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08.29.10

Links 29/8/2010: GNU/Linux Jobs Demand, Archos 7

Posted in News Roundup at 7:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • CIOs seek special skills in Linux admins

    The demand for Linux administrators is on the rise, but CIOs have trouble finding IT pros with all of the qualities needed to run an open source environment.

  • The Last Temptation of the Linux Application Developer

    There is a finite supply of developers in the world, and app developers don’t grow on trees. Specifically, I think desktop Linux application developers are soon going to be in short supply: an unintended consequence of the fact that Android and MeeGo are each Linux-based.

  • PS3 ‘jailbreak’ already frozen by courts

    Sony today took quick action to shut down PS3 modders with legal action against PS Jailbreak. The console maker was granted a temporary ban on PS Jailbreak in Australia that will prevent the USB mod, which ‘unlocks’ the PS3 to allow unapproved software, from being sold in the country until a final decision from courts on whether it remains legal. The terms discovered by PS3Hax also give Sony control over current inventory and will likely see it reverse engineer the hack to patch against it as well as destroy the stock.

  • IBM: Apple Tops in Patching Critical Security Holes

    However, when IBM broke out data for “Critical and High Vulnerability” disclosures, Microsoft is king of the heap, with 73% of disclosures involving Windows. Linux was #216%, and Apple was #3 with 9%, as you can see in the figure below.

  • Droid 2: A Nice Tweak

    As the Smartphone Summer of 2010 lurches to a close, Verizon Wireless and Motorola have refreshed their product lines with the Droid 2 ($200 with a two-year contract), an update to the 10-month-old popular Droid slider phone.

  • Kernel Space

    • An ancient kernel hole is closed

      The problem was discovered by Rafal Wojtczuk of Invisible Things Lab (ITL) while working on Qubes OS, ITL’s virtualization-based, security-focused operating system. ITL’s CEO Joanna Rutkowska describes the flaw on the company’s blog and Wojtczuk released a paper [PDF] on August 17 with lots more details. In that paper, he notes that he reported the problem to the X.org security team on June 17, and by June 20 the team had determined that it should be fixed in the kernel. But it took until August 13 before that actually happened.

  • Applications

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Aluratek’s E-reader Cracks the $100 Barrier

      Aluratek’s Libre e-reader comes in different colors and is priced at $169 on the company’s website. The device can open e-books in the PDF, ePub, MOBI, PRC, RTF and text electronic book formats.

    • Why Amazon Won’t Release Kindle Sales Figures

      But how many Kindles have you sold, Amazon? Strangely enough, the company won’t say. It never has.

    • Phones

      • HP Tablet Hobbled by Lack of WebOS Apps

        Now that Hewlett-Packard has announced plans to release a webOS tablet early next year, its next big goal–in addition to building the device–is to persuade software developers to write apps for the mobile gadget. Given the early popularity of Apple’s iPad, as well as the imminent arrival of numerous tablets running Google’s Android OS, that task could prove challenging.

      • HP teases 3 new prototypes

        Since the recent HP buyout of PALM we have been waiting for what HP may have in store for us. Well HP’s CTO Phil McKinney has tweeted some pictures of 3 new devices that could be released in the near future. The picture has the devices blacked out so we can only see their outlines but 1 seems to be a tablet, other a phone, and 3rd is something on his wrist maybe a media player? The second link on his twitter status leads us to a SXSW panel that he will be speaking at about devices of the future. So these devices may be further off than we think, or he might bring the future to us now.

      • Nokia/MeeGo

      • Android

        • Android “Horrendous” For Developers, Still Beats iOS

          While developer interest in Android is finally starting to catch up to iOS, the open-source OS is far from the most convenient system to work with. Joe Hewitt, the extremely talented developer behind the iPhone’s Facebook app, recently switched over to Android due to his frustration with the restrictive nature of App Store policies.

        • Archos 7 Android tablet

          Dominating the front of the 7 is a resistive 16 million colour 800 x 480 7in LCD screen with a matt finish. Archos has a tradition of quality displays and the 7 Home Tablet doesn’t disappoint; it’s crisp, bright and colourful although the viewing angle is not exactly robust in the vertical plane.

        • Acer Android tablet release date wobbles
        • Advanced Task Manager app maker makes $80,000 with Android app

          I’ve written before about the challenges of making money on Android apps.

          Well, Arron La, maker of the Advanced Task Manager app has released some interesting data that suggests that, even with its problems, Android can make a decent amount of money for someone. No, it’s not crazy iPhone app money, but it’s a start.

        • Bango: Android Web Browsing Up 400%

          U.S.-based Android users are an active (and likely multiplying) bunch, according to new data from a mobile payment specialist called Bango. The company’s determined that, between the first and second quarters, the volume of Web browsing conducted on Android devices increased by a whopping 400 percent.

        • The 22 Best Android Apps
    • Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Time to take another look at Open Source?

    Despite recent economic improvement, 82% of organizations are facing flat or falling IT budgets in 2011, up from 78% in 2010. As a result, implementation success comes from providing strategic value while minimizing both capital and operational expenses. Alternatives such as cloud-based services and open-source derived products have the potential to reduce these costs while meeting business application requirements.

  • Events

    • Taking a Pause For Ohio LinuxFest

      We have an awesome schedule line-up with Free talks: Jon Maddog Hall to deliver the kick-off keynote Friday September 10, Stormy Peters to answer the AM keynote question Who is stealing your desktop and closing keynote of Christopher “Monty” Montgomery on the The Digital Media Frontier.

    • But I don’t know Linux well enough to go to LinuxFest

      Maybe you need some time learning Linux on the desktop skills. Even if you have always used Windows, by the end of the Ohio LinuxFest Linux Basics class, you will be savvy enough to install Linux and transfer your daily work into the GNOME desktop environment with Ubuntu. This class is a great too for anyone who wants an overview of Linux to broaden your IT knowledge. Either way, you will have a hands-on experience which will turn you into a bug-one crushing warrior.

    • Get Your Training On at OLFU
  • Web Browsers

    • Google Chrome to get Gmail Labs-like experimental features

      Google OS spotted a new addition to the Chromium browser: an about:labs page. Load it up, and you’ll see experimental browser features which you can enable — like side tabs on Windows and tab expose on Mac.

    • Google quietly revs Chrome dev to version 7

      Bugs are nothing new to the developers version of Chrome, which is intended to be a rougher version of the browser than the beta or stable channels. A new bug indicates that the new developers version is incompatible with streaming Netflix movies, while another appears to be affecting the rendering of extension fonts. Some users are reporting that the search function in the location bar is no longer working for them, although that doesn’t appear to be affecting all users at this time. Because these bugs are in the developers version, it’s expected that they’ll get fixed before the beta and stable versions receive updates.

  • Oracle

  • CMS

    • WordPress for BlackBerry, Android and Symbian Updates Available for Download

      The Android build, now at version 1.3.5, has a longer change list, including: more stable preview of blog posts, a fix regarding multi-language support which made long strings of text break the interface, a patch for an issue which caused the option to turn off the Mobile Theme to randomly disappear, and another one for the occasional adding of random extra paragraph HTML tags when editing a blog post.

  • Healthcare

    • Government Saves Lives with Free Software

      At VA Hospitals nationwide, the government was deploying VISTA. No, not Microsoft Windows Vista, VISTA – the open source medical records system. It keeps track of all of information concerning a patient’s care – no matter where in the country they go. Medications, pharmacies, doctor visits, dates, diagnosis.. it is all there. Nurses recommended that VISTA work with scan-able wrist bands. Now patients’ wrists are scanned prior to medicating and procedures with immediate feedback for the medical professionals who are providing the care as the care is administered. It saves lives and the government money. This is change that I can believe in.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Linked data is opening 800 years of UK legal info

        Earlier this month, the National Archives of the United Kingdom launched legislation.gov.uk to provide public access to a primary source of legal information for citizens. Legislation.gov.uk covers more than 800 years of legal history in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

      • Opensource and Javascript: Polymaps Used To Make PrettyMaps

        This is not the first chunk of geo code that SimpleGeo has opensourced (just go check Github). They are in the business of selling geodata and geo cloud services. By releasing these tools they make it easier for companies without geoexpertise to get hooked on their services. As SimpleGeo opens up it’s market and takes on more customers we’ll see that happening. Along the way it’s a great benefit to the mapping and mobile commmunity.

      • Earthquakes are HUGE on Data.gov

        After launching just over a year ago with only 47 data sets, the “Raw Data Catalog” catalog on Data.gov now has 2,326 entries that have been collectively downloaded almost three-quarters of a million times. Of course, even these sizable download counts understate the actual impact of this data, which is being embedded in a variety of sites and apps, like those being developed for the Health 2.0 Developer Challenge.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Panvidea Supports WebM Open Media Project

      Panvidea™, a global leader in on-demand video encoding, preparation, processing and distribution for entertainment and advertising content across any digital platform, has today announced broad and comprehensive support for Google’s new WebM project, along with Adobe, Microsoft, and more than forty other publishers, software and hardware vendors. The new WebM open web media format, based on the VP8 open source video codec, is immediately available to all users of Panvidea’s cloud based video encoding and processing service (www.panvidea.com) at no additional charge as part of the company’s already extensive list of the highest quality video and audio codecs and containers.

    • Youtube gets an HTML5 website for mobiles

      MOBILE HTML5 VIDEO is now accessible at Youtube through a website dedicated to the format for smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices.

Leftovers

  • Google continues its assault on the price of a phone call

    But if you use Google’s new, free phone-calling option (http://gmail.com/call), that figure drops to zero.

    On Wednesday, the Web giant announced that American users of its Gmail Web service could call numbers in the United States and Canada for free from within their browsers. Calls elsewhere cost less than many traditional long-distance domestic calls: You pay 2 cents a minute to call Ireland, Korea, Argentina and many other countries. (Google’s rates top out at 99 cents a minute for those calling the island nation of Nauru.)

  • How web journalism can make people seem hateful

    There is very little evidence, if any, that Sarah Palin hates teachers, or that Andrew Breitbart is a racist. Yet a recent flood of viral stories propagated by internet journalists allegedly catch prominent conservatives red-handed in acts of hate.

  • As errors grow, so does a credibility gap

    A single major error can damage a news organization. But incessant lesser ones can be more harmful. Like a cancer, they gradually destroy credibility and eventually sever the organization’s bond of trust with its audience.

    Many readers say that’s happening with The Post. This summer, and especially over the past month, there has been a spike in complaints about inexcusable “little” mistakes.

    [...]

    Many complaints involve mistakes online, where editing sometimes seems minimal. Several readers have said inaccurate information has remained even after they alerted writers or the Web site.

  • New Digg Is Live: What It Means For Digg and For You

    What Digg may benefit from is the new seamlessness of the submission and consumption processes. Users that are looking for a curated stream alongside the popular content can do it on Digg. The majority of Digg’s userbase will likely find the new design refreshing and it very well may gain some traction among users that feel overwhelmed with the real-time news stream or the pontifications in their news feed. Better yet, Digg may attract a whole new audience looking for a place to discover news through curated sources.

  • Michael Grade: BBC too big

    The former BBC and ITV chairman Michael Grade has called for the corporation to be reduced in size, claiming it is “almost unmanageable now” and “too big”.

    Grade, who was BBC chairman for two-and-a-half years from May 2004, also said he thought that some of the licence fee should be shared with Channel 4.

  • Titanic Is Falling Apart

    Already explorers have documented caved-in roofs, weakening decks, a stern perhaps on the edge of collapse, and the disappearance of Titanic’s crow’s nest—from which lookout Frederick Fleet spotted history’s most infamous iceberg. (Watch an animation of Titanic’s iceberg collision, breakup, and sinking.)

  • IBMer blames mistress for making him mis-talk

    obert Moffat, once tipped for the top job at IBM, has blamed his mistress for encouraging him to give her information which she used for insider dealing.

    He is facing securities fraud and conspiracy charges, and prosecutors are asking for a six month prison sentence.

  • Intel Said to Be Near Purchase of Infineon Division

    Intel Corp., the world’s largest chipmaker, is close to an agreement to buy Infineon Technologies AG’s wireless business, three people with direct knowledge of the discussions said.

  • Satyam Founder Gets Bail as Case Drags on

    The former chairman and founder of Indian outsourcer Satyam Computer Services was released on bail on Wednesday by the High Court in Andhra Pradesh, state of south India.

  • Three Sentenced in Scam Targeting Tech Vendors

    Three people were sentenced to prison terms Thursday for their roles in a multimillion-dollar scheme targeting payments to IT and consulting services vendors from four state governments, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

  • Science

    • MOON SHRINKING FAST – shock NASA discovery

      Imagery from a NASA spacecraft has revealed that the Moon has shrunk significantly in recent times: indeed, instruments placed by the Apollo astronauts are thought to have recorded the rumbling, crunching sounds of lunar shrinkage carrying on in just the last few decades.

    • Lunar orbiter sees shrinking Moon
    • Mars as big as Moon is a Hoax

      The Mars Hoax is once again showing up in emails all around the world. It states that the planet Mars will appear in the sky as large as the Moon on August 27, 2010. This will not happen! It is all a hoax! And, many of you are perpetuating this email falsehood.

    • See third fireball on Jupiter

      A third impact of a body onto the planet Jupiter in thirteen months has been recorded by two amateur astronomers in Japan. The resulting flash is shown on a video taken by one of the Japanese astronomers.

    • Boffins learn to adjust body clocks

      Good news today for sufferers from jet lag, bipolar depression, interstellar or interplanetary colonists and others plagued by disorders relating to the circadian rhythm – or body clock.

  • Security/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Iran’s Bushehr nuclear reactor: it’s not too late to turn back

      Regardless of whether Iran is developing nuclear weapons or not, nuclear programmes breed mistrust and constitute a major proliferation threat. The international community is failing to address this problem. A lasting solution to the spread of nuclear weapons should include an end to enrichment, the phase-out of nuclear power and complete disarmament by all nuclear weapon states.

    • How many Arctic cowboys does it take to lasso an iceberg?
    • How Green Tech Can Help the World Go Oil-Free

      Unfortunately for the Gulf’s fishing and shrimping economy, many of us will choose not to feed ourselves from its supply for a while, but the decision to stop feeding our voracious addiction to petroleum with deep sea deposits is more controversial. Even as the fishing industry, wildlife, and wetlands that were hit by the Gulf spill remain in a desperate condition, offering a bleak reality check on the consequences of our oil dependence, one can still hear “Drill Baby, Drill!” echoing through the halls of Congress.

