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07.14.10

Links 14/7/2010: GNU/Linux Market Surge

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Russian state-OS based on Linux

    According to the publication “Kommersant”, the state enterprise “Russian Technologies” has almost completed the acquisition of shares LLC Alt Linux. This Russian company is developing software based on Linux. Interestingly, at the same time the Russian investment fund NGI acquired stake in Mandriva, the initiative is approved by the adviser to the Russian president Leonid Reiman. According to Kommersant, the result of both of these projects could be the creation of an operating system focused on the Russian public sector.

  • In Karjan, students already work on Linux

    Gujarat government is gearing up to use Linux operating system in schools in the state, but a city-based foundation has been teaching use of this system to students in Karjan for the last one year now. Schools in this block of Vadodara district were given computers with Linux by the state government, but they did not have teachers acquainted with it. That’s when Cosmo Foundation (CF) extended a helping hand by providing teachers as well as teaching materials to schools in Karjan block.

    Presently, the foundation is working with six schools in Karjan to help students gain expertise in using Linux. They plan to extend the help to other schools in the block.

    “We were working in the block for the last two years with the aim to strengthen education in government grant-in-aid schools. When state government donated computers and Linux system to schools in Karjan in September most of the schools could not make use of it as they did not have computer teachers,” said programme co-ordinator Mamta Baxi from CF.

  • Linux Market Share At A Record High

    The W3S stats for last month (June) show the Linux market share at 4.8%. Sure, it’s not 100% accurate but it’s nevertheless impressive. The stats only include internet-connected computers (desktops only – servers are not included in these stats) but since there is a fairly big number of computer using Linux which are not connected to the internet, the number may actually be pretty close to the actual Linux market share.

  • PulseAudio: Monitoring your Line-In Interface

    At home, my setup consists of three machines – a laptop, a PC, and an XBOX 360. The latter two share a set of speakers, but I hate having to climb under the desk to switch the cables around, and wanted a better way to switch them back and forth. My good friend Tyler B suggested that I run the line out from the XBOX into the line-in on my sound card, and just let my computer handle the audio in the same way that it handles music and movies. In theory, this works great. In practice, I had one hell of a time figuring out how to force the GNOME sound manager applet into doing my bidding.

  • Linux: 100% “Try before you buy” — for free

    Since you don’t really have to buy Linux, the heading can be misleading. But we’ve all heard of the statement that somebody might want to “try” something, before they “buy” it. This is where Linux excels over other operating systems like Windows. When have you ever been able to try out Windows, before you decide whether you want to upgrade or keep it?

    Most Linux distributions today have a “Live CD”, which is a complete running version of the distribution that can run from a CD. This means, you can take a PC currently running Windows, stick in a Live CD of any Linux distribution (Fedora, Red Hat, SuSE, Ubuntu), boot to the CD and see how it runs on your system. This also gives you the opportunity to open up some of the applications bundled with the distribution, and should even give you access to your Windows partitions (since Linux can open partitions of many different types). It’s a great way to test drive everything, if you are considering installing Linux on your PC.

  • Computer Paranoia

    And, once you get hit, well, that’s the end of the show. Recovery can be painful and you have a lot to lose. Your valuable information gets compromised because, if they stumble, technicians (at least in my country) will always end up formatting your HD… Thus, you pay them for destroying your data! I’m pretty sure that some of them know that Linux can solve your problems but, obviously, they won’t tell you.

    [...]

    Do you want a real solution for those problems? Then go to this page and read carefully. Yes, Portable Linux IS the answer.

  • Server

    • SMBs fuel Linux adoption in India

      Windows is still the server platform of choice in India but enterprises, especially small and midsize businesses (SMBs), are increasingly favoring the Linux operating system, according to a new report Monday by Springboard Research.

    • Linux supercomputer, worth £2m, sought by University of Warwick

      The University of Warwick is tendering for a new Linux-based High Performance Computing facility for its research Centre for Scientific Computing (CSC).

      A “significant” share of the new facility will be used for research in the field of magnetohydrodynamics (MHD – the study of the dynamics of electrically conducting fluids such as plasma and metal liquids), to support the computational requirements of the UK MHD research community. The facility will also be used to support research from other disciplines at the university.

      The centre is looking for a facility that is a Linux cluster comprised of multi-core nodes interconnected at high-bandwidth and low-latency. It will also have an attached high-performance storage and parallel file system.

    • Linux spreading, but Windows Server still rules in India

      The use of Linux as a server operating system in India is growing, with SMEs leading the way. But Windows – specifically Windows Server 2003 – still holds the lion’s share of the market.

  • Audiocasts

  • Ballnux

    • Change in openSUSE Membership handling

      Anyone can become openSUSE member after showing continued and substantial contribution to the project of any kind (bugs, support in forums, wiki edits, code contribution etc.). For those who don’t know what openSUSE Membership is or how to become a member I suggest to read this wiki article or older blogpost by Andreas.

  • Graphics Stack

    • xorg 1.8

      Upgrading to xorg-server with USE=-hal appeared to make things run a tad faster.
      However, some really strange behavior with keypress events started to occur. I tried several different variants for keyboard layout, setting special keys etc but I still got stuff like “right ctrl is return” or “arrow down inserts a space and line down”.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • KDE e.V. Quarterly Reports Relaunched

        KDE e.V. is the legal body which holds our finances and represents the project in a range of issues. Our Quarterly Reports have restarted with a special bumper issue covering 2009 Q2 to 2010 Q1. It covers the many sprints which e.V. organises for our contributors to get together in person with their KDE teams. It also covers events e.V. has helped KDE to attend and the working groups it oversees.

      • Last Days at Akademy 2010

        On Thursday, we enjoyed another of those great Akademy traditions – the day trip. For those who don’t know, each year Akademy visitors are taken by the local team on a trip for some relaxation and a taste of local culture. This year two buses took us 15 kilometers outside of Tampere – to a place in the woods. After a little walk, we ended up at a beautiful lake where we found a chalet with a few volunteers cooking food for us. A second chalet housed a traditional wood-fired sauna. There was also a camp fire so we could prepare our own food.

      • Akademy 2010 in the News

        Popular Linux and BSD distribution tracking website DistroWatch has a report on Nokia’s keynote presentation at this year’s Akademy conference. The report covers the views of Valtteri Halla (Nokia’s Director of MeeGo Software) on how MeeGo will succeed by working with communities such as KDE. It also reports on how KDE’s Plasma framework shares many goals with MeeGo, particularly the use of a single codeset across many applications and has news of early ports of KDE software to mobile devices.

      • Classy Stickers for digiKam Lovers Giveaway

        Using open source software? Then we have something for you. In collaboration with the open source community, we’ve designed some classy stickers you can use to spice up your notebook or netbook and show the world your support for open source software. The stickers are based on some original designs, so you won’t find them anywhere else.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • New Releases Of GTK+, Mutter, GNOME Shell

        In preparation for the latest GNOME 3.0 development snapshot due to arrive on Wednesday (tagged as GNOME 2.31.5), a wealth of GNOME packages are being checked-in for this unstable milestone. Among the packages to have been checked-in for this milestone are new releases of GTK+ 3.0, GNOME Shell, and Mutter.

  • Distributions

    • Kongoni Linux- Another slackware based linux distribution

      Kongoni GNU/Linux is a Slackware-based, desktop-oriented GNU/Linux distribution and live CD. Its main features include a graphical installer, a Kongoni Integrated Setup System (KISS), and an easy-to-use Ports Installation GUI (PIG). The distribution’s package management borrows its main concepts from BSD ports, with an intuitive graphical package installer that compiles and installs programs from source code on the user’s system. Kongoni, which means gnu (also known as wildebeest) in Shona, includes only software that complies with Free Software Foundation’s definition of software freedom.

    • Zenwalk Internet Cafe Edition 2.2 Released

      The Zencafe Community proudly announced last evening, July 12th, the immediate availability for download of the new and improved Zencafe 2.2 operating system designed to be used in Internet Cafes. Being based on the newly released Zenwalk 6.4 Linux distribution, Zencafe is powered by Linux kernel 2.6.33.4 and includes some popular bleeding-edge applications, such as Mozilla Firefox 3.6.6 or Pidgin 2.7.1. For Yahoo! fans, Zencafe also includes the GYachE Improved instant messenger, which offers webcam support for the Yahoo Messenger protocol. The minimum requirements for Zencafe are a Pentium III class processor, 128 MB of system RAM and at least 4 GB hard drive free space.

    • Testing Sabayon, Get Involved

      A quick little guide on helping and getting involved with the future releases of Sabayon. I know and see people asking what they can do to be more involved in Sabayon. If you have some experience, time and capabilities, you can help test the weekly iso images or add the entropy limbo repository and test packages. I wouldn’t recommend this for or on your production system. You can and will run into broken stuff, but that is the fun in testing! I like to use rsync as it saves on bandwidth of having to re-download the entire ISO. With rsync you only download the changes. So how does one do this you may ask. It’s pretty easy, find a mirror on our download page that supports rsync.

    • Reviews

    • New Releases

      • Minimalist Linux distro rev’d to version 3.0

        Team Tiny Core announced the first release candidate for version 3.0 of its small-footprint, in-memory Linux desktop distribution. Tiny Core Linux 3.0 RC1 advances to Linux 2.6.33.3, and offers improved compressed swap in RAM, a 64-bit version, enhanced virtualization, and the Ext4 file-system, says the project.

      • Unity Linux 2010 Final Released!

        The Unity Linux project is pleased to announce the final 2010 release. Check the Downloads page to get the 32 bit and 64 bit LiveCDs.

      • NuTyX 10072010
      • Parted Magic 5.0
      • Release Zencafe 2.2

        This Zencafe version utilizes the latest Zenwalk distro and kernel 2.6.33.4. Mainly design to use for Internet Cafe desktop, Zencafe polished in many ways and easy enough to operated, even for no technical background user. Included autorecovery and internet cafe management software, Zencafe is the best and the first Linux solution that suitable for your internet cafe.

      • ULTILEX – The Ultimate Linux Experience version 10.7 is released!
      • Security expert releases Ubuntu Linux distro for malware analysis

        A security consultant has released a Ubuntu-based Linux distribution specifically designed to help analyze and re-engineer malware. Lenny Zeltser on Thursday released REMnux on Sourceforge and it has already been downloaded nearly 2,000 times.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • PCLinuxOS 2010.07 KDE Screenshots

        PCLinuxOS 2010.07 has been released in several different flavors. KDE, GNOME, LXDE, and XFCE flavors are now available for download or purchase. I have reviewed and taken screenshots of each new PCLinuxOS 2010.07 flavor and will be releasing them here over the next four days. Today is the default KDE flavor but first, here are some standout features that all flavors have in common. PCLinuxOS 2010.07 Standout Features: The Linux Kernel 2.6.33.5, Nvidia and ATI fglrx driver support, multimedia support, Addlocale providing support for over 60 languages, easy OpenOffice installation and MyLiveCD which lets you take a snapshot and burn to CD. For a complete list of features visit the official release announcement.

      • Review – Mandriva 2010 Spring KDE – With Screenshots

        Mandriva 2010 Spring KDE4 – Very good.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • Speed up your Ubuntu machine boot time

        Are you desperately searching for ways to finally reach that elusive 10 second boot time? You certainly heard that Ubuntu 10.04 has the capability of doing just that right? It can…but you have to help it along. One of the ways you can help your boot time is removing unnecessary services and drivers that are loaded at boot time. Fortunately, this isn’t something you have to manually do. How is this? There is a tool that can help the Grub boot loader learn what it is you need at start up. This tool is called profile.

      • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux-ready COM Express module uses QorIQ SoCs

      Emerson Network Power is shipping what it claims are the first COM Express modules based on Freescale Semiconductor’s multicore, PowerPC-based QorIQ processors. The COMX-P2020 and COMX-P4080 employ dual-core QorIQ P2020 and eight-core QorIQ P4080 system-on-chips, respectively, offering both a wide variety of interfaces and Linux BSPs, says the company.

    • GUI development platform supports embedded Linux targets

      Blue Water Embedded announced a royalty-free graphical user interface (GUI) development framework for embedded devices, including those running Linux. The Prism Runtime Framework is a cross-platform GUI toolkit that incorporates Prism Micro, a GUI toolkit for constrained color-depth targets, and Prism Insight, a Linux-compatible desktop GUI design and resource editing tool, says the company.

    • Cortex-A8 module gets camera upgrade

      E-con Systems has announced a five-megapixel camera add-on designed to work with Linux and the Texas Instruments (TI) OMAP35x evaluation module (EVM). The e-CAM50_OMAP35x snaps onto the EVM board and connects to the OMAP35x’s high-speed CMOS sensor interface, providing 720p video capture as well as stills, the company says.

    • NAS devices stream content to TiVo DVRs

      At the time of writing, NetGear had yet to respond to our request for information on the embedded operating system running on its new ReadyNAS Ultra systems. However, previous ReadyNAS devices, such as the ReadyNAS Pro, have run on embedded Linux.

      Netgear acquired the ReadyNAS line in 2007 when it bought Infrant for $60 million. ReadyNAS devices have previously run an Infrant-developed Linux distribution called RAIDiator.

    • Wind River

      • Wind River preps secure, EAL4+-compliant Linux distro

        A specialized, hardened version of Wind River Linux, Wind River Linux Secure is expected to be available in the first half of 2011, pending certification completion, says the Intel subsidiary. Once certified for EAL4+, Wind River Linux Secure would conform to NIAP’s General Purpose Operating System Protection Profile, says the company. Atsec Information Security has been chosen by Wind River as its Common Criteria Test Lab to conduct the independent evaluation of Wind River Linux Secure, says the company.

      • Wind River ships testing framework for Android

        Wind River FAST provides thousands of Wind River-authored automated tests designed to evaluate an open-source-based device, says Wind River. The framework appears to be based in part on the Linux-ready Wind River Test Management (WRTM) software.

    • Tablets

      • Tablets: The Next Big Open Source Opportunity?

        All of a sudden, tablet computers are all the rage, with Apple’s iPad stoking the fire. But Apple is hardly going to compete unchallenged in the tablet space. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer claims that his company is “hardcore” about tablets, and is working with Asus, Dell, Samsung, Toshiba and Sony before the end of the year. Ballmer demonstrated an HP slate at the Consumer Electronics Show in January as well. One has to wonder if the real opportunity in tablets lies on the open source front, though.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source growing quickly

    A recent study conducted by market research firm Accenture found open sourcetechnology has become the preferred method of website development and software for most companies. In fact, 40 percent of organizations surveyed plan to increase their use of open source technology by moving away from traditional software in the next 12 months.

  • Web Browser Grand Prix 2: The Top 5 Tested And Ranked
  • OSCON: Will Health Care Partners Embrace Open Source?

    The health care sector is set for a technology-driven transformation as the federal government pushes adoption of electronic health records and pursues national health information exchange. Hardly surprising, the Open Source Convention (OSCON) has a health care track that will focus on open EHR/EMR software and the government’s standards-based Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) among other topics. What’s in it for VARs? Here are some clues.

  • VC funding for OSS-related vendors up 11.5% in Q2

    Venture capital funding for open source software-related vendors increased 11.5% in the second quarter, the third consecutive quarter of positive growth following a 6% rise in 4Q09 and a 38% increase in 1Q10.

  • How Would OSG Work?

    In my last post, I discussed reasons why an open source government would be a good thing. Now I will tell you my plan for how an OSG would operate (using the USA in the model). It is essential to understand that this is not a left vs right issue. The idea here is simply to empower the people of any given country, and allow those people to rule their own lives. Using the same methodology we use in open source software development (slightly modified), we can achieve that one simple goal.

Clip of the Day

CLUG Talk – 26 Feb 2008 – Makefiles and pkgsrc (2008)


07.13.10

Links 13/7/2010: OpenSolaris Unrest

Posted in News Roundup at 5:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Organic Linux at the Farmers Market

    Among the strawberries, nectarines, kettle corn and other fresh fruits and vegetables — and since when is kettle corn NOT a fresh vegetable? — the Felton Linux Users Group has set up a table offering Organic Software each Tuesday afternoon at the Felton Farmers Market; Linux, GNU/Linux and other Free/Open Source Software programs and information about FOSS, all with no artificial colors or preservatives, and software that’s healthy for the well-being of your computer.

  • Living with Linux.

    Yes, a properly looked after and protected windows computer is safe. As is a misconfigured Linux computer unsafe. What are the chances of coming across the former compared to the latter? What are the chances of being stung by a windows machine compared to a Linux one? You tell me in the comments. I already know what I think :)

  • Linux Distributions – Why Choice Is A Good Thing

    One of the most common criticisms of Linux is that there are “too many versions”, and that makes it confusing. Here are a few thoughts and examples related to that.

