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08.30.11

Links 30/8/2011: Many New Linux Tablets, Thunderbird 7 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 11:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Xbox 360 reset glitch hack, Xbox 360 Linux on its way?

    This means it’s now possible to run homebrew & backups on all Xbox 360s, no matter which firmware is loaded, in the past this was only possible on Xbox 360s with a certain firmware-level. This also opens the possibility to run quite easily Linux on your Xbox 360!

  • As Linux Moves Into a New Decade, Companies Look for Linux Talent

    The Linux community has been united around the globe over the last few weeks in celebration of the 20th Anniversary of Linux. As we head into a new decade, many of The Linux Foundation’s members are looking for Linux talent to help advance the OS for everything from cloud computing to virtualization and super computing to embedded development and mobile computing.

  • Desktop

    • The Linux Setup – Dusty Phillips, Developer

      Dusty Phillips certainly falls into the power user category and his answers reflect that status. Dusty runs a tight system that’s optimized for his workflow. And it’s fascinating that he does so much with just one machine.

  • Kernel Space

    • Six Months With OpenBenchmarking.org

      There’s a variety of features and other enhancements to OpenBenchmarking.org that are still forthcoming. I’ve been talking about several of them over the past six months that I look forward to implementing as soon as time allows.

    • Graphics Stack

      • The Graphics Stack, Requirements For Ubuntu 11.10

        If you’re thinking about trying out the Ubuntu 11.10 Beta release later in the week or are beginning to wonder about what the graphics driver options for Ubuntu 11.10 “Oneiric Ocelot” when released in October, here’s a collection of information you’ll want to know about the graphics drivers to be found in Ubuntu 11.10.

        [...]

        The Linux 3.1 kernel isn’t making it out for a few more weeks and just before the final release, so Canonical is playing it safe and sticking to the Linux 3.0 kernel although the still-in-development release does provide some nice improvements to the DRM graphics drivers and other areas of the kernel. Users can manually upgrade to the Linux 3.1 kernel and it should be relatively safe.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Linux desktop progress: Innovation vs. power-user backlash

      Recently word spread like wildfire across the net that Linus Torvalds, Father of Linux himself, had proclaimed GNOME 3 an “Unholy Mess.” The hatred for all things GNOME 3 didn’t stop there. Pundits, grand-standers, tinkerers, and media-types alike went on and on about how GNOME 3 had become nothing more than a failure. At the same time, Ubuntu Unity had been given a similar title as a nearly worthless desktop.

      Let’s step back in time a year or so ago when KDE 4 came out of the starting gate. Yes it was hampered by a complete rewrite, but like it’s GNOME brethren, KDE was lambasted as too buggy to ever work correctly.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • New ‘Cool’ Developments

        “World must be crazy” say fellow hackers when realized that one day I left Samsung’s Linux Mobile Lab to work on Smart Refrigerators.

        But well, it’s still in the same company, the same city. Yet this does not mean I am stopping to dig in Linux stuff for living: we’re talking about Linux fridges.

        However, there is something even less expected: these are full four-doors Qt fridges. I dare to say, except for cars or airplanes with infotainment modules, for me these cooling monsters are one of the biggest ‘Qt devices’ available on the consumer market.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Important GNOME Shell, Mutter Updates

        Owen Taylor announced a new version of the GNOME Shell and Mutter releases this afternoon for what will be incorporated into the GNOME 3.2 desktop. While it’s late in the development cycle with the final GNOME 3.2 release coming next month and the beta release being set for Wednesday, the Mutter 3.1.90 carries two important changes along with prominent changes to the GNOME Shell.

  • Distributions

    • New Distribution: Dream Studio Introduced

      Lost in all the news of and attention paid to Mandriva 2011, a new distribution was added to the Distrowatch database. This Ubuntu-based distribution is designed to provide users the means to “create stunning graphics, captivating videos, inspiring music, and professional websites.” Version 11.04 was released the other day, so let’s take a peek.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Gentoo Family

      • Gentoo: GNOME Keyring And Subversion
      • Quick Look at Sabayon 6 Continued (KDE)

        This spin of Sabayon on the other hand, although the better one, feels average when compared to other KDE 4 distributions like Kubuntu, Kanotix, Debian and in particular when compared to SimplyMEPIS which is just unreal. SalixOS does KDE 4 faster with only 512 MB ram. Kongoni is snappier and also allows to compile updates and any additions via its ports system. So does Slackware with sbopkg. So choose your poison, if for whatever reason you like Sabayon more than any other distribution you’re going to use it anyway, regardless the resource usage and speed. (Slightly updated 30/08/11 15:03)

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Fair Use Face-Off, Canadian Edition

          As professors and librarians in the United States await a judge’s ruling on a copyright lawsuit by publishers against Georgia State University over its e-reserves practices, a similarly themed battle in Canada has seen a number of high-profile research universities walk out on licensing agreements with that country’s major copyright clearinghouse.

          More than a dozen Canadian universities — including heavyweights such as the University of British Columbia, the University of Calgary and York University — have said they will not renew their agreements with Access Copyright, a government-created nonprofit that sells licenses to its library of copyright-cleared content.

        • Best Free Android News Aggregators
    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Fujitsu’s Android tablet is ready for bathtub readers

        Fujitsu and Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo will next month release an Android tablet you could use in the bathtub, featuring a 10.1 inch touchscreen and dual-core Texas Instruments OMAP4430 processor, according to the Datacider.com website. Meanwhile, Toshiba’s poised to release a slimmer followup to its chunky Thrive, according to a Notebook Italia report.

      • Amazon.com Tablet Could Ship 5 Million Units

        Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) could sell anywhere between 3 million and 5 million Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android tablets in the fourth quarter, making it far and away the most successful slate provider on the open-source platform, according to Forrester Research.

      • Fujitsu Prepping Rugged Honeycomb Tablet

        Fujitsu, known for making lower-end computers and other devices, is apparently ready to throw its hat into the Android tablet game, with the Fujitsu “Arrows Tab,” a rugged Honeycomb tablet. They’ve announced the 10.1-inch device, and it’s set to launch next month on NTT DoCoMo, a Japanese carrier. The tablet could have HSPA, UMTS, and LTE connectivity, as well as GSM and GPRS capabilities, for roaming and such. The Arrows Tab will also be packing a TI IMAP 4430 1GHz dual-core processor, so it won’t be slow by any means.

      • Toshiba Thrive Review

        One of the biggest obstacles Toshiba faces with the Thrive is that the company has no Android presence to help the company gain a foothold. They have no track record of Android phones or tablets to speak of and nothing reputable to bring to the table. At $429 the 16GB version is roughly $70 less than its Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 counterpart. Is it worth paying the extra money for Samsung’s 10-inch tablet? That depends on what’s most important to you. Do you want a functional tablet with great hardware and function? Or do you need to look cool and hip with the slimmest, sexiest tablet on the market?

      • As PCs Wane, Companies Look to Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source for America Awards

    OSFA recently celebrated its second anniversary and would once again like to recognize some of the individuals, projects and deployments that support OSFA’s mission.

  • Web Browsers

    • Extreme tab browsing

      I have a pathological use of browser tabs: I use a lot of them. A lot is probably an understatement. We could say I use them as bookmarks of things I need to track. A couple weeks ago, I was saying I had around two hundred tabs opened. I now actually have much more.

      It affected startup until I discovered that setting the browser.sessionstore.max_concurrent_tabs pref to 0 was making things much better by only loading tabs when they are selected. This preference has/will become browser.sessionstore.restore_on_demand. However, since I only start my main browser once a day, while other applications start and while I begin to read email, I hadn’t noticed that this was still heavily affecting startup time: about:startup tells me reaching the sessionRestored state takes seven seconds, even on a warm startup.

    • Shiny new UI in Empathy 3.2

      *

      One of our main goals during this developement cycle was to continue improving Empathy’s user experience by re-designing different parts of the UI. To do so our Empathy team at Collabora worked closely with designers from the awesome GNOME Design Team.

    • Mozilla

  • SaaS

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Cable: US pressured EU to approve Oracle-Sun merger

      The US Government met with European competition officials to lobby on behalf of Oracle during its purchase of Sun Microsystems, according to leaked diplomatic cables.

      The cables, released this week by whistleblowing site Wikileaks, reveal that the Obama administration had monitored the European Union’s investigation into the competition issues that could arise from the merger and tried to convince them to let the deal go ahead.

      The EU had investigated the merger due to concerns for the future of Java and the open source MySQL database.

  • Healthcare

    • VA, DoD take next step to open source EHR

      The Veterans Affairs Department is set to make its open source agent operational Tuesday and make available the software code of various applications in the electronic health records of VA and the Defense Department.

      Users of the applications will also have a method to report back to the open source agent changes to the software.

  • BSD

    • GhostBSD: not “just another BSD”

      This article continues series of reviews of non-Linux operating systems which you can find existing. Another big family of OSes is based on BSD core. PCBSD, BSDanywhere, FreeSBIE… you can read more about them. It’s time to start our today’s adventure.

      [...]

      Forum, Documentation and FAQ sections are pretty much empty on official site. I have not found any information about LiveUSB creation process for GhostBSD in the Internet either.
      Finally, I decided to look at DVD-RW option. This means the test could only be carried out on Toshiba L500 laptop. Expectedly, it would be a hard task for BSD since not every Linux distribution worked fine on that laptop so far. This laptop has Realtek 8191 WiFi card which is not the most popular among free open source software developers. But let’s talk about this later.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Open source is illegal?

      While the Slovak Republic is slowly moving forward on the issue of open licenses, Romania appears to have taken a step backwards. The Romanian Ministry of Internal Affairs recently banned open source solutions from a public tender of almost 3 milion euro due to ‘internal and European interoperability requirements’. The tender specifically says “All versions of software that are part of the offer may not be published under a ‘free software license’ – GPL or similar”.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Syllable OS developer interview: Building a better operating system
  • Microsoft bashes VMware at VMworld, again

    In what has become an annual tradition, Microsoft celebrated the start of the VMworld show in Las Vegas this week with more satirical bashing of VMware. This year Microsoft launched a Web site called VMlimited in which it likens VMware to a guy who still thinks it’s circa 1977. However, Microsoft’s viewpoint doesn’t jive with the news of new partnerships and wares streaming out of the VMworld show this year.

  • Disney factory faces probe into sweatshop suicide claims

    Disney’s best-selling Cars toys are being made in a factory in China that uses child labour and forces staff to do three times the amount of overtime allowed by law, according to an investigation.

    One worker reportedly killed herself after being repeatedly shouted at by bosses. Others cited worries over poisonous chemicals. Disney has now launched its own investigation.

    It is claimed some of the 6,000 employees have to work an extra 120 hours every month to meet demand from western shops for the latest toys.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • 83 Died in U.S.-Guatemala Syphilis Experiments: “We’re talking about intentional deception.”

      It made headlines when historian Susan M. Reverby of Wellesley College discovered a decades-old program run from by the U.S. Public Health Service’s studies in Guatemala from 1946 to 1948. That’s because the researchers deliberately inoculated subjects with syphilis in order to study sexually transmitted disease, and they did so without informed consent for the procedure.

    • Warrantless Surveillance Memos Stay Classified

      The Justice Department is refusing to release legal memos the George W. Bush administration used to justify his warrantless surveillance program, one of the most contentious civil liberties issues during the Republican president’s time in office.

      In responding to a Freedom of Information Act request, the department is withholding two legal analyses by then-government lawyer John Yoo, and is revealing just eight sentences from a third Yoo memo dated Nov. 2, 2001. That memo is at least 21 pages long.

    • Another ‘Collateral Murder’ Incident Highlighted in the WikiLeaks Cables

      The communication logs show the admirable but futile efforts of UN Special Rapporteurs to gain answers and information on horrific incidents of torture and possible war crimes or crimes against humanity. The incidents Special Rapporteurs are seeking information about are not necessarily unknown, but what makes them significant is how the US has done little if not nothing to address and investigate the killings of journalists in the Iraq War.

    • Fears grow over Britain’s last inmate at Guantanamo Bay
  • Cablegate

    • WikiLeaks: Embassy’s “Privatization Update” Shows Shock Doctrine in Action in Haiti

      IGOH refers to Interim Government of Haiti, the unelected government installed after a US-backed coup ousted Jean-Bertrand Aristide in February 2004.

    • Apple reportedly assembled anti-counterfeit team in 2008 to combat fakes

      CNN is reporting that recent Wikileaks cables have revealed that Apple assembled an anti-counterfeit team in 2008 to combat counterfeited iPhones and iPod touches. Apple’s early plans to attack Chinese counterfeits were to go after retailers and street vendors, work with police to raid manufacturing facilities, and to go after online retailers.

    • Timeline: Daniel Domscheit-Berg

      This is the story of Daniel Berg aka Daniel Schmitt aka Daniel Domscheit-Berg, one of the many collaborators with WikiLeaks in the ‘nascent period’ up to but not including the big releases of 2010.

      Daniel was an employee of the US storage giant EDS in Rüsselheim Germany when he heard about WikiLeaks. Daniel’s not a programmer – and certainly not a hacker – but seemed to ‘dabble’ in political topics such as ‘anarchy’ and transparency.

      But we’re getting ahead of our story. The following data was culled over the past few months when the opportunity (and the inclination) came to research Daniel’s bizarre life and relationship with WikiLeaks and the website’s founder Julian Assange. All items are referenced online save Domscheit’s own book.

    • WikiLeaks: Russian Foreign Ministry ‘Bastion’ of Sexism and Low Pay
  • Privacy

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • ACTA

        • If ACTA Is Approved In The US, It May Open The Door For The President To Regularly Ignore Congress On International Agreements

          On of the sneakier parts of ACTA is that the White House has insisted from the beginning that the document is not a binding treaty. Instead, it insists that ACTA is merely an “executive agreement.” Of course, the only real difference is that an executive agreement doesn’t require the Senate to ratify it. Basically, the US is calling it an executive agreement so that the administration can sign on without any oversight or scrutiny on the treaty. The Europeans, in the meantime, never got the “ix-nay on the inding-bay eaty-tray” notice from the US folks, and have been happily declaring ACTA a binding treaty as it clearly is.

          However, many legal experts have noted that this raises serious constitutional questions, as the Constitution simply does not allow this kind of agreement to be signed without Senate approval. Amusingly, Senator Biden — back during the previous administration — was one of the leading voices in trying to prevent President Bush from signing an “executive agreement” with Russia, without getting Senate approval. One wonders if he’s magically changed his mind.

