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09.05.10

Links 5/9/2010: KDE SC 4.5 Coverage, Systemd in Fedora 14, Debian 7.0 Named

Posted in News Roundup at 5:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • GNU/Linux powers state-of-the-art hearing aid research

    The next generation of digital hearing aids is being developed and tested on real-time GNU/Linux systems from 64 Studio Ltd, using dedicated multi-channel audio interfaces and standard Lenovo notebooks.

  • Desktop

    • Web Stats from Wikipedia

      rom billions of hits, 1.88% are from GNU/Linux. I think this lays to rest any idea that GNU/Linux on desktops is less than 1% share of OS. Further, Wikipedia is mostly in English so this sample represents mostly the English-speaking world, UK, Australia, Canada, USA, and segments of other countries where English is a language of tech/science/business.

  • Server

    • Maturing as a Linux Systems Administrator

      Finally, one of the greatest signs of a mature systems administrator, no matter what platform he specializes in, is patience. Admittedly, this is an area I’m still working on, and probably will be for the rest of my life. It takes patience to write good documentation, it takes patience to throughly test a system before it’s put into production, it takes patience to ensure systems are patched on time, and that the patches are tested before they are put into production. It takes patience to know that the cool new thing might not be whats best for your environment. It takes patience to recognize that voice in the back of your head that says something that you are looking at is not quite right. And, it takes patience to smile and nod to vendors who speak condescendingly about your profession.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Open-Source GPU Drivers Causing Headaches In KDE 4.5

        Martin Gräßlin, the KDE developer known for working on KWin and working on advanced features like OpenGL 3.x compositing in KDE 4.7, has written a new blog post in which he details some of the driver issues currently being experienced by some users of the recently released KDE 4.5 desktop.

        With the KWin desktop effects in KDE SC 4.5 they are beginning to use the GL Shading Language. Initially this GLSL usage is limited to KWin’s blur effect and lanczos filter, but stressing the GLSL code paths is exposing some Linux graphics card driver bugs, primarily with the open-source hardware drivers.

      • KDE SC 4.5 – Desktop Activities Exposed

        Whilst I now understand how these features work and might be used, I still don’t understand how this might improve my workflow. It may be that because I’ve never been a big fan of desktop widgets – despite the fact that I developed one of the most popular superkaramba themes ever – liquidweather ;-) I understand that, in addition to being able to put different wallpapers and plasmoids on different activities, you can specify the activity on which each application opens. This could be a useful way to organise yourself, but it has always been possible to specify which virtual desktop a particular application opens on. Activities to me seem to be simply an extension of the virtual desktop metaphor.

      • Driver dilemma in KDE workspaces 4.5

        KDE is currently blamed for errors in external components: the graphic drivers. I am lately reading quite some crap (e.g. on it news today) that we KWin devs knew about problems in the drivers and shipped 4.5 nevertheless with changes enabled which trigger the driver bugs. That is of course not true.

    • GTK/GNOME Desktop

      • GTK Impression – Scrollbars

        The Impression themes sought the middle ground by creating a stepper “prelight” event. As demonstrated in the two screen shots above, the steppers are hidden unless the mouse hovers above the area before or after the trough. A very muted stepper is shown when the bar has landed at the beginning or end of the trough to provide visual feed back to this event.

  • Distributions

    • Are You Intimidated By Breakfast Cereal?

      An article by Graham Morrison for Tech Radar UK this past week struck a bit of a raw nerve for me. It was one of a type we see periodically in the tech press and the title pretty much tells the story: 
      The trouble with Linux: there’s too much choice. To Mr. Morrison and all the others who have written articles like this one I say: Hogwash!

      I pose the following questions to Mr. Morrison and to all the others who share his views. Are you intimidated by the breakfast cereal isle in his supermarket? After all, there are so many choices. Isn’t it confusing? Should we all just eat corn flakes? Would you like to go back to the days when Henry Ford famously said, “Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black”? After all, wouldn’t buying a car be easier if there were fewer makes, models and colors available? How about clothing? Wouldn’t life be simpler if we all had to wear the same uniform?

    • WTF is Unity Linux? A self faq-interview thing

      So it occurs to me that I’ve never really sat down and talked about Unity Linux. I’ve engaged in bunches of discussions and have even popped in on some early forum posts when Unity Linux was just conceived, so that I could correct things. But I haven’t really participated in any of that (even before my recent break).

      Part of the reasoning was that I was expecting a manifesto or at least a good official description to be crafted which goes over anything I would want to say. The rest of the reasoning was that I figured the magazine would sprout up and I’d be able to do interviews or articles within it which would clarify anything not covered by the official stuff.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • September 2010 Issue of The PCLinuxOS Magazine

        In the September 2010 issue:

        LXDE: An Overview
        LXDE: The Control Center
        LXDE: Autostart Apps With .desktop Files
        Installing PCLinuxOS-LXDE On An IBM Thinkpad 600e
        Does Linux Market Share Matter? What Matters?
        OpenOffice 3.2, Part 4: Impress
        Command Line Interface Intro: Part 12
        Ms_Meme’s Nook: Download The Distro
        Forum Foibles: User Names
        Computer Languages A to Z: Octave
        Alternate OS: Syllable, Part 1
        Ladies Of PCLinuxOS: Meemaw
        Educational Linux!
        Game Zone: Battle For Wesnoth
        Repo Spotlight: Repository Speed Test
        and much, much more!

      • I’ve Moved On …

        Mandriva is by no means the best distro out there, but to me, it meets my needs, at least for now

    • Red Hat Family

      • Piper Jaffray: More Clients Using Red Hat Than Microsoft’s Windows

        Shares of Red Hat gained $1.10, good for a gain of 3.18%, to close at $35.65.

      • Red Hat Sets Its Cloud Strategy, Eyes Microsoft Azure Alternative
      • Fedora

        • Systemd and Fedora 14

          Systemd, an alternative to Upstart or System V init, has made big strides since it was announced at the end of April. It has been packaged for Fedora and openSUSE, and for users of Fedora Rawhide, it gets installed as the default. There are still bugs to be shaken out, of course, and that work is proceeding, especially in the context of Rawhide. The big question is whether Fedora makes the leap to use systemd as the init system for Fedora 14.

          When last we looked in on systemd, Lennart Poettering intended to have a package ready for Fedora 14, which has happened, but it was unclear what, exactly, openSUSE’s plans were. Since then, Kay Sievers, who worked with Poettering on developing systemd, has created an openSUSE Factory—essentially the equivalent of Fedora’s Rawhide—package along with web page of instructions for interested users. But most of the action seems to be going on in Fedora-land.

    • Debian Family

      • Some notes on Flash in Debian and Debian Edu
      • Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 updated

        The Debian project is pleased to announce the sixth update of its stable distribution Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 (codename “lenny”). This update mainly adds corrections for security problems to the stable release, along with a few adjustment to serious problems.

      • Debian 7.0 named

        As the Debian developers work on completing development of the free software Debian GNU/Linux 6.0, known as “Squeeze”, they have also been selecting the name for the next version, 7.0. In a recent release update posting, it was announced that Debian GNU/Linux 7.0 will be named “Wheezy”.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu 10.10 beta arrives with new netbook UI

          Canonical has announced the availability of the Ubuntu 10.10 beta release. The new version of the popular Linux distribution, codenamed Maverick Meerkat, is scheduled for final release in October. It brings some noteworthy user interface improvements and updated software.

          The beta ships with GNOME 2.31, which introduces support for the new dconf configuration storage system. Ubuntu’s standard F-Spot photo tool has been replaced by Shotwell, a relatively new application that is developed by nonprofit software group Yorba. Although it’s not as feature-complete as F-Spot, it’s progressing quickly and has a lot to offer.

          Canonical has continued its work on panel indicators, especially the audio indicator which now has playback controls in addition to a volume management slider. This will eliminate the need for individual audio applications to have their own notification area icons.

        • Install Nautilus Elementary In Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat
        • Ubunchu Episode 7: “The Ultimate Installfest” is out September 5, 2010
        • Kazam Screencasting tool 0.1 released – the bar just got raised
        • Full Circle Side-Pod #3: Where’s the Neurotic Numbat?
        • Preview: Ubuntu 10.10 Beta

          Just like Ubuntu 10.04 threw me off (too many changes rushed into a release that felt unfinished and unstable, which was specially concerning given its LTS nature), Ubuntu 10.10 got me excited and hungry for more. I think most of the changes that were introduced for Lucid Lynx are now mature and make more sense, even things like the window button position shift (alright, maybe not this one) or the “Social Desktop”.

          There are still some rough edges in terms of Look&Feel (default icon theme, GDM theme), but the improvement is obvious. The application catalog is still not my favorite, but customizing it to one’s liking should take less than an hour total. The installation wizard enhancements are excellent and I believe will set the standard other Linux distros will look up to. Last but not least, the Software Center is finally coming to life and it excels, right up there with Linux Mint’s (which Canonical got so much from).

          All in all, Ubuntu 10.10 raised the bar again. I personally believe that it’s biggest accomplishment is that it makes the “Ubuntu: Linux for human beings” motto full justice.

          I did skip Ubuntu 10.04, but they can already sign me in for a heavy dose of Maverick Meerkat!

        • Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) Beta Screenshots Gallery
        • Ubuntu 10.10 “Maverick Meerkat” Wallpapers

          Here are all the new wallpapers that are included in Ubuntu 10.10 “Maverick Meerkat”

        • Ubuntu 10.10 sneak peak

          Of course I am leaving out a lot of minor bits and pieces. Nearly every (if not all) applications have been updated and run better and faster. But what you have seen above are the MAJOR changes to the Ubuntu LTS release. This October is going to be an exciting period, once again, for Ubuntu fans. My biggest hope is that third-party vendors will have applications already listed in the Ubuntu Software Center prior to the official release. That would go a long way to validate Linux on the desktop.

        • Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Beta Has Been Released! Screenshots And Videos Inside (Both Ubuntu Desktop And Ubuntu Netbook Edition)
        • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • USB-Based PSFreedom PS3 Exploit Now Adapted To Palm Pre

        Huzzah! Now the Palm Pre can be used to hack the PS3, too. Developer blake_zero over at PSX-Scene has released an adaptation of KaKaRoTo’s USB hub-emulating PSFreedom exploit, which takes advantage of the same heap overflow vulnerability in PSGroove, the initial open-source implementation of PS Jailbreak’s jigkick wonder. Currently, only source code is available.

      • Android

        • Top 5 best puzzle games on Android

          Everyone likes puzzle games. They might not be your favourite type of game, but I guarantee we’ve all played and enjoyed one at some point in our lives.

          Which probably explains why it continues to be one of the most, if not the most popular games genre around.

        • Challenging Apple’s ambitions

          Samsung and Toshiba are among a crowd of companies unveiling tablet computers at IFA, many of them running on Android. They are almost all going to be cheaper than the iPad and do much the same. Only the sheer power of the Apple brand, along with the integration with its App Store, could keep the iPad ahead of its new rivals.

          [...]

          The Toshiba Folio 100 is bigger, a bit like a more widescreen iPad. Again, it does most of the things that an iPad does, but although, like the Tab, it runs on Android, it has a slightly clunky interface. And because the Google OS isn’t yet built to work with screens this big you have to rely on Toshiba’s own apps rather than the Android Market.

        • XDA Discovers Updated ROM for Nexus One

          Score another one for the open source Android developer community over at XDA. Some of the users over there have discovered another update to the Froyo ROM for the Nexus One, with build number FRG33. It has been found that the ROM has some minor bugfixes and a newer version of the installed radio than in the latest official released build.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

    • New features in Google Chrome 6

      Google Chrome made its debut in September 2008 and just two years later, it is the third most widely used browser with around 7.5% of the market. Only Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox remain ahead of it and these two have been around for considerably longer. However, with Google Chrome’s current momentum, the situation may not remain so for very long.

    • Mozilla

      • No 64-bit version of Firefox 4.0?

        Seriously? Do they have any idea how many Mac users are out there running 10.4 or older? OS 10.5 came out in October of 2007. Windows 2000 came out ten years ago.

        Linux “minimum version” is listed as “to be determined”. I’m guessing that based on the complete disregard for anyone in the Mac world running a legacy OS, Linux’s minimum version will be 2.6.30?

        I know, all vitriol and sarcasm aside, I understand that there’s a lot going into the Firefox 4.0 release. And I suppose if I was feeling particularly masochistic, I could grab the source code of the latest build of the final release and just compile my own 64-bit binary.

  • Oracle

    • Oracle offers student coders free access to JavaOne

      The announcement comes a day after Google technologist Tim Bray wrote a blog post that suggested Oracle doesn’t place great importance on developing “mindshare” among software developers.

    • Could Oracle fracture open source community?

      An Oracle was a person or agency considered to be a source of wise counsel or prophetic opinion. How can that particular definition be applied to Oracle the company? It can’t. In fact I would claim that Oracle, the company, is quite the opposite of “wise” or “prophetic”.

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Free Software Needs Free Tools

      The GNU GPL license and source code mean little to a user attempting to modify a program without free access to the software required to make that modification. Is is not only developers’ freedom at stake but, eventually, their users and all future “downstream” developers as well. Those choosing to use nonfree tools put everyone at the whim of the groups and individuals who produce the tools they depend on.

      While proprietary development tools may help free software developers create more free software in the short term, it is at an unacceptable cost. In the controversial area of private software and network services, free software developers should err on the side of “too much” freedom. To compromise our principles in attempts to achieve more freedom is self-defeating, unstable, and ultimately unfair, to our users and to the larger free software development community.

      Just as the early GNU maintainers first focused on creating free tools for creating free software, we should ensure that we can produce software freely and using unambiguously free tools. Our failure to do so will result in software that is, indirectly, less free. We should resist using tools that do not allow us the freedoms we are trying to provide our users in the development of their software and we should apply pressure on the producers of our development tools. Free software has not achieved success by compromising our principles. We will not be well served, technically, pragmatically, or ethically, by compromising on freedom of the tools we use to build a free world.

    • Free Software Needs Free Tools

      The article was published in the Spring 2010 FSF Bulletin which was mailed to all FSF associate members. I’ve also posted the article on my website and in PDF form as well.

    • Revolution OS is Open Source: The Movie

      As the viewer would hope, this piece features interviews from most of the biggest names that have helped shape the open source landscape over the last decade including Richard Stallman, Michael Tiemann, Linus Torvalds, Larry Augustin, Eric S. Raymond, Bruce Perens, Frank Hecker and Brian Behlendorf.

      [...]

      Linus Torvalds is then interviewed on his development of the Linux kernel as well as on the GNU/Linux naming controversy and Linux’s further evolution, including its commercialisation.

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • Open Hardware Summit Comes to Queens

        The Open Hardware Movement is dedicated to producing a real and enforceable license for open source hardware. This license would be similar to a Creative Commons License for artistic Creations and the Gnu Public License for software.

Leftovers

  • Texas opens inquiry into Google search rankings

    Google Inc.’s methods for recommending websites are being reviewed by Texas’ attorney general in an investigation spurred by complaints that the company has abused its power as the Internet’s dominant search engine.

  • Author Simon Singh Puts Up a Fight in the War on Science

    For a while there, things didn’t look too good for British writer Simon Singh. The best-selling author of the science histories Big Bang and Fermat’s Enigma knew he was heading into controversial territory when he switched tracks to cowrite a book investigating alternative medicine, Trick or Treatment? What Singh didn’t count on, however, was that writing a seemingly innocuous article for London’s The Guardian newspaper about especially outrageous chiropractic claims—one of the subjects he researched for the book—would end up threatening his career. The British Chiropractic Association sued Singh, hoping to use Britain’s draconian libel laws to force him to withdraw his statements and issue an apology.

  • Going back to the past to survive
  • Science

  • Security/Aggression

    • Cars: The next hacking frontier?

