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09.19.10

Links 20/9/2010: “Sent Using Ubuntu”, OpenOffice.org Succeeds at Fullerton India

Posted in News Roundup at 6:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • OSS Watch National Software Survey 2010
  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • Databases

    • PostgreSQL 9.0 Is Now Available

      While we have yet to see any official release announcement, if you browse the PostgreSQL FTP server you can now find the final packages for PostgreSQL 9.0.0. This major update to PostgreSQL brings easy-to-use replication, mass permission-changing, anonymous code blocks, enhanced stored procedure support, exclusion constraints, deferrable unique constraints, and a variety of other enhancements.

  • Oracle

    • Oracle ships Secure Global Desktop 4.6

      Oracle has delivered an updated version of its Secure Global Desktop that offers more browser flexibility, enhanced availability and seamless integration with VDI platforms.

    • OpenOffice.org HackFest

      OpenOffice.org just finished their annual conference in Budapest, Hungary. One of the outcomes of the conference announced today is the need for developers to spend more time together to properly fix problems.

      In light of this, OpenOffice.org decided to have a HackFest specifically targeted at developers. The idea here is for the developers to spend more time face to face working on the code. The OpenOfice.org HackFest is scheduled for November 5-7, 2010 in Hamburg. The location can be seen on Google Maps and Open Street Maps.

    • Book review – Learn OpenOffice.org Spreadsheet Macros

      However, when I got my hands on this book, OpenOffice.org Spreadsheet Macro Programming, I was curious and hoped to find I was wrong, that this would open up new opportunities for clients and organizations that want to get away from Microsoft Office, clients who are already using OpenOffice, so I was really interested to see the level of capability that Calc had in its macro programming.

    • Working with Open Office and Microsoft Office

      Instead you can download an alternative. Rather than add Open Office formats to the Open window, there are options available for opening and saving with the ODF format added to the File menu.

    • OpenOffice at Fullerton India

      Fullerton India saved crores of rupees by moving the bulk of its users onto the open source office suite.

      [...]

      Fullerton India Credit Co. Ltd. wanted to convert the bulk of its users from Microsoft Office to OpenOffice. It would turn out to be quite a complex project involving macro migration, some hardware upgrades and educating users at numerous locations. At that point of time, the company had 850 branches (6,000 PCs, 15,000 users). Currently, after consolidating and downsizing, it has 400 locations (4,000 PCs, 9,000 users).

  • Hacking

    • Trouble with Diaspora
    • iRail meet-up: Report

      Ironically we started a little later as planned due to unforeseen traffic-jams for Yeri and Christophe. Nevertheless we did a great job and I want to start off by thanking all the participants and of course the hackerspace of Ghent.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • FSFE calls on governments to stop pushing Adobe Reader

      Free software and open standards advocates are encouraging web users to put pressure on governments not to ‘advertise’ proprietary Adobe software as a tool for reading documents created in PDF format.

      Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is asking users to conduct a month-long ‘hunt’ for examples of what it says is the promotion of proprietary PDF readers.

    • What is Lundy doing at Software Freedom Day?

      On Saturday, September 18, Melbourne will mark Software Freedom Day, a day observed worldwide to spread the message of free and open source software.

    • Look Who’s Using Free Software: CERN

      “CERN is a leading partner of the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid (WLCG) that provides the distributed computing infrastructure for scientists working on the LHC experiments. This infrastructure links more than 300 computer centers and provides access to 260,000 CPUs on which users run about 20 million jobs every month. These machines are operated under several GNU/Linux variants.

    • [Hurd] what we need

      We created a list of the things we still need for using the Hurd for in our day-to-day activities (work or hobby).

  • Project Releases

    • Update kills code-execution threat in Samba

      Version 3.5.5, which was released on Tuesday, fixes the underlying buffer overrun in functions used to generate a credential known as a Windows Security ID. It can be exploited by sending a booby-trapped ID that overflows the stack variable and injects malicious code into memory.

  • Government

    • Italian Constitutional Court gives way to Free Software friendly laws

      Across Europe, several policy initiatives to implement rules that favour the adoption of Free Software and Open Standards in competitive tenders to public administration have been proposed or implemented. Many reasons have been posited to support such the favouring of such solutions, not least the evidence that proprietary software – through various mechanisms – is unjustly given preferential treatment in many tenders.2
      Italy is no exception. The main national law that rules on software procurement of the Public Administration3 is agnostic, and does not go farther than to say that a Public Administration shall always choose between various options – one of which is procuring “open source” software – and that the choice should be made according to a technical and commercial comparison.4 In the national law one cannot find guidance as to how to evaluate the characteristics of the competing offers. This means that any public administration can decide by following the general principles of public procurement.

      The Piedmont law was intended to take advantage of the limited but decisive role regional laws have in skewing the situation one way or the other. However, the national government objected to this approach, and the Constitutional Court found that it is constitutionally permissible for a regional law to try to alter the rules of the game of public procurement in order to favour one type of software offer over another, provided that certain conditions are met.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Iran: Exporting the Internet (part 2)

      Afghans headed to the polls today for parliamentary elections in a tense but hopeful atmosphere. If the Internet has a role to play this year in helping Afghanistan develop a peaceful civil society, it will probably turn on two key developments: cheap GPRS Internet delivered over mobile phones, and strong relationships with neighboring states to provide Internet transit.

    • In-house lawyers have no right to secrecy in EU competition cases, rules ECJ

      In-house lawyers at companies being investigated for competition law offences do not enjoy the same privacy rights for communications with their companies as lawyers from external firms, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has said.

      The ECJ has ruled that in-house lawyers are in danger of suffering a conflict of interest because they have a duty to their permanent employer as well as to the law. They cannot be allowed the same legal professional privilege (LPP) as external lawyers because they are not independent, the Court said.

Leftovers

  • Report: Tech firms close to settling no-poach case

    Apple, Adobe Systems, Google, Intel, Intuit, and Pixar are reportedly looking to settle the allegations to avoid a courtroom face-off with the Justice Department. The companies have been trying to persuade the government that nonpoaching agreements are not anticompetitive because they help ensure that employees can work on projects with other firms without fear of being stolen away.

  • U.S. Tech Probe Nears End

    Several of the U.S.’s largest technology companies are in advanced talks with the Justice Department to avoid a court battle over whether they colluded to hold down wages by agreeing not to poach each other’s employees.

    The companies, which include Google Inc., Apple Inc., Intel Corp., Adobe Systems Inc., Intuit Inc. and Walt Disney Co. unit Pixar Animation, are in the final stages of negotiations with the government, according to people familiar with the matter.

  • Consumer group slams Britain’s digital radio switchover

    2015 is far too early, says the Consumer Expert Group in its report for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport today entitled Digital Radio Switchover: what is in it for consumers? to start the switchover process. The Group advises that any switchover should only occur when analog radio listening has fallen to 30 per cent of total listening – the current trigger is 50 per cent of “digital” – and says there is far more to do than the radio industry or current policy appreciates.

  • Ex-IBM executive gets six months for insider trading

    WE REPORTED back in March that former IBM senior executive Robert Moffat, who was once lined up as a candidate for chief executive, collected his pink slip and did not pass go when he pleaded guilty to insider trading. He was the 11th person to do so in the Galleon hedge fund probe – the biggest insider trading scandal the US has seen for some time.

  • Ex-IBM heir apparent gets six months in the slammer
  • Former IBM Executive Sentenced to 6 Months for Securities Fraud

    Authorities say profits from illegal trades topped $50 million, though Moffat’s tips resulted in no profits and he received no money, lawyers on both sides agreed.

  • Pi record smashed as team finds two-quadrillionth digit

    A researcher has calculated the 2,000,000,000,000,000th digit of the mathematical constant pi – and a few digits either side of it.

    Nicholas Sze, of tech firm Yahoo, said that when pi is expressed in binary, the two quadrillionth digit is 0.

  • After Inmate Files Some 3,800 Lawsuits, Prosecutors Seek to Stop the Onslaught

    A federal inmate who once dubbed himself the “lawsuit Zeus” is so litigious that prosecutors are trying to put an end to the frivolous filings.

    Jonathan Lee Riches has filed more than 3,800 lawsuits, targeting defendants ranging from the planet Pluto to former president George W. Bush, the Associated Press reports. The Bush suit claimed the president and his brother had snuck into prison to clone his brain. A motion in another case, chronicled by Above the Law, claimed Riches became addicted to video games, causing him to lose touch with reality and his mind to become a living video game.

  • Supreme Court Justice Breyer denies influence of politics

    At a town hall-style meeting in L.A., Stephen G. Breyer says that the few times the court has acted under the sway of politics, the results have been disastrous.

  • Astronomy Picture of the Day
  • X Prize Winners Announced

    Edison2, a company based in Lynchburg, Va., won the $5 million top prize with its Edison2 Very Light Car. The competition was broken up into two classes: Mainstream, which was for four-seat vehicles, and Alternative, which had two divisions: two-seats side-by-side and two seats in a tandem, fighter-jet configuration.

  • Hardware

    • Credit Card with a Computer Inside

      The new cards are no bigger than the one in your wallet, and is actually slightly more flexible. It can display information at the press of a button, and can become several different cards by rewriting its own magnetic strip.

    • Intel wants to charge $50 to unlock stuff your CPU can already do
    • Intel + DRM: a crippled processor that you have to pay extra to unlock

      Intel’s latest business-model takes a page out of Hollywood’s playbook: they’re selling processors that have had some of their capabilities crippled (some of the cache and the hyperthreading support are switched off). For $50, they’ll sell you a code that will unlock these capabilities. Conceptually, this is similar to the DRM notion that I can sell you a movie that you can watch on one screen for $5 today, and if you want to unlock your receiver’s wireless output so you can watch it upstairs, it’ll be another $5.

    • ARM gets ready to enter Intel’s domain

      BRITISH CHIP DESIGN OUTFIT ARM is not flustered by Intel’s recent acquisitions and has been planning its assault on the laptop market for some time.

      That’s the message coming from the UK firm, hot on the heels of Chinese chip outfit Nufront demonstrating its dual core 2GHz system-on-chip (SoC) based on ARM’s Cortex A9 architecture. Speculation has been rife that Intel’s round of big money acquisitions means that Chipzilla is gunning for the plucky British company in the mobile space, but Nufront’s announcement has repositioned ARM as being on the offensive.

    • Intel won’t make more big acquisitions

      IN HIS KEYNOTE SPEECH at IDF 2010, Intel CEO Paul Otellini all but ruled out any more big acquisitions by the chipmaker within the next few years.

    • Lacie releases a USB 3.0 RAID drive

      STORAGE AND DISPLAY VENDOR Lacie is extending its RAID drive and external hard drive portfolios with a USB 3.0 external RAID hard drive.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • The Food Crisis is Not About a Shortage of Food

      The food crisis of 2008 never really ended, it was ignored and forgotten. The rich and powerful are well fed; they had no food crisis, no shortage, so in the West, it was little more than a short lived sound bite, tragic but forgettable. To the poor in the developing world, whose ability to afford food is no better now than in 2008, the hunger continues.

      Hunger can have many contributing factors; natural disaster, discrimination, war, poor infrastructure. So why, regardless of the situation, is high tech agriculture always assumed to be the only the solution? This premise is put forward and supported by those who would benefit financially if their “solution” were implemented. Corporations peddle their high technology genetically engineered seed and chemical packages, their genetically altered animals, always with the “promise” of feeding the world.

    • Stop Biotech’s Push for GMO Frankenfish!

      The FDA is poised to approve sale of the first GMO animal for human consumption, a fast-growing Frankenfish that hasn’t been fully assessed for food safety or environmental hazards, and that has little benefit outside of corporate profits.

    • FDA rules won’t require labeling of genetically modified salmon

      As the Food and Drug Administration considers whether to approve genetically modified salmon, one thing seems certain: Shoppers staring at fillets in the seafood department will find it tough to pick out the conventional fish from the one created with genes from another species.

      Despite a growing public demand for more information about how food is produced, that won’t happen with the salmon because of idiosyncracies embedded in federal regulations.

    • Microbiologists find the dirt on hand washing

      The American Society for Microbiology and the American Cleaning Institute wanted to see how often people wash their hands in public restrooms. (It’s flu and cold season again!) And, they found the “dirt” on people’s hand-washing habits.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Twitter airport bomb joker loses second job

      Paul Chambers, the Twitter joker victim, has been sacked from a second job a week before his appeal against a widely criticised conviction for sending a “threatening” message to to blow Doncaster airport “sky high”.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Czechs wait for Google Street View

      The Czech data protection authority has confirmed that Google does not have the proper licence to continue collecting images for its Street View service.

      The issue is not just about Wi-Fi data, as reported yesterday, but also images taken by its fleet of Street View cars which have already covered much of Prague, Český Krumlov and some major roads.

    • Appeals court reverses its own privacy ruling

      A US APPEALS COURT has reversed itself on the idea of computer privacy that it had previously upheld.

      Last year the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals issued a landmark data privacy ruling that curtailed the US government’s computer search and seizure powers. The ruling was made in the case of 104 US baseball players who had their hard drives ransacked by feds looking for evidence of drug use.

    • Mozambique blocked rioters’ texts

      A letter apparently from the Mozambique communications authority asked mobile networks to block text messages during food riots in the southern African country earlier this month.

      Hundreds of people were arrested over the protests and 13 killed, after the government put up the price of bread by a third. Petrol and electricity also went up sharply. The riots were encouraged by round-robin text messages.

    • Parents back legal ban of violent vidgames sales to kids

      The war between the video games industry and critics who think that playing violent games are harmful to children moves to the US Supreme Court in November.

    • T-Mobile Censoring Text Messages

      A mobile-marketing company claimed Friday it would go out of business unless a federal judge orders T-Mobile to stop blocking its text-messaging service, the first case testing whether wireless providers can block text messages they don’t like.

    • Public Knowledge Sees Lawsuit Over Unlawful Text Message Blocking as Another Reason for FCC Action

      Earlier today, EZ Texting, a mobile marketing company, filed suit in U.S. District Court in New York City against T-Mobile for unilaterally blocking its customers from exchanging text messages with EZ Texting’s customers, which the company said could put it out of business. The parts of the suit are here and here. The declaration of Shane Neman, CEO of EZ Texting, is here.

    • The Internet as a human right

      You don’t have to assert something as a fundamental human right to believe that it provides a social good of deep, deep of value. So, I remain an Internet exceptionalist and fanatic. I am all in favor of providing Internet access to the world, preferably for free. (Of course, I’d first want to make sure everyone can read and write, and has electricity, has a full belly, and has access to medical care, so that they can use the Net in the first place. Also, so they can live.) Access to an open Internet is an incredible social good. We who have such access should cherish it, use it, spread it, share it, and fight to keep it open. Nevertheless, calling Net access a human right blurs the line between social goods and demandable human rights. That does not bring the Net to the world any faster, and diminishes the effect of claims of genuine human rights.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Gallo report plenary vote campaign

      If voted in the European Parliament, the Gallo report will promote a dogmatic, repressive vision of Copyright for the future of EU policymaking, calling for instance for more repression of not-for-profit online filesharing. A recently tabled proposal for a resolution by the ALDE group contains the same inaccuracies and biased approach; it is almost as bad.

    • Copyrights

      • Filmmaker Premieres Movie In Theaters and on The Pirate Bay

        While most filmmakers shy away from anything remotely related to BitTorrent, Swedish director Stina Bergman has partnered with The Pirate Bay for the release of her latest movie. Today the film, titled “Die Beauty”, debuts in Swedish theaters as well as on The Pirate Bay.

      • Police spent tens of thousands on failed BitTorrent probe

        A failed three-year police investigation of a filesharing website, run in cooperation with the music industry, cost taxpayers at least £29,000, and probably much more.

        Figures released by Cleveland Police detail some costs of Operation Ark Royal, a raid on invitation-only BitTorrent site OiNK.cd.

      • State Bar of Nevada reviewing grievance against Righthaven CEO

        The Nevada agency that regulates attorneys is looking into a grievance filed against the chief executive officer of Righthaven LLC, the Las Vegas copyright enforcement company that has sued at least 124 individuals and companies in North America since March over unauthorized online postings of Las Vegas Review-Journal stories.

        The nature of the grievance hasn’t been disclosed except that someone filed it with the State Bar of Nevada against Righthaven CEO Steven Gibson, a Las Vegas attorney, and that it is related to Righthaven.

        The State Bar calls complaints filed against attorneys by citizens or clients “grievances” so they’re not confused with “complaints” the State Bar may file against lawyers.

        The grievance under investigation could relate to any number of allegations defense attorneys have made against Righthaven and its procedures — which are unusual for the newspaper industry — of detecting online infringements of Review-Journal material, obtaining copyrights to the infringed material and then suing over the retroactive infringements.

      • Prof. Richard Dawkins Advocates the Use of BitTorrent

        Professor Richard Dawkins is one of the best known evolutionary biologists today. Affiliated with the University of Oxford and Berkeley, he is famous for his fierce and outspoken critique on religious institutions through his publications and documentaries. In common with many scientists, he wants his work to be read and seen by the public, even if that means ignoring copyright by going to The Pirate Bay.

      • 4chan to DDoS RIAA Next – Is This the Protest of the Future?

        Over the last 36 hours or so, the ‘Anonymous’ masses and many unaffiliated sympathizers joined forces to attack the MPAA’s website. Continuing with ‘Operation Payback’, today an attack will be launched on the RIAA. The ultimate in decentralized protests will go ahead and there’s not a lawyer or police force in the world who can do anything about it. Is this the protest of the future?

Clip of the Day

Avatard


Credit: TinyOgg

09.18.10

Links 18/9/2010: GNU/Linux in Dell China, Wine 1.3.3, Mageia (Mandriva Fork) Launched

Posted in News Roundup at 8:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Need Ideas for Christmas or Other Presents?

    Want a finished product not requiring installation? Why not buy a PC with GNU/Linux installed for presents. Recipients will remember your generosity for years of trouble-free use and top performance.

  • Desktop

    • Linux Out Performs Windows in OpenGL

      Late last year I did a posting detailing how Windows 7 crushed Ubuntu 9.10 in the area of 3D performance. Nine months later I am happy to say:

      Linux out performs Windows 7 in OpenGL benchmarks!

    • Dell.com.cn

      Dell, in China, has no qualms about putting Ubuntu before consumers. On their site they do “recommend that other OS” according to Google Translate but the Mini-10 comes in two models, one with Ubuntu and one with that other OS. That other OS is RM100 higher price. They even have N series with FreeDOS or “Linux Ubuntu 9.10“. Isn’t the outside of the USA a different world?

  • Ballnux

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • The Next X.Org Developers Summit?

        The X.Org Developers’ Summit in Toulouse, France just ended and it’s time in the morning to head to Oktoberfest to meet with many Phoronix readers at this annual outing. XDS 2010 turned out to be a wonderful event and more organized than some X.Org events in the past. Thanks to the wonderful organization by Matthieu Herrb, the venue itself was nice, the social event last night was terrific, the Internet and power at the event was plenty, etc. Stay tuned for Phoronix notes and some audio/video recordings to be published in the coming days, beyond what has already been reported. At XDS 2010 it was also brought up where to host XDS 2011.

        It was brought up whether to host the 2011 X.Org Developers’ Summit in Brazil, simply on the basis of the X.Org events usually being in the United States or Europe, even though that’s where a vast majority of the X.Org developers are located. No real reasons in favor of an XDS Brazil event were provided and there isn’t even any X.Org developers presently living in Brazil that could organize such an event. There were plenty of concerns though regarding the cost of transportation, the time needed to fly to Brazil for both Americans and Europeans, and just the overall location being inconvenient for everyone.

      • Most Drivers Won’t Be Merged Into X Server 1.10

        The last talk of the 2010 X.Org Developers’ Summit was regarding X.Org Server 1.10. The good news is that nearly every X.Org graphics driver will not be merged back into the xorg-server repository.

  • Applications

    • Wine

      • Wine Announcement [1.3.3]

        The Wine development release 1.3.3 is now available.

        What’s new in this release (see below for details):
        – Improved support for right-to-left text.
        – Support for CMYK JPEG images.
        – Beginnings of a Game Explorer implementation.
        – Improved 64-bit support in MSI.
        – Stub inetcpl control panel applet.
        – A number of fixes to crypto support.
        – Translation updates.
        – Various bug fixes.

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia – a Mandriva fork

        Most employees working on the distribution were laid off when Edge-IT was liquidated. We do not trust the plans of Mandriva SA anymore and we don’t think the company (or any company) is a safe host for such a project.

      • Mandriva’s Forked Into A New Project Called Mageia

        The Mandriva Linux distribution has been forked by a number of Mandriva contributors with the fate of this distribution formerly known as Mandrake being unknown due to financial troubles and layoffs facing Mandriva’s parent company. This new forked version of Mandriva is being called Mageia.

