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05.28.10

Links 28/5/2010: KDE 4.5 Features; OLPC XO-3

Posted in News Roundup at 11:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Five tips for desktop malware first responders

      2: Carry a Web-enabled smart phone and carry a big (16GB USB) stick

      Pay for that data plan. Get reasonably proficient with a favorite mobile browser. Store bookmarks. Most phones support flash cards where additional remediation software can be stored. Also, consider carrying a hefty USB drive containing favorite anti-malware utilities, if not a fully bootable OS with security tools on it, such as Slax.

    • Welcome to the world of free software

      Free operating system: Let’s start with the operating system (OS). A Microsoft OS is chosen by a majority of users as no retailer bothers to inform buyers about the free to load open source OSes like Red Hat, OpenSolaris or the most popular one, Ubuntu. A word of caution: If you are a newbie at open source, it might be advisable to get a technical expert to upload the OS.

      Cost Saving: An entry-level Microsoft OS would cost you between Rs 4,000 and Rs 14,000.

  • Server

    • From Obsolete Servers to Private Cloud in 3 Easy Steps

      1. Assemble the Pieces

      CentOS is the free version of the popular Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system. It is a community-supported, mainly free, software operating system based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. It exists to provide a free, enterprise-class computing platform, and it strives to maintain 100 percent binary compatibility. CentOS stands for Community ENTerprise Operating System.

      We knew that CentOS had clustering capabilities, so we installed it across all five of our servers. Once we patched them and hardened the servers, we used the native clustering functionality to run all five servers as one environment. The really nice thing here is that the enterprise investment in the RHCE certification for us was not wasted. Our server administrators already had the skills to carry out the architecture design, so right there we were able to avoid contractor or training expenses.

    • Wanted: Virtual Personal Email Servers
  • Audiocasts

  • Graphics Stack

    • Radeon “R600g” Gallium3D Driver Merged To Master

      Those owners of ATI Radeon HD 2000, 3000, and 4000 series (R600/700) graphics cards not only have a reason to celebrate today over the voltage adjustment support to improve their GPU power management, but there’s another reason too. The Radeon R600 Gallium3D driver known as “R600g” has been merged to Mesa’s mainline “master” code-base.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • KDE 4.5 beta brings window tiling, new notifications

        One of the additions that I’m particularly enthusiastic about is support for tiled window management in KDE’s KWin window manager. This feature allows users to snap windows together in non-overlapping arrangements and resize them together, much like the behavior of Ion and other tiled desktop environments. The feature was implemented as a Summer of Code project last year and was finally merged last month. I’ve long been a fan of tiled window management, so I’ve been looking forward to seeing this feature land ever since work on it was started.

        KDE 4.5 is getting a new panel notification area that is designed to be more consistent and functional. This feature is based on a D-Bus protocol that the KDE development community has submitted to the FreeDesktop.org organization with the aim of making it a cross-desktop standard. Although the upstream GNOME community has rejected the protocol, it has been adopted by Canonical and is used to power the new application indicator feature that is included in Ubuntu 10.04.

  • Distributions

    • Sabayon 5.3 Progress, Get Involved with Testing, Bumps

      It must be about time for an update, tough to blog when summer is here. 5.3 is in the works and is at a RC2 status. Some of the changes include bug fixes of course, btrfs support, mono removed from grub and installer fixes. Keep in mind that btrfs is very young in development and should not be used in a stable environment. I did try it out in a virtual box setting and it seemed to work good for the little bit of time I worked with it. Mitch follows the progress of it and has been a good source for information. It sounds like in kernel 2.6.36 things will even be better for btrfs. I’ll have to try and keep an eye on it myself, seems promising.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • PCLinuxOS

        The fact that I really like about PCLinuxOS is its small community with great connection between one another. I can always reach to its developers easily. I know who is working on the distro that you are using. This is a great advantages for me to learn about Linux and grow to love it. I learned about packaging even though I seldom practice it.

    • Ubuntu

      • Guitars to Goat Festivals – Ubuntu For All!

        Pete found a local place, B-Sharp Music.Pete started talking to the owner Stan, who as it turned out is an advocate of Open Source. After they talked and he took a look at Ubuntu, he switched his computers over to Ubuntu. Karmic at the time, but now Lucid. Stan also asked for some CD’s and fliers so that when people asked what he was running on the computers in the music store he could tell them and help them switch to Ubuntu.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Pandora Open Source, Linux-based Handheld Game Console Now Shipping

      Pandora is also designed for the emulation of older computer systems and video game consoles. It has working emulators for Dreamcast, PlayStation, Nintendo 64, Amiga, SNES, Atari Jaguar and Sega Mega Drive software.

    • Nokia

      • Impressions of the latest MeeGo release

        MeeGo, in its first release, is pretty damn good, and this coming from a KDE loving maniac! It used to be Maemo, all Gtk in the backend, but now it is MeeGo with Qt (v4.6) as its backend now with a really nice MeeGo API as well. With MeeGo using Qt, KDE apps and Qt apps integrate nicely. What I don’t get is this, why in the hell are all of the Apps Gtk-based then? Chromium, OK I can understand, it is an amazing browser, and my browser of choice right now. Banshee? I think Amarok would have been a better app for media. Evolution? Oh hell no! I would rather they ship Mutt. You want me to say KMail or Kontact don’t you? Well I won’t, just yet. If I used POP3 for email, then yes, KMail/Kontact for the win! But seeing as I am lazy and use GMail’s IMAP settings, KMail needs help here. Thunderbird seems like a good choice, but for what I am guessing to be as a netbook operating system for those who aren’t hardcore mostly, I would think KMail/Kontact would be perfect. You can’t beat Kontact’s tight integration, you can’t, so don’t even try to argue that. Empathy is nice and light, so I understand it, even though I do not like it. I would have loved to have seen Kopete here, especially with its Skype plugin.

        Overall though, I am still impressed with MeeGo, though I don’t think it is my replacement for the KDE Plasma Netbook Workspace. I think it is a perfectly fine solution for many though, and I am excited to see the ongoing work that is going into it. I know a few of the developers and I know they will be doing an amazing job on it in the future, especially as it starts getting on the more mobile devices out there. It uses Yum/RPM, which took me a few minutes to get used to again, but package management was as fast as I am used to when using APT or some other Debian package manager.

        Good job MeeGo devs, and keep up the good work! I am fairly certain my review here sucked, so if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask them in the comments section, or email me at nixternal AT gmail DOT com, or even hit me up on IRC (freenode) as nixternal.

    • Android

      • Key WebOS developer jumps ship to Team Android

        Departure of Palm’s Matias Duarte may signal a vote of no confidence in HP’s ability to compete on mobile

      • Top 10 Android 2.2 Features Developers Can’t Wait to Use

        Android 2.2 (codename: Froyo) is a minor SDK release, but it still packs some punch, providing both developers and users with some much-anticipated features. After attending the Google I/O conference and witnessing the Froyo announcement, here are the top ten features (in no particular order) that we think developers cannot wait to get their hands on.

    • OLPC

      • One Laptop Per Child Revamps Tablet Plans

        The One Laptop Per Child foundation’s aim to create the world’s most innovative tablet computer for the developing world just took a giant leap toward reality. But as is often the case, reality may not be quite as exciting as imagination.

        On Thursday the foundation announced a partnership with chip maker Marvell to collaborate on a sleek and cheap touch-screen tablet for developing-world school children, a device it now plans to launch at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2011 for less than $100. One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) says that’s close to two years ahead of its scheduled release for the so-called XO-3, the long-awaited upgrade to the non-profit’s XO, the so-called “hundred-dollar laptop” launched in 2007.

Free Software/Open Source

  • A Thriving FOSS Community on the North

    Living in Sweden, conferences usually include travelling abroad. This is all fun, but it also means spending time away from family and work. This in turn means catching up on work, i.e. spending even less time with the family. Not exactly what I want to do all my life.

    Recently this has changed. First of all, the free community conference FSCONS (held in Gothenburn Sweden), has gained more and more technical content (without losing the free community angle!). This means that it is more and more attractive to my flavour of geeks. This year, in November, they are even pursuing an embedded track and I definitively plan on both attending and speaking!

  • Why Open Source Makes Sense: Scientifically Proven

    Check out this video below. Its basically an animation about an MIT social experiment, where sociologist found a bizarre pattern when it came to work and incentives. When the task at hand was a mundane and a repetitive task, money was found as perfect incentive. However, when the task required “rudimentary cognitive” skills, money, it turns out, wasn’t the best incentive. This makes perfect sense when we look at the amazing open source projects out there. From Linux to Wikipedia to Open Street Map, all these project tap into this basic human behavior.

  • Open source pays off for TimeTrex

    Many open source businesses have a multi-tiered product model, offering an open source version for free and a closed source version with extra features that users have to pay for. TimeTrex, a Canadian company that offers a web-based payroll and time management application, offers free Standard and commercial Business and Professional editions of its TimeTrex software, but all of them are open source. “Having a freely available edition allows potential customers to test out the software without any restrictions before deciding if they require support or features available in our other products,” says developer Jon Hutchison.

  • Free as in Speech

    • Wiki As an Example to Demystify Cloud Computing

      Cloud computing is supposed to save you money and make things easier for your business/organization. If a self-proclaimed cloud computing provider tries to sell you some expensive and fancy new technology that requires a lot of training on your employees, then be alerted that this may just be a hoax. Try partially replacing MS Word and Frontpage with wiki before buying any cloud solutions. Wiki is a minuscule, and yet most used form of cloud computing. It takes more cultural changes than monetary investment to introduce cloud computing into your organization/business. You can forget about cloud computing if your employees cannot get accustomed to this new culture of transparency, participation, and democracy.

    • Openness, transparency, and community: The future of commenting on the web

      But should that be the default for the entire web? Is complete openness always the best way? Are there valid reasons for completely closing comments (as a policy, not for specific posts) on a news site like NPR? What about the heavy policing implied in this comment? At the very least, shouldn’t it be more transparent–visible comment deletions, and reasons given to banned users?

    • What is “open source”? (And why should you care?)

      Although the term gets used quite a lot in technology circles, there is often some confusion about exactly what it means, particularly when it comes to questions of whether or not software that is “open source” is necessarily “free.” In an oft-repeated saying, open source is free as in “free speech” not free as in “free beer.” In other words, it is meant to be open and accessible, but that doesn’t necessarily come without a price-tag.

      In other words, open source is a practice that opens up the source (in the case of technology, this is typically the source code) so that others beyond the original creators can develop, expand, and modify the code. Unlike proprietary systems in which you are forbidden to “open the hood” to tinker with the moving parts, open source allows anyone to download the code and then alter it without restriction or fear of punishment.

  • Databases

    • CouchDB Moves to the Cloud With Couchio

      According to its motto, the underlying premise behind the open source CouchDB NoSQL database is about helping developers “relax” — chiefly by providing them with a simple, powerful database alternative.

  • Government

    • European Union lost open source decision C(2006) 7108

      A final version of the decision is not found in the register. In Europe you can file a request for public document access under the regulation EC/1049/2001 and usually get what you ask for. IDABC is now superceded by a new EU programme for interoperability, ISA. Apparently the Commission decision was later updated when the 1.1 version of the European Union Public License was approved. The EUPL is a wise choice for software from the public sector and enterprises as it is the legally best reviewed license for European market jurisdictions, available in all EU languages, it does not contain a political agenda and is compatible to most common licenses such as the GPL.

  • Open Hardware

    • Five Reasons Willow Garage is Going to Succeed

      4. Willow Garage is community first, personal gain second. The whole company is focused on how they can work with the global community to advance the field of robotics as a whole. This is largely expressed in the open source licensing of everything they do, and their insistence that everyone who uses the PR2 follow the same open sharing. Even more than that, it’s apparent in their attitudes. Keenan Wyrobek, Co-Director of Personal Robotics, freely admitted that other groups are working on PR2 like robots, and may soon make them cheaper and perhaps even better. He liked this idea. He wants other groups to innovate, to expand, and to improve the field of robotics. It’s cooperation first, competition later.

  • Programming

    • Dynamic Open Source Languages Head to the Cloud

      According to a poll conducted by analyst firm Redmonk and sponsored by dynamic language vendor ActiveState, over half of the developers surveyed have deployment plans for cloud applications within the next 12 months. Those cloud deployments are likely to be a hybrid of both public and private cloud platforms, according to 37 percent of respondents.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • WebM – The New Open Source Codec on the Block

      In August 2009, Google acquired codec developer On2 Technologies for a rumoured $106 million. The flagship On2 codec was VP8 and it was also rumoured at the time that Google may open source this technology in the future, although a number of challenges lay ahead.

      Late last week this rumour became reality and WebM was born. Alongside Theora and Dirac, WebM now enters the open source HTML 5 ready codec battle. Almost immediately all major web browsers, except one, but including Internet Explorer announced support for the codec. Using the might and muscle of Google WebM must have a solid chance of taking on the dominance of H.264 in the web video delivery battle. This really will be a solid kick in the pants for Theora, which now seems destined to remain a reasonably niche product, even with direct HTML 5 support from Firefox.

    • VLC 1.1.0 Release Candidate supports WebM / VP8

      The VideoLAN Project developers have announced the availability of a release candidate for version 1.1, the next major release, of their popular VLC Media Player. According to the developers, the latest 1.1 branch of VLC is much faster and more stable, thanks in part to a substantial amount of “important code clean-up” and rewrites. VLC is a free open source cross-platform multimedia player for various audio and video formats.

    • Mozilla trying to build VP8 into HTML5 video

      Mozilla is working to incorporate Google’s newly released VP8 video technology as part of the specification for Web video.

      “That’s our hope,” said Mozilla Chief Executive John Lilly when asked if VP8 could be built into the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) specification for Web-based video. “We’d love for VP8 to be specified in the HTML5 standard. Once it’s in the spec, it can really get better traction from other players.”

    • Intel eyes hardware acceleration for Google’s WebM

      Google last week announced the high-definition WebM video file format to deliver high-quality Web video to multiple devices including TV sets and handhelds. WebM files will include video streams compressed with the open-source VP8 video codec, which was acquired by Google when it bought On2 Technologies in February.

      “Just like we did with other codecs like MPEG2, H.264 & VC1, if VP8 establishes itself in the Smart TV space, we will add it to our [hardware] decoders,” said Wilfred Martis, general manager for retail consumer electronics at Intel’s Digital Home Group.

Leftovers

  • UK

    • The EGM debate: BCS v Len Keighley

      The BCS is facing a call for an Extraordinary General Meeting from 50 BCS members. Supporters of the EGM motion, led by former BCS trustee Len Keighley, have listed 20 reasons for suppporting the EGM. In the debate below, the BCS and Len Keighley put forward their arguments for and against the EGM.

    • A search wall for UK Times

      The UK’s Times and Sunday Times are putting up search walls in addition to pay walls.

      The papers, which plan to start charging users for access to their newly redesigned Web sites in late June, will prevent Google and other search engines from linking to their stories.

  • Science

  • Security/Aggression

    • Identity cards scheme will be axed ‘within 100 days’

      The 15,000 people who voluntarily paid £30 for a card since the 2009 roll out in Manchester will not get a refund.

    • New proposal would require identification to buy prepaid cellphones

      A bipartisan pair of Senate leaders have introduced a first-of-its-kind bill aimed at stopping terrorist suspects such as the would-be Times Square bomber from hiding their identities by using prepaid cellphones to plot their attacks.

    • CERT Releases Basic Fuzzing Framework

      Carnegie Mellon University’s CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team) has released a basic fuzzing framework to help identify and eliminate security vulnerabilities from software products.

    • 44 Million Stolen Gaming Credentials Uncovered

      In previous blogs, Symantec has highlighted threats that steal user data. We recently analyzed a new sample submitted to Symantec and came across a server hosting the credentials of 44 million stolen gaming accounts. What was interesting about this threat wasn’t just the sheer number of stolen accounts, but that the accounts were being validated by a Trojan distributed to compromised computers. Symantec detects this threat as Trojan.Loginck.

  • Environment

    • Obama defends handling of gulf oil spill

      As BP continued its effort to gain control of its untamed deep-sea well, President Obama announced more restrictions on offshore oil drilling Thursday and insisted his administration is firmly in charge of the response to the spill, now believed to be the largest in U.S. history.

  • Finance

    • Mathematical Logic Finds Unexpected Application on Wall Street

      The monetary advantage of the current strategy is rapidly exhausted after a lifetime of approximately four seconds–an eternity for a machine, but barely enough time for a human to begin to comprehend what happened. The algorithm then switches to another trading strategy of higher ordinal rank, and uses this for a few seconds on one or more electronic exchanges, and so on, while opponent algorithms attempt the same maneuvers, risking billions of dollars in the process.

  • Genetics

    • Prof. Correa in Munich – Jul 19 2010

      In the past decade, an increasing number of patents on plants and animals have been granted, especially in industrialised countries. The negative impacts of these patents on farmers, on breeders and on innovation have became more and more evident during the last years, as has the patents’ contribution to market concentration. There is a growing rejection of these patents by NGOs, farmers’ organizations, breeders and even governments. The conference “Patents on Seeds – The turning point?” shows current trends, highlights the negative impacts of the current patent system. Conference participants will discuss what the necessary changes are and what the possibilities are to effect such changes.

    • Genetically Engineered Bugs Can Smell Blue Light

      Fruit fly larvae made this mistake while participating in a study recently published in Frontiers in Neuroscience Behavior. By adding a light-sensitive protein to certain smell receptors in the larvae, German scientists allowed the genetically engineered bugs to essentially smell light.

  • Copyrights

  • ACTA

    • Tell Your Lawmakers: “Anti-Counterfeiting” Treaty Is a Sham

      ACTA is being negotiated by a handful of countries behind closed doors and is on track to be finished by the end of this year. Despite its potentially far-reaching impact for consumers and the future of the open Internet, the U.S. Trade Representative has claimed that it can shut out Congressional oversight by treating ACTA as a “sole executive agreement” under the President’s executive power, rather than a treaty.

      We can’t sit back and let this fake “anti-counterfeiting” agreement become law! If your congressional representative is on one of the committees below that has oversight over the U.S. Trade Representative, tell your lawmaker not to be fooled by this chicanery and demand that ACTA be limited to addressing international counterfeiting.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – VE – Systems (10/16/2003)


Links 28/5/2010: GNOME Shell 2.31.2, Ubuntu Redesigns

Posted in News Roundup at 4:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop (GNU/Linux Versus Windows)

    • Washing the windows myths. Ease of use.

      With the latest releases of both windows and Linux there is really not much to separate them in terms of ease of use and eye kandy. They both look really pretty at first glance and even have similar features. I would go so far as to say that both Linux and windows have “borrowed” ideas from each other. Personally I am quite happy with that as it makes it easier for people to migrate from windows to Linux ;P

    • World’s Funniest Windows Error Messages

      Since some people have learned to look at the bright or should I say funny side of life, they have decided to create something out of those error messages. They have Photoshopped or edited some Windows error messages and made them look so realistic to try to tickle our funny bone.

  • Server

    • Top 5 Free Linux Distributions for Servers in 2010

      1. Debian

      Surely a seasoned pro with more than a decade of development. The distribution is entirely based volunteers bound by Debian social contract. There are leaders elected annually from and by members of the Debian project.

      Those using the up-to-date and they age rapidly, especially since the new stable releases are only published. The users who prefer the latest packages and technologies are forced to use the potentially buggy Debian testing and unstable branches.

  • Ballnux

  • Kernel Space

    • LinuxCon Program Announced: This Year’s Themes

      It’s been a hectic few months narrowing down the content for this year’s LinuxCon. Craig Ross and I have been working on this schedule for what seems like years, but we are very proud to announce it today. You can find it here.

      I think the program has an amazing mix of business, operations and of course developer content that reflects the growing ecosystem that is Linux. I’m especially proud of the technical content that features many of the best minds behind the kernel and other upstream Linux projects. But LinuxCon is much more than just technical kernel topics: it also has content touching mobile computing, cloud and legal and business issues facing enterprise IT managers today. Linux is now becoming dominant in mobile and cloud computing so it’s no surprise LinuxCon’s content matches those themes.

    • LinuxCon 2010 Program and Schedule Announced
  • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Which Low Resource Linux Distribution Should You Use For Your Old Computer?

      If you have an old machine that no longer has an operating system, you don’t have to throw that machine away. You can put it to good use with an operating system that doesn’t require a fast processor or big disk drive. Fortunately there are plenty of Linux distributions that will work on your old hardware and run at fairly moderate speeds even if your machine is really old. There are quite a few Linux distributions that don’t demand too much resources so that your computer will run relatively fast.

      First of all, you need to stay away from distributions that use Gnome and KDE. These tend to use too many resources for old hardware and will cause the machine to lag way too much for basic applications. Look for these distributions that don’t use these graphical interfaces.

    • Measuring the popularity of distros – Part 2 Google Trends

      Here you can see that Linux Mint and PCLinuxOS do actually exist in Google’s eyes, but not compared to Ubuntu’s search rankings. Still they only have a fraction of the googles of OpenSUSE, which only has a fraction of the googles of Ubuntu.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva Linux 2010 Spring background contest winners

        Here are the results of the contest Mandriva launched one month ago. Thanks everybody for your interest and for contributing, we had almost 150 photos submitted (rules were more strict this time for submission, explaining why submission pool was smaller).

        We had to pick 10 photos, choice was really hard. You will find below the 10 winners. Note that we have a 11th photo we wanted to add as we found it really nice (and it is from one of the 10 winners). Again congrats for all contributers and especially to the winners.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Szulik to step down as Red Hat chairman

        Matthew Szulik, chairman of Red Hat’s board of directors, is stepping down in August after his term expires, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

      • Fedora

        • Review: Fedora 13 “Goddard”

          As far as I am concerned, I consider Fedora a distro suited for experienced and advanced users, and Fedora13 is no exception.

        • Fedora 13

          Summary: Fedora 13 adds social media to the desktop, the GNOME Color Manager and numerous other updates and enhancements. It’s definitely worth an upgrade if you’re currently using Fedora 12.

          Rating: 3.5/5

        • Fedora 13: Boring yet Good

          Overall: 4/5 (Good)

        • Fedora Remix “Lucky13″ featuring mintMenu

          A few months ago, I talked about mintMenu being ported to Fedora. I was excited to see it happen. Using technologies such as Git and GitHub.com we can easily fork projects and keep track of the improvements and bug fixes done on each fork. Commits can be selectively applied and so the more our technologies are forked, the more momentum they get, the more communities provide feedback and ideas for them, and the faster they improve.

    • Ubuntu

      • Canonical, Ubuntu: We’re More Than Mark Shuttleworth

        Shuttleworth will need similar help to keep Canonical moving in the right direction, especially as new rivals potentially step in to acquire Novell and/or Mandriva.

      • Ubuntu Lucid Lynx 10.04 can read your iPhone’s secrets
      • Design

        • The Challenge of Understanding Icons

          As these results suggest, our methodology should help us develop a systemic representation of icon attributes from which we can build a coherent design language and it promises to provide pointers to problem areas as it suggests alternative interpretations. Some of the learnings from this first effort…

        • The keyboard menu

          Quite often, designers work on a design for something they’re unlikely to use themselves. This is a situation I’ve found myself in the past few weeks, designing a new keyboard menu for Ubuntu.

          [...]

          At UDS earlier this month we discussed the new menu. We’d also like your feedback on the full specification, especially if you use input methods or multiple keyboard layouts.

        • New Ubuntu website live

          The official Ubuntu.com website has finally gone live with its new re-branded design.

      • Ubuntu Control Center

        • Contributing Back to Gnome?

          I was reading about the Ubuntu Control Center-UCC fever from a lot of blogs and twitter from people linked to the Ubuntu Community.

          The author did a very good job. He made glowing lights come out from people’s eyes staring at the application layout looking very Ubuntuish.

        • Ubuntu Control Center (ucc) – Simple tool for ubuntu administration

          Ubuntu Control Center or UCC is an application inspired by Mandriva Control Center and aims to centralize and organize in a simple and intuitive form the main configuration tools for Ubuntu distribution. UCC uses all the native applications already bundled with Ubuntu, but it also utilize some third-party apps like “Hardinfo”, “Boot-up Manager”, “GuFW” and “Font-Manager”.

        • Ubuntu Control Centre project aims to make System config simple
      • Reviews

        • Review: Ubuntu Unleased 2010 Edition: Covering 9.10 and 10.4
        • Karmic To Lucid – A Few Bumps

          Ubuntu improves a bit with each release. This release is no exception. I recommend that all Ubuntu users do the upgrade as long as their equipment permits it.

        • Review: Ubuntu 10.04 Server Edition

          KMS would be especially nice in a server environment without X installed.

        • Ubuntu 10.04 review

          We are in the middle of another release cycle. Folks in the community are busing updating their systems, and demoing distributions that hold promise. Should Ubuntu 10.04, Lucid Lynx, be on your demo list? I can’t answer that for you. The best I can do to help you decide, is present to you a list of features that should make you smile and also ones I think will not be good for your blood pressure.

      • Variants

        • Linux Mint 9: A Fresh Spin on Ubuntu

          In addition to the use of SLAB, Mint has its own Software Manager as well as its own Software Updater that look different and are more streamlined than Ubuntu’s. Mint also includes its own software/file backup tool.

        • Qimo 2.0 is now available!

          After much hard work, and some delay, we are pleased to bring your the second version of our popular Linux Desktop for Kids!

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Nokia

      • MeeGo 1.0 (Moblin + Maemo) – Linux Based OS By Intel And Nokia – Has Been Released!

        ConnMan (which is sponsored by both Intel and Nokia) is used for connection management – application which Ubuntu will also use for its 10.10 Netbook Edition, as well as Telephony APIs (oFono) for telephony services.

      • MeeGo Netbook Performance: It’s Beating Ubuntu & Co

        Finally, we have our Bootchart numbers for the four distributions. With Fedora 13, prior to collecting the boot metrics, we set the GDM to automatically login to the GNOME desktop, since the three other desktops all use auto-logins as well.

        Fedora 13 had a boot time of 23 seconds, Moblin 2.1 had a boot time of 18.45 seconds, Ubuntu Netbook Remix 10.04 came in at 17.31 seconds, and MeeGo had a boot time of just 8.151 seconds.

    • Android

      • Motorola Shadow glimpsed in the wild: 4.1-inch screen, 8MP camera, OMAP3630 processor?

        Leave it to the very same poster who teased the Motorola Shadow’s Getting Started manual, wnrussell of Howard Forums, to provide a pretty clear shot of the device itself — yep, that’s a HDMI out port — and reveal some purported specs. Here’s the claimed technical details: 4.1-inch screen, TI OMAP 3630 processor (a 720MHz ARM Cortex A8), 8GB internal storage, 8 megapixel camera.

    • OLPC

      • $100 computing in 2010

        It’s time to take the old meme of $100 computing seriously.

      • OLPC’s Negroponte Says XO-3 Prototype Tablet Coming in 2010

        One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project founder Nicholas Negroponte said that the organization is accelerating its development of the XO-3 tablet computer and will have a working prototype by December 2010, two years ahead of projections. Negroponte said the final product would cost US$75.

      • One Laptop per Child and Marvell Join Forces to Redefine Tablet Computing for Students Around the World

        One Laptop per Child (OLPC), a global organization whose mission is to help provide every child in the world access to a modern education, and Marvell, a worldwide leader in integrated silicon solutions, have agreed to jointly develop a family of next-generation OLPC XO tablet computers based on the Marvell® Moby reference design. This new partnership will provide designs and technologies to enable a range of new educational tablets, delivered by OLPC and other education industry leaders, aimed at schools in both the U.S. and developing markets. Marvell is also announcing today it has launched Mobylize, a campaign aimed at improving technology adoption in America’s classrooms.

      • The OLPC’s real importance is as a conversation starter

        The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project is looking to launch a prototype of its XO-3 later this year. The real advantage of having the OLPC around is as a product conversation starter and design influence.

