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07.28.10

Links 28/7/2010: eBox Platform 1.5, $150 Linux-powered Tablet

Posted in News Roundup at 5:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Server

    • Linux-based hybrid video server supports 40 channels

      Exacq Technologies is shipping a line of Linux-based hybrid video surveillance appliances with Intel Atom processors. The ExacqVision EL-S systems offer eight or 16 analog inputs and up to 24 IP inputs, allowing creation of systems with up to 40 channels overall, says the company.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • AMD Catalyst 10.7 For Linux Has Eyefinity Support

        As was widely anticipated, today AMD is rolling out their Catalyst 10.7 graphics driver for Windows and Linux platforms. On the Windows side, their Catalyst 10.7 rolls out support for OpenGL ES 2.0. ATI Radeon HD 2000/3000/4000/5000 series graphics cards (along with the FirePro hardware) running Windows can now take advantage of OpenGL ES 2.0 support with HTML5 for in-browser graphics rendering. However, that support hasn’t yet made its way to the Catalyst Linux driver, but there are other changes packed away in this month’s update.

      • Kristian Shows Off GTK+ 3.0 On Wayland

        Earlier this month the Wayland TODO list was updated — a month after it received some summer love — and now we some new information from the founder of the Wayland Display Server, Kristian Høgsberg.

      • Latest ATI Video Driver Has Support for Ubuntu 10.04

        Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) proudly announced a few minutes ago, July 26th, another improved version of its ATI Catalyst Linux display driver, available for both x86 and x86_64 architectures. ATI Catalyst 10.7 introduces final and stable support for the Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Lucid Lynx) operating system, early support for the newly released openSUSE 11.3 distribution, and official support for the ATI Eyefinity technology.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Forking KDE 3: Trinity KDE’s Timothy Pearson

        Pearson tried other desktops, “but nothing really satisfied my needs. This left me with one choice: to maintain KDE 3.5.” That, in turn, forced Pearson into crash courses in assembling Debian packages and C++ applications development with the help of others in the Kubuntu community. Over the past two years, he has been maintaining KDE 3.5, and adding new features to the code base.

      • Exporting and publishing

        It is fair to say that digiKam is a clear winner in this respect. Aperture exports to far few services, but does so in a very nice way. Aperture keeps track of what you have exported as long as you export it to one of the services mentioned before. Think about it: will you really never log in to your Flickr account? Even if you are managing plenty of albums? And are you never willing to change anything straight there? I doubt it and I rate the way Aperture manages your export as nice to have! Therefore, digiKam is the clear winner here: you are free to choose whatever service you like and digiKam will manage your exports without problems!

      • Reviewed: KOffice 2.2

        This version of KOffice is much improved, but whether this is enough now, with the growth of online office options, is debatable. KDE’s social strategy means that in the future, adding cloud options – whether that’s working with Google Docs, MS Live Office or whatever Facebook comes up with – shouldn’t be too problematic. With the input of Nokia, which is now supporting the project as part of its mobile strategy, the developers seem to be intent on consolidating what’s available rather than adding superfluous fluff and online storage is likely to be a big part of that.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • eBox Platform 1.5 Is Based on Ubuntu 10.04

        eBox Platform 1.5 has been released. The latest version makes the switch to Ubuntu 10.04 and comes with several new features and components. Despite not being labeled as such, eBox Platform 1.5 is a beta of sorts and is only intended for testing purposes. Eventually, it will become eBox Platform 2.0, once all of the bugs have been squashed. Otherwise, all of the planned features have been implemented and there will be no additions moving forward.

      • What? Already? Yep, it’s Kiara 15!
    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu, the Cloud and the Future — Neil Levine

          After the cloud summit last week at OSCON, I sat down with Neil Levine of Canonical to see what was in store for Ubuntu cloud-wise (Canonical is a partner of ours in our cloud ISV program). Neil is the VP of Canonical’s corporate services division which handles their cloud and server products.

        • Ubuntu’s Advantages Over Windows and Mac

          Yet Ubuntu, provides a different approach one where there’s one comprehensive software updating system. Ubuntu has a centralized repository of applications system. The only third-party applications that slide into the main repository are the ones that comply and pass the tests given by Canonical, the company that produces Ubuntu. If they pass and prove to work with the OS, they are in. This allows Ubuntu’s main repository to always have the very latest version of Google or Opera, for example. So the one it does have will usually install easily, work smoothly, and remain updated automatically.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Mobile Tools: Android Vs. iPhone for Small Business

          Choosing a good mobile smartphone is crucial for many small businesses. The right smartphone can make all the difference between being productive on the road and being ineffective away from the office. Small business owners looking to choose a mobile smartphone for themselves, or their workers, should think strongly about passing up the iPhone for an Android.

        • Would open source have prevented Apple bruising?

          It does appear the iPhone4 may have gone out the door too fast and without the usual carrier testing, and this may be evidence of the pressures Apple is feeling regarding speed of development given Android’s traction in applications and market share.

    • Tablets

      • In Search Of… Android Tablets

        There’s also the issue of key shortages in important component parts — 10″, 7″ and 5″ LCD and OLED touchscreen displays produced by the major Korean, Chinese and Japanese manufacturers are all being eaten up. And Apple is apparently one of the biggest consumers of the existing pipeline. If the demand for iPad screens is becoming difficult to meet, then surely Android Tablets from the major consumer electronics OEMs are going to have manufacturing procurement issues as well.

      • Kmart touts $150 Android tablet

        Kmart has begun touting a seven-inch “Gentouch78″ Android 2.1 tablet for $150, as well as a Linux-based seven-inch color e-reader called “TheBook eReader,” both from Augen. Meanwhile, TheStreet quotes analyst Ashok Kumar as saying Motorola will release a 10-inch tablet this November running Android 3.0.

      • Seven-inch Android 2.1 tablet targets Indian market

        Indian retailer Infibeam.com is readying two seven-inch tablet computers to be sold in India, one running Android 2.1, and one running Windows CE 6.0. Both known as the “Phi,” the devices have different CPUs and dimensions, but both offer 800 x 480 pixel resistive touchscreens and up to five hours of battery life, the company says.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Deacon: Musings on Starting an Open-Source Project

    I’ve been using open-source software since the late-nineties – I can still remember the intrigued excitement I felt when my friend Seth first told me about a free system called “Linux”, and showed me the LRP box humming along in his attic. In April, nearly two college degrees, countless thousands of lines of code, and over a decade later, I felt that same excitement when I decided to launch my own open-source project. “Deacon” (short for Droid+Beacon) was on its way to becoming a library for Android developers who wished to add push-notification capability to their Android applications. The Deacon library would avoid requiring the use of any third-party server for push delivery, affording complete autonomy for app developers – and embodying the spirit of freedom and choice that the Android platform represents.

  • Sony Pictures Imageworks: SIGGRAPH 2010

    Imageworks adds to its Open Source initiative, announced at Siggraph09, with the release of its sixth program, OpenColorIO, which provides a framework for sharing color transformations across computer graphics workflows. Imageworks has also scheduled a press conference with Industrial Light & Magic on Tuesday morning to announce another important Open Source development.

  • Lockheed Martin Launches Eureka Streams™ Open Source Project for Enterprise Social Networking
  • Will Adobe See the Light (of Day)?

    The content management company Day Software may not be the world’s most famous outfit making money from open source – perhaps a function of the fact that it is located in Basel, hardly known as a hotbed of hackers – but it’s certainly an important one, particularly in the Apache part of the open source ecosystem.

    That’s partly because Day’s Chief Scientist, Roy Fielding, was co-founder of the Apache Software Foundation, author of the Apache Software licence, and creator of the Apache web server.

    [...]

    Two things concern me here. The first is the emphasis on integrating proprietary technologies like AIR and Flash with Day’s products. The second, more worrying, is the total absence of any mention of Day’s open source work. Does this mean that Adobe is taking over Day in order to turn its products into purely proprietary offerings? Will it simply abandon Day’s work in supporting Apache projects?

  • SaaS

    • Apache Hadoop project gains momentum

      Hadoop is a top-level Apache project that provides a Java software framework for storing, managing, processing and analysing the massive datasets produced by enterprise web and cloud computing applications.

  • Databases

  • Business

    • One Year and 120,000 Downloads Later: Kaltura Launches Version 2.0 of Its On-Prem Community Edition Open Source Video Platform
    • Semi-Open Source

      • What you can do to help get rid of open core

        As a general rule, it is important to realize that the managers who run open core companies don’t work in the same universe as the average open source blogger (like myself) does. For instance, that SugarCRM get’s criticism for being closed source on Slashdot is of course helpful, but let’s face it: has anyone ever changed their business strategy based on some rants on Slashdot? Ok, so MySQL actually had to backtrack on its plans to further close source backup modules, because Sun (in its desperation, more than anything else) was sensitive to such criticism, but MySQL’s managers themselves would not have cared, they were used to being bashed by a small group of PostgreSQL fanboys anyway each time MySQL was mentioned on the site.

        And that’s what you have to remember when talking about open core. The business managers practicing open core will not care to educate themselves about values of the open source community, Open Source Definition, Building a vibrant community or any of the things we in the open source community have learned to value. To them, such arguments are just one word against another, indistinguishable from the teenager who has to mention “PostgreSQL” as a reflex every time someone mentions “MySQL”. Who’s to say what’s right or wrong, there are so many opinions…?

      • OpenGamma and Open Core Components
      • Open Core, Natural Feature Divisions, and OpenGamma
      • The basis of OSS business models: property and efficiency

        There are two possible sources for the value: a property (something that can be transferred) and efficiency (something that is inherent in what the company do, and how they do it). With Open Source, usually “property” is non-exclusive (with the exception of Open Core, where part of the code is not open at all). Other examples of property are trademarks, patents, licenses… anything that may be transferred to another entity through a contract or legal transaction.

      • Open Source Business Models (for Compiere)

        The basic question: How do you want to make money?

        After open sourcing your product, your income options are reduced. Here are the usual options:
        Service based

        * Consulting
        * Support, Maintanance
        * Hosting

        Product based

        * Product add-on / extensions
        * Sponsored develipment
        * Legal (commercial license, hold harmless agreement)

  • Licensing

    • The issue of license proliferation »

      When I was on the ICANN board, we were dealing with the issue of Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs), an initiative to allow non-latin characters in domain names. Technically, it was difficult and even more difficult was the consensus process to decide exactly how to do it. Many communities like the Chinese and Arabic regions were anxious to get started and were getting very frustrated with the ICANN process around IDNs. At times, it seemed like the Arab Internet and the Chinese Internet were ready to either fork away and make their own Internet to solve the problem or were ready to introduce local technical “hacks” to deal with the issue which would have broken many applications that depended the standard behavior of the Domain Name System.

      [...]

