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

06.08.10

Links 8/6/2010: Ubuntu Limits Hardware Support, NPR Liberates Android App

Posted in News Roundup at 6:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Mobile Linux Gets Support From Chip Vendors

    The development of Linux on mobile devices may be poised to get a boost thanks to the formation of a new industry group called Linaro, backed by a consortium of chip vendors including ARM, Freescale, Texas Instruments, Samsung and ST-Ericsson.

    The goal of Linaro is to enable development of Linux on embedded System-on-Chips (SoC) including ARM-based processors. The effort will also leverage engineering help and resources from Ubuntu Linux vendor Canonical.

  • TUL shows off DIY AIO PC at Pre-Computex event

    Powered by AMD and Ubuntu

  • The road forward for systemd

    So it is not clear that any distribution will make the jump to systemd. But, then, even the above is a fair amount of attention for a project which has been public for less than one month. This program has reopened the discussion on how our systems should initialize themselves, and things may go on from there: there is talk of using systemd to take over the tasks of processes like cron and gnome-session. Regardless of who ends up running systemd, the ideas it expresses are likely to influence development for some time.

  • TurnKey Linux launches private beta of TurnKey Hub, a new simplified cloud deployment service
  • Desktop

  • Applications

    • 6 of the Best Free Linux Application Launchers

      Application launchers play an integral part in making the Linux desktop a more productive environment to work and play. They represent small utilities which offers the desktop user a convenient access point for application software and can make a real boost to users’ efficiency.

      An application launcher helps to reduce start up times for applications by indexing shortcuts in the menu. Furthermore, this type of software allows users to search for documents and other files quicker by indexing different file formats. This makes them useful for launching almost anything on a computer including multimedia files, games, and the internet. Application launchers often support plug-ins, adding to their versatility.

    • Instructionals

    • Games

      • Megadrive emulators in Ubuntu 10.04

        Here I tested 4 Linux MegaDrive emulators: dgen, gens, xe and rgen. Four classic MegaDrive games were used with each, including Sonic 3, Road Rash 3, Streets of Rage 2 and Zero Wing.

  • GNOME Desktop

  • Red Hat Family

  • Canonical/Ubuntu

    • Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Won’t Run On Processors Below i686

      If you’re planning on using Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat on a computer with a processor older than i686, well… you can’t.

    • Ubuntu to decommission SPARC port, IA64 port in jeopardy
    • Canonical Rolling Out Ubuntu Advantage for Enterprise Linux OS

      Ubuntu Advantage customers will also receive the assurance of indemnification from Canonical protecting them against any potential legal issues. The legal indemnification is the same that Canonical had previously been making available to its paying support customers. Rival Linux distributions Red Hat and Novell also both provide their enterprise customers with legal indemnifications.

    • Flavours and Variants

      • Peppermint Team – Q&A with OpenBytes

        Peppermint, like many distro’s do need your help and support, whether its reporting bugs, telling people about your good experiences with the distro, making a donation or visiting the Peppermint store….it all helps to support and enables the development of excellent projects like this.

      • Linux Mint 9 review

        Mint 9, aka Isadora, is the latest update to the desktop-focused, Linux distribution based on Ubuntu (10.04). It is one of the more exciting desktop distributions, with a nice selection of custom-developed graphical management utilities.

      • Vinux – A talking linux distro for blind and visually impaired users

        Vinux is a remastered version of the popular Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx distribution optimised for the needs of blind and partially sighted users.. It provides three screen readers, two full-screen magnifiers, global font-size and colour changing facilities, and out-of-the-box support for USB Braille displays. The Vinux live CD boots into the Orca screen reader which makes it easy to navigate the graphical GNOME desktop using keybindings. For those who prefer to work in a simple text-based console there is the Speakup

      • [Reviews]: Qimo 2.0 Review Great Linux Distribution For Kids

        Overall it’s a really good distribution for kids, it’s a really good choice to install it on your machine for your kid.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Mobile OS guide

        Android, Symbian, Bada, WebOS. The list goes on. The list of smartphone operating systems is growing by the day. Many are open source, a good number are proprietary and some are barely out of beta.

      • Android

        • NPR to open source its Android app

          National Public Radio (NPR), a non-profit membership organisation, has announced that it plans to open source its NPR Android application. Created in 1970, NPR is a privately and publicly funded US media organisation that produces and distributes news, talk and entertainment programming. The NPR app for Android devices was created by Google developer Michael Frederick in his spare time. With the application, users can read, listen or create playlists of NPR stories, share them with friends and live stream audio from hundreds of NPR radio stations.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Six Different Linux Distributions, one HP 2133 Mini-Note Netbook

        My HP 2133 Mini-Note with WSVGA (1024×600) display has been out on loan for several months. It came back a week or so ago, and as it had missed the latest wave of Linux distribution updates, I decided to reload it from scratch. It originally came with SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 (SLED 10), and NO WINDOWS (Hooray!). I had preserved SLED 10 in a small partition “just in case”, but it is now so old that it would not be of any use whatever may happen, so I wiped it as well, and started from a completely clean disk.

      • 2 screen Linux tablet/e-reader to replace textbooks

        This is the prototype of the Kno a Linux based dual screen textbook replacement shown by californian startup Kakai at at the 8th Annual Conference of D: All Things Digital, otherwise known as D8

Free Software/Open Source

  • AfricanFOSS foundation looking to boost ranks

    Looking for a job and a way to promote free and open source software? The Free Software and Open Source Foundation for Africa (FOSSFA) is looking to hire a project manager.

  • Rockbox 3.6 released

    On behalf of the Rockbox developers, I’m very pleased to announce that Rockbox 3.6 has just been released!

  • Malta: Open source preferred

    The Government of Malta has issued a new directivePDF instructing all of its agencies to give preference to the use of open source software (OSS) throughout government. According to the directive, Malta will adopt free software using the definition set by the Free Software Foundation (FSF) and it says that, “Where it is not possible to make use of OSS in the implementation of solutions, appropriate evidence shall be made available.”

  • Qi Hardware Launches Open-Source Computer

    It’s difficult to envision a computer that’s completely open-source—and I mean completely, right down to the software on its drives, the drivers for its components, and the circuit boards for its construction. However, Linux News has gotten its hands on one such device, Qi Hardware’s “Ben NanoNote,” and it’s one of the few massive hardware projects in existence that runs on completely copyleft hardware.

Leftovers

  • 9th Circuit Affirms Rejection of Data Breach Claims Against Gap — Ruiz v. Gap

    In a decision that does not bode well for plaintiffs bringing privacy-based claims against Facebook in California, the Ninth Circuit recently affirmed the trial court’s rejection of data breach claims against Gap.

  • Security/Aggression

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Sender Who E-Mailed Links to Blog Post Open to Defamation Claim, Federal Court Rules

      A federal bankruptcy court ruled that sending an e-mail message with a hyperlink to a defamatory blog post can be considered a publication for the purposes of a libel claim.

      While the case before the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas revolved around William Perry’s bankruptcy proceedings, the court relied on Texas law to determine that e-mail messages Perry sent linking to websites that made false and defamatory statements about Sugar Land, Texas, mayor David Wallace met the “actual malice” standard a public official needs to bring a defamation claim, according to the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Bulgarian organizers take Chessbase to court

      The Bulgarian organizers of the Anand-Topalov World Championship match take Chessbase to court for “violating copyright rules”. Chessbase transmitted the moves of the match live on their Playchess server, against the will of the Bulgarians.

    • Copyrights

      • RIAA asks court to close down LimeWire

        The music industry has asked a federal court in New York to order a shutdown of the LimeWire service, according to documents obtained by CNET.

      • Pubs can start claiming PPL refunds

        Licensees can now start claiming for refunds from music royalties collection firm, Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL), to get a share of £20m owed to pubs, hotels and restaurants, following a legal battle.

      • Defining Success: Were The RIAA’s Lawsuits A Success Or Not?

        The fact that lots of people paid up to settle extortion-like fees didn’t stop people from using file sharing networks to access unauthorized materials. It didn’t get more people to buy. It didn’t help the bottom line. It hasn’t helped the record labels sell more product. It certainly hasn’t helped the big labels stay in business. Hell, it hasn’t even helped the RIAA. Towards the end of the legal campaign, the RIAA ended up having massive layoffs of its own staff. And, let’s not even get into discussing what the average music fan thinks of the RIAA and the big labels these days…

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – HT – Archaeologists (5/19/2005)


Links 8/6/2010: Eclipse Foundation Survey, ZFS for Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 8:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Developer Survey Reveals Greater Linux Development

    The Eclipse Foundation has released its 2010 Eclipse Community Survey results, which reveal an interesting snapshot of one slice of the development community.

    Taking the results at face value, the likely respondent from the 1696 total is a male programmer who works for a high-tech company with fewer than 100 employees. Oh, and their favorite IDE is some flavor of Eclipse.

    [...]

    And, the second half of the news will surely be that this increase comes at the cost of Windows development, which has seen a steady decrease in platform participation: in 2007, 73.8 percent preferred Windows; in 2009, it was 64.3 percent; and this year just 58.3 percent listed Windows as their favorite operating system.

  • Evolution of Linux computing and its implications

    Today Linux is acknowledged to be the ideal operating system amongst programmers and application intense users. This is not to say that UNIX solutions have developed problems, but simply that Linux continues to be increasingly capable of doing the task that has typically been expected of Unix, and in many instances does so more effectively and efficiently.

  • Sensationalism Isn’t Helping Linux

    No matter the intent, sensationalist articles are not overall helpful or realistic when it comes to advancing Linux. The only thing that will continue to help move Linux forward is action on the behalf of the community that supports it. This includes developing the software to make it better than the competition and providing marketing support, which can include written articles. Those articles need to be informative, however, and better educate users on what Linux is all about. We need to be smart about this though, since there is a difference between the audience on CNET and LinuxInsider — know to which audience you are writing. Why continue to preach to the choir about how Linux is ready to dominate when we can go help it achieve the goals we write about so often?

  • MeeGo, Android, ChromeOS – Signs of Linux REALLY Going Mainstream Finally?

    Ever since I have started learning and using Linux, this is something I always thought “was happening” and never knew when it will “really happen”. And the thing is called mass Linux adoption. Why is it necessary? How is the likes of Android, MeeGo and Chrome OS is going to change the world as we know it forever? Let’s explore.

  • Linux crash on a Plane!

    In the end, we can only hope that of the several networks likely running on a modern passenger jet, that true air-gapping is taking place and these systems are in no way connected to critical on-board networks. Time will tell if this is indeed the case. In the meantime, keep an eye out for those Linux boxes crashing on planes!

  • Can’t Buy Love

    Look what freely giving worthwhile stuff to people gets you:

    * FedoraProject.org up 18% and in the top 1000 sites in some parts of the world.
    * Debian GNU/Linux is in the top 3000 over much of Europe.
    * Ubuntu.com in the top 400 over much of the world

    Those organizations give stuff away for free sincerely and without trying to manipulate anyone. There are hundreds of GNU/Linux distros and most are thriving, taking a serious and increasing share of the desktop OS market.

  • Desktop

    • ES: Zaragoza’s move to complete open source desktop going to plan

      The move by the city of Zaragoza to an open source desktop is making good progress. All of the city’s civil servants now use open source tools including Thunderbird, VLC, Firefox and OpenOffice. And this year some seven hundred of the city’s 2800 desktop PCs will have seen their proprietary operating system replaced by the Linux open source alternative.

    • Comparative Test Problems – Hardware, Windows7 and Linux

      You knew I was gonna go there huh. If you want a printer, 3g and OS combo that works – go with Samsung, new Huawei Modem, and Ubuntu. I would recommend this to anyone who needs a reliable combination for the small office but needs Internet on the go as well.

    • The Perfect Desktop Articles

      The first problem I had with the article was just seeing it’s link on Lxer. People are still recommending and using 32-bit software. These people needed to be locked up for mental illness. Well at least they SAY it’s Gnome, instead of calling it the default desktop. They ruin it however by making users install mono applications like F-Spot, and a weird assortment of proprietary applications which HAVE NO PLACE in Fedora.

  • Audiocasts

    • Episode 142: Waterfront

      In the begin I talk a bit about difficulties in the forum and my thoughts about flattr.
      The TOC

      03:25 Subscribe to the RSS feed
      04:35 flattr
      06:30 An image from the Europahafen
      08:15 Goal: Enhance the contrast between old and new
      08:25 Rotation correction
      10:15 Saving as XCF
      10:45 Cropping
      11:25 Fixing the aspect ratio
      13:15 Duplicating the layer before tweaking the colours
      14:05 Adjusting the curve to get more contrast
      15:35 Desaturationg parts of the image with a layer in saturation mode
      20:00 Adding sepia colour
      22:20 Colour layer mode

  • Google

    • Chrome and Rust: Pros and Cons of Google’s Browser

      Should you be using one of the official Google packages, you might want to read the end-user’s license agreement. The agreement reads as though generic, and may not be the final license. Still, you may want to know that, like the license that openSUSE used on its betas until a few releases ago, it is non-free. When you download an official package, the license assumes that you have implicitly agreed not to copy or distribute it.

  • Ballnux

    • Hacking for Freedom

      These are first hours of hackweek. A lot of people in Novell and in the community are starting to work on different projects. What can I give for free software in this week? Sure, my favorite project is NetworkManagement.

  • Kernel Space

    • ZFS for the Linux kernel

      Developers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have cooperated with Oracle to port large parts of Solaris’ ZFS file system to the Linux kernel. Their aim is to make the distributed Lustre file system available under Linux with ZFS.

      [...]

      Native ZFS for Linux can be compiled with kernel versions up to 2.6.32; among the tested platforms are the 2.6.32 kernel in Fedora 12 and in the beta version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, as well as the 2.6.18 kernel in RHEL 5. The build requires the Solaris Porting Layer and a 64-bit Linux system.

    • X Server 1.9 Window Closing After RandR 1.4 Pull

      There’s good news for the Ubuntu camp and others releasing in the September-October time-frame: development work on X.Org Server 1.9 is still going as planned for an August release and its merge window is about to be closed. In the past it’s been tough for the X.Org project to release server updates in a timely manner that’s on schedule, but continuing from their X.Org Server 1.8 success, 1.9 is shaping up nicely too.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Eight Ways GNOME Could be Improved

        In this piece, I want to show you that the GNOME desktop has a number of issues that need attention as well. I’ll outline eight areas in GNOME that need to be improved for a better user experience.

  • Distributions

    • The Leading Enterprise Linux Vendors

      Enterprise Linux Vendors

      · Red Hat
      · Canonical Ltd.
      · Novell / SuSE
      · Other Major Players And Contributors
      · Debian
      · IBM
      · Oracle

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • Canonical rejigs Ubuntu support services

        Canonical, the commercial presence behind the Ubuntu Linux distribution for servers and desktops, is in business to make money as well as to put out the best free operating system it can.

      • Well that’s a nice volume slider (minor post alert)

        You’re likely all aware that Ubuntu 10.10 is getting a funky feature-packed new sound applet for Maverick. That shindig promises to be crazy awesome and a great usability improvement. Until that pops up do allow me to bask in the sweet glow of simple progression because sometimes, as you may be aware, very minor changes make me giddy.

      • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 196

        Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 196 for the week of May 30th – June 5th, 2010. In this issue we cover Maverick Alpha 1 released, Kubuntu: Maverick Alpha 1 Released, Postponing Ubuntu User Days, Call for Testing: Hardy Firefox Users (or willing to install Hardy in a VM), Request For Help Preparing ClassBot For Translations, Operation Cleansweep Launched!, Linaro: Accelerating Linux on ARM, Ubuntu Stats, LoCo Teams Best Practices and Guidelines, Help translating the LoCo Teams Best Practices and Guidelines, The LoCo Directory wants to speak your language, Ubuntu Development Team Meetings Minutes, Launchpad News, NGO Team during Maverick, Free culture projects need a ubiquitous funding system, Hacking on grub2, Severed Fifth II, Project Maintainers Required, In The Press, In The Blogosphere, Towards Linaro 10.11, Ubuntu Systems Management update, SouthEast Linux Fest Announces Full Speaker List, VMware User Conference – Phoenix, TurnKey Hub: a new simplified cloud deployment service, Featured Podcasts, Monthly Team Reports: May 2010, Upcoming Meetings and Events, Updates and Security, and much much more!

      • Ubuntu: when Linux ideology meets business

        Profiting from Linux doesn’t involve an obvious winning formula. There are as many different business models as there are distributions, and you seldom find much overlap between those that are working.

      • Lucid Productive Wallpaper
  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Trust: the catalyst of the open source way

    Collaboration works better when you trust the people with whom you are collaborating. Transparency is more believable when you trust those who are opening up to you. And it is much easier for the best ideas to win when there is a base level of trust in the community that everyone is competent and has the best interests of the project at heart.

  • The Epic War of Browsers

    Since Symantec released its report in 2005, Microsoft lobbyists have quoted the old document to make people believe that Internet Explorer is the safest browser today. Their idea is to tell users that Mozilla Firefox might make one’s computer vulnerable to attacks.

    Symantec, the company that flags Norton Antivirus, stated back then that there were 25 vulnerabilities in Firefox while Internet Explorer had only 13. This is the part that supporters of IE love to repeat. The part that they don’t want us to consider is this:

    1. The Mozilla Foundation started in 2003, so Firefox was a fairly young browser back then. Yet, its problems were solved in a period of THREE DAYS. Some of the noted problems of IE are still there today.

    2. From the 25 problems in Firefox, only 8 were considered as real threats by Symantec …the SAME NUMBER OF PROBLEMS THAT WERE FOUND IN INTERNET EXPLORER. This means that the young Mozilla product and Microsoft’s 10-year-old browser WERE TIED REGARDING PERFORMANCE.

