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08.13.10

Links 13/8/2010: Many New Linux Devices, Apertus Project

Posted in News Roundup at 3:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Bedside PC features capacitive multi-touch

      Poindus announced a panel PC designed to be a bedside terminal for hospital patients. Ready to support Fedora Linux, the “VariCura” has a 15-inch capacitive screen with multi-touch, a 1.3 megapixel camera, a phone that supports either POTS or VoiP, plus an optional barcode scanner, MSR (magnetic stripe reader), and smart card reader, the company says.

  • Kernel Space

    • Google’s Android fork defended, debated, dissected … again

      The topic hit fever pitch again later in the day, when panelists from Google and Novell sparred a bit about the so called Android fork.

      Ted Ts’o, a Linux kernel maintainer who joined Google in January 2010, said both Novell and Red Hat ship patches that were rejected by the Linux kernel but no one describes their distributions as Linux forks.

      It’s nothing new,” he said. “Novell has a number of patches and SUSE ships with code somebody rejected but no one says Novell forked the Linux code. Red Hat ships SystemTap and no one says Red Hat forked the kernel.”

  • Applications

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Tiny ARM9 module ramps up to 400MHz

      Bluewater Systems is shipping a $145 computer-on-module (COM) built around an ARM9 Atmel AT91SAM9G45 processor clocked at 400MHz. The Snapper 9G45 module measures only 2.7 by 1.0 inches, offers 128MB SDRAM, 1GB NAND flash, a wide variety of interfaces, and a Linux 2.6.33 BSP.

    • Plug Computer gets Amahi server and a developer camp all its own

      The Amahi Plug Edition is free software based on the Fedora-Linux-based open source Amahi Linux Home Server software for desktop computers. In May of last year, Amahi and Intel demonstrated an embedded version of the software called the Home Digital Assistant (HDA), which runs on devices running Intel Atom N270 processors.

    • COM Express modules ride the Atom bandwagon

      The second was last month’s release of the Linux-only COMX-P2020 and COMX-P4080, claimed to be the first COM Express modules based on Freescale’s PowerPC-based QorIQ processors.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Tactical handheld runs Android on Cortex-A8 SoC

          The device is one of the first tactical field handhelds we’ve seen that runs Android, although other Linux variants have been used in such devices (the TAG TC-100 Commander, for example) in a number of such devices over the years, as has Windows CE and Windows Mobile. In May of last year, SDG Systems shipped a version of its ruggedized, military-ready Trimble Nomad PDA that ran Android 1.5.

        • Android Big Winner as Smartphone Sales Increase 50 Percent
        • Android Overtakes Apples in World-Wide Market Share According to Gartner
        • HTC hits top 10, Android surges
        • Sprint announces second 4G Android phone

          Sprint announced that it will start selling the Samsung Epic 4G for $250 with rebate and contract on Aug. 31. The Samsung Epic 4G is one of several variations of Samsung’s Galaxy S line of Android 2.1 smartphones, and offers a 1GHz Samsung “Hummingbird” system-on-chip, four-inch Super AMOLED display, a 4G radio, and a QWERTY keyboard.

        • Nexus One respun as Android Developer Phone

          Several weeks after announcing the phase-out of its HTC-manufactured Nexus One phone for the consumer market, Google says that it has recast the phone as the official Android 2.2 Developer Phone. The Nexus One Developer Phone is being offered unlocked for $529, runs Android 2.2 on a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, and offers a 3.7-inch AMOLED touchscreen and five-megapixel camera.

        • Xperia X10 Android phone comes stateside

          AT&T announced that it will sell the Sony Ericsson Xperia 10 starting Aug. 15, giving the high-end Android smartphone its first U.S. debut. The Xperia X10 offers a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon system-on-chip (SoC), 8GB of internal flash, a four-inch display, a 8.1-megapixel camera, and other high-end features, but debuts with Android 1.6.

        • Motorola goes glam with Korea-targeted Android phone

          Motorola says it’s now shipping a smartphone running Android 2.1 for SK Telecom in Korea. The Moto Glam is equipped with a 3.7-inch, 854 x 480 pixel touchscreen, a five-megapixel camera with dual LED flash and 720p video recording capabilities, plus Wi-Fi, GPS, and an HDMI output, the company says.

Free Software/Open Source

  • How the open source community could save your life

    Karen Sandler is a lawyer at the Software Freedom Law Center. She’s also an activist, and–as almost all of us are at some time or another–a patient. More specifically, she discovered about a year ago that her heart is much larger than usual, a condition that may lead to sudden cardiac death. The recommended, life-critical treatment was a pacemaker/defibrillator.

    The next thing she wondered about this technology seemed simple: What runs it? She asked three companies involved whether she could see the source code. Each was surprised at the request and sent her to technical support. In every case, she eventually reached a block. The dreaded, “No. It’s proprietary.” She offered to sign an NDA to simply see the code that was supposed to keeping her alive. The companies questioned why she would be concerned. Of course they’re making software that won’t fail. Of course.

  • Forrester Analyst Says Open Source Has Won
  • Events

    • Highlights from Day 1 at LinuxCon 2010

      If LinuxCon 2009 was all about the desktop, then the underlying theme of LinuxCon 2010 is the desktop is dead, at least as we know it and the new desktop meme will be a mobile device. But, as pointed out by Rob Chandhok in his keynote, the mobile platform has a long way to go, both in terms of hardware standardization and software. The problem is there are simply too many choices.

      And while many will argue that choice is a good thing, unlike the desktop, where the core pieces such as CPU and memory are pretty standard, the mobile market, reduced to a couple of vendors and a couple of flavors, is still very much the wild, wild west, which makes developing support, even at the core OS level, difficult. The end result is a number of distributions that are also wildly separate from each other, and have led to debates in the Community about the very nature of what Linux on the mobile platform will look like. The upshot of all this is that while your next phone will most likely have a dual core processor in it, and more functional power than the computers that put men on the moon, it will also most likely be running Linux, and that Linux will have its papers in order from a licensing stand point, even if we are still arguing whether or not the mainline has been forked or not.

  • SaaS

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • Apertus Project Building an Open Course Cinema Camera for Filmmakers

        There is already a project that’s trying to develop an open source digital camera, so it only makes sense someone would try to create a full-featured open source cinema camera for filmmakers. The Apertus project aims to crowdsource upgrades to the existing Elphel network camera and turn it into a free and open HD camera cinematographers can use to create their next movie.

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Rethinking Peer Review As The World Peer Reviews Claimed Proof That P≠NP

      We recently discussed how incredibly broken the traditional scientific journal system is, in terms of how they tend to lock up access to information. However, that left out a much bigger concern: the peer review system they use doesn’t always work very well. There is, of course, the famous case of Hendrik Sch&oumln, who was the toast of the physics world, until it was discovered that his “breakthroughs” were frauds — even though they were peer reviewed. But that, of course, is an extreme case. Even outside of that, though, peer review has always been somewhat questionable, and many have warned in the past that it’s not particularly reliable or consistent in judging the quality of research.

    • Calgary microchip ‘talks’ to brain cells

      The neurochip is able to monitor the electrical and chemical dialogue between brain cells, and to track subtle changes in brain activity. Accessing those areas means researchers could test drugs to treat several neurological conditions accurately and quickly.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Cars hacked through wireless tire sensors
    • Police: Breach affecting credit card users at restaurant chain

      A security breach for credit and debit card purchases at a local restaurant chain is causing headaches for some Austinites, police say.

      A police spokesman said thieves have hacked into an accounting network between Tinos Greek Cafe and its New Jersey-based credit card clearinghouse, Heartland Payment Systems, triggering fraudulent charges for some customers of the locally owned restaurant chain in recent months.

  • Finance

    • Maxine Waters Seeks Speedy Ethics Review

      Representative Maxine Waters, Democrat of California, frustrated that the start of her ethics trial has not even been scheduled, urged the House ethics committee on Wednesday to formally release a list of charges that have been filed against her and to accelerate any trial so that her case can be resolved before the November election.

      Ms. Waters, the ethics committee announced on Monday, has been charged with a still unannounced set of ethics violations, following a nine-month investigation into allegations that she had improper communications with executives from OneUnited Bank, a Massachusetts-based institution that her husband owned stock in and had once served on the board of directors, as the bank sought bailout funds from the federal government in late 2008.

    • LARRY’S CORNER: The Latest Folk Hero Cries Out -ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

      Many of us follow the behaviors of Goldman the company as well as the many Goldmanites that work there starting with their CEO, Lloyd Blankfein and working our way down the ladder. We seem to revel in the idea that they are a “vampire squid”. We love to hate them for the attitude that they are above us all including the government. We hate them for the money they make which they take from the economies of nations (the people) and we hate them for their justifications for doing so (doing God’s work).

      But hating them is simply not enough. We all need to get “mad as hell” and say we are not going to take it any more. We need to DEMAND of our elected politicians and our law enforcement system to stop giving us lip service and begin serving us justice.

    • Market Drop Signals Fears About Global Recovery

      Concerns about flagging global growth weighed heavily on Asian stocks Thursday, while European markets opened flat. Japan’s Nikkei index dropped more than 2 percent Thursday before recovering some of those losses, which came after steep declines Wednesday in American and European equities.

    • Jobs picture dims as unemployment claims rise

      The economy is looking bleaker as new applications for jobless benefits rose last week to the highest level in almost six months.

      It’s a sign that hiring remains weak and employers may be going back to cutting their staffs. Analysts say the increase suggests companies won’t be adding enough workers in August to lower the 9.5 percent unemployment rate.

    • Could “crowd-sourcing” help resource-starved SEC detect fraud?

      The SEC failed to catch Madoff largely because they are understaffed (a fact the SEC itself has admitted), under-funded, and simply lacked the resources to adequately investigate his activities. Undoubtedly, there were other smaller incidents of fraud that have gone unpunished because of this deficiency.

      To solve this egregious issue, NERA Economic Consulting proposed crowdsourcing, the concept behind Wikipedia’s existence. Proving financial fraud is essentially an exercise in finding numbers that do not match. Through crowdsouricng, regulators would make financial data publicly available to the masses, who would do the ‘grunt work’ of sifting through them to find discrepancies.

    • Debt After Financial Crisis

      In case you thought America’s current debt worries were unusual, here is a chart that might sober you up. It shows that financial crises are basically always followed by explosions in public debt…

    • U.S. Plans More Aid for Jobless Homeowners

      In an acknowledgment that the foreclosure crisis is far from over, the Obama administration on Wednesday pumped $3 billion into programs intended to stop the unemployed from losing their homes.

    • How to jump-start American manufacturing

      President Obama observed last week that the U.S. manufacturing sector has “been hit hard for as long as folks can remember.” In fact, the last time so few Americans worked in manufacturing was April 1941. Since the Great Recession began in December 2007, America has lost 16 percent of its manufacturing payroll jobs. While there has been a slight uptick in manufacturing jobs in the last seven months, only 11.7 million Americans work in this sector, down from 17.3 million 10 years ago. That’s barely 9 percent of total U.S. nonfarm payroll jobs. More Americans now work in the leisure and hospitality industry.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • A Review of Verizon and Google’s Net Neutrality Proposal

      Efforts to protect net neutrality that involve government regulation have always faced one fundamental obstacle: the substantial danger that the regulators will cause more harm than good for the Internet. The worst case scenario would be that, in allowing the FCC to regulate the Internet, we open the door for big business, Hollywood and the indecency police to exert even more influence on the Net than they do now.

      On Monday, Google and Verizon proposed a new legislative framework for net neutrality. Reaction to the proposal has been swift and, for the most part, highly critical. While we agree with many aspects of that criticism, we are interested in the framework’s attempt to grapple with the Trojan Horse problem. The proposed solution: a narrow grant of power to the FCC to enforce neutrality within carefully specified parameters. While this solution is not without its own substantial dangers, we think it deserves to be considered further if Congress decides to legislate.

      Unfortunately, the same document that proposed this intriguing idea also included some really terrible ideas. It carves out exemptions from neutrality requirements for so-called “unlawful” content, for wireless services, and for very vaguely-defined “additional online services.” The definition of “reasonable network management” is also problematically vague. As many, many, many have already pointed out, these exemptions threaten to completely undermine the stated goal of neutrality.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

Clip of the Day

Firefox 4 Beta 3 – Multitouch demo


08.12.10

Links 12/8/2010: MontaVista Meld Update, ‘$35 Tablet’ Demo

Posted in News Roundup at 1:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Jean Staten Healy: IBM’s Worldwide Linux Strategy

    In October of 2000, IBM CEO Louis Gerstner announced that the company would investing $1 billion in Linux development. This announcement came off the heels of two substantial developments in the industry. Google, unknown at the time, appeared with Linux servers in 1998, and Dell announced they would begin pre-installing Linux on select servers in 1999. A few years later in 2004, Big Blue made a formal declaration of sorts in a series of television commercials that culminated with a commercial that aired during Super Bowl XXXVIII, announcing their commitment to a partnership with the Linux community. While intended as a signal to their competitors and the market at large, the message had an unexpected effect on an unexpected audience. It was a celebration heard round the world. The underground community that was beginning to evolve around the Linux operating system had received a shot of notoriety in the arm. The global community of corporate giants had just validated the movement with this one very public endorsement. Then, just as quickly as it had happened, there was silence.

  • Server

    • Moving HPC Closer to The Desktop

      I’ll get back to my coverage of R real soon, but I wanted to continue my thoughts on Cloud HPC. In addition, one of the reasons I need to postpone this article again is my small personal Limulus cluster had to be been taken apart, measured, checked, and reassembled. I use this cluster to try things (like R) and develop software. I am working with a sheet metal fabricator on the next (and final) revision of case modifications. I also installed a new kernel that caused some USB issues. I resolved the issue by using a different cable, but the old kernel still works fine with both cables, go figure. Without USB I cannot control the power to the nodes (unless I rewire some things), so it was slow going for a while. In any case, I had more thoughts about Cloud HPC as well.

  • Google

    • Chrome 6 enters beta, provides more speed and features

      After quite a lot of Dev channel releases, the first Chrome 6 build to have a beta tag (v6.0.472.33) has been made available to the general public for testing and, why not, regular use. The Chrome 6 beta is up to 64% faster than the latest Chrome 5 release and it comes with added features too.

  • Kernel Space

    • Top challenges for Linux kernel team outlined at LinuxCon

      Linux Foundation fellow and new Google hire Ted Ts’o — who is said to be the first Linux kernel developer in North America – said the kernel is as robust these days as any other Unix kernel or any OS kernel out there.

      Yet he sees scalability as one significant challenge for the Linux kernel (all kernels, really) with the “advent of very large numbers of CPUs on a chip. “We thought scalability was largely solved two years ago,” but multicore processing will impose more stringest demands going forward, he said, pointing out that low end laptops will boast 16 to 32 cores in no time.

    • Qualcomm Pushes For Less Linux Fragmentation

      Linux is broadly available on mobile devices, but competing implementations could lead to problems down the road for developers and confusion for customers, according to a Qualcomm executive.

      “There is some fragmentation and that’s a challenge. There is no mobile equivalent of x86,” said Rob Chandhok, president of the Qualcomm Innovation Center (QuIC), a division of chip and mobile phone technology provider Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM). “There is a plethora of different configurations for different handsets.

    • Announcing the LinuxCon Just for Fun Poll Winners!

      Today we’re announcing the results of our LinuxCon 2010 Just for Fun Poll. A couple of weeks ago we asked you, the Linux.com community, to vote for your picks in a variety of categories that complemented the focus of LinuxCon: development, IT operations and business. And, we threw some in “just for fun,” too. The multiple choice responses were determined by our Linux.com writers and appeared to be just about the right, since none of our write-ins received as many votes as the existing choices.

    • Btrfs, EXT4 & ZFS On A Solid-State Drive

      With the benchmarks recently looking at the performance of ZFS on FreeBSD versus EXT4/Btrfs on Linux having generated much interest and a very long discussion, this morning we are back with more benchmarks when running ZFS on FreeBSD/PC-BSD 8.1 and Btrfs and EXT4 on an Ubuntu Linux 10.10 snapshot with the most recent kernel, but this time the disk benchmarking is being done atop a high-performance solid-state drive courtesy of OCZ Technology and the CPU is an Intel Core i7. The drive being tested across these three leading file-systems is the OCZ Vertex 2 that promises maximum reads up to 285MB/s, maximum writes up to 275MB/s, and sustained writes up to 250MB/s.

    • Graphics Stack

      • [RFC] Multitouch protocol specification v1

        Below is the first public draft of the multitouch protocol specification, part of the future X Input Extension version 2.1. Earlier versions of this draft have been sent around in private and I’d like to thank Chase Douglas, Carlos Garnacho, Rafi Rubin, Henrik Rydberg, and Daniel Stone for their feedback during this cycle.

      • NVIDIA Puts Out More X Sync Object Patches

        Back in June there were patches published by NVIDIA for X Synchronization Fences after it was in planning since before last year’s X Developers’ Summit.

      • ATI Radeon R600 Mesa Classic Driver Can Do OpenGL 2.1

        As many people have been quick to report out today in the forums, on Phoronix IRC, and via email, the ATI R600 Mesa DRI driver for the Radeon HD 2000/3000/4000 series graphics cards now properly advertises OpenGL 2.1 / GL Shading Language 1.20 support.

      • Nouveau In Linux 2.6.36 Has NVIDIA Fermi Mode-Setting

        What is most interesting about this second Direct Rendering Manager pull request for the Linux 2.6.36 kernel is what’s brought on the side of the Nouveau driver: kernel mode-setting support for the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 400 “Fermi” series. While the GeForce GTX 470/480 graphics cards were launched back in March and greeted by support within NVIDIA’s proprietary Linux driver, up to this point there has been no open-source support.

      • AMD Gets Back To Working On The Geode Linux Driver

        Martin-Éric Racine has just announced the release candidate of the X.Org Geode 2.11.9 driver in preparations for the X.Org 7.6 Katamari. The AMD Geode driver is not to be confused with the AMD/ATI Radeon drivers for Linux, but rather this is the driver Geode GX and Geode LX embedded SoC such as what’s used by the One-Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project. When announcing this driver, Martin-Éric has shared that AMD engineers are back to actually contributing work towards this driver.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Aldacom Offers GPS/Linux PC/GPRS Breadboard

      Aldacom GmbH, of Neu-Isenburg, Germany, recently announced the debut of the AldaLogic C10/3, a breadboard containing an embedded Linux PC on a surface measuring 104 x 63 millimeters.

