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Links 21/11/2010: KDE 4.5 and KDE SC 4.7 Plans, Fedora Elections

Posted in News Roundup at 8:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Linux Audio Blog #4

      This entry is mostly about my further experiences with AROS (Amiga Research Operating System) along with some more thoughts about Plan 9 and the Zaurus. 16 minutes in duration.

    • Linux Outlaws 177 – The Orgasmatron (Eyebrow Control Was My Idea)

      On Linux Outlaws this week: Symbian and MeeGo talk, System76 shipping to the UK, Fab rants on a stupid Fedora decision, open source Kinect drivers and much more….

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • A Short Video Tour Of The Wayland Display Server

        There’s been a lot of talk lately about the Wayland Display Server since it was announced Ubuntu is going to deploy their Unity Desktop atop Wayland. The new Wayland mailing list has become lively with end-users and developers and there’s more people now trying out this experimental lightweight display server that leverages OpenGL ES, kernel mode-setting, and the Graphics Execution Manager, among other recent Linux graphics technologies. Most people though still haven’t seen or used Wayland, but here’s a short video showing it off.

      • NVIDIA CUDA 3.2 Toolkit Released

        While NVIDIA should soon be releasing a new Linux graphics driver beta, for those of you interested in NVIDIA’s Compute Unified Device Architecture (CUDA) rather than — or as a complement to — OpenCL, there is a new tool-kit release. CUDA 3.2 is now available this week. CUDA 3.2 brings a number of new features to the NVIDIA GPGPU table.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • OpenGL ES For KWin In KDE SC 4.7 Is Taking Shape

        For KDE SC 4.7, Martin has also been working on OpenGL ES 2.0 support for KWin so that it could be used by mobile devices, such as those running MeeGo. OpenGL ES 2.0 is also supported by Mesa and Gallium3D and the proprietary drivers too, due to the web presence of OpenGL ES 2.0.

      • KDE 4 Look Part 3: A Week of KDE 4.5

        So I’ve used KDE for about a work week. During that time I’ve pretty much gone to using the KDE versions of all my programs except Konqueror. I’m not sure if the Fedora 14 version of Konqueror is the one with Webkit, but last time I used Konqueror with KHTML it was mucking up a bunch of web pages including my blog. So I stuck with Google Chrome, which is what i use on Gnome, LXDE (Lubuntu on my laptop), and on my Windows 7 install. (Also, I stuck with gPodder for podcasts because that’s working perfectly) So how did it go? First of all, I love the stock screenshot tool in KDE, KSnapshot. I love that lets me choose full screen, region, window under cursor, and section of Window. With Gnome I hit print screen and then I have to edit the png in the GIMP. So it gives me less work for my Linux-related blogging.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Should You Sell Red Hat Right Now?

        Red Hat has failed only two of the quick tests that would make it a sell. Does that mean you should hold your Red Hat shares? Not necessarily. Just keep your eye on these trends over the coming quarters.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora elections – vote!

          The F15 election period has just begun! If you are a Fedora contributor (i.e. you have a FAS account and at least one non-CLA group) please take the time to cast your vote before 2010-11-28 23:59:59 UTC.

        • Fedora 14 Updates

          Today, I opened up a terminal, issued the su command, and typed in my root password on my Fedora 14 laptop. I then issued the “yum update” command to install all of the latest Fedora 14 updates. I am running Fedora 14 on a 64-bit Toshiba Satellite L675 laptop. Fedora 14 runs extremely well on it with the exception of no wifi drivers, and the touchpad’s response is a little bit subpar. There is also an issue with audio recording/input. I cannot record from my microphone in Audacity. There is an incredible lag/failure in audio recording. When I do try to record, on playback, most of what I recorded is missing.

    • Debian Family

      • Following Debian via microblogging
      • 11.0 Alpha 3 Released to Testers on MEPIS Anniversary

        It was 8 years ago today that the MEPIS Linux project started when Warren Woodford decided to build a version of Linux that would be easy to try from CD, easy to install from the live environment, and easy for everyone to use. Over the years there have been reports of SimplyMEPIS being the first OS of one year old children, and also the first OS of 90 year old adults.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Unity Place People – Day 2

          Most of the difficulties are due to my love for python and the simplicity. However I am learning a lot while hacking this. Tomorrow I will write a short tutorial on how to work with Unity. And Monday I will try to write one how to work with Folks.

        • Plymouth manager lets you change boot theme, resolution in Ubuntu

          Features include: -

          * Enable/disable Plymouth
          * Set splash resolution
          * Fixing errant errors
          * Choosing/creating new themes

        • Choose the Best Server for your Ubuntu updates & SC

          There are many download servers and mirror server, for ubuntu packages and updates, in this world. A default server will be set for your software sources according to your location. This server need not be the best and fastest server available for you.

          You can choose the best server available and set it as the download server for your software source in Ubuntu.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • On Design Contests in FLOSS

    It seems to be somewhat popular to hold a contest, if a FLOSS project needs a (new) logo or other seemingly singular asset.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Attention Localizers, big changes ahead for SUMO

        A new KB means that we have a lot of new strings in the UI — more than 2000 words in all. You can find the new strings in Verbatim, our new tool for all UI localization. It’s a lot of words, but fear not: up to 50% of the strings were ported over, so if you’ve localized those in the past you don’t have to do it again. When we moved them we marked them as fuzzy, so you can decide for yourself whether you want to accept them or change them.

      • Analyze Your Search Behavior

        With Prospector, we are interested in improving searches in the browser including those searches that you make through websites. To better understand how people do various types of searches, we have put together a new experiment to help you report back with your findings.

        This experiment is slightly different from our previous experiments like Speak Words or Find Suggest. It is more of a study where you can take a look at your own data and come up with your own ideas of how searches can be improved.

      • Firefox 4 Nightlies finally adds ‘menu’ button

        The long-awaited ‘Firefox’ menu button has arrived in the latest nightly Linux builds – for now.

  • Oracle

    • Unpacking the Oracle and AWS Rumor

      I wasn’t at Defrag, but the whispers there made their way back to me quickly. My policy is to ignore these, because the probability of any single rumor being accurate is, in my experience, slight.

      But given that we’re now fielding multiple inquiries about it, let me say that like my colleague I do not believe Amazon intends to sell its Web Services division to Oracle.

      It is unclear where the rumor originated. Amazon is apparently reading intent into it, and it’s easy to understand why. A substantial portion of Amazon’s developer adoption and goodwill is driven by the accessible economics it established for the industry. Given Oracle’s history and its recent behavior with respect to MySQL, widely circulated rumors of an acquisition could introduce uncertainty about the longer term economics of AWS. Which is undesirable from the perspective of Amazon, clearly. And just as clearly, potentially desirable for one or more of its competitors.

    • LibreOffice Is Taking Shape With Third Beta

      It’s been less than two months since the Document Foundation announced that it was launching its own “fork” of the OpenOffice.org productivity software suite, but already its new LibreOffice alternative is beginning to take shape.

    • The Renaissance of the Renaissance Project?

      Forgive the title above; but these past days we started to receive more and more questions about the OpenOffice.org Renaissance Project and whether we would continue its works and implement its changes. I think this calls for some clarification. The LibreOffice Project led by the Document Foundation is the successor of the OpenOffice.org only insofar as the OpenOffice.org project’s community (Oracle excepted) has decided to give itself a new and more promising beginning. It does not mean, however, that we have to bear with the legacy of the OpenOffice.org code base or technical legacy forever. We made clear recently that we would bring some radical changes not just to the code itself, but also to the way we had been working as a community of the OpenOffice.org project before. And the Renaissance Project stands right in the middle of this mix of continuity and changes; after all, not everything inside OpenOffice.org needs to be thrown away.

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • Overy 0.1

        I’ m finally making some progress on one of my 2010 goals – making a Lego robot that can take CD’s and feed them to my computer to rip.


        I’ve spent quite some time writing an accurate CD ripper for Linux, and I want to have all my audio CD’s in correct digital bytes on a computer, so I can use the files to transcode to whatever format is useful for whatever player I’ll have.

      • hack a day: Global Village Construction Set

        The Global Village Construction Set is an open hardware initiative aimed at sharing tool-building knowledge.


  • USB – Satan’s Data Connection

    Evangelical Christians in Brazil have apparently banned the use of USB connections after claiming the technology is the mark of Satan-worshippers (Hat tip: Fernando Frias). Apparently the revelation came after the evangelists noticed that the USB symbol resembles a trident. Presumably they’re not great fans of Britain’s ballistic missiles either.

  • Vikings brought first native American to Europe

    An Amerindian woman may have been the first native American to set foot on European soil, brought to Iceland by the Vikings several centuries before Christopher Columbus set foot on the Americas in 1492.

  • Arm readies processing cores for 64-bit computing

    Arm’s next generation of processors will support 64-bit computing, opening the way to more memory-intensive applications

  • Nokia research lab builds touchscreen made of ice
  • Why Microsoft is Acorn and Symbian is the new CP/M

    DOS, of course, ousted CP/M – the OS which was considered a shoo-in for the desktop platform of choice, regardless of who made the hardware. And it’s in the role of CP/M that we find Symbian lurking: technically superior in many ways, but with a management that was unable to change fast enough to keep up with the new kids on the block who jumped in before anyone had noticed there was a gap.

    Not that Symbian is the only one who’s been pushed aside – with Android taking Microsoft’s spot that pushes Redmond’s offering elsewhere: roughly into the place where Acorn once stood. Having achieved early success, with the BBC Micro, Acorn created a new platform with huge optimism. That platform, the RISC-based Archimedes, had many nice features but never really caught on.

  • Science

    • 3,000-Year-Old Conch Trumpets Play Again

      Now you can hear a marine-inspired melody from before the time of the Little Mermaid’s hot crustacean band. Acoustic scientists put their lips to ancient conch shells to figure out how humans used these trumpets 3,000 years ago. The well-preserved, ornately decorated shells found at a pre-Inca religious site in Peru offered researchers a rare opportunity to jam on primeval instruments.

    • Have we found the universe that existed before the Big Bang?

      The current cosmological consensus is that the universe began 13.7 billion years ago with the Big Bang. But a legendary physicist says he’s found the first evidence of an eternal, cyclic cosmos.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • The Mayor Of London On George W. Bush, War Criminal

      Boris Johnson is a total Tory and an old friend from college days. In a piece in the conservative Daily Telegraph, he advises George W. Bush not to bring his book tour to Britain, because he could face arrest as a war criminal…

    • Warning: cellos, paintbrushes, sketchpads and cameras on UK Borders Agency’s list of suspicious items

      A Cellist was held at Heathrow Airport and questioned for 8 hours this week. A terrorist suspect? False passport? Drug smuggling? If only it was so dramatic and spectacular. Her crime was coming to the UK with her cello, to participate in musicology conference organised by the School of Music at the University of Leeds and it was for this reason that Kristin Ostling was deported back to Chicago. What was UK Borders Agency (UKBA) thinking? That she would sell her cello to earn some cash, or do a spot of moonlighting at some secretive classical music gig, while she was here?

    • Re-tweeting the revolution

      The war on terror is over. We lost.


      Nowhere is this illustrated more starkly than in the case of Paul Chambers.

      In the snowy depths of January 2010 Paul sent a message of frustration to his Twitter friends when he discovered the weather could affect his travel plans: “Crap! Robin Hood Airport is closed. You’ve got a week and a bit to get your shit together or I’m blowing the airport sky high!!”

    • TSA airport screeners gone wild in San Diego- again

      In what can only be described as TSA handlers gone wild, the San Diego Harbor Police arrested an area resident for refusal to complete the screening/security process yesterday. This is the same airport that created the TSA security catch phrase “don’t touch my junk.” John Tyner of San Diego started the airport screening firestorm last week as Americans head into the busiest travel week of the year in the United States.

      This time the defendant, Sam Wolanyk says he was asked to pass through the 3-D x-ray machine. When Wolanyk refused, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) personnel told him he would have to be patted down before he could pass through and board his airplane.

    • DHS airport spooks stalk star hacker

      Last weekend, as US-based security researcher Moxie Marlinspike snoozed during a layover at the Frankfurt Airport, he awoke to a scene straight out of a Franz Kafka novel.

      “Some dude shows up with a picture of me on his cell phone, and he’s just looking through the crowd at the gate until he finds me,” Marlinspike told The Register. “He takes me away [and says] ‘I have some questions for you that you have to answer.’”

      Eventually, the man, who identified himself as an employee of the American Consulate, permitted Marlinspike to fly home, but only after the man made a phone call to an unnamed person in Washington, DC. For Marlinspike — who as a frequent traveler had already been repeatedly subjected to secondary searches and some ominous comments from his inquisitors — the incident kicked off a series of escalating confrontations with federal officials.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Twitter gaffe: US embassy announces ‘crazy bad’ Beijing air pollution

      Since the US embassy in Beijing began tweeting hourly pollution reports last year, I – along with many other smog watchers – have been horrified at the frequency of “bad” and “hazardous” readings.

      But this week, the depth and murkiness of the haze was so appalling that the automated system briefly entered the realm of black comedy with a “crazy bad” analysis of our air.

  • Finance

    • Wasting a good crisis

      I’ve been reading Fintan O’Toole’s new book about the Irish banking catastrophe. As in his previous book — Ship of Fools: How Stupidity and Corruption Sank the Celtic Tiger — the analysis of why the disaster happened is spot-on: the Republic has had a dysfunctional political culture ever since it was founded, and the dysfunctionality became pathological over the last three decades. O’Toole thinks that the only way of ensuring a decent future for the country is radically to re-think the governance of the state, and he’s right.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Beware of the Lobby Cleaner!!

      With just under a week to go to end of the voting for the EU Worst Lobbying Award, some of the nominees have started receiving visits from the infamous Brussels “Lobby-Cleaner”.

    • TaxPayers’ Alliance seeks advice from Tea Party movement leaders

      The TaxPayers’ Alliance campaign group has taken advice from leaders of the prominent right wing Tea Party movement in a bid to galvanise anti-government sentiment.


      Last month tens of thousands of politically conservative Americans turned out to support Glenn Beck, a right wing broadcaster, and Mrs Palin at a highly controversial Washington rally to honour the US military.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • All ‘Bout Children and DNA databases

      Terri Dowty from Action on Rights for Children (ARCH) and Dr Helen Wallace from GeneWatch UK, two exceptional campaigners on civil liberties, will be talking about children’s databases and the National DNA Database (NDNAD) at a free event organised by No2ID this Monday 22nd November, 7pm in the Bertrand Russell Room, Conway Hall (25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL).

    • New Facebook Messaging Continues to Block Some Links

      Facebook’s “modern messaging system” may make it convenient to seamlessly move between instant messaging and a Facebook.com e-mail account, but not if you are sharing a link to a file sharing site.

      Facebook began blocking BitTorrent link-sharing on Facebook walls and news feeds last spring, and also started blocking private messages between users that included a link to torrents on the Pirate Bay.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Ed Vaizey: ‘My overriding priority is an open internet’

      From Google to web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee, there is a global consensus that commercial clout should not be allowed to buy preferential treatment on the web -internet service providers, nearly all luminaries agree, should be punished if they allow companies to buy an enhanced service not available to smaller competitors.

      But the whole nature of that so-called “net neutrality” principle was, according to some vocal campaigners, abandoned by the British Government on Wednesday. In a speech entitled “The Open Internet” Communications Minister Ed Vaizey was said to have opened the floodgates for, say, Sky to provide a broadband service that prioritised its TV catch-up services and made those of the BBC practically unwatchable.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Copyright Expansion Through Misinformation Has Gone On A Long Time… And It Involved Pimps & Ferrets

        Anyway, Alan Wexellat points us to the news that Anderson has now redone the paper as a book, and has released Pimps and Ferrets: Copyright and Culture in the United States under a Creative Commons license. He’s using a non-commercial license, which we just discussed has some problems, but it really is a tremendously worthwhile read. It basically shows that, as we see today, many people don’t really understand the purpose and intent behind copyright — and that includes some of the folks in charge of making the law. That allowed some special interests to co-opt the process and expand copyright to their own benefit. Sound familiar? Well, history seems to repeat itself…

      • Pirate Parties Use Influence To Halt Anonymous’ Operation Payback

        In a letter to those coordinating Operation Payback, the series of DDoS attacks carried out against pro-copyright outfits since September, the UK and US Pirate Party are calling for an end to hostilities. They reason that the continuation of the operation plays into the hands of organizations that wish to “pervert” copyright law for personal gain and hampers the progress of those seeking copyright reform through legitimate means.

      • John Does Win Big In Far Cry Case

        The copyright trolling campaign in the United States may not be coming to a grinding halt, but it looks like it may come to a sluggish crawl. In an order issued today in the Achte/Neunte (aka Far Cry) vs Does 1-4,577 case – Judge Rosemary Collyer granted and denied in part the US Copyright Group’s request for an extension to serve all defendants to five years.

      • Time Warner Balks At Subpoenas In Mass Copyright Suits

        Lawyers from Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) have intervened in a few mass-copyright lawsuits recently, saying they’ve been overwhelmed by the tactics of one Washington, D.C., area law firm, Dunlap, Grubb & Weaver. Since January, lawyers from that firm have sued more than 10,000 “John Does” in nine separate lawsuits, alleging that those users have broken copyright law by sharing movies over BitTorrent sites. The firm has requested names and contact info for all 10,000, a task that falls to ISPs like Time Warner (NYSE: TWX) to carry out.

      • ACTA

        • ACTA turns out to be a damp squib

          Good news everyone. Remember that international multilateral secret agreement everyone was worried about? It turns out that we do not really have to worry that much about it any more. The newest draft text of the Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) has now been published, and it turns out that most of the controversial issues have been removed, reduced, or diluted, producing a text that will not change too much in various countries.

        • ACTA: damp squid or mutant octopus?

          My friend and colleague the Technoloma claims that ACTA has turned out to be a damp squid. He and I are in agreement on many issues, but this is an issue on which we come to different conclusions.

          The reason that technollama gives for concluding: “at the moment it seems like the worst has been taken out of the agreement” is that the agreement as it now stands, and as technollama reads it, does not require statutory damages for copyright infringement, nor do the indisputably worrying intermediary liability provisions require 3 strikes style policing from Internet service providers.

          However from the perspective of developing countries, a perspective which I’d expect technollama to understand and value, these are not have and have not been the primary problems with ACTA.

Clip of the Day


Credit: TinyOgg

Links 21/11/2010: systemd and Mandriva Status Updates

Posted in News Roundup at 2:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Gentoo penguin born in Australia

    An Australian aquarium has welcomed the birth of the first baby Gentoo penguin chick born in the country.

  • The biggest hurdle in FOSS/GNU/Linux adaptation

    Let me put my voice on the biggest hurdle in FOSS adaptation.
    This hurdle is “Proprietary Hardware Drivers”
    In India we recently established a “Open Standard Policy”.It is the great success of FOSS communities and our leaders.
    In the same way we need to have a policy on Hardware selling. This policy must specify that “Anything which Govt is buying must have a Open Specification of their Driver.”

  • Unity Linux 2010_02 Is Powered by Linux kernel

    Unity Linux 2010_02 has been released two days ago, on November 17th, and it includes a new kernel, the latest Enlightenment 17 environment, and many fixes or enhancements. Unity Linux 2010_02 is dubbed Unite17.

  • How We Choose Political Candidates and Software.

    The majority of them showed various degrees of surprise or disbelief until I actually re-themed their Linux boxes on the fly.

  • Desktop

    • How to choose a Linux laptop

      With the many choices and factors to consider, choosing a laptop of any kind can be a considerable challenge. Choosing one for use with Linux, however, brings its own special set of considerations, since it’s not yet always a plug-and-play world for the open source operating system.

      Linux is typically not fussy about hardware–that, indeed, is one of its most endearing advantages. Some hardware, however, still doesn’t work well with Linux, due primarily to a persistent lack of the right drivers.

      Still, there are more laptop choices today than ever before for the Linux user. Here are some guidelines for choosing the one that’s right for you.

  • Server

    • IBM tops Green500 list

      While China can take pride in topping the list of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, IBM has been given another recognition: building the world’s most energy-efficient supercomputer.

    • NASA’s supercomputing team: Science, not glory, is top priority

      NASA’s biggest supercomputer seems to have gotten a little smaller. Ranked the sixth-most powerful HPC cluster in the world by the June 2010 Top 500 supercomputers list, NASA’s Pleiades fell to 11th place in the most recent rankingreleased this week.

    • A Linux server OS that’s fiddly but tweakable

      ClearOS is the new name for Point Clark Network’s ClarkConnect, which was a commercial server distro, released in 2000, with a limited free version. Now, though, Point Clark has restructured and the distro is managed by ClearConnect, which has made it free and open source. The result is that what was the top-of-the-range Enterprise edition is now free for everyone – with some small caveats, which we’ll cover later.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • SystemD Has New Shutdown Logic, Gives Everyone CGroups

      Fedora 14 was set to be the first major distribution shipping SystemD to replace SysVinit, but that ended up getting pushed back to the Fedora 15 release that will now come in May of 2011. Fortunately, for the developers behind Fedora and SystemD, this means the init replacement daemon will be in much better shape for its premiere. Lennart Poettering, the original developer of SystemD, has written about some of the recent improvements.

    • systemd for Administrators, Part IV
    • systemd Status Update

      It has been a while since my last status update on systemd. Here’s another short, incomprehensive status update on what we worked on for systemd since then.

      * Fedora F15 (Rawhide) now includes a split up /etc/init.d/rc.sysinit (Bill Nottingham). This allows us to keep only a minimal compatibility set of shell scripts around, and boot otherwise a system without any shell scripts at all. In fact, shell scripts during early boot are only used in exceptional cases, i.e. when you enabled autoswapping (bad idea anyway), when a full SELinux relabel is necessary, during the first boot after initialization, if you have static kernel modules to load (which are not configured via the systemd-native way to do that), if you boot from a read-only NFS server, or when you rely on LVM/RAID/Multipath. If nothing of this applies to you can easily disable these parts of early boot and save several seconds on boot. How to do this I will describe in a later blog story.

    • Graphics Stack

      • The First NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 Linux Benchmark

        Earlier this month NVIDIA rolled out the GeForce GTX 580 graphics card as their fastest GPU to date with 512 CUDA cores, a 772MHz core clock, 1544MHz processor clock, 1536MB of 2GHz GDDR5 memory, and support for three-way SLI. The GeForce GTX 580 with its GF110 core is based upon a refined version of the Fermi architecture and is certainly a step-up from the GeForce GTX 480 that launched just earlier this year. For those curious how this NVIDIA graphics card performs under Linux, here’s the first benchmark and it’s compared to the Windows driver performance too.

      • Linus: What’s Wrong With The Whole DRM Crowd?

        Linus is known for an occasional colorful email and in the past has had a number of issues with code in the DRM sub-system, such as calling the initial Graphics Execution Manager (GEM) push by Intel as being untested crap. It was also via Linus that Nouveau unexpectedly got merged into the mainline kernel. With this 2.6.37 DRM bug-fix pull (mailing list thread), Linus has become once again frustrated. This time it’s over the DRM code being messy, useless re-basing of Git trees, large amounts of DRM code always being changed later in the release cycles, and pulling “random crap” into tree.

      • Mee too … the 200 line kernel wonder patch

        Since yesterday I’ve been running with the sched: automated per tty task groups patch and the 2.6.37-rc2 kernel and it has really breathed new life into my old and trusty IBM X61s. The difference is really very significant almost like magic as everybody else noted too:) Yay!

      • The First NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 Linux Benchmark

        Earlier this month NVIDIA rolled out the GeForce GTX 580 graphics card as their fastest GPU to date with 512 CUDA cores, a 772MHz core clock, 1544MHz processor clock, 1536MB of 2GHz GDDR5 memory, and support for three-way SLI. The GeForce GTX 580 with its GF110 core is based upon a refined version of the Fermi architecture and is certainly a step-up from the GeForce GTX 480 that launched just earlier this year. For those curious how this NVIDIA graphics card performs under Linux, here’s the first benchmark and it’s compared to the Windows driver performance too.

      • Xorg or Wayland: Color me disinterested

        Not for any dislike of Ubuntu, or distrust for the direction it is moving. You might call me old-fashioned, if only because the clicky buttony thingy doesn’t really turn me on. I’ll take a traditional desktop, any day.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • multihead plasma desktop needs YOU!

        Multihead, where there is more than one physical screen and one X server per physical screen (not to be confused with xinerama, xrandr, mergefb, etc.), and Plasma Desktop is getting into a rather usable state thanks to testing and feedback from users with those systems that goes beyond “it doesn’t work”. Thanks to the digging and debugging work of several individuals, my “coding in the blind” has produced finally produced useful results as of the 4.5.3 release. There are still some KWin issues, apparently, but plasma-desktop is pretty well there.

      • KDE 4 Look Part 2: Amarok 2.3.2 in KDE 4.5 and Fedora 14

        There was a time when I thought Amarok was the best music player on Linux. I even used to run it in Gnome as you can see from this 2005 screenshot. In that first link you can read me gushing over Amarok 1.4. I loved all the integrated technologies, especially the metadata juggling Amarok did. The first few Amarok 2.x releases with the KDE 4 libraries were complete crap. They were ugly and were missing nearly all of Amarok’s features. (Mirroring the complaints people were having about KDE 4 at the time) When I took a look at Amarok and KDE 4.4 in October I said I would take another look at Amarok.

      • A Matter of Control: The State of Input Device Support in KDE

        If you look at the various changes from KDE 3 to KDE 4, two major trends emerge: unification and abstraction. Plasma, for example, unifies the various parts of the desktop and panel. Solid provides an abstraction layer that hides the details of device management from applications, while Phonon does the same for multimedia. Akonadi does both, providing a unified system for handling PIM data and creating an abstraction layer so PIM front-ends don’t need to be concerned with the source or nature of the data they display. And of course the success of KDE 4 is not due solely to these trends, it is also due to developers sitting down and ironing out the current state of the tools in KDE, where they fail, where they work, where they should be, and how we can get them there.