      • Mageia – A New Linux Distribution
    • Red Hat Family

      • UBS: IBM, Oracle could bid to buy Red Hat

        UBS strategist Thomas Doerflinger says in the note that the forces driving M&A activity include the economic slowdown and low interest rates. Also, the potential buyers have strong balance sheets and ample cash.

        Red Hat’s market cap is close to $7.3 billion. The company employs about 2,800 worldwide.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Shuttleworth: Defending Ubuntu

          I’m not talking about valid criticism or difference in philosophy either, I’m talking about people who personally attack rms and/or simply lie about the FSF (ala recent attempts to suggest the FSF supports software patents to attack non-GPL software [1][2]).

          I’m not sure how the Self-Loathing Free Software User gained traction in Ubuntu (or in any community for that matter), but it seems at odds with the messaging coming from Mr. Shuttleworth.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Device update: Analysts bullish on ereaders

      These forecasts not only predict a growing number of devices being used by consumers, but also a growing amount of online content to feed those devices. Taken together, these projections create an optimistic short-term picture for the ereader market.

      Turning to this week’s news: we’ve got announcements from Elonex, Ectaco, and Velocity Micro, as well as an update on the Samsung Galaxy Tab.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Trade Practices Implications of Infringing Copies of Open Source Software

    Earlier in the year Linux Australia approved a grant for the production of a research note on the Trade Practices Implications of Infringing Copies of Open Source Software. The note has been completed and reviewed by the Linux Australia committee and is now ready for open release.

    The main finding of the research is that a vendor selling an infringing copy of open source software is likely to be in breach of at least one section of Part V the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) relating to misleading or deceptive statements or conduct, and likely more than one. There are many cases in which such breaches have been found in relation to infringing copies of software. Even where a vendor only offers to sell (as opposed to actually selling) an infringing copy they are still likely to be in breach of the Act.

  • Apache is Hanging in There…

    Netcraft reports that Apache has 66% share of the servers on the million busiest sites, 57% of all sites (up 1% which Apache stole from M$ last month), Since this demonstrates FLOSS works, it’s hard to see whence all the doom and gloom for GNU/Linux on the desktop comes.

  • Databases

    • Why NoSQL Matters

      “NoSQL” is a label which encompasses a wave of innovation now happening in the database space. The NoSQL movement has sparked a whirlwind of discussion, debate, and excitement in the technical community. Why is NoSQL generating so much buzz? What does it mean for you, the application developer? And what place does NoSQL have for apps running on the Heroku platform?

  • CMS

  • Education

    • 50 Reasons to Love GNU/Linux for Schools

      We have all read articles with 5 or 10 reasons to love/hate some facet of IT. I thought I would go for 50. It is not hard. What is hard is putting them in order of importance/preference. The first few are easy. The last few are a coin-flip, but there are many reasons to love GNU/Linux in education.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • What is Software Freedom Day About?

      Other things that encourage both my use and support of free software are the heavy handed application of Digital Rights Management (DRM) and Technical Protection Measures (TPM). These are methods employed in hardware and software to force your tech stuff to be subservient to the manufacturer. In many if not most cases DRM/TPM result in degrading the hardware or software, sometimes making it difficult to use, sometimes just crippling it so that things that should work don’t, and sometimes breaking it so that it doesn’t work at all. It used to be inadvertent “bugs” were the biggest problem in running software. Today it’s deliberate DRM. I suppose you could put DRM on free software but people would know what it was and correct it out. As far as I’m concerned, DRM is as much malware as spyware or viruses. If it is going to be allowed at all, it needs to be clearly labelled. The fact that it is not and consumers only know about it after they’ve purchased it is a huge government #fail

      The biggest thing free software has done to change my outlook is that it has changed my way of thinking. Because the principals behind free software can be applied in many more things. For me, it’s made me rethink the idea of copyright, and then rethink it again. It has in fact encouraged me to join what Cory Doctorow calls the copyfight. As a writer, I’m embracing the concept of self publishing, and I will be releasing my debut novel under a Creative Commons License.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content

      • Introducing LAPSI and EVPSI

        Information generated and collected by public sector bodies represents a veritable gold mine: optimal access to and reuse of this public sector information (PSI) has a positive impact on market services improvements, but also on the democratic involvement of citizens in governmental decisions.

      • Mars Inc. Cacao Genome Database claims Open Access, public domain: falls short

        This initially looked very promising: Mars, along with a number of collaborators (USDA, IBM, Clemson University Genomics Institute; Public Intellectual Property Resource for Agriculture at the University of California-Davis; National Center for Genome Resources; Center for Genomics and Bioinformatics at Indiana University; HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology; and Washington State University), have sequenced the cacao genome and released it “Open Access” and “public domain” for the benefit of all, at a site called the Cacao Genome Project…

        [...]

        Clearly, this data set has not been released as Open Access and certainly not released into the public domain.

        Instead of Open Access or public domain, they have a restrictive license, which allows gated access for a restricted set of uses.

Leftovers

  • Email Netiquette – Part 1

    As with top-posting, not trimming your replies is lazy, and again, it’s rude. Some people don’t have the hard drive space you might, or the bandwidth to pull down such a noisy message. Cutting out the cruft, leaving the relevant pieces in, is considerate, polite and logically sound. Do you, and everyone else a favor, and trim your replies.

  • Jackson family lawsuit blames AEG for Michael’s death

    Michael Jackson’s family has sued AEG Live claiming the event production company is responsible for Jackson’s death.

    Here’s the complaint, filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court by Katherine Jackson on behalf of the family. The lawsuit claims AEG, president and CEO Tim Leiweke, Anschutz Entertainment and others are responsible for Jackson’s death because his contract with AEG for the planned “This Is It” tour created a legal duty to keep him healthy.

  • The Trouble with the View from Above

    It is both striking and important to recognize how relatively little the pre-modern state actually knew about the society over which it presided. State officials had only the most tenuous idea of the population under their jurisdiction, its movements, its real property, wealth, crop yields, and so forth. Their degree of ignorance was directly proportional to the fragmentation of their sources of information. Local currencies and local measures of capacity (e.g., the bushel) and length (the ell, the rod, the toise) were likely to vary from place to place and with the nature of the transacting parties. The opacity of local society was, of course, actively maintained by local elites as one effective means of resistance to intrusions from above.

    Having little synoptic, aggregate intelligence about the manpower and resources available to it, officials were apt either to overreach in their exactions, touching off flight or revolt, or to fail to mobilize the resources that were, in fact, available. To follow the process of state-making, then, is to follow the conquest of illegibility. The account of this conquest — an achievement won against stiff resistance — could take many forms, for example: the creation of the cadastral survey and uniform property registers, the invention and imposition of the meter, national censuses and currencies, and the development of uniform legal codes.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Big Corn wants to change “High Fructose Corn Syrup” to “Corn Sugars”

      The US Corn Refiners Association has petitioned the FDA for permission to change the name “High Fructose Corn Syrup” to the much more innocuous-sounding “Corn Sugars.” This comes as 58% of Americans say they are concerned about HFCS’s impact on their health. HFCS is a heavily subsidized industrial byproduct of the corn industry, and is ubiquitous in American processed food — everything from Rice Krispies to “healthy” granola bars.

    • Obesity costs US at least $215 billion every year: study

      Obesity costs the US economy at least 215 billion dollars a year in direct and indirect impacts including medical expenses and lost productivity, a new study showed Tuesday.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Why the Paul Chambers case matters

      This week will see the appeal by Paul Chambers of his conviction under section 127 of the Communications Act 2003.

      He was convicted – and so given a criminal record – for what was, and what was intended to be, a joke contained in a tweet.

      [...]

      They send several anti-terrorist officers around to Paul’s workplace.

      (Unsurprisingly, Paul loses his job very soon after.)

      The police arrest Paul and keep him in custody for a number of hours.

      However, it appears that even the police do not think this is a serious matter.

      But again “process” means it needs to be taken further. And so the case is referred to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

      The CPS realise quickly that there is no evidence for Paul to be prosecuted under the bomb hoax legislation.

    • Body armor contractor convicted for $190M stock scam scheme

      NY jury convicts body-armor company founder of running $190 million stock scheme

      The founder of America’s leading supplier of body armor to the U.S. military was convicted Tuesday of charges that he ran a $190 million stock scheme.

      David H. Brooks, founder and former chief executive of DHB Industries Inc., was convicted of 17 counts, including securities fraud and conspiracy. Prosecutors said he used the company treasury for personal luxuries, with more than $6 million in unauthorized expenditures.

    • Darpa Wants You To Build An Anti-Secrecy App

      Usually the Pentagon expends time and technological effort to protect information. But now the far-out researchers at Darpa are looking for a few good futurists to help the Obama administration declassify reams of national security documents.

    • DRG SSH Username and Password Authentication Tag Clouds
    • WikiLeaks readying the ‘biggest leak of military intelligence ever’

      Whistleblower website WikiLeaks is teaming up with news outlets to release a “massive cache” of classified US military field reports on the conflict in Iraq, Newsweek magazine reported recently.

    • WikiLeaks founder Assange ‘free to leave’ Sweden

      Assange, 39, has said the allegations against him are part of a “smear campaign” aimed at discrediting his website, which is locked in a row with the Pentagon over the release of secret US documents about the war in Afghanistan.

    • Walt Disney, Monsanto discovered among Blackwater’s hidden clients

      Also on list: Royal Caribbean, Deutsche Bank, Chevron

      Almost three years ago exactly — Sept. 17, 2007 — a cadre of guards from the security firm then known as Blackwater shot and killed 17 Iraqis at a public plaza in Baghdad.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • A Week of Biking Joyously: An American Delegation Learns from the Dutch

      But the idea of learning from the success of the Dutch is not far-fetched. The Netherlands resembles the United States as a prosperous, technologically advanced nation where a huge share of the population owns automobiles. They simply don’t drive them each and every time they leave home, thanks to common sense transportation policies where biking and transit are promoted as an attractive alternative to the car. Indeed, millions of Dutch commuters combine bike and train trips, which offers the point-to-point convenience of the automobile and the speed of transit.

    • Measuring and Marketing in Japan’s Eco-Model Cities

      It’s an effort that has the support of top national leadership: in fact Chiyoda, home of the nation’s Imperial Palace and the Prime Minister’s Office, is one of the Eco-Cities. It has a population of 45,000 at night but swells with 800,000 government and business day tripper commuters. By 2050, the city portends a reduction in its volume of auto commuters: Chiyoda aims to reduce its greenhouse gases 50% from 1990 levels by that date.

    • The World Energy Congress kicks off with a splash

      This is how all energy industry events should begin. The World Energy Congress kicks off today in Montreal and as delegates arrived at the conference venue, hundreds of demonstrators were there to tell them that the industry needs to go beyond oil, and that dirty and risky fuels weren’t welcome here.

    • Unauthorised GE potato unleashed in Sweden

      In the North, in Haparanda, Greenpeace activists marked and sealed off the potato fields that were recently discovered to be contaminated with the illegal, unauthorised genetically engineered potato, named Amadea. Simultaneously, activists protested outside the Swedish Board of Agriculture office building in Jönköping, calling for the authority to order a full destruction of the contaminated fields in order to prevent further spread.

    • And the 2010 World Energy Congress Declaration is…

      I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised. After all, this is the energy industry talking to itself. But the reality is – as I said to the Congress yesterday – that the industry and governments that regulate it are accountable to us, the citizenry. And comforting words don’t do much good for those people still cleaning up in the Gulf of Mexico after the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster, those people who have had their waterways and their air polluted by dirty energy or those who are suffering at the hands of greenhouse pollution-driven climate change.

    • Gulf oil well on verge of being plugged for good

      After five months, the oil well that had spewed millions of gallons into the Gulf of Mexico is on the verge of being plugged once and for all.

    • BP to completely seal Gulf well by late Saturday
    • Armed men kidnap seven foreign workers in Niger

      SEVEN FOREIGNERS working for French companies were kidnapped in a uranium mining region of Niger yesterday.

    • In legal filings, BP says thousands of oil spill victims do not have right to sue

      BP and its partners in the blown-out Gulf well said on Monday that thousands of fishermen, seafood processors, restaurants, hotel owners and others may not yet have the right to sue over the spill, according to court papers.

      BP and its partners such as Transocean Ltd and Halliburton Co said the majority of alleged victims who have brought about 400 lawsuits must first take their claims to a $20 billion fund established by BP.

  • Finance

    • World poverty seen falling sharply but patchily

      In China, whose economy this year officially surpassed Japan’s as the world’s second largest, the number living below the international poverty line fell from 60.2 percent in 1990 to 15.9 percent in 2005. By 2015, it is forecast to be 5 percent.

    • Motivating Miss Daisy

      The new small business legislation intended to support startups is based entirely on debt — getting banks to lend money to small companies. But the only kind of debt that most tech startups know is credit card debt. Little tech companies grow by selling equity, not borrowing money. Short-term debt goes on plastic at 18 or 23 percent because no bank has — or will — lend to real tech startups in any significant amount.

      They’ll finance new Burger King franchises, but lend money for electric cars or new kinds of data storage or — shudder — software? Forget about it.

      Presidents Obama and Bush didn’t know this, Fed chairman Bernanke doesn’t know it, nor does Treasury secretary Geithner. None of these men have a minute’s experience with tech startups, yet our economy is almost entirely dependent on those startups for real recovery.

    • Basel rewrites capital rules for banks
    • Basel III is out… who cares?

      In conclusion I suspect that is the way they want it. After all, as far as I can tell, Basel is a set of self-imposed rules by the banking system and their regulators and they are primarily concerned with their own survival, not the well being of the economy from a monetary standpoint. It should be no surprise that they avoid the larger question of systemic stability by monetary self-regulation. Beware of the invisible hand, it may be robbing your back pocket!

    • FBI arrests Ohio County Commissioner on bribery charges

      A Commissioner of Cuyahoga County in Ohio was arrested by FBI agents early Wednesday morning as part of a larger federal probe into corruption in the county.

      Seven other Cuyahoga County officials, labor leaders, and business people have also been arrested.

      Commissioner Jimmy Dimora, age 55, is accused of using his public office to obtain free home improvements, prostitutes, and trips.

    • US homes lost to foreclosure up 25 pct on year

      In all, banks repossessed 95,364 properties last month, up 3 percent from July and an increase of 25 percent from August 2009, RealtyTrac said.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • UID is an Identity Crisis in the Making

      AN EXERCISE is currently underway to enter every resident in India on a database. In a few years, the unique identification (UID) is intended to become a ubiquitous number, to be used in many operations: enrolling in a school, maintaining a bank account, ticketing for travel, seeking treatment in a hospital and having one’s death recorded in a mortuary register.

      The sales pitch for the UID is, like most advertisements, intended to mislead. Enrolment is said to be voluntary. But, and as is now acknowledged, other agencies may refuse to provide a service if an individual is not enrolled, making it compulsory. The Working Paper of the UID Authority of India (UIDAI), which has been the basis of many discussions, starts with a claim that the UID will bring down barriers that prevent the poor from accessing services; but quickly adds: “UID will only guarantee identity, not rights, benefits and entitlements.”

    • Magid on Tech: Online privacy a key topic at UN-sponsored conference

      Participants from throughout the world are gathered in Vilnius, Lithuania, this week for the fifth-annual Internet Governance Forum.

      The IGF is an annual United Nations-sponsored event where representatives from governments, nonprofits, academic institutions, and businesses worldwide discuss a broad range of policy issues including online safety, privacy, rights of children, equality issues and other topics pertaining to the way the Internet is affecting every country.

      The goal of IGF is “to foster the sustainability, robustness, security, stability and development of the Internet.”

    • Koran burner Derek Fenton booted from his job at NJ Transit

      The protester who burned pages from the Koran outside a planned mosque near Ground Zero has been fired from NJTransit, sources and authorities said Tuesday.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Time Warner Cable Sends a Message to Video Suppliers: Cross Us and You’re Out

      Why do we suspect that cable operators see online video as a threat and may try to use “managed services” exceptions to Net Neutrality rules to crush it? How about deals like this.

      Time Warner Cable has decided not to do any deals with the premium movie channel Epix, home to movies from studios like Viacom, Lions Gate, and MGM. Why? Because Epix decided to cut a deal with Netflix for streaming access to its movies.

    • The distinctions and controversies of net neutrality

      I started the wiki because I think we need it. Just over the past few weeks we’ve been treated to news coverage of a joint proposal from Google and Verizon, which I found muddled in ways that show why we need a finer understanding of the many topics involved. The FCC has released a request for comments that shows they’re trying to hone in on the distinctions. And a recent article where I made an initial stab at dissecting the arguments was well received and summarized in Forbes online.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Woman Trademarks Her Name, Says No One Can Use It Without Her Permission

      She even goes so far as to post a list of websites “illegally” using her name, as well as a copy of the cease and desist letter (pdf) her lawyers will send you. Now, it may very well be that some of the sites in question are, in fact, violating her trademark (and at least one of the pages I’ve found does appear pretty questionable from a trademark standpoint) but the blanket claim that “it is illegal to use the name on any website without prior written permission” is simply false. That’s not how trademark law works. Dr Ann De Wees Allen does, in fact, have a trademark on her name, used in commerce related to dietary supplements, but just because you have a trademark, it does not mean you have complete control of the mark.

    • Copyrights

      • Prison for camming – a UK first

        Emmanuel Nimley, 22, yesterday received a 6-month sentence for filming movies with his iPhone at The Vue cinema in Harrow and uploading them to silverscreen.com. His motive: self-glory. The Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) say this is the first-ever UK prison sentence for ‘camming’.

      • 4chan DDoS Takes Down MPAA and Anti-Piracy Websites

        Following a call to arms yesterday, the masses inhabiting the anonymous 4chan boards have carried out a huge assault on a pair of anti-piracy enemies. The website of Aiplex Software, the anti-piracy outfit which has been DDoSing torrent sites recently, is currently down having been DDoS’d. They are joined in the Internet wasteland by the MPAA’s website, also currently under huge and sustained attack.

      • Why Are The Record Labels Demanding Money To Let People Stream Legally Purchased Music?

        Lately, I’ve been playing around with various music locker services, just to get a better understanding of how they work and to be able to access my (legally purchased) music collection on various machines and devices. So far, they’re all a bit limited, but it shouldn’t be long until they get better. However, the industry has always hated music locker services, and insisted that they somehow violate their copyright, even when the lockers simply allow individuals to place shift their own legal music. There’s an ongoing lawsuit over Michael Robertson’s MP3Tunes for which a decision is expected shortly. At the same time, Apple has been trying to quietly enter the market without disturbing the record labels.

      • How Much Did The Pointless OiNK Raid Cost UK Taxpayers?

        So how much did this entertainment-industry driven mess cost UK taxpayers? Well, police refused to release that information for a while, claiming that it “could undermine any ongoing and future investigations and cause potential damage to the criminal justice process.” Uh, right. About the only way it would do that is when people realized how much money was being wasted on bogus investigations. Eventually, however, it came out that the investigation itself cost about £29,000 — including £7,800 on overtime (OiNK after dark?) and £4,300 on “travel and subsistence.” Of course that doesn’t even get into what the actual trial cost taxpayers, which I’m sure is many times greater than that.

      • Pay what you want to see Freakonomics: The Movie

        In the most unique screening experiment we’ve heard of in a while (sorry, Jonah Hill), Magnolia Pictures and the Green Film Company will offer a pay-what-you-want preview of Freakonomics: The Movie on Sept. 22 for audiences in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Chicago, Boston, Dallas, Philadelphia, Denver, and Seattle. The adaptation of Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt’s best-selling book applies economics-based thinking to everyday human behavior, using a “dream team” of documentary filmmakers like Seth Gordon (The King Of Kong), Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me), and Alex Gibney (Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room) to examine everything from Sumo wrestling to baby names to students who are paid to study harder, and by participating in this screening—which requires filling out a short questionnaire—you’ll actually become part of a Freakonomics study yourself, in keeping with the book’s examination of how people interact with a pay-what-you-want bagel service.

      • Fox News Sues Senate Candidate For Using Clip In Commercial

        But, really, the bigger issue, is that in suing and sending takedowns over this video, all Fox has done is draw significantly more attention to the story itself and the negative impression of Blunt. If I had to guess, I’d say that Carnahan has never been so happy to be sued. It’s tons of free advertising on an attack ad on her opponent.
        And, of course, if the video is found to be fair use — as I would bet it would be — we’ll have yet another example of how the DMCA’s takedown process is a clear violation of free speech. Even if the video is eventually allowed back online due to a counter-notice, copyright law was being used to silence political speech in the middle of a campaign.

