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06.11.11

Links 11/6/2011: Linux 2.6.x Left Behind, ZFS Left Aside

Posted in News Roundup at 11:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • 10 things you probably did not know about SELinux.. #6

    SELinux labels are placed on disk during the installation by a combination of Anaconda and rpm. Anaconda actually includes the latest /etc/selinux/targeted/files/file_context and /etc/selinux/targeted/policy/policy.26 in its initrd. When anaconda starts rpm, rpm reads this file and proceeds to place the labels on disk. RPM has SELinux awareness built into it and asks the kernel to place the default label on the disk for every object that it creates from its payload. If an rpm post install script runs during the install, the labels are created using the standard process labelling described below. Any file system objects created by Anaconda before loading the policy into the kernel will be relabelled by Anaconda using restorecon.

  • Kernel Space

    • Goodbye 2.6.x – A downloadable archive of all Linux 2.6.x kernel releases

      Linus Torvalds has announced Linux kernel 3.0-rc1, this marks the end of 2.6.x series line which has 40 releases since late 2003.

      To mark this event, Con Kolivas has made a tarball archive (163MB) of all 2.6.x releases available for download. The archive uses lrzip compression which can be installed from the standard Ubuntu apt-get repository.

    • KQ ZFS Linux Is No Longer Actively Being Worked On

      Remember KQ Infotech? KQ Infotech was the Indian company that ported the ZFS file-system to Linux as an out-of-tree kernel module (after deriving the code from the LLNL ZFS Linux work) and KQ’s interesting methods of engagement in our forums. The company was successful in delivering an open-source ZFS module for Linux that performed semi-well and didn’t depend upon FUSE (the file-systems for user-space module) like other implementations. However, this ZFS Linux code appears to no longer be worked on by KQ Infotech.

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Enlightenment, DR17 and EFLs

      Enlightenment – This is the original name of the project. Today when it is referenced it should refer to the project as a whole – not just one particular part.

      DR17 – Also often called E17. This refers to the next major revision of the Enlightenment desktop/window manager. It is under heavy development (and has been for some time). The current stable revision of the desktop is DR16.

      EFLs – Stands for “Enlightenment Foundation Libraries”. These are the core of the Enlightenment desktop, but not the desktop itself. In simplest terms the EFLs are to the Enlightenment desktop as GTK is to Gnome and QT is to KDE.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • 5 Useful Unity Lenses You Can Install Right Now!

            Ubuntu 11.04 Unity brought in many important UI improvements and Ubuntu Lens has been one of the highlights. Finding and launching applications and files in Ubuntu have never been easier. But Unity Lens concept is not confined to just applications and files search, it is much bigger than that. A slew of really cool Lenses are in development and some of them are even available for installation already. Interesting list of Unity Lenses you can install right now.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • The Decline and Fall of OpenOffice.org

      In other words, LibreOffice will be both months ahead of OpenOffice.org, and able to borrow OpenOffice.org code, and OpenOffice.org behind and unable to borrow LibreOffice code.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Emacs user at work
    • Richard Stallman Opts to Disobey Anti-Piracy Law

      In a recent interview the the Spanish newspaper El Pais, Richard Stallman says that the public should disobey Spain’s new anti-piracy law.

      “It is as unfair as Sarkozy and Berlusconi, and should be disobeyed by users,” Stallman says referring to The Sinde Act.

      “How many authors writing earn money to pay his expenses? A hundred, five hundred? Is that enough to restrict freedom of all? Collecting user’s private data should only be legal with a court order when there is suspicion that someone is preparing a crime. Non-commercial file-sharing should be legalized. It is a fundamental freedom.”

      Stallman further commented on his hair (“my long hair was a political decision”, and his baby (the Free Software Foundation), which he says accomplished more than most real kids.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Hackers for a good cause

      In Silicon Valley, where the latest tech innovations are celebrated, a group of hackers is creating new purposes for old technology.

      The nascent movement, Random Hacks of Kindness, has, like many smart things born in the region, quickly spread around the globe. The idea sprang from a community of hackers — unlike criminals who aim to disrupt governments or steal data, these engineers work on code for the good of humanity — who met for a weekend hackathon two years ago to work on various projects. The concept is to deploy existing technology in new ways that address various challenges facing the world, such as locating missing people during a natural disaster.

    • V8 is faster than GCC
    • Gold readiness obstacle #4: libtool (part 1)

Leftovers

  • Clouds Eventually Burst
  • WikiLeaks: Great power rivalry at the UN
  • Cablegate

  • Finance

    • The ‘Big Short’ and Goldman’s New Story

      One more thing I wanted to point about about Andrew Ross Sorkin’s story defending Goldman Sachs and Lloyd Blankfein the other day, in which it was posited that Goldman did not, in fact, have a “Big Short” in 2007. Sorkin says that according to Goldman, the firm’s net short position that summer may have been as low as $5 billion, and not $16 billion as claimed, therefore Lloyd Blankfein was not lying when he told the Senate, “We did not have a massive short bet.”

      Given that Sorkin was apparently given access to a large trove of documents allowing him to make the case that Goldman didn’t have that “Big Short” on, I thought it would be instructive for readers to see what kind of answers the Senate got when it asked Goldman executives the same questions about the size of the banks’ short bet. They gave Sorkin the whole store, but Levin’s committee basically got name, rank, serial number, and a big legalese “eat me.”

      See if you can notice some consistencies in the following statements.

  • Privacy

    • Regulator asked to stop Facebook face recognition
    • Facebook to Be Probed in EU for Facial Recognition in Photos

      Facebook Inc. will be probed by European Union data-protection regulators over a feature that uses face-recognition software to suggest people’s names to tag in pictures without their permission.

      A group of privacy watchdogs drawn from the EU’s 27 nations will study the measure for possible rule violations, said Gerard Lommel, a Luxembourg member of the so-called Article 29 Data Protection Working Party. Authorities in the U.K. and Ireland said they are also looking into the photo-tagging function on the world’s most popular social-networking service.

    • Are you up to the Tor challenge?

      You may remember that back in March at the LibrePlanet 2011 conference, we presented the 2010 Award for Projects of Social Benefit to the Tor Project — by using free software, Tor has enabled roughly 36 million people around the world to experience freedom of access and expression on the Internet while keeping them in control of their privacy and anonymity.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Judge Reconsiders Allowing US Copyright Group To Shake Down 23,322 People Over Potential Expendables Infringement

        We recently noted that a judge in one of the biggest mass copyright infringement lawsuits ever filed, representing 23,322 potential infringers of the movie The Expendables, had allowed the lawyers at US Copyright Group to issue subpoenas on those people in order to properly serve them with the lawsuit. However, it appears the judge is reconsidering — perhaps because lots of people have since raised the point that these efforts often appear more like a shakedown than any legitimate lawsuit, and the judge has taken notice. After saying that “several issues… have recently come to light regarding this case”, he goes on to berate US Copyright Group lawyers for failing to have served a single person out of the 23,322.

Clip of the Day

Police Abuse In Puerto Rico


Credit: TinyOgg

Links 11/6/2011:Peppermint OS Two is Out, Fedora 16 Features Revealed

Posted in News Roundup at 1:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • 10 principles the Linux community should revisit

    Anyone who has read my work over the last decade knows where I stand with Linux and open source. If you haven’t taken read my words, know that I am a huge advocate of Linux and open source software. I use it, I promote it, I mentor new users, I do everything I can to help the cause move forward.

    But no matter how much I believe in the cause, I know some of the ideals the Linux and open source community hold so tightly to need to be reevaluated. Why? The landscape of business and home computing has changed drastically since the beginnings of the GPL and the Linux operating system. Many of you might look at the following list and say, “Are you crazy?” But I would ask that it be examined merely as suggestions for where the foundations of open source software can improve and help the public at large fully embrace open source and Linux.

  • My Top-Ten Rejected Slogans for a 20th anniversary Linux T-shirt:
  • Cthulhu Lives in The Blog Cave

    Apropos Linux in Exile losing his Linux System to a Predatory Windows Install the other day (see Windows killed my laptop, again) I’ve been thinking about and beginning to do something about cleaning house.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Introducing BackTrack 5 ‘Revolution’

      BackTrack 5 is a good specialized distribution, a great tool worth keeping around. I personally find it very interesting and want to keep using it to learn more about the whole security side of things, which I find fascinating, but I believe experts will certainly get a kick out of this latest BackTrack release.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • First impressions of Mageia Linux

        Overall, our opinion is that this first release of Mageia does what the team set out to do. Namely to build a clean and attractive derivative of Mandriva. Now, if the developers will revisit their decision not to distribute proprietary video software drivers on the installation media for those users who need them, we’d say that Mageia seems to have bright future ahead of it.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Solving the Mystery of Red Hat

        So value Red Hat based on its execution, its products, and its ability to make its business model work.

      • Fedora

        • Other Features Coming Up For Fedora 16

          Yesterday we shared that Fedora 16 may use the Btrfs file-system by default on new installations. Beyond switching from EXT4 to Btrfs, there are also many other changes planned for this next release of the Red Hat sponsored Linux distribution.

          Development on Fedora 16 has only just begun with Fedora 15 having not been released for even a month yet. So far the officially accepted Fedora 16 features include:

          [...]

          …Linux 3.0/3.1 kernel, X.Org Server 1.11, Mesa 7.12-devel, GNOME 3.2, and KDE SC 4.7.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal), Reviewed In Depth

            Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) has arrived, and we have the scoop on everything you need to know about Canonical’s latest Linux, along with the usual review and benchmarks. Is this the change we’ve been waiting for, or is the Natty Narwhal a fail whale?

            [...]

            Unity as a solution is really close, but not close enough. It needs a little bit more time in the oven. But what Canonical accomplished in a short development window is pretty astounding. At the very worst, Unity is worth taking the time to explore.

          • Spice-Gtk-0.6 on Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric) after Libvirt & python-libvirt upgrade up to 0.9.1
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Why I love Bodhi Linux

              And unlike some Linux distros, Bodhi can easily be configured into anything you want it to be.

            • Kubuntu Natty Narwhal review – KDElicious!

              Version 11.04 Natty Narwhal is fast, smart, elegant, polished, with a very decent performance, blazing desktop effects, good stability, and only a tiny bunch of bugs and issues.

            • Linux Mint 11 review

              And Linux Mint 11 feels decided less stable than Linux Mint 10. If the trend holds, Linux Mint 12 will be a lot more stable than this release.

            • Peppermint OS Two

              Rating: 4.5/5

Free Software/Open Source

  • Hypervisor Fight Is Good for Customers, Good for FOSS

    There have been many changes in the market and technology since Citrix (Nasdaq: CTXS) acquired XenSource and a major stewardship stake in the Xen open source hypervisor four years ago.

    Red Hat’s (NYSE: RHT) 2008 Qumranet acquisition and subsequent push behind the Linux-integrated Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) hypervisor has added to the disruption. One thing, though, remains the same: the intense competition among these open source hypervisors in the enterprise market.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chrome 12, What’s new?

        1- Chrome will support hardware accelerated 3D CSS. What does that mean? That means you will be able to see some classic webpages that implement 3D effects. You will be able to have a better experience with web apps that implement 3D effects. This enhancement will also open a new era of browser-based gaming. Web developers will have libretti to create amazing 3D effects by placing images text and other content in 3D space.

    • Mozilla

  • SaaS

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Blue Shield of California’s Fake Benevolence

      While I’m happy for the policyholders who might get a few bucks back from their insurer, the timing of the Blue Shield campaign is, to me at least, a tad suspicious. A few things have been going on in
      California in recent weeks that undoubtedly have been keeping Bodaken up at night, making me think that this announcement just might be more PR than substance.

  • Security

    • Police nab 3 suspected leaders of hacker network in Spain

      Police said Friday they had arrested the top three suspected leaders in Spain of the international computer hacker network called Anonymous, which is suspected of numerous cyber-attacks on Sony’s PlayStation network and government and business websites.

  • Privacy

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Study Debunks Chamber of Commerce Claims on Canadian Patent Law

      Yesterday I posted on how the Canadian IP Council, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s IP lobby arm, floated false claims about the scope of counterfeiting in Canada in an attempt to bolster claims for increased border measures. The Chamber placed Canadian countefeiting costs at $30 billion per year, a figure that has no basis in fact and that even RCMP no longer supports.

      The Chamber’s false claims on counterfeiting are not the only intellectual property issue where their arguments have been debunked as inaccurate. My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) focuses on the proposed trade agreement between Canada and the European Union, which could have big implications for the costs of pharmaceutical drugs, on which Canadians spend $22 billion annually.

    • Copyrights

      • “A Gross Abuse of the Collective Administration of Copyright”

        Howard Knopf reports that the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) has filed an application to amend the Access Copyright interim tariff requiring it grant transactional or pay-per-use licences upon request. As I reported last month, Access Copyright has been denying requests by universities for transactional licences in an effort to pressure universities to force them to licence all digital materials for a far higher price. This results in a remarkable situation where universities attempt to pay to use works and Access Copyright says it won’t take their money (though it does offer pay-per-use for corporate customers).

Clip of the Day

Instalar flash para ver videos Ubuntu tutorial


Credit: TinyOgg

06.10.11

Links 10/6/2011: $35 Linux Tablet, Free Software Foundation Backs LibreOffice

Posted in News Roundup at 3:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux On The Road.