      • Help KDE.org defeat the wall of text.

        Everybody knows that effective design is very important to any succesful interface – be it an application, a website, a product, or a physical structure. There are lots of reasons behind this, but the one I’m going to talk about today is how design combats the most dreaded wall of text, of which KDE.org is a victim.

      • Feature Guide for 4.6 Releases

        Early next year, KDE will release new versions of the Plasma workspaces, many of our applications and the KDE Platform that makes the rest possible. You may remember that for our 4.4 releases we had a feature guide that gave a nice visual description of the new features. This helps existing and potential users of KDE software see what is cool in the new releases and gets picked up by other news outlets. Getting your app or feature into this guide is a Good Thing.

      • Dolphin Improvements for KDE SC 4.6

        As usual after the KDE feature freeze, I’d like to give an overview which improvements have been done in Dolphin for the next KDE SC.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Faenza Icon Theme 0.8 Brings Lots Of New Icons, Reworked Icons For Chrome, Firefox And More

        The well known Faenza Icon theme was updated today (version 0.8), bringing icons for some applications which were missing such as: adobe air, deadbeef, devede, devhelp, dia, facebook, flickr, frostwire, glade, gnucash, gnumeric, homebank, jdownloader, kupfer, netbeans, openbravo, openerp, openshot, phatch, picasa, qtcreator, radiotray, soundconverter, terminator, vim, wordpress, wxbanker, xbmc and xournal.

  • Distributions

    • A young and pretty Linux server OS that takes a bit of work

      Zentyal 2 is something a little bit different, although it too has changed its name recently: version 1 was called e-Box. A decade younger than its rivals, it is based on Ubuntu, but its developers skip the normal semi-annual releases, and only use the Long Term Support ones that Canonical releases every other year. E-Box version 1 was based on Ubuntu 8.04 and version 2, now called Zentyal, uses Ubuntu 10.04.1.

    • Gentoo Family

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Gtk Lightweight Desktops: Xfce & LXDE Special Edition

        The staff of The NEW PCLinuxOS Magazine is proud to announce the release of the Gtk Lightweight Desktops: Xfce & LXDE Special Edition. This issue of the magazine is a compilation of all of the Xfce and LXDE articles that the magazine has ran over the past eight months, and will help serve as a reference source for any users wanting to use these lightweight, but mighty, desktop environments.

      • PCLinuxOS to Get a 64-bit Version

        Reynolds said that he has finished building the first 1000 packages. First he “upgraded gcc to 4.5.1, glibc 2.12.1, xorg 1.9.x then started rebuilding the libraries.” Once those are complete he’ll begin on the desktop packages. Unfortunately, there is no estimated time for release because there are still about 12,600 more packages to go before making ISOs and testing.

      • Some funky fresh news on Mandriva Linux

        Things are starting to look really nice now, cooker activity seems to have gotten back to previous levels and even then some and interest from new contributors seems to have increased as well, really nice to see!

    • Red Hat Family

      • RHEL6 from an Ubuntu Server Developer’s Perspective

        Myself being an Ubuntu Core Developer on the Ubuntu Server, I thought it prudent to take an honest look at RHEL6, and capture a few new notes here, complimenting Red Hat on their new release, noting some differences between Ubuntu and RHEL, and perhaps inspiring a few lessons we could learn in Ubuntu.

      • Forget 200 lines, Red Hat speeds up Linux with 4 lines of code

        Speeding up Linux, doesn’t necessarily have to be a gargantuan task and it doesn’t have to be done by Linus Torvalds either.

      • Red Hat broadens scope of open-source academic program

        Open-source software provider Red Hat is expanding its outreach efforts at universities and colleges. The company is a member of the Teaching Open Source community, and via its sponsorship of POSSE (Professors’ Open Source Summer Experience) workshops, it has facilitated the education of professors in how to best launch and incorporate open source into degree programs.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora Installation User Experience Improvements & Syslinux

          For F15 then, we’ve got some nice polish on the pre-install experience in place. So it’s time to go back to the install experience and try to get some solid polish there.

        • Fedora 14 Laughlin – Could be better!

          Fedora, the controversial distro. On one hand, it’s alpha-beta-zeta-jones quality, with the latest technologies that make you bleed, hence the term, the bleeding edge of technology. On the other, it’s a distro that revolves around the concept of free software. Ubuntu is like that too, only more pragmatic, so much in fact that the latest edition actually gives you the choice of sullying your distribution with evil proprietary software during the installation. Fedora remains the bastion of stubbornness and reduced usability.


          Several hours after running autoten against the slow repositories and fixing the nerdy default settings, Fedora was ready for work, with codecs, office suite, music players, and other common programs. So yes, to sum it up, Fedora is the open-source Windows 7. And that’s not a compliment of the highest order. Worst of all, Fedora 14 Laughlin dashes any hopes for Ubuntu refugees come the spring, due to Unity nonsense.

    • Debian Family

      • Release Critical Bug report for Week 46
      • Galbraith Latency Patch Now in MEPIS 11.0 Alpha

        The Mike Galbraith latency patch, which is said to improve desktop performance by an order of magnitude, has been backported by Warren to the 2.6.36 kernel, and released for the SimplyMEPIS 11.0 alpha test cycle.

      • SimplyMEPIS 8th Anniversary Release
      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Unity Place People

          I am trying to get used to Vala and Unity.

          So I am hacking up a little Unity Place for People…

          Right now it doesn’t do much but get the contacts from your Zeitgeist history and sort them. Over the weekend I will try to get it to play nicely with libfolks. Once that is done I will be working even closer with DX, Zeitgeist, Telepathy, John Lea and Jorge Castro to make things rock and more usable for everyone.

        • Canonical Software Partners release business software for Ubuntu

          If you use Ubuntu in your company, you’re already familiar with its many advantages for businesses. But guess what? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet, as they say.

        • Changes to the One Hundred Paper Cuts project for the Natty cycle

          During the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Orlando, Florida, we discussed how we wanted to continue the project this cycle. This session resulted in some changes to the requirements of what constitutes a valid paper cut.

        • Canonical Works to Clarify the Ubuntu Brand

          The effort to clarify the Ubuntu brand, then, even if it appears to be only a semi-official endeavor undertaken by a Canonical employee, is an important step in convincing observers that Ubuntu’s assorted products are to be taken seriously. Whether the observers will be convinced, of course, remains to be seen.

        • New Ubuntu Patch Pilot Scheme

          When someone is new to Ubuntu and they want to get started helping to package bug fixes and software, they engage in the Sponsorship Process. In a nutshell, you get the source code for the package, apply the fix (or create the fix yourself), and then because you don’t have upload access, you ask another Ubuntu developer to review your work. This act of reviewing work is known as sponsoring, and it is something we have sometimes struggled as a project to keep up with – there are often many contributions that need sponsoring, but not enough volunteers in the existing developer community to review these contributions.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Just Another Ubuntu-based Distro or Something More

            Jeff Hoogland, professed Linux Geek, has grown frustrated at the lack of inclusion of his favorite window environment in modern distributions. He said only Austrumi and PCLinuxOS offer a recent release with E17. So, instead of waiting for someone else to do it, he just developed one with E17 Beta himself. But is this just another “ho hum” moment or should you give this new effort a shot?

          • 12 Ubuntu Derivatives You Should Consider

            Though less well-known, Pinguy is also another very nice Ubuntu-based distribution for Linux beginners. It features numerous user-friendly enhancements, out-of-the-box support for multimedia codecs and browser plugins, a heavily tweaked GNOME user interface and a careful selection of popular desktop applications for many common computing tasks.

          • Pinguy OS Review
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Unlocked Palm Pre 2 available in U.S.

        An unlocked version of Hewlett-Packard’s Palm Pre 2 smartphone is now available in the U.S. via Palm.com and HP’s SMB channels for $449. The upgraded 1GHz Pre 2 runs the new version 2.0 of the Linux-based WebOS operating system.

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • Initial look at MeeGo Netbook, a minimalistic computer interface

          This week in MeeGo Conference all attendees received Lenovo S10-3t IdeaPad convertible netbook/tablet computers from Intel and Nokia. For many of us this was the first time we’re actually using MeeGo on a device, and so I thought to post some notes on how it feels.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • litl in the Event Boxes

        litl is now donating two webbooks, one for each GNOME event box. We’ve already shipped one for the North American box. I’m still waiting for the European box to be found before sending the other one. The litl OS is fully based on the GNOME platform using GObject, GLib, Clutter, GTK+, Gjs, GStreamer, and others. The webbook is a good example of the strength of GNOME’s platform. We hope this is a useful addition to the event boxes. Enjoy!

      • Jolicloud’s Jolibook Netbook Hitting Stores

        Jolicloud, the self-proclaimed “perfect OS for netbooks,” has been making headlines for a while with their consumer-focused, and frankly very cute Jolibook netbook. Word all around the web is that it is available today in the UK

      • A Shiny New Lenovo Ideapad S10-3s

        - PCLinuxOS 2010.10: Everything works! Hooray, La-la-la-la, it just works, everything from top to bottom, right out of the box!

Free Software/Open Source

  • LibreOffice Is Taking Shape With Third Beta

    It’s been less than two months since the Document Foundation announced that it was launching its own “fork” of the OpenOffice.org productivity software suite, but already its new LibreOffice alternative is beginning to take shape.

  • Documenting and challenging community misogyny

    One of the most uncomfortable items in the timelines is the most recent. Summarized simply as “Sexual assault at ApacheCon,” it refers to what allegedly happened to Noirin Shirley, an Apache board member, a couple of weeks ago.

    What is unusual about the incident is not — unfortunately — that it simply happened. Shirley undoubtedly speaks for many women when she writes, “It’s not the first time something like this has happened to me, at all. It’s not the first time it’s happened to me at a tech conference.”

    However, what is unusual is that this time Shirley not only reported the incident to the police, but also blogged about it and named names. “I’m tired of the sense that some idiot can ruin my day and never have to answer for it. I’m tired of the fear. I’m tired of people who think I should wear something different. I’m tired of people who think I should avoid having a beer in case my vigilance lapses for a moment. I’m tired of people who say that guys can’t read me right and I have to read them, and avoid giving the wrong impression.”

    Shirley showed exemplary courage in her actions, and many people said as much. Yet an alarming number of people attacked her instead, suggesting that the assault was her fault, because of how she dressed or acted.

  • Web Browsers

    • A Closer Look at the Next Generation Address Bars

      I decided to fire up four popular browsers and snag some screenshots of how each of them present a site’s URL to you. In my tests I used pre-release versions of each browser because, for the most part, these heavily represent what we should see released over the coming months. Of course the appearance can always change before the final version makes it out-the-door, but this is a better representation of how each company is attacking the address bar appearance today… and not a year ago. This particularly applies to Opera who just revamped their address bar in their latest Beta release.

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox vs. Explorer: Which is better?

        …finally won me over.

      • I Love Thunderbird 3.x

        Anyway, this version of Lightning works like a champ. I did have to modify the install.rdf to allow for a minimum version of TB 3.0, because that’s the version in my Slackware repos right now. I’m happy now! I use Lightning to plan my life. I would have been seriously disappointed if I couldn’t have gotten it to work eventually. I pretty much got T-bird 3 to behave the way I wanted it to, also. I think I’ll be able to get used to it. It’s a bit different from T-bird 2, but not that much. Check out figure 1 for a screenie of my T-bird 3 on Slackware.

      • Mozilla re-assesses its mission

        Following the publication of Mozilla’s audited financial statements for 2009, Mitchell Baker, Chairperson of the Mozilla Foundation, has taken the opportunity to re-examine Mozilla’s mission, its successes, opportunities and challenges.

      • Firefox 4 UI update brings snazzy, new alert pop-ups

        Lest you think blogger Long Zheng is all about Microsoft apps, our Australian friend has a keen eye on all kinds of bleeding-edge software. — including Firefox 4. Today he noticed a change in the Firefox 4 nightly build — sexier, semi-translucent alert dialogs, complete with a blur effect to obscure the webpage content in the background.

      • Mozilla Plans Open App Store

        The Mozilla Foundation has released a sort of non-profit’s annual report, “The State of Mozilla,” which provides a glimpse under the covers of the popular browser and e-mail provider.

  • Oracle

  • CMS

  • Education

    • EPIC FAIL: the sorry state of web education in schools

      Some highlights from Anna’s talk:

      * Younger students often have nowhere to turn if they want to learn web design or development. Serious training often isn’t available until the post-secondary level — despite the fact that the most talented developers (like Anna herself) start early. Matt Mullenweg, for example, created WordPress.com before he could legally drink. And Anna’s colleagues launched their own online business (UploadRobots.com) while still in the fifth grade.

  • Project Releases

    • Claws Mail Release Notes

      Claws Mail is a GTK+ based, user-friendly, lightweight, and fast email client.

    • Phoronix Test Suite 3.0 “Iveland” Alpha 2 Is Here

      Again, this work includes graphing improvements, system tables, HTTPS connection support, statistics reporting, and mobile / ARM-based benchmarking support for the Nokia N900 smart-phone and other ARM tablets running Linux operating systems.

  • Licensing

    • Sigh.

      The flood of generic Chinese Android devices with no source code makes it very easy to think that GPL adherence is something that’s only problematic with devices sourced from countries with poor records in IP enforcement. In reality, it’s a problem everywhere. Barnes and Noble are a US company and the contractors for the Nook were based in Canada. They’re aware enough to include the GPL notice in their documentation, but not concerned enough to make sure that they actually posses the source code that they’re legally obliged to provide.

    • Software Freedom and the GNU GPL

      The GNU General Public License (GNU GPL) is perhaps one of the easiest software licenses to both understand and use. Yet, in part due to corporate astroturfing campaigns of deliberate disinformation, it and the concept of software freedom is often also misunderstood.

      The GNU GPL as a license says nothing about how you use GNU GPL software that you receive. There are no terms or conditions that say how many copies of such software you can have, how many computers (seats) you may run it on, or how you modify it and combine it with other software. This is because the GNU GPL is neither a contract nor a “use” license, but rather a pure copyright license, and hence does not in any way interfere with how you may use software that you receive. It’s only condition is that if you do redistribute the software to others, that you do so under the same terms you received, nothing more.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • University of Michigan Library enables broader sharing and reuse with change to CC BY

      The University of Michigan Library now offers content on its website under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license. This announcement is significant because the Library had been using the more restrictive Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC) license. By switching to the Attribution license, the Library has granted more permissions to use, share, and repurpose its research and technology guides, video tutorials, toolkits, copyright education materials, bibliographies, and other resources.

    • ☂ Essays Now Creative Commons Licensed
    • Creative Commons reporting from the International Open Government Data Conference
    • On the limits of openness I: the digital humanities and the computational turn to data-driven scholarship

      The digital humanities can be broadly understood as embracing all those scholarly activities in the humanities that involve writing about digital media and technology, and being engaged in processes of digital media production, practice and analysis. For example, developing new media theory, creating interactive electronic archives and literature, building online databases and wikis, producing virtual art galleries and museums, or exploring how various technologies reshape teaching and research. Yet this field – or, better, constellation of fields – is neither unified nor self-identical. If anything, the digital humanities are comprised of a wide range of often conflicting attitudes, approaches and practices that are being negotiated and employed in a variety of different contexts.

    • Creative Commons retiring the Public Domain dedication

      I strongly believe in not re-inventing the wheel, not only in the technical parts but also in licensing, this is why I use and promote Creative Commons licenses (despite their flaws) and this is why I supported using the Creative Commons definition of Public Domain for projects like the Open Clip Art Library. And it worked well for a while.Until Creative Commons was unhappy with the Public Domain dedication, probably not branded enough for their taste and for their need for attention, and “invented” a replacement, CC0, which was received not as warmly as they hoped.


  • Geek Gen X
  • Take a Tiny First Step Toward Controlling Your Internet Addressing Destiny

    Greetings. ICANN is preparing to inflict hundreds, and then thousands, of new top-level domains (TLDs) onto the global community of Internet users, which will serve mainly to sow confusion among consumers, and award vast monetary treasures to the tiny set of entities poised to rake in the dough as the masters of the existing domain name system (see: It’s Time to Stop ICANN’s Top-Level Domain (TLD) Lunacy!).

  • Science

    • ‘Alien’ planet detected circling dying star

      Astronomers claim to have discovered the first planet originating from outside our galaxy.

      The Jupiter-like planet, they say, is part of a solar system which once belonged to a dwarf galaxy.

    • Snapshot from Space

      [An aurora borealis, as seen from the International Space Station. The wicker-looking thing floating in the middle is a solar array from the space station. Image via astronaut Douglas Wheelock/AP]

    • Astronomy Picture of the Day
  • Health/Nutrition

    • Biowatch concerned about monopolisation of SA seed industry

      Biowatch South Africa, an NGO involved in promoting biodiversity and sustainable livelihoods, raised serious concerns about consolidation and emerging monopolies in the South African seed industry with the Competition Commission of South Africa in Pretoria today.

      The hearings were initiated by the Competition Commission to investigate concerns raised about a proposed merger between Pannar Seeds, the largest remaining South African seed company, and Pioneer Hi-Bred, a US-held seed company, part of DuPont Incorporated.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Cancer surviving flight attendant forced to remove prosthetic breast during pat-down

      A Charlotte-area flight attendant and cancer survivor contacted WBTV after she says she was forced to show her prosthetic breast during a pat-down.

      Cathy Bossi lives in south Charlotte and has been a flight attendant for the past 32 years, working the past 28 for U.S. Airways.

    • Why Congress Isn’t So Concerned With TSA Nude Scans & Gropes: They Get To Skip Them

      The NY Times notes that Speaker of the House John Boehner (who does regularly fly commercial) got to walk right by security and go directly to the gate.

    • No Security Pat-Downs for Boehner

      Representative John A. Boehner, soon to be the Speaker of the House, has pledged to fly commercial airlines back to his home district in Ohio. But that does not mean that he will be subjected to the hassles of ordinary passengers, including the controversial security pat-downs.

      As he left Washington on Friday, Mr. Boehner headed across the Potomac River to Reagan National Airport, which was bustling with afternoon travelers. But there was no waiting in line for Mr. Boehner, who was escorted around the metal detectors and body scanners, and taken directly to the gate.

      Mr. Boehner, who was wearing a casual yellow sweater and tan slacks, carried his own bags and smiled pleasantly at passengers who were leaving the security checkpoint inside the airport terminal. It was unclear whether any passengers waiting in the security line, including Representative Allen Boyd, a Florida Democrat who lost his re-election bid, saw Mr. Boehner.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • For EPA regulations, benefits consistently exceed costs

      Research shows that the benefits of environmental regulations consistently exceed costs, in part because they end up costing far less than both industry and the EPA predict.
      When EPA promulgates regulations, industry often expresses concern that the regulations will cause extreme economic hardship. Now this argument is being made regarding EPA regulation of carbon pollution using existing legal authorities like the Clean Air Act.

  • Finance

    • Group Calls For Citizens Arrest Of John Paulson

      A group of corporate pranksters called The Yes Men is pranking again: This time, one of their targets is hedge fund manager John Paulson. The group is calling for a citizen’s arrest of Paulson, based on his large holdings of AngloAshnati Gold stock—as pointed out by Lawrence Delevingne in his article today for Absolute Return + Alpha.

    • Why U.S. IT jobs aren’t coming back
    • Government spending: Britain’s reliance on private firms revealed

      The scale of the country’s reliance on private companies to power the state is revealed today as the government takes the historic step of publishing its accounts for the first time.

      The disclosure of the majority of payments made by government departments over the first five months after the election reveals Whitehall’s struggle to wean itself off high-cost contracts – and a burgeoning industry emerging around the coalition’s reforms.

    • Chinese state firms Jan.-Oct. profits up 45% to 1.6 trillion yuan

      The Ministry of Finance published today the operation results of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) for the first ten months of the year. Robust growth was recorded in profits, revenues and taxes.

      SOEs (excluding state-owned financial institutions) made 1.63 trillion yuan of profits this year by October, marking a remarkable growth of 44.8 percent year on year. Their business revenue went up by 34 percent to 24.5 trillion yuan. The tax payable reached 2 trillion yuan, 27 percent higher than the same period of last year.

    • Alibaba’s Big Plan for Mobile Internet

      Recently, I have been studying the mobile internet sector in China closely, and I have talked to most of the major players. Many people told me Alibaba is a player I should watch out for.

      Although currently Alibaba Group has no substantial mobile business, it has huge ambition in the mobile internet sector, and has been quietly acquiring assets.

    • Brazil now wants to be China, in a good way

      That said, I think it would be a good trend if Brazil started trying to compete with China on low end manufacturing. They probably aren’t going to get anywhere near China’s economies of scale, but they could quite quickly move up the technical latter, and provide knock-on benefits for several regional economies. It’s also always good to diversify out of finance and commodities as much as possible.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • 489 – How the West Wasn’t Won: Powell’s Water-based States

      But other interests were at work; the railway companies lobbied for large-scale settlement and agricultural development. Counter-expertise for Powell’s point of view was provided by professor Cyrus Thomas, who claimed that ‘rain follows the plough’. That theory was thoroughly disproved by the Dust Bowl of the 1920s and 1930s, which caused tremendous hardship among the pioneers attracted to farm the arid regions, and led many of them to migrate even further West.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Senate panel approves website shut-down bill

      The bill, with 17 Senate co-sponsors, is unlikely to pass through the House of Representatives this year, with only a few working days left in the congressional session. After the newly elected Congress meets in January, Leahy, a Vermont Democrat and Judiciary Committee chairman, would have to reintroduce it in the Senate.

    • The 19 Senators Who Voted To Censor The Internet

      * Patrick J. Leahy — Vermont
      * Herb Kohl — Wisconsin
      * Jeff Sessions — Alabama
      * Dianne Feinstein — California
      * Orrin G. Hatch — Utah
      * Russ Feingold — Wisconsin
      * Chuck Grassley — Iowa
      * Arlen Specter — Pennsylvania
      * Jon Kyl — Arizona
      * Chuck Schumer — New York
      * Lindsey Graham — South Carolina
      * Dick Durbin — Illinois
      * John Cornyn — Texas
      * Benjamin L. Cardin — Maryland
      * Tom Coburn — Oklahoma
      * Sheldon Whitehouse — Rhode Island
      * Amy Klobuchar — Minnesota
      * Al Franken — Minnesota
      * Chris Coons — Delaware

    • Senator Threatens to Block Online Copyright Bill

      Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, said late Thursday that he would seek to block the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act, or COICA, from passing through the full Senate, unless the legislation is changed. Earlier Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 19-0 to approve the bill and send it to the full Senate.

    • Senator: Web censorship bill a “bunker-busting cluster bomb”

      The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA, S.3804) sets up a system through which the US government can blacklist a pirate website from the Domain Name System, ban credit card companies from processing US payments to the site, and forbid online ad networks from working with the site. It passed the Senate Judiciary Committee 19-0 this week, but it’s never going to pass the Senate before the end of the current Congress.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Internet neutrality?

      With the global hunger for communications constantly growing, problems of traffic management and possible data congestion are inevitably surfacing, inducing some internet providers to impose restrictions on data traffic and online services provided. Does this signal the end of the open, neutral internet? Industry players, consumer associations and regulators met MEPs for a “net neutrality” to discuss quality of service, transparency of terms and conditions and anticompetitive behaviour.

    • Tortoise For Sale

      With net neutrality being an ongoing debate, another angle has just hit me as being open to abuse. The fear people have is about the well known, rich corporate sites being able to pay the ISPs for extra bandwidth, making those sites load quicker for their visitors. Those who can’t afford to pay are left quite literally on the slow lane. Start ups doing anything bandwidth intensive don’t stand a chance. What happens if Company A pays extra to restrict the bandwidth of Company B?

      Imagine if Google paid extra to ensure that all visitors on AT&T who went to Yahoo got served at dial up speeds. That would affect people’s perception of Yahoo negatively and they wouldn’t know why, therefore it’d help Yahoo’s competitors, including Google. Yahoo would then need to cough up money to AT&T to counter the effect, that’s assuming they track it down to the fact that they’re being hobbled by a deal between Google and AT&T. If they do pay up, what are Google paying extra for?

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Law and the GeoWeb, a workshop on IP and geographic data in the internet era sponsored by Creative Commons and the United States Geological Survey

      A workshop on “Intellectual Property and Geographic Data in the Internet Era” sponsored by Creative Commons and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) in conjunction with the annual meeting of AAG, April 11, 2011, Seattle, Washington. The workshop will be held at the campus of Microsoft Research, and will be streamed live on the Internet.

    • Copyrights

      • Anti-P2P solicitors get a hearing

        SELF-REGULATION of UK lawyers seems to be a very slow affair that is often overtaken by events.

        Before ACS:Law made a name for itself by suing alleged file-swappers in the UK, another legal outfit, Davenport Lyons tried it.

        Two partners from Davenport Lyons, David Gore and Brian Miller were accused of “proceeding recklessly” by demanding cash from thousands of people based upon only an IP address.

        In March the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) decided to look into the case and now has finally decided to have a hearing on 31 May, 2011.

      • UK Court Says Making Available Online Only Happens Where The Server Is Located

        So, here’s the question that some people asked: if you only make the work available, but there is no evidence that a copy was made, then was the copyright infringed? After all, no reproduction was made. No copy was distributed. So, where’s the infringement? Supporters of saying that merely “making available” is infringing claimed that it was the equivalent of distributing because you had effectively offered it up for distribution or reproduction.

