EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS


Links 2/6/2010: KDE SC 4.4.4; Firefox 4 Previews

Posted in News Roundup at 11:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Evolution of GNU, Linux System – Must Read For Newbies

    I would like to introduce you to a chronology of events that occurred in the early 80’s and 90’s.

    For Richard Stallman things began to look bad with the collapse of the free community in the Artificial Intelligence Lab at MIT in the ’80s, with modern systems of operating time, none of them free software came with an agreement confidentiality, he said, is not allowed to share or modify the software and if you want something changed, ask us to do it for you.

    This sounded anti-social to software-sharing community that had existed for many years at MIT, which he enjoyed and agreed to share their programs with universities and businesses. And to see or to change the source code of an unknown program to create a new was fairly common.

  • Ode to Summer, Fixer-Uppers and $10 for Courage
  • Sloganeering in Linux/Unix – what does it say, what does it mean?
  • Desktop

    • Measuring the popularity of distros – Part 4 Conclusion

      A fairly clear conclusion that can be drawn is that Ubuntu is the more popular distro. Most of the statistics point to this. Less clear is the 2nd most popular. Distrowatch says Linux Mint. Google Trends says Debian. Linux Tracker says Debian for one and Fedora for the second. Overall then, I’d go for Debian being the second most popular. If you consider that Ubuntu is based upon Debian, this would actually make Debian the most popular distro by far as you could count all the Ubuntu installations, all the Ubuntu installations, all the Ubuntu-based distros installations and all the Debian-based installations. Fedora would then be my choice third most popular.

  • Kernel Space

    • A Plethora Of Cloud Computing Benchmarks

      One of the companies that we have been collaborating with on some of the features for the Phoronix Test Suite has been CloudHarmony, which is a company that seeks to provide an assortment of information on different cloud computing platforms and offerings from the various firms. Using the Phoronix Test Suite they have been benchmarking a plethora of different cloud computing platforms and today they have published a huge batch of results — benchmarks from over 150 different cloud server configurations from 20 different providers!

    • Kernel Log: Linux 2.6.35 taking shape

      Linux 2.6.35 will deliver better network throughput, support the Turbo Core functionality offered by the latest AMD processors and de-fragment memory as required. On LKML, a discussion on merging several patches developed by Google for Android is generating large volumes of email.

      Two weeks on from the release of Linux 2.6.34, on Sunday night Linus Torvalds released the first pre-release version of Linux 2.6.35 to concluding the merge of the major changes for the next kernel version, expected to be released in about ten weeks. The merge window has once again stretched to around 14 days, after its abbreviation in Linux 2.6.34 caused confusion among some subsystem maintainers.

    • Graphics Stack

      • If Or When Will X12 Actually Materialize?

        The first version of the X protocol for the X Window System emerged in 1984 and just three years later we were at version 11. However, for the past 23 years, we have been stuck with X11 with no signs of the twelfth revision being in sight, even though there is a whole list of X12 plans and hopes on the FreeDesktop.org Wiki. Julien Danjou, an XCB developer, has written a lengthy blog post looking at the situation and the prospects for the X protocol.

      • Thermal Monitoring Comes To Newer Radeon DRM
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • E17 review

      Enlightenment has been quite interesting to me. It has not even got a beta release so far yet I like to use it. That is because, it does things differently. It is very efficient, keeps the CPU far more cooler than any other desktop environment, has nice effects already built-in, and is far snappier than most mainstream desktop environments [I am not interested in comparisions here; so I won't point to any other desktop environment in particular.].


      Overall, E17 is nice. It is nice to note that E17 keeps with latest development in software. For now, it is bleeding edge; however I suggest give it a shot before believing anything about it. Its a nice experience.

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • KDE Software Compilation 4.4.4 Out
      • KDE Software Compilation 4.4.4 Release Announcement

        June 1st, 2010. Today, KDE has released a new version of the KDE Software Compilation (KDE SC). This month’s edition of KDE SC is a bugfix and translation update to KDE SC 4.4. KDE SC 4.4.4 is a recommended update for everyone running KDE SC 4.4.3 or earlier versions. As the release only contains bugfixes and translation updates, it will be a safe and pleasant update for everyone. Users around the world will appreciate that KDE SC 4.4.4 multi-language support is more complete. KDE SC 4 is already translated into more than 50 languages, with more to come.

      • KDE 4.4.5 is scheduled
      • Amarok 2.3.1 adds new applets

        The Amarok Project has released version 2.3.1 of its popular open source music player for the KDE desktop, code named “Clear Light”. The first point update to the 2.3.x branch of Amarok is a maintenance release that addresses several bugs in the previous release and includes a number of new features.

      • New In KDE Partition Manager 1.1 (V): Options Galore

        Another new feature in KDE Partition Manager 1.1 is the ability to “shred” partitions when deleting them. Unlike when just deleting a partition (which basically means its entry in the partition table is deleted but the data remains on disk for the time being, until it is eventually overwritten with something else) this will actually overwrite the data before the partition is removed from the partition table.

  • Distributions

    • Three floppy-based distros

      This might sound strange, but I generally don’t endorse the floppy distros that are still available here and there on the Internet, and as a general rule, still work fine. I don’t hold any prejudice toward them, but I find that they’re out of date, intended for specific hardware arrangements, or just a bit too … personalized.


      Probably the one floppy distro that I would consider keeping around is blueflops, and it’s for that same reason — hardware support. Another two-floppy adventure, this one lists quite a few network cards as options, particularly for desktops. And since blueflops has the 2.6.18-ck1 kernel, I would almost consider using that as a jumping-off point for upgrading to a current kernel. Almost.

      blueflops says it will run on an i386 with 8Mb and swap, and I’ve tried it on machines with only 16Mb and gotten fair results. The software list isn’t as long as some of the others, but it will probably get you online and from there, you can decide on your direction.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Basefarm to Standardize Internet Platform Infrastructure on Red Hat Solutions

        Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that Basefarm, one of Northern Europe’s leading suppliers of Internet-based operations and services, is migrating its CentOS-based systems to Red Hat Enterprise Linux. With its migration, Basefarm gains the value of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscription, including reliable support, a robust certified ecosystem and access to the latest tested and quality-controlled Red Hat Enterprise Linux technology.

      • CentOS 5.5 Left Me Clueless
      • Fedora

        • First look: Fedora 13 from Red Hat

          The installation was quick and painless, and the subsequent reboot was extremely fast and clean — from POST screen to login screen within 10 seconds.

        • Fedora 13

          In short, Fedora 13 leaves once again a good impression. For professionals, has better performance than other popular distributions and for home users Ubuntu or Linux Mint which are perhaps more intuitive to begin working with Linux. Only regret, too long and unworthy startup time of a modern Linux distribution. But in the world of Linux, personal taste matters more.

        • In orbit over Fedora 13

          But having said this, there are a couple of caveats that require mentioning — personal ones that really don’t take anything away from Fedora 13′s shine. Pet peeve number one: No GIMP on the install. Easily installable upon completion of the installation, I know, but still.

        • Ubuntu 10.04 vs Fedora 13

          This article originally appeared in issue 87 of Linux User & Developer magazine.
          Linux User & Developer, one of the nation’s favourite Linux and Open Source publications, is now part of the award winning Imagine Publishing family. Readers can subscribe and save more than 30% and receive our exclusive money back guarantee – click here to find out more.

    • Debian Family

      • why Debian for scientific computing: a case study

        Yesterday I’ve been invited to visit EDF R&D center at Clamart, near Paris. They wanted to discuss their Debian usage and present some of the cool stuff they’re doing. The most interesting component is an in-house Debian-based distribution called “calibre”, which has been presented at RMLL 2008.


        EDF is generally keen of contributing back to Debian (even though the team behind calibre is still small), and I’ve been happy to walk them through how they can contribute.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu To Pull In New Versions Of Firefox

          Ubuntu’s longstanding policy of not pulling in new major versions of packages into their stable repositories is facing a slight change. Canonical along with the Ubuntu development community have been making it easier to deploy Mozilla Firefox web-browser updates into existing Ubuntu releases.

        • Summary of development plans for Ubuntu 10.10
        • Mandriva-style control centre for Ubuntu
        • Canonical – Ubuntu 10.04 LTS review

          With each and every release, Ubuntu Linux seems to get that little bit easier and friendlier to use. To put it through its paces, we downloaded the CD image of the latest iteration, Ubuntu 10.04, burned it to a disc and booted directly from it.

          In the past, many Linux distros booted up as a live CD from that point, and once you’d arrived at the desktop screen, there sat the icon to install the operating system to your hard disk. Ubuntu 10.04 instead offers you a welcome half-way house, in that mid-boot you can choose whether to try a live CD without writing files to your system, or go for the full install. We opted for the latter.

        • Why does Ubuntu keep shipping with Evolution?

          The Evolution mail client has been the default such application in Ubuntu since I got to know of Linux. Sure it is the default GNOME mail/calendar application, but I really am of the view that Ubuntu needs to drop it in favor of say Mozilla’s very brilliant Thunderbird.

          For one thing running Evolution on my machine makes me wonder if it is IE in disguise. It is, for starters, very heavy on my system resources. My hdd light keeps blinking to hell when I click on that application at any time. It also seems to take an eternity to respond to my mouse clicks.

        • Variants

          • Kid-friendly Qimo Linux 2.0 makes a splash

            Founded by Michelle and Michael Hall, Qimo is designed for users three years and older and is pre-installed with free and open source games that are meant to be both educational and entertaining.

          • Linux Mint 9: Fast, Stable, and Beautiful

            It’s been a long time since I last looked at Mint, and a lot has changed since. After Ubuntu 10.04 LTS was released, I thought I would take a look at Linux Mint 9 “Isadora” to see what they are doing with the latest Ubuntu base, which was already wonderful as it is. After playing with the latest Mint for just a short period of time, I’ve already fallen in love with it.


            Overall: 5/5 (Great!)

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Qualcomm creates dual-core Snapdragons

      Qualcomm says its Snapdragon chipsets are being used in more than 140 different devices including Acer’s Liquid and Neotouch smartphones, Dell’s Streak 5 Android tablet, HP’s Compaq Airlife 100 smartbook and HTC’s Droid Incredible and Nexus One smartphones.

    • Nokia

      • MeeGo has a coming out party on the Quanta Redvale, Winstron W1 and CZC P10T tablets

        For those not familiar with MeeGo you better study up on it because it has officially arrived. MeeGo is the joining of two open source Linux operating systems — Intel’s Moblin and Nokia’s Maemo — which was announced at Mobile World Congress earlier this year. It offers online and computing capability focused around multitasking, multimedia playback and strong graphics processing for a range of devices — not just netbooks or mobile phones. Up until now we haven’t heard that much MeeGo talk, mostly just rumored rumblings, but my have the MeeGo gates opened.

    • Android

      • Android Chief Andy Rubin: Updates Will Eventually Come Once A Year
      • On Android Compatibility

        At Google I/O 2010, we announced that there are over 60 Android models now, selling 100,000 units a day. When I wear my open-source hat, this is exciting: every day the equivalent of the entire population of my old home city starts using open-source software, possibly for the first time. When I put on my hat for Android Compatibility, this is humbling: that’s a whole lotta phones that can all share the same apps.

      • Acer’s Android Stream comes online

        Acer’s been hinting at entry into the Android smartphone market for some time now and now it is official. The Stream is the company’s first Android device.

      • 15 Beautiful Android Wallpapers For Desktop

        So here we are continuing our addiction with free and opensource wallpapers. Android operating system is spreading like wildfire. Smartphone manufacturers are scrambling to produce their version of Android phone and all this has just started. Let’s celebrate this stellar success of a free and open source software called Android with some stunning android wallpapers. Top 15 Android Wallpapers from around the web.

    • Tablets

      • Asus Challenges Apple’s iPad with Eee Pad

        When chairman Jonney Shih unveiled the Asus Eee Pad on stage at Computex today, the crowd of journalists almost rushed the stage with excitement.

        Unlike the similarly-named Asus Eee Tablet, which is designed to compete with e-Readers like the Nook and the Kindle, the Eee Pad is designed to go head-to-head with the Apple iPad.

        The Eee Pad is a Windows 7-based device that uses an Intel CULV Core 2 Duo processor and a touch-sensitive capacitive screen. It can be used as a multimedia player, e-reader, Web-browser, or, with the help of a keyboard docking station, full-featured PC. Asus will be releasing two versions of the Eee Pad. The EP101TC will come with a 10-inch screen and the EP121 will ship with a 12-inch screen. Asus claims both systems will deliver at least 10 hours of battery life.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web sites, Conferences and Coding

    Check out the new look, updated Samba.org web site – complete with new logo ! We really like it as it meant we had an excuse to get new Samba Team t-shirts, and stickers for our laptops. Thanks to SerNet for taking care of our new 21st Century look.

  • Governance

  • Africa

    • Computer Aid Namibia to set up FOSS institute

      Computer Aid Namibia has unveiled plans to establish a free and open source software institute in Omaruru. The new institute will be known as the Namibia Open Source Software Institute (NOSSI) and will promote the use of free and open source software in the country.

    • SA’s newest open source geek mag launches

      South African (and global) geeks now have a new magazine to keep themselves entertained with. The first issue of The SA Geek magazine was launched today.

  • Mozilla

  • GIMP

    • Flying aircraft carrier – Why not indeed?

      Like the last time, I’d like to begin by showing you what the model looks like when GIMP-ed against some real background. Just a single image for now. Later, we’ll have a full gallery of images and fancy effects. Here you, my flying aircraft carrier in low, slow flight above a harbor in a Vietnam-like setting, firing its twin belly cannon in support of ground forces. Air cavalry futuristic style.


    • Death to “Piracy”: Should All Music Sharing Be Free? [VIDEO]

      Free software activist Richard Stallman certainly wouldn’t say so. Stallman started the Free Software Foundation based on four principles.

      1. Information, such as computer software, should be freely accessible.
      2. The information should be free to modify.
      3. The information should be free to share with others.
      4. The information should be free to change and redistribute copies of the changed software.

      While not all of these principles apply to music, he says, some of them should apply. And a lot of music fans and musicians tend to agree with him. In many ways, the corporate side of the music industry’s attitude toward musical content mimics Microsoft’s or Adobe’s or Apple’s attitude toward software. This attitude often does nothing to help those who create or those who enjoy the content in question; it does everything to make money for the corporations who oversee licensing and purchase fees.

  • Openness

    • Open web definition for drumbeat.org

      A common Drumbeat questions is ‘what do you mean by open web?‘ Having a solid answer is especially critical as reach out to teachers, lawyers, filmmakers and other people new to Mozilla.

    • Rookie Liberal gets cold shoulder for coming clean on expenses

      There were some smirks and sniffs as rookie Liberal MP Michelle Simson told caucus colleagues this week that sometimes it’s easier to do the right thing. It was not a message her colleagues enjoyed hearing.

      Ms. Simson is the first MP to take the bold step of publicly revealing her MP expenses. Last year, with little fanfare, she posted the information on her website, fulfilling an election campaign promise to her constituents that she would show them how she spent their money.

    • PM’s podcast on transparency
    • Devoted to Openness? Creative Commons Offers Seed Funding

      Creative Commons is a non-profit corporation that provides free licenses that give content producers a number of methods, in accordance with international copyright laws, to share their works with others. If your particular endeavor is one that may “positively impact Creative Commons’ mission of fostering creativity [...] and work of communities that use or benefit from CC licenses, tools, and technologies” then it may be elligible for a grant ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.

    • Open Data

      • Open Data Commons Attribution License

        NB: The Open Data Commons Attribution License (ODC-By) is not yet final and is still being reviewed.

      • Open Data, Open Cities

        While the Open Data movement has yet to demonstrate its killer app, it shows much promise. It will take commitment from both innovators and the city governments to sustain the momentum over the year, but these early successes suggest that open API’s and killer coders may be able to revolutionize the way cities operate and interact with their citizens.

      • Activist envisions free giant database for legal papers

        If you want Internet access to federal court records in the trial of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, you have to pay 8 cents a page. The fee applies to any federal-trial court documents through a government-run system of electronic records known as Pacer.

        Carl Malamud thinks it’s outrageous that court documents are fenced off. The open-government activist, who crusaded to make the Securities and Exchange Commission’s EDGAR database publicly available, has turned his attention to the legal system — and not just court records.

      • Incunabula Cataloguing Project

        In October 2009 Cambridge University Library launched a cataloguing project which will make records for its collection of 4,650 incunables available and searchable online for the first time. The incunabula collection, part of which goes back to the late 15th century, is internationally renowned and includes some 134 unique items. The scope of the project is to create specialist records for all the incunables in the Library’s online catalogue, Newton, with special emphasis on copy-specific information such as anomalies, rubrication, decoration and illumination, annotations, binding, marks of ownership, and provenance, enhancing and bringing up to date the short-title catalogue published by J.C.T. Oates in 1954, and including the 256 items acquired by the Library since.

      • Crowd Science Reaches New Heights

        Alexander S. Szalay is a well-regarded astronomer, but he hasn’t peered through a telescope in nearly a decade. Instead, the professor of physics and astronomy at the Johns Hopkins University learned how to write software code, build computer servers, and stitch millions of digital telescope images into a sweeping panorama of the universe.

        Along the way, thanks to a friendship with a prominent computer scientist, he helped reinvent the way astronomy is studied, guiding it from a largely solo pursuit to a discipline in which sharing is the norm.


        A case in point is a project to create a genetic road map using the same wiki platform that supports Wikipedia.

        It started under the name of GenMAPP, or Gene Map Annotator and Pathway Profiler. Participation rates were low at first because researchers had little incentive to format their findings and add them to the project. Tenure decisions are made by the number of articles published, not the amount of helpful material placed online. “The academic system is not set up to reward the sharing of the most usable aspects of the data,” said Alexander Pico, bioinformatics group leader and software engineer at the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease.

      • Momentum building for open government data in Norway

        The following guest post is from Olav Anders Øvrebø, Assistant Professor at the University of Bergen, and member of the Open Knowledge Foundation’s Working Group on EU Open Data. This text was first published as a European Public Sector Information Platform Topic Report on ePSIplatform.eu.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Conflagration coming

        Anecdotes are not data, one dead swallow doesn’t mean the end of summer, and so on… but I just heard yesterday about a second small independent toll-access journal whose sponsors may be discussing winding it down.

      • Your views on open access publishing are needed!

        The SOAP Project (*), funded by the European Commission, would like to announce the release of an online survey to assess researchers’ experiences with open access publishing.

    • Open Hardware

      • Mark’s new book: Made by Hand

        My new book is out! Made by Hand is about the fun and fulfillment I got from making my own stuff. I wrote about my not-always-successful attempts to do things like raise chickens, keep bees, grow and preserve food and make my own musical instruments.

  • Programming

    • Coding? One size doesn’t fit all …

      To summarize one has to think of the scope, lifetime, funding / cash inflow, time to market for the project before starting to write or design code. Thus saming coding style methodology does not suit all projects. Most often Agile methodology suits most projects and developers.

    • Ogmtools, tools for manipulating ogg multimedia streams and Openjpeg-tools command-line tools using the JPEG 2000 library.

      The OpenJPEG library is an open-source JPEG 2000 codec written in C language. It has been developed in order to promote the use of JPEG 2000, the new still-image compression standard from the Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG). In addition to the basic codec, various other features are under development, among them the JP2 and MJ2 (Motion JPEG 2000) file formats, an indexing tool useful for the JPIP protocol, JPWL-tools for error-resilience, a Java-viewer for j2k-images, …

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Should Open Web Advocates Stay Independent?

      When it was revealed Wednesday that developer and noted open web champion Tantek Celik was joining the Mozilla Foundation, a wave of congratulations swept across Twitter and the blogosphere. But not everyone was happy to learn that Celik — the former chief technologist at Technorati and before that an open standards advocate at both Microsoft and Apple — was joining the company behind the Firefox browser. Ben Metcalfe, a programmer and startup adviser, said on Twitter that while he was happy for Celik, his hiring meant that “none of the open web usuals remain independent.”


  • Science

    • Drug defeats deadly Ebola virus infection

      An RNA-based drug has treated an infection of the deadly Ebola virus – the first drug to have been shown to do so in all recipients.

      Ebola Zaire virus kills 90 per cent of the people it infects. There are experimental vaccines that protect people given it before they are exposed to the virus, but there has been no drug to help those who are already infected.

    • Approaching space object ‘artificial, not asteroid’ says NASA

      NASA boffins report that an unknown object approaching the Earth from deep space is almost certainly artificial in origin rather than being an asteroid.

  • Security/Aggression

  • Environment

    • Nigeria’s agony dwarfs the Gulf oil spill. The US and Europe ignore it

      Shell, which works in partnership with the Nigerian government in the delta, says that 98% of all its oil spills are caused by vandalism, theft or sabotage by militants and only a minimal amount by deteriorating infrastructure. “We had 132 spills last year, as against 175 on average. Safety valves were vandalised; one pipe had 300 illegal taps. We found five explosive devices on one. Sometimes communities do not give us access to clean up the pollution because they can make more money from compensation,” said a spokesman.

    • US has launched criminal probe into BP spill
    • BP Seeks to Divert Oil Flow Until Relief Well Is Done
    • The BP Oil Spill Response “Plan”
    • Barack Obama ‘heartbroken’ as BP top kill fails to plug Gulf oil spill
    • BP’s OTHER Spill this Week

      With the Gulf Coast dying of oil poisoning, there’s no space in the press for British Petroleum’s latest spill, just this week: over 100,000 gallons, at its Alaska pipeline operation. A hundred thousand used to be a lot. Still is.

      On Tuesday, Pump Station 9, at Delta Junction on the 800-mile pipeline, busted. Thousands of barrels began spewing an explosive cocktail of hydrocarbons after “procedures weren’t properly implemented” by BP operators, say state inspectors. “Procedures weren’t properly implemented” is, it seems, BP’s company motto.

      Few Americans know that BP owns the controlling stake in the trans-Alaska pipeline; but, unlike with the Deepwater Horizon, BP keeps its Limey name off the Big Pipe.

    • I fear for Brand Britain-something of genuine national interest

      BP’s failure to stem the leak in the Gulf is an environmental tragedy, with the associated sight of American citizens standing on British flags. If we have a special relationship with the US, we as a country should be using the innovative talent, all innovative talent at our disposal to find a way to stop this. And fast. The long term damage to the US coastline and marine systems is heart-breaking to see.

    • BP CEO Tony Hayward: “I’d like my life back.”

      The millionaire CEO of foreign oil giant British Petroleum, Tony Hayward, is upset at the inconvenience caused to him by his company’s devastation of the Gulf of Mexico. In this TP excerpt, Brad Johnson has the stunning video of the tone-deaf ‘apology’ from the leader of the company whose recklessness and hubris has already claimed 11 lives and spewed 20 to 100 million gallons of toxic oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

    • A Mystery: When Did Gov’t Exempt Gulf Drilling from Detailed Enviro Reviews?

      As you may have heard, before the big BP disaster the government’s chief oil drilling regulator let most drilling go forward in the Gulf of Mexico with very little environmental review. Somehow, the Minerals Management Service decided that there was little chance of disaster and thus gave the entire central and western Gulf an exclusion from a requirement for comprehensive environmental reviews.

    • Obama suspends Arctic oil drilling plans

      The Obama administration is suspending proposed exploratory drilling in the Arctic Ocean.

      The US interior secretary, Ken Salazar, will say in a report to the White House today that he will not consider applications for permits to drill in the Arctic until 2011. Shell Oil was poised to begin exploratory drilling this summer on leases as far as 140 miles offshore.

    • Support for offshore oil drilling, dirty energy production gets dispersed by BP oil disaster

      In the wake of the largest oil disaster in U.S. history, two just released polls by USA Today/Gallup show that Americans are increasingly skeptical of increased offshore drilling — and increasingly support environmental protection. In the one month since the April 20th explosion at the Deepwater Horizon rig, support for more offshore drilling has dropped by nearly 20 percent – a big change in a short period of time.

    • A constructive suggestion for retribution against BP

      This is basically criminal misconduct. But hey, what’s the point of getting upset over 11 deaths and a mere environmental catastrophe? We need the oil. Let’s just help the oil companies get beyond this.

    • What if Carbon Dioxide Were as Black as Oil?

      Christopher Reddy, an associate scientist and director of the Coastal Ocean Institute at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, asks “What if carbon dioxide were as black as oil?” in a great new article on CNN.com. This is a very thought provoking question and well considered by Reddy.

    • Paris Unveils Four-Year Cycling Plan With Aim to Reinforce Velib’ Bike Share

      If Velib’ has changed the face of Paris by providing it the largest bike sharing system in the world with 1,800 stations and more than 20,000 bikes, there’s still plenty of work to be done in the French capital. After nine years of slow but steady improvements originating from an environmentally minded city hall, Paris is about to hit the accelerator pedal.

    • Hundreds die in Indian heatwave

      Record temperatures in northern India have claimed hundreds of lives in what is believed to be the hottest summer in the country since records began in the late 1800s.

  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs Spies A Way Out Of Fraud Claims

      Goldman Sachs may have found a way to compromise with the Securities and Exchange Commission that will allow both sides to declare victory.

      The clock is ticking on the SEC’s case against Goldman Sachs. Sometime in the next few weeks, Goldman will either go to federal court with a substantive denial of the SEC’s allegations or agree to a settlement.

    • Central Banking vs. The Republic and the World

      A couple of days ago in Japan, Ben Bernanke said that the benefits of low interest rate policies that politicians want “are not sustainable and will soon evaporate, leaving behind inflationary pressures that worsen the economy’s long-term prospects……thus political interference in monetary policy can generate undesirable boom-bust cycles that ultimately lead to both a less stable economy and higher inflation.”

    • American investors: Predictably stupid losers

      Get it? Reading books on behavioral economics not only didn’t help, it probably gave you a false sense of security that made you even more vulnerable to Wall Street’s deceptive con game … and given their current $400 million lobbying efforts to kill reforms, you can bet another meltdown is destined to happen again, soon.

    • Consumer agency that won’t die

      When the lobbyists for the big banks announced last summer that they would kill the consumer financial protection agency, anyone versed in the ways of Washington would have believed them.

      After all, the big banks had all the lobbying muscle, money and connections. Time and again, the big banks’ lobbyists and their allies declared the agency dead.

    • Crunch time for auto dealer lobbying

      Auto dealers are facing the toughest fight yet in their effort to win an exemption from new financial regulations.

      The dealerships waged a high-stakes battle in the House and won an exemption in December from a new consumer financial protection regulator that is part of much broader financial legislation targeting Wall Street. Auto dealers last week won non-binding support in the Senate for the same carve-out. Republican and Democratic lawmakers have given their backing.

    • Bonfire of the Loopholes

      Indeed, if any structural changes to Wall Street follow from this law, it is likely to be that the biggest banks get even more powerful than they already are, despite the size limits being placed on them.

    • Dollar hits fresh 4-year high against the euro

      The dollar surged to a fresh four-year high against the euro Tuesday as worries that European banks could still face large loan losses next year added to concerns about the continent’s economic outlook.

    • Treasury announces First Financial warrant auction

      The government announced plans to auction 465,117 warrants it received from Cincinnati-based First Financial Bancorp as part of its effort to recoup the costs of the $700 billion financial bailout.