      • ACTA

        • European ICT sector’s concerns about ACTA: ECIS position paper

          The European Committee for Interoperable Systems (ECIS) is an international non-profit association that endeavours to promote a favourable environment for interoperable ICT solutions. Its members include both large and small companies in the ICT sector such as IBM, Nokia, Oracle, Opera, and Red Hat.

        • Internet Governance Forum a beacon of openness

          A representative from Internet Society (ISOC) proposed to extend the open and global multi-stakeholder approach of the IGF, its unique and sucessful governance model, to other processes such as the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement negotiations. The ACTA addresses Internet Governance issues along Camembert and is negotiated by a small coalition of supportive trade administrations.

        • ECIS ACTA position paper [PDF]

Clip of the Day

Stallman receiving Torvalds award at LinuxWorld conf 1999


Credit: TinyOgg

Links 18/9/2010: Wayland at XDS 2010, Canonical Controversy

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Server

    • Finally a decision on Solaris

      Now that Oracle has largely ended support for OpenSolaris, many Solaris users and customers that continued to be on the fence about the OS will finally be making their decision to either stay with Solaris or move over to Linux. Unix migration to Linux has always been a mainstay for enterprise Linux adoption, and while the low-hanging fruit is becoming more sparse, there is still plenty of Unix migration to Linux to come. We have seen cases in Linux communities where the most significant Unix in their world is OpenSolaris, and while we hear similar things regarding Solaris and its continued market presence, there is no question OpenSolaris — a fully open source OS with available binaries — was a much better fit for the growing ranks of Linux-savvy developers and administrators.

    • Red Hat License Fee for Rackspace Cloud Servers Changing from Hourly to Monthly

      The purpose of this post is to make you aware that beginning in September, Cloud Servers customers will be billed for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) instances on a monthly rather than hourly basis. Due to changes in our subscription arrangements with Red Hat, we can no longer offer Cloud customers hourly billing for RHEL licenses. Rackspace will begin charging our customers a monthly licensing fee, starting in September. This license fee will not be prorated.

    • More on Multi-core

      Moving over to the GP-GPU world, the NVidia GPU Conference is next week, I was going to attend, but I had a scheduling conflict come up. Look for some good stuff to come out of this event. Since I won’t be on the west coast next week, I will probably attend the one day HPC Financial Markets event in New York City. This show used to be called “High Performance on Wall Street,” which has a small, but free exhibit.

    • Talk About HPC Bang For Your Buck, How About Ka-Boom For The Server Room

      Reviewing HPC hardware is not easy. You usually need to travel to a data center and look at a rack of servers while someone tells you where they landed on the Top500 list. One could review a server, but basically they are all pretty much the same inside. They are running Linux and use either AMD or Intel processors. In addition, testing a cluster takes time because running meaningful programs that exercise the whole system must be done carefully. And finally, clusters are not sitting on the “shelf” as they vary by customer due to possible packaging, interconnect, processor, and storage choices.

  • IBM

    • The Limits of Strategy

      When I look back upon my long career, one of the major factors shaping my views of business, strategy and innovation is the creative destruction that I saw buffeting the IT industry over most of that time. In particular, having lived through IBM’s own near-death experience, respect – if not fear – for the hurricane-power forces of disruptive change is edged deep down in my psyche.

  • Ballnux

  • Kernel Space

    • Bcache Testing: Metadata

      Our two prior articles have detailed the performance results from a new patch, bcache, that uses SSDs to cache hard drives. We’ve looked at the throughput and IOPS performance of bcache and — while it is still very new and under heavy development — have found that in some cases it can help performance. This article examines the metadata performance of bcache hoping to also find areas where it can further boost performance.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Wayland Demonstration At XDS 2010

        Nothing too exciting was learned during this time about Wayland, but there was a brief demonstration of this lightweight display server that leverages kernel mode-setting, Mesa EGL, and other technologies.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Growing the Open Source/Free Software Commons

          Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical and Ubuntu, has penned an interesting post about their involvement and contribution to the open source/free software community. He is responding to some criticism that Canonical is not giving enough back. Mark makes an excellent point that there are many ways to give back and Canonical and Ubuntu have focus on making Linux more accessible to a wider audience. To me this makes perfect sense and Canonical should be applauded for their contributions to the community.

        • A Canonical Controversy

          Up next, let’s pull from the Planet Gnome FAQ, “It generally helps to write a few words about you and your contributions to GNOME, or why you think your blog should appear on Planet GNOME”. Looking at the bug that was filed we find no explanation as to why it should be added other than “I contribute via Canonical”. This phrase is going to be flogged by those people that were/are irked with Canonicals level of contributions upstream.

          Lastly, since Mark is the CEO of a company, does this mean Gnome supports his company more than say…CEO of Red Hat or Novell since those CEO’s are not added on Planet Gnome? Does this constitute a conflict of interest? Does it signal favoritism? If one person believes it to be this way, everyone loses…because there will be a debate about it and it WILL divide people and not unite them.

          To be honest, I can’t believe Mark even asked to be on Planet Gnome as the CEO of Canonical. He should know right out of the gate that it would look bad if he was added in…if it were me, I’d remove myself immediately.

        • Ubuntu Open Week, request for instructors

          Here at Ubuntu we love to give training sessions over IRC. Since Developer and App Developer Week cover the more advanced end of the spectrum we have something for normal users — Ubuntu Open Week: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuOpenWeek

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • Can Android be the answer to Nokia’s Problems?

          With a resigned CEO and the head of the smartphone division, all is not well with Nokia. What I am actually wondering is, how impossible is it to manufacture Android based devices? Yes Symbian is great, but it looks more like a dying breed to me. Is it at all possible that the two platforms could be marketed side by side to the myriad of markets that Nokia is found in?

        • GENIVI – Open Source In-Vehicle Infotainment Platform Based on MeeGo With Partners Like BMW, GM, Renault

          While Android is all poised to become the most popular mobile phone OS by 2014, what about the other open source, *truly* Linux, mobile OS platform, MeeGo? Well, MeeGo might just become the most popular open source In-Vehicle Infotainment platform!

      • Android

        • Leaked Documents Confirm T-Mobile End of Year Android Plans

          Today finds another leak that basically confirms all the Android devices we saw listed. TmoNews has obtained a pair of internal T-Mobile accessory listing that makes reference to multiple phones, some by their project names. If you weren’t already doing it, start looking forward to Motorola Begonia, Motorola Jordan, LG Optimus T, and myTouch HD.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • That’s what I call Linux mobility: Smart Book from Always Innovating

        If you need to do some serious typing (or run out of the battery of both the tablet and phone-core), you can dock the tablet into a stand with a keyboard which makes the device a proper netbook/laptop and gives you an extra 12000 (!!!) mAh battery capacity. When this happens, you may switch the computing core to a full Ubuntu Linux from the Android you used on the MID. This is done with a dedicated hardware button (called the AI button).

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Neutrino version 6.5 released

    The QNX Momentics tool suite offers a comprehensive Eclipse-based IDE with innovative profiling tools to help developers gain maximum insight into system behaviour. Version 6.5 of the suite introduces support for the Eclipse platform 3.5.2, Eclipse CDT 6.0 and GNU compiler (GCC) 4.4.2. The compiler offers optimised dynamic linking, including lazy linking and GNU hashing.

  • Science

    • Capture Your Body – Or Someone Else’s!

      You’ve probably heard of hand-held 3D scanners before, but CreaForm produces units specifically designed for “body capture”. No, they’re not ensnaring people in nets, but rather they take a 3D digital picture in the form of a 3D model. (Actually any of these formats: .OBJ, .FBX, .DXF, .STL, .VRML, .LWO, .MAYA, .HRC, .3DS). The awkwardly named “MegaCapturor 3D Body Digitizer” has an amazing sub-millimetre resolution even at a distance of over a metre.

    • Implanted Fuel Cell Powered by Rat’s Body Fluids

      A new fuel cell is putting a twist on alternative energy from biofuels: The implanted device draws power from chemicals in living animals.

      Dubbed a glucose biofuel cell, the implant gets its juice from glucose—aka blood sugar—and oxygen, both of which are naturally present in the fluids between a body’s cells.

      In a recent study, researchers created a test version of their glucose biofuel cell and implanted it in a white lab rat named Ricky. The rat sported the device successfully for 11 days and suffered no ill effects.

    • For clean hands, don’t rub, scrub with a paper towel

      DOCTORS and nurses take note – rubbing your hands together in a hand dryer leaves them coated with more bacteria than just after you washed them. Even normal skin bacteria may be bad news for sick people.

      “When you rub your hands, you bring a lot of bacteria to the surface from the pores of your skin,” says Anna Snelling of the University of Bradford, UK. She asked 14 volunteers to dry their hands for 15 seconds using three different types of air dryer, sometimes rubbing their hands together and sometimes not.

  • Security/Aggression

    • What happened to Directory Services?

      The point here, though, is that in 2010 we are still looking for a method to connect to systems without having to register with all of them. And with all our current solutions, we still have not quite got that problem solved. And if someone mentions web of trust I might scream. Because, after all, that is the root of the problem, or at least one of them.

  • Finance

    • A History Of People On Wall Street Swearing Their A$$es Off — Even Buffett

      1) someone at Goldman got his or her panties in a twist when their “shitty deal,” email went viral, and is now insisting that Partners, VPs, Managing Directors – everyone at Goldman – waste their time, stop their train of thought, and fart it up with nicer words that feel unnatural and nobody really uses, and 2) that is ridiculous (much like the upcoming slideshow) and 3) the senate would have been just as furious if instead of “shitty deal,” “this is not a good deal” had been written, we’ve created a slideshow of swearing by “role models” like Gary Cohn and Jamie Dimon on Wall Street.

    • California Employment Hooks Downward Once Again

      Last month I suggested that the little hook downward in California employment, reported for July, was a troubling sign. Today, fresh data was released from the State of California, and the downward move has continued. Whereas employment levels had just managed to hang on above the 16 million person level in July–in August they slipped back below, to 15.968 million. | see: California Employment in Millions 2000-2010.

    • Obama taps Elizabeth Warren to launch Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

      President Obama picked a woman Wall Street loathes to crack down on unscrupulous behavior in the financial industry.

      Harvard Law School Prof. Elizabeth Warren will launch the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, answering directly to Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, the President announced Friday.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Amazon Customer Puts “Toxic Sludge” on Top Ten Must-Read List

      One said Toxic Sludge is Good for You was “one of the top five most important books in my lifetime.” CMD’s founder, John Stauber conceived of the book, and this watchdog group, while fighting PR spin and intimidation efforts from Monsanto. Increasing corporate influence and ever-stealthier lobbying and propaganda techniques make this book more relevant than ever.

    • Watchdog Groups Request Criminal Fraud and Money Laundering Investigations against The U.S. Chamber

      Two national watchdog groups have filed separate complaints against the U.S. Chamber of Commerce requesting criminal investigations for tax fraud, money laundering, and campaign finance violations. The first, filed with the Washington, DC FBI Field Office by StopTheChamber.com, was predicated on a letter sent to the organization´s attorney, Kevin Zeese, from an insider at the Chamber who alleged in significant detail that the Chamber and its CEO Tom Donohue are engaged in a massive scam to support Mr. Donohue´s “lavish lifestyle.” Mr. Zeese wrote:

      “On August 4, 2010, we received a letter from a purported Chamber of Commerce insider in response to our latest reward offer. In short, the insider compares Tom Donohue to Jack Abramoff, Michael Scanlon and Bernie Madoff, in the manner in which he is scamming clients to serve his own interests rather than the interests of the business community. He alleges fraud, campaign finance violations and financial impropriety that could be uncovered with a criminal investigation. Equally troubling is that he alleges that Mr. Donohue does not fear the FEC or Congress and has a plan in place to attack the Department of Justice if the DOJ investigates him.”

    • Xenophobic Postage Stamp Email Resurfaces

      A year-old, anti-Muslim email has resurfaced and is curculating once again, riding the latest wave of U.S. anti-Muslim bigotry. The email urges people to boycott a U.S. postage stamp that recognizes the Islamic holiday of EID. The stamp, which rumor-mongers refer to as a “Muslim Christmas Stamp,” was first issued about ten years ago, and is one of six seasonal postage stamps the United States Postal Service sells that commemorate Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, EID, snowmen and music makers.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • On the Web, Children Face Intensive Tracking

      A Wall Street Journal investigation into online privacy has found that popular children’s websites install more tracking technologies on personal computers than do the top websites aimed at adults.

    • ONLINE ONLY: Richard Stallman – No censorship is good censorship

      David Ramli: Why did you choose to name your free software system GNU?

      Richard Stallman: Because it’s funny. And since we announced the movement in 1983, which was 27 years ago, to call it the new system would be extremely misleading.

      DR: The Government’s planned mandatory ISP filter is practically dead now. Should people keep talking about it?

      RS: Australia already has Internet censorship and it has censorship of links. Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA) made a link to a foreign political website and it got threatened with a fine of $11,000 per day if it did not remove that link. This is censorship and it has to be abolished.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Intel Threatens to Sue Anyone Who Uses HDCP Crack

      Intel threatened legal action Friday against anybody who uses its proprietary crypto key — leaked on the internet — to produce hardware that defeats the so-called HDCP technology that limits home recording of digital television and Blu-ray.

      “There are laws to protect both the intellectual property involved as well as the content that is created and owned by the content providers,” said Tom Waldrop, a spokesman for the company, which developed HDCP. “Should a circumvention device be created using this information, we and others would avail ourselves, as appropriate, of those remedies.”

Clip of the Day

Gaming In Linux : Rollercoaster Tycoon


Credit: TinyOgg

Links 17/9/2010: Software Freedom Day, Firefox 4 Preview Raves

Posted in News Roundup at 4:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • 4 Ways to Give Desktop Linux a Test-Drive

      That desktop Linux offers myriad compelling advantages for business users is no longer the subject of much debate. All that remains for many Windows users is to give it a try.

    • Have Courage, Linux Noobs

      Using Linux is “almost natural, but you still need to poke around to be really fluent — just as in any OS with a lot of features,” Pogson added.

      “I have exposed Grade 1 kids to GNU /Linux GNOME desktops, and after they learned to click a mouse they were off to the races,” he recounted. “They were the only humans able to max out that terminal server.”

  • Server

    • Should Red Hat Be Worried About Amazon Linux AMI?

      Red Hat is facing another competition from Amazon on form of Linux AMI. Amazon has announced the availability of the Amazon Linux AMI.

      The Amazon Linux AMI is a supported and maintained Linux image provided by Amazon Web Services for use on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). “It is designed to provide a stable, secure, and high performance execution environment for applications running on Amazon EC2,” claims Evangelist Jeff Barr in his blog post.

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Why Broadcom’s Release May be More Significant than Just Code

        On September 9 the news of Broadcom’s release of the code for some of its wireless Ethernet chip sets sent shockwaves throughout the Linux community. Broadcom owners, as well as distribution developers have a reason to celebrate.

        In the past, Broadcom owners had to resort to NDISwrapper or rely upon the limited reversed engineered drivers. Neither was optimal. The release of the code by Broadcom should eventually mean a much better Wi-Fi experience for owners of systems with Broadcom chip sets. But for those that like to read between the lines there may also be a deeper significance to this move.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • The future of KDE instant messaging is happening now

        Kopete was initially very innovative, at least in its goals: to communicate with people, while leaving the IM network as a channel. We brought the concepts of “metacontacts” (bad naming), but basically you say people in your contact list, no matter if they were available on MSN, ICQ, or both.

        Today I have a telephone with internet 24/7 in my pocket and I can IM on the bus. I don’t choose IM networks as a soccer team, but rely on them because I have friends on various of them. Just like I use twitter for “geeky stuff” while Facebook is a more “relaxed” environment.

      • Edit Your Films In Ubuntu, Use New Kdenlive

        Ubuntu is one of the most popular, powerful and useful operating systems of the world. While Mac is locked to Apple machines and Windows is expensive and vulnerable to viruses and attacks, Ubuntu is the only operating systems which has all the merits — its highly secure, free of cost and can run on Apple machines as well.

  • Distributions

    • Fat or thin, it’s your choice.

      The point here is that, no matter what Linux distribution you start from, you can make it do anything, be anything or look like anything. If wished you can take an Ubuntu installation and have it look, feel and perform like a Fedora distribution. Or you can take a Fedora installation and have it as slim and trim as Puppy Linux.

    • Looking at Fedora 14 and Ubuntu 10.10

      Both releases seem to be shaping up well, if very differently — as befitting the focus of the distributions and projects. Ubuntu 10.10 is a polished consumer OS that is well-suited for users who are new to Linux, or just prefer a desktop system that’s easy to use. Fedora’s developer-centric approach makes for an OS that is easy enough to use, but better suited for developers or experienced users who want to tinker with technologies before they make an official appearance in RHEL and other distributions. Ubuntu, on the other hand, is the end result of development rather than the beginning. Many of the changes in 10.10, e.g. the Ubuntu One improvements and the application indicators, are unlikely to show up in other distributions (excepting, perhaps, Linux Mint).

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat looks out of area for HQ-size space

        Red Hat Inc., one of the Triangle’s high-profile companies, is scouting for sites in other states where officials may also be wooing the open-source software developer to move its headquarters from Raleigh.

      • Smartrend’S Candlestick Scanner Detects Bearish Engulfing Pattern For Red Hat (RHT)

        SmarTrend issued an Uptrend alert on shares of Red Hat on August 23, 2010 at $33.03 per share (13.4% return since that call). This bearish candle pattern may point to a reversal of the previously called Uptrend.

      • Fedora

        • Momonga Linux 7 review

          Momonga is a Linux distribution based on Fedora. It is a community-developed distribution with roots in Japan (the name is derived from a species of flying squirrel found in Europe and parts of Asia). Like Fedora, it is a multi-purpose distribution, a Free distribution, with a script that makes it easy to build and install non-free applications

    • Debian Family

      • Squeeze in a jam?

        I put this down to being a complete noob, and reinstalled Lenny. Later I learnt that the upgrade has to be staged- certain packages have to be updated before doing a full upgrade, otherwise the upgrade falls down.
        Recently I saw a post on the Debian forum which suggested that an upgrade was now a relatively simple process- involving just a kernel upgrade before a full upgrade, so I thought I’d give it a go.

      • Ubuntu 10.10 – Wallpaper, and a few notes

        In the process of doing some other things, I have just noticed that those who thought the “Barf Bag” wallpaper that showed up in Ubuntu 10.10 Beta was just a “placeholder” were probably correct.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • MeeGo Developer Day – Day 2 at IDF

          Sunil Saxena spent some time reviewing the MeeGo Architecture, along with our current thoughts on how we plan to define MeeGo compliance. The MeeGo compliance spec is still being developed, so now is a good time to review it and provide feedback.

          Bill Pearson was the next presenter talking about AppUp and the Intel AppUp Developer Program, which helps developers focus on what matters: platform sexiness, making money, getting recognition, and low friction deployment, while Intel helps with boring things like validation. Developers can create applications or components that they can sell to other developers. In addition to revenue from selling applications, the Million Dollar Development Fund provides additional incentives. Robust analytics are also available on the developer dashboards, to learn more about how your application is selling.

          Rajiv Ranganath gave us an overview of Qt, which has over 350,000 commercial and open source developers.

        • Day 1: Intel AppUp Elements 2010
        • Day 2: Intel AppUp Elements 2010
      • Android

        • Android lockdown: Thanks Linus

          The current lockdown of Linux based devices (including Android phones, TiVo, and many many consumer devices) is due, simply, to the Linux developers’ unwillingness to update their code to the GPLv3 license. We* contribute to Linux, Linux is taken for use in Android (and remains Open and Free), and then the phone manufacturers take our work and lock it up and sell it to us with reduced functionality. Big thanks, manufacturers.

        • Android Continues to Gobble Up Smartphone Share
    • Tablets

      • High-end Avaya Android-powered Table PC Unveiled

        Avaya, an enterprise communications systems company, just announced a high-end table PC that is primarily designed for business conferencing. Called the Avaya Flare, the device has an Intel Atom processor and runs Android operating system. It is said to make use of Avaya unified communications software utilizing a new interface called Flare User Experience and features Aura Conferencing and the Linux-based Avaya Aura Messaging software.

      • ViewSonic and Samsung tablets are U.S.-bound

        Viewsonic demonstrated a 10.1-inch, Android 2.2 “G-Tablet” that’s bound for U.S. sales, powered by an Nvidia Tegra 2. Meanwhile, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless say they’ll offer the Android 2.2-based Samsung Galaxy Tab tablet this fall.

      • Asus U35JC review

        OS Tested: Ubuntu 10.04.1

Free Software/Open Source

  • How do you find and choose free software?

