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Links 3/7/2010: Cisco and Linux, Mozilla @ 2,000,000,000 Firefox Addons Downloads

Posted in News Roundup at 4:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • Why have you switched to GNU/Linux?

      Prior to this, I used Mac OS but I knew that both operating systems are proprietary and want to limit the end user. I got tired of being manipulated to use a particular application and having bloatware already pre-installed on my computer. After searching the Internet for alternatives to Mac OS and Windows I found this really cool concept that is called Linux. I didn’t know much about the OS but gave it a shot.

    • What Linux means for the Consumer – Drivers, Open Source and Support

      When a consumer installs a Linux system, this has various consequences for him, which are sometimes hard to estimate at first. I’ve written a little summary touching the differences to Windows and Mac OS X in drivers, open source and support.

  • Google

    • Hopefully Install & Remote Kill-s the Cloud OS

      After reading a few articles about Google and their REMOVE_ASSET and INSTALL_ASSET ability and how they have invoked it already under a few circumstances. Its very fearful foreshadowing of our possible computing future, at which we may be at the point of no return already. Imagine you install it today and tomorrow Google says you don’t want that and removes it to replace it with their stuff.

    • How to Run Chrome OS the Easy Way

      A few of us here at MTE have a bit of a crush on Chrome OS. It’s not just the system itself, it’s the fact that someone is finally taking the concept of an operating system in a new direction. We wrote a brief synopsis of Chrome OS shortly after the first announcement that showed how things stood at the very beginning, then more recently did a manual build guide. Building Chrome OS from source code can take several hours, and can be a somewhat challenging process even for an experienced Linux user. To help solve that problem, some developers have begun releasing custom Chrome OS builds with included installers and software tweaks. This guide will show you where to find the images and how to get the latest Hexxeh release, Flow, on to your netbook or VM from a Linux host.

  • Ballnux

    • Samsung’s Latest Android to Shine on 5 US Carriers

      Samsung is taking the shotgun approach with its latest Android smartphone, the Galaxy S: It will be made available on five U.S. wireless providers, though each version will use a different name and have a slightly different feature set. “This will either be one of the biggest home runs in wireless history, or it will be a confusing mess,” said telecom and wireless analyst Jeff Kagan.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • GNOME Desktop

    • Clutter 1.3/1.4 Continues To Advance

      The release announcement for Clutter 1.3.6 can be read on clutter-announce. Clutter 1.4.0, which will be the first stable release to incorporate all of these Clutter 1.3 changes, will be released in time for the GNOME 3.0 release in September. Clutter is used within the Mutter compositing window manager found in GNOME 3.0 and is also used by various GNOME Games and other projects.

    • GNOME 2.31.4 Is Ready For Some Testing Love

      It should come as no surprise that there is now a new GNOME 3.0 test release seeing as in the past couple of days we have talked about new development releases of GNOME Shell and Mutter, GTK+ 3.0, and Clutter 1.3/1.4, along with a slew of other GNOME packages being checked-in.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu Software Center Receives Major User Interface Update, More [Ubuntu 10.10]

        An update in Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat today brings a changed look for the main Ubuntu Software Center pane.

      • Ubuntu Developer Week announced

        The Ubuntu development team have announced that the next Ubuntu Developer Week will take place from the July 12th to 16th. Several online workshops will take place during the week, run by a variety of Ubuntu contributors and community members.

      • Flavours and Variants

        • Ubuntu Satanic Edition 10.04 (Lucifer’s Legion)

          Summary: The distro for the damned has risen again and walks among us. It’s chock-full of amazing satanic grace and charm. Highly recommended for Linux users who are tired of being goody two-shoes and who want to take a walk on the dark side of Ubuntu Linux.

          Rating: 4/5

        • Linux Mint 9 KDE Release Candidate Available

          The KDE version of Linux Mint 9 (codename: Isadora), will instantly look and feel familiar to KDE users and comes packaged with new software such as Miro, which streams video from webistes in its own player, BleachBit, for hard drive cleaning, and Acetoniso, for converting video and images. Linux Mint 9 KDE features a new software manager that can handle more than 30,000 packages and remove and install applications asynchronously, making it possible to install separate applications at the same time and install applications in the background.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Multicore PowerPC networking SoCs gain Linux support

      Wind River announced a multi-year collaboration with LSI to co-market “tightly integrated” Linux-ready hardware and software for LSI’s PowerPC-based, multicore Axxia Communication Processors (ACP). Targeting telecommunications and networking infrastructure, the partners’ solutions will include Axxia-optimized board support packages (BSPs) for Wind River Linux, VxWorks, Wind River Workbench, and Workbench On-Chip Debugging, says the company.

    • Seven-inch Cortex-A8 tablet dual boots Android 2.1 and Windows CE

      Merimobiles has begun selling a seven-inch tablet for $200 that dual boots Android 2.1 and Windows CE 6.0. The Witstech A81-E is based on an unnamed ARM Cortex-A8-based processor clocked to 600MHz, and is equipped with 256MB RAM, 2GB flash, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and an optional GPS receiver, says the online retailer.

    • Palm

      • Palm Waives App Submission Fee for Developers

        No more fees and new promotions both hope to stimulate the Linux-based webOS ecosystem.


        In July, Palm has plans for a new PDK Hot Apps promotion, which will distribute another US$ 1 million to developers, with an emphasis on C/C++ apps that were ineligible for the previous Hot Apps promotion.

      • HP Completes Palm Acquisition; Netbook Running webOS Soon?

        Hewlett-Packard has completed the Palm acquisition. And if you read between the lines it sounds like HP will leverage Palm’s technology for more than smart phones and tablet computers. Indeed, HP seems poised to deploy webOS on netbooks.

    • Nokia/MeeGo

    • Android

      • Research: Android’s Big Lead Over Apple In Free Apps

        The latest numbers from mobile app store monitor Distimo show major differences in apps’ prices in Google’s Android Market and Apple’s App Store. While the majority of apps on the Android Market are free, only about a quarter on the App Store are. Advantage Android or advantage App Store? Debatable. Consumers might prefer free apps, but developers want a marketplace where it’s commonplace to charge.

        Some possible explanations for the discrepancy, according to Distimo: Currently, only developers in a fraction of the countries where Android is available can distribute paid apps on the platform. Only users from select countries can buy them. And users have to sign up for a Google (NSDQ: GOOG) Checkout account to buy an Android app.

      • Here come the new Yahoo! Android apps

        According to recent reports the Android operating system has an impressive 19.9% share of the US mobile web market. That’s still some way behind Apple iOS on 58.8% but the iPhone has been around for a lot longer. It should come as no surprise, then, that Yahoo! wants to get a piece of that Android action. Which is why it has now announced the continuing expansion of its reach with the immediate availability of Yahoo! Mail and Yahoo! Messenger apps plus a Yahoo! Search Widget for Android.

      • Nexus One First In Line at the Froyo Dessert Bar

        Google has begun dishing out Froyo, the latest version of the Android mobile operating system. The company has chosen to make its own Nexus One smartphone the first to receive the update, despite that handset’s relatively modest sales figures. Other advanced Android phones will likely get their own updates soon, once the new OS can be rejiggered to work with the customized interfaces various manufacturers have added.

      • Kindle for Android app ships, but Froyo roll-out hits snag

        Amazon released its Kindle app for Android, while announcing a multimedia version for the iPhone and dropping the price of the Kindle, says eWEEK. Meanwhile, Android 2.2 rolled out to Nexus One users, but Sprint suspended its own rollout to the Evo 4G, says eWEEK, and Samsung announced plans for a Froyo update to its Galaxy S.

      • Gingerbread will split Android into two, rumors say

        Android 3.0 “Gingerbread” will be a high-end format supporting 1280 × 760 resolution and requiring a 1GHz processor, essentially splitting the operating system into two platforms, says UnwiredView. Meanwhile, HTC and Sprint are readying an Android smartphone with a 2GHz processor and 1080p video recording, says OzcarGuide, while TmoNews says HTC is prepping an Android phone for T-Mobile with dual 800MHz processors.

      • Android 3.0 Rumored for Q4 2010

        Rumors are circulating about Google’s next version of Android, the open source, Linux-based mobile operating system. Version 3.0 (Codename: Gingerbread) will supposedly require a 1GHz CPU and at least 512MB of RAM onboard, making it a shoe-in for high-end smartphones. Gingerbread will also support a screen resolution as high as 1280×760.

    • Tablets

      • Snapdragon-based Android 2.1 tablet goes on sale

        Expansys UK has begun selling a seven-inch WVGA Android 2.1 tablet from Huawei, making it one of the first available Android tablets. Priced at 300 Pounds (about $451) without a memory card or 370 Pounds ($557) with 32GB, the Huawei S7 offers a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 802.11n wireless networking, Bluetooth 2.1, and a two-megapixel camera.

    • Cisco

      • Cisco Tablet: Google Android Meets Business Collaboration

        Cius signals the latest “anything but Microsoft” development in the emerging tablet market. Among the recent vendor moves:

        * Cisco embracing Google Android for the Cius.
        * Dell promoting Android on the Dell Streak tablet.
        * Hewlett-Packard apparently scrapping work on a Windows-centric tablet and acquiring Palm and WebOS.

      • Cisco Floats Business-Minded Android Tablet

        The Cisco Cius looks an awful lot like an Android version of Apple’s iPad, but the two are really very different animals, according to In-Stat’s Jim McGregor. “Cisco is not trying to compete with Apple,” he said. “The two companies are targeting completely different segments and usage models. And like Apple in the consumer segment, Cisco offers complete solutions for businesses.”

      • Home energy monitor runs Ubuntu on Atom

        Cisco announced an Intel Atom-based, tabletop Home Energy Controller (HEC) device based on OpenPeak’s Home Energy Manager (HEM) design. Running Ubuntu Linux on a 1.1GHz Intel Atom, the HEC offers a seven-inch screen, networks via cellular, 802.11n, ZigBee, and ERT wireless, and works with back-end services enabling consumers to monitor and control energy use.

      • Cisco To Have An Android Tablet Of Their Very Own

        According to Cisco, the Cius will also have access to the Android Market.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

    • Beyond the Cloud: The Comprehensive Flexibility of FOSS May Bring Clearer Skies

      Fortunately this type of flexible software does exist. It is called Free and Open Source Softare (FOSS) and it is becoming ubiquitous. In fact, whether you know it or not, you are using FOSS software: Apache, the FOSS web server, runs this web site and indeed the majority of all web sites. WordPress, the blogging software we use here is also “everywhere” and you can purchase it from “cloud” utility providers or install, run, and modify it yourself. The list of important FOSS software goes on and on and this blog is dedicated to helping elucidate its importance as well as the issues involved in managing it.

  • Oracle

    • OpenOffice goes GStreamer on Linux and Unix

      OpenOffice is released under version 3 of the GNU Lesser General Public Licence (LGPLv3). The latest stable release of the OpenOffice open source office suite is version 3.2.1 from early June.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Life (or something like it) Update

      I believe that, by sharing this information with you, it might better illustrate (or, perhaps illuminate) why I’m building another network security tool and what fundamentally motivated me to do so.


  • Concrete Company Sues Woman For Posting Negative Review On Angie’s List

    You really would think, at this point, that any lawyer worth his or her hourly rate would strongly recommend to clients that they don’t go ballistic in filing lawsuits any time someone says something bad about you. Hell, there have been multiple stories recently about just how badly a similar lawsuit from a towing company has backfired on the company. But, yet again, we have a story of a business suing over a negative review. This time, it’s a woman in Chicago who wrote a negative review of a local cement company on the site Angie’s List because it refused to even give her an estimate, saying it didn’t work in her area. She was upset because the company was only based 5 miles away, and on Angie’s List, said it did work where she lived. So she wrote about her experience and rated the company an “F.”

  • How to Make an American Job Before It’s Too Late: Andy Grove

    Recently an acquaintance at the next table in a Palo Alto, California, restaurant introduced me to his companions: three young venture capitalists from China. They explained, with visible excitement, that they were touring promising companies in Silicon Valley. I’ve lived in the Valley a long time, and usually when I see how the region has become such a draw for global investments, I feel a little proud.

  • Environment

    • Climategate’s death rattle

      Hear that choking sound? That’s the dying gasps of Climategate. The Pennsylvania State University’s investigation into allegations of misconduct by climate scientist Michael Mann found him innocent, specifically saying:

      … the Investigatory Committee determined that Dr. Michael E. Mann did not engage in, nor did he participate in, directly or indirectly, any actions that seriously deviated from accepted practices within the academic community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research, or other scholarly activities.

      Mann, as you may recall, was a key figure in the so-called Climategate fiasco, where leaked emails were purported to show scientists fixing data to make global warming evidence appear stronger. Since Day 1 of this I have been calling it a non-event, a manufactured controversy by global warming denialists trying to make enough noise to drown out any real talk on this topic. And time and time again I have been shown to be correct.

  • Finance

  • Copyrights

    • Pirates of the college campus

      Starting this month, colleges and universities that don’t do enough to combat the illegal swapping of “Avatar” or Lady Gaga over their computer networks put themselves at risk of losing federal funding.

    • Copying is Stealing

      Before Disney and Sonny Bono, copyright law was reasonable. Rights holders were granted a limited monopoly of 7 years, plus 7 more if they chose to renew, and then their works passed into the public domain. This had many advantages: Creators had a chance at making a living from their works. It gave an escape hatch to creators who signed bad contracts. It prevented orphaned works. It enriched the common culture. Now we have this crazy complex retroactive system of virtually-forever copyrights, perpetrated by corporate interests to protect what they ripped off in the first place.

      I don’t see anything wrong with liberal personal use, like making multiple copies for different personal devices and in different formats, or making mashups for fun, or other non-commercial adaptations. One of the big problems with the current copyright enforcement insanity is it tramples personal use and invades our homes.

      Just like back in the days of sharing mix tapes, modern file-sharing can be an effective form of promotion. I think that any kind of sharing that leads to more income for artists is somewhat justifiable, though this is an over-used excuse for copying and never paying. You and I both know freeloaders who have gigabytes of music, movies, and books they never paid a cent for.


      We’ve been spoiled by decades of advertiser-subsidized entertainment. We’re not really getting TV and radio for free, we pay every day in torrents of shlock crowding out works of genuine artistry, creativity, and value. The advertiser-supported model is by its nature corrupting, and it taints whatever it touches. Isn’t it crystal-clear by now that this is the path to destruction? We get what they want to serve, which is only tools to sell crud, and boy howdy what crud it is. 95% of it could vanish tomorrow, with two immediate consequences: fewer yard sales, and garages with enough room to park cars in.

Clip of the Day

CLUG Talk 13 Apr 2010 – Grub 2 (2010)


Links 2/7/2010: First Look at GIMP 2.7, ‘Android Is Unstoppable’

Posted in News Roundup at 4:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Package Management in Enterprise Linux

    Package managers and repositories were a lifesaver for Linux. As the package management tools grew in sophistication and popularity, their associated repositories grew with software that was mostly guaranteed to work, and not muck up your system. I called it “staying in the box”. As long as you stick with what was provided by the default package managers of your distribution, you more than likely won’t run into the kind of dependency conflicts that were common in the earlier days of Linux.

  • Let’s Get Small: Linux Enables Low-Power, Space-Saving Systems

    A couple of systems have made the news recently that are targeting “scale out” cloud workloads, and Linux is likely to be the OS of choice on these systems. The SeaMicro SM10000 and the Quanta S2Q take different approaches, but the theory is the same: Cram a lot of low-powered cores into a system to handle workloads with massive amounts of small transactions. Sounds like a job for Linux!

  • Desktop

  • Security

    • Proprietary Software vs Security

      It’s been a long time since I’ve had to install a piece of proprietary software because generally my needs are met entirely by Debian’s packages or at very least by tools distributed as source. Recently though I needed to temporarily install something for interoperability reasons in order to extract some information from an opaque blob of data.

      The world has come on a long way since I last did this and the vendor in question had a Linux version of their software. So far so good. Unfortunately the install instructions for this piece of software were, to paraphrase, “download this binary and run it with root privileges, following the on screen instructions.”

      I beg your pardon? You expect me to take some piece of code with no explanation of what it is going to do and run it, not just with access to my own files but complete unrestricted access to my entire system? Are you mad? Or more to the point, do you think I’m mad?

    • New Windows Security Breech: Microsoft!

      A lot has been said about why Linux is inherently more secure than Windows. However, after reading this post (dated July 1, 2010) from PC Advisor, I realized that, right now, the security problems in Windows can actually be promoted by Microsoft. In fact, the security policy of the company has to do more with its business model than it does with costumer support.

  • Server

    • Billing’s new face: High performance at a lower cost

      For operators having to upgrade billing systems, expensive hardware is often no longer an option, and for that reason they are looking to low-cost Linux-based systems that deliver more bang for the buck.

      Growing demand for always-on connectedness and real-time rating and charging, for example, have made Unix a cost-prohibitive option, even though hardware costs have come down significantly. With that in mind, Intec today released performance numbers for its Singl.eView v7.0 charging, billing and customer care system. The purpose of the release is to demonstrate its performance on platforms that cost less than traditional Unix servers.

  • Ballnux

  • Applications

    • First Look: GIMP 2.7.1 on Ubuntu 10.04

      The GIMP development team has unleashed today (not yet on the official website) another development release of their popular image manipulation software. The GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) 2.7.1 comes with lots of improvements, new functions and many bugfixes. Among these, we can mention support for layer groups, support for multi-column dock windows, improved single-window mode, Photoshop CS4 keyboard shortcuts, RGB565 support, GEGL updates, and many more. Without further ado, we’ve listed below some of the changes in GIMP 2.7.1. Don’t forget to check out the installation part, for the Ubuntu 10.04 PPA.

    • Easy Linux backups with Lucky Backup

      We would all like to think that, since we are using Linux, we will never really need a backup of our data. Now, let’s look at this realistically. Even if your OS is 100% rock solid, with nary a nanosecond of downtime, that hardware running that OS can not possibly give 100% forever. Add to that the irresistible urge to upgrade hardware and you have the serious makings for the need to back up.

    • Tell Your Story with Celtx

      Want to write your story, create a screenplay, block out a storyboard, or create a comic? Put down the text editor, and pick up Celtx. Based on Firefox, Celtx is an all-in-one tool for media pre-production.

    • Proprietary

      • 5 Things I Like About Opera 10.60 ” Pros – Cons

        For me Opera 10.60 best opera web browser i used so far, and things listed up there are the main pros i noticed on Opera 10.60

        Cons: i didn’t like the speed dials a lot cause it’s limited to 25 speed dial max, i usually use more than 25 speed dials on other web browsers like firefox and Google Chrome.

      • Stamping out Wine 1.2

        Everyone in the Wine community is driving to release Wine 1.2 the newest and best version of Wine.

        Its been two years since Wine 1.0, and weve really made huge strides. This version will include the beginnings of genuine 64-bit support, along with major Direct3D improvements, and improvements in a huge number of other areas.

    • Instructionals

    • Games

      • Cornelius and Vincent Join Different Games

        KDE has recently launched the “Supporting Membership Program” to raise funds for Developer Sprints, Akademy conferences and other activities of KDE e.V, the legal and financial representatives of KDE. President of KDE e.V. is Cornelius Schumacher and at the launch of Join the Game he made a pact with GNOME release manager and board member Vincent Untz that they would each join their rival’s support programme. And talk about it to the Dot. And so…

  • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

    • KDE and Science

      Free thinkers. Curious people collaborating across borders. Pioneers pushing back the boundaries of what is possible. Teams building upon the work of others. People trying things just to see what happens.

      Those are all phrases that could be applied to KDE – or to scientists. The scientific mindset shares a lot with that of free software and so it is no surprise that there are plenty of scientists within our community, nor that KDE has some strong applications in the world of science.

    • Clementine 0.4 Released (Amarok 1.4 Style Music Player For Linux, Windows And MacOS X)
  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • [syslinux] Syslinux 4.00 released

        After 64 prereleases, 626 commits, 52,742 lines of changes, and tons of work by many, many people, Syslinux 4.00 is now officially released.

        Syslinux 4.00 is the first of a set of major code restructuring releases. The single biggest new features are btrfs and ext4 support, and support for disks larger than 2 TiB.

      • Pay what you want for Kiddix OS

        Do you have an old PC that you want to “donate” to your children? Or are you looking for a way for them to use your PC without messing things up? Kiddix might just be the answer: It’s a Linux-based operating system with a child-friendly interface, software, and loads of parental controls.

      • The Imagineos 20100628 X1 is Released (Lançado)

        It is a great pleasure announce the first release of the Imagineos. Imagineos is born from GoblinX Linux following the same path started more than five years ago.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • The fall and rise of Mandriva Linux

        A recent report in LeMagIT, claims that Arnaud Laprévote, the company’s chief executive, has found unnamed investors who are prepared to rescue the company, following months of rumours of financial turmoil, unpaid staff and other troubles.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Democracy not Meritocracy – Eliminating the “Mediocracy”

        By shifting to a Debian base we have eliminated the mediocracy inherent within software developed in a meritocratic distribution. We believe in providing fit, finish, and stability while bringing the newest software possible meeting these guidelines. Usability is one of our core values. Our release philosophy is simple, it is released when it is ready. Patches, and software updates are rolled into the distribution on an on-going basis eliminating the requirement to “upgrade” the distribution every six months. Users will find respins released on a schedule which roll up existing updates making patching simple for new installations.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Review: Sonos streaming music players

      # The ZonePlayers use embedded Linux as their internal operating system. Hey, what’s not to love about that!

    • Pogoplug becomes printer server

      What’s a Pogoplug? Basically the device is a tiny, low-power, inexpensive ($129) device that runs a customized Linux-based operating system. In its normal modes of operation, it works in tandem with web services supplied by Cloud Engines at Pogoplug.com. Until now, the gadget’s main purpose has been to enable you to remotely access the contents of USB-connected hard or flash drives over the Internet, as illustrated below.