      The Treasury Department said Tuesday that the auction of the First Financial warrants will take place on Wednesday. It set a minimum bid price of $4 per warrant. A warrant gives the purchaser the right to buy common stock at a fixed price.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • UK coalition to mimic EU lobby register

      The Conservative-Liberal Democrat government in the UK is planning to introduce a register of lobbyists similar to that being discussed by the EU institutions, in an attempt to restore trust in politics following an expenses scandal that hit parliament last year.

    • The Old Enemies

      Look, for example, at the campaign contributions of commercial banks — traditionally Republican-leaning, but only mildly so. So far this year, according to The Washington Post, 63 percent of spending by banks’ corporate PACs has gone to Republicans, up from 53 percent last year. Securities and investment firms, traditionally Democratic-leaning, are now giving more money to Republicans. And oil and gas companies, always Republican-leaning, have gone all out, bestowing 76 percent of their largess on the G.O.P.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Plaintext over Tor is still plaintext

      Recently, a few articles have been published regarding Tor, Wikileaks, and snooping data coming out of the Tor network. I write to remind our users, and people in search of privacy enhancing technology, that good software is just one part of the solution. Education is just as important.


      For reference, these articles are unclear and blur concepts about Tor and Wikileaks. An article about Julian Assange of Wikileaks in The New Yorker is the source of the confusion. Ryan Sholin deliberates on one paragraph from the New Yorker story. Ethan Zuckerman responded to Ryan’s thoughts about Tor here. We thanked EthanZ for the accurate response in an Identi.ca dent. It seems Slashdot and Wired Threat Level have picked up on just that one statement in the article by the New Yorker.

      We hear from the Wikileaks folks that the premise behind these news articles is actually false — they didn’t bootstrap Wikileaks by monitoring the Tor network. But that’s not the point. The point is that users who want to be safe need to be encrypting their traffic, whether they’re using Tor or not.

    • Surveillance in Lhasa Hotels

      Hotels in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, are being forced to install electronic surveillance equipment amid an ongoing security clampdown in the city, industry sources said.

    • Blunkett threatens to sue for £30 ID card refund

      David Blunkett this morning claimed he may sue the government for a refund on his £30 ID card, which new laws will render worthless by the end of summer.

    • Google has mapped every WiFi network in Britain

      Google has mapped every wireless network in Britain in order to use the information for commercial purposes, it has emerged.

    • Corporations and Emotions

      Angry at Google · I was a little surprised at this, which opens with “Google mouthpiece Tim Bray…” A couple of clicks reminded me that I was reading someone who hides behind the (albeit stylish) alias Kontra and who has previously hated on me with considerable glee.

      While everyone knows that there’s a lot of perfectly-reasonable worry about Google’s pervasiveness and reach, the company itself seems too inchoate and chaotic to hold any particular single feeling about for any length of time. But Kontra genuinely loathes Google right down to the ground. (I can testify with some force that at Google there is a notable lack of conspiratorial intent to Do Bad Things With All That Data, but then you might choose to discount that testimony because of the logo on my paycheck.)

      Having said all that, I think Kontra is something of an anomaly. I wish he’d decloak though; anonymous polemics leave a very sour taste.

    • UK student fined for popular flirting site – The Zuckerberg story this is not

      It looks like Mark Zuckerberg would not have got Facebook going if he’d started it at a British University. The founder of a UK site integrated with Facebook and Twitter allowing students to flirt has been fined £300 for bringing his university into disrepute. FitFinder only started last month but rapidly expanded to universities across the country.

    • Is Zuckerberg Over His Head as CEO?

      Zuckerberg doesn’t seem prepared for a job of this immensity. Like Page and Brin (and Jobs), maybe it’s time he stepped back, and put his company in the hands of a real business person because right now, Facebook is doing a great job of alienating its users. (It’s worth noting that Apple faltered under the leadership of John Sculley, but returned to prominence after Jobs came back in the late 90s.)

    • Border guard used passports to hit on women on Facebook

      A B.C. border guard e-mailed himself the passport details of attractive women who came through his inspection line so he could hit on them later on Facebook, according to an internal government investigation obtained by the Vancouver Sun.

    • Google in yet more privacy controversy
    • 30,000 quit Facebook in protest
    • Exposed: Voyeurism and surveillance

      Surveillance is everywhere today, and thanks to Facebook and Google, we are all now voyeurs, monitoring each other electronically. Perfect timing, you would think, for the new exhibition at Tate Modern Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera which sets out to explore our relationship with the camera and its use to capture the unaware, the unashamed and the downright unpleasant.

    • NoDPI meets the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

      On Friday 21st May, three representatives from NoDPI met David Hendon, Director Information Economy at the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. With David was Rupert Marsh, Head of User Impact Policy.

      David explained the new ministerial structure for DBIS. Ed Vaizey is now Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries in both BIS and DCMS. Overall, however, the new Coalition Government had not yet communicated detailed policies for his area. We observed that the Phorm controversy had rarely reached ministerial level, and that the Civil Service was likely to continue to take the lead on deep packet inspection and associated issues. This underlined the importance of our meeting.

    • No Secrets

      WikiLeaks receives about thirty submissions a day, and typically posts the ones it deems credible in their raw, unedited state, with commentary alongside. Assange told me, “I want to set up a new standard: ‘scientific journalism.’ If you publish a paper on DNA, you are required, by all the good biological journals, to submit the data that has informed your research—the idea being that people will replicate it, check it, verify it. So this is something that needs to be done for journalism as well. There is an immediate power imbalance, in that readers are unable to verify what they are being told, and that leads to abuse.” Because Assange publishes his source material, he believes that WikiLeaks is free to offer its analysis, no matter how speculative.

    • French journalists detained in Papua

      Two French television journalists were detained Tuesday in Papua after filming a human rights rally by some 100 students, an immigration official said.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Murdoch Trashes His Prime Brands With ‘Paywall’: Matthew Lynn

      This month, he will make his most ambitious gamble yet: He will try to redesign the way the Internet and the media work by putting up a “paywall” around the Times of London and the Sunday Times, two of his British newspapers.

      And this time he is doomed to fail.

      It’s too late to start charging for newspapers online now. The content isn’t good enough, and newspapers themselves are a product of technologies that simply don’t work in a digital economy. All Murdoch is going to achieve with this move is to kill off one of the most famous media brands in the world.

    • Gallo report: La Quadrature’s voting recommendations
    • Urgent: Contact MEPs on the EU’s Unbalanced Copyright Report

      You would have thought that what with local initiatives like the Digital Economy Act and global ones like ACTA, the copyright maximalists would be satisfied with the range and number of attacks on the Internet and people’s free use of it; but apparently not. For here comes the Gallo Report, an attempt to commit the European Union to criminalisation of copyright infringement and a generally more repressive approach to online activities.

    • Gallo report: Copyright dogmatism wins a battle, not the war

      The vote, in JURI committee of the European Parliament on the Gallo report “Enforcement of intellectual property”, including the rapporteur’s repressive amendments, reflects the asphyxiating influence of corporate lobbies on EU policy-making. The ALDE group, which had stood for fundamental freedoms on several occasions, this time sided with the entertainment industries. This vote should make EU citizens react and convince MEPs about the stakes of our evolving digital societies. Beyond the vote of the Gallo report in plenary session, there are other upcoming legislative battles where the public interest of creativity and access to knowledge can be upheld against an obsolete vision of copyright.

    • A few notes from the WIPO SCCR open ended consultation on the treaty for the blind

      I plan to write up a more detailed analysis of the WIPO open ended consultation on the treaty for persons who are blind or have other disabilities. I did want to make a few quick notes, however.

      Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay and Mexico proposed a schedule of work on the treaty, which would end with a diplomatic conference in early 2012. The details of the proposal had been widely shared verbally for several weeks, and did not come as surprise. Their written submission was given the World Blind Union and other NGOs on Wed.


      Brazil read a fairly detailed critique after lunch, and a number of blindness groups, NGOs and countries offered critical comments on certain aspects of the proposal, which had not been vetted before by the World Blind Union or other NGOs working on access to knowledge issues.

    • Innovation Study: Tell Us How Much You Share!

      Sharing is a means to build community, to distribute (and then re-distribute) the resources we need more efficiently, and to tread more lightly on our environment. Sharing is also a flourishing industry that’s accomplished an incredible amount, but is really just getting started.

    • Copyrights

      • Digital Economy Act: ISPs told to start collecting filesharers’ data next year

        The UK’s largest internet service providers will start collecting the details of customers who unlawfully download films, music and TV programmes early next year, in order to send them warning letters under a code of practice proposed today by the media regulator Ofcom.


        The code of practice applies to ISPs with over 400,000 customers, meaning that it will initially apply to BT, TalkTalk, Virgin Media, Sky, Orange, O2 and the Post Office, who together control 96% of the market. Ofcom, however, will review unlawful filesharing activity on a quarterly basis and can extend the code to cover smaller ISPs and the mobile phone companies if it spreads.

      • The Record Business Blues

        Recession or no, the music industry has been hitting a high note lately. Reports indicate that, on average, revenues are on the rise for musical artists. Income from concerts and ancillary merchandise (such as souvenir T-shirts) has become a key revenue source for most performers. New vehicles for delivering music in innovative and exciting ways are being introduced regularly. And consumers are getting more music at lower prices.


        Many in the recording industry say the villain in this opera is file-sharing, which allows computer files to move back and forth freely among networks of users on the Internet. The recording industry sees no coincidence in the fact that file-sharing has exploded during the same period that the market for CDs has withered.

      • Big Media Has Trouble Collecting Pirate Bay Fines

        Due to several verdicts against them, The Pirate Bay team were ordered to pay the entertainment industries $6 million in fines. As predicted, actually getting hold of the money is not going to be an easy job for them. Thus far, the debt collecting agency has only seized $30,000 of the total sum.

      • Rock and Poll: Is Harper courting voters or does he just want to rock?

        Does Stephen Harper have a secret agenda — when it comes to rocking out?

      • Bryan Adams Get Private PM Audience To Jam and Lobby on Copyright

        The Toronto Star and National Post reports that Bryan Adams was quietly invited to a private meeting at the Prime Minister’s residence, offering the chance for a jam session and some lobbying on copyright.

      • India Seeking Allies To Oppose ACTA

        With the next round of Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement negotiations scheduled for later this month in Lucerne, Switzerland (governments have been painfully slow this round in confirming dates, location, and agenda), the global politics behind the agreement escalated over the weekend with Indian officials acknowledging that they plan to establish a coalition of government opposed to the agreement. Reports indicate that a major concern involves the possible seizure of goods in transit, which raises access to medicines fears with the potential detention of generic pharmaceuticals.

      • Why the Digital Economy Act simply won’t work

        With the passage into law of the dread Digital Economy Act comes Ofcom’s guidelines that are the first step toward rules for when and how rightsholders will be able to disconnect entire families from the internet because someone on or near their premises is accused of copyright infringement.

        Consumer rights groups and privacy groups – such as the Open Rights Group, the Citizens Advice Bureau, Which, and Consumer Focus – participated in the process, making the Ofcom rules as good as possible (an exercise that, unfortunately, is a little like making the guillotine as comfortable as possible).

Clip of the Day

Contributing back to society: eejot.org


Links 1/6/2010: Salix Live 13.0 and Parsix GNU/Linux 3.5r0 Are Out

Posted in News Roundup at 2:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Telstra’s Linux-based T-Box to launch mid-June

    Telstra today revealed it would launch its Linux-based T-Box integrated media centre set-top box from mid-June at a stand-alone price point of $299, with a sledload of free and pay-per-view content available and an associated revamp of its broadband plans in the works.

  • Desktop

    • The Big Question

      Rob Pregoraro at the Washington Post asks the question, “How can an operating system with those virtues, the open-source Linux, remain confined to a tiny minority of desktop and laptop computers at home? “. He’s missed the mark. GNU/Linux is not confined to a tiny minority of computers at home. It may be in the USA but globally, GNU/Linux is on about 10% of PCs. We know that because Ballmer told us and that was a while ago. 30% of netbooks run GNU/Linux and almost all ARMed devices do not run that other OS.You can buy “no OS” and GNU/Linux PCs from most OEMs and some retail outfits.

    • Firebird download statistics : Top Country : #Brazil , Top OS: #Linux

      The new download stats interface from sourceforge.net geeknet shows what are the countries from where firebird is most downloaded and what operating system is used to download it and the most unexpected thing is that Linux is in the Top

    • Zonbu Desktop Mini Review

      The $249 Community version is a much easier sell: a low-power PC that could easily run your audio collection into your stereo, has more than enough power for homework or basic image editing, and is unlocked so you can load anything you want on it via Gentoo’s package manager. There are definitely things you won’t want to do on a Zonbu (editing video comes to mind), but for most things, you’ve got more than enough machine here.

    • Crashes and Blue Screens are Normal and a Processor Fan has a Lifetime of 1 year — Everyday Support Hotline Fun and the Intel Dynamic Acceleration Technology

      But I don’t want to bore you any further with a story that probably happens everywhere to everyone and all the time in the daily Windows world… While hardware problems occur in Linux just as well, at least the people you talk to about them don’t treat you like an idiot but really know their stuff.

  • Schools

    • How to Sell Linux to Schools

      In my earlier post ‘How to Sell Linux’ I looked at three different ways how to popularize Linux and make it more mainstream as well as a household name. In the post I will look specifically at how I would sell Linux to schools, examining all the aspects of such a deployment and how I would do it and what distro and software I would use.

      Here is the order I will look at things in this post-:

      1. What Distro would be used?
      2. What Software would be pre-installed?
      3. What would be the Incentive?
      4. How Cost Effective would it be?
      5. How quickly could new users Adapt?
      6. Poll and Conclusion

    • How to Sell Linux to Schools- Part 2

      Building on the last post, I welcome the opportunity to share some of my experiences with deploying Linux in schools. It is a very broad topic however I will stay with the previous outline. First of all, it is a matter of migrating schools to Linux, not selling them. Second, the approach is different based on whether the school in located in a developing country, the EU or North America.

      Before I speak to the suggested list of considerations, which I have reordered based on feedback from my deployments and numerous other sources,I want to say that’ the single most factor for any migration plan to be successful is to is to manage the ‘human factor’ of resistance to change. Effective training and support are critical while technical and functional problems are marginal’ This is where FUD (fear, uncertainty & doubt) comes into play and is heavily leveraged by proponents of proprietary software.

      1. What would be the Incentive?
      2. How Cost Effective would it be?
      3. How quickly could new users Adapt?
      4. What Software would be pre-installed?
      5. What Distro would be used?

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • Free Training Webinar Series – Linux Foundation

      Linux Foundation has launched a series of free Training Webinars to meet Growing Demand for Linux Professionals. These webinars are taught by well-known Linux developers directly building on their own experience.

    • Intel’s X.Org Driver Runs Even Faster Now

      A week ago we reported that Intel’s next X.Org driver (the xf86-video-intel 2.12 DDX) would render text/glyphs faster thanks to optimizations done by Chris Wilson, but this was not all that was in store for this Intel Linux driver that’s updated quarterly. With the most recent Git, there are more performance optimizations.

  • Applications

    • Desktop Facebook Notifier for Ubuntu
    • Lightspark 0.4.0 released

      Just a quick update. I’ve released ver­sion 0.4.0 of Lightspark, a free flash player imple­men­ta­tion. This release was focused on improv­ing sta­bil­ity, so all the crashes found by many testers should be fixed now. Thanks a lot for test­ing, sev­eral issues were related to par­tic­u­lar graph­ics hard­ware and I would have never found them with­out your col­lab­o­ra­tion. Please keep test­ing and report­ing any issue.

    • 9 of the Best Free Linux Terminal Emulators

      Now, let’s explore the 9 terminal emulators at hand. For each title we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, a screenshot of the software in action, together with links to relevant resources and reviews.

    • wisotool 20100530 has been released

      Wisotool currently supports 60 games and/or benchmarks (see list below). Please consider contributing support for your favorite game, its not (too) hard. Im especially interested in recent or beta games; ideally wisotool would support (worthwhile) games on the day they are released.

  • Instructionals

  • Desktop Environments

    • Icons and the FOSS desktop

      In fact, modern applications, proprietary and FOSS alike, seem to me explicit admissions that icons do not work very well. Many applications provide mouseover help to help users identify the icons. The KDE desktop goes one step further, offering thumbnails to help you see what each icon does or contains. If icons worked the way they are supposed to, then why would these supporting structures even exist?

    • New In KDE Partition Manager 1.1 (IV): Improved Size Dialog

      This concludes part four in a sequence of entries presenting some of the new features of the soon-to-be-finished KDE Partition Manager 1.1. Part one was about Mount Management, part two dealt with SMART Status Reports and part three offered a very technical look behind the scenes on the topic of Support For 4096-Byte Sectors.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Salix Live 13.0

        Salix is a Linux distribution based on Slackware that is simple, fast and easy to use. Salix is also fully backwards compatible with Slackware, so Slackware users can benefit from Salix repositories, which they can use as an “extra” quality source of software for their favorite distribution. Like a bonsai, Salix is small, light & the product of infinite care.

    • Red Hat Family

      • On Teaching Open Source Development

        DeKoenigsberg is probably better known–for now–by his last job title: Senior Community Architect at Red Hat. It was more from this experience that he addressed the OSS 2010 audience on Open Source Projects, Educational Opportunities.

        DeKoenigsberg told the attendees of educators, researchers, and students that academic institutions are missing a real opportunity for instruction if they aren’t teaching with open source software. For one thing, working on a 5,000-line senior capstone project nowhere near conveys the sheer scale and complexity of a million-line project. And an open source project is the only kind of project a student developer could even get near something that big.

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu 10.10 “Maverick Meerkat” Code Freeze In Place, Alpha 1 Coming Thursday

        Barely a few weeks after Canonical released Ubuntu 10.04 aka Lucid Lynx, they already announced plans for Ubuntu 10.10 aka Maverick Meerkat, with a release schedule aimed to launch Meerkat in October 2010.

      • Ubuntu Fun

        So I also installed the Ubuntu Netbook Remix on the Toshiba Netbook we have. Used Wubi as before. It was very slow (10+ minutes) on bootup however. Luckily the internet is full of information and a few minutes of googling produced this forum thread that had me change a setting in the BIOS. Now it boots quickly. There’s another page on How-To Geek about doing this install.

      • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter #195

        Welcome to The Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter. This is Issue #195 for the week of May 23rd -May 29th, 2010 and is available here.

        In this issue we cover:

        * Track the Desktop Team and UNE in Maverick
        * Ubuntu Server update for Maverick Meerkat
        * Ubuntu Foundations and Maverick Meerkat 10.10
        * Maverick Community Team Plans

      • Full Circle Side-Pod #1: Hello World… Where Am I?
      • A Sleek & Easy Way To Administer Ubuntu – Ubuntu Control Center

        As you know, Ubuntu and Linux are hugely configurable. Find some spare time and you can customize anything starting from the boot up messages to the gradients used on the buttons and the scroll bars. While one might not attempt such extreme feats very often, administration and configuration are standard tasks that you might perform every now and then.

      • Ubuntu enchancements expected by 10.10

        In recent Linux related news I have been reading about the Ubuntu Control Center (UCC) and the Ubuntu Application Menu (Global Menu). The projects looked extremely interesting so I decided to install them and give them a try. Note that directions for download and installation are provided in the links above.

      • Variants

        • Parsix GNU/Linux 3.5r0 ‘Frankie’

          Parsix team is proud to announce that the final Parsix GNU/Linux 3.5r0 ISO images are available for immediate download.

          This release provides a stable computing platform for your daily uses and tasks. Package repositories are synchronized with Debian testing repositories as of April 7, 2010. Frankie ISO images will not fit on CD and a DVD is required to burn them. These images are compiled using SquashFS 4.0 with LZMA compression and for the first time GRUB 2 is used as default Live-DVD boot loader. The kernel build system has been modified and improved vastly to produce better kernel packages.

        • Teach your kids Linux from an early age with Qimo linux for kids

          Qimo is a desktop operating system designed for kids. Based on the open source Ubuntu Linux desktop, Qimo comes pre-installed with educational games for children aged 3 and up. So If you want to teach your children to use Linux from an early age, Qimo is the perfect for your kids.

          Qimo’s interface has been designed to be intuitive and easy to use, providing large icons for all installed games, so that even the youngest users have no trouble selecting the activity they want.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • ubuntu jewelry
    • Nokia

      • Despite Intel backing, MeeGo Linux to support ARM chips

        MeeGo Linux is being developed as a platform for smartphones, netbooks, internet connected TVs, in-car systems, and other devices where Windows may not always be the best option. The project is backed by chip-maker Intel and smartphone maker Nokia. And so far, every device I’ve seen running MeeGo has had an Intel chip — usually a low power Intel Atom processor.

        But in an interview with The Inquirer, Nokia vice president Alberto Torres explained that MeeGo is an open platform and that it will be available for device makers to use on a wide variety of hardware. In fact, Nokia’s first MeeGo device will have an ARM-based chip rather than an Intel x86 processor.

      • N900 Video Call with Skype

        If you have graced my page before then odds are you know I love my N900. This past Wednesday Nokia released the PR 1.2 update for the N900 and one of the features they added was support for the front facing camera to make video calls via the VOIP services Skype and Google Talk. I made my first video call this evening on my N900 and it works quite well!

    • Android

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Asus launches netbook app store, drops Linux netbook hints

        The Asus App Store is basically a branded version of the Intel AppUp Center. It’s designed as a place where netbook users can go to find software that’s guaranteed to work well on devices with Intel Atom processors and small screens. Asus will preload the App Store software on all Windows netbooks starting in the second half of 2010.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source marks a new era for African independence

    This year marks the 50th anniversary of 17 African states gaining independence.

    Now, a wave of homegrown programmers, developers and software makers claim to be heralding a new era of African independence.

    Earlier this month, the Idlelo conference, organised by the Free Software and Open Source Foundation for Africa (FOSSFA), brought together the continent’s cleverest coding minds at Accra, in Ghana, to discuss new software opportunities in Africa.

    Unlike the bigger, foreign developers – who have mainly targeted the urban markets – the coders at this event looked at how to reach the rural, relatively poorer communities of Africa.

  • Oracle

    • Will Opensolaris 2010.06 be the next release?

      But wait. Today I just found in [osol-discuss] forums that Opensolaris 2010.06 will be expected to release on June 2010. The release date has not been stated yet but it is expected to be announced shortly after Oracle announces Fiscal Year results, which means in a couple of days or so.


    • Fellowship interview with David Reyes Samblas Martinez

      David Reyes Samblas Martinez is the founder of Spanish Copyleft Hardware store Tuxbrain, and attended the famous Open University of Catalunya. He’s also the subject of this month’s Fellowship interview, in which he answers questions on hardware manufacturing, e-learning and Free Software politics.

  • Openness

    • Chronicling the open source movement – one person at a time

      Whether open source is a license, a community or more is debatable, but what’s not is that none of it would be possible without the people behind it.

      Anyone who knows Linux knows the name Linus Torvalds. Free Software? Richard Stallman. Open Source Initiative? Eric Steven Raymond.

      There are many, many more names. Some well-known to people in the open source community, others who toil in relative anonymity.

      That’s why I liked the appeal for funding for Signal Boost: A Free/Open Source Narrative, on Kickstarter.


      A young woman, M.J. de Blanc, has picked up and moved to Boston to write a book. It’s the story of open source, but as she notes in her explainer video, not about FLOSS – it’s about FLOS, Free Libre Open Source. She left off the second S – software – for a simple reason: She wants to write about the people, not the programs.

  • Open Data

    • Analysis: this government is open to scrutiny

      Yet as new technologies have made it possible for governments to make information more accessible to the public, governments have become increasingly creative in inventing excuses to keep it hidden.

    • Open Data: Fantastic, But Not Enough

      In an unusual move for such a significant news item, the UK government announced over the weekend that they were ordering all government departments to embark on a voyage of transparency.

      There were some very good ideas in the announcement, including a mandate to publish details of all ITC procurements. And there is no doubt that a mandate for open data is a fantastic move.


  • When Google locked the door

    This is the story of how Google, for a period of three years, locked me out of their groups service, how I eventually found my way back in, and what it cost me.

    Yeah, I guess this is a bit off topic regarding to software development. However these days many of us store important data and value in services like Google’s. Services with terms like: “Google may stop providing the Services to you at Google’s sole discretion, without prior notice to you”. I guess I never took it too seriously, as the companies would probably get seriously bad PR, if they did something like that. Deleting emails for billions. My error was forgetting the case where you are the only person being locked out.

    I my case the lock wasn’t from email, but from Google Groups. Not as critical as email would have been, but still, well, rather inconvenient. The lockout meant that I was unable to manage the PyChess mailing list. I was unable to fight the, at that time, increasing spam level; and more importantly I couldn’t reply anybody in my community.

  • Science

    • Solar Scientists Agree That the Sun’s Recent Behavior Is Odd, but the Explanation Remains Elusive

      In very rough terms, the sun’s activity ebbs and flows in an 11-year cycle, with flares, coronal mass ejections and other energetic phenomena peaking at what is called solar maximum and bottoming out at solar minimum. Sunspots, markers of magnetic activity on the sun’s surface, provide a visual proxy to mark the cycle’s evolution, appearing in droves at maximum and all but disappearing at minimum. But the behavior of our host star is not as predictable as all that—the most recent solar minimum was surprisingly deep and long, finally bottoming out around late 2008 or so.

    • Breakthrough in Stem Cell Culturing

      For the first time, human embryonic stem cells have been cultured under chemically controlled conditions without the use of animal substances, which is essential for future clinical uses. The method has been developed by researchers at Karolinska Institutet and is presented in the journal Nature Biotechnology.

  • Environment

    • China-India Water Shortage Means Coca-Cola Joins Intel in Fight

      A fight breaks out as student Vikas Dagar jostles with dozens of men, women and children to fill buckets from a truck that brings water twice a week to the village of Jharoda Kalan on the outskirts of New Delhi.

      Three thousand kilometers (1,900 miles) away, near Xi’an in central China, power-plant worker Zhou Jie stands on the mostly dry bed of the Wei River, remembering when he used to fish there before pollution made the catch inedible.

    • Documents Show Early Worries About Safety of Rig

      Internal documents from BP show that there were serious problems and safety concerns with the Deepwater Horizon rig far earlier than those the company described to Congress last week.

    • ‘Top kill’ operation fails: BP
    • Gulf oil spill is public health risk, environmental scientists warn

      Prolonged exposure to crude oil and chemical dispersants is a public health danger, environmental scientists warned yesterday as BP spent a third day trying to initiate a “top kill” operation to cap the ruptured well on the sea bed.

    • BP’s ‘top kill’ mission halts the oil gush – but is it stable?

      A delicate “top kill” operation by BP appears to have halted the gush of oil and gas from its ruptured Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico, although experts warned that the underwater leak was still far from being permanently fixed.

    • Gulf Oil Leaks Could Gush for Years

      If efforts fail to cap the leaking Deepwater Horizon wellhead in the Gulf of Mexico (map), oil could gush for years—poisoning coastal habitats for decades, experts say.

    • BP clashes with scientists over deep sea oil pollution

      BP has challenged widespread scientific claims that vast plumes of oil are spreading underwater from its blown-out rig in the Gulf of Mexico. The denial comes as the oil giant prepares for a new operation to put an end to the worst oil spill in US history – which could see the leak get worse before it gets better.

      The company’s challenge to several scientific studies is likely to put it further at odds with an increasingly angry Obama administration, which has accused it of playing down the size of the leak in an effort to limit possible fines.

