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Links 14/5/2010: Linagora Acquires Mandriva; Smart TVs With Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 7:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 96
  • LinuxCertified Announces its Next Linux Fundamentals course W/free Linux Laptop!
  • The Family Proxy

    At this point many are likely asking how much this costs. If you read my previous article, you would know the answer right away: “It’s free and it’s on Linux”. I suppose I need to preface that last comment with the qualification that you need some old “junky but functional” hardware lying around. There are many different Linux solutions we can deploy to achieve this goal. For this article I have chosen a solution of Arch Linux, Shorewall, and Squid.

    We selected Arch Linux because it is a rolling release and has the latest and greatest packages. If you are not familiar with the phrase “rolling release”, in Linux it indicated a distribution that keeps you up-to-date with the latest software updates via the package manager. You will never have to re-install or upgrade your server from one release version to the next with this style of distribution. The great part about a rolling release on a proxy/firewall setup is that once it’s set up and working correctly, you will not have to go back and completely overhaul the server when a newer distribution update comes out.

  • 10 tech firms that should get more damn respect

    8. Linux

    It’s a movement rather than a firm, of course, but we think Linux still deserves to be here: from making netbooks work to powering Android phones and generally making Microsoft get its act together, Linux has been enormously influential. It might be considered more cool if journalists could get through just one Linux-mentioning article without also mentioning beards and hippies.

  • Facebook Censorship; Won’t Allow Ubuntu Torrent

    Facebook started blocking The Pirate Bay when the site released a new Facebook feature, reported Wired. But it seems the rabbit hole goes deeper. I tried something interesting. I asked a colleague to open The Pirate Bay and searched for a legal copy of Ubuntu Linux. He found one (It’s completely legal to download Gnu/Linux).

  • Firefighters Save Money Switiching to Ubuntu

    One of the cost saving measures fire departments can look at is fairly simple. Switch from Microsoft Windows to Linux and use the Ubuntu Distribution. All of the modern conveniences of a Windows based PC without the headaches.

  • Desktop

  • Fast Boot

    • Online in seconds flat: Quick-starting operating systems

      Second, he notes, many of the quicker operating systems, which tend to run on Linux, are less exposed to attacks than Windows, and hence fundamentally somewhat more secure. That last statement has lost some of its punch with the advent of Windows 7, however, which is better than its predecessors in this regard.

    • Sony Intros Second-Generation VAIO P

      Sony’s refreshed VAIO P introduces a couple of new features worth-mentioning, such as the built-in accelerometer, touchpad, GPS with Digital Compass, 3G and Pre-boot Linux-based OS.

  • Security/Rescue CDs

    • Analyst’s View: Antivirus Rescue CDs

      Rescue CDs work by booting into a different operating system (commonly some form of Linux), which rootkits and other threats that actively resist detection or removal are powerless against, because they never get launched.

    • Antivirus Rescue CDs for Emergency Cleanup

      Most rescue CDs actually boot into Linux, making any infestation by Windows-based malware just plain impossible.

  • Server

  • Google

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Foundation Announces LinuxCon Brazil

      The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced it is expanding its premier Linux conference, LinuxCon, to Brazil. LinuxCon Brazil will take place August 31 – September 1, 2010 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

    • Linux Foundation announces LinuxCon Brazil 2010
    • Linux Foundation Announces LinuxCon Brazil
    • Petabyte storage in a Linux distributed file system

      They do a good job with providing a 3-D model of the design and diagrams that show the components and the power wiring setup. This photo shows Tim Nufire of BackBlaze deploying pods in a rack that “contains just under half a petabyte of storage.” Pretty cool.

    • Kernel Log: New stable kernels and drivers

      At the end of April, the maintainers of the Linux kernel’s Stable Series released and Both versions were released three-and-a-half weeks after their respective predecessors, one containing almost 200 and the other more than 130 patches – it seems that the intervals between new stable kernel releases are becoming slightly longer, and that the number of changes integrated into the new versions is getting somewhat larger.

    • Indian Government Wants Its Own Operating System

      A US-based security expert quoted by the Times of India thinks an open source OS for Indian government computers wouldn’t be such a bad idea, but here’s the thing: There are already several Indian-developed, Linux-based operating systems, including BOSS and the education-oriented E-Swecha, the installation of which Richard Stallman helped oversee at the end of 2008. The Indian government could in theory develop an OS from the ground up without using the Linux kernel at all, but that would be wildly expensive.

  • Applications

    • LiLi USB Creator 2.5

      LiLi USB Creator is a free software for Windows that allows you to create a bootable Live USB key with Linux on it.

    • Proprietary

      • Bricsys Releases Beta Version of Bricscad V10 for LINUX

        Bricsys NV, the developer of Bricscad, announced today that the beta version of Bricscad V10 for LINUX is now available.

        Bricscad V10 is recognized as the number 1 alternative CAD platform for the DWG file format.

      • A Few Comments on Skype

        The Skype CEO recently hinted that they are considering adding mid-call advertisements. See previous paragraph re “pricing packages”. Does this mean there will be adverts running in calls you are paying for?

    • Instructionals

    • Games

      • Adventures in Linux gaming

        It has been an interesting week in the world of Linux games—really in the intersection of Linux and commercial games. First was the announcement of the release of the source code that underlies the Ryzom massively multi-player online role playing game (MMORPG). In addition, though, is word that the Humble Indie Bundle, a collection of cross-platform games being sold using a novel method, generated over $1 million in a week’s time, with roughly a quarter of it coming from Linux users. It has long been said that there is no market for Linux commercial games, but these two events may shine a light on different business models that just might be successful.

      • The video game blog for Tucson, AZ gamers

        The Humble Bundle consists of six PC/Mac/Linux games that you can purchase at whatever price you are willing to pay for them/think they are worth.


        And then there are the people who made it into the Top 10 purchasers with leet-speak (1337 and 31337 for “leet” and “elite/eleet”). Sigh. Predictable yet somehow funny.

      • Steam bound for Linux operating systems

        According to The Telegraph, the digital distribution platform will be available to Linux users “in the coming months”.

  • Distributions

    • Linux fragmentation: good or bad?

      The consumers aren’t going to care about Linux fragmentation because they’re not going to see much of it: they’ll see “Android”, which happens to be built atop a rich stack of Linux kernel and library components. As long as their calls don’t drop and their apps run, they’ll be blissfully ignorant of any Linux fragmentation.

    • Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Linagora Acquires Mandriva

        Mandriva is said to have decided on this a month ago and is looking for potential buyers ever since. A potential buyer includes Linagora, which is a French open-source company. Lingaroa has also confirmed that it is going to acquire Mandriva and they have already started moving Mandriva assets.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu Women Project Team is Being Restructured

        The Ubuntu Women Team is being restructured and a new election process will be put in place to elect the next leaders This time though, there is not one single leader but three leaders being elected.

      • Ubuntu open to greater touch

        Canonical is looking at Ubuntu for in-car systems, tablets, set-top-boxes, and what director of business development Chris Kenyon called “the digital home or something you carry around”.

      • With Ubuntu 10.10 It May Be Easier To Run Wayland

        Beyond working towards the X Server not running as the root user and the X.Org/Mesa/Kernel upgrades planned for Ubuntu 10.10, it may also be easier to test the Wayland Display Server in this Ubuntu “Maverick Meerkat” update due out in October.

        We first talked about Wayland in late 2008 when the project was still in its infancy by Kristian Høgsberg. Wayland is still very much a side-project of Kristian’s that just receives commits every once in a while and has yet to gain any widespread adoption, but it still possesses a lot of progress. Wayland can run dual nested X.Org Servers within it, now runs off Mesa rather than Eagle EGL, supports the KMS page-flipping ioctl, a DRI2 driver is being worked on, and much more. However, it doesn’t do too much yet for the end-user, but that should change once the GTK, Qt, or Clutter tool-kits is properly supported within Wayland. Right now there’s just a basic terminal and a few demo applications that can run within this display server that leverages kernel mode-setting.

      • Variants

        • Linux Mint 9 is Expected to Release Very Soon
        • Ubuntu derivatives flourish

          Custom versions of Ubuntu can offer anything from ease-of-use to a multimedia studio

          Ubuntu 10.04, aka Lucid Lynx, has now been released and work has already started on version 10.10, its successor. But, if Ubuntu 10.04 isn’t your ideal operating system then it’s worth taking a look at some of Ubuntu’s derivative versions. Chances are that one those will suit your needs.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Leading by example: Women in open source

    “It’s counter-intuitive to me,” Sanders said in a recent interview. “I would expect open source to be very open to everybody — It’s collaborative … flexible. There’s so many things I can name about open source that are beneficial.”

  • Servoy Announces Open Source ‘Servoy 5.2′ to Simplify SaaS

    Open source lessens vendor lock-in and boosts the capabilities of both the developer and the platform. Servoy is expected to release the open source version in June. After the release, the source code can be downloaded from the Servoy website.

  • Apache’s Lesson In Radical Transparency

    Transparency on the other hand promotes confidence and community, educates and ultimately empowers. As the web gets richer, the financial and social cost of maintaining secrecy gets higher and higher.

  • Businesses Need Clear Policies For FOSS Contributions

    Businesses give to open source because open source increasingly gives back to businesses.

  • Events

  • SaaS

    • The Cloud Has No Boundaries, It’s Elasticity That Makes It Cloud

      “It isn’t the cloud if it has very firm boundaries”, says Marten Mickos, CEO of Eucalyptus Systems. I had a chance to chat with Marten and Dr. Rich Wolski, CTO and co-founder of Eucalyptus recently about their vision of the future of cloud computing and what role open source will play in it.

  • Oracle

  • Education

    • Kineo collaborates with Tesco to develop new learning academy online using Moodle Open Source LMS

      This landmark project makes pioneering use of open source technologies including Moodle and Joomla to allow Tesco staff to access all their learning needs online for the first time. The eventual scale of the project will make it one of the largest ever implementations of the Moodle platform in the corporate learning space. Kineo has designed and developed over 100 Moodle solutions for its clients, and on this project combined Joomla to add further functionality and enhance the user experience.


    • What’s new in GCC 4.5?

      Version 4.5 of the GNU Compiler Collection was released in mid-April with many changes under-the-hood, as well as a few important user-visible features. GCC 4.5 promises faster programs using the new link-time optimization (LTO) option, easier implementation of compiler extensions thanks to the controversial plugin infrastructure, stricter standards-conformance for floating-point computations, and better debugging information when compiling with optimizations.

  • Releases

  • Government

  • Openness

    • Open data movement: triumphs and tribulations

      The open data movement strives to make all data freely available to the public. Like its open source software counterpart, open data can be freely downloaded/shared without any restrictions and it can be mixed with other similar data sources.


  • Finance

    • May 12 2010: How to profit from volatility, chaos and misery
    • Goldman Sachs and Helicopter Ben

      Don’t expect a thank you note from Goldman Sachs or any of the other banks that had perfect trading days in Q1. “Perfect” means that they had no days of trading losses for 63 trading days.

      Goldman Sachs, which makes more money from sales and trading than any Wall Street firm, reported yesterday that it made at least $25 million trading every single day of the first quarter, the first perfect quarter in the company’s history. The company’s fixed-income, currencies and commodities business, known as FICC, and equities unit generate those returns by making markets for clients rather than betting the firm’s own money, Cohn said.

    • Morning Update/ Market Thread 5/13

      The government paying down your loan if you are underwater or unemployed? Wow. Anything to keep the game going for the banks – including bankrupting our nation. Moral hazard? The real moral hazard isn’t just how unfair it is to homeowners and people who have done the right thing, the fact that it is squarely to the benefit of the banks makes it a nation ending type of hazard – all to protect those people who have the power to crash the planet at the flick of an HFT switch.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – FOFE – Commercial Flight (1/11/2001)


Links 13/5/2010: Finnish Schools Use Free Software; Bordeaux 2.0.4 for Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 5:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • At Work with Linux

    At MITRE we use Linux extensively because our customers and partners use it. The MITRE office is essentially OS agnostic; we don’t care what they use, as long as it’s the right tool for the job. So far Linux, specifically Redhat Linux, has proven itself fit for the tasks it is called upon to perform.

  • Air Force may suffer collateral damage from PS3 firmware update

    When Sony issued a recent PlayStation 3 update removing the device’s ability to install alternate operating systems like Linux, it did so to protect copyrighted content—but several research projects suffered collateral damage.

    The Air Force is one example. The Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome, New York picked up 336 PS3 systems in 2009 and built itself a 53 teraFLOP processing cluster. Once completed as a proof of concept, Air Force researchers then scaled up by a factor of six and went in search of 2,200 more consoles (later scaled back to 1,700). The $663,000 contract was awarded on January 6, 2010, to a small company called Fixstars that could provide 1,700 160GB PS3 systems to the government.

  • Desktop

    • A US Army Federal Employee’s Linux Workspace

      It is time once again for our $100.00 (USD) Coolest Linux Workspace Contest. Today’s entry comes from Brian, a Federal employee with the United States Army, and working in a network evaluation lab. According to him, “left unattended and with no adult supervision, I tend to build really neat stuff at little or no cost to the taxpayer.” You can know more him about through his blog.

    • My First Linux Distribution

      I was starting to build a internet cafe. Thinking about how to make a internet cafe with low budget. Operating system with licence is too expensive. So i googling internet. And i found a sistem operation called “pclinux3d” i think this is a linux operating system. (i didn’t know “linux distribution”). I didn’t get satisfied with this operating system, so i googling, and after 4 month. I know what’s the meaning of “linux distribution” and “open source”.

      That distro is community remaster for internet cafe in my country (indonesia). Based on PCLinuxOS. Because i want to know how to build a distro. I try to download pclinuxos, ubuntu, mandriva.


      PCLinuxOS is rock solid distros for me for now…, i don’t know if some people feel different.

      But Linux is good.

    • FI: Over a hundred schools using open source

      More than a hundred schools across Finland are using open source for all of their desktop PCs, according to Opinsys, an open source services provider.

      The company assists ninety schools in 28 municipalities with the maintenance of PCs and laptops running Ubuntu Linux. Tens of other schools are managing similar PCs themselves, according to Mikko Soikkeli, the company’s sales director.

      The costs per Linux PC or laptop, including maintenance, is about 282 Euro per year, according to a presentation last month by one of the schools using Ubuntu. “This infrastructure is easy to extend, it is secure, reliable and easy to use”, according to Allen Schneitz, a teacher at the Kasaviori School. “The system allows utilisation of second hand computers that are four to five years old.”

      A second case study on Linux based PCs in schools, by Risto Rönnberg for the city of Jyväskylä, puts the cost at 153 Euro per PC per year.

    • Hey, Consumer Reports!

      I agree. My folks get Consumer Reports, and the magazine is quite good about finding tech-savvy people to evaluate tech products, and then to distill that knowledge down to advice non-tech people can use to make buying decisions. (As in their reviews of antivirus software.) But not to even mention the Linux option is an implicit endorsement of one of most monopolistic, most consumer-abusive megacorporations on the planet. Would they print their annual automobile issue with only reviews of GM cars?

      It seems to me that Consumer Reports would be just the outfit to do a comparative review of the top dozen Linux distros, from the standpoint of an everyday (non-techie) computer user. But probably this is too much of a “niche” market for them. Or could it be that they don’t know how to critique products that are given away for free?

    • What Do You Use?

      It has become rather apparent that people are desiring the ability to run software designed for Windows or OSX on Linux. This is double-edged sword. This will of course give Linux an even more expanded library of applications, and applications with which people are familiar. The other side of this is that it does not give developers a reason to write native software for Linux. If we continue on the road toward Windows or OSX compatibility, will it help or hurt Linux?

    • Opinion: Competition vs cohesion

      I want competition amongst my desktop apps. I want Firefox and Chrome developers battling each other to make their browsers better. I want AbiWord to push forward with a fast and light word processor, making the OpenOffice.org folks realise that they have to do something about the bloat. I want a choice of music players, text editors, and why not, even calculators. This competition makes the Linux desktop better for everybody.

  • Server/HPC

    • Intel’s Single-chip Cluster Computer (SSC)

      There is even a modified version of Linux available. By the way, a separate Linux kernel runs on each core. It cannot run across the whole processor because it does not support cache coherency.

    • The Ethernet Cluster

      When the first Linux clusters were constructed Ethernet was one of the few choices for an interconnect. Of course there were more expensive and custom ways to connect computers, but Ethernet was the first network technology supported by Linux. Ethernet was also the most ubiquitous network, which also made it the cheapest.

    • Get ready for 7Gbps wireless networking
  • Audiocasts

  • Ballnux

  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel Log: Coming in 2.6.34 (Part 4) – Architecture and Virtualisation

      On Sunday, Linus Torvalds released the seventh pre-release version of Linux 2.6.34. The release announcement indicates that he expects it to be the last release candidate, suggesting that the next kernel version from the main development tree is likely to see the light of day late this or early next week. It is not, however, uncommon for Torvalds to slip out another version despite pronouncements to the contrary, pushing back the final kernel release by several days.

    • How to Become Linus Torvalds

      Linus *still* has no formal power, no mechanism whereby he can enforce his decisions about the kernel. It’s still the case that the “only control” he has is that he knows the code “better than anybody else”, and that if he does “a bad job”, someone else can do it themselves – that is, fork the code.

      Linux has avoided that fate because Linus has developed what amounts to a new way of managing large-scale projects involving huge numbers of geographically-dispersed contributors. Although the final decisions rest with him, he takes them in consultation with a wide range of coders. He is constantly involved in discussions on key mailing lists that allow important issues to be raised by anyone. Ultimately, then, he leads in part by being able to sense what the collective will of the Linux development community is on particular issues, and by not straying too far from it.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • FVWM for fun & productivity

      Job done. Much nicer combination, plus because the right Windows key is so close to the arrows, if I’m being lazy I can swap screens one-handed.

      I’m also making heavy use of GNU Screen, another of my long-established favourite applications. I may post something about its configuration at some point..

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • Being KDE

        In March, we announced a set of labels for use by people creating KDE software, to demonstrate their association with KDE. We chose three options: Powered by KDE, Built on the KDE Platform and Part of the KDE Family and asked for artwork for badges and banners to illustrate these terms.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Gnome Shell Might Add Real Multiple Desktops

        The idea is to have custom folders for each desktop. Right now, the desktop is located at /home/your_username/Desktop and this would provide a new folder for each virtual desktop so that you can fully work on a project on a given Desktop – including all the files related to your project / task.

      • Future GNOME: What to Expect in GNOME 3.0

        The release of GNOME 3.0, the popular desktop’s first major release in eight years, promises to be the major free software event in autumn 2010. Where is GNOME now? What can we expect of GNOME 3.0? Of GNOME 3 as a series of releases?

        When I asked Stormy Peters, the executive director of the GNOME Foundation, where to go for answers, she directed me to Vincent Untz. A director of the GNOME Foundation and one of the senior members of the GNOME Release Team, Untz is better positioned than almost anyone to offer an overview of the project from both a general and a technical perspective.

      • GNOME Amazon Referral Fees April 2010
  • Distributions

    • Best Newbie Linux Distro

      I’ve taken a look at Debian, Mandriva and Fedora. (I might have tried Suse too, but the LiveCD has never worked on my computer.) After first trying a LiveCD, I installed all three distros and gave them a good try-0ut.

      The core Linux philosophy is Free, as in Freedom, but I’m also interested in Free, as in Beer, so I took a look at how each distribution handled multimedia- Flash and MP3′s in particular.

    • Gentoo just makes sense!

      I am not giving up on the other distributions and will continue to evaluate their progress but Gentoo has earned its place on my system, at least for now.

    • Fedora

      • Fedora 13 gives off plain vibe, but offers power and stability under the hood

        The differences between Linux distributions these days are often so minute, there seems little reason to even review them anymore.

        After all, one distro running GNOME 2.30 or KDE 4.4 is going to look very much like any other distro running the same interfaces. The interfaces will be nearly identical — all that remains different are underlying administration tools and a few variant choices on the apps that are included.

        That was the conundrum recently faced when turning to review the latest beta of Fedora 13: it looked so much like other GNOME 2.30-interfaced distros I have seen lately, the initial thought was “what’s the diff?”

        Such an attitude is, for the most part, not fair to the developers of the Fedora Project, who have put together a darn fine distribution that reads as rock-solid and very user-friendly.

    • Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu Has Plans For Btrfs In 2011, 2012

        One of the meetings held this week during the Ubuntu Developer Summit for the Ubuntu 10.10 planning in Belgium was about Btrfs. During this session the developers discussed adding Btrfs support to GRUB2, whether or not Btrfs encryption is possible initially, an option to enable the Btrfs zlib compression, and other details.

      • The Ubuntu Support and Learning Center

        The website is designed to be very user friendly and minimalistic so the reader isn’t distracted from the main content and we should work closely with the Canonical training department and design team researchers so we can figure out exactly what users are having difficulty with and what questions they ask frequently.

      • I lightened up my Ubuntu Lucid desktop appearance

        Ubuntu was famous for being brown, even though it was probably half-orange for most of its storied existence. Mark Shuttleworth and Co. mostly blew that notion out of the water in Lucid Lynx (10.04 LTS), which is purplish and dark.

      • Perfect Purple
      • Nautilus-Elementary With Zeitgeist Brings Semantic file browsing to Ubuntu [Screencast]

        For those that don’t know much about Zeitgeist it, in essence, and to paraphrase the Zeitgeist framework launchpad blurb, ‘logs users activity, events and files and establishes relationships between these items based on usage.’ It then allows for other applications to use this data in meaningful ways – Such as with the GNOME Activity Journal.

      • Testing Out Ubuntu’s Unity Desktop

        For those wanting to test out the Ubuntu Unity desktop right now as we have done, you can add the ppa:canonical-dx-team/une Launchpad PPA to your Ubuntu system and then install the unity package.

      • Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Lucid Lynx review
      • [VIDEO] Maverick Meerkat UDS Keynote Address by Mark Shuttleworth

        Mark Shuttleworth’s keynote address at the Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat UDS summit.

      • Instant-on Ubuntu

        For some time now Ubuntu chief Mark Shuttleworth has been pushing developers to speed up boot times in the Linux operating system. Now he has revealed Unity, a new interface that is aimed at netbooks users. He’s also announced Ubuntu Light, a fast, light, version of Ubuntu that will offer almost instant-on boot times.

      • The Performance Of Ubuntu KVM Virtualization

        The Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) has been in the mainline Linux kernel since Linux 2.6.20 in early 2007 and over time it has become one of the most widely used virtualization platforms on Linux. Ubuntu uses KVM, Fedora uses KVM, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux has even switched from Xen to preferring KVM, among others. While occasionally we deliver new KVM virtualization benchmarks, we decided to investigate how the performance of KVM virtualization has changed — if at all — over the past two years for better or worse.

      • Variants

        • Canonical’s Red Headed Stepchildren

          Who Are These Red Headed Step Children?
          Before I go any further with this column, let’s take a quick look at each Ubuntu derivative and then I’ll talk about what’s wrong with them and what Canonical needs to do to fix this mess.

          Officially Supported
          Kubuntu – Kubuntu uses the KDE desktop environment instead of GNOME. It also leans heavily on KDE’s desktop applications rather than Ubuntu’s GNOME applications.

          EduBuntu – Edubuntu is essentially Ubuntu for parents, teachers, kids and schools. Edubuntu features educational games, math applications, text editors and a bunch of other applications focused on learning.

          Ubuntu Server Edition – You want this version of Ubuntu if you’re going to be running a server.

        • Peppermint OS One

          If the name “Peppermint OS” reminds you of Linux Mint, it’s no accident. Kendall Weaver, one of the Peppermint OS developers, is also the maintainer for the Linux Mint Fluxbox and LXDE editions.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Myths Debunked: Why It Isn’t So Tough To Switch To Open Source

    Debunking Myth #1: There Is No Documentation. In the case of OpenOffice, there is in fact substantial free documentation for the suite, and there are free tutorials. You can find documentation for specific versions here. You can also find many free OpenOffice books here. You can also find many useful Flash tutorials here.

    Debunking Myth #2: There Is No Support. OpenOffice has a very large community of users, and the Community Support option can be sufficient for many users, but it’s not the only option. Inexpensive consultants offer support for OpenOffice, and there are inexpensive third-party solutions for paid support. OpenLogic is just one of the available providers.

  • The Graduate’s Guide To Finding Work In Open Source

    Try entering PHP or Drupal, for a start.If you have skills with open source programming languages, showcase them on Elance for freelance work. While you’re at it, put a citation up for your open source skills on RentACoder.