    • Nokia/MeeGo

      • MeeGo Handset Project Day 1 is Here

        The MeeGo project is happy to announce “Day 1″ of the MeeGo Handset user experience project. Many of you will remember this “Day 1″ concept from March, when we first made the MeeGo core OS source code available and started development towards the MeeGo 1.0 release. Today, the handset baseline source code is available to the development community. This code is being actively developed as MeeGo 1.1, which is scheduled for release in October. The team has been preparing MeeGo Gitorious with all the sources and infrastructure to perform the weekly builds for MeeGo 1.1 development. The MeeGo UI team has also been busy creating the handset reference user experience and preparing the MeeGo UI design principles and interaction guidelines. This milestone marks the completion of the merger of Moblin and Maemo as major architecture decisions and technical selections have been determined. Today, we are also opening the MeeGo Build Infrastructure.

    • Android

      • A Little Over A Year Later, Android Is Unstoppable

        The more you look at Android today, the more you have to think back to the fact that early last year, people wondered whether Google’s mobile operating system would even survive. There were countless columns in March of 2009 trumpeting the fact that only one Android handset was shown at Mobile World Congress that year. Now, Android is spreading out far beyond just the many smartphones it appears on. This week, Cisco announced a new tablet based on the OS, and that’s just one new direction for Android.

      • Top 15 Android Business Apps
      • Toshiba AC100 smartbook: with Android but why?

        Laptop-like smartbooks with keyboards (like the AC100) are much better served with a full-desktop Linux due to the fact, that on these devices, buyers will expect full-fledged applications like OpenOffice, Thunderbird, Firefox…etc. Android would be very limiting for the use cases expected from a netbook/smartbook (editing complex text documents, spreadsheets, using a full-fledged browser, email client…etc). Tegra2 with 1Gb of fast RAM could run OpenOffice and other desktop software with good performance. Instead, it will be reduced to run mini, Android versions of the real stuff (what is available for Android instead of OO and such).

      • Why do I use an Android phone?

        However, at the same time, there is one thing that I would point out as an Android, even at this time: the fact that an Android phone is a complete peer to the PC and not a slave to it in any way.

      • Cloud Computing: 10 Intriguing Things You Should Know About Google TV
    • Sub-notebooks

      • HP linux netbook

        This is the HP Mini 100e, a netbook which looks are fully customizable. There’s an option for SUSE Linux as the operating system. It’s nice to see something different in operating system options, too bad the other 2 options are windows versions (XP and 7)

      • Funky, Futuristic XO Classrooms on YouTube Cannal Ceibal

        It reminds me of a set from Dr. Who or the original Star Trek – all those primary colors for every object in the room. Very cool in a flashback kinda way.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Mozilla

    • KidZui Internet For Kids Firefox Extension Works Like a Charm in Linux

      KidZui turns Firefox into fun, kid-safe browser and online playground for kids in the age group 3-12, with over a million kids games, YouTube videos, and websites. Or in other words, KidZui Firefox extension turns Firefox into a place where your kids would love to be. With Internet becoming such a useful tool for people of all ages, it is unfair to block Internet access to your toddlers and KidZui is exactly what you want to ensure safety of your kids from the hidden dangers of the Internet.

  • SaaS

  • Business

    • Open Core is not a Business Model

      “Open Core is the New Dual Licensing Model” is the last of a chain of interesting posts against or in favor of open core, coming from different realm of experience: the analyst guy Stephen O’Grady, the free software evangelist Simon Phipps, the hacker Brian Aker and last but not least the entrepreneur Mårten Mickos.

      Let’s dig now deeper into what is open core to business, and why it is not a business model.

  • Licensing

    • Backup Copy (Bad Eula, Bad Eula! Down! Down!)

      Backup Copy

      From Adobe reader (for Android)’s end user license agreement:

      3.3 Backup Copy. You may make one backup copy of the Software, provided your backup copy is not installed or used other than for archival purposes.


      Which leads one to wonder what, if any, point is served by using a service of a Certification Authority – which presumably is supposed to certify something – if you indemnify them when they stuff up.

  • Open Access/Content

    • GNU social and Libre.fm to use OpenHatch

      Today, FooCorp announced a strategic alliance with OpenHatch to encourage wider adoption of free software and allow greater involvement with FooCorp developments.

    • California against Nature

      Note the similarities to the UC rationale, including the triple-digit price increase, the recession, and the importance of speaking out against the business practices that harm research.

      It’s tempting to distinguish two phases of the serials pricing crisis. In the Early Crisis, universities resented hyperinflationary price increases and spoke out against them, but generally made painful cuts elsewhere to meet them. In the Late Crisis, universities lost their ability to cut further and spoke out against harmful and unsustainable business models, not just harmful and unsustainable price increases. UC is not the first sign of the Late Crisis, but it’s size and clout make it one of the most influential.

  • Programming

    • Google Summer of Code 2010: Meet The Students and Mentors!

      Following up on my post from a few weeks ago, I’d like to give you all some more statistics about our Google Summer of Code™ program participants this year.

      • We have 69 student countries represented this year. New countries represented by students include Jamaica, Morocco, and Cambodia.
      • For the first time we have mentors from Chile, South Africa, Taiwan, and Peru.
      • We have mentors from 52 different countries this year.
      • We had 3,464 students submit a total of 5,539 proposals in all. Last year we had 5,885 proposals submitted by 3,496 students.
      • The open source organizations participating this year received an average of 36 proposals to review. We have 150 participating organizations this year.

    • Why the Eclipse Way Works So Well

      Many enterprise development teams often struggle with releasing software projects on time. That doesn’t seem to be the case with the multi-vendor open source Eclipse Foundation, which for the last seven years has consistently shipped releases from multiple projects on time.

      This week, Eclipse Helios shipped with 39 projects in what is known as the Eclipse release train. How does Eclipse manage to organize so many projects and year-after-year hit their release targets? What’s the secret?


  • Kroes to beef up scrutiny of EU digital industry

    The European Commission will ensure that devices with always-on connectivity, like Apple’s iPhone, don’t lock consumers in to proprietary technology, Neelie Kroes, EU commissioner for the ‘Digital Agenda’, told EurActiv in an exclusive interview. A yearly scorecard will measure the industry’s progress.

  • Tweegle – You Look Googling From Your Boss, But Using Twitter Actually

    A new web service Tweegle [J] by Usagifrask Co., Ltd. [J] looks very similar with Google Search, but it is a web-based Twitter client.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Not even FBI was able to decrypt files of Daniel Dantas

      The equipment will remain under the protection of the feds. INC expect that new research data or technology could help them break the security codes. Opportunity Group reported that the two programs used in the equipment are available online. One is called Truecrypt and is free. The programs were used due to suspected espionage.

  • Environment/Health

    • US politicians oppose 2,000-mile oil sands pipeline

      Nearly 50 members of Congress warn State Deptartment against rubberstamping 2,000-mile tar sands pipeline as Obama insider John Podesta says fuel source “cannot be our energy future”

    • BP: Mitigating Exposure, Controlling the Response and Making Edward Bernays Proud!

      British Petroleum has stooped to a new low, if that’s at all possible.

      As if spewing over 80 million gallons into the Gulf of Mexico were not a sufficiently criminal activity, they are now attempting a cover-up and have facilitated, working alongside the police of New Orleans, a blockade of sorts of hard-hitting journalists from getting their hands on what’s actually taking place in the ravaged Big Easy. It is truly a sham of epic proportions.


      The Tail That Wags the Dog: BP Telling the Louisiana Police Who’s Boss

      In a situation resembling the nefarious military contractor Blackwater leading operations in Iraq and Afghanistan in place of the regular standing military, something that is probably much more commonplace than we will ever know as common citizens, BP’s private security has also been in the lead on “policing” efforts on the Gulf Coast in New Orleans. Yet, rather than policing the real criminals — BP — the Louisiana Police force has instead formed a quid pro quo relationship with BP and is policing the honorable journalists exposing the criminals. Indeed, they have things backwards.

    • Washington Post Gives False Assurance about Dispersants

      The Washington Post published a misleadingly-titled article June 30 about the environmental effects of dispersants BP is using in the Gulf. The Post article’s headline reads,”Oil dispersant does not pose environmental threat, early EPA findings suggest.” But neither the body of the article, nor the Environmental Protection Agency’s’s press release about studies the agency hastily performed on eight dispersants, indicates that there is no environmental threat from using them. The agency also gives no assurance about using dispersants in the quantities BP is applying them.

    • Bad Oil Spill News for the Day

      Anyone else sick of living in a country with a government that is so clearly for, by, and of the corporations?

    • President of Change Unwilling to Tackle US Oil Addiction

      US President Barack Obama has taken the fight to BP. But it is time that he picks a fight with the American public. American energy consumption is at the root of the Gulf of Mexico disaster, but Obama preferred to sidestep the issue in his Tuesday speech.

    • Creating A Constitutional Violation Out Of Thin Air

      Conservatives may have moved quickly to dissociate themselves from Representative Joe Barton’s apology to BP, but many on the right still believe that the establishment of a $20 billion escrow fund violated the legal rights of the company.

    • Judge OK’s class-action smoker suit

      A federal judge certified a class-action lawsuit yesterday that demands Philip Morris USA Inc. pay for chest scans to diagnose whether heavy Marlboro smokers have early signs of lung cancer, a ruling that a lawyer for the plaintiffs called the first of its kind in the country.

      Nearly two years after lawyers for two named plaintiffs sought class certification, US District Court Judge Nancy Gertner granted the request and said she would let the case go to trial on claims that the cigarette manufacturer designed a product that delivered excessive levels of carcinogens. Certifying the class-action suit means the judge has opened up the legal action to other plaintiffs with similar circumstances.

    • Obama’s Patients’ Bill of Rights: One Important Right is Missing, Thanks to Corporate Spin and Fear-Mongering

      President Obama is calling a big part of the health care reform bill he signed into law last March a “Patients’ Bill of Rights”, suggesting that many of the consumer protections contained in the new law were the same ones the health insurance industry succeeded in killing time and again over many years through a fear-mongering campaign it secretly financed.

  • Finance

    • Wall Street Reform Bill Could Be a Big Win for the Farm Belt

      Yup, that’s right. The good old boys on Wall Street ramped up the gambling in energy and food commodities when the housing market went bust. They sometimes speculated on regulated exchanges. For instance, Goldman Sachs has a commodity index that helps investors gamble on foods like wheat, cattle, corn as well as natural gas and crude oil. But the real action was in the unregulated, “over the counter,” or dark markets. Harpers Magazine has an incredible story in its July edition exposing how Wall Street speculators bumped up food commodity prices 80% between 2005-2008 contributing to hunger domestically and around the world.

    • The Lying Liars at Goldman Sachs

      Today, Goldman Sachs sent its second-highest-ranking officer to Washington, D.C. to tell the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission that his company is staffed and managed by complete idiots. In an effort to evade investigation, Goldman Sachs Chief Financial Officer David Viniar claimed that his company really just doesn’t know how to do basic bookkeeping. It was a silly and transparent lie, but if it were true, every investor the world over would be pulling its money from Goldman as fast as possible.

      At this point, Goldman Sachs execs have made clear that are very good at making themselves look like jerks. Viniar’s comments at yesterday’s hearing follow a series of, let’s say, unflattering public appearances over the past few months involving fraud investigations, “shitty deals” and “God’s work.” But Viniar still had some real whoppers ready for the FCIC:

      “We don’t have a derivatives business.”

    • Goldman execs grilled for taking AIG bailout money

      “The government stepped into AIG’s shoes” and therefore had to honor its contract with Goldman, Viniar told the congressionally appointed panel investigating the financial meltdown.

    • Panel Chairman Presses Goldman Sachs on Its Mortgage Bets’ Market Effect

      A Congressional commission questioned Goldman Sachs and the American International Group executives on Thursday about the way the companies set prices on complex mortgage securities during the financial crisis, when buyers for such assets were scarce.

    • On Edge, Awaiting Jobs Data

      Economic forecasters say they believe that the Census Bureau eliminated about 235,000 federal temporary jobs in June. That huge cut in the federal work force will probably dwarf any hiring or firing elsewhere in the economy. The overall change in jobs — the headline number released in Friday’s report — could well show job losses. Beneath all those federal layoffs, though, glimmers of hope in the private sector might — or might not — emerge.

    • Stocks fall as jobs report adds to economic fears

      Stocks fell Friday after a disappointing jobs report added to investors’ concerns about the economy.

    • Private sector job growth falters

      The U.S. economy created a modest 83,000 private sector jobs in June, adding to concern that the economic recovery is tepid at best and highlighting the political danger to President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats heading into a tightly contested midterm election cycle in which control of the House and perhaps the Senate are at stake.

    • Cantwell a ‘yes’ on Wall St. reform

      Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington announced Thursday that she’ll support a sweeping Wall Street reform bill, bringing Democrats one vote closer to securing Senate passage.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Canadian copyright astroturfers own up: front for US labels

      Remember Balanced Copyright for Canada, the shadowy “citizen’s group” that encouraged members to send form letters to media outlets skeptical about Canada’s new, US-style copyright law?

      Turns out it’s a front for the big US labels.

    • A revolutionary sneaker, or overhyped gimmick?

      But now a growing number of doctors are warning that toning shoes don’t deliver on their marketing promises and could cause injuries by, among other things, changing a person’s gait, or way of walking.

      Claims that toning shoes can significantly contribute to a person’s fitness are “utter nonsense,” says Barbara de Lateur, distinguished service professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Medicine in Baltimore.

    • Lara Logan, You Suck

      I thought I’d seen everything when I read David Brooks saying out loud in a New York Times column that reporters should sit on damaging comments to save their sources from their own idiocy. But now we get CBS News Chief Foreign Correspondent Lara Logan slamming our own Michael Hastings on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” program, agreeing that the Rolling Stone reporter violated an “unspoken agreement” that journalists are not supposed to “embarrass [the troops] by reporting insults and banter.”

    • Journalists Debate on Reporting Ethics
  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • European Commission launches consultation on net neutrality

      The European Commission this morning launched a consultation on key questions regarding the contentious issues of net neutrality and the open Internet.

      The consultation covers such issues as whether ISPs should be allowed to adopt traffic management practices, prioritizing one kind of Internet traffic over another. This has become an issue with the onset of broadband and Internet services which require more bandwidth, such as VoIP or online TV. Essentially, the EC wants to find out whether these practices would create any problems (economical, technical or otherwise) and have ‘unfair effects’ for users.

  • Copyrights

    • Pirate Party to Run Pirate Bay from Swedish Parliament

      After their former hosting provider received an injunction telling it to stop providing bandwidth to The Pirate Bay, the worlds most resilient BitTorrent site switched to a new ISP. That host, the Swedish Pirate Party, made a stand on principle. Now they aim to take things further by running the site from inside the Swedish Parliament.

    • An (Analogue) Artist’s Reply to Just Criticism

      There’s a new meme in town these days: “rights of the artists”. The copyright industries have worked out that cries for more copyright and more money don’t go down to well when they come from fat-cat monopolists sitting in their plush offices, and so have now redefined their fight in terms of struggling artists (who rarely get to see much benefit from constantly extended copyright).

      Here’s a nice example courtesy of the Copyright Alliance – an organisation that very much pushes that line:

      Songwriter, Jason Robert Brown, recently posted on his blog a story about his experience dealing with copyright infringement. Knowing for a long time that many websites exist for the sole purpose of “trading” sheet music, Jason decided to log on himself and politely ask many of the users to stop “trading” his work. While many quickly wrote back apologizing and then removing his work, one girl in particular gave Jason a hard time.

    • Digital Economy Bill

      • Repeal sections 11–18 of the Digital Economy Act 2010

        Sections 11–18 of the Act were pushed forward on the basis of questionable figures and assumptions, will not significantly achieve their stated ob jectives of reducing copyright infringement, and are liable to have serious unintended consequences.

Clip of the Day

CLUG AGM 24 Nov 2009 – Interfacing with the real world (2009)

Links 2/7/2010: Opera 10.60 Out, Many Firefox 4.0 Previews

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

GNOME bluefish



  • A Million New GNU/Linux Users Each Week

    This is it, apparently. Last year was the year GNU/Linux opened the door. This year, people are walking through, into the light.

    160000 Android-y smartphones are being sold daily.

    They will like to use GNU/Linux on their desktop/notebook and netbook PCs as well. You can count on it. What OS is in their hands, at body temperature? What OS is with them between stops? What OS just works and does what they need doing instead of letting in malware and spam? What OS lowers their cost of ownership?

  • Linux Consulting Dilemma

    I live in mountainous Northwest Montana. I have always been intrigued by an attitude from my US Forrest Service friends who each summer tell me they are, “hoping there are lots of big forest fires this summer”. What…I thought Smokey the Bear wanted to prevent forest fires. But no, many of those who work for the US Forrest Service actually depend on fighting fires to provide the finances for their vacations and Holidays. Now let me be quick to say these people do not start fires nor encourage starting fires, it just works out that forest disasters are great paydays.


    It must be a part of life, as when you look at Linux consulting you have the same dilemma. Consulting without education and documentation is just as empty and self serving as those in the US Forrest Service who hope for fires or those who repair your virus laden Windows machine hoping to strike it rich once again when you click on the tempting email. Linux consultants can live in that “outer zone” that makes them special and prevents them from communicating the changes they made for the client in a way that educates the client, thus rendering the consultant unnecessary. Or, neglecting documenting changes for the client, forcing the client to call for more help down the road when the system updates.

  • Desktop

    • Rescuing Yet Another PC From That Other OS

      And so it goes on. That other OS keeps messing up and I show no mercy, installing Debian GNU/Linux left, right and centre, wherever I go. I used to struggle tuning up those systems to keep them going but it was way more work than migrating. I have lost count of the kills but it must be close to 100 PCs and I will be another school year in this community. Perhaps I will run out of machines to convert.

    • Booting

      I had a laugh when I read this note on booting operating systems. Every day, I see the lady across the hall boot her XP machine and go for coffee… She is a fine teacher but has too much patience for that other OS. Sadly, she is leaving us to teach in another community next year. I will put in one of the new PCs with GNU/Linux in place of her machine for next year.

    • 16 Gorgeous Linux Wallpapers From Pr09studio

      Pr09studio guys are also actively contributing for bisigi themes project and they really do have some stunning wallpapers to showcase. Here, I have deliberately tried to avoid wallpapers with branding for most part, but some wallpapers with branding are worth mentioning. So here it goes, 16 beautiful Linux wallpapers for desktop.

  • Graphics Stack

    • Graphics drivers

      There are only two tasks harder than writing Free Software graphics drivers. One is running a successful crocodile petting zoo, the other is wireless bungee jumping.

      In general writing graphics drivers is hard. The number of people who can actually do it is very small and the ones who can do it well are usually doing it full-time already. Unless the company, which those folks are working for, supports open drivers, the earliest someone can start working on open drivers is the day the hardware is officially available. That’s already about 2 years too late, maybe a year if the hardware is just an incremental update. Obviously not a lot of programmers have the motivation to do that. Small subset of the already very small subset of programmers who can write drivers. Each of them worth their weight in gold (double, since they’re usually pretty skinny).

    • Qualcomm Releases Open-Source 2D/3D Kernel Driver

      If you happen to have Google’s Nexus One or other phones based upon Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor, there is great news today. Qualcomm has just released an open-source 2D/3D kernel driver for their OpenGL ES graphics processor. This Qualcomm kernel driver provides support for interrupts, command streams, context switching, memory management, etc. Qualcomm is looking to push this code into the mainline Linux kernel ASAP.

    • Qualcomm’s Open Kernel Driver Leads To A Dirty Mess

      Well, it sounded nice when Qualcomm announced an open-source 2D/3D kernel driver for their Snapdragon platform that’s used by phones like the Nexus One and Dell Streak, but it turns out that their user-space Linux driver that hooks into this kernel driver is currently a closed-source blob. This has led to the eternal debate about open-source kernel components but with only closed-source components.

    • xorg-server 1.8.2

      The second stable release for the X server 1.8 series is now available. As previously announced, no new commits over RC2 and no-one threatened me with extradition over the DRI2 backports – hence they’re staying in.

      This is the last regular 1.8 release unless someone else wants to take over as RM. Until that happens, the server-1.8-branch is open. If you have patches that you think are necessary for the 1.8 series, please push them there.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Applications to make your KDE more powerful and smarter
    • No GUADEC this time

      A small announcement to mention that I won’t be at GUADEC this year. So if you’re expecting to see me there to chat about something, harass or just hang out we’ll need to figure out a virtual method for all those. This isn’t because I’m avoiding anyone, I’ve fallen in love with Qt and C++ or that there’s a warrant for my arrest in The Hague for being too sexy (trying to cover all the rumors).

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Freer Trade Agreement Between Taiwan and China

      Mainland China is less so. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I expect China will be a huge market for netbooks and the lower the price, the better so ARM and GNU/Linux should do well. If netbooks drop in price, perhaps smartphones will too. Demand will increase which has the opposite effect but the Chinese can rapidly increase the number of consumers at lower prices. That is, cutting prices can multiply the volume and yield larger profits if the cost is less.

    • Big-screen Kindle gains new screen technology

      Amazon.com announced an updated version of its large-screen. Linux-based Kindle DX e-reader, with the price dropped from $489 to $379. The Kindle DX maintains its 9.7-inch screen, but moves to a new E Ink technology claimed to offer 50 percent better contrast, says the company.

    • Nokia/MeeGo

      • Linux Foundation releases Meego for developers

        THE LINUX FOUNDATION has released a “Day 1″ version of the Meego handset distribution.

        Meego is the Linux based operating system being championed by Intel and Nokia for mobile devices including phones and tablets. It has recently been chosen by Nokia to replace its aging Symbian OS on the firm’s high end N-series mobile phones. This release is likely to pave the way for other handsets to run the operating system.

    • Android

    • Tablets

      • Will Android Cius Kill iPad?

        John Chambers, the CEO of Cisco today unveiled Cisco Cius, a first-of-its-kind mobile collaboration business tablet that delivers virtual desktop integration with anywhere, anytime access to the full range of Cisco collaboration and communication applications, including HD video.

        Cisco Cius is an ultra-portable device weighing just 1.15lbs (0.52kg) that extends the productivity benefits of Cisco collaboration applications to a highly secure mobile platform. In addition to full telepresence interoperability, Cisco Cius offers HD video streaming and real-time video, multi-party conferencing, email, messaging, browsing, and the ability to produce, edit and share content stored locally or centrally in the cloud.