        IDG News Service reports that the OLPC is speeding up the development of the XO-3 tablet, which wasn’t supposed to land until 2012. The idea is that this tablet would cost $75. OLPC also provided details on its blog.

    • Tablets

      • Enterprise Mobility: Dell Streak Tablet, Unlike Apple iPad, Is Also a Phone, Supports Flash

        Dell introduced the Streak, a tablet with a 5-inch touch screen and the Android OS, May 25. Unlike the Apple iPad, the Streak is also a phone, offers multitasking and can support Adobe’s Flash for viewing video and animations. Its size, however, may give some consumers pause. Some analysts have called it an oversized Android smartphone targeted at high-end consumers wanting a tablet-style Web-browsing experience.

      • enTourage to Partner with The Douglas Stewart Company to Bring eDGe to Schools

        It houses two screens – one with an eInk display, and the other an LCD – for maximum functionality and flexibility. You can use one side exclusively to read, the other side exclusively as a tablet, or both sides to create a netbook-like experience. It would be perfect for students and teachers alike to use in a class-room (especially considering the cost of books and the probability that they’ll be beat up over a short period of time).

      • Via Says $100 Android Tablets Will Challenge the IPad This Year

        Via Technologies Inc., the Taiwanese computer-processor company, expects $100 tablet devices containing its chips to reach the U.S. in the second half of 2010, offering a cheaper alternative to the iPad.

        About five different models, ranging in price from $100 to $150, will be available, Richard Brown, vice president of marketing at Via, said in an interview. The new computers, made by the company’s Chinese customers, will run Google Inc.’s Android operating system.

    • Acer

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Makes a Difference

    The obvious reason to use open source software is cost savings, says Mark Madsen, president of market research firm Third Nature. But, whether you actually save when it comes to license and support costs is the question among many.

    Using public sources and vendor information, Madsen created a Pentaho-sponsored cost comparison report (“Lowering the Cost of Business Intelligence With Open Source”), comparing BI software and support costs from Pentaho, IBM (Cognos), MicroStrategy, Oracle and SAP (Business Objects).

  • An Open Source Principle: One Good Thing Leads To Another

    In open source, the idea that the endgame for a project won’t necessarily closely resemble the origin is a given, not a surprise. It’s part of the point of open source. If you look at what’s going on on the open source scene, now, you see this concept being played out all around.

  • The Contributor’s Code: What Should be Expected of FLOSS Contributors?

    Free and open source projects provide an amazing example of what volunteer contributors can do. While many folks are paid to work on open source, there’s still an enormous amount of work done by volunteers. Like any volunteer work, though, contributions can be disrupted by more pressing work and personal issues. What do, or should, contributors commit to when volunteering with a project?

  • Will an open source BitTorrent be good or bad?

    BitTorrent has decided to open source its new uTorrent protocol, which has now entered a public beta.

    The software is available at GitHub and the license can be viewed here. Reportedly this is the MIT License.

  • Mozilla

    • Mozilla hires open-standards guru Celik

      Firefox parent company Mozilla Corp. has hired Tantek Çelik, a well-known figure in the developer and open-Web community, for the role of Web standards lead.

      But as Mozilla deals with internal issues and a continued threat from Google’s Chrome, where exactly does this hire fit in? CNET spoke with Çelik on Tuesday, on the eve of his first day at the new job, and rather than talking about keeping ahead of Chrome or dealing with Facebook’s increasing dominance, he said that what’s really in his crosshairs is the iPhone–and how pretty it makes everything.

  • Business

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • RMS: AMA

      Richard Stallman has agreed to answer your top ten questions. RMS will answer the top ten comments in this thread (using “best” comment sorting) as of 12pm ET on June 2nd. This will be a text only interview (no video). Ask him anything!

  • Government

    • TR: Ministry of Justice and law courts consider open source desktop

      Turkey’s ministry of Justice, all of its institutions and all law courts are considering to move or partly move to a complete open source desktop, according to judge Cengiz Tanrikulu. That migration would complete the implementation of an information system built on open source software, the National Judiciary Informatics System (UYAP, Ulusal Yargi Aği Projesi).

      Judge Tanrikulu, involved in the development of UYAP, said the government’s law offices are considering a move to Pardus, a Linux distribution primarily developed by Turkey’s Research Institute of Electronics and Cryptology. “We are already using OpenOffice on all of the desktops. We began using OpenOffice in 2007 and it has helped us to save billions.”

      The judge presented UYAP in Amsterdam in a workshop organised by NOiV, the Dutch government project on open standards and open source, on Wednesday.

      Development of UYAP started in 2000 with a document management system, built using open source components. It offers access to legal documents to civil workers at the ministry, at law courts, police, prisons, prosecution, Home Office and to the Land Registry. The system can also be accessed by any mobile phone.

  • Licensing

    • Google demands more openness from the Open Source Initiative

      Google’s open source programs manager, Chris DiBona has asked the Open Source Initiative to delay consideration of Google’s WebM license, and in doing so has called on the OSI to be more open. Specifically, DiBona said Google “will want a couple of changes to how OSI does licenses” and that he thinks “that OSI needs to be more open about its workings to retain credibility in the space”.

      DiBona statement came in response to Bruce Perens’ request for the OSI’s License Discuss mailing list to consider the WebM license introduced by Google for its VP8 video codec, and follows the declaration by Open Source Initiative board member, Simon Phipps, that WebM is “not open source”.

  • Openness

    • Over Bogus Industry Studies On Co

      CC Korea prepares “The 1st Shared Film Festival” for showing and sharing global movies with CC License. The festival, lasting from June 3 to June 9, will be held at Cine-maru located in Seoul, South Korea.

    • Open Data

      • What We Can Learn From the Guardian’s New Open Platform

        The Guardian isn’t the kind of tech-savvy enterprise one would normally look to for guidance on digital issues or Internet-related topics. For one thing, it’s not a startup — it’s a 190-year-old newspaper. And it’s not based in Palo Alto, Calif., but in London Manchester, England. The newspaper company, however, is doing something fairly revolutionary by simply changing the way it thinks about value creation and where that comes from in an online world.

      • DRM: Publishers don’t want it. So why?

        I should make it clear that although I campaign gently for Open Access publishing (as opposed to frenetically for Open Data) I accept that there are closed-access publishers. My concern there is that they make it clear what they are providing, what rights they have extracted from the author, what restrictions they have placed on the reader (sorry, enduser-customer) and whether they provide reasonable value for money. For example, a closed-access publisher usually has an Open Access option where authors can pay – in some cases this is very good value (e.g. Acta Crystallographica) and in others (ACS) it’s very poor (the freely visible material is not open and festooned with restrictions).

      • Open Government and open data

        In a classic example of the Broken Window Fallacy successive governments have regarded the data they, or government-supported monopolies such as the Post Office, collected as the government’s property to be monetised to the hilt. They have also kept many details of their own working practices secret. In this article I will deal with the case for as much openness as is possible in both these areas: government produced data and data about government.

        So, first on government produced data. The previous government had some good track record on the principles here, passing the Freedom of Information Act and setting up data.gov.uk. The principles were right here, but they failed to go the distance and truly change the attitudes embedded in government that data by default should be kept secret and only opened up when necessary. the incoming government need to work hard to change this attitude and free the data. Unless it is PII (see Lilian’s article on the challenges for the new government on privacy) government data should be free (as in speech). Very narrow lines requiring significant work to justify closure should be put in place otherwise.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Academia as a Commons

        The very mission and identity of academia is implicated in the future of digital technologies, the Internet and copyright law. At stake is the ability of colleges and universities to act as inter-generational stewards of knowledge… to assure that their own scholarly output is freely accessible and usable…. to curate knowledge in better ways and to disseminate it as broadly as possible….and to foster innovative research and learning.

    • Open Hardware

  • Programming

    • Django 1.2 Brings Security Improvements

      The Django Web framework got a major update this week with the release of Django 1.2 on Monday. This release brings some security improvements, better email handling, performance improvements, and better localization support.

    • [Eclipse:] Call for Participation

      We consider everyone who attends ESE to be a participant. When you come to the conference, you’re learning and teaching about Eclipse by attending the sessions, talking with colleagues, and joining in the networking at the social events.

Leftovers

  • Vulnerability contest – Find the oldest bug!
  • Zer01 Loses $43 Million Judgement For Vaporware

    Last summer we skeptically directed your attention to a carrier by the name of Zer01, which was promising users unlimited voice and data on smart phones for $69.95/month, without a contract. The service claimed to use a VoIP application to route all calls. According to the founders, the service tunneled over GSM networks, though Zer01 claimed to have their own IP network — and claimed to be using interconnect (roaming) agreements to make calls. In short, Zer01 was supposed to be a mobile virtual network enabler (MVNE).

  • The developer obsession with code names, 114 interesting examples

    So what kind of code names are developers out there coming up with? Here is a collection of code names for software products from companies like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Canonical, Red Hat, Adobe, Mozilla, Automattic and more. We’ve tried to give some background information where possible. You’ll notice that some code name schemes are definitely more out there than others.

  • Wyoming judge blocks news stories on college trip

    In a rare move, a Wyoming judge has blocked two newspapers from publishing stories on an internal report about a college president’s trip to Costa Rica, saying the report was improperly taken and that releasing details could prompt the federal government to cut college grant money.

  • No Contempt, No Jail for Spamming a Judge

    The Chicago judge’s inbox was flooded with hundreds of messages, and his Blackberry froze. He promptly found Trudeau — who was being sued by the Federal Trade Commission — in contempt of court and sentenced him to jail. The term was stayed pending appeal.

  • Times Online Says Competitors Will Go Out Of Business Without A Paywall

    As Rupert Murdoch and News Corp. get ready to begin their latest paywall experiments with the Times of London and the Sunday Times, the company has revealed a few more details, and it looks like this particular paywall will be fairly complete. Unlike the WSJ, this won’t be a “leaky” paywall. The content will be opted out of Google, and there will be no way to get to it, unless you subscribe at the rather hefty price of £1 per day. What’s amazing is that the folks behind this experiment still think it’s going to be a huge success — even as nearly all of the papers’ competitors are remaining steadfastly free.

  • Revenue per Employee – Key Stats from Technology Companies
  • Science

    • X-51A races to hypersonic record

      The scramjet engine in the experimental aircraft burned for a little over three minutes at around 10 a.m. PDT Wednesday in a test range over the Pacific Ocean, pushing the X-51A to the hypersonic speed of Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound. That was the top speed reached by the aircraft in its brief flight, according to Boeing and press reports citing U.S. Air Force officials. (Editors’ note: A separate Air Force News Service report had initially cited a higher speed, but was amended to give the Mach 5 figure.)

    • Sony shows off super-flexible OLED display
    • Tracking the Ancestry of Corn Back 9,000 Years

      It is now growing season across the Corn Belt of the United States. Seeds that have just been sown will, with the right mixture of sunshine and rain, be knee-high plants by the Fourth of July and tall stalks with ears ripe for picking by late August.

      [...]

      But George W. Beadle, while a graduate student at Cornell University in the early 1930s, found that maize and teosinte had very similar chromosomes. Moreover, he made fertile hybrids between maize and teosinte that looked like intermediates between the two plants. He even reported that he could get teosinte kernels to pop. Dr. Beadle concluded that the two plants were members of the same species, with maize being the domesticated form of teosinte. Dr. Beadle went on to make other, more fundamental discoveries in genetics for which he shared the Nobel Prize in 1958. He later became chancellor and president of the University of Chicago.

  • Security/Aggression

  • Environment

    • Despite Moratorium, Drilling Projects Move Ahead

      In the days since President Obama announced a moratorium on permits for drilling new offshore oil wells and a halt to a controversial type of environmental waiver that was given to the Deepwater Horizon rig, at least seven new permits for various types of drilling and five environmental waivers have been granted, according to records.

    • Gov’t Subsidizes Deep-Water Drilling With Big Tax Breaks

      By now there’s little debate that the technology used to obtain oil in deeper waters was developed and rapidly put into use before safety technology could keep up. As we’ve noted, that’s a development that regulators allowed, despite their concerns.

    • Shifting BP’s Clean Up Costs to Consumers? Say It Ain’t So!

      Who is going to pay to clean up BP’s disastrous oil spill, besides BP? After all, they made $14 billion in profit last year alone. BP has asserted it will pay all “legitimate claims” for damages — talk about a lot of wiggle room there — but beyond actual cleanup costs, BP’s economic damage liability is legislatively, and outrageously, capped at $75 million, a pittance to a company that made 186 times that amount in profit in 2009. Senate Democrats attempted to increase the liability cap to $10 billion by proposing and passing a bill, but their efforts were thwarted by Senate Republicans. The current tally for the cleanup cost stands at $760 million, but that is surely understated.

    • More Reports of Illness Emerge Among Gulf Cleanup Workers

      Fishermen hired by BP to help with the oil spill cleanup in the Gulf of Mexico are coming down sick with “severe headaches, dizziness, nausea and difficulty breathing” after working long hours in oil- and dispersant-contaminated waters, according to the Los Angeles Times.

    • Crisis Commons releases open source oil spill reporting

      Crisis Commons has released a new open data initiative to enable response organizations to report from the oil spill. Oil Reporter allows response workers to capture and share data with the public as they respond to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

    • Deepwater Horizon Blowout: This is What the End of the Oil Age Looks Like

      There will be plenty of blame to go around, as events leading up to the fatal rig explosion are sorted out. Even if efforts to plug the gushing leak succeed sooner rather than later, the damage to the Gulf environment and to the economy of the region will be incalculable and will linger for years if not decades.

    • Push to teach “other side” of global warming heats up in Colorado’s Mesa County

      A national group that thinks global warming is “junk science” and that teaching it is unnecessarily scaring schoolchildren brought its first petition effort for “balanced education” to Mesa County Schools on Tuesday night.

      Rose Pugliese, an unsuccessful candidate for a District 51 school board seat in the last election, presented a petition with 700 signatures to the board asking that science teachers stop giving lessons on global warming.

    • Don’t Even Mention Global Warming to Kids

      A new group called “Balanced Education for Everyone”(BEE) is rolling out a national effort to stop the teaching of global warming in schools, calling it “unnecessary.”

    • Daily Dump: A Creative Commons Concept for Composting Worldwide

      Why throw away valuables as waste? That is the simple yet profound idea behind Daily Dump. As of May 2010 Daily Dump customers keep 4095.8 kgs of organic waste out of landfills every day. Simply because Daily Dump enables them to do so.

    • Protecting biodiversity reduces poverty in developing nations

      Among conservationists, policy-makers, and the public, there is great debate about whether the establishment of national parks and reserves in developing nations causes poverty or helps to alleviate it. While opponents claim that protected areas limit agricultural development and the harvesting of natural resources, supporters contend that protected areas generate tourism income and improve infrastructure in the surrounding areas. A new study in PNAS this week suggests that, in the long term, establishing protected areas in developing nations does reduce poverty in local communities.

  • Finance

    • E.U. Proposes Bank Levy to Pay for Future Crises

      A European Union official proposed Wednesday that member states tax banks to raise money for a fund that would be used specifically to manage future financial crises.

    • Geithner Sees Consensus on Finance Reform

      Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said in Berlin on Thursday that the United States and Europe were in “broad agreement” on the need for stricter market regulation but stressed that they would take different paths when necessary.

    • Creepy Pennsylvania Tax Agency Ad Goes Big Brother

      A threatening TV commercial appearing in Pennsylvania has residents of the state spooked by its “Orwellian” overtones, and critics are calling it a government attempt to scare delinquent citizens into paying back taxes.

    • Proposed Overhaul of Accounting Standards Contains Mark-to-Market Rule

      The group that sets corporate accounting standards proposed an overhaul Wednesday of the way lenders record the value of their assets, hoping that more stringent and consistent reporting rules might help avert another financial crisis.

    • Not Enough Skin in the Game

      There is a fifth way to improve the financial reform bill that has received scant notice. Both the House and Senate versions are almost identical on this point, because the authors of the pertinent section were evidently not familiar with current industry practice. The bills require that the packagers of asset-backed securities that fail to meet certain underwriting standards (which have yet to be specified) retain ownership of 5 percent of those securities. The basic idea is that by requiring issuers of subprime securities to have some “skin in the game” (a phrase used in the Senate bill summary), they will have the incentive to be more careful underwriters.

    • Down Under Consumers Leading the Way?

      The fees in question are honour and dishonour fees on overdrawn bank accounts and over-limit and late payment fees on credit cards. Financial Redress refers to these as “exception fees” and alleges that the banks have been charging customers an “unfair” amount. Customers are both individuals and businesses.

    • So Damn Little Money

      Or look at the lifetime contributions by the financial sector to (some) senators who voted for and against the Brown-Kaufman amendment, which would have imposed a hard size cap and a hard leverage cap on the biggest banks – over $2 million per senator by this one partial count.

      But wait. This is actually very little money considering what is at stake. For an individual large firm actively engaged in derivatives trading, the stakes could easily be in the billions of dollars. For the big banks as a whole, the amount they will be allowed to earn (and pay themselves) as a result of the failure of these financial reforms is – conservatively speaking – in the tens of billions of dollars.

    • Bank Fight Continues — Now It’s Lincoln v. Obama

      Not long after the financial crisis, it was clear that the “solutions” that would emerge from the administration would be weak. With Tim Geithner and Larry Summers in the driver’s seat it was clear that there would be no bold transformative vision, no “New Deal” for the 21st century, but tweaks like a “systemic risk regulator” that would somehow endow failed regulatory bodies with the foresight needed to predict the next crisis and the back bone needed to take decisive action.

    • Exclusive: US Probes Goldman’s Timberwolf Deal, Alleged Victim Says ‘Whole Thing Was Fraudulent Concoction

      The federal prosecutors investigating Goldman Sachs are focusing on Timberwolf, the infamous “shitty deal” repeatedly cited in a tense Senate hearing last month, according to people who have been contacted by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office.

    • The Last Hold Out: Senator Blanche Lincoln Against 13 Bankers

      Legal authority against market manipulation would be greatly strengthened and there would be more protection for whistleblowers. And the kind of transaction that Goldman entered into with Greece – a swap transaction with the goal of reducing measured debt levels, effectively deceiving current and future investors, would become more clearly illegal. All of this is entirely reasonable and responsible – and completely opposed by the most powerful people on Wall Street.

      Of course, most of the anti-Lincoln fire has been directed against the idea that “swaps desks” would be “pushed out” to subsidiaries – i.e., the big broker-dealers could still engage in these transactions, but they would need to hold a great deal more capital against their exposures, thus making the activities significantly less profitable.

      It is striking that while Treasury argues that increasing capital is the way to go with regard to financial reform, they are adamantly opposed to what would amount to more reasonable capital levels at the heart of the derivatives business.

      This is beyond disappointing.

    • Goldman Sachs Girds for Battle With the SEC Over Fraud Case

      Goldman Sachs is preparing to file a full-blown, point-by-point defense against the fraud allegations filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to people familiar with the matter.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • The smart paranoid’s guide to using Google

      Google is nearly everyone’s best friend. But have you ever stopped to think about just how much Google knows about you?

    • So, Why Do We Trust Google with Our Data?
    • Bordentown Mayor James Lynch Seeks to Shut Down BordenTownMayorReallySucks.com

      There’s so much wrong with Mayor Lynch’s resolution that I can’t quite get my head around it. Even if the gripe site has published false and defamatory statements about the mayor or his family, shutting down the entire site would not only be ham-handed, it would be blatantly unconstitutional.

    • Australia official: Google deliberately took Wi-Fi data

      It is hard to understand why some enterprising TV company hasn’t already created a game show called “Breach of Privacy.” This would entail people telling their stories of the most egregious ways in which their privacy was removed from them, with viewers voting for the winners.

    • Google Balks at Turning Over Private Internet Data to Regulators

      Google has balked at requests from regulators to surrender Internet data and fragments of e-mail messages that it collected from unsecured home wireless networks, saying it needed time to resolve legal issues.

    • European Commission seeks high privacy standards in EU-US data protection agreement

      The European Commission today adopted a draft mandate to negotiate a personal data protection agreement between the European Union and the United States when cooperating to fight terrorism or crime. The aim is to ensure a high level of protection of personal information like passenger data or financial information that is transferred as part of transatlantic cooperation in criminal matters. The agreement would enhance the right of citizens to access, rectify or delete data, where appropriate. EU citizens would receive a right to seek judicial redress in the US if their data is unlawfully processed. Independent public authorities would be given a stronger role in helping people exercise their privacy rights and in supervising transatlantic data transfers. The Council must approve the Commission’s negotiating mandate before talks can begin. The European Parliament will be fully informed at all stages of the negotiations and will have to give its consent to the outcome of the negotiations.

    • Guy Who Encouraged People To Commit Suicide Online Banned From The Internet

      While there’s no way to defend what this guy did, so far this whole case seems to go in dangerous directions, both from the standpoint of free speech questions, as well as overly aggressive internet bans, due to one particular activity done on the internet.

    • Experts say censorship not the way to stop terrorists from recruiting online

      Censoring websites used by terrorist groups to recruit supporters is counterproductive, according to expert testimony on the Hill Wednesday.

      Any laws or regulations aimed at blocking or removing extremist web content could hamper law enforcement’s ability to collect information on the groups, according to civil liberties advocates at a hearing of the House Select Committee on Homeland Security.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Gameloft Keeps Getting it Wrong

      This time around we’ve learned that the DRM and app protection is unlike anything we’ve seen on the platform.

      Short version: Any games you purchase from them are good for only one install on one device. That’s it.

    • Blizzard boss says DRM is a waste of time

      His company – which is responsible for the biggest videogame of all time, the worryingly-addictive online fantasy role player World of Warcraft – is to release Starcraft 2 on July 27th and Pearce has told Videogamer that the title won’t be hobbled with the kind of crazy copy protection schemes which have made Ubisoft very unpopular in gaming circles of late.

    • Invasive DRM systems are dangerous from a security perspective

      In recent times, it seems to be an increasing trend for anti-copying software DRM systems to install invasive privileged software. For example, there’s the ever so infamous “Sony DRM Rootkit” that Mark Russinovich publicly exposed some time ago. Unfortunately, software like this is becoming commonplace nowadays.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • A Look At How The Fashion Industry Thrives Without Copyright

      The thing that disappointed me about the presentation, frankly, is that while it’s titled: “Lessons from fashion’s free culture” Blakely never really gets that deeply into the lessons. She does talk about a few other areas of creative endeavors where copyright is not allowed for the most part (recipes, cars, furniture, etc.) and has an amusing slide that compares the revenue generated in industries with copyright and those not protected by copyright (the “not protected by copyright” part vastly outweighs the “protected by copyright” side). I’d like to see that slide in a bit more detail, because, while amusing, it threatens to fall into the same trap as the recent Chamber of Commerce report that tries to claim the exact opposite. It says that copyright protected industries contribute a lot more to the economy than non-covered industries. In both cases, though, I fear that there’s some cherry-picking of data and questionable classifications.

      I do think that there’s a ton to learn from industries like the fashion industry — including suggestions on ways those lessons can be applied to industries like music and movies. Hopefully we’ll start seeing a deeper analysis on that soon.

    • Roderick Long Finally Realizes IP is Unjustified
    • Cory Doctorow: Publish books free online

      Politically engaged and disarmingly geeky, Cory Doctorow is one of the better-known faces of the digital revolution: co-editor of the celebrated blog Boing Boing (“a directory of wonderful things”), he is also author of half-a-dozen science fiction novels and a journalist. Born in Canada, the 38-year-old writer now lives in London, although when we speak, he’s in the US, promoting his latest book, For the Win. This tells a story of teens rebelling against global corporations and is pitched at the “young adult” market. As with all his fiction, the book has been released simultaneously in bookshops and, for free, online.

    • Letter to MacBreak’s Scott Bourne about Open Source and the Free Market

      That said, I agree with you that there is no “religious” reason for a given individual or firm to use open source over non-open — whatever works better and is the better deal for you, of course. And in fact the “open source” model is not without problems: it also relies on copyright, and has insidious aspects — that’s one reason I, as an anti-copyright type, prefer public domain or creative commons attribution only instead of the share-alike/GNU type model (which I explain in Copyright is very sticky!, Eben Moglen and Leftist Opposition to Intellectual Property, and Leftist Attacks on the Google Book Settlement).

    • GM Sued Because Of Einstein Ad

      Albert Einstein is among the world’s top-earning dead people, and an Israeli university that holds rights to his image is asking General Motors Co. to pay for putting the physics pioneer in a magazine ad.

    • Let’s Make the Visually Impaired Full Digital Citizens

      As I wrote recently in my Open… blog, copyright is about making a fair deal: in return for a government-supported, time-limited monopoly, creators agree to place their works in the public domain after that period has expired. But that monopoly also allows exceptions, granted for various purposes like the ability to quote limited extracts, or the ability to make parodies (details depend on jurisdiction.)

      The industries based around copyright’s intellectual monopoly don’t like those exceptions, and fight tooth and nail against any extensions of them. Naturally enough, you might say – after all, they’re businesses, and it’s they’re duty to shareholders to maximise their profits. But sometimes this reflexive refusal to compromise a jot because of concerns about the bottom line goes too far. As, I would suggest, in this case.

      A draft treaty has been prepared by the World Blind Union, and put forward by the WIPO Delegations of Brazil, Ecuador and Paraguay in May 2009. In essence, this treaty seeks to allow those with visual impairments to read books that are currently unavailable to them – a staggering 95% of the total market.

    • Industry minister admits to breaking copyright law to build iPod collection

      Industry Minister Tony Clement has an admission to make: He built his impressive music library on his iPod in part by breaking Canada’s copyright law.

    • Copyrights

      • Should Customs decide what’s a circumvention device?

        The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a complex and highly controversial statute, and the anti-circumvention provisions in section 1201 are some of its most complex and controversial components. Despite more than a decade’s worth of judicial interpretation, there remain plenty of unsettled questions about just what constitutes circumvention and just what constitutes a protected technological measure. And what we do know for sure makes a strong case that the anti-circumvention provisions are overbroad and have significant and harmful unintended consequences.

      • David Byrne Sues Florida Gov. Charlie Crist For $1 Million

        David Byrne is suing the governor of Florida, alleging that he used the Talking Heads’ 1985 single “Road to Nowhere” without permission or proper licenses.

      • GS valedictory Class Day speech plagiarized? (UPDATE: Yeah, it definitely was)
      • Anonymous accused Bittorrent user moves to quash subpoena using real name

        Some have already commented on their scruples arising from the large economies of scale approach to copyright litigation that’s being undertaken by lawyers with the U.S. Copyright Group to go after Bittorrent movie sharers. See, for example, what Mike Masnick and Eriq Gardner have had to say. And the ISPs aren’t all that happy about the work required to respond to a bunch of subpoenas.

      • Law Firm Asks Alleged File-Sharers To Incriminate Themselves

        Lawyers ACS:Law in the UK are now into their second year of threatening alleged pirates with legal action. Since they don’t have a good case when people deny their allegations, for some time now the firm has been sending out questionnaires which allow people to build a case against themselves. As a UK consumer magazine is pointing out, people don’t have to play this game.

      • Is Time Warner Cable about to be sued for copyright infringement?

        The legal campaign that targets tens of thousands of alleged movie pirates on BitTorrent is getting more interesting. Now one of the nation’s largest ISPs could be held responsible for facilitating copyright infringement.

        Yesterday, Thomas Dunlap at the U.S. Copyright Group filed his response to Time Warner Cable’s motion to quash or modify thousands of subpoena requests. TWC had asked the court to require no more than 28 IP address lookup requests per month, citing the burden of having to comply with discovery requests that were “far out of line with other comparable copyright infringement cases.”

      • Self-help guru Wayne Dyer sued for stealing from Tao book

        Popular self-help author Wayne Dyer has been accused of helping himself to someone else’s book.