      Of course, your car is probably not a high-priority target for most malicious hackers. But security experts tell CNET that car hacking is starting to move from the realm of the theoretical to reality, thanks to new wireless technologies and evermore dependence on computers to make cars safer, more energy efficient, and modern.

    • Police sergeant suspended after assault on woman

      Dramatic video footage has emerged of a police sergeant dragging a women to a cell and hurling her inside, an incident which has led to his suspension.

    • More War Lies
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Greenpeace activists arrested after abandoning occupation of Arctic oil rig

      Four Greenpeace activists who halted drilling by a British-owned oil exploration rig off Greenland have been arrested after they abandoned their occupation because of severe weather.

      Greenlandic police arrested the four after high winds buffeted the Stena Don drilling rig overnight, forcing them to abandon mountaineering-style platforms they had suspended by ropes underneath the platform less than 48 hours earlier.

    • Paris Over Amherst: Food, Energy, and Credit

      As readers understand, fossil fuels have played an enormous role in the long-cycle upgrading of agricultural yields. And while energy-dense fossils fuels are indeed a miracle, now that oil production globally is no longer increasing (with a new price regime reflecting that change) the cost inputs to food production are rising.

    • Mexico’s foreign minister dampens hopes of Cancun climate deal

      Mexico’s foreign minister today dampened hopes of a breakthrough deal at the Cancun climate change talks in November, saying negotiators are focusing on making progress on smaller issues before perhaps seeking a comprehensive agreement in 2011 or later.

    • If Rajendra Pachauri goes, who on Earth would want to be IPCC chair?

      When it first emerged in India that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had made a major blunder about the date the Himalayan glaciers were predicted to melt, the sceptics predictably called for the head of Rajendra Pachauri, the IPCC’s chair. There followed a series of malicious falsehoods and disinformation from journalists and bloggers about his business interests.

      Without waiting for retractions or the evidence of any inquiries or investigations, leading western environmentalists and other commentators shamefully rushed in to say he should resign. And now, following the InterAcademy Council (IAC) report into the IPCC’s processes earlier this week (which also found Pachauri not guilty of any misconduct), commentators and editorials in the Times, Financial Times, Time, New Scientist and Telegraph have called for his resignation. The BBC’s Roger Harrabin has also suggested that Pachauri’s “time appears to be running out”. The reason most given? That by staying, Pachauri would give the sceptics more ammunition.

  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs Said to Shut Principal Strategies Unit

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is disbanding its principal-strategies business, one of the groups that makes bets with the firm’s own money, to comply with new U.S. rules aimed at curbing risk, two people with knowledge of the decision said.

    • AIG Derivative Suit Against Greenberg Settles for $90 Million

      American International Group has finally closed the book on the turbulent Maurice “Hank” Greenberg era. On Thursday the embattled former chief executive officer and other defendants agreed to settle a derivative suit alleging that they fraudulently used various accounting tricks to mask problems at the company. Under the deal, which must be approved by Vice Chancellor Leo Strine Jr. of Delaware Chancery Court, AIG will receive $90 million. At the same time, Greenberg and former AIG Chief Financial Officer Howard Smith will be reimbursed $60 million for their legal fees. Both sums will be paid by AIG’s insurance carriers.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Censored! Craigslist Adult Services Blocked in U.S.

      The “adult services” listing on Craiglist was removed late Friday from its U.S.-based sites and replaced with the word “censored.”

      Craigslist did not announce the move and its blog was not updated as of Saturday morning. Craigslist did not immediately respond to e-mail and voice mail messages seeking comment. Adult services listings continue to be available outside the United States.

    • Craigslist removes its controversial adult section
    • School Must Pay Lawyer in Webcam Case

      Federal prosecutors said they will not charge a suburban school district officials with spying on students and families through school-issued laptop computers with remotely activated webcams, but Lower Merion School District still faces litigation from parents and a student. On Monday, a federal judge ordered the district to pay the family’s attorney $260,000 for his work on the case.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Sharron Angle hit with R-J copyright infringement lawsuit

        The Las Vegas Review-Journal’s copyright infringement lawsuit partner on Friday sued U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle over R-J material posted on her website, allegedly without authorization.

        The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas by Righthaven LLC, seeks damages of $150,000 against Angle personally and forfeiture of her website domain name sharronangle.com.

      • Do you download copyrighted porn? Lawsuits seek to reveal names

        The lawsuits yesterday were filed in Illinois District Court by a single lawyer, John L. Steele of the Media Copyright Group based in Chicago. Steele has set up a website advertising a “cost-effective solution for reducing P2P-based content piracy.”

        [...]

        The plaintiffs in these cases surely see this as a potentially effective tool against the piracy problem. Adult entertainment companies, in particular, likely see the benefit of potentially exposing people who download, say, transgender porn.

      • Secretary Locke Meets with Music Industry Representatives in Nashville to Discuss Piracy and Global Intellectual Property Protection

        “This administration is committed to tackling the challenges facing the music industry, because it is a fundamental issue of economic security and jobs,” Locke said. “We are continually looking for new ways to protect the creativity that is the lifeblood of Nashville and America’s economy.”

      • James Gannon Lies By Omission Yet Again – Star Article Doesn’t Disclose His CRIA Connections

        Curiously Barry Sookman’s blog is just like James Gannon’s blog. Nothing but articles that appear to be work related. Again, there’s nothing wrong with that, if they admit the connection. But they won’t. I directly asked Barry Sookman if he had any connections with the industry, and he refused to answer. His only problem is that he’s listed as a lobbyist for the CRIA by the Canadian Government. I already knew this of course – but I was curious. Would he admit something that was publicly available? No, he wouldn’t. He won’t even post the connection on his website, which claims:

      • Anti-Piracy Outfit Threatens To DoS Uncooperative Torrent Sites

        In recent years, technical anti-piracy enforcement has taken a less aggressive approach to that previously demonstrated by the infamous MediaDefender. But now, according to a company being hired to protect Bollywood blockbusters, if BitTorrent sites don’t cooperate by taking down torrents when asked, they will have denial of service attacks launched against them and material taken down by force.

      • Radiohead lend their music to fan-made live DVD

        Radiohead have thrown their support behind a fan-made live DVD, providing the hi-fi soundtrack to Czech film-makers’ amateur shots. The British band provided audio masters to the makers of Prague DVD, a DIY concert film shot on 23 August 2009.

        While the project website has been overwhelmed by traffic, samples of the Prague film have been uploaded to YouTube. It’s a strangely communal document, collecting the viewpoints of more than 50 camera-people – each with a cheap handheld Flip camera. “A group of Radiohead fans descended on the Výstaviště Holešovice exhibition hall in Prague to capture the band perform, using as many different angles as possible,” explain the film-makers. Recalling the Beastie Boys’ groundbreaking Awesome; I Fuckin’ Shot That!, the footage is scattered, inconsistent and frequently electrifying.

      • ACTA

        • ACTA will have deeper impact on Europe than on United States

          In the United States, the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement ACTA will be adopted as an “executive agreement”, without involvement of Congress. This would imply that ACTA can not change U.S. law. In the EU, ACTA needs consent of the Parliament. After that, the EU will have to fully implement ACTA, and possibly change its internal EU law. To prevent surprises, the Commission, Parliament, Council and or Member States of the EU should ask the Court of Justice of the European Union to examine whether ACTA is compatible with EU law

        • Welcome to Faces against acta

Clip of the Day

Richard Stallman – Negative Consequences


Credit: TinyOgg

09.04.10

Links 4/9/2010: Huawei and Android Phones, Toshiba and Android Tablets

Posted in News Roundup at 4:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Navigating a Dual World: GNU/Linux and Windows

    I did not mention one last major area in which I navigate two worlds, the area of administering my websites. I use GNU/Linux on all of my servers. However, I have to be able to talk to these servers using either my GNU/Linux machines or my Windows machine. What allows me to do this is the standard and open communication protocols that allow computers to talk regardless of what operating system is installed: http, ftp, and ssh, to name a few. The beauty of the Internet is that the communications protocols used are fully documented and this documentation is made available to everyone. Support for these protocols can then be built into every operating system by default.The Internet is becoming an operating system unto itself, and the traditional computer operating systems are becoming more and more transparent. The common primary goal of most computing devices today is to connect to the Internet to do work. The duality of the dual environment is becoming less important with each passing day. However, in the near future, navigating a dual OS environment will remain a valuable skill to have.

  • Server

    • IBM Code Unfetters Virtual Workloads

      One is KVM (Kernel-based Virtualization), a hypervisor technology that has been incorporated into the Linux kernel and is the cornerstone of Red Hat’s virtualization strategy. It has also been inserted into the Libvirt virtualization toolkit, which supports both the Citrix Xen hypervisor and the VMware hypervisors.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 13 update: A month and a half or so in

          I’ve been running Fedora 13′s Xfce spin on my new Lenovo G555 laptop for about a month and a half now, and I’m very much impressed with the performance, functionality and aggressive update policy even in an already aging (by Fedora standards) release.

          [...]

          Firefox has been great. I don’t run into any of the problems I’ve had on my older hardware in terms of speed. I’m not happy with the amount of CPU the 32-bit Flash player (in the 64-bit wrapper) is eating up, but it’s manageable. Java performance in my sole use of it (a photo-upload helper) has been great.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Pandigital launches a 7-inch Android e-reader at IFA 2010

      Called Novel, the 540g e-reader has an 800×600 colour TFT LCD touchscreen with virtual keyboard and has software for the downloading and presentation of e-books. It comes in black or white and runs Android 2.1, with a Samsung ARM 11 mobile processor, 1GB of memory, WiFi, a 1,600mAhr battery, accelerometers for portrait or landscape orientation and an SD card slot for up to 32GB. It can also be used as an alarm clock.

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • WeTab is based on MeeGo
        • More MeeGo screenshots surface, shows promise

          You may recall that MeeGo is a new smartphone OS from Intel and Nokia and it merges the Maemo and Moblin platforms. It is expected to be a modern OS on par with the iPhone and Android, and the screen shots we’ve seen do look pretty good.

          The screenshot above shows a little of the multitasking interface, which kind of looks like a mix of the way Android and webOS handle this. It should also have little carousel animations and other flourishes for visual flair.

      • Android

    • Tablets

      • TOC’s Wednesday devices, gadgets and ereaders update

        With the IFA Consumer Electronics Unlimited techno-smorgasbord set to open this Friday, there’s a lot of buzz going around about upcoming announcements and unveilings. Much of the pre-show buzz is centered around Android-based competition for the Apple iPad.

      • Android Tablet Deluge Is Just Beginning

        Archos continues to embrace Android in a big way. Yesterday they announced not one, not two, but five new Android ‘tablets.’ They range in size from a 2.8″ screen (which is why I put tablets in quotes) to 10.1″. All of them are running Android 2.2, but sadly, none of them have the Android Market included. Instead they’ll be running Archos’ AppsLib. The top of the line Archos 101 has a 1 Ghz ARM Cortex A8 processor, a 10.1″, 1024×600 capacitive touch screen, 720P video playback capability, HDMI out, front facing camera and a kickstand, all for $300. It should be out in mid-October. CrunchGear has a full rundown of all 5 models.

      • Toshiba touts £329 Folio Android tablet
      • Samsung Galaxy Tab Rooted… A Month Before Release

        The folks at Sera-Apps, a German group of Android developers, have not only managed to get their hands on a prototype of the Samsung Galaxy Tab a month before the device goes on sale, but they managed to root the device at IFA, the world’s largest consumer electronics show being held in Germany.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Google Open Sources More of Wave So Developers Can Take Advantage

    Google has given an update on its immediate plans for Google Wave. As you probably know, the company recently announced that it would be shutting down Google Wave as a standalone product, thought Google said it would preserve the technology behind Wave for future use and integration with other Google products.

  • Events/Awards

    • Welcome to the 2010 Open Source Awards

      The Open Source Awards is an annual online event held by Packt Publishing to distinguish excellence among Open Source projects.

      [...]

      The nominations will end on September 17.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Mark Waid on Delivery, Content, and the Gulf Between

      And I’ll tell you why. It’s not because people “like stealing.” It’s because the greatest societal change in the last five years is that we are entering an era of sharing. Twitter and YouTube and Facebook–they’re all about sharing. Sharing links, sharing photographs, sending some video of some cat doing something stupid–that’s the era we’re entering. And whether or not you’re sharing things that technically aren’t yours to share, whether or not you’re angry because you see this as a “generation of entitlement,” that’s not the issue–the issue is, it’s happening, and the internet’s ability to reward sharing has reignited this concept that the public domain has cultural value. And I understand if you are morally outraged about it and you believe to your core that an entire generation is criminal and they’re taking food off your table, I respect that.

    • Open Data

  • Programming

    • Day of The Dead: Web Drives Strong Demand for Java Skills

      Anyway the point of this post is really just to riff on the data from simplyhired, as per the graph above. A 59% increase in bobs since January 2009? Not bad for a dead technology. Java has plenty of runway left and plenty of room for innovation.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Google Now Indexes SVG Files

      Google is now indexing SVG files. SVG, which stands for scalable vector graphics, is a widely-deployed, royalty-free, XML-based format for vector graphics and support for interactivity. The format was developed and is maintained by the W3C SVG Working Group.

Leftovers

  • Why Wasn’t The AP Able To Get A Better Deal From Google?

    And other AP officials had also said they wanted major news search engines, including presumably Google News, to feature “the original source or the most authoritative source”—frequently the AP—at the top of their results. Curley had said the AP would only work with “those who use our principles” saying that “if you can’t do that, or if you won’t do that, let’s not waste time.”

  • HP Agrees to Pay $55 Million to Settle Gov’t Fraud Charges

    Hewlett-Packard will pay the U.S. government US$55 million to settle allegations that it defrauded the U.S. General Service Administration and other agencies by paying kickbacks to systems integrators in exchange for recommendations that agencies purchase HP products, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Monday.

  • Accenture, Cisco and Sun Still Face Kickbacks Charges

    After recent settlements by Hewlett-Packard and EMC in a long-standing government contracting fraud case, three major IT and consulting companies are still embroiled in lawsuits brought by two former insiders.

    Lawsuits alleging a widespread kickback scheme among U.S. government IT contractors remain active against Accenture, Cisco Systems and Sun Microsystems, according to court documents and a lawyer for whistleblowers Norman Rille and Neal Roberts. Rille, a former manager for Accenture, and Roberts, a former partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, filed the lawsuits in 2004 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas.

  • HP Settles False Claims, Kickback Charges for $55 Million

    Not long ago, Apple was in the headlines after a former manager was indicted for receiving kickbacks from suppliers in Asia in exchange for information that would help them land contracts with the Cupertino, Calif.-based company. Now it’s HP’s turn for a kickback scandal.

  • Tosh has tiniest flash bits

    Toshiba has started mass-producing NAND flash ships using a 24nm process, and is offering the world’s smallest 8GB flash chips.

  • Toshiba recalls 41,000 computers over risk of burns

    Toshiba has announced the voluntary recall of about 41,000 notebook computers worldwide at risk of overheating and burning users.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Are the days of kidney dialysis numbered?

      There’s no gentle way to put it. Chronic kidney failure is ugly and often deadly, and more people in the States are suffering from it every year, with increasing rates of diabetes and hypertension contributing to the problem.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Scientists Question Safety Of New Airport Scanners

      After the “underwear bomber” incident on Christmas Day, President Obama accelerated the deployment of new airport scanners that look beneath travelers’ clothes to spot any weapons or explosives.

      Fifty-two of these state-of-the-art machines are already scanning passengers at 23 U.S. airports. By the end of 2011, there will be 1,000 machines and two out of every three passengers will be asked to step into one of the new machines for a six-second head-to-toe scan before boarding.

