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08.25.10

Links 25/8/2010: MeeGo Call for Proposals (Last Day), More Sub-notebooks and Tablets With Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 5:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • My Linux Computer is Acting Weird

      But here comes the most remarkable thing: my computer, regardless of the quantity of viruses I store in my USB drive (if I decide not to delete those files, of course), keeps WORKING, unaffected by the frightening threats! Now, that is TRULY WEIRD. Why would a person want to have a computer like mine, that is invulnerable to the scourge of USB viruses?

      I turned to my student and said to him: “You think that my keeping of the USB viruses is weird. Well, they are harmless in my computer. I believe it’s weirder to know that these viruses can destroy your OS and you, as a meek sheep, simply accept to live with that condition”.

      I saw something sparking in his eyes as another student asked me to help him install Linux in his computer.

    • HeliOS Project Gets Local Support

      The HeliOS Project, a well-known non profit that builds computers for disadvantaged kids, has caught the attention of 2 local business men.

  • Server

    • A Cluster In Your Pocket

      Sometimes there are ideas that won’t go away. The other day, the Linux Magazine publisher asked me about a “cluster of smart phones.” As the processors in cell phones continue to get more powerful, the question is actually worth asking because many smart phones only need to be smart part of the time. Cluster HPC mavens are always looking for latent CPU cycles, why not check your pocket.

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • ATI Catalyst 10.8 For Linux Brings OpenGL ES 2.0

        Last month the Catalyst 10.7 driver for ATI Radeon/FirePro graphics cards brought Eyefinity support to consumer-grade graphics cards after it had been available within the Windows Catalyst drivers for months. Meanwhile, the Windows version of Catalyst 10.7 brought OpenGL ES 2.0 support so that web browsers can take advantage of it for accelerating HTML5 rendering and WebGL. While the Catalyst 10.7 for Linux release went without this support, it’s been added to the just-released Catalyst 10.8 build.

      • Apple’s Enhanced OpenGL Stack Versus Linux

        While our primary focus at Phoronix is on providing Linux benchmarks, we do enjoy trying out and benchmarking other operating systems like FreeBSD, Solaris, and Mac OS X. When Apple originally launched Mac OS X 10.6 “Snow Leopard” we were the first to provide detailed Mac OS X 10.6 benchmarks compared to Mac OS X 10.5 and also how Apple’s new operating system at the time compared to Linux. We have continued to monitor the performance of Snow Leopard and found that some point releases had introduced some regressions and we have compared the performance of Mac OS X 10.6 to Windows 7 and Ubuntu 10.04 LTS. With Apple’s release last week of the “Snow Leopard Graphics Update 1.0″ that is reported to bring “stability and performance fixes for graphics applications and games in Mac OS X”, our interest was piqued and we set out to run a new set of Apple OpenGL benchmarks. In this article we are looking at the OpenGL performance of Mac OS X 10.6, 10.6.2, 10.6.3, 10.6.4, and 10.6.4 with this graphics update installed.

      • Now You Can Run Wayland From Mainline Mesa

        The work going into Mesa the past few months that will eventually be released as Mesa 7.9 continues to get more exciting. There’s many improvements and new features in Mesa and Gallium3D for the 7.9 release and the latest feature was brought this morning by Kristian Høgsberg with merging support for the EGL_MESA_drm_image extension.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KPackageKit = new UserInterface;

        KPackageKit 0.6.1 has received lots of love regarding it’s user interface, last KPK (KPackageKit) was released 5 months ago, after that release I decided to work on things that were also upsetting me like printer-manager (my last post), well it was a good exercise although I couldn’t make printer-manager for KDE SC 4.5 (due not being able to add printers yet). And because of that KPK got abandoned for a while (my mailbox had more than 1000 of bug emails), this was definitely good.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Thoughts on Sabayon Gnome 5.3

        After having a horrible experience with certain distribution (maybe the version number didn’t help much) I was desperate to install anything else, so it was either Ubuntu 9.04, which I remember left me quite pleased plus it is still maintained and it should have got better with age, or Sabayon 5.3 Gnome. I was going to install PCLinuxOS 2010 Gnome Zenmini but Fed…. the distro I was using couldn’t even burn a cd properly. I gave the buring process a second chance with Ubuntu 9.04 but this time the drive wouldn’t even get recognized. So I opted for Sabayon with unetbootin, which luckily it worked.

      • Spotlight on Linux: Parsix 3.6 (RC)

        Parsix GNU/Linux is a great little distro hailing from the exotic lands of Persia. It features a lovely customized GNOME desktop and lots of handy applications. It reminds folks of Ubuntu in many ways and is often described as a nice alternative to Ubuntu.

        Parsix made its debut soon after the first release of Ubuntu and long before Ubuntu reached any measurable level of popularity. This is why its resemblance to Ubuntu may be coincidental, but this resemblance is so strong that one can’t help but think its intentional. Regardless, earlier incarnations featured the same orangy-brown theming and later, around version 1.0, it looked very much like Ubuntu Studio. These days, with version 3.6rc, it looks like Ubuntu again and their attempt to slightly mimic Mac OS X. Whatever the developers’ intentions, Parsix always appears polished and unobtrusive.

      • Dell Vostro V13 review

        One reason the V13 would work well as a notebook you use for most employees – even including developers and artists – is that the system is streamlined for getting work done. It is remarkably thin, at just 16.5mm, so it has a low profile. There’s aluminium plating and hinges made from zinc to add durability. The notebook weighs just 1.6kg so it has a pick-up-go quality that’s ideal for mobile users, yet has the specs of a full notebook with a powerful enough processor and 4GB of RAM.

        One slight complaint is that, when testing the system, it is a little too easy to accidentally brush the mousepad, situated as it is directly under the space bar. Type too fast or without much accuracy and you may find your mouse jumps to a different location in OpenOffice. Other notebooks, such as recent Toshiba models, position the mousepad a bit farther away from the space bar to avoid stray finger swipes.

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Red Hat heads into the clouds, not into an acquisition

          Get over it people. Red Hat is not getting acquired anytime soon. I know, I know, you’d heard all the rumors. Here’s the truth as I see it: If Red Hat gets acquired anytime soon, I’ll eat my fedora. It’s not happening.

          What is happening, as Paul Cormier, EVP of Red Hat, announced this morning is that Red Hat spelled out more about its cloud strategy. Sorry, I know that’s not a tenth as exciting as an acquisition, but it’s just not in the works right now.

        • Is 10 years of RHEL support still sufficient ?

          Almost exactly a year ago, I posted a blog article titled Is 7 years of RHEL support still sufficient ?. In that article I make the case that with RHEL major releases moving from 1.5 years to 3 years and virtualization reducing the importance of hardware life cycles, RHEL support should be extended beyond 7 years.

        • Fedora 14 alpha gets ROOT

          On the security front there is new SCAP (Security Content Automation Protocol) support built-in which is a huge bonus for Fedora in my opinion. I saw a session on the new tech at LinuxCon a few weeks back and I was blown away by it.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu 10.10 Alpha: Slouching Toward Ubuntu GNOME

          Many of the other features of the Maverick alpha are simple version changes of standard features and applications, such as the GNOME and KDE desktops, or the Linux kernel. Still others are changes in default applications, such as the replacement of F-Spot with Shotwell. For the most part, though, such changes have minimal effects on the Ubuntu menus’ content or order. If you know earlier versions of Ubuntu, you are unlikely to have much trouble navigating the Maverick menus.

        • Natty Ubuntu release

          It’s just under two months to go to the release of Maverick Meerkat, the October release of Ubuntu, and Mark Shuttleworth has named its successor.

          The Ubuntu chief this week formally named the release scheduled for April 2011 as Natty Narwhal, continuing the tradition of alliterative animal names. Natty Narwhal follows such names as Maverick Meerkat, Lucid Lynx, Karmic Koala and Jaunty Jackalope.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Pocketbook 302 eBook Reader review

      OS: Linux derivative

    • New QorIQ SoCs feature datapath acceleration

      Freescale Semiconductor announced three new Linux-ready, PowerPC-based QorIQ system-on-chips (SoCs) incorporating the company’s Data Path Acceleration Architecture (DPAA) technology. The single-core 800MHz P1017, dual-core 800MHz P1023, and quad-core 1.2GHz P2040 processors all offer the DPAA programming model, which is said to accelerate packet parsing, classification, and distribution, says the company.

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • MeeGo Extends Call for Proposals

          MeeGo Community Manager Dawn Foster announced that the call for proposals for the first-ever MeeGo Conference had been extended to August 26.

        • MeeGo at the crossroads

          If any good is to come out of Oracle suing Google over Android, the one to benefit could be MeeGo, the Intel-Nokia joint-venture mobile operating system.

          Oracle’s threat against the search giant for its alleged use of patented Java technology could, if it succeeds, open the way for MeeGo to jump into the mobile market more fully. And right now MeeGo could do with a boost.

        • Intel and Nokia pick MeeGo for mobile 3D research

          Nokia, Intel and the University of Oulu have opened the newest branch of Intel Labs Europe, which will be dedicated to researching compelling new mobile user experiences — particularly in 3D. The “Intel and Nokia Joint Innovation Center” will be “well aligned” with the MeeGo open source platform launched earlier this year, the companies said.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Acer supplying advance Chrome OS netbooks to Google?

        A discovery late Monday has revealed that Google may already be testing Acer-made netbooks running Chrome OS. An “Acer ZGA” system has surfaced in a Linux kernel changelog that would be consistent with Aspire One netbooks made by Quanta and which has shown in Google’s own bug trackers for the open-source version of Chrome OS, Chromium OS. The details found by Macles make clear references to Intel’s 1.66GHz Atom N455 and a SanDisk pSSD for storage.

      • Dual-core Atom for netbooks finally breaks cover

        Ironically, Intel appears to have been pushed into releasing a dual-core processor for netbooks by AMD, which originally had little interest in the netbook market at all. The latter’s dual-core, 1.3GHz Athlon II Neo K325 was released earlier this year as part of AMD’s 2010 AMD ultra-thin platform, and has since been employed by Acer, Gateway, and, most recently, Dell (in the Inspiron M101z pictured below).

    • Tablets

      • Multi-touch tablet will run Linux, Android

        The Belgian company Point Net announced a ten-inch tablet that is available now with Linux, with an Android version promised for the future. The Dune has a resistive touchscreen, 1.67GHz Intel Atom N450 processor, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a 3G cellular modem, according to the company.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Why Open Source/Free Software Rocks!

    I believe that having access to code, being able to extend other’s ideas, and being able to combine code accelerates the art of computing through a form of evolution.

  • Fork me? Fork you!

    The scenario goes like this. Open source develops a popular project. Proprietary company buys it out. Open source worries what proprietary company will do with open source project. Proprietary company assures open source that nothing will change. Open source applauds proprietary company. Proprietary company scales back on open source project. Open source complains. Proprietary company cuts communication. Open source becomes angry and now hates proprietary company.

  • Dreamwidth Studios: Bringing the Corner Store to Open Source Publishing

    Starting with a Fork

    Paolucci, who manages business and non-programming volunteers, says that FOSS has “resonated” for her since she first encountered it in the early 1990s. However, her first direct experience came when she was hired in 2001 as community manager for LiveJournal.

    [...]

    Only two years old, Dreamwidth is still in rapid development. For the rest of 2010, the goal is to improve the tools for posting and searching for content. Paolucci herself is also focusing on a survey of other blogging platforms to ensure that Dreamwidth’s features are competitive, and on adding media hostings “for people whose creativity lies in areas other than text. Other goals include improving usability and accessibility.

    But, most of all, Paolucci hopes that Dreamwidth can preserve its spirit of openness as it matures. “When we started Dreamwidth, we went into it with the idea that we never wanted to be Wal-Mart; we always wanted to be the Mom and Pop corner grocery story, where everyone knows who we are and knows that we’re doing this out of love,” Paolucci says. “That spirit has served us incredibly well so far, and I hope we never lose it.”

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • 10 Compelling Reasons to Switch to Opera from Firefox

        When it comes to innovation, Opera leads on many fronts (which we will be discussing today) but it hasn’t seen the success it deserves. It is a remarkable browser, which is still not too familiar to regular Internet users, but it should be praised.

  • SaaS

    • OpenStack Community Update

      It’s been four weeks since the launch of OpenStack, and we’ve been amazed by the response. A huge thank you to the developers who have been working tirelessly to move the OpenStack Object Storage and Compute projects along at a rapid pace, and to the commercial supporters who have been rallying around an open source cloud alternative.

    • Marten Mickos defends honor of Ubuntu’s Koala food

      Marten Mickos – the former MySQL chief executive who now heads build-you-own-cloud outfit Eucalyptus Systems – has defended the Eucalyptus platform against recent criticism of both its “open core” model and its ability to scale beyond a relatively small number of servers.

      His comments come as Eucalyptus releases a new incarnation of its open source platform, which exists alongside the company’s for-pay enterprise platform. Version 2.0 of the open source Eucalyptus is designed to, yes, improve the platform’s ability to scale.

  • Government

    • Aussie Govts don’t know how to buy open source

      Open source offers a diverse range of applications which are robust, feature-rich and compliant with current standards. Indeed, the government has publicly recognised its benefits for years. For example, the 2005 release of the Guide to Open Source Software for Australian Government Agencies notes that “[Open Source] has the potential to lead to significant savings in Government.”

      Despite the potential benefits, however, government uptake of open source is surprisingly low. Why? Because government purchasing practices inadvertently hinder the procurement of open source. Government purchasing guidelines favour business models that build closed systems and apply lock-in tactics over the sharing and collaborative business practices used by open source communities.

  • Licensing

    • “Which Open Source Licence” Is The Wrong Question

      The debate over the demise of “Open Core” has led to a reprise of “which open source license is best” arguments again. But the real driving force is not the licence; it’s the equality of participants.

      Various commentators are beginning to pick at the threads of the rediscovered collaborative model for open source now that the “open source bubble” is being superceded. This is a return to what many of us regard as “real open source”(the co-development of software by a community of people who align a fragment of their self-interest in order to do so, using their software freedoms under an open source license and open governance).

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Five questions about open innovation with Stefan Lindegaard

      Another common view on open source within the open innovation community is that open source is very much about co-creating as well as co-owning what is being developed in order for everyone to benefit. This is definitely not the case with the leading open innovation companies. They try—some better than others—to set up partnerships that create true win-win situations, but the leading open innovation companies are much more focused on their own benefits than the overall benefits for a larger society.

    • Building a positive meritocracy: It’s harder than it sounds

      In Young’s book, standardized testing and other ranking systems are essentially coded systems of enforcing class differences. The genius of the meritocracy, Young asserts, is the way it reinforces the values of the ruling classes by declaring what comes easily to them to be “of merit,” thus building their sense of entitlement. They are successful because they are at the top and define what is important for success.

      Meritocracy provides the enticing possibility for upward mobility and the illusion of equal opportunity. Someone born with the right set of gifts, plus a good bit of ambition, can rise in a way that would have never been possible in an aristocracy. (The converse unfortunately holds true; someone without those gifts is left with a general sense of hopelessness.)

Leftovers

  • [Tfug] OT: Election update and plea for help…

    Basically, we caught Maricopa County elections in a felony today – cross-wiring the central tabulator to a non-secure laptop owned by Sequoia Voting Systems, complete with cellular modem card in there and live. And I couldn’t get a picture. Need a micro-cam of some sort to get the proof. See also my affidavit filed with our attorney today.

    Remember: by law, the central tabulator system on what’s supposed to be an isolated local network is completely unpatched – it’s not allowed to be modified in any way since the day it shipped in 2006 or 2007. Even if the Sequoia tech didn’t cross-connect the cellmodem to the Ethernet (and both appeared to be live), he could have easily “pwned” the “secure” systems with any number of ancient script-kiddy exploits.

  • The great university con: why giving degrees out willy-nilly doesn’t actually help the economy

    So predictable, so rote is the newspaper coverage of exam season that I can only presume editors of mid-market newspapers have to sit their own A-level on how to report them. Shots of exuberant blondes jumping up and down clutching their results? That gets you a basic pass. Fancy-that story about an Asian lad with top grades in maths and science – even though he’s only 10 and in all likelihood faces an adolescence of Belmarsh-style bullying? Now you’re up to a B. Oh, and the conviction that university is the best place for any 18-year-old? Bingo: you’ve scored the A* required for a place at Associated Newspapers.

  • Which do you think is the most evil tech company these days?
  • Health

  • Security/Aggression

    • Airport Scanner Technology Mounted On US Gov’t Vans To Scan What’s In Nearby Vehicles

      Already thought those full body scanners at the airports were a bit much when it came to privacy? How about having government officials sitting in a van next to you scanning your car as you drive by with the same basic technology, without you even knowing about it? Jay points us to the news that a version of the same backscatter x-ray scanner technology found in airports has also been sold to the US and other governments to mount on vans to scan nearby vehicles to see what’s inside. Apparently, the company has sold 500 of these already.

    • The Government’s New Right to Track Your Every Move With GPS

      Government agents can sneak onto your property in the middle of the night, put a GPS device on the bottom of your car and keep track of everywhere you go. This doesn’t violate your Fourth Amendment rights, because you do not have any reasonable expectation of privacy in your own driveway – and no reasonable expectation that the government isn’t tracking your movements.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Greenpeace mobilises as firm strikes oil in Arctic

      A British oil firm will tomorrow announce that it has struck oil off Greenland, a find that could trigger a rush to exploit oil reserves in the pristine waters of the Arctic.

      Cairn Energy, the first company to win permission to drill for oil in this sensitive environment, will break the news to the London stock market along with its half-yearly financial results.

      The company declined to comment tonight, but sources confirmed that hydrocarbons had been found, and Greenland’s foreign office said it was hopeful Cairn would have something positive to reveal.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Nokia Siemens slammed for supplying snoop tech to Iran

      An Iranian journalist imprisoned in that country without trial since June 2009 is suing telecommunications concern Nokia Siemens for allegedly providing the surveillance equipment that led to his capture.

      Isa Saharkhiz went into hiding following Iran’s 2009 presidential elections, after publishing an article branding the Grand Ayatollah as a hypocrite who was primarily responsible for vote tallies widely regarded as being fraudulent. According to a complaint filed in federal court in Virginia, officials with the Ministry of Intelligence and Security in Iran tracked him down with the help of cellphone-monitoring devices and other eavesdropping gear provided by Nokia Siemens.

    • Iran bans mention of opposition leaders in press

      Iranian newspapers have been banned from publishing the names or photos of the leaders of Iran’s green movement, according to a confidential governmental ruling revealed by an opposition website.

      The move is part of a new round of censorship, which follows the recent closure of a newspaper and the suspension of two magazines.