08.29.11

Links 29/8/2011: Linux 3.1-rc4, 3.0.4, 2.6.32.46, and 2.6.33.19

Posted in News Roundup at 7:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 162
  • Linux and the financial crisis

    The financial industry is out-innovating regulators, experts and common investors. For years, the financial industry hired the best hackers it could find. They have a sizable share of the most creative and smart engineers on the planet. And Linux is one of their favorite tools. It is not difficult to understand: you can literally rewrite, or help rewrite, the Linux kernel. Today, Wall Street runs on Linux and it thrives thanks to its elite programmers.

  • Virtualization With KVM On A CentOS 6.0 Server
  • Jailbreak Only: Linux – Coming Soon To Your iPhone, iPad

    A team of jailbreak developers has recently managed to install the Linux desktop operating system on Apple’s A4 equipped iOS devices. The news comes as the image of an iPad running Linux was tweeted by one of the team’s developers.

  • Linux spotted running on an iPad
  • Server

    • UNIX Special 4: Linux vs. UNIX

      Although many still consider UNIX the best option for high-demand applications, the technical differences between Linux and UNIX are “going to be pretty minimal” going forward, argued Gartner analyst George Weiss in a recent report.
      Things going in favour of Linux were – better hardware features, internal multitasking and multiprocessing, less expensive resource requirements, stronger application independence and other such bullets.

      Gabriel Consulting Group takes the same vein.

    • In pursuit of affordable shared-storage options

      The breaking of ties between Unix flavours and specific RISC processors was the stand-out example, and Linux OSes on commodity x86 servers were the agent of change to bring this about in the early part of the last decade.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.1-rc4

      Or how about the wiimote driver changes? Or the iscsi target changes?

    • Stable kernels 3.0.4, 2.6.32.46, and 2.6.33.19
    • Graphics Stack

      • Nouveau Fan Management Code Published

        At long last, if your computer has previously sounded like a jet engine when using the open-source Nouveau driver with your NVIDIA GeForce/Quadro graphics card, there is a solution. Fan management code has now been published by the Nouveau developers to support controlling the graphics card’s fan speed when using this in-kernel Linux driver.

        Martin Peres writes to the Nouveau mailing list this morning, “Just saw the bitching on Phoronix about lack of fan management in nouveau (no offence Michael, it was justified ;)). Since it has been working flawlessly for more than a week on my desktop, I decided to let you guys know about it and ask for testing.”

      • A 40-Way Gallium3D Graphics Card Comparison
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva 2011 is here!
      • Mandriva Linux 2011 Officially Released, Screenshot Tour

        Mandriva proudly announced last evening, August 28th, the immediate availability for download of the final and stable release of the highly anticipated Mandriva Linux 2011 operating system.

      • Mandriva Linux 2011.0 Released
      • First look at Mandriva Linux 2011

        I have mixed feelings about Mandriva Linux 2011. On the one hand, I can understand the developer’s motivation to simplify the distribution in order to create a more uniform, newcomer-friendly and easy-to-support installation class. This would be a perfect scenario for schools and government offices and with Russia’s highest political echelons reportedly encouraging more free software deployment in the country, one can easily see the reasons for having a simple, easy-to-use and pre-configured desktop system provided locally. On the other hand, long-time Mandriva users are likely to be disappointed with the sudden lack of options previously available to them. Yes, the hybrid live/installation DVD image is a step in the right direction, but those users wishing to use Mandriva in a different deployment scenario than the default KDE desktop might be discouraged by the amount of post-install customisation work and the unequivocal endorsement of KDE as the only supported desktop.

        This inevitably brings up the subject of comparison between Mandriva Linux 2011 and Mageia 1 (read our review of Mageia 1 here). As always in these situations, it is best to try both releases and decide which of the two better meets the user’s needs, but in my view, it’s clear that Mandriva 2011 has departed too far from its roots. In fact, Mageia 1, which resisted the temptation to make large scale changes to its first release, is now a more genuine “Mandriva” than Mandriva itself. Those users who enjoyed the older Mandriva Linux releases will undoubtedly feel more at home with Mageia 1 than with the latest Mandriva release.

        Mandriva 2011 feels like a completely new distribution, extravagantly disconnected from its past and with dramatically new values, concepts and orientation. I suspect that it’s targeted mainly at larger organisations with a need to have a uniform desktop setup across dozens of computers and, to a lesser extent, at newcomers to Linux. The only thing that still links this release to the old Mandriva is its superb control centre, but everything else has changed or, as in the package manager’s case, is about the change. This is not necessarily a bad thing and it’s entirely possible that this new philosophy will find acceptance among certain users and organisations where too many choices would present a new set of problems. Furthermore, the Rosa Labs set of desktop tools is an interesting addition, perhaps not entirely bug-free, but presumably well-tested on less technical users. As such, Mandriva could be in a good position to attract new Linux converts, but in the process it has probably shunned many of the more technical users.

      • Five Good Reasons to Try Mandriva Linux 2011

        Canonical’s Ubuntu may frequently dominate the headlines in the Linux world, but the fact remains that it’s just one of many popular desktop distributions of the free and open source operating system.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat 5 STIG: Network Settings

        The draft release of the U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency’s (DISA) “Red Hat 5 STIG” earlier this year has a few system administrators panicking. For Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® 5 administrators, this Security Technical Implementation Guide (STIG) has supplanted the generic UNIX STIG.

        The generic UNIX STIG had the single potential discrepancy indicator (PDI) “GEN003600 – Network Security Settings.” The checklist document required you to check four network settings in the running kernel. The new Red Hat 5 STIG, however, has many more settings and provides better explanations.

      • Red Hat’s biggest enemy? VMware

        Let’s play a game. Who do you think Red Hat’s biggest enemy will be in a few years? Will it be Microsoft, Linux’s traditional enemy? Could SUSE, the number two business Linux distributor, make a try for the top? Might Ubuntu’s Canonical make its big break into corporate Linux? All good guesses, but Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst, is pretty sure that Red Hat’s biggest competitor in 2016 will be VMware.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • A closer look at Ubuntu 11.10 Oneric with Jono Bacon
          • Google Music App For Ubuntu with Sound Menu and Native Notifications Support

            Google Music Frame runs Google Music web interface in its own window and provides integration with Ubuntu sound menu and notifications. It also remembers last session and the current view (album, genre list, etc.)

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Bodhi Linux: First Impressions

              What I like the most about Bodhi Linux are freedom of choice for applications and profiles (Bare, Desktop, Laptop and Tablet/Netbook) that I truly need, the familiar Synaptic Package Manager and vast choices of themes and icons for customization. It’s a great surprise for such a minimalist OS with such highly customizable aesthetic interface! There are more to learn about the lightweight Enlightenment Desktop and other configurations, though.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Video: Eben at the Bletchley Park Educating Programmers Summit
    • Phones

      • Android

        • LG Enlighten Spotted in Walmart Catalog

          We first heard about the LG Enlighten earlier this month, and we got a better look at it on Tuesday. It appears that the Enlighten will be making its way to Big Red through Walmart, as someone has gotten their paws on a Verizon catalog that’s advertising the device.

        • Rumour titbits: Sony Ericsson Nozomi is global phone; SK19 is cancelled

          Secondly, we recently wrote about the Sony Ericsson SK19 suggesting it could be a Xperia ray pro. However, he says this model is now cancelled. It was a keyboard slide phone being developed for AT&T in the US and would have sat in between the Xperia mini pro and Xperia pro. The reason we trust him? He told us all about the Xperia neo V before today’s announcement including the difference between it and the Xperia neo. We’ll bring you more news as we have it.

        • CyanogenMod Team Gets Android Working On HP TouchPad

          There have been a flurry of efforts in recent days aimed at getting a workable version of Android up-and-running on the webOS-based HP TouchPad. The mission has been funded in part by modding community called HackNMod, which is hoping to give the tablet’s early adopters an operating system with a more certain future: Android.

          It appears that the CyanogenMod team has finally made that happen. According to a public statement and accompanying video, the developers say they now have an alpha version of the CyanogenMod 7 firmware running on the TouchPad.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Sony S2 Tablet is the Tablet P, Specs Continue to Leak

        More specs have recently leaked about the upcoming Sony Tablet S and the codenamed Sony S2 which are expected to launch next month. The S2 will launch as the Sony Tablet P, the dual 5.5″ screened clamshell will weigh 370 grams, have 512Mb RAM, 4GB of storage with a 2GB SD card and connectivity over 4G or WiFi. Both the Tablet P and Tablet S will use Nvidia’s Tegra 2 processor and have 0.3MP front-facing cameras. The Tablet S will weigh 600g, have 1GB of RAM and come in 16GB or 32GB flavours. No word on price or exact shipping dates, but it shouldn’t be too much longer before they’re known.

      • Samsung unveils LTE-equipped phone, tablet

        Samsung announced LTE (long-term evolution) editions of its Galaxy S II smartphone and Galaxy Tab 8.9 tablet computers, claiming potential download speeds of up to 100Mbps, and uploads of 50Mbps. The phone also upgrades to a 4.5 display and eight megapixel camera, while the slate weighs only a pound and is just over a third of inch thick, the company says.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • Databases

    • CUBRID Bug Bash Event!

      Today at CUBRID we are very happy to announce yet another contest which will start on September 1st, 2011, and will last for one month.

      The idea of this Bug Bash event is to fix potential bugs which may exist in the latest version of CUBRID Tools and Web Apps, thus, increase the quality of this software, and engage users in CUBRID development.

    • EnterpriseDB Brings PostgreSQL to the Cloud

      Managing the open source PostgreSQL database has often been the domain of command line tools and scripts. That’s now about to change thanks to the release of Postgres Enterprise Manger from commercial PostgreSQL firm, EnterpriseDB.

      EnterpriseDB is also taking PostgreSQL beyond the confines of traditional data center deployments with a new Postgres Plus Cloud Server service. The new services and tools come as EnterpriseDB ramps up their PostgreSQL offerings in the wake of Oracle’s takeover of Sun and the MySQL database.

      “What we’re trying to do at EnterpriseDB is to really make it easier for the user to deploy more PostgreSQL,” Karen Tegan Padir, Vice President, Products and Marketing at EnterpriseDB told InternetNews.com.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Untapped: Why the developing world must treat IT as a national resource

      The open source movement has the potential to empower developing countries to use IT as an important national resource — to communicate to its citizenry, expand its educational platform and address national disasters. Open source software is not only free from license restriction; it is also free to be used as a basis for innovation, allowing custom solutions for the unique context of specific issues faced by developing nations. But for many nations, software is not enough.

    • Defence conducts OpenOffice.org trial

      The Department of Defence has reportedly conducted an informal trial of the open source OpenOffice.org productivity suite involving some 100 users.

      According to iTNews (click here for the full story), the initiative was kicked off by Defence chief technology officer Matt Yannopoulos over the past year. However, it does not appear likely the initiative will immediately broaden into a wider rollout at Defence, with Yannopoulos noting it would be a major decision for the department, which has long been a Microsoft shop.

  • Licensing

    • Desktop Summit: Copyright assignments

      Copyright assignment (or licensing) agreements for projects is a rather contentious issue that reflects differing views of how free software will be best-positioned to grow over the coming years. Several perspectives were on display at the “Panel on Copyright Assignment” held on August 6 at the Desktop Summit in Berlin. The panel consisted of two opponents of such agreements, Michael Meeks and Bradley Kuhn, as well as perhaps their most outspoken proponent, Mark Shuttleworth, with GNOME Foundation executive director Karen Sandler handling the moderation duties. In the end, each position was well-represented, but, as might be guessed, neither side convinced the other; each will likely continue to pursue its path over the coming years.

    • The Mozilla Public License – almost 2.0 (part 1)

      Over the past 18 months, the Mozilla community has been revising the Mozilla Public License. See earlier post. We recently announced, in true community development fashion, a release candidate–the text that we hope will become MPL 2.0 after one last set of eyes review it. This piece is a brief backgrounder on what has changed in the new MPL, explaining why we’re proud of this work and we hope you’ll consider reviewing it – and maybe even using it for your next project.

    • Citrix CloudStack Shifts to Single GPLv3 Flavor
  • Programming

    • Five easy ways to get you coding
    • Getting Started with the Fuel PHP Framework

      Regular PHPBuilder readers are well aware of my personal affinity for framework-driven development. These days I opt to use a framework for every conceivable web project, no matter how minor. Thankfully many other developers feel the same about the framework’s amazing breadth, because a wide range of framework solutions are available for projects large and small. For large projects, you might consider using CakePHP, Symfony, or my personal favorite, the Zend Framework. Smaller projects might take advantage of one of the many microframeworks, such as Fat-Free or Limonade.

    • Opa – a unified approach to web programming
    • Retiring the DLJ

      With Java SE 7 and JDK 7 out of the door, and with OpenJDK as the official Java SE 7 reference implementation, and OpenJDK serving as the basis for future Oracle JDK 7 update releases through the now up and running JDK 7 Updates Project it’s finally time to retire the “Operating System Distributor License for Java” (DLJ).

    • Oracle retires licence for distributing its Java with Linux

      With a brief news item, Oracle has retired the “Operating System Distributor License for Java” (DLJ) that was created by Sun in 2006. The non-free licence had allowed Linux distributors to package and distribute Sun’s, and later Oracle’s, Java versions in their Linux distributions. Sun made this licence available after releasing Java as open source at the JavaOne conference in 2006. It was designed to ensure that users had easy access to packages containing the well-tested Sun Java during the development of the free OpenJDK.

    • sun-java6 packages removed soon from Debian/Ubuntu (and all other linux distros)
    • An LLVM backend for Sparse
  • Standards/Consortia

    • TransferSummit: Innovation, commoditisation and value creation

      In the second of a short series of articles introducing some of the topics which will be discussed at the upcoming TransferSummit in Oxford, IBM’s Don Harbison discusses the benefits of an open approach to the development of document standards.

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Republicans Against Science

      Jon Huntsman Jr., a former Utah governor and ambassador to China, isn’t a serious contender for the Republican presidential nomination. And that’s too bad, because Mr. Hunstman has been willing to say the unsayable about the G.O.P. — namely, that it is becoming the “anti-science party.” This is an enormously important development. And it should terrify us.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Mr PM, what’s in our food?

