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Links 6/5/2010: Quirky 1.0, SystemRescueCd 1.5.3

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

GNOME bluefish



  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 95

    Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 95

  • Linux Fund UK Business Credit Card Available Today

    Business Credit Card allows UK Businesses to support open source with every purchase

  • OPC UA Software Opens Up Linux Possibilities

    Integrator Kyle Chase has begun to experience first-hand the benefits of OPC Unified Architecture (UA). Designed to allow for cross-platform compatibility, OPC UA delivers on the promise of performance and reliability. Chase explained that, although a fan of Linux, until now he could never use it in automation control systems because OPC relied on Microsoft’s Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM).

  • BlueWave Security Chooses Lantronix to Reduce Development Costs, Speed Time to Market and Improve Customer Satisfaction

    BlueWave Security selected XPort Pro, ‘The World’s Smallest Linux Server,’ to future-proof its next-generation security product line with best in class networking capability, and to enable secure, remote access to equipment behind firewalls.

  • Desktop

    • Thurrott, I Live in the Windows Future, and you’re in the Pleistocene.

      The only difference with this change is I’m using Linux with Oracle’s VirtualBox as my hypervisor, which in your own response to my column you agree has a superior security architecture and is less vulnerable to attack than Windows.

    • Wi-Fi Key-cracking Kits Sold in China Mean Free Internet

      Wi-Fi USB adapters bundled with a Linux operating system, key-breaking software and a detailed instruction book are being sold online and at China’s bustling electronics bazaars. The kits, pitched as a way for users to surf the Web for free, have drawn enough buyers and attention that one Chinese auction site, Taobao.com, had to ban their sale last year.

    • Open source challenge for Simply Computers

      Tony and Vicki Houlbrooke are Linux evangelists, but it seems the Whakatane couple’s customers are far from sold on the platform.

      The company claims to use Linux more extensively than other businesses by using it on desktops and servers. “Our heart is very much in open source software,” says Tony, adding he also promotes Gentoo for servers and Ubuntu for desktops.


      The bulk of the work comes from repairing problems associated with Windows, but Tony is optimistic about the prospects for Linux growth alongside cloud computing; saying the cloud could free customers from being chained to particular operating systems.

  • Server

    • London Stock Exchange creates virtual Turquoise access ahead of Linux big-bang

      An “ultra-fast” link between the datacentres of the London Stock Exchange and Turquoise has gone live, gearing the dark pool trading venue for a big-bang Linux migration.

      Traders with hosted systems at the LSE are now able to access Turquoise on the free fast link, ahead of Turquoise’s migration to the Millennium Exchange platform, which is Linux and Sun Solaris Unix-based, with Oracle databases. Turquoise currently runs on the Java-based Tradexpress platform from supplier Cinnober.

    • Cloud.com takes on virty infrastructure
    • Cloud.com software stack goes open source

      Cloud.com describes CloudStack as “an integrated software solution that enables enterprises and service providers to quickly and easily build Infrastructure as a Service (IAAS) clouds.”

    • Stacking up the hypervisors

      It was initially offered by many companies including major Linux distributors such as Red Hat and Novel, Virtual Iron (bought by Oracle), Oracle and Citrix but there’s been some consolidation in the market. Red Hat and Novell steered away from Xen and committed to rival open-source KVM while Oracle-Sun-Virtual Iron and Citrix stuck with it.

      The Linux players still have to support their own operating system distros – the main part of their businesses – so that’s what they wanted to focus on. The development effort around Xen didn’t leverage the development of their OS products as much as they liked. Their mainline Linux development diverged from the hypervisor too much and they wanted to bring that back together.

      KVM makes more use of operating system developments than Xen, which is more focused on the hypervisor. So it’s useful for Oracle where the operating system is a secondary business.
      If your interest in a pure hypervisor is more important than Linux per se, Xen is more relevant.

      But if you’re more interested in Linux, that’s where KVM comes to bear.

  • Google

  • IBM

    • IBM Wants Linux’ KVM To Compete With VMware

      One of IBM’s current goals is to “accelerate the maturation of KVM as a world class hypervisor.” That may not sound like much to the uninitiated but IBM has picked its targets well in the past. Of course it’s now ten years ago that it announced its backing for Linux.

      Dan Frye, IBM’s VP of open systems development, commented on IBM’s commitment to help mature KVM during his address to the Linux Collaboration Summit in San Francisco April 14. KVM is the hypervisor first produced by the Israeli company, Qumranet, and added to the Linux kernel in February 2007; Qumranet was acquired by Red Hat in 2008.

  • Kernel Space

    • Jon Corbet QA: Upstream Contributions Influence Direction of Linux Kernel

      Jon Corbet is a highly-recognized contributor to the Linux kernel community. He is a developer and the executive editor of Linux Weekly News (LWN). He is also The Linux Foundation’s chief meteorologist, a role in which he translates kernel-level milestones into an industry outlook for Linux. Corbet has also written extensively on how to work within the Linux kernel development community and has moderated a variety of panels on the topic. Today, he gives us an update on the Linux “weather forecast,” why sharing your code upstream is critical, and the state of virtualization in the kernel.

    • Linux Foundation Announces LinuxCon Keynotes, Mini-Summits
    • LINBIT takes over Heartbeat Code Maintenance

      Philipp Reisner, CTO, LINBIT notes that LINBIT continues to boost its dedication to open source and High-Availability by adopting Heartbeat: “Apart from DRBD, LINBIT now also maintains another important component of the Linux-HA stack. In the past, LINBIT has repeatedly contributed to other parts of Linux-HA including Pacemaker. One can say that if you are relying on Linux-HA, you are also relying upon LINBIT. If you want to achieve High-Availability in Linux, it’s impossible without LINBIT!”

    • Research

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Puppy Linux founder releases Quirky 1.0

      In a post on his blog, Puppy Linux founder Barry Kauler has announced the release of version 1.0 of Quirky. Kauler says that, while the Quirky Linux distribution is in the same family as Puppy Linux, it’s a “distinct distro in its own right.”

    • New Releases

      • SystemRescueCd 1.5.3 Is Out

        SystemRescueCd 1.5.3, a live CD/USB Linux distribution based on Gentoo, has been released with updated kernels and a few updated packages. It also includes the NetworkManager GUI network configuration tool to make it easier to set up network connections. This should help a great deal, especially with wireless connections that should be detected automatically and be easier to manage.

      • Mandriva Linux 2010 Spring Beta 2 arrives
    • Red Hat Family

    • Ubuntu

      • Launchpad PPA Upgraded to 2 GB

        Although Launchpad has provided sizes larger than 1 GB on special request earlier, this move ensures that you will get 2 GB from the very beginning. Existing PPAs larger than 2 GB will remain unchanged.

      • Cory Doctorow: Persistence Pays Parasites

        But even armed with this intelligence, I’ve been pretty cavalier about my exposure to net-based security risks. I run an up-to-date version of a very robust flavor of GNU/Linux called Ubuntu, which has a single, easy-to-use interface for keeping all my apps patched with the latest fixes. My browser, Firefox, is far less prone to serious security vulnerabilities than dogs like Internet Explorer. I use good security technology: my hard-drive and backup are encrypted, I surf through Ipredator (a great and secure anonymizer based in Sweden), and I use GRC’s password generator to create new, strong passwords for every site I visit (I keep these passwords in a text file that is separately encrypted).

      • Variants

        • Linux Mint 9 RC arrives

          The Linux Mint development team have announced a release candidate for what will become Linux Mint version 9, code named “Isadora”. Linux Mint aims to be user friendly and to provide a more complete out-of-the-box experience by including support for DVD playback, Java, plug-ins and various media codecs. It is also the third most popular distribution on DistroWatch.com behind Ubuntu and Fedora.

        • DEFT Linux 5.1 Comes with Sleuthkit 3.1.1 and Autopsy 2.24

          DEFT Linux is a highly specialized Linux distribution aimed at forensic computing. It comes with a number of dedicated tools and is a computer investigator’s best friend. The latest release, DEFT Linux 5.1, is a small maintenance update, which brings some newer packages and fixes a couple of bugs. The project’s leader, Stefano Fratepietro, announced the release earlier today and the distro is available for download from the link below.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Iomega releases lower-cost storage array for SMBs

      The array comes with EMC’s LifeLine software, a management utility based on Linux and designed for cross-platform support of Windows, Mac, Linux and UNIX computers and is HCL certified for use with VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V and Citrix XenServer.

    • ESC – Sourcery G++ improves embedded application performance

      Granite Bay, Calif. – At ESC San Jose, CodeSourcery announced the release of Sourcery G++ for ARM, ColdFire, IA32, MIPS, Power Architecture, Stellaris and SuperH processors. The latest release features enhancements that boost application performance and make it easier to get started with GNU/Linux application development.

    • Top 10 drivers for embedded Android

      Business requirements, especially in the context of technology available under an open-source license, can be compelling for both technology managers and corporate executives. This list is not meant to reflect all Android drivers but certainly some compelling reasons for choosing embedded Android.

    • Robotics

      • Random Robot Roundup

        While not exactly an embedded processor, the little box can run GNU/Linux and is powered by 12V, making it handy for certain types of robots.

      • RobuBOX-Kompai Now Open to Outside Development

        Robosoft out of Bidart, France is releasing the open source software version for its RobuBOX-Kompaï at-home assistance robot. The mobile platform includes navigation and communication capabilities and is now open to tinkering around by developers trying to extend the potential tasks the robot can perform.

      • Getting robots to do the laundry and the dishes

        Willow Garage will offer 11 research teams free use of its PR2 robots for two years. The robots, built with an open-source software platform, can be programmed to do many tasks.

    • Intel

      • Intel pushes Atom into mobile arena with “Moorestown”

        Despite Intel’s encouraging announcement, devices slated to show off Moorestown are not expected to hit production until the second-half of 2010. One such device will be the recently delayed LG GW990, a smartphone that features the “MeeGo” operating system. Also the foundation for Moblin, MeeGo is a heavily optimized Linux variant built specifically to take advantage of the Atom platform.

      • Atom for smartphones brings 10-day standby battery life

        Moorestown, like all Atom processors, is based on the x86 architecture, and is expected to run MeeGo or some other Linux variant, meaning devices can be more versatile than current smartphones.

        “These devices are handheld computers that can also make calls,” Kedia explained. With a 1.5GHz core speed, they’re fast, too: Intel demonstrated the Linux version of Quake III running unmodified at over 100fps on a Z600-based prototype smartphone. In another demonstration, an animated 3D graphical scene played in one window while a second streamed 1080p video.

      • Intel Atom chip for smartphones unveiled

        The chipset is set to be compatible with Google Android and Nokia’s MeeGo OS, while support for Moblin Linux based systems and other operating systems look likely to follow.

      • “LG GW990″ will not ultimately marketed

        Unveiled at CES in Las Vegas, the first mobile phone based on an Intel chip Moorestown will remain finally at the stage of concept. LG will not commercialize GW990 ,the hybrid terminal halfway between a MID and a telephone.

        Preview at CES in Las Vegas, then at MWC in Barcelona, the GW990 will not ultimately marketed. We hope that LG will reuse this prototype as a basis for the development of future smartphones.

    • Phones

      • Beating Apple, Google and Microsoft: Smaller Companies Team Up

        Thanks to the open sourced nature of Linux, apps created by this major cross-company team up will be made available across various platforms –which means that developers would have a reason to create apps for the systems: because the market is possibly larger than anything else available.

      • Motorola acquires linux OS company Azingo

        Azingo says its next-generation Linux platform and engineering services ‘significantly reduce development costs and shorten delivery schedules for chipset and handset manufacturers, integrators, and operators’.

      • Nokia

      • Android

        • Viewpoint: Top 10 drivers for embedded Android

          2. Source code: Android provides a comprehensive set of source code, specifically created by the Android team, that leverages existing open-source projects to provide a complete and cohesive software stack. There are currently more than 200 separate Git trees in the public Android repository. Not only is there source for the core packages, but many hardware-component vendors have decided to provide source code for specific drivers. This source is also actively managed by a vibrant community. Clearly, this is a benefit for anybody wanting to optimize these components for a specific target.

    • Tablets

      • Intel Releases Smartphone and Tablet Chip

        The Atom chip also delivers impressive performance and is supposed to render web pages faster than other chips do. The Atom chip is also supposed to support different operating systems, including Intel’s Moblin, Nokia’s MeeGo, and Google’s Android. The first two operating systems mentioned are Linux-based.

Free Software/Open Source

  • CONNECT event draws a range of coders

    convened recently at Florida International University in Miami. The Federal Health Architecture’s open source development event drew a range of participants, demonstrating the growing interest in CONNECT.

  • Twiki Inc. Announces OpenID Integration for Seamless Login with Google, Yahoo or AOL OpenID Accounts
  • Hyderabad: The New Training Destination For Open Source Enthusiasts

    Open source is the ‘buzz’ word in the IT fraternity these days. From bigwigs like Google or Yahoo! to SMEs, everyone is embracing open source with open arms. The main stumbling block is a severe talent crunch for most players. Shortage of enterprise-ready professionals who can be put on the job from day one and keeping the current resource pool up-to-date on the latest technologies are the twin issues faced by open source adopters. To tide over this problem, Taashee Linux Services, an open source software and training company, has opened a new Red Hat Training facility at Hyderabad, a city that is poised to become the next IT and electronics hub of India.

  • Liberia will need Open Source Software Solutions instead of costly Proprietary Solutions

    The global financial crisis that began a few years ago has had an impact on every industry, organization, government, etc. ICT departments facing this crisis have had to seek low cost alternatives and solutions to ensure business continuity. Because of its unique model, costs-saving and robustness, Open Source software has become the alternative that ICT executives have turned to. Since it is flexible and provides several capabilities, Open Source software has made way into the enterprise so fast that its impact has been felt significantly on economies, especially during the recent financial crisis. Because of this, it has become ubiquitous in the ICT industry.


    Open Source Software provides a multitude of options that can be used in the enterprise. Linux, Apache, MySQL, PostGre, Java, PHP, etc., are a few of the many low cost software options that Open Source provides to enterprises. Proprietary software like Windows, Internet Information Server, SQL, Microsoft.Net are software with prohibitive cost that a nation like Liberia, still struggling to build an ICT sector, should consider implementing after exploring more cost-effective options.

  • Events

  • SaaS

  • CMS

    • WordPress: A Brand to be Managed

      This conference is a cross between a training session and a user community support group, and this year had over 600 attendees. (@technorin tells me 800.)Moreover, it is only one of 45 already scheduled to be held this year all over the world. Last year, there were 48 all year; they’ll pass that number this year for sure. People gather around WordPress

    • TheNation.com Gets Open-Source Overhaul

      The site has also gone open-source with a content management platform called “Drupal”: The Nation explains the far-reaching implications:

      “Open source” software code is published and made freely available to the public, enabling anyone to copy, modify and redistribute it without paying or earning royalties or fees. It’s like a song that a musician can sample or remix for free. This creates a community of global web programmers who can share and improve the platform. The idea is rooted in community: One person creates, another person improves, and the knowledge is widely shared. If he understood open source, Glenn Beck might well denounce it as a socialist practice.

      The remaining updates are more conventional. The new site introduces verticals — “Politics,” “World,” “Books & Arts,” etc. — to categorize stories and make them easier to find. The site also features tighter integration with Twitter, enhanced multimedia offerings and an improved mobile user experience.

    • Top 5 CMS Executives – 35 Years Old and Younger

      Buytaert (31) is the main driver behind the wildly successful open source Drupal CMS and the CTO of Acquia.

      Place of Birth

      Antwerp, Belgium


      I’m a techie. I obtained a PhD in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Ghent. Prior to my PhD, I got a Licentiate in Computer Science from the University of Antwerp.

      Professional Highlights (What are You Proud of?)

      Being invited to the White House (which now runs on Drupal).

  • Business

    • Open Source offers more to CIOs

      “Quality. Price. Service. Pick any two,” said a very succinct placard in Damodar’s tailor shop. Back in the days when clothes were tailored, Damodar was one of the best in the business and he definitely knew what he was talking about.

      However, in the software industry, the emergence of open source software (OSS) has turned this dynamic on its head. It is no longer about, “Pick any two,” but “Pick ALL three.”

    • Further Evaluating Commercial Open Source

      As we all know measures of success are subjective. I believe commercial open source is proving to be a viable and successful model based on its ability to deliver real value to both customers and investors.


      So we are constantly asked about why we put our software out as open source. The advantages of the commercial open source approach for the vendor, users and business community have become clear and include:

      • Users can try the product before buying, eliminating much of the sales activities of ordinary enterprise software

      • Lower cost of development through use of other open source components and contributions

    • Open-Xchange Intros Simplified SaaS Partner Pricing

      The new OXrate pricing program has five SaaS partner levels based on the providers’ customer base which ranges from less than 1,000 to more than 250,000 customers. Each level offers two options of pricing, flat rate and guaranteed revenue.

    • Panasonic Announces Digium(R) Asterisk(R) Certification for Its New TGP500 Series SIP Cordless Phone System
    • Metasploit’s HD Moore from (almost) rags to (not quite) riches

      Last week, I got on the phone with HD Moore to ask him how things have been going since he sold Metasploit to Rapid7, sending the open source security world into a frenzy some six months ago. Rapid7 had just released the commercial version, dubbed Metasploit Express, of Moore’s much beloved open source penetration testing tool.


    • Enjoy your participatory panopticon with “SnapScouts”

      “SnapScout and SnapScout Reports are produced and developed by MiniTru, LLC. Created in 2008 by George Parsons and Winston O’Brien, MiniTru LLC leverages modern technology to address the timeless threats to democracy and freedom. Using a transparent, open source approach — all applications will eventually be released under a GNU license, and all content is copyrighted via Creative Commons — we empower real Americans to connect and share the mini-truths we can’t always say out loud, but keep America the greatest country in the world.”

  • Releases

    • OpenDLP aims to detect potential data loss

      A new open source project, OpenDLP, aims to detect data loss in organisations by automated scanning for potentially confidential information. The system consists of a management server, written in Perl, and an agent, written in C, which is deployed to users’ systems to carry out the scanning.

  • Government

    • Election special: Liberal Democrats discuss tech manifesto

      V3.co.uk: How does the Liberal Democrat party plan to increase open-source take-up in the sector?

      John Thurso: The Labour government spends £16bn a year on IT, but has a very poor record on IT procurement and has regularly been criticised by the National Audit Office. The Liberal Democrats will improve government IT procurement, investigating the potential of different approaches such as cloud computing and open-source software.

      Does the party believe that open-source is a better alternative to proprietary software, and if so why?

      Open-source software can be cheaper than proprietary or bespoke software and we believe that government should consider open-source solutions in all IT procurement. The Liberal Democrats will conduct a full review of IT procurement procedures, and work with industry to improve cross-government working practices and save money.

  • Licensing

    • Lower compliance costs with open source tools

      These are just a few of the many open source tools that help with compliance. I also like RANCID for network device configuration management and Nagios for IT infrastructure monitoring. Don’t forget about the many IT policy resources, such as the templates available from SANS.

  • Openness

    • Could open source technologies help us solve climate change?

      The growth of the internet, with all the associated changes it has brought to our lives, has been driven in large part by freely available, non-proprietary technology. The ethos of sharing, formalised by carefully worded open source licenses, has allowed inter-connectedness to flourish in ways that we once never dreamed of. Could adopting a similar approach for carbon-mitigating technologies have the same effect in tackling climate change?


  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • FCC will reclassify broadband as a telco service

      ALTHOUGH THERE HAVE BEEN RUMOURS that the FCC was going to walk away from reclassifying Internet access as a telecommunications service, it looks like that strategy will go ahead.

      By classifying Internet service providers (ISPs) as telecommunications services, the FCC can make them subject to tougher net neutrality rules. The telcos will go into a spin over this plan and have already been spending shedloads on lobbyists to prevent it from happening. They are terrified that net neutrality rules will stop them from throttling traffic or selling higher quality service to some content providers, and could mean that they will have to spend money to upgrade the bandwidth on their networks. It might also mean that they will not be able to charge people extra to get the bandwidth they promised.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – Crash – Graphs and NASA Langley (1/10/2000)

Links 6/5/2010: PCLinuxOS 2010.1, KDE SC 4.4.3 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 2:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux As a Religious Experience

    All this rant was just to say… be nice, be kind, be considerate when discussing your favorites and beliefs regarding operating systems and software.

  • Even Gates and Ballmer can’t live without Linux.

    Many network routers and adsl modems use Linux as their operating systems. When you go to print a page there is a big chance that your printer is running on Linux. What about that big game that you recorded on your Tivo or equivalent? That is running on Linux. Have a satellite link for your TV? Some of those also use Linux. Even some of the latest model televisions have Linux running them.

  • My Wallpaper changer search

    6. Wally – From the website: “Wally is a Qt4 wallpaper changer, using multiple sources” – Sounds good, so I downloaded the .deb file. (be careful to select your disto here) After a few painless seconds to install, I found Wally setting in the Apps menu. So I clicked on it, and the settings menu came up. And as you can see from the image below, it’s very easy figure out, and yes it lets you download from Flicker and about a dozen other on-line sources. Heres the screenshot:

  • Linux Brands: Desired and Distracting at the Same Time

    There were other, more subtle clues for the trained observer. When I would attend LinuxWorld conferences, I could usually tell what distro someone was running by the color scheme. Green was SUSE Linux or openSUSE. Blue usually indicated Fedora, with red reflecting, well, Red Hat Enterprise Linux. And if was brown, you knew it was Ubuntu.

  • Server

  • Google

    • BumpTop Swallowed by Google

      Not to mention the fact that it looks slick and futuristic as the only other features similar to it are only available for Linux.

    • Your next TV may run Android OS

      Sony (SNE) will build both Blu-Ray players and TVs with the Linux-based Android ‘Dragonpoint’ platform built-in. Until now, Android has mostly been built to run with ARM chips on touch-based mobile devices. TVs and BluRay players will demand more horsepower to drive 1080P screens and and won’t be so limited by battery requirements of small form factor phone devices.

    • Google to Introduce Android-Based TV Software
  • Kernel Space

    • LinuxCon keynotes feature Linux insiders — and outsiders

      The Linux Foundation announced keynote speakers and panels for LinuxCon, scheduled for August 10-12 in Boston. The show will feature keynote speakers including Virgin America’s Ravi Simhambhatla, GNOME’s Stormy Peters, the SFLC’s Eben Moglen, and Forrester’s Jeffrey S. Hammond, and hosts a Linux Kernel Roundtable with Ted T’so and other kernel insiders.

    • Ceph: A Linux petabyte-scale distributed file system

      Linux® continues to invade the scalable computing space and, in particular, the scalable storage space. A recent addition to Linux’s impressive selection of file systems is Ceph, a distributed file system that incorporates replication and fault tolerance while maintaining POSIX compatibility. Explore the architecture of Ceph and learn how it provides fault tolerance and simplifies the management of massive amounts of data.

    • Hardware

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Arch Linux + KDE 4.4.2

      After about an hour or so of automated downloading and installing in pacman, I was rewarded with a beautiful state-of-the-art desktop that nearly puts Windows 7 to shame. Its file management and multimedia applications have all the function and polish of Mac OS X, and its desktop widgets are in a class all their own. From a side-scrolling menu, you can select widgets to view folder contents, CPU load, network connections, battery status, and more. Additional widgets can be downloaded by clicking a button from the widget browser.

    • Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • PCLinuxOS 2010 – Familiar taste of radical simplicity

        I find PCLinuxOS to be the big small distro. While it has a modest development team, the final product has always felt quite solid and polished, beyond the normal expectations of limited resources. What more, the distribution managed a fine balance between speed, usability, familiarity, and luring in new users, not an easy task.