    • Nuclear arms treaty agreed with hope for deal on Middle East

      The 189 member nations of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) last night struck a deal on a series of small steps towards disarmament, including a 2012 conference to discuss a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East.

    • Maldives president calls for direct action over climate change

      A 1960s-style campaign of direct action must ignite on the streets as a catalyst for decisive action to combat climate change, according to President Mohamed Nasheed of the imperilled Maldives. Nasheed told the Hay festival that it was the United States, not China, that was the biggest obstacle to a global agreement to check carbon emissions.

      Nasheed, who held an underwater meeting of his cabinet last autumn and is presiding over the relocation of people from some islands because of the effects of warming oceans and rising sea levels, put his hopes in the emergence of “huge” grassroots action after the failure of talks in Copenhagen in December.

  • Finance

    • Feds: Man’s global Ponzi scheme ‘massive,’ mocking

      A Canadian national who the U.S. government says swindled $70 million from 40,000 investors on six continents carried out the same kind of Ponzi scheme the one-time bank robber mocked on his website, federal investigators allege.

    • Can the EU survive Europe’s crisis?

      Forged out of the ashes of World War II and the end of the Cold War, the European Union was meant to create peace and prosperity across the region. But Europe’s debt crisis has laid bare deep financial and cultural divisions within the 27-nation bloc that may never be bridged.

      The fateful decision to make the EU effectively a halfway house – tying its member countries into a joint currency and interest rate decisions, while allowing them to retain control over national budgets and taxes – has left the fractured grouping at a crossroads.

    • Blacks in Memphis Lose Decades of Economic Gains

      A single father, he worked for FedEx and also as a custodian, built a handsome brick home, had a retirement account and put his eldest daughter through college.

      Then the Great Recession rolled in like a fog bank. He refinanced his mortgage at a rate that adjusted sharply upward, and afterward he lost one of his jobs. Now Mr. Banks faces bankruptcy and foreclosure.

    • Debt-induced stress continues for many Americans

      The economy trudges ahead yet debt dogs many Americans, stressing them out even as they firm up their own financial foundations.

      There are new jobs produced but old worries persisting for people despite belt-tightening and boosted savings, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll.

    • 3,000 Pages of Financial Reform, but Still Not Enough

      FOR decades, until Congress did away with it 11 years ago, a Depression-era law known as Glass-Steagall ably protected bank customers, individual investors and the financial system as a whole from the kind of outright destruction we’ve witnessed over the last few years.

    • Shorting Reform
    • More of Michael Lewis on Bank Reform
    • The Consensus on Big Banks Shifts, But Not at Treasury
    • Cuomo’s HUD career under scrutiny
    • Grandma Lehman Sues Big Bad Wolf JPMorgan

      The complaint begins by explaining the relationships between Lehman and JPMorgan. Lehman was a full-service stock broker. JPMorgan provided clearing services for Lehman’s securities business. JPMorgan was the lead lender and administrator on a $2 billion unsecured revolving line of credit. Lehman also had a large derivatives portfolio with Jamie Dimon’s bank.

    • The SEC and the Python
  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • German Publishers Want Censorship Talks With Apple

      While the magazine publishers may rightly be concerned about private control of a platform that many of them are counting on for their long-term salvation, the German state is at the very least ambivalent about the subject of censorship. This is the country that has banned Wikileaks, sought a ban on violent games, and voted to censor child porn (only to have the president kill the ban as unconstituitonal).

    • Bangladesh ‘blocks Facebook’ over political cartoons

      Bangladesh has blocked access to Facebook after satirical images of the prophet Muhammad and the country’s leaders were uploaded, say reports.

    • Pakistan & Facebook are friends again

      Pakistan lifted a ban on Facebook on Monday after officials from the social networking site apologized for a page deemed offensive to Muslims and removed its contents, a top information technology official said.

  • Copyrights

    • Ofcom unveils anti-piracy policy

      Lists of Britons who infringe copyright are to be drawn up by the UK’s biggest ISPs, under proposals from the regulator Ofcom.

    • Copyright: consumer versus artists

      This week Ottawa will try once again to update Canada’s copyright law that Industry Minister Tony Clement says has holes big enough to “drive a Mack truck through.”

      The Copyright Act of Canada has not had a significant rewrite since 1988, at a time when the Internet was still in its infancy and an iPad was just a twinkle in some inventor’s eye.

      The trick — one the Conservatives and Liberals before them couldn’t master — is to find a balance between right of consumers’ and the rights of the artists or creators to not have their work ripped off.

    • Sneak Peek at Canada’s New Copyright Bill

      Media reports last week indicated that the government plans to introduce its long-awaited copyright reform bill within the next few days. The bill is sure to spark widespread debate since all Canadians — whether consumers, creators, businesses, or educators — have a significant stake in the outcome.

      The internal dynamics that led to the bill are by now fairly well known. Industry Minister Tony Clement, emboldened by last summer’s copyright consultation that generated unprecedented public participation, argued for a forward-looking, technology neutral bill with flexibility as a core principle. Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore advocated for a U.S.-style protectionist approach, with priority given to digital locks that can be used to limit copying, access, and marketplace competition.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – VT – Parallax (3/18/2004)


Links 31/5/2010: Linux 2.6.35 RC1, KDE e.V. Board

Posted in News Roundup at 5:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • New president at Linux Australia
  • Linux Australia chief Turnbull steps down

    Turnbull told iTWire that he was moving to the United States to take up a role as director of operations at Puppet Labs, which provides services for the open source Puppet configuration management system.

  • Washing the windows myths. Service and support.

    That, if you use open source products then you will be left high and dry out on a limb without a leg to stand on. They build up on and play with the indecisive Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) you might have regarding usage of open source, in particular, Linux.

    Lets have a look at what support there is for operating systems and programs out there. For windows and microsoft related programs there is, of course, microsoft. Only microsoft, no other company or entity can support microsoft programs. This leaves people using microsoft products at the mercy of microsofts whims and whether their problem will be fixed or not is all dependent on microsoft. Sure there are plenty of companies that advertise their support services. These companies can only deal with configuration problems. Real bugs in the programs can only be “fixed” by microsoft and no other. Most of the time this fix, unless you have a lot of money to throw around, will, at best, be released in the next months update cycle. Probably the fix will wait until the next version release or maybe even not at all.

    Open source is a completely different story. There are several companies which support open source. These companies provide the same sort of support which microsoft does and more. Generally the support the company provides is focused on their own released Linux distributions.

  • The application of Linux simplification

    Recently a new client called with a Quickbooks issue. I should probably mention that I do a LOT of quickbooks (POS and Financials) troubleshooting. Most generally this work is done in Windows. Sometimes, however, we get a call about a Quickbooks Linux server. That was the case this time. What was going on was the client’s machines were all losing connectivity to the server. So they called me in. I gained remote access to the server and started poking around.

  • Linux: It’s the Freedom You Big Dummy

    We have the freedom to choose the operating system we use on our computers. We have the freedom to choose the software that’s installed in that operating system. We also have the freedom to say “No” to non-free software.

  • An Auto Company Zips Along the Fast Lane with FOSS

    Started in March 2009, Carnation Auto—a multi-brand automobile sales and services network set up by the former MD of Maruti Suzuki, Jagdish Khattar—offers car owners a wide array of services covering servicing, mechanical repairs, body repairs, accessories, insurance, pre-owned cars, car customisation solutions, etc. From rectifying scratches and bumps, to transforming off-the-assembly-line cars into one-of-a-kind attention-grabbers with accessories, Carnation has grown to 15 hubs across 10 cities, with more than 700 employees —all in a matter of nine months.


    Looking ahead, Carnation hopes to deploy open source on its existing desktops. “We have about 20 desktops per hub. We are looking at an open source desktop platform in these hubs in about a year. We are looking at tremendous cost savings, and the easy management of front-end users’ systems, which are like points of sale,” quips Agarwal. It sure is life on the fast lane for Carnation!

  • Desktop

    • Semantics is Restricting Linux Desktop Adaptation

      I started getting emails from her, complaining that she couldn’t “download” anything. Remember that to the Windows user, “download” and “Install” have some pretty blurred lines. The “run” option once the download is completed usually keeps the user in the dark as to where the actual download landed. They most times don’t touch the EXE file…Windows does that for them.

      Bless their hearts.

      So I explained to her that Linux handled the installation of software differently. I took over an hour to “familiarize” her with her desktop and the functions therein.

    • More Moving Thoughts: Adding to Rikki Kite’s blog entry

      Last week my colleague Rikki Kite wrote a good blog entry on how to gracefully introduce a person to Linux. She pointed out that just telling a person to “move to Linux” is not enough, and that most people will “get lost in the move”. She used an analogy of moving a friend to a new house.


      You might also introduce them to their local “Linux users group” that may have meetings in their area, so after a while these people can also become “mentors” to the user user.

  • Server

    • Cray-1 resurfaces in pieces on eBay

      What are the odds that two different sellers on both sides of the Pond would find themselves peddling some of the processing modules of the original Cray-1 vector supercomputer?

    • Nearly every supercomputer runs Linux

      Announced earlier today, the 35th list of the top 500 supercomputers contains few surprises, just that Linux has almost total domination of the list.

  • Audiocasts

  • Ballnux

  • Kernel Space

    • Guest Blog: Rares Aioanei – Weekly Kernel Review

      Howdy y’all, and welcome to this weeks’s kernel news – OpenSUSE style!

      -We begin our week by noticing a patch proposed by Larry Finger on opensuse-kernel@ that fixes a typo and a reference to websites for instructions; after a correction by Jiri Benc, the patch was committed to the master branch.

      -On vger.kernel.org, the week(end) starts with a git pull request from Ryusuke Konishi working on the nilfs2 updates for 2.6.35, Steven Rostedt with perf, of course, OpenSUSE’s Greg with TTY patches for .35 and the same Greg with a series of 38 patches for the driver-core tree also targetting 2.6.35.

    • Linux 2.6.35-rc1

      It’s been two weeks, and so the merge window is closed. There may be a few trees I haven’t pulled yet, but the bulk should all be there. And please, let’s try to make the merge window mean something this time – don’t send me any new pull request unless they are for real regressions or for major bugs, ok?

      This time, there are no new filesystems (surprise surprise), but there’s certainly been filesystem work both on an individual FS layer (btrfs, cept, cifs, ext4, nfs, ocfs2 and xfs) and at the VFS layer (superblock and quota cleanups in particular).

    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA Issues 256.29 Linux Beta Driver

        Last week NVIDIA had released their first 256.xx series Linux driver in the form of the 256.25 Beta release, but as we discovered, it boasted some major performance regressions for a NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250M and other mobile ASICs. This issue has now been resolved thanks to a new beta release.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Light Desktop Environment for Linux: LXDE (For Ubuntu and Fedora)

      While XFCE also seems to offer similar level of performance enhancement, I would prefer LXDE over XFCE for following reasons:

      * LXDE offers bolder colors and looks a tad bit brighter than XFCE.
      * XFCE asked me to unlock the keyring every time I logged in, to connect to the Wireless, LXDE had its own wireless manager interface and it didn’t bother me with saving/retrieval of keyring.

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • New In KDE Partition Manager 1.1 (II): SMART Status Reports

        KDE Partition Manager 1.1 gains support for reading, analyzing and reporting the SMART status of disks. SMART (sometimes also written as S.M.A.R.T.) is an acronym for “Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology”. In plain English it is a monitoring system for hard drives and its intention is to give the computer user a chance to take action before an impending hard drive failure — the action being to copy his data to another disk, of course.

      • New In KDE Partition Manager 1.1 (III): Support For 4096-Byte Sectors

        Hard drives are getting bigger and bigger, a trend that leads to some technical challenges hard to overcome without user-noticable changes. The increase in hard disk size means that the areal density (the number of bits stored per square inch on the drive) also increases heavily, which is a good thing at first glance: The higher the areal density the faster the same amount of data can be read and written. Thus the drives not only get larger, they also get faster.

      • The KDE e.V. Board, May 2010

        As we’re having a board meeting in the KDE e.V. office in Berlin, we thought we’d take a photo for posterity.

      • KTorrent First BitTorrent Client To Adopt Open Source uTP

        In March the uTorrent team released the long-awaited version 2.0 of their popular BitTorrent client which introduced several significant changes.

        One of the novelties in the new uTorrent release was uTP, a new and improved implementation of the BitTorrent protocol which is designed to be network friendly. Critics, however, have labeled the new release as unfair, which has resulted in the client being banned from several private BitTorrent trackers.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Fedora

      • Making free pay

        In several ways, Red Hat already plays the free game well. Out of Fedora’s 21,676,499+ users, if only a 1/100 of a percent ever contribute any content that lands in Red Hat Enterprise Linux, it is a win for Red Hat. It also behooves Red Hat to pay attention to CentOS’s rpm repositories when rolling up the latest updates. As far as I know, Red Hat pays nothing to the CentOS project yet Red Hat can use CentOS as a product development source.

      • Becoming a Fedora contributor

        I became a Fedora contributor after experiencing what I felt was a highly polished distro and outstanding support from the Fedora user community – my Fedora profile can be viewed here. I had attempted to become a contributor for another distro, but the process required to do so ended up being so long and difficult that I just gave up and moved on. I felt that, if they really wanted help, their join process would have been much easier and their people would have been more helpful.

      • Public Service Announcement
      • Fedora 13 Xfce Spin…get it while it’s hot!

        There were not a lot of vast changes in this cycle, but there were some nice tweaks and of course all the goodness of F13 as a base.

      • Fedora 13 – interview and first look

        In general, I like the way the Fedora team approaches security. The installer insists on setting a root password and creating a regular user account. The distro enables SELinux out of the box and has convenient tools for managing SELinux policies. I like that encrypting partitions in the installer is very easy and intuitive. On the live CD edition, the firewall is enabled and OpenSSH turned off, though the firewall port for SSH is left open in case the user wishes to turn on the service later. The only quirk I found was non-root users had the ability to reboot or halt the machine. This probably isn’t an issue for people logged in locally; after all it would be annoying to have to switch to the root account just to shut down the computer you are sitting in front of. However, the regular user accounts can also halt the machine remotely if secure shell is enabled without suing to root, a potential problem for the unaware admin.

        For the most part, Fedora 13 feels very similar to Fedora 12, a stable, modern and well put-together operating system. However, there are some things which stood out that I feel the need to complain about. Generally I don’t like to focus on hardware compatibility, but Fedora 13 was a big regression for me, especially on the laptop. It took more resources, performed slower than the last release and didn’t work with some of the hardware Fedora 11 and 12 handled previously. Forcing users to download the entire DVD to choose their root file system is also, in my opinion, a poor design choice, one other distros with live CDs have avoided. Those problems aside, I generally liked my time with the latest Fedora, the project provides a good balance of new software with tried and true configuration tools. Worth a look if you’re interested in trying new technology or would like to experience a polished SELinux implementation.

      • Fedora core linux 13 “goddard” mini review

        The Fedora Project has been running since 2003 after Red Hat Linux was discontinued. With Red Hat Enterprise Linux being Red Hat’s official distribution, the Fedora project has since 2003 catered to the needs of the average desktop user looking to run a stable and free operating system which did everything he wanted and more. Distrowatch rates Fedora as the second most popular Linux based operating system after Ubuntu.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Project News – May 31st, 2010
      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • A look at Ubuntu–and at how Linux can appear to beginners

          One other data point to that effect: After installing Linux on the Dell and Sony laptops noted in the column (in addition to testing an in-place upgrade from the copy of Ubuntu 9.10 I’d installed on another Dell last year), I took that first Dell on last week’s reporting trip to San Francisco–then didn’t boot into Windows until Thursday morning. Everything you read here from Monday through Wednesday of that week was done in Linux. I finally switched back to Windows to write my column, since that required running remote editing software that doesn’t work (or I don’t know how to work–anybody have advice on Citrix in Ubuntu?) in Linux.

        • Variants

          • Lubuntu 10.04 – Distro Review

            Lubuntu has come a long way from it’s first release with 9.10 just last year. This 10.04 release is a fantastic addition to the world of light weight Linux distros and just like the others in the *buntu family I have no doubt it will adopted by many for use on slower/older computers.

          • Linux Mint 9 LXDE RC released!
          • REVIEW: Peppermint – Cloud/Lightweight distro & considering the cloud?

            A strongly recommended distro which not only gives a solid desktop experience that is capable of handling any task you throw at it, but also introduces you to cloud computing in a very non-committal way.

            Just like many of the distro’s I feature here, I encourage you to support this project, the hard work and professionalism this distro displays for me means its one I will be following with great interest in the future and as far as Ubuntu derived distro’s go, this is up there with the best of them.

            I have been contacted by the devs behind Peppermint and have the pleasure of saying that a Q&A session will follow in a future article.

          • Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx (Netbook Edition)

            For the last couple of Ubuntu releases I’ve been running the full desktop edition on my netbook (Acer Aspire 1). These have run fairly well, and I’ve even had Compiz configured to run the cube and other eye-candy such as wobbly windows – although this may in part be due to its slightly upgraded spec (1.5gb ram). However despite swapping Firefox for Google Chrome there were some aspects that were disappointingly slow, this was regardless of the processor-hungry features that I had running. As a result I decided to give the Ubuntu Netbook Edition a try.


            The other advantage of upgrading to 10.04 is that this version has long term support (LTS). Which means that Ubuntu will provide security updates for 3 years, as opposed to 18 months for standard releases.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Hardware/Chipsets

      • GPS-equipped ARM SoC gets more integrated

        CSR says it’s now shipping a Linux-compatible SoC (system on chip) incorporating an ARM11-based application processor and a 64-channel GPS engine. The SiRFatlasV offers 500 or 664MHz clock speeds, supports VGA-resolution video, supports DDR2-400 RAM, and includes an on-chip audio DAC and power management unit (PMU), the company says.

      • Ruggedized OpenVPX SBC runs Linux
      • Freescale Cortex-A8 SoC advances to 1080p video

        Freescale announced an heir to its i.MX51 family of ARM Cortex-A8 SoCs that boosts video decode performance to 1080p HD. The i.MX535 processor offers 720p video encode, up to 2GB of external memory, and improved peripheral support including new DDR3, SATA, and LVDS, and is compatible with Android, Linux, Windows Embedded CE, and Chromium.

    • eReader

      • Thinner Kindle — Coming Soon?

        For those of you who think that the Kindle’s 1/3 of an inch thick architecture is just too thick, you may be able to check out a new slimmer Kindle come August this year. According to a Bloomberg.com article, Amazon.com plans to introduce the next version of the Kindle electronic-book reader.

      • Sony To Release eReader In Asia/Pacific Markets

        In each country the company said it will work with local retailers, publishers and distributors to introduce the Reader along with local content.

      • $200 Android tablet offers Barnes and Noble access

        Digital photo frame (DPF) maker Pandigital announced an Android-based tablet that offers integrated access to Barnes & Noble’s eBookstore. The $200 Pandigital Novel 7-inch Color Multimedia eReader is equipped with an ARM11 processor, 1GB RAM, a 7-inch, 800 x 600 touchscreen, as well as 802.11n and SD expansion.

    • Phones

      • Motorola Android Tablet May Be Coming Soon

        Motorola is looking at developing a new tablet-style product that could run Google’s Android operating system, a company exec recently revealed. Motorola co-CEO Sanjay Jha was answering questions at a conference when the topic came up.

      • Psst: Dell’s Streak Isn’t an Android Tablet

        Dell is almost ready to release its first Android tablet, the 5-inch Dell Streak. There’s just one problem, though: The Streak isn’t really an Android tablet. It’s an Android phone.

    • Nokia

      • The 5-minute guide to the MeeGo mobile OS

        In the history of stupid names for Linux software, MeeGo tops them all. But what is it exactly?

        That’s not a very nice thing to say! But yes, MeeGo is an unusual name. OK, it’s stupid.

        It’s a new project that brings together Moblin, a name that you wouldn’t call great, but neither was it embarrassing, and Maemo, a name that kept making people disagree over whether it was pronounced Maymo, Maimo or Meemo. Cunningly, MeeGo tops them both in the silly name stakes.

      • MeeGo OS – A (Faster) Alternative to Windows on Your Netbook

        Steve Jobs may disagree but I think netbooks are fantastic. They’re more functional than a phone and more portable than a laptop, and feature a full keyboard to boot.

        Netbooks are capable of running regular operating systems, but I’ve recommended time and time again that users find a netbook-centric operating system to get the most they can out of their systems.


        Well, MeeGo 1.0 is now available for download, and while the merger has slowed development a little, I must say I’m impressed with this operating system (although I’m still not sure it’s ready for prime time.)

      • MeeGo for Netbooks released — and it’s fast

        The Intel- and Nokia-backed MeeGo project released version 1.0 of an open source operating system optimized for Intel Atom-based netbooks. MeeGo v1.0 for Netbooks — which we found to be speedy — comprises Google’s Chrome browser, Nokia’s Qt 4.6, plus a variety of other tools, and will be followed next month by a handset version, says the project.


        Liliputing’s Brad Linder also tried MeeGo Netbook and found the operating system to be “really, really fast.” The OS will run even faster when it is installed on a hard drive rather than a USB stick, he added.

      • MeeGo Linux 1.0 released for netbooks – Video
    • Android

      • Why I Switched from iPhone to Android

        Ultimately, my reason for switching can be summed up thusly: I used to feel that, to get the best smartphone software and hardware experience, I had to live in Apple’s walled garden. Now, the walls are getting higher, and life outside the garden looks better and better. I can get a really great smartphone without some company telling me I can’t switch out the keyboard, or the dialer, or the voice mail program, or the browser. I can get a world-class smartphone without putting up with AT&T’s spotty network. I don’t have to put up with supporting a company that enforces its restrictive App Store policies in a seemingly arbitrary and draconian manner. I’m not sure I agree with those who say Google has “leapfrogged” Apple in phone development, but I certainly think they’re doing a comparably good job.

      • Android Fanboys Have Arrived. And That’s A Good Thing

        If you’ve ever said anything good about an Apple product, you’ve likely been called one. But a new class of fanboy has emerged — one that, amazingly, may be be equally as passionate. The Android Fanboy. And it’s actually a good thing.

        In case you missed my review of the new HTC EVO 4G phone yesterday, be sure to read some of the comments. As stated, I was coming at it from the perspective of a dedicated iPhone user. Long story short, I don’t really like the device. To the Android lovers, I might as well have killed Bambi.

    • Tablets

      • ARM9-based $100 Android tablets to light up Computex

        Next week at Computex, Via Technologies’ WonderMedia Technologies subsidiary will demonstrate low-cost Android-based tablets based on the ARM9-based, 600MHz WonderMedia Prizm processor and related “SmartTouch” reference designs. The tablets will be manufactured by a variety of Chinese manufacturers, and sold for as low as $100 in the U.S. later this year, says Bloomberg.

      • Shogo Linux Tablet, a Potential iPad Killer

        Shogo Linux Tablet, a Potential iPad Killer: There is a new tablet PC in town that runs Linux, and its name is Shogo. Made by realease, a Hong Kong-based platform provider, this device features a 10-inch capacitive touchscreen and will be available in two models: one has a Freescale i.MX37 (ARM 11) processor; the other model is loaded with a Freescale i.MX51 (ARM Cortex A8) processor.

      • French mini-tablet runs Android

        The French firm EviGroup says it is now shipping an Android-based tablet with a five-inch touchscreen. Running on a ARM11-based 667MHz Samsung S3C6410, the $250 “Evi Wallet” offers 256MB RAM, 1GB flash, a microSD slot, and 802.11n WiFi, says the company.

      • Five-inch tablet runs Android, Linux

        The Aoson M500 mini-tablet runs on a 624MHz Marvell PXA303 processor, and offers a five-inch resistive touchscreen, plus 3G, WiFi, and GPS wireless capabilities, says the story.

    • OLPC

      • Microsoft snubs the OLPC tablet

        THE ONE LAPTOP PER CHILD project has said that its upcoming XO-3 tablet will not use a Windows operating system.

        OLPC’s chairman Nicholas Negroponte has always wanted the Vole to join the party. Last year he said that the organization was urging Microsoft to make a full version of Windows available for the earlier XO-2, which was based on an ARM processor.

Free Software/Open Source

  • FOSS: Free and Open Source Software

    FOSS is an abbreviation for Free and Open Source Software. In other words, FOSS is software whose source code is openly available. People can install and even modify FOSS as they please, so long as they follow a few basic requirements listed in the license. This arrangement makes FOSS the opposite of proprietary software, and one of the most original developments in the history of IT.

    FOSS is a combination of two terms, free software and open source. Both free software and open source refer to software that is licensed in the same way, but the separate terms imply a difference in the reasons for the licensing.

    For most free software supporters, the licensing is a way to ensure software freedom, or the ability of users to control their computers and their contents. By contrast, for most open source supporters, the licensing is a way to improve the quality of software. The open source argument is that, because the source code is available, bugs will be more easily discovered — or, as Eric S. Raymond put it, “with enough eyes, all bugs are shallow.”

  • Top Open Source Tools For Writers

    In this day and age, with all things going digital, the world of writing is getting a little smaller–just ask many of the former newspaper writers and editors beating the bricks out there. Still, good writers will always be with us, and tools for writing continue to evolve. In the open source arena, there are many great writerly applications available. Here are some good resources for finding them.

  • Social

    • Will an open-source alternative to Facebook actually work?

      The anti-Facebook movement has created a level of interest in open-source solutions to the privacy issue where virtually none has existed before.

      After I wrote about the Diaspora project a few weeks ago, I was contacted by Michael Chisari of the Appleseed Project, which is basically the same thing and predates Diaspora by several years. Reason virtually no one had heard of it was because Chisari had spent months developing the entire project himself and had to put it on hold because he, well, reached the point where he couldn’t finish it alone with no one really interested in it.

    • Mark Zuckerberg: I Donated to Open Source, Facebook Competitor

      You might expect that Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg would dismiss the four NYU college students who want to take on Facebook’s dominance of social networking by building a distributed, open alternative that includes a way for people to run their own servers.

      But instead, Zuckerberg said he donated to the Diaspora project, adding to the $190,000 it has raised, in part because he appreciates their drive to change the world.

  • Events

    • Small and Fast Wins

      Ghana is one of those “emerging economies” that I sometimes discuss, with people trying desperately to get ahead and utilizing Free Software to get there.

      Ghana has more problems than just trying to decide whether they should use Free Software. The Internet backbone to their country (and surrounding countries) is inadequate for the number of people it serves, and the prices for the Internet is pretty daunting, so downloading a copy of any of the distributions is both expensive and slow.

      Fortunately I was able to get my friends at Red Hat to sponsor about 500 Fedora CDs for the conference and some university training that I did after the conference. That was the good news.

    • Libre Graphics Meeting 2010

      Already the fifth edition, Libre Graphics Meeting continues to grow and to become more relevant. The meeting was held in Brussels this year, in a great venue: De Pianofabriek. Exactly the right size, cosy, comfortable, engaging and located in a lively neighbourhood. While LGM was going on, parts of this cultural centre were used by kung-fu, folk dancing and classical music classes. There was some good eco beer to be had in the canteen as well.

    • Software Freedom Day Melbourne 2010

      Software Freedom Day is an event held all over the world to celebrate and raise awareness of free software and open source software. Software Freedom Day Melbourne is on Saturday 18 September 2010, 10am–4pm at the State Library of Victoria.