    • MontaVista Software Launches Meld 2.0 Next Generation Community for Developers of Embedded Linux Devices

      MontaVista(R) Software, LLC, a leader in embedded Linux(R) commercialization, today announced the launch of Meld 2.0, the next generation of the embedded Linux community sponsored by MontaVista. Meld is an active community for all developers of embedded Linux devices. The next-generation Meld introduces a new look and feel to the community along with a new URL, meld.org, making it easier for users to connect and share information on embedded Linux design challenges.

    • MontaVista revamps Linux community website

      MontaVista Software has announced the launch of the latest release of its Meld online embedded Linux community.

    • Phones

      • Chrome OS vs WebOS

        Earlier on last week we examined the startling similarities between Google’s Chrome OS and Jolicloud. Of-course Chrome OS hasn’t even been released yet, but I felt it more than fitting to compare the two operating systems by virtue of the purpose that they either serve or will attempt to serve in the future.

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • Nokia N900 Giving A Good Run For Its Money To Blackberries

          It is the one smartphone device that is sure to give you the computer like experience and that too it work on the ultra fast Linux based software. The Nokia N900, for all practical purposes is a next generation phone device only.

        • A new OS hits version 1.0

          I have another Linux-based OS, Ubuntu, installed that uses its own bootloader. Jolicloud showed up as a second option in the Windows bootloader after that. When I chose it, it completed installation and setup of a user account — pretty standard for any Linux-based OS. It got weird when it demanded that, before anything else, I connect to the Internet. It takes this cloud computing thing pretty seriously! Fortunately, it recognized my wireless network hardware and connected to my home router once I gave it the proper credentials.

      • Android

        • Motorola’s pumped-up Droid 2 ships Thursday

          The Droid 2 — successor to the Motorola Droid phone that helped amp up adoption of Android-based phones — will be available from Verizon Wireless for online pre-order Wednesday, and available in Verizon stores Thursday. The phone costs $199.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate and signing a two-year contract.

        • Vodafone backs down in Android row

          Phone giant Vodafone has backed down in a row with customers over software updates for Google Android phones.

          Last week, many customers who own HTC Desire smartphones were prompted to download a software update which they believed was an upgrade to Android.

          Instead it installed irremovable Vodafone-branded apps and bookmarks, including links to dating sites.

        • Top 10 Android Tablets: Dell Streak Pricing, Sale Date Set

          Google’s open source mobile platform Android just surpassed Apple’s iOS in the smartphone operating system market in terms of sales for the second quarter, and the next big battleground looks to be the tablet market — where Android-based mobile devices will come up against Apple’s impressive iPad.

          Right now the only readily available Android tablet is the Archos 7 Home Tablet, a low cost 7-inch, touchscreen device with no accelerometer and an outdated resistive touchscreen that lacks the ability to download and run mobile apps from the Android Market.

        • Dell Streak will launch this week in U.S.

          Dell announced that it will take pre-orders for its Dell Streak Android tablet on Thursday, with sales beginning the next day. Selling for $300 with a new two-year AT&T contract, and $550 without, the Dell Streak is as much a large phone as it is a tablet, offering voice telephony as well as a five-inch, WVGA display.

        • Android 3 plans ahead

          Most Android users are only now upgrading to version 2.2 of Google’s mobile phone operating system but with version 3.0 expected in October, it’s worth taking a look at what to expect.

          Google’s Android continues to go from strength to strength and is now regularly compared to Apple’s iPhone as the real competitor to that platform. And although already very capable the next version of Android, 3.0, promises to be significantly better.

        • Launching Android Apps
    • Tablets

      • Early take on India’s $35 tablet: ‘Fairly impressive’

        Remember that $35 tablet out of India we told you about last month? If you want to see the much-talked-about prototype in moving color, a gadget show on Indian television just featured an exclusive hands-on that could help dissipate some of the skepticism about the device.

        “Everybody actually said, ‘It cannot happen, a $35 tablet,’ and not only does it exist, it works and it works brilliantly,” said Rajiv Makhni, co-host of the show “Gadget Guru,” who took the computer through its paces with show cohort Vikram Chandra and then talked all aspects of the gadget with Kapil Sibal, the country’s Minister for Human Resource Development and the same guy who officially unveiled the super-cheap touch-screen device. Aimed at the country’s students, it’s being called India’s answer to Nicholas Negroponte’s famed OLPC laptop.

      • India’s $35 Tablet is No Vaporware
      • Media unveils Indian laptop @ Rs 1500
      • $35 laptop in India a reality
      • India’s $35 Tablet is No Vaporware

        If you thought the Indian HRD ministry’s attempt at making that $35 (Rs. 1,500) laptop is pure government fantasy and the usual pep talk we see from the Indian government, be ready to be surprised. Not only does the tablet exist in a prototype form, it actually works pretty well – and how!

      • $35 Tablet makes an appearance on Indian TV (video)

        The Gadget Gurus, the Subcontinent’s answer to The Engadget Show, got a special hands-on with that $35 Tablet PC the world’s been buzzing about — delivered by none other than India’s Human Resource Development Minister, Kapil Sibal himself. While constantly referring to “the $35 laptop” (we guess you could hold it in your lap) Mr. Sibal gave us the following info: it sports 2GB RAM, WiFI and 3G, microSD storage, and it runs the Android OS. Additionally, it rocks video out and a webcam — in short,

      • HP preps Android e-reader as WebOS tablet pushes to 2011

        Hewlett-Packard (HP) is preparing a “Zeen” Android e-reader that interfaces with a new HP printer, says an industry report. Meanwhile, HP has postponed its WebOS-based “Hurricane” tablet to 1Q 2011, and the company — beleaguered by the recent resignation of CEO Mark Hurd — lost the lead designer of the WebOS-based Palm Pre, say reports.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Linux compliance program a response to surging open-source use

    The Open Compliance Program announced by the Linux Foundation on Tuesday is a response to the surging growth in the use of open-source technologies within enterprises, and by makers of consumer electronic and mobile devices, analysts say.

    Much of the program appears to be directed at addressing what many analysts said is continuing confusion among makers of embedded devices about open-source licensing requirements. But enterprises can benefit from the program as well, they added.

    The Linux Foundation, a nonprofit group that is focused on fostering Linux growth, announced a set of open-source tools, training materials and a self-assessment checklist designed to help companies comply with open-source license requirements.

  • Zenoss Releases 2010 Open Source Systems Management Survey Report

    Reveals flexibility, not cost, drives open source systems management adoption

  • Events

  • Oracle

    • Oracle Charges Into Desktop Virtualization With VDI 3.2

      Oracle is expanding the role it seeks to play in enterprise virtualization by augmenting a former Sun Microsystems approach to desktop virtualization, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, now in release 3.2.

      Oracle VDI 3.2 is a comprehensive approach, starting with a virtualized host, standardized desktop images that run on a server and provide services to end users, which includes delivery of high performance multimedia, such as video and graphics. In addition, it includes a management console, explained Wim Coekaerts, senior VP of Linux and Virtualization Engineering. “This is the first major release of VDI branded with the Oracle look and feel. Oracle is thoroughly committed to the desktop virtualization space,” Coekaerts said in an interview.

    • Oracle launches new version of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

      Oracle has launched Virtual Desktop Infrastructure 3.2, which provides a complete management, hosting and access offerings for virtualised desktops hosted in the datacenter.

  • Project Releases

    • My first post, introducing iX.

      To start with I’d like to thank Martin from #iphonelinux for not only setting up our wordpress blog but also for sponsoring the domain. The purpose of this blog is to document the progress of building iX prior to it’s release.

    • opentaps 1.5M1 Released

      There are also some other important enhancements, including a more extensible domains directory for the domains driven architecture, new configuration entities, and configurable security for opentaps that I wrote about in my last quarterly update. Finally, this version includes the full set of new Chinese translations for opentaps.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Are citizens ready for Open Data and Government?

        Data is raw input to economic initiatives just like money or labour, in the sense that it can have the same or greater economic value. Opening public data may be enough to foster many economic activities, because that’s all the single, very few entrepreneurs or activists who already wanted those data need. When it comes to transparency in government or relations between citizens and politicians, open data work in practice only if many, many people actually study and process them. But today much, much less people are already prepared to accept and use raw data than blog posts, TV debates or other kinds of inputs. This is a point that has been recently raised by others:

        * The Literacy Challenge of Open Data: “We need a data-literate citizenry, not just a small elite of hackers and policy wonks”
        * From Gov 1.0 to Gov 2.0: a change in users, too: study demonstrates that current (Italian) Web 2.0 users are not interested in eGovernment”

Leftovers

  • Department for Communities paid for massages, chauffeurs and trip to Blackpool pleasure beach

    The breakdown revealed that the government offices for the regions ran up bills of more than £100,000 on market research and polling last year.

    The department also spent more than £1,600 on massages for staff and £539 on an awayday trip to Blackpool pleasure beach.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Unprecedented warming in Lake Tanganyika and its impact on humanity

      Lake Tanganyika, in East Africa, is the second largest lake in the world (by volume). The lake supports a prodigious sardine fishery which provides a major source of animal protein for the region as well as employment for around 1 million people. Direct observations over past 90 years find that Lake Tanganyika has warmed significantly. At the same time, there’s been a drop in primary productivity in the lake impacting sardine populations. To further explore this matter, geologists took lake cores to determine the lake’s surface temperature back to 500 AD (Tierney 2010). They found that warming in the last century is unprecedented over the last 1500 years.

    • Is climate change burning Russia?

      Russia has sweltered under an intense heatwave since mid-July, recording its highest ever temperatures. The heat has caused widespread drought, ruined crops and encouraged wildfires that have blanketed Moscow in smog and now threaten key nuclear sites. According to the head of Moscow’s health department, the city’s daily death rate has doubled – up to 700 from the usual average of 360 to 380.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Prior Restraint Lives: Newspaper Blocked From Publishing Photo of Murder Suspect

      We’re not sure what’s more alarming: that a local California judge has barred the Los Angeles Times from publishing lawfully obtained photos of a murder defendant, or that an appeals court has just decided not to immediately reverse this clear exercise of prior restraint.

      Prior restraint smacks at the heart of the First Amendment. The U.S. Supreme Court has never tolerated it, even in the 1971 “Pentagon Papers” case. Then, the justices refused to block The New York Times from publishing sensitive documents concerning the nation’s involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967.

    • Social networking: The good, the bad & the ugly
    • GUADEC: Danny O’Brien on privacy, encryption, and the desktop

      Journalist and digital rights activist Danny O’Brien came to GUADEC to try to educate GNOME hackers about the threats facing journalists, their computers, and their online communication from governments and organized crime. But free software can help, so he wanted to outline the features that he thinks could be added to desktops to help secure them and protect the privacy of all users, not just journalists. Part of his job as internet advocacy coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is to talk to internet developers and “persuade them to think about how journalists in repressive regimes are affected” by the choices those developers make.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Music Festival Producer Pre-Sues Bootleggers

        Ah, pre-crime. THREsq has a worrisome story of a couple of recent lawsuits by concert producers pre-suing potential bootleggers claiming trademark infringement. Yes, they’re claiming trademark infringement for something that hasn’t happened yet, and simply listing out hundreds of John Doe and Jane Does who can later be filled in. As a part of this, they’re getting law enforcement involved by using the lawsuit to ask the court to order US Marshalls, local and state police and even off-duty officers to go ahead and seize and impound the bootlegged material.

      • How Many Times Will Content Industries Claim The Sky Is Falling Before People Stop Believing Them?

        There isn’t necessarily anything new in the paper. Many of you probably know all of these stories, and they’ve been discussed at length over the years in posts and comments here on Techdirt. However, it’s nice to put a bunch of them together in a single document just to highlight the same pattern over and over again:

        1. New technology
        2. Legacy industry freaks out saying the world is ending
        3. Industry flocks to DC & the courts to demand fixing
        4. Turns out that the new technology actually increases the market

      • Is the Sky Falling on the Content Industries?

        Content owners claim they are doomed, because in the digital environment, they can’t compete with free. But they’ve made such claims before. This short essay traces the history of content owner claims that new technologies will destroy their business over the last two centuries. None have come to pass. It is likely the sky isn’t falling this time either. I suggest some ways content may continue to thrive in the digital environment.

      • ACTA

Clip of the Day

Richard M. Stallman Diputados 2008


Links 12/8/2010: Jolicloud Reviews, OLPC Deployments in the Philippines

Posted in News Roundup at 5:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • A Fund Manager Tries To Figure Out Whether Microsoft’s Business Will Collapse

      I have now changed my laptop to a linux (Ubuntu) machine and run a piece of software (Virtual Box) on it. Virtual Box is a program which pretends it is another computer – a virtual computer. On virtual box I run Windows. This is – I believe – a superior set-up and it is unlikely I will ever run a machine primarily on Microsoft again. I will explain why more fully below – but first I just wish to make a simple observation… if I take the hard drive out of my laptop and install it in my old laptop everything works just fine – the whole computer is functional. If I tried to do that with a windows operating system it would fail. This is likely to be important in the future of computing because I will be able to migrate my computer from a laptop to the cloud – or possibly onto my (linux powered) phone. It is unbelievably useful to have a hardware-independent computer.

  • Kernel Space

    • LinuxCon: What Is the Future of Linux Development?

      Where exactly is the Linux kernel heading?

      Here at the LinuxCon conference, a panel of Linux kernel developers from Red Hat, Google, Novell and Oracle discussed what’s next for the ecosystem, and why not every kernel debuts with a big new feature.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Working On The X.Org 7.6 Katamari

        If all goes according to plan, X.Org Server 1.9 will be released in about two weeks, but after that there still is the X.Org 7.6 release “katamari” to be done. While X.Org releases themselves aren’t as important any longer with the X Server releases being done at different points and the rest of the X.Org package collection being modular, the X.Org 7.6 release is expected in October.

        Alan Coopersmith, the X.Org wrangler at Sun/Oracle, has done some X.Org 7.6 planning on the xorg-devel mailing list. On the date of the xorg-server 1.9 release, which is scheduled on the 20th of August but could potentially slip by a few days, all driver and protocol updates needed for the 1.9 release should also have been released. At this point, Alan would also like the first release candidate of Xlib 1.4.0 to be tagged.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Canonical Isn’t Looking to Fork GNOME–Why Should It?

        Indeed, Canonical has no need to fork GNOME and enhancements to a user interface don’t represent a fork. Look at Android. Motorola has its own MotoBlur interface that sits on top of the OS, but users are still running Android underneath.

        Recently, we reported that Red Hat is in fact the largest contributor to GNOME–an environment that the company has a stake in. It’s not surprising to see Canonical experiment with how to treat GNOME, but it would be completely surprising for the company to choose to do an actual fork. Why? GNOME is a very well-done environment that will only increase in popularity, and it’s a user interface, where having users comfortable with it is part of its attraction.

  • Distributions

    • Booting Linux With the New EXTLINUX

      If you’ve ever run a Linux LiveCD (or LiveUSB), or booted from a rescue disk, you’ve probably used a version of SYSLINUX, even if you didn’t know it at the time. SYSLINUX, the work of H. Peter Anvin, is a bootloader for Linux which can boot from an MS-DOS FAT filesystem or create a bootable floppy (very old-school!); its close cousin ISOLINUX handles booting from CDs and similar media. SYSLINUX has always been enormously useful for first-time installs, when you’re often booting from a machine that is currently running Windows, but until fairly recently, you had to switch to another bootloader post-install, since SYSLINUX doesn’t handle ext* filesystems. However, EXTLINUX, a fairly recent addition to the Syslinux Project, does handle these filesystems (see below), giving another boot option besides GRUB and LILO for Linux systems.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Open Source Gets Major Boost In India

        Wipro has become the first Red Hat Premier Partner in India. The two companies have strengthened their strategic partnership through joint marketing and integration opportunities designed to bring open source solutions to enterprises across the subcontinent.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • VMware packs Zimbra into virtual appliance

          Making a virtual appliance is not that big a deal, but VMware faced some particular challenges in putting Zimbra in a virtual shrink wrapper to distribute it in a virtualized appliance format. For one thing, most of VMware’s customers are running Windows server operating systems, but Zimbra runs on Linux.

          In the case of the virtual appliance version of Zimbra Collaboration Suite, the Linux in question is a distribution of Ubuntu. But SMB shops that use Windows don’t want to learn Linux, and VMware didn’t want to port ZCS to Windows, either.

        • Canonical explain the new Ubuntu census package

          The canonical-census package was created for a specific, but undisclosed, OEM customer of Canonical. It will be up to that customer as to whether or not they reveal the results of the data collection, says Spencer, and future plans for canonical-census beyond this one OEM have not been made, but if the scheme works well, it could be considered as an option at the next Ubuntu Developer Summit to provide data to the community.

        • Ubuntu 10.04 [Review]

          You can probably use the OS for years, and never know what a command line parameter is. Quite simply one of the easiest to use Linux distros right out of the box, Canonical has seriously upped the ante and made an OS that can be enjoyed both for its simplicity and capability by anyone, geek or average consumer.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo

      • Android

        • Can’t Linux and Android Just Get Along?

          Make no mistake about it: Open source developers can be a very passionate bunch.

          At the LinuxCon conference, the topic of why Google Android code is not part of Linux was the subject of some intense discussion. One such discussion became so heated that a panelist wound up telling a combative audience member to “shut up” before asking them to leave.

        • Exclusive: Sony Ericsson to introduce Android 3.0 gaming platform and PSP Go-like smartphone

          There’s no question that gaming on the Android platform has heretofore been relatively underwhelming, but that looks like it’s all about to change. It seems that Sony Ericsson — a company that has yet to even introduce an Android 2.0 device — is at work on a project to redefine gaming on Google’s mobile platform. We now know (via a trusted source) that the company is actively and heavily developing a brand new gaming platform, ecosystem, and device (possibly alongside Google) which are already in the late stages of planning. And we’ve got the goods on it.

    • Jolicloud

      • Riding the Jolicloud – The perfect netbook partner?

        The particularly interesting aspect of this OS is that the main guts of it are located on hosted servers. Almost everything is based inside the browser which is like an open source version of Google Chrome (called Chromium).

      • Jolicloud Launches – Free Cloud Computing-based OS for Netbooks

        Jolicloud 1.0 just became available as a free download. This is the very first free cloud computing-based OS. As expected, Jolicloud is based on Linux and features an HTML user interface.

      • JoliCloud Version 1.0 Is Now Available For Your Netbook
      • Being jolly on the cloud

        Jolicloud 1.0 is another Linux distribution that just released its first full version after several months of being in beta. What makes this different from the other Linux distributions available out there is that it integrates both native applications with web-based applications that looks like native apps. If that sounded familiar, well, it should if you tried Google’s ChromeOS or if you have use the pre-iTunes App Store iPhone and iPod Touch — where you save web-apps on the launcher and it looks like a native app.

