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

09.09.11

Links 9/9/2011: NASA and Linux, Samsung Not Buying MeeGo

Posted in News Roundup at 7:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle v. Google – Google’s Expert Report and a Jury Issue

      In our article from September 2nd on the Oracle/Google copyright issues, we included a number of declarations, including that of Prof. Owen Astrachan of Duke University. There were two exhibits identified in the Astrachan declaration, but neither of the exhibits were available at that time. Now Exhibit 3, Astrachan’s Rebuttal Expert Report 391 [PDF] is available in redacted form, and we have reproduced it below.

    • How Open is Oracle?

      Oracle’s history with Sun’s open source projects is one that did not start out well. The openSolaris project was killed off, Apache has left the executive committee of the Java Community Process and multiple projects have been forked including OpenOffice (with LibreOffice), Hudson (with Jenkins) and MySQL (with MariaDB). Oracle has also launched legal action against Google over Java in Android.

  • BSD

    • The New Installer Of FreeBSD 9.0

      FreeBSD 9.0 Beta 2 was officially released yesterday, about one month’s late, but it comes with several new features. One of the new features to FreeBSD 9.0 is a new installer (pc-sysinstall) for this BSD operating system, which the developers have requested that it be put through its paces.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • UniPro: Open Source Bioinformatics Business with UGENE

      Unipro: Unipro is a small company with about 60-70 software engineers. The company expertise is focused on the following areas: compilers and low-level optimizations development, virtual machines development, quality testing, parallel and cloud-based computing.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Google adds offline support to Docs

      Google Docs is a popular tool for collaboration and web-based document creation: boasting compatibility with common file types including Microsoft Office and the Open Document Format, a generous helping of free storage space, and easy to use web-based tools, it’s proving a tempting move for those unwilling to shell out for the latest iteration of Microsoft’s offering.

Leftovers

  • Cablegate

  • Finance

    • “Fraud As a Business Model”

      There were many factors that contributed to our recent financial bubble: deregulation, cheap money from the Fed, failure to enforce remaining regulations, crony capitalism, hubris, speculation, leverage, and fraud among other problems. While fraud wasn’t the only issue, it was and is a significant contributor to the credit bubble. Restraining fraud is a necessary but not sufficient condition for a sound financial system. Congressional investigations in recent years have put ample evidence of fraud in the public domain.

    • Goldman Sachs: More Than A Travesty Of A Mockery Of A Sham

      Goldman Sachs isn’t the only bank to rip-off its clients and America. But because it is the best at what it does it is the most profitable bank in the world, for now.

      Regular, old everyday trading is the key to Goldman’s success.What does that mean? I’m not talking about Goldman’s “big short” and how it bet massively against the subprime mortgage market while simultaneously selling huge quantities of designed-to-fail mortgage securities to its own customers.

  • Privacy

    • No, technology is not going to destroy your privacy in the future
    • Hurt Locker File Sharing Suits Come North: Federal Court Orders ISPs to Disclose Subscriber Info

      File sharing lawsuits involving the movie the Hurt Locker have been big news in the United States for months as tens of thousands of lawsuits have been filed. It now appears that the lawsuits are coming to Canada as the Federal Court of Canada has paved the way for the identification of subscribers at Bell Canada, Cogeco, and Videotron who are alleged to have copied the movie. Late last month the court ordered the three ISPs to disclose the names and addresses of subscribers linked to IP addresses alleged to have copied the movie. The ISPs were given two weeks to respond and are entitled to be reimbursed for their expenses. In reaching its decision, the court cited the BMG Canada v. Doe case, the last major Canadian case involving peer-to-peer file sharing lawsuits. That case opened the door to further lawsuits, though it established some privacy safeguards. In this instance, the court cited PIPEDA as evidence that the personal information can be disclosed as well as federal court rules for the legitimacy of the claim and the necessity of acquiring the information for the lawsuit to proceed. There is no indication that the ISPs challenged the order or that there was an opportunity for a public interest intervention as was the case in the earlier CRIA lawsuits.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Canada to U.S.: please blacklist us!

        Hyper-vigilant Internet Law Prof Michael Geist seems to be the first to have combed through the latest batch of WikiLeaks diplomatic cables, searching for any document containing the words “Canada” and “copyright.”

      • Long-awaited copyright bill returns, but top court to wade in too

        Heritage Minister James Moore says he’s hoping for long-languishing amendments to the Copyright Act to pass by Christmas, but the Supreme Court of Canada could wind up forcing more tinkering with the law.

        Canada’s top court said Thursday it will rule on five separate intellectual property cases together as a bundle, and what it decides could directly impact the Act or at least its interpretation.

Links 9/9/2011: Bodhi Linux 1.2.0, VortexBox 1.10

Posted in News Roundup at 8:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Longene: The Linux Kernel With Windows Support

    This morning after providing benchmarks of FreeBSD with Linux binary compatibility for gaming, which allows unaltered 32-bit Linux binaries to be executed seamlessly with the FreeBSD kernel (and in a rather fast manner), I was reminded on Twitter about another interesting project: Longene. Longene is a “Linux Unified Kernel” that attempts to implement Microsoft Windows APIs within the Linux kernel. In other words, Windows binary compatibility for the Linux kernel, including for Windows device drivers.

  • Desktop

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Two More Developers Join The Chicago Linux Panel

        Next Tuesday during XDC2011 Chicago at the Illinois Institute of Technology I am hosting a panel about contributing to Linux and open-source projects, in particular, X.Org, Mesa, and the Linux kernel, but the information should be largely relevant to any free software project. This discussion panel is largely targeted towards university students and others that aren’t yet contributing to upstream projects, with most of the panel participants having begun their Linux contributions prior to graduating from university and then most of them being poached by major open-source companies.

      • X.Org Smooth Scrolling Prepped For Merging

        One of the features part of the new X Input extension to be included in X.Org Server 1.12 is smooth scrolling support.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Eight Complaints About the Linux Desktop
    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • King of KDistros

        Well, done at last! After some time gathering opinions from readers and quite some more time testing each one of the contenders, I have finished my comparison of the best of the best in KDE distros.

      • Phonon-Xine is dead. Long live Phonon-GStreamer.
      • Moving on

        So amid the upheaval of desktop environments, we have a precedent to look at with KDE having gone through this before. Fortunately for GNOME, KDE’s experience serves as a cautionary tale. KDE seems to have ridden out the rough spots after their release of version 4, though there are some that are just not going to be happy with anything other than their KDE 3.x, and they aren’t shy about saying so.

  • Distributions

    • Which Linux Distro Leads the Pack?

      “Debian is No. 1? Why am I not surprised,” said Roberto Lim, a lawyer and blogger on Mobile Raptor. “Sometimes I really feel like the Linux community, which used to be about innovation and building the best next thing, has lost touch with society and are in danger of becoming irrelevant.” The real No. 1 distro is Ubuntu, Lim asserted: “It is the only one with a shot at becoming more than a niche in a niche market.”