    • To Protect, Renew, and Re-Tool: An Interview with Kristina Hill on Managing the Effects of Climate Change

      Kristina Hill, PhD, Affiliate ASLA, is Chair of the Landscape Architecture department at the University of Virginia. Recently, the American Society of Landscape Architects interviewed her about how best to manage the effects of climate change, especially in designing cities.

    • New Study Shows Americans Used Less Energy and More Renewables in 2009

      U.S. energy use fell in 2009 and Americans used more wind and solar power and less electricity generated by burning coal and natural gas, according to a survey by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

    • New Evidence Links Sprawl to Parking Minimumss

      A team of economists from the University of Munich recently released a study examining the effects of mandatory parking minimums on development in urban and suburban Los Angeles. The team found that parking minimums “significantly increase” the amount of land devoted to parking, to the detriment of water quality, pedestrian safety and non-automotive modes of transportation.

    • 1962 oil company ad boasts about ability to melt glaciers
    • Scientists Say as Much as 79% of Oil Remains in Gulf of Mexico

      A group of scientists have found that up to 79% of the oil in the Gulf of Mexico may still remain, contradicting earlier findings by a U.S. government study that found nearly 75% of the oil had dissipated.

    • People have NO BLOODY IDEA about saving energy

      People who make an effort to be eco-friendly – for instance by recycling glass bottles, turning off lights and unplugging cellphone chargers – have no idea what they’re on about, according to a new survey. Those who don’t bother are more likely to know what actually saves energy and what doesn’t.

    • Australia drops the ball on green IT

      More than four out of five Australian IT departments have never seen their power bill – a stark example of how a lack of metrics has led to Australia falling behind the UK and US when it comes to greening ICT.

    • BBC dumps Gulf oil spill on Middlesbrough

      In case you’ve ever wondered just how far a Mars rover might have wandered if it had set out from your front door, or indeed the exact area covered by the Chernobyl radiation cloud, if that ill-fated nuclear facility had been built at your mum’s house, then look no further than BBC Dimensions.

    • Activist: Gulf fishermen being held responsible for toxic seafood

      Louisiana fishermen’s activist Kindra Arnesen says dock owners are asking fishermen to sign waivers that put the full responsibility for toxins found in the catch on the fishermen themselves.

    • Study: Oil spill cleanup workers suffered chromosome damage, respiratory issues

      Spanish fishermen who took part in a clean-up operation after the Prestige oil tanker spill in 2002 have shown symptoms of chromosomal damage and respiratory problems, a study released Tuesday said.

      The study, conducted by Spanish researchers between September 2004 and February 2005 on 501 fishermen who helped clean up Europe’s worst oil spill, was published in the American review Annals of Internal Medicine.

  • Finance

    • Banks’ Self-Dealing Super-Charged Financial Crisis

      As the housing boom began to slow in mid-2006, investors became skittish about the riskier parts of those investments. So the banks created — and ultimately provided most of the money for — new CDOs. Those new CDOs bought the hard-to-sell pieces of the original CDOs. The result was a daisy chain that solved one problem but created another: Each new CDO had its own risky pieces. Banks created yet other CDOs to buy those.

    • Quantitative Easing round 1.5

      QE in 08/09 has been applied. Basically the FED prints money and buys stuff. Note that this is no different from how the modern banking system works. Banks create money out of thin air (that is the money multiplier) and PEOPLE buy stuff with it. Market centric wisdom says that markets will allocate that money to the most productive use. SO let the banks create money, lend it and let the people make the smart decisions.

    • Little Geeks on the Prairie

      That’s where the Cringely Startup Tour stopped recently to visit Maverick Software Consulting and find out where’s the beef. This Maverick (the consulting company) has come up with an amazing business model for software consulting services — one that employs American programmers yet meets or beats the cost of using programmers in India or China. But it is much more than just a price-competitive service: Maverick Software Consulting also gives prospective technical employers a newer and better way to directly recruit good programmers.

      [...]

      While Maverick looks only marginally profitable on paper, the business has no debt, is completely bootstrapped, is keeping dozens — eventually hundreds — of jobs in America. And if they can scale the business the way they think they can there’s nothing that says the founders won’t soon be paying themselves a bootload of money while remaining mavericks — unbranded.

    • Man Spreads Homelessness Awareness on YouTube

      Saturday was Invisible People.tv day at YouTube. InvisiblePeople.tv is a site/project that utilizes social media tools like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace to spread awareness about the growing homelessness problem.

      The channel was featured on YouTube’s home page over the weekend, and YouTube discussed it in a company blog post, speaking with Founder Mark Horvath.

    • Home sales plunge 27 pct. to lowest in 15 years

      Sales of previously occupied homes plunged last month to the lowest level in 15 years, despite the lowest mortgage rates in decades and bargain prices in many areas.

    • Ex-UBS whistleblower hits out at ‘corrupt’ US justice

      Former UBS banker Bradley Birkenfeld hit out on Saturday against the “corrupt” US judiciary which sent him to jail even though he was the whistleblower who led to the US tax fraud case against the bank.

      “The Department of Justice’s corruption is evident today — why am I the only one in prison when I had revealed everything?” the US banker asked in a French-language interview with Swiss newspaper Le Temps.

  • Lobbying

    • India Plans to Lobby for Drop in U.S. Visa Fees

      A new U.S. law that increases visa fees to pay for border security is a national issue for India rather than one that only affects Indian outsourcing companies, according to India’s National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom).

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Google seeks UK privacy lobbyist

      Are you a privacy lawyer? Would you take pride in working for a company with “a real soul”? Is your brain impervious to cognitive dissonance? Could you grow a brass neck?

    • Spain investigates Google Street View wi-fi snooping
    • Google censors Sex Party political ads

      The Australian Sex Party has charged that anti-filter corporate campaigner Google censored its lampoon advertisement “Jerk Choices,” reclassifying it as Adult Only despite the parody already having been played in prime time on free to air television.

    • Greens would require ISPs to offer PC-based net filters

      The Greens propose spending the $40.8m the Labor Government has budgeted for cyber-safety initiatives on range of measures including mandating the supply of PC-based filtering by ISPs, further research into cyber safety risks, strengthened law enforcement, and net literacy education.

    • MSNBC rejects anti-Target ad from liberal group

      MSNBC rejects ad from liberal MoveOn.org calling for Target boycott over political donation

    • Facebook Deletes North Korean Account, but It Resurfaces

      A Facebook account established by a North Korea-linked Web site was deleted by the social networking service on Friday, but a new group sprang up over the weekend to take its place.

      The account belonged to Uriminzokkiri, a Web site that provides Korean-language news and propaganda from North Korea’s central news agency. The Web site appears to be run from servers in China but is ultimately controlled from Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea.

      The Facebook group appeared on Thursday and carried links to articles on the Uriminzokkiri Web site and videos on the site’s YouTube channel. In its short life the Facebook group managed to attract a handful of Facebook friends before becoming unavailable during the Friday U.S. business day.

      “The page in question was removed because it violated our terms of use,” said Kumiko Hidaka, a Facebook spokeswoman by e-mail.

    • North Korea-linked Facebook Page Deleted Again

      For the second time in less than a week a Facebook account created by a North Korea-linked Web site has been deleted by the social networking site.

    • WikiLeaks founder says he’s been targeted by smear campaign

      “It is clearly a smear campaign,” Assange told Arabic news network Al-Jazeera in a live telephone interview Sunday. “… The only question is, who was involved?”

    • AOL Gives Parents Tool for Eavesdropping on Kids’ Social Networking
    • PC World admits dumping customer data

      CUSTOMER DATA IN SKIPS has been PC World’s idea of secure financial information disposal and it has got the retailer into a spot of bother with the authorities.

      DSG, which owns PC World, has been found in breach of the Data Protection Act by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Epson sues a cartridge vendor

      Epson has been pursuing the alleged patent infringement since 2006. It has issued cease and desist demands to Medea International to no avail and now wants its day in court.

    • Third edition of OED unlikely to appear in print format

      “It is likely to be more than a decade before the full edition is published and a decision on format will be taken at that point,” she said.

    • Copyrights

      • Playlist.com goes titsup

        Founded in 2006 as Project Playlist, the revenue-lite operation made widgets for social network sites as Facebook and MySpace, and in its heyday boasted almost 40 million users.

        The largest amount, $16.6m, is owned to Universal Music; but independent network Merlin is also owed $1.68m, with songwriters’ association ASCAP out of pocket by $377,323, according to Chapter 11 documents.

Clip of the Day

A Profile on Linus Torvalds


Links 29/8/2010: ZaReason Laptops, Fennec for Android and Nokia N900

Posted in News Roundup at 5:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • ES: Andalusia government studying switch to open source desktop

    The government of Andalusia, one of Spain’s autonomous regions, is preparing to use a complete open source desktop environment. The analysis of requirements of such a desktop system is nearly completed, the next step will be a few small scale tests, according to a presentation by José Félix Ontañón, one of the software developers involved.

    Ontañón talked about the plans by the Andalusian government at the Guadec conference that took place in The Hague, Netherlands, last month.

    For the first test, several work stations in the administration will be running a number of open source applications on the proprietary operating system currently used by the administration. In a second phase, a limited number of these desktops will be converted to run a locally tailored version of a Linux distribution.

  • Live Penguins

    I was in the Digital booth, which was near to the “Magic Software” booth when two men came up to the Magic booth and asked to see the penguins. The handler explained that the penguins were “resting” and the two men should come back in a couple of hours to see them. As the two people started to leave, I walked up to the group and said to the penguin handler “See that guy?” pointing to one of them, “None of this event would be here if it was not for him…..his name is Linus Torvalds. Show him the freaking penguins.” The handler then brought the penguins out, and Linus saw them and went on his way.

    The next day a lady showed up with her two small children, one in a baby carriage, and asked to see the penguins. She was also told to “come back in a couple of hours”. The small entourage started to leave, and once again I wandered over to the booth:

    “Remember that guy who was here yesterday who was the architect of the Linux kernel? This is his wife and two daughters, and my godchildren……get out the freaking penguins!”

    About a month after Linuxworld I got a call from the show management. Apparently someone had written to the San Francisco Chronicle about how horrible it was that live penguins were “taken from the wild” and made to perform at the event, their “eyes open wide with fear”.

  • Leveraging proprietary software at the expense of customers

    This behavior seems to be more and more common. The more specialized the software is, the more this seems to take place, too. The software vendors know their leveraging capabilities, and seem to adjust their pricing accordingly. They also lock in customers and use the same type of scheme that Microsoft does, thus forcing them to upgrade and pay over and over again.

    As I have stated before, practice like this can be completely avoided by using open source software, which is immune to upgrade pricing, licenses, and other flaws of proprietary software. In the case here, I already know of an open source software package that could be used in its place, it’s called gLabels. But this would involve a lot of migration that is difficult to overcome. The options need to be weighed out, and action taken.

  • Desktop

    • My ZaReason Laptop

      My new laptop is a machine which ZaReason was carrying until recently. It seems they have massively upgraded the version I currently have which provides me with a bit of jealousy and awe. For being an inexpensive machine it is plenty powerful for what I need. It is actually really damn powerful! It boasts an Intel Core 2 Duo T7100, 4 GB of memory, 160GB SATA drive, a NVIDIA GeForce 9200M, a 15.4″ widescreen display, camera, DVD burner, Gigabit Ethernet, WiFi, and the lists goes on. Hell, this thing even has HDMI, which I am proud to say, it is the only device in my house with such an option. Anyone have a high definition TV for me so I can test it out? :)

    • ZaReason Terra HD

      Oh yeah, I always see people comment on blogs where Linux-laptop vendors are mentioned that they wish there was a company in their country selling these. Guess what? ZaReason ships internationally!

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Linux Outlaws 165 – Hairy Fridays

      On the last show for a few weeks: Steam not coming to Linux, new Ubuntu release name announced, Intel buys McAfee, Linux gets Google Voice and Video Chat, Dan’s review of the HTC Desire and much more…

  • Kernel Space

    • More Patches To Improve Linux Desktop Responsiveness

      About one month ago we reported on the emergence of patches that may fix the Linux desktop responsiveness problems, which is an issue that’s been experienced by many Linux desktop users in recent years. For Linux users it may take many seconds for a menu to appear when clicking on it or a half-minute to do a VT switch, but fortunately it’s becoming a thing of the past with these patches working well for many users and has since been integrated into the mainline Linux kernel. The story though is not over as even more patches have just been published to further improve the Linux desktop responsiveness.

    • Using Disk Compression With Btrfs To Enhance Performance

      Earlier this month we delivered benchmarks comparing the ZFS, EXT4, and Btrfs file-systems from both solid-state drives and hard drives. The EXT4 file-system was the clear winner in terms of the overall disk performance while Btrfs came in second followed by Sun’s ZFS in FreeBSD 8.2. It was a surprise that in our most recent testing the EXT4 file-system turned around and did better than the next-generation Btrfs file-system, but it turns out that Btrfs regressed hard in Linux 2.6.35 as to be found in Ubuntu 10.10 and other soon-to-be-released distributions. However, regardless of where Btrfs is performing, its speed can be boosted by enabling its transparent zlib compression support.

    • DRBD: For When it Absolutely, Positively, Has to be in Sync

      DRBD is a kernel loadable module, and as of kernel 2.6.33 it is included with the mainline kernel. If you are running a Linux server that has any level of kernel revision past 2.6.33, you already have drbd available, and at most will need to load the management tools. If your server is older than that, you will need to download the tools and the loadable module to get it running.

    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA 256.52 Linux Driver Brings Fixes

        What this driver update though does provide is a fix that previously prevented XvMC (X-Video Motion Compensation) from initializing (but if there’s anyone still using XvMC in NVIDIA’s binary driver, you should really update your application and driver to utilize the much superior VDPAU API), support for the xorg-server 8 video ABI used by X.Org Server 1.9, a bug that caused extremely slow OpenGL rendering when on X screens other than screen zero when a compositing manager was in use, stability problems on select GPUs such as the GeForce GT 240, a slow kernel virtual address space leak with OpenGL/CUDA/VDPAU applications, and lastly is a bug-fix for hangs when using two or more VDPAU applications simultaneously.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE Release Party in Madrid
      • New KDE Desktop! Version 4.5 not perfect, but much better!