        By all standards and benchmarks, PCLinuxOS is a great success. It’s a beautiful, polished, simple, easy to use distribution, with great performance and stability, especially on older machines, a well balanced array of programs, and no big problems at all. Subtle yet important improvements from previous versions are evident, with fewer wizard windows bugging you on your way into the live session or during the installation. Let’s not forget old problems, which were solved in this release, a critical sign of progress.

      • PCLinuxOS 2010.1 KDE 4 Edition now available for download

        PCLinuxOS 2010.1 KDE 4 Edition now available for download. Linux kernel updated to Linux kernel- also available from our software repository, KDE SC Desktop upgraded to version 4.4.3. Added support for Realtek RTL8191SE/RTL8192SE WiFi cards. Added support for Microdia webcams. Added vim console text editor. Added udftools. Fixed cdrom ejection when using the Copy to RAM feature. Fixed KDE new widget download. Updated Nvidia (195.36.24) and Ati fglrx (8.723) drivers. Updated all supporting applications and libraries from the software repository which include security updates and bug fixes.

      • PCLinuxOS 2010.1 KDE – Update Review

        Those of you who did install PCLinuxOS 2010 KDE, go ahead and update, totally recommended!

    • Debian Family

      • Yoper Linux 2010 Launched

        Yoper Linux 2010, codenamed ‘Dresden,’ is finally here after a significant amount of testing. The custom-built Linux distro focuses on speed and the latest version is no different. Yoper Linux 2010 comes with an optimized Linux kernel 2.6.33 aimed specifically at desktop users. It’s available in four desktop environment flavors, for all tastes and systems.


        Yoper Linux 2010 comes with four desktop options, all of the popular choices with the notable exception of GNOME. You can get Yoper Linux 2010 with KDE4, KDE3, LXDE and XFCE. There are five ISOs available, one for each desktop environment and an SLIM CD version that doesn’t come with a graphical interface.

      • Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Lucid Lynx) – packed with goodies.

          Download, burn, boot (a nice, fast boot!), and 20 minutes later I had a perfectly working Acer Aspire 4736Z running with Lucid Lynx. Sound, resolution, internet (including wireless!), webcam, and pretty much all my peripherals working out of the box. Well done. Kudos to the fact that I didn’t actually install it, but left it to my rather technologically illiterate mum.

        • The Perfect Desktop – Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx)
        • From Karmic to Lucid: Distribution Update Screenshots

          In line with its newbie-friendly tradition of providing a way to do everything via a graphical user interface, Ubuntu provides a way to do a distribution upgrade by clicking a button at the top of the Update Manager. Since version 10.04 was released on April 29, it was once again time to see how well the upgrade went. Here are screenshots of the entire process. (Click the images for larger versions.)

        • Upgrading your distro should come with a warning
        • Mark Shuttleworth: No GNOME-Shell in Maverick

          A condensed selection of highlights follow.

          * Maverick will not be coming with the GNOME Shell interface by default but will be available to download via the repos.
          * RGBA transparency will more than likely be enabled by default
          * Missing those indicator tooltips in Lucid? Well, they won’t be returning for the Meerkat.


        • 16 Slick Ubuntu Lucid Wallpapers From Around The Web

          Ubuntu 10.04 LTS codenamed “Lucid Lynx” is released and is easily the best Ubuntu release ever. With its groundbreaking innovations and improvements, Lucid has become the distro of choice for many. We have already seen how to install 13 stunning Bisigi themes in Ubuntu Lucid. Here is some more eyecandy coming your way. Collection of 16 beautiful made-for-lucid wallpapers from around the web.

        • Variants

          • Mint 9 features new software manager, backup tool

            The other key improvement is a new Backup Tool, which offers features like incremental backups, compression, and integrity checks, says the Mint team. Users can now identify installed software, save the selection as a list, and then restore the selection on a different computer or on a new version of Linux Mint, says the team.

          • Lubuntu release 10.04 “final stable beta”

            Lubuntu 10.04 uses Chromium as its default browser and is based on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS which was released last week. Other lightweight applications included in the distribution are the Sylpheed email client, Gnumeric spreadsheet, Abiword word processor, Pidgin instant messaging and Leafpad text editor. The developers do point out that although Lubuntu 10.04 is based on the LTS (Long Term Support) release of Ubuntu, it is not an LTS release. Full details of the applications used and release notes are available and Lubuntu can be downloaded directly (ISO image download, 530MB) or via bittorrent.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Intel’s Moorestown Atom launches — without Windows

      While all the above was expected, the shocker is that the Z6xx has been launched with support for three flavors of Linux — Android, Moblin 2.1, and MeeGo — but nary a mention of Microsoft Windows. This arguably represents the biggest rift in the “Wintel monopoly” since the IBM PC was first launched in 1981 with Intel’s 8088 CPU and Microsoft’s MS-DOS/PC-DOS operating system.

    • 6WIND Joins eNsembleTM Multi-Core Alliance to Drive 6WINDGate Packet Processing Software Leadership

      Providing a comprehensive Linux networking software solution that delivers a 7-10x packet processing performance improvement compared to standard Linux networking stacks, it allows OEMs to develop multi-core-based products that achieve the best cost-performance, integration and energy efficiency in the industry. Because 6WINDGate is fully compatible with standard Linux APIs, developers can migrate standard Linux applications onto new platforms based on 6WINDGate without having to redesign or rewrite their existing software, thereby easing the transition from single to multi-core platforms.

    • Microtronix introduces Scatter Gather DMA Engine for Altera PCIe Hard IP Cores

      “By packaging a powerful Scatter-Gather DMA Engine, a PCIe Bridge with Linux drivers, the Lancero Design Kit streamlines the engineering design task of adding high bandwidth peripherals into embedded systems.” said Norman McCall, president of Microtronix.

    • Lantronix XPort Pro Wins EDN Magazine’s 20th Annual Innovation Awards

      The product’s Software Developer Kit (SDK), with IPv6 support, is an integrated embedded hardware and software suite that provides a validated set of Linux-based applications, an extensive software library, a board support package (BSP) and device drivers that allow designers to create custom tailored products.

    • Phones

      • Motorola Ming Line May Still Continue

        Motorola has been making Linux-powered smartphones since well before Google Android was conceived. The Linux OS was used on devices such as the Motorola Ming A1200, a powerful device which still has a loyal fan-following. Recent leaks show what may finally be the successor to the Motorola Ming.

      • Nokia

        • Meego gaining traction

          Nokia and Intel’s Meego operating system is gaining momentum but not on shop shelves yet.

        • Nokia N900

          It uses Nokia’s Maemo operating system, which is based on Linux, and it has some clever features – there is a terminal program, which allows you to type in Linux commands, and a TV output cable in the box. It’s designed around applications – it’s easy to add new ones, put them on the home screen and run them simultaneously without the phone slowing-down much.

      • Android

        • Official: Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Will Get Android 2.1 in Q4

          Android 2.1 will go a long way to put the Xperia X10 on the same playing field as other smart phones. However, we can’t help but think it may still be a little too late for most people. Keep an eye out for minor updates in the interim as they’re already scheduled for the next few weeks.

        • Could Android run on the iPad?

          Or perhaps Android will make its lasting mark in a different arena altogether such as playing the role of the embedded brains for household appliances or for industrial controllers? This is of interest to me, personally. Though I have to question that notion about once a day when I pop the battery in my Nexus One due to phone call lockups. Yikes.

        • Slider version of MyTouch 3G adds voice command button

          T-Mobile announced a new version of its HTC-manufactured MyTouch 3G smartphone featuring a QWERTY keyboard, Android 2.1, and an updated T-Mobile UI layer with a voice-command “Genius Button.” The mid-range MyTouch 3G Slide offers a 3.4-inch touchscreen, WiFi, Bluetooth, a five-megapixel camera, and 8GB of preinstalled memory, says the company.

    • Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • You can’t even drive free software without a license

    Today the lack of reporting standards puts a burden on vendors, but the industry is addressing this. I’m co-chairing the Software Package Data Exchange working group of FOSSBazaar, part of the Linux Foundation. We are developing a standard way to describe all of the licensing information that applies to a software package. This will provide guidance to and ease the burden on suppliers, and ultimately make it easier for everyone to do the right thing. More on that in a future blog.

  • BSD


    • GNU Hurd/ news/ 2010-04-30

      The Arch Hurd folks keep making good progress: their count of available packages keeps increasing, and one of their team reported the first instance of Arch Hurd running on real hardware (and uploaded a photo as evidence).

  • Releases

    • Spacewalk 1.0 strides out to manage systems

      The Spacewalk project has released version 1.0 of its system management software. The software no longer depends on HAL and, in Fedora 12, uses Tomcat 6, which comes with this distribution.

  • Open Access/Content

    • WWW2010: How a big-deal conference does open content

      Last week, Internet luminaries from around the globe descended upon Raleigh, NC for the WWW2010 conference. The theme for 2010 was openness, and that (along with its proximity to Red Hat HQ) made this year’s events particularly exciting.


  • Parking Official Nabbed as Cops Prowl Craigslist

    Naugatuck Police used craigslist to make a slew of prostitution arrests, and one of the men they nabbed is the director of the Derby Parking authority, police said.

  • Swedish man sues Google for defamation

    A small business owner is suing Google Sweden for defamation, alleging that Google has long presented search results to blogs that portray him as a paedophile. Additional Google links have identified his company as one that has engaged in shady transactions.

  • Science

  • Security/Aggression

    • Wandsworth cuts £600,000 from CCTV plans

      According to a notice published in the Official Journal of the European Union (Ojeu) on 23 April 2010, the council has lowered the annual value of lots for network control and camera systems from £100,000 and £300,000 to £60,000 and £220,000 respectively.

    • Three images of our surveillance state

      While the top two are the usual pro-surveillance posters intended to reassure but which actually carry a sort of creepy Orwellian ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ feeling to them – the bottom picture is a baffling as it is saddening – and situated, as I am reliably informed by the photographer, in the Campsie Fells in Scotland, several miles from the nearest urban area.

    • Home CCTV is given the ‘Pravda’ touch

      Keyholespying As community safety budgets have tightened, there have been numerous stories over the past 12 months about councils and police forces handing-out CCTV cameras to their residents in a bid to stop crime.

    • Health records found in Asda car park

      A member of staff has been suspended after medical records belonging to patients at a secure hospital near Falkirk were found in a car park.

      A computer memory stick containing the sensitive information was found by a 12-year-old boy outside an Asda store.

    • Airport security must be much better now, right..? Right?

      A further example has emerged to reinforce this point. The Miami Herald points out that the would-be “Times Square bomber” was placed on the “No Fly List” – presumably, given what he’d just tried to do, his presence there was a high-profile priority for law enforcement across the country. But still he was allowed through security and boarded the plane, before he was arrested.

    • Arrest Everybody

      Arizona encourages police to emulate “the toughest sheriff in America.”

  • Finance

    • ded Dems fight over Wall St. reform

      Divisions among Democrats emerged Tuesday on the details of Wall Street reform legislation.

      Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said White House opposition to his amendment allowing for an audit of the Federal Reserve was inconsistent with President

    • Monkey Business on the Fabulous Fab

      I wanted to post this clip from Joel Sucher’s documentary, “A Tale of Two Streets,” showing my friends Eric Salzman and Rich Bennett (of MonkeyBusinessBlog fame) talking about the “French School” on Wall Street. In light of the “Fabulous Fab” story, it’s pretty hilarious.

    • Chicago Fed failed to curb speculative loans

      The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago failed to halt speculative real estate lending that led to losses at banks in Indiana and Michigan that were later closed, the central bank’s inspector general said.

    • Three Reported Killed in Greek Protests

      Demonstrations against tough new austerity measures in Greece claimed their first fatalities on Wednesday with three people reported to have died inside a bank building set ablaze by protesters. The reports came as workers across Greece went on strike over deep spending cuts and new taxes aimed at staving off economic collapse.

    • World stocks slide as 3 die during Greek protests

      World stock markets fell further Wednesday while the euro slid to a fresh 13-month low as three people died in a blaze at an Athens bank during rioting against austerity measures imposed as part of an international bailout package for heavily indebted Greece.

    • Crisis Panel to Probe Window-Dressing at Banks

      It’s an open secret on Wall Street that many big banks routinely — and legally — fudge their quarterly books.

    • Moody’s warns Portugal of possible debt downgrade

      Portugal, striving to avoid becoming the next victim of Europe’s debt crisis, was put on standby for a credit rating downgrade on Wednesday even as the government managed to raise some euro500 million ($654 million) on the bond markets.

    • Is J.P. Morgan’s James Glassman a double agent?

      Last week’s hearings before the Senate Subcommittee on Investigations “exposed an unnerving ignorance of fundamental principles of market economics by folks who have a hand in remapping rules of finance that will be with us for a while,” writes James Glassman, J.P. Morgan Chase’s chief economist. Glassman then goes on to bash Michigan’s economy for a while (because Carl Levin is from Michigan, and, ah, what’s the point?) and declare “now that the financial reform debate is in the final innings, it’s time for the grownups to step in.”

    • 6 reasons ‘Goldman Conspiracy’ must kill reforms

      Remember Nietzsche? “God is dead.” Let’s translate that 19th century Germanic philosophy into modern economics. In Adam Smith’s 1776 capitalism, God was the Invisible Hand, a mysterious force running the economy from the shadows.

      Flash forward to 2010: Capitalism is dead. The economy has a new Invisible Hand, the Goldman Conspiracy of Wall Street bankers.

    • Why a Criminal Case Against Goldman Sachs Matters and Why Charges Could Stick

      Then have a sit down with Warren Buffett and start co-authoring OpEds on why the Glass-Steagall Act separating investment banks from insured mom and pop funds at commercial banks must be restored. If you have any trouble finding an argument for this, just lay all those recently disclosed internal emails end to end and observe the narcissistic, sociopathic culture you’ve created out of the uber-testosterone Wharton School boys.

    • Critical Week for Financial Reform!

      The White House and the Federal Reserve are fighting hard against these common-sense measures to cap the size of banks and audit the Fed.

    • New York Times Nails the Big Financial Reform Issues

      The Times clearly sets forth the case for immediate efforts to cut the banks down to size, so that their failures will not be able to sink our economy.

    • Financial Industry Front Group “Stop Too Big To Fail” Runs New Ads

      Investment banker Sam Zamarripa, spokesman for the financial industry’s front group “Stop Too Big To Fail” (STBTF) announced that his group is funding a third series of television ads set to air in the Washington, D.C. cable media market. The ads try to trick people into opposing the financial reforms currently being considered by the Senate by misleadingly claiming the current legislation provides for “unlimited executive bailout authority.”

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Investment Bank Says Criticism Is Trademark Infringement; Gets Misplaced Injunction Against Web Forum

      So many companies (and individuals) get up in arms over a bit of criticism, assuming that anything they don’t like must be illegal. On top of that, they regularly blame the owners of the websites where that criticism occurs, rather than whoever actually created the criticism. Usually the courts see through this stuff, but sometimes companies are able to get around all of that with some quick lawyering. In a particularly egregious example, the investment bank Houlihan Smith got upset at the websites 800notes.com and Whocallsme.com, both run by Julia Forte as forums where people can discuss telemarketing practices (we’ve pointed out how Forte has been fighting other misguided legal attacks in the past as well). As with many companies that find people criticizing themselves on Forte’s website, Houlihan Smith demanded that she remove comments. She responded by pointing out that company representatives are free to respond to the complaints in the comments.

    • EFF fights Facebook bid to outlaw one-stop social apps

      A civil liberties watchdog has challenged Facebook’s legal claims that an unauthorized third-party site that helps users login automatically violates criminal laws.

    • Facebook Tries to Make Violations of Terms of Use Into Criminal Violations

      The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is urging a federal judge to dismiss Facebook’s claims that criminal law is violated when its users opt for an add-on service that helps them aggregate their information from a variety of social networking sites.

    • Groups Call ‘Privacy’ Legislation Orwellian

      Privacy groups gave an overwhelming thumbs down Tuesday to proposed legislation by Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Virginia) that for the first time would mandate the length of time online consumer information could be kept.

    • Privacy groups, business firms firing warning shots on new online ad privacy bill

      Privacy advocates and business groups drew early battle lines on Tuesday in the debate over a new bill to rein in Web advertisements that are based on consumers’ online shopping habits and Internet browsing histories.

    • TheDirty.com Exclusive: Pretty Wild Hollywood Hooker And Drug Star Tess Taylor

      Tess, tell your mother that your legal threats do not scare me. You are one step above Lindsay Lohan in my book.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • DRM Day: act to stop BBC DRM

      Already in the UK, satellite and cable companies apply DRM to their proprietary High Definition products, such as recorders and receivers, restricting the supply to the market and what their chosen devices can usefully do for their customers. Now the BBC are making the same plans for their future HD channels.

      Currently, Ofcom are considering whether the BBC should be allowed to apply a form of DRM to the programme guide and subtitles – in order to gain control of the vast majority of UK devices; and to exclude any software or hardware device that does not subject itself to control. Of course, the problems are not just about fair dealing rights in copyright.

    • Laissez-faire Republican is battling the Comcast-NBC deal

      That labor unions such as the Communications Workers of America, advocacy groups including the National Coalition of African American Owned Media and competing media companies are making noise in Washington about the impact that cable giant Comcast’s proposed takeover of General Electric Co.’s NBC Universal would have on the media landscape is hardly a surprise.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Canadians drop gloves, punch US in face over piracy list

        Once again, Canada appears near the top of the US government’s 2010 “Special 301″ piracy watchlist. And once again, the Canadians are angry about being classed with China and Russia as the worst places on earth for intellectual property law.

      • Songwriters Guild Claims The Internet Makes It Impossible To Create Content

        The current internet — perhaps the greatest tool for content creation ever is not a tenable delivery system for content creators. Of course, that’s easily debunked, because more content is being created today thanks to the internet and the fact that it’s a very efficient delivery system. The fact that thousands upon thousands of content creators have embraced the internet, used it to help create, promote, distribute and share their music — and as a way to build better, more efficient business models? According to Carnes and the SGA, that’s “not tenable.” Weird. Someone alert everyone else on the internet.

      • News: 50 Cent On The Ailing Music Industry, “We Just Have To Pass New Laws” [Video]

        50 Cent talks about what he believes what will save the music industry’s sales slump in tonight’s Fuse network broadcast of “50 Cent: The Lost Tapes.”

        On the program, 50 talks about battling Internet piracy.

        “I don’t think the music business is dying,” 50 says in the interview. “I think we’re just experiencing technology and we just have to pass new laws, eventually, to change how music is being distributed. There’s no lack of interest in great material, I don’t see people ‘not’ going to the night club or enjoying themselves when the son comes on. It’s just about re-developing what the music business is. It’s easier to download a song that’s three minutes long, probably about three or four seconds for you to download it, it’s easier to steal…The technology is so new and what we’re actually doing on the web that we have to develop that. And those things won’t actually happen, the effective laws won’t happen until it starts to damage film. When you got your blockbuster film doing $120 million in a weekend and then that blockbuster film that they spent $120 million comes out and nobody goes to see but everybody watched it because they could pull it off their computer and see it on HD at home on a theater. They’ll change those laws.” (“50 Cent: The Lost Tapes”)

      • Study Says: Lack Of Innovation, Not File Sharing, Real Problem For Record Labels

        van Eijk, who does a nice job differentiating between the recording and music industries, goes on to note that despite Sweden’s reputation as a piracy hub, total revenues from recorded music, live concerts and collecting societies remained roughly static between 2000 and 2008 (something we’ve pointed out before). The study also touches on how the content industry has set the price far higher on movies and video games than people say they are willing to pay (though what people say they’ll pay and what they’ll actually pay obviously can be quite different). While the recording industry was busily suing customers, exploring nastier DRM solutions and trying to desperately hold on to the past — everything changed around them — and “reinvention of the business model” is now the only way forward, concludes van Eijk:

        “And so the entertainment industry will have to work actively towards innovation on all fronts. New models worth developing, for example, are those that seek to achieve commercial diversification or that match supply and end-user needs more closely. In such a context, criminalizing large parts of the population makes no sense. Enforcement should focus on large scale and/or commercial upload activities. . . Introducing new protective measures does not seem the right way to go…”

    • ACTA

    • Digital Economy Bill

      • Digital rights and Digital Economy Bill: an election issue

        The politicians that have understood these questions have not been exclusively from one side of the debate. Bill Cash and John Redwood, as well as David Davies, stood up for our arguments; Labour MPs including Tom Watson, Eric Joyce and Mark Lazarowicz took a stand; Liberal Democrats including Nick Clegg have been highly critical, as well as Greens Caroline Lucas and Adrian Ramsay.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – Crash – ALDF Testing (1/10/2000)


Links 5/5/2010: Collabora Joins GNOME Foundation, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Tested

Posted in News Roundup at 12:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Trusting GNU/Linux

    I do not think the troll gets GNU/Linux. FLOSS is about sharing and trust. Debian GNU/Linux has a well-defined social contract in addition to the GPL and other Free Software licences used in the distribution. If, after all that a person does not trust a CD marked “Official Debian GNU/Linux” (”Official images are built by a member of the Debian CD team and have undergone some testing to ensure they work. Once they have been released, the images never change – if they turn out to be broken, a new set with a different version number is released..“) one can check the md5sums of individual packages or whole images. If you want to go past that, you can examine all the sources and build your own installation CDs. That is a huge job… Give thanks that Debian GNU/Linux takes care of it.

  • Get inside Virtualisation

    There are many alternatives to VMware’s expensive and proprietary software. Join us as we investigate four of the most prolific tools kickstarting the revolution in open source virtualisation…

  • When Linux interoperable incompatibilities frustrate

    I know I should strip the whole thing down and start again, but my other half has the wildly popular Evince PDF reader installed on it, which we need for testing Adobe CS4 pre-flight rendering of InDesign files before they go to print on a project that we shoulder together. Our client is a Linux purist and wants to ensure people can use Evince as nobody uses Acrobat, right?

  • Desktop

    • Linux users may now tidy their desks

      Minimal Linux is a blog for people who like simplicity and freedom: “This site focuses on ways to streamline your Linux-powered life, making it lighter, faster, and easier. More of what you need, less of what you don’t.”

    • A Database Admin/Music Enthusiast’s Linux Workstation

      The $100.00 (USD) Coolest Linux Workspace Contest continues with this entry from Brian, a database administrator (DBA) in a mostly Windows world by day, but off hours a musician/Linux geek. He says that he is also doing some freelance IT work and development for his wife’s company, which gives him more of an opportunity to focus on Linux in a professional capacity.

  • Audiocasts

  • Ballnux

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • KDE vs. GNOME: DVD Tools and Desktop Design

      DVD tools are more important on Linux than on most operating systems. While Windows or OSX users rarely burn CDs or DVDs except for an occasional backup, for many Linux users, burning a Live CD to investigate a distribution is a common task.

      Similarly, although the users of other operating systems may extract audio or visuals from a CD, all the really large local content libraries I have seen tend to be on Linux. What is an occasional convenience to others are standard tools in the free and open source lifestyle.

      For this reason, DVD tools are well-represented in both KDE and GNOME. On both desktops, earlier tools like X-CD-Roast that are formidable in their options have been replaced with more user-friendly default tools: K3b for KDE, and Brasero for burning and Sound Juicer for audio ripping for GNOME.

      All these tools perform their basic tasks well enough for most users. However, what is striking is how clearly each of them demonstrates the design philosophies of the desktops with which they are associated.

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • i don’t need no stinking nepomuk .. right?

        Nepomuk is being used more and more to track, coordinate / orchestrate and index non-”files on my disk” data. Let’s take two examples: Akonadi and the Plasma Desktop.

