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06.27.10

Links 27/6/2010: Linux ‘Copter, Droid X

Posted in News Roundup at 6:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Gift of a desktop Part 2

    Take Maddog for example. This man was a system administrator, like me. When he worked for Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), a too-big-to-fail mega corporation, he told everyone that UNIX was dying and “Linux is inevitable!” They laughed at him but since he did a lot of favors for people he had enough gift-economy credits to convince folks to gift a computer to some college kid in Finland. Who was this boy genius who promised to replace the UNIX operating system this DEC computer ran with free software he helped write himself? Linus Tourvalds.
    Maddog could retired with the gift of that one desktop as the feather in his cap. Instead he has dedicated his career to spreading the word about free software since then. Indeed, Linux is International.

  • Linux – The father of open source

    When someone says “open source” a lot of people think about programs with open source code or Linux. Linux was started back in the 90′s by Linus Torvalds. The projected expanded a lot in the years that would follow. It became people’s best choice for the minimal and light operating system that works on nearly every machine. Wonder why the supercomputers run Linux? The main reason is security. The other reason is it’s lightness. In my opinion Linux is the best option for the users at home and work. No I’m not saying that Windows is bad, however Windows with good, really good security tweaking can be secure too.

  • FUD

    • A New Take on FUD

      FUD is often used to discourage people from using Free Software but Rex Djere turns it around. His thesis is that the purveyors of non-Free software are the ones in fear about how their control of people will slip their grasp with exposure to Free Software. Nice.

    • Windows is easy, right?

      It is a well known fact, right? Windows operating system is easy, whereas Linux is a frightening tool for geeks. Whether this is a misconception created by fear and ignorance, a culmination of many years of real life experience sprinkled with some aggressive advertisement or just a buzzword, well, it has yet to be seen – in this article.

      [...]

      Operating systems are geek tools. Software is geeky. Let no one fool you. Nothing short of a revolution will change the software models. We’re still stuck in the 80s mindset of what programs ought to look like and how they should behave. A fraction of the population manages to get along and sometimes on top of this mess, but most people are floundering and drowning in the ocean of binary despair.

  • Desktop

    • Dell Tests Google’s Chrome Operating System on Some Computers

      Dell Inc., the world’s third-largest personal-computer maker, is testing Google Inc.’s Chrome operating system on some computers, a move that might give users an alternative to Microsoft Corp.’s Windows.

      Trials of Chrome OS are being conducted on prototypes of netbook-style devices and tablet computers, Stephen J. Felice, Dell’s consumer and small and medium business president, said in an interview yesterday at Dell’s annual analyst meeting.

  • Applications

  • Devices/Embedded

    • eReaders and the Danger of a Price War

      Last week, Barnes & Noble announced they would cut the price on their wireless Nook eReader, from $259 to $199 ($149 for a new WiFi-only edition.) Many thought this was a good opportunity for the third place contender to gain market share. But within a few hours Amazon beat Barnes & Noble’s price by $10, marking down the Kindle 2 to a mere $189.

    • Linux ‘copter flies in to Blighty

      Geeks will love it too – it runs Linux and Parrot has provided a freely available software development kit for the device.

    • Android

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Students create video-chat program for deaf kids

        Students at the Rochester Institute of Technology created an open, free video chat program for deaf students to use with their One Laptop Per Child computer: “A paper on OVC’s development will be presented to an audience of representatives from all around the world. OVC is also being demonstrated at a conference table throughout the event.”

    • Tablets

      • Microsoft and Tablets

        Microsoft may be left behind by the growth of the tablet market.

        In a few years, Apple has managed to make a space for itself at the center of the smart phone market. While Google’s has joined the fray with the Android operating system more recently, their results so far are impressive and they’re on track to carve out a good market share for themselves.

Free Software/Open Source

  • SaaS

    • The Cloud is a marathon — Marten Mickos, Eucalyptus CEO

      Yesterday at the GigaOM Structure conference here in San Francisco, I ran into Marten Mickos, the recently appointed CEO of Eucalyptus systems. Eucalyptus is one of the key ingredients in the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud that is being certified to run on Dell’s PowerEdge C systems as part of our cloud ISV program.

  • CMS

    • WordPress 3.0 adds better customization

      The open-source content management system WordPress turned seven years old last month. In its lifetime, it has attracted a devout following: More than 28,000 people download WordPress every day, with over 11.4 million active installations, including news outlets and corporate sites.

  • Healthcare

    • Open source and health care already have a history

      Fred Trotter, organizer of the annual OSHealthCon summit, has developed open source software for the health care field for many years. Most recently, he released a new national provider identifier search tool based on publicly available data.

  • Programming

    • Does the world need another programming language?

      What were the motivations for creating Go?

      Rob Pike

      Rob Pike: A couple of years ago, several of us at Google became a little frustrated with the software development process, and particularly using C++ to write large server software. We found that the binaries tended to be much too big. They took too long to compile. And the language itself, which is pretty much the main system software language in the world right now, is a very old language. A lot of the ideas and changes in hardware that have come about in the last couple of decades haven’t had a chance to influence C++. So we sat down with a clean sheet of paper and tried to design a language that would solve the problems that we have: we need to build software quickly, have it run well on modern multi-core hardware and in a network environment, and be a pleasure to use.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Google Counters Apple’s HTML5 Showcase With HTML5Rocks (Yes, It’s Really Called That)

      Earlier this month, Apple unveiled a new site to showcase HTML5. On it, Apple showed off a number of impressive web demos coded using only HTML5 technologies. However, at least on the main page, these demos were restricted to working on only Apple’s Safari web browser. So now Google is countering with its own HTML5 site — called, get this, HTML5Rocks.

    • Google Pushes HTML5 Development

      HTML5 rocks, Google declared this week. The company launched a developer resource site devoted to HTML5 technologies and is calling it HTML5rocks.com

    • Mozilla likes HTML5 over Flash

      Mozilla has joined the chorus in declaring HTML5 as the way of the future.

    • ODF

      • ODF visualization using WebKit

        Today is day 1 of of the OdfKit Hack Week. We wrote a list of things we want to achieve this week. In order to avoid embarrassment, we’ll spare you the details and go straight through to an explanation of how you can use WebKit (or any modern browser) to visualize ODF documents. The general idea is to incorporate the ODF XML into a live HTML document.

      • Last Week in KOffice — Week 24

        Google Summer of Code student Benjamin Port was amazingly productive, making Thorsten Zachmann, his mentor, very happy. Read his blog! Benjamin is working on implementing animation of objects on pages. This is a huge task, since ODF incorporates the SMIL standard for animations, and that’s a big document. Ben implemented support for SMIL duration, translations and keytimes — and fixed crash in page navigation. Another thing Ben committed was a sophisticated HTML export option for presentations.

      • Template based document generation using ODFDOM

Leftovers

  • UK paper requires free Web accounts; traffic plunges

    In the UK, The Times is rolling out its paywall and now demands that anyone intent on reading its content register an account. According to research done by the traffic metrics firm Hitwise, simply demanding registration has already cut into traffic at The Times.

  • We’re suing everybody on Twitter

    At Globe Tech HQ, we are constantly on the lookout for good-news stories. And boy have we found one.

    Regular Globe Tech visitors will have noticed a story on our site today about an important court decision. A group of big banks asked a judge to force a financial news website called The Fly On The Wall (Theflyonthewall.com) to stop posting immediate updates on analyst research from several major banks. TFOTW published its updates so quickly that the big banks often didn’t have time to share the research reports with their clients first. We’re not entirely sure how this happened – do wealthy investors only communicate by carrier pigeon? – but it obviously was a big problem for the banks. Fortunately, however, a judge sided with the banks, issuing an order this March prohibiting TFOTW from issuing such updates for a set period of time following their release by the banks – essentially, the judge imposed a time-delay.

  • Big Blue sues exec for joining Oracle

    IBM is suing Joanne Olsen – a 31-year veteran of the company who used to be general manager of its services division.

    Olsen was tempted away to join Oracle by Larry Ellison after the purchase of Sun Microsystems – which put the two firms in more direct competition.

  • IBM sued over failed virtual PC server projects

    IBM’s Systems and Technology Group finds itself at the center of controversy again, this time as it is being sued by one of its Big Blue’s partners, Devon IT, for allegedly running what the thin client maker calls “a wide-spread Ponzi scheme” over a period of five years.

  • Corruption charges halt two South Africa tech contracts

    South Africa, Africa’s second largest telecommunications market, has become the latest country on the continent to deal with corruption charges regarding technology contracts, moving to cancel deals valued at more than US$552 million.

    [...]

    In Nigeria, Africa’s largest telecom market, the government is trying to root out corruption in supply contracts for the country’s telecom market. Nigerian government officials are alleged to have received more than $21 million in bribes by Siemens officials for supply contracts. Siemens officials have already been slapped by a fine in Germany while former Nigerian government officials are still being investigated by the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over bribery charges.

  • Openmoko WikiReader Device: Wikipedia in Your Pocket

    Many people are dismissive of Wikipedia. For example, back in 2005, as quoted in the Ideas in Action blog, Robert McHenry, a former editor-in-chief of the Encyclopedia Britannica, argued: “Many revisions, corrections, and updates are badly done or false. There is a simple reason for this: Not everyone who believes he knows something about Topic X actually does; and not everyone who believes he can explain Topic X clearly, can.”

  • RISC OS runs on fastest hardware ever

    RISC OS is alive and well and running on the fastest hardware it’s ever been on – and the kit only costs £120. But “kit” is the operative word…

  • Smart ways to ditch your old phone

    Whether they’re waiting in line Thursday for a new iPhone 4 or grabbing other recent smartphone offerings such as the Droid Incredible or Microsoft’s Kin, plenty of folks will be saying goodbye to their old phones in coming days.

    But what to do with that once-trusty piece of pocket technology when it’s replaced by a sleeker, faster, fancier newcomer?

  • Science

  • Security/Aggression

  • Environment

    • Mining shares jump as Australia gets new PM

      New Australian prime minister Julia Gillard, who replaced Kevin Rudd, is seen as more willing to negotiate with mining companies over the controversial tax on so-called “super profits” made by the resources companies.

    • Can cities save our bees?

      The disappearance of bees endangers the beekeeping profession and threatens agriculture and the food supply (according to French scientists from INRA and the CNRS, 35% of world production of fruits, vegetables and oilseeds depends on the activities of the pollinators). Environmentalists and beekeepers, using data gathered by many toxological studies, are fighting against big chemical companies in order to prohibit the use of some products that can be lethal for bees, such as Gaucho and Regent TS.

    • 3 World Water Wins

      Everybody needs water as much as they need air or food. So what happens when a corporation steps in and turns public water into private profit? It can spell disaster in a poor community or a place where clean water is scarce. Ten years ago, Bolivians made headlines when protests by Cochabamba’s people overturned a private water contract that made water rates catastrophically expensive. Since then, people around the world have been fighting to keep water public. From Canadian towns banning wasteful bottled water to cities across France reclaiming privatized water systems, there’s a growing global movement of citizens taking back their water. Here are some key wins.

    • Obama Energy Secretary once said BP was going to save the world
    • Arctic Oil: A Very Crude Idea

      Even now, as the disastrous situation in the temperate waters of the Gulf of Mexico continues, oil companies are still pushing for opening up the Arctic for, oil drilling. Last month the Obama administration commendably postponed the planned exploratory oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean off Alaska, pending further investigation, and a plan to dump 1,200 litres of crude oil as a “test” into Lancaster Sound in the Canadian Arctic has been shelved, following major opposition. Meanwhile, Greenland last week has announced a plan to start drilling in Baffin Bay. My Google Alerts for the word “Arctic” are suddenly full of fossil fuel industry references, much more than this time last year.

    • Don’t mention the spill!

      What do oil and genetically engineered (GE) rice have in common? The ability to get multinationals in a whole lot of trouble, apparently. BP is battling the oil spill in the Gulf and desperately trying to employ some sort of brand damage control that will work – both efforts seem to be doing rather badly.

    • Internal BP document claims Gulf oil gusher jetting up to 100,000 barrels per day
    • India fury over US ‘double standards’ on BP and Bhopal

      Barack Obama’s tough stand on Gulf oil spill contrasts with lack of action on Bhopal, campaigners say

    • Whale cull plan sunk as national delegates fail to agree

      Thousands of whales will continue to be killed each year after international negotiations to redraw whaling rules collapsed following two days of secret talks.

      However, anti-whaling groups hailed the collapse as a success, as it means the ban on whaling – introduced 24 years ago but ignored by some nations – remains.

    • Airspace Activism: Compelling New Art and an Interview with Nelly Ben Hayoun and Dr. Alison J. Williams
    • Just another fish?

      I read a very revealing interview yesterday, with Iceland’s chief whaler. Kristjan Loftsson has merrily defied the global moratorium on commercial whaling for decades and now sits on Iceland’s government delegation to the International Whaling Commission. He is, of course, also big pals with the Japanese and Norwegian delegations.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • ACLU asks South Carolina: Don’t erase voting machine records

      The American Civil Liberties Union has waded into the controversy over South Carolina’s bizarre Democratic primaries last week, which ended with the Senate nomination going to an unknown, unemployed candidate who won more votes than were cast in some counties.

    • Exclusive: Publication of China crackdown memoirs halted

      About 20,000 Chinese-language copies of “The Tiananmen Diary of Li Peng” had initially been scheduled to go on sale in Hong Kong on June 22, but Bao Pu, of New Century Press, stopped the presses on Friday because he did not have copyright ownership.

    • Pakistan scans Google, other sites for blasphemy

      Pakistan will monitor seven major websites, including Google and Yahoo, to block anti-Islamic links and content, an official said Friday. Seventeen lesser-known sites are being blocked outright for alleged blasphemous material.

      The moves follow Pakistan’s temporary ban imposed on Facebook in May that drew both praise and condemnation in a country that has long struggled to figure out how strict a version of Islam it should follow.

      [...]

      Yahoo called Pakistan’s actions disappointing. The company is “founded on the principle that access to information can improve people’s lives,” Yahoo spokeswoman Amber Allman said.

      Microsoft and Amazon didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

    • FTC, Twitter Settle Data Security, Privacy Charges

      Continuing in the privacy vein, Twitter has settled with the Federal Trade Commission regarding privacy charges brought after hackers accessed the San Francisco microblogging service and were able to send phony tweets as well as view tweets that users had marked as private.

    • Twitter Settles FTC Privacy Complaint
    • Wikileaks makes contact with US government

      Whistleblower website Wikileaks has made contact with the US government over claims that an American serviceman is one of its sources.

    • Secretive website WikiLeaks may be posting more U.S. military video

      For a website devoted to exposing secrets, WikiLeaks.org is pretty good at keeping its own.

      Not much is confirmed about exactly who founded it and runs it, who donates money to allow the five or so full-time people and hundreds of volunteers to keep it going, and where it all happens.

    • Coppers admit data cock-up

      RED-FACED KENT COPPERS have said they are taking “remedial action” after the Information Commissioner’s Office found it in breach of the Data Protection Act.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • American Antitrust Institute Submits Comments on Comcast/NBCU Joint Venture to FCC

      The American Antitrust Institute (AAI) today submitted comments to the Federal Communications Commissions regarding the proposed joint venture between Comcast and NBCU. On December 3, 2009, Comcast and GE (parent of NBCU) agreed to pool assets in a joint venture (JV) valued at about $30 billion. Under the JV, GE will have a 49 percent ownership share and Comcast will have a 51 percent share.

    • Corruption: FCC’s closed-door meetings on open Internet

      James from the New America Foundation says, “Following reports that of the FCC is holding closed door meetings for a possible Net Neutrality compromise, their blog disclosed this little tidbit: to the extent stakeholders discuss proposals with Commission staff regarding other approaches outside of the open proceedings at the Commission, the agency’s ex parte disclosure requirements are not applicable.’ How ironic that discussions on the Open Internet have become closed.”

  • Copyrights

    • Researchers Change Tune, Now Say P2P Has Negative Impact

      Two researchers who previously believed that file-sharing had no impact on music sales have now changed their minds.

      In a 2004 paper, Felix Oberholzer-Gee of Harvard Business School and Koleman Strumpf of UNC Chapel Hill (now at the University of Kansas) caused a stir by claiming file-sharing did not have a measurable effect on recorded music sales. In their new paper, however, they find that “no more than 20% of the recent decline in sales is due to sharing.” That happens to be roughly the same conclusion reached in a 2007 Capgemeni study commissioned by a UK music industry working group. In that study, Capgemini concluded that 18% of the value lost to the UK record industry from 2004 to 2007 was the result of digital piracy. The unbundling of the CD was found to be the main culprit behind the loss of value over that time period.

    • ASCAP Files 21 Copyright Suits Against Bars and Clubs

      The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers said on Monday that it had filed copyright suits against 21 bars, nightclubs and restaurants across the country, including Doug’s Burger Bar in Imperial, Mo., and The Vibe in Riverside, Calif.

    • Viacom/YouTube aftermath: Will video sites stop filtering content?

      One question that needs to be asked in the wake of Google’s win over Viacom in the YouTube case is whether Google could have gotten away with doing less about copyrighted content on the video-sharing platform.

      [...]

      “Having tools like filtering helps show the court you are a good actor, but clearly, from a reading of the legislation and from the court decisions, it’s not an obligation,” says Michael Elkin, a partner at Winston & Strawn, who is representing Veoh in an important case testing safe harbor for ISPs before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

    • Tech champion, watchdog heads to Google
    • ACTA

      • Petition: ACTA ‘threatens’ Public Interests

        About 650 people, including 11 members of the European Union Parliament and about 90 intellectual property (IP) professors, have signed a document saying an international IP enforcement agreement being negotiated by the U.S. and 36 other countries “threatens numerous public interests.”

