EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

09.06.11

Links 6/9/2011: Android 3.2 Previews, wdiff 1.0.0 Released

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Understanding open source technologies, the ethical way

    The recent times have seen many big companies and even US government face brunt of invasions by hackers from other countries, creating a huge impact on world politics.

    With this trend several hackers offer help in repairing vulnerabilities in such systems. They in turn demand payments for the same, which is not ethical, because their work does not comply with pure assurance that an ethical hacker always guarantees.

    Thus for us ethical hackers, this unethical wayposes a threat to our image, which is yet to be repaired in the minds of governments and people in general.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

  • Databases

    • NSA proposes Accumulo NoSQL database to Apache

      Built on top of Apache’s Hadoop, Zookeeper and Thrift projects, Accumulo is a distributed key/value store based on the design of Google’s BigTable. Developed by the US National Security Agency (NSA), the Accumulo project has now been proposed to the Apache Software Foundation for consideration and incubation as a new Apache project. Accumulo’s big difference is that it has fine-grained label-based access control, which could allow different users to access a record but only see the fields they are allowed to see; the NSA developers believe such a database could work in “government, health care, and other industries where privacy is a concern”.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Another Crack in Oracle’s Case Against Google
    • Oracle v. Google – Google Knocks Another (Minor) Chip Out of Oracle

      Two weeks ago Google won the right to file a motion for summary judgment on Oracle’s affirmative defense of assignor estoppel. As we explained at that time, Oracle was arguing that, since Google now employs some of the named inventors in the patents Oracle is asserting against Google, Google should be precluded from challenging the validity of those patents.

      Oracle has now decided to throw in the towel on that defense by agreeing to stipulate to its dismissal with prejudice, i.e., they cannot reassert this defense again in this case. 387 [PDF] This is not that big a deal. There was almost no chance that Oracle was going to be successful with the assignor estoppel defense (their attempt to apply it in this case went far beyond anything any court has allowed). Nevertheless, it knocks one more issue off the table. Note that the dismissal with prejudice on this defense is not final until the judge enters the order, but given the parties have agreed to the stipulation, that is a mere formality.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Project Releases

    • wdiff 1.0.0 released

      So what has changed? As user noticeable changes we have updated translations for Updated Dutch, French, Danish and Slovenian as well as a completely new translation file for Ukrainian thanks to Yuri Chornoivan. The code will now give more useful results in case the diff program either cannot be executed or fails for some reason.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Can Whitehall open up to open source?

      What’s Whitehall’s attitude to software procurement? A cynic might sum it up as “nobody ever got sacked for buying Microsoft”.

      The current government has vowed to change the civil service mindset that has always preferred to spend money with the biggest firms and has been conservative about open source software.

      The Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude has vowed to create a level playing field for open source as part of a drive to cut costs.

      Now a BBC Freedom of Information (FOI) request has given us a glimpse of how big the challenge will be.

    • Government a closed shop for open source

      Amid promises from the current Government to give greater opportunities to open-source providers, the BBC made a flurry of Freedom of Information Act requests aimed at discovering the use of non-proprietary software in Whitehall.

      The figures from each department are hardly conclusive and vary in detail, but point to a situation in which conservatism rules the day, with civil-service buyers reluctant to look past low-risk, high-cost packages from big-name suppliers.

    • Indian Government Takes the Open Source Route

      The draft ‘Policy On Device Drivers For Procurement Of Hardware For e-Governance’ states that the, “Government of India (GOI) endeavours to provide e-governance services, which are technology-neutral, cost-effective, interoperable and vendor-neutral. The GOI Policy on open standards is a step towards meeting this objective in the development of e-governance applications.” The policy will be applicable in all new e-governance projects, as well as in existing ones.

    • Department for Transport Embraces Open Source Platform and Cloud-Based Hosting in Latest Kainos Project

      The Department for Transport (www.dft.gov.uk/) has become the latest central Government organisation to extend its relationship with Causeway, the application management services arm of Kainos, with a new contract to support the Department’s web activities and migration to a cloud-based open source platform.

Leftovers

  • Armageddon of IT

    The “innocent” third parties for this change could either ship their products in virtual machines paying the “tax” or they could port their software to GNU/Linux. Either way would cost ISVs some money but all the software makers owe the manufacturers of all that lovely hardware a lot, I figure. They should be glad to contribute to software freedom. End users might need some retraining but the OEMs could easily host training sites to prepare users. There could be lots of opportunity for smaller ISVs to compete against the big guys if they can get software working on GNU/Linux sooner than the big guys.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Nurses to Obama: Heal America, Tax Wall Street!

      As President Obama gets ready for his big jobs speech Thursday, America’s nurses have a message for him. “Heal America, Tax Wall Street!” the signs read as nurses rallied in front of 61 Congressional offices this week. The nurses are proposing a bold alternative to the “cut, cut, cut” rhetoric emanating from Washington, D.C.

  • Cablegate

  • Finance

    • Pray for Goldman Sachs

      Because no amount of money ultimately protects you against the collapse of a nation, against raging compatriots in the streets too desperate to care anymore. Look at Rome, Greece, Rwanda, Russia (twice recently — the Czars, then the Commies). Take a look at Gaddafi, Hussein and all the other leaders in the Middle East who have been feasting off their people.

    • WHo Do You THiNK BuiLT AMeRiCa?

      Watch the news this Labor Day. You will have the unique opportunity to hear and see politicians, robbers, thieves and human strip miners tell you about how they have the best interests of “working” American men and women at heart.

  • Civil Rights

    • Facebook Complains About German Sites Changing Functionality Of ‘Like’ Button To Comply With Law

      Who’s more powerful when it comes to determining how social voting functionality works in Germany? The government or Facebook? You may recall a few weeks ago there were reports of a German official effectively banning the Facebook “like” button on third party sites as a privacy violation. While it doesn’t say it’s officially in response to this, the German news site Heise implemented a neat little workaround, in which you have to first click on the icon to “activate” it, and then you can click the “like” (Google translation of the original German). Under this system, the “like” button isn’t loaded until a user clicks on it, thus there’s no issue of Facebook automatically tracking folks via the button.

09.05.11

Links 5/9/2011: Android 3.2 Tablets, Cablegate Everywhere

Posted in News Roundup at 11:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Limpag: Why you (likely) don’t need to pay for PC software

      This provides an opportunity for Linux, a free and open source operating system that anyone can download and use, to be more widely adopted in the desktop. Linux is dominant in the mobile space with Android. Apart from the wrong impressions that it is difficult to use, Linux failed to gain much traction in the desktop because people were tied to specific software that worked only on Windows.

  • Kernel Space

    • About git rebase and more
    • Texas Instruments Has New Open-Source Driver

      Update: David Airlie has replied to say he would rather not merge the plug-in portion of the driver unless there is an open-source module to take avantage of the plug-in API. Rob Clark has responded that he expects an open user within a month or so. This may put the OMAP driver out of reach for merging in the Linux 3.2 kernel, but would then become a target for integration in the Linux 3.3 kernel.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • the on-screen keyboard

        We have an on-screen (or, if you prefer, virtual or software) keyboard for Plasma. It can run independently of the shell by way of the plasma-keyboardcontainer application (which we use in Plasma Active) or the Keyboard Plasmoid that comes as part of the kdeplasma-addons repository.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • BackBox Linux 2 released!

        The BackBox team is proud to announce the release of BackBox Linux 2.

        BackBox 2 features the following upstream components: Ubuntu 11.04, Linux Kernel 2.6.38 and Xfce 4.8.0

        The images (32bit & 64bit) can be downloaded from the following location:

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Open Source: Mandriva 2011 vs Mageia 1

        As of today I find myself in the position of deciding whether or not to stick with my previously preferred distribution, Mandriva Linux.

      • Open Source: Live Migration of Mandriva to Mageia

        I took the plunge to migrate my personal / business desktop PC from Mandriva 2010.2 to Mageia 1 today (Sunday, 4 September 2011). I used the instructions from this page: Migrate from Mandriva Linux. Specifically the section titled, “b) Upgrading inline, using urpmi (CLI)”. The migration is roughly three quarters done as I type this. I decided to try to use the PC while I ran the migration from console 1 (Ctrl Alt F1). In preparation for this I closed programs I suspected would be most affected. Such as:

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Bodhi Linux: A Closer Look

              After reviewing Bodhi Linux I had some time to really play around with the system. Preferring a minimal environment, I decided to check out what the minimal installation theme had to offer. One thing is for sure, when Bodhi thinks you want minimal it takes you seriously. I found myself looking at a clock. That was the only gadget on the desktop… there wasn’t even a task bar. Now if this sounds like I’m complaining let me set you straight: I asked for minimal and I expected no less, so seeing this was quite a pleasant surprise. It means that if needed I can build my desktop from the ground up.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Medion hides Android 3.2 tablet behind closed doors

        IFA 2011 Medion joined the throng of vendors touting an Android 3.2-based tablet at IFA, though it kept its offering, the LifeTab P9514 behind closed doors.

      • Why the Desktop Mode is necessary on Linux-based tablets?

        Many have predicted, that tablets will replace netbooks completely. While I cannot agree with this absolute statement, I admit that tablets serve a set of use-cases better than netbooks. The touch-interface and low power-consumption of tablets make content consumption more comfortable (e.g. no heating, no fan-noise, longer battery runtime, less weight to lug around…etc).

        That said, there are areas where tablets just cannot give enough. For example, any kind of work which requires more serious input while being mobile. The problem of efficient input can be solved with accessories like a bluetooth mouse and keyboard. Usually, when you prepare your tablet for extra-home journeys, you buy a case which also hosts the keyboard.

Free Software/Open Source

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • August 2011 GNU Toolchain Update

      RMS is working on a press release which will grant a special exception to the GPL to anyone who is using one of the affected tarballs. In the meantime new tarballs have been uploaded to the FSF FTP repository with the missing sources added. The new tarballs have an ‘a’ suffix to their name, but otherwise behave in exactly the same way as the tarballs they replace. So for example the latest 2.21 binutils release tarball is now:

    • GNU Health at Savannah

      Health (GNU Health) is now an official GNU Project software. We’re the new kid in town at Savannah, but the project has been around since 2008.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Democracy and cyberspace

      ou have often argued that the implementation of the White Paper ‘Open Source Vision – Nurturing the Proliferation of Open Source Software’, authored by the Malta Information Technology Agency, could be as important for the future of Malta and its role in the increasingly globalised world as independence or joining the EU. But you have almost always insisted on the economic significance of the proposal, while the best-known international advocates of the Open Source Movement lay just as much emphasis on its political significance from the point of view of democratic development. What weight do you give to this political aspect in the Maltese context in relation to the rapidly and radically changing Mediterranean setting?

