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Links 14/6/2010: OSI Wants Input

Posted in News Roundup at 3:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • Not using desktop Linux? You’re wasting your money

      And that’s not the only place where desktop Linux makes sense. If you get right down to it, there are many instances where the only requirements of the desktop are to act as a portal to a Web-based application and possibly run an email client. With the push toward Web-based internal apps, there’s little reason to require Windows at all. Heck, there’s almost no requirement for a desktop or the ability to run anything other than a compatible browser.

    • Microsoft sells software like its 1984

      The software store I describe is not science fiction. This is reality for Apple “App Store” for Ipad/Iphone, the “Ubuntu Software Center” for Canonical’s Linux-based desktop operating system, the Google “Android Market” for Android Linux-based phones, and Palm “PreWare” for WebOS Linux-based phones.

      Ladies and Gentelmen, the platform-delivered software store is how distributed in the 21st century. Unfortunately for Microsoft, no such thing exists for Windows.

    • NanoNote
  • Ballnux

  • Kernel Space

    • Volume Shadow Copy For Linux?

      “I was asked to manage a number of Linux servers at work. I would like to use volume snapshots to improve my backup scripts and keep recent copies of data around for quick restore. I normally manage Windows servers and on those I would just use Microsoft’s Volume Shadow Copy for this. I tried Linux LVM snapshots, but most of the servers I manage run regular partitions with ext3 file systems, so LVM snapshots will not work. I found some versioning file systems out there like ext3cow and Tux3. Those look interesting, but I need something I can use on my existing ext3 file systems. I also found the R1Soft Hot Copy command-line utility, but it does not yet support my older 2.4 Linux servers. What are you using to make snapshots on Linux?”

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • KDE SC 4.5.0 – Beta 2 – Another Quick Look

        Obviously, the move from beta 1 to beta 2 won’t bring any new features, however, as I continue to use the KDE SC 4.5 betas, I’m continuing to discover the small improvements that aren’t obvious at first blush. Whilst there aren’t a huge number of new features in this release, 4.5 is bringing a level of polish that will serve as a solid foundation for the next steps in the evolution of the KDE desktop.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Next Gedit release will have a plugin for Collaborative Editing

        We have already talked about a web-based collaborative editing tool today, Etherpad. So, after that I started looking for some native linux applications which do the same thing and came across Gobby and a new collaboration plugin for Gedit. We can talk about Gobby sometime later, I am more interested to tell you about this new plugin in Gedit .

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Comparison: Best 2010 Linux desktop for begginers

        There you have it, a close comparison between these three fabulous Linux distros, resulting in very evenly matched scores. I personally love all three, each having its own character, strengths, but also weaknesses. Having said so, looking strictly for which one offers the smoothest and most intuitive experience, I would probably have to say that Linux Mint 9 is the winner in my opinion.

        Hopefully this comparison will help you make your choice based on your own needs and taste. I am pretty sure any of the choices is a sure winner.

      • Pardus 2009.2 review

        Recommendations – Pardus 2009.2 is a light-weight desktop distribution. Light-weight because it does not support disk encryption, boot-loader password protection, and LVM and RAID. If those are features you can live without, then Pardus is worth at least a try. It is just like Linux Mint, but with fewer applications in its repository.

        What I’m looking forward to in the next release is for the network interface and the graphical firewall manager to be configured out of the box. I’ll also love to see 3D desktop configuration as a step in Kaptan.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • PCLinuxOS Gnome 2010 on ACER ASPIRE 4730ZG

        My friend ask to me to install linux to his notebook. And i install it with pclinuxos 2010 my custom remastered. The notebook is Acer Aspire 4730 ZG. This is the specification of Acer Aspire 4730 ZG (look at this pic).

    • Fedora

      • Can Fedora be the new Ubuntu?

        Fedora Linux has found its way back into my heart. It will work alongside Ubuntu as my top two Linux distributions. We’ll see just how they place (1 or 2) with the next iteration.

        Bravo Fedora Linux. I tip my hat to you.

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • Meet Shotwell – The F-Spot Replacement For Ubuntu 10.10 “Maverick Meerkat”

        Finally! The much discussed about F-Spot vs Shotwell battle is over. The new default image organizer app for Ubuntu Maverick 10.10 is going to be Shotwell. This is a much needed change and F-Spot was simply not enough. Most of the times when I tried F-Spot, it just keeps crashing on me. Shotwell on a other hand feels a lot more solid and is better integrated with GNOME desktop. Shotwell is also completely devoid of Mono.

      • Ubuntu Replaces F-Spot With Shotwell

        “Finally! The much discussed about F-Spot vs. Shotwell battle is over. The new default image organizer app for Ubuntu Maverick 10.10 is going to be Shotwell. This is a much-needed change; F-Spot was simply not enough. Most of the times when I tried F-Spot, it just keeps crashing on me. Shotwell on the other hand feels a lot more solid and is better integrated with the GNOME desktop. Shotwell is also completely devoid of Mono.”

      • Shotwell – The Future of Linux Photo Management Software
      • Ubuntu Making Moves

        Word on the street is F-Spot is out and Shotwell is in for the next release of Ubuntu.

        It’s always been obvious to me that the so-called “best-of-breed” Mono apps were anything but, and it’s nice to see that Team Apologista spin isn’t getting the job done any longer.

        It’s always struck me as seventeen kinds of absurd that a simple note-taking application can justify bringing in a huge run-time framework – and the after-the-fact rationaliztion of adding more Mono apps “since we’ve already paid the price” was a PR dance worthy of Team Apologista’s Redmond Puppet Masters.

        Of course, Mono infestation is not purely an Ubuntu problem – GNOME has deep shame staining its hands in this matter as well – but because Team Apologista has targeted Ubuntu so hard, it’s significant -and encouraging – to see their efforts fail.

      • Improve Software Quality

        Today I and some hundred others on LinuxTag in Berlin attended a keynote by Mark Shuttleworth, the “head dreamer” of the ubuntu Linux distribution.

      • Proposed Ubuntu 10.10 installer changes will make installation faster, friendly, intelligent
      • Cardapio menu applet gets web search and preferences

        Our favourite alternative to the main Ubuntu menu applet has received an update today which makes it easier to configure settings and also includes a new plugin to perform Google searches right from your desktop!

      • Meritocracy vs. Democracy

        The definition for ‘Informed’ is: “To supply (oneself) with knowledge of a matter or subject.” How do you do this without coming to a consensus with the community? I don’t care who makes the decisions in the end, but to be informed you must listen to the community. And to “fix” a problem you must first understand the problem and know the best solution, the users must not still have a problem, otherwise it’s not a proper solution and the “decisionmaker” was not “informed.”

        Mark Shuttleworth doesn’t make good decisions. As for Jono, the community manager job is NOT to make excuses for bad decisions, it is to represent the community (just as we in the U.S. elect each person to represent us, this is democracy, and this is how good software is developed.)

      • Mark Shuttleworth’s business concept is flawed

        Last week an old discussion flared up once again when TildeHash published “Meritocracy vs. Democracy”, a long lament for.. the position of a few buttons!

      • Ubuntu a Work in Progress

        I didn’t get to see Jono Bacon’s post Ubuntu: meritocracy not democracy until today. Shame I missed it, I like reading this stuff.


        Of course scale that up to 12 million users and you suddenly see why some people want to start having democracy or at least hierarchy. Users can’t reasonable expect to be listened to, even though their input is vital to drag Ubuntu out of the programmer paradise and into the mainstream.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Android

      • Motorola’s 2GHz Android Phone Means Business

        Motorola’s turning up the heat on the smartphone market — and this time, it’s not only casual consumers the company’s eyeing.

      • Motorola’s Milestone XT720: Is This The Next Droid?

        Motorola’s poppin’ out Android phones Kate Gosselin-style this month. Just days after announcing its new Motorola Flipout, Moto has taken the wraps off the Milestone XT720, dubbed as “one of the most powerful phones” in the company’s current Android lineup.

      • Battleship of an Android phone sets Sprint sales record

        According to a statement from Sprint, Friday sales of the HTC EVO 4G topped the single day sales of any other phone in the company’s history — though the company didn’t give exact numbers. The previous record was held by both the Samsung Instinct and the Palm Pre.

      • Touchless Gesture Control Coming to Android Devices

        Looking to put a little more “Minority Report” in your life? Or maybe you’re just tired of smudging the screen on your Android device? eyeSight Mobile Technologies may have the answer: Touchless gesture control.

      • It’s time to make gestures at your Android smartphone

        Eyesight develops natural user interfaces for mobile phones. Its gesture technology allows Android devices to use the device’s built-in camera, advanced real-time image processing and machine vision algorithms to track the user’s hand motions and convert them into commands.

      • China, Taiwan Agree on Android, Ophone, WiMax, TD-LTE, More

        It’s official. China and Taiwan have signed an agreement to promote a number of telecommunications technologies, including Google’s Android mobile software and networking technologies for wireless cities.

      • Google’s Android may win backing from China and Taiwan
      • Mobile Payments Startup Boku Launches In-App Billing Library For Android

        Fresh off an announcement of a strategic investment from VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, mobile payments platform Boku is taking its mobile strategy one step further by launching an in-app mobile billing library for Android.

      • The Apple-Google Mobile Battle Continues As Other Platforms Sit and Watch

        Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch may currently be the most popular mobile browsing devices in North America, but handsets using Google’s Android operating system are quickly eroding Apple’s lead. Over the past year, Android browser share on mobiles has increased 12.2 percent and is now used by one in five mobile web users in North America, according to Quantcast, a San Francisco-based web analytics firm. While browsing is down on nearly all other platforms, Apple’s drop is the steepest, down 8.1 percent in the last 12 months. But Android’s gain can really only take a bite out of Apple as everyone else is essentially sitting on the sidelines.

    • Sub-notebooks

Free Software/Open Source

  • OSI and FSF Ideals

    • Your Chance To Change OSI

      When I said recently that we still need the Open Source Initiative (OSI), it started a flood of comment. There’s no doubt that we need OSI – but we need a better OSI. The one we have now is just too small to be effective and too mired in past successes; a renaissance is needed. You can help.

      Yesterday and Today

      OSI was formed in 1998 to solve a pressing problem. The founders embraced the ideals of software freedom, but saw that businesses – being non-persons – lacked any way to embrace a philosophical principle. To advance software freedom, it needed to be pragmatically “projected” onto the surface of the computer industry of 1998, creating rules that could be followed without demanding ideological “purity”. The result was a focus on a certain kind of advocacy, plus an enormously valuable effort to analyse, categorise and selectively endorse copyright licenses. OSI was the pragmatic projection of software freedom onto the computer industry of 1998.

    • Open Source? Free Software? What we need is Open Projects

      Most of these questions are well understood within the free software community itself. But we generally communicate it poorly by focusing the discussion on license technicalities. I guess this is because we’re so used to working in this open manner that we take the it as a given. But users, especially in the public administration only see the licensing side of things because that is the only aspect we talk about and have definitions for.

      A good exception for this is the Apache Software Foundation that has a well-defined set of rules that projects must follow before they can be adopted under the ASF umbrella. Maybe FSF and OSI should also publish some understandable guidelines and definitions for project openness?

    • Opinion: Binary firmware and your freedom

      I suggest that instead of these scapegoat tactics and acting as if they solve any real issue, efforts should be focused on encouraging manufacturers to publish open specifications for their chips and open the source code for their firmware, whether it lives inside the hardware or gets loaded by the kernel. And let’s commend those manufacturers that allow their binary firmware to be conveniently distributed with the Linux kernel instead of punishing them by blacklisting their devices. That could be a first step toward improved communication with hardware manufacturers, which in turn might make truly free firmware more likely in the future.

  • Business

    • Why there are no billion-dollar open source companies

      This is a suggestion that has come up before (Dave Neary’s post from 2008 springs to mind). As he stated: “Free software doesn’t get developed like proprietary software, why should the free software industry look like the proprietary software industry?”

  • Openness/Sharing

    • More than 6,500 comment on coalition policies online
    • Evening Standard almost in profit after going free

      It seemed barely credible that London’s evening paper would succeed as a giveaway. But the power of old-fashioned print advertising revenue has moved it to the brink of profitability

    • How does “public service” work for media and culture in the 21st century?

      With digital technology and internet distribution, we are all producers. The outputs of our diverse cultural institutions are converging in the digital domain. Public funding policy needs to be reformed and converged to match.

    • Should the U.S. support Internet freedom through technology?
    • How Open Web Developers Are Trying to Make Social Media Better for You, the User

      Last week, a new open protocol called OExchange was released with the aim of simplifying sharing. Right out of the door, it had names like Google, Microsoft, and LinkedIn signed on. WebProNews spoke with Google’s Open Web advocate, Chris Messina about how the protocol could benefit businesses and site owners.

    • Abundance Obsoletes Peer Review, so Drop It

      Recently, I had the pleasure of finally meeting Cameron Neylon, probably the leading – and certainly most articulate – exponent of open science. Talking with him about peer review helped crystallise something that I have been trying to articulate: why peer review should go.


      For me what’s particularly interesting is the fact that peer review is unnecessary for the same reason that copyright and patents are unnecessary nowadays: because the Internet liberates creativity massively and provides a means for bringing that flood to a wider audience without the need for official gatekeepers to bless and control it.

    • Free Wi-Fi is Just a Small Part of Starbucks’ Plan: Free Access to Paid Content Coming Fall 2010

      Starting July 1st, Starbucks will finally begin to offer free and unrestricted Internet access over Wi-Fi in its stores. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz made this announced at Wired’s Disruptive by Design conference today. With this, Starbucks finally joins the ranks of neighborhood coffee stores all over the world that have long offered free and easy access to Wi-Fi. By Fall 2010, Starbucks also plans to give Internet users in its stores free access to paid sites, including the Wall Street Journal.

    • Open Data

      • Launch of it.ckan.net for open data in Italy!

        The following guest post is by Stefano Costa and Federico Morando. Stefano Costa is a researcher at the University of Siena and Coordinator of the OKF’s Working Group on Open Data in Archaeology. Federico Morando is Managing Director & Research Fellow at the NEXA Center for Internet & Society and a member of the Working Group on EU Open Data.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Peer review provides £209,976,000 public subsidy to commercial publishers

        The Open University’s Martin Weller looks at the Peer Review Survey 2009′s numbers on free participation by UK academics in the peer review process for commercial science journals and concludes that 10.4m hours spent on this amounts to a £209,976,000 subsidy from publicly funded universities to private, for-profit journals, who then charge small fortunes to the same institutions for access to the journals.

  • Programming


  • Unix in the UK: Mission critical!

    Hewlett-Packard has blades on the brain for both “industry standard” and “mission critical” servers, but IT managers in the United Kingdom seem to be more worried about the cost of their mission critical platforms, generally Unix boxes, according to a report released by Coleman Parkes Research.

  • Hey, Remember The Searchbag?
  • Mind Over Mass Media

    NEW forms of media have always caused moral panics: the printing press, newspapers, paperbacks and television were all once denounced as threats to their consumers’ brainpower and moral fiber.

  • Science

    • Arctic microbes ‘could survive on Mars’

      Canadian boffins say they have discovered a strange form of microbe living in remote Arctic springs which would, if taken to some parts of Mars, be able to survive there.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Face-to-face passport interviews catch only eight fraudsters

      A multi-million pound scheme to tackle passport fraud has been branded a failure after it was revealed that only eight people have been caught as a result of the project.

    • Gary McKinnon and Flat Earth News

      My interest in the Gary McKinnon extradition case was based on a sense of mismatch.

      The case as routinely portrayed in the media did not seem to relate to the case as set out in the relevant legal judgments.

      Moreover, the discussion of the case in the media rarely, if ever, referred to the case as it would appear to someone who had read the judgments.

    • U.S. Identifies Vast Riches of Minerals in Afghanistan

      The United States has discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself, according to senior American government officials.

    • Geopolitics in the raw

      I have been wondering for a while just what we — the west in general — are doing in Afghanistan.

      Iraq was pretty obvious: oil. (Don’t listen to the mouth, watch the hands.) It wasn’t anything as crude as grabbing the oil — stealing around ten billion tons of anything is pretty much impossible — but about exerting control over the manner in which it is sold in order to maintain a competitive advantage (a choke-hold on energy supplies) over economic competitors such as Germany and China. That was the core vision of the Project for the New American Century think tank in the late 1990s, and those folks later formed the top tier of the previous administration.

    • Tequila botnet auto-destructs

      A botnet targeting Mexican surfers has been dismantled just weeks after it first appeared, apparently by the cybercrook who established it rather than by any action by the federales or ISPs.

    • ‘Shady’ porn site practices put visitors at risk
    • South African Bill to block all porn
    • Somali militants threaten World Cup TV viewers

      Somali militants have threatened football fans they will be publicly flogged – or worse – if they are caught watching the World Cup on TV.

    • Will the cloud have its own Deepwater Horizon disaster?

      A new Pew Internet survey of 900 Internet experts leads with a headline finding that will surprise few: the experts largely agree that, by 2020, we’ll all be computing in the cloud. But an even more interesting notion is buried in one corner of the report, and it’s an idea that came up in two of the three cloud interviews I did in the wake of Wired/Ars Smart Salon. This notion is that, at some point, there will be a massive data breach—a kind of cloud version of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, but pouring critical data out into the open instead of oil—and that this breach will cause everyone from private industry to government regulators to rethink what cloud computing can and cannot do.

  • Environment

  • Finance

    • Lighting Africa: Outstanding Products and Distribution Issues

      When the World Bank and International Finance Corporation started the Lighting Africa program in 2007, it was estimated that Africans spent $17 billion (€12.5 billion) a year on lighting sources such as kerosene lamps that are inefficient, polluting and hazardous, and that 250 million people in sub-Saharan Africa had no access to power.

    • A lobbying tempest engulfs financial overhaul

      Congress’ final tinkering with Wall Street overhaul this month offers lobbyists a last-ditch shot to reshape the package on behalf of clients with billions at stake.

      Even as the legislation gets tougher on banks by the week, agents of influence are hardly strangers on Capitol Hill. Many once worked for the lawmakers they’re lobbying.

    • Key FinReg Components Under Threat

      Mike Konczal (who I had the pleasure of meeting at the America’s Future Now conference) has written a report outlining his dream scenario for the Wall Street reform conference committee, coming up with the best of both the House and Senate bills. He has four topic headings:

      Making Resolution Authority Credible
      Getting Our Banks Capitalized
      Bringing Derivatives Into the Sunlight
      Audit the Fed

    • US banks set to lose swaps desks

      Banks are likely to lose a key lobbying battle in the US over whether they will be forced to spin off their lucrative swaps desks, according to people familiar with financial reform negotiations in Congress.

    • Don’t Forget The Kanjorski Amendment

      A great deal of discretion would remain with the regulators, and of course this is a potential danger. But the heightened public awareness of the idea that “bailouts are bad” at least increases the chances that management and directors would be replaced in a failing megabank. Whether creditors would face any losses remains a more open question – but at least the Kanjorski amendment, if applied properly, would put that possibility firmly on the table.

      Brown-Kaufman was turned back on the Senate floor, but the Kanjorski amendment is an integral part of the financial reform bill that passed the House. And Congressman Paul Kanjorski is a formidable member of the House conference delegation.

    • Dealmakers or dealbreakers face financial overhaul

      They are the sticking points that would gum up the Wall Street overhaul.

      From big banks’ exotic trades to the plastic in people’s wallets, it only take a few of the most contentious issues to upend a careful political equilibrium as lawmakers try to blend House and Senate bills into a single rewrite of banking regulations.

    • Recipes for Ruin, in the Gulf or on Wall Street

      For the financial crisis, it has become clear that many chief executives and corporate directors were not aware of the risks taken by their trading desks and partners. Recent accusations against Goldman Sachs suggest the potential for conflicts of interest among banks, investors, hedge funds and rating agencies. And it is clear that regulators like the Securities and Exchange Commission, an agency staffed primarily with lawyers, are not well positioned to monitor the arcane trading strategies that helped produce the crisis.

    • Goldman’s Stonewall Is Bad Business

      Goldman Sachs (GS) has always had a reputation for being above the fray, aloof from the concerns of mere mortals. This reputation has served the bank splendidly as it fends off the pleas, hearings, and subpoenas of federal regulators. To the experienced (or simply jaded), it appeared that the 141-year-old Wall Street stalwart is just, well, being Goldman.

    • BP’s Mess, and Wall Street’s

      Just because you can do something, does that mean you should? It’s a question that might have saved us a lot of pain in recent months if both Goldman Sachs and British Petroleum had asked it of themselves during the last decade.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Freeview Allowed To Use DRM To Curtail Online Piracy

      Ofcom is allowing the BBC to operate its Freeview HD multiplex in such a way that only TV receivers and set-top boxes with built-in digital rights management (DRM) can see programmes’ electronic programme guide (EPG) data.

    • Shame on Ofcom, Double Shame on the BBC

      Rather interestingly, this “consultation” closed almost as soon as it opened: it was hard to resist the impression that it was being railroaded through. Fortunately, due in part to the prompt actions of Computerworld UK readers in submitting critical responses, Ofcom was forced to extend the consultation period, and then carry out a completely new consultation.


      If the decision is not overturned (which seems unlikely), it will give the content industry control over what people can do with the content they watch on the BBC. Shame on Oftel – and double shame on the BBC for betraying in this way the audience that has faithfully funded it for all these years.

    • Ofcom agrees to allow the BBC to hobble HD receivers

      Ofcom have today dealt a serious blow to UK consumers and licence-payers by allowing the BBC to impose DRM for HD broadcasts.

    • Finland mulls legalizing use of unsecured Wi-Fi

      When it comes to the unauthorized use of open Wi-Fi networks, the Finnish government may say: If you can’t beat them, join them.

  • Copyrights

    • The Economics of Copyright

      One of the problems with the debate around copyright is that it is often fuelled more by feelings than facts. What is sorely lacking is a hard-nosed look at key areas like the economics of copyright. Enter “The Economics of Copyright and Digitisation: A Report on the Literature and the Need for Further Research” [.pdf].

      As you can tell from the rather tentative title, this is just a first step, but it is an important one, and the UK’s Strategic Advisory Board for Intellectual Property Policy (SABIP) is to be congratulated on commissioning it. This is exactly the kind of thing that it should be doing – not simply taking political positions, but establishing the basis for rational debate before then moving on to the framing of appropriate legislation.

    • Music industry lobbyist calls for death penalty for piracy

      Here’s Fran Nevrkla, Chairman and CEO of Phonographic Performance Ltd, a UK music industry association, addressing the group’s AGM.

    • New District law group tackles movie file sharing

      The US Copyright Group, a District-based venture backed by attorneys from Dunlap, Grubb & Weaver, has sued in federal court at least 14,000 John Doe plaintiffs who allegedly downloaded independent movies from the peer-to-peer file-sharing site BitTorrent. The scope of the litigation, which if successful could generate upward of $20 million even if settled out of court, is expected to expand as action is taken on behalf of more film producers against additional groups of defendants.

    • The World’s 5 Largest Public BitTorrent Trackers

      In the fall of last year The Pirate Bay took its tracker offline. Luckily, for the stability of the BitTorrent ecosystem several new trackers emerged to take its place. Time for us to provide an overview of the largest public BitTorrent trackers currently around.

    • RIAA wants LimeWire shut down over ‘rampant illegal conduct’
    • Video explains Canada’s DMCA
    • What Happened to my Creative Commons License?