  • Evaluate Open Source Software

    Open Source software selection starts with the creation of a short-list of open source packages, and the very next step is the evaluation of all candidates.

  • Think laterally

    Open source created a bi-directional flow in which the market itself could make greater intellectual contributions than any of the original principals. Moreover, this could often be accomplished without any particular capital partner. Whereas piracy was seen as the scourge of the private property publisher, ubiquitous distribution was a necessary prerequisite for open source participation.

  • Continuous integration, can it work for software localisation?

    At Translate.org.za we want to keep delivering the best FOSS localisation tools. To do that we’ve started using Continuous Integration (CI) in the development of Pootle, Virtaal and the Translate Toolkit. We’re using a tool called Hudson to manage our CI process.

  • Mozilla

    • Mozilla detects insecure plugins for IE, Chrome, Safari

      Mozilla has introduced a service that checks plugins for the Internet Explorer, Chrome, Opera, and Safari browsers to make sure they don’t contain known bugs or security vulnerabilities.

      The page builds off a feature rolled out last year that checked only for out-of-date plugins for Firefox. At the moment, the service offers limited coverage for Internet Explorer extensions, but Mozilla says it plans to offer full coverage eventually.

    • Mozilla Wish List.

      As long as I can remember I had been using the Netscape web browser which evolved to Mozilla and now Firefox. I still use Firefox and have grown so comfortable with it that I don’t really desire to move onto anything else. Needless to say, Mozilla’s products are not perfect and there is always room for additional features and what I believe to be necessities in order to function in today’s world of computing.

    • Mozilla CEO John Lilly stepping down
    • Firefox 4: fast, powerful, and empowering

      Today, I presented an early product plan for Firefox 4 to the Mozilla community (live, over the web!) to share our vision for the next version of Firefox, and what projects are underway to realize it. Then I invited everyone to get involved by joining our engineering or product development efforts.


      If you have Firefox or a modern web browser that supports fully open HTML video, you can watch the presentation.

    • Mozilla and the Shuttleworth Foundation seek fellowship applicants

      Mozilla Drumbeat and the Shuttleworth Foundation have announced a joint fellowship focused on ‘education for the open web’. According to a post on the Commonspace blog by Mark Surman, executive director of the Mozilla Foundation and former open philanthropy fellow at the Shuttleworth Foundation, the aim of the fellowship “is to find someone with solid, scalable and fresh ideas on how open learning and the open web intertwine.”

  • SaaS

  • Databases

    • PostgreSQL 9.0 is Serious Competition

      PostgreSQL supports Solaris, Linux and Windows with binary installations. You may also download the source code and compile it on any platform with which you’re working.

      Do I think PostgreSQL is ready to go head to head with MySQL? Yes. Do I think that PostgreSQL has a chance to unseat MySQL as the “World’s Most Popular Open Source Database Software?” Not for a second. I do think, however, that PostgreSQL will begin to raise corporate eyebrows and gain some enterprise adoption with its new, long-awaited feature set.

    • Top 10 MySQL GUI Tools

      Many third parties create rich applications to facilitate database management, database development and database administration. Here are ten outstanding graphical interfaces for MySQL.

  • OpenOffice.org

    • Small Business Software: OpenOffice.org vs. Google Docs

      First, why do we narrow down the options to only OpenOffice.org or Google Docs? They’re not the only competing solutions to MS Office. For online office suites you’ll find more full-featured competitors like Zoho, and desktop users can choose Apple’s iWork suite or many others. However, Google Docs and OpenOffice.org (OO.org) are the entrenched players here.

    • OpenOffice.org Still Kicking

      But OpenOffice.org isn’t going anywhere. If anything, I suspect it’s going to be getting some extra attention from Oracle and may be getting closer to Microsoft Office. It’s going to be a few more years before Web office suites take over entirely, anyway. Applications rarely just up and “die,” it takes a while for users to change habits.

    • OASIS Board of Directors elections: Vote for Charles-H. Schulz.
  • Business

    • Pentaho, Backed by Channel, Delivers Record 1Q Results

      Pentaho, the open source business intelligence company, generated record results in 1Q 2010, according to VP of Marketing Joe McGonnell. Pentaho attributes much of its performance to a growing channel partner program. Here’s a closer look at Pentaho’s momentum.


  • Would you buy a ticket to go to a restaurant?

    Instead of reservations, a restaurant in Chicago proposes buying tickets as if you’re going to a movie or the theater

  • Forbes new tool tracks advertisers’ corporate reputation

    That’s how Bruce Rogers, chief brand officer for Forbes, says the magazine is thinking these days. Even though circulation has remained relatively stable, Forbes sees an opportunity in thinking beyond selling advertising and diving into broader service areas for clients.

  • Indian outsourcing firm looks to prison for data entry work

    An Indian outsourcing firm is to run one of its data handling centres in a local prison as part of a new public/private partnership.

    Radiant Info Systems has come to a deal with the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh to hire 200 inmates of a state jail to work on data entry, and the processing and transmitting of information.

  • Science

    • Perhaps You’ll Visit Space In Your Lifetime, After All

      Space Adventures is going to use an Armadillo Technologies rocket to launch amateur astronauts 62 miles into the sky. Nothing new, except that they will do it for half the price of Virgin Galactic’s ticket, and in a real rocket!

  • Security/Aggression

    • If the government wants a ‘big society’, it needs to lift restrictions on people

      This is the second of a series of articles looking at the challenges the new government faces. Alan Cox is a Linux software developer and is a member of ORG’s Advisory Council


      A big society means thinking about how the law works. It means passing laws that punish those who do offend, not nanny state laws removing the ability of the public to contribute to society for fear they might be naughty. It means creating a functioning creative market that reflects the world we live in and encourages creative output rather than channeling it into a tiny number of established mega-corporations who act as door keepers. Above all it means trust not restraint. It means trusting that most people will do the right thing, and trusting that the police and justice system will do their job with the rest.

    • My tweet was silly, but the police reaction was absurd

      The reason for the arrest was a tweet I had posted on the social network Twitter, which was deemed to constitute a bomb threat against Robin Hood airport in Doncaster: “Crap! Robin Hood airport is closed. You’ve got a week and a bit to get your shit together otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!” You may say, and I certainly realise now, it was ill-advised. But it was clearly frustration, caused by heavy snowfall grounding flights and potentially scuppering my own flight a week later. Like having a bad day at work and stating that you could murder your boss, I didn’t even think about whether it would be taken seriously.

    • A welcome site…

      As our friends at Privacy International have noted, it will be very interesting to see the ‘how’.

    • Photographer stopped under anti-terror laws may sue police

      A photographer is to launch a legal complaint after being stopped and searched by police on suspicion of being a terrorist while he took pictures of London’s skyline.

    • They say “more police” – they mean “more CCTV”

      West is adamant that ‘more surveillance’ is needed and has ordered an “immediate review” to target the use of CCTV across the borough. But she’s not alone. The other day Boris Johnson showed Michael Bloomberg London’s unparalleled CCTV network and Wandsworth councils camera’s continued to bring home the bacon.

    • Microphones on street corners – just in case
    • Personal cellphone data end up for sale at Mexico flea market

      The government had asked everyone to register their phones, but many refused, citing fears of spying or other misuse of the data. It turns out they were right.

    • In Scunthorpe, the tail is wagging the alcoholic dog

      As always, it’s “for the children” – the supposedly unarguable assertion which, once made, destroys all opposition.

      And weren’t these nannyists listening to the recent debate on ID Cards per se, which showed that we are overwhelmingly against them?

    • The 9/14 Presidency

      If you believe the president’s Republican critics, Barack Obama takes a law enforcement approach to terrorism. His FBI came under fire for reading Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian national who nearly blew up an airplane on Christmas, his constitutional rights. His attorney general was blasted for wanting to give 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed a criminal trial in lower Manhattan. Republican Sen. Scott Brown rode to his historic upset victory in Massachusetts in part due to this slogan: “In dealing with terrorists, our tax dollars should pay for weapons to stop them, not lawyers to defend them.” Every sign suggests the GOP will make terrorism a wedge issue in the 2010 midterm elections. “As I’ve watched the events of the last few days,” former vice president Dick Cheney said shortly after the Abdulmutallab attack, “it is clear once again that President Obama is trying to pretend we are not at war.”

    • Do We Really Want To Criminalize Bad Jokes?
    • (en) US, Police brutality at May Day march in Chicago

      The police in Chicago have a long history of attacking protesters without warning or provocation.

    • MI5 faces allegations over torture of British man in Bangladesh

      The Security service is facing fresh accusations of involvement in the abuse of terrorism suspects after a British man was detained in Bangladesh and allegedly tortured while being questioned about his activities and associates in both countries.

  • Environment

    • Domtar: Print those e-mails to your heart’s content

      Domtar Corp. is getting frustrated with those “think before you print” messages at the bottom of so many e-mails.

      Now the paper giant is planning a North American ad campaign to urge computer users to hit the print button – often.

    • Obama biggest recipient of BP cash

      While the BP oil geyser pumps millions of gallons of petroleum into the Gulf of Mexico, President Barack Obama and members of Congress may have to answer for the millions in campaign contributions they’ve taken from the oil and gas giant over the years.

    • Oil spill: US failing to tighten ecological oversight, say activists

      The Obama administration waived environmental reviews for 26 new offshore drilling projects even as the BP oil disaster spewed hundreds of thousands of gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, environmental activists said today.

    • Back to Petroleum

      A decade ago, the company then known as British Petroleum launched a multimillion dollar advertising campaign to rebrand itself as the greenest of oil giants. Since then, it has gone only by the initials “BP” and has popularized a new slogan: “Beyond Petroleum.” The campaign launched with a $200 million public relations and advertising budget and a new logo featuring the now-ubiquitous green-and-yellow sunburst. Ten years later, the company still spends big on advertising, dropping $76 million on radio and TV ads touting its image in the United States just last year.

    • Emperor Hickel: The Man Who Invented Alaska … and Sarah Palin

      Thirty years ago, Hickel realized that his arctic dreams lay in Alaska’s vast reserves of gas, oil, coal and lumber. But extracting and shipping those resources required removing a large obstacle: the land’s ownership by Indians and Natives.


      Today, most of the Native Alaskan corporate land of the Prince William Sound is owned by people who don’t live in Alaska. The remaining Natives are now tenants of the land their ancestors have lived on for 3,000 years.

      Native leader Gail Evanoff told me, that was the plan from Day One. “They set it up for us to fail. They put it in a form they could take away.”

  • Finance

    • Morgan Stanley Investigation: Feds Looking Into Firm’s Mortgage Deals

      Fears of a growing investigation of Wall Street banks sent Morgan Stanley’s stock falling Wednesday even as the company said it knew nothing about a reported inquiry into its mortgage securities trading.

      The Wall Street Journal reported that federal prosecutors are investigating whether Morgan Stanley misled investors about its role in a pair of $200 million derivatives whose performance was tied to mortgage-backed securities. The newspaper said Morgan Stanley sometimes bet against the success of the derivatives, which were underwritten and marketed to investors by Citigroup Inc. and UBS AG.

    • The Real Misery Index April 2010: Underemployment Woes Lead To Two-Tier Economy

      The unemployment crisis continues to stymie a full economic recovery, with ripple effects from credit card delinquencies and rising food stamp participation indicating new hardships for millions of Americans, according to the latest update of Huffington Post’s Real Misery Index.

    • US home repossessions hit all-time high

      The number of US homes being repossessed hit an all-time high last month, but is set to start falling, says the body that tracks the figures.

      Banks took control of 92,432 properties in April, up 1% from March, and a 45% rise from a year earlier, said RealtyTrac.


      A total of 333,837 new repossession filings were made in April, one for every 387 homes in the US.

    • Dylan Ratigan Coins the Phrase “Bankster Party”

      Dylan Ratigan (MSNBC) is the host of the only honest business show on cable. He doesn’t spend his day talking only about the ups and the downs of the stock market and encouraging people to “buy, buy, buy!” Instead, Ratigan covers real issues, like how the financial crisis is affecting average Americans, and what the chances are for real reform in Congress.

    • A Victory for the People!

      The Center for Media and Democracy’s Wall Street Bailout Tally shows that since 2008, the U.S. government has flooded Wall Street banks and financial institutions with $4.7 trillion dollars in taxpayer money, mostly in the form of loans from the Federal Reserve. The Fed has never told us which firms got these loans and what type of collateral American taxpayers got in return. This will now be revealed. We will also get an accounting of the Fed’s “stealth” bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    • Treasury Bailout Records Fail To Include Key Details, Says Watchdog

      The Treasury Department is lax about keeping records of its negotiations with bailed-out banks, including undocumented conversations in which billions of taxpayer dollars are at stake, a new watchdog report says.

      Treasury fails to keep meeting minutes or notes from phone calls with banks that received money from its $700 billion financial bailout, says the report from Neil Barofsky, the Special Inspector General for the bailout fund.

    • Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley may eventually escape proprietary trading ban

      Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley may ultimately avoid a ban on bank proprietary trading under the Wall Street overhaul.

    • Goldman Sachs’ moral obligation to Wall Street

      Meanwhile, Proxy Democracy, which helps investors keep track of the actions of institutional shareholders, reports that both AFSCME’s employee pension plan and CalPERs voted in favor of the measure.

    • Round I to the Banks, More to Come

      The Senate resumes debate today on the Wall Street reform bill, having late last Thursday rejected probably the most important measure proposed to reduce Wall Street power, strengthen financial stability and fortify our democracy: breaking up the banks.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • NPR Erases Domestic Terrorism

      National Public Radio (NPR) broadcast a story on May 9 by Dina Temple-Raston titled Terrorism in the U.S. Takes on a U.K. Pattern that started out with the following flawed premise:

      “For years, the U.S. seemed largely immune to homegrown terrorism, but experts think the recent attack [in Times Square] is more proof that has changed.”

      Raston then proceeded to discuss “home grown terrorists” only in the context of Pakistani-Americans, Afghan-Americans, South Asian Americans and others originally from outside the country who became citizens and then somehow became “radicalized.”

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Judge Rules That Filmmaker Must Give Footage to Chevron

      A federal judge in Manhattan on Thursday granted a petition by Chevron to issue a subpoena for hundreds of hours of footage from a documentary about the pollution of the Amazon rainforests of Ecuador and the oil company’s involvement.

    • German court orders wireless passwords for all

      Users can be fined if a third party takes advantage of an open connection

    • Houlihan Smith’s Phony Invocation of Trademark Law Fails to Keep Criticism off the Web

      It’s an old story, sad to say. Bank waltzes into court, represented by a big firm, decrying damage to its interests and demanding immediate relief, but giving no notice to the other side, and walks out with TRO issued by a credulous local judge, no questions asked. Happily, a recent case involving an investment bank that got a TRO against a message board host, in violation of section 230 immunity, has a happier ending, because the bank ended up before a federal judge who understood the technical details better than the bank’s own lawyers.

    • Four Nerds and a Cry to Arms Against Facebook

      They gave themselves 39 days to raise $10,000, using an online site, Kickstarter, that helps creative people find support.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Net Neutrality Battle Gets Silly… Astroturfers, Sock Puppets, Student Projects, Overwritten Word Docs… Oh My

      Either way, as we predicted, the whole thing is becoming a political food fight being manhandled by lobbyists and special interests, with little regard for the deeper, important, underlying issues. Even when moves are being made by people outside of the beltway, it’s being dissected for the driving forces behind it, rather than what actually makes sense. What comes out in the end is going to be shaped by those lobbyists and special interests. And that’s my big fear with all of this. The end result isn’t going to have anything to do with actually looking at what’s best for the internet or the American people, but who can game the system better and turn this into a hotter political football.

    • Lessons From The US’s First Broadband Plan… In 1808

      But both Downes and the FCC seem to skip over the larger issue of speed. The real problem in the US is not that we’re so far behind on adoption rates — but in what kind of broadband most people can use today. With some exceptions, it’s slow. Especially compared to some other countries. And, yes, there are some issues involving population density and the ability to build out a faster network, but if the government is going to get involved, why not focus on the metric that matters: which would be the bandwidth of the network, rather than making sure that the guy living at the end of a dirt road in the middle of nowhere can get his broadband access.

  • DRM

    • Digital Right Management and/or Technical Protection Measures Cause Climate Change

      The biggest problem with Digital Rights Management and/or Technical Protection Measures is that the biggest proponents of such schemes don’t understand the technology. For that reason I’m going to try to explain it in simple terms, that a non-programmer can understand.


      The more complex the DRM/TPM system, the more processing power is required. The Windows Vista DRM sub-system mentioned above was far more complex, and required far more processing power. And of course the more processing power required for a system to work, the more electrical power is required. For all of the examples we are going to assume that each command uses ONE unit of power. This is for illustrative purposes only – different computer processors require differing amounts of power to do the same thing, and at different speeds. This is a simplified explanation.

    • Adobe messes with Flash DRM

      SOFTWARE HOUSE Adobe has been tinkering with the digital restrictions management (DRM) for its Flash software.

      Dubbed Flash Access 2.0, the changes will mean that content providers can control what types of output devices can display the content.

      According to the Adobe blog, it is enabling HDCP and broadcast control flags for Flash content.

    • EA Sports Online Pass: Buy new or pay $10 to play online
    • Rockstar Using ‘Pirated’ Copy Of Max Payne 2 On Steam To Remove DRM?

      Apparently, in examining the code with a hex editor, someone discovered that the official Steam release is ascii tagged by the Scene release group Myth (which hasn’t been around for many, many years). No one’s quite sure what happened exactly, but the obvious suggestion is that Rockstar chose the easy way out in trying to remove the CD check DRM in the game to put it on Steam, and just found a cracked version online.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Kaleidescape Introduces Expensive And Almost Pointless Blu-ray Jukebox… And Hollywood Still Thinks It’s Illegal

      Kaleidescape has now come out with a new product that actually adds the ability to store Blu-ray discs as well — which might be a surprise given last summer’s ruling. However, in response to the ruling, Kaleidescape added one “feature” which it hopes will satisfy Hollywood lawyers: to play back a movie, you now have to put the original disc into the player. Yes, you read that right. This is a device designed to rip and store your DVDs — and the only way you can play them back is to go ahead and put the actual DVD into the player to prove that you have it. In other words, it takes away the whole idea of the convenience behind the product.

    • Hollywood Gets Injunction To Disconnect The Pirate Bay

      Last month it became apparent that several Hollywood movie studios had threatened to take legal action against the owner of ISP CyberBunker, the current bandwidth provider for The Pirate Bay. Now, according to fresh information from a reliable source, the studios have come good on their threats.

    • Why a binding treaty for the visually impaired at WIPO?
    • Copyrights

      • Copyright for Creativity declaration launched

        ORG has joined the initiative Copyright for Creativity. We believe that it is time for a discussion in the European institutions on how to ensure that copyright fully supports innovation, creativity, competition, and the public interest. The launch of the Declaration for Europe on 5 May marks the start of this discussion. The press release and a video of the launch in Brussels follow.

      • First-Sale Copyright Cases Headed for 9th Circuit

        AutoDesk sued Timothy Vernor for copyright infringement after the Seattle man tried to auction off four packages of Autodesk software on eBay. The software company argued that its license agreement doesn’t allow for reselling. Like Augusto, Vernor prevailed on summary judgment in the lower court.

      • ‘Hurt Locker’ producers about to sue an army of pirates

        The war against movie piracy is getting downright explosive. We’ve learned that the producers of the Oscar-winning “The Hurt Locker” are preparing a massive lawsuit against thousands of individuals who pirated the film online. The case could be filed as soon as tomorrow.

        Voltage Pictures, the banner behind the best picture winner, has signed up with the U.S. Copyright Group, the Washington D.C.-based venture that, as we first reported in March, has begun a litigation campaign targeting tens of thousands of BitTorrent users.

      • RIAA Wins Again: Judge Says LimeWire Induced Copyright Infringement

        This is hardly a surprise, given earlier rulings on various file sharing systems, but a court has ruled in favor of the RIAA and against Limewire, saying that Limewire “engaged in unfair competition, and induced copyright infringement.”

      • Court Grants RIAA Summary Judgment Motions vs. Limewire
      • Lichtenstein’s Estate has Changed Its Mind!!!

        The good people at The Estate of Roy Lichtenstein have decided that they’re ok with us using our album cover image. The power of the internet and collective thought has won!!!

      • EU must break down national copyright barriers, says Commissioner

        Piracy has created the single market in music and films that EU legislators have failed to build, European Commission Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes has said.

        Kroes told a business leaders’ convention in Brussels that pirates had done what single market regulations could not and established the borderless distribution of audio visual material over the internet. She said that the EU nations must work together to create a legal single market in digital goods.

      • Can You Copyright Blank Forms Used To File Papers With The SEC… And Then Block Selling The Filled Out Forms?
    • ACTA

      • ACTA Draft Release Was Apparently A One Time Deal: Now We’re Back To Secrecy

        After about a year or so of very public questions over the incredible level of secrecy of ACTA (including the patently ridiculous claim that details couldn’t be revealed for national security reasons), including a complete smackdown by the EU Parliament concerning the whole ACTA process, the negotiators finally (and very reluctantly) released the latest draft in April. Of course, by then, the full document had already leaked. Still, the officially released document left out some of the key parts that were in the leaked draft. Funny how that works.

    • Digital Economy Bill

      • Will Nick Clegg push to repeal the Digital Economy Act?

        For ORG supporters, there is a lot that we can hope for from the new administration.

        * We can hopefully assume that talk of a repeal of the Human Rights Act is now shelved.
        * ID cards and their database should be scrapped
        * The DNA database should be restricted or scrapped
        * Promises of a Data Freedom Act are welcome

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – FOFE – Experimental Aircraft (1/11/2001)


Links 12/5/2010: New KDE Menubars; GTK+ 3.0 Test; 2010 Fedora Scholarship

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

GNOME bluefish



  • OMG! Indian Government to develop its own Operating System and anti virus products

    Government probably should be told that CDAC has developed OS (derived from Debian), called BOSS [i.e. Bharat Operating System Solutions].

  • Fragmentation is Good and Bad for Linux

    Linux already has a unified base: it’s called upstream components. An Embedded Linux OS, just like an enterprise Linux OS, is comprised of core upstream components like the Linux kernel. First, at the kernel level — where most hardware support happens including all driver support — the Linux ecosystem is extremely unified. Device makers or silicon suppliers that wish to support their hardware with Linux – whatever the variety – simply contribute code to the mainline Linux kernel project hosted at kernel.org. Use a mainline kernel and you are using the right base. Recently Google has been working with the kernel community to ensure their drivers are in the mainline kernel and great progress has been made to “unify” Android with the mainline kernel.

  • Desktop

    • Ultra-minimal Linux Desktops Roundup

      Of the three, fvwm looks most like a ‘normal’ window manager. It’s pretty basic, though. When you start it up for the first tine, there’s no desktop decoration at all. No menu bar, no docking bay; the only thing you can do is to click on the desktop, which fires up a basic menu.

    • Linux: King of the Hill

      Linux is overall the king of the hill and I do not care who says it is not. Linux may not be the most gross producing or the most wealthy Operating System out there but it is the most supported Operating System. All I hear out of most Windows users is the pain in the butt the system is. I know this because I used to be one of those Windows users. Now I have switched over to the Ubuntu distro and I have not regretted a minute of it. Have you heard of a Linux user complaining about Linux? I know I have not and if you have they are usually a new user.

      Overall the system is just more stable. It does not give you that amazing Blue Screen of Death Windows does. It does not all of a sudden freeze on you. The viruses are virtually non existent in the system. The system is backed with a root user that you have to have special permissions to be in. This system is made for being stable and a work environment. A majority of enterprise companies are now switching over to the Linux franchise. The reason why? Linux does not give you the problems that Windows does.

    • Who Says Desktop Linux Is Doomed?

      The fact is, Windows 7 and Linux serve different types of users and markets, and Dana Blankenhorn has a good inventory of reasons why Ubuntu can compete with Windows here. I have only been impressed with Canonical’s recent moves with Ubuntu, making it more graphical, easier to use, more compatible, and now massaging it into new, lightweight versions that have promise on netbooks.

      Meanwhile, let’s not forget that Google’s Android operating system is Linux-based, and its upcoming Chrome OS for netbooks is Linux-based and was created with the help of the Ubuntu team. Android is an enormous success story, and is spreading out beyond smartphones, and Chrome OS holds much promise too.

  • Kernel Space

    • A Detailed Look At The ATI Linux Power Management

      Last week we reported that the open-source ATI Linux driver had picked up improved power management in the form of dynamic power management and power management profiles that can be defined by the end-user. With the ATI Linux power management finally coming to fruition within the Linux kernel for its kernel mode-setting / DRM driver, we have decided to take a close look at how this power management support is working in the real world.