    • Webinar on VC funding for OSS-related vendors
  • Mozilla

    • Mozilla straps on Jetpack 0.4

      Jetpack 0.4 includes four new high-level APIs for coders to play with. The open source organisation said it had held back some APIs that it had planned for this release of the add-on software development kit.

  • Databases

  • Oracle

    • What is an office suite?

      When one executes a Google search on the term “office suite” the first non-ad post which appears is OpenOffice.Org. Now sponsored by Oracle, the OpenOffice.Org suite provides free software for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, and other desktop productivity tools. It’s commercial version is now called Oracle Open Office.

      Market share for such a product has been traditionally tricky considering that it is free to download and redistribute. Moreover big vendors like IBM and smaller folk since Open Office Suite have re-banded OpenOffice.Org with other free and non-free components. By all means, I applaud everyone who gets in the business of marketing and selling OpenOffice.Org.

    • Oracle adds support for open-source R

      R was initially created by Ross Ihaka and Robert Gentleman at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. It now has a sizable community of users, as well as a large number of add-on packages.

      The new interface will join existing community-developed R packages for Oracle, including a database driver and a user interface.

    • Oracle kills AMD Opteron on Sun iron

      Oracle is abandoning AMD’s Opteron processors, according to a person familiar with the company’s server plans.

      The new owner of Sun Microsystems will not use the new Opteron 6100 and impending Opteron 4100 processors in future Sun Fire x64 servers, and all existing Opteron servers will be discontinued.

    • New: OOo-DEV 3.x Developer Snapshot (build DEV300m79) available
  • BSD

    • FreeBSD 8.1 Enters Beta; Final Coming In July

      FreeBSD 8.0 was released in November, but now the first update in the 8.x series is approaching. FreeBSD 8.1 has entered beta and is expected for final release around July.

      The FreeBSD 8.1 schedule can be found at FreeBSD.org. Before making the July release, two release candidates are expected in June. There is also a Wiki page that’s tracking what needs to be done to this point release.

    • DesktopBSD – a new start

      This is good news for the FreeBSD world, FreeBSD advocacy and the FreeBSD project in general, and current DesktopBSD users in particular:

      According to the DesktopBSD website development of this KDE-based and FreeBSD based, user-friendly system will be restarted / continued by a group of developers


  • Open Data

    • Tim Berners-Lee and Nigel Shadbolt speak out on web institute axing

      In a statement issued today, the pair — who were key in driving through changes in government that led to the creation of the data.gov.uk website and the freeing of Ordnance Survey maps and Royal Mail postcode information — say that “the future remains bright” for the web science project, and that they are convinced that open data will become increasingly important to government.

  • Open Hardware

    • Willow Garage shows how open source is supposed to work

      So Willow Garage is not the only open source robotics effort. Gostai in France offers Urbi, an AGPL system that can be used to build small robots. USC has The Player Project, used mainly for education.

      What all this really represents is hope. It’s at the bottom of any cycle where America really shines. Apollo began at a time when the Soviet Union seemed to have beaten us to space with Sputnik. Open source rose to prominence from the dot-bomb.

    • Willow Garage’s Latest Robot Packs Up For Stanford
    • BeagleBoard to gain 1GHz SoC, Ethernet

      Earlier this year, the BeagleBoard project released a faster BeagleBoard with the newer 720MHz version of the OMAP3530 (Rev. E). As with the earlier BeagleBoard, it ships with a Linux board support package (BSP).


  • Security/Aggression

  • Environment

    • Halliburton & BP – Is it time for the Corporate Death Penalty?

      President Barack Obama pretty much stated the obvious when he called the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico “a massive and potentially unprecedented environmental disaster.”

    • BP Blocking Media Access to Oil Disaster Sites
    • Managed News From the Gulf of Mexico

      It sounds like the crisis managers have learned the lessons of Gulf War and Iraq War media control only too well:

      The problem, as many members of the press see it, is that even when access is granted, it’s done so under the strict oversight of BP and Coast Guard personnel. Reporters and photographers are escorted by BP officials on BP-contracted boats and aircraft. So the company is able to determine what reporters see and when they see it….

    • What BP does not want you to see

      ABC News went underwater in the Gulf with Philippe Cousteau Jr., grandson of famous explorer Jacques Cousteau, and he described what he saw as “one of the most horrible things I’ve ever seen underwater.”

    • Energy expert: Nuking oil leak ‘only thing we can do’

      BP ‘totally in charge of the news’ about oil leak, energy expert says

      As the latest effort to plug the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico meets with failure, the idea of nuking the immediate area to seal the oil underground is gaining steam among some energy experts and researchers.

    • Markey: BP to Kill Top Kill Video Feed
    • Obama: ‘I take responsibility’

      “I take responsibility. It is my job to make sure that everything is done to shut this down,” Obama said. Saying he was angry and frustrated over the inability of BP and the federal government to contain the man-made disaster, Obama said daughter Malia, 11, on Thursday knocked “on my bathroom door and she peeks in her head and she says, “Did you plug the hole yet, Daddy?”

    • The Death Of The Fossil Fuel Companies – Sell Your Stock Now While It’s Still Worth Something

      I spent a lot of time working with engine companies, in getting their engines certified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board. I designed a range of 3-Way Catalytic Converters, worked to get a retrofit kit verified (you can read a copy of the interim verification here). I’ve worked with emission control systems for Diesel, Gasoline (Also called Petrol), Natural Gas, and Propane fueled internal combustion engines, used on a wide variety of machines. I’ve even done some work on automobiles. During this time I also worked with staff at both major U.S. agencies, and several of the minor ones (each state has it’s own environmental regulator) as well as Environment Canada.

    • Pockets of Architectural Freedom: A Resource Map for Finding Green Building Friendly Jurisdictions

      Those of you who watched Garbage Warrior will know a little about Michael Reynolds’ bid to create a legally safe space for architectural experiments. Here’s a fascinating map (plus an update) from the earthship website showing places “where permitting for environmentally friendly housing is quick and easy.”

    • Keep Lake Baikal alive

      Lake Baikal is a place of superlatives: the deepest, the oldest, the clearest, the cleanest, with the highest level of biodiversity, the largest volume (20%) of the total stock of freshwater in the world, and it is home to an endemic freshwater seal. For this reason Lake Baikal has been on the World Heritage List of UNESCO since 1996.

    • Govs show Indonesian forests the money: 4 billion fund for forest protection

      Indonesian forests got some love and some money this week.

      The money came in the form of a 4 billion USD fund contributed to by seven wealthy countries – US, UK, Norway, Germany, Australia, Japan and France – to be used for forest protection globally as part of REDD (reducing carbon emissions from deforestation and degradation). A program where developed countries provide funds to help developing ones protect their forests. (Deforestation contributes up to a fifth of global carbon emissions – so this money doesn’t just protect trees it protects our climate too!) In addition to the global fund, Indonesia will also receive 1 billion directly from Norway.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • The Hard Sell on Salt

      With salt under attack for its ill effects on the nation’s health, the food giant Cargill kicked off a campaign last November to spread its own message.

      “Salt is a pretty amazing compound,” Alton Brown, a Food Network star, gushes in a Cargill video called Salt 101. “So make sure you have plenty of salt in your kitchen at all times.”

      The campaign by Cargill, which both produces and uses salt, promotes salt as “life enhancing” and suggests sprinkling it on foods as varied as chocolate cookies, fresh fruit, ice cream and even coffee. “You might be surprised,” Mr. Brown says, “by what foods are enhanced by its briny kiss.”

    • Sex and the City 2: More Marketing, Less Appeal

      A New-Jersey-based skin care company, Repechage, offers a helpful guide explaining which of their products would be favored by each of the four female stars, and HBO’s “Shop Now” link to Sex and the City merchandise on their Web page leads visitors to page after page of movie-related merchandise, including “Sex and the City” foldable after-party ballet shoes, mugs, mousepads, charm necklaces, leopard print scarves, martini shakers, champagne flutes, cosmetic cases, and on and on.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Filter goes ahead regardless

      MINISTER for Communications Stephen Conroy has vowed to push on with his controversial internet filtering scheme, despite a barrage of criticism.

      Senator Conroy told The Sun-Herald that internet advocacy groups such as GetUp! were ”deliberately misleading” the Australian public about the scheme, which will refuse classification to illegal and socially unacceptable web pages. The legislation, which was expected to be passed before Parliament rises in June, has been delayed until the second half of the year while the government fine-tunes it.

      The government’s $128.8 million Cyber Safety policy includes forcing internet service providers to block access to a secret blacklist of website pages identified as ”refused classification” by the Australian police.

    • Peter Watts discusses his arrest at US border

      Tony from the StarShipSofa podcast sez, “Dr Peter Watts, Canadian science fiction writer talks openly to Sofanauts host Tony C. Smith about his arrest by US border guards, being maced, imprisoned, punched in the face and his feelings towards the people that did this. This is a very candid and open testament of what happened on that day and the days proceeding it.”

    • Europe exposes new data share deal with US

      The European Commission has issued its draft mandate – setting the ground rules to negotiate with the US to create a data sharing agreement.

      This must now be approved by the European Council before negotiations can begin.

    • IBM axes union workers – UPDATED

      The Australian Services Union has issued a statement claiming that IBM has told 19 of the workers at its Baulkham Hills Flight Deck centre that they are to be terminated. IBM issued its own statement late this afternoon claiming that its ability to meet client needs would be unaffected.

    • Pakistan may relax bans on YouTube, Facebook

      In a post on his recently opened Twitter account, Rehman Malik, the country’s interior minister, said that the Pakistan cabinet, which met on Wednesday, had accepted his proposal to block only the objectionable sections of the two Web sites.

    • Porn ban on net and mobiles mulled by South Africa

      A South African government official is proposing a complete ban on digitally distributed pornography.

  • Foxconn

    • Foxconn Makes Employees Promise Not to Kill Themselves

      A thirteenth employee jumped/fell from a high roof or ledge at Foxconn’s Shenzhen factory in rural China. The young woman reportedly survived and Foxconn is disputing reports that she meant to take her life.

      The factory in Shenzhen assembles Apple’s the majority of Apple’s iPads, iPhones, and iPods – it also produces products for HP and Dell among other manufacturers. After a string of suicides, Apple has become alarmed and has pressured Foxconn to seek solutions to stop the deaths.

    • Foxconn Plans Safety Nets, May Raise Pay After 12th Suicide
    • Foxconn website defaced after iPhone assembly plant suicides

      Nine of the workers at a Shenzen plant where iPhones and other hi-tech kit is assembled have killed themselves this year, with a further two unsuccessful suicide attempts. In a satirical response, Foxconn’s human resources site was hacked with a spoof ‘We’re Hiring’ notice. A translation of the Chinese-language defacement by Shanghaiist reads:

      Foxconn — We’re Hiring

      Are you feeling down today? Do you feel like not living anymore? Do you want to know what it feels like to jump down from China’s model suicide jumping facility? Foxconn provides you the perfect environment to jump.

      All the many reasons to jump here have ensured at least one jump per week.

      Comprehensive press coverage guaranteed. to ensure your name travels ten thousand miles.

      What are you waiting for? Pick up your phone now and join Foxconn.

      Be the kickass twelfth jumper.

      You can do it.

      Hiring hotline: 514514514

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • December issue of the Open Source Business Resource

      The Two Locks of DRM

      When I am explaining DRM to politicians, I feel like I am Ralph Nader back in 1965. He explained that with an automobile accident there are two collisions: the car hits something, and the passenger hits the car. While automobile safety up to that point concentrated only on the first collision, it was quickly understood that safety features should concentrate on the second collision. This gave us dashboards that weren’t made out of metal, seatbelts, air bags, and other such second-collision safety features. We have the same problem with DRM where policy makers think there is only one “digital lock” being discussed, when in fact there are two and it is the lock they are less aware of that is the source of most of the controversy.

  • Copyrights

    • Entertainment Industry Needs New Business Model, IP Attorney Says

      The concept of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is a good one, considering the Internet has made piracy much more of a global problem. The Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus emphasized that when it released its international piracy watch list this month. And, of course, it’s helpful if the countries most affected by the problem approach it in a similar manner.

    • The Fight for Fair Copyright
    • QuestionCopyright
    • Internet Archive launches new service for the print-disabled: free access to over 1 million books, including current titles.

      The Internet Archive launched a new service yesterday, bringing free access to more than 1 million books in the specially designed format to support those who are blind, dyslexic or are otherwise print-impaired.

    • ACTA

      • Gallo report on future EU copyright: No compromise on our Freedoms!

        A few hours before the vote on the Gallo report regarding the future of EU copyright, the rapporteur, French sarkozyst Marielle Gallo, has tried to lead her colleagues into voting fake compromise amendments. Mrs Gallo tries to hide the clash between two very conflicting positions: on one hand, the rapporteur’s ultra-repressive logic against online filesharing – including the encouragement of the ACTA agreement and of private copyright police – and on the other hand, the understanding that a successful creative economy will be built with Internet users and not against them. It’s up to us, citizens, to help the members of the JURI committee to make the right decision by protecting fundamental freedoms and the public interest.

    • Digital Economy Bill

      • Digital Economy Act will not be repealed
      • Digital Economy Act will fail

        A survey from law firm Wiggin and Entertainment Media Research asked 1,592 UK consumers aged 15-54 if they thought the law change would mean anything to them. A third of those who admitted to downloading the odd file said that they would not change their behaviour even if the most direct action of Internet account “suspension” is implemented under the DEA. However they might change their minds when they have their Internet access cut off.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – PSA – Robots (1/22/2004)


Links 29/5/2010: KDE SC 4.5 Beta 1, Zenwalk Linux 6.4, Thunderbird 3.1 RC1

Posted in News Roundup at 6:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux System and Network Administration Bootcamp W/Free Laptop!

    Rapid growth of Linux into corporate and government IT environments is fueling the need for Linux certified professionals. CIOs and managers are eager to have Linux experts in their organizations. A training or certification provides a tangible mechanism for their hiring evaluation, as well as a means to market the prowess of organizations.

  • Linux Journal Insider – July 2010
  • QOTD: Should Sony be Sued for Removing Linux?

    Over the last few weeks, there’s been a lot of discussion surrounding Sony’s decision to remove Linux support from the PS3. Those inclined to sue over the removal of Other OS support say they purchased their PS3 because they could install Linux on it.

  • Desktop

    • Lindsay Lohan prohibited from installing Linux on court-ordered alcohol monitoring gadget

      A Los Angeles judge this week ordered Lindsay Lohan to wear an alcohol-detection ankle bracelet at all times, after the actress was convicted for driving under the influence. Last night, Ms. Lohan tweeted that she wished to bedazzle her Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor (SCRAM). The device isn’t pretty. Neither is alcoholism.

      Snip from the Los Angeles Times:

      “Can CHANEL please help me out by getting me some stickers to put on my scram bracelet so that I can at least wear a chic dress?! maybe!? x,” Lohan wrote.

      But the maker of the ankle bracelet warns that anything that affects the alcohol-monitoring device could be considered a violation and could trigger its tampering mechanism. So adorning the lightweight monitor with sequins or stickers could be fraught with problems for the fashionable actress.

      Guess that means you can’t install Ubuntu on it, either. Bummer.

    • What Happens When My Linux Breaks Down?

      This post is a summary of a conversation I had the other day with an acquaintance of mine. It started out with him asking me what I do for a living and ended up with me having to choke back tears of laughter. I hope you have the same reaction although I realize that it might be one of those, “You had to be there” moments.

    • My dad is a Linux user

      Yesterday, I installed Linux Mint on my dad’s laptop. With the exception of a couple of bits of poorly supported hardware, the installation went without a hitch. I think my dad was genuinely pleased with his new Linux installation and he commented that it was definitely faster than the old Windows XP installation, he added that he thought it looked fairly easy to use too.

    • More FUD about GNU/Linux Popularity

      These are just more trash statistics telling the world or at least anyone who wants to listen that GNU/Linux is not relevant. Real statistics with pedigree showed that GNU/Linux surpassed MacOS share back in 2003 and has not looked back.

    • Chickens Come Home to Roost

      This also indicates that those who tried GNU/Linux are happy enough to keep using it and they do not value the need for support from Novell highly and more continue to ask for GNU/Linux. GNU/Linux is simple, modular and reliable.

    • A Roomful of Meth-Addicted Monkeys

      During a quiet period my colleague and I happened to find ourselves comparing notes on our company-supplied laptops: Dell Latitude E6500s. My colleague, let’s call him Diglio, runs Windows 7 on his, and I am running Kubuntu 10.04. We were just sitting ourselves down in an empty conference room to take advantage of the CMU wireless to check our email.

      Diglio opened his laptop, which had been suspended, and nothing happened. Well, sort of. The fan came on, but not the screen. Nothing he could do would turn the screen on, he had to reboot.

      Watching that I said, “That happens to me sometimes too. I thought it was the Linux power management tools that were screwing up. Do you sometimes close the lid to suspend, stick the laptop back in your case only to find a very hot laptop a bit later when you realize that it didn’t suspend properly as well?”


  • HPC

    • Technical Computing

      89% of the top 500 high performance clusters run GNU/Linux and 1% run that other OS. That will not change any time soon.

    • SGI Introduces New Software Products to Enhance Manageability, Scale and Performance of SGI Hardware

      SGI ProPack 7 is the latest version of SGI’s suite of tools and libraries that enable industry-leading application performance on standard Linux(R) distributions. SGI software products are designed and built on open standards supporting Linux distributions from Red Hat(R) and Novell(R). SGI also integrates and certifies leading third-party software tools to provide best-in-class open software stacks for customers’ most demanding workloads.

  • Audiocasts

    • CAOS Theory Podcast 2010.05.28

      Topics for this podcast:

      *Licensing buzzes with Google, OSI, virtualization and the cloud
      *Open source barometer Black Duck sees growth in mobile, healthcare, government
      *New life for LinuxCare shows renewed vigor for Linux in clouds
      *Apache Hadoop support old and new with IBM, Datameer

    • FLOSS Weekly 121: Freenode

      History of IRC, the Peer-Directed Project Center, freenode and more.

      Guest: Jonathan Simpson

  • Ballnux

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Hatchet Job

      The testing Phoronix does may have some use but it is not a reflection on Linux in general just the filesystems and hardware that Phoronix uses that are quite narrow. The code in question is just a tiny percentage of Linux.

    • Linux Foundation Releases LinuxCon 2010 Schedule

      * Wim Coekaerts (Senior Vice President, Linux and Virtualization Engineering, at Oracle): Coekaerts will take a technical look at Linux at Oracle.
      * Rob Chandhok (President of Qualcomm Innovation Center, Inc.): Chandok will discuss the challenges in open source and mobile today.
      * Markus Rex (Senior Vice President and General Manager of Open Platform Solutions at Novell): Rex will speak about the changing nature of IT workloads on Linux.
      * Intel & Nokia: A joint keynote titled, “Freedom to Innovate: Can MeeGo’s Openness Change the Mobile Industry?”

    • Graphics Stack

      • ATI Catalyst 10.5 Comes with Support for SLED/SLES 11 SP1

        The latest ATI graphics drivers are here to satisfy the needs of the Linux gamers out there. ATI Catalyst 10.5 comes with preliminary support for SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop and Server 11 Service Pack 1. It also fixes quite a lot of Linux-specific issues and bugs. Other than that, it’s just a regular evolutionary update, nothing to write home about.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • KDE SC 4.5 Beta 1 released

        The KDE Project developers have released a first beta for version 4.5 of the KDE Software Compilation (KDE SC), a development preview of the next major release for the popular Linux and Unix desktop. According to the developers, the beta is aimed at “testers and those that would like to have an early look at what’s coming to their desktops and netbooks this summer”. The final version of KDE 4.5 is scheduled to be released in August, 2010.

      • First beta of KDE 4.5 SC released

        Good news for fans of KDE, the first beta of KDE SC 4.5 is now available for download. KDE has a history of introducing some of the most innovative features in each release. In KDE 4.4 we got tabbing support at the window manager level, making it possible for people to combine any two arbitrary windows from different applications, into one tabbed window.

      • KDE SC 4.5 Beta 1 Released
      • First Beta of KDE SC 4.5 Arrives

        Highlights of KDE SC 4.5.0 Beta 1:

        · Revamped notification area;
        · Added KWin-Tiling effect, which automatically places windows next to each other;
        · WebKit web browser engine can now be used in Konqueror;
        · Improved overall stability of the software components in KDE SC 4.5;
        · Many other amazing, new features!

      • Lancelot and KMail in 4.5

        Every once in a while I write a post related to relations between lancelot and kmail or kopete.

      • Panel icon sizes in KDE SC 4.5

        There were a lot of complaints when we decided to limit the size of icons placed on panels in plasma to 32×32 pixels.

        The reasoning behind limiting the size were requests from users who use vertical panels – vertical panels are usually made wider then standard panels, and icons would grow to 300×300 pixels taking up most of the space on the panel.

      • New In KDE Partition Manager 1.1 (I): Mount Management

        One of the most requested features after KDE Partition Manager’s initial release has been that users asked for a way to modify mount points from within the application. This came as a bit of a surprise to me because I would not have seen this feature to be in the immediate scope of a partition managing application. But, the user is king after all, and thus this will indeed be possible in KDE Partition Manager 1.1.

      • Trinity and the Challenges of Continuing KDE 3

        This morning, while having my usual Cafe Latte (albeit this time in Berlin instead of at home sweet home in Nijmegen), I read about the Trinity project, which is an effort to revive KDE 3. I think this project nicely shows the advantages of Free Software. While the vast majority of KDE contributors agrees that KDE 3 is a dead end, technologically, these two guys (according to the somewhat sparse information on the website) are trying to continue to support and feature development on KDE3. Now I see a couple of real challenges for this project:

        * Maintainance – KDE 3 is a large codebase. You need a good amount of people with domain knowledge of many different areas to effectively maintain a project like KDE. I see some of the first roadmap tasks for Trinity are updating the build system to deal with all the updated developer tools (e.g. newer autotools versions).

  • Distributions

    • Measuring the popularity of distros – Part 3 Torrents

      Continuing on with the theme of measuring the popularity of Linux distros, today we’ll go for another method. Linux Tracker is a website that provides a bit torrent tracker for various Linux distros and related projects.

      Another way of measuring popularity is to look at the number of seeders and leechers a torrent has (the number of people uploading/downloading the torrent at that moment) and the number of downloads it has had.

      While the only takes a smaller fraction of the downloads, as most people prefer to use HTTP downloads. These will also cater to the slightly more technically aware, as downloading via bit torrent is not quite as simple as downloading via HTTP. Another issue is that it is possible (and encouraged) for one person to be seeding multiple torrents at once, so someone could be seeding every single Ubuntu torrent on the site, even though it is only 1 user. Conversely someone could have downloaded the disc straight and then not seeded it at all. Projects with lots of DVDs/CDs (such as Ubuntu and Debian) will have more seeders together than a project with only 1 or 2 CDs.

    • Zenwalk

      • Zenwalk Linux 6.4 Is Finally Here

        Jean-Philippe Guillemin proudly announced last evening, May 27th, the immediate availability of the Zenwalk Linux 6.4 operating system. The new release is powered by Linux kernel, with the BFS scheduler, and the new XFCE 4.6.2 desktop environment. Cutting-edge packages and overall performance improvements are also present in this new release of the lightweight Zenwalk Linux distribution.

      • Zenwalk 6.4 is ready !

        Zenwalk 6.4 provides many enhancements at system and application levels, while confirming the maturity and features stability of Zenwalk. The brand new kernel is featuring the new BFS scheduler, designed for the best desktop interactivity on multi-core CPUs while taking the most of lower spec machines. You’ll notice better responsiveness of graphical applications, better realtime performance of sound applications (very low latency), and efficiency of niced commands (compilation tasks can really be niced in a way they don’t disturb other applications). Like its predecessor, Zenwalk 6.4 features EXT4 as main filesystem, and latest versions of most applications and desktop environments.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • [Full Circle Magazine] Issue 37

        This month:

        * Command and Conquer.
        * How-To : Program in Python – Part 11, Adding Screenlets, and Streaming Media.
        * Review – Lubuntu.
        * MOTU Interview – Stefan Lesicnik.
        * Top 5 – Tiling Window Managers.
        * plus: Ubuntu Women, Ubuntu Games, My Opinion, My Story, and all the usual goodness!

      • Variants

        • mintInstall 7.1.5: speed improvements

          A new version of the Software Manager is available in the repository. You can use the Update Manager to upgrade to it.

          The Software Manager was rewritten from scratch in Linux Mint 9. It’s a very complex application, and it can be improved in many ways. Today we tackled the time it takes for the application to start. Basically it needs to process some 30,000 packages, a growing number of comments (we’re receiving about 200 comments per day at the moment) and match all that in categories and do some other fancy processing… Because of all this, it’s far from being immediate.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux-Based Pandora Ships with 600 MHz ARM

      Although Pandora is promoted as “the most powerful gaming handheld,” the specs lean more towards an ultra-portable, pocket-sized PC. This portable rig can surf the Internet thanks to a built-in Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g wireless adapter, allow users to compose email using its 43-button QWERTY keyboard, and perhaps even export high-quality video to a TV thanks to its S-Video output jack. The Pandora sports a battery with a 10+ hour duration.

    • Nokia

      • Nokia refutes N900 poor sales claims

        According to an earlier Reuters report based on Gartner figures, Nokia only managed to sell less than 100,000 top-of-the-range N900 smartphones in its first five months on the market.

        However, Nokia has since told The INQUIRER that the original figure quoted by Reuters was incorrect, and that it actually sold more than 100,000 Nokia N900s in the first five weeks.

      • Intel and Nokia release MeeGo v1.0
      • Meego releases a netbook edition

        Meego is facing stiff competition from Google’s Android and Chrome operating systems, Canonical’s Ubuntu Netbook Remix and Microsoft’s Windows 7 Starter Edition. Like Canonical’s and Google’s products, Meego is based on the open source Linux kernel.

    • Android

      • IT Infrastructure: Android, Chrome Power Open-Source Google TV Platform

        More than 4 billion TV users exist in the world. Americans watch an average of five hours of TV per day.

      • Is Android the Closest Thing to a Linux Phone There is Ever Going to Be?

        Instead of Android being the best that Linux will ever get on a portable device, it’s actually the first step into having open systems on mobile platforms. As Android gets into the netbook and tablet market, it will only get better for Linux users. People will learn to trust these open platforms and find out that these work out just as well as other types of platforms. The flexibility felt with these will be superior to other platforms that are more closed and controlled where users can’t make personal choices.

      • What Makes Android Tick

        “The open operating system offered by Google doesn’t necessarily translate to openness for users,” Hazelton said. “In some cases when you lock down a smartphone, it’s almost like running around the Internet on AOL. It’s just like going back to the ‘walled garden’ on feature phones.”

        The idea of openness may have gotten away from Google with regard to Android, he said. Initially, the goal for Android was to create a mobile platform that would spotlight Google’s features — maps, search, cloud-based applications. The Nexus One is Google’s attempt to create just that phone, even though the versions of Android phones sold by other handset makers may not live up to the Googleplex’s ideal for a smartphone.

      • Motorola Droid 2 found in Verizon system, keyboard makes an online cameo? (update: specs)

        While we’ve got no way to confirm at the moment, here’s some proverbial food for thought. A friendly reader last night published in our comment thread for the two rumored Verizon-bound Motorola devices with the above picture (subtitles added by us), claiming the bottom image is the Droid 2′s upgraded QWERTY keyboard. The story goes that his friend had one but no other information is currently available — the font on the keys is identical, and the mic icon on the bottom left is distinctively Android. If it’s legit, we gotta say we’re hopeful; the keys look to have a more protruding center à la the CLIQ, which should make typing on the little guy much easier than before. And if it’s not the Droid successor, well, it’s still something we haven’t seen. Could this be the updated QWERTY-fied Android solution we’ve been waiting for? Time will tell.

