police, saying Hari has done service to his country. Full post later today.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Coffee threatened by beetles in a warming world

      The highlands of southwestern Ethiopia should be ideal for growing coffee. After all, this is the region where coffee first originated hundreds of years ago. But although coffee remains Ethiopia’s number one export, the nation’s coffee farmers have been struggling.

  • Finance

    • KPMG Accounting Malpractice Verdict Affirmed but $38 Million Damage Award Vacated

      In a half-empty/half-full ruling for KPMG, a New Jersey appeals court on Thursday found sufficient evidence that the accounting giant was negligent in its audits of the books of a ceramic collectibles company but inadequate proof to support a $38 million damages award to another company that acquired it.

    • Bernanke Tries to Manage Expectations of Fed Role

      “Central bankers alone cannot solve the world’s economic problems,” Mr. Bernanke said in what became a theme of the annual Fed policy symposium here, organized by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

    • Bankers Told Recovery May Be Slow

      The gathering, at a historic lodge in Grand Teton National Park, brought together about 110 central bankers and economists, including most of the Federal Reserve’s top officials. In 2008, the symposium occurred weeks before the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy nearly shut down the financial markets. At the symposium last year, officials congratulated themselves on weathering the worst of the crisis.

    • It’s Not Over Until It’s in the Rules

      The question is this: Will regulators give Wall Street’s big dealers what they want in a second bite of the apple?

    • Policy Options Dwindle as Economic Fears Grow

      THE American economy is once again tilting toward danger. Despite an aggressive regimen of treatments from the conventional to the exotic — more than $800 billion in federal spending, and trillions of dollars worth of credit from the Federal Reserve — fears of a second recession are growing, along with worries that the country may face several more years of lean prospects.

    • Tax Reform, Yes! VAT, No!

      The federal budget is in worse shape than Roger Clemens’s reputation.

      It ran a deficit of $1.4 trillion in fiscal 2009 and is on track to nearly match this red ink in 2010. Going forward, there is no relief in sight.

    • Vacation Travel Recovers, but Frugality Is Focus

      With couples like the Kordasiewiczs taking advantage of incentives like free breakfast, restaurants and shopkeepers selling items like T-shirts, taffy and jewelry say travelers seem to be thinking twice before opening their wallets, if they do at all.

      “They are coming in the door more,” said Belinda Schmitt, the manager of Guertin Brothers Jewelers on Main Street in Hyannis on Cape Cod. “But I am finding that tourists are not interested in buying jewelry as much. We have started carrying jewelry that can maybe more meet the needs of people on a tighter budget.”

    • Beware That New Credit-Card Offer

      Amid all the junk mail pouring into your house in recent months, you might have noticed a solicitation or two for a “professional card,” otherwise known as a small-business or corporate credit card.

      If so, watch out. While Capital One Financial Corp.’s World MasterCard, Citigroup Inc.’s Citibank CitiBusiness/AAdvantage Mastercard and the others might look like typical plastic, they are anything but.

    • Wall Street’s Big Win

      Cue the credits: the era of financial thuggery is officially over. Three hellish years of panic, all done and gone – the mass bankruptcies, midnight bailouts, shotgun mergers of dying megabanks, high-stakes SEC investigations, all capped by a legislative orgy in which industry lobbyists hurled more than $600 million at Congress.

    • Obama’s Old Deal

      The president proudly called the new law “the toughest financial reform since the one we created in the aftermath of the Great Depression.” What Obama left unsaid was that his administration had argued against many of the toughest amendments in the bill. And Wall Street, in the end, didn’t complain about it all that much.

    • Ben Bernanke calls for help to revive the stuttering US economy

      What did the chairman of the Federal Reserve say in Jackson Hole? According to much of the reaction, Ben Bernanke said the “Fed stands by to boost US growth” (FT), or that the “Fed is ready to prop up economy” (NYT) or even that the “Fed stands ready to support recovery” (WSJ).

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Comcast Gets Static on Net TV

      The Justice Department is focusing in on how Comcast Corp.’s bid to purchase control of General Electric Co.’s NBC Universal television and movie unit could affect the emerging Internet video market, people familiar with the matter say.

    • Hulu Explains Why Hulu Plus Shows Ads, Has Limited Content

      If customers don’t find Hulu Plus is worthwhile at $10 a month, especially with Netflix offering considerably more streaming content at $9, maybe Hulu Plus needs more commercials to drive the price lower.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Yet Another Study Says Counterfeit Products Aren’t Really A Problem

      It looks like we’ve got yet another study highlighting exactly the same thing — and this one coming from a guy who is an advisor to the UK government. Gautam John points us to this new bit of research by Professor David Wall which was funded by the EU, which found that counterfeiting isn’t really that big of a problem. The findings were quite similar to the study we reported on last year. It says that there’s a consumer benefit to buying knockoff designer goods, and that the “losses” claimed by companies are way out of line with reality. Furthermore, perhaps most surprisingly, the report says that law enforcement should not waste their time trying to stop the bootleggers. The report also debunks the popular claim from the industry that counterfeit goods fund terrorism and organized crime.

