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06.18.10

Links 18/6/2010: Parted Magic 4.11, AT&T Against Linux Freedom

Posted in News Roundup at 12:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • HP: The Linux distributor?

    Hardware companies don’t tend to have their own Linux distributions. IBM uses Linux everywhere, but they don’t have their own Linux. Dell will be happy to sell you notebooks and netbooks with Ubuntu or a workstation or server with RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux). But, no major OEM (original equipment manufacturer) has had a house-brand Linux… until now. HP has recently bought not one, but two Linux distributions.

    Surely HP is not getting into the Linux distribution business? Are they!?

    HP first acquired its own Linux distribution bough Palm to get its hand on webOS. For some reason, a lot of people seemed to think that Palm was still using its old proprietary operating system, Palm OS. Nope. WebOS has proprietary extensions but this mobile device OS with its Linux kernel heart has more in common with Android and MeeGo than it does with its proprietary fore-bearers.

    [...]

    The one thing I can’t see HP doing though is releasing its Linux takes to other people as full Linux distributions. Instead, I see HP using its Linuxes to add value to their own offerings, not as something they’d sell, nevermind give away, to other vendors or users. HP will do what it needs to do to keep from running afoul of the GPL, but that will be it.

  • 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).

  • First Linux to appear in Flemish comic series ?

    This is something I found via Dag Wieers.

  • Desktop

    • Improving The Linux Desktop? Why, It’s Elementary

      The motivation for elementary started long before project leader Daniel Foré had ever even heard of Linux. Back in those early days he was a Windows user (like many of us), who got caught up in the idea of making Windows look like OS X.

      Later on (I’m proud to say) he discovered Kororaa Linux and was amazed at the power and flexibility of the Linux desktop. This sparked an underlying passion for great computing and a desire to create the most amazing desktop possible. Through these experiences he began his first project, making a Crystal style icon set for GNOME, and shortly thereafter The elementary Project was born.

      There are now many parts to elementary and the project is currently working on several ideas at once. Still prevalent is the ever popular elementary icon set and GTK theme (called eGTK for short), but searching wider than that we find efforts to improve Midori (the lightweight GTK Webkit based web browser) and even Nautilus, GNOME’s built-in file manager. There’s even an elementary Theme Addon for Firefox. The goal for elementary is to improve many individual aspects of the Linux desktop and feed them upstream, while at the same time pulling it all together into a new and exciting desktop experience. Many of their modifications to Nautilus for example came from rejected Bugzilla patches and those that weren’t, have been sent upstream. If their work to-date is anything to go by, this is definitely one project to keep an eye on.

    • Dell joining Acer and HP in Chrome OS hardware

      A list of config files has been spotted within Chrome OS listing not only long-standing likely suspects Acer as hardware partners, but HP and Dell too.

      [...]

      According to Download Squad, a list of files within the .git repository, which look after Chrome’s hardware support in the build process, indicate that the three hardware makers are advanced enough in their preparations to be specified in config files.

  • Old PCs

    • “Smart Reuse With Open Source”

      Fosdick points out that with Linux, computers up to ten years old (basically Pentium III or better) are reusable. Microsoft’s difficult and expensive refurbisher program can only reuse computers up to about five years old.

    • Where in the world?

      Time for a fresh install of Linux! If only I had remembered to pack an installation CD along with my jim-jams and toothbrush… My Dad’s PC is so old, it doesn’t have a CD burner, nor does it boot from a USB stick.

  • Server

  • Ballnux

  • Kernel Space

    • The kernel column #88

      Five years of Git
      Christian Ludwig noted that it’s now been five years since Linus Torvalds – frustrated by the fallout from use of the proprietary BitKeeper software – wrote the guts of the Git distributed revision control system in the space of about a week. A lot more effort has gone in since then, and Junio C Hamano (as well as many others) continue to do an excellent job further developing and maintaining Linus’s original invention. Git (now at version 1.7.1) is used by a vast number of different open source projects, and tools like gitweb, github and others make collaboration between developers easier than ever before. Christian Ludwig has made a fun video showing Git kernel history,

    • Graphics Stack

      • New ATI Linux Video Driver Has OpenGL 4.0 and RHEL 5.5 Support

        Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) announced last evening, June 16th, another improved version of its ATI Catalyst Linux display driver, available for both x86 and x86_64 architectures. ATI Catalyst 10.6 introduces final and stable support for the Red Hat Enterprise 5.5 Linux operating system, official OpenGL 4.0 and OpenGL 3.3 support, and many 2D performance improvements. The software version was updated to 8.741.

  • Applications

  • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

    • Epic Moment: Free and fast graphics at last

      So, what’s the epic moment? Well, the epic moment for me was seeing KDE Plasma start up with the Free driver, enable compositing automatically and by that delivering a much more beautiful and functional desktop to me, out of the box.

  • Distributions

    • The fragile balance between fast and reliable

      Being a Distro developer, or a packager if you prefer, is not always that simple. Many people think that our “job” is quite straight forward. All we need to do is to read the INSTALL file and then adapt the instructions into an ebuild format and we are done. Well it is definitely more than that.

      [...]

      Every time a new version is available, a series of tests need to be run to make sure we retain a high level of QA in our tree. Such tests involve multiple compilations with various compilation flags, compilers, use flags, etc etc

    • New Releases

      • Parted Magic 4.11

        The Parted Magic OS employs core programs of GParted and Parted to handle partitioning tasks with ease, while featuring other useful programs (e.g. Clonezilla, Partimage, TestDisk, Truecrypt, G4L, SuperGrubDisk, ddrescue, etc…) and an excellent set of documentation to benefit the user.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • BOSS is Nobody’s Boss!

        Developed by C-DAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing), it’s yet another Debian fork with packages more dated than the current Debian stable, Lenny (Remember, Squeeze is close to freezing and is unofficially ready for mass consumption). BOSS’ software stack has all the usual suspects such as – Web server, proxy server, Database server, Mail server, Network server, File and Print server, SMS server, LDAP server, plus all major Indian language packs. However, all these and the underlying kernel, desktop environments and userland is very old. Now, the latest, at version 3.0, it still sticks to linux 2.6.22, xorg 1.3, gnome 2.20, OOo 2.2 and FF 3.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Review: Ubuntu Linux 10.04 – It just works

          Out of the box comes a complete operating system with a full office suite (OpenOffice), FireFox webbrowser, CD/DVD burner, movie editor, IM-client, BitTorrent-Client and so much more. You can practically immediately start working and doing everyday tasks right after the installation. It’s still a complete mystery why the .mp3 support is missing, but it take a few seconds to fix that and start listening to your music collection.

        • Ubuntu 10.04 Upgrade: Best Practices Checklist

          Have you been thinking about upgrading your computer to Ubuntu 10.04? I recently made the leap, at the prompting of my Update Manager. The process went fairly smoothly, but I did have to deal with a couple of minor annoyances. Since you never know exactly what may happen when you decide to upgrade, here are a few tips to get you started.

        • Ubuntu 10.10 “Maverick Meerkat” To be Radical, Promises Shuttleworth

          Canonical chief, Mark Shuttleworth said on his blog recently that the Ubuntu version 10.10 will be focussed on being social and being fast. According to him, the OS is getting faster and faster when it comes to boot times but “the final push remains”. In the mean time, he said that the Netbook Edition of Ubuntu 10.10 will have a revamped UI and it will be the fastest booting and the fastest to network OS for netbooks at that time. Canonical is of course the company that funds and oversees the Ubuntu project.

          In keeping with the alliterative and animal naming scheme — Ubuntu 10.10 is being called “Maverick Meerkat”. Meerkats are social creatures by nature. They are very family oriented. And their name has been adopted to signify the emphasize being laid on being social.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Jolicloud: Ubuntu Linux Touch Screens Meet the Cloud

            Ubuntu Linux will ship on roughly 5 million computers this year, according to Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth. And that number could grow further thanks to Jolicloud — an Ubuntu-based operating system designed to blend netbooks with cloud computing. Moreover, Jolicloud recently gained touch-screen support, which could position the OS for mobile Internet devices (MIDs). But is Jolicloud ready for partners? Here are some insights.

          • Linux Mint 9 RC Backs Up Your Data and Application Choices

            We’ve previously suggested that Linux Mint, a distant cousin of Ubuntu, might make for a better beginner’s Linux OS. With the inclusion of an incremental backup tool, app selection backups, and a smarter software finder, Mint is hitting its mark.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Low Cost ARM11 Development Kits Runs Main-line Linux and Android

      Witech recently released another Low cost ARM11 development kit, With the price of US$ 139.00 for an ARM11 OK6410 development kit plus a 4.3 inch TFT LCD, Witech pronounce that the OK6410 features the best price-performance ratio to date.

    • Bluecherry releases a Linux MPEG-4 compression card

      OPEN SAUCE security surveillance vendor Bluecherry says it has released the software driver for version 2 of its Linux based hardware compression card.

    • Nokia/MeeGo

      • Nokia S Series – The MeeGo Smartphones We Want To See

        It’s always been expected that the Maemo based Nokia N900 will eventually run MeeGo, but it would be nice to see a whole range of smartphones running this smarter than smart Open Source OS.

      • A Review Of MeeGo v1.0: Is It Good Enough For Your Netbook?

        When I first set out to try MeeGo, I had hoped to boot up the live USB image on my netbook. What I soon discovered, however, is that it would not work. My netbook (an EeePC 1201n) has an Nvidia Ion graphics chipset, which is not supported by MeeGo (along with ATI and Intel GMA 500 chipsets). I further found that my other netbook (EeePC 900) was also not supported because it was a pre-Atom model, and MeeGo only supports Intel Atom processors.

        [...]

        MeeGo seems like a pretty decent operating system. On the surface, however, it does not seem very different from Moblin, which would make it appear to be a one-sided Intel affair. Underneath, however, Nokia has integrated it with the QT widget set and underlying Linux kernel development merged from Maemo. All of this makes MeeGo very fast, which I was not able to accurately test in Qemu.

        Overall, it seems good, but it will need some screen size improvement to work well on netbooks. For tablets, the large tabs at the top will work nicely. Assuming Intel and Nokia plan to support a larger number of devices than they currently do, MeeGo will be a nice addition.

    • Android

      • Droid X vs iPhone 4: The Last Phone Ringing

        Today there are many phones which may give the iPhone run for money if they had a ‘salesperson’ like Steve Jobs. This is no hidden fact that Apple has a fan following and most of its devices sell owing to this following. Apple fans ignore and reject the limitations these devices have, instead of asking for a device that fit their needs, they adopt to the devices.

        [...]

        On the contrary, Android is all about healthy competition. Droid X will have full support for Adobe Flash (Adobe should now release Flash under some Free Software license). Thus Droid X will have marketing backing of Motorola, Verizon and Adobe.

      • Is AT&T Polluting Android Phones?

        AT&T seems be pushing its iPhone philosophy on Android phone. The company is going against the very foundation of Free Software or Open Source on which Android is based.

      • AT&T CEO: We’re Happy Where We Are With Android Compared to Verizon

        Randall also comments on their desire to push Yahoo! Search on most of their devices, stating they don’t like Google’s decision on keeping their own search engine as the operating system’s default. The reason? It’s anti-open-source. I’m not going to go too deep with trying to argue Randall’s statements, but how is being given the ability to change Android’s default search and services experience to whatever you want “anti-open-source”?

      • Android leads growing Linux-based phone market

        A new report by ABI Research says Linux-based smart phones will outpace the rate of growth of the overall smart phone market by 2015. The drivers behind the expanding market share

    • Tablets

      • SmartDevices SmartQ V7 Linux Tablet

        SmartDevices has upgraded their Ubuntu Linux SmartQ 7 tablet and renamed it SmartQ V7 and classified it as a HD MID. The SmartQ V7 is a big brother of the SmartQ V5 has been upgraded to the Telechips TCC8900 ARM 11 CPU that runs at 600MHz and had the RAM doubled from 128MB to 256MB DD2 and runs at three times the speed @330MHz.

Free Software/Open Source

  • TransferSummit – Open innovation in software means Open Source

    Open source projects are very probably the best way to efficiently bring software experts together today. Industry associations and interest groups might fulfil that role in other industries, but developers like to express themselves in code, and open source projects are where that happens today.

  • credativ, LLC and Forest Informatics, Inc. Announce Partnership, Training for Open Source Geospatial Database Analytics, Potential for Massive Cost Savings

    credativ, a global open source consulting, service, and support company, announced today a partnership with Forest Informatics, Inc., a provider of turnkey and custom solutions for forest resource management. Together, they will offer introductory and advanced training on geospatial analytics, initially in San Diego, California.

  • Updating the Open Source PBX Story

    One of the big stories of 2009 was the finding by John Malone of Eastern Management Group, reported first on No Jitter, that open source systems account for 18% of the IP-PBX market. Now John is updating his research, so I encourage you to go take his survey and help as we continue to refine our picture of the IP-PBX user base.

  • Being locked in with proprietary software

    This is why I greatly prefer open source software. It is completely free as in freedom, and we can use it anonymously and that’s just OK with everybody. I don’t like giving away lots of details to vendors about any of my hardware/software. Many times, they don’t need to know anything more than the simple fact that you’ve paid them money, and you own their product.

  • Azul Systems To Open Source Significant Technology in Managed Runtime Initiative
  • Azul Systems Launches Open Initiative for Improving Managed Runtimes

    As part of the launch of the Initiative, Azul is contributing an open source reference implementation based on enhancements to OpenJDK and the Linux operating system.

  • When It Comes to Security, Openness Isn’t Always a Virtue – Con: Joe Brockmeier

    Companies have not shown a tendency to be entirely forthcoming about security breaches unless they have to be. It’s not only impossible to examine the code for vulnerabilities, it’s also impossible to know exactly what is being done with your data. This should scare the hell out of people when talking about their personal data.

  • Web Browsers

  • Databases

  • CMS

    • WordPress 3.0 adds multi-site support

      The WordPress development team have released version 3.0 of their popular open source blogging and publishing platform, code named “Thelonious”. The thirteenth major update has more than 2,700 changes, including 1,217 bug fixes and feature enhancements.

  • Education

    • Questionmark Supports Moodle Course Management Integration

      The Questionmark Moodle Connector enables instructors to link their Moodle courses to course evaluations, quizzes, tests and exams deployed using Perception. Instructors may specify assessment dates and limit the number of times students may access assessments.

  • Healthcare

    • Alliance develops medical software for smartphones

      The Continua Health Alliance is developing a software library of source code to run medical applications on select smartphones. The work is being done in partnership with Vignet, a medical software developer.

  • Business Intelligence

    • Business Intelligence Alternatives ‘Good Enough’ for Many Users

      While lower upfront cost isn’t the only reason to consider open source software, it’s one that initially gets the attention of many organizations. (I guess most of us are no different. When I’m shopping, I generally head to the clearance racks first. Who wants to pay full price if you don’t have to?)

      In fact, with a continued emphasis on reducing IT costs, organizations are “obliged to at least evaluate open source as an alternative” to traditionally licensed software, said David White, a senior research analyst for The Aberdeen Group, when I interviewed him about his recent report, “Open Source Business Intelligence: The Cost, Utilization and Innovation Factors that Matter.”

  • Finance

    • How to Make Money on Open Source Software

      We are big fans of the open source software movement. We believe that free and open software opens up markets and new capabilities much more quickly than closed and expensive software products. In the comments to my post on another open source effort we are funding, MongoDB, there was a discussion about why a VC firm would want to invest in free and open software. In that discussion, I explained that there are a number of ways to make money with open source software. The most obvious one is the “Red Hat” model of building a services and support business on top of the open source software. Red Hat has revenues of almost $600mm per year and boasts a public market valuation of over $5bn. MySQL, which also used that approach, sold to Sun for $1bn.

    • Open Source VAT software, would you risk it?

      There’s a good deal of debate in technology circles these days as to what point level source software, or indeed free and open source software, can fulfil our needs – especially when business gets mission critical. For individuals, mission critical status comes along when it comes to our health, our family, our house and our money so Tax and VAT certainly come within radius.

  • Project Releases

  • Government

    • Norwegian Free Software Center Opposes Government Pro-FOSS Policy

      I may be missing something, but it looks to me as though the Norwegian Free Software Center is not only abandoning its mandate, but working against it. There is no evidence to justify crying conspiracy, and no doubt Gundersen and Austlid are sincere, yet you have to wonder how they could argue against the very cause they are supposed to promote.

      However, that is not the reason that I have spent time discussing their argument. With all respect, Norway is a single small country, and, living halfway around the world from it, I am unlikely to be affected much by what happens there.

      All the same, Gundersen and Austlid’s arguments are worth examining for their own sake. One day, those of us outside Norway may be lucky enough to hear our own federal, provincial or city governments propose pro-free software policies. If we do, then we will undoubtedly hear similar arguments against the policies, and need to start thinking about how to debunk them.

      Unless I am mistaken, though, the only difference will be that the counter arguments that we hear will most likely come from the critics and enemies of free software — not those who are supposed to support it.

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open source brings new meaning to user-generated content

      OpenBlock is the open source software powering the project and is being developed by the nonprofit group OpenPlans. They’re partnering with The Columbia Daily Tribune in Missouri and The Boston Globe on two separate, but similar, projects.

  • Open Data

    • Tricky Sea Ice Predictions Call for Scientists to Open Their Data

      With sea ice levels in the Arctic at record lows this month, a new report comparing scientists’ predictions calls for caution in over-interpreting a few weeks worth of data from the North Pole.

      The Sea Ice Outlook, which will be released this week, brings together more than a dozen teams’ best guesses at how much sea ice will disappear by the end of the warm season in September. This year began with a surprise. More sea ice appeared than anticipated, nearing its mean level from 1979-2007. But then ice levels plummeted through May and into June. Scientists have never seen the Arctic with less ice at this time of year in the three decades they’ve been able to measure it, and they expect below average ice for the rest of the year.

  • Open Access/Content

    • Can You Make Money from Free Stuff?

      It’s good to see companies like Getty Images trying to include material that’s licensed under Creative Commons licences, but it will be interesting to see how this all works in practice. It does, in any case, emphasise that making money from free stuff, while perfectly possible, requires careful thought about the licensing. But then you knew that anyway.

    • BCS EGM: It’s Time To Vote For Transparency

      Despite the unbalanced presentation on the official BCS web site (where there is no attempt to represent the views of the loyal and senior members who felt compelled to call the meeting as a last resort – their case is on their own site), the issues the EGM raises are serious and reflect a widespread disquiet among active BCS members. The webcast by the BCS President and CEO on June 10 didn’t make things any better, attacking the messengers further rather than responding to the message, and today I’m left with the same unease as I had when I first saw the EGM was happening.

  • Open Hardware

    • Open source automobiles?

      What is interesting about Riversimple is its business model. To begin with the cars are all leased for a monthly fee, not bought, and secondly, all the technology and design is open source. According to its publicity,

    • Future of Health: The Open Prosthetics Project

      The Open Prosthetics Project is producing useful innovations in the field of prosthetics and freely sharing the designs. This project is an open source collaboration between users, designers and funders with the goal of making creations available for anyone to use and build upon.

