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07.22.10

Links: Programs and New Games for GNU/Linux Desktops

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

Game boy

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

Applications

Links: GNU/Linux Desktop News, Google Rejoins Linux Development

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, News Roundup at 2:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Calendar series

Summary: GNU/Linux news picks from several days ago

Desktop

  • Seven Current Issues on the Linux Desktop
  • Linux Rules!

    I do everything with Linux. There are a few instances where I need Windows, but Linux handles this easily, as well. Again, more on this in future posts.

    And did I mention that Linux is immune to Windows viruses, malware, trojans and pop ups? When you run Linux, you’ll have no need to run anti-virus software!

  • Daily 5: Five uses for an Ubuntu LiveCD

    Five uses for an Ubuntu Live CD.Once you’ve installed Ubuntu from a LiveCD you might never give much thought to what else you could use it for. If so, then meet today’s Daily 5…

Kernel Space

  • Linux police offer deviant Android return from exile

    Linux kernel maintainers have offered Google three ways of returning Android into their good graces.

    Google’s options for re-admission to the kernel are: put the stubs of Android’s wait locks into the main kernel, introduce Android’s wait locks as PMQOS constraints, or adopt a patch written by a Linux kernel maintainer that would re-implement wait locks in a “socially acceptable way”.

  • Graphics Stack

    • NVIDIA’s Oldest Legacy Driver Will Not Gain New Support

      A few days back there was the release of two updated NVIDIA legacy drivers for Linux, but only their newest legacy driver (they have three different legacy drivers at present) gained support for X.Org Server 1.8. This support though is needed for the older NVIDIA drivers to operate on newer Linux distributions like Fedora 13 and openSUSE 11.3. On this Sunday evening we have now confirmation from NVIDIA that they have no plans on providing xorg-server 1.8 support for their oldest legacy driver.

07.21.10

Links 21/7/2010: Environment, Copyrights, and ACTA Backlash

Posted in News Roundup at 6:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Leftovers

  • Ready or Not: Your Network is Moving to IPv6
  • The Web Means the End of Forgetting

    Four years ago, Stacy Snyder, then a 25-year-old teacher in training at Conestoga Valley High School in Lancaster, Pa., posted a photo on her MySpace page that showed her at a party wearing a pirate hat and drinking from a plastic cup, with the caption “Drunken Pirate.” After discovering the page, her supervisor at the high school told her the photo was “unprofessional,” and the dean of Millersville University School of Education, where Snyder was enrolled, said she was promoting drinking in virtual view of her under-age students. As a result, days before Snyder’s scheduled graduation, the university denied her a teaching degree.

  • An Open Source 8-Bit Computer to Save the World

    At a recent local LUG I regularly attend, Braddock Gaskill gave a wonderful presentation on an open source 8-bit computer he had created. This was his first public debut of the device and every person in attendance was enthralled. Later, we met over coffee since I wanted to let him know (and ask if it was ok) that I thought his device would make for a great piece for Linux Journal. Braddock agreed and we started to chat about both the Humane Reader & Humane PC.

  • Environment

    • China’s search for greener values

      JW: Looking for a solution to the predicament we are in, of living unsustainably, the importance of values comes up again and again. The focus in China is mainly on science and technology, on hardware – on things that if you drop them will hurt your toe. The importance of values hasn’t really kicked in, but it’s absolutely essential. Where do you get these values? Clearly western values haven’t stopped the west from screwing up the environment. So, it’s worth looking to China’s philosophical and cultural roots.

  • Copyrights

    • Prof. Bently et al Concluding the History of Copyright

      If you need some good reading whilst lazing on the veranda of your summer villa, look no further than Privilege and Property – Essays on the History of Copyright

      Edited by Ronan Deazley, Martin Kretschmer and Lionel Bently, it’s bound (or not) to be a stimulating intellectual work.

      [...]

      It’s time someone noticed the nails keeping copyright upright upon its perch.

      Copyright is history. Lawyers can read it and weep.

    • People Aren’t Buying Blank CDs Any More, So Collection Agency Demands Media Levy Expanded To Mobile Phones

      And what makes you think you should automatically get free money from people using these technologies when the content creators you represent fail to adjust or adapt at all? But rather than adapt, Copyswede is just taking the position that more technologies should be taxed and the market should be distorted further. The plan is to tax mobile phones 100 kronor (about $14), because having the government step in and force people to give you money is, you know, a lot easier than actually having to work for a living.

  • ACTA

    • Netherlands requires renewed openness ACTA (automatic translation)

      The Ministers of Economic Affairs and Justice argue for renewed openness about ACTA trade agreement.

      Resigning ministers Maria van der Hoeven of Economic Affairs (EZ) and Justice Ernst Hirsch Ballin are disappointed that the negotiations on trade treaty ACTA remain behind closed doors.

Clip of the Day

CLUG Talk – 27 Nov 2007 – AGM: Compiz-Fusion-Beryl-BURN! (2007)


Links: Apache Software Foundation Board Members, Mozilla Bug Bounty, Governments Approach Free Software

Posted in Free/Libre Software, News Roundup at 6:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Apache lands

Summary: Gathering of some Free software and Open Source news

Free Software/Open Source

  • Top 10 open source alternatives

    We run down the 10 best open source alternatives to the business software we use every day.

    Running a business can be costly at the best of times, so we’ve delved into the open source world and plucked out some great alternatives to those heavyweight proprietary applications that we all know and need.