    - “Too many versions”? Yes, probably so, in the same way that there are too many different kinds of breakfast cereal, or laundry soap, or wrist watches. Here’s an example straight out of current markets. From what I have seen and heard, Toyota has been having some problems with quite a lot of their cars. How many of us would like to be in the position of having Toyota be the ONLY car? Continuing on this speculation… what if Toyota were now to fix the problem (or problems, if there turned out to be more than one), but once that fix was complete and they were producing cars that worked properly again, they announced that they were not going to give owners of their existing defective cars any consideration at all in the purchase of one of the new “fixed” models. Vehicle owners would not be happy, but there would be nothing they could do about it because Toyota was the only supplier! Not a situation that I think anyone would want with their car, so why should we want it with our computers?

  • Server

    • Indianapolis gov’t IT shop aims for easy ERP plan

      The new ERP system, which will run on a Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5-based HP ProLiant blade server, will use a common data repository to manage financial accounting, procurement, HR and payroll applications.

  • Audiocasts

  • Google

    • Is Chrome OS a Threat to Ubuntu or Windows?

      Since late 2009, talk of how Google’s Chrome OS is being positioned to “take on” Microsoft Windows has been promoted by individuals who I believe have no idea what they’re talking about.

      By Google’s own admission, Chrome OS is being designed for near exclusive use on netbook computers, due to its minimalist nature. And as we know, netbooks make up a small piece of the collective PC market. This clearly leaves out of desktops and laptops, which will remain dominated by the Windows OS (near term, at least).

  • Kernel Space

    • The kernel column #89

      Last month saw the opening and subsequent closing of the 2.6.35 kernel’s merge window, the period of time during which all of the exciting new features that have been waiting in the wings (and in linux-next nightly kernels provided by Stephen Rothwell) are considered for merging into the official ‘mainline’ kernel source tree by Linus Torvalds. Recent releases have often added a new file system (or perhaps two), but 2.6.35 does not add any new file systems. It does add many other new features, including support for profiling virtual machines from the host machine using ‘kvm perf’, the KDB in-kernel debugger that has augmented the existing KGDB support for remote debugging, the memory compaction patches, and memory hotplug support in the SLAB memory allocator.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

    • GNOME Desktop

    • Xfce

      • Smitten with Xfce 4

        If you’ve read me long enough, you know I am a desktop junkie. Much to Jaqui’s chagrin, I do love my desktops. So much so I could have a different desktop every day and still not be completely happy. During my trials and tribulations with the Linux desktop I have, surprisingly, missed the whole Xfce train. Why? I have no idea. I’ve known of it, I’ve used it briefly, and never really thought much more about it. That is, until recently.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Parted Magic 5.0 released

        Just one week after the first release candidate arrived, the Parted Magic developers have released version 5.0 of their open source, multi-platform partitioning tool. Parted Magic can be used to create, move, delete and resize drive partitions and will run on a machine with as little as 64MB of RAM. File systems supported include NTFS, FAT, ReiserFS, Reiser4 and HFS+. LVM and RAID are also supported.

      • SystemRescueCd 1.5.6

        SystemRescueCD is a free, Linux-based CDROM image for system recovery that boots into a minimal graphical interface and provides a host of useful tools culled from many sources.

        [...]

        Although SystemRescueCD offers a desktop, it can be complicated to use and requires a some basic computer knowledge. However, it doesn’t require much Linux specific knowledge to operate most of the tools, so I would be happy to recommend it to a Windows guru. Besides, people who don’t understand the basics shouldn’t be operating partition managers and file recovery utilities anyway.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva Linux avoids bankruptcy; we test the new version

        Linux vendor Mandriva has announced the availability of its Spring 2010 release, an updated version of its desktop Linux distribution. Mandriva originally planned to ship the software at the beginning of June, but had put the launch on hold due to serious financial difficulties that jeopardized the company’s future. The Spring 2010 version was finally released last week after some new investors bailed out the company and made it possible for development efforts to continue.

        [...]

        After spending some time with the latest version of Mandriva, I can see why it remains appealing to so many KDE users. It has a sense of simplicity, consistency, and conservatism that are unusual in the KDE world. Subjectively, it feels much better than Kubuntu but doesn’t quite rival openSUSE’s power and sophistication.

      • Review – Mandriva 2010 Spring Gnome – With Screenshots

        I am sure you know, but in case you didn’t – one of the most exciting and long lived desktop Linux distros has rolled out a new release.

        Yes, Mandriva 2010 Spring is out – and I love it.

      • Mandriva and Derivative Release Latest

        After a long and anxious month of delays, Mandriva finally released their 2010.1 Spring update with lots of goodies for all. In related news, PCLinuxos, a derivative of Mandriva, released what they’ve dubbed their Quarterly ISO updates in several flavors.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat to explore telecom, govt sectors for gaining market share

        The world’s largest open source software maker, Red Hat Inc., expects to make further inroads into the Indian market through the government and telecom sectors.

        “For Red Hat, India has been growing much faster than other geographies,” chief executive Jim Whitehurst said in an interview. “Increasingly, most of the large government IT (information technology) programmes, including e-governance-related ones, are being built on open source platforms.”

      • Red Hat Ignores Desktops – Consumer or Enterprise Whatsoever

        We had been running CentOS 5.2 on dozens of our office-desktops. They were boringly stable though little obsolete. Finally I wanted to upgrade my system to the latest v.5.5 so as to use some of the updated packages including Firefox 3.5 and OpenOffice 3. Skipping as much as 2 versions to CentOS 5.5 was smooth as a trademark of the enterprise desktop. There were some minor glitches pertaining to drivers which is documented earlier (CentOS 5.5 Left Me Clueless and CentOS 5.5 USB Device Mounting Annoyance) plus a far critical (purely on the basis of desktop experience) bug that’s some way associated with nash and mkinitrd packages.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Project News – July 12th, 2010
      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • How An Old Pentium 4 System Runs With Ubuntu 10.04, 10.10

          Last October I wrote about running Ubuntu 9.10 with older PC hardware, but over this past weekend I restored an even older Phoronix test system to see how it runs with the most recent Ubuntu 10.04 LTS release and the very latest Ubuntu 10.10 development snapshot in relation to the older Ubuntu 8.04.4 LTS. This antiquated system has an Intel Pentium 4 2.8GHz CPU, 512MB of RAM, an 80GB IDE hard drive, and an ATI Radeon 9200PRO AGP graphics card.

        • Ubuntu tweaks I can’t live without

          I recently did a fresh install of Ubuntu 10.04 on my Dell netbook (because the upgrade process didn’t work smoothly) and in doing so I re did some of my Ubuntu tweaks I am used to. For my own sake (meaning so I don’t have to remember these again) and yours (in case you’re not familiar with these) here they are.

        • Ubuntu: a computer operating system built around community

          Ross, who often blogs about Ubuntu at http://randall.executiv.es/, says Ubuntu represents a completely new approach to computing. “No longer does a person need to sit back and wait (or complain) that their computer isn’t doing what they want. With Ubuntu, they have direct and easy ways to get involved and improve the experience for themselves and everyone.” Says Ross, “Ubuntu includes one profoundly important component that no other operating system has: Community. The Ubuntu community is diverse, lively, and fun to be around. The Ubuntu community is real and local.”

        • Ubuntu 10.10 Alpha 2 Software Center VS Linux Mint 9 Software Manager

          With the new release Ubuntu 10.10 Alpha 2 the new software center comes with a new shape, as well the new release of software manager of Linux Mint 9 Isadora.

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 201

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 201 for the week July 4th – July 10th, 2010.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • GamePark

      • GamePark’s GP2X Caanoo handheld hits this August, picks up where the Wiz left off (video)

        While we’re not sure just how we missed it, it seems GamePark was at E3 2010 in force, with a brand-new Linux gaming portable called the Caanoo. Though it’s got the same 533MHz ARM9 processor as its wizardly predecessor, GamePark’s doubled the memory to 128MB, and added a dedicated 3D GPU to power the larger 3.5-inch touchscreen.

      • Linux game console adds GPU, accelerometers

        GamePark Holdings (GPH) is readying a new version of its GP2X handheld game console running open source Linux games. The “GP2X Caanoo” is equipped with a 533MHz ARM9 CPU and 3D-ready GPU, a 3.5-inch display, Wi-Fi, and an accelerometer with a vibration motor.

    • Nokia/MeeGo

      • Feature: MeeGo keynote address at Akademy 2010

        To say you are “redefining the Linux desktop landscape” is a bold claim to make. It is even bolder when presenting a non-KDE project at the annual conference of KDE, one of the leading providers of desktop Linux software. However, that was exactly how Valtteri Halla, Director of Nokia MeeGo Software chose to title his keynote address.

    • Android

      • Why Android’s Victory is Inevitable

        Arguably the most important development in the world of open source in the last year or two has been the rise and rise of Google’s Linux-based Android operating system. It’s true that the mobiles out there employing it are not 100% free, but they are considerably more free than the main alternatives. More importantly, they are turning Linux into a global, mass-market platform in a way never before seen.

      • App Inventor for Android

        You can build just about any app you can imagine with App Inventor. Often people begin by building games like WhackAMole or games that let you draw funny pictures on your friend’s faces. You can even make use of the phone’s sensors to move a ball through a maze based on tilting the phone.

      • Google debuts DIY code tools for Android phones

        Google has released tools that “make it easy for anyone to create programs for Android phones”.

        Much like Lego, App Inventor lets people drag “blocks” of code around to create applications.

      • MediaTek Joins Open Handset Alliance to Bring its Processors to Low-Cost Android Phones

        We have known of MediaTek’s intentions to get their low-cost CPUs into more and more Android handsets for a while now, but today’s announcement that they have officially joined the Google-led Open Handset Alliance signals that they are committed more than ever to the idea. In the past, patent issues with Qualcomm prevented MediaTek from doing much business outside of mainland China, a but a cross-licensing agreement signed last November and their new involvement in the OHA could see the inclusion of their system-on-a-chip processors in low-cost Android phones around the world.

      • Google demos codeless Android development tool for students

        Google has announced a new browser-based visual development tool called App Inventor that allows users to create Android applications without having to write any code. It appears to be aimed primarily at students.

      • Chrome to Phone- Take your browsing experience with you on your Android Phone

        The aim of this project is to help you bridge the gap between when you are on your desktop and your phone. With it, you can send links directly from your Chrome browser to your phone, place calls directly from your phone by highlighting a phone number on your desktop and populating the Android clipboard by highlighting text on your desktop.

    • Tablets

      • Will you be taking an e-reader or tablet to school this fall?

        Be that as it may, companies like Jumpbooks are making it possible for the old college bookstore to offer eTextbooks to students. While most students will look to Amazon and Barnes & Noble for their digital textbooks, Jumpbooks will make it possible for schools to inexpensively offer school specific textbooks (e.g., for a professor’s required readings).

        Other companies, like CourseSmart, are already selling eTextbooks directly to students. And, perhaps the best news of all for students and their parents tired of the financial weight of textbooks, most eTextbooks are available at half the price of a new hardbound textbook.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Choosing Whether To Go Open Source

    Open source has always been a favorite among scientists and universities where budgets are limited but where there is plenty of expertise around to fiddle with the code and customize it for a specific project or department. It never behaved like the costlier, commercially available products from big-name vendors, and it required lots of patience for dealing with quirks and knowledge of some arcane coding tricks.

    That explains why using open source for production in mission-critical environments, particularly where security is essential, has been relatively rare. But that’s beginning to change. Since the Internet’s widespread adoption, open source has become a global effort, and over the past several years that collaboration has yielded significant advancements. Applications are more readily available, security has been beefed up and the underlying Linux operating system has been worked on extensively.

  • Killing the Founder

    In general I’m much less bothered about people who think I’m crazy than they usually think I should be because I know a lot about the life cycle of reform movements. I studied this topic rather carefully in early 1998, just after Netscape announced its intention to release the Mozilla sources, when I noticed that a burgeoning reform movement seemed to need me to lead it. I was particularly influenced in my thinking by the history of John Humphrey Noyes and the Oneida Community.

    [...]

    I don’t know if we’ve actually reached that point yet, but if and when we do it won’t bother me. I did not do what I did for anyone’s approval; I did it because it was right. And then I let go.

  • Time for Free Software to Square up to Foursquare

    That’s very similar to the Foursquare location layers that give you information relevant to your position. But the great thing about Google’s Open Spot is that I don’t need to check in to anything: Google Android tells the system where I am. Isn’t that the obvious way for it to work?

    Indeed, why do we need to download a separate Android app? Perhaps Mozilla needs to accelerate its work in this area. If it doesn’t, then the danger is that we’ll get another Facebook: a client and company so dominant in its field that it will be hard for open source contenders to fight against it. The time for free software to square up to Foursquare is now, not a few years down the road….

  • Do you aspire to build a brand community or a community brand?

    In my day job at New Kind, I spend quite a bit of my time working on brand-related assignments, particularly for organizations interested in community-based approaches to building their brands.

    When marrying the art of community building to the art of brand building, it’s hard not to talk about building “brand communities.” It’s a convenient term, and brand experts love to trot out examples like Harley Davidson and Apple as examples of thriving communities built around brands.

  • Open Innovation Awards 2010: The Demo Cup

    The Open Innovation Demo Cup – a contest open to all open source projects and solutions getting ready for commercial launch or already on the market – will be held at the next Open World Forum on the 1st of October.

  • What FOSS communities can look like from the outside

    It’s hard to remember how hard things can be, especially when you’re surrounded by a community of people who are the ones who self-selected and made it past that hardness. By definition, if you’ve gotten into FOSS, the current participation mechanisms worked for you… so why fix them?

  • OSS: Europe vs. The United States

    Reading this prompted me to wonder if the United States had an equivalently highly-placed official with sufficient power to influence the US Government’s decision process regarding OSS solutions. The closest I could find was Howard A. Schmidt, our current US DHS “Cybersecurity Czar”. It didn’t take much digging to begin to understand where Schmidt’s priorities are likely to fall regarding OSS. From WhoRunsGov.com, we discover that Schmidt went to work for Microsoft in 1997 as their chief security officer. He remained in that position for 5 years, and in 1999 he donated $250 to the Microsoft Political Action Committee.

  • Events

  • Databases

    • Less Dangerous Databases for Schools

      Databases can be dangerous, though, because of unintended consequences. Because of their power and size, one needs to be more careful with matters of security, backup, entry and retrieval of data. Fortunately in a small school like mine, the consequences of mistakes are not as large as happen in the outside world. I can limit the damage by keeping databases off the web and simple password authentication takes care of most of my issues of security.

      [...]

      The tools I use all come from Debian GNU/Linux(except for Gallery image database). It takes only a few minutes to install MySQL database, PHP and Apache web server on a basic installation.

  • Oracle

    • Openoffice.org

      Five Nice extensions for Openoffice.org

    • Testing/Translation the Features and Enhancements

      Last week Marcus Lange announced the branch of the new code-line OOO330 for the next release of OpenOffice.org. It is based on developer snapshot DEV300m84. For such milestone I finalized the list of features/enhancements. I announced this list some weeks ago on the relevant OOo-mailing lists for QA and L10N and since then only some more entries came in. This list isn’t a ‘what’s new’-guide. It more technical orientated and is for L10N testing and for checking the new features by the QA and the L10N teams. If you are interested what is in the next release, please take a look.

    • OpenSolaris governing board threatens dissolution

      In an act of desperation, the OpenSolaris governing board (OGB) has issued an ultimatum to Oracle. The company must nominate a contact person able to take decisions regarding OpenSolaris by the 16th of August or the board will dissolve and relinquish control of OpenSolaris to Oracle.

  • Business

    • Open Source Business Models Become More Attractive

      The news that Kenneth Bosung had joined OpenGeo as senior VP might have seemed like little more than a glorified press release to some. But there was an interesting twist there – Bosung had spent his entire career thus far with proprietary software companies.

  • Government

    • Kroes on open source in public administrations: “Attitudes are changing”

      Public administrations are improving their opinion on open source, finds Vice-President of the European Commission Neelie Kroes. In a video speech addressing an open source software conference taking place later this month, she says: “We do not yet have a true level playing field, but thankfully attitudes are changing.”

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Context

      The following guest blog is from Open Context’s Project Lead Eric Kansa and Editor Sarah Whitcher Kansa, who are both members of the Open Knowledge Foundation’s Working Group on Open Data in Archaeology.

    • Millennials Will Make Online Sharing in Networks a Lifelong Habit

      The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project has released Millennials Will Make Online Sharing in Networks a Lifelong Habit.

      Here’s an excerpt:

      In a survey about the future impact of the internet, a solid majority of technology experts and stakeholders said the Millennial generation will lead society into a new world of personal disclosure and information-sharing using new media. These experts said the communications patterns “digital natives” have already embraced through their use of social networking technology and other social technology tools will carry forward even as Millennials age, form families, and move up the economic ladder.