      Last week, I visited Vanashree, an eco-farm about a 100 km outside the city. Run by IT professionals Srikanth and Priti, the place is an embodiment of minimal human interference with nature. The duo use no pesticides — chemical or otherwise — on the lush eight-acre farm that has bananas, coconuts, chikoo, betelnut, poultry, dairy and bee-keeping, among other things. They’ve been running the place for about six years and by now, a lot of their methods have made the land more fecund, the soil soft and fertile. In their rainwater harvesting ponds, the fish are jumping.

    • Volunteer Doctors Can’t Keep Up with Needs of Uninsured and Underinsured

      A few months before I left my job in the insurance industry in 2008, I was working on a “white paper” to try to persuade people — especially lawmakers and candidates running for office that year—that the problem of the uninsured in this country was not a big deal.

      At that time, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were an estimated 47 million Americans who were uninsured, a number that has increased since then by about 4 million. My job was to slice and dice the Census data in such a way to convince people that most of those without coverage were just shirking their personal responsibility to buy it.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Cablegate

    • 00. Editorial – Wikileaks Statement on the 9 Month Anniversary of Cablegate: Release of 133,887 Cables

      Over the past week, WikiLeaks has released 133,887 US diplomatic cables from around the world – more than half of the entire Cablegate material (251,287 cables). The new release was met with a sustained Denial of Service (DOS) attack during the first 36 hours. WikiLeaks had to rely on back-up servers for some hours. With supporters’ help, WikiLeaks was able to bring in additional servers to stave off the attack.

      For the first time, the diplomatic cables are available from every country that has US diplomatic representation. Until now, many countries had been excluded from the news stories, partly due to WikiLeaks media partners’ geographical bias, and partly due to Wikileaks’ resource constraints in establishing new media partnerships (there are now over 90).

    • Will the guilty try to implement ways to suppress freedom of speech?

      I write this letter to commend Wikileaks founder Mr. Julian Assange in his brave role in leaking highly confidential and important information in the Embassy of Georgetown cables.
      Wikileaks has been described by Time Magazine as “Could become as important a journalistic tool as the Freedom of Information Act.”

    • 00. Editorial – 30 new revelations from #wlfind
    • Fairfax hoards explosive cable
    • How WikiLeaks has changed the role of journalism

      “The timidity of the New York Times came as a surprise and disappointment to me,” Hrafnsson told the assembly of 60 news executives, editors and reporters. “It was not the New York Times of the early 1970s where the Times was willing to take on the Nixon administration by publishing the Pentagon Papers.”

      It’s pretty much a given that Hrafnsson, or any WikiLeaks official, would be arrested if he set foot in the United States. Hrafnsson also is certain that the National Security Agency monitors every email he receives.

      After his presentation, I asked Hrafnsson, a veteran journalist from Iceland, why he was singling out the Times for criticism. (I spoke to the same group a few hours later.)

      When WikiLeaks released 77,000 Afghan War documents to news organizations in July 2010, the New York Times was accorded the right to publish the scoop on its website. Instead, Hrafnsson said, the Times apparently was so worried about the likely furor over release of the Afghanistan war logs that critical minutes passed, and the Times decided to report the news only after other publications had done so.

    • Diplomatic cables claim Australia has failed to stabilise ‘fragile’ Solomons

      MORE than a billion dollars and eight years of effort by Australia has failed to build political and economic stability in the Solomon Islands, according to secret United States diplomatic assessments.

      The assessments say Australia’s intensive policing and aid effort has not succeeded in stabilising the country and predict it would relapse into turmoil within weeks if the multinational Regional Assistance Mission were withdrawn.

    • WikiLeaks: USA made “enormous concession” in talks on Czech radar

      The Czech team negotiating on the SOFA treaty in 2008 achieved “an enormous, unprecedented concession” of the U.S. delegation by limiting the treaty’s scope to a planned missile defense radar site, according to a Prague U.S. embassy’s cable released by WikiLeaks on August 25.

      The U.S. negotiators pointed out that the USA has general, broad-scoped Supplemental Status of Forces Agreements (SOFAs) with other NATO allies, the embassy’s cable from April 29, 2008 says.

    • 240 Wikileaks cables on pharmaceutical data exclusivity

      The following are the cables identified in an August 29, 2011 search of the wikileaks cables, from http://cablesearch.net, using the search terms data exclusivity and pharmaceutical. This search identified 240 cables. Some 40 countries are mentioned in the cables. More than half of the cables involve 5 countries: Turkey (76), Taiwan (21), El Salvador (11), Honduras (11) and Tunisia (10).

    • The Guardian blames Wikileaks for the arrest of Bradley Manning
    • US interested in what makes American-born settlers tick
    • WikiLeaks: Washington and Brasilia Monitoring Chávez in the Caribbean

      As more and more WikiLeaks cables get released, the Brazilian-U.S. diplomatic relationship has become increasingly illuminated. Though somewhat wary of each other, Washington and Brasilia sometimes saw eye to eye on matters of geopolitical importance. Take, for example, both countries’ handling of Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez. Under the helm of Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva, Brazil cultivated a strategic alliance with Venezuela and publicly the two nations embraced South America’s “pink tide” to the left. Yet, WikiLeaks documents reveal that Brazil may have shared Washington’s concern over Chávez’s rising geopolitical importance, particularly in the Caribbean theater.

  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs targeted as ‘Jaws’ joins battle over banking crash

      He is known as “Jaws”, the perfect nickname for a lawyer entangled in a lawsuit filed against a massive investment bank that has been dubbed a “vampire squid” by its critics. But Jacob Zamansky, a renowned Wall Street defender of the little guy, with a record of extracting large settlements from giant firms, does not fear the tough reputation of Goldman Sachs.

      Indeed, he is happy to be helping on a class-action lawsuit against the bank taken out on behalf of a group of shareholders seeking millions of dollars in damages for alleged illegal behaviour. “Goldman misled these investors. So they came to me,” Zamansky said.

      However, Zamansky’s lawsuit is just one o

    • Ceiling at 16: California’s Lack of Recovery

      Total employment in California fell in June from 15.974 million to 15.910 million. The bigger story however is that, in addition to making a lower low in 2010, California employment never regained the 16 million mark first achieved early last decade.

  • Civil Rights

    • Revealed: the secrets of Scotland’s dna database

      Given exclusive access to police information, the Sunday Herald today reveals that one in 10 Scottish adult males now has their DNA held on a database containing 300,000 profiles – with 3000 a day being added to the total By Judith Duffy

  • Copyrights

    • Web-blocking and Illegal Sites

      In the last week there have been three stories in the news concerning copyright infringement and “illegal websites”. In each case, a group with an interest in enforcing copyright has called for or announced measures against such websites, but this raises an important question of what makes a website illegal. In terms of copyright infringement this is a very tricky question as there is no easy way to tell whether content or a service is unlawful.

Links 29/8/2011: Mandriva 2011, Raspberry Pi (Linux Board) Runs Quake 3

Posted in News Roundup at 5:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Kids today need a licence to tinker

    Back to school time and millions of British kids are heading back to classrooms to embark on the national curriculum so beloved of busybody ministers. One item in particular on that curriculum will bemuse the youngsters. It goes by the initials ICT, short for information and communication technology. If they are in primary school, they will have to get through key stages 1 and 2. Secondary pupils have to get through stages 3 and 4 which, the soon-to-be-abolished Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency tells us, “have been developed to enable schools to raise standards and help all their learners meet the challenges of life in our fast-changing world”. Michael Gove, the government’s education supremo, has set in train a root-and-branch overhaul of the national curriculum, but for the time being our kids are stuck with the current version.

    [...]

    Another takes students through converting their paper-based designs for data entry forms and invoices into “the real thing”, using “a spreadsheet program”. Guess which spreadsheet program? If you answered Microsoft Excel, go to the top of the class, because that’s what the vast majority of British schools have.

    [...]

    How we got to this ridiculous state of affairs is a long story. It’s partly about how education departments, like generals, are always preparing for the last war. Thus, while we’re moving into a post-PC age, our ICT curriculum is firmly rooted in the desktop computer running Microsoft Windows. It’s also partly about the technophobia of teachers, local councillors and officials. But it’s mainly about the chronic mismatch between the glacial pace of curriculum change in a print-based culture, and the rate of change in the technology.

    There might have been a time when computers and networking were so exotic that ICT deserved a special roped-off space in the curriculum. But those days are long gone. Retaining it nowadays as a discrete subject is as absurd as it would be to have “books” as a special component of the national curriculum – a point nicely made by the educational research group Alt-C in its recent submission to Michael Gove.

    [...]

    When will the Raspberry Pi go into production?

    We are hoping to start shipping them in November. The first customers will be probably hobbyists, but I have had hundreds of emails from all over the globe. I’ve had inquiries from headmasters in Kenya asking where they can get 1,000 units for their schools. Moreover, at £15 it could help get a computer into low-income households in the UK and create opportunities for children in those families to develop an interest in programming.

    What kind of stuff can you do with it?

    You can program it using scripting languages like Python, or compiled languages like C and C++. You could write a game of a similar level to Angry Birds or Quake 3. You can run Firefox on it and free office software such as OpenOffice.org.

  • Linux Australia to live stream SGM

    Linux Australia is holding a special general body meeting tonight to vote on some pending issues – and for the first time the organisation will be live-streaming the meeting.

  • Desktop

    • What’s Wrong With This Picture?

      These fail to notice that GNU/Linux does make it on the desktop around the world in particular markets, like the BRIC countries. All of the “reasons” vanish when monopolistic control of retail shelves and OEMS is weak. The reasons GNU/Linux makes it on the desktop are many:

      * the four freedoms work for real people,
      * because GNU/Linux is Free Software it may be freely copied, lowering the cost of acquisition for everyone,
      * there are millions of developers of FLOSS working cooperatively around the world to deliver software the world needs,
      * the four freedoms also ensure the software is flexible and can be used for optimal benefit to users, not restricted by the marketing plans of a business,
      * the low cost of acquisition is a huge advantage for the poor, students and young people who are not rich,
      * the low cost of acquisition keeps the bulk of expenditures for supply and distribution in the local economy, where the software is actually used, maximizing benefits of the activity,
      * the software works on ARM just as well as it works on old and new computers of all kinds, and
      * the software works faster and more reliably because the only objective for its existence is to run, not to lock-in users to some corporation’s plan for world domination.

  • Kernel Space

    • 20th Anniversary of Linux Gallery Tour
    • Linux at 20: the quiet giant

      Linux, the operating system that grew out of Linus Torvalds’ “hobby”, now runs the majority of the world’s web servers, including those (CDN networks) that deliver The Telegraph website.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Mesa Kills Old Hardware Support: No More 3dfx Voodoo

        The death sentence to legacy Mesa drivers was carried out over the night. All DRI1 drivers have been removed from the Mesa tree along with support for BeOS and other old code, in an effort to remove drivers that receive little maintenance and are just causing a greater burden in re-factoring core Mesa code for the modern drivers. This means though that the Linux desktop loses its support for hardware like VIA Unichrome and 3dfx Voodoo graphics cards.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Gentoo Family

      • Quick Look at Sabayon 6 (GNOME)

        A bit more than a year ago I had a look at the LXDE and Xfce spins of Sabayon 5.3 and came away quite unimpressed as they even refused to install on my low end hardware, but to be fair both these editions are still experimental and the advice is to use the more mature main GNOME and KDE editions.
        So today, with number 6 out, I’ll finally write about those, and without hardware restrictions because I do not expect them to perform with less than 512 MB RAM. Some distributions still manage to do so, but Sabayon is known to be on the heavy side, and it isn’t a problem on this Acer Aspire 5551 with 4GB.

        Sabayon is a customized distribution spin based on Gentoo, for those who don’t fancy doing the whole compile and configure from absolute scratch. That’s also already where the problem lies for me. What’s the point of wanting to use a distribution whose strength it is apparently that everything is custom compiled for the machine it is on, when you then use a pre-compiled version of it done by somebody else on their machines. Why not just use any other binary distribution or ArchLinux as a happy medium, which does provide ready made packages but is both faster and just as configurable, with the option of compiling extra packages that you want to add to the small base should you be so inclined, or just go with what’s available in the repository. Anyway, the choice is yours.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • A Complete Review of Bodhi Linux With Screenshots

          Bodhi Linux was recommended to me as a possible solution to try after I mentioned having system resource issues with Ubuntu One. I have to admit I’ve been rather curious about Bodhi as I have read several rave reviews on it.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Full Circle magazine #52 is out!
          • Ubuntu One Developer Evening In Manchester On Thursday

            On Thursday 1st September at 7pm in Lecture Theatre C014 at Manchester Metropolitan University the ever-enjoyable Stuart Langridge will be giving a presentation about how to write applications that harness Ubuntu One. He will talk about the different APIs, how to write web, desktop and mobile apps using the technology, and the interesting ways in which Ubuntu One can empower your apps.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Demo – Raspberry Pi running Quake 3

      Here’s something to liven up your weekend: a video of the Raspberry Pi running Quake 3. We’re still working on ironing a few kinks out (specifically, there seems to be a library issue which means our framerate, while good, isn’t quite as spectacular as we know it can be; we’re working on it as I post this) – but this is what test boards are for, and we’re making great progress getting the boards running smoothly.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Ten… budget Android tablets

        Tablets, eh? A nice idea but a shame about the price. From the iPad to the Xoom, the PlayBook to the TouchPad prices starting at or near £400 are a little on the steep side for many folk. Well, the TouchPad maybe an exception these days but only very recently.

        You’ll pay a premium to buy into fondleslabs from Apple, HP or RIM, but Android users have another option, a cheap tablet. These can be picked up for anything between £100 and £230 and sometimes less if you are in the right place at the right time.

        Across the board cheap Android tablets are nowhere near as ghastly as they were just a year ago. Of course, there are sacrifices. You are not going to get Honeycomb or a glass screen or a true multi-day battery life. Increasingly, what you will get is a capacitive rather than resistive screen, Android in it’s 2.2 or 2.3 incarnation – rather than antediluvian 1.6 version – and even access to the Android Market and Google mobile apps.

Free Software/Open Source

  • It’s Not About the Software

    A few days ago, I had an epiphany. I, like many of my readers, have spent a good portion of my life advocating for libre software. There has always been a particular glow to the idealistic concept of information flowing through society, and to the possibility of adaptation to a particular context. Unfortunately, as most advocates and critics alike have come to learn, a good portion of libre software is known to few beyond the developer, and modifications to suit a particular need are not nearly as common as advocates would have one believe.