Leftovers

  • Tech musings – Because I can.

    I think the future of the desktop OS is going to be rather irrelevant though. Like it or not, we march on to the cloud and the volume of web-based apps that people are raving about will ensure that it won’t matter which platform you are running. The cloud has many people worried. I’m not one of them.

    TechBytes is reaching its first year, the collaboration project that started with Roy Schestowitz making a one line request in Identi.ca has been the focus of much of my efforts this last year, in 2008 when I first started writing Linux articles online I remember the focus of those articles was showing people why Linux was far better than a Windows experience. I see myself having to spend less time doing that since even the tech uninterested are seeming to understand there can be a better (and happier) existence outside of Microsoft products.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Obama Administration Delays Life-Saving Smog Standards

      Today the Obama Administration made a decision that will endanger the health of tens of thousands of Americans. Its choice to delay stronger standards for smog lets polluters off the hook and leaves Americans with sicker family members and higher medical costs.

      Smog standards exist because smog is dangerous to human health. It causes respiratory illness, cardiac disease, and premature death. Though we have made progress in reducing this harmful pollution in American skies, we haven’t licked the problem yet.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Obama: (Still) Killing Terrorists the Bush Way

      On an upcoming edition of PBS’ Frontline, former CIA lawyer John Rizzo argues that the CIA under President Obama is straight-up Bushian. “With a notable exception of the enhanced interrogation program, the incoming Obama administration changed virtually nothing with respect to existing CIA programs and operations,” Rizzo says. (Watch a clip of the Rizzo interview here.) Glenn Greenwald points out that this shouldn’t be news to anyone who’s been paying attention.

      The real news: Frontline also reports that, during the 2008 campaign, Obama promised the CIA that it he had every intention of staying the course set by the Bush administration. That information, if it had come out at the time, might have damaged Obama’s end-the-war, stop-the-torture campaign mojo.

    • Firms Aided Libyan Spies

      The recently abandoned room is lined with posters and English-language training manuals stamped with the name Amesys, a unit of French technology firm Bull SA, which installed the monitoring center. A warning by the door bears the Amesys logo. The sign reads: “Help keep our classified business secret. Don’t discuss classified information out of the HQ.”

  • Cablegate

    • In Defense Of WikiLeaks: Looking At Cables On Pharmaceutical Drugs And Trade Pressures

      Like many others, I have spent the past several days combing through countless US Department of State cables. I am primarily looking at the cables that describe our government’s efforts to drive up the price of medicine in developing countries. This is an act of state-sponsored violence that is rarely reported by the New York Times, the Guardian or other newspapers that had received early copies of the cables.

      I am also looking at the news of and the reaction to WikiLeaks’ failure to withhold access to cables that include the names of sources of intelligence, putting at risk the lives of the persons so named.

    • WikiLeaks: The five funniest cables about the ‘war on drugs’
    • Wikileaks Discloses The Reason(s) Behind China’s Shadow Gold Buying Spree

      Wondering why gold at $1850 is cheap, or why gold at double that price will also be cheap, or frankly at any price? Because, as the following leaked cable explains, gold is, to China at least, nothing but the opportunity cost of destroying the dollar’s reserve status. Putting that into dollar terms is, therefore, impractical at best, and illogical at worst. We have a suspicion that the following cable from the US embassy in China is about to go not viral but very much global, and prompt all those mutual fund managers who are on the golden sidelines to dip a toe in the 24 karat pool.

    • This week in WikiLeaks press: 25-31 August, 2011
    • Mugabe to die by 2013 – WikiLeaks

      obert Mugabe told a former US ambassador that the ageing president had prostate cancer that would kill him by 2013, leaked US embassy cables show.

      Central bank chief Gideon Gono made the claims in remarks to James McGee in June 2008 – when Zimbabwe was mired in election violence following Mugabe’s loss to then opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai in the first round of polls in March.

    • NIF Officer: Demise of Jewish State ‘No Tragedy’ – Wikileaks

      A senior New Israel Fund officer told a U.S. official in 2010 that the disappearance of the Jewish state would not be a tragedy, according to a document that was leaked by Wikileaks.

      The officer is Hedva Radovanitz, who was at the time (February 2010) NIF Associate Director in Israel, according to the document.

      The document relates to the attempts to pass a law that would demand transparency of political NGOs operating in Israel that are funded by foreign countries.

    • Julian Assange: The 60 Minutes Interview

      Naturally, “60 Minutes” wanted to hear from Assange himself. But for producers Tanya Simon and Howard Rosenberg and correspondent Steve Kroft just getting this interview was a story in and of itself.

    • Drug war cables: ‘Burn poppies, burn’
    • The Cult Of Julian Assange Worshippers

      It all began so innocently. I started hanging out with a bad crowd on the intertubes, digging into secret filez about energy wars and government corruption. The Afghan War Logs. The Iraq War Logs. Suddenly I was being called a “WikiLeaks groupie”.

      And it was true! Yes, I was revelling in this subversive counter-culture! I was spending hours and hours on my computer, chatting with other “groupies”, posting my findings on Twitter, writing up stories the media was ignoring and governments didn’t want people to know. I began writing for WikiLeaks Central and even got re-tweeted by Mr. @wikileaks himself – an intoxicating high for a crazy, deluded cyber-hippy like myself.

      It was just a fashionable thing, obviously. It would have passed soon enough, I’m sure. But then along came CableGate, with over 250,000 secret US diplomatic cables just begging to be investigated. How could I walk away now? Ignoring my wife’s futile pleas, I launched myself into the adventure like an alcoholic diving into a beer-filled swimming pool. Alas!

    • Nadra outsourcing plans in disarray after WikiLeaks

      The National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) is bound to come under pressure to scrap its decision of outsourcing its work in the UK to a private security company after the WikiLeaks revealed that Interior Minister Rehman Malik had offered the US all the records of the Nadra.

    • WikiLeaks Cable Shows US Embassy Believed Jakarta Election Was ‘Rigged’

      A leaked confidential US diplomatic cable reveals that the US Embassy in Jakarta believed the 2007 gubernatorial election won by Fauzi Bowo had been “rigged” by the capital’s elites.

      The cable, dated April 25, 2007, ahead of the election, was among the unredacted cables released by WikiLeaks over the past week. It is believed to have been written by the then-deputy chief of mission at the US Embassy, John Heffern.

    • Wikileaks – Raw Notes On Ghana

      1. Embassy was approached by two advisors to National Democratic Congress (NDC) candidate John Atta-Mills, Edward Nunoo and Sylvanos Tamakloe, who told Political Office that Electoral Commission (EC) Chairman Kwadwo Afari-Gyan was being pressured by the ruling National Patriotic Party (NPP) to announce false results that would be supplied by the NPP. The EC Chairman told Ambassador that the allegations were “utter nonsense.” #WIKILEAKS

    • Full-Disclosure, Unredacted WikiLeaks, Security and The Guardian

      The Guardian doesn’t “get” openness when it suits their purpose

    • Wikileaks ‘exposes’ fierce fight in gov’t for control of Ghana oil

      The latest release of leaked diplomatic cables by the whistle-blowing website, Wikileaks has revealed some persons around the Presidency have tried to use their influence to manipulate control of the country’s oil resources for their personal gain.

    • LapdogCable Reveals Extent Of Lapdoggery From Swedish Govt On Copyright Monopoly
    • Look Hu’s Coming to Dinner: How to Prepare for a Visit by a Chinese Leader
    • Wikileaks throws new light on Nepal king’s surrender

      When Nepal’s controversial king Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah handed over power to a resurrected parliament on April 24, 2006 and faced the abolition of his throne, it might not have been entirely the thought of his subjects’ wellbeing that prompted the move.

    • Wikileaks: ICE / IFPI Infiltrate Pirate Topsites

      A diplomatic cable leaked by Wikileaks reveals that entertainment industry groups and law enforcement combined their efforts to infiltrate Warez Scene topsites. One of the strategies they discuss during a 2009 meeting is to have an informant leak music before the official release date, to gain trust of the site’s operator and gain access to the highly secured Scene servers.

    • Australia: no plans to prosecute Assange over cables

      Attorney general says authorities have no plans to prosecute WikiLeaks founder, despite claims that unredacted embassy cables reveal identity of Australian intelligence officer

    • China and its propaganda — A glimpse
    • Wikileaks: India’s Mayawati ‘sent jet to collect shoes’

      The chief minister of India’s Uttar Pradesh state sent an empty private jet to get a pair of sandals from Mumbai, leaked US diplomatic cables say.

    • WikiLeaks’ Asian field day

      In Indonesia, the national police are discovered to be using a hard-line Islamic group as its hidden “attack dog.” In Indonesia, octogenarian Singaporean founder Lee Kuan Yew calls Islam a “venomous religion”. In Malaysia, UMNO leaders are “willing to blacken Malaysia’s reputation to ensure the end to opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s political challenge.”

    • Wikileaks: airBaltic cancelled planned flights to Iran after U.S. pressure

      Latvian national airline airBaltic cancelled its plans to begin flights between Riga and the Iranian capital Tehran in 2010 after pressure from the United States, according to confidential cables by U.S. diplomats released by “WikiLeaks”.

    • Helium Diplomacy and the Jamaican Menace

      When policymakers are asked to name the terrorist breeding grounds that keep them up at night, they’re likely to mention Pakistan’s tribal areas, southern Afghanistan, or Yemen. Sunny Jamaica doesn’t usually make the list. But one 2010 cable sent from the U.S. embassy in Kingston warned that the country “potentially presents fertile ground for those who might commit acts of violence in the name of Islamist extremism.”

    • Vatican pressured CBCP to back off Arroyo resign call: WikiLeaks

      MANILA, Philippines – The Vatican pressured the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) not to support protests calling for the resignation of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2005, a US embassy cable released by anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks revealed.

    • Feared clan outgunned Philippine military: WikiLeaks

      The 2,000-strong private army of a powerful clan suspected of carrying out the Philippines’ worst political massacre was better armed than the military and police, leaked US embassy cables showed.

    • WikiLeaks’ obvious truth

      People must seek to protect not only WikiLeaks, but also the mechanism by which the information enters into our purview.

    • Ex-Blackwater guards kept working in Iraq: US cable

      A leaked US diplomatic cable says that “hundreds” of former employees of Blackwater, which was barred from Iraq over a deadly 2007 shooting, later worked with other firms guarding US diplomats here.