    • WikiLeaks founder cleared of sex allegations

      WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange no longer faces sex abuse charges in Sweden after a prosecutor decided Wednesday to investigate only one of two complaints against him, and not as a sexual offense.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Android antipiracy cracked, Google says devs used it wrong

      In a report published by the Android Police blog, third-party Android application developer Justin Case explained how pirates can circumvent the LVL protection mechanism by using a simple decompilation tool. He says that applications using LVL can be disassembled and patched to make them consistently appear to have passed the validation check. Once patched, users can simply sideload the application package onto an Android device and use it without paying. Users don’t even need to root their devices in order to run the pirated software.

      He believes that it would be possible to build a tool that can automatically patch applications that use LVL, rendering the system ineffective. Despite the weaknesses of LVL, he acknowledges that it is an improvement over previous antipiracy systems for Android software and is currently the best solution available for the platform.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Not welcome in this town

      After trademarking the phrase “Welcome to Parry Sound,” Nick Slater, owner of an Internet service provider in the Ontario town, began invoicing local groups using the greeting on their websites, among them the Town of Parry Sound, the Bobby Orr Hall of Fame (which the town, the hockey great’s birthplace, owns), and the non-profit Parry Sound Snowmobile District. When the $1,000 invoices persisted, the recipients consulted a lawyer, who advised them not to pay. Undeterred, Slater brought a $23,000 small-claims suit against the snowmobile club and threatened the town with the same.

    • Copyrights

      • The Costs of Ownership: Why Copyright Protection Will Hurt the Fashion Industry

        It’s worrisome to think about the frivolous litigation that such legislation could introduce (that’s not exactly what our over-taxed court system needs right now) as well as the ethical problems associated with conferring an arbitrary right of ownership to any Joe Blow who decides to lay claim to a certain combination of design features which used to belong to the public domain.

        Right now, designers pore over vintage magazines and patterns and visit museum archives in order to find inspiration for the next season’s look, cherry picking design elements that feel fresh and in line with the current zeitgeist. It’s a refreshingly open process unhindered by legal consultations. Those archives could become battlefields where litigants try to find evidence to support their assertion that a design is or is not unique. The geeky librarian in me is worried that some powerful people may attempt to limit access to particularly rich collections of design history and some unscrupulous types may destroy or hide rare materials that prove that their new design isn’t as unique as they claim.

        The scope of items that the bill intends to protect is larger than you probably think. It’s not just ornate red carpet gowns: it also includes coats, gloves, shoes, hats, purses, wallets, duffel bags, suitcases, tote bags, belts, eyeglass frames and underwear. I can only imagine the lengths to which some companies with deep pockets will go to lay claim to an exclusive right to an iconic popular design.

        The sad thing is that just about everyone will suffer (well, except for lawyers). Consumers will pay higher prices (someone has to pay those legal fees) and they won’t have the same access to the plethora of knock-offs that allow them to participate in global fashion trends without paying aristocratic prices. Designers who can’t afford legal counsel will worry about being accused of copying and they probably won’t be able to sue if someone copies them because, well, litigation is expensive.

      • Anti-Piracy Campaigns Fail, People Keep Downloading

        For as long as Internet file-sharing has been considered a problem, copyright holders and their respective anti-piracy groups have been mobilizing with campaigns they hope can reduce the phenomenon. Despite the efforts, downloading continues unabated. Against the law? One in four in Denmark certainly don’t.

      • Treating Houses Like Copyright… And Then Securitizing And Selling Off The Revenue From Future Resales

        Reader Mark points us to another article about this attempt to contractually create a resale right for homes. This article has a lot more details about the plans, put together by an financial firm called Freehold Capital Partners (which the last article called a Texas company, but is now referred to as a New York company — which is interesting, given that the last article also noted that Texas law probably prohibited this practice). However, this article notes that the whole plan is prefaced not on actually giving the builders a cut of all future sales, but (of course) to securitize and sell off the potential future revenues to investors. Forget securitizing mortgages, now we’re talking about securitizing a bizarre contractual resale right that means you have to pay some random investors any time you sell certain houses. Yikes.

      • Stevie Nicks Claims The Internet Destroyed Rock; Seems To Think You Need A Record Label

        First of all, I’m not quite sure what rock and roll and “social graces” have to do with one another. But the rest of her comment reveals an amusing misunderstanding of what is actually happening with “the kids trying to make it in this business today.” You see, many of them are realizing they don’t need a major label to become successful any more, and they celebrate when they get dropped from a label, because it means they can take control over their own business models and actually do things that make fans happy, rather than piss them off. And many of those things involve using the internet to help create, promote and distribute works, while also building up a strong, loyal and committed fan base. The internet hasn’t destroyed rock at all. It’s destroying the old gatekeeper system that kept so many out before.

      • Entertainment and Hypocrisy

        It’s the KDE logo! Disney animators are using Free Software on their desktops! Disney affirms our rights under the General Public License! After all, if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for the rest of us, right?

        Wait a minute. I thought the MPAA opposed my right to use my computer as I see fit. Wasn’t that the whole point of encrypting DVD’s, so that I couldn’t watch a movie without a properly locked, licensed and blessed DVD-playing program? Yeah, a whole lot of good that did. So here is a question for Disney et al…

        If Free Software is good enough for your movie production companies, why is it not good enough for us, their customers?

Clip of the Day

Samsung Galaxy Tab in the wild


Links 25/8/2010: OpenSSH 5.6, Inkscape 0.48

Posted in News Roundup at 6:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Introducing Windows users to Linux

    Like many current Linux users, I once used Windows exclusively. Luckily, I learnt that there are alternatives that are just as good, if not better. When I started using Linux, I was constantly surprised as I unfolded its many impressive features. I quickly became a Linux enthusiast, passionately presenting it to friends and family. Unfortunately, I learnt the hard way that there are many things that can get in the way of a smooth transition, resulting in frustration and eventual rejection by the potential new user. I would like to share some of my thoughts and experiences here, so that anybody reading can avoid them.

  • Server

    • Virtualization Through Thick and Thin

      Back in the good old physical server days, you bought a server system, added disks to it and, after a time, when you came close to filling those disks, either you added more disks or replaced them with larger ones. Times have changed in the virtual world. You can still provision a static disk (Thick provisioning), which is typically much too large for the workload and any reasonable amount of growth. But, you do it to prevent that middle-of-the-night ‘disk is full’ call. With thin provisioning, you don’t have to worry about that call anymore. Or, do you?

  • Themes

    • Top 20 Bright Wallpapers For Ubuntu

      Cool bright wallpapers collection most wallpapers including Ubuntu logo, or kinda related to Ubuntu and another different distributions based on it, such as ” Kubuntu, Lubuntu “. All bright wallpapers looks great specially on bright themes.

    • Conky Colors Gets A Beautiful New Cairo Mode, Elementary Theme

      Conky Colors – a script to easily configure Conky with lots of built-in options -, added some cool new features recently: cairo mode (–cairo) and a new theme: Elementary.

    • GNOME Shell Themes Now Have an Equinox Variant

      GNOME Shell is a component of GNOME 3.0, the next generation of the GNOME desktop environment scheduled for release in March 2011. We did introduced Sonar, Elementary and Ambiance GNOME Shell themes before and we have one more to showcase, Equinox GNOME Shell theme.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Top 20 Apps for GNOME Fans

        With this in mind, I’ll highlight twenty great applications I like to use on the GNOME desktop.

        1) Geany – Gedit, among other GTK text editors, are all fine and dandy. But what about when you want something with a bit more kick to it? Geany is a lightweight Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that provides all the functions of a good text editor, in addition to features one might find with similar alternatives. The big features here include code folding and syntax highlighting.

  • Distributions

    • Linux distro focuses on audio recording

      Trinity Audio Group announced an upgrade to its Linux-based “audio operating system,” with an improved user interface, the real-time kernel 2.6.31, and a player that lets users change the speed of a song without altering pitch. “Transmission 4.0″ is available as a download, on a USB stick, or preloaded on a netbook or ultra-mobile PC (UMPC), the company says.

    • Gentoo needs you! A few things that would definitely be useful
    • Reviews

      • Alpine Linux 2 review

        Alpine Linux is a distribution designed primarily for use as a router, firewall and application gateway. The latest stable version, Alpine Linux 2.0, was released last week (August 17, 2010). This review is the first for this distribution on this site, and also marks its first listing in the Firewall & Router category.

      • Lightweight Distro Roundup: Day 7 – Impressions So Far

        Will I switch to a lightweight distro myself? Not likely, I am a pampered boy right now – it is way to cool to be able to have a moving globe wallpaper on my secondary monitor and a world map on my primary, both moving with the sun too!

        Am I confident that Elzje and I will find a distro for Grandma’s old clunker of a PC? YES!

        In fact, if we were to stop this experiment right now we would probably go with Linux Mint LXDE or maybe Xubuntu.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat: Will SAP Acquire Linux Leader?

        Rumors are swirling that SAP may acquire Red Hat. But does it make sense for SAP — the German software giant — to open its wallet and buy Red Hat, which is pushing beyond Linux to promote open source middleware and virtualization? The VAR Guy’s answer: A potential SAP-Red Hat combo makes sense. Here’s why.

        First, a disclosure: The VAR Guy owns about $5,000 worth of Red Hat stock. Our resident blogger believes in Red Hat’s long-term business strategy regardless of M&A chatter.

      • Red Hat’s Matthew Szulik to be Honored at NCTA “0021” Awards
      • Fedora

        • Btrfs in Fedora 13 – Interview with Josef Bacik

          So Btrfs is not the default for Fedora 13?

          Oh no, its not ready for primetime yet. It’s still very much an experimental fs that is under heavy development. A lot of the key features are there, but a lot of stabilizing and such needs to be done still

        • First pre-release version of Fedora 14

          The most profound change is a behind the scenes switch to systemd, an alternative to sysvinit and upstart released in May. Lately Fedora has been using upstart to launch the system and services, but has continued to use sysvinit scripts. The current state of systemd development and background information on the state of integration into Fedora is summarised by Lennart Poettering, the main developer behind systemd, in a post on his blog. In discussions on systemd on LWN-net, he has stated that faster booting is just one of many objectives for systemd – some systems boot significantly faster with systemd, whereas others see little difference.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 207

          * N-imal?
          * Join the fun at the Ubuntu Global Jam
          * Welcome New Ubuntu Members
          * Ubuntu 10.04.1 LTS released
          * 10.10.10.10.10…..
          * Gestures with multitouch in Ubuntu 10.10
          * Ubuntu Translations Interviews: Ricardo Pérez (Spanish Translation Team)
          * Ubuntu Stats
          * LoCo News
          * Ubuntu One Technical Aspects
          * Thankyou, Debian
          * Planet KDE Update
          * Beginners Team
          * Ubuntu at the Creative Arts Charter School
          * Getting Started with Ubuntu 10.04 Second Edition released
          * UbuCon at Ohio LinuxFest
          * In The Press
          * In The Blogosphere
          * Multi-touch Support Lands in Maverick
          * Canonical Announces the Release of uTouch for Ubuntu OS
          * Interviewing Mr. Gwibber (Ryan Paul)
          * Geode Driver Update
          * Puppy 5.1 codename Lucid is out- Now is compatible with Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx package
          * Oracle puts OpenSolaris to rest
          * KDE & GNOME cross-desktop development
          * OpenLuna – An Open Source Project Aimed at Returning Humankind Back to the Moon
          * Ohio LinuxFest Schedule
          * Featured Podcasts
          * Weekly Ubuntu Development Team Meetings
          * Upcoming Meetings and Events
          * Updates and Security
          * And much much more!

        • Interview with Ubuntu IRC Council Member – Jussi Schultink

          Today I am speaking to Jussi Schultink. Jussi is an active Ubuntu Member as well as and Ubuntu IRC Council Member. Thank you Jussi I really appreciate you taking the time to speak with me and share your thoughts on being an IRC Council member and more.

        • Rethinking Canonical’s Ubuntu Business Strategy

          If you’d asked us in 2007 or 2008 to summarize Canonical’s grand strategy, our answer would have centered around beating Red Hat and Novell on the Linux server front. But fast forward to the present and a lot has changed. That’s why it’s time for a reevaluation of Canonical’s goals and future, and its relationship with other major players in the Linux ecosystem.

          For a long time, Ubuntu’s success as a traditional server platform seemed crucial to Canonical’s viability. While the desktop version of Ubuntu has fueled the distribution’s enormous popularity within the Linux community, it was hard to imagine Canonical becoming self-sufficient without competing head-on with Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE and other major commercial server-oriented distributions.

        • Meerkat’s Software Centre gets a background…
        • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Keep the “Linux” out of it Please

          Android and Ubuntu are arguably the two largest Linux success stories to date. Ubuntu with its soaring success over other Linux-based desktop solutions and Android with its seemingly single handed domination of the mobile market.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Nepal estimates its overall OLPC costs

        Rabi Karmacharya runs OLE Nepal, the local team in charge of implementing the current project in Nepal (with 2100 children and teachers at 26 schools). Today he posted an estimate of the total cost of their XO project — $77 per child per year. This includes network connectivity, school infrastruture, teacher training, repair, content creation, and administrative overhead for the project.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

    • WebM codec ‘outperforms’ H.264

      Videoconferencing specialist VideoPort has conducted some tests which should give Google’s WebM video codec a shot in the arm – demonstrating, as they do, that in certain scenarios the open source codec can outperform the proprietary H.264 codec.

      According to the company’s tests, the WebM codec – previously known as VP8 when it was being developed by On2 Technologies before the company was bought by Google and the codec renamed and the codec released under an open source licence – surpassed the performance of the popular H.264 video compression codec in high bit-rate scenarios on their video conferencing platform.

    • The New Browser Wars: Chrome vs. IE vs. Firefox

      Video in particular has been a thorny tangle of legal issues over what video codecs to support natively, with each browser picking a different approach and the HTML 5 spec not officially supporting any one of them.

    • Mozilla

  • SaaS

    • Take your desktop to the cloud with eyeOS

      Why settle for different web-based applications when you can have a full-blown cloud-based desktop, offering a complete solution for daily computing? If a personal cloud desktop appeals to you, then eyeOS is exactly what you need…

  • Oracle/SCO

    • [Oracle cartoon]
    • Some lessons from Bruce Steinberg

      Bruce Steinberg was the best Linux Journal reader I ever had, qualifying on the grounds of correspondence volume alone. His letters to this one editor were always long, and always thick with good humor, good advice, and rich history. Bruce was a Unix/Linux geek of the first water, and worked for many years at SCO, long before that “brand” was shamed at the end of its life. He was also a veteran of the rock & roll world, and knew more about the band Tower of Power than most people know about life. (It mattered to us both that the band, at the time traveling under another name but using the same horn section and singer Hubert Tubbs, played at our wedding.)

    • Illuminating the Illumos Project

      Though the Illumos Project is a community-driven project directed by an independent team, it does have a lot of corporate cheerleaders. One of these is Nexanta Systems, Inc. In fact, the Illumos project was announced in early August 2010 at a Nexanta facility in New York City by Nexanta engineer Garrett D’Amore. What interest does Nexanta have in Illumos? Nexanta is a popular enterprise network data storage solutions company that used OpenSolaris extensively. They prefer to provide clients with completely open solutions that prevent vendor lock-in. They had a vested interest in OpenSolaris, hence they have a vested interested in seeing that some sort of open sibling of Solaris thrives moving forward. I find it to be a very likely scenario that Illumos will end up being far more popular than OpenSolaris ever was because the veil of uncertainty will be removed. There will no longer be the inherent FUD associated with an upstream vendor whose commitment is questionable. Nexanta is a major sponsor of the Illumos project, but they do not direct the project. This independence will be one of the keys to Illumos’ success.

  • Project Releases

    • OpenSSH 5.6 Released into the Wild
    • Inkscape 0.48 lined up and released

      In 2009, the Inkscape Node tool was rewritten as part of a GSoC project and the subsequent changes have been incorporated into the core of Inkscape for further development; for example, in the new multipath editing. The text tool now allows users to control line, letter and word spacing, horizontal kerning, vertical shifts and character rotation while adding support for superscripts and subscripts; this work was funded through Linuxfund.org.

  • Government

    • IT: Municipality of Modena removing vendor dependency office tools

      The Italian municipality of Modena is well on its way to become independent from a major IT vendor for its office productivity tools, reports Laura Seidenari, instructor at the city’s IT department.

      The city council of Modena has installed OpenOffice on about 1500 of its 1600 workstations. The city started replacing the proprietary office tools in January 2008. Seidenari says this has helped save the city some 250.000 Euro on licences for proprietary software.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • So you think you can open source

      Street dancing also shares an obvious parallel with the principles of open source. B-boys develop their moves through collaboration and barter. This effort most often occurs in the open public, and the final product is usually available for free (or a donation to the “crew”). Choreography, on the other hand, is a partnership between a writer (literally a “dance writer”) and highly-trained artists. The partnership can be stunning, moving, and even political. But unlike street dancing, choreography takes place outside the public gaze and descends—deus ex machina—onto the stage to a very entertained audience. There is no doubt that choreographed dance is beautiful.

Leftovers

  • Security/Aggression

    • Rustock botnet responsible for 40 percent of spam

      More than 40 percent of the world’s spam is coming from a single network of computers that computer security experts continue to battle, according to new statistics from Symantec’s MessageLabs’ division.

      The Rustock botnet has shrunk since April, when about 2.5 million computers were infected with its malicious software that sent about 43 billion spam e-mails per day. Much of it is pharmaceutical spam.

    • Users are still idiots, cough up personal data despite warnings

      The authors approached the issue with a simple question: what motivates people to reveal personal information on the Internet? Understanding the phenomenon could go a long way towards explaining everything from blogging to phishing victims, but the authors chose to focus specifically on whether people would hand over embarrassing personal information, including sexual habits and illegal acts. After several rounds of tests, they conclude, “A central finding of all four experiments, is that disclosure of private information is responsive to environmental cues that bear little connection, or are even inversely related, to objective hazards.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Free That Tenor Sax

        Copyright laws are designed to ensure that authors and performers receive compensation for their labors without fear of theft and to encourage them to continue their work. The laws are not intended to provide income for generations of an author’s heirs, particularly at the cost of keeping works of art out of the public’s reach.

        The Savory collection, like other sound recordings made before 1972, is covered by a patchwork of state copyright and piracy laws that in some cases allow copyrights to remain until the year 2067. Congress needs to bring all these recordings under the purview of federal copyright law, which generally applies during the lifetime of the author or musician plus 70 years. That time period has been criticized as too long, but is unlikely to be changed because it is part of a global trade treaty.

      • File-Sharing Lawyers To Face Disciplinary Tribunal

        A law firm that says it has made more than £1 million by sending threatening ‘pay or else’ letters to alleged file-sharers in the UK, will now face a disciplinary tribunal. ACS:Law, believed to be the most complained about law firm in its field, has been referred to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. This is the second time in front of the tribunal for principal Andrew Crossley.

      • Lawrence Lessig’s new journey (part two)

        I think I was a surprised as anyone when I heard that Larry Lessig was stepping away from Creative Commons. It seemed like a sudden change of direction, because Lessig has been a vocal advocate for freedom and choice for so many years. But as I hear Lessig describe his journey from Creative Commons to Change Congress, I’m reminded of Daniel Okrent’s history of the prohibition movement in the United States, “Last Call”.