Leftovers

  • Security/Aggression

    • MP in talks over Birmingham ‘terror cameras’

      An MP is meeting the crime-prevention group involved a row over surveillance cameras in parts of Birmingham with large Muslim populations.

      Hall Green Labour MP Roger Godsiff is seeking reassurance there will be a “thorough” consultation before the 218 cameras are switched on.

    • The Case for Calling Them Nitwits

      When terrorists do execute an attack, or come close, they often have security failures to thank, rather than their own expertise. Consider Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab — the Nigerian “Jockstrap Jihadist” who boarded a Detroit-bound jet in Amsterdam with a suicidal plan in his head and some explosives in his underwear. Although the media colored the incident as a sophisticated al-Qaeda plot, Abdulmutallab showed no great skill or cunning, and simple safeguards should have kept him off the plane in the first place. He was, after all, traveling without luggage, on a one-way ticket that he purchased with cash. All of this while being on a U.S. government watch list.

    • Stalin’s harvest

      A PLAINTIVE siren wails as a government unit, invisible in the darkness, patrols. “We will shoot anyone on the streets. Military curfew. Do not leave your homes,” comes the clipped command in Russian over the loudspeaker. A round of tank-artillery fire rings out. A machinegun crackles a response. This is “calm”, of a sort, after the bloody mayhem of inter-ethnic violence between the Kyrgyz majority and the Uzbek minority that broke out in southern Kyrgyzstan on June 10th. But in Osh, as elsewhere, the wounds that have been opened may take generations to heal.

  • Environment

  • Finance

    • UK deficit and government borrowing – how has it changed since 1946?

      Britain’s budget deficit came in lower than feared last month, the latest indication that the public finances are over the worst of the financial crisis.

      The government borrowed £16bn in May, below last year’s £17.4bn and less than the £18bn expected by City economists.

      However, the nation’s debt has now reached £903bn – equivalent to 62.2% of GDP, the highest since records began in 1993, underlining the task faced by the coalition government in cutting the debt burden.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Why can’t journalists handle public criticism?

      Why do so many journalists find it so hard to handle public criticism? If you’re an athlete, you’re used to it. If you’re an artist, critics will regularly take you down. If you are in government, the pundits and now the bloggers will show no mercy. If you’re in business, the market will punish you.

      In all these cases, the seasoned professional learns to deal with it. But over and over today, we encounter the sorry spectacle of distinguished reporters losing it when their work is publicly attacked — or columnists sneering at the feedback they get in poorly moderated web comments.

      Clark Hoyt recently concluded his tenure as the New York Times’ “public editor” (aka ombudsman) with a farewell column that described the reactions of Times journalists to his work. It seems the process of being critiqued in public in their own paper continues to be alienating and dispiriting to them. Journalists typically, and rightly, see themselves as bearers of public accountability — holding the feet of government officials, business leaders and other public figures to the fire of their inquiries. Yet, remarkably, a surprising number of journalists still find it hard to accept being held to account themselves.

    • HTTPS Everywhere

      HTTPS Everywhere is a Firefox extension produced as a collaboration between The Tor Project and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. It encrypts your communications with a number of major websites.

    • Toxic net filters ‘shelved until after election’

      The internet censorship policy has joined the government’s list of “politically toxic subjects” and will almost certainly be shelved until after the federal election, Greens communications spokesman Scott Ludlam says.

      Prime Minister Kevin Rudd – already facing a voter backlash over several perceived policy failures – is expected to call the election before the end of the year and the feeling of many in Canberra is that next week will be the last sitting week of Parliament.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Significant Objects Becomes A Book… More Infinite Goods Creating New Scarcities

      Last year, we wrote about a fascinating “art” project, called “Significant Objects,” that involved a bunch of writers buying up random cheap/worthless trinkets, but then listing them on eBay along with a creative (fictional) story about the object. The “story” was given away for free, but the object cost money. What those involved in the project quickly found was that these worthless trinkets were suddenly selling for a lot more than their nominal “price.” It was a perfect example of how an infinite good (the story), when properly attached to a scarce good (the trinket), can make that scarce good much more valuable.

    • Copyrights

      • Police Raids Tear Apart Hungarian BitTorrent Scene

        Through co-ordinated raids across the country, Hungarian police have attempted to decimate the country’s BitTorrent scene. Following the deployment of many officers, dozens of servers were seized and many of the country’s trackers shut down, including the prominent 900,000 peer ‘ncore’ tracker. An ISP, university and many seedboxes were also targeted.

      • EMI Rejig Gives Faxon Control Of Rights-Hungry Label

        The umpteenth restructure at EMI Group, since the Terra Firma takeover three years ago, sees the chief of one of its two divisions upped to group-wide CEO

        EMI is bringing both its EMI Music Publishing and its EMI Recorded Music divisions under the leadership of Roger Faxon, who has led the former unit since 2007 but who is being given an overarching role.

    • ACTA

      • Agenda For Round Nine of ACTA Talks Posted

        The agenda for the ninth round of ACTA talks scheduled for Lucerne, Switzerland from June 28 – July 1st. All the major issues – civil enforcement, criminal provisions, Internet issues, and border measures – are on the agenda. The agenda includes two elements that suggest considerable progress has been made. First, the morning of the first day is devoted to a report on “intersessional work.” This confirms rumours that there have been considerable negotiations (and progress) since New Zealand. Second, the international cooperation chapter makes the agenda for the first time.

Clip of the Day

Marc Welz: CLUG Talk – 26 August 2008 – DNS (2008)


Links 18/6/2010: WordPress 3.0, OLPC for 90,000 in Uruguay

Posted in News Roundup at 3:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • All hail the easy to use!

      This is why I like SimplyMepis. I like Linux Mint. I like PCLOS. I like Sabayon. I like Pardus.

      Oh, I still like Slackware, Debian, and Gentoo too, for nostalgic reasons, but when it comes to choosing a desktop these days, I pick from the first list.

      I know why the bigger commercial distros can’t include all that stuff and why some others don’t. But this is why we hope these smaller projects never give up and go home. They make life easier and these days, we can all use that.

    • Linux Desktop Stigma Draws Ire and Fire

      Stand up and be proud of what you’ve done for Linux. Yes, you’ll draw your share of ire and fire but isn’t every great fight worth it for the freedom it brings to everyone?

  • Applications

    • Scenari – A powerful application to create and publish documents

      This application is most probably going to be of interest to people working in the education field, as I am, but not only.

      I discovered scenari when one of the developers came for a 3 days workshop at my university.
      I create resources and teach online and have been so far doing very poorly regarding online multimedia documents. Mainly out of ignorance and poor taste for multimedia techy stuff, I have given .pdf online and that was about it..

    • Serve Up Your Music with Zeya

      Have you always wanted to set up your own music station to stream your latest music collection to your friends or colleagues? Have you been thinking lately of setting up an always-on music streaming server so that you can just open up your web browser and listen to your favorite tracks? A music server is great in a dormitory, laboratory or office where the file server can double up as the music server! I will show you how using Zeya.

    • Bringing improved PDF support to Google Chrome

      Millions of web users rely on PDF files every day to consume a wide variety of text and media content. To enable this, a number of plug-ins exist today which allow users to open PDF files inside their browsers.

    • Disk Backup With Amanda On Debian Lenny
  • Games

    • Heroes of Newerth – Charge!

      Linux games are many and varied. You can find pretty much anything you need, from simple arcades via racing all the way to expansive and elaborate tactical shooters. Still, one aspect of the Linux gaming scene is underplayed, this being the Real Time Strategy (RTS). For whatever reason, there’s a lack of great strategy games for Linux. You will find some, but not as many as you would hope for.

  • Distributions

    • Pay what you want for Kiddix OS

      From Microsoft Bob to Edubuntu there have been a number of attempts at making computers of various sorts easier and more useful for young people. Another participant in this space is Kiddix, “a complete operating system and software environment for children, built from the ground up with your family’s needs and safety in mind.” Kiddix is built upon Linux, and aims to present things in a very “kid friendly” way. Through the end of June, Kiddix is running a “Pay What You Want” promotion, allowing you to pay any amount to buy their OS.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat @ Year Highs

        Shares of Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT) booked a new 52 week high today by trading above $32.34, traders are definitely monitoring Red Hat’s price action to see if this move attracts further buying into the stock.

      • New Highs for Shares of Red Hat, Deckers, and Alaska Air (DECK, ALK, RHT)
      • Red Hat Announces Finalists in Fourth Annual Innovation Awards

        The Red Hat and JBoss Innovation Awards finalists are recognized in four separate categories. In addition, a fifth category recognizes a finalist that is deploying a combined solution from Red Hat’s platform and middleware portfolios. Each Red Hat Innovation Awards category winner will be provided with complimentary admission to the 2010 Red Hat Summit and JBoss World, where they will be recognized at an awards ceremony in a general session for both Red Hat Summit and JBoss World attendees.

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • Canonical’s (Possibly) Excellent Adventure

        Is Canonical taking on Red Hat with its new commercial support service? Canonical’s move “is not as much a competition as an expansion into a growing market,” Pogson opined. “GNU/Linux has taken about all it can from Unix operating systems; now it is time to kick M$ out of servers.”

  • Devices/Embedded

    • OLPC’s New XO for 90,000 Teens in Uruguay

      OLPC has just been awarded an order from Plan Ceibal for 90,000 XO’s for teenagers in Uruguay. Yes, there will be a new XO specially for teenagers. Uruguay already has 380,000 of the original XOs for younger children, and now the kids can graduate to one designed for them as they mature.

      It’s to be a dual boot laptop. Note not triple boot. No Microsoft in this picture at all. GNOME has leaped into the pool to help out. The press release says, “It will feature the learning-focused Sugar user interface together with the Gnome Desktop Environment to provide a dual-boot Linux operating system with office productivity tools.” I wish I were a teenager in Uruguay so I could have one. If they do the partner program, I’m in.

Free Software/Open Source

  • About software forges

    I had the opportunity to talk a little bit with Dirk Riehle at LinuxTag about business models, collaboration and infrastructures, and one of the arguments was about software forges, like SourceForge or GForge. I would like to provide a little bit of overview of our discussion, along with my reasoning about the future of such forges.

  • CMS

    • WordPress 3.0 “Thelonious”

      Arm your vuvuzelas: WordPress 3.0, the thirteenth major release of WordPress and the culmination of half a year of work by 218 contributors, is now available for download (or upgrade within your dashboard). Major new features in this release include a sexy new default theme called Twenty Ten.

    • Clickability FUD on Open Source versus SaaS

      Clickability, a proprietary SaaS platform for content management, has compared SaaS to Open Source. Not only is the comparison inaccurate, it omits the downsides of SaaS and frankly, they are comparing apples to oranges. Open Source is a licensing and development model, SaaS is a software delivery model. Either they are distorting things on purpose, or they don’t understand Open Source at all. In other words, time to look at some good ol’ FUD and to share my take on Open Source versus SaaS.

  • Healthcare

    • From Apache to Health and Human Services

      Brian Behlendorf, one of the founders of the Apache web server project and the CollabNet cooperative software development company, is contracting now with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on the CONNECT software project. CONNECT helps hospitals and agencies exchange medical data, which gives doctors critical information to improve patient care.

  • Business

    • Open Source: The capitalists’ choice

      After all, giving away your “intellectual property” for the greater good may be a nice theory in some ideal world, but it rather flies in the face of capitalism, doesn’t it?

      Rubbish! In fact, I’d argue that Open Source is actually more true to capitalist principles than traditional proprietary software practices. It all comes down to the principle of efficient markets.

      Proprietary software is akin to the privatisation of the railways. It pays lip-service to the perceived efficiency benefits but if you look at it closely, you realise that the fundamental motivation of competition is absent.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Open Data

    • The UK’s public data tsunami gathers speed

      When the British Government said at the beginning of May that they would be releasing a ‘tsunami of public data’ you had to wonder whether reality would match up to the rhetoric. Oh ye of little faith… A fortnight ago, the Government released hundreds of new datasets – including a full list of Government expenditure – and this week, Transport for London announced that they too would be releasing lots of their transport data for free to the public.

    • Victory on FDA Data

      Back in February, we were encouraging participation in the Open Government Directive conversations happening at federal agencies, since they were busy creating their open government plans, and in a uniquely responsive position.

      Sunlight’s Nancy Watzman, submitted a request for the Department of Health and Human Services, calling on them to release a database on drugs, medical devices, and food recalls by manufacturers. Nancy has been writing extensively on HHS and FDA data issues, including our award-winning investigation, Heart of the Matter.

    • Consuming the Transport for London Data

      The following guest post is from Julian Todd, who works on projects such as Public Whip, UNdemocracy, and ScraperWiki. He is also a member of the Open Knowledge Foundation’s Working Group on Open Government Data.. The post was originally published on Julian’s blog, Freesteel.

      Yesterday Transport for London made a data dump of various locations and links to their traffic cameras, station locations, and so on.

  • Inhibiting Open Access

    • The EU proposal for increasing access?

      The aim is to restrict the conditions that would permit to increase the number and the range of accessible format works available. The Joint recommendation is about when “there is no appropriate commercial product on offer.” If a book exist in an audio format but not in a indexable format or searchable format, is it “on offer” to people with disabilities?

    • Accountability and Transparency at ICANN? Not looking good

      I’ve been keeping schtum about the Accountability and Transparency Review Team (ATRT) for a while for three reasons:

      1. I submitted a proposal along with a team of professional evaluators to be the review’s “independent expert”
      2. I know nearly all the members of the team and I respect them all
      3. They’re working to a tight timetable so you have to give some benefit of doubt

Leftovers

  • Science

  • Security/Aggression

  • Environment

    • EU deal signals ban on illegal timber

      The compromise between the European Parliament, the Spanish EU Presidency and the European Commission is a step towards ensuring that illegally harvested timber and wood products cannot be sold on the EU market.

      It is estimated that 20-40% of global industrial wood production comes from illegal sources, with up to 20% ending up on the EU market.

    • What happens when energy resources deplete?

      One view is that energy prices will rise, substitutes will be found, and prices will come back down again, perhaps settling at a somewhat higher equilibrium reflecting the cost of producing the substitute energy source. The economy will continue to function pretty much as before. The catch is that we aren’t finding reasonably-priced, scalable substitutes, so this isn’t happening. Oil prices are down, but not because of substitutes.

    • The oceans look delicious now.
    • Conservatives to Obama: Leave BP alone!

      Joe Barton says it is “a tragedy of the first proportion” that BP agreed to Obama’s request to set up a $20 billion fund to compensate Americans — and then he apologizes to BP CEO Hayward!

    • [corp-focus] Closing BP’s Escape Routes
    • Stonemirror

      As BP’s boss Tony Hayward is grilled by US Congressional Comittee the results are all too predictable. You’d think Tony Hayward was a politician, with the skills he;’s shown at evading responsibility and dodging questions. It seems however that the politicians grilling him are understandably a tad annoyed at this behaviour. The problem is this; they (the politicians) spend their ENTIRE POLITICAL CAREERS doing the very same.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Autopsy on wacky Jacqui’s ID astroturfing

      The documents reveal the site bought 50 million adverts on Facebook and other social network sites. These 50 million ads resulted in an awesome 537 people completing the survey on the site. We can only hope the government was paying per click-through rather than for each view of its advert.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • What will Iceland’s new media laws mean for journalists?

      The Icelandic parliament has voted unanimously to create what are intended to be the strongest media freedom laws in the world. And Iceland intends these measures to have international impact, by creating a safe haven for publishers worldwide — and their servers.

    • Privacy of Government Workers Limited by High Court

      The U.S. Supreme Court, putting limits on the privacy rights of government workers, ruled that a California police department acted reasonably when it reviewed personal text messages on an officer’s government-issued pager.

      The justices today unanimously rejected arguments by SWAT team member Jeff Quon that the city of Ontario violated his rights under the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable government searches.

  • Copyrights

    • Filesharing: Die wundersame Musikvermehrung Filesharing: The wondrous music reproduction
    • Are Bad Copyright Laws Killing Jazz And Harming Jazz Musicians?

      In the face of increasing examples of such copyright policies doing exactly the opposite of what they intend, how is it that our elected officials continue to buy the claims from a few entrenched industries, that copyright needs to be made even more strict? How many more musicians have to have their art and creativity stifled?

    • Google Planning A Paid Content System For Publishers In Italy

      Google (NSDQ: GOOG), which had hinted for nearly a year now that it was working on building some sort of paid content system for publishers, is reportedly launching such a system in Italy, where it has had some of its ugliest confrontations with the news industry. According to a report in the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, Google is reaching out to publishers there to get them to participate in the program, which it is calling Newspass.

    • Internet File-Sharing Service Is Sued by Music Publishers

      A coalition of eight music publishers sued the file-sharing service LimeWire on Wednesday, accusing it of copyright infringement, according to the National Music Publishers’ Association, the industry group that organized the suit.

    • The Economics of Copyright

      There’s no pretending this report is light reading, but I do think it represents an important statement about the need for basing copyright law on empirical evidence. Against the background of blatant lobbying during the passage of the Digital Economy Act, that surely has to be good news for everyone – whether or not they are copyright geeks.

    • Saying information wants to be free does more harm than good

      It’s time for IWTBF to die because it’s become the easiest, laziest straw man for Hollywood’s authoritarian bullies to throw up as a justification for the monotonic increase of surveillance, control, and censorship in our networks and tools. I can imagine them saying: “These people only want network freedom because they believe that ‘information wants to be free’. They pretend to be concerned about freedom, but the only ‘free’ they care about is ‘free of charge.’”

      But this is just wrong. “Information wants to be free” has the same relationship to the digital rights movement that “kill whitey” has to the racial equality movement: a thoughtless caricature that replaces a nuanced, principled stand with a cartoon character. Calling IWTBF the ideological basis of the movement is like characterising bra burning as the primary preoccupation of feminists (in reality, the number of bras burned by feminists in the history of the struggle for gender equality appears to be zero, or as close to it as makes no difference).

      So what do digital rights activists want, if not “free information?”

    • A boost for legally shared media – new TV & movie titles!

      Pioneer One can be found over at VODO, a tracker site for free to download media and a worthwhile visit, since these files will not have a warning letter dropping through your letterbox for sharing them. The pilot episode apparently cost $6000 dollars to shoot and there are 7 episodes in the first series to be followed with a planed 4 more series.

    • Europarl Question: Stronger protection for copyright holders

Clip of the Day

Henny Keyzer – CLUG Talk 28 April 2009 – Microcontrollers (2009)


06.17.10

Links 17/6/2010: Parted Magic 4.11, Haiku R1 Alpha

Posted in News Roundup at 6:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • 10 great illustrations of Linux humor
  • Desktop

    • That Linux Attitude…

      I might be very passionate about Mandriva Linux, granted. After all, not experiencing a single virus attack for over a year of heavy internet surfing WITHOUT an antivirus can be very motivating. The BEAUTY of the system itself contributes, too. Seeing that a computer can be used safely, simply, and even artistically by people who where formerly paralyzed by fear is what makes me tell others about Linux.