      Iraq announced in January 2009 that it would not renew Blackwater’s operating licence due to a September 16, 2007 incident in which guards protecting a US diplomatic convoy opened fire in Baghdad’s busy Nisur Square, killing at least 14 civilians.

    • 2011-09-02 Polish CIA prison: US and Poland had been trying to “put story to rest” #wlfind [Update 2]
    • Smog readings had China hot and bothered

      This capital city’s skies were clogged with pollution, as is often the case, and China’s government was concerned. So it summoned officials of the US embassy to a meeting.

      But the session had nothing to do with hazy skies. Rather, Chinese officials were peeved that the Americans were monitoring pollution themselves, and posting their more precise findings, which usually judged the smog far worse than official Chinese readings, on Twitter for anyone to read.

    • Curtain closing on Gillard experiment

      As gut-wrenching as it will be for Labor MPs to dispatch their second prime minister in a row, and to suffer all the bad jokes and gibes – including mine of Australia becoming the Italy of the Pacific, with four prime ministers in four years (Howard, Rudd, Gillard and Rudd?) – they have little choice. Gillard has shown she is not up to the job. Wayne Swan, who will also have to go when Gillard does, has described her as tough as nails. He’s right. One problem. Tough does not equal smart. She has made too many mistakes and shown a worrying inability to learn from any of them. Under her, Labor has fallen to its lowest levels ever.

    • WikiLeaks – Rawlings uses drugs

      WikiLeaks has published a US Embassy cable that says former President Jerry John Rawlings uses drugs and his finance minister at that time was alarmingly incompetent.

  • Finance

    • FHFA Sues 17 Banks Over Massive Mortgage Losses At Fannie and Freddie

      The ripple effects of the financial crisis continue to take their toll on banks, as reckless lending during the bonanza years catches up to them. Friday after the closing bell, and ahead of a Labor Day weekend, the Federal Housing Finance Agency confirmed it was suing 17 different financial institutions for misrepresenting the quality of mortgage backed securities sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    • Ex-Goldman Exec Started SEC Job After Earning $57 Million

      Weeks after Eileen P. Rominger left Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), she took the helm of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s investment management division as one of the wealthiest people to ever join the agency.

      Rominger reported $57.5 million in income from New York- based Goldman Sachs in a financial disclosure form covering 2010 and 2011. She also reported making $2.3 million to $13.2 million in investment income since the start of 2010.

  • Censorship

    • The DOJ’s escalating criminalization of speech

      Over the past several years, the Justice Department has increasingly attempted to criminalize what is clearly protected political speech by prosecuting numerous individuals (Muslims, needless to say) for disseminating political views the government dislikes or considers threatening. The latest episode emerged on Friday, when the FBI announced the arrest and indictment of Jubair Ahmad, a 24-year-old Pakistani legal resident living in Virginia, charged with “providing material support” to a designated Terrorist organization (Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT)).

09.03.11

Links 4/9/2011: Plasma Active Beta, AriOS 3.0.1, Zorin OS 5.1 Core

Posted in News Roundup at 10:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Kernel Archives Hacked, SCO Dies Again, More HP Changes & More
  • Desktop

    • Linux And Dead Badgers – People Want to Know!

      I was pretty certain that Badgers, regardless of their origin were just part of my past. Yesterday I realized that I was wrong. But what connection could there be between Linux and Badgers? I have to admit that I am just a beginner in the Linux world. It took me almost a year to install Linux on a fruit. Apple G4’s are just mean and evil when it comes to playing with their FNA (Fruit Normal Application). This is akin to my Supermarket telling me the approved ways to use parsley!

      I knew I had the beast beat when after 10 million ‘fruitless’ attempts it responded with an tech type message that translated into ‘Piss off, I don’t do Linux’. Before it could grep its chron, I had it one the ropes and it was game over.

      Installing Linux in a dead Badger makes my efforts pale into insignificance. Badgers do not come with CD Drives, and they tend to be a little lacking in RAM. There are issues with the processor as well. Intel and AMD have not explored the world of multi core, hyper threading Badger brains.

    • The Passing of an Era

      A few days later, I saw a couple of articles with headlines that read: “The PC is dead, claims IBM chief tech officer on 30th anniversary of home computer launch,” and “IBM Inventor: PC is dead.”

      At the time I had not read Mark’s blog, as I was busy getting ready to give a keynote presentation the following week at LinuxCon in Vancouver. I made a mental note to check what Mark had actually written after I returned from Vancouver.

      I gave my presentation on August 18 in the morning, right around the time that HP announced that it was considering spinning off its PC business. Later that day, during an interview about Linux and related subjects, a reporter asked me in passing what I thought about the earlier stories that the PC was dead, which were given further prominence given HP’s announcement that morning.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Plasma Active entering beta

        We also wanted to start working with the newest QtQuick technologies without disturbing the Desktop or Netbook interfaces with our experimentation. It all came together at the right time and Plasma Active was born.

      • more on Active strategy

        We do all of our design and development in the open. We have the plasma-mobile repository that holds things specific to the Active shell. The rest of our code can be found in the kdelibs, kde-runtime, kde-workspace and kdeplasma-addons repositories.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Google Chrome OS Ready for Prime Time

        How fast things change in this world now a days, you can’t sleep a day without, being left behind. Just a few weeks ago I wrote about Chrome OS “I still do not see too much uses for it”, I was saying that mainly because, you needed to be “connected” in order to use it.

  • Distributions

    • ALT Linux Sisyphus

      I hope ALT Linux team will add more packages to sisyphus because at times I find some packages lacking in it and I am sure that ALT Linux will live longer life under shadows as compared to its shinning in bright days lights counterpart distributions from west with a powerful arsenal like “Sisyphus” .

    • New Releases

      • AriOS 3.0.1
      • Zorin OS 5.1 Core release

        We have released the first updated version of our latest Zorin OS 5 release series. This release uses the GNOME 2.X Classic environment instead of Ubuntu’s Unity shell. Zorin OS 5.1 features a whole host of updates to Zorin OS 5 including an updated Linux Kernel, security updates, upgraded programs and aesthetic changes.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Son of Solaris raids Linux for KVM hypervisor

        In the summer of 2008, Google flipped the switch on its App Engine, letting outside developers build applications atop its state-of-the-art online infrastructure – and it soon got a lecture from Jason Hoffman.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Personal cloud-server gizmo goes mobile

      Cloud Engines is now accepting preorders for a new version of its Pogoplug personal cloud-server gadget, targeting users of Android and iOS mobile devices. Although dubbed “Pogoplug Mobile,” the compact new model remains powered by an AC wall-wart and communicates via wired Ethernet.

    • Phones

Free Software/Open Source

  • Does Adobe Still Need to Wake Up to Open Source?

    The open letter makes a number of very good points, although the availability of alternatives to Adobe’s leading applications doesn’t mean that everyone will adopt alternatives. Part of the reason Flash is so ubiquitous online is simply because it is ubiquitous online. It’s supported by every application you would expect to support it, and supported in standardized, compatible ways.

  • Appsfire Announces Open Source UDID Replacement For iOS: OpenUDID
  • The Cost of Going it Alone

    I’m going to talk about the costs associated with modifying and maintaining free software “out of tree” – that is, when you don’t work with the developers of the software to have your changes integrated. But I’m also going to talk about the costs of working with upstream projects. It can be easy for us to forget that working upstream takes time and money – and we ignore that to our peril. It’s in our interests as free software developers to make it as cost-effective as possible for people to work with us.

    Hopefully, if you’re a commercial developer, you’ll come away from this article with a better idea of when it’s worthwhile to work upstream, and when it isn’t. And if you’re a community developer, perhaps this will give you some ideas about how to make it easier for people to work with you.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google Chrome Web browser kicks rump, takes names

        If you look beyond the U.S., Chrome is already well on its way. Statcounter had Chrome exceeding 20% of the worldwide Internet browser market in June. Statcounter’s numbers already places Chrome ahead of Firefox in some areas of the world.

  • SaaS

    • Best Practices for Selecting Apache Hadoop Hardware
    • Aeolus–A New Open Source Multi-cloud Management Solution

      Aeolus is an open source project intended to provide solutions for managing packs of virtual machines across various private and public clouds. The project has been started by Red Hat, but they do not want to own the project, inviting other companies to join forces with them in creating an open cloud management solution.

      Aeolus is very similar to what RightScale does, who provides a cloud management console and an unified API that works across Cloud.com, Eucalyptus, and Rackspace, while support for EC2 is to be added in the near future. Aeolus currently runs on a 64-bit machine with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.1 or Fedora 14 installed, and can be used to administer virtual images deployed on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Rackspace Cloud Hosting, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV), VMware vSphere and/or Eucalyptus.

  • Licensing

    • The entrepreneur’s dilemma: Justifying contributor agreements in open source

      At the start of the summer, you may recall Project Harmony causing a certain amount of controversy on the subject of contributor agreements in open source communities. My position on them was and is that they are a rarely needed and exceptional tool that should be avoided unless essential, because of their negative effects on the dynamics of open source communities.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • WikiHouse: An open source home design and build kit

      A London based design and strategy firm wants to make designing and building your own home more possible and affordable. 00:/, the designers, have created an open source house design and construction kit named WikiHouse. WikiHouse will be open to anyone and everyone via a Creative Commons license.

    • Open Hardware

      • Personal cloud-server gizmo goes mobile

        As I mentioned in my previous column, my son and I want to explore robotics as a hobby and a learning experience. We don’t have an unlimited budget, so I wanted to do some estimating of what it would cost to do it using different technology standards. In the first part, I explored Lego Mindstorms, but the open-hardware (and free software) Arduino system has been getting better and better. So I want to consider that possibility in this column and make a comparison to see which is a better option for us.

        Arduino is much newer, having only come into its own in the last few years. But it’s also a fully open-hardware (or Open Source Hardware — meaning that the plans are free for anyone to use to make Arduino components), and indeed, there are multiple Arduino suppliers to choose from. Software host environments for communicating with and programming Arduino controllers are available as free software packages in various well-established programming languages. The whole Arduino culture is very free and open.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Files Note Close C.I.A. Ties to Qaddafi Spy Unit

      Documents found at the abandoned office of Libya’s former spymaster appear to provide new details of the close relations the Central Intelligence Agency shared with the Libyan intelligence service — most notably suggesting that the Americans sent terrorism suspects at least eight times for questioning in Libya despite that country’s reputation for torture.

    • Libya: Gaddafi regime’s US-UK spy links revealed

      The papers suggest the CIA abducted several suspected militants from 2002 to 2004 and handed them to Tripoli.