    What, then, is the allure of libre software? Is it the simple possibility of these theoretical ideals? Why should we use, develop, or recommend libre software over the alternative proprietary platforms that my have more features? “The development model,” claim some, “is collaboration based, and ensures no malignancies will enter into the codebase.” However, only some libre software is developed this way. Many projects are quite unforgiving to new contributors, and most projects never pique the interest of anyone at all for contributions. Because of this, malignancies cannot necessarily be avoided. When nobody is interested in or capable of (without a fork) making changes, the hypothetical options available to prevent intentional dysfunctions dissolve in practicality.

  • Mozilla

    • Why Mozilla’s Firefox Rapid Release Cycle Works and Why it Doesn’t.

      There has been a lot of discussion this week about Mozilla’s Rapid Release cycle. Much of that discussion was fueled by a blog post from Mozilla Chief, Mitchell Baker.

      Baker’s post is a defence of the new cycle, which has caused lots of concern in the Mozilla community and elsewhere. Baker’s view is that the browser needs to be more like the Internet.

    • Light Switch, Dim Everything But Media In Firefox

      It can sometimes be very irritating to interact with elements on a web page if other page elements catch your attention as well. Have you ever tried to watch a video on a web page only to be distracted by an animated banner on the same page? Or maybe you have played games and more than once failed to complete your objective because you have looked over at the auto-updating chat window?

    • Future Firefox Features, What I’m Looking Forward To
    • Open Fire Fox inside Fire Fox Tab -Firefox Tips and Tricks
    • About Firefox About
    • Firefox 7.0 Beta 2

      Firefox Beta is the build for those who like a little bit of jeopardy, but who don’t want to risk everything by trying out Firefox Aurora. It gives you a sneak peek at the next version of Firefox with a relatively stable build that’s not quite ready for primetime, but still pretty solid.

    • Firefox 6 already sees bump in traffic soon after debut

      Firefox 6 officially debuted last week with a host of new features and security fixes. Internet users must already be flocking to the latest version of Mozilla’s browser at a rapid pace — at least according to Chitika Insights (a.ka. the research arm of online advertising network Chitika).

    • Firefox Ships with 6000 Potential Bugs, Community Lead Departs

      A blog post published by Community Lead Tyler Downer rocks Mozilla as he claims that Mozilla Triage QA process is broken and he believes that the current rapid release process drowns Firefox in a sea of bugs with no land in sight.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

    • Hacking Joomla! — the fast and easy way

      Popular open source Content Management Systems (CMSs) like Drupal, Joomla! and WordPress, are regularly subject to source code reviews as well as blackbox pentesting. Thus, vulnerabilities in these systems are quickly identified and fixed. And security updates are frequently released.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Defence bolsters search for open source software

      The Department of Defence has stepped up its push for open source software to reduce its $100 million annual software licensing bill.

      Last week, it joined five other government agencies in forming the Open Technology Foundation, which aimed to facilitate collaboration and interoperable technology in the public sector.

      Defence chief technology officer Matt Yannopoulos said the department had been considering open source software for more than three years.

      Prior to the Federal Government’s introduction of a more aggressive open source policy in January, Defence had not “specifically encouraged” open source software tenders from the market.

    • “Giving Back” Instead of Paying for Licences

      We all know The City of Munich is in the process of migrating the majority of its PCs to GNU/Linux and has migrated all its employees to OpenOffice.org. DBI Gmbh is a business that provides IT services especially software migration. These are two examples of organizations giving back to the FLOSS community to make better software for the world.

Leftovers

  • Say What? Top Five IT Quotes of the Week
  • H-P’s One-Year Plan

    Let’s say you were given a year to kill Hewlett-Packard. Here’s how you do it:

    Fire well-performing CEO Mark Hurd over expense-report irregularities and a juicy sexual-harassment claim that you admit has no merit. Fire four board members, as publicly as possible. Foment a mass exodus of key executives who actually know how to run the giant computer company.

    Hire new a CEO from German competitor, SAP, which sells business software, not consumer products. Tell the new CEO, Leo Apotheker, that Mr. Hurd “left H-P in great shape.”

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Prosecuting War Crimes? Be Sure to Read the Fine Print

      Especially if they’re convicted. Justice is better than revenge. And justice must be done for the relatives of the victims as well as for the dead. Part two of the Mubarak trial this month was a case in point. Egyptians want to know exactly who ordered the killing of innocent demonstrators. Who was to blame? And since the buck stops—or is meant to stop—at the president’s desk, how can Mubarak ultimately escape his just deserts? The same will apply to Gaddafi when—if?—we get him.

    • WikiLeaks: U.S. Embassy asked State Department to vet IDF chief Gantz in 2008

      The U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv asked the U.S. State Department to carry out a background check on current Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Benny Gantz in October 2008, according to a diplomatic cable leaked by the WikiLeaks website.

      Gantz, then the IDF’s attache in Washington, came under scrutiny due to the Leahy Law, which bans the United States from assisting foreign military units that violate human rights.

    • New WikiLeaks Cables Show US Diplomats Promote Genetically Engineered Crops Worldwide

      Dozens of United States diplomatic cables released in the latest WikiLeaks dump on Wednesday reveal new details of the US effort to push foreign governments to approve genetically engineered (GE) crops and promote the worldwide interests of agribusiness giants like Monsanto and DuPont.

      The cables further confirm previous Truthout reports on the diplomatic pressure the US has put on Spain and France, two countries with powerful anti-GE crop movements, to speed up their biotech approval process and quell anti-GE sentiment within the European Union (EU).

  • Cablegate

  • Finance

    • Madoff whistleblower: Here’s the next big fraud

      The man whose e-mails detailing Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme were ignored by the Securities and Exchange Commission has a new target — foreign exchange fraud.

    • Wikileaks: Speculators Helped Cause Oil Bubble

      When oil prices surged to a ridiculous $147 a barrel in the summer of 2008, conventional wisdom held that normal supply and demand issues were the cause. Both the Bush administration (in the form of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission) and most of Wall Street (through both media figures and market analysts) blamed such factors as increases in oil demand from the Chinese industrial machine, and the failure of Americans to conserve, for the surge in crude prices.

    • Let’s Get Political…Government Should UPHOLD the Law NOT Help Break It.

      Politics and our government specifically has, in my opinion, done more to break and circumvent laws. This complete disregard for our laws and the protection of our people has been led by the leaders of our government from the President on down to our Congressmen, Senators, Governors, Mayors and even Judges. This has been gong on for quite some time but became blatantly evident during the George W. Bush administration. It matters not Republican or Democrat. Both sides are guilty and seem to work from the same play book in what I have called a Democratic Dictatorship.

      From illegal wiretapping to allowing white collar crime (for a select group of elite primarily in the finance industry), our government – past and present – continue to violate our Constitution and our constitutional rights if it works to their advantage.

    • Dylan Ratigan Interviews Director Charles Ferguson – How Wall Street Took Over Government

      Both Glenn Hubbard and Laura Tyson have played major roles in American economic policy, and both also, unfortunately, exemplify the disturbing, opaque conflicts of interest that pervade the economics discipline.

      Over the last thirty years, academic economics has been penetrated by special interests, particularly financial services, in the same way that America’s political and regulatory systems have been compromised by campaign contributions and the revolving door. In fact, the “revolving door” is now a triangular trip between industry, government, and academia.

08.28.11

Links 27/8/2011: Free Software in India, a Lot of Cablegate Releases

Posted in News Roundup at 5:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • A Brief History of My Life on Linux: Part II

      Two distributions I found myself playing with time and time again were Ubuntu and Mepis. Ubuntu was still a fledgling at the version Breezy Badger, so I restricted it to a separate partition from Mepis. Mepis quickly became my main squeeze in the place of Mandriva. It came on a Live CD (which many distributions had yet to do at this time period), came with handy tools for repairing botched installations (which happened a lot with all my tinkering and learning), was easy to use, and was blazingly fast. Best of all though the community welcomed me with open arms and never in the entire time I spent there made me feel like a “stupid noob”.

  • Server

    • BICTU readying for eTRACS deployment, holds Linux Training

      Linux systems have long been used as server operating systems, and have risen to prominence in that area. They have become increasingly popular in the last decade due to pricing, compared to other operating systems such as Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. In fact, the ten fastest supercomputers in the world run on Linux.

      The development of Linux has been one of the most prominent examples of free and open source software collaboration; typically all the underlying source code can be used, freely modified, and redistributed, both commercially and non-commercially, by anyone under an appropriate license.

  • Kernel Space

    • Samsung Puts Out New Open-Source ARM DRM Driver

      Samsung has published the code to a new open-source DRM driver for its EXYNOS4210 System-On-a-Chip. The EXYNOS4210 has impressive 3D graphics capabilities, uses the dual-core ARM Cortex A9 processor, and is used in various smart-phones. The Samsung Galaxy S II is one of the smart-phones using the Exynos 4210 SoC. Samsung is hoping to push this DRM driver into the mainline Linux kernel.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Digikam : premier photo management on GNU/Linux

        In Fedora Linux 14, the default photo manager and digital camera application is Shotwell. I tried using it, I really tried, but I ended up giving up because it was not easy to use in my opinion. In fact, I also tried to run one of my relatives through it on his desktop which also runs Fedora 14, and I concluded it just wasn’t worth fighting. For one, Shotwell seems to want to keep all information about photos and their data in its own database. That’s fine, but it makes it non-intuitive when you want to move photos into folders and sort them in ways that are different than Shotwell sorts them (which by default is to create one folder per year, month, and day). When simply moving photos to subfolders, Shotwell loses the thumbnails and doesn’t know where the photos are moved to. Also, Shotwell has its own Trash folder which makes it confusing when trying to clean up photos. While Shotwell’s features could be an advantage to some, in this case it did not work out so well.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME3 and AMD – in a nearby future…

        A long time has gone since I posted the (in)famous bug regarding graphical corruption on GNOME3 seen only by ATI users who use the proprietary case. After long hours of frustration I’ve decided to jump into Intel chipsets which work very nicelly out of the box and leave ATI behind, but new developments suggest that ATI/AMD has fixed the bug and it’s under internal testing, so it seems that within one or two releases this bug will be fixed.

  • Distributions

    • AppSet: a refreshingly nice package manager for Arch Linux in the times of app stores

      I’m a rather outspoken user of Arch Linux after having used and tried many other distributions (MandrakeSoft/Mandriva, Suse, Debian, Fedora, Ubuntu, Mint, SLAX, Chakra and even a few others) and I think I got to like the rolling release concept quite a lot. The rolling release concept essentially takes away the notion of milestone release for a Linux distribution and replaces it by incremental and almost continuous updates. Which means that everyday I can update my system and it’s thus almost always running the most recent stable software versions. Note that the upgrade is my choice only, I could stop doing this for 3 weeks instance and that would be fine. Using Arch Linux does not only mean embracing the rolling release distribution model. It also means being ready to install your system from the command line (granted, you only do that once in theory) which can be tedious but not reall difficult. Another “side effect” of using Arch Linux is that the distribution’s package management is done entirely through the command line and with the help of the excellent package manager pacman. Pacman is however not a graphical package manager, or rather, it does not come with a default, out of the box graphical front-end. Several of them do exist but it does not seem to be in the culture of Arch Linux to use one on a regular basis. Enter AppSet. AppSet is a very nice graphical package manager written in Qt; it even got me use KDE again on par with Gnome. AppSet does not only run on Arch Linux, it also supports Chakra (a very close fork of Arch Linux) and works in theory with any other packaging system.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • 12 Things New in Ubuntu 11.10 Oneric[Screenshot Tour]

            Ubuntu 11.10 Oneric Ocelot is marching ahead. Through our detailed reviews of Alpha 2 and Alpha 3 releases, we followed Ubuntu 11.10 in its each and every developmental phase so far. A lot of things have changed since the third alpha release and as we had promised, here is a preview of latest round of changes in Ubuntu 11.10 and a quick screenshot tour.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • ENT: Bodhi easy to install, operate – Online with Bob Vaillancourt

              There is a new Linux distribution making the rounds and it is pretty impressive for a number of reasons.

              The first is the minimal requirements it has and the second is the clean look and feel of this distribution.

              It is called Bodhi Linux and is available at bodhilinux.com.

              Among its many features is that this distribution will run on just about any piece of hardware. It has reportedly been successfully installed on a 386 machine from decades ago. In fact, the stated minimum requirements for this free operating system are a 386 processor, with 1.5 gigabytes of hard drive space and only 128 megabytes of ram.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Most phones shipped in 2015 will be smartphones

        Most phones shipped in 2015 will be smartphones
        ANALYST OUTFIT IHS Isuppli claims that smartphones will make up the majority of mobile phone sales by 2015.

      • Android

        • HTC Flyer and Motorola Xoom prices are slashed

          TWO IPAD RIVALS, the HTC Flyer and Motorola Xoom tablets have had their prices slashed by several retailers.

          Although the tablets haven’t seen the same deep price cuts as HP’s Touchpad, which was reduced to around $100 last week and is now sold out, the Flyer can be picked up for £150 less at Carphone Warehouse.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Is this what Amazon’s tablet will look like?

        It remains to be seen if it’ll materialize and cannibalize Amazon’s own bestselling Kindle e-reader, or if those two devices will remain separate draws for buyers (as a recent Nielsen survey suggests). Msnbc.com’s own Wilson Rothman thinks that when it does appear, it’s going to give the iPad a run for its top spot, mostly because of its might as a retailer. It’s a major factor that Kravitz agrees with: “Not only does Amazon have the name and reach to get an attractive piece of hardware into millions of hands at a competitive price, but they also have the content and retail inventories to sweeten the pot with all sorts of tie-ins.”

Free Software/Open Source

  • Your Zorp remains strong
  • ICE FOSS 11 inaugurated

    He said that world class open source digital resources are developed and used in the education sector in India.

  • ICFOSS to prepare roadmap on future of FOSS in India

    As part of the 10th anniversary celebrations of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in India, the Technopark, Trivandrum based International Centre for Free and Open Source Software (ICFOSS) recently held a consultation on ‘Future Directions of FOSS in India’ at Technopark, to establish future directions for use and promotion of FOSS in India.

    The consultation session is first of a series of similar sessions that build on Kerala’s early lead in FOSS initiatives and serving to consolidate and leverage the lead with international initiatives. The participants of the consultation, representing a cross-section of stakeholders from the Government, technology organizations, institutions of Higher Education, NGOs, and the FOSS community, outlined their vision for the future of FOSS in their respective domains, highlighting gaps and limitations to be resolved, and making suggestions on the way ahead.