      Copy-left licenses such as the Free Software Foundation’s GNU Public License require derivative works be licensed under the same license. This feature – and to many coders this is a feature, not a bug – however, makes it challenging to combine code from projects with different licenses because of the requirement on how derivatives must be licensed. These islands of code looked a lot like a forked Internet, existing IM networks and email before the Internet connected them together.

    • Lawsuit Averted As WordPress and Thesis Settle Differences Over Themes And The GPL

      Free (libre) and open source software is one of the best examples of an alternative to restrictive copyright, but even within these communities there can be heated debates about licensing. The WordPress community just witnessed such a debate between the founder of WordPress, Matt Mullenweg, and the developer of a popular premium WordPress theme, Chris Pearson, over whether or not themes are subject to the GPL (WordPress’ license). The GPL applies to derivative works of a program—requiring that they, too, must be licensed freely—but Pearson maintained quite publicly that he wasn’t subject to it and could use a proprietary license for his theme. This caused tension between him and Mullenweg, until last week, when Pearson gave in and switched to a split GPL license.

      [...]

      This kind of disagreement also highlights the fact that free software licenses (like the GPL) and the free culture licenses they’ve inspired (like some of those offered by Creative Commons) are ultimately hacks on a restrictive copyright system; they’re merely tactics to reverse the negative effects of overly restrictive copyright, but not at all the ideal scenario. For example, we’ve seen concerns over how Creative Commons licenses act as a contractual layer on top of copyright, and non-commercial restrictions can also be a source of tension. Sometimes these disputes help a community to better develop its position on copyright and licensing, but other times, they’re a sign that these licenses are still just a hack on a less than ideal system.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • PP4_0.1: Repositories for Scientific Data

        I shall be blunt. The only place where Scientific Data should be stored is in domain-specific repositories.

      • Court secrecy: The courts are open but justice is a closed book

        The courts’ refusal to allow people to tape-record benefit a few private companies whom the court approves in cosy deals. These people have exclusive right to tape record or listen to official recordings. The cost to the individual of hiring them is about £150– 250 per hour of typing and even before the transcription process begins, you must sign a form stating you will pay whatever amount the company decides. You could be out tens of thousand of pounds and there’s no way to challenge the bill as only the company is allowed access to the raw tapes.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Immigration pushes EU population above 500 million

    Overall, population increased in 19 EU countries and declined in eight, with the highest rates of growth in Luxembourg, Sweden, Slovenia and Belgium. Lithuania, Latvia and Bulgaria saw the largest overall reductions in population.

  • Science

    • Kepler Scientist: ‘Galaxy is Rich in Earth-Like Planets’

      In a recent presentation, Kepler co-investigator Dimitar Sasselov preempted the official announcement that the exoplanet-hunting Kepler Space Telescope has discovered about 140 candidate worlds orbiting other stars that are “like Earth.”

    • If the Earth Stood Still

      The following is not a futuristic scenario. It is not science fiction. It is a demonstration of the capabilities of GIS to model the results of an extremely unlikely, yet intellectually fascinating query: What would happen if the earth stopped spinning? ArcGIS was used to perform complex raster analysis and volumetric computations and generate maps that visualize these results.

    • The Titanic in 3-D

      A team of scientists will launch an expedition to the Titanic next month to assess the deteriorating condition of the world’s most famous shipwreck and create a detailed three-dimensional map that will “virtually raise the Titanic” for the public.

    • Panasonic launches 3D camcorder for budding James Camerons

      Not enough 3D content available on your fancy new 3D TV? Then make your own. Panasonic has become the first major manufacturer to launch a consumer videocamera that can record in 3D.

  • Security/Aggression

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Chatroulette collecting IP addresses, screenshots

      The founder of online video chat-room sensation ‘Chatroulette’ has revealed the company has been storing the IP addresses and even taking screenshots of users engaged in inappropriate conduct whilst connected to the service.

    • Privacy Lawsuit Targets Net Giants Over ‘Zombie’ Cookies

      A wide swath of the net’s top websites, including MTV, ESPN, MySpace, Hulu, ABC, NBC and Scribd, were sued in federal court Friday on the grounds they violated federal computer intrusion law by secretly using storage in Adobe’s Flash player to re-create cookies deleted by users.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Are Investment Ticker Symbols Covered By Trademark Law?

      Here’s an interesting trademark law dispute that hits on something I never would have considered before: can there be trademark protection in a ticker symbol? My first reaction, honestly, was that the whole concept is silly. A ticker symbol is unique, and anyone buying a particular product should simply know what they’re investing in, and that includes entering the correct ticker.

    • Copyrights

      • For An Industry Being Destroyed By ‘File Sharing,’ Film Industry Keeps Reporting Record Numbers

        The movie industry keeps sending very, very mixed messages. It keeps insisting that its business is being decimated by file sharing, but then keeps putting out reports bragging how well it’s doing. Reader ethorad points us to a page put up by the UK Film Council about the movie business in the UK, where it makes a pretty compelling case that the movie business is thriving, despite all the reports of doom and gloom. Some key highlights:

        * The core UK film industry has grown 50% over the last 10 years
        * UK box office takings at record levels, with growth of over 60% over 10 years
        * They have had a 500% return on their investments in film

      • So What DMCA Exemption Requests Got Rejected?

        Many of the rejections were basically over situations where the Copyright Office said there was no real evidence of an actual problem, so nothing to worry about. Still, just the fact that many of these situations had to be proposed and were rejected shows how ridiculous copyright law is today. The fact that we have to go begging to the Copyright Office every three years for simple exemptions like this, which can (and often are) rejected, is not how modern society should work. Technology is changing how people can and do interact with content. This whole process (even the fact that it only happens every three years) has the whole thing backwards. We shouldn’t have to ask for permission to use technology to do what it allows.

      • Digital Economy (UK)

Clip of the Day

openBSD 4.6 Recording


07.27.10

Links 27/7/2010: Dell Restores and Expands Ubuntu Offerings (US), Linux Quality Assurance

Posted in News Roundup at 6:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Is Linux Just Another Unix Flavor?

    What defines an operating system isn’t a geeky label or a collection of ramblings from the mouths of its community members. Nor is it some empty and pointless certification offered up by an obscure group of malcontented purveyors of “standards.”

    [...]

    You might also ask, “With how much certainty can you guarantee that my applications will make that same transition?” Red Hat, Novell and Canonical can give the best answers, but their consultants will tell you that only in rare cases will your applications have trouble making the trip from your Unix environment to a Linux-hosted one. Rest assured that your issues aren’t so unique that their highly skilled Linux engineers can’t tackle them.

    Unix has different “flavors” that generally refer to differences injected by their development teams to take advantage of proprietary hardware features or to capitalize on special software innovations, such as volume management or virtualization. Such flavors are Sun’s Solaris, IBM’s AIX, HP’s HP-UX, AT&T’s System Vr4, BSD Unix, DEC Unix, Mac OS X, and the beloved SCO Unix.

  • Washing the windows myths. Program installation.

    Meanwhile Zaphod has finished his work for now and decides to play a game to relax. He opens up his software manager (similar to Apple’s app store) and finds a game he likes. After selecting it and clicking on install he goes away for a drink of something that is almost but not quite like tea. When he comes back with the steaming mug in his hands, Zaphod is pleased to find that his new game has been installed and is ready to play. Putting the mug next to the keyboard Zaphod immerses himself into the game.

    [...]

    So anyone who states that installing programs under windows is easier than under Linux is obviously showing their lack of knowledge and inability to look at the true state of affairs.

  • Why Ubuntu Linux Is a Good Business Choice

    Let’s first consider Ubuntu as a replacement for your Windows desktop or laptop operating system. Computer owners generally use an Internet browser, a word processing program, the occasional spreadsheet, an email application and almost nothing else. These computer owners may not realize that they’re paying $150 to $300 for the OS and another $300 or more for the office suite–most of which they’ll never use. Why add hundreds of dollars to a computer system that has a life expectancy of three to four years?

  • Get a Blazing Fast Computer for Free

    Still, I thought that Mark Shuttleworth, the software entrepreneur who founded the Ubuntu project, was onto a good thing. In a world of cloud-based apps, there are fewer and fewer substantive differences between Windows and the Mac OS—since I can easily shuttle my data and programs between different computers, I rarely find myself wishing for one OS when I’m on another. If Ubuntu’s designers could iron out some of its kinks, I thought, a free operating system could fit perfectly in this new, OS-agnostic world.

    Well, I think they’ve done it. I made a second foray onto Ubuntu’s shores a week ago, and so far, I like it quite a bit. The OS has progressed a great deal since I last checked in (in 2008 I installed version 8.04; now I’m running version 10.04). I found Ubuntu quick to install, speedy to do pretty much everything, and, thankfully, very easy to figure out. There were some rough edges; for instance, Ubuntu’s designers ought to make some of its error messages more comprehensible to newbies. While installing Skype, I was informed that a “later version is available in a software channel. You are strongly advised to install the version from the software channel, since it is usually better supported.” I’m pretty sure that could have been translated to, “Click ‘Next’ to install a newer version of Skype.” For the most part, though, Ubuntu has broken free of technical mumbo jumbo, and if you’ve got a little bit of tech savvy, you’ll have no problem dealing with it.

  • Desktop

    • Prettier Fonts Coming Your Way

      There was a time when Linux was notorious for having what was called “fugly” fonts. Things improved a bit over the years, but thanks to expiring patents things are about to get even better.

    • Calm down! Dell is not throwing Ubuntu Linux out!

      Jeeze, people, one guy has trouble ordering Ubuntu Linux on a Dell laptop over the weekend and it’s Ubuntugeddon. Chill. Ubuntu is still going to be offered by Dell.

    • Dell Preparing Ubuntu 10.04 Linux Systems

      Plenty of folks are confused about Dell’s commitment to Ubuntu, the Linux distribution promoted by Canonical. In recent days, old rumors about Dell abandoning Ubuntu have returned. But in reality, Dell indicates it is preparing to ship systems with Ubuntu 10.04 — the most recent Ubuntu release — within the next few weeks. Here’s the reality check.

    • Dell expands Ubuntu Linux desktop offerings

      The latest panic in desktop-Linux-land was that Dell would no longer be selling Ubuntu pre-installed on laptops and netbooks. Alas, for those who love drama, it wasn’t true. In fact, Dell is expanding its Ubuntu desktop offerings.

      Gerry Carr the marketing manager for Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, told me that the stories that Dell will no longer be offering Ubuntu pre-installed on its hardware were “NOT true.” Now, Anne Camden, a Dell PR manager, tells me that far from moving away from Ubuntu Linux, Dell is offering more Ubuntu choices than ever.

  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel Log: Who’s responsible for troubleshooting and quality assurance?

      A change recently implemented in kernel 2.6.35 shows how developers from different companies collaborate on the kernel, what good support contracts with Linux distributors are, and how commercial interests influence the development of Linux and troubleshooting. The change was made by Red Hat’s DRM subsystem maintainer Dave Arlie to solve some stability problems and prevent crashes that reportedly occurred on a lot of systems with Intel’s 945GM, which was launched in 2006 and is mainly used in notebooks.