    • Corporate espionage for dummies: HP scanners
    • Hackers blind quantum cryptographers

      Quantum hackers have performed the first ‘invisible’ attack on two commercial quantum cryptographic systems. By using lasers on the systems — which use quantum states of light to encrypt information for transmission — they have fully cracked their encryption keys, yet left no trace of the hack.

    • A Trojan hits Adobe Air Tweetdeck

      HACKERS HAVE UPDATED a Trojan virus that bypasses sandbox insecurity on Adobe Air apps like Tweet Deck.

    • Scam preys on required TweetDeck update
    • Malware Convention — Not a Good Idea

      The conference coordinator Rajshekhar Murthy attempted to put a positive spin on the conference, Krebs reported. “While a conference can be done by inviting the best / well known security experts who can share statistics, slides and ‘analysis’ of malwares, it is not of any benefit to the community today except that of awareness. The need of MalCon conference is [to] bridge that ignored gap between security companies and malcoders. They have to get on a common platform and talk to each other.”

    • Huge spamming botnet injured but still alive

      A botnet responsible for a significant amount of spam has been crippled but may reconstitute itself in a matter of weeks, according to vendor M86 Security.

    • Alleged Ransomware Gang Investigated by Moscow Police

      Russian police are reportedly investigating a criminal gang that installed malicious “ransomware” programs on thousands of PCs and then forced victims to send SMS messages in order to unlock their PCs.

    • Russian cops cuff 10 ransomware Trojan suspects
    • Wikileaks founder blasts reopening of rape probe

      Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has blasted Sweden’s investigation into allegations against him for sexual misconduct after prosecutors reopened a probe into charges he raped a woman last month.

      “It appears to be highly irregular and some kind of legal circus,” Assange told the TV service of newspaper Expressen on Thursday. “Today I also had a case filed against me in the United States on a wholly unrelated manner,” he added without elaborating.

    • Apple Quicktime – Absichtliche Backdoor gefährdet Windows-PCs Apple Quicktime – Intentional Backdoor vulnerable Windows PCs

      Several websites report an apparently intentionally built-in Apple’s Quicktime loophole that a security risk to Windows machine is.
      Laut Webseiten wie Heise oder The Inquirer kennt das ActiveX-Plugin von Quicktime einen von Apple nicht dokumentierten Befehl, der von dem Sicherheitsexperte Ruben Santamarta gefunden wurde. According to websites such as Heise or The Inquirer knows the ActiveX plug-in Quicktime one of Apple undocumented command, the security expert Ruben found was that of Santa Marta. Der Parameter “_Marshaled_pUnk” sorgt dafür, dass über Quicktime andere Programmbibliotheken aufgerufen und deren Funktionen verwendet werden können. The parameter “_Marshaled_pUnk” ensures that called Quicktime on other libraries and their functions can be used.

    • Ex-spook jailed for selling secrets

      Ex-MI6 worker Daniel Houghton has been sentenced to 12 months in prison for unlawfully disclosing top secret material, in breach of the Official Secrets Act.

      Houghton, 25 years old and previously living in Hoxton, London, worked for MI6 for just under two years. He left the organisation with Top Secret files which he then tried to sell to MI5 agents masquerading as agents of a foreign power.

    • German gov pooh-poohs biometric ID card hack

      The biometric ID cards store a scan of a user’s fingerprints along with a six-digit PIN that can be used to digitally sign official forms. Hackers from the Chaos Computer Club, however, were able to use home scanners that work with the cards to extract personal information including a fingerprint scan and the six-digit PIN from RFID the chip embedded in the cards.

    • Fake Antivirus Software Uses Ransom Threats
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Oil sands release pollutants, contrary to government study

      The extraction of heavy crude oil from oil sands in Canada is releasing as many as 13 kinds of pollutants into the surrounding air and water, according to a study published in PNAS this week. The independent report directly contradicts the results of the government-administered Regional Aquatic Monitoring Program (RAMP) that claimed neither humans nor the environment were at risk from the oil extraction.

      Oil sands are swaths of ground that are laced with heavy crude oil that can be extracted and refined into fuel. Development of oil sands in Canada has been taking place since 1967, but scientists have long been uncertain of the production’s impact on the environment.

    • The Tokyo Two: Whaling, Activism, and Human Rights

      At the start the media strongly covered the embezzlement scandal, and asked serious questions about the industry for the first time. However, one month after we exposed the large-scale theft of whale meat and embarrassed the authorities, they struck back, and had us arrested, interrogated, detained for 26 days and finally charged with “theft” and “trespass”.

      The media were tipped off about our arrest and the raids of our homes, so when the images of our arrest appeared on national television the embezzlement scandal was dismissed and we were immediately seen as criminals by the public.

    • Crisis Commons, and the Challenges of Distributed Disaster Response

      The World Bank wasn’t the only large group interested in working with crisis hackers. Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft came together to found the Random Hacks of Kindness event, designed to let programmers “hack for humanity” in marathon sessions around the world.

    • Arctic Round-Up: New Sea Routes Opening Up, New Infrastructure Imagined, and Canada’s Taking Action

      Melting and thinning ice in the Arctic has proceeded so rapidly that new sea routes are opening up, infrastructure is being imagined, and countries like Canada are working to assert their sovereignty in the north…

    • The ‘cure’ for nuclear waste is worse than the illness
    • Untangling the ‘Environmentalist’s Paradox’: Is It All About Speed?

      We hear lots of concerned chatter these days – not least, here on this site – about peak oil, peak water, deforestation, resource depletion and the like, but a popular riposte offered by those doubting such concerns is something commonly referred to as the “Environmentalist’s Paradox”.

    • Climate Skeptic – Now with Less Skepticism!: Lomborg Changes Tune

      For those who – like me – missed the news on Monday: the world’s most well known climate change skeptic has done a dramatic about face.

    • How an Arctic oil rush will help suffocate the planet

      We’re not just saying ‘go beyond oil’ because it fits on a banner. We’re urging world governments to get their heads out of their oil wells and recognise that whoever’s oil we are burning we need to start stopping now, because in the end we are all stuck under the one sweater, and its getting really tight.

    • Greenpeace activists occupy Arctic oil rig

      Our activists are suspended 15 meters above the frigid Arctic waters of Baffin Bay. They have taken up position on the drilling rig Stena Don to call for a ban on deep sea oil drilling in the Arctic, and demand that ‘wild cat’ oil company Cairn energy stop drilling, pack up and go home. The banner? “Hands off the Arctic, go beyond oil!”

    • Bosnia probes video of girl tossing puppies into river

      Bosnian police said on Wednesday they were investigating claims by a local animals rights group that a Bosnian girl threw half a dozen puppies into a river in a video that sparked global outrage.

    • Military Study Warns of a Potentially Drastic Oil Crisis

      The issue is so politically explosive that it’s remarkable when an institution like the Bundeswehr, the German military, uses the term “peak oil” at all. But a military study currently circulating on the German blogosphere goes even further.

    • Greenpeace Protests Facebook’s Data Center

      Facebook’s won the support of a lot of people as it builds a data center in Prineville, Oregon; an official Facebook Page is full of positive comments from locals. However, because the facility will primarily be powered by coal, Greenpeace – along with around 500,000 individuals – has sided against it.

  • Finance

    • When IT Fails
    • Lehman Derivatives Records a `Mess,’ Barclays Executive Says

      Barclays Plc had no idea how big Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s futures-and-options trading business was when it considered taking over the defunct bank’s derivatives trades at exchanges in 2008, a Barclays executive said.

      “Lehman’s books were in such a mess that I don’t think they knew where they were,” Elizabeth James, a director of Barclays’s futures business, testified today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. James worked on Barclays’s purchase of Lehman’s brokerage during the 2008 financial crisis.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Lower Merion School District ordered to pay plaintiff’s lawyer $260,000

      A federal judge Monday ordered the Lower Merion School District to pay about $260,000 now – and potentially much more later – to the lawyer who brought the lawsuit over the district’s webcam monitoring.

      In a 14-page opinion, Senior U.S. District Judge Jan E. DuBois said Mark S. Haltzman deserved to be paid for work that led to a preliminary injunction against the district in May. And he said Haltzman could submit the rest of his bills when the case ended.

    • Andy Coulson under pressure as furore over phone hacking claims grows

      A few paragraphs, tucked inside a lengthy article on the News of the World phone hacking scandal, are posing a threat to the career of one of David Cameron’s closest advisers. Andy Coulson “actively encouraged” the hacking of phones, his former News of the World colleague Sean Hoare told the magazine.

    • Google Settles Privacy Lawsuit Over Buzz

      Google is spending US$8.5 million to settle a class-action lawsuit filed over the rollout of its Google Buzz social-networking service.

    • Ad watchdog to bite Facebook, Twitter

      The Advertising Standards Authority is to take responsibility for more online content, not just the paid-for advertisements it currently regulates.

      The ASA already covers content like banner adverts, pop-ups and paid-for search terms. From 1 March 2011 the new ASA rules cover content hosted by companies themselves, such as their own websites.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

Clip of the Day

Richard Stallman – DRM


Credit: TinyOgg

Links 4/9/2010: ‘Amnesia: The Dark Descent’ as GNU/Linux Demo, WeTab Runs MeeGo

Posted in News Roundup at 3:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Presenting the Local Akademy Team 2010

        It is a while now since Akademy 2010, KDE’s annual conference, came to a close. There were a huge number of blogs and articles about what happened and it is safe to say that the latest conference was a success. Many attendees noted how smoothly everything ran, thanks to the KDE organizers and the local team. The local team did an awesome job, not only during the conference itself but also during the many months of thought and hard work before Akademy. The Dot managed to catch up with some key players in the local team to get their take on the KDE invasion of Tampere and find out what it is like to organize such a large event.

      • Help Test the Next Generation of KDE’s Kontact
    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Cortex-A8 SODIMM module supports Linux, Android

      Direct Insight announced a SODIMM-sized COM (computer on module) based on TI’s Sitara AM3703 or DM3730, with ARM Cortex-A8 cores clocked at up to 1GHz. The SwiftModule-DM offers up to 256MB of RAM and 256MB of flash storage, and a touchscreen interface supporting up to 2048 x 2048 pixels, and is compatible with both Linux and Android.

    • Media players offer 3.2-inch displays, Android 2.1

      Philips and Samsung have both announced Android 2.1-based, 3.2-inch portable media players (PMPs), primed to compete with Apple’s newly upgraded iPod Touch. Philips’ GoGear Connect reportedly includes Wi-Fi, GPS, and Android Market access, while Samsung’s Galaxy Player 50 offers both a videocam and two-megapixel camera in addition to its multimedia capabilities.

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • Neofonie WeTab now runs MeeGo Linux

          The Neofonie WeTab gained grabbed a lot of headlines when the company first introduced it a few months ago. And why not? The tablet is kind of everything the Apple iPad is not. It has a nice big 11.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixel HD capacitive toushcreen display. It supports HDMI output, has 2 USB ports, and a 1.3MP camera. It also packs 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 2.1.

        • Toshiba shows off 10.1 inch Android tablet

          Toshiba Europe announced a 10.1-inch Android 2.2 media tablet, due for a fourth quarter release in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. The Folio 100 runs Android 2.2 on an Nvidia Tegra 2 processor and offers a 10.1-inch, WSVGA display, but it lacks both GPS and Android Market access.

        • Tablet Skirmish Heats Up With Toshiba Entry

          Toshiba has announced its own entrant into the tablet market with the Folio 100, which will run on the Android 2.2 operating system. Sporting a screen just over 10 inches, the device will be larger than other early competitors to Apple’s (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPad tablet computer, such as the Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) Streak.

    • Tablets

      • Strong early sales of $140 Android tablet surprise retailer

        Beijing-based international online reseller LightInTheBox.com announced it has had two months of surprisingly strong sales of a seven-inch, $140 Android tablet. The aPad Android Tablet runs Android 1.6 — with Android Market support — on Samsung’s ARM11-based 667MHz S3C6410, and offers 1GB of flash, an SD slot, Wi-Fi, and an 800 x 480-pixel screen, says the company.

      • Toshiba debuts Android-powered Folio 100 tablet

        Samsung’s Galaxy Tab got a lot of the attention Thursday, but Toshiba had an Android tablet of its own to debut here at the IFA electronics show: the Folio 100.

        Unlike the smaller Tab, the Folio bears more of an outward resemblance to Apple’s iPad, the dominant tablet device on the market today. And where Samsung will sell the Tab only through phone companies as a kind of smartphone on steroids, Toshiba’s Folio will like the iPad come in 3G and non-3G models when it goes on sale in Europe in the fourth quarter.

        The Folio will cost 399 euros (about $511) for the version with just Wi-Fi networking; the 3G version price jumps to 499 euros (about $639). It’s got a 10.1-inch multitouch screen with 1024×600-pixel resolution, an Nvidia Tegra processor, stereo speakers, a 1.3-megapixel Webcam, two USB ports, an SD card slot, an HDMI connector for sending video to other screens, Bluetooth communications, and 16GB of memory.

      • Bigger is Better… Right?

Free Software/Open Source

  • CAOS Theory Podcast 2010.09.03

    Topics for this podcast:

    *Open source seeding the clouds
    *Canonical’s cloud subscription pivot
    *Hypertable steers commercial route for NoSQL database
    *Implications of Oracle’s Java lawsuit

  • Events

    • Finding more women to speak at Ohio LinuxFest: success!

      Some conference organisers will say “we didn’t get any submissions from women” to explain the lack of women on their stages. As of two years ago, the Ohio LinuxFest was in that category. With a little outreach effort, and embracing diversity as a core value, the Ohio LinuxFest has successfully recruited more women to share their experience at OLF.

    • Ohio LinuxFest Registration and Contest Deadline Extended
    • Ohio LinuxFest Proves Real FOSS Diversity

      The annual Ohio LinuxFest is a genuine grass-roots community event. It is one of the most fun and most worthwhile Linux fests, and one of the most welcoming– everyone from brand-new Linux users, people curious about Linux, to wizened gurus and everyone in between are welcome.

    • Interviews from GUADEC, Part 3
    • ApacheCon NA 2010 registration opens

      The Apache Software Foundation has announced that registration is now open for this year’s ApacheCon North America. ApacheCon NA 2010, the official user conference of the Apache Software Foundation, will take place from the 1st to the 5th of November at The Westin Peachtree Plaza in Atlanta, Georgia.

    • [Registration Opens for ApacheCon North America 2010]
    • ApacheCon 2010 Registration Is Open
    • Call for Papers for SCALE 9x opens

      Organizers of the Southern California Linux Expo 9x have announced that the Call for Papers for SCALE 9x opens Wednesday, Sept. 1, with five speaker tracks.

    • XDS 2010 Has Been Moved To A Tobacco Factory

      Among the topics to be discussed at this ex-tobacco factory event are whether X drivers should be merged back into the X.Org Server for the 1.10 release, DRM/KMS support on non-Linux platforms, what hardware should continue to be supported and what drivers should be eliminated, a review of the latest DRI2 protocol additions, a development process recap, a multi-touch session, a session on X Gestures, handling input events, board of directors chat, documentation / how to get more individuals involved, EGL in Mesa, and libxkbcommon maintainer-ship. Birds of feather sessions for Xephyr, XCB, and the Wacom support are also planned.

  • Web Browsers

  • Oracle

    • MySQL Connector Released for OpenOffice.org

      The OpenOffice.org community has released a MySQL connector for OpenOffice. This allows you to edit the table in any MySQL installation from any desktop installation of OpenOffice.

  • Education

    • LiveText – A Cross Platform Online Education System

      In the last couple months I have posted my disgust about two different online education systems that are being used at various colleges around the United States. My dislike for these systems stems from the fact that even though they are web based, they do not adhere to Web Standards. This means that they are not fully accessible on FOS operating systems as they should be.

      [...]