    • X.Org Server 1.8.1 Released To The Wild

      X.Org Server 1.8.1 boasts a variety of fixes and minor improvements while all major work is already focused on delivering X Server 1.9 that should make its debut in August.

  • Applications

    • Brasero Burns Data, Not Time – or Piles of Discs

      I often think of Brasero as a frustration-free computing tool. Burning files to a CD or DVD can be filled with angst and error. Writing failures ruin blank discs, quickly reducing the number of blanks left in the box.

      Brasero is my idiot-proof solution to creating CDs and DVDs in minimum time with maximum efficiency. It is one of the best burning tools I’ve used.

    • Top Antivirus For Linux

      Linux is easily one of the most secure operating system, added that it is least prone to virus and malware attacks. However, we cannot conclude that it is completely free from viruses.

      The number of malicious programs including viruses, malwares, trojans etc. written for Linux are very less when compared to other operating systems. Even though the numbers are very low, using an anti-virus would ensure you complete protection from viruses and malwares. There are a number of anti-virus programs available for Linux.

    • Instructionals

    • Games

      • Humble update: open source extension (5/11/10)

        The Humble Indie Bundle experiment has been a massive success beyond our craziest expectations. So far, in just over 7 days, 125,520 generous contributors have put down an incredible $1,150,639. Of this, contributors chose to allocate 30.91% to charity: $355,716 for the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Child’s Play Charity. I have made a page for the full breakdown including credit card fees in a JSON format here (json).

      • Lugaru goes open-source

        In the spirit of the Humble Indie Bundle, we have decided to release the source code to Lugaru! Our community has already made some great mods by editing the levels and graphics, but source code access will allow for much deeper modifications. The coding style is what you might expect from a self-taught high school student, so it could be a challenge to understand, but feel free to give it a shot!

      • Warp Speed – 2D Multiplayer Shooter

        Two indie companies Por Design and Double Dude decided to combine forces to work on a new game named Warp Speed which as I’ve confirmed will have a native GNU/Linux client !

      • Alien Arena 2010

        Alien Arena 2010 (v7.40), the next in the Alien Arena series, is a freeware online deathmatch game with fast and furious action for Windows and Linux!

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • 6 Useful Widgets For Amarok Music Player

        Like KDE’s Plasma desktop, Amarok has the ability to display widgets. It is divided into the three columns. The left column is the music browser, which displays the user’s local collection or the Internet music library of his or her choice. The right column shows the current playlist, and the center column can hold a number of widgets. Users must click the wrench icon at the bottom to add, remove, or reorder widgets.

      • Getting menubars out of application windows…

        This is quite handy for Netbooks. I have been using my laptop with this setup recently and I find it nice to work with. The cost of the extra-click to get to the menu items does not bother me for now.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME Marketing Hackfest – Zaragoza

        We had a really productive and busy week, working on the marketing plans and actions for launching GNOME 3.0.

      • The First GTK+ 3.0 Test Release

        GTK+ 2.90.0 is this initial GTK+3 test release. GTK+ 3.0 can co-exist just fine with a GTK+ 2.x installation on the system for those interested in trying out this tool-kit library.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Grace Digital Audio Has A Slick, Pandora-Centric Linux Radio

      We’ve covered Pandora-centric, Linux-based Internet radios before, such as Livio’s, but the new one that I have my eye on is Grace Digital Audio’s Solo Wi-Fi radio and media streamer.

    • Bigfoot Networks Announces 3rd Gen Killer NIC: Killer 2100

      The Killer NIC marked a sort of return to the idea of a complex NIC, forgoing a simple controller/PHY combination in favor of a complex dedicated device capable of acting more independently. By endowing a NIC with a full-fledged microcomputer running Linux, not only could the card offload virtually every part of processing required for network operations, but it could even bypass Windows’ notorious networking stack and handle packets in a manner better suited for low-latency use (i.e. games)

    • Nokia

      • MeeGo Using Btrfs As Default File-System

        MeeGo, the mobile Linux operating system that came about when Intel and Nokia joined forces to marry Moblin and Maemo, will be using Btrfs as its default file-system.

    • Android

      • Practical Open Source

        Getting the Source · Before you can do anything with the source code, you have to go get it. This could be a daunting task if you’re not familiar with what a “case-sensitive filesystem” is, or how to use the git distributed version control system.

        Fortunately, over at source.android.com there are step-by-step instructions that’ll let you get by even if you’re only lightly acquainted with all that stuff.

        I’d advise you, if you’re doing anything substantial with Android, to go grab that source code. It takes less than 10G of disk space, and if you haven’t done this kind of thing before, you might find that it feels empowering.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • $100 netbook switches to Android

        Cherrypal announced its first two netbooks to run Android. The Cherrypal Asia is available in seven-inch ($99) and 10.1-inch ($148) models, both of which run Android 1.6 on an ARM9-based Via VT 8505 processor clocked at 533MHz, and offer 256MB of RAM, 2GB of flash storage, Ethernet, WiFi, and USB connectivity, says the company.

      • World’s first $99 laptop goes Android, Cherrypal drops Linux in favor of Android for sub-100-dollar laptops
      • Vodacom unveils low-cost Linux netbook

        Cellphone group Vodacom is making a play into the netbook market. On Tuesday, it unveiled a low-cost compact computer, the Linkbook, that it says is designed specifically to provide users, especially first-time computer buyers, with “simple and affordable Internet access”.


        The Linkbook supports Wi-Fi. It has 16GB of flash memory (no hard drive), an 8,9-inch TFT display and a Motorola-derivative processor.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Mozilla

    • What’s Next for Me (But Not Yet!)

      I just announced internally that after 5 years at Mozilla, and a couple as the CEO, I’ve decided to leave later this year to join Greylock Partners as a venture partner.

    • Firefox 4 release plan: The need for speed

      Mozilla hopes to release Firefox 4 in October or November, a new version that has speed among its top goals.

      “Performance is a huge, huge, huge thing for us,” said Mike Beltzner, vice president of engineering for Firefox, in a Webcast on Tuesday about plans for the browser. “We created the performance story, and we’ve got to keep at it.”

  • Databases

  • CMS

    • Joomla vs Drupal: business models and commercial ecosystem

      Why is this happening? First, the Joomla people that I talked to believed that there was more money to be made in the Drupal world, as Drupal tends to attract larger projects. Further, the lack of Drupal template clubs is perceived as an opportunity for Joomla developers already familiar with that business model. Third, since the long awaited Joomla 1.6 release is “only” an incremental release, some people are only marginally excited about it. Contrasted with Drupal 7 and WordPress 3.0, both of which are shaping up to be phenomenal, paradigm-shifting releases with tons of improvements and feature additions, many Joomla developers are expanding their horizons and portfolios.


  • Openness

    • Creative Commons Treasures

      The MakerBot contest has brought a lot of new members of the Thingiverse community, and I hope, inspired by your experiences so far with creating open source content for 3D printing, you’ll stick around and keep making Thingiverse amazing! I also hope you’ll be exploring the world of open source and creative commons wizardry that’s quietly transforming the world. To aid you in this, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite open source and creative commons gems and wonders:

      http://www.instructables.com Perhaps most importantly to Thingiverse users, hardware is now an open-source thing. Instructables is an excellent place to learn tricks for building things and making them real.

    • “Always collaborate”: Say hello to OpenFile, the local news site putting those new media maxims to the test
    • Open source hardware is making big bucks

      IT TURNS OUT that 13 companies are making millions from their open source hardware (OSHW) products.

    • Open Access/Content

      • The real political nerds

        Data matters. We use it to understand what has already happened in the world, and we use it to make decisions about what to do next. But in among the graphics and electoral cock-ups lies a terrible truth: a small army of amateur enthusiasts are doing a better job of collecting and disseminating basic political data than the state has managed.

        Chris Taggart blogs at CountCulture and was baffled to discover that there is no central or open record of the results from local elections in the UK. If you go to the Electoral Commission’s website, they pass the buck to the BBC, where you can find seat numbers for each area, but no record of how many votes were cast for each candidate. Plymouth University holds an unofficial database of these results, and they pay people to type every single one of them in, painstakingly and by hand. After all that they charge for access, which is perfectly understandable. So for democracy, open analysis, and public record, it might as well not exist.

      • Bill would require posting government docs, contracts online

        Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) has introduced a bill that aims to put all government documents online—or at least the public ones, anyway. As part of the “Public Online Information Act,” the documents would be submitted to a free, searchable database, and an advisory committee would be established in order to oversee the process.

      • The Global Development Of Free Access To Legal Information

        Since the mid1990s the Internet’s Worldwide Web has provided the necessary technical platform to enable free access to computerised legal information. Prior to the web there were many online legal information systems and numerous legal information products distributed on CD-ROM, but there was no significant provision of free access to legal information anywhere in the world. Both government and private sector online legal publishers charged for access. The web provided the key element required for free public access – a low cost distribution mechanism. For publishers it was close to a ‘no cost’ distribution mechanism if they were not required to pay for outgoing bandwidth. The ease of use of graphical browsers from around 1994, and the web’s use of hypertext as its principal access mechanism (at that time) meant that, the web provided a simple and relatively consistent means by which legal information could be both provided and accessed. This was an attractive alternative to the proprietary, expensive and training intensive search engines on which commercial online services largely relied. The development of free access Internet law services was based on these factors.

      • Enlightenment 2.0: Unleashing the Open Science Revolution

        Now look at reality. Without massive coordinated effort we shall surely fail to achieve a Free and Open Science and Technology Paradigm. The vision sketched here needs to come about within the next decade if humanity is to make any progress against our interrelated great challenges—Energy, Climate, Health, Food Security, and Poverty. By 2020 there must be a distributed, global network of institutions participating in the governance of Science and Technology. I hope you share our excitement for this unique instant in history when it is finally possible for mankind, a species distinguished and defined by its capacity to use tools, to unleash the unlimited problem solving powers of the tool of tools, science.

      • Why I’m Going to Publish the Mediactive Book with Lulu

        My former publisher was fine with Creative Commons, as proved by the fact that we did the first book that way. But as David told me at the outset of the new search, I was likely to limit the potential field because I had one non-negotiable requirement: The book will be published under a Creative Commons license. In this case, as with We the Media, the kind of Creative Commons license would say, essentially, that anyone could make copies of the work for non-commercial use, and if they created derivative works, also only for non-commercial purposes, those works would have to be made available a) with credit to me and b) under the same license.

      • Over 20% of the world’s scholarly journals now open access! (Kudos to DOAJ)

        This is a conservative estimate. DOAJ is doing great work, but they are a small group, and kvetches from the open access community tend to center around the lag time it takes for new or converted journals to get through the DOAJ vetting process and be included in DOAJ.

  • Programming


  • Google Reader Adds HTML5 Support

    Google Reader has released a slew of new updates today, the most prominent being support for HTML5-powered videos and audio.

  • Science

    • One of Jupiter’s belts disappears

      Over the next few months, we can expect to see a white spot appear which will gradually get stretched out by the planet’s 350mph winds to form a new SEB.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Torture Supporter Peter Ricketts as National Security Adviser

      Even worse news. Cameron’s much vaunted National Security Council will be headed by the FCO’s pro-torture Peter Ricketts, who is personally up to his ears in the policy of complicity in torture, and in its continued cover-up – including being personally involved in the censorship of this vital FOI release last week.

    • British Sense of Humour? Not So Much

      In other words, our society has become so corrupted by the cynical abuse of the idea of “terror” that we have lost all sense of proportion, not to mention humour. Tragic – and dangerous, since it is bound to have a chilling effect on Twitter in this country.

    • The Race to Build a Secure Operating System

      Early in 2009 a Dutch university was awarded a grant for $3.3 million from the European Research Council to fund 5 more years of work on a Unix derivative version operating system called Minix. This research effort is designed to be more resilient and secure than either Linus or Windows. The most impressive feature in Minix is said to be its self healing feature. This is believed to be the first operating system with the capable of fixing itself when a bug is detected.

    • Software Insecurity is Our Biggest Weakness

      If the United States wants to remain competitive in the global economy and prevent widespread penetrations of its strategic, corporate and commercial networks, enterprises and government agencies should stop relying on commercial software and go back to writing more of their own custom code, a security expert said Tuesday.

  • Environment

    • Economics for the Story of Stuff

      Annie Leonard’s The Story of Stuff, the explosive online video (now also expanded into a book), provides an entertaining explanation of a glaring economic flaw. The Story of Stuff takes a look at the economy’s linear system that runs from extraction to production to distribution to consumption to disposal. As Annie says, “… you cannot run a linear system on a finite planet indefinitely.” You especially can’t grow the size of that linear system indefinitely. But that’s the misguided aim of current economic goals and policies. Misguided as it is, however, we know why politicians and economists push economic growth and consumer spending. As soon as we slow down our shopping and buy less stuff, the economy spirals into a recession. That’s when we start hearing about and experiencing real problems – problems like people losing their jobs, their homes, and even their ability to take care of basic needs.

    • Sharing: The New Recycling?

      Over at the wonderful Streetsblog, Shareable friend Chris Carlsson reminds us that curbside recycling was once considered a wacky, far-out idea. “We tend to take curbside recycling for granted,” writes Chris. “It seems like common sense, and these days the ubiquitous three bins are everywhere: black for landfill, blue for recyclables, and most recently green for compost. But only a few decades ago it was ‘crazy hippie activists’ who started the process of bringing our trash out of the dark and into the light of day.”

    • Mountains of rubbish

      The Qinghai-Tibet railway has brought an influx of non-biodegradable waste to the Himalayan plateau, posing serious environmental challenges. He Haining and Guo Haiyan report.

    • Mercury high in Japanese town that hunts dolphins

      Residents of the dolphin-hunting village depicted in Oscar documentary “The Cove” have dangerously high mercury levels, likely because of their fondness for dolphin and whale meat, a government lab said Sunday.


      Environmentalists have long protested Taiji’s dolphin slaughter and Japan’s whaling activities, and have adopted the mercury issue as part of their cause.

    • If You Think You Have a Sense of the Oil Spill’s Scale

      Try this utility from Paul Rademacher’s site, which overlays a scaled representation of the Deepwater Horizon spill onto a Google Earth view of any city you choose. (May require a Google Earth web plug-in, available at the site linked above. I’ve used that plugin for a long time with no ill effects.)

    • China’s coal bubble…and how it will deflate U.S. efforts to develop “clean coal”

      The conventional wisdom in energy-and-environment circles is that China’s economy, which is growing at a rate of eight percent or more per year, is mostly coal powered today and will continue to be so for decades to come. Coal is cheap and abundant, and China uses far more of it than any other nation. The country is trying to develop other energy sources fast—including nuclear, solar, and wind—but these won’t be sufficient to reduce its reliance on coal. That’s one of the reasons it is important for the U.S. to develop “clean coal” technology, which China can then begin to adopt so as to reduce the horrific climate impacts of its coal-heavy energy mix.

    • The Ecological Footprint of e-Books

      There has yet to be a conclusive study that compares the environmental cost of a single e-book in comparison to a single print book, so we’re left to draw conclusions from the rough comparisons made in the New York Times article and this well-considered Exact Editions blog post. Until then, it’s best to be aware of our consumption behaviors, no matter which we prefer, and push for further research comparing the respective ecological footprints of e-books and print books. And if we want to play it really safe, follow Siel’s advice and make better use of what may remain the greenest (and most shareable) distribution system: the public library.

    • Brookings Report: “Bright Flight” Transforming Cities and Suburbs

      The report merits much more careful analysis and closer reading. But one thing seems evident: “suburbs” and “cities” are no longer clearly defined categories with predictable attributes. The vast metropolitan landscape of America is far more fluid and dynamic than it has been in decades past. And old-school policy solutions are not going to be applicable to these new challenges.

  • Finance

    • The Decline Of The West

      Most analysts (at least the ones that are worth reading) contend that the sovereign default crisis (Greece, Portugal, Spain, etc.) in the EU is about the collapse of a system that created monetary union without a political union. It isn’t. That’s actually a narrow, parochial view. Instead, the current sovereign debt crisis is about something much more interesting: it’s another battle in a war for dominance between “our” integrated, impersonal global economic system and traditional nation-states. At issue is whether a nation-state serves the interests of the governed or it serves the interests of a global economic system.

      Who’s winning? The global economic system, of course. The 2008 financial crisis, the first real battle of this war (as opposed to the early losses in skirmishes in Russia, Argentina, the Balkans, etc.), generated a very decisive outcome. It was a resounding defeat for nation-states.* The current crisis in the EU will almost certainly end with the same results.

    • 4 Big Banks Score Perfect 61-Day Run
    • Last week’s stock plunge largely caused by big Wall Street firms, SEC chief says

      Major Wall Street firms retreated from the market Thursday at the very moment when they were most needed to support normal trading, in what a senior federal regulator called the “most significant” factor behind the stock market’s dramatic volatility.

    • [Satire] The Case Against Goldman Sachs
    • The Financial Oligarchy Reigns: Democracy’s Death Spiral From Greece to the United States

      These are the 61 “Senators” who sold out the American people and voted their allegiance to the Economic Elite. These “Senators” not only voted against the American people, they voted against the fundamental structure of a democratic society and free market.

    • Senate clears measure to audit Federal Reserve

      The amendment, which passed 96-0 with overwhelming bipartisan support, was the product of a deal brokered late last week by sponsor Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) and Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) to make the provision acceptable to White House and Treasury officials, and appealing to Senate moderates.

    • In Greek Debt Crisis, Some See Parallels to U.S.

      It’s easy to look at the protesters and the politicians in Greece — and at the other European countries with huge debts — and wonder why they don’t get it. They have been enjoying more generous government benefits than they can afford. No mass rally and no bailout fund will change that. Only benefit cuts or tax increases can.

    • Liquidity

      First money is liquid. Money is any asset which can be used to buy anything or pay and debt right now. Other assets are more or less liquid depending on how quickly they can be converted into money and how much that operation costs. One definition of liquidity (the only one which I accept) is the cost of a round trip money to the asset to money divided by the price of the asset.


      The main point of this post is to object to the equation of round trip costs for medium size round trips and huge round trips. However, the abuse of language is much worse. A third meaning of liquidity is the money supply. This is the sense in which Central banks are said to inject and remove liquidity via open market operations. Here “liquidity” means “liquid assets.” I don’t think this abuse of English is dangerous. It is just very mildly irritating.

    • MBA: Mortgage Purchase Applications Decrease
    • Financial overhaul pits military against car dealers

      In the battle to overhaul the nation’s financial regulations, a lobbying effort by the world’s most powerful military force may have met its match in the local car dealer.

    • Our Eurozone Call In October 2008 And Banking Reform Today

      If you don’t fix the system now, you’ll have another major crisis – and then you likely won’t fix the system again.

    • A Polish Internet Revolution

      Poland is one of the few countries that is emerging from Europe’s financial crisis relatively unscathed. While many European Union members struggle to raise funds, Poland’s zloty remains stable and interest rates low.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Adobe’s new Flash DRM comes with selective output control

      Adobe has rejiggered its DRM software for the Flash platform, combining a number of access control features under the rubric of Flash Access 2.0. The new platform can give content providers all sorts of ways to offer media content securely, including controlling what type of output devices can display the content—in effect, Adobe it enabling HDCP and broadcast control flags for Flash content.

    • No DMCA Protection For You

      I have previously written about the Viacom v. YouTube case here and here. Ben Sheffner has an update that points to the Washington Legal Foundation amicus brief in the case. This brief, unlike the other brief mentioned in the article, deals not with the facts in this case, but rather with whether sites like YouTube should be afforded DMCA Safe Harbor protection at all. The brief is incredibly misleading, even for a Washington-based company.


      What makes this so hypocritical is that Viacom isn’t even sure what videos it owns the copyright to and has issued bogus DMCA takedowns for innocent videos. Yet the Washington Legal Foundation thinks that YouTube should be liable when users upload infringing content? How could YouTube possibly be able to find all unwanted content when the content creators don’t even know what content is theirs?

    • The Telcos’ Secret Anti-Net Neutrality Strategy

      NoMoreHelio writes “The political blog ThinkProgress lays out big telecom’s plan to attack net neutality. The blog obtained a secret PowerPoint presentation from a telecommunications industry front group (PPT) that outlines the industry strategy for defending against regulatory attempts by the FCC. The industry plans to partner with two conservative ‘astroturfing’ groups, best known for their work seeding the Tea Party movement. Today’s revelation from ThinkProgress comes as Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) joined various telecom-funded front groups to unveil an anti-net neutrality bill.”

    • NEC announces video checking technology
    • Big Content’s depraved indifference

      Something I think gets lost in the debate over DRM: Big Content doesn’t want DRM because they want to usher in an era of totalitarian control technologies; they don’t want copyright filters because they want to make the censor’s job easier; they don’t want increased intermediary liability because they want to extinguish easy personal expression and collective action.

    • CMAP #9: Ebooks

      There is no topic in the publishing industry this decade that is the source of as many misconceptions, superstitions, lies, plausible untruths, and idiocies as ebooks. Ebooks generate more email to my from my readers than just about any other topic. And the situation is only going to get worse over the next few years, so strap your safety helmet on tight …

      I am coming to this topic from two different angles. Firstly, I’m an author and some of my books are published through ebook channels. Secondly, I’ve got a computer science degree — having graduated in 1990, this makes me about as current as someone with an aeronatical engineering degree issued in 1937 — which qualification, along with several years earning my crust as a programmer and as a computer journalist, has fine-tuned my bullshit detector.


      Publishers inflict DRM on their ebooks.

      I shouldn’t need to explain why DRM is bad, stupid, and doomed to failure, so I’ll leave it to cryptography guru Bruce Schneier, who in 2001 pointed out that DRM is an attempt to repeal the laws of nature. When you get down to it, every DRM scheme relies on encrypting files, then giving them to someone else, along with the necessary decryption key for decrypting them, and trusting that the someone else is too stupid to reverse engineer the decryption algorithm and use the keys you helpfully provided.

    • Open vs. Closed: Google Takes on Amazon and Apple in e-Books

      According to Google product manager Chris Palma, who described the search giant’s plans at a recent publishing industry event in New York, it will start selling digital books in late June or July. And unlike books bought from either Apple or Amazon, which are locked by digital rights management software and can only be read on the proprietary devices sold by those companies, Palma said that e-books bought from Google Editions will be accessible from a range of non-Google websites and will be readable on any device that has a web browser (including presumably a Google tablet, if one ever materializes). It doesn’t get much more open than that.

    • Google Editions Could Boast Over 4 Million Titles at Launch, eBook Revolution to Follow

      The publishing industry has been backed into a corner as of late, as the digital age hasn’t played too nicely with old fashioned paper and ink. Companies that rely on the sale of books and printed media have turned to producing their own e-readers in an attempt to capitalize on digitized publications (see Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s Nook), but stand-alone devices for reading e-publications have proven hard to justify for consumer’s who already own any combination of MP3 player, mobile phone, laptop, and now tablet.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • ACS:Law Anti-Piracy Scheme Cited In Sex Shop Closure Row

      A sex shop company owned by one of Britain’s richest men has been revealed as a client of controversial anti-piracy lawyers ACS:Law. Following an objection against a license renewal for one of its premises, the owning company complained that it was the target of a national campaign, and later withdrew its application and closed down the shop.

    • Big Music lawyer as US attorney general?

      Just when you thought things couldn’t become any more twisted in the Obushma administration, meet (ex-)Jenner & Block employee Don Verrilli (right).

      If his face seems familiar, it’s because you’ve seen it before.

      In Excess Copyright, Canadian copyright lawyer Howard Knopf noted Verrilli “fought and won the Grokster case for the music industry in the US Supreme Court”.

    • Copyrights

      • Publishers were expert at selling copies – not intellectual work

        Publishers aren’t interested in developing business models that pay intellectual workers for their intellectual work, because they’ve never been interested in paying intellectual workers anything except as little as possible. Moreover, they know exactly how to pay intellectual workers. They’ve been doing it for centuries.