      • HP closes Palm deal, confirms WebOS tablet

        Hewlett-Packard today finalized its acquisition of Palm and confirmed it will use the company’s WebOS in future tablets and netbooks.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Proprietary or Open Source: The Eternal Dilemma

    While setting up the IT infrastructure for your business, one of the dilemmas you will run into is the classic one—open source versus licensed software. Windows or Linux, Microsoft Office or Open Office, proprietary accounting software or open source—the dilemma may manifest in any or all of these as well as other forms, but at the core it will be about proprietary versus free and/or open source software (FOSS).

  • Keynote Brings End-To-End Monitoring to Nagios Open Source

    Keynote Systems’ Enterprise Adapter 2.0 performance and availability alerts now work with Nagios open source monitoring software. The offering allows IT and operations team using Nagios to get a complete end-to-end view of runtime ops from backend infrastructure all the way to the desktop or mobile end user

  • Open source logic analyzer software
  • Open Source monitoring tools and visibility

    Presented in both English and German, this event is designed to centre on the Nagios IT infrastructure and network monitoring platform. The Nagios solution claims to be able to highlight and help resolve critical business problems associated with open source architectures before they arise.

  • Web Browsers

    • Epiphany: An efficient, but different, web browser

      There are a few things Epiphany handles differently than most browsers. One of those is bookmarks. With Epiphany you will not find a bookmark toolbar, but the way it does bookmarks is rather interesting. In this article I will show you how to work with bookmarks in Epiphany as well as keeping this little browser from crashing on you every few seconds.

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox Reaches 2 Billion Add-Ons Downloaded

        Firefox is the preferred browser of many a seasoned netizen, and it’s got the stats to prove it: As of today, Firefox users have collectively downloaded more than two billion add-ons.

      • Firefox Main Window Study: A Heatmap Visualization
      • Firefox Main Window Study: A Heatmap Visualization

        We usually display study results in charts and graphs on this blog, but for this study, we were inspired by the work of principal designer, Alex Faaborg, and came up with a slightly different kind of visualization. Back in March, Alex created a heatmap to visualize the menu study data (his post is also a great example of how the UX team is using Test Pilot data to inform design decisions).

      • Visualizing the Usage of Firefox’s Main Window

        This study was similar to an early one that we ran on the traditional menu bar interface.

      • Moving Firefox Fourwards

        Firefox finds itself at an interesting juncture: not only is Google’s Chrome managing to gain some serious market share, but even Microsoft Internet Explorer is starting to fight back – although it remains to be seen whether that trend is sustained or not. That puts a lot of responsibility on the shoulders of the forthcoming Firefox 4 and its team: Mozilla needs to show that it has not lost the initiative, and that it is still in the driving seat as far as the browser market is concerned.

      • Sync 1.4 and the status bar

        As we move closer to inclusion in Firefox 4, and the add-on continues to become more performant and stable, we feel it is the right time to move the UI into the background. An important factor in this decision is that we will be tuning Sync to update smaller chunks, more frequently, when you’re actually using a particular device. Currently we default to hourly syncs between multiple computers, which is something that will change very soon. At a greatly-increased frequency, the visual distraction (and the performance overhead of continuous UI updates) was not going to be acceptable, so we needed to make changes. That said, no first attempt is perfect, and we still have work to do on the concerns noted above.

      • Meet Test Pilot in Firefox 4 Beta
      • Mozilla Firefox 4 Pre Beta 2

        Firefox has won a legion of users and programmers due to security, speed and new features. From time to time Mozilla release beta versions of their browser. These versions are earning the name of Minefield, that doesn’t have perfect stability, factor that makes it true Minefield.

  • Search/MapReduce

    • Talend makes it easy to do big data crunching with Hadoop

      Yahoo is marking the fifth birthday, more or less, of its Hadoop technology. The open-source software allows Java programmers to process large amounts of data using distributed computing techniques. Inspired by Google’s MapReduce and Google File System, which make it possible to search the Internet in a fraction of a second, Hadoop is available free for anyone to use.

  • CMS

    • N-VA using Drupal

      The New Flemish Alliance (Dutch: Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie, abbreviated as N-VA) is using Drupal for their website: http://www.n-va.be. The N-VA is a Flemish political party. They became the largest party in both Flanders and Belgium in the 2010 federal elections a few weeks ago.

  • Healthcare

    • HP edging toward VistA support?

      Some hints of change may be found at HP’s former Avaya unit. Avaya, now an independent company, participated in the recent review of the VA’s VistA software, an open source project since before the term existed.

      Avaya has also renewed its own commitments to HP, in a new three-year channel agreement.HP views its role as that of a system integrator, often working with its EDS unit.

      It’s a balancing act. The question is how long it can continue, whether HP will be forced to make a choice between proprietary and open source solutions, and if so which it will choose.

  • Business


    • [FSF] Free Software Supporter — Issue 27, June 2010


      * “Working together for free software” starts
      * Bilski is out
      * FSF says: Take a stand with us for freedom, against ACTA
      * Introducing campaigns summer interns
      * GNU social: Next steps
      * Google’s updated WebM license
      * Defective by Design sticker contest winners announced!
      * More about the App Store GPL Enforcement
      * Patent Absurdity film DVDs sent to over 200 key people
      * Job Opening: FSF Campaigns Manager
      * GNU spotlight with Karl Berry
      * Richard Stallman’s speaking schedule and other FSF events
      * Take action with the FSF!

  • Project Releases

    • GIMP 2.7.1 with new user interface

      With the release of developer version 2.7.1, GIMP users and early adopters have been given the opportunity to preview the new features of the free image editing software’s forthcoming stable 2.8 release. The most important improvement is the graphical user interface (GUI), which has undergone a thorough overhaul. For instance, it now includes a single-window mode which doesn’t display elements such as the tools or layers menus in separate windows next to the image window, instead lining these elements up alongside the image in the same window.

    • The Apache Software Foundation Announces Apache Tomcat Version 7.0
    • Apache updates Tomcat web server

      The open source web server gets a refresh with the latest release from them Apache Software Foundation.

    • World’s first open source MHEG and CI Plus Authoring Tool released

      Digital TV software specialist, Ocean Blue Software, has released its Triton™ MHEG-5 and CI Plus Authoring Tool as an open source and royalty-free product for application authors and developers.

  • Government

    • Open Source: Advocate to Government

      Two years ago a group was founded with the charter of lobbying for the expanded use of Open Source software within the government. The group is called Open Source for America (OSFA), and it has more than 70 members that include companies like Acquia, Alfresco Software, Advanced Micro Devices, Black Duck Software, CollabNet, Debian, Electronic Frontier Foundation, EnterpriseDB, Google, Ingres, Jaspersoft, Mitch Kapor, KnowledgeTree, The Linux Foundation, Lucid Imagination, Mozilla, Novell, Oracle, O’Reilly Publishing, Pentaho, Red Hat, SpikeSource, SugarCRM, and Zimbra.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Would you share with your neighbors?

      We should have all learned that sharing is a good thing at a very early age. I teach my 4-year old son to share. But what about sharing with your friends and neighbors? That’s part of being a community, right?

    • Open Source Sensing Initiatives March Forward

      The Open Source Sensing project has been launched by the Foresight Institute to apply open source principles to the development and governance of sensor-centric initiatives. We wrote about it here. The Open Source Sensing initiative is seeking individuals and organizations to work with it on new applications for sensors.

    • Open Data

      • The open spending data that isn’t… this is not good

        When the coalition announced that councils would have to publish all spending over £500 by January next year, there’s been a palpable excitement in the open data and transparency community at the thought of what could be done with it (not least understanding and improving the balance of councils’ relationships with suppliers).

        Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government Eric Pickles followed this up with a letter to councils saying, “I don’t expect everyone to do it right first time, but I do expect everyone to do it.” Great. Raw Data Now, in the words of Tim-Berners Lee.

  • Programming

    • GitHub introduces Organizations group-owned repositories

      The GitHub developers have introduced a new way to simplify management of group-owned repositories called “Organizations”. With Organizations, users of the open source code hosting service will be able to better manage both distributed and internal teams.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • YouTube Keeps The Web Locked To Adobe Flash

      YouTube has endorsed Adobe Flash and raised questions about the ability of <video> tag to deliver the rich experience YouTube offers via Adobe Flash. The dependence on proprietary Flash means a non-free, non-open Web, contrary to what YouTube’s parent company Google preaches.

      John Harding, Software Engineer, YouTube wrote on his blog, “It’s important to understand what a site like YouTube needs from the browser in order to provide a good experience for viewers as well as content creators. We need to do more than just point the browser at a video file like the image tag does – there’s a lot more to it than just retrieving and displaying a video. The <video> tag certainly addresses the basic requirements and is making good progress on meeting others, but the <video> tag does not currently meet all the needs of a site like YouTube.”


  • Another Journalist Seduced By App Madness Predicts The End Of The Web

    We’ve talked a few times about the media’s obsession with “apps” as the solution to what ails them. They get one glance at the control that an app appears to provide, and they go wobbly in the knees and fail to consider basic trends and basic economics. As a few folks have noted, locked down apps are like the CD-ROM craze among media types just as the web first became popular. Who won that battle?

    The latest reporter to fall under the sway of the app-run future is The Atlantic’s Michael Hirschorn — a writer who’s work I usually like quite a bit. He writes eloquently about the “closing of the digital frontier,” and predicts that the days of the browser are dying, as the days of the app are rising. In the process, he misleadingly attacks the basic economics of free, the history of Silicon Valley, and some rather important trends.


    Wait. Which “old” entertainment industry is he talking about here that put its most expensively produced products onto the internet for free? Last I checked, we seem to have a new story pretty much every single day about just how hard the old entertainment industry is fighting to stop its content from being online for free. Furthermore, in the few cases where they have put stuff online for free, it’s not because they were “striving to prove they were fit for the digital era’s freewheeling information/entertainment bazaar,” but because they were dragged kicking and screaming after someone pointed out to them that others had already put all their content online for free, and that if you put your content online, you actually had some ability to monetize it — whereas, if you left it to everyone else, you made that more difficult. Somehow Hirschorn doesn’t know this. It makes me wonder if he even uses the same internet the rest of us use.

  • Science

  • Environment

    • Cheap is Nice, But it’s Not Everything: Natural Gas

      A barrel of oil contains 5.8 million BTU and can be purchased today for $77.00. But in natural gas, using today’s price of $4.80 per million BTU, you can obtain the same quantity of energy for $27.85. This price discount started developing as far back as 2005, but did not reach its current levels until after the deflationary crash of 2008. Natural gas, it should be mentioned, had always carried a small discount to oil owing to the latter’s versatility as a liquid and its greater penetration into industrial society. The present day discount is historic however. Especially with respect to its duration.

  • Finance

    • ‘A Gigantic Ponzi Scheme, Lies and Fraud’: Howard Davidowitz on Wall Street

      Day one of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission’s two-day hearing on AIG derivatives contracts featured testimony from Joseph Cassano, the former head of AIG’s financial products unit. Goldman Sachs president Gary Cohn was also on the Hill.

      Meanwhile, the Democrats are still trying to salvage the regulatory reform bill, with critical support from Senator Scott Brown (R-Mass.) reportedly still uncertain.

      According to Howard Davidowitz of Davidowitz & Associates, what connects the hearings and the Reg reform debate is the lack of focus on the real underlying cause of the financial crisis: Fraud.

      “It was a massive fraud… a gigantic Ponzi Scheme, a lie and a fraud,” Davidowitz says of Wall Street circa 2007. “The whole thing was a fraud and it gets back to the accountants valuing the assets incorrectly.”

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Larry Lessig takes on Washington

      He describes the problem in Washington and other institutions as an “economy of influence,” and he is shining the light on the funding link between interests, lobbyists, and politicians. Lessig started Change Congress and urged people to withhold donations from politicians who don’t support citizen-funded elections. He called for an Article V constitutional convention to get Congress’ attention. He’s on the speaking circuit advocating for the Fair Elections Now Act. In a short period of time, this copyright reform advocate has become one of the leading voices in the campaign finance reform movement.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • High price of medicines becomes political issue in EU

      Both Greece and Spain have taken unilateral measures to try to bring down the price of patented medicines purchased by public health systems that are now under special stress due to the public debt crisis of these countries. A conservative Greek member of the European Parliament has requested the establishment of a European Observatory on the price of medicines.

    • Copyrights

      • Woman Jailed 2 Days for Filming Movie Screen Sues Theater

        A 22-year-old woman jailed two days in November after being arrested for filming two brief snippets of a motion picture is lashing back at the theater, claiming its manager demanded her arrest despite the police department’s reluctance.

        In a civil suit lodged in federal court in Illinois, Samantha Tumpach claims local police and the Motion Picture Association of American recommended against arresting her. A felony theater-filming charge that risked up to three years in prison was subsequently dropped.

      • RIAA Outraged by YouTube-Viacom Decision

        The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on Monday voiced its opposition to the recent decision in the YouTube-Viacom copyright infringement case.

        “We believe that the district court’s dangerously expansive reading of the liability immunity provisions of the [Digital Millennium Copyright Act] DMCA upsets the careful balance struck within the law and is bad public policy,” Cary Sherman, RIAA president, wrote in a blog post. “It will actually discourage service providers from taking steps to minimize the illegal exchange of copyrighted works on their sites.”

      • TV Show Released On BitTorrent Raises $20,000 Pretty Damn Fast

        You may have seen the recent stories about the “TV show” Pioneer One that was made with the plan all along to release the show on BitTorrent, and to set up a tiered system to fund future episodes. While some people insist that BitTorrent users never download authorized content, after the show was released, it quickly became a top download beating out lots of more “famous” competitors. On top of that, it appears that people are donating. Zubin Madon alerts us to the news that in just about a week, the producers of the show have hit their goal of raising $20,000 to produce the next batch of episodes.

      • “Twilight” 8-Bit Viral Hit Comes Back to Life After DMCA Takedown

        Remember that rather rad 8-Bit Twilight game we covered the other day? Well, earlier today we were contacted by the creators, The Fine Brothers, who informed us that Summit Entertainment LLC — the studio behind Twilight – asked for the video to be taken down due to copyright infringement. Then, a few hours later, the game was reinstated.

    • Digital Economy Bill

      • Time for some Digital Economy Act Economy

        For readers of this blog, one of the obvious applications of this site is to seek the repeal of the Digital Economy Act, which was pushed through with such indecent haste just before the General Election, with practically no scrutiny, and a fistful of unworkable proposals.

Clip of the Day

CLUG AGM 24 Nov 2009 – Interfacing with the real world (2009)


Links 1/7/2010: GNU/Linux as ‘Appliance’, Dell Backs Linux Security, GIMP 2.7.1 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 7:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Who gives a fsck about a license?

    As someone who uses Linux I do not care what license it is under. I use it because it suits my computing style. I use it because it does what I want, how I want and in the manner that I want. The computer becomes an extension of me. I cannot achieve that with proprietary operating systems where I have to conform with how they think I should use my computer.

  • Want your files? Use the Force!

    You are a computer user who is fed up with Windows. You heard about the marvels of Linux, you were impressed when someone actually ran this Linux Distro-thing from a CD, and your eyes glittered upon seeing the multiple desktops, the Compiz/Kwin effects, and the quantity of programs included in the OS. So, you are sure that you want it. With conviction, you ask your friend to install Linux and, in the process, several strange questions begin to hit you as karate chops. The most memorable, without any doubt, is:
    -Do you want a dual boot?

  • The Linux Chronicles, Part 1

    Last Autumn I volunteered to review Windows 7. But in the following weeks, I found Linux to be preferable in many ways. This is pretty significant progress, and outside the ‘community’ has gone largely unnoticed, too – I haven’t seen all that many Ubuntu stories in the Wall Street Journal. But what comes next is going to be pretty challenging for everyone involved – and that’s what I’ll look at here.

  • Who Should – or Shouldn’t – Use Linux?

    Independence Day may come only once a year here in the land of stars and stripes, but the topic of independence is one that’s never far from Linux bloggers’ minds.

  • ‘Appliance’

    • HP’s new Linux enabled emailable printer – questions and answers

      While Sydney has been cooling its heels with some of the coldest June weather on record, the temperature has been sizzling hot here in Hong Kong, both on the thermometer and in discussions over the true usefulness of a printer you can email to.

    • The Turing Appliance

      Oh someone got me started on how “Linux” (whatever that is) is just an appliance operating system, destined for gadgets or clouds and never any traction in the area of desktop or general computing.


      Lets just define that buzzword for a second, Appliance: a single function machine often involving electricity which is simple to operate. An appliance is a device which is very easy to measure the function and performance. It literally applies to one thing. Does it clean clothes acceptably? does it keep food cold enough to stay fresh but not so cold as to turn your milk into a giant ice-lolly?

      Multi-function machines are like multiple appliances bundled together, it washes, it dries and it leaves a minty pine fresh scent! Computers on the other hand are Turing machines, they’re mathematically speaking NOT appliances, they can run anything and do anything and are only limited by their hardware.

  • Desktop

    • Dell reiterates that Linux is safer than Windows

      It seems however they have not retracted similar statements from the “Linux 101″ video on the same Ubuntu page. In the video, a speaker mentions the following comments about Ubuntu:

      “It’s safe and secure. Over 95 percent of viruses, spyware and other types of malware are designed and targeted to attack Microsoft Windows. So, by definition, if you’re not running Microsoft Windows and if you’re running Linux, you just don’t have to worry about malware and viruses and spyware.”

      “There’s a lot of reasons consumers like Linux. No. 1: it’s a powerful operating system. It can do lots of things very fast.”

    • 5 Little Linux Computers

      This month we take a look at a number of small form factor PCs that either come with Linux or would make a perfect fit for your favorite Linux distro. Each of the computers mentioned takes up very little space, but all deliver plenty of computing performance to handle everything from basic web browsing to watching videos. They make nice little firewalls, basic file/web/print servers, and quiet, low-power media servers. All of these units typically consume a fraction of the power of a conventional desktop and less than many traditional laptops.

  • Kernel Space

    • OCFS2: Unappreciated Linux File System

      It’s common knowledge that Linux has a fair number of file systems. Some of these are unappreciated and can be very useful outside their “comfort zone”. OCFS2 is a clustered file system initially contributed by Oracle and can be a great back-end file system for general, shared storage needs.

    • Graphics Stack

      • nouveau and Liking It

        So yesterday I felt the impulse to give nouveau a shot. For anyone who doesn’t know, that’s the project with the goal of creating a FOSS for Nvidia graphics cards. Well, as I was installing it — and even before that, I really had my doubts. After reading endlessly how “2D is in a basic state but 3D is experimental”, I predicted that I would have to quickly revert back to the binary blobs before I could get back to my coding work..

  • Applications

  • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

    • KDE SC 4.4.5 released

      Several months ago I put together a REVIEW on PCLinuxOS 2010. Those of you who read it know that I love this distro and that showed in my review. I was thoroughly pleased and surprised with all of its features and found very little weak spots.



      A while back I talked about KDE and how I thought it was growing more mature, appealing and an overall better desktop manager. That trend has been maintained since and there seems to be no stopping it. KDE SC is becoming and incredibly good and attractive desktop environment and the old claims that it was slow or resource eating are no longer founded. Moreover, the QT improvements easily translate into KDE and the end result is a better performing and functional product… Can’t wait for KDE 4.5!!

    • KDE Software Compilation 4.4.5 Released: Codename ‘Ceilidh’

      KDE Community Ships Fifth Translation and Service Release of the 4.4 Free Desktop, Containing Numerous Bugfixes and Translation Updates

      June 30th, 2010. Today, KDE has released a new version of the KDE Software Compilation (KDE SC). This is expected to be the final bugfix and translation update to KDE SC 4.4. KDE SC 4.4.5 is a recommended update for everyone running KDE SC 4.4.4 or earlier versions. As the release only contains bugfixes and translation updates, it will be a safe and pleasant update for everyone. Users around the world will appreciate that KDE SC 4.4.5 multi-language support is more complete. KDE SC 4 is already translated into more than 55 languages, with more to come.

    • Gwenview in KDE SC 4.5

      As usual, I have been busy with too many projects during KDE SC 4.5 development cycle, so I am afraid the new Gwenview does not feature any ground-breaking changes. Still I managed to fix some annoying bugs and integrated a few nice features.

    • An evening with KDE 4.5 on Fedora 13

      I’ve not actually looked at the official feature list of the new KDE release because I wanted to give a use case review rather than just reeling off a list of new features. In conclusion, KDE 4.5 seems like a great release, indeed the best yet if the last few issues are successfully ironed out (which I’m sure they will be). The best reason for upgrading will be the speed increase, which I’m still really impressed with and the visual improvements are also a welcome feature.

    • K3b 2.0 burner software with Blu-ray support arrives

      The K3b development team has released version 2.0 of its CD and DVD creator for Linux. With this version, the developers have almost fully ported the popular burner software to KDE 4 by, for example, using Solid for hardware detection.

  • Distributions

    • 12 of the most interesting, unusual and useful Linux distros

      One of the benefits of open source software that many people are most familiar with is that it’s free to download. This means you can grab great applications — such as Mozilla’s Firefox Web browser, the OpenOffice.org office suite or the GIMP photo editing program — without paying a cent. However, the other major benefit of truly open source software (some “open source” software licences are more restrictive than others) is that you’re allowed to modify a program and redistribute your altered version so other people can enjoy it.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva’s Future Rosy or Rose Colored?

        Mandriva 2010, released last fall, was one of the best releases Mandriva had achieved in some time and many users were looking forward to the updates and improvements to come in 2010.1. Some find little comfort from Laprévote’s words during this time while Mandriva is “reinventing itself.” Others are guardedly hopeful. Whatever happens in the coming weeks and months, the storm is far from over for current Mandriva customers and users.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Beta 2 Now Available

        Customer and partner testing of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Beta is in full swing, and we have been very pleased with the strong positive feedback that we have received from our testing community. We are on track to deliver a final product that we expect will meet customer needs for years to come. The first Beta was released in April, and incorporated a wide range of new and upgraded features. Today we have released Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Beta 2, which provides an updated installer, additional new technologies and resolutions to many of the issues that were reported in the initial Beta.