        Akonadi is using it to provide search for email, contacts, events, etc. which is one step away from the “file indexing” idea. Instead of building its own search database (and all the overhead that implies), Akonadi is able to lean on Nepomuk for that and, as a bonus, be able to not only index but map the correlations between those sets of data which, as a human being, we’d expect to be there and have at our fingertips.

        The Plasma Desktop is going even further with Activities. We now have the ability to store, retrieve and mark as “active” which desktop activity you are working on. There is no file anywhere that maps to this. KWin will be gaining the ability to map windows to these activities, and any other application (KDE or not!) can also choose to map internal data and settings to activities and take appropriate action when the Activity context changes. The mechanism that ties this together? Nepomuk. Since we’re using Nepomuk, we get the ability to tie documents and other URL based locations together with Activities as well .. for free.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Collabora joins GNOME Foundatio Advisory Board

        Pauliea writes “UK-based open source software consultancy Collabora is joining the GNOME Foundation advisory board today. A long time supporter of GNOME and member of the GNOME community, Collabora contributes directly to GNOME projects like Empathy, PiTiVi, Totem and Epiphany.”

      • Totem Gains New Features For GNOME 3.0

        The first development milestone for GNOME 3.0 is expected to be reached tomorrow with the release of the unstable GNOME 2.31.1 package set. While Zeitgeist, the GNOME Shell, and Mutter are among the most talked about changes for the GNOME 3.0 desktop, many mature packages are receiving new features and work too. GNOME’s Movie Player, Totem, is one of these packages receiving some attention.

      • Other Highlights For GNOME 2.31.1

        As was mentioned this morning GNOME’s Totem Movie Player is preparing for GNOME 3.0 by picking up de-interlacing support and a-synchronous play-list loading, among other improvements. Other packages are also being checked-in this week for the first GNOME 3.0 development release known as GNOME 2.31.1. Besides the updates to Totem and the major work going on to the GNOME Shell / Mutter / Zeitgeist, there is some other interesting new features too.

  • Distributions

    • Horrors That Are Out There

      I fired up SystemRescueCD to a usable GUI – 1m 30s. Yep. It has a 512 MB cache so is Vista-Incapable. I have seen Celerons with 1MB cache do pretty well with it. hdparm shows 700+ MB/s from the buffers and 58 MB/s from the surface so this thing will be a rocket with GNU/Linux.

    • Testing out Funtoo

      The other day I decided to give a try at Funtoo (for those that do not know it yet, a variant of Gentoo). I am very impressed with the improvements that Daniel Robbins has done so far.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Test Driving Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6

        OFB’s Ed Hurst continues his quest for the perfect UNIX or Linux operating system by looking at a recently released beta of Red Hat’s upcoming Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6. Is it the Linux nirvana? Read on to find out.


        For the non-profit computer ministry I’m running, I would say the new CentOS 6 is going to become one of our flagship distros based on what I’ve seen in RHEL 6 Beta. Give it a test drive!

      • The Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Kernel: What Is It?

        Sitting at the heart of every Linux OS distribution is a Linux kernel. When it comes to the upcoming Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6 release, the issue of which kernel is being used is not a cut and dried answer, however.

        RHEL 6 is currently in its first beta release, with a feature freeze now in place. Currently, the mainline Linux kernel is nearing its 2.6.34 release, while the most recent stable release is the 2.6.33 release, which came out in February. But instead of either sticking with the 2.6.33 Linux kernel or holding out for 2.6.34, Red Hat is taking a different approach.

    • Debian Family

      • Using sidux with the newly updated KDE SC 4.4.3

        I have been following the KDE 4 release with interest for quite some time now. When KDE 4.0 was first released, it was quite clear that it was a development-only snapshot. When KDE 4.1 was released, it was somewhat improved, but until KDE 4.1.4, it was still really only a development snapshot at best.


        As far as other applications, the OpenOffice suite is also significantly faster and has stronger compatibility than any release in recent memory with Microsoft Office, so it is a true, capable alternative to MS Office.

      • Countdown to Squeeze
      • Ubuntu

        • Solving an upgrade hitch en route to Ubuntu 10.04

          After waiting until after a weekend in the Isle of Man, I got to upgrading my main home PC to Ubuntu 10.04. Before the weekend away, I had been updating a 10.04 installation on an old spare PC and that worked fine so the prospects were good for a similar changeover on the main box. That may have been so but breaking a computer hardly is the perfect complement to a getaway.

        • Variants

          • The other Ubuntu Linux distributions

            I like the brand spanking new Ubuntu 10.04 a lot. But while I like its GNOME 2.30 interface, I also like other interfaces such as KDE. It would be nice if Ubuntu could also play MP3s, common video formats and Flash from the get-go. You could install all these and other extras from the Ubuntu repositories, but there’s also a wide-variety of Ubuntu spin-offs that come ready to give you the functionality you want right out of the box.


            Kubuntu 10.04. Like the name suggests, the big difference between Ubuntu and Kubuntu is that the K-Ubuntu runs KDE 4.4.2 instead of GNOME 2.30 for its desktop. But Kubuntu isn’t just Ubuntu with KDE. Instead of KDE’s default Konqueror Web browser, Kubuntu defaults to using Firefox 3.6.3.

          • Linux Mint 9 “Isadora” RC released!

            New features at a glance:

            * New Software Manager
            o 30,000 packages
            o Review applications straight from the Software Manager
            o APT daemon
            o Visual improvements

          • A First Look at Linux Mint 9

            A couple of weeks ago, we talked a little about the upcoming artwork of Linux Mint 9 (codename Isadora) and the plans Clement Lefebvre had for this next major version of the Linux Mint operating system. However, today, we are proud to present a few screenshots and introduce you guys to the main features of Linux Mint 9 (Isadora). First of all, you should know that Linux Mint 9 RC is a development release and it shouldn’t be used on production machines. The final release may be available in a few weeks!


            Linux Mint is and will always be an elegant, easy-to-use, up-to-date, 100% free and comfortable Linux operating system based on the very popular Ubuntu OS. It offers paid commercial support to companies and individuals. Also, free community support is available from the forums and the IRC channel.

          • EasyPeasy 1.6 for Netbooks is out ! Screenshots Tour

            EasyPeasy 1.6. is released, the new version comes with many new features…

  • Devices/Embedded

    • TomTom offers drivers the voice of Darth Vader

      TomTom users downloading the voice can also get their hands on free start up screen wallpaper and a Lord Vader map icon.

    • Phones

      • Nokia

        • GTK surprises on Maemo

          Sometimes the creation of the contact chooser used on the N900 can be slow so, using callgrind and kcachegrind, I tried to understand what is the source of the slowness. This lead me to find some unexpected, and apparently undocumented, differences between upstream GTK and the Maemo version.


          he results seem quite good; now the contact list is fast, scrolling is smooth and the delayed loading of avatars should not be visible in normal cases.

      • Android

        • G-1 to Nexus One: an informal comparison

          My wife thinks it’s significant that the Nexis One is thinner and lighter than the G-1. I don’t, really, but then I have larger hands and larger pockets than she does. She’s probably right that this difference will matter more to the average mass-market consumer than it does to me.

          The biggest surprise to me about the Nexus One is that I’m missing the physical keyboard on the G-1 far less than I thought I would. I found the soft keyboard on the G-1 annoying and difficult to use, but something about the Nexus One version makes it significantly easier. This could be a consequence of the larger display size, or possibly the touch-recognition software has improved, or perhaps it’s both. The effectiveness of the Nexus One’s voice-to-text feature helps here.


          Overall, however, the Nexus is indeed a clear improvement on the G-1. It points the way Android is going pretty unambiguously – towards head-to-head competition with the iPhone, rather than simply vacuuming up the market share of dumb phones and lesser competitors such as Symbian and Windows Mobile.

          In at least one respect – the voice-to-text capabilty – Android is already ahead of anything iPhone offers or is ever likely to be able to support. There’s a huge infrastructure of statistical pattern-matching engines in the Google-cloud behind it that Apple won’t be able to replicate easily, if at all.

        • Watch Out iPhone, Android Use Is on the Rise

          Watch out Apple iPhone, Google’s mobile operating system, Android continues to increase its popularity at a growth rate of 32 percent year over year, according to a recent report.

        • Motorola Droid Still Leading the Android Pack

          A new report by mobile ad company AdMob measures the amount of ad traffic sent from different smartphones in March — and the Droid’s blinking red eye is going to be very pleased with what it found.

        • Android Smartphones Gaining Ground on iPhones

          This is according to the latest research out of AdMob, a mobile advertising network in the process of being acquired by chief Android proponent Google. AdMob bases its stats on requests for access to the 18,000-plus Websites and applications in its network.

        • T-Mobile myTouch 3G Slide: What You Need to Know

          Late last night, T-Mobile officially announced their next Android-powered handset, the myTouch 3G Slide. Is this just the next release in a line of Android smart phones or does it offer something new? Let’s take a look at some of the features that help the myTouch 3G Slide stand out from T-Mobile’s other offerings.

        • Adobe AIR and Flash Running “Flawlessly” on Prototype Android Tablet [VIDEO]
        • Android 2.2 to get full Flash support

          Google gives the finger to Apple by building support for Flash video into Android 2.2 ‘Froyo’, due to debut next month.

          Flash is coming to Android smartphones, with support for the Web video format to be baked into the forthcoming Android OS 2.2 update.

    • Tablets

      • HP eyes webOS iPad rival

        In purchasing Palm, HP intends to build and sell not only a new collection of phones based on Palm’s critically-acclaimed webOS, but a line of webOS tablets as well.


    • HP’s Linux OS Alternative Gets a Face Lift

      Sun’s UNIX ecosystem was thrown into turmoil following the company’s acquisition by Oracle. A big question mark remains over the future of Solaris and OpenSolaris server operating systems. In contrast, IBM and HP, the other two big enterprise UNIX players, have been plodding along steadily, hoping all the while to pick up disaffected Sun customers quicker than they lose their own to Linux implementations.

      Let’s focus on HP (NYSE: HPQ). Linux leaves the company in a rather tricky situation. That’s because HP is a big fan of the open source server software — it’s a phenomenon too big to ignore. But it also sells UNIX, so it has to be careful not to cannibalize its UNIX sales by promoting Linux too hard. In other words, HP’s UNIX and Linux staff must push their respective lines of business without unduly dissing their opposite numbers.

Free Software/Open Source

  • FOSS community, FOSS business, and the nature of allies

    Nothing I have pointed out is meant to detract from the genuine service that FOSS-oriented companies have done for the community. Besides the frequent addition of code, FOSS-oriented companies have made free software better known that it ever was before their involvement. Furthermore, Canonical in particular has dragged the community collectively screaming into discussions of usability that the community had previously ignored.

  • Apache

  • Events

    • Red Hat Open Your World forum
    • Announcing the Open Your World Forum

      The opensource.com team is excited to announce our first-ever live event, the Open Your World Forum. The forum, held via webinar on Thursday, May 27, 2010, will feature presentations by leading open source thinkers in the fields of business, education, law, government, healthcare, and music. The event is free and entirely online–so join us for the whole day or any part that interests you, from your desk, your sofa, or anywhere you like.

    • A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Linux Forum

      If you’re looking for a friendly community of geeks, tech weinees, and all-round great folks, stop on by for a visit. Tell ‘em Urmas sent you. Heh! I’m not getting involved.

  • Mozilla

    • The Mozilla 2010 T-shirt – Vote Now!
    • Firefox and the open web

      Firefox is the most popular and widely used free software application and boasts more than a billion downloads and more than 350 million users. The H discusses its history, present and future with Mitchell Baker, chair of the Mozilla Foundation.

  • Oracle

  • CMS

    • TurnKey Linux

      Ever wanted to instantly have Drupal, Moodle, OTRS, MySQL, WordPress, Zimbra, Bugzilla, phpBB or a slew of other open source software packages up an running in a hassle-free manner to try out or available for rapid deployment? TurnKey Linux gives you just that.

  • Education

    • Introducing Open Source to A Middle School

      Finally, on January 8th, we were ready to roll. The first class was a bootcamp-style introduction to Inkscape – we went through various essential basic Inkscape tasks one-by-one, such as panning the canvas and grouping objects, and then had the students immediately try them out through small exercises. Walter came in and talked about T-shirt printing technologies at the second class, and we also taught the students about vector paths and how to work with the pen tool. By the time we got to the 4th class, the students were coming up with band names and starting to develop logotypes for their bands. Class sessions #5-7 were primarily work periods for the students, with only the first 10 minutes of the class devoted to explaining a new technique. At the end of session #7, we had designs ready to go for Walter to produce, and we handed out the T-shirts at the final session, #8. After the excitement of the new shirts died down a bit, we took the rest of the last class period as a fun exploratory time: we introduced the students to OpenClipArt.org and we also showed them how to convert photos taken with their webcams into ‘cartoon’ versions via the Inkscape trace bitmap tool (a technique that proved to be very popular!)

  • Open Access/Content

    • Governor Schwarzenegger Announces Results of Free Digital Textbook Initiative Phase Two Announces 17 New Standards-Aligned Free Digital Textbooks Available for California’s Classrooms

      Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today announced the results of the second phase of his first-in-the-nation free Digital Textbook Initiative to provide California’s students and teachers with free, high-quality open educational resources. Seventeen free digital textbooks for high school history, science and higher-level math were reviewed against California’s rigorous academic content standards and are now available for use in California’s classrooms.

    • The Future of Open Data Looks Like…Github?

      I’m sure there are others. Still, the future to me in this area seems clear: we’re going to see transformation of datasets incorporated into the marketplaces. As the demand for public data increases, the market will demand higher quality, easier to work with data. With that demand will come supply, one way or another. There’s little sense in having each individual consumer of the data replicate the same steps to make it usable. The question will be which one of the marketplaces learns from Github and its brethren first.

  • Government

    • Australian Federal Government Commits to Open Access

      Big news from the Australian Federal Government on the issue of access to public sector information (PSI).

      CCau followers will remember the Government 2.0 Taskforce report released in December last year, which gave Creative Commons a very big tick as the licensing model of choice for Australian PSI. The Federal Government’s official response to the report was released yesterday and is generally positive, with the Federal Government agreeing (at least substantially) to 12 of the 13 recommendations to come out of the report.

    • Government Response to the Report of the Government 2.0 Taskforce

      Government 2.0 or the use of the new collaborative tools and approaches of Web 2.0 offers an unprecedented opportunity to achieve more open, accountable, responsive and efficient government.

    • Video: The DoD makes it official: open source IS commercial software.

      Towards the end of 2009, the office of the DoD CIO issued a memo clarifying their position on open source software. There were some misconceptions, misunderstandings, and just plain FUD surrounding their stance previously, and they wanted to make it clear that they considered open source just as viable for development as any other type of software.


  • Storage Technology for the Home User

    For anyone looking to get a handle on all of their personal data, there are several products on the market right now aimed at the average home-or-desktop user. This wide range of new products available offer excellent storage density, management and performance — and Linux compatibility. While a good friend always tells me, “technology is meant to be owned” sometimes the bank account doesn’t always support that philosophy. So the products discussed in this article are for a range of prices from $20 to thousands of dollars. But the focus is on products and technologies that can be used in desktops to really boost performance or ease storage management.

  • Execs to serve jail time for LCD price-fixing

    The former president of Chi Mei Optoelectronics has agreed to pay a fine and go to jail for his role in a scheme to fix prices for TFT-LCDs (thin-film transistor-liquid crystal displays), the U.S. Department of Justice said Friday.

  • Google’s Taxpaying Habits Scrutinized In Australia

    Google’s practice of channeling its revenues through Ireland is getting the company into trouble yet again. This time, onlookers in Australia have taken note, and although no government officials have become involved, people are definitely unhappy that Google may be shirking its tax obligations.

  • Oregon Goes Google (Apps)

    Google scored a big win today, and by all accounts, the state of Oregon made out well, too. This is because the Oregon school system will begin using Google Apps for Education, saving it a boatload of cash while allowing Google to increase its market share.

  • Land grabs threaten Anuak

    Ethiopia is one of the main targets in the current global farmland grab. The government has stated publicly that it wants to sell off three million hectares of farmland in the country to foreign investors, and around one million hectares have already been signed away. Much of the land that these investors have acquired is in the province of Gambella, a fertile area that is home to the Anuak nation. The Anuak are indigenous people who have always lived in Gambella and who practise farming, pastoralism, hunting and gathering. Nyikaw Ochalla, an Anuak living in exile in the United Kingdom, is trying to understand what this new wave of land deals will mean for the Anuak and other local communities in Ethiopia.

  • Science

    • A gallery of stunning Hubble images from new book

      These images are featured in the stunning new book Hubble: A Journey Through Space and Time by Edward J. Weiler, published by Abrams in collaboration with NASA. All images: Courtesy NASA.

    • Earth from Mars
    • STEPHEN HAWKING: How to build a time machine

      Time travel was once considered scientific heresy. I used to avoid talking about it for fear of being labelled a crank. But these days I’m not so cautious. In fact, I’m more like the people who built Stonehenge. I’m obsessed by time. If I had a time machine I’d visit Marilyn Monroe in her prime or drop in on Galileo as he turned his telescope to the heavens. Perhaps I’d even travel to the end of the universe to find out how our whole cosmic story ends.

      To see how this might be possible, we need to look at time as physicists do – at the fourth dimension. It’s not as hard as it sounds. Every attentive schoolchild knows that all physical objects, even me in my chair, exist in three dimensions. Everything has a width and a height and a length.

      But there is another kind of length, a length in time. While a human may survive for 80 years, the stones at Stonehenge, for instance, have stood around for thousands of years. And the solar system will last for billions of years. Everything has a length in time as well as space. Travelling in time means travelling through this fourth dimension.

    • Color Survey Results
  • Security/Aggression

  • Environment

    • Chemicals Meant To Break Up BP Oil Spill Present New Environmental Concerns

      The chemicals BP is now relying on to break up the steady flow of leaking oil from deep below the Gulf of Mexico could create a new set of environmental problems.

      Even if the materials, called dispersants, are effective, BP has already bought up more than a third of the world’s supply. If the leak from 5,000 feet beneath the surface continues for weeks, or months, that stockpile could run out.

    • The Last Four Minutes of the Deepwater Horizon
    • The Gulf oil spill blame game

      A “setback” for offshore-oil drilling advocates, a profound opportunity to say “we told you so” for environmentalists, the Deepwater Horizons oil spill is above all a big huge mess. If you are searching for the perfect metaphor to describe humanity’s 21st century plight — an energy-hungry and energy-dependent civilization occupying a resource-constrained planet — then you need look no further than at a satellite photo of the giant spreading oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico. That massive hydrocarbon stain is our collective scarlet letter, the price we pay for a lifestyle of extraordinary affluence and comfort — at least as compared to most of the humans who have ever lived.

    • Industry Leaders Seem to be Showing More Openness to Energy Descent Issues

      There were a few of us academics as well. At this retreat, I introduced ideas relating to peak net energy, and the possibility of major changes in the years ahead. I found industry leaders much more open than I had expected to listening to and understanding our energy predicament, and talking about what may be ahead. In this post, I would like to tell you about my experience.

    • Wind’s latest problem: it . . . makes power too cheap

      Implicit in the article, and the headline (which focuses on lower revenues for RWE) is the worry that wind power will bring down the stock market value of the big utilities – which is what the readers of Bloomberg et al. care about.

    • Your tuna is too cheap

      We need to support the Maldivian pole-and-line fishery. We need to develop similar operations elsewhere too. Many of the Pacific Island Countries are in prime position to limit foreign fishing operations and develop locally owned and operated sustainable pole and line fisheries instead. And we need to clean up purse-seining, and support those who are leading the charge on that, too. Illegal fishing needs to be totally stamped out, and bycatch needs to be eliminated. With the UK’s evident appetite for guilt-free fish, it’s clear that these are things we care about.

    • EU: Stop Spain’s overfishing!

      We are destroying our oceans: around 75-80 percent of the world’s fish stocks are already at dangerously low levels. And without urgent action, we may experience a future without fish.

    • Paper reveals EU plan to boost GM crop cultivation

      Europe faces a major overhaul in the way it deals with genetically modified (GM) crops, after the European Commission sparked controversy with new plans to circumvent its cumbersome legislative review process.

  • Finance

    • Buffett on Madoff, Greece and other ‘defective systems’

      Commentary: What other ‘business’ practices does the Oracle want to defend?

    • From Buffett, Thought-Out Support for Goldman

      Why is Warren Buffett sticking his neck out so far in defense of Goldman Sachs?

    • Lobbyists fret over legislation to reshape financial system

      As the Senate dives into the details of far-reaching legislation to overhaul financial regulations this week, lobbyists who represent some of the nation’s biggest banks are feeling on edge.

    • Fake Debate: The Senate Will Not Vote On Big Banks

      The financial reform package now on the Senate floor puts surprisingly little constraint on the activities of our largest banks going forward – preferring instead to defer to regulators to tweak the rules down the road (despite the fact that this approach has gone badly over the past 20-30 years).

    • Ernst Fehr: How I found what’s wrong with economics

      In that paper, he and his co-authors showed that testosterone, despite its reputation as a promoter of aggressive behaviour, actually made people more cooperative when playing economic games. They used female volunteers since previous studies have indicated that women are more likely than men to show behavioural changes if given very low doses of the hormone. “In the end we had six referees. Some had legitimate points, but one was really irrational and emotional,” Fehr says. “The referee suggested that maybe we had done a more general study and then decided only to report the effects in women, basically accusing us of being dishonest.”

    • Goldman Sachs now hit with 6 shareholder suits

      Goldman Sachs said Monday that six private lawsuits alleging “breach of fiduciary duty, corporate waste, abuse of control, mismanagement and unjust enrichment” have been filed against the bank since the government charged it last month with committing fraud.

    • What a Criminal Inquiry Portends for Goldman

      The disclosure of the Justice Department’s inquiry into Goldman Sachs substantially alters the calculus for how the firm and its employees should approach the civil fraud charges filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

      Even though a criminal investigation is only in its earliest stages at this point, the mere revelation that the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan is involved shows the powerful impact such information has on the firm, as Goldman’s shares dropped almost 10 percent in response to the news.

    • Goldman Sachs fined, censured over ‘naked’ short sales

      Regulators have fined Goldman Sachs $450,000 and censured the firm’s market-making division for violating rules governing short sales in the wake of Lehman Brothers’ collapse in 2008.

    • Goldman Sachs Pays $450,000 to Settle NYSE Finding (Update1)

      The company clears an average of 3 million trades a day, said Canaday, who added that an automated system began in May 2009.

      NYSE said that from around Dec. 9, 2008, to Jan. 22, 2009, the Goldman Sachs unit failed about 68 times to close out positions after short sales had failed to settle. Goldman Sachs also didn’t notify customers that short sales in particular stocks had failed to settle on time, the exchange said.

    • Goldman Sachs Pays European Bankers Average of $670,000

      Goldman Sachs International, the European unit of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., paid its 5,500 employees average compensation of about $670,000 last year.

    • Goldman Sachs makes the case for financial reform

      They’re greedy. They’re unethical. They’re clever in a borderline nefarious way.

    • Full Disclosure And The Goldman Sachs Investigation

      Gretchen Morgenson, who covers the world financial markets for The New York Times, discusses the investigations into Goldman Sachs by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Justice Department and a Senate subcommittee — and reflects on the role Goldman Sachs played in the financial crisis.

    • Humorous poke at Goldman Sachs
    • NYT’s Goldman Scoopster, Louise Story, Joins Bloomberg TV As Contributing Editor

      Louise Story, one of the two New York Times reporters who broke the news on April 16 about the S.E.C. suing Goldman Sachs for fraud, has joined Bloomberg TV as a contributing editor.