    • ACTA

      • EC’s ACTA Negotiator Devigne: Rejected U.S. “Blackmail”

        Luc Devigne, the European Commission’s lead ACTA negotiator, recently appeared before the International Trade Committee which brought together Members of the European Parliament and ACTA negotiators. Sources say Devigne revealed several key things:

        * the release of the draft ACTA text may be a one-time deal. There are no current plans to release the updated text following future rounds of talks.
        * Devigne reportedly told the MEPs that the EC successfully rejected U.S. “blackmail”, a reference to U.S. demands for changes on the scope of ACTA in return for greater transparency.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – SF – NASA Airport Simulator (1/9/2001)


Links 11/5/2010: Linux 2.6.34 RC7; Wine 1.2 Plans

Posted in News Roundup at 7:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Migrating from Windows to GNU/Linux

    David H. Wheeler has argued in detail why you should at least consider GNU/Linux. However, as explained to Robin Miller in an interview for Linux.com in 2004, “in the end, the only way to be really sure that you have unbiased results is to do the comparison yourself — which you have to do anyway, because some measures like total cost of ownership (TCO) and performance are incredibly sensitive to specific environments.”

  • What can Linux learn from Toyota?
  • Desktop

    • ‘Linux is Not User Friendly’ – No Way!

      In our previous post, we discussed how mainstream media is adopting linux(‘Stop using Windows, Use Ubuntu instead’). And a lot of people started complaining how not-user-friendly Linux really is. Before saying such far fetched statements, one thing they all need to consider is this, Linux!=Windows!

    • GNU/Linux: Flexibility is the name of the game

      I always keep a LiveCD with me just in case things like this happen (on other people’s computer, normally). I fire it up and the computer responds normally… so I’m able to work on it… even if I don’t have all the information about the project. I check and see that the D partition (where the data is) is usable… at least I get to see many files I’m working with and md5sum them.

  • Ballnux

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 2.6.34 Kernel Is Likely On Its Last RC

      Assuming there are no major last minute issues, the Linux 2.6.34 kernel will likely be released in the very near future. Last night Linus put out the Linux 2.6.34-rc7 release, which he hopes will be the last release candidate.

    • The cpuidle subsystem
    • Graphics Stack

      • Ubuntu Working Towards A Rootless X Server

        One of the benefits of kernel mode-setting on Linux besides providing a flicker-free boot experience, faster and better VT switching, and a cleaner architecture is that it removes a requirement against the X.Org Server from needing to be run as root. With Ubuntu 10.04 LTS now utilizing kernel mode-setting across Intel / ATI and AMD / NVIDIA graphics hardware, they are looking to make the X Server run as a normal user in upcoming releases.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • Touch support in Qt 4.7

        Almost two months after the technical preview was released, the development of version 4.7 of the cross-platform Qt C++ framework for GUI applications is beginning to take shape, as Nokia has now presented a beta version. A beta of the Qt Creator 2.0 development environment, which is part of the framework, has also been released. The developers highlight the integration of Qt Quick (Qt UI Creation Kit) as the prominent feature of the next version of Qt. Qt Quick is a tool collection for creating animated, touch-enabled Qt interfaces and applications for mobile and embedded devices.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Eat Burgers on the Short Bus
      • I had an epiphany (about Epiphany)

        While I think the even-tighter integration of GNOME apps in the Ubuntu panel is theoretically a step in the right direction, I find that things are broken enough that the benefits of that integration aren’t terrible available at present (but I hope they will be in future).

  • Distributions

    • Tiny Core Linux: My first impression: innovative and amazing

      But there’s a lot to be said for a system with just a Web browser. I haven’t heard anybody say this, but the way I have Tiny Core running at this particular moment, I can’t imagine the Google Chrome OS being much different. And if you want to boot super-quickly into a working desktop like Google Chrome OS promises, but you want to do it now with old, crappy hardware like mine, Tiny Core is ready to do it today.

    • Today’s Featured Distribution – Ark Linux

      I ran Ark as an experimental on my system a couple times in the past few years. I was always impressed with it. It’s simple. It’s not bloated or overloaded with fluff. It’s a working man’s (or woman’s) Linux. For those of you concerned about these things, Ark is a 100% FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) distribution.


      You’ll find Ark familiar and easy to use. It comes with KDE as the default desktop environment. It uses the familiar RPM and Apt as package managers. Most of your favorite Linux apps and tools will run fine on Ark. Their repos have the standard fare found in most distro’s repos.

    • Slackware 13.1 Beta announced.

      We have some pretty big changes today, with an update to the latest KDE SC 4.4.3, and the addition of support for ConsoleKit and PolicyKit which have been enhanced to use shadow authentication.

    • XtreemOS Summer School 2010

      XtreemOS is a Linux-based operating systems that includes Grid functionalities. It is characterised by properties such as transparency, hiding the complexity of in the underlying distributed infrastructure; scalability, supporting hundreds of thousands of nodes and millions of users; and dependability, providing reliability, highly availability and security.
      The XtreemOS Summer School will include lectures on modern distributed paradigms such as Grid computing, Cloud computing, and network-centric operating systems. The Summer School will combine lectures from research leaders shaping the future of distributed systems and world leaders in deploying and exploiting distributed infrastructures. Hands-on laboratory exercises and practical sessions using XtreemOS will give participants experience on using modern distributed systems.

    • New Releases

      • MythTV 0.23 Available

        * After six months of our new accelerated development schedule, MythTV 0.23 is now available. MythTV 0.23 brings a new event system, brand new python bindings, the beta MythNetvision internet video plugin, new audio code and surround sound upmixer, several new themes (Arclight and Childish), newly resynced ffmpeg libraries, and fixes for analog scanning, among many others.

    • Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Confirmed: Mandriva in Acquisition Talks

        Reports from the community site Mandriva Linux Online (MLO) this weekend indicated that Mandriva appears to be the flower around which two bees were buzzing: namely, UK-based software-as-a-service provider lightapp, and the French open source software firm LINAGORA.

      • PCLinuxOS 2010 OpenBox Edition now available

        Kernel kernel for maximum desktop performance.
        Openbox Desktop with Tint2 panel
        Nvidia and ATI fglrx driver support.
        Multimedia playback support for many popular formats.
        Wireless support for many network devices.
        Printer support for many local and networked printer devices.
        Addlocale allows you to convert PCLinuxOS into over 60 languages.
        GetOpenOffice can install Open Office supporting over 100 languages.
        MyLiveCD allows you to take a snapshot of your installation and burn it to a LiveCD/DVD.

      • May 2010 Issue of The NEW PCLinuxOS Magazine

        The NEW PCLinuxOS Magazine is a product of the PCLinuxOS community, published by volunteers from the community.

    • Red Hat Family

      • RHEL 6 – your sensible but lovable friend

        Another big change in the RHEL 6 beta is the wide selection of disk formatting options, including ext4. You know a Linux feature has arrived when it makes its way to the conservative enterprise releases like RHEL and such is the case with ext4 file system, which is now the default filesystem format in RHEL 6. In addition to ext4, the XFS filesystem is now supported.

      • Fedora

        • The name game, no. 14.

          The Fedora 14 name has been announced, and it’s Laughlin.

        • Making 3D Free for Innovation: Fedora 13 Graphics Drivers

          This is the third post in our blog series highlighting cool features slated for Fedora 13. Our first spotlight looked at the enhancements in NetworkManager, and the second covered the innovations planned for Python developers. With this blog, we’re focusing on a feature that affects everyone, from the newest users exploring the rich environment of open source, to the most diehard developers of the Linux kernel: video drivers.

        • Fedora Dropping Official PowerPC Support

          Fedora 13 will bring a lot of interesting new features when it’s released in late May, but also interesting is what’s going to be missing. For example, official support for PowerPC. So what happens now, and what’s the right thing to do for users on niche platforms?

    • Debian Family

      • The Bizarre Cathedral – 72
      • Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu Developer Summit: Unity, Ubuntu Light and More

          In the Ubuntu Developers Summit today, Mark Shuttleworth announced some very interesting new features and ideas regarding the future Ubuntu releases.

        • Short Review: Ubuntu 10.04

          All in all, this has so far been a very pleasant experience. I even took the time to upgrade my wife’s 9.10 installation to the latest. The upgrade, while taking 1.5 hours, went smoothly. No problems seen. Great job Canonical!

        • Lucid dream: Ars reviews Ubuntu 10.04
        • Ubuntu 10.04 is good, not perfect
        • Ubuntu Names Their Desktop After Us?

          I was quite surprised this morning whilst reading my RSS feeds to discover that Ubuntu has named their most recent ‘lite desktop‘ Unity. Surprised because we have our project, Unity Linux. Strange that both our ‘lightweight distribution and desktop’ and Ubuntu’s ‘lite desktop’ should share a name together.

        • Cold Start to On-line in Under 10s

          Ubuntu is shipping to OEMs a release for netbooks that is usable in under 10s. This was a design goal not quite achieved for the desktop version yet but the netbook release is there. This greatly adds to the convenience of the portable PC and saves some battery life.

        • First Impressions of the New Unity Netbook Interface

          Ubuntu will be following the normal market trend of releasing custom-built images for OEM hardware, working with the manufacturers to get the boot time as low as possible. Shuttleworth is claiming that Unity will have a 7 second boot time using SSD.

          What does Unity look like on my netbook? Take a look.

        • Taking Ubuntu Unity Interface For A Test Drive [Screenshots and Video]
        • Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Server Is Getting There

          Canonical’s Ubuntu Server hasn’t yet caught up to the progress that’s been made in Linux desktops, but it offers a serviceable alternative to server offerings from other Linux vendors and from Microsoft.

          Canonical and the Ubuntu Project have done great things to help bring Linux to the mainstream desktop. But what about the server edition? If Ubuntu can bring the same level of polish to its server offerings, it should be a formidable competitor to Microsoft and other Linux vendors. Looking at Ubuntu Server 10.04, aka “Lucid Lynx,” there’s a lot to like and also some disappointments.

        • Review: Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud

          If you’re building an internal or private cloud, Canonical wants you to use Ubuntu Linux 10.04 as your operating system of choice. To that end, the newest version of Ubuntu includes a feature set called Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud.

        • UDS-M: Me Menu getting improvements for Maverick

          The Me Menu in Ubuntu 10.04 is getting much needed improvements for Ubuntu 10.10 based on user feedback and research conducted recently.

        • Sound menu Changes coming In Ubuntu Maverick
      • Variants

        • Peppermint Linux Mixes Ubuntu, LXDE and Prism

          A new Linux distro is officially hitting its 1.0 release today, but you’ll have to forgive me for not being too excited. Peppermint OS is now out, with the aim of being a fast, cloud focused Linux operating system.

          A quick look under the hood reveals that it’s mostly a mashup of technologies that are available (and I’m already running), with an Ubuntu base (by way of the Linux Mint Ubuntu derivative) and leveraging the lightweight LXDE desktop. Ubuntu by default uses GNOME which is bulkier and consumes a larger resource footprint than LXDE.

        • Linux Mint 9 ETA

          Looking at the remaining bugs and considering the amount of testing needed I would say we’re about 1 week away from releasing Linux Mint 9. I know most operating systems and distributions stick to release dates and announce them well in advance but I see no reason not to release something once it’s ready and many reasons not to do so until it is. The release could be out a little earlier or a little bit later than expected.

        • Xubuntu Linux 10.04

          Last week I did a review of Kubuntu 10.04, one of Canonical’s officially supported Ubuntu derivatives. Today’s review is about Xubuntu 10.04, an officially recognized but not supported Ubuntu derivative. According to the Xubuntu downloads page, it is based on the “feature-rich core of Ubuntu” Linux.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux Guitar, a rocking toy

      If you are looking for a Linux toy that really rocks, your search ends here. This is a stringless digital guitar and it’s powered by Linux

    • Linux Ice maker and vending machine, Cool!

      I love ice, and now I love it even more. Linux can make you coffee, wash your clothes, heat your meal and it can also serve you a delicious fresh made Ice Cream.

    • Pandora-ready Internet tuner costs $105

      Grace Digital Audio is shipping a Linux-based Internet tuner that offers Pandora access and costs only $105. The Solo Wi-Fi Receiver provides over 50,000 radio stations, podcasts, and on-demand programs over its 802.11b/g WiFi receiver, runs on two Watts of power, and according to one early DigitalGuru review, is “heartily” recommended as “a great little device at a very affordable price.”

    • Android

      • Google Android outsells Apple iPhone, ranked No. 2 in U.S. smartphone sales by NPD

        The data places Android, with 28 percent of the smartphone market, in second place behind RIM’s Blackberry smartphone market share of 36 percent. Apple now sits in third place with 21 percent.

      • Archos 7 Home Tablet hands-on

        But did I mention it’s $199? For the price of an iPod Touch, you get a 7-inch, antireflective screen with an 800×480-pixel resolution, multimedia playback, Web, e-mail, photos, and a ton of Android app goodness.

      • Is This Android 2.2? Sure Seems Like It
      • Android Rising

        The news comes to us today that in 1Q 2010 Android phones outsold Apple’s iPhone by a significant 7%. As it said on the gunslinger’s gravestone, “I was expecting this, but not so soon.”

        Business Week and the Wall Street Journal are on the story, but the most interesting version is from the story they’re apparently deriving from at All Things Digital, because it includes a graph showing recent market share trends that conveys a lot more information than the present-time numbers.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Tyler on Ubuntu: Why Netbooks are bringing the future

        Lastly, lets hear the (constructive) feedback. If you ask me, Ubuntu has become the best desktop experience available, and the only thing that Ubuntu lacks compared to Mac and PC is professional use applications and some usability. This Netbook stuff is the foundation for pure perfect beautiful usability on the Ubuntu desktop, and you, the user, needs to speak up about the things you want. Theres plenty of stuff that I spend my time criticizing, but its by analyzing what is good and what is bad that leads to improvement. Lets speak up, and make 10.10 the best operating system it can be.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Organizations Learning to Contribute to FOSS “The Right Way”

    A keynote which really stood out and succinctly discussed all of this was Dan Frye’s talk, “10+ Years of Linux at IBM” (video). The first half of the keynote discusses the progress of Linux within IBM, but then he moves into discussing contributing itself. Some of their take-aways were that they needed to get involved directly with small contributions and do away with closed-door meetings and canned corporate responses, IBM employees were empowered to become community members. They needed to learn to collaborate with the community to develop higher quality solutions than they could have in-house, and to start these discussions with the community early in the brainstorming process. Related to collaboration, he also discusses control, and how a company does not have it within a community and needs to learn to deal with that, instead what a company should strive for is influence within a project to help guide direction and priorities. He also suggests never creating a project. Instead he encourages companies to join a project that’s close to what they need and work with them to take it in a direction that can benefit everyone and reach their goals and scratch their itches.

  • An early look at Glide

    Sponsored by the Rensselaer Center for Open Source Software, Glide is a GNOME presentation program in its earliest stages.

  • Open source’s integration jams — and how to fix them

    “It’s a step-by-step process,” Wang says. “First we put in an application server, an Apache Web server. Then, over time, we put in all the Linux operating systems and migrated away from Sun hardware. Then we switched the BEA application server out to JBoss,” he adds, naming just a few of the changes eHealth made. Nine years later, his company’s production environment consists of open-source applications completely, except for an Oracle database. “It’s all [open-source software], from operating systems, middleware, application server, Web server and more,” Wang says.

  • “Do not sell anything to your community”
  • Lightcrest Joins Lucid Imagination Global Partner Program for Open Source Search
  • Top Ten Free Wi-Fi Security Test Tools

    So here we list our favorite free (open source or beggar-ware) wireless security test tools.

  • The Cloud : at least an environment that favor open-source !

    Moreover, open-source companies that develop open-source software already have a business model that is compatible with the Cloud : their software is already freely downloadable and can be run on any computer. When the old license-based model is used then some adaptation on the business sides of things, for instance usage based vs instance based. When a service-model is used, then no change is needed.

  • Events

    • 21st VistA Community Meeting

      If you have been wondering: What’s all the fuss about VistA? Where can I learn more about VistA? Who is the VistA Community? Can I use VistA in my hospital, clinic etc? How can I contribute to the improvement of VistA? Then plan on attending the 21st VistA Community Meeting, June 8 to 11, 2010 at George Mason University, Fairfax Virgina.

  • Mozilla

    • Mozilla firms up Firefox 4 plans

      Mozilla has given a breakdown of its plans for Firefox 4, including a pledge to make it “super-duper fast”.

      Perhaps the most striking change to Firefox 4 is the user interface, which takes a great deal of inspiration from Google Chrome. Though Mozilla was keen to note that the mockups shown in the presentation were subject to change, it’s clear Firefox 4 will benefit from the design choices made by Google’s pared-back browser.

    • [SLIDES] Firefox 4- What to expect

      This is a preview of Firefox 4 from Mike Beltzner of the Mozilla Foundation

    • Mozilla spills plan for, yes, Firefox 4

      Mozilla has confirmed that the next major upgrade to its open source browser will be known as Firefox 4.0.

    • Fedora, Mozilla, and trademarks

      Trademarks and free software can make a volatile mix. It is understandable that a project would want to ensure that code shipping under its name is “the real McCoy”, but modifying the source and distributing the result is a hallmark of free software. Trademark policy can place limits on what changes—for bugs, features, or even policy compliance—downstream projects can make and still use the trademarked names. The tension between the two has led some, like Debian, to re-brand Mozilla projects, so that they can ship the changes they want; some Fedora developers would like to see that distribution follow suit.

  • Oracle

    • Oracle hardware support plan stings Sun VARs

      The Oracle hardware support changes mean significantly higher prices and less flexible terms than customers received before Oracle acquired Sun.

    • Former Sun Execs Land at ForgeRock

      Three former Sun Microsystems executives have set up shop at an open-source enterprise application software provider called ForgeRock.

      Former Sun executives Simon Phipps, Lasse Andresen and Hermann Svoren have joined Oslo-based ForgeRock in prominent positions. ForgeRock is the official steward of the ForgeRock I3 Open Platform project.

    • Sun open source reborn in ForgeRock

      When Oracle bought Sun, there were many unanswered questions about Sun’s open-source portfolio of programs. Over a year later, we still don’t know if OpenSolaris is going to have Oracle’s support. But we do know that OpenSSO, an open-source access management and federation server platform, will live on as a product under the new open-source company ForgeRock.

  • Government

    • Notes from the Politics of Open Source conference

      Small conferences are often the best, especially when there’s a high concentration of really well-educated and personally committed people sharing a room for two days. That’s what I found at the Politics of Open Source conference at the University of Massachusetts Amherst on Friday. (I could attend only the second day.)

  • Licensing

  • Openness

    • 13 Open Source Hardware Companies Making $1 Million or More (video)

      Selling products whose design anyone can access, edit, or use on their own is pretty crazy. It’s also good business. At the annual hacker conference Foo Camp East this year, Phillip Torrone and Limor Fried from Adafruit Industries gave a rapid fire five minute presentation on thirteen companies with million dollar revenues from open source hardware (OSHW). Companies providing OSHW allow all designs of the products to be shared through an open license, meaning that everyone is free to download, modify, and share all the schematics and associated software.

    • The Lost Tribes of RadioShack: Tinkerers Search for New Spiritual Home
    • Open Access/Content

      • Paolo Mangiafico, on Open Access at Duke University

        Duke’s strategic plan says that one of our key goals is to apply knowledge in the service of society. Currently, much of the knowledge produced by Duke faculty is published in venues with limited distribution and often very high subscription rates that preclude access by many who would benefit from reading it. Making the research freely available to anyone with Internet access helps to increase the potential number of readers, and opens up possibilities for more people to make use of and build on the research being done here.

  • Standards/Consortia


  • Science

  • Security/Aggression

    • US prosecution of McKinnon ‘spiteful’, says ex-top cop

      The senior former policeman in charge of the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit squad which first arrested Gary McKinnon has described the ongoing US prosecution of the Pentagon hacker as “spiteful”.

    • Gates Takes Aim at Pentagon Spending

      Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates challenged some sacrosanct Pentagon spending practices in a speech on Saturday, directing both military and civilian officials to find cuts in their overhead and operating costs and then transfer the savings to the fighting force.

    • Pressure mounts on NHS IT scheme

      Although Britain’s political system has been in stasis for the past five weeks (and looks likely to remain that way for the foreseeable future) a number of recent stories and columns have highlighted a growing resentment in the mainstream media towards the National Programme for IT (otherwise known as the Government’s new-fangled NHS IT scheme).

    • More on Email Privacy

      I’ve been writing about email privacy with City of Ontario v. Quon and Stengart v. Loving Care, how about an encore from New York: People v. Klapper. Factually, People v. Klapper is pretty straightforward. The defendant, Andrew Klapper, was a dentist who installed keystroke logger on his office computers. As a result, when one of Mr. Klapper’s employees accessed a personal email account from a work computer, Mr. Klapper learned the employee’s email password, which Mr. Klapper later used to access the employee’s personal email himself. As a result, Mr. Klapper was charged with Unauthorized use of a Computer, which appears to be a New York state law analog of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

    • Doncaster man guilty of Twitter airport threat

      A man who posted a message on Twitter threatening to blow an airport “sky high” has been found guilty of sending a menacing electronic communication.

      Paul Chambers, 26, claimed he sent the Tweet in a moment of frustration after Robin Hood Airport in South Yorkshire was closed by snow in January.

    • Judge: FBI can review Lower Merion webcam photos

      Federal agents can examine webcam photos and other information secretly collected from students’ laptops and stored in the Lower Merion School District’s computer network, a judge has ruled.

      Acting on a request from federal prosecutors, U.S. District Judge Jan E. DuBois agreed to broaden an earlier order that limited the release of the photos to the students or their parents and lawyers. His order was signed Friday and made public Monday.

    • Village school banned from flying its own flag because it is ‘advertising’

      St Mary’s Primary School in Beetley, near Dereham, Norfolk was told by Breckland District Council that the flag required planning consent.

    • Jolly Rancher lands Brazos ISD third-grader in detention for a week

      A third-grader at Brazos Elementary was given a week’s detention for possessing a Jolly Rancher.

      School officials in Brazos County are defending the seemingly harsh sentence. The school’s principal and superintendent said they were simply complying with a state law that limits junk food in schools.

    • Four found guilty of dropping litter

      Four Northampton residents were fined after being found guilty of litter offences at Northampton Magistrates’ Court.


      He received a £100 fine and must pay £100 costs and a £15 Victim Surcharge.

    • Alderney CCTV ‘depends on public’

      Alderney residents are being asked if they think CCTV cameras should be installed in the island.

    • Mum felt ‘violated’ after spotting CCTV in Pembrokeshire County Council toilets, Saundersfoot

      A mother-of-three has raised concerns over privacy in some public toilets in Pembrokeshire after spotting a security camera visible from a cubicle.

    • Man saves fish – is fined £1000

      Once again Ladies and Gentlemen, common sense has officially left the building.

      The Environment Agency say it is illegal to remove fish from their habitat without permission; but surely even the EA can see that if the fish are about to snuff it, their transportation becomes imperative?!

    • Meeting Stupidity with Stupidity

      Last week, a 17-year-old knucklehead exposed his idiocy to the world by venturing onto the field at a Philadelphia Phillies game and running around waving a towel. When a pursuing policeman got weary of the chase, he pulled out his Taser and shot the kid.

      For that, the officer won praise from players, sportscasters, and city police commissioner Charles Ramsey, who said the cop “acted appropriately. I support him 100 percent.” The cop was in line with department policy, Ramsey said, because “he was attempting to make an arrest and the male was attempting to flee.”

      Really? Hitting a delinquent with a potentially fatal 50,000-volt burst of electricity even though he poses no physical danger to anyone and has zero chance of escaping? Maybe the commissioner should read the directions from the Taser manufacturer, which say the devices are meant to “incapacitate dangerous, combative or high-risk subjects.”

    • DARPA’s homeland security sister working on device that ‘detects’ intent

      Since its inception, the Department of Homeland Security has promoted modern technology as a way to save the nation from terrorism, and it’s done so in part by emulating the Pentagon’s preoccupation with science and experimentation. Some of the country’s most significant achievements, in fact, were conceived by pioneering researchers the government hired to help give warfighters an advantage over their enemies.

  • Environment

    • Nuke that slick

      As BP prepares to lower a four-story, 70-ton dome over the oil gusher under the Gulf of Mexico, the Russians — the world’s biggest oil producers — have some advice for their American counterparts: nuke it.

    • Gulf Spill: Did Pesky Hydrates Trigger the Blowout?

      Methane-trapping ice of the kind that has frustrated the first attempt to contain oil gushing offshore of Louisiana may have been a root cause of the blowout that started the spill in the first place, according to University of California, Berkeley, professor Robert Bea, who has extensive access to BP p.l.c. documents on the incident. If methane hydrates are eventually implicated, the U.S. oil and gas industry would have to tread even more lightly as it pushes farther and farther offshore in search of energy.

    • Lawmakers find oil spill making politics slippery

      The oil now lapping barrier islands near Louisiana threatens wildlife, wetlands and businesses all along the Gulf Coast, but its reach also extends hundreds of miles to the nation’s capital, where it is causing political discomfort — and downright embarrassment — for some lawmakers and administration officials.

