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Links 26/7/2010: Jim Zemlin Interview, GNOME-LiMo Partnership

Posted in News Roundup at 12:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Kernel Space

    • Interview with Linux Foundation executive director Jim Zemlin

      1) What one big opportunity, outside of technology, has the best chance of being solved the open source way? (i.e., collaboration, transparency, meritocracy, rapid prototyping, community)

      Better government. I think most people would find the attributes of open source–collaboration, transparency, meritocracy, etc.–would be a breath of fresh air in government. The Sunlight Foundation is working on this. I am on the board of Open Source for America, and there are many other organizations working on this.

  • GNOME Desktop

    • GNOME Foundation and LiMo Foundation announce partnership

      Under the terms of the partnership, the LiMo Foundation will join the GNOME Foundation’s Advisory Board and the GNOME Foundation will become an Industry Liaison Partner for the LiMo Foundation. Morgan Gillis, Executive Director of the LiMo Foundation, said, “This close alignment between LiMo and GNOME provides important support for this commitment and will take in an expanding ecosystem of products and services developed by GNOME developers in conjunction with the members of LiMo Foundation.”

  • Distributions

    • Embracing the Web

      This is a huge head start toward a free web. I think what’s missing is a client platform which catalyzes the development and use of FLOSS web applications.

Free Software/Open Source


  • Big Game Studio Mocks Indie Developer For Saying He Wants To Connect With Fans

    The first, found via Karl Bode, is a story about how Mark Rein, a VP from Epic Games, the large video game developer behind Gears of War among other games, audibly scoffs at Cliff Harris of the one-man shop Positech Games (whom we’ve written about before, concerning his plans to “compete with pirates.”) Harris was on stage discussing how indie developers, like himself, had an easier time “forming personal relationships with gamers.” Apparently, Rein loudly announced that forming a personal relationship with “a small number of gamers” was a “waste of time.” Harris shot back on his blog, pointing out that (a) whatever he’s doing is working for him, because he’s been happily making games (and a living) for 13 years and seems to have a devoted fanbase and (b) Mark Rein is a jerk for acting the way he did.

  • Judge Throws Out $4,000 Fine For Picking Up Free Air-Conditioner
  • In Politics, Sometimes The Facts Don’t Matter

    New research suggests that misinformed people rarely change their minds when presented with the facts — and often become even more attached to their beliefs. The finding raises questions about a key principle of a strong democracy: that a well-informed electorate is best.

  • Science

    • SpaceShipTwo Makes First Flight With Crew Aboard

      SpaceShipTwo staged a dress rehearsal for its glide flight and flew with a crew for the first time.

      Anticipation mounted yesterday as word spread that SpaceShipTwo, attached to its mother ship Eve, departed the Mojave Air and Space Port. Many, including us, were anxious to hear whether the first glide flight of the spacecraft also known as VSS Enterprise would happen, especially since we knew a chase plane followed SpaceShipTwo into the sky.

  • Security/Aggression

  • Environment

    • Natural environment: an invitation to shape the nature of England

      Our natural environment underpins our economic prosperity, our health and our wellbeing. As a result, protecting the environment and enhancing biodiversity is one of Defra’s top 3 priorities, as outlined in the Department’s Structural Reform Plan.

    • BP buys up Gulf scientists for legal defense, roiling academic community

      For the last few weeks, BP has been offering signing bonuses and lucrative pay to prominent scientists from public universities around the Gulf Coast to aid its defense against spill litigation.

      BP PLC attempted to hire the entire marine sciences department at one Alabama university, according to scientists involved in discussions with the company’s lawyers. The university declined because of confidentiality restrictions that the company sought on any research.

  • Finance

    • Training crucial to labor market

      This recession has caused a generational restructuring of America’s labor market.

      Many job skills in high demand 20 years ago just aren’t today, and some of the fastest-growing careers now weren’t even conceivable then. That’s why this administration is refocusing job-training efforts to give workers the skills they’ll need to compete successfully in a 21st century labor market.

    • Industries Find Surging Profits in Deeper Cuts

      But despite that drought, Harley’s profits are rising — soaring, in fact. Last week, Harley reported a $71 million profit in the second quarter, more than triple what it earned a year ago.

      This seeming contradiction — falling sales and rising profits — is one reason the mood on Wall Street is so much more buoyant than in households, where pessimism runs deep and joblessness shows few signs of easing.

      Many companies are focusing on cost-cutting to keep profits growing, but the benefits are mostly going to shareholders instead of the broader economy, as management conserves cash rather than bolstering hiring and production. Harley, for example, has announced plans to cut 1,400 to 1,600 more jobs by the end of next year. That is on top of 2,000 job cuts last year — more than a fifth of its work force.

    • Credit Score Is the Tyrant in Lending

      The other day, a mortgage broker named Deb Killian called me, more or less out of the blue. Ms. Killian has been in the business since 1994. She and her husband run Charter Oak Lending Group, a small firm based in Danbury, Conn., that they founded in 1996. She is a member of the board of the National Association of Mortgage Brokers. By her estimate, she has closed more than 3,500 loans during her career.

    • Netroots Nation 2010: LIVE Streaming Video, Full Conference Schedule
    • Some Thoughts on the Bush Tax “Cuts” Expiration

      I am winging my way home from Canada, flying over Minnesota into Wisconsin. I am catching up with some reading, but I had to comment on all the Sturm und Drang about the expiration of the Bush Tax “cuts.”

    • Financial regulatory overhaul’s winners and losers
    • Warren’s Candidacy Raises a Partisan Debate

      Instead, Ms. Warren’s supporters want President Obama to nominate her as the first head of a new consumer financial protection bureau created by the legislation he signed into law last week. They say that Ms. Warren, who conceived the idea and helped shepherd its passage into law, is the only acceptable choice to finish the project.

    • Spending Can Be Cut

      When times are hard financially, families frequently let their credit card balance expand. But they also slash expenses to meet their new financial situation. They stop going out for dinner, for instance, or take their vacation locally instead of abroad. They might even downsize their house.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • New bill renews Internet privacy fight

      American businesses weren’t very happy about a privacy bill that Rep. Rick Boucher announced in May. The Interactive Advertising Bureau, for instance, said the Virginia Democrat’s draft legislation would have “major” effects on legitimate business practices.

    • New Wikileaks to Old Channels

      What is most interesting is why Wikileaks – a Web 2.0 User Generated Content site if there ever was one – chose Mainstream media as its organ of publication and dissemination rather than just getting it out there on the Web. If there is one thing this proves, it is that the role of the Olde Media is far from redundant. The deep throating may now be very 2.0, but the reporting is an interesting combination of Old Hacks drinking from New bottles.


      As to the actual incidents themselves, there will no doubt be a lot of hand wringing from the self-declared sensitive types, but the more prosaic truth about these facts is that this sort of thing was ever thus (Allied exploits in WW2 do not make them out as angels at all, and just ask the average British tankie about US “friendly fire” in the Gulf Wars), its just its all come out in the open this time (A process that started in the Crimea, by the way).

    • What if there are no secrets?

      Is no secret safe?

      That’s the moral to the Wikileaks war log story: you never know what might be leaked. Of course, that itself is nothing new: Whenever we reveal information to even one person, we risk it being spread. The ethic of confidentiality (and privacy) rests with the recipient of that information.

      So what’s new now? There are more means to get information since it is pooled and digital. There are more means to share information; Daniel Ellsberg had to go through media to spread his Pentagon Papers while Wikileak chose to go through media so they could add value (perspective and attention) but didn’t have to. And there are new means to stay anonymous in the process.

    • Performance Rights Group Takes Down YouTube Video Of Auschwitz Survivor Dancing To ‘I Will Survive’ At Aushwitz
  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Ruling on DMCA could allow breaking DRM for fair use

      A new court ruling on Friday could set a legal precedent that allows bypassing digital rights management (DRM) for fair use purposes. New Orleans circuit Judge Emilio Garza found that GE hadn’t violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by using hacked security dongles to repair uninterruptible power supplies from MGE UPS Systems as the goal itself was legal. While a jury fined GE $4.6 million for breaking copyright and misusing trade secrets, Judge Garza determined the DMCA hadn’t been broken, as using hacked items by itself didn’t constitute violating protection at the same time.

    • FCC Takes Beating Over Closed Door Net Neutrality Meeting

      The FCC, which proudly and repeatedly proclaims they embrace “transparency,” is taking considerable heat this week for meeting behind closed doors with the largest carriers to hash out a deal on network neutrality.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • WIPO Sees First Real Progress In 10 Years On Text For Protection Of Folklore

      A group of experts mandated by the WIPO Intergovernmental Committee on on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC) met from 19-23 July to discuss possible text for an eventual international legal instrument on the protection of traditional cultural expressions and expressions of folklore.

    • Trademark And Domain Names… Two Very Different Rulings From One Judge
    • Human Rights Groups to Challenge Special 301

      On Tuesday July 20, a group of public interest organizations, represented by Sean Flynn, Associate Director of PIJIP, will file a complaint alleging that U.S. trade policy in the Obama Administration reduces access to medicines in low and middle income nations, and therefore violates international human rights obligations. The complaint will be filed with the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, Anand Grover. A press conference announcing the complaint will be held at the International AIDS Conference in Vienna.

    • Copyrights

      • File Sharing Is Not Pollution, And You Don’t Need An ISP ‘Tax’ To Deal With It
      • BitTorrent Admins Charged in $1.25bn Movie Piracy Case

        Following the country’s first ever raid on a BitTorrent site in 2009, Russian authorities have now begun a criminal investigation into the operators of Interfilm.ru. Run by a married couple, the site is now at the center of copyright infringement claim which runs to a staggering $1.25 billion. Reports suggest that the investigation has also traced some of the site’s top users.

      • Tell-All Author Riffs on Music Industry in Crisis; Part 1

        In the end, the former Rolling Stone senior editor chose Bronfman over Jobs for Fortune’s Fool: Edgar Bronfman Jr., Warner Music and an Industry in Crisis, in no small part due to the intense motivation exhibited by the heir to the multibillion dollar Seagram throne to transform his family’s liquor-derived empire into an entertainment company.

        Why, when he could have spent his life playing tennis, did Bronfman persevere? And why does he continue to believe in the value of recorded music, despite having shown the poor timing to invest in the major-label system not long before Napster introduced the world to file sharing, causing the financial worth of recorded music to decline?

      • Guns N’ Roses Uploader Laughs Last

        The convicted Guns N’ Roses uploader, Kevin Cogill, isn’t the anti-piracy pitchman the Recording Industry Association of America was hoping for.

        A year ago Wednesday, the 29-year-old Los Angeles man was sentenced to two months’ home confinement and a year of probation for uploading nine unreleased tracks of Guns N’ Roses’ Chinese Democracy to his music site. Federal prosecutors initially sought six months of prison, but Cogill got no time after agreeing to do an RIAA public service announcement that would scare future file sharers straight.