      I don’t blame Google so much as I blame the Neanderthal book publishers who are breathing down Google’s neck. Or perhaps it’s Google’s wallet. Google will probably get to this kind of fine tuning eventually, but at the moment they are dealing with folks insisting on locking books up for fear non-payers will read them. But if you have a paper copy of the book, or go to the copyright page online, you’ll see that the book’s copyrighted by the editors, but it says right on the same page that the individual essays are licensed under a Creative Commons license, Attribution, NonCommercial, NoDerivs 2.5. That means that everyone in the world is free to read my essay, for starters. It also means they are free in a noncommercial context to copy and redistribute it with attribution, as long as they reproduce it accurately and without changing anything or adding anything. That is my intent. But ironically, I can’t even reproduce it for you here unless I want to type it all out by hand, because it won’t let me even see all the pages, let alone copy them. I’m mentioning it because it’s my hope that Google Books, and other such services, will make a note and tell the computers to look for Creative Commons licenses, and loosen up.


      I don’t think the process would work as well for a less, shall we say, inspiring case. Volunteers responded because they seriously cared about the outcome, not because they found learning to do legal research fascinating. I have gotten a lot of email about enjoying the learning, actually, but I also know that SCO was an inspiration. For some, watching an attack on Linux is like watching someone kick Dorothy’s dog, Toto: people get mad and want to do something about it. You don’t get the same response in all cases or by paying people. There isn’t enough money in the world to pay me for the amount of work I donated to Groklaw, the nights without sleep, the anxiety, or the jerks I had to deal with sometimes, if I may speak plainly.

    • Accused of file-sharing? The EFF can point you to help

      If you’re one of the 14,000+ US citizens targeted by the US Copyright Group for allegedly sharing movies with BitTorrent, a letter has already arrived or will do so shortly. That letter will contain a polite request: pay us around $1,500 within the next few weeks or run of the risk of a federal copyright lawsuit, where lawyers will demand the maximum $150,000 penalty.

    • Film Director: File Sharing Only Hurts Bad Or Mediocre Films

      TorrentFreak asked independent film director Sam Bozzo to comment on his experiences having his two most recent films leaked to BitTorrent. The stories in both cases were different. The first film, Blue Gold: World Water Wars was released normally, and then leaked online. The second, his documentary Hackers Wanted was shelved after internal disputes — but has now leaked to BitTorrent. Originally it was an old cut that was leaked, but now Bozzo’s “directors’ cut” has been leaked, and Bozzo seems fine with it. In fact, he claims that if you make a good film, having it leaked to BitTorrent can only help. It’s only bad if your film isn’t very good:

      In a nutshell, I believe the only films that are hurt by torrent sharing are mediocre and bad films. In contrast, the good films of any genre only benefit from file-sharing. Due to this, I feel the current file-sharing trend is a catalyst for a true evolution in filmmaking…

    • ACTA/Digital Economy Bill

      • WD12 on ACTA: 150 signatures to go, time to call!

        Only two weeks of plenary in Strasbourg are left for Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to have a chance to sign Written Declaration 12 (WD12) on ACTA. 150 signatures are still missing, mostly from Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, and Poland. Every EU citizen is encouraged to call Strasbourg offices of non-signatories MEPs until thursday, 12:00, to urge them to sign WD12.

      • Eastern Europe – land of digital freedom?

        Now, the Baltic sea neighbors Finland and Estonia have declared Internet access to be a legal right. So I’ve been wondering… What are the chances of Southeast European countries, for once, not being late to the show but actually leading the race? What do I mean by that? First of all, Croatia and its neighbours would be wise to take advantage of the situation. While the UK, for example, is being mired down with a disastrous “Digital Economy Act”, perhaps our country and maybe even our neighbors could go the other way.

Clip of the Day

Adrian Bridgett – Troubleshooting Tools (2006)


Links 13/6/2010: Android 2.2, New Larry Lessig Talks

Posted in News Roundup at 6:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Google Chrome 5: A review

    Google’s very own web browser Chrome has been gaining popularity for sometimes now among users. And with the recent rollout of Chrome version 5, they’re looking forward to gain users among Mac and Linux users.

  • Norwegian browser Opera aims to topple reigning Internet Explorer

    No. 1 in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Belarus. It might not be a slogan to attract an avalanche of American Internet users, but the Norwegian company that makes the fastest Web browser you’ve never heard of sees a major opportunity in the United States and the rest of the world.

  • Analysis: Android vs Windows a benefit for gadget makers

    After three decades of bowing to Microsoft (MSFT.O) and its Windows juggernaut, PC and computing gadget makers are preparing for a new era that could offer the first real choice for the software that make their products tick.

  • Android 2.2: Ready For Enterprise?

    Android 2.2 Froyo arrived with much fanfare on May 20 at Google’s I/O conference. The new platform software for smartphones is chock full of new features, such as tethering and Wi-Fi hotspot services, faster performance, and Flash 10.1.

  • Coming Innoversal Lattice tablet with Pixel Qi screen

    The Adam tablet had a unique distinction uptill now, that of being the only known tablet PC to be using the Pixel Qi screen. But as per the latest slate pc news, Adam will soon have company as there are a plethora of tablets that will be wearing the innovative technology that makes a screen just as viewable out in the sun as it is indoors. In fact, quite a few of those tablets were there to be seen at the Pixel Qi booth at Computex and they indeed look promising. But of all those present, special mention has to be made of one that can make a difference and rise above the sea of tablets – the Innoversal Lattice.


    Saving the best for the last, Innoversal has said the tablet will make its debut by September and is likely to sport a price tag of around $530 to $550. Also, an interesting aspect of the tablet is there is the option of either Windows, Linux, or even Google Chrome as the default OS of the Lattice.

Free Software/Open Source


  • Environment

    • Indian court convicts 7 in Bhopal gas disaster

      A court Monday convicted seven former senior employees of Union Carbide’s Indian subsidiary of “death by negligence” for their roles in the 1984 leak of toxic gas that killed an estimated 15,000 people in the world’s worst industrial disaster.

    • Deepwater Horizon Lessons Parallel IT Risk Management

      From Tony Hayward, BP CEO on the impact of the oil leak on May 18th:

      “I think the environmental impact of this disaster is likely to have been very, very modest.”

      That’s minimizing of the event sounds all too familiar to the initial reaction we hear from companies right after they suffer a serious data breach. We hear minimizing such as “There hasn’t been any evidence that the data was abused,” or “The breach seems to have been a human mistake, rather than technical,” or “The amount of data compromised represents a small fraction of all of our customers.” As if any of that matters to those who have their personal information now in the wrong hands.

    • BP grabs ‘oil spill’ keywords on Google
    • Revealed: Japan’s bribes on whaling

      A SUNDAY TIMES investigation has exposed Japan for bribing small nations with cash and prostitutes to gain their support for the mass slaughter of whales.

      The undercover investigation found officials from six countries were willing to consider selling their votes on the International Whaling Commission (IWC).

      The revelations come as Japan seeks to break the 24-year moratorium on commercial whaling. An IWC meeting that will decide the fate of thousands of whales, including endangered species, begins this month in Morocco.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

Links 13/6/2010: Linux 2.6.35 RC3, Sugar on a Stick Version 3.0

Posted in News Roundup at 3:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • German LinuxTag exhibition questions impact of mergers on future of Linux

    Targeted at professional users, decision makers, developers, beginners and the Linux community in general, the event’s panel discussion is said to feature a topical discussion on whether recent mergers threaten innovative small and medium sized Linux businesses.

  • LPI and Ma3bar host Open Source ‘Train-the-Trainer’ workshops for Middle East

    The workshops are the first in a series of events to develop a network of Arab GNU/Linux trainers throughout the Middle East.

  • LinuxCertified Announces its next Embedded and Real-Time Linux Development Training course.
  • LinuxCertified Announces its Next Linux Fundamentals course W/free Linux Laptop!
  • “Is Linux Secure?” at Southeast LinuxFest

    I’m at Southeast LinuxFest right now, listening to Daniel Chen’s Linux audio talk. A bit over an hour ago, I finished my presentation on the Linux security myth. It’s meant to be accessible to normal users or to geeks needing to explain to normal users. I was asked afterward why I didn’t talk about buffer overflows. That’s easy: normal users can’t do anything about them.

  • Res publica non dominetur

    The others may or may not speak directly to the FOSS paradigm and philosophy, with the remote exception of Muhammad Ali’s chiling yet inspiring two sentences: “Speak your mind. Don’t back down.” I’m trying to find where the guitar player, the soccer player, the astronomer and the pilot fit in, but nevertheless, it seems that seven years ago, IBM did the Free/Open Source Software community a huge favor by producing this ad.

  • Desktop

    • Repeat Customers

      I have been in this community long enough I am beginning to get repeat customers. The young lady with the Acer Aspire One now running Debian GNU/Linux dropped by. Her machine had been run by her pre-schooler and was missing a few keys… GNU/Linux was doing well. She had actually installed some packages and asked me to get the wireless working. It turned out that the driver had some problems and everyone was having problems with the wireless switch on that model.

    • Idiotic Plan for IT in Education

      Providing wireless in each classroom and using open standards would get them a lot more IT for less. My thesis for many years has been that more IT is good for education and the lowest cost option does it best, GNU/Linux.

    • POLL: What’s in your 2014 Linux desktop?

      It got me thinking about what kinds of things I would like to see in my Linux desktop in a number of years and now I want to know your thoughts as well. I have created a Poll, which you can see on the right, and the question is:

      If you could manage development efforts for the Linux desktop, what would your Linux desktop have in four years time?

    • 5 Things New Linux Converts Should Know

      If you’ve recently converted to Linux from Windows, or if you’re just giving Linux a shot, there are a few things you need to know right off the bat about how Linux works and where the major differences are when compared to Windows. Some of the fundamental components are different between the two operating systems, and the way things are done can be drastically different; you need to learn these differences to be able to use Linux effectively, and to avoid trying to force Windows metaphors onto a Linux system that doesn’t accept them.

    • Creative Ways to Make Money Using GNU/Linux

      A German CAD (Computer Aided Design) company, CAD Schroer, has come up with a novel way to use no-cost software on GNU/Linux to make money. Their product, Medusa4 Personal, runs on that other OS, too, but they see a large and growing market of use on GNU/Linux (152 countries – a third are on GNU/Linux). The idea is to provide the use of professional-quality software to SMB (Small and Medium sized Business) free of charge. By making it available on GNU/Linux, they make the cost of entry even less.

  • Server

  • Audiocasts

    • Linux Outlaws 155 – There is No Fabian Stable

      This week on the show: WebM license conflict resolved, Linaro initiative announced, Google drops Windows company-wide, Apple drops the ball on the new iPhone, Fab tests MeeGo and much more…

    • CAOS Theory Podcast 2010.06.11

      Topics for this podcast:

      *Linaro reinforces traction for mobile and embedded Linux
      *Open source strategy spotlights: Novell, HP
      *Riptano makes commercial play with Apache Cassandra
      *Linux still tops in Top500 Supercomputers

    • Podcast Season 2 Episode 10

      In this episode: Fedora 13 is out. Google drops the Windows option for new staff and yet Windows is still doing well as a server. Discover how we fared with a minority distribution and we tout our ideas on how Linux devices can beat Apple’s iPad.

  • Google

    • The coming Linux shakeout
    • Google updates Chrome, Chromium and Frame

      Google has fixed a number of serious bugs in its Chrome browser, and has released new versions of the Chrome developer version and Chrome Frame, a plug-in that allows Microsoft’s Internet Explorer to access websites using the Chrome rendering engine.

    • Google Chrome Frame Now in Beta
    • Chrome Frame beta boosts security, browser integration

      Google says that several major websites, including WordPress and Meebo, have already adopted the technology and use the markup that enables Chrome Frame. This allows them to provide a better experience for users who have the plugin installed.

    • Chromoting: ChromeOS to run traditional applications?

      Another interesting option may come from some where like Codeweavers who run Windows applications in a Linux (ChromeOS is a Linux variant) environment. That wouldn’t necessarily be “inside the browser” but there is always wiggle room in defining the browser when it is the whole OS.

    • Chrome OS to run legacy PC applications remotely using Chromoting

      Google Chrome OS will be with us before the end of 2010. You will be able to buy a new netbook running it instead of Windows. But what if you are worried about being able to use some apps that currently run on Windows after the switch? Apparently Google has you covered with something being referred to as Chromoting.

    • Google Chrome OS to Be Able to Run ‘Remote’ Native Apps

      Google has bold plans for Chrome OS: it wants to build an operating system that relies solely on web applications. This strict requirement means that the only native app in Chrome OS is the Chrome browser itself. Even things like printing will be handled in the cloud. Still, there are plenty of desktop apps today that don’t have an equivalent in the cloud. It now looks like Google has an answer to that issue as well through a technology dubbed tentatively “chromoting.”

  • Ballnux

  • Kernel Space

    • Datalight Flash File System Supports Linux Kernel Version 2.6.34
    • Guest Blog: Rares Aioanei – Weekly Kernel Review (openSUSE Flavor)

      This week sees the launch of 2.6.35-rc2, plus other goodies, so let’s dive into it!

    • Linux 2.6.35-rc3

      So I’ve been hardnosed now for a week – perhaps overly so – and hopefully that means that 2.6.35-rc3 will be better than -rc2 was. Not only do we have a number of regressions handled, we don’t have that silly memory corruptor that bit so many people with -rc2 and confused people with its many varied forms of bugs it seemed to take, depending on just what random memory it happened to corrupt.

    • 2.6.34 is Out; Let’s Review

      NILFS2 is a different type of file system which is termed a log-structured file system. You can read a summary of it here. Rather than write to a tree structure such as a b-tree or an h-tree, either with or without a journal, a log-structured file system writes all data and metadata sequentially in a continuous stream that is called a log (actually it is a circular log). Because of this design it is very easy for NILFS2 to create snapshots and mount them along side the file system itself. But one of the more desirable features of NILFS2 is performance.

    • Next3: Ext3 with snapshots

      Snapshots are stored in special, filesystem-sized sparse files and are created by moving deleted or overwritten data blocks into the sparse file. When accessing the sparse file, all files are available in the version they were in when the snapshot was created – any holes in the snapshot file will automatically be filled in with the unchanged data in the original filesystem. Find more details about Next3 in an article at LWN and a paper released by the developersPDF. Next3 is available under the GPL 2.

    • The story of Next3® and Thin-Provisioned Snapshots

      Today we’re announcing Next3, a file system developed here at CTERA to provide efficient snapshot capabilities on our Cloud Attached Storage appliances. I wanted to elaborate a little on how and why this came to be, and what our considerations were in developing this.

    • CTERA Adds Data Protection to Linux File Systems

      CTERA Networks is giving the Linux Ext3 file system additional data protection in the form of new snapshot capabilities.

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • LinuxTag: Mobile version of KDE PIM suite introduced

      Those who decide to test the Kontact suite can find details about how to integrate the repository and install the software on the project page.

    • KDE: Join the Game or Watch the Game?

      There’s a lot of community energy at a show like LinuxTag, which is why KDE e.V, the foundation dedicated to supporting the KDE interface, probably chose LinuxTag as the platform from which to launch their latest community membership drive.

      Under the name “Join the Game,” KDE e.V. is inviting new individual supporting members to join the organization for 100 Euro/year, to help support their ongoing and expanding programs.

  • Distributions

    • Kiddix

      Dear Friends, Child advocates, and Free / Open Source Software enthusiasts,

      Four years ago I founded Kiddix Computing, a company dedicated to building safe and friendly computing environments for children. This mission has been embodied in our core product Kiddix, a family-friendly operating system and software stack for children. Since our 1.0 release of Kiddix three years ago we have gained users from all over the world, but have been developing inside a closed environment. This will now be changing…

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat takes enterprise virtualization a notch up

        Red Hat, a leading distributor of the free Linux operating system, is now pushing virtualization to another level.

      • time for IBM to buy RHAT
      • There Will Be Multi-Billion Dollar Open Source Companies

        With Benchmark’s backing, Red Hat actually did have about a $5 billion market capitalization upon its IPO, and then that valuation settled down along with the rest of the market for technology companies. There will be open source-focused companies with multi-billion dollar market caps. There will be better times for technology companies. There will be inflated perceptions of technology stocks again. These things go in cycles, and my bet is that Whitehurst knows that his company stands a great chance of becoming a multi-billion dollar, public open source-focused leader.

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • A UX Designer in Every Upstream?
      • Lucid Lynx – Ubuntu Comes Out Of The Closet

        Ubuntu 10.4 LTS, Lucid Lynx, builds on the major improvements introduced in last year’s breakthrough 9.10 Karmic Koala release (improved boot time, optimized kernel for better desktop performance, Grub2 bootloader and ext4 filesystem). New features therefore center mainly on two areas – a long overdue facelift and an assortment of new cloud-facing applications and features.

      • Humanities: Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat To Get New Icons? [Screenshots And PPA]
      • Ubuntu Growing Enormously In The Corporate UK

        Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, and the Ubuntu UK Community are jointly hosting an event aimed at introducing Ubuntu direct to UK businesses.

      • Ubuntu guns for the iPad

        Canonical has a comparatively good track record with herding the user interface to suck less than most other Linux distributions. They take existing technology, and tweak it to make it less painful than Linux has traditionally been. I’m curious to see how well this Ubuntu Light will work, and exactly what hardware it will support.

      • Ubuntu, Unity and Ubuntu Light under Development for Varied Forms
      • Canonical Changes Ubuntu Certification Programme

        “As Ubuntu is increasingly becoming an option for many OEMs on many devices, we have been very pleased to extend the programme to better suit their growing requirements” said Chris Kenyon, VP OEM Services & Alliances, at Canonical. “The programme is simplified and will be more easily understood by the industry as they look to embrace and profit from Ubuntu as part of their product range”.

      • Flavours and Variants

        • Zorin OS 3 Is Based on Ubuntu 10.04

          Zorin OS is an Ubuntu-based Linux OS aimed at novice users who may be taking their first steps into the Linux world after having employed Windows all their lives. The latest release, Zorin OS 3, is the most polished version yet and comes with some interesting, new features. Top among these is the Zorin Look Changer, a tool that enables one to customize the way their desktop looks and acts depending on their preferences or what they’re used to.

        • Lubuntu 10.04

          Summary: Lubuntu 10.04 provides a functional, fast desktop environment. It eschews glitz and eye-candy bloat in favor of speed and low use of system resources.
          Rating: 4/5

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Tilera Says Low-power Server with 512 Cores Coming

      Tilera’s chips have the attributes of a general-purpose CPU, as they run the Linux OS and other applications commonly used to serve Web data. The chips are designed to run applications scalable across a large number of cores. Certain common Linux applications, such as the Apache Web server, MySQL database and Memcached caching software have been ported for use on Tilera’s chips.

    • Linpus shows off Tegra powered Linux TV

      YOU MIGHT VERY well have used one of Linpus’ Linux distributions without even knowing about it, as the company specializes in custom Linux installations for a wide range of solutions, least not netbooks. The company has also made some customized versions of Moblin, but its latest project is something that looks extremely interesting, a version of Linux for ARM based PCTVs.

    • What Happened to IBM’s Linux Wristwatch?

      As reported by FreeOS.com, the Linux watch was conceived at IBM’s T. J. Watson research center where different groups of researchers are continually exploring the numerous challenges that emerge in the field of user interface design, power management, input devices, wireless communication, sensors and models for co-existences for pervasive devices and wearables. A team of researchers with skills in hardware design, Operating Systems, displays, electronic and mechanical packaging, industrial design and user interface design, which was spread across multiple research IBM sites worked together to develop the wrist watch that would eventually run Linux and X11. They were led by Chandra Narayanaswami and worked persistently for about 18 months to achieve this feat.

    • Wind River revs test management framework

      The Linux-ready testing framework combines a scalable test execution engine, an embedded device virtual lab manager, and dynamic software instrumentation technology, says Wind River. The software can be deployed as a stand-alone system or can be integrated via open interfaces with commercial tools, such as Wind River Linux, or with internally developed test environments, says the Intel subsidiary.

    • Popcorn Hour C-200 review
    • Edge the first foldable dual screen ebook reader/netbook

      If you are looking for a dual screen ebook reader/netbook which is available now, the enTourage eDge may be exactly what you need.

    • Phones

      • Linux guru: Microsoft an “also-ran” in mobile market

        Microsoft has fallen by the wayside in the mobile market, leaving Linux the main challenger to Apple, according to one open-source leader.

      • Nokia

        • MeeGo 1.0
        • Nokia’s 16 model house reveals a smokin’ S series, N9 MeeGo?

          Lovely home except for those pesky leaks. This Nokia house built (circa 2010) upon on a foundation of Symbian with a MeeGo roof is also sporting an interesting looking S-series smokestack. Most of the building blocks we’ve already seen including the flagship N8. The N9 is almost certainly Nokia’s followup to the N900 and Espoo’s first handset to feature its new MeeGo OS.

        • Nokia clarifies Qt release roadmap, launches Qt SDK 1.0RC

          Nokia has issued a release candidate for version 1.0 of the Qt SDK and has published some details about the release roadmap. The SDK will be released with Qt Creator 2.0 and Qt 4.6.3.

          Qt is an open source development toolkit that simplifies cross-platform application development. After obtaining Qt in a 2008 acquisition of Trolltech, Nokia relicensed the toolkit under the LPGL so that it could be used to develop proprietary applications at no cost. Nokia has largely focused on improving the toolkit’s suitability for rapid mobile development. It can be used to build applications that will run across all three major desktop operating systems and several mobile platforms, including Symbian and MeeGo.

        • Netbook MeeGo a NoGo – Review

          Now I am all for trying new distros and netbooks are a place where I feel Linux truly outshines all other operating systems, so when a new netbook focused distro comes to maturity I always like to take it for a test drive. MeeGo, the joint operating system between Nokia’s Maemo and Intel’s Moblin, has been getting alot of hype recently in the Linux community and the world at large. I can understand why, personally I was very excited when MeeGo was first announced. Nokia and Intel are both very large names that bring substantial financial backing to the table, beyond this they are also allowing the Linux Foundation to manage the MeeGo project.

        • Nokia N900 Just Awesome

          Nokia known to make phones with the very popular symbian operating system tried to take another road with the new phone n900. The phone is the successor of the of the not so popolar nokia internet tablet n810. The phone runs the same OS as the nokia n810 i.e. the linux based OS maemo.

        • N900 Opera Mobile – Review
      • Android

        • Android 2.2 review

          The latest Android 2.2 update, codenamed Froyo, brings a number of new features, but a couple of them stand head and shoulders above the rest. While the latest version of Google’s open-source mobile operating system isn’t widely available on handsets at present, we’ve been testing it on a Nexus One, Google’s own brand smartphone.

        • android spy apps

          There are applications available that turn your android (or your Iphone) into a spying device, these apps upload phone data to a central server without the user noticing it.

        • BD remote for android available soon

          Sony did a press release about 3D tv’s and blue ray players and they anncounced a android BD remote app.I know not everybody is to happy with Sony but this is a nice movement. I would like many more manufacturers to release remote control apps for my favorite device.

        • Droid Xtreme Officially Becomes Droid X?

          How many times is this damn device going to change names? The guys over at Phandroid just got a hold of some shots from what appears to be a Verizon marketing system. The shots all clearly state that our pal the Droid Xtreme, is actually the Droid X by Motorola.

        • Upcoming Android Smart Phones from Sony Ericsson

          It seems that Sony Ericsson is really showing some Android love these days. According to various rumors, three new handsets from the famous manufacturer will be using Google’s open source operating system.

        • Android Phones Selling Faster Than They Can Be Built

          Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha revealed to Reuters today that the company’s Android-powered mobile devices are selling faster than they can be manufactured. Verizon has had similar experiences with the Droid Incredible from HTC, an Android phone whose biggest problem has been that demand outstrips current supply.