Clip of the Day

Free Software in Ethics and in Practice Manchester, UK 2008


08.24.10

Links 24/8/2010: Ubuntu Clusters at Google, New GNU/Linux Releases

Posted in News Roundup at 6:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Server

    • What Google’s Data Center Can Teach You

      These clusters all run a Google-optimized version of Ubuntu Linux, according to Google’s open source programs manager Chris DiBona in a 2010 presentation at OSCON, an open-source developer conference. The company uses a wide variety of open-source programs that create the Google search engine and applications many of us use every day.

    • Cut Costs by Using Linux Appliances for Branch Offices

      It’s not that Linux isn’t expensive. It sometimes is. But if a department or a branch office just needs one or two specific server jobs, there are plenty of obsolete PCs and easy-to-set-up, special-purpose Linux servers that can fill the bill for little or no cost.

      Linux answers these needs because companies like Novell, rPath, and network security vendor Vyatta offer dedicated Linux appliances for specific jobs. These Linux distributions, instead of giving you everything, give you just enough to fill a particular need.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Articulating IRC Contributions Concisely

          Today I had a call with Jussi from the Ubuntu IRC Council. We spent some time discussing a range of different topics, but then Jussi raised an important question which I think could benefit from some community discussion.

          Today we have many methods of providing free support for our users – the Ubuntu Forums, Launchpad Answers, Ubuntu StackExchange and of course IRC. With each of the web resources there is a method of identifying those who are providing a significant and sustained contribution when providing support by checking their account profiles.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • Nokia and Intel team up on open-source mobile 3D

          Nokia and Intel are teaming up again, this time to bring 3D interfaces to mobile devices.

          The pair are following up their shared work on the MeeGo mobile operating system with a 3D-focused research project at the University of Oulu in Finland – making it the most northern of Intel’s 22 research labs.

          “3D and virtual worlds have the potential to improve mobile and internet interfaces,” said Mika Setälä, director of strategy alliances and partnerships at Nokia.

      • Android

        • Android: Making Small Things Big

          Android is an operating syst em for mobile devices. This does not only mean cellular phones but also tablet computers and netbooks. Android gives its users a complete package – an operating system, middleware and key mobile applications.

        • Now we have to jailbreak our Android phones, too

          Meanwhile, Google has made ominous common cause with Verizon in the policy arena, saying that it’s OK to toss out network neutrality — the idea that carriers shouldn’t discriminate on the basis of content — on mobile networks. Add it all up, and Google’s retreat is distressing.

    • Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Streams of Thought: WebM Strategies for the Hacking Crowd

    Given the nature of code modification in the open source and free software movements, this type of software tends to stay in beta or in developer-preview status much longer than the typical proprietary software code.

    Between code tweaks and full branches, modifications can muddy the code. The Google-sponsored WebM project is not much different from the typical open source project, with three exceptions: Google is throwing its financial muscle behind it, it has a long list of work items on the road map, and the company has tagged the current release as a developer preview, with a full release sometime in the future.

  • Open source ECM firm introduces apps store

    The newly-launched Marketstore is in preview mode at the moment, but according to Nuxeo’s chief marketing officer Cheryl McKinnon, it will be ready for full launch in September. The company has upgraded its dashboard to make management and control of the apps even easier to handle.

  • Open source tools at heart of DARPA’s virtual satellite network

    Open source software and algorithms will play a key role in the next stage of development for the military’s advanced virtual satellite system that promises to replace monolithic spacecraft with clusters of wirelessly-interconnected spacecraft modules.

    The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) will next month outline the key technologies it wants to develop to build its Future, Fast, Flexible, Fractionated, Free-Flying Spacecraft or System F6 satellites. The System F6 is intended deploy what DARPA calls “fractionated modules” of current all-in-one satellites. For example, each module would support a unique capability, such as command and control, data handling, guidance and navigation, payload. Modules could replicate the functions of other modules as well. Such modules can be physically connected once in orbit or remain nearby to each other in a loose formation, or cluster, harnessed together through a wireless network they create a virtual satellite, DARPA stated.

  • TECH KNOW: Free software for a small office

    But before you pay another kobo to Microsoft or another software publisher, consider whether you can use a free or open-source application instead. Just about every commercial application you use on a daily basis has an open source alternative.

  • OpenStack cloud fluffer does VirtualBox

    According to a blog post by Mark Collier, vice president of business and corporate development at Rackspace, Ewan Mellor (a coder from Citrix Systems) has tweaked the OpenStack Compute cloudy infrastructure fabric so it can now support the XenServer hypervisor, and Justin Santa Barbara, a programmer who hails from database-as-a-service provider FathomDB, has added support for Oracle’s open source VirtualBox hosted hypervisor.

  • BBC Red Button Team Announces Open Source Release of its MHEG+ Interactive TV Toolkit

    In a posting on its Internet blog, Monday, by Mark Hatton, a senior software engineer from the BBC’s TV Platforms Group, the BBC Red Button team announced the open source release of its MHEG+ toolkit under the Apache 2.0 license.

  • MHEG+ toolkit gets Open Source release

    David Cutts, director of leading MHEG developer Strategy & Technology said the company would be contributing a number of overseas extensions to the Open Source pool. “We think having tools for MHEG out there is a good thing,” he told Broadband TV News.

  • Wireshark reigns among the sea of network sniffers

    Organizations seeking a reliable ally to help defend the network should seriously consider enlisting Wireshark, a free, open source network protocol analyzer that has been around since 1998. Created by Gerald Combs and worked on by hundreds of contributing developers, this tool has been the go-to soldier in the trenches for tens of millions of network troubleshooters and the envy of almost every other open source program.

  • Whamcloud to Put New Sheen on Lustre

    Whamcloud Cofounder and CEO Brent Gorda still is waiting to sign the dotted line with his company’s first customer. Given the popularity of the open source Lustre project, he is sure that will only take a bit longer to achieve.

  • Events

    • Registration Opens for ApacheCon North America 2010

      The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) and Stone Circle Productions today announced the opening of registration for ApacheCon North America, taking place 1-5 November 2010 at the Westin Peachtree in Atlanta, Georgia.

    • FOSDEM 2011 dates confirmed

      The eleventh annual Free and Open Source Software Developers’ European Meeting (FOSDEM) will take place on the 5th and 6th of February, 2011 in Brussels, Belgium. According to the conference organisers, FOSDEM is the largest free, non-commerical event that’s organised by and for the community. Its aim is to provide a place for all free and open source developers to meet. Preparations have already started and a call for Developer Rooms (DevRooms) and speaker suggestions will be sent out soon.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

    • Standards and Open Source for Cloud Computing

      OpenStack and Apache Deltacloud have similar goals – building lightweight REST APIs that allow cloud provider access via an HTTP network. OpenStack is more focused on public cloud service providers and Deltacloud is more focused on private clouds.

    • Apache’s Cassandra Adds Column Data Analysis

      Cassandra is an open source project sponsored by the Apache Software Foundation to push forward the development of the key value store, NoSQL system. Jonathan Ellis, who founded the project while working for Rackspace, was the keynote speaker at the Cassandra Summit held at San Francisco’s Mission Bay Conference Center Aug. 10. Current uses of Cassandra include Facebook, Digg, and Twitter, which stores 15 million tweets a day in Cassandra.

    • More Open Source Cloud with Apache Nuvem?

      The wiki page also talks about the need for a common API to help avoid vendor lock-in when moving between cloud implementations. As with Deltacloud and libCloud, it seems that Nuvem will target Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). It is interesting to note that according to the submitters, there is a prototype under development which uses Tuscany, the Apache SCA implementation. So perhaps this effort will go some way to answering the questions around SOA and its relationship to Cloud.

  • Databases

    • MongoDB Update Adds Scale Out Features

      10gen, the company behind the MongoDB open source code project, added automated sharding to Release 1.6 on Aug. 5 and has been airing the feature in interviews and webinars since.

  • Oracle

    • Oracle and open source

      So I was a little amused to see the Oracle logo pop up when I ran the latest updates of two programs that I use quite a bit, OpenOffice.org and VirtualBox, on my Linux-based PC at home.

      The two open source programs, of course, went to Oracle as part of its $7.4-billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems last year, along with Java, Solaris and MySQL. At the time the deal was announced, questions swirled around the fate of these projects, given that Oracle’s open source credentials were somewhat less benevolent than Sun’s.

    • Oracle takes over JavaOne conference

      Next month’s revamped JavaOne conference, the first under Oracle’s jurisdiction, will feature a keynote presentation from Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, as well as the latest on Java technologies ranging from the GlassFish application server to the JavaFX rich media platform.

    • Oracle forms new ‘axis of evil’ against open source, claims Adobe

      The lack of love Oracle has shown for the “open source culture of Sun [Microsystems]” since Larry Ellison’s company bought the MySQL database firm earlier this year has unnerved many in the FOSS world. And McAllister couldn’t resist putting the boot in about the whole sorry affair.

  • CMS

    • Open Source CMS Made Simple Reaches One Million Downloads

      Currently up to version 1.8.2, the recent releases have consisted of bug fixes and polishing to improve the experience for users.Version 2.0 will pack in a lot of new features including a code rewrite to improve speed and scalability, improved API with jQuery implementation, new templates and PHP 5.2 support.

    • Gluster’s Open Source Storage Solutions Selected by Acquia

      The company aims to offer running on Amazon Web Services (News – Alert) (AWS) on its Drupal website hosting with this agreement. Similar to Apache, Linux and MySQL, Drupal is a LAMP stack

    • Acquia releases Drupal Commons open source social software suite

      Hawes says other open-source Enterprise 2.0 tools have been around, but this one has a better shot because it’s been designed as a complete platform to replace the proprietary products currently available. “There have been a few open-source collaboration tools available, but none formulated specifically as a community platform. The availability Drupal Commons should fuel additional growth for social business in general.”

    • e107 open source CMS version 0.7.23 Released
  • Healthcare

    • VA investigates VistA EHR open source

      The RFI recognizes pros and cons with open source adoption. Open source’s attractive qualities include greater innovation caused by collaboration with the open source community, improvements in capabilities, and broader proliferation of common EHR software, the RFI states.

      [...]

      Responses to the RFI are due by 1 p.m. on August 25.

  • Business

  • Government

    • Tech roundup – August 20

      Mr Muckleston said he wasn’t part of those negotiations, and was now looking forwards – to the 2012 negotiations.

      Here’s a tip for the New Zealand Government – investigate open source. Subsidised is good, but there’s potential for taxpayer money to be saved with completely free software. Open Office is Microsoft’s worst nightmare.

    • Cost is only part of the Gov 2.0 open source story

      Acknowledging the limits of open source savings is key to ongoing use. It’s all about managing expectations: If I expect 100 percent savings and your open source solution only offers 50 percent, I won’t be pleased. But lead with the real story and show me the other benefits and maybe I’ll commit for the short- and long-term.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Army intelligence buys intelligence like Netflix?

      Everyone knows that the U.S. government collects and produces intelligence, using information from sensitive Tippy Top Secret sources to the lowliest “open source” material found readily on the Internet. When it comes to translations and unique databases — from the scientific to the most intrusive personal information — the intelligence community also has virtual carte blanche to tap the expertise of the private sector.

    • Curriki: Bringing the open source model to education

      So says Scott McNealy, whom you may be more familiar with from his time leading Sun Microsystems. He spends time these days proslytizing for his labor of love, Curriki, a nonprofit repository/community/social network that seeks to gather the best educational materials in one spot for educators, parents and students to use.

    • Fighting for students, 2 professors go straight to source

      About a year and a half ago, White met with a representative from the open-source textbook website Flat World Knowledge. White adopted a textbook from the site, which gives students free online access, the option to buy a PDF version for about $25 or a discounted paperback copy.

    • Lifting the veil of secrecy surrounding development of new medicines

      Called open-source drug discovery, the new approach involves an online community of computer users from around the world working together to discover and develop much-needed new drugs. It could lead to inexpensive drugs to treat a wide variety of diseases, including tuberculosis and malaria, that claim a huge toll in developing countries.

    • Lifting the veil of secrecy surrounding development of new medicines

      The upheaval in traditional practice would make key data available to college students, university professors, and others in an open, collective process.

    • Open Hardware

      • GardenBot Brings Geek Power to Green Thumbs

        For less than $200, Frueh has created a garden automation system called GardenBot that uses open source hardware (such as the Arduino) to monitor humidity, temperature and soil conditions. The data is then poured into charts so you can view the world as the plants see it, he says.

      • Crudbox Turns Any Gadget Into an Electronic Sequencer

        It is an open-source project based around an Arduino microcontroller–an electronics prototyping platform popular with music artists and those making multimedia projects like the Crudbox.

      • Roboteers go open source

        The open source robot, called Qbos, was developed by the Thecorpora, which started the project five years ago. Roboteer and open source developer, Francisco Paz started working on Qbo to help bring robot technology and artificial intelligence to the masses. While he didn’t name a price for Qbo, we’re betting that it cost a bit less than the £700,000 price tag for one of Honda’s Asimo robots.

Leftovers

  • AMD Finally Honours the Netbook

    Other moves by OEMs to push the borders of what is a netbook should mean the netbook market will be revitalized. AMD’s chips set to arrive in 2011 could make 2011 a great year for netbooks. I still think ARM will continue to expand its role because the smaller instructions and instruction-set mean less bandwidth to and within the CPU. The same thing applies to internal storage. You need less if your code is more dense. There is nothing sacred about x86 instructions and ARM does not carry that baggage.

  • Science

    • Richest Planetary System Discovered

      Astronomers using ESO’s world-leading HARPS instrument have discovered a planetary system containing at least five planets, orbiting the Sun-like star HD 10180. The researchers also have tantalising evidence that two other planets may be present, one of which would have the lowest mass ever found. This would make the system similar to our Solar System in terms of the number of planets (seven as compared to the Solar System’s eight planets). Furthermore, the team also found evidence that the distances of the planets from their star follow a regular pattern, as also seen in our Solar System.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Bank Settlements: Judges Take A Stand, Shift Focus To Individual Responsibility

      Jed Rakoff has been called many things: a maverick, a prosecutor, a hero, and acerbic. As a judge on cases involving high finance, his rulings have often been described as blunt and sometimes wry. When asked if he’s anti-Wall Street, he once suggested that some prosecutors fear he’s pro-Wall Street.

    • Two Top Investigators Leave Financial Crisis Commission

      Two senior staffers have quietly left the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, a panel working under a tight deadline that has been dogged by rumors of discord among key personnel.

      Matthew Cooper, a former journalist who joined the FCIC as a senior adviser, left the unit Aug. 13. Bradley J. Bondi, counsel to the Securities and Exchange Commission who joined the financial crisis investigation as an assistant director and deputy general counsel, left Aug. 6. Neither immediately returned emails or phone calls seeking comment.

    • Wonkbook: Fed split on more action; new fees on mortgage lenders; school overhauls delayed

      The Federal Reserve’s monetary policy body was split down the middle on its latest decision. Meanwhile, the Obama administration is leaning toward financing federal support for mortgages through fees on lenders. And despite the administration’s push, school overhaul plans in many states are not being implemented in time for the new school year.

    • AIG repaying nearly $4 billion in federal loans

      In its single biggest repayment of bailout loans so far, American International Group Inc. said Monday it is paying back nearly $4 billion in taxpayer aid with proceeds from a recent debt sale.

      The insurer’s aircraft leasing company, International Lease Finance Corp., completed the sale of $4.4 billion in debt. AIG will use more than $3.9 billion of the proceeds to repay the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, trimming the balance on its credit line with the Fed to about $15 billion. Adding interest, the total is about $21 billion.

    • Overestimating the Safety of Bonds

      Most of us invest in bonds or bond mutual funds to keep our principal safe and to earn a bit of income. People think bonds are safe because when you buy an individual bond, like a U.S. government bond, you have a stated interest rate and a known maturity. In other words, you know exactly what income you will earn and exactly when you will get your principal back, much like a certificate of deposit at a bank that is backed by the F.D.I.C.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • True stories of bloggers who secretly feed on partisan cash

      Katie Couric once described bloggers as journalists who gnaw at new information “like piranhas in a pool.” But increasingly, many bloggers are also secretly feeding on cash from political campaigns, in a form of partisan payola that erases the line between journalism and paid endorsement.

      “It’s standard operating procedure” to pay bloggers for favorable coverage, says one Republican campaign operative. A GOP blogger-for-hire estimates that “at least half the bloggers that are out there” on the Republican side “are getting remuneration in some way beyond ad sales.”

      In California, where former eBay executive Meg Whitman beat businessman Steve Poizner in a bitterly fought primary battle in the campaign for governor, it sometimes seemed as if there was a bidding war for bloggers.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Jennifer Aniston’s Representatives Threaten Gawker For Showing Her [Allegedly] Sans Photoshop

      However, it appears that some Hollywood types still haven’t quite figured this out. Apparently Jennifer Aniston’s representatives are threatening to sue Gawker because the site dared to post an image that it claims is a pre-Photoshopped photo of Aniston, which her people insist are doctored. Either way, Gawker is standing up for its fair use rights, and as this is the story, it seems entirely newsworthy to publish the image in question….

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • EPUB: The final barrier for Kindle Adoption

      Frankly, I really don’t understand why Amazon would leave this out of their current generation of devices. I can understand why they would want to continue with AZW and their own DRM for content sold on their own store, but frankly, Amazon doesn’t sell every electronic book that you can possibly buy.

      I may want to go buy specialized content from say, O’Reilly, or Cisco Press, Pearson Education, and any other vendor doing educational books, which are all adopting the industry-standard EPUB format, which was established by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF). And yes, I do realize many of these vendors also provide content in PDF format, which the Kindle can read, but lets face it, PDF isn’t exactly an efficient format for electronic books.

      Amazon’s competitors, Barnes & Noble, SONY and Apple have embraced both DRM-free and DRM-enabled versions of EPUB.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Ticketmaster Says People Don’t Like Service Fees Because We Don’t Understand Them

      If you follow the music business, you probably already know about or follow Ticketmaster boss Irving Azoff’s Twitter feed, which he kicked off earlier this month by calling two different reporters “jerks,” and generally jousting with some of his critics. He went quiet for a bit, but caused a bit of a stir over the weekend by announcing (sort of) that Ticketmaster had “full disclosure pricing.” Considering just how much hatred there is towards Ticketmaster’s “service charges,” this certainly picked up some attention.

Clip of the Day

html5 != css3 rant


Links 24/8/2010: Red Hat Takeover Rumour, Fedora 14 Alpha is Out

Posted in News Roundup at 11:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Nirvanix SDN delivers speed, flexibility

    CloudNAS is mounted directly into the Linux filesystem. It’s possible to use the CloudNAS system to encrypt (using AES 256-bit) but it’s not convenient.