        The document, released by American University’s Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property Wednesday, raises a wide range of concerns about the proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which was negotiated in secret for more than two years before the countries involved released a copy of the text in April.

Clip of the Day

CLUG Talk 09 September 2008 – Making Your Own Linux Distribution (2008)


06.26.10

Links 26/6/2010: HP and Linux, GNOME Shell 2.31.4 is Out

Posted in News Roundup at 7:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Security/Aggression

    • Peace campaigner, 85, classified by police as ‘domestic extremist’

      For John Catt, protest has never been about chaining himself to a railing or blocking a road in an act of civil disobedience. The 85-year-old peace campaigner’s far milder form of dissent typically involves turning up at a demonstration with his daughter, Linda, taking out his sketch pad and drawing the scene.

    • Senator Moves To Form Federal “Cyber-Emergency” Agency

      The President would gain the power to unilaterally declare a national cyber-emergency and order operators of “critical infrastructure” to immediately implement “response plans” as provided for by the act. Those who fail to do so would be subject to fines, while those who comply would be protected from civil liability for any damages they might cause in doing so — government speak for “you can break people’s stuff and they’re just out of luck.”

    • FBI Failed To Break Encryption of Hard Drives
  • Environment

    • Ushahidi tracks the Gulf Oil Spill: Open Source Crowdsourcing at Work

      Together, crowdsourcing and open source are a potent combination especially during possible emergencies. In this case, the Ushahidi based Oil Crisis Map has helped share data across communities and has openly presented the magnitude of the oil spill. Also, it has enabled people on the ground to actively participate in solving this crisis using current and accurate information.

      Ushahidi (Swahili for “testimony”) itself emerged from another emergency – monitoring a disputed Kenyan election in 2007 with a mash-up of eyewitness reports onto a Google map. Today Ushahidi has developers from Kenya (where it started), Ghana, South Africa, Malawi, Netherlands and the US. Ushahidi was also used in Project Vote Report India for India’s 2009 general elections to track election irregularities.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Reporters Without Borders unveils first-ever “Anti-Censorship Shelter”

      Reporters Without Borders today launched the world’s first “Anti-Censorship Shelter” in Paris for use by foreign journalists, bloggers and dissidents who are refugees or just passing through as a place where they can learn how to circumvent Internet censorship, protect their electronic communications and maintain their anonymity online.

  • Copyrights

    • Creative Commons Responds to ASCAP

      Yesterday, we reported that ASCAP said that organizations like Creative Commons were undermining their copyrights. Today, we’ve received an official response from Creative Commons with regards to the letter writing campaign.

      In the same article, we discussed how Creative Commons was, contrary to what ASCAP said, not about undermining anyone elses copyrighted material, but rather, giving artists an option that was not the Public Domain (no rights reserved) nor Copyright (all rights reserved).

      Eric Steuer, a Creative Commons spokesperson, thanked ZeroPaid for the earlier posting as being well-thought out and was happy to respond to ASCAPs letter

Clip of the Day

CLUG Talk 25 August 2009 – Experiences as a Novice Linux User (2009)


Links 26/6/2010: 160,000 Linux-based Android Phones Sold Daily, Thunderbird 3.1 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 8:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Put your knowledge where your mouth is.

    So when I write about Linux I write what I personally know or have researched on. When I write about windows I also write what I personally know or have researched on. My opinions on those are the results of that experience. While there have been many comments posted which do not agree with what I say, they are often quite knowledgeable and show me ways of thinking I hadn’t considered. Other comments, not so much.

    To end this rambling missive why don’t you consider your reasons for liking your preferred operating system and your reasons for hating the other operating system. Is it from years of experience or simply an ignorant reaction from hearsay and peer group pressure? Do you really know your operating system well enough to be able to defend it against slander? Do you know the other operating system to be able to factually put your money where your mouth is?

  • The Stable Triple and Marketing Linux

    The Linux marketplace appears vastly diverse and complicated, but in reality, most of the market is actually very consolidated already in everything but marketing. Red Hat has a very small, intense field around it, mostly encompassing RHEL, Fedora, and CentOS. Oracle Enterprise Linux would also be included, and this will serve as a tidbit for later articles. These systems have a very strong focus on the general business environment: desktops and servers. They are developed with security and reliability in mind. On the other side is the Ubuntu field. This field is vast and diverse. First, there are the Canonical-sponsored Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Edubuntu, Ubuntu Netbook Remix, Ubuntu Studio, and Ubuntu Server edition; then there are the redistributions such as Mint, Mythbuntu, gOS, Goobuntu, and more. In some ways, Debian can even be included in the Ubuntu cloud. Ubuntu is community and “free” focused. It is a place to try the latest and greatest. Ubuntu needs to embrace this expansive, innovative family more fully, promoting a wider Ubuntu brand.

  • The Three Big Problems With GNU/Linux: Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt

    GNU/Linux and FOSS make the proprietors of closed-source software very afraid because the psychological relationship between the end-user and the producer of software is entirely different.

  • Linux: We Now Build Mini ITX Systems with Linux Installed

    I am proud to announce that here at ERA Computers & Consulting (ERACC) we have researched the parts needed to build Mini ITX, Tiny PC, systems and are offering a quote option on our sales site. Each of these Tiny PC systems is built to end-user specification. We build these with or without a hard drive and with or without an operating system.

  • It’s All in the Execution

    It’s a good lesson for anyone who has customers. The first step is figuring out who are your customers? When you’re Microsoft it’s not end-users, but everyone upstream: corporate buyers, resellers, and OEM shops. Actual users are little more than unavoidable nuisances. Microsoft salespeople and marketers cater strictly to the folks who sign the big checks. Their retail marketing is so awful it can’t possibly be effective, but even if it is the folks who sign the checks to Microsoft are not individual retail customers, but the stores they buy from. In any business with this disconnect between purchaser and user, the user goes to the end of the customer service line.

    When you’re a FOSS developer your customers are other developers who want to use or contribute to your code, and end users. It can get even more complicated as artists, documentation writers, distributors, bug finders, testers, and corporate contributors all want to get involved with your project. It can be overwhelming, but at least everyone has a direct stake in the health and success of your project.

  • Enregy Use

    • Linux as a Catalyst for a Smarter Planet

      What do you think about when you read or hear the word “smart” when it is applied to computers? How about a supercomputer? If any machine is smart, a supercomputer is, right?. According to a study released by the University of California at Berkeley in May, 2010, 470 of the 500 fastest supercomputers in the world run Linux, the open source operating system. That’s 91%. Evidently the people who decided to use Linux for these computers were pretty smart too.

      As we think about all the ways where we can work together to create a Smarter Planet, Linux has a very natural role. First, Linux runs on more kinds of hardware than any other operating system. So if we are talking about tying together disparate systems to deliver better, more accurate, and more predictive health care, Linux can power the hardware and software to maintain the information repositories, do the data mining, and perform the analytics. That is, Linux can help provide the intelligence we will need and expect in our complex and sophisticated 21st century systems.

    • Open Source Tools for a Smarter Planet Spread Out

      One of the better open source-focused posts I’ve seen recently was “Linux as a catalyst for a smarter planet,” which included Jean Staten Healy and Bob Sutor of IBM discussing social challenges going on around the globe, and how Linux is being applied to solve problems. Filled with interesting data about how social change will make a place for Linux in the future, it reminded me of some of the many posts on open source tools for humanitarian and social causes that we’ve done. Here, you can find many of these, and some thoughts on Sutor’s and Healy’s presentation.

      [...]

      Sutor and Healy also cite the example of Malta, one of the more densely populated places on the planet. The Maltese National Electricity and Water Utilities is using Linux for a nationwide smart grid for electrical and water service. So what other kinds of tools has the open source community served up for these types of applications?

  • Desktop

  • Audiocasts

  • Ballnux

    • Critics’ Choice: HTC Evo 4G Smartphone Review Roundup

      For several years now, Sprint has been in next-to-last place among U.S. wireless network providers. But that might eventually change if Sprint continues to offer smartphones like the HTC EVO 4G ($200 with a new contract), a well-reviewed Android 2.1 handset boasting several firsts and currently a Sprint exclusive in the U.S.

    • Ars reviews the HTC EVO 4G

      The HTC EVO 4G is arguably one of the most ambitious smartphones ever to ship with Google’s Android mobile operating system. Exclusive to Sprint, the device is one of the first to deliver 4G network connectivity. Its appeal is boosted by impressive hardware specs and a roster of outstanding capabilities, like support for high-definition video capture. It comes loaded with HTC’s unique user interface enhancements and custom applications, which round out its feature set nicely.

  • Graphics Stack

    • Ubuntu Nearing X Server Not Running As Root

      Based upon a recent email to the X.Org developers’ mailing list, Canonical is nearing the point of one of their goals for Ubuntu 10.10 of a rootless X Server, or being able to run the X.Org Server without root privileges.

  • Applications

  • GNOME Desktop

    • When GNOME Met KDE: Q and A With GNOME Foundation Director Stormy Peters

      Last year, the GNOME Foundation began hosting summits for developers alongside another desktop environment community: KDE. “In our meeting with the KDE conference, we’re trying to cooperate in our common goal of providing a free desktop,” said Stormy Peters, executive director of the GNOME Foundation. “So wherever we can agree to use common technology or work on the same thing, we want to do that.

  • Distributions

    • More distros at 150Mhz, both good and bad

      Arch Linux isn’t the only thing I have installed or used on the Mebius, since I brought it home a week ago. I did a few trial runs with other distros and OSes, although not all of them were as successful as archlinux-i586.

      * Debian, oddly enough, mentioned memory errors after a network installation, and refused to boot. Unfortunately I didn’t write down the exact error message, so I don’t recall exactly what the problem was. I plan on trying this again sometime in the near future, mostly because Debian is one of the best start-from-scratch, intermediate level distros out there, and it runs on old, old machines like this.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva pt 2

        Another little thing that Mandriva paid attention to that makes me like it that much more. After reading the comments to the earlier post, I enabled the backports and installed chrome from the backports, checked the flash plugin out of the box and guess what? It just works!

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Seeking Ways To Avoid Channel Conflict With Service Partners

        Red Hat is developing a services strategy for its North America operations that won’t conflict with services offered by the vendor’s channel partners.

        Red Hat is also shooting to increase its percentage of sales that go through the channel to 70 percent from about 60 percent today, although it will likely take a couple of years to get there.

        Those were among the comments offered by Mark Enzweiler, Red Hat vice president of global channel sales, in an interview this week at the Red Hat Summit and JBoss World conference in Boston.

        Red Hat acquired Amentra, a supplier of system integration, business process management and system development services, in March 2008 in a move the company said complements its JBoss middleware. But that created the potential for conflict with Red Hat’s JBoss channel partners, especially in the services-intensive middleware market.

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • Lucid Lynx boot times – 10 seconds, yes or no?

        I started getting mildly interested in boot time performance and benchmarking after I purchased my RD510 laptop and installed four instances of Jaunty on it. Very soon, I learned that the default installation, with no tweaking or modifications, yielded a handsome 18-second boot on the third installed system, located on the slow end of a fairly standard 5,400rpm laptop disk. The results on the first disk were even more encouraging, just 15 seconds. I believed that if my laptop were equipped with a 7,200rpm disk, I would have broken the 10 second barrier.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Nokia/MeeGo

      • 15 Facts You Should Know About MeeGo

        Coming out of Computex, there’s been a lot of momentum for Meego, the Linux-based platform that can power multiple computing devices, including handsets, netbooks, tablets, connected TVs and in-vehicle infotainment systems. Ibrahim Haddad, the Linux Foundation director of technology and alliances, has just published a new article, “An Introduction to the Meego Project.”

    • Android

      • 160,000 Android Phones Sold Daily, Market Nears 70,000 Applications

        Speaking earlier today at the droid X launch, Andy Rubin (Google VP of engineering) said that Android phones are being activated at a rate of 160,000 per day. Yes, that’s almost two activations for every second of the day, every day. What’s even more is impressive is the speed at which the figure grows. Vic Gundotra broke the news at Google I/O last month that the number was at 100,000. Going back a few months to February, we were looking at 60,000 per day.

      • Report: App Developers See More Long-Term Viability in Android, Not iOS

        Take that, along with an average of 160,000 new Android users daily and Google will eclipse iOS as the number one mobile operating system by 2012.

      • Cheap Unlocked Phones

        I have an unlocked Nexus One with a pre-release of Android 2.2 “Froyo”, and I have a T-Mobile mobile data plan from Google; I imagine that, like most big companies, we get a pretty good deal on it. As of now, I’m never paying for Internet in a hotel or airport again.

      • Google’s Android Gaining on Apple via Developers

        Google Inc.’s Android mobile operating system is winning over an important group of allies in its fledgling rivalry with Apple Inc.’s smartphone software: application developers.

        More than half the 2,733 developers surveyed by Appcelerator, a mobile-software tools provider, see Android as having the most long-term potential among operating systems. About 40 percent of respondents said Apple’s iOS would have the best long-term outlook, according to the survey released today.

      • Sprint expects to launch Android 2.2 in near future

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • On Having a successful GNOME event

      How about instead you suggest a set of positive guidelines for speakers in accordance with the mission statement of the GNOME Foundation and the goal of the GNOME project: to create a computing platform for use by the general public that is completely free software.

      Is furthering the development of a Free Software platform the mark of a successful GNOME event? Or is “everyone having fun”?

    • Red Hat Summit and JBoss World Return to Boston in 2011
    • Open Source Cloud Computing: Notes from a Conference

      “The future of Cloud services and integration” conference held today in Rome was another opportunity to share ideas about opportunities and threats emerging from cloud computing. Security vendors (Trend Micro), academic researchers, postal police officers and representatives from IT and IT security associations discussed the topic in depth.

  • Web Browsers

    • The Growing Open-vs.-Proprietary Rift Between Google and Mozilla

      Cade Metz at The Register quotes Mozilla’s vice president of products, Jay Sullivan, as saying that Mozilla has no intent to bundle Firefox with Adobe Flash, as Google has said it will do with Chrome. Instead, Mozilla will pursue web standards, including HTML5. Sullivan tells The Register:

      “These native apps are just little black boxes in a webpage. That’s not something we’re pursuing. We really believe in HTML, and this is where we want to focus.”

    • Mozilla

      • Thunderbird 3.1 is out

        THE MOZILLA FOUNDATION’S open source email client Thunderbird has been updated to version 3.1.

        Mozzarella claims that Thunderchicken is impressively fast and has new ways to search your e-mail. It includes a migration assistant and a download manager in this latest update as well as some bug fixes.

      • Thunderbird 3.1 arrives with new filter bar

        Mozilla Messaging has announced the release of Thunderbird 3.1, a minor update that brings performance improvements, bug fixes, and some new features.

        The most significant enhancement in 3.1 is the new Quick Filter bar, which makes it easy to filter and search the contents of the current folder. It has several icons that you can click to filter for messages that are unread, starred, sent by a contact, or have an attachment. It also has a search box that will allow you to find messages in the current folder.

      • How To Install Mozilla Thunderbird 3.1 (Final) In Ubuntu
      • Why Tabs are on Top in Firefox 4

        In the Firefox 4 nightly builds, and in Firefox 4 Beta 1, we are changing the default tab position so that tabs are on top. This is a preference that users can change by right clicking on any of their toolbars. Moving the default tab position is obviously a significant and to some extent controversial change to the Firefox UI, which is why we made the video above to help explain our rationale.

      • Mozilla Wins The American Business Awards “Most Innovative Company of the Year”

        We are excited to announce that Mozilla won the American Business Awards Stevie Award for Most Innovative Company of the Year (with less than 2,500 employees) in the software category!

  • Healthcare

    • Astronaut Outlines 2010-2011 VistA Challenges at VCM

      Astronaut, LLC chief Ignacio Valdes, MD, MS at the VistA Community Meeting 2010-2011 VistA Community Challenges. “Setting clear, written, measurable goals is nearly always a key ingredient for achieving success. With that in mind I propose that this community sets its goal on 100 new, functioning with real patients and practitioners clinical VistA instances in the private sector in 2010.” He adds that the VistA community its members, entities and vendors is poised to do exactly that.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • You Say Linux, I Say GNU/Linux

      If I have settled on “GNU/Linux”, the reason is not that I agree completely with all that the usage implies and reject all the arguments on the other side. Rather, it indicates that I consider it more accurate than plain “Linux.”

  • Project Releases

    • Lightworks Switches the Lights On

      Apparently I missed the announcement back in April this year that EditShare is to release an Open Source version of their award winning non-linear video editor, Lightworks. Let me say that again; a well known, if not quite industry leading, professional non-linear video editor, as used in a number of Hollywood studios, is to move to an open source distribution model.

    • Virage Logic Releases Toolchains For ARC Processor Cores

      The suite contains the ARC Linux 2.6.30 kernel for the ARC 750D processor, and a GCC 4.2.1 based ARC GNU Toolchain for Virage Logic’s complete range of ARC processor cores. Virage Logic is committed to release regular updates of the ARC Open Source Tool Suites to keep the ARC GNU and Linux tools up to date with the current standards. All of the ARC Open Source tools are available for free download at SourceForge.

Leftovers

  • Army finds problems with IT contracts, records system at Arlington Cemetery

    Arlington National Cemetery officials with limited expertise in federal contracting regulations and scant outside supervision improperly paid millions of dollars to companies that failed to create a digital database of the cemetery’s records.

  • Government to axe hundreds of ‘unnecessary’ websites
  • Regwall cuts The Times’s online readership in half

    Rupert Murdoch’s Times newspaper has instituted a registration wall as a preliminary step toward a full-blown paywall. Readership of the online edition immediately dropped by 50%.

  • Science

  • Security/Aggression

    • ATM security flaws could be a jackpot for hackers

      A security expert has identified flaws in the design of some automated teller machines that make them vulnerable to hackers, who could make the ubiquitous cash dispensers spit out their cash holdings.