    • Regulator Deferred to Oil Industry on Rig Safety

      Federal regulators warned offshore rig operators more than a decade ago that they needed to install backup systems to control the giant undersea valves known as blowout preventers, used to cut off the flow of oil from a well in an emergency.

    • What If BP Was a Human Being?

      In a century of doing business, BP has been implicated in bribery of public officials, grand theft, fomenting unjust wars, of murder, torture, fraud, stock swindling, plunder, environmental destruction, and money laundering in and between scores of countries on every continent except Antarctica. If BP were a person it would be a career criminal, a pathological liar and an international serial killer with a rap sheet several times the size of the Chicago Yellow Pages.

    • New recycling bins with tracking chips coming to Alexandria

      Alexandria residents soon will have to pay for larger home recycling bins featuring built-in monitoring devices.

      The City Council added a mandatory $9 charge to its residents’ annual waste collection fee.

      That cash — roughly $180,000 collected from 19,000 residents– will pay for new larger recycling carts equipped with computer microchips, which will allow the city to keep tabs on its bins and track resident participation in the city’s recycling program.

  • Finance

    • We Are Out of Money

      American conservatives, particularly the fiscal variety, tend to hold up the European Union as a model of irresponsible, big-spending economic policy. But consider this: According to E.U. rules, member countries cannot maintain budget deficits above 3 percent of gross domestic product; nor can their total debt rise above 60 percent of GDP. As Veronique de Rugy points out in this issue, the U.S. budget deficit in 2009 was three times the E.U.’s limit, and total debt will zoom past the 60 percent threshold sometime this year. Washington makes Paris look frugal.

    • Fed Audit Under Fire

      It doesn’t come as too much of a surprise that the measure to audit the Federal Reserve is coming under continuous fire from the central bank and its cronies. For the first time since the Federal Reserve was created nearly a century ago, they have hired an actual lobbyist to pound the pavement on Capitol Hill. This is a desperate effort to hang on to the privilege of secrecy and lack of accountability they have enjoyed for so long. Last week showed they are getting their money’s worth in the Senate.

    • Ex-Integrity Bank Execs Charged With Fraud

      Two former executives of Integrity Bank and a hotel developer were charged with conspiracy, bribery, bank fraud and securities fraud related to $80 million in loans that helped bring down the bank, U.S. prosecutors said.

      Hotel developer Guy Mitchell, 50, of Coral Gables, Florida, pleaded not guilty at an arraignment today in U.S. District Court in Atlanta before Magistrate Judge Gerrilyn Bell. The timing of appearances by Douglas Ballard, 40, and Joseph Todd Foster, 42, both former Integrity Bank executives from Atlanta, has not been announced.

    • “Faith Based” Bank Fraud

      In August, 2008, state regulators closed the bank in resulting in a draw of $235 million from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s insurance fund. According to the indictment, Integrity customer Guy Mitchell, a hotel developer from Coral Gables, Florida, used false pretenses to obtain more than $80 million in loans from the bank.

    • Bust Up the Banks

      What follows is a glimpse of the possible future of finance—if policymakers and politicians recognize that confronting crises requires radical reform.

    • Small Business hiring “Bleak”
    • Minn. lawmakers vote to raise taxes, cut spending

      The Democratic-controlled Legislature on Monday sent a bill raising income taxes for the highest-paid Minnesotans to a tax-averse Gov. Tim Pawlenty as part of their plan to wipe away a $2.9 billion deficit.

      The proposal, which also makes spending cuts, barely cleared the Senate on a 34-33 vote before passing the House 71-63. Pawlenty, a potential Republican presidential candidate, eliminated any suspense by promising to veto it. Neither chamber’s votes in favor were anywhere near what it would take for a veto override.

    • After S.E.C. Suit Warning, Traders Flee Moody’s Shares

      Shares of Moody’s fell sharply on Monday after it disclosed that the Securities and Exchange Commission had warned that it might sue the firm for making “false and misleading” statements as part of its application as a ratings organization.

    • No rest for Making Home Affordable head as foreclosure-prevention effort evolves

      Although 650,000 homeowners had enrolled, most had been waiting for months to learn whether they would be able to keep the federal aid that slashed their mortgage payments.

    • Watchdog: Treasury lax with records in bank talks

      The Treasury Department is lax about keeping records of its negotiations with bailed-out banks, including undocumented conversations in which billions of taxpayer dollars are at stake, a new watchdog report says.

    • For Administration, an Ill-Timed Request for Aid

      The government has already transfused $137.5 billion into Fannie Mae and its cousin, Freddie Mac, since seizing the two mortgage financing giants in August 2008. The money covers losses on mortgages that the companies bought or guaranteed during the housing boom, allowing them to continue buying new loans.

    • Regulators Vow to Find Way to Stop Rapid Dives

      In addition, if the Dow falls by 20 percent before 1 p.m., trading is halted for two hours, or one hour if the 20 percent decline occurs between 1 and 2 p.m. After 2 p.m., a 20 percent decline closes the market for the rest of the day. And if the Dow falls by 30 percent, all trading is halted for the remainder of the day. Trading normally ends at 4 p.m.

    • A Trillion for Europe, With Doubts Attached

      Stung by criticism that it was slow and weak, the European Union surpassed expectations in arranging a nearly $1 trillion financial commitment for its ailing members over the weekend and paved the way for the European Central Bank to begin purchases of European debt on Monday.

    • Fed’s Kocherlakota: Financial Reform Bill Can’t End Bailouts Or ‘Too Big To Fail’

      Despite declarations from President Obama, his top aides and Democratic leadership that the pending financial reform bill in the Senate will forever end taxpayer bailouts of large banks, a top Federal Reserve official argues the bill will do no such thing, calling bailouts “inevitable.”

    • Customer-Centric Capitalism

      The central premise in The Age of Customer Capitalism is that: “For three decades, executives have made maximizing shareholder value their top priority. But evidence suggests that shareholders actually do better when firms put the customer first.”

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • SourceWatch Preserves History Unwritten by the Family Research Council

      Recently, SourceWatch helped preserve history when the Family Research Council (FRC) deleted one of its co-founders from its website after he was caught in an embarrassing scandal. The FRC was co-founded by James Dobson and George Rekers, and the organization attempts to inject what it considers to be evangelical Christian values into the public debate. Most recently, as noted in SourceWatch, the FRC held a “prayercast” against health insurance reform in which Dobson publicly prayed that his savior would “frustrate the plans of the Evil One and revive us again with conviction and forgiveness,” referring to the President of the United States, Barack Obama.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Big Content’s depraved indifference

      Something I think gets lost in the debate over DRM: Big Content doesn’t want DRM because they want to usher in an era of totalitarian control technologies; they don’t want copyright filters because they want to make the censor’s job easier; they don’t want increased intermediary liability because they want to extinguish easy personal expression and collective action.

      They want these things because they want to make more money.

      But they are indifferent to the point of depravity to the totalitarian, censorious and restrictive consequences of DRM, filters and liability.

    • Digital Music Nearing Critical Mass at Warner

      Significantly, Warner Music said that digital sales of recorded music now account for 46.8 percent of the company’s domestic music sales.

    • FCC Gives Hollywood The Right To Break Your TV/DVR… Just ‘Cause

      For a couple years now, the MPAA has been asking the FCC to break your TV/DVR, and let them effectively put a type of DRM (by enabling “Selectable Output Control” or SOC) on video content, such that you will not be able to access the content via third party devices, such as your DVR or your Slingbox. Effectively, they want to break the ability of your equipment to work. You wouldn’t be able to legally record the movie that was playing on your TV. The MPAA’s argument here makes absolutely no sense at all — and when they’re called on it, the doubletalk comes out.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Curse.com sued by Games Workshop over Warhammer Alliance’s name

      A look at the official complaint revealed a litany of allegations including cybersquatting, unfair competition, dilution (of the IP), and more. Part of Games Workshop’s problem with all of this, according to the complaint is that Curse’s use of the Warhammer name and trademarks “literally states and implies that Defendant and their business are in an “alliance” with Plaintiff and its products and services offered under the WARHAMMER Marks,” and that this “conduct as aforesaid has caused great and irreparable injury to Plaintiff, and unless such conduct is enjoined, it will continue and Plaintiff will continue to suffer great and irreparable injury.”

    • Copyrights

      • Why Hollywood should be very nervous about Elena Kagan

        Hollywood may have some reason to be nervous about President Obama’s nomination of Elena Kagan to be the next U.S. Supreme Court justice.

        Not a whole lot is known about Kagan’s judicial philosophy, which in some ways, makes her the perfect pick to win confirmation by the Senate. Her record on issues the industry cares about, though, isn’t entirely opaque.

      • An Insider’s View of the Spin about Elena Kagan, President Obama’s Supreme Court Choice
      • Sports Streaming / Torrent Links Site Victorious in Court

        The hugely popular sports streaming and download site Rojadirecta has been declared legal by a Spanish court. The appeal of sports rights holder Audiovisual Sport has been dismissed, putting an end to a legal battle that started three years ago. The site continues to operate without having to face the threat of being shut down.

      • Music Industry Lawyer Complains Both That Musicians Don’t Get Paid… And When They Do

        But, no, apparently not. The only acceptable way for a musician to get paid is via copyright, I guess. He recently put up a a rant about the evils of musicians getting money from corporations in the form of sponsorship or advertising.

        Why is it bad? Well, something about the purity of music the old way. You know, where instead of taking money from corporations to make commercial music they… took money from corporations (record labels) to make commercial music. Oh wait…

      • Lyrics Sites at Center of Fight Over Royalties

        That’s what Milun Tesovic wanted to know back in 2000 as he searched online for the lyrics of his favorite tunes. But often, he got results that seemed dubious or could not find the song at all. So a year later, at age 16, he started his own site.

    • ACTA

      • Moving ACTA to WIPO

        The request of the European Parliament is no good idea at all but it certainly expresses it concerns about the planned ACTA governance model.

      • EU-INDIA policy laundry or: ACTA as it was meant to be

        When the interested public and Parliament fails to spot undesirable measures in ACTA (cast light on it) we’ll get it anyway, sneaked through a bilateral route, because Commission trade specialists want it so. Domestic effects of institutional activism and forum shopping. The process demonstrates us how trade policy severely undermines parliamentarian democracy when trade administration steps into merely regulatory matters, legislation not trade. I hate to admit that but maybe the globalisation critics were right with their fierce criticism of the EU- “Global Europe” strategy spirit.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – SF – NASA Aviation Safety Program (1/9/2001)


Links 10/5/2010: Loads of GNU/Linux Gaming News, Mandriva Rumours

Posted in News Roundup at 4:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Comparisons

    • Mac OS X 10.6.3 vs. Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu 10.04 Benchmarks

      Last week we delivered the first of our Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu 10.04 benchmarks to much anticipation, but now we have the results for Apple’s Mac OS X 10.6.3 operating system to tack in too. In the first part of that Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu Linux performance examination, we looked closely at the OpenGL gaming performance across six different systems and a whole slew of tests. More articles are on the way looking at the performance and later in the week we already delivered some initial disk benchmarks. However, now it is time to see how Microsoft Windows 7 Professional x64, Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, and Apple Mac OS X 10.6.3 compete with one another.

    • Boot race video: Ubuntu 10.04 Vs Windows 7

      sentvid passed me a linkto his admittedly “not very Scientific but end user perspective” boot race video that sees him pit clean installs of Ubuntu 10.04 and Windows 7 against one another.

    • Wine 1.1.44 vs Vista Benchmarks
  • Sony

    • Two more lawsuits levelled at Sony over the PS3 Linux debacle

      Sony is starting to come under serious fire over its latest Playstation 3 update (3.21), which saw the removal of the ‘Install other OS’ feature, and the denial of access to the Playstation Network and all online gaming for those that chose not to update (as is per the majority of PS3 updates). First came the class action lawsuit from Anthony Ventura of California, and now two more lawsuits have been levelled at Sony over the same issue.

    • Sony is Now Facing a Total of 3 Lawsuits Over Other OS Removal

      You shouldn’t act surprised to find out that Sony is being sued yet again over its decision to remove Linux support from its PS3 game console. Attorney Rebecca Call was the first lawyer to smell blood and find a disgruntled PS3 owner who was willing to file suit and go along with a class action status.

  • Server

    • SGI releases next-gen Altix ICE scale-out supercomputer

      The supercomputer uses a blade design to scale to up to 65,536 compute nodes, the firm said, while its open x86 architecture makes it relatively easy to deploy commercial, open-source or custom applications on standard Novell SUSE or Red Hat Linux operating systems.

  • Audiocasts

  • Ballnux

  • Kernel Space

    • Guest Blog: Rares Aioanai gives a Kernel Review (Week 18)
    • Kernel Log: New stable kernels and drivers

      While new stable kernel releases seem to have become somewhat less frequent, they now include more changes. Although the most recent version of AMD’s proprietary graphics drivers finally work with X Server 1.7, NVIDIA’s drivers already work with version 1.8. Videos of the Linux Audio Conference and the Collaboration Summit provide insights into audio and kernel topics.


      A version of the proprietary GeForce driver, functional with X Server 1.8 after setting a special Xorg.conf option, was already available when the new X Server was released. Version 195.36.24 (x86-32, x86-64), which was released at the end of April, no longer requires this trick and also supports the GeForce GTX 470 and 480 models introduced in March.

  • Applications

    • Manage Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid) and Study Linux with Ailurus

      Ailurus is an open-source software that makes Ubuntu easier to use.
      With ailurus,you can manage system settings include nautilus,desktop,windows effect,network,sound,etc;you can install/remove applications which do not provide Debian packages at all;you can check you hardware information include motherboard,CPU,BIOS,Total memory;you can check the system version,desktop environment,host name,kernel version and so on;you can select the fastest repository,clean up system cache,study Linux skills …

    • Indicator Applet: Why I like it

      I know I tend to moan about a lot of things in my blog, sometimes I celebrate good work, well executed. Rarely do I get the opportunity to agree with the Ayatana/DX Ubuntu design direction. I may not agree with the group’s past choice of language communicating things to the community, but this is something I think it’s got mostly right.

      OK so what don’t I like about the old notification area? Well it’s an arbitrary parent-widget, this means that it’s a container for other widgets which are not internally defined but are defined outside. This results is very inconsistent behaviour and a real problem when your trying to keep tabs on design as a distro.

    • Custom wallpaper placement with anyPaper

      Today we continue on with our Wallpaper theme! You’ve already seen how to Manage your wallpaper in GNOME as well as how to set up a changing rotation of wallpapers with Wallpaper Drapes (see “Desktop Drapes for GNOME“). Now it’s time for something a bit different. Most wallpaper applets pretty much do the same thing: They will either place a picture on your desktop or manage multiple pictures that will change at a set interval. For the most part there is little variation in these tools. But one such tool offers a single addition to the standard wallpaper manager that sets it apart. That tool is anyPaper. And that feature allows you to place your image anywhere on your desktop you like. For those that use icons on their desktop, this is actually a most welcome feature (you’ll understand in a bit). And, unlike most tools, AnyPaper actually offers you a preview of what your desktop will look like.

    • You secretly love the command line, don’t you?
    • 5 Things Easier To Do In The Command Line [Linux]

      There are a lot of things easier to do with a command line then with a graphical user interface. That’s not to say doing things with a command line is intuitive – no, you will need to learn how to use the tools – but it is easier – that is to say, quick and simple to remember. A powerful, easy-to-use command line is a huge part of what makes Linux so powerful.

    • systemd Now Has a Web Site
    • Proprietary

      • Hulu and Adobe Not Friendly to 64 Bit Linux?

        No biggie. I’ll just bop on over to Hulu™ and watch it there. BUZZZZZ! Wrong! It seems that Hulu™ is having an issue with 64 bit Linux and the Adobe Flash® plugin. Attempting to play the video gives me this warm and fuzzy notice:

        Were sorry we are unable to stream videos to your system. This may be due to an Adobe software limitation on 64bit Linux systems.

    • Instructionals

    • Games

      • 8 Best Massively Multiplayer Online Role-playing Games (MMORPG) for Linux

        MMORPGs are really popular nowadays that they are played all over the world, and revenues are said to be more than US$1 billion a year since 2006. World of Warcraft (WoW) is currently the world’s most-subscribed MMORPG but its client only runs on Windows and Mac OS X platforms. So if you are using Linux, you may have to rely on Wine to play the game (see 10 Best Windows Games That Can Be Played on Linux). However, if you want to play MMORPGs that are native on Linux, check out this list that I’ve compiled…

      • At This Rate, Don’t Be Surprised If You See Steam Soon

        Just a few hours ago we reported on the progress by those within the Phoronix community working to get the Steam client running as much as possible based upon Valve’s Steam Linux binaries that are inconspicuously housed on their servers. By making some modifications to the Steam client binary and libraries, as of this morning they are up to the point of displaying the main Steam UI window. Just hours after that, the Steam Friends’ UI is now being partially drawn along with other windows.

      • Those Digging Into Steam On Linux Make More Progress

        If you’re not already aware, Valve’s Steam client and Source Engine are coming to Linux. It’s something we have been talking about for weeks now along with those in the Phoronix community via our forums and IRC. If you’re not up-to-date on our coverage, read Investigating The Steam Linux Client Continues and Here’s The First Screenshot Of The Linux Steam Client. However, if you are up to speed, here is the newest screenshot exhibiting the latest progress to the Steam Linux client.

      • I Don’t Think Games Have To Be Open Source
      • The State Of Mac And GNU/Linux Gaming – By Wolfire Games

        The present is also much better then 5 years ago and we see constant improvement each year.
        I very much agree with David’s post, specially about the fact that most GNU/Linux ports came way after the original Windows release, which harms the sales and in many cases lowers the game “worth” (if the port is made several years after the Windows release for example, and yeah it did happen many times).

      • Formula Retro
      • Why there is a Market for Linux Games

        Judging by that pie chart Linux users appear to make up almost 25% of the donations and their average donation amount is almost double that of the average Windows user donation. This means that of the 571,048$ donated thus far 142,762$ is from Linux users. But remember Linux users are cheap and their is no money in Linux game market – right.

      • Linux users the most generous? – “liberal in giving or sharing; unselfish”

        The Humble Indi Bundle is a revolutionary way of selling software which Wolfire Games are running for a week. It allows you to download a collection of great games (World of Goo, Aquaria, Gish, LagaruHD, Penumbra-Overture) for a price that YOU decide. The games are available for Linux, Mac or Windows, contain no DRM and you can even choose how your donation is distributed.

      • LinuX Gamers Live – A Revolution in Linux Gaming

        One of the reasons why people don’t shift to Linux platform is Gaming. Being having a large user-base, game titles are primarily programmed for Windows. Linux versions are available but only for handful of titles. WINE project has made it possible to play windows games on Linux but not without some anomalies. Due to such scenario, gaming under Linux has been limited. The Linux community has been aware of these problems infesting Linux adoption & have been encouraging developers to develop games for Linux.


        The games bundled are a mix of 2D & 3D, some having simple gameplay while others more challenging. The game mix considered is almost perfect & showcases the best fro Open Source World in form of TORCS, Nexuiz etc. The distro is suited for varied age levels & hence will please everyone. The games should play fine on most of the machines having a decent graphic card. I had a great time playing on my 24 inch monitor at full HD settings cranking up all the details. Inspite of running off a live DVD the games didn’t lag or stutter even once. Sound was great but I could not test multi channel support as my speakers are not in a good shape but online testimonials of people suggest no problem in surround channel mode either. Once I got down to play, I was hooked. Small or big both types of games are extremely addictive & will come handy when you have loads or even a couple of free minutes at your disposal. Anybody who says Linux doesn’t offers good games should definitely try this distro. Offcourse it can’t be compared to biggies on Windows platform but all one expects from gaming is recreation & Linux Gamers Live offers just that. Happy Gaming!

      • Three nice opensource games for Linux

        My today selection for Linux gamers are three nice opensource games, the games are

        * Go Ollie! : At first sight Go Ollie! looks like a game for kids, but once you play it you realize it can be fun for anyone, no matter what age.
        * Bos Wars : A futuristic real time strategy game (RTS)
        * Scorched 3D : A simple turn-based artillery game and also a real-time strategy game in which players can counter each others’ weapons with other creative accessories, shields and tactics.

      • Saving a penny — pirating the Humble Indie Bundle

        How do people pirate the bundle? When I say this bundle is DRM-free — I really mean DRM-free. Not only do the games themselves have no copy protection (not even a simple serial number check), but the Humble Indie Bundle website has limited copy protection. That means there are no download limits, everything is reachable on the command-line with ‘wget’, you can resume downloads, and do anything else you would expect to be able to do with a personal download link.

  • GNOME Desktop

    • Sprucing up the Linux desktop

      Gnome 3.0 is coming to give the Linux desktop a boost

      Gnome, the desktop environment favoured by the likes of Ubuntu Linux, is getting an overhaul. For users this means a number of things, including a new way of interacting with files and a new way of launching and managing applications.

      The existing Gnome desktop, version 2.x, is now close on eight years old.


      Gnome 3.0 is expected to be released in September this year. It will most likely find its way into mainstream Linux releases from October onwards.

  • Distributions

    • Distro-hopping notes

      I had a lot of time available to myself over the past week, as you might have guessed by my relative proliferation of posts. Some of that time was spent distro-hopping, although I had plenty more things to write about than just the flavor of the day.


      # Last but definitely not least, Slackware. Ah, Slackware. Slackware is the distro I really want to like, but every time I use it I am frustrated and befuddled and left feeling like a newb again. My run-in with Slax the other day was both the cause and the effect of trying out Slackware 13: I started with the Slax ISO, decided I wanted to build it from scratch with Slackware, became frustrated and then went back to Slax again. I know I need to try harder on this one; I shall have to look for some sort of howto that illustrates how to start at the command line and build up to a graphical environment, because that’s what I ultimately would like to do with Slack.

    • First look at CDlinux 0.9.6

      CDlinux is a well-crafted mini-distro which manages to pack a lot of functionality into a small image. It has the ability to function as an on-the-road desktop for people who want to carry their operating system in their pocket and it also has tools, such as the partition imaging software, which make it a good rescue CD. It’s fairly light on resources, making CDlinux feel like a smaller version of KNOPPIX and additional functionality can be added to the distro using Slackware packages, making CDlinux suitable for a wider range of tasks. The only thing I felt missing was an option to install the distribution to the local hard disk. While this could be done manually, I’m looking forward to seeing it as a feature of the system’s graphical installer. I think CDlinux fits in nicely with the family of other small distributions, such as SliTaz GNU/Linux and Damn Small Linux in the mini-distro niche.

    • Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • My successful PCLinuxOS 2010 Remaster

        PCLInuxOS 2010 has been released and is once again shinning at its best. Mylivecd is the new customized format of previous mklivecd and I wanted to give it a spin to make a remaster of my installed system. Though many report failure with remastering I managed to do it on my second attempt.

      • Rumors abound: Mandriva to be Sold
      • DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 353, 10 May 2010

        Mandriva Linux, a distribution that was one of the first to understand the concept of user-friendliness on the desktop, is apparently for sale and in negotiations with two potential buyers. That’s according to some unconfirmed reports that appeared on the Internet over the weekend

    • Red Hat Family

      • Open source software exec Bearden named an Entrepreneur-in-Residence

        He then served as president and chief operating officer for JBoss, the world’s leading open source middleware company, where he also came in contact with Terry College’s Chris Hanks, a management faculty member and director of the college’s entrepreneurship program.

    • Debian Family

      • Ubuntu

        • There’s Something About Ubuntu

          In the meantime, however, “I benefit because Debian can use Ubuntu packages with no problem,” Mack added. “I only wish the other distros would dump RPM and switch to .deb — there would be fewer packaging headaches.”

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 192

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 192 for the week May 2nd – 8th, 2010. In this issue we cover: Maverick is open for development, Call for Ubuntu User Days Instructors, Window indicators, New Ubuntu Regional Membership Boards, Maverick UDS Translations Sessions, Patch Day Success, Ubuntu Open Week en Español closes on high note, Ubuntu Open Week – Lucid: Community, Canonical, Collaboration, Call For Nominations: Ubuntu Women Leader Leadership Committee, Ubuntu Server and Apache Tomcat – supporting MuleSoft, Full Circle Podcast #6: Mark’s Space Brain from the Future, and much, much more!

        • Ubuntu 10.04 marks 5 years of Ubuntu

          With the release of Ubuntu 10.04 I marked 5 years of Ubuntu usage and involvement.