      • Nintendo Doesn’t Want To Criminalize Obsessed Fans
      • Music chief: preventing file-sharing is a “waste of time”

        A leading music industry figure has labelled attempts to thwart internet file-sharing as a “waste of time”.

      • Publisher Sued For Reposting Article Based On His Own Research

        Copyright enforcement outfit Righthaven has filed some questionable lawsuits in the past, but really outdid itself in a case against Anthony Curtis, publisher of the Las Vegas Advisor.

      • Westminster eForum: Peter Jenner on digital content consumers

        Next up at the Westminster eForum is Peter Jenner, emeritus president of the IMMF – a manager and “recovering economist”. He says he’s going to look at copyright more from an economist’s point of view, too, getting away from the law.

      • Contemplating Copyright

        UN1TE Dance Company‘s choreographers feel free to use whatever music they like in their classes. Unfortunately, it’s not so easy when you put videos from those classes online.

      • Boy oh (Tommy)Boy – 80% of you make music that is “crap”?
      • Attention movie pirates: New round of lawsuits coming
      • Willy Wizard takes Harry Potter copyright fight to America

        The estate filed a similar lawsuit last year in England against Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, the UK publisher of the Harry Potter franchise. Now in a statement, Jacobs estate trustee Paul Allen says the estate is contemplating legal action in key territories worldwide and the “USA being the world’s largest market for Potter books means that our first overseas action is brought here in America.”

    • ACTA

      • Pirate Party storms out of uber-secret ACTA negotiations

        The level of secrecy shrouding the EU’s ACTA negotiations reached new heights earlier this week, with the news that Pirate Party MEP Christian Engstrom felt compelled to abandon a meeting with ACTA negotiators in the European Parliament after he was forbidden from sharing information with the public.

      • If Negotiators Still Don’t Want To Release ACTA, It’ll Still Get Leaked

        So, we now know for certain that the ACTA negotiators’ promise of “transparency” over negotiations was an outright lie. They fought it every step of the way, falsely claiming that if the draft were public, some members would leave the table. It was only after a pretty massive smack down from the EU Parliament and the fact that the draft was already leaked that negotiators finally agreed to release a draft that left out lots of pertinent information.

      • Could Bolivia Opt-Out Of Berne And WIPO And Forge A New Path On Copyright?

        They don’t allow countries to experiment with different types of copyright law to see if they work better. That, of course, is one reason why ACTA is so troubling. However, before ACTA there were other such international agreements, such as WIPO and, most famously, the Berne Convention.

      • ACTA Coming Down to Fight Between U.S. and Europe

        With yesterday’s leak of the full ACTA text (updated to include the recent round of talks in Lucerne) the simmering fight between the U.S. and the E.U. on ACTA is now being played out in the open. During the first two years of negotations, both sides were at pains to indicate that there was no consensus on transparency and the treaty would not change their domestic rules. Over the past four months, the dynamic on both transparency and substance has changed.

Links 26/7/2010: Linux Mint 10 Called “Julia”, OliverPad Runs Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 7:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • Five Pictures of OSCON

      It’s my favorite conference, I think. I love the smaller, more focused events too, but OSCON is a gathering of the tribes and we need one of those.

  • BSD

    • Running ZFS With CAM-based ATA On FreeBSD 8.1

      In these benchmarks we compared the performance of the traditional ATA infrastructure in FreeBSD/PC-BSD 8.1 to that of the new CAM-based ATA infrastructure when using ZFS. The tests included LZMA compression, Gzip compression, Compile Bench, PostMark, and the Threaded I/O Tester.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • ‘Business will overcome its opposition to Creative Commons or perish’

      Joi Ito wants to revolutionise the internet. His vision is of a world unperturbed by a complicated, costly and outdated copyright system, where everybody can collaborate and share content on the web as they wish.

      He doesn’t want to get rid of copyright, he just wants you to be able to adapt it to your needs. He wants to build a sharing economy.

  • Open Data

  • Standards/Consortia

    • ODF Documents
    • How To Judge Your Vendor’s Support for a Standard

      For people who adopt software, trying to judge the value of so-called “standards support” in a product can be an incredibly frustrating experience. Standards implementations often fail to live up to their promises and, worse, it can be very hard to tell in advance of installing and running the software whether or not the “standards support” it supposedly provides is actually going to meet your needs.

    • Taking webm for a Spin

      I first blogged about webm the day Google released it. It has taken some time but now I have full support for webm in my preferred Linux desktop distro (Fedora 13). I’ve been doing some testing and I have to say I’m impressed.


  • 3 Staffers With McInnis Campaign Resign

    Three people working with the Scott McInnis for Colorado governor campaign have resigned their positions. This comes as McInnis, a Republican, has been battling plagiarism allegations.

  • Science

  • Security/Aggression

    • CCTV turning schools into ‘prisons’

      Researchers found the widespread use of CCTV, ID cards, electronic registration systems, fob-controlled gates and fingerprint technology as schools attempt to crackdown on troublemakers.

      Staff at one comprehensive patrolled corridors and playgrounds with radios to make sure children behaved at lunchtimes, while teachers at a private school used technology to spy on children’s computer and internet use.

    • Bar owner defends toilet CCTV move

      THE owners of a new bar have defended their decision to install a CCTV camera in the men’s toilets.

    • ‘Sneaky’ Wandsworth Council makes million on station CCTV

      More than 21,000 fines of between £60 and £120 were issued for motoring offences such as stopping to drop off family and friends.

    • Mother arrested after ‘stealing ball’

      Lorretta Cole says she was trying to teach her neighbour’s children a lesson after she claims the ball repeatedly landed on her property and even damaged her car.

    • Police forces under pressure over Europe evidence demands

      The Government has until the end of the month to decide whether to opt out of the scheme – which would give authorities in any country in the whole of the EU the power to order our police to produce evidence, or even interrogate or launch surveillance of suspects without their knowledge.

    • WSCC laptop containing information on children stolen from home of employee

      West Sussex County Council has been described as showing ‘poor regard’ to the importance of protecting children’s personal information after an unencrypted laptop containing information about children was stolen from the home of one of its employees.

  • Environment

    • Does BP Have an ACE Up Its Sleeve on Climate Education?

      In May, PRWatch reported on a controverisal new group, “Balanced Education for Everyone” (BEE), that is trying to stop public schools from teaching kids about climate change science. BEE argues that teaching climate change is too scary for kids and “unnecessary.” But BEE’s efforts also raised other questions, like what are kids learning about climate change in school, anyway, and who is influencing it?


      Connecting the Dots: Hushed Relationships Between ACE and BP

      ACE was founded with an initial donation of $2.675 million in “private funding,” the source of which is undisclosed on ACE’s Web site. However, a September 30, 2009 article about an ACE school presentation says all of money to start ACE came from one person: Michael Haas, the group’s founder. A second article posted on Grist.com in July 2009 confirms this. So why is ACE so cagey about reporting this on its website?

    • BP admits it ‘Photoshopped’ official images as oil spill ‘cut and paste’ row escalates
    • Unsafe From Any Gulf

      The Los Angeles Times reported last week that, “worst-case estimates place the total oil spilled in the gulf at about 126 million gallons over two months. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates the country disgorges that much hydrocarbon pollution to the air in 10 days.”

    • Environmental & Health Effects of Oil Dispersants a Mystery to BP and the Government

      U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson questions BP’s widespread application of oil dispersants in the Gulf of Mexico, as does everyone else. According to Jackson, the government is “uncharted waters” with the use of dispersants in the Gulf of Mexico. “The amount of dispersant being used at the surface is unprecedented,” Jackson says. BP is also applying the chemicals in the sub-sea environment. In addition, dispersant is stopping oil from collecting on water surface, where it can be more easily controlled.

    • Governors Declare Day of Prayer for Gulf Spill

      Leaders of the Gulf Coast states have designated Sunday a day of prayer for the regions affected by the oil spill that has sent millions of gallons of crude gushing into the Gulf of Mexico for the last 66 days.

    • Coast Guard Photos Show Spill Workers Without Protective Gear

      There’s something missing in the Coast Guard’s latest PR photos of oil spill cleanup workers: protective gear.

    • Gulf Seafood Gets Chemically Tested for Oil, Not Dispersant

      NOAA, the FDA and the Gulf states have been rigorously testing Gulf seafood for oil—doing smell tests with teams of human sniffers, and performing chemical tests for the harmful polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, found naturally in crude oil.

    • Giant oil skimmer ‘A Whale’ deemed a bust for Gulf of Mexico spill

      The oil is too dispersed to take advantage of the converted Taiwanese supertanker’s enormous capacity, said Bob Grantham, a spokesman for shipowner TMT.

      He said BP’s use of chemical dispersants prevented A Whale, billed as the world’s largest skimmer, from collecting a “significant amount” of oil during a week of testing that ended Friday.

    • Chemical Agriculture Group Says, Shut Up and Eat Your Pesticides

      Rachel Carson ignited the debate over pesticide safety a generation ago. Its latest phase began today (July 15).

      Chemical farming interests have taken aim at Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) influential “Shopper’s Guide To Pesticides In Produce,” a popular consumer tool introduced more than a decade ago that has helped drive expansion of organic produce sales at the expense conventionally grown, pesticide-contaminated fruits and vegetables.

  • Finance

    • Why we must reduce military spending (Reps. Barney Frank and Ron Paul)

      As members of opposing political parties, we disagree on a number of important issues. But we must not allow honest disagreement over some issues interfere with our ability to work together when we do agree.

    • Help Us With the Bankster Scorecard
    • Wall St. Reform Passes! Reformers Celebrate Rare Victory Over Entrenched Special Interest

      AFR’s 250 consumer, labor, business, housing and grassroots groups, along with dozens of academics and think tanks, came together in an unprecedented effort to pool their expertise on complex financial matters to provide a counterweight to the big money lobbying onslaught and technical expertise of Wall Street.

    • Taxpayers Owed Big Bucks Under the Bailout, Little Help for Homeowners Facing Foreclosure

      These numbers are much higher than what is reported in the media because CMD’s Wall Street Bailout Cost Table takes into account all 35 government programs, not just the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) managed by the U.S. Treasury Department. Still unpaid: $568 billion in TARP money and $1.4 trillion in Federal Reserve loans and investments.

    • The Evolving Nature of the Corporation

      What is a corporation? In the aftermath of the financial crisis, the nature of the corporation has been the subject of considerable debate. While this is a very complex topic, two major points of view seem to be emerging, which we can use to book-end the different ends of a spectrum, with many hybrid positions in-between.