    • Closing the Digital Frontier

      As Chris Anderson pointed out in a moment of non-hyperbole in his book Free, the phrase Information wants to be free was never meant to be the rallying cry it turned into.

    • MIT OpenCourseWare Reaches 2,000 Course Milestone

      Already one of the richest collections of openly shared educational materials in the world, the MIT OpenCourseWare site has reached a significant milestone: With the publication of 10 new courses in the last two weeks, the site now shares core academic materials—including syllabi, lecture notes, assignments and exams—from more than 2,000 MIT courses.

    • Open Data

    • Open Access/Content

      • Access to Information

        “Access to Information” a message from the Access to Information Unit, Jamacia

  • Standards/Consortia

    • ODF 1.2 Begins Final 60-day Public Review

      A major milestone was reached for the OASIS ODF TC last week. The latest Committee Draft of ODF 1.2 (CD 05) was sent out for a 60-day public review.

      As you may recall, ODF 1.2 is a single standard in three parts:

      * Part 1 specifies the core schema, and was send out for public review in January.
      * Part 2 is OpenFormula (spreadsheet formulas)
      * Part 3 defines the packaging model of ODF, and went out for public review back in November

    • Now available in English: AEIOU mnemonic for Open Standards

      * applicable (without restrictions): free from legal or technical clauses that limit its utilisation by any party or in any business model,
      * existing (implementations): available in multiple complete implementations by competing vendors, or as a complete implementation equally available to all parties.
      * independent (of a single vendor): managed and further developed independently of any single vendor in a process open to the equal participation of competitors and third parties
      * open (specification): subject to full public assessment and use without constraints in a manner equally available to all parties
      * untainted (with dependencies to closed standards): without any components or extensions that have dependencies on formats or protocols that do not meet the definition of an Open Standard themselves

Leftovers

  • Cooperative success: Understanding the co-op business model

    Even Pittsburgh’s United Steel Workers Union is getting in on the (cooperative) action. The union is partnering with Mondragon to explore the possibility of steel worker cooperatives. With over 40,000 manufacturing facilities closed throughout the United States during the economic recession, exploring new business models probably isn’t a bad idea.

  • A Swing of the Pendulum: The Shift Towards Specialized Hardware and Software

    But what about Apache? Surely the venerable web server remains the most popular platform for deploying web applications? Well, yes, it is. Here are Netcraft’s numbers for overall web server share.

  • Reports of blogging’s death have been greatly exaggerated

    A report last month in the Economist tells us that “blogging is dying” as more and more bloggers abandon the form for its cousins: the tweet, the Facebook Wall, the Digg.

  • £20,000,000! For what?

    That’s some houseguest. The Pope invited himself to visit England, and asked the British government to pay for it — that takes some gall right there — and is now revealing that the bill for his visit will be at least £20 million.

  • Package bomb goes off at Houston oil executive’s home

    A seemingly anonymous gift left on the front porch of a Houston home owned by an oil company executive has the city’s affluent population of oil profiteers on edge this weekend, after that package exploded and seriously injured a 62-year-old woman.

  • Fring’s mis-use of Skype software was damaging to our brand and reputation

    An hour or so ago, Fring reported on their blog that we had blocked their access to Skype. I want to make one thing absolutely clear: this is untrue.

  • BDSM – The perfect operating system

    There you go, the perfect operating system that should turn you into a hacker within days. Nothing like the fear of pain to make you perform at your best. That or hysteria. You may feel slight physical and mental discomfort at first, but it will definitely be worth it.

  • Science

    • NASA offers $5M prizes for cool robots, satellites and solar spacecraft

      NASA today significantly expanded its Centennial Challenges program to include $5 million worth of new competitions to develop robots, small satellites, and solar powered spacecraft.

    • Secrecy in Astronomy and the Open Science Ratchet

      Probably because of the visibility of the GalaxyZoo project, I think several of my colleagues and I have been under the impression that astronomy is a somewhat more open field than chemistry or molecular biology. It was easy to rationalize such a position because patents are not an issue, as they clearly are in fields which rely more on invention than discovery. However, after reading “The Case for Pluto” by Alan Boyle, I am left with a much different impression.

    • Sintering the Moon

      We just finished reading a paper describing the viability of using microwaves to fuse lunar soil (regoilith) into solid shapes, in the hopes of creating an effective way of building lunar structures for future astronauts and their bases.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Hillier appeals to transgender community to save ID cards

      New Labour never give up. Even out of government, they are still looking for groups of individuals who, they believe, are just salivating at the prospect of the chance to carry a shiny new ID card.

    • Internet Kill Switch

      Last month, Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., introduced a bill that might — we’re not really sure — give the president the authority to shut down all or portions of the Internet in the event of an emergency. It’s not a new idea. Sens. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., and Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, proposed the same thing last year, and some argue that the president can already do something like this. If this or a similar bill ever passes, the details will change considerably and repeatedly. So let’s talk about the idea of an Internet kill switch in general.

      It’s a bad one.

    • Placed under surveillance by order of Brussels

      As reported in the Daily Telegraph this morning, the Government only has until the end of the month to decide whether to opt-in to the new European Investigation Order (EIO).

    • Arrested for blowing bubbles at the G20 in Toronto?

      This video shows a police officer at the G20 protests in Toronto threatening to arrest a protestor for blowing soap bubbles (“If one of those bubbles touches me, it’s assault”) and then leading the protestor away, presumably for the aforementioned “offense.”

    • South Korea deploys robot capable of killing intruders along border with North

      Two robots with surveillance, tracking, firing and voice recognition systems were integrated into a single unit, a defence ministry spokesman said.

      The 400 million won (£220,000) unit was installed last month at a guard post in the central section of the Demilitarised Zone which bisects the peninsula, Yonhap news agency said.

  • Environment

    • Climategate scientists cleared of manipulating data on global warming

      The climate scientists at the centre of a media storm over leaked emails were yesterday cleared of accusations that they fudged their results and silenced critics, but a review found they had failed to be open enough about their work.

      Sir Muir Russell, the senior civil servant who led a six-month inquiry into the affair, said the “rigour and honesty” of the scientists at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA) were not in doubt. His investigation concluded they did not subvert the peer review process to censor criticism and that key data was freely available and could be used by any “competent” researcher.

    • ‘Climategate’ shows the need for openness by scientists

      “Like it or not, this [demand for openness] indicates a transformation in the way science has to be conducted in this century.” That, say many, will be the lasting legacy of the independent review published last week into the controversial emails between climate scientists that were stolen from the University of East Anglia and posted online.

      Scientists were cleared, as expected, of any fiddling of the figures to exaggerate the case for global warming. But the review heavily criticised them and the university for consistently blocking access to data and failing to recognise the risk such secrecy posed to the “credibility of UK climate science”.

    • The Chinese Coal Monster

      China set to consume 50% of global coal production this year

    • Fix the Food Chain
    • Global Crude Oil Supply Update

      Global crude oil supply fell in April, after a surprising revision upwards to the March totals, of approximately 200 kbpd. Volatility in the data is currently coming out of the North Sea. This will continue as Norway is expected to see production falls when the next few months of data is reported. Globally, oil production stood at 73.552 mbpd in April. On an annual basis, through the first 4 months of 2010, global crude oil production is averaging 73.458 mbpd. The current peak year for global crude oil production remains 2005, at 73.719 mbpd.

    • ‘Oil slick’ protest against BP at the British Museum

      An oil-like substance has been poured around one of the British Museum’s statues by activists urging it to end its sponsorship deal with BP.

      The targeted relic, Hoa Hakananai’a, is a giant carving of a human head and torso and is about 1,000 years old.

  • Finance

    • On the edge with Max Keiser-Max Keiser talking to Damon Vrabel
    • Staite Sees Goldman Profit Hurt by Lower Trading Revenue: Video
    • Gore Denies that Ken Lay, Goldman Sachs CEOs Helped Develop C02 Trading ‘Scheme’
    • Goldman Sachs Sued by Liberty on Fannie Mae Offering

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc. was accused in a lawsuit by Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. of misleading investors in 2007 when it sold Fannie Mae preferred shares while betting against the U.S. mortgage market.

      Goldman Sachs misrepresented Fannie Mae’s health when it underwrote the offerings, in which the insurer invested $62.5 million, according to a complaint filed yesterday in federal court in Boston. The investment bank misstated the purpose of the sale by saying the offering was to raise surplus capital when it was actually needed to help Fannie Mae sustain its business, said Liberty Mutual, which accused Goldman Sachs of securities fraud.

    • Grow Green Jobs
    • FT: Corporate Cash

      Corporate cash in the US is sitting at a record high of $1,700bn. James Mackintosh, investment editor, explains how both bulls and bears are taking this as a signal for the stock market’s next move.

    • How Changes in State & Local Tax Burdens Affect Growth in Per Capita Income

      I’ve had a number of posts recently looking at the effect of reductions in the tax burden during Presidential administrations or during (or just following) recessions and how those affected subsequent growth. In each case, cutting the tax burden did not lead to faster growth. In fact, the data shows that, contrary to theory, real economic growth tends to be slower following cuts in the tax burden than following hikes in the tax burden.

    • What Have We Learned?

      Sometimes it’s useful to step back slightly from the current fray and ask what we’ve really learned about macroeconomics over, say, the past year and a half. Here’s how I see it: in early 2009 there was a broad divide between two policy factions. One, of which I was part, declared that we were in a liquidity trap, which meant that some of the usual rules no longer applied: the expansion of the Fed’s balance sheet wouldn’t be inflationary — in fact the danger was a slide toward deflation; the government’s borrowing would not lead to a spike in interest rates. The other side declared that we were in imminent danger of runaway inflation, and that federal borrowing would lead to very high interest rates.

    • Democratic governors point finger at D.C.

      Democratic governors facing grim budget choices, lingering unemployment and angry voters are pointing a finger at their colleagues in Democratic-controlled Washington to explain this year’s toxic political climate.

      Few will directly fault President Barack Obama for their party’s plight heading into the fall midterm elections, but the state chief executives gathered here for the National Governors Association meeting believe Congress and the White House have made an already difficult year worse.

    • Paul Volcker on FinReg, Subprime & Deregulation

      “There is a certain circularity in all this business. You have a crisis, followed by some kind of reform, for better or worse, and things go well for a while, and then you have another crisis . . . People are nervous about the long-term outlook, and they should be.”

    • Volcker Pushes for Reform, Regretting Past Silence
    • Trending Toward Deflation

      Inflation has been falling, but how close are we to deflation? I found myself wondering that after observing John Makin’s combusting coiffure, his prediction that we might see deflation this year.

    • Bank Bailout Is Potent Issue for Fall Elections
    • Senate Democrats yet to lock down votes for financial regulations bill

      As he shepherded a far-reaching and ever-expanding bill to remake financial regulations through the Senate during the past year, Sen. Christopher J. Dodd uttered the same warning again and again: Nothing’s finished until everything is finished.

    • Democrats Corral Votes on Bank Bill

      Final passage of sweeping legislation to overhaul the nation’s financial regulatory system is now a question of when — not if — according to Senate Democrats. Yet, there still seem to be a lot of questions about when.

    • More Americans’ credit scores sink to new lows

      The credit scores of millions more Americans are sinking to new lows.

      Figures provided by FICO Inc. show that 25.5 percent of consumers – nearly 43.4 million people – now have a credit score of 599 or below, marking them as poor risks for lenders. It’s unlikely they will be able to get credit cards, auto loans or mortgages under the tighter lending standards banks now use.

    • Crisis Awaits World’s Banks as Trillions Come Due

      The sovereign debt crisis would seem to create worry enough for European banks, but there is another gathering threat that has not garnered as much notice: the trillions of dollars in short-term borrowing that institutions around the world must repay or roll over in the next two years.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • World History Before Our Eyes

      One is 22-year-old US Army intelligence analyst, Pfc. (formerly SPC) Bradley Manning who allegedly leaked a secret video and classified military information to the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks, was arrested by the United States Army Criminal Investigation Command in May 2010 and is currently held in US military detention in Kuwait facing numerous charges.

    • China must halt harassment and censorship of HIV/AIDS activists

      Chinese security forces last night cancelled a documentary screening by an HIV/AIDS education group, which Amnesty International is strongly criticising as part of the ongoing harassment of peaceful public health educators.

      “Harassing and curtailing HIV/AIDS activism in China poses a real threat to effective HIV/AIDS prevention, with dire consequences for the right to health,” said Catherine Baber, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Deputy Director.

    • ‘A real free press for the first time in history’: Wikileaks editor speaks out in London

      Julian Assange, editor of whistle-blowing website Wikileaks, has criticised mainstream media for not making proper use of “primary resources” and claimed that the site has created “a real free press (…) for the first time in history”.

    • Wikileaks founder reflects on Apache helicopter video

      The mainstream media ignored important additional research related to the video of a U.S. Apache helicopter shooting civilians in Iraq that was leaked to the Wikileaks Web site, according to its founder and editor, Julian Assange.

      Assange spoke on Friday at the Center for Investigative Journalism at City University in London, marking one of his few public appearances since Wikileaks published the video, in which up to a dozen civilians were killed, including two Reuters news service employees. Assange said he is avoiding travel to the U.S. due to concerns that he could potentially be subject to a subpoena.

    • Wau Holland Foundation sheds light on Wikileaks donations

      Germany’s Wau Holland Foundation has told newspaper Der Freitag Wikileaks receives no money for personnel costs, only for hardware, travelling and bandwidth. Hendrik Fulda, the foundation’s second chairman, says around 30.000 euros have been handed out after receiving signed receipts. According to Fulda, most of the money has been mainly used to restore Wikileaks and keep the site up and running. The website had to be taken down last year as donations did not cover costs.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Fair Use

      Fair use is the concept that copyright has limits on time and other restrictions. That is, for personal education, copies are allowed. For backup copies are allowed. When the copyright expires in time, the work is in the public domain and may be copied.

      [...]

      One of the ideas is that DRM prevents legal copying even after the copyright expires so it is unfair. That could apply to things like WGdisA, too. To the extent that DRM frustrates the provisions of copyright laws it is unfair.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Libraries Worried About Potential Supreme Court Ruling Concerning Legality Of Selling Imported Omega Watches

      Earlier this year we discussed an important upcoming Supreme Court case between Omega (the watch company) and Costco over whether or not it can be considered copyright infringement to resell legally purchased watches that were bought overseas. The concept sounds crazy, right? What does reselling foreign watches have to do with copyright? Well, the details are a bit complicated, but basically lots of companies hate the concept of first sale rights (the ability to resell something you’ve legally bought) and have tried all sorts of tricks to try and block those rights. In this case, Omega inscribed a tiny globe on the back of its watches (where no one will ever see it) solely for the purpose of copyrighting that design and using it to try to stop resale. Of course, once again, the first sale doctrine does allow for resale, but here’s where Omega got sneaky. It pointed out that the first sale doctrine technically only applies to copies that are “lawfully made under this title.” Omega’s argument is that because the copyrighted globe design was made outside of the US, the copy was not made under US law… and thus (voila!) there are no first sale rights on any copyrighted product made outside of the US.

    • French Supreme Court rules for Google in trademark cases

      The French Supreme Court this afternoon ruled in Google’s favour in a series of groundbreaking trademark cases.

    • Copyrights

      • Music Industry Threatens OpenBitTorrent’s New Hosting Provider

        OpenBitTorrent is a non-commercial BitTorrent tracker that doesn’t host or link to torrent files. Despite this seemingly neutral setup, both Hollywood and the music industry have declared war against what they see as an illegal service. After Hollywood won its case against the former provider of OpenBitTorrent, IFPI is now going after its new host in Spain.

      • Copyright Madness

        “When I asked to use a single line by songwriter Joe Henry, for example, his record label’s parent company demanded $150 for every 7,500 copies of my book. Assuming I sell enough books to earn back my modest advance, this amounts to roughly 1.5% of my earnings, all for quoting eight words from one of Mr. Henry’s songs. I love Joe Henry, but the price was too high. I replaced him with Shakespeare, whose work (depending on which edition you use) is in the public domain. Mr. Henry’s record label may differ, but it’s not clear that his interests — or theirs — are being served here. Were they concerned that readers might have their thirst for Mr. Henry’s music sated by that single lyric? Isn’t it more likely that his lyric would have enticed customers who otherwise wouldn’t have heard of him?”

      • RIAA Accounting: Why Even Major Label Musicians Rarely Make Money From Album Sales

        And that explains why huge megastars like Lyle Lovett have pointed out that he sold 4.6 million records and never made a dime from album sales. It’s why the band 30 Seconds to Mars went platinum and sold 2 million records and never made a dime from album sales. You hear these stories quite often.

      • Ha ha ha ha ha. RIAA paid its lawyers more than $16,000,000 in 2008 to recover only $391,000!!!

        The RIAA’s “business plan” is even worse than I’d guessed it was.