    So you’ve got your GNU/Linux based box. You’ve installed the base system and you’re good to go. Welcome to the world of freedom. But then what? How do you determine what packages to install. How do you decide which of the alternatives to go with?

  • A Quick Look at OpenIndiana

    OpenSolaris is dead, but OpenIndiana lives on. Just a few weeks after Oracle made it clear that OpenSolaris was dead as a doornail, the Illumos and OpenIndiana folks have a distribution ready for the OpenSolaris community that’s been left in a lurch by Oracle.

    The code dropped on Tuesday, so I haven’t had a lot of time to muck with OpenIndiana yet. I spent a few hours with the live CD and installed it into VMware.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 4 update moves link previews to awesome bar

        Clearly, the status bar’s days are numbered. Even Internet Explorer 9 has removed the bottom-dwelling bar in favor of inline tooltips.

        Now, in the latest updates to Firefox 4, Mozilla’s browser has moved status bar link previews to the right-hand side of the Awesome Bar. Hover a link, and the destination URL appears in soft, gray text. Sure, it looks OK when you’re currently viewing a page with a nice, short URL — but what about on something like an Amazon product page? Take the jump to see!

      • Firefox 4 Preview – Foxy, sharp and fast!

        I think Firefox 4 is a very smart product. It looks better than 3.6 overall, tabs on top or without them, it feels faster, it has lots of useful features, and it’s got the Web 2.0 bling bling. Linux beta lags a step behind, but that’s understandable. Performance is good in all aspects, with major improvements in responsiveness. Memory consumption is fairly modest. Firefox 4 is a pleasant addition to the browser arsenal.

        Firefox 4 is a plenty of good, old stuff and a sprinkling of new to make you feel young and excited again. Mozilla, good job. Even the revolutionary stuff is done with style and moderation to make a hot-headed conservative like me smile. You should look forward to the next release. Firefox 4 is going to be a superb browser.

      • Mozilla releases Thunderbird updates

        One day after it released updates for its Firefox web browser, the Mozilla Project has issued versions 3.1.4 and 3.0.8 of Thunderbird, the latest stable and legacy branch updates of its popular open source email client. According to the developers, the latest maintenance updates improve the applications overall stability and address several user experience concerns found in the previous stable branch release.

      • Mozilla releases new “Kraken” browser benchmark

        Mozilla software engineer Rob Sayre has announced the release of “Kraken”, a new browser benchmark. The developer says that unlike other browser benchmarks, such as SunSpider, V8 and Dromaeo, Kraken focuses on realistic workloads and on forward-looking applications.

  • CMS

  • Business

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Celebrate Software Freedom Day with the LibrePlanet community

      Saturday, September 18th is Software Freedom Day, a worldwide celebration of user freedom. It’s a great opportunity not only to introduce new people to free software, but to connect with other free software activists in your area or online.

      But what about the day after? How can we sustain these links? How can we make sure that people in your area who hear about free software can find a local community to connect with?

    • want to work on Bazaar?

      Now we’re looking for a very good software engineer to join the Bazaar team at Canonical, working both on the core tool itself and on how it’s used by Ubuntu developers.

    • A month of the Hurd: Media Appearances, procfs, Arch Hurd.

      Finally, amongst other bug fixing and other development work by the usual suspects, we had a short review of what the current Hurd contributors still need to use a GNU/Hurd system for most of their day-to-day tasks. This may help to prioritize the development efforts.

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Developing films the open source way

      In a world where movies are produced on budgets of hundreds of millions of dollars, at a time when studios expect a huge return on their investment, in an industry where the opening weekend can make or break a film–one man refuses to live by society’s (or the movie industry’s) rules. One man is willing to put it all on the line and do something different. Something daring. Something… free.

      [...]

      The key idea to take away here is freedom: freedom of the consumer to see what they’re paying for before they spend their money. This empowers the viewer, letting them control where they spend their money. Rather than spending their money up front before watching a film, they can see the work for free. As a result, more people are likely to watch the film, or listen to the music.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Power to the PC: How to Select a Computer Power Supply
  • Security/Aggression

  • Finance

    • Kaufman Says `Something Rotten’ in Commodity Markets: Video

      Sept. 16 (Bloomberg) — Frederick Kaufman, a professor at College of Staten Island, Alexia Howard, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., Dennis DeLaughter, the owner of Progressive Farm Marketing Inc., and Alex Wittenberg, a partner at Oliver Wyman, talk about agricultural futures and commodity markets. They speak with Pimm Fox on Bloomberg Television’s “Taking Stock.” (This is an excerpt. Source: Bloomberg)

    • Setting the Agenda

      That’s what journalists are supposed to do: Set the agenda. Rarely, however, do we get the headlines. But last night, on Bloomberg TV, the Food Bubble came through . . .

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • The Internet Freedom Fallacy and the Arab Digital activism

      This article focuses on grassroots digital activism in the Arab world and the risks of what seems to be an inevitable collusion with U.S foreign policy and interests. It sums up the most important elements of the conversation I have been having for the last 2 years with many actors involved in defending online free speech and the use of technology for social and political change. While the main focus is Arab digital activism, I have made sure to include similar concerns raised by activists and online free speech advocates from other parts of the world, such as China, Thailand, and Iran.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Red tape snarls rural Internet firm

      Ottawa tells Peace Region ISP that it’s not Canadian enough for new slice of spectrum

    • Tens of thousands could be priced out of broadband after Government announcement on file sharing code

      Up to £500m will be taken out of the UK economy according to the Government’s announcement today about the cost sharing for the letter writing regime following the Digital Economy Act. The BIS cost order confirms the 75/25 split of costs between rightholders and ISPs.

      ISPs will of course pass on these costs to their customers. According to the Government’s own estimates that means that up to 96,000 individuals will not be able to afford an internet connection anymore.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • BSA’s Latest Study on Piracy and Economic Benefits “Shockingly Misleading”

      When IT Business’s Brian Jackson asked me for a comment, I noted that such estimates were notoriously speculative (see Glyn Moody on this) and that the BSA would do far better to tell us how much Canada has gained from its recent significant reductions in piracy. Last year, the BSA said the Canadian rate dropped by three percent to 29%, the biggest drop among developed countries and – the BSA noted – an all-time low. In fact, since 2006 the BSA says that there has been a five percent drop in Canada. Has that created thousands of new jobs and generated billions in new revenues and taxes?

    • IP as a joke
    • Lars Johnson Has Goats on His Roof and a Stable of Lawyers to Prove It

      Having Trademarked the Ungulate Look, Restaurateur Butts Heads With Imitators

    • Copyrights

      • Millions at Stake in Education Copyright Battle

        Negotiating with individual authors or publishers for the rights to a single work may be cumbersome, but so too are the proposed reporting requirements. Moreover, individual negotiations hold the advantage of potential costs savings for students and ensuring that the actual authors receive full compensation for the use of their works. In other words, win-win-win for authors, teachers, and students.

      • An Explanation Of My Views On Copyright Part Four – The Sky Is Falling

        Going back to the section on Digital Locks, let’s assume that Bill C-32 passes into law with no changes. So Randy Bachman releases a new compact disc, and the Record Label uses TPM/DRM on it. The way the law is currently written, Randy Bachman could not legally break the TPM/DRM, even if he owns the copyright. Even worse, he wouldn’t be legally able to break the TPM/DRM if he owned the Record Label, and the compact disc pressing plant. You might argue that he shouldn’t need to, as he’d still have the masters, but accidents have happened before, and masters have been lost. Even if Randy controlled every step of the chain, legally he can’t break the TPM/DRM he decided to use. Does this make sense?

Clip of the Day

Microsoft Propaganda Film


Credit: TinyOgg

09.17.10

Links 17/9/2010: The ZFS Linux Module, XDS Toulouse Reports

Posted in News Roundup at 6:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

Offbeat

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • The 1% Linux Market-Share Myth: Who Cares?!

      If you have paid attention to virtually any IT news site over the past few weeks, you’ve likely noticed an argument between several blogs. The topic is in regards to whether or not Linux actually has 1% market-share. This argument has been debunked and counter-debunked as of late, and no side seems to be gaining any traction in this debate. My view? I couldn’t possibly care less. Neither side between the Windows and Linux camps will ever be able to post accurate adoption numbers, and they never will.

    • Only design can save Linux

      Linux needs to be saved? Of course not, but: Linux adoption is often criticized because it’s not popular amongst the common users, anyway, most sysadmins will tell you that they’re using Linux on their servers. Linux (or Unix-like) servers are running very succesfully all around the world.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • The ZFS Linux Module Goes Into Closed Beta

      We reported last month that a native ZFS module was coming to Linux and would be released in mid-September. Rather than using ZFS-FUSE that runs the Sun/Oracle ZFS file-system under the FUSE module so that it lives outside the Linux kernel (and runs rather slowly as our benchmarks show), this new ZFS module is native to Linux and open-source but due to the CDDL license it’s being distributed as a module and will not be included in the mainline Linux kernel. This module has now entered a closed beta testing process.

      KQ Infotech has been working on this native ZFS module that in turn is based on the work of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. KQ Infotech has now announced their ZFS work with a few details on their Linux kernel module and to apply to be part of the beta testing process.

    • Die-hard bug bytes Linux kernel for second time (Register)
    • Die-hard bug bytes Linux kernel for second time

      The oversight means that untrusted users with, say, limited SSH access have a trivial means to gain unfettered access to pretty much any 64-bit installation. Consider, too, that the bug has been allowed to fester in the kernel for years and was already fixed once before and we think a measured WTF is in order.

    • Hole in Linux kernel provides root rights

      A vulnerability in the 32-bit compatibility mode of the current Linux kernel (and previous versions) for 64-bit systems can be exploited to escalate privileges. For instance, attackers can break into a system and exploit a hole in the web server to get complete root (also known as superuser) rights or permissions for a victim’s system.

    • Graphics Stack

      • A Few Notes From Day 2 Of XDS Toulouse

        More details will come later along with the audio/video recordings that ended out the X.Org Developers’ Summit in Toulouse, but here are a few random bits from so far today:

        - For those that have become interested in coming up with a new logo for X.Org, Alan Coopersmith issued this mailing list message today. Coming up with a new logo for the X.Org Foundation has been on their agenda for many years, but now it may finally materialize thanks to Phoronix readers.

      • Luc Calls For A Dead Linux Desktop If Keith Gets His Way

        Back in February at FOSDEM in Brussels, Luc made a presentation on modularizing Mesa and DRI drivers, which ended up in a very heated discussion but ultimately his ideas fell on deaf ears. With X.Org Server 1.10, Keith Packard of Intel has expressed interest in merging the drivers back into the server, or in other words de-modularizing the X.Org Server after it was modularized a few years ago as being a feature.

      • Bringing D-Bus Into The Linux Kernel

        Alban Crequy, a Maemo developer, for the past several weeks have been working on bringing D-Bus directly into the Linux kernel. Why? Huge performance improvements.

        Alban’s kernel D-Bus work is based upon the previous work of Ian Molton did for Collabora with KDbus for prototyping a kernel implementation so that D-Bus cuts down the number of required context switches that are needed compared to running the D-Bus daemon in user-space.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • rekonq: KDE’s Webkit Browser Continues To Come Of Age

        As many of you no doubt know, and a few might not, rekonq is KDE’s Webkit-based browser. Under heavy development for a while now, we can see this super-fast browser coming of age in a hurry. For users of Linux Mint 9, the version in the repositories mirrors that of what was installed by default on Kubuntu 10.04 Lucid – 0.4.0.

      • In Search of the Perfect KDE4 Distro – Disqualifiers

        This was just a short update to the series – KDE4 still has a lot of good points, and computer users learn to live with the flaws in their chosen desktop environment.

      • Okular: Universal Document Viewer For KDE 4

        One of the new applications introduced with KDE 4 was Okular. KDE 3 had a PDF viewer named KPDF, but Okular aims to be a complete document viewing solution, supporting many different file types. Okular is fast-loading and works in any operating system and desktop environment that can run KDE applications.

    • GNOME Desktop/Novell

      • Interviews from GUADEC, Part 5

        This week we have the last video in Jeremy Allison’s series of interviews from his trip to GUADEC, the GNOME conference. In this video, he talks to Michael Meeks, early GNOME hacker and OpenOffice.org developer. Jeremy and Michael talk about collaboration, malware, and how Michael started his involvement with GNOME. For those who are new to open source, Michael gives tips for those who want to get involved in the GNOME community, developer and non-developer alike. For non-developers, Jeremy also gives translations of geek-speak throughout.

      • OSC2010 Sneak Peaks – Vincent Untz: Explaining GNOME 3
      • Fundamental Round Gnome Theme 2.1 Adds 6 Color Schemes

        Johan has updated his beautiful Fundamental Round 2 theme which we featured in our “5 Beautiful Elementary-ish Gnome Themes” post. The new version – 2.1 – comes with 6 color schemes, each with and without Nautilus breadcrumbs.

  • Distributions

    • Security advisories for Friday
    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Why Red Hat should fear Amazon Linux

        While Red Hat’s leadership in the enterprise Linux market is without question, the cloud tells a different story altogether. Red Hat’s cloud strategy has thus far focused too narrowly on customer retention, opening significant opportunities for Ubuntu to gain traction in the cloud — and gain traction it has, according to EC2 cloud market statistics.

      • RedHat gets cloud-evangelical

        We caught up with Gordon Haff, Red Hat’s Cloud Evangelist, on the floor of VMworld last week and grabbed a short interview with him. In the discussion, we touch upon what the cloud really is, and where it makes the most sense in terms of enterprise use.

    • Debian Family

      • Linux Mint based on Debian installation screenshots
      • Look out Ubuntu, look out Arch: Linux Mint Debian

        Ubuntu, look out: This one offers more, and eats up less. And Arch, look out, because this one can do much the same, with a lot less time spent setting up.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • This week in design – 17 September 2010
        • Canonical partners with AMI, Dell & Intel

          Canonical, Ubuntu Linux’s parent company is meeting with engineers and product managers from many top device and computer manufacturers in Taipei, Taiwan on September 24, 2010.

          The commercial sponsor of Ubuntu will be hosting its second annual Original Design Manufacturers (ODMs) and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) at the Ubuntu Hardware Summit. Companies confirmed as attending include: American Megatrends Inc. (AMI), Phoenix, Compal, Dell, Foxconn, Intel, MSI, Marvell, and Quanta. In other words many of the leading PC, laptop, and tablet players will be there to learn about how to work with Ubuntu on boot time optimizations, hardware enablement, debugging, multi-touch, networking and more.

        • Ubuntu Maverick Meerkat Review + Screenshots Tour

          For Ubuntu enthusiasts, you should know that the next iteration of Ubuntu – Maverick Meerkat is set to release on 10 Oct 2010. For those who are keen to find out what’s new in this release, here is the full review (and screenshots) of Ubuntu Maverick.

          This review was done on Ubuntu Maverick beta. While most of the features should be finalized, the artwork might still change prior to the final release.

          When you run the LiveCD, it will first boot up and show you the option to choose “Test Ubuntu” or Install Ubuntu. In the past, this is usually done before it boots, but now, it has been moved to after the boot.

        • Ubuntu Software Center on Cranky Geeks

          As many of you know I enjoy listening to podcasts during my commute to and from work. One that I regularly listen to is Cranky Geeks featuring John C. Dvorak and guests. It’s also no secret that I’m a massive fan of Ubuntu. So today was a double-whammy when Ubuntu got a mention on the show.

        • Nautilus Review in Ubuntu 10.10 Beta

          There is always a lot of debate whether which file manager is the ‘best’ for the Linux desktop. Some would argue for Dolphin because they are KDE users, or Dolphin because it’s KDE but also offers a more simplistic interface, other prefer GNOME and use Nautilus, and still, some will like Krusader because of the many features or PCManFM for it’s simplicity, or Midnight Commander due to its TUI interface. So, even though you may have heard this many times before, I’m going to repeat: the best application for a specific user is the one which fits him better and helps him get the work done, in an easy fashion.

        • Ubuntu 10.10 moves towards completion

          Some of the features we are seeing in Maverick are, as usual, newer versions of applications. This release potentially has a larger jump in versions, as Lucid synchronised and merged from Debian Testing; but Maverick reverted to the usual practice of importing from Debian Unstable, which has higher version numbers. One of the surprises that came out of Debconf (the Debian conference) was the announcement of their feature freeze, which meant that Debian stabilisations commenced mid-cycle for Maverick in preparation for their next stable release.

        • More on Canonical’s Contributions

          Shuttleworth continues to list how hard the Ubuntu team works for the idea of free software and how important their work is. He points to the Papercuts Project, which formed to simplify the interface and fix as many bugs as possible. He mentions their cutting-edge design department and how they (and he) are shaping the desktops of tomorrow. He points out that Ubuntu is where the action is.

          In conclusion, Shuttleworth again praises projects from each corner of the community and urges members not to argue with each other because that is counterproductive.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Could Euro Carriers Be Planning Their Own OS?

          An interesting piece in the Mobile Business Briefing points to the possibility that European carriers like Orange, T-Mobile, and Vodafone could be working together to build their own OS, possibly following the China Mobile model of creating their own flavor of Android far-removed from the official Google code.

        • StatusNet for Android Available in the App Market

          I’m happy to announce that the StatusNet client for Android recently hit the App Market for Android systems. I think it’s a really nice piece of software. I’m proud that the hard work of our great development team — especially Zach Copley who’s led our client development, Brion Vibber who’s worked on the client platform, as well as Sam Doherty’s excellent UI design — has paid off so well.

    • Tablets

      • Motorola Planning a Tablet Device for Early 2011, Jha Says

        Motorola Inc., maker of the Droid smartphone, is aiming to introduce a tablet device early next year to challenge Apple Inc.’s iPad, said Co-Chief Executive Officer Sanjay Jha.

        “Just as Droid was competitive I think with iPhone, we want to make sure that any tablet that we deliver is competitive in the marketplace,” Jha said yesterday at a technology conference hosted by Deutsche Bank AG in San Francisco. “We will only deliver that when that occurs. Hopefully that’s early next year.”

      • Augen brings $190 Android netbook to Kmart

        Following up on its $150 Android-powered tablet called GenTouch78, Augen has now brought a netbook with Android to Kmart and priced it at $190. The 10.2-inch device has a 1024×600 display and uses Android 2.1, which should now be legally sanctioned rather than a pirated copy. Processing is kept light even relative to smartphones with an 800MHz, ARM11-based chip and 256MB of RAM.

      • Philippine government to make $75 tablet PC for schoolchildren

        Unlike the iPad, Galaxy Tab and Kindle, the XO-1 is not a touchscreen device and runs on the free operating system Linux.

Free Software/Open Source

  • OpenIndiana project first screenshots
  • On Writing, Funding, and Distributing Software to Activists Against Authoritarian Regimes

    Writing software to protect political activists against censorship and surveillance is a tricky business. If those activists are living under the kind of authoritarian regimes where a loss of privacy may lead to the loss of life or liberty, we need to tread especially cautiously.

    A great deal of post-mortem analysis is occurring at the moment after the collapse of the Haystack project. Haystack was a censorship-circumvention project that began as a real-time response to Iranian election protests last year. The code received significant levels of media coverage, but never reached the levels of technical maturity and security that are necessary to protect the lives of activists in countries like Iran (or many other places, for that matter).

    This post isn’t going to get into the debate about the social processes that gave Haystack the kind of attention and deployment that it received, before it had been properly reviewed and tested. Instead, we want to emphasize something else: it remains possible to write software that makes activists living under authoritarian regimes safer. But the developers, funders, and distributors of that software need to remember that it isn’t easy, and need to go about it the right way.

  • FLOSS Manuals Continues to Deliver Great Documentation

    Every so often, we here at OStatic compile guidance resources for popular open source platforms and applications, and one of our favorite ongoing projects for producing documentation is FLOSS Manuals. It’s an ambitious effort to produce free, online guides for open source software that we initially covered in this post. FLOSS Manuals is an excellent learning and reference resource for titles such as OpenOffice, Firefox, Audacity, Blender, Inkscape and more. There are now quite a few titles available there that are worth taking note of, and that you can get for free. Here is our updated guide to the site.

  • Events

    • Eclipse Summit Europe 2010 program published

      The Eclipse Foundation has published the program for this year’s Eclipse Summit Europe (ESE), which will take place from the 2nd to the 4th of November in Ludwigsburg, Germany. This fifth annual summit will feature several workshops, lectures and demonstrations.

  • Web Browsers

    • Five Web Browsers: Which is the Fastest?

      Given that I benchmark PC hardware on what seems like a daily basis, benchmarking a slew of Web browsers felt both strange and familiar at the same time. After all, the process of benchmarking isn’t far different, and interestingly, it was actually kind of enjoyable. It’s interesting to see just how vastly different the performance is in various areas from browser to browser, and unless you actually see results on “paper”, you may not ever realize the differences.