  • Applications

    • Games

      • 6 most talked about Linux games

        In your quest to find a good, native and free game for Linux you might have seen long lists of games mentioned on various sites and forums. These mentioned games range anywhere from simple 2D side-scrollers to impressive 3D shooters. The amount of Linux games is surprising and can be a tid bit overwhelming. So, how do you pick out the games that are actually worth your time? Well, I’ve compiled a small list of some of the most talked about games for Linux on the internet. Have a read and see if any of these catch your eye.

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Forking KDE 3: Trinity KDE’s Timothy Pearson

        A long time developer with Kubuntu, Ubuntu’s KDE variant, Pearson describes himself as “an electrical engineer specializing in embedded systems and RF [Radio Frequency] by day, and an open source programmer by night.”

        Pearson first discovered free and open source software in 2001 as an alternative to Windows, but at first used it only for servers, judging the desktop as not ready for general use. Later, though, he discovered Kubuntu and KDE 3.5, “and was blown away by the powerful but user friendly interface, as well as the fast Debian packaging system. Shortly thereafter I replaced all my Red hat and Windows XP installations with Kubuntu, never looking back.”

        With such an attitude, Pearson was blindsided by the release of KDE 4.0 in January 2008.

        “KDE 4 kind of snuck up on me,” he writes. “I had assumed that the new software coming from KDE was going to be along the same lines as KDE 3.5. I tried using KDE 4 for a few days and just could not stand the interface; my productivity plummeted and I seriously considered going back to Windows. The only thing that kept me from doing that was the sheer expense of deploying Windows Server across multiple environments.”

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Jolicloud as a Second Netbook OS – It Plays Well With Windows

        Back in March, we broke the news that Jolicloud had released their Pre-Final build. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, Jolicloud is a customized version of Linux Ubuntu Netbook Edition (UNE). It’s designed to be an easy and trouble-free operating system for almost all netbooks. It’s taken me awhile, but I’ve finally had time to install Jolicloud and try it out on my HP Mini netbook. I’ll give you some details and screenshots from my brief time exploring Jolicloud.

        [...]

        If you need a simple, fast, secure and visually pleasing OS on your netbook, this one will be hard to beat. The express install option is a big winner, making it one of the easiest Linux OS’s to install. For those with more Linux experience, you might want to stick with Ubuntu Netbook Edition. It’s much more flexible but definitely more difficult for newbies. I believe that Jolicloud will continue to bring good news to netbook users who may not want to be chained to Microsoft Windows.

      • Hands on: Jolicloud 1.0, a Linux distro in progress

        Jolicloud 1.0 is a new edition of Linux aimed at nontechnical netbook users that’s described this way by its makers: “[It] is not a traditional OS. It was built for netbook users to leverage the cloud and make their life easier.” Think of it as a variant on the Google Chrome OS approach: This Internet operating system, as the company calls it, is little more than a Web browser plus a few other supporting technologies.

Free Software/Open Source

  • The 75 “Funnest” Open Source Downloads

    It’s summer. And frankly, that means no one’s all that excited about working. Oh goodness no.

    In honor of the season of laziness, we’ve put together a list of some of the most fun open source downloads you can find. No, none of those office productivity tools here – just lots of games, hobbyists’ tools and other time wasters. Is it quitting time yet?

    In case you’re feeling too lazy to read all the way through the article, the very “funnest” apps – the games – are at the beginning. The rest are categorized and in alphabetical order.

    I should probably write some more about the list here, but – you know – it’s summer.

  • Web Browsers

  • Oracle

    • Is Oracle trying to kill VirtualBox?

      It seems Oracle is hellbent on destroying whatever good Sun had done to the Open Source Ecosystem. The latest product to get the axe seems to be none other than the Flagship Virtualization program xVM VirtualBox.

  • Education

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GnuTLS 2.10.1 released

      GnuTLS is a modern C library that implements the standard network security protocol Transport Layer Security (TLS), for use by network applications. GnuTLS is developed for GNU/Linux, but works on many Unix-like systems and comes with a binary installer for Windows.

  • Project Releases

  • Standards/Consortia

    • OpenDocument 1.2 available for review for 60 days

      If it goes through, the standard will then be presented to the interdisciplinary ISO (International Standardisation Organisation) to be ratified as the current version of the ISO 26300 standard. OASIS is in charge of maintaining this standard, and its stated aim is to promote the interoperability, that is the ability to exchange documents, between different office suites.

Leftovers

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Ofcom calls for clarity in broadband speed ads

      Britons are not getting the broadband services they are being sold, research by the regulator Ofcom suggests.

      Its analysis of broadband speeds in the UK shows that, for some services, 97% of consumers do not get the advertised speed.

Clip of the Day

Sen. Franken: Stop the Corporate Takeover of the Media


Links 27/7/2010: KDE SC 4.5 RC3 Out, CentOS Dominates

Posted in News Roundup at 3:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • GNU/Linux is so Easy Even a Child Can Do IT

    This shows that GNU/Linux is not only for geeks. If you have some grown-ups in your organization who are reluctant to change, perhaps this example would inspire sufficient effort. The benefits outweigh the costs:

    * relative freedom from malware
    * relative freedom from anti-malware
    * freedom from monopoly, and
    * superior performance at lower cost.

  • Desktop

    • Userful prepackages Linux and applications for multiseat educational use

      A preview version of Userful’s Linux MultiSeat 2010 has been made available to potential users.

      [...]

      Based on Userful Multiplier and Edubuntu, Linux MultiSeat 2010 also includes a wide range of open source applications that are relevant to schools.

    • Dell’s ‘Brilliant’ Windows vs. Ubuntu Analysis

      “Dell has a problem,” said blogger Robert Pogson. “They want to be seen to be friendly to GNU/Linux so they have a few products, but they do not have a real campaign to sell GNU/Linux for fear it would offend M$ or their fans. I do not know at what point Dell will feel comfortable pushing GNU/Linux, but if they do not hurry others will pass them by.”

  • Server

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE Software Compilation 4.5 RC3 Release Announcement

        July 26th, 2010. Today, KDE delivers the third release candidate of the upcoming KDE Software Compilation 4.5. The KDE Software Compilation consists of the Plasma Desktop and Netbook workspaces, a large number of applications for all purposes and the KDE development platform the applications and workspaces are built upon. The final version will be available next week This last RC is intended for verifying no showstoppers will creep into the final release of 4.5.0. It will also interest those who want an early look at what is coming to their desktops and netbooks this summer.

      • The Mission of KDE’s Wikis

        So TechBase is a source of mostly technical information. This includes step-by-step howtos for all sorts of KDE development as well as the feature plans and schedules for KDE releases and so forth. It’s mainly static content. Think of a howto for a Plasma Widget or a howto for building KDE. The content usually is valid for a long time, mostly even for years. For those of you longer in the KDE project, TechBase is the same as our good old developer.kde.org page (and we’ve never put arbitrary content there). The only difference is, that it’s now maintained as wiki.

      • Speak(er Setup0 Now, or Forever hold your Peace.

        Well it’s taken me a little time to commit this work, but here it is. This is the fruits of my labour from the KDE Multimedia Sprint earlier this year.

        [...]

        This code is now in trunk (r1154776) so feel free to try it out and report other bugs etc. This GUI is also included in Mandriva Cooker (I did want to include it prior to 2010.1 release, but the timing didn’t work out – tho’ it probably would have been OK considering the delays that cropped up in the release process). I expect this functionality to be included in any updated/backported versions of KDE for 2010.1.

      • KDE file transfer with KBluetooth

        After many years being a Windows user, I took my first steps as a Linux user under Ubuntu. As I started to learn more about the GNOME desktop manager, one of the pleasing and welcome surprises was to find out how incredibly easy it was to transfer files from and to my mobile phone using Bluetooth. From that point on, I tend to use this feature more often, uploading MP3 files or wallpapers to my mobile, or downloading pictures I took from its on board camera. In Windows XP I had always avoided the matter, not willing to download a few hundred MB just to get Bluetooth file transfer to work, or simply too lazy to install Nokia’s own software and have to use their specific cable.

        [...]

        This solution is very simple, so much so that I was ashamed I had not found it earlier. The downside is that it always requires a new device scan before sending files, which can be a bit annoying, but at least I can send and download files to and from my mobile using KDE’s own KBluetooth. Hope this helps in case you were having similar problems.

      • Simon at Akademy 2010: Interview with Peter Grasch

        Peter: It doesn’t make it easier, it makes it easy. It wasn’t easy before. As I said in the presentation, we developed the first run wizard with the KDE Usability team. We managed to come up with a nice wizard that gets people started right away.

      • Gereqi – Yet Another Amarok 1.4 Clone That Just Works

        For Amarok 1.4 lovers, there is more good news. Gereqi is yet another Amarok 1.4 fork, which is still in its early stages of development. And it is already looking good.

  • Distributions

    • PlainSight – Open Source Computer Forensics LiveCD

      PlainSight is a versatile computer forensics environment that allows inexperienced forensic practitioners perform common tasks using powerful open source tools such as RegRipper, Pasco, Mork, Foremost and many more.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • PCLinuxOS 2010.07 now Running perfectly On My Toshiba Satellite A100

        Earlier this laptop has been filled with PCLinuxOS 2007, PCLinuxOS 2008, PCLinuxOS 2009.1, and the last was 2010.07. From the series 2007-2009.1 my bluetooth still does not work. My Bluetooth works in PCLinuxOS 2010.1 with kernel update to 2.6.33, and version 2010.07 PCLinuxOS has worked perfectly on my laptop.

    • Red Hat Family

      • The most popular Linux for Web servers is …

        Even a Linux fan might not have heard of CentOS Linux but, if you’re a Web or other edge-server administrator, I can guarantee you know about CentOS. That’s because, according to Web Technology Surveys, in July 2010, “For the first time, CentOS is now leading the Linux distribution statistics on web servers with almost 30% of all Linux servers.”

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu Global Jam: Start Your Engines!