        • INQ goes all Android

          The firm which specialises in making “socially aware” mobile phones told Gigaom that it was moving away from Qualcomm’s operating system and going to join the ranks of HTC, Motorola, Samsung, LG and SonyEricsson and load Google’s open source Android operating system on its devices.

        • Android app controls Arduino devices via Bluetooth

          Arduino boards don’t run embedded Linux or any other operating system directly, but are available with Arduino libraries for desktop Linux. The libraries enable developers to control the devices and integrate other applications and devices. (See farther below for more on Arduino.)

        • Acer spins Android dual-boot netbook and Ferrari phone

          Acer is readying the Acer Aspire One D260, a dual-boot netbook running Windows 7 and Android on an Intel Atom N450 or new DDR3-ready N455, with a claimed eight hours of battery life. Acer also formally introduced its high-end Acer Liquid E Ferrari Special Edition, a smartphone that runs Android 2.1 on a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, offers a 3.5-inch screen, and — of course — is colored Ferrari F1 red.

        • 2GHz Android phone coming, Motorola chief says

          Motorola co-CEO Sanjay Jha announced that his company will release an Android smartphone equipped with a 2GHz processor by the end of the year, say industry reports. Also this week, Apple announced the iPhone 4, Sprint amended its sales estimate for the launch of the HTC Evo 4G, and the Samsung Galaxy S debuted in Asia, says eWEEK.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Lucky Number Seven (7th Linux Distribution on an HP 2133)

        Following my recent post about Six Linux Distributions on an HP 2133, I saw a comment saying that I had not tried Jolicloud.


        After the installation completes and you reboot, everything works. Everything. The big difference here from Ubuntu and Linux Mint is that rather than tell you that proprietary Broadcom WiFi drivers are available and prompt you to install them, Jolicloud installs them automatically, and then just notifies you after boot that new proprietary drivers are in use. The display resolution is correct for both the WSVGA (1024×600) and WXGA (1280×768) models. Sound, wired networking, and CPU speed stepping all work.

      • OLPC

        • Sugar on a Stick OS v3.0 released

          Powered by Fedora 13, this latest version (codename Mirabelle) of Sugar Labs’ sweet and compact OS features improved stability and simplified customization, comes in 32-bit and 64-bit versions, and is available both as a standalone download or within the Sugar Creation Kit, a DVD containing documentation and a library of Sugar Activities, fun and engaging programs for children taken from the Sugar Activity Library .

        • Sugar Labs Announces New Version of Sugar on a Stick, Educational Software for Children

          Sugar Labs(R), nonprofit provider of the Sugar Learning Platform to over one and a half million children worldwide, has released Mirabelle, the third version of Sugar on a Stick, a collaborative learning environment that can be loaded onto any ordinary USB thumbdrive and used with a PC, netbook or Mac without touching the hard disk. It is available free for download at http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Sugar_on_a_Stick. Sugar runs natively on major GNU/Linux distributions and can also run in virtualization under Microsoft Windows and Apple OS X.

    • Tablets

      • $88 Android 5-Inch Tablet. Seriously.

        There is not much information about this unit as far as specs go, we know from watching the video that it is running Android 1.5, but according to the rep it is going to be updated soon. The unit is the same size as the dell streak, so if you are looking for an idea of the size of that unit, make sure to check the video out.

      • Linux tablets incoming
      • Canonical wants to put Ubuntu Linux on tablets

        The last time that Canonical developed an edition of Ubuntu for mobile devices was in 2008 for mobile Internet devices, but it failed to take off. The version that’s being looked at for tablets is Ubuntu 10.04 for servers, PCs and netbooks.

      • Ubuntu Tablet OS Coming from Canonical

        Ubuntu developer Canonical is currently working on a tablet-specific Ubuntu OS for future devices. The tablet operating system will feature a touch-friendly UI and will be built from a lightweight version of Linux, possible Ubuntu’s upcoming 10.10 version, which the company calls “Maverick Meerkat.”

Free Software/Open Source


  • Science

    • Suspended-animation cold sleep achieved in lab

      Top boffins in the States believe that they may be on the track of a way to place living human beings into suspended animation, allowing them to survive long periods effectively frozen before being “reanimated” with no ill effects.

      Dr Mark Roth, based at a Seattle cancer laboratory, got interested in suspended animation after looking at several cases where this has occurred spontaneously in humans.

      One well-known case is that of Canadian toddler Erica Nordby, who wandered outside in the winter of 2001 wearing only her nappy. In the bitter cold her heart stopped beating for two hours and her body temperature plunged to just 16°C* before she was rescued, warmed – and came miraculously back to life, despite having literally frozen to death.

    • Eyeborg Bionic Eye Camera Shows Winks and All

      Spence loves to ham it up as Eyeborg, installing a red, laser-like LED light in one version of the prototype and pulling on a 1970s track suit to become Steve Austin (see the video below). But he’s serious about using his camera eye to get Internet users to view the world through his eye, and is developing an Eyeborg app that may feature augmented reality functions.

  • Security/Aggression

  • Environment

    • Teenagers force apology from police over Kingsnorth stop and searches

      A legal campaign by a pair of 13-year-old twins has forced police chiefs to admit carrying out unlawful stop and searches on thousands of climate change protesters.

      The twins won a high court battle against the police after one of them was left “crying and shaking” and fearing that he would go to prison for having a sticker in his bag.

    • BP oil leak aftermath: Slow-motion tragedy unfolds for marine life

      The smell of the oil on the beach is so strong it burns your nostrils, and leaves you feeling dizzy and headachey even after a few minutes away from it.

    • Reporters suffer oil spill harassment

      In a posting two weeks ago, US coast guards harass journalists covering BP’s oil spill, I detailed claims that reporters were being prevented freely from the beaches and in the air in the Gulf of Mexico.

    • Gulf Oil Spill: Relief Wells Are Risky, Could Actually Make Spill Worse

      In the wake of every failed attempt to stem the gush of oil spewing from the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, the one option that is almost unanimously recommended is the use of relief wells. But such a procedure has its own safety risks and has the potential to actually increase the impact of the spill, say scientists and researchers.

    • Obama hasn’t learned lessons of Bhopal

      While Barack Obama is lambasting BP for spreading muck in the Gulf of Mexico, he should perhaps pencil in a date with the people of Bhopal when he visits India later this year. While 11 men lost their lives on BP’s watch and the shrimps get coated with black stuff, the chemicals that killed thousands of people in Bhopal in 1984 are still leaching into the ground water a quarter of a century after a poisonous, milky-white cloud settled over the city.

    • Briefing: oil workers strike in Casanare, Colombia

      Since BP began oil exploration and production in Casanare Colombia in the early 1990s, six thousand people have been assassinated and three thousand people disappeared. Every time there have been complaints or protests in opposition to BP’s interests, the community leaders concerned have been killed. This indicates an elimination strategy of violent social control. The agents have been the military and paramilitary groups, but BP as a corporation hás itself been complicit in the human rights violations.

    • GE Alfalfa Before the Supreme Court

      The Supreme Court heard oral arguments this morning in Monsanto vs. Geertson Seed Farms, the first case involving GE crops to reach the high court. The case is not so much about the safety of the crop as it is about the legal merits of the injunction in place — which is keeping GE alfalfa seed on shelves and out of soil — while USDA completes its final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

      Although the case doesn’t dispute the previous ruling that USDA violated environmental laws, the decision could have far-reaching effects for future cases involving environmental protection since the justices are analyzing a lower court’s authority to issue an injunction under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The case has therefore attracted a lot of interest from environmental and consumer groups with no history of working on GE crop issues. If the ban on planting GE alfalfa is overturned, the precedent is almost certain to weaken NEPA. Farmers, food businesses, legal scholars, scientists,farm associations, environmental organizations, and three state attorneys general are represented in seven briefs filed in opposition to Monsanto’s case.

    • Asia’s silent victims of pollution and emissions

      The Asian Brown Cloud also contributes to localised climate changes by reducing photosynthesis, drastically effecting food production for Asia’s expanding populations. Recent studies indicate that stormwater run off from roads carries toxic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from truck and car exhausts, as well as heavy metals such as lead and zinc into waterways. Up to 4kg of zinc can be found in large truck tyres – and released when friction hits the road. Runoff finds it way into water courses and contaminates fish. In Asia, the poor are dependent on fish as the primary source of dietary protein. The implications should be apparent.

Clip of the Day

Mat Grove on User Mode Linux (2007)


Links 12/6/2010: Many New Distro Releases

Posted in News Roundup at 5:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Why GNU/Linux is Unmatched – and Unmatchable

    Users of free software are nothing if not passionate. Most of them care deeply about the code they use, and will happily plunge into the flamewars that flare up regularly across the Web. The core focus of those arguments is well established by now: against Mac fans, it’s about the virtues of true openness and freedom; against Windows fans (do they still exist?) it’s about those, as well as security, speed, stability, etc. But there’s another aspect that rarely gets discussed, and yet it represents one of GNU/Linux’s greatest strengths: the breadth of hardware platforms supported.

    Today, GNU/Linux runs on just about everything that has a processing chip, from the smallest embedded system, through smartphones, ARM-based netbooks, laptops, multiple desktop architectures, servers and mainframes to the mightiest supercomputer – 91% of the top 500 systems run some form of Linux. Recent additions to the Linux family include Android-based tablets, Internet radios and TVs (and not just from Google).

  • The Four Different Types of Linux Users

    Linux Advocate:
    Someone who uses Linux because they feel it is a superior or more stable operating environment. Typically this is someone who knows their way around the computer a bit and isn’t afraid to post on a forum asking a question or get their hands dirty with a bit of terminal code to get their system up and running. While they love the power of FOSS they realize at the same time that the entire world does not work in this manner (although it would be great if it did). They are typically willing to use restricted codecs and closed source video drivers to get the performance and functionality they need out of their system. While it is not uncommon for them to recommend Linux to their family and friends, most times they will even help them get it setup, they realize that some people are happy with Windows and they acknowledge this.

  • On Zappa, Linaro and the Potential of ARM
  • Compatible with…(insert operating system)

    What about Linux? Coincidentally this device was getting plugged into and used only by a Fedora Linux system. Now I know that this would have worked (despite the package’s information) and not have any problems with ANY Linux and for the most part almost all UNIX -based operating systems. The device (as all other USB Flash Drives) are labeled with a FAT32 file system and Linux, like any other OS kernel can read a FAT32 labeled volume with no problems. On top of that, most mainstream distributions (if not all) enable automount and an auto open of USB storage devices. The user doesn’t need to do it themselves, similar to Windows and the Mac OS. So what is the problem? Why couldn’t the package say “Linux 2.6 and above” or something to that extent?

  • Chrome OS Is All About the Ads

    Chrome OS is squarely positioned to feed traffic and users into Google’s lucrative search-and-ad ecosystem. That’s the main source of revenues over at Google, and it’s worth remembering how that influences all aspects of Google’s strategy.

  • Ballnux

  • Applications

    • Pino: Fedora’s default social tool

      Where would we be today without social networking? I have heard many tales how a social tool has saved a life or joined two lives together. Just recently a friend of mine found our her son was wounded in war not by the Red Cross, but on Facebook. These tools have become an integral part of our lives. Because of this, they are becoming more and more important to the desktop operating system.

    • SuperGrub is a Sanity Saver

      Thank you people at SuperGrub, you saved my computer.

      Yesterday, I wanted to update my kernel to 2.6.32 because the ASUS driver for sensors, i.e. CPU temperature etc had changed, from it87 to asus_atk0110.

      Also, I needed to update udev, but the Debian package manager refused to update udev with the current running kernel.

    • Protecting kids online: Gnome Nanny on Ubuntu

      Anyone who has children will know that it doesn’t take them long to get the hang of using a computer and, as soon as they can read, they’re ready to hit the Internet with a vengeance. But while the Internet is an awesome place for kids to learn and play it is also full of undesirable content and unsavoury characters.

    • Proprietary

    • Instructionals

  • GNOME Desktop

    • Gnome 3.0: Activity Journal out, Shell in

      With Gnome 3.0 scheduled for release later this year the developers are starting to make the tough decisions on what will be included in the release and what won’t.

      The first big decisions have already been made and will see some of the major components of the refreshed desktop being held back.

      Vincent Untz, release manager for the Gnome community, earlier this month outlined the modules that would be included in the first release of Gnome 3.0.

    • Daily 5: 5 beautiful themes by pr09studio

      A GTK theme created to fit in with the new Ubuntu 10.04’s colour scheme, SmartRadiance comprises a GTK theme, Metacity, Desktop wallpaper & panel background. It’s a subtle, pastel and unobtrusive affair that would look great on anyone’s desktop.

  • Reviews

    • Puppy Linux 5 Lucid Puppy – Nothing but praise

      And that’s it. Puppy 5 is a tremendous success. The boot sequence has been improved; it looks nicer, more polished and is more streamlined. The desktop is even more refined. You get tons of great programs. Then, there’s Quickpet. Everything works out of the box, including Wireless, Samba, multimedia playback. All of this in just 120MB.

      What more could you ask for?

      When it comes to being compact, practical, ultra-fast, and versatile, Puppy has no rival. It is by far the best lightweight distribution available. If you’re wondering what modern technology can do, then please download Puppy 5 and see for yourself.

      Woof-woof! Puppy 5, excellent work!

    • Distro Review: Gentoo Linux
  • New Distro Releases

    • RIPLinuX 9.6
    • Absolute 13.1.1 released

      New kernel, and a boatload of updates from Slackware. ALMOST replaced Firefox with Google-Chrome (which I am really liking…) but due to endless “upl;oad” bug , that keeps crashing Chrome when you try to upload a file, it’ll be in the CD2 directory for testing/playing.

    • Clonezilla 1.2.5-24
    • Syllable Server 0.4 Released

      We are pleased to announce that we have released the new Syllable Server 0.4. This release focuses on maturing existing functionality, improving security, ongoing system restructuring, and making the system a suitable base for third-party package managers. Extensive work was done, so the full change log is quite long.

    • Kanotix Excalibur 2010
    • linuX-gamers 0.9.6
    • Alpine 1.10.4 released
    • Zorin OS 3 is here!

      The Zorin OS Team are very pleased to announce that Zorin OS 3 is now officially released. This is a groundbreaking new release. For those who have not used the Release Candidate some new features include the astonishing new Look Changer program which lets you switch easily between multiple user interfaces (Windows 7, Mac OS X, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 2000 and Linux’s GNOME). Some other features include the new “Social from the Start” initiative which lets you connect with your social networks quickly from the desktop, iPod and iPhone support in the music player as well as the Ubuntu One Music Store, lots of redesigned artwork, an installer slideshow which lets you know more about Zorin OS while it is installing,

    • Zenwalk Gnome 6.4 is ready !

      Zenwalk Gnome 6.4 is out!

      We are proud to announce the release of Zenwalk 6.4 Gnome Edition! As always, Zenwalk features the latest Linux technology, featuring Linux kernel and the Gnome 2.28.2 Desktop Environment.

      The Gnome 2.28.2 desktop includes a number of new features; Totem has an asynchronous parsing API now,
      GNOME Power Manager now has support for laptops with multiple batteries and has added disk spindown support for DeviceKit disks and much more.

    • Webconverger 6.2
  • Canonical/Ubuntu

    • Ubuntu: meritocracy not democracy
    • When users first encounter Ubuntu – 5 show stoppers!

      Yet, it would be relatively easy to prevent users’ frustrations by taking thoughtful steps: to clarify issues around file compatibility and reassure our users; to promote system transparency through ongoing feedback and put users in control; to simplify the language we use and make this language serve the concerns and goals of our users; to make our processes effortless.

    • Running Windows Files in Ubuntu 10.04: The Wrong Approach?

      In the past, .exe files could be run simply by right-clicking and opening them with “Wine Windows Program Loader,” regardless of whether they had the Unix executable bit set. In Lucid, however, “Wine Windows Program Loader” doesn’t call the Windows emulator wine at all, but instead executes a utility named cautious-launcher, which presents this complaint when the .exe file lacks executable permissions…

    • Ubuntu Software Center Gets Visual Improvements, Launchpad Login [Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Development Updates]

      An update today brought lots of changes to the Ubuntu Software Center. The most notable are an animated “Featured applications” section, microblogging sharing of applications via Gwibber as well as a Launchpad login (now called Ubuntu login).

    • London event looks to boost Ubuntu users

      With more companies being drawn to the possibilities offered by open source software, Ubuntu company Canonical and open source consultancy The Open Learning Centre have teamed up to offer a workshop on Linux within business.

      There’s a growing interest in open source software, the new coalition government has made encouraging noises about the use of the technology and the companies are hoping to tap into that interest with the aid of some enthusiastic Linux devotees.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Top 10 Linux Powered Robots From Around The World

      Linux have a special place in Robotics. Many Robots built by multi billion organizations like NASA for advanced space exploration and other complicated tasks are powered by Linux. Robotics and automation is the key for human progress and it is good to know that Linux holds a special advantage when advanced Robotics is concerned. Here is a nicely compiled list of Robots powered by Linux from around the world.

    • Intelligent Linux based scriptable network camera

      This network camera runs uClinux the smallest Linux distribution in the world. The network cameras build by Axis are intelligent and even have a shell scripting environment on board.

    • Android

      • Independent App Stores Take on Google’s Android Market

        Google’s official Android app store is getting some competition as upstart, independent challengers create their own app stores to lure users with the promise of more freedom, better access to apps and increased revenue.

        But it’s all kosher because, unlike Apple, Google allows for multiple app stores to exist on the Android operating system.

        A new Android app store called AndSpot plans to coax developers and users to try an alternative Android app store with better search and app-recommendation features.

      • Motorola: Droid sales “extremely” strong
      • Motorola Droid Xtreme Poses for Steady-Cam Photoshoot

        Well, here you go. This here, folks, is the Motorola Droid Xtreme, alive and well, posing for some pretty solid photos. There’s a few we’ve seen before, but quite a few that we haven’t. And, to be honest, there’s a lot to like here. We’ll quit with the narrative pretty quick here, and after the break you’ll see plenty more photos, plus the run down of the specs you can expect to see when it launches (hopefully in July).

      • Is this a Sony Companion Box for Google TV?

        With Google TV units running a mixture of Android and Chrome elements, are we going to start seeing many different boxes being released with Google TV functionality? Will we see the same kind of fragmentation that we are seeing with mobile handsets?

      • Koreans make the best Android commercials. [VIDEO]
      • Exclusive: First Photos of the Motorola Droid 2

        Well, hello there Motorola Droid 2. We would like to officially introduce you to the readers of Droid Life. We saw your activation screen just the other day, but we’ll admit that it’s nice to finally see the rest of you.

      • Social Handset Maker INQ Bets on Android & Multitouch

        Frank Meehan, chief executive officer of London-based social handset maker INQ Mobile, said at our Mobilize 09 conference last fall that his company would adopt Android as its main platform. Yesterday, Meehan told GigaOM that it will launch the first of its phones based on Google’s OS, a multitouch device, sometime in the fourth quarter.

    • Tablets

      • Sony preps an Android-powered plan to seize Apple’s iPad tablet crown

        Japan’s consumer electronics giant, Sony has a plan to take on the Apple iPad, the company has confirmed in talks with the Wall Street Journal.

        Sony Chief Financial Officer Nobuyuki Oneda said Sony “has to develop a device similar to Apple’s iPad tablet computer, because it is a different product category than the company’s existing electronic-book reader.”

      • VIA’s WonderMedia decorates Computex with ARM 9-powered, Android 1.6 tablets

        Don’t let all of the Computex Wintel madness throw you off — there are a plenty of ARM-based, Android tablets around these parts, too. We stopped by VIA’s booth to check out some of its tablets, which we’re told are bound to ring up in the $100 to $200 range.

      • Chinese Telco To Launch iPad Look Alike In OZ

        The Android-powered tablet – pictured – was shown at the recent Computex show in Taipei and reportedly is based on a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. It has a 7-inch capacitive touchscreen display with 800 by 480 pixel resolution, and comes with Google Apps preloaded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Famed freshmeat Software Listing Site Bites the Dust

    Geek.net, the parent company of SourceForge.net, Slashdot.org, ThinkGeek.com, Geek.com, freshmeat.net, and ohloh.net, has told employees that it will be closing freshmeat.net and ohloh.net. This information has not yet been released to the public, but we’ve heard it from more than one Geek.net employee.

  • Mozilla

  • South Africa

    • Interview: Karl Fischer – Department Of Science and Technology South Africa

      Geeks love discussing new things. They love discussing new things over lunch even more. I had the pleasure of spending a very informative lunch with Karl Fischer recently. Here is a guy with a real passion for Open Source Software. A father of twins, he has a keen understanding of the FLOSS community in South Africa, and a passion for exposing more people to FLOSS in the country, especially youngsters.

    • Top 5 ways to follow the 2010 World Cup on the go

      Footiefox Firefox addon

      Yes you guessed right. There is an addon for that. Footiefox brings the action on the pitch to your browser status bar. You choose your configurations to your taste and Footiefox does the rest for you, displaying real time updates in your browser’s status bar as the action happens.

    • FOSS lab software targeting AIDS, malaria, cancer

      The foundation backs the Bika Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) which is already in wide use in the water management, chemistry, wine and mining sectors. The software, which was originally developed in South Africa, has been downloaded more than 30 000 times and is available as free software.

  • Business

    • Two BI Companies Say: Two’s Company

      So when I met up again yesterday with the Brian Gentile, the head of JasperSoft, I put the same question to him, and received pretty much the same answer: that his company was concentrating on its core elements, rather than spreading itself more widely. The fact that both men independently gave me the same story probably explains why both have managed to do so well: they are pursuing quite different strategies and so avoid head-on confrontation and destructive rivalry.

      As part of his company’s approach, Gentile told me JasperSoft was doing a lot of work with its reporting tools – going back to its roots, since JasperReports was the original open source code around which JasperSoft was formed. Interestingly, JasperReports is being used increasingly alongside other software by companies that want more sophisticated output from those applications, including things like allowing users to create personalised output on the fly.

  • BSD

  • Nationality

    • Proprietary technology is a waste of money, says Kroes

      Am I totally satisfied with her speech? Of course not. There was no indication that the Commission would finally start to seriously migrate to Free Software, and use Open Standards. (I hear that instead, they’re busy setting up Microsoft SharePoint.) There was no clear commitment to a strong definition of Open Standards in EIFv2.

      But I’m not only an idealist, I’m also a realist. And realistically, her speech was the best that we’ll hear from a European Commissioner any time soon.

      So we at FSFE are taking Neelie Kroes very seriously when she says that “I expect interested parties to mostly turn to me to demand progress [on the Digital Agenda] – and rightly so.” This is an offer to get involved, and we’ll take her up on it.

    • Neelie Kroes, EU Competition Commissioner Pushes Open

      “Fifth, with my colleagues in the College I will seriously explore all options to ensure that significant market players cannot just choose to deny interoperability with their product. You no doubt remember that I have some experience with reticent high-tech companies: I had to fight hard and for several years until Microsoft began to license missing interoperability information. Complex anti-trust investigations followed by court proceedings are perhaps not the only way to increase interoperability. The Commission should not need to run an epic antitrust case every time software lacks interoperability. Wouldn’t it be nice to solve all such problems in one go?”