    • The Would-Be Governor From Goldman Sachs

      In 2002-04, Meg Whitman was the poster child for a fraudulent practice known as “spinning.” She received preferential allocations of scarce IPO shares in technology and other hot stock issuances, very likely to shoot up in price after the offering, assuring that profit making for stock recipients would be identical to shooting fish in a barrel. New York investment bankers, particularly those at Goldman Sachs, hopeful of receiving eBay’s future investment banking business, controlled those hot issues and made the allocations to Whitman. Ms. Whitman has denied any knowledge of the wrongdoing although Goldman bankers funneled shares to her accounts in over 100 instances. After being sued, Ms. Whitman disgorged several million dollars, tacitly admitting that any opportunity in being awarded favorable treatment by investment banks belonged to the corporation (eBay), not to the CEO.

    • SEC’s fraud case against Goldman generates shareholder suits

      Other suits pile the new problems with the SEC on top of previous complaints against the company. A union pension fund filed an amended complaint to an earlier lawsuit complaining about the structure and size of Goldman’s executive bonuses, alleging now that those bonuses led to unethical behavior at the company.

    • A Call to Separate Top Goldman Jobs
    • The Criminalization of Wall Street: Will Any Exec at Goldman Sachs Go to Jail?

      Will Goldman survive the assault? Will the threat of criminal charges being pursued against the world’s leading investment bank spill over onto others on Wall Street? Is the criminalization of the crisis underway, or is all this just a maneuver?

    • Cox Says Blankfein’s Defense of Goldman `Not Credible’: Video
  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Tobacco firms take aim at Bangladeshi, Asian women

      angladeshi chest doctor Kazi Saifuddin Bennoor has seen many misleading cigarette advertisements, but the one that suggested smoking could make childbirth easier plumbed new depths.

      Advertisements telling smokers they are smarter, more energetic and better lovers than their non-smoking counterparts are a familiar sight across Bangladesh — something unimaginable in most other countries.

    • 50th Anniversary of The Pill: Triumph and Controversy

      As the pill turns 50 this May, it is worth remembering the positive impact this tiny pill has had on women’s advancement out of the domestic sphere. It is also worth noting the history of campaigns that attempted to block women’s access to it, and the continuing efforts to block women’s access to contraceptives.

      In Wisconsin, a prosecutor in the Juneau County District Attorney’s office is urging schools not to follow a new state law that requires school sex education programs to tell students about the proper use of contraceptives. He warned that teachers face “possible criminal liability” for teaching youths how to use contraceptives. Only about half of Missouri hospitals have a written policy requiring rape victims to be counseled about emergency contraception — the so-called “morning-after pill.”

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Panelists: Democracy Would Suffer If Google Left China

      Analyzing the quarrel between Google and China raises questions of how the Web helps an oppressed country develop democracy, according to a Massachusetts Institute of Technology panel discussion.

    • Google: “Internet censorship getting worse, more sophisticated”

      Last month, during the main annual session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, UN Watch worked with a global coalition of 25 human rights groups to organize a conference focused on the countries that rank as the world’s worst violators. Our Geneva Summit for Human Rights featured leading dissidents, attracted hundreds of activists, and was covered in the Wall Street Journal, Le Monde and La Stampa. Internet freedom for human rights defenders was a key theme. Below is an edited transcript of the most news-making speech.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Microsoft’s Position on Net Neutrality ‘Evolves’

      According to EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet.com, Microsoft, which has appeared to stay out of the net neutrality fray until now, took advantage of every last second to formulate its response, filing it just before the comment period ended. And apparently, the company has changed its tune at least a little since the early days. Even though Microsoft stands to be significantly affected however the FCC acts, the company did not recommend either extreme. Instead, Microsoft recommended a third approach – a middle ground, if you will.

      From the filing:

      [B]roadband is a powerful engine for innovation and investment in America in part because the Internet is an open platform…At the same time, the adoption of unnecessary or insufficiently tailored regulations, such as a prohibition on all types of discrimination, could have the unintended consequence of limiting innovation and investment going forward.

    • Take Action: Tuesday May 4th, is the Day Against DRM

      Today is about taking time out of your usual routine to speak out in favor of a DRM-free society. We do not have to accept a future where our interactions with computers and published works are monitored and controlled by corporations or governments.

    • About the Day Against DRM
    • iQuenching your iThirst
  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • To be the best, learn from the rest

      YOUR plane crashes and you find yourself stranded in the middle of a vast jungle. How would you work out which fruits are safe to eat and where to find clean water? You could muddle along on your own for a while, but you would probably end up sick and very hungry. Far better to find some friendly locals and learn how they do things.

    • Copyrights

      • Murdoch newswire sues over ‘hot news’

        News agency Dow Jones Newswires is suing an online news distributor based on US law’s controversial ‘hot news’ doctrine. The court-created right came into being in 1918 and has recently been revived in internet cases.

      • Fox News, Rupert Murdoch… All Pirates

        Fox News, a prominent media outlet owned by copyright evangelist Rupert Murdoch, is blatantly infringing on the rights of an individual photographer. The irony, or hypocrisy, is that Murdoch himself is going after Google, the BBC and many other companies that he believes are infringing on the rights of his news empire.

      • RapidShare Not Liable For Pirating Users, Court Rules

        RapidShare is not liable for acts of copyright infringement committed by its users, a German court ruled yesterday. The Dusseldorf Court of Appeals overturned the earlier decision of a local district court in a case brought by the movie outfit Capelight Pictures.

      • The Rise of Self-Publishing

        In analog times, one sign that it was time to retreat was if a big talker, having declared himself an author, produced his “book” and something about the book just wasn’t . . . booky. Maybe the pages carried a whiff of the Xerox or mimeograph machine. Or maybe the volume — about Atlantis or Easter Island — looked too good, with engraved letters, staid cover, no dust jacket. After a casual examination of the spine or the title page, realization would dawn: self-published.

      • Exclusive: The Big Debate – Jeremy Silver on ‘That Piracy Thing….’

        Considering that he has a criminal conviction hanging over his head, he didn’t seem so bad, the Pirate, even though we all condemn what he was part of. He didn’t seem like a malicious human being out to subvert the very moral framework of our lives. He seems like a nice, well-educated middle class tecchy, with some impish delight and without much sympathy for an industry so fragile that he could deflate its balloon with his tiny needle.

      • Pirate Bay Operator Dimisses Tale of New Acquisition

        A new buyer for the domain name thepiratebay.org has come forward, even as the legality of a previous attempt to buy the name is still in dispute.

      • Songwriters: piracy “dwarfs bank robbery,” FBI must act

        The Songwriters Guild of America has a message for the government: start prosecuting file-sharers, both criminally and civilly, because file-sharing is much worse than bank robbery.

      • File-sharers are content industry’s “largest customers”

        Drawing on a major study of Dutch file-sharers, Prof. Nico van Eijk of the University of Amsterdam concludes, “These figures show that there is no sharp divide between file sharers and others in their buying behaviour. On the contrary, when it comes to attending concerts, and expenses on DVDs and games, file sharers are the industry’s largest customers… There does not appear to be a clear relationship between the decline in sales and file sharing.”

      • Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore: The iPadLock Minister?

        Since his appointment as Canadian Heritage minister in 2008, James Moore has carefully crafted an image as “Canada’s iPod Minister.” Young, bilingual, and tech-savvy, Moore has expressed regular support for the benefits of the Internet and is always ready with a quick “tweet” for his many followers. Yet as my op-ed in the Hill Times notes (HT version (sub required), homepage version), according to the scuttlebutt throughout the copyright community, Moore may be less iPod and more iPadlock. As the government readies its much-anticipated copyright package, Moore is said to be pressing for a virtual repeat of Bill C-61, the most anti-consumer copyright proposal in Canadian history.

      • Viacom v YouTube is a microcosm of the entertainment industry

        As Viacom’s lawsuit against YouTube inches through the US judicial system, YouTube’s chief counsel, Zahavah Levine, posted a bombshell to the company’s weblog: writing after the release of previously sealed documents, he said that even as Viacom was suing YouTube for allowing infringing copies of its content to be posted by YouTube users, Viacom was also using at least 18 marketing agencies to secretly upload its videos to YouTube. It even had the agencies “rough up” the clips before uploading, wrote Levine, so that they’d appear to be illegitimate, smuggled copies, imbued with forbidden sexiness. He claimed that in a moment of Pythonesque petard-hoisting, Viacom even sent copyright complaints to YouTube over some of these videos, which it subsequently followed up with sheepish retractions when it became clear that the infringer in question was another arm of Viacom.

      • Ahoy there!

        In this sense the pertinent parallel is not with music or films but with newspapers and magazines. These days print piracy is a trivial issue, since most general news articles are given away free. If newspapers and magazines begin charging people to read their output, the pirates are likely to turn up, and quickly. So it may be with television.

      • Copyright in money?

        An interesting case of art ownership and moral rights is taking place in Costa Rica at the moment. The new 2,000 colones bill will enter into circulation soon. However, there has been a dispute because the author of the portrait of educator Mauro Fernández (pictured) has claimed that he was never asked for permission to use his painting in the bills.

      • The rewards of non-commercial production: Distinctions and status in the anime music video scene by Mizuko Ito

        Anime music videos (AMVs) are remix videos made by overseas fans of Japanese animation. This paper describes the organization of the AMV scene in order to illuminate some of the key characteristics of a robust networked subculture centered on the production of transformative works. Fan production that appropriates commercial culture occupies a unique niche within our creative cultural landscape. Unlike professional production and many other forms of amateur media production, transformative fan production is non–commercial, and centered on appropriating, commenting on, and celebrating commercial popular culture.

      • Inside The Bulgarian BitTorrent Crackdown

        Last month we reported on the media announcement by Bulgarian police that they would shut down the country’s two largest BitTorrent trackers, Zamunda.net and ArenaBG. As with any story, there always two sides. TorrentFreak caught up with someone with inside knowledge of the trackers and the scene in general, for their take on the situation.

      • ACTA

        • Indian Official: ACTA Out Of Sync With TRIPS and Public Health

          All the “noble announcements” made by EU and US officials about respect for the Doha Declaration on intellectual property trade and public health when negotiating the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) does not match the ACTA text, warned Ashutosh Jindal, adviser at the Embassy of India to the EU at a hearing organised by the Green Party Group in Brussels yesterday. The much-debated agreement that has only recently been made public would be very hard on countries like India that are trying to balance competing public policy issues, IPR protection and public health. Jindal pointed to provisions like ex-officio actions by border personnel on all types of IP rights infringements, including not only trademark infringement. The bar for searches and seizures is proposed to be lowered to a mere suspect of counterfeiting. ACTA seems to be an attempt to force developing countries to much harsher IPR protection measures, he said.

        • Help sign the Written Declaration 12/2010 about ACTA

          The Written declaration 12/2010 was initiated by the Members of European Parliament Françoise Castex (S&D, FR), Alexander Alvaro (ALDE, DE), Stavros Lambrinidis (S&D, GR) and Zuzana Roithová (EPP, CZ). It expresses concern about ACTA by declaring that the negotiated agreement must respect freedom of expression, privacy and Net neutrality (by protecting Internet actors against excessive legal liability). It calls on the Commission to publish all the texts under negotiation.

        • ‘What is the point of ACTA?’ asks French collecting society

          The French audio-visual collecting society, SACD, says the dispute over ACTA transparency is “ a dialogue of the deaf”. The SACD, which lobbied heavily for the copyright enforcement provisions in the Telecoms Package, now seems to be suggesting that there is no point to ACTA (Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement). We should ask why they might say this?

Clip of the Day

Video: The DoD makes it official: open source IS commercial software.


Links 4/5/2010: Opera EULA Tweaked for GNU/Linux, PlayOnLinux 3.7.6, KDE 4.5 Teaser, and Fedora 14 Names

Posted in News Roundup at 3:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Another successful Company built around Linux

    I can remember when many opponents of Linux would claim that open source technology is not business friendly that the opportunities to profit are too limited. There are few people saying that these days even amongst the opponents. Many companies have profited from building services around Linux and many companies have risen through building products and services around Linux.

    The PTR Group is one of these companies. They have been around for 10 years now. They have enjoyed rapid growth with steady double digit annual growth percentages. They provide training to the two main distributors of embedded Linux products. They have been involved in getting Linux

  • Virtual Linux: Platform and OS Linux Virtualization

    Virtual Linux is accomplished through many techniques, ranging from emulation to platform to OS virtualization. Indeed, Linux is a unique operating system in its breadth of virtualization solutions that are available. In this article, we’ll explore the various ways that virtualization is achieved and then review the various solutions provided through virtual Linux.

    When we talk about virtualization solutions, we tend to talk about specific products offered by specific companies. But when we talk about virtualization solutions with Linux, we instead talk about a rich and diverse open source ecosystem.

  • wearable linux computer, makes you feel like cap’n crunch

    This is the 1D/2D scanner imager available as an extension to the wearable w200 rugged Linux computer. Finally the Linux equivalent of the cap’n crunch secret decoder ring.

  • Desktop

    • Gamers Mad at Sony for Yanking PS3′s Linux Compatibility

      A group of Linux users has filed suit against Sony, upset about the company yanking Linux capability from its PlayStation 3 (PS3) game console.

      When PS3 made its debut in 2006, it gave users the option to run a so-called alternate operating system, something that couldn’t be said of Nintendo Wii or Xbox. The “Install Other OS” feature was popular among gamers who used Linux, the Unix operating system that is free to download.

  • Server

    • Inside NASA’s world-class supercomputer center

      That place is the advanced supercomputing facility at the Ames Research Center here, the home of Pleiades, NASA’s flagship computer, a monster of a machine that, with a current rating of 973 teraflops–or 973 trillion floating point operations per second–is today ranked the sixth-most powerful supercomputer on Earth.

  • Audiocasts

  • Kernel Space

    • Stable kernels and

      The and stable kernel updates are out.

    • Linux 2.6.34-rc6 Kernel Released

      The complete change-log for the Linux 2.6.34-rc6 kernel can be read at Kernel.org.

    • Linux Versus E. coli

      Both Linux and E. coli are organized into hierarchies. But their hierarchies have different shapes. E. coli’s genome is dominated by workhorses. Middle-managers and master regulators make up less than 5% of the total number of genes. In Linux, by contrast, over 80% of the functions are in the upper echelons. Each workhorse in Linux is controlled to many middle managers. In E. coli, on the other hand, each workhorse gene is typically controlled either by a few genes or just one. And so in E. coli it’s the higher levels where genes have the most links, not the workhorses.

    • Graphics Stack

      • LLVMpipe: OpenGL With Gallium3D on Your CPU

        The software rasterizer used in Mesa that allows for software acceleration of OpenGL on the CPU without any assistance from the graphics processor has largely been useless. Even with a modern-day, multi-core processor, the performance of Mesa’s software rasterizer has been abysmal. The performance of Mesa classic DRI drivers have traditionally been poor anyways compared to the high-performance, proprietary NVIDIA/ATI graphics drivers, but when dealing with just the software rasterizer there really aren’t any games or applications that run well. Fortunately, software acceleration on Gallium3D is very much a different story thanks to LLVM.

  • Applications

  • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

  • Distributions

    • Fedora

      • Post-Goddard.

        Voting is now open for the Fedora 14 release name. Naming the next release is yet another way that our community is involved in making the future of Fedora. If you’re a member of any group in Fedora (beyond completing the CLA), you can vote on this ballot.

      • Fedora 14 Might Be Called Fytnargin

        As was reported last month, with development on Fedora 13 winding down for a release in two weeks, planning for Fedora 14 has got underway. One of the first steps taken by the Fedora and Red Hat communities is coming up with a new codename for the next release, for which they have been reaching out to the community for in recent times.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • European embedded Linux show seeks presentation ideas

      The Consumer Electronics Linux Forum (CELF) announced a call for papers for the next Embedded Linux Conference Europe (ELCE), scheduled for Oct. 27-28 in Cambridge, UK. CELF is looking for a variety of technical presentations focused on the use of embedded Linux in consumer electronics products.

    • Phones

      • webOS update coming soon, PDK apps likely to land

        Well, what have we here? A friendly tipster, who just so happens to be a registered Palm developer, has sent us the latest informational email from the recently-swallowed outfit, and while the tone here may be gentle, the implications are certainly serious. According to the memo, a new webOS update is “coming soon,” and developers are being alerted that they’ll need to be prepared to test their apps when it hits.

      • Nokia

        • Comparing Maemo & Ubuntu

          While I’ve occasionally been critical of Ubuntu as a project, it is a distribution with very open processes, for the most part.

          I’d like to compare the experience of a casual Ubuntu user, an engaged Ubuntu user, an Ubuntu developer, and an upstream application developer to the equivalent MeeGo or Maemo experiences.

          The casual Ubuntu user gets regular stable updates on a predictable schedule, with long-term supported versions less frequently, but still on a predictable schedule. Stability, releases, this user doesn’t want to know what happens behind the scene, he wants to get software when it’s “done”.

        • MeeGo Presentations from the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit

          The MeeGo project was featured in two keynotes and an all day session during the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit. It was a great opportunity for me to meet more of the people who are contributing to MeeGo in person, and I was very happy with the MeeGo content at the event. In addition to great presentations, we had a lot of audience engagement, questions and discussion, which is critical during this early period for the project.

      • Android

        • Multitasking the Android Way

          Android is fairly unique in the ways it allows multiple applications to run at the same time. Developers coming from a different platform may find the way it operates surprising. Understanding its behavior is important for designing applications that will work well and integrate seamlessly with the rest of the Android platform. This article covers the reasons for Android’s multitasking design, its impact on how applications work, and how you can best take advantage of Android’s unique features.


          So far, we have a way for applications to implicitly do work in the background, as long as the process doesn’t get killed by Android as part of its regular memory management. This is fine for things like loading web pages in the background, but what about features with harder requirements? Background music playback, data synchronization, location tracking, alarm clocks, etc.

        • Adobe Giving Free Android Handsets To Employees?

          BGR is reporting that Adobe will be giving away free Android handsets to their employees. While this has not been confirmed yet, it is believed that Adobe will give their employees a phone running Android 2.2 with Flash so that they become comfortable developing with Flash on the Android platform.

        • TMO Announces MyTouch 3G Slide!

          So, it sports Android 2.1, comes in three colors, has Swype installed, and has a pretty nifty screen. What’s missing from this press release though? How about a processor speed?

    • Sub-notebooks

      • OLPC laptops for East Africa and Palestinian children

        According to the BBC, approximately 30 million laptops are expected to be delivered to East Africa by 2015 and 500,000 units in the Middle East.

      • Joojoo 3G tablet will appear within 3 months

        TABLET UPSTART Fusion Garage plans to offer a 3G enabled version of its tablet, the Joojoo, within three months according to the firm’s CEO, Chandra Rathakrishanan.

      • We have an early Linux tablet video

        FUSION GARAGE has announced the availability of its Joojoo tablet in the UK, and The INQUIRER went along to the launch for a walk-through of the Linux handheld device and obtained an exclusive demonstation video.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Musings of an open source peddler
  • When can’t MATLAB add up?

    Update: Just had an email from someone who points out that Octave (Free MATLAB Clone) can handle 64bit integers just fine

    octave:1> a=int64(10);
    octave:2> b=int64(20);
    octave:3> a+b
    ans = 30

  • Oracle

    • Thanks for Suggesting Better Default Settings

      Many thanks go out to everyone who added one of the 90+ suggestions for the Better Defaults collection. Impress is currently in focus for Project Renaissance, so any suggestions relevant to Impress (presentation application) have now been taken to be evaluated by the iTeam. Those entries are therefore now in italics.

  • CMS

    • State of Drupal presentation (April 2010)

      Two weeks ago at DrupalCon San Francisco I gave my traditional state of Drupal presentation. A total of 6000 people watched my keynote live; 3000 were present at DrupalCon, and another 3000 watched the live video stream. Nonetheless, a lot of people asked me for my slides. So in good tradition, you can download a copy of my slides (PDF, 48 MB) or you can watch a video recording of my keynote on archive.org.

  • Government

    • Even the ‘worst’ open government plans include open source

      An independent group released its rankings for U.S. government agencies’ open government plans and said Treasury, Defense, Management and Budget, Energy and Justice had the weakest plans of the lot.

      NASA came out smelling like a rose, with the strongest-ranked open government plan, followed by the EPA and HUD, according to the rankings by OpenTheGovernment.org.


      Some agencies have said they plan to revisit their plans based on the group’s evaluation, so OpenTheGovernment.org will re-evaluate them in June. It’ll be interesting to see how the use of open source continues to evolve in open government.

    • The spy who came in from the code

      If you were going to pick an adjective to describe the Central Intelligence Agency, “open” wouldn’t immediately spring to mind. But according to Carmen Medina, who recently retired from the CIA and will speak at Gov 2.0 Expo, openness is just what the agency needs.

  • Licensing

    • Is an open license enough?

      Recently I have been trialling a new web based account/billing software. It is not a very mature project, but the features listed and performance so far have me believing that this is potentially a good solution. Also it is written in a language I am comfortable with (PHP), and it has an open license (GNU AGPL). Hence I may be able to contribute.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Happy Birthday ODF!

      On the Saturday 1st of May 2005, ODF 1.0 became an ISO standard. So as Rob Weir and the ODF Alliance already did, let me wish as well a happy birthday to OpenDocument Format. By this I would like to celebrate the fact that after 5 years, ODF is alive, kicking and growing its market share at a nice rate. But I would also like to thank everyone behind ODF, the engineers, the OASIS consortium, the volunteers, the implementers, and the users. Without you ODF could not exist, and as ODF 1.2 is almost out of the door it’s good to see how much the ODF ecosystem has grown and is growing.


Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – EOM – Angle Activity (1/1/2000)


Links 3/5/2010: Lubuntu 10.04 Released; Peppermint OS Reviewed

Posted in News Roundup at 6:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Does free software create a challenge for Linux?

    These companies spend millions on staffing and paid programmers in the course of a year, so why couldn’t some of that money be set aside for some advertising. When was the last time we saw a commercial advertising Linux? And not on youtube but on actual television programming.

    You get what you pay for…?

    We have all experienced the truthfulness of this at one time or the other. Sometimes when you get something at a low cost it does not turn out to be a quality product. People need to see Linux in action. They need to see how well it runs and the many features that is available to linux users such as compiz fusion etc that are not available to Windows users. The truth is that some times the old you get what you pay for expression simply is not the case. Sometimes the best product is also the lowest priced. And this is something that many have not yet learned is the case with many versions of Linux.

  • Using Linux again – on an Acer Aspire 250D

    So, I wanted to use Linux again and decided to give it a try. I first tried to install Mandriva 2010.0 on it but it would hang on booting after the installation was successfully completed. Looking around I found many people having the same problem but no solution as it’s a bug in this release. I found the hint of using 2009.1 instead and tried that and it worked.

  • Desktop

    • Linux On The Desktop?

      While Linux based systems drive some cell phones and can be found in ordinary PCs, the primary competition between Red Hat and Novell has been in the “enterprise space,” that segment of the software universe which focuses on linking business users to databases. Now, Red Hat has announced its intention to move into the “business desktop” market with a new series of adaptations. According to Red Hat, “This will be a more comprehensive offering that will target markets like the small and medium-sized business [SMB] sector and emerging markets. Part of this strategy is to get the desktop more to the masses than our existing client is getting today.”


      It’s a great operating system, but plug-and-play functionality for home computers isn’t there yet. And neither Red Hat nor Novell have any intention of invading the home consumer “space.” For now, they’re content to battle it out by expanding their business-based products.

    • Austin Group Prepares for Linux Against Poverty.

      Lynn Bender called a meeting Saturday at the Triumph Cafe in Austin to begin organizing the Linux Against Poverty 2010 event.