      I want to tell the world : “No more blue screens! No more panic! No more sluggish performance after a while!” That is how I see Linux: as a friendly community, as people who care for others and want to help computer users in need.

      [...]

      So, people should really think about this before starting their trip to TUX Land…Please remember that turning against Windows users or novice Linux users antagonizes the very spirit of Free Software: the COMMUNITY is the POWER OF TUX.

  • Kernel Space

    • Talking About Kernel Mode-Setting
    • Graphics Stack

      • [ANNOUNCE] xorg-server 1.8.99.901

        The X.org X server version 1.9 RC1 (1.8.99.901) is now available. While not including huge amounts of new functionality, this release has seen a number of longstanding development itches cleaned up with the goal of making the code cleaner and easier to understand.

      • AMD Catalyst 10.6 For Linux Brings Changes

        Catalyst 10.6 for Linux offers up RHEL 5.5 production support, official support for OpenGL 3.3 and OpenGL 4.0, and 2D performance enhancements. AMD was quick to support OpenGL 4.0 on their AMD Radeon HD 5000 series “Evergreen” hardware via their proprietary driver, but now with Catalyst 10.6 that support is officially there. The older R600/700 ASICs only support up through OpenGL 3.3. There is not, however, any early OpenCL 1.1 support in this month’s driver.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • KDE Visits FOSS Nigeria Conference 2010

        In 2010 the FOSS Nigeria Conference took place for the second time and, like last year, KDE attended the conference with two speakers. There was however a change in the visiting KDE team: Frederik Gladhorn joined Adriaan de Groot to take the place of Jonathan Riddell who could not make it this year. The venue for the conference was in Kano at the well-regarded Mambayya House, the Center for Democratic Research of the Bayero University. The conference date was moved from March to April, which meant that the weather presented a different face — hot followed by rain instead of the harmattan.

      • Flameworthy LinuxTag Notes

        So KDE has created a very open culture which results in innovation, experimentation and new technology. The user experience, while more of a focus than in the KDE 3.x times, imho still ain’t what it needs to be, might never be the way we currently work. At least, the finishing touch is boring and hard to do in such an open meritocracy.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Using Gnome Shell – Day 3

        I noted on a previous day that you need to ALT+TAB between windows, like any other regular system. The downside to this is that it is the only way to view open windows on a current desktop, where as with any other OS you can view at least which windows are open by glancing at your taskbar/panel.

  • Distributions

    • [Sabayon] Release Name Shuffling (CoreCD/SpinBase/CoreCDX)

      The upstream maintainers of Anaconda have drastically cut back the functionality of the Anaconda installer with respect to console-based text installation.

    • Reviews

      • Zenwalk 6.4 GNOME Screenshots

        Zenwalk is a Slackware-based distribution and this release, Zenwalk 6.4 GNOME, features the Linux kernel 2.6.33.4 and GNOME 2.28.2. This latest version of the GNOME desktop environment brings several improvements of its own to the distro. Other things that have changed in Zenwalk 6.4 GNOME include; new artwork, Gnome-disk-utility is added, Gnome-system-tools added, faster shutdown, bugs have been fixed, and more. View the release announcement for details and a list of packages included.

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Bulls in Charge
      • Fedora

        • Fedora 13 Boasts Many Leading-Edge Enhancements

          Red Hat’s Fedora 13 open-source software can serve in a full gamut of Linux roles, as long as users are prepared to upgrade their systems about once a year.

        • SELF 2010 trip report.

          One of the hardest parts of being FPL and attending a conference is getting a trip report done while you try to catch up to everything you missed while you were gone! But better late than never, here’s my report from this past weekend’s Southeast LinuxFest (SELF).

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 197

        In this issue we cover – Welcome New Ubuntu Members, Kubuntu Council Elections, Ubuntu sparc and ia64 ports, Ubuntu Stats, LoCo-Directory Meeting Feature, Ubuntu 10.04 Release Party at Kanchipuram, Sunday Special: Ubuntu Hour, Día del usuario Ubuntu ROCKED!!!, LinuxTag 2010 Ubuntu Berlin Barbeque, Instructors Confirmed for Ubuntu User Day on July 10th, Reviewing 2000 patches, “Is Linux Secure?” at Southeast LinuxFest, In The Press, In The Blogosphere, Ubuntu In Business, Wine 1.2 Release Candidate 3 Is Out Now, EtherPad: web-based collaborative editor, Canonical Rolling Out Ubuntu Advantage for Enterprise Linux OS, Linaro Tools and Infrastructure Sprint, Severed Fifth Part Two Begins, Featured Podcasts, Upcoming Meetings and Events, Updates and Security, and much much more!

      • Would Mark Shuttleworth use Gentoo had he not founded Ubuntu?

        While Ubuntu lost the “just works on your notebook” unique selling point a while ago (thanks to freedesktop et. al.), we could convince Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth to sign our Gentoo slogan “It’s all about choice” — so maybe in a year from now, you might see USE flags in Ubuntu as well. Don’t believe it? Here’s proof.

      • easy to use Lucid-themed conky bar now even easier to use!

        Many of you loved the look of the look of the bar but found the hacking needed to get it to fit your screensize a bit off-putting. Thankfully the developer, Veoduendes, has addressed that issue with the launch of a new configuration wizard which makes using the bar a total breeze.

      • Operation Cleansweep making progress… (updated)
      • Interview mit Ubuntus Mäzen
      • Flavours and Variants

        • Have a Mint

          All in all I’d say the Mint experience was pretty much a wash; there were some things that I didn’t need to do on Mint that I’d have had to do in Ubuntu, and other things I needed to fix in Mint that aren’t broken in Ubuntu. But, and this is the key, I got a good working installation to start with, whereas Ubuntu didn’t give me that this time around. So on that basis alone, I’m sticking with Mint for a while.

        • Spotlight on Linux: Linux Mint 9

          The best thing about Linux Mint is its out of the box capabilities. Nothing says ease-of-use like having browser and multimedia plugins and codecs already included and ready to use. Nothing is appreciated more either, by a lot of users. There is a large community of friendly and helpful users surrounding the Mint project, so be sure to drop by the forums. This version comes with GNOME 2.30, but other desktop versions follow soon after initial release. Any way you look at it, Linux Mint is one of the best distributions available today from any project, no matter the size.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • PocketBook 301+ Comfort review

      The PocketBook 301+ is actually a recent update of the original model released in 2007, itself based on a popular eReader design that’s been sold by various companies. Ukrainian in origin, the original 301 was a variant on the Netronix EB-600 eReader and essentially offered the same basic spec as a very wide range of other eReaders – around seven or eight of them in total. The 301+ improves the specification in several ways, though the quality of the E Ink screen and a sizable increase in internal storage capacity (up to 512MB from 256MB) are two of the key areas here. It features second-generation Vizplex E Ink electronic paper (the same tech as adopted by Sony for its 505 among others), and boasts a resolution of 600×800 pixels on its 6-inch screen. It can cater for 16 shades of grey – which, like its size, is essentially the standard for eReaders at the moment.

    • Android

      • The Flavor of Android’s Open Apps

        It started when I heard that National Public Radio (NPR) had an Android app last week. Actually, I’m sure they had the app earlier than that, but it was the news that this application was being open sourced by NPR that brought it to my attention.

        While I have been grooving on my new phone, I haven’t been downloading things willy-nilly yet, because my current lack of travel plans means that I’m in the home office a lot and therefore don’t need a fully stocked mobile platform yet.

      • Sony Ericsson Shakira to be called X8

        A few days ago I added a news article outlining that Sony Ericsson where to produce a middle sized x10 that would be larger than an x10 mini and smaller than an x10.

      • AT&T CEO: Not Worried About Verizon’s Android Position

        AT&T Inc. (T) Chief Executive Randall Stephenson said he isn’t losing any sleep over Verizon Wireless’s strong current position with Android phones, adding that things will change dramatically over the next six months.

      • Logitech Confirms Companion Box to be Called “Revue”

        Logitech took to their blog today to confirm the “Revue” as their companion box for Google TV. Rather than forking out hundreds or thousands for a new television, Logitech’s add-on peripheral is designed to complement any current HD set. So how did they come up with the name?

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Ubuntu Netbook Edition (Remix) not just for netbooks?

        Ubuntu Netbook Edition (formally netbook remix) is a collection of applications that make Ubuntu more usable on smaller screens. But you don’t have to be running a netbook to benefit. This article looks at how to use the best netbook remix features in a standard Ubuntu 10.04 install.

    • Tablets

      • Hobbyist kit turns BeagleBoard into a tablet

        Open source electronics firm Liquidware has released a kit for attaching a 4.4-inch Liquidware BeagleTouch OLED touchscreen to a BeagleBoard to construct a Linux-based, tablet device. The Beagle Embedded Starter Kit also incorporates a BeagleJuice battery module and a 4GB SD card.

      • Linux on a Touchscreen? Try Jolicloud

        Here is a list of Touchscreen drivers that Jolicloud supports. It is a pretty impressive list, and includes some names that are near and dear to many Mobilitysite reader’s’ hearts. For example, the iPaq H3600 and several versions of the long lamented Jornada could find new lives with Jolicloud.

Free Software/Open Source

  • The one kind of open source, and the other kind

    Consider Linux: early on, it was bashed on quality, security usability, being “only for techies,” and held at arm’s length by the corporate world in general. Yet today it has matured to the point there probably isn’t a big corporation on the face of the earth that doesn’t use Linux in one way or another. Similarly, Lucene reached a tipping point three or four years ago with the introduction of Solr as a full-featured enterprise search server based on Lucene. At that point, still as a community project, it became competitive technically with commercial alternatives. An open source project in this state feeds on itself. More people use it, more people want to enhance it and a juggernaut is created.

  • Symbian faces ‘Titanic’ task to go open source – Funambol

    Nokia’s bid to transform its Symbian mobile operating system into a purely open-source platform has been a huge task, and one that could cost it the smartphone race, warned mobile synchronisation firm Funambol on Wednesday.

  • Impressions – Haiku R1 Alpha 2 – With Screenshots

    Haiku is an exciting new adventure. I love the idea of new Open Source and Free operating systems making their appearance. As a desktop OS there is work to be done as far as the user interface goes. How long before we have a stable final release? I don’t know, it has been in development for the better part of nine years, and development seems to have sped up recently with two major releases less than a year apart.

  • 10 Best Free Alternatives to Microsoft Office

    # Open Office (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux): Open Office is a great solution for those who are looking for a free open source alternative to the Microsoft family. The suite offers a great open source alternative to the Microsoft family of products. The suite has word processing, a database program, a spreadsheet application and a layout program to create most documents.

    # KOffice (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux): There are eight packages in this suite, including a spreadsheet, presentation software, project planning and image editing. It is fast, functional and open source.

  • What Would a More Open Twitter Look Like?

    It might look something like the idea proposed by Dave Winer, inventor of the RSS standard. He’s written often about the idea of “a decentralized Twitter” and how he’d like to see someone develop a Twitter app based on open-source standards, which he compared to the Apache open-source server software that lies behind a majority of the websites on the Internet. More recently, he’s talked about how developers of Twitter clients — whether they be apps, or services such as WordPress (see disclosure below) or Tumblr — could build an “emergency broadcast system” that would function even when Twitter is down.

  • Mozilla

    • Your Firefox in the cloud: Firefox Sync and Firefox Home

      Firefox enables hundreds of millions of people all over the world to each have a Web experience that’s unique. They can make Firefox look and feel the way they want with Add-ons and Personas. And more importantly, Firefox becomes their trusted guide to the Web. It intelligently searches browsing history and bookmarks to help people get to their favorite sites with minimum effort using the “Awesome Bar”. Tabbed browsing allows people to efficiently work with multiple sites at the same time while Password Manager and automatic form fill help them quickly get things done.

  • SaaS

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • “Life of Brian” Played Out In Community

      One of the frustrations of being a software freedom advocate is how many of the attacks that are made on me come from people who most observers would consider to be “fighting for the same side”. My recent call for volunteers to work on revamping the Open Source Initiative (OSI) is a case in point. Of the public comments I’ve read, the majority berate me for daring to be positive about OSI rather than castigating it in favor of the Free Software Foundation (FSF) as they themselves do. (Fortunately the private e-mails are much more encouraging). But it’s not just a tension between OSI and FSF. For example, in one forum where I mentioned my membership card for the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) had arrived, one reply asked if I would also be joining the FSF. Software freedom arouses extreme passions among its adherents.

    • FSF to host GNU social architecture meeting

      Tomorrow at its Boston offices the Free Software Foundation will host the first in a series of GNU social architecture meetings. Confirmed attendees include several GNU social developers, OAuth developer Blaine Cook and Evan Prodromou from StatusNet.

    • GNU social: next steps
  • Project Releases

    • OpenGeo Suite Enterprise Edition 2.0 Launches

      The Suite, which includes a robust geospatial development environment, is also the first to include PostGIS, a powerful spatially enabled database built on top of PostgreSQL, to eliminate lengthy implementation processes.

  • Open Data

  • WebM

    • FFMPEG Now Includes VP8/WebM

      This package is a part of many distros and will give users of GNU/Linux easy access to produce, edit, and decode video better. Use of this format on Youtube should establish it solidly.

    • FFmpeg 0.6 Has Support for VP8, WebM, HTML5

      Dubbed “Works with HTML5,” the brand-new release of FFmpeg brings lots of highly anticipated features. Announced last evening, June 15th, FFmpeg 0.6 improves the support for HTML5 video, has a better Vorbis decoder, and faster Theora and H.264 decoders. The most important feature of this release is the support for Google’s VP8 codec. Moreover, the matroska demuxer has been updated to support the WebM container.

    • Opera 10.6 Beta released
    • Opera 10.6 beta adds WebM video support

      Norway-based browser maker Opera today released a new beta of its Opera 10.browser which it says is 50% faster than its predecessor.

Leftovers

  • Twins fight academic penalties over Facebook remarks about professor

    Identical twin brothers reprimanded by the University of Calgary for making disparaging comments about a professor on their Facebook page want a judge to overturn the penalties.

    Keith and Steven Pridgen, 20, were placed on probation more than two years ago for statements made starting in November 2007 on a Facebook page entitled “I no longer fear Hell, I took a course with Aruna Mitra.”

    Both were initially ordered to write a letter of apology, but the condition was removed when they refused to do so.

  • Fifa acts after ‘ambush marketing’ by Dutch brewery

    Stewards ejected 36 Dutch supporters from Monday’s match between the Netherlands and Denmark midway through the second half in Johannesburg.

  • Internet addicts stage jail-break from rehab centre

    The 14 addicts, aged between 15 and 22, tied their instructor to his bed before making a bid for freedom from the treatment centre in Huai’an, in the eastern Jiangsu province, according to reports in China’s state media.

  • Journalism

    • To save journalism, save the net
    • Behind The Atlantic’s Brand Reinvention

      The Atlantic, a 153-year-old magazine, suffered from a protracted decline in revenues and rising costs starting in the 1960s. A dramatic multi-platform overhaul of the brand starting in 2007 has put it back on track to profitability. In his keynote address today at the FOLIO: Show, Atlantic Media president Justin Smith said The Atlantic is projected to have a profitable fourth quarter and a “multi-million dollar” profit in 2011.

    • UK And U.S. See Heaviest Newspaper Circulation Declines

      UK newspapers have suffered the most dramatic circulation declines of any country outside America since 2007, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Security: How the Federal Government Could Change Your Internet Privacy
    • Further thoughts on Gary McKinnon

      But it was my liberal inclination asserting itself having dismantled the central elements of the “Free Gary” campaign. I do not want to see Mr McKinnon extradited and I feel desperately sympathetic for his predicament.

    • Identity Documents Bill Committee issues call for evidence
    • Airports with body scanners
    • Italy To Install Body Scanners In All Airports, Train Stations

      Interior minister Roberto Maroni said Monday the Italian government planned to install body scanners, which were tested in three major airports, in all airports and train stations nationwide.

    • Body Scanners government consultation
    • Pilley hunt CCTV camera was broken

      A CCTV camera that could have captured the last known movements of missing Edinburgh woman Suzanne Pilley was not working properly and was missing a windscreen wiper, it was revealed yesterday.

    • DNA sample ‘problems’ at North Yorkshire Police

      The storage of forensic evidence at police stations in North Yorkshire has been criticised by inspectors.

      There were problems with the handling of DNA and other samples at custody suites, said a report by the chief inspectors of constabulary and prisons.

    • More Cyberwar Hype: Gov’t Fear Mongering To Get More Control Over The Network

      And then there’s NPR. It recently ran a whole long article about cyberwar that repeatedly suggests that the way to deal with this is to solve the “attribution problem” so that everyone online can be identified. Privacy? Anonymity? Not important, because of this threat — even though no one can provide any proof actually exists. The NPR piece uses Mike McConnell as a key source, highlighting (as everyone does) his former public service positions: former director of the National Security Agency and later the director of national intelligence. What NPR leaves out? Oh, that McConnell is now a Vice President at defense contracting giant Booz Allen Hamilton — a firm that recently scored contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars around this whole bogus cyber war threat.

    • “There’s No Transparency, and I Find that Inexcusable”

      Meet the 82-year-old ex-cop, World War II vet, and private eye who’s challenging one of the largest police departments in the country.

      [...]

      Beltrante asked me to lunch (disclosure: his treat) last month after seeing a column I wrote on the striking lack of transparency among Northern Virginia’s three largest police departments. He wanted to discuss his new organization, the Virginia Citizens Coalition for Police Accountability (VCCPA), which he says he started in order to fight what he calls the “decades of corruption and secrecy at the police department here in Fairfax County.”

    • Who Owns Public Crime Data?
    • 420,000 scam emails sent every hour

      More than 420,000 scam emails are sent every hour in the UK according to a report by CPP which estimates that Brits were targeted by 3.7 billion phishing emails in the last 12 months alone. A quarter of us admit to falling victim to e-fraudsters, with the average victim losing over GBP285 each.

    • Utah prisoner faces death by firing squad

      Should the execution go ahead, it will be the first in Utah for over a decade and only the third time since the death penalty was restored in 1976 that a firing squad has been used. Both previous firing squads – the execution of Gary Gilmore in 1977 and that of John Taylor in 1996 – were used in Utah.

  • Environment

    • US Congress to tell BP boss: you broke rules, cut costs and it ended in disaster

      BP is being accused by a US congressional committee of ignoring warnings, violating its own industry guidelines, and choosing risky procedures in the hope of cutting costs and saving time in the days leading up to the catastrophic explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig.

    • More Dirty Details From My BP Mole

      Oh, wait. Not nothing: “They’ve brought in prostitutes.” No one knows who the “they” that brought in the pack of hookers is, but the gals have definitely arrived, and you can buy time with one for $200. It only took someone a whole month even to figure out that it would be lucrative to sell sex to guys earning 44 hours of overtime a week and living in camps and converted 18-wheelers.