    This past week, I found myself on the road and away from my studio. It was just for the day, but I needed to get some work done on my comic features.

    Luckily, I’m running Linux on all my computer systems. I run it on my studio desktop, my notebook, and my large (and slightly older) 17-inch laptop.

    Now, here’s the neat thing. Because all three systems are hooked into the same Linux repository, I download and install identical software programs. (Note: I’m running the same Linux distribution on all computers.)

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Podcast Season 3 Episode 11

      In this episode: Mageia 1.0 has been released while ASUS promises three new netbooks running Linux. Meanwhile, back in California, Oracle tries to give OpenOffice.org to the Apache Foundation and you can hear some of our best discoveries, our worst challenge results, and your own opinions in our Open Ballot.

  • Kernel Space

    • What’s in a Number? Linux Hits the Big 3.0

      If “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” as the great Bard wrote all those many years ago, shouldn’t the same be true of our beloved Linux kernel?

      That, indeed, is the question of the day, thanks to Linux creator Linus Torvalds’ recent decision to christen the next version of the Linux kernel “3.0″ rather than “2.6.40,” which would otherwise have been the next step on its longtime 2.6 path.

      [...]

      “Numbering does not matter,” blogger Robert Pogson offered, but “3.0 is a fine number — it’s prime, odd and short.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • New Kontact Suite Brings Next-Gen Groupware to Desktop and Mobile

        KDE is proud to announce the release of KDE’s next generation Kontact Suite based on the Akonadi framework. In addition to these we are also proud to announce the June maintenance update of the KDE Software Compilation 4.6. The KDE PIM hackers are happy to have beaten Duke Nukem Forever, if by only a small margin.

      • KDE Commit-Digest for 5th June 2011
      • Exclusive Interview With KDE Developer

        Muktware: What is the statues of Qt post Nokia’s deal with Microsoft? What is the sentiment within the Qt/KDE community?

        Shantanu: I’d like to say that first of all, Nokia is still contributing heavily to Qt’s development. Secondly, Qt has been moving to a fully community driven development process under the Qt Open Governance initiative, so it has a very bright future, irrespective of whether there is official support from a company or not. About the second question, the KDE community is not affected much with what happened, we are working with the same enthusiasm to make KDE even more better each day.

        [...]

        Shantanu: Calligra has seen lot of improvements since the beginning of this year. Our base platform is improved, the community has grown stronger and bigger with lots of new contributors joining in, which by the way, includes a lot of Indians. Then, we have added two new applications – Flow which is a flowcharting application and Braindump, a notes taking application which uses the Open Document standard and Calligra’s core. With help of our contributors, Calligra has undergone usability tests, and we have improved our UI according to the test findings.

        And as far as LibreOffice is concerned, Calligra has a better foundation codebase and structure. Coupled with the flexibility Qt provides us, we are sure Calligra is not just an Office Suite, its also a framework for others to build related applications. A simple example would be the Calligra Active project which I will describe shortly. If it wasn’t for the flexible and modular Calligra code, it wouldn’t have been possible to get Calligra Active up and running in just couple of months.

      • KDE’s Kontact Suite Brings Next-Gen Groupware To Desktop, Mobile

        KDE Project has announced the release of the Kontact Suite, based on the Akonadi framework. The project has also announced the June maintenance update of the KDE Software Compilation 4.6. Unsurprisingly, the port of Kontact to Akonadi is finally being released the same day as Duke Nukem Forever, making it relatively timely.

        KDE’s Kontact Suite – a set of Personal Information Management applications – is receiving a major architectural boost. The team has invested years of development in its new infrastructure layer, Akonadi, and in porting Kontact to the new foundation while keeping the familiar user experience.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Presenting GNOME Contacts

        GNOME Contacts is a new feature that is planned for GNOME 3.2. It includes both a GNOME-wide contacts framework that can be used by different applications as well as a dedicated contacts application. I’ve been working hard on the design of the application part for a while now and thought it was about time I showed the work off.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • India’s $35 android tablet-PC all set to roll out

        Nearly six years after the idea of low cost laptop was conceived for Indian students, the much awaited $35 tablet-PC for Indian students is all set be launched this june ending. The first lot of 10,000 laptops would be delivered to IIT-Rajasthan. Once it is launced it will be the world’s chepest tablet in the world.The HRD Ministry officials confirmed each Indian state would be given 3,000 devices once the supply of 1,00,000 devices is made. The Central government would contribute about 50 per cent of the cost and a student would need to pay Rs. 1,000 for the device. The device is basically targetted at students for educational content. It is perhaps the cheapest innovation of all time. The government of India would contribute about 50 per cent of the cost and a student would need to pay Rs. 1,000 for the device.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Analogies for FLOSS

    I came across an analogy for Free versus non-FREE software on Italo Vignoli’s blog today. The blog is in Italian which Google translates passibly but the analogy is an image of people under an umbrella, a dependence on some supplier of non-free software, and a bowl, filled with people sharing.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Want Fast, Private Browsing? Look Into SRWare Iron

        SRWare Iron originated as a German project. You can get it for Windows, the Mac OS, or Linux. You can find out more about the browser and get it here (note that you have to close an annoying ad to see the page). This page takes you directly to download links.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • OpenOffice.org ⇢ Apache

      I don’t think much of this is really relevant. I’m not sure IBM care too much about who develops the code, and I don’t think an LGPL’d code base would fundamentally stop them from shipping a proprietary product if that is what they wanted to do (it makes it harder, of course). I actually think this is all about OpenDocument Format, which is a subject virtually no-one has raised.

      If you look at the OASIS TC, you can see it’s pretty obviously dominated by Oracle (was: Sun) and IBM. There are a few representatives of various other companies and open-source projects, but fundamentally this is a closed shop with a pay-to-play rule which means you have to pony up to join. The v1.2 spec – which has been used by OpenOffice.org since 2008 – has only just managed to crawl out as a committee specification, incredibly late. What this means for OpenDocument v1.2 documents as read/written by OpenOffice.org 3.0, who knows. But with Oracle fading into the sunset (sorry), large chunks like OpenFormula finally done, maybe v1.3 will actually show up on time.

    • The Document Foundation promises enterprise-ready Libreoffice 3.4 by August

      THE DOCUMENT FOUNDATION (TDF) has said the final bugs in Libreoffice 3.4 are being worked out, and the open source application suite should be ready for corporate use in two months.

      Version 3.4.1 of Libreoffice will come out next month, and will deal with the final bugs created, in part, by a reorganising of software modules. In August TDF would release version 3.4.2, which would be stable enough for widespread deployment in business, co-founder and steering committee member Italo Vignoli told The Inq.

      “LibreOffice is going to become a completely different product in time,” he said.

      “For example we’ve completely changed the way icons are handed from Openoffice. That had duplication of icons, not a single, central icon repository. Our developers completely changed this.”

    • [FSF] Statement on OpenOffice.org’s move to Apache

      When OpenOffice.org moves to a non-copyleft license, there’s a ready replacement for people who want a productivity suite that does more to protect their freedom: LibreOffice.

      Oracle, IBM, and the Apache Software Foundation jointly announced last week that OpenOffice.org would become an official Apache project. OpenOffice.org is an important piece of free software, and many of its supporters suggest that this change will give them more control over the project’s future direction. However, users and contributors should be aware that, as part of this transition, it will become easier for proprietary software developers to distribute OpenOffice.org as nonfree software.

    • Free Software Foundation favors LibreOffice over OpenOffice

      When Oracle, IBM, and the Apache Software Foundation jointly announced last week that OpenOffice.org would become an official Apache project, some open-source developers were not happy. The Document Foundation’s LibreOffice programmers were really not pleased. Now, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) is coming out against the deal.

      In a statement that will be released later today, June 10th, 2011, the FSF states that the “OpenOffice.org is an important piece of free software, and many of its supporters suggest that this change will give them more control over the project’s future direction. However, users and contributors should be aware that, as part of this transition, it will become easier for proprietary software developers to distribute OpenOffice.org as non-free software.”

  • CMS

  • Programming

    • Eclipse Foundation Survey: Android, the Cloud and Mobile Rule the Roost

      Android is the most popular platform (85.3 percent)… Finally, the Eclipse Foundation noted in this year’s survey that it is the first survey ever that shows an increase in Windows usage among respondents and a decrease in Linux usage. Linux users dropped from 32.7 percent a year ago to 28 percent this year. That’s an incremental reduction, but notable since many of the Eclipse respondents come from the open source community.

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Finance

    • Wall Street Probe Illustrates Clout of Levin’s Senate Investigative Panel

      When U.S. Senator Carl Levin declared that Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) “clearly misled their clients and misled the Congress,” few analysts predicted his allegations would still be reverberating two months later.

      The firm’s shares have fallen 16 percent in New York trading since April 13, when Levin’s investigative panel released an exhaustive report on the roots of the 2008 economic meltdown. The Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission are examining the findings. The Manhattan District Attorney last week joined in with a subpoena to Goldman Sachs.

    • Goldman Tries, Fails to Sell Soul With Libya Deal

      It was hard not to be amused to see this story by CNBC’s John Carney the other day with the following provocative headline: “Goldman Dodges a Bullet.”

      In the story an unnamed Goldman banker told Carney that there was a widespread feeling of relief within the walls of the bank after news broke that Goldman a few years ago offered to sell Moammar Qaddafi a $3.7 billion equity stake in their company. The relief, it seems, stemmed from the fact that the deal was never struck – and therefore Goldman doesn’t have to answer charges now of having funded repression in the Middle East. From the Carney piece:

    • Goldman Closes the Door on Subprime

      When Goldman Sachs (GS) bought Litton Loan Servicing, a firm that collects mortgage payments from homeowners, in 2007 for an unannounced price, it seemed like a simple way to get an on-the-ground view of the subprime market. The insight would help Goldman Sachs figure out how much to pay for loans, and Litton would work with borrowers to get them back on track. Other sophisticated investors, including billionaire Wilbur L. Ross and private equity firm Centerbridge Capital Partners, bought mortgage servicers with a similar strategy in mind.

      It didn’t work out as planned. While there were plenty of distressed mortgages and lots of eager buyers, the loan holders had little incentive to mark down prices because that would mean taking a big loss on their books. “The distressed-asset market never got as hot as people were hoping it would,” says Dean H. DeMeritte, an executive vice-president at Phoenix Capital, a Denver brokerage for mortgage servicing contracts.

Reader’s Picks

Clip of the Day

Mandriva Application Manager – New look & feel


Credit: TinyOgg

Links 10/6/2011: Btrfs for Fedora 16 by Default, Kernel 3.0 Previews

Posted in News Roundup at 5:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Say Goodbye to Google Search Portals for Linux, Mac and More
  • Javascript PC emulator runs Linux
  • Desktop

    • Life with the Lenovo S10-3s

      Mageia 1: This is the other distribution which installs and runs with no problems right out of the box. I obviously haven’t had much time to really work with it yet, but at least the WiFi and ClickPad both work properly right off. If this distribution weren’t so new, and I had just a little more experience with it, I would probably rate it above openSuSE on this system.

  • Server

    • On Virtualization and The Cloud: The Most Ridiculous Article I’ve Read in a Very Long Time

      Having said that, they get the award for most ridiculous, the silliest, the most off base and seriously flawed article I’ve read in a very long time. In a piece published this morning called Don’t Throw Away Your Physical Servers Just Yet, the author, Ken Hess, wrote a piece that ridicules and derides anyone who doesn’t virtualize literally all, as in every last one, of their servers.

    • Percentage Of Websites Using Microsoft IIS Down To Pre-1998 Level – But Does It Reflect The Reality?

      The percentage of websites using Microsoft IIS has decreased to such an extent that it is now at the level that it was before 1998. Within a one month period between May 2011 and June 2011, Microsoft IIS lost as many as 1.4 million host names while Apache gained 21 million host names.

      With the market share of Microsoft IIS down to around 16% only, Apache with a market share of around 65% is the only major web server software left. Other software like nginx also saw a decrease in the market share in the May-June 2011 period – but not as much as that of Microsoft IIS.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux kernel to fully support Xen: Too little too late?

      Almost eight years since its first release, Xen has finally been accepted into the Linux kernel. But it may be too little, too late.

    • Understatement of the Year by Linus Torvalds

      Here many commentators tell me that thin clients will never fly and that desktop PCs must have that other OS but refuse to believe that my GNU/Linux terminal servers and thin clients are much less expensive and have better performance than thick clients with that other OS. In an interview, Linus Torvalds said, “A lot of people end up spending a lot of time waiting for that traditional rotational media”

    • Kernel Log: Coming in 3.0 (Part 1) – Networking

      A Just-in-Time compiler promises to provide fast network packet filtering. The Wi-Fi stack now supports the Wake-on-Wireless-LAN standard, and unprivileged users are allowed to “ping”. New and improved drivers enhance the kernel’s support of network components by Ralink and Realtek.

    • Linux Foundation’s t-shirt competition

      Normally, I look at serious subjects, but what the heck, Linux is turning 20 this year–although as its creator Linus Torvalds is the first to say deciding exactly when Linux turns 20 is a matter of debate–so why not tell you about the Linux Foundation’s “20th anniversary of Linux” t-shirt contest.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Keynote Interview: Thomas Thwaite

      Thomas Thwaite, designer and technologist, will be a featured keynote speaker at this summer’s Desktop Summit 2011 in Berlin.