    3. According to Secunia (a Danish company that checks the security of software products), up to 2010, IE keeps a total of 19 vulnerabilities that have not been fixed, while Firefox has only 3.

  • BSDMag: Jun 6 BSD Firewalls [PDF]
  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Geek Of The Week: Richard Stallman

      He is largely responsible for the popularity of the Linux operating system (including Linux-based derivatives like Android), and the open source community. If it wasn’t for him, you’d probably be paying for every piece of software you use on a daily basis.

    • GNU/Linux: The Name Game

      I want to make things easier for them to understand, not more difficult. I feel that I am not doing anything wrong; when I choose to call Microsoft Windows Vista “Vista” I am not doing a disservice to Microsoft. Nor do I do a disservice to Canonical by calling Ubuntu “Ubuntu.” A great many people and groups have to come together to make any particular operating system, particularly community-created ones, and credit for success should go to each and every one of them.

    • So, what exactly is a Freedom Outlaw?

      A Freedom Outlaw is (loosely) somebody who cares so much about freedom that he or she will go after it regardless of any laws or regulations blocking the way. Will go after it personally. Not petition for it. Not write letters for it. Not vote for it. But GO for it.

  • Open Data

Leftovers

  • Germany’s Artificial Cornea Ready To Restore Sight To Thousands

    An expansive EU project to produce an artificial cornea has found success thanks to the work of Joachim Storsberg of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP in Germany. Storsberg helped develop a new version of an opthalmological polymer which the eye will bond to and still allow to function properly. The new polymer could help restore sight to thousands waiting for corneal transplants around the world. The artificial cornea has passed clinical trials and is ready to see expanded use in patients this year. Very soon those with corneal blindness may find a ready cure in the form of the new implant.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Restraining order on CyberSpy lifted

      The Federal Trade Commission has come to an agreement with Florida-based CyberSpy Software that allows it to resume sales of its Remote Spy commercial spyware application. According to the U.S. District Court settlement, the company must not provide users with the means to disguise the software as an innocent file or email attachment. Users must also be advised that doing so may violate US state or federal law. Additionally, all recorded information sent over the internet must be encrypted and older legacy versions of the software must be removed from computers on which it was previously installed.

    • Cyberwar is fiction

      I’m reading various articles about the Russia’s proposal, with support from the UN, for a “cyberwarfare arms limitation treaty”. What astounds me is that nobody seems to realize that “cyberwarfare” is a fictional story, and that “arms” in cyberspace don’t exist.

    • Botnets Using Ubiquity as Security

      As major botnet operators have moved from top-down C&C infrastructures, like those employed throughout the 1990s and most of the last decade, to more flexible peer-to-peer designs, they also have found it much easier to keep their networks up and running once they’re discovered. When an attacker at just one, or at most, two, C&C servers doling out commands to compromised machines, evading detection and keeping the command server online were vitally important.

  • Finance

    • Goldman Bashing Is The New Chinese Black

      Did anybody tell these people how many “losing” trading days Goldman had in the latest quarter/year? Joking aside, we do find it somewhat ironic that the company which brought capitalism (or at least the Goldman-centric version thereof) to China is now being openly attacked for being “too successful.” It really is time for Buffett to MBO the squid and get the public company farce over with (that means only another $30 in GS downside before the Oracle announces his true intentions). We are sure that Goldman can pull enough strings where even as Buffett’s last hypocritical hurrah, it will still have full discount window access, even as a fully private hedge fund. Because the last thing Goldman needs is to be the primary scapegoat of a better way of life gone horribly wrong for 1.3 billion angry Chinese. On the other hand, look for the American Idol empire to promptly move to Beijing with Goldman’s blessings and venture funding – when all else fails, prime time distraction with moronic entertainment for an increasingly lazy middle class always seems to get the job done.

    • Goldman Sachs Must Defend Its Gains in China

      Always eager to jump at anything suggesting foreign conspiracy, the Chinese press leapt at accusations of fraud made against Goldman Sachs by the American regulatory authorities.

    • Goldman Sachs Reputation Destruction Tour

      The brutal combination of inept management, poor legal advice, and horrific decision making is combining is uniquely ugly ways to further damage their reputation — as if that were possible. Hard as that is to imagine, their PR — recently ranked as “For Shit” — is now heading south from there.

    • Goldman Sachs subpoenaed for failing to cooperate with finance probe

      A high profile panel investigating the causes of the financial crisis announced Monday it had subpoenaed Goldman Sachs for failing to cooperate with the probe.

      “The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission has issued a subpoena to Goldman Sachs & Co. for failing to comply with a request for documents and interviews in a timely manner,” the body said in a statement.

      It is the latest controversy for the New York-based bank, which is facing civil and potentially criminal charges for misleading investors.

    • 15 attorneys leave LeClairRyan to form new firm

      Fifteen attorneys have left Richmond-based LeClairRyan to form Murphy & McGonigle, a firm specializing in advising financial services clients during lawsuits, government investigations and enforcement actions.

    • The Regulation Crisis
    • Countrywide Settles Fee Complaint

      Countrywide Home Loans and its mortgage servicing unit, which are now part of Bank of America, agreed on Monday to pay $108 million to settle federal charges that the company overcharged customers who were struggling to hang onto their homes.

    • The Greek Debt Crisis

      When the CCS derivative instrument maturity came, we saw back in 2009 that Greeks Deficit suddenly climbed to 12% of GDP which is 4 times over the limit. With the credit crunch, borrowing more to finance government spending became a problem. This resulted on the news of its potential default of certain loans.

    • European Stocks Follow Asian Markets’ Decline

      Stocks fell across Asia on Monday and the euro hit fresh multiyear lows against the dollar and yen, after disappointing U.S. jobs data and amid renewed fears that the European government debt crisis could spread to other vulnerable economies.

    • Hungary Is Playing Political Games on Debt

      Its budget deficit is about one-half that of Greece. It does not use the euro and so could, if pressed, lift exports by devaluing its own currency, the forint. And it is in the middle of an economic overhaul program with the International Monetary Fund and can call upon an additional $2 billion if needed.

    • Debtors’ Prism: Who Has Europe’s Loans?

      IT’S a $2.6 trillion mystery.

      That’s the amount that foreign banks and other financial companies have lent to public and private institutions in Greece, Spain and Portugal, three countries so mired in economic troubles that analysts and investors assume that a significant portion of that mountain of debt may never be repaid.

    • Anatomy Of A Bubble
    • Richard Fisher, Senior Fed Official: White House Is Dead Wrong

      Richard Fisher, president of the Dallas Fed, has long been a proponent of serious financial sector reform. As a former commercial banker, he sees quite clearly that the legislation now headed into “reconciliation” between House and Senate versions amounts to very little. He also knows that pounding away repeatedly on this theme is the best way to influence his colleagues within the Fed and across the policy community more broadly.

    • This Flight to Safety Wasn’t Supposed to Happen
    • How to manage student loan debt

      In 2008, about two-thirds of students graduating from four-year colleges and universities had student loan debt averaging $23,200, according to data analyzed by the Project on Student Debt, an initiative of the nonprofit Institute for College Access & Success.

    • Overcoming the Debt Trap

      But there is another part of their story that contains some truth. The government is borrowing large amounts of money right now to sustain demand in the wake of the collapse of private sector spending following the deflation of the housing bubble. If the deficit continues on the projected path, the country will substantially increase its debt burden over the course of the decade.

    • Pols turn on labor unions

      Spurred by state budget crunches and an angry public mood, Republican and some Democratic leaders are focusing with increasing intensity on public workers and the unions that represent them, casting them as overpaid obstacles to good government and demanding cuts in their often-generous benefits.

    • Bank Reform Bait and Switch

      When the Senate bank reform legislation passed in May, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) said it sent the message to Wall Street that they can “no longer can you recklessly gamble away other people’s money.” The bill told Main Street, “you no longer have to fear that your savings, your retirement or your home are at the mercy of greedy gamblers in big banks. And it says to them: never again will you be asked to bail out those big banks when they lose their risky bets,” according to Reid.

    • Senate Financial Reform Bill DOESN’T End Too Big To Fail, Major Credit Rating Agency Says
    • Reining in Speculation on Oil and Food Prices through the Financial Reform Bill
    • New bonds to help cash-strapped states also benefiting Wall Street

      New federally subsidized bonds that have proven wildly popular in helping cash-strapped state and local governments fund roads, schools and other construction projects also offer a windfall to a less obvious beneficiary: Wall Street banks.

    • The Contractual Structure of Private Equity
    • Long-Term Unemployed Now 46 Percent Of Unemployed, Highest Percentage On Record

      The proportion of people jobless for six months or more has accelerated in the past year and now makes up 46 percent of the unemployed. That’s the highest percentage on records dating to 1948. By late summer or early fall, they are expected to make up half of all jobless Americans.

    • Banks Say No. Too Bad Taxpayers Can’t.

      FROM the earliest days of the credit crisis, the nation’s big financial institutions have been less than forthcoming about ballooning loan losses buried inside their books. To some degree this is understandable: denial is a powerful thing, after all, and writing off troubled loans during a period of severe stress is, for bankers, the equivalent of getting a root canal.

    • Distressed Sales: Sacramento as an Example, May 2010

      The Sacramento Association of REALTORS® is breaking out monthly resales by equity sales (conventional resales), and distressed sales (Short sales and REO sales), and I’m following this series as an example to see mix changes in a distressed area.

    • THE INFLUENCE GAME: Dueling over debit card fees

      Swipe your debit card at the supermarket and you’ve placed yourself at the heart of a contentious congressional debate.

      On one side are banks like JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America and credit card networks like Visa and MasterCard. On the other are retailers, including giants like Wal-Mart and Target.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • University Networks Block Student Project

      An anonymous reader writes “A computer science student at University College London put together FitFinder as a bit of a joke — it’s been described as a cross between Twitter and personal ads, and it rapidly became very popular. The university took exception to this and started by blocking the site from being accessed on campus. Not content with this, a few weeks later it fined the student £300 and had him take the site down completely. Currently, the site is still offline, although there is a petition with several thousand signatures requesting its return. In the meantime, a site called PhitFinder has appeared, claiming to have no link to the original.”

    • Porn sites suddenly available in China

      Some websites, including ones with pornography, that were previously blocked by China’s Internet censors were accessible inside the country Friday, though reasons for the change were unclear.

    • U.S. Intelligence Analyst Arrested in Wikileaks Video Probe

      Federal officials have arrested an Army intelligence analyst who boasted of giving classified U.S. combat video and hundreds of thousands of classified State Department records to whistleblower site Wikileaks, Wired.com has learned.

      SPC Bradley Manning, 22, of Potomac, Maryland, was stationed at Forward Operating Base Hammer, 40 miles east of Baghdad, where he was arrested nearly two weeks ago by the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division. A family member says he’s being held in custody in Kuwait, and has not been formally charged.

    • Turkey bans use of Google, services

      Turkey has imposed an indefinite ban on Internet search engine Google and many of its services citing “legal” reasons.

      In an official statement, Turkey’s Telecommunications Presidency said it has banned access to many of Google IP addresses without assigning clear reasons. The statement did not confirm if the ban is temporary or permanent.

  • Digital Economy Bill

    • Paedo-Fear Pushes The Surveillance Agenda

      For instance, only a huge effort from concerned people prevented Europe from adopting software patents under the pressure of lobbying from big self-interested software companies. And only continued vigilance will prevent those big companies from wearing down resistance.

      In the UK a big campaign against the excessive measures of the Digital Economy Act has had some effect in tempering the eventual implementation as prpoposed by Ofcom, but it didn’t kill it, because in the end most elected representatives simply don’t get it, and let it pass in the rush before the end of the parliamentary session.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – HT – Jamestown (5/19/2005)


06.07.10

Links 7/6/2010: KDE SC 4.5, OpenOffice.org Signals Over 154 Million Downloads

Posted in News Roundup at 2:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Cut the fat with Linux

    Cutting costs is at or near the top of every IT manager’s priority list. Moving your enterprise from proprietary to Linux-based systems may be one of the best ways to increase efficiency while reducing your overall expenses. Here is a glimpse at just three cost-cutting perspectives you may not have considered before.

  • Desktop

    • Samsung ML-1640 USB Printer and Ubuntu Lucid Lynx

      It Just Works (TM)

      I switched on the printer and plugged in the USB cable. Immediately I started to click through to the printer setup area to see if I could set it up. Suddenly my eye caught a little dialog popup next to my network monitor.

    • Why switch to Ubuntu?

      Most people probably have never heard of an operating system different than Windows. Most of them are not as widely advertised as Windows either.
      I have completely switched to Ubuntu about a month ago and I must say I do not regret one single bit of doing so.

      I was using Windows Vista as my main operating system and I couldn’t help but notice how slow it was at times. Especially when I had all the needed applications installed. It was so frustrating to wait for it to boot up in the mornings when I needed it to boot up fast, because all I needed was Firefox. Right then I found out about Ubuntu.

      [...]

      Ubuntu is free, fast, functional, customizable and user friendly!

    • Many hands make the light work; few make it shine

      If we want to fix bug number one, get rid of the Microsoft monopoly that’s been plaguing the world for 20 years, and actually bring free software to the masses, we need to hit the gym and get in shape. Not only our product, Ubuntu, but our collaboration and our protocol, our infrastructure and our people.

      We’re all working towards the same thing, so don’t get all defensive if I criticize your work – I’m trying to help. Don’t work in secrecy when you’ve got an entire community of intelligent and talented people at your disposal literally asking for stuff to do, and don’t skimp out on the minor details, because it’s all those minor details put together that make a good product into a great one. Work out where to draw the line between forcing something that’s unpolished into a release because you’re stuck on a schedule, or perhaps giving it another six months before incorporating it.

  • Server

    • Windows Server vs. Linux

      “With Linux, the operating system is effectively free,” says Phil Cox, principal consultant with SystemExperts. “With Microsoft, there are licensing fees for any version, so cost is a factor.” And relative to any physical hardware platform, Linux performance appears to be about 25% faster, Cox says.

  • Audiocasts

  • Ballnux

  • Kernel Space

    • Guest Blog: Rares Aioanei – Weekly Kernel review with openSUSE Flavor
    • Graphics Stack

      • Wayland Meets Some Summer Love w/ New Changes

        Last week we openly asked the question if and when will X12 emerge to replace X11, which was met by a variety of responses. Some view the Wayland Display Server as being a potential successor to the current X11 / X.Org Server, but others don’t give it much credit seeing as it’s not too actively worked on — well, directly, but it leverages a lot of work actively going on with the Mesa and kernel DRM. The last time the Wayland Display Server received new commits to its code-base was back in March, but that changed this weekend.

      • X.Org Server 1.8 Being Pulled Into Ubuntu 10.10 Soon

        While many new packages have been pulled into the “Maverick Meerkat” repository for Ubuntu 10.10, one area that hasn’t yet received many changes compared to the Ubuntu 10.04 LTS packages has been the X.Org graphics stack. However, that soon will change with X.Org Server 1.8 being pulled into the Maverick repository in the very near future.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Overview and Explanation of Linux Desktop Environments

      In terms of popularity KDE is the second most popular desktop environment. Like Gnome it is fully matured and provides it’s own full application set as well as GUI tools for configuration. KDE also has a wide selection of “plasma widgets”, which are handy applets you can place all around your desktop for all sorts of tasks. They range from something as practical as a calculator to as useless as a display from “The Matrix”.

      [...]

      All of the various desktop environments have their advantages and their disadvantages. Which one is right for you largely depends on your task at hand. Personally I run LXDE on my netbook, KDE on my gaming laptop, and Gnome on my home media center. If you are not sure which is best for you, try them out! It is all free software after all, get a feel for which desktop environment you
      are most comfortable on and use that one.

      Is there another desktop environment that you enjoy using that I failed to mention here? If so let me know, I am always looking to tinker with new things.

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • KDE 4.4.4… or not.
      • KDE SC 4.5

        • Quicklaunch plasmoid in KDE SC 4.5

          Of course, there is still a lot of work to do. I’ve already got a few ideas for the future of quicklaunch, but since KDE SC is currently in it’s beta phase, these will have to wait until trunk unfreezes for the 4.6 cycle. In the meantime, if you’ve got the chance to have a look at the new qucklaunch plasmoid and you’d like to share some feedback (be it positive or negative), please let me know.

        • A Quick Look at KDE SC 4.5 Beta 1

          Window Tiling

          This is a feature a lot of people have been asking for. I have never really used a tiled window arrangement. I suspect that this would be good for people with large monitors, who work on multiple applications at once – for example developers, journalists or technical writers. However, on my 13 inch laptop screen, there’s just not enough screen real estate for tiling to be practical. It’s difficult to say whether this is a good or bad implementation of window tiling. Given I’ve never really played with window tiling, I’ll leave such an analysis to the those users who are tiling junkies.

        • KDE Partition Manager: New PartWidget Design
        • Netbook and performance

          Right now, as in KDE SC 4.5 and Qt 4.6/4.7 is still not for everyday use, is still not so stable and there are some graphical glithces (this actually varies from a graphics driver/video card model like crazy) but what is encouraging is that since this feature was introduced (Qt 4.4) it came a very long way, it’s really sooo better than when it was originally out.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • Distro wars

      Another week-end spent out, shooting people… I liked the expression on the face of this arm wrester so much, that I couldn’t resist messing with it in Inkscape.

    • Gentoo Screenshot Contest 2010

      After the success of the 2009 Screenshot Contest the Contest Team is doing it again!