      • ACTA

        • ACTA includes confusingly similar trade mark goods

          onfusingly similar trade mark goods. This is bad for access to essential medicines.

          In an answer to a parliamentary question, the EU Commission wrote: “b) on the inappropriate seizures of medicines on the strength of mere allegations that trademarks are similar – the introduction of the concept of “confusingly similar trademark is proposed by one of the ACTA partners but not supported by any of the other;”

          But ACTA lacks a clear footnote like footnote 27 in the EU – Korea free trade agreement, limiting “goods infringing an intellectual property right” to “(a) counterfeit goods (…)”.

          ACTA’s criminal measures are limited to counterfeit goods (as far as trademarks are concerned). Some of the civil trademark measures are limited to counterfeit goods. But ACTA’s Chapter 2 section 3 on border measures is not limited to counterfeit goods. ACTA’s border measures regard suspect goods (art 2.X.1, page 10), and the test is whether the suspect goods infringe an intellectual property right (article 2.10, page 11).

Clip of the Day

Partnering with Red Hat: Virtualization and Cloud

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 19/11/2010: GNOME Outreach Program for Women, Rainbow 0.2

Posted in News Roundup at 4:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Server

    • Supercomputing Top500 brews discontent

      Like Hollywood’s Academy Awards, the Top500 list of supercomputers is dutifully watched by high-performance computing (HPC) participants and observers, even as they vocally doubt its fidelity to excellence.

      “The Top 500 [uses] an artificial problem — it doesn’t measure about 80 percent of the workloads” that are usually run on supercomputers, said John Hengeveld, director of technical compute marketing for Intel’s Data Center Group, speaking on the sidelines of the Supercomputer 2010 conference this week. “It is not a representative benchmark for the industry.”

  • Kernel Space

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Nepomuk is not fast, is instant!

        Everybody that has been a KDE user for the last 2 years knows Nepomuk and its bad reputation, maybe it was desired in the past, but no more. This morning I decided to get my Nepomuk up and running again, and I have to say that it is impresive! just take a look at this video…

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Gnome 2.32.1 released – Here’s looking to 3.x!

        I’ve always loved the Gnome Desktop Environment – and it’s certainly loved by many others.

        After its first release in 1999 it’s certainly come a long way. I have flirted over the years with a few other DE’s (mostly light weight ones) though I always came back to the Gnome, maybe it’s because what I have chalked up the most time with it and therefore feel most at home. One thing is for certain, I never liked KDE and the specs of my PC really never required me to look at a lighter DE out of a necessity.

      • GNOME Outreach Program for Women plans

        This is my first post after I was added to Planet GNOME (although some of my very old posts have already been displayed on the planet), so, hello planet readers!

        I will be part of GNOME Outreach Program for Women working on Cheese and I will have Thiago Souza Santos as a mentor. I’m really happy about this opportunity. I would like to thank GNOME Foundation, Google and Collabora for sponsoring this, Marina for organizing it and Daniel Siegel for helping me through application and giving me the great ideas to work on.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo

      • Android

        • Woz: Android will eventually beat the iPhone [Update]
        • Steve Wozniak: Android will be the dominant smartphone platform
        • Did Google Arm Its Own Enemies With Android?

          Google was surely celebrating recently when Gartner reported that Android handsets outshipped Apple’s iPhone by close to a 2:1 margin. Given Apple’s head start in the market, it certainly is an impressive feat. But Google may regret the strategic choices that have led to this victory over Apple. To achieve the “win,” Google may have unwittingly created and trained a mercenary army of hardware manufacturers, willing to sell themselves to the highest bidder—whether that be Google, Baidu or Bing.

          There is no doubt that Google understands the importance of the mobile web. A large part of Google’s future will rely on advertising revenue driven by mobile devices, which is likely a key reason why Google decided to go into competition with its one-time ally, Apple.

        • It’s Gonna Be an Android World and We’ll Just Live in It

          While it’s been dawning on us for some time that Android is a beast, each day seems to bring new confirmation that the monster shows no signs of letting up. Android mobile ad impressions drew even with iOS for the first time, according to Millennial Media (PDF). The largest independent ad network said Android OS is tied with iOS with a 37 percent share of ad impressions. That’s a big change from last month, when iOS represented 46 percent of impressions while Android grabbed 29 percent.

        • Did Google Arm Its Own Enemies With Android?

          Google was surely celebrating recently when Gartner reported that Android handsets outshipped Apple’s iPhone by close to a 2:1 margin. Given Apple’s head start in the market, it certainly is an impressive feat. But Google may regret the strategic choices that have led to this victory over Apple. To achieve the “win,” Google may have unwittingly created and trained a mercenary army of hardware manufacturers, willing to sell themselves to the highest bidder—whether that be Google, Baidu or Bing.

          There is no doubt that Google understands the importance of the mobile web. A large part of Google’s future will rely on advertising revenue driven by mobile devices, which is likely a key reason why Google decided to go into competition with its one-time ally, Apple.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Free Software Parable

    “What’s in this food?”

    “You’ll like it. Just eat it.”

    “I want to know what’s in it.”

    “That is none of your business. It’s healthy. Eat it.”

    “Healthy? By whose standards?”

    “Our standards. Trust us.”

    “I trust my judgement, not yours. I demand to know what I’m putting in my body. I paid for the food. It belongs to me. I will analyze it myself.”

    “We have patents on the chemicals, machines, and processes that made the food. We have copyrights on the formulas and algorithms needed to make the food. You cannot examine it without our consent, which we do not give.”

  • Open source ‘community’ doesn’t exist

    Unfortunately, this is a sub-culture that won’t go away. The result is that there’s no real community, and this is because ‘community’ is too loose a term to describe the many different kinds of people who use open source software.

    It’s a word that may help the open source propaganda machine, but it doesn’t help the sustainability and growth of free software. There is no such thing as a single, homogeneous Linux group.

    It’s a term that implies a shared goal and some kind of kinship, when there is none. It’s a term that implies cooperation and cohesion, when there’s just too much conflict and disagreement for this to happen.

    Instead, there are disparate groups of individuals, businesses and enterprises, as with any other operating system.

    Each group may contain those noble elements of kindness that have helped to make Linux such a success, but to describe the entire collection as a community is wrong.

  • Open thread: How do you describe open source to the uninitiated?

    It happens all the time. You’re at a party, someone asks about your work, and yet again, you have about 45 seconds to describe one of the greatest innovations in human history.

    There’s the public utility metaphor. The shared infrastructure “like a bridge or a road” idea. Waterworks. Rural electric co-op’s.The car with the hood welded shut. The Wikipedia analogy. The scholarly tradition. Libraries. The scientific method. Bucket brigades, quilting bees, and barn raisings. Seed banks and sustainable agriculture.

  • First user test data synchronization between CiviCRM and Oracle transaction system at De Goede Woning

    For our project at De Goede Woning we have been developing a data synchronization process between CiviCRM and their main transaction system in Oracle (comparable with an ERP). Some data for a contact (first name, middle name, last name, gender and birth date), phones, emails and addresses will be common between the two, so a change, create or delete in CiviCRM will have to be synchronized with the main transaction system and vice versa.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Rainbow 0.2 is here!

        In the spirit of releasing early and releasing often – we are proud to bring you version 0.2 of Rainbow – an experimental Firefox add-on from Mozilla Labs that exposes audio and video recording capabilities to web pages.

      • Mozilla Open Data Visualization Contest – Data is Now Available!

        Two weeks ago the Mozilla Metrics Team, together with Mozilla Labs and the growing Mozilla Research Initiative, announced our first Open Data Visualization Competition. Today, we are excited to release the data sets for this competition!

      • Mozilla Open Data Visualization Competition – Data is Now Live!

        Two weeks ago Mozilla Labs, together with Mozilla Metrics team and the growing Mozilla Research Initiative, announced our first Open Data Visualization Competition. Today, we are excited to release the data sets for this competition!

        These data sets come from Mozilla’s own open data program, Test Pilot. Test Pilot is a user research platform that collects structured user data through Firefox. Currently, over 1 million Firefox users from all over the world participate in Test Pilot studies, which aim to explore how people use their web browser and the Internet in general

      • Mozilla Open Data Visualization Contest – Data is Now Available!

        Two weeks ago the Mozilla Metrics Team, together with Mozilla Labs and the growing Mozilla Research Initiative, announced our first Open Data Visualization Competition. Today, we are excited to release the data sets for this competition!

      • Community interviews: Tom Ellins (TMZ)

        At Mozilla we have an amazingly strong community that really makes up the core of the project. However, the incredible work of our core contributors is often not visible to the rest of our community. At SUMO we want to change that. Inspired by Matthew Helmke’s great interview series, we started to interview different members of our SUMO community to give you a glimpse into their life and work. In this installment we will hear from Tom Ellins, also known as tmz on IRC. Tom is a long time contributor, helping countless of Firefox users in live chat sessions.

      • The State of Mozilla

        Total assets as of December 31, 2009 were $143 million compared with $116 million at the end of 2008, an increase of 23 percent. Unrestricted net assets at the end of 2009 were $120 million compared with $94 million in 2008, a 28 percent increase. The restricted assets remain the same as last year: a “tax reserve fund” established in 2005 for a portion of the revenue the Mozilla Foundation received that year from the search engine providers. As noted last year, the IRS has opened an audit of the Mozilla Foundation. We do not yet have a good feel for how long this process will take or the overall scope of what will be involved.

      • State of Mozilla and 2009 Financial Statements
      • Mozilla Labs Night “Gaming Special” – Agent 008 Ball Presentation

        October’s Mozilla Labs Night “Gaming Special meetup was a fun and informative evening to learn more about how to build games with Open Web technologies. One of the speakers at the event was Kevin Moore from Pixel Lab. Here is the video we captured of him talking about Agent 008 Ball, an HTML5-based game.

  • SaaS

    • Cloud Computing 101, p2

      A different categorization of clouds is private vs public. Private simply means that the cloud infrastructure is built in-house behind the firewall. For example you could turn your corporate datacenter into a private cloud. The benefits being, you gain better efficiency and datacenter utilization across different departments as well as being able to provide an elastic and fast response to your enterprise’s departmental IT needs. Should you want to start playing with a private cloud solution, Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud is a good start.

  • Databases

    • Comparing MySQL and Postgres 9.0 Replication

      Replication is one of the most popular features used in RDBMS’s today.


      As was previously stated, for many application use cases, both Oracle’s MySQL and PostgreSQL replication will be an equally good choice. The best way to determine which is right for you is to download both and put each through a comprehensive evaluation.

  • Education

    • Frontiers in Education: A recap

      A number of folks from the Teaching Open Source community had a panel at the Frontiers in Education 2010 conference, which is attended by college and university professors interested in improving engineering education. The panel’s main thesis was that participating in FOSS communities was one way to give students a better educational experience.

  • Licensing

    • Contributor Agreements Say Your Contribution Is Unwelcome

      The conversation around LWN’s coverage of Michael Meeks’ talk at the Linux Plumbers Conference (sadly paywalled until now but available today and worth reading all the way through) provoked interesting comments. The subject of the discussion is LibreOffice and the code ownership issues which provoked the fork.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Law, the internet and society

      Changes in law and technology, largely invisible to the general public and widely misunderstood by policymakers in the public and private sectors, are having a fundamental impact on our society. The aim of this unit is to provide an appreciation of how the internet paved the way for an explosion of innovation. You will explore some of the changes in the law and internet technology that have resulted from the reaction to that innovation. You will also consider the implications of these changes for society.

    • Open Data

      • Developers

        The blockers are:

        * closed public data
        * procurement
        * change

        Developers are indeed talented, and worthy of enormous academic respect – such as people reserve for scientists or those people on CSI. And yes, there are some developers who are so excited and driven by their talent that they will more than happily talk for hours, or work for a while – for free – explaining why they love their subject and how they could revolutionise the way the world works. Just as there are those who know how to code and do that as a day job, are brilliant and talented but it is a job and no more, and those who push and grow their talent to become super-developers, world-renowned futurologists and/or billionaires.

      • The British Library’s National Bibliography is Open! Join in the party.

        Open Streetmap has 250,000 volunteers. There are already lots of volunteers creating openly accessible bibliographic entries [1].

        How many books do YOU have on your shelves? Are they in the catalogue? Let us know if this excites you.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Tippr Proposes “Open Deal Format”, A Standard For The Group Buying Industry

      Tippr, which provides white-label services for group buying, is proposing a new potential technology standard for the group buying industry today, dubbed the “Open Deal Format” or ODF. The company is inviting interested parties, which include group buying service providers, publishers and social networks, to a meeting in Seattle next month.


  • Twitter’s @Ev: Ad Money Good, Facebook Blocking Bad

    Twitter’s Evan Williams reminded the Valley Wednesday that Google isn’t the only company being stymied by Facebook’s stranglehold on user identity.

    Journalist John Battelle publicly asked Williams if Facebook would ever import Twitter’s firehose of data.

    Williams shot back, “You’ll have to ask Mark that. You missed your opportunity,” referring to Batelle’s interview with Zuckerberg just 24 hours earlier on the same stage in San Francisco at the Web 2.0 Summit conference.

  • Twitter Calculates Reputation Scores for Each User
  • Twitter Has A (Secret) Reputation Score For Every User

    Whoah. Onstage at Web 2.0 Summit, Twitter founder Evan Williams revealed, when asked by interviewer John Battelle “How do you pick ‘Who to Follow’?,” that Twitter has a private reputation score for every user.

    According to Williams, Twitter’s “science and math people” have systems which gauge who you follow and who the people you follow follow and try to find ‘Who to Follow’ relevance in that overlap. He didn’t make it clear how individual user reputation score was measured.

  • A Look at the Kind Heart of One of the Most Influential Communities on the Internet

    Reddit.com, the popular news aggregator and social media site owned by Condé Nast Digital, has become quite a powerhouse of social and cultural clout in recent years. Founded in 2005 by Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian, the site was originally intended to be much like other social news forums. Contributors submit links to stories, or they can post original content. Other users then comment on the stories, and discussion ensues.

  • O’Brien: A dark trend runs through this year’s Web 2.0 tech summit

    The names of the culprits are familiar, and include Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon.com. Each has assumed a dominant position in their respective markets — mobile, search, social networking, e-commerce — and are focused on how to defend their turf while infiltrating their rivals’ territory.

    We, the consumers, are caught in the crossfire. We’re likely to see fewer new products (like Twitter) and more services aimed mainly at locking us into the new Internet titans (I’d count Facebook’s new message service in this category).

  • Have we lost common sense over social networking sites?

    When Bill NyeBill Nye popularly know as Science Guy collapsed, witnesses tweets. Bill Nye, collapsed on stage before reaching the podium at a presentation at the University of Southern California, witnesses instead of coming to his aid pulls out their electronics and tweets it.

    Have we became so infatuated with electronics and the social networks until we forget common sense, helping someone in trouble?

    Reports show Twitter revealed a virtual play-by-play account of the incident. One student wrote, “Bill Nye tripped on his computer cord while speaking at USC, was out for abt 5 secs, got back up, spoke w/ slurred speech and fainted.”

  • Fox News outs Beatles as ‘Manchester’s favorite mopheads’

    FoxNews.com has got its knickers in a twist about the birthplace of some pop band called the Beatles.

  • Top Trends of 2010: Content Farms

    The Web has always rewarded quantity more than quality, but over 2010 this truism became even more pronounced with the growth of Content Farms. These are companies which create thousands of pieces of content per day. Much of it is in the form of how-to articles and is often referred to as “evergreen” informational content, because it’s relevant for much longer than news.

  • Will China’s 1999 Moment Bail-Out Some Valley VCs?

    Yes, China is taking over the world. Or at least the Internet.

  • How China swallowed 15% of ‘Net traffic for 18 minutes

    In a 300+ page report (PDF) today, the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission provided the US Congress with a detailed overview of what’s been happening in China—including a curious incident in which 15 percent of the world’s Internet traffic suddenly passed through Chinese servers on the way to its destination.

  • China denies ‘hijacking’ internet traffic

    US report claims Chinese telecoms company had access to 15% of global traffic, including military emails, for 18 minutes

  • Some numbers from the Sita Distribution Project
  • Some Stats on Sina Weibo

    Sina’s popular Twitter-like microblogging service Sina Weibo (Weibo means microblogging in Chinese) is becoming one of the most exciting product to Sina, and also to China’s app developers. In first China Weibo Developer Conference held in this Tuesday, over 2000 people attended it.

  • Science

    • Squealing on My Bacteria and Virus Overlords

      I hope I don’t get into trouble squealing on my bacteria and virus overlords. For reasons I will show later, I think that bacteria and viruses control our bodies even more than our brains do.

      Consider first that bacteria make up between 2 and 9 pounds of our body weight. This number doesn’t fluctuate that much.

      Viruses fluctuate more. When you have a cold, obviously there are more viruses than when you don’t. So we can’t say exactly how many pounds viruses add to this equation.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • How to Fly Without Airport Security!

      The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) have recently imposed new methods of inspecting travelers. These new methods include full body scans and intrusive pat-downs that some liken to being molested or groped. If a traveler refuses to have high resolution nude images taken of their body, their second option is to be inappropriately touched. This new groping technique includes children, the elderly, the injured, and even pilots. These rules and the TSA’s methods have made air travel a painful reminder that George Orwell’s 1984 was only off by 26 years or so.

    • TSA plans modest changes to ‘virtual strip searches’

      An Internet-fueled backlash against air traveler screening is growing amid signs that the Transportation Security Agency will consider slight changes to its controversial new procedures.

      TSA administrator John Pistole said today that the agency will be “announcing some new policies” in the “near future” that will change the screening process for pilots, who have protested being forced to choose between a “virtual strip search” or an invasive pat-down a few minutes before they’re handed the controls of a 975,000-pound kerosene-fueled missile in the form of a jumbo jet. (See our previous coverage.)

    • The TSA: Stupid, Owned, or Complicit?

      I have long been in Bruce Schneier’s camp, thinking that the TSA is a joke: nothing but security theater.

    • White House Says Child Soldiers Are Ok, If They Fight Terrorists

      The phenomenon of child soldiers, like genocide, slavery and torture, seems like one of those crimes that no nation could legitimately defend. Yet the Obama administration just decided to leave countless kids stranded on some of the world’s bloodiest battlegrounds.


      A thumbs-up for child soldiers from the pen of President Obama? Whitehouse spokesperson P.J. Crowley explained it was a strategic decision to ease the 2008 law. The rationale is that on balance, it’s more effective for the U.S. to keep providing military assistance that will help countries gradually evolve out of the practice of marshaling kids to the battlefield, rather than isolating them.

    • Lawsuit: Airport search indecent

      An Amarillo woman is suing the federal government for intentional infliction of emotional distress after Transportation Security Administration agents allegedly humiliated the woman when her breasts were publicly exposed during an “extended search” two years ago at a Corpus Christi airport.

    • Another TSA Outrage

      It’s probably important to mention that we were ALL carrying weapons. Everyone was carrying an M4 Carbine (rifle) and some, like me, were also carrying an M9 pistol. Oh, and our gunners had M-240B machine guns. Of course, the weapons weren’t loaded. And we had been cleared of all ammo well before we even got to customs at Baghram, then AGAIN at customs.

      The TSA personnel at the airport seriously considered making us unload all of the baggage from the SECURE cargo hold to have it reinspected. Keep in mind, this cargo had been unpacked, inspected piece by piece by U.S. Customs officials, resealed and had bomb-sniffing dogs give it a one-hour run through. After two hours of sitting in this holding area, the TSA decided not to reinspect our Cargo–just to inspect us again: Soldiers on the way home from war, who had already been inspected, reinspected and kept in a SECURE holding area for 2 hours. Ok, whatever. So we lined up to go through security AGAIN.

      This is probably another good time to remind you all that all of us were carrying actual assault rifles, and some of us were also carrying pistols.

      So we’re in line, going through one at a time. One of our Soldiers had his Gerber multi-tool. TSA confiscated it. Kind of ridiculous, but it gets better. A few minutes later, a guy empties his pockets and has a pair of nail clippers. Nail clippers. TSA informs the Soldier that they’re going to confiscate his nail clippers.

    • ‘Naked’ scanners fooled by creased clothing

      Controversial “naked” body scanners currently being tested at Hamburg’s airport are constantly malfunctioning due to folds in passengers’ clothing, broadcaster NDR reported on Tuesday.

    • Jimmy Wales: “If I Had Some Information, The Last Thing I Would Do Is Send It To Wikileaks”

      There is definitely some bad blood between Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and Wikileaks, the controversial organization which posted thousands of pages of classified Iraqi War documents. On the Charlie Rose last night, towards the end of his interview, Wales says, “If I had some information, the last thing I would ever do with it is send it to Wiikileaks.”

      He prefaced that remark by noting that he has “mixed feelings about Wikileaks.” People with information about wrongdoing in open societies should have the opportunity to make that information public. His concern is the way that Wikileaks chose to do that without regard for the safety of people “who are not the wrongdoers.” ” I think they should be slower in releasing things,” he says.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Oil shock warning to government from UK business

      An industry taskforce has called on the government to act to protect the UK economy against a new threat of rising oil prices.

      A consortium of British business, including retailers Kingfisher and transport group, Stagecoach, say the UK must prepare for the next oil shock.

    • New Zealand Orcas Captured Surfing in Gigantic Waves

      The newest Giant Swell that arrived to the shores of New Zealand Brought unlikely visitors.

      The Orca Whales came into the waves along the coast and rode them like a veteran surfer.

    • Feds’ Transgenic-Salmon Review Ignores Big Picture

      When the Food and Drug Administration announces the fate of the AquAdvantage salmon, the first genetically modified (GM) animal ever considered for commercial consumption, they may have considered only a fraction of their decision’s consequences.

      So far the FDA has focused on whether or not the salmon are safe to eat or might escape and breed with wild fish. They haven’t yet considered how GM salmon could affect, for better or worse, public dietary habits or the fallout of a boom in fish farming.

  • Finance

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • MPAA Dismisses COICA Free Speech Concerns

      MPAA chief Bob Pisano wrote an op-ed piece that appeared in today’s TheHill.com, evangelizing the highly suspect legislation “The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act”. Slyck has covered the potential perils of the COICA, as have many other pro-democracy organizations (such as the EFF), as the details of a potential Internet and free speech filter come to the United States.

      The big problem with COICA is that it gives tremendous amounts of power to the US Attorney General to shut websites down with little more than filing a complaint with the local district court that has jurisdiction over the registrar’s address. Sure, there’s some judicial review, but how often will the courts disagree with the Department of Justice when they wave the banner of copyright infringement? We just don’t know, which makes this bill all the more frightening.

    • Judiciary Committee Approves Internet Censorship Bill
    • MPAA Boss Defends Censorships With Blatantly False Claims

      What the First Amendment does protect is speech. The law does already allow takedowns of infringing content. But COICA goes beyond that. Rather than — as the First Amendment requires — narrowly tailoring any takedown or injunction to the actual infringing content, it orders the entire site taken down prior to any trial. That’s a classic situation of prior restraint, where the specifically infringing content is not specified and narrowly taken down. Instead, it’s using a shotgun to try to remove a bandaid.

    • Wyden Threatens To Block Online IP Bill

      Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Thursday threatened to block legislation aimed at curbing piracy and counterfeiting on foreign Web sites, saying the bill is a heavy-handed solution to the problem.

      “It seems to me the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act as written today, is the wrong medicine,” Wyden, the chairman of the Finance International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness Subcommittee, said during a hearing on international trade and the digital economy. “Deploying this statute to combat online copyright and infringement seems almost like a bunker buster cluster bomb when really what you need is a precision-guided missile.”

    • Giving Every Person A Voice

      When I started blogging back in 2003, I would tell everyone how awesome it was. A common refrain back then was “not everyone should have a printing press.” I didn’t agree then and I don’t agree now. Everyone should have a printing press and should use it as often as they see fit. Through things like RSS and Twitter’s follow model, we can subscribe to the voices we want to hear regularly. And through things like reblog and retweet, the voices we don’t subscribe to can get into our readers, dashboards, and timelines.

    • Long Live the Web

      The Web is critical not merely to the digital revolution but to our continued prosperity—and even our liberty. Like democracy itself, it needs defending

    • Guest post: Clegg re-affirms his commitment to Civil Liberties

      In a keynote speech at the Political Studies Association/Hansard Society Annual Lecture on Tuesday evening, Nick Clegg spoke of the protection of civil liberties as being one of the core elements of the modern British Constitution.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • UK regulator Ofcom lobbies Brussels against net neutrality

      Lobbyists from the UK regulator Ofcom have been active in the European Parliament, against net neutrality. How can this be consistent with their role as regulator, and their duty to promote the ability of citizens to access and distribute content, applications and services?

      According to sources in the European Parliament, lobbyists from Ofcom have been calling in person on MEPs recently to discuss the issue of net neutrality. In particular, it is understood that Ofcom opposes a principle of net neutrality being built into EU law.

    • Internet Neutrality Principle
    • The Next Front: Net Neutrality

      There was good news for Digital Britain last week when the High Court agreed to review the Digital Economy Act following a petition by BT and TalkTalk. After the legislation was rushed through Parliament in the wash-up this spring and seemed to be moving inexorably toward enforcement, this was an encouraging development for those of us who believe that the Act’s copyright infringement provisions are both disproportionate and detrimental to technological innovation in the UK. Enforcement of the Act will now be delayed for at least a few months (rumour has it that Ofcom will even delay publication of its Initial Obligations Code, which was expected in the last few weeks, until after the judicial review process has taken place), and depending on the outcome of the review it’s very possible that the whole Act will have to go back to Parliament and, with our and others’ pressure, receive due consideration this time around.