        So of course, while I’m spending a glorious and relaxing week hanging out in Boulder, Colorado, the KDE community is working overtime fixing a few showstopper bugs. Version 4.5 of the KDE Software Collection (also known as KDE SC) was released Tuesday, a week late from the original release plan, but it looks like a pretty good one.

      • Updates on Plasma land!

        Playing with dataengines I started to hack on another topic: sharing of articles on Akregator. I started to feel too much dependent on Google’s infrastructure and decided to move some of my stuff “out of the cloud”. I started with Google Reader and put all my feeds on Akregator. Kudos for Google for allowing me to export my list of feeds and kudos to Akregator that imports the file. Everybody is happy and Google is not evil trying to hold my data.

      • KDE 4.5 Window tiling

        Fast-forward to now and Microsoft claims to have innovated a new feature. Soon after that KDE refines the same feature and ads it into 4.4. Of course 4.4 was still suffering from numerous bugs. Fast-forward a little bit further into now and you have 4.5 which squashes tons of bugs and offers an amazing desktop that includes a bug-free tiling experience!

  • Distributions

    • Hands On With The VIA ARTiGO A1100

      Overall, I would say that SliTaz is the best fit. Seeing as most things worked fairly well right away, and no closed-source code was needed (this is an opensource blog after all) I would rate SliTaz an 8 of 10. The only reason for point docking being that overall performance left something to be desired. The best performance goes to Slackware. The boot time was bad, but once booted Slackware was a charm.

    • A few notes for Arch Linux

      Probably 95 percent of the Arch screenshots you see include a nifty logo and rundown on the guts of a system. For example …

    • New Releases

      • BlankOn 6.1 (Sajadah)
      • Elastix 2.0.2
      • NuTyX 25082010
      • Clonezilla 1.2.6-11
      • AUSTRUMI 2.1.7
      • Mandriva Linux 2010.1

        Mandriva Linux 2010 Spring is available in three editions: One, Powerpack and Free, for architectures i586 and x86-64. One and Free can be free downloaded from official Mandriva mirrors and via BitTorrent. To download these versions, visit this page. A Community version (community supported) based on Xfce of the One version will also be available. You can also download directly via BitTorrent from this page. The Powerpack version is a commercial version available for purchase on the Mandriva Store site. For more information on differences between versions, visit this page.

      • Parted Magic 5.4 Moves to Linux Kernel 2.6.35.3 to Fix Issue

        Just a few days after Parted Magic 5.3 came out, an update was released, mainly to fix an issue affecting the previous release. Parted Magic 5.4 fixes an issue which caused keyboard input to slow down. Despite the short time between releases, several other issues have been fixed as well and some packages updated.

      • NetSecL 3.0 Released

        It was time for a change and we at NetSecL realized that, the new version of NetSecL 3.0 is a live DVD + installation based on OpenSuse. Once installed you can fully enjoy the features of GrSecurity hardened kernel and penetration tools OR if you like to do some penetration testing you can directly run all tools from the live DVD. NetSecL firewall is included as always and most of the penetration tools are ported to the new platform. Also we’d like to mention that we’ve got many other programs up and running with GrSecurity enabled, which is great success especially when it comes to programs like wine, OpenOffice, Vuze, Qemu and many gnome applications. The password for both admin and root user on the DVD is linux.

      • Lunar Linux 1.6.5 (i686 & x86_64) ISO’s released

        The Lunar team proudly announce the final release of Lunar Linux 1.6.5 codename ‘Mare Ingenii’!

        The last known issues with the ISO have been resolved. We added support for hybrid ISO in the last minute, which mean it’s a lot more easy to install lunar from an usb-stick from now on. The developers are currently brainstorming and voting on ideas to further improve the state of Lunar, an announcement about this will be made later. We also plan to let our users, yes you, to chip in with ideas that will be up for voting within our community, but more on that later. Enjoy the release of Lunar 1.6.5!

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Fedora Users gather together in Switzerland

          One highlight is the Wired Dreams party on Friday, 2010-09-17, after the first event day just next to the primary event location featuring free (as in creative commons) live music and delicious free beer (with some mugs in form of free as in free beer).

        • What I want from Fedora

          Fedora doesn’t suck, but it could be a lot more useful to a lot more people. And either I am right, or I am wrong. Policy, feedback, goals, all of these things will determine how many of the things I would like to see are feasible, in line with Fedora’s longer term vision, and so forth. So let’s see a very specific vision and direction and all be much happier for it.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • HD-ready IP set-top offers Android integration

      According to In Media, an existing version of the !ROFL is running an In Fusion software stack, — presumably based on another version of embedded Linux — that is said to be already shipping in handheld devices in China.

    • Next-gen ARM cores break memory barrier, add hypervisor support

      ARM Holdings has provided new details about its next-generation Cortex-A series processor core, currently code-named “Eagle.” In a presentation at this week’s “Hot Chips” conference, the company described relevant extensions to its ARMv7-A architecture, including hypervisor extensions and the ability to address more than 4GB of RAM.

    • Phones

      • Open Source Phone Tech Could Result in Cell Carrier Rate Drop

        According to Engineering for Change blogger Rob Goodier, cell phone carriers could cut costs and pass savings on to customers by taking advantage of the open source technology created by a team of engineers in the telecom industry.

      • Android

        • Sprint Epic 4G Rooted Before Launch

          Members of the Android community have done it again by gaining root access on the unreleased Samsung Epic 4G. This device is not yet available to the public, but as you can see, some lucky folks who already have the device have already done it. Those of you who plan on rooting your Epic 4G on launch day, the method already works. That makes 3 out of 4 Galaxy S devices rooted so far. Let’s see if the Fascinate can meet the same fate before launch.

        • Fennec: Firefox For Android, Nokia N900

          This first Alpha release of Fennec for Android is an exciting first step in bringing browser choice and customization, along with a seamless Web experience across devices, to a leading open mobile platform. Now, developers have the power to use the latest Web technologies like HTML5, CSS and JavaScript to to build fast, powerful and beautiful mobile apps and add-ons that can reach many millions of devices.

        • Mozilla Releases Fennec Alpha for Android and Nokia N900
        • How Do Google’s Free Phone Calls Impact Chrome OS?

          Along these same lines, it’s also interesting to note that Google recently added video chat features for Gmail users on Linux. Remember that Chrome OS is positioned to work with applications and data in the cloud. It’s not positioned as an OS for local apps. If users can make VoIP calls that cost nothing or nearly nothing from their Chrome OS devices, and use all their cloud apps too, Chrome OS netbooks instantly become interesting phone/computer hybrids—as do potential Chrome OS tablet devices.

    • Tablets

      • 3 Reasons Google Should Make its own Tablets

        The Google Nexus One experiment was a success in showing the market what Android phones could do, and how competitive they could be. Having similar flagship tablets would have the same results by creating a controlled environment for development and optimization. This would accelerate adoption of the platform, which is what Google really wants. It’s not a hardware company, after all.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Getting Started As An Open Source Contributor
  • Projects

    • Add Subtitles or Captions to Any Web Video with Universal Subtitles

      The heavy lifting of subtitling a video is done via a browser-based javascript widget with tools that help users add on-screen text without re-uploading or re-transcoding the original video. The project’s Web site serves as a collaborative space where community members can work together on larger video projects, get advice, and track which captioning and subtitling requests have the greatest need. Both the widget and the Web site are licensed under the AGPL license.

    • Make Cool Interactive Maps with Polymaps

      Whether you want to display an interactive map of local farmers’ markets on your blog or you’re trying to put together a clickable map displaying branch offices on your corporate Web site, there’s a good chance Polymaps can help you get the job done. It’s a free, open source JavaScript library for making dynamic maps in a Web browser.

    • Archive Your Tweets for Posterity with yourTwapper Keeper

      Online Twitter archive service Twapper Keeper has just released yourTwapperKeeper, an MIT-licensed, server-based app that functions essentially the same way as the Web-based version. Once downloaded and installed, yourTwapperKeeper lets users define Twitter searches by keyword or hashtag and stores results locally for later retrieval.

  • Oracle

    • Java developers’ reaction to Oracle, Google lawsuit

      What do the programmers and companies that depend on the Java software family make of Oracle suing Google? To find out, we asked them.

    • Google backs out of JavaOne conference

      A quick look at the JavaOne conference schedule reveals some sessions that were to be conducted by Google, including one entitled “Cloud Cover: Testing Techniques for Google App Engine,” presented by Google software engineer Max Ross. Google also was to participate in a panel session entitled “Taking Java to the Sky: Cloud Computing 2010 Expert Panel,” as well as another session, “High-Performance Java Servers at Google,” featuring Google software engineer Dhanji Prasanna.

  • Healthcare

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • H-node

      The h-node project aims at the construction of a database of all the hardware that works with a fully free operating system. The h-node.com website is structured like a wiki in which all the users can modify or insert new contents.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Can Work on an Open Source Map Project Make Money for its Founders?

        My old friend Serge Wroclawski has been working on OpenStreetMap.org (OSM) for a number of years now. He’s done this because he sees this as a worthwhile project — an open source, user-editable worldwide map — rather than as a way to make money. And that’s good, because Serge has made exactly $0.00 so far from his OpenStreetMap.org work. But this may change before long.

Leftovers

  • Security/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Yes, we broke the law as climate change activists. And this is why

      Like the Greenpeace protesters who occupied Kingsnorth power station three years ago, we argued that any crimes we committed paled in comparison to runaway climate change.

      Like them, we aren’t robbers, kidnappers or terrorists. We are secretaries, parents, cooks, community workers, architects and saxophonists. We are part of a growing movement of concerned citizens who are prepared to put our bodies in the way of dangerous high-carbon developments.

    • UN report on Nigeria oil spills relies too heavily on data from Shell

      The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is preparing to issue a report announcing that 90% of the oil spills in Ogoniland, Nigeria, are caused by the locals stealing crude from pipelines – and that Shell’s aged pipelines and ill maintained installations account for a mere 10% of the spills. Why so little, we might ask?

      The UNEP has now admitted this figure is based on data from the oil industry and the Nigerian government. It’s not surprising that this is in line with what Shell used to claim in the 1980s – that about 80% of the oil spills were caused by vandalism or sabotage. This claim that infrastructure has been sabotaged is particularly attractive to oil companies, because they are then exempted from paying compensation for any resulting spills. Why accept responsibility for polluting the locals’ creeks, swamps and farmlands and destroying their livelihoods when you can blame the very same people for the mess now coating their own backyards with a toxic gloss?

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Patents, Trademarks & All that Jazz

      Ah, well! But, here I am… using a cheap laptop and running a bunch of Free Software apps written for the sake of peace and love by some hippies to write this blog post. Funny, as it might sound, I somehow feel this is the right thing to do. I mean anyone with a sane mind would rather be on the Grateful Dead’s side than Britney Spears’. What about you?

      Oops! I hope the MAFIAA doesn’t come after me for illegally linking to mp3 files in my blog post.

      Ironically, Facebook would have gone out of business if all its users stopped sharing.

    • Copyrights

Clip of the Day

EEE 1000H Upgrading: How to upgrade Hard drive & RAM


08.28.10

Links 28/8/2010: Diaspora Coming Within Weeks, SFLC Now in India Too

Posted in News Roundup at 4:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Open source scores

    Microsoft is laggard in everything except desktop operating systems, Office and gaming. Internet Explorer has not been able to pass the Acid 3 test which signifies that it is not standards-compliant.

    What Mr Scott would fear to accept publicly is the rise of the Ubuntu operating system and how the future release (Meerkat) is being adapted to netbooks (where Win 7 has not been ported). Mobile applications have been hammered and its newer version was greeted with a big yawn. It’s difficult to compare search engines in terms of content but Microsoft-funded agencies have been claiming Bing’s “meteoric rise”. The fact is that Google does not need to shout about its offerings.

    There is a serious lack of choice from OEMs while buying new hardware. Mr Scott may not be aware that Linux has been ported to almost everything under sun. I run my entertainment servers attached to Wi-Fi that streams music and is connected to the web on 10-year-old legacy systems ported to Unix which does not need a reboot. Windows does not provide “support” to old hardware.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

Free Software/Open Source

  • PixelLight Open-Source Cross-Platform 3D Engine

    It’s built entirely in C++ and already runs on Windows and Linux, with test versions already running on mobile devices and web browsers. Definitely looks like something to keep an eye on.

  • Open-source 3D engine PixelLight released
  • Brazil goes all-digital with 2010 census

    Better known for its beaches and passion for soccer, Brazil also happens to be the world’s second-leading open source country (just behind the U.S.) and boasts an IT services sector that rivals China and India. The South American country is now putting its digital leadership on display by carrying out its first-ever paperless, all-digital population census.

  • Government saving with open source

    Achieving significant efficiency savings and more from IT is possible – Peter Dawes- Huish, CEO, LinuxIT, considers how open source based systems and outsourcing can provide the solution

    I attended a seminar the other day and I was amazed just how much misinformation there was around the adoption of open source based software and the services surrounding it. The reasons, the strategies, the options, the benefits it offers both the private and public sector today.

    I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s because open source (OS), by its very nature with such a developer led resource is such a fast moving field, or those within the OS community and providers of Enterprise Open Source, like LinuxIT, just need to work harder at getting across the ability of OS to transform the management and performance of IT environments. Its ability to contribute towards IT innovation, interoperability, reliability, flexibility, return on investment and so on.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

  • Oracle

    • The future of Solaris

      In 2005, Sun released the source code to Solaris, described then as the company’s crown jewel. Why do this? The simplest answer is that Solaris had been losing ground to an open source competitor in Linux. Losing ground was a symptom of economics. Students who had once been raised on Solaris were being inculcated with Linux knowlege. The combination of Linux and x86 were good enough and significantly cheaper; new companies for whom the default had once been Sun/Solaris/SPARC were instead building on x86/Linux. OpenSolaris along with x86 support were specifically intended to address this trend. Indeed, the codename for OpenSolaris was “tonic” — the tonic for Solaris’ problems.

  • CMS

    • Replacing SharePoint with Open Source CMSs

      Probably the most compelling reasons to deploy an open source solution instead are price and flexibility. The licensing costs of SharePoint, plus Windows Server, plus SQL Server and the rest of the bundle are not insignificant. If you’d prefer to avoid becoming too deeply entrenched in Microsoft-based solutions, you’ll find several open source alternatives — and three I personally recommend: Alfresco, MindTouch, and Drupal.