    These applications could prove viable solutions to real business needs and could save you and your organisation money in the process. What’s more, if you’re just starting out these pieces of software could have your business up and running (and earning) a site quicker, not to mention keeping you in the black for longer, which is no mean feat in 2010.

  • New Zealand Open Source Awards 2010 now open for nominations

    The 2010 New Zealand Open Source Awards are now open for nominations at http://www.nzosa.org.nz/.

    This year’s Awards will focus particularly on achievements from over the past two years.

    “There were so many strong nominations for the 2008 event,” said panel chair Don Christie, “that we are keen to hear back from projects that have moved forward in the last years, as well as new initiatives using free and open source solutions.”

  • 25 Awesome Free Vector Clip Arts Made Using Inkscape

    In the field of graphic arts, vector clip art is associated with pre-made images used to represent whatever medium. It is comprised completely of illustrations made using computer software, and it does not contain stock photography.

  • The Apache Software Foundation Announces New Board Members

    The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) is pleased to announce that Shane Curcuru, Doug Cutting, Bertrand Delacretaz, Roy T. Fielding, Jim Jagielski, Sam Ruby, Noirin Shirley, Greg Stein, and Henri Yandell have been elected to serve on the ASF Board of Directors.

  • Mozilla

    • Mozilla raises its bug bounty

      OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE HOUSE Mozilla has upped the bounty it offers to anyone that discovers a bug in its software.

      In a blog post Mozilla said that the evolving threat landscape had lead it to raise its reward to $3,000 in order to “better support constructive security research”.

  • Education

    • How To Get Started with Open Source in K-12

      For K-12 IT directors, the major appeal of open source software (OSS) generally focuses on savings in licensing fees and access to software that would not otherwise be affordable. Many also are finding that OSS simply is the best solution for their school districts–even compared to commercial versions.

      IT directors with OSS experience largely have been opportunistic about how they got started. In a series of interviews conducted for THE Journal, three IT directors shared their experiences–the hows and the whys–launching OSS in their districts.

      They have very different stories, but have all learned that the transition to an open source “shop” takes time.

  • BSD

  • Government

    • Open source should target government desktops as Microsoft shunned

      The government’s decision not to renew an agreement with Microsoft for up to 800,000 NHS desktops could be an opportunity for open source suppliers to prove their worth.

      According to an article on IT channel website Microscope.co.uk, the government did not feel the deal, known as an enterprise agreement, which aims to give lower prices in return for group buying was not value for money. It prefers individual NHS Trusts to buy what they want, rather than being forced to be part of an enterprise wide deal.

    • EU: 3.3 million to continue projects on open source and reusable dat

      The European Commission is planning to spend 3.344 million Euro until 2016 to continue the services provided by its projects – such as OSOR.eu and SEMIC.eu – on open source and on electronic data exchange.

      The EC published the budget details last week Thursday for its e-Government project. Apart from the 3.344 million Euro planned for the new platform to provide collaborative services for current Semic.eu and OSOR.eu users, another 8.8 million Euro are foreseen to provide support for existing and future communities around eGovernment in general, including the growing Open Source community on OSOR.eu and the community around interoperablity assets on Semic.eu.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Expanding the Circle?

      Why should the free and open source software community regard their work as a commons? For people focused on building a specific piece of software, the need to label it a “commons” may seem gratuitous. What’s the value? But there are some good reasons for understanding free/open source software as a commons, as I explain in a recent essay published by the FLOSS Roadmap project.

    • Open Source hardware advocates want a hard-core license

      It’s hard to predict how an open source hardware revolution could change consumer electronics. There are very few ideas that stem from complete air — nearly every great new thing has come from modifying something that came before.

  • Programming

    • Adobe Moves All of Its Open Source Projects to Sourceforge

      Adobe has announced that its partnering with Sourceforge to expand its open-source offerings and have more flexibility with the related programs. Basically, all of Adobe’s open-source and standards efforts will be hosted and managed on Sourceforge through the site’s new developer platform. Adobe is actually the first customer of the newly launched platform.

    • Software competition to encourage East African developers

      The US State Department has thrown its weight behind an initiative to promote software development for the good of East African residents.

      The Apps 4 Africa contest was launched earlier this month and aims to encourage developers to produce software that will improve the quality of life for residents of this region.

Links: MeeGo Harmed by Junk Intel/x86 Drivers, OLPC Makes Another Step (Despite Intel Fighting It), Android Grows in Tablets

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Hardware, News Roundup at 5:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Tablets

Summary: Nokia should have stuck with ARM; OLPC with Fedora gets another 75,000-unit order; Tablets prove good for Linux

Devices/Embedded

  • Production Model Boxee Box Finally Shown Off [Boxee Box Open Source Set-Top Box Shows Its Face For The Video Camera]

    If you’ll remember, Google TV has received a considerable amount of attention first when the platform was announced and then again when Logitech showed off the Revue with Google TV set top box. This platform and set-top box will bring with it the ability to search for content wherever you want (Internet, cable, satellite, etc) along with being able to stream content from a networked computer – two things that traditional service provider issued set-top boxes usually do not allow.

  • Nokia/MeeGo

    • Intel Can’t Ship Their Own Driver With Their MeeGo OS

      With the introduction of Intel’s Poulsbo (GMA 500) chipset it marked a point at which Intel’s Linux graphics support was no longer stellar, but as they had outsourced the graphics IP from Imagination Technologies, they could not provide an open-source driver stack like they do with their in-house IGPs. Not only was this Intel Poulsbo Linux driver closed-source, but the level of support was appalling and it was a bloody mess of a situation. The overall situation since has only become worse and even MeeGo (their own Linux OS) will be shipping without Intel’s EMGD driver.