        In a copyright infringement lawsuit filed today in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, author Stephen Mitchell says Dyer “copied verbatim a significant portion” of his interpretation of the ancient Taoist scripture Tao Te Ching in two separate books.

      • Time Warner Cable Resists Mass BitTorrent Lawsuit

        A consortium of independent film producers is hitting a stumbling block in its plan to simultaneously sue thousands of BitTorrent users for allegedly downloading pirated movies. Time Warner Cable is refusing to look up and turn over the identities of about a thousand of its customers targeted in the lawsuits, on the grounds that the effort would require three months of full-time work by its staff.

      • Viacom-Google Unsealed: Take Two: Viacom Exec: ‘YouTube Mostly Behaves’
      • Lady Gaga’s Manager: We Make Music Videos For YouTube
      • Amanda Palmer And OK Go Get Together To Celebrate Being Dropped From Their Record Labels

        Recently, we’ve noted some similarities between Amanda Palmer and the band OK Go, in that both had been signed to major record label deals, both had built up an amazing (and amazingly loyal) group of fans through various means (different for each) using methods totally outside of their major label marketing effort (which was somewhat lacking in both cases)… and last month, both were officially dropped from their label deals.

      • NetCoalition/CCIA Reinforces Recent Comments To IP Czar Over Bogus Industry Studies On Copyright

        The filing talks about those three reports — all of which we’ve discussed here previously — to reiterate some of the key points made in the original filing. The first, of course, is the GAO report that debunked the claims from industry studies about all of the “losses” caused by infringement. Amusingly, that GAO report was required by the same law that created the IP Czar position in the first place, the ProIP Act. The filing notes, by the way, that the GAO’s mandate for the report didn’t even say it had to investigate copyright infringement — just counterfeiting. However, the GAO appears to have been so troubled by the bogus reports out there that it decided to publicly call those studies into question. As this new filing points out, many of the comments filed by groups in support of strong copyright enforcement, relied on those reports that the GAO has since debunked. This should call into question the legitimacy of those filings entirely.

    • ACTA

      • US Copyright Official Discounts ACTA Concerns

        U.S. copyright official Steven Tepp said Tuesday he doesn’t understand many of the current objections to the proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), a 37-nation effort to enforce copyright and counterfeit laws across international borders.

        Tepp, senior counsel for policy and international affairs at the U.S. Copyright Office, dismissed objections to ACTA voiced by representatives of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and Knowledge Ecology International (KEI), an intellectual-property research and advocacy group, during a debate on the trade agreement at the Future of Music Coalition’s Washington, D.C., policy forum.

      • US Copyright Official Pretends That Concerns About ACTA Are Unfounded; Mocks Legitimate Concerns

        The session kicks off with U.S. Copyright Office official Steven Tepp defending ACTA, by saying right from the outset, “Quite candidly, we’re in the midst of a worldwide epidemic of copyright piracy.” What kind of epidemic? Well, he uses that old line about how organized crime groups and terrorists are being funded by copyright infringement — a claim that the industry keeps making, but which makes little sense. Even if it were true that some crime operations are selling bootleg DVDs and such, aren’t they under the same, if not more, pressure from unauthorized internet file sharing?

      • U.S. Copyright Official Challenges ACTA Criticism

        U.S. Copyright Office official Steven Tepp appeared at a Future of Music Coalition debate on ACTA yesterday, arguing that the release of the ACTA text proved the prior concerns wrong. The full debate is available online as Tepp offers gruff responses to fellow panel members, but refuses to answer many other questions on the grounds that the USTR leads on the file.

      • European Parliament Members Follow-Up With WTO on ACTA
    • Digital Economy Bill

      • The future of the Digital Economy Act is in your hands

        It is also wholly wrong that customers should be footing the Bill of this enforcement scheme. The vast majority, even by copyright holders’ estimates, do not infringe their copyrights, yet they will be paying for a quarter of this scheme. A small number will be priced off the Internet by even a small rise in broadband bills – Consumer Focus estimate perhaps 10,000 households.

        BT also drew attention to the lack of a Privacy Impact Assessment for the scheme. Privacy concerns could scupper the acceptability of letter writing. Yet the engagement from the government and ICO on this issue has so far been less than acceptable.

        ORG and other groups have been willing to accept the principle of letter writing, but this current consultation shows the weaknesses in the legislation that was rammed through in the dying hours of the last Parliament. Already the Act threatens to punish innocent people with additional, unwarranted costs and bars to clearing their name.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – VE – Mission Statements (10/16/2003)


05.27.10

Links 27/5/2010: Fedora 13 Reviews, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Run Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 5:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 98

    · Announced Distro: Arch Linux 2010.05
    · Announced Distro: Linux Mint 9
    · Announced Distro: Slackware 13.1 RC2
    · Announced Distro: SystemRescueCd 1.5.4
    · Announced Distro: Mandriva Linux 2010.1 RC1

  • TTE Wrappers protect system operations

    If intending to use an off-the-shelf processor running Linux or another standard OS in the embedded system, it can be challenging to ensure that the system will operate safely at all times.

  • Desktop

    • Growth in Mobile PCs and “No OS”

      Coincidence? I don’t think so. HP and the others are not big on “No OS”. I think “No OS” may be working for folks who hate that other OS and want to pick their own OS, such as GNU/Linux. I think about 10% of PC users are able/willing to install an OS so a large part of the growth of ASUS and Acer could be due to this plus the fact that they push low-end mobile PCs.

    • Students can turn to free alternatives for necessary software

      Most computers that you may purchase will come with an operating such as Microsoft Windows or a Macintosh OS. However, not all manufacturers include an operating system on their computers and if you need to purchase an operating system it can cost you several hundred dollars, depending on what you need.

      Linux is a term used to refer to operating systems based on the Linux Kernel and is generally free and open source. Linux is made of different distributions or “distros.” Each distro has its own features and uses, so it is up to the user to decide which is best for them. A distro can be made by a single individual or a collaborate group of dozens.

      However, because Linux is the way it is, there is no paid support for most distros and help comes from online forums normally. Linux is usually considered fairly advanced and requires the computer user to be fairly computer literate.

      Usually considered one of the most user friendly distros, Ubuntu is very popular among new Linux users and would be a good place to start. Download at www.ubuntu.com.

    • Downloads of MEDUSA4 Personal up by 38% for free 2D/3D CAD on Linux® and Windows®

      About a third of all users are on Linux.

  • Server

  • Ballnux

  • Kernel Space

    • The Linux Foundation Announces LinuxCon 2010 Program and Schedule

      The Linux Foundation (LF), the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced new keynote speakers and its full conference schedule for North America’s premier annual conference LinuxCon taking place in Boston August 10-12, 2010.

    • LinuxCon Program Announced: This Year’s Themes
    • The People Who Support Linux: Driving 4,000 Miles to LinuxCon
    • Graphics Stack

      • Intro to CUDA

        General Purpose computing on Graphics Processing Units, or GPGPU, is one of the hottest up-and-coming trends in software development. By writing code specifically to run on the massively parallel stream processors found on today’s high-end 3-D graphics cards, programmers can speed up an array of algorithms — and not just in high-performance computing (HPC) applications. One of the most popular GPGPU architectures available for Linux is NVIDIA’s “Compute Unified Device Architecture” (CUDA). If you are looking to get started, CUDA allows you to write GPU-optimized code in C, using only a few language extensions.

  • Applications

    • Spirit iPhone Jailbreak for Linux gets User Interface
    • Spirit Jailbreak for Linux now Available
    • Spirit Jailbreak for iPhone 3.1.3, iPad 3.2, iPod touch 3G Ported to Linux

      The developer behind Greenpois0n, p0sixninja has managed to port “Spirit” jailbreak tool to Linux. Spirit is an all-in-one untethered iDevice jailbreak for iPhone 3.1.3, iPad 3.2 and iPod touch 2G/3G. It was released earlier this month for both Windows and Mac OS X.

    • Nautilus Elementary Simplifies File Browsing in Linux

      Linux only: While lots of people like advanced file browsers like previously mentioned Total Commander or Path Finder, sometimes the explorer can get overwhelmingly complicated. Nautilus Elementary is a mod that compacts and streamlines Nautilus in GNOME to make file browsing easier.

    • Proprietary/Middle Ground

      • Wine 1.2 gets a first release candidate

        The Wine developers have announced the availability of the first release candidate (RC1) for version 1.2 of their Windows API implementation, marking the beginning of the code freeze period. Wine, which is an acronym for Wine Is Not an Emulator, is free open source software that allows users to run Windows applications on Linux and Unix by providing its own native versions of Windows DLLs.

      • Google releases Chrome for Mac and Linux

        Google has officially released Chrome for the Apple and Linux operating systems, taking the software out of beta.

      • Google Chrome grows up: Out of beta on Mac/Linux

        Although I’m perfectly happy clicking away in Opera, Firefox, or Chrome/Chromium, the speed/stability improvements in this cross-platform release make for a pretty compelling argument to stick with Chrome, especially for those of us who spend a lot of time in Google Apps and AJAX-heavy sites.

      • Interesting times for Linux Flash support

        Although many proponents of free software and an open web don’t like Flash, the multimedia platform has become so ubiquitous that it is difficult to imagine the web without it. However, Flash support has always been a challenge for Linux distributions. Adobe has had a proprietary Linux release of its Flash player software for years now, but only for the x86 processor architecture. Meanwhile, open source projects trying to recreate Flash functionality are lagging behind and struggling with lack of manpower. Luckily, there are also some interesting new technical developments in the open source Flash world. One that sparked our interest recently is Lightspark, which was written from scratch based on the SWF documentation Adobe published in June 2009 as part of the Open Screen Project.

        [...]

        But x86 and preliminary x86_64 support for Flash obviously isn’t enough in the open source world. Granted, Adobe is or has been working with some mobile phone manufacturers to offer a version for ARM (for example on MeeGo or Android), but people running a Linux desktop system on a non-Intel processor are left in the cold. Until last year, your author was in exactly this position, running Debian on a PowerMac G5. If non-Intel users want to run the official Flash player they have to use ugly solutions such as running Flash in an x86 emulator.

        Luckily there are some open source programs recreating Flash functionality, of which the most well-known is Gnash (“GNU Flash”), which also runs on PowerPC, ARM and MIPS processors. It’s not even limited to Linux: Gnash also supports FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD, so it pleases a lot of people that don’t want to run proprietary software on their open source operating system but have to be able to see Flash content. In March we looked at the current state of affairs of Gnash when project lead Rob Savoye talked about the project at SCALE 8x.

    • Instructionals

    • Games

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Exploring Lilliput: Is the Cloud Replacing Tiny Linuxes?

      In case anyone wondered why I haven’t been offering any of my highly-opinionated pieces on Linux Planet lately, it’s because I’ve been exploring Lilliput: sampling for myself a few of the better known small-footprint distros that offer an astonishing amount of computing power packed into a mere handful of megabytes. And though I haven’t been at this long enough to try out more than a small fraction of the available ones, some overall characteristics of the breed are beginning to appear. The most interesting feature to me is that there seem to be two main branches of small distros: the Tools and the Products.

    • Red Hat Family

      • 3PAR adds could support with Red Hat server virtualisation

        3PAR has announced support for Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation for Servers, a server virtualisation offering that includes a standalone Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) hypervisor and server management tools.

        The company said that 3PAR InServ Storage Server customers can choose the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation Hypervisor to build and deploy a virtualisation environment on a scale necessary for public or private cloud datacentres.

      • 200Day Might Become a Great Reference Point for Red Hat
      • Fedora

        • Fedora’s Paul Frields: Leadership, trust, fail early and often

          Paul works for Red Hat and is currently the Fedora Project Leader and chairman of the Fedora Project Board. It’s no coincidence that our chat with Paul was posted on the day that Fedora 13 was released. But I can’t express how excited I was when I saw his responses to the interview questions drop into my inbox. Then I read the email. Twice. When Paul started talking about overcoming failure, curating leadership, and fostering community participation, I was ecstatic. I think you will be too.

        • Fedora 13 update revamps virtualisation
        • Fedora 13 gets utility for tracing code
        • Fedora 13 brims with updates
        • Fedora 13 Released
        • Fedora 13 Released
        • Fedora Linux 13 released

          For developers Python 3 can be installed in parallel with an existing Python stack and there is support for the Java EE 6 specification in Netbeans 6.8.

        • Fedora 13 released
        • Rock it

          Known as “Goddard”, Fedora 13 not only boasts a current software selection and a modernised design, it also offers an extensive range of technological improvements. As usual, the distribution demonstrates its pioneering role in this area and many of its advanced features are likely to appear soon in other Linux distributions.

        • Fedora 13 (Goddard) Hits the Waves

          I have loaded the Gnome 64-bit version on my Lifebook S6510 (Intel Core2 Duo and 965 graphics) and HP Pavillion dv2-1010ez (AMD Athlon Neo and AMD Radeon graphics), and the Gnome 32-bit version on my HP 2133 Mini (VIA C7-M and Chrome9 graphics). All loaded easily and without significant problems. The 2133 has a small (10″) relatively high resolution (1280×768) screen, and I thought the default font size was much too large, but it took just a few mouse clicks to reduce that, and it looks fine now.

          Here are a few of the significant changes and improvements that I have noticed personally.

        • Fedora 13 released with open 3D drivers and Python 3 stack

          I tested Fedora 13 myself to see how it compares to the previous version. It’s a fairly solid release, certainly one of the better offerings from Fedora that I’ve seen in a while. The improvements relative to version 12 are somewhat modest, but compelling enough to motivate an upgrade. The general level of fit and finish has increased since the previous version. After spending several hours with Fedora 13, my conclusion is that the new hat is a good fit.

    • Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu 10.04 LTS: Lucid Lynx Benchmarked And Reviewed

        Ubuntu 10.04 LTS comes with a video editor pre-installed–a widely perceived weak point in desktop Linux distributions. PiTiVi is probably the best choice to bundle with Ubuntu. It is one of the easiest-to-use video editors out there, yet still robust enough to keep most users from seeking an upgrade. Throw in the best GTK conformity, and PiTiVi is the obvious choice for Ubuntu. With a minimalist interface and a focus on drag-and-drop interaction, this app finally brings Linux users a video editor that can seriously compete with Windows Movie Maker for user-friendliness.

      • Ubuntu Live CD As A Forensics Too

        Ubuntu is one of the best open source computer operating system based on the Debian GNU/Linux distribution. Ubuntu provides an up-to-date, stable operating system for the average user, with a strong focus on usability and ease of installation. The Ubiquity installer allows Ubuntu to be installed to the hard disk directly from the Live CD, without requiring the computer to be restarted prior to installation.

      • Canonical Releases Landscape 1.5, the Ubuntu System Management Tool

        Ubuntu has taken the Linux world by storm on the desktop, but, for the enterprise market, it is still an up-and-comer. The open-source operating system is evolving to meet the requirements of this market as well and has proven especially popular for cloud applications. The Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud version is an interesting option for those looking to deploy an Amazon EC2-compatible private cloud. Now, Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, has released an updated version of its Landscape management tool for enterprises.

      • Canonical updates Landscape manager
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Open-Source Gaming Console is Just About Ready to Play

      The OpenPandora project has created a Linux-based hand-held intended for hacking, gaming, and for use as an ultra-portable desktop. The ARM-based OpenPandora platform features OpenGL ES–the mobile version of the OpenGL 3D graphics API–and is capable of powering real-time 3D games similar to what might be found on the Nintendo DS or Playstation Portable.

    • Pandora open-source handheld gaming console finally ships

      The Pandora packs a 600MHz CPU, PowerVR SGX OpenGL 2.0 ES compliant 3D hardware, analogue and digital gaming controls, and a host of other features. It’s basically a little Linux OS computer made for portable gaming and with an app store.

    • Cute Qbot aims to be Model T of robots

      Where’s the robot revolution already? It’s 2010! Aren’t we supposed to be hip-deep in droids by now? Well, Spanish robot developer Francisco Paz thinks he’s got the makings of a proverbial Ford Model T for robots, a cute little number called Qbot.

    • StrandVision Offers Preconfigured Linux Point-of-Display Digital Signage Player

      StrandVision LLC recently introduced an optional preconfigured, point-of-display Linux player for use with its digital signage system. The compact appliance can be mounted at or behind a flat screen digital signage display to ease deployment and administration.

    • Readying Linux for today’s embedded devices

      Linux is making rapid strides into the embedded world. There are several factors that are driving this trend. Many devices such as netbooks, set-top boxes, mobile devices, assorted gadgets, media players, etc, are Linux powered. Cutting down Linux’s boot time is one of the final hurdles that’s left to be conquered.

    • How Linux-powered helicopters are taking off

      Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) today are becoming smarter and are able to perform ever more difficult tasks. They can help find people in remote environments, or explore dangerous places.

      Nicolas Roy, from the Robust Robotics Group at MIT, leads a team that designed a quadcopter that won the International Aerial Robotics Competition last year. And guess what? It runs on Linux.

    • Phones

      • Nokia

        • Researchers track eyeballs

          Researchers at Dartmouth College have developed an advanced iris recognition algorithm that they have cleverly christened the Eyephone. The algorithm runs on Nokia’s 810 tablet, which runs Linux.

        • Nokia N900 Review

          Nokia may lead the pack in the mobile handset race but when it comes to their smartphone market share, it’s totally a different story to tell. Nokia has evidently struggled to keep pace with the growing competition in the smartphone space but is trying their best to gain some lost ground.

          It has the aging Symbian OS that currently powers few Nokia smartphones like N97, N97 mini, 5800XM and they’ve Maemo, a linux-based platform that has often been undermined by the Finnish giant. Maemo OS is responsible to produce some decent tablet devices in the past but it’s the N900 that is the first device from Nokia to marry the internet tablet with cellular capabilities. But does N900 deliver? We delve to check out.

        • Nokia N900: The Smartphone That Runs Linux-Based Maemo OS

          Maemo is backed up by a superscalar ARM Cortex-A8 processor to deliver a PC-like multitasking experience and a super-fast, fully interactive, Mozilla-powered browser that has to be seen to be appreciated.

        • No MeeGo Upgrade for the N900, Says Nokia
        • Nokia Releases PR 1.2 Firmware Update for N900

          In the next few weeks, we will be coming to you with a review of the N900 featuring the new PR 1.2 firmware which we will extensively explore. In the meantime, we will give you a short summary of the features that have been added by Nokia with the PR 1.2 firmware update.

        • MeeGo, the new netbook Linux, arrives

          Take one part Intel’s Moblin, mix with Nokia’s Maemo, bake for three months in the Linux Foundation oven, and you get MeeGo. Linux Foundation executive director, Jim Zemlin has called this new embedded Linux, the open-source uber-platform for the next generation of computing devices: tablets, pocketable computers, netbooks, automotive IVI (In-Vehicle Infotainment) and more.”

        • MeeGo 1.0 For Netbooks And Nokia N900, Now Available For Download

          MeeGo is an open source Linux Project which integrates the Moblin project headed by Intel and Maemo headed by Nokia, into a single open source platform. MeeGo platform delievers no-compromise web standards and rich web experience to the Netbooks and mobile devices. MeeGo’s immense popularity is based on the fact that it includes flexible and powerful app development environment based on Qt.

      • Android

        • Android 2.2 Headed to OEMs in Coming Weeks

          Sending Android 2.2 to OEMs and open source community in the coming weeks is a good thing, right? Definitely. (Hello 2.2 ROM anyone?) Continuing to expect the Motorola Droid or Droid Incredible to receive the update sometime in June? Probably a reach.

        • Google: Guess what, Apple, we’ve discovered the internet

          The war of words between Google and Apple – in public at least – has never raged more fiercely. On stage, as the search company announced the new generation of its Android mobile phone operating system, Vice President Vic Gundotra repeatedly referred disparagingly to the closed ecosystem that Apple uses for its products.

        • Turf war heats up as Google accuses Apple of forgetting its roots and stifling innovation

          “He said it was critically important to provide a free mobile operating system, an open-source operating system, that would enable innovations at every level of the stack,” Mr Gundotra started.

        • Google: Android fragmentation isn’t fragmentation

          “Some of the press has called it fragmentation, but that’s probably the wrong word for it,” he told reporters last week at Google I/O, the company annual developer conference. “The better word for it is ‘legacy.’ With these phones and devices, the iteration cycle is incredibly fast. It used to be that every 18 months, a new device would reach the market. But we’re seeing it happen every three or four months. The software obviously has to keep up and I don’t think anyone is harmed by it.

        • Try Out Android on Older iPhones

          Want to see what all the Android fuss is about? You can if you have an older iPhone 3G or 2G. 3GS owners need not bother; it won’t work yet. For details you’ll need to head on over to Linux on the iPhone and read about the process. There is a version of Android that has been hacked to install and run on older iPhones.

        • A Step into the World of Google’s Android

          Since Google first announced that they were working on a Linux based open source mobile platform, many people were already on board with the Android operating system. The establishment of the Open Handset Alliance already saw many major figures in the mobile industry moving to support Google’s project.

        • Why the Android Brings Sales to Smart Phones

          Reports are stating that Google’s Android operating system is bringing a bigger boost to the already growing number of smart phone sales. The big plus factor comes from people finally seeing the point of owning a smart phone over a conventional handset –thanks to the many practical and useful features of the Android OS.

        • Can Google TV Win Where Apple and Microsoft Haven’t?

          Leveraging Linux – Many home electronics already run embedded Linux, and Linux is at the core of Android. Manufacturers know how to integrate Linux, so commercializing Google’s platform should not require dramatically new skills. Additionally, these same hardware companies are also delivering Android mobile devices today.

        • Flash on Android 2.2: Slow loading, but smooth running

          eWEEK evaluated a Nexus One running Android 2.2 and a beta Flash Player 10.1, and found Flash to be slow loading, but surprisingly smooth and power efficient. Meanwhile, HTC vows that most of its Android phones will move to version 2.2 later this year, and a 4Q release for Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) has been tipped.

        • An Updated Android OS History: from Android 1.5 Cupcake to Android 2.2 (Froyo)
    • Sub-notebooks

      • What’s next for the future of the netbook?

        New platforms hint at new directions too. ARM’s recently-released Cortex A9 processor claims far greater computing power per watt than the Atom, but doesn’t offer the x86 compatibility required to run Windows. ARM could thus bring Linux-based netbooks back into play, perhaps providing a boost for Google’s web-based Chrome OS.

    • Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Why We Still Need OSI

    For reasons best left to the reader to uncover, the Open Source Initiative (OSI) has often been at loggerheads with the Free Software Foundation (FSF) and particularly with its more excitable supporters.

    In the words of one trollish commentator:

    The (Free Software) world doesn’t need a worthless ORG like the OSI.

    Advert

    I beg to differ. I have been (and in plenty of ways still am) a critic of OSI, as well as a firm supporter and advocate of the FSF. I believe OSI should be a member organisation with a representative leadership.

    I believe it should strive for the inclusion to its community critics, ending the perceived divide. Most of all, I believe that its stewardship role for pragmatic software freedom should be broader than just licence approvals.

  • FOSS Yellow Pages Is Now On Web!

    For those looking for a cost-effective solution for maintaining their company’s IT infrastructure, here’s some good news. FOSS Yellow Pages, the brain child of LINUX For You magazine, is now available on the web to cater to enterprises looking for experts to deploy and support various Linux and Open Source Solutions.

    Fossyellowpages.com lists all companies that support and provide Open Source and will be of great help to users in finding category-wise information on Free and Open Source Software.

  • Champion Man Wins Top It Prize

    The award which was the first of its kind by the Free and Open Source Foundation for Africa (FOSSFA) and Deutsche Welle (DW), under FOSSWAY project, was presented to Mr. Nweke in Accra, Ghana, last week by the Director, Deutsche Welle Online, Mr. Thomas Bastian, in company of FOSSFA chairperson, Ms. Nnenna Nwakanma, as part of the weeklong fourth Idlelo Conference, organized at the Banquet Hall, State House, Accra.

  • Open-source services show signs of growth in Africa

    Changing procurement rules and regulations, increased uptake of open-source-based certification and growth in the software and hardware markets has led to the rise of businesses that were previously ignored.

    [...]

    Most open-source software service companies were considered too small to get big contracts and did not have the capital to invest in technical support compared to established proprietary software companies.

  • SabreDAV PHP framework becomes calendar server

    Most calendar clients are able to use the CalDAV protocol which allows remote swapping of appointments – however, there is a shortage of open source CalDAV servers. Version 1.2 of open source PHP framework SabreDAV now includes the requisite functionality.

  • BitTorrent open sources µTP protocol

    BiTtorrent has open sourced an update to its popular peer-to-peer file-sharing protocol.

  • Digital Parallels Embraces Zenoss for Managed Services

    Zenoss, maker of open source monitoring software, has added another managed services adopter: Digital Parallels, a master MSP in the United Kingdom. Although most MSPmentor 100 companies seem to be using traditional closed-source software, there are niches where open source alternatives are gaining momentum. Here’s a closer look at Zenoss and open source in the MSP ecosystem

  • Zombies, Open Source, and Bad Analogies

    I guess Vernon has not spent a lot of time watching zombie movies. Generally, at best, humans find a bit of respite from the zombies but they’re still there. Usually waiting for George Romero to work on a sequel. But the point is, zombies generally win. While I’m not crazy about the zombie analogy, the same is true of open source. It’s not really possible to kill off an open source project or the movement permanently. The licenses ensure that the code will always be there for someone else to pick it up. The community may suffer setbacks, but over time it will adapt to solve not only technical problems but also solve the business, legal, and social issues. Maybe more slowly than some of us would like, but like the undead, we have time. Maybe that zombie analogy isn’t quite as bad as I thought.

  • FOSS Community Member Launches Documentation Project for Blind Linux User

    During a recent interview at technology blog The Stop, OSS community member Tony Baechler raised the issue of how difficult it is for visually-impaired Linux users to access documentation. He says that he would like to point other vision-impaired friends to Linux and open source software but custom audio tutorials designed specifically for the blind are almost non-existent.

  • Events

  • Guradian

  • Mozilla

    • Experiments with audio, part X

      I’m working with an ever growing group of web, audio, and Mozilla developers on a project to expose audio data to JavaScript from Firefox’s audio and video elements. Today we show you how much JavaScript can really do.

  • Databases

  • Oracle

    • Red Hat Denies Oracle as the Largest Open Source Company
    • O JavaFX, What Art Thou?

      Partly. As described in the section above on licensing, there is a portion of JavaFX that is open source, but significant portions are not. The openjfx site now forwards one to the JavaFX.com site.

      Again, I’m not the first to wonder about the degree of “open sourcedness” of JavaFX. Others have posted questions on this topic in posts such as JavaFX: Open source or not? and the JavaFX forum thread Is JavaFX open-source? I particularly like the latter (the forum thread) because it nicely covers the intricacies of making a product like JavaFX open source.

  • CMS

    • USASpending.gov Refresh Uses Open Source, Cloud

      The refreshed site, like other federal Web sites, takes advantage of open source components. It was developed on the open-source platform Drupal, which also powers the WhiteHouse.gov site that was relaunched late last year.

  • Education

    • Harley From PTFS-LibLime: What It Is—and Isn’t

      While the LibLime Koha Community offering is available both as a SaaS or hosted service and for local installation, Enterprise Koha is limited to SaaS because the General Public License, which all those participating in Koha development must accept, requires that any enhancements made to open source software must be “distributed” by free download to any interested party.

    • Open source code software saves schools money on licence fees

      When seventh grader Joonas Puuska switches on the computer in his school library, it’s not the familiar Windows that appears. Instead, it is the big Ubuntu logo, under which Puuska types in his name and password.

      Puuska, a pupil at the Lauritsala School in Lappeenranta, shows the software on the computer, which includes word processing, picture modification, a web browser, a spread sheet, and various teaching programmes.

      The appearance of the desktop on the screen is similar to the traditional one, but the computer uses the Ubuntu operating system. Puuska dies not really like Ubuntu, because the computer tends to crash.