      Why those, and not some of the other open source CMSes? Alfresco and MindTouch are two of the most feature-compatible replacements for SharePoint. Drupal is not a direct replacement for all of SharePoint’s features, but handles many of the use cases for which SharePoint is popular. All three not only enjoy a strong user and developer community, but also have strong commercial support, making them much more suitable for enterprises that choose open source but still seek support and training services.

    • Open-source Diaspora set launch date

      Diaspora, an open-source social network describes itself as “privacy-aware, personally-controlled”, will be launched on 15 September, according to the developers.
      The project is considered as an alternative to Facebook, but many believe that it is difficult to challenge the world’s largest social network, which has 500 million users and is estimated to be worth $33bn currently.
      A team of four US students built up Diaspora trying to solve some of the problems appeared in Facebook, when it was criticised for being overly complex and confusing, as well as privacy concerns. “We want to put users back in control of what they share,” Max Salzberg, one of the founders said.
      Diaspora made headlines earlier this year when Facebook was in intense criticism.

    • Facebook alternative Diaspora eyes launch date
    • Elgg, the open source social networking CMS announced version 1.7.2

      A new version of the popular open source social networking CMS, Elgg has been released! 1.7.2 is primarily a bugfix release.

  • Business

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Government

    • U.K. releases its first contribution to Drupal

      The U.K. government has just released its first contribution to the Drupal community.

    • Data.gov.uk releases open-source code
    • Government still not using open source

      Government reluctance to use open source software is creating problems for cost savings at a local level, a councillor has said.

      The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead has been trying to move away from Microsoft software options in favour of moving towards more cost effective open source software.

      Computer Weekly reported that this could save up to one third of the council’s IT costs.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Designing culture: The other community plumbing

      4. Don’t be Tom Sawyer.

      Here stood the board fence which tom sawyer persuaded his gang to pay him for the privilege of whitewashing. Tom sat by and saw that it was well done.

      Tom Sawyer is interesting because Tom, by being a smooth talker, convinced everyone to do his work for him. Many companies approach their community strategies as having other people painting their fences. The popular term now is crowdsourcing. In this model, a company says “I have a lot of problems. Maybe I can convince a bunch of people to do my work for me.” Sometimes it works, like Dell’s IdeaStorm. But it works only for big, powerful brands. It doesn’t work when a company asks for help, and everyone ignores them. And it doesn’t work because as a company, you can’t build a community around yourself.

    • Pharma’s Future: Open-Source R&D

      The future of pharmaceutical R&D may lie in open-source research, with key data being made available to a number of people, including college students and university researchers, in an open and collaborative process. Open-source drug development would leverage an online community of computer users worldwide.

    • Open Hardware

      • Open Source: A Developing Robotics Industry

        The Menlo Park, Calif-based company, founded in 2006, develops open-source hardware and software for the robotics industry. Its robot PR2 (Personal Robot 2) is being sold as an example of what software developers can do with an open-source robotics platform.

  • Programming

    • Ruby on Rails 3.0 due this week

      Ruby on Rails 3.0, a major upgrade to the popular open source Web development framework, is due in a final release this week, the founder of the framework, David Heinemeier Hansson, said on Tuesday.

Leftovers

  • John Lennon’s loo fetches £9,500 at auction for Beatles fans

    A porcelain lavatory which John Lennon told a builder to use as a “plant pot” has fetched £9,500 – nearly 10 times its guide price – at an auction today.

    The loo was used by the music legend when he lived at Tittenhurst Park in Berkshire between 1969 and 1972.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Walter Reed says it mishandled nuclear material

      The military’s flagship hospital acknowledged Thursday it mishandled two packages of radioactive material last spring in an incident regulators said may have exposed staff and patients to elevated radiation levels.

    • MIT researchers unveil autonomous oil-absorbing robot

      The system, called Seaswarm, is a fleet of vehicles that may make cleaning up future oil spills both less expensive and more efficient than current skimming methods. MIT’s Senseable City Lab will unveil the first Seaswarm prototype at the Venice Biennale’s Italian Pavilion on Saturday, August 28. The Venice Biennale is an international art, music and architecture festival whose current theme addresses how nanotechnology will change the way we live in 2050.

Clip of the Day

Richard M. Stallman Speech Patents Calgary Canada 2005


Links 28/8/2010: Zenwalk Linux 6.4, RabbitMQ 2.0.0

Posted in News Roundup at 8:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Labs experiments with Git

        Mozilla Labs, Mozilla’s research and development section, has announced that, based on the popularity of the Git distributed version control system, it is now offering an experimental fork for all Mozilla Labs projects and experiments on project hosting service GitHub. Since 2006, many Labs projects have been hosted on public Mercurial instances.

      • Mozilla fires up three new APIs in Jetpack SDK 0.7

        The Mozilla Labs developers have announced Jetpack SDK 0.7, the latest revision of the HTML/CSS/JavaScript based extension system for Firefox. The new release includes a panel API, which allows developers to float popup windows over web content, a clipboard API to give extensions access to the system clipboard and a notifications API which allows extensions to get the users attention with toaster or Growl-style messages.

      • Fennec Alpha Released For Android And Nokia N900

        An early, pre-alpha version of Mozilla’s Fennec mobile browser has been around for months, but the Firefox developer has today released an official full alpha for download. And it’s not just Android that’s benefitting—the mobile browser has also been released for Nokia’s N900 smartphone.

      • How to use Firefox’s new tab manager
  • SaaS

  • Oracle

    • JavaOne: Larry Ellison to chart Java future

      There is much anticipation of Ellison’s keynote, since Oracle’s stewardship of Java has been regarded as unsatisfactory by many Java developers and user groups. A lack of a concrete roadmap, the lack of detail on the relationship between open source and commercial products, and the future of OpenJDK7 and JDK7 are all issues many would like to see clarified. These issues have become more critical in the aftermath of Oracle’s announcement that it was taking legal action against Google for patent and copyright infringement over Google’s implementation of the Dalvik virtual machine in Android, which is based on the open source Apache Harmony implementation of Java.

  • CMS

    • An overdue update from the Diaspora team

      The Diaspora team has put out an update on their progress in creating a “privacy aware, personally controlled, do-it-all, open source social network”.

    • The Anti-Facebook Arrives September 15: Will You Switch?

      In a recent blog post, the Diaspora team say they have the nascent social networking software up and running, and are happy with the near-final result. Despite these proclamations, however, it’s unclear what Diaspora will look like or how it will function when Diaspora finally launches.

  • Project Releases

    • Audacious 2.4.0 – New release!

      Audacious its origins as a fork of Beep Music player and as it matured has been the media player of choice for me for a long while. The latest release is 2.4.0, doesn’t fail to impress with updates to its GUI and a plethora of features that you’ve come to expect from the creators of what to many is the defacto music player on their distro.

    • RabbitMQ 2.0.0 released

      Version 2.0.0 has a new persister for storing messages in transit, which is now only bound by disk capacity and a server which optimises memory usage by paging these messages between disk and RAM. This change gives the server higher and more consistent performance and faster start-up; previously these both degraded with higher volumes of persisted messages.

  • Licensing

    • On copyright assignment, contributor and participant agreements

      Clearly copyright assignment is integral to the dual licensing and open core licensing strategies in enabling those vendors to sell closed-source licenses to the core project and extensions, and it does restrict developer communities in those situations.

      However, as Simon briefly explains, copyright assignment is equally used by other organisations, such as the Free Software Foundation, to protect the core project. Glyn Moody described the potential benefits of such an arrangement earlier this week, while Tarus Balog provides another example of copyright assignment protecting an open source project.

    • OSS 4.0 and licenses: not a clear-cut choice

      The choice of an open source license for a project code release is not clear-cut, and depends on several factors; in general, when reusing code that comes from external projects, license compatibility is the first, major driver in license selection. Licenses do have an impact on development activity, depending on the kind of project and who controls the project evolution.

  • Google

Leftovers

  • Ben Huh Asks: “I Can Haz Reddit?” (Offers To Buy It From Condé Nast)

    It’s no secret that social link sharing community Reddit isn’t singing the praises of its corporate parent Condé Nast, which acquired the company in 2006. Earlier today the two sparred over running ads in support of California’s Proposition 19, which would legalize marijuana in the state. And Reddit has previously written about the shortage of resources that Condé Nast is willing to provide. Now Ben Huh, founder and CEO of the Cheezburger network, is offering to take Reddit off Condé’s hands.

  • Science

    • Lawsuit Against the LHC Overthrown

      A Court in Hawaii has just rejected a new lawsuit brought against the Large Hadron Collider. The plaintiffs failed to produce any evidence that the machine is dangerous, the ruling says.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Pacman cleans the oil – not

      Media campaigning gone weird. MSNBC reports on a BP sponsored study that the oil cleanup is like pacman and the bacteria solve the oil spill problem. Reality distortion can be so easy.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Hollywood Sues Advertiser at Movie Piracy Sites

        A company that worked with sites that linked to copies of Hollywood blockbusters has become the target of a new lawsuit. The legal action filed by Disney and Warner Bros. says that Triton Media was guilty of both contributory and inducement of copyright infringement when it assisted several sites with advertising and referrals.

Clip of the Day

Lawrence Lessig talks with the Booksmith – Part III


Links 28/8/2010: ZFS for Linux, Bordeaux 2.0.8 for GNU/Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 2:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • On Zareason
  • Is your company afraid of Linux? (1 of 3)

    Fear #1 (Linux what?): OK, here is an extremely short history lesson and I’ll provide links for those who can’t help that inner burning desire to know all you can know about every topic. Linux is commonly pronounced /li’nuks/ and refers to the family of Unix-like computer operating systems using the Linux kernel and are primarily used for servers. Basically, a guy named Linus Torvalds in 1999 rewrote Unix from scratch and made it “Open Source”. Open source in its very basic terms means it is free for anyone to use. Keyword here is free. Yay! right? Well, yay if you were a University or College or some government organization like NASA. That is about the extent for which Linux was used for many years. Only the most geeky (yeah, that’s right) of computer geeks started to adopt Linux into personal use and eventually into business.

  • Desktop

    • Pearson Education – You will NOT use Linux

      The kicker? The “MyLab” courses are rendered using Javascript and Flash. Those are both cross-platform technologies last I checked (that both ran perfectly fine in Firefox).

      Now I understand that it can take a lot of time and resources to support another operating system/browser. Even if Pearson isn’t willing to “support” Linux/Firefox users on their website they could at least let us login using the operating system/browser of our choice after seeing their warning message.

  • Kernel Space

    • ZFS

      • Native ZFS Is Coming To Linux Next Month

        Prior to the emergence of Btrfs as a viable next-generation Linux file-system, Sun’s ZFS file-system was sought after for Linux due to its advanced feature-set and capabilities compared to EXT3 and other open-source file-systems at the time. While ZFS support has worked its way into OpenSolaris, FreeBSD, NetBSD, and other operating systems, ZFS had not been ported to Linux as its source-code is distributed under the CDDL license, which is incompatible with the GNU GPL barring it from integration into the mainline Linux kernel. Next month, however, a working ZFS module for the Linux kernel without a dependence on FUSE will be publicly released.

      • LLNL Talks To Us About Their Linux ZFS Port

        Brian Behlendorf, the lead developer of this Linux ZFS port at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, shared the following information with us about their work and that of KQ Infotech on their ZFS module to be released in mid-September.

      • ZFS as a Linux kernel module? What is the point?

        At the end of the day, all of this excitement means nothing. Who cares if this ZFS port for the Linux kernel comes out next month? I don’t. Don’t misunderstand me. I love ZFS as I use it all the time on Solaris and OpenSolaris. It is a wonderful file system. This Linux port is also extremely limited in functionality. Today, the GPL’d Btrfs, a competitor to ZFS, is considered “generally stable“. Why not use that instead without all the concerns listed above?

  • Applications

    • Online collaboration with Feng Office

      Online collaboration with Feng Office

      This article originally appeared in issue 90 of Linux User & Developer magazine.buy_online Subscribe and save more than 30% and receive our exclusive money back guarantee – click here to find out more.

      OpenOffice.org, Microsoft Office, Feng Office – which is the odd one out? Yes, it’s Feng Office, but not because most people have never heard of it, and not because it lacks the extreme feature set of the other two. Feng Office is not about sitting at your desk writing office documents, it’s about collaborative working.

      Feng still allows you to create text documents online, but that’s just a small part of running projects, taking notes, tracking tasks, passing milestones, keeping contact with your organisation and perusing reports of how the projects are progressing.

    • 5 of the Best Free Linux Screen Capture Tools

      The phrase “A picture is worth a thousand words” refers to the idea that a solitary still image can provide as much information as a large amount of descriptive text. Essentially, pictures convey information more effectively and efficiently than words can.

    • CoverGloobus – Beautiful Covert Art and Lyrics Display App For Your Desktop

      I hope you guys do remember the awesome little preview application called Globus Preview. Here is another beautiful application from the same team. It’s called CoverGloobus. It displays cover art and lyrics in your desktop and it supports almost all popular linux media players. Also, the supported themes are really good in my opinion.

    • Guayadeque 0.2.7 Released With File Browser, Record From Streams, Last.fm Improvements And Many More New Features

      There was no new Guayadeque version in a long time but the development was actually very active and today we finally have a new version. Here are the highlights of Guayadeque 0.2.7:

      * libre.fm support
      * implemented crossfading between tracks
      * record from streams
      * a file browser (play files by browsing them on your HDD)
      * option to delete files from library and hard drive
      * lyricsplugin.com as lyrics search engine
      * you can now save the lyrics in a local folder
      * the last.fm panel can now search for tracks in your library
      * implemented reading/writing images into m4a files
      * library search covers scan now into audio files too
      * live search
      * and a lot more features and fixes

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine

      • Bordeaux 2.0.8 for Linux Released

        The Bordeaux Technology Group released Bordeaux 2.0.8 for Linux today. Bordeaux 2.0.8 is a maintenance release that fixes a number of small bugs. With this release we have updated firefox to 3.6.8, Added support for Apples Safari 5.0 Web Browser, Updated to the latest winetricks release and fixed desktop shortcuts.

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Ben Cooksley

        At the moment I maintain System Settings and the Device Actions control module. I am also an Administrator of KDE’s own forums, where I help sort out problems users have encountered, in addition to the sysadmin tasks.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • Puppy Arcade 9 – New release!

      Gaming not what it used to be? Bored by the plethora of 3rd person shooters which seem to dominate the games market?