    • Secret Files Reveal Former UK-Libya Links

      Secret files have been found by Human Rights Watch which show the close intelligence relationship between the UK, US and Libya.

    • French political establishment tries to bury the Oslo neo-fascist massacre

      The political establishment in France is trying to hide the significance of the massacre of 77 people in Oslo by neo-fascist Anders Breivik, in order to conceal the great dangers posed by the promotion of right-wing conceptions and parties by the French and European ruling elite as a whole.

    • MI5 former chief decries ‘war on terror’
    • Rebel military chief says he was tortured by CIA

      The overthrow of Gaddafi has brought together strange allies, but few stranger than Abdulhakim Belhaj, the military commander of all rebel military forces in Tripoli, and Nato. An Islamist whom Gaddafi tried to have the US list as a terrorist, Mr Belhaj says he was tortured by CIA agents after being arrested in the Far East in 2004 and later handed over by them to Colonel Gaddafi for further torture and imprisonment in Libya.

  • Cablegate

    • Indonesian Police Used FPI as ‘Attack Dog,’ Leaked US Cable Alleges

      Unredacted US diplomatic cables published by antisecrecy Web site WikiLeaks on Friday allege collusion between Indonesian security forces and the radical Islamic Defenders Front.

      Though the claims are not new, the leaked cables go into far greater detail than before and name the sources providing the US Embassy in Jakarta with information on a number of recent controversies, each of which has the potential to embarrass the Indonesian government.

    • The Effect of WikiLeaks in the Stadium of Democracy

      Americans love sports. They love watching football and baseball games. I live in the SF Bay Area and I depend on BART rail transit almost everywhere I go. Even though I have no interest in sports and don’t know much about them, I know when the games are on as I experience immediate changes in the familiar scenery of my commute.

      Whenever there is a game the station is transformed into a kind of zoo, or maybe like a shopping mall. The train is packed with people wearing uniforms and Giants hats. They are filled with excitement, finding kindred spirits sharing cheers for their team.

      [...]

      A little known organization called WikiLeaks suddenly emerged into the stadium and grabbed the teams and the audience’s attention. The WikiLeaks founder, a white-haired mysterious dude managed to enter the field and interrupted the game. He is no Goldman Sachs, no Obama-like charismatic politician, no Uncle Tom for the Ivy League elite. He was not a powerful manufactured celebrity groomed for consumption (Heck, he was even homeless!).

    • US Consul was told corruption was an “inalienable” part of India (Wikileaks)

      In this age of super-charged discussions and rallies against corruption, it is perhaps instructive to look back five years when scams were not the stuff of daily news.

      Hearing the innovative ways in which people rationalized corruption, the then US Consul for Chennai David Hopper wondered if Indians really objected to it at a deep level at all.

      In a cable written in 2007 after the collapse of an over-bridge in Hyderabad, Hopper listed the various ways in which people “explained” corruption and wondered “Does anyone care?”

      Hopper was, of course, talking about the Andhra Pradesh state administration under YSR Reddy which, like the Central administration at present, was rolling out a number of multi-billion populist welfare measures aimed at the poor.

    • WikiLeaks: ‘Reached understanding with Musharraf on Kashmir,’ PM told US delegation

      A US diplomatic cable leaked by whistleblower website WikiLeaks quotes Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as saying that in 2006, he had reached an “understanding” on Kashmir with then Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf.

      The cable claims Dr Manmohan Singh told an American delegation in April 2008 that “We had reached an understanding in back-channels, in which Musharraf had agreed to a non-territorial solution to Kashmir that included freedom of movement and trade.”

    • Extrajudicial killings in the Philippines: What we can learn from Wikileaks

      From 2004-2010, the Philippines witnessed one of the worst waves of human rights violations in its history. Hundreds of activists were killed or abducted. Hundreds more were arrested and faced with trumped-up charges. The magnitude of the abuses caught the attention of the international community. The issue also further isolated the regime of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. The main suspects in the killings and disappearances were state security forces.

    • Wikileaks cable shows American perception of Canada’s political scene
    • Polish CIA prison: US and Poland had been trying to “put story to rest”

      This is what the cable says:
      “[FM] Meller’s staff expects that the renditions and “CIA prisons” issue will continue to dog the Polish government, despite our and the Poles’ best efforts to put this story to rest. In response to sustained media pressure, PM Marcinkiewicz announced December 10 that his government will order an internal probe “to close the issue.” Meller anticipates being asked about renditions by the Polish press while in Washington, and the MFA has asked that we remain in close contact to coordinate our public stance.”

    • Secret files: US officials aided Gaddafi

      Al Jazeera news producer Jamal Elshayyal recently gained access to the Tripoli headquarter of Libya’s intelligence agency. Among the documents scattered throughout the demolished building were secret files indicating that influential Americans advised Muammar Gaddafi since the beginning of the Libyan uprising. Here is his account of the discovery:

    • Facts and myths in the WikiLeaks/Guardian saga

      As usual, many of those running around righteously condemning WikiLeaks for the potential, prospective, unintentional harm to innocents caused by this leak will have nothing to say about these actual, deliberate acts of wanton slaughter by the U.S. The accidental release of these unredacted cables will receive far more attention and more outrage than the extreme, deliberate wrongdoing these cables expose. That’s because many of those condemning WikiLeaks care nothing about harm to civilians as long as it’s done by the U.S. government and military; indeed, such acts are endemic to the American wars they routinely cheer on. What they actually hate is transparency and exposure of wrongdoing by their government; “risk to civilians” is just the pretext for attacking those, such as WikiLeaks, who bring that about.

      That said, and as many well-intentioned transparency supporters correctly point out, WikiLeaks deserves some of the blame for what happened here; any group that devotes itself to enabling leaks has the responsibility to safeguard what it receives and to do everything possible to avoid harm to innocent people. Regardless of who is at fault — more on that in a minute — WikiLeaks, due to insufficient security measures, failed to fulfill that duty here. There’s just no getting around that (although ultimate responsibility for safeguarding the identity of America’s diplomatic sources rests with the U.S. Government, which is at least as guilty as WikiLeaks in failing to exerise due care to safeguard these cables; if this information is really so sensitive and one wants to blame someone for inadequate security measures, start with the U.S. Government, which gave full access to these documents to hundreds of thousands of people around the world, at least).

  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs Sells Litton Mortgage Unit, With 2 Reprimands From Regulators

      On Thursday, Goldman Sachs gained the government’s blessing to sell off its mortgage unit, but not without a couple of reprimands.

      The investment bank, which had been trying for months to exit the retail mortgage business that has been a source of prolonged headaches for other institutions, agreed to forgive a few million dollars in homeowners’ debt, and said it would refrain from an illegal practice known as robo-signing — or approving foreclosure documents without reading them. Goldman also got a stern talking-to from the Federal Reserve, which imposed no monetary penalties at this time.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Justice Prosser Will Recuse in Campaign Disclosure Case

      Embattled Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser has unexpectedly announced he will recuse himself from an upcoming case involving a Tea Party challenge to proposed election disclosure rules. Prosser was asked to step down on conflict-of-interest grounds because his campaign attorney, James Troupis, is also the attorney for the Tea Party groups; for weeks, Prosser had insisted on his impartiality.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • New Wikileaks Docs Show Ex-Minister Bernier Offered To Leak Copyright Bill to U.S.

        Copyright, U.S. lobbying, and the stunning backroom Canadian response gets front page news treatment today as the Toronto Star runs my story on new revelations on copyright from the U.S. cables released by Wikileaks. The cables reveal that former Industry Minister Maxime Bernier raised the possibility of leaking the copyright bill to U.S. officials before it was to be tabled it in the House of Commons, former Industry Minister Tony Clement’s director of policy Zoe Addington encouraged the U.S. to pressure Canada by elevating it on a piracy watch list, Privy Council Office official Ailish Johnson disclosed the content of ministerial mandate letters, and former RCMP national coordinator for intellectual property crime Andris Zarins advised the U.S. that the government was working on a separate intellectual property enforcement bill.

        The disclosures are particularly relevant since Parliament is set to resume in several weeks with the reintroduction of a copyright reform bill slated to be one of the government’s top priorities. The bill is expected to mirror Bill C-32, the previous copyright package that died with the election in the spring.

      • Leaks show U.S. swayed Canada on copyright bill

        Secret U.S. government cables show a stunning willingness by senior Canadian officials to appease American demands for a U.S.-style copyright law here.

        The documents describe Canadian officials as encouraging American lobbying efforts. They also cite cabinet minister Maxime Bernier raising the possibility of showing U.S. officials a draft bill before tabling it in Parliament.

      • Copyright Wars Volumes 1 & 2

09.02.11

Links 2/9/2011: Android Beats Apple, Intel Responds to MeeGo Rumours

Posted in News Roundup at 9:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • We won and we didn’t notice

    Samba began life in 1992 as “a bit of a hack” by Andrew Tridgell on his university computer in Canberra, Australia, while “procrastinating the stuff [he] was supposed to be doing” for his PhD. The initial hack was to use DOS to mount disks on a Sun workstation through DEC Pathworks running on Vax and Ultrix networks, and it matured rapidly as a means to share files on Windows networks with Linux and Unix servers.

  • Open Source Horror Story – A Linux Recovery Tale

    When he rebooted following the last stage of the upgrade, he saw a … a … a … KERNEL PANIC! The system could not find the root / boot partition. So, he booted a PartedMagic Live CD to access the drive and see what was wrong. But PartedMagic refused to mount the partitions too. When he checked with GParted he saw that the /home partition, which he knew to be an XFS file system, was being “reported” as a “damaged” EXT4 file system. This looked bad. Very bad. So, he ran GSmartControl and tested the drive. Oh no! The drive was giving errors by the megabyte! Oh the horror! The angst! The tearing out of the hair … Okay, so he’s 50ish and mostly bald on top with a ponytail. He really avoids pulling out what hair he has left. But you get the picture.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical Again Pushes Desktop Ubuntu for the Enterprise

            Should enterprises upgrade to Windows 7? If you’re in the IT channel, chances are good you’ve pondered that question at least once or twice in the last few years. In a new e-book, however, Canonical urges administrators to consider another option: exiting the Microsoft ecosystem entirely by switching their desktops to Ubuntu. Here are the details.

            To be sure, pushing Linux as an operating system not just for servers but also for corporate desktops is neither a very new idea, nor one that originated with Canonical. Linux distributions such as Caldera were marketed for the business channel more than a decade ago, and as early as 2008, Canonical partnered with IBM to deliver a virtualized desktop solution aimed at enterprises.

          • Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) Beta Released, & Initial Impressions!