  • BI

  • Openness

    • Open Your World forum preview: Q&A on music and Creative Commons

      Daniel James is the director of 64 Studio Ltd, a company developing custom GNU/Linux multimedia products for OEMs. He was the founder of the linuxaudio.org consortium, which promotes the use of GNU/Linux and Free Software in the professional audio field.

      Daniel is also the author of Crafting Digital Media: Audacity, Blender, Drupal, GIMP, Scribus, and other Open Source Tools (Apress). The book is a foundation course in photographic manipulation, illustration, animation, 3D modelling, publishing, recording audio and making music, DJ’ing, mixing and mastering audio CDs, video editing, and web content delivery with open source tools.

    • Beatfly: The open source blimp

      While he has no immediate plans to mass produce this blimp, Mr. Yoshimoto has kindly open sourced his work, making his software, materials, mechanical drawings, and circuit diagrams readily available on this page (Japanese only) for anyone who would like to take to the air with Beatfly. It uses an Arduino chip and the free software Pure Data was used as the programming environment.

    • The Open Source Approach to Feeding the Hungry

      Now a Florida-based engineer has come up with an open source design to help feed the hungry.

    • Glaxo Tries a Linux Approach

      A decade ago, the Linux operating system helped spark a revolution in how software is developed. A move by GlaxoSmithKline PLC could test how well similar open-source principles work for developing new drugs.

      [...]

      In software, the approach has spawned the Linux operating system, MySQL database and an array of other programs. Those community-born technologies now compete with products from Microsoft Corp., Oracle Corp. and other traditional, commercial software makers. Open-source developers share programming instructions called source code that software companies traditionally kept confidential.

    • Open Data

      • Cut high textbook costs

        I see the high costs for textbooks and wonder why. What about open-source e-textbooks? Set up an online community that can develop e-textbooks.

      • Open education vs. Texas Board of Education

        The best way to get around this would either be some coordination between states in order to increase their leverage against the publishers, or for more states to begin opting out of the for-profit textbook industry altogether and moving toward an open-source curriculum / open-source textbook model.

        Indeed, even in Texas the open-source textbook movement may prove to be a bit of a thorn in the Board of Education’s side. Of course, open-source has its share of problems also, and if implemented badly these could be just as worrisome as anything the Texas reformists are doing. But done properly, open-source can connect education communities nationally without a national mandate; they can save states lots of money to spend on things like teachers and school supplies; and they can get around bad education reforms like those passed in Texas. Furthermore, open-source can combine the best parts of local autonomy and the best parts of national connectivity, and the material will constantly evolving to meet the needs of modern students and educators.

    • Open Access/Content

Leftovers

  • IBM’s Moffat, Chiesi Were `Intimate,’ U.S. Says

    Robert Moffat, the former International Business Machines Corp. executive who pleaded guilty in the Galleon Group LLC insider-trading scheme, had an “intimate relationship” with accused tipster Danielle Chiesi, prosecutors said in court.

    Moffat admitted to securities fraud and conspiracy in March and is scheduled to be sentenced in July. He faces six months in prison at most. Today at the sentencing of Mark Kurland, a co- founder of New Castle Funds LLC and Chiesi’s former boss, a defense lawyer said Kurland deserved no more prison time than Moffat.

  • ☞ WebM Data Points

    IBM’s Moffat, Chiesi Were `Intimate,’ U.S. Says
    So Sun’s secrets were gifted to an insider trader as pillow talk? Great, that makes it so much better. Can’t say I instantly feel “Moffat is the least culpable person charged” on that basis.
    (tags: IBM Sun Insider Corruption Acquisition)

  • Science

  • Security/Aggression

    • Application Security – Who Is Responsible?

      When companies pay such a lot of money for software, it should be possible, somewhere in the development cycle, to put the investment in to make the software properly secure. The problem at the moment is that there is no incentive to make that investment.

      When software fails or is insecure, the developer, producer and seller rarely suffer. The small print of any contract protects them.

      If there was some sort of accreditation for secure software, then at least vendors could get extra revenue. If we could build up trust in the security kitemark, then users would pay a premium for accredited software, and it would actually be worth their while making secure software.

    • War on whistle-blowers intensifies

      The Obama administration’s war on whistleblowers — whose disclosures are one of the very few remaining avenues for learning what our government actually does — continues to intensify. Last month, the DOJ announced it had obtained an indictment against NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake, who exposed serious waste, abuse and possible illegality. Then, the DOJ re-issued a Bush era subpoena to Jim Risen of The New York Times, demanding the identity of his source who revealed an extremely inept and damaging CIA effort to infiltrate the Iranian nuclear program. And now, as Politico’s Josh Gerstein reports, an FBI linguist who leaked what he believed to be evidence of lawbreaking is to receive a prison term that is “likely to become the longest ever served by a government employee accused of passing national security secrets to a member of the media.”

  • Environment

    • Researchers race to produce 3D models of BP oil spill

      NSF approves supercomputing time as researchers apply storm surge models to oil spread

    • Time for industry to end its war on regulation

      The biggest oil spill ever. The biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression. The deadliest mine disaster in 25 years. One recall after another of toys from China, of vehicles from Toyota, of hamburgers from roach-infested processing plants. The whole Vioxx fiasco. And let’s not forget the biggest climate threat since the Ice Age.

    • CALL TO ACTION: Let’s stop the spill the open source way

      So let’s do it. Let’s show the world how the open source way can help solve the world’s most pressing issue and let’s do it in the next week. May the “best ideas win” and always remember that none of us is as smart as all of us.

  • Finance

    • Doubts on European Central Bank Amid Crisis

      The euro stops with the European Central Bank — or does it?

    • Tighter Credit in Europe Tied to Turmoil in Stock Markets

      As fears grow that Europe could face a full-blown financial crisis, potentially damaging the economy in the United States, investors are abandoning risky bets in the financial markets and rushing for safety instead.

    • 10 Most Corrupt US Capitalists

      America’s Ten Most Corrupt Capitalists

      1. Robert Rubin
      2. Alan Greenspan
      3. Larry Summers
      4. Phil and Wendy Gramm
      5. Jamie Dimon
      6. Stephen Friedman
      7. Robert Steel
      8. Henry Paulson
      9. Warren Buffett

    • Lights, Camera … Derivative Trading!

      Max Keiser is unhappy. “I feel like Robert Oppenheimer. I invented something and it destroyed civilization.”

      Keiser, unlike Oppenheimer, didn’t have access to atomic bombs. His lethal weapon is more the financial kind, and after a long hibernation it has become the root of this year’s biggest controversy in Tinseltown: an exchange on which traders could bet on the performance of movies. What Keiser created along with Michael Burns in 1996 was the Hollywood Stock Exchange, a virtual technology where over 350,000 registered players traded shares of movies and celebrities using fake dollars. If Congress approves the idea, real trading should go live on exchange as soon as June 28—with real money.

      For much of its life, the HSX has functioned as a prediction market, and pretty accurately; in 1999, its users correctly called 82 percent of the major Oscar nominees. Keiser’s technology eventually got acquired by Wall Street bond trading firm Cantor Fitzgerald, then warehoused in favor of different technology created by Cantor itself—although the name and idea of his creation have lived on for the past 12 years.

    • Regulators Seek Global Capital Rule

      Capital is the body fat of banking: too much is debilitating, too little is fatal. During the financial crisis, as large banks burned through their capital reserves, governments were forced to add padding at public expense.

    • Price of single-family homes drops for sixth straight month

      Home prices remained weak through the early months of this year, according to a closely watched housing index released Tuesday, an indication that the housing market continues to struggle despite recent improvements.

    • Senators appointed to hammer out differences with House on financial overhaul

      Senate leaders on Tuesday appointed seven Democrats and five Republicans to meet with counterparts from the House in coming weeks to hammer out differences between new financial rules approved by each chamber.

    • U.S., Europe fall out of step on global financial reform

      The global campaign to harmonize rules for financial firms is swerving off course, threatening efforts to curb the risky bets that rocked the world economy two years ago.
      This Story

      * Lawmakers to work out final financial overhaul
      * Nations go own way on global financial reform

      As U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner lands in Europe on Wednesday, differences are growing among world leaders over how to keep the promise they made at the height of the financial crisis: that they would work together to reshape how finance is governed. Their aim was to avoid another upheaval by making financial rules consistent across borders and closing loopholes.

    • The FinReg battle: The next two years

      A lot could still happen in either direction this week, but let’s talk about the medium term in this fight for financial reform. Given where progressives are, I think it is best to think in terms of specific battles where it is likely they’ll both win and where they’ll be able to do the most in terms of serious reforms of the financial sector. I see three battles in the next two years that will happen regardless of a double-dip financial crisis.

    • Wall Street ‘Popping Champagne’ Over Watered-Down Financial Reform Bill (VIDEO)

      Sorkin, appearing on “Charlie Rose,” initially didn’t agree with his fellow guest Steven Pearlstein of the Washington Post, who argued that Wall Street was “popping Champagne” over the bill’s holes and omissions.

    • 4 Easy Ways to Improve Financial Reform
    • SEC proposing uniform ‘audit trail’ for orders

      Federal regulators moved Wednesday toward requiring a uniform system for tracking all securities orders on U.S. exchanges, in hopes of making it easier to investigate market disruptions like the May 6 plunge.

    • Banks, credit unions face tough fight on swipe fees

      As part of the 1,500-page effort to overhaul Wall Street regulations, the Senate adopted a seven-page amendment with major implications for debit card issuers, merchants and consumers. The legislation aims to limit fees paid by merchants to debit card issuers.

    • The debate over GSE reform is beginning

      I can already hear you saying, “Whatever, I’m never going to be a homeowner in the bleak 21st-century job market,” but remember that all this liquidity and stabilization handles the rental market, too. Where you live. (Or your parents’ mortgage or rental, if you live with them.) So there’s no getting outside of this question.

    • Treasury: AIG in better shape to repay bailout

      Insurance giant American International Group Inc. is better positioned to pay back all of its $182 billion federal bailout, a key Treasury official testified Wednesday.

    • Ex-execs charged in $60M stock scam in NYC

      A former bank director built himself a financial fiefdom out of automotive-chemical companies, then plundered it through a series of stock frauds that let him live lavishly even though he’d declared bankruptcy, prosecutors said Tuesday.

    • Fed boss: Fed must be free from political meddling

      The Federal Reserve and other central banks must protect their ability to make key economic decisions free from political interference, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said Wednesday.

    • With credit scores, it should be equal access for all

      The proposal, included as an amendment to the financial reform legislation recently passed by the Senate, isn’t far-reaching enough. There’s still time to fix this during the reconciliation process, but you should let your congressman and senators know that when it comes to something as important as credit scores, half a loaf isn’t enough.

    • The Manufactured Deficit Crisis

      Harold Meyerson wants Washington to quit the Deficit hawkery and focus on creating Jobs: Of all the gaps between elite and mass opinion in America today, perhaps the greatest is this: The elites don’t really believe we’re still in Recession. Or maybe, they just don’t care.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

  • Digital Economy Bill

    • BCS EGM

      The British Computer Society is in the process of being transformed into The Chartered Institute of IT. This is the wrong direction – it’s becoming a club for the Pointy Haired Boss instead of an association to support Dilbert and Alice. The consequence? It’s full of talk of outsourcing real computer jobs abroad and wants to serve the people who are doing it. It failed to take any public leadership position over the Digital Economy Bill and rejects attempts to embrace open source. It has no connection to the interests of actual computer professionals any more. For me (a Fellow, for now) it has come to symbolise all that’s worst in British IT.

      [...]

      Thanks for the reply, David. The BCS did indeed show up a little in the DeBill debate, but it was not in the way most of the computer professionals I know would want.

      The BCS appears to support 3-strikes/graduated response kangaroo-courts-without-the-court, according to http://www.bcs.org/server.php?show=conWebDoc.34746 where I also see BCS supporting the fallacy that “the creative industries” need defending from the internet (rather than recognising the benefits of adapting to it). BCS concerns I have read are rarely about fundamental liberties or software freedom; they are about the cost of implementing the legislation.

      From my vantage point as a branch committee member, I see none of the vitality I would want from my professional association; just PHB-speak and core governance that gives lip-service to inclusion of technologists. The bCS voice I read in http://www.computerweekly.com/blogs/read-all-about-it/2010/04/the-egm-debate-bcs-v-len-keigh.html turns me off, I’m afraid.

      Maybe the BCS doesn’t need people like me as Fellows? That seems to be the message I’m hearing.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – VE – Representation (10/16/2003)


05.26.10

Links 26/5/2010: Fedora 13 Celebrations

Posted in News Roundup at 12:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Why GNU+Linux is > GNU/Linux and > just Linux

    Let’s get the obvious out of the way, we advocate for computer software users’ freedom. The Free Software Foundation and GNU Project are responsible for most of the software we use everyday. At InaTux Computers, we of course use the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) to compile custom Linux kernels (when customers want them), as well as other custom software modifications customers may want (such as hardware optimization). Our compiling is of course done in GNOME Terminal running GNU BASH, and most software we compile require the GNU C Library, GTK+, gtkmm, etc.

  • Desktop

    • 6 things Microsoft needs to do before I’ll take Windows seriously

      While I’m going to address security later in this article, let me say one thing about Windows Updates: you need them. If you are not applying updates at least monthly, you will regret it, unless you’re one of those oddball system administrators who doesn’t MIND finding that your servers are part of a botnet, or have been turned into a porn server, or a spam server, or more on the stability side of things, are ridden with bugs that Microsoft has deemed worthy of fixing in a patch or a hotfix.

      As for my second truth there, in my experience Windows servers act “funny” when they’ve been up and running (and providing some service, not just sitting idle) for longer than a month or so. Odd things will happen… you might see some out of control paging file usage, bizarre error messages, services that are in some sort of “starting” or “shutting down” limbo (which only a reboot can fix), you know the drill.

      My point is, Windows servers need frequent reboots. If you’re a Windows IT person and you don’t think that only a month of uptime isn’t ridiculous, then you obviously haven’t done anything other than Windows in your data center, because I’m here to tell you: it’s nuts.

      Microsoft needs to address stability first and foremost, and while they’re at it, and while we’re on the subject of uptime, they need to engineer things in a way that won’t require a reboot for seemingly EVERY SINGLE UPDATE.

      My last maintenance evening I had to reboot one particular server four times in order for it to take all of its updates, and it had only been two weeks since its last round of them. That’s ridiculous. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve actually HAD to reboot a Linux machine after applying pushed-out updates for it.

      [...]

      I always find it funny when I read articles that are mostly FUD that say things like “Linux is not ready for the desktop” and “not ready for the enterprise”, because as I just discussed, the reality of the situation is that well, neither is Windows. Whether you’re running XP or Windows 7, Server 2003 or Server 2008, you’ll find that compared to the alternatives, you’re running something that requires constant attention, constant hand holding, constant reboots, constant patching, constant reloading, troubleshooting, more hardware requirements, and more security-mindedness in your administrative approach, just to do its job.

    • I’ve Installed Linux, Now What?

      How do you deliver the bad news to someone who is upset, technically unsavvy and has just overwritten their Windows system with Linux?

      He had installed a second hard disk in his system and wanted to put Linux there. The problem was that when he installed it, he did so to the primary (Windows) disk.

      I looked up a PC Recovery business in the phone book for him and politely told him, “Good luck.” I unplugged my phone until the next morning.

      I’ll never know what happened to that guy or if he ever recovered his files or his Windos system. But, it makes me wonder if that scenario could play out today with our newer, cooler, smarter installers. Could that happen on Ubuntu, for example

    • Teen builds computer lab for Traceway residents

      Next, he installed a Linux-based operating system that would be easy to use. The Ubuntu operating system had the added benefit of being free.

  • Audiocasts

  • Kernel Space

    • The kernel column #87

      The past month saw steady progress toward the final 2.6.34 kernel release, including the announcement of initial Release Candidate kernels 2.6.34-rc1 through 2.6.34-rc4. The latter had an interesting virtual memory bug that added a week of delay (I will cover that in a future issue), and of course there was already an incompatible release of the nouveau graphics driver that was covered in last month’s column. But such issues aside, the 2.6.34 kernel is otherwise shaping up to be a good release, including a number of new features of some note as well as fixes for various performance regressions that have affected some of the more recent comparative benchmarks against older releases.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • The Trinity Project Picks Up Where KDE 3.5.10 Left Off

        Hey, pst! Yes, you! I know you’ve been crying yourself to sleep at night ever since those mean, mean people developing the K Desktop Environment decided to radically change the way your favorite DE worked and release the dreaded “4″ version. Good news! There’s no more need to get over it and move on with your life, as, apparently, the God of open source decided to bring you a fork of KDE 3. Ok, maybe not God, but a company/team that goes under the name of Pearson Computing.

      • Sneak preview for coming KDE SC 4.5

        KDE SC 4.5 is in feature freeze right now. Therefore, I decide to share some of early screenshots with you. In General there are no major changes. It is all about polishing and fixing bugs. There is a lot of under-hood changes in libs which as enduser we cannot see. KDE SC will be release in August 2010. Now I will let you enjoy the screenshots.

      • Qt Multimedia/Mobility vs. Phonon: FIGHT!!!

        Well it’s not really like that, but I guess those involved can think about it a bit like that at times!. For some background, Phonon is a Multimedia framework that was included in Qt 4 as far as I understand it, it was developed outside Qt, but was adopted (please correct me if my history is incorrect here). It was designed to give application developers easy access to media playback systems, be it MP3 music or new fangled WebM video! Rather than implement any of the complex stuff itself, Phonon hands off the actual decoding and playback parts to existing media frameworks. Originally Qt wrote a GStreamer “backend” for Phonon and this was the only available backend on Linux in the early stages (others were available for other platforms too). I personally think that GStreamer was a good choice. I think it is a very powerful system, but it’s not for the feint hearted. I wont begin to pretend that I understand it (although I have hacked my way through some GST code!), but the principle of it’s operation seemed to fit the needs of the Phonon project very nicely.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Mutter 2.31.2 Brings Performance, Theme Enhancements

        Over the past 48 hours or so there has been a horde of GNOME 3.0 development packages being checked in for the forthcoming development snapshot (GNOME 2.31.2). Yesterday we reported on the Clutter 1.3/1.4 enhancements and now there’s a release of Mutter, which happens to use Clutter, and it too boasts some interesting changes from the previous development release.

      • GNOME Shell 2.31.2 Brings Exciting Changes Too

        The GNOME Shell 2.31.2 also boasts some interesting changes, including a magnifier option being added for accessibility reasons (though it may find uses for general purposes too), the GNOME Shell clock is now configurable, IM notifications within the message tray now use Telepathy and support in-line messaging, a performance event log that tracks events has been added to the GNOME Shell Performance Framework, an initial application menu has been added to the top panel, many interface enhancements, many Shell Toolkit enhancements, and quite a few bug/build fixes.

      • The Default Nautilus Will Soon Look A Lot Like Nautilus Elementary
  • Distributions

    • UCK your own Linux distro!

      That’s why you might want to construct your own distribution. Perhaps you know exactly how a good Linux distro should be, and every time you install Linux you set up specific applications and settings. Set your own distro up and bingo, every time you load it onto a new machine it is exactly how you like it.

      There are tutorials online how to roll your own Linux distro but here’s a new tool which makes it dead simple to base something on the ever-popular Ubuntu.

    • Paris Descartes University’s UFR Biomédicale turns to Mandriva to improve its infrastructure management

      Paris Descartes University’s UFR Biomédicale has installed the Mandriva Linux operating system on client desktops and servers to ensure a permanent stability and optimise the work of its 4,500 students.

      The ‘UFR Biomédicale’ of Saints-Pères embraces within the Paris Descartes University different medical and life science academic units and 14 laboratories attached to the CNRS and INSERM research institutions.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat: The one true open source company?

        Oracle boasts an extensive list of free and open source software, now more than ever with its recent acquisition of Sun. IBM is a key contributor to the Linux kernel and dozens of other high-profile open source projects. Google has released millions of lines of code of Android, Chrome, and GWT (Google Web Toolkit) for public use.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 13 Propels Open Source Innovation

          The Fedora Project, a Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT) sponsored and community-supported open source collaboration, today announced the availability of Fedora 13, the latest version of its free open source operating system distribution. Fedora 13 combines some of the latest open source features with an open and transparent development process. Fedora 13 includes a variety of features and improvements to enhance desktop productivity, assist in software development, and improve virtualization.

        • Fedora 13 – Linux for Applephobes

          That focus on the more tech savvy, contributing users is reflected in Fedora 13, where you’ll find open source, 3D-capable graphics drivers, excellent Python tools, some very nice color management tools, and other less flashy improvements.

        • Linux Outlaws 151 – Fedora 13 Release Special

          We celebrate the release of Fedora 13 and have a look at the new features and improvements.

        • Work underway to keep Xen support in Fedora 13

          As for KVM, Red Hat is, of course, a major contributor to Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM), a project the company committed to when it purchased KVM’s pioneer Qumranet in 2008. Red Hat’s commercial version, RHEL 6.0, was the first RHEL version to have dropped support for the Xen hypervisor.

        • Fedora 13 Lightscribe labels

          Nelson Marques and James Findley (siXy) have put together a set of LightScribe disc labels for Fedora 13. I don’t know if there is a way to use them using free software (I don’t have a LightScribe drive) – I know you can use LightScribe’s proprietary app in Fedora to make them. Anyway, these seem to be popular every release so here they are fresh for your F13 arch of choice, thanks to Nelson and James!

        • Fedora 13 Linux “Goddard” Takes Flight

          The Red Hat-sponsored Fedora Project today officially released the Fedora 13 Linux distribution, codenamed “Goddard,” with improvements aimed at both new and experienced Linux users.

          The new Fedora 13 release comes six months after Fedora 12′s debut and continues to enhance the Linux operating system experience for its users. Fedora 13 includes improved virtualization, along with other developer, desktop and server improvements.

        • The Coding Studio OS Screenshots: Fedora 13 Screenshots
    • Debian Family

      • SimplyMEPIS 8.5

        The last time I looked at SimplyMEPIS was the 8.0 release. In this review I’ll be taking a look at the latest version, SimplyMEPIS Linux 8.5. SimplyMEPIS is based on Debian, and it uses KDE as its desktop environment.

        [...]

        Summary: SimplyMEPIS offers a viable, KDE-based alternative to some of the better known desktop distros. It’s worth considering if you want a workhorse desktop distro rather than a showhorse.

        Rating: 4

      • Ubuntu/Canonical

        • Ubuntu’s Unity Desktop: Reality vs. Rationales

          Over the past year, Ubuntu has become one of the centers for usability design on the Linux desktop. You might criticize this effort because it takes place in the distribution, rather than as contributions to the GNOME desktop, but at least it is happening. Moreover, this effort is being discussed far beyond the outer reaches of the Ubuntu community.

          Part of the reason for this discussion is because Ubuntu’s popularity automatically makes it influential.

          Yet an even more important reason for the interest is that Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth has made usability his personal obsession. Not only has he withdrawn from managing the business affairs of Canonical, Ubuntu’s commercial arm, in order to devote his full attention to it, but — what really matters — he blogs about usability decisions as they are announced.

        • Five Usability Improvements in Ubuntu 10.04

          While no operating system is perfectly intuitive, Ubuntu gives its competitors a good run when it comes to usability. Other Linux distributions, and proprietary operating systems, certainly do some things better than Ubuntu. But all in all, I’m impressed with the attention to user-friendliness evident in Lucid.

        • Canonical Landscape 1.5 Extends Ubuntu Linux Management for Enterprises

          Landscape 1.5 is being officially announced this week, providing users of Ubuntu Linux with new management and deployment capabilities.

          The new Landscape follows the debut of Ubuntu’s most recent Long-Term Support (LTS) release, the latest edition of the open source Linux distro aimed at providing enterprises with the ability to maintain and upgrade their deployed Ubuntu distributions. Now with the Landscape 1.5 release, Canonical, the lead commercial sponsor behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system, is extending its management platform as it looks to further grow its enterprise business.

        • Variants

          • Linux Mint 9 Review

            Chromium and Flock now in the repositories! Nice!! My biggest wow moment concerns the AWN dock but I think I may have to do a review of it on its own merits :D The Hardware Analysis tool is going to be very useful in terms of getting the information needed to do troubleshooting, especially with the copy to clipboard option which is very useful when trying to get help with an issue..just copy and paste the problem right into the forum!

            So my overall, unbiased opinion? I give Linux Mint 9 a solid A for performance and an A/A- for appearance. I’ve heard various sources saying this is up there for top distro release this year and I believe it. Linux newbies, this one’s for you!

          • Linux Mint 9: Solid, Simple, Shiny

            Overall, I find Linux Mint to be a fine desktop distro. Being based on Ubuntu, the package selection is huge and you can also get decent support for third-party apps like Dropbox. It’s a good GNOME-based distribution, though it doesn’t stay perfectly in step with upstream GNOME default applications. It’s also a pretty solid distro. I haven’t run into any major glitches or problems since starting with the Mint RC a few weeks ago.

            Linux Mint has quite a lot to offer. If you’re new to Linux or want a distro to recommend to someone who’s new to Linux, Mint is one of the best to start with. The inclusion of “restricted” codecs and such is likely to rankle some Free Software purists but can help get new users transitioned to Linux a bit more quickly. Since Mint 9 is based on an Ubuntu Long Term Support (LTS) release, users have support for the desktop through 2013, which makes it even more ideal for new users. If you haven’t settled on a distro yet, or want one to recommend to friends and family, Mint is an excellent choice.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Android

      • Want Android On Your iPhone? It’s Ready For Download

        Last month we reported that an enterprising young hacker named David Wang had managed to successfully port Android on to the Apple iPhone. Wang noted the release wasn’t far away from making his work available, just that he needed time to clean his code before releasing the binaries for public consumption.

      • Android UFO/Chopper/Blimp2.0: Parrot AR.Drone [VIDEO]

        You probably wouldn’t be surprised to learn that one of the coolest products being demonstrated at Google IO was an Android device but you probably wouldn’t have guessed it is a vehicle… and not the Chevy Volt.

      • Why Google’s Android Could Rule Connected Cars

        The recent linking of General Motors and Google for a handful of services related to the plug-in Chevy Volt marks an intersection for automakers and Internet giants. The two industries — one little changed for centuries decades and marked by steel and manufacturing, the other constantly morphing over the past decade and ruled by chips and algorithms — will come together more and more as “connected” cars begin to offer a new platform for development, innovation and revenue.

      • Android Has Won — Time for Chrome OS to Move Along?

        Yes Google held a press conference where co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin talked up the Chrome Web Store, but that was pretty much it. That’s because while Chrome is still waiting for its day in the sun, Android has taken on a life of its own. By the time the Chrome OS becomes available via devices on store shelves, who knows where Android will be.

    • Tablets

      • Dell launches Streak tablet PC across Europe

        PC giant Dell has joined the increasing number of firms offering a tablet device.

        The world’s number three computer manufacturer says that its Streak – also known as the Mini 5 – is the first of a number of planned products.

        The Streak is smaller than most tablets with a 5in (12.5cm) screen and runs Google’s Android operating system.

Free Software/Open Source

  • AbiWord: The Underappreciated Word Processor

    Network effects being what they are, OpenOffice.org tends to suck all the oxygen out of the room when talking about open source productivity applications. But OpenOffice.org isn’t the only game in town for open source word processing. One of the best, if underexposed, open word processors is AbiWord.

  • CloudCourse: An Enterprise Application in the Cloud

    At Google we have experts on everything from Python to penguins. However, connecting our expert teachers to eager students around the globe can be a complicated business. To that end, we are excited to release our new internal learning platform, CloudCourse under an open source license. Built entirely on App Engine, CloudCourse allows anyone to create and track learning activities. CloudCourse also offers calendaring, waitlist management and approval features.