      At the other of the spectrum, is the view of the corporation as an organization that will use all lawful means for its single-minded objective of generating profit and wealth. As we have seen with the financial crisis, that single-minded focus on wealth can degenerate into a behavior dominated by greed, where a relatively small number of people will do whatever they can to earn large sums of money without worrying about the impact of their actions on the larger society.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Chez Sludge: Complaint Filed Regarding Francesca Vietor’s Threat To the Guardian

      The “Chez Sludge” scandal in San Francisco, involving the city giving away free toxic sewage sludge as “organic Biosolids compost” for gardeners, took another turn on July 13, 2010. The Food Rights Network filed a formal letter of complaint with the California Bar Association, asking the professional society for California lawyers to investigate Chris Desser, attorney for Francesca Vietor, in Vietor’s threat of libel against the UK Guardian newspaper.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Wikileaks: No Substitute for Transparency

      I’ve been disagreeing with a lot of people about transparency recently, and even though it’s kind of going out of fashion on the edge of my community, I’m still going to stand up for the principle. Transparency, real and true, is a good thing for many reasons. It’s not magic fairy pixie dust that makes the world a wonderful place, and anyone who sold it as such needs to do their historical homework. What is does it complex, important, but not sexy enough for many activists.

      What a lot of people commenting on the debate about government transparency don’t get is that it’s not just about the information. Action always has an inherent politics to it; publishing data about itself is as much about telling government how it’s supposed to behave as it is about the data. Even if you’re wildly juking the stats, you’re at least communicating to yourself how different things should be. The action involved in transparency is the action of telling on yourself. No matter how subverted, two things remain true: you know that you should be doing better, and you’re going to accidentally expose incidental truths.

    • Data retention: Got nothing to hide?

      It recently came to light (thanks to some good reporting) that the Government has been fishing around with ISPs for their support on a new and radical data retention policy. This would legally oblige telcos to retain large amounts of data about their customers’ communications activities in case law enforcement needed them at some point in the future.

    • Paedophilia used as an excuse to snoop on internet users – again

      Members of the European Parliament are being asked to sign a written declaration that will, ostensibly, “set up a European early warning system for paedophiles and sex offenders”. In reality, it will extend the Data Retention Directive to search engines.

  • Copyrights

    • $27 million claimed; $500 awarded

      A claim arguing both copyright infringement and moral rights infringement looked for $27 million in damages. (Plus, amongst other things, the goods and services tax on the monetary awards.) By the end, the Honourable Mr. Justice Russell of the Federal Court of Canada determined that the defendants’ copyright misdemeanor was confined to posting the plaintiff’s work on their website, without his consent. Justice Russell did not conceal his opinion of the plaintiff’s conduct; “The evidence adduced concerning infringement of copyright suggests that the Plaintiff’s claims are disproportionate and opportunistic.”

    • Tech News Sites Tout Misleading BitTorrent Piracy Study

      A new study has been making the rounds, concluding that only 0.3% of all files available on BitTorrent are confirmed to be ‘legal’. The results of the study were promoted by anti-piracy outfit AFACT and have been picked up by several news outlets, including Ars Technica and ZDNet, who all failed to see that the report is bogus.


      Unfortunately, the results of these type of studies are pushed by anti-piracy outfits and taken for granted by outsiders, even by respected news outlets on the Internet such as Ars Technica and ZDNet. In this case their reporters were completely taken in by the report.

      Just a few minutes into reading the study we were shaking our heads here at the TorrentFreak headquarters. Mistake after mistake is made in the report and conclusions are drawn based on painfully inaccurate data and methodologies. We’ll lay out the most critical errors below, which represent just the tip of the iceberg.

    • ACTA

      • ACTA leaks – but secret squirrel stays secret

        Just who is the bad apple at the ACTA negotiations, excluding the public and forcing discussions between the parties to be held in secret?

        Not us, says the EU, which has come in for some stick of late – not least from Pirate Party MEP Christian Engstroem – for its refusal to allow MEPs to disseminate anything from the talks back to their voters. Rather, the blame should be laid at the door of just one of the parties to the talks, but the official line is that they are staying schtum on just which.

    • Digital Economy

Clip of the Day

XBMC Mythbox Demo

Links 26/7/2010: CEO Tony Hayward Leaves BP, Banks Controversy Carries on, Wikipedia Stars in Massive Leak

Posted in News Roundup at 4:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


  • Security/Aggression

    • Reliable Encryption for the Rest of Us

      Many encryption utilities–such as the BitLocker feature in Windows 7 Ultimate, or the Rohos Mini Drive utility for protecting info on a thumb drive–are available. But my favorite tool covers all the bases: It’s free, it’s easy, it’s effective, and it works on all major operating systems. TrueCrypt lets you create virtual encrypted drives. Versions are available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux; if you install it on several machines running different OSs, you can open your encrypted files from a network share, thumb drive, or other shared storage device.

    • Afghanistan war logs: Massive leak of secret files exposes truth of occupation

      A huge cache of secret US military files today provides a devastating portrait of the failing war in Afghanistan, revealing how coalition forces have killed hundreds of civilians in unreported incidents, Taliban attacks have soared and Nato commanders fear neighbouring Pakistan and Iran are fuelling the insurgency.

  • Environment

    • BP Acquits Itself of Sole Blame for Gulf Spill after Internal Inquiry

      BP has said that it is not the only oil Company responsible for oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The Company is firm on the view that the claims of its negligence in the oil spill are baseless.

    • Tony Hayward to quit BP

      Tony Hayward, chief executive of BP, is to leave the company, bowing to pressure over his handling of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion, the aftermath of which has become America’s worst environmental disaster.

  • Finance

    • Wall Street Exhales After Sidestepping Pay Czar’s Wrath

      Wall Street took the latest government report on its pay practices in stride Friday, saying it would review U.S. pay czar Kenneth R. Feinberg’s suggestions about compensation while privately expressing relief that the report wasn’t tougher on them.

    • Citigroup, JPMorgan Said to Have Sold AIG Protection to Goldman

      Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are among the banks that sold Goldman Sachs Group Inc. protection against a failure of insurer American International Group Inc., said two people with knowledge of the transactions.

    • Feinberg Says Companies Should Adjust Pay Policies for ‘Crisis’

      Kenneth Feinberg, the Obama administration’s special master on executive compensation, called on 17 bailed-out financial firms including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc. to adopt compensation policies that allow directors to lower top executives’ pay when a firm’s survival is under threat.

    • Levitt Sees No Link Between SEC-Goldman Suit, Bank Bill: Video
    • Issa Questions Timing of SEC’s Goldman Suit, Settlement: Video
    • Goldman Hands Over A.I.G. Hedge List, Report Says

      Goldman Sachs told United States investigators which counterparties it used to hedge the risk that American International Group would fail, three people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg News.

    • Top 5 White Collar Crimes: Goldman Sachs Settles Largest Fraud Case In US History For $550 Million
    • Weighing the Trade-Offs in the Goldman Settlement
    • Inquiry Begun of S.E.C. Timing in Goldman Fraud Case

      The inspector general of the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating whether political or other factors influenced the timing of the filing and subsequent settlement of the commission’s securities fraud case against Goldman Sachs, according to letters between his office and a Republican congressman.


      H. David Kotz, the S.E.C. inspector general, who is an independent watchdog for the agency, began the inquiry in response to an April 23 letter from Mr. Issa, a California Republican who is the ranking minority member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

      The S.E.C. has denied that its timing was influenced by politics.

    • Did Goldman Sachs provoke a world hunger crisis?

      A nonprofit accuses the bank’s traders of starving people by dramatically bidding up prices for wheat, corn and rice. Is that fair?

    • Documents Detail $4.3B in Goldman Sachs Payouts

      International banks and financial companies were indirect beneficiaries of the government’s 2008 bailout of American International Group Inc., according to newly released documents.

    • Pay czar faults 17 companies over compensation

      The government’s pay czar announced Friday that 17 companies benefiting from federal bailout money handed out $1.6 billion in excess executive pay at the height of the financial crisis. The firms include Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America.

      Kenneth Feinberg, who was appointed as the Obama administration’s special master for compensation, examined executives earning more than $500,000 at the 419 companies that received taxpayer assistance. Of the 17 companies that he found were egregious in their compensation, 11 have paid back the assistance received from taxpayers.

    • Goldman Sachs to Get Ken Burns Effect

      Goldman Sachs (GS) has contracted documentary film maker Ric Burns, co-producer of the Emmy-award winning 1990 documentary, The Civil War, to make an “industrial,” a movie about Goldman for internal consumption only, according to The Wall Street Journal’s Susanne Craig, citing a Goldman rep.

    • Goldman, the Movie. By Goldman

      That isn’t a real movie title. But filmmaker Ric Burns, who created the PBS series “The Civil War” with his brother Ken, is shooting a documentary about the Wall Street firm. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is paying for the film, has editorial control and is overseeing the project through its marketing department, a Goldman spokesman said.

    • Goldman Sachs Sues to Overturn Arbitration Award

      The creditors claimed the unit facilitated the fraud committed at Stamford, Connecticut-based Bayou, which filed for bankruptcy protection in May 2006. Bayou co-founder Samuel Israel pleaded guilty to directing a $400 million fraud and is serving 22 years in prison.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

Links 26/7/2010: Last Catch-up With Free/Open Source Software News

Posted in News Roundup at 4:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Free Software/Open Source

  • The Jargon of Freedom: 60 Words and Phrases with Context

    What exactly does it mean when Richard Stallman says that the Creative Commons’ Attribution-ShareAlike license has a “Weak Copyleft”? Why exactly is it that “Freeware” and “Non-Free Software” mean the same thing, while “Free Software” is something else entirely? And what is this business with “Free Beer”, and where can I get some? If you’ve asked yourself these questions, this column is for you.

  • CASE STUDY: Revenue Commissioners

    “We have reduced their bills and given them what they needed,” says McGrattan. “We’ve also moved them from proprietary systems to open source so all they have to pay is a support bill. So they are quite happy. They have recommended us to other customers and governments and told them what we have done.”

  • Interview with Winston Damarillo, Morphlabs

    One of Southern California’s successful, serial entrepreneurs is Winston Damarillo, who founded Gluecode, which he sold to IBM in 2005. Earlier this month, his latest startup, El Segundo-based Morphlabs announced it had raised a Series B funding worth $5.5M. We thought we’d catch back up with Winston to hear about the Morphlabs.


    [Winston Damarillo:] All of your startups have been centered around open source projects. What’s the open source connection here?

    Winston Damarillo: Sixty to seventy percent of our ingredients are based on open source. I always mention that anything I do has an open core, which is, the core of what we do comes from open source. In our case, the workload manager comes from Eucalyptus, the configuration management from Puppet, and a third systems management tool. All three are open source building blocks.


    Winston Damarillo: One of the things I’ve learned, is that open source is now an accepted ingredient for any enterprise user. People are not scared anymore of using that. On what you need to know, from the business model side, is that we realized that open source support, by itself, is a declining and diminishing return on revenue generation. The more mature the open source product or project, the less the opportunity to make money. A good example of that is the Apache web server, where no one pays for support–they just download it and use it. What a successful company does, is implement what we call an open core–the idea is, you use open source, which you expect will mature over time, but later a product on top of that commercially, which allow you to make open source more scalable. That makes it more sustainable as a product, and not just as a support service.

  • Test Management for Open Source Teams

    Gurock Software announced an offer to provide free licenses of their web-based test management software TestRail to open source projects and teams.