      • Motorola is ‘all in’ on Android

        There is always the option of building your own brand of Linux but Android has most of the advantages of this and much more.

      • Motorola CEO plans to keep focus on smart phones
      • Motorola Android Tablet May Come This Year

        CEO Sanjay Jha tells investors Motorola is concentrating on the convergence of mobility and the home and ‘nearly all’ of his focus is on Android.

    • Tablets

      • One Laptop Per Child Set to Offer $100 Tablets, Android Likely to be on First Offerings

        While VIA is helping to produce a line of devices that come in at the $100-$150 range, Marvell’s teaming up with the organization to keep their tablets at a maximum price of $99.99 to help less-fortunate children and families get computing devices that will help them with their education and everyday life.

      • One Laptop Per Child Focuses on Sub-$100 Tablet PC for Education
      • Realease 10-inch tablet runs on Linux

        Realease (no, that is not a typo) has rolled out a new 10″ tablet device which runs on the Linux operating system, with a choice of Freescale i.MX37 (ARM11) and i.MX51 (ARM Cortex A8) processors within.

      • Shogo Tablet Lets You Get Your Open-Source Geek On

        The folks over at ARMDevices have posted an exclusive look (via YouTube video – see below) at the Realease Shogo tablet. Sporting a 10.1 inch capacitive touchscreen, the Shogo comes built with a Freescale i.MX37 (ARM11) or i.MX51 (ARM Cortex A8) processor inside and is completely open with Linux as the OS.

      • Android Successful in Becoming Tough Competition for iPad

        In the high-stakes competition to grasp Apple Inc.’s hit iPad, the Android operating system that Google Inc. made popular in cellphones is promising to be a front-runner.

        Tablet-style computers, a declining hardware category until the iPad began generating buzz previously this year, which are anticipated to be a huge topic at next week’s Computex trade show, which is a major topic of discussion for product announcements by creators of personal computers.

      • Lenovo tablets, smartbooks delayed for Android

        A pair of the most-anticipated mobile computers from this year’s CES show were Lenovo’s U1 Hybrid and Skylight smartbook. Both ran a custom widget-based Linux OS (sometimes also called Skylight), and were powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU. But since then, both devices seem to have fallen off the map, and now we think we know why. Both systems are getting a software overhaul, jumping to the Android platform in search of better performance and more usability.

      • Lenovo Delays U1 Hybrid, Skylight for Android
      • Lenovo switching to Google Android for their Tablet PCs?

        Switching to Google Android would benefit Lenovo in the long run. They would not have to spend too many resources on developing the core OS for their products. Android would also provide a massive support for third party apps that are available from the official market operated by Google.

      • Lenovo kills off the U1, switches internal OS out for Android in future devices
      • Lenovo moves Skylight, U1 to Android as iPad has free rein

        Lenovo settled questions around its ultra-mobile PCs on Friday by planing a switch in OS for the Skylight smartbook and the IdeaPad U1 detachable tablet. The two will drop Lenovo’s in-house Linux OS for Android in what’s treated as a reaction to “market conditions and user feedback.” Future plans now involve creating an entire ecosystem of Android devices that would include devices like the LePhone.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Makes a Difference

    New Pentaho sponsored report from Mark Madsen conducts price comparison of commercial open source and top five proprietary vendors

  • Open Source: Shift from Skepticism to Enthusiasm

    Two years ago many companies were skeptical of Open Source, but after living two years through tough times during a recession, many companies have a better handle on what Open Source is all about and are enthusiastically embracing its potential. And the new mind shift among customers is forcing many vendors to change. They’re changing the way that they sell. And they’re changing the way that they develop with and support their software purchases.

  • Google Vs. Apple: An Open And Closed Case

    In theory, open source should win hands down. The open environment allows a cooperative ecosystem to evolve, guaranteeing a rate of innovation simply not possible in closed system. But I think it depends on where we are in the maturity of the market. Open source allows for more innovation, but it’s also an open invitation for more things to go wrong. This can be deadly as you try to push along market adoption.

  • Mozilla

    • 10 years @ Mozilla

      Today marks 10 years of continuous full-time employment working on Mozilla.

      I still can’t believe I get to work with so many amazing people. It’s pretty much the best job ever.

      Thank you to all the Mozillians that have made this such a wonderful decade.

    • Mozilla releases Thunderbird 3.1 RC1

      The Mozilla developers have issued a first release candidate for version 3.1 of their open source Thunderbird email and news client, code named “Lanikai”. According to the developers, the development preview is considered to be stable, addressing 57 bugs from the previous beta, and is “intended for developers and members of our testing community to use for early evaluation and feedback.”

    • Thunderbird ‘Lanikai’ almost ready for daylight

      The numerous bug-fixes include preventing specific, popular add-ons such as Gmail Conversation View from crashing the e-mail client, saving drafts when written in offline mode, and several critical stability fixes.

      According to Mozilla’s calendar, Lanikai remains on schedule for a June 1st release barring bugs discovered in the release candidate. The full change log for the release candidate can be read here.

    • Mozilla Thunderbird 3.1 RC 1 Released

      The email client release is considered stable by the developers but it still aims largely at developers and testers and not general users who are asked to wait until the final version of Thunderbird 3.1 is released before they migrate to the new client.

    • Thunderbird 3.1 RC1 available for download
    • Download Mozilla Thunderbird 3.1 Release Candidate 1
    • Thunderbird 3.1 Release Candidate 1 is Here
    • Firefox 64-bit builds coming for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X
    • Firefox 3.6.4 release candidate available for download and testing
    • screw you, firefox tab complete!

      For some reason that is completely unfathomable to me, the URL that’s shown as hilighted in firefox’s URL window can get out of sync with options that show up in the drop down menu of possible alternatives, yet firefox gives preference to the drop down menu when you hit the TAB key to complete.

    • Opera pokes fun at Chrome speed-test video

      Opera, ever scrappy in its effort to promote its browser over larger rivals, is poking fun at Google’s recent video boasting about the speed of its Chrome browser.

      “The Opera browser is much faster than a potato,” concludes Opera’s low-budget video, which features herring-obsessed caricatured Scandinavians rolling the tubers into a pot of water at the same time Opera loads a Web page.

  • Databases

  • Oracle

    • New: OpenOffice.org 3.2.1 Release Candidate 2 (build OOO320m18) available

      OpenOffice.org 3.2.1 Release Candidate 2 is not yet available from the usual download website but on many mirrors. So, just download from your favorite mirror next to you. Please note that currently a few Windows builds are not yet ready, these files need a bit more time to be available.

    • The GlassFish Project Heats Up

      Although Oracle will continue to support the GlassFish 2 customers through its commercial support, plans are for the team to focus on the Version 3 roadmap.

  • CMS

  • Education

  • Healthcare

    • Open-sourcing VistA could revolutionize healthcare records

      Given the collaborative roots of VistA and all the third-party development that’s been done on top of it, in use in hospitals all over the nation, it makes sense to make this a full-fledged open source project, engaging the best coders and developers out there to build the best system for our veterans. And with the federal government moving toward electronic record-keeping for all healthcare, this gold standard could be applied across the board.

  • Business

    • Analyst Report Shows How to Save up to 90% on Your Next BI Project

      How much does BI software and ongoing support actually cost? The report pulled real numbers from public sources and direct from the vendors revealing and comparing BI software and support costs for Pentaho, IBM (Cognos), MicroStrategy, Oracle and SAP (Business Objects).

    • Open Source Channel Alliance: Open to MSPs?

      The Open Source Channel Alliance will potentially reach roughly 15,000 Synnex resellers — many of whom are managed service providers targeting mid-market customers.

    • Gluster CEO talks open source clustered NAS storage

      Ben Golub is new to the storage industry, having served previously as CEO of Plaxo (now part of Comcast) and in the upper management of VeriSign (which recently sold a security division to Symantec Corp.) before taking over as CEO of Gluster earlier this month. Golub and other executives from the open source clustered NAS software vendor recently sat down with SearchStorage.com to discuss the state of the enterprise data storage industry, building an open source business model, and what’s coming in new releases of their product.

  • Project Releases

    • Terracotta Releases Ehcache 2.1

      Terracotta has upgraded the distributed caching open source code it acquired last year, Ehcache 2.1, for the fourth time in 10 months. The pace of upgrades reflects how making use of pooled server memories governed by a distributed cache has become a hot method for scaling up Web applications.

    • Editshare Announces Beta Programme

      A technology leader in cross-platform collaborative editing and shared media storage, has announced the Lightworks Open Source Beta Programme.

    • Open vSwitch releases 1.0.0 open source, multilayer virtual switch

      When we talk about server virtualization, we often mention the resources behind the technology, such as the memory, CPU, and disk. We do so because at least one of these resources will ultimately become the bottleneck somewhere down the road on our path to consolidation. But what about the network? Remember the network — that thing that everyone used to point the finger at and assign blame to when something went wrong in the data center?

  • Government/Licensing

    • Administrations in Spain and Portugal heckled over licence violations

      The Spanish Police, Spanish Mint and Portugal’s Agency for Administrative Modernisation have been heckled by developers of OpenSC, open source software for smart cards. The developers found that the public administrations use their software libraries, but have not made available this open source code, one of the terms of their licence.

      The Portuguese Agency for Administrative Modernisation corrected the error last week, the open source developers report.

      According to one of them, Martin Paljak, the Portuguese agency had overlooked the emails sent by OpenSC at first. “A few weeks ago we tried again, and then they replied and began fixing the mistake.”

    • IT: Bolzano facing protests over licence deal forced by vendor lock-in

      The decision on Tuesday by the administration of the Bolzano region to renew the proprietary software licences for it’s servers, will be challenged by Associazione per il Software Libero (Assoli), an advocacy group on free and open source. The group says the region should have investigated alternatives and should have issued a call for tender.

      The Bolzano administration on 25 May decided to spend 2.2 million Euro to renew proprietary licences for the next three years. In its decision, the administration admits it is forced to renew the licence contract: “There are no alternatives for the development of the IT system. Changing these essential and central servers would be irresponsible. The administration fails the resources and expertise for such a change.”

  • Open Hardware

  • VP8

    • Mozilla and Opera call for Google open codec in HTML5 spec

      One week after Google open sourced its $124.6m VP8 video codec, Mozilla and Opera have called for its inclusion in the still-gestating HTML5 specification.

    • Google’s New Open Source Video Standard May Never Be Free

      Google has the resources to fight any industry consortium in court, and it might just get the chance, as the company has declared that it will make all of YouTube available in VP8. But, as John Paczkowski pointed out, unless it’s ready to indemnify everyone else who uses the standard against future licensing or legal fees, its claim that VP8 is not only open source but free to use may prove meaningless.


  • Judge convicts Ark. mom in Facebook flap with son

    An Arkansas woman who locked her son out of his Facebook account and posted her own items there was convicted Thursday of misdemeanor harassment and ordered not to have contact with the teenager.

    Clark County District Judge Randy Hill ordered Denise New, of Arkadelphia, to pay a $435 fine and complete anger-management and parenting classes. He said he would consider allowing her to see her 17-year-old son, Lane New, who lives with his grandmother, if Denise New takes the two courses.

  • Security/Aggression

    • I might sue over scrapped ID card, says Blunkett

      Former home secretary David Blunkett said today he was considering suing the Government for the £30 cost of his ID card, after it was announced that holders of the documents will not be compensated when they are abolished.

    • Man aged 33 is refused a bottle of wine in Tesco… because he had no ID

      In any other situation, Jason Wilde might have been flattered to be thought of as a decade younger.

    • Tate makes surveillance an art form

      A new show called Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera opens at Tate Modern this week. It features images made surreptitiously or without the explicit permission of the subject. It is the history of spying with a lens in just over 250 photographs.

    • Pentagon: Let Us Secure Your Network or Face the ‘Wild Wild West’ Internet Alone

      Companies that operate critical infrastructures and do not voluntarily allow the federal government to install monitoring software on their networks to detect possible cyberattacks would face the “wild” internet on their own and place us all at risk, a top Pentagon official seemed to say Wednesday.

      Defense Deputy Secretary William Lynn III, speaking at the Strategic Command Cyber Symposium in Nebraska, said we need to think imaginatively about how to use the National Security Agency’s Einstein monitoring systems on critical private-sector networks — such as those in the financial, utility and communication industries — in order to protect us.

  • Finance

    • Disney employee arrested for insider trading

      After completing an elaborate sting operation, the FBI arrested a Disney employee and her boyfriend Wednesday for trying to sell corporate secrets to hedge fund managers and other Wall Street traders.

      The FBI and other federal regulators said the plot was dependent on the ability of Bonnie Hoxie to covertly exploit her position as an assistant to Zenia Mucha, Disney’s head of corporate communications.

    • House Backs Tax Increase for Venture Capital

      The House of Representatives passed a bill today that would raise the taxes that venture capitalists and other investment managers pay on carried interest — their share of the profits from a successful start-up investment.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Blizzard: DRM a ‘losing battle’

      Fighting PC game piracy with restrictive copy protection is “a losing battle”, Blizzard has said.

      In recent months some publishers have begun using digital rights management (DRM) that requires players have an active internet connection at all times.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • DMCA Notice Wipes 35 Tetris Clones Off Android Market

      A cease and desist order sent to Google on behalf of The Tetris Company LLC has resulted in 35 Tetris clones being pulled from the Android Market. The developer behind FallingBlocks was among the first to feel the fallout as they took to Slashdot to air their complaint.

    • Tourism Australia campaign ‘ripping off artists’

      Artists are being ripped off by copyright rules applied by the federal government’s latest tourism campaign, arts groups claim.

      Tourism Australia has been sourcing images and photographs from the public free of charge for use in its latest Nothing Like Australia campaign.

      The government agency has previously sourced artwork from commissioned and library-stock photographs, generating income for the copyright holders.

    • Copyrights

      • Ofcom and it’s Code of Practice

        One thing though this news must be good news for FACT, because P2P tech threatens to take away the pirate DVD market stall if the new “code of practice” makes it “too hot” for P2P users then I would expect those not frightened to take the risk will be raking in profit as they sell the copied titles on the street. So for FACT the revitalised industry of pirate DVD sales will make the work flood in….happy times ahead Im sure.

        I get fed up with saying it, copyright infringement can be greatly reduced. This is not the way to do it. But who cares if it doesn’t work? You are paying for the experiment….theres always next year.

      • ABA Journal Highlights How The Music Industry Is Thriving And How Copyright Might Not Be That Important

        Michael Scott points us to one of the best summaries I’ve seen of the state of the music business today — published in the ABA Journal. It’s an incredibly balanced piece, that really does carefully present both sides of the story on a variety of issues, and presents actual evidence, which suggests the RIAA is blowing smoke on a lot of its claims. The piece kicks off by highlighting that the music industry appears to be thriving, and then noting that it’s not the same as the recording industry, which has been struggling.

      • ‘Hurt Locker’ producer files massive antipiracy lawsuit

        It’s official. “Hurt Locker” producer Voltage Pictures has declared war on 5,000 unidentified people who allegedly pirated the Oscar-winning film. The lawsuit was filed this week in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

      • Class action lawsuit launched on behalf of Canadian lawyers against Thomson Reuters

        A proposed class action was commenced yesterday, May 25, 2010, against Thomson Reuters Corporation and Thomson Reuters Canada Limited on behalf of a class of Canadian lawyers and law firms. The Statement of Claim (which has not been proven in Court) alleges that Thomson Reuters breaches copyright by making available original lawyer created legal documents for fee or subscription without permission from, or compensation to, the authors of the documents.

      • Supreme Court Rules Pirate Bay Must Stay Blocked

        More than 2 years ago the IFPI and other copyright groups brought action against Danish ISP Telenor demanding that it should block its subscribers from accessing The Pirate Bay. Following a hearing which began a week ago, the Supreme Court in Denmark has just ruled that The Pirate Bay must continue to be blocked, upholding previous rulings by lower courts.

      • In Aussie Gyms, It’s the Same Old Song—but Who’s That Singing?

        One evening this week, fitness instructor Michael Montgomery tried to spur four dozen exercisers through a frenetic routine of lunges and jumping jacks by applying a tried-and-true prod—a Britney Spears tune.

        “Gimme gimme more, gimme more, gimme gimme more,” rang the lyrics of the 2007 song, which is called “Gimme More.”

        The words, however, weren’t sung by Ms. Spears, but by an almost-but-not-quite soundalike cover artist identified as Mandy Brewer.

      • Supreme Court Gets RIAA Copyright Case

        A case testing the meaning of the so-called “innocent infringer’s” defense to the Copyright Act’s minimum $750-per-music-track fine has landed at the U.S. Supreme Court.

        The case the justices were asked to review Wednesday concerns a federal appeals court’s February decision ordering a university student to pay the Recording Industry Association of America $27,750 ($750 a track) for file sharing 37 songs when she was a high school cheerleader. That decision reversed a Texas federal judge who had ordered defendant Whitney Harper to pay $7,400 ($200 per song).

      • Piracy… Again

        The internet was created to share and distribute data. It’s the whole reason the world wide web exists.

        Of course some of that data is going to be copyright-protected work. If it can be digitized, it can, and will, be shared.

        What continues to amaze me is how freaked-out authors are by this. The thought that someone is sharing their work–without paying for it–seems to evoke the same reaction as having someone hack your bank account and drain your life savings.


        And yet, I’m not worried. I’m currently selling 220 ebooks per day, and that rate shows no signs of slowing down.

        So everyone needs to take a big, collective breath, let it out slow, and stop worrying about illegal file sharing. Here are some reasons why.

        1. Copyright is unenforceable in a digital world. Period. Exclamation point. At no time in history has any individual, company, or industry been able to stop file sharing. No country or law has been able to stop it. No technology has been able to stop it. Which brings us to…

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – PSA – Microgravity (1/22/2004)

Links 29/5/2010: KTorrent 4.0, GNOME 2.31.2

Posted in News Roundup at 6:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Ballnux

    • A Quick Q ‘n’ A Session with Greg Kroah-Hartman

      Swapnil: Which distribution do you use, and which desktop environment?

      Greg: I use openSUSE as my main distro, with Gentoo still on a few server or ‘tiny’ machines I use for infrastructure. I use SLED for testing new hardware out as part of my job.
      As for the desktop environment, my laptop is now running Moblin. Before that it was running Fluxbox. My main desktop is running GNOME, and I have a test box running KDE to ensure that the FACTORY branch of openSUSE is still working properly.


      Swapnil: Although binary-only drivers make life easy for the end user, in your opinion, how good are they?

      Greg: They do not make life easy for end users; they make life harder. My opinion, as well as those of a very large number of Linux kernel contributors, was published last year and can be seen at www.linuxfoundation.org/en/Kernel_Driver_Statement.

    • openSUSE 11.3 Pulls In New Kernel & More

      A new snapshot of openSUSE 11.3 is available, which now puts it at Milestone 7, and means that the first release candidate is near. However, while the release of openSUSE 11.3 is approaching in July, it continues to add in new packages and support.

  • Graphics Stack

    • Open ATI R600/700 Driver Gains Tiling Support

      For those of you not interested in today’s ATI Catalyst 10.5 for Linux driver, if you pull the very latest open-source ATI Radeon Linux graphics driver stack there is now tiling support for the R600/700 (Radeon HD 2000/3000/4000 series) graphics processors.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • KTorrent 4.0 is out

        KTorrent 4.0 is finally released. This release add some rather interesting features like magnet support and the µTP protocol (bittorrent over UDP).

    • GTK/GNOME Desktop

      • X Input 2 Support Goes Into GTK+ 3.0

        Beyond updates to Clutter, Mutter, GNOME Shell, and various other GNOME applications, there is one very other important change that happened to the GNOME desktop this week. After being around for years, X Input 2 support was finally merged into the GTK+ library for the 3.0 release.

      • GNOME 2.31.2 Released!

        I’m sure you had lost hope. Hope to finally see GNOME 2.31.2. It’s true that it’s one day late, which is unusual. I could say it’s because of an udpated toolchain here, or because some tarballs were missing files, were depending on unreleased version of libraries or didn’t build for another reason. Or because I started a bit late to work on this release. Or because Roland Garros has started. Okay, this last one could be a
        good reason. But no, the real reason is that someone casted a curse on the release team to make sure we’re late. Want a proof? Did you see the 2.31.1 release? See! I told you! We can’t let this happen! So let’s all rock and show the world that we’re much stronger than those little magic things!

  • Distributions

    • The Spring 2010 Linux Distro Scorecard (Part 2)

      Remember, there is no wrong choice. Whatever distro suits you best is the right one for you, so if you’re happy with a distro that didn’t get a high score (or isn’t listed here) that’s OK. It’s impossible to objectively say “this distribution is the best one, period.” The goal here is to set out a roadmap for new Linux users or experienced Linux users that may not be fully happy with their current distro.

    • New Releases

      • Announcing Billix 0.27 and… SuperBillix 0.27!

        Billix debuted in the August 2008 issue of Linux Journal, and it’s gone thru incremental updates since then. I’ve tried to keep it on the same track as Ubuntu updates, more-or-less, though I’ve had varying levels of success with that. However, Billix 0.27 released only a few days after Ubuntu 10.04LTS did. As usual, Billix fits easily on a 256MB USB key or higher, and is available from the usual spot (http://sourceforge.net/projects/billix).

        Billix 0.27 consists of:

        * Ubuntu 10.04LTS (Lucid Lynx) netinstall
        * Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) netinstall
        * Ubuntu 8.04LTS (Hardy Heron) netinstall
        * Damn Small Linux 4.2.5
        * Fedora 12 netinstall
        * Centos 5.4 netinstall
        * Centos 4.8 netinstall
        * Debian Squeeze netinstall
        * Debian Lenny netinstall
        * Memtest86+ Memory Tester
        * Windows Password Cracker
        * DBAN disk wiping tool

    • Red Hat Family

      • Spreading the dandelions: Open Your World recap

        Thank you to all who joined us for the first Open Your World forum yesterday, and a special thanks to our speakers. We hope you all learned something new to apply to your lives.

        If you weren’t able to join us, or if you’d like to see a session again, you can listen to any of the session recordings. We’ve also added the PDFs of the presentation slides below as attachments to this post. We’ll also be posting a few followup articles related to some of the presentations.

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • Rethinking the Ubuntu Developer Summit

        At around this point, UDS had become too big, and had too many constraints, to plan on the fly (unconference style). We resolved to plan more in advance, and agree on the scheduling constraints ahead of time. We divided the event into tracks, and placed each track in its own room. Most participants could stay in one place throughout the day, taking part in a series of related meetings except where they were specifically needed in an adjacent track. We created the schedule through a combination of manual and automatic methods, so that scheduling constraints could be checked quickly, but a human could decide how to resolve conflicts. There was time to review the schedule before the start of the event, to identify and fix problems. Revisions to the schedule during the event were fewer and less painful. We added keynote presentations, to provide opportunities to communicate important information to everyone, and ease back into meetings after lunch. Everyone was still exhausted and/or ill, and tiredness took its toll on the quality of discussion, particularly toward the end of the week.

      • New research reveals troubling security issues for iPhones

        Though Apple has added additional data security features to the iPhone with every iteration of the OS—including encrypting files on-device for the iPhone 3GS—vulnerabilities still exist. These issues are of particular concern to enterprise users, since sensitive corporate data may exist on any given employee’s mobile device. A new vulnerability revealed by security researcher Bernd Marienfeldt, however, shows that all someone needs to get at that data is the latest version of Ubuntu.

      • Linux Mint 9 Vs Ubuntu 10.04
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Tablets

      • Android tablet army starts to form

        The Android tablets are coming and this time Apple won’t have a big head start. Will value tablets sell?

        Dell’s Streak (top right), a 5-inch tablet powered by Android, launched Tuesday in the U.K. and the device will come to the U.S. later in the summer. The Streak has integration with the Android market and a few other goodies that may attract buyers, according to Dell.

        Meanwhile, Pandigital has its Novel, another Android-powered device. The Novel (bottom right) is a 7-inch touchscreen device also powered by Android. Joel Evans calls the Novel a poor man’s iPad at $199.

      • Declarations of OS Independence

        Dell and HP have recently made very strong declarations of OS independence from Microsoft. Take HP first.


        At the sametime Dell has committed to the Android OS for both its Streak tablet and its lineup of new mobile phones. In sum, both vendors a)cant wait for Microsoft to get its mobile act together and b)the appeals of the customizing advantage of Android or self-owned webOS are too big to ignore.

    • One Tablet Per Child/OLPC

      • One Tablet Per Child?

        Judging from early mock-ups of the Moby—which will be available this fall, according to Marvell—the device will resemble a somewhat chunky iPad, right down to the single “home” button on the bezel. Marvell hasn’t announced the device’s full specs, but says the tablet will include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, FM, and GPS radios and will support “multiple software standards including full Adobe Flash, Android, Windows Mobile, and Ubuntu.” (Ubuntu is a variant of Linux.) Like the iPad, the Moby is expected to have a long battery life compared to a laptop, but unlike the iPad, it will have a built-in camera for photography and video conferencing. Marvell also says the device’s virtual keyboard will provide “touch feedback,” although it hasn’t specified how this will work.

      • OLPC and Marvell Team Up on $99 XO Tablet Project

        OLPC hopes to have this tablet run on only one watt of power (the current XO consumes 5W). It is unclear what kind of battery life this will allow, but it should be long, if not very long. As for how much it will cost, the target point is a fairly attractive $99.

      • Marvell and OLPC design $75 tablet

Free Software/Open Source

  • Colonyzer: automated quantification of micro-organism growth characteristics on solid agar

    Colonyzer was developed using the open source packages: Python, RPy and the Python Imaging Library and its source code and documentation are available on SourceForge under GNU General Public License. Colonyzer is adaptable to suit specific requirements: e.g.

    automatic detection of cultures at irregular locations on streaked plates for robotic picking, or decreasing analysis time by disabling components such as lighting correction or colour measures.

  • Antelink joins FOSSBazaar

    I’m very pleased to annouce that Antelink, the INRIA’spinoff I lead and cofound with Stépane Bagnier, joins FOSSBazaar community.

  • Databases

    • VoltDB launches Next-Generation Open-Source OLTP DBMS

      VoltDB is available immediately from www.voltdb.com. The open-source Community Edition is licensed under the GPL and is available for free. Pricing for annual subscriptions starts at $15,000 per year for a 4-server configuration. Visit this link for detailed VoltDB pricing.

  • Open Data


  • Federal Circuit Rules Patent Lawyers Filed Frivolous Claims

    A federal appeals court has ruled that former patent boutique lawyers now working at Philadelphia-based Woodcock Washburn crossed into frivolous territory in pursuing an inventor’s lawsuit. But whether the lower court’s sanctions against their old firm will stick remains uncertain.

  • Fla. Bankruptcy Trustee Quits With More Than $1 Million Missing, Sources Say

    Another South Florida receiver trusted by judges for years to oversee bankruptcies resigned from hundreds of cases after the U.S. Trustee’s Office determined more than $1 million was missing from accounts under her control, sources told the Daily Business Review.