    • Fingerprint scans for visitors at day nursery

      Visitors to Bolton Day Nursery will soon find themselves having to undergo fingerprint scanning at the door, while all mobile phones will be banned from the nursery, and no parent will be allowed in without a child collection password.

      Locks and fences will be upgraded, CCTV will be extended and no supplier will be allowed access without identification.

      The £60,000 “supersafe” initiative is in response to parents’ feedback at the Chorley Street Nursery, inside the David Lloyd Leisure Club, about security being their top concern.

    • 4million volunteers forced to undergo Criminal Records Bureau checks

      As many as 4million volunteers have been forced to undergo Criminal Records Bureau checks over the past decade, according to a new report, but many are giving up on their roles because of the red tape involved and the feeling that they are under suspicion.

    • ‘Council must be accountable for covert operations’

      CHANGES to the controversial legislation under which West Berkshire Council carries out covert operations have been introduced.

      At the council’s Executive meeting last Thursday (17) Hilary Cole (Con, Chieveley) outlined a report which covered alterations to the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA), which came into force on April 6, and how it would affect the council.

    • The retention of DNA samples from people without criminal convictions

      Our research highlighted the injustice of the current law on this issue. The removal of such samples is in any case already policy in Scotland, leading to the inequitable situation in which people are treated very differently depending on where they live (or are arrested) in the country.

    • ‘Anti-gang’ noise device ban bid under human rights law

      A device that uses a high pitched irritating noise to disperse teenage gangs should be banned in the UK, according to a report for the Council of Europe.

    • The Curfew: edugame about fighting the surveillance society
    • Now That Booz Allen Scared The Gov’t Into Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars In Contracts, It’s Time To Cash Out

      Of course, that’s good for the firm, but what about its investors? Well, now that it’s scared the government and the public into handing over all this cash, it looks like its investors want to cash out. The company has now announced plans for an IPO so they can walk off with the cash, built off of scaring the public over a supposed threat for which they have little actual evidence. What a deal!

  • Environment

    • BP ‘Reporters’ Give Flowery Accounts of Disaster
    • BP robot accident seriously hampers oil spill containment

      A high-tech effort by BP, to slow the oil gushing from its ruptured wellhead, led to a large accident yesterday that forced the company to remove a vital containment cap for 10 hours.

      Robots, known as remote operated vehicles, were performing multiple operations at the disaster site when one bumped into the ‘top hat’ cap and damaged one of the vents that removes excess fluid, according to the US coastguard.

    • Impeach the Oil-Investing Judge Who Declared Deep Sea Drilling Ban Void

      A federal judge sitting in Louisiana struck down the Obama Administration’s six-month moratorium on new deep water drilling, despite the unfolding disaster in the Gulf of Mexico caused by BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling operation. Who is the unelected man standing in the way of permitting a six-month review of this inherently dangerous activity?

    • Just the Facts on Judge Martin Feldman’s Financial Investments

      Detailed in this article is the recent oil and gas speculation investments, including investments in deep-sea drilling companies, made by the federal judge who blocked the new deep-sea drilling ruling. I recently called for his impeachment in my comments on the financial disclosure reports of Judge Martin Feldman, who struck down the temporary moratorium on new deep-water oil drilling. I based my comments on the financial disclosure reports that had been provided by the Administrative Office (“AO”) of the U.S. Courts, from the Financial Disclosure Office (FDO) of the Article III Judges Division (where I previously served as Deputy Chief). And, I stand by my strong rebuke of the judge.

    • Cheap is Nice, But it’s Not Everything: Natural Gas

      A barrel of oil contains 5.8 million BTU and can be purchased today for $77.00. But in natural gas, using today’s price of $4.80 per million BTU, you can obtain the same quantity of energy for $27.85. This price discount started developing as far back as 2005, but did not reach its current levels until after the deflationary crash of 2008. Natural gas, it should be mentioned, had always carried a small discount to oil owing to the latter’s versatility as a liquid and its greater penetration into industrial society. The present day discount is historic however. Especially with respect to its duration.

    • Oil Gushes and Power Rushes

      Last week, after President Obama pressured BP to create a compensation fund for victims of its oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico, Rep. Joe Barton denounced the arrangement as “a $20 billion shakedown.” The Texas Republican said the fund has “no legal standing” and circumvents the “due process system” for assigning blame and ordering compensation.

    • New Ad Slams Ethanol Tax Credit Give Away to Oil Companies

      Everyone who thinks Big Oil should get $31 billion from U.S. taxpayers, please sign on the dotted line. That’s the message of a new ad running today in Congress Daily sponsored by NRDC, the Union of Concerned Scientists, Friends of the Earth and the Clean Air Task Force. The ad highlights the wastefulness and redundancy of the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC), which amounts to little more than a massive government bribe to oil companies to get them to buy and blend gallons of corn ethanol they are already required to purchase under the Renewable Fuel Standard.

    • ‘Gasland’: HBO Gas-Drilling Film Exposes Water Worries

      NPR’s Ira Flatow recently talked with Joel Fox, “Gasland’s” director who documented his personal investigation of the controversial “fracking” drilling techniques which many homeowners say contaminated their drinking water with dangerous chemicals.

  • Finance

    • Chamber’s “Virtual” March on Washington: Only an Avatar Can Love a Big Bank

      The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has launched what it is calling a virtual march on Washington to oppose financial reforms being considered by Congress this week. With relatively few actual Americans willing to take their summer vacation in D.C. to march in favor of the Big Banks whose gambling broke the economy and whose practices have pillaged the financial security of working people, the Chamber has resorted to urging “avatars,” or computer representations of people, to march on the virtual capital of the U.S.

    • Values, Trust and Reputation in an Increasingly Complex World

      This financial crisis is likely to be one of the major defining events for the Millennial generation. As we have seen in the past, such as with the Great Depression and the Vietnam War, crises of this magnitude have the power to fundamentally reshape society. In particular, they significantly influence the values of young people in their teens and twenties. Over the next few decades, as these young people assume leadership positions in business, government and academia, it will be very interesting to see how it all plays out.

    • Swap ‘Till You Drop

      The goal of the big banks is to kill the Senate derivatives chapte,r and especially the fiduciary responsibility section. “The toxic swaps that are strangling public budgets and forcing drastic cuts to essential services around the country are more painful evidence of why we can’t let wall street and the big banks water down derivatives legislation,” says SEIU’s Steven Lerner.

    • Derivatives Reform Suffers Midnight Mangling

      The lack of progress on separating the taxpayer guarantee from the big bank derivatives trade leaves taxpayers on the hook for a future derivatives crisis. When these crises inevitably occur, they will give new fuel to measures such as that offered by Senators Sherrod Brown(D-Ohio) and Ted Kaufman (D-Delaware) to shrink the size of “too big to fail” institutions so that taxpayers will not have to go down with the Wall Street titans.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Rick Berman’s For-Profit Non-Profits Under the Microscope

      Front group king Rick Berman, who has worked in the shadows for years, is starting to draw closer scrutiny from the IRS, the media and the public for the unique, self-dealing business model he developed to champion for big business. Berman, a former lobbyist, set up six nonprofit organizations with innocuous names like the Center for Consumer Freedom, the American Beverage Institute and the Employment Policies Institute. Despite their nonprofit designation, together these groups provide as much as 70 percent of the revenues of his for-profit enterprise, Berman and Company. The Center for Consumer Freedom, for example, took in $1.5 million in revenues in 2008, of which 93 percent went to Berman and his firm. The American Beverage Institute took in $1.7 million, of which 82 percent went to Berman and his firm. None of his non-profit groups have independent offices or staff, and all of them pay Berman’s for-profit business for services like accounting, copying, writing, operating Web sites, placing opinion-editorials, and bookkeeping, which is managed by Berman’s wife, Dixie Lynn Berman. Rick Berman sits on the boards of his organizations, holds a total of 24 positions within them, and he serves as Executive Director for most of them. Sounds fishy, right?

    • Egg Land’s Worst

      The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has filed a complaint (pdf) with the Federal Trade Commission to stop the country’s largest egg producer, Rose Acre Farms — makers of Eggland’s Best eggs — from making false and misleading statements in its marketing and advertising about how it treats chickens at the company’s farms.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Pakistan scans Google, other sites for blasphemy

      Pakistan will monitor seven major websites, including Google and Yahoo, to block anti-Islamic links and content, an official said Friday. Seventeen lesser-known sites are being blocked outright for alleged blasphemous material.

    • LHC orders blocking of Google, Yahoo, 7 other sites

      The Lahore High Court has directed the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority to immediately block nine websites for publishing and promoting sacrilegious material, and ordered the PTA chairman to appear in the court on June 28, 2010 along with all relevant material.

    • Melbourne man sues Yahoo over search results

      An Australian man is suing search giant Yahoo for defamation, claiming search results on his name made him look like a criminal.

    • Misinformation from the European Parliament press service on SWIFT

      The article is wrong on multiple levels and does not provide a clear track record. I can only recommend to listen to the original LIBE audiovisual records for yourself, in particular to the clear word of Dutch MEP in’t Veld. The press release of the European Parliament is outrageous.

    • The Future of Government Secrecy

      The Wall Street Journal finds that the existence of WikiLeaks and other outlets for classified information is something we must “learn to live with” that will make us “less safe.” The Weekly Standard objects to WikiLeaks because informing the public necessarily leads to informing “our mortal adversaries.” The Weekly Standard contrasted the present situation and the Supreme Court case of New York Times Co. v. United States, in which the court permitted the publication of the infamous Pentagon Papers, a 7,000-page history of America’s involvement in Viet Nam.

    • Hackers Aren’t Only Threat to Privacy

      Sophisticated hackers aren’t the only ones gaining access to sensitive data on the Internet. A large amount of personal information is being left exposed or poorly protected by companies and governments.

      The number of identity-theft victims in the U.S. jumped 12% to 11.1 million in 2009, according to research company Javelin Strategy & Research. Fraud cases reported to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, which is partly run by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, climbed 23% to 336,655 last year.

    • It’s Your Data, It’s Your Bot: It’s Not A Crime

      The amicus brief is a follow-up to one we filed last month in Facebook v. Power Ventures. Facebook claims that Power breaks California criminal law by offering users a tool that aggregates their own information across several social networking sites. For some, it may be a useful way to access various social network information through one interface. The tool also makes it easier for users to export their data out of Facebook. In its suit against Power Ventures, Facebook claims that the tool violates criminal law because Facebook’s terms of service ban users from accessing their information through “automated means.”

    • Citizen Media Law Project, EFF, and Public Citizen Advocate First Amendment Scrutiny in Hot News Cases

      The Citizen Media Law Project, EFF, and Public Citizen have jointly submitted an amicus curiae brief to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, urging the court to apply First Amendment scrutiny to the “hot news misappropriation” doctrine in Barclays Capital, Inc. v. Theflyonthewall.com, Inc. The Harvard Law School Cyberlaw Clinic assisted the coalition in preparing the brief.

    • ACLU Intervenes In Lawsuit To Protect Amazon Users’ Personal Information

      Requests by the North Carolina Department of Revenue (NCDOR) for detailed information about Amazon.com customers are unconstitutional because they violate Internet users’ rights to free speech, anonymity and privacy, according to a complaint filed today by the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation and ACLU of Washington. The ACLU, on behalf of several Amazon.com customers, intervened in an existing lawsuit brought by Amazon to stop NCDOR from collecting personally identifiable information that could be linked to their specific purchases on Amazon.

    • Domino’s Pizza deliverators demand your SSN when you pay with a credit card
  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Smirnoff’s Copyright and Trademark Bullying

      Well apparently Smirnoff didn’t think so, so they threatened the site with a copyright and trademark lawsuit, so it was taken down. The case by Smirnoff is taken apart in Bros Icing Bros – A Case for Copyright Bullying by Overreacting Smirnoff Lawyers by legal non-profit called NewMediaRights, which heroically provides “free legal assistance to bloggers, journalists, and filmmakers getting bullied by companies into taking down their websites.”

    • The Oscars vs. GoDaddy

      The Motion Picture Academy is somewhat infamous for its over-aggressive IP claims around the “Oscar” awards. It’s even sued a blog that was helping to promote the event. Apparently, just suing one website wasn’t enough, so back in May it sued domain registrar GoDaddy for allowing a bunch of domains to be registered.

    • Copyright And The First Amendment: Lack Of Satire Coverage Leads To Stifling Of Speech

      As has been discussed many times in the past, the courts have dealt with the inherent conflict between copyright law and the First Amendment by saying that the two “safety valves” of “fair use” and “the idea/expression dichotomy” helped make sure that speech was not really stifled under copyright law. Of course, there are tons of examples where these “valves” don’t work — and one clear one is the bizarre and still not clearly explained distinction between “parody” and “satire.” Parody is considered a valid fair use defense, while satire is not. The distinction is mostly about whether or not the work in question is “commenting on” the work that it is using (parody) or using the work to comment on something else (satire).

    • Bucky Fuller indicts patents

      I recently saw a play about Buckminster Fuller, an inventor, inveterate writer of mixed obscure and enlightening but wordy prose, and a teacher of considerable renown among his students and the colleges where he taught. That led me to his book Critical Path where he discusses invention and innovation. A quote: “Ideas are easy to come by; reductions to practice is an arduous but inspirationally rewarding matter.”

    • Pork Board Admits It Knows Unicorns Don’t Exist, But Claims It Doesn’t Matter

      We, along with a bunch of other sites, recently discussed the hilarious situation where the National Pork Board sent a 12 page cease-and-desist letter to ThinkGeek for its April Fool’s joke about “unicorn meat,” which it jokingly called “the new white meat” (not even “the other white meat” — which is the National Pork Board’s soon to be changed trademarked slogan). Se7ensamurai writes in to point out the National Pork Board is now defending its decision to send the letter, saying:

      “We certainly understand that unicorns don’t exist,” said Ceci Snyder, vice president of marketing for the National Pork Board. “Yes, it’s funny. But if you don’t respond, you are opening your trademark up to challenges.”

    • ASCAP Declares War on Free Culture

      The free culture movement is abuzz today over news that ASCAP has requested their members to fight organizations like Creative Commons, Public Knowledge and the Electronic Frontier Foundation over what it claims as an effort to undermine copyright.

    • Copyrights

      • Hollywood faces new piracy threat

        Consumers downloading free pirated movies are no longer Hollywood’s worst nightmare, but that’s only because of a new, more dreaded menace: cheap, and equally illegal, subscription services.

        Foreign, often mob-run, businesses aggregate illegally obtained movies into “cyberlockers” similar to Internet storage sites used by individual consumers to squirrel away pirated video. But the for-profit version of this phenom has spawned an array of sophisticated and seemingly reputable sites selling unlimited digital movie files for as little as $5 a month.

      • A Timeline Of How The Entertainment Industry Made The File Sharing Issue Much Worse For Itself

        Along those lines, techflaws.org points us to a German publication’s coverage of the same Huntsberry talk, and it’s interesting that The Hollywood Reporter version of the story appears to have conveniently left out the part where Huntsberry blames Google for all of this (that’s a Google translation of the original). In that one, he calls Google the “biggest leech.” Of course, the courts recently shot down that claim, but it looks like Viacom and its subsidiaries are sticking to the claim.

      • Appeals Court: Public Domain Only Exists At The Whim Of Congress Which Can Take It Away Anytime It Wishes

        A disappointing decision today from a Federal Appeals Court which held that Congress has the power to take works out of the public domain in order to satisfy international treaties.

      • IFPI DMCA (Copyright) Complaint to Google
      • The US Copyright Group To Reveal Their Technology

        Although the US Copyright Group do not need the information supplied as the technology is being used to collect information on anonymous IP addresses, the requests are also not unreasonable. The contract information however, is unreasonable and will not be forwarded as the private nature of any agreements we have are bound by privacy laws, something the US Copyright Group should already be aware of. We know a number of our clients do not wish to disclose their personal information any further than it has already been disclosed. However, we hope that at least one client agrees or new clients approach us providing the information required by the US Copyright Group and thus allowing us to fully test the technology used by them.

      • As The RIAA Lobbies For More Royalties For Itself, It’s Fighting (And Losing) Over Having To Pay Royalties To Songwriters

        The RIAA is in the middle of a big fight for new royalties (i.e., a performance rights tax) on songs played on the radio, going on and on about how anyone against those fees are “stealing” from them. Yet, when it comes to the royalties that RIAA members have to pay to others, suddenly those are worth fighting against. As you hopefully know, there are a few different copyrights related to music. There’s the copyright on the recording itself, which is usually held by the record label. But there is also the copyright on the song or composition, which can be held by a music publisher or the songwriter.

      • US goes after movie pirates in Estonia, counterfeiters in Tanzania

        All this got us wondering, though: what’s the government already doing about this stuff? Turns out the US was all over the world in the last year, spending tax dollars on IP enforcement in all sorts of ways.

      • Viacom In Denial Over Court Smackdown In YouTube Case

        It’s also frustrating that some reporters covering this story also seem to be taking the same position, saying that this ruling is “a big blow for traditional copyright laws.” It is not. Not even close. This ruling does not change traditional copyright laws in the slightest, and is entirely consistent with numerous previous rulings (all cited in the case). All this ruling concerns is who is liable for infringement: the user who uploads infringing material, or the platform provider who hosts it. The folks who crafted the DMCA made it clear that liability belonged squarely on the shoulders of those who did the uploading, and the court agreed.

      • Mick Jagger: Artists Really Only Made Money Selling Music For About 25 Years

        Now, I don’t think that’s entirely accurate on a few points. He’s right that labels didn’t pay artists, or often found creative accounting ways not to pay artists. But he’s also wrong that “everyone made money” during those 25 years. Only a small percentage of artists actually made money during those years. There were a few that were heavily promoted by the labels and became rock stars, like Jagger. Other artists never made much at all.