    • Final Review: Pardus 2009.2

      When I found about Pardus some weeks ago, I was surprised to find a distro which is not among the most popular ones, but an impressive piece of work nevertheless. I personally believe the Pardus developers have a very good understanding of their users needs, specially those users who may not have any experience in Linux or KDE. I think they have done a superb job at removing “obstacles” where it matters, joining other great distributions like PCLinuxOS 2010 or Linux Mint 9 in making the Linux desktop more accessible than ever.

    • Reviews

      • [Reviews]: Quirky 1.2 Review

        Quirky distribution built using Woof builder for Puppy Linux, looks as same as puppy linux 5.0 but more lighter, we already reviewed Puppy Linux 5.0 check it for more information.

      • Cradle to Grave – A Look at Arch Linux

        Overall, though, I am enthusiastic about the possibilities Arch Linux offers and plan to continue experimenting with it. This article has been completed using the beta version of OpenOffice.org 3.2, which is available through the Arch Linux repository. Both the stable and the beta versions can be installed. It would be immensely valuable to me if users could try the new packages for features important for them and provide feedback.

      • A look at Slackware 13.0

        After all this, I ended up with a usable Slackware 130.0 installation. Login screens have a pleasing dark theme by default while the desktop is very blue. There may be no OpenOffice but KOffice is there in its place and Seamonkey is an unusual inclusion along with Firefox. It looks as if it’ll take a little more time to get to know Slackware but it looks good so far; I may even go about getting 13.1 to see how things might have changed and report my impressions accordingly. Some will complain about the rough edges that I describe here but comments about using Slackware to learn about Linux persist. Maybe, Linux distributions are like camera film; some are right for you and some aren’t. Personally, I wouldn’t thrust Slackware upon a new Linux user if they have to install it themselves but it’s not at all bad for that.

      • In praise of PLoP

        The shortest posts I seem to have are always for the tools that are the quickest, most efficient and most effective. PLoP Bootmanager is one of those things, and for that reason, I’m afraid I don’t have much to say about it.

        A long time ago I kept Smart BootManager on hand, for times when a machine wouldn’t boot from a CD. Any more though, PLoP has supplanted it, and won a place in my little CD binder.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • PCLinuxOS 2010.1 KDE4

        PCLinuxOS 2010.1 KDE4 is a rock solid distro – just in my case I had a problem with the LiveCD, but not with the installed version – which offers a KDE4 DE tailored to newcomers and KDE-geeks alike.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Trading Alert for Red Hat Inc.

        ed Hat Inc. options saw high put activity today. A total of 1,871 put and 276 call contracts were traded raising a high Put/Call volume alert. Today’s traded Put/Call ratio is 6.78. There were 6.78 puts traded for each call contract.

      • Fedora

        • Why I’m using Fedora 13 now

          In short, I’m not running the latest versions of applications anymore, because Fedora doesn’t have a rolling release schedule. This used to be a big deal for me, now I find that I don’t care. The repositories are extensive, but of course Arch has the AUR which contains almost all open software known to man…but I’m not running anything exotic anymore.

        • Fedora 13 review

          Fedora 13 is the latest update to the Redhat-sponsored, RPM-based Linux distribution. It has long held a reputation of being a testbed for features that will eventually make it into Redhat Enterprise Linux, and, therefore, less stable than other desktop-oriented distributions. And I think that’s one reason why Fedora has features that you’ll not find on other desktop-focused distributions.

        • Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx vs Fedora 13 Goddard

          Let me list out the pros and cons for both Fedora and Ubuntu and you can decide for yourself what you want.

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux For Space Constrained Small Embedded Devices

      A considerable segment of embedded systems are often found in mass-market products and are therefore subjected to hard economic constraints. The basic nature of these systems mandates further constraints on physical size and power consumption. These in turn give rise to resource constraints on the computing platform level, e.g., constraints on computing speed, memory size, and communication bandwidth etc. In spite of the rapid development of computer hardware these constraints are true due to the economic overheads. In most cases it is not economically justified to use a processor with more capacity due to the overall product’s cost limits.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Is Chrome OS right for the netbook market?

        In the emerging netbook market, Google decided it would announce a new-style Linux-based OS that would be perfect for netbook owners, set for release in Q4 2010. Recently, Google has also showed off a new application market for Chrome and Chrome OS. We at The PC Report have used Chrome OS briefly when it was first released, but today we’ve taken an in-depth look at the OS and how it will affect the OS and netbook markets.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Virtualisation and Open Source – What Makes It the Right Match?

    Fidelity: Software running in a virtualised environment should not be able to detect it is running on a virtualised system. Containment: Activities within a virtual machine (VM) should be contained within the VM itself without disturbing the host system. A guest should not cause the host or other guests running on the host to malfunction.

  • 5 Open Source Wi-Fi Hotspot Solutions

    You’ll find many Linux-based and/or open source options when searching for a Wi-Fi hotspot solution. Whether you’re wanting to give away or charge your visitors for the wireless Internet, you should find something that will work. The best part is that most of these solutions are free — you don’t have to spends hundreds on a off-the-shelf hotspot gateway.

  • Mozilla

    • Firefox add-on game ‘Destroy The Web’ lets you blast away the Internet

      This Firefox add-on installs a menacing little “Destroy this page!” icon on the Firefox toolbar and all you have to do is load up your favorite or even not-so-favorite webpages and hit the button. Soon afterwards, you are greeted to arcade music and a countdown timer that beckons you to “Destroy the Web.”

  • Oracle

    • [OpenOffice.org] 154 million and counting…

      This is a huge number but this number doesn’t count all distribution specific variants. The number could even be higher when taking the download numbers from other build providers into account.

    • Extending OpenOffice.org

      Everyone has heard the old saying “lies, damn lies, and statistics”, well statistically OpenOffice.org is used somewhere between 0.2% and 22% depending as to where you live. (these statistics can be found at Webmasterpro.de). This leaves a lot of people saying, “Huh?!?”. So I will resolve to discuss OOo adoption anecdotally. The first class of pharmacy students I taught 4 years a go had never heard of OpenOffice.org prior to me using it for a presentation, but this past month (May 2010) I had several students email me their pharmacy law papers as ODTs. The reasons for this increased adoption could be due to multiple reasons such as alternatives being perceived as bloated, slow, and expensive or the increased number of students I have using alternative operating systems where OOo has a native port or maybe even the fact that they find their pharmacy professor so darn cool that they want to be just like him and run OOo as well. As biased as I am towards myself, I seriously doubt it’s that last reason but I am seeing more and more OOo use. My intention with this article is not to proselytize OOo, but instead to show some good ways to extend the use of OOo.

  • Business

    • Q&A, Tarus Balog

      Q. How do you make money with open source?

      A. “If open source is free software, how do you make money with it?” is a question I hear often, sometime expressed simply as “you can’t make money with open source”.

      Since 2002, I have made my living working with open source software, specifically the OpenNMS project. While I wouldn’t describe myself as wealthy in terms of money, I am both happy and comfortable. It is possible to make money with open source, although being free does mean a departure from traditional software business models.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • How ready is your browser for HTML5- Take the test

      HTML5 is the second most buzzed word around I think, second only to the Hypepad. In case you’re wondering whether your current browser is compatible with it or not, a simple tool to help you determine this is the HTML5 test tool.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – AO – Indigenous Astronomers (3/17/2005)


Links 7/6/2010: More Motorola Linux Phones

Posted in News Roundup at 8:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The gift of a desktop, part one

    Giving someone a desktop is a moving experience. I’ve done it hundreds of times. It was my job to deploy desktops with Red Hat or Fedora 2000-2006 for Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science. There, some of the brightest minds would be there to receive it.

  • Google Chrome OS Could Shake Up PC Market
  • Ballnux

  • Games

    • Gaming-II

      FOSS gaming really started coming into its own in the last couple of years. There are many reasons for it. One of the biggest reasons perhaps may be the mainstream grudging acceptance by the general public, publishers and copyright activists of the creative commons/open content production and distribution methodologies.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • ARM chippies cooperate on Linux

      Red Hat’s Fedora has an ARM version, but it is not commercialized (yet) as Enterprise Linux, and Maemo, Movial Thundersoft do ARM-based Linuxes too. And there are already a plethora of Linuxes for sundry “liliputers,” as someone has cleverly called them, including Android, LiMo, MeeGo, and webOS. And lest we forget, Windows is also trying to muscle its way into here and Apple has iPhone OS, a derivative of its Mac OS (itself a variant of Unix).

    • Phones

      • Linux smartphone to beat entire market in 2010
      • Android

        • Motorola squares up Android phone with enhanced MotoBlur

          Motorola announced a square-shaped, low-end Android phone, featuring a pivot design that exposes a hidden, five-row QWERTY keypad. The “Flipout” is equipped with a 2.8-inch, 320 x 240 touchscreen, GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, and a three-megapixel camera, and runs Android 2.1 with a new version of Motorola’s MotoBlur UI layer.

        • Motorola Announces Android-Based Flipout Phone
        • Android phone features eight-Mpixel camera, analog TV

          Taiwanese mobile development firm Innocomm Mobile Technology and Silicon Valley fabless semiconductor firm Telegent Systems have collaborated on a low-cost Android phone with analog TV reception. The Innocomm Shark is equipped with a 3.2 inch WVGA capacitive touchscreen, eight-megapixel camera, 3.5G connectivity, and WiFi, and incorporates Telegent’s analog mobile TV technology.

        • Exclusive: Motorola Droid Xtreme Pics

          So here is what our tipster gave us:

          * Android 2.2
          * 9 home screens
          * No Motoblur
          * Dedicated camera button
          * “Very metal”
          * HDMI out

        • Source: Metro PCS Getting Android 2.1 Motorola Device

          Here’s what my guy has to say about the phone – It is running MOTOBLUR with Android 2.1 and has a sliding QWERTY keyboard. The processor is said to be 600MHz and there’s a 3-megapixel camera on it. Not much, I know but it doesn’t sound like any other Android phone we’ve seen so far. Perhaps a new form factor and/or a Metro PCS exclusive?

        • Sony Ericsson prepping a 5-inch Android phone with QWERTY keyboard? (updated)

          Well, this is just great timing. What we’re looking at here is supposedly a Sony Ericsson smartphone, which seems to sport a five-inch screen and a hinged slide-out keyboard like the HTC Shift and the Eking S515. Even if this prototype turns out to be legit, our tipster — who has a solid track record — says it’s only running on Android 2.1 and that development is in its infancy while low-level drivers are being tested. Well, we can probably wait, except we’re also told that internally SE doesn’t appear to have any plans for 2.2 yet. Cue the angry tomatoes and eggs, but bring us a PSP phone any day and we’ll call off the rally.

    • Tablets

      • Android Tablets on Show by Foxconn, Hardkernel

        Two 10.1-inch touchscreen tablet designs that run Google’s mobile Android software are on display at the Computex electronics show in Taipei, one from Foxconn Technology and the other by Hardkernel.

      • Stunning Viliv X10 Tablet Features 10-Inch 1366×768 Screen

        Another day, another Android tablet. Right? Not exactly. Check out the newly unearthed Viliv X10 and you will see one of the best looking Android-based tablets yet. One of the guys over at Laptop Magazine spent a few minutes with the device and came away using words like “impressive”, “gorgeous”, and “immersive”.

Free Software/Open Source

  • BCS In Crisis Vote Of No Confidence

    I received a mass-mailed letter from one Elizabeth Sparrow today that triggered my open source instincts. She’s the current President of the British Computer Society, as well as one of the key people trying to get us all to stop calling it that. She and her colleagues would like us – the current voting members – to agree to rename the BCS as “The Chartered Institute of IT” and there’s an expensive marketing campaign in progress to perform the naming and rebranding switch.

    Right now it’s in an awkward phase where we’re all instructed to treat “BCS” as an abstract string preceding “The Chartered Institute of IT”.

    The reason for the letter? A group of members – Elizabeth and her friends would like me to believe it’s “a very small number” but that’s calculated purely from the number required to call a meeting – are concerned by the changes and have pressed the governance ‘panic’ button.

    The letter was to seek my support for the current leadership at an Emergency General Meeting (EGM) on July 1st. While the letter and accompanying leaflet characterises the opposition as Luddism, the concerns expressed have a kernel of reality.

    [...]

    As a long-time member (at the Fellow grade) I have no doubt that the BCS needs revitalising – my own attempts to engage over open source have gained little traction, for example, and the public policy positions the BCS has taken have often seemed to me over-accommodating to business influences.

  • Oil spill Firefox plugin blacks out BP across the Web

    Creative agency Jess3 has developed a Firefox plugin that aims to black out all mentions of BP (British Petroleum) across the web. As one popular tweet espouses, “Want BP to [blank] up your browser like they’ve [blank] up the Gulf? Install the Oil Spill Firefox plugin from @jess3.”

  • World’s tiniest open source violin
  • Books

Leftovers

  • Michael Dell considered taking computer giant private

    DELL chairman and chief executive Michael Dell sent Dell shares higher today when he said he had considered taking private the computer giant he founded with $US1000 in 1984.

  • Should Mainstream Media Be Held to Different Standards Than Bloggers?

    Should mainstream media be held to different standards than bloggers when it comes to crediting sources? Mainstream media agencies have frequently turned their noses up at bloggers, essentially claiming that they steal and repurpose the work of their hard working journalists. While this may be true in some cases, it is hardly fair to say that this is true in general. In fact, this week, we’ve seen a clear example of the hypocrisy of this notion, because mainstream media publications are clearly just as guilty as blogs when it comes to improper crediting of sources.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Data Breach Puts Kidney Dialysis Patient Info at Risk

      Fortunately, no instances of identity theft have yet been reported as a result of the breach. But no harm doesn’t always mean no foul where data breach is concerned, especially since this one could have been prevented with just a password. The university could have saved itself the embarrassment – not to mention the cost of credit monitoring times 700 – by adding password protection.

  • UK

    • Manchester (UK) airport stops searching passengers by hand in trial run

      The UK’s Manchester Airport has installed biometric iris detection systems for access to secure areas of the airport; it has tested 3-D baggage screening technology; and now it is installing passenger holding areas that permit travelers to wear coats, jackets and shoes while detectors scan for dangerous items. Glass gates enclose passengers as they are scanned, then either a green door opens to allow cleared passengers to continue or a red lane directs them to a full-body scanner for further screening.

    • “Take pictures on the beach? You’ll need a licence…”

      A beach warden – who would only identify himself as “Beach 8” – challenged our photographer as she took snaps on the promenade at Branksome Chine yesterday.

      He demanded to see a licence and told her she shouldn’t be taking pictures without one.

      After years of taking photos on the beaches unchallenged, our snapper Hattie Miles ploughed on regardless.

    • The Coalition has performed a disgraceful u-turn on the Summary Care Record

      Finally, I note that it was “announced” by brief Written Answer, without debate, on the day of the statement made to the House on the Cumbrian shooting, so it didn’t get picked up anywhere. A Jo Moore 9/11 situation writ large, but after weeks in power rather than New Labour’s years in office by the time of Moore’s disgrace. New government, old tricks. No change, and no shame.

    • Labour’S Hated Bin Taxes Are Thrown Out

      A senior source at the Department for Communities and Local Government said pilot schemes underway would be “consigned to the dustbin of history,” making good on a Tory election promise.

    • Government to rule out ‘pay as you throw’ waste charge
    • ID cards by the backdoor?

      The truth is, the government was only ever following EU law when it made foreign nationals part of the first phase of ID cards’ roll-out. It merely seized on the requirements to fit its populist, xenophobic rhetoric, in a sad attempt to wring as much political capital as it could out of what was already an unethical EU regulation.

      [...]

      Given the money we’re paying IBM over the next seven years for the NBIS database one might consider it sensible to scrap it on financial grounds. Indeed it would be, but this isn’t just about money, or even civil liberties. This is about taking a rational, compassionate view of immigration – an unpopular view at present.

  • Environment

    • Dell has run out of excuses

      Did you see Greenpeace activists took direct action against Dell at its global headquarters in Texas, U.S., last week?

      [...]

      Since the action, over 12,500 people have sent protest emails to CEO and company founder Michael Dell. Dell’s public relations arm has responded but the company has not yet made good on its promise to take action.

    • Women’s Role in a Warming World

      Women are likely to be hit harder by climate change than men due their social roles and the simple fact that a majority—as much as 70 percent—of the world’s poor are women.

    • Allen Has Ordered ‘Uninhibited Access’ to Oil Spill Operations

      Admiral Thad Allen told me he has ordered that oil spill operations be open to the media. The National Incident Commander for the oil spill efforts said in my “This Week” interview, “I put out a written directive and I can provide it for the record that says the media will have uninhibited access anywhere we’re doing operations, except for two things, if it’s a security or safety problem. That is my policy. I’m the national incident commander.”

    • Play BP Offshore Oil Strike

      In the 1970s, an obscure board games publisher called Printabox collaborated with BP to design a game called BP Offshore Oil Strike.

    • A different climate perspective: A view on the UN negotiations from the Arctic

      It has been so obvious that the oil, coal and timber industries have actively lobbied behind the scenes before, and in Copenhagen to stall a global climate deal. They fear they will lose profits if the planet is steered towards an energy revolution and zero deforestation. A few weeks ago a Greenpeace investigation reported that the fossil fuel industry have provided 30 million dollars of backing to the Koch Institutes to damage the credibility of climate science.

    • Leroy Stick – the man behind @BPGlobalPR
    • BP Oil Spill: Who’s Your Daddy?

      BP will pay dearly for its apparent negligence, ending up poorer and smaller as a result of the spill. Not so with the federal government: disasters are the health of the state.

      That dynamic won’t change as long as pundits, pols and the public embrace the poisonous notion that the president is America’s daddy.

  • Finance

    • Hungary Warns of Greek-Style Crisis

      Fears that the debt crisis could migrate to central Europe were stirred Friday after a senior Hungarian government official said the previous government had manipulated budget figures and lied about the state of the economy, but most financial experts dismissed the remarks as a ham-handed negotiating ploy.