        The RIAA paid Holmes Roberts & Owen $9,364,901 in 2008, Jenner & Block more than $7,000,000, and Cravath Swain & Moore $1.25 million, to pursue its “copyright infringement” claims, in order to recover a mere $391,000. [ps there were many other law firms feeding at the trough too; these were just the ones listed among the top 5 independent contractors.]

        Embarrassing.

      • New Bebo CEO: We’ll Staff Up, Innovate, Then Maybe Sell

        You might usually expect a turnaround specialist to cut costs and lay off staff. But, in Bebo’s case, the cutting had already been done by AOL (NYSE: AOL)—the site now has only 25 to 30 staff, and now Criterion will need to re-invest, particularly on engineers, Levin tells paidContent:UK.

      • File-sharing, copyright and the digital consumer

        Planned sessions will examine the options for change to UK copyright legislation to meet the rapidly changing and evolving digital era; how consumers could be better informed about exactly what they can and cannot do with their music, movies and photographs; and whether technical measures, such as throttling, may be used as an alternative to disconnection to deter file-sharers.

      • Yet More Lawyers Jump on Turn Piracy Into Profit Bandwagon

        As the U.S. struggles with the prospect that thousands of file-sharers will receive threatening letters in the now-famous Hurt Locker lawsuit case, over the pond in the UK there is a continuing escalation of the ‘turn piracy into profit’ bandwagon. A new firm of lawyers has entered the market and while their business model appears identical, they are attempting to sugar-coat their actions.

      • Panel: Copyright Needed In Music, But Should Benefit Musicians

        Copyright is critical to the survival of the music industry and its creators, but lack of respect for copyright is not why artists are struggling to make ends meet, argued a recent panel of media lawyers and music industry experts. The blame for that lies squarely on the corporate-focus of the music industry, and how it has bent copyright law to serve companies rather than composers, said a panel at the University of Westminster.

      • Looking More Closely At Judge Gertner’s Constitutional Analysis Of Copyright Awards In Tenenbaum Case

        Last Friday, we quickly covered the news that Judge Nancy Gertner had declared the original jury award of $675,000 against Joel Tenenbaum for downloading and sharing some songs unconstitutionally excessive. Over the weekend, however, I had some more time to read the full ruling (posted by Eric Goldman) and get a sense of what Gertner’s full argument meant. You can read the ruling here, and I highly recommend taking the time to read the whole thing…

      • “Evacuate the dance floor” says ACS Law? – The Scorpion and the Frog?

        It’s currently being reported by users that ACS:Law is sending out copyright infringement letters again. Now I would say that ACS:Law have not seen the publicity they received in the same light as TBI (in respect of alleged copyright infringement) , but then looking at the ACS: Law website, it appears that they do little else. (and please, someone correct me if I’m wrong)

      • Panel: Copyright Needed In Music, But Should Benefit Musicians

        Copyright is critical to the survival of the music industry and its creators, but lack of respect for copyright is not why artists are struggling to make ends meet, argued a recent panel of media lawyers and music industry experts. The blame for that lies squarely on the corporate-focus of the music industry, and how it has bent copyright law to serve companies rather than composers, said a panel at the University of Westminster.

      • CopyWrong!

        Last month I briefly blogged about my love affair with old automated musical instruments such as the player piano, player reed organ, nickelodeon, wind-up phonographs and my long association with the Automatic Musical Instrument Collector’s Association (AMICA).

      • The Real ‘Copyright Radical Extremist’ – Hello James Moore, This Is Your Life

        The perceived political center of Canadian Society, was determined during the Canadian Copyright Consultation. The consensus was that ‘Digital Locks’ weren’t wanted or needed. This consultation was considered one of the most successful of all time. Curiously certain people didn’t like the results. Barry Sookman, who Michael Geist claims is working for the CRIA (I have asked Barry several times to indicate his allegiance – he has so far refused to do so to me, so I don’t know if Michael is right or not) didn’t like the results. Nor did James Gannon, nor did Richard Owens. Lawyers, and members of the Recording Industry Association of America, members of the Motion Picture Association of America, and a couple of other American industries. Lawyers, and American companies.

      • Vimeo gets Creative Commons, global settings

        Video host Vimeo on Tuesday is rolling out a new feature that will users apply Creative Commons (CC) licenses to their uploaded videos.

      • ASCAP’s attack on Creative Commons

        The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) has launched a campaign to raise money from its members to hire lobbyists to protect them against the dangers of “Copyleft.” Groups such as Creative Commons, Public Knowledge, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation are “mobilizing,” ASCAP describes in a letter to its members, “to promote ‘Copyleft’ in order to undermine our ‘Copyright.’” “[O]ur opponents are influencing Congress against the interests of music creators,” ASCAP warns. Indeed, as the letter ominously predicts, this is ASCAP’s “biggest challenge ever.” (Historians of BMI might be a bit surprised about that claim in particular.)

      • ACTA

        • International anti-counterfeiting talks hit snags says EU

          The European Union “will not swallow” U.S. hypocrisy when negotiating an anti-counterfeiting agreement, said the senior E.U. representative involved in the talks.

          European Commissioner for Trade, Karel De Gucht, made the statement during a presentation to the European Parliament on Tuesday. He was updating members of the parliament (MEPs) on the state of play of negotiations on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). But despite his tough talking and apparent hardline stance, many MEPs were unconvinced that the revised ACTA agreement will safeguard civil rights.

        • EU gets wires crossed over ACTA transparency

          A renewed call from Green MEPs for ACTA transparency crosses with a reply from the Commission that maintains its old, discredited line that ACTA will remain within the EU acquis.

          Last week, the Green group in the European Parliament issued a call for the European Commission to suspend all negotiation on the Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) until there is a proper agreement in place for full transparency. By ‘transparency’ the Greens mean that the negotiating documents can be made public.

          The Greens stress their concerns that ACTA will infringe citizens’ fundamental rights and freedoms and that it will impose some form of graduated response measures.

          But is the Commission listening? Also last week, a written answer from the Trade Commissioner Karel de Grucht, crossed with the transparency call. The Commission’s answer arguably dodged

        • ACTA negotiators inform the Parliament in secret

          The ACTA negotiators from the Commission came to the European Parliament today, to inform the Parliament about what happened in the last round of negotiations in Luzern.

          However, the meeting where the information was to be given was declared ”in camera”, i.e.: closed to the public.

        • Even US Intellectual Property Organization Concerned About ACTA Being Too Broad & Changing US Laws

          While those involved in the ACTA negotiations have mocked the concerns raised about the ACTA draft, and said that those who are complaining are merely repeating “wild internet rumors.” Of course, we’ve seen that’s not the case at all. A recent filing about ACTA, put together by a bunch of industry groups, highlighted many of the very real problems with ACTA. Of course, ACTA defenders still dismissed this, because they claimed that the report came from those industries who benefited from weakened IP laws.

          I wonder how they’ll try to belittle this one. The Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) recently sent its own letter to the US government complaining about the scope and specifics of ACTA (pdf). The Intellectual Property Owners Association is not exactly the sort of organization you can accuse of wanting weaker intellectual property. It’s also not an organization that I agree with very often (as you might imagine). But, in this letter, the group points out that ACTA appears to be way too broad and that, contrary to claims from ACTA negotiators, it seems clear that it would require changes to US law.

Clip of the Day

CLUG Talk – 11 Sep 2007 – Linux Name to Identifier Resolution (2007)


07.11.10

Links 11/7/2010: 2,750 (or 3,650) Schools Are Moving to GNU/Linux Desktops

Posted in News Roundup at 2:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Gujarat set to follow Kerala’s LDF in IT education

    The Gujarat government is all set to follow Kerala’s Marxist-led Left-Democratic Front (LDF) in IT education in schools. Following Kerala schools, it has decided to use only Linux operating system, the open-source free software, in the computers installed in 3,650 schools.

    Linux will also be installed in another state-run 2,750 schools, where computers will be installed this year. Freely downloadable, Linux is internationally regarded as alternative to Microsoft Windows.

  • Russian state-OS based on Linux

    According to the publication “Kommersant”, the state enterprise “Russian Technologies” has almost completed the acquisition of shares LLC Alt Linux. This Russian company is developing software based on Linux. Interestingly, at the same time the Russian investment fund NGI acquired stake in Mandriva, the initiative is approved by the adviser to the Russian president Leonid Reiman. According to Kommersant, the result of both of these projects could be the creation of an operating system focused on the Russian public sector.

    In this case, the developers of each of these systems based on Linux can get the appropriate government funding, and this can be quite a good amount. So, every year the government allocates to the field of IT for government, government agencies and defense industry about 12 billion dollars. How did you find the publication, “Russian Technologies” will be adapted by “Alt Linux” for educational institutions and the future goals of the project “Electronic Government”.

  • Farewell to Windows: The Ubuntu Option

    Picture this: you have just left Yongsan, having put down well over a million won for a new laptop: 15-inch screen, RAM out the wazoo and enough space on your hard drive to store every single K-Pop music video in existence. You turn it on, and despite the salesman’s assertions of “Yes, Englishee, yes!” Windows is not only in Korean, but suspiciously already activated and operating a “free” version of office. This is the “service” you get for your patronage of Kim’s Wide World of Computer Goodness in the back streets of Yongsan.

  • PCI DSS from a Linux Sysadmin’s Perspective

    This post only scratches the surface of what is required of Linux administrators responsible for systems which must adhere to the PCI DSS. The standard is detailed and requires good planning and a commitment to maintain the final achieved security posture.

  • Ballnux

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • The Path to Sabayon 5.4

      The next Sabayon Linux release will be 5.4 as usual it will have the usual skew of package updates and bug fixes. We are tracking the bugs earmarked for fixing before 5.4 using the Sabayon 5.4 Tracking Bug. This means that you can see which bugs will be fixed for 5.4 and the status of each issue individually; it also means you can report bugs and we can easily target those before each release. This is a new public approach for to nailing down issues before release and is due in part to structural changes within the Sabayon testers group.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Expect to be a billion dollar co by next fiscal: Red Hat

        A: We are involved in developing free software as well. I am often asked, how can a company make money selling free software? What’s important to recognize is that the recent Red Hats has been successful because we don’t actually sell software. The software itself is functionally free. The source code is available. But an enterprise is not just implementing features and functionality, they need to implement a solution which needs to last for years. When the New York stock exchange which runs on Red Hat enterprise Linux spent millions of dollars to develop their exchange, they want to make sure that it works for the next 5-10 years.

      • Red Hat Close to 50 and 200 Day Moving Averages
      • Fedora

        • Fedora Design Bounty: Fedora slide deck template

          Fedora project members, from pretty much every part of our project (especially Ambassadors), give presentations all over the world: from FUDcons (Fedora Users’ and Developers’ Conference) all over the world, to FOSS.in in India, to the Linux Symposium in Canada, LinuxTag in Germany, to FISL in Brazil, to SCALE in Calfornia – and many, many more.

    • Debian Family

      • Firefox returns to Debian?

        Debian comes with a rebranded version of Firefox called Iceweasle. The reasons for this are that the Firefox logo was copyright, and everything in Debian must be strictly free software- thus free to modify- and Debian maintains its own Firefox/Iceweasle package after Mozilla itself has stopped providing security updates for them. (Debian Lenny comes with Iceweasle 3.0- perfectly stable- which is the aim of Debian stable releases by definition- but old.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • An OS is only as good as its package manager

          Ubuntu is based on Debian, so it uses a package manager called aptitude. This system allows users to easily add and remove software. Without a package manager, Ubuntu users would have to compile and install software from source code.

        • Something is wrong with the software publishing plan for Ubuntu

          Lately I have been watching a couple of threads related to Ubuntu packaging and publishing whichs makes me feel something is wrong.

          With all respect, I believe Matt was probably dreaming when he came up with the “We’ve packaged all of the free software” title. There are plenty of applications not properly archive maintained or even packaged due to the lack of human resources.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Kubuntu Netbook Remix Is Now Dead – But Not Really!

            Kubuntu Netbook Remix is basically Kubuntu with the KDE Plasma Netbook interface instead of the KDE Plasma Desktop used in the desktop versions. Till Lucid Lynx, Kubuntu Desktop and Kubuntu Netbook Remix were available for download as separate ISOs.

            However, from the next release of Kubuntu, i.e. Kubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat, the Kubuntu Netbook Remix will not be released along with it. Rather, the Plasma Netbook package will be included in the Kubuntu Desktop ISO. At the time installation, using some screen resolution detection algorithm, it will be automatically decided if Plasma Desktop or Plasma Netbook is to be turned on by default. There will also be an option to change it manually in the System Settings.

          • Early Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Benchmarks

            There is still three months left until Ubuntu 10.10 “Maverick Meerkat” will be officially released along with the Ubuntu Netbook spin and the various other incarnations of this popular Linux distribution, but today we have some initial netbook tests of this next version of Ubuntu Linux. While Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook may boast a new user-interface now that it is using the Unity Desktop, the changes that have taken place “under the hood” have led to some performance differences compared to Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Netbook.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Android

      • sensorMote for Android

        sensorMote for Android, is an Android application that allows you to control your media from your phone with simple hand gestures!!

      • Android Market on the Verge of Hitting 100K

        This really is amazing news, and a testament to just how popular Android has become. In September 2009, the Android Market had only 10,000 apps. Now, just 10 months later the Market has over 90,000 apps and is on track to surpass 100,000 before the month is over. If Android Market continues to grow at its current pace, we could very well see it catching up to the iTunes market within a year.

      • Why I Turned In My iPhone and Went Android

        For me, more than the over-used phrase of “open”, the promise of true multitasking, and the platform’s integration with Google Apps, was one word – “Choice”. Choice of handsets. Choice of carriers. Choice of manufacturers. Second behind the word choice has to be “Momentum”. I can see that Android has momentum in terms of improved quality, in terms of the number of devices sold and users, and yes, applications, which are growing in quantity, soon to be followed by quality. I really do believe that if Android does not already have a market share lead over Apple yet in this discussion, they soon will. It is inevitable. The growth in the number of handsets, carriers and users will drive more developers to the platform, and the holdouts who are not there will eventually make the move. And yes, third is “Cloud” – the idea that I don’t need to be tied to my desktop computer to manage data on the phone, but instead, the phone is built to tap into data stored on the Web. Fourth is “Capability”. The Android platform, as the Droid commercials offer, simply does more. The power of the mobile hotspot cannot be understated, and the iPhone is a zero there.

      • Smartphone as ThinClients

        Trend of computing show that we are looking for a lightweight device.
        Future is all about a single device (a smartphone) which will do following task

        * Office & Internet Computing
        * Communication (audio, video)

      • New CEIVA Snap for Android App

        CEIVA Logic, Inc announced earlier this week that they have released an application to the Android Market that will allow users to send photos over-the-air from their mobile device to any CEIVA-connected photo frame. The application is called CEIVA Snap and since CEIVA invented connected digital photo frames, we’re sure this app will be a winner. Additional features allow users to view and store their photos on their devices all while on the go from anywhere.

      • Marvin v1.3.0 – Android app of the week!

        Marvin is a free ZX Spectrum emulator for phones running Android. Currently in v1.3, the package can be found in the market place and better still, its free! Marvin offers emulation of both the 48k and the 128k Spectrum, so lets look at how well it performs that task.

    • Tablets

      • Affordable Android-powered iPad-like Tablet Computers Galore

        Affordable Android-powered iPad-like Tablet Computers Galore: While browsing through dealextreme.com, a popular online shop for electronic products here in Asia, I was really surprised to see several iPad-like tablet computers that are sold for as low as $99 (US). Another surprising thing is that they are all powered by Android.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

    • Reviewing the latest speed wars in Web Browsers

      I’ve been around a long time, and I can vividly remember when GNU Emacs was soundly criticized for being so large, using up so much memory. Well, those complaints went away a long time ago. Before we even had 1 GHz desktop computer systems, I found that GNU Emacs would load in just a few seconds on computers with as little as 200 MHz and 32 MB memory. It’s so much better today. The typical Web browser is four or five times larger just to download, and the amount of virtual memory they use can easily exceed a factor of ten beyond what an even loaded Emacs would consume.

      Where does that leave the typical Web browser then? Two years ago, Web browsers were probably near their all time low in terms of efficiency and performance. Yes, they were offering more and more features, but the cost of those features were becoming prohibitive.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • The Open Science Shift

      Recent years have seen technological revolutions in informatics, communications, and the life sciences. Xconomy readers are deeply engaged with these trends, but may be unaware of the most important development of all, the transition (sometimes painful), to an Open Science system better suited for a global, networked, knowledge economy. Sadly, rapid technical progress has thus far not been matched by a revolution in the democratization of scientific problem solving. Instead, the practices and institutions that comprise our science and innovation paradigm are badly strained, and in some cases, arguably crumbling in the face of rapid technological and economic change.

  • Open Access/Content

    • Open Course Production

      In short: maybe we shouldn’t just be releasing content created in a closed process as Open Educational Resources (OERs); rather, we should be producing them in public using an open source production model?