      • Will Viacom/YouTube Ruling Lead To More Takedowns And Fewer Fair Use Reviews?

        The THREsq story does make one point at the end that’s a little more interesting. It suggests that those of us cheering on this ruling may now be disappointed because this ruling might lead to more bogus takedowns. Basically, the judge pointed out that Google’s quick response in taking down content as soon as it received takedown notices helped give it safe harbor protections.

    • ACTA

      • ACTA: International ‘three strikes’, surveillance and worse

        Tensions over ACTA are rising as the next round of negotiations are about to take place, in Switzerland next week.

      • Leaked ACTA document reveals push for criminal sanctions

        A leaked document published by French advocacy group La Quadrature du Net shows that European Union member states are pushing for criminal sanctions to be added to the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) on copyright infringement.

      • EU secretly pushing to put kids in jail for sharing music: ACTA leak

        More leaks from behind the scenes at the secretive Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement negotiations: the EU is pushing for criminal sanctions for non-commercial copyright infringement. That means putting kids in jail for trading music with one another.

      • The ACTA treaty is an evil thing

        IF THE WORLD adopts the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) treaty it will become a deeply unpleasant place to live, a bunch of top academics have warned.

        Politicians are pushing for the ACTA treaty, which was negotiated in secret, to be widely adopted across the world, handing over control of law enforcement to the entertainment industry. America in particular is pushing the adoption of the treaty as US politicians pander to Big Content.

      • ACTION ALERT: Tell the Obama Administration What You Think of ACTA

        The Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement continues to roll along, with negotiations taking place in Switzerland in the coming weeks. Rumor has it that these negotiations might be bringing us to a finalized ACTA soon, despite protests from public interest groups, technology companies, and legislators around the world that its ham-fisted approach to enforcement can do grave harm to consumers, innovation, communication, and can even make it harder for lifesaving medications to reach populations in need.

      • Digital legislation a threat to creative industry

        Doctoral research into media education and media literacy at the University of Leicester has highlighted how increased legislative control on use of digital content could stifle future creativity.

        The Digital Economy Act 2010 alongside further domestic and global legislation, not least the ongoing ‘Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)’, combines to constitute a very hard line against any form of perceived copyright infringement.

      • ACTA: Sign for your Rights

Clip of the Day

CLUG Talk 09 July 2009 – Puppet (2009)


06.25.10

Links 25/6/2010: Raves About X-Plane, MeeGo Milestone Next Week

Posted in News Roundup at 5:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The Bizarre Cathedral – 74
  • Desktop

    • GNU/Linux is More Than Good Enough in Education

      My high school just did reports using word-processing documents file-shared and write-locked. I don’t think we had a single collision amongs four teachers and all their students’ reports. Some teachers used GNU/Linux and some used that other OS. It all worked. Indeed the simpler interface of FLOSS apps tends to be easier for students to learn which lowers the overhead of introducing them to particular apps.

  • Applications

  • Games

    • X-Plane Follow-up

      During the past few weeks I’ve continued to work on getting X-Plane to function well on my Core i7 Ubuntu 10.04 box . It has been a long journey, and I’ve learned many things. As of now, I have my joystick hat button working with Jhat, and I have frame rates that vary from 30 to 60 fps while I’m flying.

    • X-Plane as a RC Flight Simulator

      I’ve recently switched entirely to Ubuntu Linux as my primary operating system. Phoenix Flight Simulator has been my primary sim for the last few years, and it only runs under Windows. This got me searching for a solution to a very big problem. In the meantime, I’d been looking for a replacement to Flight Sim-X for Linux, and that is when I found X-Plane.

      As far as flight simulators go, X-plane is pretty far advanced. However, for an RC fligh simulator it still lacks a few things. I tried a trainer, and a 3d
      airplane,

  • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

    • Details that sometimes do matter

      Seeing that 4.4′s KDM had no support for differently sized wallpapers, I was about to submit a copy of Plasma’s code there when I noticed that trunk has some code for it. Of course, different from the rest again. Also, the login sequence is basically just lucky to be so smooth. The splashscreen is supposed to stay visible until Plasma is ready with its wallpapers and panel layout. And there is code in KSMServer to ensure this. And Plasma uses it. Yet it’s apparently not used properly – during the first login, when there is more setup to be done during login, it’s perfectly possible to see how the panels are set up.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat CEO Predicts VMware Will Suffer Sun’s Fate

        As Red Hat launches a cloud strategy and inks a deeper virtualization partnership with Cisco Systems, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst has a cautionary message for VMware partners. Indeed, Whitehurst claims VMware over the next few years will suffer the same fate as Sun Microsystems. Admittedly, he didn’t use those “exact” words — but draw your own conclusions based on this report…

    • Ubuntu Variants

      • Jolicloud 1.0 netbook OS to include touchscreen support

        The Jolicloud developers have confirmed that the upcoming major 1.0 release of their operating system will include support for some touchscreen displays out of the box. The developers say that Jolicloud 1.0 will also include a new HTML5 interface and launcher.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Chumby, the Next Generation

      If you’re unfamiliar with the Chumby, you might want to go back to the May 2008 issue of Linux Journal. Daniel Bartholomew showed us all about the cuddly little gadget and explained why we might want one of our very own. The folks over at www.chumby.com still sell the original Chumby device, but they’ve come out with a new model, the Chumby One. I’m rather fond of the numbering scheme they chose, because that would mean the original Chumby is number zero. If the next model is the Chumby 10, they will get extra geek points!

      How does the new revision stack up? Quite frankly, it’s great. Although it may have lost the rounded edges and squishy case, the Chumby One adds some welcome features:

      * A dedicated volume knob, for quick-and-simple volume control.
      * Rechargeable battery for Chumby uninterrupted mobility (battery not included).
      * FM radio.
      * Beefed-up CPU (454MHz).

    • MontaVista spins Linux development platform for Cortex-A9

      MontaVista Software, LLC, announced the availability of what’s claimed to be the first commercial Linux distribution and toolchain optimized for ARM Cortex-A9 processors. Offered as a market specific distribution (MSD) package for MontaVista Linux 6 (MVL6), the software includes a toolchain optimized for the multicore-enabled Cortex-A9 architecture, says the Cavium subsidiary.

    • Phones

      • Palm still designing new phones, despite HP’s doubts,

        HP wants the operating system, but is mainly focused on emerging device formats such as web-enabled printers and tablets, is the message from within the larger firm. But until the deal is finalized, expected in late July, Palm insiders say the company is not giving up on its key market and is developing new devices as well as an OS upgrade.

      • Nokia/MeeGo

Free Software/Open Source

  • Rockbox 3.6 and beyond

    Rockbox has been chugging along for years offering an open source firmware replacement for MP3 players. But how relevant is a firmware replacement for a type of device that’s slowly going extinct? With the release of Rockbox 3.6 on June 3, now is a good time to check in on the state of Rockbox and the future of the project.

  • Events

    • Mark Shuttleworth at LinuxTag

      Mark described his (and Ubuntu’s) job as taking the great work done by the development community and getting it out there where people can use it. There has been a lot of progress on the development front, resulting in a great deal of top-quality software. But that’s not where the job stops; getting that software to users, Mark says, is “a whole new level of awesome.” Achieving this new level is his objective.

    • SCALE moves to larger venue starting in 2011

      In order to accommodate its steady growth over the past few years, the Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE) will move to its new home, the Hilton Los Angeles Airport, starting with SCALE 9X in 2011

    • Save the Date: MeeGo Conference 2010 in November

      It’s time to block your calendar and request approval to travel – the MeeGo Conference has been scheduled for November 15 – 17, 2010 at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland. This is the annual conference for MeeGo developers, OSVs, OEMs, other integrators, and MeeGo project contributors.

  • SaaS

  • Openness

    • JCDL 2010 Keynote
    • Government Transparency

      • Gov 2.0 Down Under: Australia and open government
      • Development of the UK Government Licensing Framework

        The UK Government is developing the next generation of its licensing framework for public sector information. Building on the approach tested for data.gov.uk, part of the new framework is a machine-readable licence suitable for making central government Crown copyright as well as information and data from local government and the wider public sector available for re-use more easily. The key features are that the new licence will be: non-transactional, in that re-users do not need to obtain individual permission for re-use; free, in that there is no charge for the licence; and it will promote innovation and openness by allowing the re-use and re-purposing of a broad range of public sector information. In assembling this solution, the Government looked at the Creative Commons and Open Data Commons models, and anticipates a high degree of interoperability between these licences.

      • Open Economics: Inspiring confidence through transparency

Leftovers

  • Google seeks interwebs speed boost with TCP tweak

    Google vice president of engineering Urs Hölzle has warned that unless we update the internet’s underlying protocols, any improvements to network bandwidth will be wasted.

  • Science

    • ‘Biggest thing in farming for 10,000 years on horizon’

      Agro-boffins in America say that mankind could be on the verge of the “biggest agricultural breakthrough in 10,000 years”, as researchers close in on “perennial grains”.

      At the moment, most grain grown around the world has to be replanted after every crop. Farming so-called “annual” grain of this sort consumes a lot of resources and is hard on the land, which is especially worrying as half the world’s population lives off farmland which could easily be rendered unproductive by intensive annual grain harvests.

    • FDA Nixes Coffee as an Aphrodisiac

      The FDA warned consumers that Magic Power Coffee marketed as an aphrodisiac could have dangerous side effects.

  • Security/Aggression

    • FBI says new phone scam targets your bank account

      The FBI is warning consumers to be on the alert for scammers who tie up their phone lines while emptying their bank accounts.

      These “telephone denial-of-service” attacks are similar to ones that have been used by hackers for years to crash websites by flooding them with Internet traffic. But high-tech criminals are now using automated dialing programs and multiple accounts to overwhelm the phone lines of unsuspecting consumers and small- and medium-sized businesses.

    • G20 Summit cops get police-state powers

      Fortress city Toronto is under even fiercer police lockdown pending the arrival of guests to Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper’s billion-dollar G20 party.

      Security forces already have potentially lethal weapons such as the ARWEN anti-riot rifle with which to protect the likes of US president Barack Obama.

    • Protecting cyberspace comes at a cost

      A bill before the U.S. Senate would give the president power to declare a “national cyber emergency.” Apparently, such an emergency would require that the “owner or operator of covered critical infrastructure…immediately comply with any emergency measure or action.”

  • Environment

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • EU Panel Rejects Opt-Out For Online Behavioral Advertising

      The European Union’s data protection authorities released an opinion Thursday declaring that online advertisers who seek to target ads at consumers by tracking their surfing habits must obtain consumer consent before engaging in such practices.

    • Original ‘Echelon’ secret UK-US spookery treaty published

      Old news in the world of surveillance and spookery today, as the original 1946 secret treaty between the UK and US which set up the famous “Echelon” listening system is finally published.

    • The whistleblower

      THIS month, at least, Daniel Ellsberg’s tale doesn’t seem so extraordinary. Private (formerly specialist) Bradley Manning, a 22-year-old US Army intelligence analyst, is under arrest for leaking confidential video of a 2007 US helicopter strike in Iraq that killed insurgents, civilians and two Reuters journalists, and of the 2009 Granai airstrike that killed up to 140 civilians. Julian Assange, Australian-born founder of the video’s broadcaster, WikiLeaks, is in hiding and believed to be being hunted by the US government.

    • Foreign Correspondent on Wikileaks June 22. 2010 3 of 3
  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Say “No” to Net Neutrality Nuttiness

      I’ll admit it: watching the debates about net neutrality in the US, I’ve always felt rather smug. Not for us sensible UK chappies, I thought, the destruction of what is one of the key properties of the Internet.

      [...]

      I urge you to read the Ofcom discussion paper, and then to make your views known – the consultation closes 9 September, so you have plenty of time (light summer reading?). You can either use the online form, or, for longer responses, send it to traffic.management@ofcom.org.uk. I aim to do the latter: when I’ve written my thoughts on the issues raised by Oftel, I’ll post them here.

  • Copyrights

    • Facebook Uses BitTorrent, and They Love It

      BitTorrent is the ideal way to transfer large files to thousands of locations in a short period of time. This doesn’t only apply to movies and music that are downloaded by the average BitTorrent user, companies can benefit from it as well. With help from BitTorrent, Facebook can now push hundreds of megabytes of new code to all servers worldwide in just a minute.

Clip of the Day

CLUG Talk – 24 June 2008 – A review of working with technology in Central and Western Africa (2008)


Links 25/6/2010: Distro Comparisons

Posted in News Roundup at 4:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Audiocasts

  • Artwork

  • Instructionals

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • Javascript DataEngines and Runners

        With KDE SC 4.4, we put a fair amount of work into Javascript Plasmoid support. This has been extended a bit further in 4.5. Javascript has also blossomed as a runtime management tool for Plasma Desktop and Plasma Netbook, both of which support using Javascript for first-run layouts and configuration updates. Plasma Desktop also allows you to use Javascript for templated layouts and provides an interactive console for messing about with these things, features that hopefully will extend to other Plasma workspaces such as Netbook in upcoming releases.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Glippy – Simple Clipboard Manager with Image Support

        Clip-board managers are useful tools for users who copy-and-paste frequently or wish to copy something but use it again later. The ever-expanding resource that is Wikipedia gives two main tasks that clipboard managers such as Glippy aim to do: -

        * to store data copied to clipboard, so it can be pasted after closing the host application of the data copied, and
        * to make multiple clips from the history available, whereas most system-native clipboards overwrite one clip with the next.

      • In better news

        The GNOME Foundation released their conference speaker guidelines today. This is an important step not just in helping speakers know what’s acceptable, but also in helping audience members understand in advance what the community is likely to find objectionable and ensure that they can feel comfortable in raising concerns.

  • Distributions

    • A Five-Way Linux Distribution Comparison In 2010

      With many Linux distributions receiving major updates in recent weeks and months we have carried out a five-way Linux distribution comparison of openSUSE, Ubuntu, Fedora, PCLinuxOS, and Arch Linux. We have quite a number of tests comparing the 32-bit performance of these popular Linux distributions on older PC hardware.

      Our test system was a Lenovo ThinkPad T60 notebook with an Intel Core Duo T2400 (1.83GHz dual-core) CPU, 1GB of system memory, an 80GB Hitachi HTS541080G9SA00 SATA HDD, and ATI Radeon Mobility X1400 graphics. Below are some of the key software components for the different distributions that were tested in this article.

    • The Reg Guide to Linux, part 3

      Linux has changed almost beyond recognition since version 1.0 in 1994 and Ubuntu is about as polished and professional as it gets. It’s approaching the level of polish of Mac OS X, is faster and easier to install than Windows, includes a whole suite of apps and offers tens of thousands more, runs on cheap commodity hardware and costs nothing.

      Nobody knows quite how many Ubuntu users there are – it’s not sold or licensed, there’s no registration process and it doesn’t “phone home” and identify itself, so it’s hard to tell. Its creators reckon around 12 million, but then, the number-two distro on Distrowatch, Fedora, claims about twice as many.

    • Break your Ubuntu Addiction: Three Strong Distros

      I consider Simply Mepis to be among the first distro to get it “right” for people looking for a no-hassle, stable experience with a generally consistent environment from release to release.

      At its core, Simply Mepis is created to make things easy to use right out of the box for any Linux skill level. Despite being a KDE-only distro based on Debian, Mepis allows the end user to setup their network, video configuration and other settings from the Simple Mepis “assistants.”

      This is handy when you want to switch from the NVIDIA NV driver to a proprietary driver instead, yet wish to do so safely from a GUI environment.

    • Reviews

      • Ubuntu 10.04 Review

        I am using Ubuntu 10.04 and really enjoying it since I have more programs to choose from then I have had with other versions of Linux.

      • The myth of Arch Linux and the i586

        The most obvious, and among Arch’s Greatest Hits, is the abs tool, which will mirror the current Arch build scripts onto your local system. From there, almost anything is possible, so long as you’re willing to take the time to build things yourself.

    • New Releases

      • Low power Linux: wattOS R2

        The latest release of wattOS is based on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS “Lucid Lynx” and features several advanced power management tools to help users consume less energy for their “daily computing needs”. According to the developers, the latest update has a much faster boot and install time and overall responsiveness is improved. Other changes include replacing the Exaile music player with Rhythmbox and the addition of the F-Spot personal photo management application

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • Introduction to Unity Launcher

        If you are testing our Unity weekly builds, you may have noticed that the Launcher is beginning to show some dramatic changes. We put a lot of effort into designing the Launcher’s deepest details, and those details will take time to surface in the weekly builds, but this post is not only about explaining you how the Launcher will be, but also to explain the rationale behind its design.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Android

      • Intel porting Android to x86 for netbooks and slates

        Google Android is generally aimed at mobile devices with ARM-based processors. But we’ve seen several efforts to bring the software to x86 processors, including the independent Androidx86 project as well as an Acer netbook which dual boots Windows and Google Android.

      • Google Remotely Deletes Android Apps

        Google this week removed two applications from its Android Market, and exercised a feature that lets the company remotely delete the apps from a user’s phones.

        Google did not reveal the names of these apps, and said only that they were “two free applications built by a security researcher for research purposes.”

Free Software/Open Source

  • The Immortality of Open Source Projects

    Think of Sun Microsystems, and what comes to your mind?

    For me? Purple workstations–my first exposure to Sun equipment.

    For others, it might be Solaris. Or Java. There’s a host of things Sun was well-known for before it was acquired by Oracle last year and systematically dismantled to fit within the Oracle ecosystem.

    But I’ll bet middleware was not one of the things you initially recalled. But it’s some of Sun-now-Oracle’s cast-off middleware that may prove to be a huge business for a burgeoning new community, led by some former Sun employees.