    • Goldman Sachs May Explain PPT’s Vanishing Act: Caroline Baum

      Where are they? What’s keeping them? Stock markets across the globe are getting hammered, and there’s no sign of the Plunge Protection Team.

      Sure, there were some sightings of the bond vigilantes in places like Greece over the past month. But a worldwide equity meltdown is a job for real men, for the PPT.

    • Financial industry hired 1,400 former government staffers as lobbyists in 2009

      Firms hired 2.7 former government staffers for every member of Congress — in one year

      Want to know why Congress tends to tread lightly when it comes to regulating major US banks and financial services firms?

    • Banks Say No. Too Bad Taxpayers Can’t.

      As profits rebound at many of these institutions, however, artful dodging becomes more disturbing. And when disguising problems winds up harming the taxpayer — the same folks who rode to the rescue of banks with billions of dollars — the denial is downright exasperating.

    • Consumers stand to gain the most from financial overhaul

      Though the Wall Street and banking features of the giant financial industry overhaul bill taking shape on Capitol Hill have drawn most of the attention, home buyers and mortgage applicants should be major winners when the legislation is finally signed into law, probably early next month.

    • Lost Decade, Here We Come

      The deficit hawks have taken over the G20:

      “Those countries with serious fiscal challenges need to accelerate the pace of consolidation,” it added. “We welcome the recent announcements by some countries to reduce their deficits in 2010 and strengthen their fiscal frameworks and institutions”.

      These words were in marked contrast to the G20’s previous communiqué from late April, which called for fiscal support to “be maintained until the recovery is firmly driven by the private sector and becomes more entrenched”.

      It’s basically incredible that this is happening with unemployment in the euro area still rising, and only slight labor market progress in the US.

      But don’t we need to worry about government debt? Yes — but slashing spending while the economy is still deeply depressed is both an extremely costly and quite ineffective way to reduce future debt. Costly, because it depresses the economy further; ineffective, because by depressing the economy, fiscal contraction now reduces tax receipts. A rough estimate right now is that cutting spending by 1 percent of GDP raises the unemployment rate by .75 percent compared with what it would otherwise be, yet reduces future debt by less than 0.5 percent of GDP.

    • Financial overhaul’s likely impact on Wall Street
    • A Dubious Way to Prevent Fiscal Crisis

      Will the bill that emerges from this conference do what it is intended to do? Will it prevent another crisis? Will it put an end to government bailouts? The painful answer is: probably not.

      In the first place, there is nothing even remotely radical about anything in these bills. Nobody is suggesting setting up a new Securities and Exchange Commission, which reshaped Wall Street regulation when it was formed in 1934. Nobody is talking about breaking up banks the way they did in the 1930s with the passage of the Glass-Steagall Act. Nobody is even talking about a wholesale revamping of a regulatory system that so clearly failed in this crisis. “They are trying to attack the symptoms, instead of the basic issues,” said Christopher Whalen, managing director of the Institutional Risk Analyst. There is something oh-so-reasonable about these bills, as if Congress was worried that they might do something that would — heaven forbid! — upset the banking industry.

    • Is it military spending that’s blowing in the wind?

      Take a look at the top ten military expenditure offenders and think what could be done with a fraction of the cash, and the wasted human potential squandered on designing more sophisticated ways to bomb the world to pieces.

      * USA $661bn
      * China $100bn (Sipri estimate)
      * France $64bn
      * UK $58bn
      * Russia $53bn
      * Japan $52bn
      * Germany $46bn
      * Saudi Arabia $41bn
      * India $36bn
      * Italy $36bn

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Guardian says dating site rivals violated database rights

      The Guardian newspaper has sued two online dating sites in the High Court, claiming that the companies have violated its database rights by using profiles taken from its own dating service.

    • Australia orders Google ‘privacy breach’ investigation

      The Australian police have been ordered to investigate Google for possible breach of privacy while taking pictures for its Street View service.

    • Canada probes Google on wireless data collection
    • Lawsuits Mount Over Google Wi-Fi Sniffing
    • Google blames Wi-Fi snooping on rogue engineer

      The male Googler in question is now subject to disciplinary proceedings, he told the FT.

      That’s in spite of the news overnight that the firm applied for a patent on the technology in January.

    • WikiLeaks Was Launched With Documents Intercepted From Tor

      WikiLeaks, the controversial whistleblowing site that exposes secrets of governments and corporations, bootstrapped itself with a cache of documents obtained through an internet eavesdropping operation by one of its activists, according to a new profile of the organization’s founder.

    • Wikileaks denies Tor hacker eavesdropping gave site its start

      WikiLeaks has denied that eavesdropping on Chinese hackers played a key part in the early days of the whistle-blowing site.

      Wired reports that early WikiLeaks documents were siphoned off from Chinese hackers’ activities via a node on the Tor anonymiser network, as an extensive interview with WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Paul Assange by the New Yorker explains in greater depth.

      One of the WikiLeaks activists owned a server that was being used as a node for the Tor network. Millions of secret transmissions passed through it. The activist noticed that hackers from China were using the network to gather foreign governments’ information, and began to record this traffic. Only a small fraction has ever been posted on WikiLeaks, but the initial tranche served as the site’s foundation, and Assange was able to say, “We have received over one million documents from thirteen countries.”

    • Bangladesh cuts off Facebook

      Bangladesh blocked Facebook over the weekend, leaving the social networking site marooned from another tranche of Muslim users even as Pakistan largely restored access to the site.

    • Facebook Admits Censoring Content in Pakistan

      Facebook said on Tuesday that it has blocked users in Pakistan from accessing the ‘Everybody Draw Mohammed Day !’ page on its site out of respect for local standards and customs.

    • China bans Foursquare over Tiananmen Square visits

      According to various reports and tweets, authorities in the Communist country have banned the service after linking it to the 21st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

    • iiNet says Sen. Conroy lied

      iiNet CEO Michael Malone has reasserted the company’s total opposition to the Internet filter, despite claims to the contrary by Sen. Conroy.

    • ACLU fires an anti-snooping volley

      The group, along with the New York Civil Liberties Union, announced that it is suing the US federal government for the release of documents relating to a controversial spying law, the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 (FAA).

      The ACLU said that the act was unconstitutional and “gives the executive branch virtually unchecked power to collect Americans’ international e-mails and telephone calls in dragnet fashion, without a warrant and without suspicion of wrongdoing.”

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • DRM explained
    • Dear AT&T: Soon We’ll All Be Data Hogs

      OK, laugh–but just a little. Because it’s true, even on wired broadband networks, that a tiny portion of subscribers gobble up most of the bandwidth. But with the expected surge in video applications for wireless devices, we’ll all be data hogs soon enough.

    • Is this what they mean by analog hole?

      Having trouble with DRM on your ebooks? Try this site. The problem with DRM is it encourages piracy. It can always be removed – but it can be a hassle. So: if you are going to distribute it widely it is worth the effort – and if you take the trouble to do it yourself you are so pissed off that you feel a strong temptation to share it.

    • GameLoft Changes DRM Policy on HD Android Games

      Last week, many of you may have read of GameLoft’s outrageous DRM policy regarding HD Android games sold through their site. Fortunately, due to many complaints and the negative response from the Android community, GameLoft has changed their stance. They listened to the concerns of many of their potential customers and have taken significant action. For starters, they’ve completely reversed their stance on re-downloading games that aren’t in the Android market.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Keep your MEPs on their toes!

      During the weeks leading up to the UK General Election — and during the exciting aftermath — our focus has very much been on UK parliamentary politics, and since the election, we’ve been dealing with our internal elections and getting our paperwork done. But what’s been going on at the European Parliament in Strasbourg in that time? Yesterday morning, my attention was drawn to our fraternal Pirate colleague Christian Engström’s blog, and in particular two issues that need your action as soon as possible.

    • Copyrights

      • World War 0

        Eckhard goes on to analyze how authors fared with and without copyright. The bottom line: the journeyman author – those who produce most of the books – did better without copyright. The big guys at the top? They did better with copyright.

      • “Piracy has increased my e-book sales 700%”

Clip of the Day

Linux For Everyone “Tell Us Your Story”

06.06.10

Links 6/6/2010: “Ubuntu Advantage”, Firefox 4 Early Walkthrough

Posted in News Roundup at 8:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux evolves: TVs, smartphones, tablets

    Linux rules supercomputers. It’s vitally important to servers. And, Linux is making gains on the desktop. Where Linux is really going to shine in the next twelve months though is in devices: tablets, smartphones, and TVs.

    For example, more than a dozen Apple iPad-like tablets made their first appearance at the Computex computer show in Taipei, Taiwan. The vast majority of these devices run Android Linux or other embedded Linuxes such as the latest MeeGo embedded Linux.

  • Steve Jobs blunders on the Internet TV market
  • SGI ends Itanium era with UV supers

    The full Altix UV 1000 machine, which first lashes together 256 blades into a fat tree configuration and then links these clusters together in an 8×8 2D torus, for a total of 16,384 cores, will be available by the end of the calendar year, delivering 74.3 teraflops in a global shared memory system running Novell’s SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 and SGI’s ProPack extensions. Red Hat’s Enterprise Linux is now supported on the Altix boxes, too.

  • Open source growth changes the definition of community

    What’s remarkable about this analysis is that Google is forced by circumstance to live in all three worlds simultaneously. So the early-stage work on the Chrome OS runs into a media that is also looking at the mid-market efforts of Android and the mass market monetization of the base service and getting muddled.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • The Day of the Linux Desktop: Q&A With Canonical Founder Mark Shuttleworth

        LIN: What will take Ubuntu to the next level?

        Shuttleworth: In terms of looking forward and breaking into new areas of production, we are seeing sort of a real shift in the way people think about at Ubuntu in two different environments.

        On the consumer front, we’re seeing a shift in the way people think about alternative platforms to Windows amongst the PC companies. It used to be a kiss of death to present yourself as a genuine alternative to Windows. But the success of the Web and the success of Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) have really made the PC companies think that it is possible to offer something that is perceived to be valuable even if it is not Windows.

        So we’re seeing a rapid ramp-up of the number of PCs that ship around the world with Ubuntu, which is good for us. And those are going to folks who are not Linux enthusiasts and are not Linux specialists. So it has really raised the bar on the quality and crispness of the experience you have to deliver in order to keep those people happy.

      • Canonical to offer new Ubuntu Linux business support options

        Linux is great — if you know what you’re doing. If you don’t, Linux, like any operating system, can be a pain. Enter Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu Linux. On June 7th, Canonical will start offering new Ubuntu Server and Ubuntu Desktop “Ubuntu Advantage” business support services.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Android

      • New Android Smart Phones Coming this Year

        We have all seen the Google Nexus One, HTC Desire, Legend, Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 and plenty of other Android smart phones and by all means, we are very much impressed. But the availability of the open source platform does not end this year with these handsets alone. In fact, several new smart phones are already on the way.

      • Motorola Flipout Is The Microsoft Kin of Androids

        As per the usual chain of events, spy-shots lead to real products—in this case, the Motorola Flipout. Running Android 2.1, it comes in a quirky little swivel-design similar to the Kin One.

      • What Computex’s Android Tablets Mean for the iPad

        So, don’t get too worked up over what comes out of Computex. They will be about the hardware, but it takes more than hardware to sell hardware. It will be months from now before we’ve digested this show and the pad phenomenon.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Could Chrome OS revive slumping netbook numbers?

        Google’s focus is on netbooks at the moment, though today’s announcement shows that Chrome OS will not be mutually exclusive to the netbook market but notebooks and fully-fledged laptops, perhaps desktops also.

    • Tablets

      • Kno: Big, Dual-Screen Tablet Debuts at D8

        If you were bummed when Microsoft pulled the plug on it’s Courier project, you might be interested in the Kno, another dual-screen e-reader/tablet that debuted at All Things Digital’s D8 conference yesterday.

      • Computex 2010: Year of the tablet?

        HP has clearly been recalibrating its tablet plans and Microsoft killed off its Courier project.

Free Software/Open Source

  • When you should open-source your internal apps

    Enterprise IT departments should revisit their application development strategies to follow some of the approaches used by Facebook and Twitter, argues RedMonk analyst Stephen O’Grady in a recent blog post. Specifically, he says you should invest application development resources only in applications that differentiate your business from your competitors, and rely on open-sourcing and permissive licensing to extend your reach and your development dollars. I believe he’s right.

  • Tiemann on transforming IT the open source way

    In his talk, Tiemman applies the lessons of Darwin to Deming toward transforming the model of IT using the open source way. Adaptability leads to reuse, which leads to sustainability.

  • Women Who Tech in Open Source

    I tend to agree with the NY Times article that some woman tend to migrate to the human side of IT. Not that we are here to be the mothers/nurturers of the team, but I chose to work with the end users of OSS instead of developing code. I get more satisfaction from that, and does it make me less of a contributing member of the FOSS community?

  • Mozilla

    • Firefox 4: An early walk-through of IndexedDB

      Web developers already have localStorage, which is used for client side storage of simple key-value pairs. This alone doesn’t address the needs of many web applications for structured storage and indexed data. Mozilla is working on a structured storage API with indexing support called IndexedDB, and we will have some test builds in the next few weeks. This can be compared to the WebDatabase API implemented by several browsers that uses a subset of the allowable language of SQLite. Mozilla has chosen to not implement WebDatabase for various reasons discussed in this post.

    • Firefox Sync Shows Mozilla’s Still Got It
  • SaaS

    • WSO2 Launches Open-Source Cloud Platform

      The Mountain View, Calif.-based WSO2 was founded by members of the Apache Software Foundation’s Web services community, and its products are based on Apache technologies. The WSO2 Web Services Application Server (WSAS) is based on Apache Axis2, and the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) is based on Apache Synapse.

  • Oracle/Solaris

  • Healthcare

    • Open Your World recap: Dr. John Halamka on healthcare, the stimulus, and standards

      Dr. John D. Halamka, is Chief Information Officer of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a practicing emergency physician, and holds several other positions, which are listed on his profile at his Geek Doctor blog. According to Halamka, his datacenter “holds a couple of petabytes of healthcare data for 3 million patients, and the entire infrastructure is run on Red Hat technologies. So I have multiple datacenters, multiple clusters of Linux servers, and we haven’t had downtime in a couple of years. I think the answer today is, no CIO in healthcare is afraid of open source.”

  • BSD

    • DesktopBSD lives on under new leadership

      Following the September 2009 announcement that version 1.7 of DesktopBSD would be the “last and final release”, a small group of German developers have signed on to continue the distributions development. DesktopBSD is based on FreeBSD using the KDE desktop environment and is similar to PC-BSD which also focuses on a desktop version of the BSD variant.

  • Government

    • Asia tackles copyright quagmire through open source

      Tightly guarded secrets may be a thing of the past for government officials or space researchers as more industries adopt open-source practices, presenters at a conference said Friday in Seoul.

    • Government IT: Open Data, Open Standards and Open Source

      As the UK’s new Government settles into power the direction in which it is taking ICT policy is becoming clear, the only question is how the admittedly great ideas will be implemented in practice.

      Much informed analysis has indentified that despite the counter-intuitive pairing of the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, they are in fact closely compatible in many policy areas.

      ICT policy is one such area, and by far the majority of the excellent policy ideas from both party’s manifestoes have made it through to official UK Government policy.

      Let’s start with a lightning tour of the big picture. Austerity is, of course, set to become the watchword for the coalition, and with Public Sector ICT spending running at over £14,500,000,000 per annum and rising some might say austerity is long overdue in this area.

  • Openness

    • Go fly a kite: Mapping the oil spill the open source way

      Since arriving, we’ve managed to mobilize small teams of Gulf Coast residents, working with local nonprofit Louisiana Bucket Brigade. Thanks to the fishermen and charter boat captains whose livelihood is at stake, we’ve been able to get teams out on boats almost every day. Taken from balloons at as high as 1500 feet, our photography is of higher resolution and greater coverage than much of what the press has, and we’re now coordinating a nationwide effort to stitch the imagery into map overlays, which will be viewable in Google Earth as well as more traditional GIS tools. Most importantly, the data we are collecting is released into the public domain and is available for free here.

    • Open Data

      • Where’s my bus? Open data enables real-time route info for Boston riders

        Traditionally, transit agencies are the sole source of bus information for consumers. Agencies build their own countdown signs, launch their own websites, and build their own smartphone applications to get information to customers. Following in the footsteps of the NWS, MassDOT and the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) decided to open data for software developers for the first time in September 2009. Within two months, six trip planning applications had been built by developers including websites, a desktop widget, and smartphone apps. In Robin’s words, “These were as good or better than anything we would have built on our own.”

      • Government spending details published

        The government has published millions of public spending data as part of what David Cameron says are efforts to lift its “cloak of secrecy”.

Leftovers

  • Does the Internet Make You Smarter?

    But of course, that’s what always happens. Every increase in freedom to create or consume media, from paperback books to YouTube, alarms people accustomed to the restrictions of the old system, convincing them that the new media will make young people stupid. This fear dates back to at least the invention of movable type.

  • Science

  • Environment

    • Gulf oil spill: BP to go ahead with $10bn shareholder payout

      Tony Hayward, BP’s embattled chief executive, will risk incurring further wrath in the US over the Gulf oil spill tomorrow by defying calls from politicians to halt more than $10bn (£6.8bn) worth of payouts due to shareholders this year.

    • How BP, MMS Ignored Spill Warning Signs

      New documents released over the weekend to the New York Times show that both BP and federal regulators at the Interior Department’s Minerals Management Service had plenty of warning that the drilling operation at the Macondo well site was plauged with problems—dating as far back as June 2009. But despite known issues with the well and the blowout preventers, the operation continued until the April 20 blast.