    • Brazil is Free

      The government of Brazil is widely promoting FLOSS. For the army, reasons given include:

      * 1) Cost savings in the medium and long term with proprietary software.
      * 2) Major security, stability and availability offered by SL.
      * 3) Elimination of mandatory changes that closed models require periodically its users, due to the discontinuity of supported versions.
      * 4) Technological independence.
      * 5) Development of local knowledge.
      * 6) Chance of auditability of the systems.
      * 7) Independence from a single supplier

  • Licensing

    • Modifications to Mozilla Public License: Join the Party and Comment!

      The Mozilla Foundation has started the process of revising the Mozilla Public License (“MPL”) and has published the first drafts in the process. You can read the proposed changes to definitions and licenses and comment on them. https://mpl.co-ment.com/text/KVR6Y3hsirl/view/. I am very familiar with the MPL because we used it as the base for the CDDL which I drafted with Sun’s lawyers for the open sourcing of the Solaris operating system.


      I congratulate the Mozilla Foundation for taking the initiative and hope that the result will be a more attactive alternative between GPL and Apache. I encourage the community to participate actively in the revision to make the new version of the MPL as valuable as possible!

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Redefining the Life Well-Lived: Plenitude, Abundance and Sharing

      Wealth. Well-being. Happiness: the words have a well-rounded, easeful feel to them, while “sustainability”, though a great concept, has an implication of discipline and scrimping that can be taken as negative.

      Author Juliet Schor argues that seeing the world through a framework of abundance as opposed to a fight over scarcity is the essential shift that needs to take place for healthier, happier societies.

  • Open Data

    • Open Public Data are so good that it’s hard to start explaining why

      Today I have participated to an international meeting in Madrid on the reuse of Public Sector Information. I came to gather as much information and food for thought as possible for my new research on Open Data for an Open Society and wasn’t deluded.

      Public Sector Information, or PSI for short, is very easy to define in a few words (even if managing it in the right way may be one of the most difficult things in the world): this terms defines all the information and documents that any Public Administration (PA) produces and uses during its ordinary tasks: everything from digital maps and weather forecast to city budgets, tenders and management of public utilities like water or energy.


  • BREAKING NEWS: FDA to regulate genetic tests as medical devices

    Depending on the details, this may be disastrous for the nascent personal genomics industry and its customers – excessive regulation would negatively impact on innovation in the field by increasing the barrier to entry for new products, as well as increasing costs for consumers.

  • Publishing Company Under Fire for Putting Warning Label on Constitution

    A small publishing company is under fire after putting warning labels on copies of the U.S. Constitution, Declaration of Independence and other historical documents.

  • Congresswoman Suggests That Comcast Tried To Bribe Her To Support Merger

    With plenty of scrutiny still facing the proposed merger between NBC and Comcast, Representative Maxine Waters strongly suggested that someone from the company tried to bribe her to get her to support the merger:

    During a House Judiciary Committee that took place in L.A. on Monday, Representative Maxine Waters stated that she had received a call from “somebody at Comcast asking, ‘What do you want?’”

    Waters, who has been grilling the cable giant on issues of ethnic diversity, claims she replied by explaining the need for greater diversity in media. However, Waters says the Comcast caller responded by saying, “I’m talking about what do you want?”

  • Science

    • Key Star Trek tri-corder boffinry breakthrough

      A breakthrough in small, high-powered magnets could lead to handheld magnetic resonance scanners with similar capabilities to those of today’s room-sized medical and scientific instruments.

  • GMO Monopoly

    • EU governments wary of GM crop overhaul plans

      France said on Friday it would not support draft proposals to allow European Union governments to grow or ban genetically modified (GM) crops before a complete review of the bloc’s GM approval system.

      The EU’s executive, the European Commission, argues that giving member states the option of banning GM cultivation will remove their current opposition to approving new varieties, and plans in July to table proposals seen by Reuters.

      But France’s Environment Minister Jean-Louis Borloo said the proposals did not address the demand for a complete review of the bloc’s assessment system for GM crops, made by all 27 EU nations in December 2008.

    • 10,000 Peasants March against Monsanto in Haiti; Peasant Leader to Visit US

      An estimated 10,000 peasants gathered for a massive march in Central Haiti on June 4, 2010, to protest what has been described as “the next earthquake for Haiti” – a donation of 475 tons of hybrid corn seeds and vegetable seeds by the US-based agribusiness giant Monsanto, in partnership with USAID. While this move comes at a time of dire need in Haiti, many feel it will undermine rather than bolster the country’s food security.

      According to Chavannes Jean-Baptiste, leader of the Peasant Movement of Papaye (MPP) and spokesperson for the National Peasant Movement of the Congress of Papaye (MPNKP), the entry of Monsanto seeds into Haiti is “a very strong attack on small agriculture, on farmers, on biodiversity, on Creole seeds… and on what is left our environment in Haiti.”

  • Security/Aggression

    • License to Kill

      Nearly a decade after the September 11 attacks, we still have not settled the question of how to deal with terrorism suspects. Should they be in military or civilian custody? Should they receive trials, and if so what kind? After years of acrimonious debate, President Obama is offering a way to settle this argument once and for all: Why not just kill them?

    • Bank of America insider admits he stole sensitive customer data

      Free whitepaper – Seven Important Tips for Better Email Security

      An employee in one of Bank of America’s customer call centers has admitted he stole sensitive account information and tried to sell it for cash.

    • Judge limits DHS laptop border searches

      A federal judge has ruled that border agents cannot seize a traveler’s laptop, keep it locked up for months, and examine it for contraband files without a warrant half a year later.

      U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White in the Northern District of California rejected the Obama administration’s argument that no warrant was necessary to look through the electronic files of an American citizen who was returning home from a trip to South Korea.

    • Police officer’s visual estimate of speed is enough for a conviction, Ohio Supreme Court rules

      A simple educated guess that a motorist is speeding is all the evidence a police officer needs to write an ironclad speeding ticket, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday.

      In a 5-to-1 ruling, the court said an officer’s “unaided visual estimation of a vehicle’s speed” is strong enough to support a ticket and conviction. A radar speed detector, commonly used by patrolmen, is not needed, the court concluded.

    • New York AG Suing Social Network Tagged.com for Child Porn

      New York’s attorney general Andrew Cuomo accused the social networking site Tagged.com on Thursday of not responding to user reports of child pornography and sexual solicitation of minors, which has allowed the popular site to become a place where sexual predators can exploit children.

    • Why I am against bin chip “incentive” schemes

      As we uncovered in the research for our report, there has been an explosion in the number of snooping bin chips. We found that there are microchips in the bins of 2.6 million households: none of them were asked if they agreed to having the chips in place, and none of them (with the honourable exception of those in the Royal Borough) were even told that it was happening.

    • The Government must not back down on its promise to regulate CCTV

      Today at Prime Minister’s Questions, the Leader of the Opposition, Harriet Harman, took on the new Prime Minister on the issue of CCTV.

    • New Norfolk CCTV cameras revealed
    • Council bans dog owners from using long leads

      Dog owners are facing £1,000 fines if they take their pets to the park on long leads.

    • Man fined for having Scooby Doo number plate

      A motorist has been taken to court and fined – for having a Scooby Doo logo on his number plate.

    • Stop and search used illegally against thousands
    • Police sent to London gallery over bomb artwork

      The gallery said the “comedy bomb” was strapped to a step ladder and featured “Western-style bunches of dynamite” and an alarm.

  • Environment

    • BP Well Bore And Casing Integrity May Be Blown, Says Florida’s Sen. Nelson

      Oil and gas may be leaking from the seabed surrounding the BP Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico, Senator Bill Nelson of Florida told Andrea Mitchell today on MSNBC. Nelson, one of the most informed and diligent Congressmen on the BP gulf oil spill issue, has received reports of leaks in the well, located in the Mississippi Canyon sector. This is potentially huge and devastating news.


      It also means, of course, that BP and the Obama Administrations continue to give the American public short shrift in the truth and honesty departments. How surprising.

    • BP spill response plans severely flawed

      Professor Peter Lutz is listed in BP’s 2009 response plan for a Gulf of Mexico oil spill as a national wildlife expert. He died in 2005. Under the heading “sensitive biological resources,” the plan lists marine mammals including walruses, sea otters, sea lions and seals. None lives anywhere near the Gulf.

    • BP Ignoring Health Concerns in the Gulf

      One of the first things BP did after oil started gushing into the Gulf was to spray more than 1.1 million gallons of a dispersant with the optimistic name “Corexit” onto the oil. Then BP hired Louisiana fishermen and others to help with cleanup and containment operations. About two weeks later, over seventy workers fell sick, complaining of irritated throats, coughing, shortness of breath and nausea. Seven workers were hospitalized on May 26. Workers were engaged in a variety of different tasks in different places when they got sick: breaking up oil sheen, doing offshore work, burning oil and deploying boom. BP officials speculated that their illnesses were due to food poisoning or other, unrelated reasons, but others pointed out how unlikely these other causes were, since the sick workers were assigned to different locations.

    • BP’s Government-Approved, Fake Spill Response Plan
    • Rich nations accused over ‘logging loophole’ at Bonn climate talks
  • Finance

    • Why Section 716 is the Indispensable Reform

      In summary, there are no substitutes for section 716 – no provisions that will accomplish what it does in terms of removing the subsidy enjoyed by (literally) a handful of institutions and ending the ongoing threat to the taxpayer that the guarantee of their derivatives business poses. Ignoring that threat would undermine all the other contributions to reform that the House and Senate bills provide.

    • Why Financial Reform Has Been Screwed
    • Congressional Negotiators Start Effort to Merge Versions of Financial Reform Bills

      Negotiators from the House and Senate gathered on Thursday to merge two bills representing the most comprehensive changes to financial regulation since the Depression, but the script they acted out was largely being written elsewhere.

    • S.E.C. Chief Promotes More Rules for Trades

      Last month’s market volatility and concerns over unfair trading may require new controls on electronic trading systems, Mary L. Schapiro, the chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, said on Thursday.

    • Enough with the economic recovery: It’s time to pay up

      Some forecasters expect that fast-growing developing countries such as China and Brazil will power the global recovery and spur a rise in U.S. exports. Others warn that fiscal austerity and slow growth in Europe threaten the recovery.

    • In Louisville, View of Banks’ Role in the Everyday

      A $238 million basketball arena is rising on Main Street, financed through a bond deal underwritten by Goldman Sachs.

    • Labor groups fight for transaction tax but face tough battle at G-20

      The labor movement is lobbying in Washington and overseas to win support for a financial transactions tax at the upcoming G-20 summit in Toronto.

    • Wall St. talks look same on C-SPAN

      After the meeting ended Wednesday, Dodd said the committee had not yet decided how to deal with a controversial provision by Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), requiring banks to spin off their derivatives operations – a proposal that could cost Wall Street billions of dollars in annual revenue.

    • Deflation concerns mount

      To get a bit less abstract about deficits, the basic thing you worry about in a period of high deficits is inflation. But as the Wall Street Journal reports today, the major danger facing the economy is actually deflation caused by weak economic demand.

    • What Crisis Panel Faces in Its Fight With Goldman

      But is Goldman really engaged in a cover-up, or is this subpoena more a reflection of how the commission has been hamstrung by its limited resources and a rapidly expiring mandate to complete its report to Congress?

    • SEC Investigation of Goldman Trading Against Its Clients Widens

      The latest shoe to drop on the Goldman front is the report on Wednesday that the SEC was investigating yet another one of its synthetic CDOs, this one a $2 billion confection called Hudson. It isn’t clear whether the SEC will file charges, but this one has the potential to be particularly damaging in the court of public opinion, since this CDO was created solely as a proprietary trading position to help the firm get short subprime risk in late 2006, when the market was clearly on its last legs.

    • Would we hate Goldman Sachs less if it had ATMs?

      You heard that right. The uber-wealthy swashbucklers of finance wish that they had themselves a pair of modest green eyeshades. This is clearly schizophrenia of the highest order.

    • FCIC says Goldman Sachs is playing the American people for ‘chumps’

      The Federal Crisis Inquiry Commission is pretty pissed at Goldman Sachs. Actually, make that really pissed. “We’re not going to let the American people be played for chumps here,” said co-chair Phil Angelides. His colleague Bill Thomas added that Goldman is attempting a “very deliberate effort to run out the clock.”

    • Take Action in the Final Days of Bank Reform Fight

      Reckless swaps and derivatives trading played a critical role in the financial crisis, inflating the domestic housing bubble and turning it into a global economic catastrophe.

    • Blanche Lincoln’s “Cross of Gold” Moment
  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • BP says profits from spilled oil will benefit new wildlife fund

      BP has a message for the oil-soaked wildlife off the Gulf Coast: we’re just here to protect you!

    • Can You Be on the Pork Industry’s Payroll and Stay Unbiased?

      If you’d like another perspective on factory hog farms, check out the film Pig Business, and check out how the pork industry tried to keep people from seeing it.

    • The Fake, Media-Generated “Anti-Incumbent Rage”

      The narrative the media is feeding the country this election season is that voters are enraged, and an anti-incumbent wave is sweeping across the country, striking terror in incumbents’ hearts. But if that’s really the case, then why were so many incumbents voted back into office in last Tuesday’s election? A New York Times headline reported, “Anti-Incumbent Rage Bypasses Arkansas.” A Reuters headline screamed “Arkansas Democrat Blanche Lincoln survives anti-incumbent wave.” But maybe there really isn’t any anti-incumbent rage.

    • America loves incumbents. No, really

      Incumbents must be some kind of endangered species, with the Beltway media continually telling us that voters are enraged and will throw all the sitting senators and representatives and governors out. This is the age of the Tea Party change after all.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • 5 Calif hospitals fined $675K for privacy breaches

      The state has fined five California hospitals a total of $675,000 for failing to prevent unauthorized access to confidential patient medical files.

      Community Hospital of San Bernardino was issued two fines: $250,000 after an employee wrongly accessed 204 patient records and $75,000 for an employee who accessed three records.

    • The world’s most unusual outsourcing destination

      On its Web site the company boasts access to the best programmers in Pyongyang.

      “You find experts in all major programming languages, 3D software development, 3D modelling and design, various kind of server technologies, Linux, Windows and Mac,” he said.

      Nosotek’s main work revolves around development of Flash games and games for mobile phones. It’s had some success and claims that one iPhone title made the Apple Store Germany’s top 10 for at least a week, though it wouldn’t say which one.

    • Turkish president uses Twitter to condemn YouTube ban

      The Turkish president has used his Twitter account to condemn the country’s ban on YouTube and some Google services.

      In separate tweets, Abdullah Gul said he did not approve of the bans and had instructed officials to examine legal ways of reopening access.

    • Press Release: Pirate Party condemns Turkey’s digital walls

      Turkey has until further notice blocked several of Google’s services for their online citizens. This is allegedly due to “legal reasons” and means that neither the translation service Google Translate, the cooperation tool Docs, Maps, Analytics, Groups and Youtube among other services are accessible in a useful way from within Turkey.

    • 10 Things the Chinese Government Ignores About Web Censorship
    • Australian Censorship Boss Has His ‘Series Of Tubes’ Moment

      Given the number of folks in Australia who have been submitting this video of Australian Minister for Broadband, Stephen Conroy (the guy who wants to censor the internet in Australia), it appears that many down under feel that Conroy has had his “series of tubes” moment by talking about how computer users are getting “infected by these spams, or scams, that come through, the portal”

    • Google denies capturing banking details

      GOOGLE has denied suggestions by Communications Minister Stephen Conroy that its Street Viewcars inadvertently captured people’s personal banking details.


      “The way it works is that the equipment we use (which we bought from a third party) and our software will recognise encrypted transmissions, but immediately discards that encrypted data.

    • Finland To Legalize Use of Unsecured Wi-Fi

      Apotekaren writes “The Finnish Ministry of Justice has started preparing changes to a current law that criminalizes using unsecured wireless hot spots (Google translation; Finnish original). The reasoning includes the impossibility of tracking unlawful use, the ease of securing networks, and the lack of real damage done by this activity. It is also hard for a user to know if an unsecured network is intended for public use or not. The increased ubiquity of legal, open networks in parks, airports, and other public places has also influenced this move by the Ministry of Justice.”

    • Finland Plans To Decriminalize Using Open WiFi [Updated]
    • Google Street View Litigation Mania–Seven Class Action Lawsuits and Counting

      It appears that virtually the entire plaintiff’s bar saw Google’s blog post that it captured wi-fi payload data as part of its data collection for Google Street View.

    • Judge rules in favor of WIAA in webcasting of sports events

      A federal judge ruled Thursday that the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association does not violate the constitutional rights of newspapers and other media by barring them from streaming high school sporting events over the Internet.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Massey miner fired after he spoke to the press about safety

      As we ponder the messed-up corporate ethics of BP, let’s not forget about Massey Energy. Former miner Ricky Lee Campbell complained to his supervisors about unsafe conditions at two Massey coal mines—including the Upper Big Branch, where an explosion killed 29 miners on April 5.

    • No news from Ofcom on BBC DRM

      ORG and people concerned with the BBC’s gradual locking up of content, with its consequent lock down on competition, innovation and usability, are still waiting for Ofcom’s response to their consultation on BBC HD.

      Ofcom said they were “minded” to allow the BBC to introduce backdoor DRM on HD broadcasts, which would hit disabled users and open source developers particularly hard.

      Many ORG supporters then wrote to the European Commission, as a unique UK system of DRM would create trade barriers: HD television devices made for the rest of Europe would not necessarily work in the UK.

  • Publishing

    • The Nature kerfuffle: Boycott the business model, not the price

      Last week a letter was sent to UC faculty by librarians from the 10 UC campuses describing a 400% increase in the cost of access to the 67 journals published by Nature Publishing Group (including the prestigious research journal Nature). The letter also described plans being set in motion by some prominent faculty to organize a boycott of NPG journals, in which faculty would no longer publish in or volunteer their time for any NPG journals until they backed off of their exorbitant demands.

    • Financial Times Looks To Put Its Blogs Behind Paywalls Too

      In talking about the recent decision by Rupert Murdoch to lock up the entire website of The Times behind a paywall, we noted that one of its editors, Danny Finkelstein, claimed he was still going to post links to stories at The Times on his Twitter account, even though people wouldn’t be able to read them without paying. We pointed out that, in our experience, even linking to registration required sites annoyed the hell out of people, and Finkelstein might want to think twice about engaging in social media by sending people to a paywall. Finkestein responded with a bit of snark:

      First, I won’t be tweeting stories that followers can’t read. I will be tweeting stories that followers have to pay for if they wish to read. That is an entirely different thing.

      It’s not that different. Most people won’t pay, so the vast majority of people who follow your links are going to get frustrated. It’s not a good consumer experience at all — especially when you’re talking about using Twitter or other social media platforms where sharing and link passing are encouraged.

    • People Pay For Access, Not Content… But Most People Don’t Understand The Difference
  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Is Intellectual Property Itself Unethical?

      It’s really not something that I had thought about, but Stephan Kinsella points us to a recent talk given by David Koepsell, who not so long ago wrote a book, Who Owns You?, all about the serious problems in patenting genes. I’ve actually had a few email conversations with Koepsell over the past few months, and it’s worth paying attention to what he has to say. He’s very deliberate and careful in his work, supporting his positions with deep levels of analysis and evidence. This talk appears to be a new area that he’s taking on, trying to make the case that all intellectual property is, by its very nature, unethical…

    • Amazon slapped with lawsuit over Smarties candies

      Amazon.com has run afoul of a candy maker. Ce De Candy, maker of Smarties, is suing the online retail giant, alleging trademark infringement, unfair competition and false advertising.

    • Copyrights

      • The Rise And Fall Of The RIAA

        # Once again, it’s important to point out that the chart above is not the entire music industry, but a limited segment of it: the RIAA record labels, mainly comprised of the big four record labels. It doesn’t take into account all of the other aspects of the music business — nearly every single one of which has been growing during this same period. It also doesn’t take into account the vast success stories of independent artists and labels doing creative business models and routing around the legacy gatekeepers.

      • The “Oldest Pirate” Passes

        She does a final check of her belongings as she drags them to the door and then to the awaiting cab. Her frail frame is soaked as the rain falls through the blackest of nights. They must not capture her, no…it is not an option. She would rather die, have her heart stop in mid-beat before she would give herself over to them….she shudders as she dares even to think their name.

        The RIAA.

        One of the truly extraordinary experiences in my “career” as a Linux Advocate, has been donating my time to our senior citizens. In a nutshell, myself and two other volunteers visit Senior Citizen Assisted Living Centers and help them with their computer problems.

      • Dutch court rules that discussing piracy is the same as committing piracy
      • Is your IP address on this ‘Hurt Locker’ hit list?

        Producers of “The Hurt Locker” have asked a federal court to order Internet service providers to reveal the names of customers who they accuse of illegally sharing copies of the film via the Web.

      • As Hollywood Sues Over Copyright Infringement, Hollywood Celebrates Copyright Infringement In Glee

        The same folks who produce, distribute and broadcast Glee are the folks who insist copyright is property and that the current laws are just and good. But, even they must know, conceptually, that there’s a mismatch between what the law says today and what people actually do.

      • Debunking The Ridiculous Claims That Unauthorized Copies Of Handheld Games Has ‘Cost’ The Economy $41.6 Billion

        I was considering skipping posting about it altogether, given that it’s really just the same old thing, but Dark Helmet sent in a nice starter list on why this study is completely bogus:

        1. Every infringing download is counted as a lost sale
        2. CESA took the numbers for Japanese handheld game piracy and multiplied it by four to get the worldwide numbers, because CESA “believes” Japan represents 1/4 of the market
        3. Deviations in piracy levels in different world regions were not taken into account
        4. Pricing for games per unauthorized copies were ALL based on the initial release price, not taking into account pricing fluctuations of games over time

      • Songs of Innocence: accused P2P users speak out

        Let’s say it right up front: some large percentage of those targeted in the recent wave of P2P movie lawsuits are no doubt liable for their piratical behavior. But those who “didn’t do it” face an agonizing choice—pay $1,500 to $2,500 to settle the lawsuits brought by Dunlap, Grubb, & Weaver, or pay even more money for a lawyer to plead their innocence.

      • Global firm to pay Montgomery, Md., schools millions for elementary curriculum

        The school system will be paid $2.25 million to develop an elementary school curriculum that an education company will augment and sell around the world. The school system will also receive a small percentage of sales revenue once the curriculum is completed.

      • Don’t sign to a major label — they’re dying, Radiohead singer warns young musicians

        Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke has warned budding music stars to abandon any dreams of signing with a major label, claiming the mainstream recording industry is dying.

      • Pay to play

        The threatening letters started arriving in early 2009, a few months after Jim Whitney opened J Dubs Coffee, a tiny storefront coffee shop in a Manchester, N.H., strip mall. Fifteen came over a few months, right around the time Anthony Demings, owner of the Brooklyn Coffee and Tea House in Providence, was receiving his own string of letters, and Lorraine Carboni, proprietor of Somethin’s Brewin’ Book Cafe in Lakeville, began getting calls and then lunch hour visits from a brusque man.


        Copyright law requires that any venue where music is performed publicly, from cheerleading competitions and mortuaries to nightclubs and stadiums, have a performance license. Recorded music is subject to license fees as well. The three US-based PROs — ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC — collect the fees and distribute them to their members.

      • Armenia proposes to get tough with infringers

        If you’re thinking of a safe haven from which to practise the non-so-subtle arts of copyright infringement and have been checking the prices of luxury apartments in Armenia, think again. A news item from Eastern Europe and Caucasus-focused IP practice Petosevic, “Bill Tightening Penalties for Copyright Violation Introduced in Armenian Parliament”, warns that things are only likely to get tougher for infringers there.

      • IFPI Complains That Canada’s New Copyright Bill Not Draconian Enough

        This is despite the fact that Canada already has numerous draconian copyright provisions, extremely limited exceptions and a blank media tax that already assumes most Canadians are criminals.