      So if you are an educator looking for a platform to teach your online class through (or an administrator at a school that make the decision for many) I implore you to choose LiveText or another system that supports all operating systems (Not just those paying a Windows Tax).

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Project Releases

    • [ANNOUNCE] Git 1.7.2.3
    • Language agnostic web server Mongrel2 1.0 released

      Version 1.0 of Mongrel2, a language agnostic web server initiated by Zed Shaw, has been released. Shaw announced the release on his blog of the project which began development only three months ago. “I love this project” said Shaw, “Even if it doesn’t go anywhere and nobody uses it I am so happy I got to work on another cool idea nobody’s really done before”. Mongrel2 uses a simple backend protocol to allow Ruby, Python, C++, .Net and other languages make use of it’s ability to handle not just HTTP but Flash XMLSockets, WebSockets or Long Polling, and it’s event based I/O system.

    • First Alpha of uTorrent Server for Linux Released

      The uTorrent Server application provides a state-of-the-art implementation of the popular BitTorrent protocol and a full-featured WebUI (web-based user interface).

Leftovers

  • GPU vs. CPU Computing

    Graphics processing units (GPUs) have, for many years, powered the display of images and motion on computer displays. GPUs are now powerful enough to do more than just move images across the screen. They are capable of performing high-end computations that are the staple of many engineering activities.

    Benchmarks that focus on floating point arithmetic, those most often used in these engineering computations, show that GPUs can perform such computations much faster than the traditional central processing units (CPUs) used in today’s workstations—sometimes as much as 20 times faster, depending on the computation.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Oil rig fire triggers new pollution fear in Gulf of Mexico

      Fresh fears about drilling in the Gulf of Mexico were raised today when fire forced workers to abandon an oil and gas platform, just six months after the BP explosion that created an environmental disaster in the region.

    • Tibetan nomads struggle as grasslands disappear from the roof of the world

      Like generations of Tibetan nomads before him, Phuntsok Dorje makes a living raising yaks and other livestock on the vast alpine grasslands that provide a thatch on the roof of the world.

      But in recent years the vegetation around his home, the Tibetan plateau, has been destroyed by rising temperatures, excess livestock and plagues of insects and rodents.

  • Finance

    • Afghanistan tries to prevent run on its biggest bank

      Afghan authorities today attempted to prevent a potentially catastrophic run on the country’s biggest bank after allegations of corruption and mismanagement led regulators to replace two of its top executives.

      The revolution at the top of Kabul Bank, which is responsible for paying the salaries of nearly all the country’s policemen and soldiers, has caused shock in the capital amid fears of a collapse in confidence in Afghanistan’s ramshackle and corrupt financial system.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • MLB Decapitates Flugtag’s Phlyin’ Phanatic

      Major League Baseball is taking a guillotine to Phillie royalty. Well, a flying stuffed rendition of Phillie royalty.

      A Flugtag team that spent $3,000 and 400 hours building a flying machine topped with a replica of one of Major League Baseball’s favorite mascots was told two days before the local competition that the Phanatic can’t fly.

    • Copyrights

      • Mark Waid Explains: Culture Is More Important Than Copyright & It’s Time To Look For Opportunities In Sharing

        He also mentions that he’s got some plans in place for how he’s going to embrace things like BitTorrent and run some interesting experiments. He points out that they’re experiments, and there’s no guarantee they’ll work, but he wants to step forward and at least try to embrace it. This is great to hear, and I look forward to seeing what kind of experiments he runs.

      • Huge Push In Brazil To Legalize File Sharing

        That said… while I appreciate getting rid of “the war on copying,” I do think there are some serious problems with a proposal like this. Copyright levies tend to have serious unintended consequences. They create large bureaucracies, where money collection and distribution is not always done fairly. In fact, they often tend to favor bigger name artists over smaller artists, and just having the bureaucracy creates overhead that goes to the bureaucracy, rather than the artists. On top of that, it takes away incentive for consumers to support artists directly through other creative business models, because they feel that they “already paid,” via the levy.

      • Here come ‘Hurt Locker’ file-sharing subpoenas
      • ACTA/HADOPI

        • ACTA Action: Call on Obama to end the secrecy, reject the treaty

          Please read and share this article by Knowledge Ecology International’s James Love, sign our anti-ACTA petition, and call on Obama to publish the treaty text.

          Two weeks ago, we delivered over 4,000 of your signatures on our ACTA petition to negotiators meeting in Washington, D.C.

        • French ISPs and French Government Locking Horns Over HADOPI Costs

          There’s a major battle brewing between the French government and the French ISPs. A line is being drawn and it’s about the money. While this was foreseeable thanks to our earlier reports, it will be very interesting to see how far the battle will escalate. One report suggests that ISPs may even opt to not honor their end of the anti-piracy effort.

Clip of the Day

It’s a Unix system


Credit: TinyOgg

09.03.10

Links 3/9/2010: Wine 1.3.2, Great Fedora Site Redesign

Posted in News Roundup at 4:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • New, open source PS3 jailbreak may get round piracy claims

    Users will need to know what they’re doing, but the hack is achievable with a $25 Teensy++ USB development board or a $30 AT90USBkey loaded with the PSGroove files – which are available here.

    The hack is essentially similar to the PS Jailbreak technique.

  • Open Source: Quality, Flexibility and Cost

    Open Source has matured to the point where it is now used to some extent in every company. 98 percent of respondents to a survey said that their organizations make use of Open Source in some way. The people answering the survey were IT professionals in areas like network operations, server management and engineering.

  • Adopting Enterprise Open Source Software

    Nagios sent me a reminder yesterday, which I finally got around to reading today, to update to the latest version of Nagios Core, 3.2.2. We were running 3.2.0, so we were a couple versions behind, so after browsing through the list of fixed bugs I thought it would be good to go ahead and upgrade. I had a meeting in fifteen minutes, and Nagios was actively monitoring servers in production.

  • Google Wave’s open source future “in a Box”

    “Wave in a Box” will include a server and web client using the same structured conversation system that appeared in Google’s own Wave service, complete with support for threaded conversations in the web client and a refined version of Wave’s client-server communications. The server is based on the FedOne example server which was released on waveprotocol.org as a basic client/server prototype. Patches that have already been contributed allow “Wave in a Box” to implement a MongoDB based persistent store which supports searching and the server will also feature the gadget, robot and data APIs which allow for external applications to offer inline information or automated services within a Wave conversation.

  • Google Wave Freed As Open Source Project

    Alex North, Software Engineer, Google Wave team, wrote on a blog, “We will expand upon the 200K lines of code we’ve already open sourced (detailed at waveprotocol.org) to flesh out the existing example Wave server and web client into a more complete application or “Wave in a Box.”

  • Nuxeo present FISE, a RESTful semantic engine

    Open source enterprise content management experts Nuxeo have announced that, as part of the IKS European project, they are working with partners in the project to develop an open source semantic engine with a RESTful interface, dubbed fise. Fise, which stands for Furtwangen IKS Semantic Engine, was initially created in March at the IKS Semantic Engine Hackathon and now Nuxeo have made a demonstration system available for users to get a feel for what a semantic engine can achieve.

  • Giving Back To Open Source

    And recently, I became aware of the debt I owe to the Open Source movement. Open Source software freed my PC and turned it into a sleek, fast, secure, stable and powerful machine. I feel I owe much to Open Source software.

  • Open Source Software is “coming of age”: Accenture

    Showing how seriously OSS is now being taken at management level, nearly two thirds of the respondents said that their organisations now have a documented strategy for open source adoption with the remaining 32 percent currently developing a strategic plan.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome reaches second birthday, version 6 goes stable

      Google recently demonstrated some highly experimental tab features that offer insight into how Chrome tabbing might eventually be enhanced. Compared to something like Mozilla’s Panorama feature, Google says it wants to create something more automatic that doesn’t require much user intervention.

    • Two years on, Chrome reshapes browser market
    • Mozilla

      • Meet Kerim Kalamujic, Bosnian Contributor!

        1. Hello Kerim. To start out with, could you give us a little introduction and tell us a little bit about you?

        Hi. I was born in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I am 25 years old, I have an Engineer’s degree in Telecommunications and am currently working as an IT Director in a local company called Triland Development.

      • Mozilla’s Bespin becomes Skywriter

        The project is now to be officially hosted on GitHub to allow developers to fork the project more easily. Previously, Skywriter was officially hosted using Mercurial which led to developers only installing Mercurial for access to Bespin and the creation of unofficial mirrors. The new GitHub repository is a work in progress though as it will only contain an “all JavaScript” version of the Skywriter system, and that is currently incomplete. The older bespinclient Mercurial repository is being kept open for now to give developers access to “something that works today”. The project also has a new home page on Mozilla Labs reflecting the name change.

  • SaaS

  • Oracle

    • Gosling Webcast

      Next week JavaZone, the conference that brought you Lady Java and Java Forever will be held in Norway. To celebrate the opening of the new ForgeRock Norway office, we’ve arranged for a party just before the conference starts, on Tuesday evening. If you are in Oslo and would like to attend, please send an RSVP to the address on the web site.

    • Does the Fate of OpenSolaris Tell Us Where Unix Is Headed?

      It’s not easy to pin down the exact date of the birth of OpenSolaris, but it’s really easy to nail the date of its demise: Friday, August 13, 2010. This was the date a leaked Oracle internal memo was released on the Internet: a memo that effectively announced the end of the OpenSolaris Project, just over five years after the general release of the OpenSolaris code and 830 days after the first official release of an OpenSolaris distribution from Sun Microsystems.

    • An obituary for Larry Ellison

      I’m tired of hearing questions about the future of Java, OpenOffice and MySQL (to limit myself to only three projects), and even more tired of trying to talk to people with whom I have contact in Oracle and always hear the same history (invest more and do better), that simply doesn’t translate into any concrete action. I’m tired of living in a world of uncertainty and rumors in this area.

  • CMS

  • Education

    • New course management program to replace WebCT

      EduCat is powered by an open source course system called Moodle, a software package for creating internet-based courses and websites. NMU is switching because the vendor that supports WebCT will no longer be licensing the software, said Smock. NMU’s license with WebCT expires in July 2011.

  • Healthcare

    • Open health in Guatemala

      The FreeMED Software Foundation has been involved with a medical clinic and teaching project in Guatemala for some time. The project, hosted by Pop-Wuj, a non-profit Spanish language school in Xela (Quetzeltenango), Guatemala, hosts a medical clinic for the poor in the city and surrounding pueblos.

    • EU: 3.3 Million To Continue Projects On Open Source And Reusable Data

      The European Commission is planning to spend 3.344 million Euro until 2016 to continue the services provided by its projects – such as OSOR.eu and Semic.eu – on open source and on electronic data exchange.

      The EC published the budget details last week Thursday for its e-Government project. Apart from the 3.344 million Euro planned for the new platform to provide collaborative services for current Semic.eu and OSOR.eu users, another 8.8 million Euro are foreseen to provide support for existing and future communities around eGovernment in general, including the growing Open Source community on OSOR.eu and the community around interoperablity assets on Semic.eu.

    • Medical FLOSS Repository: An update from Medfloss.org
  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Only one day left to influence the EURO 2012 qualification games

      As it is common in football since some time to bribe the referee, this is also possible: Just transfer the money to FSFE’s bank account with the subject “donation for Free Software European championship [Country name]” and announce your bribery via microblog with the above mentioned hashtag ;)

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

Leftovers

  • Game-addicted man scores rare win over software lawyers

    Craig Smallwood sued Lineage II maker NC Interactive late last year, claiming that his compulsive urge to play the game caused him to sink more than 20,000 hours into it. As a result, he had to be hospitalized and continues to suffer extreme and serious emotional distress and depression that requires treatment and therapy three times a week, according to court documents.

  • Lawyer sues Avvo for libel after receiving poor online rating

    A Florida lawyer has sued Avvo for libel, arguing that the Seattle online attorney rating service published inaccurate information about him and engaged in a practice of blackmail in order to get him to participate on the site. Larry Joe Davis Jr., a St. Petersburg lawyer who has a 3.7 rating on Avvo, argues in the suit that the site inaccurately listed him as having a practice in the “employment/labor” area when in fact he specializes in health law. He also alleges that Avvo engaged in unfair acts of trade or commerce.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Security hole found in top price-comparison sites

      While sites such as Confused.com and Comparethemarket.com might save you time and money, the true cost could be higher than you think courtesy of a basic flaw when it comes to securing customers’ personal data.

    • Kirklees Council ban future use of Mosquito device on council land and property

      A DEVICE which targets young people has been banned following a campaign by junior politicians.

    • United Airlines and Dulles security treat Pakistani military officers as terrorists

      The officers were on a junket in the USA, and had been travelling extensively; one of them said words to the effect of, “I hope this is my last flight.” This was interpreted as a terrorist threat by a flight attendant.

    • Sneaky Senate Trying To Slip Internet Kill Switch Past Us

      Sensing Senators don’t have the stomach to try and pass a stand-alone bill in broad daylight that would give the President the power to shut down the Internet in a national emergency, the Senate is considering attaching the Internet Kill Switch bill as a rider to other legislation that would have bi-partisan support.

    • Hardware hackers defeat quantum crypto

      Security researchers using hardware hacking techniques have unearthed generic flaws in supposedly ultra-secure quantum cryptography systems.

    • German “secure” ID cards compromised on national TV, gov’t buries head in sand

      A German TV programme showed hackers from the Chaos Computer Club using off-the-shelf equipment to extract personal information from the government’s new “secure” ID card, which stores scans of fingerprints and a six-digit PIN that can be used to sign official documents and declarations.

    • Drumroll, please: the top Web scams of the decade

      Good to know that there are so many people out there who care. But better to know what the most common scams look like. Here is security vendor Panda’s new list of the biggest Web scams of the decade.

    • New malware detects browser, shows fake malware warning page

      Microsoft is warning about a new piece of malware, Rogue:MSIL/Zeven, that auto-detects a user’s browser and then imitates the relevant malware warning pages from Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Chrome. The fake warning pages are very similar to the real thing; you have to look closely to realize they aren’t the real thing. The ploy is a basic social engineering scheme, but in this case the malware authors are relying on the user’s trust in their browser, a tactic that hasn’t been seen before.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Former Lehman CEO: It’s Not Our Fault We Went Bankrupt

      Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy had nothing to do with Lehman Brothers, according to Dick Fuld, Lehman Brothers’ former CEO.

      Instead, Fuld argued at a public hearing today, Lehman went bust because the financial world wrongly lost confidence in the bank, and the government failed to effectively intervene.

    • Lehman Brothers ex-CEO Wants Everyone To Know That It Was Everyone Else’s Fault Lehman Failed

      In fact, a recent report from Planet Money and Pro Publica, that came out just last week, showed how ridiculous levels of self-dealing among banks not only prolonged the mess, but actually made the eventual impact much, much worse. Basically the banks created fake demand for the very worst parts of the mortgage-backed securities they were trying to sell, in order to keep on selling.

    • Goldman employees still enamored with firm, CEO

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) is the bank many Americans love to hate, but one group just plain loves it: its employees.

      The firm’s employees are among the most fiercely loyal in the financial services industry, according to a survet by glassdoor.com, a career website. And Goldman Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein had the highest approval rating of any CEO in the financial sector.

      Glassdoor.com’s survey was done online, which means it is not exactly scientific, but any good news is surely welcome at Goldman, which is fresh off settling civil fraud charges with U.S. securities regulators. The lawsuit set off a public relations nightmare that led some inside the bank to question whether Blankfein should be ousted.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Announcing our new Online Director

      He comes to us from Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society. Joey brings extensive experience from a range of online activist efforts, including the T. Boone Pickens alternative energy campaign, and an in-depth knowledge and understanding of how to use technology to galvanize and engage a community. He will lead our digital grassroots efforts towards change in Washington.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Google’s Earth

      Science fiction never imagined Google, but it certainly imagined computers that would advise us what to do. HAL 9000, in “2001: A Space Odyssey,” will forever come to mind, his advice, we assume, eminently reliable — before his malfunction. But HAL was a discrete entity, a genie in a bottle, something we imagined owning or being assigned. Google is a distributed entity, a two-way membrane, a game-changing tool on the order of the equally handy flint hand ax, with which we chop our way through the very densest thickets of information. Google is all of those things, and a very large and powerful corporation to boot.