      • Fedora

        • As A Feature, Fedora 14 May Actually Ship On Time

          Red Hat’s John Poelstra who is the Program Manager for Fedora and its “feature wrangler” has proposed an interesting feature today for Fedora 14: to actually ship it on time. The goal would be to not only ship Fedora 14 final according to their release schedule, but the alpha and beta releases too.

        • accentuate the positive

          There has been a fair bit of discussion in the past in the Fedora community about how to deal with people who are projecting a community that some don’t find welcoming enough or are sending out negative energy (especially to newcomers) or are just creating a community thats not pleasant to be working in.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 updated

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

      • Debian Opens “Front Desk” for Derivatives

        Many Linux projects use Debian Linux as their code base for developing their distributions. Perhaps as many as 120 distributions are based on Debian and some include SimplyMepis, sidux, KNOPPIX, Elive, and Parsix. Perhaps the most widely known and used is Ubuntu. Ubuntu receives negative comments because many feel its developers don’t contribute back upstream.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Pictures of Ubuntu: Linux’s best photo shots at Windows and Mac

          As for organizing your photos in Linux, the options are not quite so stellar. In the Windows and Mac world, freebie photo apps – like Google’s Picasa or Apple’s iPhoto – are robust tools that support basic editing and sophisticated organizing options like geotagging and facial recognition, as well as tools to automatically upload your images to the web.

        • Help wanted: Testing programs that use the notification area

          Ubuntu’s own Kees Cook recently ran a couple of massive searches through the source code of the Ubuntu archive, finding the telltale code where a program adds a notification area item. (That’s one of the benefits of most of Ubuntu’s software being open source.)

          The next step is where we’d like your help. We now have a list of dozens of programs that use the notification area. What we need now is a description of how each of them use it. What does the notification area item do when you click it, if anything? If the item has a menu, what does the menu contain? Are there any Preferences items, menu bar items, or other places referring to the “Notification area” or the “tray”? If so, where are they? Once we know these things, we can make proposals on how to fix them.

        • Daily 5: Five Wallpaper picks vying to make it into Ubuntu 10.10
        • Flavours and Variants

          • Linux Mint 9 Isadora – You betrayed me, dear!

            Linux Mint is a very popular, Ubuntu-based Linux distribution. It’s Ubuntu with extra polish and more features for new and less experienced people, making it friendly and usable out of the box. For me, the general sentiment has always run true. Mint has shown good behavior and never fell short of the expectations. Funny though, for an unknown, cosmic reason, I have always tested the even-numbered Mint releases, Daryna, Felicia, Helena. Today, I’ll break the rule and have a go at Mint 9, codename Isadora.


            Two laptops: T60p, with ATI card, 32-bit dual core, 2GB RAM, RD510, with Nvidia 9600GS, 64-bit dual core, 4GB RAM. On the menu: live CD session, Wireless, Bluetooth, Samba sharing, web camera, multimedia, installation, applications, package manager, Compiz, performance, memory usage, suspend & hibernate, problems, and more.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Bubba Two WiFi review

      Verdict: 5/5
      Servers are not the sexiest hardware category, but the Bubba Two is truly exciting. It’s everything a home/small-business server should be: simple to use, easy to maintain and chock-full of genuinely useful features. If you are looking for a server for your home or business network, get Bubba Two.

    • Nokia/MeeGo

      • Meego’s sexy smartphone UI goes on display

        Curious about what the upcoming Meego OS will look like on a smartphone? Well, wonder no more! A handful of images have been posted on the official website for all to see. Above are the home screen, launcher, and task switcher interface (from left to right).

    • Android

      • Symbian-Guru.com Is Over

        As of today, I will no longer be updating Symbian-Guru.com, and will be purchasing an Android-powered smartphone – my new Nexus One should arrive tomorrow. I’ve been a Nokia fanboy since 1999, and a Symbian fanboy since I got my Nokia 6620 in summer of 2004. Since then, I’ve personally owned 10+ different Symbian-powered smartphones, and have reviewed nearly every Symbian-powered smartphone that’s been released in the past 3 years or so. I’ve tried to use all of Nokia’s various products and services to the best of my ability, and I just can’t do it anymore.

    • Tablets

      • Cisco announces Android and Ubuntu-based tablets

        Networking specialist Cisco has announced a new business tablet, called “Cius”, that runs Google’s open source Android mobile operating system. According to the Cisco, the Cius is “a first-of-its-kind mobile collaboration business tablet” and is HD video (720p at 30 frames per second) ready.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Let the open source way take you outside your comfort zone

    Many contributors have found this investment in boundary spanning has paid off. My observation? When things are done the open source way, this kind of success story is common.

  • An OS for Personal Computing

    GNU/Linux has lots of features for the desktop and the server side. However, there are problems with Linux-based operating systems. Being a monolithic kernel, people often find the system becomes unresponsive when using a GNU/Linux system. Another major problem, especially for new users, is choosing between various distributions. They end up installing a distribution that has more apps and services than they actually need (or that their hardware can support) for their day to day use, which also serves to slow down their systems.

    This article introduces you to an operating system called Haiku, which serves as a good starting point for aspiring students and those interested in hacking on operating systems.

  • Web Browsers

    • The New, Need-Driven Browser Choice Model

      The new need-based model for choosing browsers has come about through incremental changes that have been going on for years. For one thing, many more people are using web applications as opposed to the local-only apps that dominated the scene for years. If you live in web applications all day, you’re very likely to get a big efficiency boost from top Javascript performance. Javascript is central to how many web applications work, and Google Chrome, in particular has been acing most Javascript benchmark tests for a long time now.

    • Mozilla

      • IBM names Firefox its default browser

        Firefox has become the default browser for nearly 400,000 IBM employees, a big coup for the open-source project during a time of increasing browser competition.

        “All IBM employees will be asked to use it as their default browser,” Bob Sutor, vice president of open source and Linux at IBM’s Software Group, said in a blog post Thursday. “Firefox is enterprise-ready, and we’re ready to adopt it for our enterprise.”

      • IBM declares undying love for Mozilla’s Firefox
      • Saying it out loud: IBM is moving to Firefox as its default browser

        Firefox has been around for years, of course. Today we already have thousands of employees using it on Linux, Mac, and Windows laptops and desktops, but we’re going to be adding thousands more users to the rolls.

  • Oracle

    • Better multimedia support for OpenOffice.org on Unix systems

      Playing back audio and video content on Unix system was and is still a matter of choices.

      On the one hand, this is a good thing for the user. It offers a wide range of frameworks that best suit his/her needs. But on the other hand, this also brings a developer of a multi platform, general purpose Office productivity suite like OpenOffice.org (OOo) into the situation to make a choice. The choice needs to be made just to ensure that we don’t have to provide a different backend for all multimedia frameworks that already exist. This just doesn’t work for resource reasons. So, a framework needs to be chosen that meets the needs of a group of users as large as possible.


      By choosing GStreamer as our favorite framework for an up to date multimedia backend, we hope to serve as much Linux and Solaris OpenOffice.org customers as best as possible. Creating this backend is also our answer to a lot of feedback we received from SOHO as well as enterprise customers in the past. Please have fun using this new multimedia solution and don’t hesitate to give us feedback.

    • Well, It Looks Like Oracle Fails At OpenSolaris In 1H

      Once upon a time the successor to OpenSolaris 2009.06 was supposed to be OpenSolaris 2010.02 and then it became OpenSolaris 2010.03 with a release date in March and then who knows what happened. There hasn’t been an update to the OpenSolaris operating system now in a year nor has there been any communication at all to developers or end-users by Oracle about their plans after taking over Sun Microsystems. All indications were that Oracle would at least deliver an OpenSolaris update in 2010’1H, but it looks like that won’t happen.

    • Microsoft Office vs. OpenOffice

      Typing documents, use of spreadsheets and slideshows are essential tools in the life of almost every professional. The largest of the problems found in Microsoft Office according to the vast majority of users is its price, quite high in the opinion of many. This obligation on having to pay for an Office application suite has stimulated the development of OpenOffice, completely free and open source. Therefore, in addition to the constant improvement in its development, free version divides increasingly user’s opinion about who is the best. We put these two opponents in the ring and help you choose the champion!


      We have pointed out some of the biggest arguments used by advocates of Microsoft Office and OpenOffice, in a battle in which by far the biggest winner is you. Competition creates the need for improvements and innovations in smaller timeframes, always with the user’s preference in focus. Do you have something to add about the applications mentioned? Be sure to participate and agitate for further dispute!

  • SUN

    • Simon Phipps: An Open Source Evangelist Forges On

      Simon Phipps is a man with a mission… Well, a new mission. The former open source evangelist for Sun Microsystems has always been kind of missiony. His new cause: proving that “open source continuity” is a reality. His vehicle for that mission: ForgeRock, a company formed by erstwhile Sun execs to provide “reliable stewardship” for OpenSSO, an open-source access management and federation server platform.

      OpenSSO was a Sun-sponsored open-source project, the stewardship of which went to Oracle when it was acquired. But Big O has shown little interest in the technology. Earlier this year, the company declared that OpenSSO was “not strategic,” and later removed OpenSSO Express as a download.

      Enter ForgeRock, which was founded in February by Lasse Andresen, former CTO of Sun’s Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, Herman Svoren, former Sun Sales exec (EMEA). Phipps joined the company in May.

  • Open Core

    • What lies beyond the open core debate?

      Simon Phipps rose to the challenge, in doing so also countering some recent statements in favor of the open core approach from Marten Mickos. While Simon makes some very valid points, and Compiere’s strategy was undeniably open core, it does not necessarily follow that all open core strategies are doomed to fail (as Jorg himself stated “execution is everything”).

    • Open Source Needs To Have An Unfair Advantage To Succeed

      Simon has some great points in his posting yesterday, reminding us all that the non-open features or services a company provides to its customers may lead to lock-in and reduction of freedoms for the customer. He also comments that open core businesses “stand to benefit massively” from this. It seems that he is arguing that this is a bad thing. My main point is the opposite: by having vendors in the open source space that benefit massively, we will have a stronger world of free and open source software (FOSS).

      To have many companies that benefit massively in the open source space, I believe we have to practice many different business models. What works for Red Hat may not work for MySQL and what works for MySQL may not work for MuleSoft, and so on. A number of open source companies are implementing so called phone home features and other essential benefits of the product that are predicated on an online connection to the vendor’s web service. Because a web service is a service and not a piece of software that gets distributed, many FOSS enthusiasts forget that those services are from all practical standpoints as closed as closed source code.


    • Being Free – why it matters

      So pragmatism vs idealism is wrong. You need pragmatism if you want your ideal world, and by only idealism you get – fairly litte. And the FSF has done plenty of pragmatic things, which is why they made a huge difference. The reason I mentioned them is that lately, some actions seem a bit too extreme to me… But there are ppl out there in ‘our world’ who are FAR more extreme, and hindering FOSS adoption that way. Either by opposing things, stopping others who’re doing great, or just being negative and thus giving a bad impression to the outside world.

  • Project Releases

    • GIMP 2.7.1 released

      Shortly after the release of the latest stable version 2.6.9 a new development version 2.7.1 is announced. It’s another step to the next major release 2.8. Good to have a look but be careful since it might be unstable :)

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Economics of Abundance Workshop Notes

      I opened the workshop by introducing the participants to the idea that our present economy is based on the generation of scarcity, and talking about how we can promote individual freedom, social equity, and environmental sustainability by fostering abundance: the condition when all people, now and in the future, are enabled to live life as art. For an explanation of these ideas, please see my earlier contribution to Shareable here.


      The summaries above do not reflect the entire discussions in the groups, which were wide-ranging and very animated! Here are a few comments from participants:

      “It was very nice to meet you and everyone else last night. I really enjoyed the evening, our discussions, and the new thoughts that came out of them.” -Kelci. M Kelci.

      “I felt very comfortable in the group and appreciate the opportunities I had to exchange thoughts with everyone. I hope that one day you awaken, refreshed from good sleep, to a world where the scarcity of scarcity enriches everyone. May all of the best things happen from us.” -Brandon Nash

      “The workshop helped me to better understand how my experiences are constrained and enabled by collective arrangements. This is a rare and helpful perspective. It raises awareness about how our world works and uncovers opportunities for positive change.” -Neal Gorenflo

    • Guidelines for Group Collaboration and Emergence

      I’m in the middle of a taking a course on Virtual Learning Environments (syllabus here), and reading a few chapters from Adaptive Software Development by Highsmith. It approaches the team-building and collaboration process from the perspective of complex adaptive systems theory, and contains some interesting insights in evolutionary development and creating environments where emergence can occur. I’ve created a summary of a chapter that I’d like to share, as I think it can be valuable for many of us, and specifically for the community of practitioners around the junto concept.

    • Open Data

      • European Officials Embrace Open Data Policy for GMES Satellites

        The European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Parliament have endorsed the idea of free and open access to data from Europe’s future generation of Sentinel Earth observation satellites, with the possible exception of imagery with a ground resolution sharper than 10 meters, European government officials said.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Open Video on the Web: Where Are We Now?

      Back in January 2009, I wrote a post on opening video on the web. At the time, the Mozilla Foundation had just invested $100,000 in the Wikimedia Foundation to use Theora for videos on their sites.


  • {Interoperability} FOSS-related opportunities and priorities

    The potential benefits of a European IT interoperability law are huge. Let’s try to achieve as much as feasible. Politics is the art of the possible, and progress has to be made one step at a time. I don’t see any other legislative idea in Europe (and this one would certainly have repercussions around the globe) that offers such an attractive combination of being potentially helpful and politically achievable in the near to mid term.

  • Watchdog wants investigation of White House e-mails

    A liberal watchdog has called for an investigation into whether White House employees are using personal e-mail accounts to contact lobbyists in violation of federal law.

  • Science

  • Security/Aggression

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • ASCAP: John Phillip Sousa Incarnate

      Sometimes you run across something so discouraging you want to just hang your head. That happened today as I received a letter from the folks at Creative Commons stating that The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), one of the groups that supposedly represents artists by licensing their music and paying the artists royalties, had sent out letters to their 380,000 members asking for donations to fight against the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Public Knowledge and Creative Commons (CC). These groups were portrayed as being “against the interests of music creators”.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • “Your Freedom” is a failure. How to make it better

      Today the Government launched a new website called “Your Freedom” – designed for members of the public to suggest repeals or modifications of laws they find restrictive or bureaucratic. The name’s a little misguided from the start – after all, laws can be used to guarantee and enforce freedoms as well as restrict them, so merely repealing a law does not necessarily entail “freedom”. But let’s let that pass.

    • With World Watching, Wikileaks Falls Into Disrepair

      Would-be whistle-blowers hoping to leak documents to Wikileaks face a potentially frustrating surprise. Wikileaks’ submission process, which had been degraded for months, completely collapsed more than two weeks ago and remains offline, in a little-noted breakdown at the world’s most prominent secret-spilling website.

    • DMCA Fail: The 5 Dumbest Takedown Notices
    • Finns get a right to broadband – can we repeal the Digital Economy Act?

      Finns now have the legal right to broadband access, as a law passed in October comes into force today. Under the law, telecomms providers are obliged to offer always-on high-speed internet connections to all of the country’s 5.3 million citizens, with a minimum speed of at least 1 megabit per second.

    • Google Says Web Searches Are Partly Blocked in China

      Google Inc. said that its Web search service in mainland China was partially blocked Wednesday, less than two days after the company announced changes aimed at keeping its Internet operating license in the country.

      The company said the blockage appeared to affect only search queries generated by mainland China users of the company’s Google Suggest function, which automatically recommends search queries based on the first few letters a user types into the search box.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Digital rights are crushing open source Internet TV

      EVERYTHING IS TELLY, the smiling participants in an Intel video told the audience but in fact digital rights management (DRM) is locking progress into, well, your telly.

      At Chipzilla’s 30 June future of television event the CTO of the BBC led second generation Iplayer Project Canvas, Anthony Rose, told the audience that the TV programme UI to end all UIs will be set-top box only because of DRM. Canvas is described as an open platform using common standards through which viewers will access both free and pay to view programming.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • EFF Comments on the ASCAP Letter

      Ever since the story broke that ASCAP was accusing organizations like Creative Commons, EFF and Public Knowledge, of undermining copyright, it set off a firestorm both in creative circles, copyright observation circles and even amongst ASCAP members. Now, the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) has weighed in.

    • Copyrights

      • Judge “rejected all of the EFF’s arguments” on P2P cases

        Can a law firm sue up to 5,000 accused P2P users from across the US at once, and in a single DC court? For now, at least, it can.

        In a 45-minute hearing yesterday before federal judge Rosemary Collyer of the Washington, DC District Court, lawyers from the ACLU, EFF, and Time Warner Cable squared off with Thomas Dunlap of Dunlap, Grubb, & Weaver, the firm behind the “US Copyright Group.”

    • ACTA

      • ACTA calls to urgently rethink patents and copyright (open letter)

        Whatever the final text will be after the next negotiation rounds, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) will remain an illegitimate agreement, by its elaboration process (beyond any democratic control) as well as its content (further strengthening of an outdated set of legislation). Access to medicine in the poorest countries and protection of citizens’ fundamental rights in their usage of Internet and digital technologies are too crucial issues to be left out to the hazards of closed-doors negotiations.

Clip of the Day

CLUG Talk 13 October 2009 – Splunk (2009)

Links 1/7/2010: Catch-up With Free/Open Source Software News

Posted in News Roundup at 12:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Ballnux

    • More androids: Samsung’s Galaxy S coming to four US carriers

      Samsung revealed this week that versions of its modestly anticipated Android-based Galaxy S smartphone will be available through all four major US mobile carriers. The phone has a 4-inch AMOLED display, a 5MP camera, and a 1GHz Hummingbird processor. The rest of the feature set differs a bit between carriers, as each one will ship a separate variant with custom branding.

  • Debian Family

    • we want you for Squeeze artwork

      You might have heard that Debian is closing up on the forthcoming Squeeze release. In its aim to be “universal”, Debian addresses several different kinds of users and Squeeze will be no exception. For several users, and in particular for desktop users, artworks do matter and initiatives like the one started by Valessio Brito are likely to improve their user experience.

  • Debian Family

    • we want you for Squeeze artwork

      You might have heard that Debian is closing up on the forthcoming Squeeze release. In its aim to be “universal”, Debian addresses several different kinds of users and Squeeze will be no exception. For several users, and in particular for desktop users, artworks do matter and initiatives like the one started by Valessio Brito are likely to improve their user experience.

  • Android

    • AdMob’s Final Mobile Metrics Report: Android Rising, But Apple Still Dominates Worldwide

      Over the past two years, mobile ad impressions from smartphones have grown from 22 percent of the total to 46 percent in May, 2010. Apple iOS devices account for the largest portion worldwide, with 40 percent share. But as you can see in the chart above, that share has been declining since it peaked above 50 percent in November, 2009. Over that time, Android has been steadily taking share, rising to 26 percent.

    • CyanogenMOD 6 “Froyo” Progress Report

      According to a recent blog post, Cyanogen and team have been hard at work putting together CyanogenMOD-6 (based on Android 2.2 “Froyo”) from the moment the source code hit the Android Open Source Project’s servers. It seems the Droid and Nexus One will be getting this freshly baked build first, followed soon by the Dream, Sapphire, and the newly released MyTouch Slide. You gotta hand it to these guys, they are one group of dedicated developers.

    • Yahoo! Unleashes Search, Mail and Messenger Apps For Android
  • Tablets

    • Android 3.0: leaked details hint at tablet potential

      Details are starting to leak about Android 3.0, codenamed Gingerbread. We knew from an assortment of previous leaks that the next major version of the OS was slated for Q4 2010. New information that has emerged this week indicates the release could well be in October and that the new version might boost the minimum required hardware specifications.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Best and Free Programming Ebooks with Open Source Licenses

    Today in WebDesignish we are presenting very useful and recommended list of programming Ebooks with open source licenses, like Creative Commons, GPL, etc. The books can be about a particular programming language or about computers in general.

  • Study: Open-Source Making Significant Traction in the Enterprise

    The survey reflects a pattern that’s best illustrated by Red Hat’s most recent financial results. In the past year, its revenues were up 20%. All parts of its business are showing growth, with particular strength in middleware. The company signed the largest deal in its history during the last quarter. According to Datamation, Red Hat renewed all of its top 25 deals during the quarter at over 120% of their original value.

  • Local Open Source Industry Poised For Double-digit Growth This Year

    He said MSC status companies in the open source industry generated a local revenue of over RM595 million, export revenue over RM234 million and employed 6,206 ICT-knowledged workers.

    “Malaysia welcomed the open source trend as a means of enhancing our national technological competitiveness by giving local industries freedom of choice in software usage,” he told a press conference after opening the MSC Malaysia Open Source Conference 2010 here Tuesday.

  • Back to Basics: What Is Open Source Software?

    Google’s choice a few weeks ago, to use a modified version of the BSD open-source license for its WebM format and VP8 codec raised the discussion of open-sourcing to a level that it was covered by more than just the tech media.

    Even after Google dropped the “poison pill” additions that were in the original licensing terms, reverting to a standard BSD license, the question that many involved in online video are asking is “what exactly is open source anyway?”

    To help shed light on that question, and its applicability to streaming media, let’s look at the difference between commercial proprietary applications, free software applications, and open-source code.

  • Tracking Trends in Communications Software Pricing/Licensing

    A brief word about free, open source software (OSS) licenses. OSS gives users the right to modify and redistribute their creative work and software, both of which would be a big “no-no” with proprietary software. These free licenses typically include a disclaimer of warranty (no surprise there: what do you want, it’s free software!).

    The idea of open source code is to make it easily available to the general public for the purpose of improvement, modification, etc., and it is released under the General Public License (GPL), Lesser GPL (LGPL), or other open source licenses.

    “Copyleft” (as opposed to copyright) software also includes a specific provision, that must be accepted in order to copy or modify the software; this provision requires users to provide source code for their work, and to distribute their modifications under the same open source/free license. See the Open Source Initiative website for more information at http://www.opensource.org/.