      It’s clear that Opera is the big winner here, topping both of our performance tests, and also scoring a perfect 100/100 in Acid3. Google’s Chrome comes in a close second, and after that, there are large gaps between the others. Safari performed quite well also though, especially with regards to Acid3 and Peacekeeper (though it still was only half of Chrome and Opera in the latter).

      Firefox 4 is good competition also though. Its Mozilla Kraken results topped the charts, and its Acid3 results are closing in on perfect. Plus, it also closes the gap with Safari in Peacekeeper, but again, it still comes nowhere close to Chrome and Opera. Those two browsers are the ones to beat right now, it goes without saying.

    • Mozilla

  • Oracle

    • A Rebuttal to “Goodbye, OpenOffice. Nice Knowing You.”

      First of all, he made some very good points. Many people expect software to just work right out of the box. They expect the spell checker to just work, for example. Unfortunately, proprietary software has bred a certain laziness and culture of dependency in people, in my opinion. If you use a piece of proprietary software such as Microsoft Office, the proprietor will always be there to hold your hand. They hope that you decide to stay locked in to their product so that the state of dependency continues from cradle to grave so that they perpetually profit from you. This is the point that I think that Mr. Yegulalp may have missed. The whole point of free software is that if you find an inadequacy in a piece of software, you have the freedom to change it yourself!

  • CMS

  • Diaspora

    • Code for open-source Facebook littered with landmines

      Four New York University students who raised a bundle of cash to build a privacy-preserving alternative to Facebook sure have their work cut out for them.

      The release of pre-alpha source code for their Diaspora social Website was only a few hours old on Wednesday when hackers began identifying flaws they said could seriously compromise the security of those who used it. Among other things, the mistakes make it possible to hijack accounts, friend users without their permission, and delete their photos.
      Click here to find out more!

      “The bottom line is currently there is nothing that you cannot do to someone’s Diaspora account, absolutely nothing,” said Patrick McKenzie, owner of Bingo Card Creator, a software company in Ogaki, Japan.

    • A Brief Look at What Diaspora Will Do
    • Diaspora review – first experiences UPDATED

      So this is the first developer release! Can’t wait for alpha, beta & stable releases!

    • Facebook Competitor Diaspora Revealed: Sparse, But Clean; Source Code Released

      A post has just gone up on Diaspora’s blog revealing what the project actually looks like for the first time. While it’s not yet ready to be released to the public, the open-source social networking project is giving the world a glimpse of what it looks like today and also releasing the project code, as promised.

    • Diaspora puts out Developer Release — source code is here!
  • BSD

    • FreeBSD’s Summer Highlights

      FreeBSD is a modern open source operating system for servers, desktops, and embedded systems, based on over 30 years of continuous development. The FreeBSD Project has participated as a mentoring organization in Google Summer of Code each year since the program’s inception in 2005. This year, FreeBSD mentored 18 students with a final success rate of 89%. The cumulative total over 6 years has been 117 students improving FreeBSD. This participation in the program has brought many new features into FreeBSD, several new long-term committers to the project, and many of the former students have by now joined some of the mentors as colleagues at their respective companies.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Celebrate Software Freedom Day

      All around the world people will be celebrating Software Freedom Day on Saturday. The idea is of course to both celebrate and raise awareness of Free Open Source Software issues.

      I believe the first software freeing license was the GNU General Public License

      Free Software Foundation is probably the heart of the Free Software movement which is defined by Richard Stallman’s Four Freedoms.

  • Government

    • Cenatic report: “Europe leading in development and use of open source”

      Europe is leading in the development and adoption of open source, according to a report by Cenatic, Spain’s national competence centre on this type of software, published yesterday at an IT conference in Palma de Mallorca. “Government support is key for the adoption of open source.”

      Government IT policies that promote open source have made Germany, France and Spain the three countries were open source software is used the most, Cenatic writes in its report “Informe sobre el Panorama Internacional del Software de Fuentes Abiertas. 2010″ (International overview on Open Source Software, 2010). The report is currently only available in Spanish.

    • Government ‘committed’ to open source

      Open source software will be favoured where there are no significant cost differences between open source and proprietary solutions, Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude has said.

      Responding to a parliamentary question, Maude said the Cabinet Office and the Office of Government Commerce are working on ‘guidance for procures’, which specifically covers open source software.

    • Government favours ‘flexible’ open-source software

      Francis Maude has said that when costs are similar, the government will buy open-source rather than proprietary software.

      In a parliamentary written answer on Tuesday, the Cabinet Office minister said that even where there are no significant overall cost differences between open and proprietary products, open source will be selected “on the basis of its additional inherent flexibility”.

  • Licensing

    • Managing Open Source: New Tools and Techniques

      Open source has now become ubiquitous, yet management of its use remains uneven. The recent Forrester Research report at LinuxCon notes that 2010 was the year of using open source to improve business process execution speed and company growth. The adoption of open source has decreased in importance because open source is now so widely adopted.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open chocolate: Saving $800 million through collaboration

      Triple yields of cocoa crops. New lives for 6.5 million poor farmers on small farms in developing nations. More sustainable chocolate for you. Those are the goals of a collaborative team crossing public and private organizations that has been working to improve the cocoa growing process to benefit the world’s cocoa farmers and help lead us to a more sustainable world cocoa supply.

      They’ve also finished three years ahead of schedule. And after only a little over two years of work unlocking the Theobroma cacao genome, the team didn’t call the patent office. Instead, they released their first findings into the public domain. They say that by opening it up to the public, it will help breeders grow more robust, higher yielding, and drought- and disease-resistant trees.

  • Programming

    • Programming Lessons From Linux Geeks in the Trenches

      Before learning such lessons, “I was always frustrated and rarely accomplished much,” Masover admitted. “I would instead rail about the state of languages, frameworks, OSes, and so on.

      “Now, while my Ruby scripts aren’t as fast as if I’d done them in C, and my C programs aren’t as elegant as if I’d done them in Ruby, and I haven’t come up with the perfect language that’s the best of both worlds … the fact that I can live with that means that I do actually have C programs, Ruby programs, Java programs, and so on, instead of no programs,” he pointed out.

      Dziuba “makes a good argument for not just jumping to new technologies that are supposed to make things easier,” Montreal consultant and Slashdot blogger Gerhard Mack opined. “People are always looking for the magic ‘make my app regardless of my programming ability’ switch, and there just isn’t one.”

    • GTK Impression – Making Sense of Metacity

      Metacity is a window manager for the Gnome desktop. By window manager I mean it controls the placement and appearance of windows on the desktop. A window may be described as the header, footer, and borders which contain content. Metacity does not format content, that job belongs to GTK.

      During the Lucid development cycle the decision was made to change the placement of the Metacity window control buttons which resulted in many folks expressing their opinion pro and con. The desire was to free up space on the right for new functions expected to arrive in subsequent releases and these themes adhere to this design.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Google’s Chief on Social, Mobile and Conflict

    He described another rivalry — the one between Google and Apple over mobile phones — as different than the one with Facebook. By increasing competition, that rivalry benefits both companies and both can do well, he said.

  • Science

    • Lies, damn lies and Chinese science

      Zhang Wuben is a 47-year-old nutritional therapist from Beijing, whose best-known claim, elaborated in his book Cure the Diseases You Get from Eating by Eating, is that consuming half a kilogram of mung beans every day can cure diabetes and short-sightedness, while eating five times that amount improves a patient’s chances of surviving various cancers. A frequent guest on television talk shows, his clinic was so popular that regular 300-yuan (£29) consultations, which lasted ten minutes, were booked up until 2012. Patients who wanted a fast-track service could pay 5,000 yuan (£483) for an emergency appointment with the health guru.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Security a Concern as HTML5 Gains Traction

      From animated logos to Web videos for hip, independent bands, HTML5 is getting buzz and gaining traction. But concerns about the security of features in the new version of the Web’s lingua franca persist.
      Every technology innovation has its coming out party, and Google Inc.’s recent “dancing balls” logo experiment was widely interpreted as a high-impact debut for the next version of HTML, dubbed HTML5. But web security experts are warning that the sprawling new Web standard may favor functionality over security, enabling a new generation of powerful Web based attacks.

    • Most common SSH passwords revealed

      New computer users are often criticized for weak username and password combinations which can create significant security vulnerabilities in any organization.

      Many companies have even imposed strict password policies which may include regular forced password changes, automated password generation and ‘strong password’ validation before accepting a new password.

      While strict password policies may work well in theory, their value is often undone by something as simple as a post-it pasted on a computer screen to help an employee remember his newly generated strong password.

  • Finance

    • Wall Street Ends Mixed as Data Reflects a Sluggish Recovery

      Stock prices were little changed on Thursday as investors reacted cautiously to data suggesting that the recovery remained halting.

      The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s survey of regional business conditions showed that manufacturing activity was nearly flat in September, while claims for unemployment benefits dropped to a two-month low but still remained high.

      The mildly reassuring data reduced investors’ expectations that the Federal Reserve, which meets on Tuesday, would renew quantitative easing in the form of large debt purchases aimed at stimulating the economy.

    • Basel rules for riskiest trading could further raise bank’s capital requirements

      The measures also stand to shape the behavior of bank executives in undetermined ways, with some analysts suggesting the rules could lead to steep price hikes for some business and consumer services or push financial firms to pump more cash into government bonds and other low-risk investments.

    • Elizabeth Warren: The Right Appointment At The Right Time

      Some of Ms. Warren’s supporters think this move is something of a half-measure – they would have preferred a conventional nomination, with all the fanfare of a classic confirmation battle in the Senate. There is something to be said for that, but the interim appointment route is by far the best way forward for three reasons.

    • Senate GOP looks to compromise in tax debate

      Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and his House counterpart, Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio), are locked in a standoff with President Obama over the fate of tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003 during the Bush administration. Those cuts, scheduled to expire at the end of this year unless Congress acts, lowered the tax burden for every taxpayer – but helped to drive the federal deficit to record levels.

    • Obama to name consumer advocate to new post Friday

      President Barack Obama is naming Elizabeth Warren a special adviser to oversee creation of a new consumer protection bureau, dodging a fight with Senate Republicans who view her as too critical of Wall Street to be confirmed as the agency’s chief.

    • Secret funds flow into races

      Ever since the 1973 Federal Election Campaign Act passed, public disclosure of the money used to influence elections has been a cardinal rule of U.S. politics.

      Voters’ right to know who is behind the money spent trying to sway them was firmly established by the Supreme Court’s 1976 decision in Buckley v. Valeo, which upheld the constitutionality of campaign finance disclosure laws.

    • SEC eyes new rules on banks’ debt-level disclosure

      Federal regulators are set to propose new rules that could make it harder for financial firms to disguise their level of debt.

      The expanded disclosure requirements would apply to banks’ practice of temporarily trimming their debt at the end of quarters to make their financial statements appear stronger. The practice is legal but regulators say it can give investors a distorted picture of a bank’s debt and level of risk.

    • White House defends stimulus, highlights projects

      Rehabilitating New York’s Staten Island Ferry Terminal. Cutting a new highway through Nelsonville, Ohio. Building a trio of battery factories in Michigan.

      In a report being released Friday by Vice President Joe Biden, the White House pushes back against criticism of its $814 billion stimulus program and highlights 100 projects that it says are creating jobs and growing the economy.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Canada “Fox News North” Campaign — Attempted Sabotage, Avaaz Responds

      Yesterday Avaaz experienced an attack on our “Stop ‘Fox News North’” petition consisting of fraudulent sign-ups of targeted individuals.

      There is evidence of a deliberate and illegal effort designed to discredit Avaaz and violate an important form of democratic expression for Canadian citizens. If this is confirmed we will request a full investigation, and help to bring the perpetrators to justice.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Afghan women join fight for election

      Despite death threats and intimidation a record number of women are contesting seats in this month’s Afghan parliamentary elections. But Channel 4 News International Editor Lindsey Hilsum, who travelled to Bamyan earlier this year, says women there still live in fear of the Taliban.

    • California Ban on Violent Videogames Violates First Amendment

      The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and The Progress & Freedom Foundation (PFF) urged the United States Supreme Court Friday to protect the free speech rights of videogame creators and users, asking the justices to uphold a ruling throwing out unconstitutional restrictions on violent videogames.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Internet must remain neutral, says Sir Tim Berners-Lee

      *

      Mobile operators and internet service providers must not be allowed to break the principle of “net neutrality” – that there should be no favouritism for connecting to certain sites online – Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web, warned today.

      He also said that low-cost mobile phones with a data connection were essential to ensure that the 80% of people who are not yet connected to the web could benefit from its ability to bring new information.

      Berners-Lee suggested that concerns over privacy and the sharing of personal data will mean that businesses will have to improve their ability to segment the use of user-specific data such as addresses and where people are using their phones.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • The Significance of the Huge European Warez Scene Raids

      At the behest of Belgian authorities, two weeks ago police around Europe conduced coordinated raids on so-called Warez Scene topsites. Hailed as some of the most important raids of their type in recent memory, the action generated hundreds of headlines. But just how significant were the raids? To find out that, first we should look at how the Scene is organized.

    • British Library plans for a digital future

      “If we in the UK are going to safeguard our intellectual heritage and ensure it can be used by future generations of researchers, it is essential that we make a step-change in the amount of digital content that we collect, store and make accessible for the long term,” she said.

    • Copyrights

      • Stallman calls for file-sharing to be legalised

        Stallman was giving a talk at the RMIT University in Melbourne today on “Copyright vs Community in the Age of Computer Networks”, one of the lectures he is giving during a six-week stay in Australia.

        At the end of his talk, Stallman auctioned what he called “an adorable GNU” (pic below) – a soft toy – saying, “if you have a penguin (the Linux mascot) at home, you need a GNU because the penguin is useless without the GNU.” This was a dig at people who refuse to acknowledge the contribution the GNU Project has made to GNU/Linux distributions.

        Stallman said file-sharing should be made legal to allow people to share files on a non-commercial basis as they had done during earlier eras.

      • ACTA

Clip of the Day

GULMAtrix


Credit: TinyOgg

Links 17/9/2010: Fedora Moves to Upstart, Hybrid Tablets Running Linux Introduced

Posted in News Roundup at 8:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Server

    • AWS Adds New Linux Amazon Machine Image
    • That Other OS Goes to the Back of the Bus

      Not one of the top-ten most reliable server-hosting outfits is running that other OS in this month’s Netcraft survey. 8 of the top ten run GNU/Linux and two run FreeBSD. The top site running that other OS is 15th. Only 4 in the top 42 use that other OS and 3 2003 sites are ahead of one 2008 site. Come on, M$, can’t you do any better than that?

  • Kernel Space

    • Plugable Open Source Hardware Samples Program

      If you’re a developer with a history submitting patches for Linux or other platforms, please submit your request for Plugable sample hardware here. Because we’ll have only a trickle of each type over device over time, an important part of this is having some idea of what prior driver development contributions you’ve made. We’ll try to focus on matching hardware to the developers most likely to be able to contribute improvements in that area.

    • Nexenta 3.0 Benchmarked Against PC-BSD, OpenSolaris, Ubuntu

      With the release of Nexenta Core Platform 3.0 a few weeks back we decided to run some benchmarks of this operating system against PC-BSD 8.1, OpenSolaris b134, and Ubuntu 10.04.1 LTS. For those unfamiliar with Nexenta Core Platform, it is an operating system that combines the OpenSolaris kernel with a GNU user-land provided by the Ubuntu 8.04 LTS “Hardy Heron” package repository, complete with apt-get support for easy package installation.

    • Graphics Stack

      • ATI R600 Gallium3D Driver Continues Advancing

        While most of the open-source Linux graphics drivers are currently in Toulouse for the 2010 X.Org Developers’ Summit, David Airlie of Red Hat Australia is not among those in attendance. He, however, is continuing to work on one of his latest efforts in conjunction with AMD: R600g, or the ATI R600/700/Evergreen Gallium3D driver. In the latest batch of Git commits to Mesa there is now a number of new features implemented.

      • The RadeonHD Driver Would Be Three Today

        Three years ago from today marked the introduction of the RadeonHD driver, the first open-source X.Org driver for the ATI Radeon X1000 (R500) and Radeon HD 2000 (R600) series graphics cards. This driver came as part of AMD’s open-source strategy (the strategy’s third birthday was celebrated earlier this month) and with loads of public documentation for their ATI graphics processors. The RadeonHD driver was developed by Novell’s X team from Nürnberg with support from AMD, but sadly it will not be celebrating its third birthday today since the RadeonHD driver was killed off.

      • Mesa 7.4 Through Mesa 7.9 Benchmarks With Intel Graphics

        Over the next few weeks there are a number of new Phoronix benchmarks to be published concerning the performance of Mesa 7.9 for both the Mesa classic and Gallium3D drivers from the different GPU vendors. Included in those tests will be new Intel Mesa benchmarks of their only officially supported 3D driver using one of the Arrandale processors, but for those currently missing out on the X Developers’ Summit in Toulouse or PhoronixFest at Oktoberfest, here’s a bonus article. For this extra round of benchmarking, we took one of the original Intel Atom benchmarks with i945 graphics and ran it with every major Mesa release since Mesa 7.4.

      • What Parts Of X.Org Should Be Killed With Fire?

        Originally at the X.Org Developers’ Summit here in Toulouse this week there was going to be a talk entitled “Kill It With Fire” where Corbin Simpson (mostly known for his work on the ATI R300 Gallium3D driver) was going to be speaking about what drivers or parts of X.Org should be eliminated from the stack. This talk though is no longer occurring, in part as Corbin is no longer in attendance; he washed his US passport in the laundry.

      • AMD Catalyst 10.9 For Linux Released

        AMD has just released their monthly proprietary Linux driver update, which this month puts it at Catalyst 10.9. The only new “feature” of AMD Catalyst 10.9 for Linux is early support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.0 (RHEL6), but there are some bug-fixes.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Video editor Kdenlive 0.7.8 offers improved colour correction

        The new version of the KDE video editing application, Kdenlive 0.7.8, is now available to download. The developers have added twenty eight new features and corrected over a ninety seven bugs and errors from the previous version. Among the new features of the release are improved tools for colour correction and a better UI for effects, which allows users to adjust some transitions and effects directly. Users can now easily apply effects to a whole track and more reverse transitions are available.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Still a commander: Red Hat’s new chairman

        Since leaving the military eight years ago, retired Army Gen. Hugh Shelton has taught, led seminars and served on corporate boards.

        Recently named chairman of Raleigh-based software developer Red Hat Inc. (NYSE: RHT), Shelton says moving from the military to the business world involves a different uniform but not a change in strategy.

      • Seven Bear Stocks In Technology, Media And Telecommunications

        RHT’s current stock price is in the band of $38.01 and $38.79, compared to 52 week band of $24.73 and $39.08. However, I calculate its intrinsic stock value to be less than $25. Moreover, in terms of ROE, it is among the worst performers among its peers.

      • KVM supports live migration without shared storage

        Red Hat will soon offer a new utility for live migration of virtual machines that doesn’t require shared storage. The protocol could drive virtualization into new environments such as public cloud computing, where shared storage is not always available, observers said.

      • Fedora

        • Back to the open ati driver and kernel 2.6.33 in Fedora 13

          Out of the three kernels present in my Fedora 13 installation (one 2.6.33, two 2.6.34), my quest to gain a usable display (i.e. not blurry/out of sync) had me replacing the stock, open-source ati driver with ATI’s own proprietary Catalyst fglrx driver.

          With the ati driver I could get perfect video in 2.6.33 but only the aforementioned blurriness in both 2.6.34 kernels (and I do have a bug open on the matter). Plopping radeon.modeset=0 into the Grub2-generated boot line had no effect.

        • Fedora 14 to use Upstart not systemd

          The Fedora Engineering Steering Committee (FESCo) has decided to use Upstart instead of systemd as the standard init system for the Fedora 14 Linux distribution, which is expected to be released in November. Systemd, an alternative to SysV Init and Upstart, released in late April and used in the alpha of Fedora 14, is now scheduled to become part of the standard system in Fedora 15. Among the reasons for this decision are some problems testers recently found during the systemd test day.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Community-related services downtime
        • Archive frozen for preparation of Ubuntu 10.10
        • Ubuntu One Evolves for Maverick

          Ubuntu One, Canonical’s file-sharing service that has until now been little more than a Dropbox copycat, has evolved for Maverick Meerkat in ways that finally help set it apart from its competitors. Here’s a look at some of the updates to the service, and what they infer about Canonical’s longterm plans.

          Traditionally, Ubuntu One has done little more than allow users to store data in the cloud and automatically sync it between different computers. Ubuntu 10.04 added a few new features to the service, like syncing Firefox bookmarks, but in general there’s been little to distinguish Ubuntu One from competitors like Dropbox–other than the latter’s cross-platform support, which Ubuntu One lacked until now.