      Thomas is perhaps best known through his Toaster Project. The Toaster Project was an attempt to build a toaster from raw, self-mined materials. The project exposed the complexity of seemingly simple and everyday technology. It leaves us to wonder how technology will change our lives in the future, and shows how we all need others to get even simple products.

      William Carlson contacted Thomas to ask him about his projects, his views on technology and what makes him tick.

    • The Grand Review of three new desktops, pt. 1: topyli stumbles upon KDE after a decade of GNOME

      In a very short while, I have had the opportunity to try three new desktops. KDE 4 (not new but completely unknown to me previously), Unity on Ubuntu Natty (not a new desktop, but a novel shell nevertheless), and GNOME 3. In the coming few days, I shall describe my experiences in a big review of each, in three parts.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • WebWorld 2011: Building the Next KDE Web

        Randa was not the only place to welcome KDE contributors at the start of June. In an altogether warmer part of the world, nine contributors with an interest in KDE’s websites gathered outside Essen in Germany at the world famous Linux Hotel (page in German).

        Attendees included members of KDE’s design, web, promotion, UserBase and sysadmin teams, bringing a healthy mix of creativity and pragmatism. We looked at technical, design and promotion issues facing the kde.org website and the UserBase (and, to a lesser extent, the other KDE wikis).

      • The Future of KDE Multimedia

        In Randa I became Lord President of KDE Multimedia with the primary agenda item of unifying what belongs together: the people behind our great multimedia applications.

      • frameworks and applications

        The words we use matter, as they often shape not only how one does think about things but also how one can think about the subject. This is because the words we use can lead to excluding some valid options and including invalid ones.

        In past releases of the KDE software compilation, right back to when we called it all just “KDE”, whenever library development needed to enter a major release cycle (e.g. 2.0, 3.0, 4.0), everything entered that “big change” phase. This included the applications, the desktop, etc. This worked pretty well when the number of applications were low and the overlap between “people who work on kdelibs” and “people who work on applications” was very high. It ceased working so well by the time we started working KDE Platform 4, however.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Developing a software giant on the ideals of open-source
      • Fedora

        • Fedora 16 To Use Btrfs By Default

          When it comes to adopting the newest technologies, Fedora is always at the front among the major Linux distributions. Well, Fedora might very well do it again by adopting a new file system for its next release.

          According to proposals for Fedora 16, Btrfs will be the default filesystem used in that release. The proposal has been approved by the Fedora Engineering Steering Committee. In Fedora 16, the switch from EXT4 to Btrfs will be a “simple switch” – it means that major Btrfs features such as RAID and LVM capabilities will not be forced onto users.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Two Genivi automotive IVI platforms debut

      Two in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) reference platforms based on the Genivi Alliance’s Linux-based automotive middleware standard have been announced in conjunction with this week’s Telematics Detroit 2011 show. MontaVista and Rightware Oy are collaborating on a platform that integrates Rightware’s Kanzi UI Solution with MontaVista Linux, and Renesas Electronics is readying an ARM-Cortex-based “R-Car” platform incorporating CSR’s SiRFstarIV-based GPS technology.

    • LinuxLink support offered for HD-ready Cortex-A8 SoC
    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • ViewSonic toys with the Idea of MeeGo Tablets

        The newest addition to tablet companies that have possibly got MeeGo as part of their future options are ViewSonic. At Computex the hardware makers product marketing manager Derek Wright told The Inquirer that an 8in or 9in model is “not out of the question”. More and more companies seem to be going in the direction of choice and as an expansion of choice MeeGo seems to fit the bill.

      • HP Tablet TouchPad Will Be Available In July

        HP has announced that the Wi-Fi version of HP TouchPad will be available in the United States on July 1. HP is using Linux-based WebOS to power these tablet.

        TouchPad will be available in the United Kingdom, Ireland, France and Germany a few days later and in Canada in mid-July, with availability scheduled to follow later this year in Italy and Spain, as well as in Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Singapore.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Waugh partners call it quits after nine years

    Australian open source industry identities Pia and Jeff Waugh have separated after nine years together, the last six in wedlock.

    In a coordinated blog posting, the Waughs said the decision was “mutual and amicable… and we wanted everyone to know that we’re both okay”.

    Pia (nee Smith) Waugh wrote on her blog: “Though we still care for each other and will remain good friends, unfortunately we have grown significantly apart and out of love.”

  • An Open Source Solution for Master Data Management
  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • ShouldMozilla Pitch This Firefox Full Screen Browser?

        Let’s face it. Whether we like it or not, there is a lot of buzz surrounding a minimalistic browser interface that aims to maximize contents pace. The result is what we commonly would describe as a “full screen browser”. Mozilla Labs posted a prototype, but we wonder whether such a browser actually makes sense.

      • Mozilla disables Firefox 5 WebGL’s cross domain textures – update 2

        Mozilla is disabling cross domain textures in Firefox 5′s WebGL implementation after a researcher demonstrated an ability to abuse the capability. A report released in May by Context Information Security on WebGL security included a proof of concept which used cross domain textures as to reconstruct a displayed image without directly accessing the image. The Khronos Group, home to the WebGL standard, responded to the issue saying that it was considering requiring opt-in to Cross Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) or some other mechanism to prevent possible abuse.

  • SaaS

    • Avoiding a Cloud Computing Armageddon

      Nor did the hosting of data end there. After Congress resolved the copyright ownership of “orphan” works of authorship in 2012, the digitization of the world’s books was completed. Even the largest libraries began pulping all but volumes of the greatest historical significance. Budgets previously spent on bricks, mortar, shelving and physical books were now spent on acquiring access rights and the means to deliver millions of remote, digitized works to the eReaders of library patrons everywhere.

      With the costs and benefits of central hosting of information so compelling, local storage of information had become as rare as an AOL dial up account. Experts estimated that c. 85% of all of the world’s important data and software was now hosted in twenty-three gigantic data farms that collectively consumed a spectacular 9% of the global output of electricity. Together, this new system of instant, global, open access was widely and justifiably acknowledged to be one of the great achievements of the modern world.

    • Mind in the clouds

      Some of the thoughts above might be accurate. However, there are users who still have something that is very human: preferences. Yes, for the better or worse, they like their desktops to look one way or another; they cling to an office suite (more because of tradition than because of usability) and they do not trust services that charge you to buy a music file from them (especially if the seller keeps the file!). Call them recalcitrant if you may, but they prefer to stick to Yahoo Mail Classic regardless of how much longer it takes for them to attach a document to an email message.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • A plea to save OpenOffice.org from Apache

      Former Microsoft developer-turned-free-software-advocate Keith Curtis has outlined his thoughts on why it would be a bad idea to make OpenOffice.org an incubator project stewarded by the Apache Software Foundation.

      The missive, drafted to the Apache Incubator mailing list and sent as an open letter to the community at large, details a myriad of reasons why Curtis does not think Oracle’s proposal to donate the code to Apache should happen.

      Curtis sees the question of failure for an Apache OpenOffice.org incubator as not just simple failure, but one that will potentially damage the entire Open Document Format ecosystem.

    • New Objections to the Apache/OpenOffice Lash-Up Arrive
    • Oracle v. Google – Before We Talk About Damages

      At least one so-called patent expert has been quoted extensively in the past few days asserting that the damages that could be assessed against Google could be astronomical and will wipe out Android. That strikes this writer as getting the cart before the horse. First, the Oracle patents will have to be found valid, either by the court or in reexamination. To the extent the claims contained within those patents are modified and/or narrowed, the basis for the alleged infringement by Google may not survive. As I have noted in earlier articles, more than 50% of patents that are subjected to reexamination end up with their claims being denied or narrowed. So there is a strong likelihood that, at least in reexamination, the Oracle patents may not end up being what they appear to be today.

  • CMS

    • PaaS based on Drupal, Ruby on Rails announced

      Red Hat isn’t the only open source provider pursuing the Platform-as-a-Service market for developers.

      This week, Acquia and Engine Yard announced they have joined forces to create a cloud service for Drupal and Ruby on Rails. The new fully managed PaaS will incorporate Acquia’s open source web content management system based on Drupal and Engine Yard’s Ruby on Rails development platform for the cloud.

  • Education

    • An Open-Source Web-Enabled Revolution in Education

      Thanks to the financialization of the higher-education “industry,” a traditional college education has become a gigantic financial liability as its value in the “end of work” era diminishes. Even as we recognize the value of a long, arduous, costly education to train doctors, dentists, nurses, engineers and research scientists, we have to ask: what about the rest of the workforce and citizenry who make up the vast majority of the working populace? Is traditional college really working for them?

      As noted yesterday in The “End of Work” and the Coming Revolution in Education (June 7, 2011), a university degree has become a “necessary credential” for jobs within heirarchical bureaucracies such as the State (government) and Corporate America.

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Zarafa announces new Community Hub and certification program

        The open source groupware vendor has also introduced a new certification program for integrations. With the program, projects can register and apply to become Zarafa Ready or Zarafa Certified, provided that they meet certain criteria. Some certified projects can also gain official (end user) support by Zarafa.

  • Funding

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Mentor goes open-source with GNU and Eclipse IDE

      Sourcery CodeBench does just that by offering an IDE based on Eclipse, the Eclipse C/C++ development tools and compilers, and GNU tool chain, including an assembler, linker, runtime libraries, and source-level and assembly-level debuggers.

  • Project Releases

    • Samba 3.6 release soon, Samba 4 pushed to late 2011, 2012

      The final version Samba 4.0 won’t be delivered until late 2011, or 2012, yet a major update is expected soon.

      In a recent email to this blogger, Jeremy Allison, a lead developer on the project who works in Google’s open source programs office, said he is unsure of the exact date of 4.0’s release. But 3.6 is right around the corner, he notes.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Scientists develop open-source genome analyzer

      There are about a dozen genome browsers that are currently available. GenPlay has a major advantage over the others, says Dr. Bouhassira, because it “emphasizes letting biologists take control of their own data by providing continuous visual feedback together with extremely rapid browsing at every decision point during an analysis.”

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Stylesheets reloaded: W3C releases CSS 2.1 after 13 years

      W3C, the standards body for the web, has published the Cascading Style Sheet Specification 2.1 (CSS 2.1) as a Recommendation, making it an official standard. CSS 2.1 is a language that adds style to web content. It supersedes CSS 2, which was released 13 years ago, and collects all previously published errata of CSS 2 into one document. Most web users won’t experience any difference while visiting pages that use CSS 2.1 stylesheets as most recent browsers already implement most of the definitions.

Leftovers

  • World IPv6 day started glitch-free, but most web surfers won’t notice

    After months of preparation and anticipation, World IPv6 Day kicked off fairly quietly. More than 200 organizations around the world turned on IPv6 at 12 a.m. UTC on June 8 for the world’s first mass test of the second-generation networking standard.

  • Where is Linux on IPv6 Day?
  • Testing Ipv6 today

    IPv6 will assure the growth of the future internet and give rise to a whole generation of new smart services. Moving from IPv4 to IPv6 is therefore essential to let the internet evolve and create new apps and services. It will offer many advantages including larger address, space, support for new mobile and wireless services and built-in security.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Tobacco Companies Adjusting Strategies to Remain Prominent Political Players

      Health advocacy groups have toiled during the last decade to force the tobacco industry to quit politics. And they’ve gotten close — close, but no cigar.

      After weathering legal wranglings and widespread health concerns, tobacco companies have attempted to transform their image in the eyes of Americans. Once seen as corporate giants who could use their money for political favors, the biggest tobacco companies now often approach politics more discreetly.

    • Commission says Roundup causes birth defects

      A study published yesterday by the science cooperative Earth Open Source says that the EU is ignoring evidence of the dangers of glyphosate (Roundup) herbicide, and that it should not be approved for European use. Roundup, originally developed by Monsanto, has been used in the US since the 1970s, and its US patent has expired.

  • Security

    • RSA admits SecurID tokens have been compromised
    • Banks risk hack attack after global security breach

      ANZ and government departments that are using compromised security tokens will replace them but Westpac and CBA are taking a risk that the global hacking incident won’t affect them.

      ANZ Bank said it would replace 50,000 secure identification tokens used by customers and staff following an overseas hacking incident at RSA, the company that provides the technology. The action by ANZ was initiated yesterday.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • You can be arrested for secret reasons — in America

      Cop: You’re under arrest!

      Victim: What for?

      Cop: Its a secret. I can’t tell you.

      This is America?

      That is the Patriot Act, parts of which were about to expire but were just renewed for 4 years with almost no debate.

  • Finance

    • Senators seek crackdown on “Bitcoin” currency

      Two senators are pressing federal authorities to crack down on an online black market and “untraceable” digital currency known as Bitcoins after reports that they are used to buy illegal drugs anonymously.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Koch-backed group’s fake eviction notices rile up Detroit

      Residents in a Detroit neighborhood received a scare this week when they found what appeared to be eviction notices on their doors. The flyers, however, turned out to be political pamphlets in opposition to the construction of a controversial new bridge.