  • Science

    • When science clashes with beliefs? Make science impotent

      It’s hardly a secret that large segments of the population choose not to accept scientific data because it conflicts with their predefined beliefs: economic, political, religious, or otherwise. But many studies have indicated that these same people aren’t happy with viewing themselves as anti-science, which can create a state of cognitive dissonance. That has left psychologists pondering the methods that these people use to rationalize the conflict.

      A study published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology takes a look at one of these methods, which the authors term “scientific impotence”—the decision that science can’t actually address the issue at hand properly. It finds evidence that not only supports the scientific impotence model, but suggests that it could be contagious. Once a subject has decided that a given topic is off limits to science, they tend to start applying the same logic to other issues.

      The paper is worth reading for the introduction alone, which sets up the problem of science acceptance within the context of persuasive arguments and belief systems. There’s a significant amount of literature that considers how people resist persuasion, and at least seven different strategies have been identified. But the author, Towson University’s Geoffrey Munro, attempts to carve out an exceptional place for scientific information. “Belief-contradicting scientific information may elicit different resistance processes than belief-contradicting information of a nonscientific nature,” he argues. “Source derogation, for example, might be less effective in response to scientific than nonscientific information.”

    • Wave-powered desalination pump permitted in Gulf

      The waters of the Gulf of Mexico will see a novel offshore platform later this year, one that will use wave power to desalinate water.

      Independent Natural Resources, which makes the Seadog water pump, on Wednesday said that it has received a permit for a wave power generation facility off the coast of Freeport, Texas. The company says it’s the first to receive a “section 10 permit” from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to operate a wave generator in the U.S.

  • Environment

    • Report: “Junk shot” fails to plug leak in Gulf

      Videos and stills posted by Pas au-Delà appear to show spectacular events going on in the operation to cut off the flow of oily gunge in the gulf — possibly a ‘junk shot,’ where rubber and other materials are forced into the failed blowout preventer in an attempt to plug it.

  • Finance

    • Is The SEC Still Working For Wall Street?

      The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under Mary Shapiro is trying to escape a difficult legacy – over the past two decades, the once proud agency was effectively captured by the very Wall Street firms it was supposed to regulate.

      The SEC’s case against Goldman Sachs may mark a return to a more effective role; certainly bringing a case against Goldman took some guts. But it is entirely possible that the Goldman matter is a one off that lacks broader implications. And in this context the SEC’s handling of concerns about “high frequency trading” (HFT) – following the May 6 “flash crash”, when the stock market essentially shut down or rebooted for 20 minutes – is most disconcerting. (See yesterday’s speech by Senator Ted Kaufman on this exact issue; short summary.)

      Regulatory capture begins when the regulator starts to see the world only through the eyes of the regulated. Rather than taking on board views that are critical of existing arrangements, tame regulators talk only to proponents of the status quo (or people who want even more deregulation). This seems to be what is happening with regard to HFT.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • EU seeks privacy enforcement rights in US courts through diplomatic agreement

      Yesterday, the Chairman of the European multi-national group of ministers overseeing online privacy policy enforcement, Jacob Kohnstamm of the Article 29 Working Party (WP29), sent letters to the CEOs of Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo, urging them to alter their personal data retention policies in keeping with new EU standards. Kohnstamm wants their search engines to destroy personal data after six months’ retention rather than nine, as is Google’s current policy; and he simultaneously urged European Commission Vice President Viviane Reding for help getting that message across.

  • Copyrights

    • Words in Copyright Act vs Time

      I have run some numbers on how the size of the (Australian) Copyright Act has changed over the past century or so. With one exception, these numbers were generated automatically from electronic versions of the legislation. Before counting the words I stripped out the table of contents and everything from “The Schedule” on. This is because a bigger Act automatically means a larger table of contents and an older Act means more notes about when sections came into force, were repealed etc. The one exception is the Copyright Act of 1905, a word count for which was estimated by manually counting words on 3 pages, generating an average per page and multiplying by the number of pages. There are a couple of versions of the Act from between 1905 and the 1970s which are not plotted (as I don’t have access to a full copy of them) but everything I could find from 1970 on is there.

    • Solicitor General Kagan did a good job in Cartoon Networks v. CSC Holdings case

      Those considering President Obama’s nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court should remember that she did an excellent job on the brief in Cartoon Networks v. CSC Holdings, where she took positions directly contrary to those being taken by the Jenner & Block law firm, whose pro-MPAA pro-RIAA partners occupy very high positions in the Obama administration’s Department of Justice.

    • ‘Hurt Locker’ downloaders, you’ve been sued

      Producers of Oscar-winning film “The Hurt Locker” have made good on a promise to file copyright lawsuits against people who have illegally downloaded the movie via file-sharing networks.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – BHFSTE – Healthy Bones (11/20/2003)


Links 28/5/2010: KOffice 2.2 Released

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

GNOME bluefish



  • [It's GNU/Linux]
  • Introductions

    • Linux jargon buster

      Linux is growing in popularity but unless you’re up to speed with its jargon the open source operating system could make no sense. We offer a short, plain-English guide to some of the key concepts used by Linux users.

    • Why are you Scared of Linux?

      Note: Before you read this Article I want to tell you that I am a big Linux fan and Linux being an open source Operating System is doing a Great Job.

      Most of the people I know think Linux is very difficult for a layman to understand. They fear that after installing Linux they will not be able to do the normal tasks they do with Windows and thus they prefer paying money to Microsoft instead of even trying Linux.

      There are lot of reasons behind this. Few reasons that I could figure out are:

      1. Lack of Advertising about Linux compared to Windows. I understand that Linux is an open source product while Windows is Commercial but still I feel that there is lot of scope for advertising.

      2. Lack of Awareness among the Retailers of Computers who advise the buyers to go for Windows instead of Linux. Some times its not just lack of awareness but also to gain more commission on the part of the retailer.


    • 7 Tips to help your friends move to Linux

      One of my favorite geek shirts is my ZaReason ‘Friends help friends use Linux’ shirt, which I was in the mood to wear last night after I helped my friend move to Linux. My non-technical friend was suffering from a sickly Windows Vista PC. She’d caught herself a nasty virus (she blames an old Red Hot Chili Peppers video, but we’ll never know for sure). Other people had suggested that my budget-conscious friend move to Linux.

      Tip #1: Don’t tell your non-technical friends to move to Linux. Please, just don’t do this. If you do this, you set them up to hate it. Your friend might be like my friend, who just wants her email, music, and internet to work. My friend doesn’t want to install, configure, or troubleshoot. Yes, she’s certainly smart and capable enough, but she’s just not interested. She’s got two teenagers and some chickens to raise and a business to run, and she’d rather live without her computer than spend hours tweaking it. I told my friend I’d be right over to see whether I could help, and I brought along my laptop, a couple of Linux DVDs, and my external hard drive to rescue her music and photos. Friends help friends move.

  • Desktop

    • Linux = Windows anti-virus? Not!

      Recently, I’ve come across a few interesting, yet misleading articles debating the pros and cons, mostly pros, of using this or that Linux distribution as the ultimate solution to Windows security problems, including frequent malware infections and reinfections and other related issues. While the overall conclusion might be correct, the specific analogies used to prove the point and bring you to said conclusion are most erroneous.

    • What You Use

      So, it seems as if the only applications people miss when using Linux are games and Adobe CS. This will hopefully be less of a problem in the future with Steam coming to Linux. As for the Adobe Suite, I do not see Adobe taking an interest in Linux any time soon, but PlayOnLinux supports some of the Adobe applications. Otherwise, people are forced to look for alternatives to CS. Quite often, people choose Adobe Creative Suite for the layout of the applications, not for their functionality. GimpShop can replace Photoshop, but anything else would require a bit of a learning curve.

  • Ballnux

    • OpenSUSE 11.2 Review – GNOME Desktop Environment

      In conclusion, OpenSUSE is a very nice looking OS, and it has one of the easier installers out there on the market. But if I see it again in any way, shape, or form, at any point in my life, it would be too soon. I’m going to be extremely nice and give OpenSUSE a one and a half out of ten, and would recommend to everyone to stay as far away from it as you can. I didn’t bother looking at documentation, which I admit, might have been a good idea, but if I could break it as easily as I did, no amount of documentation would ever encourage me to use it ever again.

  • Applications

  • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

    • KOffice 2.2 released

      More than six months after the release of KOffice 2.1, the KOffice developers have announced the release of version 2.2 of their open source office suite. KOffice is composed of the KWord word processor, KSpread spreadsheet, KPresenter presentation manager, KPlato project management, Karbon vector graphics editor and Krita, a raster graphics editor.

    • KOffice 2.2 Released
  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • The Spring 2010 Linux Distro Scorecard

        Debian is one of the most successful free software projects that many new users have never heard of. Debian is an entirely community developed Linux distribution with no single commercial backer. While many companies contribute to Debian in one way or another, it’s a purely independent project, driven entirely by volunteers. Debian has a large developer community and is the basis for many other projects, including Ubuntu.

        Debian has a very developer-centric community. It’s driven by its Social Contract to remain free, give back to the larger community, be open with its problems, and be guided by the needs of its users and the free software community. There’s an intense focus on technical excellence and shipping free software. Debian does allow some non-free repositories, but they’re not “officially” part of Debian.

      • Parallelism in Debian GNU/Linux Booting

        That is a big improvment over the minutes we spend waiting/please waiting on XP on our old hardware.

      • Ubuntu

        • Spinning off from Ubuntu

          Ubuntu is probably the best known desktop GNU/Linux distribution at street level, picking up new users by word of mouth and astute viral marketing. So much so that for many users new to Linux, Ubuntu has become synonymous with Linux. Linux is Ubuntu; and Ubuntu is Linux. But Linux and free software come in many different flavours, and the adventurous user goes in search of wider options, other distributions and new desktops.

          Ubuntu is easy to install, easy to update, and easy to manage, which makes it attractive to first time users and long term Linux enthusiasts alike. It has a regular six-monthly upgrade cycle, which makes it easy to keep up with the latest and greatest with the minimum of fuss, but also has drawbacks in the form of occasional reliability issues.

        • Ubuntu 10.04 brings Linux closer to the mainstream

          No Windows viruses. Free. Any questions?

          Of course. Start with this one: How can an operating system with those virtues, the open-source Linux, remain confined to a tiny minority of desktop and laptop computers at home?

          Linux may run TiVo video recorders and live inside Android phones, in addition to running much of the Internet’s servers, but it still lags on home PCs.

          Will that change anytime soon? A new version of a consumer-oriented edition of Linux, Ubuntu (http://ubuntu.com), offers hope for Linux optimists but leaves room for doubters, too.

          Ubuntu 10.04, nicknamed “Lucid Lynx,” comes from London-based Canonical, but like other open-source releases it benefits from other programmers who have improved its source code.

        • Application Menu (Global Menu) For Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10 Is Available For Testing

          The Global Menu for Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10 has just been uploaded to a PPA (it’s still building, but should be ready in a few minutes). The new “global menu” is called “Application Menu” and it can be installed in Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx already (both in GNOME and KDE).

        • Proprietary

          • Ubuntu One

            Ubuntu One offers a couple of subscription options. Choose from the free subscription plan and receive 2 GB of storage or pay a monthly fee for more storage and additional features.

            Subscribers can upgrade, downgrade, change billing information or cancel a subscription at any time. Choose the Account tab on the Ubuntu One website to view details or make any of these changes to your account.

            Ubuntu One uses Ubuntu SSO (single sign-on) for user accounts. If you already have an Ubuntu SSO account or even a Launchpad account, you can use the same username and password.

          • Landscape 1.5: The Implications for Ubuntu Customers and Partners
  • Devices/Embedded

    • New KaOS KVM based hypervisor available for download – under 10MB with OS embedded in the kernel.

      Carbon Mountain has recently released a new version of its open source KaOS Hypervisor – Version Based on the popular Linux kernel and utilizing KVM technology, KaOS is built from the ground up to contain many innovative features that make it ideal for today’s highly complex and agile virtualized environments.

    • Nokia

      • Hands-on: MeeGo for netbooks picks up where Moblin left off

        Moblin 2 had its own custom Web browser that brought together a unique Clutter-based user interface and Mozilla’s Gecko HTML rendering engine. It was a very compelling idea because it opened the door to a browsing experience with rich visual affects and more fluid platform integration. Although the concept is intriguing in theory, it was very difficult for Intel to execute on. The custom browser was incomplete and somewhat dysfunctional when we reviewed Moblin last year. Intel has ditched the custom browser and chose to adopt Google Chrome for MeeGo.

      • Nokia, Opera side with Adobe on Flash

        Nokia and Opera Software have taken sides in the Adobe-Apple battle over Flash multimedia support: They are in the Flash camp.

    • Android

      • Acer unveils Android smartphone and teases with a tablet

        Acer announced an Android 2.1 smartphone called the Stream, offering a 1GHz Snapdragon, a 3.7-inch AMOLED WVGA display, and a five-megapixel camera. At the device’s Chinese launch, the company also showed off a LumiRead e-reader with a 6-inch grayscale display, WiFi, 3G, and an ISBN scanner, and provided a brief glimpse of a seven-inch Android tablet.

      • I/O 2010 Words and Faces

        I worked like a madman right through I/O 2010 and went straight from there to an internal meeting and from there to my Mom’s 80th-birthday bash, so there hasn’t been much time for reflection. I can’t find a theme to organize my notes by, so what you get is a dozen poorly-sequenced take-aways interspersed with seven faces.

        The faces are here because I did a bunch of short interviews with strangers and got the idea of pointing my 40mm pancake prime at people straight-on and close-up, and found the results compelling enough to share. I don’t know all the names so I won’t mention any.

      • Pick of the best Android phones

        Motorola Milestone

        The Milestone, otherwise known as the Droid in other markets, is a neat package, coming in at just 13.7mm thick. Even more impressively the Milestone has a slide-out full QWERTY keyboard as part of the package.

        The 3.7-inch touchscreen is every bit as good as the HTC Hero’s screen, the most common of the Android phones.

        The Milestone runs Android 2.0 and supports Quad-band GSM and dual-band 3G support. The Milestone also supports multi-touch support, which the Droid in the US didn’t.

        The 5MP camera, WiFi and A-GPS is fairly standard, as is the MicroSD slot and 256MB of RAM.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • OLPC rules out Windows for XO-3

        One Laptop Per Child won’t use Microsoft’s Windows OS on its upcoming XO-3 tablet, which will run Linux, OLPC’s CTO said Thursday.

        OLPC’s chairman Nicholas Negroponte last year said that the organization was “urging” Microsoft to make a full version of Windows available for the earlier XO-2, which was also based on the Arm processor. The XO-2 was later canceled.

        The XO-3 will also use an Arm processor, but OLPC is ruling out loading multiple versions of Windows on the tablet, said Ed McNierney, OLPC’s CTO, by e-mail Thursday.

        “We have no evidence that Microsoft will make full-featured Windows 7 available on Arm, and that’s their decision,” McNierney said.

    • Tablets

      • ARMed Armies Attack

        The onslaught of ARMed devices will continue indefinitely. Check out the smartphone/tablet Dell has announced. We still do not know the price of it but all they have to do to get some action is be in the neighborhood of the iPad which has fewer features: no Flash and no phone.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Mozilla

    • Mozilla prepares coders for Firefox 4 features

      It was with delight that I read these words on Thursday: “The proposed IndexedDB standard, which provides a local database store for Web applications, will be supported by Firefox 4.”

      The statement appears on Mozilla’s new Firefox 4 for developers site, boding well for those of us who use the Web a lot: the IndexedDB interface gives Web applications a way to work even without a network connection.

    • Chromium on Ubuntu 10.04 Slower than Firefox?

      I finally tried my ISP’s DNS servers and that seemed to take hold, though I don’t know why. It shouldn’t make a difference but I’ve been surfing from my Lucid Lynx VM for two days now without a hitch. That leads me to my second problem.


    • FSF take on Apple’s App Store over GPL2 code

      The Free Software Foundation has said it has approached Apple because a GPL2 licensed application, a port of GNU Go, is available from Apple’s App Store. The FSF say that distribution through the App Store is not in compliance with the GPL’s conditions because they clash with Apple’s terms and conditions. The developers of the application, are also not in compliance with the GPL as they do not currently distribute the source for the application. Brett Smith, writing on the FSF blog, is at pains to say that the FSF have not sued Apple or made any legal demand and says the only reason they are announcing this is because Apple has removed applications from the store before without explanation and that they want to prevent wild speculation.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Hancom to lose government office monopoly

      This is important news. The crucial paragraph:

      “The National Assembly Research Service (NARS), a parliamentary unit that provides policy research and analysis for legislators, now claims that government organizations should be required to use software products that support open standards. The idea is to eventually allow government documents to be created, read and edited by a wider variety of office applications run on any type of computer operating system, NARS said.”

      But let’s continue:


      Supposedly, according to an Hancom spokesperson, ““ODF is supported on Hancom Office 2010, which was released last year.” But I do wonder what “supported” means here; as well, as the article points out,


  • Finance

    • UniCredit Chief Sees Euro Regaining Trust

      The failure of investors to treat the euro area as a unified market could set a dangerous precedent for the bloc’s future, according to the chief of the giant European cross-border lender UniCredit.

      “If I say I am not funding a company because it’s a Spanish company or a Greek company, we have a problem,” Alessandro Profumo, the chief executive, said during a recent interview in Paris. “This is a way of thinking on the topic that could create serious problems.”

    • Nudity and the Financial Markets

      Last week Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany banned naked credit-default swaps on the bonds of European governments and naked short sales of the stock of the country’s 10 most important financial institutions.

    • United States and Germany remain divided over financial regulation issues

      Top U.S. and German officials on Thursday acknowledged differences over key financial regulation issues, and they said a “broad agreement” on basic concepts may not produce uniform rules in all the world’s capital markets.

    • Lehman Brothers estate sues J.P. Morgan Chase

      The estate of Lehman Brothers Holdings sued J.P. Morgan Chase, alleging that the firm helped drive Lehman into bankruptcy by forcing it to give up billions of dollars in cash reserves that it otherwise could have used to stay afloat.

      The suit, filed Wednesday, says J.P. Morgan forced the now-failed bank to put up collateral in the days before it collapsed that sapped Lehman of cash that, at the least, would have enabled it to wind down operations in an orderly process.

    • Mortgage rates are back near record low

      Turmoil in the stock market and the European debt crisis are making life easier for American homebuyers and families looking to refinance: Mortgage rates are inching closer to a record low.

      The window of opportunity may close soon. Home loan rates will rise if investors grow more confident and shift money out of the safety of government bonds, which influence mortgage rates.

    • House Approves Pared-Down Spending Bill

      The House of Representatives approved pared-down legislation that would extend long-term employment benefits and revive several popular business tax breaks.

      Friday’s vote came after Democrats patched divisions within their ranks over the bill’s impact on the nation’s budget deficit. The wide-ranging bill comes with a 10-year, $115 billion price tag, about half the cost of a more ambitious package unveiled just days ago.

      The legislation represented a modest but hard-fought accomplishment for Democratic leaders, who struggled for several days to build consensus on the measure, amid demands from fiscally conservative Democrats for greater financial restraint.

    • Republican senators want ‘fair’ process for Wall St. bill

      Senate Republicans sent a letter Thursday to the top Democratic Wall Street reform negotiators, Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut and Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts, laying out the key principles they believe will lead to a successful merger of the House and Senate bills.

    • The Cult of Subprime Central Bankers

      The world is suffering from the worst downturn since the Great Depression. The crisis has left tens of millions unemployed in the U.S., Europe, and elsewhere. The huge baby boomer generation in the United States, now on the edge of retirement, has seen much of its wealth destroyed with the collapse of the housing bubble.

      It would be difficult to imagine a worse economic disaster. Prior periods of bad performance, like the inflation ridden seventies, look like mild flurries compared to the blizzard of bad economic news in which we are now enmeshed.

    • Wall Street’s War

      The real shocker is a thing known among Senate insiders as “716.” This section of an amendment would force America’s banking giants to either forgo their access to the public teat they receive through the Federal Reserve’s discount window, or give up the insanely risky, casino-style bets they’ve been making on derivatives. That means no more pawning off predatory interest-rate swaps on suckers in Greece, no more gathering balls of subprime shit into incomprehensible debt deals, no more getting idiot bookies like AIG to wrap the crappy mortgages in phony insurance. In short, 716 would take a chain saw to one of Wall Street’s most lucrative profit centers: Five of America’s biggest banks (Goldman, JP Morgan, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup) raked in some $30 billion in over-the-counter derivatives last year. By some estimates, more than half of JP Morgan’s trading revenue between 2006 and 2008 came from such derivatives. If 716 goes through, it would be a veritable Hiroshima to the era of greed.

    • Are Goldman Sachs and the Megabanks Able to Wipe out an Entire Economy with a Keystroke?

      “We have found no evidence that these events were triggered by ‘fat finger’ errors, computer hacking, or terrorist activity, although we cannot completely rule out these possibilities,” a recent Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) report on the so-called May 6 “Flash Crash” that wiped out a cool trillion in a mere half-hour weakly admitted. “Much work is needed to determine all of the causes of the market disruption.”

    • Goldman Sachs’ Morality Play

      After SEC civil charges were lodged against the firm on April 16, Goldman executives mounted a vigorous public defense. Two weeks later, when reports surfaced of Main Justice’s emerging criminal probe directed at both the company and an individual executive, Goldman’s tone suddenly changed from recalcitrance to conciliation. No surprise–settlement of the civil case is now in negotiation. The mere threat of corporate criminal indictment appears to have changed Goldman’s, and the government’s, game plan entirely.

    • FT: GS Seeks to Pay “$100s of Millions” to Resolve SEC Charge

      Forget the settlement, I want to know this: Who was the dipshit lawyer that advised Goldman Sachs to fight this tooth and nail? Was it some executive who simply charged ahead, Dick Fuld style? I’d like to know who totally failed to anticipate the political climate, the public reaction, the prosecutors attitude, and myriad factors that has turned this into a giant disaster. Even if GS were to prevail in court, they have already lost. The reputational damage is already measured in $ billions, and will last years if not decades.

Clip of the Day

NASA CONNECT: Atmospheric Detectives (11/19/2003)

Links 28/5/2010: KDE 4.5 Features; OLPC XO-3

Posted in News Roundup at 11:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • Five tips for desktop malware first responders

      2: Carry a Web-enabled smart phone and carry a big (16GB USB) stick

      Pay for that data plan. Get reasonably proficient with a favorite mobile browser. Store bookmarks. Most phones support flash cards where additional remediation software can be stored. Also, consider carrying a hefty USB drive containing favorite anti-malware utilities, if not a fully bootable OS with security tools on it, such as Slax.

    • Welcome to the world of free software

      Free operating system: Let’s start with the operating system (OS). A Microsoft OS is chosen by a majority of users as no retailer bothers to inform buyers about the free to load open source OSes like Red Hat, OpenSolaris or the most popular one, Ubuntu. A word of caution: If you are a newbie at open source, it might be advisable to get a technical expert to upload the OS.

      Cost Saving: An entry-level Microsoft OS would cost you between Rs 4,000 and Rs 14,000.

  • Server

    • From Obsolete Servers to Private Cloud in 3 Easy Steps

      1. Assemble the Pieces

      CentOS is the free version of the popular Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system. It is a community-supported, mainly free, software operating system based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. It exists to provide a free, enterprise-class computing platform, and it strives to maintain 100 percent binary compatibility. CentOS stands for Community ENTerprise Operating System.

      We knew that CentOS had clustering capabilities, so we installed it across all five of our servers. Once we patched them and hardened the servers, we used the native clustering functionality to run all five servers as one environment. The really nice thing here is that the enterprise investment in the RHCE certification for us was not wasted. Our server administrators already had the skills to carry out the architecture design, so right there we were able to avoid contractor or training expenses.

    • Wanted: Virtual Personal Email Servers
  • Audiocasts

  • Graphics Stack

    • Radeon “R600g” Gallium3D Driver Merged To Master

      Those owners of ATI Radeon HD 2000, 3000, and 4000 series (R600/700) graphics cards not only have a reason to celebrate today over the voltage adjustment support to improve their GPU power management, but there’s another reason too. The Radeon R600 Gallium3D driver known as “R600g” has been merged to Mesa’s mainline “master” code-base.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • KDE 4.5 beta brings window tiling, new notifications

        One of the additions that I’m particularly enthusiastic about is support for tiled window management in KDE’s KWin window manager. This feature allows users to snap windows together in non-overlapping arrangements and resize them together, much like the behavior of Ion and other tiled desktop environments. The feature was implemented as a Summer of Code project last year and was finally merged last month. I’ve long been a fan of tiled window management, so I’ve been looking forward to seeing this feature land ever since work on it was started.

        KDE 4.5 is getting a new panel notification area that is designed to be more consistent and functional. This feature is based on a D-Bus protocol that the KDE development community has submitted to the FreeDesktop.org organization with the aim of making it a cross-desktop standard. Although the upstream GNOME community has rejected the protocol, it has been adopted by Canonical and is used to power the new application indicator feature that is included in Ubuntu 10.04.

  • Distributions

    • Sabayon 5.3 Progress, Get Involved with Testing, Bumps

      It must be about time for an update, tough to blog when summer is here. 5.3 is in the works and is at a RC2 status. Some of the changes include bug fixes of course, btrfs support, mono removed from grub and installer fixes. Keep in mind that btrfs is very young in development and should not be used in a stable environment. I did try it out in a virtual box setting and it seemed to work good for the little bit of time I worked with it. Mitch follows the progress of it and has been a good source for information. It sounds like in kernel 2.6.36 things will even be better for btrfs. I’ll have to try and keep an eye on it myself, seems promising.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • PCLinuxOS

        The fact that I really like about PCLinuxOS is its small community with great connection between one another. I can always reach to its developers easily. I know who is working on the distro that you are using. This is a great advantages for me to learn about Linux and grow to love it. I learned about packaging even though I seldom practice it.

    • Ubuntu

      • Guitars to Goat Festivals – Ubuntu For All!

        Pete found a local place, B-Sharp Music.Pete started talking to the owner Stan, who as it turned out is an advocate of Open Source. After they talked and he took a look at Ubuntu, he switched his computers over to Ubuntu. Karmic at the time, but now Lucid. Stan also asked for some CD’s and fliers so that when people asked what he was running on the computers in the music store he could tell them and help them switch to Ubuntu.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Pandora Open Source, Linux-based Handheld Game Console Now Shipping

      Pandora is also designed for the emulation of older computer systems and video game consoles. It has working emulators for Dreamcast, PlayStation, Nintendo 64, Amiga, SNES, Atari Jaguar and Sega Mega Drive software.

    • Nokia

      • Impressions of the latest MeeGo release

        MeeGo, in its first release, is pretty damn good, and this coming from a KDE loving maniac! It used to be Maemo, all Gtk in the backend, but now it is MeeGo with Qt (v4.6) as its backend now with a really nice MeeGo API as well. With MeeGo using Qt, KDE apps and Qt apps integrate nicely. What I don’t get is this, why in the hell are all of the Apps Gtk-based then? Chromium, OK I can understand, it is an amazing browser, and my browser of choice right now. Banshee? I think Amarok would have been a better app for media. Evolution? Oh hell no! I would rather they ship Mutt. You want me to say KMail or Kontact don’t you? Well I won’t, just yet. If I used POP3 for email, then yes, KMail/Kontact for the win! But seeing as I am lazy and use GMail’s IMAP settings, KMail needs help here. Thunderbird seems like a good choice, but for what I am guessing to be as a netbook operating system for those who aren’t hardcore mostly, I would think KMail/Kontact would be perfect. You can’t beat Kontact’s tight integration, you can’t, so don’t even try to argue that. Empathy is nice and light, so I understand it, even though I do not like it. I would have loved to have seen Kopete here, especially with its Skype plugin.