  • Sub-notebooks

    • Govt to procure 75,000 laptops under OLPC scheme

      Authority of the state government has ordered 75,000 laptops under the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) scheme for wide coverage of schools by the mission aims at creating educational opportunities for the world’s poorest children by providing each child with a rugged, low-cost, low-power, connected laptop with content and software designed for collaborative, joyful, self-empowered learning.

  • Tablets

Links: KDE SC News (Including Akademy), Distribution Reviews, and Upside for Red Hat

Posted in GNU/Linux, KDE, News Roundup at 5:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Caution

Summary: News about KDE, new releases, and Red Hat’s healthy state

K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

  • Using KDE4 – Day 1

    It is a bit later than I envisioned, but here it is. Day one of using KDE4 of a seven day series on the Desktop Environment.

    If you are new to my Seven Day Challenges, you can also read through my Gnome Shell or Windows 7 Seven Day series.

  • today’s 30 minute hacks

    I ended up taking two “breaks” during the day today to do “30 minute hacks”. This is where I do something in the codebase that may or may not end up being useful but which I find interesting to try out, keeping the exercise to a length of 30 minutes or less.

  • Dirk Hohndel at Akademy

    At Akademy in Tampere we interviewed Dirk Hohndel, Chief Linux and Open Source Technologist (we would call him ‘dude’) at Intel. He was present representing Intel and checking out what the KDE community is up to. As he sacrificed spending the 4th of July with his family for this, we were anxious to talk to him. Sunday, after the Elegant keynote by Aaron Seigo, we managed to catch him for a chat and first asked him what he thought about the keynote.

Distributions

  • Five distros for “fast” machines

    Not content to just sit back and learn tmux alongside cone, I also spent a little time over the past few days messing with a few other distros, both on this machine and a much faster one.

  • Reviews

    • POLL RESULTS: Best 2010 Linux Distro Release

      Distro Release Votes (%)
      PCLinuxOS 2010.1 137 (31%)
      Linux Mint 9 78 (18%)
      Ubuntu 10.04 (and brethren) 63 (14%)
      OpenSUSE 11.3 47 (10%)
      Fedora 13 20 (4%)
      Arch Linux 2010.05 19 (4%)
      Pardus 2009.2 18 (4%)
      Other 16 (3%)
      Mandriva 2010.1 13 (3%)
      Slackware 13.1 13 (3%)
      Sabayon 5.3 4 (0%)
      CentOS 5.5 2 (0%)

    • Damn Vulnerable Linux – The most vulnerable and exploitable operating system ever!

      Usually, when installing a new operating system the hope is that it’s as up-to-date as possible. After installation there’s bound to be a few updates required, but no more than a few megabytes. Damn Vulnerable Linux is different, it’s shipped in as vulnerable a state as possible.

      The idea behind DVL is to offer an operating system for learning and research for security students. As the DVL website explains:

      Damn Vulnerable Linux (DVL) is everything a good Linux distribution isn’t. Its developers have spent hours stuffing it with broken, ill-configured, outdated, and exploitable software that makes it vulnerable to attacks. DVL isn’t built to run on your desktop – it’s a learning tool for security students.

      [...]

      For general operating system distribution there is an obsession with always shipping the most up-to-date version. It’s a good obsession to have, as for the most part we all want the most current and secure software running on our machines.

    • A week or two with Kongoni GNU/Linux

      Kongoni is billed as a Slackware-based, desktop-oriented GNU/Linux distribution and live CD, with a BSD-style ports tree and a graphical management system. Given that Slackware is the most BSD-like Linux this seems to make sense.

      Having heard good things about FreeBSD, Arch, and Gentoo which come to mind, this sounded intriguing and I decided to give this young project a spin. Kongoni has only had one release out so far, version 1.12.2 released 12/07/2009, a year old by the time you read this. This release was still based on Slackware 12 according to the developer, but has moved up since then via the repository. At the moment it is in sync with Slackware current, I suppose until the new release is out which, going by the kernel 2.6.34 and application versions will be based on Slackware 13.1.

      [...]

      Kongoni definitely has character and I hope it will be able to build a community to sustain it, rather than just the passing curious distro-hopper. Kongoni offers with their base install yet another way of doing things and in particular another way of using Slackware. It also is, not to forget, a Live CD by default, which should strike a chord with people looking for a Slackware based Live CD, particularly as we haven’t heard anything from the Bluewhite64 or the Slax projects in this respect for a while. (The Slax community has been providing unofficial remixes now for a while, but they’re not touching the base.)

    • Mandriva Linux 2010 spring “Farman” Review

      Overall, I’d have to give Mandriva’s “Farman” release a solid eight and a half out of ten. I’ve always been a Mandriva fan since the first time I’ve used it, and it remains to this very day one of the best distros I’ve used. RPM based or not, if you’re starting out with Linux and would like a gentle introduction to how Linux can work smoothly, without using Mint or Ubuntu, Mandriva’s certainly my choice for you. And if you’re more experienced with Linux, Mandriva still has a lot to offer you in terms of customization, stability, and the lightness that comes with their experience in the Linux market. Well done, Mandriva, well done. Once again, you prove that Red Hat can be amazing: it just depends on how you use it.

  • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

  • Red Hat Family

    • Piper Jaffray Reiterates Overweight Rating on Red Hat (RHT)

      Piper Jaffray is out with a research note this morning, where it reiterates its Overweight rating on Red Hat Inc. (NYSE: RHT); it also has a $37.00 price target on the stock.

      The Piper Jaffray analysts said, “We recently interviewed 45 Red Hat partners to assess opinions of RHEV and found that 80% believe RHEV already delivers a TCO that is superior to, or equal with, VMware (NYSE: VMW). Customers appear ready for an open, viable alternative to VMware, as contacts indicate several large VMware customers are taking a very close look at RHEV. Our prior work showed that RHEV can drive 10% of RHT’s bookings in the next 12-24 months, and the current results provide reason for incremental optimism.”

    • More Upside for Red Hat ?

      Shares of Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT) booked a new 52 week high today by trading above $32.52, traders are definitely monitoring Red Hat’s price action to see if this move attracts further buying into the stock.

      Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT) develops and provides open source software and services, including the Red Hat Linux operating system.

    • RedHat Enterprise Linux 6 Beta – I can’t wait

      RHEL 6 is an excellent product. It works great. You have everything. Well, almost everything. Except NTFS support, everything works superbly, without any hitches. RHEL 6 combines modern technology with stability and quality to create a perfect formula. Whether you want this to become your server or your desktop, you have the right tools for the right job. Memory footprint is low, suspend & hibernate works, Wireless works, the choice of programs is well balanced, what could you ask more? And remember, this is only a beta release!

    • Fedora

      • Fedora Board Meeting, 16 July 2010

        Dennis asked, “What do you see as the biggest challenge in your starting weeks/months?”

        Jared replied, “We need to continue to push Fedora development, and to make the Fedora community more inclusive. I’m reminded this week at FUDCon at the barriers to entry that are there, not because we’re trying to be exclusive, but because of language and cultural differences for example… My biggest challenge in the beginning is to find ways to get buy-in from all the parties involved so that we can push with a concerted effort. I’d rather make it a collaborative effort.”

      • Autoten – Install utilities & proprietary codecs under Fedora Linux

        The author of autoten has done a superb job in keeping the application fuss-free & that should be appreciated as nobody wants to wander through menus to get simple things installed. Considering this application will be used by amateurs, there is no way they will get lost or feel intimidated by the huge(complex but informative) homescreen. Autoten gets a highly recommend tag from our side.

  • Canonical/Ubuntu

Links: GNU/Linux Advocacy, Kernel Space News

Posted in GNU/Linux, News Roundup at 5:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Roy Schestowitz at a bridge

Summary: Another large lump of GNU/Linux news items (almost caught up fully by now, still unloading some photos from the trip)

GNU/Linux

  • What Good is it if They Don’t Know it’s Linux?

    Just like Marcel Gagne said, stop apologizing for Linux! He wasn’t talking about “invisible Linux”, but that’s another branch on the same tree. All these businesses who are profiting from Linux and Free/Open Source software are real big on branding and name recognition—until it comes to giving credit to Linux and FOSS. Linux/FOSS are the beneficiaries of considerable corporate support, both in code and money. So why the big hangup over the saying the L-word? Is it shameful? Will the other suits snigger? It doesn’t help when we go all apologetic over things like Flash is a piece of junk, or forget that 64-bit Linux appeared months before 64-bit Windows, which to this day is plagued with problems and compatibility issues, while 64-bit Linux is plagued only by proprietary crapware like Flash, and performs beautifully on everyday systems and doesn’t need elite gurus to install and maintain.

  • How to Make Windows Faster than Linux

    1. Defrag Windows disk drive 3X a day
    Ask any PC expert and they will always tell you that to speed up Windows you have to defrag your hard disk as often as possible. So in order to make Windows really fast (faster than Linux), why not defrag your hard disk three times a day.

    2. Remove anti-virus software
    I know this will make Windows vulnerable to security threats such as viruses, spyware, trojans, fungus (sic), and worms. But since this is all about making Windows faster, we recommend that you remove your anti-virus software because it’s a resource hog and it is one of the key reasons why your desktop is running slow.

    3. Disable Automatic Updates
    This is another bad idea in terms of security, but disabling automatic updates can help Windows gain some speed. Running automatic updates slows down your system as it uses computer resources to constantly check for updates like security patches. The system also regularly (more regular than normal) checks and hunts down those who are using pirated copies of Windows.

  • Open source software. The gateway drug to Linux.

    Some of the best open source software (OSS) around is multiple platform. You can run the exact same software with the same look and feel (I can understand the look part but how do you feel a program? Do a Vulcan mind meld with it?) no matter what operating system you use. Originally, many of these programs were Linux only and were ported to other operating systems due to demand.

    [...]

    Darth is ecstatic. His computer runs much faster, he has the exact same programs as before and he has no virus problems. Luke is also much happier, he now has far less support problems than before and the Deathstar is a much more peaceful place.

    There you have it. A true story on how open source software was a gateway to a new Linux user. Do you have any stories like this? Either leave them in the comments or message me with them and I can put them in special Tales from the Borg ship articles.

  • But we tested it on Linux…

    My how things have changed. When I first became aware of the advantages Linux and more importantly Open Source Software, people would look at me like I had three heads when I mentioned Linux. That was five or six years ago. However, last Tuesday, I had a first. I was at a CLE that involved a web based bill entry system for the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts. My Ubuntu based laptop kept hitting an error screen. I went to the techiest of the techy facilitators and said “I think I know what the problem is.” She said, “What?”. I said, “Well, I’m running Linux.” Without missing a beat, she said, “But we tested it on Linux.”