  • EditShare Announces First Ever Lightworks Open Source platform

    Though its not Blender related news it is open source news for editing which I felt warranted mention here. I’ll let you in the community figure out if its worth it or not. From what I’ve read it on their site, it looks impressive. Have any of you ever used it?

  • Multimedia

    • The Very Best Open Source Tools For Video, Audio and Graphics

      If you cycle back 10 years, the sophistication of and available tools for working with video, audio, and graphics–including working with them online–lagged far behind what is available today. The improvement in the available tools has hardly been lost on the open source world, where some best-of-breed tools are available at absolutely no cost. In this post, you’ll find a roundup of our most significant posts on open source tools for video, audio and graphics. There are many gem applications to be found here.

    • Is VP8 open source?

      The license that Google has chosen for VP8 isn’t technically an approved license from the OSI (Open Source Initiative), the group that decides what is and what isn’t a bona fide open source license. At least that’s the view of former Sun Chief Open Source Officer Simon Phipps.

    • Google open codec ‘not open,’ says OSI man
  • Mozilla

    • The Firefox plugin checker needs to be checked
    • An Open Web App Store
    • Mozilla Weave Being Rebranded as Firefox Sync
    • quick update on Korea

      Kim Tong-hyung, staff reporter for the Korea Times, is the only reporter providing English-language coverage of the news on the Microsoft monopoly in S. Korea.

      I wanted to share two recent articles from Kim Tong-hyung, one covering the event that Mozilla’s Lucas Adamski attended at the end of April and another covering the “anti-virus” industry in Korea, which is one of the incumbent industries that would be significantly negatively affected if the Korean government moved away from the current PKI-based encryption architecture.

  • Databases

    • PostgreSQL 9.0 is now in Betaphase

      The PostgreSQL developers’ community recently published the first Beta version of the new 9.0 release. Over 200 new functions and improvements feature in this new version.

  • CMS

  • Business

    • The behavioral economics of free software

      Behavioral economics explores the way in which our irrational behavior affects economies, and the results are curious and subtle. For example, the riddle of experience versus memory (TED video), or the several examples in “The Marketplace of Perception” (Harvard Magazine article). I think it would be illuminating to examine free software through this lens, and consider that the vagaries of human perception may have a very strong influence on our choices.

      Some questions for thought:

      * Does using free software make us happier? If so, why? If not, why do we use it anyway?
      * Do we believe in free software because we have a great experience using it, or because we feel good about having used it? (Daniel Kahneman explains the difference)
      * Why do we want other people to use free software? Is it only because we want them to share our preference, or because we will benefit ourselves, or do we believe they will appreciate it for their own reasons?

    • Status.net: Raising Social Capital and Paying Customers

      One of the startups that calls Montreal home is Status.net, “a platform that enables communities, brands and organizations to incorporate micro messaging into their own domain.” I caught up with CEO Evan Prodromou by phone to talk about some of the marketing strategies they employ. While he darted around Montreal in his car (using a hands free unit, of course) he told me about how they strategically position their commercial products alongide the messaging for their open source offerings.

  • BSD/UNIX

    • UNIX still a hit for mission-critical systems

      The majority of companies using UNIX will be sticking with it for their mission-critical systems, even though use of the operating system has declined in recent times.

      Almost two-thirds running UNIX-based platforms will keep them, in comparison to the 38 per cent who will be dumping the platform in the next three years, according to a survey from Coleman Parkes Research on behalf of HP.

    • Bordeaux on PC-BSD Screenshot tour

      This is a Bordeaux on PC-BSD 8 Screenshot tour. This tour will show you how easy it is to install Bordeaux on PC-BSD and start installing Windows Applications and Games. Bordeaux has a single dependency on Zenity once Zenity is installed Bordeaux will install and run on your PC-BSD system.

  • Project Releases

    • Digital Networks Releases Openvirt 2.0

      Today Digital Networks released Openvirt 2.0. Openvirt provides a full virtualization platform for Linux, Windows, Solaris and FreeBSD virtual machines.

      Openvirt provides commercial quality virtualization that is completely free of license fees. A web based control panel makes for easy management.

  • Government

    • CeBIT 2010: AGIMO says open source needs to lift its game

      Despite a new level of openness through the recent adoption of eGovernment and web 2.0 tools, the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) is still cagey when it comes to procurement of open source software.

      Commenting at CeBIT Australia 2010, John Sheridan, division manager at AGIMO’s Agency Services Division hinted that open source suppliers would need to lift their levels of support if they were to make further inroads into the public sector.

      “Our policy on open source remains one of informed neutrality,” he said. “Our view is, rather than preferring one particular sort of open source software to another, to make sure our software can be properly supported.

  • Openness

  • Programming

    • Damian Conway on Perl and its future

      I’m just starting work on a new book…on Perl 6. I hope it will appear some time next year.

      As far as second editions go, I’d certainly like to revisit “Perl Best Practices”. I’ve learnt so much more myself about good programming in the past five years. The community’s notion of “best” – and its available tools – have also developed considerably in that time. But, if I were to look at a second edition, it would certainly be a few years further down the track. There are just so many other projects and so few available tuits.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • HTML5 Video on Ubuntu

      There’s not much to say about my actual experience playing HTML5 video in Chrome, other than that it worked great, and with little effort. After enabling HTML5 on Youtube, videos were decoded extremely smoothly and with only about half the CPU load of flash videos. Vimeo also worked seamlessly with HTML5 enabled. The only drawback on both sites is that fullscreen playback is not yet supported, due to browser limitations.

      Much to my dismay, Hulu has yet to announce plans to support HTML5 in desktop browsers. If that changes, I’ll have gotten everything I want out of life.

Leftovers

  • Newly open source BitTorrent protocol aims to unclog tubes

    The company behind the BitTorrent technology has opened the source code of its uTorrent Transport Protocol (uTP). A production-ready implementation of the protocol code in C++ is now available from GitHub under the MIT license.

  • Intel Puts Mobile CPUs on a Diet for Ultra-Thin Laptop PCs

    Intel today broadened its number of ultra-low voltage (ULV) processors to include a complete range, from Celeron to Core i7, for the super-thin laptop market. This announcement builds on Intel’s January introduction of laptop processors, which included only a few low-end ULV processors.

  • Science

  • Security/Aggression

    • Enhance Desktop Security Using Virtualization

      You might have seen this scene during the climactic shoot-out in any number of movies and television shows—the hunted character lures his hunters into a room full of mirrors, who fire their weapons at the reflections, mistaking them for the real person. Like most of what we see on the screen, this probably isn’t a very plausible scenario in real life (who gets so confused by a reflection, besides my cat?). But it is an apt metaphor when we think about using PC virtualization to add a layer of defense against malware and other types of security compromises.

    • Act now to keep your medical records private

      The new coalition government has committed itself to rolling back state intrusion, with plans to scrap the ID card scheme, the National Identity Register, and the ContactPoint database.

    • No refunds for ID card pioneers

      The government is set to refuse refunds to people who have forked out good money for ID cards.

      There will be a bill to abolish the cards, along with electoral and parliamentary reform – a move to equally-populated constituencies and to the Alternative Vote system – in the Queen’s Speech tomorrow.

      But thousands of people persuaded to buy an ID card should not expect a refund, the Sunday Telegraph reports.

    • Councils carry out over 8,500 covert surveillance operations

      More than 8,500 covert surveillance operations on members of the public have been carried out by 372 local authorities in Britain in the past two years – the equivalent of 11 a day, according to a study published today.

      The research by the pressure group Big Brother Watch names Newcastle upon Tyne as the worst local authority in the country for the use of its powers under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, having spied on its residents 231 times over the past two years.

      West Berkshire and Walsall were close behind, however, with 228 and 215 Ripa authorisations respectively since April 2008.

    • [Bruce Schneier:] Scene from an Airport

      I’ve gotten to the front of the security line and handed the TSA officer my ID and ticket.

      TSA Officer: (Looks at my ticket. Looks at my ID. Looks at me. Smiles.)

      Me: (Smiles back.)

      TSA Officer: (Looks at my ID. Looks at me. Smiles.)

    • An old scam still works

      Bank insider issues extra card, steals money, customer blamed – after all, chip and pin is infallible, isn’t it? Expecting banks to keep decent logs might be too much; and I supppose it’s way too much to expect bank fraud staff to read the research literature on their subject.

  • Environment

  • Finance

    • Reforms put Wall Street in its place

      The most important provision in the bill may be the Volcker Rule, which restricts the ability of banks to trade on their own account. Goldman Sachs became the poster child for this kind of trading when it was revealed that the firm was selling mortgage-backed securities designed by an investment partner who was shorting mortgages. These trades led to charges from the Securities and Exchange Commission and prompted a federal criminal investigation into the firm’s dubious practices.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • More conservative textbook curriculum OK’d

      Texas standards often wind up being taught in other states because national publishers typically tailor their materials to Texas, one of the biggest textbook purchasers in the country.

      Approval came after the GOP-dominated board approved a new curriculum standard that would encourage high school students to question the legal doctrine of church-state separation – a sore point for social conservative groups who disagree with court decisions that have affirmed the doctrine, including the ban on school-sponsored prayer.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • In search of “Internet freedom”

      But it’s hard to find consensus – even amongst liberal internationalists with different cultural and religious backgrounds – about how to find the right balance between our right to free expression and assembly and our right to privacy and security. Even trickier is the question of what is “hate speech” and what constitutes justified criticism or even satire of one religion by members of another. The Global Voices community has come together around a set of common values around freedom of expression and communication. Our Manifesto begins: “We believe in free speech: in protecting the right to speak — and the right to listen. We believe in universal access to the tools of speech.” But all you need to do is to read this post about Pakistani reactions to the “Draw Mohammed Day” Facebook page, then read this post by another member of our community, to see how far we are from having a consensus about how civilized cross-cultural discourse should or shouldn’t be managed on global Internet platforms.

    • Bad Stuff About Facebook, But Not What You Think

      Meanwhile, be very careful about saying bad things about Facebook or you could get banned from the site, as happened to a radio station that dared link to Leo Laporte’s sayonara Facebook show. The way Facebook is treating negative comments and bad press, you’d think they were Apple.

    • Muhammad cartoon sparks threats to South African newspaper

      Staff at South African newspaper received threatening phone calls today after publishing a satirical cartoon depicting the prophet Muhammad.

    • Jafar Panahi ‘may soon be freed’

      Tehran’s prosecutor general has asked the Islamic revolutionary court to reconsider the continued detention of the celebrated Iranian film-maker, Jafar Panahi, raising hopes that he may quickly be freed.

    • U.N. body adopts resolution on religious defamation

      A United Nations forum on Thursday passed a resolution condemning “defamation of religion” as a human rights violation, despite wide concerns that it could be used to justify curbs on free speech in Muslim countries.

    • Wang Keqin and China’s revolution in investigative journalism

      Death threats from criminals and official wrath fail to silence zealous watchdog journalists

    • Australia Can Search Laptops, Phones for Porn

      Make sure you dispose of anything baring flesh on your mobile phones and laptop drives before heading to Australia.

      A spokesperson for the Australian sex industry is warning visitors that local customs officers suddenly have an “unfettered right” search laptops and mobile phones for porn. Apparently Incoming Passenger Cards now ask visitors if they’re carrying adult material. Visitors must answer truthfully or face criminal charges if the material is in possession and the answer was marked “No.” This means home-made movies in the bedroom or footage of you taking a shower must be reported.

    • Why Should Customs Officers Be Determining What Counts As A Copyright Circumvention Device?

      Some of the earliest fears around ACTA concerned some of the earliest draft suggestions, that would increase the power of border patrol/customs officials to look for infringement at the border, including the possibility of searching your laptop or iPod for infringing content. While those provisions mostly seemed to drop out in the negotiations, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t still efforts to get closer to that sort of system. Mart Kuhn, at Public Knowledge, has an interesting post, looking at a bill in the Senate that would give customs the authority to determine if things crossing the border were “circumvention devices” as prohibited by the DMCA. Of course, as the article notes, determining what is and what is not a circumvention device is not particularly easy — as various lawsuits have demonstrated. So it’s quite questionable as to why anyone thinks border patrol agents should be involved in that process at all.

    • Silvio Berlusconi faces barrage of criticism over telephone bugging law

      Judges, prosecutors and journalists say law is simply to shield Silvio Berlusconi from further embarrassing revelations

    • Turin police raid Scientology chapter

      Police raided a local Scientology chapter here and discovered a hidden archive which contained not only information on the group’s members but also on the sect’s ‘enemies’, the Turin daily La Stampa reported on Thursday.

      Police were acting on a warrant issued by magistrates who have opened a probe into the religion which is suspected of violating laws governing the handling of personal information.

    • Facebook, Google and Twitter: custodians of our most intimate secrets

      The next time you hear the phrase “internet privacy”, don’t think of teenage infatuations heatedly committed to Facebook, of lads puking down their Ted Bakers and sticking the cameraphone footage on YouTube, or of some hack writer tweeting about the progress of his colonic cancer. No, consider instead AOL Subscriber 4417749.

      [...]

      Except that list, coupled with a little patience, was all anyone needed to yank down AOL’s privacy screen. A couple of New York Times journalists showed how easily it could be done. Trawling though the hundreds of searches made by Subscriber 4417749 for local estate agents and gardeners, through to “numb fingers”, “dog that urinates on everything” and “60 single men”, they tracked down Thelma Arnold, a 62-year-old widow and pet-owner from Lilburn, Georgia. “My goodness, it’s my whole personal life,” she said as the reporter read AOL’s search records to her. “I had no idea somebody was looking over my shoulder.”

    • Cloud Computing Prompts Push for Privacy Law Rewrite

      Members of a broad coalition advocating an overhaul of a more than two-decades-old privacy law took to Capitol Hill Friday afternoon, convening a briefing for congressional staffers to champion the cause.

      They argued that the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, or ECPA, has fallen lamentably out of step with the way that people are using computers and the Internet, particularly with regard to cloud computing and location-based services.

    • German watchdog tells firms to do own US privacy checks

      German privacy watchdogs have told companies to conduct their own checks of US companies’ conduct before passing personal data to them, even if they are signed up to the EU-US ‘Safe Harbor’ data protection scheme.

  • DRM

    • Open University Academics Object to BBC DRM Proposals

      Following up on our recent open letter to Ofcom on the BBC HD DRM proposal, a large group of Open University academics has written to the Michael Lyons, the Chairman of the BBC Trust, notifying him of our objections to the idea. The full text of the letter is below.

      We write in connection with the BBC’s current application to Ofcom to vary the terms of its licence for its HDTV service by encrypting signals using DRM. We have written separately to Ofcom to oppose this proposal but write to you now because we believe it raises several important issues for the BBC Trust.

      First, and procedurally, the BBC management’s application to Ofcom raises the question (interestingly identified by Diana Coyle and Chris Woolard in their book for the Trust, ‘Public Value in Practice’) whether a new application should be made to the Trust, analogous to that for the “bookmarking” function of the iPlayer. We believe that the encryption proposal is so fundamental a change from the original HDTV proposal, and one which raises such fundamental issues for the BBC, that it should be the subject of a new Public Value Test. You will be aware that DRM is a kind of encrypted digital lock used to control access to digital files and signals. In order to access the BBC HD signal a viewer will require equipment containing the relevant decryption key.

      Second, and substantively, the proposal to encrypt the HDTV signal using DRM breaks the clear and, seemingly unequivocal, undertaking made in the BBC’s Building Public Value (published in 2004), and underwritten by the last Chairman of the BBC Governors, Mr Michael Grade, that the BBC would not encrypt its services. Building Public Value stated (p 10) that “the BBC will always be on the side of universal provision, open access and unencryption”.

      Third, and also substantively, the proposals to use DRM in the BBC’s HDTV signals breaks from the Trust’s policy, stated (at p 9) in the PVT authorisation of the HDTV proposal, that “Any move from the currently proposed HD standards on picture resolution should not disadvantage consumers who invest in HD equipment which meets the current standards”.

  • Publishing

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Diplopedia a success at US Department of State

      Study looks at 5-year history of creating and implementing the State Department’s use of Wikipedia-like knowledge and platform

      A new study released today by Rice University and the U.S. Department of State’s (DOS) Office of eDiplomacy looks at the five-year history of creating and implementing Diplopedia, DOS’ use of the Wikipedia-style diplomacy Web 2.0 tool.

    • What’s Mine is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption

      Shareable contributor Rachel Botsman and co-author Roo Rogers just released a video previewing What’s Mine is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption, their new book being released in September about sharing.

      One thing I have in common with Rachel is that I’ve learned that sharing is much bigger than we had thought. In a recent example, I was quite surprised by the growth of bikesharing. According to the video, it’s the fastest growing form of transportation. All the major cities in the US has a bikesharing program in development. Who knew?

    • Why we share: a sideways look at privacy

      And that’s what happening about digital privacy and sharing. We’re learning. And there are going to be mistakes. And there will be hurt. And out of all that new value will emerge. People like danah help us and safeguard us, because they’re looking at some of these issues deeply. People like the Web Science Trust are looking into this. People like the Berkman Center are looking into this. Even people like the World Economic Forum are looking into this. Because it matters.

    • FluidDB Aims To Become The Wikipedia Of Databases

      A few years ago, Terry Jones sold his Barcelona apartment so that he could single-mindedly pursue a rather radical idea. What if a database worked like Wikipedia—it was not only readable by everybody, but also writeable by everybody?

    • Seeds of doubt in Delhi

      Caught in the middle of a fierce domestic debate, the Indian government is wavering over the introduction of GM aubergines – and the rest of the world is watching closely. Joydeep Gupta reports.

    • Monsanto Ranked Least Ethical Company In The World

      Monsanto, the Missouri-based agriculture giant, ranked dead last in the Covalence ethical index. The company, which leads the world in the production of genetically-engineered seed, has been subject to myriad criticisms. Among them: the company is accused of frequently and unfairly suing small farmers for patent infringement.

    • Copyrights

      • itTorrent Open Sources ‘Improved’ BitTorrent Protocol

        BitTorrent Inc. has open sourced uTP, the BitTorrent protocol powering the latest release of uTorrent, in the hope that other BitTorrent clients will soon adopt it. UTP promises less congestion for ISPs and end users without degrading overall download speeds. Thus far, however, many BitTorrent developers outside the BitTorrent Inc. team are skeptical about the new protocol.

      • Gallo Report on the future of EU copyright: repression or reflexion ?

        The Gallo Report on the future of “intellectual property rights” (IPR) enforcement will be voted on June 1st, at 9 AM,1 in the Committee for Legal Affairs (JURI) of the European Parliament. Since no compromise was found between the members of the committee, two visions will frontally oppose. While the rapporteur — French sarkozyst EPP member Marielle Gallo — is pushing for more repression to tackle online file-sharing, some positive amendments from all the other political groups2 seek to end the dogmatic repression and call for the consideration of alternative schemes to fund creation. Every citizen concerned by the future of copyright in Europe and by the open nature of the Internet should express their views to the Members of the JURI committee3.

    • ACTA

      • UK regulator plans a taste of ACTA for small ISPs

        Ofcom’s proposal to exclude small ISPs from the Digital Economy Act 3-strikes measures is not quite what it seems. One interpretation is very interesting in the context of the online service provider ‘policy’ provision in ACTA.

    • Digital Economy Bill

      • ConDems Won’t Repeal UK’s Digital Economy Act

        All those angry digital liberties campaigners? They shouldn’t get their hopes up too much about the Digital Economy Act under a new government…

        “We’re not going to repeal it,” the new UK government’s Conservative culture secretary Jeremy Hunt told paidContent:UK.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – FoF – Computer Simulation (1/5/2003)


05.25.10

Links 25/5/2010: KDE 3.5 Forked, Slackware 13.1 Released, Fedora 13

Posted in News Roundup at 4:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The World, Brought to You by Linux

    What do Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), the U.S. Navy submarine fleet, the French Parliament, Virgin America, the Internet Archive and the ASV Roboat all have in common?

    Ha! You guessed it! They all run our favorite operating system. Not only that, but they are all on the “50 Places Linux is Running That You Might Not Expect” list that was published recently by Focus.

  • Center opens for job seekers

    Volunteer Stephen Goss worked with the village to transform a section of the Windsor Community House into the job search center. Use of a free and Linux-based computer operating system called openSUSE enables the center to operate at a “minimal cost,” he said.

  • Going Linux – May 24: #103 – Computer America #26
  • Btrfs

    • BTRFS and Ubuntu

      I’ve seen a few comments that raise the concern that Ubuntu might do to btrfs what some feel they did to PulseAudio – undermine it by introducing it to the “mainstream” before it was ready. I know I personally have a poor opinion of PulseAudio based only on initial exposure through Ubuntu. I won’t claim that’s Ubuntu’s fault – but I have certainly heard that argument put forward.

    • Btrfs and the Ubuntu spin machine

      Alone among GNU/Linux distributions, Ubuntu has managed to project the impression that it is the best first choice for someone who wants to test the Linux waters. Put this down to slick media management.

  • Graphics Stack

  • Mail

    • Retro mail client Cone has some modern features

      Cone harks back to the era when users read e-mail in a non-graphical application, without using menus, mouse, or buttons. Longtime Pine users will feel right at home with Cone; many keyboard commands are the same. However, Cone is not a Pine clone; developer Sam Varshavchik combined the general look and feel of Pine with modern advanced features.

    • Wanted: Virtual Personal Email Servers
  • Instructionals

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • Welcome to Pearson Computing’s fork of KDE3.5, codename Trinity!

        This project aims to keep the KDE3.5 computing style alive, as well as polish off any rough edges that were present as of KDE 3.5.10. Along the way, new useful features will be added to keep the environment up-to-date.

        Towards that end, significant new enhancements have already been made in areas such as display control, network connectivity, authentication, and much more!

      • Activities in 4.5

        huzzah! I made a screencast showing the activities stuff in 4.5 :)

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Victory: A Tweakers dream GTK Theme

        NeWhoa’s Victory GTK+ theme offers users more than just a good looking desktop for it allows the ability to choose the sidepane and menubar colours separately – making Victory truly worthy of it’s name in the eyes of customization control-freaks everywhere!

      • LLVMpipe May Be A Bit Closer To Running GNOME Shell

        While LLVMpipe is able to run OpenGL games, we then tested to see if LLVMpipe could run the GNOME Shell or Compiz, which need OpenGL but are not nearly as taxing on the graphics as a normal game. If LLVMpipe could efficiently handle running GNOME Shell it would mean a lot for providing a better “out of the box” experience for systems where there is no open-source 3D driver available by default with the GNOME 3.0 desktop. However, Compiz nor the GNOME Shell had worked with LLVMpipe at that time.

      • Clutter Advances In-Step With GNOME 3.0

        With the GNOME 2.31.2 release (an early GNOME 3.0 development snapshot) due out soon and various GNOME packages being checked-in for this milestone, the Clutter developers have made available their first post-1.2 release. Clutter 1.3 is the development series that will lead up to the Clutter 1.4 release that’s expected to be released in tandem with GNOME 3.0. The just-released Clutter 1.3.2 release is this first step forwards.

  • Distributions

    • Top 5 Free Linux Distributions for Desktop Computing in 2010

      According to Nick Carr, marketing director of Red Hat, Linux desktop has developed very rapidly over the past few years. Even from the technology viewpoint the Linux desktop is well developed, feature rich and mature. What adds to the merit is the low cost, better security and manageability. It’s also well suited to a wide range of customer deployments. Well, coming to the Linux distributions for Desktop computing, Red Hat’s Fedora has created significant impact, but its not the only one in the market. Another remarkable Linux distribution for the desktop is on the rise, a completely free distro Ubuntu. It has been widely supported by online communities. While it would be great to include several distributions on this list, the reality is we had to filter out the best Linux distribution for desktop computing. A typical desktop Linux distribution comprises a Linux kernel, GNU tools and libraries, additional software, documentation, a window system and window manager. We delved into the Linux distributions for desktop computing and queued up a list of top 5 distros.

    • Slackware version 13.1
    • Port the new distro-neutral initrd framework, Dracut, to Gentoo

      Dracut is an initramfs infrastructure. Its aim is to be distribution-independent, although for now it’s supported only in RedHat, Fedora and Debian.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat exec: Oracle’s not an open source company

        It’s been said that Oracle is now the industry’s most powerful open source vendor, but don’t tell that to Red Hat executives, who say Oracle doesn’t even qualify as an open source company.

      • WSJ: Red Hat shifts hiring strategy as competition for talent intensifies

        The market for tech jobs appears to be tightening, creating increased competition for high-tech companies seeking new workers in the Triangle and other smaller metros.

        The Wall Street Journal makes that point in a story Monday that cites the example of companies such as Red Hat, which is adding 800 jobs to its 3,200-person staff and has to contend with resurgent hiring among Silicon Valley firms.

        To compete with better-known firms in tech hotspots such as California and Boston, Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) is retraining its recruiters to tell personal stories of opportunities and variety in tech projects to new hires. The company has retrained 50 of its 437 hiring managers, the story said.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 13 Is Set To Premiere Today

          Fedora 13 is shipping with X.Org Server 1.8, the Linux 2.6.33 kernel, GCC 4.4, KDE 4.4, and GNOME 2.30, among many other updated desktop and server packages.

    • Debian Family

      • Recent changes in dpkg

        The versions 1.15.6 and 1.15.7 of dpkg introduced several important changes.
        Let’s skim over them:

        * The dpkg-maintscript-helper tool has been introduced in dpkg 1.15.7.2 to help packagers deal with renaming conffiles and removing obsolete conffiles. Check its manual page dpkg-maintscript-helper(1) for more details on how to use it. This shell script might be extended over time to cover other common operations. Feel free to make suggestions while it’s not too late to make changes on this new interface.

      • Ubuntu

        • My thoughts on Ubuntu 10.04

          So, why did I go back to Ubuntu? Why did I not stay on PCLinuxOS? Well, because KDE and GTK apps fought over control of Audio, and it forced me to use mostly GTK apps in a KDE environment. So, I wanted to go back to a GNOME distribution that offered great PulseAudio support, and something I haven’t tried yet. So, although I’ve used previous versions of Ubuntu, I have had yet to give 10.04 a try. Not to mention Ubuntu 10.04 is normally my fall-back distribution where I normally expect everything to work.

          So anyway, to start off with, I kind of avoided using Ubuntu 10.04 for the first few weeks after release. Not because it was a new release or anything, but I wanted to give other distributions a try, and I wasn’t really agreeing with some of the things Canonical was doing, and the attitude they had towards their users when the users were showing their discontent on the changes that Ubuntu had made to the titlebar, or the fact Ubuntu was trying to look and act like Mac OS X. Also, I tried the Beta out and I wasn’t too big of a fan of it, even though I tried it in a VM. With the factors of the last time I tried 10.04 that it was in beta and that I tried it in a VM, and that I was getting a bit ticked off at PCLinuxOS KDE not wanting to properly install PulseAudio, I felt “Why not give Ubuntu 10.04 a try.”

          [...]

          So overall Ubuntu 10.04 is a very nice distribution. I did have a few issues with it here and there, but nothing too much. Some of the issues I did have with it before even using the final version were more to do with Canonical’s decisions, and the attitude towards the users that were showing their discontent towards the changes they made. Overall, I would definitely recommend it to somebody who is looking to start out with Linux – that, along with Mint, PCLinuxOS, or Mandriva. I would definitely say give this a try and tell me your thoughts on it in the comments! Thanks for reading, and if you want to, subscribe clicking on the link at the top right of my blog!

        • Variants

          • Ubuntu Linux Netbook Edition 10.04 (Lucid Lynx)

            I’ve been reviewing various Ubuntu derivatives and this week I thought it would be fun to take a look at the netbook version of Ubuntu.

            Ubuntu Netbook Edition used to be called Ubuntu Netbook Remix, but Canonical changed the name once this distro became an official edition of Ubuntu.

            [...]