    • BP Hires Former Dick Cheney Spox To Run PR Ops

      BP, struggling to maintain its image while taking responsibility for the worst oil disaster in U.S. history, has hired someone new to head its American public relations operation: Anne Womack-Kolton, the former campaign press secretary for Vice President Dick Cheney.

    • Whole, whole on the range

      A quarter of the land area of Earth is turning into desert. Three quarters of the planet’s savannas and grasslands are degrading. And because the main activity on rangelands is grazing livestock, on which 70% of the world’s poorest people depend, grassland deterioration therefore causes widespread poverty.

    • Monckton takes scientist to brink of madness at climate change talk

      That import, Christopher Monckton, Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, had given a rousing speech to a crowd at Bethel University in Minnesota, near where I live.

      His speech was on global warming and his style was convincing and irreverent. Anyone listening to him was given the impression that global warming was not happening, or that if it did happen it wouldn’t be so bad, and scientists who warned about it were part of a vast conspiracy.

      I know a thing or two about global warming. I have worked in the field of heat transfer and fluid mechanics and I have published more than 80 papers on these topics.

      I am a university professor and also an active consultant in the energy and environment industry. What I heard in his talk surprised me.

      Monckton cited scientist after scientist whose work “disproved” global warming.

      He contended that polar bears are not really at risk (in fact they do better as weather warms); projections of sea level rise are a mere 6cm; Arctic ice has not declined in a decade; Greenland is not melting; sea levels are not rising; ocean temperatures are not increasing; medieval times were warmer than today; ocean acidification is not occurring; and global temperatures are not increasing.

      If true, these conclusions would be welcome. But there is a problem with this kind of truth – it is not made by wishing.

      So I began a journey of investigation (the full results of which you can view here).

      I actually tracked down the articles and authors that Monckton cited. What I discovered was incredible, even to a scientist who follows the politics of climate change. I found that he had misrepresented the science.

      For instance, Monckton’s claims that “Arctic sea ice is fine, steady for a decade” made reference to Alaskan research group (IARC).

      I wrote to members of IARC and asked whether this was true. Both their chief scientist and director confirmed that Monckton was mistaken.

    • U.S. Climate Satellite Capabilities in Jeopardy

      The United States is in danger of losing its ability to monitor key climate variables from satellites, according to a new Government Accountability Office report.

      The country’s Earth-observing satellite program has been underfunded for a decade, and the impact of the lack of funds is finally hitting home. The GAO report found that capabilities originally slated for two new Earth-monitoring programs, NPOESS and GOES-R, run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Department of Defense have been cut and adequate plans to replace them do not exist.

    • Apartheid-era minister carried ‘nuclear trigger’ in hand luggage to South Africa

      Eschel Rhoodie transported device used to detonate atomic bombs on flight from Israel in mid-70s, say journalists

      [...]

      Two renowned South African journalists have revealed that Eschel Rhoodie, the apartheid government’s information minister who played a central role in establishing military ties to Israel, privately described in 1979 how he had transported “the trigger” as hand luggage on a flight from Tel Aviv. But they say they were unable to publish the account at the time because of censorship and the former minister’s concerns for his safety.

  • Finance

    • Goldman Was a “Predatory Cat,” and Moody’s a “Goat”

      Many are waiting for Warren Buffett to speak out, for the first time, about his investment in Moody’s Investment Services before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission today. (He is due up at 11:30 a.m. and hasn’t provided the panel with any written testimony.)

      But for those closely following the role of the credit raters in the financial crisis, the more-interesting testimony may come from a little-known former Moody’s executive named Gary Witt.

      In Witt’s written testimony submitted to the commission, Witt says: “concerns that rating analysts and investment banking analysts worked too closely together prior to the issuance of securitized debt is a legitimate concern.” In particular, he describes a situation involving one of his staffers, a lawyer named Rick Michalek, who was removed from rating Goldman Sachs Group CDOs because the investment bank requested that he be taken off their deals.

      “In my opinion, Rick Michalek was an exceptionally thorough legal analyst. His zealous document reviews were an added expense for investment banks who hired top law firms as transaction counsel with high hourly fees. It was my understanding that this behavior (exceptionally thorough document reviews that resulted in high legal fees being charged to investment banks) had led to a personal reprimand from Brian Clarkson, then head of structured finance.”

    • The Final Fight: No More Gambling with Taxpayer Money

      We agree, the bills are far from perfect and will not prevent the next crisis. But while some will walk away in frustration, we think there are a few things left in the legislation that are worth fighting for. Chief among these is the Senate derivatives chapter, which is head and shoulders better than the House version. The main goal of the Senate derivatives chapter is to separate reckless Wall Street gambling from the taxpayer guarantee.

    • Whistleblowers, Cooperators Making Their Way to the SEC’s Door

      While speaking at a recent Practicing Law Institute seminar, Reisner said the SEC has signed 10 cooperation agreements so far with other potential deals in the pipeline. The insiders are helping investigators in probes involving insider trading, financial and accounting fraud, stock offering frauds, and public company disclosures, he said.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Full Disclosure: A Response to Citizens United

      Instead of offering outright support for campaigns, it seems some corporations have funneled funds into political organizations. According to an article in the Washington Post, the Chamber of Commerce, American Crossroads, and American Action Network have pledged to raise $127 million for the upcoming election season.

    • Investigative Report: Richard Berman

      But this is no ordinary PR operation. This is where white-knuckle lobbying and media buys merge with a handful of public charities Berman has created to spin and cajole public perception on a variety of issues. But for the most part, he attacks and intimidates those with contrary views, and under the banner of the public good serves the agendas of corporate America.

    • The Latest on Rick Berman, Attack Dog Extraordinaire

      Berman targets non-profit organizations with views that conflict with those of big business. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is one example. It lobbies against animal cruelty, which puts it at odds with beef, pork and poultry producers, dairies, puppy mills, captive (“canned”) hunting operations, and contract research labs that do animal experimentation for pharmaceutical and cosmetics manufacturers. Another favorite Berman target, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), lobbies for lower legal blood alcohol levels for drunk driving charges, and mandatory use of ignition interlock devices for convicted drunk drivers, which puts it at odds with alcoholic beverage manufacturers, whose business success depends on people drinking more.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Press release: BabyBarista resigns from The Times over their decision to charge

      Barrister and writer Tim Kevan has withdrawn the BabyBarista Blog from The Times in reaction to their plans to hide it away behind a subscription-based paywall. He commented: “I didn’t start this blog for it to be the exclusive preserve of a limited few subscribers. I wrote it to entertain whosoever wishes to read it.” In a further post he said, “I think the decision will prove to be a disaster. There are so many innovative ways of making cash online and the decision to plump for an across-the-board blanket subscription over the whole of their content makes them look like a big lumbering giant…Canute-like in their determination to stop the tide of free content and using a top down strategy which makes even the Post Office look dynamic.”

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – AO – Observatories (3/17/2005)


06.05.10

Links 5/6/2010: Pardus 2009.2, OpenOffice.org 3.2.1 Are Out

Posted in News Roundup at 5:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Erosion

      The global number of PCs on the planet is around 1400 million. The gadgets are additional millions. This dilutes the sensitivity of this data for understanding the share of OS on PCs. The w3schools number for GNU/Linux, 4.5% is much more believable but even that site has a bias to that other OS because it has sections for .asp, etc. The w3schools numbers likely do not include phones and gadgets. In May 2009, w3schools showed that other OS as 89.5%. In May 2010, w3schools showed that other OS as 88.3%, a drop of 1.2% when their new “7″ OS is stocking retailers shelves. This must mean a fair chunk of businesses’ XP machines are migrating to MacOS and GNU/Linux. W3schools showed XP dropped 11.9 points in the past year so about 10% of those that migrated away from XP went away from that other OS. That is a potential 300 million XP business machines with 30 million leaving the fold. It’s not an avalanche but a trickle in a crack in the dam. I expect as early adopters in business find GNU/Linux works for them the crack will widen. People who encounter GNU/Linux at work may well demand retailers supply GNU/Linux, bursting the dam. 2014 is the date of XP’s demise.

    • Google and the Desktop

      We know GNU/Linux on the desktop is growing rapidly in deployments if not share and most of those deployments are in business because most users of PCs at home do not install operating systems. Google has simply been the most visible of late.

    • Linux Desktop Success Not in the Clouds

      The wild success of Linux in embedded space would lead to application development on an unprecedented scale for the various mobile Internet devices, which would lead to a renaissance of application development on the Linux desktop, which in turn would lead to the Ultimate Success of Linux on the Desktop and a world where we will finally get to say “This is the year of the $Expletive! Linux desktop.”

    • Passionate about … Operating Systems

      Linux’s answer to that is pretty easy. Linux is in and of itself a good work. It helps people the world over. You can learn how to write code from it. You can learn how an OS works from it. It powers things like the OLPC XO series of computers.

    • MSI 890GXM-G65

      About a month ago we reviewed the AMD Athlon II X3 425 processor when coupled with an AMD 890GX + SB850 motherboard and in this review we are taking a closer look at that motherboard under Linux.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • The Death of the Desktop (a video panel discussion)

      On Tuesday, KDE released and update to its 4.4 software compilation (4.4.4) and I happily updated my own system from the Kubuntu repositories. It’s a beautiful thing and with each update (and that includes GNOME by the way), I grow more and more attached to my personal desktop environment. And yet, there are those who claim it’s pretty much over for the desktop as we know it.

      All this flows very nicely into the discussion you are about to watch.

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • Akademy-es 2010 Big Success

        Every year, the KDE community in Spain organizes a local Akademy event: Akademy-es. This year’s event was held in Bilbao from 7th to 9th of May. The event gathered around 80 KDE contributors, users and Free Software enthusiasts from all over Spain and even people from other countries such as France and Ireland.

      • KDE PIM Stabilization Sprint

        The KDE PIM team meets regularly 3 times a year for stabilisation and planning.

        Face to face meetings like this help strengthen community bonds and allow progress and discussions not possible with IRC or email. For more information, be sure to check out the quotes section of the meeting page. We look forward to the next meeting and to seeing the new direction our platform will take!

      • Interview with Stephen Kelly

        My job currently involves improving the features and quality of KDE PIM and Akonadi on the desktop and on mobile platforms.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • YlmF OS – Ni Hao!

        YlmF is a refreshing product. It’s not a revolution, though. There have been other such projects in the past, including Lindows, Xandros and other cross-platform solutions, aimed at incorporating the best of both worlds and offering the user an optimal, blended experience, with familiarity and simplicity of Windows and the robustness and usefulness of Linux. Some have worked, some have not. In most cases, the fusion was not quite successful, often because of hardware issues and misguided expectations.

        YlmF does not fall into this same trap and elegantly escapes doom by being a solid, robust distribution. Truth to be told, the rite of passage is much easier than it was years ago, when Linux desktop was still a rough and unpredictable journey. Nevertheless, YlmF achieves more by trying less.

        Compared to Ubuntu, YlmF is a relatively humble fork. Much of the underlying parts are the same. Some of the programs are changed and you get codecs; other than that, YlmF keeps it simple. The only big, radical change is the user interface, which is exactly the aim of this distribution. Users have no idea what kernel is or how it works. But they can appreciate their desktop icons.

    • New Releases

      • Pardus 2009.2 Geronticus eremita

        The new updated version of Pardus 2009, Pardus 2009.2 Geronticus eremita announced with the new technologic features.
        Updates in Pardus Technologies

        Core Pardus technologies are updated to new versions, including many bugfixes, optimizations and new features.

        Pardus manager family has been refactored and optimized for new KDE 4.4 / Qt 4.6 environments. Pardus KDE tools, Network Plasmoid for easy network profile switching and Service Plasmoid for easy service management are available in our repositories. These plasmoids can be placed either on the desktop, or any of the panels on the desktop for easier access.

      • DigAnTel Version 3 has been released.

        DigAnTel-3 is a hybird Digital / Analog Telephone system utilizing open source CentOS Linux, Asterisk 1.4.30, DAHDI 2.3.0, FreePBX 2.7.0, VoicePulse module, Openfire IM, vtiger CRM with click to dial, PostFix mail, and OpenVPN. DigAnTel is the glue to bind these technologies thus creating a unified open source telephony system for your home or business. The installation is completely automated and doesn’t require a working knowledge of Linux or Asterisk. The system supports traditional analog telephone lines, digital T1/PRI lines and digital VOIP circuits.

      • Salix 13.1 is here!

        Salix 13.1 has been released! Available in both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures, Salix 13.1 is fully backwards compatible with Slackware 13.1. Salix 13.1 is built on top of a Slackware 13.1 base and offers a streamlined XFCE desktop environment with selected applications following the “one application per task” philosophy.

      • RIPLinuX 9.5
      • GParted 0.5.2-10
      • aLinux 14.0
      • Clonezilla 1.2.5-22
      • 31/05/10 – Vinux 3.0 Released:

        On behalf of the whole Vinux community I am happy to announce the 3rd release of Vinux – Linux for the Visually Impaired, based on Ubuntu 10.04 – Lucid Lynx. This version of Vinux provides three screen-readers, two full-screen magnifiers, dynamic font-size/colour-theme changing as well as support for USB Braille displays. Vinux is now available both as an installable live CD and as a .deb package which will automatically convert an existing installation of Ubuntu Lucid into an accessible Vinux system! In addition, we now have our own Vinux package repository (from which you can install our customised packages with apt-get/synaptic) and a dedicated Vinux IRC channel. In the very near future we will also be launching a Vinux Wiki and releasing special DVD, USB and Virtual Editions of Vinux 3.0!

      • Fluffy

        It all started out with Parley. We justed wanted to test the amazing theming capabilities in the upcoming 4.5 release of Parley, and eventually we ended up doing a whole distribution :-) Parley is a wonderful application that helps you learn all those beautiful languages out there using a flash card approach and an incredibly magnificant grading technique, so that you always know where you stand. Our Fluffy Bunny theme will also be part of the regular Parley release. So also users of other distributions will be able to enjoy our work.

      • Similarities

        The majority of early distributions had a niche to fill. Slackware was for BSD/UNIX people, Debian was for the open source fanatics, Knoppix was for the mobile, Tinfoil Hat was for the paranoid, Red Hat for servers and enterprise environments, Mandrake for Desktops, and BuildRoot/OpenWRT for embedded systems. Where are we now? Those same distributions can fill those same roles, and for the most part all of the others are… well… superfluous. Untangle can serve as a router, and there is a little competition there. Yet, most of the 400+ systems out there are just like every other.

      • Ten New Linux Distributions Inspired by News Stories
    • Red Hat Family

      • First look: Red Hat 6 built for the long

        Another important advancement in this new version is the ability for the OS to manipulate the power usage of applications. These features are capable through the use of a tickles kernel, which enables timer interrupts. If applications are not using the CPU, the computer can basically go idle until an application needs it. This creates cooler-running CPUs, and reduces the overall power consumption. When tested on a laptop PC, we found that it did indeed run cooler with these features enabled, especially when using only a couple programs with everything else sitting idle.

      • Going Paranoid on Fedora 13

        A Paranoid, or 5-star, security rating is the highest physical security rating that you can achieve on your computer. It entails enabling a set of OS-dependent and OS-independent features.

        But why would anyone want to achieve such a high physical security rating on Fedora or any other distribution? Strict control of who can access your data if your computer falls into the wrong hands, that’s why. The point is, if your computer is stolen, or seized by agents of the state, you do not want to make it easy for them to access your data. In fact, you want to make it impossible for them to access your data.

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu Linux for Windows Users

        The latest Ubuntu Linux release seems to have been a huge hit. Review after Review after Review have pretty much pegged it as the next best thing since sliced bread, but does this release of Ubuntu Linux live up to the hype?

      • Variants

        • Ubuntu Netbook 10.04 Screenshots
        • Parsix 3.5 “Frankie” Screenshots

          Parsix 3.5 “Frankie” is a Debian-based Linux distribution designed to complete everyday desktop tasks. This release syncs with Debian testing repositories as of April 7, 2010. and features many improvements worth noting. Users will enjoy a new look and feel, enhanced installer, experimental USB installer and much more. Here’s a list of some of the new features in Parsix 3.5. View the official release announcement for more information.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • PogoPlug II review

      Operating system: Linux using BusyBox

    • eReaders

      • Amazon Kindle for Linux

        By now I’m sure that most of you already know that Apple’s iPad has drawn the attention of many people who might have otherwise bought a Kindle. Amazon is in for the fight of its life against Apple’s slick, new hardware. Apple’s iPad is selling like hotcakes and is no doubt already cutting into Kindle sales.

        But Amazon has a secret weapon: Linux.

        Apple will never, ever release a version of its iBooks application for Linux. Ever.

      • E-reader doubles as digital notepad

        Asus did not list the operating system used by the Eee Tablet, but a Laptop hands-on story claims the device runs a proprietary version of Linux on an ARM processor. In April, Asus and Acer both said they would support the Linux-based MeeGo operating system, with both netbooks and tablets speculated as potential products. However, the Eee Tablet, which does not appear to offer generic tablet features such as web browsing, does not appear to be based on MeeGo.

    • Nokia/MeeGo

      • More software firms line up behind MeeGo

        Also at Computex, prototype MeeGo tablets running on Intel’s Atom Z6xx (“Moorestown”) system-on-chip were shown by Wistron, Compal, Quanta, and CZC, while Acer said it would offer MeeGo on both netbooks and tablets.

    • Android

      • Android SDK targets Atom Z6xx smartphones

        Like the Z6xx system-on-chip (SoC), the Aava platform was said to support Moblin, Android, and the Moblin- and Maemo-based MeeGo Linux distribution. Only Moblin support was initially offered by Aava, but since then, an Aava phone has appeared at the MeeGo project as an early MeeGo reference target for Z6xx-based smartphones (along with an ARM-based Nokia N900 design).