    • ACTA

      • ACTA: The Fact Controller speaks …

        On Saturday the online Official Journal of the European Union carried the Opinion of the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) on the current negotiations by the European Union of an Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which you can read in full here. The EDPS isn’t interested in intellectual property, counterfeiting or any of the other things that concern the IP community — but he is highly concerned about anything to do with information. Issues such as transparency and the extent to which personal data can be stored, shared and used are very much on his mind.

Clip of the Day

Andy Ransom on Scheduling and Background tasks


Links 11/6/2010: GNOME 2.31.3, $100 Android Phones

Posted in News Roundup at 9:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Pros and Cons of Migrating to “7″ or GNU/Linux

    This conclusion was delivered after some gems, referring to “7″, like

    * It’s not XP
    * Compatibility is always an issue
    * It’s the same old
    * Productivity will slip in the short-term

    On the pro side of “7″ the authour mentions improved security over XP or Vista but totally neglects to mention that GNU/Linux had better security than XP nine years ago and it is getting better.

  • Not a Programmer? Linux Needs You!

    Inspired by a comment I received yesterday explaining the problems with non-programmers getting involved in helping Linux projects, I have decided to give a little guidance on how to help out if you are not the code monkey type.

  • Opinion: Why Linux Should Not Get a Free Ride

    I refuse to review a distro and say “ooh a nice distro that I really liked and looks nice and you should try it…” without making sure that I compare it to the best out there. The teams behind each and every Linux distribution deserves our respect, and by comparing them with the best we show that we admire their effort enough to expect the best from them.

    But… Don’t We Get What we Pay For?

    We get more. Over the past years Linux has come along in leaps and bounds. And it has been hard going. Only within the last five years have Linux become really mainstream. Sure you could have yourself a desktop OS with minimal fiddle since the days of Mandrake Linux that came in those blue boxes, and who featured the venerable Drake the Wizard to help you through the new experience.

    Now you get the most full featured and best operating systems around only a download away. You get the best desktop compositing that money will not buy, you get the most stable kernel that is used on high end servers across the world running your netbook. You get security, features, stability, looks, compatibility and speed – at no cost.

  • What is the best Linux Version for the Enterprise?

    While Linux is taking the world by storm, I often get asked what the best version of Linux is for enterprises of all sizes. Red Hat, Suse and Ubuntu are always top notch distributions but then so are Fedora, CentOS, Mint, OpenSuse, and SlackWare. Which distro is the best depends largely on what software you will be running on your Linux installation. For most companies, standardizing on a distribution seems like it should be the final goal. As with most things we discuss, the answer is maybe as well as it depends. We are going to limit our scope in this CTO Brief to three of the top Business/Enterprise backed distributions.

  • Desktop

    • Cassidy: Linux could ease schools’ tech crunch

      Maybe the answer for local schools facing daunting technology challenges lies with the penguins.

      You know, penguins — those who worship free and open-source software, including Linux and the operating system’s mascot, a penguin named Tux.

      I’ve been hearing from the penguins since I wrote recently that if Silicon Valley CEOs want the state to improve K-12 education, then they should take a bigger role in helping those schools deploy classroom technology from this century.

      “One viable solution to getting the old computers working again is to install Linux on them,” Peter Perpich, a San Jose Web application engineer, wrote in an e-mail. “Linux needs significantly less processing power than Windows and is free. There is also a wealth of free open-source software for the platform.”

    • Linux Against Poverty Now Accepting Donations

      To donate a computer, check out the specs here and the drop off locations around town where you can leave your old machine and pick up a tax receipt. If you have five or more computers to donate, Linux Against Poverty can make arrangements to pick them up.

  • Audiocasts

  • Google

    • Is Chromoting the future of Computing?

      Sorry, I just could not resist a really lame title like that. For those of you who do not already know we will describe what Chromoting is. Not a whole lot of information has been released about Chromoting and it is still in development. But so far what we know is that Chromoting is a feature that is being developed for Chrome OS, Google’s spin of the Linux operating system. What it will do is enable

  • Ballnux

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • join the game

        KDE: A Thriving Community Based on Participation

        KDE thrives in direct relationship to the health and vibrancy of its community. The most obvious manifestation of this is when people contribute software development time to the various projects KDE undertakes. In fact, when KDE was founded 15 years ago that was pretty much the only way to get invovled. Since then the number of ways one can participate within KDE has exploded and the KDE community has grown to include groups of people working on translation and internationalization, art and graphic design, usability, documentation, communication, project management and more.

      • KDE 3 vs. KDE 4: Which Linux Desktop Is Right for You?

        Two and a half years after the KDE 4 series of releases began, many users are still using KDE 3. A preference for the familiar seems to motivate some; while others seem influenced by the rumors that began with the botched 4.0 release. Still others want a feature that the KDE 4 series has yet to implement — or, sometimes, a feature they have been unable to find because of reorganization.

        For whatever the reasons, several distributions continue to cater to the preference, including aLinux, Knoppix and MEPIS, all of which offer GNU/Linux with KDE 3.0 as the desktop.

        This raises the question: How do the two series of KDE releases compare? The answer is not nearly as simple as you might assume.

      • KOffice 2.2: Is It Ready Yet?

        KOffice 2.2 was recently released and can be “used for real work”. Conveniently, just after 2.2 was released, I found myself needing to put together a presentation for Akademy – so what to use?

      • Rekonq: Konqueror Killer?

        rekonq is a relatively new project aimed at creating a native KDE browser that addresses some of the perceived shortcomings in Konqueror, which has served as KDE’s main file browser–and sometime-file browser–for many years.

      • kde activities on multiscreens
      • KDE PIM Goes Mobile

        Today a prototype version of mobile variants of the KDE PIM suite was demoed at LinuxTag (expect more information some time next week). These applications along with GNU/Linux, Mac OS and Windows versions of Kontact accessing a Kolab Server will be on show for the duration of LinuxTag. The application packages themselves can be downloaded by anyone willing to test them out. Since the last update about KDE PIM Mobile, there have been many visual and functional improvements to the applications.

    • GNOME

  • Distributions

    • Gentoo

      • gentoo cube

        Since composite becomes famous the desktop-cube was one of the top showcase-effects.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Dutch Hosting Provider Oxilion Launches Public Cloud Service Based on Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization
      • Red Hat notches up another KVM cloud win

        Oxilion, a hosting provider located in Enschede, in the Netherlands near the German border, that is morphing (as many are) into a virtual infrastructure public cloud provider, has tapped Red Hat’s Enterprise Virtualization, the enterprise-grade implementation of the KVM hypervisor, as the foundation for the pay-as-you-use Virtual Data Center cloud launched today.

      • Tell your story with opensource.com at the Summit

        Earlier this year, Red Hat launched opensource.com as a way to shine a light on the places where the open source way is multiplying ideas and effort beyond technology. The open source way is more than a development model; it defines the characteristics of a culture. Openness. Transparency. Collaboration. Diversity. Rapid prototyping.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora’s lucky 13

          I could continue on forever and a day about how Fedora 13 brings a world of improvement to the Fedora/Linux experience. But the best thing I can say is that Ubuntu better watch out or Fedora might well usurp it as the king of Linux for new users. And since Fedora is already one of the most popular distributions with experienced users…you get the picture.

        • The correlation of Mirabelles and sustainability

          Starting with the most recent release of Mirabelle, Sugar on a Stick is a Fedora Spin [1]. While this may sound strange at first, it contributes essentially to our goal of achieving both sustainable development and stable releases — it allows both Sugar Labs and the Fedora Project to leverage the mutual work and results in a great upstream / downstream relationship: Fedora benefits from an easily deployable implementation of the most recent version of the Sugar Learning Platform, while Sugar on a Stick gains access to Fedora’s extensive resources in terms of engineering and testing, with automated nightly builds containing the latest components just being one example.

        • A new contributor agreement for Fedora

          The FICLA, which has been used for a number of years, is based closely on the Apache Software Foundation’s Individual CLA, with some minor changes. So far as I can tell, the Apache CLA has worked well for ASF projects in the several years since its adoption, and Fedora is not the only project to reuse its text. It is not difficult to see why the Apache CLA was originally assumed to be a good model for Fedora. On the assumption, which can be questioned, that some sort of formal contribution agreement was advisable at all, there were, and are, few other models with a genuine free software pedigree.

        • Roll Out a Fedora Remix
    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phoenix’s virtualization tech flies to HP

      Phoenix claims to have over 200 patents awarded or pending. Its firmware has shipped in over one billion computers.

    • HP to buy slim Linux OS from Phoenix

      Hewlett-Packard will buy Linux-based quick-boot OS and client virtualization assets from Phoenix Technologies for US$12 million, Phoenix said on Thursday.

    • Nokia/MeeGo

      • MeeGo Gains Industry Momentum

        Intel and Nokia have released version 1.0 of the MeeGo Core Software Platform and the MeeGo Netbook User Experience. This release provides developers with a stable core foundation for application development and a rich user experience for Netbooks.

    • Android

      • HelloSoft Announces TriPhone, $100 4G Android Phone

        VoIP and Convergence company HelloSoft has announced that they are releasing a 4G tri-band “reference” phone for deployment in WiMAX markets. A $100 4G Android phone? Hard to believe, right? But wait, there’s more: this handset is going to be fully VoIP ready! Read on after the break.

      • Google TV Is A Bigger Deal Than You Think

        Because TV matters in a way that nothing else does. Each year, the TV drives roughly $70 billion in advertising and an equal amount in cable and satellite fees, and another $25 billion in consumer-electronics sales. Plus, viewers spend 4.5 hours a day with it—which is, mind you, the equivalent of a full-time job in some socialist-leaning countries (I’ll refrain from naming names).

      • Why the iPhone Cannot Keep up with Android

        And don’t even get me started on the fact that the Android code is already starting to appear in totally new segments, bringing yet more innovation, yet more players….

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Lessons from One Laptop Per Child

        Video of Nicholas Negroponte, founder and chairman of One Laptop per Child, talking on the successes and lessons of the project.

      • Linux-powered iPad-like tablets can’t come quickly enough

        If any Linux company comes close to appreciating Apple’s appeal to average users with its focus on making the interface a pleasure to use, it’s Canonical. After all, it was Canonical’s founder and Ubuntu’s guiding light, Mark Shuttleworth, who said Ubuntu’s goal was to deliver “a user experience that can compete with Apple in two years.”

        Shuttleworth was talking about the desktop. Today, it’s all about competing on devices. The day of the PC is fading into the afternoon. With Apple making enemies of one-time partners and closing its software circle ever tighter, now is the time for Linux not only to push forward with its historical advantages of lower prices and open software and standards, but to show the world that Linux devices can be every bit as attractive and user-friendly as its Apple competition.

Free Software/Open Source

  • 2020 FLOSS Roadmap

    2020FLOSSRoadmap.org is an open collaborative site designed to discuss, comment and update the 2020 FLOSS Roadmap published in 2008 at Open World Forum. This site is supported by the 2 Paris Region’s Competitiveness Clusters. 2020 FLOSS Roadmap is divided in one synthesis and several themes each under the responsibility of a different director who were responsible to take the comments into account to produce the updated 2009 version.

  • Radically Simple IT with Dr. David Upton

    We were extremely fortunate to have Dr. David Upton, chair in Operations Management at Oxford University, kick off our first ever Open Your World forum. Dr. Upton’s presentation, entitled “Radically Simple IT … or, a Strategic Argument for Open Source in Business” was a highly relevant and insightful commentary on how open source principles can help business leaders transform how they approach and engage the more traditional strategic planning process.

  • Mozilla

  • SaaS

    • Three Cloud Lock-in Considerations

      2010 is definitely the year of the cloud, The IT world is abuzz with the benefits of cloud computing and rightfully so. Cloud computing, the logical extension of network storage and virtualization, is probably the biggest IT leap forward since pervasive use of the Internet. Despite the buzz all that glitters isn’t gold. Despite a widespread interest in cloud computing there may be some pitfalls including cloud lock-in.

  • Databases

    • What is new in PostgreSQL 9.0

      PostgreSQL 9.0 beta 2 just got released this week. We may see another beta before 9.0 is finally released, but it looks like PostgreSQL 9.0 will be here probably sometime this month. Robert Treat has a great slide presentation showcasing all the new features.

  • CMS

    • South African Government using Drupal

      The South African Government is using Drupal for their official 2010 FIFA World Cup website at http://www.sa2010.gov.za. With the start of the 2010 World Cup just hours away, this is a timely discovery and a nice win for Drupal. The site was built by eConsultant.

  • Business

    • Why No Billion-Dollar Open Source Companies?

      Indeed, I would go so far as to say that very few open source startups will ever get anywhere near to $1 billion. Not because they are incompetent, or because open source will “fail” in any sense. But because the economics of open source software – and therefore the business dynamics – are so different from those of traditional software that it simply won’t be possible in most markets. Red Hat stands a chance because it has (wisely) colonised the biggest sector, that of enterprise infrastructural products – “we are plumbers”, as Whitehurst put it with brutal frankness.

  • BSD

    • New “lldb” Debugger

      I’m happy to announce a great new subproject of LLVM: LLDB. LLDB is a modern debugger infrastructure which is built (like the rest of LLVM) as a series of modular and reusable libraries. LLDB builds on existing LLVM technologies like the enhanced disassembler APIs, the Clang ASTs and expression parser, the LLVM code generator and JIT compiler.


    • [Harald Welte:] My take on the FSF action against Apple over GNU Go

      I personally very much support the action the FSF has taken. Anyone involved in distribution of copyrighted material is required to do due diligence on checking that he actually has a license to do so. This is not really related to the GPL.

      Yes, this means that I can take GPL enforcement action to a retail store that is selling/distributing infringing products, and I can make them provide a declaration to cease and desist from further infringements. Of course, that declaration would only be valid for this single retail store. This is why in our gpl-violations.org work, we always try to go after whatever entity is responsible for the majority or all of those infringements, rather than after a single store owner.

  • Government

    • Kroes gives backing for open standards

      European Commission digital agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes has furthered her backing of open standards.

      In a speech to the Open Forum Europe summit, Kroes said that new standards for information and communication standards are more open to third parties and easier to share across multiple platforms.

      “When the Commission mandates standards bodies to draw up a standard it should have the right to be more demanding on the standardisation process, to ensure that standards are less demanding when it comes to their adoption,” she said.

    • EU’s Internet chief warns states against choosing proprietary software as standards

      The European Union’s top Internet official took aim at Microsoft Corp. on Thursday, warning that governments can accidentally lock themselves into one company’s software for decades by setting it as a standard for their technology systems.

      EU Internet Commissioner Neelie Kroes, in her previous post as EU antitrust chief, fined Microsoft hundreds of millions of euros (dollars) in a lengthy row over the company’s refusal to share some data with rivals and the tying of a Web browser to a best-selling operating system.

      She now says she wants to draw up detailed guidelines for European governments to encourage them to require other software, especially programs based on open source code that is freely shared between developers.

    • Scottish Parliament Written answers, 7 June 2010

      Work is underway on the future options for desktop computers that will include testing of open source and will provide guidance and sourcing options for boards. This is part of wider review activity aimed at developing sustainable approaches to IT enabled improvements in patient care.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • California’s P2P Carsharing Bill Passes Assembly 63-0

      Carsharing just took a step forward on June 3rd in California when AB1871 passed the Assembly with zero opposition. The bill now goes to the Senate and could become law before the year is out. We talked about the potential for this bill to accelerate the already fast growing carsharing industry here.

      Below is the press release by California Assemblymember Dave Jones who is spearheading the bill. You can voice your support for the bill at peer-to-peer carsharing startup Spride Share’s petition page here.

      Personally, I live in California and can’t wait for the bill to pass. We’ve just gone to a one car family. I’d love to have the flexibility to rent a neighbor’s car.

    • Monotype Imaging Contributes Chinese Font to Symbian Foundation
    • Clay Shirky’s COGNITIVE SURPLUS: how the net lets us share and do more than ever

      Clay Shirky’s second book, The Cognitive Surplus, picks up where his stellar debut, Here Comes Everybody left off: explaining how the net’s lowered costs for group activity allow us to be creative and even generous in ways that we never anticipated and haven’t yet fully taken account of.

      Shirky’s hypothesis is that a lot of the 20th century stuff we used to take for granted — most people didn’t want to create media, people didn’t value homemade and amateur productions, no one would pitch in to create something for others to enjoy unless they were being paid — weren’t immutable laws of nature, but accidents of history. The Internet has undone those accidents, by making it possible for more people to make and do cool stuff, especially together.

    • Open Data

    • Open Access/Content

      • Lung Cancer Alliance Launches First Open Access Patient Driven Website for CT Scans and Clinical Data

        Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA), the only national non-profit dedicated to providing support and advocacy for those living with or at risk for lung cancer, announced today the launching of the first open access website for CT scans and clinical data donated by patients, called Give a Scan, that will increase and accelerate research for lung cancer screening, diagnosis, treatment and drug development.

      • Open Clip Art Library Spring 2010 Release!

        The Open Clip Art Library has seen tremendous growth and change during the initial half of the year. Today, the platform continues it’s evolution with the Spring 2010 Release!

  • Standards/Consortia

    • The Battle Over the Next-gen Open Smart Grid

      Will the smart grid eventually follow the path of the Internet with truly open standards? Several up-and-coming companies are betting that the answer will be a resounding “yes” and are in the process of looking to sign up utilities and customers that want to embrace the open-standards smart grid vision. Among them is newcomer Arch Rock, which has been selling wireless network products for data centers and buildings for the past five years, and on Monday morning plans to announce its first smart grid wireless network product based completely on open standards.

    • Cisco Pushes Open-Source Telepresence Standard


  • Council Of Europe Wants In On ICANN Government Body
  • BCS Leadership Targets Member Rights

    On Monday I wrote about the crisis facing the British Computer Society (BCS) as its current leadership tries to jettison the old name. I found out about the move in an expensively-produced glossy mailing I received on the subject. Just a few days later, the actual voting papers arrived. They contain an ill-considered Quick Vote option that BCS Professional Members need to carefully avoid.

    I mentioned Monday that the resolutions for the EGM of the BCS include a resolution that effectively takes away the right of Members to call an EGM again. The current EGM was hard to call, since it turned out that the ‘requisition’ needed the physical signatures of fifty Professional Members and not just their clear consent provided electronically. Despite being a member for many years I’ve rarely been to a BCS meeting with that many people present, and collecting 50 signatures thus forms an effective barrier against frivolous meetings. The people calling the EGM make a good case for this mechanism. Regardless of what you may think about the other resolutions, the final resolution is a bad idea that reduces the accountability of the BCS leadership.

  • ☞ BCS Rebels Finally Get A Voice
  • Restaurant tells diners to eat up or else

    An Australian restaurateur fed up with the waste left by diners has ordered her customers to eat everything on their plates for their sake of the earth or pay a penalty and not return.

    Chef Yukako Ichikawa has introduced a 30 percent discount for diners who eat all the food they have ordered at Wafu, her 30-seat restaurant in the Sydney suburb of Surry Hills, that describes itself as “guilty free Japanese cuisine.”

  • Science

  • Security/Aggression

    • Experiments in Torture: Physicians group alleges US conducted illegal research on detainees

      The group says such illegal activity would violate the Nuremburg Code, and could open the door to prosecutions. Their report is based on publicly available documents, and explores the participation of medical professionals in the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation program.”

    • The men who stare at airline passengers

      OVER the past four years, some 3,000 officers in America’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) have been specially trained to spot potential terrorists at airports. The programme, known as SPOT, for “Screening Passengers by Observation Technique,” is intended to allow airport security officers to use tiny facial cues to identify people who are acting suspiciously. The British government is currently launching a new screening regime modelled on the Americans’ SPOT. There’s just one problem with all this: there’s no evidence that SPOT is actually effective.

    • Illegal stop and searches could mean compensation for thousands

      The 14 forces are trying to contact tens of thousands who were unlawfully searched on the streets in operations going back to 2001, when the powers were introduced. Home Office figures show that searches under these powers were carried out 148,798 times last year.

    • Anti-speed camera activist nabs Bluff City PD’s expiring web domain

      Brian McCrary found the perfect venue to gripe about a $90 speeding ticket when he went to the Bluff City Police Department’s website, saw that its domain name was about to expire, and bought it right out from under the city’s nose.

      Now that McCrary is the proud owner of the site, http://www.bluffcitypd.com, the Gray, Tenn., computer network designer has been using it to post links about speed cameras – like the one on U.S. Highway 11E that caught him – and how people don’t like them.

    • America versus the hacker

      Gary McKinnon, still suffering from Asperger’s, has one last chance to avoid extradition to the US to face charges of hacking into Nasa and Pentagon computers. Will the new government keep its word and help him avoid a savage punishment?

  • Environment

    • So who’s really behind the anti-BP hysteria in the US?

      The answer, as hinted in this NYTimes piece, is Exxon, which sees a once-in-a-lifetime chance to exterminate a commercial rival.

      The idea that BP might one day file for bankruptcy, particularly as part of a merger that would enable it to cordon off its liabilities from the spill, is starting to percolate on Wall Street. Bankers and lawyers are already sizing up potential deals (and counting their potential fees).

    • Gov’t and BP Unresponsive on Requests for Data on Sick Cleanup Workers

      Getting statistics on worker illness related to the Gulf oil spill is proving to be difficult, as federal agencies continually refer requests either to another federal agency or to BP.

      When we asked for statistics on health complaints related to the Gulf spill, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told us to ask the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA has told us to ask BP. The Environmental Protection Agency recommended via e-mail that we contact someone at the Department of Homeland Security. When we called the EPA back to confirm that the agency is not itself keeping these statistics, the same spokeswoman who told us to ask elsewhere said, “I’d have to clarify on that. Let me check on that.”

    • Post BP Disaster: Support grows for comprehensive energy bill that makes carbon polluters pay

      As the BP oil disaster drags on, the public’s desire for clean energy investments and increased oversight of corporate polluters has greatly intensified. CAP’s Daniel J. Weiss and intern Ariel Powell have the important data and charts from a major new poll.

    • BP Refuses to Provide Oil Samples to Scientists Investigating Underwater Plumes

      The giant deepwater plumes of oil in the Gulf of Mexico have been confirmed by the government, but one thing the testing couldn’t confirm was that the oil below the surface is definitively from the Deepwater Horizon disaster. (The other possibility is the plumes are the result of natural seepage.)

      According to a lead scientist involved in the testing, an oil sample from the BP well would have helped ID the origin of the plumes, but BP refused to provide any samples, reported the St. Petersburg Times. “I was just taken aback by it,” said the scientist, David Hollander, who’s a professor of chemical oceanography at the University of South Florida. “It was a little unsettling.”

    • Oil Industry Expert Simmons on Worst Case Scenario for BP Rig: Open Hole Spewing 100-150,000 Barrels a Day

      This is really horrifying news. If oil industry expert Matthew Simmons that appeared on the Dylan Ratigan show and Sen. Ben Nelson’s worst case scenarios turn out to be true the situation in the Gulf truly looks dire. Simmons said that they have grossly underestimated the size of the disaster and that it appears to be the result of the biggest blowout in the world and that most of the oil is not coming from the leak the BP cameras are showing, but instead “an open hole with no casing in it which sits about seven miles away from where BP had been trying to fix these little tiny leaks in the drilling riser”.

    • Scientist Awed by Size, Density of Undersea Oil Plume in Gulf

      Researchers aboard the F.G. Walton Smith vessel briefed reporters on a two-week cruise in which they traced an underwater oil plum 15 miles wide, 3 miles long and about 600 feet thick. The plume’s core is 1,100 to 1,300 meters below the surface, they said.