  • Lemma a Free Open Source Twitter Client For the PlayBook

    If you are not satisfied or want more options for PlayBook twitter clients here is a new one called Lemma. The application is free and offers quite a few options. The creators also said they created the app as a proof of concept to show the PlayBook potential. They promise to release the source code so that the BlackBerry development community can keep improving the app. So far the app has received good reviews from PlayBook users.

  • Computer and internet briefs

    The site, which is run by the US-based company Geeknet, lists Open Source software broken down in various categories such as ‘Audio & Video’ or ‘Graphics’. All told, there are more than 300,000 programs available for download on the site, which also includes short summaries about the applications and the developers. The site also allows programmers the chance to manage their projects.

  • Web Browsers

  • Project Releases

Leftovers

  • An Introduction to Giganews’ & Golden Frog’s VyprVPN!
  • Steve Jobs: a reality check

    Hard-core journalists appear to have put all their scepticism aside and wallowed in trying to outdo each other in superlatives.

    The emotional tributes give Jobs the credit for anything and everything that Apple has ever done, especially its achievements in the noughties.

    The reality is a bit different. And if one strikes a sour note, there are no apologies – this is not a reality TV show where selective reality is played out. No, this is life and the warts and sores are as real as the plastic and the botox.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Cablegate

    • Wikileaks: Kenya still paying ghost Anglo leasing Companies

      Kenya continues to lose millions of shillings in corrupt payments to Anglo Leasing companies, according to a new cable by online whistleblower, WikiLeaks.

    • US Top Diplomat Monitored Internet in Cuba

      Chief of Mission of the US Interest Section in Havana, Jonathan Farrar, monitored the Internet for possible subversive actions, according to a cable released by Wikileaks and reproduced by Cuban websites on Saturday.
      Farrar’s monitoring of the Internet along with his wife occurred in August 2008, when he addressed a memorandum to the US State Department described as sensitive, without reporting any obstacle from Cuban authorities.

    • Full Commission Of Inquiry Report Released

      More than two years after it was completed, Sir Robin Auld’s complete Commission of Inquiry Report 2008-09 of alleged corruption in the Turks and Caicos Islands government has been made public.

      “I believe that the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands deserve to see the entirety of the final report,” His Excellency the Gov. Gordon Wetherell said Aug. 19 in one of his last actions before leaving office and the country Aug. 22.

    • Armenian police forced homosexuals to reveal gay public figures – US Embassy
  • Finance

    • Factbox: Goldman faces myriad legal challenges

      Conventional wisdom in legal circles has long held that Goldman Sachs (GS.N) might escape further large fines or criminal charges for its role in the 2007-2009 financial crisis after reaching a $550 million settlement with securities regulators in July 2010.

      But news that Goldman Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein and other senior executives have hired their own lawyers — separate from the army of attorneys already retained by the company — was a powerful reminder for markets that Goldman is still the subject of myriad investigations.

    • Nurses Take the Message “Heal America Tax Wall Street” to 60 Congressional Offices

      Across the country on September 1, nurses will converge on local congressional offices to demand a tax on Wall Street financial speculation, a move they say is a step towards healing the nation, trimming the deficit, and preserving social programs.

      National Nurses United (NNU) is planning a day of action in over 60 congressional offices in 21 states. In Wisconsin, the group is sponsoring a soup kitchen outside of Rep. Paul Ryan’s Janesville office “to provide residents with the sustenance they are not getting from Paul Ryan,” says NNU spokesman Charles Idelson.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Paul Ryan’s Office Locks the Door on Unemployed Constituents
    • Since 9/11, Koch Industries has fought against tougher government rules on chemical plants
    • Toxic Koch: Keeping Americans at Risk of a Poison Gas Disaster

      In 2010 Koch Industries and the billionaire brothers who run it were exposed as a major funder of front groups spreading denial of climate change science and a key backer of efforts to roll back environmental, labor, and health protections at the state and federal levels. Through enormous campaign contributions, an army of lobbyists, and funding of think tanks and front groups, David and Charles Koch push their agenda of a world in which their company can operate without regard for the risks they pose to communities, workers, and the environment. This report, Toxic Koch: Keeping Americans at risk of a Poison Gas Disaster, examines how Koch Industries has quietly played a key role in blocking yet another effort to protect workers and vulnerable communities; comprehensive chemical security legislation.

    • The Lewis Powell Memo: Corporate Blueprint to Dominate Democracy

      Forty years ago today, on August 23, 1971, Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr., an attorney from Richmond, Virginia, drafted a confidential memorandum for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that describes a strategy for the corporate takeover of the dominant public institutions of American society.

      Powell and his friend Eugene Sydnor, then-chairman of the Chamber’s education committee, believed the Chamber had to transform itself from a passive business group into a powerful political force capable of taking on what Powell described as a major ongoing “attack on the American free enterprise system.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Why Michael Robertson of Mp3Tunes deserves our gratitude

        To recap the decision in the Mp3Tunes case, EMI sued the company for what it said were a number of copyright-infringing features of the service — including that users could “sideload” songs to their online lockers, by transferring them directly from online sources such as Amazon, and that the service “de-duplicated” songs stored on its servers, so users who shared a specific song would simply access one copy instead of having to store two separate copies. As with many similar music-sharing lawsuits, EMI also argued that the simple act of copying a song to a cloud service was an infringement of copyright.

      • Hey, Music Industry. You’re suing the wrong people

        You’d never know this by watching the Recording Industry Association of America, the music industry’s trade organization, which has spent over a decade launching lawsuits against individuals and groups within the United States. And although the RIAA decided to drop its strategy of mass lawsuits back in 2008, it continues to collude with the MPAA to hound ISPs into spying on their users in an effort to fight piracy.

08.27.11

Links 27/8/2011: Telstra and Finnish City Choose Red Hat

Posted in News Roundup at 5:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Microsoft’s 800-pound gorilla

    As Brian points out in his article, Linux is not really out of the picture when it comes to affecting Microsoft’s bottom line. Google’s ChromeOS is Linux and . . . um, there something I’m forgetting about how Linux is trouncing Microsoft in an area where Microsoft can’t get a foothold. Wait, it’ll come to me.

    Oh yeah: Android. Based on Linux, Android is cleaning everyone’s clock in the mobile realm, including Apple, and is light years ahead of Microsoft in a category where Microsoft has yet to leave the proverbial runway. Need I say more?

    So Microsoft can put a red line through Linux and FOSS and tell the SEC that Linux no longer matters, while Windows partisans pop their corks and chalk up another one for their side. Meanwhile, back on the planet Earth, the reality is much different.

  • Linux a threat to Microsoft? No way!

    Over the years, Microsoft has made numerous attempts to thwart the growth of Linux and the open source culture in general and now after about 20 years of intense battle, Redmond has emerged victorious. How can Linux ever be a threat to Microsoft? Their Windows Operating System runs more than 90% of the desktops worldwide and Linux just 1-2%. Not even close. And so what if 100% of the top 10 supercomputers in the world are running Linux? They still have more than 90% desktop users. And what if that blasted Android runs half of the phones worldwide? They still have 90% destktop share, they’re still no 1. Hey and don’t start bragging about the 60% market share Linux has on the server front. They’re still the kings of the desktop; still ruling the world. From NASA to Wall Street, from Facebook to Google, Linux is everywhere, but Microsoft, they’re still obsessed about their desktop dominance. Time to wake up little puppy.

  • Desktop

    • Desktop Revolution: Stage 1: Notifications Bar

      I have a lot of ideas about how the Linux desktop can be improved, perhaps revolutionized, and these ideas all come from running up against walls repeatedly. I’m going to write the best ones down, the ones I will eventually turn into an open-source project (years down the road, mind you) if no one else does.

      The Linux tech world has come up with numerous solutions for notifications, and I use as many as possible to satisfy my needs. Chrome has TweetDeck, Linux has libnotify, or notify-osd if you’re using Ubuntu, and all operating systems have an icon “tray.” They all serve similar purposes: they want to give you information about what’s going on right now, and that’s incredibly useful.

    • A Windows User’s Guide to Getting Started with Linux

      There are countless Windows users who have never once tried using Linux, and in many cases, they are unaware of the benefits they can get from either switching to Linux entirely, or using both operating systems (as I do). The Linux community doesn’t tend to focus its evangelism on winning Windows users over, either. However, there are a number of free resources available for Windows users who want to take the Windows plunge. In this post, you’ll find several of them worth looking into.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Wrap Up – Desktop Summit 2011 Berlin
    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Gnome 3 Extensions for Traditionalists

        Shortly after Fedora 15 was GA’d, I decided to take the plunge and give Gnome 3 a try. Gnome 3 is, in my humble opinion, such a drastic change from the traditional desktop environment that I have had a very difficult time adjusting to how different it is. Call me old fashioned, but I like a few icons on my desktop, a fixed dock for shortcuts to my favorite applications, and a minimize button. My first Gnome 3 experience on my laptop, which I use for testing new releases, was a failure. Therefore, when it came time to upgrade my main desktop at work, I chose to once again attempt a conversion to KDE 4.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Telstra Cloud Gets Red Hat

        The fledgling cloud service has just received ‘Red Hat Enterprise’ Linux certification, offering “certainty” to users moving into cloud environments.

      • Telstra cloud certified by Red Hat
      • Telstra adds Red Hat to cloud offering
      • Finnish city’s Red Hat virtualisation roll-out illustrates open source in local government

        Local government IT directors in the UK can learn a lesson in open source deployment from the City of Kankaanpää, the main centre for trade, education and the commercial heart of Northern Satakunta, Finland.

        To simplify and centralise the management of desktops, Netorek, a Red Hat Advanced Partner, deployed Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation for Desktops, which allows the city’s IT department to deploy, configure and run Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Windows desktops in public institutions throughout the city. To virtualise the city’s server environment, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation for Servers has been implemented in the city’s datacentre.

      • Fedora

        • A Look Through Fedora 16 Alpha

          Fedora 16 Alpha was released earlier this week while the final release is not due until early November. If you have not yet tried out this latest Fedora development release, in this Phoronix article is a brief look through the Red Hat sponsored Linux distribution.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu eyes ARM servers

            In the constant battle for performance and lower power consumption some OS makers are preparing for ARM-based server clusters

          • Ubuntu 11.10′s Default Wallpaper

            Today’s updates for the upcoming Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) operating system added a new default wallpaper to the existing ones.

            With this morning’s updates, the current development release of the upcoming Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) operating system got a new default wallpaper.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Dream Studio 11.04 Official Release

              DickMacInnis.com is proud to announce the official release of Dream Studio 11.04. This exciting new version of Dream Studio (http://dream.dickmacinnis.com) has all the features that have made past releases one of the most successful multimedia software packages out there, including: multi-user, pulseaudio-integrated realtime audio via JACK, for use with programs like Ardour; the renowned Cinelerra video editor, a full graphic and web design suite; photography tools; and hundreds of assorted audio and video effects, fonts, and utilities for everything from multimedia file conversion to simple office work and web browsing. Not only that, but this latest version of Dream Studio also included hundreds of bug fixes and the following new features:

            • Ultimate Edition 2.6.3

              Why Ultimate Edition 2.6.3 the 2.6 series is based on Ubuntu Lucid Lynx 10.04 a Long Term Support (LTS).

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • 5 Free and Open Source Software Downloads

    Here are 5 free and open source software downloads to consider for your computer.

  • Open source storage users break free of vendor lock-in

    Open source storage: It’s an idea that makes so much sense. After all, the storage systems most of us buy simply comprise a bunch of disks with proprietary controller software on top. Such disk systems cost people the largest chunk of their storage spending, and a proprietary system locks them into their vendor’s roadmap and support structure.

  • The Entrepreneur’s Dilemma

    At the start of the summer, you may recall Project Harmony causing a certain amount of controversy on the subject of contributor agreements in open source communities. My position on them was and is that they are a rarely needed and exceptional tool that should be avoided unless essential, because of their negative effects on the dynamics of open source communities.

    [...]

    I can understand why an old-fashioned corporation trying to come to terms with open source in the early stages of the road to freedom might think they need a contributor agreement. But it’s churlish and contrarian to start a new business today that relies for its revenue on the artificial scarcity of yesterday. There are plenty of scarcities to monetise – cloud infrastructure, operations skill, stack integration, jurisdictional differences and many more – without the need to try to apply a gateway to open source software. The requirement for a contributor agreement in order to create an artificial scarcity is the genetic marker for a desire for control. In the meshed society that the internet is creating, that’s a sign of damage that needs working around.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla WebAPI: Champion of open source freedom

        Who cares if Google isn’t necessarily the patron saint of openness? However much Google may depend upon open source, due to the advantageous development economics it fosters – as recently highlighted by Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst – is Google somehow wrong to disproportionately benefit from open source even as it churns out closed products and services based thereon?

        It’s not as if Google is alone. Facebook, for example, is no different, and some argue it’s using mountains of open source code to create a Compuserve-esque Internet experience that some feel fundamentally threatens the freedom of the web.

        Open source, the great enabler of serious lock-in?

      • Version numbers in Firefox aren’t going anywhere
      • Speed Dial Coming In Firefox 9

        Speed Dial is a feature first introduced by Opera almost four years. It is basically a grid of the top websites you visit. From my experience, this is a very convenient way to get to my favorite websites after firing up the browser. This feature has been adopted by Google Chrome as well. Recently, Opera added more features to its Speed Dial by introducing Live Speed Dial.

      • Mozilla Won’t Jettison Firefox Version Numbers
      • Open source key to faster Firefox releases: Mozilla founder

        “(Open source) has been helpful for us as we accelerate our development,” the Ottawa native says, pointing out features like translation are done by volunteers. Firefox 7 was just released in beta form this month; the 11-year-old browser also had versions 4, 5 and 6 released in 2011.

  • SaaS

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • What’s New in Oracle VM 3?

      Oracle VM 3 doesn’t quite have the same name recognition as its primary competitor, VMware vSphere. It’s an enterprise-focused virtualization solution that comprises Oracle VM Server for x86 and Oracle VM Manager. Oracle’s VM Server for x86 is a bare-metal virtualization solution. VM Manager provides the centralized management environment for configuring and managing the server, network, and storage infrastructure using browser-based tools.