  • SOS Open Source Goals and Customer Segments
  • Security

    • Open source security solutions: An attractive alternative

      Mention ‘open source security tools’ and the first words that come to mind are Nmap and Nessus. Of course, Nessus is no longer open source. Its open source offshoot OpenVAS, has failed to acquire the same levels of popularity. Apart from Nmap and Nessus, Metasploit is probably one of the more popular offerings available on the open source security block.

    • Snort and Suricata Creators Exchange Heated Words

      Unfortunately, the flame wars stirred pent up frustrations among the projects’ leaders. SourceFire’s Vulnerability Research Team (VRT) continued the debate through performance tests posted on its blog, contending that “Suricata’s performance isn’t just bad; it’s hideously, unforgivably bad.” The article goes on to state that Suricata’s capabilities are inherently limited by its choice of the Snort rule language, and that despite a million dollars in development, the OISF has “failed, utterly, to deliver on their promises.”

    • Intel accelerates open source encryption

      The latest version of Truecrypt has many new features, including partitions with larger sector sizes, a volume organiser and automatic mounting of volumes.

  • Graphics

    • Blender as an animation editor

      While working on some combat animations, I decided that the current Phoenix animation editor is too hard to use, and there are too many bottlenecks in the route to making it better. So, for now, I am looking into alternative approaches to editing animations.

    • Scribus

      As I mentioned before, here in the studio I use a Linux computer. Well, calling it a Linux computer is a bit inaccurate. I have a computer and it runs Linux. PCLinuxOS, to be specific. PCLinuxOS, like all Linux distributions, is freely available for download at many different websites. If you want to try Linux, I strongly suggest PCLinuxOS. if you want to explore a bit more, then visit DistroWatch.com. There, you can download and test drive (via a Live CD) any flavor of Linux being distributed today.

  • Symbian

  • Going Free

  • Mozilla

  • SaaS

  • CMS

    • Web CMS: MODx Revolution Targets Drupal, Joomla Markets

      This past March we saw a hint of what was coming from the open source Web CMS project called MODx (news, site). Now their latest release, MODx Revolution v2.0, has officially arrived. This is the future of the MODx project. Let’s take a peek.

    • Open Source Enterprise Collaboration Tool TeamLab Offers New Modules

      If open source still makes you think of feature-bare products, command lines and dense nerd-level manuals, then you need to get with the times. TeamLabs is a fine example of open source Enterprise 2.0 at work. No more complicated than shopping on Amazon, it allows users to communicate, collaborate and project manage in a clear, stress-free style.

    • Dolce&Gabbana Deploys Hippo CMS 7 for Its Blogzine Swide
    • WordPress Theme Thesis Maker Backs Down, Adopts GPL

      Chalk this one up as a victory for the free software movement: Thesis, the wildly popular proprietary WordPress theme from developer/designer Chris Pearson, is now available under a split GPL, the license that makes it possible to alter and redistribute this software as you see fit.

      Pearson’s decision marks the end of a high-drama clash between him and Matt Mullenweg, the founder of WordPressWordPressWordPress and of Automattic, which runs WordPress.com and a handful of related software. Some folks wondered if the battle of words might end in a battle of legal precedent as Mullenweg struggled to preserve free software principles and Pearson struggled to maintain control over his highly successful software.

  • Joomla!

  • Education

    • 4 Tips for Adopting Open Source Software in K-12

      IT directors interested in open source software have an ever increasing number of resources available for learning more about options, best practices, and pitfalls. Online communities, conferences, blogs, and Webinars all provide perspective.

      After a dozen interviews and review of even more online sources, THE Journal put together a list of tips for IT directors considering open source software (OSS) in their districts. The main take-away? Focus on what is needed and what will be accepted in any given situation–and the cost savings aren’t so bad either.

  • Healthcare

    • How open source can improve health care

      David Riley, head of the CONNECT initiative for the Federal Health Architecture (FHA) Program. Riley is responsible for creating the product direction and overseeing product development for CONNECT.

    • Day one of the health care IT track at O’Reilly’s Open Source convention

      I think the collective awe of health care aficionados at the Open Source Convention came to a focal point during our evening Birds of a Feather session, when open source advocate Fred Trotter, informally stepping in as session leader, pointed out that the leaders of key open source projects in the health care field were in the room, including two VistA implementors (Medsphere and WorldVistA), Tolven, and openEMR–and not to forget two other leading health care software initiatives from the U.S. government, CONNECT and NHIN Direct.

  • Semi-Open Source

    • Open Core Model Vulnerability Exposed?

      Clearly, individual OSI directors have been less than thrilled with the open core business model. Simon Phipps, in particular, made a pretty strong argument that open core was just plain bad for business. But, though Phipps is an OSI director, he wasn’t speaking in any official capacity on behalf of the OSI with these statements.

      This weekend, Russ Nelson, another OSI director and License Approval Chair posted an entry on the OSI Board Blog sharply criticizing open core. This falls under my definition of official response.

    • The story of R: a statistical tale with a twist

      Ihaka learned about the open source movement during his time at MIT. “That is really where free software came from, that is were Richard Stallman was and the free software foundation is still based in Cambridge I think. Those ideas were sort of hanging around in the air.”

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD 8.1 Provides Evolutionary Open Source Software Upgrade

      Putting out new releases of OS software isn’t always about adding major new features — sometimes it’s just about making existing features usable and stable. In the case of the open source software FreeBSD, that’s certainly the case with the newly hatched 8.1 release.

  • Project Releases

  • Government

  • Standards/Consortia

    • FFmpeg’s VP8 Decoder Blasts Google’s Decoder

      It was just back in May that Google opened up the VP8 video format that they got their hands on through the acquisition of On2 and at the same time they created the WebM container format. VP8 has already received a lot of love by the open-source community — both developers and end-users — and support for it has already worked its way into FFmpeg, GStreamer, and other multimedia projects. Google released the libvpx library as their official VP8 decoder library, but now the FFmpeg developers have created their own decoder and it’s shockingly faster than that of Google’s own open-source library.

Links 26/7/2010: GNU/Linux Sub-notebooks Comeback

Posted in News Roundup at 3:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • Ten Reasons to Dump Windows and Use Linux

      Now is a particularly good time to ditch Windows for good, for workstations as well as servers. For instance, now that Microsoft stopped supporting Windows Server 2003 on July 13, you’ll need to find something different to use for your servers. Whether it’s switching from Windows Server 2003 to 2008 or to Linux-based servers–or changing out tired and faulty Windows Vista desktops for the alien Windows 7 or something more user-friendly–Linux provides you with freedom and freedom of choice.

    • Linux: Retro Desktops

      I like messing around with my desktop. I decided to give it a retro Windows look. I used the Redmond theme, set all my fonts to Monospace 10, used a boring gray background, and tweaked my editor and terminal colors.

    • A Linux experiment gone horribly…perfect!

      After doing everything I (and the consultancy I work for) would have done, I determined that the best approach was to re-install the OS. Problem is, he couldn’t find his restore discs and (as I mentioned earlier) he didn’t want to shell out the money for Windows 7. This laptop was just going to be his spare laptop for home use (it was his primary laptop at work).

      I decided it was time for an experiment. I knew the laptop had a restore partition so if I left that partition alone we could still restore the machine back to factory defaults (if he could find his restore discs). So…it was time to bring out the big guns. Said big guns? Ubuntu 10.04. I was fairly certain 10.04 would work like a champ on the machine. It did. But the big test would be when the user had the machine in his hands and put it to use.

    • Disadvantages and advantages of Linux over Windows

      Linux is customizable. As the video for Compiz Fusion showed, the visual appearance of linux and the desktop environment can be extensively customized – and once again, this all can be done for free. In contrast, Windows has more limited customization. While there are programs that allow one to change the appearance of Windows dramatically, many of these programs are not free. Additionally, the capabilities for customization with linux extend past visual customization. Beginning users can stick with default settings, but more advanced users can dive deep within the system to tweak how it will work with their hardware, improving speed and power. In contrast, the Windows operating system is closed to a point, and tinkering is not supported or encouraged.

    • Deciding whether user-friendly Linux distributions is at the expense of core users

      The question is simple and understandable: does this shift to prepackaged, easy-to-use linux distributions alienate those who appreciate the ideals of linux’s origins? Do user-friendly linux distributions proliferate at the expense of the core users?

  • Server

    • BitNami Offers Express Ticket to Open Source Stacks

      If you ever wanted to explore the latest content management, wiki, or microblogging products without the headache of setting them up, a free solution from the BitNami Project is just what you need.

      One of the benefits of free and open source software is the ability to download world-class software and implement it gratis on your systems. At times, though, there is a big difference between theory and action. Complex server systems, like Ruby on Rails, Tomcat, Joomla!, or even a straight-up LAMP stack can be difficult to install and properly configure on a Linux system, particularly for admins with a little-less-than-expert rating on Linux.

  • Audiocasts

  • Applications

    • Canola Media Center Works Surprisingly Good in Ubuntu 10.04 “Lucid Lynx”

      Canola is a open source media center application which was primarily built for smart phones and netbook devices. To be frank, I had never heard about Canola before and so I decided to give Canola Media Center a spin in my laptop powered by Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx.

    • Simple Systems Administrators Toolbox

      My toolbox is very plain Jane, and for a reason. It’s basic because these are the tools that get the job done on every Unix-like platform available. Everything I’ve come to rely on is open source, even on proprietary platforms like AIX. If there’s a part of my toolbox missing, I’ll download the package or source and make sure it’s available.

    • Screen: A SysAdmin’s PowerTool

      gnuA major power tool that I left out of my sysadmin’s toolbox article is GNU Screen. Screen has been an absolute lifesaver in the past, especially because I sometimes work remotely over wifi connections that might not always be the most reliable. Screen is a session manager for shells, a way to run and preserve multiple shells without actually having to be connected to the server. The most common way I use screen is over ssh. When connected to a server over ssh, the bash session is run over that connection, so any programs or scripts that are run are also dependent on the ssh session being active. However, when screen is run, it runs in the background, separate from the ssh session. That means screen lets your wifi connection die in the middle of running a script without the script dying as well.

    • Dwarf Fortress for the console … sort of

      you can play Dwarf Fortress at the console, which is either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your perspective. The 40d19 version for Linux which was released a few months ago allows you to set some options and send output to the console instead of its conventional SDL “translation,” if I understand it right.

    • Feh is a fast, lightweight image viewer that uses imlib2.

      Feh is a fast, lightweight image viewer that uses imlib2. It is command line-driven and supports multiple images through slideshows, thumbnail browsing or multiple windows, and montages or index prints using TrueType fonts to display file information.

    • What’s happening in compizland?

      There are still a few more unofficial plugins to go until we have 100% feature parity with the 0.8 branch. Among some of the ones I’m working on right now:

      * Animations Plus
      * Newton (Physics Engine for Compiz)
      * Sound (ALSA based sounds on window events)

    • Gwibber Concept – Part 1
    • 5 Best Web eCommerce Software for Linux

      5 Best Web eCommerce Software for Linux: The buying and selling of products or services over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks is called electronic commerce (commonly known as e-commerce or eCommerce). Today, eCommerce is mostly done on the web and is conducted entirely electronically for buying virtual items such as access to premium content on a website and purchase of physical items using eCommerce payment gateway.