            Ubuntu’s next release, the Oneiric Ocelot (11.10), will soon be upon us and the first beta for this release is now out! At this point, Oneiric has already gone through three alpha releases and the features and the interface should be, essentially, set in stone (both the feature and the user interface freezes have past). Following the beta release today the focus should shift from the user interface (UI) to polishing up the release, squashing bugs, and improving over all quality (see the overall workitems here!).

          • Damn Hot & Sexy: Preview Of Ubuntu 11.10 Two Days Before Beta Release

            As we inch towards the first beta release of Ubuntu 11.10, the excitement is growing what’s new in the upcoming version of Ubuntu. We wanted to share with you what Ubuntu would look like as the UI was frozen just two day ago. What it meant was, this is the way Ubuntu is going to look. There won’t be any UI related changes, what-so-ever.

          • Is Ubuntu Moving Away From Its Users? Quick Look At Ubuntu 11.10 Beta 1

            Ubuntu 11.10 Beta 1 arrived last night and I installed it on my main PC. I started using Ubuntu 11.04 since its beta days to I have enough trust in Debian’s stability that I can use a beta as primary OS. Ubuntu did not disappoint, there were to serious crashers, yes there were crash reports but your work won’t stop. In fact beta 1 of Ubuntu 11.10 is more stable than the stable version of Kubuntu/KDE. As I am a dual booter, boot between Kubuntu and Ubuntu as somethings KDE handles better and something Ubuntu can’t fix at all.

          • iBus Support Comes To Unity, Now Work In Hindi
          • Ubuntu deploys cloud-ready Ocelot beta
          • Will Ubuntu Again Benefit From Industry Turmoil?

            News item: Canonical, the organization that leads development of the Linux-based, Ubuntu operating system, releases the first beta version of its “Oneiric Ocelot,” the latest version of the OS.

            News item: Geeks are taking HP TouchPads and swapping out the WebOS operating software with Ubuntu.

            We’ve already taken a look at the alpha versions of Oneiric Ocelot (more commonly known as Ubuntu 11.10), and found a lot to like.

          • HP’s TouchPad gets closer to running Android and Ubuntu Linux
          • Ubuntu 11.10 beta gives Software Center a Mac-like makeover

            The Canonical-backed Ubuntu project released the first beta of Ubuntu 11.10 (“Oneiric Ocelot”), featuring both an improved Dash interface for the Unity desktop and a makeover for the Ubuntu Software Center that resembles the Mac App Store. Ubuntu 11.10 moves up to Linux 3.0.3, the Firefox 7.0 browser, and a Thunderbird 7.0 beta email client, among other changes.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Distro Spotlight: Bodhi Linux

              Bodhi uses the Enlightenment window manager. When you log in from live media you are presented with a menu that allows you to choose between a composited or software rendered desktop and a few different themes and layouts. Having carried out a hard disk installation, the first log in repeats the procedure, along with a few other last minute, mostly cosmetic options.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Latest Pogoplug streams media to Android devices

      Cloud Engines announced a new version of its Pogoplug that lets users stream media to their iOS or Android phones, or back up mobile data to the device. The $80 Pogoplug Mobile lets users attach USB drives or SD cards to the device and stream the media via the pogoplug.com cloud service to phones equipped with free Pogoplug Android and iOS apps.

    • Linux-based RFID vendors combine forces on latest readers

      Trimble’s ThingMagic division has integrated Linux-based Mercury5e (M5e) embedded UHF RFID (radio frequency identification) reader modules into long-range RFID readers from TagMaster. Aimed primarily at the railway industry, TagMaster’s XT-2 is already shipping, and the XT-3 and XT-3HD Readers are on the way and available with an open source Linux SDK.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Android Controls 41% US Market, Samsung Beats Apple As The Leading OEM

          Samsung has emerged as the leader OEM in the US market, slapping Apple hard against the face which is trying to slow Samsung’s growth using its legal force. Samsung and Apple both gained around 1% market share in the US, with Samsung with 25% and Apple with 9.5% market share.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Intel pulls MeeGo plug?

        Intel may be pulling out of MeeGo development, if rumors coming out of Taiwan this morning are true. If that’s the case, this will be the second Linux-based mobile platform dropped by its primary corporate sponsor in less than a month’s time.

      • MeeGo, The Bell Tolls For Thee (Maybe)
      • Intel rejects reports it is “backing off” MeeGo

        Intel has responded to reports that it was planning to “back off” MeeGo saying that it remains committed to the open source operating system. The reports suggested that Intel was planning to temporarily discontinue MeeGo development due to a “lack of enthusiasm for the platform from handset and tablet PC vendors”. MeeGo was created in February 2010 when Intel and Nokia pooled their Moblin and Maemo development efforts under the aegis of the Linux Foundation.

      • It Makes Sense For Google To Own Motorola’s Hardware Business To Build Super Cheap Tablets

        The success of the HP TouchPad fire sale and customer surveys show that there is pent-up consumer demand for a cheap tablet. And given the superiority of iPad hardware, the only way for Android to compete is to undercut on price.

        Is that possible? Well, iSuppli estimates the 16GB TouchPad’s bill of materials at $296. The biggest cost items in a tablet are the touchscreen and memory chips, which could both be knocked down a peg for an explicitly low-cost tablet. Google could buy huge inventory upfront to bring down unit costs even further.

      • Running ARM Linux Benchmarks On The HP TouchPad

        While Hewlett-Packard recently announced they will be killing off their webOS devices, just days prior to that I had ordered an HP TouchPad 16GB to carry out some additional ARM-based Linux benchmarks. Although HP’s devices may be going away, I am still fond of webOS and it’s a fair environment to carry out performance tests.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Taking the risk out of open source

    According to Moodley, the most common problem companies experience is failing to make use of the software support and tools provided by the vendor. “The best way to avoid this is to engage with local partners and the vendor.”

    She adds that in comparison with proprietary software, vendor-supported open source software offers more freedom to system integrators and developers. “Secondly, open source software tends to be developed on an open standard, once again making it easier for both developers and system integrators.”

  • Should Adobe Embrace Open Source?

    Things are not what they once were for Adobe. There was a time when Flash’s hegemony on the Web was virtually unchallenged. It was also once common to hear people refer to PDF documents as “Adobe files,” signaling the ubiquity of Adobe Reader. Now, times have changed.

  • Web Browsers

    • The Big, Bad Browser Quiz
    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Targets Tablets With New Browser Designs

        Tablets have caught the interest of browser maker Mozilla, which is polishing up a new version of its Firefox browser for Android tablets. Previews show a tablet browser with many elements that will be familiar to users of the company’s desktop version. However, users generally don’t yet seem to be as choosy about the browsers on their mobile devices as they are about the browsers on their desktops.

      • 10 Best Firefox Add-ons You Can’t Live Without
      • Will Mozilla Kill Small Publishers On Firefox For Tablets?

        The Mozilla team is now working on tablet version of its web browser which started to lose market share owing to slower development cycle as compared to Google’s Chrome. The browser adopted a six week release cycle which while improves the browser in the area it was lagging (speed and resource consumption) also creates a headache for businesses and users who can’t keep up with such fast track release cycle.

  • SaaS

    • Beware the bait and switch in the public cloud

      Even with all the great new product and vision announcements at the VMworld and Dreamforce vendor conferences this week, two announcements will make it more difficult for developers and CIOs to leap into their next cloud investment with confidence. Google, EMC VMware, and Salesforce.com, three vendors vying for cloud leadership status, share the blame for that lowered confidence.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Will Solaris 11 Debut at Oracle OpenWorld 2011?

      Oracle has had Solaris 11 available as a preview of sorts with the Solaris 11 Express edition. Oracle released Solaris 11 Express back in November of 2010 so by the time OpenWorld 2011 comes around in October, that’s nearly a full year of testing in the field.

      The whole point of Solaris 11 is to be the high-end mission critical operating system for Oracle’s platforms and with a year of hardening and stability work, I think OpenWorld is as good a place as any for it to officially be released.

  • Healthcare

    • VA CIO: ‘When we get it done, it will be open source’

      The joint electronic health record for the Veterans Affairs and Defense Departments will in effect be open source when it is complete, according to a senior VA official, who provided more details about how that will occur.

      VA is developing an open source track to modernize its VistA electronic health record and will incorporate the approach with DOD in the joint system. DOD has become more excited by open source and “sees it as a strong contributor as we move ahead,” said Roger Baker, VA CIO.

    • Taking license with open-source software

      Recently, however, the VA embraced open source as a strategy for VistA enhancement. It hired the Informatics Applications Group, or Tiag for short, to create a not-for profit corporation, the Open Source Electronic Health Record Agent, to oversee the program.

  • Business

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

Leftovers

  • Cablegate

    • WIKILEAKS REVELATION DAMAGES U.S.-IRAQ TALKS ON KEEPING AMERICAN TROOPS PAST 2011
    • Israel Objects to Palestinian Statehood to Avoid War Crimes Investigations

      A secret State Department diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks has revealed that one of the primary reasons behind Israeli objections to Palestinian statehood is that lack of statehood keeps Palestinian territories outside the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which prosecutes war crimes.

    • On the Media: A grim reminder from WikiLeaks

      It’s far from certain we will get a definitive answer. Back then, the war in Iraq had spiraled into its most violent period. The media scrambled to keep up with daily violence. Reporters had enough on their hands trying to account for an attack several months earlier, in which U.S. Marines retaliated for a roadside bombing in Haditha by killing two dozen Iraqis, including women and children.

      Today, much of the American public and media have moved on. The deadliest American war is now in Afghanistan. Economic anguish and the odd hurricane fill the headlines. Ten years after the 9/11 attacks, we would all prefer to recall the heroic moments in the war on terror — such as the cops and firefighters giving up their own lives to rescue fellow New Yorkers and the overwhelming majority of troops who have fought honorably for their country.

Links 2/9/2011: 11.10 ‘Oneiric Ocelot’ Beta, Cablegate is Out in Full

Posted in News Roundup at 7:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel.org hacked, but Linux kernel safe thanks to git

      Attackers compromised several servers at kernel.org using an off-the-shelf Trojan that appears to have entered via a compromised user credential. However, the source code for the Linux kernel does not appear to have been altered, thanks to its “git” distributed revision control system, say kernel maintainers.