    • Oracle Unveils Oracle VM 3.0
  • Funding

    • Giving Dreamfish a Grant

      Grant will also take the reins of FOSS promotion as well. He says he’d like to facilitate connections with OLPC too, and connecting with FOSS groups in Nairobi as well.

  • Openness/Sharing

Leftovers

  • Top 10 Announcements to Expect from HP CEO Leo Apotheker
  • Science

  • Security

  • Civil Rights

    • Dangerous Cybercrime Treaty Pushes Surveillance and Secrecy Worldwide

      As part of an emerging international trend to try to ‘civilize the Internet’, one of the world’s worst Internet law treaties–the highly controversial Council of Europe (CoE) Convention on Cybercrime–is back on the agenda. Canada and Australia are using the Treaty to introduce new invasive, online surveillance laws, many of which go far beyond the Convention’s intended levels of intrusiveness. Negotiated over a decade ago, only 31 of its 47 signatories have ratified it. Many considered the Treaty to be dormant but in recent years a number of countries have been modeling national laws based on the flawed Treaty. Moreover, Azerbaijan, Montenegro, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom are amongst those who have ratified within the last year. However, among non-European countries, only the U.S. has ratified the Treaty to date, making Canada and Australia’s efforts unique. The Treaty has not been harmless, and both Australia and Canada are fast-tracking legislation (Australia’s lower house approved a cybercrime bill last night) that will enable them to ratify the Treaty, at great cost to the civil liberties of their citizens.

    • Update on the Home Secretary’s social media ‘riot summit’

      Following the meeting, the Home Office said in a statement that ”the discussions looked at how law enforcement and the networks can build on the existing relationships and cooperation to crack down on the networks being used for criminal behaviour.’ It looked like the Home Office were backing away from suggestions that they are seeking powers to cut off access to communications networks.

      The absence of any talk about blocking access to social networks is of course a victory. In principle giving the state greater powers to prevent people using the means to communicate with each other is worrying. And in practice, there’s little evidence that simply cutting access would have prevented some of the unrest.

  • DRM

    • Spotify is Defective by Design

      The music streaming service Spotify uses Digital Restrictions Management (DRM); push back by saying NO to Spotify’s invitations.

08.26.11

Links 26/8/2011: Twenty Years of Linux Celebrated, KDE SC 5.0 Foreseen

Posted in News Roundup at 6:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Getting Connected to Illinois State University ISUNET from Linux

    Me: “I need the manual configuration instructions for ISUNet.”

    Him: “Are you sure? Are you running Windows or Mac?”

    Me: “Linux.”

    I was slightly surprised at this point, normally saying that “L” word to customer support for tech trips them up a whole lot, this guy seemed to know his stuff though.

    Him: “Oh, well the setup will vary with your system – but what you are looking for is WPA2 Protected EAP (PEAP) in your security settings. Once there just use your ISU login for the user name and password.”

  • A Windows user’s guide to Linux

    This is your first step. Linux is not homogeneous like Windows or OS X. Linux comes in a range of different versions, called “distributions”. The majority of the underlying code in each of these distributions is the same with most of the differences being in the interface and some of the management tools. Choosing the right distribution can be tricky, especially as there are literally hundreds of versions of Linux available. Fortunately most of those you can forget about, for now. What you need is an easy to use version of Linux, which leaves you with a short-list of Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenSuse, Mandriva and Linux Mint. Picking one of these will make you life easier as they are all easy to install and pretty simple to maintain.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • As Linux Turns 20, Hopes and Wishes for Its Next 20 Years
    • What We Know For Sure on Linux’s 20th Anniversary

      Today, the Linux kernel is the most pervasive piece of software in all of computing. It runs the world’s stock exchanges, transportation systems, consumer devices, smart grid technologies, 90 percent of the world’s supercomputers and much, much more.

    • March of the Penguin: Ars looks back at 20 years of Linux
    • The history of Linux

      When Linus Torvalds released Linux 0.01 on the internet 20 years ago, his idea of a free Unix clone to which anyone could contribute touched a creativenerve in people. Today, it would be impossible to imagine an IT world without Linux.

      It has been twenty years since Linus Torvalds programmed the first few lines of what would become the Linux kernel. An IT student at the time, Torvalds wasn’t yet thinking of an operating system, he just wanted to explore the capabilities of his PC’s 386 processor. Eventually, his memory management, process switching and I/O experiments developed into something that resembled a rudimentary operating system kernel.

    • Twenty years of Linux
    • Twenty Years of Linux according to Linus Torvalds

      The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, started the celebration of Linux’s 20th anniversary at the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit, but when is Linux’s real birthday? Is it August 25th, when Linus announced the project? October 5th 1991, when 0.02, the first public release was made? I decided to go straight to the source and asked Linux’s creator, Linus Torvalds.

    • At 20, Linux is invisible, ubiquitous
    • As Steve Jobs Steps Down, Linux Turns 20: Which Changed the World More?
    • Linux Turns 20 Today—And Shut Up, Yes, It Still Matters

      Your TiVo? Linux. Along with a lot of the other cable and set top media boxes you might have stuffed under your TV.

      The New York Stock Exchange? The whole shebang runs on a cluster of HP Linux boxes. Those boxes are more important than the ones under your TV.

      Google something. Go ahead! That search? Executed on servers running customized Linux.

      That ATM you withdrew cash from last night? An increasing number are using a Linux variant.

      And of course, there is the tremendous number of servers powered by Linux that run the websites you frequent daily.

    • Graphics Stack

      • The Sad State Of GPU Drivers For BSD, Solaris

        Developers on the mailing list and end-users (in the forums) have been largely positive about this move to drop the aging and not actively maintained Mesa code. The only developer actively objecting to stripping out the old code is Luc Verhaegen. Michel Dänzer raises a (minor) interesting point though, “DRI1 is basically the only reason for the r300 and r600 drivers to still live in the light of r300g and r600g, but I believe they (along with radeon and r200) are still pretty far from dead on non-Linux OSs.”

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Five Things the Enlightenment Desktop Does Best

      I am a huge fan of the Enlightenment desktop. The following items in this post are things I believe the Enlightenment desktop (and it’s developers) are doing better than some of the other open source desktops.

    • Linus Ditches KDE and Gnome (so what?)
    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KMail – A Different Kind Of Email Client For KDE
      • Aaron Seigo talks about the KDE SC 5.0 – and more

        Applications and workspaces will follow the frameworks – Plasma Active’s influence and why the traditional desktop won’t be killed by the mobile space

        After years of focusing on further improving KDE4 two weeks ago the developers of the free desktop announced the next big step for their project: KDE Frameworks 5.0. But as long-time developer – and Plasma team leader – Aaron Seigo points out in an interview with derStandard.at/web, the source-incompatible changes shall be held to a minimum, making it easy for developers to port their applications. He goes on to explain that Frameworks 5.0 is only the first step and new Applications and Workspace releases are to follow later, talks about Plasma active and further areas of collaboration with the other big free desktop: GNOME.

      • Testing out Amarok 2.4.3′s Dynamic Playlists

        I’ve spoken about Amarok’s Dynamic Playlists before. Despite my best attempts, I couldn’t quite get it to work correctly. However, Amarok 2.4.3 has revamped the dynamic playlists engine and interface, so I wanted to check it out and see if it worked better as well as testing out some of the new features. For one thing, they changed the interface to more closely match the interface for static playlists. See:

      • Flash 11: It contains a kcmodule for KDE !
  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • IPFire open source firewall improves network throughput

        The IPFire project has announced the release of an update, Core Update 51, to version 2.9 of its IPFire open source firewall. According to Project Leader and developer Michael Tremer, the latest update addresses several security issues in the Linux kernel – Core Update 51 is based on the 2.6.32.45 longterm Linux kernel – and improves the distribution’s overall stability and performance.

      • Arch Linux moves up to Linux 3.0

        The Arch Linux team has released the first new all-in-one update for its minimalist, rolling-release distribution in 15 months. The Arch Linux 2011.08.19 installation media features support for Linux 3.0 and the syslinux bootloader, and offers experimental Btrfs and NILFS2 file-systems, and more flexible source-file selection.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Getting to Gold

        Today, in celebration of 20th birthday of Linux, we totally freezed Mandriva 2011 repository. No more additions, no more fixes, no more anything. We started the final countdown till “copying to gold”.

    • Gentoo Family

      • Digging deeper with Gentoo Linux

        Gentoo is not like other Linux distribution. The Gentoo swims faster than other penguins, and dives deeper. Where more fashionable distributions worry about fast installation and ease of use, Gentoo worries about efficient compilation and degrees of customisation. Richard Hillesley explains its history.

        Gentoo is not about ease of use or making installation easier for the new user. Computers are what you do with them, and most users have little or no knowledge of how their systems are put together, and care even less. Gentoo is for the users who want to reach under the hood, get their hands dirty, and learn.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat and Telstra Partner to Bring Enterprise Solutions to the Cloud
      • Finnish City of Kankaanpää Cuts Project Hardware Costs by 50 Percent with Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization
      • Red Hat will move to downtown Raleigh

        The two biggest corporate and real estate stories in the Triangle converged Thursday as software maker Red Hat agreed to occupy one of Progress Energy’s two downtown Raleigh office towers.

        The deal will bring hundreds of high-paid technology workers downtown and help offset the job losses that are expected to occur as a result of Progress’ merger with Charlotte-based Duke Energy.

      • Fedora

        • Free as in sake: The story of Koji

          Koji is an open source build system. While many are familiar with Koji because of the Fedora Project’s use of it, Koji is a generic system that is used by different groups around the world.

        • Who uses Fedora as a server?

          Is Fedora really not a good choice for a server? I think it all depends on the situation. But first, let’s try to figure out what are the requirements for a distribution to be called server-worthy.

          Some things that servers require are: stability, security updates, mature software, long-term deployment, support, no incompatible changes, point-in-time release, etc. But what do these attributes really mean? Stability means that the server performs well, without unexpected and unknown issues causing downtime. Timely security updates must be provided in forms of package updates, etc. Mature software is one which has been pounded upon by many, many users in different environments and has performed well. Long-term deployment means that if you plan to deploy your server for many years, it should be able to handle the length of time without needing constant attention. Support includes software and knowledge support: can you find people to help you if something does go wrong? No incompatible changes refers to package updates, where no major functionality changes are made. Point-in-time release means fixing the design of your server, from hardware to OS to applications; if a package is at major version 1.2.3 then it should remain at 1.2.3 (it could be 1.2.3.1 or 1.2.3.10 but always 1.2.3) and not become 1.2.5 or something newer when an update is applied.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 11.10 (So Far) Screenshot Tour

            So here we are in the thick of the Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot development cycle, and I am really excited about the progress that is being made. I thought it could be interesting to show off some of the work that is going on with a quick screenshot tour.

            This cycle has been very much focused on integrating GNOME3 into Ubuntu and focusing on fit and finish both at a software and design level on Unity and it’s components. The goal with Ubuntu 11.10 is to build on the accomplishments in Ubuntu 11.04 and to continue refining the experience.

          • Ten things to do after installing Ubuntu (humor)

            There’s nothing you need TO DO after installing a new Linux distribution. Ubuntu, as well as many of its counterparts, offer a complete common experience, with a very decent set of programs, tools, drivers, and aesthetics. In recent Ubuntu versions, you get to install codecs and updates while installing, so there’s even less fuss. A handful of useful applications has been removed from the default installation, like GIMP, but then, it’s not meant for everyone out there. Regressions must never happen, but then again, this applies to every distro out there.

          • Ubuntu Development Update
          • Minimized Window Thumbnails in the Switcher
          • Running Wayland On Ubuntu 11.10

            It’s approaching the one-year anniversary of when Mark Shuttleworth announced Ubuntu is going to deploy Wayland with Unity, eventually. As those know that pay attention to the continual flow of information from Phoronix regarding the next-generation Wayland Display Server and Linux graphics drivers in general, it’s being developed at a brisk pace and with several key open-source projects now betting big on its adoption, but how’s it playing in the soon-to-be-released Ubuntu 11.10?

          • Distro Breakdown in the Netflix/Linux Petition

            Ubuntu 11433 69.2%
            Fedora/RH/CentOS 1600 9.7%
            Mint 1092 6.6%
            Arch 891 5.4%
            Debian 856 5.2%
            SuSE 596 3.6%
            Other 50 0.3%

          • Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot frozen

            Ubuntu 11.10 “Oneiric Ocelot” has been frozen: now that the beta and user interface (UI) freezes have been announced, any further changes to the range of new features or user interface will require explicit approval by the release team. However, bug fixes will continue to be accepted so that they can be integrated into the forthcoming Beta 1 of Ubuntu 11.10, which is now being finalised. The first beta is scheduled for release next Thursday (1 September).

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Quick Look at Bodhi Linux 1.1.0

              A lot has been written about Bodhi Linux in its short existence. Bodhi appeared out of nowhere not even a year ago it seems and quickly gained followers aplenty. Usually there’s a good reason for something like this. So much has been written in such little amount of time, I’m not going to go into all the aspects of this little distro, for example that Bodhi means Enlightenment, a nice word play on the default desktop environment of choice E17, just a quick look.

              Actually, mentioning or for that matter running Bodhi without this desktop would make little sense as it is its sole purpose to bring us a nicely customized and integrated Enlightenment desktop that the lead developer and founder Jeff Hoogland evidently is so fond of. This is tightly wrapped around a Ubuntu 10.04 LTS core with an updated 2.6.39 kernel in 1.1.0, a good choice that guarantees utmost stability, at least in Ubuntu terms, and steers clear of potential pitfalls later versions might have introduced with all the upheaval moving from Gnome to Unity. Thus, after almost all earlier releases were test releases, this latest one promises a degree of maturity, which is probably underscored by the fact that it hasn’t been updated for nearly three months, which for the Bodhi project is a long time.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • SKorea building new Open-Source OS for smartphones: report
      • Android

        • Android is on fire

          Because Linux is free software and belongs to no-one, it is often assumed that Linux is “surrounded by legal uncertainties,” but Linux is no more or less prone to legal uncertainties than any other software. Richard Hillesley looks at the latest attempt to cast fear, uncertainty and doubt around the GPL and the Linux kernel…

          The Linux kernel is released under the GPLv2. The GPL was devised as a means of enhancing and protecting the freedoms of the user, the coder, and the code.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • $200 Android tablet features 1.2GHz Cortex-A8 processor

        X10 has begun selling a seven-inch Android 2.3 tablet for $200. The X10 AirPad has a 1.2GHz, Cortex-A8-based Rockchip 2918 processor, 4GB of flash storage, a seven-inch, 800 x 480 pixel capacitive display, a two-megapixel camera, plus an HDMI output delivering 1080p, says the company.