            Summary: Ubuntu Netbook Edition takes most of what’s great about the desktop version and wraps it up in a colorful, attractive netbook interface.
            Rating: 4/5

          • Puppy Linux turns to Ubuntu for version 5.0

            Puppy variants include a Quirky 1.0 release intended as an experimental sandbox for new Puppy ideas.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Build a Linux-Powered Sprinkler System for your Garden

      Once all the electronics are in place, grab your favorite Linux flavor and install it followed by a tiny app called parcon to turn the parallel port’s data lines on and off. Follow the post’s directions for using crontab to schedule watering, and you’re good to go.

    • Android

      • Pandigital’s Novel eReader: The Little Android Tablet That Could?

        Pandigital has unveiled an e-book reader that appears to have many of the features the iPad sports. Although its screen size is smaller and its battery life is less, its price tag is could make up for those deficiencies: It will sell for a mere $199. Also, it runs on Android, which is drawing increasing interest as a developer platform.

      • Android 2.2: A Developer’s Perspective

        So, on the surface, it appears that Android 2.2 is goodness with few downsides. Of course, with the SDK only being available for ~36 hours, we may yet run into major regressions or other calamities. But Froyo went how I would expect Gingerbread and future releases to go — the core remains largely unchanged, new APIs are added you can optionally leverage, and lots of stuff gets added around and outside of app development.

      • T-Mobile Garminfone looks confirmed for June 2 release

        It seems that your wait for Garmin’s first T-Mobile-bound phone — the aptly-named Garminfone — might be a short one. We’d already known it was coming in June for $200, but this shot here makes it sounds like June 2 is the date you should start lining up in front of the store at four in the morning (we kid, we kid) for your shot at arguably the best turn-by-turn experience available on an Android phone today. You can get over the lack of Froyo and a 3.5mm headphone jack, right?

      • Google open sources My Tracks GPS app for Android

        Google has announced that it has released the source code for its My Tracks GPS application for Android powered devices. The My Tracks app allows users to record GPS coordinates and visualise the routes they take when, for example, hiking, running or biking. The app also features several live statistics, such as time, speed, distance and elevation, and data can be exported to other Google services like Google Spreadsheets or Google Maps. The company says that it hopes that open sourcing My Tracks will help to improve the app and attract enthusiasts, developers and third-parties.

    • Tablets

      • Computex will bring Android + ARM tablets, but are they ready?

        Computex Taipei is coming up next week, and tech watchers should brace for the impending wave of “iPad-killer” stories. Most of the upcoming tablet offerings out of Asia will run Google’s Android operating system—not because it’s a great tablet OS, but because it’s free, available, and has a growing roster of apps.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Don’t Talk The Talk, Without Walking The Walk, Otherwise You Are Just Throwing Gasoline On Fire

    All of this because Neil said some companies like Microsoft have us believe there is no innovation with open source. But there is no proof of that, so this whole discussion goes off without a foundation. Microsoft gets a probably uncalled for black eye, the people reading this are given a false impression and worse of all, the many good deeds and good will that Microsoft has earned from the open source community recently is wasted by misunderstanding.

  • Five questions about authenticity and the open source way with Jim Gilmore

    My friend Robert Stephens, founder of the Geek Squad, is fond of saying, “Advertising is the tax you pay for being unremarkable.” I feel that way about most marketing. I’d like to see creative talent diverted from making messages about goods and services and used instead to help create truly remarkable experiences, ones so compelling that they command a fee as product.

  • FLOSS for Medium Businesses : challenges and opportunities

    My answer was that Open Source is essentially a buyer market, not a vendor market. If you want to select an open source software, you can certainly find between 10 and more than 1000 open source product depending on what you are looking for (ex: a Web Server, a CMS, etc.). As a consequence, you have to define your need carefully, select one or several open source solution and then evaluate the maturity of the solution.

  • Events

  • Mozilla

    • Go personas happy with Personas Rotator

      Ready for some randomness in your browsing? Personas Rotator is a simple Firefox extension that changes the active persona as frequently as you want, picking one from the category you selected. If you are logged on to getpersonas.com you can pick from your saved favorite personas.

  • Oracle

    • OpenOffice.org Extensions: Are Two Repositories Better than One?

      The Free Software Foundation announced an alternative OpenOffice.org extensions repository, which will list only extensions released under free software licenses.

    • Can OpenOffice.org regain momentum?

      The latest evidence, from my friend Roberto Galoppini in Rome, is word that the Free Software Foundation has felt moved to create its own list of OpenOffice.org extensions, on its LibrePlanet wiki.

      The release from Peter Brown is polite. “The FSF asked the OpenOffice.org Community Council to list only free software extensions, or to provide a second independent listing which only included free extensions, but they declined to change their policy.”

  • BSD

    • Clang Gets Boosted By The Boost Libraries

      Clang, the C/Objective-C/C++ compiler front-end for the Low-Level Virtual Machine, and LLVM itself have a lot to be proud of lately. LLVM 2.7 was recently released with many new features, LLVM now has its own libstdc++ replacement, and LLVM is finding itself used in many places from a JIT engine in a Flash player to providing software acceleration in Gallium3D. The latest accomplishment for Clang is that the C++ library can now build the Boost libraries.

  • Government

    • Texas moves emphasize need to open source education

      Texas has created an enormous opportunity for states, for communities, for publishers, and for authors to use open source and mass customization to transform education, just as those savings are most needed.

  • Open Data

    • Spreading the Word about Open Government Data

      One of the most amazing – and heartening – developments in the world of openness recently has been the emergence of the open government movement. Although still in its early stages, this will potentially have important ramifications for business, since one of the ideas at its heart is the opening up of government datasets for anyone to use and build on – including for commercial purposes (depending on the particular licences). The UK and US are leading the way in this sphere, and an important question is to what extent the experiences of these two countries can be generalised.

Leftovers

  • BDFL considered (potentially) harmful

    Your code may be open-source, but what about your project?

    Is your software project’s Benevolent Dictator For Life really benevolent?

    “Yes” is a fine answer.

  • Security/Aggression

    • TJX Hacker Gets 20 Years in Prison

      Convicted TJX hacker Albert Gonzalez was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Thursday for leading a gang of cyberthieves who stole more than 90 million credit and debit card numbers from TJX and other retailers.

    • Typhoid adware hijacks LAN, inserts ads into uninfected computers’ browsers

      Security researchers at the University of Calgary have identified a new malware they call “Typhoid.” Typhoid impersonates the wireless router on your local network, effecting a man-in-the-middle attack that allows it to insert ads into the browsing sessions of all the other, uninfected users on the LAN.

    • Typhoid Adware Could Spell Trouble at Internet Cafes

      Researchers from the University of Calgary, in Alberta, Canada, have developed proof-of-concept implementations of a scheme that exploits unencrypted wireless connections to blast PCs with ads.

    • Surveillance Suspected as Spacecraft’s Main Role

      A team of amateur sky watchers has pierced the veil of secrecy surrounding the debut flight of the nation’s first robotic spaceplane, finding clues that suggest the military craft is engaged in the development of spy satellites rather than space weapons, which some experts have suspected but the Pentagon strongly denies.

    • School Spy Program Used on Students Contains Hacker-Friendly Security Hole

      A controversial remote administration program that a Pennsylvania school district installed on student-issued laptops contains a security hole that put the students at risk of being spied on by people outside the school, according to a security firm that examined the software.

    • School violated student’s privacy in ‘sexting’ case, lawsuit says

      A 19-year-old Pennsylvania woman sued her former high school Thursday, claiming school officials invaded her privacy and violated her free-speech rights when they confiscated her cell phone, found semi-nude photos stored inside and turned the phone over to authorities.

    • NHS uses babies’ blood for secret database

      HOSPITALS have quietly created banks of DNA from blood taken from millions of newborn babies without the proper consent of their parents, emails show.

      Freedom of information (FOI) requests to hospitals around Britain have established that the blood samples, taken in heel-prick tests to screen for serious conditions, have been privately stored by parts of the NHS since 1984.

  • Environment

    • Oil tax increase would help pay to clean up spills

      Responding to the massive BP oil spill, Congress is getting ready to quadruple—to 32 cents a barrel—a tax on oil used to help finance cleanups. The increase would raise nearly $11 billion over the next decade.

      [...]

      President Barack Obama and congressional leaders have said they expect BP to foot the bill for the cleanup.

      “Taxpayers will not pick up the tab,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Monday.

    • What Are The Fiduciary Duties Of Heritage Minister James Moore?

      At this point I’d like to segue to the Gulf of Mexico – should BP be allowed to cause damage to it’s neighbors? Think about it. The fisherman in Louisiana may loose their livelihoods because of the oil spill. Does BP have a responsibility to repair the damage caused by the oil spill? Because it is the same issue. Andrei also made a claim that

      That’s what the monstrosity about social justice is all about. It requires that in order to give the unearned to the undeserving, the government use force to extort value from people of achievement.

      You could read Andrei’s statement as saying that the money that the people of Louisiana could earn from having a sound ecosystem is unearned, and that they are undeserving of government protection. Or legal protection if you wish. Executive. Legislature. Judiciary. These are the three legs of government. The courts, or judiciary, are the third leg of the government stool. All three parts of the government have a fiduciary duty to the citizenry. When part of the government fails to act on a situation for which it is responsible, the damage can be profound.

  • Finance

    • Insider Trading Is Perfectly Legal – But Only For Members Of The U.S. Congress

      Did you know that insider trading is perfectly legal in the United States? Well, not for 99.9% of the population. It is actually only a very small percentage of the population that can legally indulge in insider trading – the members of the United States Congress. In fact, a law that would ban insider trading by members of Congress has been stalled for years on Capitol Hill. So why wouldn’t lawmakers in Washington D.C. want to apply the same rules to themselves that apply to the rest of us? After all, how are we supposed to respect the integrity of those “serving” in Congress when they are playing by an entirely different set of rules? The American people aren’t stupid. They can see what is going on. The truth is that there is a reason why approval ratings for Congress are at an all-time low.

    • Senate: Exclude car dealers from consumer rules

      With House-Senate negotiations on the bill expected to conclude next month, the talks provide an opening for a last lobbying thrust before the legislation reaches the president for his signature.

    • To Prepay for a Crisis, or Not

      That assessment of the Senate’s recently approved financial legislation came from Harvey R. Miller, the éminence grise of the bankruptcy bar and a partner at Weil, Gotshal & Manges.

    • Regulation vs. Structural Change

      I would add that Obama is also a political pragmatist with a strong belief that getting something done is better than nothing. I think that on health care he and the administration probably did the best they could. Remember, they barely got a majority in the House, then barely got sixty votes in the Senate, then barely got a majority in the House again (to pass the revised bill), and public opinion was very divided.

      But on financial reform I think they could have gotten more done. First of all, public opinion wanted more; and second, the administration lobbied against some of the most far-reaching changes, such as Kaufman-Brown and Blanche Lincoln’s derivatives spinout provision, and Merkley-Levin never got a vote. The whole theater of the administration trying to put the bill into stone before it got much stronger should have been embarrassing to them, but they decided they could take the hit.

    • House, Senate battle over extending fiduciary duty

      House and Senate lawmakers overhauling Wall Street are clashing over whether brokers and insurance agents should have a fiduciary duty to their clients.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Leave Them Tubes Alone

      Others have not backed off, though. The Federal Communications Commission has been working diligently to find a way to act on the same control impulses that Sunstein had in mind, with something called “net neutrality.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • China Blasts Bogus US Report On China’s IP Policies… As US & China Seek New IP Agreement

      It seems the left hand doesn’t always know what the right hand is doing on the diplomatic front, apparently. Late last week, the US and Chinese patent offices signed an agreement promising cooperation, including sharing information and best practices between the two. At the same time, however, it appears the Chinese government is pretty steamed about being included in the USTR’s silly special 301 report (which is basically mocked by everyone outside of the the USTR and the entertainment or pharma industries).

      [...]

      While it’s difficult to take the word of Chinese officials on this matter seriously, we again have to wonder if US politicians (and industry reps) have any idea what they’re setting themselves up for. As we noted recently, under pressure from US companies and politicians, China has begun cracking down on infringement, but has done so almost exclusively against foreign companies. Ticking off China even more on this issue doesn’t seem like a particularly wise strategy.

    • Supreme Court: NFL Not Immune From Anti-Trust Lawsuits

      Justice Stevens proves to be the go-to Justice once again when it comes to IP issues on the Supreme Court.

      It just released a unanimous decision that he authored, holding that the NFL can be sued for anti-trust violations for trying to give exclusive manufacturing licenses for producing trademarked clothing with NFL logos on them.

    • Justices rule against NFL over apparel licensing

      The Supreme Court unanimously ruled against the National Football League over its exclusive contract with an apparel maker in one of the most important sports law cases in decades.

    • The Social Efficiency of Fairness

      Property rights provide incentives to create information but they also provide incentives to hoard it prior to the award of protection. All-or-nothing rights, in particular, limit prior sharing. An unintended consequence is to slow, not hasten, forward progress when innovation hinges on combining disparately owned private ideas. In response, we propose a solution, based on a reward defnition of “fairness,” that unblocks innovation by increasing willingness to share private knowledge.

      We present four arguments. First, we show that fairness can increase the rate of innovation. Welfare can improve both in the absolute sense of enabling new projects and in the relative sense of reordering the social sort order of which projects individuals prefer to undertake. Second, in contrast to models of “other regarding” preferences, we show how self-interest alone is suffcient to justify fairness in a one-time encounter. Third, we show how this problem is more acute for information than for tangible goods. Fourth, we argue that liability rather than property rules can be more conducive to innovation based on information reuse and recombination.

    • Copyrights

      • Hollywood Lands Triple Strike On Pirate Bay, OpenBitTorrent

        With the assistance of the Svea Court of Appeals, the main Hollywood movie studios have landed a triple blow on OpenBitTorrent, The Pirate Bay and site founders Gottfrid Svartholm and Fredrik Neij. The Court handed out three injunctions yesterday, one of which took the OpenBitTorrent tracker offline.

      • RapidShare Also Scores Trail-blazing Victory in US

        Yet another company has failed in its attempt to discredit and have the business model of the leading global one-click-filehost, RapidShare AG, declared illegal.

      • 1 down, 5 to go? isoHunt neutered by US judge

        An American judge, concerned about the “staggering volume of infringement” taking place at BitTorrent search site isoHunt, has issued a permanent injunction against the site and its owner, Canadian Gary Fung.

      • 5 Insane File Sharing Panics from Before the Internet

        1. VCR’s Will Kill Television!
        2. Phonographs and Player Pianos Will Kill Music!
        3. Pirated BASIC Will Kill Software Development!
        4. The Cassette Will Kill Music! Again!
        5. The Printing Press Will Kill Literature!

      • James Murdoch Lectures On Copyright, But Still Seems Confused

        I love the wording here: “assert a fair value.” As if implying that everyone else in the business is not asserting a fair value. But, again, we can see what the market thinks of his notion of “fair value,” but I warn him that the market tends to price things not on “fair value” (a made up concept) but on supply and demand. I’d like to see how his notion of “fair value” stands up to the notion of “widespread free competition.”

      • ISP Takes BitTorrent Admin Privacy Case To The Supreme Court

        Earlier this week a Swedish appeals court upheld the ruling of a district court and ordered an ISP to hand over the details of a torrent site operator. Faced with a potential $96,500 fine for non-compliance, TeliaSonera has announced it will take an appeal to the Supreme Court in an attempt to balance pre-existing privacy obligations with those under IPRED.

      • When Anti-Pirates Sue Each Other Over Pirating Each Other’s Technology…

        Well, this is fun. A tech company in Germany is claiming that movie studio Warner Bros. has “pirated” its “anti-piracy” technology.

      • National Post Reports “Heavy Handed” Copyright Law Coming Next Week

        While that is not how I would describe the outcome of the consultation – fair copyright is not the same as “go-easy” – Martin’s report is wholly consistent with my earlier reporting that the PMO has sided with the out-of-touch Moore, who has emerged as a staunch advocate for a Canadian DMCA. While the bill will undoubtedly include some elements designed to garner support from consumer and education groups, the U.S.-style approach to digital locks will effectively undermine the current fair dealing provision and any additional user-oriented reforms that find their way into the bill.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – Festival of Flight (1/5/2003)


05.24.10

Links 24/5/2010: ASUS + Expressgate/Linux, Xfce 4.6.2 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 6:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Choice: Linux or Red Dead Redemption?

    When Firmware 3.21 launched, many people thought it was a joke (partially due to its 1st April release date). In fact, it was nothing of the sort. It removed Other OS support, already omitted from the PlayStation 3 Slim, and led to some three separate lawsuits as people claimed that Sony was taking away advertised features. It also managed to bring down the United States Airforce, which was using PS3s with Linux for processing power (fine, it didn’t, but how awesome would that be?)

  • Linux is going mainstream

    The truth is that Linux is well on it’s way to being a mainstream operating system. The bad news is that this will not happen the way many of us envisioned.

  • Business

    • Who said Linux couldn’t make you money?

      But someone has done it, and done it well. That someone? The Linux Box. The “Box” was established in 1999 in order to provide regional, national, and international customers with support for open source technologies. On top of that, they commit 20% of their budget back into open source software development (to projects like OpenAFS, Moodle, Drupal, dotProject, Jobby, Squid, and more). Located in Ann Arbor Michigan, The Linux Box works closely with the community and has built its business around close collaboration with customers.

    • Show me the money…

      Every day I come to work, I get excited about the possibilities of the power of participation: to solve complex problems, to share knowledge, to bring people together. Opensource.com has been a great vehicle for me to learn and participate in a dialog about the power of open source principles–-especially when applied beyond software.

      I believe together we can solve many of the most complex problems our world faces. I also believe strongly that we, as a society, will never fully realize the full potential of the power of participation unless and until we find vehicles for individuals and institutions (both public and private) to directly profit from it.

      [...]

      Red Hat is an example: our mission is to be the catalyst in communities. Our community/enterprise model clearly works, but we need to find more business models to encourage others to play catalytic roles and foster their own communities of participation.

    • How to Sell Linux
  • Desktop

    • How to Configure an Ubuntu Linux Computer for Less Than $200

      Does your family need an extra PC? Educator, Mac expert, and Linux enthusiast Phil Shapiro explains in this YouTube video how, for less than the price of some operating systems, you can configure a useful, virus-free computer with a 23-inch LCD monitor ($150 refurbished) and a Wi-Fi wireless adapter ($15). This project is easy to do and should take about an hour.

    • Your old computer, born again

      Netbooks such as the original Acer Aspire One and the Dell Mini don’t use the latest iteration of the Intel Atom processor (called Pineview) and come with 1GB of RAM or less. (Companies such as Lenovo now offer 2GB and 3GB versions of their netbooks.) Older netbooks usually run Windows XP, which some see as outdated.

      One easy way to make your netbook run faster is to use a new operating system called Jolicloud.

      To use Jolicloud, you’ll need a 1GB USB key. Click the download link at Jolicloud.com and download the ISO file for Jolicloud and use Jolicloud’s USB Creator to create the key. Boot up your netbook, watching carefully for the key to press so you can access the netbook’s BIOS. Now, look for an option to boot from a USB key, enable it and save the BIOS. Jolicloud will walk you through the basic installation.

    • Church of Linux

      Another advantage of bringing spinoffs back to their parent distribution is the increased development power. Why have 10 people working on each of 10 distributions when you could have 25 people working on each of 4 distributions, each of which have a couple of specialised setups available.

    • The View from Mudsock Heights: Linux Has Come Far — In One Case, Maybe Too Far

      The free software movement, which in many respects means the Linux operating system, is a puzzle to those accustomed to paying for things. Software is expensive stuff — how good can the stuff be if it doesn’t cost anything?

      Actually, very, very good.

      [...]

      Then, in July 1998, the desktop problem started to be solved. That’s when KDE 1.0 was released. I downloaded, compiled, and installed it that very first day, and it blew me away. Linux was now easy to use, sort of. KDE (which stood for the “KDE Desktop Environment,” in that self-referential Linux way) could do things in version 1.0 more than a decade ago that only the latest Windows can do.

    • Washing the windows myths. Device support.

      There is a common mantra which windows advocates like to chant. I guess it has a calming influence for them as they navigate the labyrinth of installing new hardware on their machines. The mantra goes like this, windows has better device support. This mantra, while boosting the superiority complex of windows advocates, is simply a myth.

      It is said that myths generally have a germ of truth in them and I have to agree. Many years ago windows did have superior device support. That has all changed now. In fact the situation has reversed. Linux now has superior device support when compared to windows and arguably any other operating system. The reason for this is due to the differences between the way windows and Linux look at hardware device drivers.

      [...]

      The proof is in the pudding. Do this experiment, if you dare. If you have not already lost your windows drivers disks, put them away under lock and key. Format your hard drive and install windows from scratch, without installing any other drivers. How much of your hardware works? Now do the same for Linux. You will find that more of your hardware works with a standard install of just about any modern Linux distribution. Including printers, webcams, scanners and other peripherals.

  • Asus

    • Asus has NOT abandoned Linux

      We came across this article written by Steven Nichols, Computer World, who believes Linux is dead on netbooks. Well, guess what Asus Asia has been selling the Asus Eee 1201T with Express Gate which is actually a customized Linux OS. This allows them to sell this AMD NEO-powered machine under $380 because Linux does not cost a penny. It comes with AMD NEO processor, 2GB RAM, 320GB HDD, 12.1-inch 1366×768 pixel display and a very spacious chiclet keyboard.

    • Lost Sheep

      First ASUS unleashes netbooks with GNU/Linux. Then they push that other OS. Now they are selling good netbooks with no OS but Expressgate. What’s with that?

      Surely M$ does not approve. Is this another sign that M$ is losing its grip on OEMs?

  • Server

    • Linux trading system to save London Stock Exchange £10m a year

      The London Stock Exchange has said its new open source-based trading system will save it at least £10 million annually, as well as driving new business.

      Millennium Exchange, a Linux and Sun Solaris Unix-based platform, which uses Oracle databases, is being rolled out across all of the LSE’s electronic trading systems, replacing the slower TradElect platform, which is Microsoft .Net based. TradElect had suffered a series of high-profile outages and will be replaced by Millennium Exchange in stages from September.

    • When the Administrator walks…

      Each situation is different but here are some general recommendations. First, make sure you have a LiveCD of your favourite distribution. Fedora, Ubuntu, even Knoppix have a number of tools already baked in that you will find you will need. If possible, write your LiveCD out to a USB stick and add additional packages so they are there when you need them and you will not have to rely on an external connection to the Internet.

  • Audiocasts

    • Linux Outlaws 150 – Linux Cloudlaws

      This time on Linux Outlaws: HP buys Palm, Steam coming to Linux, Humble Indy Bundle goes open source, more PS3 firmware fallout, Red Hat & Novell win important lawsuit, Mandriva in trouble, UDS news and lots of Microsoft and Apple bashing as usual…

    • KDE and the Masters of the Universe – 2010-05-21

      This week on KDEMU we introduce Mike Arthur one of the co-hosts of KDEMU, we talk about KDE on Mac OSX, his plans for rend-a-child and his love for David Faure!

    • Episode 141: The Fourth Colour (Microsode 1)

      This is the first Microsode of Meet the GIMP. This are short(er) videos that are produced ahead of publication and cover one topic – and no chit chat about my life, the site, the forum and so on.

    • Full Circle Podcast #7: Two Tin Cans and a Length of String

      News: Ubuntu Developers Summit, Ubuntu Light, Unity.

      Guest Spot: We go through the Ubuntu bug-reporting process with Alan Pope.

      Games: Ed, Dave and Alan are all agreed about the Humble Indie Bundle and Dave looks at Wormux.

      Interview: Part II of the Ubuntu Manual Project – tools

      Keynote: Part I of Mark Shuttleworth’s keynote from UDS

  • Ballnux

  • Benchmarks

  • Graphics Stack

    • NVIDIA 256 Beta Linux Driver Released

      NVIDIA has rolled out its first beta in the expected 256.xx driver series for Linux, Windows, and other supported platforms. Last month we asked what you wanted from the NVIDIA 256.xx driver and while many of the respondents didn’t get their greatest wishes answered, the 256.25 beta driver does offer quite a bit of changes over the previous-generation proprietary NVIDIA driver.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Status of Gentoo on MacBook Pro (5,3)

      So, as you can see, besides pommed, a fan script, and the webcam, there’s really very little tweaking required. Everything more or less works.

    • Slackware Linux 13.1 screenshots

      If you’ve grown tired of all the hand-holding utilities in Ubuntu or Fedora, then look no further than Slackware — a distribution that shuns the now-standard GUI configuration and system utilities in favour of the venerable command line.

    • Reviews

      • First look at NimbleX 2010 (Beta)

        NimbleX NimbleX, based on Slackware Linux, is a project which attempts to provide a small, yet fully functional, desktop operating system for people on the go. Specifically, NimbleX provides a modern KDE desktop on a live CD or Flash drive. The project also provides a tool called Custom NimbleX, which allows the user to customize their ISO image prior to downloading it. Before taking NimbleX for a test drive, I had a chance to talk with Bogdan Radulescu, creator of the distribution.

    • Debian Family

      • More flexible firmware handling in debian-installer

        After a long break from debian-installer development, I finally found time today to return to the project. Having to spend less time working dependency based boot in debian, as it is almost complete now, definitely helped freeing some time.

      • Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu 10.04 LTS

          Overall I think 10.04 is another great step forward to Ubnutu and Linux in general to get into the hands and homes of the average user. Kudos to the Ubuntu team for a great OS distro, keep up the great work guys!

        • More Ubuntu 10.04

          The software bundled with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Lucid Lynx is much the same as the past few versions – Firefox, OpenOffice, Rhythmbox (think iTunes), and F-Spot (for digital cameras) – so you needn’t scour around for the essentials. GIMP (Photoshop-like image editor, but without CMYK support) is not in by default any more but easily added.

          When you do need to install something else, a new Ubuntu Software Centre offers a cheerful interface, for a large repository of free apps.

        • Fawning Over Ubuntu 10.04

          I can’t say enough good things about this Ubuntu distro, I highly recommend you upgrade if you use older Ubuntu distros or if you’re a PC user who’s itching for a change from Windows, download the ISO and give it a whirl without even installing it. Yes, Ubuntu Live CD will let you test drive the distro without even installing it. Again, well done Ubuntu crew, keep up the work and thanks for a beautiful and functional OS!

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 194

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 194 for the week May 16th – May 22nd, 2010. In this issue we cover Ubuntu Mentioned on CBS’s The Big Bang Theory, Audio from UDS Sessions Now Available, Taking a Long Term View of the Release, Next Americas Regional Membership Board Meeting Announced, Why Launchpad Rocks, Kubuntu Maverick All Planned Out at UDS, Ubuntu Stats, Ubuntu Uruguay Approved Team, Ubuntu-my (Malaysia) Workshop Monash University, Ubuntu-my (Malaysia) Lucid Release Party, Ubuntu Catalan LoCo Team Release Party, Ubuntu Brazil Release Party Pictures, Ubuntini Recipe Released, LoCo Items for Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Debian and Ubuntu, Archive / Permissions Reorg confusion, Ubuntu Maverick UDS Group Photo made with the Hugin Panorama Creator, Melissa Draper: UW World Play Day 2010 Competition: The Movie, In The Press, In the Blogosphere, In Other News, Upcoming Meetings and Events, Updates and Security, and much much more!

        • Puppy

          • Puppy Linux 5.0 “Lucid Puppy” Released

            My initial fears, that the move over to Ubuntu packages would have a serious negative impact on performance and resource usage, seem to have been unfounded. As ever, Puppy booted into a useful and responsive desktop on a test setup with 256MB of RAM. It remains my go to distribution for a certain type of project.

          • REVIEW: Puppy Arcade 8 (LiveCD 105mb)

            Yet another great release for Puppy Arcade. I like the idea of having a poll for the browser, which means that not only do you get a smaller .iso download, but you don’t have to waste your time downloading a browser which you are going to replace anyway. The size of the download is another massive plus and will have you enjoying emulation in no time at all. It’s quite amusing to think that the whole distro is downloaded in 105mb which is less than many PSX games themselves!