    • New Releases

      • Bodhi Linux 1.2.0
      • VortexBox 1.10 released

        It’s been a while since we released a new version of VortexBox and there are a lot of small fixes and tweaks in this new version. There is the usually updates such as a new Kernel and SqueezeBox server 7.6.1. There are also a lot of small updates such as increased UPnP player support. VortexBox now supports the latest Samsung TVs and the BeoSound 5 from Bang & Olufsen.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia Needs Artists

        Let’s face it. Mageia’s default look for version 1 wasn’t bad. The Ia Ora windec is attractive enough and the backgrounds and splash screens weren’t bad. But “not bad” isn’t beautiful. Attractive isn’t gorgeous. We users want gorgeous.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat starts marketing Centennial Campus space

        Red Hat Red Hat Latest from The Business Journals TBJ unveils 2011 Best Places to Work in the Triangle Red Hat to move HQ to Progress Energy building Triangle stocks drop along with market Follow this company ’s sublease arrangement at Progress Energy Progress Energy Latest from The Business Journals Duke Energy listed in Dow Jones Sustainability World IndexS.C. advocate supports Duke, Progress mergerDuke Energy, Progress Energy reach merger deal with S.C. advocate Follow this company ’s Two Progress Plaza tower in downtown Raleigh isn’t even official yet, but the technology company is wasting no time trying to find a new tenant for the space it’ll be vacating on N.C. State University N.C. State University Latest from The Business Journals Suddenly, Centennial Campus has space to rentVa. Tech football is top money maker in ACCTBJ Flash: Barkley, Shaq shine at Jimmy V gala Follow this company ’s Centennial Campus.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • _____[fill in the blank]: “Want me to wipe for you too?”
          • How Useful Is Ubuntu Menu?
          • How Ubuntu One Saved Me In The US

            I had the data sitting right next to me but I couldn’t access it. Lesson learned, if you don’t bring the right key you won’t be able to open the right door. So all my stories that I was working on were locked inside that shiny rectangular box made by Seagate with its cable sitting across the ocean in Belgium.

            Was there a solution late at night when I was stuck in Williamsburg with no option to go out and find a Best Buy when dark clouds were looming overhead, throwing thunderbolts at us and rain was pouring? There was. The solution was in the cloud itself.

            I recalled that before starting off for the trip I had dragged the story folder to my Ubuntu One folder, just in case. My Ubuntu One account is always synced. So there was a possibility that I may be able to access those files.

            I turned on my tablet, logged into my Ubuntu One account and there it was – the folder with all those files. I tried to open the file I was working on. Damn, QuickOffice doesn’t support ISO approved .odt format. I had an inferior (.doc) version of the same file and started working on it. The story was ready in less than half an hour.

          • How To Upgrade From Ubuntu 11.04 To Ubuntu 11.10 Beta
          • Unity Linux | You did not die !

            I wrote a post about Unity Linux ” Why Should I use Unity Linux ? ” back in April 2010 when this distribution was in its prime trying to stand upon its feet . I will not go into the history of the inception of this project because everybody knows about it .

            Things were exciting and promising and the Unity team was in high spirits willing to contribute as much as they could to this new distribution .This project was backed up by good team members pouring in from various former PCLinuxOS derived sister distributions . Many good projects came to surface with remasters based upon Unity Linux core . Two well known were HUMANity (e17) and Synergy (KDE4).

          • Ubuntu Development Update
          • Some Great Alternatives to the Ubuntu Unity Launcher

            We’ve already ranted about the little annoyances of Ubuntu Unity in our earlier article. Though there are many things that are just plain wrong about Unity at this moment, one bad feature that sticks out like a sore thumb is the elusive launcher.

          • A new release process for Ubuntu?

            The Ubuntu release process is well known, and its developers talk regularly about the cadence of it. A new release of Ubuntu comes out every six months, and each release follows a predictable pattern. I’ve stolen the following image from OMG! Ubuntu’s recent series about Ubuntu Development.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Try Bodhi Linux for Beauty and Customizability

              Scarcely a day goes by without an update being released for one Linux distribution or another, but today saw the launch of one I think is worth some attention.

            • Bodhi Linux 1.2.0 Released

              20,000 forum posts and over 100,000 downloads later the Bodhi team and I are proud to announce our second point release – Bodhi 1.2.0 Current Bodhi users can easily update their system to this latest release.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Samsung Setting up to Go with MeeGo OS

      Samsung is seemingly intending to purchase Nokia and Intel’s MeeGo operating system after the news arrived that Samsung decided that it was not purchasing Hewlett Packard’s webOS.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Amazon Renews Call for Android Developers

          Just weeks before their much-anticipated Android-based tablet, Amazon has renewed their call for developers. To sweeten the pot a bit, the online retail behemoth is giving a one-time $50 promo code, good for use on specific Amazon Web Service. AWS offers Android developers a number of helpful tools in the form of data storage, mobile-to-mobile communication, and flexible database options.

        • A Google Android and Java history lesson

          Recently, some people were shocked-shocked I tell you-to discover that Google had looked at Java to help create Android’s Dalvik and that Google kept its Android source code to itself and its closest partners until the final product was released to the public. Oh please. There’s nothing new here. It’s always been that way and everyone who knows anything about Android’s history already knew that.

          First, there’s the accusation that Android used Java code in creating its Dalvik virtual machine (VM). This is news? When Android first came out, Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz, then Java’s owner, greeted the news of Android’s birth with “heartfelt congratulations.”

        • Android port for HP TouchPad making progress

          After the recent fire sale of the HP TouchPad tablet, hackers and modders quickly began work on porting Google’s open source Android mobile operating system to the device and they are making progress. The developers at Team-Touchdroid have already succeeded in replacing WebOS, which is the tablet’s default OS, with version 2.3.5 of Android.

        • Motorola Announces Android Powered DROID BIONIC

          Motorola has announced DROID BIONIC, the first Verizon Wireless smartphone to combine 4G LTE with the power of dual-core 1 GHz processors, 1 GB of RAM and a stunning 4.3-inch qHD display – all in a sleek form factor that makes it the thinnest 4G LTE smartphone from Verizon Wireless.

          Customers can expect to fly across the Web on the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network with download speeds of 5 to 12 Mbps and upload speeds of 2 to 5 Mbps in 4G LTE mobile broadband coverage areas.

        • Sony Ericsson Nozomi Rumored to Come with Ice Cream Sandwich, 720p Display, Dual-core Processor

          Earlier reports told of an upcoming Sony Ericsson Nozomi, said to come with a 1.5-GHz single-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and to be released before yearend. Recent buzz at the IT68 forums, however, reveal rumors of more powerful specs than initially reported for the Sony Ericsson Nozomi and a release date slated for first quarter of next year.

        • Amazon Cloud SDKs for Android, IOS Exit Beta Testing

          The company wants make it easier for developers to build mobile applications that take advantage of its cloud-based services. Previously, developers had to do more of the work themselves, according to Amazon.

          Using the SDKs developers can make API (application programming interface) requests directly from a mobile application to Amazon’s Web Services. Developers can integrate their applications with a long list of services, including Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Simple Storage Service (S3), the SimpleDB database and send messages using Simple Notification Service (SNS) and Simple Queue Service (SQS).