      Well there has been no reason to say that ever since Puppy Arcade had it’s first release – Puppy Arcade caters for probably every platform of yesteryear you could want and then some more.

      Puppy Arcade is a distro I have covered numerous times in the past, in fact it is one of the few which I try keeping up to date with. An excellent distro which is a testament to not only the hard work of its creator (Scott Jarvis) but also his genuine love of the emulation scene. Redundant hardware in need of a new life? Use Puppy Arcade to turn it into a retro console!

    • Reviews

      • Jolicloud 1.0 review

        As the name suggests, Jolicloud is a cloud-based operating system. It is derived from the desktop edition of Ubuntu 9.04, and is the first stable and publicly downloadable, Linux, cloud-based distribution that I am aware of. Version 1.0, the first stable edition, was released several weeks ago. This review, the first for Jolicloud on this site, also marks its listing in the Mobile & Cloud category.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • The E-Reader Price Wars Heat Up

      Competition stepped up in June when a price war broke out. First Barnes & Noble slashed the price of its Nook by $60, down to $199; the company also started selling a Wi-Fi-only Nook for $149. Within hours Amazon dropped the price of its Kindle by $70, to $189. And ten days later, Sony cut the price of each of its three Reader products by $30, bringing its most expensive 3G version down to $249.

    • Phones

    • Tablets

      • Whither the Ubuntu Tablets?

        I’m a huge Linux and Free Software advocate, and I do want to see it succeed in a general sense in the tablet market. I think that Android is the best bet to make that happen. People see “Apple iOS” marketed on iPhones and iPads, and most people have at least passing familiarity with an iPhone, so they think to themselves “Oh, the iPad is like a gigantic iPhone. I can handle that.” People see the word Ubuntu and either say “What’s that?” or they say “Oh yeah, I remember when Wal-Mart was pushing those crappy $200 desktop PCs with Ubuntu.” Either way, they have a strong negative reaction.

      • Another $50 Android iPad Copycat Spotted in the Wild

        My title might cause some controversy I know, but no matter how you look at it, virtually all the new tablets coming out are more or less better featured iPad clones. We need originality, something that is powered by Android and not based on what Apple has. Will this tablet take off at all? Only time can tell.

      • How Much Does Linux Need the Desktop?

        Of course, the concept of Linux-based operating systems going on tablets is nothing new. There already are tablets based on Android, which is Linux-based, and many people expect sophisticated tablets to run Google’s upcoming Linux-based Chrome OS. But Ubuntu is Ubuntu. Its interface has become steadily easier to use over the years, it’s familiar to a lot of people, and it could eventually find its biggest market on niche devices such as tablets.

        Of course, success on tablets doesn’t necessarily have to outrule continued presence on desktop computers. I have no doubt that Ubuntu and other distros will continue to evolve on desktops. It’s interesting, though, to consider the potential for Linux-based operating systems on non-standard computing devices—or at least devices that we have historically thought of as non-standard.

      • Android tablets flowing

        A year ago netbooks were the one must-have mobile device. This year it is the tablet PC that is an essential accessory.

        Apple’s iPad wasn’t the first tablet PC available but it is the best-known of these devices. But it will face stiff competition in the coming months as most hardware makers switch on to Android-based tablet devices.

        Chief among the Android tablet makers is Asus. The company which kick started the netbook market with its Linux-powered EEE PC, is now getting ready to launch an Android-based tablet. The device will be known as the EEE Pad and will begin shipping in March 2011. The tablet is expected to sell for under $400 (under R3000) and will have a 10-inch screen. Under the casing the EEE Pad will run an ARM processor.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open-sourcing SETI

    The challenge with increasingly complex SETI search techniques is that the resources and expertise of the SETI community is fairly limited. “The number of people in the world actively involved in SETI could fit into a phone booth,” said Jill Tarter, director of the Center for SETI Research at the SETI Institute.

  • Databases

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GCC – ‘We make free software affordable’

      GCC and GNU Emacs are the two facets of the GNU operating system that have probably done more than any other to take GNU and free software from idealistic concept to a utilitarian reality. Having previously looked at GNU Emacs and the Hurd, Richard Hillesley looks at the history and progress of GCC.

    • Gnash 0.8.8: A Huge Improvement Over Previous Versions

      I found Gnash 0.8.7 to be more than a bit problematic. In general it worked on something less than half the websites I tried which required Flash. YouTube videos worked exactly once. If you tried to watch a second video you received this message: “An error occured, please try again later”. The workaround was to prevent YouTube from setting cookies or clearing your browser of all YouTube cookies between videos. Finally, Gnash 0.8.7 was incredibly resource hungry, often driving my CPU to 100% usage and bringing things on my system to a crawl. All in all, this was still far from a decent solution.

      Early this week Gnash 0.8.8 was released. Despite the small increment in version number, which would make this seem like a minor maintenance release, the difference between version 0.8.8 and the earlier 0.8.7 is like night and day. First, alot of websites that did not work with Gnash before seem to work just fine now. My thoroughly unscientific sample indicates that roughly two thirds of the sites I visit which use Flash are now functional. In addition, YouTube now works 100% of the time without having to clear or restrict cookies.

Leftovers

  • Undead Commodore 64 comes back for Christmas

    The Commodore 64 will rise from the grave before Christmas, according to the tiny company determined to reanimate the long-dead 80s icon.

  • AGs call on Craigslist to banish adult ads
  • Science

    • Energy-saving LEDs ‘will not save energy’, say boffins

      Federal boffins in the States say that the brave new future in which today’s ‘leccy-guzzling lights are replaced by efficient LEDs may not, in fact, usher in massive energy savings.

      This is because, according to the scientists’ research, people are likely to use much more lighting as soon as this becomes practical. The greater scope for cheap illumination offered by LEDs will simply mean that people have more lights and leave them on for longer.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Who’s Hiding What and Why

      Note that the Pentagon’s orchestrated screaming has not been about technical data that might in fact get GIs killed, but about revelation of the ugly things the US is doing to people. Consider the footage of an American helicopter gunship killing pedestrians in a city street, and apparently having just a swell time doing it. This didn’t reveal military secrets. But it showed the gusnip crew as the butchers they are. Bad juju for the military. PR is all.

    • Cyber-crime Site Pushes Forged Passports, Licenses

      McAfee researcher Francios Paget found a Russian site selling, among other things, fake passports for dozens of countries. The operation is not inexpensive for the buyers, however. The cheapest passport is for Azerbaijan and costs $870 (USD). A French passport costs $5,530. To get it, a customer must send the forgers personal information plus a signature and photo, according to Paget.

    • Snooping Camden CCTV car hypocrites

      Make no mistake – these cars not about road safety. They’re about the thrill of power that petty bureaucrats get when they can turn the screw on you in a culture of “we caught you” – regardless of whether what you were doing was actually in any way a problem or dangerous. And of course, most of all – they’re about revenue-raising.

    • Let’s hope that this picture stays on the wall

      Just received a third CCTV car image – what a day!

      I know that it’s only a single yellow, so I suppose that it might have been parked lawfully – but those who know their 1984 will appreciate the delicious irony of this brute being captured in this spot…

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Report concludes that nearly 80 percent of oil from Gulf spill remains

      A report released today by the Georgia Sea Grant and the University of Georgia concludes that up to 79 percent of the oil released into the Gulf of Mexico from the Deepwater Horizon well has not been recovered and remains a threat to the ecosystem.

      The report, authored by five prominent marine scientists, strongly contradicts media reports that suggest that only 25 percent of the oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill remains.

    • Playing Hide and Seek With Oil

      A new report authored by five prominent marine scientists provides a powerful contradiction of the government’s recent report that only 25 percent of the oil from the Deepwater Horizon disaster remains in the Gulf of Mexico. On August 4, the government issued a news release that stated, “The vast majority of the oil from the BP oil spill has either evaporated or been burned, skimmed, recovered from the wellhead or dispersed using chemicals — much of which is in the process of being degraded.”

    • The Death Of The Fossil Fuel Companys Part Deux

      Third, General Motors has announced that they plan to produce 45,000 Chevy Volt extended range electric vehicles in 2012, up from the original plans to produce 30,000 cars. However the number of cars General Motors plans to produce is small compared to Nissan’s plans, the Nissan plant in Smyrna Georgia will be capable of producing 150,000 cars per year, for only that one plant!

  • Finance

    • Taking Economic Liberty Seriously

      On March 5, 1934, the U.S. Supreme Court declared New York shopkeeper Leo Nebbia to be a criminal because he sold two quarts of milk and a 5 cent loaf of bread for the combined low price of 18 cents. As Justice Owen Roberts explained in his 5-4 majority opinion in Nebbia v. New York, the state’s Milk Control Board had fixed the minimum price of milk at 9 cents a quart to eliminate the “evils” of price-cutting.

    • China’s Hot New Bestseller: “The Goldman Sachs Conspiracy”

      Yesterday I bought a copy of Li Delin’s (李德林) latest book-“高盛阴谋” (Goldman Sachs Conspiracy). Li is a well-known financial journalist and author who has written several other books, including the November 2009 “干掉一切对手——看高盛如何算赢世界 (Eliminate All Competitors–How Goldman Sachs Wins Over the World”. You can read Li’s blog (in Chinese) on Caijing here.

    • Chinese Bestseller Slams Goldman Sachs For Crisis

      Li’s book takes ample license in its attacks on Goldman Sachs. The company’s ultimate goal, he says in the first chapter, is to “kill China.”

    • Arthur Levitt, Policy Advisor, Goldman Sachs
    • Basis Urges U.S. Judge to Let Goldman Suit Proceed

      Basis Capital, an Australian hedge fund, urged a New York judge to allow its $1 billion lawsuit over the marketing of credit default swaps by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to proceed, calling Goldman’s request for a dismissal a “distraction.”

      The lawsuit by Basis Capital’s Basis Yield Alpha Fund focuses on Goldman Sachs’s sale of the “Timberwolf” collateralized debt obligation. The complaint, filed June 9 in Manhattan federal court, says the fund was forced into insolvency after buying mortgage-linked securities created by Goldman Sachs, in what one of its own executives described internally as a “shi**y deal.”

    • Goldman Sachs Loses Muscle in Corporate Finance

      “Goldman is struggling a little bit here,” said Richard Bove, an analyst at Rochdale Securities in Lutz, Florida. “It has to overcome some pretty sizable public relations issues, which are related to the way it does business and the products it creates. The company is good enough to overcome all of this stuff, but it would be hard for me to imagine that there’s no impact as a result of what we’ve seen over the last 12 to 18 months.”

    • Goldman Sachs And SEC Put Meyer Lansky To Shame

      But the SEC threw the case when it came to fraud- as covered by the Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. It is here that the reader must understand that fraud is not only a civil offense but also a criminal offense- and that the company or the individual found guilty of violating Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act can be charged with the criminal count of fraud in a criminal proceeding. So by refusing to charge Goldman with violations of Section 10(b) of the SEA, the SEC was playing to lose- and allowing Goldman to win. Not only that but damages in Section 10(b) are not limited to the loss, which the aggrieved party has incurred; there are penalties.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Psywar Film Reveals The Hidden Battle for Your Mind

      The new documentary “Psywar,” featuring CMD founder John Stauber, explores corporate and government use of propaganda and public relations to manipulate American people. The movie explores how the U.S. government staged events to manipulate public opinion about the Iraq war, like the rescue of Private Jessica Lynch, the supposedly spontaneous mob that pulled over the larger-than-life statue of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • California students get tracking devices

      The system was introduced Tuesday. When at the school, students will wear a jersey that has a small radio frequency tag. The tag will send signals to sensors that help track children’s whereabouts, attendance and even whether they’ve eaten or not.

    • Google Street View car pulled over and searched

      As regular readers will know, Google is the subject of probes from data-protection regulators in Germany, Spain, Italy, the Czech Republic and the Metropolitan Police (although our own Information Commissioner has given them a free pass).

    • Sony obtains Australia ban on PS3 hack chip

      Sony has won a temporary ban to prevent Australian distributors selling a hardware hack for the PlayStation 3 (PS3).

      The PS3Jailbreak “dongle” allows gamers to play homemade and pirated games on the game’s console.

      The ban prevents OzModChips, Mod Supplier and Quantronics from importing, distributing or selling the device.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • NYTimes finds more IP news but doesn’t report its consumer cost

      The New York Times now carries a lot of stories that are of interest to anyone concerned about the high cost of intellectual property protection. The first story today is a debate over who is right AARP or the industry. AARP says the cost of branded drugs rose 8.3% in 2009 link here. Last year the industry complained that the figure was based on wholesale prices, not the retail prices consumers actually paid. Responding to that criticism, AARP switched to retail and still got a big increase. The industry countered that they should use the consumer price index figure which includes generic drug prices–which showed a much lower price increase and argues that the US has the lowest prices for generics in the world.

    • What everybody knows

      “Authors are only motivated to write if they know their rights will be protected.”

      “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”

      The second of these quotes, from Boswell’s “Life of Samuel Johnson,” is very familiar, I think, and demonstrably false. Indeed, even Boswell acknowledged its falsity as he recorded it, and attributed the comment to Johnson’s “indolent disposition.” The first quote comes from this fascinating article in the online version of the German magazine “Der Spiegel” reporting research that suggests that German’s 19th century industrial expansion may have been at least partially driven by the absence of strong copyright protection.

      That authors must have strong copyright protection in order to create is presented in this article as a conventional belief, the kind of thing that everybody knows and accepts as a matter of course. Such bromides are almost always false, like Johnson’s remark, or at least incomplete. Perhaps the greatest value of the Spiegel article, short as it is, is that it demonstrates that a complex situation, such as the cultural impact of printing, copyright and the distribution of books, cannot be reduced to truisms. Complex analysis is required, and Eckhard Hoffner’s research is an example of such analysis.

    • Take-Two Interactive loses fight for Bioshock.com

      Take-Two is the developer behind the successful BioShock video game series. The first-person shooter game was announced in October 2004, two months before the domain name Bioshock.com was registered by Name Administration Inc, a Cayman Islands-based company that makes money from trading in and displaying adverts on its massive network of domain names.

    • Ansel Adams Trust Sues Over Sale of Negatives

      The suit alleges trademark infringement, false advertising, trademark dilution, unfair competition and other claims. It does not specify damages but asks the court to order the defendants to pay restitution of their profits from any sales, as well as award any other monetary relief.