    • Network emulator tool for Linux

      I have finally decided to blog about my netem tool that I wrote a couple of months ago.
      First, the introductions, netem is a kernel component for controlling QoS, rate control and various network properties that allows you to emulate a network by modifying the kernel’s IP stack’s queue disciplines. You can read more about it here : http://www.linuxfoundation.org/collaborate/workgroups/networking/netem

    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA Provides RandR Patch For Border Property

        Following a proposal earlier this summer by NVIDIA to extend the RandR protocol, they have now produced a patch for the X.Org Server that adds border property support to the RandR (Resize and Rotate) extension.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)/Qt

      • Tablet Fun and Games

        I’ve had a little time to play with my ExoPC tablet kindly provided by Intel, and after a brief look at the MeeGo/Intel tablet UX decided that Plasma Active was the way to go (sorry Intel!). The MeeGo UX is far from complete and the lack of applications made the tablet next to useless for anything besides basic web-surfing. Plasma Active, on the other hand, is a full openSuse and KDE install and so has many apps to play with. Plasma Active itself is remarkably usable already and has some nice features that actually work the way I expect a tablet to function. It’s amazing how far the Active team has come in such a short time and that’s a tribute to both the Plasma architecture that Aaron put in place and the flexibility of our Platform/Frameworks. If only Intel had approaced KDE first…

      • First Plasma Active experience

        So before meeting: Charge tablet & fetch needed documents.
        Possible issues: Everything was on a my imap server. Minutes was a plain text file, Agenda was a docx file, treasures report was a xls spreadsheet, and the various other papers were pdf files.

        For fetching, I’ve heard a lot about Kontact Touch and everything using Akonadi. Besides me not being fully able to properly enter my password in the first 10 tries, and a sometimes flaky internet connection, everything here was a breeze.

      • Finding Files And Folders With KFind
  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat to leave Centennial Campus

        Red Hat, known as the world’s leading provider of open source technology solutions, announced last week they will move their headquarters from their current location on Varsity Drive to the Progress Energy Building in downtown Raleigh.

        The company will occupy part of the space that is expected to be created with the merger of Progress Energy and Charlotte-based Duke Energy.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Why a $25 PC? Because it’s the price of a textbook

      There is growing interest surrounding the Raspberry Pi Foundation and their promise of a PC that will cost just $25. We’ve seen how the OLPC has struggled to deliver a $100 laptop for developing countries, and yet Raspberry Pi is confident in delivering the $25 PC by November this year.

      Although we know a bit about the PC, there’s still a lot of information missing, but further details are starting to appear as Raspberry Pi develops the machine further and talks to more people about it. Eben Upton, director of the foundation, recently gave a talk at Bletchley Park regarding Educating Programmers, which focused on the thinking behind the $25 PC. You can watch it below.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • The Android/GPL situation

          There was another upsurge in discussion of Android GPL issues last month, triggered by couple of posts by Edward Naughton, followed by another by Florian Mueller. The central thrust is that section 4 of GPLv2 terminates your license on violation, and you need the copyright holders to grant you a new one. If they don’t then you don’t get to distribute any more copies of the code, even if you’ve now come into compliance. TLDR; most Android vendors are no longer permitted to distribute Linux.

        • Android/Linux Arrives on Most Smart Phones in USA

          A survey of smart phone subscribers over 13 up to July 11 has some interesting numbers. It gives total numbers of smart phones, growth rate of smart phones and shares. If I express the shares as millions of smart phones I can calculate the growth rate of the installed base by platform. Android/Linux is growing at nearly twice the rate of iOS and pulling far ahead. The numbers of new Android/Linux subscriptions can almost account for all the increase in smart phones, indicating that many who already own a smart phone will replace it. Presumably Android/Linux is replacing phones and arriving on new phones while everyone else is replacing and being cast off. The others includes Phoney7 which is not only losing share but numbers of units in service. At this rate Android/linux will have a majority by the end of 2011.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Lenovo, ViewSonic join seven-inch tablet pile-on

        Lenovo has unveiled a seven-inch IdeaPad A1 tablet running Android 2.3, due to ship for just $200 with 8GB of storage memory. Meanwhile, ViewSonic unveiled two more seven-inch Android tablets — a seven-inch, Nvidia Tegra 2-based Android 3.2 tablet called the ViewPad 7x and a lower-end tablet called the ViewPad 7e — plus a V350 dual-SIM Android 2.2 phone.

      • 25,000 Children Are about to Learn Sugar!

        Good news today! I read in the news that the Ministry of Education in my country is about to provide 25,000 laptops for several elementary schools in two years. These laptops are the XO-1 models by the project OLPC (One Laptop Per Child).

      • Android/Linux Tablets Are Alive and Well

        I should not have to write about this again but stories are popping up all over the web that Android/Linux tablets are not selling well against iPad and that iPad is pulling away. Nothing could be further from the truth:

        * Amazon.com shows 8 Android tablets selling with greater popularity than iPad. Those 8 all have 4 stars just like the iPad. Between the iPad 16 gB and the 32gB there are three more Android/Linux tablets.
        * iSuppli, which fawns over iPad, draws a chart showing iPad losing its majority to Android/Linux in 2012.
        * Even The Register gets in on the act.

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Cablegate

    • China questioned Australia’s rights record: cables

      A confidential cable posted on whistleblowing website WikiLeaks says Chinese officials “sought answers” on how the Australian Government had been handling human rights issues.

      The cable is believed to have come from the US embassy in Canberra in 2009.

      It reports on Australian talks with Chinese officials who visited the country earlier that year as part of the Australia-China Human Rights Dialogue.

    • Interactive timeline: WikiLeaks cables on the Philippines

      Whistleblower group Wikileaks announced on its website Friday that it has posted online all 251,287 diplomatic cables in its possession.

      The new memos include hundreds of previously unpublished secret and confidential cables on the Philippines.

    • Wikileaks cable: UN peacekeepers in Ivory Coast traded food for sex with underage girls
    • Cablebomb!

      After a long day of painful acrimony dealing with the incorrigible ‘old media’ at the Guardian and after weighing the pros and cons of the issue through an online forum and poll, WikiLeaks released a 60 GB torrent of the complete Cablegate files just before midnight New York Time.

    • Govt inquiry into Wikileaks revelations

      The Government is examining thousands of diplomatic cables published by Wikileaks to find out if any “Australian interests’’ have been compromised, after confirming they contain the name of an ASIO officer.

  • Finance

    • Homelessness could spread to middle class, Crisis study warns

      Crisis says that with no sign of economic recovery in sight, there are already signs that homelessness is returning to British streets. In London, rough sleeping, the most visible form of homelessness, rose by 8% last year. Strikingly, more than half of the capital’s 3,600 rough sleepers are now not British citizens: most are migrants from eastern Europe who cannot find work and, unable to get benefits or return home, are left to fend for themselves on the streets.

  • Censorship

    • ‘New laws not needed’ to block / censor Twitter et al

      One of the unanswered questions arising from the August riots is whether the government needs new powers to block the use of Twitter, Facebook and other social media which were used to organise the disturbances.

      Prime Minister David Cameron suggested, in the immediate aftermath of the rioting, that blocking the use of social networking communications was a policy option that was to be urgently discussed with telecommunications operators (and then implemented as a priority).

      So when the Home Office says (as it has done) that no new powers are needed, then it follows that either no new powers are needed (ie, the government already has the power to block social networking communications) or the politicians have quietly gone off the idea (and have decided not to say so).

  • Privacy

    • Pakistan to ban encryption software

      Millions of internet users in Pakistan will be unable to send emails and messages without fear of government snooping after authorities banned the use of encryption software.

      A legal notice sent to all internet providers (ISPs) by the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority, seen by the Guardian, orders the ISPs to inform authorities if any of their customers are using virtual private networks (VPNs) to browse the web.

  • Civil Rights

    • Interview with Arundhati Roy

      The UID is a corporate scam which funnels billions of dollars into the IT sector. To me, it is one of the most serious transgressions that is on the cards. It is nothing more than an administrative tool in the hands of a police state. But coming back to censorship: since the US government has pissed on its Holy Cow (Free Speech – or whatever little was left of it) with its vituperative reaction to Wikileaks, now everybody will jump on the bandwagon. (Just like every country had its own version of the ‘war on terror’ to settle scores.) Having said this, India is certainly not the worst place in the world on the Free Speech issue: the anarchy of different kinds of media, the fact that it’s such an unmanageable country and, though institutions of democracy have been eroded, there is a militant spirit of democracy among the people… it will be hard to shut us all up. Impossible, I’d say.

    • Obama Fundraising Email Author Arrested Outside White House

      If you received fundraising emails from Barack Obama or campaign manager David Plouffe in 2008, it probably comes as no surprise that Obama and Plouffe didn’t write all of them. They began with “Friend –” and included links to credit-card donation forms. The campaign regularly blasted them out to millions of people.

      Elijah Zarlin, the author of many of these emails as part of Obama’s new-media campaign team, was arrested today outside the White House during a protest of the Keystone XL pipeline, a proposed oil conduit from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf Coast. Zarlin was one of Obama’s primary fundraising-email-writers, according to Zarlin and Stephen Geer, a new-media staffer on Obama’s campaign payroll.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • ACTA

        • ACTA: Delicate matter of incompatibility with fundamental rights

          A new study on ACTA, commissioned by the Greens/EFA, concludes that ACTA is incompatible with fundamental European human rights instruments and -standards. [1] We believe the Parliament should ask the European Court of Justice an opinion on this delicate issue. Only the Court can decisively resolve the uncertainties.

          A second Greens/EFA study concludes ACTA increases the risks and consequences of wrongful searches, seizures, lawsuits and other enforcement actions against legitimate suppliers of generic medicines. [2]

          Furthermore, according to our own analysis, green innovation will partly inherit the issues in the software field. ACTA will hamper both green innovation and diffusion of green technology. [3]

          Apart from compatibility with the European Convention on Human Rights, the Charter of Fundamental Rights, general principles of Union law, the Treaties, current Union laws and existing international obligations, there are more issues to address.

09.01.11

Links 1/9/2011: Beta of GNOME 3.2, Ubuntu Core

Posted in News Roundup at 9:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Fragmentation within the NTFS filesystem

    Recently while troubleshooting an issue on a Windows 7 PC, I noticed a number of events in the Application Log labelled “Defrag”. Sparking my curiosity, I looked further and discovered that there was approximately one entry per day in the log. I looked around some more at other Windows 7 PCs and found that they too have “Defrag” entries scattered about. It turns out that Windows 7 now automatically runs a defrag on its NTFS filesystem, compared to Windows XP which never did this. This is a great idea on Microsoft’s part, rather than letting things stockpile up and forcing the user to defrag while waiting for minutes or even hours while it churns away.