          During these years there were UPs and DOWNs but in general I have to say, that I was right in 2005 to switch from Gentoo Linux to Ubuntu Linux.

          In 2005 Oliver Grawert gave me a Ubuntu 5.04 prerelease CD in my hand and told me I should try it, even when he knew that I was a Gentoo Linux addict. I tried it on my company laptop (HP NC6000) and it was working out of the box, without any glitches these days.

          And after this I started to work on Ubuntu and for Ubuntu. After my first “virtual” meeting with Mark I was convinced that Ubuntu has potential to overrule the big 2 distros (RH and SuSE). I dreamed about the possibility that we will have an enterprise ready Linux distribution for free.

        • Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) on My Optiplex GX260

          Once this is done, go ahead and enable desktop effects. If all went well, you should have all the compiz bells and whistles!

        • Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx Review

          Almost all types of hardware and configurations are compatible with Ubuntu, and Ubuntu includes a hardware checker to ensure that all your hardware is working as it should be. I would doubt this tool would be needed in most cases, as Ubuntu works out of the box most of the time, but it’s there should you need it.

          So there you have it, possibly the most consumer friendly version of Ubuntu yet. Yes, there’s a bit of a learning curve here and there (especially when installing programs, plug-ins) and you do start to miss the “wizard” to guide you through complex operations, but aside from that, Ubuntu makes a great Windows alternative for those of you who just want to get on with things.

        • Ubuntu 10.04: Ten Days In

          I’ve been quite happy with Lucid all in all. It’s a solid LTS release that incorporates a number of new features alongside impressive stability. If you haven’t upgraded yet, you’re missing out.

        • ‘We positioned Ubuntu as a version of Linux that was personal and non-technical’

          Mark Shuttleworth, Founder, Canonical and Ubuntu Linux shared his thoughts with Srikanth RP on the increasing significance of open source, the roadmap for the cloud and why he thinks Ubuntu will succeed on the desktop, where other equally famed competitors have failed.

        • UDS-M: Design, design, design!

          Ivanka Majic, the Canonical design team manager, held a design team plenary in the auditorium at the Ubuntu Developer Summit where she talked about the design team as a whole, what they do and how they do it. As this is the first UDS that has a dedicated design track, many people in the community haven’t had a lot to do with the design team and perhaps are unsure of their inner workings.

        • How Old Are Ubuntu Users?

          Notably, however, one of the data sets from the Ubuntu Forums implies that a not-insignificant portion of the community is older than 50. That conclusion is backed up by anecdotal evidence of the presence of seniors among a group where we might not expect to find many, given that they were contemplating retirement before Linux even hit the desktop.

          Different authors have written about why Linux can work for the elderly, and an “Ubuntu for Seniors” project has even been registered on Launchpad, although it appears dormant. Nonetheless, the retired crowd seems to be an important part of the Ubuntu demographic, even though it may often be overlooked.

        • Variants

          • Ubuntu with a K

            There are also parts of GNOME that I love, kubuntu

            Ubuntu still lacks a powerful desktop. KDE still lacks simple applications like the Ubuntu Software Center and commercial solutions like the Ubuntu One Music Store. Ubuntu could bring to KDE what it lacks, and vice-versa.

          • Linux-Based Peppermint OS One Ships

            The team behind the cloud-based Peppermint OS flavor of Linux announces the availability of Version 1.0 of the technology.

            The team behind the cloud-based Peppermint OS flavor of Linux has announced the availability of Version 1.0 of the technology.

            Indeed, in a news release and related material on the Peppermint OS Website, Shane Remington, a core member of the Peppermint development team as Web developer for the Peppermint OS, said Peppermint OS One will be available by noon on May 10. The OS had been in beta up to this point, but is now ready for prime time, he said.


            For his part, Remington said Peppermint OS One is the only operating system shipping with Seesmic Web by default.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux-ready, open-platform ARM9/DSP SBC costs $89

      Four distributors have begun shipping the open platform, Linux-ready Hawkboard single board computer (SBC) for as low as $89. Based on the Texas Instruments OMAP-L138 system-on-chip (SoC), which combines an ARM9 core and a DSP, the community-driven Hawkboard project is structured on the TI-sponsored BeagleBoard project, and is similarly designed for hobbyists and general testing.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Frankenstein’s Netbook

        Unless you have a real reason to want XP (games… sigh), or OS X on non-Apple hardware (games… heh), you really are just setting yourself up for a headache down the road. Ubuntu installs fast, is very straightforward, small and netbook-friendly. Oh and there are even proprietary games for it these days too.

        I look forward to the day when $199 ARM-based netbooks with Ubuntu flood the market ;)

      • Hands-on with Ubuntu’s new Unity netbook shell

        During a keynote at the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Belgium, Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth unveiled a new lightweight user interface shell called Unity. The new shell is designed to use screen space more efficiently and consume fewer system resources than a conventional desktop environment. It will be a key component of the Ubuntu Netbook Edition and a new instant-on computing platform called Ubuntu Light.

      • Unity, and Ubuntu Light

        The fruit of that R&D is both a new desktop experience codebase, called Unity, and a range of Light versions of Ubuntu, both netbook and desktop, that are optimised for dual-boot scenarios.

      • Canonical Has An “Ubuntu Light” Spin For OEMs

Free Software/Open Source

  • Climate Lab Harnesses the Power of Open Source to Combat Climate Change

    Climate Lab, which has its roots in the problems the World Bank was having organizing the mounds of data it was collecting on climate change, is not only using open source tools to organize, collaborate and syndicate data, but the very data itself is open source.

  • iDes Leverages Open Source to Deliver Customizable solutions

    Open source software is the heart of many successful businesses, and like anything else has advantages and disadvantages. Depending on the client’s requirements and budget, iDES advises clients as to what technology to adopt.

  • Cooperation with OSBF & OSR Group: WeWebU Expands Open Source Network

    Furthermore, on its way to an Open Source vendor WeWebU works together with Prof. Dr. Dirk Riehle, leader of the OSR Group at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. Thus, they quickly can integrate newest trends and research results into their development process. Prof. Dr. Riehle knows the advantages of an Open Source strategy: „We see that Open Source marketing and development models are ahead of traditional closed source approaches. Open Source allows software product companies to go to market faster with a better product and at lower costs.” With this method, WeWebU wants to be up-to-date and close to the users’ requirements as well.

  • BlendELF 0.9 Beta, Compact Open Source Game Engine

    BlendELF is a work in progress, compact open source 3d game engine aimed towards independent game developers for quick prototyping and game / virtual environment creation.

  • Sprint needs to learn a lesson from open source

    It’s very interesting that this is the case seeing as how the same phone has been rooted with 2.1. Or, even better, I read a post on another site of man who successfully ported Android 2.1 to an iPhone 2G. But what exactly does all of this have to do with open source? I knew you’d get to that question.

    If you swim with the open source fishes long enough you start seeing the patterns develop surrounding development – specifically bug fixes and update releases. Ubuntu is a perfect example. Every 6 months Canonical ships a new version of their distribution. Sometimes those releases are epic in scale (such as 9.10 to 10.04). Yet they still manage to get those releases out on time. And, as you continue to use that release, you find that updates come very shortly after a bug is discovered.

  • Smart Grid Trends Are All Up

    Industry-wise, this week has seen a major acquisition announcement – over $1 billion – ABB taking Ventyx, as well as Honeywell (News – Alert)acquiring Akuacom. The latter is particularly interesting for the Open Source angle. Wearing my telecom hat, Open Source has been a big deal in the voice space, and it’s starting to find new homes, including smart grid. Followers of our portal will know there have been interesting developments this week on other fronts, such as wireless networks, electric vehicles and renewable energy initiatives.

  • How to truly fuel the adoption of Open Source

    A guest post by Ms. Darlene Parker from Opentechexchange. Ms Parker is actively involved in the spread of Linux over here on the African continent. She is an expert in FOSS deployment.

  • Events

    • Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada wins with virtualization

      Mobility, social media, open source and virtualization are four keys to productivity and cost savings, especially for small and mid-sized firms.

      This was the consensus of panelists who spoke at a recent roundtable organized by the Direct Engagement Show.

    • Free beer ‘n brainstorming session returns

      Open source evangelist Obsidian Systems, in partnership with ITWeb, will host the next quarterly Free Beer Session, to explore the potential of open source solutions for organisations.

  • Mozilla

    • Mozilla releases Thunderbird 3.1 Beta 2

      The Mozilla developers have released the second beta for what will become version 3.1 of their popular open source Thunderbird email and news client, code named “Lanikai”. According to the developers, the development release is aimed at discovering “possible problems caused by the changes in the underlying platform”.

    • Mitchell Baker on handing control to Firefox users

      Mitchell Baker, the woman behind Firefox, told Click that customisation tools such as add-ons have helped it take on the competition.

  • SaaS

    • Why IBM’s New Cloud Lab Is A Good Idea

      While there isn’t going to be a specific focus on open source at the new lab, it won’t be a surprise to see open source cloud advancements come from it.

    • Servoy Simplifies SaaS with Open Source Servoy 5.2

      Servoy chose the AGPL as the license for this release because of its simplicity and openness. The AGPL license is approved by the Open Source Initiative, making it widely accepted with both corporations, governments and educational institutions.

  • Phipps

    • Software freedom matters, and I intend to prove it

      That’s all fine in theory, but does it actually work? I intend to find out. Starting this week, I’m joining ForgeRock as chief strategy officer. They are a company building an enterprise integration and identity platform using some superb code that has been set aside in the acquisition of Sun by Oracle. Customers worldwide rely on OpenSSO; ForgeRock will be offering them the option to stay with it (renamed OpenAM for trademark reasons) rather than needing to re-architect their systems to use a different product.

    • New Week, New Column, New Job
  • Oracle

    • Beware of Proprietary Drift

      The Free Software Foundation (FSF) announced yesterday a campaign to collect a clear list of OpenOffice.Org extensions that are FaiF, to convince the OO.o Community Council to list only FaiF extensions, and to find those extensions that are proprietary software, so that OO.o extension developers can focus of their efforts on writing replacements under a software-freedom-respecting license.

    • FSF launches site for free OpenOffice extensions

      The Free Software Foundation (FSF) has announced that it will maintain a list of free software extensions for the OpenOffice.org open source office suite. Discussing the announcement, FSF executive director Peter Brown said, “OpenOffice.org is free software, and an important contribution to the free software community. However, the program offers the user a library of extensions, and some of them are proprietary. Distributing OpenOffice.org in the usual way has the effect of offering users the non-free extensions too.”


      The OpenOffice.org Community Council has since responded to the FSF, saying that they “believe passionately that FOSS delivers better software – including extensions, but that users must be free to make the comparison and reach their own conclusion,” adding that, the council “regrets that the FSF was unable to accept our compromise proposals for a more clearly signposted extensions repository.”

    • Much ado about nothing

      When I was freshly elected at the OpenOffice.org’s Community Council the Free Software Foundation approached us with a question related to our extensions web site. Basically they felt that we should not be hosting non Free Software extensions and requested we take those down otherwise they would open their own extensions site.

  • CMS

  • Education

    • Koha community squares off against commercial fork

      Koha is the world’s first open source system for managing libraries (the books and periodical variety, that is), and one of the most successful. In the ten years since its first release, Koha has expanded from serving as the integrated library system (ILS) at a single public library in New Zealand to more than 1000 academic, public, and private libraries across the globe. But the past twelve months have been divisive for the Koha community, due to a familiar source of argument in open source: tensions between community developers, end users, and for-profit businesses seeking to monetize the code base. As usual, copyrights and trademarks are the legal sticks, but the real issue is sharing code contributions.

  • Government

  • Health

  • Licensing

    • Servoy’s Web platform goes open source

      Aleman said he chose the AGPL as the license for this release because of its simplicity and because of the hosted nature of many Servoy-based programs. The AGPL requires source code be made available for derivative works that are hosted as a network service. Thus, the AGPL encourages ISVs hoping to build software-as-a-service applications to engage with companies like Servoy for a commercial license.

  • Openness

    • The open source hardware culture

      Open source hardware, aka open hardware, is an extension of the open source culture. Hardware that is designed for free, in the same way as open source software, is known as open source hardware or open hardware. The research and development information, like schematics, bill of materials (BOM) and PCB layout of an open source hardware design is open to all.


  • Finance

    • AP IMPACT: Market gains set up CEO pay bonanza
    • Goldman Sachs Robbed the EU By Way of Greece

      Membership in the EU comes at a price. That price is a limit on deficits. This aspect of the EU treaty was meant to insure the solvency of its member nations and so support the Euro currency itself. No member can unilaterally revalue its currency as it is, by treaty, an abstraction of the net worth of the various member’s ability to back it. This severely limits the unilateral options for dealing with sovereign debt by member countries, which in turn opened up unusual opportunities for member countries to be exploited by international banking.

      While there are treaty limits on debt incurred by member countries, there are no constraints on banks lending to them. What evolved in the Greek sovereign debt crisis is a massive short opportunity on the Euro, had you known it was developing. And who would know outside of Greek government and the banking and finance community like Goldman Sachs or JP Morgan?

    • Stock Market Collapse: More Goldman Market Rigging?

      The shorts circled like sharks in the Greek bond market, following a highly suspicious downgrade of Greek debt by Moody’s on Monday. Ratings by private ratings agencies, long suspected of being in the pocket of Wall Street, often seem to be timed to cause stocks or bonds to jump or tumble, causing extreme reactions in the market. The Greek downgrade was unexpected because the European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund had just pledged 120 billion Euros to avoid a debt default in Greece. Strategically-timed ratings downgrades of this sort are so suspicious that Indian market regulator SEBI recently created a stir by asking the rating agencies operating in India for periodic reporting concerning their fees and rating norms.

      Markets were roiled further on Thursday, when the U.S. stock market suddenly lost 999 points, and just as suddenly recovered two-thirds of that loss. It appeared to be such a clear case of tampering that Maria Bartiromo blurted out on CNBC, “That is ridiculous. This really sounds like market manipulation to me.”

    • Greek Debt Woes Ripple Outward, From Asia to U.S.

      The fear that began in Athens, raced through Europe and finally shook the stock market in the United States is now affecting the broader global economy, from the ability of Asian corporations to raise money to the outlook for money-market funds where American savers park their cash.

    • The Greek spirit of resistance turns its guns on the IMF

      Years of national denial about looming bankruptcy have turned to resentment as Greece is told how it must tackle its debt crisis

    • Germany’s Merkel acknowledges “bitter defeat”

      German Chancellor Angela Merkel abandoned hopes Monday of pushing through tax cuts for Europe’s biggest economy after what she called a “bitter defeat” in an election overshadowed by the Greek debt crisis. She said her government would now concentrate on keeping Germany’s debt down.

    • Disgruntled Germans go to polls with Merkel’s coalition under threat

      The UK has been so immersed in political fever that another highly significant election has gone almost unnoticed. When Germans go to the polls in state elections today, at stake will be not only the future of Angela Merkel’s ruling coalition in Berlin, but also the direction of Europe’s biggest economy.

    • EU to get tough with hedge funds and private equity

      The European parliament is expected to toughen regulations for hedge funds and private equity despite UK and US opposition

    • E.U. Details $957 Billion Rescue Package

      European leaders agreed on Monday to provide a huge rescue package of nearly $1 trillion in a sweeping effort to combat the debt crisis that has engulfed Europe and threatened markets around the world.

    • The Robert Bennett lesson: All incumbents beware
    • Fed taking steps to unload assets without triggering meltdown

      Having waged a battle against financial mayhem for the past two years, the Federal Reserve is tentatively declaring victory. As it guaranteed debt and swapped cash for all sorts of assets, the Fed’s balance sheet grew — from about $850 billion in assets before the crisis to about $2.3 trillion this spring. The binge included the purchase of $1.25 trillion of mortgage-backed securities issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    • Fannie Mae seeks $8.4B in aid after 1Q loss

      Fannie Mae has again asked taxpayers for more money – this time $8.4 billion – after reporting another steep loss for the first quarter. The taxpayer bill for rescuing Fannie and its sibling Freddie Mac has grown to $145 billion – and the final tally could be much higher.

    • Reid seeks to fast-track financial overhaul bill

      But Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) remained on the deserted Senate floor last Tuesday evening, looking sullen. The Senate had just approved July 9, 2010, as “Collector Car Appreciation Day.” What it had not done for days was make headway on a 1,400-page bill to overhaul the nation’s financial regulations.

    • Payday lenders and check cashers fight financial reform legislation in Congress

      Payday lenders and check cashers blanketed Capitol Hill last week to challenge the scope of the financial reforms under debate in Congress and combat the industry’s reputation as the pariahs of the financial system.

      During the “Hill Blitz” organized by the Financial Service Centers of America, a trade group, about 40 industry executives pushed to exempt check cashing from the purview of a proposed bureau that would oversee consumer financial products. Meanwhile, Democrats launched a new effort to contain the industry by limiting the number of payday loans that consumers can take out.

    • Senate Votes For Wall Street; Megabanks To Remain Behemoths

      A move to break up major Wall Street banks failed Thursday night by a vote of 61 to 33.

      Three Republicans, Richard Shelby of Alabama, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and John Ensign of Nevada, voted with 30 Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, in support of the provision. The author of the pending overall financial reform bill in the Senate, Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, voted against it. (See the full roll call.)

    • Is Your Senator a Bankster?

      The one main benefit to the financial reform effort so far is that it helps further do away with the false paradigms of “left” or “right” and “Democrat” or “Republican” – fewer and fewer people are falling for those lies anymore. Try to get an ideological conservative to explain why Republicans love spending and so eagerly give welfare to banks. Try to get your local liberal to explain why it was a good idea to make backroom deals with abhorrent corporations and drill, baby, drill. Heck, even try to get a Tea Partier to explain choosing bailout-lover Sarah Palin to keynote their convention, especially when that movement once had at least some pre-astroturf roots in protesting government giveaways.

    • Balance in the Washington Post

      The essence of his piece was that Wall Street lobbyists had been banking on the Financial Regulatory Reform bill getting pared down behind closed doors as it got closer to a vote. Over the course of 900 words or so Dennis quoted one lobbyist after another talking about how politicians were getting too emotional about this whole ruined-economy thing, and were proceeding with “crazy” and “insanely unproductive” proposals.

    • A Rich New Poverty Measure

      Most of us dislike the official poverty lines used to determine who, exactly, qualifies as poor. Most of us can recite at least five reasons why these measures (based on a mid-1960s assessment of the costs of a minimal food budget) are narrow, out of date and downright misleading.

    • It’s Time for the Big Banks to Spin Off their Craps Tables

      To make mattes worse, all this gambling is currently supported by the Federal Reserve and backed by the taxpayer guarantee. If I lose my money when Angelina has her kid, I lose. When the big bank bids go awry, the taxpayer can be stuck with the bill in the form of big bank bailouts. As financial reform advances in the Senate, it’s clear that the top priority for legislator is to make banking boring again.

    • Computer Trades Are Focus in Wall Street Plunge

      Investigators seeking an explanation for the brief stock market panic last week said Sunday that they were focusing increasingly on how a controlled slowdown in trading on the New York Stock Exchange, meant to bring about stability, instead set off uncontrolled selling on electronic exchanges.

    • Federal Reserve opens credit line to Europe

      The Federal Reserve late Sunday opened a program to ship U.S. dollars to Europe in a move to head off a broader financial crisis on the continent.

    • Obama Small Business Lending Bill Headed To Congress

      The Obama administration has sent Congress a proposal to create a $30 billion support program to unfreeze credit for the nation’s small businesses.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – SF – Aviation Safety (1/9/2001)


Links 9/5/2010: KDE Updates, LinuxCon 2010 Preview

Posted in News Roundup at 4:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • Geekbox

      Taking a break from Mumbuntu blog posts. I mentioned this on the latest epsiode of the Ubuntu Podcast that we released yesterday. I see Fab from Linux Outlaws has blogged about his geekbox.

    • Sony VAIO VPCEC1M1E/WI review

      Three hotkeys are fitted on the chassis, just above the keyboard. The Assist button helps you diagnose and solve any issues you may have with the laptop, while the Web button lets you boot up a secondary, Linux-based operating system for browsing the web without starting up Windows 7.

  • Server

    • London Stock Exchange creates virtual Turquoise access ahead of Linux big-bang

      An “ultra-fast” link between the datacentres of the London Stock Exchange and Turquoise has gone live, gearing the dark pool trading venue for a big-bang Linux migration.

      Traders with hosted systems at the LSE are now able to access Turquoise on the free fast link, ahead of Turquoise’s migration to the Millennium Exchange platform, which is Linux and Sun Solaris Unix-based, with Oracle databases. Turquoise currently runs on the Java-based Tradexpress platform from supplier Cinnober.

    • State of Linux in the Indian enterprise

      Today large ERP implementations are running on enterprise Linux. ERP applications by their nature are mission-critical as enterprises depend on ERP applications for their business models. Many enterprises right from Verizon, Hilti, Banco Pastor, YPF globally to Indian Express, Carnation, Great Offshore, Hikal and Sheela Foam in India run their SAP, Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft etc. on Linux.

    • ARM dips toe into server chip design

      According to Drew, the website for the ARM Linux Internet Platform is “running on a Marvell-based very small cluster of chips”.

      “We switched it in about six months ago — it’s going OK,” Drew said. “It’s one of these things where you don’t know what you don’t know until you try it.”

      The trial is giving ARM an idea of the performance, power management and cooling implications of running a website off the company’s low-powered architecture, Drew added. He noted that “a lot more” had to be done on creating a LAMP (Linux Apache MySql Perl/PHP/Python) open-source software stack for the architecture.

    • CloudLinux Partners with R1Soft
    • CloudLinux Announces Compatibility With R1Soft, The Leading Backup Software For Linux Servers In The Cloud
  • Kernel Space

    • Benchmark of Windows 7 vs Ubuntu comparision may be flawed under uneven environments

      The benchmarks may be flawed due to the following assumptions which is not ideal setup for Ubuntu


      1. Compiz is enabled by default in Ubuntu, whereas the games in Windows disable Aero to gain that extra FPS. I doubt if the games in Ubuntu disable compiz before running

      2. Biggest flaw is cpufrequency is controlled by Ubuntu to run as ondemand instead of utilizing full processor power. The ideal Ubuntu Setup would be to run all the cores with cpufrequency governor performance. Windows 7 by default runs in full gear and kudos to it. But that does not answer this question, why the benchmarks were done when running ondemand governor in Ubuntu Lucid?

      How do I assume cpufrequency has something to do with performance, well I will try to prove it ( though you may try for yourself by changing cpufrequency to run with different performance governors and check simple benchmarks)

    • Kernel Development Statistics for 2.6.34 and Beyond

      As of this writing, the current kernel prepatch is 2.6.34-rc6. A couple more prepatches are most likely due before the final release, but the number of changes to be found there should be small. In other words, 2.6.34 is close to its final form, so it makes sense to take a look at what has gone into this development cycle. In a few ways, 2.6.34 is an unusual kernel…

    • Latest Datalight Flash File System Brings 20 Millisecond Mount Times to Linux Through Kernel Versions 2.6.33

      Datalight announced support for Linux version 2.6.33 with its flash file system. The software offers improved mount times and faster writes over standard Linux flash file systems such as UBIFS, YAFFS, and JFFS2.

    • LinuxCon keynote speakers announced
    • LinuxCon 2010 keynotes announced
  • Instructionals

  • Games

    • Pay What You Like, Say Indie Game Makers

      A group of independent game developers are selling the “Humble Indie Bundle” until Tuesday, May 11, allowing buyers to set their own price on the five-game package. The bundle includes World of Goo, Gish, Lugaru HD, Aquaria and Penumbra Overture. All games are available for Windows, Mac or Linux, and are DRM-free.

  • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

    • KDEPIM on Mobile – What’s going on?

      Anyone following the commits in the kde svn repo will notice that there has been some action on the mobile front in KDE PIM over the last few months.


      This project is the result of a collaboration of KDAB, (my employer) with Intevation, crypto specialists G10Code, and interaction specialists Apliki known to KDE for recent usability testing work on KMail icons.

    • Kraft helps small businesses manage their work

      German developer Klaas Freitag says Kraft is aimed at small companies, driven by a boss and maybe a few people. He started working on the software in 2005 after having worked on similar applications for many years. He says, “The KDE platform under C++ is the most effective platform to build native GUI applications I have ever worked with, and KDE has a strong, friendly, open, and helpful community that’s fun to work in.”