          To make the event as simple and accessible as possible, we have picked five topic areas and we are encouraging you lovely people to organize an event with one or more of them:

          * Bugs – finding, triaging and fixing bugs.
          * Testing – testing the new release and reporting your feedback.
          * Upgrade – upgrading to Maverick from Lucid and reporting your upgrade experience.
          * Documentation – writing documentation about how to use Ubuntu and how to join the community.
          * Translations – translating Ubuntu and helping to make it available in everyone’s local language.
          * Packaging – packaging software for Ubuntu users to install with a clock.
          * Other – other types of contribution such as marketing and advocacy etc.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Ubuntu Studio 2.0 (Puppy Edition) Screenshots

            Ubuntu Studio 2.0 (Puppy Edition) is based on Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx and provides a lightweight interface where you can run popular Ubuntu Studio applications like Jack, Ardour2, Hydrogen and many more. This audio production software is available along side all the tools of a normal Puppy Linux desktop. Make sure you check out the Multimedia — Multimedia section of the menu as it contains a very impressive collection of tools and useful apps and I missed it the first time through. I found more applications are available in the Ubuntu repositories which are accessible using the Quickpet package manager, icon on the desktop. You’ll find Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Cinerella, Dia, Inkscape, and many other applications plus Quickpet provides a drivers section where you can add Nvidia or ATI Radeon drivers. Overall, this looks like an excellent idea and I’ll definitely watch as it is developed.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Android Will be Dominant Mobile OS According to Motorola’s Sanjay Jha

          Motorola’s co-CEO Sanjay Jha spoke out about the company’s relationship with Google and its Android OS at Fortune Brainstorm Tech over the weekend. Notably, he asserted his belief that Android would become the dominant mobile operating system seen on a vast majority of devices over the next five years. He likened the current battle between Android and the iPhone to the early years of personal computing, when Apple’s early lead was eventually overcome by a standard OS that was not linked to a specific manufacturer or device.

        • High-end Android sliders ready to roll from Motorola, HTC

          A photo of a T-Mobile-destined, Android-based HTC “G1 Blaze” phone has popped up on Engadget, and Droid Life has unveiled Motorola’s Droid 2, due for a Verizon launch next month. Meanwhile, Verizon’s Droid X delay has been extended, some minor screen and security problems have emerged, and the phone has been rooted but not fully conquered, according to reports.

    • Tablets

      • The Real $35 Tablet from India: an OLPC Complement, not Competitor

        Indian minister for HR Development HRD, Kapil Sibal announces $35 tablet project. It seems to be based on the Freescale i.MX233 system on chip, with a 7″ resistive 800×480 touch screen. Here’s my video with AllGo Embedded Systems, a R&D company based in Bangalore India, where they are showcasing their $35 tablet reference design at the Freescale Technology Forum in Orlando last month. This is likely to be the tablet that India’s HRD Minister is talking about:

        The Bill Of Material is as following:

        * ARM9 Processor: $5 (Freescale i.MX233)
        * Memory: $3
        * WiFi B/G: $4
        * Other discret components: $3
        * Battery: $5
        * 7″ 800×480 resistive touch screen: $15
        * Total bill of material: $35

Free Software/Open Source

  • The State of Open Source: Startup, Growth, Maturity or Decline?

    Depending on which particular business school text you pick up, you might have seen the organizational lifecycle stages described as some approximation of the following:

    1. Startup
    2. Growth
    3. Maturity
    4. Decline

    We must of course acknowledge the glaring impedance mismatch between mixed motive movements such as open source and profit-centric enterprises. Undoubtedly, open source will occasionally, even frequently, follow a different trajectory than will closed source alternatives.

  • Military Adoption of Open-Source Software May Increase Flexibility and Lower Cost

    Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are helping the U.S. military analyze and develop the advantages of open-source software — programs that make their source code open to others so it can be changed and improved.

  • Quamachi: The VPN GUI with the funny name

    Need to connect to a remote client securely and simply? One way to do that is to employ Hamachi, a zero-configuration VPN service. While zero configuration sounds pretty easy, you can make things easier still by using Quamachi, a Hamachi GUI for Linux.

  • Inverting Monopoly

    Monopoly is not good for us. Monopoly is good for those who have the monopoly, in this case, two powerful corporations with fewer than a million people. We are thousands of millions. We can do more and better whatever the monopolists can do. Monopoly is not good for us because we pay too much for IT and are limited in what we can do with IT because we depend on what the two monopolists do. Then there are their partners. Need application X in 64bit? Nope. Need application Y to run on ARM? Nope. Need application Z to run on another OS? Nope. Need your network to be secure from intruders? Nope. Need an upgrade? Nope. Pay full price and you have to buy version 12.34 first, etc.

    Hardware. We can buy ARM, AMD, even Apple. If you are locked into Intel because the stuff you run only runs on that other OS and it only runs on x86 you can change.

    [...]

    Invest in FLOSS. Free yourself from monopoly. You can start right away by migrating parts of your operation to GNU/Linux and identifying the parts that do not migrate readily and fix the causes of that non-portability. Fix it by finding a FLOSS project that does what you need done or creating one. There are lots of resources on the web. FLOSS is reusable so you do not have to reinvent the wheel. Just use the wheels others have developed and contribute to the world under a Free Software licence.

  • Periodic table of the open source graphics and design apps
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla delays second Firefox 4 beta

        Originally scheduled for release late last week, Mozilla has confirmed that the second beta for version 4.0 of its open source Firefox web browser has been delayed by one week. Firefox 4 Beta 2 is now expected to arrive on Thursday, July 29th. The third beta is still on schedule for an August 6th release.

  • Oracle

    • OpenSSO, Neglected by Oracle, Gets Second Life

      The company, ForgeRock, has released a new version of Sun’s Open Single Sign On (OpenSSO) Enterprise software, called OpenAM, that adheres to the OpenSSO roadmap established by Sun.

  • CMS

    • Drupal trademark policy: update after 11 months

      The Drupal trademark policy was launched officially about 11 months ago. As explained in my blog post on the Drupal trademark policy, the purpose of the policy is to create a level playing field for all. It allows everyone to use the trademark without administrative hassle, while at the same time keeping some control and oversight to avoid dilution and misuse. For example, we all know the scarcity of cool domain names, and how frustrating it can be for a local Drupal user group to find that their domain name has already been taken by a commercial entity. The trademark policy seeks to resolve this problem.

      [...]

      I hope everyone can see that the trademark policy is not a money printing machine for me. In fact, it’s the opposite. I have paid personally for the creation of the policy and the cost of responding to trademark usage requests. The balance between costs and income is quite skewed out of my favor, although the amount of payments seems to be increasing.

  • Open Data

    • Patching democracy with open data

      I’ll spare you their 57-page argument that corporations are Americans too (apparently) and spending is speech. But the result left President Obama, congressional leaders, and states a little shaken, grasping for any fix shy of amending the First Amendment (and Sen. Kerry signaled that option is on the table). Out of that scramble has come Sen. Schumer’s DISCLOSE Act.

  • Open Access/Content

    • Climategate data sets to be made public

      The Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in the UK, recently at the centre of the hacked emails controversy, is launching a pilot study into how best to make public three major temperature data sets and detailed records of how they are processed. They will include data repeatedly requested by climate sceptics under freedom of information legislation.

Leftovers

  • Theater Owner Begs Hollywood Not To Give Consumers What They Want

    It’s always kind of amusing when you see a business owner make obviously false statements as they try to justify why everyone should be worse off, just so they don’t have to adapt their business model. It’s especially amusing in the movie theater business, where we keep seeing theater owners complain about shortening windows between theatrical release, and when a movie can be viewed at home. As we’ve noted over and over again, every time a movie theater executive makes such a complaint, they are effectively admitting that they’re too clueless on how to compete. Even though they have huge theaters with great sound systems and seating, they’re admitting that they either don’t want to or simply cannot compete. If that’s really the case, they don’t deserve to be in business.

  • Can The Operators Of A Site Targeted By Homeland Security Crowdsource A Defense?

    We’ve already covered the bizarre story of Homeland Security effectively working for Disney in seizing some domains of sites that were used to file share movies (way, way, way outside of Homeland Security’s mandate), and covered the sneaky attempt to defend those moves by conflating copyright infringement online with counterfeit drugs being sold online. It’s also still not clear that Homeland Security even has the legal right to seize those domains as it did.

  • “Journalist” Who Wrote Fake GTA Story Ridicules Gamers

    The “journalist” who made-up the story about Grand Theft Auto Rothbury in yesterday’s Daily Star says he’s “baffled” by the uproar and has responded to complaints by ridiculing adult gamers.

  • Vision Media’s Bogus Lawsuit Dismissed; And Much More Attention Focused On Vision Media’s Business Practices

    We’ve written a few times in the past about the attempt by Vision Media TV to use legal tricks to force down critiques of its business practice. The company, as has been covered in detail by the press, tends to focus on charities, suggesting that it will create a news report that may air on “public television” with “Hugh Downs.” But the reality is that they’re expecting the organization to pay, and there’s no evidence that the content ever gets on TV anywhere. And Hugh Downs only participates in very, very limited cases. The company — or one very much like it, based from the same basic place — has gotten into legal troubles in the past. Even though the NY Times and NPR have covered Vision Media’s method of doing business, Vision Media has not sued them, even though it has claimed such articles are defamatory.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Ian Tomlinson’s family accuse CPS of ‘cover-up’

      The family of Ian Tomlinson today branded as a “cover-up” the decision not to bring a single criminal charge against a police officer who attacked the newspaper seller before he died.

    • Passwords in the wild, part I: the gap between theory and implementation

      Sören Preibusch and I have finalised our in-depth report on password practices in the wild, The password thicket: technical and market failures in human authentication on the web, presented in Boston last month for WEIS 2010. The motivation for our report was a lack of technical research into real password deployments. Passwords have been studied as an authentication mechanism quite intensively for the last 30 years, but we believe ours was the first large study into how Internet sites actually implement them. We studied 150 sites, including the most visited overall sites plus a random sample of mid-level sites. We signed up for free accounts with each site, and using a mixture of scripting and patience, captured all visible aspects of password deployment, from enrolment and login to reset and attacks.

      [...]

      Amazon, for example, didn’t block our brute force attempts, but there’s ample reason to believe they detect account takeover by other means. On the whole though, the level of security implemented is dramatically lower than security researchers might expect. There’s an interesting parallel here. At first the insecurity of passwords was blamed on users not behaving the way security engineers wanted them to: choosing weak passwords, forgetting them, writing them down, sharing them, and typing them in to the wrong domains. It’s now generally accepted that we should design password security around users, and that users may even be wise to ignore security advice.

    • Battle joined for future of open source IPS

      Fast forward four years however and the formerly close and protective relationship between the US federal government and Sourcefire/Snort has soured to the point that the Department of Homeland Security is funding an alternative through the OISF foundation. The Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) and commercial partners are also contributing to the development of Suricata, OISF’s open source IPS.

  • Environment/Wildlife

    • How Concentrated Solar Power Can Meet India’s Future Power Needs
    • Would Obama’s ocean drive have stopped BP?

      As the Gulf of Mexico continues to battle the oil from the BP Deepwater drilling disaster, President Obama’s establishment of a national ocean policy is a significant step forward in the management of our oceans, our coasts, coastal economies and ocean health. This first ever national ocean policy is not a new idea – in fact, two blue ribbon commissions recommended establishing a national ocean policy more than five years ago. For the most part, those reports have sat on bookshelves in Washington DC, while legislative efforts to implement their recommendations were defeated by ocean industries.

    • BP locking in scientists, research to prep for lawsuits

      The scientific community has always had difficulty policing conflicts of interest, since financial interests and other exterior motivations have a very real potential to influence if and how scientific data gets reported. This issue has historically reared its ugly head in the biomedical community, where many researchers also consult for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. But it appears that a number of different scientific fields are about to see these conflicts played out in a very public manner, as a report indicates that BP is now locking scientists into contracts that will prevent them from publishing their results at all.