    • Facebook sues social media site with ‘book’ in name

      Teachbook filed a trademark application in March 2009, and Facebook opposed the registration last year. There were “ongoing discussions” over use of the name and Shrader believed “we were working constructively with (Facebook),” but is now expecting to file a response to the California-based technology company’s lawsuit in court.

    • Copyrights

      • Lies Of Omission – James Gannon Doesn’t Tell You All The Details

        So what about James Gannon? James recently posted an article on Facebook, in which he argues for stronger digital locks. James does not mention that he works at McCarthy Tétrault LLP, a law firm that does work for The Canadian Recording Industry Association, which has a vested interest in digital locks.

      • Sweden to Finally Get Second a Pirate MEP?

        The EU election last June was a surprise for many, as the Piratpartiet got a seat with over 7% of the votes. Then when the Lisbon Treaty passed and they were awarded a second seat in the European Parliament. However, it wasn’t without drawbacks as the second seat has yet to be filled. That may happen soon.

      • Rupert Murdoch’s Anti-Fair Use Comments Used Against Him In Court Yet Again

        Remember back when Rupert Murdoch acted like fair use was a myth that would be “barred by the courts” when challenged? Yeah, that’s been coming back to bite Murdoch. Earlier this year, we noted that a former advisor to Michael Jackson was suing News Corp. over Fox News’ decision to air interview footage without a license, and the complaint highlighted Murdoch’s anti-fair use statement. Of course, when it came time to defend itself (guess what?) News Corp. lawyers relied heavily on fair use.

        Looks like that’s happening again. News Corp. has been sued yet again for copyright infringement, this time for airing a video (without licensing the clip) of Brad Pitt having trouble driving a motorcycle. Instead, Fox News folks simply downloaded it from TMZ, a property owned by AOL. Wait a second… so with Rupert Murdoch running all over the place claiming that Google News linking to his content is “theft,” yet Fox News has no problem downloading a video from a competing media organization and using it? Fascinating.

      • Publishing Raymond Carver’s ‘Original’ Stories as ‘Fair Use’

        The controversy arose when Raymond Carver’s widow, Tess Gallagher, expressed her desire to publish these stories because Carver’s editor, Gordon Lish, had dramatically changed their character and style. Indeed, she claimed that these unedited stories represented the “real” Caver, whom she wished to reveal to the world. However, Carver’s estate no longer owns the copyrights to these stories.

        The issue is particularly interesting because the “original” versions of the stories are considerably different from the published versions as edited by Lish. Thus, there is some ambiguity as to whether they are covered by the copyright of the published stories; in essence, they are the building blocks of the published versions, and thus it is unclear whether they would be considered derivative works.

      • Southern African Music Collection Society Fighting Attempt To Put Public Domain Works Under Copyright

        My first reaction was to be surprised. After all, when was the last time you saw a music collection group support the public domain or the idea of widespread shared culture? Hell, in the US, we have ASCAP telling us that things like Creative Commons are dangerous and must be fought.

      • ACTA

        • US [NOT] Proposing to Eliminate Secondary Liability from ACTA

          According to Inside U.S. Trade (August 27, 2010), the U.S. has adopted “a major policy shift” and “proposed removing controversial language from the Anticounterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) that would have required signatories to impose secondary liability on Internet firms for intellectual property rights infringements by individuals.” On closer read of the ACTA text as we know it, the truth may be that secondary liability is not going away at all.

          There has been no official text of the ACTA agreement released since April 2010. The latest leaked text is from July 2010, after the Lucerne but before the Washington D.C. round of negotiations. Neither of those options indiacte any US position proposing to take out internet service provider (ISP) liability. USTR is refusing to comment on the proposal reported by Inside US Trade. It is therefore impossible to say with any certainty what the U.S. is proposing to change. My best guess is: nothing.

          The July leaked text of ACTA contains a chapter on “Enforcement Procedures in the Digital Environment” composed of seven major subsections. Sections one through three identify obligations of countries to enforce copyright law on the internet, and sections four through seven mainly require punishment of people who evade digital rights management hardware or software or define the exceptions to such obligations.

          The digital rights management provisions do not depend on ISP liability and therefore the best interpretation of the news is that these sections still remain as US priorities, and they have their own problems.

Clip of the Day

Unite Against ACTA – To Arms!


08.27.10

Links 27/8/2010: ZaReason Verix Laptop Reviewed, Btrfs Matures

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Review: ZaReason Verix Laptop

      One of the challenges of being a Linux desktop user is the difficulty in finding systems that ship with Linux pre-installed. Major OEMs often offer a handful of Linux offerings, but to get a wider range of hardware and choices of Linux distributions you have to look to smaller vendors that are really interested in promoting Linux — like ZaReason.

      ZaReason sells a full line of Linux machines, desktops, laptops, netbooks, and servers. They also sell peripherals and some other gear, but what I was most interested in was a laptop with Linux. Specifically, a laptop with muscle. So I asked ZaReason to send me a review unit, the Verix 1656 with Intel’s Core i7 and maxed out RAM.

      [...]

      The Verix gets two thumbs up. It’s not perfect, but it’s a really good laptop and one I’d recommend to anyone who wants a solid and speedy Linux laptop. My main complaint with the Verix? It’s a review unit, which means I have to send it back. If you buy one, though, you won’t have that problem.

  • Kernel Space

    • Next Generation of Btrfs Linux Filesystem Nears Prime Time

      Since at least 2008, the Btrfs Linux filesystem has been talked about as a next-generation technology one day potentially rivalling or supplanting the current dominant Linux filesystems.

      According to Chris Mason, founder of the Btrfs effort and now director of software development at Oracle, Btrfs is today generally stable and usable even though it’s yet to be finalized. And although he admits the filesystem still has some issues to overcome as development continues, Mason said he would like to see Btrfs ultimately replacing existing Linux filesystems like the popular Ext3 and Ext4 systems that are often the default on enterprise Linux distributions.

    • No BTRFS In Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat After all

      A while ago we were telling you there are 20% chances to get BTRFS support in Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat. Well, it didn’t make it.

  • Applications

    • Inkscape 0.48 review
    • Review: Backupninja backups for Linux

      When you hear the word “backup,” what do you think? Critical? Complicated? Costly? When you think of backing up Linux desktops or servers what do you think? You don’t? You run screaming? Thankfully that is not necessary. There are tons of tools in the Linux-verse capable of running a multitude of backs. From the overly simple to the overly complex, in Linux you can find a tool for just about every situation and every experience level.

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Kontact: How does it compare to the competition?

        With all of this talk about KDE 4.5 lately, I thought I should take a moment to mention a tool that hasn’t had much (or any) talk here on Ghacks. That tool is Kontact. But what is Kontact? Kontact is the KDE groupware suite that includes more tools than your standard suite, has a lot of pluses, and a few minuses. But even with its minuses, Kontact is a spot-on tool for anyone needing a solid groupware suite to keep them as organized as possible.

  • Distributions

    • How to Choose a Desktop Linux Distribution

      With all the many reasons to use Linux today–particularly in a business setting–it’s often a relatively easy decision to give Windows the boot. What can be more difficult, however, is deciding which of the hundreds of Linux distributions out there is best for you and your business.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Jefferies says Red Hat still well-positioned to capture share in Federal IT

        Jefferies & Co. maintained its ‘buy’ rating on business software company Red Hat Inc. with a price target of $35.

        “We believe Red Hat continues to be well-positioned to capture share in Federal IT, but the new 8 year, $2 billion social security administration (SSA) claims processing contract is likely to be spread across many vendors. If Red Hat does win a portion of it, they could be displacing International Business Machine Corp.,” said Katherine Egbert, an analyst at Jefferies.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian at 17: As Important as Ever

        Debian kicked off when Linux distributions were still a relatively novel concept. The only older surviving distro is Slackware, Red Hat didn’t enter the picture until 1994. Depending on how you look at it, Debian either enjoys a very small niche user base, or one of the largest of any Linux distribution. Strictly speaking, Debian is widely (though it’s hard to say how widely) deployed on servers and not quite as popular on desktop systems compared to Fedora, Linux Mint, or Ubuntu.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source media Centre Boxee adds Movie Library

    Following its launch as public beta in January of this year, the Boxee developers have announced the release of a new beta – version 0.9.22.13692 – of their popular part-open-source cross-platform media centre with social networking and community features. According to Boxee VP of Marketing Andrew Kippen, the latest public beta adds “the foundations of a new Movie Library to complement the TV Show Library”.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Education for the open web fellowship: new deadline

        In May, Mozilla and the Shuttleworth Foundation announced a new Education for the Open Web Fellowship. The aim is to support practical ideas that help people learn about, improve and promote the open nature of the internet, as part of our commitment to supporting leaders working at the intersection of open education and the open web.

      • Firefox 3.6.9 release candidate rocks up for sturdy testers

        Mozilla pumped out a release candidate version of Firefox 3.6.9 yesterday.

        The pre-beta update is intended only for brave souls willing and able to have a poke around in the unfinished code.

  • Oracle

    • The long, sordid tale of Sun RPC, abbreviated somewhat, to protect the guily and the irresponsible.

      Once upon a time (1984), Sun created an RPC implementation for Unix, with the intent of implementing RFC 707 (High-level framework for network-based resource sharing). Now, in those days, a good way to ensure that people used code that you wrote was to upload it to usenet, and in 1985, Sun did that. (Google has one of the posts archived here: Sun RPC part 8 of 10)

    • An update on JavaOne

      Like many of you, every year we look forward to the workshops, conferences and events related to open source software. In our view, these are among the best ways we can engage the community, by sharing our experiences and learning from yours. So we’re sad to announce that we won’t be able to present at JavaOne this year. We wish that we could, but Oracle’s recent lawsuit against Google and open source has made it impossible for us to freely share our thoughts about the future of Java and open source generally. This is a painful realization for us, as we’ve participated in every JavaOne since 2004, and I personally have spoken at all but the first in 1996.

  • Licensing

    • Should Open Source Communities Avoid Contributor Agreements?

      A collaborative activity dubbed Project Harmony is now under way between corporate and corporate-sponsored participants in the free and open source software communities (not to be confused with the Apache Java project of the same name). The project seeks to harmonise the various participant and contributor agreements – collectively termed “contributor agreements” by some – used by many open source projects.

      The goal of the project’s initiators is to reduce the legal costs of analysing paperwork faced by companies contributing to open source projects. Initiated and sponsored by Canonical, meetings have already been held several times under the Chatham House Rule, including one recently during LinuxCon in Boston. The participants also number several people who are skeptical of the value of copyright aggregation, myself included. At the meeting I was asked to write about my skepticism; this article is the result. I’m by no means the first to tread this ground; you’ll also want to read the earlier article by Dave Neary, and the comprehensive article by Michael Meeks ends with a useful list of other articles.

Leftovers

  • “Legislative Guidance” on Fair Dealing: The Plan to Reverse CCH?

    My post this week on several writers groups objections to Bill C-32 has generated considerable discussion, with some taking me to task for focusing on their letter’s warning of “unintended consequences,””years of costly litigation,” and “serious damage to the cultural sector.” Instead, they argue that I should have focused on the call for additional “legislative guidance” on the fair dealing reforms. After all, who could be against greater clarity in the law?

    In the discussion that has followed, I believe that it has become increasingly clear that the “legislative guidance” is not really about the fair dealing reforms found in C-32, but rather fair dealing more generally. Unfortunately, the writers’ letter only speaks of their concerns and does not provide any specific policy or legislative reform recommendations that would clarify their intentions. However, with the government having opened up the fair dealing provision, those groups may see an opportunity to reverse the Supreme Court of Canada’s CCH decision that characterized fair dealing as a user right and established guidelines for its interpretation.

  • USA Today shaking up staff in ‘radical’ overhaul

    USA Today, the nation’s second largest newspaper, is making the most dramatic overhaul of its staff in its 28-year history as it de-emphasizes its print edition and ramps up its effort to reach more readers and advertisers on mobile devices.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Pentagon Official Reveals Computer Security Breach… As Part Of Effort To Get More Power Over Critical Infrastructure?

      We’ve already noted that various government officials have been engaging in a massive hype campaign about “cyberwar” threats, in an effort to get more control over certain networks. But there’s also a bit of an inter-departmental battle within government agencies over who should get to control these new powers

    • Massive computer outage halts some Va. agencies

      A failure of servers at Virginia’s centralized information technology superagency has left several state agencies unable to do their work.

      At least two dozen agencies were affected by the Wednesday afternoon crash at the problem-plagued Virginia Information Technologies Agency.

    • Armed America: Portraits of Gun Owners in Their Homes

      Kyle Cassidy traveled 15,000 miles over two years photographing Americans in their homes and asking one question: “Why do you own a gun?” A good question, particularly since most of these guns are not easily reconcilable with the notion of self-defence and their true place should be somewhere in the Armed Forces.

    • MalCon: A Call for ‘Ethical Malcoding’

      I was pretty bummed this year when I found out that a previous engagement would prevent me from traveling to Las Vegas for the annual back-to-back Black Hat and Defcon security conventions. But I must say I am downright cranky that I will be missing MalCon, a conference being held in Mumbai later this year that is centered around people in the “malcoder community.”

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Why Does The NY Times Rely So Often On Single Anecdote Trend Pieces Not Supported By The Data?

      We saw it more recently in the NY Times piece we wrote about claiming that cable TV was winning against the internet by purposely keeping authorized content offline, based off of a single anecdote of a guy who ditched his cable subscription only to go back a year later… just a day or so before the stats came out showing that people are actually ditching their cable connections.

    • NC State Senator Admits Broadband Companies Wrote His Bill & Says He ‘Carries Water’ For Companies

      What was most interesting about the situation in North Carolina, however, was how blatant state politicians were in highlighting that it was really the broadband companies who were calling the shots. In our story from April of 2009, it was noted that when the state representatives sponsoring the bill were asked questions about it during a committee hearing, they asked Time Warner employees to answer for them. Think about that for a second. The sponsors of the bill couldn’t answer the questions, so they asked industry folks to answer instead. We had thought that was about as blatant as a politician could be in admitting that the bill was actually written by the industry and that the politicians didn’t even understand what they were sponsoring.

    • Salisbury to test fiber-optic cable system

      One local on-ramp to the Internet just got a lot bigger and lightning fast.

      The city of Salisbury begins beta testing of a brand new fiber-optic cable system next month.