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • NVIDIA CEO: quad-core tablets to launch this year

        NVIDIA’s chief executive officer and president Jen-Hsun Huang confirmed that the company’s quad-core processor, currently codenamed “Kal-El,” will be available in tablets by the end of this year. “We’re the only people seriously on the dance floor with Qualcomm,” Huang told Forbes in a recent interview. “We’re really the only two active players.” Earlier this year, NVIDIA said it expected to ship quad-core tablets and smartphones in 2011, but Huang suggested to Forbes that smartphones may not hit the market until 2012. Read on for more.

        [...]

        Huang also noted that NVIDIA currently has 50% of the Android smartphone market and 70% of the Android tablet market.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Bossie Awards for best open source software in 2011

    InfoWorld has presented its 2011 Bossie (Best Open Software Source) Awards. Prizes were awarded in the four categories of enterprise open source applications, desktop and mobile software, data centre and cloud solutions, and developer tools.

  • BT software engineer tells how the telco is using open source

    “One reason why culturally eventually open source will be an excellent fit for BT is that old-school engineering idea that ‘I’ll stake my life on this project because I understand the risks myself because I have the necessary professional background to do so’,” he says. BT is, after all, a company that for many years built everything itself.

  • Open source software – Competitiveness through collaboration

    On the 5th of September 2011, the Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA) hosted the third Government of Malta Open Source End User Group (MOSEUG) meeting. The theme, was ‘OSS – Competitiveness through Collaboration’ and the meeting focused on:

  • Morality and Legality of Open Source Code Forking
  • How to build a sustainable nonprofit the open source way
  • BSA secret agenda: open source saves the world

    Assuming that everything the BSA says is right, then it’s as plausible to blame unbearable temptation as it is ignorance. If you could obtain something that was worth a year’s wages at the click of a mouse, and you knew you’d not cost anyone a penny, what would you do?

    Quite. So while it’s perfectly in order for the BSA to wish for more money for its members, and good luck to them all in that, it’s highly unlikely that its proposed solution will in fact liberate that $59 billion — the GDP of Croatia.

    With perfect holiness and inescapable enforcement, in a world with no illicit copying at all, what would happen is that most of the world wouldn’t have most of those copies of the BSA membership’s products.

    Would that bar them from the benefits of IT, and all the necessary economic and social tools needed to be a productive, happy part of the global digital community? Fortunately not.

    A logical conclusion of the BSA’s arguments is that the free and open source software (Foss) model would step in to provide legal alternatives. Of course, for some software such as Adobe’s top-end creative products there is no Foss equivalent; the paid-for market is small enough and the lock-in so significant that there’s not been much point.

    Once the world cannot get what it cannot pay for, though, the motivation to make top-notch Foss products will be much higher, and we can reasonably expect them to appear. Indeed, we can expect the new wave of software to become so good that it will be functionally competitive with the full-price Western option – and competition, as we all know, promotes a healthy, honest market. Something we know the BSA is entirely in favour of.

    Thus, the real message of the BSA’s survey is to actively, even aggressively, promote the development of Foss within the developing world, to create far more competition that will help reduce prices worldwide, and to encourage a truly diverse and equitable digital world for everyone.

  • 4 More Things You Didn’t Know VLC Could Do
  • Three Top Open Source Bug Tracking Apps
  • Web Browsers

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • BSD

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content

      • Michael Hart (1947 – 2011): Prophet of Abundance

        What makes his death particularly tragic is that his name is probably only vaguely known, even to people familiar with the areas he devoted his life to: free etexts and the public domain. In part, that was because he modest, content with only the barest recognition of his huge achievements. It was also because he was so far ahead of his times that there was an unfortunate disconnect between him and the later generation that built on his trailblazing early work.

  • Programming

    • Book Review: HTML5 Media

      I understand that O’Reilly is publishing a series of hardcopy and ebooks that sport a rather modest page count in order to get the material to market very quickly. Shelley Powers’ HTML5 Media is one of them. Please keep in mind this book isn’t intended to teach you everything you want to know about HTML5 but rather, to show web developers how to insert HTML5 media elements into web pages using the new video and audio elements.

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Dining on Deceit: PR Stunt Backfires for ConAgra

      Hidden cameras captured what was supposed to be the bloggers’ delighted reaction to the meal and dessert of Razzleberry Pie (another frozen Marie Callender’s specialty). But the stunt backfired after bloggers found out the truth. One wrote, “Our entire meal was a SHAM! … We were unwilling participants in a bait-and-switch for Marie Callender’s new frozen three cheese lasagna and there were cameras watching our reactions.”

  • Cablegate

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Wealthy Wisconsin Heir Speaks at Koch Brothers Meeting

      Leaked audio from the Koch brothers’ donor meeting in Vail, Colorado, in June reveals, among other things, the connections between the Kochs and a wealthy Wisconsin funder who spent hundreds of thousands that helped elect Ron Johnson as well as Scott Walker and support various right-wing causes.

      An anonymous source released the tapes to blogger Brad Friedman, who published the audio and transcript at Mother Jones and BradBlog. Fred Young, the heir of the Young Radiator fortune in Racine, Wisconsin, addressed the crowd of Koch invitees and introduced Fox News personality Andrew Napolitano.

    • Cantor Introduces ALEC’s Agenda to the House

      Among the regulations targeted by Cantor are the new maximum achievable control technology “MACT” standards, known as the “boiler MACT rules” for utility plants. Analysts at the Center for Progressive Reform estimated that these rules “would annually prevent up to nearly 6,600 premature deaths, more than 4,000 non-fatal heart attacks, more than 1,600 cases of acute bronchitis, and more than 313,000 missed work and school days.”

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Yet Another Pro-Keystone XL Pipeline Front Group Set Up In Nebraska

      Last week, lobbyists in Washington, DC announced the creation of yet another front group in Nebraska to support the approval of the controversial Keystone XL, a pipeline running through the Midwest from tar sands mining sites in Canada to refineries in Texas. Given its central location underneath the proposed expansion route for the Keystone XL, Nebraska has become a flash point in the debate over approval of the plan.

      To counteract the broad opposition to the pipeline, oil lobbyists have paid special attention to Nebraska.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • BC Court Rules Rogers’ Zoocasa Real Estate Site Infringed Copyright, Breached Terms of Use

        The B.C. Supreme Court has issued a lengthy ruling against Rogers Communications and its real estate search site, Zoocasa. The case originates from Century 21′s objections to Zoocasa’s scraping of its real estate listings and incorporating them into its own site. Zoocasa scraped the full listings for several months starting in August 2008, but in November 2008 switched to “truncated” descriptions that provide only basic information. In August 2009, Zoocasa began “framing” other sites, but it stopped that practice in December 2009. Zoocasa stopped indexing Century 21 listings in 2010.