    • Peter Gabriel joins voices backing net neutrality in UK

      The UK government’s plans to abandon net neutrality threaten British business startups and if taken up elsewhere could undermine democracy, says Peter Gabriel, the influential musician and technology entrepreneur who has backed a number of successful internet companies.

      “I feel very strongly about it,” said Gabriel, who has invested in a number of companies, including Bath-based The Filter and On Demand Distribution (OD2). “Freedom of access [to information online] is going to be an important battleground. It’s vital to a free and open democracy: [net neutrality] serves everybody.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • James Murdoch: Hoping All Media Businesses Act Like Pay TV

      The more the interview went on, the more I realized that Murdoch appears to view much of the media world through that lens, and seems to saying that, in the end, the media world will end up like a giant pay TV system, with a big subscription. I think this is more wishful thinking, rather than where the internet is actually heading, and treating the internet that way will almost certainly result in failure — such as with his paywall experiments.

    • Copyrights

      • Legal Attack on Internet Music Storage Threatens ‘Safe Harbor’ Rules for Online Businesses

        New York – In a legal battle over Internet music storage that could impact innovation and free expression on the Internet, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Public Knowledge, and other public interest groups asked a federal judge in an amicus brief Tuesday to protect the “safe harbor” rules for online content in EMI v. MP3Tunes.

      • p2pnet talks with Operation Payback

        In a world where there’s no honour or pride, where lies, bribes and deceit are the normal tools of daily business and politics, an assembly of Anonymous netizens is saying We’ve had enough.

        Under the Operation Payback banner, they launched a series of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against the the US Copyright Office, Hollywood’s MPAA, Big Music’s RIAA and BPI and other ‘trade’ groups, and the jackal-like lawyers using copyright to extort ordinary people.

      • Anti-Piracy Lawyers Knew They Targeted Innocent Victims

        Davenport Lyons, the law firm which pioneered the lucrative file-sharing pay-up-or-else scheme in the UK, will head off to Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal proceedings next year. According to details just made available, among other things Davenport Lyons partners were responsible for knowingly targeting the innocent and relied on unreliable evidence in doing so.

      • Canadian Heritage Minister inadvertently damns his own copyright bill

        Michael Geist sez, “Canadian Heritage James Moore appeared on public television yesterday to defend his copyright bill and to oppose a new levy system. In doing so, he made the case for why the digital lock provisions in the bill are so problematic. According to Moore: ‘When I buy a movie, I’ve paid for the movie. To ask me to pay for it a second time through another device – and to assume that I’m doing illegal copying, to assume that I’m being a pirate, to assume that I’m thieving from people because I happen to own an MP3 player or a BluRay player or a laptop, I think treats consumers unfairly.’

        “While Moore was thinking of the prospect of additional payments through a levy, the words apply equally to the digital lock provisions that make it an infringement for consumers to circumvent locks in order to watch the movie they’ve purchased on a second device. In fact, in some instances – for example, DVDs with non-North American region codes – it involves infringement for merely trying to access the content for the first time.”

      • Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore on How Copyright Can Treat Consumers Unfairly

        According to Moore:

        When I buy a movie, I’ve paid for the movie. To ask me to pay for it a second time through another device – and to assume that I’m doing illegal copying, to assume that I’m being a pirate, to assume that I’m thieving from people because I happen to own an MP3 player or a BluRay player or a laptop, I think treats consumers unfairly.

      • ACTA

        • A Peek Inside the EU’s Digital Inner Circle

          Another area I explored with Whelan was ACTA. Although this didn’t come under the Digital Agenda umbrella directly, it obviously has major implications for it. Not surprisingly, he offered the standard EC line that ACTA won’t require any changes in EU laws, and it’s true that some of the more peremptory language in the drafts has been replaced by phrases that give more leeway to the signatories. But he did point out that there are several copyright initiatives underway or imminent whose thinking may well be influenced by ACTA, so we will need to make sure plenty of input is provided when these are announced.

Clip of the Day

Partnering with Red Hat: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6

Credit: TinyOgg

Links 19/11/2010: GNOME 2.32.1 Released, Debian GNU/Linux Recruits Women

Posted in News Roundup at 3:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • Could the Windows Comparison Game Hurt Linux?

      Competition is good, blogger Robert Pogson told Linux Girl.

      “If we cannot out-perform that sad imitation of an OS that M$ produces, GNU/Linux should be shut down,” Pogson asserted. “In my experience, GNU/Linux has out-performed M$ since 2000 because GNU/Linux did not crash and was much easier to manage and cost less.”

      Of course, “we should check our rear-view mirrors occasionally to see what the competition is doing,” he added. “I don’t see MacOS as much competition since it does not run on the same hardware by decree, so there is no proper way to compare.”

    • French Gendarmerie switch 85,000 PC’s to Ubuntu and save €€€

      The police force has been able to tailor Ubuntu Desktop to meet its exact requirements. Gendarmerie Commandant Jean-Pascal Chateau says: “We have a lot of personnel who work in the field. The fact that Ubuntu Desktop is so easy to use is a huge benefit. Agents can personalize their desktops to fit their needs. That means that they can access the same desktop environment no matter which workstation they log in from.” He adds: “Now staff are more motivated and we’ve reduced costs and introduced solutions that better match our needs.”

  • Server

  • Ballnux

    • Samsung Galaxy Tab source code released

      Samsung has released the open source portions of the Galaxy Tab operating system and made them available for download. Of course, much of their software isn’t open source, so don’t expect to see everything in the code. It is very refreshing to see manufacturers quick to comply with the license agreements, and my hat’s off to Samsung for this.

    • Video Face-Off: Android Galaxy Tab vs. the iPad
    • Everything you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy Tab

      Next to the Apple iPad, it may be the most anticipated tech product of 2010. You could even claim that a big part of its anticipation is actually due to the iPad. Of course, I’m talking about the Samsung Galaxy Tab, the first major Android slate to give the iPad a run for its money in the touchscreen tablet market.

    • Samsung Galaxy Tab review

      Although the Tab’s diagonal screen size is only 2.7 inches smaller than that of the iPad’s, the device itself is nearly half the size and weight – in short, it’s a much tidier little package. Though not as slim as perhaps we’d have liked, the ability to operate the Tab single-handed and drop it in our back pocket is a massive advantage in terms of overall usability.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KMyMoney 4.5.1 stable version is out

        The KMyMoney Team is pleased to announce the release of KMyMoney version 4.5.1.

        This version contains several fixes for bugs found in 4.5.0 since it was released almost three months ago as the stable release for the KDE Platform 4.

      • Polishing
    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME Shell – Then And Now (Or How Unity Has Influenced It)

        I the past I have commented on how GNOME Shell’s redesign is heading towards what Canonical’s Unity looks like currently. Well, today a reader, Frederico Araújo, left a very interesting side-by-side comparison of GNOME Shell during its initial stage and now. He also added comparison with Unity. It is a very interesting comparison and we thought we’d share it. Do leave your thoughts in the comments.

      • 7 Brilliant GNOME GTK Themes

        GNOME Shell is the future of GNOME desktop and its already evolving quite beautifully. You might want to check out our collection of breathtaking GNOME Shell themes too.

      • GNOME 2.32.1 released

        The first update to GNOME 2.32 (and my own first release) is now available. It provides bug fixes, translation updates and the usual care and kindness that our brave GNOME developers and contributors deserves to details.

      • GNOME 2.32.1 released

        The GNOME Release Team have issued version 2.32.1 of the GNOME desktop for GNU / Linux and Unix, the first maintenance update to the GNOME 2.32 series. According to GNOME developer Luca Ferretti, the latest stable release includes a variety of bug fixes, translation improvements and minor updates to the included GNOME packages, such as the Empathy instant messaging app and the Evolution mail client.

      • OpenRespect: It’s About Time

        I will admit that, despite Bacon’s arguments to the contrary, OpenRespect is coming across as a defensive move on behalf of Bacon’s employer, Canonical. Canonical has been the target for a lot of frustration from the broader community lately, some of it perhaps deserved, and some perhaps not, so it’s a reasonable assumption that the Ubuntu Community Manager might want to deflect.

      • Make the GNOME panel font bold, italic, bigger, smaller etc
      • 10 Incredible Icon Sets for Ubuntu/GNOME

        Elementary project is one of the most talked about and actively developed open source project meant to provide much needed finesse to Linux desktop. Download Elementary Icon Theme. Also, check out beautiful Elementary theme for Ubuntu as well.

      • Beautify Ubuntu Desktop Window Border with Emerald Themes

        If you want to decorate your window border, you can try following installation and setup.

  • Distributions

    • Pardus

      I think I will stick with Pardus on this laptop, for a while, and see how it goes. If I ever get around to my long term plan of upgrading my parents’ computer from Windows XP then Pardus could be a strong candidate for that too. It’s impressive.

    • Announcing Bodhi Linux

      You may have noticed the blog has been rather quiet the last couple of weeks, this is because I have been working on a project. Last month I posted details about an E17 LiveDVD I was working on that was modeled after PinguyOS. It weighed in at a 1.4 gig download that was jam packed with every application you might ever use. It was also slightly crude in some aspects (such as the Enlightenment desktop it contained was compiled and installed from source).


      The Bodhi is built from an Ubuntu 10.04 minimal disc, but you will notice it does contain some Ubuntu 10.10 features. Backported via the Bodhi Repository, are the 2.6.35 kernel and the newer Ubiquity installer. Also enabled by default are the Ubuntu partner repository, Medibuntu, and GetDeb.

    • Reviews

      • A Linux server OS that’s had 11 years to improve

        Review: SME Server is pretty much the original ready-rolled server distribution. Although it has changed hands – and names – a few times, it’s been around since 1999, when it was known as e-Smith, a name you’ll still see in a few places.

    • Red Hat Family

      • RHN Satellite 5.4, the second analysis

        My first analysis and the first experiances of RHN Satellite 5.4 have been very good, I was quite excited.

        I also was very happy to be able to sync the rhel-x86_64-server-6 channel on the newly upgraded master satellite. First tests on test systems registered to the master (=staging) Satellite have all been successful.

      • Linux, Open Source & Ubuntu: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Is Ready for Heavy-Duty Computing
      • Red Hat Educates Professors About Open Source

        Provider of open source solutions, Red Hat, expanded its outreach to introduce open source into the computer science curriculum at leading colleges and universities. The company is a member of Teaching OpenSource ( News – Alert) community and acts as its catalyst. It sponsors Professors’ Open Source Summer Experience (POSSE) workshops.

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux and the Trickle-Up Effect

        The announcement of a royal wedding is a cause for excitement among loyal subjects, but it’s also an opportunity for assorted tea-towel vendors, commemorative plate makers and many other people to make a great deal of money off the back of it.

        And so it is with enterprise server operating systems. Last week’s release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6.0 generated much excitement from its loyal customers. Many of Red Hat’s partners are hoping the release will provide them with an opportunity to make a great deal of money off the back of it, too. Although the RHEL 6.0 server OS includes numerous significant new features — a new hybrid 2.6.32 kernel; support for more cores and memory; better reliability, availability and serviceability (RAS) capabilities; the ext4 file system by default; and so more — it was hard to discern that from the clamor of Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) hardware partners preparing to make money by selling more of their lovely server boxes and associated services.

      • Red Hat sizes up NZ for 2011 growth

        Channel growth is encouraging open source vendor Red Hat to consider establishing a local office next year. Sydney-based Max McLaren, Red Hat’s ANZ general manager, says growth in its business here would justify the investment but it’s too early to treat it as definite. “We’ve always had aspirations to open an office in New Zealand. It’s just a question of when.”

        In September Red Hat posted global revenue and operating income increases of more than 20 percent over the previous year, and McLaren says local growth echoes that of the company overall.

      • FLOSS Weekly 142: CentOS

        Hosts: Randal Schwartz and Dan Lynch

        CentOS is an enterprise-class Linux distro derived from sources freely provided to the public.

        Guest: Karanbir Singh for CentOS

      • Fedora

        • Quality journalism

          At the end of the last week the FOSS news exploded with titles about Fedora and Wayland, in many cases going as aggressive as “Fedora to ditch X.org for Wayland” and “May bring Wayland Fedora 15″, all of them based on an insightful post made by ajax, the X.org maintainer in Fedora, but most of the time letting out relevant details as “eventually”, “not usable default”, “something you can play with” or “don’t have a timeframe”.

          The result was a flood of posts, comments, dents, twitts and so, many of them based only on partial titles and raving about how awesome Wayland is going to be, now that Red Hat will put resources behind it (that’s really jumping to a conclusion!). Net effect: the community moved focus from singling out Canonical for they anti-community perceived Wayland announcement from a couple of weeks ago. That’s good relations with the press! And that’s spinning!

        • Quick update on my upgrade to Fedora 14

          This is why, folks, everyone always recommends just going for a fresh install. Upgrades always require a bit more work.

        • Spotlight on Linux: Fedora 14

          So, if you’re in the market for a new or additional Linux distribution, Fedora can most assuredly fill the bill. Many think of Fedora as a distribution for more advanced users, but it can fit into just about any routine.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian GNU/Linux 5 “lenny” [Review]

        Debian GNU/Linux 5 is highly recommended to people who want a robust system which simply works. If you are running a server, or otherwise need a platform which doesn’t keep changing, Debian 5 is a brilliant choice. If however you want a more up-to-date system, it is preferable to use one of the many Debian-based distros such as Ubuntu, or use Debian testing.

      • Debian Trying to Recruit More Women

        The Debian Women project is beginning training sessions to encourage more women to participate in the nuts and bolts of Debian development. Alexander Reichle-Schmehl (Debian spokesman, event organizer, and developer) said in a recent press release that “the main goal of this initiative is to encourage more people, and specifically women, to contribute to Debian while introducing them to different aspects of the Debian Project.”

      • Benchmarks Of Debian Etch, Lenny & Squeeze

        With Debian 6.0 “Squeeze” set to be released in the coming months, we have decided to run a set of benchmarks looking at the performance of Debian 6.0 across different sub-systems relative to the performance of Debian 5.0 “Lenny” and Debian 4.0 “Etch” to see how this new release may stack up.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Respect Freedom, Not Pragmatism

          Having just discovered this “openrespect” thing, I have to say I find the whole idea rather sinister. It seems to me that Jono Bacon is endorsing a sort of moderation, or more bluntly, censorship of criticism, in order to silence those who oppose pragmatic concessions that undermine our ideals.

          Here’s one thing he can start doing right away: spend a little less time respecting corporate thugs like Microsoft, and a little more time respecting our Freedom.

        • Ubuntu’s Feature Friction
        • Ubuntu: Innovative or reckless?

          Ubuntu chief Mark Shuttleworth is making some bold and potentially risky decisions about the future of Ubuntu Linux.

          It’s been almost a year since Mark Shuttleworth relinquished the reins at Canonical, stepping down as CEO to take a more hands-on approach in the company that is the backer of the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Judging by the various sharp turns Ubuntu has taken in the past year his steerage is starting to have an effect.

        • The monospace is coming

          In contrast to a proportionally spaced font a the characters in a monospace occupy all exactly the same width. In the past monospace type was used on typewriters, and more recently in some specialised printing environments such as Credit Card embossing, or ticketing. Today, monospace fonts are primarily used within a programming environment working on terminal windows. The monospace font answers the need for clear code structuring and predictable line lengths. Using monospace fonts allows the programmer to immediately spot a mis-typed character or double space, any of which would prevent the code from compiling as expected.

        • Living with Linux: installing and using Ubuntu Netbook Edition

          There’s no way I’d revert to XP now, because Ubuntu does everything I need my netbook to do in roughly half the time.

        • No Maverick PPA For Unity

          There was consensus in the porting team around this. Of course, if anyone in the community wants to take the time to make a Maverick PPA, run with it, but it is felt that the resources are better spent focusing on Natty right now. I agree with this too.

        • Slew of New Business Tools Coming to Ubuntu

          If you use Ubuntu in your company, you’re already familiar with its many advantages for businesses. But guess what? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet, as they say.

          Particularly in the wake of the release last month of Canonical’s user-friendly Ubuntu 10.10, or Maverick Meerkat, partners have been virtually lining up outside the company’s door to help deliver business tools with high-level commercial support.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • The Perfect Desktop – Linux Mint 10 (Julia)

            This tutorial shows how you can set up a Linux Mint 10 (Julia) desktop that is a full-fledged replacement for a Windows desktop, i.e. that has all the software that people need to do the things they do on their Windows desktops. The advantages are clear: you get a secure system without DRM restrictions that works even on old hardware, and the best thing is: all software comes free of charge. Linux Mint 10 is a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu 10.10 that has lots of packages in its repositories (like multimedia codecs, Adobe Flash, Adobe Reader, Skype, Google Earth, etc.) that are relatively hard to install on other distributions; it therefore provides a user-friendly desktop experience even for Linux newbies.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Multi-touch in Ubuntu using Kinect

      I’m not quite sure how this incredibly slick proof-of concept (i.e. hacky first version) video showing off multi-touch in Ubuntu using Microsoft’s recently launched Kinect hardware passed us by, so props to yo2boy for sending it in.

    • Linux distros advance on the networking front

      Wind River announced that Arkoon Network Security will use Wind River Linux to develop its FAST 360 family of network security devices. Meanwhile, Wind River rival MontaVista Software announced it has joined the OpenSAF Foundation, which promotes the high availability middleware integrated into recent releases of MontaVista Linux Carrier Grade Edition.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • AniWeather, Display Weather Conditions In Firefox

        What’s the weather like today? If you want to answer that question you will have to either find it out by yourself, for instance by stepping outside, by asking other people or with the help of weather reports. AniWeather displays weather conditions in the Firefox web browser, unobtrusively. I did not see the weather conditions directly in the browser after installation. That’s usually caused if the add-on places them in a toolbar that is hidden by default. In this case the icons were displayed in the Navigation Toolbar which is hidden in my Firefox installation.

      • Mozilla millions still 86% Google cash

        Google still provides 86 per cent of Mozilla’s revenue, according to the open source outfit’s latest financial statement.

        On Thursday, Mozilla released its audited financial statement for 2009, and as in previous years, an unnamed search company is listed under “concentrations of risk.” In 2008, Google accounted for 91 per cent of Mozilla’s revenues, so the risk has dropped. But 86 is still a very large number.

      • The State of Mozilla

        Mozilla has filed its audited financial statements for 2009. This is the perfect time to look at the state of the Mozilla mission, our successes, our opportunities and our challenges.

  • Oracle

  • CMS

    • LCDTV.net – New Online Magazine Using Drupal 6

      LCDTV.net is an online magazine dedicated to LCD TV information and LCD TV Reviews. It employs several journalists to stay up to date with the latest technology news related to LCD televisions, has a large database of the latest TV specifications, and offers enthusiasts the opportunity to write in-depth TV reviews receiving full byline credit getting paid for their efforts.


    • GNU Robbo 0.66

      GNU Robbo is a free open source reimplementation of Janusz Pelc’s Robbo for the Atari XE/XL which was distributed by LK Avalon in 1989.

    • Cateia Games Are Coming To GNU/Linux !

      But since then Cateia Games developed a new engine which games can be easily ported to GNU/Linux.

  • Programming


Clip of the Day

Partnering with Red Hat: Performance, Reliability and Scalability

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 18/11/2010: Debian 6.0 Squeeze Release Update, Java 7 and 8

Posted in News Roundup at 12:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Server

    • Amdocs Benchmark sets new record for Large-Volume Processing of Prepaid Voice, Data and Messaging

      Amdocs (NYSE: DOX), the leading provider of customer experience systems, today announced the results of a benchmark that tested the Amdocs jNetX NextGen SCP (service control point) product, using the Linux operating system on HP ProLiant BL460c servers in BladeSystem c7000 enclosures and Intel® Xeon® processors. The benchmark demonstrated real-time service control for more than 510 million sessions and events during peak calling hours, also known as busy hour call attempts (BHCA). No other industry benchmark publicly reported processing of such a high volume of prepaid voice, data and messaging sessions and events.

  • Kernel Space

    • What’s Going On With Iveland & OpenBenchmarking.org
    • Benchmarking ARM Tablets, Smart-Phones

      When writing this morning about what’s going on with Iveland and OpenBenchmarking.org, one of the recent items being worked on in this area completely escaped my mind: the mobile benchmarking improvements. Time and money (new hardware) has been spent in providing greater automated testing and performance benchmarking of the Phoronix Test Suite on ARM-based mobile devices.

    • trace: Add user-space event tracing/injection
    • Graphics Stack

      • Genode OS Now Has A LiveCD Demo With Gallium3D

        Back in July we reported that Gallium3D and Intel’s GEM were ported to Genode OS. Unless you read that article, chances are you never heard of Genode OS. Genode is a unique, niche operating system that is designed for dynamic workloads while being robust and secure. Genode takes a unique approach with frameworks to offer greater security and be a less complex operating system. It’s primarily designed for high-security computing, automotive systems, and other devices requiring high security and/or dependability. Now though a LiveCD of this free operating system is available, which includes support for demonstrating its Gallium3D framework implementation.

        Besides being able to show off Gallium3D on Genode OS (if using Intel graphics!) there are demos included for also showing off the Qt4/WebKit support, improved software integration, and then how even as a browser-plugin to virtualize the Linux kernel booting.

      • AMD Already Has Open-Source Fusion Drivers

        There’s good news for those of you wanting to quickly go out and pickup an AMD Fusion system as soon as it’s available: there’s already open-source drivers for Fusion.

        AMD’s Alex Deucher has now confirmed that there are open-source graphics drivers for Fusion on Linux already in existence, but they’re just waiting for them to be approved for release. Alex (a.k.a. agd5f) mentioned this in our forums. “Open drivers are already written, just waiting for final approval to release.”

        While it’s a bit of a surprise that the open-source drivers are already written and just behind held up by approval (perhaps more legal reviews), it should not come as a complete surprise that AMD has been working on open-source drivers for this CPU+GPU combo architecture.

      • AMD Fusion has ‘open-source drivers ready’

        Hardware hounds early awaiting the release of AMD’s Fusion chip – a combo of CPU and GPU functions on a single die which AMD have dubbed an ‘APU’ (Accelerated Processing Unit) – will surely be excited to hear that open-source drivers are ready and waiting.

      • AMD Catalyst 10.11 Linux Driver Released

        As was pointed out in our forums, the AMD Catalyst 10.11 Linux driver has tipped up today. This driver, with its installer package approaching 120MB in size, is now available for download at AMD’s web-site.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDAB and Partners Build KDE-based Mobile App Suite Using Qt 4.7

        Just a few hundred kilometres from our Oslo office in the Swedish city of Hagfors sits one of the foremost independent sources of Qt consulting and mentoring, training and add-on products – KDAB. KDAB is a Qt Certified Partner and they’re a nice bunch of guys and girls too.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Gnome Shell Overview-Relayout Branch Gets Polished

        Some recent updates in the overview-relayout Gnome Shell branch brought a few very interesting changes:

        * the large black boxes around the currently selected view are gone
        * the controls to add/remove workspaces have been moved to the screen edge
        * and slide out on hover and during drags
        * animation when entering or leaving the overview has been modified to only zoom the window previews
        * it is now possible to add / reorder / remove favorites from the dash using (see the 2 screenshots below)

      • Context Toolbars in The Board

        When I blogged about the new toolbar in The Board, I mentioned that it was part of wider interaction model I would be implementing soon. So, here’s the very initial implementation of what I call context toolbars in The Board. When I started thinking about how I would offer ways to customize the things you add to The Board, I had a few simple goals in mind in terms of UI.

      • How do I feel about Unity and Wayland in Ubuntu?

        There’s been a lot of garment-rending of late about Ubuntu’s decision to steer away from GNOME 3 and GNOME-shell and instead pursue it’s own desktop environment (or is it a window manager?) in the form of Unity, as well as its intent to drop or marginalize Xorg in favor of Wayland for its graphical display.

        In my view, community considerations aside, the moves are risky and bold, and they could either set Ubuntu apart as a technological leader, or they could scuttle the distribution entirely as an inefficient platform that nobody wants to use.

        Yep. Risky.

        I’m not sure how I’ll like an interface meant for mobile clients, and while I do like GNOME 2 and am unsure about the performance penalty of GNOME 3/GNOME-shell and/or Unity, I’ll certainly take a look at what Ubuntu’s doing with its next couple of releases.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Aims For Government-Ready Security

        During Red Hat’s official launch event for their new Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 (RHEL 6) release, executives from the company focused heavily on new performance gains. While performance and scalability are key elements of RHEL 6, so too is security.

        With RHEL 6, Red Hat is debuting a number of new features into its enterprise Linux, including new virtual security services as well as the System Security Services Daemon. Security services aren’t the only area of RHEL 6 built for security, as all RHEL 6 packages now benefit from a new 4096-bit RSA hardware signing key as well.

      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

      • Debian 6.0 Squeeze Release Update

        The Debian Release Team has made a status update on Debian 6.0, “Squeeze”. They are proud to report that Debian is moving towards the release like a glacier: “inevitably and unstoppingly”.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Make it really easy to fix bugs on Ubuntu

          One of the best things that anyone ever said was, “not enough gets said about the importance of abandoning crap”. Mr Glass was probably talking about writing, but his words could well have been aimed squarely at any well-established software development process.

          Right now, it’s too hard to fix a bug in Ubuntu. There are a lot of things that we can do to make it easier, let me tell you about mine.

        • Ask Ubuntu

          Beyond asking and answering questions, you can also vote (up or down) questions and answers others have provided. Votes go towards a person’s reputation on the site. For example, if you answer a question and someone votes your answer up, you’ll gain +10. If someone votes up your question, you’ll gain +5. That’s right, good questions go towards building your reputation. For more info on reputation and Ask Ubuntu in general, check out the Ask Ubuntu FAQ.