        • Kubuntu

          • Kubuntu Netbook Edition 10.04 review

            The installation is dead simple, just like Ubuntu. If you have installed any Linux OS lately, you should not have any problem installing Kubuntu Netbook Edition. I installed it using UnetBootin which allows one to make a bootable USB drive.

            Out of the box, everything worked, from Ethernet to Wireless LAN – everything! This is great as most of the netbook users do not like wandering over Ubuntu/Kubuntu forums trying everything to work. Even the function keys worked.

          • Video: Kubuntu with KDE 4.3 Overview. Linux Rocks!

            Today whilst browsing Youtube for KDE-related videos (hey, some of us do it!) I can across this little gem of a video from self-described novice user ms55555. It highlights Kubuntu 10.04′s beauty in style. Some gems to look out for…

        • Variants

          • Lubuntu 10.04

            Lubuntu is a faster, more lightweight and energy saving variant of Ubuntu using LXDE, the Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment. The Lubuntu team aims to earn official endorsement from Canonical. Please join us.

            [...]

            I was pleasantly surprised and quite liked the Netbook mode, which give us a different from the traditional desktop as an alternative. I also like the way to manage start-up login, where it allows us to start with the default LXDE desktop or with Lubuntu Netbook mode.

          • Community Counts: Another Advantage to Linux Mint

            A few months back I listed five reasons I thought Linux Mint is a better choice than Ubuntu for a Linux distro. Today I would like to add another reason to that list. With the recent releases of Ubuntu 10.04 and Linux Mint 9 we see something that I feel really makes Linux Mint out shine Ubuntu (yet again)…

            [...]

            Now what is the big deal about a distro making improvements to itself in a new release? It is the fact that the creators took to heart what their users where telling them when making this improvement. For some of you this may not be a big deal, but personally I enjoy using a distro where my opinion counts.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Pandora’s Linux Based Gaming Handheld Now Shipping – Open Source Gaming Goes Portable

      In what can only be considered a major victory for the open source gaming scene the fabled Pandora handheld is finally shipping. After almost two years of sneak peeks and disappointing setbacks the first batch of units are finally being massed produced and sent out to paying customers. The end product is the polar opposite of the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP in just about every respect. Rather than trying to make a closed down platform filled with proprietary technologies, the hardware and software architectures are completely open and just begging to be exploited.

    • BYO Linux router to the NBN

      They can both be part of the home router you connect to it, according to ISP iPrimus. Customers will be free to use whatever router they like, such as a Linux-based Tomato router (firmware that you install into a readily available router such as the Linksys WRT54G).

      There had been concerns among the enthusiast community that the government would mandate a particular router be used at customer premises so that the network could be administratively controlled remotely.

      However, customers will have complete freedom to use their own homebrew Linux routers to connect their premises to the National Broadband Network instead of using a standard router from the likes of Netcomm or Netgear, internet service provider Primus revealed last week.

    • BYO Linux router to the NBN
    • Toyota’s Robot Violinist Wows Crowd At Shanghai Expo 2010 (Video)
    • Sub-notebooks

      • Will the ‘$100 laptop’ project ever be considered a success?

        “The creation of the netbook market is largely, and appropriately, credited to OLPC,” says Ed McNierney, Chief Technical Officer of OLPC. “We wouldn’t have $300 netbooks in the consumer market if that push from OLPC hadn’t happened.

      • Installing Linux On ARM-Based Netbooks?

        For example, the Augen E-Go. It is a widely touted theory that it is impossible to install Linux on one of these notebooks, replacing the commonly installed Windows CE operating system. The sub-$100 netbooks carry decent specs, including 533MHz ARM processor; 128MB DDR RAM; and a 2GB Flash drive, as well as most expected netbook components (USB, Wi-Fi, etc.). I find it hard to believe that a computer with these specs is impossible to hack and install Linux to, but Google searches have been largely unsuccessful in finding proper information. Do any Slashdot readers have experience in installing ARM Linux distros to these cheap netbooks like this? If so, what distros do they recommend?

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source film recommendation engine from Filmaster.com

    Filmaster.com, a social network for film lovers, has recently presented a new movie recommendations engine. The algorithm that generates recommendations is open source and has been released under AGPLv3 license.

  • Quality

    • Open source innovation on the cutting edge

      Open source doesn’t innovate — so goes the old saw. Proprietary software vendors, including Microsoft, would have you believe the open source movement has produced nothing but knockoffs of existing products and cast-off code that couldn’t cut it in the free market.

    • 7 open source innovations on the cutting edge

      Think open source doesn’t innovate? Think again. Here are seven projects that are exploring exciting new directions in computing — for free

    • License Equals Software Quality?

      But does closed source software simply work better? One could make the case that because of the commercial nature of closed source, i.e., finished projects make money, that closed source software is ready to work faster–though I don’t think you could make that a blanket statement. Like open source software, a feature added to proprietary software has to be decided upon, only now the feature has to pass another bar to get included: it has to be profitable. Which means, even if it’s the Coolest Feature Ever, if may not get included because the proprietary vendor may not want to make the investment.

      This is why, ultimately, I think the whole open vs. closed software quality argument is moot. Each of the approaches has strengths and weaknesses the other approach doesn’t, which balances out the notion that any software will be higher or lower quality because of its license. Developers code software poorly or well based on their own strengths.

      There are other facets of the open vs. closed debate, a debate that I believe open source ultimately wins. Just don’t make software quality part of the argument. It’s a moot point.

  • Events

  • Mozilla

    • a better web is winning

      There are more than half a billion people using these four amazing and modern browsers right now.

  • SaaS

    • Open APIs key in cloud computing

      It is the data formats and the walled gardens that sit within the cloud environments that will become the biggest challenge to customers looking to avoid vendor lock-in. And it affects home users as much as it does enterprise customers and governments – it’s hard enough as an individual to close a Facebook account, imagine trying to move that data to another service?

  • Oracle

    • How Could the NetBeans Team Make Money from the NetBeans Platform?

      With the snowballing interest in NetBeans Platform usage (here’s a nice list of +-150 screenshots and counting), is there a place, somewhere/somehow, where Sun/Oracle/NetBeans could make actual money from the NetBeans Platform? (And would the amount of money be an “interesting” amount?)

  • BSD

  • Government

    • FR: Chamber of Commerce selects open source for craftsmen

      A DVD with a selection of free and open source software applications tailored to very small businesses (VSBs), was published by the Chamber of Commerce for Crafts and Trades of the French Somme Department, earlier this year.

      “Our goal is to assist VSBs in their use of office productivity tools and business applications”, writes Alain Bethfort, president of the organisation, in his introduction.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Ninth worker death at Taiwan iPhone firm Foxconn

    A ninth employee has jumped to his death at Taiwanese iPhone manufacturer Foxconn, China’s state media reports.

    Xinhua said 21-year-old Nan Gang leapt from a four-storey factory in China’s Shenzhen in the early hours.

  • Security/Aggression

  • Environment

    • “It’s BP’s Rules – Not Ours.”
    • Nature Conservancy faces potential backlash from ties with BP

      In the days after the immensity of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico became clear, some Nature Conservancy supporters took to the organization’s Web site to vent their anger.
      This Story

      *
      Nature Conservancy faces potential backlash from ties with BP
      *
      Salazar slams BP for missing deadlines
      *
      Gulf slick is invading fragile coastal bays
      *
      BP agreed in 2004 to parts changes on drilling rig, letter says
      *
      Oil spill cleanup, containment efforts, hearings in wake of gulf disaster

      View All Items in This Story
      View Only Top Items in This Story

      “The first thing I did was sell my shares in BP, not wanting anything to do with a company that is so careless,” wrote one. Another added: “I would like to force all the BP executives, the secretaries and the shareholders out to the shore to mop up oil and wash the birds.” Reagan De Leon of Hawaii called for a boycott of “everything BP has their hands in.”

    • Another Chance to Stop the Gulf Leak

      BP is preparing to launch a procedure as early as Sunday to clog the flow of oil and gas from the month-old Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico. But the proposed “top kill” method is untested at the 5,000-foot depth of the spill, and could easily join the growing list of fixes thwarted by the spill’s punishingly remote environment. It is also the most invasive maneuver attempted to date, and could rupture the leaking well and actually accelerate the flow of crude.

    • BP prepares complex ‘top kill’ bid to plug well

      Government and BP officials are hopeful after extensive preparations, but are not guaranteeing that a complex attempt early this week to cap an uncontrolled underwater oil spill from a well in the Gulf of Mexico will be successful.

      The so-called “top kill” procedure that oil major BP is tentatively scheduled to attempt on Tuesday involves plugging up the well by pumping thick “drilling mud” and cement into it. While it has been attempted on above ground wells, it has never been tried at the depths involved with this spill, nearly 5,000 feet below the surface.

      In an e-mail to staff late Friday, BP CEO Tony Hayward said success of the procedure could not be taken for granted, according to the Wall Street Journal.

  • Finance

    • New financial rules might not prevent next crisis

      The most sweeping changes to financial rules since the Great Depression might not prevent another crisis.

    • Rules Grow, Banks Stay Same Size

      The financial legislation passed by the Senate last week, largely built to specifications that the administration provided last summer, vastly increases the scope and sophistication of federal regulation. It grants more resources and more authority to those charged with overseeing the industry. It is hoped that this will produce better results.

      The bill does not, as some liberal Democrats and populist Republicans had advocated, require the breakup of conglomerated behemoths. It does not prohibit some of the most speculative genres of Wall Street trading. It does not reduce the vast menagerie of financial companies that compete with banks.

    • Commentary: Maryland foreclosure-prevention law adds bite to federal efforts
    • Tax credit and low mortgage rates boost home sales

      Homebuyers rushed to take advantage of government incentives and low mortgage rates in April, giving the housing market its biggest boost in five months.

    • As Reform Takes Shape, Some Relief on Wall St.

      The financial reform legislation making its way through Congress has Wall Street executives privately relieved that the bill does not do more to fundamentally change how the industry does business.

    • Cuts to Child Care Subsidy Thwart More Job Seekers

      Despite a substantial increase in federal support for subsidized child care, which has enabled some states to stave off cuts, others have trimmed support, and most have failed to keep pace with rising demand, according to poverty experts and federal officials.

    • Government Spending and Economic Expansions

      With everyone waiting until the other guy moves first, there isn’t much of a foundation set down for future growth. But if the government steps in and acts when nobody else is willing to do so, it could create that more stable environment the private sector needs in order to get off the ground.

    • Ask Goldman Sachs to Give it Back!

      To be fair, sometimes they had the money to pay off one another without government bailouts, but not often. That’s because they were largely betting with money they never had. AIG is the perfect example. Their executives made hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses from the early wins in these bets, but then stuck the taxpayers with a $182 billion bill when they lost.

    • So much for the little guy

      The Obama administration’s tough statements about Wall Street misdeeds mask a strange fact: For an administration that talks so much about helping the little guy, it is astonishing how many of President Barack Obama’s “reforms” work to the advantage of powerful corporate interests at the expense of small employers and independent entrepreneurs.

      Two recent examples are the new burdens that Obamacare places on small business and the way the administration’s proposed financial reform legislation works to the advantage of the largest financial institutions at the expense of smaller competitors.

    • Poll: Economists more upbeat despite deficit woes

      Economists forecast the pace of U.S. growth to pick up in the year ahead as consumers and businesses alike accelerate spending, according to a new survey.

    • Bank Brawl Continues: Now It’s Lincoln vs. Obama

      Last week, the U.S. Senate passed a financial reform bill that was far stronger that what had been proposed by the Obama administration and passed by the House. Now it’s time to hold President Obama’s feet to the fire to ensure the strongest possible bill.

    • ‘100% Protected’ Isn’t as Safe as It Sounds

      For an investor in one of these notes to earn the return of the index as well as get the principal back, the index cannot fall 25.5 percent or more from its level at the date of issuance. Neither can it rise more than 27.5 percent above that level. If the index exceeds those levels during the holding period, the investors receive only their principal back.

    • Case Said to Conclude Against Head of A.I.G. Unit

      Federal prosecutors investigating the events leading up to the collapse of the American International Group in 2008 will not bring charges against Joseph Cassano, the chief executive of the unit that insured mortgage-related securities with calamitous results, according to two people briefed on the matter.

    • Financial Overhaul Bill Poses Big Test for Lobbyists

      Last Wednesday, Representative David Scott, Democrat of Georgia, mingled with insurance and financial executives and other supporters at a lunchtime fund-raiser in his honor at a chic Washington wine bar before rushing out to cast a House vote.

    • A Guide to Complaints That Get Results
    • What is the point of innovative financial instruments ?

      I remain very ignorant about banking and real world finance. Some time ago, a commenter noted that while at first I said I was winging it I seemed much more confident and asked if I had learned a lot or if I was winging it louder. I am winging it louder.

      I don’t know what innovative financial instruments have been invented. I tend to assume that the purpose of some is tax avoidance. For all I know, some are used to share risk, and might actually be socially useful.

    • Dems play old-school hardball

      To finish the Wall Street reform bill, Democrats are resurrecting a casualty of Washington’s hyperpartisan culture: the House-Senate conference committee, in which lawmakers from both parties will hash out differences between the two chambers’ bills.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Copyrights

    • Lady Gaga Says No Problem If People Download Her Music; The Money Is In Touring

      Like Mariah Carey, it looks like Lady Gaga has realized that this concept of Connect with Fans and giving them a Reason to Buy works at the superstar level just as much as it does down at the indie artist level. The specifics of implementing a business model around the concept are very, very different — but the core concept remains the same. Treat your fans right, learn to leverage what’s infinite to make something scare more valuable, and then sell the scarcity.

    • Eircom to cut broadband over illegal downloads

      EIRCOM WILL from today begin a process that will lead to cutting off the broadband service of customers found to be repeatedly sharing music online illegally.

      Ireland is the first country in the world where a system of “graduated response” is being put in place. Under the pilot scheme, Eircom customers who illegally share copyrighted music will get three warnings before having their broadband service cut off for a year.

    • How local TV could go the way of newspapers

      Once it becomes as easy and satisfying to view a YouTube video on your 50-inch television as it is to watch “Two and a Half Men,” audiences will fragment to the point that local broadcasters will not be able to attract large quantities of viewers for a particular program at a finite point in time.

    • ISP Must Hand Over Identity Of OpenBitTorrent Operator

      An ISP must hand over the identity of the operator behind a major BitTorrent tracker, a court in Sweden ruled today. OpenBitTorrent, probably the world’s largest public tracker, is currently hosted by Portlane. The ISP must now reveal the identity of its customer to Hollywood movie companies or face a hefty fine.

    • Federal Court Issues Permanent Injunction For Isohunt

      The injunction theoretically leaves the door open for the site to deploy a strict filtering system, but its terms are so broad that Isohunt has little choice but to shut down or at the very least block all US visitors. … The verdict states that they have to cease ‘hosting, indexing, linking to, or otherwise providing access to any (torrent) or similar files’ that can be used to download the studios’ movies and TV shows. Studios have to supply Isohunt with a list of titles of works they own, and Isohunt has to start blocking those torrents within 24 hours.

    • Want to buy a Linux company?
    • After keeping us waiting for a century, Mark Twain will finally reveal all

      The great American writer left instructions not to publish his autobiography until 100 years after his death, which is now

    • Separating Fact from Fiction: My Fair Copyright Proposals

      So yet again in an effort to separate fact from fiction, here is my submission to the copyright consultation from last summer. It doesn’t call for everything to be free, it calls for WIPO implementation, and it emphasizes that updating the law means accounting for both creator and consumer needs.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – FoF – RLVs (1/5/2003)


05.23.10

Links 23/5/2010: GNU/Linux on TV; deltaCloud

Posted in News Roundup at 3:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Video post: Hey look, Ubuntu is on tv

    As seen on American TV CBS show on May 18, Ubuntu is shown as the favorite Linux operating system of a physicist charater. While I am greatful for the product placement, people should know “Ubuntu is for human beings too.”

  • Move Ubuntu 10.04 Window Buttons from Left to Right with 1 Command
  • Red Hat Commercializes deltaCloud, Eyes a More Open Cloud

    Open source vendor Red Hat is betting on a year-old open source effort that it hopes will further open up the Cloud. Red Hat’s deltaCloud project http://deltacloud.org/ started last year as a way of enabling and managing a heterogeneous Cloud virtualized infrastructure. Now, deltaCloud is on a path to commercialization as part of a set of new virtualization products from Red Hat. The potential payoff for Red Hat is that deltaCloud will be positioned as an open source approach to managing nearly any type of virtualized Cloud technology.

    “We’re creating a Cloud management engine based on the open source deltaCloud project,” Scott Crenshaw, vice president and general manager of Red Hat’s Cloud business, told InternetNews.com. “We haven’t yet issued a delivery date for that product, but it will be sometime next year. We have people using deltaCloud now, but in terms of a fully supported product, it will be incorporated into a family of products for Cloud management that Red Hat will provide.”

  • Android

    • Google, Sony and Android: TV and much, much more

      In the wake of Google’s announcement of the Google Android-based TV, Google and Sony have unveiled plans for Android-based entertainment products that go well beyond TV. And other partners have joined the Google TV bandwagon.

    • Amazon jumps into Androidland

      ONLINE BOOKSELLER Amazon will be offering an app that will allow users of Android smartphones to read books in the Kindle format.

    • Android mobile phones get streaming TV

      MOBILE TV OUTFIT Yamgo has released beta software for Android users so that they can see live streaming of high-quality mobile TV and video on demand.

    • Whereis Navigator finds its way to Android

      Whereis Navigator provides turn-by-turn GPS navigation on Android phones such as the HTC Desire and the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Don’t be finicky
  • Gov 2.0 Week in Review

    “The more open a government agency is, the more it seems that the public trusts it,” mused Chris Dorobek in his post on public trust and government. If so, the creation of a “right to data” under the “Big Society proposals” from the new United Kingdom government could be significant. For those interested, there’s a good overview of European mashups of public data at OurData.eu.

  • Google programming Frankenstein is a Go

    “We’re already using Go internally at Google for some production stuff,” Robert Pike, one of Go’s developers and a former member of the Unix team at Bell Labs, said today during a question and answer session at the company’s annual developer conference in San Francisco. “The language is pretty stable.”

Leftovers

  • Chomp! Pac-Man, the arcade classic, turns 30
  • Crime

    • Lawyers Suspended for Ignoring ‘Warning Signs’ of Partner’s $17 Million Fraud

      An attorney accused of ignoring “multiple warning signs” of a $17 million fraud carried out by his former partner has been suspended from the practice of law for three years.

    • An Old Chip Cartel Case Is Brought to a Swift End

      The European Union fined a group of computer chip makers 331.3 million euros ($409 million) on Wednesday for price fixing in the first use of a new procedure that allows settlement of cartel cases in Europe.

    • Chipmakers fined by EU for price-fixing
    • Kurland to serve 27 months for Galleon case role

      The first Wall Street executive to be sentenced in the sprawling Galleon hedge fund illegal insider trading case was ordered to serve two years and three months in prison on Friday.

    • Tobacco Executive Charged With Threatening Family Court Magistrate

      A high-level executive at an Opa-Locka, Fla., tobacco company is facing extortion charges after allegedly threatening a Miami-Dade family court magistrate who recommended a judge rule against him in a paternity case.

      In a letter to the magistrate, he told her to step down or face a public relations nightmare, according to an application for an arrest warrant filed by investigators.

      Victor M. Gonzalez, comptroller for the family-owned Dosal Tobacco Corp., posted $7,500 bond Tuesday after his arrest at the company’s headquarters the day before. Gonzalez, 50, was charged with one count of extortion, a second degree felony that carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in state prison.

  • Science

  • Security/Aggression

    • Chelsea fans hack Man Utd phone systems

      Chelsea fans mocked their rivals at Manchester United last weekend by hacking into the Old Trafford club’s phone system and changing its recorded message.

    • Man accused of DDoSing conservative talking heads

      Federal prosecutors have accused a man of carrying out a series of botnet offenses including attacks that brought down the websites of conservative talking heads Bill O’Reilly, Ann Coulter and Rudolph Giuliani.

  • Environment

    • Sweet success for Kit Kat campaign: you asked, Nestlé has answered

      A big ‘Thank You!’ to the hundreds of thousands of you who supported our two-month Kit Kat campaign by e-mailing Nestlé, calling them, or spreading the campaign message via your Facebook, Twitter and other social media profiles. This morning, Nestlé finally announced a break for the orang-utan – as well as Indonesian rainforests and peatlands – by committing to stop using products that come from rainforest destruction.

    • Bad days for bluefin

      And on this side of the Atlantic, in the Mediterranean, the odds aren’t much better, even without a catastrophic oil-spill. The bluefin’s days are numbered. In just a couple of days the month long bluefin purse-seining season opens. It only lasts a month, a restriction that has come into place in the past few years because there are simply too many fishing boats chasing too few fish. But it happens to be the very time the fish spawn.

    • SNL’s Alec Baldwin Season Finale: 5 Funniest Moments

      Cold Open: “A Message From the People Who Ruined Our Ocean.” BP, Transocean, and Halliburton outline some of their proposals for cleaning up the mess.

    • Furious Louisiana officials accuse BP of destroying fragile marshes

      Crude oil oozed into US wetlands Friday as furious Louisiana officials accused BP of destroying fragile marshes and leaving coastal fishing communities in ruin.

      As delicate marshlands in the Mississippi Delta faced an environmental nightmare, BP conceded after days of pressure that it had underestimated the amount of oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico.

    • Link Roundup: Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
    • One Drill Too Far
    • Hopes pinned on BP’s ‘dynamic kill’ to stop oil spill

      BP, which leased the Deepwater Horizon rig that exploded on April 20, hopes to stop the noxious flow with a so-called “dynamic kill” operation, in which heavy drilling fluids would be injected into the well to stem the oil flow, followed by a cement operation to seal it up permanently.

    • The snakes we lost in the fire

      Some 80,000 snakes and several thousand spiders and scorpions were lost, including several specimens that had never been cataloged. Beyond simple scientific curiosity, the collection played an important role in helping scientists understand and prevent extinctions. You could always collect another 100K creepy crawlies, but they wouldn’t cover the same significant historic ground.

    • Nuclear News: BP’s Radioactive Liability Cap

      ‘As BP destroys our priceless planet, its lawyers gear up to save the company from paying for the damage. The same will happen — only worse — with the next atomic reactor disaster. By law, BP may be liable for only $75 million of the harm done by the Deepwater Horizon. Ask yourself why the federal government would adopt legislation that limits the liability of an oil driller for the damage it does to us all. Ask the same question — on another order of magnitude — about nuclear power plants. By any calculation, BP did more than $75 million in harm during the first hour of this undersea gusher. That sum won’t begin to cover even the legal fees, let alone the tangible damage to our only home. Now imagine a melt-down alongside the blow-out. See the Deepwater Horizon as a nuclear power plant. Think of the rickety Grand Gulf, a bit to the north, or the two decaying reactors at South Texas, a ways to the west. Imagine that apocalyptic plume of oil ravaging our seas as an airborne radioactive cloud. Feel it pouring like Chernobyl over the south coast, enveloping all of Florida, blowing with the shifts of the winds up over the southeast, irradiating Atlanta, then Nashville, then New Orleans, then Houston, all through Mexico and the north coast of South America, the Caribbean, then around again across Florida, through the Atlantic and all over Europe, then around the globe two or three times more. The instigators of such a nightmare are currently on the hook for a maximum of $11 billion. Ask yourself why the federal government would limit the liability of a reactor owner for the damage it imposes on the public.’

    • Nightmare scene as oil smothers Louisiana wetlands
    • BP Disaster: Oil reaches Louisiana marshlands
    • The Gulf oil slick has a tail, and that’s bad
    • The nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference Greenpeace urges delegations to recognise proliferation risks of nuclear energy expansion
    • Free nuclear advice for the Polish Energy Group

      So Poland has declared its intention to launch a nuclear ‘renaissance’ of its very own. They’ve appointed analysis teams and signed ‘memoranda of cooperation’ with nuclear reactor builders. It’s a very serious business.

    • Climate change ‘no excuse’ for failure to beat malaria

      A team of UK and American scientists say that – assuming global warming proceeds in line with mainstream expectation – there is no reason to fear a global malaria outbreak.

    • Costa Rican elbows out South African as UN climate boss

      A Costa Rican bureaucrat is set to take the top job at the United Nations climate convention after a mini-revolt from small island states.

    • Iceland, Eyjafjallajökull – May 1st and 2nd, 2010
  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs Revolving Door: The New Edition

      Since then, the scrutiny of Goldman has risen to a whole new level, with the SEC alleging that the firm committed securities fraud, federal prosecutors probing its subprime-mortgage-related activites and lawmakers grilling the firm’s top executives.

      And the revolving door continues to turn — plenty of former Goldman staffers now work at a range of agencies from the SEC to the Treasury Department. To win friends and influence people in Washington — and sway the pending financial reform legislation — Goldman fields a deep bench of lobbyists with plenty of experience in politics, as noted by CBS News and the HuffPost Investigative Fund.

    • High Frequency Trading Is A Scam

      No. The disadvantage was not speed. The disadvantage was that the “algos” had engaged in something other than what their claimed purpose is in the marketplace – that is, instead of providing liquidity, they intentionally probed the market with tiny orders that were immediately canceled in a scheme to gain an illegal view into the other side’s willingness to pay.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Clegg promises liberties restoration

      Nick Clegg promised government that will restore individual liberties and value dissent this morning, as he set out his Deputy Prime Minster’s brief to repeal Labour laws this morning.

    • Feds to step up monitoring of global press freedom

      President Barack Obama is set to sign legislation Monday expanding the federal government’s role in monitoring global freedom of the press, according to the White House.

      Obama will sign the Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act, which requires a greater examination of the status of press freedoms in different countries in the State Department’s Annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.

    • The secret life of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange

      Julian Assange, the man behind the world’s biggest leaks, believes in total openness and transparency – except when it comes to himself. Nikki Barrowclough tracked him down.

      Julian Assange has never publicly admitted that he’s the brains behind Wikileaks, the website that has so radically rewritten the rules in the information era. He did, however, register a website, Leaks.org, in 1999. ”But then I didn’t do anything with it.”

    • Pakistanis shout ‘Death to Facebook’, burn US flags

      Pakistani protesters shouted “Death to Facebook”, “Death to America” and burnt US flags on Friday, venting growing anger over “sacrilegious” caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed on the Internet.

      A Facebook user organised an “Everyone Draw Mohammed Day” competition to promote “freedom of expression”, inspired by an American woman cartoonist, but sparked a major backlash in the conservative Muslim country of 170 million.

      Islam strictly prohibits the depiction of any prophet as blasphemous and the row has sparked comparison with protests across the Muslim world over the publication of satirical cartoons of Mohammed in European newspapers in 2006.

    • ‘Draw Mohammed’ call prompts Pakistan Facebook ban
    • ‘Draw Mohammed’ page removed from Facebook
    • Pakistan extends Web site ban to include YouTube
    • Everybody panic!
    • Twitter gets subpoenaed

      In his subpoena, Corbett has requested that the micro-blogging service appear as a witness to “testify and give evidence regarding alleged violations of the laws of Pennsylvania”. It will also be required to provide, “name, address, contact information, creation date, creation Internet Protocol address and any and all log in Internet Protocol address”.

      [...]

      In Oregon, privacy is also high on the agenda, as three lawyers have filed a class action suit against Google and its Street View vehicles, which we now know were cruising around sniffing up wireless data.

      Google executives have admitted that its survey cars mistakenly acquired information during the creation of its updated mapping tools. However, it looks like this candour could cost it dearly, and not just in terms of its reputation.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Europe outlines plan to boost broadband by 2020

      All European households will have broadband speeds of 30Mbps (megabits per second) by 2020, the European Union has pledged.