  • What does it all mean?

    Dell certainly knows about the security facts described above, as does any Linux user. However, the ambivalent policy that Dell keeps undermines its Linux partner, Canonical. I mean, Dell did advertise that Ubuntu was SAFER than Windows but, maybe because of hidden pressure from Redmond, the statement on the Dell site was modified to read “UBUNTU IS SAFE” (read about it here).

    This is interesting because Dell mostly sells computers running Windows. They were saying “Ubuntu is safer than Windows…don’t you want to buy a Windows computer from us? No? Well, there’s always Ubuntu.” Very motivating…

    Dell’s INVISIBLE LINUX discourse is not helping anyone. I thought they had figured it out by now.

    Who are they trying to please…Canonical, Microsoft, or costumers?

  • Down on the farm(ers market) with Linux

    Colonel Panik, my good friend and constant commenter to this blog, asked me to give you all some insights about what we’re finding at the Felton Farmers Market every Tuesday.

    [...]

    There are other things that amaze me: The Google engineer who stopped by the table — “Oh, I’d better know what Linux is.” — and others who work “over the hill,” as we call the Silicon Valley, who would stop with strawberries in hand to take a look at what we had, and take a disk or two to try out. Also, what amazes me is that a lot of youngsters — teens, of course — who have used FOSS and don’t mind spending their time at the table talking about things like “Will GIMP ever have only one window?”

  • Audiocasts/Radio

  • Kernel Space

    • Source diving for sysadmins

      As a system administrator, I work with dozens of large systems every day–Apache, MySQL, Postfix, Dovecot, and the list goes on from there. While I have a good idea of how to configure all of these pieces of software, I’m not intimately familiar with all of their code bases. And every so often, I’ll run into a problem which I can’t configure around.

      When I’m lucky, I can reproduce the bug in a testing environment. I can then drop in arbitrary print statements, recompile with debugging flags, or otherwise modify my application to give me useful data. But all too often, I find that either the bug vanishes when it’s not in my production environment, or it would simply take too much time or resources to even set up a testing deployment. When this happens, I find myself left with no alternative but to sift through the source code of the failing system, hoping to find clues as to the cause of the bug of the day. Doing so is never painless, but over time I’ve developed a set of techniques to make the source diving experience as focused and productive and possible.

    • Keeping things simple: the Linux kernel

      All of the extra kernel modules needed are included on the hard disk as part of the Linux installation (with most of the mainline distributions like Fedora, Ubuntu, SuSE, etc.). This says a lot considering the small footprint needed by Linux compared to more bloated operating systems like Windows, when you consider this is 99% of the needed drivers, whereas Windows only includes the base set of drivers and uses about 2x to 4x the space.

    • Graphics Stack

      • The 3dfx Linux Driver Has Hope & It’s Getting TTM

        Yesterday we reported on the emergence of the 3Dfx Linux DRM/KMS driver that introduces Linux kernel mode-setting support for the decade-old Banshee and Voodoo graphics cards. This work was done by a lone developer, but at this time it doesn’t play well with the 3dfx X.Org DDX driver, which diminished hopes of it entering the mainline kernel. However, it appears there is interest in this driver and that the developer is now working on adding TTM memory management support for these 3dfx PCI/AGP graphics cards.

      • NVIDIA Updates Two Of Their Old Legacy Drivers

        NVIDIA has finally got around to issuing an update to two of their legacy drivers that allows those with old GeForce hardware to run it with newer Linux distributions using X.Org Server 1.8. Beyond the new X Server compatibility, the NVIDIA 173.14.75 pre-release driver update also fixes two bugs. The NVIDIA 96.43.18 legacy update doesn’t bring X.Org Server 1.8 support, but it carries two bug-fixes.

  • Applications

Links 21/7/2010: SEC Runs Away, ACTA Still Abound

Posted in News Roundup at 12:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Leftovers

  • Times loses almost 90% of online readership

    Less than three weeks after the Times paywall went up, data shows a massive decline in web traffic

  • Massachusetts May Be The First To Get A Right To Repair Law

    For quite some time now there have been reports about how carmakers have been forcing car owners to take cars to the dealers for (expensive) repairs, by using special software to diagnose problems in the computer system, and only giving the necessary software to dealers. This is actually one of many nasty consequences of the DMCA’s anti-circumvention rules (pay attention Canada), whereby it should be perfectly legal for anyone you ask to work on your car — but thanks to digital locks placed on your car’s computer by automakers, other mechanics would be breaking the law just to figure out how to get around the locks. Every year for the past decade, there are attempts to pass a national “right to repair” act at the federal level to take care of this, but it never goes anywhere.

  • US Senate Passes ‘Libel Tourism’ Bill

    AFP reports that the US Senate has passed (by a ‘unanimous consent’ voice vote) a bill that prevents US federal courts from recognizing or enforcing a foreign judgment for defamation that is inconsistent with the First Amendment to the US Constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech. If the bill becomes law it will shield US journalists, authors, and publishers from ‘libel tourists’ who file suit in countries where they expect to get the most favorable ruling.

  • Digital Politics

    • Councillor faces inquiry over ‘stupid’ Scientologists tweet

      A COUNCILLOR is facing a disciplinary hearing after calling the Church of Scientology “stupid” in a post on the Twitter website.