    • “Giving Up Faith”: The EPA, Dispersants, and the Commons in Chains
    • Dead penguins wash up on Brazil’s beaches

      Hundreds of penguins that have apparently starved to death are washing up on the beaches of Brazil, worrying scientists who are investigating what exactly killed them.

    • Whales Scream Over Noise Pollution

      One downside is that “shouting,” as for humans and other animals, requires more energy expenditure and probable strain, so we are making life more difficult for these already at risk marine mammals. Since communication is tied to mating, feeding and more, these critical aspects of whale life may also be impacted.

    • UK-imported animal feed blamed for rainforest destruction
    • As nation, Russia, and world swelter under record-smashing heat waves, The New York Times sets one-day record for most unilluminating stories

      Globally NOAA just reported that June is the fourth month in a row of record global temperatures, and the first half of 2010 is on a record pace. This is all the more powerful evidence of human-caused warming “because it occurs when the recent minimum of solar irradiance is having its maximum cooling effect,” as a recent NASA paper noted.

      Globally nine countries have smashed all-time temperature records, “making 2010 the year with the most national extreme heat records,” as meteorologist Jeff Masters has reported.

    • US Senate drops bill to cap carbon emissions

      Plan to charge large polluters abandoned in favour of narrower legislation focusing on increasing firms’ liability for oil spills

    • Amazon deforestation in dramatic decline, official figures show

      Increased use of satellite data and new tactics to deter loggers have led to drop, says Brazilian environment agency

  • Finance

    • State Finances Rigged in Conspiracy by Banks, Advisers

      A telephone call between a financial adviser in Beverly Hills and a trader in New York was all it took to fleece taxpayers on a water-and-sewer financing deal in West Virginia. The secret conversation was part of a conspiracy stretching across the U.S. by Wall Street banks in the $2.8 trillion municipal bond market.

    • Basel Group Agrees to New Global Rules for Banks

      Central bankers and regulators have reached an almost unanimous preliminary agreement on new standards to reinforce the stability of the global financial system, adding to investors’ confidence in the outlook for many banks.

    • Debating the Securitization of Mortgages
    • Former Northern Rock executive fined, banned

      Britain’s financial regulator has banned the former finance director of mortgage lender Northern Rock – the country’s first major casualty of the global credit crunch – and fined him 320,000 pounds ($500,000) for misreporting figures on loan arrears.

    • ‘Systemic risk’ theory gains in stature as way to prevent the next bubble

      Americans might be counting on the day when home and retirement-fund values start to rise again, but anyone expecting to benefit from a future boom in prices should take note: Economic policymakers around the world are looking for ways to make sure that doesn’t happen, or at least not with such intensity that it risks the kind of bust that usually follows.

    • SEC now freer to hike whistleblower awards

      With powerful senators watching closely, federal investigators search high and low for evidence of insider trading in shares of Microsoft. One of Wall Street’s best-known hedge fund managers is targeted, but the feds can’t find proof. Years pass, and they close the case without filing charges.

    • Central Bankers Reach Initial Accord on Global Standards

      The rules, developed after lengthy negotiations among regulators on the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, would not take effect for at least seven years.

    • Mistake: Why Goldman Sachs Channels Richard Nixon and Watergate

      You remember the big to-do about Goldman Sachs and how the United States Securities and Exchange Commission brought a so-called landmark fraud case against the mighty Wall Street firm? If you followed the legal soap opera, you were entertained with congressional hearings, thrilled by the lurid stories and dazzled by all the posturing and pandering. Then, at the eleventh hour, as the Gulf leak was capped, as FinReg was about to be signed, the Hollywood ending came into play as the case miraculously settled for something like half a billion dollars.

    • Booked: Suzanne McGee on Chasing Goldman Sachs
    • Video: Bloomberg’s Harper Discusses Goldman’s AIG Protection: Video
    • Wall Street Still Doesn’t Have a Sheriff

      The S.E.C. wasn’t forced to grapple with the issue until 1990, when Congress greatly expanded its power to seek financial penalties from corporate violators. (Before then, companies could shrug off civil orders as a passing embarrassment.)

    • F.C.I.C. Said to Aim at Goldman Derivatives Profit

      Goldman’s executives claim they do not track all information pertaining to derivatives, a position towards which the F.C.I.C. are clearly dubious.

    • Goldman Sachs Relied on Citigroup, Lehman for AIG Protection

      Goldman Sachs, the most profitable securities firm in Wall Street history, has argued that it didn’t depend on the U.S. government’s $182.3 billion rescue of AIG because the investment bank had collateral and credit-default swaps to protect itself. Joshua Rosner, an analyst at research firm Graham Fisher & Co. in New York, said the list of counterparties indicates that Goldman Sachs may have had difficulty collecting on those swaps.

    • In Short

      Goldman Sachs is facing a threat by the US financial crisis inquiry commission to hire outside accountants to comb through the bank’s systems for data on its derivatives business.

    • How Much Credit Card Rewards Cost the Poor

      According to the report, “Who Gains and Who Loses from Credit Card Payments? Theory and Calibrations,” released Monday, the reward programs create “an implicit money transfer” to credit card users from noncard users (i.e. cash payers) because of the across-the-board price increases merchants put in place to cover the costs of accepting the cards.

    • Ratings Agencies: Don’t Use Our Ratings

      Parts of the bond market are shutting down this week as ratings agencies try to figure out how they’ll be affected by a last-minute provision in the finance bill, the WSJ reports.

      President Obama will sign bill into law this morning, and this may be the first unintended consequence.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Gov’t Unlocks Apple’s iPhone But Is The Jailbreak Era Over?

      The iPhone ecosystem, which Apple protects with the ferocity of a Smoke Monster, is about to get wilder.

    • Funny How All The Senators Supporting Anti-FCC Bill, Have Raised Lots Of Money From AT&T

      We mentioned, when the recent FCC report on broadband came out, that it seemed notable that the first politician out of the gate complaining about it, Rep. Cliff Stearns just happened to have had massive financial support from the biggest broadband players around when it came to raising money for his political campaigns. Given that, it seemed worth looking into the sponsors of a new bill designed to prevent the FCC from implementing net neutrality rules. Now I’m still not convinced the FCC really has the authority to do what it’s trying to do, but I find it even more troubling when a group of Senators get together and call a new bill the “Freedom for Consumer Choice Act (FCC Act),” and it seems like they’re all funded by AT&T. Somehow, I don’t think that AT&T is supporting “freedom for consumer choice” when it comes to broadband. Over the years, they’ve done exactly the opposite, and worked hard to limit competition.

    • Time To Face Facts: Broadband Caps Are Really About Protecting Video Revenue

      As various broadband providers drool over the idea of implementing broadband caps, they’ve mainly focused on the claim that they’re doing so to make “bandwidth hogs” pay “their fair share.” Sometimes they sprinkle this with claims of poverty over having to provide unlimited access to people who actually use it a lot. Of course, none of this is true. The various metered broadband plans almost always end up increasing everyone’s bills, and there’s little to no evidence that bandwidth hogs are a problem, either technologically or economically speaking.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Three Strikes for Industry and Heritage

        Last year the Industry Ministry held a public Copyright Consultation, soliciting Canadian input on copyright reform. More than 8,000 Canadians made submissions in last year’s Copyright Consultation, and these submissions overwhelmingly said

      • SAS copyright lawsuit referred to European Court of Justice

        A copyright infringement lawsuit filed by SAS Institute against a small British software company is being passed from a British court to a higher European judicial body following a Friday ruling that has both companies claiming victory.

        [...]

        British court precedent holds that it is not copyright infringement to study how a program functions and write a program to emulate the functionality.

      • How Is It That New Copyrights Are Being Claimed On Work Done By An Artist Who Died 70 Years Ago?

        That sounded wrong to our reader, who questioned how that could make sense, seeing as Mucha has been dead for over 71 years. Now, I’m certainly no expert on Czech copyright law, so anyone out there who is an expert, feel free to chime in. But I’m assuming that the situation is similar to one that we discussed a year ago. In the US, thanks to Bridgeman vs. Corel, it is mostly believed that a photograph of a copyrighted work does not receive a new copyright (technically, it only applies in the court where the ruling was made, but the ruling has been followed by other US courts as well). However, in Europe, I believe the question is more or less unsettled — so many claim that a photograph of a work can itself get a new copyright.

      • Torrentfreak blasts a ‘bogus’ so-called ‘anti-piracy’ study

        It claimed websites such as Ars Technica and ZDNet were ‘taken in’ by a report put out by the Internet Commerce Security Laboratory (ICSL) and pushed by the ‘anti-piracy’ outfit AFACT, which said that only 0.3 per cent of files available on Bittorrent were legal.

        In a blog post, Torrentfreak said that the report tried to answer four questions and got them all entirely wrong due to inaccurate data and a flawed methodology.

        For instance, ICSL said that there were slightly more than a million torrent files from 17 Bittorrent trackers last Spring, but this was only a small sample of what they could have looked at. Also it was biased towards the most-seeded torrents such as TV and film, leaving others badly unrepresented.

      • Digital Economy (UK)

        • A Guide to the Digital Economy Act – Part 4

          Before the Digital Economy Act, it was possible for a copyright owner to gain an injunction against a service provider from the High Court. Under Sections 97A and 191JA of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended by the Copyright and Related Rights Regulations 2003), the Court can grant an injunction if it is proved they have “actual knowledge” that someone is “using their service to infringe copyright” – s97A(1). In practice, this means the copyright owner must notify the service provider and then take them to court (where they would need to prove the infringement) before anything would have to be done. The powers potentially available under the Digital Economy Act take this much further.

Clip of the Day

Java is Everywhere


Links 27/7/2010: Dell Sells Ubuntu Over Phone; Linux-based Pandora Runs Mortal Kombat 3

Posted in News Roundup at 10:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Dell decides to sell Linux boxes over the phone

      TIN BOX FLOGGER Dell has quashed reports that it stopped selling machines preloaded with the Linux distribution Ubuntu.

      It was reported that Dell had given up on its Linux experiment by going back to being a Microsoft only shop, however the firm responded to those stories by telling The INQUIRER that it will continue to sell selected machines with Ubuntu installed. However, punters looking for the capable alternative to Microsoft Windows will have to order by phone.

  • Kernel Space

    • Benchmarking ZFS On FreeBSD vs. EXT4 & Btrfs On Linux

      While ZFS was not faster than EXT4/Btrfs overall, these results certainly show that this file-system is a superior choice to the UFS file-system options on FreeBSD. The performance of ZFS is certainly better than UFS and it has the much greater set of features. It would actually be nice to see ZFS enabled by default in FreeBSD in a forthcoming release or at least for it to be properly integrated with the FreeBSD installer like what has been done with PC-BSD.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Android phone sales triple this year

      “The figures suggest an increasing number of consumers are now asking for Android handsets by name,” said GfK analyst Megan Baldock. “Operating systems are no longer simply a by-product but a key selling point in their own right.”