    • Cops back in on BT/Phorm case

      The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has called in City of London Police to assist as it decides whether to go to court over BT’s covert trials of Phorm’s web interception and profiling system.

      [...]

      It was claimed by privacy campaigners and legal commentators after The Register revealed the secret trials that BT and Phorm had committed offences under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, which restricts covert wiretapping and interception of communications.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Wall Street banks lose court ruling on hot news ban

      Three Wall Street banks suffered a legal setback when a federal appeals court in New York put on hold a ban on financial news service Theflyonthewall.com Inc from quickly reporting “hot news” about their analysts’ research.

    • Copyrights

      • Worst Week for Album Sales Since 1991

        Without any major releases and amid overall decreasing record sales, this past week has the dubious distinction of seeing the fewest number of total album sales in a single week — 5.3 million — since Nielsen SoundScan started tracking in 1991.

      • Is YouTube’s three-strike rule fair to users?

        “Until I lost 900 videos, I never actually considered there was anything unsafe about trusting a company such as Google to protect my data. After all, who keeps photos in a shoebox anymore?”

      • EC plans stronger data protection and copyright laws

        The European Commission will strengthen legal protections for personal data, reform copyright law and ensure that device and software makers embrace standards, it said when outlining its new digital policies.

        The Commission will also consider forcing companies to tell users and customers when their systems have been breached and personal data has been lost, stolen or exposed.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – FoF – Launch Gravity (1/5/2003)


05.22.10

Links 22/5/2010: Mandriva Linux 2010 Spring RC, Android 2.3 Talks

Posted in News Roundup at 2:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • A Herd of Print Linux Magazines

    Linux Journal

    Linux Journal is the grandaddy of them all, founded in 1994 by Phil Hughes. Now it is published by Belltown Media, owner Carlie Fairchild, who acquired Linux Journal in 2006. Over the years Linux Journal has been home to regular writers like Marcel Gagne and his “Cooking With Linux” column, which was the most controversial LJ feature. Why? Not because he used bad language, or flamed anyone, but because of his Chez Marcel and French-waiter-serving-wine schtick. It was both a regular Reader’s Choice winner, and the recipient of the most hate mail.

    LJ has always covered a wide range of topics, such kernel programming, system and network administration, security, desktop, multimedia, games, and industry news.

    Linux Pro Magazine

    Linux Pro Magazine is called Linux Magazine outside of the US and Canada; in the US there is another Linux Magazine. There is no relation between the two except a confusing similarity of names. Linux Pro Magazine covers all the usual topics, plus extensive Linux conference coverage. Their Event Calendar is comprehensive, and they provide live and archived videos of many conferences. Linux Pro Magazine is distributed in several countries and languages, such as Poland, Spain, Germany, and Brazil.

    There is a new sister publication to Linux Pro, Ubuntu User. Ubuntu User features good tech articles, and informative pieces from Ubuntu insiders such as Jono Bacon and Amber Graner.

    Linux Magazine

    This is the Not-Linux Pro Magazine, just plain old Linux Magazine. They no longer have a print edition, which ceased publication in 2008. I’m mentioning them here to (hopefully) clear up the confusion between the two Linux Magazines. It’s an excellent publication even if they don’t sell nice glossy printed pages anymore.

    Linux Format

    Linux Format is based in the UK.

  • Infrastructures
  • Desktop

    • Sheldon Cooper: Ubuntu User

      Well, if you are a Linux fan and you have not noticed, Sheldon Cooper, the self-proclaimed genius and truest nerd on The Big Bang Theory has been seen using Ubuntu.

    • A capitalist fan of commie software

      It’s a good question, I suppose. A tree-hugging leftwinger from a proud union family with an inexplicable taste for expensive Scotch single malts asked to know why, if I’m such a capitalist, I am so vocal about liking free and open source software.

      My desktop operating system has been Linux ever since 2003, when I formatted my Windows box in a fit of pique that had been brewing since sometime before Windows 3.1 was released. I tried a few variants, but quickly settled on the local distribution, Ubuntu, masterfully named and competently compiled by a famous rich kid from Durbanville in the Western Cape.

    • Linux users cry fail over ATO AUSKey compatibility

      The Australian Taxation Office is pushing the AUSkey public key infrastructure (PKI) for secure data exchange when submitting tax returns, but Linux users say they have again been left out in the cold.

      [...]

      In the case of tax returns, people can continue to use an ATO digital certificate until it expires – or it is cancelled – and then they will be forced to use an AUSkey. AUSkeys do not expire provided they are used at least once every year.

  • Server

  • Ballnux

  • Kernel Space

    • Guest Blog: Rares Aioanei: Kernel Review with openSUSE Flavor
    • New version of Linux OS includes Ceph file system developed at UCSC

      Although Ceph is still in development, it just received a big vote of confidence from Linus Torvalds, who included Ceph in the latest version of the Linux kernel (Linux 2.6.34). Brandt’s graduate student Sage Weil did much of the development work on Ceph for his Ph.D. thesis, and he has continued working on it since earning his degree in 2007.

      “Having Ceph in the Linux kernel makes it much easier for people to use, so a lot more people will be testing it now and contributing to the project,” Weil said.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • digiKam Photo Manager To Get Face Recognition

        Linux users really love Google Picasa even though it’s not a native Linux application (unpack the .deb and you’ll notice some wine.exe and other such files). Reading the comments from our “best linux photo manager / organizer” post, it seems face recognition is the feature that attracts people the most to Picasa.

        Well, it seems Google Picasa will have a serious native Linux competitor, as digiKam will be getting face detection and recognition – Aditya Bhatt made this his GSoC project and his “libface” (which will be used by digiKam) sounds amazing already…

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • A new distribution designed which communicates computers so that they can work in parallel

      This is how the first version of ABC GNU/Linux arose, which was in trial phase by April 2009. It involved a free software based distribution (Ubuntu), live as well as installable, capable of automatically configuring a cluster of up to 254 computers. Mr Castaños gives an example as to how it works: “100 PCs are purchased and my DVD is inserted into one of these and booted, either from the DVD or installed in the hard disc itself. This computer and the rest of the machines are connected together by a switch (a device that acts like a router). When the rest of the machines are booted and, using a BIOS (basic in/out system), as when specifying which device is to be booted, they are told what to do by means of the network card. All are booted from the DVD itself -or the hard disc if installed -, registered, and connections are created between them”. Any user who knows how to programme can do this; it is not necessary to know how to administer systems.

    • Trisquel GNU/Linux 4.0 Beta

      Trisquel is a fully free as in speech GNU/Linux operating system. It is based on Ubuntu, but includes only free software.

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva Linux 2010 Spring RC released

        Building on the previous beta releases, the RC is based on the 2.6.33.4 Linux kernel and features the latest GNOME 2.30.1 and KDE 4.4.3 desktops. A number of changes have been implemented in the Nautilus file manager in anticipation of the GNOME 3.0 release with the GNOME Shell. Built-in desktop applications include version 3.2 of OpenOffice.org, Firefox 3.6.3, the Chromium web browser and version 1.92 of the Transmission BitTorrent client. Other changes include use of the Nouveau driver for NVIDIA graphics hardware and improvements to the Mandriva tools, such as data encryption, parental control and network profiles.

      • Mandriva Linux 2010.1 RC1 Is Ready for
    • Red Hat Family

      • Close to the 200 Day – Red Hat

        Shares of Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT) traded at $28.26 close to its 200 day moving average currently set at $27.94. Red Hat’s price action is just above this key support level, and it will certainly raise traders attention, as a possible trading opportunity.

      • Fedora

        • Of hall monitors and slippery slopes

          For the current problem thread, at least, the real underlying issues have yet to be completely addressed. As Fedora moves toward implementing the new packaging rules, which may slow down the usual Fedora update stream, the decline in users and contributors that Kofler envisions may occur. The opposite could happen as well. Only time will tell.

        • Oh My Goddard! An Early Look at Fedora 13

          Also innovative in this release is automatic printer installation. Rather than have every printer driver under the sun installed by default, Fedora will instead detect when a printer is plugged in and automatically install the correct system drivers. Now that’s plug ‘n print! Color management will makes its mark in this release, which will allow users to adjust the color profiles on their system and adjust accordingly. This means you can match the colour of a recently scanned picture and ensure images will print correctly. This is a feature often touted on the Mac platform, and something which is sorely needed for graphical work on Linux.

    • Ubuntu

      • First details of developments in Ubuntu 10.10

        It seems possible Btrfs could replace Ext4 as the default file system in Ubuntu version 10.10, code name “Maverick Meerkat”. Developers attending last week’s Ubuntu Collaboration Summit in Brussels discussed testing Btrfs as the default file system in an alpha version of Ubuntu 10.10. Ubuntu Developer Manager Scott James Remnant assessed the likelihood of switching to Btrfs as “a one in five chance”.

      • Privacy Vs Openness; Public Interest Vs Corporate Interest

        Ubuntu

        In Ubuntu you have a product that is built by the community for the community. While Canonical is a business which underwrites a fair amount of Ubuntu’s development, by and large decisions on functionality, aesthetics and the direction of the software are all discussed and debated in the open, by anyone who wishes to participate. There is very much a democratic ethos to the software, which extends far beyond the operating system itself — people feel as though they have a real voice in the evolution of Ubuntu. Other examples of this model include Kaltura and WordPress.

      • Ubuntu 10.04 Test Drive

        I’ve been a fan of Linux for several years now. But for the past year or so, I haven’t really done much with it. Sure, I’ve had a Wubi installation running inside of Windows that I boot up occasionally, but for daily use I finally succumbed to my wife’s insistence that she simply preferred Windows. It’s not that she dislikes Linux or Ubuntu, it’s just that she is a user, not a geek. I don’t mind fighting my computer every once in a while to get it to work. She can’t stand it. Lucky for me, Windows XP had a little meltdown a few weeks back, and has been barely functional since then. I spent my requisite two or three evenings to fix it, but with no luck. Tired of fighting Windows, I decide it’s time to try Ubuntu again.

      • Ubuntu 10.4 offers many new options

        Ubuntu’s latest 10.4 release offers many new and improved features that are worth upgrading for, according to TechRepublic blogger Jack Wallen.

      • Things to do with an old computer – Feature

        The Ubuntu operating system (http://www.ubuntu.com/GetUbuntu/download) is the hands-down favourite among those who want to get their first exposure to Linux- based computing.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • HP Wants to Bring webOS to Printers

      When HP discussed expanding webOS, this probably isn’t what Palm had in mind.

    • Google TV Platform introduced

      At the Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco (USA), several leading industry players announced the development of Google TV – an open platform that merges the web and TV. It will be based on the Linux based Android platform and runs the Google Chrome web browser.

    • Mentor, NetLogic join hands for embedded Linux
    • Phones

      • O2 offers double Palm salute

        O2 is set to bring two Palm phones into its range at the end of the month.

        The Palm Pre Plus and its smaller sibling the Palm Pixi Plus will be on sale at O2 come May 28th.

      • HTC Leo (HD2) Hacked To Boot Into Linux Kernel; Android Coming Soon

        HD2 is the Windows Mobile phone that appeals WinMo, Android and iPhone lovers alike. The point that clicks is its hardware. No one likes Windows Mobile 6.5 but you have to stick to it unless it gets a Windows Phone 7 or… you know, an Android hack!

        So here’s a good news. XDA folks have been working hard to hack HTC Leo aka HTC HD2. They have a success. They have successfully booted HD2 into a Linux kernel. Though many drivers are missing (many are working too) yet but it easily displays 720p HD movies. You can’t however listen to the sound yet. Drivers and patches are expected soon.

      • LiMo

      • Nokia

        • Yahoo is expected to announce a Nokia deal

          PROJECT NIKE is allegedly the name of a joint programme between Yahoo and Nokia that will be annouced at a press conference in New York on Monday 24 May.

          The initiative is named after either the running shoe manufacturer or the Greek goddess of victory, one assumes. Various media report that the press conference will hear that Yahoo will provide applications for Nokia phones.

          [...]

          If Yahoo will provide applications for Nokia then there might be an open source element to it, since Nokia announced in April that it will use Symbian’s open source S^3 OS in its smartphones.

      • Android

        • Android 2.2: An Introduction

          Codenamed “Froyo,” for frozen yogurt, Android 2.2 includes more than 20 new features geared to enterprises, said Google’s Vic Gundotra, vice president of engineering. Among these is integration with the Microsoft Exchange messaging system, with such capabilities as account auto-discovery and linkage with the Exchange global address book. Calendar synchronization is offered as well.

        • Google unveils Froyo Android update

          Google said that the Android 2.2 software update, code-named Froyo, would be available to download on to Android-based handsets “soon”. It brings a host of new features running the Google-backed, open source operating system, including device tethering, so that laptop users can piggyback off the phone’s 3G data connection to surf the web, and full Adobe Flash support in the browser.

        • Android Gingerbread features : Version 2.3 announced

          The Android operating systems are based on Linux kernels so with ever advancement of a kernel release, the Android gets one step ahead. The Froyo, featured as Android Operating System version 2.2 is based on Linux kernel version 2.6.32 which is expected to be released shortly for commercial use. The next version of Android operating system, Gingerbread will be featured upon Linux Kernel version 2.6.33 or 2.6.34 on no longer than end of this year.

        • Next Android Update ‘Gingerbread’ Later This Year
        • iPhone vs Android? Still wondering?

          2. So far, Google hasn’t tried to censor Android applications the way Apple have been censoring their app store. I’m an adult and I really resent being told what kind of applications I can run on my phone. If someone told me what apps I could run on my computer, I’d have some choice words for them too. Applications censored have included gay content and political satire.

          3. Android is available on a wide range of devices. I had a choice between products by Samsung, Sony Ericsson, HTC and Motorola. There are phones with hardware qwerty keyboards, although most are touchscreen phones. Also, the hardware is, in many ways, better. You can remove the battery from all of them, they have room to expand the memory using Micro SD cards (the industry standard) and use the micro-USB charging socket, which means cheaper and more readily available accessories for your device. You can also get a new battery — or a second battery, even, in case you’re ever caught out.

        • Google TV is ‘un-Sony-like’

          Sony embracing an open platform like Google TV for its home electronics business is a pretty big change for the company.

          And Sony’s Chairman and CEO tends to agree. “It seems very un-Sony-like,” Sir Howard Stringer allowed at a press conference Thursday afternoon following the introduction of Sony Internet TV, the first TV with the Google TV platform. Sony’s TV will run Android OS and use Google search to allow users to browse and watch programming from the Web and from a channel service provider.

        • Google I/O 2010: Day of the Droids

          Google has lined up support from Sony, Logitech, and Intel for the Google TV initiative. That’s a start, but not nearly enough for this thing to take off. There is a lot of skepticism that anyone can pull this off, and many will wait and see before committing. It may take a while (read: years), but this one has a lot of potential. After all there are over 4 billion TV watchers out there – an audience that dwarfs even the mobile phone market. The first hardware will be on sale in time for this year’s holiday season.

        • Photos: Google I/O pitches future of web dev
    • Sub-notebooks

      • Tech.view: On the internet in a trice

        But even Google cannot claim to have the can-do consistency of Canonical. The Ubuntu developer has delivered a major new version of its flagship product like clockwork every six months. In the six years the company has been in business, it has made Ubuntu (and its many derivatives) the most popular version of Linux in techdom—and done more than any other Linux distributor to force the free operating system out of the workplace and into peoples’ homes.

        [...]

        Mr Shuttleworth is adamant that Ubuntu Light—with its rapid start-up and touch-screen capabilities—is not only for netbooks, tablets and other portable small fry. It will work just as well, he insists, on large desktop computers. That may be true. But the Unity interface seems to have been designed largely for the squat, ten-inch format of netbook screens today.

    • Tablets

      • Android tablet powered by NVIDIA and ARM A9

        At this year’s Google I/O developer conference, a new prototype tablet running Google’s open source Android mobile operating system was on display. The Foxconn-manufactured tablet is based on NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 platform and features an 8.9 inch WSVGA display (1024×600), a 1 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex A9-based processor and 1 GB of RAM – likely making the device more than capable of 1080p video playback.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • LinuxWochen Vienna 2010

      From Thursday to Saturday there was an event in Vienna held as a part of longer Austrian tour called LinuxWochen. This opportunity could not have been missed by openSUSE, so we formed a team consisting of me, Michal and Sirko.

      All three days were packed with more than 70 talks and workshops.

    • Linuxwochen Vienna

      In Germany mostly the Linux events are on universitys. The LinuxTag for example started at the university of Kaiserslautern. And in Vienna the event took place in different places in the city most city halls or other public places. This year was the event in the old city hall from the 17th century.

  • Mozilla

    • Firefox FUD not lagging

      Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got my issues with Firefox too, It still uses far too much memory and is still far too slow on startup. However, with the current Firefox 4 development plan, which is very aggressive, I just don’t see how Firefox is lagging behind anyone. Releases continue to come at a steady pace, new technologies continue to be debuted and the road ahead for Firefox continues to move forward.

    • Firefox, Chrome, Safari have finally killed Internet Explorer

      What this means, is that “we did it”. Most web applications are based on AJAX, and work on any browser. No bank will ever release an Internet Banking system that will only work on IE. Nobody can really afford to make a browser that behaves oddly, so that a web site will look “broken” on any other browser. The web will remain a well documented, free platform on which more and more people will develop. The Australian Tax Office is going to have to come up with a much better piece of software to pay your taxes online.

  • SaaS

  • Databases

    • Top 10 Enterprise Database Systems to Consider

      How far back does your knowledge of databases go — late-1980s, mid-1990s, five years ago? If so, you might not recognize some of the old timers in this list. You’ll also do a double take if you didn’t know many of them have their roots in the mid-to-late 1970s. It would be hard to argue that the database market is not mature.

  • Security

    • Security: FOSS/CSS Updates – Are They Worth Anything?

      It appears from my experience that the majority of non-technical end-users who end up with infected systems fall into the first category. The second category is a smaller group that have just been lucky to not yet have an infected PC. These two categories of users are almost all Microsoft operating system users. The latter two categories are the small group of users that are more technical and/or security conscious. The more security conscious but non-technical are usually those who have had to deal with a prior PC infection. The latter two categories rarely or never see an infection. The Open Source community of Linux users is generally more technical at this point and thus more likely to take updates seriously.

    • Metasploit 3.4 Takes Aim at Java Apps

      The Metasploit open source vulnerability testing framework is out this week with a new release boosting its exploit count and adding new Java, brute force and exploit automation technologies.

    • Over 4,500 logins uploaded to open source content site

      Chris Boyd, malware researcher at Sunbelt Software, claimed that as Scribd allows users to share written content online, converting PowerPoint, PDFs and Word documents into web documents that can be viewed through sites such as Facebook and other social networking services, it was inevitable that a scammer would decide to use such a service for foul means.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Intel Core 2, Core i7 Optimizations For GCC 4.6

      CodeSourcery, a company that works on GCC for various companies like with Texas Instruments for bringing the GNU Toolchain to new CPUs and also offers their own software development environment, has shared their intentions to provide a new set of GCC optimizations for Intel’s Core 2 and Core i7 processors.

    • PyPy: the other new compiler project

      We have recently seen a lot of attention paid to projects like LLVM. Even though the GNU Compiler Collection is developing at a rapid pace, there are people in the community who are interested in seeing different approaches taken, preferably with a newer code base. LLVM is not where all the action is, though. For the last few years (since 2003, actually), a relatively stealthy project called PyPy has been trying to shake up the compiler landscape in its own way.

    • If You Want Freedom, Don’t Use Proprietary Software [VIDEO]

      Like many heroes of the digital era, Richard Stallman is largely unsung by the general populace. Yet when it comes to user privacy and technological freedom, he’s probably one of the most committed individuals in the world.

      By freedom, he means four things:

      1. The software should be freely accessible.
      2. The software should be free to modify.
      3. The software should be free to share with others.
      4. The software should be free to change and redistribute copies of the changed software.

  • Government

    • Securing Open Source App Development

      Application developers for the state have used open source software for years, but now it has guidelines on its proper use. But how will the new policy be enforced in a state bureaucracy known for its decentralization?

      Mark Weatherford, Chief Information Security Officer, State of California

      Application developers for the state of California, like those working for other governments, have been using open source software for years. But it wasn’t till this year than the state adopted standards governing how its employees and contractors should use open source software.

  • UK

    • Government coalition document prioritises open data and open source software

      The Conservative and LibDem coalition document has some pointers on the new government’s approach to IT, with a section dedicated to IT-related policies.

      The focus is on open source software and the publication of government data and the coalition also says steps will be taken to “open up government procurement and reduce costs”.

    • Coalition gov’t plan outlines ICT contract split

      The deal, published on Thursday, includes several elements of the Conservative IT manifesto, with pledges on widening access to procurement and on open-source software.

    • Government vows to open up IT contracts

      Further measures to widen procurement access will include creating “a level playing field for open source software”, and breaking up large ICT projects into “smaller components”.

  • Guardian

  • Openness

  • Open Hardware

    • From Knock-Offs To ‘Make-Offs’

      The NYC Resistor hackerspace gave birth to Makerbot Industries, a company that produces a 3-D printer kit called MakerBot that sells for under $1,000. Featured on the cover of Make Magazine (Volume #21), Bre Pettis and his team used open-source software, the Arduino microcontroller and digital fabrication techniques to create a low-cost competitor to high-end 3-D printers that sell at $20,000 and above.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • LongTailVideo Releases The First Flexible Open-Source HTML5 Video Player

      Last week, LongTailVideo announced that they have created and released the open source JW Player in a new HTML 5 version (Beta) that features PNG skinning, Javascript API, fallback to flash and more. Perhaps this could become the new standard for sites looking to implement an open source HTML 5 video player solution.

Leftovers

  • Mobile IT Case Study: Migrating from Outlook, BlackBerry OS to Google Apps, Android

    But cost was not the only reason I switched to Google.

    As a small business we have the opportunity to be nimbler than the large competitors we face every day. Having excellent communication tools and well organized data is a competitive advantage for us — as is the ability to have shared-anytime-anywhere access to our assets. And as I evaluated our options, I considered Google Apps to be a practical and unifying move that could be done quickly with limited cost outlay.

  • The Price of that Tech Gear Is … Wrong!

    So folks, here’s my advice. Keep it simple. Better yet, make a free version available for a limited time or a limited number of users or PCs or whatever. And if you can’t put your prices online where your customers can see them, then you shouldn’t be in business.

  • The Oxymoronic Citizen Journalism

    Let’s fire a few missiles at politically correct ideas such as “Digital media makes all of us journalists”, “citizens will soon displace professional reporters”, and so on.

    That’s nonsense (I have more explicit words in mind). Does it means public input in news should be kept at bay? Certainly not. Quite the contrary, actually. Newsrooms have a challenge on their hands, they need to get better at handling such input.

  • Finance

    • The best financial reform? Let the bankers fail

      The trouble with Wall Street isn’t that too many bankers get rich in the booms. The trouble, rather, is that too few get poor — really, suitably poor — in the busts. To the titans of finance go the upside. To we, the people, nowadays, goes the downside. How much better it would be if the bankers took the losses just as they do the profits.

    • The Unbelievably Rampant Corruption On Wall Street

      In order for a financial system to be able to function properly, it is absolutely essential that the general population has faith in it. After all, who is going to want to invest in the stock market or entrust their money to big financial institutions if there is not at least the perception of honesty and fairness in the financial marketplace? For decades, the American people did have faith in Wall Street. But now that faith is being shattered by a string of recent revelations. It seems as though the rampant corruption on Wall Street is seeping up almost everywhere now. In fact, some of the things that have come out recently have been absolutely jaw-dropping.

    • Media ignores Goldman Sachs’ ties to Corexit dispersant

      In a recent New York Times’ article “Less Toxic Dispersants Lose Out in BP Oil Spill Cleanup”, journalist Paula Quinlan questions why BP is using the 100 % toxic, 54 percent effective dispersant Corexit to clean up the oil when twelve other dispersants proved more effective in EPA testing.

    • US pre-open: Economic worries persist

      Persisting worries about the economy are expected to cause another drop on Wall Street when the markets open on Friday.

      The Dow closed 376 points lower in the previous session after Wall Street took an absolute hammering as worries over bank reform, the eurozone and sliding commodity prices.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Facebook, MySpace Confront Privacy Loophole

      Facebook, MySpace and several other social-networking sites have been sending data to advertising companies that could be used to find consumers’ names and other personal details, despite promises they don’t share such information without consent.

    • Proposed Louisiana Law Would Ban Any Online Speech Intended to “Embarrass, or Cause Emotional Distress” to an Under-17-Year-Old

      The bill (HB1259) — which passed the state House of Representatives by a 78–16 vote , and has cleared the state Senate Committee on Judiciary C — would make it a misdemeanor to transmit any Internet communication or other computer communication “with the intent to coerce, abuse, torment, intimidate, harass, embarrass, or cause emotional distress to a person under the age of seventeen.” This applies without regard to whether the message is communicated to the person, to some other individuals, or to the public at large.

    • School Spy Program Used on Students Contains Hacker-Friendly Security Hole

      A controversial remote administration program that a Pennsylvania school district installed on student-issued laptops contains a security hole that put the students at risk of being spied on by people outside the school, according to a security firm that examined the software.

    • Portland attorney Mark Ginsberg fights red-light camera ticket — and wins

      Mark Ginsberg was certain he didn’t blast through a light next to Portland City Hall on Feb. 2. So he was surprised when a photo red-light camera flashed as he drove by.

      Days later, he received a $287 citation in the mail. The ticket included several photos, including one clearly showing him in the middle of the intersection. The word “red” was digitally stamped at the top of the photo, along with a jumble of letters and numbers.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Woman claims ‘Avatar’ lifted from ‘Warrior’ novel

      On Monday, Kelly Van filed a lawsuit in California district court against Cameron, Fox and producers of the blockbuster film, claiming it infringes the copyright on her 2003 book “Sheila the Warrior: The Damned.”

    • Court Allows Copyright Infringement Free For All On File Hosting Sites

      Right now, it appears that courts are willing to let file-hosting sites like Rapidshare, Hotfile, and Megaupload live in the void in the law between Grokster, Limewire, and Napster. Recently, Judge Huff of the Southern District of California denied Perfect 10′s request for a TRO against Rapidshare holding that P10 could not prove a likelihood of success on the merits. A couple of notes from the decision:

      1. Judge Huff finds that Rapidshare is not violating the 106(3) distribution right because their activity is distinguishable from Hotaling and Napster. Judge Huff reasons that because Rapidshare does not index its files, it is not making the files available in the same way that Hotaling and Napster were.

    • Copyrights

      • US Court Refuses Injunction Against RapidShare As Perfect 10 Gets Legal Theories Rejected Yet Again

        Amusingly, the ruling came out just a day before a bunch of US politicians tagged Rapidshare as one of the worst copyright offenders out there, and suggested sanctions should be made against Germany for not stopping Rapidshare. Funny, then, that a US court also doesn’t seem to think Rapidshare is breaking copyright law…

      • FP Tech Desk: U.S. judge slams Canada’s Isohunt over copyright infringement allegations

        As Canadian politicians in Ottawa prepare to launch new copyright legislation next week, Canada’s most notorious file sharing Website is facing increasing legal pressure from legal authorities in the United States.

        On Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Stephen Wilson in Los Angeles issued a permanent enjoinment against Gary Fung, the Richmond, B.C. owner of Isohunt, one of the largest BitTorrent search engines on the Internet.

      • Did Warner Bros. pirate antipiracy technology?

        Warner Bros. has been sued for stealing an antipiracy technology patent.

      • Newzbin has been shut down

        The outfit lost a court case brought against it by the Music Publishers Association (MPA), which wanted it shut down because it helped people find copyrighted material. Newzbin owes the MPA £230,000 just in interim costs before the judge awards damages. Apparently it also owes a software development house over £500k.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – DITNS – IMAGE Satellite (1/4/2003)


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