    This got me thinking back to when I read more about other filesystems, most notably ext3 and ext4 filesystems on GNU/Linux (which are standardly used now), which never need defragmenting. Yes that’s correct, they do not need to be defragmented.

  • Desktop

    • Build a Better Sub-$200 Linux PC: For a Few Dollars More…

      As we’ve hopefully shown, building a $200 PC is a fun experiment—and, provided you really modulate your expectations, you can get a solidly usable computer out of the deal. But when it comes right down to it, we admit that the $200 figure is a bit arbitrary. Is anyone going to complain if the final total is $225.87, or even $250.94? Of course not. The goal is to find components that have the best balance between low prices and high (or, perhaps more appropriately, decent) performance. And if you’re willing and/or able to spend a bit more money, you can get a better system still. Here are a few of our recommended upgrades if you want to take your $200 to slightly more expensive—but still solidly affordable—places.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Nepomuk Frameworks – kdelibs 5.0: What To Do

        Development of kdelibs 5.0 has begun in the framework branch of its git repository. The main goal for kdelibs 5.0 is that there will be no more kdelibs as it is now. kdelibs (and kde-runtime) will be split up into smaller pieces to lower the barrier for non-KDE developers to use part of the power we as a KDE development community provide. The rough idea is that there will be three groups of libraries/frameworks:

        1. Tier 1: components which only depend on Qt and no other lib/component from KDE.
        2. Tier 2: components which depend on Qt and other libraries from Tier 1.
        3. Tier 3: components which depend on anything.

      • tracking what happens in your DataEngine

        For lack of a better place, I plopped it into the kdeexamples repository so that others (and the future me ;) can easily include it into their project (DataEngine, Plasmoid, application, ..) and see what a given DataEngine is doing. It’s BSD licensed, so it can be used pretty much anywhere.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Web application mode in GNOME 3.2
      • First beta version of GNOME 3.2

        The GNOME Project has released the first of two beta versions of GNOME 3.2. The pre-release version, designated GNOME 3.1.90, comes just a few days after the user interface freeze, which, along with the beta, was recently put back a week to allow time to incorporate further modifications.

      • GNOME 3.2 Beta 1 (3.1.90) Has Arrived

        The first beta for the upcoming GNOME 3.2 is here for eager users to enjoy. This is still unstable code, so most users will want to hold on until the final, stable version lands, but if you want an early peek, this is your chance.

  • Distributions

    • Tiny Core Linux

      Several projects exist that purport to be small, run-in-memory distributions. The most popular probably is Puppy Linux. Puppy has spawned several variations, and I have used it several times myself on older machines. But, I have discovered one that bowled me over completely—Tiny Core Linux. This distribution is a totally different beast and fills what I think is as of yet an unfilled category.

      To start, Tiny Core is tiny—really tiny. The full desktop version weighs in at approximately 10MB—this is for a full graphical desktop. Not many other options can deliver something like this. People of a certain age may remember projects like Tom’s root/boot, or muLinux. Tiny Core fits somewhere in between those older floppy-based projects and “heavier” small distributions like Puppy.

    • ArchLinux vs Slackware

      This posting is not meant to start another flame war between these two great Linux distribution. It’s just meant to be my personal opinion after trying ArchLinux for several days and compare it with the distribution i have been using for the last six years. I know it’s not completely fair to compare few days experience with six years, but i will try to be as fair as possible.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva Desktop 2011 review

        Considering that this was a major and highly expected release of a major Linux distribution, did anybody in management bother to take it for a spin to see if basic features work? I have visions of Steve Jobs getting involved in every phase of his company’s products development. There does not seem to be a Steve Jobs in Mandriva’s management team.

        None of the shortcoming of Mandriva 2011 will stop me from upgrading one of my permanent test systems running Mandriva 2010.2, but my laptop, which I use for serious stuff, on which physical security is just as important as any other feature, will continue running the old system until I figure out how to configure disk encryption when installing my favorite Linux distribution.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat’s move to downtown Raleigh could ripple widely

        Now that Red Hat has made public what had become the worst-kept secret in Triangle real estate circles, it’s worth delving into what the company’s move to downtown Raleigh will mean for interested parties.

        In the near term, the decision eliminates uncertainty about whether downtown would be left with an empty building once Progress Energy and Duke Energy complete their merger and consolidate operations.

      • Top 10 Reasons Why Red Hat is Moving to Downtown Raleigh

        It’s Thursday, and you know what that means? Even if we can’t get Christine to wake-up long enough to write one of her articles, you can always depend on us to be here like clockwork for the Top 10 List.

        A while back, Red Hat announced they might be leaving the big city of Raleigh to find a new location to continue tweaking their code. A little later, they announced they’d decided to remain in the North Carolina capital city after all – but they’d be looking for new digs since they were getting somewhat crowded at their old location. This week they announced they’d found their new home, a big ol’ office tower in Raleigh’s downtown.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • RaspberryPi £15 ARM Linux computer due for Christmas

      The RaspberryPi Foundation, which aims to put computers in front of children for £15, has taken delivery of 50 engineering prototypes, and intends to get the final version to customers by the end of the year, writes Steve Bush.

      Based in Cambridge and founded by six high-tech high-flyers, the foundation’s aim is to cure the programmer shortage by inspiring people to take up computing in childhood – as Sinclair Spectrums and BBC Micros once did.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Sony Ericsson Unveils Xperia Arc S

          Now, about the camera. The idea here is that the 8MP camera can take photos in 3D (SE used “panorama” quite a lot in the description of the photos). But since the Arc S’s screen isn’t a 3D display, the images are shown in 2D. When the device is plugged up to a 3D-capable TV via the MicroHDMI port, they’re shown as 3D photos. So you can (sort of) take 3D photos, but you won’t be able to view them without a 3D TV. The concept of a 3D camera on a non-3D device baffles us, but we’ll leave such judgments to you.

        • Samsung unveils small tablet, giant smartphone
    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Not Dead Yet? Top Three Possibilities for HP’s webOS

        Reuters is reporting that webOS may not be dead, yet. In an interview, the head of HP’s PSG group Todd Bradley hinted HP may not be done with the webOS or tablet. So what does HP have up its sleeve? Bradley was elusive, but here are my top three ideas for what the PSG spinoff could do, along with some channel implications …

      • Samsung Unveils Dual-Core Galaxy Tab 7.7 And 5.3-Inch Galaxy Note

        Samsung understands this, and has thus tried to build a tablet for just about any size pocket or backpack you may own. We all know about the GalTab 10.1 and 8.9, but today even smaller models join the pack. At the IFA conference in Berlin, Samsung today announced the Galaxy Tab 7.7 and the 5.3-inch Galaxy Note.

      • Toshiba Unveils The Thinnest Honeycomb Tablet Yet, The 7.7mm-thick AT200

        Just like the rumor stated, Toshiba used IFA 2011 to announce its latest Android tablet and it’s just as tiny as it looked. The AT200 packs a 1.2GHz TI OMAP 4430 CPU, up to 64GB of memory, and most of the ports that made the Toshiba Thrive popular: micro-USB, microSD, and micro-HDMI. Toshiba claims that the battery is good for “eight hours of video consumption.”

      • Toshiba put its Android tablet on a crash diet
      • HTC’s first Honeycomb tablet supports 4G LTE network

        HTC announced its first 10.1-inch Honeycomb tablet, which is also AT&T’s first tablet to run on the carrier’s new LTE/HSPA+ 4G network. The HTC Jetstream runs Android 3.1 and HTC Sense on a 1.5GHz, dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, features eight-megapixel and 1.3-megapixel cameras, offers an optional HTC Stylus, and start selling Sept. 4 for a pricey $700 with 32GB of memory.

      • Amazon 10-inch tablet PC to start mass production in 1Q12

        Amazon’s 7-inch tablet PC, which is supplied by Quanta Computer, is expected to start shipping in October, the sources added.

      • Lenovo announces IdeaPad A1, the $199 Android tablet, we go hands-on (video)

        If you thought you couldn’t get a real Android tablet from a brand you’ve heard of for less than $200, think again. Lenovo’s just announced the IdeaPad Tablet A1, a 7-inch Android unit that we got a sneaky first glimpse of back in July. Now it’s real, and it’s cheap, it’s running Gingerbread, and while it doesn’t hold a candle to the Galaxy Tab 7.7, it honestly feels like something far above its price point. Read on for our impressions.

      • Why I bought a $99 HP TouchPad

        Aside from the default webOS software, there’s a good chance I’ll be able to install Android onto the TouchPad at some point in the foreseeable future. Teams of Android enthusiasts like the gang from RootzWiki are already hard at work creating Android ports for the product. For the moment, the phone-focused Gingerbread will be as good as it gets — the tablet-optimized Honeycomb release, remember, was never made open source — but with the all-purpose Ice Cream Sandwich release on the horizon, the future holds no shortage of interesting Googley possibilities.

        A 9.7-inch dual-core Ice Cream Sandwich tablet for $99? Yeah…exactly.

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Police Report on Wisconsin Supreme Court Quarrel Describes Hostile Work Environment
  • Desktop computers changing, not dying

    There’s been a lot of dying technology predicted lately. The death of the desktop. The death of the PC (or, in more market-friendly terms, the “post-PC Era”). The death of Windows. The death of the mouse… you name it, if it’s desktop-connected, its demise been predicted in the last couple of months.

    So much anger has been leveled at the desktop operating systems and the PC, it really makes me wonder what the PC did to tick so many people off. Seriously, it’s not like it ripped you off and then asked the government for a bailout, right?

  • The Dawn of the Post-PC Era. Not.
  • Health/Nutrition

    • Rick Perry’s Texas Health Care Hoax

      In his quest to win the Republican presidential nomination, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is perpetuating a convincing hoax: that implementing Texas-style tort reform would go a long way toward curing what ails the U.S. health care system.

      Like his fellow GOP contenders, Perry consistently denounces “Obamacare” as “a budget-busting, government takeover of healthcare” and “the greatest intrusion on individual freedom in a generation.” He promises to repeal the law if elected.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Cablegate

    • Guardian Investigative Editor David Leigh publishes top secret Cablegate password revealing names of U.S. collaborators and informants… in his book

      The UK’s Guardian newspaper’s Investigative Editor, David Leigh, author of the “Get this Wikileaks book out the door quickly before other Wikileaks books are published” Wikileaks book has messed up.

    • WikiLeaks: Cables detail concerns of U.S. contractor held in Cuba
    • Why Does Jeanne Whalen Have a Hardon for Julian Assange?