    The company is ForgeRock, which made a small splash in the open source scene when it started up this February in Norway, led by Lasse Andresen, former Central & Northern Europe CTO at Sun. The ForgeRock team was later joined by Simon Phipps, former Sun Open Source Officer, member of the Open Source Initiative’s Board of Directors, and (now) Chief Strategy Officer at ForgeRock.

  • Seeks delivers new search engine paradigm

    Google rules the search engine roost today, but upstarts always have their sights (and their sites) set on a share of its success. Seeks, for instance, introduces a new breed of social search engine in which users can collaborate and share their experiences in finding results, instead of keeping that information in the hands of a search engine provider.

  • Events

    • Plasma @ Akademy

      The Plasma team will also be hosting a Plasma Feedback Round Table. This is a session for us to sit around a room with other interested / concerned KDE folk. We will answer the questions those attending have to the best of our abilities (and record the ones we don’t have answers for to do further research on them), and discuss ideas regarding Plasma now and in the future with all in attendance.

    • me @ Akademy
  • Mozilla

    • Mozilla: Our browser will not run native code

      Mozilla vice president of products Jay Sullivan says that unlike Google, the open source outfit has no intention of bundling Firefox with Adobe Flash —– or with a plug-in that runs native code inside the browser. Mozilla, Sullivan says, believes that the future of online applications lies with web standards, including HTML5.

  • Project Releases

    • ownCloud 1.0 is here

      Today we are releasing ownCloud 1.0
      This is the first step of the 1.x series with a planed 1.1 really soon.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • The economics of openDemocracy

      In the language of my discipline, economics, openDemocracy produces a public good. Why? First, because information, analysis, commentary and active engagement with the unfolding story of democracy everywhere across the globe is an essential part of the progress of democracy. Democracy is about self-government, and where can that be without self-understanding about government?

    • Open Data Commons – Attribution License released

      Thanks to everyone for their feedback on the licenses and their help with the project. We can now announce a new license to the Open Data Commons family, the ODC Attribution License (ODC-BY) license. This is a database specific license requiring attribution for databases. This makes ODC-BY similar to the Creative Commons Attribution license, but is built specifically for databases. As a legal tool that only requires attribution, it complies with the Open Knowledge Definition, the Open Knowledge Foundation’s standard around defining the rights behind what something means to be “open”.

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Convenience food changes could save ‘thousands of lives’

      Tens of thousands of lives could be saved if major changes were made to processed and convenience foods, the UK’s leading health watchdog will say today, challenging the government and the food industry to act to improve the nation’s diet.

    • Rats Breathe With Lab-Grown Lungs

      For the first time, an animal has drawn a breath with lungs cultivated in the lab. Although preliminary, the results might eventually lead to replacement lungs for patients.

  • Security/Aggression

  • Environment

    • Sunday Times apologises for false climate story in a ‘correction’

      The Sunday Times carried a rather large “correction” yesterday that, once read alongside the original offending article, amounted to a complete retraction. In fact, it was a giant climbdown.

      In The Sunday Times and the IPCC: Correction, the paper refers to a news page story on 31 January headlined “UN climate panel shamed by bogus rainforest claim” (removed from the Sunday Times site, but available, disgracefully, on this site).

    • BP May Be Burning Sea Turtles Alive

      BP has been using controlled burns to limit the spread of oil in the Gulf of Mexico. In the process they are burning much of what wildlife remains in the area alive. In particular, conservationists say that sea turtles—including the endangered Kemp’s Ridley—are being caught in burns. “Once the turtles are in there, they can’t get out,” Mike Ellis, a boat captain involved in the rescue, told conservation biologist Catherine Craig in an interview.

    • Don’t cry for investors burned by BP. They were warned loud and clear
    • Action – not research – is needed to save our pollinators

      Do we really need to spend £10m on researching why our pollinators are dying out?

      There is no doubt that honeybees, hoverflies, wasps, bumblebees, moths and butterflies are all under threat. Since the 1970s, there has been a 75% decline in butterfly species in the UK, three species of bumblebees are now extinct, and honeybees have been having a pretty hard time for the last few years.

    • Countermeasures/ Mitigation

      In the initial stages of the spill, an estimated 30,000 barrels of oil per day were flowing from the well. In July 1979 the pumping of mud into the well reduced the flow to 20,000 barrels per day, and early in August the pumping of nearly 100,000 steel, iron, and lead balls into the well reduced the flow to 10,000 barrels per day. Mexican authorities also drilled two relief wells into the main well to lower the pressure of the blowout. PEMEX claimed that half of the released oil burned when it reached the surface, a third of it evaporated, and the rest was contained or dispersed.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Journalists Unite to Stop UK Digital Economy Act and ISPs Blocking Legitimate Sites

      The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has said that it will support legal challenges, such as those that could be brought by broadband ISPs like TalkTalk UK, against the recently passed and highly controversial Digital Economy Act (DEA). This is because the new law could be used against websites that publish material of public interest without permission (e.g. Wikileaks).

    • Daniel Ellsberg: Obama Should Release the Garani Massacre Video to the American Public Immediately

      From today’s Democracy Now with Amy Goodman:

      AMY GOODMAN: Are you calling for Wikileaks to post the [Garani massacre] videotape online?

      ELLSBERG: I’d call for President Obama to post that videotape online. Let’s see whether it confirms what his officials and the Bush officials said about it earlier, or what the truth is. Has he seen it himself? He certainly should. He has access to it. And if he does, what excuse would he have for not revealing it? So why is he waiting for Wikileaks to use its sources to decrypt that, when he can just easily release it, as he should have some time ago?

    • Tiananmen Square memoir axed by Hong Kong publisher

      A Hong Kong publisher said today that he had scrapped plans to publish an alleged insider account of the decision-making behind Beijing’s 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown on pro-democracy student protesters.

  • Copyrights

    • Another File-Sharing Case Fails – Join The Revolution Or Perish

      The on-going fight against file-sharing link sites in Spain is turning into a farce. Despite many rulings which state that the sites break no laws, still anti-piracy groups waste their money pursuing them. As yet another site is cleared of wrong doing, a lawyer who speaks out for civil rights on the Internet is clear on the piracy issue – either join the revolution, or perish.

Clip of the Day

CLUG Talk – 26 Mar 2008 – XRandR 1.2: Dynamic display configuration for Linux (2008)


06.24.10

Links 24/6/2010: Cisco-Red Hat Tag Team, Nokia Elevates Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 4:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Africa

    • Implementing A Cost-effective Distance (Online) Learning Program At The University of Liberia

      MOODLE is the acronym for Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment. It is an Open Source Learning Management System (LMS) or a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). MOODLE is provided freely as an Open Source Software under the GPL (GNU Public License).

    • Linux Professional Institute and Government of Tunisia to certify IT graduates

      The Linux Professional Institute (LPI), the world’s premier Linux certification organization (http://www.lpi.org), announced with the Ministry of Communication Technologies of Tunisia (http://www.mincom.tn) a program to train and certify young graduates in Linux and Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). The program was announced during the signing of a partnership agreement in Tunis, Tunisia with Ministry officials and LPI’s affiliate in the region: LPI-Maghreb (http://www.lpi-maghreb.net).

  • Dell

    • Dell backs down on Linux praise

      What is interesting however is that Dell did not kill off the fatal phrase.

      It seems that Dell remains committed to Ubuntu Linux on its laptops and netbooks and will not allow itself to be bullied too much.

      Perhaps Dell sees life in Android, Chrome and Linux after all.

    • Dell hops on Google Chrome OS bandwagon

      Amit Midha, Dell’s president for Greater China and South Asia, told Reuters Monday that Dell wants to be a leader in the “unique innovations” that are coming to market in the next two to three years. Dell is working with Google to see where Chrome and Android fit with the “new form of computing,” he said.

    • Google’s Chrome OS Ventures Into Windows’ Turf

      At this point, though, that’s a big if. “I think Dell is using this mostly as leverage against Microsoft to gain a more favorable OEM contract rather than gearing up to sell a small number of systems to the Microsoft haters of the world,” said Piland.

      Dell wants to be a leader in the “unique innovations” that are coming to market and it’s working with Google to see where Chrome OS and Android fit with the “new form of computing,” Amit Midha, president of Dell’s Greater China and South Asia business, told Reuters Monday.

  • Server

  • Graphics Stack

    • Nvidia Releases a Much Improved Video Driver for Linux

      After many months of hard work, Nvidia finally announced on June 22nd the final and stable version of the 256.x proprietary driver for Nvidia graphics cards. Nvidia 256.35 incorporates lots of fixes and improvements, over previous releases. Unofficial GLX support was also added for a few OpenGL extensions, as well as Thermal Settings reporting improvements, Compiz fixes, many VDPAU improvements, and many more.

  • Instructionals

  • Games

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Slackware Linux 13.1

        The fun doesn’t stop there, though. Go back to the login screen, click the list button at the bottom left of the login window, and you begin to see the advantage of having accepted the defaults on installation, and thus installed almost everything… You can now choose your session type from KDE, Xfce, Fluxbox, Blackbox, FVWM, TWM and more. As I said, if you want to learn about Linux, this is an excellent distribution to use.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fog Computing

      • Results

        • Red Hat Q1: Revenue, EPS Both Up 20%
        • Red Hat’s JBoss adds to earnings increase

          Red Hat’s JBoss middleware is landing big greenfield deals as well successes with established outfits like the NYSE Euronext. Red Hat has said its Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 will be its most ambitious release and designed for virtual, cloud and physical IT environments.

        • Red Hat growth gathering pace again

          As the graph below demonstrates, Red Hat has grown significantly faster than the industry average (as measured by the Information Age index, which collates the revenue growth rates of the sector’s largest suppliers), but like most businesses it saw a severe deceleration in growth during the past two years – from a height of 52% at the start of 2007 down to a low of 11% at the start of last year.

      • Cisco

      • Virtualisation

        • Red Hat combines desktop and server virtualisation

          Red Hat has released a new version of its Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation that integrates desktop and server virtualisation into a single platform, simplifying the management of virtual infrastructures in a single end-to-end solution, according to the firm.

        • Red Hat turns the crank of KVM enterprise virt

          Cloud infrastructure wannabe and Linux juggernaut Red Hat has announced the next rev of its Enterprise Virtualization commercial-grade KVM hypervisor, saying it has qualified it to scale further and also adding the ability to support desktop images as well as server images.

      • Other

        • Executive Spotlight: Gunnar Hellekson of Red Hat U.S. Public Sector

          Like many other IT professionals, Gunnar Hellekson’s interest in computers was born at an early age, but it was not until college he received formal training in the field. While taking engineering classes, Hellekson put his skills and his entrepreneurial side to use and worked as a systems administrator to make some money. Not long after, he took the step to start up a number of Internet companies, doing business-to-business work and web development, eventually leading to the founding of a consulting company focused on helping small and medium-size arts and nonprofits in New York City. About four or five years ago, he traded the Big Apple for the nation’s capital and ended up working at Red Hat U.S. Public Sector as a chief technology strategist.

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu: Harder to Use, or Just Harder to Spell?

        Now, for many FOSS aficionados, the post serves as a bright spot of comic relief in a world otherwise dominated by all-too-real, anti-Linux FUD.

        ” Hahha,” wrote one anonymous reader in the comments on Hoogland’s blog, for example. “One of the most hilarious article on Ubuntu ever.”

        Some were even inspired to continue in the same sarcastic vein: “Ubuntu; why would anyone want to use that?” wrote another anonymous commenter. “Any fool could see that Windows is the best choice. Expensive, proprietary and restrictive is always better than free as in freedom.”

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Next Generation Virtual Platform Simulator Released by Imperas and OVP Initiative Extends Simulation Speed Advantage By 50 Percent

      Highlights of this June 2010 release are the virtual platform simulator OVPsim, which has improved its industry leading performance by 50 percent; fast models of PowerPC processors, and a MIPS-based reference platform under SystemC/TLM-2.0 which boots both Linux and Mentor Graphic’s Nucleus RTOS.

    • MontaVista Software Delivers First Commercial Linux for ARM Cortex(TM)-A9 Processors

      MontaVista(R) Software, LLC, a leader in embedded Linux(R) commercialization, announced the availability of the first commercial Linux distribution and toolchain optimized for the ARM Cortex(TM)-A9 processor. Based on the revolutionary MontaVista Linux 6 (MVL6) approach, it provides a market specific distribution (MSD) and toolchain designed specifically for the Cortex-A9 architecture and provides the perfect starting point for new product designs using the low power, high performance characteristics of the ARM Cortex-A9 processor.

    • Virage Logic Releases Major Update of the Open Source GNU and Linux Toolchains for Its ARC Processor Cores

      Virage Logic Corporation, the semiconductor industry’s trusted IP partner, today announced it is investing in its ARC processor product portfolio by releasing the ARC GNU 2.3 Toolchain for its complete range of ARC processor cores and the ARC Linux 1.3 Operating System for its ARC® 750D processor. The suite contains the ARC Linux 2.6.30 kernel for the ARC 750D processor, and a GCC 4.2.1 based ARC GNU Toolchain for Virage Logic’s complete range of ARC processor cores. Virage Logic is committed to release regular updates of the ARC Open Source Tool Suites to keep the ARC GNU and Linux tools up to date with the current standards. All of the ARC Open Source tools are available for free download at www.SourceForge.com.

    • Nokia/MeeGo

    • Android

      • Android 2.2 hits Nexus One — so who’s next?

        Numerous Nexus One users started receiving Google’s Android 2.2 upgrade over-the-air on their devices Wednesday night. Gauging by users’ reports, the updates appear to be hitting phones all throughout America, on both T-Mobile and AT&T, and on carriers in other countries as well. Users who were not part of the original Nexus One Froyo test group have received the software.

      • Motorola Droid X (Verizon Wireless)
      • Droid X Arrives, and Froyo Goes Open Source!

        The Verizon/Motorola event has kicked off, and the Droid X has been announced. We already knew the Droid X had a 4.3″ display, recorded video at 720p, and had HDMI out capabilities.

      • Google publishes Android 2.2 source code

        In a brief blog post, Google has announced that it has released the entirety of the source code for Froyo, better known as Android 2.2, under an open-source license. The open-source aspect of the release isn’t new — all previous platform iterations have been open-sourced too — but there are a few extra modules in Froyo that have been opened up that had previously been closed-source.

      • Exercising Our Remote Application Removal Feature

        Every now and then, we remove applications from Android Market due to violations of our Android Market Developer Distribution Agreement or Content Policy. In cases where users may have installed a malicious application that poses a threat, we’ve also developed technologies and processes to remotely remove an installed application from devices. If an application is removed in this way, users will receive a notification on their phone.

      • Google Can Remotely Remove Apps From Your Phone
      • Mobile Developer Survey, June 2010

        Apple and Google are now playing chess while everyone else plays catch up. The surge in popularity for developing tablet applications on the two leading OSes, coupled with second tier platforms seeing flat to declining interest, suggests that Google and Apple are moving the battle from phones to a broader, more long-term platform shootout for “anywhere computing.”

        [...]

        Why this is significant: Developers see Apple dominating in every category related to its devices and app store. Yet Android takes top honors for OS capabilities, openness, and, long-term outlook. Despite all of Apple‟s success, developers see that the winner long-term will be the mobile operating system that has the most capabilities and flexibility in scenarios beyond phones.

    • Tablets

      • Linux Tablets to Be Headed in the Near Future

        As a matter of fact, word is that some Linux tablets are headed our way in the near future but they ain’t here yet. And while I think that Linux tablets will do well, it also drives me to expect a lot from them.

        According to Jim Zemlin, the head of the Linux Foundation, it is necessary for mobile Linux vendors to increase their technical investments in order users could benefit Linux devices.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web culture inspires success in ‘real world’

    Online, open source is a movement, and has resulted in wholesale changes to the way in which software is developed.

  • The American Numismatic Society Partners with ByWater Solutions for Koha Support
  • Open Source Jousting
  • Celebrating the best of open-source

    Dr Koray Atalag, the inaugural holder of a fellowship also endowed by the Bedogni family, says while it’s likely the winner will be working in free or open-source software, the term “open systems” was used to take in people who may be working on components of open standards.

    “The spirit of this thing is open source, but it leaves the door open for people in the non-open source world,” Atalag says.

  • [IBM:] Why is Open Computing So Important In The Public Sector?

    Open Computing is already being widely used and saving money. The French Gendarmarie’s migration to an open source desktop has saved millions of Euros. In Italy, children’s hospitals in Tuscany are saving an estimated 1,000 Euros per PC by moving to open source. And the Spanish autonomous region of Extremadura has moved entirely to open standards and open source resulting in claimed savings of 18 million Euros.

  • High-End Visualization the Open Source Way
  • Richard Branson on open source, Twitter and entrepreneurship: The Memeburn interview

    MB: What is your view on the open source movement (free software and web services). Is it anti-business as Microsoft’s Bill Gates has suggested?

    RB: No, it’s not anti-business – it’s actually very pro-business. It’s enabling. It allows more people direct access to the tools and resources they need to succeed, and also gives everyone a sense of ownership as a whole community. As opposed to one corporate body retaining strict ownership and distribution rights which is more crippling to people at the coal face, particularly in times when we all face budget and resource restrictions.

  • Events

    • TransferSummit Conference

      The event will highlight, discuss and explain advantages and issues in open innovation and using Open Source software.

    • TransferSummit – How open changes everything

      Many organisations are beginning to embrace more open and collaborative approaches to innovation. Inspired by the success of open source products such as the Apache web server and the Firefox browser, many multinational companies such as Procter and Gamble, Orange and IBM have made ‘open innovation’ – the sharing of the risks and rewards of the product development process with partners – a top strategic priority.

  • Web Browsers

  • Fog Computing

    • Let’s Deep-Six Facebook and Do Open Source Social Networking Instead – Pro: Evan Prodromou

      In November 2008, Evan Prodromou — founder of identi.ca and CEO and lead developer of StatusNet — published a blog post on autonomo.us in which he argued that we need a distributed model for social networking sites.