        • Opsera teams up with Canonical for Opsview on Ubuntu

          Opsera, vendor of the open source network and application monitoring platform Opsview, have announced that they are partnering with Canonical to provide Opsview through Canonical’s partner repositories. Opsera say that Ubuntu Server Edition is now its Linux platform of choice for running Opsview Enterprise Edition, the commercially supported version of Opsview Community.

        • Canonical Announces Provisional Ubuntu Developer Summit Tracks

          To be confirmed, along with more announced, in coming weeks, the tracks were made available today on the newly-launched UDS site, http://uds.ubuntu.com/. The site is a destination for information about the event for the key participants in Ubuntu’s development, from Canonical engineers and community members to ISVs and partners.

        • Ubuntu: It Just Works

          It seems just like yesterday, the launch of Lucid Lynx, the latest Ubuntu 6-monthly offering. In fact, it was at the end of April. I know this from the name 10.04.

          At first, I wasn’t convinced. The window control buttons moving to the left, to make way for the windicators, the new dark theme, new logo.

          But it worked, better than ever before. It took me an hour to install everything from scratch, including all the software I use.

        • Gmail Notification For Ubuntu
        • Ubuntu May ‘See’ and React to the Physical World

          Rather, with the aid of hardware sensors such as cameras, Ubuntu could “see” and respond to users’ whole-body movements, recognizing when they are and aren’t there and reacting accordingly.

          “We thought about how Ubuntu could behave if it was more aware of its physical context,” wrote developer Christian Giordano on Tuesday in a company blog. “Not only detecting the tilt of the device (like iPhone apps) but also analyzing the user’s presence.”

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Ubuntu-10.04-Saner-Defaults-Remix

            I am proud to announce the Beta release of the Ubuntu-Saner-Defaults-Remix! This is Ubuntu 10.04.1 with a some default applications replaced with saner choices and some other saner default settings and theme changes were also made. This is all being done to maximize usability and user friendliness in regard to the average user (new or potential linux user.) Further, all updates through September 3, 2010 have been applied.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Always Innovating Smart Book includes more modular gear

        The Smart Book is powered by an ARM Cortex-A8 CPU though clock speeds aren’t revealed. A custom user interface comes standard, though it can run on Ubuntu Linux or else Google’s Chromium or Android. An 8GB microSDHC memory card is bundled for storage, as is a 2GB USB flash drive. Otherwise present is Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 and the capability to output 720p videos onto external displays. Four USB ports exist on the main body, and the tablet portion has an integrated accelerometer.

      • Always Innovating’s Smart Book the “Swiss Army Knife” of netbooks

        Always Innovating’s Smart Book may just be the most flexible mobile device yet. It takes the current netbook you know and love and breaks it down into pieces, allowing you to take what you need or use as few or as many pieces as you need.

    • Tablets

      • Hack Turns $170 Media Viewer Into Tablet

        The Infocast has enough hardware chops and a Linux-based operating system to transform it into a kind of a tablet. Some electronics hackers have tweaked it to run a Webkit-based browser and use the device’s native capability to run apps. It’s no iPad, but the hack is intriguing.

      • It’s a MID, a tablet, a netbook, even an external display!

        Always Innovating says its new “Mini Book” mobile internet device rides piggyback on a “Smart Book” tablet, which in turn can be plugged into a keyboard to become a netbook. Built using the 1GHz Texas Instruments DaVinci DM3730 processor, the modular, hackable devices are further claimed to switch between Android, Ubuntu, Chrome OS, and AIOS Linux distros at the touch of a button.

      • Doctors Will Use Dell Streak Tablets When Treating Patients

        At 5-inches, the Streak is a lot more portable than the iPad—but still not quite as pocket-friendly (lab coat-friendly?) as the iPhone. Nonetheless, that’s where Dell wants to place its tablets, ramming it with a healthcare software app.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Russian Soda Commercial by ARt DDs [with Blender]
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Thunderbird 3.1.4 and 3.0.8 updates now available for download

        Thunderbird 3.1.4 and 3.0.8 are now available as free downloads for Windows, Mac, and Linux from http://getthunderbird.com/. As always, we recommend that users keep up to date with the latest stability and support versions of Thunderbird, and encourage all our users to upgrade to the very latest version.

  • CMS

    • Open source Facebook replacement Diaspora drops first alpha

      The Diaspora project—an attempt to make an open source, peer-to-peer replacement for Facebook with a focus on privacy—has reached its first major milestone. The first developer alpha is now available for download and review, and the group is now accepting code contributions from the open source community at large.

      Diaspora was born of the frustration with Facebook’s central control over user-supplied data and an increasing propensity to play loose with users’ privacy. “Diaspora aims to be a distributed network, where totally separate computers connect to each other directly, and will let us connect without surrendering our privacy,” project co-founder Maxwell Salzberg wrote in April.

  • Semi-Open Source

    • Mule software connects with the cloud

      As a lightweight Java-based ESB, Mule allows an organization to create and connect a set of services across a network. MuleSoft, which offers a commercially supported version of the software, claims that Mule is the most widely used open-source ESB, with more than 2,500 enterprise users, including DHL and Honeywell.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Openness/Sharing

    • First rice, then wheat – now cocoa genome unravelled

      Instead of patenting the genome, they have placed it online for anyone to use for free. They say that its discovery will allow breeders who use traditional methods to grow hardier, more productive and disease-resistant trees.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • 10 HTML5 Video Players

      Yes, we couldn’t resist the HTML5 temptation and decided to highlight this trending topic on our blog too. Tremendous media buzz that was caused by the latest version of hyper text markup language is really unique even for modern informational society. Anyways we think that mostly you know the core of this issue with not-supporting Flash video on some popular devices and sudden success of HTML5 video players.

Leftovers

  • How Thoughtful Of The BBC

    The BBC are due to renegotiate the TV licence fee in a couple of years. I’d expect this “generous” offer to freeze the fee for a year to be a cynical attempt to earn Brownie points for those negotiations. They will spin this for all it’s worth in attempt to squeeze more out of already hard up viewers. All of this while playing the victim on cutbacks. As usual the BBC play the “unbiased, trusted and independent” card while lobbying to maintain their own gravy train.

  • Software RAID Comes Out of the Closet

    For a decade software RAID has been downplayed as a poor substitute for the “real thing” and was only for fools and cheapskates like me. Software RAID with GNU/Linux has been one of the chief differentiators between the typical PC with that other OS and GNU/Linux terminal servers I have been using for 7 years now to increase performance for very little cost. The idea is that one uses “normal” storage-device interfaces and stitches data together in RAM to do RAID. I normally use RAID 1 so the CPU overhead is minimal. DMA on the interface chips does the transferring and the data is instantly ready for use. For RAID 5 and 6 there is some parity checking that consumes CPU cycles.

  • Nearly 139 million digital cameras to be shipped globally in 2010, says Digitimes Research
  • Science

    • China creates first directly solar powered air conditioner

      In Dezhou, China, Shandong Vicot Air Conditioning Co., Ltd unveiled the worlds first directly solar powered air conditioner. The unit was revealed at the World Solar-Powered Air Conditioning Development Forum which was hosted in Dezhou.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • How Peru’s wells are being sucked dry by British love of asparagus

      Asparagus grown in Peru and sold in the UK is commonly held up as a symbol of unacceptable food miles, but a report has raised an even more urgent problem: its water footprint.

      The study, by the development charity Progressio, has found that industrial production of asparagus in Peru’s Ica valley is depleting the area’s water resources so fast that smaller farmers and local families are finding wells running dry. Water to the main city in the valley is also under threat, it says. It warns that the export of the luxury vegetable, much of it to British supermarkets, is unsustainable in its current form.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • World Bank invests record sums in coal

      Record sums were invested last year in coal power – the most carbon intensive form of energy on the planet – by the World Bank, despite international commitments to slash the carbon emissions blamed for climate change.

      The World Bank said this week that a total of US$3.4bn (£2.2bn) – or a quarter of all funding for energy projects – was spent in the year to June 2010 helping to build new coal-fired power stations, including the controversial Medupi plant in South Africa. Over the same period the bank also spent $1bn (£640m) on looking and drilling for oil and gas.

    • Republican hopefuls deny global warming

      All but one of the 48 Republican hopefuls for the Senate mid-term elections in November deny the existence of climate change or oppose action on global warming, according to a report released today.

      The strong Republican front against established science includes entrenched Senate leaders as well as the new wave of radical conservatives endorsed by the Tea Party activists, says a report by the Centre for American Progress.

      As election season gets under way, Tea Party favourites such as Joe Miller, who caused the biggest upset of the primaries when he defeated the Republican incumbent Lisa Murkowski in Alaska last month, have been upfront about their doubts on climate science. “We haven’t heard there’s manmade global warming,” Miller told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

  • Finance

    • The true cost of the Iraq war: $3 trillion and beyond

      Writing in these pages in early 2008, we put the total cost to the United States of the Iraq war at $3 trillion. This price tag dwarfed previous estimates, including the Bush administration’s 2003 projections of a $50 billion to $60 billion war.

      But today, as the United States ends combat in Iraq, it appears that our $3 trillion estimate (which accounted for both government expenses and the war’s broader impact on the U.S. economy) was, if anything, too low. For example, the cost of diagnosing, treating and compensating disabled veterans has proved higher than we expected.

    • Source: Obama to announce Warren Friday

      President Barack Obama will use a midday appearance Friday to announce Elizabeth Warren’s new role with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — giving her the title assistant to the president and special adviser to the Treasury Secretary, an administration official tells POLITICO.

    • China’s holdings of Treasury debt post slight gain

      The debt figures are being closely watched at a time when the U.S. government is running record annual deficits. A drop in foreign demand could lead to higher interest rates in the United States.

      Japan, the second largest holder of U.S. Treasury bonds and notes, increased its holdings 2.2 percent to $821 billion. Britain, which holds the No. 3 spot, saw a 3.3 percent increase in holdings to $374.3 billion.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • ACLU Settles Student-Cell-Phone-Search Lawsuit With Northeast Pennsylvania School District

      The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania announced today that it has settled a lawsuit filed in May alleging that the Tunkhannock Area School District (Wyoming County) illegally searched a student’s cell phone, punished her for storing semi-nude pictures of herself on the device, and then referred her case for criminal prosecution to the district attorney’s office. Under the settlement, the school district denied any liability or wrongdoing but agreed to pay the student and her lawyers $33,000 to resolve the dispute. The student’s claims against the District Attorney’s Office were not settled and will proceed through litigation.

    • Sarah Palin Revisited: Why Terms of Use Shouldn’t Be Enforced Through Computer Crime Law

      Last week, we questioned whether Sarah Palin may have violated Facebook’s terms of use by using a ghostwriter to update her profile. We also criticized Facebook’s attempts to enforce those terms with state and federal computer crime laws — which carry both civil and criminal penalties — in Facebook v. Power Ventures.

      As we explained, it’s dangerous for a website to claim that users who breach its terms of use also violate computer crime law. Facebook users can easily make uncontroversial choices that nevertheless violate the plain meaning of Facebook’s terms. Furthermore, Facebook shouldn’t have the discretion to criminalize certain behavior just by forbidding it in terms of use.

    • Lawsuit targets advertiser over sneaky HTML5 pseudo-cookies

      A New York-based mobile-web advertising company was hit Wednesday with a proposed class action lawsuit over its use of an HTML5 trick to track iPhone and iPad users across a number of websites, in what is believed to be the first privacy lawsuit of its kind in the mobile space.

    • How US sanctions made Haystack

      There seems to be no end to the Haystack Affair. Who knew that this whole “Internet freedom” business was so ugly? Perhaps, it comes with the location: there must be a reason why Washington beats any other city in the world in terms of how many/how often its residents search for that very term on Google.

      I’m glad that The Economist picked it up, along with many others. I’m still waiting for The Guardian to do something about their akward award to Austin Heap. (That award is deeply symbolic of what happens to good editorial judgement when newspapers are forced to run conferences and make money on things that their marketing departments don’t know how to vet.)

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Intel: Leaked HDCP copy protection code is legit

      Intel has confirmed that code posted to the Internet earlier this week is the master key that is part of an Intel-created standard used to make sure only authorized devices are playing copyright-protected movies.

      “We can use it to generate valid device keys that do interoperate with the (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) protocol,” Intel spokesman Tom Waldrop told CNET today.

    • HDTV Code Crack Is Real, Intel Confirms
  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • John Doe Strikes Back: New Developments in the US Copyright Group (“Hurt Locker”) Cases

        After months of dragnet litigation and intimidation, some of the thousands of “John Doe” Defendants targeted in mass copyright lawsuits filed in the District of Columbia are fighting back in earnest.

        The lawsuits are the brainchild of a Washington, D.C., law firm calling itself the “U.S. Copyright Group” (USCG). USCG investigators have identified IP addresses they allege are associated with the unauthorized uploading and downloading of independent films, including “Far Cry” and “The Hurt Locker.” Using those addresses, USCG has filed several “John Doe” lawsuits in D.C., implicating well over 14,000 individuals, and has issued subpoenas to ISPs seeking the identities of the subscribers associated with those IP addresses.

      • ACTA

        • When the Camembert tops democratic governance

          A European Parliament majority accepted a written declaration on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) which iterates the calls to European Commissioner Karel de Gucht for more legislative transparency.

          In a speech before the European Parliament Commissioner Karel De Gucht threatened the United States to leave negotiations when geographical indications would be “discriminated”, that is excluded from the scope of the negotiations on ACTA. Geographical indications cover, for instance, camembert de Normandie, parmesan cheese or champagne, and other marks of origin. The United States oppose their inclusion in ACTA. The United States also aim to keep the negotiated ACTA draft text confidential.

Clip of the Day

Richard stallman San iGNUcio


Credit: TinyOgg

09.16.10

Links 16/9/2010: Debian GNU/kFreeBSD Now With Graphical Installer, Linux-based ViewPad in India

Posted in News Roundup at 2:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Podcast Season 2 Episode 17

      In this episode: We each predict a news story that may or may not have happened over the last seven days. Play the final results of our ‘build a game’ challenge, and we ask, is it finally time to do away with the command-line?

  • Ballnux

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • A Newbie In X; Creating X.Org Documentation

        Matt Dew, a self-proclaimed “X newbie”, just finished talking about his experiences as just entering the world of X.Org development and hopes to contribute to the X.Org world by gathering up and improving X.Org documentation.

        As most know who have ever investigated X.Org, traditionally the documentation covering the software stack has been rather fragmented or even nonexistent in many places. This lack of reliable X.Org documentation can lead to a steep learning curve for new developers and can be a deterrent when coupled with the fact X.Org is complicated, but Matt hopes to work towards addressing this longstanding problem by rounding up the existing documentation from various sources and then eventually to write documentation for the missing pieces (particularly the newer areas, but also for areas like libdrm).

      • Recapping The New X.Org Development Process

        Scheduling issues had plagued X.Org Server development for the past few years: to the point that even delivering a point release had come more than a year late and major X Server releases were never delivered on time. This though has fortunately changed.

        With X.Org Server 1.8 though it was proposed to make some fundamental development changes and better refining the X.Org development process to be more like the Linux kernel — though not the same — where there is an official release manager, timed releases, and a defined process for requesting changes/patches be pulled into a given release. Since that point, the X.Org Server has basically been released on time. X.Org Server 1.9 was released on time just last month.

  • Applications

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Zipping along

        Yet another gameplay detail has been added recently, namely slipstreaming. When a kart drives behind another one for a while, and then moves out of the slipstream, it recieves a speed boost and can then overtake the kart in front.

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Review: Motorola Charm

          Lastly, the cheap look of the screen will be a major problem for anyone who has used an HVGA or WVGA resolution device in the past The solid keyboard is excellent and will work for many. Truly great. Unfortunately, though, for most the Charm will fail at being what it promises, and that is a good entry-level smartphone. Instead, it appears to be something else all-together: an Android feature phone.

        • Avaya Announces Android-Powered ‘Desktop Video Device’
        • Can We Have This Phone Too Here in Africa?

          Meet the ZTE Racer, an Android 2.1 powered ultra low cost smartphone currently available in the UK.

    • Tablets

      • Mixed messages from Google: is Android ready for tablets?

        It’s possible that Android 3.0 will bring solutions to some of these problems. There are already rumors circulating that it will boost tablet support and be better suited for non-phone form factors. If Google’s compatibility program can evolve to function as effectively for new devices as it has for smartphones, we could see Google’s little robot show up in a lot more places.

      • Android Powered ViewPad Coming To India

        ViewSonic became at star at IFA 2010 with the release of its ViewPad 7. Powered by Android 2.2, the world’s most ‘advanced’ and ‘powerful’ mobile operating system, ViewPad 7 enables users to conduct video-conferencing, social networking, and enjoying AV entertainment, realizing their dreams of achieving a fun and diversified digital lifestyle. ViewSonic India is planning to launch this product in Indian market very soon.

        “ViewSonic‘s ViewPad 7 is so far the best android that has attracted the whole world. With the showcasing of the ViewPad 7 we in ViewSonic maintain our commitment towards the best IT innovations. We are expecting to launch ViewPad 7 in India in a very short time and hope we will get a great response from the Indian consumers who had always been very keen to the most hi-tech inventions,” says Gautam Ghosh, Country Manager, ViewSonic Technologies India PVT LTD.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Strategy, Tactics, and why companies are free to not contribute.

    Yesterday Julie Bort wrote in the NetworkWorld site an interesting post called “Cisco doesn’t contribute nearly enough to open source”, where she contends that “”[despite its] .. proclaims it responsible for a half percent of the contributions to the Linux kernel (0.5%). In reality, Cisco has been a near non-entity as an open source contributor”. Of course the author is right in its claims – the amount of contributed code to the Linux kernel is substantial but very “vertical”, and specific to the needs of Cisco as a Linux adopter.

    Which is a perfectly sensible thing to do.

    The problem of “contribution” comes up and again in many discussions on open source and business adoption of OSS; it is, in fact, a source of major debate why participation is low, and what can be done to improve it. It is my opinion that there are some barriers to OSS contribution – namely, internal IPR policies, lack of understanding of how participation can be helpful and not just a gift to competitors, and more. On the other hand, two points should be made to complement this view: the first is that some companies contribute in ways that are difficult to measure, and the second is that sometimes companies have no economic reasons to do so.

  • OpenIndiana project first screenshots

    The first development release, oi_147, is now available for download! It is available in 3 download formats – a Live DVD with a graphical installer which installs a full desktop environment, a Text installer CD which installs a minimal server install, and the Automated Installer ISO which allows performing a custom install via XML files.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla fixes startup bug, Firefox auto-updates are go!

        It certainly didn’t take long for Mozilla to jump to the pump and address a very-recently-announced bug affecting automatic updates to Firefox 3.6.9 and 3.5.11. A patch has been pushed, and users can now allow auto-update to do its thing without fear of winding up with a browser which won’t start properly.

      • Firefox 4 ditching status bar?

        If you’re using the latest Firefox 4 beta you may have noticed a few new visual changes…

      • GNU IceCat 3.6.9 released

        GNU IceCat is the GNU version of the Mozilla Firefox browser.

  • Databases

    • Italian Bucap Picks Ingres Database

      Bucap S.p.A., a provider of outsourced document archiving and management services, has selected Ingres Database as its database of choice for its data management solution.

      “Prior to Ingres, all information managed by Bucap could be retrieved locally and remotely by our employees, but due to the complexity and low reliability of the system, most of the queries were done through manual retrieval and physical mailing or faxing the document to the customer,” said Ruggero Rinaldi, General Manager at Bucap. “Bucap wanted to offer a better quality and up-to-date service to its customers and therefore created a service portal enabling customers to access all of their documentation. Ingres best responded to our economical and technical requirements and the decision has been supported by the enhanced performance, features, and ability to leverage an open source product.”

    • SciDB: Relational daddy answers Google, Hadoop, NoSQL
  • Oracle

    • Oracle and OpenJDK

      Oracle will work with the OpenJDK code base and the OpenJDK community like Sun did. We will continue to develop the JDK in the open under a GPL license. We welcome the cooperation and contribution of any member of the community – individuals as well as organizations – who would like to be part of moving the most widely used software platform forward.

    • Oracle sticks to Sun’s open source strategy for Java

      Oracle is seemingly trying to calm down the discussion about the focus of Java programming language development and open source. The business software and database vendor is drawing people’s attention to the events and announcements during next week’s JavaOne event, which will take place at the same time as Oracle’s OpenWorld in-house tradeshow. In a recent announcement, Henrik Ståhl, Senior Director of product management for the Java Platform Group at Oracle, said that Oracle will have the same approach as Sun did with the OpenJDK code base and its community.