      • Android tablets available in three CPU flavors

        At Computex, Shenzhen-based Joyplus announced four tablets that run Android, only two of which use the same CPU. The five-inch Joyplus M508 and seven-inch 5701 both tap the 624MHz Marvell PXA303, while the seven-inch M702 runs on a 600MHz WonderMedia Prizm MW8505, and the seven-inch M703 uses a 600MHz ARM926 CPU paired with a 600MHz DSP, says Joyplus.

    • Tablets

      • Dell Streak heads stateside as Android tablets mount up at Computex

        Formally announced early last week, the Dell Streak features a five-inch capacitive, multitouch touchscreen with WVGA resolution, a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, and voice telephony.

      • Hands On With the Dell Streak

        The Dell Streak, an Android-powered smartphone with a five-inch screen, got a boost at the D8 conference Wednesday night when Dell executive Ron Garriques said it would be available this July, both from a U.S. carrier and direct on Dell.com. We got some time with a nearly final model Thursday, and even made a phone call.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Mozilla

    • 10 useful Firefox-based apps
    • Mozilla Introduces sudoSocial

      Mozilla is dipping a toe into social networking with sudoSocial, an early version “stream publishing platform” available through Mozilla Labs.

      The sudoSocial effort is a “stream publishing platform,” which roughly translates to a way to aggregate your social network feeds in one place. Sort of like FriendFeed or Facebook without the comments. A working demo is up on sudoSocial.me, where you can view some of the demo sites or sign up with your own if you like.

  • Oracle

  • Freedom

    • Why open standards, open source, and free software are not the same thing. (And never will be)

      Much like “Open Standard”, the term “Open Source is pretty hollow and vapid. It has been abused and watered down such to the point that a company can release some source code and only give you the ability to look at it, and maybe not you. Microsoft’s Shared Source program is an example of this. Shared Source sounds better than “Closed Source” or “Proprietary”, and they can even have their hobgoblin minions abuse Wikipedia to label everything as “Shared”. Suddenly they aren’t hording it, they’re “Sharing” it.

    • New Handheld Computer Is 100% Open Source

      “While the rest of the industry has been babbling on about the iPad and imitations thereof, Qi Hardware is actually shipping a product that is completely open source and copyleft. Linux News reviews the Ben NanoNote (product page), a handheld computer apparently containing no proprietary technology. It uses a 366 MHz MIPS processor, 32MB RAM, 2 GB flash, a 320×240-pixel color display, and a Qwerty keyboard. No network is built in, though it is said to accept SD-card Wi-Fi or USB Ethernet adapters. Included is a very simple Linux OS based on the OpenWrt distro installed in Linksys routers, with Busybox GUI. It’s apparently intended primarily for hardware and software hackers, not as a general-audience handheld. The price is right, though: $99.”

Leftovers

  • Tech Support from the Other Side of the Phone

    Too often, we tell the person calling in to tech support, “Why didn’t you call earlier?”

  • John Perry Barlow: Internet has broken political system

    The deluge of information available on the Web has made the country ungovernable, according to Electronic Frontier Foundation co-founder John Perry Barlow.

    “The political system is broken partly because of Internet,” Barlow said. “It’s made it impossible to govern anything the size of the nation-state. We’re going back to the city-state. The nation-state is ungovernably information-rich.”

  • Tynt, the Copy/Paste Jerks

    All of this nonsense — the attribution appended to copied text, the inline search results popovers — is from a company named Tynt, which bills itself as “The copy/paste company”.

    It’s a bunch of user-hostile SEO bullshit.

    Everyone knows how copy and paste works. You select text. You copy. When you paste, what you get is exactly what you selected. The core product of the “copy/paste company” is a service that breaks copy and paste.

  • When Reporters Write A Story You Don’t Like, Perhaps Don’t Impersonate Them Asking For Sexual Encounters Or Nude Modeling Jobs
  • Baseball seeks halt to porn, indecency on MLB.com

    Major League Baseball has asked a judge for a subpoena to help it identify people using Internet services provided by Charter Communications Inc to post pornography and other indecent material on the MLB.com website.

  • Abundance

    • Scott Adams: The Economic Value Of Content Is Going To Zero, But Maybe It’s Okay

      Reader Bluejay alerts us to the news that Adams is exploring the topic again, in a slightly tangential manner. In a blog post highlighting his “theory on content value,” where it seems he’s reached something like the “acceptance” stage of navigating this particular topic — though, he’s doing so somewhat grudgingly.

    • How not to save news

      If the FTC wants to reinvent journalism, perhaps it should align with news’ disruptors. But there’s none of that in this report. The word blog is used but once in 35 pages of text–and then only in a parenthetical mention of soccer blogs. Discussion of investing in technology comes on the last page in a suggestion about tools for “improved electronic note-taking.”

    • If Astronomers Can Happily Share The Business With Amateurs, Why Do Some Journalists Get So Upset?

      We were recently talking about some of the strawmen complaints that some (though, certainly not all) journalists put up in protesting the idea of “citizen” journalism (which should, more accurately, be called participatory journalism). One of the bigger strawmen is this idea that people think that amateur journalists mean that professional journalists aren’t needed. There may be someone out there who does believe it, but most supporters of participatory journalism believe the two work together quite well.

    • Newspaper Publisher Defends Filing 22 Copyright Lawsuits Against Sites Who Copied Text… With Links Back

      Except, of course, any fifth grader could point out the obvious difference. Making a copy of your news (and linking back to it) is not “driving off with it.” No one has “driven away” the content. The content on the LVRJ website is still there. Not stolen at all. Might there be “infringement”? It’s possible. But, there are other issues to take into consideration — such as the actual impact on the LVRJ. It’s hard to make any reasonable claim that any of these sites did any damage whatsoever to the LVRJ. In fact, you could argue that all of them helped promote the LVRJ as a publication to follow on these issues.

    • Cognitive Surplus: The Great Spare-Time Revolution

      Clay Shirky and Daniel Pink have led eerily parallel lives. Both grew up in Midwest university towns in the 1970s, where they spent their formative years watching television after school and at night. Both later went to Yale (a BA in painting for Shirky, a law degree for Pink). And both eventually abandoned their chosen fields to write about technology, business, and society.

      Now their paths are intersecting. In December, Pink, a Wired contributing editor, came out with Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. The book digs through more than five decades of behavioral science to challenge the orthodoxy that carrots and sticks are the most effective ways to motivate workers in the 21st century. Instead, he argues, the most enduring motivations aren’t external but internal—things we do for our own satisfaction.

    • How Monetary Rewards Can Demotivate Creative Works

      The more you think about it, the more this all makes sense, and the more you realize just how screwed up so many incentive structures are today, because so many people think that purely monetary incentives work best.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Police investigate Habbo Hotel virtual furniture theft
    • FTC slaps down keylogger firm

      CyberSpy Software, which markets the controversial RemoteSpy commercial keylogging application, has agreed to rewrite the software and clean up its business practices to settle a case brought by the US Federal Trade Commission.

    • Court Says Border Patrol Can Take Your Laptop For Off-Site Search If They Have Reasonable Suspicion

      For a while now, courts have said that you have no 4th Amendment rights at the border, and border patrol/customs officials have every right to search your laptop. For a variety of reasons, this is problematic. As we’ve explained before, the contents of your laptop aren’t the same as the contents of your suitcase in two very important ways:

      1. You mostly store everything on your laptop. So, unlike a suitcase that you’re bringing with you, it’s the opposite. You might specifically choose what to exclude, but you don’t really choose what to include. With a suitcase, you specifically choose what to include.
      2. The reason you bring the contents on your laptop over the border is because you’re bringing your laptop over the border. If you wanted the content of your laptop to go over the border you’d just send it using the internet. There are no “border guards” on the internet itself, so content flows mostly freely across international boundaries. Thus if anyone wants to get certain content into a country via the internet, they’re not doing it by entering that country through border control.

    • Bruce Shore, Unemployed Philadelphia Man, Indicted For ‘Harassing Email’ To Jim Bunning

      “ARE you’all insane,” said part of one letter Shore sent on Feb. 26 (which he shared with HuffPost). “NO checks equal no food for me. DO YOU GET IT??”

      In that letter he signed off as “Brad Shore” from Louisville. He said he did the same thing in several other messages sent via the contact form on Bunning’s website. “My assumption was that if he gets an email from Philadelphia, who cares?” he said. “Why would he even care if a guy from Philadelphia gets upset?”

      Bunning might not have cared, but the FBI did. Sometime in March, said Shore, agents came calling to ask about the emails. They read from printouts of the messages sent via the contact form and asked if Shore was the author, which he readily admitted. They asked a few questions, and then, according to Shore, they said, “All right, we just wanted to make sure it wasn’t anything to worry about.”

      But on May 13, U.S. Marshals showed up at Shore’s house with a grand jury indictment. Now he’s got to appear in federal court in Covington, Ky. on May 28 to answer for felony email harassment.

  • Environment

    • Hillary Rosen: First The RIAA, Now BP

      For an encore, Ms. Rosen, in her capacity as a managing partner of the London PR firm Brunswick Group, has been hired by BP to put a pretty face on the oil spill in the Gulf. Rosen is in the familiar company of log-rollers: BP has also hired 27 lobbyists who formerly worked in Congress or the executive branch.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • EU may monitor searches under guise of child porn prevention

      The European Parliament’s website urging its members to sign Declaration 29 seems well-meaning enough, with a frightened-looking child and a plea to end sexual harassment, child porn, and pedophilia. However, privacy advocates are concerned over a semi-hidden rider on the declaration that allows EU member states to retain data from search engines, essentially eliminating any privacy EU citizens previously had when surfing the Web.

    • Urging MEPs to withdraw their Written Declaration 29 signatures

      Written declaration 29 has been marketed within the European Parliament using a very emotionally loaded picture of a child, and talking about the need to set up an ”early warning system” to combat sexual child abuse.

    • Google to Hand Over Wi-Fi Data to European Regulators

      Google Inc., owner of the world’s most popular search engine, will begin turning over to European regulators data it mistakenly collected from unsecured Wi-Fi networks.

      The data will be handed over to authorities in Germany, France and Spain, Google said late yesterday in an e-mailed statement.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Texas AG questions e-book publishers

      Hachette Book Group and HarperCollins both told The Wall Street Journal that they had been contacted by the Texas AG’s office, but did not elaborate on the subject of the inquiry. Earlier, book industry publication Publishers Marketplace reported that Apple was the target of the state’s questioning.

    • Texas Questions E-Book Publishers

      The Texas attorney general is making inquiries about the electronic book market, according to people familiar with the matter, a business where pricing recently has been shaken up by Apple Inc. and the way e-books are sold for the iPad.

    • Borders starts offering e-book readers from third parties

      For a while, Amazon and Sony were the only companies that took the e-reader market seriously, but traditional booksellers seem to have decided they need in on the action. One of the largest, Barnes & Noble, launched its own, dedicated hardware, the Nook. Now, Borders has thrown its hat into the ring, and just about everything about its efforts appear to be distinct, starting with the fact that it will sell several devices made by third parties. The biggest hook for this latecomer may be the prices: both of the devices it’s offering so far are under $150.

    • ACS:Law And US Copyright Group Working Together?

      Of course, nothing either firm does has anything whatsoever to do with preventing unauthorized file sharing. It’s all about sending threatening letters and getting people to pay up.

    • EFF, Public Citizen And ACLU Ask Judge To Quash Mass Subpoenas From US Copyright Group

      While companies like Verizon apparently won’t stand up to protect their users’ rights against the ridiculous and overly broad mass copyright infringement lawsuit filings made by a group called US Copyright Group (really a DC-based lawfirm called Dunlap, Grubb and Weaver), Time Warner Cable is pushing back, but mainly on procedural issues — not in any way to stand up for the rights of those being sued. Thankfully, it looks like the EFF, Public Citizen and the ACLU are trying to help out.

    • Copyrights

      • EFF Asks Judges to Quash Subpoenas in Movie-Downloading Lawsuits

        The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) asked judges in Washington, D.C., Wednesday to quash subpoenas issued in predatory lawsuits aimed at movie downloaders, arguing in friend-of-the court briefs that the cases, which together target several thousand BitTorrent users, flout legal safeguards for protecting individuals’ rights. Public Citizen and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Foundation joined EFF on the briefs filed Wednesday.

      • ‘We Don’t Care What You Do, As Long as the U.S. Is Satisfied’

        David Akin has pointed to a new paper from Blayne Haggart, a doctoral student at Carleton who is focusing on copyright policy in Canada, the U.S., and Mexico. The paper, being presented this week in Montreal, includes some interesting analysis of digital copyright reforms in each country. Given today’s introduction of the copyright reform bill, of particular significance are comments Haggart obtained from Michele Austin, who served as Maxime Bernier’s chief of staff when he was Industry Minister.

        According to Austin, the decision to introduce U.S.-style DMCA rules in Canada in 2007 was strictly a political decision, the result of pressure from the Prime Minister’s Office desire to meet U.S. demands. She states “the Prime Minister’s Office’s position was, move quickly, satisfy the United States.” When Bernier and then-Canadian Heritage Minister Bev Oda protested, the PMO replied “we don’t care what you do, as long as the U.S. is satisfied.”

      • Carly Simon brewing fresh lawsuit against Starbucks

        The original lawsuit hung on the question over what obligations Starbucks owed Simon. The singer didn’t have any direct contractual relationship with the coffee chain. Instead, her deal was with Hear Music, a separate operating entity that provided Starbucks, its parent company, with albums to distribute in its stores. The singer previously argued that one could connect the dots easy enough such that the parent company had a duty to disclose material decision-making that would have a big effect on the marketing and sales of her album.

      • Publishing Locations Of Pirate Movies Is The Same As Hosting Them

        A movie studio has won a lawsuit against Dutch Usenet community FTD. In a surprising decision, a court reasoned that by allowing the publication of the location of pirate movie stored on Usenet, FTD was effectively publishing the movie as if they had actually hosted it on their own servers.

Clip of the Day

Split Pane File Viewing with Nautilus


06.04.10

Links 4/6/2010: QuokkaPad, Bria for Linux Softphone

Posted in News Roundup at 5:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Windows for Linux

    Two uncertain years have taken their toll on people’s and business’ willingness and ability to budget for new PCs or even upgrade existing Operating Systems. This is golden for Linux since it is free. Not so golden for Microsoft.

  • Glaxo’s ‘Linux Approach’ – PR Stunt or Candle in the Gloom?
  • Server

    • Linux Powers 91% Of The World’s Top 500 Fastest Supercomputers

      The Top 500 Project lists the 500 fastest supercomputers in the world biannually. They have released this year’s list and in terms of the operating system used it is Linux all the way with more than 90% of the supercomputers running on Linux.

    • Linux Adds to Super Computing Dominance: Good News for Linux Users

      So why do Linux users care? Because the work accomplished by the Super Computer manufacturers (IBM, HP, Fujitsu, Cray and so on) is poured back into the kernel and ends up helping all users. Just remember that today’s desktop PC was considered a super computer not that long ago. Advances in multi-core technology driven by super computing requirements of a few years ago are now used by financial services companies in trading applications to power their business.

    • Cartika Increases Density by 5X while Improving Uptime and Performance With CloudLinux

      Cloud Linux Inc., an innovative software company dedicated to serving the needs of hosting service providers, today announces that Cartika, an industry innovator in cloud hosting services has increased density on its shared hosting servers by 5X using CloudLinux.

  • Audiocasts

    • EU targets toxic chemicals in electronics

      A group of chip makers including IBM, Samsung Electronics and Texas Instruments have set up a new software-engineering foundation called Linaro. The foundation is dedicated to improving Linux distributions such as Android, MeeGo and Ubuntu used in consumer devices. There are around 20 engineers already working at Linaro, but the foundation will soon have over 100.

  • Google

    • Google to allow developers to use Chrome operating system for free

      Internet giant Google will launch its Chrome operating system in the Australian spring, with developers now eager to get their hands on the open-source software.

    • Chrome OS Strives to Replace Desktop Culture

      Google’s Chrome OS is coming to a netbook near you sometime later this year. The Web-centric, Linux-based, open source platform will offer a lightweight, cost-effective alternative operating system for portable computing. Eventually, Google plans to expand the scope of Chrome OS to take on Windows on the desktop as well–a goal that requires both a solid operating system and a significant culture shift.

  • Ballnux

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • Pardus Linux 2009.2 Has KDE SC 4.4.4

      The Pardus development team released a few minutes ago the new Pardus 2009.2 Linux-based operating system. Powered by the Linux kernel 2.6.31.13 and built on top of the newly released KDE Software Compilation 4.4.4 environment, Pardus 2009.2 (codename Geronticus eremita) comes with an amazing installer and bleeding-edge applications such as the OpenOffice.org office suite 3.2.1.3, the Mozilla Firefox 3.6.3 web browser or The GIMP 2.6.8 image editor.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat foresees $1 billion in 2012

        Already one of the Triangle’s most successful technology companies, Red Hat soon could reach a big milestone. CEO Jim Whitehurst said during a meeting in London on Thursday that he expects $1 billion of revenue in 2012.

      • Bullish Average Crossover for Red Hat Inc. (RHT)

        The stock price of Red Hat Inc. crossed above the 50-day moving average on lighter than usual volume. The crossing of the stock price above the 50-day moving average may signal the beginning of a noteworthy bullish trend. Traders use moving averages to identify changes in trend, those who can make those trends work in their favor will increase the number of winning trades.

      • Red Hat to Webcast Results for First Quarter Fiscal Year 2011

        Red Hat Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, will discuss results of its first quarter fiscal 2011 on Tuesday, June 22, 2010, beginning at 5:00 p.m. ET.