    • Eucalyptus (and Fake ‘Open Source’)

      • Open core is not open source

        So let me try to make one thing clear: Open core may be a good business model, but open core is not open source!

      • The Road to Closed Source Software, Eucalyptus

        I can remember the morning of the first keynotes for the MySQL Conference after Sun had acquired MySQL. You have Jonathan Swartz and Rich Green delivering keynotes where the underlying message was “we continue to allow MySQL to run its own business”.

        Why was this?

        Because Marten was going to announce the close sourcing of part of the MySQL Server. For years there were conversations around “if we did XYZ could we take out a critical…”. These conversations were always met with a dead silence. The codebase was neither modular, nor did any of the developers resonate with the message. The backup code had never been designed to be a standalone component so the entire message of “we are close sourcing it” was a delusion. We had no ability to do it.

      • Multi-Tenancy in Cloud Will Dominate, Change Open Source
  • Databases

    • Open-sourced Membase Joins NoSQL Party

      Membase is a simple, fast and elastic data store that is optimized for demanding web applications. The software is based on Memcached, a very popular in-memory caching system. NorthScale was started by the leaders of the Memcached open source project. NorthScale also today announced the availability of the beta version of its NorthScale Membase Server.

    • Membase, a new open source NoSQL database, launched
  • Education

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • New Ground on Terminology Debate?

      Furthermore, I try to have faith in our community’s intelligence. Regardless of how people get drawn into FLOSS: be it from the moral software freedom arguments or the technical-advantage-only open source ones, I don’t think people stop listening immediately upon their arrival in our community. I know this even from my own adoption of software freedom: I came for the Free as in Price, but I stayed for the Free as in Freedom. It’s only because I couldn’t afford a SCO Unix license in 1992 that I installed GNU/Linux. But, I learned within just a year why the software freedom was what mattered most.

      Surely, others have a similar introduction to the community: either drawn in by zero-cost availability or the technical benefits first, but still very interested to learn about software freedom. My goal is to reach those who have arrived in the community. I therefore try to speak almost constantly about software freedom, why it’s a moral issue, and why I work every day to help either reduce the amount of proprietary software, or increase the amount of Free Software in the world. My hope is that newer community members will hear my arguments, see my actions, and be convinced that a moral and ethical commitment to software freedom is the long lasting principle worth undertaking. In essence, I seek to lead by example as much as possible.

  • Project Releases

    • Typo3 version 4.4 is now available

      Today the TYPO3 Association released the newest version of their Open Source project TYPO3. TYPO3 has been downloaded over 4.6 million times – making it one of the world’s leading Enterprise Open Source projects.

    • VLC Player 1.1
  • Government

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Why Share-Alike Licenses are Open but Non-Commercial Ones Aren’t

      It is sometimes suggested that there isn’t a real difference in terms of “openness” between share-alike (SA) and non-commercial (NC) clauses — both being some restriction on what the user of that material can do, and, as such, a step away from openness.

      This is not true. A meaningful distinction can be drawn between share-alike and non-commercial clauses (or any other clause that discriminates against a particular type of person or field of endeavour), with the former being “open” and the latter being not “open”.

    • The Sharing Industry Keeps Growing with Weeels, Closest Closet

      We at Shareable.net harbor the belief that the growth of the Internet and mobile technology has made sharing more practical–and that this trend has the potential to minimize consumption, by redefining wealth as access to stuff instead of the accumulation of stuff. We’re working on testing this hypothesis, by launching a series of studies with the research consultancy Latitude.

    • Open Data

      • OpenStreetMap: 2010 State of the Map conference

        The OpenStreetMap (OSM) Project has announced that this year’s State of the Map conference will take place from the 9th to the 11th of July in Girona, Spain. OpenStreetMap is an open source project that is building free online maps, not based on any copyright or licensed map data. Founded by Steve Coast in August of 2004 and run by the OpenStreetMap Foundation, to date the project has nearly 270,000 users worldwide that make more than 7,000 edits every hour.

    • Open Hardware

  • Eclipse

Leftovers

  • UK News Sites Hit Record Traffic In Election Month

    Unique browsers to the five national newspaper websites and groups which file monthly ABCe figures hit a record 131.8 million in May.

  • Science

  • Environment

    • Unpredictable fishery economics guide ocean’s populations

      The way the ocean is fished is less predictable than we thought, according to a paper published in PNAS this week. Researchers thought that commercial interests usually fished “down the food web,” targeting species high in the food chain and moving downwards. But the new study shows that price indexes of fish play a large role and don’t always correlate with food chain position, which will make the ecosystem impact of fishing difficult to predict.

    • Oil spills: Legacy of the Torrey Canyon

      On the morning of Saturday 18 March 1967, the Torrey Canyon ran aground on Pollard’s Rock between Land’s End and the Isles of Scilly. Over the following days, every drop of the 119,328 tonnes of crude oil borne by this 300m-long supertanker seeped into the Atlantic. Thousands of tonnes despoiled the beaches of Cornwall – and thousands more were propelled by winds and currents across the channel towards France.

    • BP ‘burning sea turtles alive’

      A rare and endangered species of sea turtle is being burned alive in BP’s controlled burns of the oil swirling around the Gulf of Mexico, and a boat captain tasked with saving them says the company has blocked rescue efforts.

      Mike Ellis, a boat captain involved in a three-week effort to rescue as many sea turtles from unfolding disaster as possible, says BP effectively shut down the operation by preventing boats from coming out to rescue the turtles.

    • Tony Blair for BP chairman?

      I was interviewed on British radio today and was asked about this idea. Seemed hard to believe: Blair has become a climate activist (see “Tony Blair, Climate Group, and CAP call for strong technology deployment policy driven by a carbon price, innovative financing, and serious technology standards“) — and this is a no-win, resume-destroying job.

      But some British pundits are actually proposing this radical solution to BP’s PR woes (see “Tony Blair is the right man to be BP chairman” and “Tony Blair’s Hiring Is Step One in a BP Comeback: Matthew Lynn.”

    • Moratorium Won’t Stop Unprecedented BP Project in the Arctic

      The Obama administration’s six-month moratorium has put a freeze on new offshore drilling permits, but three miles off the coast of Alaska, there’s one unprecedented drilling project by BP that’s still moving forward regardless.

      That’s according to two investigations this week—one in today’s New York Times and the other published online by Rolling Stone on Tuesday.

    • Tibetan environmentalist says Chinese jailers tortured him

      A jailed Tibetan environmentalist used the opening of his trial today to accuse Chinese captors of beatings, sleep deprivation and other maltreatment, his wife told reporters.

      Karma Samdrup – a prominent businessman and award-winning conservationist – issued a statement in court detailing the brutal interrogation methods, including drugs that made his ears bleed, used on him since his detention on 3 January.

      “If not for his voice, I would not have recognised him,” his wife Zhenga Cuomao told the Associated Press.

      She said Samdrup appeared gaunt when he appeared at the Yangqi county courthouse in Xinjiang, the mountainous province neighbouring Tibet.

  • Finance

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Ofcom opens debate on net neutrality

      Ofcom today published a discussion paper on the practice of internet traffic management – a technique used by network operators and internet service providers (ISPs) to stem or accelerate the flow of traffic over the web.

      This practice may allow network operators and ISPs to handle traffic more efficiently, to prioritise traffic by type, to guarantee bandwidth or to block or degrade the quality of certain content.

  • Copyrights

    • ASCAP raising money to fight Free Culture

      Fred says:

      Memehacker, and composer Mike Rugnetta just received a note from the collecting society ASCAP soliciting funds to fight Creative Commons, Public Knowledge, and the EFF. According to ASCAP, these organizations are mobilizing to undermine ASCAP members’ copyrights because they want all music to be free. Which, if you know anything about the kind of nuanced reform work these organizations do, is a pretty gross exaggeration. The letter reads like a McCarty-era scaremongering pitch to solicit funds from composers and musicians bewildered by the current pace of music industry evolution. Read part 1 of the letter here, and part 2 here.

      Blogger Molly Sheridan wrote a post asking ASCAP members how it sits with them, so if you’re a current ASCAP member, chime in. Or better yet, take a minute to donate to Creative Commons, Public Knowledge, and the EFF.

    • Could Accessing Your Own Data On Facebook Make You Criminally Liable?

      We’ve been following the rather bizarre and dangerous lawsuit filed by Facebook against Power.com, an online service that tries to let users aggregate various social networking activity into a single service. All Power.com does is let a willing user have Power.com’s tools log into Facebook and reuse/reformat the data within its own framework. From a user’s perspective, this could be quite useful. From Facebook’s perspective this is both a violation of copyright law and a violation of computer hacking laws. Why? Because Facebook says so.

    • US Tries to Block Progress on Treaty for Blind and Other Disabilities

      Today a UN body is trying to reach an agreement on work on copyright exceptions for persons who are blind or have other disabilities. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is aggressively trying to block adoption of a work program that would include the possibility of a treaty. Officially, the USPTO is proposing an alternative approach that could be a step toward a treaty. Privately, the USPTO and other federal agencies are putting enormous pressure on countries to abandon a binding treaty in favor of a very weak and even harmful resolution.

    • New Zealand Media Claiming That Huge Local Film Success Story Is Being Harmed… By 200 Downloaders?
  • ACTA

    • Digital legislation a threat to creative industry

      Doctoral research into media education and media literacy at the University of Leicester has highlighted how increased legislative control on use of digital content could stifle future creativity.

      The Digital Economy Act 2010 alongside further domestic and global legislation, not least the ongoing ‘Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)’, combines to constitute a very hard line against any form of perceived copyright infringement.

    • The Copyright Debate’s Missing Element

      There is certainly no lack of debate about copyright, and whether it promotes or hinders creativity. But in one important respect, that debate has been badly skewed, since it has largely discussed creativity in terms of pre-digital technologies. And even when digital methods are mentioned, there is precious little independent research to draw upon.

    • Leak: EU pushes for criminalizing non-commercial usages in ACTA

      A document leaked from the Presidency of the EU reveals that Member States are pushing for new criminal sanctions into the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), a few days ahead of the next negotiation round. The proposal stated in this document reveals how illegitimate and dangerous the whole ACTA process is, while exposing the scary position of the EU calling for more repression of non-for-profit usages… and their incitation.

    • Those that Live by the DMCA….

      …content owners have to specify precisely which files they claim are infringing. They can’t just say: “everyone can see there’s infringement on your site, find it and deal with it.” If upheld, that’s very good news, because it means that anyone that sets up a mechanism for carrying out DMCA requests doesn’t need to go through their entire holdings looking for possibly infringing materials (obviously impossible for a site like YouTube.)

  • Digital Economy Bill

    • NUJ vows to support court challenges against Digital Economy Act

      The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) will support legal challenges to the recently passed Digital Economy Act, according to a new national policy.

      The new policy, which was signed off by the NUJ’s National Executive Council in May, raises concern from other industry groups that the Act’s measures could be used against sites that publish material of public interest without permission, such as the whistleblowing site Wikileaks.

      The union policy calls for the Act to be implemented in a way that “fully protects freedom of information and expression”.

      Originally, NUJ members focused their campaigning on the controversial clause 43 on orphan works. This was later dropped before the Bill was passed into law in the “wash-up” at the end of the last government.

Clip of the Day

CLUG Talk – 22 Apr 2008 – Further C Notes (2008)


Links 24/6/2010: Linux T-Shirt Contest Ends, GIMP 2.6.9 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 3:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Rethinking Windows security: Will Google’s move spur others to drop Microsoft?

    In fact, many find that even when the vast majority of an organization’s IT infrastructure is made up of non-Microsoft based systems, Microsoft Windows systems make up the majority of maintenance resource expenditures, both for security management and more mundane system administration and troubleshooting. Thanks in part to the nature of Google’s business and the size and influence of the corporation, it is even likely to be well insulated against any need for compatibility with Microsoft-specific ways of doing things, both internally and externally.

  • Smoke Screens and Linux

    Why aren’t people buying these things so easily anymore? I have the theory that, while the success of Windows was the ignorance of the user, Linux communities teach their users and this knowledge empowers people. After all, in the 21st Century, more computer users are awakening. Little by little, we are breaking this shell of fear and gullibility and we are beginning to see through the smoke generated to make us stumble. We read. We check. We double-check. We participate in forums and get informed.

    Above all, beginner Linux users are abandoning herd mentality.

  • Desktop

    • Another One Bites the Dust

      The machine is a middle to low end machine from a few years back (2001?): AMD Athlon XP 1800 (1.5gHz). 256 MB DDR266, 40 MB Hard Drive.

      [...]

      I installed a raft of games, vlc, xawtv, sound-juicer, childsplay, gcompris, ktouch and google-chrome as well as the default stuff for an XFCE4 desktop. A webcam from Logitech worked and I left a self-portrait on the desktop… I expect the owner will change that quickly.

  • Audiocasts

  • Ballnux

    • HP spins a netbook just for schools

      HP announced a netbook for students that includes a metal-hinged case, carrying handle, and worldwide V.92 modem. Available in bulk orders only, the Mini 100e includes a 10.1-inch display, customizable case, network activity light, and a 1.66GHz Atom N455 processor with DDR3 RAM, the company says.

      [...]

      Customization also extends to the Mini 100e’s operating system: In addition to Windows 7 Starter Edition, the device will be offered with SuSE Linux Enterprise 11 and Windows XP Home Edition, HP says.

    • KMail’s Akonadi migration in openSUSE

      In openSUSE’s KDE team, we’ve recently planned the migration to Akonadi, the groupware caching solution that will be the base of upcoming KDE PIM versions, notably KDE’s address book, email client and calendar app.

  • Kernel Space

    • T-Shirt Design Contest Winner Announced

      With 57 percent (4,501) of the vote, the winner of the Linux.com T-Shirt Design Contest is “The People’s Product”, designed by Mr. Said Hassan who is a marketing consultant as SADAF Information Technology in Gaza in Palestine. “This design represents that the Linux system is the collective work of people and it was done so that others can enjoy a reliable, suitable operating system away from a monopoly. So, it’s like a celebration of our efforts: Linux is our product.”

    • Linux: the people’s product

      The Linux Foundation ran a t-shirt design contest back in March to kick off the grand opening of the new Linux.com store. More than 100 designs were submitted, and of these six were selected as finalists. Almost eight thousand votes were tallied, and the community-selected winner, with 57% of the votes, is Mr. Said Hassan from the Gaza Strip, who designed “The People’s Product.” Shirts with this winning design are being produced now, and will be available for purchase at the Linux.com store soon-ish.

    • Testing Out Btrfs In Ubuntu 10.10

      The performance of Btrfs has certainly improved a great deal since it was first introduced in the mainline kernel back with the Linux 2.6.29 release in early 2009. Today’s tests show that even with old hardware both when it comes to the processor and disk drive that even still Btrfs manages to perform well both with its default mount options and then again when taking advantage of the transparent compression support. Beyond the quantitative disk results, Btrfs also provides other advantages like with the system rollback support as being worked on in Fedora and solid state drive (SSD) optimizations. We are also exploring Btrfs in other ways at Phoronix to tie it into Phoromatic for some rather unique and interesting test capabilities.

      It is good to see Canonical now pushing the Btrfs installation support into Ubuntu 10.10 after it has been available as an option in Fedora for more than a year now and is even the default file-system with MeeGo. For those interested in trying out this file-system, we certainly would recommend it and we look forward to its continued adoption.

    • Graphics Stack

      • How The ATI Catalyst Driver Has Matured Since The RV770 Launch

        It has been two years since the ATI Radeon HD 4800 (RV770) series launched so we have gone back since that monumental hardware launch and have re-tested each Catalyst driver release since then to see how the performance has changed for the ATI Radeon HD 4850 graphics card. The Catalyst driver has certainly matured over the course of two years in speeding up the OpenGL performance with this hardware along with bringing new features to their proprietary driver, but it is not exactly smooth sailing.

      • [NVIDIA] 256.35 for Linux x86/x86_64 released

        * Fixed a regression in 256.29 where Performance Level clock frequencies were reported incorrectly in nvidia-settings.
        * Fixed a 3D Vision Stereo bug that caused the stereo glasses to not toggle when the flat panel was not running at its native mode timings.
        * Fixed a bug that caused nvidia-settings to crash when rendering its thermal gauge widget if the range of valid values for the thermal sensor was empty.

        The 256.35 NVIDIA Accelerated Linux Graphics Driver

      • A CUDA Back-End For Intel’s Open-Source Driver?

        While there is the “Clover” branch of Mesa started by Zack Rusin for providing an OpenCL state tracker that can be used by Gallium3D hardware drivers, it hasn’t yet amounted to much. The OpenCL state tracker is not yet working, hasn’t been touched in months, and has yet to be integrated in the mainline Mesa code-base. However, as another GPGPU alternative, it looks like a CUDA back-end that’s specific to Intel’s open-source driver may end up being worked on.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • Linux’s old KDE 3 desktop lives!?

        For now, the Pearson site continues to be dark, but there are reports that the group has managed to deliver KDE 3.5.11 for Ubuntu. The main Trinity development site is live and on Launchpad, Canonical’s, the company behind Ubuntu, Web-based collaborative software development Website.

      • Who’s Driving the Bus?

        Others, though, are driving the bus of KDE and have chosen to “improve” the desktop. Others, who feel as I do are trying to preserve the look and feel of the 3.5 version. Whether the group doing the work can sustain an independent branch of KDE is a question. KDE is large and complex and the libraries it depends upon changed, causing some of the development of the 4 branch.

  • Distributions

    • Most popular Linux distros

      Which Linux distributions top the popularity charts?

    • Reviews

      • WattOS — a lightweight, low-power Linux

        A lightweight Linux distribution often seems to require making sacrifices — using a UI which many users would find unfamiliar and using software which is heavily cut down in functionality.