        Overall though, I am still impressed with MeeGo, though I don’t think it is my replacement for the KDE Plasma Netbook Workspace. I think it is a perfectly fine solution for many though, and I am excited to see the ongoing work that is going into it. I know a few of the developers and I know they will be doing an amazing job on it in the future, especially as it starts getting on the more mobile devices out there. It uses Yum/RPM, which took me a few minutes to get used to again, but package management was as fast as I am used to when using APT or some other Debian package manager.

        Good job MeeGo devs, and keep up the good work! I am fairly certain my review here sucked, so if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask them in the comments section, or email me at nixternal AT gmail DOT com, or even hit me up on IRC (freenode) as nixternal.

    • Android

      • Key WebOS developer jumps ship to Team Android

        Departure of Palm’s Matias Duarte may signal a vote of no confidence in HP’s ability to compete on mobile

      • Top 10 Android 2.2 Features Developers Can’t Wait to Use

        Android 2.2 (codename: Froyo) is a minor SDK release, but it still packs some punch, providing both developers and users with some much-anticipated features. After attending the Google I/O conference and witnessing the Froyo announcement, here are the top ten features (in no particular order) that we think developers cannot wait to get their hands on.

    • OLPC

      • One Laptop Per Child Revamps Tablet Plans

        The One Laptop Per Child foundation’s aim to create the world’s most innovative tablet computer for the developing world just took a giant leap toward reality. But as is often the case, reality may not be quite as exciting as imagination.

        On Thursday the foundation announced a partnership with chip maker Marvell to collaborate on a sleek and cheap touch-screen tablet for developing-world school children, a device it now plans to launch at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2011 for less than $100. One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) says that’s close to two years ahead of its scheduled release for the so-called XO-3, the long-awaited upgrade to the non-profit’s XO, the so-called “hundred-dollar laptop” launched in 2007.

Free Software/Open Source

  • A Thriving FOSS Community on the North

    Living in Sweden, conferences usually include travelling abroad. This is all fun, but it also means spending time away from family and work. This in turn means catching up on work, i.e. spending even less time with the family. Not exactly what I want to do all my life.

    Recently this has changed. First of all, the free community conference FSCONS (held in Gothenburn Sweden), has gained more and more technical content (without losing the free community angle!). This means that it is more and more attractive to my flavour of geeks. This year, in November, they are even pursuing an embedded track and I definitively plan on both attending and speaking!

  • Why Open Source Makes Sense: Scientifically Proven

    Check out this video below. Its basically an animation about an MIT social experiment, where sociologist found a bizarre pattern when it came to work and incentives. When the task at hand was a mundane and a repetitive task, money was found as perfect incentive. However, when the task required “rudimentary cognitive” skills, money, it turns out, wasn’t the best incentive. This makes perfect sense when we look at the amazing open source projects out there. From Linux to Wikipedia to Open Street Map, all these project tap into this basic human behavior.

  • Open source pays off for TimeTrex

    Many open source businesses have a multi-tiered product model, offering an open source version for free and a closed source version with extra features that users have to pay for. TimeTrex, a Canadian company that offers a web-based payroll and time management application, offers free Standard and commercial Business and Professional editions of its TimeTrex software, but all of them are open source. “Having a freely available edition allows potential customers to test out the software without any restrictions before deciding if they require support or features available in our other products,” says developer Jon Hutchison.

  • Free as in Speech

    • Wiki As an Example to Demystify Cloud Computing

      Cloud computing is supposed to save you money and make things easier for your business/organization. If a self-proclaimed cloud computing provider tries to sell you some expensive and fancy new technology that requires a lot of training on your employees, then be alerted that this may just be a hoax. Try partially replacing MS Word and Frontpage with wiki before buying any cloud solutions. Wiki is a minuscule, and yet most used form of cloud computing. It takes more cultural changes than monetary investment to introduce cloud computing into your organization/business. You can forget about cloud computing if your employees cannot get accustomed to this new culture of transparency, participation, and democracy.

    • Openness, transparency, and community: The future of commenting on the web

      But should that be the default for the entire web? Is complete openness always the best way? Are there valid reasons for completely closing comments (as a policy, not for specific posts) on a news site like NPR? What about the heavy policing implied in this comment? At the very least, shouldn’t it be more transparent–visible comment deletions, and reasons given to banned users?

    • What is “open source”? (And why should you care?)

      Although the term gets used quite a lot in technology circles, there is often some confusion about exactly what it means, particularly when it comes to questions of whether or not software that is “open source” is necessarily “free.” In an oft-repeated saying, open source is free as in “free speech” not free as in “free beer.” In other words, it is meant to be open and accessible, but that doesn’t necessarily come without a price-tag.

      In other words, open source is a practice that opens up the source (in the case of technology, this is typically the source code) so that others beyond the original creators can develop, expand, and modify the code. Unlike proprietary systems in which you are forbidden to “open the hood” to tinker with the moving parts, open source allows anyone to download the code and then alter it without restriction or fear of punishment.

  • Databases

    • CouchDB Moves to the Cloud With Couchio

      According to its motto, the underlying premise behind the open source CouchDB NoSQL database is about helping developers “relax” — chiefly by providing them with a simple, powerful database alternative.

  • Government

    • European Union lost open source decision C(2006) 7108

      A final version of the decision is not found in the register. In Europe you can file a request for public document access under the regulation EC/1049/2001 and usually get what you ask for. IDABC is now superceded by a new EU programme for interoperability, ISA. Apparently the Commission decision was later updated when the 1.1 version of the European Union Public License was approved. The EUPL is a wise choice for software from the public sector and enterprises as it is the legally best reviewed license for European market jurisdictions, available in all EU languages, it does not contain a political agenda and is compatible to most common licenses such as the GPL.

  • Open Hardware

    • Five Reasons Willow Garage is Going to Succeed

      4. Willow Garage is community first, personal gain second. The whole company is focused on how they can work with the global community to advance the field of robotics as a whole. This is largely expressed in the open source licensing of everything they do, and their insistence that everyone who uses the PR2 follow the same open sharing. Even more than that, it’s apparent in their attitudes. Keenan Wyrobek, Co-Director of Personal Robotics, freely admitted that other groups are working on PR2 like robots, and may soon make them cheaper and perhaps even better. He liked this idea. He wants other groups to innovate, to expand, and to improve the field of robotics. It’s cooperation first, competition later.

  • Programming

    • Dynamic Open Source Languages Head to the Cloud

      According to a poll conducted by analyst firm Redmonk and sponsored by dynamic language vendor ActiveState, over half of the developers surveyed have deployment plans for cloud applications within the next 12 months. Those cloud deployments are likely to be a hybrid of both public and private cloud platforms, according to 37 percent of respondents.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • WebM – The New Open Source Codec on the Block

      In August 2009, Google acquired codec developer On2 Technologies for a rumoured $106 million. The flagship On2 codec was VP8 and it was also rumoured at the time that Google may open source this technology in the future, although a number of challenges lay ahead.

      Late last week this rumour became reality and WebM was born. Alongside Theora and Dirac, WebM now enters the open source HTML 5 ready codec battle. Almost immediately all major web browsers, except one, but including Internet Explorer announced support for the codec. Using the might and muscle of Google WebM must have a solid chance of taking on the dominance of H.264 in the web video delivery battle. This really will be a solid kick in the pants for Theora, which now seems destined to remain a reasonably niche product, even with direct HTML 5 support from Firefox.

    • VLC 1.1.0 Release Candidate supports WebM / VP8

      The VideoLAN Project developers have announced the availability of a release candidate for version 1.1, the next major release, of their popular VLC Media Player. According to the developers, the latest 1.1 branch of VLC is much faster and more stable, thanks in part to a substantial amount of “important code clean-up” and rewrites. VLC is a free open source cross-platform multimedia player for various audio and video formats.

    • Mozilla trying to build VP8 into HTML5 video

      Mozilla is working to incorporate Google’s newly released VP8 video technology as part of the specification for Web video.

      “That’s our hope,” said Mozilla Chief Executive John Lilly when asked if VP8 could be built into the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) specification for Web-based video. “We’d love for VP8 to be specified in the HTML5 standard. Once it’s in the spec, it can really get better traction from other players.”

    • Intel eyes hardware acceleration for Google’s WebM

      Google last week announced the high-definition WebM video file format to deliver high-quality Web video to multiple devices including TV sets and handhelds. WebM files will include video streams compressed with the open-source VP8 video codec, which was acquired by Google when it bought On2 Technologies in February.

      “Just like we did with other codecs like MPEG2, H.264 & VC1, if VP8 establishes itself in the Smart TV space, we will add it to our [hardware] decoders,” said Wilfred Martis, general manager for retail consumer electronics at Intel’s Digital Home Group.


  • UK

    • The EGM debate: BCS v Len Keighley

      The BCS is facing a call for an Extraordinary General Meeting from 50 BCS members. Supporters of the EGM motion, led by former BCS trustee Len Keighley, have listed 20 reasons for suppporting the EGM. In the debate below, the BCS and Len Keighley put forward their arguments for and against the EGM.

    • A search wall for UK Times

      The UK’s Times and Sunday Times are putting up search walls in addition to pay walls.

      The papers, which plan to start charging users for access to their newly redesigned Web sites in late June, will prevent Google and other search engines from linking to their stories.

  • Science

  • Security/Aggression

    • Identity cards scheme will be axed ‘within 100 days’

      The 15,000 people who voluntarily paid £30 for a card since the 2009 roll out in Manchester will not get a refund.

    • New proposal would require identification to buy prepaid cellphones

      A bipartisan pair of Senate leaders have introduced a first-of-its-kind bill aimed at stopping terrorist suspects such as the would-be Times Square bomber from hiding their identities by using prepaid cellphones to plot their attacks.

    • CERT Releases Basic Fuzzing Framework

      Carnegie Mellon University’s CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team) has released a basic fuzzing framework to help identify and eliminate security vulnerabilities from software products.

    • 44 Million Stolen Gaming Credentials Uncovered

      In previous blogs, Symantec has highlighted threats that steal user data. We recently analyzed a new sample submitted to Symantec and came across a server hosting the credentials of 44 million stolen gaming accounts. What was interesting about this threat wasn’t just the sheer number of stolen accounts, but that the accounts were being validated by a Trojan distributed to compromised computers. Symantec detects this threat as Trojan.Loginck.

  • Environment

    • Obama defends handling of gulf oil spill

      As BP continued its effort to gain control of its untamed deep-sea well, President Obama announced more restrictions on offshore oil drilling Thursday and insisted his administration is firmly in charge of the response to the spill, now believed to be the largest in U.S. history.

  • Finance

    • Mathematical Logic Finds Unexpected Application on Wall Street

      The monetary advantage of the current strategy is rapidly exhausted after a lifetime of approximately four seconds–an eternity for a machine, but barely enough time for a human to begin to comprehend what happened. The algorithm then switches to another trading strategy of higher ordinal rank, and uses this for a few seconds on one or more electronic exchanges, and so on, while opponent algorithms attempt the same maneuvers, risking billions of dollars in the process.

  • Genetics

    • Prof. Correa in Munich – Jul 19 2010

      In the past decade, an increasing number of patents on plants and animals have been granted, especially in industrialised countries. The negative impacts of these patents on farmers, on breeders and on innovation have became more and more evident during the last years, as has the patents’ contribution to market concentration. There is a growing rejection of these patents by NGOs, farmers’ organizations, breeders and even governments. The conference “Patents on Seeds – The turning point?” shows current trends, highlights the negative impacts of the current patent system. Conference participants will discuss what the necessary changes are and what the possibilities are to effect such changes.

    • Genetically Engineered Bugs Can Smell Blue Light

      Fruit fly larvae made this mistake while participating in a study recently published in Frontiers in Neuroscience Behavior. By adding a light-sensitive protein to certain smell receptors in the larvae, German scientists allowed the genetically engineered bugs to essentially smell light.

  • Copyrights

  • ACTA

    • Tell Your Lawmakers: “Anti-Counterfeiting” Treaty Is a Sham

      ACTA is being negotiated by a handful of countries behind closed doors and is on track to be finished by the end of this year. Despite its potentially far-reaching impact for consumers and the future of the open Internet, the U.S. Trade Representative has claimed that it can shut out Congressional oversight by treating ACTA as a “sole executive agreement” under the President’s executive power, rather than a treaty.

      We can’t sit back and let this fake “anti-counterfeiting” agreement become law! If your congressional representative is on one of the committees below that has oversight over the U.S. Trade Representative, tell your lawmaker not to be fooled by this chicanery and demand that ACTA be limited to addressing international counterfeiting.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – VE – Systems (10/16/2003)

Links 28/5/2010: GNOME Shell 2.31.2, Ubuntu Redesigns

Posted in News Roundup at 4:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop (GNU/Linux Versus Windows)

    • Washing the windows myths. Ease of use.

      With the latest releases of both windows and Linux there is really not much to separate them in terms of ease of use and eye kandy. They both look really pretty at first glance and even have similar features. I would go so far as to say that both Linux and windows have “borrowed” ideas from each other. Personally I am quite happy with that as it makes it easier for people to migrate from windows to Linux ;P

    • World’s Funniest Windows Error Messages

      Since some people have learned to look at the bright or should I say funny side of life, they have decided to create something out of those error messages. They have Photoshopped or edited some Windows error messages and made them look so realistic to try to tickle our funny bone.

  • Server

    • Top 5 Free Linux Distributions for Servers in 2010

      1. Debian

      Surely a seasoned pro with more than a decade of development. The distribution is entirely based volunteers bound by Debian social contract. There are leaders elected annually from and by members of the Debian project.

      Those using the up-to-date and they age rapidly, especially since the new stable releases are only published. The users who prefer the latest packages and technologies are forced to use the potentially buggy Debian testing and unstable branches.

  • Ballnux

  • Kernel Space

    • LinuxCon Program Announced: This Year’s Themes

      It’s been a hectic few months narrowing down the content for this year’s LinuxCon. Craig Ross and I have been working on this schedule for what seems like years, but we are very proud to announce it today. You can find it here.

      I think the program has an amazing mix of business, operations and of course developer content that reflects the growing ecosystem that is Linux. I’m especially proud of the technical content that features many of the best minds behind the kernel and other upstream Linux projects. But LinuxCon is much more than just technical kernel topics: it also has content touching mobile computing, cloud and legal and business issues facing enterprise IT managers today. Linux is now becoming dominant in mobile and cloud computing so it’s no surprise LinuxCon’s content matches those themes.

    • LinuxCon 2010 Program and Schedule Announced
  • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Which Low Resource Linux Distribution Should You Use For Your Old Computer?

      If you have an old machine that no longer has an operating system, you don’t have to throw that machine away. You can put it to good use with an operating system that doesn’t require a fast processor or big disk drive. Fortunately there are plenty of Linux distributions that will work on your old hardware and run at fairly moderate speeds even if your machine is really old. There are quite a few Linux distributions that don’t demand too much resources so that your computer will run relatively fast.

      First of all, you need to stay away from distributions that use Gnome and KDE. These tend to use too many resources for old hardware and will cause the machine to lag way too much for basic applications. Look for these distributions that don’t use these graphical interfaces.

    • Measuring the popularity of distros – Part 2 Google Trends

      Here you can see that Linux Mint and PCLinuxOS do actually exist in Google’s eyes, but not compared to Ubuntu’s search rankings. Still they only have a fraction of the googles of OpenSUSE, which only has a fraction of the googles of Ubuntu.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva Linux 2010 Spring background contest winners

        Here are the results of the contest Mandriva launched one month ago. Thanks everybody for your interest and for contributing, we had almost 150 photos submitted (rules were more strict this time for submission, explaining why submission pool was smaller).

        We had to pick 10 photos, choice was really hard. You will find below the 10 winners. Note that we have a 11th photo we wanted to add as we found it really nice (and it is from one of the 10 winners). Again congrats for all contributers and especially to the winners.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Szulik to step down as Red Hat chairman

        Matthew Szulik, chairman of Red Hat’s board of directors, is stepping down in August after his term expires, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

      • Fedora

        • Review: Fedora 13 “Goddard”

          As far as I am concerned, I consider Fedora a distro suited for experienced and advanced users, and Fedora13 is no exception.

        • Fedora 13

          Summary: Fedora 13 adds social media to the desktop, the GNOME Color Manager and numerous other updates and enhancements. It’s definitely worth an upgrade if you’re currently using Fedora 12.

          Rating: 3.5/5

        • Fedora 13: Boring yet Good

          Overall: 4/5 (Good)

        • Fedora Remix “Lucky13″ featuring mintMenu

          A few months ago, I talked about mintMenu being ported to Fedora. I was excited to see it happen. Using technologies such as Git and GitHub.com we can easily fork projects and keep track of the improvements and bug fixes done on each fork. Commits can be selectively applied and so the more our technologies are forked, the more momentum they get, the more communities provide feedback and ideas for them, and the faster they improve.

    • Ubuntu

      • Canonical, Ubuntu: We’re More Than Mark Shuttleworth

        Shuttleworth will need similar help to keep Canonical moving in the right direction, especially as new rivals potentially step in to acquire Novell and/or Mandriva.

      • Ubuntu Lucid Lynx 10.04 can read your iPhone’s secrets
      • Design

        • The Challenge of Understanding Icons

          As these results suggest, our methodology should help us develop a systemic representation of icon attributes from which we can build a coherent design language and it promises to provide pointers to problem areas as it suggests alternative interpretations. Some of the learnings from this first effort…

        • The keyboard menu

          Quite often, designers work on a design for something they’re unlikely to use themselves. This is a situation I’ve found myself in the past few weeks, designing a new keyboard menu for Ubuntu.


          At UDS earlier this month we discussed the new menu. We’d also like your feedback on the full specification, especially if you use input methods or multiple keyboard layouts.

        • New Ubuntu website live

          The official Ubuntu.com website has finally gone live with its new re-branded design.

      • Ubuntu Control Center

        • Contributing Back to Gnome?

          I was reading about the Ubuntu Control Center-UCC fever from a lot of blogs and twitter from people linked to the Ubuntu Community.

          The author did a very good job. He made glowing lights come out from people’s eyes staring at the application layout looking very Ubuntuish.

        • Ubuntu Control Center (ucc) – Simple tool for ubuntu administration

          Ubuntu Control Center or UCC is an application inspired by Mandriva Control Center and aims to centralize and organize in a simple and intuitive form the main configuration tools for Ubuntu distribution. UCC uses all the native applications already bundled with Ubuntu, but it also utilize some third-party apps like “Hardinfo”, “Boot-up Manager”, “GuFW” and “Font-Manager”.

        • Ubuntu Control Centre project aims to make System config simple
      • Reviews

        • Review: Ubuntu Unleased 2010 Edition: Covering 9.10 and 10.4
        • Karmic To Lucid – A Few Bumps

          Ubuntu improves a bit with each release. This release is no exception. I recommend that all Ubuntu users do the upgrade as long as their equipment permits it.

        • Review: Ubuntu 10.04 Server Edition

          KMS would be especially nice in a server environment without X installed.

        • Ubuntu 10.04 review

          We are in the middle of another release cycle. Folks in the community are busing updating their systems, and demoing distributions that hold promise. Should Ubuntu 10.04, Lucid Lynx, be on your demo list? I can’t answer that for you. The best I can do to help you decide, is present to you a list of features that should make you smile and also ones I think will not be good for your blood pressure.

      • Variants

        • Linux Mint 9: A Fresh Spin on Ubuntu

          In addition to the use of SLAB, Mint has its own Software Manager as well as its own Software Updater that look different and are more streamlined than Ubuntu’s. Mint also includes its own software/file backup tool.

        • Qimo 2.0 is now available!

          After much hard work, and some delay, we are pleased to bring your the second version of our popular Linux Desktop for Kids!

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Nokia

      • MeeGo 1.0 (Moblin + Maemo) – Linux Based OS By Intel And Nokia – Has Been Released!

        ConnMan (which is sponsored by both Intel and Nokia) is used for connection management – application which Ubuntu will also use for its 10.10 Netbook Edition, as well as Telephony APIs (oFono) for telephony services.

      • MeeGo Netbook Performance: It’s Beating Ubuntu & Co

        Finally, we have our Bootchart numbers for the four distributions. With Fedora 13, prior to collecting the boot metrics, we set the GDM to automatically login to the GNOME desktop, since the three other desktops all use auto-logins as well.

        Fedora 13 had a boot time of 23 seconds, Moblin 2.1 had a boot time of 18.45 seconds, Ubuntu Netbook Remix 10.04 came in at 17.31 seconds, and MeeGo had a boot time of just 8.151 seconds.

    • Android

      • Motorola Shadow glimpsed in the wild: 4.1-inch screen, 8MP camera, OMAP3630 processor?

        Leave it to the very same poster who teased the Motorola Shadow’s Getting Started manual, wnrussell of Howard Forums, to provide a pretty clear shot of the device itself — yep, that’s a HDMI out port — and reveal some purported specs. Here’s the claimed technical details: 4.1-inch screen, TI OMAP 3630 processor (a 720MHz ARM Cortex A8), 8GB internal storage, 8 megapixel camera.

    • OLPC

      • $100 computing in 2010

        It’s time to take the old meme of $100 computing seriously.

      • OLPC’s Negroponte Says XO-3 Prototype Tablet Coming in 2010

        One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project founder Nicholas Negroponte said that the organization is accelerating its development of the XO-3 tablet computer and will have a working prototype by December 2010, two years ahead of projections. Negroponte said the final product would cost US$75.

      • One Laptop per Child and Marvell Join Forces to Redefine Tablet Computing for Students Around the World

        One Laptop per Child (OLPC), a global organization whose mission is to help provide every child in the world access to a modern education, and Marvell, a worldwide leader in integrated silicon solutions, have agreed to jointly develop a family of next-generation OLPC XO tablet computers based on the Marvell® Moby reference design. This new partnership will provide designs and technologies to enable a range of new educational tablets, delivered by OLPC and other education industry leaders, aimed at schools in both the U.S. and developing markets. Marvell is also announcing today it has launched Mobylize, a campaign aimed at improving technology adoption in America’s classrooms.

      • The OLPC’s real importance is as a conversation starter

        The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project is looking to launch a prototype of its XO-3 later this year. The real advantage of having the OLPC around is as a product conversation starter and design influence.

        IDG News Service reports that the OLPC is speeding up the development of the XO-3 tablet, which wasn’t supposed to land until 2012. The idea is that this tablet would cost $75. OLPC also provided details on its blog.

    • Tablets

      • Enterprise Mobility: Dell Streak Tablet, Unlike Apple iPad, Is Also a Phone, Supports Flash

        Dell introduced the Streak, a tablet with a 5-inch touch screen and the Android OS, May 25. Unlike the Apple iPad, the Streak is also a phone, offers multitasking and can support Adobe’s Flash for viewing video and animations. Its size, however, may give some consumers pause. Some analysts have called it an oversized Android smartphone targeted at high-end consumers wanting a tablet-style Web-browsing experience.

      • enTourage to Partner with The Douglas Stewart Company to Bring eDGe to Schools

        It houses two screens – one with an eInk display, and the other an LCD – for maximum functionality and flexibility. You can use one side exclusively to read, the other side exclusively as a tablet, or both sides to create a netbook-like experience. It would be perfect for students and teachers alike to use in a class-room (especially considering the cost of books and the probability that they’ll be beat up over a short period of time).

      • Via Says $100 Android Tablets Will Challenge the IPad This Year

        Via Technologies Inc., the Taiwanese computer-processor company, expects $100 tablet devices containing its chips to reach the U.S. in the second half of 2010, offering a cheaper alternative to the iPad.

        About five different models, ranging in price from $100 to $150, will be available, Richard Brown, vice president of marketing at Via, said in an interview. The new computers, made by the company’s Chinese customers, will run Google Inc.’s Android operating system.

    • Acer

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Makes a Difference

    The obvious reason to use open source software is cost savings, says Mark Madsen, president of market research firm Third Nature. But, whether you actually save when it comes to license and support costs is the question among many.

    Using public sources and vendor information, Madsen created a Pentaho-sponsored cost comparison report (“Lowering the Cost of Business Intelligence With Open Source”), comparing BI software and support costs from Pentaho, IBM (Cognos), MicroStrategy, Oracle and SAP (Business Objects).

  • An Open Source Principle: One Good Thing Leads To Another

    In open source, the idea that the endgame for a project won’t necessarily closely resemble the origin is a given, not a surprise. It’s part of the point of open source. If you look at what’s going on on the open source scene, now, you see this concept being played out all around.

  • The Contributor’s Code: What Should be Expected of FLOSS Contributors?

    Free and open source projects provide an amazing example of what volunteer contributors can do. While many folks are paid to work on open source, there’s still an enormous amount of work done by volunteers. Like any volunteer work, though, contributions can be disrupted by more pressing work and personal issues. What do, or should, contributors commit to when volunteering with a project?

  • Will an open source BitTorrent be good or bad?

    BitTorrent has decided to open source its new uTorrent protocol, which has now entered a public beta.

    The software is available at GitHub and the license can be viewed here. Reportedly this is the MIT License.

  • Mozilla

    • Mozilla hires open-standards guru Celik

      Firefox parent company Mozilla Corp. has hired Tantek Çelik, a well-known figure in the developer and open-Web community, for the role of Web standards lead.

      But as Mozilla deals with internal issues and a continued threat from Google’s Chrome, where exactly does this hire fit in? CNET spoke with Çelik on Tuesday, on the eve of his first day at the new job, and rather than talking about keeping ahead of Chrome or dealing with Facebook’s increasing dominance, he said that what’s really in his crosshairs is the iPhone–and how pretty it makes everything.

  • Business


    • RMS: AMA

      Richard Stallman has agreed to answer your top ten questions. RMS will answer the top ten comments in this thread (using “best” comment sorting) as of 12pm ET on June 2nd. This will be a text only interview (no video). Ask him anything!

  • Government

    • TR: Ministry of Justice and law courts consider open source desktop

      Turkey’s ministry of Justice, all of its institutions and all law courts are considering to move or partly move to a complete open source desktop, according to judge Cengiz Tanrikulu. That migration would complete the implementation of an information system built on open source software, the National Judiciary Informatics System (UYAP, Ulusal Yargi Aği Projesi).

      Judge Tanrikulu, involved in the development of UYAP, said the government’s law offices are considering a move to Pardus, a Linux distribution primarily developed by Turkey’s Research Institute of Electronics and Cryptology. “We are already using OpenOffice on all of the desktops. We began using OpenOffice in 2007 and it has helped us to save billions.”

      The judge presented UYAP in Amsterdam in a workshop organised by NOiV, the Dutch government project on open standards and open source, on Wednesday.

      Development of UYAP started in 2000 with a document management system, built using open source components. It offers access to legal documents to civil workers at the ministry, at law courts, police, prisons, prosecution, Home Office and to the Land Registry. The system can also be accessed by any mobile phone.

  • Licensing

    • Google demands more openness from the Open Source Initiative

      Google’s open source programs manager, Chris DiBona has asked the Open Source Initiative to delay consideration of Google’s WebM license, and in doing so has called on the OSI to be more open. Specifically, DiBona said Google “will want a couple of changes to how OSI does licenses” and that he thinks “that OSI needs to be more open about its workings to retain credibility in the space”.