    • Augen’s $150 Android tablet hits Kmart circular, coming to stores later this week

      We can’t say we’ve heard of Augen before, but the company certainly sparked our interest (and that of Kmart circular readers) this weekend with its $149.99 7-inch Android tablet. Oh yes, you heard right shoppers — the small Florida-based shop is bringing an Android 2.1 tablet with WiFi, 2GB of storage and 256MB of RAM to a store near you for just 150 buckaroos.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Project of the Month, June 2010

    OpenNMS was registered on SourceForge in March of 2000 as project 4141, about two months after NetSaint which later became Nagios. So it has been around for while, almost longer than any other open source management tool.

    It was designed from “day one” to be enterprise-grade, that is to manage tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of devices from a single instance. Ultimately it will be able to mange unlimited devices with a heavily distributed architecture.

  • If Oracle Bought Every Open Source Company…

    Recently, there was an interesting rumour circulating that Oracle had a war chest of some $70 billion, and was going on an acquisition spree. Despite the huge figure, it had a certain plausibility, because Oracle is a highly successful company with deep pockets and an aggressive management. The rumour was soon denied, but it got me wondering: supposing Oracle decided to spend, if not $70 billion, say $10 billion in an efficient way: how might it do that? And it occurred to me that one rather dramatic use of that money would be to buy up the leading open source companies – all of them.

  • Open Core is a bad word

    Matt Aslett continued his series on Open Core yesterday, and pointed to my post on the subject. He says, and I agree, that we can’t expect companies to call themselves Open Core as a means of differentiating from Open Source if we use pejorative phrases like “crippleware” to refer to Open Core projects.

    But that ship has long since sailed. No company has every described themselves as “an Open Core company” to anyone except VCs, as shorthand for their business model. In the software business, Open Core has no-one defending it, and it has no brand value. In fact, in free software circles, Open Core has been a pejorative phrase almost since it was coined – fauxpen source, popularised by Tarus Balog, cites Open Core as a synonym, and pretty much every mention of it which I have found has not been by a vendor referring to themselves, but by an analyst or commentator referring to a class of business models.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Liberate U.S.: Do government legal files belong to the people?

      Years ago, as young student serfs toiling on the law school legal plantation, several of my peers and I “had a vision.” It was not as big as some, but hopeful and liberating nonetheless, of legal information being freely accessible to all Americans.

    • Navigating the Wild West of non-peer-reviewed science

      Peer review serves as a critical sanity check for the scientific literature. It is by no means a perfect system—flaws ranging from outright fraud to subtle errors can easily slip past reviewers—but peer review can generally identify cases where a paper’s conclusions aren’t supported by the underlying data, or the authors are unaware of other relevant papers, etc. As a result, peer review acts as a key barrier to prevent scientifically unsound ideas from attracting undeserved attention from the scientific community.

  • Standards/Non Standards

    • OpenGL 4.1 Specification Released

      The Khronos Group announced today the release of the OpenGL 4.1 specification, which has been defined by Khronos’ OpenGL Architecture Review Board (ARB). The previous version of the specification, OpenGL 4.0, was unveiled in March.

    • What is Google Punch? A New Google Docs Format

      A Google staff member posted a video on YouTube demonstrating a particular Google Spreadsheet function today, but when she selected a file format to launch – there was a new option on the drop down menu. Called Punch, the video made no mention of the file type and we’ve been unable to find any mention of it elsewhere. Internally, at least, it appears that something very new is in the works at Google Docs.

Leftovers

  • Curated computing is no substitute for the personal and handmade

    But I fear that when analysts slaver over “curated” computing, it’s because they mean “monopoly” computing – computing environments like the iPad where all your apps have to be pre-approved by a single curating entity, one who uses the excuse of safety and consistency to justify this outrageous power grab. Of course, these curators are neither a guarantee of safety, nor of quality: continuous revelations about malicious software and capricious, inconsistent criteria for evaluating software put the lie to this. Even without them, it’s pretty implausible to think that an app store with hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of programs could be blindly trusted to be free from bugs, malware, and poor aesthetic choices.

  • HP guns for printer ink competition

    HP has asked the US International Trade Commission (ITC) to have a look at some of the inkjet ink supplies and components that are being shipped to the Land of the Free.

  • Science

    • What Caffeine Actually Does to Your Brain

      More important than just fitting in, though, caffeine actually binds to those receptors in efficient fashion, but doesn’t activate them—they’re plugged up by caffeine’s unique shape and chemical makeup. With those receptors blocked, the brain’s own stimulants, dopamine and glutamate, can do their work more freely—”Like taking the chaperones out of a high school dance,” Braun writes in an email. In the book, he ultimately likens caffeine’s powers to “putting a block of wood under one of the brain’s primary brake pedals.”

    • Quark discoverer: Decoherence, language and complexes

      BEFORE my interview with Murray Gell-Mann officially begins, we have lunch. We are at the Santa Fe Institute (SFI) in the foothills of New Mexico’s Sangre de Cristo mountains, and here, lunch is a communal affair.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Guv: At least 2 state workers behind ‘The List’
    • The quiet threat: Cyber spies are already in your systems

      Is your company’s data under surveillance by foreign spybots looking for any competitive advantages or weaknesses they can exploit? This might sound farfetched, but such electronic espionage is real. It’s an insidious security threat that’s a lot more common than you probably realize.

    • Sixteen Years in Prison for Videotaping the Police?

      The ACLU of Maryland is defending Anthony Graber, who potentially faces sixteen years in prison if found guilty of violating state wiretap laws because he recorded video of an officer drawing a gun during a traffic stop. In a trend that we’ve seen across the country, police have become increasingly hostile to bystanders recording their actions. You can read some examples here, here and here.

    • Police chief: Yes, my plods sometimes forget photo laws

      The Metropolitan Police Force cannot be guaranteed to abide by the law when it comes to allowing the public their right to take photographs.

      That was the startling admission made last week by Met Police Commissioner John Stephenson under sharp questioning from Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member Dee Doocey during a Police Authority Meeting on 22 July in City Hall. Video footage of the exchange is available on the Metropolitan Police Authority site, with relevant footage from around the 68 minute mark.

    • Who controls the off switch?

      We have a new paper on the strategic vulnerability created by the plan to replace Britain’s 47 million meters with smart meters that can be turned off remotely. The energy companies are demanding this facility so that customers who don’t pay their bills can be switched to prepayment tariffs without the hassle of getting court orders against them.

  • Finance

    • SpongeTech Strikes Out in Bankruptcy

      SpongeTech Delivery Systems, which makes soap-filled sponges in such shapes as (appropriately) SpongeBob SquarePants and whose advertising has dazzled fans at sporting events, has filed for bankruptcy protection

      According to Crain’s New York Business, the Manhattan sponge maker’s demise began after the company’s chief executive was charged with fraud in May. Prosecutors said CEO Michael Metter helped to fake 99% of the company’s supposed sales, and he was charged with conspiracy and obstruction of justice.

    • Hedge Fund Owner in Rothstein Case Agrees to Surrender Bulk of Assets

      Fort Lauderdale, Fla., millionaire George Levin, whose Banyon Investors Fund was the primary feeder fund that funneled about $830 million into Scott Rothstein’s Ponzi scheme, has agreed to surrender the bulk of his assets under a bankruptcy settlement.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • US Newspaper starts charging online commenters token registration fee

      Newspapers have come up with various methods to monetise online content; for example, New Zealand’s The National Business Review has introduced a paywall for some of its online material.

      However, The Sun Chronicle in Attleboro, Massachusetts may be taking the search for new revenue streams just a little too far. It has announced that it will start charging its readers to comment on stories on the paper’s website. Before posting their thoughts on any story, readers must register their name, address, phone number, and a credit card number with the paper. Registered readers are charged a one-time fee of 99 cents for their commenting privileges.

    • Court: Violating Terms of Service Is Not a Crime, But Bypassing Technical Barriers Might Be
    • Privileged Information in a ‘WikiLeaks’ World

      “The advent of something like WikiLeaks kind of makes the traditional concept of prior restraint obsolete,” says Lee Levine, a name partner at Levine Sullivan (Levine is not advising The Times or any parties on the WikiLeaks matter).

    • UK ISP TalkTalk Monitoring its Customers Online Activity Without Consent

      Broadband ISP TalkTalk UK could be about to incur the wrath of privacy campaigners after some of its customers spotted that their online website browsing activity was being monitored and recorded without consent. The situation has caused a significant amount of concern with many end-users worried about the impact upon their personal privacy.

    • Italy: Internet press freedom under threat

      Guilia Bongiorno, president of the parliamentary judiciary committee, decided on 21 July that amendments to paragraph 29 of article 1 of the so-called Wiretapping Bill were “unacceptable”. The amendments targeted the article’s extension of the print press rectification obligation to the web. By eliminating even the possibility that this complex topic will be debated in parliament, the deicison threatens to make freedom of information on the web its first victim.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Intellectual Property Rights and Innovation: Evidence from the Human Genome

      This paper provides empirical evidence on how intellectual property (IP) on a given technology affects subsequent innovation. To shed light on this question, I analyze the sequencing of the human genome by the public Human Genome Project and the private firm Celera, and estimate the impact of Celera’s gene-level IP on subsequent scientific research and product development outcomes. Celera’s IP applied to genes sequenced first by Celera, and was removed when the public effort re-sequenced those genes.

    • Copyrights

      • Fighting With Teenagers: A Copyright Story

        I signed on to the website that is most offensive to me, got an account, and typed my name into the Search box. I got 4,000 hits. Four thousand copies of my music were being offered for “trade.” (I put “trade” in quotes because of course it’s not really a trade, since nobody’s giving anything up in exchange for what they get. It’s just making illegal unauthorized copies, and calling it “trade” legitimizes it in an utterly fraudulent way.) I clicked on the most recent addition, and I sent the user who was offering that music an email. This is what I wrote:

        Hey there! Can I get you to stop trading my stuff? It’s totally not cool with me. Write me if you have any questions, I’m happy to talk to you about this. jason@jasonrobertbrown.com

        Thanks,
        J.

        Nothing too formal or threatening, just a casual sort of suggestion.

        But I wasn’t content to do it with just one user. I started systematically going through the pages, and eventually I wrote to about four hundred users.

        The broad majority of people I wrote to actually wrote back fairly quickly, apologized sincerely, and then marked their music “Not for trade.” I figured that was a pretty good result, but I did find it odd – why list the material at all if you’re not going to trade it?