    • Murdoch Reporters’ Phone-Hacking Was Endemic, Victimized Hundreds

      A phone-hacking scheme involving British royals and reporters working for one of Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid newspapers went far beyond what was previously disclosed and prosecuted, according toThe New York Times.

      Andy Coulson, currently media advisor to British Prime Minister David Cameron, is accused of having encouraged the hacking during his tenure as editor of Murdoch’s News of the World paper.

    • Don’t Let Schools Chip Your Kids

      On Tuesday, preschoolers in Richmond, California showed up for school and were handed jerseys embedded with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags. RFID tags are tiny computer chips that are frequently used to track everything from cattle to commercial products moving through warehouses. Now the school district is apparently hoping to use these chips to replace manual attendance records, track the children’s movements at school and during field trips, and collect other data like whether the child has eaten or not.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Scam Artists Use HADOPI to Steal Users Money

        News has surfaced that warning letters, allegedly from HADOPI, are being sent to an untold number of French citizens who are accused of copyright infringement. The problem? Neither HADOPI nor rights holders actually sent those e-mails.

      • Introduction to “three strikes” copyright infringement rules in Dragon*con EFF track

        Distribution of digital content has only gotten easier over time. In the early years of web sharing, distribution happened over the client-server system. The more people using it, the slower the system was. But now with peer-to-peer (P2P) sharing, speeds and access actually increase with a greater number of users. Trammell demonstrated with the following list, a history of how, since P2P arrived, the two big players in the fight against sharing, the RIAA (Recording Industry of America) and MPAA (Motion Picutre Association of America), have fought it:

        * 1999 – RIAA labels sued Napster
        * 2002 – RIAA sued Aimster
        * 2003 – MPAA studios sued Grokster
        * 2006 – RIAA labels sued the developers of LimeWire

        [...]

        The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (which has its own session for discussion at Dragon*Con) is an international treaty to create standards for IP rights enforcement. It’s supposed to be a response to the increase in pirated works and is a framework for companies to voluntarily join outside of WTO, WIPO, and the UN. It’s also held in secret. Many in the US have sent FOIA requests seeking transparency. There have been leaks and a condensed version that have come out. And earlier this year, they confirmed that mandatory graduated response for signing companies is off the table.

      • ORGCon: James Boyle Interview

        In this video James speaks to Open Rights Group volunteer Nitya Rajan about the importance of the public domain, and why it should be treated with care and respect.

      • Settlement reached after judge refuses to dismiss copyright suit

        U.S. District Judge Philip Pro rejected a defendant’s argument that the case should be dismissed because Righthaven didn’t own the copyright to the story at the time of the alleged infringement.

      • Copyrighting Fashion: Who Gains?
      • Media Minutes: September 3, 2010

        Latinos for Internet Freedom, a new coalition of more than 40 organizations and groups, is advocating for an open and accessible Internet. And bloggers and nonprofits are now targets of a “lawsuit mill” that shakes down people for big sums of money for sharing articles and links.

      • iTunes song-sample plan runs into music publishers
      • LVRJ Defends Righthaven Suits; Mocks Competitor For Highlighting Problems With Them
      • Why we are writing about the R-J copyright lawsuits

        Some commentators are wondering why the Las Vegas Sun, and our sister publication In Business Las Vegas, have published so many stories about the Las Vegas Review-Journal/Righthaven LLC copyright infringement lawsuit campaign.

        Are we covering the R-J/Righthaven lawsuits, which through Monday totaled 107 complaints against defendants throughout the United States and Canada, because they involve our competitor?

        Because we’ve reported criticism of Righthaven by defense attorneys and others, do the Sun and In Business condone and encourage copyright infringement?

        And as I’ve been the writer of most of these stories, one reader said it appears I’m “outraged” by Righthaven and asked me if that was the case.

      • ACTA

Clip of the Day

Physicist Leonard Mlodinow vs. Deepak Chopra


Credit: TinyOgg

Links 3/9/2010: GNOME 2.32 Beta 2, Android Tablets

Posted in News Roundup at 1:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Dell Studio 1747 Laptop: One Fatal Flaw Away from Linux Perfection

      If you’re looking for a workhorse, desktop replacement laptop it’s hard to find one more powerful than the Dell Studio 1747. Armed with an Intel Core i7, a 17″ inch display, and as much RAM as you’ll find in any laptop, the 1747 is a monster. Power aside, how does it fare as a Linux box? Almost perfect, but with one major flaw.

      [...]

      In almost every way I’m satisfied so far with the 1747. However, the lack of working wireless is really problematic for people who actually use the laptop to move around. I’ve already ordered an ExpressCard adapter that’s gotten good reviews for working with Ubuntu and Linux Mint, which set me back less than $30 on Amazon. Given that I scored a good deal on the laptop, I’m not too unhappy at having to pick up a wireless card.

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Who Contributed The Most During X Server 1.9?

        Two years ago we compiled a list of the top contributors to the X Server over the years and that was followed by compiling a similar list of the developers behind Mesa. Tiago Vignatti has now compiled some statistics surrounding the top contributors to X.Org Server 1.9 and related X components just looking at this most recent development cycle. There’s also numbers for the input, video, and Mesa components too.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • 7 Things You Can Do in KDE, But Not in Windows

        When the KDE 4 series was still being developed, Aaron Seigo announced in his blog that it would do away with icons on the desktop.

        He was being deliberately provocative, because what he really meant was that users would no longer be stuck with a single set of icons on the desktop. By abstracting the desktop icons into a separate feature called FolderView, KDE makes it easy to maintain and load separate sets of icons for different purposes. If you take the time to setup FolderView to suit your work habits, it reduces the number of icons on the desk at any one time, and makes finding them much easier.

        2) Running Multiple Activities

      • Dolphin in KDE 4.5

        KDE 4.5 has been good to me so far, except the monstrosity that is Dolphin. I was already irked by the slowness and the crazy sorting behaviour, now it hangs 10 t 15 seconds when I try to do CPU-heavy tasks like no file manager was ever meant to do, oh, I don’t know, move a file. Or maybe copy one. Opening a directory. Stuff like that.

        But in KDE it’s always been easy to switch file manager. Most people in this case would use Konqueror instead, but I don’t like that one either. Thunar is my application of choice here, but up until now the Oxygen theme and Thunar didn’t play along, resulting in horrible default folder icons.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME 2.32 Beta 2 Has Been Released

        The second beta of the next GNOME release has arrived full of bug fixes and updates. Many of the standard packages have been updated for GNOME 2.32 Beta 2 (2.31.91) and more translation work has been done.

  • Distributions

    • A Guide to Today’s Top 10 Linux Distributions

      Choosing the distribution–or “distro”–that’s right for your business will depend in large part on five key factors, as I’ve already described. It’s also helpful, however, to have a basic understanding of how the major Linux distros differ.

    • What I want from computers

      Well, my first blog post on this subject generated some broad agreement (and a few flames), but I think it’s necessary to be a little more specific about the three main things I want from from computers, from Linux, from whatever, as opposed to just from Fedora or any one Linux distribution. Here we go, and remember, this applies always to a “stable” release, not to the latest half baked bits that are under work, and it’s equally applicable to any Operating System you care to mention…

    • Reviews

      • I wrote a review article about antiX core today

        The result is a REALLY fast system, faster than anything else I am using in fact. I really like it. It is fast – I said that more than once for emphasis, but its also flexible, and it provides only what you configure, nothing more, nothing less. What I have built represents what I prefer to use in my personal computing environments.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Magento Appoints Software Veterans Michel Goossens and Jary Carter to Spearhead Global Expansion

        Goossens joins Magento from Red Hat (NYSE: RHT | PowerRating), where he was vice president EMEA of the organization’s JBoss division.

      • Fedora

        • Caroline’s Identity Crisis
        • On updates and user experiences and so forth

          In fact I could be quite happy if we revised Fedora’s process completely. I can see a future where we aim to be a rolling distribution, and put out a point release only when we *have* to; when I asked people within Fedora a while back why point releases still exist, the only really valid answer was more or less ‘because sometimes changes happen that we can’t handle with an in-place update’. That’s fine, but in that case, there’s no real reason besides PR to schedule releases every six months; why not just do a release when some change means we *have* to do one? When such a change comes along we put out a set of images and give people six months to reinstall or upgrade, pushing security fixes for the previous codebase during that period, and then just declare it dead and say everyone needs to be on the new code now? Most of the objections to this kind of thing are about providing stable platforms and dependable updates and yadda yadda, but I already said, there’s no reason Fedora has to be that project. In a lot of ways I think Fedora could be a much more interesting and useful project in the long term if it wasn’t.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu in Education

          The Andalusia deployment of over 200,000 systems is well documented and Amtron deploying 28,000 in Assam in northern India and Oxford Archaeology and Johns Hopikins and Oakland University and the list continues to grow. Next week I’m visiting a local school in my backyard of Houston, TX that has migrated to Ubuntu using Moodle and other open source SIS (Student Information Systems). The project lead is also the volunteer coordinator of the Moodle Core Contrib team. I had to travel out of town to meet him and learn about this great project. I’m really glad I did!

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Android, iOS Gap Is Wider Than It Appears

          Jobs’ love-hate relationship with Google became apparent when he pointed that “some of our friends are counting upgrades in their numbers.”

          Who are these friends — Microsoft or Google?

          Apple/Google inspired Microsoft entered this number game (do you remember when was the last time they came out with an original idea?) and announced that they are activating 10 Windows 7 per second.

          So, the jab could be at Microsoft! However, in most cases Microsoft gets free rides, Windows 7 comes pre-installed with generic PCs and most users were forced to upgrade from grandpa XP and rouge Vista.

    • Tablets

      • Tablet Computers Will Thrive Because They Are Shareable

        -Google’s Tim Bray, co-creator of XML and now Android Developer Advocate, discussing the new Samsung Galaxy Tab, and tablet computers in general. The Galaxy Tab has a 7″ screen (almost 30% smaller than the iPad screen) and runs Android 2.2 (Froyo).

      • Samsung ‘Prioritizing’ Android Ahead of Windows Phone 7 and Its Own Bada

        In a recent disucssion with Reuters that took place at IFA, Samsung head of marketing for their mobile division YH Lee asserted the companies commitment to Android as its main smartphone focus. Lee said, “we are prioritizing our Android platform” due to the operating system being “very open and flexible.” He also noted high consumer demand for the platform that has quickly risen as a prime challenger against Apple’s iOS.

      • Samsung: ‘we are prioritizing our Android platform’

        Samsung may be one of the big players that Microsoft is pinning its hopes on for Windows Phone 7, but you wouldn’t know that from listening to the company at IFA. Speaking to Reuters at the show, Samsung’s head of marketing for its mobile division, YH Lee, said flatly that “we are prioritizing our Android platform,” adding that, “Android is very open and flexible, and there is a consumer demand for it.”

      • PC replacement trend for enterprise market to appear in 1Q11, says Asustek

        Asustek is also set to launch a tablet PC, the Eee Note, and an e-book reader, the Eee Reader, in Taiwan and Europe in October. The Eee Note adopts an ARM-based Marvell processor and Linux-based operating system, designed by Asustek, for a price of US$199-299. Asustek will also launch a Wintel-based Eee Pad tablet PC in December with the model using a 10-inch panel, Nvidia Tegra processor and Android operating system, to show up in the first quarter of 2011 for a price below US$399.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Blender 2.5 Quizzes

    An enjoyable little time-waster: test your Blender 2.5 knowledge with a Blender quizz. Right now there are four quizzes to take, and more will appear in the future.

  • Introducing fise, the Open Source RESTful Semantic Engine

    As a member of the IKS european project Nuxeo contributes to the development of an Open Source software project named fise whose goal is to help bring new and trendy semantic features to CMS by giving developers a stack of reusable HTTP semantic services to build upon.

    [...]

    A semantic engine is a software component that extracts the meaning of a electronic document to organize it as partially structured knowledge and not just as a piece of unstructured text content.

  • Open-Xchange Releases Free Migration Tool For Microsoft Outlook Users

    Open-Xchange, a provider of business-class open source collaboration software, announced the availability of data migration tools for users of Microsoft Outlook to easily move e-mails, contacts, appointments and tasks to Open-Xchange Server.

    [...]

    Due to PST file size limitations, PST files can be distributed amongst several workstations without a proper back-up strategy. Having all data centralized on the Open-Xchange Server enables administrators to integrate that data into their server-side backup environment and security policies. The software is available for free download at http://oxpedia.org/wiki/index.php?title=OX_Outlook_Uploader

  • FOSSFactory: Collaborative Free Open Source Design, Development & Funding Community

    There is no doubt that open source movement is taking over the world, 72% web sites run on open source server Apache, wordpress the open source blogging platform based on PHP/MYSQL is the #1 blogging platform in the world. Major sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Google on open source software such as PHP, Python, Ruby and Java.

    FOSS stands for Free and open source software software that is liberally licensed to grant the right of users to use, study, change, and improve its design through the availability of its source code.

  • Is Open Source Software Competitive With Cutting-Edge Applications?

    Indeed, the larger problem is that it’s very rare to see open source software really leading innovation in important, emerging software categories such as speech recognition or social networking. The problem isn’t lack of good developers in open source. In social networking, for example, developers have created good open source offerings, but they don’t lead the pack, and they certainly don’t challenge Facebook.

    Open source is home base for renegades, rebels, and out-of-the-box thinkers. It remains a conundrum why open source software doesn’t lead the way in more important, cutting-edge tech categories.

  • More Organisations To Be Hosted On Open Source Stacks: Dave Hall

    As the desktop becomes less important, open source developer and enthusiast Dave Hall sees greater opportunities for organisations to switch to Linux-based desktop environments. In an exclusive interview, Hall talks about his contribution to FOSS and open source software and the way forward.

  • SaaS

  • Oracle

    • Print file format changes on Linux

      The CUPS print system that is used on Linux and other Unix operating systems is switching its file format from PostScript to PDF. As part of this OpenOffice.org should switch its print output file format to PDF, too. This was implemented in OOo for issue 94173.

    • OpenOffice.org Conference 2010: preparing the next ten years

      Florian Schiessl explained what made the Munich’s conversion to OpenOffice.org work: maniac attention to detail and patience. They looked at some 21000 different templates and macros one by one and converted each of them manually, but only when they were sure they couldn’t be abandoned, eventually reducing their number of about 40%. More info is at WoLimux. They had problems when they sent ODF files to other organizations that had never seen them before, but Schiessl’s suggestion is “do talk with your partners when they refuse ODF and there will be good results and simplification for everybody, for example like using MS formats, but abandoning MS-only macros because they were not necessary in the first place”. (of course, being one of the largest cities in Europe helps a lot in this approach… single users still have less opportunities to be heard).

    • Live from the OpenOffice.org Conference in Budapest

      This week the world-wide OpenOffice.org community comes together at the annual OpenOffice.org Conference in Budapest. Oracle, the steward of OpenOffice.org, is sponsoring the event and the Oracle Office team participates in various work groups and technical sessions. In his keynote, Michael Bemmer, General Manager of the new Oracle Office Global Business Unit, underlined the “importance of Oracle Open Office and OpenOffice.org to Oracle and its customers” (photo). The Open Document Format (ODF) is one of this year’s main topics of the conference with governments and businesses from all around the globe sharing their ODF experiences and discussing the overall benefits of open standards. Stay tuned to learn more about how the new solutions will make life easier for end users, and reduce the total cost of ownership for enterprises and public sector customers.