      • EU Officially Seizes The Public Domain, Retroactively Extends Copyright

        As was unfortunately expected, despite no evidence that this made any economic sense at all, the member states of the EU have agreed to retroactively extend copyright another 20 years, at which point you can expect it to be extended again (thanks to jtdeboe for sending this over). This is nothing short of governments and the entertainment industry seizing works from the public domain. As we’ve said before, the purpose of copyright law is to incent the creation of new works. If existing copyright law was enough to incentivize the creation at the time, then there’s simply no reason to retroactively extend the law.

      • Don’t Try To Create An Illustrated Version Of A David Bowie Song… Or The Copyright Police Will Come After You

        Except, as that started to get attention, Kolb was threatened with an infringement claim. Of course, the Star fails Jouranlism 101, in that it never actually names the party who holds the copyright or who threatened the illustrator. One might come away from the article believing it’s David Bowie, but I’m guessing it was someone else. In fact, I reached out to Kolb to find out who sent the takedown, and he said that

09.08.11

Links 8/9/2011: Munich’s Migration to GNU/Linux Works, Archbang 2011.09

Posted in News Roundup at 10:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The Great Linux Migration: who’s made the move, why, and what’s in store for the future growth of Linux?
  • Munich Migration From The User’s Viewpoint

    So the FUD about the Munich Migration being a disaster of some kind is not real. They are doing much more than migrating to another OS at the same time by rationalizing IT in other ways (CMS and web-applications) and they are not in any hurry crunching 50-100 per week and likely doing some hand-holding at the same time. It works for them.

  • Server

    • Mainframe Ubuntu Linux?

      When you think of “Ubuntu Linux,” you probably think of the community Linux distribution and the Linux desktop. That’s great, but Canonical, Ubuntu’s parent company, also wants you to think of Ubuntu as a server and cloud operating system platform. To that end, Canonical has been working with IBM to get Ubuntu certified on IBM’s high-end System P Power hardware line and System z mainframes.

    • An Open Source Platform for Virtual Supercomputing

      Erlang Solutions and Massive Solutions will soon launch a new cloud platform for high performance computing. Last month they announced their intent to bring a virtual supercomputer (VSC) product to market, the idea being to enable customers to share their HPC resources either externally or internally, in a cloud-like manner, all under the banner of open source software.

  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel Log: Coming in 3.1 (Part 2) – Storage and filesystems

      The software RAID code now supports bad block management and dm-crypt can notify SSDs about freed storage areas. The iSCSI target framework LIO has been updated to Version 4.1 and the default Ext3 settings make the filesystem more robust, but a bit slower.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Two More Developers Join The Chicago Linux Panel

        Next Tuesday during XDC2011 Chicago at the Illinois Institute of Technology I am hosting a panel about contributing to Linux and open-source projects, in particular, X.Org, Mesa, and the Linux kernel, but the information should be largely relevant to any free software project. This discussion panel is largely targeted towards university students and others that aren’t yet contributing to upstream projects, with most of the panel participants having begun their Linux contributions prior to graduating from university and then most of them being poached by major open-source companies.

      • A Happy Four Years To An Open-Source ATI/AMD

        It was four years ago, on the 6th of September 2007, that I exclusively broke the news on AMD’s open-source strategy that would end up greatly changing the open-source Linux graphics driver landscape.

        While the news was delivered on the 6th of September, XDS Cambridge was going on at that point, and it wasn’t until the 17th of September that the RadeonHD Linux driver was published, so it’s hard to call a precise birth-date for this strategy. It could also be considered the point at which SUSE wrote a letter to AMD with this open-source idea.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE Ships September Updates

        September 7, 2011. Today KDE released updates for its Workspaces, Applications, and Development Platform. These updates are the first in a series of monthly stabilization updates to the 4.7 series. 4.7.1 updates bring many bugfixes and translation updates on top of the latest edition in the 4.7 series and are recommended updates for everyone running 4.7.0 or earlier versions. As the release only contains bugfixes and translation updates, it will be a safe and pleasant update for everyone. KDE’s software is already translated into more than 55 languages, with more to come. To download source code or packages to install go to the 4.7.1 Info Page. The changelog and Bugzilla list more, but not all improvements since 4.7.0. Note that these changelogs are incomplete. For a complete list of changes that went into 4.7.1, you can browse the Subversion and Git logs. 4.7.1 also ships a more complete set of translations for many of the 55+ supported languages. To find out more about the KDE Workspace and Applications 4.7, please refer to the 4.7.0 release notes and its earlier versions.

      • KDE Ships September Updates
  • Distributions

    • Unity Linux 2011 to use Arch-Linux-Like Approach

      In other news another favorite of mine, at least in the rpm universe, has released an Alpha build of what will be Unity Linux 2011. I reviewed Unity Linux last year on this blog and images were 276MB and 277 MB per architecture, and the subsequent update 2010.2 brought it to well over 300 MB. This time the size is only a 100 odd megabyte and the team is making some significant changes.

    • ArchBang 2011.09 Includes the Linux 3.0.4-1 Kernel
    • Archbang 2011.09 Released

      Keeping up the schedule of a new release roughly every six months, a new and updated Archbang live/install image with the 3.0 kernel is out, 2011.09. Read the release announcement and see a screenshot here. As always it is available for i686 and x86_64 architectures. The images are a handy download size of 526 MB and 531 MB respectively. If you already have it installed there’s no need to get this as of course Arch is rolling, but good for if you want to update a copy on your USB stick for newer hardware.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat: Java now on firm path for the cloud

        Open source raconteur and Red Hat senior director of middleware engineering Mark Little has laid down some defining comments as to the current state of Java EE7 Enterprise Edition.

        Speaking to a US-based software developer web site, Little has hinted that Java EE7 is a real “milestone release” and that its current status marks the point at which Java truly heads towards the cloud computing of IT delivery.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora Graphics Test Week, Again

          The Fedora Project is having another Graphics Test Week. This time around it’s for testing the Intel, Nouveau, and Radeon drivers for the forthcoming Fedora 16 release.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Convoluted Rebuttals – Unity: The War Without End?

            I would assume that Unity is developed to appeal to the mainstream masses. It’s easy for us that are tech interested to believe that Linux and its associated packages are written to cater for and pander to us. The vast majority of users on this planet have no interest in tech other than it’s a medium in which they wish to get tasks done. They don’t care about open source, they don’t care about patents they merely want to use a PC to get a job done. Conversely though, they are happy to learn a new way of working if the benefits are presented to them, it’s a natural progression that any product will undergo change which will require a small investment of time on behalf of the consumer. Compare a smart phone to that of one from the early 90′s. A company’s vision of a product with many competitors is something to be encouraged, not scorned because you think that people can’t or won’t be interested in something new.

          • Ubuntu 11.10 Beta
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Velocity Micro Unveils 8-inch and 10-inch Tablets, Both Under $300

        Velocity Micro announced a pair of new Android-powered tablets today, the 8-inch Cruz T408 and 10-inch Cruz T410. Due in late September the two feature 1GHz Cortex A8 processors, 512MB RAM, 4GB internal storage, and front-facing cameras. Android enthusiasts might not dig the Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS but average consumer types will like the $239 and $299 price tags. Additional specs for both tablets include Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n), Adobe Flash Player 10.3, and preloaded apps in Amazon Kindle, Amazon Appstore, Angry Birds Rio, and QuickOffice.