    • Konsole’s user interface changes

      Konsole is the app that probably almost every KDE developer uses on a daily basis, but there hasn’t been much development on the user interface front during the last releases. The two brave souls Robert Knight and Kurt Hindenburg are busy triaging and fixing bugs. So to say Konsole is more maintained than developed due to a simple lack of manpower. Nonetheless some recent changes may be worth blogging about.

    • Plasma Media Center Status report and introduction

      On startup, you are presented with a big upper part which contains icons for the available media modes, right now: local music, local pictures and local video. The bottom part is covered by a thin panel which holds an exit button (do not ever touch this or god will kill a ladybug and you will cry in shame!) Also, this panel shows you small icons for modes that are currently active in the background. Clicking on these will fast forward you to that mode.

  • Distributions

    • More Community Classes, Please

      Not sure how to run a class? The Fedora wiki has a few suggestions. Classes are a good way to provide a question and answer session on everything from how to file bug reports, to explaining how to package software or do testing.

    • PCLinuxOS 2010.1 KDE Edition addresses bugs
    • Ubuntu

      • Free Getting Started with Ubuntu Manual Helps Out Linux Rookies
      • First 24 Hours with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Lucid Lynx

        Last word is ubuntu 10.04 is refined product with three year LTS support from ubuntu its seems a great option for home and even Enterprise. Its neatly packaged and is amazingly fast you also have the standard compiz 3D Desktop affects which adds the glamour and the standard administration and configuration options which are fairly easy to use. Overall undoubtly the best Linux desktop ever.

      • Ubuntu 10.10 Will Not Have GNOME-Shell
      • Variants

        • Ultimate Edition 2.6 Is Based on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS

          Ubuntu 10.04 LTS has just been released and, with it, the big number of distros based on it start pouring in. Ultimate Edition is an Ubuntu-based release that aims to be, well, ultimate, packing in as much functionality and apps as possible. Ultimate Edition 2.6 bundles proprietary drivers, to get things running out of the box, and plenty of packages for the power users. If you like flashy themes, as many Compiz effects as your graphics card can handle and having everything plus the kitchen sink pre-installed, then this is the Linux distribution for you.

        • Easy Peasy 1.6

          My overall impression of Easy Peasy has been very good. It installed quickly and easily on a very old netbook, it left me about 1 GB of free space out of a 4 GB disk, and it seemed to work flawlessly. The combination of EasyPeasy and the original EeePC reminded me of what netbooks were really all about when they first appeared. While 1 GB of space is not a lot, it would be easy enough to put a 4, 8, 16 or whatever GB card in the SD slot for your own documents, files, photos and such. If you still have one of these laying around somewhere, it might pay you to dig it out, load a very nice modern Linux distribution on it, and use it as a very small, very light, very portable netbook.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • QNAP Security’s new Network Video Recorder models to take the forefront at IFSEC 2010

      QNAP Security, a world class manufacturer of Linux-embedded, stand-alone Network Video Recorder (NVR) solutions is pleased to announce its participation at IFSEC 2010.

    • Broadband users urged to protect Wi-Fi connections

      According to various reports in the media, there has been a rise in the number of Wi-Fi-cracking kits being sold online in China, which include USB adapters, a Linux operating system, password-breaking software and a detailed instruction booklet.

    • Nokia

      • Nokia`s shift to services from hardware

        January 2010 — Opens a version of its software store for its flagship N900 model which runs the Linux operating system. The Linux Maemo operating system is seen as key in its rivalry with the iPhone.

        February – Says to merge its Linux Maemo software platform, used in its flagship N900 phone, with Intel’s Moblin which is also based on Linux open-sourced software.

    • Android

      • Goggles turns Android into pocket translator

        The mobile application for Android got updated today with the ability to snap a picture of some words and instantly translate them into the language of the owner.

      • Google: Android 2.1 is catching up

        It’s not too surprising that Android 2.0 and 2.0.1 numbers have begun to shrink, especially considering the fact that Motorola recently released the 2.1 update for it’s popular Droid (also known in Europe as the Motorola Milestone) devices – one of the few phones to include the 2.0.x branch of Android. By comparison, the first smartphone to use Android, the T-Mobile G1, will not officially run versions later than 1.6 for technical reasons. Although Google says that it simply doesn’t have enough internal memory, unofficial releases of Android 2.1 are available online.

      • Android running on iPhone 3G

        Wang said that next up is audio support: “We’ve already laid the groundwork for audio support on the 3G and gotten it working in our homemade bootloader, so support for audio in Linux/Android will be coming in a few days.”

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Where is the Linux ‘smartbook’?

        But first, let’s try to define the smartbook. By some definitions it is simply a Netbook that runs Linux and uses processors based on a design from U.K.-based ARM, as opposed to Windows software and Intel chips, respectively. By another definition, it is all of the above but also an always-on, always-connected device, just like a smartphone. The latter definition is the one we’ll use here because it’s the original definition as provided by Qualcomm–a major smartbook player–and the closest match to most first-generation smartbooks. (Another definition includes tablets but we’ll leave that out of this discussion.)

        Indeed, smartbooks remain a murky product category because no major device maker has announced one yet in the U.S.–at least as defined above. And on Wednesday, Ian Drew, the chief marketing officer at ARM, expressed dismay at the lack of products, according to a report from ZDNet UK. That report cites, among other reasons for the delays, the current lack of Adobe Flash optimization for smartbook operating systems.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Calling all geeks workshop

    Drupal is a free and open source content management system written in PHP and distributed under the GNU General Public License. It’s used as a back-end system for many different types of websites, ranging from small personal blogs to large corporate and political sites, such as whitehouse.gov. It is also used for knowledge management and business collaboration.

  • GNU

    • Emacs 23.2 released

      The Emacs 23.2 release is out.

    • GNU Smalltalk 3.2 released

      Main features of the new release include downloading of remote packages (for projects hosted on smalltalk.gnu.org), a new browser based on GTK+, a callgraph profiler and incremental garbage collection. This version can also run the Iliad web framework (http://www.iliadproject.org/).

    • glibc 2.12
  • Open Access/Content

    • Universities, Congress push Open Access Research law

      For the last several years, the US’ National Institutes of Health has implemented a Congressionally mandated open access policy. Within a year of the publication of any work that’s derived from NIH funding, the papers have to be sent to the NIH in digital form so that they can be made available online for anyone to examine. Although there have been sporadic attempts to reverse the policy, it has been considered so successful that the US Office of Science and Technology Policy requested public input on an extension of the rules to all federally funded research. Now, a consortium of US research institutions is putting its weight behind an effort to turn the potential OSTP policy into law.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • HTML5 apps

      Right now nobody’s interested in a mobile solution that does not contain the words “iPhone” and “app” and that is not submitted to a closed environment where it competes with approximately 2,437 similar mobile solutions.

      Compared to the current crop of mobile clients and developers, lemmings marching off a cliff follow a solid, sensible strategy. Startling them out of this obsession requires nothing short of a new buzzword.

      Therefore I’d like to re-brand standards-based mobile websites and applications, definitely including W3C Widgets, as “HTML5 apps.” People outside our little technical circle are already aware of the existence of HTML5, and I don’t think it needs much of an effort to elevate it to full buzzwordiness.

    • [HTML5 Video Player Demo Powered By Ogg Theora]


  • Science

    • Americans ‘bombarded’ with cancer sources: report

      “The American people — even before they are born — are bombarded continually with myriad combinations of these dangerous exposures,” they wrote in a letter to President Barack Obama at top of the report.

      “The panel urges you most strongly to use the power of your office to remove the carcinogens and other toxins from our food, water, and air that needlessly increase healthcare costs, cripple our nation’s productivity, and devastate American lives.”

      A White House spokesman indicated he had not yet seen the report and the National Cancer Institute declined comment.

  • Environment

    • Web tool tracks Gulf oil spill effects

      A web tool originally set up to keep track of political violence in Kenya is being used to monitor the fallout from oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico.

  • Finance

    • New regulations likely as stock dive probed

      But more than a day after a nearly 1,000-point drop in the Dow, the government had not publicly pinpointed the reasons.

    • 296 ‘funked up’ stocks — trades canceled

      After one of the most wild days on Wall Street, Nasdaq canceled trades of 296 stocks whose prices fluctuated the most.

      At around 2:45 p.m. ET on Thursday, trades of a number of stocks listed on the New York Stock Exchange were slowed for about a minute due to excessive volatility. During that short time, those stocks were opened up to electronic markets like the Nasdaq.

    • NYSE, Nasdaq Play Blame Game

      The finger-pointing continued Friday between the Nasdaq Stock Market and the New York Stock Exchange in the wake of Thursday’s 1,000-point intraday stock market plunge — despite calls from both sides for a stop to all blame-finding.

    • The Feds vs. Goldman

      What Paulson jammed into Abacus was mortgages lent to borrowers with low credit ratings, and mortgages from states like Florida, Arizona, Nevada and California that had recently seen wild home-price spikes. In metaphorical terms, Paulson was choosing, as sexual partners for future visitors to the Goldman bordello, a gang of IV drug users, Haitians and hemophiliacs, then buying life-insurance policies on the whole orgy. Goldman then turned around and sold this poisonous stuff to its customers as good, healthy investments.

      Where Goldman broke the rules, according to the SEC, was in failing to disclose to its customers – in particular a German bank called IKB and a Dutch bank called ABN-AMRO – the full nature of Paulson’s involvement with the deal. Neither investor knew that the portfolio they were buying into had essentially been put together by a financial arsonist who was rooting for it all to blow up.

    • Our view on the world economy: Greek debt crisis offers preview of what awaits U.S.

      The situation is particularly acute in Greece, where massive debts have forced the government to propose widely unpopular cuts in salaries, bonuses and pensions coupled with significant tax hikes. Interest rates have soared, and deadly riots have broken out in Athens.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • N.Y. Courts Tackle Electronic Defamation

      Blogs and personal web pages, such as on MySpace and Facebook, provide a broad stage to spread potentially defamatory statements. Thus, care must be taken when posting content on social media. Postings can take just seconds to compose and frequently little thought is given to what is being stated and its consequences, especially where such communication may reach an audience of millions, virtually instantaneously.

    • No, I don’t want to store my data on your site

      Flickr. Diigo. Evernote.

      Everybody wants me to work on my machine but then synchronize my data to their site for safekeeping and social functions. I can understand this for situations where I want others to see my photos or my links, but what happens when I have ten or twenty of these services, all of which have separate interfaces, separate logins, separate passwords, and separate liklihoods to still be around in 5 years?

    • Media groups voice concern over Fifa restrictions

      The South African media’s concerns about Fifa restrictions on coverage of the World Cup have gone unheeded by the soccer world body for two years, veteran newsman Raymond Louw said on Friday.

      Media groups Avusa, the Independent Group and Media 24 are now trying to “engage in a constructive way” with Fifa, through their lawyers, over the terms and conditions for accreditation.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • FCC Reclaims Powers Over Internet Access Companies

      Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski claimed power to regulate companies that provide Internet access, opening a fight with cable and telephone companies and sparking opposition from Republicans.

    • Digital Restriction Management = bye bye Pippi Longstocking

      First of all I will continue to boycot DRM’ed devices. The main motive for Digital Restriction Management promotion is financial. If we do not give them money, they will have to stop to threat us like that. I am a customers, not a prisoner. Secondly I will continue to explain people why they should not give money to people who want to control their data.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Google Asks Judge to Declare RapidShare Search Links Legal

      The company was sued by independent record label Blue Destiny Records last year, which claimed that Google — along with Microsoft’s (NASD: MSFT) Bing — was violating copyrights by linking to unauthorized content hosted on RapidShare.

    • Google Lawsuit: Our Links Don’t Violate Copyright
    • ACTA

      • Google attorney slams ACTA copyright treaty

        An attorney for Google slammed a controversial intellectual property treaty on Friday, saying it has “metastasized” from a proposal to address border security and counterfeit goods to an international legal framework sweeping in copyright and the Internet.

        The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA, is “something that has grown in the shadows, Gollum-like,” without public scrutiny, Daphne Keller, a senior policy counsel in Mountain View, Calif., said at a conference at Stanford University.

        Both the Obama administration and the Bush administration had rejected requests from civil libertarians and technologists for the text of ACTA, with the White House last year even indicating that disclosure would do “damage to the national security.” After pressure from the European Parliament, however, negotiators released the draft text two weeks ago.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – ISS – Virtual ISS (1/4/2001)


Links 8/5/2010: Wine 1.1.44 is Out, RHEL 6 Beta Reviewed

Posted in News Roundup at 9:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux lasershow Cool!

    One of the coolest things you can do with linux is control a show laser.

  • Linux on my Macbook Air

    During the last three years, my Macbook Air has been kinda depressed. Every time i tried to install my free GNU programs using ports it has silently played this tune for me.

  • Ballnux

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • KDE Finance Apps Group Spring Sprint
      • A Blog on Sourceforge

        A little more than two weeks ago we released Kraft version 0.40, the first version of Kraft based on KDE 4 software platform. The release went fine as far as I can tell, no terrible bugs were reported yet. Some work went into the new website since then, but in general I need a few weeks break from Kraft and spend my evenings outside enjoying spring time.

        Today, Sourceforge posted a blog about Kraft after they kind of mail-interviewed me. It’s nice, it really focuses on the things also important to me. This might be another step towards a broader user base for Kraft. I say that because one could have the impression that the number of people actually really using Kraft could be larger. A high number of users is one of the fundamental criteria for a successful free software project and thus I am constantly trying to understand whats the reason for the impression or the fact.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Marketing Hackfest: Day 1

        * GNOME 3.0 Website: there’ll be a specific GNOME 3.0 website to introduce this new version of GNOME, and get people excited about this new version. In the long term, the content will be moved to the main website, but we feel a separate website is the best way to build momentum for the 3.0 effort. The target audience is existing GNOME users and there is already a good sitemap. Work is ongoing for the exact content and design, and the hard work will be the creation of videos. If you’re interested in helping there, raise your hand :-)

      • Preparing To Let Go Of GTK+ 2.x For GTK+ 3.0

        As we have mentioned with the first of the early GNOME 3.0 development packages getting checked-in (such as the improved Totem Movie Player), the first GNOME 2.31 development milestone is this week in the road to GNOME 3.0 (a.k.a. v2.32) that will be reached this September. Joining this round of new GNOME development packages that are looking for testing is GTK+ 2.21.0, which is leading up to the 2.22 release of the de facto standard tool-kit for the GNOME desktop.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • RHEL 6 – your sensible but lovable friend

        Another big change in the RHEL 6 beta is the wide selection of disk formatting options, including ext4. You know a Linux feature has arrived when it makes its way to the conservative enterprise releases like RHEL and such is the case with ext4 file system, which is now the default filesystem format in RHEL 6. In addition to ext4, the XFS filesystem is now supported.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 13 Expands Linux Virtualization

          Virtualization technology has long found a home in Red Hat’s Fedora community Linux distribution. Ever since Fedora 4 emerged in 2005, virtualization technologies have continued to advance in the distro and that remains the case with the upcoming Fedora 13 release set for later this month.

    • Ubuntu

      • Users want a Linux port of uTorrent?

        Its possibilities like this which I have always held as a reason why I don’t want mass migration away from Windows to the Linux platform. If Linux is to get a wave of disillusioned Windows users, we have to keep in mind that they will bring their demands (and their voting power) to a platform near you which has been going quite happily without Windows users turning up after finally working out that PC does not just mean Microsoft. Now please don’t get me wrong, I am happy that anyone would want to come to Linux after a Windows experience, but what these people need to remember is that Linux/FOSS is != Windows/Microsoft, Linux should never be looked as the OS of choice only for it to still depend on 3rd party Windows apps. Linux and FOSS are unique (and for me) better in their own right, why should we lust over anything Windows offers either natively or via 3rd party apps?

      • 5 lessons for other Linux distros from the success of the Lucid Lynx

        3.Try to become an answer

        Ubuntu Studio, Lubuntu, Edubuntu, Ubuntu server among others are part of what I call the Canonical suite which helps to gain more users in that it is able to meet more needs. Do not narrowly focus on being just an OS, try to be an answer to more specialized needs.

        4.Clearly define the role of your community

        It is necessary to clearly define the role your user community will play in the growth and development of your OS. The faux pas that happened following the change of the window buttons from right to left in the Lucid Lynx could have had a devastating consequence had it been a smaller distro.

        5.It does not hurt to apply marketing to Linux

        If there is any one Open Source company that does marketing right, it is Canonical. And as is clear now, it does not hurt at all to invest some time and if possible some money to marketing your distro, it really pays.

      • Variants

        • Linux Mint Scarf

          In January I received a call from a friend: Her laptop hard drive had crashed leaving her in a bind. I was able go install a new one and reload Her OS that evening. She was very grateful and wanted to do something for me. The one thing I had been wanting was a scarf with the Linux Mint logo. So it was agreed She would do this for me. I most admit that I got the better end of the bargain, it only took me a few hours one evening and my part was done. The knitting of this scarf took much more time.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux-ready, open-platform ARM9/DSP SBC costs $89

      Four distributors have begun shipping the open platform, Linux-ready Hawkboard single board computer (SBC) for as low as $89. Based on the Texas Instruments OMAP-L138 system-on-chip (SoC), which combines an ARM9 core and a DSP, the community-driven Hawkboard project is structured on the TI-sponsored BeagleBoard project, and is similarly designed for hobbyists and general testing.

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Ubuntu Netbook Remix a Winner

        Ubuntu Netbook Remix (reviewed version 10.4) is Linux like you’ve never seen before. It has a smooth, attractive, interface that works very well with the netbook form factor. It is a clear winner, as good as if not better than operating systems from enormous corporations. There was a gotcha on my HP Mini installation in an otherwise great work. Digg this article

    • Tablets

      • Google Android tablet runs Flash on Tegra 2 SoC

        Adobe has demonstrated a prototype Nvidia Tegra 2-based Android tablet from Google running Adobe’s Flash, say industry reports. Meanwhile, Samsung is preparing an “S-Pad” Android tablet, and Bill Gates tips new Microsoft tablet projects, say other reports.

      • 10 Reasons the T91MT is better than the iPad

        This is no doubt the Year of the Tablet computer. As such I began searching some months ago for a tablet I could add to my ever growing list of gadgets, I researched and played with many different devices before deciding on my Asus T91MT. I have had my tablet for a couple of weeks now and it amazes me how many people do not even know they exist when they released almost a year ago! The iPad on the other hand got more press than you can shake a stick at and everyone under the sun knows what it is after just a few weeks.

        The following is my list of reasons why Asus’s T91MT tablet/netbook hybrid is better than Apple’s iPad:

        #1 – It is also a Netbook
        Touch screens are fantastic, don’t get me wrong but honestly some things are much quicker to do with a physical keyboard and a mouse. Having the option to flip my T91MT around and use it as a netbook is a wonderful option to have. Plus I personally feel my device’s screen is much safer when I can “close” the screen instead of just sliding it into a case.

      • Android Prototype Tablet Makes Flashy Debut

        Android smartphones are giving Apple’s iPhone a run for its money and may soon overtake it. If Android tablets follow suit, will Flash get its mojo back?

Free Software/Open Source

  • Rockin’ FLOSS Manuals: The CiviCRM book sprint

    If you use open source software, and aren’t a programmer, you may wonder how you can give back to the community that provides you with such marvelous tools at no-to-little cost. At the same time, maybe you’ve run into a problem running some piece of open source software, clicked F1 or otherwise looked for some help in doing something—and found little or no help on offer. There’s a way to solve both these problems: Check out, and get involved with, the FLOSS Manuals project.

  • Closed source software hurts GUI development

    AS OPERATING SYSTEMS increasingly become visual feasts, those who want to create useful interaction enhancements are having to bend over backwards thanks to closed source software in order to bring innovation to the user’s environment.

    Two bright young men from the University of Washington recently presented Prefab, a technology which they say will facilitate the implementation of “advanced behaviours in graphical interfaces”. That in itself isn’t particularly new but the route Prefab takes to implement well documented graphical user interface (GUI) techniques are a clear example of the lengths engineers have to go to circumnavigate the limitations posed by closed source software.

  • Server

  • Databases

  • Oracle

    • FSF launches free software extension listing for OpenOffice.org

      The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today announced a project to assemble a replacement extension library for OpenOffice.org, which will list only those extensions which are free software, at http://www.fsf.org/openoffice.

      “OpenOffice.org is free software, and an important contribution to the free software community. However, the program offers the user a library of extensions, and some of them are proprietary. Distributing OpenOffice.org in the usual way has the effect of offering users the nonfree extensions too,” said FSF executive director Peter Brown.

    • Nexenta Leverages OpenSolaris and ZFS for Enterprise Storage
  • CMS

    • Midgard2 10.05 “Ratatoskr” released!

      The Midgard Project has released the first release of Midgard2 10.05 “Ratatoskr” LTS. Ratatoskr LTS is a Long Term Support version of Midgard2 Content Repository.

  • Education

    • Moodle Milestone: 2.0 Beta Preview

      Those who’ve been waiting for the release of Moodle 2.0 are getting their open source just rewards this week. The release, which has been met already with several delays, is a “beta preview” — which is to say, not yet a stable release, but a functional template of what’s in store for early adopters (note that Moodle HQ will be releasing weekly updates as the code matures as a series of beta previews leading up to the stable release¹).

  • Business

    • Recipe for a successful business: One part openness, two parts trust

      I’m reminded of an article Dana Blankenhorn wrote a few years back, where he noted that trust lies at “the heart of open source.” Trust is what motivates software coders to open up their projects to communities of strangers. It drives a CIO to choose an open source vendor, who won’t lock them into a particular technology or brand. And it is broken when a social networking (and advertising) business repeatedly strongarms its users into pushing their private information out to the world.

    • BIRT Generates Over $45 Million Across 450 Paying Customers, Used by Over 750,000 Developers Worldwide

      BIRT is an Eclipse Foundation open source project that was founded by and continues to be co-led by Actuate. It is used by about 750,000 developers worldwide and has become the de facto open source environment for presenting compelling data visualisations on the web.

  • SpringSource

  • Releases

    • Rapid-I revolutionises business intelligence processes with RapidMiner 5.0

      Rapid-I, a leading provider of open source solutions for predictive analytics, data mining and text mining, is launching RapidMiner 5.0: The new version allows enterprises to map and manage the entire business intelligence process chain from analytical ETL, data mining and predictive reporting with a single solution. The fully revised user interface offers a significantly simplified operation, meaning that even newcomers to analysis can be given vital support with tasks that come up frequently.

  • Government

    • VistA Modernization Report Features Open Source

      A Veterans Affairs requested VistA Modernization Report is now available. The good news: it prominently features and recommends open source and discusses the prospect of VA VistA as a national standard.


      Among the reports issues, it calls the GNU General Public License ‘restrictive’. Restrictive of what? Restrictive of the ability of proprietary vendors to establish and maintain vendor lock-in at the great expense of taxpayers and patients? The report at times treats open source and proprietary EHR software as equals instead of proprietary EHR software as a destructive invasive species. The report probably understates the number of private sector VistA deployments as measured by the 2008 AMIA Open Source White Paper. Finally, it makes the common error of subdividing open source vs commercial when open source is certainly commercial. They probably mean open source vs. proprietary.

  • Economist

    • The Economist and Launchpad

      Economist logoThe online team at The Economist recently set up a Launchpad project, using a commercial subscription. I asked Mark Theunissen, from The Economist Group, about their plans.

      Mark: We’re migrating the existing Economist.com stack from Coldfusion/Oracle to a LAMP stack running Drupal. At present, we’re about half way through — if you visit a blogs page, channel page, or comments page they will be served from Drupal, but the home page and actual articles are still served from Coldfusion. There’s a migration and syncronisation process happening in the background between Oracle and MySQL.

    • The Economist To Go Open Source

      The world renowned Economist Magazine is migrating its infrastructure from proprietary to an Open Source stack. According to this blog post on Launchpad, The Economist is migrating its existing stack “from Coldfusion/Oracle to a LAMP stack running Drupal,” says Mark Theunissen from the Economist Group.

  • Programming

    • Yehuda Katz on Merging into Merb

      In December of 2008, the Ruby on Rails community was at a crossroads. The mainline Rails project was losing ground to Merb, an alternative open source MVC framework for building Ruby applications. The community was fragmenting. Yehuda Katz was the creator of the Merb framework, and rather than continue on with that project, he and his fellow contributors decided to merge Merb and Rails. The decision sparked a number of Rails homecomings for other outside projects, and in February the first beta of an integrated Rails 3.0 arrived. We sat down with Katz to discuss the past, present and future of Ruby on Rails.