      Wales’ public standards watchdog said John Dixon is likely to have breached the code of conduct for local authority members with his short message last year.

      The Church of Scientology, whose followers include entertainers Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Kirsty Allie, made an official complaint after spotting the posting last year.

    • Digital Diplomacy

      It was a Wednesday night in San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood, and Jared Cohen, the youngest member of the State Department’s policy planning staff, and Alec Ross, the first senior adviser for innovation to the secretary of state, were taking their tweeting very seriously. Cohen had spent the day in transit from D.C.; Ross hadn’t eaten anything besides a morning muffin. Yet they were in the mood to share, and dinner could wait. It wasn’t every day they got to tweet about visiting the headquarters of Twitter.

    • Bureaucrats Now Have a Social Network of Their Own in Russia

      It is quite obvious that the social networking boom of the recent years has resulted in abundance of social networks that probably cover all the niches of society. It is quite obvious that in some countries (like Russia where I live) this process is taking longer than it did in the US because all the trends arrive here with a noticeable delay. So while the US has social networks for everything already, in Russia we are now witnessing yet another novelty – a social network intended specifically for state officials.

  • Finance

    • Congress passes financial reform bill

      Congress gave final approval Thursday to the most ambitious overhaul of financial regulation in generations, ending more than a year of wrangling over the shape of the new rules and shifting the government’s focus to the monumental task of implementing them.

    • Tim Geithner’s Ninth Political Life

      In modern American life, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner stands out as amazingly resilient and remarkably lucky – despite presiding over or being deeply involved in a series of political debacles, he has gone from strength to strength. After at least eight improbably bounce backs, he might seem unassailable. But his latest mistake – blocking Elizabeth Warren from heading the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – may well prove politically fatal.

    • Strong earnings from Apple send stock futures up

      Stock futures are headed for a higher opening after Apple and Coca-Cola turned in stronger earnings results.

    • Financial Overhaul Signals Shift on Deregulation

      Congress approved a sweeping expansion of federal financial regulation on Thursday, reflecting a renewed mistrust of financial markets after decades in which Washington stood back from Wall Street with wide-eyed admiration.

    • Will This Stop the Next Financial Armageddon?

      Depending upon who you listened to, the financial reform bill that passed yesterday was lionized by some as the most awesome thing since condoms, or derided by others as totally insufficient to protect us from the indiscretions of happy-go-lucky banks.

    • Congress OKs Wall St. crackdown, consumer guards

      Congress on Thursday passed the stiffest restrictions on banks and Wall Street since the Great Depression, clamping down on lending practices and expanding consumer protections to prevent a repeat of the 2008 meltdown that knocked the economy to its knees.

    • Reform Legislation Does Little to Address Systemic Faults in Banking

      Banks had always coveted the exorbitant fees collected by their “cousins” in the investment banking industry, but the Glass-Steagall Act blocked access to this lucrative capital raising business. The Act, passed during the Great Depression, was created to prevent both styles of banking from destroying one another. Merchant banks, as they were called at the time, helped companies raise capital, but took no deposits. Traditional banks took deposits and made loans. In 1999, a Republican Congress removed the prohibitions of the Act altogether.

    • Banks Should Come Clean on Subpoenas

      Banks often try to emulate the success of Goldman Sachs. Now would be a good time to avoid one of its blunders.

    • Goldman Sachs faces Brazil police probe: report

      Brazil’s federal police are investigating Goldman Sachs Group Inc for the alleged use of insider information in the takeover of pulp company Ripasa by rival Suzano Celulose in 2004, Brazilian newspaper Valor Economico reported on Tuesday.

    • Goldman Sachs On How To Navigate The Slowdown
    • Goldman Sachs, Citigroup Sued Over Subprime Loans

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Citigroup Inc., Morgan Stanley and dozens more bank and brokerages were sued by a Boston area-based fund seeking reimbursement for losses related to subprime loans.

      Cambridge Place Investment Management Inc., founded by ex- Goldman Sachs Group bankers Martin Finegold and Robert Kramer, lost more than $1.2 billion as a result of the banks’ untrue statements, according to a copy of the complaint filed July 9 in state court in Massachusetts.

    • Homes lost to foreclosure on track for 1M in 2010

      Rosalyn Dalebout rents out space in her home to three tenants, has cut off her phone service and canceled her earthquake and life insurance – all to pay her mortgage every month.

    • Frustration and Despair as Job Search Drags On

      Ms. Sadler, who lost her job at an automotive parts plant in October 2008, learned last month that her unemployment insurance had been cut off. She is one of an estimated 2.1 million Americans whose benefits have expired and who are waiting for an end to an impasse that has lasted months in the Senate over extending the payments once more to the long-term unemployed.

    • JPMorgan earns $4.8 billion in 2nd quarter

      JPMorgan Chase & Co. said Thursday its second-quarter net income soared 77 percent to $4.8 billion as a slowdown in losses from failed loans helped offset a difficult spring in trading and investment banking.

    • Goldman Sachs May Be Seeking a Broad SEC Settlement
    • Goldman Settles With S.E.C. for $550 Million

      Goldman Sachs has agreed to pay $550 million to the Securities and Exchange Commission, one of the largest penalties ever paid by a Wall Street firm, to settle charges of securities fraud linked to mortgage investments.

    • Goldman, SEC Discuss Catch-All Settlement

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and the Securities and Exchange Commission recently held discussions about a possible settlement to simultaneously resolve the fraud lawsuit against Goldman and some of the agency’s lower-profile probes of the Wall Street firm’s mortgage department, according to people familiar with the situation.