      • Velocity Micro Introduces Two Sub-$300 Android Slates

        Two new little Android tablets have joined the ever-growing tablet race, this time from Velocity Micro. Both the 8-inch Cruz T408 and the 10-inch Cruz T410 are nice enough, but what’ll really catch your eye are the pricetags. The Cruz T408 and T410 are priced at $239.99 and $299.99 respectively — a comfortable price point for anyone looking to get a starter slate.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Bossie Awards 2011: The best open source software of the year

    One of the best ways to see the success of the open source philosophy is to pick up a cellphone. If you happen to grab an Android phone — the most popular in the smartphone class — you’ll have a device running a package built by Google and sitting on top of Linux. Almost all of the source code in the stack is released under a generous open source license.

  • Editing Community Offers Input
  • Events

    • Meteorite Consulting to host UK Open Source BI User Group

      On 8 September 2011, Meteorite Consulting are hosting the inaugural UK Open Source BI User Group Event. The UK OSBI User Group aims to provide information to help organisations select and implement innovative commercial and open source business intelligence, data warehousing and data integration solutions.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

    • Why the cloud is accelerating open-source adoption

      In general, open-source projects typically require two components to get community uptake. First, the nature of the project itself has to be technologically challenging. Successful open-source projects are largely about solving a set of complex technological tasks vs. just writing a lot of code to support complex business processes, such as the case with building enterprise software. Linux, MySQL and BitTorrent are all good examples here.

  • Databases

    • NSA open sources Google database mimic

      The US National Security Agency is open sourcing a distributed “NoSQL” database based on Google’s proprietary BigTable platform.

      Known as Accumulo, the platform has been in development at the NSA for over three years, and it’s built atop Hadoop, the open source distributed file system and distributed number-crunching platform that mimics Google’s internal infrastructure.

    • NSA’s open-source project aims for secure, large-scale storage

      The National Security Agency is looking for help from the developer community in contributing to a label-based storage software that could be enable secure, granular access to data in large storage systems.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice and OpenOffice.org drift apart

      Michael Meeks, a LibreOffice developer at Novell, compared the codebase of LibreOffice with the OpenOffice.org sources hosted at the Apache Software Foundation (ASF). As he writes in a blog post, the differences are already so great that it will now be hard to exchange new code between the two projects. In light of the several million lines of source code by which the two products now differ, he says users should not assume that code committed to Apache OpenOffice.org will “inevitably and automatically appear in LibreOffice”. “Instead I suspect we will end up cherry-picking and porting only those things that justify the effort, as/when/if there is any such thing,” added Meeks.

  • CMS

    • Switch to Moodle ongoing this academic year

      The university has since decided to use Moodle Rooms, which provides an enhanced version of the free and open source Moodle.

    • Are you really investing in your real estate website?

      There is one solution which is cost effective and will provide you with freedom and choice. That is to use an open source CMS which is free to use on a General Public License. These open source CMS are usually owned by a not for profit organization of web developers and designers, who’s goal is to share code amongst a worldwide community of developers in an effort to provide a free and powerful CMS for websites. PHP is an open source language and a few CMS build upon PHP include Joomla, WordPress, Drupal, CakePHP and Codeigniter.

    • Diaspora still trying to reinvent social networks with open source

      Most people won’t have even heard of it. Diaspora is an up and coming social network which is getting a lot more attention in some circles in the wake of Google+’s ‘real names’ policy.

      Users are climbing on board after being tipped off that there’s a network just like Google+, only without having anything to do with Google, where you can be who you want to be, how you want to be, and still retain full ownership of everything you put there.

  • Healthcare

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Review: Jaspersoft’s Business Intelligence Suite Enterprise Edition

        But the suite’s open source codebase also enables it to support third-party commercial and open source BI tools, which gives it its broad range of capabilities. These components include Talend’s open source extract, transform and load (ETL) tool and activity monitoring console; R, an advanced analytics development environment; and JasperAnalysis, an OLAP tool based on the open source Mondrian engine.

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD: A Faster Platform For Linux Gaming Than Linux?

      FreeBSD provides a Linux binary compatibility layer that allows 32-bit Linux binaries to be natively executed on this BSD operating system. Linux binary compatibility on FreeBSD allows Linux-only applications to be executed in a near seamless manner on this alternative platform, even for games. New tests have revealed that the modern FreeBSD operating system (via PC-BSD 8.2) can actually outperform Linux when it comes to running OpenGL Linux game binaries.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Licensing

    • MPL 2.0, copyleft, and license compatibility

      In part one of my Mozilla Public License piece, I mentioned license compatibility as a major feature of MPL 2.0. In fact, it’s such a major – and complicated – issue that it warrants its own explanation.

  • Programming

Leftovers

09.07.11

Links 7/9/2011: Linux World Domination, China Picks IBM’s GNU/Linux Mainframe

Posted in News Roundup at 4:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Project of the Month September 2011 – GCompris
  • New on the site: Open source resources

    We’re happy to announce a new open source resources section. To kick things off, we’ve added pages that highlight open source conferences and events, organizations, and projects and applications. It’s not much, but it’s a start. We have lots of ideas, and want to make this more robust and improve functionality. But for now, let’s see if this idea catches on.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

    • A Way off the Ranch

      In February 2011, Eben Moglen gave a landmark speech to the Internet Society titled “Freedom in the Cloud”, in which he unpacked the problem. In the beginning, he said, the Internet was designed as “a network of peers without any intrinsic need for hierarchical or structural control, and assuming that every switch in the Net is an independent, free-standing entity whose volition is equivalent to the volition of the human beings who want to control it”.

  • Databases

    • NoSQL Benchmarking

      NoSQL is the talk of the town. And we have already covered what it is for in one of our previous blogs. Today I would like to share the NoSQL benchmark test results we have recently conducted. It will help you to understand if the soon to develop system is compatible to NoSQL, and which NoSQL product to select.

      In this article we will reveal the characteristics of Cassandra, HBase and MongoDB identified through multiple workloads.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Board Elections: Nominations Open
    • Developing LibreOffice

      Not being stopped by that knowledge, LibreOffice developers take a strong bite deep in the code base for improvements now and even better future LibreOffice development. I’m not only impressed, but also get more and more confident in the future of this project.

  • CMS

    • Octopress: Create Static Sites with a Full-Featured Framework

      Static sites have better performance than dynamic sites, but you lose a lot of features by giving up a content management system (CMS), right? Maybe not, if you have a framework like Octopress.

      Last week I looked at static sites and cloud services, but even Todd Hoff’s excellent coverage put me off a bit. Then I ran into the Octopress 2.0 announcement.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • FSF’s Star Turn in the Android FUDathon, Part 2

      The people and companies … who disregard the Internet “don’t be a dick” rule … need more incentive to comply. However, even they don’t lose the right to use the code permanently unless they decide to “be a dick” permanently. In those cases, it doesn’t matter how many copies of the code they get — each new license for each new copy would be terminated as soon as they attempted distribution outside the terms of the license.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Federal Court may share its DMS as open source, parliament says

      The Swiss Parliament’s control committee for the Federal Court is allowing the publication as open source software of Open Justitia, a document management system developed in-house by the court. The software will be made available under the GPLv3 licence soon.