  • Programming

    • The Urge to Brag

      Way back in the late ’90s and early 2000s, many Perl fans could rattle off a list of big projects using Perl: Slashdot, Amazon.com, IMDB. Eyebrows popped up (maybe at one point), as if the fact that billions of dollars of online sales went through Perl were validation of a language.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Proposal of new project for UOF

      UOF is not in same structure of ODF, some features(such as Media Object and Conditional format of Spreadsheet ) can not transform well only with XSLT, so we need to develop a set of extensions to transform them into a friendly structure first. For UOF API we must bind a bundle of interfaces and services on OpenOffice.org in order to OpenOffice.org can be integrated into office system with UOF API. The mission of this project is improving the interoperability of UOF.We’re going in for transforming the format between UOF and ODF with XSLT.There’s an UOF filter including an extension to solve some very important problems with Calc and OLE.

    • Convert XHTML to ODF using Xalan-J?

Leftovers

  • Science

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • “Do I have your permission to say something sexual?” – Scotland’s new law against “indecent communication”

      In October Scotland’s new Sexual Offences Act will come into force. Unlike the 2003 Act that was written for England and Wales, the Scottish act contains a clause outlawing “indecent communication”. It will soon be illegal to communicate with someone sexually – either in writing or in speech – without obtaining their consent, or without the ‘reasonable belief’ that they do consent to it. Quite simply they have taken the standard traditionally applied to rape – to the actual penetration of another person’s body – and applied it to what people say.

    • Facebook & political unrest?

      A Chinese government-backed think tank has accused the U.S. and other Western governments of using social-networking sites such as Facebook to spur political unrest and called for stepped-up scrutiny of the wildly popular sites.

  • Copyrights

    • Brazil’s copyright law forbids using DRM to block fair use

      A UN treaty called the WIPO Copyright Treaty requires countries to pass laws protecting “software locks” (also called DRM or TPM). Countries around the world have adopted the treaty in different ways: in the US, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act prohibits all circumvention of software locks, even when they don’t protect copyright (for example, it would be illegal to for me to break the DRM on a Kindle to access my own novels, were they sold with Kindle DRM).

    • Copyright Board Issues Commercial Radio Decision

      It should also be noted that if Bill C-32 passes as is, the right to collect from commercial radio stations for “reproduction” activities – i.e. copying and storing music on servers so that it can be archived, stored and broadcast efficiently – will be gone, provided that broadcasters can live with the limited exception provided for such reproduction which would last a maximum of thirty days. If the broadcasters can work with this proposed regime, they could save annual payments of $11 million to CSI, $10 million to AVLA/SOPROQ and $200,000 to ArtistI.

    • Judge Slams RIAA, $675k Fine Ruled Unconstitutional

      Another break happened today in the RIAA’s case against Boston University student Joel Tenenbaum, as the $675k fine was reduced by 90%. The judge in the case criticised the RIAA and held that the jury’s damages were unconstitutional. Even the reduced fine is described as “severe, even harsh” by the District Judge.

    • ISPs Don’t Have To Block The Pirate Bay, Court Rules

      Two ISPs have won their court battle against an anti-piracy group which had demanded that they block subscriber access to The Pirate Bay. Yesterday a judge at the Antwerp Commercial Court rejected the blocking demands and labeled them “disproportionate”. The Belgian Anti-Piracy Federation has reacted angrily, accusing the ISPs of siding with The Pirate Bay.

    • Digital Economy Bill

      • Mandelson accused of running ‘worst election campaign in Labour history’

        Lord Mandelson has been accused of “running the worst general campaign in Labour’s history”, as he reignited the feud between Blairites and allies of Gordon Brown ahead of the publication of his memoirs.

        In an interview to promote the book, entitled The Third Man, Mandelson said Brown had been served badly by his aides, who had “unbridled contempt” for Tony Blair.

Clip of the Day

CLUG Talk – 20 Oct 2007 – Darcs (2007)


07.10.10

Links 10/7/2010: OpenFeint Comes to Linux; Standard Business Reporting

Posted in News Roundup at 4:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Desktop “Partner” of the Year

      Apparently, if you consider only that other OS you can make a proposal look good. Against MacOS and GNU/Linux the costs are staggering. TDSB has 60K PCs and 256 support people, 240 machines per support person. RedHat and others can set up systems where one support person can deal with thousands of machines. Could it be that the IT people did not believe CMS’ advice and lay themselves off upon migrating to Vista? Chuckle… The truth is only M$ and its partners benefit when a school board migrates to a product from M$. On top of that students are harmed by the exposure, instilling dependency on that other OS.

    • Relationship Stress Test…Here Honey, Try This…

      We use Linux.

      Now, Diane is well aware of the problems that Windows Users face. She’s been one of them for as long as she’s been using a computer but once she sat in proximity to a Linux computer and someone who knew how to use it, that all changed.

      Diane is retired from the Airline Industry. She spent years in the Accounting and Purchasing Divisions of several airlines and companies so she’s no stranger to spreadsheets and databases. In the last part of her career she also used many on line applications to do her work.

  • Server

    • Linux Servers: A Real Data Center Choice

      Linux provides the basis for much virtualization technology — Xen, VMware, KVM and OpenVZ, for example. Cloud vendors that use Linux exclusively, such as Amazon.com, attest to the fact that Linux provides the perfect virtualization backdrop for their services.

      [...]

      Linux is no longer viewed as just an anomaly among “real” data center OSes. Its developers and converts have made it a respectable and competitive choice for businesses that seek to lower their IT overhead and regain some profit. Converting to Linux isn’t difficult, even for those who find themselves drowning in a sea of proprietary software and hardware. It’s a real choice for developers, cloud vendors, database vendors, virtualization companies, hosting companies and you, the business owner. Linux is here to stay. Linux is a real commercial offering. Linux has proven itself as a real data center OS. And, the developers keep it real for everyone.

  • Google

    • The Chrome OS Spin Doctors Are Revving Their Engines

      In a matter of weeks, Google’s very first operating system aimed squarely at computers will be upon us: Chrome OS. As Dana Blankenhorn notes, Google has a FUD engine going surrounding the operating system that rivals the very best FUD campaigns from Microsoft’s past. Google is spoon feeding us 100 Chrome experiments, and appears to be wooing powerful hardware makers such as Dell. Like the iPad, the pent-up love for all things Google will probably make Chrome OS a short-term success, but where does it really fit in?

  • Applications

  • Xfce

    • Orage: Xfce calendar application

      As we continue on with our travels down the Xfce path, I thought it would be smart to highlight the Xfce calendaring application Orage. This tool is not an “all in one” tool like Evolution, nor does it have all of the bells and whistles of the Mozilla Sunbird calendar. But what it does, it does well and does so without taking up tons of your resources or your desktop real estate.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • And they call it Puppy Love…

        Puppy will run upon pretty much anything out there.

        It gives you a blisteringly fast machine with a sensible selection of pre-installed applications.

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • KVM Adoption Isn’t All About Commercial Support

        The open source KVM virtualization technology is being promoted by many different vendors, often as a mechanism to help enable cloud deployments. Among the biggest backers of KVM are Linux vendors Red Hat and Ubuntu, though in at least one use case the solutions they’re marketing aren’t necessarily the solutions that cloud deployments are using.

        Hosting provider The Planet recently launched a new cloud service offering built on KVM technology without the benefit of the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud (UEC) or Red Hat’s Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV). Instead The Planet has chosen to take its own path, leveraging the freely available Ubuntu Lucid LTS release and without engaging in a commercial contract with Canonical, the lead commercial sponsor behind Ubuntu.

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • Time to consider Ubuntu for your cloud needs?

        Stemming from Canonical’s relatively modest customer base, especially outside of cloud deployments, the vendor behind Ubuntu doesn’t have to worry about existing customers doing a similar price comparison between the pay-per-usage cloud approach and traditional support subscriptions. This is definitely an advantage for Canonical over Red Hat.

      • Oh where oh where could our CDs be

        Lucid, 10.04, was released nearly 3 months ago and still to this date the Ubuntu Chicago LoCo Team has not received our shipment. Not only has our shipment not been received but nobody seems to be answering my emails. Getting a bit tired of telling everyone, nope you can’t have any CDs because I don’t have any CDs, and not being able to have a decent gathering to promote Ubuntu because we have zero materials. Maybe this blog post will make its way to someone’s desk that can help or who possibly cares.

      • Freezing Maverick – behind the scenes on Ubuntu 10.10

        Ubuntu 10.10 (codename Maverick Meerkat) is well into the development cycle, with the planned celebrity release date of 10 October 2010 (10/10/10). The development time frame of Ubuntu is quite condensed, and this is managed with a number of stages. These stages tend to symbolise milestones of the schedule, and usually refer to a restriction on what activity can happen during this time.

        We have long passed the Alpha 1 CD image stage and I anticipate the release of Alpha 2 by the time you read this. You will no doubt be eager to test Alpha 3, which is currently scheduled for 5 August. Alpha 3 will be the last CD image created before the development of Maverick starts entering the second half of the ‘freeze’ stages.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • The Fragmentation of Linux: Two Points of View

      The fragmentation of Linux has become a hot topic in recent weeks as industry leaders debate how the community can collaborate to compete against single, vertical operating systems without creating an ecosystem that pulls the community in too many directions at once to be truly effective. As FOSS developers work at a fever pitch to create Linux-based OSes, handheld devices, enterprise-level servers, and mobile phones, the point at which they join forces can make the difference between getting a leg up on other operating systems and lagging behind.

    • Nokia/MeeGo

      • Meego flies in benchmark test

        Tests run by independent benching site Carrypad confirmed that Google’s open source OS took a licking. The benchmark was the Sunspider Javascript test. This is a processer intensive test that measures how quickly applications get displayed in a web browser.

      • MeeGo Demolishes Android 2.2 in Javascript Test

        As I begin a series of tests on the Aava prototype phone today, the first thing I wanted to get out of the way was a Sunspider javascript test. It’s CPU-intensive and forms an important part of the chain of events that take place to get a web application displayed on your browser. Yes, it’s one of many variables but it’s a good indicator of CPU performance.

    • Android

      • OpenFeint Gaming Comes To Andoid

        iOS game developer OpenFeint has announced that the company will be bringing its open-source gaming platform to Google’s Android OS.

      • Android Grows at a Blistering Pace

        Apple ranked number two with 24.4 percent share and Microsoft third with 13.2 percent, while Palm rounded out the top five with 4.8 percent.

        Android’s growth should come as no surprise to mobile enthusiasts. More than 20 Android phones are available in the U.S. currently. Handset makers such as LG and Samsung that have been slower than rivals Motorola and HTC in adopting Android are now planning to launch new Android devices.

        Earlier this week, LG said it will have two Android smartphones and an Android-based tablet available by the end of the year. Samsung has already announced that its first 4G Android phone on Sprint will be available this summer.

      • Google updates its Android development kit

        OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE HOUSE Google has updated its Android software development kit (SDK) to match the latest version of Android 2.2.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source chosen for first major contract for Indian ID cards project

    MindTree is using open source software to build the applications. This was the choice of the authorities in charge of the project. But Lahiri says open source such as Linux is scalable and mature enough for a project like this. Mindshare will use some vendor applications.

  • University Challenge & the open source debating society

    One of the better blogs you might like to read up on in follow up to this event comes from Scott Wilson who talked about open innovation, development and collaboration. Wilson said that his focus was on barriers to community as he discussed areas such as, “Governance, diversity and personal barriers to engaging in an Open Source development community and how as a member of such a community you can make a contribution.”

  • The state of the open source nation

    Five years on, Simon Brock catches up with those original open source projects he covered in this very column

    It’s now five years since this column changed its title to Open Source, before which it had been restricted to Unix server software. We changed it because so much of the open-source Unix software we covered was also available for Windows and the Mac, and a broader remit seemed more sensible.

  • Newspaper chain Journal Register Company announces move to open source

    “Does this mean that [moving forward] all newsrooms will publish using Scribus or will tone all photos using Gimp? No, but if an operation — part Journal Register or an outside company — wanted to, they could,” the press release read. “The tools we discovered, trained on and used as part of the Ben Franklin Project could allow a news organization to throw away their old methods and start anew.”

  • A Topic for Discussion – Open Source Feature-Richness?

    The person making these comments is a professional writer who I follow, with several books published. So the opinion about the software not being feature rich is a valid issue and being too complicated is something that I too find with writing software in general. But that the author feels it is less feature rich because it is Open Source, or more correctly, because it is free is something that bothers me.

  • Symbian

  • Web Browsers

    • Browser Speed Test – Opera’s Claim Put To The Test

      Both Opera and Google are obsessed with the speed of their browser. With each release, each claim to be the fastest browser. Google has even gone on to make a game to demonstrate the speed of its browser Chrome. With today’s release of Opera 10.60, Opera is now claiming that it is the fastest browser on earth. So, we decided to see if it is indeed the fastest browser or if it is Google Chrome. We also decided to throw in the latest dev build of Chromium and Firefox 4.0 beta to the test.

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Public License rewrite deletes Netscape

        Mozilla is perhaps best known today for its Firefox web browser. Underlying that browser however is the open source license that enables its development community to thrive. The Mozilla Public License (MPL) has remained nearly untouched since 1999 and now at long last is undergoing a process of evolution.

  • SaaS

    • Enterprise-Grade Hadoop for Petabyte Analytics

      If you’re slightly bewildered by all the buzz over this new technology with the funny-sounding moniker, you’re not alone. The official story is that Hadoop was the name of the inventor’s kid’s stuffed elephant. However, for most IT professionals, it could easily be an acronym for “Heck, Another Darn Obscure Open-source Project.” The fact that Hadoop, managed by Apache, includes subprojects with similarly opaque names–such as Pig, Hive, Chukwa, and ZooKeeper—contributes to the queasy feeling that this is an untamed menagerie of squealing beasties.

    • Five open source tools for building and managing clouds

      Open source technology is going to seriously impact the cloud computing world, and there are two main reasons why: Open source software is essentially free, and it is not generally encumbered by the software license models of proprietary software. Many proprietary software vendors, such as Microsoft and Oracle, are trying to maintain old and expensive license models, even though they impede the flexibility gained by virtualization and cloud computing.

  • Databases

  • CMS

  • Business

    • Why the Technology Matters – An Analysis of Consona’s Acquisition of Compiere

      While Consona has aquired a number of software companies based on this model, that doesn’t seem to be the strategy behind the Compiere deal. Compiere brings only 130 customers to Consona and I doubt Compiere’s open-source business model was generating big profits. Instead of buying customers and profits, Consona seems to be thinking ahead about how they can lead the market in the next generation of technology. The acquisition is more about growing organically – selling more Compiere systems – than it is about harvesting customer support contracts.

  • BSD

    • Taking a peek at GhostBSD 1.0

      The PC-BSD project brings a user-friendly pre-configured KDE desktop to the FreeBSD community. Which is all well and good, but what if you’re more of a GNOME person? Well, it turns out there is a project in the works for you too. The GhostBSD project is in its early stages, but it’s paving the way for users who enjoy running GNOME on a FreeBSD base without any configuring or installing extra software. I had a chance to exchange emails with Eric Turgeon, the project’s founder and lead developer.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GOLEMs are better than “Intellectual Property” – Passing criticism on “IP”

      Have you ever heard someone saying “Intellectual Property is a dumb term, please do not use it” in the parliament? Well it happened in the German Bundestag: Prof. Dr. Thomas Hoeren said it during the internet enquote this week. Afterwards one of the other experts, Prof. Rainer Kuhlen supported him and added that collecting societies abuse this term “so they can get goods with licensing agreements and circumvent copyright law”. (I already wrote about that in German blog entry.)

      [...]

      A bit later in 2004, Richard Stallman also wrote about that topic, in his article “Did You Say ‘Intellectual Property’? It’s a Seductive Mirage”:

      It has become fashionable to toss copyright, patents, and trademarks—three separate and different entities involving three separate and different sets of laws—plus a dozen other laws into one pot and call it “intellectual property”. The distorting and confusing term did not become common by accident. Companies that gain from the confusion promoted it. The clearest way out of the confusion is to reject the term entirely.

  • Government

  • Openness/Sharing

    • ‘Open source’ software for the stage

      Sara Coffin likes to think of Schreibstuck as the dance equivalent of open-source software that allows members of the public to modify and redistribute the original code to suit their own needs.

    • Open Data

      • MapQuest Launches Open-Source Version Based on OpenStreetMap

        AOL’s MapQuest has announced an interesting partnership open-source online mapping outfit OpenStreetMap. Through the partnership, MapQuest will begin using data provided by OpenStreetMap to power a version of its product. This new product, available for now in the UK at open.mapquest.co.uk, will reside separately from the main site and will not use any commercial mapping data.