        • Ubuntu Global Jam: Let’s Make This Rock

          So, I just wanted to give everyone a heads up that the date of the Ubuntu Global Jam is 1st – 3rd April 2011. I know it is a way off yet, but I am really keen that everyone has as much notice as possible to get your events ready! Laura has added the Ubuntu Global Jam in the LoCo Directory so feel free to go and add your events there! We will also be having some tutorial sessions about how to organize events soon! When you add an event, but sure to Tweet/Dent/Facebook it and use the #ugj, #ubuntu, and #locoteams tags so others can see them!

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Do you know where you’re going?
      • Palm Chief: By Birthright, Palm Should Have Owned the Smartphone Market

        What Palm chief Jon Rubinstein’s appearance at Web 2.0 Summit today lacked in news, it made up for somewhat in perspective–on the mobile space, Palm’s smartphone birthright, its acquisition by Hewlett-Packard and its future under HP.

      • Should HP/Palm Take Legal Action?

        When we first saw video of the PlayBook we were slightly miffed about how closely RIM’s new OS for the tablet copied webOS. Now seeing it in action in today’s hands on with Engadget it just blows our mind how RIM has pretty much made a carbon copy of webOS multitasking. This thing has a launch bar, the same type of gestures, and of course multitasking with webOS style cards.

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • MeeGo conference: momentum intact despite lack of hardware

          The MeeGo Conference in Dublin has attracted over a thousand attendees from all over the world. The diverse audience includes Linux hackers, engineers from prominent hardware manufacturing companies, mobile technology enthusiasts, third-party application developers, and software consultants. The conference-goers exhibit a powerful sense of optimism about MeeGo–despite the fact that the emerging platform doesn’t ship on practically any mainstream devices, yet.

          Nokia discussed its product strategy during the opening keynotes, but did not disclose the roadmap. The company initially planned to announce its first MeeGo-based device this year, but has pushed it back to 2011. Its handset lineup is still dominated by the struggling Symbian platform, which lacks a competitive user experience and falls short of key rivals. Nokia has been slow to execute its MeeGo strategy, but has recently started to refocus and pick up the pace. Intel has also been slow to fulfill its mobile ambitions, too. The chipmaker has not yet delivered an Atom processor that is suitable for smartphones, though the tablet-friendly Oak Trail chip is expected to arrive next year. The next MeeGo Conference is scheduled for May, and could possibly bring some of the hoped-for announcements.

      • Android

        • 12 Open Source Android Applications Worth Checking Out

          There are Android users who don’t have the vaguest idea of what open source is or what it stands for. Then there are those open source evangelists who bought Android phone primarily because of the reason that it is open source and based on Linux. This post is especially meant for those who are included in the second category.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • 100 Million Adblock Plus Downloads

        Today we’re very happy to celebrate a huge milestone: Adblock Plus became the first browser add-on to be downloaded 100 million times!

      • Awesome test day for the new SUMO KB
      • Agent 008 Ball – Creating an HTML5 Game

        I’ve been meaning to write something about this for a long time! Over the summer we created Agent 008 Ball, a spy-themed HTML5 pool game. Creating it was a blast! We put a little video together to talk about the design process. You can check it out below. Also, here’s the case study for the project.

      • Mozilla Labs Night “Gaming Special” comes to London

        Mozilla Labs Gaming is hosting a Labs Night Open Web Gaming Special – in London this time, together with Six to Start!

        This Labs Night will be all about games being developed and played on the Open Web – expect lots of cool demos, talks and interesting people to hang out with. You can register for the event on our Eventbrite page.

  • Oracle

    • Oracle submits specs for Java 7 and 8

      An Oracle official detailed on Tuesday the submissions of upcoming Java releases to the formal specification process, including versions 7 and 8 of Java’s standard edition.

      The technologies under consideration have been formulated as JSR (Java Specification Requests) for consideration by the Java Community Process, Mark Reinhold, chief architect of Oracle’s Java platform group, said in a blog post: “These JSRs have been a long time coming. They’re now — finally — on the JCP ballot for approval; results should be available in two weeks.”

  • Education


  • Licensing

    • The Internet blacklist (COICA) is back: Take action before Thursday

      Now that the elections are over, the bill is back — and could pass out of committee this Thursday.

      S. 3804, the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA), introduced by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), would create a blacklist of domain names that the government thinks are involved in copyright infringement, which the Attorney General can then add to with a court order.

    • The Case Against COICA

      To recap, COICA gives the government dramatic new copyright enforcement powers, in particular the ability to make entire websites disappear from the Internet if infringement, or even links to infringement, are deemed to be “central” to the purpose of the site. Rather than just targeting files that actually infringe copyright law, COICA’s “nuclear-option” design has the government blacklisting entire sites out of the domain name system — a reckless scheme that will undermine global Internet infrastructure and censor legitimate online speech.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Background on the Icelandic Constitutional Assembly

      The electorate is the roughly 228000 voters in Iceland, and there are 523 individual candidates running in the election, all as individuals although some have known connections with special interest groups, political parties, and such. These relationships have been mapped by various websites. Various other websites provide filtering mechanisms of various sorts in order to help people weed out the best 25 candidates to vote for.

      After the elections the assembly will convene in February 2011 and operate for 2-4 months during that year to draft a new constitution and propose it to parliament, along with suggested adoption mechanisms and protocols. If parliament accepts the new constitution it will be put to a referendum.

      There has been an alarming amount of P2P activity in relation to this election. Campaigns are primarily being operated through social networking sites, with a lot of pressure on candidates not to advertise in traditional media. A lot of individuals and organizations have been in direct contact with the various candidates in order to provide their own arbitrary filters, and in general there is a lot of buzz, but also a lot of uncertainty, as the number of candidates and the equidistribution of the attention is the source of great confusion.

    • Open Data

      • new york times: the next big idea in humanities is data

        The next big idea in language, history and the arts? Data.

        Members of a new generation of digitally savvy humanists argue it is time to stop looking for inspiration in the next political or philosophical “ism” and start exploring how technology is changing our understanding of the liberal arts. This latest frontier is about method, they say, using powerful technologies and vast stores of digitized materials that previous humanities scholars did not have.”

    • Open Access/Content

      • Reclaim our Scientific Scholarship (Beyond the PDF)

        We do not own our scholarship. The Antaran Stellar Society runs the communication of scholarship for the personal gain of it and its officers. The Sirius Cybernetics Library Corporation has copyrighted the Library of the Galaxy cataloguing system. It also runs it for itself and officers. The motto of these organizations is:

        * Embrace
        * Control
        * Exterminate

        The only way forward for scientific publishing is to reclaim it. That’s not easy when scientific societies have sold their journals to Whitehole publishing. Major societies have abandoned their role as stewards of scholarship and turned it to maximising income.

  • Programming

    • Google Code to stop checking SourceForge names

      Google open source and public sector programs manager Chris DiBona has announced that, from the 22nd of November, names for new projects created on the company’s Project Hosting service will no longer be checked against SourceForge to see if the project name is already in use. Up until now, new projects created on the Google Code project hosting site were automatically checked against SourceForge to see if the name already existed and, if it was already in use, the Google Code developers would email that project’s administrator to see if the name could be used again.

    • The version control timeline


  • Crunch time for upgrade of internet addresses that are running out

    With cyberspace almost full, Samantha Amjadali finds out it’s going to take half a trillion dollars to avoid a global squeeze.

    IPV6. It is the ultimate case of procrastination; a problem so big, so complex and so expensive, the world has ignored it for two decades.

    The problem: the internet is full. Well, almost.

  • Welcome to My World, Mr. Zuckerberg: Facebook Forays into Email with Fmail

    Welcome, Facebook, to my home of the last thirty years — the wild, wonderful, wacky, wheels-within-wheels world of modern email!

    It sounds like you plan to be here for the long haul, so I hope you brought everything you need: good programmers and deep pockets shouldn’t be a problem for you, but you also need people who understand the many important email standards (including the new and emerging ones for domain-based email signatures and non-western character sets for email addresses and domains), the complex interplay between spammers and spam-fighters, and the remarkable variety of ways that email composed on your system will appear on the hundreds of other platforms in the world that might receive it.

    From the outside, email seems pretty simple — there’s a To, a From, and a few other relevant fields, right? But almost every aspect of email harbors a “gotcha” — some fundamental, some a legacy of email’s evolution, but all critical if you want to “play nice” and have your email interoperate well with everyone else’s.

  • Ancient road uncovered in Luxor
  • Science

    • Bill Nye of ‘The Science Guy’ fame collapses during speech at USC [Updated]

      Popular TV personality Bill Nye collapsed onstage Tuesday night in front of hundreds of audience members during a presentation at USC, campus officials said.

      Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics and USC’s department of public safety responded to the scene about 8:40 p.m., but it was unclear if Nye was treated or required transport. There was no information available on his condition late Tuesday.

    • Intel pares 45nm Cores to prep for Sandy Bridge

      Intel is reportedly phasing out 21 different 45nm processors, paving the way for the release of its second-generation, 32nm Core CPUs code-named “Sandy Bridge.” Due in early 2011, the new CPUs will feature a revised microarchitecture, “next-generation” Turbo Boost technology, and visual performance rivaling discrete GPUs (graphics processing units), the chipmaker says.

    • US Scientists Significantly More Likely to Publish Fake Research, Study Finds

      US scientists are significantly more likely to publish fake research than scientists from elsewhere, finds a trawl of officially withdrawn (retracted) studies, published online in the Journal of Medical Ethics.


      The fakes were more likely to appear in leading publications with a high “impact factor.”

    • Antimatter atoms produced and trapped at CERN

      Antimatter – or the lack of it – remains one of the biggest mysteries of science. Matter and its counterpart are identical except for opposite charge, and they annihilate when they meet. At the Big Bang, matter and antimatter should have been produced in equal amounts. However, we know that our world is made up of matter: antimatter seems to have disappeared. To find out what has happened to it, scientists employ a range of methods to investigate whether a tiny difference in the properties of matter and antimatter could point towards an explanation.

    • Nvidia chief scientist: CPUs slowed by legacy design

      When it comes to power-efficient computing, CPUs are weighed down by too many legacy features to outperform GPUs (graphics processing units) in executing common tasks in parallel, said the chief scientist for the GPU vendor Nvidia.

      CPUs “burn a lot of power” executing tasks that may be unnecessary in today’s computing environment, noted Bill Dally, chief scientist and senior vice president of research for Nvidia, during his keynote Wednesday at the Supercomputer 2010 conference in New Orleans.

    • Designer bacteria can heal cracks in concrete buildings

      Researchers have designed bacteria that can produce a special glue to knit together cracks in concrete structures.

      The genetically modified microbe has been programmed to swim down fine cracks in concrete and once at the bottom it produces a mixture of calcium carbonate and a bacterial glue. This glue combines with the filamentous bacterial cells, ultimately hardening to the same strength as the surrounding concrete and essentially “knitting” the building back together.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Top chefs back curb on soy imports to protect rainforest

      Chefs at some of Britain’s top restaurants are backing a parliamentary bill to reduce the UK meat and dairy industries’ dependence on imported soy, which they say is contributing to the destruction of the South American rainforest.

      Michelin-starred Raymond Blanc of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Oxfordshire, and Michael Wignall of Latymer, Surrey, are among leading chefs to support the Sustainable Livestock bill, to be debated tomorrow.

    • BMJ Lobby Watch – The Stockholm Network

      Earlier this month, UK health secretary Andrew Lansley announced that the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) would be stripped of its power to halt the purchase of drugs not considered cost effective for the NHS. He argued that the new system would be one where the “price of a drug will be determined by its assessed value”.

      The Stockholm Network, a pan-European think tank network, agreed with the proposed change to NICE’s remit. In a press release its chief executive, Helen Disney, argued that the move showed that, “even at a time of austerity, the British public does not want or accept rationed healthcare”.

      The network, which produces research for “market-oriented policy ideas in Europe”, has long had NICE within its sights.


      In 2006, the same year that Pfizer made £8bn (€9bn, $13bn) in annual sales for its cholesterol drug Lipitor (atorvastatin), the bestselling drug in the world, the Stockholm Network published its report Cholesterol: The Public Policy Implications of Not Doing Enough. The report concluded there is “evidence of wide-scale under-prescribing and suboptimal dosing of effective lipid-lowering agents in Europe” and promoted “greater use of strong statins or the addition of cholesterol absorption inhibitors to statins” to avoid a health and welfare crisis in Europe.

      Last year two members, the Liberalni Institute and the Centre for European Reform left the network after the publication of a 2009 Stockholm Network report entitled The UK Pharmaceutical Industry: Current Challenges and Future Solutions. The report argued that “[a] lack of government investment is another factor adversely affecting the UK pharmaceutical industry.” Writing in the Telegraph blog Alex Singleton accused the network of “calling for government funding of the pharmaceutical industry”, although Helen Disney contended that the report had been misrepresented in the article.

    • Drug companies ‘exploiting rules to make exorbitant profits from NHS’

      Drug companies are today accused of making exorbitant profits from the NHS by exploiting arrangements designed to encourage them to develop new drugs for rare diseases.

      Twenty consultants and a patients’ group are publishing an open letter to the prime minister, calling for an inquiry. They tell David Cameron that, far from inventing new drugs, companies are in effect repackaging them to get a licence, enabling them to hike the price hugely.

      Legislation was brought in by the EU to encourage companies to devise and seek licenced for new drugs for what are called “orphan” diseases – those for which there is not a huge market because they are relatively rare.

      But the letter’s signatories say the change in the rules has had unintended consequences. They cite a drug which has been used for the last 20 years to treat two rare muscle diseases. Although it did not have a licence for that use, doctors could prescribe it – and did – on their own authority. It used to cost around £800 to £1,000 per patient per year.

    • Cholera reported in Florida as Haiti death toll climbs

      Haiti reported more cholera deaths Wednesday as chaos reigned in this country’s second-largest city, and cases among people who had traveled from Haiti were reported in Florida and the Dominican Republic.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Obama’s missed opportunity in Jakarta

      Unlike British Prime Minister David Cameron in his determination to challenge China’s human rights record (albeit in carefully crafted diplomatic language), President Obama’s failure to raise human rights issues with Indonesian’s President Yudhoyono was disappointing. Just a day before Cameron’s speech to students in Beijing, the US president made a comparable keynote speech at the University of Indonesia. But instead of focusing on bilateral relations between the US and Indonesia, Obama used this stage in the world’s most populous Muslim nation to set out his vision of rebuilding ties with the Muslim world.

    • Marketing War to Children, Paid for by American Taxpayers

      In the gap between a boy’s passionate fantasies and the smell of dead bodies in a mass grave marches . . . America’s Army.

      “He wonders if God is punishing him because before he joined the Army he thought of war as something fun and exciting.”

      We couldn’t wage our current wars without the all-volunteer military whose recruitment goals get fed every year by idealistic young people, who continue, despite all counter-evidence bursting off the front pages, to buy into the romance and excitement of war and armed do-goodism that the recruiters, with the help of a vast “militainment” industry, peddle like so many Joe Camels.

    • NJ, ID legislators ready to ban airport pornoscanners – your help needed!

      Aaron Swartz sez, “Bold legislators in New Jersey and Idaho have introduced bills stopping the new porno-scanners, but that’s not enough — we need to pass these bills in every state! So I set up a thing to make it super-easy to contact your state legislator about it. Just add your name and zip code to our petition and we’ll automatically email your state rep.”

    • Opting-out of Advanced Imaging Technology and the Pat-down Doesn’t Fly

      And finally, the $10,000.00 question of the day… Will you receive a $10,000.00 fine if you opt out of screening all together and leave the checkpoint? While TSA has the legal authority to levy a civil penalty of up to $11,000.00 for cases such as this, each case is determined on the individual circumstances of the situation.

    • Has Airport Security Gone Too Far?

      In May, Transportation Security Administration screener Rolando Negrin pummeled a co-worker with his government-issued baton. The feud began, according to a Miami-Dade Police Department report, after Mr. Negrin’s training session with one of the agency’s whole-body imagers. The scan “revealed [Mr. Negrin] had a small penis,” the disgruntled co-worker told police. After a few months, he “could not take the jokes any more and lost his mind.”

      Now the TSA is rolling out these ultra-revealing imagers across the country in an attempt to uncover hidden threats like the so-called underwear bomb found on a Detroit-bound flight last Christmas. The agency and the scanners’ manufacturers insist they’ve installed features and instituted procedures that will make passenger embarrassments impossible.

    • Your Guide to Navigating Airport Security With Ease
    • Amid airport anger, GOP takes aim at screening

      Did you know that the nation’s airports are not required to have Transportation Security Administration screeners checking passengers at security checkpoints? The 2001 law creating the TSA gave airports the right to opt out of the TSA program in favor of private screeners after a two-year period. Now, with the TSA engulfed in controversy and hated by millions of weary and sometimes humiliated travelers, Rep. John Mica, the Republican who will soon be chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, is reminding airports that they have a choice.

    • TSA pats down a screaming toddler

      You might think a 3-year-old would whiz through security. A child is non-threatening, wears slip-on shoes, and carries little luggage.

    • Websites publish advice to student protesters on how to avoid arrest

      More than 70 websites today published guidance to student protesters about avoiding arrest, in defiance of a police ruling that doing so was unlawful.

      The anti-police blog Fitwatch was suspended yesterday after detectives from C011, the Metropolitan police’s public order branch, told the company hosting its website that it was “being used to undertake criminal activities”.

    • Blogger faces terror charges for ‘naming MPs’

      A West Midlands blogger has been charged with terrorism offences for allegedly using a blog to list members of parliament who voted in favour of the Iraq war.

      Bilal Zaheer Ahmad, a 23-year-old man from Wolverhampton, was arrested a week ago by West Midlands Police.

    • Is the American public about to toss Israel?

      Some opinion analysts, like the 2009 Zogby International poll of American attitudes toward Israelis and Palestinians, express surprise with what they are learning from the American public and detect significant changes in American public attitudes favoring US disengagement from Israel.

      Such changes in attitudes are not yet evident in Congress or in the Office of the Vice President. But then, as one of Biden’s Democratic Congressional colleagues from Cleveland Ohio just recently reelected and now planning to force a Congressional vote on withdrawing from Afghanistan, noted this week, “Joe’s a nice fella but a God awful slow learner! Cracks and fissures are shooting around and inside Joe’s great American pro Israel public opinion vase etched in gold with the words: ‘US Support for Israel Must Continue Forever!’

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Biofuel plan will cause rise in carbon emissions

      Britain’s promise to more than double its use of biofuels by 2020 is “significantly” adding to worldwide carbon emissions, the Government admitted yesterday. Britain is signed up to a European guarantee to source 10 per cent of its transport fuel from renewable sources, such as biofuels, within the next 10 years.

    • Extreme weather forecasts: web users unite to power climate change project

      From today, anyone with a computer and internet access can be part of a huge, pioneering climate change experiment, probing the controversial question of whether extreme weather events will become more or less common as the world warms.

    • A stunning year in climate science reveals that human civilization is on the precipice

      This week marks the one-year anniversary of what the anti-science crowd successfully labeled ‘Climategate’. The media will be doing countless retrospectives, most of which will be wasted ink, like the Guardian’s piece — focusing on climate scientists at the expense of climate science, which is precisely the kind of miscoverage that has been going on for the whole year!

      I’ll save that my media critiques for Part 2, since I think that Climategate’s biggest impact was probably on the media, continuing their downward trend of focusing on style over substance, of missing the story of the century, if not the millennia.

    • Tory senators kill climate bill passed by House

      The Conservatives have used their clout in the Senate stacked by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to kill an NDP climate change bill that was passed by a majority of the House of Commons.

      Without any debate in the Red Chamber, Conservative senators caught their Liberal and unelected counterparts off-guard on Tuesday by calling a snap vote on Bill C-311, the Climate Change Accountability Act introduced by Bruce Hyer, a New Democrat who represents Thunder Bay-Superior North in the House.

  • Finance

    • Do 3D Printers Bypass Customs?

      There could be several interesting effects on business and society when 3D printers become widespread, and we’ve discussed a few of them in the past, including possible crime, for example. But here’s another one to think about: Customs Control.

      Most countries have some level of customs controls, in which imported goods are inspected for legality and sometimes taxed as well. This approach has worked fine for centuries, but things might get a little different in the near future when citizens have access to 3D printers that can reproduce many types of objects.

    • Ireland: the good stuff

      Amid all the talk of bailouts, it’s easy to forget there are parts of Irish life that economics can’t reach. We asked Twitter users to name the things they love about Ireland. Here are 50 of them, in all their unpunctuated glory

    • Debt collectors utilize Facebook to embarrass those who owe

      Debt collectors can be relentless and downright rude on the phone, but now a St. Petersburg woman is filing suit alleging the company that financed her car loan began harassing family members over the social networking website Facebook.

      Melanie Beacham says she fell behind on her car payment after getting sick and taking a medical leave from work. She contacted MarkOne Financial to explain the situation but says the harassing phone calls, as many as 20 per day, kept coming. Then one day she got a call from her sister saying the company contacted her in Georgia.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Europe Reimagines Orwell’s Memory Hole

      Inspired by thoughtful pieces by Mike Masnick on Techdirt and L. Gordon Crovitz’s column yesterday in The Wall Street Journal, I wrote a perspective piece this morning for CNET regarding the European Commission’s recently proposed “right to be forgotten.”

      A Nov. 4th report promises new legislation next year “clarifying” this right under EU law, suggesting not only that the Commission thinks it’s a good idea but, even more surprising, that it already exists under the landmark 1995 Privacy Directive.

    • 3 More Reasons Not to Use Facebook Messages

      Many good reasons to be wary of Facebook’s newly announced “Messages” service have already been pointed out on numerous occasions throughout the media. Even besides the obvious privacy concerns, other features of the new service also could prove problematic for those who choose to adopt it, as many observers have suggested.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • U.K. Government to Snub BBC, Google Over Web Access, FT Reports

      U.K. Communications Minister Ed Vaizey will say today that Internet service providers should be free to favor traffic from one content provider over another, provided customers are informed, the Financial Times reported.

      In a speech at a London telecommunications conference organized by the newspaper, the minister will say the market should decide the extent to which service providers can charge for preferential content delivery and slow down other traffic.

    • UK.gov ignores ‘net neutrality’ campaigners

      ISPs will be allowed to charge content providers to prioritise their traffic, the government indicated today.

      A speech by the communications minister Ed Vaizey confirmed that the concept of “net neutrality” remains irrelevant in the UK under the coalition.

      As long as providers are open about their policies, he said, the competitive market means consumers can take their business elsewhere.

      A potentially lucrative new revenue stream will be opened up for ISPs, with services that depend on speed or other network quality factors, such as video and online games, likely to be first to be asked to pay for delivery guarantees.

    • The Open Internet enhances our freedom of speech

      Ed Vaizey’s speech on “net neutrality” misses a vital point: being “open” about “closing” the Internet won’t deliver competition and innovation on the Internet.

      Money and commercial interest can easily over-ride public interest if we do not assert it. In this case, unlike the USA, there is a degree of collusion going on which may lead our governments down a dangerous path.

    • UK government proposal to dump Net Neutrality will not create a free market

      You can’t leave government alone for a minute can you? One minute they are heaping garlands on the tech industry with TechCity proposals and the like. The next minute they are proposing to dump Net Neutrality – the entire reason we had a flowering of innovation in the first place.

      UK Communications Minister Ed Vaizey said in a speech at an Financial Times conference today that Internet service providers should be allowed to favour traffic from one content provider over another, so long as the user was aware this was happening. Oh sure, that’s going to happen. Vaizey’s view is that market should decide whether ISPs can charge for preferential content delivery, thus creating a slow lane for those who can’t or won’t pay for the fast one.

    • Minister Ed Vaizey backs ‘two-speed’ internet

      Culture minister Ed Vaizey has backed a “two-speed” internet, letting service providers charge content makers and customers for “fast lane” access.

      It paves the way for an end to “net neutrality” – with heavy bandwidth users like Google and the BBC likely to face a bill for the pipes they use.

    • ENDitorial: Net neutrality – wait and see the end of the open Internet

      At the joint European Parliament and European Commission net neutrality summit in Brussels on 11 November there was a clear political message – that interference with Internet traffic is permissible as long as companies tell their consumers that it is happening.

      The Commission will “wait and see” if such interferences cause problems for the market and will consider taking action if this is the case. In a whole day of discussions, the fundamental rights aspects of the interference by private companies with citizens’ communications were only questioned by Jeremie Zimmermann from La Quadrature du Net and Jan Albrecht MEP (Greens/EFA, Germany).

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Righthaven’s Retreat On ‘Partial Copying’ Cases Shows Firm’s Vulnerability

        In a sign that Righthaven is on the defensive, the controversial copyright enforcement company has offered to permanently drop one of its lawsuits—provided it doesn’t have to pay legal fees to the attorneys defending the website it sued, Democratic Underground. The move shows the startup company’s concerns about the potential for mounting legal bills.

      • AFP Still Not Giving Up On Its Bizarre Claim That Twitpic Images Are Freely Licensed To Anyone

        Earlier this year, we wrote about an absolutely bizarre lawsuit, where the newswire AFP — a company who has claimed that merely linking to its stories is infringement — had sued a photographer whose photograph AFP had used without permission (and with a false credit). The story was so convoluted and filled with confusion that it was really quite amazing that anyone involved is still pushing forward with the case. The “short” version is that a photographer in Haiti when the earthquake happened earlier this year opened a Twitter and a Twitpic account soon after the earthquake, in order to show off some of the photographs he had taken. Another person copied those photos and pretended they were his (also on Twitpic) and offered to license them. The AFP saw the photos from the second person (who didn’t actually have the rights to them) and then posted them on its own stories, crediting the second guy.