    • OpenOffice.org: Interactions Between Programs

      Some people insist that OpenOffice.org should be called an office application instead of an office suite. The distinction that they are trying to make is that the programs in OpenOffice.org share a common code base, instead of being separate programs that are simply bundled together, the way that Microsoft Office’s are.

      This distinction means that the complete OpenOffice.org is much smaller than any version of MS Office (and that you don’t save nearly the space you expect by installing only the components you actually use). It also means that many dialogs are identical in different programs, which makes them easier to learn. And, most important of all, it means that the separate programs can easily interact with one another.

  • CMS

    • Facebook alternative Diaspora rolls out first code

      Developers have been given their first glimpse of a community-funded and open alternative to Facebook.

      Diaspora describes itself as a “privacy-aware, personally-controlled” social network.

      It was conceived earlier this year by four US students during a period when Facebook came under fire for its privacy settings.

    • Diaspora fail

      I understand that people wanted to pick one of those quick development frameworks, I myself like them quite a lot, but they are exactly the wrong thing for this kind of app: WordPress is so successful cause it runs everywhere. And you gotta realize that those frameworks help you get a prototype running fast, but in the end you end up dropping most parts of the framework anyways cause of specific needs for features they don’t cover.

    • Diaspora, Dependencies and the Devil
  • BSD

    • Getting Started With FreeBSD 8.1

      FreeBSD is a UNIX-like OS that has been around since 1993. If you’re familiar with Linux or other UNIXes, you have most of the knowledge required to try it out, but you will also notice a few differences. Those familiar with the underpinnings of Mac OSX know that it, too, is based on BSD.

      FreeBSD isn’t as popular as the better-known Linux distros, but it has a strong reputation for reliability and robustness, and it’s still in active development. For my first foray into FreeBSD, I tried out the latest stable version (8.1), which was released mid-July.

  • Project Releases

  • Government

    • STAKEHOLDER DAY – My big idea for the Digital Agenda

      What is your big idea for the Digital Agenda, Europe’s new strategy for digital economy? What can you do to make a part of the Digital Agenda happen? The new strategy was published in May and it is now time to discuss how to put it into practice.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • GROUND LAB Part 1: Practical prototyping and the history of technological development

      GROUND LAB is a research and development company focused on designing and fabricating prototypes and solutions for a wide range of clients, ranging from large organizations like UNICEF to smaller NGOs, conservationists and artists. To prototype and build solutions for these varied challenges requires a high degree of flexible problem solving techniques, skills and solutions, which has led us toward using an open source business model and tools.

    • Open Data

    • Open Access/Content

      • Do Open Educational Resources Increase Efficiency?

        One of the questions people often ask about Open Educational Resources is “do they really increase efficiency?” Creative Commons has worked with many OER innovators, and their stories indicate that it does. We thought it would be useful to gather pointers to some of these examples. Please read on, and leave a comment with other great examples of how CC-enabled OER can increase efficiency for teachers, students and self-learners. Note of course that increasing efficiency is only one benefit of OER.

Leftovers

  • IBM announces process for power management
  • Science

    • NASA looks at horizontal, railgun-like rocket launcher

      NASA is looking hard at a way to blast spacecraft horizontally down an electrified track or gas-powered sled and into space hitting speeds of about Mach 10. The craft would then return and land on a runway by the launch site.

      The rail launcher, known Advanced Space Launch System is one of a few new launch systems a team of engineers from Kennedy Space Center and several other NASA centers are looking at that would use existing cutting-edge technologies to offer the space agency a next generation launcher to the stars, NASA stated.

    • Boeing Aims to Fly Passengers to Space on New Capsule

      Aerospace heavyweight Boeing has teamed up with a private spaceflight marketing firm to sell passenger seats for future flights in its new space capsule.

      Under the agreement, the Virginia-based Space Adventures will market passenger seats on commercial flights aboard the Boeing Crew Space Transportation-100 spacecraft, currently being designed to travel to the International Space Station as well as other future private space stations.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Tax inspectors get police-like powers to tackle tax evaders

      The inspectors can now turn up at people’s homes or businesses unannounced and examine their records if they believe not enough tax has been paid.

    • Fears over CCTV use in York schools

      HALF of York’s secondary schools have been filming pupils on CCTV without telling parents, sparking condemnation from privacy campaigners.

    • 300 homes in Gloucestershire are going to have their rubbish analysed

      Council chiefs have caused controversy by revealing plans to sift through random bins to see if the city’s residents are meeting strict recycling rules.

    • Leave. It. Alone.

      From 42 days to control orders, they were a model of illjudged and overbearing persistence. And so to today, during the report stage debate of the Identity Documents Bill – which is set to scrap the hated ID card once and for all – Big Brother Watch favourite Meg Hillier was moaning:

      “When something is bought in good faith there needs to be some recompense for the individual. We recognise, reluctantly, that both parties in this Government have a mandate to get rid of ID cards… but this issue is very important.”

      And promptly introduced a motion to force the Government to pay back £30 to the misguided individuals who signed-up to a lifetime of living on a database.

    • Entire US-Mexico border to be guarded by Predator Drones: Europe to follow suit?

      Starting in September, the entire 2,000-mile US-Mexico border will be monitored by drones, the Christian Science Monitor has reported.

    • Entire US-Mexico border to be guarded by Predator drones

      The launch of a fourth Predator drone Wednesday will mean the entire US-Mexico border is now patrolled by the unmanned aircraft.

    • Falsely Arrested Woman Told She Should Thank The Police For Realizing Their Error

      We’ve seen all sorts of stories about identity fraud and how it really is a pretty horrible crime — one where the victims are often left entirely on their own to unravel the resulting mess. However, there are times where things get even more ridiculous. Mitch Wagner points us to a case where a woman who had her identity used by a petty crook/coke addict was picked up by the police, believing she was the scammer, leading to this victim of identity fraud being jailed, strip-searched and de-loused, until she finally convinced police to look at a photo of the actual crook. Even then, they kept her in jail for an additional 24-hours.

    • Torture Tort Terror

      During his presidential campaign, Barack Obama criticized the Bush administration for its excessive secrecy, noting that it had “invoked a legal tool known as the ‘state secrets’ privilege more than any other previous administration to get cases thrown out of civil court.” Obama also promised to end “extraordinary rendition,” a practice through which “we outsource our torture to other countries.”

    • The Tea Party and the Value of Craziness

      Here’s my first impression of the tea party movement: It’s a rabidly right-wing phenomenon with a shaky grasp of history, a strain of intolerance and xenophobia, a paranoia about Barack Obama, and an unhealthy reverence for Fox News. Any movement that doesn’t firmly exclude Birchers, birthers, and Islamaphobes is not a movement for me.

    • I’ll have the oolong, with a splash of open source

      Jonathan Rauch wrote in the National Journal Saturday on the “radical decentralization” of the tea party. A “Tea Party Patriots coordinator and co-founder” talks about it this way:

      “I use the term open-source politics. This is an open source movement…. The movement as a whole is smart.”

      No doubt, this has and will continue to be a bandwagon meme equating decentralization automatically with open source and by extension some form of novelty. Rauch, to his credit, focuses more on the decentralization aspect and acknowledges the “yes and no” answer to the novelty question.

    • The Tea Party Movement: Open-Source Politics
    • South African police hunt Twittering speedcam spy

      Police in Johannesburg are investigating a man who’s been using Twitter to warn motorists about speed traps and other police activity.

      PigSpotter, as he calls himself, has now agreed to stop tweeting the location of road blocks but vowed to continue posting speed trap information. He also posts traffic congestion reports, and info about out of action traffic lights and accidents.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • ACE, Climate Education, and the Issue of Energy Execs

      In July of 2008, a new nonprofit organization, the “Alliance for Climate Education, Inc.” (ACE), Inc., zoomed onto the scene and suddenly became a huge player in the much-overlooked field of climate education. ACE offers high schools free multimedia assemblies on climate change that utilize “cutting-edge animation, music and video.” In short, this is not the usual low-budget presentation that school assemblies are known for.

      On the surface, ACE’s effort seems laudable, but questions remain about the messages is ACE is crafting with its free access to the nation’s youth on school time. ACE’s featured web content on BP’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which has since been removed (after our initial criticism of it), did not even mention “BP,” although it conceded the unimpeachable fact that the spill is a “disaster.” ACE also featured positive images connected to the disaster such as a swimming dolphin and a rescued pelican, alongside a clean-up worker and a photo of the well fire being extinguished.

    • Huge fish kill – a common sight in Louisiana

      Summer dead zones are common in the Gulf of Mexico, caused by the large amounts of fertiliser that get flushed down the Mississippi river, which triggers a dramatic drop in the amount of oxygen dissolved in the water. Researchers have been concerned that microbes breaking down the oil from the BP spill might exacerbate this year’s dead zone and have been closely monitoring oxygen levels in the Gulf.

    • UK national assessment of preparedness for climate disruption says action needed now

      How well prepared is the UK for climate change? asks the title of a report released today by the Adaptation Subcommittee of the Committee on Climate Change established under the UK Climate Change Act of 2008.

  • Finance

    • High Class Addiction
    • Bailed-Out Banks Finance Predatory Payday Lenders

      American taxpayers bailed out the big banks. Now many of those banks are returning the favor by extending credit to payday lenders who sucker consumers into a spiraling debt trap.

      That is the claim in a new report published this week by National People’s Action (NPA), the Chicago-based community organization. The report, called Predators’ Creditors, names Wells Fargo, Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase as some of the biggest lenders to the booming payday loan industry.

    • Goldman Sachs Sued Over Alleged Gender Discrimination

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc. was sued by three former female employees who claim they faced discrimination in pay and fewer opportunities for promotion than men at the firm.

      “The violations of its female employees’ rights are systemic, are based upon companywide policies and practices, and are the result of unchecked gender bias that pervades Goldman Sachs’s corporate culture,” the women said today in a complaint in federal court in Manhattan.

    • One Less Privacy Intrusion: Bill to End Pre-Employment Credit Checks

      Will the Equal Employment for All Act make it out of the House Committee on Financial Services when Congress reconvenes this fall? The bill, HR 3149, would make it illegal for employers to use the personal and private credit reports of American job applicants when making hiring decisions for most positions.

      Bad credit means no job and no job means bad credit. Second chances in Hollywood and professional sports occur every day, but the rest of America is locked down in a modern-day debtors’ prison run by credit bureaus and ruled by corporate greed. A two-class America of the elite and the poor is becoming more and more a reality, thanks in part to the continuing practice of pre-employment credit checks.

    • Max Keiser Interviews Stoneleigh, and A Nation Under The Gutting Knife

      15 Shocking Poverty Statistics That Are Skyrocketing As The American Middle Class Continues To Be Slowly Wiped Out

      1. Approximately 45 million Americans were living in poverty in 2009.
      2. According to the Associated Press, experts believe that 2009 saw the largest single year increase in the U.S. poverty rate since the U.S. government began calculating poverty figures back in 1959.
      3. The U.S. poverty rate is now the third worst among the developed nations tracked by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

      [...]

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • EU breakthrough on lobby register

      UK Liberal Democrat MEP Diana Wallis, who is representing the Parliament in talks with Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, said Belgian Foreign Minister Steven Vanackere had asked the Council’s Committee of Permanent Representatives to “review” plans to establish a single register for all three institutions at the close of the General Affairs Council on 13 September.

      “If this materialises, it will represent a welcome evolution in the Council’s position,” said Wallis.

      Talks on establishing a joint lobby register between the Commission and the Parliament resumed in May without the Council’s involvement.

    • G.O.P. Allies Drive Ad Spending Disparity

      Outside groups supporting Republican candidates in House and Senate races across the country have been swamping their Democratic-leaning counterparts on television since early August as the midterm election season has begun heating up.

    • A New Name for High-Fructose Corn Syrup

      The Corn Refiners Association, which represents firms that make the syrup, has been trying to improve the image of the much maligned sweetener with ad campaigns promoting it as a natural ingredient made from corn. Now, the group has petitioned the United States Food and Drug Administration to start calling the ingredient “corn sugar,” arguing that a name change is the only way to clear up consumer confusion about the product.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Sarah Palin Revisited: Why Terms of Use Shouldn’t Be Enforced Through Computer Crime Law

      Last week, we questioned whether Sarah Palin may have violated Facebook’s terms of use by using a ghostwriter to update her profile. We also criticized Facebook’s attempts to enforce those terms with state and federal computer crime laws — which carry both civil and criminal penalties — in Facebook v. Power Ventures.

      As we explained, it’s dangerous for a website to claim that users who breach its terms of use also violate computer crime law. Facebook users can easily make uncontroversial choices that nevertheless violate the plain meaning of Facebook’s terms. Furthermore, Facebook shouldn’t have the discretion to criminalize certain behavior just by forbidding it in terms of use.

    • Is online privacy dead?

      There are many reasons why you should be concerned about online privacy. Stalking on the internet can lead to unwanted offline encounters, blackmail, fraud, cyber-bullying, and personal details, which you’d rather not have the world know about, falling into the wrong hands.

    • IP address-tracing software breached data protection law

      The Swiss Federal Court has ruled that software which identified the internet protocol (IP) address of unauthorised music uploaders broke data protection law.

    • Is US prudishness ruining the internet?

      Is US dominance of the internet – and particularly of the social networking space – leading to the export of US prudery across the globe? Or is the growing debate on international censorship a little more complicated?

      As Becky Dwyer, a US citizen and, as member of CAAN Scotland, a campaigner for less censorship in the UK put it: “Isn’t this more about American Corporations forcing conformity upon private individuals rather than ‘American’ values?”

      First off, examples of US social networking sites coming down hard on subscribers who fail to toe the line set by Ts & Cs are widespread.

    • Appeals Court Guts Landmark Computer-Privacy Ruling

      Bowing to the Obama administration, a federal appeals court Monday gutted its own decision that had dramatically narrowed the government’s search-and-seizure powers in the digital age.

      The 9-2 ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals nullifies Miranda-style guidelines the court promulgated last year that were designed to protect Fourth Amendment privacy rights during court-authorized computer searches. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, as solicitor general last year, had urged the court to reverse itself amid complaints that federal prosecutions were being complicated, and computer searches were grinding to a halt, because of the detailed guidelines.

      The original ruling required the government to cull specific data described in the search warrant, rather than copy entire hard drives. When that’s not possible, the feds were advised to use an independent third party under the court’s supervision, whose job it would be to comb through the files for the specific information, and provide it, and nothing else, to the government. The ruling said judges should “deny the warrant altogether” if the government does not consent to such a plan in data-search cases.

    • FCC asked to block Skechers cartoon series

      An advocacy group on Tuesday asked the Federal Communications Commission to block a soon-to-debut TV cartoon show starring characters first created to market Skechers footwear to children.

      Unless banned, the group said, the show could pave the way for Ronald McDonald, Tony the Tiger and other iconic cartoon pitchmen to become stars of their own series — potentially inundating children’s television with what amounted to full-length commercials.

    • Singel-Minded: Craigslist Took One for the Open Internet

      Despite having the law on its side Craigslist took down its Adult Services section at the end of August, replacing it with the word Censored. It did so without fanfare — and still no explanation. But the small change marked a big capitulation to a gaggle of state attorneys general and anti–child-trafficking groups who have been hounding the free classifieds listing service for years, casting Craigslist as an online pimp.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Understanding the HDCP Master Key Leak

      On Monday, somebody posted online an array of numbers which purports to be the secret master key used by HDCP, a video encryption standard used in consumer electronics devices such as DVD players and TVs. I don’t know if the key is genuine, but let’s assume for the sake of discussion that it is. What does the leak imply for HDCP’s security? And what does the leak mean for the industry, and for consumers?

      HDCP is used to protect high-def digital video signals “on the wire,” for example on the cable connecting your DVD player to your TV. HDCP is supposed to do two things: it encrypts the content so that it can’t be captured off the wire, and it allows each endpoint to verify that the other endpoint is an HDCP-licensed device. From a security standpoint, the key step in HDCP is the initial handshake, which establishes a shared secret key that will be used to encrypt communications between the two devices, and at the same time allows each device to verify that the other one is licensed.

      [...]

      The impact of HDCP’s failure on consumers will probably be minor. The main practical effect of HDCP has been to create one more way in which your electronics could fail to work properly with your TV. This is unlikely to change. Mainstream electronics makers will probably continue to take HDCP licenses and to use HDCP as they are now. There might be some differences at the margin, where manufacturers feel they can take a few more liberties to make things work for their customers. HDCP has been less a security system than a tool for shaping the consumer electronics market, and that is unlikely to change.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Ron Coleman on ‘Returning balance to the IP equation’

      Ron Coleman writes an essay well worth reading on how trademark law has morphed into perverse measures at the hands of IP attorneys and big businesses looking to protect their turf in response to overall changes in the IP landscape.

    • District Court Smacks Down Tiffany (Yet Again) In Fight With eBay Over Counterfeit Items

      The case isn’t quite over yet, as Tiffany keeps appealing various aspects of it, but it certainly doesn’t look good for Tiffany — but does appear very good for anyone who believes in the principles of properly applying liability to those who did the actions, rather than the “easy target” third party (even in the absence of official safe harbors).

    • Ohio State Abuses Trademark Law to Suppress a Fan Magazine and Website

      In today’s Washington Post, John Feinstein captures an important truth about college sports –- the print headline of his column is: “Greed is the most powerful tradition in college football.” (In the online addition, the headline described greed as “the new tradition”). Whether new or longstanding, a tradition of greed is typified by a dangerous decision issued this week by a federal judge in Columbus, Ohio, in which Ohio State University was able to use trademark law to suppress a fan web site and magazine devoted to its sports teams, established by a commercial publisher.

    • Lego Hit With A Brick In Trademark Case
    • Copyrights

      • EU liberals join Sarkozysts in online repression

        The Gallo report on copyright enforcement -from the pro-Sarkozy MEP, Marielle Gallo- will be voted on Wednesday, September 22nd in the European Parliament. Surprisingly, the Liberal ALDE group has tabled its own alternative resolution, a bad and almost equally repressive text. Under blatant influence of the producers and publishers’ lobbies, this political move from the liberals actually aims at facilitating the vote of the original Gallo report.

      • Confessions Of A Convicted RIAA Victim Joel Tenenbaum

        Boston student Joel Tenenbaum is the poster child of an entire generation of downloaders, and one of the few people to stand up against the RIAA instead of signing off on a settlement. This decision proved to be a costly one for Tenenbaum, who now has to pay $67,500 in damages to the record labels for sharing 7 songs. In an interview he now looks back at recent years.

      • P2P investigations now illegal in Switzerland

        Switzerland, a longtime haven for all kinds of financial shenanigans, has just expanded its reputation for “discretion” to cover file-sharing as well. That’s the conclusion of Logistep AG, anyway, as a Swiss court has just gutted its P2P surveillance business with a ruling that says gathering even publicly available information is illegal.

      • What’s the law around aggregating news online? A Harvard Law report on the risks and the best practices
      • Canadian Recording Industry Claims That Canadian Copyright Proposal Is A $5k License To Infringe

        It’s difficult to think of a sentence that shows anyone more out of touch than that. Would anyone really want to pay $5,000 (not an insignificant sum by any means) for purely a non-commercial compulsory license? Whenever various compulsory licenses have been discussed, they’ve usually been in the range of $5/month or so. To pretend that anyone will just pay up $5,000 for non-commercial copying is just silly.

Clip of the Day

The Linux Foundation Video Site:: Why Linux IS Better than…


Credit: TinyOgg

Links 16/9/2010: Compiz 0.9.2, 64-bit Adobe Trash GNU/Linux Support, PlayOnLinux 3.8.1, Diaspora Public

Posted in News Roundup at 4:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • A Future So Bright

    One of the catalysts for my excitement is a slide that was presented during an Ohio LinuxFest presentation from HP’s Phil Robb: “This is the Year of the Irrelevance of the Desktop.” Robb presented a slide which displayed just how far computing has come, and just how far it will go, with Linux riding the wave.

    [...]

    Until we get to today, with a projected 10 billion-plus mobile consumer devices (the LF slide appears to have a typo, but the original Morgan Stanley study has 10 billion). These mobile consumer devices include:

    * Car electronics
    * Mobile video
    * Home entertainment
    * Games
    * Wireless home appliances
    * Smartphones
    * Kindle
    * Tablets
    * MP3
    * Cellphone PDS

  • Desktop

  • Kernel Space

    • LinuxCon Brazil: Q&A with Linus and Andrew

      Linus Torvalds rarely makes appearances at conferences, and it’s even less common for him to get up in front of the crowd and speak. He made an exception for LinuxCon Brazil, though, where he and Andrew Morton appeared in a question and answer session led by Linux Foundation director Jim Zemlin. The resulting conversation covered many aspects of kernel development, its processes, and its history.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Mesa 7.8.3 Release Candidate 1 Is Here

        While Mesa 7.9 is just around the corner with a great number of new features and other improvements to this open-source graphics stack used by Linux and other operating systems, those being bound to releases that are proven stable will still be leaving with Mesa 7.8 until Mesa 7.9.1 or 7.9.2 is released later in the year. But for those stable users, there’s also Mesa 7.8.3 that will soon be released.