      • Woot To AP: You Owe Us $17.50 For Copying Our Content

        When Woot announced last week that it was going to be acquired by Amazon.com, just about everyone wrote about it. However, of the many media organizations that covered the deal, only one has floated a policy that would charge bloggers for the kind of excerpting that’s historically been considered fair use. So, when the Associated Press, in writing about the Woot-Amazon deal, borrowed some of Woot’s own verbiage, the deal-a-day site struck back and told the wire service it expected $17.50 for the words. Or the AP could just buy two pairs of Sennheiser in-ear headphones and call it even.

      • RIAA suffers big setback in Tenenbaum case

        The music industry suffered another high-profile legal setback on Friday when a federal judge reduced a damages award against a file sharer found liable for copyright violations.

      • Judge Cuts File-Sharing Fine to $67,500
      • RIAA Appeals Reduction of Tenenbaum P2P Judgment

        Disagrees with Judge Nancy Gertner’s ruling that the $675,000 fine is “unconstitutionally excessive” and formally appeals the case to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

      • Curse of the Greedy Copyright Holders
      • Indian Ocean Pokes at Record Companies, Gives away Latest Album for Free [Kill Piracy]

        Indian Ocean, a favorite of PI team (and our readers) has poked at Recording companies and decided to give away their latest album, 16/330 Khajoor Road for free. The album has seven songs and Indian Ocean is giving away free song from the album starting July 25th, 2010.

      • BitTorrent Releasers Slice The Top Off Movie Piracy Pyramid

        Online movie piracy has largely enjoyed a fairly predictable structure during the last decade. New releases have generally hit the Internet on high-security ‘topsites’ first and then trickled down to become widely available on peer-to-peer networks. TorrentFreak now takes a look at a new wave of release groups who operate with a fresh and BitTorrent-powered philosophy.

      • Peter Sunde Banned From Operating The Pirate Bay

        Earlier this year The Pirate Bay’s co-founders Gottfrid Svartholm and Fredrik Neij were banned from operating the site by a Swedish court. Today, The Pirate Bay’s former spokesperson Peter Sunde was added to this list, and now faces a fine of nearly $70,000 if he does not comply with the decision.

      • Copyright Finally Getting Around To Destroying Player Piano Music… One Century Late

        I’m reminded of this bit of history thanks to this story, brought to my attention by Glyn Moody, about how Jon “Maddog” Hall wanted to try to preserve some deteriorating piano rolls, but discovered (much to his annoyance) that copyright may be getting in the way. He points out that many old player piano rolls are deteriorating, and the small group of remaining collectors are hoping to preserve the music by digitizing them.

Clip of the Day

Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 SNES – [Linux-based] Pandora emulation


07.26.10

Links 26/7/2010: Sabayon 5.3 Review, OpenOffice.org 3.3 is Coming

Posted in News Roundup at 6:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Living the Linux Lifestyle

    Why do some people choose to run Linux as their PC platform of choice while others opt instead for other ways of running their computing experiences?

    Is it market share, perceived ease of use, slick marketing overtures, users wanting to use what they already know? This list might explain why people might choose OS X or Windows.

    But what approach to computing (and life) prompts a person to use a Linux box on a daily basis? I’ll share my insights based on personal experiences and other observations accumulated over years of living the Linux lifestyle full time.

  • Server

    • Why You Should Never Steal From a Linux Admin

      You get to spend countless hours dealing with “me myself and I” users who always seem to have issues that can escalate to bringing the world as we know it to an end if not promptly attended to. The pay is bad and the work hours are long. Simply put system administration is a job for those who love and have a passion for administering computers and their users.

  • Graphics Stack

    • Kernel Log: Coming in 2.6.35 (Part 4) – Architecture and infrastructure

      Measures to optimise the power management code and fully support the Turbo Core function of recent AMD six-core processors increase the data throughput and processing speed of Linux 2.6.35. Further kernel additions include tracing interfaces for KVM, another kernel configuration program, and functions for de-fragmenting the working memory.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Smitten with Xfce 4

      If you’ve read me long enough, you know I am a desktop junkie. Much to Jaqui’s chagrin, I do love my desktops. So much so I could have a different desktop every day and still not be completely happy. During my trials and tribulations with the Linux desktop I have, surprisingly, missed the whole Xfce train. Why? I have no idea. I’ve known of it, I’ve used it briefly, and never really thought much more about it. That is, until recently.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Sabayon 5.3 review

        The main purpose of the reviews published on this site is to give readers a good idea of what they would experience if they actually downloaded and installed the distribution on their computer. It is, therefore, necessary to highlight good features, or features I think will lead to a positive user experience. It is also necessary to highlight badly implemented features, or features that could give a negative user experience. For this review, let’s begin by looking at the features I think you’ll like on Sabayon (5.3).

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Project News – July 26th, 2010

        The organisers of the DebConf10, the upcoming annual Debian Developer conference, announced that there will again be a Debian Day for everybody interested in free software. It will be on the 1st of August at the Columbia University in New York City. During this event, there will be a full day of talks on several subjects such as free software in government, design and free software, free software advocacy as well as string of talks about the Debian project and operating system. Debian Day is free of charge, but a registration via e-mail is required to ease the organisation of that event. More information is available on http://debianday.org/.

      • [Howto] Debian preseed with Netboot

        Imagine the following situation: you find yourself with ten to twenty brand new Notebooks and the opportunity to install them with Debian and customise to your own taste. In any case it would be great fun to manually perform the Debian installation and configuration on each Notebook. This is where Debian Preseed comes into play.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Android

      • Carrier Billing For Android Market Is Coming To More Networks

        Hidden away in a bland update about terms & conditions, Google’s Android Developer Blog has revealed the next phase in Google’s plans to make Android a little more pleasing to the mass market—direct carrier billing for app purchases made via the Android Market.

      • Survey: Android Tablets “Sad state of Open Source”

        Although Android itself is under an Apache licence, within Android are GPL licensed components such as the Linux kernel. This means that although vendors can freely use Google created layers such as the Dalvik VM, user interface layer and other services, the operating system’s kernel needs to be made available as source code to anyone who receives the code under the GPL licence.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Mozilla

  • Oracle

    • OpenOffice.org 3.3 Definitely On Its Way

      OpenOffice.org 3.2.1 was released on June 4 and a new master workspace was branched off for the upcoming 3.3 on June 5. The code in this branch will be stabilized and later become the product release that will find its way onto your desktops.

      With the feature and UI freeze of June 24, only fixes will go into this new OOO330 release code branch. New features will be merged into the DEV300 development code line as 3.3 is readied for release.

    • Five Reasons You Don’t Need Microsoft Office 2010

      Have you looked at the new Microsoft Office 2010 yet? How many of its few, new features does your company really need? And are these features worth the investment? Here are five reasons your company doesn’t need to purchase Office 2010.

    • Java’s team of rivals: Conflicts and alliances in the Oracle era

      On the surface, it would seem Oracle, as the new proprietor of all things Sun, is now the master of Java’s fate. Besides inventing Java, Sun had steered important Java technologies such as the GlassFish application server, which has served as the open source reference implementation of enterprise Java. Sun also held power in the Java Community Process (JCP), the official scheme for amending Java.

  • Simon Phipps/Semi-Open Source

    • Former Sun Open Source Evangelist Forges Forward

      Simon Phipps is one of those technology purists that makes you wish you were even half as enthusiastic as he is about your favourite subject. As Sun Microsystems’ chief open source officer/evangelist he was a welcome addition to JavaOne events, where he would typically install himself in the press room alongside the technical journalists and file Flip-video reports on his own company’s event with tremendous gusto.

    • Open Source Does Not Need “Monetising”

      Phrases like “we can’t give everything away” garnish the thought, and it’s easy to be drawn into sympathising with them. But they are wrong. Open source itself is not about making money – that’s the job of its participants.

      Open source is what happens when several different people choose to work together on the same code base rather than working separately. They use an OSI-approved licence and gather as an open source community around the resulting free-software commons. Each of them is there for their own reasons; each covers their own costs and contributes the code they choose to. There is no pooling of funds to pay for work to be done because everyone is solely responsible for their own costs.

  • Programming

    • Whatever happened to Perl?

      Once one of the pillars of the Internet, is Perl now fading away — or will Perl 6 will spark a renaissance for the programming language?

Leftovers

  • Environment

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • EFF Wins New Legal Protections for Video Artists, Cell Phone Jailbreakers, and Unlockers

      The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) won three critical exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) anticircumvention provisions today, carving out new legal protections for consumers who modify their cell phones and artists who remix videos — people who, until now, could have been sued for their non-infringing or fair use activities.

      [...]

      The first of EFF’s three successful requests clarifies the legality of cell phone “jailbreaking” — software modifications that liberate iPhones and other handsets to run applications from sources other than those approved by the phone maker. More than a million iPhone owners are said to have “jailbroken” their handsets in order to change wireless providers or use applications obtained from sources other than Apple’s own iTunes “App Store,” and many more have expressed a desire to do so. But the threat of DMCA liability had previously endangered these customers and alternate applications stores.

    • Judge rules that circumventing DRM is not illegal
    • The DMCA just got a little weaker

Clip of the Day

Xmonad + Compiz 0.9


Links 26/7/2010: Library of Congress Still GNU/Linux Hostile, Misc. News That Matters

Posted in News Roundup at 2:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Librarian of Congress Still Clueless About Linux

    So. They tell us to buy another operating system. Thou shalt use proprietary software. Is that the government’s role? If we want to use Netflix, we have to have two operating systems, one just for that? I wonder if a different legal argument were made if it might be successful, namely that the government should not be in the position of forcing citizens to spend money to have two operating systems just to be legal. Nor should a government aid certain vendors to make money by such compelling of citizens to buy their products. Nor should the government endorse products or enable certain companies to make competing products less desirable in the market.

    I mean, to think about how silly this is, turn it around. Let’s say the US Copyright Office said you could only view movies and DVDs on Linux. Imagine if they told protesters using Microsoft and Apple that Linux is free, so they can just download it and dual boot, so there’s no problem? Can you imagine the uproar? From Microsoft, for starters. They fight like pit bulls when any government suggests using Linux too, and when they say they will only use Linux, what does Microsoft do? Well, legally they argue it’s prejudicial. Why isn’t this similarly prejudicial?

    Of course, Netflix and Hollywood could do the right thing and solve this in the marketplace by making their works available to Linux users. Hollywood seriously needs to think about its use of Linux while making it impossible for Linux users to enjoy the resulting works. They use Linux because it’s the best tool they can find. So do we.

  • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

Leftovers

  • This isn’t the first time Seed has sacrificed editorial independence

    Journalist Gaia Vince recalls how Seed magazine, owner of ScienceBlogs, spiked one of her articles because it was critical of a potential advertiser

    While the science community reacted with indignation and shock this week over ScienceBlogs’ decision to publish a blog on nutrition written by food giant PepsiCo, I was unsurprised. I’ve been here before with Seed magazine, owners of the ScienceBlogs network.

  • Judge Says Constitution Protects Right to Lie About Purple Heart

    A federal judge has declared unconstitutional a little-known law making it a crime to falsely claim to have been awarded a military medal.