      It seems like just days ago that Luddie asked me to begin looking into the curious case of Jeanne Whalen’s WSJ story, which claimed that five human rights organizations had written a letter complaining to WikiLeaks that it was not taking proper care to protect civilian informants. As we soon discovered, the article was riddled with errors. To wit: not all the signatories were with human rights organizations, most of the signatories were not speaking for their organizations, and the letter was a call to meet with Assange, not an upbraiding. That the letter (which Whalen won’t release) quickly made it into her hands made whole thing smell of Newscorp astroturfing.

    • WikiLeaks: Iraqi children in U.S. raid shot in head, U.N. says
    • PJ Crowley: No US Policy Changed Because of the WikiLeaks Revelations

      Former State Department spokesperson PJ Crowley has written an op-ed on the recent release of more than 130,000 US State Embassy cables. Likening the cable publication to “pestilence,” Crowley provides his perspective on what he thinks will happen now that the cables have been published.
      Crowley was forced to resign in March after he made some comments that called attention to how accused whistleblower to WikiLeaks, Pfc. Bradley Manning, was being treated at Quantico Brig. When WikiLeaks published the war logs in July, he knew he had to do an assessment and figure out what might be put at risk if US State Embassy cables were released. What he says on WikiLeaks carries a lot of credibility. In fact, he has spoken about his work during the WikiLeaks release and why he made the comments he made about Manning on multiple panels.

    • Global – Guardian journalist negligently disclosed Cablegate passwords

      A Guardian journalist has negligently disclosed top secret WikiLeaks’ decryption passwords to hundreds of thousands of unredacted unpublished US diplomatic cables.

      Knowledge of the Guardian disclosure has spread privately over several months but reached critical mass last week. The unpublished WikiLeaks’ material includes over 100,000 classified unredacted cables that were being analyzed, in parts, by over 50 media and human rights organizations from around the world.

      For the past month WikiLeaks has been in the unenviable position of not being able to comment on what has happened, since to do so would be to draw attention to the decryption passwords in the Guardian book. Now that the connection has been made public by others we can explain what happened and what we intend to do.

    • WikiLeaks, media last bastions of trust for US

      The release of diplomatic documents by WikiLeaks last year has given people more insight into how the US government works according to Suelette Dreyfus.

      Dreyfus is the author of Underground: Tales of Hacking, Madness and Obsession on the Electronic Frontier, the 1997 that featured the exploits of Mendax — the hacker handle of WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange.

      Dreyfus told this week’s Q&A show that people in the US now understand how their government worked behind “closed mahogany doors.” She said that WikiLeaks has also shown that governments don’t always act in the interests their own people. “In that sense, it’s a true whistle blower,” Dreyfus said.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Federal agency: Texas Gov. Perry wrong in comments about new license rules for farmers

      U.S. Department of Transportation officials are disputing Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s statement at the Iowa State Fair today that federal administrators plan to require a farmer driving a tractor across a public road to obtain a commercial driver’s license.

      “We are absolutely not requiring farmers” to obtain commercial licenses, such as those required of semi-trailer operators, said U.S. DOT spokeswoman Candice Tolliver in Washington, D.C.

      She said U.S. DOT Secretary Ray LaHood had put out a statement last week making the DOT’s position clear.

      “We have no intention of instituting onerous regulations on the hardworking farmers who feed our country and fuel our economy,” LaHood’s statement said.

  • Censorship

  • Civil Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Copyright term extension returns. Again.

        Back in April we asked ORG supporters to write to their MEPs to help campaign against a Directive that would extend the term of copyright protection in sound recordings (for the reasons why, see our previous posts and the campaign site ‘Sound Copyright’). We had a fantastic response, with thousands of letters sent to MEPs across Europe.

      • The Coalition Has No Digital Rights Policy

        A key moment was the BT/NewzBin2 case. A clutch of Hollywood studios took BT to court in order to force them to restrict access to the website “NewzBin2″. The site in question provides only links to film downloads – it does not even host copyrighted content. The studios were extremely pleased to have the court find in their favour, seeing it as a crucial precedent. They were beginning to lose patience with how slowly the Government was implementing the Digital Economy Act, and saw this as a convenient shortcut. Culture and communications minister Ed Vaizey enthusiastically welcomed the judgment – ironically enough, online, by tweeting: ”Interesting judgment in Newzbin case, should make it easier for rights holders to prevent piracy”. He went on to continue defending the result, and his statement, from a barrage of replies.

Links 1/9/2011: Mandriva 2011.0 Reviews, MeeGo-based Phones in Australia, Sony Tablet With Android

Posted in News Roundup at 7:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

08.31.11

Links 31/8/2011: RHEL 7, LibreOffice 3.4.3

Posted in News Roundup at 7:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 3.4.3

      The Internet, August 31, 2011 – The Document Foundation (TDF) maintains the speedy pace of LibreOffice development with the announcement of version 3.4.3, intended for enterprise deployments. The new release arrives two weeks after version 3.3.4 (intended for more-conservative users) and one month after the previous release of the 3.4 family, which provides a larger feature set based on cleaner and leaner code.

    • LibreOffice 3.4.3 Is Now Available for Download
  • CMS

    • Jekyll and other static site generators are, currently, harmful to the free, open source software movement

      My blog is powered by WordPress. WordPress remains at its core a monstrous amalgamation of PHP spaghetti code. Thus, despite the fact that WordPress is free (beer+speech), easy to use, well supported, well documented, and all that jazz… it still pains my hacker sensibilities to use it. For similar reasons, a lot of hacker types are moving away from WordPress and similar blog software to static site generators like jekyll.

  • Healthcare

    • VA Open Source Health Software Site is Open for Business

      The Veterans Affairs Department open source electronic health record software website went live today with a pitch that it will serve as the nexus for an “open source community designed to unleash innovation in electronic health record software.”

    • VA open source agent set to go live

      The Veterans Affairs Department is set to make its open source agent operational tomorrow and make available the software code of various applications in the electronic health records of VA and the Defense Department.

      Users of the applications will also have a method to report back to the open source agent changes to the software.

  • Semi-Open Source

    • Open source: Driving change in the software industry

      The subsequent development of automotive technology was rapid, due in part to the hundreds of small manufacturers competing to gain the world’s attention. What we saw was the start of an international, industrial revolution as well as a struggle between automobile manufacturers for commercial dominance that is still fought today. As a result of greater competition for customers, and customers’ greater demand for innovation, car buyers now have an infinite number of brands, makes, models and pricing options to choose from to meet their individual needs.

  • Funding

    • MapR makes friends of Hadoop and the enterprise, raises $20M

      Hadoop is open source software that allows companies to store data on clusters of cheaper servers and run software very quickly on top of those clusters. It organizes and prioritizes data, so often-used data is pushed to the top of the stack for easy access. Along with the organization, Hadoop uses a graphical user interface and heat maps to help data managers monitor usage and locate problems. The software also offers analytics for companies that want to watch their data to spot emerging trends.

  • Project Releases

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • It’s Most Certainly Not The End of the OS
  • Asus Tech – You will NOT fool me Twice
  • This USB 3.0 Flash Drive Has 2 TB of Storage
  • Google and OpenDNS join forces to speed up DNS
  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • WikiLeaks reveals Atrocities by US forces

      US forces had committed a heinous war crime during a house raid in Iraq in 2006, wherein one man, four women, four children, and one infant were summarily executed, a State Department diplomatic cable released last week by WikiLeaks revealed.

      The cable excerpts a letter written by Philip Alston, Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions, addressed to then Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice.

      American troops had approached the home of Faiz Harrat Al-Majma’ee, a farmer living in central Iraq, to conduct a house raid in search of insurgents in March 2006.

      “It would appear that when the MNF (Multinational Forces) approached the house,” Alston wrote, “shots were fired from it and a confrontation ensued.” Afterwards, “troops entered the house, handcuffed all residents and executed all of them.” Mr. Faiz Hratt Khalaf, (aged 28), his wife Sumay’ya Abdul Razzaq Khuther (aged 24), their three children Hawra’a (aged 5) Aisha ( aged 3) and Husam (5 months old), Faiz’s mother Ms. Turkiya Majeed Ali (aged 74), Faiz’s sister (name unknown), Faiz’s nieces Asma’a Yousif Ma’arouf (aged 5 years), and Usama Yousif Ma’arouf (aged 3 years), and a visiting relative Ms. Iqtisad Hameed Mehdi (age 23) were killed during the raid.

      Alston’s letter reveals that a US airstrike was launched on the house presumably to destroy the evidence, but that “autopsies carried out at the Tikrit Hospital’s morgue revealed that all corpses were shot in the head and handcuffed.”

  • Cablegate

    • WikiLeaks cable: US expected Congress bribes in TransCo deal

      The US embassy expected money to change hands in Philippine Congress before it granted a franchise to a consortium in 2007 to operate the Philippine National Transmission Company (TransCo), a cable published by whistleblower group WikiLeaks said.

  • Finance

    • Big Reason to Shut SEC, Start Over: William D. Cohan

      Thanks to Darcy Flynn, a longtime attorney at the Securities and Exchange Commission, we now have all the ammunition we need to do what should have been done years ago: terminate the SEC, with extreme prejudice, and in its place construct a new regulatory watchdog for Wall Street free of obvious conflicts of interest.

      Flynn’s courage has almost been lost in all the recent apocalyptic talk of earthquakes and hurricanes, but a few weeks back he did something remarkable. After raising concerns internally at the SEC last year — and getting nowhere — Flynn went public and alleged in a formal whistleblower complaint that for at least 17 years the SEC “followed a policy of systematically destroying documents” related to what are known as Matters Under Investigation, or MUIs, most of which were focused on possibly illicit or illegal behavior at Wall Street firms. MUIs are the first step in investigating a case that may lead to a formal SEC inquiry.

    • Matt Taibbi on the SEC and Wall Street

      For the past two decades, according to a whistle-blower at the SEC who recently came forward to Congress, the agency has been systematically destroying records of its preliminary investigations once they are closed.

    • Citigroup, Goldman Big ‘Super Committee’ Donors

      Goldman Sachs(GS), Citigroup(C), JPMorgan Chase(JPM), Bank of America(BAC) and General Electric(GE) all rank in the top 10 organizations in terms of their campaign contributions to a special Congressional committee charged with finding ways to reduce the deficit, according to MapLight.org a nonpartisan organization that studies the relationship between money and politics.

    • Panel tallies massive waste and fraud in wartime U.S. contracts

« Previous Page« Previous entries « Previous Page · Next Page » Next entries »Next Page »

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources

No

Mono

ODF

Samba logo






We support

End software patents

GPLv3

GNU project

BLAG

EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com



Recent Posts