    • Who’s Liable for the Gulf Oil Spill? You Are.
    • Imperial Oil
    • BP AdWords cashectomy

      Jump now to BP. According to news accounts everywhere, BP is right now trying to influence public discussion of its wild well spewing oil in the Gulf of Mexico by purchasing Google AdWords like “oil spill, ” for which the multinational oil company was recently paying Google $1.48, according to NPR. Web sites about the accident, news from the region, environmental or energy policy, or about oiled-up sea birds should notice BP ads appearing on their pages.

    • The Oil Spill the World Forgot

      For example, Royal Dutch Shell’s drilling operations have been spilling oil into the Niger Delta in Nigeria since 1958. Because Nigeria is an impoverished nation and oil revenues fund a majority of government operations, Shell and other companies have been able to drill and pollute without serious oversight for all these years. It is estimated that 13 million barrels of oil have spilled into the delta, making life even more difficult for the region’s destitute residents. Shell blames the constant spills on attacks from “rebels,” who are in fact minority ethnic groups who feel they have been exploited and displaced by foreign oil companies. But Shell would never consider pulling out of the region or finding ways to avoid ethnic strife. Instead, Shell has proceeded with business as usual, and spilled a record 14,000 tons of crude oil into the delta last year.

    • Food prices to rise by up to 40% over next decade, UN report warns

      Food prices are set to rise as much as 40% over the coming decade amid growing demand from emerging markets and for biofuel production, according to a United Nations report today which warns of rising hunger and food insecurity.

    • Solar plane set for night flight

      A solar-powered plane is getting ready to hit the skies once again – this time, at night.

      It will be the first ever manned night flight on a plane propelled exclusively by solar energy.

  • Finance

    • Europe

      • Debt-ridden Greece gets vote of confidence from China

        Greece’s debt-ridden economy has received unexpected endorsement from China as the two countries announced multibillion euro accords to boost cooperation in fields as diverse as shipping, tourism and telecommunications.

      • Britain to expand central bank’s powers

        Britain’s Treasury chief announced an overhaul of his country’s financial regulatory system Wednesday, one which dissolves the country’s finance watchdog and hands broad new powers to its central bank.

      • Troubled Spain hastens labor reforms

        Spain embarked on shaking up its economy Wednesday with labor market reforms designed to encourage companies to hire, enacting long-awaited structural changes as it struggles to reassure markets and investors who are worried over its public finances and pushing Spanish borrowing costs to new highs.

      • EU leaders to call for European, global bank levy

        European Union leaders are set to back a European levy on banks to help pay the costs of future collapses, according to a draft text seen by the Associated Press that will be made public after a Thursday summit.

    • US

      • After “Financial Reform”
      • Negotiators in Congress to Discuss Rule for Brokers

        Will stock and insurance brokers be required to put their clients’ interests before their own?

      • Fannie and Freddie Told to Delist From Stock Exchange

        The mortgage finance giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were ordered to delist from York Stock Exchange by the federal agency that oversees the two companies.

      • Grand jury indicts mortgage co. chief in TARP case

        A federal grand jury has indicted the head of what was once among the largest privately held mortgage lending companies for allegedly scheming to steal more than half a billion dollars from the $700 billion financial bailout.

      • Bank of America workers across US sue for overtime

        Workers for Bank of America Corp (BAC.N), one of the nation’s largest employers, have sued the company for allegedly failing to pay overtime and other wages.

      • Do You Like to Whip It?

        The good news is, we have made huge gains in recent days! We helped organize a press conference with Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz on the issue that got huge press. Listen to the audio here. Then three regional Federal Reserve presidents came out in support of the Lincoln derivatives language going up against Big Ben Bernanke, who is against. Plus, Banking Chair Chris Dodd (D-Connecticut) has moved from being opposed to saying that Senator Lincoln is “on the right track.” Take a look at our ever-changing whip list and make a call today to a committee member in your state or to Banking Committee Chair Dodd, or House Finance Committee Chair Barney Frank (D-Mass).

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Razing Arizona

      Because communicating a message to voters requires money, it is well established that direct restrictions on campaign spending violate the First Amendment. Arizona’s Citizens Clean Elections Act therefore seeks to restrict campaign spending indirectly.

    • Will the Department of Education Crack Down on For-Profit Colleges?

      Naturally, the response of the Career College Association (CCA), a lobbying group and trade organization of over 1,500 for-profit colleges, has been aggressive. The CCA has even thrown together an astroturf organization of career college students, the “Students for Academic Choice.” The industry’s efforts seem to be paying off, and some analysts believe that the gainful employment regulations will be watered down or shelved.

    • Old “News” About Untapped Afghan Minerals

      One could take the story at face value and believe that this was actually, for once, a positive development in an increasingly unpopular and seemingly unnecessary war, but then “the real news” about the news came out. On the same day, after doing a bit of his own research, Paul Jay, CEO and Senior Editor of The Real News Network revealed that indeed, because “news” is supposed to be about a new development, this wasn’t news at all, but merely well-timed strategic propaganda on the part of the U.S. government.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Jon Stewart on Obama’s broken civil liberties promises

      Here’s Jon Stewart doing eight minutes on the promises that Barack Obama has broken on civil liberties since he took office — from arresting whistleblowers to maintaining the suspension of habeas corpus to continuing warrantless wiretaps to sustaining extraordinary rendition to authorizing the execution of American citizens without trial outside of combat zones.

    • Toolkit: A Look at the Gear That Experts Use to Spy on Spies

      When companies like Archer Daniels Midland and Liberty Mutual Insurance are worried that someone is bugging their boardrooms or tapping their phone lines, they call Kevin Murray. He heads one of the most sophisticated surveillance-detection firms this side of the FBI.

    • The Government Now Wants ISPs To Link Your Online History With Your Passport

      Last week we were duly shocked by the discovery that the government is looking into a proposal to make ISPs retain a log of every website you ever visit. Now it’s coming out that they may want ISPs to link that information to other personal data like your passport number.

      Ben Grubb over at ZDNet broke the original story, and yesterday followed it up with a deeper insight into the proposed scheme. While the government is denying it would capture individual browsing histories, unnamed sources from ISPs are saying that the original data set sent to ISPs from the government said that they’d require allied personal information, including passport numbers.

    • Fixing the CDA 230 Subsidy While Preserving Online Anonymity

      Anonymous online speech can be powerful and beneficial. You are free to leave anonymous or pseudonymous comments on this site, which encourages free discussion of political issues. Protesters in Iran can spread ideas, corporate whistleblowers can speak out, and the government is deterred from at least one form of intrusion into personal life. On a personal level, you can explore your identity, research controversial causes or issues, or just vent frustration. All of these are good things and worthy of preservation.

    • Terror data handover seriously flawed

      The European Union has redrafted its agreement with the US Treasury which requires Europe’s financial institutions to transfer details of global financial transactions to the US. The revised Draft Agreement is to be put to the European Parliament in July for approval, despite a text containing significant privacy defects and obvious areas of drafting in need of urgent attention.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Does a couch violate Humphrey Bogart’s rights?

      The plaintiff says it has been paid millions of dollars in licensing fees for the use of the “Bogart” name in connection with the Thomasville “Bogart” furniture line. Having another “Bogart” on the market is threatening. The plaintiff wants an injunction and $1 million in damages for the alleged, um, bogarting of the actor’s name and likeness.

    • Langdell Still Claims Control Over The Word Edge; Sues EA For Mirror’s Edge

      Not surprisingly, they play up Langdell’s position, and leave out the abandonment of the trademark, the lack of any likelihood of confusion and other pertinent details along those lines. Trademark law, despite Langdell’s apparent belief, does not give a company full control over a word, especially if they’re not using it. No one is confusing Mirror’s Edge with Langdell’s ancient games.

    • ‘Hurt Locker’ producers drop First Amendment bomb on Iraq War vet
    • Censorship

      • Warner Pulls the Plug on ‘We Con the World’

        Warner Brothers of course, are the second half of the business entity Time-Warner, which also owns as part of its conglomeration of businesses CNN. In 2009, CNN tried to claim a copyright violation over the video shot by an individual of the Tea Partiers grilling then CNN “reporter” Susan Roesgen, until the guys at Founding Bloggers fought for their clip to be restored at YouTube.

        And that’s what a lot of this is all about: by claiming copyright violations real or imagined, Warners and other entities can get clips pulled from the Internet’s largest host of videos for several weeks or months. These videos frequently wind up on smaller sites of course (such as the aforementioned Eyeblast), and those who initiate claims against them often lose their battles, if the video makers are prepared to fight back. But by then, much of the news value of these sorts of clips has dissipated.

      • Rapidshare Countersues Perfect 10 For Being A ‘Copyright Troll’ Who Only ‘Shakes Down’ Others

        Now it looks like Rapidshare has struck back. Eric Goldman points out that Rapidshare has countersued Perfect 10, directly claiming that the company is a “copyright troll.” They don’t mince words:

        Perfect 10 Is A Copyright Troll that Does Not Operate A Real Business

        Perfect 10 is a copyright troll that does not operate a real business and instead seeks to foster the spread of infringing copies of works that it owns over the Internet in order to entrap and shakedown websites and services where copies of its images may randomly end up.

        Perfect 10 does not have the employees or attributes of a legitimate business. Today, Perfect 10 is essentially a paralegal service masquerading as a porn company. It is run by its founder, Norm Zada, out of his Beverly Hills home with the help of full and part time employees who are paid primarily to troll the Internet looking for (but not removing) allegedly infringing copies of Perfect 10 images for use in existing or potential future litigation and to draft declarations and other papers.

        Perfect 10 is so litigious that Judge Matz of the Central District of California, before whom a number of Perfect 10 cases had been consolidated, has made it clear to Perfect 10 that it should not file any more lawsuits, which is why it filed this suit in the Southern District of California even though this district has no connection to the parties or the underlying claims.

      • The Viacom Kerfuffle

        A couple of days ago John Green of Vlogbrothers posted a video about Viacom, YouTube, Spike.com’s video channel, and Jonathan Coulton. In it he discussed the Viacom YouTube suit and used my “Flickr” video to illustrate something. Watch the video for a complete explanation, but in a nutshell he was pointing out that Viacom was serving up my “Flickr” video with ads on while at the same time suing YouTube for serving up Viacom content with ads on YouTube. He encouraged people to email Viacom asking them where my proceeds from the ad revenue were, said proceeds being either $37 or $13,000 depending on how you do the math.

      • Is Forcing IsoHunt To Block Search Terms A First Amendment Violation?

        Given similar rulings, and the judge’s comments so far in the IsoHunt case, I find it quite unlikely that the company has any chance of getting out from under the injunction issued against it.

    • Copyrights

      • US Government Told Piracy Losses Are Exaggerated

        At a hearing yesterday, several experts told the US International Trade Commission that many of the estimates of piracy losses touted by the entertainment industries were inflated or misleading. Others claimed that current enforcement methods aren’t working and suggested they try something else.

      • Director Sam Bozzo On BitTorrent and the Movie Industry

        Last month an early cut of the unreleased movie Hackers Wanted found its way to BitTorrent. As the director’s cut of the movie also leaked out last night, TorrentFreak caught up with director Sam Bozzo who through the prism of 15 years in movie making gives his opinion on how leaks, BitTorrent and file-sharing affects the industry.

      • For Staunch Copyright Defenders, Big Singers From Big Labels Seem To Copy From Others A Lot…
      • Could Collection Societies Help Up-And-Coming Artists With A 20/80 Distribution System?

        It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of music collection societies in general. I tend to think that once they get the right to collect they begin to abuse that power in ways that actually harm musicians and songwriters more than help them. That’s because once they’re given a right to demand payments, they continually look to expand that right: covering more areas and increasing the amount they can demand.

        [...]

        I’m still not totally convinced that this would work, and I’m also not convinced that the collection society setup is even worth saving at all. But if such societies are going to be around (and it’s almost certain they’re not going anywhere), then we might as well look at ways to make them actually help more musicians, rather than simply propping up the top of the top, while holding back new comers.

      • Industry Minister defends the Canadian DMCA

        The latest episode of the TVOntario Search Engine podcast is an interview with Industry Minister Tony Clement, the Canadian minister who co-introduced the punishing new Canadian copyright law that contains even harsher restrictions against breaking “digital locks” than the US DMCA, a 12-year-old trainwreck of a law. Host Jesse Brown really does a good job here, getting Clement to squirm over the question of turning Canadians into crooks for breaking the locks on their own property.

      • ISP Attempt To Block File-Sharing Ends in Epic Failure

        In response to the country’s “3 strikes” Hadopi legislation, last week a French ISP began offering a service to block file-sharing on customer connections for ‘just’ 2 euros per month. It didn’t take long for awful vulnerabilities in the system to be found which breached not only the privacy of subscribers, but exposed them to new security threats.

    • ACTA

      • FSF says: Take a stand with us for freedom, against ACTA
      • Support a firm, simple declaration against ACTA

        # ACTA must respect sharing and cooperation: it must do nothing that would hinder the unremunerated noncommercial making, copying, giving, lending, owning, using, transporting, importing or exporting of any objects or works.

        # ACTA must not weasel about what is commercial: no labeling of any noncommercial activities as somehow commercial-like or treating them as if they were commercial.

      • Red Letter Day for ACTA in EU: Let’s Use It
      • ACTA restricts developing economies, India tells WTO

        A secret trade agreement designed to harmonise some countries’ intellectual property laws could destabilise existing international agreements and harm the economic prospects of developing countries, India has said.

        The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is a secret IP treaty being negotiated by the US, Japan, the European Commission and others outside of the normal international trade bodies the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

Clip of the Day

Richard Spiers – CLUG Talk 30 September 2008 – GStreamer (2008)


06.16.10

Links 16/6/2010: No Android for Nokia; Sidux 2010-01

Posted in News Roundup at 5:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Software for Social Networking

    Mοѕt οf thе open source software programs fοr social networking ѕο far аrе free. One thаt charges іѕ PHPizabi bυt despite thаt thеrе аrе still people willing tο υѕе іt. Sοmе οf іtѕ features include being аbƖе tο access іt through уουr desktop, communicating wіth friends іn thе chat room аnԁ maintaining a contact system.

  • Curtin Sarawak ECE Students Shine In Open Source Contest

    Students of Curtin University of Technology, Sarawak (Curtin Sarawak) have won two prizes in the Sarawak Open Source Competition organised by Sarawak Information Systems Sdn Bhd (SAINS).

  • Open Source EGL Means an RPG Generator Is Possible

    IBM wants to take Enterprise Generation Language open source. Last week at its Rational user conference in Florida, the vendor submitted a proposal to the Eclipse consortium that would place the bulk of EGL–a high-level language intended for Power Systems and mainframe shops that generates Java, JavaScript, and COBOL code–into the public realm.

  • Vuvuzela

  • Events

    • Linux 2010 trade show in Berlin

      As Michael Kleinhenz, member of the extended board of LinuxTag said, “in the long term open source has huge potential for saving costs. Thus it is all the more important to make funds available for research and investment, in order to get even more companies, public authorities and administrations to make use of open source. Open formats which everyone can use free of charge also increase transparency and improve security. More IT decision-makers should take this into account. LinuxTag contributes towards raising awareness of open source even more and thus propelling it even further.“

  • Mozilla

    • Firefox Losing Foothold on Linux Distros?

      When you install the Ubuntu Netbook Edition in October, don’t look for Firefox on the desktop — it won’t be there. Chromium, Chrome’s open source cousin, is going to be taking its place. After years of desktop dominance on Linux, is Firefox losing its foothold or is this an anomaly?

  • SaaS

    • New Open Source Cloud Data Integration Solution Runs on Amazon EC2

      Talend, another open source company, offers a data-integration-as-a-service solution, called Talend on Demand, which launched in 2007. I’d love to be able to tell you the difference between offering a cloud-based solution and a SaaS-based solution, but I’m still trying to figure that one out. Obviously, Jitterbit’s solution runs on Amazon EC2, whereas Talend is a subscription service that requires you to download a management product, but beyond that, I’m not sure. I’ll have to get back with you on that one.

  • Databases

    • Ingres Shows Faster Queries With VectorWise

      Open source company Ingres has released a vector version of its database, which it claims speeds up database operations enough to reduce the equipment required and greatly extend the use of realtime analytics.

  • CMS

  • Business

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Mendeley, the-Last.fm-of-research, rolls out premium packages to steady customer nerves

      Mendeley offers a secure online database for scientists, academics and researchers to store their research papers in the ‘cloud’, making it easier to share those documents with peers. The system also helps researchers find and connect to like-minded academics in similar fields by looking at and extracting relevant meta-data from the millions of research papers stored in its database.

    • Open Access/Content

      • The return on peer review

        A while ago I took a decision to only publish in open access journals. I recently received two requests to review articles for journals. Peer-review is one of the great unseen tasks performed by academics. Most of us do some, for no particular reward, but out of a sense of duty towards the overall quality of research. It is probably a community norm also, as you become enculturated in the community of your discipline, there are a number of tasks you perform to achieve, and to demonstrate, this, a number of which are allied to publishing: Writing conference papers, writing journal articles, reviewing.

      • What Do I Want from the Publisher of the Future?

        When I took on the role of Editor-in-Chief of this open-access journal, I began, for the first time, to think about scholarly communication beyond submitting my papers and getting them published.

Leftovers

  • High court quashes plan for fast food outlet near ‘healthy eating’ school
  • $11.7m judgment against Spamhaus slashed to $27,000
  • The Advertiser’s Doom

    Advertising (as is traditionally recognised) is inevitably in decline. This is because it resulted from an extreme asymmetry that developed between vendors and customers when vendors became mass producers, and could no longer meet their customers on a one-to-one basis. It was further exacerbated when vendors took advantage of mass communications technology (printing, broadcasting) to communicate UNIDIRECTIONALLY to their customers (current and potential). Very little communication has been possible in the other direction for decades if not a century or more, i.e. customers needing to communicate their wants and prices to potential vendors, especially mass producers.

  • Personnel Today goes online only
  • Science

    • Ancient Mars Had Vast Ocean, New Evidence Shows

      A vast ocean chock-full of microbes may have once covered more than a third of Mars’s surface, scientists say.

      The new evidence, from an analysis of dried-up Mars river deltas, adds to growing signs the red planet was once wet.

    • Nasa warns solar flares from ‘huge space storm’ will cause devastation

      Britain could face widespread power blackouts and be left without critical communication signals for long periods of time, after the earth is hit by a once-in-a-generation “space storm”, Nasa has warned.

    • New Worlds to Explore? Kepler Spacecraft Finds 750 Exoplanet Candidates

      The Kepler spacecraft has found over 750 candidates for extrasolar planets, and that is just from data collected in the first 43 days of the spacecraft’s observations. “This is the biggest release of candidate planets that has ever happened,” said William Borucki, Kepler’s lead scientist. “The number of candidate planets is actually greater than all the planets that have been discovered in the last 15 years.”

  • Security/Aggression

  • Environment

  • Finance

    • The Coming Financial Meltdown

      The problem is getting worse. Notional amounts of derivatives held by federally insured banks have risen to more than $200 trillion.