  • Server

  • Google

    • Google to charge Chrome extension devs a registration fee

      A Chrome rival noted the paper trail aspect of the new registration fee, too. “Someone pointed out the $5 registration fee for Chrome Extension Gallery creates a paper trail, which is a good point,” said Mike Beltzner, director of Firefox, in a Twitter message Thursday.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Talking KDE and openSUSE with Jos Poortvliet

        Well, if you look at what GNOME 3 is attempting — we did that with the KDE Platform 4. Clean up the technology and introduce new interface and infrastructural technologies. They however took a very different approach. We redesigned our infrastructure but tried to build a familiar desktop on top. The current, default Plasma desktop, while fundamentally much more flexible, still follows the traditional panel setup. GNOME introduces GNOME Shell, a much more revolutionary desktop interface, but with far less flexibility. Of course these differences make sense — the GNOME developers had an entirely different vision with their Shell than the Plasma Developers. GNOME wanted to offer the best user experience possible, according to their design. Plasma is a technology to build user experiences… The Plasma Netbook and Plasma Mobile interfaces are examples of those and you could build a GNOME Shell like interface in a reasonably short time. Someone might do that at some point…

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Frugalware 1.3 Gets the Linux Kernel 2.6.35
      • Parted Magic 5.3 Comes with Linux Kernel 2.6.34.5

        An updated Parted Magic has released. Parted Magic 5.3 comes with several updated packages, but also brings some changes. Parted Magic is no longer released as a USB Zip file version and a GRUB4DOS ISO is no longer being made available.

      • Parted Magic 5.3 improves memory usage

        The 5.3 maintenance update is based on the 2.6.34.5 Linux kernel and features various adjustments that improve overall memory usage and several updated packages, including the latest 7.0 release of the open source TrueCrypt disk encryption tool. Other package updates include version 2010.8.8 of the NTFS-3G read/write driver, FreeType 2.4.2 and version 1.17.1 of the BusyBox tool collection. The UNetbootin utility for creating LiveUSB systems has been updated to the latest 471 release.

      • Lunar Linux 1.6.5 Includes Linux Kernel 2.6.35.3

        Lunar Linux 1.6.5, codenamed “Mare Ingenii,” has been released, the latest version of the source-based Linux distro. The new release brings a new Linux kernel and support for the EXT4 filesystem as well as hybrid ISO.

      • Transmission, a Specialized Audio Operating System for Mobile Music Making, Available Now as a Download

        Trinity Audio Group Inc.’s audio operating system and professional music recording software, designed for the Pro Audio crowd, releases it’s most mature version to date. Linux’s open source component makes it possible to offer free updates for life. Newest version 4.0 available as free upgrade for all existing customers.

      • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 111

        The following Linux-based operating systems have been announced last week: Trinity Rescue Kit 3.4, Ubuntu 10.04.1 LTS, Parted Magic 5.3, Lunar Linux 1.6.5 and Frugalware 1.3. In other news: Canonical announced that Ubuntu 10.10 will support gestures with multi-touch; the Debian Project celebrated its 17th birthday; the KDE Project announced the KDE Plasma Mobile Tablet edition; Mark Shuttleworth announced Ubuntu 11.04 a.k.a. Natty Narwhal; the GNOME Project released the first beta version of the upcoming GNOME 2.32.0 desktop environment; Canonical uploaded the Ubuntu 11.04 release schedule; Google launched Linux video and voice chat plugin for GMail; RHEL 3 gets three-year optional support program. The weekly ends with the video clip of the week, the latest updated Linux distributions, and the development releases.

      • Tor 0.2.2.15-alpha released

        Tor 0.2.2.15-alpha fixes a big bug in hidden service availability, fixes a variety of other bugs that were preventing performance experiments from moving forward, fixes several bothersome memory leaks, and generally closes a lot of smaller bugs that have been filling up trac lately.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Calls Purchased on Red Hat (RHT)

        Shares of Red Hat Inc. (NYSE: RHT) are higher on the session by 2.21%, currently trading at $33.26. The stock has been moving largely higher over the past six months and is nearing its 52-week high of $33.99.

      • Red Hat takeover talk heats up ahead of press conference

        The Hatters continue to report strong profits and revenues, thus continuing to stoke the takeover talk.

        Given the recent surge in high-tech mergers and acquisitions, such as the $1.5 billion battle between Dell and HP over 3Par, and big firms looking to diversify, why wouldn’t Red Hat be a promising target?

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 14 Alpha release notes

          As always, Fedora continues to develop and integrate the latest free and open source software. The following sections provide a brief overview of major changes from the last release of Fedora. For more details about other features that are making their way into Rawhide and set for inclusion in Fedora 14, refer to their individual wiki pages that detail feature goals and progress. Features for this release are tracked on the feature list page.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu 11.04 Developer Summit Event Has Been Announced

          Today we are very proud to announce the Ubuntu Developer Summit event for Ubuntu 11.04, where the entire Canonical development team and members of the Ubuntu community gather together to share knowledge, discuss and design the next version of the Ubuntu operating system!

          “The Ubuntu Developer Summit is the seminal Ubuntu event in which we define the focus and plans for our up-coming version of Ubuntu. The event pulls together Canonical engineers, community members, partners, ISVs, upstreams and more into an environment focused on discussion and planning.”

        • Microsoft Market Share Squashers to present at Ohio LinuxFest’s Ubucon

          Jorge O. Castro, External Project Developer Relations for Canonical, will be speaking about Low-Hanging Fruit of the juicy software variety. Jorge works with getting really hard bits to integrate with Ubuntu, recently and namely Google Voice with video support. He will show us how we can all help by packaging and bug fixing. Yummy.

          Next will be the outstanding Amber Graner of Ubuntu User magazine. She will discuss how it is possible to contribute to Free software, even if you are not a developer. Amber knows because she has done it all without compiling a single code or hacking a single kernel. You go girl.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • RoweBots Releases Unison Operating System Version Five with IAR Systems Development Tools

      The Unison Operating System offers an ultra tiny embedded POSIX environment for ARM Cortex-M3 microcontroller (MCU) based development that is also Linux compatible.

    • IGEL integrates IBM 5250 client to offer customers direct access to Mainframe IBM Power Systems

      IGEL Technology today announced that it has integrated the IBM 5250 client into its Linux thin client firmware to provide IBM users direct access to IBM Power Systems™ such as the AS/400, iSeries and System i™.

    • IGEL Adds 5250 Emulation to Linux Thin Clients

      IGEL added 5250 support to its Linux distribution, called IGEL Linux, in April with IGEL Linux release 4.03.1. IGEL Linux is available on all five major thin client offerings, including its UD2, UD3, UD5, UD7, and UD9 series. The company gets its terminal emulation technology from Ericom.

    • RoweBots’ Linux compatible RTOS for Actel’s SmartFusion FPGAs

      RoweBots is providing its Linux compatible RTOS named Unison for Actel’s SmartFusion FPGA mixed signal FPGA devices.

    • iPhone Drone: Parrot Quadricopter Features Augmented Reality

      The Parrot iPhone Drone aka AR.Drone is a very clever quadricopter that is controlled by your Apple smartphone (iPod Touch & iPad), the AR.Drone has a very powerful Linux platform computer that can detect targets, which gives you a great gaming experience.

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • Leak allegedly shows Nokia N9, could be first MeeGo phone

          Pictures have surfaced in a Chinese forum that reportedly show a prototype Nokia handset. Rumored to be the N9, the device closely resembles the N8 but has a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. The most compelling aspect of this leak is that the device appears to be running the MeeGo Linux platform rather than Symbian.

          Nokia recently confirmed that its first MeeGo-based product will launch this year, but the company hasn’t officially revealed any specific details about the form factor or other characteristics. It’s possible that the leaked photos of the alleged N9 handset offer the first real look at Nokia’s upcoming MeeGo product.

        • Nokia, Intel say MeeGo software off to good start

          Nokia and Intel said on Tuesday their venture to create a new cellphone software, seen as crucial for Nokia to re-assert itself as the leading producer of high-end handsets, had made a solid start.

        • Mobile 3D planned for MeeGo Linux

          Amid much talk of paradigm shifts, Heikki Huomo, director of the University’s Center for Internet Excellence, co-founded by Nokia, said: “We are starting the research and we believe we are able to find new use paradigms beyond the current use paradigms.”

        • Review: Nokia N900 – the ultimate Linux phone?

          At first glance the N900 seems impressive. It has a 600MHz Arm Cortex CPU, 256MB of ram and 32GB of onboard storage, with a high resolution, crystal clear 3.5in screen. Naturally, it also has all the basics for a smartphone of this calibre, which means 3G, Bluetooth 2.0, USB connector, and 802.11g wi-fi. The N900 even has a built-in FM transmitter for listening to your music over your car stereo wirelessly. But does this combination make for a decent phone and a usable netbook?

      • Android

        • Motorola Milestone to get Android 2.2 in Europe and Korea in late Q4, Dext 2.1 upgrade looking bleak

          Until now, Milestone owners could do nothing but to envy Droid users rocking the Froyo upgrade; however, according to Motorola’s recently published timeline, the former device is now slated for the same dessert party in Europe and Korea in Q4 — specifically, “beginning at the end of this year,” which could well mean the majority of users won’t get the update until 2011 (!). Meanwhile, said upgrade is still “under evaluation” for Canada, Latin America, Mexico and Asia-Pacific sans Korea.

        • Android big winner as smartphone sales increase 50%

          In the fifth spot, sales of smartphones based on Microsoft’s Windows Mobile stayed at 3.1 million units, with market share dropping from 9.3% to 5%.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Jolicloud 1.0 – Another Installation

        I won’t be using it much, because “social networking” is not a significant part of my personal activity. But I will keep it in mind for systems I prepare for others. If you do use Facebook, Twitter, and such, and you want to use Linux, Joliclouc might be just what you are looking for.

      • Acer spills the beans unwittingly on Chrome OS netbook specifications

        No idea on pricing or a roll out date, but the progress reports seem to indicate that “sooner” is a better bet than “later”.

    • Tablets

      • Allgo Embedded Systems unveil $50 STAMP tablet

        Remember the $35 tablet that the Indian government promised to deliver? While it is a good year away from its targeted delivery date (which can change at a moment’s notice, mind you), Bangalore-based Allgo Embedded Systems has come up with a prototype of their own tablet which is touted to cost approximately $50. Yes, the STAMP tablet will be Android- or Linux-powered (to keep the costs down, and with the rising popularity of the open source operating system, why not?) while featuring a 7″ touchscreen display.

      • Archos will showcase five Android tablets

        WHY HAVE ONE when you can have five seems to be Archos’ approach with the announcement today that it will showcase Android-based “Internet tablets” with screen sizes from 2.8-inches to 10-inches.

Free Software/Open Source

  • 11 Biggest Open Source Success Stories That is Changing The World As We Know It

    GNU/Linux is probably the biggest thing ever happened with Open Source. Richard Stallman, founder of Open Source movement, spearheaded a project to build a “complete Unix-compatible software system” based entirely of free software(free as in freedom).

    Project was called GNU(GNU is Not Unix). During the same time Linus Torvalds built a Kernel(which is otherwise known as the heart of an opearting system) and made it Open Source. He named it Linux. The Linux kernel and GNU tools(libraries, compilers, text editors etc) combined to become GNU/Linux operating system(popularly known as ‘Linux’).

  • AdroitLogic Open Sources the High Performance and Lightweight Enterprise Service Bus – UltraESB

    AdroitLogic Private Ltd. announced today that it is open sourcing the code of its Enterprise Service Bus the UltraESB, under the GNU Affero General Public License. The UltraESB first announced in January, becomes the first Open Source ESB to claim support for Zero-copy proxying of requests with Java Non-blocking IO and Memory Mapped files to support extreme levels of performance.

  • Oracle

    • The Five Winners of Oracle suing Google

      When Oracle sued Google over its use, or as Oracle would have it, Google’s misuse of Java intellectual property in Android, the first questions were why and what did Oracle hope to gain?

      My only pet theory is straightforward and simple: Oracle wants to skim big-bucks from Android. But, even if a miracle happens and Oracle wins every one of their claims, we’re still talking years before Oracle sees a single red-cent.

      [...]

      3) MeeGo: MeeGo, the Intel-Nokia open-source Linux for devices, doesn’t have the cash to give Larry Ellison a big present, but this group owes him one too. I think that MeeGo, which uses the traditional Linux desktop development tools instead of Android’s Java-based interface, now, has a real chance to get some of the smartphone market. Before Oracle’s lawsuit, the best I’d hoped for MeeGo, given Android’s popularity in smartphones, was to carve out its own niche. I thought it might do well, for example, with car entertainment and navigation systems. Now, I think it has a real shot in phones as well.

      4) Patent Litigators: Some people have said that Oracle is acting like a patent troll. I disagree. Patent trolls sit on patents and wait for someone to mistakenly spend money building something from a forgotten idea and then jump on them to rip them off for millions. Oracle makes billions by actually creating software; it’s just that the company would like to make a few hundreds of millions by jabbing Google in their soft IP (intellectual property) belly as well.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Free Software pioneer Richard Stallman to lecture at SJCET

      Software freedom activist and founder of the GNU Project Richard Matthew Stallman will deliver a lecture on ‘Free software and your Freedom’ at the St. Joseph’s College of Engineering and Technology (SJCET), Pala on 9 September 2010.

  • Project Releases

    • The Inkscape Community Announces 0.48 ReleaseThe Inkscape Community Announces 0.48 Release

      After 9 months of development, Inkscape 0.48 is out. This version of the SVG-based vector graphics editor brings a new Spray tool, multipath editing, superscripts and subscripts in text, as well as numeric control of text kerning, tracking, rotation and more, several new extensions for web developers and first take at adaptive user interface.

    • OpenSSH 5.6 released

      OpenSSH 5.6 has just been released. It will be available from the mirrors listed at http://www.openssh.com/ shortly.

    • Inkscape 0.47

      The open source community has worked hard to develop apps with professional-level features. One of the shining examples is Inkscape, a free drawing application that uses X11, a way to run Linux apps on the Mac without a lot of trouble. When you start Inkscape, X11 loads automatically. The menus do not match the Mac’s normal user interface but when you save files, they are saved to the Finder.

Leftovers

  • Security/Aggression

    • Sweden to investigate Wikileaks rape allegations

      Sweden’s prosecution service was urged to investigate if an employee had colluded to smear the founder of the Wikileaks website just days before he planned to use the country’s internet infrastructure to publish confidential US military material.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • BP accused of secrecy with Gulf oil spill database

      Transocean, the owner of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig used by BP, has accused the British oil firm of withholding key data including computerised records and digital measurements. BP denies the accusations.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Sorry, you can’t open that book here

      Every content industry bounds into digital media vowing not to make the same mistakes of the music industry, an industry which spent a decade setting the global standard for “doing it wrong”. Ironically, the music industry has been slowly getting its act together – with a few exceptions – in recent years, while the books business, the film studios and the TV companies have doddered in, acting like they want to make it as hard as possible for anyone to enjoy their content and giving the impression that they really hate their customers.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Did The RIAA Just Destroy Its Own Argument Concerning Innocent Infringement?

        That seems to undermine the claims that of course people knew it was illegal, doesn’t it? Not surprisingly, the Sherman interview is chock full of other bizarre statements. Even just this one little quote is pretty funny with him trying to somehow redefine the lawsuits as a successful PR strategy. Of course, if they were actually successful in educating people, then wouldn’t there be fewer people accessing unauthorized music today than when they started? Of course, the exact opposite is true. The rest of the article is filled with similarly laughable attempts by Sherman to pretend that the RIAA’s strategy over the past decade has been successful, rather than a complete disaster that has helped the major record labels speed up their own demise.

      • Looming copyright crackdown could stifle Internet users, researchers, academics say

        Teachers and students across Canada are trying to stop what they say is an attempt by private industry to cash in on research in the digital age, the consequences of which, they say, could radically redefine how research is conducted in and outside academia.

        The case will be heard this fall in front of Canada’s Copyright Board and is expected to highlight the complexities of updating an analog-era copyright law to cover works for an academic community that’s adapting quickly to the digital era.

      • New Research Suggest Google Book Search Helps Publishers A Lot More Than It Hurts

        Obviously, this seems to go beyond just Google’s book search, in showing that greater access can certainly lead to greater revenue and profits for those who embrace it. Definitely another worthwhile paper to read on the subject.

      • ACTA

        • RIAA: U.S. copyright law ‘isn’t working’

          The Recording Industry Association of America said on Monday that current U.S. copyright law is so broken that it “isn’t working” for content creators any longer.

          RIAA President Cary Sherman said the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act contains loopholes that allow broadband providers and Web companies to turn a blind eye to customers’ unlawful activities without suffering any legal consequences.

          “The DMCA isn’t working for content people at all,” he said at the Technology Policy Institute’s Aspen Forum here. “You cannot monitor all the infringements on the Internet. It’s simply not possible. We don’t have the ability to search all the places infringing content appears, such as cyberlockers like [file-hosting firm] RapidShare.”

        • Joint Statement on the 10th Round of Negotiations

          The 10th round of negotiations on the proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was held in Washington, D.C. from 16 – 20 August 2010, and was hosted by the United States of America. United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Deputy United States Trade Representative Miriam Sapiro welcomed the delegations and thanked them for all of their work in the negotiations.

Clip of the Day

Pandora: Internet on TV with Mouse, Keyboard and 3G


Links 24/8/2010: Many Android Tablets, OpenSolaris Board Disbands

Posted in News Roundup at 1:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Is it time to go with Linux?

    That is the question these days. Which, the most obvious answer to this question is yes. Whether this is a emphatic yes or a ho hum yes is, however, up to you. In any case, Linux is ready for prime time and here are three reasons why.

    The first reason is that Linux can perform almost any computing task that either a Windows or OS-X machine is capable of. More importantly, Linux is also compatible with both Windows and OS-X environments. For instance, a document written in the OpenOffice Linux version can be opened in Windows Word. Likewise, a person using Evolution as an Linux email client can sync with Microsoft Exchange. Indeed, when it comes to tasks that the can’t be performed on Linux the list is now very short. As time goes along, that short list will disappear completely.

  • What would persuade you to ditch Ubuntu for Windows?

    May be that I have very little imagination or I’m very close minded about Windows (or perhaps both). May be that the real strength of Linux is that once you start using it, after the initial difficulties, you aren’t willing to go back fro no reason.

  • Migrating a Small Office to GNU/Linux

    Like Munich TFA describes a very gradual approach which requires much more work than is necessary. Lots of migrations are done very rapidly, say over a weekend, for projects that size. Extremadura did 80K PCs over a weekend. Things did not break because they had very little before and whatever they got was far superior. That’s an “easy” migration/leap. Having to treat every PC as unique in a system is much more likely in a small system because there is not a lot of redundancy whereas in a larger organization there may be groups of 50 or more users who can be migrated together.