    • Portable Linux Apps Which Work With Any Linux Distro

      New website PortableLinuxApps features a number of portable Linux applications, which will work on any Linux distribution. These can run off your flash drive or from a folder in your home directory; it doesn’t matter. Best of all, there’s documentation out there to help you make your own program, should you not be able to find what you’re looking for.

    • A GStreamer based Video Transcoder – Transmageddon

      GStreamer is a pipeline-based multimedia framework which provides an interface to programmers for writing various multimedia applications.

    • Proprietary

      • Cofio unveils AIMstor 2.2 to unify data protection technologies

        The new application also provides event notification for backup, continuous data protection (CDP), replication and file level activities; real-time tracking and alerts of user file system activities; and new support for Linux Master, Linux Client and Linux Deduplicated Repository.

      • Spectrum Introduces Linux-Based Signal Processing Platform

        The SDR-2010 is a very powerful and adaptable Linux-based signal processing platform. It is an Intel (News – Alert) 64 Architecture Server hosting the new high-performance PRO-2910 PCI Express based carrier cards. Each card has dual XMC/PMC sites.

    • Instructionals

    • Games

      • Sauerbraten “Cube 2″ 2010 Update Released

        If you are looking to do some Linux / open-source gaming this weekend but are looking for something new besides the recent release of VDrift, the Sauerbraten developers are out with their first update in 14 months. Sauerbraten 2010-07-19 “Justice Edition” has been released with plenty of changes.

      • Sleep is Death

        I’ve been meaning to mention this game for months now, so here it is: Sleep is Death is the latest game from indie developer Jason Rohrer, who also created the acclaimed games Passage, Between, and Primrose. As with his other projects, Sleep is Death is not a traditional game, focusing on two players crafting an interactive story akin to an online multiplayer Dungeons and Dragons session minus the players’ guides.

      • glc – The Linux FRAPS

        For those wondering, FRAPS is a Windows program that can be used to record video streams of applications running on your desktop, most often games. For instance, I’ve used FRAPS to grab a handful of cool videos while playing Live for Speed.

        Being able to record your desktop activities has many aspects – educational, tutorial and sometimes sheer bravado. There are circumstances where nothing short of a video demonstration is going to work.

      • Mac Gaming On The Rise

        The Reticule recently posted a new article on the rise of Mac and Linux gaming. The article included discussion of the release of Steam for Mac, as well as the importance of independent developers in keeping Mac and Linux gaming alive. Developers such as Spiderweb’s Jeff Vogel and Wolfire’s John Graham offered their comments about the benefits of supporting multiple platforms.

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • My first week on KDE, part 2 – A Review

        When I started looking at moving away from Ubuntu I was leaning toward KDE after the wealth of great screenshot I’d been seeing in the Ubuntu Forums monthly desktop screenshot threads. I was especially interested in the possibilities of Bespin, a theme/widget style for Qt4 that has knocked my socks off in some desktop screenshots. I’ll admit I haven’t played with Bespin much yet but I definitely need to track down the info I was given before so I could look into it. Logo for the K Desktop Environment (KDE)On the whole I’m really liking KDE. There’s a lot to learn, and I do have to relearn how to do some things in KDE but it’s definitely a learning curve worth climbing. One of the things you learn pretty quickly about GNOME is the fact that a lot of the configuration tasks are hidden away from the general user, and while the GNOME Configuration Editor and Ubuntu Tweak do help a lot there are some things, like screensavers, where all but the most basic things are not available, and even then you can easily have to deal with the command line to make further tweaks. If the tweaks are even doable under GNOME. With KDE there are user changeable options for just about everything, if you can figure out where to look. Unfortunately finding information isn’t as easy in KDE as it is in Ubuntu, which lets you search one in the Help app and get results in every installed app. In KDE I first have to know where I want to look and I’ve started in the wrong place a few times. I’ve also found the KDE help files aren’t nearly as in-depth as GNOME’s are so I’ve had to turn to my web browser a few times to find the information I need.

      • Using KDE 4 – Day 7

        Will I switch? I don’t know. What I do know is that starting Monday I am going to actively begin hunting for a good KDE distro that plays well with my WiFi card. I would LOVE to keep using this edition of Mandriva, but where I could probably find every package I need or install every utility I need from source I am less sure that I will be able to fix the suspend/resume +no wifi problem that I have.

        Because of the WiFi problem that I have in Mandriva I am going back to Ubuntu this weekend. For the sake of this series I stuck with Mandriva in order to use KDE4, but I cannot keep doing the reboot thing, I use suspend/resume a LOT.

        All in all this was a very informing exercise for me. I hope I was able to translate what I experienced this week in writing to you guys – if you have any suggestions on how to improve these seven day challenges let me know!

      • Why I’m not moving to KDE (yet)
      • Not Really The Best Approach

        Today I stumbled across Netrunner GNU/Linux Community Distro and it made me wonder about a few things.

        Originally, it was Ubuntu with out the “evil Mono(tm)”, now of course mainline Ubuntu has no mono either, so their USP was gone! So they changed their main idea.

        The latest release is based on Kubuntu (which makes it a 4th generation distro) and aims to improve the KDE that is provided by Kubuntu by, this is what really got me, integrating more of Gnome into KDE.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Introducing The Board

        I’d like to present you The Board.


        What is it made of? The Board is built on top of bleeding edge GNOME platform. It’s written in Javascript using the GObject Introspection-based Gjs. The UI is fully written with Clutter and Mx (with some small bits of GTK+ and Clutter-GTK+). It’s a nice example of how you can do cool apps using the GNOME platform nowadays.

      • Desktop in the Shell

        In the light of the upcoming GNOME 3, the more document-centric Shell and the browser-mode nautilus (instead of spatial mode), I wanted to remix my thoughts a bit.

  • Distributions

    • Arch + XFCE: The perfect Desktop (for now)

      In the past week I’ve used Ubuntu 10.04, Mint 9, and Arch + GNOME, but Arch + XFCE seems to beat all of those.

    • Reviews

      • First Look: Jolicloud 1.0

        It’s been a while since our last review of the Jolicloud operating system, and since we just got a brand-new eMachines eM350 netbook (see it in the enclosed image) we thought to give you guys a glimpse into the new release of Jolicloud 1.0. As many of you already know, the distribution is not yet available for download as an ISO image. At the moment, Jolicloud 1.0 is only available as an upgrade option to selected users. But don’t despair, as it will be available for download by the end of the month!

      • Fastest OS on the world its Puppy 5 Lucid

        This is first review of Puppy 5 lucid which is Ubuntu based. It is the fastest OS I used ever,it feels better than DSL.So I am going to share my Experience with you.


        Puppy 5 is a tremendous success. The boot sequence has been improved; it looks nicer, more polished and is more streamlined. The desktop is even more refined. You get tons of great programs. Then, there’s Quick pet. Everything works out of the box, including Wireless, Samba, multimedia playback. All of this in just 130MB.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Myths Surrounding PCLinuxOS 2010

        #1 PCLinuxOS is a Mandriva Spinoff

        It was started with a Mandriva base, but over the years it has grown to different personality. Except for the beloved Control Center none of the components are borrowed from Mandy. PCLinuxOS 2010 is built from the ground up using the home grown repository. Tex and PCLOS devs have taken bits and pieces from Fedora, OpenSuse and Mandriva, even some of the patches used are from Debian, PLD and Chakra. Would you call it a respin of all these distros?

        The greatness of a modern linux desktop distribution lies in how well you integrate components, no matter from where they are taken, and how well you take decisions regarding choosing/upgrading the critical components and introducing new technologies. In this regards, PCLinuxOS is tightly integrated, well-put-together, stable and out-of-the-box usable distribution. It’s a respin of none!

    • Red Hat Family

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu 10.04 Passes The Test

        As others have said, Ubuntu is the great beginner’s distribution, and now, after seeing how well my less than mainstream hardware was handled, I can say it should be the very first distribution anyone should try. [I did not always feel this way, as only last year I truly believed that there were fewer problems with OpenSuSE 11.2 versus any other distributions I have tried, which includes all the usual suspects, and few less popular ones, like Zenwalk]

      • Flavours and Variants

        • Seven Ubuntu Derivatives worth Checking Out

          I make a point of trying as many different variations of Ubuntu as I can, this way I can be informed when I recommend one version over another to friends and family. The following is a round up of my favorites I have found over my last three years in the world of Linux.

        • New Artwork For Lubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat [Screenshots]

          Lubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat, the unoficial LXDE flavor of Ubuntu got an artwork update last week. I’m posting this only now because I had some issues downloading the latest Lubuntu development ISO.

        • Manhattan OS (Based On Ubuntu) Makes It Easier To Convert Users To Linux [Review]

          Manhattan OS is a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu created by Kevin McDole, a frequent WebUpd8 reader and commenter. Manhattan OS is in fact inspired by everything we post here, at WebUpd8. Initially I though this review would be really easy to do since I am very familiar with everything in Manhattan OS, but I then realized half of WebUpd8 is used in Manhattan so that would take like… a year for a full review. So we’ll do a light review only and for any application for which you want to find out more, just search for it on WebUpd8.

        • Peppermint

          • Peppermint Linux: An interesting approach

            There are so many Linux distributions out there. Some of them are pretty standard and some of them go well out of their way to try to bring something different to the table. I’ve seen just about every take on the Linux desktop. Today, however, I came across a distribution, Peppermint Linux, that added another new twist to the desktop. It’s nothing earth shattering. In fact, it really only takes advantage of a technology given to us by Mozilla Labs. That technology? Prism.


            With just a bit of tweaking on the desktop I believe Peppermint Ice has a real winner on their hands. It’s a unique idea that needs just a bit more work to make for the ideal social desktop.

          • VPS.NET Is Proud to Announce its Sponsorship of Peppermint OS

            As one of the world’s top providers of virtual private server cloud hosting, VPS.NET is constantly researching and developing smarter and more intuitive services to meet these growing needs. As part of its commitment to innovation, VPS.NET is sponsoring the soon to be released Peppermint OS, a Linux-based operating system that is cloud/web application centric. VPS.NET will be providing the infrastructure for Peppermint OS’ online presence.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Embest announces Devkit3250 evaluation kit

      Embest has released an evaluation kit – the Devkit3250 – based on NXP’s LPC3250 ARM926EJ-S microcontroller, supporting by the Linux open-source operating system.

    • Nokia/MeeGo

      • BMW, GM, others choose MeeGo for in-car computers

        The nonprofit Linux Foundation on Friday said the GENIVI Alliance will go with the open-source MeeGo OS for its new In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) system. The decision gives automakers like BMW, GM and PSA Peugeot Citroen the new mobile platform and makes Delphi, GM, Intel, Magneti-Marelli, Visteon, Wind River and others the suppliers. IVI includes apps in vehicles that can be used by everyone in the car, including navigation, media, location-based services, and access to the Internet as well as media players and phones

    • Android

      • Vodafone 845 review

        One of the massive advantages of the Android platform is that it’s open source, so anyone can use it to load onto their phones.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • WebOS Netbooks in the tunnel

        Jon Rubinstein confirmed the Fortune Brainstrom Tech that netbooks running webOS platform are in the pipeline.