        Installing Linux distributions has gone a long way – from dozens of 3.5” diskettes to multiple CDs and to single DVDs. And now, you simple click a few buttons and that’s it – a few minutes later, you have a brand-spanking-new Linux desktop. The same can be said of Jolicloud. However, Jolicloud differs in one aspect — post-install, you need to register at Jolicloud.com for an account.

    • OLPC

      • Put Your Unused XO Laptop to Good Use in a Boston School

        Wondering what to do with your old XO laptop now that the novelty has worn off? Consider donating it to the Digital Literacy Project (DigLit) and put a computer you’re no longer using into the hands of an elementary school student in one of two schools within the Boston Public School system.

      • olpc deployment in the philippines

        just got a mail from adam holt, the olpc community support manager. olpc-affiliated filipino community group ekindling.org is looking for anyone with strong open source/sysadmin/teaching skills who could help on the ground deploying XOs and Sugar for an organized laptop deployment (100 XO-1.5s) beginning around september or october in the philippines.

    • Tablets

      • Seven-inch Android tablet ships in Germany

        Smartbook AG is shipping a seven-inch, 800 x 480 tablet computer for the German market equipped with Android 2.1. The Smartbook Surfer runs on a Telechips TTC8902 processor clocked to 720MHz, and offers 256MB of DDR2 memory, 2GB of flash, 802.11b/g, optional GPS, and a webcam, says the company.

Free Software/Open Source

  • BonitaSoft’s Bonita Open Solution 5.2: An Essential Toolkit for BPM

    With its roots in Eclipse and Java, BOS 5.2 boasts broad platform support, and runs on Linux, Windows and OS X. I tested the studio application on CentOS 5.5, Fedora 13 and Ubuntu 10.04, with good results across the board.

  • Forrester: Congratulations Open Sourcers, You’re on the Winning Team
  • Oracle

  • CMS

  • Programming

    • How Companies Can Keep their Programmers Happy

      There’s an important corollary here. Hackers, by their very nature, like playing with code, and the easiest/best/most satisfying way to do that is to play with open source code, and to share it with other hackers for feedback and kudos. As a result, many of the best hackers tend to be found either in the free software community, or at least aligned with many of its ideas.

      Graham’s argument about the centrality of hackers to any company that needs good software therefore implies that free software is something that should be deployed at least internally – not just because of its own, evident virtues, but because it will help to keep those crucial hackers happy, and to attract more of the same. It’s an approach that is certainly much cheaper than trying to bribe them to stay despite the unhackerish software they are forced to use.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Exit costs of lock-in: Anticipate or it’s too late!

      Understanding switching costs is definitely lacking in today’s discussion. That’s why people are locked in to proprietary standards, and have to pay astronomically high prices to decrypt their very own data back to ‘raw data’, to make it suitable for input in another program. Lot’s of people don’t see proprietary standards for what it is: Encrypting your data while you don’t have the key to decrypt it. Those people fail to note those exit costs of a platform are related to their very own choice of ‘entering’ that platform to begin with, and not related to the choice of migrating to another platform.

      That’s why requiring open standards matters: It’s another way of requiring your own data not to be encrypted too much. Another way to require a supplier to enable you to retrieve your own raw data without infringing their intellectual property (monopoly? and being sued by them.

Leftovers

  • The Made-To-Order revolution: custom flexible manufacturing is here
  • Security/Aggression

    • Criminal damage fine for painting garden fence

      A COUPLE who painted their side of a garden fence were shocked to be given a fine for criminal damage after a neighbour complained.

    • Smart Meters Will Be Hacked, Warn Researchers
    • ContactPoint database was ‘surrogate ID card for children’, says minister

      Labour’s controversial child protection database has been switched off, with a minister dismissing it as a “surrogate ID card scheme”.

    • ASA watchdog bans ‘offensive’ anti-terror hotline radio advert

      Britain’s eccentrics, recluses and misanthropes, you can relax. Ignoring neighbours and keeping your curtains permanently shut to the world outside might not win you many friends, but you’re no longer likely to be denounced as a possible terrorist.

      A radio advert that urged listeners to consider calling the police’s anti-terrorist hotline if they had suspicions about local people who avoided company, kept their windows covered and eschewed bank cards for cash has been banned for potentially causing “serious offence”.

    • This Bedford story just gets worse and worse

      Putting aside the cost to the taxpayer (I’d say that these councils spend money like drunken sailors, but it’s an insult to drunken sailors who are at least spending their own money), what on earth does this mean..? Does it mean that people can use public facilities to snoop on who’s using particular car parks? To conduct surveillance on their neighbours, their “friends”, their co-workers, their spouses suspected of adultery..? Does it mean that people can scope out car parks to see what vehicles are there worth nicking? Can people read the numberplates on the cars (presumably so)? The list of infuriating possibilities is endless…

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Moscow death rate doubles as smoke from wildfires shrouds capital

      Oppressive heat and waves of toxic smog in Moscow has seen the death rate reach 700 a day – twice the normal rate, a senior Russian health official said today.

      “The mortality rate has doubled,” said Andrei Seltsovsky, head of the city’s health department. There were usually 360 to 380 deaths a day in the city, but “now that number is about 700″.

    • Moscow wildfires fanned by Soviet legacy of neglect

      How did the new forest law make things worse?

      The function of forest protection completely disappeared, with no human or technical resources allocated to it whatsoever. It was no longer a federal mission and central management was dropped.

    • Greenland ice sheet faces ‘tipping point in 10 years’

      “Sometime in the next decade we may pass that tipping point which would put us warmer than temperatures that Greenland can survive,” Alley told a briefing in Congress, adding that a rise in the range of 2C to 7C would mean the obliteration of Greenland’s ice sheet.

      The fall-out would be felt thousands of miles away from the Arctic, unleashing a global sea level rise of 23ft (7 metres), Alley warned. Low-lying cities such as New Orleans would vanish.

      “What is going on in the Arctic now is the biggest and fastest thing that nature has ever done,” he said.

  • Finance

    • House prices fall as spending cuts see economy stall

      Government austerity measures are already plunging the British economy into reverse according to figures published today which reveal sagging high street sales and renewed falls in house prices.

      Expectations of widespread job cuts in the public sector have begun to discourage households from moving home or buying “big ticket” items such as furniture and carpets, with spending going on essential items and replacements only, said the British Retail Consortium. One of the worst-hit sectors is big-screen flat televisions, where sales have slowed markedly, but the BRC also noted year-on-year falls in items such as shoes. It said that high street sales are running 0.5% higher than last year on a like-for-like basis, with the small rise largely due to food price inflation. “Talk of public spending cuts is unsettling consumers and they are concentrating on essentials,” said the BRC director general, Stephen Robertson.

    • Goldman Sachs’ Abacus Investigations Continue

      Two more regulating bodies, the U.S.-based Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and UK-based Financial Services Authority (FSA), are still probing into the bank’s failure to disclose to its investors a Wells notice that the SEC had handed it in early 2009– an entire year before the SEC’s lawsuit in April 2010.

    • Capmark Creditors Ask Court’s Permission to Sue Citigroup, Goldman Sachs

      Capmark Financial Group Inc.’s creditors sought court permission to sue Citigroup Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. over a $1.5 billion loan made to the commercial property lender.

    • Goldman ‘Should Win Big’ Under New Regulations

      Contrary to first impressions, the new financial reform law could help rather than hinder Goldman Sachs, The Los Angeles Times reported.

    • Goldman Sachs could be largely unaffected by financial overhaul

      One of the most talked-about changes facing Wall Street is the end to proprietary trading. A number of banks were already scaling back their proprietary trading operations because of losses incurred during the financial crisis. Citigroup and JPMorgan are said to be looking at moving employees in those operations to other trading functions, as Goldman has started to do.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Google executive buys ‘spy drone’ amid claims it will be used for Street View

      Sven Juerss, the chief executive of Microdrones GmbH, a German firm which built the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), said he expects to provide “dozens” more in the future.

      However, Google has moved swiftly to deny that the purchase was for company use – Peter Barron, a spokesman for the firm’s UK office, told the Telegraph: “Google is not testing or using this technology. This was a purchase by a Google executive with an interest in robotics for personal use.”

    • Why should companies be allowed to sue for libel?

      Should companies be able to sue for libel? The recently launched Lord Lester libel reform bill includes a provision that companies would have to show substantial financial loss before being able to sue. The House of Commons select committee for culture, media and sport has also called for fundamental reform of libel law in respect of corporate reputation, while many Australian states have limited actions in libel to companies with fewer than 10 employees.

      But to the conventionally minded English lawyer there is no question that companies should be able to sue for libel. After all, companies are “legal persons” – and in English law, personality goes a very long way. The view is that if “natural persons” can sue for libel then so can companies.

    • Malaysian blogger continues attacks from his UK base

      When Raja Petra Kamarudin, one of Malaysia’s best-known bloggers, heard he was to be detained without trial for the third time last February, he decided to flee the country. He was already facing sedition and criminal defamation charges after publishing a string of stories that linked the prime minister Najib Razak and his wife to the gruesome murder of a beautiful Mongolian translator, Shaariibuugiin Altantuyaa, in 2006.

      While Raja Petra says he was prepared to fight those charges in court, he was not willing to face detention without trial again under the country’s draconian Internal Security Act. “Under the ISA, they bypass the court process entirely,” says the blogger, whose Malaysia Today website regularly exposes the abuses of power that blight the south-east Asian nation. “If I’d let them get me a third time, I would have been a glutton for punishment.”

Clip of the Day

Richard Stallman Speech 2009


Links 12/8/2010: KDE Integrates Webkit, Android Popularity Soars

Posted in News Roundup at 3:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Users and Developers in FOSS

    Want to hear some­thing inter­est­ing? The often made claim that “there are no dis­tinc­tions between devel­op­ers and users” is at worst a lie and at best mis­in­for­ma­tion. What it actu­ally means is that if you really don’t like some­thing about a pro­gram you have the code and can change it your­self. What the impli­ca­tion though is that if you have an issue with a pro­gram you can con­tribute these thoughts to the devel­op­ers and be taken seri­ously — which pretty much is never the case. The real­ity of the mat­ter is that unless you are will­ing to actu­ally code the fix your­self it sim­ply wont get done and even then you have no guar­an­tee of it actu­ally being included. On aver­age you have more chance of being lis­tened to by closed source devel­op­ers as their suc­cess is finan­cially linked with your usage.

    [...]

    The very fact that no efforts are made to find out what your users think and what prob­lems they are hav­ing is dis­turb­ing enough, actively putting road­blocks in their path is just mad­ness. After all the only peo­ple who make it through this trial-by-fire are going to be the most tena­cious pro-Linux advo­cates. Of course they think everything’s hunky dory and dis­pute what I say, it’s the very def­i­n­i­tion of selec­tion bias — the unhappy peo­ple all left a long time ago.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

    • AWN Ekes Out a Win in the Battle of the Dock Apps

      GNOME Do and Docky aren’t the only options Linux users have if they want to install a dock-style launcher on their systems. Two others, Avant Window Navigator and SimDock, are also in the running. While AWN has its faults and frustrations, it narrowly beats out GNOME Do on style points. SimDock, on the other hand, just doesn’t measure up to either.

    • Proprietary

      • Adobe Still Shafts Linux With H.264 GPU Decoding

        Adobe rolled out a security update to their Flash Player yesterday and for Mac OS X users this update also integrates Gala — their codename for H.264 GPU video decoding in Flash on Mac OS X. With Adobe Flash Player 10.1.82.76 on Apple Mac OS X there is now GPU video decoding enabled by default to offload more of the playback work to the graphics card, assuming you are using a newer NVIDIA graphics processor. This is coming after Adobe introduced H.264 GPU decoding in their Windows Flash Player 10.1 release, but they continue to shaft Linux users with video support.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • The Chzo Mythos For GNU/Linux Released !

        Hamish Paul Wilson started let me know of his porting of The Chzo Mythos to GNU/Linux at May 2010, and updated me on his progress at June 2010, now finally the porting is done and The Chzo Mythos is available for GNU/Linux free of charge !

      • 5 More Linux Games You Probably Haven’t Played

        They are available for purchase and download right over the Internet (often DRM-free), and some of them are pretty high quality. Here are five more you might not have played but are definitely worth giving a try.

      • Quake2 engine day ;)

        Ok, today I have quite a lot of stuff, and its all Quake2 related :p Believe it or not Quake2 is alive and kicking… and its engine is featuring some of the very best open-source games!

        For those who might have missed it: AlienArena 7.45 has been released recently and the release makes an already solid game even more awesome ;)

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE desktop integrates Webkit

        THE DESKTOP ENVIRONMENT KDE has been updated with over 1,700 new features and 16,000 bug fixes.

        The cross platform application project best known for its desktop environment that is shipped by many Linux distributions has issued this major update a month after the rival project Gnome put one out. The latest KDE update features integration with Webkit in applications such as Konqueror, the default KDE web browser.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME Shell is Evolving Quite Beautifully

        After giving it a spin for a few hours, GNOME Shell never really felt like a complete disaster for me. It works quite well in my 3 year old laptop with basic configuration. Though GNOME Shell still leaves a lot to be desired, you have to keep in mind that GNOME Shell is a still a work in progress.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Linux light – Absolute Linux 13.1

        Absolute Linux seems to get frequent updates and while writing this update 13.1.4 was already released on 30/07/2010 (Update: On 08/08/2010 apparently 13.1.41 was released). These incorporate the latest updates from Slackware but when looking at the Changelog on the website seem mostly small Absolute usability updates and bug fixes. This makes for the impression that it is always a bit of a moving target and never ‘quite right’ at release time, which begs the question why the developer does not rather wait a few days longer and release less often.

      • Vector Linux 6.0 “SOHO” Screenshots

        A deluxe version of Vector Linux 6.0 “SOHO” is due out in 10 days and will cost $22.99 on the Vector Linux website. This is something Vector Linux started doing during the 5.9 release. I like the idea of having a deluxe version available for convenience. Make sure you check out the Lighter version of Vector Linux which are lightweight, fast, and great on old hardware. Enjoy these screenshots of Vector Linux 6.0 SOHO edition.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • PCLinuxOS 2010 [Review]

        Except for office applications we couldn’t complain about the packages that came with the OS. For instance in the internet and communications domain PC Linux came with a browser (Firefox), a twitter client (Choqok), an IM client (Pidgin), mail client (Thunderbird), torrent and even Dropbox ! There was no office suite bundled and the text editor (KWrite) was pathetic. At least AbiWord would’ve raised the score a little above the zero that we gave it on this criteria. The main menu was well categorised but a Mepis or Mint-like search would’ve been better. Although a nice addition was the displaying of recently used applications. Kwallet – the default password keeper integrates into all programs that require logins. We checked randomly for codec support and found that SM Player could handle all of the different encoded video files we threw at it. The default music player was Amarok which does what it’s supposed to quite well. For file managers there was a choice between Dolphin and Conqueror – nothing spectacular.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu Licensing

          Copyright licensing and trademarks are two different areas of law, and we consider them separately in Ubuntu. The following policy applies only to copyright licences. We evaluate trademarks on a case-by-case basis.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • War of the Peppermint Gargantuas

            The combination of Chromium and the Ice SSB edges out (barely) Peppermint OS One. It’s not a big enough difference that you could go wrong using Peppermint OS One, but the Chromium/Ice SSB combination was just fast enough to warrant using Peppermint Ice.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Ludwig Enterprises’ The One(TM) to be “Open Source”

      Ludwig Enterprises, Inc. (Pink Sheets:LUDG) board of directors announces that TheOne(TM) receiver will utilize Linux as its base operating software. This architecture will allow applications from other application developers to operate in TheOne(TM) radio. Applications such as jpeg viewer, media players, web mail, foxfire and others may be utilized. Rather than restrict or block outside applications Ludwig welcomes collaborative input from independent application developers resulting in rapid evolution of superior software. A report by the Standish Group states that adoption of Open Source software models has resulted in savings of approximately $60 Billion per year to consumers.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Open source CouchDB comes to Android

          Mobile syncing remains a vital task that few really get right, but the open source NoSQL initiative aims to fill the gap, at least on Android. CouchDB, the open source database that is part of NoSQL and Apache, has been made available for the Google OS and will also be supported by Hewlett-Packard’s next release of webOS.

        • CouchDB Says Hello To Google Android
        • HTC releases Android 2.2 source code for EVO 4G, Incredible, Aria, and Wildfire — geeks rejoice

          Modders and ROM developers are about to bury themselves in source code today and will chug six packs of Red Bull to stay up late into the night hacking away. HTC has released their valuable Android 2.2 source code for the EVO 4G, DROID Incredible, Aria, and Wildfire today allowing programmers and enthusiasts to get their hands dirty with code.

        • Android Beats Ubuntu and Linux

          Linux has become omnipresent. It’s presence is so deep that a user may not even know that he/she is in-fact using Linux, the kernel. The GNU combined operating systems do give Linux its identity.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • ON TEST: Ubuntu Netbook Edition

        Yesterday we looked at Jolicloud as an option for netbook owners keen on using the net’s cloud computing potential. Today, we look at the big name in Linux: Ubuntu.

        The latest version of Ubuntu “Lucid Lynx” — 10.4 — comes in a netbook-optimised version that is designed for computer makers to deploy on new netbooks, but it is also available for public download. It’s a great operating system choice for netbook users.

        [...]

        I personally prefer the Netbook Edition over the vanilla Desktop version. The user interface is very intuitive, and the resources footprint is smaller than the normal Ubuntu system. For most netbooks, you will be surprised with the power that Ubuntu Netbook Edition has in a fresh install, and the Ubuntu/Debian software installation system is one of the best on any platform, so installing the software to suit most user needs is rather easy and quick (or even the operating system itself for that matter).

Free Software/Open Source

  • Study: Big Biz Falls in Love With FOSS, but Not Just ‘Cause It’s a Cheap Date

    Open source software is poised for rapid growth in enterprises over the next 12 months, but cost is no longer the primary driver behind open source adoption.

    That’s according to a new study from global consultancy Accenture, which based its findings on interviews with 300 executives at organizations in the United States, the United Kingdom and Ireland with annual revenues above US$500 million.

  • Survey: 98 percent of enterprises using open source
  • Free Software Women’s Group Releases Results of Study

    The group cites several reasons why women don’t participate more readily in the free software community and offers some solutions for remedying the problem. But is it enough?

  • Frustrated developer releases intell analysis software as open-source

    Intelligence analysis software is about to go open source. Matthew Burton, a former Defense Intelligence Agency analyst and software developer, is working on an open-source version of a CIA software tool called “Analysis of Competing Hypotheses.”