  • Kernel Space

    • Another Benefit To Kernel Mode-Setting

      Kernel mode-setting (KMS) is useful for faster VT/X switching, VTs being always at the panel’s native resolution, the ability to thwart some security bugs in the X.Org Server (as shown earlier this week), presenting a cleaner and more flexible architecture, and allowing new and interesting projects to emerge (such as Plymouth and Wayland), but the benefits do not end there. When kernel mode-setting is combined with KDB, a Linux kernel debugger shell, you now have one powerful combination.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Nouveau’s Gallium3D Driver Gets Some Love Too

        Yesterday was an exciting day for those Linux users interested in AMD’s open-source ATI driver work with the release of the Radeon HD 5000 series 2D/3D driver, Radeon HD 6000 series support getting underway, and many ATI R600 Gallium3D driver improvements over the past few days. If though you are a NVIDIA customer interested in open-source support, there’s great news for you today with the Nouveau driver that greatly improves the Gallium3D support.

      • Threaded Input Events On The Way For X Server 1.10

        While X.Org Servger 1.9 was released less than a week ago (heck, it’s only been four days since releasing om time), the first interesting patch for X.Org Server 1.10 is already queued up and on the X.Org development mailing list for discussion. This patch, which was written by Tiago Vignatti and Fernando Carrijo, provides the “thread-ification” of the X Server input event generation code. Rather than being bound to the same thread as the X Server, the input event code with this patch is now running in its own thread, but this may only be the start of things to come with finally multi-threading the X.Org Server.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Greenie Linux 7.1L Screenshots

        Greenie Linux is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution that provides a very user-friendly desktop, and is optimised for home users in Slovakia and Czech Republic. Because English is also supported, Greenie Linux is included in our coverage of new distros. This specific release, Geenie 7.1L, is based on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS and features several imporvements such as the GreenieTree theme which is supported by new icons and wallpapers. A few new applications have been added as well including Ufraw, Fotoxx and Wine.

      • Lightweight Distro Roundup: Day 6 – Slitaz Cooking

        Today we hit up our lightest of lightweight distros. It fits in 20MB less than Damn Small Linux, when installed uses 65MB of RAM, and boots in less than ten seconds (depending on hardware).

        Yes. Today we try out Slitaz Cooking.

        [...]

        Personally I think it is a brilliant execution of the super minimal distro. Yes it is lacking in some areas, and it is possibly one of the most limited-in-growth-potential distros out there, but let me say this – like any Linux, you can make this work for you.

        If I read as overly generous I probably am, if you take the limitations into account that the builders of Slitaz had to work with you will realize that I feel very impressed. It is easy to come over as unfairly favoring Slitaz when compared to our writeup of Dreamlinux yesterday. They are two different beasts though – if you compare them directly Dreamlinux will win every time. Install them both on an old P11 with 64MB of RAM and Slitaz is the hands down winner.

        For our application of finding something for Grandma and Mommy and their ancient computers we still like Linux Mint LXDE the best out of the six we tested so far.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva 2010.1 XfceLive Screenshots

        A live CD version of Mandriva 2010.1 XfceLive was released over the weekend. Please enjoy these screenshots of this live lightweight Mandriva release.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Pogoplug goes wireless

      The compact, Linux-powered Pogoplug device has just gained a $29 WiFi adapter companion, which enables it to work wirelessly. The new Pogoplug Wireless Adapter appears to be a standard USB 802.11 b/g/n WiFi adapter of undisclosed origin and chipset, and works with all current Pogoplugs.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Motorola Milestone XT720 review

          The XT720 is the highly anticipated follow-up to Motorola’s Milestone, the first Android 2.0+ device the firm released. Although we were relatively impressed with many of its key features in our review back in issue 87, it was let down by its excessive weight and bulk, which was largely attributed to its otherwise effective slide-out Qwerty keyboard. Other problems included a rather short battery life and a 5MP camera that ticked all the boxes on paper, but often left shots either blurred or washed out.

          Motorola wouldn’t be one of the largest mobile phone manufacturers on the planet without being able to take on board user feedback, so we’re not that surprised to see that the XT720 addresses almost all of these problems in one way or another.

        • Motorola details Android upgrade timelines

          Just desserts? Motorola has posted a timeline for when users of its Android-running smartphones can expect an OS upgrade. While all eyes are on “Froyo,” or Android version 2.2, some users will have to be happy with 2.0 and 2.1 — also known as “Éclair.”

    • Tablets

      • HTC’s Chrome Tablet Coming Soon?

        Google Chrome OS powered tablet may hit the market as soon as late November, says the blog Downloadsquad.

        HTC, one of the major users of Google’s Android OS, is developing this tablet. Accoridng to reports another of Google’s close partner Verizon Wireless will be the carrier for the tablet.

      • Chrome Web Store Invites Apps

        Google has started inviting developers to prepare their apps for the Chrome Web Store. The web store is rumored to go live with the arrival of first Chrome OS running tablet.

      • Viewsonic will preview an Android Tablet

        A CONSUMER ELECTRONICS SHOW in Berlin will see Viewsonic show its whole range of wares, including an Android tablet.

        Better known as a display manufacturer and not as a dabbler in any other consumer electronics hardware, Viewsonic is branching out to join the Android tablet brigade.

      • Tablet will dual-boot Android, Windows

        ViewSonic says it will introduce two new tablet computers next week at a Berlin tradeshow. An unnamed ten-inch model will boot into either Android or Windows, while the seven-inch ViewPad 7 will offer Android, 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity, GPS, plus front- and rear-facing cameras, the company says.

      • Archos to show five new Android tablets at IFA

        One of the new tablets will almost certainly be the much-rumoured Archos 32 internet tablet.

        “The company will showcase five brand new Internet Tablets ranging touch screen from 2.8 to 10 inches featuring computing, communications and apps with the power of Android plus Archos’ legendary video quality will be shown for the first time,” stated the company.

      • Toshiba SmartPad Android Tablet leaks before planned debut IFA 2010

        Last week we reported about a rumor that Toshiba will unleash a 10-inch Android Tablet. Today photos leaked of the Toshiba Smartpad on NotebookItalia. Toshiba has apparently planned to unveil the new SmartPad at the IFA 2010 next week.
        The Toshiba Smartpad looks pretty sleek with its black surface and metal frame with rounded edges. The Toshiba Tablet has four buttons on one side of the touchscreen and features a webcam. HDMI and USB ports are also available on the Smartpad. No new information is available on the specifications. The rumors talk about Tegra 2 chipset.

      • Borders taking orders for two Android tablets

        Borders is now taking pre-orders for two seven-inch Android tablets, the $200 Cruz Reader and the $300 Cruz Tablet, and says the first of the devices will ship by the end of this month. Both tablets offer conventional backlit color touchscreens, but the Reader is resistive while the Tablet is capacitive, the reseller says.

Free Software/Open Source

  • 11 Biggest Open Source Success Stories

    According to Fortune, Open Source is slowly gaining acceptance in the corporate world. More and more corporates are beginning to see the merits of Open Source and have started embracing it. But all these changes didn’t happened overnight. It was rather a painful journey. ‘Sharing’ was never a good thing for Corporates until recently. These changes were largely brought about by a string of Open Source success stories that happened over the years.

    GNU/Linux

    GNU/Linux is probably the biggest thing ever happened with Open Source. Richard Stallman, founder of Open Source movement, spearheaded a project to build a “complete Unix-compatible software system” based entirely of free software(free as in freedom).

    Project was called GNU(GNU is Not Unix). During the same time Linus Torvalds built a Kernel(which is otherwise known as the heart of an opearting system) and made it Open Source. He named it Linux. The Linux kernel and GNU tools(libraries, compilers, text editors etc) combined to become GNU/Linux operating system(popularly known as ‘Linux’).

  • Oracle

    • OpenOffice Will Survive

      However, the time between updates make increase by a large margin.
      That’s what I take from the current problems that are causing fear and loathing in the open source camp. Many are afraid that Oracle is going to become as big a problem for OpenOffice as it has for OpenSolaris.

      The difference is that OpenOffice has safety in numbers, being estimated at garnering a full 10% of the office productivity market. OpenSolaris is a miniscule part of the overall small operating systems market, usually categorized as “Other”.

    • State of OpenOffice.org

      I do use alternatives of OpenOffice.org from time to time. KDE Office and some components of GNOME work (GNOME also depends on OpenOffice.org). I use LyX for some writing projects. KWord includes the database-merge capability so useful for writing students’ reports. Everything else in OpenOffice.org, I have good substitutes like GNUmeric, phpMyAdmin, Scribus, Inkscap, Dia, etc. but they are not so well integrated. Could we survive a catastrophe with OpenOffice.org? Yes, but it would be a major disruption. In order to minimize disruption it is important to explore options long before a crisis emerges. I have frequent opportunities in my teaching but others will have to make a determined effort to explore GNU/Linux for functionality outside of OpenOffice.org.

    • Microsoft Will Lose The Google-Oracle Battle

      How much of the Linux penetration was affected when Microsoft came out with ‘baseless’ accusations that Linux infringes on its patents (I did a long story back then for LINUX For You magazine). Microsoft never showed the numbers. All they got was to ‘force’ some Linux companies to sign cross licensing deal with them and extort some money from Linux.

      [...]

      Even if Oracle is technically right (which Google disagrees with), this move has damaged the Open Source community. Even if Oracle has emerged as a bad-boy for the Open Source community, Android will continue to thrive.

      The FUD failed to work with Linux’ patent infringement accusation. After Linux, Microsoft accused Android of infringing on their patents – it did not work either. I don’t see this FUD to be working either.

    • The liberation of OpenSolaris

      As many have seen, Oracle has elected to stop contributing to OpenSolaris. This decision is, to put it bluntly, stupid. Indeed, I would (and did) liken it to L. Paul Bremer‘s decision to disband the Iraqi military after the fall of Saddam Hussein: beyond merely a foolish decision borne out of a distorted worldview, it has created combatants unnecessarily. As with Bremer’s infamous decision, the bitter irony is that the new combatants were formerly the strongest potential allies — and in Oracle’s case, it is the community itself.

      As it apparently needs to be said, one cannot close an open source project — one can only fork it. So contrary to some reports, Oracle has not decided to close OpenSolaris, they have actually decided to fork it. That is, they have (apparently) decided that it is more in their interest to compete with the community that to cooperate with it — that they can in fact out-innovate the community. This confidence is surprising (and ironic) given that it comes exactly at the moment that the historic monopoly on Solaris talent has been indisputably and irrevocably broken — as most recently demonstrated by the departure of my former colleague, Adam Leventhal.

    • The OpenSolaris Board Just Killed Itself, As Expected
  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Eben Moglen on learning through collaboration

      As the Chairman of the Software Freedom Law Center, we all know Eben Moglen as the legal voice of free software. He is that and more.

      A professor of Law and legal history at the Columbia University, Moglen preaches what he practices — free software and the role it plays in improving education. As part of Bangalore’s Christ University’s conference on distributed education, Moglen delivered a (recorded) talk on how he uses Wikis to teach his Law courses.

      [...]

      This collaboration extends beyond the physical confines of the classroom. Moglen illustrates this with an example of how his students in New York collaborated with a student in Lodz, Poland, who was working on a 13th century jury question. Moglen’s American students located and scanned documents and made them available to the Polish student on the Wiki, who then with his fellow classmates, translated the documents from medieval Latin into English. “Without Wiki technology [this collaboration] would have taken months to arrange, and would in fact never come to be all”, he remarks.

      Moglen finds a natural link between Wikis and his third course, on Law of the New Society Connected by the Internet. Students in this course use the Wiki as a kind of blog to exchange opinions and conduct academic disputation, by adding links and pointers to existing material, fill in additional examples, and references, and comment on the lectures and on their own work.

  • Government

    • Mil-OSS working group 2 wrap-up

      What was interesting was a shift from the attitude at last years meeting of: “We can use open source software in the military?” to this years vibe of “How can we use, modify, sustain, and create more open source software around the military?” In the last year, since the update of DoD Open Source policy (see the 2009 DoD Open Source Memo), there has been an important shift in understanding that the benefits of being open vastly outweigh the hassles and foibles of closed and gated source code development–especially when the U.S. taxpayer is picking up the tab. Roadblock issues were brought up, such as:

      - What are the best practices for how to run unclassified code communities for a classified client?

      - How do we create, fund, and sustain development of open source?

      - How do we generate more ideas on how to fix and deal with the government’s acquisition system?

    • The United Kingdom Switches to Drupal and Releases Source Code

      In the United States, the White House has led the march towards open source and free software by switching the http://www.whitehouse.gov/ website to the Drupal content management system. The government of the United Kingdom has decided to follow their lead. http://data.gov.uk/ acts as a central information repository for many of the UK’s government agencies. The government recently converted the site to a very clean and very polished Drupal website. The main effort of the site is to provide the British constituency with transparent access to data on the actions and statistics of various government bodies. For example, I visited the site and navigated to the Department of Energy section. There was a plentiful store of data on energy consumption, energy prices, C02 emissions, and energy trends. Overall, the site is very well done and it could be a model for information dissemination in smaller communities and other national governments.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • McKinsey Quarterly and the open source way

      The open source way is going mainstream. If you have been involved in open source over the years, you have a very valuable skill set to offer your employer. You might need to use the word “co-creation” instead of “community” and talk about networked organizations, but this report shows that you have learned things that are greatly valued in the marketplace. Individuals who know how to create communities based on collaboration and meritocracy are in high demand.

    • Two Sites for Free University Text Books

      Almost all over the world, students are either back to school or preparing to do so. With this comes the headache of getting text books for the semester and its attendant costs. For a myriad of reasons, costs of school text books, especially those of higher learning have skyrocketed. If you are looking to cut costs (and who doesn’t anyway?), then the following 2 sites should come in handy.

Leftovers

  • Google and Yahoo Win Appeal in Argentine Case

    In a rare victory for Google and Yahoo Argentina, an appeals court has cleared the companies of defamation for including sex-related Web sites in their search results for an Argentine entertainer.

    The appeals court overturned a lower-court ruling that had found the companies liable for defaming the entertainer, Virginia Da Cunha.

  • Science

    • U.S. district court rules against stem cell policy

      A U.S. district court issued a preliminary injunction Monday stopping federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research in a slap to the Obama administration’s new guidelines on the sensitive issue.

      The court ruled in favor of a suit filed in June by researchers who said human embryonic stem cell research involves the destruction of human embryos.

    • The strange case of solar flares and radioactive elements

      It’s a mystery that presented itself unexpectedly: The radioactive decay of some elements sitting quietly in laboratories on Earth seemed to be influenced by activities inside the sun, 93 million miles away.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Inside the Russian Cyber-Underground

      “It is an ongoing project that we started about 18 months ago,” Grugq told eWEEK. “Originally it started when Fyodor investigated some service offerings from Russian hacker forums for a specific project that I was working on. It turned out to be extremely interesting and amusing, so we discussed doing more long-term monitoring on the forums. It grew from there into what is now a continuous monitoring program.”

    • Stockholm chief prosecutor quashes arrest warrant for Wikileaks editor-in-chief

      The arrest warrant issued for Wikileaks’ editor-in-chief Julian Assange has been quashed by Stockholm Chief Prosecutor Eva Finné, who said in a press release “I am of the opinion that there is no reason to suspect that he has committed a rape.” The press officer of the Swedish Prosecution Authority says that he is still suspected of molestation, and that neither police nor prosecutors have yet been able to contact Assange. Assange had this morning said that he was going to hand himself in to police but also said that the accusations against him were false.

    • The “Ugly face” of the ECI: Arrest of Hari Prasad for “sting demonstration”

      Reliable sources tell us that the Election Commission of India had pressurized the Maharashtra police to press for Hari Prasad’s arrest on charges of stealing the EVM used for exposing the vulnerability of EVMs. The ECI’s intent becomes evident from the fact that they had instructed the police not to share a copy of the FIR with Hari Prasad to deny him an opportunity to move an anticipatory bail application. Hari Prasad did mange to get a copy of the FIR later but decided to court arrest if necessary rather than seek anticipatory bail.

  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs Mishandles PR Campaign To Enhance Its Image

      Goldman’s first round of questioning began in the wake of the $85 billion federal bailout of the American International Group, the insurance giant, in 2008. Goldman owned insurance policies from A.I.G. on some of its mortgage investments. Analysts, journalists and federal authorities all raised questions about whether Goldman unfairly benefited from taxpayer funds used to bail out A.I.G.

      Such questions were fueled by the résumé of a prime architect of the bailout, the Treasury secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr., who had formerly led Goldman. (Mr. Paulson has said that he never took action to specifically benefit Goldman, seeking only to buttress the financial system as a whole.)
      Like Toyota, Goldman has had internal debates about how forthcoming to be in confronting sharp questioning, with some insiders advocating a swift, unabashed disclosure of its dealings with A.I.G. to avoid inflaming public anger, according to people familiar with the deliberations who requested anonymity because the talks were confidential.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Electronic Frontier Foundation warns of Epersonation Bill

      ONLINE HUMAN RIGHTS GROUP the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has warned that a bill working its way through the California legislature will make it a crime to impersonate someone online in order to “harm” that person.

      The law will make it illegal to create a Facebook or Twitter account with someone else’s name, and then use that account to embarrass that person.

    • The BlackBerry Emergency

      Unless a ring of terrorists is embedded entirely within some MNC, and is using its email and messaging system to plan terrorist attacks or other crimes using corporate BlackBerries, such a service cut would not be likely to prevent the planning or execution of any attacks. What it would do, however, is effectively cut off India from the global financial system. The ability of banks, insurance companies, law firms, consultancies and other professional service enterprises to operate around the globe depends entirely on the flow of confidential intra-firm communications. People cannot do business anywhere unless they can be sure that their firm’s business communications are not being overheard by competitors or other parties using breaches in communications networks. So every such enterprise relies upon mechanisms that ensure complete confidentiality on which the movement of trillions of crores every day in the world economy depend. BlackBerry provides one portion of that network to a large subset of that market. Any country which shuts off encrypted BlackBerry communications has shut down its place in the global economy.

    • A software company is developing revolutionary software which provides the ability to identify people from photographs posted on the internet.

      The facial recognition software that will put a name to every photograph in the internet

    • FPGAs get tiny Linux, Red Hat-compatible IDE

      Actel Corporation announced the addition of Red Hat Linux and Windows 7 support to its Libero IDE (integrated design environment) for FPGAs (field programmable gate arrays). The SmartFusion FPGAs are also being treated to a tiny “Unison” Linux, capable of running in as little as 1KB of RAM, the company says.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Pirate Bay Typo Squatter Trying To Seize Site Trademark

      This Wednesday a security blog reported that several rogue sites are in operation which aim to pull in people who were aiming to reach The Pirate Bay, but accidentally entered the URL with typos. While this kind of activity is nothing new, there is a more interesting detail being overlooked. One of the companies behind the scheme is trying to register the Pirate Bay trademark in the United States.