      The fake eviction notices were posted by a local chapter of Americans for Prosperity, the conservative political advocacy group backed by Charles and David Koch, the billionaire brothers who run Koch Industries and are longtime libertarians. Local political leaders and columnists are condemning the group for scaring residents — whose homes sit in the epicenter of the nation’s foreclosure crisis — while refusing to disclose which of its corporate backers are funding the flyers.

    • With Affordable Housing Under Attack, Wisconsinites Fight Back

      Protesters formed a picket line on Thursday morning in front of University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Fluno Center for Executive Education chanting, “Housing for the needy, not profits for the greedy!”

      About 100 people gathered with signs and noisemakers to protest the Wisconsin Real Estate and Economic Outlook conference, headlined by Gov. Scott Walker and Rep. Paul Ryan. The event was sponsored by several groups, including the Wisconsin Realtors Association (WRA). Walker received not only an endorsement from the WRA, but also more than $150,000 in WRA-related campaign contributions in the 2010 election cycle, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

    • R.I.P., Fairness Doctrine

      On June 8, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chair Julius Genachowski agreed to wipe the Fairness Doctrine completely off the agency’s books, even though the rule has been officially dead since 1987. House Republicans have long pushed to get the Doctrine off the rule books for good, and they’ve finally gotten their way.

      From the time it was put in place in 1949 until its demise in 1987, the Fairness Doctrine required holders of broadcast licenses to provide the public with news and public affairs programming, and present opposing viewpoints on controversial issues. Back then, the airwaves were dominated by the “big three” networks ABC, CBS and NBC — which broadcast over publicly-owned airwaves under licenses issued by the government. The idea behind the Fairness Doctrine was to keep broadcasters from monopolizing the airwaves with a biased viewpoint, and assure that those entrusted with the public airwaves broadcast a diversity of viewpoints on important issues.

  • DRM

    • Richard Stallman: Break free of e-book ‘chains’

      Richard Stallman, who bridles to see the idealistic purity of his free-software philosophy debased into the more pragmatic open-source movement, can be a prickly character. But I find myself agreeing with some of his concerns about e-books.

      In a piece titled “The Danger of E-books” (PDF), Stallman bemoans the e-book’s loss of freedoms that most of us take for granted with physical books and places the blame on corporate powers.

      “Technologies that could have empowered us are used to chain us instead,” he said. “We must reject e-books until they respect our freedom…E-books need not attack our freedom, but they will if companies

    • Future Apple iPhone May Not Let You Record and Shoot

      Apple has patented a technology which it can use in association with music labels and studios to put more chains around its users.

      According to PatentlyApple, the iPhone maker has patented a technology which uses infrared emitter to register if you are at a concert or watching a movie and it will disable the camera function so you can’t record it.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Slave Labor and Intellectual Property

      Finally, it is curious that the first thing that occurs to people on first hearing the anti-IP case is plagiarism: “You mean it would be okay for someone to take an author’s work, put his own name on it, and sell it?”

      Two issues are conflated here. One can plagiarize without violating a copyright, and one can violate a copyright without plagiarizing. Under copyright law you may use brief verbatim excerpts of another’s written work without permission as long as you use quotation marks and attribute the text to the author. It’s called “fair use.” (Question for copyright fans: Isn’t even fair use a violation of an author’s rights?) If you were to use an excerpt that otherwise would qualify under the fair-use principle but without attribution, you would be guilty of plagiarism but not copyright violation. The same would be true if you quote Shakespeare without attribution. (Shakespeare wrote without benefit of copyright.)

      On the other hand, if you publish Atlas Shrugged with Ayn Rand’s name on it, you would be guilty of copyright violation but not plagiarism.

      For the sake of clear thinking, let’s keep these issues separate.

      Well, is plagiarism okay? No, it’s not! Obviously it is dishonest and dishonorable to represent someone else’s work as one’s own. But note, according to LegalZoom, “plagiarism is not a criminal or civil offense.” Nor should it be. It’s a breach of good conduct, and there is a plentitude of nonviolent, non-State ways to deal with it, especially in the Internet age.

    • Trademarks

      • Trademark Squatters 0001 – OutbackZack – Part 2

        My publication was not a defamation of character. Under Canadian Law, you cannot defame someone’s character by telling the truth. So I if were to say that Mat Swyers was a rotten American Rebel, there is no defamation. Technically all Americans are rebels, and ought to be hung, for rebelling against their legal King, George III, back in 1776. It might make Mat less than happy, but I don’t care about him.

        He claims that the name was thoroughly researched, and was not found to be used anywhere in 2004. Note that I used the word ‘claims’, because he has provided no proof, quite possibly because he has none.

    • Copyrights

      • Canadian Chamber of Commerce Floats Fake $30 Billion Counterfeiting Claim

        This week the Canadian IP Council, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s IP lobby arm, issued a release placing Canadian counterfeiting costs at $30 billion per year. That figure is being used to lobby the government to enact new border measure provisions that could lead to the searching of luggage as travellers enter Canada. It is tempting to dismiss the claims on the basis that the policy rationale makes no sense – if counterfeit toothpaste is indeed “coming across the border in droves” as the Chamber claims, searching traveller luggage won’t address that issue. Moreover, it should be noted that even the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement features an exception for de minimis imports that an individual might carry as it recognizes that addressing counterfeiting concerns does not involve targeting individuals. Yet given the decision to resurrect the bogus $30 billion figure, it is important to again call attention to its origins and how it is simply a fabrication.

      • BT and Talk Talk appeal of judicial review decision

        In March the two ISPs contended that the DEA fell foul of several provisions of EU law – namely the Technical Standards Directive, Authorisation Directive, E-Commerce Directive and the Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive – and was a disproportionate response to the problem of online copyright infringement.

        Handing down his judgment in April, Justice Kenneth Parker dismissed the appeal on all grounds with the exception of cost-sharing, ruling that ISPs should not have to pay a portion of the costs incurred by Ofcom in implementing the new regime. You can read our round up of the hearing here.

        The ISPs now wish to take the matter to the Court of Appeal, seeking further clarity with regard to the Act’s compliance with EU law. BT stated that “the High Court’s conclusions on many of the other important and complex issues put before it were not robust enough to provide the certainty and clarity which the companies sought”.

Clip of the Day

Krita : Drawing Comics DVD trailer


Credit: TinyOgg

06.09.11

Links 9/6/2011: Millennius Sells GNU/Linux PCs, Snapshots in EXT4

Posted in News Roundup at 3:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Google discontinues specialised Linux and BSD search pages

    Google has discontinued its specialised Linux and BSD search pages. The services at google.com/linux and google.com/bsd offered search which was limited to a specific topic by searching only relevant web sites, message boards, blogs and other hand-selected sources of information. Users are instead now redirected to google.com/webhp, a standard search page.

  • Fight “lawful access” with Liberté Linux.

    While Canada’s Internet experience is, at present, nothing like the filtered and monitored mess you’d get in say, China, there are some troubling signs ahead. Chief among them is the looming spectre of “lawful access” — explained here by Dr. Michael Geist and the subject of this recent episode of Jesse Brown‘s Search Engine podcast.

    Fortunately, if you’re a Linux user like me there’s no shortage of options to protect your anonymity on the ‘net — hell, there’s an entire distribution dedicated to keeping your online affairs private.

  • Photos: Inside Murdoch’s $5m Linux supercomputer

    Supercomputing group iVEC has invited its first applications from researchers seeking access to its $5 million Linux cluster at Murdoch University.

    The so-called Epic@Murdoch was officially launched by Innovation Minister Kim Carr and State Science and Innovation Minister John Day yesterday, after some five months’ use by ‘early adopters’.

  • Desktop

    • Millennius Goes Old School With PC Towers Running Ubuntu

      Unless you build your own PC (or get one made from your local PC store), or you want a high-end gaming machine, it’s pretty uncommon to find PC towers on the market. But online retailer Millennius has bucked that trend, launch five new tower PCs, all of them running Ubuntu.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME, KDE and Unity: Virtual Desktops

      Together, GNOME 3, KDE, and Unity probably account for at least two-thirds of Linux desktops. However, each of the three offers a desktop experience that differs strongly from the other two, and nowhere is that difference stronger than in the use of virtual desktops. In fact, few other features show so clearly the design philosophies behind the three desktops.

      Virtual desktops go by a variety of names. Unity and the GNOME 2 series of releases call them workspaces, while GNOME 3 calls them activities. KDE offers activities, each of which can be divided into separate virtual desktops. However, all the names refer to the same basic concept: additional spaces that you can use to reduce the clutter on your screen and organize your open windows.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Discovering a New World

        This weekend a group of KDE hackers met in a small mountain village, Randa, in Switzerland to discuss the future of the KDE Frameworks. I was not present, but started on Saturday an endevour for the future of the KDE Plasma Workspaces. Yesterday evening I arrived in the new world:

      • digiKam Software Collection 2.0.0 beta6 is out…

        digiKam team is proud to announce the 6th digiKam Software Collection 2.0.0 beta release!

        With this release, digiKam include a lots of bugs fixes to progress in stability for future production use.

        digiKam include since 2.0.0-beta5 a new tool to export on RajCe web service.

      • New GStreamer backend for Phonon

        Along with the availability of QtGStreamer this should improve KDE and GStreamer interaction a lot. Nice stuff!

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Pomodoro Extension Toggle Timer For Gnome Shell ” Take A Break “

        Gnome Shell Extension notify you for how long you been setting since you activate the toggle timer extensions so you can take a break of whatever you are doing or start working on other stuff.

        By Default Pomodoro extensions change number of cycle every 25 minutes and the cycle start counting by one.

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia Linux 1 (KDE) – First Look and Background Information

        After spending a little time with it, I have to say it’s a very nice first effort from the Mageia team, and I look forward to spending some more time with it. Lots of very up-to-date software, lots of desktop environments available, and, of course, the drakeconf tools.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • The Fruits of DEX Begin to Emerge

        A few months ago DEX was introduced to work with the Debian Front Desk to aid Linux developers in contributing back upstream to Debian. The Front Desk provides resources such as documentation, contacts, and a discussion forum in this goal, but DEX goes a step further by organizing developers from Debian and Debian derivatives to monitor and merge changes into the Debian development tree. They hoped this would make the contributing back process easier for those derivatives to better the Debian codebase.

        Today we got our first update on their progress. Matt Zimmerman, Ubuntu and Debian developer (among many other things), has blogged that their first goal has been reached.

      • Debian Project News – June 8th, 2011
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Making the Evolutionary Leap from Meerkat to Narwhal

            ’m very happy with Ubuntu as a desktop operating system. I’ve used it for years with no significant issues. In fact, Ubuntu excels where other disributions fail. Even Linux arch rival Windows, is often left in the last century compared to the innovations perpetrated by the Canonical group. But what about Natty Narwhal? Is the hype worth the effort? I’d have to say, “Yes.” Although, I’m not 100 percent sold on Unity, I’m impressed with its boot speed, shutdown speed, and snappy performance. Oh, and there’s that little matter of The Launcher.

          • Loyal opposition: What it means

            “Ubuntu has many good points, not the least of which are kick-starting serious effort in making a really good desktop Linux, making inroads into the commercial computer market, genuinely welcoming new contributors, and inspiring hosts of respins and derivatives. Think back to the pre-Ubuntu days– Debian releases were stretching out ever longer (over three years!), Mandriva is perennially in crisis, Red Hat is uninterested in the consumer market….hmmm, methinks I spy an article in this subject.” (emphasis added)

            So I’ll take a bow for contributing to the inspiration behind Carla writing this article, which is outstanding. Its outstanding nature outshines the fact that there are a couple of minuscule glitches in the article itself — one is that while Red Hat may not care about the desktop market, it established Fedora Core and the Fedora Project at the same time it “went enterprise” (not terribly clear in the article), and Fedora started roughly a year before Ubuntu came along. Also, for all the great things it rightfully says about Ubuntu — let me repeat that, for all the great things it rightfully says about Ubuntu — it still doesn’t address the community’s lack of technical contributions back to the greater FOSS community, for starters.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Small tablet improvements

        If you’re interested in testing out this on a WeTab, you’ll need the accelerometer driver in the kernel, udev git (or udev 172 when it’s released) and gnome-settings-daemon master.

Free Software/Open Source

  • How Open Source Projects Can Prepare Students for Better Careers

    Paula Hunter is the executive director of the Outercurve Foundation. With over two decades of open source experience, she has served in leadership roles at organizations such as Open Source Development Labs and United Linux. Follow her on Twitter @huntermkt.

    Free and open source software (FOSS) is at the root of the most innovative products, technologies and services of our time. The Social Network may have taken some Hollywood liberties, but there’s still a big story to tell about today’s colleges as the hotbeds of innovation, much of it driven by FOSS.

  • Open Source for Vertical Apps: Is Wall Street Ready?

    Think of the kind of financial services firms that populate Wall Street and the City of London. The sort of collaborative ethos that surrounds open source does not immediately come to mind. Rather we see images of cut throat competition and a boundless desire to create a competitive edge, any way, any how.

  • On the value of contributing opinions

    I recently read a mail on the KDE core-devel mailinglist by Eike Hein. It was quite a good description of the value of opinions and ideas for a FOSS project – something I’ve been thinking about quite a bit lately.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • OpenOffice + Apache = Open Content Innovation

      I will let other people debate Oracle’s motivations, Apache vs. The Document Foundation (TDF), etc. but here are a few interesting facts: OpenOffice is one of the most successful and vast open source projects in the world (1.2 million downloads a week and 135 million known distributions). OpenOffice.org gets 10x the number of unique visitors as the Apache.org homepage itself, according to Compete. By measures of downloads and web traffic, OpenOffice is as relevant as ever.