    • From the Editors: Keeping Sun’s open-source software open

      In other words, Oracle seems to be saying, competitors shouldn’t be using Oracle technology in their own products, and that includes Sun’s technology. This is, quite frankly, what many observers (including SD Times) were concerned about. Oracle does not have a tradition of playing well with others.

    • Celebrating 10 Years of OpenOffice.org – Congratulations!
  • Education

    • An open source education–for educators

      One of the challenges of working in the space between academia and open source communities is translating the cultural and timescale differences. One approach to bridging the gap is to empower people already in the academic space–like professors–to navigate the free and open source software (FOSS) world and bring that knowledge back to the institutions they come from. The week-long POSSE Professors’ Open Source Summer Experience (POSSE) workshop, sponsored by Red Hat, aims to do just that.

  • Business

  • Project Releases

    • Lightspark 0.4.4.1 released

      ver­sion 0.4.4.1 of the lightspark player has been just released. It’s mainly a bug fix release, the most rel­e­vant news are:

      * Fixed a crash when using flashblock
      * Restore sup­port for YouTube

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Three Keys to Success For the 21st Century Manager

      A trio of recent Harvard Business Review blog posts all center around a common theme: what does it take to be a successful business leader and manager in the 21st century? What traits and characteristics should this new generation of business leader possess?

      The posts center around three key areas: how a successful leader will handle the “new normal” of the 21st century business landscape, how the leader will exhibit the necessary people management skills, and how the leader can exponentially increase the amount of value generated by the company or organization.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Discovery, rediscovery, and open access. Part 2.

        In Part 1 of this essay (published in SOAN for August 2010) I sketched some ways in which the growth of OA modified William Garvey’s 1979 observation that “in some disciplines, it is easier to repeat an experiment than it is to determine that the experiment has already been done.”

        http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/newsletter/08-02-10.htm#rediscovery1

        Here I’d like to connect OA with three variations on Garvey’s theme. Garvey focused on cases in which redoing past work is undesirable but easier than looking up the original results. The problem to solve or work around is a dysfunctional access system. Sometimes, however, we positively want to redo past work. The problem is that the original results are untested or unconfirmed, not inaccessible. Sometimes we redo past work inadvertently. The problem is our near-sighted review of past literature. Sometimes redoing past work and looking it up are both undesirable. The problem is that we’ve allowed knowledge to become taboo and replaced curiosity with a defensive preference for what we already believe. Anything is easier than looking up past work or redoing it. All literature reviews are near-sighted. The problem lies in us, our fears and complacency, or in our predecessors, who might have broken the access system, burned the books, or created a culture in which inquiry is stigmatized as disloyal and harmful to party, profits, or faith.

  • Programming

    • Eclipse Day at the Googleplex 2010

      Here at Google, we have engineers using Eclipse every day to build our external and internal products, as well as engineers building and releasing Eclipse tools. Earlier this year, we announced Eclipse Labs, which is “a single place where anyone can start and maintain their open source projects based on the Eclipse platform with just a few clicks.” Since we use Eclipse so much here at Google, hosting Eclipse Day at the Googleplex is one way of giving back to the community and providing an environment for Eclipse contributors and users to network and share ideas. We hosted Eclipse Day before in 2009 and 2008, and last week we hosted our third year where we tried out some new ideas: a brief lunchtime unconference and post-conference Ignite talks.

Leftovers

  • Six more cops indicted in Danziger Bridge shootings, coverup

    Six current or former New Orleans police officers are the latest to be indicted in the sprawling civil rights investigation into shootings on the Danziger Bridge and a subsequent conspiracy to cover up what happened. Two people died and four were injured in the tragic incident that happened in the chaotic days after Hurricane Katrina.

  • Justice Department Sues Infamous Joe Arpaio, ‘America’s Sheriff’
  • Nadine Gordimer goes back into battle

    Twenty years after helping defeat apartheid, the eminent writer is fighting government plans to muzzle South Africa’s media

  • Woman Sues Facebook After Being Banned From Site

    Would you drive all the way from Maryland to California to try to get your Facebook account reinstated? That’s what Karen Beth Young did but apparently this wasn’t enough to impress the Facebook receptionist on duty. “Oh, people have driven farther than you, from Canada,” she was reportedly told, according to this Forbes story.

  • The 8 Best Sites For Funny Computer Desktop Wallpapers

    When you work a lot on the computer, you come face to face with the desktop several times a day. The most important is first thing in the morning, when you start up your computer for the day, to check your email and read a few of your favorite blogs.

    There are few greater opportunities to get your mood off to a good start every day than the appearance of a really funny image or quote. With your coffee perched up to your lips, you’ll find yourself chuckling, and the entire mood of the morning has changed – you have a smile on your face before the coffee even reached your blood stream.

  • Does Cisco buying Skype make sense?

    A Cisco buyout for Skype makes sense for Skype as well. Skype, despite some efforts such as trying to combine VoIP with private branch exchange (PBX) and Unified Communications systems with Skype Connect, may be popular with people in general, but it’s never made much of an impact in the corporate markets. I’m sure Skype’s private equity owners would also welcome a buyout more than casting their bread on the uncertain waters of a Skype IPO in this shaky market.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Pathologist in G20 death case found guilty of misconduct

      The Home Office pathologist criticised for his autopsy on the body of the newspaper seller who died at the G20 protests in London was found guilty of misconduct and “deficient professional performance” today.

    • Life in America’s toughest jail

      In “Tent City”, a notorious convict camp in the Arizona desert that lacks even basic air conditioning, temperatures regularly top 130 degrees, causing no end of heat-related health problems among its internees. Arpaio once boasted that he spends more feeding his police dogs than he does on feeding his prisoners: “The dogs never committed a crime and they work for a living,” he said to justify the poor quality of the food served in his jails – just a couple of reasons, perhaps, why his jail system is subject to the most lawsuits and has the highest prisoner death rates in the US. One man who has experienced Sheriff Joe’s brand of justice at first hand is Shaun Attwood.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • US salmonella scare: farm inspections reveal manure, mice and maggots

      US politicians are coming under pressure to increase regulation of the country’s largest egg producers after a federal inspection of two companies at the centre of a salmonella scare revealed breaches of basic hygiene.

      Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspections of Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms, both in Iowa, found piles of chicken manure up to 2.5 metres (8ft) high beneath the hens’ cages. Employees crushed flies underfoot and live and dead maggots were seen in a manure pit.

    • Weaning the world off oil

      Ten days ago I received a letter from Cairn Energy, the British company at the centre of Greenpeace’s current direct action in the Arctic. I was told that its drilling operation is “relatively straightforward” and that the blue whales, polar bears and kittiwakes in Baffin Bay are safe, because, according to Cairn, “our programme is conventional”.

    • 75 months and counting …

      To minimise the danger of alarmism, but without hiding from the facts, we set our parameters to assume that humanity would be on the lucky end of the spectrum of environmental risk. We were optimistic, perhaps too much so, about the speed and likelihood with which ecological dominoes might fall in a warming world. Nevertheless, what we found was startling. One hundred months on from August 2008 we were set to cross an atmospheric threshold.

  • Finance

    • Auto-tune The Financial Crisis: ‘Bankers’ Song’ Takes On The Financial Crisis (VIDEO)

      Ever heard of Commissioner Rouglas Scholtz-Tweakin of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission? Neither had we.

      To go along with their new expose on banks’ self-dealing, NPR and ProPublica collaborated with “reporters” at Auto-tune the News to bring us exclusive footage of the “eleventh commissioner” at the private hearings. (Hence, the reference to commissioner Douglas Holtz-Eakin.)

    • No bank account? Get your tax refund on plastic

      A new Treasury Department program to give people without bank accounts faster access to their tax refunds will help some avoid costly short-term loans. But careless consumers could end up racking up fees and padding bank profits.

    • Productivity falls while labor costs increase

      American companies experienced the largest drop in workplace productivity this spring in nearly four years and a rise in labor costs, suggesting businesses may no longer be able to squeeze more work out leaner staffs.

      Productivity dropped at an annual rate of 1.8 percent in the April-to-June quarter, the Labor Department said Thursday. That’s double the 0.9 percent decline originally reported a month ago.

    • Bernanke: Shut down banks if they threaten system

      Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told a panel investigating the financial crisis that regulators must be ready to shutter the largest institutions if they threaten to bring down the financial system.

      “If the crisis has a single lesson, it is that the too-big-to-fail problem must be solved,” Bernanke said Thursday while testifying before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.

    • Wonkbook: Romer wants more stimulus; five reasons for economic optimism; illegal immigration down

      In her final speech as chair of the Council of Economic Advisors, Christina Romer issued the clearest call any member of the administration has made for substantial new stimulus. “The only surefire ways for policymakers to substantially increase aggregate demand in the short run are for the government to spend more and tax less,” she said. As is her trademark, Romer delivered her “scary descriptions and warnings” with a “perma-smile and singsong delivery.”

      If you’re looking for actual optimism, however, we’ve got some of that, too: Neil Irwin sees at least five reasons to be upbeat about the economy. Many will be glad to hear that illegal immigration has fallen by two-thirds since 2005. And Republican House chairmen will be happy to know that John Boehner plans to make them more powerful if he becomes speaker.

    • Former Lehman Brothers CEO Fuld: U.S. regulators acted on ‘flawed information’

      U.S. regulators acting on “flawed information” denied Lehman Brothers the bailout assistance that its Wall Street competitors received, dooming the investment bank to collapse, former company chief executive Richard S. Fuld said Wednesday.

      In remarks before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission set up by Congress, Fuld testified that Lehman gave government regulators a number of options for saving the company but that these were rejected. He said the regulators just weeks later extended similar measures to other Wall Street banks.

    • Ex-Lehman CEO says regulators refused to save firm

      The former chief of Lehman Brothers told a panel investigating the financial crisis that the Wall Street firm could have been rescued, but regulators refused to help – even though they later bailed out other big banks.

      Richard S. Fuld Jr. told the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission at a hearing that Lehman did everything it could to limit its risks and save itself in the fall of 2008.

    • Manufacturing rebound spurs biggest stock rally in months

      After their worst August in nine years, stocks kicked off September with a big snap-back rally, following the release Wednesday of surprisingly good news about the U.S. manufacturing sector.

    • Small businesses hold off spending while waiting for aid

      Small businesses have put hiring, supply buying and real estate expansion on hold as they wait out the vote on a small-business-aid bill that stalled in the Senate earlier this summer.

      The much-debated legislation offers tax breaks and waived loan fees. But it also comes with more divisive components, such as a $30 billion fund that would help community banks give loans to small businesses. Opponents say the fund would be a mini version of the often-criticized TARP large-bank bailout program.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • China accused of holding woman in mental hospital for challenging officials

      They snatched Liao Meizhi on her birthday, dragging her off the street and into a dirty blue van as others held back her husband.

      It was only two months later, when a stranger knocked on the door, that her family learned where she had been taken. The man said he had just been discharged from a nearby mental hospital – and that Liao was being held there against her will. Her husband insists she has no psychiatric problems.

    • Assange: The Amazing Adventures of Captain Neo in Blonde Land…

      …as no doubt the story of Julian Assange’s escapades in Sweden will be known once it inevitably makes its way into the hands of one of the goofier Hollywood directors – say Robert Zemeckis or Mel Brooks, or perhaps Stephen Herek of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. It would do better in the hands of Andy Wachowski, where he might do for Julian Assange what he once did for Keanu Reeves.

      Who could ask for a more beautiful set-up? It’s a story fit for a tabloid, yet it might be transformed into something an intellectual could read without embarrassment. This latest adventure is the stuff of pulp fiction, and chock full of Langley spies, computer hackers, crazy feminists, flatfooted cops and sleazy rags in the female kingdom of Sweden!

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Scammers using fake copyright infringement notices for profit

        HADOPI, meet the internautes. The French “high authority” that oversees the country’s three strikes anti-P2P file-sharing campaign is now being used by spammers and scammers who attempt to trick people out of their cash by accusing them of copyright violations.

        The e-mails have appeared in recent days, purporting to come from France’s Haute Autorité pour la diffusion des œuvres et la protection des droits sur Internet (HADOPI). This is the government group that will accept file-sharing complaints from movie and music rightsholders, then issue sanctions and fines to users, with Internet disconnection and blacklisting the ultimate penalty.

      • The Era of Copyrighted Cocktails?

        So, can a cocktail be copyrighted? In short, no. The publication of a recipe can be legally protected, but the “expression of an idea,” as the lawyers in the seminar explained, cannot. It’s the reason musicians can’t be sued for covering another band’s song in a live show. But few bartenders publish their recipes. They tend to pass them on as an oral tradition.

      • iTunes song-sample plan runs into music publishers

        A trade group representing music publishers and songwriters informed Apple on Tuesday that the company could not go ahead with a plan to extend the length of iTunes song samples without the publishers permission.

      • ACTA

        • Informal Meeting of EU Foreign Affairs Ministers may discuss ACTA on September 10th

          The Dutch Parliament moves the ACTA dossier from the Economic Affairs committee to the Foreign Affairs committee.

        • US told EU to hide ACTA from public

          The United States is behind the wall of secrecy surrounding global trade talks to combat counterfeiting, say EU policy sources, who claim that American officials are refusing to let their European counterparts publish the draft agreement online.

        • USTR Behind ACTA Secrecy; This Is Not The Transparency We Were Promised

          Transparency? Not around the USTR, apparently. They’ve been using transparency as a negotiating ploy, and when they don’t get what they want, they refuse to let the document be released. Of course, in being so childish, all the US has really done is draw more scrutiny, and pretty much guarantee that a draft (including the markup that the one and only official release left out) get leaked.

Clip of the Day

Stephen Hawking


Credit: TinyOgg

09.02.10

Links 2/9/2010: New Survey Shows Red Hat GNU/Linux Increasingly Replacing Windows

Posted in News Roundup at 12:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Server

    • Mainframes Have a New Need for Speed

      The first is virtualization, which more IT organizations are starting to consolidate on faster servers. Virtual machines hunger for memory and the mainframe, most likely running Linux, provides an efficient shared memory architecture.

    • IBM launching world’s fastest microprocessor

      Such workloads include data managed by DB2/IMS, and general Java performance on Linux, though we imagine the cards should fall about 60% faster as well when you beat solitaire.

    • MokaFive outs bare-metal PC hypervisor

      MokaFive thinks the market does indeed want a bare-metal PC hypervisor, and so, according to Padmanabhan, the techies at MokaFive have grabbed a popular Linux distro – the company won’t say which one – and ripped out everything that was not necessary and locked it down to turn it into a hypervisor for running the Moka Player.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Podcast Season 2 Episode 16

      In this episode: Sony was legally allowed to remove the ‘Other OS’ feature from the Playstation 3, according to Australian lawmakers. Glibc is now really free and KSplice gets into Fedora. We report back from the mid-point of our games development challenge, and ask, what’s your favourite Linux improvement?

  • Applications

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • TrygTech Announces Linux-based BSP for Topaz i.MX25 CPU Module
    • Phones

      • Android

        • Motorola Defy: Android 2.1 goes rugged with water, dust and scratch resistance

          Remember the Motorola i1? Moto has just added its second rugged(ish) Android handset in the 3.7-inch Gorilla Glass-fronted Defy. It’s dust-, scratch-, impact-, and water-resistant. Matching up to the IP67 durability spec means it’s expected to resist being submersed in up to a meter of water for up to half an hour — making it a pretty awesome option for taking your Android to the beach, 854 x 480 is your screen resolution, backed up by an OMAP 3610 chip running at 800MHz (there had to be some tradeoffs, right?).