    • Installing fresh operating systems, then updating them.

      I wonder why windows cannot, or does not do their updates in this manner. After all, as with most Linux distributions, all an update is doing is replacing one or more binary files with another. It should be a no brainer to just download the latest files, install them and be done with it. If a “hobbyist OS” such as Linux can do this simple yet important task then why can’t a “professional OS” do this? What do you think?

  • Routing

  • Ballnux

  • Kernel Space

    • Phenom II X6 Performance Under Linux Below Expectations

      In testing the Phenom II X6, Linux Magazine noticed that AMDs new processor doesn’t have the full performance under the current Linux kernel. A bug in Linux power management throws a wrench into the six-core processing.

    • Systemd presented as SysV-Init and Upstart alternative

      The main developer of Upstart, Scott James Remnant, commented on Systemd shortly after it was presented in his own blog. Remnant admits that Upstart is by no means perfect and that he cannot argue with the points of criticism that Poettering brings up. But now that Ubuntu 10.04 has been released, he says he plans to spend more time on Upstart and focus on a number of the criticised elements. He adds that it is too early to tell which of the two approaches will be better in the long term.

    • A Look at minit
    • Graphics Stack

      • A shout-out to nouveau

        They basically wrote a driver for an incredibly complicated piece of hardware, completely through memory trace dumps, with no help from nvidia whatsoever and can operate the 3D engine so well that one of the world’s most awesome pieces of software runs on it. So from now on, I will no longer be using the binary nvidia driver, but instead nouveau, since it offers exactly what I need + next gen linux graphics technologies such as KMS, XRandR1.2 and G3D. Win Win Win.

      • Is Windows 7 Actually Faster Than Ubuntu 10.04?

        What these results do show is that Ubuntu 10.04 LTS “Lucid Lynx” is very capable of being a comparable gaming platform to Microsoft Windows at least as far as the quantitative performance is concerned. This is good news as Valve’s Steam client and the Source Engine come to Linux and the first of the Unigine Engine games (likely Primal Carnage) are released. The exception to this, however, is if using Intel graphics.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Lubuntu 10.04 is now available for download
    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • Who is KDE part XXX

        The growing diversity in our community brings more fun and more creativity, so I welcome it. I’m awaiting a few GSoC students from Nigeria – after reading the final report from Ade about the conference there I have high hopes… But for now, I think we’re looking at a very successful Summer of Code, and those who aren’t in yet: you can join the Season of KDE project, where despite the lack of financial compensation you will get the same guidance and some cool (Kool?) gear! Lydia is also still looking for mentors, btw. If you would love to do KDE Promo things, I hereby offer my services as mentor!

      • Kobby: KDE collaborative text editor

        My series of articles covering text editors wouldn’t be complete without a collaborative tool. I have already covered (some time ago) Gobby (see my article “Collaborate in real time with Gobby“) and now it’s time to re-visit this topic from the KDE perspective. The KDE equivalent of Gobby is, to no surprise, Kobby. Kobby is a tool that allows users to to collaborate on text files either with another Kobby instance or even an instance of Gobby.

      • Ubuntu Makes Another Poor Technology Choice – Battle of the Movie Editors

        So why did Ubuntu do this? Either they are not aware of kdenlive and its capabilities – which can’t be true, because it’s available in their repositories, or they have an aversion to including anything in the default install that requires the KDE libraries. While I can understand that approach – there is only so much space on the CD – why substitute for a clearly inferior application. In my view this is both a poor technical and marketing choice. They would have been better leaving PiTiVi off the default CD rather than tainting user’s impression of the readiness or otherwise of Linux for the desktop. Whilst I’m not saying that video editing for Linux is as healthy as on other platforms, I am saying it is a hell of a lot more advanced that Ubuntu and PiTiVi would lead the average person to think.

      • KDE 4.4.3 reached Debian Sid, and its awesome

        Today, the 3rd of May 2010, KDE SC 4.4.3 has been uploaded to Debian Sid (Unstable). This is the first of the 4.4.x series that Debian has had (outside of the Experimental repository and an unofficial repository), and so far the whole of it is awesome.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Tablets

      • We have an early Linux tablet video

        FUSION GARAGE has announced the availability of its Joojoo tablet in the UK, and The INQUIRER went along to the launch for a walk-through of the Linux handheld device and obtained an exclusive demonstation video.

      • Want an iPad? Get the Joojoo instead!

        Then there is multi-tasking. Yes. You can do more than one thing at a time on the JooJoo. Browse and listen to music simultaneously. It’s up to you. It also supports high-def videos out of the box. Watch your favorite videos on the device in crystal clear high definition using the JooJoo player.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Mozilla

  • Databases

    • Apache Cassandra gets boost from Riptano (Q&A)

      A new company called Riptano recently launched to provide support and services for the Apache Cassandra project, a nonrelational open-source database designed for high performance that has a strong presence in Web shops like Twitter, Digg, and Reddit. I recently had the chance to chat with Matt Pfeil, founder of Riptano, and he provided some insight into the project and the new world of NoSQL database approaches.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • It’s time for Hulu to adopt HTML5 instead of Flash

      Seriously when I can’t even watch TV shows anymore online because I am using the “wrong” OS is when I draw the line. HTML5 … please like yesterday. Of course Adobe would have fixed it if it didn’t stream on “cancel or allow” Vista or Windows 7 or even OSX .. but no since it’s linux we get the shaft.


  • Top 10 science and technology writers

    A couple of weeks ago a stalwart of the IT writing business died. It got me thinking about the craft of writing and, after much gestation, we decided to come up with a list of the top writers who had explained and expanded our knowledge of science and technology, from a factual basis.

  • Benjamin Henrion tinkers with Belgabox hardware
  • Security/Aggression

  • Environment

    • BP’s “Beyond Petroleum” Campaign Losing its Sheen

      Back in July, 2000, British Petroleum launched a high-profile, $200 million public relations ad campaign designed by Ogilvy & Mather to position the company as environmentally-friendly. The company introduced a new slogan, “Beyond Petroleum,” and changed its 70 year-old logo to a new, cheerful green and yellow sunburst. To many, the “Beyond Petroleum” campaign has always been ludicrous.


      Spill, Baby Spill

      Despite, or maybe because of, its history of fatal accidents, environmental disasters, fines and public deceit, BP is still trying to greenwash its image. Its Web pages are filled with bogus statements, like “We try to work in ways that will benefit the communities and habitats where we do business — and earn the world’s respect.”


      If they haven’t already, BP’s disingenuous words of support for developing low-carbon, renewable energy sources will increasingly fall on deaf ears as the country’ attention remains riveted instead on the desecration of one of the country’s most beautiful and valuable natural resources: the beleaguered Gulf coast.

  • Finance

    • Sunday Funnies 2010-05-02: “Brown Chip” Investing; Bubble Pricing in Vancouver
    • Goldman Sachs, Chess, and the Godfather

      Between the SEC charges and the congressional panels, the government is finally doing its job going after Goldman Sachs, right? And this last week in April ends with the Justice Department picking up the baton, which puts Goldman under threat of criminal prosecution. Things have suddenly gotten serious.

    • Merkel: $29.6 billion in aid for Greece planned

      Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Cabinet approved legislation on Monday that would give Greece euro22.4 billion ($29.6 billion) over three years as part of a wider bailout, as the German government acknowledged that letting Greece go bankrupt could send the euro into a tailspin and hurt Germany’s own economy.

    • Hedge funds get ‘free ride’

      And one reason for that, according to Weissman, is a particularly well-connected group of lobbyists. More than half the 83 lobbyists registered last year to work for the industries’ two trade groups, the Private Equity Council and the Managed Funds Association, have served in government — from Capitol Hill to the Treasury Department.

    • Top Senate Democrat Questions Obama Foreclosure Program’s Effectiveness
    • US GDP growth rate is unsustainable; recovery will fade

      The US turned in a fairly robust quarter in Q1 2010, with real GDP growth meeting expectations at 3.2% annualized. This comes on the back of a very robust annualized 5.6% growth in the previous quarter. This is the best growth two-quarter growth we have seen since 2003.

    • Financial Reform: Will We Feel Better the Morning After?

      There are many other issues in the financial reform bill, most of which will lead to improvements in the regulatory structure. However, without these three changes, the industry will not look very different the day after financial reform than it did the day before. Given what the industry has done to the country, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to expect some serious changes. After the next couple of weeks, we will know what we get.

    • Blanche Lincoln Rambos Wall Street

      The financial services reform bill is on the Senate floor this week. The recently announced criminal investigation of Goldman Sachs, the bumbling testimony of Goldman’s “Fabulous Fab” and the rocking Wall Street protest last Thursday show that momentum is with reformers.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – MOAT – Aerosols (1/11/1999)

Links 3/5/2010: Joojoo Comes to Europe, Symantec Acquires PGP

Posted in News Roundup at 4:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • LinuxCertified Announces its next “Linux Fundamentals” Course

    This two-day introduction to Linux broadens attendees horizons with a detailed overview of the operating system. Attendees learn how to effectively use a Linux system as a valuable tool. They get familiar with the architecture and various components of the operating system, learn both graphical and command line tools, and learn to do basic networking. This class is scheduled for May 13th – 14th, 2010.

  • Desktop

    • IronKey launches secure online banking USB stick

      The IronKey TAB runs a Linux based operating system which in turn runs a dedicated Firefox based browser. It takes a number of steps to prevent key-loggers from intercepting passwords and has an optional virtual keyboard for non-keyboard password entry. It also makes use of the IronKey’s integrated RSA SecurID to provide login tokens, but adds an extra, variable obfuscation to ensure that any malware spies will see an invalid token.

      In some ways, the IronKey TAB is similar in intent to the process of booting a Live CD of Linux and performing banking from the read only Live CD environment, but without the need to reboot the host system and activated only when the stick is plugged in and the stick itself is not compromised.

    • ZaReason Ships Ubuntu 10.04 Systems

      WorksWithU: Do you think Ubuntu can still define a mobile internet device (MID) market, or is that the domain of iPad, Android, Chrome, etc.?

      ZaReason: I’d keep an eye on MeeGo. They have some pretty serious backing in the form of Intel, Nokia, and Linux Foundation. We hope to see the fruits of that collaboration in the near future.

    • What would be the difficulties between Windows and Ubuntu Linux for the migrating Windows user?

      I wish to migrate to Ubuntu 8.04, because I think it would benefit my programming education, and I would get some needed computer literacy skills, but I believe I’ll have problems with Linux from the first time I booted the Live CD – no, it’s not about my files – I don’t have much to migrate:

    • Being evil online is fun, but is it really worth the thrill?

      For the past few years, I’ve always tried to use Linux because I wanted to see what a freely created, communally built operating system could do.

      Right now, I’m using Mac OS X on my laptop, because I can. Once again, it’s an operating system built by Apple (which just this week is in a face-off with a journalist who bought one of its prototype phones and published details of its hardware).

      But, honestly, I think I prefer Linux: my MacBook’s fans are whirring off their axles in an attempt to chill OS X’s overenthusiastic feature set, whereas with Linux the whole thing stayed cool and responsive.

  • Server

    • NASA’s Nebula cloud descends on Washington

      Nebula runs Eucalyptus using Linux and the XEN and KVM open source hypervisors. It also makes use of MySQL and the open source RabbitMQ messaging system, used to communicate between virtual machines and to push information down to end user browsers, according to Rabbit Technologies CEO Alexis Richardson. Richardson’s outfit was recently purchased by VMware’s SpringSource division.

  • Graphics Stack

    • ATI Catalyst 10.4 Brings Initial Support for Ubuntu 10.04

      AMD has just announced the release of its newest graphics card drivers for Linux.

    • New Nvidia Video Driver for Linux Supports X Server 1.8

      Nvidia announced a few days ago, on its forum, a new version of its proprietary driver for the Nvidia graphics cards. Nvidia 195.36.24 adds support for new GPUs, and fixes a few issues. But the most important thing is that Nvidia 195.36.24 has support for X Server 1.8.

    • New standard takes on OpenCL and CUDA

      As such, PathScale has started offering free Fermi cards to open source developers in a bid to encourage the development of solid open source drivers.

    • PathScale plans CUDA killer

      While compilers are the company’s bread and butter, PathScale is also looking to push open source and help to develop better GPGPU drivers for the open source community – so much so, in fact, that the company is offering free Nvidia Fermi graphics cards to “qualified open source developers and researchers” looking to write open drivers and compilers.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Arch Linux lost one of its biggest contributors

      Jan Mette (funkyou) passed away of as-yet unknown causes. Jan was a major contributor to the Arch Linux community, the creator of KDEmod and a founding member of the Chakra team. Our sincerest condolences go to his family, friends and the Chakra team.

    • Citrix downplays Red Hat’s decision to drop Xen

      Citrix CTO and longtime Xen proponent Simon Crosby said he is unfazed by Red Hat’s decision to drop the Xen hypervisor from its enterprise Linux software and focus its virtualization efforts around the KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) hypervisor. Crosby claims the move won’t harm Xen’s standing in the virtualization market.

    • Debian Family

      • DIN rail PC offers choice of field buses

        Kontron announced two rugged, fanless PCs designed for DIN Rail mounting. The ThinkIO-Solo and ThinkIO-Duo include Debian Linux, 1.06GHz Intel Celeron or 1.2GHz Core Duo U2500 processors, up to 1GB of RAM and 4GB of flash storage, a CompactFlash socket, two Ethernet ports, and support for DVI-I and VGA monitors, the company says.

      • NorthScale Updates Market-Leading Memcached Distribution; Adds Debian Package to Download Options

        With today’s announcement, NorthScale Memcached Server is now available via easily downloadable software packages for Windows, Red Hat Linux, Ubuntu and other Linux distributions supporting the .rpm and .deb package formats. Downloads are available at www.northscale.com/get_started.html.

      • Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu 10.4 lives up to the hype

          With Ubuntu 10.4 there is a lot of good and it begins with the installer. One of the issues I’ve had with Live CDs is that a new-to-Linux user has trouble understanding the concept of the live CD. Ubuntu has solved this by not really stressing the “live CD” aspect. Instead they have a bootable CD that, upon boot, right away presents you with two options:

          * Try out Ubuntu
          * Install Ubuntu

          It can’t get any clearer than this. No more will new users load up a live CD and wonder why there is an Install icon on the desktop. This is just one more step towards that user-friendly Nirvana that all OS developers are searching for.

        • Ubuntu’s Lucid Lynx Linux OS Debuts With an Eye on ISVs

          The Ubuntu Linux 10.4 release codenamed the Lucid Lynx is set for general availability today, providing users with new desktop, server and cloud capabilities. Canonical, the lead commercial sponsor behind Ubuntu, is also highlighting the broad ISV support for the release.

          The Lucid release is particularly important for Ubuntu as it is the project’s first enterprise Long-Term Support (LTS) release since the 8.04 Hardy Heron release in 2008. Ubuntu LTS releases come out every two years and offer three years of support on the desktop and five years on the server, while regular Ubuntu releases only come with support for 18 months.

        • Ubuntu 10.04 Server Edition

          Ubuntu Server Edition is changing the server market for businesses by delivering the best of free software on a stable, fully supported and secure platform.


          Most organizations want the reassurance of having a professional service behind them, that s why Canonical provides exceptional services for Ubuntu Server Edition.

        • Software Review: Ubuntu 10.04 – Late Night Thoughts
        • Ubuntu 10.04: First Impressions and Features
        • Ubuntu Launches 10.04 ‘Lucid Lynx’
        • Ubuntu 10.10 for netbooks to have single menu bar design

          Mark Shuttleworth, founder of the Ubuntu project, this week announced that the next version of Ubuntu will incorporate a global menu bar for all of its applications. The new universal menubar will only be enabled by default on the netbook edition of Ubuntu 10.10 “Maverick Meerkat”.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux Everywhere

      • Introduction to the QNAP TS-459 Pro

        The NAS is based on nettop hardware, so it’s no surprise to see that there is custom Linux software powering the device. This works very well in the background, but it also means there is huge scope for improvement in functionality via firmware updates. There is even a VGA port for advanced NAS diagnostics should you feel the need to delve a little deeper.

      • Chinavision CVOB-E72 pico-projector packs Linux & WiFi for YouTube playback

        We’ve seen pico-projectors with integrated low-power PCs before, but Chinavision’s CVOB-E72 goes one step further. As well as a VGA resolution projector, you also get a Linux-based OS with WiFi b/g, a battery apparently good for up to 2hrs runtime, and a wireless remote control with a full QWERTY keyboard.

      • Alcatel-Lucent’s Linux Smart Desktop Phone

        Linux is no stranger to the world of mobile smartphones, but what about deskphones?


        And yes it’s powered by Linux.

        The device is officially called the IC phone and there is a developer portal now live which give some additional details on SDK and developer potential for the phone.

    • Development

      • Tools and distributions for embedded Linux development

        The deployment of Linux on the desktop and in the server room is well served by the general-purpose distribution. In the embedded world things are very different: although Linux is used widely, the concept of the general-purpose distribution is much less in evidence. Many vendors rely on forked board support packages or home-grown builds to create their systems, effectively creating their own customized distribution in the process. While embedded platforms represent a challenge to the traditional Linux distribution, there is no shortage of community projects to support the development of embedded Linux systems.

      • Linux build software targets multicore SoCs

        Enea announced it has expanded its relationship with NetLogic Microsystems, which acquired RMI Corp. last year, along with its Linux-ready, MIPS64-based XLP, XLR, and XLS multicore, multithreaded processors.

    • Mentor

    • LynuxWorks

      • Linux-ready separation kernel rev’d, drives wireless medical sensor device

        LynxSecure 4.0 lets developers run modified guest OSes, such as Linux or LynuxWorks’ own LynxOS-SE real-time operating system, in a para-virtualized mode that optimizes performance. Alternatively, it can also virtualize unmodified OSes such as Windows, for complete compatibility, the company says.

      • Video: LinuxWorks founder on embedded software

        The developer of the LynxOS real-time operating system has so far escaped the wave of acquisitions in which Intel Corp. acquired Wind River, Cavium Networks bought Montavista and Research in Motion bid to buy QNX Software Systems. “I think the play now is in the ancillary parts of the software stack such as virtualization and security,” said Singh in an interview at the Embedded Systems Conference.

    • Texas Instruments

      • Texas Instruments embraces Linux for C64x DSPs

        Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE: TXN) today announced Linux kernel support for its TMS320C64x™ digital signal processors (DSPs) and multicore system-on-chips (SoCs) targeted for applications such as communications and mission critical infrastructure, medical diagnostics, and high-performance test and measurement. As customers move towards open source as a key element of their products, application developers can benefit from the availability of Linux on TI’s high-performance DSPs by having less software to develop, and focusing more on differentiating features and software in their applications.

      • CodeSourcery to Port GCC to Texas Instruments’ C6000(TM) Processors

        CodeSourcery, a leading provider of tools for professional embedded C and C++ developers, is working with Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) to port the GNU Toolchain to TI’s C6000 family of digital signal processors (DSPs) and multicore system-on-chips (SoCs).

      • Sourcery G++™ Improves Embedded Application Performance

        odeSourcery, the leading provider of GNU tools for professional embedded C and C++ developers, announces the immediate availability of the spring 2010 release of Sourcery G++ for ARM®, ColdFire®, IA32, MIPS®, Power Architecture®, Stellaris® and SuperH® processors. The latest release features enhancements that boost application performance and make it easier to get started with GNU/Linux application development.

    • Wind River

      • Intel’s Wind River quintuples telecom throughput

        Just how fast is ultra-fast? According to a Wind River release, when running on Linux on an Intel Xeon 5500-based reference board, the new Network Acceleration Platform managed iPv4 forwarding at a rate of 21 million packets per second – and that’s using just four threads.

    • MontaVista

      • MontaVista targets OMAP and MIPS SoCs with Android kit

        MontaVista announced a “rapid deployment program” offering software reference platforms for Android development on Texas Instruments’s ARM Cortex-based OMAP3x and MIPS Technologies’ MIPS processors. The reference platforms include a system-wide Automated Test and Validation Suite, as well as integrated IPTV, DTV, and video on-demand engines, says the Cavium subsidiary.

      • Linux kernel port targets multi-core DSP SoCs

        Texas Instruments (TI) announced Linux kernel support for its TMS320C64x multi-DSP core system-on-chips (SoCs). Code Sourcery, Enea, Nash Technologies, and PolyCore have signed up to support the Linux port with, respectively, multi-core ready compiling and debugging tools, telecom middleware, inter-processor communications and LTE support, and MCAPI framework code, respectively, TI says.

    • ARM

      • ARM9 SoCs get hardware encryption

        Atmel is using this week’s ESC (Embedded Systems Conference) in Silicon Valley to launch two ARM-based system-on-chips (SoCs) featuring hardware encryption and authentication. The SAM9G46 and SAM9M11 support 256-bit AES, triple DES, and SHA, and they’ll run Linux on 400MHz ARM929EJ cores, the company says.

      • Linux firmware released for ARM-based printing SoCs

        Zoran Corp. announced Linux-based firmware for its ARM-based Quatro family of system-on-chips, which target touchscreen-enabled printers and scanners. The Inferno firmware offers an API, printer engine driver, print language support, and other tools for developing Linux applications on Zoran’s ARM9-based Quatro 4300 and dual ARM11-core Quatro 4500 processors, both of which include printing-optimized DSPs.

    • Android

      • Google Android 2.2 / FroYo: Successor Codenamed Gingerbread

        As FroYo has not even been released yet details regarding Gingerbread are extremely scarce, however we have heard that Gingerbread will be based on Linux Kernel 2.6.33 or 34, whether it will be Android 2.3, 2.4 or 2.5 is also unclear.

      • Vodafone unveils own-brand Android smartphone
      • Android in 2013: Open Source

        Making up for that, in part, will be more high-profile open source applications on top of Android. One pundit complained recently that there were so few Android open source applications. There are actually a fair number of them, but pundits rarely can get past brand names. And, truth be told, there are few brand-name open source projects on Android today. That will change, in part due to Android’s market presence (e.g., Mozilla’s Fennec will be reasonably popular by 2013) and in part due to changing technology (e.g., more brand name apps will be written in HTML5 and therefore will run on Android).

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Asus Eee PC 1005PE review

        A small button above the keyboard lets you quickly power the netbook up with a more basic Linux-based operating system – called ExpressGate – for speedy access to the internet. Windows 7 is also installed. Other features include 500GB of online storage, boosting the 250GB of local hard drive space. Three USB ports are also in place.

    • Joojoo

Free Software/Open Source

  • Update: Symantec buys encryption specialist PGP for $300 million
  • Symantec Acquires PGP, GuardianEdge

    Symantec is ramping up its encryption software portfolio with the acquisitions of PGP and GuardianEdge for $300 million and $70 million, respectively.

  • Symbian Foundation releases web app toolkit

    The Symbian Foundation has released a web application development toolkit for the open-source Symbian^3 mobile platform.

  • Open source HTML5+jQuery media player

    The mediafront platform is an open source (GPLv3) front end media solution for the web. Through its integration with popular content management systems, it employs an innovative and intuitive interface that allows any website administrator to completely customize the front end media experience for their users without writing any code!

    In addition, this platform offers two open source media players that can be used free of charge on any website. These media players can be used either as a stand alone solution, or within any content management system. One is flash based and the other is HTML5/jQuery based.

  • BT looks to open source to increase innovation

    BT is seeking to increase innovation in its IT functions through the gradual introduction of open source methods.

    Jeremy Ruston, head of open source innovation at BT, told a meeting at the BCS last week that BT had undergone a “profound philosophical change” by making all its software development open, “just as it is, in fact, at Google”.