      • Scholarships for open source contributors

        The Fedora Scholarship program, sponsored by Red Hat, recognizes one high school senior per year for contributions to the Fedora Project and free software/content in general. With a selection process that looks at the student’s contributions to Fedora and other free software projects and uses members of the Fedora community as references, it’s a little different from most scholarships you might be used to seeing. In addition to $2,000 USD for each of 4 years of an undergraduate education in any field of the recipient’s choice, the scholarship includes 4 years of annual all-expenses-paid trips to the nearest FUDCon, the Fedora community’s main gathering of contributors, which happens once per year in different parts of the world.

      • Fedora/Linpus

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu 10.10 Alpha 1 Is Ready for Testing
      • Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Alpha 1 Released
      • Canonical Delivers Ubuntu Advantage Service Offering for Linux Desktop and Server Users

        Canonical is preparing to introduce a new service option for Ubuntu Linux users, known as Ubuntu Advantage.

        Slated for official release on June 7, Ubuntu Advantage is a comprehensive service that combines systems management tools, technical support, access to online resources, training and legal assurance, Canonical officials said.

      • Shuttleworth: Excited by Linux on ARM movement

        As well as making for a consistent platform for Linux across all major ARM devices, the other major advantage of the initiative, says Shuttleworth, is that it will speed up time to market for developers. “If you can develop your software for ‘linux on ARM’, rather than a specific CPU, you can choose the right hardware for your project later in the development cycle, and reduce the time required for enablement of that hardware.”

      • Variants

        • Vinux, Linux For Blind

          Vinux community has announced the 3rd release of Vinux – Linux for the Visually Impaired, based on Ubuntu 10.04 – Lucid Lynx.

        • Peppermint OS: Another member of “Team Linux”

          The first question that springs to mind when hearing of a new Linux distribution is not “what does it do?” but “why?” It would seem by now that virtually every possible angle has been covered, and that a Linux distribution must exist for almost any use case one could conceive of. Yet the recently-announced Peppermint Linux is slightly different in that it seeks to bridge the gap between standard desktop computing and “cloud” computing.

        • Lucid Puppy – Linux for Legacy Computers

          One of the original targets of Linux was the under-powered computer gathering dust in the closet destined for electronic disposal. While that sounds like a noble goal, it isn’t reality for the majority of today’s Linux distributions. Xubuntu says it’s for the limited resource computer, but even it has a minimum memory requirement of 256 MB. You probably won’t have a very pleasant experience running Firefox on a machine with less than 512 MB of memory.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Moore’s Second Law fuels open source chip group

      Even if your name is IBM. Or Texas Instruments. Since they don’t want to go home, they’re getting together with friends. Linux will benefit.

    • NETGEAR Announces Technology Collaboration With SamKnows for FCC’s National Broadband Speed Test

      WNR3500L Open Source Linux Router to be FCC’s ‘Test My ISP’ Speed Sensor for the voluntary consumer measurement plan announced today

    • Industry 1st Embedded Asterisk® Motherboard Released

      OpenVox Communication Co. Ltd, a global provider of open source asterisk® telephony hardware and software solutions, has announced today that the industry first design-for-asterisk industrial embedded motherboard-IPC100 is released to the Open Source community. The IPC100 series motherboards can work flawlessly with OpenVox Mini PCI cards-A400M/B100M/B200M/B400M as well as any combinations to build a complete embedded IPPBX.

    • QuokkaPad open-source ereader/tablet almost on sale

      Open-source ereaders aren’t exactly new – the txtr promises to give access to its underlying architecture, for instance – but the Australian QuokkaPad may have taken the longest to reach the market. The 8-inch LCD 800 x 600 touchscreen tablet is based on a 400MHz MIPS processor, and usually runs Linux 2.6.24.3 with the GPE Palmtop Environment UI on top; however, there’s also room for two other kernels, such as Android or Windows CE.

    • SAP invests $10M in DeviceVM’s browser-and-cloud OS

      Enterprise software supergiant SAP has poured ten million dollars of investment from its SAP Ventures arm into DeviceVM, whose Linux-based Splashtop quick-boot operating system is pre-installed on many of the top brands of notebook and netbook computers.

      [...]

      SAP’s goal for DeviceVM is to create an enterprise-IT grade version of the same type of software Google plans for its Chrome OS operating system: A quick-booting — three seconds on a Lenovo — rock-solid Linux boot with only a standards-compliant browser and a few other essential apps onboard. Such a lightweight configuration is easier to maintain and, at least in theory, less prone to bugs and security problems.

    • SAP Ventures Sinks Cash Into Instant-on Platform Vendor

      The Linux-based Splashtop runs separately from a device’s underlying OS and includes a number of applications, including a Firefox-based browser; music, photo and chat functionality; and Skype calling.

    • Finally, a Plug and Play Linux Computer For Small Business

      Midwest Server Repair LLC, a small home based computer business based 12 miles from the University of Notre Dame, has created a Linux PC, which, serves as an alternative to the modern Microsoft computer.

    • Phones

      • Industry throws weight behind mobile Linux

        Joint venture formed to further mobile operating systems based on Linux, as HP CEO confirms Palm buy was all about WebOS

      • CounterPath launches Linux softphone

        CounterPath Corporation (TSX-V: CCV; OTCBB: CPAH), an award-winning provider of desktop and mobile voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) software solutions, today announced Bria for Linux.

      • CounterPath unveils Bria for Linux softphone

        CounterPath, a provider of desktop and mobile voice over internet protocol (VoIP) software offerings, has unveiled a new retail version of Bria for Linux softphone client that features support for multiple VoIP accounts and Ubuntu 9.10 and 10.04.

      • Growth of Linux-Based Smartphone Shipments Will Outstrip Growth of the Entire Smartphone Market in 2010, Says ABI Research

        ABI Research anticipates that Linux-enabled smartphones, led by the success of Google’s Android, will comprise 33% of the worldwide smartphone market by 2015. With more than 60,000 smartphones shipping per day, Android has catapulted ahead of other Linux mobile platforms.

      • Google’s Android favored for phones, tablets

        Victoria Fodale, an analyst at ABI Research, said Tuesday in a research note that the Scottsdale, AZ-based marketing research firm anticipates that Linux-enabled smartphones, led by the success of Google’s Android, will comprise 33 percent of the worldwide smartphone market by 2015. “With more than 60,000 smartphones shipping per day, Android has catapulted ahead of other Linux mobile platforms,” according to the note.

      • Linux Proving Disruptive In Smartphone Market

        More than 60,000 smartphones ship per day and the Android has leaped ahead of other Linux mobile platforms, said Victoria Fodale, a senior analyst at the firm.

      • Indian IT supplier to white label Linux smartphones
      • Android set to dominate smartphone market

        According to research published by analyst firm ABI, Linux-enabled smartphones, led by the success of Google’s Android, will comprise 33% of the worldwide smartphone market by 2015. With more than 60,000 smartphones shipping each day, Android has catapulted ahead of other Linux mobile platforms.

      • Browse the Web with Opera on Acer LumiRead

        Opera Devices SDK 10.30 for Linux uses Opera Presto 2.5, the same core engine as Opera Desktop and Opera Mobile. It has a great support for web and industry standards. It also provides support for extended validation certificates and fraud protection, which ensure users can browse safely with the Acer LumiRead.

    • Nokia/MeeGo

    • Android

      • Dell Tweaks Android Mobile Software Strategy

        So far, Dell has kept much of its Android software work under wraps. When it exhibited its Aero phone at the CTIA trade show in March, it kept the handset powered off.

      • Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini Pro Coming to UK

        A remarkably small device given its functionality, the Pro weighs in at 118 grams and measures 9 x 5.2 x 1.7 cm. Inside this tiny shell, Sony Ericsson has managed to squeeze a 600 MHz processor, allowing the Mini Pro to run applications without a hitch. Running on version 1.6 of the open-source Android OS, the X10 Mini Pro has access to plenty of applications to use this processing power on. With over 38,000 applications on the Android Marketplace, and more being added every day, there is something for everybody. Open-source tools and support allow you to create and publish your own applications as well, should you be unable to find what you’re looking for.

    • Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Bigger than English

    The reason his organisation usually focuses on open source software is because it is licensed in a way which allows for the language of its interface to be changed easily. The opposite of open source software is proprietary software, where the company that develops it forbids you to change it.

  • BBC Radio uses open source to push out live text service

    The BBC is using open source technology to provide visitors to its 10 national radio websites with a live text service.

    The live text tells users what’s on air now and what is coming up, whether it be the current number 1 on the Chris Moyles show, football match commentary on Radio 5 Live or the latest comedy on Radio 4.

  • Africa

    • Open source could be Africa’s technological solution

      That major computing companies are unlikely to want to invest heavily in Africa is not lost on the continent’s brain trust.

      Sure, there could be some investment in major cities, but for the most part, the continent’s on its own. The Free Software and Open Source Foundation for Africa is fine with that. OK, perhaps “fine” would be overstating it, but FOSSFA knows that’s the reality and so is bringing together the most skilled computing minds together to develop and distribute applications throughout Africa in local languages.

    • Tectonic relaunches

      Tectonic, one of the only websites in Africa specialising in open source news, has been relaunched.

      The site, which closed down in July last year, began publishing again on June 1.

      Tectonic editor and founder, Alastair Otter, closed the site last year saying that other projects and pressures had made it difficult to keep it running. “At the time I was involved in a number of other projects and the added pressure of maintaining the site, which wasn’t my primary job, became too much.”

  • Events

    • TransferSummit – The practical magic of open source

      The event, says Gardler, is a salute to “the spirit of traditional business-academia knowledge exchange” but he emphasised the practical nature of TransferSummit; “Unlike other events, our reach goes beyond the theoretical: we’re focussing on the strategic solutions that improve collaboration between commercial and academic concerns”. The aim is to allow participants to understand, share and discuss the strategic and tactical mechanisms, such as community outreach, academic / business partnerships, spin-outs, start-ups, applied research, intellectual property licensing and collaborative think tanks, so that they can grow their organisations effectively and in an open source way.

    • Presentations Now Available From Apache Lucene EuroCon Conference
    • Libre Graphics Meeting 2010

      The fifth annual Libre Graphics Meeting (LGM) took place May 27-30 in Brussels, Belgium, bringing together the developers of the open source creative application suite: GIMP, Krita, Inkscape, Scribus, Rawstudio, Blender, and a dozen other related projects, such as the Open Font Library and Open Clip Art Library. As is tradition, most of the projects gave update presentations, and both time and meeting space was set aside for teams to work and make plans.

    • Datacenter Barometer: The Next Generation of Open Source Development

      No, this isn’t egoism talking–it’s all about the 6th International Conference on Open Source Systems, hosted at the University of Notre Dame.

  • Databases

  • Oracle

    • OpenOffice 3.2.1 fixes bugs, updates logo

      The OpenOffice.org development team have issued the first point update to the 3.2.x branch of their open source office suite for Windows, Mac OS, Linux and Solaris. The maintenance update addresses a number of bugs and security issues found in the previous 3.2 release, but adds no new features.

  • CMS

    • WordPress 3 RC shows open source polish

      WordPress is one of the great open source success stories with both its software and the WordPress.com site itself. Google ranks WordPress.com the 12th most visited site on Earth with 120 million unique visitors.

      WordPress version 3 is now in the final phases of development with a release candidate now out for early testers on self-hosted WordPress installations. Those that use WordPress.com however don’t have to wait. WordPress is leveraging it’s massive 120 million unique visitor base to actually help test the latest version of WordPress 3.

      [...]

      So what’s new in WordPress 3?

      Lots, but at the top level WordPress 3 gets a new custom menus system (that’s now deployed for WordPress.com users). That’s going to be a big deal for many users, as it will lead to a new generation of theme development.

  • Business

  • Project Releases

  • Government

  • Openness

    • GnuBio launches as open-source genome sequencing startup

      GnuBio is a new Harvard University spinout that is poised to become an “eBay of Biomarkers,” according to founder John Boyce. Boyce, who spent several years at Cambridge-based genome sequencer Helicos Biosciences Corp., has joined with Harvard professor of physics and engineering Dave Weitz and Jessica Tonani, former associate director of product marketing for Santa Clara, Calif.-based gene sequencing company Affymetrix Inc., to create a company that is part genome sequencing, part database management, part social network. It promises to join together millions of biologicial samples that are currently siloed at institutes around the world, and to do it using an open source platform.

    • On The Scene: On the map and in the future

      Open Source Bridge is a completely volunteer-run conference dedicated to the concept of “open source citizenship:” in which developers learn from one another and connect across projects.

  • Open Access/Content

    • Study: Wikipedia Accurate But Poorly Written

      Take that, Wikihaters. A new study says Wikipedia is as accurate a source for cancer information as a professionally reviewed resource — assuming you can wade through the lousy prose.

      Cancer researchers from Thomas Jefferson University compared the accuracy of oncology information on the popular open-source encyclopedia with that on the National Cancer Institute’s Physician Data Query (or PDQ), a professional database that is peer-reviewed and edited. Both were fact-checked against textbooks to see whether cancer patients can trust the information they’re getting online.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Smokescreen Project Promises ‘Flash Without the Plug-in’

      A new open source project converts Flash animations to JavaScript/HTML5 on the fly, allowing them to be viewed in any modern web browser without the use of a plug-in.

    • Smokescreen Does Flash Without Flash
    • Google adds VP8 / WebM support to Chrome Dev channel

      The Google Chrome developers have released the latest developer channel (a.k.a. the Dev channel) version of Chrome. Version 6.0.422.0 of its WebKit-based web browser features a number of bug fixes and adds support for the latest open WebM / VP8 video format introduced by Google as part of the WebM Project. Once Google considers the Dev builds to be stable enough, they are promoted to its Beta channel for future testing.

Leftovers

  • College Students Lack Empathy

    Playing videogames and constantly checking Facebook for status updates could be killing empathy among college students, according to a new study from the University of Michigan (UM).

  • Environment

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – AO – Archeoastronomy (3/17/2005)


Links 4/6/2010: Linux 2.6.35 Fixed, Alpha 1 of Ubuntu 10.10

Posted in News Roundup at 7:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • If you’re Canadian, you use Linux and you like multimedia, you’re about to become a criminal.

    This is a kind of crosspost summary of a new copyright amendment bill that was announced yesterday. Bill C-32 attempts to ‘modernize’ copyright law in Canada to bring it up to spec with other developed nations (aka to meet US agenda).

    The bill would make it illegal to circumvent or break locks of any kind on digital media, even for personal use. This supersedes all other provisions of the bill, which means you may be a criminal if you

    * Own and play region-locked DVDs from other countries
    * Play regular DVDs on Linux
    * Play Blu-Ray Discs on Linux
    * Transfer media to an iPod Touch / iPhone / iPad using Linux
    * Listen to DRM’d music on Linux

    And anything else that involves protected content that lacks official Linux support.

    Speak up while you can. Find your MP and write them an email telling them why you are opposed to C-62.

    We don’t want a US style DMCA, please don’t let that happen.

    Edit: Android is also Linux, so this applies to all of you Android users too!

  • Frank Zappa’s Influence on Linux

    And all this Zappa stuff has what, exactly, to do with Linux? Zappa may have been as much of an influence on Linux and FOSS development as LSD was on Apple, although the Zappa influence on Linux isn’t thought about as much as the Apple-counterculture connection.

    An awful lot of people were responsible for the early growth of GNU/Linux and Free and Open Source Software, most of whom were not famous like Linus Torvalds or Richard M. Stallman. One of them, Clay Claiborne of Cosmos Engineering, was the first person to sell Linux pre-loaded on a hard drive. This may not sound like a big deal now, in 2010, but back in the dial-up 1990s, when most Linux distros came on stacks of floppies, this was a major step forward for GNU/Linux usability.

    Was Clay influenced by Zappa? “Of course,” he says.

  • Washing the windows myths. Legal liability.

    Software defects? Well, according to windows xp professionals eula there is plenty of wriggle room. I quote

    LIMITED WARRANTY FOR PRODUCT ACQUIRED IN THE US AND CANADA. Microsoft warrants that the Product will perform substantially in accordance with the accompanying materials for a period of ninety days from the date of receipt.

    Notice the key word substantially? That is their escape hatch. Even if you find a bug and wish something done about it under warranty, what is done is entirely up to microsoft.

    In fact, if you really read, I mean really read the eula, microsoft have covered their rear ends any which way from here to kingdom come. There is no way you can bring legal action against them, no way you can claim damages and you don’t have a snowballs chance in the Sahara of winning if you did try.

    Not just microsoft either, as I mentioned before, just about every software is produced as is. No ifs, buts or maybes. Either take it or leave it, like it or lump it. You have no hook to hang your legal coat on. So to anyone who tries to bring out that legal liability myth I simply go phffft!

    This myth is just another FUD campaign to scare people away from open source. It holds no water and is as transparent as glass and just as fragile.

  • Linux Users vs. Linux Culture

    A lot has changed since I first started knocking on doors to solve my problems. First and foremost, there are a LOT more doors. Second, there are a lot more people to ask as open source finds itself becoming more and more mainstream. What doesn’t seem to have changed much are the responses.

  • Linux On The Top

    Realising this hurdle many committed Linux enthusiastic dedicated their time and energy to simplify the usage of Linux distributions. Today Linux is available for a wide range of products. Linux has become increasingly popular in recent years, partly owing to the popular Mandriva Linux, Fedora, Debian or Ubuntu distributions. In fact these distributions now come with user friendly GUI that gives a look and feeling of other proprietary operating systems that user are currently using.