  • Is an Open-Source Framework the Key to Preventing Security Threats?
  • Open Source Software Gives Fast, Free Alternatives

    Another key factor that keeps open source appealing is that it often does not require a high-end system to run well. Some of the applications run well even on older computers.

    There are also open source equivalents to many programs Windows and Mac users would normally need to pay for. Among them is OpenOffice—a free, full-featured office suite.

  • Save a bundle on software with free, open source apps
  • Will Hurd-less HP take a less proprietary turn

    Fiorina had a vision of HP as a GM of high tech. Hurd’s view was that of a new IBM, even though that had been done. These open source times call for something different, and a bigger dream.

  • The Mendix Community Fully Embraces Open Source

    The Mendix AppStore is a fantastic example of our own community embracing open source. Most of the content in our AppStore is open source.

  • Google Wave fans set up protest site

    Devotees of Google Wave have set up a protest site to persuade the global advertising giant not to abandon the collaborative messaging platform, following last week’s decision to halt development of the tool.

    The decision to pull the plug on Wave was a giant blow for Google Australia, which led development of the tool. Now Wave followers from around the world have called for the company to reconsider.

  • Role-based access control: Pros of an open source RBAC implementation

    When looking at the commercial RBAC marketplace, it’s important to note that some of the biggest players in the market aren’t the biggest companies. Because RBAC’s potential is still being realized, if a vendor can react faster to advancements in RBAC functionality, it can gain an advantage over its competitors. This positions smaller, boutique companies like Aveksa Inc., BHOLD Company and SailPoint Technologies Inc. in front of larger enterprise competitors like CA Inc., IBM and Sun Microsystems Inc. (recently acquired by Oracle Corp.).

  • OpenDragon Geoinformatics Software to be Open Source and free worldwide

    The Global Software Institute (GSI) has announced that, effective immediately, OpenDragon is available for free download by users anywhere in the world. OpenDragon offers a full suite of image analysis and raster GIS capabilities including image enhancement, supervised and unsupervised classification, geometric correction, measurement and statistics, vector capture and display, slope, aspect and buffer calculations and multi-criterion decision making. OpenDragon also includes the OpenDragon Toolkit, which allows users who can program in C to extend the software functionality.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

    • Comparing open source cloud platforms: OpenStack versus Eucalyptus

      Historically, the open source community has impacted both the economics and the innovations of the computer industry. Open source software is known for causing previously monolithic applications to become commoditized. In the database space, one only needs to look at MySQL and PostgreSQL. In the Web server space, there is Apache, and in application servers, there are Tomcat, JOnAS, JBoss, Jetty and GlassFish. In programming and scripting languages, there are the likes of Java, Perl and PHP. GNU Linux, in particular, has done so much to commoditize the operating system market that even phones use it.

  • Databases

    • Monty’s MariaDB extends the open source database

      As MySQL grew, Widenuis’ message of community got pushed back and that’s where things started to go wrong. Widenuis also slammed Sun, saying that had no respect for engineering talent. Wiednuis left Sun in 2009 and the main reason for his new MariaDB was about saving the people that he cared about and he wanted a good home for MySQL that he didn’t believe was in good hands.

      A focus on community is what MariaDB is all about, Widenuis said he is now following a hacking business model. It’s not a company that is being built to be sold, it’s democratic and employees are all shareholders.

  • Oracle

    • Oracle outlines Solaris 11, says little of OpenSolaris

      At the company’s strategy update, Oracle outlined the future for Solaris 11, but said nothing about OpenSolaris. Oracle’s John Fowler says that Solaris 11 will be a major upgrade to key components, such as networking stacks, threading, file systems, package management and maintenance. A focus on scalability would also be incorporated in preparation for the next generation of hardware, like the 128 core, 16,384 thread system with 64TB of memory that Oracle is currently developing. Solaris 11 is expected around the second half of 2011.

    • OpenOffice 3.3 Beta: The Shape of Things to Come?

      The motto for the 3.3 release is “Fit and Trim.” The phrase is vague, but suggests a concern with interface improvements. This impression is reinforced by the first item on the features list, which is “First Achievements of the Renaissance Project,” an OpenOffice.org sub-project focused on improving the interface. Further confirmation, if any is needed, is provided by the fact that only a few new features are scheduled and the rest are enhancements of existing features.

      The 3.3 release is available on the OpenOffice.org site in 323 and 64 bit .RPM and .DEB packages, as well as source tarballs. Regardless of your choice of formats, the release installs into a separate sub-directory of /opt, allowing it to co-exist with other OpenOffice.org releases. To start the release, click /opt/ooo-dev3/program/soffice. The build is relatively stable, and documents created in it can be opened in earlier versions of OpenOffice.org, but you should probably use 3.3 sparingly in case of problems.

  • CMS

    • Webiva Delivers Open Source Content Management on Rails

      Webiva is yet another content management system that aims to give the likes of WordPress, Joomla and Drupal some competition. The difference? In addition to being an open source, Ruby on Rails system, Webiva comes packed with a SaaS hosting platform that cuts out a ton of management hassle.

    • Webiva Launches SaaS Hosting Platform for its CMS

      Webiva.com allows web professionals to build websites on a load-balanced, backed-up and replicated cloud without the hassle of installing and maintaining a Ruby on Rails installation. It competes with other web 2.0 CMSs like Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress.

  • Education

  • Business

  • Project Releases

    • Lightspark is a Nifty Open Source Flash Alternative

      The developer of free, open source flash player Lightspark announced the release of Lightspark 0.4.3. In addition to a number of bugfixes, the software includes a number of additional features since the last release.

  • Government

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Collaborative Democracy: Beth Noveck on Reengineering Civic Life

      We did a small experiment along these lines with the Peer to Patent project, which seized upon the truth that each of us is an expert in something. The idea behind Peer to Patent was to take the problem of bureaucratic slowdown and inefficiency in the patent office, and to marry to this the idea of self-selected expertise. This would create a process by which people could volunteer in a self-selected way, and work together to help discover information that would help an examiner decide whether a patent truly deserve a 20-year grant of monopoly rights – whether the patent is truly non-obvious and novel as the law requires. By creating a software interface and system that would allow groups of people to self-select, come together, and review each other’s works, some of the burden would be taken off the beleaguered government examiner. By using visual interfaces to help reflect back to and explain to people clearly what it is that the examiner needs to do, and how they divide up the tasks of examining a patent, we were able to set up a project not removed from government but together with government – the first institutionalized social network in the U.S. federal government to participate in the work of decision-making.

    • Textbook rental: one of best ways for students to save money

      Another option could be open-source textbooks, as are available on curriki.org, a nonprofit that seeks to provide “universal access to free curricula and instructional materials for grades K-12,” according to its website. For college professors, though, who are generally very specific about which textbook their students work from, it could be a long time before open-source curricula are adopted widely.

    • Open Hardware

Leftovers

  • Science

    • E=mc2? Not on Conservapedia

      In a footnote, this comment is followed up by: “Virtually no one who is taught and believes relativity continues to read the Bible, a book that outsells New York Times bestsellers by a hundred-fold.”

      Does relativity really steer people away from God? Or maybe – and this is just a theory, to use their favourite phrase – the same kinds of people who study general relativity are simply less likely to consult the Bible for answers to the questions of the universe.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Portugal Gives Itself a Clean-Energy Makeover

      Five years ago, the leaders of this sun-scorched, wind-swept nation made a bet: To reduce Portugal’s dependence on imported fossil fuels, they embarked on an array of ambitious renewable energy projects — primarily harnessing the country’s wind and hydropower, but also its sunlight and ocean waves.

  • Finance

    • Market Drop Worldwide Signals Fears on Recovery

      As economic recovery wavers in the United States, evidence is mounting that growth abroad is also slowing and may be unable to sustain the fragile rebound here.

    • Judge orders Wells Fargo to pay back $203M in fees

      A federal judge in California ordered Wells Fargo & Co. to change what he called “unfair and deceptive business practices” that led customers into paying multiple overdraft fees, and to pay $203 million back to customers.

    • Californians’ income sees 1st decline since WWII

      The personal income of California residents declined last year for the first time since World War II, state officials said Wednesday.

      An analysis by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis found that statewide income fell by $40 billion in 2009 to $1.56 trillion. That’s down about 2.5 percent from the previous year and even lower than the 2007 figure.

    • Trade gap likely points to slower economic growth

      The United States is selling fewer products around the world and spending more on cheap imported goods, an imbalance that hurts the job market at home and means the economy is even weaker than previously thought.

      The trade deficit of nearly $50 billion for June is the biggest in almost two years, and economists fear that economic growth for the second quarter, which came in at a sluggish rate of 2.4 percent in early estimates, may turn out to be only half that.

    • Chaos in U.S. markets on trade deficit, global data

      Stocks were deeply in the red Wednesday after the U.S. trade deficit widened unexpectedly and a string of weak economic reports from Asia and Europe heightened concerns that the global recovery is veering off track.

    • Some job-screening tactics challenged as illegal

      Companies using criminal records or bad credit reports to screen out job applicants might run afoul of anti-discrimination laws as the government steps up scrutiny of hiring policies that can hurt blacks and Hispanics.

    • Global Youth Unemployment Reaches New High

      Youth unemployment across the world has climbed to a new high and is likely to climb further this year, a United Nations agency said Thursday, while warning of a “lost generation” as more young people give up the search for work.

    • Airline staffs hits record lows, with room to fall

      Full flights? Get used to them. Stressed flight attendants and call centers in India? Get used to those, too.

      While the current state of the U.S. airline industry can be frustrating for passengers, it’s bad for employees, too – and some suggest it’s getting worse.

      U.S. airlines have cut jobs for two straight years, the government said Wednesday, an acceleration of a trend since 2001. What’s worse for employees: There’s no indication that trend will reverse sharply anytime soon.

    • Wells Fargo Overdraft Lawsuit: Bank Ordered To Pay $203 MILLION In Fees Over ‘Unfair’ Charges

      A federal judge in California ordered Wells Fargo & Co. to change what he called “unfair and deceptive business practices” that led customers into paying multiple overdraft fees, and to pay $203 million back to customers.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Libel Tourism Law Official… Including Important Nod To Section 230 Safe Harbors

      We spend a lot of time discussing bad legislation around here, every so often it’s nice to hear of some good legislation. Last month, we noted that an anti-libel tourism bill was making its way through Congress, which would protect US citizens from foreign libel judgments on laws that went against the First Amendment. Thankfully, that bill has now been signed into law — and it may be even better than we initially expected. That’s because, at the urging of folks such as Public Citizen, Congress inserted a bit into the law that also extends the important Section 230 safe harbors to this bill.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Rupert Murdoch fights to take the ‘sky’ out of ‘Skype’

      A spokesman for Sky, which is 39.1pc-owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, said the company was trying to prevent Skype from using its trademark in relation to the sale of TV or internet service, because customer might assume that ‘Skype’ is part of Sky.

    • Copyrights

      • Why US Copyright Group abandoned its first two P2P lawsuits

        US Copyright Group, which is controlled by Virginia law firm Dunlap, Grubb, & Weaver, has sued more than 14,000 Americans this year for allegedly downloading various independent films on BitTorrent networks. In January, it brought the first two of these cases, targeting 749 anonymous “Does” for sharing the film The Gray Man and 83 Does for sharing Uncross the Stars (later upgraded to 195 Does).

        US Copyright Group used the suits to subpoena ISPs, trying to get real names and addresses instead of the IP addresses it had collected. The lawyers then sent out settlement letters to these defendants, asking them to pay up or risk a named federal lawsuit.

      • French Citizen Beats Government to Trademarking HADOPI

        HADOPI is effectively an anti-piracy organization that oversees and enforces Frances three strikes law. Unfortunately for HADOPI, someone else took the Trademark of ‘HADOPI’ – someone who just so happens to be opposed by the new French copyright laws to be more precise.

      • After Hundreds Of ‘Empire State Of Mind’ Parodies… Why Does EMI Suddenly Take One Down?

        Even odder? Apparently EMI has issued a takedown notice for just that one video pulling it off YouTube. This is despite literally hundreds of Empire State of Mind parodies on YouTube. Those 55 best parodies? They’re all on YouTube (with the exception of the Darth Vader one…). Honestly, I thought this had to be a mistake, or some weird Content ID error by YouTube. Considering the vast number of these parodies that have all remained up this whole time, would EMI really issue a takedown for this one parody?

      • New antipiracy countermeasures await returning students
      • Viacom to appeal YouTube copyright decision

        In a move that surprises no one, Viacom plans to appeal the ruling that struck down its lawsuit against YouTube and Google earlier this year.

      • Viacom To Google: We Are Appealing The YouTube Decision

        We are not lawyers, but as the last case was dropped by ’summary judgement,’ we doubt the ability of Viacom to turn the tables in their favor. They lost hard in the last dispute, what can they do to change that this time around? Still, the company has its arms out and is pushing forward yet again. Perhaps after another judge sticks with YouTube they will drop the case. Then again, perhaps not.

      • Copyright Boss Refuses Debate with Pirate Bay Co-Founder

        Werner Müller, boss of the Austrian film and music industry trade association, has canceled his participation in a panel discussion on “Art in the Digital Age” after he learned that Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde was one of his fellow participants. Müller stated that he refuses to sit at a table with a “convicted criminal” who supports “professional theft”.

Clip of the Day

Richard Stallman Speech UCSD 2007


08.11.10

Links 11/8/2010: Motorola Droid 2 Surfaces, Ubuntu’s Census Backlash

Posted in News Roundup at 1:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Kernel Space

    • On the changing role of PowerTOP

      I’m realizing that PowerTOP got released 3 years ago now. While not nearly as old as the Linux kernel, it’s time to look back and then forward again.

      [...]

      So it’s now time to rethink some of the code code and make things much more scalable for adding new checks and features. In addition, the output also needs to improve to be more useful as a diagnostics tool. I’m thinking about adding a “generate a report” option, that basically gives a complete report card of the system.
      This doesn’t mean I want to leave the end user behind; not at all. But in terms of new features, with all the low hanging fruit taken care of, some of the things PowerTOP needs to do are just a lot more technical than what PowerTOP 1.0 offered.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, KVM to Pursue Security Certification

        We’re excited to announce that Red Hat has entered into an agreement with atsec information security to certify Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 under Common Criteria at Evaluation Assurance Level (EAL) 4+, which will include certifying the KVM hypervisor on both Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6. The Common Criteria EALs represent the depth and rigor of the evaluation, giving consumers the confidence that products certified at a specific level meet the package of security assurance requirements associated with that level and comply with internationally recognized security standards.

      • Red Hat, Wipro may Deliver Open Source Solutions Across India

        Red Hat, the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, and Wipro, a leading Indian IT solutions and services provider, today announced that Wipro has become the first Red Hat Premier Partner in India and the two companies have strengthened their strategic partnership through joint marketing and integration opportunities designed to bring open source solutions to enterprises across the subcontinent.

      • Global Knowledge Named Red Hat Premier Training Partner of the Year for 2010
    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu’s Census Taker Getting Bad Rap

          It hasn’t helped that Canonical is already bearing the brunt of some community animosity over recent reports indicating they might not be contributing enough code upstream to the GNOME Project, followed up by a stunningly obtuse rant (and, later, apology) against free software by a prominent member of the Ubuntu community.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo

      • Android

        • Replica Island for Android

          This open-source title was built specifically for the Android platform, and the fact that the main character is a dead ringer for Android’s mascot is no coincidence.

        • Easy Root App For Motorola Droid/Droid-X/Milestone Removed From Android Marketplace

          “Easy Root” – an easy one-click solution for users looking to root Android 2.2 on their Motorola Droid, Droid-X and Milestone has reportedly been removed from the Android Marketplace. While I have not been able to try the app out myself, the app presumably offers an easy way for non-techie users of these Android handsets to be able to root their Motorola phones. Unlike most other rooting applications, Easy Root does not require users to connect their handsets to a computer. Instead, they were required to download the $1 app from the Marketplace and tap ‘Root Me‘ to get started.

        • Tablet makers eye Android screen optimization

          Tablet makers may be warm to Google’s Android operating system (OS), but the OS’ inability to scale beyond 5-inch screens works against its favor. Industry watchers, though, note this is just one factor affecting user experience and predict support for bigger screens will come in time.

        • 1.2GHz Dual-Core HTC Android iPhone 4 Beater Spotted

          HTC has more Android smartphones than any other company, and it’s a trend that looks set to continue into the next year. The latest model on the horizon has a spec that could include an amazing 1.2GHz dual-core processor, along with a sliding QWERTY keyboard. To find out more, join us after the break…

        • Competing in a Heated Android Market

          Understandably, most manufacturers choose to source their OS from someone else. Android is the licensed OS of the moment, largely because the other options didn’t innovate fast enough – Microsoft had to abandon Windows Mobile and start fresh with Windows Phone 7 and Symbian ought to be doing the same thing.

        • Verizon announces Droid 2, available August 12

          It wasn’t the most well-kept secret in the world, but the news is nonetheless exciting, as Verizon Wireless finally announced the Motorola Droid 2 on Tuesday.

          The Droid 2 will be available for presale on Verizon’s Web site starting August 11 and will be in stores August 12 for $199.99 with a two-year contract and after a $100 mail-in rebate. As expected, the smartphone will ship running Android 2.2, which among other things includes support for Adobe Flash Player 10.1. The Droid 2 can also be used as a mobile hot spot for up to five devices, but you will need to sign up for Verizon’s 3G Mobile Hotspot Service, which costs $20 per month.

        • Motorola Droid 2 (and R2-D2 edition!) finally official: Android 2.2, Swype, $200 on contract

          At long last, the leaks are being plugged by none other than Verizon itself, who today confirmed that the Droid 2 is more than just a figment of everyone’s imagination. Shortly after hamstringing the Froyo update for the original Droid, Big Red is tossing a tempting upgrade all up in your grille, as the Droid 2 ships with Android 2.2, mobile hotspot (a $20 / month add-on), Flash Player 10.1 and a revised QWERTY keyboard.

        • Motorola’s dev site details Android-powered Ming A1680
        • Couchio announce CouchDB SDK for Android

          The application is installable from the Android Marketplace (search for “CouchDB”) and runs on Android 2.1 and 2.2 devices. The source code is also available from a GitHub repository.

Free Software/Open Source

  • eWEEK Europe Readers Say Yes To Open Source

    Enterprises are leading the way in open source, according to our readers’ poll, while governments lag behind. Next up: the majority of my business’s desktops are…

  • Lockheed Martin’s Social Networking Platform’s Not Rocket Science

    Lockheed Martin, the giant defense contractor, is wary of letting its staff use social networking. Probably something to do with secrecy. It also knows its staff are people, so it’s built its own social network structure, dubbed Eureka Streams, and is now releasing it open-source for … well, pretty much anyone to use.