        WattOS is a really interesting lightweight Linux distribution that is based on Ubuntu 10.04 (as of WattOS R2). As the name might suggest, it is also focused on low power usage and is said to work well with older and less powerful hardware.

        [...]

        If you are looking for a lightweight Linux, WattOS is most definitely worth a look.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Let’s Lift the Red Hat and Look Inside

        The numbers we did get to see weren’t too shabby, either. Revenue increased by 20% year over year to $209 million, and a whopping $179 million of that business came from subscription fees. And like I said, Red Hat has a lot of guaranteed business in its internal books that won’t show up anywhere in the income statement until those customers start paying their subscription bills.

      • Stocks Hitting 52-Week Highs: RHT, VRX
      • Topping Leaders Bode Badly For Market

        Red Hat (RHT), which went public in August, jumped 123% from a breakout in late November to an intraday high only 10 sessions later.

      • Irrefutable Proof That GNU/Linux Costs Less on the Desktop

        Why does RedHat still provide tools for GNU/Linux on the desktop in individual installations or huge roll-outs? Their customers demand it. If RedHat did not provide the service, then someone else would and might siphon off the lucrative server/services/training business… Ah! There’s the thing. GNU/Linux on the desktop is not a huge money maker for them but it does work for the customer and RedHat gets money for consultation/setup.

      • Linux as a catalyst for a smarter planet

        In this morning’s Red Hat Summit sessions, Jean Staten Healy and Bob Sutor of IBM presented on the solutions that communities around the world are implementing using Linux as a catalyst for a smarter planet.

        The IT industry exists to solve problems. And you can solve them at a micro level, or you can look problems that are so huge, they affect countries, or the entire world. The range is huge, and complexity varies tremendously. Smarter Planet is about a macro approach. It’s meant for those really significant problems and to answer how IT can help solve those problems.

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu One good enough to convert a Dropbox user?

        I like the way Ubuntu One will sync up databases. This is a great feature for developers, and I hope more will take advantage of it. Apart from that one feature though Dropbox is the better product. It is easy to install and use, pricing is better, it works across operating systems, and is something you could recommend to your technically challenged friends.

      • Why I’m using Ubuntu now

        Well, the main reason is because trying out different Linux distributions is so much fun, isn’t it? There was nothing really wrong with Fedora, in fact it did a lot of things right, but I wanted to configure my file server with a lightweight environment and then leave it alone. I’ve spent too much time on that thing already.

        Firstly, I replaced Ubuntu with Arch and LXDE, to see if I could get it working with anything else than Ubuntu. I’ve installed Arch probably 50 times before, but this time I couldn’t get the keyboard layout right in X. Hal should take care of that, and yet it didn’t. Also, the screen resolution was way off, and I couldn’t get the nouveau drivers configured, while the chipset was too old for the regular nvidia driver. Exit Arch.

        [...]

        As always, installing and using Ubuntu is a very agreeable experience. As with Fedora, all hardware worked out of the box, and installing extra codecs and suchlike was a bit easier. It doesn’t look as sleek as Fedora, but it doesn’t look bad either. A bit heavy for a theme called “Light”, but otherwise okay. I do think the focus on looks is a good thing, and I must admit that picture of a PC that runs Ubuntu looks very good.

      • Ubuntu Won’t Become A Rolling Release Distro
      • Flavours and Variants

        • Ultimate Edition gives SourceForge the ultimate compliment

          Developer Glenn “TheeMahn” Cady created the antecedent to Ultimate Edition in 2006, a version of Ubuntu with a Christmas theme that he called Ubuntu Christmas Edition. Its successor, Ubuntu Ultimate, drew an e-mail from Canonical, the organization behind Ubuntu, asking Cady not to use the Ubuntu name or logo because of trademark issues, so he changed the name to Ultimate Edition. Over time the distribution has grown in scope and power. While it caters to new users, it also bundles powerful tools for programming, as well as software called Ultamatix that allows users to easily install additional software and games.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Better Readability Today won’t save E-Readers Tomorrow

      Here’s the problem I have with this electrophoretic technology: it’s only black and white. While that doesn’t matter with novels, having color sure does make a difference for many technical books. As my friend Carla Schroder, writer and editor of Linux Planet, put it, “Books in color is where it’s at, especially technical and how-to books. Why would I want to put my Audacity [an excellent, open-source audio editor] book on the Kindle, for one example, when being able to show blue waveforms and green level meters and red clipping bars adds tons of useful information.”

    • Playing with MeeGo 1.0

      Perhaps that is the future of Linux on the desktop – at least, Linux on the relatively small desktop. Like Android, it’s not the sort of Linux experience that we are used to, though MeeGo is far closer to “traditional” Linux than Android is. But perhaps it’s an experience that will bring in a new set of users; once they get used to this environment, the full Linux experience will be there for them to discover. That should be a good thing.

    • Ubuntu Netbook Edition for ARM gets a video demo

      One of the primary differences between the ARM version of Ubuntu Netbook Edition and the version built for x86 processors is that Ubuntu 10.7′s program launcher doesn’t require 3D hardware drivers since the whole thing is designed with 2D graphics. I have to say, the UI looks awfully snappy on the demo unit.

Free Software/Open Source

  • CMS

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • On Annoyance and Free Software

      I can’t name one major Open-Source-not-Free-Software activist that offers up any real criticism to the Free Software messaging coming out of the FSF. That’s not to say it doesn’t exist – I have covered in this blog a few lawyer and professor types that laid out very intelligent and considered issues on the GPL and Free Software in general, but they are so few and far between.

      The overwhelmingly vast majority of criticism against Free Software basically starts with “Freetard” and ends with “Communist/Socialist/Zealot”. Usually there are a lot of lies and distortions in the middle – I wonder what motivates someone to take a position they are not able to rationally defend, one which they must resort to (and repeat) logical fallacies of all flavors?

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Giving it all away

      Increasingly, due to the good offices of Creative Commons, much of the content on the web can be legally repurposed or appropriated for other use. I think this is a good thing. None of us want to waste time re-inventing the proverbial wheel, and we could bear in mind what Pablo Picasso once said: ‘Good artists borrow, great artists steal’. So OK, ‘steal’ is an emotive word, which we probably don’t want to associate with, but I get the sentiments behind the statement. A lot of art and music could be said to be ‘derivative’ – and there have been many court cases and fallings out over this grey area of creativity, but here’s my point: I don’t mind at all if other people borrow my content for their own purposes, as long as they attribute it to me and don’t make any commercial profit at my expense. Many already have – some people have actually translated my content into other languages or used as a part of larger works. I’m an advocate not only of Open Educational Resources, but also the idea of Open Scholarship, which is where academics and scholars not only make their content available for free, they also open up themselves to constructive criticism from their peers. I hope we see more of this in the coming years and I am confident we shall.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • OdfKit Hack Week starts

      OdfKit is a project that reuses WebKit technology in a toolkit for working with ODF office documents. KO GmbH is sponsored by NLnet to work on OdfKit for three months. This week, Chani, who is on her way to Akademy, is working with me on OdfKit and since she’s here an entire week, we’re calling it OdfKit Hack Week.

    • See how you can use lpOD with simple examples and tools!

Leftovers

  • Environment

  • Finance

    • The price of economic posturing

      Many economists, myself included, regard this turn to austerity as a huge mistake. It raises memories of 1937, when FDR’s premature attempt to balance the budget helped plunge a recovering economy back into severe recession. And here in Germany a few scholars see parallels to the policies of Heinrich Brüning, the chancellor from 1930 to 1932, whose devotion to financial orthodoxy ended up sealing the doom of the Weimar Republic.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • WikiLeaks May Be Under Attack

      One of our alleged sources, a young US intelligence analyst, Bradley Manning, has been detained and shipped to a US military prison in Kuwait, where he is being held without trail. Mr. Manning is alleged to have acted according to his conscious and leaked to us the Collateral Murder video and the video of a massacre that took place in Afghanistan last year at Garani.

      The Garani massacre, which we are still working on, killed over 100 people, mostly children.

    • Medical Minute 6-15: Tattletale Pills

      If you forget to do what your doctor tells you, you’re not alone. But now, engineers have created a way to make sure you’re following doctor’s orders.

Clip of the Day

CLUG Talk 10 November 2009 – Upstart (2009)


06.23.10

Links 23/6/2010: Fedora 14 Themes, Btrfs in Ubuntu

Posted in News Roundup at 6:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • 2010 Readers’ Choice Awards Survey

    Linux Journal’s Readers’ Choice Awards offer the opportunity for readers to vote for their Linux and Open Source favorites. We compiled nominations and came up with the following list. If your favorite is not listed in any category, we encourage you to write in your vote (it’s also okay to skip voting in categories not applicable to you).

  • When Linux Isn’t Called Linux

    As Steven Vaughan-Nichols notes, Hewlett-Packard, the number one PC seller on the planet is trending toward becoming a significant Linux distributor. In acquiring Palm, HP also acquires the Linux-based WebOS, and if HP is smart, it will pursue a very open strategy with WebOS, possibly on mobile phones, and possible on iPad-like tablet devices. HP also has acquired rights to Phoenix Technologies’ HyperSpace, a lean Linux distro that provides instant-on capabilities.

  • Desktop

    • HP Treating Gnu/Linux Users Unfairly?

      It is unfortunate that HP doesn’t offer Gnu/Linux on these machines. The way HP offers ‘options’ to choose the desired processors and other hardware, it would be a fair business practice to offer choice of operating system as well for those enterprise customers who want to run their own OS but don’t want to pay Microsoft tax.

    • Back When Linux Was Fun

      Minitube is just one example but I could name hundreds off the top of my head. I love these little projects and while most of the attention is on the grown up side of Linux and open source software, I have a special fondness for those projects that are a little less ‘mature’. I love what companies like Canonical have done to polish their Ubuntu Linux distributions into an operating system worthy of powering the computers that make business tick. In fact, I love the fact Ubuntu is a respected and grown up product. We’ve made it. This is the big time.

    • Putting Technology into the Hands of Tomorrow….Today

      Skip Guenter is a Director for The HeliOS Project so one would expect him to put in a little extra effort but Skip passed “a little extra” sometime in early May. Skip worked dozens of his own hours to get equipment running, computers operational and things organized for the technical side of the room. I also want to thank Ron West for his dedication to what we do and the sweat equity he put into Linux Against Poverty. What many people did not see was the pre-activities prior to LAP.

  • Audiocasts

    • Episode 0x2A: Waiting for Bilski

      Karen and Bradley briefly talk about waiting for the Bilski case to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

      This show was released on Tuesday 22 June 2010; its running time is 08:39.

  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel Log: Linus resolves to apply a strict policy over merging changes

      It would appear that Linus Torvalds has resolved to apply a strict policy of accepting only bug fix changes to the kernel after the merge window has closed. Torvalds has also stuck his oar into the debate over the Android suspend block API and made the situation even more complicated.

      For years, major changes for each new Linux kernel version have been merged into the main development tree during the merge window, which usually lasts about two weeks and concludes with the release of the first pre-release version of the next kernel (2.6.x-rc1). Thereafter, changes are theoretically restricted to patches which fix existing bugs without giving rise to new ones. In practice, RC2 and RC3 have included the odd major change and some clean up work, such as resolving compiler warnings, has found its way in at an even later stage.

    • User Space File Systems

      Examples of FUSE File Systems

      There are many examples of file systems that use FUSE. Sometimes FUSE is used for prototyping or testing file systems or it is used as the file system itself. It is beyond the scope of this article to list all of them or even a good chunk of them, but some that you might recognize (or might not) include:

      * SSHFS This is a file system client that can mount and interact with directories and files on a remote system using sftp. Very handy file system for mounting remote file systems.
      * GmailFS This FUSE based file system was written to use Google’s email storage as a file system. Originally it used the gmail web interface but this kept changing. The previous link takes you to a new version of GmailFS that uses IMAP to use the gmail email space as a file system. One of the interesting aspects of this file system is that it’s written in Python.
      * EncFS This FUSE based file system provides an encrypted file system for Linux. For a discussion about encrypted file systems and Linux please read this.

      [...]

    • Graphics Stack

      • Whoops, X.Org Server 1.9 Gets Another RC Today

        The second X.Org Server 1.9 release candidate was released earlier today after the first RC making it out just last week, but already the third release candidate is available to interested parties.

  • Applications

  • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • The Reg guide to Linux, part 2: Preparing to dual-boot

      On Monday, we suggested Ubuntu as a good starting point for experimenting with desktop Linux. If you have the option, dedicate a machine to it – by 2010 standards, even a modest-spec PC will run it fine. You’ll be very pleasantly surprised by the transformation from a lumbering old XP box burdened with years of cruft to one with a fresh install of an OS that doesn’t need multiple layers of security software.

    • Reviews

      • [Reviews]: TinyMe 2010 Acorn RC 1 Review

        One of the mini distribution based on Unity Linux, it a great choice for old machines cause it does not take a big amount of RAM and CPU usage, using OpenBox 3.4.11 lightweight window manager, simple LXPanel, and many installed application will mention it later on the review.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Moving to mandriva?!

        Never thought I would be writing this, but I am actually considering moving my Linux boxes (based mainly in OpenSuSE and Fedoras) to Mandriva! During my hey days we always considered Mandrake (it’s name then) something of a play distribution or a distribution for Linux beginners and should not be used for ‘serious’ work.

        Fast forward about 10 years, after a name change I don’t know why suddenly I felt an urge to pick up the latest version of Mandriva 2010 to give it the proverbial spin. After playing around with the bought version of Mandriva (yes I actually bought a copy!). I really started liking it. Let me just list down a few of the reasons why.

      • Mandriva saved by CEO

        The Linux company, which is based in France and Brazil, had been operating in recent months under the threat of potential bankruptcy, as its finances were reportedly precarious.

        According to the French press Laprévote rallied investors “to return the group to balance and find a good business model.” He said that the community does not need to be concerned about the outfit’s future any longer.

        Laprévote took the CEO job in April. In May a posting in one of the Mandriva forums revealed major cash flow problems and the existence of plans to perhaps sell or merge the company.

        One of the possible buyers named was Lightapp, but that deal apparently fell through, and then Linagora was rumoured to be in talks with Mandriva.

    • Fedora

      • Fedora 14 Theme: concepts feedback

        Design team has kicked off concepts for Laughling release theme quoted: Something that can illustrate the emergence concept, like multiple objects combined to create a new one (more complex).

      • Helping others get Fedora

        When I find an outstanding distro, such as Fedora, I prefer to buy the media from an on-line vendor as a way of showing my support. Most of the time the money goes directly to the vendor, however, I happened upon the Sponsored Media Program today and found a vendor who participates in this program.

      • IT Infrastructure: Red Hat’s Fedora Linux: 13 Releases of Cutting-Edge Open Source
      • Fedora 13 – Xfce spin vs. LXDE spin

        The Fedora 13 Xfce spin has more applications than the LXDE spin. So far the machine crashed on the screensaver (in Xfce, not in LXDE, and the same thing has been happening with Ubuntu Lucid if I don’t choose blanking the screen instead of a random screensaver).

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • Why did I choose to use Ubuntu

        Currently I prefer to use Ubuntu, after I felt the ability to provide Ubuntu Graphical on my laptop, especially Ubuntu 10.04. There are a few that made me feel at home using and choosing Ubuntu Linux operating system, which are as follows:

        1. No Virus – because Linux does not recognize the files of his Win32 executables, so the possibility of taxable virus is 0%, it is also felt by fellow users of the Linux operating system in general.
        2. Open Source – Linux distributions are open source and the source code can be edited and modified according to our needs. We can learn how to work the Ubuntu (Linux) Operating System

      • Ubuntu’s vmbuilder Script
      • BTRFS Ready For Testing In Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

        Colin Watson (Ubuntu Development Manager) just announced on the Ubuntu-Devel mailing list that you can now perform installations with a BTRFS root filesystem using the latest Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat daily ISO. Note: I’ve downloaded the latest ISO and I do not see an option to format a partition as BTRFS when choosing to specify partitions manuallt so probably this will be available starting tomorrow’s daily ISO.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • GUI toolkit adds OpenGL support

      Wind River has rev’d its GUI development suite for embedded devices, adding support for OpenGL 3D graphics. Wind River Tilcon Graphics Suite 5.8 also broadens its embedded target operating system support from Linux and VxWorks to Windows CE and Windows XP, and adds support for more hardware platforms, including the Intel Atom, says the company.

    • 160,000 Android Phones Sold Per Day

      Android cofounder and Google vice president Andy Rubin just announced at the Droid X event that 160,000 Android devices are being sold per day. That’s up sharply from last month when Google announced that 100,000 Android devices were being activated each day.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

  • Mozilla

    • Firefox 3.6.4 with Crash Protection Now Available

      Today, Mozilla is happy to release Firefox 3.6.4, the latest security and stability release for Firefox, used by nearly 400 million people around the world to browse the Web. This release provides crash protection for Windows and Linux users by isolating third-party plugins when they crash.

      Results from our beta testing show Firefox 3.6.4 will significantly reduce the number of Firefox crashes experienced by users who are watching online videos or playing games. When a plugin crashes or freezes while using Firefox, users can enjoy uninterrupted browsing by simply refreshing the page.

    • Mozilla designer says Google Chrome uses speed tricks

      An interface designer interning at Mozilla has suggested that the company mimic gimmicks in Google’s Chrome to make users think Firefox starts up faster. In an entry on his personal blog that was reposted to Mozilla’s uber-blog, Planet Mozilla, John Wayne Hill, an Indiana University masters student interning this summer at the open source company, spelled out changes that would give users the feeling that Firefox starts quicker.