    • Obama’s Treasury Dept Working To Defeat Derivatives Proposal ‘Of Utmost Importance’ To Reforming Wall Street

      A Senate proposal to force banks to shed their lucrative yet risk-laden derivatives units — which is vehemently opposed by Wall Street — is gaining steam, picking up the support of some regional Federal Reserve chiefs with more on the way.

      Yet President Barack Obama’s Treasury Department, led by Timothy Geithner, continues to oppose the measure, Senate aides say, who add that Treasury is supporting Wall Street over Main Street by opposing the measure considered of “utmost importance” to financial stability.

    • Battle Over Reform
    • Sen. Blanche Lincoln’s derivatives-spinoff plan gains support in Congress

      An effort to force some of the nation’s biggest banks to spin off their lucrative derivatives-dealing operations appears to be gaining traction, as members of a House-Senate conference begin finalizing details of far-reaching new financial regulations.

    • Blanche, back to business as usual

      This one’s pretty amazing. So as you know, Blanche Lincoln had this tough primary, which she ultimately won narrowly. Once the seriousness of the challenge became apparent to her, she sidled to the left and toughened up her derivatives language and set out to prove that she was in the pocket of no one except the good people of Arkansas.

    • Watching Obama, yearning for FDR

      President Barack Obama took office more than 75 years after Franklin Delano Roosevelt was inaugurated, but, to Obama, that chill March day in 1933 must seem like only yesterday, so often has his performance as president been contrasted with that of FDR’s in the halcyon days of the New Deal.

    • Presidents, the Tax Burden, and Economic Growth

      This post also appears at the Presimetrics Blog. It contains some information that has appeared in a few different Angry Bear posts, but I think I’m starting to manage to put it into a more coherent narrative. And as I’m able to do that, I’m able to move slowly to the next part of the story.

    • SEC is hiring more experts to assess complex financial systems

      Today, the Princeton-trained nuclear physicist is investigating for the SEC what was behind the massive flash crash that sent the stock market into a tailspin last month. A specialist at culling conclusions from masses of chaotic information, Berman is in part trying to ascertain whether wrongdoing played a role.

      Although lawyers fill most of the SEC’s ranks, the agency has been hiring experts with specialized quantitative skills and those who have worked on Wall Street who are hip to its tricks.

    • New book offers another view of Goldman Sachs’s destructive power

      There’s been no shortage of books that purport to dissect the financial crisis and all that ails Wall Street. Get ready for another entry: Chasing Goldman Sachs, by Suzanne McGee of Barron’s, the latest journalistic effort to get the real story behind the implosion that’s still rocking the economy.

    • Goldman Sachs’ Ethics Reflect Its Ethos

      Goldman culture rewards hard-nosed aggressiveness and doesn’t put the client’s interests before those of the firm.

    • The Amazing, Versatile and Unethical Goldman Sachs Code of Ethics

      Now it seems that we were lacking a crucial document: the firm’s internal Code of Ethics, which Goldman Sachs recently made public. Under the provisions of this remarkable Code, what Goldman Sachs did to its clients wasn’t unethical at all; deceptive, conflicted, and unfair, yes…but not unethical, in the sense that it didn’t violate the Ethics Code itself. “Impossible!” you say? Ah, you underestimate the firm’s cleverness.

    • One Crowd Is Still Loyal to Goldman Sachs

      Despite all the bad headlines — the accusations of fraud, the talk of a big settlement, the risk, however remote, of criminal charges — there’s an inconvenient truth that’s been largely ignored: Most of Goldman’s big customers are not bolting.

    • Goldman Sachs Envy Drove Big Boys to Blow Up Money Grid: Books

      McGee, a contributing editor at Barron’s, isn’t out to bury Goldman Sachs Group Inc. or Blankfein, its chief executive officer. Her goal is, rather, to show how Wall Street bankers became preoccupied with their own short-term interests and drifted away from their raison d’etre — to funnel capital from investors to companies that need it.

    • Latest Assault on Goldman Sachs: Bed Bugs?

      As if a nearly two-year siege of negative attention hasn’t been enough of a distraction for Goldman Sachs, now the controversial investment bank appears to be battling a potential bed bug problem.

    • What’s Reputation Worth? Just Ask Toyota, Goldman And BP

      If reputational risk wasn’t a top issue for CEOs and boards of directors prior to 2010, the watershed events of the first half of this year should make them reconsider their priorities. Of course there’s the wrath of the American consumer wrought by BP, thanks to the deadly accident on board the Deepwater Horizon rig and the subsequent Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Before BP, however, two other companies sullied their sterling reputations and are still paying the price.

    • Mr. President, Here’s a Rear End You Can Kick: Goldman Sachs’

      Last week, President Barack Obama told us he is looking for someone’s “ass to kick.” He seems to be still looking for one, so perhaps he could use some suggestions.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • US record labels starts fake “citizen’s group” to support Canada’s DMCA

      A website in support of Canada’s proposed US-style copyright law looks to be a work of corporate astroturf, and signs point to the Canadian Record Industry Association (mostly composed of US record labels; many Canadian labels have left to form an independent lobby that opposes much of CRIA’s agenda) as the entity behind it. The group, Balanced Copyright for Canada, has bought headline placement on Bourque, and recently took down its member list after TVOntario reporter Jesse Brown announced that it appeared to consist of record execs from CRIA’s member-companies.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Deep packet inspection soon to be $1.5 billion business

      Deep packet inspection (DPI) hardware continues to sell, with ABI Research now estimating that vendors will move $1.3 billion of the stuff in 2015, up from $207 million in 2008. According to Infonetics Research, DPI will be a $1.5 billion business—by 2013.

      What will DPI devices be used for? According to ABI, “optimizing” mobile networks will be one of the chief uses—and by “optimizing” they mean limiting or prioritizing traffic from data-hungry mobile devices.

      “Brute force won’t solve this problem,” said ABI’s Aditya Kaul. “If you double the number of smartphone users, you can’t just spend $10 billion to double the capacity of your infrastructure.”

    • Armed police at Merseyside school after FBI warning

      The United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation raised the alarm after picking up a threat posted on social networking site Facebook.

      A 19-year-old man was arrested and later released on bail.

      More than 1,000 students, some of them taking their GCSEs, were in the Birley Street school at the time of the alert.

      All entrances and exits were sealed while police investigated.

      ‘Leaving this world’

      The school said it was the FBI who raised the alarm after internet scanning software picked up a suspicious combination of words.

    • Location Services Raise Privacy Concerns

      But the downside is that everyone who reads the posting will know the user isn’t home. On top of that, some services, such as Foursquare, can be linked to Twitter feeds.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

  • Copyrights

    • Massive P2P Conglomerate Backs New TV-Series

      The largest P2P conglomerate ever assembled is supporting today’s launch of the first episode of ‘Pioneer One.’ The show, made for and made possible by the P2P community, is actively promoted by uTorrent, Limewire and a variety of prominent torrent sites including The Pirate Bay and EZTV.

    • Geist: Opening up Canada’s digital economy strategy

      The federal government’s national consultation on a digital economy strategy is now past the half-way mark, having generated a somewhat tepid response so far.

      The consultation document itself may bear some of the blame for lack of buzz since the government asks many of the right questions, but lacks a clear vision of the principles that would define a Canadian digital strategy.

  • ACTA

    • WTO Report on TRIPS Council and ACTA

      The World Trade Organization has posted further information on last week’s Council meeting where India, China, and other developing countries raised concerns with the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.

Clip of the Day

Introduction to the Semantic Web (2006)


Links 16/6/2010: OpenCL 1.1, LinuxTag 2010 Coverage

Posted in News Roundup at 10:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux, trojans and viruses. A real threat?

    For a viable Linux virus to be written it would have to hack into the Linux system, escalate it’s privileges to root and then start infecting files.

  • Why Learn Linux at All

    Linux gives you the freedom to deepen and assimilate as much information as possible, and when you understand things from the inside out that will change your way of seeing and working with her. To me there is no operating system provides this flexibility and control.

  • Desktop

    • Why Ubuntu is harder than Windows

      Installing Software:
      To install a piece of software on Windows you just follow a few easy steps. First you go to the store and buy the software, then you pop the CD into your disc drive, enter the CD key, wait for the software to install itself onto the hard drive, and you are good to go! Be sure to put the CD and key in a safe place in case you ever need to reinstall the software.

      On Ubuntu to install a piece of software you open the software center. Type in the name of the software you are looking for (or browse by category), click install, and wait for the software to download and install.

      Default Software:
      Windows offers a fantastic default software install. Need to write a paper? No worries, Windows has the feature-rich Wordpad. Want to surf the net? Internet Explorer has always provided a safe webrowsing experience.

      Ubuntu’s default software selection is somewhat disappointing. It has a full featured word processor, spreadsheet editor, and presentation creator. I know most people don’t use facebook or twitter, but just in case you do Ubuntu includes Gwibber, a software that fully integrates your social networking with your desktop. For webrowsing Ubuntu only has Firefox and if you want to instant message Ubuntu’s Empathy only supports facebook, AIM, yahoo, MSN, IRC…

    • Linux User? 7 Good Reasons to Go Back to Windows

      1. The Sky is Blue
      And so is Heaven! BLUE! Why do you think the screen goes blue from time to time in your Windows system? That’s a reminder of what is to come and what is in store for you once Windows gets to be 8. A vertical infinity of BLUE SCREENS! Surely, you don’t want to miss it, do you?

      2. Less Clutter Means SOMETHING
      It means what? How would I know?? You have to meditate to get the answer! Windows XP gave you Explorer and Windows Movie Maker. Vista didn’t give you Movie Maker, but gave you a demon–stration of Office 2007! Windows 7 Starter didn’t give you anything! Meditate with me: Less is more, less is more, less is more…

  • Audiocasts

  • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Using Gnome-Shell – Day 1
      • Using Gnome-Shell – Day 2

        Day 2 was a non event. I am beginning to generally dislike Gnome-Shell. It is not the optimum user interface. I am seriously beginning to have my doubts about Ubuntu switching to Gnome-Shell, let’s hope they have something up their sleeve to save Ubuntu from a clunky interface.

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • KDE at SouthEast LinuxFest

        Celeste also gave a great talk about how KDE is EVERYWHERE! It focused on enlightening the Linux community about how we’re not only on the desktop, but are also spreading our technologies into mobile, netbook, and cloud based environments. She spent some time talking about how KDE is not just software but also a vibrant community including our developers and users. Finally she also covered some of the latest and greatest features of the 4.4 and 4.5 SC releases and introduced the new “Join the game” campaign.

      • LinuxTag from my view

        Now of course I shouldn’t dismiss the other people at the booth, I especially think Torsten Thelke (our KDE e.V. intern) did an amazing job, and so did Frederik in his sometimes-scary way. Yes, showing off Fluffy Bunny themed plasma desktops, then jumping some of your fellow booth mates for a hug could be off-putting.

  • LinuxTag

    • [systemd:] Slides from LinuxTag 2010
    • Gentoo at LinuxTag 2010: A look back

      Chithanh participated in the distro contest for us and also was part of the team winning the hacking contest. I assume with his Gentoo shirt on in that moment. The hopefully complete list of current developers who I met on LinuxTag is: lu_zero, idl0r, polynomial-c, dertobi123, amne, rbu, hollow, chithanh, a3li, vorlon, hanno. Current Gentoo-GSoC student Andreas Nüsslein (rewriting webapp-config) also came by, Timo Antweiler said hello, too. Thanks for the chocolate to lu_zero, thanks to the helpful and friendly LinuxTag team (especially Jacqueline), thanks to everyone helping out, especially to Sebastian Dyroff for joining with setup on Tuesday evening. See you again next year!

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Parted Magic partitioning tool updated

        Parted Magic developer Patrick Verner has released version 4.11 of his open source, multi-platform partitioning tool. Parted Magic can be used to create, move, delete and resize drive partitions and will run on a machine with as little as 64MB of RAM. File systems supported include NTFS, FAT, ReiserFS, Reiser4 and HFS+. LVM and RAID are also supported.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Does Open Source Suffer From A Glass Ceiling?

        But looking up today’s market cap shows Red Hat with a 5.9B market cap. Not too bad for a company that is doing 750 million in revenue.

      • Red Hat Provides Snapshot Into Red Hat Summit and JBoss World Content

        The Red Hat Summit and JBoss World team presented a preview into this year’s events during a one-hour Red Hat Summit and JBoss World in a Glimpse webinar offering. Four Red Hat presenters, including Red Hat’s global events strategy manager, JBoss product line director and two product marketing directors, detailed why customers, partners and community members attend the event, described the typical attendee and outlined highlights of the events from recurring session topics to the many networking opportunities.

      • Red Hat Summit: Even Microsoft Will Lend a Virtualization Hand

        Frankly, it’s difficult to track everything that’s expected to occur at Red Hat Summit, because the open source company continues to diversify beyond its Linux heritage to promote JBoss middleware and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV). Here’s how The VAR Guy expects the conference to unfold…

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu 10.04 review

        UNR, the netbook version, benefits most from the new theme and more efficient use of screen space, but we’re waiting for Canonical’s Unity and Gnome 3.0 for any real taste of revolution on the small screen.

        What we’re left with is a division. If you’re not a current Linux user then Ubuntu offers the best Linux experience you can have. The desktop looks ultra-modern and the package manager is slick, expansive and easy to use.

        But if you’re a Linux user looking for a spring break from your current distribution, this release doesn’t do enough to warrant the upgrade. While it looks nice, there’s no real innovation and nothing we can get too excited about.

      • How does Ubuntu do it?

        I’m again stuck with a full-blown Ubuntu desktop, full of goodies I don’t need and running much slower than I could make it run. But here’s the maddening part, it works. Right-click folder, share, adjusting smb.conf, done. Even worse, I can’t find any reference to my share in smb.conf ! If I knew where the right config is saved, I could simply copy/paste it to a leaner system, but now I can’t.

        Curse you Ubuntu! Curse you for making my life so easy and so difficult at the same time!

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Android

      • Exclusive: Motorola Droid X preview

        Not interested in waiting until the 23rd for Verizon’s big announcement? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered right now! The Motorola Droid X has probably been one of the worst kept smartphone secrets in recent memory, but after spending two hours with the phone we sort of see why. In short, it’s pretty awesome. Call it a superphone or a mega-smartphone, but the 4.4-inch handset is absolutely Verizon / Motorola’s answer to the HTC EVO 4G, and makes the Droid Incredible look like a bench warmer. What do we mean? We’ll let you see for yourself just after the break in a breakdown of exactly what this phone is all about — and in a video or three of it in action. Oh, and on your way down, make sure to feast your eyes on the gallery, too.

      • DejaOffice Unveils New Productivity Features for Android

Free Software/Open Source

  • ‘Appleseed’ Open Source Alternative to Facebook Gathers Steam

    All-volunteer, open source Appleseed project seeks to decentralize the social web, and turns to crowdsourcing website IndieGogo.com for funding.

  • A Fatal Flaw For Open Source

    Treb Ryan is chief executive of OpSource, a company that specializes in enterprise cloud and managed hosting. In a recent interview with Forbes, Ryan explains his analysis of how the multi-tenant architecture used for most large software-as-a-service applications will become dominant and present a challenge to the relevance and importance of a large amount of open source software.

  • How Open Source Can Lead to Improved Management of Customer Data
  • Ready For Open Source WAN Acceleration?

    Enter open-source WAN acceleration. Don’t expect to see open-source alternatives as mature as those in NMS, but projects like WANProxy and Squid can perform surprisingly well if you have some Linux talent on staff. WANProxy accelerates and compresses TCP and Squid does the brute-force work of caching; drop the software onto some spare servers and your staff can get a feel for the benefits of WAN optimization for short dollars.

  • Open Source Software Company Joins Forces with ForgeRock

    ForgeRock OpenAM, initially created by Sun Microsystems is an open source access management, entitlements and federation server platform.

  • Mozilla

  • Oracle

    • Geek Of The Week: Larry Ellison

      He also attended the University of Chicago before finding his calling in software at the Ampex Corporation, where he created a database for the CIA called Oracle. It was up from there, and Oracle became a huge force in the enterprise software world. Ellison is known for his extravagant taste, and his home cost about $200 million.

  • Healthcare

    • Halamka: Open standards are ‘key to interoperability’

      At the Opensource.com Open Your World Forum on May 27, John D. Halamka, MD, CIO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and CIO of Harvard Medical School, described where open source and open standards fit into the ARRA expectations for healthcare IT. The short answer is, everywhere.

      “We run a data center with a couple of petabytes of healthcare data for three million patients and the entire infrastructure is run on Red Hat technologies,” Halamka said. “We have multiple data centers, multiple clusters of Linux servers and we haven’t had downtime in a couple of years. No CIO in healthcare is afraid of open source. In fact, the movement to Linux clusters that are highly reliable for healthcare is the way the back end in most healthcare data centers seem to be going.

  • Government

    • Open Source Software Gaining Acceptance (Opinion)

      In Inc.’s January 2005 article Open Source: It’s Not Just for Geeks Anymore!, Al Canton wrote: “No one is quite sure how to define fire, but everyone knows what it is. Open source software is the same. Like fire, we know what open source does, we know what open source looks like, and we know it when we see it, but no one agrees on a definition.”

    • Brazil and India: The Next Generation of Open Source

      India is a heavy user of open source. Sectors leveraging open source include software development outsourcing, business process outsourcing, government services, technical education as well as industries such as banking, insurance, manufacturing, oil and gas, defense and space. According to Wikipedia, India produces 2.5 million graduates every year from which only a small percentage, about 700,000 people are employed by India’s BPO industry. The BPO industry which has flourished on cheap, skilled labor has started to leverage open source software based automation to gain further cost advantages.

      Brazil

      Brazil has also been a hotbed of open source activity in recent years. Government agencies, private industry, universities have been teaching and implementing open source solutions to create local centers of knowledge and gain expertise around open source in the country. Seeing India’s success in IT outsourcing, Brazil has also declared an interest in using open source to gain leadership in the market of software development outsourcing.

  • Licensing

    • FOSS Compliance: What Are the Basics You Must Know?

      Software compliance isn’t exactly the sexiest topic we tackle at the Linux Foundation, but it’s one of the most important. While we focus *our* efforts on open source software, the vast majority of software compliance efforts are focused on proprietary licenses. Just ask a CIO of an enterprise who has been audited by one of their software suppliers recently, or look at the well funded efforts of the Business Software Alliance, an organization dedicated to stamping out piracy and keeping companies in compliance with their members.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Free Art License
    • Open Correspondence

      From these we can infer what books, authors, or authors who influenced the author or were being influenced at the time. From this, we can see the growth of the social graph into the cultural graph. Essentially it is the same notion as the social graph but the cultural graph links items like books, poems and events together. In itself it means nothing but linked to the social graph, it allows the user to discover who is being written to whilst a book was being written. Is the author talking to other authors or only to his agent about it?