Free Software/Open Source

  • New Options Available for Mobile Open Source Apps on USB Drives

    Are you using a pocket USB drive to store applications and backup data? If not, the time is ripe to do so. You can get entire sets of useful open source applications in one download for free on a USB Flash drive, and the drives themselves offer a lot of capacity now for very little money. Here are just a few good, free resources you can take advantage of with a pocket USB drive and a few minutes to do a download.

  • TransferSummit: Evolving open innovation in software

    In the first of a short series of articles introducing the upcoming TransferSummit in Oxford, Ross Gardler and Sander van der Waal explain the principle of open innovation and how this applies to free and open source software.

  • HP Should Put WebOS into the Open Source Pot
  • Modders offer bounty for HP TouchPad Android port – Update

    Following the recent fire sale of HP’s TouchPad tablet, members of the Hack N Mod hacker and modder community have setup a cash bounty for the first functional port of Google’s Android OS to replace the default Linux-based webOS mobile operating system. The Hack N Mod prize is intended to “speed up the porting process” and is currently valued at a total of $1,500.

  • HP’s webOS Decision Sends Shock Waves Through Developer Community
  • Events

    • Desktop Summit: Claire Rowland on service design

      When thinking about user interface design, many will focus on the application itself, but Claire Rowland, an interaction designer and researcher, looks at things a bit differently. She came to the Desktop Summit in Berlin to describe “service design”, which encompasses more than just the interface for a particular application. Looking at the service that is being provided, and focusing on the “touchpoints” for that service, makes for a more holistic view of interface design. That will become increasingly important as we move into a world where more and more “ordinary” devices become connected to the internet.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Rapid Release Process

        Recently Mozilla implemented a rapid release process, where we release a version of Firefox every 6 weeks. This has involved changing a number of our processes. It’s also raised some new issues. For example, some enterprises find the idea of rapid browser change to be disconcerting at best and potentially unmanageable at worst. Add-on compatibility is another. I acknowledge these issues are complex and difficult. There is work to be done to make the rapid release process smoother and hopefully more useful to more of our userbase. I’d like to describe why I believe the rapid release process is important enough to pursue despite these difficulties.

      • On Second Thought Firefox Will Keep Its Version Numbers
      • reactions, thoughts, comments, etc.
      • That UK.gov Firefox cookie leakage snafu explained

        If you’ve used the latest version of Firefox to visit a UK government website in the last few weeks, you may have noticed something unusual in the browser address bar.

  • Databases

    • Can PostgreSQL pickup where MySQL left off?

      EnterpriseDB, a provider of enterprise-class products and services based on PostgreSQL, today announced Postgres Plus Cloud Server, which the company has billed as “a full-featured, Oracle-compatible, enterprise-class PostgreSQL database-as-a-service for public and private clouds with support for Amazon EC2, Eucalyptus, Rackspace, and GoGrid.”

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle Does Some Open-Source Good With TTM

      While Oracle is most often criticized since their acquisition of Sun Microsystems for shafting the open-source community, in particular for OpenOffice, MySQL, OpenSolaris, and other projects, not everything they do is bad for open-source and Linux. They have VirtualBox, various kernel developers, Chris Mason works for them on Btrfs, etc. They also still employ some graphics developers. One of these developers for some time now has been working on improving the GPU memory management situation in virtualized environments.

  • Healthcare

    • Open source continues to thrive in health care

      As the Linux kernel celebrates its 20th anniversary today, the impact of open source and free software in broad areas of technology continues to be felt. A new report from Black Duck Software reveals that in the health care sector, the number of open source software projects has risen by 31 percent since last year.

      According to Peter Vescuso, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, open source software projects are accelerating the pace of software development in the health care industry, which is typically a slower-moving sector than other technologies, such as mobile.

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • New interface for Nagios fork, Icinga 1.5

        The developers behind Nagios fork, Icinga, have released version 1.5 of the open source monitoring package. Icinga 1.5 has a new user interface which includes a pre-installed integrated reporting tool, a guide to which can be found on the Icinga wiki. It is based on Jasper Reports and includes 20 frequently used templates, such as a list of available services and the top 10 problematic hosts or services.

  • Open Hardware

Leftovers

  • Quitting With No Notice

    Apple may or may not change without Steve. Assuming he was OK with suing the world instead of innovating, I won’t miss him. If I were his employer, I would not mind him quitting with no notice. I would say, “Good riddance!” Perhaps his replacement will realize that having half the world hate the company is not good for business. Think of all the people loving Android who see their “fix” in terms of importations from the Far East jeopardized by groundless legal suits. Are they ever going to feel the same about Apple? Nope. Cross Apple off their shopping list forever. How about the suppliers of Android/Linux hardware components? Are they going to want to support Apple when Apple is trying to take away their livelihood? Nope. What about the many distributors of Android/Linux? One even asked the US president to block the ITC on this. What about Google? Is Google ever going to want to cooperate with Apple on anything after 2011? Nope. Apple is sawing off the limb on which it rests, people being comfortable with Apple’s existence.

  • Apple’s Jobsless Future

    As a FOSS supporter, I’ve often found myself POd by actions taken by Steve Jobs, especially in recent months as he’s pulled out his patent portfolio and declared war on Android. However, I’ve never viewed his actions through the same lens I’ve used to see the anti-FOSS moves made by the likes of Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer or Larry Ellison. Indeed, I’ve always viewed Jobs as something of a kindred spirit and have understood that his commitment to protecting Apple has been brought about because he knows what it’s like to be ripped off by the likes of Microsoft. It’s happened to him in the past and he’ll be damned if he’s going to let it happen to him again. I like Jobs. I admire him. But he still pisses me off sometimes.

  • Mac Lion blindly accepts any LDAP password
  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Secrecy, leaks, and the real criminals

      Shane notes that the government’s censorship effort “amounts to a fight over who gets to write the history of the Sept. 11 attacks and their aftermath,” particularly given the imminent publication of a book by CIA agent Jose Rodriguez — who destroyed the videotapes of CIA interrogations in violation of multiple court orders and subpoenas only to be protected by the Obama DOJ — that touts the benefits of the CIA’s “tough” actions, propagandistically entitled: “Hard Measures: How Aggressive C.I.A. Actions After 9/11 Saved American Lives.”

    • Why IP Addresses Alone Don’t Identify Criminals
  • Cablegate

  • Finance

    • Rothschild Is Now In TBTF Plunge Protection Business

      Following the already failed attempt by captured pan-European regulators to stop the local bank Friend-o treatment by instituting a short-selling ban, whose effectiveness as we pointed out lasted, oh, about 7 days, we find just what Plan B is. And, yes, Rothschild is involved. From the WSJ: “Societe Generale SA, whose shares have come under severe pressure in recent weeks, said Tuesday that it had signed a liquidity contract with Rothschild & Cie. to prevent excessive volatility in its stock price.” That’s right: Rothschild is now in the Plunge Protection business. And they all have the ECB to thank for it: after years of not learning from the New York Fed-Citadel Joint Venture, which “never” steps in at precisely the right time (wink wink), they have opened the market for third party PPT incursions. It only seems fitting that the bank that started it all, would step in and fill the void. Because after all if SocGen falls, Rothschild will sooner or later follow. That said, the official explanation is worth its weight in laughter: “The idea is not to keep the stock price high, but rather to keep it steady” a representative for Societe Generale said. After hearing such… brilliance… what really is there to say?

    • What’s Really Bugging Goldman Sachs Investors: The Ticker

      Late Monday afternoon, after word broke on Reuters that Lloyd Blankfein, the chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., had hired Reid Weingarten, the criminal defense attorney with an especially scary list of white-collar clients, Goldman’s stock plunged and the firm went into damage control mode.

    • Goldman Sachs VP Moonlighting as Issa Staffer, Working Hard to Make Elizabeth Warren Look Bad

      Think Progress had a fun story last week about Peter Haller, a former Goldman Sachs VP now working for Darrell Issa on the House Oversight Committee and advocating for the interests of the banks. Haller changed his name shortly before moving to work for the Oversight Committee.

      Now we learn that Haller was involved in the weak attempt by Patrick McHenry to embarrass Elizabeth Warren. Back in May, McHenry chaired a hearing with Warren and rescheduled the date several times, leading to Warren having to leave the hearing early. McHenry accused Warren of lying about the scheduling of the meeting.

    • USDA Signs MOU with Rockefeller’s Council on Foundations to Exploit Rural America
    • Inquiry over prisoners who painted home of ex-minister

08.25.11

Links 26/8/2011: Official 20th Anniversary of Linux, Blankfein (Goldman Sachs CEO) Allegedly Might Face Prison

Posted in News Roundup at 8:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • More Windows 7 corruption and repair woes

      In comparison, GNU/Linux has similar repair software that is used by booting the repair DVD for the distribution. It scans the installed packages and repairs as necessary. Since the Linux boot sequence is far less complex than Windows, the kernel can at least boot and get the user to a command prompt (in case X11 can’t start), allowing for further troubleshooting of log files. Fortunately, I haven’t needed to run a repair like this for GNU/Linux in a long long time. Corruption and repairs just aren’t needed like they are in Windows. But, I’m guessing the latest GNU/Linux repair DVDs are very efficient at fixing issues, if any do come up.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Finnish City of Kankaanpaa Cuts Project Hardware Costs by 50 Percent with Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization

        In 2008, the city’s information and communications technology (ICT) department faced several IT-related challenges. The management and configuration of individual desktops at several locations in and around the city, including diverse places such as public libraries and schools became very difficult to manage. In addition, there were numerous mission-critical solutions running on physical servers in its datacenter that presented a constant risk of downtime, which could directly impact business continuity. Lastly, the effect of running IT services on a limited number of physical servers increased complexity when deploying new applications, services or during hardware migration projects, which the city found to be both time consuming and expensive.

      • Telstra cloud certified Red Hat Enterprise Linux ready

        elstra has received Red Hat Enterprise Linux certification providing certainty to Australian organisations moving into Telstra’s cloud computing environment.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • SilverStone DC01: An Entry Into The Linux NAS Market
    • $25 PC alpha board successfully runs Linux

      Late last month we reported that the $25 PC had gone into alpha production. That meant the spec of the board had been finalized by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, and they wanted hardware to start testing. Now they have an alpha board to play with.

      The alpha board is significantly larger than the final product will be, but as testament to just how small this thing is even scaled up, the alpha version is about the size of 3 credit cards. The final version will be credit-card sized.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Bringing an Unloaded Knife to a Gunfight

          The court in the Netherlands has thrown out Apple’s charges of infringement of a design patent againts Samsung only asking Samsung to change a swipe-scroll feature to clear them for importation. Apple lost huge points for fudging pictures and claiming the shape of a tablet was their idea.

        • Samsung v Apple in NL: Happy selling, Samsung!
        • HTC Bliss Handled in The Wild
        • Millennial Media: Android Leads All Mobile Platforms with 61% Share

          The latest Millennial Media ‘Mobile Mix’ has landed today and it shows Android continuing its dominance over all other mobile platforms. According to their ad network metrics, Android has grown 15% month-over-month and now has a 61% share of overall smartphone impressions. Apple comes in at a distant second place with 21% of the market, down six points from the month before. For whatever reason, the dip was considerably bigger than the previous few months which only saw slight 1% declines. Coming in third, RIM and their BlackBerry platform also dipped a point to 14% of the pie.

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Hardware

  • Security

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • General Electric’s Jim Cramer Heads to Midwest to Cheerlead for Fracking

      Today, CNBC’s Mad Money with Jim Cramer’s “Invest in America” series will take the show to a seemingly unlikely locale. The crew will head to a place many would consider the middle of nowhere — the state of North Dakota.

    • Plain Talk: Gore deplores BS skewing climate debate

      It has been nearly two years now since Wendell Potter, the former public relations expert for two of the nation’s largest health insurers, wrote the book “Deadly Spin,” exposing the misleading advertising campaigns and dirty tricks that insurance companies have used to try to scuttle meaningful health care reform.

      In the book Potter, who is now a senior fellow at the Madison-based Center for Media and Democracy, revealed that the health insurance industry has been using many of the same tactics and, indeed, some of the same people who successfully fought off tobacco regulation for decades. Tobacco interests used doctors and other medical “experts” to discredit the research that found tobacco causes cancer and numerous other diseases in not just smokers, but people around them.

  • Finance

    • Cameron and Osborne did the Swiss tax deal to support tax evasion – there’s no other explanation

      The UK – Swiss tax deal does not meet with my approval, as some will have noticed. The deal is outlined here. My objections are littered through the blogs preceding this one.
      But let’s stand back for a moment and consider why the UK have done this deal – uniquely (because it seems unlikely that the supposedly similar German one will get parliamentary approval and so will not happen).

    • Under Fire, Goldman Sachs CEO Hires Top-Notch Attorney

      Goldman Sachs’ shares nosedived nearly 5% after it confirmed that its chief executive, Lloyd Blankfein, has hired Reid Weingarten, a high-profile Washington, D.C., defense attorney to defend the embattled executive in connection with the Department of Justice’s inquiry into Blankfein and other firm officials.

      The Justice probe is looking into findings in a report by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations which alleges Goldman Sachs (GS) executives misled Congress and investors about its mortgage-backed securities deals.

    • Could Blankfein Face Prison?

      The Goldman Sachs CEO didn’t get a big-time criminal-defense lawyer because he’s worried about an SEC wrist slap—there’s a real possibility of doing time, says former Goldman managing director Nomi Prins.

    • Job Creation and America’s Future

      Right at the beginning the report hits us in the face with a few statistics highlighted in big text that succinctly capture the job picture in 2011: US jobs have declined by 7 million since December 2007; 20% of men are not working today, up from 7% in 1970; there has been a 23% drop in new business creation since 2007; the jobless recovery is projected to last 60 months; 10% of Americans move annually, down from 20% in 1985.