      • MapQuest Going Open Source
    • Open Hardware

      • Hardware hacking heaven

        OSCON this year will be a delight for anybody interested in working with hardware. A full open source hardware track offers a range of talks to get you started with hardware hacking, and gives a great insight into the current options for prototyping.

  • Programming

    • Does Python 2.7′s Release Mean the End of the Line for Python 2.x?

      The open source Python language is at a crossroads with two major versions available to developers. The end of the road for the Python 2.x branch is now a little closer, with the release of Python 2.7 this week.

      Python 2.7 is intended to be the last major Python 2.x release as the open source project aims to help developers migrate to the newer Python 3.x release codebase. Python 3.x first hit general availability in December of 2008. Though the Python 2.x branch is now at the end of the line in terms of new releases, Python 2.x still has a lot of life left in it.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Smokescreen alternative to Flash

      There are already a number of Flash alternatives available to users, including the promising open source Lightspark and Gnash players.

      The most interesting alternative, however, is not a replacement Flash player but a separate technology that converts existing Flash content into HTML5 and Javascript, on the fly.

Leftovers

  • Financial Columnist Lectures Little Kids Who Want To Give Away Lemonade That They’re Destroying America

    Stuart sends over a column from a Chicago Sun-Times columnist, Terry Savage, that I could have sworn was satire until someone convinced me that it’s not. Savage is apparently a “financial” columnist, who apparently is a bit confused about her basic economics. Over the long weekend, she decided to celebrate the American way by berating and lecturing some children who set up a lemonade stand because they wanted to give away the lemonade for free. According to Savage, these kids represent all that is wrong with America. I’m not joking.

    [...]

    Wait, what? You know what the Declaration of Independence also didn’t include? Anything about how much “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” costs. You know why? Because it has nothing to do with whether or not something costs money or is free. So that’s not “something to think about” because it makes no sense.

  • Best Buy Says Creator Of iPhone/Evo Video Can Keep His Job; Guy Says He’d Rather Not

    Given the massive backlash against Best Buy for this move, it appears the company is backtracking quickly. Best Buy’s CEO did a blog post saying the company had “completed its investigation” and Brian was being offered his job back. The CEO also points out — as people did in the comments, that some of the original concern wasn’t so much about the famed iPhone/Evo video (which doesn’t mention Best Buy), but other videos he had done that had mentioned the company (which have since been taken down).

  • Security/Aggression

    • Facebook security flaw remotely controls accounts

      Roger Thompson chief research officer at AVG revealed a Javascript injection attack that lures users by providing a link to a video, which it claims “99% of people can’t watch”. The link forwards users to another page that asks them to paste Javascript code into their browser’s address bar.

    • NSA setting up secret ‘Perfect Citizen’ spy system

      The US National Security Agency (NSA) is embarking on a secret domestic surveillance project dubbed “Perfect Citizen”, intended to monitor and protect important national infrastructure such as power grids and transport systems.

    • Threat of ‘cyberwar’ has been hugely hyped
    • NSA Launches Infrastructure Cybersecurity Program

      The National Security Agency plans to launch a program aimed at assessing vulnerabilities and developing capabilities to help secure critical infrastructure like power plants, air traffic control systems and the electrical grid.

    • 41% of IT pros admit to snooping on confidential information

      The results of a Cyber-Ark global survey show that 35 percent of respondents believe their company’s highly-sensitive information has been handed over to competitors. Thirty-seven percent of the IT professionals surveyed cited ex-employees as the most likely source of this abuse of trust.

  • Finance

    • Wall Street Reform Bill Yields Big Win for Little Countries

      At a minimum, once U.S. firms will be required to detail their payments to foreign governments, the citizens of these countries will know how much their governments are receiving and from whom, giving them a fighting chance to hold their government accountable for investing those funds in critical needs such as food, health and education.

    • Senate Bank Reform Bill One Vote Short

      The fate of the Wall Street reform bill is up in the air after the death of Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia. The bill is a single confirmed vote short of the 60 votes needed to get past a threatened filibuster by Senate Republicans. From day one, the Bankster team has supported the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and that is still one of the strongest pieces of the bill. It is a great time to send off the last emails to Senators telling them to put a new cop on the block in the form of a CFPB.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Switch the Subject

      In addition to recommending a professional PR campaign to try and coax tourists back to Arizona in the wake of the state’s tough new immigration law, the task force appointed by Governor Jan Brewer suggested that Arizona try to “change the tone of the dialogue” by talking about the effects that tourism boycotts have on vulnerable employees within the state.

    • Coast Guard bans reporters from oil cleanup sites

      It’s a move that outraged observers have decried as an attack on First Amendment rights. And CNN’s Anderson Cooper describes the new rules as making it “very easy to hide incompetence or failure.”

    • Chez Sludge: How the Sewage Sludge Industry Bedded Alice Waters

      For the first time, thanks to an ongoing “open records” investigation by the Food Rights Network, the public and the press have easy online access to dozens of internal SFPUC files, documenting the strange tale of Chez Sludge, or how the sewage industry bedded Alice Waters.

      [...]

      San Francisco’s SFPUC is in the forefront of the latest maneuver in this toxic scam, “composting” its toxic sludge and marketing it as “organic Biosolids compost,” thus co-opting a venerable terms used in Organic agriculture. This greenwashing scam slipped rather unnoticed by the public from 2007 until the fall of 2009. That is when the San Francisco Chronicle reported on an effort by two public interest groups who petitioned the [SFPUC to halt the program. In December 2009, the The Atlantic reported that the city had rejected the petition and that the SFPUC was preparing to increase its toxic sludge to gardens giveaway ten-fold in 2010.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Wireless industry says ‘bill shock’ rules are unnecessary

      The wireless industry urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) not to mandate that cell phone companies make their billing practices clearer, a possibility the agency is considering in its effort to mitigate “bill shock.”

      The commission started a proceeding in May seeking comment on whether it should make regulations to prevent consumers from receiving higher-than-expected cell phone bills.

      [...]

      An FCC survey released in May picked up national attention for reporting that nearly one in five American consumers have been subject to sudden and unexpected rises in their monthly cellular phone bills.

  • Copyrights

    • Copyright abuse in Nevada politics

      This interesting abuse or misuse of copyright law again shows an old fox obeying the law but getting what he wanted, including great publicity in a campaign where it is not all that easy to get news coverage.

    • Angle Sends Cease-And-Desist To Reid — For Reposting Her Own Website

      Sharron Angle has resorted to an unusual maneuver to counter Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s attacks on her past quotes and positions, the Reid campaign has announced: A cease-and-desist letter, demanding that Reid no longer republish Angle’s previous campaign website.

    • Sharron Angle: We’re going to “pursue” Harry Reid for reposting my Web site — possibly in court
    • More bad news on pharma R&D productivity

      CMR International, a firm that tracks that performance of the pharmaceuticals sector, released a rather depressing report on research and development productivity last week. The report will set you back $10,000, but highlights have been made public:

      [...]

      - Pharma is having a tough time selling its new drugs: New drugs launched within the last five years accounted for less than 7 percent of industry sales in 2009, down from 8 percent in 2008, highlighting the big problems that companies are having in trying to reinvigorate their portfolios.

    • Woot Asks AP To Pay Up For Quoting Woot Blog Post Without Paying [Updated]

      There are so many reasons to love Woot, including their recent awesome letter and video about their acquisition. But, even better may be that in today’s Woot offering, they mock the Associated Press for its coverage of the Woot acquisition, because the AP just happens to have also copied text from the awesome Woot letter. Now, that’s all well and good for most publications, but this is the AP that we’re talking about. The same AP that threatens bloggers for copying headlines and snippets. The same AP that insists it needs “hot news” to protect others from “free riding” on its work. And, most importantly, the same AP that has a famously ridiculous pricelist for quoting five words or more from an AP article.

    • AP, MediaNews Boss Sends Legal Threat To Blog For Quoting Colorado Newspapers

      It’s no secret that the Associated Press is hot for the “hot news” doctrine (even as they seem blind to how it will come back to bite them). However, most of the lawsuits involving “hot news” to date have strayed away from really testing the legal limits of, say, blogs writing about newspaper stories and quoting parts of the story in the process. That may be changing. Dean Singleton is the chair of the Associated Press, as well as the CEO of MediaNews, one of the big newspaper chains out there. Apparently he’s decided to test the waters on threatening bloggers over “hot news.”

    • Men At Work to pay five per cent of earnings over Down Under breach

      THE composers of the legendary 1980s international pop smash hit Down Under have been ordered to pay five per cent of earnings from the song after it was found to have breached copyright law.

    • Ticketmaster’s Terms of Service Cannot Make You a Criminal

      The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and a coalition of academics and public policy groups are urging a federal judge to dismiss a criminal indictment that could give websites extraordinary power to dictate what behavior becomes a computer crime.

    • Hairdresser hit with £1,500 bill

      Neil Hull had bought a Performing Rights Society (PRS) licence… however, the relatively unknown Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL) took him to court because, unbeknown to Neil, he needed a licence from IT, too

    • The Twilight copyright saga: Forbidden love and forbidden T-shirts

      Late last year, Summit sued to shut down an unofficial Twilight fan magazine, in part for using stock publicity photos that Summit had distributed to the news media. The production company had licensed the use of the photos for “journalistic purposes,” and it argued that Beckett Media, the magazine’s publisher, violated the license because its use of the pictures wasn’t journalistic enough.

    • MPAA starts new crackdown on movie piracy, takes down 9 sites

      The MPAA is at it again, going after movie pirates. This time, U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is helping out the movie industry, and they’ve seized nine different domains: Movies-links.TV, nowmovies.com, thepiratecity.org, filespump.com, planetmoviez.com, zml.org, tvshack.net, ninjavideo.net and thisninja.net. These were mostly ad-supported movie streaming sites that showed pirated versions of current theatrical releases.

    • Feds Seize 9 Domains For Copyright Infringement, But Based On What Law?

      According to the Wall Street Journal, federal authorities seized 9 domain names of sites that were offering pirated movies.

      The nine domain names were registered using U.S.-based registrars, allowing authorities to take control of their site addresses.

    • Federal Court of Appeal Rules ISPs Not Broadcasters: May Be End of ISP Levy Proposal

      The Federal Court of Appeal issued is decision today [not online yet] on whether Internet providers can be considered broadcasters within the context of the Broadcasting Act. The case is the result of last year’s CRTC New Media decision in which many cultural groups called on the Commission to establish an ISP levy to fund Canadian content. The ISPs argued that such a levy was illegal since they fell under the Telecommunications Act, not the Broadcasting Act. The cultural groups argued that ISPs should be considered broadcasters in the case of the transmission of video programs. The CRTC punted the issue to the Federal Court of Appeal.

    • Digital Economy

      • Challenge to Digital Economy Act

        News that TalkTalk and BT are challenging the Digital Economy Act in court is extremely welcome. It is a vindication of our view that the legislation should not have been rammed through parliament in the dying days of the last government.

Clip of the Day

CLUG Talk – 09 Oct 2007 – Gentoo Portage (2007)


Links 10/7/2010: Salix LXDE 13.1, PCLinuxOS Quarterly ISO

Posted in News Roundup at 7:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux Doesn’t Cost Anything – But Maybe It Should

    Linux is easy to learn, highly capable of fulfilling a typical computer user’s needs, and 100 percent free. So why is it that Linux still has such a miniscule share of the overall desktop market? Maybe its gratis nature has been keeping it down. It seems that when consumers don’t know enough about a product, they judge it by its cost — and “free,” at least on a subconscious level, translates to “not as good.”

  • New Linux OS REMnux Designed For Reverse Engineering Malware

    Many security professionals who find themselves needing to analyze a specific piece of malware end up in a difficult situation. The classic approach to analyzing malware is to set up a virtual machine on a PC specifically designed for that purpose and then let the malware loose and see what it does. But that usually only shows you part of the picture; much of the malware’s behavior can remain hidden without the ability to do some deeper analysis.

  • Google

    • On GoogleCL, a ‘Virtual RMS’ and Highly Unusual Linux Distros

      Is a command line really what Google needs now? Opinions were mixed at the debut of GoogleCL, the search giant’s new and daringly named command line tool. Reactions ranged from “I’ve had to write bits and pieces of it myself. Thanks!” all the way over to “The APIs were already out there. Of course, the best APIs can already be used from the command line with curl, so I care even less about this.”

  • Ballnux

    • HTC Desire with North American 3G graces FCC with its presence

      Rumors of a June 8 launch of Telus’ HTC Triumph — a rebranded version of the Desire, seemingly — came and went without a trace, but now, we’ve got another reason to think that the model’s launch might be just around the corner.

    • Samsung spins $100 Android 2.1 phone for Sprint

      Sprint announced a Samsung handset running Android 2.1 that sells for $100 with a two-year contract. The Samsung Intercept is equipped with a 3.2-inch touchscreen display, a 3.2-megapixel camera, a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and an optical joystick, says the company.

  • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

    • Georg Greve on KDE and the Supporting Membership Program

      At LinuxTag 2010, the KDE community announced the “Join the Game” campaign to support KDE e.V.’s Supporting Membership Program. The first new member was Georg Greve, founder of Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE). We caught up with him for a ‘short’ interview that turned into a two hour conversation about life, the universe and everything. The pertinent bits are excerpted below.

    • Planet KDE Goes International
  • Distributions

    • The Job of the Linux Distribution

      The Gnome project creates the desktop environment used in Ubuntu, Red Hat, and many other operating systems. Each distribution tweaks Gnome a bit by adding or removing applications, but most of it is the same between the different systems. For all practical purposes, to the non-techie, non-geek, Gnome is the operating system, because it’s what they see and interact with. In Ubuntu, the default Gnome browser, Epiphany is removed and replaced with Firefox. The Gnome office suite is not used, favoring the more popular OpenOffice.org suite instead. Each distribution picks what it feels are the best parts available from the open source community.

    • New Releases

      • Salix LXDE 13.1 Released

        Salix LXDE edition 13.1 has been released! Based on Slackware 13.1, it features the Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment, “an extremely fast-performing and energy-saving desktop environment”, with a clean look and feel. The main applications that complete the LXDE experience are the lightweight and fast PCManFM file manager and the popular Openbox window manager.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • PCLinuxOS quarterly ISO updates released

        The PCLinuxOS developers have released the quarterly ISO updates for the GNOME, KDE and LXDE editions of their Linux distribution. The 2010.07 releases include a number of desktop and package updates, but don’t add any new features to the operating system.

      • PCLinuxOS
      • Mandriva 2010 Spring Is Released
      • The Long Awaited Release of Mandriva 2010 Spring
      • Mandriva 2010 Spring: A Review for Newbies

        There was a time in which Mandriva was considered a somewhat “intermediate” Linux distribution. In 2009, when I started using it, I found it slightly “difficult”. However, with the 2010 release, I have noticed how the distro has been oriented to the ease of use. I’m not saying that it is easy, as no OS is, but I must confess that I perceive less entanglement now. So, today I can confidently recommend beginners to install it as their debut distro in the fascinating world of Linux.

      • Mandriva fights through money woes, releases 2010 Spring distro

        Reprieved from its financial troubles with fresh investments, Mandriva released the final version of Mandriva Linux 2010 Spring. The latest stable release is touted for offering faster boot times, enhanced “Smart Desktop” file-organization technology, easier printer and wireless configuration, new scientific apps, plus updates including GNOME 2.30.1, KDE 4.4.3, and the new Go-OO branch of OpenOffice.

      • Mandriva Preparing For Organizational Reboot

        “Mandriva possesses in its DNA all the requisites of an Open Source world leader. A community of 3.5 million users, a leading position in the BRIC zone, and prestigious clients in both the public sector and major business,” stressed Jean-Noël de Galzain, President of IF Research. “We are going to focus on the company management and promoting a new, dynamic commercial activity based on innovative products offered on a new distribution network.”

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu Free Culture Showcase

        Today, July 7th, Canonical proudly announced that it will support the Ubuntu Free Culture showcase, which will offer photographers, artists and musicians from all over the world and with any background, the opportunity to see their work in the next release of the Ubuntu operating system, Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat), due for release in October 10th, 2010.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • MIPS64-based module supports 40Gbps network processing

      NetLogic Microsystems announced a Linux-based hardware/software development kit it says is the first fully deterministic networking solution that concurrently processes Layers 2-7 at 40Gbps wire-speed. The NLX321103A solution combines the MIPS-based XLP832 eight-core, 32-threaded system-on-chip with the NL11k and NETL7 Layer 7 “knowledge-based” processors, the company says.

    • ARM muscling in on desktop space

      Until now Brit chip shop ARM’s processor designs have been restricted to smart phones and other embedded devices, but new developments in a partnership between ARM and Canonical, the company which develops Ubuntu Linux, could see a new push into the traditional computing market.

    • Phones

      • Flash Player 10.1 Ported To MeeGo, Android

        Movial has announced enablement and certification services for Adobe Flash Player 10.1 on both systems-on-chip and mobile platforms for MeeGo and Android.