  • Midmarket Leads Open-Source BI Adoption

    A recent Aberdeen Group Inc. survey found 48 percent of open-source BI users have annual revenues of $50 million or less, whereas only 37 percent of the users of traditionally licensed BI products are that small.

    Of the more than 300 organizations surveyed, almost 90 percent said they were using open-source BI software alongside more traditional BI software. Cost savings, better hardware utilization, and innovation were cited as the top three motivators for adding open-source to their software portfolio.

  • Of firmwares and cameras

    There is also an initiative to push for cameras’ operating system to go open source, and with applications be developed so users can customize how the shooter behaves.

  • Burn Blu-rays onto recordable DVDs

    The developers of x.264, the open source version of the h.264 hi-def video codec used by YouTube and many others, have taken the first step towards building a free Blu-ray creation toolkit. They’ve been able to make the codec compliant with Blu-ray video.

  • HIMSS: Nothing more authentic and scalable than open source

    If peers are helping peers meet the critical and sensitive needs of their organizations, say for example at HIMSS – why wouldn’t it be the same for our software development? Open source may be a deviation from conventional thought, but today it is playing an active role in meeting these requirements and helping organizations to scale.

    Open-source software offers a better alternative: what you see is what you get, the customer can fully evaluate a technology to understand what is offered, what it does, how it can be improved, and how to fits it into a workflow.

  • NCHICA Selects Mirth Meaningful Use Exchange(TM) to Power NHIN Connectivity

    Mirth Corporation, the leader in commercial open source healthcare information technology, announced today that the North Carolina Healthcare Information and Communication Alliance (NCHICA) has selected Mirth Meaningful Use Exchange (Mirth MUx) to achieve Nationwide Health Information Exchange (NHIN) connectivity.

  • Bringing open source to schools

    The best way to ensure the spread and success of open source is to introduce the next generations of users, and potential contributors, to open source at an early age. But this isn’t trivial. Aside from software suitable for young users, it takes a lot of support materials to teach a class and spread the word to educators. One of the better documented attempts at reaching students is Máirín Duffy’s eight-session Inkscape class and K12 Educator’s Guide to Open Source Software.

  • Open Source Scales Better Than Proprietary, The Cloud Needs Massive Scale to Succeed, Therefore the Cloud Needs Open Source

    The problem is I don’t know if I agree with this. I don’t subscribe to the 1000′s of elves in cyberspace fixing bugs in open source code. I think the fact is that a very small number of code contributors actually work on any given open source project. Yes Linux and Apache are the exceptions, but by and large most open source projects actually have a tiny number of code contributors.

  • 2010 FOSS reporter ICT Award launched

    The Free and Open Source Software community is inviting media works and broadcast reports for the 2010 FOSS reporter Award.

  • Phones

    • The Iphone OS needs to be opened up, says Kaspersky

      THE INFOSEC CONFERENCE WAS TOLD that Apple’s Iphone is secure for now, but if Apple doesn’t open up the system it will lose out to rival mobile operating systems due to its lack of flexibility.

    • Building platforms for growth in the new wireless era

      Observing leading platform companies such as Google and Apple reveals a number of tactics that can be employed across a wide segment of the wireless industry. Google, in particular, has been successful in making an impact via its much-hyped, open source, Android platform. At the heart of this platform is an operating system built on the foundations of Linux open source software code, and as such, Android is available to anyone to use, build, and develop without incurring license or royalty payments.


      Compared to Apple’s ecosystem, the Android developer community is drawing on traditional open-source development strategies: networks of lead programmers collaborate across the code’s core software interfaces. Like Apple, Google distributes free software developer kits and application programming interfaces (APIs) to facilitate community-based development. More users and program usage will spur more innovation and improve its ability to quickly and efficiently resolve quality issues. In return, greater exposure of the Android platform will likely arise and heighten its potential for becoming a de facto wireless standard.

  • Events

  • Mozilla

    • Firefox Mobile – Review

      The N900 is my handheld of choice and as I’ve stated before it is by far the web browsing phone currently on the market. The most wonderful thing about FOSS is choice, just like a desktop computer the N900 provides you with a variety of web browsers to choose from and the Mozilla cooperation choose Maemo as the first platform to release their mobile browser for. I’ve been using firefox as the primary browser on my N900 since just prior to it’s 1.0 release, the following are my summations of what I think of Mozilla’s mobile browser.


      All in all I think firefox mobile is the best browser currently available for the Maemo platform and thanks to the browser-switchboard it is the default browser on my device.

    • Hands-on: Mozilla’s foxy Fennec prerelease build for Android
    • Firefox 1.1 Beta sails onto the Nokia N900 mobile phone

      The Nokia N900 handset is based on the Linux-based Maemo platform and is also noted to be dubbed as a pocket computer. With the trendy phone, users can seamlessly carry out all their online activities from their mobile device itself. Now Firefox is all set to grace the handset terrain by unfurling Firefox 1.1 Beta onto the Nokia N900.

    • Firefox challenges Facebook with ID platform

      Facebook’s ambition to become a default identification platform for the web could be threatened by an in-browser identity management system from Mozilla. The firm behind second-placed browser Firefox is testing an open-source system called Account Manager, which unlike Facebook’s platform will allow users to switch between identities from different services.

  • Databases

    • Riptano Offers Cassandra Commercial Support

      A company has been formed to supply commercial support to users of open source Cassandra, a database for sprawling Web data. Social networking sites Twitter, Facebook, and Digg are among the prominent users of Cassandra, with Twitter storing 15 million tweets a day.

    • Impari Systems offers IT services

      Matt Burkhardt offers those and other services through Impari Systems Inc. at 502 Fairview Ave. The company uses free and open source software — software liberally licensed to grant users the right to use, study, change and improve its design through the availability of its source code.

  • Oracle

    • Compellent adds file-level access to SAN

      Compellent is adding integrated file-level access to its SAN product, and using Sun’s open source ZFS to do so.


      He was confident that the lawsuits over NFS between NetApp and Sun, now Oracle, were very low-risk, saying that in ten years of open source software lawsuits had raised their heads but nothing had happened. Also: “Oracle is very committed to its open storage acquisition.”

  • CMS

  • Business

    • xTuple Dominates Market Demand For Open Source ERP
    • GroundWork Open Source Deploys eLearningZoom Learning Suite to Offer Certification Training Worldwide
    • Choosing the Right Open Source ERP/CRM Solutions

      People used to be apprehensive with open source solutions as they felt they were complex. However, this is not exactly true. Open source solutions are not just confined to Linux platforms, there are solutions available for Windows platform as well, which are very simple to install and get started with in a wizard based format. And when you contemplate about implementing ERP or CRM solutions for your organizations, you can very much consider open source solutions rather than going for expensive proprietary solutions. If you are clear about the organizational business processes and how you want to define or chart out those with ERP solutions, then you can give an open source solution a try. Today’s open source ERP or CRM solutions offer almost all the functionalities for every organizational function that any proprietary solution would offer.

    • Opsview upgrades open source monitoring offering

      Opsview, the open source systems and apps monitoring software has updated its Community edition to coincide with the release of coincide with the release of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS.

  • BSD


    • FSFE founder Georg Greve knighted

      Now CEO of Kolab Systems, a Free Software busines, “He continues to be active amongst FSFE members and European core team”, says the FSFE.

    • Should Hacking Be Encouraged?

      “My daughters are both active on the web on social networking; my son does hack in PHP,” blogger Robert Pogson began. “One out of three is OK, I guess.”

      Women do have definite advantages in FLOSS, Pogson added, “because merit is the deciding factor in advancement.


      The world definitely needs more free-thinkers, but “it’s not just hackers who are free-thinking,” Montreal consultant and Slashdot blogger Gerhard Mack pointed out.

      “One thing that has always got me was the number of people who think they are free-thinking simply because they are anti-establishment or copying people they think are intelligent,” Mack explained. “Free thought is more than just taking a contrary position — it’s analyzing for yourself when the established ways of thinking are right and when they are wrong.”

  • Releases

  • Government

    • Election special: Tories shed light on tech plans

      The Tories promise to open up the £200bn government procurement market to small and open-source companies, partly by breaking up large ICT projects into smaller components.

    • Barriers to London’s open source adoption

      When the Greater London Authority, a city-wide body, started to look at free and open source software they had little to learn from other levels of British government. The pace of adoption has been glacial in the UK, despite recent interest in open data. Having rolled out cost-saving open source technology for some back-office systems and web sites, the GLA has found that partnership across the wider public sector introduces the biggest barriers. The need for government bodies to interface with each other has held back the aspirations of the UK’s open source action plan.

    • Web symposium tackles local government issues

      Open source advocate Nat Torkington and Rugby World Cup 2011 marketing and communications manager Shane Harmon are among the speakers at the fifth annual ALGIM (Association of Local Government Information Management) Web Symposium in Wellington early next month.

  • Licensing

    • Announcement – Open-source release, HUBzero

      The developers of HUBzero announced its open source release. The software is a platform which its Purdue University creators says allows for easier use of clusters and grid computing, making it “a sort of a Swiss Army Knife for deploying and accessing computational research codes.”

  • Openness

    • Qbo open-source robot wants to be Ford Model T of ‘bots

      Open-source and DIY robotics should be the ideal match, but the expense of robot hardware often puts it out of reach for all but the most deep-pocketed enthusiast. Five years ago Francisco Paz decided to produce not only his own robot, Qbo, but to open-source the project so that hopefully the cost of entry would be lower for anyone else wanting to follow in his footsteps.

    • Is It Possible To Create And Launch Your Own Satellite?

      Satellite engineer Song Hojun has developed a DIY personal satellite that can be launched and operated at a reasonable cost. Hojun’s Open Source Satellite Initiative makes it possible for regular people to develop and eventually launch their own satellites. He gave a presentation demonstrating his satellite at the Machine Project last week.

    • The disruptive future of printing

      I heard Ben speak about the RepRap, along with many other programmers, scholars and activists committed to making all kinds of information available to be freely used, reused, and redistributed, from “sonnets to statistics, genes to geodata” as their website puts it.


      As with so many advocates of free and open source solution, Ben and his friends are also planning to turn engagement into action by offering to help groups that want their own RepRap get off the ground by printing off the plastic parts needed to build your own.

  • Programming


  • Science

  • Security/Aggression

  • Environment

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • DRM

      May 4 is the “Day Against DRM”. Talk with people about it. Tell them they have options. Tell retailers you do not want that stuff. DON’T BUY IT. You will be getting less than you want.

      My objections to DRM have nothing to do with respect for copyright. I believe creators of works should have some rights to how they are used. I disagree with the length of copyright terms. I see no reason why patents, rights to things tangible, are less than rights to things intangible but copyable. That is arbitrary law in my view. There is no good rationale for it. Why should not the period of copyright be the same as patents, 18 years or so? This thing about offending old people by propagating their works during their lifetime is silly. People make their choices in life for better or for worse. We should not, as a society support some people’s choices more than others. That is not fair.

  • Copyrights

    • Copyright

      So, it appears to me that cheap, legal copies made in another country covered by the Berne Convention could be imported to Canada legally. If M$ caused the copies to be made legally in a country in which Berne applies, they cannot go after an importer for violation of copyright. Similarly, if M$ make copies in a country not covered by Berne, then later importation are equivalent to copying. I am not a lawyer so do not rely on this. It is my opinion based on the plain reading of the law. Whatever the EULA says does not trump copyright law when it comes to finding infringement of copyright. M$ may have grounds to sue for breaking a contract but usually that provision just involves termination of the contract.

      Checking some prices: Malaysia “7″ Ultimate $206 and $205 in Canada

      So, concerns about M$ not making any money in far-flung reaches of Earth are over-blown.

    • World Day of Commons on October 15, 2010.

      Based on the Manifesto Reclaim the Commons crafted in Belem during the WSF 2009, we suggest to organize a World Commons Day on October 15, 2010.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – TOAT – Aerodynamic Forces (1/10/1999)


Links 2/5/2010: Screenshot Of GNU/Linux Steam Client; PlayOnLinux 3.7.5 and KDevelop 4.0 Are Out

Posted in News Roundup at 2:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • Can you think of a better way to spread the use of Linux?

      Camfed International, UK, contracted 1ViLLAGE to set up 48 seats of Ubuntu Linux desktops in four districts in the Northern Region of Ghana. They also provided user training for the project. I reproduce here some photos of the computers as posted by @opentechgirl. The question I’d like you to help me answer is, can you think of a better way to bring Linux to Africa?

  • Kernel Space

    • Huge page handling and CFS with tickless kernel highlights of RHEL 6 beta

      Last week, Red Hat released the beta version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 to the public, moving the next major release of their popular server operating system into the testing and hardening phase.

      I spoke with Tim Burke, Vice President of Linux Engineering at Red Hat, and he filled me in on some of the details. Red Hat also has posted a blog with extensive product specs for RHEL 6 on their website.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • KDevelop 4.0 Stable Released into the Wild

        The KDevelop Hackers are proud and happy to announce that KDevelop 4.0 is finally available as a stable release. Released together is the first version of KDevelop PHP plugins, which make KDevelop a very interesting option for PHP developers.

      • Plasmoids in windows

        Since forever (where we define the start of time to be when I started working on Plasma) it has been possible to run Plasmoids, or any widget that Plasma can display, in a window on its own using plasmoidviewer. It isn’t completely satisfactory for running widgets in a window, though, because at its heart plasmoidviewer is a development tool meant for testing and debugging Plasmoids.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Fedora

      • Expected features in Fedora 13 Goddard

        boot.fedoraproject.org (BFO) is one of the unique features in Fedora. This effort by Fedora community hopes to completely remove DVD installations in long term. It allows users to download a single, tiny image and install current and future versions of Fedora without having to download additional images.
        This method is similar to Pxeboot, can also be considered as a Fedora branded version ofboot.kernel.org.

    • Ubuntu

      • Much Awaited And Fully Loaded Ubuntu 10.04 LTS “Lucid Lynx” Released!
      • Ubuntu 10.04 – Perfect
      • Ubuntu 10.04 Screenshots
      • Put Windows to the Most Appropriate Use: Create a Bootable USB Stick with Ubuntu 10.04

        The following steps provide two methods of putting the fresh new release of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Lucid Lynx) on a USB stick. The first method will create a bootable USB stick with a live version and the second process will create a live version with persistence. Both methods are an excellent way to always have your favorite Ubuntu system and software with you at all times and it makes for one of the simplest ways to conduct an install to a hard drive.

      • Ubuntu Lucid Lynx 10.04 Post Installation Guide
      • (X)ubuntu 10.04

        On a final note, I will say that performance has improved drastically with the 10.04 release. Some of the issues I encountered in the previous kernel version have also been resolved. The boot time is only a fraction of what it was in 9.10, and with 10.04 being a LTS release, I am very confident that I will be more than satisfied with the *buntu family of operating systems for quite some time. The speed, security, simplicity, and stability are definitely unmatched by previous releases, and compete well with many of the other systems currently available.

      • Next Ubuntu netbook edition will have global menu

        Incidentally, the Netbook Edition of Canonical’s Ubuntu 10.04, which will be officially released tomorrow, features the “industry-leading interface for these smaller screens,” the company claims.

      • Variants

      • Mint

        • News update

          This is just a brief news update about what is going on at the moment:

          * Release date: The latest ISO is passing all my tests and I’m approving it for an RC release. It still needs to go through Exploder’s testing and it requires his approval before it can go out publicly.
          * Windows installer: Mint4Win is back and it’s fully functional. The version that comes with the CD installs what’s on the CD. We’re also considering to maintain a standalone version which would be able to download and install editions of Linux Mint as we release them.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Mobile is the New Desktop: The HP/Palm Q&A

        Q: But why now?
        A: Because for all of the penetration of the iPhone and Android class devices, this market is just getting started. Look at any hardware vendor’s roadmap and you’re likely to see not only a smartphone play, but all manner of MID/tablet/smartbook devices as well – largely ARM driven. Because that’s a compelling market. The hardware, of course, is only one part of the equation. And, arguably, not the hardest part.

      • Nokia Qt SDK beta has adorable mobile simulators

        Nokia is developing a new Qt SDK that will simplify the development of cross-platform mobile applications. A beta release, which was made available this week, includes the Qt Creator integrated development environment (IDE), comprehensive Qt reference documentation, and mobile simulators that make it possible to see how a Qt application will look and feel on MeeGo or Symbian.

      • Android

        • Mobile phone sales rise as Andoid online usage soars
        • Google reportedly preparing to intro TV software next month

          Google’s TV plans have yet to be officially confirmed, though they have been rumored for at least a month now. Consistent with the company’s strategy in other areas, Google isn’t expected to be involved in manufacturing set-top boxes; rather, the company is supposedly developing a version of Android that would be especially conducive to the big screen. Third-party developers would then be able to write their own apps for the devices, giving more openness and flexibility to people’s TV watching habits.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Proposal from OLPC Paraguay on how to manage Sugar or other educational software

        The project to deliver One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) for educational purpose in developing countries is doing great in Paraguay. According to developer Bernie Innocenti, this success comes from a way to manage the development of the Sugar educational software that other countries (or any other similar projects, see for example the Teachermate or the italian JumpPC) could and should imitate.

Free Software/Open Source

  • The Magic Black Box Paradox of Freedom

    Freedom is the ability to do what one wants. Some restrictions to freedom are understandable and necessary. No sane individual would argue for the freedom to kill, or the freedom to steal. In modern society, restriction on an individual’s freedom are most acceptable if said restrictions protect the freedom of others. The freedom to kill takes away the freedom to live from the killed. The freedom to steal takes away the rights of property from the robbed. However, an argument against hate speech, because it hurts others’ freedom to feel safe, is much more controversial. A line must be drawn somewhere that establishes the maximum possible freedom for all individuals.

  • A quick one on Being Free

    Just finished editing a dot story on Choqok (will go live sometime next week). Some of you might have noticed the initiative by its main developer Mehrdad Momeny to speed up development by soliciting monetary input. This will allow him to spend more time on making Choqok rock, but also give users a tangible way of influencing development priorities. This can increase commitment from the users, developers and the community – while bringing real benefits (in terms of code).

  • The Bizarre Cathedral – 71
  • Open-Xchange Simplifies SaaS Pricing, Targets Exchange

    Open-Xchange, the open source Microsoft Exchange competitor and collaboration platform that’s been turning heads in the hosted application market, has announced a simplified SaaS partner pricing structure that comes in two flavors: guaranteed revenue and flat rate. Here’s the scoop on what could be a sign of things to come for the cloud market and the IT channel.

    If Open-Xchange’s press release is to be believed, Open-Xchange only cares about two things from its partners: how big your customer base is, and how you plan to pay for the groupware subscriptions. They call it “OXrate” pricing, and they have five tiered partner levels from less than 1,000 to more than 250,000 customers. No matter what tier you fall on, though, they’re still offering both aforementioned pricing schemes.

  • How to help large organizations to contribute open source project ?

    During the 2010 thinktank in Napa, one of the participant asked the audience the following question “How could we help organizations to contribute to Open Source software”.

    The problem is the following : most of the large organizations rely on open source software one way or another. There is not necessarily an official policy about FLOSS usage but system engineers and IT administrators & developers tends to use and deploy Open Source software.

  • The USING Series: More than Just a Book

    I previously posted here in my blog that my eBook Using GIMP was going to be released within a few months. What I probably didn’t spell out, is that it’s part of a newly launched book series called Using under the imprint of the aforementioned QUE Publishing. But why should you care?

  • Open source communities must protect their interests

    When Oracle bought Sun the first reaction in the mySQL open source community was to fork it.

    Now PGP may need a fork following Symantec’s purchase of PGP Corp., and speculation it may favor Guardian Edge instead.

  • A Bushel of Free FOSS Tutorials

    You can’t knock a good FOSS tutorial. While documentation, including tutorials, is often a weakness with open source applications–even very established ones–the good news is that there are some outstanding free tutorials on the web. They’re available for many projects and platforms. Sometimes these are delivered by the community behind particular projects, and sometimes they are from enthusiasts and other third parties. In this post, you’ll find many of them.

  • Interview with Mercurial’s Matt Mackall

    Recently, Mercurial author Matt Mackall has decided to try to devote his full time to working on the distributed source control tool. He’s doing this by seeking funding from companies that use Mercurial or sell Mercurial-based products.


    OStatic: Do you have any plans for promoting Mercurial in addition to the development work to try to boost adoption & contributions?

    Frankly, no. I’m not much interested in evangelizing. Mercurial is successful enough that I just don’t have time for it, let alone motivation. As for contributions, there are already more than I can manage in my available time, and so a large part of this efforts is to free up more of my time for that.

  • Can’t Program, won’t Program? Then Mash the Web with Mozilla’s Ubiquity

    Mozilla’s Firefox browser has been downloaded more that one billion times and its success is reflected in the millions of downloads of one of its killer features: addons (or extensions, as we geriatrics called them).

  • Events

  • Oracle


    • The customer is (almost) always right

      We had produced a version of Unix called Ultrix for our PDP-11 line of computers, and several releases of this had already been shipped, proving itself to be a solid implementation of Unix.

      At the event we had a reception, with finger food, beer and wine and I was standing there, munching some chicken wings and drinking a beer when a customer walked up to me and said:

      “I think your Ultrix system really stinks.”

      He actually used another word than “stinks”, also beginning with an “s” and ending with a “k”, but this is a family-oriented blog and we don’t want to put anything bad here.


  • Sony to stop selling floppy disks from 2011

    Sony has signalled what could be the final end of the venerable floppy disk.

    The electronics giant has said it will stop selling the 30-year-old storage media in Japan from March 2011.

  • Kicking Outlook

    Tired of Microsoft Outlook for managing your email? Here are some alternatives.

    Mention email and most Windows users immediately think of Outlook. The Outlook email client from Microsoft has become so entrenched in the Windows desktop that most users don’t even know there are alternatives.

    We look at five alternative email clients that run on Windows, and in most cases, other operating systems such as Mac OS X and Linux.

  • Science

    • US boffin builds ultra-dense nanodot memory

      A US scientist has developed a way to store binary data on dots 6nm in size – possibly leading to a one-square-inch chip holding 2TB of data.

    • The Grandfather Paradox

      There you go, a mind-boggling speculation that explains everything oh so well. Time travel, if possible, is definitely not something to partake in lightly. At most, you may want to experiment with individual particles. Shipping off entire humans across the barriers of Time seems a little far-fetched. Then, you may also destroy the Universe by playing with matter and anti-matter, not an everyday task.

    • NASA’s Ambitious New Space Telescope Passes Critical Test

      NASA’s hotly-anticipated new space observatory has passed its most significant mission milestone yet – a critical design review that sets the stage for a planned 2014 launch.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Google personal suggest bug exposed user web history

      The company also points out that it has been much quicker to add SSL encryption to its online services than competitors – which is true. In July 2008, the company added an HTTPS-only option to Gmail, and in mid-January, hours after announcing that alleged Chinese had pilfered intellectual property from its internal systems, it turned the encryption on by default. It also offers SSL as an option on its Calendar, Docs, and Sites services.

      Yahoo Mail and Microsoft Live mail still have not offered such protection.

    • How Many More Are Innocent?

      Scalia wrote that an exoneration “demonstrates not the failure of the system but its success.” But these 250 DNA tests aren’t proof that the system is working. They’re a wake-up call telling us that it isn’t. Instead of falling back on groups like the Innocence Project to serve as unofficial checks against wrongful convictions, cops, prosecutors, judges, and lawmakers should be thinking about why there’s so much work for these organizations to do.

    • Kindly Endorse: Citizens against UID / Aadhaar

      We, representatives of people’ movements, mass organizations, institutions and concerned individuals including all the undersigned strongly oppose the potential tracking and profiling based techno-governance tools such as the Unique Identification number (UID) by the Government of India and the manner in which legitimate democratic processes have been undermined through this.