  • The Doors of Hell are Locked From The Inside – “Purchasing Process Lock-In” Rivals Technology Lock-in

    Historically, open source has been adopted at the edges by savvy developers who were just looking for the best tool to do their jobs. The technologies were successful at a single project level and then grew virally. As open source continues to penetrate Main Street, organizations have started to evaluate open source in a more “tops down” fashion. They are starting to run bake-offs that include both open source and proprietary solutions. This is great news for open source, but many end-user organizations do not understand the vast differences between the proprietary and open source sales models.

  • QRisk2 heart disease risk assessment software made open source

    The University of Nottingham and primary care systems supplier EMIS have made the QRisk formula for identifying heart disease risk available as open source software.

  • TrueCrypt Beats FBI Encryption Experts in Money Laundering Case

    The US Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has failed to decrypt five hard drives protected by the open-source encryption software TrueCrypt.

  • UAE Students Design School to Change the lives of Children in Cameroon

    Today a group of volunteers from the AUD International Aid (AIA) and Open Source Arc, two local humanitarian organizations, left for the North West Province of Cameroon, to build a local school designed for the community by UAE based architectural students.

  • UAE students design school

    A group of UAE-based students of architecture have designed a school to be built in Cameroon by local humanitarian organisations, AUD International Aid (AIA) and Open Source Arc.

    The design was created during a workshop and competition organised by Open Source Arc and held at Shelter Gallery in Dubai during the last weekend in May.

  • Skills

    • Clue is a renewable resource

      Congratulations! You’ve hired a fantastic open source developer. You know she’s fantastic because you were able to check out her commits on public projects, you’ve read the mailing list archives to learn how she communicates, and you know before she starts that she’s a passionate self-motivated detail-oriented coder and that she’s not an asshole. She’s clueful and she’s perfect!

      Now, what are you going to do with her? If you’re like most employers, you’ll systematically destroy her value to your organization by exploiting her current skills and failing to build future skills.

  • Web Browsers

    • Icelandic data centre allays fears of environmental concerns

      While debate has persisted for some years now over whether Opera will make its product open source, currently the browser remains closed. Given the company’s competing position against Firefox, some sources suggest that this is the next logical move for the company as Opera lacks the open source ‘extensions’ found with Firefox.

    • Mozilla submits browserless Firefox to Jobsian app police

      The open source outfit has no intention of submitting Firefox itself. It doesn’t want to take the browser where it’s not wanted. But it has built an iPhone version of Firefox Sync, the browser bookmark-syncing service formerly known as Weave, and with a blog post on Wednesday, it announced that it has formally sought the approval of the Jobsian app police.

  • SaaS

    • Open-Source Microblogging Platform StatusNet Launches Desktop Client

      StatusNet released today a cross-platform desktop client for its open-source microblogging platform – the same foundation that powers the Twitter alternative identi.ca. Windows, Mac, and Linux users can download it here. It features support for multiple StatusNet sites (including identi.ca), notifications, search and more.

    • # 5 Ways Identi.ca is Better Than Twitter

      Twitter popularized micro-blogging, indeed, but it isn’t fair to say they started it. There are many micro-blogging services, like Twitter, Tumblr, Plurk, Jaiku, and — my favorite — Identi.ca. What I like about Identi.ca is its focus on software related topics (well, that isn’t its intended focus, but its users’ apparent focus.) That said, Identi.ca is also basically Twitter’s liberated equivalent.

    • WSO2 launches 100% Open Source Cloud Platform

      An enterprise applications developer with development facilities in Sri Lanka recently launched its first 100% open source cloud platform, WSO2 Stratos. Built upon the WSO2 Carbon platform which it introduced last year, the company’s, WSO2′s, new productoffers advantages such as lower project times and reduced data centre costs, WSO said in a statement.

    • The intersection of open source and cloud computing

      Take the interesting discussion about the future of the LAMP stack recently. LAMP–a software stack consisting of Linux, Apache Web Server and/or Tomcat, MySQL (or another open-source database engine) and the Perl, Python and/or PHP scripting languages–plays a critical role in the world of Web applications, but as I noted recently, it may not be as critical to the cloud.

    • Hadoop

  • Oracle

    • Oracle Upgrades x86 Data Center Stack

      Each single x86-based cluster can support up to 720 Sun Fire blades, Lovell said. The new systems ship with preloaded Oracle Solaris, Oracle Enterprise Linux—either Red Hat or Novell SUSE—and Oracle VM, Fowler said.

    • Oracle releases VM VirtualBox 3.2.6

      Oracle has announced the release of version 3.2.6 of its open source VM VirtualBox desktop virtualisation application for x86 hardware. The latest maintenance update includes more than 20 bug fixes and a number of changes over the previous 3.2.4 release from early June.

    • New: OOo-DEV 3.x Developer Snapshot (build DEV300m84) available

      Developer Snapshot OOo-Dev DEV300m84 is available for download.

      DEV300 is the development codeline for upcoming OOo 3.x releases.

  • CMS

    • Pig no more: Companies Office site gets makeover

      Based on a customised platform called “Enterprise” (itself built around the open source Plone CMS) the new Companies Office site is much, much faster, and a lot more user-friendly and easy to navigate.

  • Healthcare

  • Business

    • Open Core is the New Dual Licensing

      Which is to say an open source business model that will generate marginal revenue improvement for firms that employ it, at the cost of developer goodwill and participation. And, potentially, distribution. What open core is not is a model that will mitigate the commercial limitations of the model sufficiently to produce outsized returns similar to historical software producers. Nor is it a model that ideally aligns customer and vendor interests.

      Which is not to say that there is much profit in debating its relative merits. Curiously, precisely zero of the model’s critics – smart people, all of them – have put forward potential remedies for the threat they perceive in open core. This is because none exist.

  • Funding

  • BSD

    • TechDis Accessibility Toolbar demoed at TransferSummit

      At TransferSummit, Steve Lee demonstrated the JISC TechDis Accessibility Toolbar, an open source, BSD licenced, browser accessibility tool that has just come out of beta. Launched as open source earlier in the year, the new toolbar is a bookmarklet or user-script which allows users to make text bigger, change text fonts, magnify pages, apply page styles for easier reading, have selected text read aloud, have entered text checked for spelling and provide access to a dictionary or references for selected pages. The toolbar can also be embedded into existing websites; a demonstration of this capability is available on the toolbar’s web page.

    • Dru Lavigne To Direct Community Development Of PC-BSD

      Dru Lavigne, well known for her BSD related books is stepping down from her role at OSBR and taking up the position of PC-BSD “Director of Community Development”.


    • GNU HURD: Altered visions and lost promise

      The HURD was meant to be the true kernel at the heart of the GNU operating system. The promise behind the HURD was revolutionary – a set of daemons on top of a microkernel that was intended to surpass the performance of the monolithic kernels of traditional Unix systems and in doing so, give greater security, freedom and flexibility to the users – but it has yet to come down to earth.

    • I use Windows… how can I move to free software?

      You can install free software applications on your Windows machine and use them instead of proprietary software from Microsoft and others.

    • FSF: Working Together For Free Software
  • Project Releases

    • IBM releases open source version of TranslationManager/2

      OpenTM2 is the name IBM has given to a new open source project for its integrated TranslationManager/2 (TM/2) translation environment. The project’s aim is to promote open standards like TMX in the translation and localisation industry, and to develop an open source translation platform based on such standards. To achieve this, IBM is cooperating with the Localisation Industry Standards Association (LISA), which oversees the development of the TMX specification, US localisation service Welocalize, Cisco, and the German Linux Solution Group (LiSoG).

  • Government

    • Gov’t agencies using ‘pirated’ software, state ICT body says

      To address these conflicting problems, CICT officials led by Commissioner Angelo Timoteo Diaz De Rivera and Antonette Torres batted for the use of “open source” operating systems and free applications instead of the usual Microsoft operating systems that have either been pirated or bought from licensed distributors.

      The CICT officials made the appeal as the country observes the last few days of the Information and Communications Technology month this June.

      Appearing before the news media during the Usaping Balita News Forum, De Rivera and Torres said the open source operating system, which is available free, could drastically bring down the cost of computerization of public schools and government offices in the country.

    • Pirated software rampant among Philippine govt

      The country’s policy-making body, which is tasked to promote technology use in government, did not name the government agencies, noting only that the Philippine government should seriously look into open source as a cheaper alternative.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • ECJ rules on reconciling data protection law with freedom of information law

      The European Court of Justice (ECJ), the European Union’s highest court, has overturned a lower court’s ruling and has said that a data protection law allowed the European Commission to refuse to name people who attended a meeting that settled a beer industry competition law dispute.

    • NeighborGoods Extends The Sharing Of Actual Things To The National Level

      Back in October, we covered a new sharing service called NeighborGoods. When you see the term “sharing” associated with a startup, your eyes may glaze over at this point — but NeighborGoods is a bit different because it’s all about actually sharing stuff. Like, in the real world. Sadly, the site was previously only open to users in Southern California. But today brings its nationwide roll-out.

    • “Emerging Ghana” Wins Open Source House Competition for Local, Modular, and Efficient Design

      He emphasized the importance of projects like Open Source House to solve the worldwide housing problem together.

    • Local, Modular and Efficient Eco-Affordable Housing For Ghana
    • 10 Ways Our World is Becoming More Shareable

      Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). FOSS and the Internet have a symbiotic relationship. The Internet would not have been possible without FOSS. And the growth of FOSS relies on the Internet to power its peer production and distribution model. Over 270 million people use the Firefox browser, a shared, freely available tool. Half of the world’s Web sites, about 112 million, run on Apache Server, also open source. A quarter of a million websites run on Drupal, a leading open source content management system.

      That’s just scratching the surface: Today, there are over 200,000 open source projects with nearly 5 billion lines of code that would cost an estimated $387 billion to reproduce. Check out the Infoworld’s Open Source Hall of Fame for more on desktop favorites, like Ubuntu, as well as obscure but vital infrastructure projects like BIND. You might also check out the Open Source Census, which tracks business installations of FOSS.

    • Open Data

      • Open Data Definition at OSCON

        Safe enough to say that the OSD has been quite successful in laying out a set of criteria for what is, and what is not, Open Source. We should adopt a definition Open Data, even if it means merely endorsing an existing one.

      • Data is not binary

        Why open data requires credibility and transparency.

      • ‘Google will be one node on a vast social web’

        “I’ve worked for myself for the last five years, and there are certain things you can do on your own,” explains Messina, who recently ranked third in a list of the most powerful voices in open source.

      • Valley residents find conflict, obstacles in Gulf of Mexico

        In the afternoon Thursday, we have a short meeting with the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, who are shifting gears from their normal operations of open source air quality testing and creating an open source map that anyone can add data to as they notice oil, wildlife, health problems, and various other items of interest at www.labucketbrigade.org.

      • Businesses unwilling to share data, but keen on government doing it

        But businesses are less willing to join in – possibly because they see a commercial risk in being making their data available if others do not reciprocate. While a number of companies participate in open source software projects such as the Linux operating system and Apache web server, to which companies such as IBM and Sun have been substantial contributors, that is some distance from making data – even anonymised – about the business visible to rivals.

      • Photo archive goes live on OS OpenSpace

        Another great OS OpenSpace mash-up has been built for The Great Tour of Britain – a unique cycling challenge circumnavigating the entire coastline of Great Britain. It’s being organised by the same team who brought us The Tour of Britain cycle race and the Halfords Tour series which was recently shown on ITV4.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Dramatic Growth of Open Access: June 30, 2010 (brief version)

        Open access policy continues to be the headline growth story, particularly institutional OA mandates and total OA mandates, both of which have more than doubled over the past year. There are now a total of 220 mandates.

      • Unpacking Open Source Government

        Throughout the day, the thorniest issues swirled around how to convince many different stakeholders that curate legal materials to abandon their entrenched practices in favor of a system that coordinates between jurisdictions. Most likely, Law.gov will apply several arguments to underscore the need for these proposed sweeping changes. When the session drew to a close, Malamud offered a few final words on the importance of applying open source practices to the legal system: “We’re trying to do a standard here, saying if you’re going to make a law, you need to make it in bulk.” Over the next several months, Malamud will draw up a report that will include the technical specifications, total costs, and standard procedures for the proposed repository. From it, he intends to generate broader support for his initiative, first from law school deans, and later from legislators and legal professionals. Both events suggest the profound impact that open source practices of collaboration, knowledge exchange, and networked participation are beginning to have on traditional governing institutions.

    • Open Hardware

      • New Report Explains Open-source 3D Printers

        Castle Island Co. announces the availability of the very first report that explores and explains in detail all aspects of open-source 3D printers.

      • TI

        • TI taps into open source community for MSP430

          A LaunchPad Wiki provides multiple production-ready open source projects for evaluation. TI is using the open-source environment is also intended to support design and community collaboration.

        • BeagleBoard open source project gets shot in the ARM

          BeagleBoard, the ARM-based development board from Texas Instruments, has caused a stir in the open source community, but it might not ever have appeared without the intervention of component distributor Digi-Key, writes Steve Bush.

          “It was developed with a little bit of seed funding from TI,” BeagleBoard software architecture manager Jason Kridner told Elctronics Weekly. “In order to reach the right price point, we had to order 1,000 at a time with a commitment for 10,000.”

        • Open source community powers TI MSP430
  • Programming

    • ActivePython Updated for Finance, Scientific Users

      ActiveState has added three open source mathematics libraries to its ActivePython Python distribution that might interest financial and scientific computing markets, the company announced Thursday.

    • Application Development: 25 Best and Brightest Eclipse Development Projects

      With the recent release (June 23) of the Eclipse Foundation’s 39-project Helios release train, eWEEK has decided to take a look at what many in the Eclipse community view as some of the top projects coming out of the organization. Eclipse is an open-source community, whose projects are focused on building an open development platform comprised of extensible frameworks, tools and runtimes for building, deploying and managing software across the lifecycle. Eclipse started as a Java IDE, but has since grown to be much, much more.


  • Death by Gadget

    An ugly paradox of the 21st century is that some of our elegant symbols of modernity — smartphones, laptops and digital cameras — are built from minerals that seem to be fueling mass slaughter and rape in Congo. With throngs waiting in lines in the last few days to buy the latest iPhone, I’m thinking: What if we could harness that desperation for new technologies to the desperate need to curb the killing in central Africa?

  • Science

    • First Direct Photo of Alien Planet Finally Confirmed

      A planet outside of our solar system, said to be the first ever directly photographed by telescopes on Earth, has been officially confirmed to be orbiting a sun-like star, according to follow-up observations.

      The alien planet is eight times the mass of Jupiter and orbits at an unusually great distance from its host star — more than 300 times farther from the star than our Earth is from the sun.

      Astronomers first discovered the planet in 2008 using visible light observations from telescopes on Earth, making it the first direct photo of an extrasolar world. But at the time there was still the remote chance that it only looked like it was orbiting the star, from the perspective of Earth, due to a lucky alignment of object, star and observer.

    • Ancient monster whale more fearsome than Moby Dick

      The fossilised skull of a colossal whale with a killer bite has been uncovered by a team who reckon the monster shared the Miocene oceans with a giant shark.

  • Security/Aggression

    • When Police Lie

      The single most important tool police have in their arsenal isn’t a gun, it isn’t baton, it isn’t even their badge. It is public confidence.

      It is this confidence that ensures the public they can have faith in some of the most important and powerful public servants they meet in their day to day lives, and more importantly, it is vested in hands that will prioritize the rule of law over violence.

      This, however, breaks down when police lie.

      This week, as far as I can tell, the Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair has been caught in two lies. First, in claiming the policy had legal authority to detain people within 5 meters of the perimeter fence at the G20, second, when they put confiscated weapons on display that had been found on “protesters.”

    • Young photojournalist detained for army cadet pics

      On Saturday 26 June, photojournalist Jules Mattsson, who is a minor and was documenting the Armed Forces Day parade in Romford, was questioned and detained by a police officer after taking a photo of young cadets.

      According to Mattsson, who spoke to BJP this morning, after taking the photo he was told by a police officer that he would need parental permission for his image. The photographer answered that, legally, he didn’t. While he tried to leave the scene to continue shooting, a second officer allegedly grabbed his arm to question him further.

    • Data at Rest vs. Data in Motion

      For a while now, I’ve pointed out that cryptography is singularly ill-suited to solve the major network security problems of today: denial-of-service attacks, website defacement, theft of credit card numbers, identity theft, viruses and worms, DNS attacks, network penetration, and so on.

      Cryptography was invented to protect communications: data in motion. This is how cryptography was used throughout most of history, and this is how the militaries of the world developed the science. Alice was the sender, Bob the receiver, and Eve the eavesdropper. Even when cryptography was used to protect stored data — data at rest — it was viewed as a form of communication. In “Applied Cryptography,” I described encrypting stored data in this way: “a stored message is a way for someone to communicate with himself through time.” Data storage was just a subset of data communication.

    • Iraq inquiry: secret documents showing Tony Blair’s frustration published

      On one note, written six weeks before the March 2003 invasion, the then-prime minister scrawled “I just do not understand this” alongside a warning from Lord Goldsmith, the attorney general, that military force would be illegal without a fresh United Nations resolution.

    • Tony Blair wins 2010 Liberty Medal award for work on peace

      In announcing the $100,000 prize, Philadelphia’s mayor Michael Nutter praised Blair’s “relentless pursuit of a long-elusive peace in Northern Ireland as British prime minister and his dedication to the Middle East peace process”.

  • Environment

    • Climate science: An erosion of trust?

      The video wasn’t funny to the real Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University in University Park. A lawyer wrote to the group responsible for it, threatening to sue them for defamation and for using a copyrighted image. The video was promptly taken down and a new version — without the copyrighted photo — appeared on YouTube.

      Mann has grown weary of dealing with the various groups that are criticizing him. “In reality, these groups are guilty over and over again of defamation, slander and libel, but that is far more difficult to fight legally,” Mann says. “Even if you were to prevail, you would have invested potentially several years of your career, and frankly those of us who love doing science are not willing to do that.”

    • We have solutions: open source technology can solve BP, other problems

      This is the essence of open source. It is an education process for those who participate to see what their ideas did or didn’t do. For it to work for BP, it needs to continue to keep the phone lines open and start calling us back.

    • UK Votes for All Six GM Applications in Europe, but No Majority – Commission struggles to find legal way forward on GM cultivation

      As most EU food companies continue to avoid GM ingredients in food, the GM maize would mainly be used for animal feed. There is currently no requirement to label products produced using GM animal feed, although legislation to change this will be voted on in the European Parliament on 7 July. [2] The EU’s reliance on imported animal feeds is being challenged and is the subject of a Private Member’s Bill in the UK Parliament. [3]

  • Finance

    • Volcker Rule May Give Goldman, Citigroup Until 2022 to Comply

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc. are among U.S. banks that may have as long as a dozen years to cut stakes in in-house hedge funds and private- equity units under a regulatory revamp agreed to last week.

    • GOPers So Opposed To Wall Street Regulation That They Voted For Bailout Continuation

      Republicans have spent the better part of two years distancing themselves from bailouts and hitting Democrats for supporting them. But given a choice between continuing the 2008 bank bailout and regulating Wall Street, several Republicans voted last night (and almost all of them will ultimately vote) to keep the bailout alive.

    • Goldman Sachs Could Settle SEC Fraud Suit by July 20, Mayo Says
    • State Finalizes Settlement With Goldman Sachs

      Goldman Sachs has agreed to buy back over $25.65 million in auction-rate securities sold to Montana investors, as part of a national settlement regarding the company’s sales of the investments.

    • Montana finalizes settlement with Goldman Sachs over auction-rate securities
    • Tapping the Crowd to Bring Goldman Sachs to Justice?

      Earlier this month, when Goldman Sachs had the gall to dump 5 terabytes of data in the lap of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission in response to a subpoena for information relating to its role in the mortgage meltdown, John Carney of CNBC had a novel idea: Use a crowdsourcing model to comb through the data to find what Goldman Sachs apparently wants to keep buried and unfindable. It’s an interesting idea, but is it feasible?

    • Analysis: SEC may use Goldman Sachs to improve its image

      If this were a normal time, and Goldman Sachs were an ordinary company, there’s little doubt how the Securities and Exchange Commission’s fraud complaint against the investment banking and securities firm would be handled.

    • Goldman Sachs spends $1.15 million to lobby government during 1st quarter

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc. spent $1.15 million lobbying the government during the first quarter on issues tied to financial regulatory reform and the housing market, according to lobbying disclosure filings.

    • Bank of Canada Names Goldman’s Hodgson as Adviser

      The Bank of Canada named Goldman Sachs Canada Chief Executive Officer Timothy Hodgson as a special adviser to Governor Mark Carney, who also worked at the investment bank.

    • Goldman Sachs Says to Buy Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A, BRK-B)
    • Goldman Sachs’ Spirituality and Psychology

      The economic system defines what we spend most of our waking hours doing, which means it can’t help but be a primary determinant of our psychology and spirituality. So an economic system built on an immoral, unhealthy monetary system cannot help but breed immoral spirituality and unhealthy psychology over time. It must be changed.

    • How Goldman Trashed a Town

      Starting in July, Liza Kuzela of Cedar Rapids will pay $0.44 more a month to have her trash collected. The amount is trivial, but the reason is not. Two years ago, Cedar Rapids lost $2.6 million on an investment tied to a Goldman Sachs bond deal Abacus that the Securities and Exchange Commission claims was rigged to fail. When the bond went bust, hedge-fund manager and Goldman client John Paulson pocketed a billion dollars. Kuzela, her neighbors and others around the country with no ties to Wall Street are picking up the tab. The case of Cedar Rapids and Goldman illustrates how everyday Americans end up paying for Wall Street’s big paydays.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Foursquare Puts Money Before Privacy

      Foursquare, one of the net’s hottest startups, got an unwanted message on June 20 from a white-hat hacker: it was leaking user data on a massive scale in plain violation of its privacy policy.

      The company asked the white hat, Jesper Andersen, to give it nine days to deal with the problem that it was publishing all users’ location data to the entire web despite its privacy-policy promise to users that “You can opt out of such broadcasts through your privacy settings.”