    • Like a box of chocolates

      There’s the OpenOffice.org handoff — or as some would put it, the OO.o drop kick — to the Apache Foundation by Oracle. This comes as no surprise. If Oracle were a good FOSS citizen, they’d have given it to the Document Foundation and LibreOffice would be its rightful heir. But this is Oracle we’re talking about, right? With Oracle finally washing their hands of OO.o, it remains to be seen what becomes of it. But since the barn door has been open for quite some time and the LibreOffice horse is at home out in the pasture, I am not sure if keeping OO.o around would be worth it.

  • BSD

    • FreeNAS 8 review

      FreeNAS is a popular FreeBSD-based operating system for network-attached storage (NAS). Thanks to the easy-to-use web interface, you don’t have to know anything about the FreeBSD base under the hood to share your files…

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Richard Stallman Takes Aim At eBooks

      Enthusiasm for eBooks seems to know no bounds these days, with Amazon even noting that its eBook sales are outpacing sales of hardback and paperback books. Free software pundit Richard Stallman isn’t having any of the trend, though. In an article titled “The Dangers of eBooks,” highlighted by PC Pro, Stallman builds a case against eBooks. His rant is not dissimilar to the one he recently supplied against smartphones, where he even noted that he doesn’t carry a cell phone. When it comes to eBooks, Stallman has some particularly notable objections.

      Stallman claims that eBooks “don’t respect our freedom,” and points to the DRM that comes with eBooks downloaded from Amazon (DRM is also built into many eBooks from other suppliers). He also notes that “Amazon requires users to identify themselves to get an eBook.”

    • EBooks are “attacking our freedom”

      Free software guru Richard Stallman has called on consumers to reject eBooks until they “respect our freedom”.

      In an article entitled The Dangers of eBooks (PDF), the founder of the Free Software Foundation warns that “technologies that could have empowered us are used to chain us instead”.

      He highlights the DRM embedded in eBooks sold by Amazon as an example of such restrictions, citing the infamous case of Amazon wiping copies of George Orwell’s 1984 from users’ Kindles without permission.

    • Two new projects can help free software replace Skype

      Skype has been in the news a lot lately: Microsoft agreed to buy the company, their network has gone down twice recently, and they’re threatening to take unspecified action against developers who try to write free software to make calls on their system. This all merely adds insult to injury; the software has always been nonfree, and that’s why a free software replacement for Skype has been on our High Priority Projects list since October 2008. Lots of people use software like Ekiga and Twinkle to make simple VoIP calls, but they’re still missing some features, and that prevents people from making the switch to using free software. Thankfully, a couple of new projects aim to close this gap, and both have made some promising progress over the last month.

Leftovers

  • Twitter the Winner in Weinergate
  • Health/Nutrition

    • Health Insurers Have Had Their Chance

      Of the many supporters of a single-payer health care system in the United States, some of the most ardent are small business owners who have struggled to continue offering coverage to their workers.

      Among them are David Steil, a small business owner and former Republican state legislator in Pennsylvania who earlier this year became president of the advocacy group Health Care 4 All PA.

      Another supporter is Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin, who last Thursday signed a bill that sets the stage for the country’s first single-payer plan. If all goes as Shumlin and the bill’s many backers hope, all 620,000 Vermonters will eventually be enrolled in a state-run plan to replace Blue Cross, CIGNA and other private insurers whose business practices have contributed to the number of Vermonters without coverage — approximately 60,000 and growing.

    • Military underprices tobacco more than law allows

      Smoking and chewing tobacco use in the armed forces is widespread. Yet many military bases break the rules and sell tobacco at big discounts.

    • It’s official: Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide causes birth defects

      A new report by some top scientists has nailed it down, and Monsanto isn’t going to be happy. The Agri-giant has built its entire business model, including genetically modified (GMO) crops that dominate the US market, around its Roundup brand herbicide.

      They last thing they want to admit is that it causes birth defects.

      But that’s just what a group of scientists from a diverse group – including Cambridge University, the King’s College London School of Medicine, and the Institute of Biology, UNICAMP, São Paulo, Brazil – have found.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • The Energy Limit Model

      But it’s not like Americans haven’t tried to reduce their use of the primary energy source–oil. In the chart below, we can see that US consumption of oil, expressed in BTU, has fallen dramatically from the highs of mid-decade. While the US consumption of coal and natural gas—and also wind and solar power—has rebounded more strongly since the 2009 lows, US consumption of oil is still down nearly 11.00% from peak. This aspect of the story contains both good news and bad news, which I will explain below. | see: US Annual Petroleum Consumption in Quadrillion BTU 1995-2010.

    • The World Turns to Coal

      The latest BP Statistical Review was published in London this morning, and following a theme presented for years at Gregor.us, global growth in coal consumption continues to soar. Now that global oil production is flat, and is no longer able to fund new industrial expansion, coal remains the cheap BTU and of course the preferred energy source of the Developing World (non-OECD).

  • Finance

    • Russ Feingold Leads Thousands in Budget Protest at Wisconsin Capitol

      Former U.S. Senator Russ Feingold led the march from Madison Fire Station 1 toward the Capitol. Feingold was born in Janesville, Wisconsin, and marched up to the Capitol with Rock County AFSCME member past the standing “Walkerville” tent encampment, whose friendly inhabitants set up refreshment tables to help crowds battle the crushing heat. Feingold refused to address speculation that he might oppose Scott Walker in the next election, but signs, T-shirts and chants of “Russ for Governor” indicated mounting support for his candidacy.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Fearful Teen Commits Suicide Due to Harold Camping’s Judgment Day Prediction

      A 14-year-old girl from Russia was so scared of the May 21 doomsday and rapture prediction made by Harold Camping that she committed suicide the same day, investigators said Wednesday. The teenager wanted to choose death rather than be among the ones suffering on earth after the rapture.

    • Corporate lobby targets African-Americans for NC bill raising loan interest rates

      North Carolina has some of the most stringent consumer protection rules in the country against predatory lending. In 2010, lending groups ramped up campaign contributions [pdf] to elect lawmakers more hospitable to their interests, and are now pushing a bill that would allow lenders to raise the interest rates they charge on consumer loans — and reaching out to African-American voters who would be among those most affected by the measure.

Reader’s Picks

Clip of the Day

Les Paul & Mary Ford How High the Moon


Credit: TinyOgg

06.08.11

Links 8/6/2011: Viewsonic Embraces Linux, Naev 0.5.0 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 4:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • A Report From Beyond: Linux Sound & Music At Virginia Tech

    From April 7 through 9 I attended Beyond, a series of lectures, workshops, and concerts promoted by the DISIS group at Virginia Tech – a.k.a. VTech – in Blacksburg VA. The festivities included presentations from Professor Brad Garton and Create Digital Music’s Peter Kirn, plus some incidental ramblings from yours truly. The concerts featured performances by VTech’s own Linux Laptop Orchestra, accompanied at times by percussionist extraordinaire Ron Coulter and a group from the Boys And Girls Club of Roanoke. Other performances included improvisations with some unique hardware controllers (more about those performances below) and original works composed by the participants.

    [...]

    I’ve just begun to look into similar programming environments for the Android and the existing audio APIs.

  • A use for EFI

    But when ERST support was added to Linux, a generic interface called pstore went in as well.

  • Windows killed my laptop, again

    Not sure how Windows kills itself, but Linux continues to work fine.

  • Desktop

    • How’s the Linux Desktop Doing?

      Linux doesn’t live in the one size fits all world of the proprietary operating system(s). As a matter of fact, I see Linux on the desktop offering better compatibility than their proprietary OS cousins thanks to its diversity. Each distribution is able to offer a customized kernel calibrated best for the given tasks at hand.

    • BluSphere – Sleek Linux Pre-Installed Computers

      I have been frequenting Linux message boards and chat rooms for several years now. During my time spent in these places I would estimate that 95% of the issues I have helped people with (and seen posted) are related to the installation and setup of the operating system. This comes largely from the fact that most of the computers you can buy come with Windows by default. The experienced Linux user knows that they need to research their hardware before forking out their hard earned money for something that might not work too well with their favorite operating system.

      [...]

      One of the reasons I like BluSphere (and am giving them this small plug) is because they give 5% of the profits on every notebook they sell back to open source projects.

    • M$ Attacks its “Partners”

      How about in the long term? Yes! The monopoly dies with “8″. How would you feel if M$ sold its PCs without “the tax” and “the tax” was larger than your margin??? Expect to see a lot more PCs shipping with Linux and expect to see a lot more PCs on retail shelves with Linux.

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • A New Open-Source KMS Driver Just Published

        Embedded GPUs on Linux are a big mess due to their lack of fully open-source drivers, memory management complications, and other technical issues. However, there is some good news to report today and that’s on the emergence of a new open-source KMS driver.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Gnome shell media player extension

        New extensions for the gnome shell appears by the day. Today its a ‘musicplayers’ extension. This new gnome shell extension will add a new menu to the gnome shell top panel and allows you to control various aspects of the allow you to control different music players through the menu.

  • Distributions

    • Zenix GNU/Linux – Fun, Fast, Different

      Back when I used to write full-length distribution reviews for a living, I always kept my eyes open for unique offerings. Unique distros were few and far between, but when those jewels were found – fun followed. Well, one of those gems of the Linux world appeared on my radar this evening. Zenix GNU/Linux is a Debian-based distribution that uses Openbox and Awesome WM to create something that’s just a little different.

      According to the Website, Zenix is designed to be lightweight, yet not light in features or applications. Not that it comes with lots of software, but its developers’ choices aren’t necessarily those little known or commandline versions. To quote the Website, “The goal of Zenix is to provide a light weight “base” without sacrificing functionality expected of a Desktop.”

      [...]

      Zenix is currently on Distrowatch.com’s waiting list…

    • New Releases

    • Gentoo Family

      • Sabayon XFCE: the story continues

        “Enough”, told I myself.
        I know now that Sabayon Linux is better than I though about it earlier. Some of the issues I had last time are solved.
        But Sabayon still requires more tweaking than I would like to make. And it behaves itself quite strange way sometimes.
        Does it mean I dump Sabayon? Not necessarily. I may come back to it later, but most likely with different desktop environment. KDE? GNOME? Guess or suggest!

      • New Gentoo Goodies
      • music videos made with gentoo
      • PMS Test Suite: getting the test results

        One of key problems in PMS Test Suite is getting actual test results. With the whole complexity of build process, including privilege dropping, sandbox, collision protection, auto-pretending it is not that easy to check whether a particular test succeeded without risking a lot of false positives.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Interview: Troy Dawson from Scientific Linux

        Red Hat Inc. rules the “enterprise” Linux market with their Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) product line. Novell Inc. (now owned by The Attachmate Group) is second with their SUSE Enterprise Linux product line. To the best of my knowledge, there aren’t any free SUSE Enterprise Linux clones but there are a number of free RHEL clones. CentOS is the most well known RHEL clone but with the seeming unending delay of the 6.0 release (July 11th is my guess), CentOS has received quite a bit of criticism leading some users to investigate alternatives. As a result, Scientific Linux is getting a lot of long overdue attention given the fact that it too is a solid enterprise clone… that has been around for a long time… that has a lot of support behind it.

      • Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Provides The Technology Foundation For Italian Dnshosting.it Cloud Offerings

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that Dnshosting.it, the advanced Internet solutions developer located in Italy, has migrated its Cloud Server offering from VMware to Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization in order to remain competitive in the Italian market and gain the advantages of Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) virtualization technology.

      • Obsidian drives Red Hat growth in emerging markets

        Adoption of open source systems in the South African enterprise is continuing unabated, with the country’s leading open source enterprise implementer, Obsidian, reporting a staggering 37% growth in Red Hat implementations in the past year. This is almost double the 21% global growth reported by Red Hat, the frontrunner in Linux-based enterprise systems.

        “I think it’s fair to say that open source adoption in South Africa has matured, but is still a long way from reaching saturation point,” says Muggie van Staden, Obsidian CEO. “The question is less ‘who is using it’ than ‘who isn’t using it’, with a great number of large corporates running mission-critical systems on Red Hat.”

      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • So what is Ensemble anyway?

            Have you heard of Ensemble? Are you excited about Cloud/Service Orchestration? What? Ok you’re not alone if you are scratching your head.

            Ensemble is an implementation of a new idea that has been taking shape the last couple of years. Ever since Amazon hooked up a remote API to thousands of machines to provide access to their virtual infrastructure (and called it macaroni? err.. AWS), people have been dreaming up ways to take advantage of what is basically a robotic “NOC guy”. No longer do you have to pre-rack servers or call your vendor frantically to get servers sent next-day to your colo. Right?