      DiBona statement came in response to Bruce Perens’ request for the OSI’s License Discuss mailing list to consider the WebM license introduced by Google for its VP8 video codec, and follows the declaration by Open Source Initiative board member, Simon Phipps, that WebM is “not open source”.

  • Openness

    • Over Bogus Industry Studies On Co

      CC Korea prepares “The 1st Shared Film Festival” for showing and sharing global movies with CC License. The festival, lasting from June 3 to June 9, will be held at Cine-maru located in Seoul, South Korea.

    • Open Data

      • What We Can Learn From the Guardian’s New Open Platform

        The Guardian isn’t the kind of tech-savvy enterprise one would normally look to for guidance on digital issues or Internet-related topics. For one thing, it’s not a startup — it’s a 190-year-old newspaper. And it’s not based in Palo Alto, Calif., but in London Manchester, England. The newspaper company, however, is doing something fairly revolutionary by simply changing the way it thinks about value creation and where that comes from in an online world.

      • DRM: Publishers don’t want it. So why?

        I should make it clear that although I campaign gently for Open Access publishing (as opposed to frenetically for Open Data) I accept that there are closed-access publishers. My concern there is that they make it clear what they are providing, what rights they have extracted from the author, what restrictions they have placed on the reader (sorry, enduser-customer) and whether they provide reasonable value for money. For example, a closed-access publisher usually has an Open Access option where authors can pay – in some cases this is very good value (e.g. Acta Crystallographica) and in others (ACS) it’s very poor (the freely visible material is not open and festooned with restrictions).

      • Open Government and open data

        In a classic example of the Broken Window Fallacy successive governments have regarded the data they, or government-supported monopolies such as the Post Office, collected as the government’s property to be monetised to the hilt. They have also kept many details of their own working practices secret. In this article I will deal with the case for as much openness as is possible in both these areas: government produced data and data about government.

        So, first on government produced data. The previous government had some good track record on the principles here, passing the Freedom of Information Act and setting up data.gov.uk. The principles were right here, but they failed to go the distance and truly change the attitudes embedded in government that data by default should be kept secret and only opened up when necessary. the incoming government need to work hard to change this attitude and free the data. Unless it is PII (see Lilian’s article on the challenges for the new government on privacy) government data should be free (as in speech). Very narrow lines requiring significant work to justify closure should be put in place otherwise.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Academia as a Commons

        The very mission and identity of academia is implicated in the future of digital technologies, the Internet and copyright law. At stake is the ability of colleges and universities to act as inter-generational stewards of knowledge… to assure that their own scholarly output is freely accessible and usable…. to curate knowledge in better ways and to disseminate it as broadly as possible….and to foster innovative research and learning.

    • Open Hardware

  • Programming

    • Django 1.2 Brings Security Improvements

      The Django Web framework got a major update this week with the release of Django 1.2 on Monday. This release brings some security improvements, better email handling, performance improvements, and better localization support.

    • [Eclipse:] Call for Participation

      We consider everyone who attends ESE to be a participant. When you come to the conference, you’re learning and teaching about Eclipse by attending the sessions, talking with colleagues, and joining in the networking at the social events.


  • Vulnerability contest – Find the oldest bug!
  • Zer01 Loses $43 Million Judgement For Vaporware

    Last summer we skeptically directed your attention to a carrier by the name of Zer01, which was promising users unlimited voice and data on smart phones for $69.95/month, without a contract. The service claimed to use a VoIP application to route all calls. According to the founders, the service tunneled over GSM networks, though Zer01 claimed to have their own IP network — and claimed to be using interconnect (roaming) agreements to make calls. In short, Zer01 was supposed to be a mobile virtual network enabler (MVNE).

  • The developer obsession with code names, 114 interesting examples

    So what kind of code names are developers out there coming up with? Here is a collection of code names for software products from companies like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Canonical, Red Hat, Adobe, Mozilla, Automattic and more. We’ve tried to give some background information where possible. You’ll notice that some code name schemes are definitely more out there than others.

  • Wyoming judge blocks news stories on college trip

    In a rare move, a Wyoming judge has blocked two newspapers from publishing stories on an internal report about a college president’s trip to Costa Rica, saying the report was improperly taken and that releasing details could prompt the federal government to cut college grant money.

  • No Contempt, No Jail for Spamming a Judge

    The Chicago judge’s inbox was flooded with hundreds of messages, and his Blackberry froze. He promptly found Trudeau — who was being sued by the Federal Trade Commission — in contempt of court and sentenced him to jail. The term was stayed pending appeal.

  • Times Online Says Competitors Will Go Out Of Business Without A Paywall

    As Rupert Murdoch and News Corp. get ready to begin their latest paywall experiments with the Times of London and the Sunday Times, the company has revealed a few more details, and it looks like this particular paywall will be fairly complete. Unlike the WSJ, this won’t be a “leaky” paywall. The content will be opted out of Google, and there will be no way to get to it, unless you subscribe at the rather hefty price of £1 per day. What’s amazing is that the folks behind this experiment still think it’s going to be a huge success — even as nearly all of the papers’ competitors are remaining steadfastly free.

  • Revenue per Employee – Key Stats from Technology Companies
  • Science

    • X-51A races to hypersonic record

      The scramjet engine in the experimental aircraft burned for a little over three minutes at around 10 a.m. PDT Wednesday in a test range over the Pacific Ocean, pushing the X-51A to the hypersonic speed of Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound. That was the top speed reached by the aircraft in its brief flight, according to Boeing and press reports citing U.S. Air Force officials. (Editors’ note: A separate Air Force News Service report had initially cited a higher speed, but was amended to give the Mach 5 figure.)

    • Sony shows off super-flexible OLED display
    • Tracking the Ancestry of Corn Back 9,000 Years

      It is now growing season across the Corn Belt of the United States. Seeds that have just been sown will, with the right mixture of sunshine and rain, be knee-high plants by the Fourth of July and tall stalks with ears ripe for picking by late August.


      But George W. Beadle, while a graduate student at Cornell University in the early 1930s, found that maize and teosinte had very similar chromosomes. Moreover, he made fertile hybrids between maize and teosinte that looked like intermediates between the two plants. He even reported that he could get teosinte kernels to pop. Dr. Beadle concluded that the two plants were members of the same species, with maize being the domesticated form of teosinte. Dr. Beadle went on to make other, more fundamental discoveries in genetics for which he shared the Nobel Prize in 1958. He later became chancellor and president of the University of Chicago.

  • Security/Aggression

  • Environment

    • Despite Moratorium, Drilling Projects Move Ahead

      In the days since President Obama announced a moratorium on permits for drilling new offshore oil wells and a halt to a controversial type of environmental waiver that was given to the Deepwater Horizon rig, at least seven new permits for various types of drilling and five environmental waivers have been granted, according to records.

    • Gov’t Subsidizes Deep-Water Drilling With Big Tax Breaks

      By now there’s little debate that the technology used to obtain oil in deeper waters was developed and rapidly put into use before safety technology could keep up. As we’ve noted, that’s a development that regulators allowed, despite their concerns.

    • Shifting BP’s Clean Up Costs to Consumers? Say It Ain’t So!

      Who is going to pay to clean up BP’s disastrous oil spill, besides BP? After all, they made $14 billion in profit last year alone. BP has asserted it will pay all “legitimate claims” for damages — talk about a lot of wiggle room there — but beyond actual cleanup costs, BP’s economic damage liability is legislatively, and outrageously, capped at $75 million, a pittance to a company that made 186 times that amount in profit in 2009. Senate Democrats attempted to increase the liability cap to $10 billion by proposing and passing a bill, but their efforts were thwarted by Senate Republicans. The current tally for the cleanup cost stands at $760 million, but that is surely understated.

    • More Reports of Illness Emerge Among Gulf Cleanup Workers

      Fishermen hired by BP to help with the oil spill cleanup in the Gulf of Mexico are coming down sick with “severe headaches, dizziness, nausea and difficulty breathing” after working long hours in oil- and dispersant-contaminated waters, according to the Los Angeles Times.

    • Crisis Commons releases open source oil spill reporting

      Crisis Commons has released a new open data initiative to enable response organizations to report from the oil spill. Oil Reporter allows response workers to capture and share data with the public as they respond to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

    • Deepwater Horizon Blowout: This is What the End of the Oil Age Looks Like

      There will be plenty of blame to go around, as events leading up to the fatal rig explosion are sorted out. Even if efforts to plug the gushing leak succeed sooner rather than later, the damage to the Gulf environment and to the economy of the region will be incalculable and will linger for years if not decades.

    • Push to teach “other side” of global warming heats up in Colorado’s Mesa County

      A national group that thinks global warming is “junk science” and that teaching it is unnecessarily scaring schoolchildren brought its first petition effort for “balanced education” to Mesa County Schools on Tuesday night.

      Rose Pugliese, an unsuccessful candidate for a District 51 school board seat in the last election, presented a petition with 700 signatures to the board asking that science teachers stop giving lessons on global warming.

    • Don’t Even Mention Global Warming to Kids

      A new group called “Balanced Education for Everyone”(BEE) is rolling out a national effort to stop the teaching of global warming in schools, calling it “unnecessary.”

    • Daily Dump: A Creative Commons Concept for Composting Worldwide

      Why throw away valuables as waste? That is the simple yet profound idea behind Daily Dump. As of May 2010 Daily Dump customers keep 4095.8 kgs of organic waste out of landfills every day. Simply because Daily Dump enables them to do so.

    • Protecting biodiversity reduces poverty in developing nations

      Among conservationists, policy-makers, and the public, there is great debate about whether the establishment of national parks and reserves in developing nations causes poverty or helps to alleviate it. While opponents claim that protected areas limit agricultural development and the harvesting of natural resources, supporters contend that protected areas generate tourism income and improve infrastructure in the surrounding areas. A new study in PNAS this week suggests that, in the long term, establishing protected areas in developing nations does reduce poverty in local communities.

  • Finance

    • E.U. Proposes Bank Levy to Pay for Future Crises

      A European Union official proposed Wednesday that member states tax banks to raise money for a fund that would be used specifically to manage future financial crises.

    • Geithner Sees Consensus on Finance Reform

      Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said in Berlin on Thursday that the United States and Europe were in “broad agreement” on the need for stricter market regulation but stressed that they would take different paths when necessary.

    • Creepy Pennsylvania Tax Agency Ad Goes Big Brother

      A threatening TV commercial appearing in Pennsylvania has residents of the state spooked by its “Orwellian” overtones, and critics are calling it a government attempt to scare delinquent citizens into paying back taxes.

    • Proposed Overhaul of Accounting Standards Contains Mark-to-Market Rule

      The group that sets corporate accounting standards proposed an overhaul Wednesday of the way lenders record the value of their assets, hoping that more stringent and consistent reporting rules might help avert another financial crisis.

    • Not Enough Skin in the Game

      There is a fifth way to improve the financial reform bill that has received scant notice. Both the House and Senate versions are almost identical on this point, because the authors of the pertinent section were evidently not familiar with current industry practice. The bills require that the packagers of asset-backed securities that fail to meet certain underwriting standards (which have yet to be specified) retain ownership of 5 percent of those securities. The basic idea is that by requiring issuers of subprime securities to have some “skin in the game” (a phrase used in the Senate bill summary), they will have the incentive to be more careful underwriters.

    • Down Under Consumers Leading the Way?

      The fees in question are honour and dishonour fees on overdrawn bank accounts and over-limit and late payment fees on credit cards. Financial Redress refers to these as “exception fees” and alleges that the banks have been charging customers an “unfair” amount. Customers are both individuals and businesses.

    • So Damn Little Money

      Or look at the lifetime contributions by the financial sector to (some) senators who voted for and against the Brown-Kaufman amendment, which would have imposed a hard size cap and a hard leverage cap on the biggest banks – over $2 million per senator by this one partial count.

      But wait. This is actually very little money considering what is at stake. For an individual large firm actively engaged in derivatives trading, the stakes could easily be in the billions of dollars. For the big banks as a whole, the amount they will be allowed to earn (and pay themselves) as a result of the failure of these financial reforms is – conservatively speaking – in the tens of billions of dollars.

    • Bank Fight Continues — Now It’s Lincoln v. Obama

      Not long after the financial crisis, it was clear that the “solutions” that would emerge from the administration would be weak. With Tim Geithner and Larry Summers in the driver’s seat it was clear that there would be no bold transformative vision, no “New Deal” for the 21st century, but tweaks like a “systemic risk regulator” that would somehow endow failed regulatory bodies with the foresight needed to predict the next crisis and the back bone needed to take decisive action.

    • Exclusive: US Probes Goldman’s Timberwolf Deal, Alleged Victim Says ‘Whole Thing Was Fraudulent Concoction

      The federal prosecutors investigating Goldman Sachs are focusing on Timberwolf, the infamous “shitty deal” repeatedly cited in a tense Senate hearing last month, according to people who have been contacted by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office.

    • The Last Hold Out: Senator Blanche Lincoln Against 13 Bankers

      Legal authority against market manipulation would be greatly strengthened and there would be more protection for whistleblowers. And the kind of transaction that Goldman entered into with Greece – a swap transaction with the goal of reducing measured debt levels, effectively deceiving current and future investors, would become more clearly illegal. All of this is entirely reasonable and responsible – and completely opposed by the most powerful people on Wall Street.

      Of course, most of the anti-Lincoln fire has been directed against the idea that “swaps desks” would be “pushed out” to subsidiaries – i.e., the big broker-dealers could still engage in these transactions, but they would need to hold a great deal more capital against their exposures, thus making the activities significantly less profitable.

      It is striking that while Treasury argues that increasing capital is the way to go with regard to financial reform, they are adamantly opposed to what would amount to more reasonable capital levels at the heart of the derivatives business.

      This is beyond disappointing.

    • Goldman Sachs Girds for Battle With the SEC Over Fraud Case

      Goldman Sachs is preparing to file a full-blown, point-by-point defense against the fraud allegations filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to people familiar with the matter.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • The smart paranoid’s guide to using Google

      Google is nearly everyone’s best friend. But have you ever stopped to think about just how much Google knows about you?

    • So, Why Do We Trust Google with Our Data?
    • Bordentown Mayor James Lynch Seeks to Shut Down BordenTownMayorReallySucks.com

      There’s so much wrong with Mayor Lynch’s resolution that I can’t quite get my head around it. Even if the gripe site has published false and defamatory statements about the mayor or his family, shutting down the entire site would not only be ham-handed, it would be blatantly unconstitutional.

    • Australia official: Google deliberately took Wi-Fi data

      It is hard to understand why some enterprising TV company hasn’t already created a game show called “Breach of Privacy.” This would entail people telling their stories of the most egregious ways in which their privacy was removed from them, with viewers voting for the winners.

    • Google Balks at Turning Over Private Internet Data to Regulators

      Google has balked at requests from regulators to surrender Internet data and fragments of e-mail messages that it collected from unsecured home wireless networks, saying it needed time to resolve legal issues.

    • European Commission seeks high privacy standards in EU-US data protection agreement

      The European Commission today adopted a draft mandate to negotiate a personal data protection agreement between the European Union and the United States when cooperating to fight terrorism or crime. The aim is to ensure a high level of protection of personal information like passenger data or financial information that is transferred as part of transatlantic cooperation in criminal matters. The agreement would enhance the right of citizens to access, rectify or delete data, where appropriate. EU citizens would receive a right to seek judicial redress in the US if their data is unlawfully processed. Independent public authorities would be given a stronger role in helping people exercise their privacy rights and in supervising transatlantic data transfers. The Council must approve the Commission’s negotiating mandate before talks can begin. The European Parliament will be fully informed at all stages of the negotiations and will have to give its consent to the outcome of the negotiations.

    • Guy Who Encouraged People To Commit Suicide Online Banned From The Internet

      While there’s no way to defend what this guy did, so far this whole case seems to go in dangerous directions, both from the standpoint of free speech questions, as well as overly aggressive internet bans, due to one particular activity done on the internet.

    • Experts say censorship not the way to stop terrorists from recruiting online

      Censoring websites used by terrorist groups to recruit supporters is counterproductive, according to expert testimony on the Hill Wednesday.

      Any laws or regulations aimed at blocking or removing extremist web content could hamper law enforcement’s ability to collect information on the groups, according to civil liberties advocates at a hearing of the House Select Committee on Homeland Security.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Gameloft Keeps Getting it Wrong

      This time around we’ve learned that the DRM and app protection is unlike anything we’ve seen on the platform.

      Short version: Any games you purchase from them are good for only one install on one device. That’s it.

    • Blizzard boss says DRM is a waste of time

      His company – which is responsible for the biggest videogame of all time, the worryingly-addictive online fantasy role player World of Warcraft – is to release Starcraft 2 on July 27th and Pearce has told Videogamer that the title won’t be hobbled with the kind of crazy copy protection schemes which have made Ubisoft very unpopular in gaming circles of late.

    • Invasive DRM systems are dangerous from a security perspective

      In recent times, it seems to be an increasing trend for anti-copying software DRM systems to install invasive privileged software. For example, there’s the ever so infamous “Sony DRM Rootkit” that Mark Russinovich publicly exposed some time ago. Unfortunately, software like this is becoming commonplace nowadays.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • A Look At How The Fashion Industry Thrives Without Copyright

      The thing that disappointed me about the presentation, frankly, is that while it’s titled: “Lessons from fashion’s free culture” Blakely never really gets that deeply into the lessons. She does talk about a few other areas of creative endeavors where copyright is not allowed for the most part (recipes, cars, furniture, etc.) and has an amusing slide that compares the revenue generated in industries with copyright and those not protected by copyright (the “not protected by copyright” part vastly outweighs the “protected by copyright” side). I’d like to see that slide in a bit more detail, because, while amusing, it threatens to fall into the same trap as the recent Chamber of Commerce report that tries to claim the exact opposite. It says that copyright protected industries contribute a lot more to the economy than non-covered industries. In both cases, though, I fear that there’s some cherry-picking of data and questionable classifications.

      I do think that there’s a ton to learn from industries like the fashion industry — including suggestions on ways those lessons can be applied to industries like music and movies. Hopefully we’ll start seeing a deeper analysis on that soon.

    • Roderick Long Finally Realizes IP is Unjustified
    • Cory Doctorow: Publish books free online

      Politically engaged and disarmingly geeky, Cory Doctorow is one of the better-known faces of the digital revolution: co-editor of the celebrated blog Boing Boing (“a directory of wonderful things”), he is also author of half-a-dozen science fiction novels and a journalist. Born in Canada, the 38-year-old writer now lives in London, although when we speak, he’s in the US, promoting his latest book, For the Win. This tells a story of teens rebelling against global corporations and is pitched at the “young adult” market. As with all his fiction, the book has been released simultaneously in bookshops and, for free, online.

    • Letter to MacBreak’s Scott Bourne about Open Source and the Free Market

      That said, I agree with you that there is no “religious” reason for a given individual or firm to use open source over non-open — whatever works better and is the better deal for you, of course. And in fact the “open source” model is not without problems: it also relies on copyright, and has insidious aspects — that’s one reason I, as an anti-copyright type, prefer public domain or creative commons attribution only instead of the share-alike/GNU type model (which I explain in Copyright is very sticky!, Eben Moglen and Leftist Opposition to Intellectual Property, and Leftist Attacks on the Google Book Settlement).

    • GM Sued Because Of Einstein Ad

      Albert Einstein is among the world’s top-earning dead people, and an Israeli university that holds rights to his image is asking General Motors Co. to pay for putting the physics pioneer in a magazine ad.

    • Let’s Make the Visually Impaired Full Digital Citizens

      As I wrote recently in my Open… blog, copyright is about making a fair deal: in return for a government-supported, time-limited monopoly, creators agree to place their works in the public domain after that period has expired. But that monopoly also allows exceptions, granted for various purposes like the ability to quote limited extracts, or the ability to make parodies (details depend on jurisdiction.)

      The industries based around copyright’s intellectual monopoly don’t like those exceptions, and fight tooth and nail against any extensions of them. Naturally enough, you might say – after all, they’re businesses, and it’s they’re duty to shareholders to maximise their profits. But sometimes this reflexive refusal to compromise a jot because of concerns about the bottom line goes too far. As, I would suggest, in this case.

      A draft treaty has been prepared by the World Blind Union, and put forward by the WIPO Delegations of Brazil, Ecuador and Paraguay in May 2009. In essence, this treaty seeks to allow those with visual impairments to read books that are currently unavailable to them – a staggering 95% of the total market.

    • Industry minister admits to breaking copyright law to build iPod collection

      Industry Minister Tony Clement has an admission to make: He built his impressive music library on his iPod in part by breaking Canada’s copyright law.

    • Copyrights

      • Should Customs decide what’s a circumvention device?

        The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a complex and highly controversial statute, and the anti-circumvention provisions in section 1201 are some of its most complex and controversial components. Despite more than a decade’s worth of judicial interpretation, there remain plenty of unsettled questions about just what constitutes circumvention and just what constitutes a protected technological measure. And what we do know for sure makes a strong case that the anti-circumvention provisions are overbroad and have significant and harmful unintended consequences.

      • David Byrne Sues Florida Gov. Charlie Crist For $1 Million

        David Byrne is suing the governor of Florida, alleging that he used the Talking Heads’ 1985 single “Road to Nowhere” without permission or proper licenses.

      • GS valedictory Class Day speech plagiarized? (UPDATE: Yeah, it definitely was)
      • Anonymous accused Bittorrent user moves to quash subpoena using real name

        Some have already commented on their scruples arising from the large economies of scale approach to copyright litigation that’s being undertaken by lawyers with the U.S. Copyright Group to go after Bittorrent movie sharers. See, for example, what Mike Masnick and Eriq Gardner have had to say. And the ISPs aren’t all that happy about the work required to respond to a bunch of subpoenas.

      • Law Firm Asks Alleged File-Sharers To Incriminate Themselves

        Lawyers ACS:Law in the UK are now into their second year of threatening alleged pirates with legal action. Since they don’t have a good case when people deny their allegations, for some time now the firm has been sending out questionnaires which allow people to build a case against themselves. As a UK consumer magazine is pointing out, people don’t have to play this game.

      • Is Time Warner Cable about to be sued for copyright infringement?

        The legal campaign that targets tens of thousands of alleged movie pirates on BitTorrent is getting more interesting. Now one of the nation’s largest ISPs could be held responsible for facilitating copyright infringement.

        Yesterday, Thomas Dunlap at the U.S. Copyright Group filed his response to Time Warner Cable’s motion to quash or modify thousands of subpoena requests. TWC had asked the court to require no more than 28 IP address lookup requests per month, citing the burden of having to comply with discovery requests that were “far out of line with other comparable copyright infringement cases.”

      • Self-help guru Wayne Dyer sued for stealing from Tao book

        Popular self-help author Wayne Dyer has been accused of helping himself to someone else’s book.

        In a copyright infringement lawsuit filed today in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, author Stephen Mitchell says Dyer “copied verbatim a significant portion” of his interpretation of the ancient Taoist scripture Tao Te Ching in two separate books.

      • Time Warner Cable Resists Mass BitTorrent Lawsuit

        A consortium of independent film producers is hitting a stumbling block in its plan to simultaneously sue thousands of BitTorrent users for allegedly downloading pirated movies. Time Warner Cable is refusing to look up and turn over the identities of about a thousand of its customers targeted in the lawsuits, on the grounds that the effort would require three months of full-time work by its staff.

      • Viacom-Google Unsealed: Take Two: Viacom Exec: ‘YouTube Mostly Behaves’
      • Lady Gaga’s Manager: We Make Music Videos For YouTube
      • Amanda Palmer And OK Go Get Together To Celebrate Being Dropped From Their Record Labels

        Recently, we’ve noted some similarities between Amanda Palmer and the band OK Go, in that both had been signed to major record label deals, both had built up an amazing (and amazingly loyal) group of fans through various means (different for each) using methods totally outside of their major label marketing effort (which was somewhat lacking in both cases)… and last month, both were officially dropped from their label deals.

      • NetCoalition/CCIA Reinforces Recent Comments To IP Czar Over Bogus Industry Studies On Copyright

        The filing talks about those three reports — all of which we’ve discussed here previously — to reiterate some of the key points made in the original filing. The first, of course, is the GAO report that debunked the claims from industry studies about all of the “losses” caused by infringement. Amusingly, that GAO report was required by the same law that created the IP Czar position in the first place, the ProIP Act. The filing notes, by the way, that the GAO’s mandate for the report didn’t even say it had to investigate copyright infringement — just counterfeiting. However, the GAO appears to have been so troubled by the bogus reports out there that it decided to publicly call those studies into question. As this new filing points out, many of the comments filed by groups in support of strong copyright enforcement, relied on those reports that the GAO has since debunked. This should call into question the legitimacy of those filings entirely.

    • ACTA

      • US Copyright Official Discounts ACTA Concerns

        U.S. copyright official Steven Tepp said Tuesday he doesn’t understand many of the current objections to the proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), a 37-nation effort to enforce copyright and counterfeit laws across international borders.

        Tepp, senior counsel for policy and international affairs at the U.S. Copyright Office, dismissed objections to ACTA voiced by representatives of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and Knowledge Ecology International (KEI), an intellectual-property research and advocacy group, during a debate on the trade agreement at the Future of Music Coalition’s Washington, D.C., policy forum.

      • US Copyright Official Pretends That Concerns About ACTA Are Unfounded; Mocks Legitimate Concerns

        The session kicks off with U.S. Copyright Office official Steven Tepp defending ACTA, by saying right from the outset, “Quite candidly, we’re in the midst of a worldwide epidemic of copyright piracy.” What kind of epidemic? Well, he uses that old line about how organized crime groups and terrorists are being funded by copyright infringement — a claim that the industry keeps making, but which makes little sense. Even if it were true that some crime operations are selling bootleg DVDs and such, aren’t they under the same, if not more, pressure from unauthorized internet file sharing?

      • U.S. Copyright Official Challenges ACTA Criticism

        U.S. Copyright Office official Steven Tepp appeared at a Future of Music Coalition debate on ACTA yesterday, arguing that the release of the ACTA text proved the prior concerns wrong. The full debate is available online as Tepp offers gruff responses to fellow panel members, but refuses to answer many other questions on the grounds that the USTR leads on the file.

      • European Parliament Members Follow-Up With WTO on ACTA
    • Digital Economy Bill

      • The future of the Digital Economy Act is in your hands

        It is also wholly wrong that customers should be footing the Bill of this enforcement scheme. The vast majority, even by copyright holders’ estimates, do not infringe their copyrights, yet they will be paying for a quarter of this scheme. A small number will be priced off the Internet by even a small rise in broadband bills – Consumer Focus estimate perhaps 10,000 households.

        BT also drew attention to the lack of a Privacy Impact Assessment for the scheme. Privacy concerns could scupper the acceptability of letter writing. Yet the engagement from the government and ICO on this issue has so far been less than acceptable.

        ORG and other groups have been willing to accept the principle of letter writing, but this current consultation shows the weaknesses in the legislation that was rammed through in the dying hours of the last Parliament. Already the Act threatens to punish innocent people with additional, unwarranted costs and bars to clearing their name.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – VE – Mission Statements (10/16/2003)

« Previous Page« Previous entries « Previous Page · Next Page » Next entries »Next Page »

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources




Samba logo

We support

End software patents


GNU project


EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com

Recent Posts