      • The artists who still aren’t on iTunes
      • The Pirate Bay, One Year After The Tracker Shut Down

        Exactly a year ago The Pirate Bay team surprised friends and foes when it announced that the world’s largest BitTorrent tracker was shutting down for good. The site’s torrent index would remain online, but millions of users had to find alternative trackers or rely on trackerless technologies to share their torrents from then on. In addition, The Pirate Bay suggested a move away from .torrent files entirely in the future.

      • Google strikes deal to scan French books

        Internet giant Google struck an agreement with France’s biggest publisher Hachette Livre to scan thousands of out-of-print French books for Google’s online library, the companies said on Wednesday.

      • CC’s Contribution to Welfare, Field-by-Field: The Separate Contribution to Collaboration & Sharing

        You have probably already noticed that through this series of posts we are proceeding along a trend from general high-level questions to the more practical ones of measurement and evaluation. So, it shouldn’t surprise you that our next nuts-and-bolts step is to start touring the different fields in which CC is active and analyzing its separate contribution to each.

      • Warner Bros. vows to prosecute Deathly Hallows leaker

        Torrent searchers hit pay dirt Monday with the discovery of the Deathly Hallows fragment on BitTorrent sites. The watermarked footage appears to come from a DVD screener sent out by the studio, although Warner Bros. would not confirm this.

Clip of the Day

Cisco on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 17/11/2010: Chrome OS and Android Explained, Linux 2.6.37-rc2

Posted in News Roundup at 3:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • ‘Megafon Siberia implements Linux-based video call-centre’

    The service is based entirely on open source software: OS Ubuntu Linux and Asterisk, and in the workplace the operator uses the client software Linphone.

  • Desktop

    • The Linux desktop may soon be a lot faster

      The patch by Linux kernel developer Mike Galbraith adds a mere 233 lines of code to the kernel’s scheduler, but it cuts desktop latency down by a factor of ten. That’s impressive — it’s almost like getting a new computer.

    • The ~200 Line Linux Kernel Patch That Does Wonders

      In recent weeks and months there has been quite a bit of work towards improving the responsiveness of the Linux desktop with some very significant milestones building up recently and new patches continuing to come. This work is greatly improving the experience of the Linux desktop when the computer is withstanding a great deal of CPU load and memory strain. Fortunately, the exciting improvements are far from over. There is a new patch that has not yet been merged but has undergone a few revisions over the past several weeks and it is quite small — just over 200 lines of code — but it does wonders for the Linux desktop.

    • System76 and the World

      System76 has been selling GNU/Linux on PCs for several years now. There are posts on various sites about expansion to the UK. I asked about that and how business was going.
      “We will be shipping to the U.K. very soon. We are getting the final details hammered out.

      We are a privately held U.S. company, and so we do not release financial statements. However, business is growing nicely.” replied Tom Aaron, System 76 Sales and Support.

    • Ubuntu-ready netbook moves to dual-core Atom

      System76 is shipping a new version of its Ubuntu Linux-ready Starling Netbook equipped with a dual-core Intel Atom N550 processor, starting at $384. Meanwhile the company has begun shipping to the U.K, and is contemplating developing a tablet PC.

    • ARGH!!!

      At a staff meeting today, a staff member who was new but on the job two months and a bit suddenly demanded that her teacher’s PC be put back to that other OS. The fact that this matter was of no concern to the entire staff was a bit annoying but I outlined why we had gone to GNU/Linux and how I had made many offers to help anyone with difficulty. She insisted. I asked whether she had any files to back up. She said none.

      Here’s the log of restoring “7″ which had never been on the PC.


      So there we go. After 4 hours of work she has that other OS and less capability with lower speed than before.

  • Server

    • GNU/Linux Terminal Servers Under Heavy Load

      Since the first day I saw a lab full of students happy with the performance of a single-core GNU/Linux terminal server six years ago, I have been quite happy. Of course, I could tell the difference between a heavy and a light load but the end-users generally found performance even then was better than XP on their usual hardware.

  • Google

    • Schmidt: Google Chrome OS ‘a few months away’

      Google boss Eric Schmidt has said that Chrome OS will be available “in the next few months” — which may be an indication that the company’s browser-based operating system has been delayed.

      Since unveiling the Chrome OS project last year, Google has said that systems using the operating system would be available by the end of this year. But the end of the year is a mere six weeks away. As he dropped the “a few months away” line at this week’s Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, Schmidt said that Gingerbread, the new version of Android, was “a few weeks away.”

    • Google’s Schmidt: Chrome OS is for keyboards, Android is for touch.

      Talking at the Web 2.0 summit in San Francisco, Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt has attempted to settle the confusion between Google’s two operating systems by reaffirming that the upcoming Chrome OS is being developed for devices with physical keyboards where the incumbent Android OS is for touch devices.

    • Eric Schmidt: Chrome OS aimed at keyboard based solutions, Android optimized for touch

      Schmidt confirmed that Chrome OS will officially be out in the next few months in Intel and ARM-powered netbooks while also adding that the OS was primarily “designed around something with a keyboard.”

    • Chrome OS launch won’t happen this year
  • Ballnux

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KNotify Plugins (Or, “What I’ve been working on, now with details”)

        Aaron Seigo pointed out that the behaviour I wanted could be done nicely with KNotify, but that it currently required notification actions to be compiled in.

      • KDE 4.4 on Slackware 13.1

        I recently installed Slackware 13.1 and ditched openSuse (though its still there on another partition) as I was looking for more stability and wanted something more geeky. And yes, slackware does not disappoint when it comes to the geekiness part, whether its package installation or configuration. There is no package manager as such which checks for dependencies etc. So, Slackware comes as a full DVD package by default. The full installation mode installs almost all the required things for the base+enhanced system. There is always an option of downloading the tarball and compiling the sources optimised for your machine (which gives it gentoo like feel which is what I wanted) and then there are many repositories which are specifically built for slackware. The package slapt-get is a package manager like the apt-get for debian based distros. You can download the pre-compiled binaries and install them using it, search for particular packages and you can also download the sources, compile them and the make it install them. So this geeky part I am quite satisfied with.:D

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME Foundation is hiring!

        The GNOME project is an effort to create and provide a complete, free and easy-to-use desktop and mobile environment accessible to all users, as well as a powerful application development framework for software developers. GNOME technologies are used in millions of desktops, phones and devices around the world.

        The GNOME Foundation supports the GNOME project by acting as an official voice for the GNOME project, providing a means of communication with the press and with commercial and noncommercial organizations interested in GNOME software, providing business development opportunities for GNOME and its partners, hosting GNOME events and marketing GNOME.

      • GNOME Terminal with Google search support

        Recently I did a hack on GNOME Terminal, added the Google search support for it.

        I think you may like it, so here comes the article.

      • Gnome-Shell Update Nov 16 2010
  • Distributions

    • Sabayon

      • Sabayon Linux Review

        In my quest to replace Ubuntu before Canonical can force me over to Unity, I came across Gentoo. Gentoo is unique operating system. It utilizes a unique bsd like port system called portage. This allows you to compile software around your hardware. Although this adds a layer of complexity during software building and installation, it adds an insane amount of speed and stability.

        Sabayon Linux is a step back from this. It provides Gentoo without the need to compile packages. As a matter of face Sabayon goes out of its way to recommend that you do not compile custom packages under its distribution as it can cause instability. My knee jerk reaction is, “Gentoo is about speed and stability… if you remove compiling from Sabayon, then what’s the point?”

      • Sabayon – Woes and Whoas of Upgrades

        So anyway, if you have problems, please check the forum and see if someone else is having the same problem, maybe a solution already exists. You can also search our bugzilla to see if something has been already reported. If you are submitting a new bug or forum post, please provide as much information as possible.

    • Slackware

      • Attn: Slackware 13.0 | Thunderbird Users

        This posting here on Nocturnal Slacker is just an alert, in case you don’t actually read the release notes before updating.

      • A few big changes

        Slamd64 is an exception here: given that Slackware itself now has a 64-bit version, there is no purpose in Slamd64. I’ll be making a post on slamd64.com in the next few days – sorry for not stating this sooner.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva 2010.2 announced!

        These cold winds have brought some good news for Mandriva users: Mandriva will release version 2010.2 of the distribution as a Christmas present.

      • Two Versions Of Mandriva Coming Soon

        Mandriva was recently forked into a new distribution called Mageia Linux where several Mandriva developers parted ways with this distribution once known as Mandrake due to the uncertainty of the future direction of Mandriva Linux with its corporate backer having underwent some financial hardship. While there isn’t yet a release of Mageia, the Mandriva Cooker Manager has finally been permitted to release details concerning the next two releases of Mandriva Linux.

      • PCLinuxOS LXDE Review and Screenshots

        Some days ago PC Linux OS has destroyed my everything, when I install it on a hard disk. None of any Linux distribution behave bad like this way with me before. Though, I wanted to test the flavour of this so called famous Linux distribution. I download several variant like

        * pclinuxos-lxde-2010.iso
        * pclinuxos-lxde-mini-2010.iso
        * pclinuxos-openbox-2010-07.iso and
        * pclinuxos-ZEN-mini-2010.iso

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Inc. (RHT) Corporate Event Announcement Notice
      • Approaching Resistance – Red Hat

        Shares of Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT) are trading very close to calculated resistance at $43.59 with the current price action closing at just $41.96 placing the stock near levels that make it difficult to buy.

      • Roaring Penguin Software Announces Support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6
      • sVirt: Integrating SELinux and Linux-based virtualization
      • Red Hat Network Satellite 5.4 Offers Support for Managing Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the availability of Red Hat Network Satellite 5.4, the latest version of Red Hat’s on-premises systems management solution that provides software updates, configuration management, provisioning and monitoring across both physical and virtual Red Hat Enterprise Linux servers. Red Hat Network Satellite 5.4 delivers compliance improvements, greater flexibility in content management and improved subscription management. It also provides support for managing the newly released Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 operating platform.

      • Red Hat Expands Program to Integrate Open Source Software Courses Into Collegiate and University Coursework

        As the use of open source continues to expand globally, the need for graduates with open source software experience is also expected to increase.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora Board likely to reconsider SQLNinja, but should they?

          According to a comment today from Tom “spot” Callaway on the SQL Ninja request, it looks like the Fedora Board will reconsider allowing the takeover tool into Fedora. The initial decision drew quite a lot of criticism, but that doesn’t mean the board was wrong.

          I’ve been watching the news and discussions on various Fedora lists responding to the board’s decision not to include SQLNinja in Fedora. It’s typical, but disappointing. The slightest hint of moderation in an open community — whether it’s being picky about the packages included in the distribution or setting policies about civil behavior on communication channels — draws rapid criticism. Predictably, many people have reacted to the decision as if it’s a huge restriction that keeps the freedom-loving masses of Fedora users apart from the full treasure trove of free and open source software.

        • Upgrading to Fedora 14 with yum

          Fedora 14 was released two weeks ago. I normally wait a day or two to install to let the mirrors cool down, but that put the target date right before I left for the LISA conference. Like any good sysadmin, I’m sufficiently paranoid to not upgrade systems right before I leave, even if said system is only my own desktop. So now that I’m back, I decided today was a good day to upgrade my home desktop.

        • Fedora Welcomes in New Management

          Jared Smith, Fedora Project Leader, has announced some personnel changes within the Fedora project that show, as Smith says, “every person in the Fedora community is a potential leader.” According to Smith, Fedora’s “policies of rotating leadership help ensure that everyone who is so inclined has a chance to lead and serve.”

        • How do I set up Fedora 14 for audio production?
        • Musicians’ Guide

          The text of and illustrations in this document are licensed by Red Hat under a Creative Commons Attribution–Share Alike 3.0 Unported license (“CC-BY-SA”). An explanation of CC-BY-SA is available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/. The original authors of this document, and Red Hat, designate the Fedora Project as the “Attribution Party” for purposes of CC-BY-SA. In accordance with CC-BY-SA, if you distribute this document or an adaptation of it, you must provide the URL for the original version.

        • Red Hat Close to the 50 Day

          Shares of Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT) closed the trading day at $41.31 close to its 50 day moving average currently set at $40.28. Red Hat’s price action is just above this important support level translating into a trading opportunity.

        • Red Hat (Rht) Breaks Through Support At $40.87
        • Fedora Board Meetings, 12 & 15 Nov 2010

          The Fedora Board meeting schedule works as follows:

          * Every Monday, the Board will meet via phone at 2 PM Eastern time (1900 UTC atm).
          * Every other Friday (the next one is this Friday, 12 Nov), the Board will hold a public ‘office hours’ style questions & answers session in #fedora-board-meeting at 2 PM Eastern time.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Women IRC Training Sessions begins
      • Debian Women IRC Training Sessions
      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Cleansweep Update and Laptop Back

          I’m very glad that I can now review patches again after while.

        • Reflections On Respect

          The last week has been pretty intense. Many of you will have seen the discussion surrounding OpenRespect and the different write-ups, comments, and views expressed about it. While I expected OpenRespect to get some attention, I never expected the sheer level of attention it has received, and today I have been reflecting on it all and wanted to share some conclusions.

          While I feel OpenRespect has raised some important points and people have shared some constructive feedback, I have made some mistakes, and I have always believed that mistakes deserve sincere apologies. I started OpenRespect with the best intentions and out of a love for our community and maintaining pleasant and healthy discourse, but honesty goes both ways, both in intent, and in putting your hands up when you screw the pooch and get something wrong. Let me re-cap the story so far.

        • In Defense of Bacon

          Jono Bacon is currently being criticized for the manner in which he launched an initiative called OpenRespect.Org. Much of this criticism is unfair, and I decided to write briefly here in support of Jono, because he’s a victim of a type of mistreatment that I’ve experienced myself, so I have particularly strong empathy for his situation.

        • Ubuntu 10.10 Draws More Partners Towards Canonical

          Canonical, the commercial sponsor of Ubuntu, has signed several significant partnerships following the release last month of Ubuntu 10.10.

        • Convirture and Canonical to Team Up to Provide Virtual Machine and Private Cloud Management

          Convirture, maker of the ConVirt enterprise-grade software for managing Xen and KVM-based virtual and private cloud environments, is partnering with Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu open source operating system, to help organizations effectively manage virtual machines built using Ubuntu. ConVirt 2.0 Open Source is now available in the Ubuntu Partner Repository. It provides a sophisticated set of tools which can also be used to manage virtual machines in a private cloud infrastructure.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Introducing the Hall’s – Developers of Qimo 2.0

            Michelle and Mike Hall, developers of Qimo 2.0, are two of the most friendly, out-going, give you something to smile about personalities I have meet throughout the past year in the FOSS community. They are both active Ubuntu members and I was excited for them when I saw the release announcement this weekend and I hoped I could catch up with one or both of them to ask a few questions about this release and the future of the project.

          • Lubuntu Screencast: Extreme Memory Tuning

            So if you have gone through all this tuning tips you hopefully have saved some memory and have less memory consuming system up and running.

          • Linux Mint 10 review

            Linux Mint has always been a good desktop distribution. It is especially well suited for those new to Linux, and those not needing some of the features that Fedora, Mandriva, and Debian offers. I think more users will be attracted to it if features, like LVM and full disk encryption, are supported by the installer. There is a small, but significant group of users who will not use a distribution if they are unable to encrypt the whole system, and I think more users will choose to encrypt if they know what it is and understand the benefits.

            Since it is doubtful that those features will find their way into Ubiquity any time soon, Clement Lefebvre and his team could just adopt another, better installation program. Fedora Project’s Anaconda, and YALI, the installation program on Pardus, are two good candidates.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Sprint’s Palm Pre marked for End of Life?

        We don’t quite know how to break it to you, but if PreCentral sources are correct, Palm’s hit a very interesting landmark: its comeback device, the Pre for Sprint, has reportedly reached End of Life (EOL).

      • Android

        • Android 2.2 now available for Samsung Galaxy S users on Vodafone

          We have yet more Android 2.2 update news courtesy of Vodafone today, with the Samsung Galaxy S now receiving the full Android 2.2 upgrade via the network. If you have a branded Galaxy S bought through Vodafone, you might be about to have a very exciting few minutes.

        • Nexus S confirmed by Google – Android 2.3 due within “weeks”

          Schmidt didn’t give much away about the phone itself, either, save for announcing it will arrive including support for the NFC protocol – the short-range chip-reading tool used to make micro-transactions. He also said Android 2.3 will arrive within the “next few weeks”, presumably on the Nexus S first.

        • Introducing Replicant

          Replicant is a mobile operating system based upon Android that aims to be 100% free software.

    • Tablets

      • Folio Follies

        The version of Android Toshiba was using is optimized for smartphones and others are waiting for the next release of Android which is reported to be more suitable for tables.

      • Kmart debuts $180 Android tablet
      • Price Leadership

        Just this month several tablets with quite useful performance with Android 2.1 have been put on the market for less than $200. HP and Dell do not need to give price leadership. Others (e.g. Kmart) will do that. By Christmas time there will be lots of price competition and Apple will decline in share of this market.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source and the Federal Budget Squeeze, Part 1

    Local, state, and federal government agencies across the U.S. share the common goal of serving the public. They also share another contemporary fact of life: They are running out of money. As a result, efficiency is becoming a major goal in government at all levels, and information technology appears to be a key target for getting more bang for the buck.

  • Daniel Pink’s Drive: open source model is key to future development

    What continues to surprise me most about open source software (OSS) development is how the particular mindset OSS embodies has seeped into an incredibly diverse range of discussion that transcends software itself. Daniel Pink’s latest book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us is the latest example of how OSS has served to concretely demonstrate truths about human behavior.

  • Fear of Forking

    Bacteria – viruses too – evolve more quickly than do humans. If you’re reading this, that should not be a surprise. The precise mechanisms may be less than clear, but the implications should be obvious. Part of their advantage, from an evolutionary standpoint, is scale. There are a lot more of them than us, and each act of bacterial reproduction represents an opportunity for change, for improvement. Just as important, however, is the direct interchange of genetic material. As Johnson says, it sounds preposterous – absurd, even – because we are used to linear inheritance, not peer to peer.

    We see a similar philosophical divide in between those who abhor the forking of code, and those who advocate it.

  • LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice Rethinks the Office Suite

      Asked to explain this declaration, Vignoli writes, “So far software has been focused more on features than on contents, and a good user is considered [one] who is able to use features and not [one] who is able to develop good content.” As a result, modern office suites include many features that users either do not need or do not use. “Of course, this does not mean that software should have less features,” he adds.

      According to Vignoli, one thing that needs to be taken into consideration is the proliferation of hardware platforms. “Editing and reading on a large screen is not like reading on a small screen,” he notes. “In addition, being mobile adds another layer of complexity, because the relationship with contents is different when you are on the road: your attention is lower and your time pressure is higher.”

      To judge from these comments, TDF is apparently using the break with OpenOffice.org to reconsider priorities. My speculation is that something like OOO4Kids, with its different interfaces for different levels of users might be an answer to unwanted features, while the mention of multiple hardware platforms suggests that TDF may be considering the frequent requests for a version of the code suitable for mobile devices. The general nature of the responses suggests that TDF is still developing the details, but would prefer to pay greater attention to usability than OpenOffice.org did in the past.

    • LibreOffice: “It is wrong to blame Oracle”

      And then there was this great hope that when Oracle acquired Sun – because Oracle historically engaged well in lot’s of open source communities like with Apache or the Linux kernel – that this expertise would be brought to Star Division and that we’d get a better product. But sadly that expectation – as yet – has not been fulfilled. They more or less left it alone and in this case it would have been better if they’d shown a more hands-on approach.

  • Web Browsers

  • Databases

    • Facebook’s New Real-time Messaging System: HBase to Store 135+ Billion Messages a Month

      I wouldn’t sleep on the idea that Facebook already having a lot of experience with HDFS/Hadoop/Hive as being a big adoption driver for HBase. It’s the dream of any product to partner with another very popular product in the hope of being pulled in as part of the ecosystem. That’s what HBase has achieved. Given how HBase covers a nice spot in the persistence spectrum–real-time, distributed, linearly scalable, robust, BigData, open-source, key-value, column-oriented–we should see it become even more popular, especially with its anointment by Facebook.

  • CMS


  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Initializing an I-Team for the improvement of the ODF-icons

      Since the release of OpenOffice.org 3.2 we received a lot of very qualified feedback for the new ODF icons. We think the icons are a step in the right direction, but we acknowledge that there is room for improvement, specially relating to the usability. So following the recommendation of the community council we would like to make the icons better. That’s why we are creating an i-team that will be responsible for the changes on the ODF icons. Anyone who is interested can take part in the process of improving the icons, we welcome the input of users and experts. So, please join us!


  • 420M People In China Have Internet Access, 99% Use Baidu For Search

    So why Google was not as successful in China? “China is a very different market and Google was not close enough to feel the market.” Li also blames Silicon Valley. The proliferation of VC money poured into the local search market was one of the reasons Google failed to reach market share. Before it redirected its Chinese site to Google Hong Kong, that is.

  • From China to Amazon, NVIDIA’s Tesla is on a roll

    This week brings two major pieces of news for NVIDIA, both of which are evidence that the GPU maker is killin’ it in the high-performance computing (HPC) space. First is the latest Top 500 Supercomputer List, which sees China’s NVIDIA-powered Tianhe-1A vault past the US Department of Energy’s Jaguar machine to the top of the list.

  • Survey of women, men in IT shows differing views

    Do men and women who work in IT see their jobs and career opportunities differently? A new survey from IT staffing firm Technisource finds some disparities but also areas of agreement.

  • Science

    • Astronomers may have found youngest black hole

      Astronomers using the Chandra X-Ray Observatory may have found evidence for a young black hole: it was born in a titanic explosion just 31 years ago.

      Black holes form when massive stars explode. The core of the star collapses, and if it’s massive enough (more than about 3 times the mass of the Sun), the gravity of the core can crush it down into a black hole.

    • NASA’s Chandra Finds Youngest Nearby Black Hole
    • Scientists propose one-way trips to Mars

      It’s usually cheaper to fly one way, even to Mars.

      Two scientists are suggesting that colonization of the red planet could happen faster and more economically if astronauts behaved like the first settlers to come to North America – not expecting to go home.

      “The main point is to get Mars exploration moving,” said Dirk Schulze-Makuch, a Washington State University professor who co-authored an article that seriously proposes what sounds like a preposterous idea.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • One Hundred Naked Citizens: One Hundred Leaked Body Scans

      At the heart of the controversy over “body scanners” is a promise: The images of our naked bodies will never be public. U.S. Marshals in a Florida Federal courthouse saved 35,000 images on their scanner. These are those images.

      A Gizmodo investigation has revealed 100 of the photographs saved by the Gen 2 millimeter wave scanner from Brijot Imaging Systems, Inc., obtained by a FOIA request after it was recently revealed that U.S. Marshals operating the machine in the Orlando, Florida courthouse had improperly-perhaps illegally-saved images of the scans of public servants and private citizens.

  • Finance

    • Fraud-closure biz fizzles out

      Bank lawyers prosecuting the 80,000 foreclosure cases in New York are all but admitting that the cases they have filed over the past number of years have been riddled with fraud.

      In the three weeks-plus since New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman put the foreclosure lawyers on notice that any fraud in foreclosure paperwork would be met with severe penalties — he is making lawyers sign affirmations promising they took “reasonable” steps to make sure the legal papers are true — practically no new foreclosure cases have been filed, The Post has learned.

    • GOP’s new target – Bernanke

      Republican leaders who have lambasted the Obama administration for what they say were misguided bailouts and a wasteful economic stimulus plan have been fairly muted in their criticism of Bernanke, who was appointed by President George W. Bush and served as his chief economic adviser. On Monday, however, they lined up behind a new advertising campaign attacking Bernanke for his plan to pump $600 billion into the sluggish U.S. economy, claiming that it risks causing inflation.

    • Weaker Dollar Seen as Unlikely to Cure Joblessness

      A weakening currency traditionally helps a country raise its exports and create more jobs for its workers. But the declining value of the dollar may not help the United States increase economic growth as much as it might have in the past.

    • Bond Sell-Off in Spite of Intervention by Fed Puzzles Traders and Analysts

      Again on Monday, bond markets sold off aggressively, pushing the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield back up to 2.96 percent. That is close to where the yield was three months ago when the new policy of so-called quantitative easing was first suggested by the Fed.

      The yield has jumped from about 2.55 percent since Nov. 8.

      It is an aggressive sell-off that has left traders and policy makers mystified, and spawned a number of theories.

    • An Edge on Dividends for Goldman

      Goldman Sachs’s shareholders have little to grumble about. Sure, the bank’s plan to buy back $5 billion in expensive preferred stock held by Warren E. Buffett appears to have been delayed because of an industrywide debate with the Federal Reserve over how to manage capital. That includes deciding when dividends can go up. But investors in Goldman’s common stock already have an advantage over the competition.

    • Four possible deals on the Bush tax cuts

      The Bush tax cuts will not be permanently extended. But they — or at least some of them — will be temporarily extended. That we don’t know which ones, or for how long, should embarrass Congress and the White House. The expiration date for the tax cuts was set into law 10 years ago. Congress shouldn’t still be scrambling to figure this out with less than 50 days to go.

      But it is. And it’s the Democrats — as they still control both houses of Congress and the presidency — who deserve the blame. They still have not settled on a policy or strategy for extending the Bush tax cuts. They waited until after the election, which weakened their hand. And they’ve been unable to get their members on the same page, which has kept them from messaging the issue to the country or forcing Republicans to the negotiating table.

    • Imaginary exchange goes poof

      The Chicago Climate Exchange is shutting down at the end of the year.

      Nobody’s buying carbon credits.

      Right now, days go by when not a single trade is done. When trades are done, carbon dioxide sells for just five cents a ton.

      It’s over.