      • Power Management Patches For Nouveau, Finally

        Martin Peres is a French developer now working on the Nouveau driver and in particular has been focusing on developing the power management architecture based upon the reverse-engineering work of other Nouveau developers. This morning before leaving for XDS in Toulouse he announced his Nouveau power management work that includes support for parsing the NVIDIA BIOS for the necessary power management bits (with the NV40 to NV96 ASICs) and then voltage and clock settings for the NVIDIA graphics cards.

      • Where Wayland May First Appear In Use By A Distro

        It turns out that Wayland may end up finding itself deployed within MeeGo Touch. In fact, it sounds like there is already a prototype of MeeGo Touch + Wayland done by Kristian at Intel. Though this isn’t to be confused with the MeeGo netbook edition or even Nokia’s version of MeeGo Touch for their hand-held devices as they have the decision of using Wayland or continuing to run an X.Org Server.

      • X.Org Is Looking For A New Logo

        XDS 2010 has just begun in Toulouse, France. Well, besides yesterday’s pre-event where we were discussing Wayland and other topics. At the moment just the X.Org Foundation itself is being discussed.

        There is an audio feed of the event that I am recording directly from the microphone feeds and those will be published on Phoronix in the coming days. I will also be recording videos of select talks in HD, but it will be from an integrated microphone source.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Choice is Messy (Free Software Likes It That Way)

      The latest version of this argument is Graham Morrison’s article, “The trouble with Linux: There’s too much choice.” Morrison writes that the amount of choice is “often overwhelming, needlessly complicated and an easy excuse for change. Choice goes hand-in-hand with redundancy and duplicated effort.”

      Morrison goes on to suggest that, on the one hand, if the community doesn’t make a decision to standardize, then it will lose the choice because others — presumably, businesses and distros — will make the choice for them. On the other hand, by giving up a little unnecessary choice, “we’ll have gained a whole lot more choice where it’s important: the freedom to run secure, safe and supported software on whatever platform we choose.”

    • Tiny Core Linux 3.1 is released-It is the world’s smallest desktop distribution with an 11 MB live CD

      Team Tiny Core has released Tiny Core 3.1 the world’s smallest desktop distribution – an 11 MB live CD, the major theme for this release is the introduction of on demand icons. This allows for more options to have even faster boot times with the easy access to less often used application extensions. Much improved internationalization support and other upgrades and enhancements have been performed throught the system.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat tops list of hottest IT security certifications

        The fastest-growing infosec certification is Red Hat’s. Launched in 2006, this certification is aimed at senior network administrators and is designed to prove that a person has deep skills related to running Red Hat Enterprise Linux in a secure fashion.

        “Between this time last year and today, the number of people who have passed [the Red Hat Certified Security Specialist] exam has grown by 70%,” says Randy Russell, director of certification at Red Hat. “Clearly, something is happening with this particular credential.”

      • Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Selected by Qualcomm as a Strategic Virtualization Platform

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that Qualcomm Incorporated has adopted Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization as a key virtualization platform for its production workloads.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Updates, Code Names, Back Ports, Screenshots, and Derived

        For users who would like to know what an application will look like before they install it, there is a service at screenshots.debian.net. Most screenshots are uploaded by developers, but others can contribute as well. Visit screenshots.debian.net to peruse current screenshots or to sign up to upload.

      • First impressions of Linux Mint Debian — I’m more than a little intrigued

        So Linux Mint Debian is a project I’ll definitely be watching. If a Mint distro based on Debian Testing proves to be a success, I wonder if the Mint team’s next move will be a distribution based on Debian Stable (though it looks like you can easily make your Mint Debian install stick with Squeeze rather than post-Squeeze Testing). An easy-to-use, multimedia-ready version of Debian Stable would be a great addition to the free, open-source OS ecosphere.

        Linux Mint Debian is good enough that it almost (but not quite) makes me willing to give up data encryption in the installer. However, a check of the Mint forums leads me to believe that an encryption option may be coming to Mint Debian. That could very well seal the proverbial deal. How’s that for an endorsement?

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Four Years And The Chasm

          Six years ago I believe that Ubuntu changed desktop Linux. Of course, this had nothing to do with me. I wasn’t involved back then; it was the fantastic work of the original gangstas such as Mark Shuttleworth, Matt Zimmerman, Robert Collins, Scott James Remnant, Jeff Waugh, Benjamin Mako Hill and others who got this train on the rails. They all have my unending respect: they took the fantastic and inspiring rock that is Debian and they built on it to create something different. It was fresh faced, innovative, and had a wicked-cool tan. It inspired me to use and advocate Ubuntu, and ultimately see if I could fit in in a world populated by such original gangstas. Fortunately, the original gangstas was rather nice and welcoming gangstas…

        • Testing Gnash 0.8.8 On Ubuntu

          Late last month, the GNU Gnash project released version 0.8.8 of its open-source flash player, which touts much better compatibility than its predecessors with popular Flash-centric sites, like YouTube. But how well does Gnash 0.8.8 actually work on Ubuntu? We botched up a virtual machine in order to find out.

        • Canonical’s Experiments With Hardware Sensors, Life Beyond Keyboards and TouchScreens

          Advent of Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Kinect, Apple iPhone and the likes changed quite a lot of things. The first thing they destroyed was the perception that, computer controls are all about keyboards and touchscreens. As we are all aware now, there are a bunch of hardware sensors which, with the help of state of the art software, could do such wonderful stuff which we haven’t even thought about before.

        • Want to go to UDS Narwhal?
        • Enjoying the new community wallpapers
        • Ubuntu 10.10 Has a Brand New Wallpaper
        • Ubuntu 10.10 Nautilus Elementary PPA Updated, Comes With ClutterView, Embedded Terminal By Default
        • How far are we porting Ubuntu One to windows?
        • Ubuntu Pay is open for translations

          We are pleased to announce that Ubuntu Pay, the new payment service that allows you to buy commercial software (by means of the Ubuntu Software Centre) or subscriptions to services like Ubuntu One (in the near future), is ready to start accepting translations from the community.

        • Unity Netbook Interface Debuts for Ubuntu 10.10

          There are some aspects of Unity which I’m not crazy about. For one, it can feel pretty laggy when performing certain tasks, a problem that might be mitigated by providing better pronounced feedback to the user when clicking buttons.

          I also really wish there were a way to auto-hide the panel on the left of the screen, or even remove it altogether. Granted, the most valuable pixels on my netbook’s tiny 1024×600 display are the vertical ones, but horizontal real estate is not in unlimited supply either, and the space eaten up by the launchers can be problematic–especially since many websites these days are designed for a minimum width of 1024 pixels.

          In general, Unity has shaped up nicely, and offers netbook users an interface that’s both pretty and functional–especially on touchscreen devices. But like most worldly things, it has flaws, which we hope will be addressed for future Ubuntu releases.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Novatel MiFi 2352 review

      This highly versatile 3G mobile broadband gadget puts a personal Wi-Fi hotspot in your pocket, but watch for scorch marks on your wallet…

    • Phones

      • Palm webOS 2.0 preview video hits the wilds

        First things first — before you jump on past the break and mash play, mute your speakers. Mute. As in, off. Alrighty, now that you’re prepared, you’ve got two minutes and 14 seconds of teasing just a click away, as some sure-to-be-yelled-at developer has leaked a sneak peak into the wide, mysterious world of webOS 2.0.

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • Palm Design VP Joins Nokia as VP of MeeGo UX

          Peter Skillman brings interface knowledge to burgeoning open source platform.

          Peter Skillman, design VP at Palm has defected to Nokia where he will lend his user interface knowledge to MeeGo. Skill worked directly on Palm’s webOS, which while never a top-seller, has definitely earned high marks for its design presentation.

      • Android

        • Avaya Announces Android-Powered ‘Desktop Video Device’

          Earlier this morning Avaya unveiled a new lineup of business class products and service that include the Android-based Avaya Desktop Video Device. With a sizable 11.6” HD touch screen, HD camera, and dual-mic support, the device provides real-time enterprise communication and collaboration.

    • Tablets

      • Asus Linux-based Eee Tablet to cost £190

        Asus plans to launch its long awaited Eee Tablet with an 8-inch LCD touchscreen in October for around $300 (£190), though prices vary by market.

        [...]

        The Eee Tablet will run a Linux OS, but not Google’s Android mobile operating system, which has long been the rumour. The Linux distribution on board was developed by Asustek, said Jerry Shen, CEO of Asustek, speaking with reporters after the conference.

      • 10 Latest Android-Powered Tablet PCs – Can Any of These Take on the iPad?

        Archos Internet Tablets – Can you say master of tablet PCs? Not quite done with the Archos 5, Archos 7, and Archos 8 released in September of last year and June this year, the French company last month unveiled its latest offerings in what is getting to be a long list of Archos Android-powered tablets. The five (yes, you read that right – 5) tablet devices all come with the Android 2.2 ‘Froyo’, accelerometers, touch screens in varying sizes, and cameras, to name just a few of their features. The Archos fab five take on the first five slots of this list.

        1. Archos 28
        With a 2.8-inch resistive touch screen, this midget is apparently the smallest of the lot but there’s still a lot you can do with its 4G of storage, Wi-Fi capability, and a new Archos music application that supports a variety of video and music formats. Browsing on such a diminutive touch screen could still be inhibiting for a lot of people though but at a starting price of $99, it would still spark some interest especially for those who want to browse on the go but don’t want to shell out too much.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

  • CMS

    • Live from New York, it’s finally Diaspora night! (Sort of.)

      The consumer-ready alpha is still a few weeks away, but today Diaspora released the developer code as promised. Be patient, though–looks like joindiaspora.com is a little slammed. Skip over to GitHub if you want the code.

      And even if you’re not a developer, you can see the first screenshots. You might notice it looks familiar, if you’re not one of the (handful of) people who quit Facebook back in the beginning of the summer.

    • Developer Release

      Today we are releasing the source code for Diaspora. This is now a community project and development is open to anyone with the technical expertise who shares the vision of a social network that puts users in control. From now on we will be working closely with the community on improving and solidifying Diaspora.

      We began the summer a list of technologies, and a few bold claims and the goal to make an intrinsically more private social network. The overwhelming response that we elicited made us realize that technology woudn’t be enough. Even the most powerful, granular set of dropdowns and checkboxes will never give people control over where their content is going, let alone give them ownership of their digital self.

  • Healthcare

    • Jesse Dylan, Bob Dylan’s Son, Invigorates Open Source Health Care With Lybba

      Jesse Dylan’s story is an amazing one. His son was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, an autoimmune inflammation of the intestines which causes chronic pain, vomiting, and other symptoms. Dylan found it to be extremely difficult to find reliable clinical data on Crohn’s disease online or through any other medium, so he founded the Lybba project. The goal of Lybba is to create an online central repository of medical information, a “Wikipedia” for the health care industry. Lybba is a non-profit organization that is committed to transforming health care using the principles of the open source movement.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Should public administrations promote private products, services and companies?

      Thinkers lending on the side of software neutrality organized a Petition For The Removal Of Proprietary Software Advertising On Government Websites. Zealous members of this community actually went to spend some time to find examples of government websites promoting a product from a private company, such as the website of the French Ministry of Education. This is embarrassing.

      A well-known bias in procurement approach is to ask for a “BMW” or an “IBM” when we need a car or a computer. Open and competitive procurement means that buyers are giving a fair chance to everyone capable to offer a “solution”. Brands have value, but why should a public administration pay for brand use (would this be a good use of taxpayer money)? Isn’t a generic service satisfying enough if is does the same thing? Even when the product is free of charge, there is still a benefit for a vendor (brand owner) in terms of exposure, promotion, and implicit endorsement when their product is being advertised by a large and well-known organization. Should free of charge products, and others, be examined in light of alternatives before leaning toward one particular solution?

  • Government

    • Romania to develop national open source IT policy

      The government of Romania is considering to develop an IT strategy to increase public administration’s use of open source, ICT Minister Valerian Vreme said Tuesday in a press conference.

      “We will work on a strategy on the use of open source software. There are other European countries, such as France and Germany, which extensively use this type of software”, Vreme was quoted by Ziarul Financiar, a financial newspaper.

      Increasing the use of open source is one of several options to reduce government spending that were announced by Vreme on Tuesday.

  • Licensing

    • A licensing change for syslog-ng

      Over ten years ago, the development of syslog-ng started out as a purely GPL project, but required copyright transfer for contributed patches. Similar to other projects, for example MySQL, this aimed to keep the codebase under a single copyright, leaving the possibility open for future relicensing and proprietary versions.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Innovation the McKinsey way

      I don’t know why but this cynical example from Jacques Bughin (McKinsey & Company) on open innovation is not supposed to be fun:

      When recently Fiat has called its fans to give ideas and feedback on new Fiat 500, no less than 170,000 designs have been proposed graciously, together with 1,000 accessories. No IP, no wage, but there’s a feeling for contributing fans that their opinion matter,

      It is a concept from the news papers business, the letters to the editors. Free content – and from an editorial perspective “improvement of newspaper-reader relations”.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • The ODF Podcast 002: Jos van den Oever and Inge Wallin

      On September 3rd OASIS ODF Adoption TC member Rob Weir sat down KDE community members Jos van den Oever (left) and Inge Wallin (right), in Budapest at the OpenOffice.org Conference, to discuss a range of topics, including the design philosphy of KOffice, its use of ODF 1.2′s new RDF metadata capabilities and the Nepomuk social semantic desktop project. You can listen to this interview in our second episode of the ODF Podcast.

    • Sorry you asked.

Leftovers

  • Displaylink does 2560 x 1600 video over USB3

    DISPLAYLINK HAD a beta version of their monitor over USB3 hardware running on the floor of IDF this year, and some other goodies too. Just because USB3 is on the horizon doesn’t mean USB2 devices are standing still.

  • Stupid California Police Warn Parents of Pedobear, the ‘Pedophile Mascot’ (Updated)

    The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department, who can’t be bothered to look up Pedobear’s extensive Wikipedia entry, issued a very serious warning about Pedobear last week, as seen in the news report above.

  • E-voting system failures lead to call for public clearinghouse
  • Free climbing a tower higher than the Empire State Building
  • The Future Collision of 3D Printer Manufacturers

    However, the RepRaps won’t lead to a mass revolution either, at least not yet. They are simply far to complex for most people to own and operate. Today’s 3D print operators are much like the barnstorming pilots of the 20th century, who sit ready with wrenches to tune and repair their 3D printer. Yes, they’re inexpensive, but our Mom would never be able to use them.

  • Science

  • Finance

    • Credit card writedowns increase in August

      The improvements in the unpaid credit card balances that banks gave up trying to collect stalled in August.

    • Man Who Wrecked the Economy Says Stimulus Didn’t Work
    • Industrial production rises 0.2 percent in August

      Production at U.S. factories grew in August for the 12th time in 14 months, but at a slower rate than earlier this year as consumers spent cautiously.

    • Goldman Sachs Goes Republican

      The latest data from the Washington D.C.-based Center for Responsive Politics shows that Goldman has doled out roughly $914,000 to Republican candidates compared to about $776,000 to Democrats in this year’s election cycle.

      “I think that Wall Street and other large donors have become not too much unlike the electorate at large – sort of willing to change,” said Jennifer Duffy, senior editor of the Cook Political Report, one of the nation’s leading non-partisan political handicappers.

    • ‘Goldman Conspiracy’ helps China defeat U.S.

      Goldman’s “ultimate goal is hunting and killing China,” warns Li Delin, the Chinese author of “The Goldman Sachs Conspiracy,” a bestseller in China.

      Li is not as visually dramatic as Matt Taibbi’s Rolling Stone picture of Goldman as a “great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.” But Li’s Chinese readers love his “Goldman Sachs knows when to go for your neck” like a “Manchurian tiger.”

    • 3 Women Claim Bias at Goldman

      Three former female employees at Goldman Sachs sued the investment bank on Wednesday, contending that the firm discriminates systematically against women.

    • Lehman sues to recover credit swap payments

      Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. is trying to recover more than $3 billion from banks, insurers and other financial services companies that it claims it lost when its bankruptcy filing in 2008 caused its priority payment status to be modified.

    • Gov’t: Banks should share Fannie, Freddie costs

      The nation’s largest banks have an obligation to pay some of the cost for bailing out mortgage buyers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac because they sold them bad mortgages, a government regulator said Wednesday.

      Edward DeMarco, the acting director for the Federal Housing Finance Agency, said the banks this summer have refused to take back $11 billion in bad loans sold to the two government-controlled companies, in written testimony submitted for a House subcommittee hearing Wednesday. A third of those requests have been outstanding for at least three months.

    • EU proposes tougher rules for financial markets

      The European Union’s executive on Wednesday proposed tougher curbs on financial market practices seen to have contributed to the global market crisis that drove the world’s largest economies into recession.

    • Yes, tax cuts increase the deficit

      There are a couple of weird arguments that come up when you talk about tax cuts. One is that “tax cuts do not cause deficits. Spending does.” This is pretty easy to test: If we cut taxes this year but leave spending unchanged, will anything happen to deficits next year? The answer, of course, is yes. They will go up. Fast.

    • Is Walking Away from Your Mortgage ‘Acceptable’?

      While there has been much debate about the ethics of walking away from a burdensome mortgage, the majority of Americans still believe such behavior is unacceptable, according to a report from Pew Research Center.

      On the other hand, more than a third (36 percent) say the practice is at least sometimes acceptable.

    • U.S. Adopts Tougher Stance on China

      The Obama administration is moving to take a harder stance on the Chinese government’s trade and currency policies, with anger toward China rising in both political parties ahead of midterm elections.

      Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, in separate hearings before House and Senate panels, plans to acknowledge on Thursday that China has kept the value of its currency, the renminbi, artificially low to help its exports and has largely failed to improve the situation as it promised to do in June.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • No Fishing

      Last week, we teamed up with the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) to bring a lawsuit challenging the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) policy that allows agents to search, copy and detain travelers’ laptops (and cell phones and cameras and other electronic devices) at the border without any reason to believe that the search will turn up evidence of wrongdoing. These tactics amount to electronic fishing expeditions into the constitutionally protected materials on an innocent traveler’s electronic device.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Click video: Apple wants to get in bed with newspaper business

      I filmed a video of my comments on today’s San Jose Mercury News story about Apple wanting to get into the newspaper business by selling subscriptions on its iPad and other devices and keeping 30 percent of the subscription revenue and 40 percent of the advertising revenue.

    • Copyrights

      • Cdn Music Industry Assoc Chair: Format Shifting, User Generated Content Keep Piracy Sites Going

        Similarly, the user generated content provision allows Canadians to make non-commercial new works that incorporate other copyrighted works. This provision – dubbed by many as the YouTube provision for supporting popular online mashups – has nothing to do with piracy. It is remarkable to find the chair of a leading industry association now claiming that these provisions support websites that promote piracy. In fact, Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore had a better description for these kinds of claims – radically extreme.

      • Third Time’s The Charm?

        After signing its intention to conform its copyright act to World Intellectual Property Organization standards 11 years ago, the Canadian government has introduced Bill C-32, the Copyright Modernization Act, to fulfill that mandate.

        But after the failure of two previous attempts — Bill C-60 and Bill C-61 both died on the vine due to unexpected election calls — some are warning the same fate could befall the CMA, especially since federal conservatives remain in charge and could be toppled by the opposition at any time.

        Many private and public Canadian music industry interests wouldn’t mind seeing the CMA — in its present form — defeated, maintaining that the proposed copyright reform falls far short of assisting the very creators the bill is designed to protect.

      • ACTA

        • Another reason for ACTA caution: U.S. rightsholders as government pawns

          Last Sunday, Clifford Levy in the New York Times published a disturbing and eye-opening account of selective crackdowns by the Russian government against alleged pirates of Microsoft products who also happened to be vocal environmental activists. The day after the story’s publication, Microsoft changed its policy, stating (as reported again by Mr. Levy) that it will now “provid[e] a blanket software license to advocacy groups and media outlets,” so that there will be no question about whether certain computers are running licensed software or not. Though they will “be automatically covered by it, without having to apply,” I’m wondering what exactly will qualify as an “advocacy group” or “media outlet,” and how and when those determinations will be made — e.g., before, or after, a seizure has occurred?

Clip of the Day

Ruby on Rails vs PHP – Commercial #6 of 9


Credit: TinyOgg

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