    • A Republic of Letters

      Intellectual property has become such a hot topic that it needs to be doused with some history. Strange as it may sound, this is an argument developed convincingly in Lewis Hyde’s “Common as Air,” an eloquent and erudite plea for protecting our cultural patrimony from appropriation by commercial interests.

      [...]

      The same attitude lay behind Jefferson’s description of knowledge as “common property.” It pervaded the entire Enlightenment, when men discussed experiments and ideas in correspondence networks and a chain of academies that extended from St. Petersburg to Philadelphia. Above all, they communicated their thoughts through print. Letters, learned societies and the printed word came together in the creation of a Republic of Letters, an egalitarian world of knowledge open to everyone — at least in principle, although in practice it was restricted to a literate elite.

    • Copyrights

Clip of the Day

Tim Berners-Lee: The year open data went worldwide


08.23.10

Links 23/8/2010: GNU/Linux in the Financial World, Linux 2.6.36 RC2, Gnash 0.8.8 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 6:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • I Lost the Discs (with the drivers)

    As she is 37 weeks pregnant and cannot move much, I found the box and checked it, but the camera driver was missing. For a split second, a flash of an ancient fear traveled through my body. My wife saw my face and calmly said to me: “Maybe I lost it…” I immediately understood my wife’s peace. SHE NEVER USES WINDOWS ANYWAY. If ALL the drivers are lost, what is the problem? No worry whatsoever. A Mandriva install gave her everything she needs to use her computer.

  • Open Source: Like A Damned Phoenix

    2007 was a different world. Linux was taking a harsh beating on all sides. While its smartphone OS market share was growing, that growth was far from rapid. Symbian held a commanding lead and, while iOS was still comparatively tiny, the astounding success of the first iPhone had everyone anticipating Apple dominance in the near future.

    In the realm of servers, a traditional Linux strongpoint, the open-source OS was starting to see a reversal of fortunes. Windows Server was ascendant, and over in the desktop market Linux barely even counted as a player. Open source failed in the world of big gray and black boxes, and for a time it seemed as if it might die out as a viable OS choice altogether. Articles fretting over the limited future of the open source movement feared that it was doomed to be marginalized at best.

    Then along came Android.

    Netbooks started to gain traction. Then they started to give way to something even more convenient (and sexy); the iPad.

    Now Linux is ascendent, while pundits fret over the death of the desktop. Consumers want to be mobile now. Apple addicted the whole damn world with that first hit of iPhone, and now we’re jonesin’ for any sexy, slim piece of tech with a touchscreen and decent wireless connectivity.

  • Desktop

    • More stuff you can, but shouldn’t, do

      Remember 3ddesktop? Before Compiz was adopted as the messiah of the Linux desktop experience, 3ddesktop was the way cool kids spun their work environments and dazzled their Windows-using friends.

      And it was pretty cool — it never was nearly the catalog of intricate bells and whistles that Compiz is, but it did a decent job in the eye candy department.

      Of course, it did require a little video muscle to use. But considering its last update was in 2005, you could — and still can — get away with running it on a single-core machine with a ground-level video card that has a little acceleration to it. Even something as underpowered as this should do it.

    • Is Linux Publicity Targeting the Right Market?

      As a matter of fact, what IS the right market for Linux?

      The mythical Average User? No way. The average user wants a computer that performs the tasks set for it. Those people are in the market for a computer, a real, physical machine, a tangible object with a keyboard (real or imaged), a mouse (or trackpad/trackball/touchscreen), and a display screen. The Average User scarcely notices, and certainly cares less, what sequence of binary commands course through the CPU to translate input into action.

    • A Glimpse of Ubuntu Desktops in the Financial World

      These guys easily have 35,000 square inches of LCD monitors running Ubuntu desktops, displaying in real time thousands of graphs, metrics, monitors, and statuses. Hundreds of multi-head desktops running 8.04 to 10.04, attached to 17″ to 42″ Samsung LCDs, Ubuntu logos everywhere I turned!

      There is no doubt that across both Server and Desktop, Ubuntu is proving itself in enterprise environments. Linux is here, there, everywhere, and Ubuntu is a very important player, helping make that happen. I take great pride in what we’re achieving together!

    • Dumping Windows, moving on with Linux, update

      I chose Fedora 13 and I am extremely happy that I did. Not only has it breathed new life into these PCs which were at crawling speeds with XP, but everything is working much cleaner and now I can rest assured that they will be virus and spyware free for quite some time. I’m not going to forget that Linux does have viruses and spyware, but it’s so uncommon that there’s no sense in worrying around the clock about it.

      In my cases, the various software that was required was already being used in Windows, with the exception of MS Office, which I have them using OpenOffice 3.2 as a replacement. There have been some minor formatting issues at first, with documents that were imported from MS Office. These will be corrected along the way as the documents are used. But other programs such as Mozilla Firefox, Thunderbird, etc. are equivalent across multiple platforms, making the transition easier.

  • Server

    • IBM Cuts Power Systems Shops a Linux Price Break

      Big Blue has wanted you to run Linux and AIX on your OS/400 and i platforms for the better part of a decade now, and maybe you have and maybe you haven’t. Maybe Linux is now commercial enough that you feel like ditching Windows for certainly infrastructure and application serving jobs. If you do, and you have some latent capacity sitting around in your Power6, Power6+, and selected Power7 machines, then IBM has a deal for you.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 2.6.36-rc2

      Another week, another -rc. I didn’t really ever get around to announcing -rc1 when I released it, and we had enough niggling small problems (like a memory corruptor in the HID layer that ended up
      causing some random problems etc) there that I never got around to fixing that lack of announcement. And hopefully -rc2 is a good point to correct the lack of earlier commentary.

    • systemd Status Update

      It has been a while since my original announcement of systemd. Here’s a little status update, on what happened since then.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Make use of the KDE 4.5 Clipboard

        Klipper is the KDE 4.5 clipboard and it is not your average clipboard tool. Unlike most operating system clipboards, Klippy gives the user quick and easy access to not just the last object copied, but multiple objects copied. Klipper is so powerful a clipboard tool, you will wonder why other operating systems don’t mimic the features and functionality. Klipper is also so powerful that most users won’t take advantage of it’s full range of features.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • W7 Theme for Ubuntu Brings Windows 7′s Familiar GUI to Linux

        Linux: W7 Theme is a free script that skins your Linux desktop with a familiar Windows 7 look and feel.

      • Debian swirl in Gnome

        The Debian desktop is pretty much Gnome with some Debian wallpaper. The default Main Menu icon is the Gnome foot.
        To replace the Gnome foot with the Debian Swirl, replace the start-here.svg or start-here.png image with an appropriate Debian Swirl image.

  • Distributions

    • Which Linux is the most popular Linux?

      As everyone who ever tried it knows that trying to count how many people use a particular Linux distribution is almost impossible. Now, Rick Lehrbaum, founder of LinuxDevices and a friend and former editor of mine, has tried a new and interesting way to count Linux users on his new site, LinuxTrends: look at Google search results for the various Linux distributions.

      Some of the results aren’t surprising. Ubuntu has become far more popular than the other mainstream distributions of 2004/2005: SUSE Linux, Fedora, Debian and Mandrake/Mandriva.

    • Reviews

      • North Korea Linux (Red Star OS)

        Obviously, this is not a distro that most people should use. It’s a curiosity created by an oppressive government, and it’s a travesty that the open nature of Linux was used in this rather perverse manner. It’s a good example of how even the best things in life can be taken and distorted.

        I don’t recommend it to anyone, beyond simply being a curiosity. Distrohoppers might have a bit of fun installing it to play with, but it will also creep them out. It certainly creeped me out while writing this review. So perhaps it’s best if nobody else installs it.

        One thing puzzles me though; the North Koreans are usually heavy on the propaganda stuff (see the Vice Guide to North Korea videos at the beginning of the review). And yet, they appear to have blown a major propaganda opportunity. They could have released this distro around the world in different languages, with lots of propaganda built into it for each language. Instead, they released it only in Korean. Odd.

      • Lightweight Distro Roundup: Day 5 – Dreamlinux

        Day Five. If you are wondering, yes we have had other things going on this weekend. Among the things I did was try and get Dreamlinux 3.5 working for Elzje, and I spent my Friday evening with my friend Renier Meyer painting a wall in his new house and eating epic pizza.

      • Feature: Taking a Long Look at Salix OS 13.1.1

        The Salix OS developers do meet their stated goals: making a distribution for “lazy Slackers” rather than one that is generally easy to use for everyone. Some other Slackware derivatives, such as VectorLinux and Zenwalk, have done more to make their distributions friendly to Linux newcomers at the cost of straying further away from their Slackware roots. Salix OS developers made a conscious choice to go in a different direction. In some ways Salix OS reminds me of VectorLinux four or five years ago: it definitely takes me more time to install, configure and tweak it to suit my needs than a typical Linux distro does but, much like VectorLinux back then, the end results are definitely worth the effort. How much effort depends very much on the hardware used, as the very different results with my two systems illustrate.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • Why this Linux Fan roots for MeeGo – not Android

          Some people will tell you fragmentation is one of the main things that is holding back Linux from desktop adoption. Not having a unified name, packaging system, or heck even desktop environment often confuses new users and puts them into overload – Too much choice can be a bad thing.

          Android is currently the only real player in the Linux mobile market. Now don’t get me wrong, I am glad Android jumped in record time to right near the top of the smart phone market. I’m also glad that through this success it has put the power of Linux into the hands of millions of people (many of whom are none the wiser about their penguin powered device).

      • Android

        • Pocketbook announces color touch screen Android powered e-reader and more

          Manufacturing upstart PocketBook is clearly still gung ho about e-readers, judging by the five new models it has announced will be released at IFA in September, which include a pair of entry-level ProBook 602 and 902 units, as well as the ProBook 603 and 903 premium units. The 60x designated models sport 6-inch screens, while the 90x models have a bigger 9.7-inch. All models will feature 2GB of internal storage, a Linux-based OS, and include WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Top Free Linux for Netbooks

        In one of my previous articles I talked about the use of Linux as a free alternative to Windows. Now most people choose to use Windows on computers mainly because of compliance, as some software/games run only on Windows. We wouldn’t even argue that some software are better functionally than their Linux-based alternative. No contests for guessing the superior office suite between Microsoft Office and OpenOffice.

        Since the last two years, the inception of Netbooks has brought in a new wave of affordable computers that can be easily carried around anywhere. Netbooks were not designed to replace laptops and are meant to be used for basic tasks. Tasks such as browsing the net, working with office productivity suites, watching a movie or playing a few songs etc. You really don’t want to try and run 3D MAX or encode HD videos on it.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Using Open Source to Bootstrap Your Data Service

    Last week SimpleGeo and their partner Stamen Design jointly released a project they have been working on together called Polymaps. It’s absolutely beautiful and a stunning example of what you can do with the SimpleGeo API. They’ve released the Polymaps source code on GitHub so any developer can quickly see how the API is used, play around with real production code, and modify the base examples for their own use.

  • Are open source defences crumbling?

    What do you think? Are proprietary companies taking over the open source world? Are they, bit by bit, applying the divide and conquer strategy with a future outcome that open source as yet cannot see? Are open source defences crumbling because they only think about the here and now while proprietary companies look far beyond the horizon? So many questions and I have no answers.

  • Matterhorn: Open source lecture recording tool

    After more than a year of research and development, the Opencast project under the patronage of the University of California Berkeley has presented the Matterhorn 1.0 lecture recording system. The German (virtUOS) Centre for Information Management and Virtual Teaching at the University of Osnabrück was a major contributor to this undertaking.

  • Events

    • Judges named for NZ Open Source awards

      Seven open source experts will form the judging panel of the 2010 Open Source Awards, due to be held in Wellington on November 9th.

      The panel includes two New Zealand Open Source Society (NZOSS) Presidents, current President Rachel Hamilton-Williams and past-President Don Christie; Foo Camp founder Nat Torkington; WebFund Chairman, Dave Moskovitz; Richard Wyles, Director of Flexible Learning Network/Mahara; and Telecom Mobile Engineer Amber Craig.

    • FOSDEM 2011 Is The 5th & 6th Of February

      The staff behind the Free Software Developers’ European Meeting (FOSDEM) have just announced that the 2011 conference will take place on the 5th and 6th of February. This is the first weekend of February, which is right around the time that the other FOSDEMs have taken place. Like always, this event will be taking place in Brussels, Belgium.

  • Oracle

    • OpenSolaris Governance Board resigns

      As it had previously threatened, the OpenSolaris Governance Board (OGB) has now resigned. The dissolution motion was proposed and passed unopposed in a fourteen minute long meeting of the OGB.

  • BSD

  • Gnash

    • Gnash 0.8.8 Released

      We just released an improved GNU Flash player, Gnash 0.8.8. Gnash plays SWF (Shockwave Flash) files compatible with the Adobe Flash player. Gnash is portable software released under the GNU GPLv3. It runs on GNU/Linux, embedded GNU + Linux systems, and BSD, including x86, ARM, MIPS, PowerPC, and 64-bit systems. It comes with a standalone player as well as a browser plugin compatible with Firefox, Chrome, Konqueror, and all Gecko-based browsers.

    • Gnash 0.8.8 Claims To Support All YouTube Videos, But Is It Good Enough?

      So is it worth using Gnash over the proprietary Adobe Flash Player? I would say: not yet, but Gnash is taking huge steps forward and soon we should have a viable open source Flash Player alternative that can do everything Adobe’s Flash does, and with some actual Linux support, specially now that Adobe discontinued its Flash Player 10.1 64bit for Linux.

    • Gnash 0.8.8 Released, claims 100% of all YouTube videos now work
  • Government

    • EU: Guide on procurement of open source revised

      The Guideline on public procurement of Open Source Software, was revised in June 2010. The latest version includes references to recent procurement policies developed by Spain and Malta and to this year’s approval by Italy’s constitutional court on the country’s Piedmont regional administration procurement law.

      Both Spain and Malta this year adopted policies that specify that when their public organisations distribute open source applications, they will by default use the European Union Public Licence (EUPL).

Leftovers

  • Got a blog that makes no money? The city wants $300, thank you very much.

    In May, the city sent Bess a letter demanding that she pay $300, the price of a business privilege license.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Police Arrest Researcher Who Showed E-Voting Machines Are Not Secure

      A few months back, a research report came out noting that e-voting machines in India were not secure. I had seen it at the time, but considering how many stories we’ve seen of e-voting machines with security problems, I let it pass and didn’t write it up. However, the story has just taken a distressing turn. One of the researchers, Hari Prasad, who had obtained the e-voting machine from an anonymous source in the first place, has been arrested and taken into custody because he will not reveal who gave him the machine…

    • US cops: armed and dangerous?

      If mine were truly a free country, US police wouldn’t wield such immense power or employ such aggressive tactics against their own citizenry – a militarisation of our police forces that started with the war on drugs and intensified after 9/11.

      Consider: can you invent a realistic scenario wherein you shoot a man dead; justify it with a story witnesses contradict; confiscate any surveillance video; claim a “glitch” makes it impossible to show the video to anyone else – all while enjoying the support of state legal apparatus?

      Police in Las Vegas did that last month, after they shot Erik Scott seven times as he exited a Costco. Cops say Scott pointed a gun at them; witnesses say Scott’s licensed weapon was in a concealed holster, and five of those seven shots hit him in the back. The confiscated surveillance video might settle the question; too bad about that glitch.

    • WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in web furore over Swedish rape claim

      The founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, was himself the subject of a rapidly spreading online story when news cascaded across the internet for several hours at the weekend mistakenly saying he was being sought in Sweden on rape charges.

      Before Stockholm’s chief prosecutor made clear on Saturday afternoon that Assange was in fact neither charged with rape nor due to be arrested, the story had spread, generating more than 1,200 articles, available through internet news search, that received more than 1m hits.

    • Daniel Rubin: An infuriating search at Philadelphia International Airport

      Thirty minutes after the police became involved, they decided to let her collect her belongings and board her plane.

      “I was shaking,” she says. “I was almost in tears.”

    • Black Hearts: One Platoon’s Descent into Madness in Iraq’s Triangle of Death by Jim Frederick

      This isn’t a book for armchair war junkies. It’s about what Wilfred Owen called “the pity of war”. The centre and the pity of Jim Frederick’s account is the murder of the Janabis, an Iraqi family, and the rape of their 14-year-old daughter by four US soldiers. The most chilling aspect of the crime was the casual manner in which it was carried out. It was almost a jape – something to break the boredom of endless hours at a checkpoint. The soldiers did it because they had the power to do it; they didn’t need a reason why – almost the invasion of Iraq in microcosm.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Peak oil alarm revealed by secret official talks

      Speculation that government ministers are far more concerned about a future supply crunch than they have admitted has been fuelled by the revelation that they are canvassing views from industry and the scientific community about “peak oil”.

      The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is also refusing to hand over policy documents about “peak oil” – the point at which oil production reaches its maximum and then declines – under the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act, despite releasing others in which it admits “secrecy around the topic is probably not good”.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Horse-trading begins as Australia votes for a hung parliament

      Australia faces days of uncertainty and political horse-trading after prime minister Julia Gillard acknowledged that neither the ruling Labor party nor the opposition conservative coalition had won an outright majority in the weekend’s election.

    • Britain scraps annual assessment of human rights abuses across the world

      The coalition government is plunged into a major row today over its commitment to human rights amid claims that it will scrap the Foreign Office’s landmark annual assessment of abuses across the world.

    • Big Brother is searching you

      While everyone is concerned about privacy violations from Facebook Places, government agencies may be using powerful new technology to violate 4th-Ammendment protection against unreasonable searches.

      Here’s what the 4th Amendment says: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Copycats vs. Copyrights

        We’re used to the logic of copyright. Movies, music, and pharmaceuticals all use some form of patent or copyright protection. The idea is simple: if people can’t profit from innovation, they won’t innovate. So to encourage the development of stuff we want, we give the innovators something very valuable—exclusive access to the profit from their innovations. We’ve so bought into the logic that we allow companies to patent human genes.

        And companies love copyright. They love it so much they persuaded Congress to pass the Sonny Bono Act, which extended individual copyright protections to the life of the author, plus another 70 years; and corporate copyrights to 120 years from creation, or 95 years from publication, whichever is earlier. That’s an absurdly long time, and it belies the original point of patents: does anyone seriously believe that a 40-year-old with a money-making idea is going to hold back because someone can mimic it 20 years after he dies?

        At a certain point, copyrights stop protecting innovation and begin protecting profits. They scare off future inventors who want to take a 60-year-old idea and use it as the foundation to build something new and interesting. That’s the difficulty of copyrights, patents, and other forms of intellectual protection. Too little, and the first innovation won’t happen. Too much, and the second innovation—the one relying on the first—will be stanched.

      • ACTA

Clip of the Day

Sorting Algorithms


08.22.10

Links 22/8/2010: Valve Disappoints, More Tablets With Android

Posted in News Roundup at 5:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • A Win-Lin situation: moving a small office over to Linux

    Michael Pope is a pragmatic person by nature – a developer who, before he sets out on a task, takes sufficient care to create a soft-landing in case it is needed.