  • Law & Order

    • Spammers ordered to pay tiny ISP whopping $2.6m

      The judgment was awarded by Magistrate Judge Elizabeth D. Laporte of the US District Court in Northern California. It comes in a case filed against the principals of a business called Find a Quote. A four-employee ISP in Garberville, California, Asis said it receives about 200,000 junk messages per day and spends about $3,000 per month to process them.

    • Teacher Caught On Video Stealing From Lockers

      A school spokesman said it’s possible the student who recorded the cell phone video could get in trouble as well because students are not supposed to use their phones during the day.

      School officials said they are not allowed to record video in locker rooms because of privacy.

    • Italy: Prosecution Advances in Red Light Camera Fraud Scandal

      The investigation into the fraudulent use of red light cameras in Italy last week concluded with prosecutors preparing charges against thirty-eight public officials and photo enforcement company executives. Prosecutors claim that three photo enforcement companies formed a cartel that operated in collusion with public officials for the purpose of generating revenue. The officials accepted bribes in return for approving lucrative contracts and shortening the duration of yellow lights at intersections equipped with red light cameras.

    • Voters turned away from polling stations in UK general elections
    • Search neutrality? How Google became a “neutrality” target

      If ISPs should be subject to “net neutrality,” should companies like Google be subject to “search neutrality”?

      When we wrote recently about the idea of “search neutrality,” some readers seemed to believe that we had coined the term, but nothing could be further from the truth. “Search neutrality” now fills the FCC filings of companies like Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and AT&T, all of whom see no reason why their businesses should be picked out for regulatory scrutiny while Google goes about its business unmolested.

    • Downloaded software presents legal woes

      A court decision ruling that the supply of software through a digital download mechanism is not a supply of “goods” has been upheld in the Supreme Court of NSW, setting a precedent that software downloaded via the internet is not protected by the Sale of Goods Act.

  • Science

    • Neanderthals live on in DNA of humans

      There is a little Neanderthal in nearly all of us, according to scientists who compared the genetic makeup of humans with that of our closest ancient relatives.

    • NASA team cites new evidence that meteorites from Mars contain ancient fossils

      NASA’s Mars Meteorite Research Team reopened a 14-year-old controversy on extraterrestrial life last week, reaffirming and offering support for its widely challenged assertion that a 4-billion-year-old meteorite that landed thousands of years ago on Antarctica shows evidence of microscopic life on Mars.

  • Security/Aggression

  • Environment

  • Finance

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Iranian civil rights protester is spared deportation

      Bita Ghaedi, who feared her life was at risk if returned to Iran, wins interim reprieve

    • The Facebook Privacy War: What is Personal Data?

      There is a current campaign on the internet for users to not log into Facebook for a whole day on June 6th, 2010. This comes in response to the recent changes made by Facebook to their privacy settings, especially to the one leaving the default “on” instead of “off.” Basically it became quite apparent that Facebook is in fact, a business, and that your so-called “personal” data was for sale. To economists and investors, this was no surprise at all. They all expected Facebook to make a genuine attempt to make money at some point, and what better way than demographic targeted advertising?

    • Stealth installs and adware come to Facebook

      As noted earlier by PC World, the social networking site silently adds apps to profiles whenever a user is logged in and browses to certain sites. Facebook displays no dialogue box or notification window asking permission, and there is no easy way to opt out of the process.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Canadians Get To Pay More Money For The Same Broadband

      To be clear: this shouldn’t be confused with pure “billing by the byte.” The low cap and high overage model (which Time Warner Cable tried — and failed — to impose in the U.S. last year) simply jacks up prices “thousands of multiples beyond what the costs are” on top of the already high flat rate price — ensuring that consumers wind up paying significantly more money for the same service.

    • FCC Gives Hollywood The Right To Break Your TV/DVR… Just ‘Cause

      That logic is backwards. Basically, Hollywood is saying that it held the public hostage until the FCC let it break your TVs, and because the FCC caved in and Hollywood will release the movies it easily could have released before, consumers win. When someone is taken hostage and the family pays up, that’s not a “win” for the family. As Public Knowledge points out, this appears to be the FCC doing this just as a favor to Hollywood.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Copyright law must be relaxed, says new group

        Librarians, digital activists, ISPs, music managers and other associations and trade bodies have called for the relaxing of copyright law in the EU to allow more people to access and re-use copyrighted material.

      • Canadian Writers Guild Wants ‘You Must Be A Criminal’ Tax On Both Distribution And Storage Of Content

        Canada has long had a blank media levy on things like blank CDs, which is a sort of “you must be a criminal” tax on things. Of course, what it really does is drive down the usage of blank CDs by making them ridiculously expensive — such that, in some cases, it accounts for 90% of the price of a blank CD.

      • UNESCO’s bizarre World Anti-Piracy Observatory

        Particularly notable: WAPO’s “collection of national copyright laws”, where each country’s page is linked to a “Disclaimer” in which UNESCO claims copyright on the content of the collection and restricts its use to educational, non commercial purposes – even though in most cases, they simply downloaded the copyright law from the official site, renamed the file and re-uploaded it on the UNESCO server.

      • A Copyright Violation???

        So, the question is do we not use Brittany’s painting, the piece that 18 months of design work have been crafted around, because the Manager of Intellectual Property of a famous Pop artist who also appropriated from the same source image says we can’t? Brittany’s painting certainly appears to be an appropriation of the uncopyrighted(?) graphic novel piece as opposed to an “adapted…Roy Lichtenstein image” as Ms. Lee has stated. We haven’t pressed the album yet, so we just need to know whether or not we CAN use the image based on its appropriative properties. What IS the answer here??????

      • How Many Bad Assumptions Can You Make In A Single Article About Content Creation And Copyright?

        That’s simply not true. McArdle is making the same mistake that many politicians and reporters make, despite it being pointed out as an error time and time again: she’s confusing the recording industry with the music industry. The music industry is actually doing quite well when you look at the numbers. Switching back and forth between the two, as McArdle does throughout the piece, and pretending they’re the same thing at some points, and different at others is really weak reporting. Yes, the numbers for the recording industry are worse, just as the numbers for the horse buggy industry got worse and worse each year as the automobile industry ramped up.

      • Library Group And Others Issue Declaration For Consumer Friendly Copyright In Europe

        Stuart Hamilton from the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) alerted us to the news that his organization, along with “a broad based coalition of European groups, representing consumers, creators, libraries, civil society and technology companies” have put together a declaration in the EU Parliament for Copyright for Creativity — with the goal being to reform copyright law to bring it back to its original purpose, while updating it for the internet age so that it “fosters digital creativity, innovation, education, and access to cultural works.”

    • Ofcom rattling ahead with Digital Economy Act letters regime

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – ISS – ISS Basics (1/4/2001)


Links 7/5/2010: RHEL and CentOS 3 EoL, Fedora 13 Near

Posted in News Roundup at 5:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Riverbed and the Open Source Flamebox

    We also talked about the open source model and how it applies to a proprietary networking vendor like Riverbed.

  • Development/Documentation

    • Too Many Forges, Too Little Time

      Those days are long over, and I wonder if that’s a good thing. SourceForge, for all its flaws (and it had plenty), set some expectations for projects that other services do not. For example, SourceForge provides Web hosting, mailing lists, bug trackers, and most of the tools that projects need to grow and succeed. In short, not just the development tools, but also the community tools needed to discuss and promote the projects. For many projects, that set an expectation of using those tools.

    • New documentation project for blind Linux users and all the others

      When he realized that custom documentation for Free Software is needed for vision-impaired users, Tony Baechler offered to launch a dedicated service. I asked Tony what exactly he hopes to set up and how it should work.


      Stop: When I first read Tony’s offer, I decided to contact him because I thought that such a good idea deserved as much exposure as possible. After reading this plan and the rationale behind it I’m even more convinced and also have one more reason to invite all readers who want to know more or could help in any way to contact Tony or visit audio.BatSupport.com, the website on which he will host these tutorials: follow Tony’s guidelines and you’ll produce audio tutorials very useful for all potential Linux users, not just those with vision problems!

  • Mozilla

    • Firefox 3.7a5pre: Tabs on Top, New Add-on Manager

      Firefox 3.7a5pre now has an option to place the browser’s tabs on top of the controls, similar to Google Chrome. This is likely part of Mozilla’s plans to redesign Firefox for version 4. The new option can be found in the right-click menu as “Tabs on Top” below “Navigation Toolbar” and “Bookmarks Toolbar”.

    • Education for an Open Web

      The Mozilla Foundation and the Shuttleworth Foundation support dynamic leaders with new ideas that drive openness and innovation. In particular, we share an interest in how open technologies and open education can foster creativity, participation and fresh thinking that improves the world. For this reason, we have decided to jointly offer an Education for the Open Web Fellowship. This is the call for proposals.

  • Oracle

    • Ex-Sun exec Padir turns focus to startup’s open-source software

      Karen Tegan Padir is an evangelist. Her gospel is open source software, and she recently changed denominations when she left Sun Microsystems Inc., where she was in charge of running the departments that determined the future of such ubiquitous Internet software as Java and MySQL.

    • VirtualBox Continues To Gain Under Oracle

      VirtualBox 3.2 Beta 1 brought experimental support for Mac OS X guests, memory ballooning, CPU hot-plugging, new hypervisor features, RDP video acceleration, and much more. With VirtualBox 3.2 Beta 2, Oracle has introduced Java bindings for VirtualBox, numerous GUI enhancements, fixes for Ubuntu 10.04 LTS guests, new icons, performance optimizations, and various other fixes.

  • Business

    • How Do You Make a Pentaho?

      Daley told me that it has around 45,000 “active” members – that is, people that do something rather than just visit. The community also contributes to the overall project – mostly QA, but also bug-fixes.

  • BSD

    • Bordeaux 2.0.4 for FreeBSD and PC-BSD Released

      The Bordeaux Technology Group released Bordeaux 2.0.4 for FreeBSD and PC-BSD today. Bordeaux 2.0.4 is a maintenance release that fixes a number of small bugs. With this release we have changed the Bordeux UI from a GTKDialog to a GTKWindow, the “OK” button has also been re-named to “Install”. We have upgraded our Wine bundle from 1.1.36 to 1.1.41, updated to the latest winetricks release, added support for the new Steam UI, and changed the progress bar back to Zenity.

  • Releases

  • Government

    • Open source is NASA’s next frontier

      The challenges to government’s adoption and participation in open-source communities is often thought to be a simple culture clash, but in reality it goes deeper than that, according to NASA’s newly-appointed chief technology officer.

      “The issues that we need to tackle are not only cuture, but beyond culture,” said Chris Kemp, formerly chief information officer at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. “And I think we need new policy and support from the administration and Congress to help us tackle” them.


      And open source is a key element of Kemp’s strategy. “We’re actually creating a new Open Source Office under our Open Government Initiative under the Chief Technology Officer’s office,” he said. “We’re really taking this seriously, and we’ve never had this sort of visibility and interest from headquarters before.”

    • EU Parliament calls for internet rights charter

      The Parliament has adopted a new digital strategy called 2015.eu which outlines its ambitions for internet policy for the next five years and beyond. It has passed a resolution adopting the plan and demanding that the European Commission make it work.

  • Openness

    • Honeywell Goes Open Source, Grabs Akuacom

      The smart grid shopping spree keeps going this week. Building automation giant Honeywell said on Friday that it has bought demand response firm Akuacom, for an undisclosed price. The news comes days after Swiss electrical giant ABB said it plans to throw down more than $1 billion for smart grid software player Ventyx (The Smart Grid Acquisition Tally . . . So Far).

    • Open Access/Content

      • PLoS ONE and botanical pioneer helps to bring open-access taxonomy a step closer

        There are several thousand new plant species described every year, published in a range of plant taxonomy journals and other venues. Publishing another description might not be seen as a particularly earth-shattering event but we are enormously proud to be able to publish Sandra Knapp’s new paper on four new vining species in PLOS ONE today as it represents a turning point for PLoS and for botanical nomenclature. The paper is a botanical pioneer: it is the first to be published in an online-only journal whilst adhering to the strict botanical code that sets out how new species can be named.

      • Copyright: a Conditional Intellectual Monopoly
  • Standards/Consortia

    • The future of the Internet is here: non-English extensions hit the Web

      Kim has already written a quick blog post on the launch, highlighting the Egyptian Ministry of Communications and IT, which is at the end of one of three top-level domains that have gone live.

      It is hard to describe the importance of this step. It has been years, literally years, of conversation and discussion and engineering to get to this point. And that point is: the Internet’s core infrastructure can now deal with non-ASCII language. Which means that the Arabic-speaking world, the Chinese-speaking world, the Hindi-speaking world, in fact the majority of people on the planet can finally use the Internet natively without this strange American structure that makes you puts, for example, “.com” at the end of every domain.

    • The Future of Reading is Open

      Today, Scribd is changing the way you read documents online. Over the next few weeks and months, Scribd will convert our entire content corpus — tens of millions of documents, books and presentations — into native HTML5 web pages so that we can offer the best online reading experience. Scribd documents in HTML5 load instantly, support native browser functions (zoom, search, scroll, select text), and deliver an impressive reading experience across all browsers and web-enabled devices, without requiring add-ons or plug-ins.


  • Presidential panel report: to avoid cancer, eat organic, filter water, avoid plastic food containers

    After reading the report, I was inspired to throw out (recycle!) all of the pthalate and BPA-laden cheapo plastic food storage containers from my kitchen, and order replacements made from glass with silicone seals. I already buy mostly organic foods, and drink mostly filtered water. I don’t microwave my food at all, but if even storing cold leftovers in certain types of plastic containers might up your risk, this seems an easy and cheap enough change to make. Can’t hurt.

  • Business Models

    • From Business Models to ‘Betterness’ Models

      I’d like to advance a hypothesis. Maybe, just maybe, business isn’t why companies exist anymore. Maybe 21st century companies are no longer just in business, but in “betterness.” Here’s what I mean.

      A fool and his wallet, they say, are soon parted. Consider yours truly. Recently, I ordered furniture from IKEA. It’s just for a spare room, I thought, and I’ll save a few bucks. What I forgot? The hidden costs. Comically torturous self-assembly with hilariously absurd diagrams, to begin with. But I never even got that far.

    • Wikipedia Now Lets You Order Printed Books
  • Hardware

  • Science

    • The Internet anticipated in 1964

      When the New Scientist’s 1964 series of predictions for “The World in 1984” was published by Penguin Books the following year, I added tables at the end. They summarized what seemed to me the main expectations of the scientists and scholars (about 100 of them) who contributed to the project. The first table concerned “Major Technological Revolutions” and I reproduce its contents below, reformatted to fit the page but otherwise unmodified in any way. The question marks denoted explicit disagreement or implicit controversy on important points.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Why Aren’t There More Terrorist Attacks?

      As the details of the Times Square car bomb attempt emerge in the wake of Faisal Shahzad’s arrest Monday night, one thing has already been made clear: Terrorism is fairly easy. All you need is a gun or a bomb, and a crowded target. Guns are easy to buy. Bombs are easy to make. Crowded targets — not only in New York, but all over the country — are easy to come by. If you’re willing to die in the aftermath of your attack, you could launch a pretty effective terrorist attack with a few days of planning, maybe less.

    • Video of SWAT Raid on Missouri Family

      Radly Balko of Reason posted this video of a SWAT raid on a family in Missouri. The officers found a small amount of cannabis, and so they arrested the parents on a charge of child endangerment, naturally.

  • Environment

    • ‘Iron hand’ to help realize green goals

      Premier Wen Jiabao on Wednesday vowed to realize the country’s green goal to cut energy intensity by 20 percent between 2006 and 2010, amid the strong economic recovery.

      In a nationwide video and teleconference, Wen told governments at all levels to work with an “iron hand” to eliminate inefficient enterprises.

    • Republicans won’t be nudged into cutting home energy

      It was hailed as a breakthrough in the fight to cut carbon emissions. In 2007, researchers found that heavy electricity users cut their consumption after being told that they used more energy than their neighbours. Almost a million US households have since received similar feedback and have cut electricity use by an average of 2.5 per cent.

      But a new study has identified a wrinkle in the plan: the feedback only seems to work with liberals. Conservatives tend to ignore it. Some even respond by using more energy.

    • Future temperatures could be too hot to survive

      Researchers from Purdue University and the University of New South Wales, Australia, have for the first time calculated the highest ‘wet-bulb’ temperature that people can tolerate – and have found that it could be exceeded for the first time in human history under reasonable worst-case climate change scenarios.

    • EU vows to tackle overfishing with policy overhaul

      European Union ministers on Wednesday vowed to overhaul their 840 million euro-a-year fishing subsidies policy by next year to avoid overfishing and make the industry more sustainable.

    • US carbon emissions plunge—not just because of lousy economy

      Residential and commercial energy use have remained pretty flat for the last three years, but transportation started a gradual decline in energy consumption in 2007. Although 2008 saw a huge decline in driving due to fuel prices, the cost of fuel dropped in 2009. As one might expect, total miles traveled rose, although only by a small fraction of a percent. Nevertheless, total fuel consumption was down from 2008 for every month of the year, spurred in part by an increase of 1.5mpg in the average fleet fuel economy. Given that the fuel economy is set to rise rapidly through 2016, this sector is likely to continue to improve.

    • Europe’s green delusion

      The European Union likes to think of itself as the unrivalled champion of eco-governance but, argues Derrick Sutter, it is far from living up to its image.

  • Finance

    • Low interest rates didn’t cause the bubble, economists say

      Economists have spent the past 70-plus years trying to figure out what caused the Great Depression. They’re likely to spend the next 70 analyzing the causes and lessons of this decade’s devastating boom and bust.

    • Senate Nod to Fed Audit Is Expected

      The Senate on Thursday rejected an effort by liberal Democrats to break up some of the biggest banks, defeating an amendment to financial regulatory legislation that would have imposed new limits on the size and scope of financial companies.

    • Congress wants review of market plunge

      Lawmakers are trying to learn the causes of the drastic stock market sell-off to ensure that high-tech trading is monitored and average investors are protected in the wilds of Wall Street.

    • As Homeowners’ Dreams Die, He’s the Undertaker

      Hardly any. Legally, they have already lost ownership. If they do not respond to the carrot the lenders offer — as much as $5,000 in cash in exchange for leaving the house in good order — he employs the stick: the county sheriff, who evicts them.

    • Steven Pearlstein: Greek crisis exposes cracks in Europe’s foundation

      It is easy to dismiss Thursday’s 30-minute, 1,000-point boomerang on the Dow Jones industrial average as a freak event that resulted when everyday human error collided with high-speed, high-volume computerized trading.

    • Glassman Says It Was ‘Stupid’ to Criticize Senators

      James Glassman, a senior economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co., said it was a mistake for him to call members of a Senate panel ignorant and to call for “grownups to step in” to the financial reform debate.

    • Financial firms’ roles toughen legislative task

      But whether it should be the law is the subject of debate on Capitol Hill as the Senate prepares to vote on legislation to overhaul financial regulation. It is also one of the key issues underpinning the recent controversy regarding Goldman’s role in the financial crisis.

    • Unwashed Masses 1, Fed 0: Sanders Scores

      The effort to audit the Fed got a big boost last night when Senator Bernie Sanders reached an agreement with Chris Dodd, the chair of the banking committee. Under the deal, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) would undertake a full audit of the special facilities created by the Fed since December of 2007. GAO would make the findings from its audit available to the Congressional leadership. It would also make most of the details of the Fed’s transactions available to the public.

    • Democrats defeat GOP alternative on consumer agency

      Senate Democratic leaders cleared two major obstacles Thursday to winning passage of a Wall Street reform bill, beating back a Republican effort to curb the reach of a new consumer agency and striking a compromise on a watered-down bill to shine a light on Federal Reserve activities.

    • A.I.G. Said to Dismiss Goldman

      As its legal troubles mount, Goldman Sachs is losing a big corporate client: the American International Group.

    • Thank you, Goldman Sachs

      Has Congress suddenly grown a collective spine? Between the SEC case, the recent hearings held by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, and the current turmoil in the euro zone (exacerbated, some say, by derivatives deals), even Republicans can read the writing on the wall now: the public wants action against Wall Street. Will there be—mirabile dictu!—an actual bipartisan vote in favor of financial reform?

    • Roubini Urges Goldman Sachs Breakup, Possible CDO Ban: Books

      Break up Goldman Sachs Group Inc., he says. Consider banning collateralized debt obligations. And why not compensate traders with slices of their own exotic securities instead of with cash or shares?

    • Goldman braces for shareholder fury

      Goldman investors are converging on lower Manhattan for the firm’s annual shareholder meeting. Typically a rather mild-mannered affair, the gathering is poised to turn contentious given the scrutiny Goldman has been under in recent weeks.

    • BP And Goldman Sachs: Gambling With Your Money

      Just like Goldman Sachs, BP acted irresponsibly by recklessly pursuing profits at the expense of the American people. Both companies gambled, both companies lost, and both companies expect the taxpayer to clean up their mess. It’s time both companies are held accountable.

    • Goldman Sachs SEC Settlement Could Hit $5 BILLION: Fox Business Network

      Charlie Gasparino of Fox Business Network is reporting that the SEC’s highly publicized civil fraud charges against Goldman Sachs are likely to be settled for $1 billion to $5 billion.

    • What Any Goldman Settlement Might Entail
    • Whitman’s lead over Poizner plummets

      Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman’s lead in the Republican race for California governor has shrunk dramatically as the billionaire candidate has been battered by her ties to Goldman Sachs, new Republican and Democratic polls suggest.

    • Calpers Votes to Split Chairman, CEO Roles at Goldman

      The California Public Employees Retirement System, the largest U.S. public pension fund, voted to split the roles of chairman and chief executive officer currently held by Lloyd Blankfein at Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

    • Lloyd Blankfein Should Resign From Goldman Sachs

      Under Mr. Blankfein, Goldman’s reputation has gone from Teflon to Velcro. Criticism that used to beguile other firms without nicking the Goldman now seem to only stick to Goldman. Once the pinnacle of banking, Goldman is now the butt of jokes across Wall Street and Main Street.

    • A steel dome will be lowered over Wall St to contain the red ink

      A drilling platform at the corner of Wall Street and Broadway exploded and sank today with sticky red ink spreading across the land. It is impossible to estimate the damage this will do as it begins to wash up on Main Street. Senator John Kyle of Arizona denied that any Republican in the Senate ever favored more financial drilling, “Some candidate may have had said something two or three years ago like ‘the fundamentals of the economy are sound’ but that was never our policy”.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Commissioner Malmström launches censorship arms race

      Commissioner Malmström has been explaining to the European Parliament and to the press that her Internet blocking proposals are “only” about child abuse websites and “only” the kind of blocking that is in place in countries such as Sweden. At the same time, however, her officials have been convincing the EU’s national home affairs ministries to agree in principle to measures to develop legal powers to destroy web resources outside the EU anywhere in an area covering the majority of the northern hemisphere.

    • Brazil’s Proposed Internet Regulation–an Update (That’s Actually Good News) (Guest Blog Post)

      Some fantastic news: in response to the waves of criticism toward the proposed notice and takedown regime that might have curbed online speech in Brazil – see my prior blog post – the Brazilian Ministry of Justice has announced a completely different system for online service provider liability and content removal.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • WIPO Traditional Knowledge Committee Moving Toward Legal Agreement

      A World Intellectual Property Organization committee tasked with finding an international instrument to prevent the misappropriation of traditional knowledge, folklore, and genetic resources has begun in earnest text-based discussions and is now working to find an agreement on extra meetings intended to speed the process towards creating an international legal instrument.

    • Copyrights

    • ACTA

      • Border detention of counterfeit and/or “counterfeit” pharma products

        So what is this 60 page document (which you can download here) all about? As ICTSD’s website explains:

        “The detentions of generic medicines in transit as a result of the implementation by certain countries of border measures, which go beyond the minimum standards set by the TRIPS Agreement, have attracted international attention. At the same time, such measures are often considered, by these countries, as instrumental in the fight against the circulation of “counterfeit” medicines [The Kat thinks these countries, in so far as they are personified, are concerned with counterfeits, not "counterfeits". The agenda of specific rights owners may be a different matter]. Clearly, the border measures in question raise complex legal and technical issues under the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

      • Written Declaration 12/2010 signatories list
      • European Parliament Passes Resolution Calling on Canada To Support Moving ACTA to WIPO

        In the aftermath of its success in promoting release of the ACTA draft text, it is interesting to see the European Parliament becoming increasingly vocal about the ACTA negotiations. Canada has remained generally silent on these issues and the EP resolution may help coax out a response.

Clip of the Day

Functions and Statistics – International Space Station – Up To Us (1/4/2001)

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