  • The perils of writing about open source

    It is said that there are three subjects you should never discuss at the dinner table; sex, religion and politics. I’d like to add a fourth to that combustible list – open source software.

    Open source is one of those subjects journalists treat cautiously, which is probably why a recent report by security company Qualys relating versioning to vulnerabilities in some open source web apps has caused some angst ever since I tackled it for a news story.

  • Packt launch fifth annual Open Source Awards
  • IT industry news: Businesses ‘should exploit the benefits of open source technology’

    The use of open source technology in the IT industry and other sectors allows companies to obtain real time statistics and analytics without investing too much, according to Nicola Clark, features editor at Marketing Magazine.

  • Open Source Community Paves Way for Developers to Improve Internet Access for the Aging, Disabled

    The OpenAjax Alliance (OAA) has announced it has created new open source tooling technology to help software developers access and use Web 2.0-enabled business, government and consumer web sites. The new tooling technology simplifies the way Web applications are tested for compliance with current accessibility standards and guidelines, helping to speed up delivery of new accessible Internet applications.

  • The Good & Bad For LLVMpipe With Intel’s GLSL2 Compiler

    Last month we tested out Intel’s new GLSL compiler for Mesa when running the ATI Radeon classic Mesa and Gallium3D drivers to see how this GL Shading Language compiler designed by Intel employee’s for their hardware and open-source driver work for the other open-source drivers, since all of the Mesa drivers will be affected once this “GLSL2″ compiler is merged into the Mesa code-base by month’s end. The experience using Intel’s new shader compiler with the ATI Radeon graphics driver worked fine except for Warsow where serious regressions were visible, but in the other games that are capable of running off Mesa, the experience was fine. What we have been curious to test since then with this new OpenGL shader compiler has been the LLVMpipe driver — a Gallium3D driver we have been very excited about as it finally provides a better software rasterizer for Linux by leveraging Gallium3D and the Low-Level Virtual Machine (LLVM) compiler infrastructure for accelerating the Mesa state tracker atop a modern multi-core CPU that supports SSE4 instructions. We have now finished running tests of the Intel’s GLSL2 branch with the most recent LLVMpipe driver code.

  • Zenoss Survey Finds Open Source Ubiquitous, Easy

    No surprise, 98% of enterprises are using open source. But the tide is turning in terms of perception: More than 71% of those surveyed at the 2009 USENIX Large Installation System Administration (LISA) conference say that open source is easier to deploy than proprietary software.

  • SaaS

  • Oracle

  • CMS

  • Business

    • Open source monetization – still a far cry?

      As far as open source is concerned, people do not necessarily need a huge pile of money to create a software asset. Linus Torvalds never charged anything for Linux. He wrote it because he felt that to be an important thing to do. I think most of the people who do open source have a day job or have a company. They’re selling all of their services around open source. So something like open source can continue to just run without actually monetizing the software asset directly.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Using Competition Law to Promote Access to Knowledge

      One of the points of convergence among the many strands of the A2K movement is resistance to the one-size-fits-all ratcheting up of intellectual property provisions around the world. The resistance is grounded in analysis showing that intellectual property rules often create social costs that far outweigh their intended benefits. Much of the A2K movement’s advocacy for limitations of intellectual property rights is located within the field of intellectual property law – promoting the inclusion and use of balancing mechanisms within the laws granting intellectual property rights. But intellectual property rights are also shaped and limited by their interaction with other fields of law, competition law being a prime example. After describing the theoretical and doctrinal underpinnings of a shift of A2K legal advocacy toward the use of completion law, this paper surveys some of the strategic advantages of using competition norms to reframe political debates and shift struggles into new, potentially more hospitable, forums.

    • Open Up Event to Discuss Implementing Open Source in Society

      All talks will then be uploaded to the Open UP archive for the world to see. After the talks there will be an open discussion where people can network and learn more about incorporating open source ideas and principles into their work. This project is an extremely exciting opportunity for cross pollination and discussion of Open Source Ideals.

    • CoLab Brings Online Collaboration to the Scientific Community

      Scientific researchers may want the input of others in the community but are understandably hesitant to share data and information they’ve worked so hard to uncover. When scientists working on similar projects are flung far and wide around the globe, collaboration becomes even more of a challenge. CoLab, a new open source project launched by two California-based scientists, aims to make it easier for the scientific community to work together toward its common goals.

    • Open Source Tools Turn WikiLeaks Into Illustrated Afghan Meltdown (Updated)

      NYU political science grad student (and occasional Danger Room contributor) Drew Conway has done just that, using an open source statistical programming language called R and a graphical plotting software tool. The results are unnerving, like stop-motion photography of a freeway wreck. Above is the latest example: a graph showing the spread of combat from 2004 to 2009. It’s exactly what you wouldn’t want to see as a war drags on.

    • Mapping Georgia From Scratch

      The map from Open Maps, which will be completed by the end of this month, will be an open-source map — meaning anyone can contribute to it, edit it and tweak it to their needs: It’s Wikipedia-meets-cartography, developing world-style.

    • Apertus: The open source cinema project

      When I explain the project, people often ask what the real differences between Apertus and other camera projects really are, or in other words, what advantages an “open” project really possesses for the end user. Since most creative people in the film industry like DOPs (directors of photography) and camera operators are not software developers, they have a very blurry understanding of words like “Linux” and “open source”. If anything they would associate them with “geeks” and “nerds,” but nothing they would expect to work with closely in their future everyday work.

    • Open Data

      • Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information

        In October 2007, 30 open government advocates met in Sebastopol, California to discuss how government could open up electronically-stored government data for public use. Up until that point, the federal and state governments had made some data available to the public, usually inconsistently and incompletely, which had whetted the advocates’ appetites for more and better data. The conference, led by Carl Malamud and Tim O’Reilly and funded by a grant from the Sunlight Foundation, resulted in eight principles that, if implemented, would empower the public’s use of government-held data.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Project Canvas specification not so open after all

        The BBC is still refusing to release to the public the requirements specifications for Project Canvas, despite a formal condition of the BBC Trust in approving its participation in the proposed joint venture broadband connected television platform. The BBC Trust now says it does not believe that publication is appropriate at this stage, saying that it would not be in the interests of interested parties.

        The aim of Project Canvas, as stated in the original application from the BBC Executive in February 2009, is “to create an open technical specification for internet connectivity to encourage the growth of internet protocol (IP) connections into set-top boxes.”

    • Open Hardware

Leftovers

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Fallible DNA evidence can mean prison or freedom

      YOU are the juror: would you trust DNA evidence? Most people regard it as near infallible- it produces the right result or no result, exonerating the innocent and securing convictions where other evidence fails.

      But DNA is not as objective as you might think. In the first of a two-part investigation, New Scientist reveals that much of the DNA analysis now conducted in crime labs can suffer from worrying subjectivity and bias. We asked forensic analysts to interpret a sample of real DNA evidence and found that they reached opposing conclusions about whether the suspect matched it or not. Our subsequent survey of labs around the world also shows that there are significant inconsistencies in the guidelines on how to interpret a sample. The findings suggest that the difference between prison and freedom could often rest on the opinions of a single individual.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Discovery Channel Ignores Repeated Twitter Questions, Sends Content-Free Statement

      On Monday, we wrote about the ridiculous manner in which The Discovery Channel was treating a fan site that it had previously supported strongly. At the very top we clearly noted that the domain name of the site — DeadliestCatchTV.com — was indeed a problem, and I could totally understand the trademark claim. But there are all sorts of ways this could be dealt with, and The Discovery Channel appears to have chosen the absolute worst. First, it’s important to point out that for over a year (at least), The Discovery Channel has actively supported this fan site. Not only did staff members happily email the site’s owner, John White, with encouragement, preview videos and content, but it also linked directly to the site on the official webpage for the show Deadliest Catch — even “framing” White’s site with its own dashboard.

      However, after actively supporting the show, suddenly Discovery switched 180 degrees and sent over a legal nastygram, demanding that the site be taken down and the domain handed over. Beyond the (again, probably legitimate) trademark issue, the lawyers added on the absolutely ridiculous claim that White’s embedding of clips from the Discovery Channel’s own YouTube channel (that had embedding enabled) was copyright infringement. This is copyfraud. Discovery specifically chose to allow the world to embed. To then accuse someone of copyright infringement for doing so is blatant legal bullying.

    • Copyrights

      • Should Canadian Universities Walk Away From Access Copyright?

        The Access Copyright tariff proposal that calls for a 1300% increase in fees to $45 per full-time student has generated some interesting discussion. I noted in one of my responses that my courses only use openly accessible materials – court cases, statutes, government reports, and open access licenced articles. This comes without any loss in the quality of materials and without the need for further payment or permissions. I don’t think this is particuarly unusual for law, which relies heavily on these kinds of materials in addition to textbooks purchased by students and works in databases that are separately licenced. The amount of additional copying in that environment that falls outside private study or research such that it requires a licence is tiny to non-existent. Indeed, the inclusion of education as a fair dealing category would not change a great deal for thousands of Canadian law students.

      • Ip Man 2 Movie Piracy Case A Rare Event In China

        In a very rare event, a Chinese anti-piracy group says it will sue several websites and companies for their involvement in film piracy in the country. As it teams up with the studio behind the recent martial arts hit Ip Man 2, not only will web portals and Internet cafes be sued, but one of China’s biggest file-sharing link sites, VeryCD.

      • 944 BitTorrent Lawsuits Dismissed – For Now

        There’s an interesting development going on with the US Copyright Group (USCG) vs The People lawsuits. In the two earliest cases filed way back in January of this year, G2 Entertainment (Uncross the Stars) and World Wide Entertainment (The Gray Man), have dismissed their cases – without prejudice. The following verbiage appeared in motions filed by these companies…

        [...]

        WorldWide Film Entertainment had 749 defendants, the third lowest number of defendants in all of the USCG lawsuits. Only the Call of the Wild lawsuit has fewer, with 358 unnamed defendants.

      • The Cycle Of Copyright: Originally A Tool For Censorship, Attempted As A Tool For Incentives… Back To A Tool For Censorship

        If you want to understand copyright law, its history, and how it’s been abused, you really ought to read this excellent overview by law professor and practicing intellectual property attorney, Lydia Pallas Loren, called The Purpose of Copyright (found via Teleread). The article kicks off with a point that we’ve made over and over again here, that many people incorrectly believe the purpose of copyright law is to protect creators. Unfortunately, this false belief permeates many in society — including copyright lawyers:

        Copyright permeates our lives and yet, despite its impact on our lives, relatively few people, including lawyers, have sufficient knowledge or understanding of what copyright is. And far too many people, including lawyers, have major misconceptions concerning copyright. These misconceptions are causing a dangerous shift in copyright protection, a shift that threatens the advancement of knowledge and learning in this country. This shift that we are experiencing in copyright law reflects a move away from viewing copyright as a monopoly that the public is willing to tolerate in order to encourage innovation and creation of new works to viewing copyright as a significant asset to this country’s economy. The most recent example of this shift is the new Digital Millennium Copyright Act, sign by the President on October 28, 1998.

        Understanding the root cause and the dangers of this shift requires exposing the most fundamental and most common misconception concerning the underlying purpose of the monopoly granted by our copyright law. The primary purpose of copyright is not, as many people believe, to protect authors against those who would steal the fruits of their labor. However, this misconception, repeated so often that it has become accepted among the public as true, poses serious dangers to the core purpose that copyright law is designed to serve.

      • Ferne Downey: Building on private copying is one way to fix Canadian copyright bill

        At the risk of sounding nerdy, I have to say I’m happy to be spending my summer talking and writing about copyright. As a performer, Canadian copyright laws play a big part in how I make my living—or not, as the case may be. The only downer is I’d rather be talking up Bill C-32, the government’s recently introduced copyright legislation, to make sure it gets passed, not working so hard to make sure it gets amended.

Clip of the Day

Richard Stallman Speech 2001


Links 11/8/2010: KDE 4.5.0 is Out, Dell Backs GNU/Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 9:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Tuesday afternoon

    With his work with Felton Friends of Locally Owned Water (FLOW) and other activities in Felton (like the Friends of the Library), Frank seems to know everyone in Felton. People come to the table and say hello to Frank, and immediately Frank starts off into his pitch about FOSS and GNU/Linux.

    This farmers market table seems to be working well, not only for the LUG — which had nearly 20 people attend the meeting last Saturday — but also for FOSS in general.

    People have a general sense of what Linux is — it’s that operating system thing, right? — and seeing it in an arena that’s not normally a “tech environment” makes it a lot less threatening, for loss of a better term. So I would strongly urge everyone who wants to promote FOSS, GNU/Linux and Linux (for those who want to make that distinction, which I don’t anymore) take the word forth to places where you might not normally find tech talk; like farmers markets, or tractor pulls, or gun shows. Anywhere where people congregate is a place where FOSS can be pitched.

  • Events

    • Hype vs. Reality: Today’s Linux Story from the Media’s Perspective (LinuxCon panel)

      The panel consisted of:

      * Joe “Zonker” Brockmeier, Linux.com & Ostatic
      * Jason Brooks, eWeek
      * Sean Michael Kerner, InternetNews
      * Ryan Paul, ArsTechnica
      * Steven Vaughan-Nichols, ComputerWorld

      [...]

      Sean: The first stories were about SCO, and it’s the “story that keeps on going.” It was FUD and is still FUD. The bogey monster in the corner.

      Steven: Linux is real. It was IBM making Linux the center of their business operations. Now over half of large enterprises are using Linux. We’re now the majority, and that started when IBM said Linux is real.

      Jason: The birth of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. It was something that had to happen, where distros forked out into the kind of stability that was needed for where Linux has gotten to be. And it set up an example of a business model and created a space where Red Hat Linux had been, which Fedora filled, and in that space, Debian filled part of it, and CentOS has risen. It was a move that had to happen and an important step in the development of Linux.

      Ryan: The growing ubiquity of the Linux platform in the mobile device ecosystem. It’s practically dominant, whether it’s your TiVo or Kindle. And other key components of the open source stack are there.

      Zonker: The rapid ascent of Ubuntu and forcing companies to really focus on community. Where Red Hat and certainly Novell weren’t focused on community and were concentrating on the enterprise, Ubuntu’s rapid ascent forced companies to look at community in developing their products.
      Kerner: Fedora was born about the same time.
      Zonker: Fedora was a failed attempt until they were forced to do something.

    • The continuum of Linux news

      The continuum includes:

      * Linux kernel releases (and associated kernel development).
      * Linux distribution releases (and associate events/developments)
      * Linux application/system management
      * My app/hardware runs on Linux type stories
      * This is the year of the Linux desktop
      * Linux is (in) secure
      * Linux is used by everyone on Earth (stats stories)
      * Legal stories (including the FUD mongers)
      * Linus says (i.e the kernel is bloated)
      * Shuttleworth says ..

  • Desktop

    • Desktop Linux: Great for the Environment, Bad for Economy?

      Software packaging, gas used to travel to the local big box store for software…I could go on. But I think you see where I’m going with this. When you utilize desktop Linux as an option instead of the usual proprietary OS, you generally find that you’ve saved on both wasted packaging for software as well as the expense of going out to buy it.

      Digital software copies have helped with this to some extent, but the fact is, brick and mortar stores are still stuffed to the gills with packaged proprietary software for the masses.

      Some individuals may say this is fine, as it’s helping our economy. Software sales are connected to jobs. But what happens if there was suddenly a big enough shift in the economy that people stopped buying software both in person and online?

      How is a big box store full of packaged software with a ticking expiration date of OS compatibility a good thing for anyone?

    • Dell backs Ubuntu

      Dell makes PCs for consumers. The company that made its name selling directly from its website, doesn’t claim to be on the bleeding edge of PC hardware but if consumers want it, Dell will deliver it. So it’s unsurprising that in the main Dell has always supplied PCs equipped with Microsoft’s Windows.

      It was a little surprising when Dell recently set up a dedicated sub-section on its site for Ubuntu Linux. Even more surprising was that the microsite listed, in detail, why Dell thought Ubuntu was a big deal. The one that stood out for most users was that the site said that Ubuntu was “more secure” than Windows.

      [...]

      All told, Dell appears to be throwing more and more of its weight behind Ubuntu Linux.

    • An overview of today’s top-ten Linux distributions

      DistroWatch, the popular Linux distribution-tracking website, publishes a continually updated list of what it judges to be the ten most widely-used Linux distributions globally. This post provides a brief overview of each distro on today’s “DistroWatch 10″ list, which range from the newbie-friendly Ubuntu to the sysadmin-oriented Gentoo.

  • Kernel Space

    • Qualcomm’s Rob Chandhok joins Linux Foundation board

      In an early morning announcement, LinuxCon kicked off with an introduction from Jim Zemlin, Executive Director of the The Linux Foundation, to the newest member of the Linux Foundation Board, Rob Chandhok of Qualcomm. Qualcomm joins companies like IBM, Intel, NEC and Oracle as a platinum level sponsor of the foundation.

    • LinuxCon: Exploits Show Why Linux Is Vulnerable

      There is a widely held belief that Linux is a completely secure operating system. But to Brad Spengler of the grsecurity project, the belief is far from accurate. And he has the kernel exploits to prove it.

      Speaking at the Linux security summit during the Linux Foundation’s LinuxCon conference here this week, Spengler described how his efforts have resulted in Linux becoming more hardened for security, even though his approach — developing Linux kernel exploits — may be viewed with suspicion by some.

    • Stable kernel updates
    • Missing From Linux 2.6.36: VIA’s TTM/GEM DRM
    • Linux Chief Sounds Off on Android, Apple and App Stores

      Jim Zemlin: In the last year, there’s been this huge increase in device makers using Linux and open source in a much more high volume, high stakes way with more sophisticated supply chains. To make a Nexus One, you’ve got a chipset vendor, a radio supplier, a middleware supplier, a network operator — all these different people passing code around and shipping stuff.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE Releases Development Platform, Applications and Plasma Workspaces 4.5.0

        New Versions of the KDE Development Platform, the Plasma Desktop and Netbook workspaces, and many applications are released today with the version number 4.5.0. The KDE team focused on the usability, performance and stability of many previously introduced new features and technologies. Below, find the 3 separate announcements for each of KDE’s products: The Development Platform, the Applications Compilation and the Plasma Workspaces.

      • Five Tips To Get The Most Out Of KDE 4.5

        Did you know that you can actually make Plasma (the desktop shell) animate faster? I didn’t know about this until recently, and it’s really handy.