      • OLPC: What does the XO-1.5 HS look like?

        Ok, so you know about the XO-1.5 and you’ve been told about the XO-1.5 HS which is an X0 but with a different keyboard.

      • How can India build a $35 tablet? More details emerge

        On Friday I covered the $35 tablet prototype that the Indian government unveiled. Over the weekend, it’s been called everything from the “future of computing” to “devices [that] cannot compensate for [India's] crumbling education infrastructure and absenteeism of teaching staff.” A few more details have emerged, however, suggesting that this prototype is a lot closer to a reference spec than something that will see the light of day soon.

        I started digging into this a little bit further when a little birdie from Intel said “It doesnt add up – the sum of the parts is no where near the whole cost they are claiming…” Not a literal birdie, of course, but I’m waiting for an OK to attribute the quite reasonable statement to a source. Regardless, both the Times of India and thenextweb.com shed a bit more light on the device.


Links 25/7/2010: Wayfinder Set Free

Posted in News Roundup at 4:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • The Role of Open Source

    In his latest pricing and licensing column, Doug Carolus of N’Compass Solutions discusses Digium, Asterisk, and open source software as it relates to enterprise communications. As an aside, Doug provides the best thumbnail definition of “free” software that I’ve heard, and one that’s good to keep in mind when thinking about this category of product. Open source software is “free” in the sense of “free” speech—i.e., relatively unrestricted—as opposed to “free” in the sense of “free” stuff—i.e., it costs you nothing. Theoretically, Asterisk doesn’t cost you anything either, but as Doug demonstrates, actually obtaining it and following through all the way to deployment in an enterprise is not at all without cost.

  • Migrant starts up EOSS open source operation

    McArdle is developing an integration framework for a suite of open-source applications to ensure they all communicate with one another. He is pulling standard applications such as Enterprise Resource Planning, customer relationship management, database and records management, a web content management system and “telephony solutions”, all free open source products, into the framework. The integration element will include an enterprise service bus, a portal, rules management and business process management engines and an overarching administration and configuration console.

    The entire package will be known as EOSS, for Enterprise Open Source Solutions, with a company of the same name to sell and support it.

  • TeamLab.com: Leveraging Employee Productivity for Zero Cost

    For companies which are interested in installing collaborative tools on their own servers or modifying the platform in accordance with their specific needs, TeamLab is offered as a free open-source software. TeamLab open-source solution is distributed under GNU GPL v3 license terms and listed in SourceForge open-source library.

  • Open Source In The SME

    There is no doubt that open-source technologies have gained traction in small to midsized enterprises, especially when IT budgets are tight. But as enterprises take a hard look at open-source technologies, relevant issues must be considered before taking the plunge. Can open source really benefit the enterprise? What areas offer the most potential for SMEs? What are the potential concerns?

  • How open source software can benefit a business

    The development of open-source software has resulted in savings of about $60 billion per year to consumers, according to a report published by the Standish Group. That probably means that consumers who would have to pay to use those products, now may use them for free, under a special software license, which also allows users to contribute to further develop the concept.

  • New Zealand Open Source Awards 2010 Now Open For Nominations
  • The State of Open Source for the Smart Grid

    What’s the reason for the lack of adoption of open source software — software developed and shared by a community and available for free — for the power grid? Well, according to our Open Source Smart Grid Primer, published on GigaOM Pro (subscription required), some of the reasons for the lack of support is that utilities are risk averse, used to working with proprietary gear and vendors, and need to recover costs and earn profits on investments into their grid.

  • Imixs Open Source BPM

    The Open Source Project Imixs Workfow provides a Business Process Management Solution based on Java.The project focus on human based business process solutions also known as workflow Management Systems (WfMS).

  • The Luther Rice Seminary and University Partners with ByWater Solutions for Koha Support and Hosting

    ByWater Solutions, an open source community supporter and official Koha support company, announced today that the Luther Rice Seminary and University, of Lithonia, GA. has partnered with them for the hosting and support of their official Koha integrated library system installation.

  • The ASF Asks: Have you met Apache Pivot?

    Did you know that 50% of the Top 10 downloaded Open Source products are Apache projects?
    Did you know that most Enterprise Java solutions are built using Apache?

  • Vodafone

  • IBM

    • EGL Saga Continued

      Q. IBM is making EGL open source. What does this mean, really? Will IBM open source all of EGL? Or just parts, like a community edition?

      Darnell: The open source offering will definitely just be parts of EGL and its tooling. From my perspective, the best parts are slated to be made open source while some of the “baggage” is being left behind. For instance, the Java and JavaScript generation targets are definitely making the trip to open source but COBOL generation is being left out. Developers working to enhance EGL under the open source project won’t be burdened with ensuring compatibility with COBOL, nor will time have to be spent developing and testing COBOL generation, compile, and debug features.


      Ultimately, I don’t expect the IBM i community to pay much attention to EGL going open source and I think that is a mistake on their part. I also don’t expect that IBM is going to go out of their way to sell EGL (in any form) to the IBM i community–a huge mistake on IBM’s part because EGL has so much to offer to that customer base. I suspect that IBM has a different audience in mind for EGL open source than their traditional customer base. Does that audience exist outside of the imaginations of IBM’s project team? Only time will tell.

  • International

    • Liferay Continues Global Expansion with New Office in Brazil

      Liferay, Inc., provider of leading open source portal software for the enterprise, recently inaugurated a new office in Recife, one of Brazil’s growing IT centers, as part of an ongoing global growth strategy. The new office will act as a strategic center for sales, development, training and support services to the fast-growing South American market.

    • ‘Democratised web’ helps Malaysian’s life quality

      Prominent Malaysian software developer Colin Charles says the site, www.malaysiacrime.com, which is also available as a iPhone app, is made possible by Malaysia’s open source codes policy.

  • Mail

  • Events

    • A panel debate on open source models – FWS-2010
    • Future World Symposium Debates the Domino Effects of Open Source

      The panel will be chaired by the journalist, author and passionate open source advocate Glyn Moody.

      Starting on the 15th September at London’s historic Lord’s Cricket Ground, the two-day conference seeks to unveil the paths of global technological innovation throughout the next decade.

    • Workshop on ‘Free and Open Source Software’ held in Velalar College campus

      The engineering and technology students were called upon to work together to promote and encourage the use of open source software at all possible levels of computing.

      Participating in the State-level workshop on Free and Open Source Software organised by the Free Software Foundation – Tamil Nadu at Velalar College of Engineering and Technology here on Saturday and Sunday, resource persons said that open source was a development method for software that harnesses the power of distributed peer review and transparency of process.

    • Report from 2010 Community Leadership Summit

      It’s hardly pertinent to summarize an unconference, because it’s all over the map by (lack of) design. Anyway, you don’t need me to tell you about the the topics at this year’s community leadership summit because you can view the wiki pages for the Saturday and Sunday sessions. What I like each year is the little space we all create for ourselves at CLS in a forlorn corner of an overwhelming, cold conference locale that makes it very hard to feel community.

    • OSCON

      • Palm and HP at OSCON2010: ‘Open source is inevitable’

        Palm was naturally a part of this presentation as many components of webOS are open source, from the Linux Kernel all the way up to the WebKit web browser and V8 JavaScript engine. Unfortunately, Robb didn’t really delve into how Palm fits into HP’s overall open source strategy as I anticipated he would – he mentioned the company maybe once or twice – and Josh Marinacci from developer relations gave a brief 15 minute demonstration of Ares and gave a few phones away at the end of the presentation.

      • How to make money in open source
      • Open Source users need to ‘pick up the poop’
      • Mayor Adams pitches technology, beer at OSCON

        Beer is near and dear to the open source community, though, and his remarks were well received. The mayor also plugged Portland’s commitment to open source in government, touting technology as a tool to interact and collaborate with citizens, a theme of this year’s conference.

  • Mozilla

  • SaaS

  • Databases

  • CMS

  • Healthcare

    • Electronic Medical Records: Let’s Leave Room For Open Source

      After years of talk about taking medical records online, serious action is afoot. The Obama administration is waving $27 billion in incentives at doctors and medical offices to take records online, Verizon is touting its Health Information Exchange as a cloud-based way for records to be shared, and Google has a pilot project focused on electronic medical records, too. Will there be room for open source software solutions as the transition to electronic records begins in earnest?

  • Funding

    • Puppet Labs Secures $5 Million Funding for Open-Source Server Automation

      Portland, Oregon-based Puppet Labs, commercial sponsor of the open-source server configuration framework Puppet, announced today that it has secured a $5 million Series B funding round, led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Existing investors True Ventures and Radar Partners also contributed, bringing Puppet Labs’ total funding to date to over $7 million.

  • Project Releases

    • FOSSology 1.2.0 released

      The FOSSology Project has announced the release of version 1.2 of their free software tools for the study and analysis of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). The project began as an internal software development effort within Hewlett Packard’s (HP) Open Source and Linux Organisation. Using FOSSology, which originally only consisted of a few simple shell scripts, developers and IT buyers can locate open source software within an enterprise and perform various tasks, such as licence management.

    • OISF introduces new open source engine for intrusion detection

      The Open Information Security Foundation (OISF) has introduced Suricata 1.0, an Open Source engine for Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) that will secure networks against next-generation network security threats.

    • Open Information Security Foundation Launches Suricata 1.0

      The Open Information Security Foundation (OISF) today announced the introduction of Suricata 1.0, an Open Source engine for Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) that will secure networks against next-generation network security threats. Available immediately for download under the Open Source GPL (GNU General Public License) version 2, Suricata includes innovative new features that will enable it to identify and prevent more of the pressing security concerns faced by organizations today.

  • Government

    • The open source level playing field

      In other words no more LA wide deals. None of the VLE or Assessment tracking agreements or MIS lockins are guaranteed anymore. It is one thing to accompany BECTA execs to see Bill Gates in Seattle then ‘help’ LAs back home to ‘make choices’ for schools than it is to jolly along thousands of Head Teachers.

      If it bodes ill for the likes of RM in education, DELL who is the second biggest hardware supplier in education and also features prominently in the Public Sector generally is feeling chill from the OGC so much that its public sector VP Ferenc Szelenyi was also moved to make a statement a tiny clip of which follows:

      ‘…the coalition government’s approach to public sector procurement is too one-sided…’

      this was after having just not been invited to a big meeting with the Cabinet Office attended by rivals HP, IBM and Fujistu!

  • Licensing

    • Gostai Frees Urbi Kernel Source Under AGPL

      There’s one more free/open robot operating system option out there today. Jean-Christophe Baillie of Gostai SAS writes, “I thought you might be interested to know that the Urbi Operating System for robotics is now going open source.”. If you’re familiar with Urbi, you may know that the component architecture and library code have been free software licensed under the GPL but the actual Urbi kernel has been proprietary up until now. With this announcement, the kernel is being relicensed under the Affero GNU GPL v3, allowing it to join the other components as free software (or open source software if you prefer).