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Ugly Politics At Wipo

      The irony of the situation is that while blame for the lack of progress is being placed on African countries, these countries actually support a legally binding Treaty for the visually impaired. The reality is that the US and the EU have been fighting tooth and nail against a legally binding treaty for the visually impaired and during the World Intellectual Property Organization meeting last week in Geneva they they were the target of massive criticism from civil society and many countries from the South. The EU was even adamant in rejecting any mention of creating “legal instruments” in favour of enhancing the right to read for millions of print disabled people. Now, instead of blaming the EU and the US for their insensitive pro-corporate copyright fundamentalism, anger is being directed toward the “reckless, unrealistic” proposals of African countries. At the same time the EU and the US are now able to use the broad african proposal as proof in their view that an exception and limitation on copyright for the blind is just one step inin a larger strategy of weakening international copyright protection. Since WIPO functions with a consensus principle the “African excuse” becomes the perfect pretext for the North to push lower expectations about achieving a new international legal norm and to instead push weak voluntary mechanisms.

      What a sad spectacle.

    • US Pirate Party responds to Obama administration anti-piracy efforts

      TechEye spoke with Travis McCrea of the US Pirate Party, and he told us that the news about the US government’s plans is not a surprise, since Obama and his party have consistently failed to live up to the promises they have made, including delivering high-speed internet to rural areas, and reforming copyright and patenting.

    • Copyrights

      • Digital Opportunities ‘Are Scarce’ And Long-Term, HMV Says

        “Opportunities to create real value in digital are scarce for all involved,” HMV (LSE: HMV) said, reporting 3.1 percent higher annual income, “not least because of widespread competition from the free illegal market.”

        The entertainment retailer in September bought 50 percent of digital music seller 7digital for £7.7 million in cash plus £400,000 fees, but has already recorded a £600,000 loss from its share since then.

      • “Damaging To Culture”, Online Library Smashed By Police

        There is outrage amongst sections of the online community as it is revealed that at the behest of copyright holders, a free online library has been raided by police. Chitanka carried user translated and submitted books, poems and other literature and as an “altruistic library” was thought to be legal under current legislation. Instead the site was raided and subjected to criminal procedures.

      • Homeland Security Works For Disney Now? Announces Shut Down Of Movie Sites At Disney

        Well, here we go. Remember how, a few months back, we noted how odd it was that the Justice Department (which, of course, employs many former RIAA/MPAA/BSA lawyers) was designating a special task force to fight copyright infringement? After all, copyright infringement is mostly a civil issue, between two private parties. For years, however, the entertainment industry has been working hard to convince the government to act as its own private police force, and following a totally one-sided “summit” with Joe Biden (who recently claimed that infringement is no different than doing a smash and grab at Tiffany’s), suddenly the feds had a special IP task force… at the same time that it was downgrading the priority of crimes that cause actual harm, such as identity fraud.

    • ACTA

      • ACTA A Sign Of Weakness In Multilateral System, WIPO Head Says

        The plurilateral Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) and other such regional negotiations are a “bad development” for multilateral agencies, the World Intellectual Property Organization director general has told Intellectual Property Watch.

        Asked about this week’s ACTA negotiation in Lucerne, Switzerland (IPW, Enforcement, 26 June 2010), Gurry said it is an example of the difficulty of the United Nations and the rest of the multilateral system have providing swift answers to international problems.

Clip of the Day

Cloud Computing Plain and Simple


Links 30/6/2010: Cisco’s Linux Machines; Npad

Posted in News Roundup at 8:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • The Year Of The Linux… Everything Else

    Now imagine what it would do for Linux if Apple’s products worked perfectly with it. That’s never going to happen of course (not if Apple can help it, anyway), but another important shift is coming. Linux is becoming the king of the appliance world and that’s a really big thing. Android and MeeGo are changing the scene. The growth in Android’s market share has been impressive and is only set to rise. Nokia just announced that they will drop Symbian for MeeGo on their high-end smartphones phones. I mean does anyone even realise how amazing it is that one can go to any retailer and buy a Linux powered phone? What these products have done, is turn Linux into a truly wonderful, sexy, easy-to-use appliance and it’s only going to get better from here.

    It’s not just phones. Consumers can also buy (or will be able to soon) Linux based:

    * ARM netbooks
    * cars
    * eBook readers
    * GPS units
    * media hubs
    * mini computers
    * music players
    * network attached storage
    * projectors
    * media centers
    * personal internet viewers
    * routers
    * tablets
    * televisions
    * set-top boxes
    * “traditional” phones
    * watches

  • The Best of Tux: 75+ Wallpaper Designs Featuring the Linux Mascot

    Linux has captured the underground nerd world of coders and hackers (white-hat, of course) with it’s simplicity, lightness, and functionality. The mainstream, however, hasn’t been as quick to catch on – that is, until they meet the adorable Linux penguin mascot, Tux.

  • Pros and Cons of Linux. is it Right for your Business?

    What is Linux?

    Linux is an operating system like Microsoft Windows, MacOS or Unix. It was created as a hobby by Linus Torvalds, a student at the University of Helsinki in Finland. What many people do not know about Linux is that its source code is available to anyone. The source code for Linux is called the kernel and is the base operating system Linux. Since the source code, or kernel is free, has enabled hundreds of companies and individuals to release their own operating systems based on Linux system. These operating systems or formats are often referred to as Linux distributions.

  • Desktop

    • Some you lose, some you win…you have to keep trying

      One other person showed up, however, who not only used computers, but was an avid Linux fan. I had given him a copy of Linux a couple of years ago along with a “plush Tux” and he was now using Linux other than “for one or two programs to do editing on his videos.” I told him about some of the multi-media programs that are available for Linux and he now thinks he can be completely “Microsoft free”. He also has his wife and family using Linux. I must admit that his presence made my day a little brighter.

  • Books

    • The perfect companion for mastering the latest version of Fedora

      Research and Markets: Fedora Bible 2010 Edition: Featuring Fedora Linux 12 – The Perfect Companion for Mastering the Latest Version of Fedora

    • LPI Linux Certification in a Nutshell–New from O’Reilly

      Linux deployment continues to increase, and so does the demand for qualified and certified Linux system administrators. If you’re seeking a job-based certification from the Linux Professional Institute (LPI), this updated guide of LPI Linux Certification in a Nutshell (O’Reilly Media, $49.99 USD) will help you prepare for the technically challenging LPIC Level 1 Exams 101 and 102.

  • Server

    • The Open Source Server Quagmire

      For many enterprises, the server OS presents a quagmire: They don’t want to pay too much for the server OS on which they rely, but at the same time, they don’t want their server OS makers going out of business. The big question is whether there’s enough money in open source software to build strong and stable enterprise OS makers.

      If you run your business using Microsoft’s Windows server OSes, then you really don’t have to worry. The Redmond giant is rolling in cash thanks in no small part to the high prices it charges for its desktop and server OSes and the client access licenses it requires to connect one to the other.

      But open source companies are different. They don’t sell their open source software per se, and therefore they don’t make a lot of money. Peter Wayner over at InfoWorld wrote recently about two highly valued open source companies: MySQL, which Sun bought for $1 billion, and Red Hat, currently valued by the market at around $6 billion. This was what he had to say:

    • When Experts aren’t Experts bad stories happen…

      The “Expert” also seemed to think it was harder to manage a Linux Server over a Windows Sever. This is strictly a matter of what you are used to. While there were times in my past where I did Administer Windows Servers. Going back now and trying to do things is difficult because of how much has changed. Learning and becoming an expert in any operating system takes time and requires work.

      Companies need to evaluate the Linux vs. Windows choice based on what they are trying to do. Everyone needs to not make this decision on a case by case basis. There are no hard fast rules and staffing and cost will always be the biggest things to determine it.

    • IBM, Arctur partner to bring supercomputing to the midmarket

      IBM said that its iDataPlex supercomputer running Linux will be capable of performing approximately 10 trillion calculations per second (rpeak teraflops) and is expected to grow to 25 teraflops in near future. It harnesses the new Intel six-core processors and QDR InfiniBand in a design that improves energy efficiency and cooling requirements.

  • Audiocasts

  • Ballnux

    • Critics’ Choice: HTC Evo 4G Smartphone Review Roundup

      For several years now, Sprint has been in next-to-last place among U.S. wireless network providers. But that might eventually change if Sprint continues to offer smartphones like the HTC EVO 4G ($200 with a new contract), a well-reviewed Android 2.1 handset boasting several firsts and currently a Sprint exclusive in the U.S.

    • Samsung Galaxy S: New Informations

      The new Samsung Galaxy S is a nice phone.Samsung Galaxy S will compete with Iphone 4 and I think that Samsung Galaxy S is better than Iphone.Just as success rate for the iPhone 4 a few days ago, also for its direct competitor, the Samsung S Galaxy, we have learned – through the channel twitter 3 Italy – its impending entry to list. Samsung Galaxy S is a good phone.

  • Graphics Stack

    • There’s A Gallium3D State Tracker For VDPAU

      Committed to a branch of the Mesa repository over the weekend is an initial Gallium3D state tracker for providing VDPAU support. Yes, VDPAU as in NVIDIA’s Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix that has become quite popular with Linux users and is supported by many media applications.

    • Gallium3D Gets A “Galahad” Driver

      Besides a VDPAU state tracker for Gallium3D having emerged in the past couple of days, a new Gallium3D driver called “Galahad” has been committed to the Mesa mainline repository and has been worked on over the past week.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • KDE SC 4.5 RC1 arrives

        The KDE Project developers have issued the first release candidate (RC) for version 4.5 of the KDE Software Compilation (KDE SC), a development preview of the next major release for the popular Linux and Unix desktop. The final version of KDE 4.5 is scheduled to be released in August, 2010.

      • On Being Free pt 3

        So in short, we should try and keep us free and independent by doing the following:

        * Be Nice

        * Reach out

        * Share and talk

        Moreover, we should think about how we’ve organized some things. Maybe we can improve the way e.V. works? We are already working on getting community support through the Supporting Membership program; we might want to do more to diversify where our money comes from and give the e.V. more power in talking to companies.

      • KatchTV is an “Internet TV” application for KDE, otherwise known as a broadcatcher.

        KatchTV is very similar to Democracy TV, but focuses on KDE integration, using KHTMLPart and embedded players such as kaffeine. It’s much faster, and lighter on resources if you run a KDE desktop without GTK apps.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Zenwalk Linux 6.4

        The Standard Edition distribution installed with no problems on my HP Pavillion dv2-1010ez, which has an AMD cpu, ATI graphics and Atheros WiFi, and everything works just fine. I have not loaded it on my HP 2133 yet, but I just checked and it does include the openchrome driver in the base distribution (hooray!), so I am hopeful it will load on that system easily as well. I will try to get that done, as well as my “plain vanilla” Lifebook Intel-based system, over the weekend and post an update about it next week.

        If you read my short post about Slackware 13.1 yesterday, and perhaps were a bit put off by the “minimalist” installation booting to a text login prompt and such (or if you are just lazy like me), then Zenwalk is an excellent way to get started with a complete ready-to-run Slackware-based distribution.

    • New Releases

      • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 103

        · Announced Distro: Superb Mini Server 1.5.2
        · Announced Distro: CrunchBang Linux 10 Alpha 2
        · Announced Distro: Debian 5.0.5
        · Announced Distro: Sabily 10.04

      • Linux Mint 9 KDE RC Comes with KDE 4.4.4

        The KDE favor of the popular Linux Mint 9 is almost ready for a larger audience as the first release candidate has been made available. Linux Mint 9 KDE RC still has some known issues, but is overall usable and stable enough for most people. Linux Mint 9 KDE is based on the latest Kubuntu 10.04 “Lucid Lynx” and comes with KDE SC 4.4.4.

    • Red Hat Family

      • The “Consumable” Cloud, Red Hat Flavoured

        Scott Crenshaw, vice president and general manager of Red Hat’s cloud business unit is trying hard to convince customers that the company can provide safe and managed cloud computing services. He asserts this on the back of the company’s track record in making Linux a safe place to run mission-critical applications with Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

      • Red Hat fights Microsoft for cloud profits

        Red Hat got its start as Linux magazine publisher that tucked a Linux CD in the back, and then evolved into the largest commercial Linux distributor in the world. The company added middleware from JBoss and created other middleware, such as its Enterprise MRG messaging, grid and realtime Linux variant, and virtualization software for desktops and servers. And now it has to position itself as an alternative to Microsoft as the platform upon which customers can build x64-based clouds.

      • Red Hat and Cisco working on the virtualization deal

        Red Hat and Cisco Systems have readied for a joint alliance which shall expand their virtualization network offerings.

        Red Hat is known as a leading provider for open source solutions. It seeks to integrate its Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) software with the virtual network link or the VN-Link technology offered by Cisco.

      • Fedora

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • Linux Now Working On The HD2 In The Form Of Ubuntu

        People have been doing their best to get certain form of Linux working on the HD2. Well while they have been working on Android on the HD2, they have made some leaps on getting Ubuntu working on the Device. In a recent tweet from the guys that work on porting the perfect level of Linux to HTC device… They include a great image of the device running a seemingly stable version of the Linux OS.

      • 20 vendors CIOs should watch, part 2

        Any company that challenges the lucrative status quo is worth watching and with its Ubuntu Linux distribution, Canonical is challenging one of the great franchises in software history: Microsoft Windows. Ubuntu has become established as the simplest-to-use desktop Linux for many organisations (and hardware vendors) where Windows might appear pricey and overkill. Of course, PC makers are also looking at Google Android and other systems but if Ubuntu can make itself the free PC OS of choice for even a base set of configurations, tasks and workloads, it stands to become a new power broker.

      • Flavours and Variants

        • Like Experimenting With Your Ubuntu Desktop? Try Ubuntu Sugar Remix

          Sugar desktop environment was originally conceptualized to become the default desktop for OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) project. Sugar desktop is designed with the goal of being used by children for learning. The original Sugar desktop environment was repackaged for Ubuntu and it was called Ubuntu Sugar Remix.

  • Google

    • Google Releases Chrome 5.0.375.86 Stable for Linux

      Just in time for the weekend break, the Google Chrome developers at Google announced last evening (June 24th) the stable release and availability for download of the Google Chrome 5.0.375.86 web browser for Linux, Windows and Macintosh platforms. This new version comes right after the beta release announced two days ago, which enabled by default the integrated flash player. Google Chrome 5.0.375.86 is available for both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures with binary packages for Ubuntu Linux.

    • An overview on Google’s Chrome OS

      Chrome OS is an open source (the source code is open for all to see and can even be changed and added to) operating system built on a Linux kernel that in comparison to its Windows and Mac OS counterparts is more lightweight which lowers the demands of the specs of the computer running it and giving it a faster boot time making it very use-able on netbooks.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Meet The New Google Android Entrant In The Notebook Market-

        There is another alternative to the Windows OS and that is Linux. It is simpler to use and it offers more freedom to its users. This system also has an added advantage as its installation is free and it can also operate from any computer. Besides Android there is another operating system that ensures good performance and that is Moblin and it is currently the platform that is widely being used for Intel’s Linux.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Wi-Fi Problems? Don’t Neglect Open Source Solutions

    Fortunately, though, the world of open source also offers some applications worth knowing about if you want to customize and optimize your Wi-Fi setup. Two of the best apps to know about are Tomato and dd-wrt.

  • Open Source Channel Alliance: Surprisingly Silent

    On paper, the OSCA sounds like a good idea. And several OSCA members tell The VAR Guy that they’re upbeat about long-term open source channel opportunities. But the Synnex-led OSCA effort ran into at least one problem: The Synnex reseller base doesn’t do much work in areas like traditional ERP, CRM and other enterprise applications. As a result, those same resellers have been slow to embrace open source alternatives to traditional enterprise apps, according to those familiar with the OSCA’s strategy.

  • Open Source World Conference 2010
  • Mozilla

    • Firefox Private Browsing Mode, Torbutton, and Fingerprinting

      Last week, Peter Eckersley and I met with the Mozilla team in Mountain view to discuss web fingerprinting, privacy and Torbutton. I gave an updated version of my Torbutton Design talk, and Peter discussed Panopticlick. Mozilla was primarily interested in hearing about these projects in the context of their Private Browsing Mode, which they unveiled in Firefox 3.5.

    • Firefox Update Gives Flash 45 Seconds, Then Pulls the Plug

      Mozilla has released Firefox 3.6.6, an incremental update which tweaks the way the browser handles misbehaving plug-ins, giving Flash and other plug-ins 45 seconds to respond, or else get shut down

  • Oracle

  • Openness/Sharing

    • ISKME’s Lisa Petrides: Open Education and Policy

      At the beginning of this year we announced a revised approach to our education plans, focusing our activities to support of the Open Educational Resources (OER) movement. In order to do so we have worked hard to increase the amount of information available on our own site – in addition to a new Education landing page and our OER portal explaining Creative Commons’ role as legal and technical infrastructure supporting OER, we have been conducting a series of interviews to help clarify some of the challenges and opportunities of OER in today’s education landscape.

    • Open Data

      • Government accepts academies should be subject to FOI Act

        Schools minister Lord Hill of Oareford has confirmed that the government accepts academy schools should be public authorities for the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act. In response to an amendment proposed by Lord Lucas during the committee stage of the Academies Bill, to add academy proprietors to Schedule 1 of the FOI Act, the minister said he supported the amendment in principle and promised to come back to the issue at report stage.

      • Open Access/Content

        • Springer Announces New Open-Access Journals

          The Springer publishing company today announced that it is setting up a new open-access journal program. Called SpringerOpen, the program will initially include 12 new online-only, peer-reviewed journals in science, technical, and medical fields.

          The Chronicle sat down with Eric Merkel-Sobotta, Springer’s executive vice president for corporate communications, and Bettina Goerner, the company’s manager of open access, to talk about the program. (They were in town for the annual meeting of the American Library Association.) They emphasized that all SpringerOpen journals will be published under a Creative Commons Attribution license, which allows reuse of articles as long as the authors are given credit. So if you’re an instructor who wants to use a SpringerOpen article in a course you’re teaching, “you can include it in course packages without e-mailing Springer’s rights department,” Mr. Merkel-Sobotta said.

        • Open access publishing & open peer review

          I have never previously submitted a paper to JMIR or other open access journals, because the university I work for has no way of paying the submission and publication charges (although they spend a fortune on subscriptions to journals – some of which I and my colleagues have published in). This changed a few weeks ago when I persuaded my doctoral supervisors that the high impact factor and relatively fast review process of JMIR meant this was the right journal to submit my latest paper to. I had to make a special case (largely based on completing my doctorate before the next assesment under the Research Excellence Framework) and it was agreed that the university would pay the fees – but that this wouldn’t set a precedent for the future.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • HTML5 Isn’t Ready For Primetime, YouTube Says

      Apple’s effort to leave the past behind, as CEO Steve Jobs has characterized his company’s rejection of Adobe’s Flash technology, may take longer than expected.

      Kuan Yong, platforms product manager for Google’s YouTube, says that despite his company’s efforts to make YouTube videos run in an HTML5 player, Flash isn’t going anywhere.


  • Knuth Plans ‘Earthshaking Announcement’ Wednesday

    I Don’t Believe in Imaginary Property writes “Donald Knuth is planning to make an ‘earthshaking announcement’ on Wednesday, at TeX’s 32nd Anniversary Celebration, on the final day of the TUG 2010 Conference. Unfortunately, nobody seems to know what it is. So far speculation ranges from proving P!=NP, to a new volume of The Art of Computer Programming, to his retirement. Maybe Duke Nukem Forever has been ported to MMIX?” Let the speculation begin.

  • A New Plan For Unix

    No one questions the stability, reliability, and durability of Unix. But there are lots of questions about its future, particularly on systems that occupy the market between commodity x86 boxes and mainframes. The midrange Unix market hasn’t grown in years, and the operating system faces competition from its cousin Linux, which can run on a variety of hardware platforms, from x86 to the more powerful and reliable systems that were originally built for Unix.

  • Security/Aggression

    • ACLU Study Highlights U.S. Surveillance Society

      Welcome to the surveillance society.

      That’s what the American Civil Liberties Union concluded Tuesday with a report chronicling government spying and the detention of groups and individuals “for doing little more than peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights.”

    • Those Russian Spies

      I don’t have any difficulty in believing that the FBI really have discovered a colony of Russian sleeper spies in the United States.

      Spying is an industry. Most of its activity is pointless, counter-productive and misdirected. Those employed in it have the strongest urge to strengthen and perpetuate their own industry. They are, worldwide, shielded from public scrutiny of their efficiency, and it is easy to persuade politicians to dole out more and more funds. Politicians are flattered to see papers marked “Top Secret” and their vanity is stoked by knowing about things happening that the public is not allowed to know about. It gives them a feeling of power.

    • Police powers expanded for G20

      Police forces in charge of security at the G20 summit in Toronto have been granted special powers for the duration of the summit.

    • Immortality and Excess

      “Police, at their discretion, can deny access to the area and “use whatever force is necessary” to keep people out.

      Anyone who refuses to identify themselves or refuses to provide a reason for their visit can be fined up to $500.

      The new rules also give police the power to search anyone who approaches the fence.

      The regulation also says that if someone has a dispute with an officer and it goes to court “the police officer’s statement under oath is considered conclusive evidence under the Act.”

      Draconican, excessive, unaccountable. When governments treat their citizens like this, democracy is deeply threatened.

  • Environment/Energy

    • Would BP’s CEO Have Been Executed In China?

      Some time ago we reached the “China Zone” for the BP story. The China Zone is where you are ready to believe any story you hear happened in the country, because no matter how unbelievable it is, you just think to yourself, “Ha, that’s China!”

    • New UK Energy Minister and the Continuing Decline in Energy Production

      It’s a familiar story: every year the UK’s primary energy production declines significantly. Today, primary energy production is almost half what it was at the peak just a decade ago. Has any other country, let alone major economy experienced such a speed and magnitude shift in its energy system outside wartime?

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Rebecca MacKinnon on Internet censorship in China

      Rebecca MacKinnon’s blog post about Google’s recent moves with their homepage for their mainland Chinese users is informative but what’s more interesting to me is her testimony at the June 30th hearing on “China’s Information Control Practices and the Implications for the United States” for the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. The entire testimony is powerful but the last part, where she reminds everyone that Baidu is listed on the NASDAQ and uses money from investors in the US and elsewhere to censor the Internet in China, is worth reading.