      • Nokia/MeeGo

      • Android

        • Rover unveils five tablets based on Android, Windows CE

          Russian Rover Computers has revealed five new tablets, ranging from 5- to 7-inch models. The processors are also varied and include Samsung ARM chips, while the range-topping RoverPad TegA W70 gets NVIDIA’s Tegra CPU. All five are likely rebadged OEM offerings, with the TegA W70 based on the Compal Tegra tablet.

        • Android Gains Marketshare While All Others Lose It

          With the market moving so quickly, things are bound to change. The survey was conducted before Apple’s latest iPhone 4 was released in June. Also, look for Google to exceed Microsoft’s share in the next period since it is trailing by a minuscule .2 percent.

        • Android 2.2 SDK refresh

          The Android 2.2 SDK that was released at Google I/O contained a preview of the Froyo system image and today, we are releasing an update to bring it into sync with the system image pushed to Nexus One devices.

        • Report: Fujitsu develops its first Android phone

          And we have yet another cell phone maker joining the Android bandwagon. Various Japanese media, for example Sankei Digital [JP], are reporting that Fujitsu is currently working on an Android-based smartphone.

        • Ubuntu on Nexus One, Froyo on Sprint’s Hero

          One of the most popular sides of Google’s Android operating system is the openness to hacks and modifications it enables. We’ve already had the chance to take a look at a wide range of custom made Android ROMs for handsets that would not taste the platform otherwise, but today’s news bring something new into the equation. An Android 2.2 Froyo port available for users of a HTC Hero on Sprint’s airwaves in the US has just emerged accompanied by a video of Nexus One running under Ubuntu, complemented by detailed instructions on how this can be done.

        • Android sees healthy growth at expense of Apple, RIM, MS

          Android’s share of the smartphone OS market went up between February and May of this year while everyone else took a hit, according to the latest data from comScore. The analytics firm released its three-month MobiLens report Thursday, observing that Android’s share of smartphone subscribers had gone up a full four percentage points in the US, though it still remains fourth on the list after RIM, Apple, and Microsoft.

        • Motorola

          • Motorola aims low with Android-based Charm

            Motorola announced a low-end Android 2.1 phone for T-Mobile equipped with a new version of its MotoBlur UI layer. The Motorola Charm is equipped with a 2.8-inch, 320 x 240 touchscreen, 802.11b/g/n, a three-megapixel camera, a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and a “Backtrack” touchpanel on the back of the device.

          • Droid X reviews praise battery life, multimedia

            eWEEK has run two favorable reviews of the Motorola Droid X, praising the phone’s multimedia performance, call quality, battery life, and camera, but criticizing its Wi-Fi performance and MotoBlur interface. A Wired review, meanwhile, calls the Droid X “one of the finest Android devices available” — if one can handle the size.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • For Those Intel Netbooks, There’s A MeeGo 1.0 Update

        This update carries over 100 bug-fixes, including the upgrading of the Linux kernel against the 2.6.33.5 kernel, improved 3D performance via DRM and Mesa updates, web browser enhancements, improvements to visuals and the window manager, full support for the GNOME Proxy, and many other changes.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Project Management Tools

    The pre-selection of project management programs started by focusing on some of the most famous web-based ones, excluding the following (for the following reasons):

  • Proprietary Technologies Are Buggier Than Open Source?

    Katonda has published a list of top 9 bugs and blunders of the last few weeks. In that list Apple and Microsoft seems to lead the world of bugs by delivering some of the most lethal bugs.

  • Mozilla

  • Business

    • Open Source Software: Less Feature-Rich Than Proprietary Competition?

      Commercial open source software is a newer trend than open source software itself. Over time, it is likely that the distance, in terms of feature sets, between proprietary software packages and open source ones will be closed by contributions from commercial interests. At least that’s true for many important packages. It goes to show that even though many people in the open source community frown on commercial interests, companies that back open source projects can have a profoundly positive effect on them.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Where we’re going: Working together for Free Software

      By working together for free software in a focused movement, we can do much more than the sum of our individual or project efforts.

      That’s where this campaign is headed–to strengthen the entire movement by promoting the underlying message that all free software projects work for a unified ideal: an end goal of software freedom. It represents a new theme in the Free Software Foundation’s work and a shift in focus that recognizes we are ready to engage a much wider audience. The approach for “Working together for free software” is to find new common ground to facilitate an effective public campaign for software freedom that will benefit everyone.

    • New ideas for the Free Software Foundation
    • Two GCC stories

      The GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) project occupies a unique niche in the free software community. As Richard Stallman is fond of reminding us, much of what we run on our systems comes from the GNU project; much of that code, in turn, is owned by the Free Software Foundation. But most of the GNU code is relatively static; your editor wisely allowed himself to be talked out of the notion of adding an LWN weekly page dedicated to the ongoing development of GNU cat. GCC, though, is FSF-owned, is crucial infrastructure, and is under heavy ongoing development. As a result, it will show pressures that are only seen in a few places. This article will look at a couple of recent episodes, related to licensing and online identity, from the GCC community.

  • Project Releases

    • Version 1.3 of WordPress for Android adds stats

      The WordPress developers have announced the release of version 1.3 of their WordPress for Android app. Using the mobile application, users can easily post to and edit their WordPress blogs from an Android mobile device.

    • RDPDesk Launches 3rd Version of RD Connection Manager

      RDPDesk, one of the leading companies in the field of security connection solution development would like to announce the launching of version 3.0 of RD Connection manager, a free open source remote desktop management solution which is licensed under the GNU General Public License

  • Government

    • Malaysian Government has reached 97% OSS Adoption — WOW!

      When I started working on GNU C++ in 1987, I could almost feel the course of history changing with every line of code I wrote. When I started Cygnus Support in 1989, I was convinced that it was only a matter of time before companies began to realize that proprietary software restrictions did nothing to help their competitive advantage and everything to harm it. And though early funding for my work came from government agencies (US DARPA in 1987 and French INRIA in 1988), I never quite expected to be visiting and promoting open source in Malaysia [short version] [longer version]. Yet such is the reach of open source software! Now the Government of Malaysia proudly reports an astonishing 97% adoption rate for open source software in this new report:

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Black hole emitting a giant gas bubble 1000 light-years wide

      A black hole only slightly heavier than our Sun is emitting the most powerful jets of energy ever seen, rivaling that of quasars a million times larger, and creating a bubble of hot gas and fast-moving particles 1000 light-years across.

      When black holes devour matter, they release massive amounts of energy. Physicists had thought this energy mostly took the form of radiation, primarily X-rays. However, as this newly discovered black hole so dramatically illustrates, at least as much energy, if not a great deal more, is released as jets of fast moving particles. These streams of particles smash headlong into the interstellar gas nearby, which heats up the gas and causing rapid expansion. The resulting bubble is a mix of the hot gas and the particles from the black hole.

    • As NASA’s Plutonium Supply Dwindles, ESA Eyes Nuclear Energy Program
  • Security/Aggression

    • Pirate Bay Hack Exposes User Booty

      Security weaknesses in the hugely popular file-sharing Web site thepiratebay.org have exposed the user names, e-mail and Internet addresses of more than 4 million Pirate Bay users, according to information obtained by KrebsOnSecurity.com.

  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs has sent me a letter . . .

      They’re decrying the fact I might fault them for having anything whatsoever to do with the rise of the price of global wheat. Harper’s will publish the letter, of course, with my response . . .

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Researchers tout new weapon in Internet censorship arms race

      Trying to get out in front of what they call a censorship arms race, a team of researchers has come up with technology that lets users exchange messages through heavily censored networks in countries such as China and North Korea in hidden channels via user-generated content sites such as Twitter or Flickr.

    • Google breached Australians’ privacy: Commissioner

      Google Australia breached the Privacy Act when it inadvertently collected data from private wireless networks using its Street View cars, Australian Privacy Commissioner Karen Curtis said today.

      In response, the search and advertising giant was forced to publicly apologise.

    • Internet filter rules under review in Australia

      The Australian government is conducting an independent review of websites due to be blocked by its controversial internet filter.

  • Copyrights

    • Tom Silverman Proposes Radically Transparent Music Business

      The basic recording contract upon which most of the popular music business has been based for the past 50 years is fundamentally broken.

      This is not the sentiment of one of the countless critics who throw stones at the music industry from afar, usually for vague philosophical reasons, but rather the pragmatic opinion of a true insider: Tom Silverman, founder of Tommy Boy Records, which sold millions of records by hip-hop artists including Club Nouveau, Coolio, De La Soul, Digital Underground, Everlast, House of Pain and Naughty By Nature.

    • Brazil’s Approach on Anti-Circumvention: Penalties For Hindering Fair Dealing

      Brazil recently unveiled its much anticipated copyright reform proposal and it provides a statutory example of applying this principle. Article 107 includes an interesting balance to legal protection for digital locks.

      Not only does the proposal permit circumvention for fair dealing and public domain purposes, but it establishes equivalent penalties for hindering or preventing the users from exercising their fair dealing rights. In other words, the Brazilian proposals recognizes what the Supreme Court of Canada stated several years ago – over-protection is just as harmful as under-protection.

    • ACTA

      • Defending against laws which threaten user freedom

        As our mission here at the Free Software Foundation is to promote computer user freedom and to defend the rights of all free software users, we also have to defend against ill-conceived and misguided laws. Many of you may already be aware of an international trade agreement being negotiated by the G8 nations called ACTA, but another law known as the Digital Economy Act is of concern, specifically to citizens of the UK.

        We have already published a petition condemning ACTA on a number of specific grounds which we urge you to sign if you haven’t already. If you would like to know more, please read the rationale for this declaration. Right now, you can take action!

Clip of the Day

CLUG Talk 28 October 2008 – GPU Computing (2008)


07.09.10

Links 9/7/2010: GIMP 2.6.10, Ardour 2.8.11 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 2:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • A New Era of Compiz

      By splitting the rendering framework into composite and opengl plugins, Compiz can be used as the known compositing window manager or as a backend for other 3D desktop programs such XRender or Clutter. Another significant change, decoration reparenting, will allow Compiz to run with decorations as non-compositing when used with the revamped GNOME or KDE Window Decorators. Integration with QT main loop and the creation of a KApplication provides better integration with KDE. A new DBus plugin will now use the screen number to identify the Compiz instance. A major redraw bug that caused ripping or skips in rendering was also fixed.

    • Blacklisting drivers for some KWin effects
    • Five and a Half Reasons I Prefer Linux (as a power user)

      Linux is growing in popularity for many reasons, and as an operating system it is many things to many people. While we all have our own reasons for liking Linux and open source, here are my top five (and a half!) reasons why, as a power user, I prefer to use Linux. You’ll notice that these reasons are quite a bit different from why I think Ubuntu makes a great operating system for Mom, which just goes to show how versatile Linux can be.

    • Windows vs. Linux

      Linux and the GNU project’s software was developed to offer an alternative to proprietary software. It is a system of open source and distributed under the GPL, i.e. anybody can get it, make changes and redistribute it. Although there are paid versions of Linux, but the vast majority of distributions is completely free. You can download the ISO images at no cost. Additionally, you can make changes to adapt it to suit your needs. Above all, you have the freedom to pass a free Linux distribution to your friends without committing software piracy.

      Windows is a closed source and proprietary software. The price for the acquisition of Windows operating system is already something that one could consider prohibitively expensive and complicated for a personal computer user.

  • Audiocasts

    • Podcast Season 2 Episode 12

      In this episode: The first Mozilla 4 beta is here while Nokia is moving rapidly forward with MeeGo for mobiles. We report back on our You Dare Us challenge and hear Paul tackle Python.

    • The Linux Link Tech Show #361 [Ogg]
    • FLOSS Weekly 126: AskoziaPBX

      AskoziaPBX is a complete telephone system. It can speak to nearly any telephony technology in the world and is configured via a highly intuitive WebGUI. Designed to run on low-resource systems.

    • Linux Outlaws 157 – Horny, Horny, Horny

      On this episode of Linux Outlaws: A big announcement (kind of), ASCAP declares war on Creative Commons, Bilski comes down, new Fedora project leader, Microsoft kills Kin and Apple drops the ball on the iPhone 4.

  • Instructionals/Technical

  • Games

    • Five best non-free Linux games of 2010

      All of these games are cross-platform, so you can enjoy them on other operating system as well. Theres’ variety to be had, too. Single player, multiplayer, at home or online, role playing, classic strategy, puzzle solving. I have not intended to have balance in this list, but the games kind of naturally filled the right spots.

      I recommend you start with demos and trials and see what gives. I believe you will have found a new collection of great items to play and explore. Along with the freeware collection, you have the rest of 2010 to get convinced in my choices. You won’t be disappointed.

    • Stuff to Play!

      While I was on sabbatical, Protektor sent in a whole mess of Linux games we’ve yet to mention:

      * Summoning Wars, a dungeon hack game
      * Super Tux Kart, an enhanced version of Tux Kart
      * Dragon History – a Czech adventure game that runs under ScummVM
      * Shotgun Debugger – a 2D top-down shooter

      [...]

  • Distributions

  • Red Hat Family

    • Red Hat grows partner ecosystem
    • Fedora

      • OLPC to add multitouch screen to future XO-1.75 laptop

        Nonprofit organization One Laptop Per Child on Thursday said it is adding a multitouch screen to the upcoming XO-1.75 laptop and is modifying software to take advantage of the new hardware.

        The XO-1.75 with a touch-sensitive 8.9-inch screen will start shipping next year. The laptop will run on an Arm processor and is the successor to the current XO-1.5 laptop, which runs on a Via x86 processor. OLPC will also add a multitouch screen on the next-generation XO-3 tablet, which is due to ship in 2012.

        Customers could be interested in buying XO-1.75 laptops as low-power replacements to existing XO-1 machines, which don’t have touch capabilities, said Chris Ball, lead software engineer for OLPC, in an e-mail.

      • OLPC: Upgrading X0-1 to new SugarLabs Release

        I saw an announcement the other day about a development OS release (os16) for the OLPC XO-1 laptop that basically brings it into parity with the release on the XO-1.5. I downloaded it, got a developer key, unlocked an OLPC, and figured out how to install it. Once you become familiar with the process, it is actually easy and straight forward. I even played with the FORTH-based firmware for the first time.

      • 10 things that will make you want to use Fedora again

        Jack Wallen itemizes the improvements that have made him a Fedora fan again.

  • Debian Family

    • Debian on desktop systems

      What I expected to happen some time ago, is finally becoming reality: Debian is now my favourite distribution for desktop systems.

    • Catching up with Canonical’s CEO, Jane Silber – exclusive interview

      The most exciting thing is seeing the traction Ubuntu has as a mainstream choice for consumers. The alignment between Ubuntu, the community, developers and the hardware ecosystem is really coming into its own at this point. In my new role I am involved in more strategic discussions with our partners and customers, and the road ahead is looking very exciting.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Open source software battle heats up

      In parallel with the rapid development of mobile computing, various Linux-based OS pop up one after another—from Android, LiMo, MeeGo, Ubuntu to webOS.

    • Up-selling Fails

      Huge inventories of netbooks resulted because people wanted cheaper netbooks. Those inventories are now cleared but OEMs are taking a wait-and-see attitude before offering for sale the latest Wintel systems. Even the $11 price increase for the latest Atom is seen as too much. Wouldn’t a $50 reduction for using GNU/Linux look good about now? Wouldn’t a $50 reduction for using ARM look good about now?

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source financial analytics startup OpenGamma comes out of stealth mode

    Kirk Wylie, CEO of London based startup OpenGamma, has announced the company has come out of stealth mode and in the coming months, will be presenting its financial analytics platform to the world. The company is developing a common infrastructure and applications for financial services firms. The platform unifies batch and live calculations to create more consistency in risk and analytics calculations and is designed to be the core technology in batch risk analysis, commercial trading systems, bespoke trading systems and event driven alerting systems.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Another round of browser benchmarks, this time with Safari, the not so fastest browser on Earth… :P
    • Mozilla

      • First look: Firefox 4 Beta 1 shines on HTML5

        You’ve no doubt heard about or even seen Firefox 4′s new Chrome-like interface. More important are the many new features generally lumped together under the catchall standard HTML5, a specification that’s still a draft but has become more of a rallying cry for AJAX, JavaScript, endless tags, and life beyond plug-ins.

      • More Details on Features in Firefox 4 Beta 1

        Firefox 4 Beta 1 is now available and ready for testing. This first version is filled with dozens of new features and improvements. Here are more in depth explanations of some of the Firefox 4 Beta 1 features from the Firefox team…

      • Once around the Web with Firefox 4 Beta 1

        I want, I really want Firefox to become a top-of-the-line Web browser again. It was Firefox, after all, that broke IE’s (Internet Explorer) strangle-hold on Web browsers. Even Microsoft owes Firefox some gratitude. If Firefox hadn’t pushed Microsoft into making IE into a decent Web browser, many of us might still be stuck with crapware like IE 6. Unfortunately, I’m not sure Firefox 4 is going to get Firefox back into competition with IE 8, much less, what I see as today’s leading Web browser, Google’s Chrome 5.