  • Audiocasts

  • Kernel Space

    • The Big Linux 2.6.35 Kernel Problem Is Fixed

      With yesterday’s automated kernel tests via our Phoromatic-powered test farm that monitors the Linux kernel performance on a daily basis with the results being available at kernel-tracker.phoromatic.com. Using the 2 June kernel from the Ubuntu mainline PPA no longer causes a major performance hit and all of the test result values have returned to their levels prior to this kernel bug that lasted about one week.

  • Applications

  • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

    • Qt and Open Governance

      And we’ll also need to open up the decision-making structure. That is to say, contributors who have shown themselves to be trustworthy and good at what they do deserve the right of having a say in the decisions. Take, for example some of the contributors of the past year: there are a couple of cases where they know the code better than people working in the Qt offices. We have come quickly to the point where we have to say “I trust you that this contribution is good”. This is part of the meritocratic process that we want to have in place.

  • Distributions

    • New Open-Source OS Will Feature ‘Disposable’ Virtual Machines

      Invisible Things Lab is creating these lightweight, throwaway VMs that work with traditional virtual machines in Qubes, the open-source, Xen-based OS it plans to release in beta later this summer. Qubes was architected to minimize the attack surface in the VM environment.

    • Mandriva Linux is a fantastic scientific platform

      Stéphane TELETCHEA is working in a french research laboratory. He is also contributing to Mandriva Linux as a tester and packager for some years now. Below is his testimony in Mandriva Linux use for his daily work.

      We started using Mandriva Linux (Mandriva at that time) in the laboraty for the great combination of an ease of use and a very strong development platform. At that time I was a starting my PhD and trying to migrate from aging SGI Indigo 2 to more powerful standard PC-based computers. I did test other distributions at that time but Mandriva was the only one offering a lot of scientific applications (one that comes to my mind is XmGrace). Perl/bioperl, python, fortran, gcc and libc stacks were and are still very up-to-date but functional as if they were tested for years. This very good combination of stability and recent releases also helped some colleagues in improving their programs (for instance with the stricter checks coming in c++ in the gcc 4 series). This stability was also very appreciated while writing my PhD thesis where LyX and Pybliographer, on top of the Tetex stack, showed no crash leading to text loss. The pressure was sufficiently high in other domains to appreciate this part (those using Word or even Writer can not understand the beauty of (La)TeX).

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Squeeze Pre-review

        Every two years or so, Debian puts out a new “stable” release. This is my favorite distribution because of the minimal number of bugs and the huge software repositories and the powerful package manager. Right now, Lenny (5.0) is the stable release, and Squeeze (6.0) is in testing. Sometime “soon” Squeeze will get frozen, which means the regular flow of package migration will stop, and from then on it will only get bug and security fixes through a method of back-porting. Once the number of “release critical” bugs is reduced to an acceptable level (which used to mean 0, more recently it means 50 or so), then Squeeze will be released as the new stable version.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Maverick Alpha 1 released

          Pre-releases of Maverick are *not* encouraged for anyone needing a stable system or anyone who is not comfortable running into occasional, even frequent breakage. They are, however, recommended for Ubuntu developers and those who want to help in testing, reporting, and fixing bugs.

        • Celebrate Ubuntu 10.10 Alpha with these awesome Meerkat-inspired Wallpapers

          Whether you intend to download and install Ubuntu 10.10 Alpha 1 or not the following meerkat-themed wallpapers will certainly get you in the Maverick-y mood.

        • Ubuntu LTS 10.04, a Linux OS at Its Best

          It’s convenient to have a server install that’s entirely separate from the desktop install, and while it may not be as visually slick as the desktop version, that’s not really what you want on a server. The install was straightforward; I really liked the package collections; and everything was functional on first bootup. Five years of support is good, and all the software installed was fairly up-to-date (within a couple of release points, which is reasonable given the testing cycle needed for a long-term release). Ubuntu provides security updates regularly, so any security improvements in more recent releases should be rolled out to your servers quickly.

          One problem I found was that the documentation available online is a bit shaky. In some cases, it still refers to earlier releases, which isn’t very reassuring. However, Ubuntu is obviously making an effort with its documentation, and it’s easier to find information than it is with some other distros.

          Overall, Lucid Lynx is an impressive offering and definitely something I’d be happy to use for my own servers. More console-driven system management tools and better documentation, would make it an even better option.

        • Linaro: Accelerating Linux on ARM

          At our last UDS in Belgium it was notable how many people were interested in the ARM architecture. There have always been sessions at UDS about lightweight environments for the consumer electronics and embedded community, but this felt tangibly different. I saw questions being asked about ARM in server and cloud tracks, for example, and in desktop tracks. That’s new.

          So I’m very excited at today’s announcement of Linaro, an initiative by the ARM partner ecosystem including Freescale, IBM, Samsung, ST-Ericsson and TI, to accelerate and unify the field of Linux on ARM. That is going to make it much easier for developers to target ARM generally, and build solutions that can work with the amazing diversity of ARM hardware that exists today.

        • 3-Chip firms form venture to boost Linux push
        • Variants

          • Mint 9

            Everything is stable. Everything just works. No messing around.

          • Peppermint OS – A New Take on the Web-Centric Desktop

            As a Linux, Peppermint is not particularly notable except for its suitability for machines with low hardware specs, or users who do not want system resources wasted on bells and whistles like 3D cubes and wobbly windows. Peppermint should run quickly on just about any PC. Regarding the Prism aspect, it’s harder to draw a conclusion. Mozilla is still developing Prism so its full capabilities have not yet been reached, but the current state does not seem to be especially remarkable. Much of the functionality can be replicated (though perhaps not as well) with simple browser shortcuts. When Prism has more polish it may be a central part of how we interact with our computers, but for now Peppermint is mainly a small, fast and simple OS, albeit with dreams of something bigger.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • The Kno, a Tablet for the College Market

      The Kno, a dual-screen device aimed at the college market, falls in the latter category. The tablet/e-reader, which was first shown in public on Wednesday at the D8 technology conference in Southern California, allows students to view textbooks on its digital screens much as they would appear in their analog versions, with text, color images and graphics.

    • Kno dual-screen tablet appears at D8, we go hands-on

      Kno promised to launch a double-screened Linux-based e-reader designed for students at D8, and the undercover startup didn’t disappoint — believe us when we say it came out in a big way.

    • Jumbo dual-screen tablet Kno debuts at D8

      The Kno is a big device, having two 14.1 inch (1440 x 900) capacitive touch screens. Each screen has its own battery, giving the Kno 8-hours of battery life, but a hefty weight of 5.5 lbs (I suppose all that glass contributes to the weight as well). As a point of reference, the iPad weighs 1.5 lbs and people complain it’s too heavy. On the other hand, the Kno is so big that you’d probably lay it on a desk to use it. And the target audience is students; if Kno (the company) has its way, students will be carrying around a Kno (the device) rather than a stack of textbooks. That’s the reason for the huge screens; most textbook pages can be shown ‘full size’ on a 14″ screen. Five and a half pounds doesn’t seem so bad compared to a backpack full of textbooks.

    • Phones

      • HP CEO: “We didn’t buy Palm to be in the smartphone business”

        According to Hurd, HP was actually more interested in Palm’s IP — specifically webOS, which he wants to put on “tens of millions of HP small form-factor web-connected devices.” Sure, that makes sense, and it lines up perfectly with HP’s plan to “double down on webOS” and put it on everything from netbooks and slates to printers, but hey, Mark? You should really look into the smartphone business when you get a second, okay? Just trust us on this one.

      • Linpus Linux: Now with netbook, slate, MeeGo editions

        The first Acer netbooks to hit the market in 2008 were running Linpus Linux Lite, a custom Linux distribution optimized for small screens. While you don’t see many Linux netbooks anymore, the folks at Linpus haven’t given up on the mobile space, and they’re showing off the latest versions of Linpus for netbooks and tablets.

      • MeeGo v1.0 for Netbooks Review
      • Webia Technologies Brings Us a $50 Android-Powered Set-Top-Box [Video]

        Webia Technologies introduced their budget-priced Bonux set-top-box prototype at Computex 2010 and it’s showing a lot of promise. The device is running an ARM11 SoC processor clocked between 700-720 mhz and the demo that they showed was speedy enough to make more than just a few people notice.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Best Free and Open Source CRM Software

    Best Free and Open Source CRM Software: Customer relationship management (CRM) is a business strategy for managing and understanding clients and sales prospects to help enhance customer satisfaction and thus increase profit and reduce operational costs. CRM software is needed to collect the correct information about a company’s customers and arrange that information for proper analysis and action. It is a tool for organizing, automating, and synchronize business processes for sales activities, marketing, customer service, and technical support. The information gathered by a CMS software needs to be kept up-to-date, accessible to employees, and provide the knowledge for employees to convert that data into products better matched to customers’ needs.

  • Events

    • Liberation must replace domination in digital world

      I’M AT Open Source Bridge, a conference in Portland, Oregon for those who don’t only write software that’s free, but who care about it enough to plan, organise, and speak at an entirely volunteer-run programming conference. Portland is the second (and perhaps, the denizens here would say, the first) city of free software.

      It’s a strange time for this community, caught between their ideals and the business world. Back in the early 1990s, Linus Torvalds, then a post-graduate at the University of Helsinki with a strange hobby of building a competitor to Windows in his spare time, would speak jokingly of his plans for “World Domination. Fast!”

      Now, 20 years on, the world domination phase of open source software has been and perhaps gone.

      Free software is ubiquitous and invisible: it powers Google and Yahoo!, a sizeable chunk of Fortune 500, and most of the internet’s infrastructure. I’ve seen it in use from Beijing to Tajikistan (which has volunteers who convert it to run in their native Tajik language, which Microsoft and Apple won’t deign to).

    • The Quintessence of Open Source

      The second Innovators barcamp – a meet-up organized by the Italian innovators group to pass from talking about innovation to do it in and for public administrations – was the perfect venue to share some ideas about “Open Source & Multi-sided Markets“.

  • Mozilla

    • Firefox Ditches the Dialog Box

      Get ready to say goodbye to Firefox’s multitude of dialog boxes. Recent design mock-ups show Firefox moving toward an “in-content” look where settings, the add-on manager, themes and other “things which formerly appeared in dialog boxes” will now become just another tab in your browser.

  • Funding

    • Diaspora’s Final Tally: $200,000 From Nearly 6,500 Backers

      When Diaspora set out to raise money to build an open Facebook alternative site, they had a pretty modest goal: $10,000. Of course, they were raising the funds through a less than traditional means — using Kickstarter, an online fundraising site. Still, they shot past that goal in 12 days. And within 20 days, they had raised over $100,000. Yesterday, the fundraising closed, the final tally: just over $200,000.

  • Openness

    • Open Sourcing Politics

      “Linux is subversive”: so begins “The Cathedral and the Bazaar,” Eric Raymond’s analysis of the open source way. The subversion there was mainly applied to the world of software, but how much more subversive are the ideas that lie behind open source when applied to politics.

      That is precisely what the increasingly-important open government movement aims to do, an area I’ve been covering in this blog partly because of its close kinship with open source, but also because of the major implications it has for the use of open source – not least because open government tends to promote its deployment. But what exactly is open government, and how does it flow from open source?

    • Why “Naked Transparency” Has No Clothes

      First of all, I think we already have a data point on such radical transparency. Open source is conducted totally in the open, with all decisions being subject to challenge and justification. That manifestly works, for all its “naked transparency”.

      Now, politics is plainly different in certain key respects, not least because hackers are different from politicians, and there has been a culture of *anti*-openness among the latter.

    • WIPO To Open Its Doors To Public For First Time Ever

      The World Intellectual Property Organization is opening its doors to the public on Saturday for a glimpse at the organisation’s activities, during its first-ever “open day.”

      Visitors will be given the opportunity to ask WIPO staff, including the director general, questions during the day. The event is part of a larger Geneva weekend event to coincide with World Environment Day on 5 June. The UN Environment Programme is organising events on the Place des Nations, and the gardens of the Palais des Nations will also be open to the public on 5 June, and on 6 June the International Peace Bureau will have events along the Geneva lakeside.

    • Open Data

      • Local council? Want to publish your data? Here’s how

        In a very timely fashion, data.gov.uk has come up with a blogpost explaining for any local authorities who want to know (and are listening/reading) how to publish itemised local authority expenditure.

      • Opening up government finances

        The following guest post is from Chris Taggart of OpenlyLocal, who advises the Where Does My Money Go? project on local spending data, and is a member of the Open Knowledge Foundation’s Working Group on Open Government Data.

  • Programming

    • The False Uniformity of Oatmeal Code

      Here’s the interesting thesis: languages which allow you to write ugly code let you skim programs to find bad code. Languages which force you to write uniform code take away your ability to skim programs to find bad code.

      In other words, the superficial visual differences between good Lisp code and bad Lisp code or between good Python code and bad Python code or good assembly code and bad assembly code or good Java code and bad Java code (or good Befunge and bad Befunge code, if you haven’t had enough DFW yet) are smaller than the superficial visual differences between good Perl code and bad Perl code or good C code and bad C code or good C++ code and bad C++ code or good PHP code and bad PHP code.

Leftovers

  • The BeOS file system: an OS geek retrospective
  • Romania Cannibalizes its Anti-Corruption Institutions

    We don’t want to say we told you so. But we did. For the past few years, we’ve been repeatedly asked (with many a raised eyebrow) why our data assessing national-level anti-corruption mechanisms in countries like Bulgaria, Poland, Latvia, and Romania were so strong…amongst the strongest globally, in fact. Our answer has been straightforward: the EU and NATO accession processes in those countries had a real impact in terms of forcing governments to adopt some world-class anti-corruption institutions. Just don’t expect them to last forever, we cautioned.

  • Science

    • Part-Human, Part-Machine Transistor Devised

      Man and machine can now be linked more intimately than ever, according to a new article in the journal ACS Nano Letters. Scientists have embedded a nano-sized transistor inside a cell-like membrane and powered it using the cell’s own fuel.

      The research could lead to new types of man-machine interactions where embedded devices could relay information about the inner workings of disease-related proteins inside the cell membrane, and eventually lead to new ways to read, and even influence, brain or nerve cells.

    • Why Are Indian Kids So Good at Spelling?

      Consider the facts: Indian-Americans make up about 1 percent of the U.S. population; this year, an estimated 30 NSF-ers will compete at Scripps, 11 percent of the 273-kid field. Recent winners include Sai R. Gunturi from Dallas, who nonchalantly reassembled pococurante for a national title in 2003. Sameer Mishra from West Lafayette, Ind., nailed guerdon in 2008. And four-time finalist Shivashankar made it back-to-back titles for North South Foundation competitors last year, air-writing Laodicean for the win. If Shivashankar hadn’t come through, it’s possible another North South graduate would have: Four other NSF kids cracked the top 10 behind her.

  • Security/Aggression

  • Environment

  • Finance

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Lawyers Claim Google Wi-Fi Sniffing ‘Is Not an Accident’

      Google spokeswoman Christine Chen said in an e-mail that the patent in question “is entirely unrelated to the software code used to collect Wi-Fi information with Street View cars.” In a follow up e-mail, Chen added that Google files “patent applications on a variety of ideas that our engineers come up with. Some of them mature into real products or services, and some of them don’t.”

    • Google to hand over intercepted data

      Google will begin handing over to European regulators the rogue data it intercepted from private WiFi internet connections within the next two days, in an effort to defuse growing controversy over its latest privacy blunder.

      [...]

      “We screwed up. Let’s be very clear about that,” Mr Schmidt said. “If you are honest about your mistakes it is the best defence for it not happening again.”

    • How Google Uses You
    • EU To Monitor All Internet Searches

      “The European Parliament is issuing a written declaration about the need to set up an early warning system to combat sexual child abuse. However, the substance of the declaration is to extend the EU data retention directive to search engines, so that all searches done on for example Google will be monitored. If you are a citizen concerned about the right to privacy and freedom on the Internet, you can help by sending e-mail to the MEPs from your country and explaining the issue to them.”

    • AT&T warns customer that emailing the CEO will result in a cease and desist letter

      Sure, Steve Jobs might be a one-man email PR machine, but his pal Randall Stephenson at AT&T doesn’t appear to be quite as gregarious — as reader Giorgio Galante found out today, sending AT&T’s CEO two emails in two weeks results in a phone call from AT&T’s Executive Response Team and a warning that further emails will result in a cease and desist letter.

    • Tweeter appeals against conviction over explosive airport message

      Paul Chambers, a former trainee accountant who was fined £1,000 after posting a message to the social network Twitter joking about blowing up an airport, is to appeal against his conviction.

    • CPJ denounces Israel’s use of footage seized in flotilla raid

      The Committee to Protect Journalists denounces Israel’s editing and distribution of footage confiscated from foreign journalists aboard the Gaza-bound flotilla that was raided on Monday.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • What’s Left Of The Sony Betamax Decision?

      When Cross puts all those stories together like that, you realize how much of the last few years has really been about the entertainment industry effectively dismantling the core concepts put forth by Stevens in the Betamax decision. A key component to what helped make the internet free to become the internet we know, love and use every day, is slowly getting chipped away by special interests who don’t want to allow that freedom because it undermines their business models. When you put all of that together in one place and realize how much has already been eroded, it’s downright frightening, and it makes you wonder what great new technology won’t be built and won’t be widely used because of these policies.

    • DE Act: does the UK qualify for a 2-tier copyright regime?

      A qualifying copyright holder is a new concept under the Digital Economy Act. But what is it? And is Ofcom introducing a two-tier copyright regime, where those with the valuable rights get privileges and individual authors get side-lined?

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – Good Stress (10/21/2004)


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

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

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

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

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

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources

No

Mono

ODF

Samba logo






We support

End software patents

GPLv3

GNU project

BLAG

EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com



Recent Posts