            Naturally, the system administrators that would normally be in charge of racking servers, applied their existing tools to the job, to mixed success. Config management is really good at modelling identical hosts. But with virtual hosts instantly available, this left those thinking at a higher level wanting more. Chef in particular implemented a nice set of tools and functionality to allow this high level “service” definition with their knife tools and simple ruby API.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Sprint to launch Gingerbread smartphone and tablet on June 24

          Sprint will ship the 4.3-inch HTC Evo 3D 4G smartphone and seven-inch HTC Evo View 4G tablet on June 24 for $200 and $400, respectively. Both devices run Android 2.3, and offer the latest Sense UI layer — which is now supported with a new HTCdev developer site and an OpenSense SDK to tap the Evo 3D 4G’s 3D capabilities and the Evo View 4G’s Scribe pen technology.

        • Will your next PC be running Android?

          Recently, I predicted that the future of the PC may not be powered by the x86 processor architecture.

          With ARM chips assimilating everything from smartphones to cars, and companies like Nvidia working on high performance CPUs based on the ARM architecture, the assumption that x86 will continue to dominate the PC no longer looks iron-clad.

          One of the key catalysts for that realisation was Microsoft’s announcement that Windows 8 would support x86 and ARM. If Microsoft is picking up on a trend, you know it has momentum.

          The thing is, if it makes sense to question one half of the Wintel alliance, surely it makes sense to question the other. If today’s PCs largely run Windows on x86 processors, could tomorrow’s be Android on ARM?

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source identity: FreeNAS 8′s Josh Paetzel

    FreeNAS is an open source operating system based on FreeBSD and, as its name implies, designed for networked storage. The project recently celebrated the release of FreeNAS 8, which racked up some 43,000 downloads in the first 48 hours after its release.

    Techworld Australia caught up with Josh Paetzel, director of IT at iXsystems and project manager for FreeNAS 8, to talk about the current state of the OS, what lies ahead for it, and the relationship to FreeNAS 0.7.

  • Two Open Source Ideologies That Are Just Wrong

    Ideology #2: Open source project should all play nice together

    When Oracle announced their proposal to bring Hudson to Eclipse, a number of people complained to me and others why didn’t Eclipse Foundation force Oracle to work with Jenkins. There is a similar conversation going on with Oracle participating with LibreOffice. It seems people believe Apache should have rejected the project proposal, so Oracle would be forced to work with LibreOffice.

  • Community Doesn’t Come for Free

    At Eclipse, we talk a lot about community. Developing a community is an important part of being an open source project. It is from a community of users, adopters, and contributors that a project draws strength and longevity. Without a community, an open source project is just a bunch of code that might as well buried on a server behind a firewall somewhere in parts unknown.

  • Events

    • Upcoming Open Source Webinars: Bitnami, Hippo vs Plone, Sonatype

      Improving Your Java development with Maven 3 and Hudson – Attend this webinar to learn about the advantages of upgrading to Apache Maven 3, including improved speed, greater stability and increased compatibility. Jason will also talk about the greatly improved support for Maven 3 within Hudson that is easy to configure and supports complex build scenarios with ease. We will cover the Eclipse IDE integration for both Maven and Hudson that improves developer productivity.

    • Zarafa SummerCamp 2011
  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google Releases Chrome 12 Stable for Linux

        The Google Chrome developers at Google proudly announced last evening (June 7th) the stable release and immediate availability for download of the Google Chrome 12 web browser for Linux, Windows, Macintosh and Chrome Frame platforms.

        The new Google Chrome 12 web browser includes various interesting new features, such as the highly anticipated hardware accelerated 3D CSS support and a brand-new Safe Browsing mode.

    • Mozilla

      • Is Mozilla’s Webian Shell An Answer to Google’s Chrome OS?

        Mozilla Labs is generating a lot of buzz with its announcement of Webian Shell, which, as Digitizor notes, “basically consists of a browser which will replace the traditional desktop, and where the web applications are given more importance than the native applications.” You can download the early version of Webian Shell for Windows, Mac OS and Linux, but be warned that it exists in a very early version at this point. You can get a look at it here. Is Webian Shell an answer to Google’s Chrome OS?

      • Google and Mozilla Are Leveraging WebM and More for 3D Online Video

        Is 3D the future of web video? A few months ago, when Google announced its WebM video format, based on technology it acquired from On2, with its VP8 video codec, many people interpreted the move as an effort to undercut entrenched video standards, such as H.264. Could 3D video have been the actual brass ring that Google had its eyes on, though? Both Mozilla and Google are making moves to support 3D video in browsers, and Google’s YouTube web video juggernaut is increasingly supporting 3D videos. This blog post from Mozilla illustrates the focus that it has on 3D and Google’s efforts to make YouTube a haven for 3D videos. You can also find a good discussion of WebM and 3D video here.

  • SaaS

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice motors right along with a new release

      TDF proudly boasts that the latest LibreOffice “incorporates the contributions of over 120 developers (six times as many as the first beta released on the launch date).” And, that, “The majority of these contributors have started to hack LibreOffice code less than eight months ago, and this is an incredible achievement if one recalls that the OOo [OpenOffice.org] project has attracted a lower number of contributors in ten years.”

    • Oracle v. Google – 3rd Oracle In-House Attorney Gets Limited AEO Access

      A third Oracle in-house lawyer has been granted limited access to Attorneys’ Eyes Only materials. You will recall in an earlier ruling the magistrate denied Attorneys’ Eyes Only rights to Dorian Daley, Oracle general counsel, and limited the rights of Deborah Miller and Matthew Sarboraria, but the status of Andrew C. Temkin was left for further determination based on supplemental filings.

    • Google Granted Leave to File a Daubert Motion; Says Oracle’s Damages Report is Unreliable, Misleading – by pj

      Experts are hired by the parties. The parties hire them to say helpful things. There are all kinds of experts, some more reliable and independent than others. Do you remember when one of SCO’s proposed experts came to Groklaw and in a comment admitted that he took on the assignment to get paid and hopefully to attract more such work? So courts are not as much in awe of experts as the title might lead one to believe.

    • OpenOffice.org to Apache: What does it mean?

      What’s in it for Oracle?

      This is easy – Oracle off-loads OpenOffice.org, for which it has no further use, without damaging its relationship with IBM and other commercial OOo partners. They lose any revenues involved, but apparently they were resigned to losing those anyway. So for Oracle this is all up-side.

    • Publishing our recommendation to Oracle

      From time to time TDF is required to engage in private correspondence with parties, yet we are committed in our bylaws after a suitable period to make this content public.

  • CMS

  • Business

  • Funding

  • Project Releases

    • Naev 0.5.0 Release

      The Naev devteam is proud to announce the release of Naev 0.5.0! This release is the result of over a year of hard work done by nearly 30 committers. This release is just a step in the path for ultimate greatness and a major step forward in the maturity of Naev. It has many major gameplay changes and signifies the coming of age of Naev, which has now exceeded the tag of Escape Velocity clone.

      Due to the size of the 0.5.0 ndata, downloads shall from now on be hosted at Sourceforge instead of Google Code due to the latter’s arbitrary size limits.The rest of the project infrastructure will remain unchanged.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Here’s the Pitch: Open Ocean Celebrates Fund Three With Contest for Start-Ups

      ast September, an ambitious code-sharing initiative named Civic Commons was launched at the Gov 2.0 Summit in a bid to help city governments use information technology better. This week, Civic Commons took a big step forward with a new management team in place and $250,000 of funding from Omidyar Network.

      Former White House deputy CTO Andrew McLaughlin will be the first executive director and Nick Grossman, former director of Civic Works at nonprofit Open Plans, will be its first managing director. Grossman was one of the lead architects of Civic Commons from its inception.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Google pits C++ against Java, Scala, and Go

      Google has released a research paper closely comparing the performance of C++, Java, Scala, and its own Go programming language.

      According to Google’s tests (PDF), C++ offers the fastest runtime of the four languages. But, the paper says, it also requires more extensive “tuning efforts, many of which were done at a level of sophistication that would not be available to the average programmer.”

    • Why OSCON Java?

      What is OSCON Java? It’s a good question. There are many Java conferences on every continent except Antarctica. Why is O’Reilly throwing its hat in the ring?

      The Java community has always been a broad, fractious, interesting mess, capable of doing surprising things with little warning, and that’s precisely why we’re attracted to it. It’s undeniable that Java is huge; it’s been in one of the top two slots on Tiobe’s Programming Community Index since Tiobe started in 2002. It’s always been one of the largest components of the technical book market. Java’s 2010 book sales represent a resurgence since 2008, but even in its weakest years, Java has always been one of the largest components of the book market. Beyond being huge, Java is one of the key languages of the open source movement. While there has been plenty of discussion over the years of the JDK’s status as open source software, there has been no shortage of open source projects. SourceForge lists more than 25,000 Java projects, more than any other language.

Leftovers

Reader’s Picks

Clip of the Day

Korean Gamers: APM Demonstration


Credit: TinyOgg

06.07.11

Links 7/6/2011: Platform 11, New Wine

Posted in News Roundup at 6:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Who Should Lead Linux?

    Richard Stallman is the ultimate nerdish power geek.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

    • Miro 4 – Maintaining an Android media library just got easier

      Android as a mobile platform is gaining more and more popularity day by day. However, Google is still yet to design a program that allows its users to synchronize their media across their phone and computers.

    • Proprietary

      • One Year Later: Adobe Abandons 64-bit Linux Again

        Just under a year ago I wrote about how Adobe had abandoned 64-bit Linux, at least temporarily. Linux users who chose to run a 64-bit OS were left with a range of unsatisfactory choices: use an outdated beta with known security vulnerabilities; run an FOSS alternative, most likely gnash, despite limits in functionality and compatibility; or run a 32-bit browser in a 64-bit operating system. At the time the move was surprising since reviews of the 64-bit beta, like this one by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols of Computer World, were quite favorable.

        Three months later on September 15, 2010, Adobe announced a preview of Flash Player “Square”, development code for an upcoming release of a native 64-bit version of Flash Player 10.2. Unfortunately Preview 3, released on November 10, 2010, was the last Square release. Flash Player 10.3 was released for 32-bit platforms only.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine

      • Wine 1.3.21 Released

        The Wine development release 1.3.21 is now available.

        What’s new in this release:

        * Support for installation rollbacks in MSI.
        * 8- and 16-bit bitmap formats in the DIB engine.
        * Fixes in the XInput2 mouse support.
        * Better support for text shaping in Uniscribe.
        * Improvements to the Item common dialog.
        * More MSVC runtime functions.
        * Various bug fixes.

    • Games

      • Any Linux News From The E3 2011 Gaming Expo?

        E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, is officially kicking off today in Los Angeles and will be running through Thursday. This, along with the Game Developers Conference, is one of the key times of the year for the electronic gaming industry. A number of game studios will be announcing new titles and other great announcements, but will there be anything Linux related?

        Only time will tell if there are any Linux-related announcements to be found this week. If we know of any, it’s of course under NDAs (Non-Disclosure Agreements) at the moment. But here’s a few random notes for what can be said at this tim..

        [...]

        - Linux Game Publishing is still working on something, but they won’t be at E3 and this next port of theirs with almost 100% certainty isn’t a triple-A title.

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Platform 11 at Randa

        I’m at the Platform 11 sprint at Randa. We are here to discuss and shape the future of the KDE platform. It’s the first meeting of this kind since Trysil five years ago. Four people who were at Trysil also made it to Randa, including a respectable dinosaur, but it’s great to also have new and very new faces around.

      • Kollaboration in at Platform 11
      • Random Randa Rumours
      • Sonar color scheme for KDE
      • Science and the KDE Platform – An Interview with the KtikZ Developers

        Many scientists use the LaTeX typesetting system as the preferred way to write publications. Among the various widely used add-ons, one special mention is the TikZ language, a powerful extension which is used to create publication-quality figures. Of course, like LaTeX, it takes its time to learn. The good news is that, like with LaTeX there is KDE software to fill in this gap: KTikZ, a graphical front-end to TikZ.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Adwaita (GNOME 3 theme) for Chrome

        Like many of you, I split my time between two excellent browsers: Firefox and Chrome. Neither feels really all so native in GNOME3 — although Firefox, as it mimics GTK+2 by default, fits in just a little better. Every time I started Chrome, however, I felt a bit frustrated with how much of a sore thumb it stuck out and decided to do something about it.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Review: Red Hat Fedora 15

          Verdict:

          Version 15 of Red Hat’s community project Linux distribution Fedora showed great stability, and it was simple to add applications onto the platform. We had no problem with hardware drivers and the new GNOME 3 GUI was easy to use, even though initially we did seem to be blundering about. Fedora would suit corporate road warriors who would like a combined Fedora-Windows dual-boot system (in case of OS failure), or anybody interested enough to see how far Linux has advanced compared to Windows and Mac OS X operating systems. Support for each Fedora version is limited to 13 months, so corporates would not roll Fedora out except to expert users. In any case, there’s Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) available, which eventually gets to use features that have cut their teeth in Fedora.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Friendly: community sourced hardware validation

            Ubuntu corporate sponsor Canonical is developing a new Ubuntu Friendly hardware validation program for desktops, netbooks and laptops. The program will allow users to test hardware and the results of those tests will then be used to validate systems as “Ubuntu Friendly”. The program will be developed in parallel with the development of Ubuntu 11.10, Oneiric Ocelot, and should be in place by the time Oneiric Ocelot is released in October.

          • Using free software to promote proprietary

            The man behind the distribution Mark Shuttleworth already had a few ideas to earn money with the project. Ubuntu includes a Music Store, a Cloud Service for data storage and synchronization and commercial apps in the Software Center (which is quite similar to Apple’s App Store).