    • NSA Extends Label-based Security to Big Data Stores

      “There is a need for a flexible, high performance distributed key/value store that provides expressive, fine-grained access labels,” the developers stated on the proposal page submitted to Apache. “We have made much progress in developing this project over the past [three] years and believe both the project and the interested communities would benefit from this work being openly available and having open development.”

    • Open government policy developments in Australasia

      Last week in New Zealand, the Ministers of Finance and Internal Affairs adopted a statement detailing a new Declaration on Open and Transparent Government. The Declaration has been approved by Cabinet, and directs all Public Service departments, the New Zealand Police, the New Zealand Defence Force, the Parliamentary Counsel Office, and the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service; encourages other State Services agencies; and invites State Sector agencies to commit to releasing high value public data actively for re-use, in accordance with the Declaration and Principles, and in accordance with the NZGOAL Review and Release process. More information on this statement can be found at the CC Aotearoa New Zealand blog.

    • Publicly Releasing Open Source Software Developed for the U.S. Government by Dr. David A. Wheeler

      This article summarizes when the U.S. federal government or its contractors may publicly release, as open source software (OSS), software developed with government funds. This section is intended for non-lawyers, to help them understand the basic rules they must follow.

      This article was previously published in the Journal of Software Technology (aka Software Tech News), Vol.14, No.1, February 2011. It is part of “Open Technology Development (OTD): Lessons Learned and Best Practices for Military Software”, and thus is released under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 (CC-BY-SA) License. A one-page summary of this paper is available from MIL-OSS, and the MIL-OSS 2011 conference had a presentation on releasing OSS.

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • WS-Calendar 1.0 adopted by OASIS Committee
    • The Next Internet: What’s Holding Us Back?

      Tim Berners-Lee, to his credit, did not invent the Internet. He did have one good idea. He was not the first person or even the twelfth with the same idea, but he did make it work. Yet most of the underlying work – the bringing together of dozens of communications systems with slightly or wildly varying protocols – was done before him. He just plugged it in, and for that, he gets most of the credit.

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Cablegate

    • Wikileaks Provides Proof that UK is Eradicating Turks and Caicos Islanders Since Early 2000s
    • Talks over Egypt-Israel gas deal took 10 years, says Wikileaks

      Negotiations over the natural gas deal between Egypt and Israel dragged out over 10 years because of “political concerns in Egypt,” a recently revealed Wikileaks cable said.

      A partial extract from cable number 05CAIRO4972 of a confidential document prepared by the US embassy in Cairo one day before the deal was signed said the US described the deal as “the most lucrative ever.”

      On July 1, 2005, then Egyptian Petroleum Minister Sameh Fahmy and Israeli Minister of National Infrastructure Benjamin Ben-Eliezer signed the agreement to supply 1.7 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually to the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) starting October 2006.

    • Addressing confusion about PFC Bradley Manning’s case

      In online discussions attributed to PFC Bradley Manning, he says that he hopes his actions will spur “discussion, debates, and reforms” and that he “want[s] people to know the truth, no matter who they are, because without information you cannot make informed decisions as a public.” This is the classic definition of a whistle-blower (a person who tells the public about alleged dishonest or illegal activities/misconduct occurring in a government department).

      Unfortunately, the government is charging PFC Bradley Manning with “knowingly [giving] intelligence to the enemy, through indirect means,” under Article 104 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice — an allegation of treason and a capital offense. By this rational, scores of service-person-posted blogs, photos, and videos, would now be punishable by death—simply because they are accessible on the Internet. The charge against Bradley Manning appears to be about sending a message to other would-be whistle-blowers.

    • 2011-09-06 WikiLeaks Notes: Latest News on #Cablegate Releases & #WikiLeaks
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Wikileaks has shown us a world we need to know

      Wik­ileaks has its share of crit­ics – the or­gan­i­sa­tion is too cen­tred around Ju­lian As­sange and a per­son­al­ity-type cult ex­ists – but surely the vast bulk of in­for­ma­tion the group has re­leased since 2006 makes it a major force for good (not least be­cause it’s forced gov­ern­ments and many jour­nal­ists on the de­fen­sive about their in­sider tac­tics)…

    • Dolphins call each other by name

      Dave the dolphin whistles, and his friend Alan whistles back. We can’t yet decipher their calls, but some of the time Dave may be calling: “Alan! Alan! Alan! Alan!”

      Stephanie King of the University of St Andrews, UK, and colleagues monitored 179 pairs of wild bottlenose dolphins off the Florida coast between 1988 and 2004. Of these, 10 were seen copying each other’s signature whistles, which the dolphins make to identify themselves to each other.

    • Girl’s sex spy saga shocks staid Swiss

      Even by Romanian standards, the plot beggars belief. A hot-blooded young seductress masquerading as a journalist is order- ed by her masters in the Romanian Intelligence Service to lure the Swiss ambassador into bed.

      Once there, her task is to find out anything and everything she can about “Ceausescu’s Gold” – the millions of dollars Romania’s late dictator is believed to have stashed away in Swiss bank accounts just before his fall.

      Afternoons of passion in the Bucharest penthouse she would persuade him to buy her were to be followed by gentle probing as to the real intentions of ex-King Michael, the former Romanian monarch now exiled in the ambassador’s Swiss homeland.

      And far from keeping the affair discreet, the agent is to make sure that she and her consort – a married man with two children – are frequently seen together wining and dining in public and at diplomatic functions. Just for good measure, the exercise will be called “Operation William Tell”.

  • Finance

    • NY Approves Goldman Sachs’ Sale of Litton with Stipulations

      The New York Department of Financial Services and Banking Department is including several stipulations with its approval of Goldman Sachs’ sale of its Litton Loan Servicing, LP, to special servicer Ocwen Financial Corp.

    • All Work and No Pay: The Great Speedup

      ON A BRIGHT SPRING DAY in a wisteria-bedecked courtyard full of earnest, if half-drunk, conference attendees, we were commiserating with a fellow journalist about all the jobs we knew of that were going unfilled, being absorbed or handled “on the side.” It was tough for all concerned, but necessary—you know, doing more with less.

  • Copyrights

    • Universities flee Access Copyright

      In the wake of a proposed fee increase, universities across Canada have opted to leave contracts with once-popular copyright licenser Access Copyright.
      Many schools, including York University, the University of British Columbia and almost every school in the prairie region have abandoned their contracts with Access Copyright in favour of steering the waters of copyright legislation on their own.

    • MPAA Unsurprisingly Behind Australia iiNet Case

      Hid Behind Scenes to Avoid Impression of Being a Bully

09.06.11

Links 6/9/2011: Linux on GitHub, Baidu Forks Android

Posted in News Roundup at 2:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux development temporarily moves to GitHub

      Linus Torvalds has published the fifth release candidate of Linux 3.1. As the main server for kernel.org is not completely back up and running after the break-in that was made public last week, Torvalds uploaded the git repository with the mainline Linux sources to GitHub.