  • Openness/Sharing

    • 15/07/10….Thame MP’s influence grows with new government

      The MP has been given the job after producing a blue-print for a reformed planning system before the election, called Open Source Planning. It is this document that will apparently underpin the reforms.

    • Open Source Senate

      Basically, open source software is software that can be tweaked and modified. It’s a way for developers like Headd to build new tools.

    • OpenGov Tracker puts the best open-government ideas in one place

      IdeaScale Application Programming Interface; Tornado, a lightweight, open-source web development framework; MongoDB, an open-source, document-oriented database; Googlechart, an API for chart generation; Uservoice, a free, Web feedback forum; and Github, a Web-based hosting service for projects that use Git revision control system.

  • Programming


  • The Nature of Science Blog Networks

    Much of the reflection has focussed around what ScienceBlogs, and indeed Nature Network is, or was, good for as a place to blog. Most have mentioned the importance of the platform in helping to get started and many have mentioned the crucial role that the linking from more prominent blogs played in getting them an audience. What I think no-one has noted is how much the world of online writing has changed since many of these people started blogging. There has been consolidation in the form of networks and the growth of the internet as a credible media platform with credible and well known writers. At the same time, the expectations of those writers, in terms of their ability to express themselves through multimedia, campaigns, widgets, and other services has outstripped the ability of those providing networks to keep up. I don’t think it’s an accident that many of the criticisms of ScienceBlogs seem to be similar to those of Nature Network when it comes to technical issues.

  • Murdoch’s paywall will lose in the end, just like proprietary software

    Figures (albeit unofficial) released today claimed The Times’ website had lost two thirds of its readers since its paywall introduction, leaving just 15,000 clicking through. This was despite 150,000 registering for it when the trial was free.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Ian Tomlinson and Misconduct in Public Office

      For it seems clear to me that on that day Simon Harwood wilfully misconducted himself to such a degree as to amount to an abuse of the public’s trust in him as as a police officer without reasonable excuse or justification.

  • Finance

    • An A.I.G. Failure Would Have Cost Goldman Sachs, Documents Show

      Since the United States government stepped in to rescue the American International Group in the fall of 2008, Goldman Sachs has maintained that it would have faced few if any losses had the insurer failed. Though it was the insurer’s biggest trading partner, Goldman contended that it had bought credit insurance from financial institutions that would have protected it, but it declined to identify the institutions.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Copyrights

    • ISPs ask government to protect them from ‘policing’ role

      ISPs have called on the government to protect them from having to police their networks for copyright infringement, arguing that such a regulatory change would lead to “de facto censorship”.

    • Mass BitTorrent Lawsuits Now Target Private Trackers

      Mass lawsuits against alleged file-sharers, such as those from the US Copyright Group and lawyers ACS:Law and Gallant MacMillan in the UK, are generally accepted to have been generated from evidence gathered from big public BitTorrent sites. Now it appears that at least one other firm has jumped on the bandwagon, this time targeting a large private tracker.

Clip of the Day

Firefox: Tab Candy

Links 25/7/2010: Catch-up With Last Week’s News

Posted in News Roundup at 10:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Virgin charity limbers up for London Marathon with open source tools

    Businesses everywhere clearly want to achieve maximum visibility and control over key management information. Whether open source tools can play a special part in building more cost effective IT infrastructures for the acutely ‘cost-aware’ charity sector is open to question.

    Looking to realise efficiencies via this route, Virgin Money Giving will be using the open source Talend Integration Suite with the Jaspersoft reporting tool to restructure and optimise its data for reporting.

  • Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary Partners with ByWater Solutions for Koha Support and Implementation

    ByWater Solutions, an open source community supporter and official Koha support company, announced today that the Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary, of Allen Park, MI. has partnered with them for the installation and support of the official Koha integrated library system.

  • Digium and Open Source Software

    Asterisk is the open source telephony software created by Mark Spencer in the late 90s as an alternative to more expensive proprietary PBX systems. At the time, Spencer needed a telephone system to distribute customer service calls to his Linux engineers and decided to “build” his own PBX rather than pay for a new system.

    Spencer also opted to make Asterisk available as open source software to minimize ongoing development costs (this business model was also consistent with the anti-proprietary software movement of the time). A beautiful example of necessity (+ limited capital funds) being the mother of invention.

  • Facebook Built Walled Garden with Open Source Software

    Facebook supports its social network of 500 million users with LAMP software infrastructure. This open source approach, also used by Google, Twitter, Yahoo and others, is a departure from the proprietary products offered by Microsoft, Oracle and IBM.

  • MobileBeat: Aava offers a truly open-source mobile device platform
  • Ocean Blue Releases World’s First Open Source MHEG and CI Plus Authoring Tool Supporting Development of Innovative Digital TV Applications
  • Reports

    • Open Source Gains Respect From Mainstream Vendors

      Several major IT vendors, including Dell, HP, Citrix and Rackspace Hosting gathered at OSCON this week to deliver a host of open source-related announcements to the ever growing open-source market.

    • Open Source Technology Set for Rapid Growth, Study Says

      More than two-thirds of organizations anticipate increasing their investment in open source technology, according to a recent survey by Accenture. With such an open source expansion, there is a need for effective training solutions that will show organizations how to harness open source technology properly. LevelTen has released a schedule that will offer a fast-paced Acquia training overview for Drupal users.

    • Open source growing quickly
    • Open Source Technology Set for Rapid Growth, Study Says

      Of those surveyed, 40% said they plan on migrating mission-critical software to open source platforms within the next 12 months.

    • Open Source Software In Enterprise Application Infrastructure Market – New Market Report Published

      Open Source Software (OSS) has been a part of the IT market for over two decades. Recently, the commoditization of IT markets, changing attitudes to the production and distribution of intellectual property, and the recession have put the OSS firmly in focus, particularly in the application infrastructure part of the stack.

    • The situation with the social media – a position paper

      Open Source as a concept is solely devoted to finding out the best methods to spread a product in an open manner, where open is to be understood purely within the logic of the market. The hacker attitude, based on play and sharing amongst peers, has been co-opted therein by an approach that is based on the logic of exploitation of time and labor with profit as the driving motive, and not individual and/ or collective welfare.

  • Events

    • Open Source SIG: The next instalment!!
    • O’Reilly Open Source Awards announced

      At the OSCON 2010 open source convention taking place in Portland, Oregon, O’Reilly Media’s Edd Dumbill has announced the winners of this years O’Reilly Open Source Awards. The awards have been presented each year since 2005 to individuals for their “dedication, innovation, leadership and outstanding contribution to open source”.

    • Open Hardware Summit

      The concept of open source hardware has interested me for some time. There are a number of wildly popular (at least with the geeks) products available for “free”. This particular type of free is akin to freedom and not cost. If you have the materials and tools on hand you could build a Makerbot from scratch or mill a circuit board and solder up your own Arduino compatible board, but even then it isn’t completely free. The freedom comes from sharing the design, making incremental improvements, and combining the community effort with a product to make it better.

  • Mozilla

    • An Introduction to Firefox’s Tab Candy
    • Firefox 4 Beta 1 Will Change Browsing Experience Forever !
    • Mercury News interview: Mitchell Baker, chairwoman, Mozilla

      In the days after Microsoft’s Internet Explorer had ground its browser rival Netscape into the digital dust, Baker, who had been working on the open-source Mozilla project within Netscape, was laid off in 2001. She stayed on at the nonprofit Mozilla organization as an unpaid volunteer because she believed its mission was crucial to the Internet’s future.

      Nearly a decade later, Mozilla’s Firefox browser is the window to the Web for nearly a third of the planet’s Internet users. Firefox is even more popular in most of the rest of the world than in the U.S., and in some countries, including Germany, has become the most popular browser. Microsoft Internet Explorer, meanwhile, has slid from a dominating 95 percent of the market to a bare majority of users.

  • Databases

  • Oracle

    • Oracle Acquisition of Sun May Spark Resurgence of Java and Faster Growth of MySQL According to New Survey of Open Source Developers and Enterprise Customers

      Jaspersoft, the world’s most widely used business intelligence platform, today released the findings of a global survey of open source community members about the future of Java and MySQL under Oracle (ORCL). Contrary to dark predictions by many in the open source community prior to its acquisition of Sun, Oracle was viewed by most respondents as a better steward of Java and MySQL than Sun. Indeed, most large organizations planned to use more Java than before and most expected to see MySQL innovate and improve faster under Oracle than under Sun.

    • Oracle’s “stewardship” of MySQL and Java: how’s it going so far?

      There is a generally accepted edict in the technology publicity business that when you run out of news and product announcements, the best idea is to commission a survey for the hell of it. Despite this reality of ‘lies, damn lies and statistics’ – on the face of it, the poll carried out by open source BI player Jaspersoft may have some validity.

      The company polled 130,000 customers and community members and found ‘people’ are planning to do more with MySQL and Java under Oracle than Sun. I’m slightly worried by the fact that the company used the term people rather than programmers (or IT professionals at least), but let’s continue.

    • Report: Java and MySQL doing fine under Oracle
    • Study: Most MySQL users not too worried about Oracle

      Some 43 percent of respondents said they believed MySQL development would improve under Oracle. Another 35 percent expect it to remain the same, while 22 percent are anticipating the database will suffer under the giant vendor’s wing.

  • CMS

    • WordPress 3 review

      WordPress is now seven years old and, with millions of active users, is widely recognised as the world’s most popular blogging platform. The latest release is the open source platform’s 13th major update and is crucial to WordPress’ ambitions to move on from its blog-based origins.

  • Healthcare

  • Semi-Open Source

    • Open Source Business Models Become More Attractive

      On the former, OpenGeo offers a whole stack of geospatial data. Those sophisticated enough to be able to plow through the databases and apps and extract the data they need or desire can do so. For others, OpenGeo sells its services in building software based on that data or in supporting that software.

      Though the “open core” business model has come under attack lately, this doesn’t seem to fall under that category.

  • Government

    • AT: Increasing number of schools turn to open source

      The number of schools in Austria that are considering to use or are using open source is increasing, according to school IT administrators and open source developers involved in education.

      For instance, the number of schools using LinuxAdvanced, based on Debian Linux, is ‘continuing to increase slowly’, says Rene Schwarzinger, one of the developers of the Linux distribution tailored for use by schools.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • IDES 101, PART II: 5 More Open-Source Coding Environments for Developers

      2) NetBeans
      If you’re a Java developer, you’ve at least heard of NetBeans, a free, open-sourced IDE originally created for Java development. With this Java focus, NetBeans — with its just-released 6.9 version — supports the full Java EE 6 specification as well as a basket of Java standards including Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) 3.1, JAX-RS 1.1, JAX-WS 2.2, JAXB 2.2, and Java Persistence JPA 2.0. Aside from Java, NetBeans also supports JavaScript, PHP, Python, Ruby, Groovy, C/C++, Scala and Clojure. The IDE includes direct integration of Project Kenai for hosting open-source projects.