    Hence, when he was asked by his employer to convert a small accounting firm from Windows to Linux, it is not surprising that his methods embodied his whole approach to things in general, and computing in particular.

    [...]

    He is quick to point out that the cost savings of converting to Linux will be obvious after using it for a year. “The conversion itself will most likely cost money but in the end it will be more stable, faster and more efficient,” he adds.

  • User friendly showdown: Ubuntu 10.04 versus Windows 7

    That is, most certainly, the question. It’s hard to draw any sort of conclusion on such a topic because it’s a very subjective issue. If you have not used any of the more recent releases of a Linux distribution you really have no business making a comparison. So…if you really want to draw a conclusion for yourself you need to break down and install a recently released distribution on a machine, use it for a week or so, and THEN compare it to what you normally use. Once you have done that, you can draw as many conclusions as you want. Until then, don’t try to say you know FOR SURE that Windows is more user friendly than Linux.

  • If the PS3 is Jailbroken, Can We Have Other OS Back?

    With the removal of Other OS, everything changed. A feature was lost, and now it appears that Sony’s previously unhackable machine is defeated through unrelated means. I’m skeptical of OzModChips’ solution, which costs $170, until it’s verified by an independent source, but if it’s legitimate, why should Sony pretend that removing Other OS keeps the Playstation 3′s integrity intact?

  • PS3 Jailbroken, Sony Should Allow Other OS Feature

    That feature was mostly used by Linux users to use the powerful machine as a regular PC as well as wired supercomputers. In the last couple of year while the feature was active there we no security breach or cracking reported on the console.

  • Desktop

    • Thanks for the Memory

      These generous car dealers have asked to remain anonymous and I understand that. Often when I donate to things I believe in, I don’t particularly want any recognition. Just getting the job done is enough for us.

      We will be doing some bulk ordering of laptop and desktop RAM if this works out for us. We will also use the money to purchase decent video cards and hard drives.

  • Kernel Space

    • USB 3.0 works under Linux

      After writing to the drive for an hour straight, the enclosure is warm but not hot, and after removing the drive from the enclosure, the drive itself is warm; this is compared to the Seagate 7200.12s in my RAID 5 array which could burn you at this point.

      Many drives fail in enclosures because they overheat; I don’t think this will happen due to Vantec’s thick aluminum design in the NexStar series enclosures, and the fact that the HW203WI has low power usage.

      After formatting with ext4, the file system uses 29GB out of 1.82TB total. Its kind of funny when I’ve owned drives smaller than the space consumed by an empty file system.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Working with KDE desktop effects

        So you’ve followed the latest series on KDE 4.5 (see Ghacks KDE 4.5 content) and you are now using the spectacular latest release from the KDE team. You want to use Compiz, but quickly realize that it is not necessary as KDE has it’s own built-in compositing effects. What you will find is that the built-in KDE compositing is not like Compiz – but it is comparable and much easier to use. And the fact that it is built-in, ensures you will have less issues with integration.

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva’s future?

        Recently it became clear that Mandriva was once again in serious financial trouble. Mandriva 2010.1 was even delayed because of that, although not much explanation was given. In the end the company was saved by a new investor, but how things will involve in the more long-term, remains unclear.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Preparing SonATA software for Open Sourcing

    We announced our Open Source program three weeks ago. Yet our open sourcing process will take another one year. Why the delay, you may wonder. There are a number of reasons – code reorganization, resourcing, documentation, and the biggest one of them all , complying with the various open source and commercial licenses we are using in our codebase as we open source it.

    Our good friends at Palamida scanned our entire code, and came up with a list of 75 instances where SonATA software was using external third party code – parts that warranted further investigation. It was a pleasure to have Jeff Luszcz from Palamida walk the software team through the entire list.

  • What to Look for in Open Source Systems Management Products

    Looking at all of these systems management tools, it can be difficult to parse any real advantage between these companies. Zenoss, perhaps the best known of this group, but their product offerings seem little different from those of, say, Hyperic’s. To add to the confusion, products in this space can even include each other: the GWOS and Hyperic offerings incorporate Nagios for event tracking, and both Zenoss’ and GWOS’ products make use of the Multi Router Traffic Grapher for resource graphing.

  • Oracle

    • The Tap Is Turned Off

      From here on out, Illumos and Oracle Solaris diverge. The funny thing is, based on the calls I’ve had today, I could hardly be more optimistic about the future of illumos and the code base that was formerly called Solaris. Even more talent is getting behind this effort every day.

    • Oracle Takes Aim at VMware

      OracleVM, which is based on open source Xen virtual machine software, can be packaged with templates from Oracle and deployed using Oracle Virtual Assembly Builder software that makes it easier to deploy Oracle applications on top of OracleVM that can run on multiple tiers of Intel or Sparc servers.

    • Oracle v. Google Timeline
  • Healthcare

    • The software behind the VA health care transformation

      It’s a truism that open source software development (and perhaps all software development ) is best driven by the people who will ultimately use it. So we can understand why VistA meets certain essential needs — such as allowing an emergency room doctor enter an order within a few seconds — that are missed by most proprietary software in the health care field. But I find it surprising that the system could work so well when each piece was developed in isolation. Perhaps the software used can provide a clue.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Free Software, Real Profits

      That’s how it works with software. We have a computer to “cook” for us, but we usually don’t write the “recipes” – the software. We get it from various sources, either for free or for cash — ranging from single digits for your cool mobile app and up to millions for high-quality corporate software.

      Either way, we don’t know what the code looks like; we only see the output. That’s why it’s called closed software. We can’t learn from it; we hope it does what we want, but it might have bugs or do something differently than we expected. We’re largely stuck with what we got.

      Free as in beer, free as in freedom
      When software is given away for free, like those free apps, that’s fun — like free beer. However, the software is still closed, and you can’t understand how it does what it does or how to change it. But when you can see the code, and you’re allowed to change it and redistribute it — then it is called free software — free as in freedom.

    • Free Software on the reservations

      Today is a fine day, and while I have shared this elsewhere, I thought I would take the time to share this here. In many ways the struggle of the North American Indian remains to this day one to simply be recognized as and treated with common human dignity, and there remains I think an interesting and potentially important role for free software in this process, especially in overcoming some of the vast deprivations of both past and present faced by the communities in the captive nations. Given that I was asked several years ago to help speak for the people of the Lakota nation, it seemed appropriate to do so presently here once more.

      Well before considering free software as an economic model, some of the captive nations in North America have tried many different things in the past to create self-sustaining economic development, including of course casinos and call centers. Some have tried meat packing for freedom. Yet, unemployment remains high, over 80% for some communities, such as on the Lakotah reservations in North America. Similarly, per capita income often remains below the poverty line. On the Lakotah reservations, per capita income in fact is less than $4,000 annually, and average life expectancy is now under 47 years. These are not statistics from communities in Haiti , but rather from within the United States itself. The exact story is of course different for each of the captive nations, but the overall results of even the best of these efforts have usually been rather bleak.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Is Relying on Open Access Materials “Irresponsible”?

      The fact that I rely on openly accessible materials led Access Copyright supporter John Degen to describe my approach as a “shockingly arbitrary and irresponsible policy that will only place artificial (and highly political) limits on education.” Degen then implies that the choice is based on attempting to find cheap materials or ones that are consistent with my political leanings.

    • Open Governance – How can open communities make good decisions and get stuff done?

      At Peer 2 Peer University, we pride ourselves in being an open education community. I have a fairly good idea what it means for content or software to be open, but I find the complex human dynamics that make up open communities much more intriguing than the arguments over which license is the right one. And so, over the past year, I have enjoyed exploring what it means to be an open community, by helping shape the developments at P2PU. What are the structural differences between open communities and closed ones? What is good leadership in open communities? How can groups of volunteers make decisions efficiently and get stuff done? In a nutshell, how does open governance work? I want to better understand these questions and find answers that help P2PU remain the healthy, vibrant and wonderful community it is today, and enable the next phase of expected growth.

    • Aug. 19, 1839: Photography Goes Open Source
    • Open Access/Content

      • How Science Is Rediscovering “Open” And What It Means For Government

        Pretty much everybody in government should read this fantastic New York Times article Sharing of Data Leads to Progress on Alzheimer’s. On one hand the article is a window into what has gone wrong with science – about how all to frequently a process that used to be competitive but open, and problem focused has become a competitive but closed and intellectual property driven (one need only look at scientific journals to see how slow and challenging the process has become).

        But strip away the talk about the challenges and opportunities for science. At its core, this is an article is about something more basic and universal. This is an article about open data.

  • Programming

    • Ruby 1.9.2 Boasts ‘Production Ready’ Update as Rails 3.0 Approaches

      The new release, which features performance improvements as well as some fixes and new features, comes at a critical time for the Ruby ecosystem. For one thing, the popular Rails framework for Ruby (Ruby on Rails) is gearing up for its 3.0 release, making Ruby 1.9.2 not just a long-anticipated update, but one that’s been closely watched due to its implications for a wide array of related projects.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Legislative Open Document Format (LODF)

      Data standards are critical components of all enterprise architectures but they are absolutely central to e-Democracy and e-Legislation. Data standards are the primary vehicle through which seamless data interoperability, data interchange and transparency can be achieved whilst at the same time ensuring information longevity and vendor independence.

    • Demo: Attachment viewer supports JAR files and ODF thumbnails!

      A new extension has been added to the attachment viewer to support ODF thumbnails. As I learned from a colleague last week the ODF file format is really just an archive (ZIP to be exact) so the same Java API’s I used for the ZIP provider work equally as well in the ODF file provider.

Leftovers

  • Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. Further Aligns Itself With the GOP

    According to recent filings from the Republican Governors Association, News Corp., parent company of Fox News and the New York Post, donated $1 million to the RGA this June. Politico calls it “a new step toward an open identification between Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. and the GOP.”

  • Umashankar I.A.S, a victim of Crony Capitalism.

    C.Umashankar IAS, an honest and efficient officer joined the Indian Administrative Service in 1990. He started his journey as an assistant collector in 1992 in Mayiladuthurai, Nagapattinam district in Tamil Nadu. He questioned irregularities in cyclone relief work taking place in the area and was promptly transferred to Seiyar, Thiruvannamalai district. This is indeed is part of the vicissitudes in the professional life of an honest official.

  • HP hires headhunter to replace Hurd

    The headhunting firm was established in 1956 and is a privately held partnership with expertise in consumer goods that expanded into technology, communications, and media in 1982 and followed up with life sciences, financial services, legal firms and non-profits, among other industries. The company found Louis Gerstner his top job at cookie maker RJR Nabisco, and was one of the two firms picked to find a replacement for flailing IBM CEO and chairman, John Akers, when IBM went aground badly and nearly went bankrupt in the early 1990s.

  • Another Woman Asks Google To Name People Who Were Mean To Her Online

    You may remember last year when model Liskula Cohen went to court to get Google to hand over the name of a blogger who was mean to her, calling her a skank. Of course, in doing so, it brought a lot more attention to the blog which almost no one had read before. In fact, it seems clear that a hell of a lot more people now associate “Liskula Cohen” with “skank” due to her legal actions, than the blog. Eventually a court said Google should unmask the anonymous blogger — which it did.

    [...]

    Either way, it looks like we’re getting something of a repeat — as another woman, this time a former model and actress, and now a consultant named Carla Franklin — has gone to court to get Google to hand over the names of some YouTube users who posted some videos of her, and referred to her as a “whore.”

  • Brainy ex-model Carla Franklin suing Google to expose cyberbully who called her ‘whore’ on YouTube

    Franklin, a 2008 graduate of Columbia Business School who works as a consultant, was alerted to the slurs after her friends checked her out in a series of YouTube videos.

  • Science

    • Real-Time, Detailed Face Tracking On a Nokia N900

      “Researchers at the University of Manchester this week revealed a detailed face tracker that runs in real-time on the Nokia N900 mobile phone. Unlike existing mobile face trackers (video) that give an approximate position and scale of the face, Manchester’s embedded Active Appearance Model accurately tracks a number of landmarks on and around the face such as the eyes, nose, mouth and jawline. The extra level of detail that this provides potentially indicates who the user is, where they are looking and how they are feeling. The face tracker was developed as part of a face- and voice-verification system for controlling access to mobile internet applications such as e-mail, social networking and on-line banking.”

    • To infinity and beyond: The struggle to save arithmetic

      IF YOU were forced to learn long division at school, you might have had cause to curse whoever invented arithmetic. A wearisome whirl of divisors and dividends, of bringing the next digit down and multiplying by the number you first thought of, it almost always went wrong somewhere. And all the while you were plagued by that subversive thought- provided you were at school when such things existed- that any sensible person would just use a calculator.

      Well, here’s an even more subversive thought: are the rules of arithmetic, the basic logical premises underlying things like long division, unsound? Implausible, you might think. After all, human error aside, our number system delivers pretty reliable results. Yet the closer mathematicians peer beneath the hood of arithmetic, the more they are becoming convinced that something about numbers doesn’t quite add up. The motor might be still running, but some essential parts seem to be missing- and we’re not sure where to find the spares.

  • Security/Aggression

    • DOD: Our Bad, We DID Talk to WikiLeaks

      The Pentagon is walking back initial denials that it tried to contact WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, in recent days to discuss still-unreleased secret files from the Afghanistan war. And new details divulged by defense officials suggest their middleman for contacting the website was an obscure lawyer based in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

    • U.S. Intelligence planned to destroy WikiLeaks, 18 Mar 2008

      This document is a classified (SECRET/NOFORN) 32 page U.S. counterintelligence investigation into WikiLeaks. “The possibility that current employees or moles within DoD or elsewhere in the U.S. government are providing sensitive or classified information to WikiLeaks.org cannot be ruled out. It concocts a plan to fatally marginalize the organization. Since WikiLeaks uses “trust as a center of gravity by protecting the anonymity and identity of the insiders, leakers or whistleblowers, the report recommends “The identification, exposure, termination of employment, criminal prosecution, legal action against current or former insiders, leakers, or whistleblowers could potentially damage or destroy this center of gravity and deter others considering similar actions from using the WikiLeaks.org Web site. [As two years have passed since the date of the report, with no WikiLeaks' source exposed, it appears that this plan was ineffective]. As an odd justification for the plan, the report claims that “Several foreign countries including China, Israel, North Korea, Russia, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe have denounced or blocked access to the WikiLeaks.org website. The report provides further justification by enumerating embarrassing stories broken by WikiLeaks—U.S. equipment expenditure in Iraq, probable U.S. violations of the Chemical Warfare Convention Treaty in Iraq, the battle over the Iraqi town of Fallujah and human rights violations at Guantanamo Bay.

    • Why WikiLeaks must be protected

      The case of the Afghanistan war logs and the hounding of Julian Assange prove that there’s never been greater need to speak truth to power than today.

    • Julian Assange: WikiLeaks founder hits out at rape smears as Swedish warrant for his arrest is withdrawn

      Julian Assange’s supporters are quick to point the finger at American intelligence agencies and say they were expecting slurs after he posted 77,000 Afghanistan war documents online

      [...]

      According to Expressen, a Swedish newspaper, the 39-year-old Australian had been wanted in connection with two separate incidents. The first involved a woman from Stockholm who reportedly accused him of “molestation”. The second involved a woman from Enköping, about an hour’s drive west from Stockholm, who had apparently accused Assange of rape. The warrant was withdrawn yesterday afternoon.

      Assange claimed he was the victim of a smear campaign. He denied the charges on WikiLeaks’s Twitter page, saying they were “without basis and their issue at this moment is deeply disturbing”.

    • Thaileaks

      For unknown reasons the Thai Government has closed access to the Wikileaks website. This means that Thai internauts and webizens are not allowed to take part in the current netbased movement of freedom. This is not acceptable, anywhere in the world. Therefore we make all Thai-related content from the Wikileaks website available for direct download. We will continue doing this for every country that blocks essential internet infrastructure. The internet is an intricate system of tunnels, we will dig a hole in every national firewall.

    • WikiLeaks counters Thai censorship

      Yesterday, “Thailand is blocking domestic access to WikiLeaks under the country’s 2005 emergency powers”, said p2pnet, quoting the Bangkok Post.

      At the end of the story, “It doesn’t say if the censorship means Thai authorities fear documents damaging to them may suddenly show up on WikiLeaks”, we added.

    • Waiting for WikiLeaks: Beijing’s Seven Secrets

      While people in the US and elsewhere have been reacting to the release by WikiLeaks of classified US documents on the Afghan War, Chinese bloggers have been discussing the event in parallel with another in their own country. On July 21 in Beijing, four days before WikiLeaks published its documents, Chinese President Hu Jintao convened a high-level meeting to discuss ways to prevent leaks from the archives of the Communist Party of China.

      Party archives in China exist at local, provincial, and central levels and have always been secret and extremely closely guarded. At local levels, some, in recent years, have been digitized, but at the highest levels the original paper is guarded physically, and rules of access are complex and extremely rigid.

    • Prosecutors Eye WikiLeaks Charges

      Pentagon lawyers believe that online whistleblower group WikiLeaks acted illegally in disclosing thousands of classified Afghanistan war reports and other material, and federal prosecutors are exploring possible criminal charges, officials familiar with the matter said.

      A joint investigation by the Army and the Federal Bureau of Investigation is still in its early stages and it is unclear what course the Department of Justice will decide to take, according to a U.S. law-enforcement official.

    • Pratap Chatterjee: Assassination in Afghanistan and Task Force 373

      Fast forward to 2007, the first time Task Force 373 is mentioned in the Wikileaks documents. We don’t know whether its number means anything, but coincidentally or not, chapter 373 of the U.S. Code 10, the act of Congress that sets out what the U.S. military is legally allowed to do, permits the Secretary of Defense to empower any “civilian employee” of the military “to execute warrants and make arrests without a warrant” in criminal matters. Whether or not this is indeed the basis for that “373” remains a classified matter — as indeed, until the Wikileaks document dump occurred, was the very existence of the group.

      Analysts say that Task Force 373 complements Task Force 121 by using “white forces” like the Rangers and the Green Berets, as opposed to the more secretive Delta Force. Task Force 373 is supposedly run out of three military bases — in Kabul, the Afghan capital; Kandahar, the country’s second largest city; and Khost City near the Pakistani tribal lands. It’s possible that some of its operations also come out of Camp Marmal, a German base in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif. Sources familiar with the program say that the task force has its own helicopters and aircraft, notably AC-130 Spectre gunships, dedicated only to its use.

    • Why won’t the Pentagon help WikiLeaks redact documents?

      After the last release, the Pentagon very flamboyantly accused WikiLeaks of endangering the lives of innocent Afghans, even accusing them of having “blood on their hands” (despite the absence of a single claim that anyone was actually harmed from the release of those documents). If Pentagon officials are truly concerned about the well-being of Afghan sources identified in these documents — rather than exaggerating and exploiting that concern in order to harm WikiLeaks’ credibility — wouldn’t they be eager to help WikiLeaks redact these documents? That would be the behavior one would expect if these concerns were at all genuine.