  • Environment

    • Deepwater Horizon oil spill to be set on fire to save US coast

      The US coastguard is to set fire to oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico to prevent the slick from reaching shore after last week’s explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig.

      Robot submarines have so far failed to shut off the flow more than 1,500 metres below where the Deepwater Horizon was wrecked. Eleven workers are missing, presumed dead, and the cause of the explosion 50 miles off Louisiana has not been determined.

  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs explained
    • Justice Department Investigation Into Goldman Sachs Goes Beyond SEC Cases

      But since it’s all a giant shell game anyway, and it’s likely that the other Wall Street firms are using the exact same practices, why are the stock prices dropping? It’s almost as if investors need to believe this was an aberration, and they’re clutching the idea like a security blanket. Bad Goldman Sachs!

    • What Drives Motivation in the Modern Workplace?

      PAUL SOLMAN: You’re describing a world that sounds like a marketplace, but it just doesn’t have any money in it.

      JOHN YODSNUKIS, Open-Sourcer: You know, you need adequate compensation. You have to live. You have to survive, OK? But, if you ask an artist why they became an artist, a lot of them will say, I can’t do anything else. I have to do this.

      It’s the same thing here, you know? It’s the fulfillment, the love of doing it is reason enough.

    • Open Source vs. Wall Street Bonuses
  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Fox News Calls Mr. Rogers An Evil Man

      Little did I know, Mr. Rogers was an evil man. By telling children they’re special just for being who they are, he helped create this generation of worthless, lazy socialists who think they’re entitled to health care… at least according to Fox News.

    • Climate Scientist, Heated Up Over Satirical Video, Threatens Lawsuit

      The Penn State climate professor who has silently endured investigations, hostile questioning, legislative probes and attacks by colleagues has finally spoken out. He says he’ll sue the makers of a satirical video that’s a hit on You Tube.

    • Why are Tea Party Supporters So Angry?

      Tea Party supporters repeatedly assert that they are not racists and that their strong dislike of President Obama is not racially motivated. The Tea Party is clearly not a hate group like the Ku Klux Klan or the various militia movements on the fringes that openly advocate hate, hostility or violence toward those they do not like. Their income, education and political influence place the vast majority of Tea Party supporters much closer to the establishment than to any such fringe groups. And in 21st century America you cannot be a well respected member of the establishment and openly advocate racist positions.

    • Even After Law Aimed At Banning It, RNC Still Sending Misleading ‘Census’ Mailer

      The Republican National Committee is continuing to send out a misleading fundraising mailer labeled “Census Document,” just weeks after Congress passed a law aimed at banning such mailers.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • EZTakes: 5,000+ strong DRM-free online video store
    • AT&T (And Friends) Still Hard At Work Making Up Net Neutrality Job Loss Figures

      As the FCC gets closer to crafting network neutrality rules (assuming they even have the authority to do so), AT&T lobbyists have worked overtime to push the idea that creating such rules would automatically result in job losses. To help nudge this scary meme into the press, they hired their old friend Bret Swanson, formerly employed at the Discovery Institute — a think tank that created both the “Exaflood” (debunked here countless times) and “Intelligent Design”. Back in February Swanson, like most AT&T hired policy wonks, used completely bogus “science” to insist that network neutrality rules would result in 1.5 million job losses. He came to that number simply by adding up all of the people employed by companies that submitted comments to the FCC opposing network neutrality (seriously).

  • Copyrights

    • Interview With Will Page, Music Industry Economist

      [E]conomic analysis can only tell us so much and it’s at this point when the baton must be passed on to folks from other disciplines or backgrounds who can bring new insights to the table to work out what that actually means in terms of this intriguing thing called ‘culture’ — which also means this is a good point to conclude this interview.

    • White House Releases Public Comments On IP Enforcement

      I’m not really sure how helpful those letters really were on either side, as they didn’t add too much to the conversation. The folks responding to the call from the Copyright Alliance didn’t really answer any of the questions from Espinel. They often just said “my business is in trouble, you must help me!” which isn’t very convincing. At times, they went to extreme lengths, like this guy, who tried to convince Espinel that having his photographs copied was the same thing as if he had stolen her car. Very convincing.

    • Chile Gets New Copyright Law: Some Good, Some Bad

      The “bad” is the second one. Increasing penalties makes little sense when penalties for violating copyright law are already way out of line with the “harm” done. The “neutral” one is the last one, concerning liability for service providers. Creating good safe harbors for service providers, so they’re not blamed for the actions of their users, is definitely a good thing. But the devil is very much in the details — and what the requirements are for a service provider to qualify for those safe harbors. While the report says “the ISP must meet certain requirements in order to be exempted from liability,” it does not detail what those “certain requirements” are.

    • File-Sharers Have Little But Not Zero Privacy
    • Court OKs Unmasking Identities of Copyright Scofflaws
    • Music Industry Execs Debate Brokep From The Pirate Bay

      Finally, he also knocks BPI and others in the industry for still thinking that DRM is a reasonable solution — pointing out that it’s totally anti-consumer:

      “The problem is, nobody really asked the consumer,” he says, about attempts to put DRM on CDs. “They absolutely hated it. You put the CD into the computer and it wouldn’t play… In the future, we’ve got to bring the consumers into the business model. In fact, they already are part of the business model.”

      Geoff Taylor, the head of BPI (basically the UK’s RIAA) comes off as about what you’d expect. He trashes The Pirate Bay repeatedly, claims that it’s “destroying national cultures” (with no proof, of course) and says that there needs to be “disincentives” to dealing with unauthorized file sharing.

    • RIAA Gets AFL-CIO To Support Performance Tax: Payments In Perpetuity For A Small Amount Of Work

      The RIAA has been touting this for a little while already, but the AFL-CIO has officially signed on to support the RIAA’s highly questionable performance tax. This is a bogus attempt to boost RIAA revenue by taxing radio stations for promoting their music. The RIAA has been going around claiming that radio promoting its music is a “kind of piracy”, while at the same time claiming it’s somehow illegal for radio stations not to play RIAA music. Yeah. Logic is not the RIAA’s strong suit. Even worse, of course, is that the RIAA has blatantly demonstrated that it knows there’s tremendous value in getting its music on the air. It’s been involved in payola scams for decades. To basically get the government to mandate reverse payola is the height of obnoxiousness.

    • Irish music blogs under attack over royalties

      The Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) has moved against several of the country’s MP3 blogs, demanding licences that threaten to shut down some of Ireland’s most-respected music sites. Sites including Nialler9 and the Torture Garden have been asked to pay hundreds of pounds annually to continue sharing songs – most of which are sent to them by the artists and labels themselves.

    • USTR Announces What Countries Have Been Naughty When It Comes To Intellectual Property

      The USTR has released the list again (pdf) and it’s basically the same deal as in previous years. No methodology. No real interest in hearing concerns of consumers or about the rights of individual countries to make their own laws. About the only thing that the public consultation did was allow the USTR to say in the report that it “enhanced its public engagement activities.” It notes that there were 571 comments from interested parties, which is a lot more than in the past. But there doesn’t seem to be much in the actual report that reflects the concerns raised by myself and many others.

    • Google Wins ‘Thumbnail’ Images Ruling in German Court

      Google Inc., operator of the world’s most-used Internet search engine, won dismissal of a lawsuit in Germany’s top civil court aimed at stopping the company’s use of “thumbnail” preview images.

      Google isn’t violating the copyright of an artist who had posted photographs of her works on her Web site, the Federal Court of Justice said in an e-mailed statement today.

    • Washington Post Fails To Ask NBC’s Rick Cotton Any Tough Questions

      Cotton, of course, is one of our favorite quote machines. He’s the guy who famously claimed that movie downloading was hurting corn farmers of America, because people wouldn’t buy popcorn at movies any more (a factually ridiculous statement, considering that (1) box office sales keep going up (2) corn is one of the most heavily subsidized markets and continues to grow and (3) people watching movies at home still eat popcorn). He also considered it a victory, that his efforts made it more difficult for legitimate viewers to watch the Olympics.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – WYGTYA – Bird Navigation (1/12/1998)


Links 1/5/2010: Fedora Kiosk Spin, Many New Sugar-based XOs

Posted in News Roundup at 1:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Look What Happens When There is Competition!

    # smartphones – Android growing fast, that other OS shrinking
    # web servers – Apache with GNU/Linux riding high
    # high performance computing – GNU/Linux wins easily – only 1% use that other OS
    # LAN servers – who knows? Too closely tied to that other OS on clients

  • Rate your inner Linux geek as easy as ABC …

    How geeky are you? How well do you know Linux? Give yourself a point for each command in the list over page that you know and two points if you’ve used it.

  • Linux File Security Training at the ACLU

    A couple of weeks ago you learned some user and group management basics with “User and Group Management 101.” This week you’re entering the Access Control List University (ACLU) for an overview of advanced user and group management through the use of access control lists (ACLs).

    ACLs don’t negate standard user and group management; they enhance it by expanding and simplifying complex permissions needs. User and group management, including ACLs, can fill an entire book so this introduction attempts to whet your appetite for a more in-depth investigation and isn’t meant to provide a treatise on the topic.

  • Desktop

    • GNU/Linux on Fire

      Then there’s LinuxQuestions.org that gets thousands of new members per month. Their logs show a high proportion of GNU/Linux users visiting the site:


      Operating Systems
      Windows 52.73%
      Linux 40.94%
      Macintosh 5.43%

    • Stupid Television Executives

      See what I’m getting at? What a stupid message! What a stupid policy to block Linux users! And how rude to not even tell us up front that we are being blocked! There are xx million Linux users in the United States. Nobody knows what xx is, but we’re pretty sure that the number of Linux users in the US is in the tens of millions. If you believe the hit counters that some web sites use to collect stats on visitors, perhaps 5-7% of us who cruise the web are running some flavor of Linux. The population of the United States is approximately 350 million people. Five percent of 350 million is around 17.5 million.

    • 1=30

      A typical PC running GNU/Linux uses 1% CPU load per client while pointing, clicking and gawking so 30 clients working hard might reach 30% CPU load. Shared memory in a UNIX OS means only one copy of each application need be in RAM at once.

    • Killing Bug #1

      We must be proactive and show people how their lives will be better using GNU/Linux. Today I showed a man and his niece with a non-booting PC what could be done with GNU/Linux. They are all for it if it saves them the cost of shipping their box by air yet again to the fix-it shop. The machine has been handled roughly too many times that way by its appearance. They have a nice machine but that other OS refuses to run. Chalk up another small victory for GNU/Linux.

  • Audiocasts

    • CAOS Theory Podcast 2010.04.30

      *Latest in enterprise Linux releases and developments
      *Squiz combining open source WCM roots with enterprise search
      *Open source attitudes, approaches differ by region
      *NoSQL, White House.gov demonstrate open source contribution

    • Podcast 75 David’s Biased Distro Review

      The Picture to the right is my Test Box that I recorded this Podcast on because my main box was busy working on updating itself. You will notice some popping from the microphone I was using in the picture.

  • Ballnux

    • Is the LG Ally a Smart Phone, or Something Better? [VIDEO]

      An LG Ally promo video has hit the internet and it definitely has us thinking a release is merely weeks away. Check out the clip below and you’ll hear all sorts of wonderful references to Android apps including Latitutude, OpenTable, and eBay.

  • Kernel Space

    • AMD Athlon II X3 425 On Linux

      Earlier this week AMD announced the Phenom II X6 processors that are designed to offer “unbeatable” performance thanks to its six physical processing cores while not being priced too high. However, should you not be interested in the latest high-end CPUs, there still is a plethora of lower-end AMD parts on the market. One of AMD’s low-priced offerings is the Athlon II X3 425, which is a triple-core AM3 processor that can easily overclock past 3GHz and is priced to sell at around $70 USD.

    • Graphics Stack

      • The Loser In Our Windows vs. Linux Tests: Intel Graphics

        As mentioned yesterday, seven different systems are being used for this testing to get a good idea for the true performance of the different platforms rather than being bound to one or two different sets of CPUs and GPUs. On the system we used to represent Intel graphics was an Intel Core i3 530 quad-core processor that sports Intel’s newest integrated graphics processor, which is embedded onto the CPU.

      • Some Linux Hardware Statistics From Phoronix Global

        On Phoronix Global we have more than 25,000 benchmark result submissions from independent users around the world since launching the public version of the Phoronix Test Suite back in early 2008. As I have been hinting at for several months, with the launch of Phoronix Test Suite 3.0 by the end of this year, Phoronix Global will be getting its long overdue overhaul and there are some revolutionary features being worked on as it concerns benchmarking and collaborative testing. This evening, however, there are some hardware statistics to share for the more than 25,000 existing result uploads.


        GPUs On Phoronix Global
        NVIDIA: 46.642%
        ATI: 30.023%
        Intel: 10.972%
        Matrox: 1.403%
        VIA / SiS: 0.721%
        VMware: 2.02%
        XGI: 0.539%
        Cirrus: 6.633%
        VirtualBox: 0.734%
        ASPEED: 0.282%
        Silicon Motion: 0.03%

      • Mesa Slowly Gets Better OpenGL 3 Coverage
      • More Radeon Power Management Improvements
  • Applications

  • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

    • Hello Kate, goodbye vi

      In my last article I introduced you to Gedit (see “Gedit: No more text-based editor for you!“) and, as promised, this time around we will examine the KDE equivalent…Kate. Kate is an interesting beast in that it is comprised of two parts: KatePart (which is the underlying editor that is also used in other KDE components that require an editor) and Kate (the actual text editor). Kate is a complete rewrite of the older kwrite. And, like Gedit, Kate offers a number of outstanding features. In this article I will introduce you to Kate.

    • system tray progress

      We’ve been slowly working away at getting the system tray in order. The goal is deceptively simple: allow us to host the entries there in a way that meshes with the rest of the user interface. It’s actually been fairly complex due not only to the large number of existing applications that use (or, in many cases, abuse) the system tray, but because “meshes with” mean that the presentation and the interaction choices need to be done by the system tray. In the past it’s been the application that has been in control of this, leading to utter chaos. With the new D-Bus based system, which has been picked up by some distributors for GNOME as well (in particular Canonical), we are now free to show the system tray entries they way we want to. It’s been a long road, and we’re finally coming to the last few steps in it.

    • Ubuntu: Install Amarok 1.4 in 10.04 (Lucid Lynx)

      Many people still like Amarok 1.4, in spite of the improvements in Amarok since 2.0 was released. Lucid has Amarok 2.3 in the repos, and it’s really nice, but there are still fans of Amarok 1.4 who may want to run that in Lucid.

      We’ll be using Bogdan Butnaru’s Jaunty PPA. (Thanks, Bogdan!) Yes, I said the Jaunty PPA. Bogdan didn’t put one up specifically for Karmic, because there was no change to the packages. The Jaunty packages worked just fine in Karmic, and they work just fine in Lucid, too.

  • Distributions

    • Tinycore Linux and “On Demand” Computing

      Tniycore is … tiny: it’s 10MB, which puts it right at the bottom of the “small Linux” distros. It’s also very core. There are no apps. It boots to a minimal desktop (WM, built for Tinycore) with a small dock (Wbar), and nothing else. Oh, there’s a terminal, a control panel, and an app installer (using FLTK). It feels very much more “then” than “now.” Believe me, though, it boots fast. From my SD card, the desktop is fully functional in 3 seconds — my SD card is slow.

    • New Releases

      • Grml 2010.04 Live Linux adds VNC mode and detects host RAID devices

        Version 2010.04 of Grml Live Linux distribution, codename “Grmlmonster”, has been released. Grml is aimed primarily at administrators and users of text tools, such as awk, sed, grep, zsh, mutt[ng], slrn, vim and many others. The most important new features in the Debian-based distribution are automatic boot parameter-based configuration of host RAID devices and a VNC mode which can also be selected via the boot options, thereby facilitating remote maintenance.

      • NimbleX 2010 Beta Makes the Switch to KDE4

        After a couple of years of silence, a new version of NimbleX, a light-weight, Slackware-based Linux distribution is now available. Still in testing, the NimbleX 2010 Beta has been released to all eager users. You can take it for a spin to see how it handles or to see what’s changed. The long wait may have been worth it, as NimbleX 2010 comes with a lot of changes and updates, completely overhauling the previous version.

    • Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva Linux 2010 Spring Beta2 is available for tests

        We are now very near from final release. Here comes the second beta release for 2010 Spring version of Mandriva Linux. As usual you will be able to test it as it’s available on your favorite public mirror:

        * 32 and 64 bits DVD isos and mini dual iso (both 32 and 64 bits) for Free release (100% Open Source software)
        * live CDs One isos for KDE and GNOME environments (One isos will be available on monday)

    • Red Hat Family

      • The future of Linux in the data center: More than just Red Hat?

        For years, Red Hat has been the leader in the enterprise Linux market. And as of today, it still is — but the market has changed. Up to about three years ago, Red Hat was the only Linux player on the enterprise market; currently there are at least three other companies you can consider for getting enterprise Linux:

        * SUSE Linux Enterprise, currently owned by Novell
        * Ubuntu LTS, supported by Canonical
        * Oracle Unbreakable Linux, offered by Oracle

      • NTT Communications Powers Cloud Service with Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced another endorsement of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization as a foundational technology for clouds. NTT Communications (NTT Com) in Japan has built its new cloud computing and hosting service offering, BizHosting Basic, on Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization and has become a Red Hat Premier Certified Cloud Provider. In addition, Red Hat Enterprise Linux will be offered as a guest operating system for the new NTT Com service.

      • Red Hat and Jaspersoft Extend the Reach of Open Source for Fat Spaniel Technologies

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that its Red Hat Enterprise Linux and JBoss Enterprise Middleware technologies, combined with the Jaspersoft Business Intelligence Suite, are working with Fat Spaniel Technologies in an effort to quickly introduce new functionality to market, scale with business growth and enable the measurement and reporting of the return on investment (ROI) of renewable energy.

      • Fedora

        • Introducing the Fedora Kiosk Spin

          I have just published a Fedora Kiosk Live Image.


          This image is still under development (as is F13).

    • Ubuntu

      • [ubuntu] Lucid Lynx 10.04 LTS
      • Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx review
      • Ubuntu 10.04: Upgrade or Clean Install?
      • The Best Improvements in Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

        Ubuntu 10.04 is out today, and there are quite a few improvements in “Lucid Lynx,” a long-term support release. What’s worth checking out, beyond the geeky guts? A pretty nifty social manager, a great music store, faster boot-ups, and more.

      • Lucid Lynx on Prowl for Users of a Different Stripe

        Perhaps most notably, this Ubuntu release targets the demographic that software partners most want to reach — those monetizing the Web through use of social media. Among the many third-party software makers that already have developed tools or support for the release are Web-based video content aggregator Boxee and, of course, Mozilla’s Firefox. Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO) already has a toolbar ready for the platform, according to Canonical.

      • Ubuntu 10.04 Upgrade Results in Upside Down Fonts
      • Ubuntu Lucid Lynx great as ever, no game changer
      • Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx
      • Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx: Final Review
      • System76 Ships Ubuntu 10.04 Systems May 3

        Richell also shared some grander revenue trends and business moves at System76. I’m still sorting through the information and plan to post a follow-up blog.

        No doubt, some of Richell’s perspectives mirror those of ZaReason, another Ubuntu-centric PC provider that has launched Ubuntu 10.04 systems in recent days.

        Separately, I need to check in with Dell to see if/when the PC giant plans to preload Ubuntu on netbooks. The fastest way to track Dell’s Ubuntu PC efforts in the U.S. is to visit http://www.dell.com/ubuntu — though in recent months Dell seems to have dramatically cut back on the number of Ubuntu-centric systems it offers.

      • Ubuntu Tweak 0.5.4 is released ! Now support LinuxMint9

        Ubuntu Tweak 0.5.4 is released, the new release comes with some nice features and many other improvements, the big news is that Ubuntu Tweak now added support to the Ubuntu based system : LinuxMint 9, for the other new features of this release we find : Singleton support for Ubuntu Tweak, you will never launch two Ubuntu Tweak instances, the Ubuntu Tweak Stable source will be enabled by default, so that you won’t miss the major release version.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia

        • The new kid on the Mobile OS block – MeeGo

          The mobile market is growing tremendously and everyone wants to get a share of the pie of this growing market. Everyone pertains to the mobile players, and this includes the mobile handset manufacturers, telecommunication companies, mobile application developers, and the software industry in general – particularly the mobile operating system (OS) developers.

      • Android

        • Google’s TV App Platform May Be Announced Next Month

          Little is known about the platform so far; a report last month said Google had the ultimate goal of making it as “easy for TV users to navigate web applications … as it is to change the channel,” while an earlier report said that Google wanted to make it easy for people to search both TV content and web videos.

    • Sub-notebooks/ARM

      • Transflective screens finally shipping, Pixel Qi claims

        Pixel Qi (pronounced “Pixel Chee”), which describes itself as a “fabless developer of a new class of screens,” is a spinoff from OLPC (One Laptop Per Child), where the former’s founder Mary Lou Jepsen is said to have invented the XO-1 laptop’s sunlight-readable display technology. Pictured below, the technology allows a portable computer’s screen to be switched from a standard, backlit color mode to a reflective monochrome mode, saving power and allowing the device to be used even in direct, strong sunlight.

      • UN to buy 500,000 OLPC laptops for Palestinian children

        The computers run the open-source Sugar software suite, marking a return to OLPC’s roots after a flirtation with running Windows XP on its emblematic green-and-white XO laptops.

        Sugar is now developed by a separate organization, Sugar Labs, which also offers versions of its Activities software for Windows, or on a bootable USB stick running on top of a Linux kernel.

      • “Sources believe”

        I always wonder about unnamed sources. It is very easy for Wintel or Wintel’s partners to put out false news. Alarm bells go off in my head when the sources suggest the good old days will return soon. You cannot put the genie of the netbook back in the bottle. Acer has the inside track distributing such gadgets to ISPs, banks, etc. The developing markets can absorb billions of these things running ARM and GNU/Linux, just not x86 and that other OS…

        In physics, this is described as a “population inversion”. A higher energy level of atoms tends to drop to a lower energy level as conditions permit. That is the principle used by many lasers. One atom decaying triggers the others.

      • ARM takes on the server big boys

        DESIGNER OF CHIPS ARM claims that servers using its multi-core chips will go up against Intel within the next 12 months.

        Talking to EE Times, Warren East, ARM Holdings’ CEO, said that while its chips have traditionally been used in “relatively low performance” roles the firm’s architecture can “support server application as it is”. East said that the company is cranking out multi-core chip designs running at “up to 2GHz”.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Count on me

    A vendor provides the support that can’t be found in the open source community.

  • Strategy’s Golden Rule

    Incumbents tried for decades to lock down content in walled gardens — but none tried to open it, unlock it, and free it.

  • Open vs. Closed: Jimmy Wales on Being Open

    Wales: One of the key pieces there for me is that there are some business models around Linux, but those business models — like Red Hat — have tended to focus on the server market, where certainly in the web-surfing world, the LAMP stack [Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP] is dominant. And it is dominant in that area in part because there emerged business models that made it possible for people to do things in a sustainable way, whereas Linux on the desktop so far hasn’t really generated a business model. If you think about Android, it can be open source, or very nearly open source, and that doesn’t hurt its chances of succeeding simply because Google has a business model around it that has nothing to do with selling the software. They can fund it, they can support it, and it makes business sense for them to do so, in a way that it has never made a lot of business sense for anybody to really spend the money to get Linux on the desktop to that kind of polished state.

  • A Refresher Course on Alfresco

    The update was mainly confirming the continuing progress of Alfresco. According to the company, there have been more than 2 million downloads of the code, and Alfresco now has more than 1,100 customers, 150,000 community members, 74,000 live sites and over a million active users. It’s also been adding more big name companies to its portfolio.