      • Hands-on: KDE 4.5 launches with tiling, new notifications

        The best way to get a new version of KDE is to wait until your distro includes it in a stable release. Users who want to get an early look can compile the KDE SC 4.5 source code, which is available for download from the project’s Web site. There are also experimental binary packages available for several different Linux distributions. I tested KDE SC 4.5 on Kubuntu 10.04 using the Kubuntu PPA. For additional details about the release, you can refer to the official announcement.

      • Short Rekonq 0.5.0 user review

        Bottom line: for now I switched back to Konqi, but will continue to follow Rekonq’s develpment closely.

  • Distributions

    • Gentoo Family

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva 2010 Spring review

        Being awhile since Mandriva 2010 Spring was released. Considering the company’s financial woes, and the rumored takeover negotiations, we thought they might never release it, but they did. Mandriva Linux 2010, aka Mandriva Linux 2010.1, was made available for download on July 8, 2010. There are three versions:

        * Mandriva One 2010 Spring – the free live CD edition that contains the usual cast of free software and a limited set of non-free applications. Available for 32-bit platforms in KDE and GNOME.
        * Mandriva Free 2010 Spring – the no-cost edition that ships free of proprietary (non-free) applications. Available for 32- and 64-bit platforms.
        * Mandriva Powerpack 2010 Spring – this is the fee-based edition (49 €, or about 65 USD). It comes loaded with all the applications – free and non-free – that you will ever need. It ships, for example, with non-free applications that are missing in Mandriva One. Like Mandriva Free, it is also available for 32- and 64-bit platforms.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Spin Your Own Debian with Live Studio

        Debian developer, Chris Lamb, has created a web-based service to allow users to build their own customized live operating systems. After selecting your preferred options, the server builds and readies your image. Users can select from CD, DVD, USB, or Netboot images. Debian Live Studio requires registration, but is free of cost to use and consists of 100% free software.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu and the importance of community

          Ubuntu and community have largely become two words that are known to work well together. The Ubuntu community comprises a large group of individuals from many backgrounds, not just the stereotypical bearded geek. With such a vast and diverse group of people, there has to be some form of governance. While this largely meritocracy-based control, where individuals are empowered based on their proven contributions, isn’t there to dictate what community members should be doing, it is there to try to organise what individuals would like to offer and how best they can go about that. It is also a support mechanism and network for all Ubuntu enthusiasts.

        • Just Say No!

          If Canonical’s commercial customers want to count their user-base, that’s between Canonical and those customers. I do not think this kind of functionality has any place in a free software product. I do not think this should be in the Ubuntu repository or on the Ubuntu project ISO images.

        • Can we count users without uniquely identifying them?

          Currently this system is only slated to be used by the specific OEM customer who requested it, and it will be up to the customer to disclose the data they collect as they wish. I wonder if it would be a good thing to install on normal ISOs though, but this would be part of our normal participatory community decision making process. Projects like this make think that users would like to be counted, so long as they can’t be tracked. We’ll see how it plays out, it may be something to discuss at UDS if the community feels the data would be useful.

        • Of GNU/Linux, Hardliners and a clear case of double standards!

          First of all, I was not impressed with Shuttleworth’s response to the whole upstream commits issue. He sounded more poetic than a technical guy to me on that post. Jono Bacon did a little better. That notwithstanding, the fact remains that there are millions of Linux (sorry GNU/Linux!) users out there that got exposed to the entire FOSS world via Ubuntu. That in itself is no small feat.

          I also agree that Ubuntu is not synonymous with Linux, I am not aware if Canonical is seeking to achieve that goal anyway. However, what I seriously have a problem with is the needless and mostly very inflammatory comments that some hardliners make at the mere mention of the word Ubuntu. Is it not ironic and hypocritical to have people that claim they are saving others by giving them choices other than Windows get all worked up at the mention of one of the options available as part of the choice subset they offer?

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Cellphones Go To War

          BTS’ particular pride and joy is its “Praefectus” operating system, which BTS claims can link commercial smartphones such as iPhones and Androids (with a BTS proprietary SIMM card installed), militarized handhelds from different companies, and existing military radio nets into a seamless whole.

        • Why Android should be in the main Linux kernel

          Android is often cited as a success story for mobile Linux. Yet, Google’s Android code is no longer part of the mainline Linux kernel.

        • Deviant Google Android probes Linux kernel re-entry

          Google’s Android has won partial re-admission to the Linux kernel, but much work lies ahead for a full re-entry.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • ON TEST: Jolicloud Netbook OS

        With netbooks, you can either run “lite” software, or push the grunt work into the cloud. Jolicloud OS, based on Ubuntu, aims to do the latter.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source: “The King Is Dead, Long Live The King”

    This return to the core engagement in co-development in transparent communities is very welcome. Software freedom matters, and this approach leverages rather challenges it. So the bubble is over, and open source will live on stronger than ever – “the King is dead, long live the King”.

  • Welcome to the 2010 Open Source Awards

    The Open Source Awards is an annual online event held by Packt Publishing to distinguish excellence among Open Source projects.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Draws Controversy Over Silent Firefox Updates

        Mozilla has been in a heated discussion with some of its users over a major change in Firefox 4 that has somewhat snuck up without warning. Firefox will be updating itself silently, without required user action. Now it appears that Mozilla may be looking for a compromise that may result in a half-baked solution that may or may not silently patch security problems in Firefox and most certainly will not upgrade your browser to the latest version.

  • Oracle

    • Oracle Loves Linux, Has Advice for Improvements

      Wim Coekaerts, senior vice president for Linux and virtualization engineering at Oracle, came to LinuxCon with a message: The open source operating system will remain a priority at Oracle even now that it owns Sun Microsystems and its competing Solaris OS.

      In a keynote address here at the Linux Foundation’s conference, Coekaerts detailed Oracle’s Linux efforts to date and provided some guidance to Linux kernel developers on where the platform should go next.

    • Oracle Previews Solaris 11

      As part of an effort to maintain customer commitment to its derivative of the venerable UNIX operating system, Oracle today said that it plans to deliver a version 11 of its Solaris operating system in 2011.

    • New: OOo 3.3.0 Beta release (build OOo-DEV OOO330m3) available

      OOo 3.3.0 Beta is available for download. The build is delivered as Developer Snapshot OOo-Dev OOO330m3.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • New Website for Arch Hurd
    • [Linux-libre 2.6.35 & 2.6.34-1 Released]
    • Free Software in Ethics and in Practise

      Richard Stallman will speak about the Free Software Movement, which campaigns for freedom so that computer users can cooperate to control their own computing activities. The Free Software Movement developed the GNU operating system, often erroneously referred to as Linux, specifically to establish these freedoms.

    • Q&A with Richard Stallman

      Freedom for software users is no less important today than it was five years ago.

      The definition of free software is that it respects users’ freedom. It’s free as in freedom — price is not the issue. Specifically, it means that you as user are free to run the program as you wish, study the source code and change it so that the program does what you wish, and to redistribute copies with or without changes. With these freedoms, the users control the software and control their computing.

      Without these freedoms, the software controls the users. Don’t let that happen to you!

      I launched the development of the GNU operating system in 1984 specifically to make it possible to use a computer without letting the software control you. In 1992, the kernel Linux was freed and filled the last gap in GNU. The GNU/Linux system makes it possible to use a computer and have freedom, but in order to realise this benefit, you need to take care to avoid installing non-free programs.

    • Gwene

      Gmane is by now a very important piece of my Emacs life. It allows me to get postings to lots of mailing lists using NNTP, i.e., using Gnus, i.e., in a way fully integrated with the “information retrieval and massaging” engine i’ve built around a handful of Emacs packages and elisp snippets (one central actor among them being org-mode).

    • A look at Emacs

      One thing that I discovered recently is that external factors can sour the impressions of a piece of software.For instance, I was using a UNIX session where the keyboard mapping weren’t optimal. There’s nothing like unfamiliar behaviour for throwing you off track because you felt your usual habits were being obstructed. For instance, finding that a Backspace key is behaving like a Delete one is such an obstruction. It wasn’t the fault of Emacs and I have found that using Ctrl+K (C-k in the documentation) to delete whole lines is invaluable.

  • Government

    • OSFA Award Nominatations Open

      I’m actually fairly excited about the OSFA and their mission, because I think the argument for Open Source and non-Proprietary standards is even stronger for public records than it is in the private sector (and I think it’s pretty damn strong in the private sector to start off with!)

      The US Gov’t could close Bug #1 virtually overnight if it standardized on an Open Source platform. I know that won’t happen, but the American government is so influential, it is a very effective target for Free Software and Open Source promotion.

  • Licensing

    • Linux Foundation Makes Enterprise Open Source Boring

      This led to a very low-key, discreet approach, whereby defenders of the GNU GPL – since this was the main licence involved – tried to persuade companies to comply, without resorting to heavy-handed legal methods. That explains why there have been so few cases argued in court, and why those that have moved in that direction have all ended successfully for free software, as in the latest example.

    • May They Make Me Superfluous

      The Linux Foundation announced today their own FLOSS license compliance program, which included the launch of a few software tools under a modified BSD license. They also have offered some training courses for those that want to learn how to comply.

      If this Linux Foundation (LF) program is successful, I may get something I’ve wished for since the first enforcement I ever worked on back in late 1998: I’d like to never do GPL enforcement again. I admit I talk a lot about GPL enforcement. It’s indeed been a major center of my work for twelve years, but I can’t say I’ve ever really liked doing it.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Mendeley “sexes up” its academic API, opens it to all

      Knowledge equals power, goes the saying. If that’s true, Mendeley’s API could be very powerful indeed. The service, pitched to universities as a way of organising, tracking and ranking citations in academic and science research papers, has opened its API to the public.

    • Open books: The opensource.com summer reading list
    • Open Data

      • ‘Climategate’ university to open up data

        The University of East Anglia is to receive JISC funding for a project to open up its research on global warming to scrutiny and re-use.

        The university, which was at the centre of a scandal revealed by leaked emails from its Climatic Research Unit, will examine how best to expose climate data for re-use, make it easier for researchers to find the data and to understand its validity.

  • Programming

    • Results from the State of Haskell, 2010 Survey

      I got 804 responses, which is more than I expected. Since the survey was sent out to the main Haskell mailing lists, posted on my blog, and announced on Twitter there’s most likely some selection bias in the results. However, given the number of replies, I still think the results are indicative of the community as a whole.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • ODF-REPORT

      Gem for generating .odt files by making strings, images, tables and sections replacements in a previously created .odt file.

    • ODF Become National Format?

      What a surprising news. ODF will soon become a mandatory format for all government documents. I have posted this since a year ago and two years ago, but finally it will come true. Right now, the Indonesian government is trying to migrate all computers in the governmental level to use Open Source to reduce it’s spending just to buy licenses for Windows and many other Microsoft products (mostly Microsoft Office). When that target has been completed (estimated 2011), they will follow with standarizing the national format to use ODF.

    • DeviantArt’s Muro Drawing App Is Pure HTML5 Awesomeness

      Muro works in all modern browsers, and you can dive in and start drawing on a blank canvas, all without Flash or any other plug-in. There are several brushes available to everyone, but to access the more advanced features, you’ll need to create a DeviantArt account and log in.

Leftovers

  • More Intel dirt cleaned by the FTC

    THE LAST PART of SemiAccurate’s look at the Intel/FTC settlement examines some of the worst accusations against Intel. Compiler tricks, technical openness, and a watchdog. Intel could be seriously hamstrung by some of these remedies, and worse yet, they could be the ones hamstringing themselves.

  • The 2.8 million mile man

    Those simple rules have allowed Gordon to rack up a record-setting 2.8 million miles on his beloved Volvo P1800. We caught up with him last week, when, shortly after his 70th birthday, Gordon announced he hoped to reach 3 million by the time he turned 73. That feat will require him to drive an average of around 5,500 miles per month.

  • Health

    • Antibiotics’ efficiency wanes due to global spread of drug-resistant bacteria

      International travel and medical tourism have led to the rapid, global spread of drug-resistant bacteria that may presage the end of antibiotics and leave doctors struggling to treat infected patients, scientists warn today.

      A new gene conferring high levels of resistance to almost all antibiotics has been found to be widespread in forms of gut bacteria that can cause potentially life-threatening pneumonia and urinary tract infections.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Anti-terrorist hotline ad banned for being ‘offensive’

      A radio advert urging listeners to report suspected terrorists has been banned by a watchdog for potentially offending law-abiding people.

      The anti-terrorist hotline ad suggests suspicious behaviour may include paying with cash and keeping curtains drawn.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Gansu landslide: Another manmade disaster?

      Now Tibetan poet and writer Tsering Woeser has compiled an impressive dossier that shows that the Zhouqu landslide in Gansu Province that has killed (so far) 702, with over 1,000 still missing, was likely precipitated by a variety of devastating ecological activities by – yes – man.

    • Coal barons at industry retreat plot to indoctrinate children about wonders of coal

      This past weekend, coal company executives convened for the annual West Virginia Coal Association meeting in White Sulphur Springs, WV. The event, which was closed to the public, was held at the lavish Greenbrier Resort, where an overnight stay can cost upwards of $6,000 (plus tax). One panelist at the meeting, state Senate Finance Chairman Walt Helmick, pointed out the exclusivity of the resort hotel: “I used to drive by the Greenbrier often when I was young, but I never had the money to come in because I’m a former coal miner.”

  • Finance

    • Dollar dips after Fed

      The dollar edged towards a 15-year low against the yen on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve moved to bolster the weakening U.S. economy, while technology plays dragged Asian stocks lower.

    • Goldman Sachs Is Sued by Technicians Claiming Bank Denied Overtime Pay

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc. was sued by five computer-network technicians who claim the bank denied them overtime pay for their work as contractors.

      The lawsuit seeks class-action status and unspecified damages, Goldman Sachs said today in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The plaintiffs contend they deserve overtime pay for working more than 40 hours a week.

      Goldman Sachs’s conduct was “willful and in bad faith,” according to the technicians, who say the bank never paid them overtime for work weeks that topped 70 hours. More than 100 employees in New York and New Jersey were underpaid as a result, according to the lawsuit filed in May.

    • Regulators probe Goldman’s notice about SEC case

      U.S. and British regulators are investigating the timing of Goldman Sachs Group Inc’s (GS.N) disclosure to them that the bank was the subject of a federal civil fraud probe, Goldman said on Monday.

    • SEC, Tourre Had Preliminary Talks, Agency Lawyer Says

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc. executive director Fabrice Tourre had “very preliminary” talks with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to settle the agency’s civil fraud claims against him, an SEC lawyer said.

      “I would characterize us as having very preliminary discussions along those lines a while back, and that’s all,” SEC lawyer Lorin Reisner said in a hearing today in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

    • Nomura Hires Foran of Goldman Sachs as Bank Analyst Amid U.S. Expansion
    • Deutsche Bank Hires Ted Wasserman of Goldman Sachs Group for Option Sales
    • Goldman’s Derivatives Were 25-35 Percent of ’09 Revenue: Report

      Goldman was already scrutinized by the panel for its derivative deals with the bailed out insurer AIG during the financial crisis.

    • Goldman Sachs’ dependence on derivatives

      According to information provided by the bank to the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, derivatives businesses generated $11.3 billion to $15.9 billion of the company’s $45.17 billion in net revenue for 2009, as said in media reports. That’s 25 to 35 percent. Until recently, a good chunk of that came from CDO-related activity.

    • What Do Goldman Sachs and B.B. King Have in Common? The Thrill Is Gone, Baby!

      In “The BoomBustBlog Review of Goldman Sach’s 2nd Quarter, 2010 Performance: I Told You So!” I took the time to remind readers and subscribers that Goldman Sachs, despite adulation in the press and the sell side, barely covers its cost of capital in ROE. This means that the firm is actually a lot riskier (economically) than many either realize or admit.

    • Goldman Sachs under investigation by US and UK watchdogs

      The bank admitted to the investigation in a regular quarterly filing with the SEC, which showed it lost money on ten days in the second quarter, breaking its three-month winning streak from the first quarter when it made money on every single trading day.

      Meanwhile, lawyers acting for Fabrice Tourre, the Goldman banker named in the fraud allegations alongside the bank itself, said during a pre-trial hearing he may subpoena as many as 50 Goldman colleagues at his upcoming trial with the SEC.

    • Laurie Santos: How Monkeys Mirror Human Irrationality

      A monkey economy is as irrational as our human economy. Why do people make irrational decisions in such a predictable way? Laurie Santos looks for the roots of human irrationality by watching the way our primate relatives make decisions. This video documents a clever series of experiments in “monkeynomics” showing how some of the silly choices we make are made by monkeys, too.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • ‘John Doe’ Who Fought FBI Spying Freed From Gag Order After 6 Years

      The owner of an internet service provider who mounted a high-profile court challenge to a secret FBI records demand has finally been partially released from a 6-year-old gag order that forced him to keep his role in the case a secret from even his closest friends and family. He can now identify himself and discuss the case, although he still can’t reveal what information the FBI sought.

      Nicholas Merrill, 37, was president of New York-based Calyx Internet Access when he received a so-called “national security letter” from the FBI in February 2004 demanding records of one of his customers and filed a lawsuit to challenge it. His company was a combination ISP and security consultancy business that was launched in the mid-90s and had about 200 customers, Merrill said, many of them advertising agencies and non-profit groups.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • No Way I’m Trusting Google on Net Neutrality

      Let’s go back in time, shall we, to around 1997 when Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin were college students at Stanford. Let’s suppose that there were no such thing as net neutrality, that the idea the internet should be an open place never occurred to anyone.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Payola! (or, How to undermine your own argument to Congress)

        Sony was busted (and paid out much more) for even more egregious violations back in 2005. Sony’s promoters went so far as to tell radio stations that the “real people” (they were planted) calling in to request songs had to be more convincing.

        “As for Saturday nights, you need to rotate your people,” said one message from a promoter. “My guys on the inside say that it’s the same couple of girls calling in every week and that they are not inspired enough to be put on the air. They’ve got to be excited. They need to be going out, getting drunk, or going in the hot tube [sic], or going clubbing… you get the idea.”

        Later that year, fellow major label Warner Music paid out $5 million to make its own payola problems go away.

        In 2006, the world’s largest music label, Universal, paid $12 million for a long history of payola. As the New York Times noted, the payola could take many forms, including trips and baseball tickets.

        “In April 2004, Universal provided Mr. Michaels—by then a programmer at WHYI-FM in Miami—with a New York hotel room and New York Yankees tickets. The company booked the room under a false name and used a false Social Security number to conceal the transaction, the document states.”

      • Tesco goes to Trolleywood

        Because this is not just any movie. This is a Tesco movie. The supermarket giant that inhabits virtually every corner of our existence has this year moved into film-making with a straight-to-DVD movie or, as its makers prefer, a “DVD Premiere”. This autumn, Paris Connections will go on sale exclusively in Tesco stores. If successful, it could revolutionise the movie business, removing distributors and agents in one swipe and transforming how many films are made and funded.