        • Motorola spins rugged Android phone and a new Milestone

          Motorola has long made ruggedized phones running Linux, but the Defy is only its second such Android model after the Motorola i1 was unveiled in March. The Defy offers a larger display and more features than the 3.1-inch i1, but it lacks the phone’s push-to-talk capability designed for Sprint’s iDEN-ready Nextel Direct Connect service.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • HP netbooks get dual-core Atoms

        HP has revamped two of its 10.1-inch netbooks to include Intel’s recently announced, dual-core Atom N550 processor, along with optional Broadcom video accelerator chips. Both netbooks are available with Windows 7, but the Mini 210 also offers a Linux-based “QuickWeb” fast boot option, and the Mini 5103 is available with a full SUSE Linux installation.

    • Tablets

      • Archos releases five budget Android tablets

        In terms of the individual models’ hardware, the information Archos has disclosed is sparse. To assess the devices’ suitability as internet tablets, such details as their display resolution and battery life would be helpful. In terms of software, Archos offers its own Android apps for rendering videos, photos and music.

      • Haptic technology targets Android tablets

        Immersion Corp. announced technology designed to enable touch feedback effects for tablets and other devices running either Android or Windows 7. The “TouchSense 2500″ solution has already been built into Toshiba’s dual-screen tablet, the Libretto W100, the company adds.

Free Software/Open Source

  • You can make money with open source. Literally.

    This is an old story–two years old, to be specific. But it was new to me when I heard it at LinuxCon, and it was new to a lot of others in the room too. And it was a great story, so I wanted to share it further.

    In 2008, the Dutch Ministry of Finance held a competition to design a coin that would honor the country’s architecture.

    To briefly describe the coin, on one side is a portrait of Queen Beatrix. But on closer examination, the portrait is made of of the names of Dutch architects. The names aren’t all readable with the human eye, which the designer describes as a “compact disc” of information in the ancient format of a coin.

  • Open Source Problem-Solving Tool Helps FOSS Teams Stay Focused

    If you’ve ever been gridlocked in a group decision-making process, you know how quickly things can go from frustrating to downright unwieldy. Even with a common goal in mind, it’s easy to get bogged down in data and competing opinions. Analysis of Competing Hypothesis (ACH) is an open source application that’s been helping the CIA with its research methodologies for years and it’s freely available to the public to help groups look at — and solve — problems objectively.

  • Open Source, Low Cost GSM Cell Service Offered at Burning Man
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Drumbeat: what’s next?

        But, the fact of the matter is, Mozilla isn’t naturally good at this. We’re more often than not too earnest about the web. We need to develop or lighter sexier side. Especially if we want millions of people across the web to join and support our cause. In terms of Drumbeat next steps, this is a major area we need to work on.

  • SaaS

    • CloudBees Launches Hudson as a Service

      The vision of CloudBees is to offer a Java Platform as a Service. This is cool, but the market will take time to evolve. The interesting twist that CloudBees has come up with is to offer real services to the Java community as a Cloud based service (kind of like how SalesForce is useful to sales teams, CloudBees will initially be very useful to development teams).

    • Skygone Cloud Powers Open Source Web Mapping Suite – OpenGeo Cloud Edition

      Skygone Inc., a leader in geospatial cloud computing, today announces the launch of OpenGeo Cloud Edition; the first fully-supported, open source web-mapping software suite delivered to users via cloud computing.

    • How Facebook Scales with Open Source

      As Facebook has grown, the company has worked to develop a number of tools to handle this data, both in terms of the storage and the delivery of content, and it has open sourced many of these. Facebook has been built from the beginning on open source technologies, according to David Recordon, Facebook’s Open Source Programs Manager. But Facebook’s use of open source goes far beyond the LAMP stack (or even, beyond the LAMP stack plus Memcached). The company has also created and released several open source projects and participates heavily in others, most notably perhaps, Hadoop.

    • Have we reached a tipping point for cloud-based VoIP?

      Given the expectation that most people have now of being able to reach anyone, at any time by e-mail, IM or voice, that would seem to be the case. And by building upon the open source base, that will happen even faster.

    • “Open Standards Of Cloud Computing, Key Challenge To Open Source”
  • CMS

    • Version 4 of Plone CMS released

      The Plone developers have released version 4.0 of their open source content management system (CMS). The developers have improved performance, included a new theme, reduced the system’s memory requirements and implemented an improved user and group management feature.

    • Vividwireless goes social, open source to attract uni students

      Like the Unwired site before it, vividwireless’ website has gone the open source route and is based entirely on the Drupal content management system; a second local win for the community after the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) also launched its Drupal site last week. The company charged with building the site, PreviousNext, has continued to work with the ABC in using Drupal to launch social networking initiatives as well as whole sites including the Hungry Beast, ABC Digital Radio and the forthcoming ABC Music site revamp.

    • ‘Diaspora’ – open source Facebook alternative launches September 15th
  • Education

    • Kitsap Regional Library Catalog System Ailing

      King County libraries have based their software development on Evergreen, an open-source integrated library software system developed by a group of up-and-coming IT geeks for Georgia’s statewide library system.

  • Business

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Software Freedom Day 2010
    • Ohio LinuxFest 2010: sudo install freedom

      The eighth annual Ohio LinuxFest is September 10-12 in lovely Columbus, Ohio. As always, this is a free event chock full of interesting hands-on Linux and free software solutions. Register at the Supporter level for $65 and you’ll get lunch, one of the gorgeous t-shirts pictured here, and that warm fuzzy feeling that comes from supporting an event like this.

  • Project Releases

    • Mahara: Who’d Have Thought?

      One of the things that warms the cockles of my heart is the widening ripple of open source. Starting, as it did, with core system software, it is now moving ever further into more specialised areas.

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • What would scholarly communications look like if we invented it today?

      I’ve largely stolen the title of this post from Daniel Mietchen because I it helped me to frame the issues. I’m giving an informal talk this afternoon and will, as I frequently do, use this to think through what I want to say. Needless to say this whole post is built to a very large extent on the contributions and ideas of others that are not adequately credited in the text here.

    • Open Hardware

      • Apertus Open Source Hardware and Software Targets HD Video Cam Market

        The success of a consumer-grade open-source HD video camcorder may not sound as appealing today due the declining costs and prices of consumer camcorders from Canon, Panasonic, Sony, JVC, and others over the years, but the prospect of a geek-oriented model makes the Apertus stand out in the crowd. The Apertus camera uses the open source Elphel software along with an open source hardware reference design, combining the Aptina CMOS sensor to accommodate C-mount and CS-lenses and a range of shooting modes, including RAW image files.

  • Programming

    • GitHub launches “Pull Requests 2.0″

      GitHub has announced “Pull Requests 2.0″, a revamping of the Git pull request system which enhances the system’s collaborative capabilities. GitHub provides hosted repositories for Git, the distributed revision control system developed by Linus Torvalds, enhancing the system in its own web front end and tools. GitHub has become one of the most active venues for open source developers to share, discuss and develop their code, building on Git’s ability to allow developers to clone a code repository and work with the code without having to coordinate pushing changes back.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Web versus Apps: what is missing in HTML5

      3D gaming: There is at the moment no way to create something like the Epic Citadel demo, or Carmack’s RAGE engine on iOS. The only potential alternative is WebGL, that is (like the previous links) based on OpenGL 2.0 ES, and paints on the HTML5 canvas (that, in the presence of proper support for hardware compositing, should allow for complex interfaces and effects). The problem is that browser support is still immature – most browsers are still experimenting in an accelerated compositing pipeline right now, and there are still lots of problems that need to be solved before the platform can be considered stable. However, after the basic infrastructure is done, there is no reason for not seeing things like the current state of the art demos on the web; modern in-browser Javascript JIT are good enough for action and scripting, web workers and web sockets are stable enough to create complex, asynchronous event models. It will take an additional year, probably, until the 3D support is good enough to see something like WoW inside a browser.

Leftovers

  • The Tweet Paywall

    I encountered for the first time today in accessing Steve Daniels’ book about Kenyan craftsmen, Making Do. Tweeting about the book (with my own verbiage) got me a digital copy of the beautifully illustrated book for free.

  • `Top Gear’ Driver `Stig’ Named as Ben Collins After BBC Loses Court Ruling

    News Corp.’s HarperCollins revealed the identity of the “Stig,” a test driver who appears on the television show “Top Gear,” after the British Broadcasting Corp. lost a ruling to keep his identity secret.

    The publisher said racing driver Ben Collins is the masked man who tests the performance of cars on one of the U.K.’s most popular television shows. The announcement came after High Court Judge Paul Morgan in London refused a request from the BBC to keep the character’s identity secret. HarperCollins plans to publish the driver’s autobiography on Sept. 16.

  • In Defense of Links, part three: In links we trust

    The history of Web linking has been a long chronicle of controversies we didn’t need to have: irrelevant debates over issues like so-called deep linking (if you really don’t want to be linked to, why are you on the public Web?) or the notion of a power-law-driven A-list in blogging (if you want to become a celebrity, other media are far more efficient). To this list, we can now add the “delinkification” dustup.

    It’s hard to imagine the benefit for ourselves, or for the Web, of a general retreat from linking. Writing on the Web without linking is like making a movie without cutting. Sure, it can be done; there might even be a few situations where it makes sense. But most of the time, it’s just head-scratchingly self-limiting. To choose not to link is to abandon the medium’s most powerful tool — the thing that makes the Web a web.

    A long time ago, I wrote a column titled Fear of Links about the then-burgeoning movement of webloggers. I urged professional writers to stop looking down their noses at links and those who make them: “A journalist who today disdains the very notion of providing links to readers may tomorrow find himself without a job.”

    That was 1999. Today, we live in that piece’s “tomorrow.”

  • Science

    • God did not create Universe: Hawking

      God no longer has any place in theories on the creation of the Universe due to a series of developments in physics, British scientist Stephen Hawking said in extracts published Thursday from a new book.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Compromising Twitter’s OAuth security system

      Twitter officially disabled Basic authentication this week, the final step in the company’s transition to mandatory OAuth authentication. Sadly, Twitter’s extremely poor implementation of the OAuth standard offers a textbook example of how to do it wrong. This article will explore some of the problems with Twitter’s OAuth implementation and some potential pitfalls inherent to the standard. I will also show you how I managed to compromise the secret OAuth key in Twitter’s very own official client application for Android.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • German Military Study Warns of Potential Energy Crisis

      This week a study on peak oil by a German military think tank was leaked on the Internet. The document shows that the German government is closely studying the issue of peak oil, and is aware of the potential for serious consequences as oil production declines. The study is reminiscent of the Hirsch Report, commissioned by the U.S. Department of Energy, that warned of the risks posed by peak oil.

    • Friends of the Earth urges end to ‘land grab’ for biofuels

      European Union countries must drop their biofuels targets or else risk plunging more Africans into hunger and raising carbon emissions, according to Friends of the Earth (FoE).

      In a campaign launching today, the charity accuses European companies of land-grabbing throughout Africa to grow biofuel crops that directly compete with food crops. Biofuel companies counter that they consult with local governments, bring investment and jobs, and often produce fuels for the local market.

    • Tokyo Two: Online March for Justice

      Greenpeace anti-whaling activists Toru Suzuki and Junichi Sato (the “Tokyo Two”) have been facing trial for nearly two years in Japan and now a verdict will be announced on Monday September 6th.

    • Gulf oil rig explodes off La. coast

      An offshore oil rig has exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, west of the site of the April blast that caused the massive oil spill.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Lawyer Offers Self Help To Sued BitTorrent Users

        In recent months thousands of US BitTorrent users have been sued for allegedly having shared movies such as The Hurt Locker and Far Cry. Because the settlement amount proposed by the copyright holders is less than hiring a defense lawyer, many defendants have not sought legal representation. Acknowledging this injustice, attorney Graham Syfert is now offering a cheap solution to the problem.

      • ACTA

        • The Truth about Fakes (and Piracy)

          My reading of this is that whatever the industries concerned might say about how awful, deceptive and damaging fakes and piracy are to the economy, ordinary people – and the newspapers that try to mirror their views – know that the true picture is rather different. It also means that ACTA is even more wrong-headed than even I thought.

Clip of the Day

MSI Company Profile


Credit: TinyOgg

Links 2/9/2010: Red Hat at Year Highs, Fake ‘Open Source’ Called Out

Posted in News Roundup at 8:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Choosing an Open Source Systems Management Solution

    The Little 4 may be smaller in terms of their bottom lines, but in terms of systems management capabilities, there’s nothing little about the open source offerings from Zenoss, Hyperic, GroundWork Open Source, and The OpenNMS Group.

  • Events

    • Nomination period open for Nordic Free Software Award

      The Nordic Free Software Award given to people, projects or organisations in the Nordic countries that have made a prominent contribution to the advancement of Free Software. The award will be announced during FSCONS 2010 in Gothenburg.

  • Web Browsers

  • Databases

    • PostgreSQL 9.0′s first release candidate arrives

      The first release candidate for version 9.0 of the PostgreSQL open source database has been released after four months in beta. The developers expect no changes in commands, interfaces or APIs between the release candidate and the final release, though there may be more release candidates before then, depending on bug reports. The most prominent feature in the new release is integrated replication using “Hot Standby” and “Streaming Replication” while other features include full support for 64-bit Windows, improved reporting queries, SQL standard per-column triggers, enhanced Perl and Python integrations and easier database permission management.

  • Oracle

    • The end of OpenSolaris?

      Sun aspired to be central to the next network-inspired boom, and it was understood that to do that, you had to be promiscuous, available, familiar, and easy-to-acquire. Hence open source, and hence OpenSolaris, and hence creating an OpenSolaris distribution (rather than just offer the source).

    • The State of Oracle/Sun Grid Engine

      Let’s take a look at the good news. According to DanT’s Grid Blog Oracle has plans for Grid Engine. As Dan mentions, Grid Engine does not compete with any Oracle product and like other resource managers has applications outside of HPC, which probably means Cloud based solutions.

  • Education

  • Semi-Open Source

    • Comment: The hype is over

      However, it didn’t quite work out that way: Commercial open source software, it turns out, is just the same as any other commercial software; the only difference is that one gets to take a peek at the source code (and often only certain portions of the code, see The H Open feature “Open core, closed heart?”) and can download a free trial version with varying degrees of functional restrictions from the internet.

      But what about vendor independence? There is only one company that can offer vendor support for SugarCRM. Lower costs? Commercial open source vendors need to cover their development costs just like every other software vendor. Low entry requirements? Not least because of the competition from the open source community, more and more proprietary applications now also offer free trial or community versions. And don’t you dare mess with the code if you wish to have vendor support.

      The “commercial open source” model, it seems to me, has outlived itself. Sure enough, vendors such as Alfresco or SugarCRM have established themselves in the market – because their products stand up to those of their proprietary competitors. Not because their software is open source, however – this “only” gave them an added edge compared to other start-ups. However, this effect is now gone, and companies who develop open source software are no longer considered extraordinary.

    • Open source 4.0: excellent for dancing

      By commercializing open source projects indirectly, through complementary products and services, multiple vendors are able to seize a commercial advantage and run with it without endangering the core open source project. As long as they continue to collaborate on the non-differentiating code, the project should benefit from being stretched in multiple directions.

      There will inevitably be some vendors that want to have their cake and it eat – benefiting from the work of others without sharing – but that is an inherent risk with community-developed open source, and I would argue that most have learned that they stand to gain more from collaborating than they do from forking and that it is in their own commercial interests to contribute to the common good.

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD Will Continue Supporting ZFS

      Pawel Jakub Dawidek has announced he has prepared a port of the ZFS v28 file-system for FreeBSD, which is a newer revision of this advanced Sun/Oracle file-system than what is currently available in FreeBSD 8.1. This updated ZFS file-system brings a number of new features to FreeBSD-ZFS users including data de-duplication support, triple parity RAIDZ (RAIDZ3), ZFS DIFF, Zpool Split, snapshot holds, forced Zpool imports, and the ability to import a pool in a read-only mode.