      Salisbury and North Carolina’s Municipal League have overcome strong objections from a powerful state senator, Sen. David Hoyle of Gaston County, who supports the cable companies who say local government competition is unfair.

      After the implosion of the textile industry, Salisbury is trying to weave a new future with new fibers; fiber-optic cable.

    • State Senator Admits Cable Industry Helped Write Pro-Industry Legislation
  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • ENDitorial: Leaked draft of the new Czech Copyright Act

        A leaked draft of the new Czech Copyright Act was obtained by Pirate News at the beginning of August 2010, after the Ministry of Culture has initially declined the request of Czech Pirate Party to have access to the document three days after the draft was sent out for feedback to organizations affected by the proposal. The draft presents a storm of “improvements” which grant millions of euro from public sector budgets to collecting societies.

        [...]

        That means that in order to achieve free distribution of copylefted work, the author has to notify the collecting society and he carries the burden of proof, that is, he has to prove that license has been provided, or if you like, the user of gratuitous license has to prove the collecting society has been notified, which is even harder. The amendment draft thus violates the declared support of public licenses.

      • Czech Gov’t Drafting Copyright Bill to Legally Gut Creative Commons, Chop Creators Royalties By Nearly Half

        If you ever thought that no one would ever actually legally attack Creative Commons and, if they did, you’d hear about it, consider this the article you “hear about it”. A draft copyright bill from the Czech Republic has leaked online and it may be one of the most disturbing copyright bills ever created.

      • Pirate Bay Receives Notice To Keep a Torrent

        The founder of the small software company Coding Robots was shocked when he found out that one of his works had been cracked and shared on The Pirate Bay. However, instead of asking The Pirate Bay to remove the torrent the company’s founder did quite the opposite. He sent a ‘Notice of Ridiculous Activity’ because the crack didn’t live up to his expectations.

      • Music Royalties Strangle Playlist.com

        Now called simply Playlist, the site allows users to create and share playlists using either song files that are hosted by the company itself or on third-party servers. When it plays the files that live on playlist.com, the service racks up millions of dollars in royalty costs. When the files play from external servers, the site functions, in a sense, as a playable search engine.

        As the screenshot from its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing shows (right), Project Playlist now owes millions of dollars in royalty costs to each of the major labels for playback of the music it hosted, having finally reached licensing agreements with all four major labels by May of this year. Those hard-won licensing agreements may well spell doom for Playlist.com, as they have for so many other start-ups.

      • DCC, Bittorrent and Usenet – Is Bittorrent so great?

        Before the days of the Internet when computers with 48k were deemed sufficient, I was one of a few who were accessing Micronet. Little did I know at the time (when I was downloading lawfully free software onto tape) was that I was taking the first steps into what would be a global phenomena and eventually something which would become so large, even the best of ISP’s could buckle under the demand to feed their end users hunger for data.

      • Open Bytes article – ‘DCC, Bittorrent and Usenet – Is Bittorrent so great?’ – is Tim wrong?

        It is unlikely that online copyright infringement would ever stop, no matter what was done, however it’s like smoking cigarettes. Smoking cigarettes was once socially acceptable. It no longer is socially acceptable. Or drunk driving – at one time everyone did it, now it’s so socially unacceptable that very few do so anymore.

        The curious thing is that all of the laws which have been enacted, appear to have had virtually no effect on online copyright infringement. What has had a huge effect was legal options. People love to show their appreciation for value, especially when they can show that appreciation directly to the artist, or software developer.

      • Don Henley Still Really Confused: Actually Claims Copyright Office Is Not An Advocate For Copyright Holders

        This is incredibly laughable if you know anything about the Copyright Office, which has been the leader in pushing for ever more draconian copyright law and has a history of almost always siding with content creators over the public. The 1976 Copyright Act, which completely flipped copyright on its head in this country came out of the Copyright Office, and some of the same folks are still there (including the boss, Marybeth Peters) — and haven’t changed their opinion much. Peters, in particular, has always been a staunch supporter of copyright holders over the public.

      • Disney, WB Claim Ad Firm Working With Pirate Sites Is Guilty Of Contributory Infringement

        So, the websites themselves are already pretty far removed from the actual infringement. The files are hosted on other sites. They’re shared by other people. These sites just allow users to post links. And… then on top of that the studios aren’t even suing these sites, which are a few steps away from the actual infringement: they’re suing this ad firm, which is another degree of separation away. Wow.

      • ACTA

        • Dutch Green Left party has concerns about the ACTA Treaty

          Dutch political party Green Left (Groen Links) is completely fed up with the ACTA Treaty’s haziness, reports Webwereld. One of Webwereld’s readers tipped off Mariko Peters (GL) about ACTA’s continuing secret negotiations as well as contradictions in communications about possible changes in Dutch law as a result of the Treaty. Maria van der Hoeven, Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs replied.

        • ACTA: An international threat to freedom and liberty

          ACTA is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, which is currently being negotiated, largely in secret, between the United States, the EU and 9 other countries.2 This draft agreement seeks to regulate a wide range of copyright, patents and trademark issues, including, most controversially, providing for additional regulation of the Internet. There have been a number of leaks (here, here, here and here) and the European Commission published an official draft text on 22 April.

          ACTA is a covert attempt, at the global level, to further reduce the public interest element in copyright, patents and trademarks, in the balance between the rights of creators, users, and the public at large, without proper debate and scrutiny in each nation state. The current form of ACTA is a threat to future innovation and freedom of citizens. ACTA is primarily driven by the US and the EU. Developing countries such as India and Brazil have been shut out of the process from the start.

Clip of the Day

Ubuntu 10.7 Smartbook Edition coming for ARM!


Links 27/8/2010:ZaReason “Back-to-School Special”, PlayOnLinux 3.8 is Out

Posted in News Roundup at 5:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Indian admins love Linux, stuck on Windows

    Microsoft took a bit of a bashing from panellists at the Indian Roundtable, attracting complaints for its complex and inflexible licensing policies.

  • Back to School With Ubuntu?

    Earlier today, ZaReason sent me a group email offering back-to-school specials on Ubuntu-based computers. I receive similar special offers from System 76 from time to time. Going forward, I hope Canonical finds a way to turn up the volume on these third-party Ubuntu system promotions. Here’s why.

    [...]

    Companies like ZaReason and System76 deserve applause from Ubuntu community members. In ZaReason’s case, the company is offering a “back-to-school special” where, for one week, customers can receive a 5 percent education discount when they use LEARN42 as a discount code. The sale runs until midnight on Sept 1, 2010.

  • Server

    • The Top 10 Linux Server Distributions

      You know that Linux is a hot data center server. You know that it saves you money in licensing and maintenance costs. But, what are your options for Linux as a server operating system? Listed here are the top ten Linux server distributions — some of which you may not be aware. The following chararistics, in no particular order, qualified a distribution for inclusion in this list: Ease-of-use, available commercial support and data center reliability.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Gentoo Family

      • Google Talk Plugin

        Google Blog announced the make a phone call from gmail yesterday. It’s google so it has to be good right? Getting it working can be the fun part tho. There appears to be two ebuilds out there that one can try. Gentoo Bugzilla 333769 has a 9999 version and cj-overlay has 1.4.1.0 version to try. If we follow Sabayon wiki article for 3rd Party ebuilds we can get it installed in no time.

      • Systemd in Gentoo

        A lot of folks are raving about the next generation in init systems (aka systemd), and how it’s (almost certainly) going to be the default init system for Fedora 14 (paid article, subscribe to LWN to read! [or wait a week]). It also seems that OpenSuse will be moving to systemd sometime in the near future (don’t take my word for this though), and Debian has at least considered it. It is also well-known that Ubuntu will not be using systemd for the foreseeable future.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Project News – August 26th, 2010

        Different aspects of the port of the Debian operating system to the FreeBSD kernel have made great progress recently. The Debian installer has been upgraded to the FreeBSD kernel version 8.1, which also allows the installation system to be used in languages other than English. Also the debian-cd scripts used to create CD and DVD images now support the creation of the new architectures. Daily build images for Debian unstable are already available; daily and weekly builds for “Squeeze” will be made available with the next beta release of the Debian installer. However, the Debian GNU/kFreeBSD related web pages are outdated, and help is needed to fix the web and wiki pages.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Second update to the Ubuntu Light themes

          It has been a great couple of weeks for me, where I continued working jointly with our visionary design lead Otto Greenslade, who I would like to thank for everything: working with him is really an exciting and valuable experience… he is fun, and the more I work with him, the more comfortable I feel and that means improving our productivity day-by-day.

        • Preparing for Ubuntu 10.10 with the Platform Rally

          With every release, Canonical sets a certain amount of specifications it wants to deliver itself for the next Ubuntu release. These tasks are mainly created at UDS, within the public view. These blueprints are those that Canonical engineers are tasked to work on, and are generally maintained on Launchpad and the Ubuntu wiki. While Ubuntu and Canonical are well versed in the style of distributed development, it seems that occasional real-life collaboration helps to stimulate the development cycle: by collecting the right people, together focusing on the specifications they are tasked with.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • HTC EVO 4G Froyo Update Rooted!

          Owners of the Sprint-exclusive HTC EVO 4G have been pining for a root for the Android 2.2 Froyo update to the phone’s software since its release at the start of the month, and this week XDA developer and resident rooting guru regaw_leinad has posted the first guide to doing so.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • European embedded Linux conference colocates with GStreamer event

      The Consumer Electronics Linux Forum (CELF) announced the program for the Embedded Linux Conference Europe (ELCE), scheduled for Oct. 26-28 in Cambridge, U.K. ELCE 2010 features keynotes by MIPS/Linux maintainer Ralf Baechle and Texas Instruments OMAP director Ari Rauch, sessions on mobile Linux, Android, and MeeGo, plus a co-located GStreamer conference.

      The Embedded Linux Conference Europe program runs from Oct 27-28. In addition, two half-day, hands-on tutorial sessions are available on Tuesday, Oct. 26. Taught by Linux trainer and consultant Chris Simmonds, the sessions cover basic embedded Linux bring-up and an introduction to Android development, respectively.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 4 Beta 4 opens a new Panorama

        For a long time, most new browser releases have seemed to primarily offer “me-too” features to match the competition, together with interface tweaks and theoretical speed improvements measured in milliseconds. But Mozilla’s recently released Beta 4 of Firefox 4 rolls out two of the best new browser features to come along in quite some time. The excellent tab-handling capabilities of Panorama and the multicomputer synchronization prowess of Sync mean that Firefox offers some of the best browsing and productivity tools now built into any browser.

  • CMS

    • Open Source Company Explores CwF+RtB In Getting Sponsorship For Whitepaper

      Of course, some will note that finding a “sponsor” for a whitepaper is hardly a new idea — and that’s absolutely true. Connecting with Fans and giving them a Reason to Buy doesn’t necessarily mean doing something “new” or totally out of the ordinary. It’s about looking at what’s available, and how it can be used more efficiently.

    • Diaspora arriving September 15

      Now September has come, and they’ve broken their long silence. Diaspora will launch on September 15.

    • Diaspora Three Weeks Away From Unveiling Open-Source Facebook Alternative

      Remember Diaspora? You’ll be forgiven if you don’t. Since they received a lot of hype as the open-source “Facebook Alternative” this past May, they’ve been quiet. In fact, they hadn’t given any updates on their progress since early July. But today they’ve re-emerged with some updates. Notably, they say: “We have Diaspora working, we like it, and it will be open-sourced on September 15th.” That’s just three weeks away.

  • Project Releases

  • Licensing

    • GNU/Linux – finally it’s Free software

      One of the long-running projects I had at Sun was to get the (pre-GPL, permissive) license on Sun RPC changed. Why would that interest anyone? Well, the code in question is the original implementation of Sun RPC, which went on to become RFC 1057 and today is a core part of every UNIX-family operating system. Including Debian GNU/Linux and Fedora, both keen to be 100% Free-licensed software.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open textbooks to the rescue

      Mark Horner is a Fellow at the Shuttleworth Foundation. The model of the Foundation is unusual: we identify interesting change agents, like Mark, who are articulating powerful ideas that seem like the offer a hint of the future, and we fund them to work on those for a year. We also offer them an investment multiplier: if they put their personal money into a project, we multiply that by 10x or more, up to a maximum amount. In short, find good people, back them when they put skin in the game.

Leftovers

  • Haitian music star Wyclef Jean’s presidential candidacy a distraction

    The on-again-off-again presidential candidacy of music star Wyclef Jean is a distraction for Haiti.

    On Friday, Aug. 20, the Haiti Electoral Council ruled that 15 out of the 34 candidates had not met the legal requirements to run for president of Haiti. Jean was one of the rejected candidates and he’s chosen to appeal the decision.

  • Vedanta mine plan halted by Indian government

    Campaigners, who have been backed in their fight against the mining giant’s plans by Joanna Lumley and Michael Palin, described the move as a “stunning victory”. Monty Python star turned professional traveller Palin expressed “absolute delight” in the news adding: “I hope it will send a signal to the big corporations that they can never assume that might is right. It’s a big victory for the little people.”

    The project had been thrown into doubt last week when a government inquiry said that mining would destroy the way of life of the area’s “endangered” and “primitive” people, the Kutia and Dongria Kondh tribes. The four-person committee also accused a local subsidiary of Vedanta of violating forest conservation and environment protection regulations.

  • Science

  • Security/Aggression

    • The boring truth about those Julian Assange smears

      But the speed with which the conspiracy theories spread throughout the moronosphere was enough for The New York Times London correspondent, the terrific John Burns, to produce an article headlined, “Plotting doubted in Wikileaks case”. That would be the Pentagon/CIA plotting to destroy Assange, obviously. Assuming that Assange knew the identity of his accusers when contacted by prosecutors, he nevertheless told any reporter within earshot that “we have been warned that the Pentagon, for example, is thinking of deploying dirty tricks to ruin us. And I have also been warned about sex traps.” After expressing scepticism that it was an American intelligence job, Harpers magazine nevertheless warned that “as this incident makes clear, the war on WikiLeaks will be fought with unconventional tools and those following the story are advised to accept nothing at face value.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • French activists uproot GM vines at research centre

      For the second time in less than a year, genetically modified vines being tested by the French National Institute of Agricultural Research (INRA) in its Colmar centre in eastern France have been uprooted and destroyed. Now that France no longer grows or tests GM corn, which used to be a regular summer target of the Faucheurs Volontaires (voluntary reapers) movement, attention has turned to the vines.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Blasphemous posters hit New Zealand

      I realize that this is a highly controversial campaign and I want to make sure it is clear to everybody that the fact that we publish any campaign it doesn’t mean we support it too. We’re just publishing it for the world to see and comment on. Apologies to anyone offended.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Guess Who Is Trying To Trademark The Word “Face”? (And Guess Who Is Trying To Stop It?)