          • Ubuntu 11.04

            I guess the biggest enhancement for me is not so much related to Ubuntu. It’s that I completely deleted my Windows partition, with everything in it, i.e., everything I had before is now gone.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Instant Messaging in the Enterprise with Openfire

    Used responsibly, instant messaging (IM) offers the benefit of instant communication and collaboration on the corporate intranet. However, many companies, fearing IM’s adverse affect on productivity, tweak their corporate firewalls to block all ports ferrying IM traffic. A better approach is to control the IM server by bringing it in-house. The Java-based cross-platform Openfire application makes it easy to host your own instant messaging server.

  • Events

    • Linux Beer Hike 2011 in Tux

      Hacking, learning, talking, walking and dining – The Linux Bier Wanderung (Linux Beer Hike) is all this and much more. Each summer around 50 Linux enthusiasts meet up for a week’s holiday. This year the 13th annual event takes the penguin-friends to Austria, specifically to the small village of Lanersbach in the Tux valley [1].

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Labs Bring The Webian Shell – A Full Screen Web Browser Concept

        With the advancement of web technologies, it is not surprising that the web and web applications are increasingly playing an important part of our experience on the computer. In the coming week, Google is releasing its first Chromebooks – netbooks which are based completely on a cloud OS and in which the traditional desktop has been replaced by the web browser. Mozilla too has released the first concept of something along that line.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Is Oracle Holding Back OpenOffice Files from Apache?

      Michael Meeks published some interesting statistics on the completeness of the OpenOffice source code contributed to the Apache Software Foundation. His numbers actually came from a post from Christian Lohmaier to The Document Foundation discussion mailing list.

    • Strip mining of OpenOffice.org

      Oracle’s donation of the OpenOffice.org to the Apache Software Foundation does no favours for the users or developers of open office suites, says Richard Hillesley…

      Speaking at the time of Sun’s decision to release Java under the GNU General Public License (GPL), Marc Fleury, the founder of JBoss, claimed that “IBM reacted negatively” to the Sun announcement because “IBM’s approach to open source is what we call ‘strip mining’, which is to let the open source community do things – then IBM comes and packages them, adds proprietary code, and markets the result,” and concluded that “they have this dual strategy of proprietary products and low-end open source.”

  • CMS

  • Education

    • Saving Money

      I have long saved money in education by using GNU/Linux on PCs and on thin clients with zero licensing costs. I always chuckle when I read the anguish of some people trying to eke out similar savings with that other OS. Yes you can save money by using thin clients with that other OS because thin clients are cheaper and CALs are cheaper than full licences (just barely) but the maths is really simple with GNU/Linux. $0 beats all other licensing regimes of that other OS. No need to agonize over four plans each with negotiated prices to work things out. Install GNU/Linux and go.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • How GNU Free Call differs

      This is where GNU Free Call most clearly differs from most others who are looking to replace Skype. As GFC is already designed for use with any SIP capable client, we have no interest in re-inventing protocols or even how VOIP clients work. This is not the problems we are looking to solve. Rather than focusing on having people join or connect through yet another specific service provider to mediate their communications (whether iptel.org, ekiga.net, etc), we are interested in enabling anyone to discover and communicate with each other directly without the need for a mediating service at all. It is how users are empowered to discover each other which is hence most important in GFC’s design. This is best illustrated by the GFC client, which is in reality contact focused rather than communication driven. This I think becomes more clear from the GFC GUI design (and experimental client), as illustrated here.

  • Project Releases

    • VLC 1.1.10 is released!

      VideoLAN and the VLC development team present VLC 1.1.10, a minor release of the 1.1 branch. This release brings a rewritten pulseaudio output, an important number of small Mac OS X fixes, the removal of the font-cache building for the freetype module on Windows and updates of codecs.

    • VLC 1.1.10 updates open source media player for security

      Though it doesn’t typically come with EVERY Linux distro (it really should..), vlc is one of the most popular, and powerful open source media playing programs around.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Computacenter blamed in public sector open source row

      Systems integrator (SI) Computacenter has taken fire in a growing bust-up over open source software at Bristol City Council, which MPs have been told proves the government’s open source ICT strategy is unworkable, writes Mark Ballard.

      In a letter to MPs sitting on the Public Administration Select Committee, open source supplier Sirius Corporation said Bristol City Council had ditched its latest effort on the advice of its supplier Computacenter.

      Mark Taylor, CEO at Sirius, accused Computacenter of skewing an open source proof-of-concept pilot in favour of vendor partner Microsoft.

      Taylor told MPs this showed how the UK’s “oligopoly” of systems integrators ensured Cabinet Office open source policy “cannot and will not work”.

      Computacenter and Sirius bid for the Bristol deal after the Council Cabinet voted to adopt an open source computing infrastructure last September, said the letter.

      However Sirius claims it was thrown off the project after the two disagreed over its viabililty.

    • The end of open source down the Counts Louse?

      Money is now much tighter in the public sector, so we’re wondering how the council is going to pay for the Office 2010 licence, particularly as council tax has been capped. Will public services and/or staff be cut to pay for the Counts Louse’s largesse to Microsoft? Perhaps someone – councillor or officer – from BCC would like to comment below.

      Finally, another indirect effect of BCC’s return to the closed source fold is that this will have a negative effect on efforts to have Open Document Format (ODF) adopted as the standard means of exchange for public documents – something that is a reality in some of the UK’s EU partners.

    • System integrators render Cabinet Office open source strategy unworkable, MPs told

      More SMEs testified in secret to the PASC inquiry in May. They were fearful their complaints about the systems integrators’ oligopoly – said to control 80% of the UK’s £19bn-a-year public sector ICT – would lead to their exclusion from government contracts.

      [...]

      Taylor’s letter to MPs alleged Bristol City Council had, in September 2010, asked its supplier at the time, Capgemini, to complete a pilot of the open source software stack by November. Capgemini simply ignored the request, said Taylor’s statement.

      Capgemini was unavailable for comment.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • World’s first open source flashlight?

        Robotics wizard and two-time Battlebots champion Christian Carlberg first achieved notoriety shredding competitors’ robots with Minion’s 14-inch saw blade on one of TV’s first reality shows. Now he’s all fired up to begin shipping what may prove to be the “world’s first open source flashlight.”

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • The False Choice of Schema.org

    By ManuSporny On June 3, 2011 In RDFa, Semantic Web With 41 Comments Permanent Link to The False Choice of Schema.orgPermalink

    Full disclosure: I am the current Chair of the group at the World Wide Web Consortium that created RDFa. That said, all of this is my personal opinion – I am not speaking on behalf of the W3C or my company, Digital Bazaar. I am biased, but also have been around long enough to know when freedom of choice on the Web is being threatened.

    Some of you may have heard that Microsoft, Google and Yahoo have just released a new uber-vocabulary for the Web. As the site explains, if you use schema.org, you will get a better looking search listing on all of the search listings for Bing, Google and Yahoo. While this may sound good on the surface, it is very bad news for choice on the Web. There are few points that I’d like to make in this post:

    1. RDFa and Microdata markup are similar for the schema.org use cases – they should both be supported.
    2. Microdata doesn’t scale as easily as RDFa – early successes will be followed by stagnation and vocabulary lock-in.
    3. All of us have the power to change this as the Web community – let’s do that. We will release a plan shortly.

    The schema.org site makes it appear as if you must pick sides and use Microdata if you want preferential treatment. This is a false choice!

  • Security

  • Finance

    • Bank of America pays debt instead of losing furniture

      Two burly Collier County sheriff’s deputies and a homeowner’s attorney strode into the Bank of America branch on Davis Boulevard in Naples with a court order and an ultimatum for Manager Erich Fahrner.

      Fahrner’s choice: Write out a check for $2,534 in attorney’s fees for the couple wrongfully slapped with a foreclosure lawsuit by the bank, or a William C. Hoff Storage moving crew waiting outside would start hauling out furniture to be sold at public auction.

    • Goldman Uses Wall Street’s Favorite Reporter to Make Unpersuasive Defense Against Levin Report

      It’s telling that the first salvo is being leaked through Wall Street’s favorite reporter. Now it’s possible the firm was using Sorkin as a one-man focus group to test and refine their messaging and have him all prepped to go. Sorkin says he’s been in communication with Goldman officials “for the past several weeks”. But this may also indicate that the firm intends to make its case to the press and then let the press persuade the public.

      I see that as a sign of serious weakness. The Levin committee provides a great deal of documentation to the public as well as a detailed summary of its findings. By contrast, Wall Street firms make an art form of cherry picking numbers and presenting them in isolation. And journalists don’t have enough knowledge of tradecraft to push back in a serious way.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality (Canada)

    • The CRTC Must Die

      Every time you think the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, the CRTC, has finally been chastised and in the process, learned a lesson, the bozos who run the circus come up with a new and silly act meant to help the broadcasters. And, as is usual with these folks, somehow ends up diminishing our choices as consumers and costing us more money in the long run.

      Last time the genius’ at the CRTC had the brilliant notion that behemoths Rogers and Bell should have the right to tell their sub-buyers like Teksavvy what they could charge for internet use. This blew up in the CRTC’s face when most Canadians saw through the money grab by the big providers and began a protest that made the suggestion disappear faster than a Liberal leader in the 21st century.

    • Conservatives To Discuss Net Neutrality, Broadband at Convention

      The Conservatives hold their convention later this week with 80 resolutions being considered for possible debate in the plenary session. The resolutions are proposed by local chapters and at least two focus on Internet access and net neutrality. Resolution P-063 (Durham) on broadband states:

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Federal departments hoarding copyrights: report

      Departments and agencies are hoarding hundreds of patents and copyrights each year, violating the federal government’s long-standing rules on so-called intellectual property, says a new report.

      For more than 10 years, federal policy has been to assign contractors the rights to any intellectual property produced during their work for departments and agencies.

    • The Copyright Pressure Points: What Next for Canadian Copyright

      The government delivered its Speech from the Throne on Friday, which included a commitment to “introduce and seek swift passage of copyright legislation that balances the needs of creators and users.”

    • Copyrights

      • Music and film industries split over pirates

        The music industry has backflipped on its long-held demands that repeat music pirates be disconnected from the internet as a new UN report declares such a policy would be a breach of human rights and international law.

        But film studios, represented by the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT), are still backing the controversial measures, arguing protection of intellectual property is a human right. It has released research saying film piracy costs the Australian economy $1.37 billion a year.

      • A Copyright Bill for the Creative Digital Economy: A CCC Statement

        Revisions to the Copyright Act are essential to Canada’s digital economy strategy as incentive to move the creative economy forward, and also to satisfy demands by its trading partners that Canada implement the WIPO “Internet Treaties”. Bill C-32, which died with the election call, included many new exceptions from infringement and some confusing language that would have led to costly litigation. It was clear that many proposed changes, some unintentionally, eroded creators’ rights.

        Arts and culture industries provide over 630,000 jobs and contribute $46 billion to Canada’s economy. Copyright revision should be supportive of these industries, big and small, and encourage their growth. The works of creators are the foundation of all such industries. A bill like C-32 would make it significantly more difficult for creators to carry on their copyright-reliant businesses, cause them significant income losses, and be a real barrier to the continuing growth of Canadian digital content and Canada’s digital economy.

Clip of the Day

HUGE explosion on the Sun on June 7, 2011


Credit: TinyOgg

Links 7/6/2011: Linux 3.0 RC2, No KDE5

Posted in News Roundup at 7:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Porting Linux: part 1 (of many)
  • Graphic Design for Linux Systems

    These days, Linux has managed to draw more attentions from those users who want to get faster result from their complicated task. It is an open space operating system, and it allows the users to accomplish their challenging task properly.

    Whether you want to use the Linux in your system or want to know the graphic design for Linux system, you need to move for the online media. Here, you can get numbers of important information through which you can know the importance of graphic design for Linux system. With the Linux you can monitor the system files, networks, and many important applications of a system easily and fast.

    At present, Linux is the vital opportunity for maintaining the system safe and secure. It is not requiring any types of anti-malware, anti-spyware, or anti-viruses for maintaining fast and secure system. With this system you can not face any kind of problems like severe system damages. It’s time to install it in your computer.

  • Desktop

    • Attention: This is not big news

      That desktop, however, is not the topic of this blog. Instead, I want to go on the record to say that the recent announcement of ASUS Pre-installing Ubuntu 11.04 on three of their EeePC machines (1001PXD, 1011PX, and 1015PX) is not big news.

      Although the Linux community will stand up against me to say that any time a company sells a piece of hardware with the Linux operating system pre-installed is a win; this “win” just doesn’t feel like a win. Why?

      We’re talking about netbooks. Again.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC), Qt

      • More Polka, please

        After blogging about Polka, my experiment with a radically new take on an address book, I got a lot of great feedback. I appreciate all the comments, questions, and encouragement. Two people made me particularly happy, as they not only sent feedback, but also contributed some welcome work. Sascha Manns built packages, and Saleel Velankar created a beautiful logo. Free software rocks.

        [...]

        My first attempt resulted in a port of Polka to MeeGo. MeeGo is a system targeted at touch interfaces, and being Qt based it seemed to be close enough for a getting Polka to work on it.