    • The Men Who Ended Goldman’s War

      LAST Wednesday at around 3 p.m., the Securities and Exchange Commission and Goldman Sachs settled an epic, seismic battle — one waged over whether the storied investment bank defrauded investors in a transaction that regulators said Goldman had built to self-destruct.

    • Threadneedle Appoints Goldman’s Cielinski to Head Fixed Income

      Threadneedle Asset Management Ltd. said it hired Jim Cielinski as head of fixed income from Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

    • Goldman COO: Would Leave If I Could

      As Goldman Sachs (GS) continues to seek a settlement with federal securities over probes into its business practice, people inside the company are bracing a significant change in senior management that goes beyond the possibility of CEO Lloyd Blankfein losing his job, FOX Business has learned.

    • Fabrice Tourre Is Goldman Sachs’s Sacrificial Lamb

      Fabrice Tourre was so loyal to Goldman Sachs. Why wouldn’t he have been? They had been good to him. After the subprime market tanked, his bosses had praised his creation of Abacus, a collection of crappy mortgage securities he had created so that hedge-funder John Paulson could short it, and cemented his status in the firm by giving him a promotion and a raise. So when the SEC sued Goldman for fraud over the deal, and certain embarrassing e-mails Fab had written about it came to light, he believed they would have his back, even after they put him on suspended leave.

    • Goldman Sachs profits fall 82 percent

      Investment giant Goldman Sachs on Tuesday said its profits fell 82 percent in the second quarter of the year against the same period last year.

    • Holding Bankers’ Feet to the Fire

      KUDOS to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, overseer of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the crippled mortgage finance giants. While some in Washington have continued to coddle the big banks even after they drove our economy into the ditch, this agency seems serious about recovering money for taxpayers by holding bad financial actors to account.

    • More Stimulus Despair

      I’ll be frank: the discussion of fiscal stimulus this past year and a half has filled me with despair over the state of the economics profession. If you believe stimulus is a bad idea, fine; but surely the least one could have expected is that opponents would listen, even a bit, to what proponents were saying. In particular, the case for stimulus has always been highly conditional. Fiscal stimulus is what you do only if two conditions are satisfied: high unemployment, so that the proximate risk is deflation, not inflation; and monetary policy constrained by the zero lower bound.

    • Fed in Hot Seat Again on Economic Stimulus

      With unemployment high and inflation low, a question is being asked more often and more loudly: Can and should the Federal Reserve do more to get the economy moving?

    • 3 Auto Dealer Tactics the Overhaul Missed

      Sometime next week, President Obama will finally sign a financial reform bill. Plenty of banks will have to deal with messy new rules, but one big winner in the “spare me from further regulation” sweepstakes was auto dealers.

    • Double Dip Discussion

      Some day growth will pickup again. The debt problems will be with us for some time, but one of the keys for more growth is absorption of excess capacity. New investment is already happening for semiconductor manufacturing (see AMAT and other semi-equipment manufactures, and the WSJ Applied Materials Boosts Revenue Forecast)

    • Is Another Economics Possible?

      “Another World Is Possible” is the slogan of the World Social Forum, an event first convened in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in 2001 as a challenge to the World Economic Forum, the annual gathering of the world’s political and corporate leaders in Davos, Switzerland.

    • CountryWide goes Kafka – a First Person Narrative

      This post is going to be a bit different, at least for me. Generally I like to write things that are more data oriented, and that involve some pictures and figures. But this is a little story that happened to my wife and me, only a few weeks back, and I think it provides a bit of an illustration about how the economy works, or doesn’t, in these post-Housing Bubble days. Its an absurd story, it makes no sense whatsoever, it cannot possibly happen in a civilized country, much less one that calls itself capitalist, but every word is true. So here goes…

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Censorship: Labor’s hidden policy

      Labor’s internet filtering policy isn’t being discussed in the run-up to the election but its impact on Australia is significant.

      Championed by Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, the $30million+ filter is being sold by Labor as an internet block for child pornography, bestiality and extreme pornography with ‘wide ranging support from the Australian public’ and ‘only minimal opposition against’.

    • Anonymity On-line

      We’ve covered Tor in LJ before (see Kyle Rankin’s “Browse the Web without a Trace”, January 2008), but that was some time ago, and this subject seems to be more timely with each passing day. Also, with Tor being at only 0.2.x status, it still qualifies as software in development, so I’m justified in featuring it this month.

    • Julian Assange: Why the world needs WikiLeaks

      The controversial website WikiLeaks collects and posts highly classified documents and video. Founder Julian Assange, who’s reportedly being sought for questioning by US authorities, talks to TED’s Chris Anderson about how the site operates, what it has accomplished — and what drives him. The interview includes graphic footage of a recent US airstrike in Baghdad.

    • Wikileaks’ estranged co-founder becomes a critic (Q&A)

      John Young was one of Wikileaks’ early founders. Now he’s one of the organization’s more prominent critics.

      Young, a 74-year-old architect who lives in Manhattan, publishes a document-leaking Web site called Cryptome.org that predates Wikileaks by over a decade. He’s drawn fire from Microsoft after posting leaked internal documents about police requests, irked the U.K. government for disclosing the names of possible spies, and annoyed Homeland Security by disclosing a review of Democratic National Convention security measures.