      When it comes to trademarks, Facebook is proving to be a bully. It is going after Teachbook in court for using a similar name, and already forced Placebook to change its name. But that is only half the story.

      It is not just the word “book” at the end of a company or product name that Facebook might object to. If it has its way, the word “Face” at the beginning of a name might also bring out its lawyers. In fact, Facebook is currently trying to register the word “Face” as a trademark. (It already owns the trademark on “Facebook”). Facebook took over the trademark application for “Face” from a company in the UK called CIS Internet Limited, which operated a site called Faceparty.com. Presumably, Facebook bought the application sometime around November, 2008, which is when its lawyer started dealing with the USPTO.

    • Copyrights

      • Is the DMCA Still Controversial?

        The courts’ newfound sensitivity to the risk of DMCA overreach, and the Library of Congress’s efforts to keep the statute confined to the purposes that actually prompted its enactment, have me wondering whether the DMCA controversy is now behind us; whether the worst of the statute’s sharp edges haven’t now been effectively worn away.

Clip of the Day

Bill Hicks humour


08.26.10

Links 26/8/2010: Red Had Reaches Year Highs, Droid Incredible to Get Froyo

Posted in News Roundup at 6:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The People Who Support Linux: It’s a Family Affair

    Alex is an individual member of The Linux Foundation and has been using Linux for five years. She started using it when she moved in with her partner, who is a programmer and built her computer using Ubuntu. Since then, Alex, her 7-year old son, her parents, and even the neighbor have all become regular Linux and open source software users.

    “I am not a computer programmer or very skilled when it comes to figuring out what to do to make things work. So I need something that is easy and intuitive. I can load new applications, software and peripherals without having to look up manuals or finding that drive disc that always goes missing when you need it.”

  • Is your company afraid of Linux? (2 of 3)

    How about salary comparison? Comparing salaries in this economy is like throwing darts in the dark. I’ve seen Windows and Linux employee’s being hired at ridiculously below average salaries but generally speaking the salaries are all over the place. Various studies and statistics show that Unix Server Administrators are the highest paid, then Linux and then Windows. The margin between Linux and Windows salaries is small and is shrinking due to higher numbers of Server Admins with Linux experience. Supply and Demand. This is good news as a business owner or IT manager.

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Apple Mac OS X OpenCL Performance vs. Linux

        The results were mixed showing Apple still has room to optimize their OpenGL stack compared to NVIDIA’s Linux implementation and in not all areas did this package update result in performance enhancements

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Demystifying Akonadi

        Many people have been asking what the status of the new, Akonadi-based Kontact Groupware suite is. As I’ve been working closely with the PIM hackers, I thought I’d give my readers a heads-up on what’s going on and what to expect. In this article, I will often take KMail as an example for the port, but similar things apply to the other PIM applications that form the Kontact suite as well.

  • Distributions

    • Reaching way back: Bonzai Linux

      Here and there, where I can, I have come across some workable distros that will run on a 150Mhz Pentium with only 32Mb of memory. It’s a rarity though, and even more unusual to find one that will boot and install, in that small a space.

      In fact, more than ever it seems the issue I have to confront is not a lack of processor speed or even hard drive speed, but simply memory overhead. That’s my limiting factor.

    • Reviews

      • Review of Qimo: Linux for Kids

        We’ve talked about Linux software for kids a few times here at MakeTechEasier, but so far we’ve never actually sat down to take a closer look at whole distributions intended for children. Many people are familiar with Edubuntu, the Ubuntu spinoff intended for school and other educational institutions, but you may not know much about Qimo. Unlike Edubuntu, which is designed for a client-server network model, Qimo is intended for a sole desktop user – in this case children 3 years old and up. It uses a customized version of the XFCE desktop, with large icons and simple menus, to make it easy to navigate. Included are many of the top titles in kids software for Linux, such as GCompris and TuxPaint. Today we’ll take a look at what Qimo has to offer, and submit it to the ultimate test: a real live toddler.

      • Lightweight Distro Roundup: Day 8 – Puppy 5.10 (WOW)

        Hi, Quintin here. For the most part I am flying solo today. I came back late from the Lets Talk Geek podcast last night where I elbowed myself into being their guest for the week and I did not have the chance to get Elzje’s insight into our featured distro for the day.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Linux on the Cloud: The Ubuntu Way

          Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu Linux, has always had many enthusiastic user and developer fans. It’s a different story within the enterprise. Canonical has been trying to improve its business reputation though in both the server and cloud spaces. In particular, according to Neil Levine, Canonical’s VP of Commercial Services, Canonical has been working hard to bring Ubuntu’s well-known ease of use on the desktop to cloud deployments.

        • What Will Ubuntu 10.10 Look Like?

          Ubuntu 10.10 is currently in its third alpha release, with the final version expected on October 10. Current home and business users of older versions of Ubuntu will have to decide if the benefits make it worth upgrading the free software.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo

      • Android

        • Droid Incredible Now Expected to See Froyo Update Tomorrow

          Think of this post as a Monopoly-style “Bank error in your favor”. The Droid Incredible is now expected to see Android 2.2 updates as early as tomorrow, August 27th. This is a few days earlier than what we had last heard and only a couple of weeks beyond the initial rumored time frame. If you have one of these HTC beauties, you’ll soon be experiencing Flash 10.1, automatic app updates, 3G mobile hotspots, and much more! In the meanwhile, you brave rooting souls can grab it yourself.

Free Software/Open Source

  • 58 Open Source Replacements for Small Business Software

    Many small business owners have never heard of open source software. That’s unfortunate because in many ways small businesses are ideal environments for open source applications.

    In a small business, every dollar matters. Open source offers opportunities for companies to cut their software costs. Even if you need paid support, you’ll probably pay less for an open source solution than for a comparable closed source solution.

  • Events

    • Resources for learning about open innovation

      Last April, many of the big names in open innovation gathered at the UK’s National Endowment for Science, Technology, and the Arts (NESTA) “Open for Business” conference in London. Didn’t make the cut? Catch some videos of the event, plus a very informative whitepaper to share with the higher-ups.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • New Firefox Mobile versions

        AMO has been updated with 2.0a1 and 2.0b1pre versions for Firefox Mobile. Alpha 1 will be released in the next day or so, so please test your extension if you already are compatible with 2.0a1pre, it is very likely that your extension will still work.

      • Panorama in Firefox 4, your new eye-candy tab canvas

        Mozilla posted the fourth beta of its Firefox 4 browser on Tuesday. The release comes with a brand new interface that takes tab management to the next level. Aptly named Panorama and invoked by clicking a new tile button on the rightmost end of the tab toolbar, it looks like a visual overview of your open tabs but it’s really a highly customizable canvas designed to reclaim your browsing experience.

      • Hands-on: Firefox 4 beta 4 brings Tab Candy and Sync
  • Brazil

    • Brazil is open to open source

      I’ve been traveling quite a bit recently to meet with Lucid’s customers and partners around the globe. Earlier this week I had the pleasure of speaking at an event organized for business executives by our partner in Brazil, Primeware. The topic – no surprise – was open source enterprise search software. What I saw and heard seems to indicate the country’s broader sentiment about open source and growth.

      Lately, Brazil has been getting a lot of attention. In 2014, it will host the next World Cup. In 2016, it will be the site of the first Olympics to be held in South America. And next week, LinuxCon will launch in Brazil. It’s the world’s eighth largest economy, and people are sitting up and taking notice.

    • LPI Hosts September Exam Labs at LinuxCon Brazil and Ohio LinuxFest 2010

      The Linux Professional Institute (LPI), the world’s premier Linux certification organization, announced promotional exam labs for their Linux Professional Institute Certification (LPIC) at LinuxCon Brazil (São Paulo, Brazil, September 1, 2010) and Ohio Linux Fest (Columbus, Ohio, USA, September 12, 2010). This is LPI’s second event as the exclusive Free and Open Source Software certification provider at LinuxCon and their fifth year as certification sponsor of the Ohio LinuxFest.

    • Running On Empty

      My adventures in the translation (or localization) world started some time in the middle of 2005. I had just started using Ubuntu as my main distribution and being carried away by the buzz and excitement surrounding this new comer, I started looking for ways to “give back”. Not that I hadn’t tried it before, but to tell you the truth, Ubuntu had back then the only friendly and welcoming community out there that wouldn’t treat you with scorn and arrogance if you were a new user.

  • Oracle

  • Healthcare

    • VA Hospitals Embracing Open Source Medical Records System

      Beth Lynn Eicher, co-chair of Ohio LinuxFest, writes about her mother, Susan Rose, and how VA hospitals are using the VistA open source medical records system. Beth Lynn writes, “Mom did not understand what I was up to with open source. I did not understand what she was up to with open source.”

  • Licensing

    • Dell checks for open-source licensing misstep

      Dell responded to the criticism via a post on Twitter Wednesday, saying, “We’re reviewing concerns re: the #dellstreak source code. We intend to comply with all applicable requirements. More details soon.”

    • Dell promises to open-source Streak code

      The version of Android 1.6 used by Dell is based on a Linux kernel and by definition fits under the GNU Public License (GPL), which requires that it open-source any new code. Without Dell’s custom portions of software, programmers haven’t had access to the drivers and other code that talks to the Streak’s exact hardware. Using the GPL doesn’t carry a deadline for when code must be published, but it’s usually assumed code will be available almost immediately or shortly before any hardware or software ships.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Give me some of that old-time, open source religion

      The Church of Scientology, in particular, seems to suffer from its proprietary way of thinking–at the hands of a rather forced kind of open sourcing. Vast quantities of online effort go into actively refuting or even denouncing Scientolgist beliefs and practices–up to and including publishing what are claimed to be the secret, closely-protected religious documents of the group’s inner orders. Anti-Scientologist website Operation Clambake presents an equal yet opposite view of a religious organization that is very technology-savvy and new-media friendly. Though the Church of Scientology has a massive website, replete with cutting-edge videos and presentations, their foundation–their doctrine–is clearly very proprietary. Beginners buy-in in book form or in person. The information they offer publicly and freely is quite limited. This un-free knowledge is the very thing that a group like Clambake takes advantage of.

    • Open Data

      • New Public Spaces 2: Practical Design Guidelines

        I’m still focused on virtual spaces where there’s a requirement to be official or government run. We know, exemplified beautifully through open data initiatives, the notion that government has to be the central point for everything has changed and will continue to transform. Using and facilitating community or nongovernmental channels is another matter.

Leftovers

  • Legal Threat Demands We Shut Down Techdirt

    Here at Techdirt, unfortunately, we get an average of about one legal threat per month. The threats are almost always frivolous — and often made in anger without the individual realizing why the threats are frivolous. While some sites take the position that they will publish any and all legal threats, we have always tried to give the threatening party the benefit of the doubt, and to recognize that they made their demands in a moment of excess anger and misunderstanding. As such, we generally explain our position as to why any legal action would be a mistake — and in nearly every case, we never hear back from the person who threatened us.

  • Gmail Calling: Google’s Bid to Rule Your Communications

    This is all part of Google’s strategy to be a VoIP powerhouse for consumers and businesses, as I wrote last November.

  • ARM virtualization tech adds more fuel to server fire

    In a presentation at Stanford’s Hot Chips conference on Tuesday, ARM added a few more drops to the trickle of information that’s coming out which suggests that the UK-based mobile and embedded processor designer is very seriously pursuing the server market. Specifically, ARM’s David Brash described a new set of virtualization extensions for the ARM-v7-A architecture, which will be included in the follow-on to Cortex A9. Brash also described an OS-managed address extension that will alleviate some of the I/O and memory pressure that goes with ARM’s 4GB memory limit.

  • My Favorite 10 xkcd Comics Part-2

    As I have said before, I started searching for top 10 xkcd comics initially but ended up with nearly 20 of them. So here is the part-2 of my favorite 10 xkcd comics. Between, don’t miss top 10 xkcd comics part-1.

  • Science

    • Canon Introduces 120MP Camera Sensor

      One could say that the megapixel race as we know it is over, or it’s at least less of an ordeal now than it used to be. Camera makers cranked up the megapixels as fast as they could for years, but now we’ve reached somewhat of a peak, or a plateau, maybe. But there’s no question that camera makers will continue to push the megapixel envelope, and there are obvious advantages to doing so. Some medium format cameras today have sensors with over 40 megapixels, but that’s beginning to sound a little small.

    • The longer you sit, the earlier you die

      Researchers say that’s even for people who exercise regularly after long sit-a-thons at the office and aren’t obese.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Military Computer Attack Confirmed

      A top Pentagon official has confirmed a previously classified incident that he describes as “the most significant breach of U.S. military computers ever,” a 2008 episode in which a foreign intelligence agent used a flash drive to infect computers, including those used by the Central Command in overseeing combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Why Are Gay Porn Producers So Quick To Get Involved In Shakedown Copyright Pre-Settlement Schemes?

        In July, we noted that one such gay porn producer had filed a bunch of lawsuits for sharing films via BitTorrent, and now THREsq is reporting that litigious porn producer Io Group is also suing a bunch of John Does for the same thing. If Io sounds familiar, that’s because they were also one of the first to sue a video site for infringement, in this case Veoh, in a lawsuit that Io lost.

      • Another Reason To Buy: A Unique CD For Fans That No One Else Will Get

        The latest such example is from musician Brian Hazard, who recently recorded his 8th full-length album. He claims this is his last physical release (in the future, it’ll all be digital), he decided to still press the CD after he won a songwriting contest for free CD manufacturing. With that process underway, he decided to “improvise” a bit on the business model side, and see if any of his fans would be interested in an Individual Edition CD. This isn’t a “special edition,” but a totally uniquely individual edition, that no one else would get:

        As a souvenir of your support, I will create a personalized custom CD featuring unique mixdowns of each of the 12 songs I recorded for the album. The outtakes “Touch” and “Release the Hounds” are not on the standard Limited Edition CD and will not appear on any future physical release. The disc will open with a token of my appreciation — a spoken “thank you” mentioning you by name.

Clip of the Day

Jeremy Allison @ GUADEC 2010


Bradley Kuhn @ GUADEC 2010


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