      “It’s an infusion of oil and gas unlike anything else that has ever been seen anywhere, certainly in human history,” said Samantha Joye of the University of Georgia, the expedition leader.

      Bacteria are breaking down the oil’s hydrocarbons in a massive, microorganism feeding frenzy that has sent oxygen levels plunging close to what is considered “dead zone” conditions, at which most marine life are smothered for a lack of dissolved oxygen.

    • BP, Forrest Gump, Mr. Bean and the White House

      Goldman Sachs or BP, the politicians’ reaction remains the same. Screw whoever’s not in your circle, and use (your power over) their money to pay off who is. Corporations rule this planet, not the people that live on it.

    • BP attempts damage control, buys search phrases on Google and Yahoo

      As BP sweats to clean up the oil spill in Gulf of Mexico, it is simultaneously waging a public relations (PR) war, trying to fend a wave of negative attention, by buying search phrases like “oil spill” on Google and Yahoo.

    • Pitt Researcher Says Simple Polymer-based Filter Successfully Cleans Water, Recovers Oil in Gulf of Mexico Tests

      In response to the massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, a University of Pittsburgh engineering professor has developed a technique for separating oil from water via a cotton filter coated in a chemical polymer that blocks oil while allowing water to pass through. The researcher reports that the filter was successfully tested off the coast of Louisiana and shown to simultaneously clean water and preserve the oil.

    • What Price Pelican?

      Our energy subsidy from the stored sunlight in fossil fuels is gigantic. The chemical and kinetic energy embodied in the thick gooey condensed organic matter from past eons is, for all human intents and purposes, indistinguishable from magic. Once in a while, like now, we see the downsides to our dependency on this elixir, in this case the ecological degradation of increasing areas of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystems, and collateral damage to other species.

    • U.S. confirms underwater oil plume from Deepwater Horizon well

      An underwater three-dimensional map of the oil spill is closer to becoming a reality, now that the U.S. has for the first time confirmed the discovery of a subsurface oil plume resulting from the ruptured BP well.

    • Facing a freeze

      WHEN BP’s Macondo well began spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico, the firm was in the midst of an effort to persuade Canada’s energy regulator that safety standards for offshore drilling in the Canadian Arctic were expensive, impractical and should be relaxed. Hearings on the subject were promptly suspended and the regulator declared that no new drilling permits would be issued pending a review of existing rules. “We have a duty to pause, to take stock of the incident,” says Gaétan Caron, head of the National Energy Board.

    • Raspberries, Pears and Chocolate: A Fresh Understanding of the Bee Crisis

      So how does this economic explanation square with the clear and present biological crisis that Eric Olson faces on the ground in Yakima, Washington? “We are not denying that there are serious biological problems, like in the U.S. with colony collapse disorder, et cetera,” Harder said. “But our argument is that this sort of thing is a short-term episode in a much-longer declining trend that’s probably more related to the economics of the honey industry.”

    • New Emissions Measurements Show “Green” Consumerism Failing

      The most intriguing part of his presentation was his exploration of ‘consumer emissions,’ which are not usually included in emissions reporting. His central question was, “Who’s responsible for emissions: the producers or the consumers?”

    • Uzbekistan: Gazelles may perish of starvation in the Bukhara reservation

      “Dear friends! This year turned out to be successful for the animals in the environmental center. We expect the number of gazelles to grow to 1200, kulan – to 80, horses of Przhevalskiy – to 24. This is just splendid. However, we face serious challenges, rescuing them. Why?

    • Japanese cinemas drop dolphin slaughter film

      Cinemas in Japan have cancelled plans to show an Oscar-winning film about the country’s annual slaughter of thousands of dolphins after far-right campaigners threatened to disrupt the screenings.

    • EU orders industrial tuna fishing ban until year’s end

      In the wake of huge depletion in stocks of bluefin tuna, EU Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki decided yesterday (9 June) to ban large-scale bluefin tuna fishing in the Mediterranean and eastern Atlantic. The ban has already come into effect.

    • Gulf Oil Spill Disaster: Spawn of the Living Dead for Atlantic Bluefin Tuna?
  • Finance

    • An Updated List of Goldman Sachs Ties to the Obama Government Including Elena Kagan

      This essay shows the pervasive influence of Goldman Sachs and its units (like the Goldman-Robert Rubin-funded Hamilton Project embedded in the Brookings Institution) in the Obama government. These names are in addition to those compiled on an older such list and published here at FDL. In the future, I will combine the names here and those on the earlier article but I urge readers to look at the earlier list too (links below). Combined, this is the largest and most comprehensive list of such ties yet published.

    • Stiglitz Calls for ‘Goldman Sachs Amendment’

      Joseph E. Stiglitz, the Nobel Prize-winning economist, wants the financial regulatory bill to bar financial firms that give up their government-backed bank charters from ever being able to seek government assistance again.

    • The Brown Stinky Stuff is Splattering Off the Fan Blades and Landing on That Shiny New Building on the West Side Highway.

      So, How Many Banks and Analysts Were Bearish On Goldman Before Today? and Is the Threat to the Banks Over? Implied Volatility Says So. Some may ask why I’m being so generous in regards to the extent of this quarter’s earning review. Well… A European institutional subscriber recently stated he was able to get the same content found in my offerings from his investment bank research.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • European Parliament duped over sex offences Declaration

      MEPS are being deceived into signing a Written Declaration which they believe is a statement on child abuse and sexual violence against women. In fact, it is a Trojan Horse for extending the Data Retention Directive. It reflects gutter-lobbying of the worst kind.

  • Labour/Asia

    • iPhone manufacturer to shutter China factories

      Foxconn – the massive Taiwan-based contract manufacturer whose clients include Apple, Dell, HP, Intel, Sony, and others – will shutter its mainland China operations in a restructuring that could move as many as 800,000 workers into the ranks of the unemployed.

    • As China’s Wages Rise, Export Prices Could Follow

      Coastal factories are increasing hourly payments to workers. Local governments are raising minimum wage standards. And if China allows its currency, the renminbi, to appreciate against the United States dollar later this year, as many economists are predicting, the relative cost of manufacturing in China will almost certainly rise.

    • Worries mount over China’s ‘rare earth’ export ban

      Beijing’s plan to ban exports of key raw materials called ‘rare earths’ as of 2015 should cause concern among manufacturers of high-tech products ranging from computers to electric car batteries and wind turbines, experts warned.

    • Responsibly Destroying the World’s Peasantry

      The World Bank, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Secretariat recently presented seven “Principles for Responsible Agricultural Investment.” The principles seek to ensure that large-scale land investments result in “win-win” situations, benefiting investors and directly affected communities alike. But, though well-intended, the principles are woefully inadequate.

      It has been several years since private investors and states began buying and leasing millions of hectares of farmland worldwide in order to secure their domestic supply of food, raw commodities, and biofuels, or to get subsidies for carbon storage through plantations. Western investors, including Wall Street banks and hedge funds, now view direct investments in land as a safe haven in an otherwise turbulent financial climate.

      The scope of the phenomenon is enormous. Since 2006, between 15 and 20 million hectares of farmland, the equivalent of the total arable surface of France, have been the subject of negotiations by foreign investors.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Parliament set to derail EU-US anti-terror talks

      A new EU-US anti-terror agreement still infringes the European Union’s laws on data protection and civil liberties, say MEPs who, following talks with the European Commission today (10 June), plan to vote against the accord.

    • Vietnam’s New Green Dam?

      Vietnam is continuing its steep fall down a slippery slope of Internet censorship and filtration and is raising more concerns over its new cyber-technology implementation.

      Internet censorship is nothing new to Vietnam, yet its policies have remained very much out of the public spotlight in other parts of the world. The Communist government of Vietnam has taken many opaque technological and regulatory steps to control its citizens’ access to Internet content. With an above average Internet penetration rate of 25.7%, and a relatively high literacy rate for the adult population, the Internet would be potentially poised to allow substantial free expression that may oppose the government regime.

    • China defends internet censorship

      China has defended its right to censor the internet in a document laying out the government’s attitude towards the web.

    • Rooney’s Gold: A Publishing Tale
    • John McDonnell apologises for Margaret Thatcher assassination comment

      Labour leadership candidate John McDonnell has apologised for joking that he would like to have killed Margaret Thatcher and hinted that he might stand down from the race to give fellow leftwinger Diane Abbott a chance of getting on to the ballot.

    • Are SSIDs and MAC addresses like house numbers?

      While I agree that Kim’s asserted facts are true, I disagree with his conclusion.

      * I don’t believe Google did anything wrong in collecting SSIDs and MAC addresses (capturing data, perhaps). The SSIDs were configured to *broadcast* (to make something known widely). However, SSIDs and MAC addresses are local identifiers more like house numbers. They identify entities within the local wireless network and are generally not re-transmitted beyond that wireless network.


      Your house number is used – by anyone in the world who wants to find it – to get to your house. Your house was given a number for that purpose. The people who live in the houses like this. They actually run out and buy little house number things, and nail them up on the side of their houses, to advertise clearly what number they are.

    • Google patent is a shocker

      There are many who have assumed Google’s WiFi snooping was “limited” to mapping of routers. However an article in Computerworld reporting on new developments in an Oregon class action law suit links to a patent application that speaks volumes about what is at stake here. The abstract begins (emphasis is mine):

      “The invention pertains to location approximation of devices, e.g., wireless access points and client devices in a wireless network. “

    • Bill defines ‘personal information’ to avoid strengthening DPA penalties

      So it is with the repeal of the ID Card Act and the abolition of the National Identity Register by the Identity Documents Bill 2010-11, which has its second reading today. We all know that from their respective manifestos, both Lib-Con coalition partners wanted to scrap ID Cards and strengthen the penalties in the Data Protection Act. We know that the previous government had draft legislation on the stocks which provided for custodial penalties for misuse of personal data under the Data Protection Act.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Cory Doctorow: My computer says no

      Yes. It is hypocritical to say “don’t copy” when everybody I know is a copyist. I’m certainly on the wrong side of copyright law at least once a day for things like pasting articles into emails. I’ve been an avid copyist all my life, if it wasn’t for mix tapes, my entire adolescence would have been celibate! I can’t do my job unless I have the source material around so I scan records and photocopy library books I can’t take out. It’s how we all learn to do stuff. That’s how we are, we are descendents of molecules formed a million years ago because they figured out how to replicate themselves. We have a name for things that don’t copy themselves: dead.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • WIPO study on the public domain published

      As part of the its Development Agenda, the World Intellectual Property Organisation has published a report entitled “Scoping Study on Copyright and Related Rights and the Public Domain” by the always wonderful Séverine Dussolier. In the interest of full disclosure, I would like to point out that I was consulted about Costa Rican law, so you may want to ignore my enthusiasm for this work and examine it yourself. This is a thorough and comprehensive study.

    • The Mega-Money World Of MegaUpload

      MegaUpload is one of the most prominent file-hosting services on the Internet. It is owned by an unbelievably colorful individual who is probably better known for his multiple convictions for computer fraud, embezzlement and insider trading. He owns several luxury cars, for which he is currently under investigation, and has just acquired New Zealand’s most expensive house – a snip at just over $20m.

    • British Library Heeds Murdoch’s Digital Newsprint Warning

      When we reported from a lecture James Murdoch delivered a couple of weeks back (full transcript), he had criticised a British Library plan to digitise 40 million old newspaper pages.

      Murdoch said: “This is not simply being done for posterity, nor to make free access for library users easier, but also for commercial gain via a paid‐for website. The move is strongly opposed by major publishers. If it goes ahead, free content would not only be a justification for more funding, but actually become a source of funds for a public body.”

      But Patrick Fleming, a British Library associate director, quoted on Guardian.co.uk, says the accusation is “patently not true”…

    • Poll: No Public Support For FTC Proposals To Help News Organizations

      There’s basically zero popular support for several already unlikely initiatives the FTC is looking into in order to support the “reinvention of journalism.” Rasmussen Reports polled 1,000 people on whether they would support proposals—like a tax on consumer electronics to help news organizations or a taxpayer-funded program to support young journalists through AmeriCorps—and the answer was a decisive no. A monthly tax on cell phone bills? 90 percent no! A tax on consumer electronic devices? 84 percent no! The young reporter program? 70 percent no! A White House commission to help save journalism jobs? 55 percent no! (Via MediaPost)

  • Copyrights

    • Lawyers Warn WordPress Over File-Sharing News Blog

      A law firm which previously sent threatening letters to alleged file-sharers in order to receive cash settlements has complained to WordPress over a hosted blog. According to the complaint, Automattic Inc. can be held liable for copyright infringement and defamation due to the fact it hosted a FaceBook-sourced picture of one of the firm’s lawyers which had been Photoshopped into a ‘Wanted’ poster.

      British law firm Tilly Bailey & Irvine (TBI) which began a file-sharing settlement letters scheme earlier this year, later withdrew from the business due to masses of bad publicity. A staff member from the company later tried to rewrite history on its Wikipedia page by removing any references which showed its connection to this work.

    • Top Public School Signs Multi-Million Dollar Deal To Copyright & Sell Its Curriculum

      If you go back to the original intent of copyright law, it was to improve learning and knowledge. “Promoting the progress of science” really mean “knowledge” at the time it was written. But, these days, we’ve lost pretty much all touch with that original intention. Last year, we noted that there was a growing battle over whether or not teachers could sell their lesson plans, with some districts claiming copyright over all teacher curricula and lesson plans to make sure that only they could determine how those plans were used. Of course, in the past (and, for many, the present) teachers often freely shared curricula and lesson plans with each other, in an effort to spread the knowledge and help each other out.

    • Judge may dismiss 4,576 of 4,577 P2P defendants from lawsuit

      Federal judge Rosemary Collyer sits on the DC District Court, where several of the recent US Copyright Group lawsuits against alleged P2P users have been filed. A few of those lawsuits ended up on Judge Collyer’s calendar, one of them filed against over 4,000 anonymous “John Does” at once.

    • Judge to movie studios: Why shouldn’t I dismiss piracy lawsuits?

      A federal judge has ordered attorneys representing movie studios to explain why they lumped thousands of alleged copyright violators into just two lawsuits, an indication she is seriously considering claims by ISP Time Warner and civil liberties advocates that the actions violate well-established court procedures.

    • Human Rights Eroding in the Name of Copyright Protection

      Microsoft’s WAT component for Windows 7 validates a user’s computer, every 90 days, against its constantly updated database. The motivation looks innocent — it’s just a technical measure deployed against potential piracy. After all, people who respect Microsoft’s copyright have no need to worry, right? Yet Microsoft’s track record of disrespecting users’ fair use right (g: “fairuse4wm controversy”) and disrespecting users’ will not to upgrade (g: “windows stealthy update”) indeed provide reasons for us to be worried. Imagine that a world-wide government installs tiny robots at everybody’s home, constantly watching for wrong-doings of your family. And the software of the robots can be remotely upgraded by the government whether you like it or not. If we can accept WAT, we can certainly also accept such invasion of human right and privacy by the government.

      Apple’s customers cannot exercise their rights over their own physical properties — the iPhones for which they have paid Apple. Apple forbids its customers to install software programs other than those provided by Apple’s iTunes App Store. (g: “eff jailbreak”) Imagine buying a house and being forbidden to put any furniture into it except those explicitly allowed by the construction company. If we can accept Apple’s control over its customers, we can certainly also accept such invasion of human right by the construction company.

      Amazon’s Kindle e-book has a piece of software that not only sends user’s information back to Amazon but also sends Amazon’s commands to Kindle whenever the user connects to its online bookstore WhisperNet. What commands have been sent? Instructions to delete books (with a corresponding refund), for example, in the name of Amazon’s respect for the publisher’s copyright. (g: “kindle Orwell”) Imagine that the Big Brother collects everyone’s reading habits and notes as well as deleting any books/articles/forwarded emails that he deems “ungood” and harmful to the society. If we can accept Kindle’s remote removal of already-purchased books, we can certainly also accept such invasion of human right and privacy by the Big Brother. Speaking of Big Brother, the books deleted happen to be George Orwell’s “1984″ and “Animal Farms”.

    • The Death of the Library: Read It and Weep
    • Judges Liken P2P To The Ancient Practice of Lending Books

      After raids in 2005, Spanish police arrested four people and dismantled a popular file-sharing site. The case has been dragging on ever since but now has finally been closed. Three judges decided that no offense had been committed and likened file-sharing to the ancient practice of sharing books.

    • Music In Real Time: Keep Up Or Get Left Behind
    • Copyright: The Elephant in the Middle of the Glee Club

      The absence of any mention of copyright law in Glee illustrates a painful tension in American culture. While copyright holders assert that copyright violators are “stealing” their “property,” people everywhere are remixing and recreating artistic works for the very same reasons the Glee kids do — to learn about themselves, to become better musicians, to build relationships with friends, and to pay homage to the artists who came before them. Glee’s protagonists — and the writers who created them — see so little wrong with this behavior that the word ‘copyright’ is never even uttered.


      These worlds don’t match. Both Glee and the RIAA can’t be right. It’s hard to imagine glee club coach Will Schuester giving his students a tough speech on how they can’t do mash-ups anymore because of copyright law (but if he did, it might make people rethink the law). Instead, copyright violations are rewarded in Glee — after Sue’s Physical video goes viral, Olivia Newton-John contacts Sue so they can film a new, improved video together.

    • The copyright wars come to “Glee”

      Mulligan’s conceit is that if a “real” glee club tried to get away with creating, say, “a near-exact copy of Madonna’s Vogue music video,” it could be liable for huge fines — as much as $150,000, or worse, if those reckless teenagers posted their work online. Don’t scoff — as Mulligan notes, “In the 1990s, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) asked members of the American Camping Association, including Girl Scout troops, to pay royalties for singing copyrighted songs at camp.”

    • Does LimeWire owe the RIAA $1.5 trillion?

      Now it looks as though one Kelly M. Klaus (right) of Munger, Tolles & Olson, yet another RIAA posse, wants Wood to order LimeWire owner Mark Gorton to pay $1,500,000,000,000 for 200,000,000 alleged downloads, at $750 per.

    • Cost

    • ACTA

      • ACTA and the Specter of Graduated Response

        This short paper, prepared for a workshop on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) and the Public Interest at American University’s Washington College of Law, considers the draft Internet provisions of ACTA in the context of concerns raised in the media that the treaty will require signatories to mandate graduated response regimes (à la France’s controversial HADOPI system) for online copyright enforcement. Although the Consolidated Text of ACTA, released in late April, confirms that mandatory graduated response is off the table for the treaty’s negotiators, the treaty in its current form both accommodates and promotes the adoption of graduated response. Moreover, opponents of graduated response should be wary of the fact that public law mechanisms – be they domestic or international – are not the only means by which graduated response can effectively become the law for Internet users. The United States and Ireland provide examples of the trend toward private ordering in the project of online copyright enforcement.

      • India Comes Out Swinging Against ACTA at WTO

        The Government of India came out forcefully against ACTA this week in an intervention at the World Trade Organization. The India position, which may well reflect the views of other ACTA-excluded countries, demonstrates that ACTA is emerging as a contentious political issue that extends well beyond civil society and business groups concerned with the agreement. Countries excluded from the ACTA process have to come to recognize the serious threat it represents both substantively as well as for the future of multilateral organizations.

        This growing concern from countries such as India represents a major new pressure point on the ACTA discussions. The notion that ACTA countries could negotiate an agreement that would ultimately be used to pressure non-ACTA countries to conform without attracting opposition from those very countries was always unrealistic. If the April ACTA round of talks was marked by the mounting pressure for greater transparency, the late June ACTA round of talks will undoubtedly have developing country opposition as its core concern.

Clip of the Day

Alan Pope on Wikis


Links 10/6/2010: KDE SC 4.5 Beta 2, OSI Election

Posted in News Roundup at 3:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Why Isn’t Linux the Standard Secondary OS?

    Still, many people use multiple operating systems now, and so few use Linux as one of their choices. Among other reasons why Linux can function as a great sidekick to the more prevalent operating systems is that it’s more secure. If you’re going to jump into, say, an online banking app, why not do it in Linux, where the hackers and script kiddies aren’t?

    Additionally, many Linux distros instantly get you going on tasks instead of staring at hourglasses and are streamlined for quick results. It has long been a presumption in the Linux community that for it to really succeed, it has to be the sole OS on everyone’s desktop. Why does it? The answer is that it doesn’t have to do that.

    I’m already contemplating adding a Linux distro to the VMware-based system I’m running, and evaluating which one to use. It makes lots of sense.

  • HP leverages Linux, less known for contribution

    The 451 Group has published another open source strategy Spotlight report, this time turning our attention to longtime Linux server vendor Hewlett-Packard, which continues to dedicate resources to Linux and other open source software communities, but which also has a lower profile than others known for their open source contributions.

    HP has long been a big supporter of Linux and other open source software, particularly through its testing, certification and support of Linux on its ProLiant x86 and now Integrity IA-64-based servers. But despite its top market position, the company has also historically been overshadowed by others similarly supporting Linux and open source.


    HP recognizes that users and customers – in financial services, insurance, telecommunications, healthcare, and among other early adopters – no longer need to be convinced on Linux. What they need now is guidance on adapting their strategy and effectively incorporating Linux and other open source software.

    More is available in the HP Spotlight report, which is available to existing 451 Group clients. Non-clients, as always, may apply for trial access via the same link.

  • Desktop

    • Memo From Dell: Ubuntu Linux Is Safer Than Windows

      Even as Dell ships millions of Windows 7 systems, the PC giant is making a bold statement on its web site. Indeed, if you look hard enough you’ll find Dell stating that “Ubuntu is safer than Microsoft Windows.” Moreover, Dell quietly says it plans to ship Ubuntu 10.04 systems in mid-2010. Here’s the scoop from The VAR Guy.

      Visit Dell.com/ubuntu and you’ll find a “Top Ten” list of “things you should know about Ubuntu.” Item number 6 on Dell’s list states:

      * “6) Ubuntu is safer than Microsoft® Windows® The vast majority of viruses and spyware written by hackers are not designed to target and attack Linux.”

  • Audiocasts

  • Linux Foundation

    • Making Open-Source Software Free and Fabulous

      Linux, by being truly open, lets hardware vendors and network operators offer an attractive code base that they can build their own applications and services on top of to more equally balance profits. Those include app stores, online music services, and add-on hardware.

      Does Linux have a shot at challenging Apple’s dominance? We’ve seen this movie before. There was an Apple of the business computing market not so long ago. Sun Microsystems’ high-end servers made the company a darling of information technology departments, Internet startups, and Wall Street investors in the late ’90s and 2000. Linux was the underdog. A decade later, Sun no longer exists and Linux and Windows rule the data center.

      The control and flexibility that hardware vendors and network operators gain with Linux, plus the ability to share research and development costs and move faster, make Linux a powerful choice for mobile computing development. The computer industry is seeing a seismic shift wherein longtime Microsoft partners such as Intel and Hewlett-Packard are making huge bets on Linux, relegating Windows to a lesser role. This was inconceivable a decade ago.

      Apple has set a high bar, no doubt. But if you don’t believe Linux can beat an entrenched market leader, just ask the folks who used to run Sun.

    • Counting the Cost of Free: What Value, Linux?

      Bentley: Your study found that it would cost $1.4 billion for a company to build the Linux kernel from scratch today, and $10.8 billion to build an entire Linux distribution similar to Fedora 9. Can you explain how you reached those figures?