    • Revealed: Former Goldman Sachs VP Turned Issa Staffer Supervised Scheduling Of Elizabeth Warren Incident (Think Progress)

      Last week, ThinkProgress revealed that Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) hired Peter Haller, a former Goldman Sachs vice president, as one of his top aides. Haller, who adopted his mother’s maiden name in 2008 and had escaped public scrutiny until now, coordinated an Oversight Committee letter to regulators demanding that they justify new Dodd-Frank rules impacting investment banks like his old employer, Goldman Sachs. After publication of our story, the Project on Government Oversight discovered more of Haller’s Oversight Committee letters, again on issues directly related to Goldman Sachs.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Plastic Bag Manufacturers Edit California Textbooks

      The American Chemistry Council (ACC), a lobbying group representing plastic bag manufacturers, successfully convinced the California Department of Education to rewrite its environmental textbooks and teachers’ guides to include positive statements about plastic grocery bags.

    • Profit Motive Underlies Outbreak of Immigration Bills

      July 29 marked the one-year anniversary of Arizona’s controversial immigration law, a year that has seen similar anti-immigrant bills emerge across the country. Thanks to the release of over 800 pieces of “model legislation” by the Center for Media and Democracy, we can now pinpoint the source of the outbreak to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a bill factory for legislation that benefits the bottom line of its corporate members. While it has been reported that more immigrants behind bars means more income for ALEC member Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), less discussed has been how immigrant detention benefits commercial bail-bond agencies, an industry represented in ALEC through the American Bail Coalition.

Links 25/8/2011: Gentoo Installer, Android Car Receiver

Posted in News Roundup at 4:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Excellent Ways of Watching TV on Your Linux Desktop

    Television, the little box that sits in the living room is something many people can’t do without. If you have hooked up your TV to your computer then you might want to check out the list of free and open-source television software we published earlier. However, if you want to watch your favorite programs according to your own schedule, you won’t have to rely on the idiot box anymore.

    Thanks to the Internet, a lot of native as well as web applications have come up that make sure that you watch your favorite shows at the time and place you want. Here’s a list of ways in which you could get the best television experience on your very own Linux desktop:

  • Linux Hardware Support Better Than Windows 7

    The concept of better is a subjective idea. What is better to me is possibly, even probably, not better to someone else. In my case, and in the case of some of my clients, Linux hardware support is “better”. I do not buy cutting edge hardware and tend to keep systems and peripherals until they stop working and can no longer be repaired at a reasonable cost. When a new release of my favorite Linux distribution comes out I can be 100% certain that my hardware that works with my current release will still work with the new release. That is something I just take for granted. This is not so in the Microsoft camp.

  • Zorin PC

    After waiting like Job for the pre-installed Linux machines we deserved, we’ve arrived at a literal Garden of Eden full of worthy choices. A compelling new offering is the Zorin PC, a new mini-laptop that runs its own Linux distro, Zorin OS.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux is 20 years old today

      ONE MIDSUMMER’S NIGHT, a student at the University of Helsinki posted a query to the newsgroup comp.os.minix asking, “What would you like to see most in minix?” The student’s name was Linus Torvalds, and that Usenet post was the beginning of the Linux operating system (OS). The date was 25 August 1991, exactly 20 years ago today.

    • It was twenty years ago today…

      Linus Torvalds didn’t use words half as lyrical as those of the immortal Beatles when he first announced the arrival of Linux 20 years ago (for those who don’t know, the headline for this article is taken from the famous album, Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, released by the band in 1967).

    • Graphics Stack

      • X.Org Server 1.11 Set For Release On Friday

        X.Org Server 1.11 was originally planned for release on the 19th of August, but following a one-week delay, it should be officially released this Friday. This is another significant update to the X.Org Server.

        X.Org Server 1.11 was originally planned for release last Friday, but last week was met by the unexpected passing of Keith Packard’s mother. With Keith serving as the release manager and being out of the game last week, the xorg-server release was obviously postponed.

      • Legacy Mesa Drivers Receive Their Death Sentence

        Last year at XDS 2010 Toulouse there was a discussion about killing old X.Org / Mesa drivers with fire. In particular, dropping all the old drivers that go un-maintained and have little in the way of users and modern functionality. Last year they decided to not really do much about it since these drivers cause little maintenance burden, but the topic has been brought up again and it sounds like these crusty old Linux drivers will finally receive their death sentence.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Current Status of Plasma Media Center

        Happy to tell that Plasma Media Center has been improved a lot and have basic functionalities which is required in a mediacenter i.e Picture, Music and Video.

        First of all when user open MediaCenter then welcome screen gets opened in full-screen (required) modes i.e picture, Music and Video. User can enter into any of these mode by clicking on the icons.

      • Self Reproducing Machines at the Berlin Desktop Summit

        I look forward to software conferences because you can never tell which ideas will excite you most. In 2011 I would expect to be wowed by the latest in tablets or 3D rendering stuff, but actually it turned out that 3D printers and a bad attempt to build a toaster from first principles were what left me with the deepest impression at the Summit. Michael Meeks gave a Lightning Talk on his 3D printer RepRap project. It was really funny, about how he built five iterations of his printer, with each generation printing the next printer. Sadly it seemed his wife’s nylons suffered in the cause of science, but holy crap I’d personally happily donate my socks to further such an awsome project. I don’t know how Michael does it, I am a big fan of his blogs where he describes his thoughts on software such as Libre Office, massive child rearing efforts, attempts to fix his plumbling, lots of stuff on learning Christianity and of course those 3D printers. I couldn’t actually write a blog like that because I personally manage to do bugger all apart from mainly writing software, listening to music and drinking a lot of beer, and if I wrote about my life, by comparison sadly it would be a bit of a dull read. Oh well. I can only think about one thing for years on end it seems, and I wish I was more of a generalist like Michael. But if I wanted to think about one thing, there couldn’t be many better topics than self replicating machines.

      • KDE in France – the View from RMLL

        Geoffray found quite a few differences in attitudes towards the free desktop options on Linux compared to the previous year. The situation with Gnome 3 and Unity in Ubuntu has affected the view that people have of KDE. Some traditional free software users have given Unity a bad reception and are considering other options. The response to GNOME 3 seems to be more mixed. Some traditional Gnome users appreciate the new look and feel, while others do not really like it. Some think that the new desktop is not finished, likening it to the KDE 4.0 release. This creates some new interest in KDE, although of course some KDE people are excited to try out alternatives such as GNOME 3 and Unity.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • SalixOS: older brother of SLAX

      My first acquittance with Salix OS left very good impression on me.

    • Use parted for large partitions
    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Gentoo Family

      • Gentoo Gets an Installer

        Almost as though they heard my suggestions, Gentoo now has an installer. It’s not included on an official Live DVD just yet, but it just might next release.

        Wiktor W Brodlo has ported the Red Hat Anaconda installer from Sabayon to work with Gentoo. You can either install it in the live Gentoo environment or you can roll it up in a new Gentoo ISO.

    • Red Hat Family

      • RHEL 6 uses Upstart!

        With the advent of RHEL 6 — the newest release of RedHats Enterprise operating system — RedHat have chosen to replace the old SystemV init system with… Upstart!

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 16 KDE and GNOME 3 Alpha screenshots

          From the test installations I carried out, I observed that GPT is the default if Fedora is installed in standalone mode. If, however, there is an existing distribution or another operating system on the drive, and you attempt to dual-boot, it defaults to the MBR partition table.

        • Trying out Fedora 16 Alpha.

          Sadly, I don’t have quite as much time to do deep testing of Fedora as I used to. So the above is basically a minimal report from about 3 minutes of usage I was able to fit in a couple nights ago. But I can say I’m looking forward to doing more! Remember that if you’re testing and finding problems, we need bugs! Without them it’s really hard to make a better product. So do your part for free software, and report them.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Top 10 Ubuntu 11.10 Features

            Beta of the Ubuntu 11.10 operating system is knocking on our doors, as it will be released next Thursday, and we though this will be a good moment to list some of the most important features that will be added in the upcoming Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) release.

          • Ubuntu Oneiric gets makeover
          • Ubuntu 11.04 Installer Fail

            So I decided to take a go at Ubuntu 11.04 in a virtual machine before taking the leap and installing it for real. As I understand it, the new Unity desktop is a pretty major departure from the Gnome 2.x desktop that I’m used to, and I want to see if it’s as bad as it looks in the screenshots.

          • Interview with Ubudog
          • Full Circle Podcast 24: OGGCamp Part Two
          • The New Ubuntu Friendly Program Needs User Feedback

            Is your computer Ubuntu Friendly? How do you find out? Do you know about the System Testing Application/Client on Ubuntu? Let’s talk, shall we?

          • A Photobomb Sale!
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 11 Gnome Review

              Well not much was left unmentioned, apart from the vast amount of application and package upgrades. The sleek and stylish Mint 11 Gnome interface is an almost flawless working environment, while remaining quite minimalistic and uncluttered. I encountered no problems at all when running this distribution, thus I highly recommend it for everyone.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Galaxy line gains four new Android 2.3 phones, new naming scheme

          Samsung announced four new Android 2.3 Galaxy smartphones, as well as a new naming scheme for the Galaxy product line. The new phones include the Galaxy W (3.7-inch, 1.4GHz), the QWERTY-enabled Galaxy M Pro (2.66-inch, 1GHz), the Galaxy Y (three-inch, 832MHz), and the keyboard-ready Galaxy Y Pro, according to the company.

        • Android car receiver offers hands-free telephony, web access

          Parrot is readying what it claims is the world’s first Android-based car receiver for an October release. The Parrot Asteroid offers a 3.2-inch display, GPS-based location services, Bluetooth, optional 3G access to web services, a 4 x 55 Watt MOSFET amplifier, plus support for music sources including Internet radio and a built-in FM/AM tuner.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • 35% of Tablet Owners Use Them in the Bathroom [STUDY]
      • First NFC-ready Android tablets debut

        NFC is coming to Android tablets this fall, in two seven-inch, Android 2.3 models announced by Sharp and TazTag respectively. The Sharp RW-T107 is an enterprise-focused tablet that supports the Sony Felica flavor of NFC in Japan, while TazTag’s TazTab combines NFC with a biometric fingerprint scanner, plus ZigBee, Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, and optional 3G.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Three Worthwhile Open Source Project Management Apps
  • Alfresco- An opensource alternative to Microsoft sharepoint
  • Korea to Develop Own Web-Based OS

    The government has decided to develop an operating system capable of rivaling Google’s Chrome OS in collaboration with Korean companies such as Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, a move to gain ground in the emerging cloud computing service industry.

  • Events

    • Interesting Talks For Linux Plumbers Conference 2011

      Besides XDC Chicago 2011 for Linux graphics developers, coming up in just two weeks in Santa Rosa, California is the Linux Plumbers Conference. Here’s some of the interesting talks expected at this event that’s largely targeted for Linux kernel developers.

      Here’s the talks I find to be most interesting based upon the LPC2011 schedule. (My list is in no particular order.)

      Coreboot – The Coreboot software project will be talked about and their efforts to replace proprietary BIOS/UEFI/firmware with this fast open-source code that’s designed to initialize the hardware and boot the system in a lightning fast manner. The talk abstract mentions that Coreboot currently supports around 230 kinds of motherboards and can get to booting the kernel in as little as a half second. The Coreboot project has been around for a while known — previously it was called LinuxBIOS — and is supported well by AMD, especially with the promise of supporting Coreboot on all future hardware.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Says Firefox Mobile Memory Usage Is “Pretty Bad”

        Mozilla’s JavaScript engine man-in-charge David Mandelin believes that there is plenty of room for the Firefox Mobile team to improve the browser’s performances on ARM/Android devices. He highlighted Firefox Mobile’s memory usage as a key problem area and suggests that the mobile browser might have to revert back from a multi-process to a single-process architecture.

      • 5 awesome Mozilla Firefox secrets
  • SaaS

    • Gluster Goes After Hadoop Big Data

      Big data requires big file systems. That’s where the open source GlusterFS file system is aiming to fit in with the upcoming GlusterFS 3.3 release.

      The Gluster project is out this week with the second beta release of GlusterFS 3.3, the final release is expected before the end of the year. The new release provides an integration point for Apache Hadoop enabling Hadoop users to use Gluster for storage. According to Gluster, their filesystem is also comptable with Hadoop’s own HDFS (Hadoop File System), though Gluster provides some additional benefits including scalability and performance improvements.

    • Thoughts From Eucalyptus System’s CTO As it Rolls Out its Version 3.0
  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Extension-Repository is growing

      I had a short look at the new Extension repository, that I created for LibreOffice, and I saw the number of projects is growing. There are currently fourteen projects on the site and I expect more of them in the next weeks, because we had not going into the wider public with this new sub-project.

    • LibreOffice Draw and Impress Guides Published
    • Election Announcement for The Document Foundation Board of Directors

      Having been asked by the Steering Committee and Membership Committee to act as the Elections Officer for The Document Foundation, it is my pleasure to announce that we will now conduct the election of a Board of Directors. This election is following the Bylaws [1] of our Foundation. The term is one year commencing from the date the Foundation is legally established.

  • CMS

  • Project Releases

    • NetworkManager 0.9 Release Brings Networking Fun

      NetworkManager 0.8 was released at the beginning of the year and then NetworkManager 0.9 was planned for release in March, but its release didn’t finally take place until yesterday. NetworkManager 0.9 is a huge release that breaks both the API and ABI compared to the previous NetworkManager release.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Cablegate

    • WikiLeaks Hit With DOS Attack as It Releases Tens of Thousands of Cable

      Hours after announcing it would be releasing tens of thousands of cables from various countries including Libya, China, Israel and Afghanistan, WikiLeaks announced that it was sustaining denial of service (DOS) attacks and had “regressed” to its backup servers.

      Not surprisingly, WikiLeaks suggested on Twitter that the attacks were from a state-sponsored entity. The organization asked, “Are state directed Denial of Service attacks, legally, a war crime against civilian infrastructure?” And, “Should we, legally, declare war on state aggressors that commit infrastructure war crimes against us?”

      These messages came early in the morning on August 24. Releases had already been posted. Followers were helping WikiLeaks “crowd source” the cables by tweeting out their findings with the hashtag #wlfind.

    • WikiHistory: Did the Leaks Inspire the Arab Spring?

      Almost two weeks before the desperate young fruit-seller Mohammed Bouazizi set himself on fire on a street in Tunis and a full month before the uprising that ensued, touching off the “Arab Spring” that is still unfolding, the rationale for revolution appeared on the Internet, where it was devoured by millions of Tunisians. It was a WikiLeaks document pertaining to the unexampled greed and massive corruption of Tunisian president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali and all his money-hungry family.

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