    • David Kelly’s death was textbook suicide, pathologist says

      The pathologist who performed the autopsy on the government scientist David Kelly said today his death was a textbook case of suicide but he would have “dearly loved” to have found evidence of murder.

      Nicholas Hunt, a Home Office pathologist, told the Sunday Times he had been horrified at the treatment of Kelly by the Labour government.

      He spent eight hours examining the 59-year-old’s body for evidence of murder but found nothing to support that theory.

    • WikiLeaks supporters blame spy agencies for sex claims

      Friends of the secretive founder of WikiLeaks, the website behind the biggest leak of United States military documents in history, claimed yesterday that he was the victim of a smear campaign after prosecutors withdrew a warrant for his arrest in connection with rape and molestation allegations.

      On Saturday a spokeswoman for the Swedish prosecutors office in Stockholm confirmed that an arrest warrant for Julian Assange had been issued and urged him to “contact police so that he can be confronted with the suspicions”.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Minnesota Tornadoes 2010: We’re #1!

      Maybe we should update the state slogan to say; “Welcome to the Land of 10,000 Lakes and 100 tornadoes.”

    • War dividend

      OME experiments are hard to conduct. Fisheries biologists are, for example, reasonably confident that creating protected areas in the sea, in which fishing is forbidden, encourages the recovery of those species that stay put in the area. This has worked in several places in the tropics, notably the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, where fish populations in protected zones have doubled in five years. They are less confident, however, that it applies to places where the fish of interest are migratory, as is often the case in temperate-zone fisheries like those of the North Atlantic and its adjacent seas.

    • BP rejects claims it is hiding data on rig explosion

      Energy giant BP has been accused of hiding key data needed to investigate the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.

      Transocean, the company that owned the oil rig, alleged that BP is refusing to hand over information it needs about the explosion.

      The claim is made in a letter from one of Transocean’s lawyers sent to members of President Barack Obama’s cabinet.

  • Finance

    • The cruel bonds cult

      But in America we do have a choice. The markets aren’t demanding we give up on job creation. On the contrary, they seem worried about the lack of action on the fact that, as Bill Gross of the giant bond fund Pimco put it earlier this week, we’re “approaching a cul-de-sac of stimulus” which he warns “will slow to a snail’s pace, incapable of providing sufficient job growth going forward”.

    • Hate crimes against the homeless

      If you’re curious to know what’s giving more than 6 million viewers on YouTube a thrill, you should go to the site and enter the key words “bum fight”, which will produce in excess of 5,000 videos showing homeless individuals in the US, mostly older men, being plied with lethal alcohol and goaded into performing ridiculous acts such as punching walls with their bare hands, diving from heights into dumpsters, fighting each other and generally being humiliated, mostly by younger men who have a home.

    • SEC Now Offering Big Payoffs To Whistle-Blowers

      Under the program, which is already live, anyone who provides a tip that leads to a successful Securities and Exchange Commission action will be able to collect between 10% and 30% of the amount recovered — as long as the total amount exceeds $1 million. This means the minimum payout is $100,000. The whistle-blower could be a company insider or a private investor, if they’re able to offer information or analysis that leads to an action. And with potential payoffs netting millions — or even tens of millions — of dollars, experts are bracing for a surge in tipoffs.

    • Settlement in Tribune bankruptcy case collapses

      The contentious Tribune Co. bankruptcy case lurched into a new state of uncertainty Friday as a settlement at the heart of the company’s proposed reorganization plan fell apart and big creditors said they would attempt to negotiate a deal without Tribune’s participation.

    • What the Double-Dip Recession Will Look Like

      “Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe the economy has yet to hit bottom, a sharply higher percentage than the 53% who felt that way in January,” according to a recent Wall Street Journal poll.

      A growing and vocal minority of economists believes that there will be a double-dip recession primarily because of the intransigence of high unemployment and the rapidly faltering housing market. The notion of a “jobless recovery” has been around since the recessions of the 1950s and 1960s. It is a concept built on a relatively simple idea: employment lags during a recession but it is always part of a recovery cycle. Production rises as businesses see the end of a downturn and anticipate improving sales. They are reluctant to hire new workers until the recovery is confirmed, but once it has been, hiring picks up.

    • Michael Moore vs Goldman Sachs ( with bill maher) video
  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Wikipedia editing courses launched by Zionist groups

      Now two Israeli groups seeking to gain the upper hand in the online debate have launched a course in “Zionist editing” for Wikipedia, the online reference site.

    • ‘Ground Zero Mosque’ Imam Was A Bush-Era Partner For Mideast Peace

      Tuesday, Reps. Peter King (R-NY) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) called Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf — best known for his work with multicultural Cordoba Initiative to build a mosque and community center in Lower Manhattan — a “radical” and criticized the Obama Administration for including him on a Middle East speaking tour. That tour, which includes stops in Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, is designed by the public diplomacy office to explain to Muslims abroad what it’s like to be a Muslim in America.

      Outside of how getting constantly called a radical by American politicians busy flacking the proposed “Ground Zero mosque” for political purposes might affect Rauf’s view of what it’s like to be a Muslim in America, there’s one other big problem with King’s and Ros-Lehtinen’s accusation: Rauf already represented America in this way, under the Bush Administration.

    • Why oil billionaire David Koch is secretly funding Astroturf to repeal CA clean energy laws

      Much has been reported about how Texan oil companies Valero and Tesoro have been fighting to repeal the landmark clean energy climate change law, AB 32. The Wonk Room recently obtained a PowerPoint from Tesoro showing that the company made a pitch to oil companies, including BP, to join their effort known as Proposition 23.

      But there is another powerful out-of-state fossil fuel interest trying to eviscerate California’s pioneering climate change law: Koch Industries. The Wonk Room has learned that Koch Industries is funding the lead “grassroots” group organizing support for Proposition 23, and is also funding the Pacific Research Institute, the main think-tank producing junk studies smearing AB 32.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • The Audacity of Warner Brothers and Re-Spawning Zombie Cookies

      A lawsuit in federal court alleges that several companies like Warner Bros. Records, Disney, Ustream and others “hacked the computers” of millions of consumers “to covertly, without consent, and in an unauthorized, deceptive, invasive, and fraudulent manner” implanted “rogue” Flash tracking cookies. The group referred to collectively as “Clearspring Flash Cookie Affiliates” are accused of spying on users, including kids, by intercepting online transmissions with tracking code, that even if the user deleted, would be used to “re-spawn” Flash cookies.

    • Germany to roll out ID cards with embedded RFID

      The production of the RFID chips, an integral element of the new generation of German identity cards, has started after the government gave a 10 year contract to the chipmaker NXP in the Netherlands. Citizens will receive the mandatory new ID cards from the first of November.
      German RFID identity card

      Various German authorities will be able to identify persons fast and reliable by scanning the RFID citizen card. These will be the police, customs and tax authorities and of course the local registration and passport granting authorities.

      The new ID card will contain all personal data on the security chip that can be accessed over a wireless connection.

    • Court OKs Covert iPhone Audio Recording
  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • ‘Alice in Wonderland’ Suit: Off With Their Heads!

      Mkrtchyan claims the “Alice” chairs are a dead ringer for his design … in fact, he claims he has a chair for every suit in the deck — including spades, clubs and diamonds.

    • Safeguarding the BBC’s archive

      The BBC’s legacy Radio and Television programme collections have resided at the Windmill Road Archive in Brentford, West London, for 42 years. There are almost five million items held on a wide variety formats including film, dating back to 1936, videotape, first introduced into the BBC in the late sixties and numerous audio tape and disc including a small collection of wax cylinders which date back to the early 1900s.

    • ‘Pizza Pizza Pizza’ Menu Under Fire

      Little Caesar’s is claiming that a Royal Oak restaurant is infringing on the copyright of the slogan “Pizza -Pizza.”

    • Copyrights

      • Piracy Is Promotion, Says CEO of Porn Multinational

        Adult entertainment and piracy go hand in hand, so to speak. While some players in the industry use legal tools to bring piracy to a halt, others are not bothered about unauthorized sharing. In a recent video interview the CEO of one of the largest porn distributors said that the more people pirate his company’s work, the better.

      • Porn Company Embracing ‘Pirates,’ Planning To Monetize Experiences
      • The Real Reason for Germany’s Industrial Expansion?

        Did Germany experience rapid industrial expansion in the 19th century due to an absence of copyright law? A German historian argues that the massive proliferation of books, and thus knowledge, laid the foundation for the country’s industrial might.

      • Could The Legality Of Google’s Cache Kill Righthaven’s Copyright Claims?

        As Righthaven continues to file lawsuits, it seems that various lawyers who are concerned about copyright, free speech and chilling effects online have been rushing to help defend some of those sued. I can’t recall a situation (even with US Copyright Group) where lawyers have been so eager to take on a company filing copyright infringement claims. Of course, the really interesting part is how some of the lawyers are testing out a variety of defenses to the lawsuits, some which seem to have a much better chance of passing judicial muster than others.

      • RIAA Wants Piracy on the Table in Net Neutrality Talks

        A group of 13 trade organizations representing all corners of the music industry is calling on Google to incorporate mechanisms for cracking down on piracy as it attempts to broker a deal on net neutrality.

        “The music community we represent believes it is vital that any Internet policy initiative permit and encourage ISPs and other intermediaries to take measures to deter unlawful activity such as copyright infringement and child pornography,” the groups wrote in a letter to Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) CEO Eric Schmidt.

      • ACTA

        • Lunch with the ACTA negotiators, August 17, 2010

          At the lunch meeting the U.S. negotiators explained the reason for this — they said it was obvious that regardless of what the ACTA provisions say, the U.S. can ignore the provisions in cases where there are statutory exceptions. “It is not necessary to say that in the ACTA text” I was told. “It’s obvious.”

        • ACTA Negotiators Don’t Seem To Know Or Care About What They’re Negotiating

          Yes, it appears we’re negotiating an agreement where the US isn’t too concerned with the fact that it goes against key points in US law because we’ll just ignore the parts we don’t like. But, you can bet that we’ll put massive pressure on any other country that tries to do the same. And, when there’s any discussion of improving US law, we’ll be told we can’t, because of our “international obligations” under ACTA.

        • US-EU food fight dogs anti-counterfeiting talks

          A long-running battle over the right to use European place names, like Parma or Roquefort, for some of the world’s most popular foods and beverages looks to be the toughest remaining issue in international trade talks aimed at reducing copyright and trademark theft.

          The 27-nations of the European Union want the proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) to cover “geographical indicators”, which are names for food and alcoholic products drawn from a particular location, such Champagne or Cognac, both in France.

Clip of the Day

Richard M. Stallman Speech Patents Calgary Canada 2005


08.21.10

Links 21/8/2010: X Server 1.9.0, Droid 2

Posted in News Roundup at 5:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • “Public Software”: a serious symptom of the crisis in the Free Software Social Movement

    “Public Software? The so-called Public Software is a political project which aims to remove the Free Software main feature: the Freedom. It tries to put the people in the role of mere “viewing public”. The Free Software Social Movement historically called the participation of the entire society for the transformation of the surrounding reality, it aimed to create PRODUCERS of free culture, free software, free computer networks and free hardware in order to achieve a freer society .

  • I, open source robot

    It is common for market laggards to go open source. It is less common for market leaders to do so.

    Thus we need to celebrate the Affero GPL 3.0 version of Urbi, software that powers (among others) the Segway RMP and Lego Mindstorm.

  • Bringing Some Harmony to Open Source Development

    When Amanda Brock joined Canonical two and a half years ago, she discovered something rather surprising about open source.

  • Commercialization of volunteer-driven open source projects

    Within the Drupal project, we don’t have a paid staff to advance the software. However, many of the developers who contribute to critical parts of the Drupal code base make their living by building complex Drupal websites. Some Drupal developers are paid by customers to contribute their expertise to the Drupal project or are employed by companies “sponsoring” Drupal development.

  • Telecommuting

    I’ve been working as a freelancer for almost a year now, and I cannot help noticing how free software helps making this possible. Working in an international setting, most of the work is done from my home office. This requires techniques to get the work done. Small motivational “rewards” (or really fun customer assignments so that one forgets lunch…) The other half is the communication with the customers itself. This is where free software enters the picture.

  • Web Browsers

  • Oracle

    • Enterprise Java: Oracle’s real reason for suing Google?

      By now you’ve read that Oracle has sued Google for patent and copyright infringement related to the Android platform. Google has responded that the claims are baseless and counter to the open source community movement. In all the hullabaloo, the press, pundits, Oracle, and Google seem to have ignored the impact on enterprise Java.

  • Healthcare

    • VA approaches open source day of reckoning

      Long before open source entered the lexicon, the Veterans Administration (VA) was known to techies for VistA, an electronic medical record (EMR) program written in MUMPS that was developed in an open way and published as a public record, freely available.

Leftovers

  • L.A. Times Ranks City Teachers by Effectiveness

    Do parents have the right to know which of their kids’ teachers are the most and least effective? That’s the controversy roaring in California this week with the publication of an investigative series by the Los Angeles Times’s Jason Song and Jason Felch, who used seven years of math and English test data to publicly identify the best and the worst third- to fifth-grade teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District. The newspaper’s announcement of its plans to release data later this month on all 6,000 of the city’s elementary-school teachers has prompted the local teachers’ union to rally members to organize a boycott of the newspaper.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Friday Notebook: The New Simon-Ehrlich Teaching Story

      Indeed, for Transitionists who dream of moving quadrillions of BTU demand, currently supplied by oil in global transport, over to a new electrified grid it behooves us to think harder about resources such as Copper. Like Kedrosky, and surely some of my readers, I have marveled over the possibilities of material upgrading and other technological wonders of resource substitution–the kinds of methods that often appear in presentations from places like MIT’s Solar Group. That said, we need to confront the fact that in conjunction with new lows in global copper ore grades, the price of copper–just like oil–has entered a new regime. Expecting a miracle of substitution in copper, or a price reversal downward away from the current regime, is certainly not realistic if we are on the threshold of hitting hard global copper resources to electrify world transport. Simon-Ehrlich recasted is another important step, therefore, towards the realism we need to actually solve the challenge of energy-transition.

  • Finance

    • Why Goldman Sachs is expecting to make as much money as ever

      If you’re expecting the new financial reform law to cut into Goldman Sachs’ profits, think again, says Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone. The Los Angeles Times recently reported that Goldman executives are privately — and with conviction — assuring analysts that they won’t make any less money than they did before. Goldman appears to be “seriously preparing for some major changes,” since the new rules bar banks from engaging in proprietary trading, or investing the firm’s own money. The idea is to prevent federally-insured depository institutions from “engaging in high-risk speculation,” but apparently there are enough “loopholes” in the new law to “allow the bank to continue gambling as before.”

    • Goldman Sachs economists: No double dip (probably)

      What to make of their latest research note? It is something of a glass half-full, glass half-empty story. Here are excerpts from the report, by Ed McKelvey, issued Thursday. Make your own call on whether to view this take on the U.S. economic outlook as fundamentally optimistic or pessimistic.

    • Forbes: Goldman Sachs to profit from FrankenDodd fake financial reform bill
    • Lawsuits Against Goldman Execs Over Abacus Merged

      A New York judge has combined two shareholder lawsuits against executives and directors of Goldman Sachs Group Inc and put the case on hold pending progress on resolving it and 16 related federal lawsuits.

      All of the lawsuits concern Abacus, a transaction that led to Goldman’s agreement in July to pay $550 million to resolve a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission civil fraud lawsuit.

    • Bloomberg’s McCracken Discusses Goldman’s Role in GM IPO: Video
    • Goldman: A Self-Analysis Likely to Surprise

      That’s not the way Goldman handled its image, though. With few exceptions, Goldman dismissed the verdicts of its critics. That just created more of them, culminating in an ignominious Securities and Exchange Commission fraud charge and settlement. It all tarnished the firm’s stated goal of unparalleled client focus.

    • Mortgage Bonds Slump on `Mega-Refi’ Concern: Credit Markets

      Pacific Investment Management Co.’s Bill Gross urged government officials today to allow all borrowers who haven’t missed payments on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans to get lower-cost mortgages. Dachille, who oversees about $8 billion of fixed-income investments, supported the idea yesterday in a telephone interview, saying such financing should be offered without consideration of homeowners’ incomes or house values.

    • Paulson’s Hedge Fund Acquires 1.1 Million Goldman Sachs Shares

      John Paulson, the hedge-fund manager who became a billionaire by betting against U.S. mortgage markets, bought 1.1 million shares of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in the second quarter.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • German Guy Wants to Photograph Those Buildings People Want to Exclude from Google Street View

      Spiegel reports that German photographer and IT consultant Jens Best wants to personally take snapshots of all those (German) buildings which people asked Google Street View to remove. He then wants to add those photos to Picasa, including GPS coordinates, and in turn re-connect them with Google Maps. Jens believes that for the internet “we must apply the same rules as we do in the real world. Our right to take panoramic snapshots, for instance, or to take photographs in public spaces, both base laws which determine that one may photograph those things that are visible from public streets and places.”

    • Sweden drops warrant for WikiLeaks founder

      “I do not consider there to be any reason to suspect that he has committed rape,” chief prosecutor Eva Finné said in a statement explaining her decision.

      The statement was issued at 4.30pm on Saturday to confirm that Assange was no longer a suspect and is thus no longer required to contact the police.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • RIAA: Google/Verizon deal needs yet another gaping loophole

      Plenty of people are worried that the Google/Verizon net neutrality proposal has too many exceptions. The recording industry is worried that it doesn’t have enough.

      In a letter sent today to Google CEO Eric Schmidt, the RIAA and other music trade groups expressed their concern that the riddled-with-gaping-loopholes policy framework nevertheless might put a damper on ISP attempts to find and filter piratical material flowing through the Internet’s tubes. Failure to allow for this sort of behavior would lead to an Internet of “chaos.”

    • Telenet ISP: One of our customers downloads 2.7TB every month

      Posting on the userbase.be forums, the ISP was kind enough to share data on its top 20 subscribers (with their permission). In the top spot was a user who managed to transfer 2.7TB of data in a single month. 2nd to 5th spots counted 1.9TB, 1.4TB, 1.3TB, and 1TB of data transferred. After that the numbers fall quickly.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • ACTA

        • ACTA Round Ten Concludes: Deal May Be One Month Away, Updated Text To Remain Secret

          Round ten of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement negotiations in Washington concluded on Friday with countries confirming progress on all fronts and hopes to reach agreement on all remaining substantive issues at the next round in negotiations in Japan in late September. While the joint statement is not yet online, Reuters reports that the U.S. believes the remaining issues – including the U.S. – E.U. divide over geographical indications – could be resolved at the next meeting. The statement repeats earlier assurances about the impact on fundamental rights, cross-border transit of generic medicines, and iPod searching border guards.

Clip of the Day

Ps3 hack by Modchip with Jailbreak [ps3club]


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