      McPherson: The conclusions were reached by using David Wheeler’s well-known SLOC tool, SLOCCount, which makes use of the industry standard COnstructive COst MOdel (COCOMO). This methodology takes into account lines of code written, the appropriate number of labor years, and salary adjustments for inflation. We wanted to come up with a real number based on the one thing you can quantify in open source — code. We used a well-regarded methodology and tool that had been used before. Instead of making random projects, we thought this was the best way to approach it.

      Bentley: Why the Fedora community distribution and not another?

      McPherson: Fedora is the basis for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which represents a large percentage of the Linux market. This provided us with a very relevant model to assess. Also, David A. Wheeler had used Red Hat for his study in 2002. OpenSuse and Debian/Ubuntu would, of course, also be great targets for this study. We may do that at a later date. We also would like to use an embedded distribution.


      Bentley: Do the findings have added significance in light of the current economic climate?

      McPherson: I think so. Linux has always been a lower-cost alternative to Windows, but this report illustrates its economic impact on technology innovation. It’s exciting to see how the collaborative development model is fueling a new category of devices and technologies that would be at least a decade into the future if it weren’t for Linux. Let’s remember that in software, time is money; oftentimes time is more important than money. For a company like Google or Intel to be able to make use of this code that has taken years to develop, drives innovation and keeps costs low for consumers.

  • Kernel Space

    • Where The Btrfs Performance Is At Today

      For testing we used a ZaReason Verix notebook that we are currently reviewing. This notebook that is based upon an MSI MS-1656 has an Intel Core i7 Q720 processor, 6GB of system memory, an 80GB Intel SSDSA2MH08 SSD, and a NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250M GPU. We loaded Ubuntu 10.04 LTS on this powerful notebook with the Linux 2.6.35-rc1 kernel while continuing to use X.Org Server 1.7.6, GCC 4.4.3, and the GNOME 2.30.0 desktop.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • Announcing the KDE e.V. Supporting Membership

        This morning KDE e.V., the legal organization backing the KDE community, launched its Supporting Membership programme under the slogan “Join the Game”. The Join the Game programme strengthens the bonds between KDE e.V. and the wider community and provides a more sustainable and independent source of income for KDE activties. By becoming part of KDE e.V. as a Supporting Member you can help to keep the KDE servers running, fund developer meetings, let developers organize and attend conferences and trade shows and protect the legal interests of the KDE community — this is all handled by the KDE e.V. in support of the KDE community.

      • KDE Software Compilation 4.5 Beta2 Release Announcement

        Today, KDE has released the second beta version of what is to become KDE SC 4.5.0 in August 2010. KDE SC 4.5 Beta2 is targeted at testers and those that would like to have an early look at what’s coming to their desktops and netbooks this summer. KDE is now firmly in beta mode, meaning that the primary focus is on fixing bugs and preparing the stable release of the software compilation this summer. Over the last two weeks, roughly since the first beta, 1459 new bugs have been reported, and 1643 bugs have been closed, so we’re witnessing a lot of stabilization activity right now. More testing is in place, however, while the restless developers continue to create a rock-stable 4.5.0.

      • Second Beta for KDE SC 4.5 Available for Testing
      • Review: Amarok 2.3.1

        I only used Amarok lightly on KDE 3, so I am not equipped to answer claims that the recent releases still lag behind the 1.x releases (although I might some day investigate by looking at Pana, a project whose purpose is continue the development of Amarok’s first version.

        However, with five releases, Amarok’s second series is approaching maturity in its own right. Although some of the newest features are less than perfect I appreciate the Amarok team’s constant efforts to improve the application, and to accommodate a variety of user styles. Despite a few imperfections, it remains my music player of choice — and the 2.3.1 release simply reinforces my preference.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • New module decisions for GNOME 3.0

        Following some lengthy discussions within the GNOME community, release manager Vincent Untz has published a summary of the new modules to be included in the next major release of the GNOME desktop environment for Linux and Unix. GNOME 3.0, scheduled to arrive in September of this year, will not include the GNOME Activity Journal, formerly known as GNOME Zeitgeist. The Activity Journal allows users to locate documents chronologically and supports tagging and relationships between groups of files. According to Untz, it will not be included because it “needs more integration with the rest of the desktop and the overall GNOME design; right now, it feels too much like a stand alone application.”

  • Distributions

    • Gentoo

      • Fwd: Thanks from a Gentoo user

        The mail below reached the PR team today. I felt like sharing it with you.

      • blu-ray on gentoo

        I’m pretty excited because I got my first BD-ROM drive last night from NewEgg, a LITE-ON iHOS104-06. That means I can do some real testing, ripping and playing around.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Review: PCLinuxOS 2010 Gnome – With Screenshots

        I know I said I would review Xubuntu next, and keep PCLOS Gnome for the July edition of SaGeek MAG, but I wanted something other than a Gnome Distro to review for the MAG, and I only had the 10.04 RC available of Xubuntu, not the final release. Hence PCLOS 2010 Gnome it is for tonights review.

        Well how did it perform?


        PCLinuxOS is good, but not good enough. The Gnome edition especially needs some sanding on the edges, and then some polish on top of that. I would recommend the KDE edition over the Gnome edition any day, but as far as Gnome based distros goes it loses out to some really serious competitors, and this is reflected in my comparative scoring.

        There are many little touches that give me hope for the future of PCLOS, help menus, auto installer for OpenOffice – little things that might just make this the next best Gnome distro to arrive. Right now it just falls short of Ubuntu’s 3/5 Q-rating.

    • Fedora

      • Why I’m still using Fedora 13

        I must say I’m impressed with the latest Fedora. I haven’t met any deal-breakers for me yet, but then again, I’ve only used it for a week. Still, there’s much to like.

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • What indicator applets were made for: Mock-up Power Manager Applet for Ubuntu

        Power management in Ubuntu is a largely poor effort – particularly as Ubuntu stretches it’s leg in the field of mobile computing devices; users need a more coherent and accessible way to control power settings. Users currently need to use 3 (!) applets in-order to manage the oft-most power-related used features of screen brightness, CPU performance and battery life indication.

      • Canonical developing Ubuntu OS for tablets

        Canonical is preparing a version of the Ubuntu OS for tablet computers as the company looks to extend its presence in the mobile space, a company executive said.

        Tablets with the Ubuntu OS could become available late in winter 2011, said Chris Kenyon, Canonical’s vice president of OEM services. The OS will be a lightweight version of Linux with a simplified, touch-friendly user interface.

      • 10.10

        • Chromium default Browser for UNE 10.10

          Firefox will surely remain available in the repositories, so there will be an open door for everyone who, like me, is more comfortable using it. My concern is that Canonical is apparently sacrificing some of its original values, like security and reliability, in favor of the “flavor of the month”. I didn’t understand the excessive push on social interaction tools and now I don’t understand getting rid of an Internet browser which has been their flagship for so long, which is also an industry standard. Do they think popular is better? Hard to tell, but with all the bugs pending fixing, I find it funny that they actually waste a second thinking of replacing the Internet browser.

        • 5 new things can happen in Ubuntu 10.10

          It really sounds great when canonical announces new Version of Ubuntu . Personally i always look forward for new things and changes . In this post i am going to discuss about new changes in Ubuntu 10.10 which is going to happen .Till now only alpha-I version have been released .

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Make your fridge run Linux!

      OMG, what? My refrigerator, that thingie that keeps all them foods and whatnot cool and edible can run Linux? Well, definitely. And in this article, I will show you how.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Innovation: Still Open for Business

    These days it’s hard to get excited about anything short of the most innovative solutions. Still, it takes time and effort to stay on top of it all and then be prepared to sell it internally to your organization. Linux, largely due to its roots in the open source community, consistently leads the market with rapid innovation and feature-rich development.

  • Can FOSS Skills Be Measured?

    Sure, FOSS is fun, but is it profitable? Or is it just a spare-time hobby? There are actually two sides to FOSS: FOSS as free and open source software for a set of tools and platforms; and FOSS as a methodology for the development of software. One cannot exist without the other. And the reason for the superiority of FOSS tools is precisely because they are the result of FOSS methodology.

    The FOSS software development/deployment methodology — a child of the Internet, and which is based on openness, sharing and collaboration — is also a powerful tool to develop ‘soft skills’ like the ability to communicate, search for and find solutions, and to think out-of-the-box. Over a long time, I have noticed that people who actually participate in projects following the FOSS methodology are eminently better programmers and far better at communicating, solving problems and collaborating, than people who follow the ‘closed methodology’.

  • 10 considerations for maintaining open source in your organization

    So you’ve decided to use some open source code in your organization, company, or enterprise. What’s the same or different about maintaining open source versus traditional software. Here are ten things to consider:

    1. The term “maintenance” can be considered one component of “subscription, support, and maintenance” or it can be used more generally to mean “now that’ve I’ve installed this software, how do I make it do what I want, patched, and updated?”.


  • OSI Committee Chairs Election for 2010-2011

    Earlier this month, the OSI board held elections for the organization’s committees. Board members interested in working on OSI initiatives such as membership, education, policy and economic development, outreach submitted their candidacy to the board. Based on the slate of candidates, the board voted the following chairpersons to lead each OSI initiative for the next year.

  • Brazil Wants To Be The Next India and Open Source Is Their Secret Weapon

    Going back 5 or 6 years, Brazil tried to free itself of Microsoft’s stranglehold on the software it used. It put a big push into supporting, using and lead development in open source software technology.

    Much the same way it supported the use of bio-fuels like ethanol, this has led to Brazil being less dependent on Microsoft and other closed source software. Additionally, a booming open source development community has been fostered and cultivated.

  • Ingres VectorWise goes GA, open source by end of year

    Ingres have made Ingres VectorWise generally available to download for free evaluation or commercially licence and say that an open source release for the accelerated database technology should be expected by the end of the year.

  • Not All Open Source is Created Equal

    It became obvious that like any social network, open source has its own code of conduct that needs to be adhered to. Whether you think of it as business environment or community process, people that are part of a particular social network do not appreciate individuals (or companies) that diverge from these agreed-upon “rules.”

  • Open Source Lightworks Makes Centurion An Epic

    Award-winning editor Chris Gill utilized Lightworks to edit Neil Marshall’s latest adrenaline-fused thriller, Centurion.

    Building upon blockbuster buzz, including Centurion, EditShare recently announced plans to make Lightworks into the most advanced Open Source editing solution available in the industry. Beginning in Q3 of this year, a free Lightworks download will be made available to all users.

    Customers will be able to familiarize themselves with the Lightworks editing system and its multitude of features including: true shared projects, instant save, 3D editorial functionality, Universal Media File support, native RED editing, native 2K support with DPX and RED, dual outputs, and a format-independent timeline.

  • Government

    • EU warns against proprietary software

      The European Union’s top Internet official took aim at Microsoft Corp. on Thursday, warning that governments can accidentally lock themselves into one company’s software for decades by setting it as a standard for their technology systems.

      EU Internet Commissioner Neelie Kroes, in her previous post as EU antitrust chief, fined Microsoft hundreds of millions of euros (dollars) in a lengthy row over the company’s refusal to share some data with rivals and the tying of a Web browser to a best-selling operating system.

      She now says she wants to draw up detailed guidelines for European governments to encourage them to require other software, especially programs based on open source code that is freely shared between developers.

    • MT: Directive to boost uptake of open source

      Malta’s public administration wants its institutions to increase their use of open source software. In a directive published early last week, the government says it also wants to share more of its own applications by publishing them using the European Union’s open source licence (EUPL).


  • Environment

    • Inhofe: Fiorina ‘is supporting’ my push to gut the Clean Air Act, agrees climate change is a ‘hoax’

      Today on Capitol Hill, Americans for Prosperity, the corporate front group founded and funded by David Koch of the oil conglomerate Koch Industries, hosted an event to urge the passage of Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-AK) resolution to gut the Clean Air Act’s power to regulate carbon emissions. Several Republican Senators came to the AFP event to encourage support for the resolution, which was drafted by lobbyists from the coal and oil industry.

      After the event, ThinkProgress spoke to one of the speakers, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), about his support for Carly Fiorina (R-CA), the U.S. Senate candidate to emerge from the primary last night. Inhofe gave Fiorina an early endorsement, and his nephew, Fred Davis, created the infamous “demon sheep” ads for Fiorina’s campaign.

  • Finance

    • Trial Begins for French Trader Accused of Costing a Bank Billions

      It took Jérôme Kerviel, the celebrity rogue trader who stands accused of losing billions of euros at the French bank Société Générale, 10 minutes to make it through the scrum of microphones and journalists outside a courtroom Tuesday.

    • Goldman’s Hudson Mezz CDO Is Now Focus Of Brand New SEC Probe

      As disclosed earlier, Australia’s Basis Yield Alpha sued Goldman today for failing to “disclose material information knowing that, by this omission, information that they did disclose was rendered misleading.” That lawsuit opens the way for every single investor who ever bought a CDO from Goldman as a primary issuer (not in the secondary market). As we have pointed out previously, Goldman and BP will soon be competing over which firm has more active lawsuits against it. On the other hand, Goldman may offset some costs by IPOing the largest corporate litigation firms, as their partners will soon be rolling in the dough. While completely impossible, the mutual conflicts of interest in the risk factors of such a prospectus would make for a comic book all on its own.

    • Ex-Fla. lawyer gets 50 years for Ponzi scheme

      Disbarred attorney Scott Rothstein, whose seemingly unlimited wealth bought palatial homes, exotic cars and mega-yachts, was sentenced Wednesday to 50 years in prison for operating a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme using faked legal settlements.

    • Timberwolf Lawsuit: Goldman Sachs Sued By Australian Hedge Fund Over ‘Sh–ty Deal’

      In addition to generating some laughs and populist outrage during a contentious Senate hearing in April, Goldman Sachs’s infamous “shitty deal” is also turning into a major headache for the embattled firm.

      Today, Goldman was sued for securities fraud by an Australian hedge fund, which claims that it was suckered into buying $81 million of toxic subprime mortgage securities, which led to the collapse of the fund, according to a lawsuit obtained by Huffington Post.

      Basis Yield Alpha Fund claims that Goldman engaged in a “series of fraudulent and deceitful acts or practices” and “put profits before integrity,” according to its complaint filed in Manhattan federal court. The fund is seeking to recover more than $1 billion in total damages.

    • Bad News for Banksters
    • Unemployment and Despair

      Americans who have been unemployed for more than six months are much more likely to report having emotional distress than people who have been unemployed for a shorter period, according to new Gallup survey data.

    • Wall Street’s Naked Swindle

      The nation’s largest financial players are able to write the rules for own their businesses and brazenly steal billions under the noses of regulators, and nothing is done about it. A thing so fundamental to civilized society as the integrity of a stock, or a mortgage note, or even a U.S. Treasury bond, can no longer be protected, not even in a crisis, and a crime as vulgar and conspicuous as counterfeiting can take place on a systematic level for years without being stopped, even after it begins to affect the modern-day equivalents of the Rockefellers and the Carnegies. What 10 years ago was a cheap stock-fraud scheme for second-rate grifters in Brooklyn has become a major profit center for Wall Street. Our burglar class now rules the national economy. And no one is trying to stop them.

    • House duo backs banks on cards

      The fee issue is emerging as one of the biggest battles in the issue as House and Senate lawmakers look this month toward a conference agreement to resolve scores of differences in the legislation. Congress is planning to approve the overhaul package, stretching more than 1,500 pages, before the Fourth of July recess.

    • Blanche Lincoln fends off Bill Halter in Arkansas

      Sen. Blanche Lincoln beat back a ferocious Democratic challenge from Lt. Gov. Bill Halter in Tuesday’s Arkansas runoff, holding off the hard-charging lieutenant governor whose campaign became a priority for unions and the progressive movement.

      Lincoln’s victory presented a stinging rebuke to organized labor, including the Service Employees International Union and to progressive groups such as MoveOn.org and Democracy for America and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which poured millions of dollars into television ads, phone calls and ground troops in an attempt to upend the two-term incumbent.

    • Reversing the revolving door

      The career path for congressional aides with an eye for big money used to be clear: Toil in anonymity for years in a Hill office before cashing in with a lobbying gig or heading to a Wall Street powerhouse for a consulting job.

      Now it’s the revolving door in reverse.

      Capitol Hill has become a magnet for some former financial industry executives, who have traded high-flying jobs for the grind of congressional hearings and committee markups. Some are taking Hill salaries that would have been a mere Christmas bonus on Wall Street. One former Lehman Brothers analyst still calls his buddies in the trading pit in New York. Another who did work for the defunct investment giant landed a spot in a congressional office — as an unpaid intern.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Risky Business #154 — Adrian Lamo: Why I turned informer

      In this week’s feature interview we chat with Adrian Lamo. Best known as the “homeless hacker,” Lamo is in the news again over his decision to inform on US Army Specialist Bradley Manning, the alleged leaker of the so-called “Collateral Murder” video published by Wikileaks in April.

    • Scott Horton Interviews Daniel Ellsberg

      Daniel Ellsberg, the man who leaked the Pentagon Papers, discusses Specialist Bradley Manning’s arrest for passing classified information to Wikileaks, the unfortunate negative connotations of the “whistleblower” moniker, how Obama has decriminalized torture, 260,000 possible sources of embarrassment for the State Department and the Obama administration’s eager prosecution of whistleblowers.

    • Conversations with History: Daniel Ellsberg

Clip of the Day

Imran Chaudhry on Meet the MySQL Database (2006)

Links 10/6/2010: New Chrome OS Details Surface; Ubuntu UK Survey

Posted in News Roundup at 7:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Free software edge to forge ahead

    CMRIT students, meanwhile, are preparing to work on ORCA, a screen-reading software used by the visually challenged on Ubuntu (Linux) which needs further enhancements. “We are also creating a whole new desktop environment for engineering students to work entirely on Gnu-Linux,” Abhinav said.

    MSRIT conducts Mukthi, an annual developer event to work with GLUGs from across the City and interact with those working on specific platforms. CMRIT also holds monthly events to create an environment of learning for students.

    Senthil believes the activities would stand the students in a good stead in finding jobs. With companies like Google and Fedora coming out to select interns to work with them for a sizable scholarship, he said interest in Free Software would soon spread to other colleges.

  • For Linux, untapped opportunities are huge

    The Linux now seems to make swift inroads to hyped product segments including tablets, smartphones, and TVs, cited related reports. Based on the number of products running Linux unveiled at Computex, market watchers are stating that Linux has a long way to go ahead.

  • Analysts: Linux will be ruling in the years to come

    There is a chance that Linux will really take the lead in many areas: tablets smartphones, and TVs, analysts say. One of the major indications is the increasing number of new tablets in the market, running Android Linux or other embedded Linuxes.

  • Acer

    • Acer bets on emerging markets for expansion

      Mr. Lanci emphasises that going Open Source is critical to the future of computing. He confirmed that Acer’s much-talked-about notebook PC (that will run on Google’s Chrome Operating system) is indeed on the anvil. “We are working closely with Google on this,” he said. He had earlier announced that Acer’s yet-to-be-named Tablet PC will also run on the Open Source operating system Android. “Android is very good, particularly in terms of Internet browsing and connectivity. It is efficient and light enough not to overload the CPU. Also, from the consumer point of view, Open Source is the most sensible option,” he said reiterating his commitment to Open Source products. “It is no longer just a Wintel world,” he added.

    • Acer will Showcase the First Netbook with Google Chrome OS

      Acer, the Taiwan base computer manufacturer is set to showcase their new Netbooks that are incorporated with the Google Chrome Operating System. According to the computer manufacturer they will be launching and showcasing their Chrome OS powered netbooks at a tradeshow the Computex Taipei show on June 1-5.

  • Desktop

    • Ubuntu Linux wins over Windows power user

      I quickly discovered that as far as an operating system and GUI, Ubuntu/Gnome is every bit as good as the Windows I know so well and it stacks up fine to the desktop Mac we have, too. The Mac is slicker, but for a home PC, I don’t care. What I want is …

      1) Software, preferably free– stuff that I need (word processor, HTML editor, etc.) and apps that I want (games, mostly). Ubuntu had all of this in droves, out of the box, though it wasn’t perfect (more on that soon).
      2) The ability to easily find my files and figure out how to organize apps and data.
      3) Speed. (The Mac seems to have both Windows and my Linux machine beat on this, but its also got the newest, most powerful hardware)

    • Donate Your Old Computer To Linux Against Poverty

      Linux Against Poverty is currently collecting used computers, which they will refurbish and donate to kids who don’t have a computer at home. Last year, the effort rebuilt more than $35,000 worth of computers, and the group has raised their goal to $50,000 this year. (Austinist is a media sponsor of this year’s event.)

  • HPC

    • Customized Storage Solution Simplifies Scaling for Research Computing

      Dell and Terascala today announced the Dell | Terascala HPC Storage Solution, a storage solution for Linux clusters designed to enable efficiencies in high-performance computing environments by scaling to support massive amounts of data.

    • Researchers hope to build autonomous ‘Batmobile’

      In part, he added, that’s because, as unfunded university researchers, he and Cox are running their experiments on Linux computers, and Nvidia’s GPUs are the best option for that operating system. Plus, he said, Nvidia is offering the research team a powerful software stack that helps with coding the GPUs.

    • IBM tunes math on Power/AIX boxes

      IBM has also goosed its Parallel Environment for Linux with a V5.2 release, adding in more parallel programming APIs and providing an Eclipse plug-in that lets the HPC Toolkit to snap into Eclipse and garb information from the Parallel Environment as HPC applications are running to allow them to analyze and then tweak the apps to get better performance out of them. PE for Linux V5.2 is supported on Novell’s SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 on IBM’s own Power Systems machines and runs on Red Hat’s Enterprise Linux 5.4 on x64-based servers. It will be available on June 11.

  • Ciena

  • Fog Computing

    • SingleOS Adds IP Based Virtual Hosting To Fuscan Linux Cloud

      SingleOS ( http://www.singleos.com ) announced that it completed the integration of IP based virtual hosting service with cPanel/WHM in its Fuscan EHA (fuscan.com/enterprise-hosting-automation) cloud automation platform. EHA is an automation layer part of Fuscan Linux Cloud (fuscan.com). It enables running different hosting automation software on top of the Fuscan Cloud platform.

    • TurnKey Linux: Launch Open Source Apps in Amazon EC2

      Never underestimate the power of Linux developers with a goal. TurnKey Hub, which makes it easier, faster, and cheaper to leverage Amazon EC2 and the cloud at large, is worth keeping an eye on as it matures more fully.

    • European cloud providers expect business to expand, says IDC

      The survey showed that European cloud providers are running infrastructures that are much closer to those of traditional enterprises than the global providers. Many of those providers use open source, with 56% of servers running Linux, 81% of organisations standardising on Apache, or a mix of Apache and Microsoft’s IIS, and 69% standardising on MySQL.

  • Google

    • Google morphs Chrome OS into netbook thin client

      Google’s Chrome OS — the operating system that moves all apps and data into a web browser — will provide remote access to “legacy PC applications” through a mystery process the company calls Chromoting, according to an email from a Google employee.

    • Google pays $2,000 for report of a vulnerability in Chrome

      Google has paid out its highest sum yet, $2,000, for the discovery of a vulnerability found in its Chrome browser. The recipient is developer Sergey Glazunov, who found a DOM method-related means of circumventing the same origin policy. Details of the vulnerability are not yet publicly available, but it is likely that it could allow a web page to access content from other web pages. Google classifies the risk as high. Update 5.0.375.70 for Windows, Mac and Linux resolves the problem.