    • TfL Gives Data To Developers, Now National Rail Must Get Aboard

      Transport For London (TfL) is making its data freely available to web and mobile application developers, in a move that leaves Britain’s overground trains trailing.

    • Open Data

      • Open Data is necessary but not sufficient

        John Wilbanks is Director of Science Commons and a co-author of the Panton Principles. He has responded to my concerns about access to climate change data, with the observation that Open data is not the major problem or solution. I’ll comment at the bottom. I agree with what he says, but I will argue why there is a role for Open Knowledge in this issue.

      • Exoplanet Hunter’s First Data Withholds the Good Stuff

        Without all the data in hand, it’s hard to answer the question that Kepler was built to answer: How common are planets like Earth? Though we now know hundreds of exoplanets, most of them are big, hot Jupiters around very bright stars that could not sustain any kind of life that we recognize. It’s easy to detect the bigger planets that orbit close to their stars because their gravity makes the star “wobble” more noticeably and their size dims its light more. So, the data we’ve collected on extrasolar planets over the last two decades is muddied by observation bias.

  • WebM

    • FSFE Newsletter – June 2010

      Good news about open video formats. In March both our sister organisation the FSF and our associated organisation FFII asked Google to free the video codec vp8 and use it on YouTube. This month Google announced they will do so. From now on users will be able use Free Software to play and encode the new WebM format. “WebM is based on the Matroska container format — replacing Ogg — and the VP8 video codec which replaces Theora. Crucially, the Vorbis audio codec is part of the new WebM specification.”

    • Firefox 4 sneak peek flaunts Google open video codec

      Mozilla has turned out a Firefox 4 prototype that includes Google’s newly open sourced WebM video format, while Opera has rolled the format into a developer build of its own.

    • Mozilla releases Firefox 3.7 Alpha 5 developer preview

      The Mozilla Developer Preview of Firefox 4.0 features several user interface changes, such as an updated Add-ons manager and Aero Glass support on Vista and Windows 7 systems, and adds support for the latest open WebM / VP8 video format introduced by Google as part of the WebM Project. Platform changes include an updated about:memory page that shows the amount of memory being consumed, Mac support for Cocoa event model for NPAPI plug-ins used by Flash 10.1 and the latest Apple Java plug-in, and support for ChromeWorkers with jscytupes.

Leftovers

  • Texas schools board rewrites US history with lessons promoting God and guns

    Cynthia Dunbar does not have a high regard for her local schools. She has called them unconstitutional, tyrannical and tools of perversion. The conservative Texas lawyer has even likened sending children to her state’s schools to “throwing them in to the enemy’s flames”. Her hostility runs so deep that she educated her own offspring at home and at private Christian establishments.

  • The Desktop PC Is *NEVER* Going Away. Period.
  • Environment

    • Gregor MacDonald – Energy, transportation, and transitions

      Gregor MacDonald is an independent energy analyst & investment consultant. He publishes public analysis to his website, Gregor.us and hosts the internet investment show, StockTwits.tv, with Howard Lindzon. He offers private consultancy and regular email newsletters on global energy trends & investment guidelines.

      I asked him some questions about his background, the state of global energy, the BP disaster, and California’s dependency on oil…

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • MEPs want an ‘Internet of things’

      THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT has started calling for something it says is an “Internet of things”.

      The “things” is stuff that combines electronic chips and Internet addresses.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Do you like the new sticker from Defective by Design?

      The campaign to free the digital world from Digital Restrictions Management just got a new sticker. The old one is on my laptop’s screen represents the famous iPod silhouettes with white wires acting as shackles. It was a simple and powerful design. The new one is a the famous 1984 Apple ad, but I’m not sure its message is as clear as before. It also seems to give a sense of ‘victory’ for Apple fans: they now rule the digital world –with shackles, ok, but still winning.

    • Wireless Oligopoly Is Smother of Invention

      If the people who brought us television had played by the same rules that today’s wireless carriers impose — we’d probably all be listening to the radio.

      Which is a nice way of saying the wireless industry — AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile — needs some ground rules that make clear they are common carriers that get the right to rent the airwaves by abiding by fair rules.

      Right now, they play by their own rules.

      Imagine if the wireless carriers controlled your wired broadband connection or your television set. You’d have to buy your television from your cable company, with a two-year contract, and when that ended, you’d have to ask them to unlock it so you could take it to another provider.

  • Copyrights

    • James Gannon – Is He Responding To His Master’s Voice?

      Who exactly is James Gannon representing? He claims, as does Barry Sookman, that what he publishes in his blog is his own opinion. But is it really? Your life experiences, including work are part of what colors your opinions. We know that he’s a lawyer. We don’t know who his clients are – and those clients and their interests will have had an effect on his opinions. But he refuses to say who they are.

    • Assassinate a Pop Star By Illegally Downloading Music

      Anti-piracy campaigns come and go every other month – most of them are either endlessly boring or end up becoming an object of ridicule. A new one just launched takes the form of a site which appears to offer free downloads from top artists, but with a twist. Clicking to download results in various pop stars meeting a grisly end by a bullet to the head or a careless hand grenade.

    • Music Biz Set To “3 Strike” Two-Thirds of Irish Broadband

      Keeping its promise to Ireland’s largest ISP, Eircom, the music industry has targeted the country’s second largest ISP, Vodafone. According to a new report, Vodafone is in talks with the Irish Recorded Music Association about issuing warnings and eventually disconnecting its file-sharing customers. Since its introduction last month, around 800 Eircom customers have already received their first strike.

Clip of the Day

Tony Whitmore on RSS: News, blogs and podcasts (2006)


06.15.10

Links 15/6/2010: Chrome OS Partners, Red Hat Fastest Growing OS

Posted in News Roundup at 3:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Column: Linux Is Winning

    Linux doesn’t have a CEO. Consequently, there’s no annual keynote hosted by a charismatic alpha male. But if it did, and if there were a conference covering the first half of this year, the first speech would start with three words: ‘Linux is winning’.

  • The Linux Desktop isn’t Dead, it’s Pining

    I know it sounds crazy but the Linux Desktop isn’t dead, it’s just pining. It’s pining for the correct platform–a tablet computer. And, I’m not referring to some cheap imitation tablet that will merely satisfy a few observers and nerdlets who use Linux. I’m thinking of a tablet computer for hardcore Linux moguls. You know, the kind of Linux person who is so into Linux that he tries to carry an egg on his feet through the winter. The kind of Linux fan who carries a wallet-sized photo of Linus Torvalds in her wallet. Linux pines for a true tablet platform that will do Linux justice and vice versa. Does one exist? Not yet.

  • 10 People Who Should Use Linux

    I’ve been thinking lately that there are actually certain types of people out there that should be using Linux instead of Windows.
    Types of people who should be using Linux

    Geeks and people who enjoy tinkering with computers

    If you enjoy psychically building computers, chances are you’ll like tinkering with the operating system once your machine is running. There is no better operating system to tinker with than Linux.

    People who want easy security

    [...]

  • Who uses Linux?

    Finally, I realized that many mobile devices (cellphones, MP4s, etc.) and gaming consoles ALSO run Linux.

  • How Can Linux Out-’Fabulous’ Apple?

    As a result, “Linux needs to more effectively compete with Steve Jobs and the magic of Apple,” Zemlin added. “It’s important that open-source products add more value for users than simply being free. Open-source software also needs to be fabulous.”

    Funny that Mark Shuttleworth was making similar comments about the desktop back in 2008!

  • Desktop

    • ZaReason Verix Notebook
    • Raydesk 3.0: Revolution in Virtual Desktops

      Stickfish, a leading specialist in VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) technologies, introduces a new version of the multiplatform virtual desktop environment, Raydesk. It brings improvements in system functionality and a significantly better user experience. One of the new functions is, for example, the Menu Driven Desktop which enables users to drag & drop menu items to the desktop or to a designated area on the panel.

    • Linux Against Poverty 2010 – Making a Difference

      This year, Lynn Bender; the organizer of Linux Against Poverty has arranged for some pretty cool prizes to be raffled off to equipment donors. First prize is a pass to next year’s SXSW Interactive event. Make sure you or your company registers for the drawing….

  • Server

    • TurnKey Linux Make Launching Open Source Appliances in the Cloud Easy

      The open source project TurnKey Linux has launched a private beta of the TurnKey Hub, a service that makes it easy to launch and manage the project’s Ubuntu-based virtual appliances in the Amazon EC2 cloud.

      There are currently about 40 software bundles in Turkey Linux’s virtual library, including Joomla, WordPress, and Moodle. According to TurnKey Linux, these virtual appliances are optimized for easy deployment and maintenance. And as the name implies, launching an instance with one of the virtual appliances is very simple. Custom passwords and authentication, as well as automatic setup for EBS devices and Elastic IPs, are part of the setup process.

  • Audiocasts

    • Hacking with Open Source

      In this podcast Mitchell Ashley and Alan Shimel are joined by Mike Murray and Aaron Cohen, of The Hacker Academy. The Hacker Academy is a continuing information security training and education program fostering a community of security professionals interested in keeping their skill sets up to date.

  • Google

    • Are Dell, Acer, And HP The First Chrome OS Partners?

      Acer has long been wrapped up in rumor surrounding the forthcoming wave of Chrome OS tablets that are to be released this year. Recently implicated Dell and HP might just round off the first hardware partners that Google is planning to work with.

      On the Chromium OS website, files were found that pointed to those three companies already having specific configurations for the operating system in place to allow for coding to meet those specifications. It could be nothing more than corporations covering their bases to allow for possible future work, but at the same time, this is just too much together to write it off as complete happenstance.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat claims fastest growing OS

        Red Hat General Manager Max McLaren has told IT Brief that the company has the fastest growing operating system in the world.

        “We are the fastest growing operating system in the world today,” he said during a recent company update.

      • The open-source entrepreneur

        Bob Young is a self-confessed contrarian with a strong desire to change the world by allowing people to share and collaborate. The approach has served him well and has helped turn the Canadian into a multi-millionaire.

        From the outset, his software company Red Hat bucked the trend set by the big players like Microsoft which stubbornly guarded every line of code and charged whopping fees to maintain it.

      • There may never be another Red Hat but that is OK

        When you put it that way Red Hat’s success becomes even more remarkable. No one has to pay an open source software company for its code. If a pure open source company is only one that depends on voluntary code payments for its bread, then getting $800 million of such payments a year is pretty amazing.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Project News – June 14th, 2010

        Welcome to this year’s fifth issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian community. Topics covered in this issue include:

        * Debian Community Poll
        * Automatic installation of hardware-specific packages
        * Desktop artwork and themes for Debian “Squeeze”
        * Debian Installer string freeze coming up
        * Provisional list of talks for DebConf10
        * License usage in Debian

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • New priorities for Ubuntu?

          It’s not just UbuntuOne, it’s the new SocialMe desktop, the switching window buttons, the ever-changing selection of default applications. Each new release of Ubuntu brings with it new tools, new ways of doing things and new challenges.

          Change is necessary and one of the things I most value about Ubuntu is the ever-present push to innovate. UbuntuOne, SocialMe and others are great examples of how Ubuntu is innovating.

          The thing is that as Ubuntu grows it begins to attract new users, and the quickest way to alienate new users is to make it hard for them to do what they want to do. Or worse, promise something but not do it. Users are more likely to stick with something that works well than something that mostly works but has lots of potential.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Wireless router tech support – Linksys vs. D-Link
    • Linux PC Robot < 500$ DIY Linux robot

      Looking for a cheap DIY Linux robot? This is the Linux PC robot project.
      The objective of LinuxPCRobot is to build a fully functional robotic development platform for $500 or less using linux, commonly available components, a little skill, and some good old fashioned scrounging.

    • Android

      • Nintendo DS or the First NEC Android Tablet?

        The answer is the first NEC Android tablet, despite it’s incredible similarity to the Nintendo DS. Pictured to the left is the NEC LifeTouch, and Android 2.1 based tablet with a 7 inch touch screen that will respond to both finger and stylus input.

      • A Week With Google Android 2.2: Froyo

        Google’s new Android treat has been named “Froyo” after frozen yogurt, and it’s nearly every bit as sweet as it sounds. I’ve been running a leaked Android 2.2 ROM on my Droid for a week now. Here’s a few impressions and what VARs, SMBs and anyone in general using Android phones has to look forward to with the upcoming update…

        [...]

        Even though I’m running a leaked ROM, it’s very stable. I can only see this getting better. Whispers around the ‘net are that Google is going to slow down their releases of Android updates, and focus on some solid polish before unleashing 2.3 (Gingerbread) to the world. But coming from a Droid which once ran Android 2.0, with no multi-touch and an unresponsive home screen? Android 2.2 is a breath a fresh air, especially for those with iOS 4 envy.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Sugar Learning Platform and GNOME Desktop Now Available on One Laptop per Child XO-1.5

        One Laptop Per Child announced an update to the XO-1.5 which enables both Sugar Labs’ Sugar Learning Platform and the GNOME free desktop. The Sugar Learning Platform has been featured on OLPC laptops since the original XO-1. The recent update introduces a more sophisticated interface for older students. Toggling between the two environments can be done with a single-click.

      • Chrome OS: Why so much confusion?

        What Chrome OS is not:

        * It was never intended to be a replacement for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, or any of the Linux/UNIX -based distributions.
        * It is not going to cater to everybody’s style in computing.
        * It will not necessarily bring everything that you are looking for in an OS (see previous statement).

    • Tablets

      • 5 reasons why open source will click in 2010

        In my last article on open source, I put together the reasons why shanzhai manufacturers favor open source platforms, and how they can enable them to initiate more legitimate business. The current technology trend of tablets makes me feel that 2010, the year of tablets is as much the year of open source, and the two combined may provide a breakthrough for shanzhai manufacturers.

        [...]

        4. Legitimate business: Google Android is shaping up to be the first widely accepted open source operating system that doesn’t have a fringe element tag associated with it. It’s a legitimate business option. Whilst in the past the motivation of a shanzhai manufacturer in offering a Linux option was more about offering an option that didn’t include a pirated Microsoft product, now their choice of an open source OS is totally mainstream and acceptable … legitimate.

        [...]

        In view of the fact that most computing services are shifting towards the cloud and with web-oriented handheld devices playing more of a role, light and resource efficient operating systems seem to be the future of the next generation of computing. Open source operating systems (especially Android) are becoming the prime choice of the shanzhai and I believe we’ll continue to see more in the future.

      • Q7 Linux MID nice but missing most important feature

        This is the Q7, a very nice mobile Internet device available running ubuntu or android. It has 1080p HD video playback and that could make it a top gadget. Sadly it’s missing one important feature I really think is a no-go for a device like this.

Free Software/Open Source

  • How to find a community’s cheeseheads when they aren’t wearing foam hats

    1) Find the people who bring ideas more often than opinions.

    Whether on a mailing list, a conference call, or at a meeting or event, it is pretty easy to tell who is active in a community.

    But activity is a red herring.

    Simply because someone is an active participant does not mean they are a key influencer in the community. I tend to look not for the people who are talking or emailing the most, but for the people who are generating ideas.

    In healthy communities, lots of folks are generating ideas. In unhealthy communities, a few people are generating ideas, and others are shooting them down.

    In my favorite communities, those run the open source way, there is a meritocracy of ideas where the best ideas always have a chance to win. My good friend and business partner David Burney taught me that the best way to generate the best idea is to generate a lot of ideas.

  • Twilio Releases OpenVBX, An Open Source Google Voice For Businesses

    Ever since it launched in late 2008, Twilio has a knack for making cool products. Its core service is a telephony API offering a set of commands that make it easy for developers to integrate phone and SMS services into their web-enabled applications. And today they’re releasing an open source platform based on that technology that has the potential to disrupt business-oriented call routing services in a big way — Twilio is describing it as a sort of Google Voice for businesses, with more flexibility. It’s called OpenVBX.

  • Movements

    • Free software in Africa: Striding ahead

      FOSSFA’s advocacy programme has seen unprecedented success in the past year. The FOSSWAY project (FOSS Advocacy in West Africa and Beyond) saw enormous buy-in. It has launched open source clubs, a regional FOSS study, four university roadshows, its own publications, hands-on trainings for at least 1 000 people in the use and deployment of FOSS.

    • A pony for every child – the politics of open source software

      To wrap up, we have Dana’s Tea Party Manifesto, Simon’s OSI reform campaign platform, and Neelie’s opening statement in the great EC Digital Agenda debate. Looks like a really interesting time in open source politics with many opportunities to get involved and a lot of horse-trading possibilities.

    • Phipps leads change at Open Source Initiative
  • Events

    • An Open Source Weekend

      This past weekend I didn’t watch baseball, World Cup soccer, or basketball; instead I sponsored a hallway table in a Marriott hotel in Spartanburg, SC to meet, discuss, and argue over all things open source at the SouthEast LinuxFest.

    • Ubuntu Developer Summit: Maverick Meerkat Highlights

      As each new developmental cycle commences, there is an Ubuntu Developers Summit (UDS) – it’s a biannual event where many of the developers meet to plan, and create, the goals for the next release of Ubuntu. The attendees are a mixture of Canonical employees, community members (many sponsored by Canonical) and external project representatives.

      The summit is always held in a different location, and usually switched between Europe and the USA each time. The latest one was held in La Hulpe (near Brussels), Belgium, to plan the next Ubuntu release Maverick Meerkat.

  • Databases

    • CUBRID Has Started the Clustering Project

      CUBRID plans to add the clustering support to its open source database by the end of this year, which will allow it to distribute the database across multiple servers and boost its reliability and availability.

  • CMS

    • Manatee County, Fla., Preps New Internet Portal Built on Open Source

      Manatee County, Fla.’s IT team didn’t want to spend another year battling the arbitrary limits on the back end of the county’s website.

      For five years, a patchwork mix of legacy systems turned simple Web IT tasks into time-consuming chores. With only 10 IT staff members working on the project, the county’s IT team had to create content and upload files to the content management system (CMS). But there were file size limitations so they had to hold files on a separate server. They couldn’t see front-end changes without publishing them, and sometimes edits just disappeared completely.

  • Business

    • Old-fashioned money

      Google can afford to give away Android and a huge (and growing) array of open-source software, without having to gate access to it through a compiler or contract, because Google doesn’t monetize open-source software directly. This, to me, is a far superior model, and one much more likely to lead to good community dynamics. Google is never in competition with its community, but rather can afford to be a full partner.

      Make no mistake: Red Hat is an impressive company, run by people of quality, intelligence, and integrity. Just listening to how Red Hat uses Salesforce to optimize the sales process is impressive.

      But Red Hat is the beginning, not the end, of the story on how to make $1 billion in open-source sales. Google offers far better clues as to where open-source entrepreneurs should look for inspiration, because Google reflects the reality of what “services” means in the Internet age. “Services,” in Google’s world, are far more scalable and potent than in Red Hat’s.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Python 2 series reaches last update

      Python 2.7, the last in the legacy Python 2.x dynamic language line, moved closer to general availability earlier this month when developers of the language put out a release candidate. The finished version of Python 2.7 is scheduled to be available July 3, after a second release candidate is offered on July 19, said Steve Holden, chairman of the Python Software Foundation.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • OpenCL 1.1 Fully Backwards Compatible

      The Khronos Group today announced OpenCL 1.1, a backwards compatible update that boosts performance in the parallel programming standard. OpenCL 1.1 efficiently shares images and buffers by linking event objects and fence sync objects, features memory object destructor callbacks and now allows for OpenCL commands to be enqueued from additional hosts.