    • In Defense of Links, Part One: Nick Carr, hypertext and delinkification

      There is, I think, nothing unusual about this today. So I was flummoxed earlier this year when Nicholas Carr started a campaign against the humble link, and found at least partial support from some other estimable writers (among them Laura Miller, Marshall Kirkpatrick, Jason Fry and Ryan Chittum). Carr’s “delinkification” critique is part of a larger argument contained in his book The Shallows. I read the book this summer and plan to write about it more. But for now let’s zero in on Carr’s case against links, on pages 126-129 of his book as well as in his “delinkification” post.

    • Copyrights

      • The Beautiful And Talented Janis Ian – The Internet Debacle:An Alternative View

        Janis had posted a long article on copyright titled ‘The Internet Debacle: An Alternative View‘. In this article, and it’s follow up, ‘Fallout: A Follow Up To The Internet Debacle‘, Janis covered many of the same arguments I and others had been making since the copyright debate in Canada started to heat up (note that I am not claiming to be the first to have made these arguments – in fact I came late to the game).

      • The Beautiful And Talented Janis Ian – Fallout: A Follow Up To The Internet Debacle
      • Corporate Copyright Scofflaws 0006 – The RIAA Member Companies

        The largest copyright pirates are the large corporations, particularly in the content distribution business. Yes, those companies who scream the loudest that their customers are ‘pirating’ movies, songs, books, etc. In this series, we are going to look at cases where these companies have engaged in large scale copyright infringement, or in other ways have been ripping off artists.

      • Supreme Court told P2P users can be “innocent infringers”

        wo prominent lawyers in the fight against RIAA P2P lawsuits have taken their battle to the Supreme Court. Today, Harvard Law professor Charles Nesson and “Recording Industry vs. the People” blogger/lawyer Ray Beckerman joined with a few other law professors to ask the Supreme Court not to gut copyright law’s “innocent infringer” defense.

      • Free That Tenor Sax

        The most significant issue for art like the jazz recordings is that they are considered “orphan works,” still under copyright but for which the artist can no longer be located. In 2008, the Senate passed a bill that would limit the copyrights on such orphaned material. Under the bill, if a good-faith but unsuccessful effort is made to locate the owner, someone else can publish the work. An artist who later steps forward is entitled to reasonable compensation but not the heavy damages now in the law.

      • Judge questions Righthaven over R-J copyright suit costs

        A federal judge on Thursday questioned Las Vegas copyright enforcement company Righthaven LLC about the litigation costs it’s expecting defendants to pay.

        Righthaven since March has retroactively sued at least 103 website owners around North America after determining copyrights to Las Vegas Review-Journal stories were infringed on, and then obtaining the copyrights to those stories from the Review-Journal’s owner Stephens Media LLC.

      • Google Wins Dismissal of German Suit As YouTube Battles Over Music Videos

        A court declined to issue an emergency order forcing Google Inc. to block German access to some music videos on its YouTube website in a dispute over monitoring files on the Internet.

        Still, the Hamburg Regional Court said it might ultimately rule in favor of a group of music-collecting societies, including the German agency GEMA, if a new suit was filed under standard court procedures.

        The case is part of a dispute over who is responsible for detecting illegal files on YouTube. Google, the owner of the world’s most popular search engine, in June won dismissal of a $1 billion suit brought by Viacom Inc. in a U.S. court for unauthorized use of content from programs on YouTube.

      • Another ISP bucks ‘Hurt Locker’ subpoenas

        In federal court on Monday, Midcontinent Communications filed a motion to quash a subpoena received from Voltage Pictures, the film’s producers, who allege some of the ISP’s customers used peer-to-peer services to pilfer unauthorized copies of its movie. Voltage seeks to require Midcontinent to identify those customers as well as turn over their home addresses, phone numbers, and other data.

        Midcontinent’s lawyers told the court that the subpoena was improperly issued and doesn’t offer to compensate the ISP for gathering the information. In addition, Midcontinent, which has 250,000 customers in North and South Dakota and parts of Minnesota, is skeptical that a U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., where the subpoena was issued, has jurisdiction over it. Midcontinent told the court that its own policy prevents it from providing “customer information to third parties without a valid court order.”

      • Form letter from Heritage Minister James Moore.

        On August 5′th I received an email that was “From: min.moore@pch.gc.ca”. It had no content, but two file attachments – one HTML and one GIF. Thunderbird warned that it was most likely a scam, given this is a common technique used by spammers to avoid SPAM detection software.

        I extracted the file attachments, and I wasn’t all that surprised to learn that it was a form letter originating from the Heritage Minister’s office. This isn’t the most technologically literate Minister or department in Canada, and it was unlikely that ensuring emails wouldn’t be confused as SPAM or scams would be something they would know much about.

      • Mark Waid Defends Pirates, Gets It On With Sergio Aragonés – Oh And Harvey Awards Results Announced

        Mark Waid’s keynote speech at the Harvey Awards at Baltimore Comics Con last night started by pointing out that copyright was all about putting work into the public domain, rather than preserving it for company ownership, and the concept of public domain should be embraced again. That illegal downloading is inevitable leading to a new culture of sharing. Lines such as “culture is more important than copyright” and “there are more ideas in one week at your comic shop than three years in Hollywood.”

      • College Starts With a Fresh Textbook Torrent Site

        Nicely timed at the start of the new college year, a new BitTorrent site dedicated to sharing knowledge in the form of textbooks has surfaced. Torrent My Book – a project run by two college students – aims to become the world’s largest BitTorrent index of textbooks, following in the footsteps of the late TextBookTorrents.

Clip of the Day

YouTube SUCKS…again, and such


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