    • If you’re beating a “petitioner,” make sure it’s not an official’s wife

      Policemen in Hubei have actually apologized for beating “a petitioner”… because it wasn’t a petitioner at all. Rather, poor Mrs. Chen Yulian, 58, was the wife of a Hubei provincial politics and law committee official who was walking to the gate of the provincial party committee’s office buildings on June 23.

    • Government Plans Act Of Parliament To Evict Brian Haw

      Anti-war protestor and near-permanent fixture across from the Commons, Brian Haw, will be subject to another attempted eviction when the Government rushes through special laws to oust him, according to the Standard.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Net Neutrality is a double edged sword

      I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again Net Neutrality is a double edged sword. Sure I want the Internet to be free and return back to the good ‘ol days, no blocking of torrents or filtering my data.

    • Sony is back – with more DRM

      Digital Restrictions Management consumer control.

      It goes around and around and around and spinning it — again — is Sony which, with BMG, its former partner, injected DRM and rootkit spyware into the computers of people who’d bought some of its music CDs. The software, equally dangerous to users and computers, was hidden on Sony BMG discs, secretly installing itself when buyers played the music.

    • “Universal DRM” renamed UltraViolet, beta starts this fall

      The Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE) is moving forward with a brand name and a beta test for its cloud-based “digital locker” system. The name for the technology will be UltraViolet and the beta test will begin this fall, while the specs and licensing details are expected to be ready by the end of 2010.

  • Copyrights

    • Record labels should make MP3s free, and freely shareable

      A few days ago, with no small amount of glee, Ray Beckerman from the Recording Industry vs The People blog suggested that $16m in legal fees had netted the Recording Industry Association of America less than $400,000 in court judgements against pirates in 2008. (You can see for yourself just how much glee Beckerman felt by reading his post title, which is: “Ha ha ha ha ha. RIAA paid its lawyers more than $16,000,000 in 2008 to recover only $391,000!!!”.)

    • MOG Launches All-You-Can-Eat Music Service For iPhone And Android

      After months of waiting, it’s finally here. Streaming music service MOG has launched its mobile applications for Android and iPhone, giving subscribers unlimited access to its library of 8 million songs, which can be streamed or downloaded over both 3G and WiFi. If you listen to a lot of music, or just like being able to listen to music on-demand without having to sync to your PC, this is definitely worth checking out. Access to the mobile service costs $9.99 a month, but MOG is offering free 3-day trials when you download the apps (no credit card is required).

    • MP3tunes, Roku stream iTunes users’ songs to TVs

      Roku, the set-top box known for streaming Netflix movies from the Web to users’ television sets, has teamed with MP3tunes.com to offer users the ability to stream their iTunes music libraries to their TVs.

    • Appeals Court Reminds Documentary Makers That Facts Are Not Copyrightable

      Two years ago, we wrote about how a court had ruled against a documentary filmmaker who was upset that the producers of the Hollywood film We Are Marshall hadn’t paid them for the story. The documentary filmmakers had made a (what else?) documentary about the story of the football team at Marshall, where a plane crash killed the team, and then the school rebuilt its football program. The Warner Bros. film was about the same story, but as we pointed out at the time, facts aren’t copyrightable, and anyone can make a film based on historical facts. It is true that Hollywood studios often will pay for the “rights” to a story from a newspaper or author, even though they don’t need to secure the “rights” that way. They do so for a variety of reasons, such as getting more in-depth access to the writers for accuracy purposes or just for general endorsement. But there’s no legal requirement to do so.

    • World’s First Pirate ISP Launches In Sweden

      The Swedish Pirate Party, who are at the forefront of anti-copyright lobbying in Sweden, are planning to shake up the country’s ISP market. After taking over the supply of bandwidth to The Pirate Bay, Piratpartiet will now partner in the launch of Pirate ISP, a new broadband service that will offer anonymity to customers and provide financial support to the Party.

    • Admins Of Oldest BitTorrent Site Face Criminal Charges

      Two administrators of Filesoup – the longest standing BitTorrent community – have been charged with conspiracy to infringe copyright for their involvement with the site. The case is the second against UK-based BitTorrent site operators. The first case was brought against the owner of the OiNK BitTorrent tracker, who was later cleared of all charges.

    • ACTA

      • Why Parma Ham May Stand in the Way of ACTA and CETA

        Canada is currently negotiating two major international trade agreements and my weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that while it may seem hard to believe, their successful completion may ultimately depend on the level of protection provided to Parma ham. The Canada – European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) are both facing increasing opposition based on European demands to expand protection for “geographical indications.”

      • ACTA’s Article 2.3, on “Other Remedies”: the July 1, 2010 text

        Article 2.3 of the July 1, 2010 version of the ACTA text provides for “Other Remedies” for infringement. The Japan, Switzerland and EU versions of the text appear to be overreaching, including for example by directly conflicting with explicit TRIPS provisions and provisions in the laws of ACTA negotiating countries, including several European Countries.

      • EU data protection body slams ACTA on fundamental rights
    • Digital Economy (UK)

      • Changes in law ‘could be detrimental to consumers with open Wi-Fi’

        There are “continuing concerns” surrounding open Wi-Fi under the Digital Economy Act, according to Dr Damian Tambini, member of the Communications Consumer Panel and senior lecturer at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

        “This is an area where there could be considerable consumer detriment over the next 12 months,” Dr Tambini said.

Clip of the Day

CLUG Talk – 08 Apr 2008 – DBus and other freedesktop stuff (introducing pyglue) (2008)


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