      • There is no KDE5

        In essence, this means there is no KDE 5, and there will never be. During the sprint here in Randa, we’ve spent a lot of thinking about the future of the KDE Frameworks, and we will be forthcoming with plans to further modularize these frameworks, which consist of what’s currently found in the kdelibs, kdesupport, kdepimlibs, kde-runtime and kdepim-runtime modules.

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia 1 – A new distro and a new DE experience for me.

        There has been much work put into Mageia but in today’s computing world your product has to be far more than merely functional With so many other distro’s competing for your attention, I think Mageia is not yet ready to become a player at the top of the league for Linux distro’s with the RC seeming more like a beta. My requirements of an OS are not satisfied with Mageia and should I remain with this distro, I would not be as productive. That is not acceptable and so for me its goodbye, with an appreciation that KDE is not for me either. I will certainly be looking at the Gnome flavour of Mageia on a secondary rig and I would expect a more favourable opinion since I do love Gnome.

    • Gentoo Family

      • How to do simple things the Sabayon way

        Do you think there is only one penguin Tux? You are wrong. There is whole family of them. They are all brothers, because they have same father: Linux kernel code by Linus Torvalds. But they are not identical. They have their own names: Debian, RedHat, Slackware, Arch. Eac

    • Red Hat Family

      • Oracle cranks Red Hat Linux clone to 6.1

        If you needed a demonstration that Oracle is not CentOS, then look no further than the fact that only two weeks after Red Hat announced its Enterprise Linux 6.1 update, software giant Oracle has kicked out its Linux 6.1 clone. This is despite Red Hat’s attempts to slow down the RHEL cloners and others – such as Oracle and the former Novell – that offer technical support for RHEL distributions.

      • Upgrades & Downgrades: Green Ink For Red Hat?

        The Dow dropped 2.33% in four days for its fifth straight weekly loss, the longest such slide since since July 2004 — back when Greece was the pride of Europe (at least in soccer). Seven years on a Moody’s cut of the country’s credit rating, allied to May’s paltry payroll increase of 54,000 here at home, sent exchanges into a tailspin. DuPont (DD), down 1.72% after Friday’s grim jobless data, was appropriately among the blue chips’ worst performers; its most famous product gave Ronald Reagan the nickname of “Teflon President” after he won a reelection landslide despite 7.2% unemployment but with the rate now standing at 9.1%, President Obama has a hard act to follow. Bank of America (BAC), which fired John Thain after he amassed a $1.2 million bill on an office restoration, wrote a check for $2,534 in attorney’s fees rather than lose its office furniture.

      • Fedora

        • Trying on a Fedora that gives a new look

          As quite often happens with Fedora releases, I think version 15 is great in some respects and falls behind in others. Take, for instance, YUM — it’s probably faster than it has ever been and I was quite impressed with the command-line program, but the GUI front-ends still lag behind their counterparts in performance. This release handled my hardware really well and comes with some interesting technology previews — whether you are a fan of GNOME 3 or not, I think we can agree it’s nice to see a distribution offering it for people to try and, on cards/drivers which don’t support 3-D effects, the display “falls back” nicely to the classic theme. I think it’s good that the developers have managed to increase compression on the live disc without negatively impacting performance, but I wonder why they didn’t use the opportunity to add more software as there is about an extra 100 MB of space available on the CD.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Certification Going Forward

            As you might have heard, we are planning to close down the “Ubuntu Ready” programme in time for Oneiric Final Release.

            The aim is to simplify the public Canonical endorsed certification programme to only one:“Ubuntu Certified“.

            To straighten out any confusion about what our certification offering will be here is a quick fact sheet about certification:

          • Ubuntu’s Contributions to Linux

            These tidy bullet points list a few examples:

            * Raised the visibility of Linux overall.
            * Generated excitement and given desktop Linux much-needed accelerant.
            * Entered commercial arenas both server and desktop: Dell, independent Linux OEMs like System76, ZaReason, Emperor Linux; commercial training and support.
            * Inspired hosts of derivatives such as Vinux, Mint, Mepis, nUbuntu, Gnoppix, Ulteo, moonOS, SuperOS, and dozens more.
            * Created good name recognition for “Ubuntu” out in the real world.
            * Created a welcoming, supportive developer community that supports noobs.
            * Streamlined and popularized the LiveCD.
            * Maintains multiple official editions– Ubuntu Server, Xubuntu, Edubuntu, Mythbuntu, Ubuntu Studio, and Kubuntu– that all share the same repositories, with 100% compatibility.
            * Pioneered an easy installer.
            * Created UCK, Ubuntu Customization Kit, for easily creating your own customized Ubuntu LiveCD.
            * Created netbook/tablet/touch versions before any other distro.
            * Continually pushing ahead on multiple fronts.

          • Give Unity A Chance

            With Ubuntu 11.04 the Ubuntu Linux brings a new look to the desktop called Unity. I have installed Ubuntu 11:04 on a desktop computer and very soon, I will install it on my laptop and net-book. There have been mixed reviews of Unity; I have found Unity to be different and will take a bit of time getting use to. That said I would encourage all of us to give Unity an extended test period.

            The gnome desktop has been my standard desktop for many years now, so it is only natural that a departure from the norm will feel a bit strange. So you may be asking why do it?

          • Better Community With Better Technology

            One of the primary goals in the Ubuntu community is to encourage and inspire people to get involved in different parts of the project. Getting people involved typically requires a few key steps:

            * Inspire – Get someone interested in joining the community.
            * Provide Opportunities – Find something for them to do.
            * Review – Review their work to help them be successful and have their work included.

            [...]

            There are a couple of things that are obvious and yet don’t work. For example, lots of upstreams think they should form a non-profit institution to house their work. The track record of those is poor: they get setup, and they fail as soon as they have to file their annual paperwork, leaving folks like the SFLC to clean up the mess. Not cool. At the end of the day, such new institutions add paperwork without adding funding or other sources of energy. They don’t broaden out the project the same way a company writing documentation and selling services usually does. On the other hand, non-profits like the FSF which have critical mass are very important, though, which is why on occasion we’ve been happy to contribute to them in various ways.

          • On balancing economic power in the FLOSS ecosystem

            When we debate our goals, principles and practices in the FLOSS community, we devote a great deal of energy to “how things should be”, and to the fact that “men are not angels”. I think the approach of James Madison is highly relevant to those discussions.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Pinguy OS Mini 11.04.1 – A Stripped Down Pinguy OS [Uses Compiz 0.8.6]

              Pinguy OS is a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu. The latest version – 11.04.1 is based on Ubuntu 11.04, but comes with the Classic GNOME 2.32.1 desktop instead of Unity.

              Pinguy has launched Pinguy OS Mini, a stripped down version of Pinguy OS which comes with all the tweaks and fixes that are available in the main Pinguy OS 11.04.1, but without most of the applications preinstalled in Pinguy OS.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Tablet PC

        I finally purchased a tablet PC for testing usability of recent GNU/Linux desktop on touch devices. Though there are not so many choices that meet my requirements (PC compatible, reasonably fast and cheap, and available in my country), Acer ICONIA TAB W500 looked fine. Actually F-15 final installed on that device without any problem and GNOME-Shell works fine on it (the peformance is not that bad as I expected from its 1GHz CPU clock).

Free Software/Open Source

  • Re: Control is Highly Overrated and Overpriced

    This type of thinking also deeply effects the free and open source culture. Since one of the reasons for using FOSS is ultimate control (and responsibility).

  • Linux, Open Source & Ubuntu: Open-Source Software Winning Mainstream Status in Enterprises

    Industry observers have been predicting for years that open-source software will achieve mainstream adoption. Five years ago, open source was in its “nascent stages” and its future “was promising but still unknown,” said Michael Skok, general partner at North Bridge Venture Partners. He presented the fifth annual Future of Open Source Survey at Computerworld’s Open Source Business Conference in San Francisco. The latest survey results “clearly demonstrate” that open source “has gone mainstream,”

  • Nominations open for the O’Reilly Open Source Awards 2011
  • Events

    • Hop a ride on the Tux bus for Linux Learners Day

      The Linux Foundation will be teaming up with Oregon State University’s Open Source Lab (OSL) for Linux Learners’ Student Day, to be held in Vancouver on August 16 (the day before LinuxCon begins). The program includes sessions from OSL presenters on Linux basics, Python, embedded systems, and careers in open source.

      “The OSU Open Source Lab is very excited to be leading the sessions for Linux Learners Day,” said Leslie Hawthorn, Open Source Outreach Manager. “We see educating future generations of Computer Scientists as one of the most important parts of our mission to serve the open source community.”

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Ready for Firefox 6? Here’s What’s on the Way

        Though the final version of Firefox 6 isn’t due until August or so, this Aurora release can now be downloaded for Linux, Mac and Windows from the “Future of Firefox” page on the Mozilla Project’s Web site.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle and OpenOffice: The Final Insult

      Things are never dull here in the Linux blogosphere, but there’s no doubt they would be a whole lot less entertaining without Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL).

      How else, after all, would we get the opportunity to ride on a thrilling emotional roller coaster such as the one Oracle’s had us on since it acquired Sun?

    • The Open Source Office Software Sector Heats Up

      The world of LibreOffice and OpenOffice(.org) has been heating up recently with several exciting and, at times, bewildering developments. The Document Foundation remains very active as is LibreOffice development, but Oracle has given up on OpenOffice and slapped LibreOffice in the face by giving it to Apache. Perhaps the most important announcement was the release of LibreOffice 3.4.0.

  • CMS

    • Drupal contributor statistics

      I recently extracted some data from the Drupal project’s CVS and Git logs to see how the number of code contributors and total contributions have changed over time. If there was any doubt of our continual growth, the resulting charts demolish it.

Leftovers

  • DuckDuckGo – Your next search engine

    DuckDuckGo is a silly name, possibly based on the duck, duck, goose game. Even the developers of the so knighted search engine admit as much. But under this seemingly simple and somewhat unprofessional moniker lurks a very powerful, refreshing and unique search engine. We checked.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Cablegate

    • Supporters protest Manning’s detention

      A crowd of supporters were in Leavenworth Saturday to protest the holding of a prisoner on Fort Leavenworth suspected of leaking thousands of documents to the website Wikileaks.

      The Rally for Bradley Manning drew people from across the state and from areas like Chicago and Oakland, Calif. — close to 200 people in all, according to one of the event’s local organizers, Jim Davidson of Lawrence, Kan.

      The event started at Leavenworth’s Bob Dougherty Park, where Davidson said about 15 speakers from different organizations supporting Manning’s release, from Iraq Veterans Against the War to gay rights organizations, addressed the crowd before a march to the intersection of Seventh Street and Metropolitan Avenue, in front of Fort Leavenworth’s Grant Gate.

    • Coalition informant plays both sides of Afghan war

      The Afghan man with a grizzled beard puts his life at risk every time he chats with U.S. Lt. Col. William Chlebowski.

      As an informant for the U.S.-led coalition, the middle-aged man — whose name wasn’t disclosed for security reasons — talks to insurgents one day and snitches on them the next. He’s part of a network of Afghans across the country who tip coalition forces to the location of roadside bombs and weapons caches and share information about what militants are doing and planning.

    • Wikileaks a true account

      Is the founder of WikiLeaks the ministering angel of press freedom as his pale appearance might suggest? Or is he the demonic leader of the most dangerous hacker collective on the web? As one outspoken critic suggests, is he “worse than the Stasi,” or does he represent hope for those struggling against oppression? Either way, by the end of 2010 it became clear that a hitherto unknown organization had forever changed the global media landscape. Within a few months, some of the best-known newspapers – The New York Times, Der Spiegel, The Guardian, Le Monde – began to woo this small group of enthusiastic members of information transparency movement.

    • Dawn.com and Wikileaks present: Pakistan Illustrated

      Secret internal American government cables, accessed by Dawn through WikiLeaks, provide confirmation that the US military’s drone strikes programme within Pakistan had more than just tacit acceptance of the country’s top military brass, despite public posturing to the contrary. In fact, as long ago as January 2008, the country’s military was requesting the US for greater drone back-up for its own military operations.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • WikiLeaks: UK running out of oil and gas

      THE UK could be forced to rely on overseas countries for more than two thirds of its oil and gas supplies due to a “severe” decline in energy production in the North Sea, US diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks have revealed.
      Cables seen by The Scotsman reveal that Britain’s gas and oil reserves are declining by 8 per cent a year, and that the country will import 60 to 80 per cent of its oil and gas supply within less than ten years.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Customer Service & PR 101: Vodaphone attempts to silence disgruntled customer?

      As if we need further proof of the commercial sector encroaching on the right to free speech, we have an interesting story from India. Perhaps a sad indictment of todays business where they view the net and its billions of users with greedy eyes, wanting the attention drawn to their products but not wanting you to put your opinion forward unless it favours them.

      Vodaphone is alleged by a customer (Dhaval Valia) to have sent a take down notice ordering removal of Facebook comments in regards to his unhappiness at the service Vodaphone provides. What Vodaphone did not count on (and maybe shows ignorance on their part) is that the story would hit the web and expose even more people to the incident (certainly more so than the Facebook users who saw the customer’s complaint)

  • Intellectual Monopolies

Clip of the Day

Charlie and the Apple Factory


Credit: TinyOgg

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