  • What Happened To Obama’s Open Source Adviser?

    “Back in January of 2009, various news articles announced that former Sun CEO Scott McNealy was to become the Obama administration’s Open Source Technology adviser. Currently, however, a search for Scott on the whitehouse.gov website yields zero results. Searching a bit more, I found that Scott is currently working on CurriWiki, a kind of Wikipedia for school curriculum. So my question is, what happened? Did some lobbyist block the appointment? Did Scott decide his other activities were more important? Scott, if you are out there — please tell us what happened. There are many people working in government IT, such as myself, who were really excited about the possibilities of an expanded role for open source software in government, and are now wondering what went wrong.”

  • Picking the right open source projects

    That’s not as easy as it sounds: Open source support provider OpenLogic reports more than 330,000 open source software packages for enterprises to choose from.

  • Measuring your Company’s Open Source Maturity: A Quiz

    The “Embrace” Stage

    In this phase companies begin to fully understand the benefits that open source brings and start to proactively consider open source technology and its benefits.

    * Our company understands what open source we use and where it is deployed.
    * Management has realized that open source can save us money on software costs, enabling us to get more done with the same budget.

  • Join your jeesh for zero-g battles in Leges Motus

    Isaac Newton, in his Principia, outlined his famous laws of motion, or in Latin “leges motus.” As you know, Newton was an avid computer gamer, so it’s fitting that a SourceForge project has adopted Leges Motus as the name for its 2-D multiplayer shooter. In this game, players attempt to travel across a zero-gravity arena while freezing the opposing team’s members in order to bring down the opponents’ gate. Game play combines fast-paced action with team tactics, yet the basics are simple enough that beginners can jump into it immediately. Its developers says it’s the only open source game that combines 2-D graphics, top-down shooter gameplay, and a zero-gravity environment.


    With a small development team, Partlan says it’s easy to coordinate work on the code by talking on IRC or in person, “but we would like to expand our team to speed up the process of development. We’re looking to make some really cool features happen in the future. We want to create more interesting weapons, such as a burst-fire machine gun that takes some time to charge up, and a melee weapon that fires a pulse of energy in a small radius around you. We also would like to create an AI client, so more players can try the game out without needing to wait for opponents. We’ll also be adding a keyboard mapping menu, among other things.

  • Firefox gets a sexy new add-ons manager

    Mozilla continues to plug away at Firefox.next, and one area they’ve been working at is the add-on system. Jetpack and Personas have already seen improvements, browser shutdown time has been reduced to almost nothing, and now there’s been a major update to the Firefox Add-on Manager.

  • Rename Maria

    To prevent confusion, it seemed like a wise choice to get the storage engine, Maria, renamed. MariaDB is already making a name for itself, and the trademarks are owned in numerous regions. Monty has no more children (he suggests Lucy, the name of his dog!), so we decided that the next best thing is to rely on the community for renaming the Maria Storage Engine.


    Monty initially only planned to work on a next generation MyISAM called Maria, that would be crash safe, and eventually support transactions. Little did he know that in due time, he would not only be working on just another storage engine, but a complete branch of the MySQL database. Not coming up with a name almost immediately, he decided to call it MariaDB, named after his daughter, Maria.

  • How transparent is the White House?

    Cole concluded his keynote with a simple challenge: What changes do you want to see in government? In other words, I think it’s awesome that the Obama administration has an open source mentality that is driving change in Washington. But what good is making government more open and transparent if the citizens choose not to participate and hold governments accountable for their actions?

  • GNOBSD – A beginning

    I first heard about GNOBSD, a new fledgling, little known operating system, while reading a rather tragic story aptly named GNOBSD – killed by GUI-is-for-wimps hacker culture over at DistroWatch.com. Hacker culture, that sounds almost like haute couture. To cut the long story short, it turns out GNOBSD was about to bring a big change into the murky waters of UNIX and then, it hit the spiky wall of resistance and resentment of hardcore BSD fans. The developer was so dismayed that he removed the ISO file from his website, but then, after much popular demand, put it back. It’s alive and kicking now.


    GNOBSD is not a complete system yet. But it’s a beginning, a great beginning. Alongside its already graphical brethren from the UNIX world, PC-BSD and Open Solaris, GNOBSD could bring a breath of change into computing market. It will sure not shatter the foundations of Redmond and Cupertino just yet or dislodge the highly popular Linux distributions from their throne, but it does not have to be about total annihilation. This could be a benevolent, smart effort to allow UNIX fans a real competitive edge in the fluid, modern, gadget-oriented market. It’s never been about technology, but integration into the human society.

    I love the concept and I hope it will flourish into a fully usable system that desktop users can enjoy as a viable alternative to other available operating system, with the comfort of security and stability of BSD.

  • Compilers

    • GCC 4.4.4 Is Being Uploaded For Release

      This month marked the release of GCC 4.5.0 and LLVM 2.7 with updates to the Clang compiler too, but the month is not over in the free software compiler world. Jakub Jelinek of Red Hat is uploading the GCC 4.4.4 packages right now for its release.

    • LLVMpipe’s Geometry Processing Pipeline Kicks
    • LLVM 2.7 Makes Its Debut With Many Features

      Last week we compared LLVM and Clang against GCC following the release of GCC 4.5 and found the newer compiler infrastructure that’s sponsored by Apple to not perform as well as the GNU Compiler Collection in a number of areas at this time, but today LLVM 2.7 is out. Version 2.7 of the Low-Level Virtual Machine brings forward many improvements to both core LLVM itself and the Clang compiler front-end.

  • Licensing

    • Managing Open Source Risk and Keeping It Legal

      From potential issues with licenses to evaluating the future development of a particular project, there are risks to consider before adopting open source software. As open source grows, so do the legal wrangles surrounding projects, licenses, and more.

  • Openness

    • What would it take to map an entire country?

      “What would it take to map an entire country?”

      With the growing visibility of Map Kibera, that question is coming more frequently, especially in Africa, where both OpenStreetMap and traditional mapping are widely absent. This is a massive question, which is going to depend very much on circumstances of that country, and on who is asking that question; and in the end may be better answered by a different question. In response to a couple queries, from Liberia and Malawi, I decided to write up a few blog posts to start off those conversations, and serve as reference for any of the other 200+ countries on this planet. To start, going look at a few examples to serve as models for answering the question.

    • BusinessWeek turns an eye to open source beyond technology

      So a few weeks back, I was excited to see that BusinessWeek (now Bloomberg BusinessWeek) ran a special report called Eye on: Open Source that also embraced the wider usage of open source principles in technology and beyond.

  • Open Access/Content

    • Mendeley Throws Open the Doors to Academic Data

      London-based Mendeley is offering an open API and making a vast catalog of academic publications searchable, which, well, might make the cut.

    • Open Government Data in Austria

      Open government data initiatives around the world are a big chance to make a change and present success stories and incentives to the public and policy makers. Of course, it will be a question of which data sets to open and what the consequences are. In a workshop with Rufus Pollock we could see that there are big differences between Austrian and Anglo-American and Scandinavian mentality: before we do something, we think out all possible (bad) consequences. Which is good, but firstly, this might take a while, secondly, we might think of more problems than there will actually turn out, and thirdly, sometimes the overall social benefit will just exceed costs.

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • The Naming of Standards

      Some wanted it to be called “OfficeDocument”, emphasizing its primary scope of use. Others wanted to call it “OpenDocument”, making its openness (a new thing in the office-document world at that time) more central, and acknowledging that its applicability was for more than just office editors.

    • Getting to know Ars Aperta’s business

      I usually don’t write about this topic often, but I thought it would be interesting -and perhaps enlightening- to explain a bit more what my company, Ars Aperta provides as a business. I think it’s the right time today, as we have almost finished our upgrade to Ikaaro’s new release. Ikaaro is developed by a french company called Itaapy, and you should watch these guys: Ikaaro is now able to produce content from and to ODF while using ODF document templates at the same time. You can try their demo online and see for yourself. But I digress, back to Ars Aperta.

      We took the opportunity of this upgrade to clarify and revise the content on our website, and I think that what we offer as a team of consultants is now much clearer. Basically, we have three lines of business. The first, and the most generic one, is our consulting services. Ars Aperta provides client assistance and strategic consulting services (sometimes dubbed as “management consulting”) in the fields of information technologies, with a focus on Free & Open Source Software and Open Standards. Our existing customers have also worked with us on non specific Free and Open Source Software consulting project, so I guess one could say we tend to have a broader scope than our original focus.


  • Before The Paywall, Murdoch Stops Disclosing UK News Site Traffic

    With nearly a month to go before News International raises its first paywall in June, both Times Online and Sun Online have stopped publishing their user numbers through the ABC in the UK.

  • Science

    • Designing greenhouses for the Red Planet

      The creation of a human outpost on Mars is still some way off, but that hasn’t stopped us planning the garden. At Kennedy Space Center on April 15, President Barack Obama announced the intention to send humans to Mars by the mid-2030s. If all goes to plan, NASA will kick off an era of space exploration not seen since the Apollo moon programme in the 1960s.

    • Japanese Researchers Invent Elastic Water

      The material shown in the picture above is just ice, right? Look again. Elastic water, a new substance invented by researchers at Tokyo University, is a jelly-like substance made up of 95% water along with two grams of clay and a small amount of organic materials. As is, the all-natural substance is perfect for medical procedures, because it’s made of water, poses no harm to people and is perfect for mending tissue. And, if the research team can increase the density of this exciting new substance, it could be used in place of our current oil based plastics for a host of other things.

    • What can you learn from a whole genome sequence?

      The paper is based on the genome of Stephen Quake (right), which was sequenced using the single-molecule platform developed by Helicos (I wrote about Quake’s genome publication at the time). This is a rather curious choice: of all of the genome sequences currently available for analysis, Quake’s is one of the least complete and accurate due to the very short reads and high error rates of the Heliscope. It’s also interesting to note that at least one of the other authors on the paper – George Church – has a substantially better-quality sequence of his own genome (generated by Complete Genomics) in the public domain.

    • Zoologger: The most bizarre life story on Earth?

      There’s no question that discovering a new species is very cool. But how about discovering a new phylum?

  • Security/Aggression

  • Environment

    • Can the Sahara Light Up Europe with Solar Power?: Recent Developments in CSP

      Dubbed the Desertec Industrial Initiative, it will create vast fields of concentrated solar power (CSP) plants – arrays of mirrors which focus the sun’s energy to turn water into steam, and so drive electrical turbines. From there, the power will flow through a network of low loss transmission cables to pipe electricity into the existing European grid, via Spain.

  • Finance

    • Greece activates €45bn EU/IMF loans

      Prime minister George Papandreou says it is a ‘national and pressing necessity’ to call for financial rescue after Greece’s austerity measures failed to convince the markets

    • Break Goldman Sachs’ Republican filibuster

      Goldman Sachs and Wall Street banks are demanding Republicans filibuster Wall Street reform. As a result, every single Republican senator opposes pending legislation to rein in a U.S. financial sector run amok. Every single one. It’s shameful but true.

    • Legislating a Conscience on Wall Street

      Is there any way to change this now, so that the banks that remain the lifeblood of the U.S. economy are forced to think outside their walls? Yes, but only Washington can do it (as risky a proposition as that is too). It’s clear none of these big banks is going to able to grow a conscience on its own, not with the way the Street is structured today. That is why, along with new rules on capital and leverage and systemic risk, the forthcoming financial reform legislation—currently being held up by a Republican filibuster—should also include tough new rules on disclosure, transparency, and corporate responsibility.

    • The Feds vs. Goldman

      The Goldman case emerges as a symbol of all this brokenness, of a climate in which all financial actors are now supposed to expect to be burned and cheated, even by their own bankers, as a matter of course. (As part of its defense, Goldman pointed out that IKB is a “sophisticated CDO market participant” – translation: too fucking bad for them if they trusted us.) It would be nice to think that the SEC suit is aimed at this twisted worldview as much as at the actual offense. Some observers believe the case against Goldman was timed to pressure Wall Street into acquiescing to Sen. Chris Dodd’s loophole-ridden financial-reform bill, which probably won’t do much to prevent cases like the Abacus fiasco. Or maybe it’s just pure politics – Democrats dropping the proverbial horse’s head in Goldman’s bed to get their fig-leaf financial-reform effort passed in time for the midterm elections.

    • Workers march on Wall Street, protest big banks

      Thousands of workers and union leaders marched on Wall Street on Thursday to express their anger over lost jobs, the taxpayer-funded bailout of financial institutions and questionable lending practices by big banks.

      The rally was organized by the AFL-CIO and an association of community groups. It included a diverse mixture of union workers, activists, the unemployed, and homeowners threatened by foreclosure.

    • Where All That Money Went

      “We’ve lost almost $11 trillion of household wealth in the last 17 or 18 months,” lamented Senator Christopher J. Dodd, the Connecticut Democrat, on last Sunday’s “Meet the Press,” as he urged Congress to proceed with speedy deliberations on a finance reform bill.

    • Let’s keep banks from growing too big to regulate

      The Wall Street reform bill that is before the Senate, now that Republicans have ended their filibuster, will make important changes to our laws to provide for the orderly liquidation of these trillion-dollar banks if necessary. Those changes are important but not sufficient.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Swiftboating Financial Reform

      Republicans are blocking a Senate vote on the Dodd bill, seeking to build public support by misleading the public. They’re claiming to want a stronger bill when in fact they’re doing the Street’s bidding by seeking a weaker one.

      Evidence of their tactics comes in the form of a shady anti-financial reform group called “Stop Too Big To Fail” which today announced a new TV advertising push in three key states. The ad features an out-of-context quote from me to bolster its case to kill financial reform.

    • Washington Post Teams with Coal Industry Front Group

      The Washington Post introduced a new web page about politics called PostPolitics.com, and the site’s exclusive sponsor is the coal industry’s shady front group, the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE). ACCCE is the group whose lobbying firm, Bonner and Associates, was caught forging letters to Representative Tom Periello (D-Virginia) in July, 2009, which urged Rep. Periello to oppose the Waxman-Markey Climate bill. The letters were supposedly from groups like the NAACP or Creciendo Juntas — on what appeared to be their stationery. ACCCE admitted that Bonner had been working on its behalf as a contractor to another PR firm, The Hawthorn Group.

    • A Firing Squad Execution, and Utah Worries About Tourism?

      Maybe the Salt Lake Tribune and the people of Utah are missing the point. Currently, 49 states ban execution via firing squad, including Utah. However, Utah passed the ban against firing squads in 2004, and Gardner is one of about 10 individuals who were sentenced to death prior to the ban, so he has the option of selecting the firing squad method. Oklahoma is the only state in the U.S. that still allows execution by firing squad. While the death penalty thrives in many U.S .states, especially Texas, all western European countries and Canada are death penalty-free.

    • Send out the Clown

      Corporate Accountability International (CAI), a group that works to end irresponsible corporate behavior, is pressuring the McDonalds fast food chain to retire their promotional clown, Ronald McDonald, saying the clown is a threat to public health.

    • Statement by the President on the DISCLOSE Act

      “I welcome the introduction of this strong bi-partisan legislation to control the flood of special interest money into America’s elections. Powerful special interests and their lobbyists should not be able to drown out the voices of the American people. Yet they work ceaselessly toward that goal: they claim the protection of the Constitution in extending this power, and they exploit every loophole in the law to escape limits on their activities. The legislation introduced today would establish the toughest-ever disclosure requirements for election-related spending by big oil corporations, Wall Street and other special interests, so the American people can follow the money and see clearly which special interests are funding political campaign activity and trying to buy representation in our government. I have long believed that sunlight is the best disinfectant, and this legislation will shine an unprecedented light on corporate spending in political campaigns. This bill will also prohibit foreign entities from manipulating the outcomes of American elections and help close other special interest loopholes. I hope that Congress will give this legislation the swift consideration it deserves, which is especially urgent now in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. Passing the legislation is a critical step in restoring our government to its rightful owners: the American people.”

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Rudd retreats on web filter legislation

      KEVIN Rudd has put another election promise on the backburner with his controversial internet filtering legislation set to be shelved until after the next election.

      A spokeswoman for Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said yesterday the legislation would not be introduced next month’s or the June sittings of parliament.

    • Govt ‘committed to internet filter’

      The federal government has rejected claims it has abandoned plans to introduce mandatory internet filtering before the next election.

    • Palin e-mail snoop found guilty on two charges

      A federal jury in Knoxville today has convicted David Kernell, 22, of two charges in connection with the 2008 episode where he accessed the personal Yahoo e-mail account of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and then initiated a worldwide rummaging of its contents.

    • Sometimes, we win.

      Judge James Adair, who presided over the case and who would be granting the sentence, is sort of like your favourite teacher. He hated school, fell in love with the girl across the street, tried to be a prosecutor but didn’t much care for it, and now drives a little red Corvette around his tiny town, dodging questions at lunch counters from the very people whose lives he holds in his hands. He told us these things before he pronounced sentence, claiming that he couldn’t do his job without looking Peter in the eye one more time. He spoke very frankly, saying that he found Peter “puzzling,” and that he constantly had to ask himself, “Who is Peter Watts?”

      At this point, I had to stifle a very Hermione Granger-ish urge to raise my hand and say, “I know! I know! Pick me! I know who Peter Watts is!” As I wrote at my own blog, Peter is “the person who dropped everything when I fainted at a blood donation clinic. The person who rescues cats. The person who fixed the strap of my dress with a safety pin and his teeth. The person who stands up for me in critiques even when he thinks I’ve fucked up the ending (because I always do), who talked me through the ideas of my novel. The person who gives the best hugs.”


      Peter stumbled down the aisle toward us, blinking. “He did say no jail time, right?”

      We all said it at once: “Yes.”

    • Petitioners conned voters into switching to the GOP

      Petitioners prowling parking lots and community college campuses tricked dozens of young Orange County voters into registering to vote as Republicans, an Orange County Register investigation has found.

    • My Defamation 2.0 Experience

      My name is Erik Moeller. I’ve been a Wikipedia volunteer editor and software developer since 2001. In 2006, I was elected by its volunteer community to the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organization which operates it; in 2007, I was reelected, and in 2008, I relocated from Berlin, Germany to San Francisco to join the Wikimedia Foundation staff as Deputy Director.

      In May 2008, an anonymous defamer circulated a smear letter about me to various blogs, which resulted in a series of posts written by Owen Thomas for Gawker Media that defamed me as a “defender of pedophilia”. These posts did not attract much attention until April 2010, when Larry Sanger re-circulated reference to them as part of a false accusation that Wikimedia knowingly distributed illegal child pornography. This in turn resulted in a Fox News story, “Wikipedia Distributing Child Porn, Co-Founder Tells FBI”, which is prompting me to write this response. I am also now represented by a lawyer, and intend to take legal action.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • RLSLOG Pulled Offline After Universal Music Complaint

      RLSLOG, one of the world’s most popular release news sites, has been pulled offline by its German hosting company following a takedown request from Universal Music. The site, which has never hosted any copyrighted material on its servers, is currently looking for a new home outside Germany.

    • Copyrights

      • USTR’s Bully Report Unfairly Blames Canada Again

        The U.S. government has released its annual Special 301 report in which it purports to identify those countries with inadequate intellectual property laws. Given the recent history and the way in which the list is developed, it will come as no surprise that the U.S. is again implausibly claiming that Canada is among the worst of the worst. As a starting point, it should be noted that the Canadian government does not take this exercise particularly seriously. As an official with the Department of Foreign Affairs once told a House of Commons committee:

        In regard to the watch list, Canada does not recognize the 301 watch list process. It basically lacks reliable and objective analysis. It’s driven entirely by U.S. industry. We have repeatedly raised this issue of the lack of objective analysis in the 301 watch list process with our U.S. counterparts.

        This year’s report is particularly embarrassing for the U.S. since it not only lacks in credible data, but ignores the submission from CCIA (which represents some of the world’s largest technology and Internet companies including Microsoft, Google, T-Mobile, Fujitsu, AMD, eBay, Intuit, Oracle, and Yahoo) that argued that it is completely inappropriate to place Canada on the list. The technology giants reminded the USTR that “Canada’s current copyright law and practice clearly satisfy the statutory ‘adequate and effective’ standard. Indeed, in a number respects, Canada’s laws are more protective of creators than those of the United States.”

      • US Says 4.3 Billion People Live With Bad IP Laws
      • Pirate Bay Rallies Against UK Anti-Piracy Act

        The Pirate Bay is encouraging its users to oppose the Digital Economy Act that was recently forced through by the UK Government. The legislation “threatens the privacy and human rights of all web users,” they argue, but it’s not too late to turn things around for the better.

      • CMAP #8: Lifestyle or Job?

        Misconceptions abound, and not only about the publishing industry. In this posting, I’m going to talk a little bit about what it is to be a commercial fiction author.

        Most people have a very romanticized view of what it is that authors do. Firstly, there’s a widespread perception that the workload involved is relatively easy — in modern western nations, the level of functional literacy is high enough that a majority of the population can read a book, and write (at least to the extent of thumbing a 160-character text message on their phone). Because there is no obvious barrier to entry as with music (where proficiency with musical instruments clearly takes practice), most people assume that writing a novel is like writing a text message — you put one word in front of another until you’re done. The skills of fiction composition are largely invisible, until you try to actually do it. Secondly, many people harbour peculiar ideas about how much money there is in commercial publishing — and when disabused of the idea that selling a first novel is a road to riches, they assume it’s because the evil publishers are conspiring to keep all the money to themselves (rather than the unpalatable truth — publishing commercial fiction is hard work for little reward). Finally, there’s the Lifestyle chimera.

      • How Hollywood Hides The Horrors Of War

        For all its mystifications, Avatar clearly sides with those who oppose the global Military-Industrial Complex, portraying the superpower army as a force of brutal destruction serving big corporate interests. The Hurt Locker, on the other hand, presents the U.S. Army in a way that is much more finely attuned to its own public image in our time of humanitarian interventions and militaristic pacifism.

        The film largely ignores the big debate about the U.S. military intervention in Iraq, and instead focuses on the daily ordeals of ordinary soldiers who are forced to deal with danger and destruction. In pseudo-documentary style, it tells the story—or rather, presents a series of vignettes—of an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) squad and their potentially deadly work of disarming planted bombs.

    • Digital Economy Bill

      • Musicians coining it in Sunday Times Rich List

        88 individuals from the music and entertainment industries appear in the 2010 Sunday Times Rich List. An elite half dozen or so are richer than the Queen. Is this who the Digital Economy bill is designed to protect?

      • A Third of London UK Households Open to Wi-Fi Attacks

        If a cybercriminal gains access to someone’s home WiFi, either due to the network being unsecure or a network password being cracked, then email accounts, social networking sites and even online banking can be broken in to.

        Also with access to someone’s home WiFi, a cybercriminal can use the internet connection however they choose. The home owner may be completely unaware as the hacker browses obscene websites or illegally downloads copyrighted music, films or TV shows from their home network.

      • When We Can Copy *Analogue* Artefacts…

        The recent battle over the Digital Economy Bill has focussed renewed attention on the area of copying digital artefacts – music and films, for example. It’s a subject I’ve started writing and speaking about more and more; for example, here are some thoughts on why free software’s success is crucially important in this area.

        But I have confession to make: that article is a bit of a cop-out. I didn’t address the even bigger issue of what happens when we can copy *analogue* artefacts. Yup, you read that aright: the time is fast approaching when we will be able to download a chair or a bicycle and just print it out. Clearly, this will make the idea of *analogue* scarcity rather more complex (although energy concerns will always place a lower bound on the cost of making such copies).

Clip of the Day

What’s under the hat? A sneak peek at Fedora 13 by Jesse Keating

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