    • CDOs: How Self-Dealing Banks Destroyed the Economy
    • A Defense of the Electronic Mortgage System

      The American Securitization Forum, a trade group that lobbies for the industry that managed to convert subprime mortgages into a financial crisis, released a report on Tuesday defending how those home loans were made into bonds and more explosive financial instruments.

      The forum says that laws governing the transfer and assignment of mortgages from one owner to another are centuries old, and that they do not need “to be recorded in real property records in order for it to be a valid and binding transfer.”

    • Under Attack, Fed Officials Defend Buying of Bonds

      With the Federal Reserve under attack at home and abroad, it is making an unusual public bid to keep itself away from the political crossfire.

    • Spending Worries Put Jobless Benefits at Risk

      Congress is unlikely to agree to extend jobless benefits for two million unemployed workers by the time the program begins to lapse in two weeks, as lawmakers struggle with a packed lame-duck session and voter antipathy toward government spending.

    • ‘Robo-Signer’ Foreclosure Scandal May Threaten Fundamental Financial Stability, Government Watchdog Warns

      The ongoing “turmoil” roiling megabanks and their faulty home foreclosure practices may represent deeper, more systemic problems regarding the origination, transfer and ownership of millions of mortgages, potentially putting Wall Street on the hook for billions of dollars in unexpected losses and threatening to undermine “the very financial stability that the Troubled Asset Relief Program was designed to protect,” a government watchdog warns in a new report.

      Recent revelations regarding mortgage companies’ use of “robo-signers” when processing foreclosure documents “may have concealed much deeper problems in the mortgage market,” according to the Tuesday report by the Congressional Oversight Panel, an office formed to keep tabs on the bailout.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Serfing the web

      Both Google and Facebook are run like absolute monarchies in which hundreds of millions of users (digital serfs, some might say) have created identities. Rather like mercantilist countries in the offline realm, both companies operate policies to protect this asset.

    • Rally to protect satire, hyperbole, exaggeration, humour and flippancy on the Internet

      Ever told a joke that didn’t go down as well as you’d hoped? Paul Chambers did, but instead of just being told to get his coat, he’s been slapped with a criminal record and a £1000 fine (plus costs). We don’t think that’s funny at all.

      Jokes are a matter of taste, of course, but what’s no laughing matter is the chilling effect Paul’s conviction could have on freedom of expression online.

    • Searching Your Laptop

      Federal courts have long agreed that federal agents guarding the borders do not need a warrant or probable cause to search a traveler’s belongings. That exception to the Fourth Amendment needs updating and tightening to reflect the realities of the digital age.

    • In Data Portability Deathmatch, Users Lose Out

      In the last few weeks, Facebook and Google have been engaging in a public tussle over an issue that is near and dear to EFF’s heart: data portability. The crux of the issue is that when you sign up for Facebook, you can find your Gmail contacts or invite them to join the social networking service with a few quick clicks. But when you sign up for Google, Facebook prevents you from easily inviting all of your Facebook friends to Google, despite the fact that Facebook makes it easy for users to export their contacts to other services like Yahoo!.

      Earlier this month, Google altered its terms of use for API users in an attempt to push Facebook into making contacts more portable. Basically, if services (such as Facebook) aren’t willing to make contact data portable to Google, then Google will stop making Gmail contacts exportable to their sites. Somewhat ironically, Google is promoting data portability by restricting data portability.

    • Peruvian Blogger Sentenced To Jail & Fined For Linking To Articles About Politician’s Past

      The Groove Tiger alerts us to the news coming out of Peru, of a blogger, Jose Alejandro Godoy, who has been sentenced to three years in jail and fined over $100,000 (Google translation of the original Spanish) for writing a blog post about a Peruvian politician, Jorge Mufarech. The post linked to various news reports of criminal charges made against Mufarech in the past, and Mufarech claimed that such links were defamatory.

    • Humiliated Met police is an enemy of free speech

      It shouldn’t come as a great surprise that a powerful institution like the Metropolitan Police, wrong footed and deeply embarrassed by the student protest at Millbank on 10 November, would throw its resources into a major operation to hunt down the protesters who had humiliated them. Buoyed by the ‘shop-a-student’ campaign organised by the Daily Telegraph and the right wing blogger Guido Fawkes, there have already been more than fifty arrests.

    • Location-Based Services: Time For A Privacy Check-In

      Need to get directions when you are lost? Want to know if your friends are in the neighborhood? Location-based services—applications and websites that provide services based on your current location—can put this information and more in the palm of your hand. But navigating the complex web of privacy policies and settings for these services can be far more difficult.

      That’s why the ACLU of Northern California (ACLU-NC) has released Location Based Services: Time for a Privacy Check-In, a guide [pdf] outlining privacy considerations for mobile location-based services, and a side-by-side comparison of six popular social location-based services (Foursquare, Facebook Places, Yelp, Gowalla, Twitter and Loopt).

    • Stop the Internet Blacklist!

      Just the other day, President Obama urged other countries to stop censoring the Internet. But now the United States Congress is trying to censor the Internet here at home. A new bill being debated this week would have the Attorney General create an Internet blacklist of sites that US Internet providers would be required to block. (The first vote is scheduled Thursday, November 18!)

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Reverse Engineering the Kinect: The Street Starts to Find Uses for Microsoft’s New Gaming Device

      Microsoft’s initial response was to rattle its sword. A Microsoft spokesperson told CNET, “With Kinect, Microsoft built in numerous hardware and software safeguards designed to reduce the chances of product tampering. Microsoft will continue to make advances in these types of safeguards and work closely with law enforcement and product safety groups to keep Kinect tamper-resistant.”

      Microsoft should keep its sword in its scabbard. The Kinect technology is getting rave reviews and generating a real buzz. Microsoft could blow all of this goodwill if it tries to shut down independent innovation around the Kinect, as Sony learned when it tried to shut down innovation around the Aibo. Fans were so outraged that Sony was ultimately spurred to release a programmers kit for it. Microsoft should learn from Sony’s experience and embrace its role as the creator of a new platform for innovation by supporting efforts like those of AdaFruit and hacker Hector Martin—after all, every hacker and every user of a hacked Kinect will have to buy the technology first.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Monster Cable Gets Classifieds Search Engine Taken Down With Bogus DMCA Notice

        Of course, even more disturbing is the fact that GoDaddy, the registrar for Jaxed, immediately pulled down the entire Jaxed site, over what seems like a clearly bogus DMCA notice. You would hope that a company like GoDaddy wouldn’t be quite so quick to pull the trigger. It’s also pretty weak that Monster Cable apparently went straight to GoDaddy, rather than complaining to Jaxed first (at which point, Jaxed could explain that they were just a search engine). Unfortunately, we’ve been seeing more and more examples of companies going straight to domain registrars with their takedown notices.

      • Hollywood’s Strategy For The Future: Pretending The Government Can Save Them

        A few weeks back, I went to Hollywood to appear on a panel for the Filmmaker Forum event, all about “piracy.” You can see a short clip of the panel here. One of the panelists was Kevin Suh, who has the title “VP of Content Protection” at the MPAA. Of course, just the fact that the MPAA has a position that involves “content protection” suggests that there’s a pretty big problem with how the MPAA views where the market is heading (hint: protectionism is not going to get you very far). Kevin was extremely nice — and we had quite a pleasant conversation prior to the panel. But, at one point, he made some assertions (not in the video) that seemed odd to me. First, he went on and on about how much money these new “digital locker” sites make, and then in the very next sentence said that Hollywood couldn’t offer a competing service because it would make no money.

        At one point, I challenged him on the idea that taking down these sites was effective, and he insisted that the sites that were taken down had stayed down, and no others had stepped up to take their place. While I don’t follow these sites all that closely, I’d already seen that this wasn’t true, as lots of our users like to send in tips about new sites popping up (or where those “downed” sites reappeared). And, in fact, the press is noting that at least one of the sites taken down went right back up days later.

      • The Sound of Silence

        As a supporter of the Royal British Legion (and an ex-serviceman myself) I’m pleased to see the RBL finding new and innovative ways of raising money. This year they have taken the novel step of releasing a single of the Two Minutes’ Silence. You can see a short excerpt from the video here.

      • Letter from featured superhero Gautam John of Pratham Books

        We now use Creative Commons licenses everywhere! We license entire books under CC-BY and CC-BY-SA licenses, we license our illustrations similarly and even photographs and other publicity material too. Over the last year we have been building the foundations for a social publishing model – where we curate communities that are passionate about reading and help us create content. Such a model rests on the idea of a participatory culture and an essential ingredient is a permissive licensing strategy – Creative Commons licenses offers us this, a large community with shared values and an ecosystem to tap in to.

      • True Or False? The Latest Stat: Less Than 30,000 Artists Are Actually Earning a Living

        Digital Music News published and article titled The Latest Stat: Less Than 30,000 Artists Are Actually Earning a Living… which has been causing a lot of excitement. The problem is, that the people discussing the article don’t appear to have actually read it, or if they did read it, they did so while asleep, because they’ve managed to get everything wrong. Let’s take a look at what was actually written, and what it really means.


        OK, so the original article got you all excited. As I’ve demonstrated above, without further numbers, the original is effectively useless. Things might be worse, but they might be better too, and we just don’t know.

      • Lawful Access Bills Would Reshape Internet in Canada

        The push for new Internet surveillance capabilities goes back to 1999, when government officials began crafting proposals to institute new surveillance technologies within Canadian networks along with additional legal powers to access surveillance and subscriber information. The so-called lawful access initiatives stalled in recent years, but my weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that earlier this month the government tabled its latest proposal with three bills (C-50, C-51, C-52) that received only limited attention despite their potential to fundamentally reshape the Internet in Canada.

      • New Big Brother Laws Would Reshape Canada’s Internet

        The push for new Internet surveillance capabilities goes back to 1999, when government officials began crafting proposals to institute new surveillance technologies within Canadian networks along with additional legal powers to access surveillance and subscriber information. The so-called lawful access initiatives stalled in recent years, but earlier this month the government tabled its latest proposal with three bills that received only limited attention despite their potential to fundamentally reshape the Internet in Canada.

        The bills contain a three-pronged approach focused on information disclosure, mandated surveillance technologies, and new police powers.

      • Bill would nuke Visa cards, Adwords, DNS records for pirates

        Watch out Google, Visa, and the domain name system—Congress has all of you in its sights.

        Now that the midterm elections in the US are over, the Senate this week will again take up S. 3804, the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA). The bill allows the US Attorney General to target “Internet sites dedicated to infringing activities” both inside and outside the country, obtaining a court-ordered injunction against them if they have “no demonstrable, commercially significant purpose or use other than” sharing copyrighted files without authorization.

      • ACTA

        • ACTA to bypass unfinished EU copyright row

          European negotiators of an international anti-piracy treaty are rewriting EU laws on copyright infringement, bypassing an unfinished row in the EU over Internet providers’ role in piracy cases, according to industry lobbyists in Brussels.

      • Digital Economy (UK)

        • Conor Lenihan, Irish Politician Admits That He Is Bought And Paid For


          My friends and suppliers of campaign fund donations asked me to help them. After Mr. Justice Charleton’s made his unfortunate decision, I tried to use my position to force the Internet Service Providers and the Telecommunications Companies to help my friends. They refused to accept the path my friends had suggested.

          We are not French, and we are definitely not those damnable British. So I’m going to do the Irish thing and threaten the Internet Service Providers. If they cannot come up with a plan that my friends like, I will use my power as Minister to introduce legislation that will force them to do so. I have tried my best to help my friends, and anyone who get’s in my friend’s way shall pay the price.

Clip of the Day

CA Technologies on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 16/11/2010: Debian 6.0 is Coming, OpenRespect.org Criticised

Posted in News Roundup at 6:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • Windows Legacy Apps vs. Linux Desktop Adopters?

      In a previous article on Linux-Window desktop competition, I shared my thoughts on why desktop Linux shouldn’t focus on competing with Windows. Not because Linux can’t compete, but because Linux can stand its ground on its own merits without being held against Windows for comparison. I believe most groups within the Linux community can agree on, despite their differences on other issues.

      Now let’s ask a bigger question. Is it not possible that the real culprit that prevents people from trying new platforms like Linux is actually due to legacy software and familiarity with the Windows desktop? Seems plausible that the above hurdles could be a common challenge faced by prospective Linux adopters, does it not?

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Attention class! Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA)

        Red Hat is urging system administrators to up their skill sets with a new base-level certification aligned to the key tasks required of Red Hat Enterprise Linux system administrators.

      • Fedora

        • Upgraded to Fedora 14

          I just did a preupgrade upgrade from Fedora 13 to Fedora 14. The only hitch is that it didn’t find enough space to download the installer ahead of time so that had to be downloaded after the the reboot. Everything went off without a hitch. My absolute cleanest upgrade ever. Dual screen worked, nothing had to be uninstalled. None of the repos had to be disabled. All my usual programs work. I haven’t tried Blender yet, that’s tomorrow. The first thing I noticed was that the OpenOffice.org icons have changed again. This is the third time, I think,since I’ve been using Linux.

        • Fedora 14: Strong follow-up to 13 still suffers from same niche appeal

          As far as Linux is concerned, there are distributions that are ready for the masses (Ubuntu, PCLinuxOS, Linux Minut) and there are distributions whose appeal doesn’t go much further than a niche of users. Fedora Linux, however, is a distribution that seems to want to vacillate between target audiences. At one point Fedora wants to reach out to a massive scope of users. At the next point Fedora seems to focus on a far, far smaller audience. And it seems this vacillation happens just about every release.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian 6.0 Homestretch Just Around Corner

        Neil McGovern, Debian release team member, wrote to the Debian Development Announce mailing list, “It’s time for another release update as we move, like a glacier, inevitably and unstoppingly towards the release.”

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Make it really easy to fix bugs on Ubuntu

          One of the best things that anyone ever said was, “not enough gets said about the importance of abandoning crap”. Mr Glass was probably talking about writing, but his words could well have been aimed squarely at any well-established software development process.

        • New Introduction To Ubuntu 10.10

          I’ve recorded a new screencast introducing Ubuntu 10.10. This video gives beginner Ubuntu users a brief tour of the operating system, and covers installing updates, proprietary drivers, customizing appearance, and installing software via the Ubuntu Software Center as well as with downloaded *.deb files, all in less than 10 minutes. Enjoy!

        • OpenRespect.org: a bid to deflect criticism of Ubuntu?

          In today’s climate, when spinmeisters are trying to gain ascendancy in the FOSS world and are succeeding to a large extent, Torvalds’ comments would not go down well. The man was clearly not showing respect – which, as Stephen Colbert would say, is today’s word.

          But the topic of respect is raised only when it suits people to do so. Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu GNU/Linux distribution has been under siege recently, for its decisions to adopt a new interface and also a new X server. Some of the criticism has been rather, shall we say, pointed and direct.

          Now suddenly, Jono Bacon, the Ubuntu community manager – the spinmeister-in-chief – has come up with an initiative to try and create respect within the FOSS community. Why? Well, Bacon feels that all the aggressiveness in the community is not of much help in what the community is trying to do.

        • Natty Community Team Plans

          With every cycle, part of my responsibility is to understand the needs of the Ubuntu community, understand the needs of some of the key stakeholders to my team, and to plan what the team will work on throughout the next cycle. Recently I have been asking the team (Jorge Castro, Daniel Holbach, David Planella, and Ahmed Kamal) to reach out to the community to get a feel of needs, and flesh out their goals in a set of blueprints. I then reviewed and accepted a set of blueprints ready for the cycle. I think this is a good, solid chunk of work and will make some inroads into some key areas.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Linux Mint 10

            Summary: Linux Mint 10 adds some helpful tweaks and improvements to an already great distro.

            Rating: 5/5

Free Software/Open Source

  • 55 Open Source Replacements for Popular Multimedia Software

    Open source multimedia software clearly has remarkable growth potential. Statistics reveal that multimedia grabs a huge percentage of the time most users spend with their PCs and smartphones. Hulu has 30 million viewers a month. Netflix now accounts for 20 percent of U.S. Internet traffic in the evening. According to NPD Group, 30 percent of U.S. music consumers listened to streamed music in August. As of June, consumers had downloaded more than 5 billion songs from iTunes, and they watch 50,000 movies through the service every day.

  • An Open Source Toolkit for Your Small Business

    Whether your small business has been around for years or you’re just starting out, it simply makes good sense to use open source software for everything from managing your office network to putting together slide decks for your next client presentation. Open source software is inexpensive (and often free!), secure, and easy to customize to the unique needs of your company. Unlike many commercial applications on the market today, you can even find in-depth, no-cost tech support from within the user community.

  • Should Companies That Use Open Source Software Pay a Tithe?

    Just about every startup on the planet benefits from the use of open source software–everything from database software PostgreSQL to the Apache web server–which is free to use.

    Weinberg’s idea is simple: reckons companies that make a profit with the help of Free and Open Source Software should return a tenth of their profit to the open source community, to help solve problems with some open source projects.

  • Web Browsers

    • Try the uzbl browser if you’re tired of feature bloat

      Give it a shot. Talk to its community in the #uzbl channel on the freenode IRC network if you need some help getting started. See if you like it. If not, go back to a big, sophisticated browser, if that is what you prefer. To tell you the truth, I am actually using Chromium, Firefox, and uzbl about equally right now, switching between them; I have not entirely given up on those big and sophisticated browsers myself, at least so far. I think you owe it to yourself to see if you like your browser small and simple, though.

  • Oracle


  • ‘Super-secret’ debugger discovered in AMD CPUs

    A hardware hacker has discovered a secret debugging feature hidden in all AMD chips made in the past decade.

    The password-protected debugger came as a shock to reverse-engineers who have hungered for an on-chip mechanism for performing conditional and direct-hardware breakpoint operations. Although AMD has built the firmware-controlled feature into all chips since the Athlon XP, the company kept it a closely guarded secret that was only disclosed late last week by a hacker who goes by the name Czernobyl.

  • Is AMD Having Second Thoughts About Killing Off ATI Brand?
  • Nvidia CEO: We’re Done with Chipsets


    One thing we appreciate about Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang is that he typically doesn’t pull any punches. Rather than dance around marketing speak and typical PR rhetoric, the outspoken CEO gets straight to the point, oftentimes in a very candid manner. More recently, Huang got on the topic of chipsets, seemingly putting an official end to that part of Nvidia’s business, Xbit Labs reports.

  • Security

Clip of the Day

Intel on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6

Credit: TinyOgg

Links 16/11/2010: GNU/Linux Dominates Top 500, VLC 1.1.5 is Out

Posted in News Roundup at 11:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • The case for National Linux Distributions

    There’s a lot of news flying around at the moment about the latest Russian attempt to create a national, Linux-based operating system. Let’s take a look at some of the issues that surround the creation of national Linux distributions.

    The first point to make is that this isn’t the first Russian attempt adopt open source software. In 2007, the Armada group won the government tender to supply Russian schools with a Linux based operating system, making use of ALT Linux, a Russian fork of Mandrake Linux. Red Flag (China), Pardus (Turkey) and Bayahnian (Philippines ) were all created to meet the requirements of state institutions.

    A national standard Linux distribution solves two of the biggest problems that face Linux adoption in education, business and government institutions:

    First, Linux suffers from the problem of offering simply too much choice in terms of desktop environments and applications. If every school in the UK (for example) switched over Linux and open source tomorrow, they could, conceivably, all be using considerably different set ups. A national standard distribution offers the advantage of a standard platform that workers and students can be trained to use and maintain.

  • Server

    • Microsoft breaks petaflop barrier, loses Top 500 spot to Linux

      Microsoft says a Windows-based supercomputer has broken the petaflop speed barrier, but the achievement is not being recognized by the group that tracks the world’s fastest supercomputers, because the same machine was able to achieve higher speeds using Linux.

    • Microsoft: Super – But Not Quite Super Enough

      Once upon a time, the Netcraft Web server market share was reported upon eagerly every month for the fact that it showed open source soundly trouncing its proprietary rivals. We don’t hear much about that survey these days – not because things have changed, but for that very reason: it’s now just become a boring fact of life that Apache has always been the top Web server, still is, and probably will be for the foreseeable future. I think we’re fast approaching that situation with the top500 supercomputing table.

      I wrote about this six months ago, noting that Linux did rather well, with 91% of the top 500 machines in the world running some form of it. It’s time for an update, and I’m afraid it is indeed rather boring: Linux now holds 91.8% of that sector.

      Happily, there are still a couple of other points of note. First and foremost, as the world and their canine has been commenting, is the fact that the list is now headed by a Chinese supercomputer (still running Linux, of course): if this surprises you, then you really haven’t been paying attention.

    • SGI gets its HPC mojo back with CPU-GPU hybrids
    • Top 500 supers: China rides GPUs to world domination

      If the June edition of the bi-annual ranking of the Top 500 supercomputers in the world represented the dawning of the GPU co-processor as a key component in high performance computing, then the November list is breakfast time. The super centers of the world are smacking their lips for some flop-jacks with OpenCL syrup and some x64 bacon on the side.

      China has the most voracious appetite for GPU co-processors, and as expected two weeks ago when the Tianhe-1A super was booted up for the first time, this hybrid CPU-GPU machine installed at the National Supercomputer Center in Tianjin has taken the top spot on the Top 500 list with a comfortable margin. Tianhe-1A’s final rating on the Linpack Fortran matrix math benchmark test is 4.7 petaflops of peak theoretical performance spread across its CPUs and GPUs (with about about 70 per cent of that coming from the GPUs) and 2.56 petaflops of sustained performance on the Linpack test.

    • New EC2 Instance Type – The Cluster GPU Instance
    • Sandia Labs Proposes New Standard for Supercomputing

      The rating system, Graph500, tests supercomputers for their skill in analyzing large, graph-based structures that link the huge numbers of data points present in biological, social and security problems, among other areas.

      “By creating this test, we hope to influence computer makers to build computers with the architecture to deal with these increasingly complex problems,” Sandia researcher Richard Murphy said.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Applications

    • VLC 1.1.5 adds live WebM streaming support, Game Music Emu, Channels.com shows

      Popular do-it-all media player VLC has updated to version 1.1.5, and there are a handful of noteworthy changes nestled amongst the bugfixes and security patches. For starters, VLC can now play live streaming video wrapped in Google’s WebM video container.

      The second big addition can be found on VLC’s playlist window. Click the arrow next to Internet in the Media Browser box, and you’ll notice Channels.com has been added to the mix. While you won’t be able to access the entire vast expanse of shows Channels.com offers, VLC does include more than 1,000 popular offerings.

    • VLC 1.1.5 Has Been Released [Ubuntu PPA]

      VLC 1.1.5 has been released yesterday, introducing some small features and bug fixes.

    • Granola Improves Your Netbook/Laptop Battery Life And Makes Your PC Environmentally Friendly

      Granola is an application to improve your netbook / laptop battery life but can be used on your PC too and “make your PC environmentally friendly”.

      Granola runs in the background but if you install the GUI, you’ll be able to see some statistics such as how much energy, money and CO2 you’ll be saving by running Granola on your computer as well as the overall savings by all Granola users.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Bombermania – A nice 3D bomberman in an old castle

        In the distant future humans have created friendly aide robots. But due to computer error robots rebelled against their creators. As a special agent you will have to eliminate all robots. To help you, scientists developed a unique bomber-o-mobil equipped with highly destructive bombs. During your mission you will find various power-ups and upgrade your vehicle, turning it into an efficient weapon of destruction. Blow all robots up and free your city!

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KOLABoration in action

        If you ask the guys from “IT Crowd”, this may be .. the Internet, but in fact is an ugly black box – yes, the same like Microsoft exchange.

        What if you can rely on a better solution for your company? Why not be able to look what’s inside the box and to fix something to make your groupware experience better?

        Come and see me, presenting the blue open box, called Kolab.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME Shell: Getting prettier by the day

        Gnome-Shell’s UI revamp continues apace and the ‘relayout’ version of GNOME-Shell, first shown off at GUADEC earlier this year, is getting ready to land.

        With it containing so many visual changes MrMars dropped off screenshots of the ‘relayout’ GIT branch in the OMG! Inbox! and a link to his Italian Ubuntu forum post touching on them.

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia supports LibreOffice

        After the announcement of LibreOffice, Mageia decided to give full official support to this new project.

        There are obvious similarities between the histories of Mageia and LibreOffice. Because both projects futures were unclear, teams decided – in both projects respectively – to create a fork that respects the FOSS (Free Open Source Software) principles and sets a more predictable governance model that relies on its community.


        We look forward to packaging, and contributing to the LibreOffice project and we will provide it in the upcoming Mageia releases.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6: It’s All About Virtualization

        No doubt, Red Hat is in catch-up mode when it comes to virtualization market share. But the company hopes RHEL6 and KVM can help to close the competitive gap. Here’s what it boils down to:

        Red Hat claims RHEL 6 is designed to provide a focus on rock-solid physical computing, along with true virtual and cloud activity support. To that end, RHEL 6 includes kernel improvements for resource management, “RAS” (reliability, availability, serviceability), and more power-saving features. The KVM hypervisor can support guest operating systems with up to 64 virtual CPUs, along with 256GB of virtual RAM and 64-bit guest operating system.

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6

        In the new version 6 of its flagship product, Red Hat has incorporated many technological developments of the past few years. Compared to its predecessor, this release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux therefore contains a large number of changes.

      • Fedora

        • Fuduntu Is A Fedora 14 Remix For Netbooks And Laptops

          Fuduntu is a Fedora 14 remix (remaster) designed especially for Asus Eee (but you can of course use it on other netbooks and any laptop/desktop computer) and comes with some interesting performance tweaks by default. It was created by Fewt, the Jupiter (an hardware and power management applet for netbooks and Laptops) developer.

        • Going on Record Against the Fedora Board’s SQLninja Decision.