Leftovers

  • The 20 Worst Charities in America

    The non-profit Charity Navigator Web site tracks such expenses via charities’ disclosure statements to the IRS to provide donors with an assessment of how well charities run themselves. Looking only at the supply side for the more than 5,500 charities that it tracks, the organization does not evaluate the impact on the recipients of funds, since that impact is often a subjective appraisal of “effectiveness.”

  • Security/Aggression

    • Oath Keepers and the Age of Treason

      A strapping Idahoan, Brandon (who doesn’t want his full name used) enlisted as a teenager when he got his girlfriend pregnant and needed a stable job, stat. (She lost the baby and they split, but he’s still glad he signed up.) Unlike his friend, he doesn’t think the United Nations must be dismantled, although he does agree that it represents the New World Order, and he suspects that concentration camps are being readied in the off-limits section of Fort Drum. He sends 500 rounds of ammunition home to Idaho each month.

  • Environment

    • Democratizing the takedown of BP

      The BP oil spill is the first major national event where the bad guy in question is subject to lampooning not just from a satirical elite but by anyone with the material and the gumption to set up a Twitter account, or hell, create a funny hashtag. Democratizing the news was a step forward. Democratizing our skepticism towards all form of power is an even greater step.

    • Climate panel chief welcomes climate debate

      The head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Rajendra Pachauri, says he welcomes “the development of a vigorous debate” on climate science.

      In an article for the BBC’s Green Room series, he says those on the side of “consensus” must remember that debate drives the evolution of knowledge.

      The panel and its chairman have been much criticised in recent months over errors in its landmark 2007 report.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • China’s Internet White Paper: networked authoritarianism in action

      The release of the Chinese government’s first-ever White Paper on the Internet in China provoked some head-scratching here in the Western world. Part Three of the six-part document is titled “Guaranteeing Citizens’ Freedom of Speech on the Internet.” I’ve heard from several journalists and policy analysts (not people based in China, for whom such cognitive dissonance is normal) who at first glance thought they were reading The Onion or some kind of parody site. How, people asked me, can a government that so blatantly censors the Internet claim with a straight face to be protecting and upholding freedom of speech on the Internet? The answer of course is that China’s netizens are free to do everything… except for the things they’re not free to do.

    • Smile29

      Written declaration 2010/29 is a Written Declaration according to Rule 123 of the Rules of Procedure of the EU parliament, the stated aim an ‘early warning system’ for child sexual abuse. However, a thorough reading shows that it also includes a clause about extending the Data Retention Directive to cover search engines. This is not mentioned in any of the material given to MEPs, or even in the declaration itself. Instead, the DRD is only mentioned using its referral code of 2006/24/EC. This may very well be a sneaky way of getting the Parliament to take a strong stance on Data Retention where no such stance actually exists among the MEPs.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • IEEE working group considers kinder, gentler DRM

      People don’t like DRM in large part because it removes much of their control over things like e-books, music, and movies. Want to loan a DRMed song to a friend? You probably can’t, even though sharing a physical item like a CD remains trivial.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • La guerra de los Jarritos

      “They were suing us for more than $50,000 if we didn’t change our name,” she says. “We are a small business, and we don’t have a lot of money, so I didn’t think there was a good reason to fight them.” Edith, whose mother had brought hundreds of jarritos when she moved from El Salvador, still decorates her taqueria with the jars- but the sign over the door now read El Jarro Azul. “We thought if they’re located in Texas, they should let people have their own name. But I guess not,” she gives a rueful laugh. “They’re thinking we’re going to steal their name and start making sodas or something like that.”

    • Copyrights

      • A Failure to Communicate

        For those unfamiliar with the practice, e-reserves takes its name from the traditional library “reserve” model, where a professor makes a limited number of physical copies of articles or a book chapter available for students. Those copies were generally subject to permission, and proper reproduction fees were paid to the publishers.

        In the digital world, that’s all changed. Rather than make multiple physical copies, faculty now scan or download chapters or articles, create a single copy, and place that copy on a server where students can access it (and in some cases print, download, or share). Since the practice relies on fair use (creating a single digital copy, usually from a resource already paid for, for educational purposes), permission generally isn’t sought, and thus permission fees aren’t paid, making the price right for students strapped by the high cost of tuition and textbooks, as well as for libraries with budgets stretched thinner every year.

        Not surprisingly, e-reserves are widely used and are immensely popular. Students and instructors love the convenience, ease of use, and accessibility. They are efficient and fit with the way teachers teach and students learn in the digital age. In addition, e-reserves facilitate innovations, like distance learning and collaboration.

      • ISP Attempt To Block File-Sharing Ends in Epic Failure

        In response to the country’s “3 strikes” Hadopi legislation, last week a French ISP began offering a service to block file-sharing on customer connections for ‘just’ 2 euros per month. It didn’t take long for awful vulnerabilities in the system to be found which breached not only the privacy of subscribers, but exposed them to new security threats.

      • Limewire, ISOHunt, PirateBay and the future of P2P

        It is perhaps an indication of how times have changed that the content industries have won some decisive legal battles in court against Limewire, isoHunt and the PirateBay, yet these have not prompted the same level of scrutiny that previous cases have.

        The reason for this is quite simple. Whoever thinks that the legal victories against these services will dent P2P usage is seriously deluded. Limewire for example belongs to an era long gone in file-sharing terms, it was the client-based model of P2P which provided a centralised home for infringement, and therefore it was an easy target for litigation. isoHunt and the Pirate Bay are where the file-sharing action is, but these services are not at all similar to clients such as Limewire.

      • CEO Of UK Collection Society: We Don’t Want Gov’t Handouts, But The Gov’t Must Give Us Everything We Ask For!

        Well, this is nice. Fran Nevrkla, the CEO of PPL, the collection society for performance rights in the UK, recently gave a talk that shows the ridiculous extremes with which some folks in this industry view the very consumers they’re failing to serve. Last we checked in on PPL, it was trying to shake down charities for more money and had lost a massive ruling that said it had greatly overcharged multiple venues and owed them refunds. Towards the end of the talk, Nevrkla claims that he’s disappointed that capital punishment for file sharing isn’t available.

    • ACTA

      • WD12 on ACTA: 150 signatures to go, time to call!

        Only two weeks of plenary in Strasbourg are left for Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to have a chance to sign Written Declaration 12 (WD12) on ACTA. 150 signatures are still missing, mostly from Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, and Poland. Every EU citizen is encouraged to call Strasbourg offices of non-signatories MEPs until thursday, 12:00, to urge them to sign WD12.

      • FFII backs Parliament Written Declaration 12-2010 on ACTA

        The European Parliament Written Declaration 12/2010 led by MEPs Françoise Castex, Zuzana Roithová, Alexander Alvaro, Stavros Lambrinidis receives backing from the Foundation of a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII), a European group for public education and consumer protection in the digital environment.

        The FFII analysed the current Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) draft and found many unintended consequences. For instance, sanctions against unauthorized “file sharing” in the digital environment would also stifle common electronic software distribution methods of operating systems and essential security updates. So far the Commission has not delivered an ‘impact assessment’ for these potential regulatory side effects.

Clip of the Day

Damian Brasher: Linux training and how to prepare (2006)


06.14.10

Links 14/6/2010: OSI Wants Input

Posted in News Roundup at 3:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Not using desktop Linux? You’re wasting your money

      And that’s not the only place where desktop Linux makes sense. If you get right down to it, there are many instances where the only requirements of the desktop are to act as a portal to a Web-based application and possibly run an email client. With the push toward Web-based internal apps, there’s little reason to require Windows at all. Heck, there’s almost no requirement for a desktop or the ability to run anything other than a compatible browser.

    • Microsoft sells software like its 1984

      The software store I describe is not science fiction. This is reality for Apple “App Store” for Ipad/Iphone, the “Ubuntu Software Center” for Canonical’s Linux-based desktop operating system, the Google “Android Market” for Android Linux-based phones, and Palm “PreWare” for WebOS Linux-based phones.

      Ladies and Gentelmen, the platform-delivered software store is how distributed in the 21st century. Unfortunately for Microsoft, no such thing exists for Windows.

    • NanoNote
  • Ballnux

  • Kernel Space

    • Volume Shadow Copy For Linux?

      “I was asked to manage a number of Linux servers at work. I would like to use volume snapshots to improve my backup scripts and keep recent copies of data around for quick restore. I normally manage Windows servers and on those I would just use Microsoft’s Volume Shadow Copy for this. I tried Linux LVM snapshots, but most of the servers I manage run regular partitions with ext3 file systems, so LVM snapshots will not work. I found some versioning file systems out there like ext3cow and Tux3. Those look interesting, but I need something I can use on my existing ext3 file systems. I also found the R1Soft Hot Copy command-line utility, but it does not yet support my older 2.4 Linux servers. What are you using to make snapshots on Linux?”

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • KDE SC 4.5.0 – Beta 2 – Another Quick Look

        Obviously, the move from beta 1 to beta 2 won’t bring any new features, however, as I continue to use the KDE SC 4.5 betas, I’m continuing to discover the small improvements that aren’t obvious at first blush. Whilst there aren’t a huge number of new features in this release, 4.5 is bringing a level of polish that will serve as a solid foundation for the next steps in the evolution of the KDE desktop.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Next Gedit release will have a plugin for Collaborative Editing

        We have already talked about a web-based collaborative editing tool today, Etherpad. So, after that I started looking for some native linux applications which do the same thing and came across Gobby and a new collaboration plugin for Gedit. We can talk about Gobby sometime later, I am more interested to tell you about this new plugin in Gedit .

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Comparison: Best 2010 Linux desktop for begginers

        There you have it, a close comparison between these three fabulous Linux distros, resulting in very evenly matched scores. I personally love all three, each having its own character, strengths, but also weaknesses. Having said so, looking strictly for which one offers the smoothest and most intuitive experience, I would probably have to say that Linux Mint 9 is the winner in my opinion.

        Hopefully this comparison will help you make your choice based on your own needs and taste. I am pretty sure any of the choices is a sure winner.

      • Pardus 2009.2 review

        Recommendations – Pardus 2009.2 is a light-weight desktop distribution. Light-weight because it does not support disk encryption, boot-loader password protection, and LVM and RAID. If those are features you can live without, then Pardus is worth at least a try. It is just like Linux Mint, but with fewer applications in its repository.

        What I’m looking forward to in the next release is for the network interface and the graphical firewall manager to be configured out of the box. I’ll also love to see 3D desktop configuration as a step in Kaptan.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • PCLinuxOS Gnome 2010 on ACER ASPIRE 4730ZG

        My friend ask to me to install linux to his notebook. And i install it with pclinuxos 2010 my custom remastered. The notebook is Acer Aspire 4730 ZG. This is the specification of Acer Aspire 4730 ZG (look at this pic).

    • Fedora

      • Can Fedora be the new Ubuntu?

        Fedora Linux has found its way back into my heart. It will work alongside Ubuntu as my top two Linux distributions. We’ll see just how they place (1 or 2) with the next iteration.

        Bravo Fedora Linux. I tip my hat to you.

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • Meet Shotwell – The F-Spot Replacement For Ubuntu 10.10 “Maverick Meerkat”

        Finally! The much discussed about F-Spot vs Shotwell battle is over. The new default image organizer app for Ubuntu Maverick 10.10 is going to be Shotwell. This is a much needed change and F-Spot was simply not enough. Most of the times when I tried F-Spot, it just keeps crashing on me. Shotwell on a other hand feels a lot more solid and is better integrated with GNOME desktop. Shotwell is also completely devoid of Mono.

      • Ubuntu Replaces F-Spot With Shotwell

        “Finally! The much discussed about F-Spot vs. Shotwell battle is over. The new default image organizer app for Ubuntu Maverick 10.10 is going to be Shotwell. This is a much-needed change; F-Spot was simply not enough. Most of the times when I tried F-Spot, it just keeps crashing on me. Shotwell on the other hand feels a lot more solid and is better integrated with the GNOME desktop. Shotwell is also completely devoid of Mono.”

      • Shotwell – The Future of Linux Photo Management Software
      • Ubuntu Making Moves

        Word on the street is F-Spot is out and Shotwell is in for the next release of Ubuntu.

        It’s always been obvious to me that the so-called “best-of-breed” Mono apps were anything but, and it’s nice to see that Team Apologista spin isn’t getting the job done any longer.

        It’s always struck me as seventeen kinds of absurd that a simple note-taking application can justify bringing in a huge run-time framework – and the after-the-fact rationaliztion of adding more Mono apps “since we’ve already paid the price” was a PR dance worthy of Team Apologista’s Redmond Puppet Masters.

        Of course, Mono infestation is not purely an Ubuntu problem – GNOME has deep shame staining its hands in this matter as well – but because Team Apologista has targeted Ubuntu so hard, it’s significant -and encouraging – to see their efforts fail.

      • Improve Software Quality

        Today I and some hundred others on LinuxTag in Berlin attended a keynote by Mark Shuttleworth, the “head dreamer” of the ubuntu Linux distribution.

      • Proposed Ubuntu 10.10 installer changes will make installation faster, friendly, intelligent
      • Cardapio menu applet gets web search and preferences

        Our favourite alternative to the main Ubuntu menu applet has received an update today which makes it easier to configure settings and also includes a new plugin to perform Google searches right from your desktop!

      • Meritocracy vs. Democracy

        The definition for ‘Informed’ is: “To supply (oneself) with knowledge of a matter or subject.” How do you do this without coming to a consensus with the community? I don’t care who makes the decisions in the end, but to be informed you must listen to the community. And to “fix” a problem you must first understand the problem and know the best solution, the users must not still have a problem, otherwise it’s not a proper solution and the “decisionmaker” was not “informed.”

        Mark Shuttleworth doesn’t make good decisions. As for Jono, the community manager job is NOT to make excuses for bad decisions, it is to represent the community (just as we in the U.S. elect each person to represent us, this is democracy, and this is how good software is developed.)

      • Mark Shuttleworth’s business concept is flawed

        Last week an old discussion flared up once again when TildeHash published “Meritocracy vs. Democracy”, a long lament for.. the position of a few buttons!

      • Ubuntu a Work in Progress

        I didn’t get to see Jono Bacon’s post Ubuntu: meritocracy not democracy until today. Shame I missed it, I like reading this stuff.

        [...]

        Of course scale that up to 12 million users and you suddenly see why some people want to start having democracy or at least hierarchy. Users can’t reasonable expect to be listened to, even though their input is vital to drag Ubuntu out of the programmer paradise and into the mainstream.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Android

      • Motorola’s 2GHz Android Phone Means Business

        Motorola’s turning up the heat on the smartphone market — and this time, it’s not only casual consumers the company’s eyeing.

      • Motorola’s Milestone XT720: Is This The Next Droid?

        Motorola’s poppin’ out Android phones Kate Gosselin-style this month. Just days after announcing its new Motorola Flipout, Moto has taken the wraps off the Milestone XT720, dubbed as “one of the most powerful phones” in the company’s current Android lineup.

      • Battleship of an Android phone sets Sprint sales record

        According to a statement from Sprint, Friday sales of the HTC EVO 4G topped the single day sales of any other phone in the company’s history — though the company didn’t give exact numbers. The previous record was held by both the Samsung Instinct and the Palm Pre.

      • Touchless Gesture Control Coming to Android Devices

        Looking to put a little more “Minority Report” in your life? Or maybe you’re just tired of smudging the screen on your Android device? eyeSight Mobile Technologies may have the answer: Touchless gesture control.

      • It’s time to make gestures at your Android smartphone

        Eyesight develops natural user interfaces for mobile phones. Its gesture technology allows Android devices to use the device’s built-in camera, advanced real-time image processing and machine vision algorithms to track the user’s hand motions and convert them into commands.

      • China, Taiwan Agree on Android, Ophone, WiMax, TD-LTE, More

        It’s official. China and Taiwan have signed an agreement to promote a number of telecommunications technologies, including Google’s Android mobile software and networking technologies for wireless cities.

      • Google’s Android may win backing from China and Taiwan
      • Mobile Payments Startup Boku Launches In-App Billing Library For Android

        Fresh off an announcement of a strategic investment from VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, mobile payments platform Boku is taking its mobile strategy one step further by launching an in-app mobile billing library for Android.

      • The Apple-Google Mobile Battle Continues As Other Platforms Sit and Watch

        Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch may currently be the most popular mobile browsing devices in North America, but handsets using Google’s Android operating system are quickly eroding Apple’s lead. Over the past year, Android browser share on mobiles has increased 12.2 percent and is now used by one in five mobile web users in North America, according to Quantcast, a San Francisco-based web analytics firm. While browsing is down on nearly all other platforms, Apple’s drop is the steepest, down 8.1 percent in the last 12 months. But Android’s gain can really only take a bite out of Apple as everyone else is essentially sitting on the sidelines.

    • Sub-notebooks

Free Software/Open Source

  • OSI and FSF Ideals

    • Your Chance To Change OSI

      When I said recently that we still need the Open Source Initiative (OSI), it started a flood of comment. There’s no doubt that we need OSI – but we need a better OSI. The one we have now is just too small to be effective and too mired in past successes; a renaissance is needed. You can help.

      Yesterday and Today

      OSI was formed in 1998 to solve a pressing problem. The founders embraced the ideals of software freedom, but saw that businesses – being non-persons – lacked any way to embrace a philosophical principle. To advance software freedom, it needed to be pragmatically “projected” onto the surface of the computer industry of 1998, creating rules that could be followed without demanding ideological “purity”. The result was a focus on a certain kind of advocacy, plus an enormously valuable effort to analyse, categorise and selectively endorse copyright licenses. OSI was the pragmatic projection of software freedom onto the computer industry of 1998.

    • Open Source? Free Software? What we need is Open Projects

      Most of these questions are well understood within the free software community itself. But we generally communicate it poorly by focusing the discussion on license technicalities. I guess this is because we’re so used to working in this open manner that we take the it as a given. But users, especially in the public administration only see the licensing side of things because that is the only aspect we talk about and have definitions for.

      A good exception for this is the Apache Software Foundation that has a well-defined set of rules that projects must follow before they can be adopted under the ASF umbrella. Maybe FSF and OSI should also publish some understandable guidelines and definitions for project openness?

    • Opinion: Binary firmware and your freedom

      I suggest that instead of these scapegoat tactics and acting as if they solve any real issue, efforts should be focused on encouraging manufacturers to publish open specifications for their chips and open the source code for their firmware, whether it lives inside the hardware or gets loaded by the kernel. And let’s commend those manufacturers that allow their binary firmware to be conveniently distributed with the Linux kernel instead of punishing them by blacklisting their devices. That could be a first step toward improved communication with hardware manufacturers, which in turn might make truly free firmware more likely in the future.