    • 3 Amazing Firefox Hacks
    • Top 6 Google Chrome Extensions for a Much Secure Browsing Experience
  • SaaS/Eucalyptus

    • Eucalyptus Partner Day: Can VARs and Open-Source Cloud Connect?

      Back in March 2010, Marten Mickos, best known as the man who built MySQL into an estimated $100 million enterprise, made headlines when he stepped in at Eucalyptus in the role of CEO. But even before that, a partnership with Canonical to provide the platform at the heart of the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud beginning with 2009’s Ubuntu Server Edition 9.10 garnered Eucalyptus a lot of notice.

    • Marten Mickos says open source doesn’t have to be fully open

      The term “open core” essentially means that the heart of a software project is built on, and remains, open source but added features may not be (particularly a commercial version intended for enterprise use).VC-funded software startups love this model.

  • Mixing

    • Open Source vs Proprietary Code: seeking a balanced standard

      This proprietary to open source to public domain source code release Standard will bring to an end the present conflict between proprietary and open code development models. Some companies and individuals will choose to develop their software as open source, to take advantage of the extra and free resources that the open source developing model provides, while others will prefer to develop it as proprietary code, to gain a competitive advantage once it is release. One way or another, within a set number of years the code will become public domain, free for all to use, share and modify.

  • Server

    • ZAAAM DATING Free Debian Project. Geeks also like to date

      The idea behind this project is to test the architecture of a heavy duty web server.

      Although it’s a really nice and graphically appealing PHP website, the major interest is to test hardware and resource usage / op.sys. (ubuntu server 10.04) and basic server modules.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Why Do Open Source Advocates Attack Each Other?

      One interesting explanation offered when I asked on Twitter came from Ars Technica’s Ryan Paul – himself a key Free software developer as author of the great micro-blogging client Gwibber.

      He suggests the situation is precipitated by the influx of new technology strategies such as Software as a Service, mobile, tablet, virtualisation and web services. Since the applicability of software freedom philosophies to these technologies is often unclear, there’s no positive rallying-point for activists and the only remaining alternative is to demonise anyone engaging with them. That happens even if the engagement is aimed at subverting or liberating them.

      The articulation of software freedom arose before today’s massively-connected society, and today requires thinking and experimentation to make it fit the new reality – hence my work at OSI.

    • “Gno” and “Gyes” campaigns – About positive Free Software campaigning

      But also the FSF already had positive campaigns. Here some recent examples from the FSFs:

      * Document Freedom Day: The Document Freedom Day is a day for Document Freedom and for Open Standards. FSFE did most of the work for the central organisation of the DFD in the past years to promote Open Standards. The FSF also has a campaign page for Open Standards.
      * rOgg On: For this years DFD FSFE promoted Ogg Vorbis. The German and the Austrian team encouraged two radio stations which already use Ogg vorbis, by giving them a prize and a tart with the “rOgg On” slogon. Deutschlandradio stated that they Feel more honoured than for the Grimme Prize”. The picutres clearly show how positive that campaign was. During that campaign we translated FSF’s PlayOgg website into German, which also is a positive campaign.
      * I love Free Software For this years Valentine’s Day we started the “I love Free Software” campaign. People can show their love to Free Software.
      * PDFreaders.org FSFE’s Fellows started a campaign for Free Software PDFreaders and also explaining Open Standards in this context.

  • Government

    • D.C. launches test of open-source online voting

      According to Rob Pegoraro at the Faster Forward blog, the District “will let overseas voters cast ballots online using open-source, standards-based software, not the closed, proprietary mechanisms that have dominated electronic voting throughout its troubled history in the United States.”

      A Palo Alto, Calif., developer of election software, Open Source Digital Voting Foundation, will provide the new system. According to company representatives, starting with September’s primary election, D.C. residents serving overseas and others far out of town won’t have to choose between voting by mailed-in paper ballot or a faxed or e-mailed ballot.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Clip Art Library Launches Logo Design Contest!

      The “Free Culture” Movement, instantiated in a 2004 publication by Creative Commons founding member Lawrence Lessig, is a reaction to content ownership in a digital age. Because The Open Clip Art Library is, at it’s core, a platform to freely share and collaborate created content, it will be forever intertwined with the Movement.

  • Open Data

    • Scientists for open data and authors of Panton Principles named SPARC Innovators

      Science is based on building on, reusing, and openly criticizing the published body of scientific knowledge. For science to effectively function, and for society to reap the full benefits from scientific endeavors, it is crucial that science data be made open.

      That’s the belief of four leaders who have put forth a groundbreaking set of recommendations for scientists to more easily share their data – The Panton Principles – and who have been named the latest SPARC Innovators for their work.

    • Announcing the Portability Policy

      We’re proud to announce the release of the Portability Policy, the latest creation from the DataPortability Project. We believe that this will help further the vision of digital freedom that was the founding ideal of our group two years ago.

      The software industry is still figuring out the right balance between open and closed, but we believe that communication is the first step. The DataPortability Project encourages standard, plain language policies describing how data and digital “stuff” can be moved from one product to another.

  • Open Access/Content

    • Open Access to the Scientific Journal Literature: Situation 2009

      The Internet has recently made possible the free global availability of scientific journal articles. Open Access (OA) can occur either via OA scientific journals, or via authors posting manuscripts of articles published in subscription journals in open web repositories. So far there have been few systematic studies showing how big the extent of OA is, in particular studies covering all fields of science.

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Space Weather Signal Buried in X-ray Noise

      Sometimes even noise can produce a gold mine of information. Back in 1964, scientists at Bell Laboratories, listening for faint radio signals they had bounced off of an early communications satellite, detected static that seemed to be emanating in space from all directions. That static turned out to be cosmic background radiation left over from the big bang. In the decades since, studies of that radiation have underpinned much of what we know about the universe.

    • Beyond the petaflop: DARPA wants quintillion-speed computers
  • Environment

    • Judge who overturned drilling bans had shares in the oil industry

      The judge who overturned deepwater drilling bans allowing BP to resume oil extraction in the Gulf of Mexico, had shares in Transocean and other firms in the industry, it was revealed today.

      Yesterday, a Louisiana-based judge Martin Feldman ruled that Barack Obama’s six-month drilling moratorium in the Gulf was unjustified because it assumed that all deepwater drilling was as dangerous as BP’s.

    • EU sees solar power imported from Sahara in 5 years

      Europe will import its first solar-generated electricity from North Africa within the next five years, European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said in an interview on Sunday.

    • The Great Gulf Enclosure

      BP is the top dog, arrogating to itself the lion’s share of the wealth from the deepwater oil reserves and displacing the risks onto the rest of us. The oil industry took pains to secure a statutory limit on its liability from offshore oil spills to a paltry $75 million, after which we taxpayers pick up the tab. Efforts to raise that liability cap to $10 billion or eliminate it altogether are in the works, but there is sure to be fierce opposition, and not just from Republicans.

    • Paper Industry is Waking Up to the Size of its Water Footprint

      Knock a glass of water over a page. The fibers will soften, the ink will run, the corners will curl. Wet paper is no good to anyone, but few people realize just how much water goes into producing the dry, white page.

      “You need water to grow the trees, clean the wood, separate out the cellulose from the lignin, turn the pulp into paper, and then steam dry it,” says Gilles L’Hermitte, Sustainability Development Manager at paper manufacturers Arjowiggins Graphic. Which all adds to the argument for recycled paper. “If you start with an ‘urban forest’,” as L’Hermitte calls it, “you’ll need much less water to turn old pulp into new paper than if you start with a tree.” Arjowiggins Graphic estimates that their mills use up to 47% less water for paper from de-inked pulp than from virgin sources. And, they claim, because the recycled pulp has to be cleaned so many times to rid it of all the ink, it comes out even whiter than the virgin page.

  • Finance

    • Four Economic Benchmarks We Need Now

      New measures of national income. GDP is outdated; inaccurate, invalid, and unreliable. Better measures of national income that count real costs (like pollution) and benefits (like health) are what will shape better behavior from organizations and markets.

      Measures of well-being. GDP is a measure of income. What’s missing from that picture? Well-being, of course. More income doesn’t automatically make everyone better off all the time, in the same ways. Without measures of well being to live up to, no better behavior is likely to ever flow from organizations and markets.

      New currencies. A currency is an especially cruel a form of collective punishment, an implicit tax. In the aftermath of inevitable, regular-as-clockwork financial crisis, everyone holding a currency suffers, whether or not they had anything to do with said crisis. When currencies are created that are independent of countries and regions, people will the choice to escape the bone-headed organizations and markets within them. That, in turn, will set incentives for better behavior. Creating “product”? Stop. Create a currency instead.

      New measures of returns. What counts as a “return,” anyways? Increasingly, as we’ve recently discussed, bleeding edge investors are beginning to develop measures of returns to people, communities, and society. They provide a more nuanced, sophisticated picture of the value a firm has actually created — or a market allocated — than mere financial returns (“profit”). Better behavior from organizations and markets is ineluctably tied to better measurements of what is returned from them.

    • Senate cuts to recession relief bill favor special interests

      Leaders target funding for unemployment benefits, Medicare and Medicaid — but neither party has suggested trimming more than 60 tax breaks worth $32 billion to special interests.

    • Public Isn’t Buying Wall Street Reform: AP Poll

      Americans aren’t convinced new Wall Street rules will prevent a future financial crisis.

      An Associated Press-GfK Poll finds that 64 percent of those surveyed aren’t confident that a financial regulation overhaul before Congress will avert another meltdown.

    • Financial Reform Conference: Auto Dealers Beat Obama, Win Exemption From Consumer Protection Agency

      In the end, the political clout of 18,000 auto dealers scattered nationwide was too much even for President Barack Obama.

      House and Senate negotiators putting final shape to a sweeping overhaul of Wall Street regulations all but agreed Tuesday to exclude auto dealers from the oversight of a consumer financial protection bureau.

      “The political reality is that those of us who have fought against an auto dealer carve-out can’t prevail,” Representative Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill.

    • Scott Brown’s key vote gives Massachusetts firms clout in financial overhaul

      State Street isn’t one of the iconic firms of Wall Street. It doesn’t even make the top 10 largest bank holding companies in the country. But on Capitol Hill this week, as lawmakers finalize new rules regulating Wall Street, Boston-based State Street wields enormous influence.

    • Obama administration urges caution on deficit cuts

      President Barack Obama’s top economic advisers are urging America’s major economic allies not to sacrifice economic growth to efforts to trim budget deficits.

    • JPMorgan Sets Sights Overseas

      JPMorgan Chase emerged from the financial crisis as one of the strongest banks on American soil. Now it wants to make up lost ground overseas.

    • Stocks zigzag after Fed says Europe is a risk

      Stocks fluctuated Wednesday after the Federal Reserve indicated that problems in Europe pose a threat to the economy.

      The Dow Jones industrial average rose about 4 points in late afternoon trading while broader indexes fell. Treasury prices rose, pushing down interest rates. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell to its lowest level in more than a year.

    • House drops demand for bank-paid liquidation fund

      House negotiators on legislation providing an overhaul of the financial system have agreed to drop their demand for a $150 billion fund to cover costs of liquidating large, failing institutions.

    • Banks Have Repaid 75% of Bailout, Geithner Says

      The Treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner, said on Tuesday that taxpayers were recovering their investment from the financial bailouts as the program was wound down. But he acknowledged there would probably be a loss from the rescue of the insurer American International Group.

    • Wall St. vote’s a nail-biter in Senate

      The lead Senate Wall Street reform negotiator acknowledged Tuesday that Democrats are facing a nail-biting vote in the Senate, forcing congressional leaders to lean on Republicans to pass a bill unlikely to gain the support of two Democrats who have been holdouts for weeks.

    • Financial lobbyist irony alert

      The Consumer Federation of America is throwing its 40th annual awards dinner tonight honoring Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) for their public service. And the consumer advocacy group received interest in the dinner from an unlikely quarter: the financial services industry.

    • The Next Financial Crisis: Coming to Your Neighborhood Soon?

      One of the fiercest debates during the Wall Street Reform conference negotiations has been over Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)’s amendment to improve the quality of capital used by America’s banks. The amendment would accomplish this by eliminating the designation of “trust-preferred securities” as Tier 1 capital.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Wikileaks makes contact with US government

      Whistleblower website Wikileaks has made contact with the US government over claims that an American serviceman is one of its sources.

      Soldier Bradley Manning has been held for three weeks without formal charge.

      The US is investigating claims that he passed confidential information to Wikileaks.

      Site editor Julian Assange told BBC News that, so far, the US authorities have not yet been in touch with him.

    • Hail to the whistleblowers

      James Madison (drafter of the US first amendment) once wrote that “government, without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy; or perhaps both”.

      This is certainly true of Afghanistan, where the US-led coalition has been able to avoid a true audit of the impact of its presence via tight control of the media combined with manipulated patriotism.

    • WikiLeaks founder told to avoid U.S.
    • WikiLeaks founder breaks cover in Brussels

      The founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, who is at the centre of a US security scare, has emerged from hiding to say that he is not afraid of the Pentagon but that he has been advised by his lawyers to avoid travelling to the United States.

    • New online games rules restrict content, children’s playing time

      China’s online games companies must take steps to protect children from unwholesome and corrupting content, according to new regulations issued Tuesday by the Ministry of Culture.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Who is attending these “secret” FCC net neutrality meetings?

      Anger and confusion remains high over these private “back door” meetings that the Federal Communications Commission has been holding with various “stakeholders” regarding its proposed open Internet rules. Reform groups are still up in arms over the Tuesday gatherings, which appear to have focused on a legislative solution to the problem. Congress, it should be noted, is exploring rewriting the Communications Act in response to the current FCC logjam on the issue.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • US regulator guns for HP printer cartridge clones

      THE US International Trade Commission (ITC) is investigating a complaint from the maker of very expensive printer ink, HP, that some of its rivals are making the stuff a lot cheaper.

    • Copyrights

      • US Copyright Group Willing To Reveal The Tech It Uses To Identify File Sharers… Sort Of

        US Copyright Group, which is really DC-based law firm Dunlap, Grubb and Weaver, has made a lot of news recently for unleashing thousands of lawsuits on people it accuses of infringing on copyrights, in an effort not to stop infringement, but to send out “pre-settlement letters” to get people to pay up to avoid the lawsuits. Dunlap keeps insisting, despite similar efforts accusing perfectly innocent people of infringement and demanding payment, that its technology is reliable and credible. CCS Labs, a company that does work in the computer crime field, was curious about this and asked US Copyright Group for the right to review its methodology and technology.

      • Canadian Heritage Minister declares war on copyright reformers

        Michael Geist sez, “There was considerable attention yesterday on a media report stating that Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore warned against ‘radical extremists’ opposing C-32. A video of part of his remarks has now been posted online. The comments, which come after the prepared speech, feature a no-holds-barred attack against those arguing for fair copyright. According to Moore, some proposed amendments to C-32 are not genuine but rather part of an attempt to oppose copyright and copyright reform, to drum up fear, and to mislead. Moore encourages confrontation, urging the audience to confront on Facebook, Twitter, talk shows and in the media until ‘they are defeated.’”

      • A Canadian author’s perspective on ‘radical extremism’ and copyright

        As the Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore has declared war on copyright reformers who object to his plan to bring US-style “digital locks” rules to Canada, I think it’s worth spelling out what my objections, as a Canadian author, are to his plan (my books are distributed across Canada by the excellent HB Fenn; last year I won the Ontario White Pine Award for best book; as I write this, my novel For the Win is on the Canadian bestseller lists).

        [...]

        Get that? People who create stuff should have the right to let their audiences move copyrighted works to other platforms.

        I challenge Minister Moore to climb down from his nasty smears about copyright reformers and address this and other legitimate concerns over digital locks rules. Thousands and thousands of Canadians spoke out against this kind of rule in the Canadian copyright proceedings. James Moore has tabled a bill that ignores the results of his own consultation, and then had the bad grace to smear the creators and audiences who, in good faith, came forward to participate in the debate over the future of Canadian copyright.

        He owes us an apology. And an explanation.

      • Will the BPI target Microsoft Bing?

        Will Microsoft soon be targetted by Vivendi Universal, EMI, Warner Music and Sony Music’s BPI (British Phornographic Industry)

        Microsoft’s Bing search engine now offers playable search results”, says CNet News.

        “We have identified the following links that are available via Google’s search engine, and request the following links be removed as soon as possible as they directly link to sound recordings owned by our members”, p2pnet had the BPI saying, quoting Chilling Effects.

        And Gargle is only a facilitator.

      • Hollywood faces new piracy threat

        Movie fans downloading free pirated films are no longer Hollywood’s worst nightmare, but that’s only because of a newer menace: cheap, and equally illegal, subscription services.

      • Video Surfaces of Moore’s “Radical Extremists” Comment

        Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore’s “radical extremists” comment yesterday generated considerable attention, though he privately denied saying it in some correspondence (one DM: “Not what I said. Not even close”). New video has now been posted that confirms the comment and further attacks on those supporting fair copyright. The latest comments:

        With regard to the legislation, we really did try to strike a balance with this legislation. You’ll notice, I think, we’re now three weeks into the public consideration of the legislation that we tabled. There is a lot of commentary out there on this online and I think the response that we’re getting is that that generally is the case. The only people who are opposed to this legislation are really two groups of radical extremists. In the continuum of political ideaology, if you go really extreme to the right or really extreme to the left it actually swings back around. That is sort of where we are.

      • Huge Victory: Court Rules For YouTube Against Viacom

        Well this is a pleasant surprise. Like many others, I had assumed that the court reviewing the Viacom/YouTube lawsuit would not accept either side’s position for summary judgment and the case would go to a full trial. However, as Eric Goldman alerts us, the court has quickly ruled in favor of Google/YouTube, saying that it is, in fact, protected by the DMCA’s safe harbors.

    • ACTA

Clip of the Day

CLUG Talk 8 September 2009 – PAM (2009)


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