Clip of the Day

CLUG Talk 28 July 2008 – Bazaar (2009)


Links 29/6/2010: New Fedora Project Leader

Posted in News Roundup at 7:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Did I scare any new Open Source users – By John Joshph

    Another initiative from our side was to make the Microsoft IT support guys and companies comfortable with linux . We had started conducting the free workshop on open source solutions targeting them. Last workshop was on Zimbra mailing solution.The workshop was designed in such a way that the attendees(mostly MS guys) after the workshop said to us . They never knew giving mailing solution in Linux was so easy. In this workshops we do not stress to much on ideas behind OS.We show them a solution which they can use, or sell.Here Linux is propagated through this MS IT support guys

  • A Linux Home Entertainment Center

    As I mentioned in an earlier Linux Journal article, I decided to cut the apron strings with my television provider over a year ago. Bye bye, DISH Satelite TV!

    Man, you should have heard them whimper. “But sir, is there anything we can do to keep your business?”

    “No, thanks. I get all of my content off the internet now. Have you tried Hulu.com*? It’s great!” I can be a real jerk sometimes.

  • Server

    • Weather Bureau uses Linux to cut VM licensing

      The Bureau of Meteorology claims to have saved considerable sums on software licensing by embracing open source software during a server virtualisation drive.

      When the Bureau of Meteorology shifted to using server virtualisation, one major benefit for scientists was the ability to deploy individual servers for specialised processing tasks.

  • Graphics Stack

    • Benchmarks Of The Latest Nouveau Gallium3D Driver

      Sadly, the Nouveau driver remains to be just a community effort with no official support from NVIDIA even though the popular GPU company had dropped their open-source 2D driver. As such, the Nouveau driver has not been maturing as quickly as the open-source ATI Radeon driver stack that has more active developers along with official support from AMD. For our testing of the Nouveau Gallium3D driver today, we ran the open-source driver (and then NVIDIA’s binary driver) on a NVIDIA GeForce 8500GT, GeForce 8800GT, and GeForce 9800GTX graphics cards.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Qt

      • Qt’s Volker Hilsheimer…

        As powerful and comprehensive as Qt is, it requires C++ skills. We are aiming very high with Qt, and Qt Quick came from a desire to open the framework up to even more developers than what is possible now. To do that we needed to build something within Qt that allows developers or UI designers with diverse skill sets outside of C++ – like JavaScript or Flash for example – to use Qt to build nice, rich, touch-enabled UIs .

        Qt Quick works by combining an enhanced Qt Creator IDE, a new easy-to-learn declarative language that will be instantly familiar to many developers (QML) and a new module in the Qt library called QtDeclarative.

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • KDE SC 4.5 RC1- The (well) hidden features

        Hopefully with the porting of the KDE PIM suite of applications to akonadi in 4.5.1, all of the necessary frameworks for delivering on the KDE SC 4.x promise, will be in place. But I don’t think that 4.5 will deliver the full bloom referred to in the release notes. Hopefully the stabilisation of KDE SC 4.5 will lay the foundation for things to bloom fully in 4.6.

      • Successful Spanish KDE Blogger Baltasar Ortega Talks to the Dot

        On June 1st, 2010, KDE Blog, one of the foremost KDE-focused blogs in Spanish, celebrated the publication of its 1500th post. The occasion seemed to be the perfect excuse to chat with its author, Baltasar Ortega, and to ask him a few questions about himself, blogging, and how KDE is going to take over the world. Read on for his insightful and passionate answers.

      • Trinity KDE: KDE 3 Zombified or Resurrected?

        Several weeks ago, I ended a comparison of the KDE 4 and 3 desktops by saying “Unless a project takes over KDE 3 development, sooner or later it may become unusable with the latest generation of computers.”

        What I had missed — free software being a large place where events move at near-light speeds — was that a project had already taken over KDE 3 development. It’s called Trinity KDE, and is organized by Timothy Pearson, who has been releasing Kubuntu releases that use KDE 3.5 for some time. According to Facebook rumor, he has been planning to revive KDE 3 for some time.

      • KDE Accessibility tools

        Linux is certainly available for everyone. And with the right tools, it is even possible to make it available to those with disabilities. Both KMag and KMouseTool makes Linux possible for those who might not have been able to without such tools.

      • Knowledge: A Different Approach to a Database on the Desktop

        Desktop applications for ‘Information Management’ that go beyond conventional card-index style databases are hard to find. The ideas behind such software are perhaps not that well known, so a prototype program, Knowledge, has been developed to put them firmly into the public domain.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • 8 More Linux Distributions for Web Server

      8 More Linux Distributions for Web Server: I’ve already shared with you a list of some of the best and most well-known Linux distributions used on web servers. However, there are still plenty of excellent server-oriented Linux distros that I failed to mention there. So I think it is important to make a follow up post and bring you another round of Linux distributions for web server.

    • Reviews

      • Review: Puppy Linux Lucid Puppy – With Screenshots

        Puppy Linux. One of the most iconic Linux distros out there. I have played around with them for what seems like ages, and have found reasons to both love and hate them over the years.

        As of recently Puppy has been built from Ubuntu, and I take a look at the newest release…

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Still Doesn’t Need Desktop Linux

        In a conversation with MSPmentor, a the recent Red Hat Partner Summit, CEO Jim Whitehurst clearly said that his company is not pinning its fortunes on desktop Linux. He made clear that Red Hat will continue to develop and support its desktop Linux offering, but won’t make a substantial push with it.

      • Integral Innovation

        In his keynote speech at the Red Hat Summit in Boston, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst made the case that of the $1.3 trillion USD spent in 2009 on Enterprise IT globally, $500 billion was essentially wasted (due to new project mortality and Version 2.0-itis). Moreover, because the purpose of IT spending is to create value (typically $6-$8 for each $1 of IT spend), the $500 billion waste in enterprise IT spending translates to $3.5 trillion of lost economic value. He goes on to explain that with the right innovations—in software business models, software architectures, software technologies, and applications—we can get full value from the money that’s being wasted today, reinforcing the thesis that innovation trumps cost savings.

      • Red Hat’s Partner Progress: A Reality Check

        Red Hat’s virtualization pitch is pretty simple: The company claims RHEV is more scalable and lower cost than VMware. But Red Hat concedes it has to improve the management tools surrounding RHEV. It sounds like Red Hat eventually hopes to leapfrog VMware with a potent combo (the forthcoming RHEL 6 and RHEV 2.3 releases) over the long haul.

      • Fedora People

        • Jared Smith is the new Fedora Project Leader

          A leadership change is always momentous, and the Fedora Project is no exception to this rule. I wanted to share some thoughts about being the Fedora Project Leader, tell the community about the person who will be taking over that role soon, and to let you know what to expect over the next few weeks and months.

        • Introducing Fedora Project Leader Jared Smith

          Every Fedora release provides an opportunity for renewal and change. Our recent release of Fedora 13, which is being hailed by many as one of our best releases ever, is no exception. As we embark on another exciting development cycle, we also have the opportunity to renew the leadership of the Fedora Project as part of our commitment to change and evolution. In July, Jared Smith will join Red Hat as the new Fedora Project Leader, taking over the role from Paul Frields.

        • First Fedora Design Bounty Ninja identified!

          Congratulations, Jef, on a job well-done! By the way, Jef is a second-year industrial design student from the Netherlands, and this was his first contribution to open source. Also worth noting, Jef has since taken on two other design tickets as well as worked on some mockups for Design Hub, so he is whooping some serious behind (or skulking stealthily about with a Gimp katana or Inkscape nunchucks at the ready, as ninjas prefer to do)!

    • Debian Family

      • Debian vs. Ubuntu: Contrasting Philosophies

        Debian and Ubuntu are distributions that lend themselves naturally to comparison. Not only is Ubuntu a continuing fork of Debian, but many of its developers also work on Debian.

        Even more important, you sometimes hear the suggestion that Ubuntu is a beginner’s distribution, and that users might consider migrating to Debian when they gain experience.

        However, like many popular conceptions, the common characterizations of Debian and Ubuntu are only partially true. Debian’s reputation as an expert’s distribution is partly based on its state a decade ago, although it does provide more scope for hands-on management if that is what you want. Similarly, while Ubuntu has always emphasized usability, like any distro, much of its usability comes from the software that it includes — software that is just as much a part of Debian as of Ubuntu.

      • Rip CD’s to MP3 in Debian

        My portable music player only plays MP3 and WMA format files, so I rip CD’s into MP3. I hadn’t ripped a CD since installing Debian, so coming across this post on the Debian forum, I checked and found that MP3 in Audio CD Extractor was not enabled. Following the instructions in the post, I was able to enable ripping into MP3.

      • Debian Project News – June 28th, 2010
      • Canonical/Ubuntu

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Observation on hiring from open source

    A novice climbed the mountain and asked the guru for advice. The guru said, “when I hire, I want to know you’re a good developer. I am much more likely to hire you if I can see public commits in an open source repository. I love to hire open source developers and recommend you do it too.”

  • Back to Basics: What Is Open Source Software?

    Google’s choice a few weeks ago, to use a modified version of the BSD open-source license for its WebM format and VP8 codec raised the discussion of open-sourcing to a level that it was covered by more than just the tech media.

  • Mozilla

    • Mozilla in Indonesia 2010

      Mozilla and Firefox are in uncharted territory in Indonesia because we enjoy being the dominant browser. Firefox’s share on many of the top Indonesian websites is between 65-75%. It’s not clear exactly why Firefox is so popular (I go into more detail below), but I believe Mozilla needs to be more active in Indonesia moving forward in order to keep the market share that we have today, and to understand why Firefox is as popular as it is for both the Indonesian market as well as other emerging markets (other parts of S. E. Asia and S. America at the very least.)

    • Update: Mozilla Posts Firefox 4.0 Beta 1 Build

      If you have been using a previous version of Firefox 3.7, which now officially becomes Firefox 4.0, you should feel already comfortable with this new version. Mozilla has not posted detailed release notes yet, but there seem to be no major changes from Firefox 3.7a6-pre, with the exception that the browser is running more smoothly and with fewer crashes.

    • Hola. Szia. Guten tag. Alo. Student Reps goes global

      Students around the world love Mozilla’s products and embrace our mission. Our 2,100 student evangelists have a global presence, reaching schools in 77 countries around the world. To more effectively communicate with our student leaders, we are going international with our student guide as well.

  • SaaS or Fake/Obscure Open Source

    • Open Core Is Bad For Your Software Freedom

      When I spoke at the Transfer Summit in Oxford last week, I invited the delegates to join me in reforming the Open Source Initiative (OSI). I repeated the explanation I made here, that OSI needs to be rebuilt in the light of a re-projection of software freedom for a new decade. In articulating the challenges facing open source after ten years of success, I asserted – as I usually do – that “open core” is one of the big challenges facing open source. This surprised some delegates.

      Last week Mårten Mickos, the former CEO of MySQL and new CEO of cloud technology company Eucalyptus, indicated in an interview that he considers open core to be the best model for a new business exploiting open source software. He said

      “We deliver a fully functional cloud with Eucalyptus software. You can download it on a GPL v3 license. But, additionally, we provide enterprise features only if you pay for them … it’s open core,”

    • The Lack Of A Billion Dollar Pureplay Open Source Software Company Shows The Market Is Working Properly

      On that first point, I would argue that tons of companies are, actually, billion dollar open source companies: Google, IBM, Facebook and many others, for example, all rely heavily on open source software and are valued at well over a billion dollars. It’s unlikely that any of the three would be anywhere near what they are today without open source software. It’s just that all of these companies were smart enough not to be in the bad business of selling an infinite good. Instead, they all looked for ways to use an infinite good — for free — to make something scarce massively more valuable. With Google it was user’s attention and all of the information out on the web. With IBM it was services to support enterprise technology. Even Redhat, the company that kicked off this discussion, really makes its money from services and expertise.

  • Oracle

    • Profiting from open source — without selling out

      Zack Urlocker, a board member and executive for several open source companies, points out the trade-off between the degree of sharing and revenue: “Apache has a great license model that enables the wide adoption of open source software, but there have been few significant businesses — none approaching even $100 million in revenue — based on a permissive license model” such as Apache’s.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Junto: overview of concept, philosophy, and components

      Junto is an environment for open discussion, combined with a public backchannel. it’s not about being a platform – it’s more of a meme and a mindset of collaboration and cooperation. Junto was a club started by Benjamin Franklin for mutual exchange of knowledge and information and personal and business development. When I proposed the concept of Junto, it was in that spirit that the community of people who believe “we can’t do it alone” would model the behavior online of what generative dialogue and open innovation looks like.

    • Open Data

      • Speaker interview: Rufus Pollock

        Rufus Pollock, founder, The Open Knowledge Foundation

        How, in your experience, have web technologies been employed to make the world a better place?

        The internet and new digital technologies have had and will continue to have a huge impact on the way that knowledge is disseminated in society. Sharing knowledge more effectively has the potential to improve the world in all kinds of ways — from closing the loop between citizens and public bodies, allowing for greater accountability and improved service provision, to improving large-scale collaboration in science, e.g. on the development of life-saving drugs and treatments. Better knowledge sharing enables us to understand some of the world’s biggest problems — from our changing climate to our troubled economies — and to respond to them more effectively. In addition to these extrinsic merits, digital content can also be intrinsically valuable — such as in the case of classic literary or musical works which have entered the public domain or recordings of lecture courses which anyone can freely listen to and share.

    • Open Hardware

      • Event #3 — Arduino: An Open Source Hardware Success Story

        For the third meeting we’ll be asking the question “what factors contribute to the success of an open source hardware project?”, and using Arduino and derivatives LilyPad Arduino and the concurrency.cc board as the basis for an informal case study

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Growing pains afflict HTML5 standardization

      Listening to marketing messages from companies such as Apple and Google, one might think HTML5, the next-generation Web page standard, is ready to take the Net by storm.

      But the words of those producing the specification show an HTML governance process that can be stormy, fractious, and far from settled down. The World Wide Web Consortium’s return to HTML standardization after years of absence has produced tensions with the more informal Web Hypertext Application Working Group (WHATWG) that shouldered the HTML burden during that absence.

      Some examples of language that’s cropped up this month on the W3C’s HTML Working Group mailing list: “childish,” “intolerable,” “ridiculous,” “shenanigans.” And there’s a concrete manifestation of the divisiveness: The WHATWG and W3C versions of the HTML5 specification, though both stemming from the same source material, have diverged in some areas.


      But where will those developers look to find that standard? The W3C, a recognized standards body that includes the participation of Microsoft and carries patent policy that attempts to ease patent-infringement worries?


      But where will those developers look to find that standard? The W3C, a recognized standards body that includes the participation of Microsoft and carries patent policy that attempts to ease patent-infringement worries?


      The HTML disputes come at a time when the W3C, under the leadership of new chief executive Jeff Jaffe, is trying to reclaim some of its power.

      “There is much new innovation, and the Web will benefit if the community brings their work to W3C,” Jaffe said last week in a blog post, adding that the W3C is trying to become more agile and open.

    • FFmpeg gets its own implementation of Google’s VP8 codec

      Developers Ronald Bultje, David Conrad, and Jason Garret-Glaser are creating a native VP8 video codec implementation for the open source FFmpeg project. The aim of this effort is to bring first-class VP8 support to FFmpeg and demonstrate the feasibility of producing an independent VP8 implementation.


  • In Faulty-Computer Suit, Window to Dell Decline

    After the math department at the University of Texas noticed some of its Dell computers failing, Dell examined the machines. The company came up with an unusual reason for the computers’ demise: the school had overtaxed the machines by making them perform difficult math calculations.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Confidential report reveals ContactPoint security fears

      An independent study on the previous government’s controversial child protection database highlighted significant security and privacy risks.

    • Romford coppers try to stopper young snapper

      Despite fine words from high-ranking police officers, an unpleasant incident in Romford last week suggests that officers on the ground are no nearer understanding or respecting photographers’ rights.

    • EFF delivers HTTPS Not Quite Everywhere

      In the early hours of June 18 the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Tor Project released a beta of a Firefox extension dubbed “HTTPS Everywhere” with the intention of providing encryption of user data when visiting certain sites. According to the official announcement, “HTTPS Everywhere” will provide SSL encryption to sites like Google Search, Wikipedia, Twitter and Identi.ca, and Facebook.


      The name “HTTPS Everywhere” is a bit misleading. Besides Google Search, Wikipedia, Twitter and Identi.ca, and Facebook this extension also works on the EFF and Tor sites, Ixquick, DuckDuckGo, Scroogle, other small search engines, the New York Times, The Washington Post, Paypal, and many other sites that offer HTTPS encryption. But that’s hardly everywhere.

  • Finance

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Google to go dark in China, Baidu rejoices

      Google Inc. has announced a “new approach” in China after the government said the company could no longer automatically redirect users to the unfiltered Hong Kong site.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Net Neutrality Opponents Outspending Proponents More Than 4 to 1

      Companies opposed to Network Neutrality spent more than 4 times as much money on lobbying last quarter than organizations in support of it, according to a report on new hearings on the subject by watchdog organization Sunlight Foundation. Net Neutrality opponents spent $19.7 million in lobbying in the first quarter of 2010 -supporters only $4.7 million.

  • Copyrights

    • EFF Takes On Mass BitTorrent Lawsuits In Court Tomorrow

      As the US Copyright Group continues with its plans to force settlements from thousands of individuals who they claim illegally shared copyright movies using BitTorrent, opposition to their turn-piracy-into-profit scheme grows. Tomorrow the EFF steps up to the mark in a federal court to argue for the breaking up of the lawsuits. If successful they could strike a significant blow to this operation.

    • Canada’s copyright laws show Britain’s digital legislation is no exception

      A few months ago, Britain’s archivists, educators, independent artists and technologists were up in arms over the digital economy bill, a dreadful piece of legislation that ignored all the independent experts’ views on how to improve Britain’s digital economy; instead, it further rewarded the slow-moving entertainment companies that refused to adapt to the changing marketplace and diverted even more public enforcement resources to shoring up their business-models.

      The bill was passed despite enormous public outcry, without real parliamentary debate, in a largely empty house, hours before parliament dissolved for the election. Despite reassuring promises to their constituents, huge numbers of MPs just didn’t bother to show up for work that day, allowing the bill to slip through (my own MP, Meg Hillier, sent me a letter to tell me that she was “concerned” that the bill was up for a vote without debate, but she voted for it anyway).

    • Pirate Bay’s Founding Group ‘Piratbyrån’ Disbands

      In 2003 a group of friends from Sweden decided to found Piratbyrån (the bureau of piracy), a lobbying organization to promote the sharing of information and culture. A few months later the group took a decision that would change the Internet – the launch of a BitTorrent tracker named ‘The Pirate Bay’. Today marks the end of an era with the announcement that Piratbyrån has disbanded.

    • Dutch Public Television Tries BitTorrent Downloads

      The Dutch public broadcasting organization NPO has launched a trial project which will see it publish all recent video broadcasts via BitTorrent downloads and streams. With the trial NPO wants to gauge the demand for BitTorrent downloads, and whether P2P technology can cut down distribution costs significantly.

    • ACTA

      • Developing Country Opposition to ACTA Mounts

        Just as the G8-G20 meetings conclude in Muskoka and Toronto, another round of negotiations on the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement resumes in Switzerland today. In the aftermath of the last round of discussions in New Zealand, a draft version of the ACTA text was publicly released, temporarily quieting criticism about the lack of transparency associated with an agreement that currently touches on all forms of intellectual property, including patents, trademark, and copyright.

      • Analysis: Why Silicon Valley should fear ACTA

        A group of intellectual property experts have warned that search engines, web hosts and e-commerce sites will be stripped of protections if the proposed draft of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is endorsed.

      • ACTA negotiators don’t care about the Internet

        La Quadrature du Net, along with access to medication NGOs, met in Luzern with 20 negotiators of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). No answer was given regarding the concern that ACTA would hinder fundamental freedoms online, by turning Internet operators into a private copyright police. More disturbingly, negotiators showed a profound lack of understanding and competence, close to disdain, regarding Internet and the digital environment.


        “The profound disdain of the ACTA negotiators, and their blatant lack of knowledge of Internet and the realities of the digital environment, show how flawed the whole process is. With ACTA, unelected public officials will force private actors into censoring the Internet in the name of copyright. Citizens worldwide must react by holding their government accountable.” concludes Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson for citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net.

      • ACTA Negotiators Respond To Questions About ACTA; More Of The Same

        Rather than admitting how secret and closed off the negotiations have been, the negotiators are just passing the blame, by saying it’s not their issue to actually engage representatives from civil rights groups and civil societies. Besides, the response is again off-base. If the whole point of meeting with these groups is to understand the concerns of them and their constituents, it should be the negotiators who are seeking out such meetings. Once again, this response makes it clear that the negotiators’ marching orders are not to come up with the best solution for each of the societies and countries they represent, but of a very narrow group of special interests. This is no surprise, but the answer basically confirms that they know this. Very sad.

Clip of the Day

CLUG Talk 14 April 2009 – Keeping Time with Linux (2009)


Links 28/6/2010: KDE SC 4.5 RC1, GTK+ 2.90.4

Posted in News Roundup at 7:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Locking Down Linux: Is it Necessary?

    One thing I love about Linux is it’s ability to be modular and customizable to degrees Windows users can only dream of it. The insides of the operating system are available to sift through if doing so peaks your fancy and the source code is free to take and edit. Many Linux Advocates, myself included, assert that our operating system of choice is more than ready for the “general public” or “average user”. In recent years it seems the term “user friendliness” has become associated with the exact opposite of what I love about Linux:

  • Moving to Linux

    Several organizations have been successful in moving to Linux. I’d like to discuss this topic again.

  • ActiveLearning Launches Linux Training in the Philippines

    ActiveLearning, Inc. today introduced a new training program in the Philippines entitled “Linux Boot Camp”, a comprehensive Linux training program that immerses participants in 2 weeks of intensive hands-on Linux training under the guidance of an expert instructor.

  • Why have you switched to GNU/Linux?

    Everyone has a different story why they switched to Linux. I would like to hear your story and why you made the switch. Was it financial, political, technical or other? Are you using Linux on a Server, Desktop, Netbook or another device? Please leave your comments below.