          I think this is a stupid decision[1]. By the boards reasoning we shouldn’t package apache either, what if someone uses a server with fedora on it to serve child porn? What’s next are we gonna remove wireshark and etherape? What about Firefox, you can hack into things with a webbrowser?!?

        • SQLninja denial

          The minutes suggest that board members seem to think that SQLninja has no beneficial use. The minutes also suggest confusion about penetration testing tools in general. I saw in the minutes the objection that SQLninja is advertised as ‘get root on remote systems’. Are the board members aware that many penetration testing tools can be used to get root on remote systems, and it is precisely for this reason that they are useful for (legal, lawful, authorized) penetration testing? Are the board members aware that legal penetration testing can, and sometimes does, include getting root on remote systems?

    • Debian Family

      • Bits from the Debian Multimedia Maintainers

        Consumer Multimedia is about playing and, well, consuming multimedia.

        Squeeze will feature:

        * FFmpeg 0.5.2, finally uncrippled thanks to zack! No mp3/h264 encoder, though. (still in NEW).
        * mplayer 1.0rc3, finally with mencoder enabled.
        * VLC 1.1.3
        * VDPAU hardware acceleration in ffmpeg/mplayer (but feedback is welcome!)
        * Guayadeque 0.2.5
        * gmusicbrowser 1.0.2

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu: Project, Platform, Products

          When most people talk about Ubuntu, they usually mean our flagship product, Ubuntu Desktop Edition. Sometimes, they might mean the Ubuntu project, or the community of people who work on it, or various other things.

          Similarly, Debian might mean the Debian operating system, or the package repositories, or the project, and so on.

        • Asturian Install Party

          Softastur, AsturLiNUX, Software Libre EII and Asturian LoCo Team organized the last friday an Install Party in Oviedo/Uviéu (Asturies). The distros used were: Ubuntu, Debian & Fedora. Thank you to all of you for the success of the party!

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Intel Medfield Linux Support Gets Going

      Intel’s next-generation MID (Mobile Internet Device) platform to succeed Moorestown is codenamed Medfield and is slated to be released next year. However, in usual Intel fashion, open-source patches for supporting this next-generation platform under Linux are beginning to make their way out there months in advance of the hardware’s public availability.

      Over the past few weeks there’s been an uptick in the number of patches surfacing for Medfield enablement within the Linux kernel. Many of these Medfield Linux patches are being published by Alan Cox, now an Intel employee. The most recent patch comes from Alan and Durgadoss R (another Intel engineer) for creating a Medfield thermal driver (patch).

    • Phones

Free Software/Open Source

  • The Promise Of Open Source

    Linux and open source technologies have started gaining acceptance and momentum with a host of technologies associated with FOSS having reached levels of maturity that are comparable with the best the proprietary software world has to offer. A perceived lower cost of ownership has been pushing enterprises and SMBs to switch to open source-based solutions.

    According to Springboard Research, Linux on the server platform has grown its way to a prominent position in the Indian server OS market with its adoption rate increasing from 7 percent to 8.1 percent (and rising) over a 13-month period since April 2009.

  • And it’s out of the cage

    We’re delighted to finally take the wraps off the first issue of Libre Graphics Magazine.

  • Open Source Filmmaking – Will It Blend?

    Some of you may be unfamiliar with the concept of open filmmaking. Well rest assured I was until I discovered this amazing way of producing top-notch animated productions with the power of open-source filmmaking, and a little program called Blender.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Learn Intellectual Property By Doing It

        One thing that happens next is that we’re all going to do some reading and viewing of both theoretical and practical appllications of creative commons licensing, intellectual property applications, and so forth in order to think along with others who are expert in this field and, by the end of next class, decide, collectively, how to proceed with Mozilla’s generous offer of taking our app through to implementation. We might not be ready to be developers and to be developed yet. That’s fine. That’s a perfectly sane outcome. We know that most businesses fail and entrepreneurs learn that failing is how you learn. Similarly, many ventures are not capitalized and that is a learning opportunity too. The only bad outcome of this process is if we squander it by thinking someone has to give up something that will be damaging to themselves in order for the product to go into development. With this group, with their generosity towards one another and their profound respect, I have no worries that this will happen.

      • Design Jam London #1: A collaborative UX design event supported by Mozilla Labs & City University London

        Design Jams are one-day design sessions, during which people team up to solve engaging User Experience (UX) challenges. Similar to developer ‘hackdays’ they aim to get designers together to learn and collaborate with each other while working on actual problems. The sessions champion open-source thinking & sharing and are non-profit, run by local volunteers.

      • 2 Months ’til Game On Submissions Deadline
  • Databases

    • MariaDB 5.2 is released as stable

      I am happy to announce that MariaDB 5.2.3 is now released as a stable release.

      During the gamma period we did not receive any serious reports for issues in 5.2, so we are relatively confident that the new code is of decent quality.

  • Oracle

    • Oracle either hidden or deleted code in Android lawsuit: Google

      Google has filed a response to Oracle’s claims that the internet search giant’s Android mobile OS deliberately breached patents owned by Oracle since it acquired Sun.

      In the filing, Google claimed that Oracle might have hidden or deleted copyright headers and expressive material to make it look like as if Android’s Dalvik virtual machine was essentially a copy.

    • Interview: How LibreOffice Broke Free from Oracle

      Breaking up is never easy to do, but the split between Oracle and the new LibreOffice (news, site) team has been one of the more traumatic recent events in IT. CMSWire asked the new team’s Italo Vignoli what went on behind the scenes and what can we expect to see now from Libre/OpenOffice.

    • Moving Java Forward: Open Response from Oracle to Apache
    • Oracle responds to Apache Java defiance

      Seemingly anxious to get the next version of the Java programming language ratified, Oracle has asked the Apache Software Foundation to reconsider its stance on the proposed Java Standard Edition 7.

      “We would encourage Apache to reconsider their position and work together with Oracle and the community at large to collectively move Java forward,” wrote Don Deutsch, Oracle vice president of standards and architecture, in a statement posted Monday on an Oracle blog site.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Avoid the tool trap when building communities

      People create community.

      Which is why when I hear the conversation move too quickly into tools, I try to steer it back to the tried-and-true foundations of solid communities, the things that bring people together and make them want to accomplish great things.

      I never hear folks say they want to be part of a community because it has a cool website or because it uses some whiz bang technology. People join communities to contribute to something that holds meaning for them.

    • Open government and “next generation democracy”

      The use of technology to connect government with the governed is not a new idea. The printing press was the Internet of the 17th and 18th centuries; news and opinion was circulated by a myriad homegrown newspapers eagerly read and discussed in coffeehouses and cafes. Benjamin Franklin pioneered the idea of “publick printer” in Pennsylvania and other colonies before the American Revolution (though the US Government Printing Office was not established as a federal function until 1860.)

      Governments quickly adopted radio and television as well. In the UK, the BBC was established in the 1920s to harness the new power of radio to advance the mission of government. In the US, government funding of radio and TV came later, with Voice of America established in 1944, PBS in 1970, and C-SPAN in 1979. Starting with the activism of Carl Malamud to put the SEC online in 1993, the first Federal government websites appeared only a few years after the introduction of the World Wide Web.

    • Open Access/Content

  • Programming


  • Gamer makes a cool half-million by selling virtual property

    Think the rent is, in fact, too damn high? Then stay as far away from online world Entropia Universe as possible, because its real estate prices will drive you insane.

    Take, for instance, what just went down on Planet Calypso, where one of Entropia’s wealthier players has sold off his interests in a “resort asteroid” for an eye-popping $635,000.

  • The curse of giftedness

    The trajectory for gifted children is not simply onward and upward; they are as likely to be plagued by crises of confidence as anyone. Perhaps more so: Their intellectual gifts mean they are even more aware of the flaws in their clay, of how short they fall from self-imposed goals.

    “People are forever telling me the achievements of my life,” Dr. Sassoon says, “and yet I feel I’ve accomplished nothing – nothing compared to what I might achieve.” He has put his finger on a thorny issue: Is a gifted child destined to become an exceptional adult?

  • War Horse stagehand claims racist bullying behind the scenes

    “I didn’t want an actor or member of staff to be injured or killed because we have drunks on the stage crew,” said Donnelly, who was offered a £25,000 payoff in return for his silence, an offer which he turned down.

    Donnelly is not the only person to have voiced concern over the backstage culture at War Horse, the first world war drama impressing audiences with its depiction of the horrors of war for both men and animals.

  • La dolce vita, Berlusconi style, may finally be just too much

    Her stage name is Ruby, she is 17, and she may bring down Italy’s government.

    The Moroccan-born belly dancer is the last of a long series of young women who have in the past two years embarrassed Silvio Berlusconi and the Italians. This time, the Italian Prime Minister has admitted intervening to get Ruby released when she got arrested for theft last May.

  • An Open Letter to Wired Magazine

    This isn’t the first time. We’ve been through this before. Your covers aren’t all that friendly to women on a regular basis, and that makes me sad. There was naked Pam from The Office in 2008 (you thought you were so clever with that acetate overlay – I mean, how else would you depict transparency?). In 2003, you had the nice lady covered in synthetic diamonds. There were the sexy manga ladies and LonelyGirl15 and Julia Allison with their come-hither looks. And Uma Thurman, she’s a lady, and she was on the cover… But wait, that was for a character she was playing in a film based on a Philip K. Dick novel.

    Come to think of it, the last time that a woman was featured on your cover, because she was being featured in the magazine for an actual accomplishment, was way back in 1996 when it was Sherry Turkle, the academic and author. And, the only other time was in 1994, when musician/author Laurie Anderson was featured. Because since then, I guess no women have done anything notable in technology unless it had to do with their bodies? Really?

  • The antisocial movie

    The movie quickly admits that money doesn’t matter to Zuckerberg. So why did he build Facebook? The Social Network offers no answer, except perhaps that an outsider wanted in, but that doesn’t begin to explain what he has accomplished and why; that’s nothing but simplistic prime-time plotting. The script says nothing about him wanting to connect the world or bring communities elegant organization. It doesn’t care. For this is a movie about tactics, not strategy, about people doing hard things to each other. Elsewhere, that’s just called business.

  • The REAL connection speeds for Internet users across the world (charts)

    How fast are Internet connections across the world? How fast are they in your country?

    This article examines the real-world connection speeds for people in the top 50 countries on the Internet, i.e. the countries with the most Internet users.

    This list of countries ranges from China at number 1 with 420 million Internet users, and Denmark at number 50 with 4.75 million Internet users. We’ve included this ranking within parenthesis next to each country in the charts below for those who want to know.

    These 50 countries together have more than 1.8 billion Internet users.

  • Here comes the 100GigE Internet

    This summer, the IEEE ratified IEEE 802.3ba, which sets down the technical guidelines for 40 Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) and 100GigE Ethernet. Now, companies and organizations are beginning to deploy these faster than fast optical Internet backbones.

  • Between the Bars

    Almost a year ago, I blogged about Between the Bars — a project that offers a blogging platform to the 1% of the United States population that is currently incarcerated. The way it works is pretty simple: prisoners send letters through the postal mail. We scan them and put them up on the web. Visitors can transcribe letters or leave comments which are mailed back to the authors.

  • Science

    • Climbing Mount Publishable

      TWENTY years ago North America, Europe and Japan produced almost all of the world’s science. They were the aristocrats of technical knowledge, presiding over a centuries-old regime. They spent the most, published the most and patented the most. And what they produced fed back into their industrial, military and medical complexes to push forward innovation, productivity, power, health and prosperity.

      All good things, though, come to an end, and the reign of these scientific aristos is starting to look shaky. In 1990 they carried out more than 95% of the world’s research and development (R&D). By 2007 that figure was 76%.

      Such, at least, is the conclusion of the latest report* from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO. The picture the report paints is of a waning West and a rising East and South, mirroring the economic shifts going on in the wider world. The sans culottes of science are on the march.

    • Tale of two hosts

      A pensive Barack Obama walking alone on the Great Wall of China in November 2009. Barack and Michelle dancing with school children in Mumbai in November 2010.

      The front-page snapshots of Obama in India and China capture the difference in the political cultures of the two nations, flavours as contrast as spicy kebabs compared to chicken soup. The India photographs show a relaxed US President being spontaneous, hugging his host, grinning a lot and speaking freely. Obama in Beijing struck the pose of a lonely figure outside his comfort zone, his words censored in the Chinese media. The first lady did not accompany Obama to Beijing.

    • IBM says the future of supercomputing is the size of a sugar cube

      A report at the BBC tells us that scientists at the firm’s Zurich research labs are working on the boxes, which they say will be driven by the need to be green more than their power.

      Dr Bruno Michel told the BBC that future computer costs will hinge on green credentials rather than speed. “In the past, computers were dominated by hardware costs – 50 years ago you could hold one transistor and it cost a dollar, or a franc,” he said adding that now transistor costs were “1/100th of the price of printing a single letter on a page”.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Backfires from broken-down van draw bullets from KC police

      Phillip Ransom thought he had trouble Thursday night when his old van broke down on the side of the road, booming out backfires.

      But that was when his troubles really began.

      Two Kansas City police officers, mistaking the van’s backfires for gunshots, began firing at it.

    • Man at San Diego airport opts out of porno scanner and grope, told he’ll be fined $10K unless he submits to fondling

      Johnnyedge checked the TSA’s website and learned that the San Diego airport had not yet implemented its porno-scanners, so he went down to catch his flight. When he arrived, he discovered that the TSA’s website was out of date, and the naked scanners were in place. He opted out of showing his penis to the government, so they told him he’d have to submit to an intimate testicle fondling. He told the screener, “if you touch my junk, I’ll have you arrested.” After faffing around with various supervisors and supervisors’ supervisors, he opted not to fly, collected a refund from the American Airlines counter, and started to leave the airport. But before he could go, the supervisor’s supervisor’s supervisor told him he wasn’t allowed to leave the checkpoint once he entered it, that he was already in for up to $10,000 in fines, and that he would have to return and allow the man’s minons to palpate his genitals before he’d be allowed to leave the airport.

    • Strudel Considered Harmful

      Just leaving Bolzano after three nights here for SFSCON (a small but perfectly formed FOSS conference). Passing through the tiny airport I noticed an unusual security requirement – which was being actively enforced. Despite apple strudel (that’s a delicious, giant pastry filled with spiced apple and mixed berries) being a major tourist item on sale in Bolzano, it’s banned on aircraft here.

    • EU criticised for ‘complicity’ in CIA rendition programmes

      The European Union was sharply criticised by a leading human rights group today for failing to call to account member states, including Britain, for their complicity in the CIA’s rendition and secret detention programme.

      The charge is made – ahead of an EU-US summit in Portugal on Saturday – by Amnesty International in a 53-page report, Open Secret, which, it says, contains mounting evidence of Europe’s complicity in rendition and secret detention.

  • Finance

    • Ireland bailout: UK taxpayers could face £7bn bill

      Scale of eurozone crisis underlined as emergency bailout of Ireland appears increasingly likely and EU statistics body says Greek budget deficit was even larger than thought

    • The End of Growth

      The central assertion of this book is both simple and startling: Economic growth as we have known it is over and done with.

      The “growth” we are talking about consists of the expansion of the overall size of the economy (with more people being served and more money changing hands) and of the quantities of energy and material goods flowing through it.

      The economic crisis that began in 2007-2008 was both foreseeable and inevitable, and it marks a permanent, fundamental break from past decades—a period during which most economists adopted the unrealistic view that perpetual economic growth is necessary and also possible to achieve. There are now fundamental barriers to ongoing economic expansion, and the world is colliding with those barriers.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Angle, McMahon led way spending $97 per vote – and lost

      Is a vote worth $97? Sharron Angle seemed to think so. When all of the campaign spending by the Nevada politican and her supporters was tallied, that’s how much it came to for each vote she received in her failed bid to take down Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid last week.

      Angle’s campaign, which attracted support from across the country, was the most expensive congressional contest nationwide on a per-vote basis, according to a Washington Post analyis of campaign finance filings and election results.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Placing Good Books at Risk

      An ongoing Twitter campaign called “Speak Loudly” attempts to raise awareness and prevent Laurie Halse Anderson’s novel “Speak” from being banned by people with good intentions.

      If you censor books because of the ideas within, there is no way to challenge the idea. Instead of taking the opportunity to disprove it, or learn from it, or educate about it, you give the idea additional mystique.

      The only way to guarantee free speech is to protect all speech.
      Even speech we might not agree with.

    • Beyond a Joke: On the Road to China

      People will point out one year in a labour camp is very different from the few thousand quid fine meted out to Paul Chambers, and I of course would agree: the UK is not China.

      But the *attitude* – that humour or satire is a “threat” of some kind, and must be punished in the courts – is shockingly similar. And that is what is most disturbing for me here in the UK about the #twitterjoketrial case: the authorities here are now *thinking* like their Chinese counterparts (who must be delighted to have this high-profile backing for their approach from those hypocritical Westerners). We are on the road to China.

    • Kiddie Porn, a vital corporate tool

      As far as I know, p2pnet is the only site of its kind — maybe the only site anywhere — with a section devoted specifically to the grim, ongoing commercial exploitation and ‘corporate education’ of children before they’re old enough to form their own standards and opinions.


      Orrin ‘Terminator’ Hatch also saw the possibilities and used online kiddie porn to ram Hollywood-friendly bills through congress.

      And there are more — a lot more — examples.

      Bottom line, child pornography is just another weapon in the corporate arsenal to maintain iron control of consumer bases, and the channels which supply them.

      The kids and the horrors inflicted on them are incidental

      Kiddie porn is a terrible thing — unless you’re Vivendi Universal, EMI, Warner Music and Sony Music, or Disney, News Corp, Time Warner, Viacom, NBC Universal and Sony Pictures.

      They can’t live without it.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • EU Stakeholders Tell Commission Net Neutrality Is Essential

      The public consultation, launched on June 30, received input from 318 stakeholders including operators, ISPs, national authorities, consumer and civil society organizations as well as individuals.

      There is no firm definition of “net neutrality,” but the Commission takes the view that it represents the idea that all data on the Internet should be treated equally, whatever its source or destination.

      Most respondents felt that the European Union’s telecom framework, adopted in 2009, is sufficient legislation on net neutrality and that further review is not necessary until it has been implemented and applied at the national level.

    • Netflix Avoided Android Because It Didn’t Have Enough DRM

      Apparently Netflix has not yet been offered up on Android phones because the platform just has too much damn freedom. Netflix admitted in a blog post that the lack of DRM that makes Hollywood happy means that it couldn’t offer movie streaming to Android.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Brian Davey: Beware of Fake Abundance

      My conclusion is that, to talk about abundance is a very misleading message. Commons have much to offer us – sharing ideas without intellectual property constraints will help us, sharing scarce production and energy and pooling production arrangement and infrastructures will too, sharing may bring us into human relationships with many psychological and emotional rewards. In that sense we may describe commons as “having a generative logic” – But an “abundance” is not a message that I agree with – if it taken to mean, or implied to mean, an abundance of material production. In my opinion to use the word “abundance” is a misleading picture of the future that we are heading into.

      An abundance of information about how we might make things is not the same as an abundance of things – it is an abundance of recipes not an abundance of food.”

    • The dinosaurs have gone. What the absence of revenue means for media companies.

      I didn’t sleep well last night. I had a nightmare. I think it was about the future of media and media organisations in the digital world. It was sparked by something I said at a recent conference. I have been turning up on Internet related conference panels since the mid nineties, and what is odd is that, although some of the vocabulary has changed, the theme is always the same. How do we, media companies, make money from the online opportunity. More than fifteen years since I was first asked that question, I am still being asked it today. It was as this thought was being processed in my brain that I had my nightmare.

    • Copyrights

      • Access Copyirght Changes Counsel in Proposed Post-Secondary 1,300% Increase Tariff

        Access Copyright (“AC”) has notified the Copyright Board of a change of counsel in the proposed post-secondary 1,300% increase file.

        Barry Sookman and McCarthy’s are apparently no longer involved and AC will now be represented by Randall Hofley of Blakes.

      • SpicyIP Guest Post: Three strikes and you’re out!!!

        Of late the ‘three-strike’ or the ‘graduated response’ model for copyright enforcement over the internet is gaining popularity among nations, especially after the ACTA negotiations. In India too, the Committee on Piracy appointed by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry recommended this model. Barring few modifications, the model as the name suggests is essentially a three stage process progressing with issuing warning notices to online infringers and subsequently decreasing bandwidth or throttling protocols and eventually taking down connections on continuous infringements over a period. The warnings are intended to educate users and would furnish evidence capable of establishing guilt beyond reasonable doubt. It is the duty of the ISPs to carry out the entire exercise. In some states, the ISPs are obliged to maintain a record of errant subscribers and relevant information and the copyright holder can have access to these records on obtaining permission from authorities (either judicial or administrative. In other words, if a user shares or downloads infringing material, the ISP would serve a warning notice with clinching evidence. If the person continues or commits another infringement within a month, his bandwidth would be reduced or access would be limited and if he still continues or causes another infringement within a year from the first strike, his connection would be liable to taken out and would be listed among infringers which the right’s holder has access to.

      • Suing Blind and One Legged Pirates is Bad PR

        When in court it is the job of the defense lawyer to cast doubt on the credibility of the prosecution’s case. Finding and highlighting those details which show the defendant to be misleading or unreliable can be the make and break of a case. Unfortunately for ACS:Law’s Andrew Crossley, that is a knife that cuts both ways as yet again he is shown to have misled a reporter.

      • German Court: Links Can Infringe on Copyright

        Thus the real issue here seems to be that a site owner is worried about losing advertising revenue if people can skip over the home page. But the solution is simple: just put ads on the inner pages of the site, too. That way, you get the best of both worlds: directly-addressable content that also generates revenue. Is that so hard?

      • Irish Government Wants File-Sharing Compromise, or Legislation Will Follow

        Conor Lenihan, Minister of State with responsibility for Science, Technology and Innovation, has indicated he hasn’t given up on the chance of a negotiated settlement of the illicit file-sharing issue in Ireland. In an Intellectual Property debate, Lenihan praised the IRMA/Eircom agreement and said that while he hopes there can be more arrangements of this type, if they do not arrive, legislation will be the outcome.

      • Girl Talk Releases New Album Online — Free

        Girl Talk is going “one step further to getting the music to fans as quickly and easily as possible,” according to his rep. “While posting the album as a free download on the Illegal Art label’s site allows All Day to reach his fan-base quickly and with minimal cost, Gillis spent more time on this album than any previous release and considers it the most fully realized and evolved manifestation of the Girl Talk aesthetic.”

      • Behind The Scenes at Anonymous’ Operation Payback

        Operation Payback has been without a doubt the longest and most widespread attack on anti-piracy groups, lawyers and lobbyists. Despite the massive media coverage, little is known about the key players who coordinate the operation and DDoS attacks. A relatively small group of people, they are seemingly fuelled by anger, frustration and a strong desire to have their voices heard.

      • ACTA

        • U.S., Participants Finalize Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement Text

          Participants in the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) negotiations announced today that they have finalized the text of the Agreement, after resolving the few issues that remained outstanding after the final round of negotiations in Tokyo.

        • [October's and Today's ACTA text]
        • ACTA’s Constitutional Problem

          Today, the USTR announced finalization of the ACTA text. It explained that, following a final meeting on “legal verification of the drafting,” ACTA will “be ready to be submitted to the participants’ respective authorities to undertake relevant domestic processes.”[1]

          And that is where this story begins.

          In many of the countries negotiating the agreement, including the EU, the normal procedures for entering a treaty, including consent by the legislative branch, will be used.[2] But not in the US. The USTR has stated repeatedly that ACTA will enter into force in the US as an executive agreement that does not require any congressional role.[3] Thus, USTR argues, the agreement will be binding on the US once Ambassador Kirk, as the US negotiating representative, agrees to it. Congress will not receive the opportunity to review and amend the agreement before it goes into effect, as it would in any traditional international agreement binding on the US. If USTR succeeds in this bold plan, it will dramatically expand presidential power to make law without congressional consent. But this success seems highly dubious. There appears to be no serious constitutional theory that would support USTR’s claims. ACTA is clearly unconstitutional as applied to the US.

          In a “sole executive agreement,” the President binds the US to an international agreement unilaterally – with no formal ex ante or ex post authorization by Congress. This is the form of agreement that the USTR claims can bind the US to ACTA. But this claim is highly dubious because of the “strict legal limits [that] govern the kinds of agreements that presidents may enter into” without some form of Congressional consent.[1]

        • De Gucht welcomes draft anti-piracy pact

          Karel De Gucht, the EU’s trade commissioner, has welcomed a draft agreement on an international pact to fight counterfeiting and piracy.

          De Gucht said in a statement released today (15 November) that agreement on an Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) “paves the way towards a more efficient fight against counterfeiting worldwide”.

      • Digital Economy (UK)

        • FAST Can’t Believe UK Govt to Review Digital Economy Act

          Federation Against Software Theft calls it “staggering” that after “years of consultation, of debate and of Parliamentary time” the Act is being challenged by ISPs. Says ISPs are using the review as a “fig-leaf for their own agendas” and that it’s merely a “last ditch attempt…to ensure they are not hit financially.”

          Soon after it was announced that Justice Wyn Williams had granted a request by UK ISPs TalkTalk and BT for a judicial review of the controversial Digital Economy Act the Federation Against Software Theft chimed in to make its displeasure with the decision known.

        • BT and TalkTalk win judicial review of Digital Economy Act on all four grounds

          BT and TalkTalk have won the right to a judicial review of the Digital Economy Act on all four of the contested legal grounds, the high court ruled today.

          The verdict, delivered late on Friday afternoon, represents a 4-0 victory for two of the UK’s largest broadband providers, though the Act was already on its way to judicial review before Mr Justice Wyn Williams had made the judgment.

Clip of the Day

BMC on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6

Credit: TinyOgg

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