  • Security/Aggression

    • WPA2 vulnerability found

      Perhaps it was only a matter of time. But wireless security researchers say they have uncovered a vulnerability in the WPA2 security protocol, which is the strongest form of Wi-Fi encryption and authentication currently standardized and available.

    • Ian Tomlinson ruling: we must all fight this whitewash

      Hundreds of thousands of us have now seen the footage of the newspaper-seller shambling peacefully home from work. We’ve seen how, without warning or provocation, PC Simon Harwood attacked him from behind, hitting him with a baton then shoving him to the ground. We know that the officer had unlawfully removed his badge, and that his face was obscured by a balaclava. We know that, a few minutes afterwards, Ian Tomlinson collapsed and died. We also know that the Metropolitan police lied about his death to the media and to Tomlinson’s family.

  • Digital Economy (UK)

    • A Guide to the Digital Economy Act – Part 2

      This is the second in a series of posts explaining what the Digital Economy Act will do, how it works and how it will affect individuals. It is aimed at providing an objective and descriptive overview of the legislation, rather than opinion or comment on the content. Some parts may be legally technical.

    • Government’s Online Tools Used Against Digital Act

      The FSF is calling on opponents of the law to use the government’s online feedback service to call for it to be repealed


      In a statement this week, the FSF called on UK citizens to use the government’s newly created “Your Freedom” site to call for the repeal of the Digital act. The “Your Freedom” site was created by the coalition government as a forum for citizens to nominate laws and regulation which should be scrapped.

Clip of the Day

OSCON 2010: Paul Fenwick, “The World’s Worst Inventions”

Links 25/7/2010: Russian Government and GNU/Linux, Old OpenBSD Interview (Video)

Posted in News Roundup at 2:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • [Russian] Government Computers to Get Linux-Based Operating System

    The government is hoping to launch the first version of a “national operating system” for its computers as early as next year, a senior Communications and Press Ministry official said Thursday.

    The operating system, for use on the computer systems of government agencies and state-run companies, will be 90 percent based on the open-source Linux operating system, Deputy Communications and Press Minister Ilya Massukh said.

  • Infinitely Virtual Begins New Partnership with Turnkey Linux

    Infinitely Virtual is pleased to announce a new partnership with Turnkey Linux–an open source project that develops a free virtual appliance library, featuring the best server-oriented open source software. Infinitely Virtual looks forward to announcing the benefits and the exciting new products the partnership between Turnkey Linux and Infinitely Virtual will bring to current and future virtual server clients.

  • Netsolutions expands headcount

    Tester will be tasked with providing senior consultancy to customers, helping them to integrate their business and technology functions. Dionisakos will focus on growing the Netsolutions Linux support offering.

    Prior to joining the company, Tester worked as an independent consultant, helping companies improve operational performance through developing and implementing training programs and procedures.

    He has more than 15 years consulting experience and has held a number of senior roles at PMP Print.

    Dionisakos previously worked for Goldman Sachs, where he was Linux lead engineer.

  • Ultra-Low-Cost Computer Solution for Schools Bundles Free K-12 Education Software

    Userful Corporation, the world leader in multiseat Linux computing, today announced the preview release of Userful Linux MultiSeat 2010™ – a complete Linux-based classroom software solution on a single install DVD. Userful’s flagship product, Userful Multiplier™, turns 1 computer into 10, and is the foundation of this new product release. This evaluation software provides a sneak preview of some of the major feature enhancements that will be included in the commercial release of Userful Multiplier V.4.0 and Userful Linux MultiSeat 2010™, in Q4 2010.

  • OtherOS Lawsuits Still Going Ahead

    Maxconsole is reporting that the various lawsuits aimed at Sony after they removed the option to keep a Linux installation on your PS3 if you chose to upgrade your firmware have been combined into one mega-sized super-powered Über lawsuit.

  • 10ZiG Integrates New Quest vWorkspace Connector for Linux on Thin Clients

    Quest vWorkspace manages, secures and provisions virtual desktop environments, brokers connections, and delivers virtual applications and desktops from multiple hypervisors, Remote Desktop Session Hosts (Terminal Servers) and blade PCs through a single user access point and management center. The Quest vWorkspace Connector for Linux offers features for an enhanced end user experience on Linux workstations and thin clients, including multi-monitor support, Flash redirection and bi-directional audio.

  • Server

    • Cloud Linux’s SecureLVE Will Be Supported By Parallels Panel Products By Q4 2010

      Cloud Linux Inc., an innovative software company dedicated to serving the needs of hosting service providers, announced recently that its CloudLinux’s SecureLVE security solution will be supported by Parallels Panel products by Q4 2010. Parallels Plesk Panel is the number one control panel in the world with thousands of applications that deliver the easiest, most profitable and most complete service for virtual, dedicated, and shared hosting providers. Integrating SecureLVE into the control panel will give hosting providers new security controls previously unavailable.

    • Sutus Business Central 200

      The hardware box runs Linux and is powered by open-source tools. So theoretically, you could put together software with the same features for free. But the product’s interface is its real strength.

    • Top 10 Server Virtualization Myths — Debunked

      Typical host OSes are bare bones Linux installations for which you have to manually set up Secure Shell (SSH). This means the host OS is very secure since it runs few, if any, standard network services.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 2.6.35-rc6

      Another week (and a couple of days), another -rc.

    • Linux Plumbers Call for Papers Deadline Extension to July 26th

      The Linux Plumbers conference planning committee[1] is announcing an extension to the call for papers deadline by one week to July 26th, 2010. We’re also taking this opportunity to clarify the difference between presentation[2] and micro-conference[3] proposals. There has been some confusion, and we want to make sure that everyone is happy with their submissions.

  • Applications

    • Blu-ray project for free media players launched

      The VideoLAN project, known for such developments as the popular VLC media player have developed a free library for Blu-ray playback. The main task for libbluray is navigation, menu control and the support of the BD Java (BD-J) used on Blu-ray discs.

    • Wine

  • Distributions

    • Damn Vulnerable Linux: Educational Security Tools

      Damn Vulnerable Linux is a security distro, which can be an excellent learning tool. The distro includes older version of popular software like Apache web server, MySQL, PHP and others. The objective to create such a distro is to let users try out known hacks and vulnerabilities on these technologies and hone their skills.

    • Lightweight Linux to the rescue!

      I will be installing a lightweight linux on my mobile classroom of Dated Dells, as I am noticing quite a lag using the GNOME desktop, lovely though it is.

    • Reviews

      • User Review of Puppy Linux 5.0

        Lucid Puppy Linux 5.0 was released back in May of 2010, but as one of my favorite distros, I have been playing with it heavily since then. I have been so impressed with the new version that I wanted to take a moment and write a quick review of this release.

    • New Releases

      • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 106

        · Announced Distro: Zencafe 2.2
        · Announced Distro: openSUSE 11.3
        · Announced Distro: T2 SDE 8.0
        · Announced Distro: Netrunner 2
        · Announced Distro: Linux Mint 9 LXDE
        · Announced Distro: Sabayon Linux 5.3 XFCE & LXDE

      • Yellow Dog Linux for CUDA updated

        The Japanese Fixstars Corporation, which specialises in software for the Cell processor line, has announced the release of version 6.2.1 of its Yellow Dog Linux for CUDA distribution optimised for GPU computing. CUDA, an acronym for Compute Unified Device Architecture, is a parallel computing architecture developed by NVIDIA that uses GPUs to improve the performance of some types of applications.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Download ClearOS Enterprise 5.2 Now

        Michael Proper from the ClearFoundation announced yesterday evening, July 21st, the immediate availability of the ClearOS Enterprise 5.2 operating system. Being based on CentOS 5.5, the new release adds some important features regarding security and overall performance, as well as various improvements and fixes. ClearOS 5.2 is a network & gateway solution, a Linux server based on the open source CentOS distribution, which is based on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux mammoth.

    • Ubuntu Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Killer 2100 NIC review

      The Killer M1 and later the Killer K1 boasted dedicated processors that the company deemed Network Processing Units (NPUs), and were mini systems in their own right, running a version of Linux and having access to their dedicated memory.

    • ARM and TSMC buddy up

      With an increase in the number – and quality – of chips available, a win in the netbook sector could leave ARM well positioned to make an assault on the far larger notebook market – and should Microsoft feel threatened enough by open-source Linux distributions making inroads on ARM-based netbooks to produce an ARM-compatible version of Windows 7, even industry leader Intel could have cause to worry.

    • MontaVista Software Launches DevRocket 6.1 Integrated IDE for Embedded Linux Development
    • Baidu Working on an Android Rival

      According to Xinhua, China’s official news agency, Chinese search company Baidu is working on a Linux-based mobile OS of its own to take on Google’s Android. Baidu is currently the largest search engine in China, with a search share of a whopping 70 percent versus Google’s 27.8 percent, and it makes sense that with over 800 million mobile phone users in China, Baidu would want a piece of the mobile operating system pie on which to put a scoop of its own search engine sorbet.

    • Phones

      • Chasing Android: Notes on developing for the mobile platform

        Android is an open source operating system/platform intended for mobile devices and sponsored by Google. It features applications written in Java with security precautions designed to allow a variety of different applications to live on the same device without exposing user information. Android is also notable for being designed to support an ever increasing variety of hardware functions. The operating system presents a very favorable environment for both hardware and application developers because it is open source and Android’s low level kernel is based on Linux.

    • Tablets/Android

Free Software/Open Source

  • How Politics in India try to kill FOSS

    C Umashankar (an IAS Officer) is a well known name in Indian FOSS community. An ardent supporter of FOSS, the Tamil Nadu bureaucrat has been instrumental in implementing FOSS solutions in several e-governance processes ranging from documentation to servers. He regaled his young audience with two inspiring talks on “Why free software is going to rule the world”.

  • My tips for saving money in tough times

    ● Use open-source software. Free software such as Linux is used by millions, including organisations like Google, Ticketmaster and the Canadian government. They pay no licence fees, and the mainstream systems are constantly supported by armies of volunteers around the globe. Many in the IT industry hate the concept because it undermines much of its business model, but qualified advocates are becoming more and more common.

  • SaaS

    • Impact of OpenStack Project Goes Beyond the Cloud Industry Leaders

      Since the announcement of OpenStack crossed the wire on Monday, much of the emphasis has been on Rackspace’s decision to open source their code and what this might mean in terms of the other major (proprietary) cloud players. But there are 25 companies who’ve signed on to the OpenStack organization and the benefit of the open source project will be far-reaching beyond just the cloud service providers.

  • Programming

    • Review: Eclipse 3.6 Release Train Delivers

      Eclipse 3.6, which arrived on the Internet on 23 June sporting the code name Helios, comprises 39 different Eclipse projects, collectively called a release train. While all of the projects are based on the open source, Java-based Eclipse IDE (integrated development environment), the train covers so much ground that it can be difficult to digest all of its enhancements and additions.

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OpenBSD Interview

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