  • Visuals

    • Awesome Compiz Skydome images

      I stumbled across some really neat wallpapers the other day and I could not resist setting them up as Compiz skydomes. These backgrounds gave the Compiz cube additional depth. Complementing the cube shaped desktop very well. I just had to share these with everyone. Here is a link were these and other really cool back grounds can be downloaded.

    • Compiz Switch

      Compiz-switch is a program available for Ubuntu and Suse that enables you to turn Compiz on or off with just one click. So if you are getting ready to play some games that require accelerated 3d or just run better without compiz then all you have to do is click on the compiz-switch to turn Compiz off. Then when you want to turn Compiz back on, all you have

    • Ubuntu Notifications (osd-notify) Sucks, notifications-daemon Rocks – Exploiting the Goodness with Compiz
    • AWN vs Cairo Dock vs Docky: Mac Style Linux Docks Reviewed

      Mac style docks or launchers have become very popular among *nix users with the increase in popularity of Macs. And unlike Snow Leopard users there are quite a few free options for Linux users. I am going to review three such popular docks. The platform that i am using is Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx, but I would expect my conclusions to hold true for most of popular *nix systems be it Fedora 13 or OpenSUSE 11.2.

  • Audiocasts

  • Google

    • GPL: The Google Public License

      While it’s true “the year of Linux” is not yet happening on the desktop, it will. Right now it’s a smartphone thing, which will soon encompass the tablet and netbook. I figure by next year your neighbor, the one who always buys what the sales staff at Best Buy talks him into purchasing, will be bragging to you about his new super-duper desktop running Linux. Except he won’t call it Linux. Nor will he call it Ubuntu, Fedora, Mandriva, Debian, PCLinuxOS, Slackware, Gentoo, Knoppix, SUSE or Sabayon.

    • Facebook Steals the Architect of Google Chrome OS

      Facebook’s quest for the world’s best technological talent continues. The social networking behemoth has hired Matt Papakipos — the leader and key architect of Google Chrome OS — and VMWare Vice President Jocelyn Goldfein onto its engineering team.

  • Ballnux

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • KDE Software Compilation 4.5 RC1 Release Announcement

        Today, KDE delivers the first release candidate of the upcoming KDE Software Compilation 4.5. The final version will be available in August 2010 and this RC is intended for testers and early adopters who can help by finding and reporting bugs. It will also interest those who want an early look at what is coming to their desktops and netbooks this summer.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • Meritocracy, Fate Or Anarchy

      Many folks on a higher pay grade than mine tout that open source thrives as a Meritocracy. In this model, folks who are interested enough create a project and release the source under GPL/Whatever and if the project is “good” or “gooder” than other ones it has more merit and will advance to become more widely used etc. One interesting counter point to this made by Alain de Botton in his TED talk where if this rise due to merit, then things also sink due to it. Alain is not talking open source, but if we switch to that context, then if your project is not becoming successful, or you are struggling, then the Meritocracy eye balls would see that since you created the project, by implication you are scum.


      Another good example of this is the Linux distributions who want a project for “Y” and decide to create a solution themselves rather than trying to adopt something that a committed developer has been working on for years. In some cases the “owning” the code can be more important than reuse, and most often the code is released under and open source license. But this be a fairly vicious demotivator for folks who were writing the existing “Y” solutions.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva 2010 Spring ISOs coming

        Anne NICOLAS has announced on the Cooker mailing list that 2010 Spring isos should be available July 5, but will confirm Monday, June 28.

      • Prufrock, Mandriva, and other Observations

        This very same situation can be argued about Linux distributions and becomes particularly relevant concerning Mandriva Linux in the context of the stormy times that it has been facing.

      • London Calling

        Three weeks ago I got a job offer that would be very hard to reject, so I resigned from Mandriva and sent back the contract last week. My last day at Mandriva will be July 23rd, so I can attend GUADEC and I will start at Google as Site Reliabilty Engineer in London on September 6th.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat, Inc. Q1 2011 Earnings Call Transcript

        Revenues rose 20% to $209.1 million & net income rose 30.3% to $24.1 million or 12 cents a share. Operating cash flow of $61 million was in line with Q1 last year. Non-GAAP operating expense came in at $126 million up 3% sequentially and 16% year-over-year. Non-GAAP operating income was $52 million.

      • Kernel Issues – The “Hurricane Katrina” of programming

        Last week I spent two days that the Red Hat Summit in Boston. Unlike a lot of conferences I attend, I actually spent much of my time in technical talks listening to some of the things that Red Hat was going to be putting into RHEL 6.0 which is due out in a short time1.

        I enjoy listening to technical talks, particularly ones talking about kernel issues since I used to teach operating system design. I taught other types of programming (database, compiler design, networking, graphics) but in my opinion most application-level programming (including libraries) is a “calm sea” versus the “Hurricane Katrina” of kernel programming.

        One of the areas of interest to me was the various file systems being supported in the upcoming RHEL, not only the various attributes of the filesystems (that I could also get by reading various white papers and reports on the Internet) but some of the lower-level “grunt work” that needs to be done to make sure the files system is dependable and efficient under different loads.

      • Interview with Karanbir Singh, CentOS project

        CentOSKaranbir Singh CentOS, a Linux distribution built by compiling the source packages for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), has emerged as the most popular RHEL clone available today. Although often perceived as an operating system for mission-critical servers where stability and dependability are far more important than cutting-edge features, CentOS can be used in other deployment scenarios, including specialist servers or development workstations. Today we talk to Karanbir Singh (pictured on the right), a CentOS developer, about the reasons behind the project’s continued success, attempt a comparison of CentOS with other similar distributions and enterprise operating systems, and describe the process of building CentOS from the source code that Red Hat makes available with every new release.

      • Fedora

        • Is Fedora Going Through More Or Less Power?

          Along the same theme of yesterday’s article entitled Is PowerTop Still Useful For Extending Your Battery Life? today here are some results showing the power consumption of the past three Fedora releases (11, 12, and 13) from a notebook computer.

          This is just a quick, weekend test and more power tests from Fedora and other Linux distributions will be published in the future. Clean installations of Fedora 11, Fedora 12, and Fedora 13 were carried out on a Lenovo ThinkPad T60 notebook with an Intel Core Duo T2400 (1.83GHz) processor, 1GB of system memory, an 80GB Hitachi HTS541080G9SA00 SATA HDD, and ATI Radeon Mobility X1400 graphics. Via the Phoronix Test Suite we monitored the notebook’s power consumption when running off the six-cell battery under different workloads.

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • Some fun stats from The Ubuntu Manual project

        No, The Ubuntu Manual Project is indeed not dead. We’ve just been quieter than usual recently due to a number of things, mainly because our core contributors have been tied up with University exams taking place, getting real life jobs and generally having a lot of work to do behind the scenes.

      • Lojban software for Ubuntu

        Lojban is a carefully constructed spoken language designed in the hope of removing a large portion of the ambiguity from human communication. It was made well-known by a Scientific American article and references in science fiction Lojban has been built over five decades by dozens of workers and hundreds of supporters.

      • My first experience with Ubuntu

        Overall I rather like Ubuntu. OpenSUSE 11.2 left me feeling rather frustrated, so my experience with Ubuntu is really making me consider switching away from openSUSE on my desktop. We’ll see how openSUSE 11.3 is when it’s released in two weeks. However, I think that ultimately I won’t make the switch because of how poorly Flash works on Ubuntu. Linux, oh how close you are! I can almost taste the victory over Windows.

      • [Full circle magazine] Issue 38

        * Command and Conquer.
        * How-To : Program in Python – Part 12, a NEW SERIES: Virtualization, and Browser Blogging.
        * Review – Ubuntu 10.04.
        * Top 5 – Favourite Applications.
        * plus: MOTU Interview, Ubuntu Games, My Opinion, My Story, and all the usual goodness!

      • Peppermint

        • Distro Hoppin`: Peppermint OS 2010.06.17

          Wow, gotta tell you, I have the best excuse for not spending more time with you, my awesome audience. The weirdest thing happened: as I was hoppin` around the Linuxland, I stumbled onto a springboard which threw me waaaaay up into the air, right in the middle of the cloudy cloudosphere (what? it sounds like a word… right?). As we all know, there is still a pretty poor visibility up there, but thankfully, all sorts of awesome software projects guide us through the haziness. One of which is Peppermint OS, receiving a LOT of attention from tech writers everywhere. What I tried to find out was if this OS is really providing a bridge between users and the cloud or it simply clinged to the concept just to enjoy some undeserved publicity.

        • Peppermint, a web-centric Linux OS

          CREATING A WEB-CENTRIC LINUX DISTRIBUTION that’s not just another Ubuntu-based operating system (OS) has vexed Kendall Weaver since working as a maintainer on Linux Mint Fluxbox and LXDE 8.

          “After some serious thought and some serious investigation, [I found that] a market exists in between the more traditional desktop operating systems and the newer ‘cloud-based’ operating systems,” Weaver said.

          Kendall Weaver is the lead developer of Peppermint Linux, a free software OS based on Ubuntu and Weaver’s work on Linux Mint. He was struck by the divide between bloatware desktops and lighter cloud-based OSs that weren’t offering the format he was looking for.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • MontaVista and Bosch team up on in-car infotainment

      MontaVista Software and Robert Bosch Car Multimedia GmbH announced a multi-year partnership for developing Linux-based software for Bosch products, starting with in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems. The initial IVI system will comply with the Genivi Alliance open source middleware standards for IVI, and future jointly developed Bosch/MontaVista projects are expected to include instrument clusters, say the companies.

    • Android

      • BBC Iplayer comes to Android phones

        THE BBC has tweaked its Iplayer video streaming software to work on smartphones running Android 2.2.

        With the latest version of Google’s Linux based Android operating system supporting Adobe’s Flash player, the scene was set for web based video streaming services such as Iplayer to appear on smartphones. However, as we noted in our review of Android 2.2, our previous experience with Iplayer playback was painful, with audio and visual artefacts galore.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Aurora is Here

        Well the name is anyway! Eeebuntu is now Aurora: perfect for all your PC’s, Laptop’s and Netbooks. Aurora is designed for users, by users with users. We are working hard gearing up for a release in the coming months with a wealth of features right from the off!

    • Tablets

      • Joojoo ripped for another failing, this time it’s a GPL violation
      • Joojoo

        Of course, releasing shoddily put together technology isn’t generally illegal and from that point of view Fusion Garage aren’t any worse than a number of products I’ve had the misfortune to actually spend money on. But they’re distributing Linux (stock Ubuntu with some additional packages and a modified kernel) without any source or an offer to provide source. I emailed them last week and got the following reply:

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

    • The Best Browser: Summer 2010 Edition

      With the Chrome-Opera JavaScript speed war, HTML5 video support coming in IE9, and an improved Safari from Apple, can Firefox keep our Editors’ Choice?

  • Mozilla

    • Firefox 3.6.6 Now Available for Download

      Today, we launched an update to our crash protection feature to extend the amount of time Firefox will wait before terminating unresponsive plugins.

    • A Look At The Latest Firefox 4.0 Design

      The Mozilla Firefox developers are working on several different branches of the web browser at the same time. The latest public version, Firefox 3.6.6 just released today, and Firefox 3.7 which will be renamed to Firefox 4.0 later this year.

  • Oracle

    • Has Oracle been a disaster for Sun’s open source?

      The problem is that Oracle is naturally trying to optimise its acquisition of Sun for its own shareholders, but seems to have forgotten that there are other stakeholders too: the larger open source communities that have formed around the code. That may make sense in the short term, but is undoubtedly fatal in the long term: free software cannot continue to grow and thrive without an engaged community.

      It would probably be unfair to characterise Oracle’s running of Sun’s open source projects as a disaster – at least, for the moment; but as the above shows, there are plenty of grounds for concern, both in terms of how the code is being developed, and the happiness or otherwise of developers and users. Whether buying Sun will prove to be a smart move in the long term depends critically on how smartly Larry Ellison and his managers can address these issues. They also need to start to think more seriously about how Oracle can contribute to Sun’s open source products, and not just the other way around.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • A global teacher of 1,516 lessons and counting

      From a tiny closet in Mountain View, Calif., Sal Khan is educating the globe for free. His 1,516 videotaped mini-lectures — on topics ranging from simple addition to vector calculus and Napoleonic campaigns — are transforming the former hedge fund analyst into a YouTube sensation, reaping praise from even reluctant students across the world.

    • Openness, Radicalism, and Tolerance

      The idea advocated by groups like the Open Knowledge Definition or the Free Cultural Works crowd that there should be a litmus test for openness really bothers me. Deeply bothers me. What is the point of crying from the rooftops that some content is “Open in Name Only?” Why must we, the “open” folks, be in the business of ideological purging like the politicians? If someone has gone out of their way to waive some of the rights guaranteed them under the law so that they can share their creative works – even if that action is to apply a relatively restrictive CC BY-NC-ND to their content – why aren’t we praising that? Why aren’t we encouraging and cultivating and nurturing that? Why are we instead decreeing from a pretended throne on high, “Your licensing decision has been weighed in the balance, and has been found wanting. You are not deemed worthy.” Why the condescension? Why the closed-mindedness? Why the race to create machinery like definitions that give us the self-assumed authority to tell someone their sharing isn’t good enough?

      Why isn’t the open crowd more open-minded?

    • Open Data

      • Maude calls for public choice on open data

        Maude said: “In just a few weeks this government has published a whole range of data sets that have never been available to the public before. But we don’t want this to be about a few releases, we want transparency to become an absolutely core part of every bit of government business.

        “That is why we have asked some of the country’s and the world’s greatest experts in this field to help us take this work forward quickly here in central government and across the whole of the public sector.

        “And in the spirit of transparency we are asking everyone to comment on our ideas and help us to define these important principles. Anyone who wants to will be able to put forward their suggestions for what the principles should be by logging on to data.gov.uk.”

      • Publishing Local Open Data – Important Lessons from the Open Election Data project

        Local authorities were encouraged to publish election results on their websites as ‘Linked Open Data’ – data that is published under an open licence that allows unrestricted reuse, and that is marked up to identify the structure and meaning, making possible its automated collection for re-publishing and mashing up with other data.

      • New UK transparency board and public data principles
      • Data.ed.gov Launches


  • Bill to Highlight “Conflict Minerals” in Computers
  • Preview: Tibet Film Festival 2010

    In a month that sees the 75th birthday of the Dalai Lama, the Tibet Film Festival returns to London for it’s third year – once again celebrating the art, culture and heritage of a country that has been famously struggling to regain independence from Chinese rule for 50 years

  • Science

    • Science Historian Cracks the ‘Plato Code’

      Plato was the Einstein of Greece’s Golden Age and his work founded Western culture and science. Dr Jay Kennedy’s findings are set to revolutionise the history of the origins of Western thought.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Oklahoma granny sues cops over tasering

      An 86-year-old Oklahoma woman is suing the El Reno police department for tasering her in her sick bed, local koco.com reports.

      Lona M Varner’s grandson, Lonnie D Tinsley, was visiting granny’s apartment on 22 December last year, and claims he called 911 “to request emergency medical technicians to stop by to help her with medication”.

    • US Supreme Court extends gun rights

      The US Supreme Court has restricted the rights of state and city governments to enforce controls on gun ownership.

    • Home Office internal document reveals bunker mentality of secrecy and suppression

      This is an extraordinary comment to write in a document like this as it so blatantly goes against the spirit of FOI. But more importantly demonstrates that the Home Office was not applying the guidelines that say that all FOI requests should be dealt with ‘blind’. (i.e. not taking into account who has made the request.) . In this context it is particularly odd, indeed faintly ridiculous that the Home Office in response to Rosenbaum state that ‘The Freedom of Information Act is applicant blind. Regardless of who the applicant is, all requests for information are assessed and answered in the same manner’ – when this is obviously not the case as evidenced by the actual document they were being asked about. Bizarre. (See update below).

      A document is either exempt under the Act, or it is not. It is not for civil servants to make decisions about releasing information based upon its potential to provide ammunition for those challenging Government doctrine or policy. That is not and should not be the function of the Freedom of Information Act.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Privacy – the final frontier?

      WikiLeaks is a site that publishes leaked documents for all to see. Most controversially it is now about to release a video leaked to it that shows events in Iraq aren’t exactly the way the US Government depicts them in one particular bombing. Recently in Brussels to participate in discussions on media freedom at the European Parliament founderof WikiLeaks, Julian Assange and Sweden’s Christian Engstrom MEP member of the Pirate Party took the time to discuss the role of the site and the EU with Andy Carling.

    • Elena Kagan and the porn wars

      A 1993 conference at the University of Chicago Law School on the subject of pornography and hate crimes wasn’t your typical legal seminar.

      The gathering of nearly 700 lawyers, scholars and activists sometimes seemed more like a revival meeting for anti-pornography forces than an academic symposium, journalists observed. Protesters beset the event, complaining that it was one-sided and threatened to trample free speech.

      Amid that tumult, future Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, then a junior Chicago law professor, gave a well-received, relatively-subdued presentation that would become one of her first and few published law review articles. During a panel discussion, Kagan presented the group with what she portrayed as promising legal strategies to combat the scourge of pornography.

  • Copyrights

    • IsoHunt Tells Court That MPAA’s Filter is Needless Censorship

      BitTorrent search engine isoHunt is fighting the permanent injunction the District Court of California issued in their case against the MPAA. According to isoHunt’s owner, a site-wide filter based on a list of keywords provided by the movie industry is an unworkable solution that would impede freedom of speech and bring China-style censorship to the U.S.

    • Retroactive Copyright on Public Domain Works

      A federal appeals court has handed down a worrisome decision in the case of Golan v. Holder et al (decision available on DocStoc here). As part of the Uruguay Round Agreements (“URAA”) on international copyright, the U.S. agreed to extend copyright protection to certain foreign works which had previously been in the public domain in the U.S. Indeed, some of those erstwhile public domain works had been used by U.S. artists and writers to create derivative works. For example, one Richard Kapp, now deceased but whose estate is a plaintiff in the case, used a sound recording based on works by Dmitri Shostakovich to create a work of his own. Having in good faith acted creatively with public domain works, such plaintiffs now find that Congress has cut their legs out from under them, and maintained that Congress infringed their First Amendment rights.

    • You can’t beat the sports TV pirates, so join them

      As millions sat glued to their television screens watching the epic Isner-Mahut tennis battle this week, countless others took the opportunity to watch the match illegally over the internet. Thanks to the proliferation of illicit websites offering live streaming of every major sporting event, huge amounts of broadcast revenue are being siphoned out of the world of sports – threatening the industry in the same way that Napster and Limewire decimated the music business.

    • The Economic Argument For Why Court’s Viacom Ruling Makes Sense… And Why Viacom Hates It

      Larry Downes has a different, but important, analysis of the Viacom/YouTube decision, where he looks at it from an economic perspective. Specifically, he looks at it from “the principle of least cost avoidance.” The idea is that which solution costs the least from a social perspective: Google trying to prevent infringing videos from appearing on YouTube or Viacom doing the same? And he makes the convincing case that the ruling here makes the most economic sense by a long shot. He compares it to the recent Tiffany/eBay ruling which hits on the same basic principles (noting that eBay is not responsible for others selling counterfeit Tiffany goods). Downes first points out that these platforms, like YouTube and eBay have certainly opened up amazing new markets that have great social benefit — even if they’ve also opened up opportunities for infringement.

  • Publishing

    • Caught Between the Old and the New

      As I’ve been thinking on this recently there’s been lots of other news in the world of academic publishing. The University of California proposed a possible faculty boycott of the Nature Publishing Group. And an unusual scholarly publishing project came out of the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University: Hacking the Academy, a book that gathered all of its submissions in just one week. I can’t help but think that we’re in an odd scholarly communication moment right now, stuck between old and new worlds of knowledge dissemination, and I’m not always sure how to chart my course.

    • The war between journalists and bloggers at the Washington Post

      Returning from long travels and a week’s vacation abroad, I waded in to catch up on the Washington-Post-fires-Dave-Weigel tempest and was quickly swamped by the sheer volume of thoughtful commentary.

      I’ll conclude this post with a roundup. But for now let me just dig a bit into this bizarre Post ombudsman column on the affair.

      It shouldn’t have been that hard to explain why the paper fired Weigel, a talented young journalist-blogger: he’d made some rude comments about some of the people he covered on an ostensibly private email list. Somebody leaked them, and now Weigel is out of a job, and the mailing list — Ezra Klein’s Journolist — is shuttered too.

    • Publishers Who Don’t Know History…

      Mistake #1: Piracy is the enemy

      Tim O’Reilly wrote about this years ago. There is no compelling evidence that the impact of piracy on media is nearly as negative as the double whammies of technological change and institutional incompetence.

      Mistake #2: People will always want hardcover books

      True, but true in the same sense that people — and by people, I mean “hardcore fans” — will always want vinyl. Despite vinyl records being crushed by CDs, vinyl has made a bit of a comeback of late. Collectors and audiophiles have created a thriving niche market.

      But it’s still niche. In the case of vinyl, about 1% of overall music sales.

      Mistake #3: People will always need bookstores

      Three words: Independent. Record. Stores.

    • Interactive Chart: Where UK Newspaper Websites Get Their Traffic

      The BBC News site sent nearly two million unique visitors to the papers in April, and over 100,000 more clicked from other BBC.co.uk sites, according to the Newspaper Marketing Agency‘s own online analytics data.

    • There is no hot news. All news is hot news.

      The most dangerous defensive tactic parried by legacy news organizations today is their attempt to claim ownership of “hot news” and prevent others from repeating what they gather at their expense for as long as they determine that news is still hot. It is a threat to free speech and the First Amendment and our doctrines of copyright and fair use. It is a threat to news.

      The old companies — NY Times, Advance, Gannett, Belo, McClatchy, Scripps, AFP, AP, Washington Post, et al — are lining up against the new companies — Google and Twitter — on hot news as they file briefs in the TheFlyOnTheWall.com case. I’ve just read both briefs and will give you highlights in a moment.

    • Write For The NYC Beat: The Huffington Post Citizen Journalism Music Blog

      Every week we will post a calendar of concerts happening in the New York City area. If you are interested in covering a concert, just sign up and tell us why you are the best journalist for the assignment. We hope you can participate in this exciting opportunity. Good luck!

Clip of the Day

CLUG Talk 10 March 2009 – The Cloud (2009)

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