    • More Details on Google Cloud Print for Chrome OS

      Google Chrome OS has set itself quite a hard-to-reach goal, namely to make everything a web app. Google has said from the beginning that there will be no native applications for Chrome OS except the Chrome browser itself. While web apps today are capable of amazing things, nobody, not even everyone at Google, believes that they can replace any native app and OS capability out there.

  • Ballnux

    • Samsung News Roundup

      When it comes to open source, nothing is more known than Google’s Android operating system, and Samsung has just announced their new Android device. Following the upcoming Android smart phone Samsung i9000 Galaxy S handset, there is a new Galaxy series device: the Galaxy Tab.

  • Kernel Space

    • Is Torvalds reducing bloat in Linux 2.6.35 ?

      Linus Torvalds has commented in the past that he thought that the Linux kernel was too bloated. To date though, not much (if anything) has been done to combat Linux bloat, but that might just be changing with the upcoming Linux 2.6.35 release.


      I’ve heard kernel developer Andrew Morton answer questions about how to address Linux bloat. Basically his standard answer is that if someone wants to tackle the problem they should go out and do it.

    • File Systems

      • When open source licenses collide

        It’s an attempt to port the file system of Open Solaris into a version of Linux, and was created by the good people at the Lawrence Livermore Lab.

        The problem, as Brian Behlendorf (above) noted at Github, is that the licenses are incompatible. ZFS must be offered under Sun’s CDDL. Linux, of course, is licensed under the GPL. You can’t combine the two.

        It would be like, as the late Richard Pryor noted in one of his best monologues, trying to mix regular milk with low-fat. It would explode.

        There are some kludgy work-arounds, Behlendorf noted. You can implement ZFS in a user space with FUSE, making it a derived work. Or you can modify and build it separately from the Linux, then build the combination yourself. But this is very hard.

      • CTERA Networks Announces Advanced Snapshot Capability in Next3 File System for Linux
  • Applications

  • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

    • Fluffy Linux – For Those Who Like Pink, Bunnies And Unicorn

      Pink, Bunnies and Unicorns are what you will most probably find in a little girl’s room and certainly not in a Linux distro. But now there is Fluffy Linux with all the pink-ness (if there is such a word), bunnies, unicorn and, of course, fluffiness you can find.

  • Distributions

    • Sabayon

      • Sabayon Linux 5.3 adds new installer

        The Sabayon Linux developers have released the GNOME and KDE variants of version 5.3 of their Linux distribution. Sabayon, named after an egg-yolk based dessert, is derived from Gentoo Linux and is aimed at providing a “complete out-of-the-box experience” while being both stable and versatile.

      • Sabayon Linux 5.3 adds Anaconda
    • New Releases

      • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 100

        · Announced Distro: Parsix GNU/Linux 3.5
        · Announced Distro: SystemRescueCd 1.5.5
        · Announced Distro: Mandriva Linux 2010.1 RC2
        · Announced Distro: Ubuntu 10.10 Alpha 1
        · Announced Distro: Pardus Linux 2009.2
        · Announced Distro: Untangle 7.3
        · Announced Distro: Sabayon Linux 5.3
        · Announced Distro: Ultimate Edition 2.7

    • Red Hat Family

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu Will Be Able to Restore Applications and Settings

        The following is not a rumor, it’s something that will (finally) become reality in future releases of the Ubuntu operating system. First of all, let me offer you a simple example: I want to reinstall my Ubuntu system and I have to back up a part of the settings from various applications (such as Firefox’s bookmarks, passwords and settings; Filezilla’s site manager list; some Pidgin files; Thunderbird’s RSS feeds; VirtualBox settings and virtual hard drives; and some other files), not to mention that I have to remember and reinstall most of the applications I use, how I arranged the shortcuts on the AWN dock, and many other desktop settings. How long will this take? A lot of my precious time!

      • Maverick Community Team Plans
      • Canonical Renews the Ubuntu Certification Programme

        Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, announced today that it has extended and revised its Hardware Certification Programme for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and Original Design Manufacturers (ODMs). Canonical has made the changes to better align certification with the manufacturer’s needs and also to encompass the broader spectrum of use cases for Ubuntu as it becomes a more established part of the OEM ecosystem.

      • 10 things I don’t like about Ubuntu 10.04
      • Digital Planet

        He also interviews Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Ubuntu, about the evolution of open source software in South Africa.

      • Ubuntu Growing Enormously In The Corporate UK

        Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, and the Ubuntu UK Community are jointly hosting an event aimed at introducing Ubuntu direct to UK businesses.

        Ubuntu is extremely popular with desktop users and widely used in UK datacentres as a server technology. The ‘Ubuntu In Business’ event provides a forum for IT professionals to get a clearer idea of the potential of Ubuntu and understand the applications, services and training options that abound for this product in desktop, server and cloud environments.

        The event itself will provide an introduction to Ubuntu at both a practical and strategic level to how companies are deploying it today and to the applications companies can deploy on it. In keeping with the hands-on feel, attendees will be able to view product demonstrations while networking with Canonical, partner and community representatives. The event will conclude with a panel discussion where they can quiz a variety of open-source advocates on the value of pursuing an Ubuntu strategy in their organisation.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • BeagleBoard-xM has USB and 1GHz Cortex-A8

      Users can also perform native development of various operating systems, such as Ubuntu.

    • Teleca Joins the GENIVI Alliance

      Teleca brings its best-in-class services in Open Source software development, integration, customization, and testing to the unifying force in Mobile Linux.

    • Phones

      • HP says it’s in the smartphone market, after all

        Apparently what Hurd was really trying to say was that HP is excited about using webOS as the foundation for all types of smaller web-connected devices, and smartphones are just a part of that universe — a part HP intends to pursue. Phew.

      • Weinschenk: What does the report look at?

        Fodale: The report is a look at the next generation of open source, Linux-based smartphones. I am working on another report now that brings in other mobile devices, such as netbooks, media tablets and multifunction Internet devices. Essentially, this report is a deep dive looking at Linux. It’s huge, it’s all over the place. The report is a deep dive on the top five or six Linux distributions for mobile phones.

      • MeeGo

        • Mobile computer for power users

          But, first, let me take you through the hardware. The N900 is a bit thick, because of its sliding keypad. There is no rocker button on the keypad and no pointer to control either. There are four arrow keys for scrolling around the web page. It is also a touch-screen handset, and a stylus is tucked into the keypad just in case you have oversized fingertips to press the application shortcuts and widgets.

          This smartphone is driven by an ARM Cortex A8. It has 1 GB memory just for applications and a whopping 32 GB to store up to 7,000 songs or 40 hours of DVD-quality video. If that is not enough, you can still add another 16 GB with a microSD.

        • MeeGo is coming
        • MeeGo Bug Jar 2010.23
      • N900

      • Android

        • Nexus One, Nokia X6 coming to South Korea in June

          Like Japan, South Korea has a wireless industry that’s typically leaps and bounds ahead of just about everywhere else in the world — but the country has never been a Symbian or Android stronghold, so it’s actually not much of a surprise that two big recent releases are just now heading over there this Summer.

        • Android mobile devices with MIPS architecture

          Like ARM, MIPS is not a processor manufacturer, but rather a seller of (ARM incompatible) processor designs, which have, up to now, been used largely in the embedded field. An Android port aimed primarily at set-top boxes has been in the works for some time, however plans are now afoot for the first mobile device. At last week’s Computex PC trade show taking place in Taiwan, MIPS, together with mobile phone specialist SySDSoft, has announced an implementation of the LTE mobile telephony standard for MIPS processors.

        • Android OS and Others Drive Growth of Mobile Linux

          You might call mobile Linux the little operating system that could, or at least is able to since the introduction of Google’s Android OS helped push mobile Linux into the top ranks.

        • Engadget

          • Engadget’s Dell Streak review, is it more appealing than the HTC EVO 4G?

            As Joel pointed out back in January Michael Dell showed a glimpse of the Dell Android tablet then known as the Dell Mini 5. The device launched this past week on O2 in the UK and is officially known as the Dell Streak. The folks at Engadget picked one up and posted a full review of this 5 inch display tablet. The Dell Streak should be launching here in the US in July for around $500. With my new Sprint HTC EVO 4G sporting similar specs and a 4.3 inch display for $200, I have to wonder if the slightly larger display will appeal to many looking for an iPad alternative.

          • Nexus One gets USB host driver from a dude with an oscilloscope (video)

            For Sven Killig, running Android 2.2 wasn’t enough. No sir, this dude wanted even more power for his Nexus One, so he went ahead and penned a few lines of code that have allowed his Googlephone to act as a USB host.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Roundup of Linux distributions that play (mostly) well with the HP 2133

        I eventually settled on MinBuntu, a custom version of Ubuntu 8.04 that had been tweaked to support the HP Mini 2133. But a funny thing happened over the past few years — a number of other Linux distributions have been updated to add support for most netbooks, including those with VIA processors.

    • Tablets

      • Canonical developing Ubuntu OS for tablets

        Canonical is preparing a version of the Ubuntu OS for tablet computers as the company looks to extend its presence in the mobile space, a company executive said on Wednesday.

        Tablets with the Ubuntu OS could become available late in next year’s first quarter, said Chris Kenyon, Canonical’s vice president of OEM (original equipment manufacturer) services. The OS will be a lightweight version of Linux with a simplified, touch-friendly user interface.

      • Tablets take over Taipei

        Google, by making its Android software open source and allowing anyone to develop anything without all of the cloak-and-dagger secrecy and restrictions found in the Apple camp, is bound to emerge as the platform of choice sooner or later. Adding to this momentum is the fact that Android will be running on devices from multiple manufacturers and carriers; and that around 57% of Android’s apps are free compared with only 25% of Apple’s, according to analytics from Distimo, a website that monitors app stores. In the world of technology, the two essential ingredients for product success seem to be choice and the f-word – “free” – and Google offers both.

      • Meet the QuokkaPad a 8-inch open-source tablet/e-reader

        The latest e-reader/tablet comes straight from Australia and it’s dubbed QuokkaPad.

      • Android Half-Tablets: Smart Phones with 5 Inch Displays

        A recently leaked image of a Sony Ericsson Android smart phone is gaining plenty of attention. The device is rumored to be a new handset that will not only have the Google open source operating system, but it will be able to be used as a mini tablet and also as a mini netbook.

        These are made possible by a few basic features of the Android devices. The slide out QWERTY keyboard is the first part, while the large 5 inch display and the tilting upper face of the device make up for the whole ensemble. In many ways, there is plenty to be excited about with regards to the new Android device –if it turns out to be true. For now, we can expect plenty of focus on their new device.

      • Arm chief cautious on tablet PCs

        Mr Brown’s caution may be partly explained by Arm’s unsuccessful attempt last year to bring its chips to the traditional PC markets with so-called “smart books”. Smart books are cheap laptop computers that have long battery life and constant internet connectivity because they run on low-power Arm chips and a Linux-based operating system, such as Google’s Android.

        While dozens of prototype smart book models were the focus of last year’s Computex and the Consumer Electronics Show at Las Vegas this year, device makers were never really sold on the concept and few became actual products.

        Arm last week joined forces with IBM and chip companies Freescale, Samsung, ST-Ericsson and Texas Instruments to create Linaro, a company that will accelerate the development of Linux software for devices such as mobile phones, tablet computers and digital TVs.

      • ARM and Intel’s new battleground: the living room

        But with the exception of some small Linux-powered “smartbooks,” ARM has yet to make a dent in general-purpose computing.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source DSTAR Voice — Codec2:

    Development on an open source, freely available alternative to AMBE has been spearheaded by Australian amateur David Rowe, VK5DGR.

  • Grokking Green IT – and why Open Source Helps

    The last point is interesting, because it clearly only really applies to PCs running Windows, with their almost daily patches. Although not immune to security problems, GNU/Linux systems do at least avoid the vast amount of malware that routinely afflicts Windows, with the knock-on benefit that they don’t need to be left on overnight for such anti-virus updates.

  • Synopsys, IEEE push open source modeling standard

    EDA and IP vendor Synopsys Inc. announced the open source availability of its Interconnect Technology Format (ITF) for parasitic modeling and the formation of a technical advisory board (TAB) under the auspices of IEEE Industry Standards and Technology Organization (IEEE-ISTO).

  • Open source could be Brazil’s real advantage

    According to Grynzspan, what started as a protest against Microsoft of sorts motivated thousands of Brazilians to contribute with the development of open-source tools. This market is now very well developed and is hugely attractive – particularly for cash-strapped countries such as the UK – however the Brazilian government needs to do more to unlock that potential and promote it to prospective buyers.

  • Events

    • Canonical to hold “Ubuntu in Business” event

      The half-day will conclude with a panel of Canonical staff, partners and community members and chaired by regular The H columnist Glyn Moody, discussing “The Benefits and Pitfalls of an Open Source Strategy”. The event will be held at The BrickHouse, Brick Lane, London, and registration is free.

    • Open Source Bridge: The City’s Data Will Soon Be Your Oyster

      Plus, there are some fun mashups Ogden has in mind—things that he hopes to be testing sooner rather than later. How about a map that shows every bar in the city—sourced from licensing data—along with the nearest Max or bus line. Sound like something you might be interested in? It’s on the way.

  • SaaS

    • NASA, Japan announce open-source cloud computing collaboration

      NASA and Japan’s National Institute of Informatics (NII) plan to explore interoperability opportunities between NASA’s Nebula Cloud Computing Platform and Japan’s NII Cloud Computing Platform.

    • The Cloud’s Killer Application: Mobile Media?

      While there still seems to be some consternation and confusion among many IT departments as to exactly where cloud computing based services will ultimately be of most use, the unusually named open source cloud provider Funambol is firmly of the belief that rich media over mobile devices holds the key.

  • Databases

    • NoSQL Goes Mobile with the Help of CouchDB

      If there is one aspect of mobility that has yet to live up to user expectations, it’s the ability for data to be accessible in near real-time across multiple devices.

  • Business

    • Large VARs add open source to armoury

      The growing acceptance of open-source software has forced some of the UK’s largest VARs to break from a proprietary-only strategy for the first time.

    • Pentaho Takes Open Source BI On Demand
    • Jon “maddog” Hall Viewpoint: Total Cost vs. Return on Investment

      Why Does FOSS Typically Give Better ROI?

      Imagine if you were trying to glue two glass rods together. Each of the glass rod ends is shiny and smooth, and the glue can’t get a good grip on the glass. It might hold for a few minutes, but eventually the glue will lose its grip. If you could take a bit of sandpaper and rough up the surfaces, the glue could get a better grip, and the rods might stay glued together.

      Consider the same analogy with software: With two pieces of CSPS software you can’t “sand” them to make them integrate better. Any integration has to be done with the provided APIs that you have (if any). With FOSS software, you could change the source code of the two pieces and get them to integrate better. You can formulate a better integration than if the software was “closed.” This is the core of the argument around ROI: the ability to change the software to meet your business needs.

      CSPS advocates will argue that the companies that produce the software can integrate it for you. I find it hard to believe that large software companies will allow the types of integration that will be mentioned in the following ROI examples.

  • Licensing

    • How a Test Suite Can Help Your Open Source Project Grow

      Use these test suites to your advantage, as simulators like them can also help create an organic “buzz” around the project as well. Include the developers’ names on the open-source software license, too. That will also help.

  • Open Hardware

    • xkcd’s Tiniest Open-Source Violin IRL
    • Qbo open source robot gets YouTube channel

      Is getting your very own YouTube channel a measure of success these days? It doesn’t really matter for a robot that has no emotions, although that does not rule them out from getting their own channels either – case in point, the Qbo open source robotics project that comes with their very own YouTube channel you see above, depicting the stereo camera calibration method for the curious.


Clip of the Day

Adam Trickett: Introduction to Perl: The friendly programming language (2006)


Links 9/6/2010: Software Freedom in UK Government, Sharing Recommended

Posted in News Roundup at 11:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish


Free Software/Open Source

  • Government

  • Openness

    • Missing the Message in Nanotechnology

      But this idea of sharing, which is so critical to the advancement of science, is almost anathema to nationalistic aims that fuels so much government nanotech funding. So all of these huge government investments that are supposed to put one country or region ahead of all the others is almost diametrically opposed to the sharing of these facilities. The rub will be that the nanotechnology advancements that these various governments are seeking will not come about through this race to put your region ahead of all the others but sharing your facilities with all the others.

    • Cathy Casserly: 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.

    • What’s the Point of Hacktivism?

      Thanks to the Internet, it’s easy to engage in big issues – environmental crises, oppression, injustice. Too easy: all it takes is a click and that email is winging its way to who knows where, or that tasteful twibbon has been added to your avatar. If you still think this helps much, try reading Evgeny Morozov’s blog Net Effect, and you will soon be disabused (actually, read it anyway – it’s very well written).

    • Why Sharing Will Be Big Business

      In answer to that last question, no and yes: I don’t think we should regard this as old-style rental over the Internet, but a new kind of sharing where people spread the cost of rivalrous goods. However you look at it, though, it is going to be big.


  • Bletchley Park WWII archive to go online

    Millions of documents stored at the World War II code-breaking centre, Bletchley Park, are set to be digitised and made available online.

  • Thinking about democratised curation
  • Science

    • We need to fix peer review now

      Yesterday the UK parliament heard that studies at the University of Texas have shown that homeopathic remedies kill cancer cells while leaving normal cells intact.

      The revelation came from David Tredinnick, who continues to use his position as a public representative to argue for more NHS spending on complementary and alternative medicines.

      To my mind, the fact that this study was mentioned in parliament, and the statement that homeopathy can kill cancer cells is now a matter of public record, is a spectacular failure. But it is not a failure of politics or politicians: it is a failure of science.

    • Genetic Testing Can Change Behavior

      People who find out they have high genetic risk for cardiovascular disease are more likely to change their diet and exercise patterns than are those who learn they have a high risk from family history, according to preliminary research. The findings, from a personalized medicine study at the Coriell Institute for Medical Research, a non-profit research institute based in Camden, NJ, suggest both a potential benefit of genetic testing–inspiring patients to get healthy–and a misunderstanding of the power of genetics.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Hacker turns in US soldier over WikiLeaks Iraq video
    • A very rapid betrayal

      Last year colleagues and I wrote Database State, a report for the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust, which studied 46 systems that keep information on all of us, or at least a significant minority of us. We concluded that eleven of them were almost certainly illegal under human-rights law, and most of the rest had problems. Our report was well received by both Conservatives and Lib Dems; many of its recommendations were adopted as policy.

    • London councils use anti-terror law to catch charity shop donors

      London councils used anti-terror laws to snoop on residents more than 1,000 times in two years, it was revealed today.

  • Environment

    • Timberland takes up forestry management

      It may not surprise you that a company with a tree as its logo spends a lot of time in the forest. But it may surprise you just how involved it is and the level of commitment it has made.


      In a partnership with GreenNet, a Japan-based nongovernmental organization, Timberland plans to restore the desert’s grasslands by developing irrigation and planting new shrubs and trees while educating the local population on more sustainable farming practices.

    • Barbour compares small animals suffocating from oil to people covered in toothpaste.

      On Tuesday, “oil from the Deepwater Horizon disaster hit Mississippi shores for the first time,” covering about two miles of Petit Bois Island’s beach. And that meant more tone-deaf greenwashing from dirty energy lobbyist-turned-Governor Haley Barbour, as reported in this Think Progress repost.

      As ThinkProgress noted, the appearance of oil onshore led Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour to shift his upbeat rhetoric about the approaching oil, acknowledging that “this could turn out to be something catastrophic and terrible.” But after Barbour visited Petit Bois Island yesterday and saw that the oil that came ashore had “been washed away by storms,” he returned to the positive spin, saying, “I don’t think the island was hurt one iota.” Barbour even downplayed concerns about animals being suffocated by the oil in the ocean, comparing it to humans being covered in toothpaste

    • BP’s spill plan: they knew where it would go, that ecology would never recover, “No toxicity studies” on dispersants
    • BP’s Spill Plan: What they knew and when they knew it

      I have obtained a copy of the almost-600-page BP Regional Oil Spill Response Plan for the Gulf of Mexico as of June, 2009, thanks to an insider. Some material has been redacted, but these are the three main takeaways from an initial read. The name of the well has been redacted, but if it’s not Deepwater Horizon, then there’s another rig still out there pumping oil and aimed at Plaquemines Parish.

    • BP capturing ’10,000 barrels of oil’ a day from Gulf of Mexico

      BP’s containment cap is capturing 10,000 barrels of oil a day from the leak in the Gulf of Mexico, the company’s chief executive said today.

    • Oil in the Courts

      In 2008, the Supreme Court gave Exxon Mobil a $2 billion gift by reducing the punitive damage award from $2.5 billion to $507.5 million for the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. The Roberts Court’s willingness to invent a rule capping punitive damages against Exxon does not bode well for those hoping to hold BP accountable for this most recent disaster.

  • Finance

    • Muhammad Yunus: The Missing Link in Capitalism

      Fortunately, human beings are not money-making robots. The truth of the matter is that human beings are actually multi-dimensional beings: All beings have a selfish side. Their happiness comes from many directions, not just from making money.

    • How Foxconn is fixing the global economy

      Wages are rising and the supply of surplus labor in China is vanishing. On these points, just about everyone agrees — although the lightning speed at which it is happening is a source of surprise. But why it is happening is a topic for great debate. In the case of Foxconn, China’s largest employer, a cluster of suicides sparked a media frenzy and international embarrassment. In the case of Honda, good old-fashioned labor organization — strikes! — resulted in a wage increase.

    • Possible Boycott of Nature Publishing Group Journals: an Open Letter from Gary Strong, University Librarian, to UCLA Faculty

      Please see the attached document regarding a possible boycott of Nature Publishing Group journals by UC faculty. We urge you to read this important update, which has been jointly prepared by the University Libraries and the University Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication. Please contact me directly with your comments and concerns.

    • Coins database: Figures show government spent £1.8bn on consultants

      Newly-published Treasury data shows Department of Health spent most, followed by Department for International Development and Home Office

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Please Help Fight EU Search Engine Surveillance
    • Thai and Argentine workers launch global sweatfree garment brand
    • On the virtues of keeping OpenStreetMap uncensored

      Mikel Maron reports on an interesting development in the OpenStreetMap community of volunteer mappers — the Russian OSM community is debating whether Russian military installations should be removed from the OSM dataset, on security grounds.

    • Twitter With Chinese Characteristics: 马马虎虎?

      Perhaps it is because the Chinese authorities see things the same way that they have blocked Twitter through much of the past year. Through the past 48 hours, of course, they have blocked Foursquare, apparently to avoid the possibility of even a virtual “demonstration” in Tiananmen Square on the 21st anniversary of the crackdown there. (My Beijing friend Kaiser Kuo archly noted via Twitter: “Finally, the freakin’ GFW does something good and blocks Foursquare. No more ‘mayor of blah blah’ messages in my Twitter stream!”) How this part of the dissent/control balance will swing in the long run is impossible to say. It’s all reminder number five million that today’s Chinese system has big, big strengths and big, largely self-imposed limitations.

  • Copyrights

    • UK Government Uses BitTorrent to Share Public Spending Data

      The UK Government has discovered that BitTorrent is the cheapest and most effective method of sharing large files with the public. As part of the UK Prime Minister’s transparency initiative, the Treasury has today released several torrents with details on how the Government spends the public’s money.

    • ACTA may hamper fight against climate change

      The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) may hamper the fight against climate change by inhibiting the diffusion of green technology, according to the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII).

      Behind closed doors, the European Union, United States, Japan and other trade partners are negotiating an Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. ACTA will contain new international norms for the enforcement of copyrights, trade mark rights, patents and other exclusive rights.

Clip of the Day

Building GUI applications with Python, GTK and Glade (2006)

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