    • Linus Torvalds puts Linux 3.1-RC5 on Github after kernel.org breach
    • LinuxCon: x86 platform drivers

      With his characteristically dry British humor, Matthew Garrett outlined the current situation with x86 platform drivers at LinuxCon. These drivers are needed to handle various “extra” hardware devices, like special keys, backlight control, extended battery information, fans, and so on. There are a wide range of control mechanisms that hardware vendors use for these devices, and, even when the controller hardware is the same, different vendors will choose different mechanisms to talk to the devices. It is a complicated situation that seems to require humor—and perhaps alcohol—to master.

    • Roccat Linux Support Keeps Coming

      Last year I talked about how there were open-source Linux drivers for Roccat gaming mice. Not only was there open-source support available, but it was living in the mainline Linux kernel. This great Linux support comes from an experienced developer working with Roccat to improve their Linux support. This developer, Stefan Achatz, has written the kernel drivers plus open-source user-space utilities.

      [...]

      Linux drivers (open or closed-source) for gaming peripherals like these mice and keyboards with various extra functionality is rather rare.

    • Linux 3.1-rc5
    • Panasonic’s Full HD LCD Home Theater Projector For Linux Users
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Chronicles of Desktop Deaths Foretold

      Consultant and Slashdot blogger Gerhard Mack has a desktop, a laptop, an HTC Desire Z cellphone and a work-provided Galaxy Tab. “Care to guess which one I use the most?” he asked. “It’s the desktop. My desktop has more power than the rest of my devices put together, the keyboard is at the proper typing height, and the monitors are on an ergonomic stand to keep my neck from being

  • Distributions

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Reminder: Ubuntu App Developer Week Starts Today
          • Menu Discoverability In Ubuntu 11.10

            OK, with that out of the way I just wanted to talk about menus a little. Recently we released Ubuntu 11.10 Beta 1 and there was the requisite review on OMG! Ubuntu! and the conversation rather unsurprisingly descended into a debate about the menus and window controls in Ubuntu 11.10.

          • Online with Oneiric

            WHEN I read that the first beta version of the new Ubuntu release (11.10 a.k.a. Oneiric Ocelot) was available for downloading, I knew it was time to break out my trusty Acer AspireOne netbook again. For the last couple of Ubuntu releases, this notebook—with a 1.6GHz Atom processor, 1GB memory, 40GB hard drive—has been my test machine for some of the radical changes that my favorite Linux distribution was introducing.

            Mostly, I’m referring to the Unity interface that Ubuntu introduced in 11.04, which I felt clearly lacked some of the easy customization that the Gnome 2.x desktop afforded. I also felt the first version of Unity was still too rough around the edges, and wouldn’t let me do what I needed to do quickly. So, on my production machine (a desktop PC), I run 11.04—but still use the classic Gnome shell in place of Unity.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • 15 Must Have Android Games

          Android is growing at a stupendous rate and so is Android Market. Number is applications in Android Market is nearing 300,000 now and the rate of growth is only increasing. Trying to pick the very best of Android games from that enormous list is tough. I will try to give it my best shot anyway. Here are the games I enjoy playing in my Android 2.3.3 powered Galaxy S2.

        • Versatile Android device, the KT SpiderPad

          One of the most interesting devices showcased on the IFA this year is the KT SpiderPad. The main device is an Android smartphone. What makes this smartphone desirable are the accessories, which transforms it into a very powerfull setup.

        • Android Market Share Soars, Grabs Apple iOS Market Share in UK
        • Android: Another fork in the code by Baidu

          Critics of Google’s Android mobile OS have always been vocal about the f-word– fragmentation. From its inception Android has fallen victim to Google’s soft stance to Android versions and it has been common to see at least three or four versions in the market at any given time.

          Last week details emerged about Amazon’s upcoming Kindle Tablet that will run a totally different OS using the Android kernel but little else. Then China’s Baidu announced it will produce its own mobile OS using at its core, you guessed it, Android. There will soon be more versions and derivatives of Android than you can shake a smartphone at.

        • Google: nearly one third of Android devices running Gingerbread

          The latest figures released by Google show that version 2.3.x of Android, known as “Gingerbread”, is now being actively used on nearly one third of all devices running the open source mobile operating system. According to the Platform Versions device dashboard on the Android Developer portal, Android 2.3.x accounts for 31.3 per cent of the total number of devices in use, an increase of 7 percentage points compared to just one month ago.

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • The VAR Guy: Does Sold Mean Sold Out?

    een sold. More specifically, The VAR Guy’s publisher, Nine Lives Media, which also publishes the web sites MSPmentor and Talkin’ Cloud, has been sold to Penton Media, a huge business-to-business media company. At last count, according to Wikipedia, Penton “publishes and produces 113 magazines, 96 trade shows, 145 websites and has over six million subscribers across 17 different market segments.” Their target markets run the alphabetic gamut from Agriculture to Wealth Management. Nine Lives will become part of Penton’s “Technology Group.”

    If you’re thinking this won’t be good for FOSS, you’re probably right.

    Obviously, this “VAR Guy” is a house writer, like some of the in-house hacks that churned out serial novels for U.S. publishers like Grosset & Dunlap back in the 30s and 40s. He has no name. He has no face. He exists as a person only in the way that corporations, according to the Supreme Court, are people. This means that if the new bosses don’t like the content of the blogs churned out by the present “VAR Guy,” they can replace him with “VAR Guy” number two, and if that doesn’t work out with number three….

    I’m sure you get my drift.

  • Surviving Fixed-Everything IT Projects

    Using fixed-price contracts for a contract may seem to limit risk, but it mostly costs more and produces less satisfactory results.

  • Security

  • Cablegate

    • Bollywood got funds from gangsters, politicians: WikiLeaks

      A leaked US diplomatic cable has said that Bollywood welcomed funding from gangsters and politicians, known in India as “black money.”

      While there is no direct reference of Dawood Ibrahim which allegedly financed a number of movies, the cable said that in recent decades, the Bollywood film industry has been associated with the notorious Mumbai underworld, at the nexus of gangsters, money, and politics.

    • Julian Assange Statement on Chief Minister Mayawati

      Mayawati has betrayed rational thought. The question is, has she also betrayed the Dalit?

      There is no question that the documents are official papers from the US embassy. These papers have been proven the world over–including by the aggressive persecution of our people by Washington. The allegations within them are made by US diplomats in their private communications back to Hillary Clinton. If Chief Minister Mayawati has a problem with the contents of these communications she needs to take it up with Hillary.

      I ask that Mayawati admit her error and apologise.

    • Send me jet, I’ll bring you sandals: Assange to Mayawati

      This morning, at a press conference, the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister said that the WikiLeaks cables that refer to her appear to be inauthentic. The fact that Mr Assange posted them on his website, she said, shows that he is either mentally ill or is being used by her political opponents. “He has gone mad,” she said. “If there is no room to treat him elsewhere, let him come to Agra…we will find him some space at the mental asylum there.”