    • ZFS Support Will Continue In FreeBSD
  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GNU Spotlight with Karl Berry (August 2010)

      This month we welcome Jose Marchesi as maintainer of the new package recutils, Mike Gran as maintainer of the new package guile-ncurses, and long-time maintainers Bruno Haible, Jim Meyering, and Simon Josefsson adding the new package vc-changelog to their duties.

    • Software Freedom Day to be marked in Melbourne

      Software Freedom Day, a day observed worldwide to spread the message of free and open source software, will be marked in Melbourne on September 18 from 10am to 4pm at the State Library of Victoria.

  • Government

    • Can councils rise to the Open Source challenge? Should they?

      There was an interesting little piece in the Guardian few days ago suggesting that local authorities could save £51 million by moving some council employees to Open Office* and ODF**, and away from Microsoft Office and their document format, with the total savings rocketing to £200 million if every council employee in the country moved over.

      This sensible proposal came from Cllr Liam Maxwell who’s reponsible for IT in the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead, and I’m sure Cllr Maxwell would be the first to acknowledge it’s not a new suggestion. The office suite – as a commodity piece of software – has long been seen as one of the easiest ways to get open source onto people’s desktops and save money in the process.

      I’m certain Cllr Maxwell also appreciates that there are issues, some of which are mentioned in the Guardian, but they’re not made very clear and it’s worth expanding on them.

  • Licensing

    • Could this Lawsuit Undermine the GNU GPL?

      As Welte says, this really is outrageous: it’s GPL’d code, and the embedded system manufacturer is somehow trying to claim that it has the right to stop someone else from using and modifying that code on those devices – as if the hardware made any difference. But the whole point of the GPL is that others must be able to take software distributed under it and use it as they wish.

      I suspect that with some careful explanation from Welte (and others), the company will see that it doesn’t have a case, and the court action will be quietly dropped. On the other hand, if the case were to go forward and resulted in a win for the company concerned, it would represent a major problem for the GPL. Stay tuned…

    • More GPL enforcement work again.. and a very surreal but important case

      Right now I’m facing what I’d consider the most outrageous case that I’ve been involved so far: A manufacturer of Linux-based embedded devices (no, I will not name the company) really has the guts to go in front of court and sue another company for modifying the firmware on those devices. More specifically, the only modifications to program code are on the GPL licensed parts of the software. None of the proprietary userspace programs are touched! None of the proprietary programs are ever distributed either.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • The Sharing Economy

      Sharing. It’s one of the first things most children are urged to do.

      Few children, though, have the presence-of-mind to ask their parents when they last shared their weed-eater, their water blaster or even their car.

      The fact that virtually every garage has one of each of the above suggests the concept of sharing has some way to go in the adult world.

      Yet if dwindling resources and growing population is the biggest issue of our times, this will need to change. Everyone with one item of everything is not a sustainable thought.

    • The Case For Open-Source Design: Can Design By Committee Work?

      The following is an investigation into the difficulties of extending the open-source collaboration model from coding to its next logical step: interface design. While we’ll dive deep into the practical difference between these two professional fields, the article might also serve as a note of caution to think before rushing to declare the rise of “open-source architecture,” “open-source university,” “open-source democracy” and so on.

    • Open Data

      • The ABCD of Open Scholarship

        We had a wonderful meeting yesterday with Dave Flanders (JISC) David Shotton’s (Oxford) group (#jiscopencite) and our #jiscopenbib (Cambridge/OKF) – more details later. We really believe these projects can make a major change to Open Scholarship. We came up – almost by chance with the ABCD of Open Scholarship:

        * Open Access
        * Open Bibliography
        * Open Citations
        * Open Data

    • Open Hardware

      • Arduino Projects: Getting Started

        Anyone who has ever hacked around in their PC will have been hit with an urge to take their tinkering to the next level and create a custom-built device, but few actually try – believing such things to be far too complicated. At least, until the Arduino appeared on the scene.

        Originally developed in Italy in 2005 as a tool for students building interactive design projects, the Arduino is a microcontroller-based prototyping board – but one that pretty much removes the barriers to entry that previous electronic prototyping systems had.

  • Programming

    • September Project of the Month: GPL Ghostscript

      The end of the year is right around the corner (already!) but we’re not quite done showcasing projects that have been with us for 10 years or more. September’s Project of the Month is GPL Ghostscript, a complete set of page description language interpreters including PDF, PostScript, PCL5, PCLXL, and XPS.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Bill would let repeat offenders hide record

    Six state senators want to give a break to ex-convicts who might be haunted by their criminal records when they attempt to land jobs.

    Senate Bill 291 would remove court and police records from public view by allowing nonviolent criminals with multiple convictions to apply to seal records documenting their offenses after five years of clean conduct.

  • Northern Ky. teacher wins $11 million judgment against gossip Web site

    A gossip Web site has been hit with an $11 million judgment for libel and slander after posting false accusations that a Northern Kentucky teacher who works on the side as a Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader was exposed to two venereal diseases.

  • Perhaps Avoiding Links Is Really A Way To Get People Not To Read The Details Of The Studies You’re Misrepresenting

    Earlier this year, as part of a discussion about Nick Carr’s most recent book we pointed to some reports that noted Carr appeared to misrepresent the scientific research to support his point. It appears that others are finding more examples of this as well. There was a little web-hubbub that I ignored earlier this year when Carr declared that links in documents were bad, and he was shifting all his links to the end. This was apparently based on some research, Carr claimed, that showed links in text are really distracting. Personally, I found that premise to be laughable, as I think after my second week online I stopped being distracted by links and quickly learned to use them effectively.

    Still, without having a chance to dig into the research, I didn’t have much to say on the subject. However, Scott Rosenberg is digging in and finding that, once again, it appears that Carr is conveniently misrepresenting the studies he relies on to support his anti-link thesis. T

  • The new banana republic

    All governments need to be watched. You never know when one of them will slip in a nasty tax on the quiet or pass a seemingly simple notification that can be the undoing of entire communities or of the environment. That is the nature of the beast. But how vigilant can people be with a government that will try to alter the entire complexion of a critical law-in-the-making by sneakily replacing a clear-cut ‘or’ with a lethal ‘and’—under the very noses of the MPs opposed to legislation?

  • Why our jobs are getting worse

    And all this was enabled by technology. The modern supermarket – with its electronic scanning and inventory controls and price reductions decided by a software program run out of head office – is probably more hi-tech than any web-design firm. The result is that the man or woman in charge of your typical supermarket (or other chain shop) now has little to do with the selling or arrangement of goods: nowadays they concentrate on driving their staff to meet the targets set by head office. Their job is not so much retail-management as rowing cox.

  • Science

    • Ancient brewers tapped antibiotic secrets

      of ancient Nubians shows that they were regularly consuming tetracycline, most likely in their beer. The finding is the strongest evidence yet that the art of making antibiotics, which officially dates to the discovery of penicillin in 1928, was common practice nearly 2,000 years ago.

      The research, led by Emory anthropologist George Armelagos and medicinal chemist Mark Nelson of Paratek Pharmaceuticals, Inc., is published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Special constable jailed for Wigan ex-soldier attack

      A Greater Manchester Police special constable convicted of assaulting an off-duty soldier and lying about the attack has been jailed for three years.

      Peter Lightfoot, 40, was filmed hitting Mark Aspinall while attempting to arrest him after he had been thrown out of a Wigan club last July.

    • After Katrina, New Orleans Cops Were Told They Could Shoot Looters

      In the chaotic days after Hurricane Katrina, an order circulated among New Orleans police authorizing officers to shoot looters, according to present and former members of the department.

    • Vladimir Putin says ‘unsanctioned’ protesters can expect police brutality

      Vladimir Putin today angrily dismissed protests against his regime as “provocations” and said anyone who took part in unsanctioned street rallies against the Kremlin should expect a “whack on the bonce”.

    • Hay-what?

      So, in essence, the outside public – including Iranians – are asked to believe that a) Haystack software exists b) Haystack software works c) Haystack software rocks d) the Iranian government doesn’t yet have a copy of it, nor do they know that Haystack rocks & works. (And who could fault them for not reading Newsweek? I certainly can’t). For someone with my Eastern European sensibilities, that’s a lot of stuff to believe in. Even Santa – we call him Ded Moroz – appears more plausible in comparison.

    • Andy Coulson discussed phone hacking at News of the World, report claims

      The prime minister’s media adviser, Andy Coulson, freely discussed the use of unlawful news-gathering techniques while editor of the News of the World and “actively encouraged” a named reporter to engage in the illegal interception of voicemail messages, according to allegations published by the New York Times.

    • Blair Almost Ordered London Plane Shot Down On 9/11

      Those who were in London on 11 September 2001 may recall the wild speculation flying around about potential attacks on our own city. Several hijacked planes were heading for London, the whole of Canary Wharf was being evacuated…anything might happen. Fortunately, we were hit by nothing more than rumour. But a new revelation from Tony Blair’s memoirs reveals how close we came to accidental tragedy.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • ‘Phantom’ oil slick was a smear against Climate Camp

      What’s ironic about all this is that the big news on the Guardian’s website isn’t an investigation into whether or not the police deliberately misled the public by duping lazy newspapers into regurgitating a fake smear story. Rather, some journalists think that it’s the Climate Camp who are the ones supposedly controlling the media.

  • Finance

    • Goldman feels heat in suit vs. Dollar Thrifty

      The investment bank, which is still trying to burnish its reputation after settling fraud charges brought this year by the Securities and Exchange Commission, stands accused in a lawsuit of using information it gleaned from one client to win business from another.

    • Ex-Lehman CEO says regulators refused to save firm

      The former chief of Lehman Brothers told a panel investigating the financial crisis that the Wall Street firm could have been rescued, but regulators’ refused to help – even though they later bailed out other big banks.

      Richard S. Fuld Jr. told the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission at a hearing that Lehman did everything it could to limit its risks and save itself in the fall of 2008.

    • No holiday for labor unions

      Labor Day this year comes draped in mourning. More than half of all workers have experienced a spell of unemployment, taken a cut in pay or hours, been forced to go part-time or seen other such problems during and after the Great Recession.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • The Billionaires Bankrolling the Tea Party

      Another weekend, another grass-roots demonstration starring Real Americans who are mad as hell and want to take back their country from you-know-who. Last Sunday the site was Lower Manhattan, where they jeered the “ground zero mosque.” This weekend, the scene shifted to Washington, where the avatars of oppressed white Tea Party America, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, were slated to “reclaim the civil rights movement” (Beck’s words) on the same spot where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. had his dream exactly 47 years earlier.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • William Gibson jacks into Google’s cool menace

      I don’t like William Gibson’s Op-Ed piece on Google in today’s New York Times merely because, barely a week after I went all Jeremy Bentham Panopticonic on the cat bin lady, he writes that “Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon prison design is a perennial metaphor in discussions of digital surveillance and data mining, but it doesn’t really suit an entity like Google.” Even though it’s kind of a put-down (perennial!), still, great minds think almost alike, right?

    • India lifts threat of block on BlackBerrys

      Stepping back from the brink of a crackdown, India’s ministry of home affairs said RIM had made “certain proposals for lawful access by law enforcement agencies and these would be operationalised immediately”. It did not offer any detail on these concessions and RIM, which is based in Toronto, declined to comment.

    • Sneaky Senate Trying To Slip Internet Kill Switch Past Us

      Sensing Senators don’t have the stomach to try and pass a stand-alone bill in broad daylight that would give the President the power to shut down the Internet in a national emergency, the Senate is considering attaching the Internet Kill Switch bill as a rider to other legislation that would have bi-partisan support.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • AT&T: Net rules must allow ‘paid prioritization’

      AT&T said Tuesday that any Net neutrality plan restricting its ability to engage in “paid prioritization” of network traffic would be harmful and contrary to the fundamental principles of the Internet.

      Telecommunications providers need the ability to set different prices for different forms of Internet service, AT&T said, adding that it already has “hundreds” of customers who have paid extra for higher-priority services.

    • AT&T calls net neutrality advocate a conspiracy theorist

      In a letter to the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), AT&T tried to rubbish points made by the group, calling them “not exactly true”. The argument revolves around the notion of “paid prioritisation” of Internet connectivity, something that net neutrality activists are fiercely against.

      AT&T claims that the Free Press, in supporting Diffserv, is in direct contradiction to its support of equal packet rights. Diffserv is one of a number of mechanisms proposed to provide differing quality of service (QoS), though typically it is run on customers’ routers.

      The telecom behemoth argues that paid prioritisation will not create an Internet ‘rich club’, saying that small to medium businesses voluntarily take AT&T up on the offer. However the fact that a few firms purchase managed connectivity from AT&T doesn’t really change the fact that applying such policies at the network core is something that will concern the majority of users. Judging by the lengths to which AT&T goes to promote it, those fears won’t be allayed any time soon.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Mixing it up without IP

      Intellectual property exists to promote progress. Its purpose is not to ensure that no one’s ideas are stolen or that creative people can earn a living, unless those things are needed to promote progress in a field. The granting of temporary monopolies in the form of patents and copyrights is the price we pay for progress, not a goal in itself.

      It might be completely true that bartenders are shamelessly stealing from each other, and that’s certainly something we should condemn, but we probably shouldn’t get the law involved unless we can show that this theft is causing mixology to stagnate. Along with fashion, cooking, and even magic, we’re in an industry that’s arguably better off with weak IP. This decade’s boom in craft cocktails is a sign that we’re doing OK without stricter protections, and I’d be worried that additional threats of lawsuits would have a chilling effect on the sharing of new techniques and recipes.

    • Copyrights

      • Indian gov’t issues music royalty directive

        A long-standing issue over revenue terms between private FM radio stations and music labels here saw the Copyright Board issuing a directive Wednesday laying out a revenue-sharing model instead of the earlier fixed-cost structure.

        The Copyright Board, part of the Ministry of Human Resources Development, has been mediating a bitter dispute over the last couple of years between FM stations and music labels over establishing a revenue model between both parties. Private stations launched here over five years ago after the government auctioned licenses inviting private players in radio broadcasting.

      • Consumer survey on copyright access barriers

        Access to Knowledge: Reports of Campaigns and Research 2008-2010The biggest barriers that consumers face in accessing copyrighti works are those created by copyright law. Even so, consumers around the world will choose original copyright works over pirated copies, provided that they are available at an affordable price.

      • ZeroPaid Interviews Russell McOrmond 2 – Canadian Bill C-32 (Part 2 of 3)

        A law closer to the language of the WIPO treaties wouldn’t protect this practice. In the short term even the USA DMCA doesn’t protect this practise. Bill C-32 would legally protect this practise, given circumventing access control technical measures and even providing tools to change the locks on what we own are being made illegal.

      • Foreworld as Foretaste

        That is, piracy isn’t a real problem if you *out-innovate* the pirates, making your paid-for offering better than their free one. Indeed, if you do, pirated copies become like tasters, encouraging people to upgrade and pay for the full, latest version. Similarly, by the sound of it, part of the strength of this project will be the interweaving of other elements into the text – again, something that pirates can’t offer.

      • Compartilhamento legal! – Brazil is putting an end to the ‘war on copying,’ at R$ 3,00 per month

        An overlapping constellation of civil society and art actors focussed their submission on a single issue: file-sharing. Under the slogan “Compartilhamento legal! R$3,00 de todos para tudo,” this network is proposing to legalize non-commercial file-sharing in exchange for a levy on broadband Internet access. The idea is nearly as old as peer-to-peer file-sharing itself. It has been tested in technology and in law making a few times. Here and now in Brazil, it feels like it might actually become a reality.

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09.01.10

IRC Proceedings: September 1st, 2010

Posted in News Roundup at 11:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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