  • Business

    • Why there are no billion-dollar open source companies

      This is a suggestion that has come up before (Dave Neary’s post from 2008 springs to mind). As he stated: “Free software doesn’t get developed like proprietary software, why should the free software industry look like the proprietary software industry?”

  • Openness/Sharing

    • More than 6,500 comment on coalition policies online
    • Evening Standard almost in profit after going free

      It seemed barely credible that London’s evening paper would succeed as a giveaway. But the power of old-fashioned print advertising revenue has moved it to the brink of profitability

    • How does “public service” work for media and culture in the 21st century?

      With digital technology and internet distribution, we are all producers. The outputs of our diverse cultural institutions are converging in the digital domain. Public funding policy needs to be reformed and converged to match.

    • Should the U.S. support Internet freedom through technology?
    • How Open Web Developers Are Trying to Make Social Media Better for You, the User

      Last week, a new open protocol called OExchange was released with the aim of simplifying sharing. Right out of the door, it had names like Google, Microsoft, and LinkedIn signed on. WebProNews spoke with Google’s Open Web advocate, Chris Messina about how the protocol could benefit businesses and site owners.

    • Abundance Obsoletes Peer Review, so Drop It

      Recently, I had the pleasure of finally meeting Cameron Neylon, probably the leading – and certainly most articulate – exponent of open science. Talking with him about peer review helped crystallise something that I have been trying to articulate: why peer review should go.

      [...]

      For me what’s particularly interesting is the fact that peer review is unnecessary for the same reason that copyright and patents are unnecessary nowadays: because the Internet liberates creativity massively and provides a means for bringing that flood to a wider audience without the need for official gatekeepers to bless and control it.

    • Free Wi-Fi is Just a Small Part of Starbucks’ Plan: Free Access to Paid Content Coming Fall 2010

      Starting July 1st, Starbucks will finally begin to offer free and unrestricted Internet access over Wi-Fi in its stores. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz made this announced at Wired’s Disruptive by Design conference today. With this, Starbucks finally joins the ranks of neighborhood coffee stores all over the world that have long offered free and easy access to Wi-Fi. By Fall 2010, Starbucks also plans to give Internet users in its stores free access to paid sites, including the Wall Street Journal.

    • Open Data

      • Launch of it.ckan.net for open data in Italy!

        The following guest post is by Stefano Costa and Federico Morando. Stefano Costa is a researcher at the University of Siena and Coordinator of the OKF’s Working Group on Open Data in Archaeology. Federico Morando is Managing Director & Research Fellow at the NEXA Center for Internet & Society and a member of the Working Group on EU Open Data.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Peer review provides £209,976,000 public subsidy to commercial publishers

        The Open University’s Martin Weller looks at the Peer Review Survey 2009′s numbers on free participation by UK academics in the peer review process for commercial science journals and concludes that 10.4m hours spent on this amounts to a £209,976,000 subsidy from publicly funded universities to private, for-profit journals, who then charge small fortunes to the same institutions for access to the journals.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Unix in the UK: Mission critical!

    Hewlett-Packard has blades on the brain for both “industry standard” and “mission critical” servers, but IT managers in the United Kingdom seem to be more worried about the cost of their mission critical platforms, generally Unix boxes, according to a report released by Coleman Parkes Research.

  • Hey, Remember The Searchbag?
  • Mind Over Mass Media

    NEW forms of media have always caused moral panics: the printing press, newspapers, paperbacks and television were all once denounced as threats to their consumers’ brainpower and moral fiber.

  • Science

    • Arctic microbes ‘could survive on Mars’

      Canadian boffins say they have discovered a strange form of microbe living in remote Arctic springs which would, if taken to some parts of Mars, be able to survive there.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Face-to-face passport interviews catch only eight fraudsters

      A multi-million pound scheme to tackle passport fraud has been branded a failure after it was revealed that only eight people have been caught as a result of the project.

    • Gary McKinnon and Flat Earth News

      My interest in the Gary McKinnon extradition case was based on a sense of mismatch.

      The case as routinely portrayed in the media did not seem to relate to the case as set out in the relevant legal judgments.

      Moreover, the discussion of the case in the media rarely, if ever, referred to the case as it would appear to someone who had read the judgments.

    • U.S. Identifies Vast Riches of Minerals in Afghanistan

      The United States has discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself, according to senior American government officials.

    • Geopolitics in the raw

      I have been wondering for a while just what we — the west in general — are doing in Afghanistan.

      Iraq was pretty obvious: oil. (Don’t listen to the mouth, watch the hands.) It wasn’t anything as crude as grabbing the oil — stealing around ten billion tons of anything is pretty much impossible — but about exerting control over the manner in which it is sold in order to maintain a competitive advantage (a choke-hold on energy supplies) over economic competitors such as Germany and China. That was the core vision of the Project for the New American Century think tank in the late 1990s, and those folks later formed the top tier of the previous administration.

    • Tequila botnet auto-destructs

      A botnet targeting Mexican surfers has been dismantled just weeks after it first appeared, apparently by the cybercrook who established it rather than by any action by the federales or ISPs.

    • ‘Shady’ porn site practices put visitors at risk
    • South African Bill to block all porn
    • Somali militants threaten World Cup TV viewers

      Somali militants have threatened football fans they will be publicly flogged – or worse – if they are caught watching the World Cup on TV.

    • Will the cloud have its own Deepwater Horizon disaster?

      A new Pew Internet survey of 900 Internet experts leads with a headline finding that will surprise few: the experts largely agree that, by 2020, we’ll all be computing in the cloud. But an even more interesting notion is buried in one corner of the report, and it’s an idea that came up in two of the three cloud interviews I did in the wake of Wired/Ars Smart Salon. This notion is that, at some point, there will be a massive data breach—a kind of cloud version of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, but pouring critical data out into the open instead of oil—and that this breach will cause everyone from private industry to government regulators to rethink what cloud computing can and cannot do.

  • Environment

  • Finance

    • Lighting Africa: Outstanding Products and Distribution Issues

      When the World Bank and International Finance Corporation started the Lighting Africa program in 2007, it was estimated that Africans spent $17 billion (€12.5 billion) a year on lighting sources such as kerosene lamps that are inefficient, polluting and hazardous, and that 250 million people in sub-Saharan Africa had no access to power.

    • A lobbying tempest engulfs financial overhaul

      Congress’ final tinkering with Wall Street overhaul this month offers lobbyists a last-ditch shot to reshape the package on behalf of clients with billions at stake.

      Even as the legislation gets tougher on banks by the week, agents of influence are hardly strangers on Capitol Hill. Many once worked for the lawmakers they’re lobbying.

    • Key FinReg Components Under Threat

      Mike Konczal (who I had the pleasure of meeting at the America’s Future Now conference) has written a report outlining his dream scenario for the Wall Street reform conference committee, coming up with the best of both the House and Senate bills. He has four topic headings:

      Making Resolution Authority Credible
      Getting Our Banks Capitalized
      Bringing Derivatives Into the Sunlight
      Audit the Fed

    • US banks set to lose swaps desks

      Banks are likely to lose a key lobbying battle in the US over whether they will be forced to spin off their lucrative swaps desks, according to people familiar with financial reform negotiations in Congress.

    • Don’t Forget The Kanjorski Amendment

      A great deal of discretion would remain with the regulators, and of course this is a potential danger. But the heightened public awareness of the idea that “bailouts are bad” at least increases the chances that management and directors would be replaced in a failing megabank. Whether creditors would face any losses remains a more open question – but at least the Kanjorski amendment, if applied properly, would put that possibility firmly on the table.

      Brown-Kaufman was turned back on the Senate floor, but the Kanjorski amendment is an integral part of the financial reform bill that passed the House. And Congressman Paul Kanjorski is a formidable member of the House conference delegation.

    • Dealmakers or dealbreakers face financial overhaul

      They are the sticking points that would gum up the Wall Street overhaul.

      From big banks’ exotic trades to the plastic in people’s wallets, it only take a few of the most contentious issues to upend a careful political equilibrium as lawmakers try to blend House and Senate bills into a single rewrite of banking regulations.

    • Recipes for Ruin, in the Gulf or on Wall Street

      For the financial crisis, it has become clear that many chief executives and corporate directors were not aware of the risks taken by their trading desks and partners. Recent accusations against Goldman Sachs suggest the potential for conflicts of interest among banks, investors, hedge funds and rating agencies. And it is clear that regulators like the Securities and Exchange Commission, an agency staffed primarily with lawyers, are not well positioned to monitor the arcane trading strategies that helped produce the crisis.

    • Goldman’s Stonewall Is Bad Business

      Goldman Sachs (GS) has always had a reputation for being above the fray, aloof from the concerns of mere mortals. This reputation has served the bank splendidly as it fends off the pleas, hearings, and subpoenas of federal regulators. To the experienced (or simply jaded), it appeared that the 141-year-old Wall Street stalwart is just, well, being Goldman.

    • BP’s Mess, and Wall Street’s

      Just because you can do something, does that mean you should? It’s a question that might have saved us a lot of pain in recent months if both Goldman Sachs and British Petroleum had asked it of themselves during the last decade.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Freeview Allowed To Use DRM To Curtail Online Piracy

      Ofcom is allowing the BBC to operate its Freeview HD multiplex in such a way that only TV receivers and set-top boxes with built-in digital rights management (DRM) can see programmes’ electronic programme guide (EPG) data.

    • Shame on Ofcom, Double Shame on the BBC

      Rather interestingly, this “consultation” closed almost as soon as it opened: it was hard to resist the impression that it was being railroaded through. Fortunately, due in part to the prompt actions of Computerworld UK readers in submitting critical responses, Ofcom was forced to extend the consultation period, and then carry out a completely new consultation.

      [..]

      If the decision is not overturned (which seems unlikely), it will give the content industry control over what people can do with the content they watch on the BBC. Shame on Oftel – and double shame on the BBC for betraying in this way the audience that has faithfully funded it for all these years.

    • Ofcom agrees to allow the BBC to hobble HD receivers

      Ofcom have today dealt a serious blow to UK consumers and licence-payers by allowing the BBC to impose DRM for HD broadcasts.

    • Finland mulls legalizing use of unsecured Wi-Fi

      When it comes to the unauthorized use of open Wi-Fi networks, the Finnish government may say: If you can’t beat them, join them.

  • Copyrights

    • The Economics of Copyright

      One of the problems with the debate around copyright is that it is often fuelled more by feelings than facts. What is sorely lacking is a hard-nosed look at key areas like the economics of copyright. Enter “The Economics of Copyright and Digitisation: A Report on the Literature and the Need for Further Research” [.pdf].

      As you can tell from the rather tentative title, this is just a first step, but it is an important one, and the UK’s Strategic Advisory Board for Intellectual Property Policy (SABIP) is to be congratulated on commissioning it. This is exactly the kind of thing that it should be doing – not simply taking political positions, but establishing the basis for rational debate before then moving on to the framing of appropriate legislation.

    • Music industry lobbyist calls for death penalty for piracy

      Here’s Fran Nevrkla, Chairman and CEO of Phonographic Performance Ltd, a UK music industry association, addressing the group’s AGM.

    • New District law group tackles movie file sharing

      The US Copyright Group, a District-based venture backed by attorneys from Dunlap, Grubb & Weaver, has sued in federal court at least 14,000 John Doe plaintiffs who allegedly downloaded independent movies from the peer-to-peer file-sharing site BitTorrent. The scope of the litigation, which if successful could generate upward of $20 million even if settled out of court, is expected to expand as action is taken on behalf of more film producers against additional groups of defendants.

    • The World’s 5 Largest Public BitTorrent Trackers

      In the fall of last year The Pirate Bay took its tracker offline. Luckily, for the stability of the BitTorrent ecosystem several new trackers emerged to take its place. Time for us to provide an overview of the largest public BitTorrent trackers currently around.

    • RIAA wants LimeWire shut down over ‘rampant illegal conduct’
    • Video explains Canada’s DMCA
    • What Happened to my Creative Commons License?

      I don’t blame Google so much as I blame the Neanderthal book publishers who are breathing down Google’s neck. Or perhaps it’s Google’s wallet. Google will probably get to this kind of fine tuning eventually, but at the moment they are dealing with folks insisting on locking books up for fear non-payers will read them. But if you have a paper copy of the book, or go to the copyright page online, you’ll see that the book’s copyrighted by the editors, but it says right on the same page that the individual essays are licensed under a Creative Commons license, Attribution, NonCommercial, NoDerivs 2.5. That means that everyone in the world is free to read my essay, for starters. It also means they are free in a noncommercial context to copy and redistribute it with attribution, as long as they reproduce it accurately and without changing anything or adding anything. That is my intent. But ironically, I can’t even reproduce it for you here unless I want to type it all out by hand, because it won’t let me even see all the pages, let alone copy them. I’m mentioning it because it’s my hope that Google Books, and other such services, will make a note and tell the computers to look for Creative Commons licenses, and loosen up.

      [...]

      I don’t think the process would work as well for a less, shall we say, inspiring case. Volunteers responded because they seriously cared about the outcome, not because they found learning to do legal research fascinating. I have gotten a lot of email about enjoying the learning, actually, but I also know that SCO was an inspiration. For some, watching an attack on Linux is like watching someone kick Dorothy’s dog, Toto: people get mad and want to do something about it. You don’t get the same response in all cases or by paying people. There isn’t enough money in the world to pay me for the amount of work I donated to Groklaw, the nights without sleep, the anxiety, or the jerks I had to deal with sometimes, if I may speak plainly.

    • Accused of file-sharing? The EFF can point you to help

      If you’re one of the 14,000+ US citizens targeted by the US Copyright Group for allegedly sharing movies with BitTorrent, a letter has already arrived or will do so shortly. That letter will contain a polite request: pay us around $1,500 within the next few weeks or run of the risk of a federal copyright lawsuit, where lawyers will demand the maximum $150,000 penalty.

    • Film Director: File Sharing Only Hurts Bad Or Mediocre Films

      TorrentFreak asked independent film director Sam Bozzo to comment on his experiences having his two most recent films leaked to BitTorrent. The stories in both cases were different. The first film, Blue Gold: World Water Wars was released normally, and then leaked online. The second, his documentary Hackers Wanted was shelved after internal disputes — but has now leaked to BitTorrent. Originally it was an old cut that was leaked, but now Bozzo’s “directors’ cut” has been leaked, and Bozzo seems fine with it. In fact, he claims that if you make a good film, having it leaked to BitTorrent can only help. It’s only bad if your film isn’t very good:

      In a nutshell, I believe the only films that are hurt by torrent sharing are mediocre and bad films. In contrast, the good films of any genre only benefit from file-sharing. Due to this, I feel the current file-sharing trend is a catalyst for a true evolution in filmmaking…

    • ACTA/Digital Economy Bill

      • WD12 on ACTA: 150 signatures to go, time to call!

        Only two weeks of plenary in Strasbourg are left for Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to have a chance to sign Written Declaration 12 (WD12) on ACTA. 150 signatures are still missing, mostly from Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, and Poland. Every EU citizen is encouraged to call Strasbourg offices of non-signatories MEPs until thursday, 12:00, to urge them to sign WD12.

      • Eastern Europe – land of digital freedom?

        Now, the Baltic sea neighbors Finland and Estonia have declared Internet access to be a legal right. So I’ve been wondering… What are the chances of Southeast European countries, for once, not being late to the show but actually leading the race? What do I mean by that? First of all, Croatia and its neighbours would be wise to take advantage of the situation. While the UK, for example, is being mired down with a disastrous “Digital Economy Act”, perhaps our country and maybe even our neighbors could go the other way.

Clip of the Day

Adrian Bridgett – Troubleshooting Tools (2006)


06.13.10

Links 13/6/2010: Android 2.2, New Larry Lessig Talks

Posted in News Roundup at 6:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Google Chrome 5: A review

    Google’s very own web browser Chrome has been gaining popularity for sometimes now among users. And with the recent rollout of Chrome version 5, they’re looking forward to gain users among Mac and Linux users.

  • Norwegian browser Opera aims to topple reigning Internet Explorer

    No. 1 in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Belarus. It might not be a slogan to attract an avalanche of American Internet users, but the Norwegian company that makes the fastest Web browser you’ve never heard of sees a major opportunity in the United States and the rest of the world.

  • Analysis: Android vs Windows a benefit for gadget makers

    After three decades of bowing to Microsoft (MSFT.O) and its Windows juggernaut, PC and computing gadget makers are preparing for a new era that could offer the first real choice for the software that make their products tick.

  • Android 2.2: Ready For Enterprise?

    Android 2.2 Froyo arrived with much fanfare on May 20 at Google’s I/O conference. The new platform software for smartphones is chock full of new features, such as tethering and Wi-Fi hotspot services, faster performance, and Flash 10.1.

  • Coming Innoversal Lattice tablet with Pixel Qi screen

    The Adam tablet had a unique distinction uptill now, that of being the only known tablet PC to be using the Pixel Qi screen. But as per the latest slate pc news, Adam will soon have company as there are a plethora of tablets that will be wearing the innovative technology that makes a screen just as viewable out in the sun as it is indoors. In fact, quite a few of those tablets were there to be seen at the Pixel Qi booth at Computex and they indeed look promising. But of all those present, special mention has to be made of one that can make a difference and rise above the sea of tablets – the Innoversal Lattice.

    [...]

    Saving the best for the last, Innoversal has said the tablet will make its debut by September and is likely to sport a price tag of around $530 to $550. Also, an interesting aspect of the tablet is there is the option of either Windows, Linux, or even Google Chrome as the default OS of the Lattice.

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Environment

    • Indian court convicts 7 in Bhopal gas disaster

      A court Monday convicted seven former senior employees of Union Carbide’s Indian subsidiary of “death by negligence” for their roles in the 1984 leak of toxic gas that killed an estimated 15,000 people in the world’s worst industrial disaster.

    • Deepwater Horizon Lessons Parallel IT Risk Management

      From Tony Hayward, BP CEO on the impact of the oil leak on May 18th:

      “I think the environmental impact of this disaster is likely to have been very, very modest.”

      That’s minimizing of the event sounds all too familiar to the initial reaction we hear from companies right after they suffer a serious data breach. We hear minimizing such as “There hasn’t been any evidence that the data was abused,” or “The breach seems to have been a human mistake, rather than technical,” or “The amount of data compromised represents a small fraction of all of our customers.” As if any of that matters to those who have their personal information now in the wrong hands.

    • BP grabs ‘oil spill’ keywords on Google
    • Revealed: Japan’s bribes on whaling

      A SUNDAY TIMES investigation has exposed Japan for bribing small nations with cash and prostitutes to gain their support for the mass slaughter of whales.

      The undercover investigation found officials from six countries were willing to consider selling their votes on the International Whaling Commission (IWC).

      The revelations come as Japan seeks to break the 24-year moratorium on commercial whaling. An IWC meeting that will decide the fate of thousands of whales, including endangered species, begins this month in Morocco.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

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