    • Fallouts of wikileaks: Gabby, Ephson banter over bribery
    • $/etc/init.d/globaleaks start; We have Lift Off!

      We are very excited to announce the innaugural release of Globaleaks. Accompanying the release is a hands on demonstration of Globaleaks showcasing both the technical aspects and our methodology. While functional, at this time the demo is a working development version, or alpha version and not yet ready for deployment.

    • Wikileaks says Kenya trained Somalia fighters
    • Only eight Iraqi Jews in Baghdad in 2009: cable

      Baghdad’s Jewish community numbered just eight people in late 2009, having fallen from 20 in 2003 due to deaths from old age and sectarian violence, and emigration, a leaked US diplomatic cable says.

  • Civil Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

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

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

      • Geist: Canada pressed on copyright law, cables show

        Parliament is set to resume in several weeks with the reintroduction of a copyright reform bill by Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore and Industry Minister Christian Paradis slated to be one of the government’s top priorities. The bill is expected to mirror Bill C-32, the previous copyright package that died with the election in the spring.

        That bill garnered some praise for striking a balance on difficult issues such as fair dealing, damages, and the liability of Internet providers. However, its approach to digital locks — which are used to control access to DVDs, CDs, and electronic books — was roundly criticized by consumer, education, and technology groups since it effectively ensured that inclusion of a digital lock trumps consumer and fair dealing rights. The bill’s digital lock rules largely mirrored those found in the United States.

        The Canadian approach is difficult to understand if viewed solely from a policy or legal perspective. As a policy matter, concerns over digital locks was the top issue raised during the 2009 copyright consultation as well as in the hundreds of submissions to the Bill C-32 legislative committee. From a legal perspective, countries such as Switzerland and New Zealand have adopted a far more balanced approach, demonstrating that protection for digital locks need not eviscerate consumer rights.

        The rationale appears to lie not in law or policy, but in politics. While U.S. pressure on Canadian copyright is nothing new, secret U.S. government cables demonstrate not only a massive behind-the-scenes lobbying effort to promote U.S.-style laws in Canada, but also a shocking willingness by senior Canadian officials to cave to the pressure.

        In fact, newly released cables reveal that former industry minister Maxime Bernier raised the possibility of leaking the copyright bill to U.S. officials before tabling it in the House of Commons and a former policy official with industry ministers Jim Prentice and Tony Clement encouraged the U.S. to pressure Canada by elevating it on a piracy watch list.

      • Did Conservatives sell out Canada to U.S. copyright interests?

        Documents released through Wiki Leaks are painting an alarming picture of Conservative collusion with U.S interests to force through U.S. style copyright legislation.

        New Democrat Digital Affairs Critic Charlie Angus (Timmins—James Bay) says the leaks raise serious questions about the role played by former Industry Ministers Maxime Bernier and Tony Clement.

      • MPAA’s Bogus ‘Piracy’ Numbers Mean It Thinks Downloaders Would Buy 200 More DVDs Per Year

        Over the years we’ve had plenty of fun with the MPAA’s bogus use of stats when it comes to “piracy” claims. They’re really laughable, and it would actually be kind of funny… if policy makers and the press didn’t actually believe those numbers and pass bad legislation based on them. Even the one time that the MPAA admitted its piracy stats were totally wrong, it was too late to stop a law that was passed on the basis of those bogus numbers.

      • ACTA

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

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Understanding open source technologies, the ethical way

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

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

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

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

  • Databases

    • NSA proposes Accumulo NoSQL database to Apache

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

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

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

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

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

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Project Releases

    • wdiff 1.0.0 released

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

  • Public Services/Government

    • Can Whitehall open up to open source?

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

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

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

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

    • Government a closed shop for open source

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

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

    • Indian Government Takes the Open Source Route

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

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

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

Leftovers

  • Armageddon of IT

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

  • Health/Nutrition

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

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

  • Cablegate

  • Finance

    • Pray for Goldman Sachs

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

    • WHo Do You THiNK BuiLT AMeRiCa?

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

  • Civil Rights

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

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

09.05.11

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

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

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

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

  • Kernel Space

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

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

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • the on-screen keyboard

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

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • BackBox Linux 2 released!

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

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

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

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Open Source: Mandriva 2011 vs Mageia 1

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

      • Open Source: Live Migration of Mandriva to Mageia

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

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Bodhi Linux: A Closer Look

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

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Medion hides Android 3.2 tablet behind closed doors

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

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

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

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

Free Software/Open Source

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • August 2011 GNU Toolchain Update

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

    • GNU Health at Savannah

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

  • Public Services/Government

    • Democracy and cyberspace

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

Leftovers

  • Tech musings – Because I can.

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

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

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Obama Administration Delays Life-Saving Smog Standards

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

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

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Obama: (Still) Killing Terrorists the Bush Way

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

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

    • Firms Aided Libyan Spies

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

  • Cablegate

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Julian Assange: The 60 Minutes Interview

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

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

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

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

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

    • Nadra outsourcing plans in disarray after WikiLeaks

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

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

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

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

    • Wikileaks – Raw Notes On Ghana

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Wikileaks: ICE / IFPI Infiltrate Pirate Topsites

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

    • Australia: no plans to prosecute Assange over cables

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

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

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

    • WikiLeaks’ Asian field day

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

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

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

    • Helium Diplomacy and the Jamaican Menace

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

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

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

    • Feared clan outgunned Philippine military: WikiLeaks

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

    • WikiLeaks’ obvious truth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Curtain closing on Gillard experiment

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

    • WikiLeaks – Rawlings uses drugs

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

  • Finance

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

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

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

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

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

  • Censorship

    • The DOJ’s escalating criminalization of speech

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

09.03.11

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

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

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

    • Linux And Dead Badgers – People Want to Know!

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

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

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

    • The Passing of an Era

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

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

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

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Plasma Active entering beta

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

      • more on Active strategy

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

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Google Chrome OS Ready for Prime Time

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

  • Distributions

    • ALT Linux Sisyphus

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

    • New Releases

      • AriOS 3.0.1
      • Zorin OS 5.1 Core release

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

    • Red Hat Family

      • Son of Solaris raids Linux for KVM hypervisor

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

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Personal cloud-server gizmo goes mobile

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

    • Phones

Free Software/Open Source

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

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

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

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

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

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google Chrome Web browser kicks rump, takes names

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

  • SaaS

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

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

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

  • Licensing

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

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

  • Openness/Sharing

    • WikiHouse: An open source home design and build kit

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

    • Open Hardware

      • Personal cloud-server gizmo goes mobile

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

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

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

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

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

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

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

    • Secret Files Reveal Former UK-Libya Links

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

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

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

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

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

  • Cablegate

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

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

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

    • The Effect of WikiLeaks in the Stadium of Democracy

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

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

      [...]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Secret files: US officials aided Gaddafi

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

    • Facts and myths in the WikiLeaks/Guardian saga

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

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

  • Finance

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

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

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

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Justice Prosser Will Recuse in Campaign Disclosure Case

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

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • Copyright Wars Volumes 1 & 2

« 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