  • Internet will soon be running on IPv4 address fumes
  • Science

  • Environment

    • 27,000 abandoned oil and gas wells in Gulf of Mexico ignored by government, industry

      More than 27,000 abandoned oil and gas wells lurk in the hard rock beneath the Gulf of Mexico, an environmental minefield that has been ignored for decades. No one — not industry, not government — is checking to see if they are leaking, an Associated Press investigation shows.

    • Photographer detained by police, BP employee near refinery

      A photographer taking pictures of a BP refinery in Texas was detained by a BP security official, local police and a man who said he was from the Department of Homeland Security, according to ProPublica, a non-profit news organization in the U.S.

    • Africa’s national parks failing to conserve large mammals, study shows
    • BP whistleblower: oil clean-up effort is in disarray

      Former BP contractor Adam Dillon went public last Friday, telling a local news station in New Orleans that he was fed up with BP’s handling of the spill response, not least of all its information clampdown. In an interview with Mother Jones this week, Dillon, who claims he was fired for raising concerns about the cleanup with his bosses, elaborated on his experiences in the Gulf and vented his frustrations with BP.

    • Gulf Oil Spill Mapping

      We’re helping citizens to use balloons, kites, and other simple and inexpensive tools to produce their own aerial imagery of the spill… documentation that will be essential for environmental and legal use in coming years.

    • 10 ways vegetarianism can help save the planet

      The average British carnivore eats more than 11,000 animals in their lifetime, each requiring vast amounts of land, fuel and water to reach the plate. It’s time to think of waste as well as taste

  • Finance

    • Deficits of Mass Destruction

      If you’ve been paying attention this past decade, it won’t surprise you to learn that the country’s policy elites are in the midst of a destructive, well-nigh unhinged discussion about the future of the nation. But even by the degraded standards of the Washington establishment, the growing panic over government debt is shocking.

    • IMF warns against budget cuts

      International Monetary Fund says only western countries in the most severe difficulty should try to reduce their deficits, appearing to back former Labour government’s policy

      [...]

      By contrast, the IMF reckoned the world economy was recovering faster than expected, although it warned that Europe’s debt troubles posed a big risk.

    • Keiser Declares Goldman Sachs “An Undeclared National Enemy”

      I have often maintained that any action by any company, individual or group of individuals, that has a mass negative affect on the people should be considered an enemy of the state. In fact, some actions taken by these individuals may even be considered treasonous. I believe that some high ranking government officials have commited treason but their actions, by virtue of who they are, are not dealt with as they would if it were you or I doing the same things.

    • Helping homeowners – or the banks?

      Through May, the treasury department reported that 340,000 of the 1.5 million homeowners who been offered trial modifications had received permanent modifications. Almost as many, 300,000 homeowners, never even started on the trial after it was offered. Roughly the same number of homeowners had their trial modifications cancelled before being offered a permanent modification.

      [...]

      Unfortunately, almost no one in Washington talks about this route either. They are concerned about interfering with the Fed’s independence. After all, Greenspan and Bernanke have done such great things for the economy how can anyone suggest changes?

      For now at least, we can only talk about helping homeowners if most of the money goes to the banks. Since we aren’t actually helping homeowners with current policy, maybe we should just end the discussion and make the banks work for their money instead of relying on taxpayer handouts.

  • Health

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Net neutrality will die in the US

      INTERNET DEMOCRACY is set to be crushed and hopes for an Internet that is fair and open to all look doomed as Republican senators push legislation that will force antitrust like laws on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Facebook & WNY man square off in Buffalo court

      Facebook will try to get a New York man’s claim for majority ownership of the website thrown out of court, attorneys for the social networking site said Tuesday.

      A complaint by Paul Ceglia of Wellsville claims that a 7-year-old contract he signed with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for software development entitles him to 84 percent of the company.

    • Copyrights

      • Chaplin song silences U.K. charity girl

        Silence isn’t always golden after all — at least not for Bethany Hare.

        The 10-year-old budding actress’ effort to raise money for a U.K. children’s hospice through a homemade video has been dealt a setback by a copyright dispute with a New York-based publishing company that owns the rights to a song from a Charlie Chaplin movie.

      • While We’re Ranting, It’s Time For the “Bamboo Fly Rod Builder vs Corporate Legal Department” Show

        While we’re on the subject of rants (a real rarity here at the Underground), we’d like to point out it’s not exactly been a great decade for the PR departments of most corporations (the financial industry recently brought the world economy to its knees, and if you haven’t looked to the Southeast USA lately, you’ve missed the specter of BP work crews burning oil-covered sea turtles alive).

      • Canadian Court Lets Perfect 10 Case Against Google Move Forward

        Over the years, we’ve written many, many, many times about Perfect 10, the former publisher of a porn magazine who has spent the last decade making ridiculously laughable arguments about how every search engine on the planet is infringing on its copyrights for pointing people to images that people had scanned from Perfect 10′s magazines and put online. For the most part, these lawsuits have gone nowhere, but Perfect 10 is incredibly persistent. Last month, we wrote about a countersuit by Rapidshare, which detailed how Perfect 10 is now a “copyright troll,” that (according to Rapidshare’s claims) purposely tries to spread its works online in order to have more companies to sue. Obviously, a key target of Perfect 10 has been Google, though Perfect 10 keeps losing (and then continues to come up with ridiculous reasons to keep the lawsuit alive).

      • More Porn Companies Filing Mass Lawsuits Against File Sharers

        The complaint reads like most of the other, similar complaints we’ve seen, explaining the basics of BitTorrent to establish the claim that these “Does” infringed on the copyright. Once again, it seems like an open question as to whether or not it’s actually legal to include all of these defendants in a single lawsuit. It’s also not clear if the goal here is to send similar pre-settlement letters, but that sure seems likely.

      • IP czar targets overseas pirate sites

        U.S. President Barack Obama isn’t the only government official who wants to smack down copyright infringement and counterfeiting.

      • Court reverses Rapidshare filesharing verdict

        WEB HOST Rapidshare has won an appeal against film distributor Capelight Pictures that absolves it of blame for the dissemination of a film through its network.

        Capelight Pictures, known for peddling such motion picture marvels as Cherrybomb, Dood Eind and Fanboy, had accused Rapidshare of not undertaking “all reasonable measures” to stop the spread of a title through its network. Capelight had initially won an injunction against Rapidshare, however the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf has reversed that decision.

      • Copycats: A Tale of Two Jackets
      • Pissing Off A Movie Critic By Claiming Copyright Over A Video Review… Probably Not Smart

        On that first one. Just saying it’s a “review” doesn’t automatically give you fair use rights. And there’s no fair use for “satire,” only parody — and it’s not clear that the review is actually a parody (or, for that matter, satire). Going through the four factors for fair use… you could make an argument either way as to whether or not it currently is fair use. It would really depend on the judge, and I’d actually guess that the sheer amount of the movie that is used would probably tilt the scales against fair use.

      • What is a £1m record deal?

        News of an act being given a £1m record contract by a major label conjures up images of a big cheque and instant riches. But what does a £1m record contract actually mean?

      • Digital Economy (UK)

        • UK regulator turns over Internet policing standards to movie and record industries

          When the last UK Parliament rushed the Digital Economy Act into law without debate, hours before it dissolved for the election, it appointed Ofcom, the telcoms regulator, to work out the details. Specifically, it charged Ofcom with sorting out some high standards for what evidence a rightsholder would have to produce in order to finger an online infringer (the DEA gives these rightsholders the power to eventually disconnect entire families from the internet on the strength of these accusations).

          Now Ofcom has abrogated its duty to the public and announced that the record and film industry can “self-regulate” their evidence-gathering procedures; in other words, anything that the MPA or BPI say counts as proof that you’ve violated copyright goes. Since these are the same companies that have mistakenly accused dead people, inanimate objects (laser printers), and people who don’t own computers of file-sharing, this doesn’t bode well.

Clip of the Day

While we get 0.9 compiz


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

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Kernel Space

    • Interview with Linux Foundation executive director Jim Zemlin

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

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

  • GNOME Desktop

    • GNOME Foundation and LiMo Foundation announce partnership

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

  • Distributions

    • Embracing the Web

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

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

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

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

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

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

  • Science

    • SpaceShipTwo Makes First Flight With Crew Aboard

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

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

  • Security/Aggression

  • Environment

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

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

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

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

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

  • Finance

    • Training crucial to labor market

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

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

    • Industries Find Surging Profits in Deeper Cuts

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

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

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

    • Credit Score Is the Tyrant in Lending

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

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

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

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

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

    • Spending Can Be Cut

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

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • New bill renews Internet privacy fight

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

    • New Wikileaks to Old Channels

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

      [...]

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

    • What if there are no secrets?

      Is no secret safe?

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

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

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

    • Ruling on DMCA could allow breaking DRM for fair use

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

    • FCC Takes Beating Over Closed Door Net Neutrality Meeting

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

  • Intellectual Monopolies

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

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

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

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

    • Copyrights

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

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

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

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

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

      • Guns N’ Roses Uploader Laughs Last

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

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

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

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

      • Publisher Sued For Reposting Article Based On His Own Research

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

      • Westminster eForum: Peter Jenner on digital content consumers

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

      • Contemplating Copyright

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

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

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

    • ACTA

      • Pirate Party storms out of uber-secret ACTA negotiations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • Five Pictures of OSCON

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

  • BSD

    • Running ZFS With CAM-based ATA On FreeBSD 8.1

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

  • Openness/Sharing

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

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

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

  • Open Data

  • Standards/Consortia

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

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

    • Taking webm for a Spin

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

Leftovers

  • 3 Staffers With McInnis Campaign Resign

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

  • Science

  • Security/Aggression

    • CCTV turning schools into ‘prisons’

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

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

    • Bar owner defends toilet CCTV move

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

    • ‘Sneaky’ Wandsworth Council makes million on station CCTV

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

    • Mother arrested after ‘stealing ball’

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

    • Police forces under pressure over Europe evidence demands

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

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

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

  • Environment

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

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

      [...]

      Connecting the Dots: Hushed Relationships Between ACE and BP

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

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

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

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

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

    • Governors Declare Day of Prayer for Gulf Spill

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

    • Coast Guard Photos Show Spill Workers Without Protective Gear

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

    • Gulf Seafood Gets Chemically Tested for Oil, Not Dispersant

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Finance

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • The Evolving Nature of the Corporation

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

      [...]

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

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying

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

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

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Wikileaks: No Substitute for Transparency

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

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

    • Data retention: Got nothing to hide?

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

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

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

  • Copyrights

    • $27 million claimed; $500 awarded

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

    • Tech News Sites Tout Misleading BitTorrent Piracy Study

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

      [...]

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

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

    • ACTA

      • ACTA leaks – but secret squirrel stays secret

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

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

    • Digital Economy

Clip of the Day

XBMC Mythbox Demo


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