      • “Is this Book Still Under Copyright?”

        Determining whether a work is still under copyright or is in the public domain is one of the most fundamental—and yet most challenging—problems of copyright law. A leading source of the problem is the law. The law of copyright duration is a mess. I have written elsewhere about the problems associated with understanding and applying the duration law. I am happy to post to the Copyright Advisory Office website a new paper intended to walk you through the process of “Researching the Copyright Status of a Book” (PDF). It is linked from relevant pages on the website about permissions and copyright duration.

      • ACTA

Clip of the Day

Computer Science rap at Stanford


08.10.10

Links 10/8/2010: Software Freedom Day, Nokia and Android, GCC 4.5.1 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 4:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux safer than Windows

    Still another explanation is that Windows procedures for moving information from one application to another were not designed with security in mind. Scripts, too, such as Word or Excel macros, can be saved in data files and can alter the way Windows works, with disastrous results.

  • Events

    • SFD 2010 Registration is OPEN!!

      Dear all, this is with a lot of struggles that we have finally managed to open the SFD 2010 registration! As you can see there is still a lot of ongoing work on the site, and this includes a New Wiki where you can create your team page, a new home page for all the information about Software Freedom International and other generic and important stuff and much more to come.

    • Software Freedom Day Melbourne Photo Shoot

      Last week I was invited to take some publicity shots for the Software Freedom Day Melbourne crew at the State Library of Victoria Experimedia centre. Asides from occasional complaints from my camera (the infamous Nikon ERR CHA happened 3 times) I managed to get about 200 shots which I’ve whittled down to 26 of the best and put them up as a set on Flickr.

    • linux.conf.au 2011 Call for Papers has been Extended
    • LinuxCon: Linux’s Future in the Spotlight

      Industry observers will be looking for answers to that question this week at the Linux Foundation’s LinuxCon conference in Boston, where a wide range of participants, contributors and stakeholders in the Linux ecosystem will be gathering to discuss a broad range of topics.

    • Garrett’s LinuxCon Talk Emphasizes Lessons Learned from Android/Kernel Saga

      A LinuxCon session led by Red Hat’s Matthew Garrett discussed the lessons learned from Google’s ongoing attempts to include power-management code in the mainline Linux kernel… and revealed there’s still some emotions running high in the debate.

      If there was any doubt that feelings are still running high regarding Android code’s inclusion into the mainline Linux kernel, those doubts were quickly dispelled when Red Hat developer Matthew Garrett asked an audience member to leave the room as an argument began brewing between that audience member and another during the Q&A session of Garrett’s talk at the 2010 LinuxCon in Boston today.

  • Kernel Space

    • Lolpolicy for defining Linux security #LinuxCon

      Ever wonder how lolspeak, the language of lolcats could be used to secure Linux?

      At LinuxCon, Joshua Brindle from Linux security vendor Tresys (pic left) detailed something he called lolpolicy for making SELinux security policies easier to manage.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Ubuntu Kernel Developer releases Firmware Test Suite

        Colin Ian King, an Ubuntu Kernel Developer, has released Firmware Test Suite (fwts), a tool for the automatic testing of a PC’s firmware. King explains in a blog posting that many subtle or vexing kernel issues can be caused when a PC’s firmware is buggy and so a tool to automatically check for BIOS and ACPI errors is useful. Fwts incorporates over thirty tests and is able to offer advice on how to fix, or workaround issues, that it finds. In future, King plans to expand the number of tests whenever he finds an automatically diagnosable issue.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • New Raytheon system makes GSA list

        “With a proven track record of more than 190 installations, Raytheon High-Speed Guard is able to sustain full transfer rates on dual-processor commercial off-the-shelf servers running Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 with a strict Security Enhanced Linux policy,” the company said.

    • Debian Family

      • Mini Debian Conference, Pune, Day-2

        After the first day of enthusiastic activities like talks and hands on workshops, the momentum had been set for the second day of the MiniDebConf. The proof for it was the missing students in the Seminar Hall, who were all busy in the lab since morning trying out packaging and other technical skills.

        Although, the intervention was made by us, moving the talks scheduled for the day to the lab.

      • Freeze shows Debian 6.0 release close

        John Ferlito, president of Linux Australia, has said that the latest freeze on Debian 6.0 — known as “Squeeze” — means that users are likely to see a stable release within six months.

        The Debian Project announced the freeze at its annual developer conference “Debconf10″, meaning that no new features will be added to the release.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Synology to release Ubuntu-like Disk Station Manager 3.0 for its NAS range

      There’s great news in store for Synology Disk Station owners, in the form of a major update to the firmware. Although the current version – 2.3 – is well designed, Synology has clearly been busy completely redesigning the interface to its NAS products yet again.

      [...]

      Rather than a website-like menu on the left, though, there’s now a ‘taskbar’ at the top, which makes DSM 3.0 look a lot like Ubuntu Linux. In fact, there’s more than a passing resemblence to Ubuntu in these screenshots. Given that the Disk Stations are Linux-based devices, this is no huge surprise.

    • Phones

Free Software/Open Source

  • Foss – Strengthening the Indian Software Industry

    A home grown operating system, GNU/Linux based Bharat Operating System Solutions (BOSS) with Indian language support, has been developed by NRCFOSS. BOSS desktop version 3.1 and BOSS server version 1.0 have been released for deployment. Currently the BOSS Desktop version supports 18 Indian languages – Assamese, Bengali,Bodo, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu. BOSS comes with features like multimediasupport, cameras and scanners, USB devices, on-line dictionary, internet tools and support for integrating mobile internet devices etc. BOSS can be downloaded for installation from http://www.bosslinux.in. Both BOSS desktop and server versions have obtained Linux Standard Base (LSB) certification from “The Linux Foundation” which ensures that any LSB (Linux Standard Base) certified application will work correctly on BOSS. BOSS has implemented the security features such as Security Audit, Cryptographic Support, Objectreuse functionality, User Data Protection, Identification and Authentication, Security Management etc.

  • Estimating source-to-product costs for OSS: an experiment

    One of my recurring themes in this blog is related to the advantages that OSS brings to the creation of new products; that is, the reduction in R&D costs through code reuse (some of my older posts: on reasons for company contribution, Why use OSS in product development, Estimating savings from OSS code reuse, or: where does the money comes from?, Another data point on OSS efficiency). I already mentioned the study by Erkko Anttila, “Open Source Software and Impact on Competitiveness: Case Study” from Helsinki University of Technology, where the author analysed the degree of reuse done by Nokia in the Maemo platform and by Apple in OSX. I have done a little experiment on my own, by asking IGEL (to which I would like to express my thanks for the courtesy and help) for the source code of their thin client line, and through inspecting the source code of the published Palm source code (available here). Of course it is not possible to inspect the code for the proprietary parts of both platforms; but through some unscientific drill-down in the binaries for IGEL, and some back of the envelope calculation for Palm I believe that the proprietary parts are less than 10% in both cases (for IGEL, less than 5% – there is a higher uncertainty for Palm).

  • Oracle

    • Oracle releases VM VirtualBox update

      Oracle has announced the availability of version 3.2.8 of its open source VM VirtualBox desktop virtualisation application for x86 hardware. The latest maintenance update includes several bug fixes and a number of changes over the previous 3.2.6 release from late June, including various stability improvements.

  • Education

  • Business

    • Rethinking the open-source money train

      In the open-source world we’ve been “hell-bent on deepening relationships with customers” through support (in whatever guise), but if the HBR article is correct, this is the very thing that will be most likely to be dropped the minute a customer can. And, in fact, this is precisely what happens, as Jon Williams (formerly of Kaplan Test) famously pointed out at OSBC years ago.

      So what’s the right revenue model?

      Red Hat has a good model in which it packages up support as an ongoing stream of software updates, patches, etc. (Red Hat Network) Salesforce has an even better model, frankly, wherein it delivers the updates as part of the application: support is just part of the overall experience. But it’s not really an open-source model, so I’ll disregard it here.

      Red Hat’s model, admirable though it may be, is not ideal for all kinds of open-source companies. For example, it is a poor fit for a Java application like Alfresco, my past employer. We considered it but there weren’t enough moving parts in the application itself to make an RHN service compelling enough in itself to justify buying an Alfresco subscription. (Red Hat’s model works precisely because Linux is so complex.)

      Nor does Red Hat’s model work in the case of Canonical, my current employer, which has made a commitment to make all software – including bug fixes, updates, etc. – completely unfettered for customers and non-customers alike. (This isn’t to say that RHEL is proprietary, but only that easy access to the code, including ongoing maintenance, is available under a subscription.)

  • Project Releases

  • Licensing

    • US court backs open source licence over TV maker’s restrictions

      It had included BusyBox software in its high definition TVs. BusyBox is a set of programs for embedded systems, part of which was written by Erik Anderson. He released his software under the GNU General Public License (GPL) Version 2, a licence used by open source programmers that allows others to use material for free under certain conditions.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • On Governments and Intellectual Property (or why we move slowly)

      The article discusses the travails of Mathew Burton, a former analyst and software programmer at the Department of Defense who spent years trying to get the software he wrote into the hands of those who desperately needed it. But alas, no one could figure out the licensing rights for the software it was supposed to work with… so it never went anywhere. Today Mathew has (unsurprisingly) left Defense and has open sourced the code so that anyone can use it. The lesson? The tangled mess of navigating all the license agreements isn’t protecting anyone and certainly not the public. It’s just preventing interesting new and derivative works from being used to render American safer.

      In short, the crises here doesn’t have to do with size of government, but in a misplaced desire by many governments to protect “intellectual property.”

      Now I understand the need of government to protect physical property. A forest, for example, can only be logged once every few generations, so allocating that resource efficiently matters. But intellectual property? Things like documents, data, and software code? It’s use is not diminished when someone uses it. Indeed, often its value increases when numerous people start to use it.

    • Cameron Neylon on practical steps toward open science

      Throughout all of this accept that as research becomes less directed or applied that the measurement becomes harder, the error margins larger, and picking of winners (already difficult) near impossible. Consider mechanism to provide baseline funding at some low level, perhaps at the level of 25-50% of a PhD studentship or technician, direct to researchers with no restrictions on use, across disciplines with the aim of maintaining diversity, encouraging exploration, and maintaining capacity. This is both
      politically and technically difficult but could have large dividends if the right balance is found. If it drops below an amount which can be useful when combined between a few researchers it is probably not worth it.

    • “Knowledge is a mashup”

      If the Smithsonian Commons project is any indication, the answer is yes. I talked to Michael Edson, director of Web and New Media Strategy for the Smithsonian about the project.

    • All Our Ideas facilitates crowdsourcing — of opinions

      Meet All Our Ideas, the “suggestion box for the digital age“: a crowdsourcing platform designed to crowdsource concepts and opinions rather than facts alone. The platform was designed by a team at Princeton under the leadership of sociology professor Matt Salganik — initially, to create a web-native platform for sociological research. (The platform is funded in part by Google’s Research Awards program.) But its potential uses extend far beyond sociology — and, for that matter, far beyond academia. “The idea is to provide a direct idea-sharing platform where people can be heard in their own voices,” Salganik told me; for news outlets trying to figure out the best ways to harness the wisdom and creativity and affection of their users, a platform that mingles commenting and crowdsourcing could be a welcome combination.

    • Open Access/Content

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • FTC busts domain name scammers

    The Federal Trade Commission said today that it had permanently killed the operations of a group that it said posed as domain name registrars and convinced thousands of US consumers, small businesses and non-profit organizations to pay bogus bills by leading them to believe they would lose their Web site addresses if they didn’t.

  • FDA Tells Novartis That ‘Facebook Sharing’ Widget On Its Site Violates Drug Ad Rules

    Technology can certainly make for some interesting clashes with regulatory regimes. Social networking, for example, starts to bring up all sorts of questions about the fine line between certain regulated areas of advertising, and basic free speech communication issues. Eric Goldman points us to the news that the FDA is warning pharma giant Novartis (pdf) over its use of a “Facebook Share” widget on its site promoting the drug Tasigna (a leukemia drug).

  • HP Needs Ann Livermore to Steer It Out of the Muck

    How many CEOs will the Hewlett-Packard board have to force out before it realizes that the person who should have succeeded Lew Platt back in 1999 is Ann Livermore, the HP veteran running the company’s enterprise business? If the board blows it again and fails to name Livermore to replace ousted chairman and CEO Mark Hurd, the way it blew it when Carly Fiorina was booted out in 2005, the wasted opportunity will be inexcusably senseless.

  • TSA Agent Accused of Stealing Cash from Wheelchair-Bound Woman

    A Transportation Security Administration agent has been arrested for allegedly stealing nearly $500 dollars from a wheelchair bound passenger as she passed through a security checkpoint at Newark Airport.

  • Britain’s oldest house found in North Yorkshire

    It was snug, round and had a stunning view of a lake, and its residents liked it so much that they stayed put for several hundred years.

    Welcome to the oldest house in the UK, newly unearthed by archaeologists amid a series of finds which are changing our knowledge of the earliest Britons.

  • Science

  • Security/Aggression

    • U.S. Urges Allies to Crack Down on WikiLeaks

      The Obama administration has asked Britain, Germany, Australia, and other allies to consider criminal charges against Julian Assange for his Afghan war leaks. Philip Shenon reports.

    • Suspect in $9 Million RBS WorldPay Hack Extradited to U.S.

      One of the alleged ringleaders behind the 2008 hack of RBS WorldPay has been extradited to the U.S., where he was arraigned Friday in the Northern District of Georgia on charges that he helped coordinate the global $9.5 million bank card heist.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • In Crackdown on Energy Use, China to Shut 2,000 Factories

      The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology quietly published a list late Sunday of 2,087 steel mills, cement works and other energy-intensive factories required to close by Sept. 30.

      Energy analysts described it as a significant step toward the country’s energy-efficiency goals, but not enough by itself to achieve them.

    • If an ice sheet the size of four Manhattans falls into the ocean, is it global warming yet?

      Global warming is one of those really strange, politically-charged topics. Politics is weird that way. Sometimes really obvious things, like rising global temperatures, become wedge issues between the political parties.

      On one level, it makes sense. If the world is getting warmer and we’re all doomed, fixing the problem could get expensive. After all, environmentally-sound behavior isn’t necessarily cheap.

  • Finance

    • Census Returning $1.6 Billion to Treasury

      Thanks to a better-than-expected response rate, lots of advertising and a little luck, the Commerce Department announced today that it is returning to the Treasury $1.6 billion in savings from the 2010 Census.

    • Why founding a three-person startup with zero revenue is better than working for Goldman Sachs.

      I joined Goldman Sachs in 2005, after five flailing years in a physics Ph.D. program at Berkeley.

      The average salary at Goldman Sachs in 2005 was $521,000, and that’s counting each and every trader, salesperson, investment banker, secretary, mail boy, shoe shine, and window cleaner on the payroll. In 2006, it was more like $633,000.

      [...]

      Wall Street, like Scientology, has an all-inclusive and claustrophobic value system all its own. Particularly at Goldman Sachs, which prided itself as a breed apart from other firms, this provincialism went even further. Former employees who had left Goldman were rarely mentioned. The unanimous phrase for it was ‘no longer with the firm,’ said in the same tone used to describe the passing of a family member.

      This tendency reached the height of comedy inside the strategies division, where some of the quants published academic papers on the more theoretical aspects of their work. If an author quit Goldman though, his name would be removed from the official version of the publication. It got to the point that some papers had no authors, and had apparently written themselves. So it goes. No longer with the firm.

      [...]

      The Goldman meat grinder doesn’t really need me. It doesn’t really need you either, gentle reader. That feel-good saying that made the rounds on Twitter a couple months ago is actually totally right: go out and write your own story, or you’ll just be a character in someone else’s.

    • House passes bill to help teachers, public workers

      House Democrats on Tuesday pushed through a $26 billion jobs bill to protect 300,000 teachers and other nonfederal government workers from election-year layoffs.

      The bill would be paid for mainly by closing a tax loophole used by multinational corporations and reducing food stamp benefits for the poor. It passed mainly along party lines by a vote of 247-161.

    • For the Housing Convulsion, Good Data Is Hard to Find
    • For G.M., a Subprime Solution

      The president’s comment came the same day that G.M.’s chief executive, Edward E. Whitacre Jr., avowed, “We don’t want to be known as Government Motors,” and told an industry conference, “If you liked our first-quarter financial results, stay tuned for our second-quarter financial results.”

    • Fed leaders meet as U.S. economic recovery loses steam

      As Federal Reserve policymakers meet Tuesday, they will face the challenge of a faltering economic recovery without a clear consensus on what, if anything the central bank should do about it.

      Fed leaders still think that the recovery is on track, though the pace of growth has slowed and the risks of a dip back into recession have risen since their last policymaking meeting in late June.

    • Gov’t likely to keep big mortgage market role

      Keeping Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in business will cost taxpayers billions. But getting the federal government out of the mortgage business would cost home buyers dearly, in the form of higher interest rates.

    • Pentagon belt-tightening will cut jobs

      Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Monday that tough economic times require that he shutter a major command that employs some 5,000 people around Norfolk, Va., and begin to eliminate other jobs throughout the military.

    • More on UBS and Secret Banking Jurisdictions

      Birkenfeld got paid, too: A starting salary of 180,000 Swiss francs (just over $170,000) plus an American-style bonus, which in his best year, he said, put him at one million Swiss francs in total compensation (about $946,000). When home from the road, Birkenfeld drove a BMW M5 and split time between a plush apartment in Geneva and a chalet in the shadow of the Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps. Id, Part II.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Google Agonizes on Privacy as Ad World Vaults Ahead

      A confidential, seven-page Google Inc. “vision statement” shows the information-age giant in a deep round of soul-searching over a basic question: How far should it go in profiting from its crown jewels—the vast trove of data it possesses about people’s activities?

    • Internet, schminternet”

      I am baffled by the Google-Verizon agreement on nonnet-nonneutrality. I’m mostly baffled by why Google would put its name to this. What does it gain?

      As I see it, the agreement makes two huge carve-outs to neutrality and regulation of the internet: mobile and anything new.

    • Google under probe in S.Korea over data collection

      South Korean police raided Google Inc’s Seoul office on Tuesday, the latest in a series of legal challenges the company is facing because of data collected by its controversial fleet of “Street View” cars.

    • About That Open Internet Thing

      The Verizon-Google Net neutrality deal is now public. In brief: neutrality for Plain Old Internet, transparency but not neutrality for wireless, and nothing for “Additional Online Services” unless they “threaten the availability” of POI. They’re pushing their plan as a legislative framework.

    • Is Google Naive, Crafty or Stupid?

      The question is, why would Google do this?

      Is it a matter of corporate naivete? Verizon is, at base, a telephone company; it thrives in the interstices of state regulation the way small marine organisms thrive inside the nooks and crannies of a coral reef. That is its preferred habitat. Its organizational culture evolved there and it is brilliantly adapted to it. Google is a company built by engineers.

    • FBI Lab Gives Short Shrift to Missing Persons Cases

      The Federal Bureau of Investigation is giving short shrift to processing DNA from missing persons cases, taking as long as two years to handle profiles, according to a Department of Justice Office of Inspector General report.

      Overall, about 40 percent of the FBI’s backlog of processing 3,200 DNA profiles stems from missing persons cases, according to Monday’s report.

      [...]

      “Backlogs can also prevent the timely capture of criminals, prolong the incarceration of innocent people who could be exonerated by DNA evidence, and adversely affect families of missing persons waiting for positive identification of remains,” the report added.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Newspaper Gets Around Photography Ban At Football Event With Cartoon Illustrations

      We’ve covered a few different recent stories of various sports leagues or professional sports teams trying to limit how journalists and photographers can report on their games, and have even covered cheeky attempts to get around such restrictions by having reporters cover events from home while watching on TV. Now, a whole bunch of you have been sending in variations on a story in the UK, where the Southampton football team apparently has decided to ban photojournalists from taking images of matches, instead telling newspapers they need to buy photos from the team’s “official” photographer.

    • Copyrights

      • Take.fm Pushes Movie Torrents To The Next Level

        Take.fm is a new movie torrent indexer that is a step above the plain old torrent indexes most BitTorrent users have become used to. The site, which only lists verified and high quality releases, combines a pleasant and great looking user interface with all the functionality needed to find the best films.

      • Sunday Times avoids punitive damages over unauthorised Hendrix CD

        When an edition of the Sunday Times newspaper included a free CD of a Jimi Hendrix concert without the permission of Hendrix’s estate it deprived the estate and two film-makers of potential profits for a year, the High Court has found.

        The paper believed it had permission from the concert’s rights holder to distribute the CD but the musician’s estate said that it had not. The paper will not have to pay additional damages, though, because it had genuinely attempted to licence the music, the Court said.

      • Sunday Times faces £150,000-plus payout over Jimi Hendrix CD
      • Rupert Murdoch, Pirate? Gave Away Jimi Hendrix CD Without Clearing The Rights
      • Yet Another Study Shows How Copyright Can Hinder The Spread Of Knowledge

        The research compared the book markets in the UK (with a strong copyright law) and Germany (with either weak or non-existent copyright), and found much more writing going on in Germany and (more importantly) much more innovation in the bookselling market. In the UK, where copyright limited printings, books were expensive and only owned by the wealthy and elite. In Germany, where copyright was weak or didn’t exist, certainly there was a fair amount of copying of other books, but it resulted in widespread innovation in the book market, including segmenting the market into hardcovers (for the wealthy and the elite) and cheaper paperbacks for those less well off.

Clip of the Day

Richard Stallman Speech Sina 2005-09


Links 10/8/2010: LinuxCon Coverage, KDE Branding, Canonical to Track Installations

Posted in News Roundup at 3:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • A fund manager experiments in geek…

    I will start with a conclusion which should not surprise any geek – but tends to surprise non-geeks: linux is the “real deal” and is a much bigger threat to Microsoft than Apple. However it will also change Apple’s (laptop) business model beyond all recognition – and it will do so via virtualization. It will also change the hardware business beyond recognition. Indeed it is already doing so.

    I have now changed my laptop to a linux (Ubuntu) machine and run a piece of software (Virtual Box) on it. Virtual Box is a program which pretends it is another computer – a virtual computer. On virtual box I run Windows. This is – I believe – a superior set-up and it is unlikely I will ever run a machine primarily on Microsoft again.

  • Desktop

    • Dumping Windows, moving on with Linux

      Recently I went on a week’s vacation to “get away”. When I got back, I had 3 Windows XP computers waiting to be fixed by a few family relatives. Not exactly a warm welcoming committee. The first one was fixed fairly easily, Windows Internet Connection Sharing settings disappeared and I had to guide over the phone on how to set that back up. The second PC was blue screening at random intervals, and the third was infected with spyware and viruses (with loads of popups), as well as running slower than ever. The PCs were basically useless and probably need to be reformatted and have Windows installed all over again.

      However, for a while now I have been contemplating a new rule to deal with users and relatives bringing plagued Windows computers to me, in hopes that I can rectify them like a doctor. Basically, I can sum it up with “No, I will not fix your Windows computer, but I will install Linux on it for you.”. So, I ran the idea of Linux by the users, who seemed open to trying out a new operating system that will be practically immune to spyware and viruses, and overall more stable so that they will not have to bring it back to me over and over again. They too have had enough of the viruses and spyware that occur all too often in Windows.

  • Events

    • Bryant Patten on open source education (LinuxCon session recap)

      In LinuxCon’s education mini-summit, Bryant Patten of the National Center for Open Source and Education gave a presentation titled “Can open source save the world?” He noted a quote from Mary Lange, Educational Technology Resource Teacher at San Diego Unified School District. She says that we often assume students know how to use computers and that they are really good at it. But the truth is, they know how to use technology for personal reasons but not necessarily for education. They will say “I know how to do that,” but when it comes to reality, they don’t.

    • FLOSSCamp 2010
    • FUDCon Tempe update.
    • Goodbye DebConf10

      DebConf was really an awesome conference. I’m happy that I have finally met so many of the fellow Debian people I only knew from the mailing lists or planet. There where lot’s of interesting talks, the hacklabs where always busy, and the overall atmosphere was very good. Now that I’m back in Berlin, I’m already missing it — I’m by the way also missing my luggage which is apparently still at the JFK airport.

    • Report from Debian Conference

      One conference track, for instance, covered Java packaging, which has changed a lot since Sun opened up Java’s licensing. There were sessions on coordinating with the Ubuntu project and on working with enterprise projects such as Samba.

  • Kernel Space

    • SELinux sandboxing for Linux app security

      SELinux is a great way to limit the access rights/roles on a Linux machine.

      But how do you limit CPU or memory usage of a given application? Red Hat engineer Dan Walsh (pic left) has a solution that he calls SELinux Sandbox which he demoed at the LinuxCon conference today.

    • AppArmor more user friendly than SELinux?

      There are number of access control systems available for Linux but which one is easier to use?

      At LinuxCon, Z. Cliffe Schreuders (pic left) a doctoral candidate at Murdoch University in Australia presented the findings of a small usability study he conducted into Linux access control systems.

      Long story short, his study of 39 people found that AppArmor was generally found to be more user-friendly than SELinux. SELinux is the system used by Red Hat, while AppArmor is favoured by openSUSE and and Ubuntu.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • On branding

        With KDE’s 4.5 release day coming up, the KDE Promotion Team has been reviewing our brand structure that we first applied when Software Compilation 4.4 came out. There was lively discussion at Akademy, review of the things that have worked well and those that have not worked so well and discussion of how to make sure we use our brands consistently and in the ways that make sense for who we are and what we are doing:

        * KDE is us, the people who develop, translate, beautify, explain and promote the software
        * KDE’s products include the workspaces Plasma Desktop and Plasma Netbook, many KDE applications and the KDE Platform on which applications can be built
        * KDE Software Compilation is not a brand, but just a name for the stuff that we release simultaneously. It’s unlikely that anyone uses the whole software compilation and probably no one only uses the software compilation – even most distros don’t install the whole thing by default and all include other software too (I don’t use the software compilation, but I do use KDE software)

      • more plasma javascript, plasma mobile

        Marco’s been doing some more amazing work on Plasma Mobile.

      • Javascript DataEngines Get Services
      • Amarok is the future!
      • KDE wikis want you

        There were quite a few good comments on my last blog entry on how to get more people wikiing for KDE. Thank-you to everyone spent time thinking about it and providing feedback.

      • quick wiki experiment update
  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Linux From Scratch: End of an Experiment

        I enjoyed the hell out of LFS and consider it time well spent.

        Beyond the obvious lessons learned, I took away a new way to evaluate a distro for my personal use: packaging and technical support.

        See, most of this I can do and I enjoy doing. So, a distro basically needs to “take over” those areas that I don’t want to bother with – and, by contrast, get out of my way in those areas I do want to bother with.

    • New Releases (Also BSD)

      • FreeBSD 8.1 (Xfce)
      • Karoshi 7.0
      • Ojuba 4
      • Draco 0.3.1-20100802
      • FuguIta 4.7-20100804
      • eBox 1.5-1
      • Puppeee 1.0
      • Parted Magic 5.2

        Parted Magic 5.2 updates GParted to 0.6.2, fixes some bugs, and improves international language support. The new GParted re-enables MiB partition alignment option and fixes the problem with logical partition move overwriting the EBR. A mess of bugs have been fixed with the help of Dick Burggraaff (burdi01), Jason Vasquez, and most of all, users willing to take the time to report them and help us test. Asian language support has been greatly improved with the addition of SCIM and GCIN. GCIN is automatically started when Taiwanese is selected at the boot menu and SCIM is automatically started when Japanese or Chinese is selected at the boot menu.

    • Gentoo Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Post Earnings Update: Red Hat Has Trended 8.23% Higher In Past 45 Days (RHT)

        When Red Hat (NYSE:RHT) reported earnings 45 days ago on June 22, 2010, analysts, on average, expected the company to report earnings of $0.18 on sales of $203 million.

      • Deciphering Red Hat’s cloud computing strategy

        Of the three primary Linux vendors (Canonical, Novell, and Red Hat), Canonical and Red Hat have made the biggest splashes in the cloud computing market. Canonical’s focus appears to be simple partnerships and bundling software, rather than the comprehensive enterprise products offered by Red Hat. At its 2010 Summit, Red Hat provided a complete and separate track of cloud sessions that introduced its family of cloud products and services, along with its cloud strategy. While Red Hat provides an abundance of information about its cloud offerings, it’s not always clear how they fit together.

        The overarching strategy behind Red Hat’s cloud offerings is to provide a consistent environment that allows you to run your workloads in your enterprise data center (fully or partially virtualized, with or without a private cloud) or in a public cloud. This consistency extends all the way through licensing.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Canonical Begins Tracking Ubuntu Installations

          Just uploaded to the Ubuntu Lucid repository for Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (and we imagine it will appear shortly in Maverick too for Ubuntu 10.10) is a new package called canonical-census, which marks its initial release. Curious about what this package provides, we did some digging and found it’s for tracking Ubuntu installations by sending an “I am alive” ping to Canonical on a daily basis.

        • Ubuntu Probably the First Ever Linux Distro to Overshoot Popularity of Linux Itself

          Google Trends is not an authentic source of popularity index, but it can definitely give you a lot of pointers on what future holds for Ubuntu and Linux. As you can see from the above Google Trends screenshot, popularity of Ubuntu is almost same as that of Linux in 2010.

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter #205
        • Flavours and Variants

          • Peppermint OS One-08042010 Screenshots

            You may recall my previous reviews and screenshot postings I did on Peppermint OS One and Peppermint OS Ice, both I liked very much. Just like previous releases this new release Peppermint OS One-08042010 is based on Ubuntu and includes the LXDE desktop environment with web applications integrated into the desktop using Prism. It includes many bug fixes, new artwork and several new features. PeppermintOS went with Firefox 4.0 beta 2 in this release due to instability with the 3.6 series.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

    • Tablets

      • Is Best Buy prepping an Android tablet?

        Consumer electronics retail giant Best Buy has tipped an upcoming Android-based “Rocketfish” tablet, say industry reports. Meanwhile, the rumored Android tablet from Motorola and Verizon won’t ship until Feb. 2011, and other tablets waiting for Android 3.0 may also miss the holiday season, sources say.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Eureka Streams Brings Social Networking to Enterprise

    Eureka Streams a great way to bring the ever-growing field of remote workers together and allow users of huge companies to connect with other employees beyond their immediate cube farm. It’s already got a lot of really great features in place for a newly-launched, with more to come. Learn more at the project’s Google Group or check out the source code for yourself at GitHub.

  • Open Source Projects that Changed the World

    GNU: The grand-daddy of them all, and everyone’s favorite recursive acronym, the GNU project was founded in 1984 on philosophical grounds that software should respect users freedom. GNU is the founder of several other projects, but possibly the most important in sheer scope is the GNU General Public License, the GPL. The GNU project also tried for years to come up with a complete desktop system based around the Hurd kernel, but found another kernel that quickly leapfrogged GNU’s efforts, and was quickly adopted.

    Linux: Linux is now used to refer to a class of operating system that generally uses GNU userspace tools and the Linux kernel. Developed by Linus Torvalds as a college project to clone the Minux kernel, Linux has taken off in ways that were unimaginable a few years ago. Linux runs on the largest mainframes, and the smallest cell phones.

  • Oracle

    • Oracle pulls about face on Solaris support

      They hope the news — published in a release that also said HP and Dell can resell Solaris OracleVM and Oracle Enterprise Linux — signals new pragmaticism and flexibility on the part of a company they feared was becoming ever more proprietary.

    • Should OpenSolaris Die?

      Software freedom means no project with a community will go away, so long as they have the means and will to sustain it. That’s usually considered a good thing, but sometimes it’s less of a feature and more of a bug. Consider, for example, the sad case of OpenSolaris.

      Since Oracle gobbled up Sun, it’s remained mute on the fate of OpenSolaris. Attempts to get someone at Oracle to comment have been fruitless. I’ve spoken to Oracle PR and some of the employees on the community side about OpenSolaris and the responses have been both off the record and totally discouraging. To put it bluntly, Oracle seems to have put OpenSolaris out to pasture and won’t even do its community the courtesy of making it official.

      So a hardy band of OpenSolaris enthusiasts led by Nexenta have taken up the banner and are trying to save OpenSolaris with the Illumos project.

  • CMS

  • Funding

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

    • Open Hardware

      • Arduino Helps You Build High-Tech Home-Brew Projects

        Wired’s Priya Ganapati took an in-depth look Arduino recently, and says its maturity and strong community are largely responsible for the project’s success. “Arduino’s popularity means it’s easy to get started. Companies such as Adafruit, SparkFun and Liquidware not only sell chips, but they also host blogs that suggest ideas on how to use your Arduino while providing extensive project plans to guide you in completing your creations,” he writes. Lets take a look at two projects that use Arduino as the basis for their gadgetry.

Leftovers

  • Skype Files For IPO, Only 6 Percent Of Users Pay

    According to the filing, Skype’s revenues for the first six months of 2010 were $406 million, with a net income of only $13 million. But a big portion of that was from interest income. That is only a 3 percent net margin, and this isn’t exactly a new business. Its income from operations was only $1.4 million for the six months. However, its gross margins are 51 percent, and have been expanding steadily as the company benefits from the scale of is operations and is able to negotiate lower telephone termination fees around the world.

  • Buried By The Brigade At Digg
  • Digg is dogged by conservative pressure groups

    Multiple accounts are being used by these people, who combine to dislike articles put up for Digg consideration. By not liking something in their large numbers they are able to push those news and commentary items further and further away from the front page of the Digg website.

    The groups regularly send out ‘bury’ lists that urge the gang to act out against articles that lean to the left or in some cases appear fairly random, for example, “SETI Opens All Data To The Public” and “Sarah Ferguson: I Was Drinking At The Time Of Video Sting”.

  • NatWest calls off legal attack dogs

    Moving with the speed of an injured rock, NatWest has finally withdrawn its legal threats against a student advice site.

    118student.co.uk offers advice to students and has pages reviewing all the major banks’ student accounts. Site owner Peter Hale was shocked to receive a letter accusing him of abuse of trademarks and attempting to pass his site off as part of NatWest.

  • Ca. Appeals Ct. Affirms Conviction For Fake MySpace Emails Intended to Influence Custody Dispute — People v. Heeter

    In a criminal prosecution stemming from false evidence used in a family law dispute, a defendant was convicted of sending fake emails to herself with the intent that the emails would be used to influence a court proceeding. The appeals court affirmed her conviction.

  • Science

    • #5: Stephen Hawking’s Warning: Abandon Earth—Or Face Extinction

      Let’s face it: The planet is heating up, Earth’s population is expanding at an exponential rate, and the the natural resources vital to our survival are running out faster than we can replace them with sustainable alternatives. Even if the human race manages not to push itself to the brink of nuclear extinction, it is still a foregone conclusion that our aging sun will expand and swallow the Earth in roughly 7.6 billion years.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Pentagon to Troops: Taliban Can Read WikiLeaks, You Can’t

      Any citizen, any foreign spy, any member of the Taliban, and any terrorist can go to the WikiLeaks website, and download detailed information about how the U.S. military waged war in Afghanistan from 2004 to 2009. Members of that same military, however, are now banned from looking at those internal military documents. “Doing so would introduce potentially classified information on unclassified networks,” according to one directive issued by the armed forces.

    • Defcon speaker calls IPv6 a ‘security nightmare’

      The internet’s next-generation addressing scheme is so radically different from the current one that its adoption is likely to cause severe security headaches for those who adopt it, a researcher said last week.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • A joint policy proposal for an open Internet

      It is imperative that we find ways to protect the future openness of the Internet and encourage the rapid deployment of broadband. Verizon and Google are pleased to discuss the principled compromise our companies have developed over the last year concerning the thorny issue of “network neutrality.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks – the good, the bad and the ugly
    • Copyrights

      • World’s Biggest Record Label Pulls Videos from MTV.com

        Negotiations between Vevo and MTV, the two heavyweights of the music video, have broken down with dire results for visitors to MTV’s websites where music videos from Universal Music Group, the largest record label in the world will no longer appear.

      • Henley, DeVore settle lawsuit; Henley rails against remixes and mash-ups, YouTube, ‘dark side’ of Internet; songs are not ‘toys or playthings’

        The lawsuit, which Henley had largely won at the district court, involved two videos made by the DeVore campaign which took the lyrics from Henley’s songs “The Boys of Summer” and “All She wants to do is Dance” and substituted in new lyrics attacking president Obama and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA). DeVore argued that the videos were fair use parodies of Henley’s songs, but the court held that the videos were satirical rather than parodic and rejected the fair use defense. Questions of willfulness and damages were still to be resolved. The court did rule for the defendants on the plaintiffs’ Lanham Act claim, which alleged that DeVore’s videos falsely associated Henley with the Republican’s campaign. DeVore lost the June primary to former HP exec Carly Fiorina (R) for the chance to take on Boxer in November.

Clip of the Day

HTC Aria Review: Pocket Android


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