  • Education

    • Considering Open Source Software for K-12

      IT directors across the country are implementing open source software in their K-12 districts–a decision often prompted by the improving quality of open source options, as well as cost savings.

      Selection of OSS is sometimes a value-added option when the commercial version would never be financially feasible. In other cases, IT directors are replacing existing solutions with OSS, instigated by license agreements that are ending, the need to refurbish old computers, or the purchase of netbooks.

      While there are no recent surveys to measure use of open source software (OSS), anecdotal evidence reflects growing interest in–and use of–alternatives to proprietary software.

      A few years ago, an OSS talk at the National Educational computing Conference (NECC; now ISTE) would draw about five attendees, and there would be just a “smattering of people” in the open source lab. Now the rooms are full, said Alex Inman, director of technology for Whitfield School in St. Louis, MO.

  • Business

    • Do customers want open core?

      There is renewed and meaningful discussion going about open core with several good insights and arguments: Simon Phipps, Mark Radcliffe, Stephen O’Grady and our own Matt Aslett to name a few.

  • BSD

    • Benchmarks Of FreeBSD 8.1 RC2 Against FreeBSD 8.0, Ubuntu Linux

      FreeBSD 8.1 is slated to be released this month as the first significant update to FreeBSD since the rollout of the 8.0 release last November. With the second release candidate of FreeBSD 8.1 having just been made available a few days back, we have conducted a set of tests comparing the performance of FreeBSD 8.1 RC2 versus FreeBSD 8.0 and an Ubuntu 10.10 development snapshot.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Could Free Software Exist Without Copyright?

      A couple of days ago, I was writing about how Richard Stallman’s GNU GPL uses copyright as a way of ensuring that licensees share code that they distribute – because if they don’t, they are breaching the GPL, and therefore lose their protection against claims of copyright infringement.

      That’s all very well, but as many people have pointed out, this does result in the paradoxical situation that the GNU GPL actually *depends* on copyright, an intellectual monopoly, in order to spread intellectual freedom. Moreover, it seems to doom free software into a kind of symbiosis with copyright, forcing it to remain a supporter of that monopoly, since without it, the approach used to make the GPL so powerful would not work.

      This is obviously a slightly troubling prospect, so a little while ago I thought I’d raise the point with RMS himself, since he was bound to be aware of the issue, and presumably had a solution (I hoped). This issue has come up a few times in recent months, so I thought it might be worth publishing his answers to my questions to shed some light on this important topic.

  • Project Releases

    • Samba 4 now due in 2011; SMB2 and SMB/CIFS protocol docs done

      The Samba team isn’t expecting to release Samba 4 until the first half of 2011 (optimistically) but work on support for Microsoft’s SMB2 — and older SMB/CIFS — has moved ahead quite nicely.

      Samba leader Jeremy Allison said support for SMB2 — which was introduced in the Windows Vista client — is finished and will be made available for testing in the next significant Samba release.

    • GIMP 2.6.10 Released

      Unfortunately a rather bad bug sneaked into GIMP 2.6.9, so here’s another release in the stable GIMP 2.6 series to fix this issue.

    • Ardour 2.8.11 is released
    • GNU Dico 2.1 released

      GNU Dico is an extensible modular dictionary server with a set of database modules, a command line client utility and a web interface.

    • GNU rush-1.7 released
  • Government

    • Dump Microsoft, Use Linux to Save Money, U.K. Officials Suggest

      U.K. government staff suggested replacing Microsoft Corp. operating systems on computers with free alternatives in response to a call for ideas for Prime Minister David Cameron’s cost-cutting drive.

      Cameron asked the 600,000 government workers last month to make suggestions on saving money as his administration seeks to cut Britain’s record budget deficit. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne today published a sample of the 56,000 submitted ideas, which including abandoning Microsoft, switching office lights off and centralizing stationery procurement.

      “In terms of spending less, what about migrating the whole of government (the NHS, education etc.) from Microsoft products to Linux and open-source software like Openoffice,” read one of the suggestions displayed on the Treasury website. Two of the 31 listed proposals, whose authors were not named, suggested dropping Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft.

      Open-source software such as Linux and Openoffice offers free or very cheap alternatives to Microsoft’s Windows and Office, the world’s most popular operating system and productivity software. Osborne said before the Conservatives won power in the May 6 election that he favored the idea.

    • South Korea: Super fast, and finally free

      Imagine a country that has one of the best Internet infrastructures in the world, and yet its government effectively forbids the use of GNU/Linux through a requirement that everyone employ a decade-old Windows-only technology for many key online transactions. That country is South Korea, where 1 Gbits/second Internet connections are planned for 2012; and that Windows-only technology is ActiveX.

      [...]

      Either way, it’s great news for the long-suffering South Koreans, who finally get to choose which technology they use in their daily lives – after more than a decade of enforced Internet Explorer and Windows use. It’s also great news for open source, which gets a chance to compete on a level playing field – something that Microsoft keeps calling for whenever the EU proposes favouring open source, and yet somehow never mentions when that field is already steeply tilted in its own favour, as has been the case in South Korea.

      That new opportunity is important, because of South Korea’s advanced Internet infrastructure. It means that the open source community there can now work on creating advanced applications that explore the possibilities of that kind of bandwidth, and that can be used by South Korean businesses and citizens in their everyday lives – something that hitherto has been impossible. It would be nice to think this may lead to a sudden outpouring of free software creativity, but the reality is probably that it will take a good many years to recover from what was probably the worst Microsoft monoculture on the planet.

  • Licensing

  • Open Data

    • UK Government to Crowdsource Spending Cuts on Facebook

      This could get very messy, very quickly. Multiple reports have emerged overnight that the UK government is to consult the public over how to cut public spending via a dedicated Facebook page.

    • A Big Part of COINS was not Published

      I had been reading about the Whole of Government Accounts (WGA) — a project to provide a really good detailed overview of government finances (more information in this previous post).

      I was therefore expecting to see the local council assets and accruals data of the sort that is recorded in the L-packs as well as central government spending captured annually in the C-packs. But it wasn’t there.

    • AOL Launches Open-Source Maps Projects In U.S., UK

      The new fund will support projects in specific communities—it over the next year to help expand and enhance the geographic data available to developers, designers and other users as part of AOL’s commitment to open-source technology.

  • Open Access/Content

    • Does Creative Commons need more court cases?

      I do not think that CC licences, or any licence to that effect, requires a court decision in order to be valid. There are thousands and thousands of commercial End-User Licence Agreements that are never tested in court, yet they manage to have legal effects and are usually followed to the letter by its users without producing a conflict. True, many licences contain clauses that when analysed by legal practitioners and scholars may seem doubtful. But even then a court case is required to declare the clauses invalid. One could say that a licence is valid until proven otherwise.

  • Programming

    • Why you want PHP-5.3.2
    • The Haskell 2010 report

      The Haskell 2010 report was published in July 2010, and is the current definition of the Haskell language. It is freely available online, in the following formats:

      * read it online: The Haskell 2010 Report
      * PDF [1368K]
      * HTML (tar + gzip) [336K]

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Public Review of OpenDocument v1.2

      To OASIS members, Public Announce Lists:

      The OASIS Open Document Format for Office Applications (OpenDocument) TC has recently approved the following specification as a Committee Draft and approved the package for public review:

      Open Document Format for Office Applications (OpenDocument) Version 1.2

      This standard specifies the characteristics of an XML-based application-independent and platform-independent digital document file format, as well as the characteristics of software applications which read, write and process such documents. This standard is applicable to document authoring, editing, viewing, exchange and archiving, including text documents, spreadsheets, presentation graphics, drawings, charts and similar documents commonly used by personal productivity software applications.

Leftovers

  • The emerging online giants

    THEY may not have the name recognition of a Google or a Yahoo!, but they can claim to belong in the same league. The websites of Digital Sky Technologies (DST) account for more than 70% of page-views on the Russian-language internet. Naspers is Africa’s biggest media group, both offline and online. And Tencent is China’s largest internet company by market capitalisation—and the third-largest in the world.

  • Science

    • Solar plane completes historic 24-hour flight

      An experimental solar-powered plane landed safely Thursday after completing its first 24-hour test flight, proving that the aircraft can collect enough energy from the sun during the day to stay aloft all night.

  • Security/Aggression

    • ‘Sneaky’ Wandsworth Council makes million on station CCTV

      More than 21,000 fines of between £60 and £120 were issued for motoring offences such as stopping to drop off family and friends.

      Neil Bennett, 60, from Blandfield Road in Balham, was caught twice in the same night in Grant Road behind Clapham Junction when he went to collect someone.

      He said: “For a total of 40 seconds outside the station, the fine was £240. I didn’t realise I wasn’t allowed to do it, there wasn’t adequate signage.

    • Iranians still facing death by stoning despite ‘reprieve’
    • Skype’s encryption procedure partly exposed

      Developer Sean O’Neill, famous in cryptographic circles for designing the EnRUPT hash algorithm, has released an open source Skype library that emulates the modified version of the RC4 encryption algorithm used by Skype. Skype chose to modify key generation for the stream cipher to make its product incompatible with other IM clients and ensure that it remained a closed system. However, initial analysis suggests that O’Neill’s publication does not mean that Skype’s encryption can be considered ‘cracked’. Further study will be needed to determine whether key expansion and initialisation vector generation are secure.

  • Environment

    • Over 25% of flowers face extinction – many before they are even discovered

      More than one-in-four of all flowering plants are under threat of extinction according to the latest report to confirm the ongoing destruction of much of the natural world by human activity.

      As a result, many of nature’s most colourful specimens could be lost to the world before scientists even discover them, claims the research, published today in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

    • Crypto-Forests and Guerrilla Gardening

      My imagination was ignited a few weeks ago when I came across a post on BLDGBLOG about crypto-forests: forgotten patches of urban land where nature has taken its course. What we call weeds are actually demonstrations of the irrepressible force of nature–plants overtaking urban areas designed to keep nature at bay.

      BLDGBLOG’s Geoff Manaugh describes crypto-forests quite lyrically: “Weed patches in which the earliest emergent traces of a thicket can be found; clusters of trees growing semi-feral on the edges of railroad yards; forgotten courtyards sprouting with random saplings unplanted by any hand.” It’s reminiscent of the scenario David Byrne vividly predicted in the Talking Heads song “Nothing But Flowers,” but smaller in scope and without the apocalypse.

    • US should prepare for many more heatwaves, says government-funded report

      Heat waves like the one now roasting the Eastern Seaboard are likely to become commonplace over the next 30 years, say scientists at Stanford University – even if global temperatures rise by only one degree Celcius.

    • New Batfish Species Found Under Gulf Oil Spill

      Researchers have discovered two previously unknown species of bottom-dwelling fish in the Gulf of Mexico, living right in the area affected by the BP oil spill.

      Researchers identified new species of pancake batfishes, a flat fish rarely seen because of the dark depths they favor. They are named for the clumsy way they “walk” along the sea bottom, like a bat crawling.

    • Sea Shepherd man sentenced for whaler assault
  • Finance

    • Judge Defers Civil Lawsuit for Adviser in Fraud Case

      A civil lawsuit brought by federal regulators against a financial adviser suspected of stealing millions of dollars from celebrity clients was temporarily halted on Thursday by a federal judge in Manhattan who said a criminal case against the adviser should be dispensed with first.

    • Judge Defers Civil Lawsuit for Adviser in Fraud Case
    • New Paper: “Shadow Banking”
    • Unemployment, borrowing, retail sales paint mixed picture of economic recovery

      More than 450,000 people filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week, as joblessness continued to hamper the U.S. economy and other new economic indicators reflected mixed signs about the recovery.

    • New Claims From Jobless at Lowest Since May

      First-time requests for jobless aid dropped by 21,000 to a seasonally adjusted 454,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The decline takes claims to their lowest level since early May, erasing the increases of the last two months.

    • World economic recovery driven by global imbalances

      The catastrophic economic downturn that began two years ago was supposed to shake up the global economy, ending an era in which Americans consumed too much and saved and exported too little.

    • IMF calls for deficit cuts in US

      The International Monetary Fund is calling for the United States to make a stronger effort to curb its budget deficits.

    • Goldman Sachs Executive to Advise Head of Canada’s Central Bank, a Former Goldman Sachs Executive
    • Goldman Sachs’ Credibility in Question: FCIC Chairman

      “The commission had some real questions of credibility about whether an institution as sophisticated as Goldman can’t tell whether it’s making money or losing money on the derivatives business,” said Angelides. “They have 1.2 million derivatives contracts and it just seems logical that they should be able to produce the management information to show us the scale of its business.”

    • Mudslinging Comes Full Circle for House Oversight’s Darrell Issa

      There’s no indication, at this point, that any sort of quid pro quo took place, nor is Issa mentioned directly in the suit. But a three million dollar windfall for a congressman does seem like the sort of scandal in which Issa would usually take a keen interest.

      In addition, CityBeat goes on to detail Issa’s extensive investments in Goldman Sachs’ High Yield Fund and a potential conflict of interest that may have occurred when he launched an investigation against the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the timing of their fraud lawsuit against Goldman.

    • Is Goldman Sachs getting a bad rap?

      Meg Whitman, gubernatorial candidate in California, has been tainted for her associations with the company. But a commentary in the New York Times notes rightly: “Despite the political haymaking, the truth is that Goldman Sachs did nothing differently in the years leading up to the crisis than did other firms of its stature. Nothing has come to light in any of the very public recent assaults on the firm that also could not be discovered by looking through millions of documents at every other Wall Street firm with large trading and capital-markets businesses.”

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

      Goldman was among the most aggressive players on Wall Street in marking down the value of mortgage bonds as the financial crisis brewed, and ultimately benefited in protecting itself from the housing downfall. A.I.G., on the other hand, had a large positive bet on housing through the billions of dollars of mortgage securities that it insured for Goldman and other banks.

    • The Kanjorski Surprise – Now It Gets Interesting

      The bank lobbyists, it turns out, missed one. They and their congressional allies were able to gut the Volcker Rule, the Lincoln Amendment, and almost everything else that could have had a meaningful effect on the industry.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Turkey faces legal challenge over YouTube ban

      The case, in which the Internet Technologies Association argues that the restrictions illegally discriminate against millions of users, is the latest front in an ongoing dispute that raises questions about free speech in a country attempting to join the EU.

    • Filter delayed for a year by RC content review

      Communications Minister Stephen Conroy this morning announced a number of wide-ranging modifications to the Government’s controversial mandatory internet filtering policy, including a delay of at least a year to the project while the state and Federal governments review the Refused Classification category of content which the filter would block.

    • US private Bradley Manning charged with leaking Iraq killings video

      • Film shows airstrike that killed 12 and crew laughter
      • Analyst accused of trying to bring discredit on forces

    • France, Netherlands seek to halt Internet censorship

      France and the Netherlands called Thursday for international guidelines to prevent private firms from exporting high-tech equipment that could be used for Internet censorship.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Why Kenya’s Attempt To Put Intellectual Property Rights In Its Constitution Is A Mistake

      A review of the Kenyan constitution has been undergoing for a long time, and only now has a final draft proposal for a new constitution been released. But, despite the stated aims of freedom, democracy, participation and the free exchange of ideas (pdf), the released draft seems far from that ideal: Kenya is taking the Euro-American route to heavier information restrictions, including more copyright, more patents and more private knowledge monopolies, instead of keeping their legal environment open to creativity, participation and sharing.

      [...]

      Intellectual property law is still based in the nation state, but is very much shaped globally. A reform in one part of the world does not go without consequences in other parts, but, contrary to what some may imagine, the effects are rarely beneficial to either party.

      An approval of the intellectual property rights provisions in the Kenyan constitution could come to be an example of that.

    • Move over Mexico! India Hosts Another Model Right to Information Law

      While India’s Right To Information laws have received widespread acclaim in the media for ousting bureaucrats in what appears to be a revolution in local government accountability, less conspicuous reforms such as the low costs associated with processing requests in Mexico deserve equal attention. In the day-to-day implementation of an effective access to information regime, it’s often the small things that make a difference.

    • EFF Celebrates 20th Anniversary With New Animation by Nina Paley

      July 10, 2010 marks EFF’s 20th anniversary! To thank you for your support over these two decades, please enjoy this new animation created especially for us by celebrated cartoonist and free culture activist Nina Paley. This short cartoon highlights some of the reasons why EFF is here.

    • Copyrights

      • ‘Hollywood Accounting’ Losing In The Courts

        If you follow the entertainment business at all, you’re probably well aware of “Hollywood accounting,” whereby very, very, very few entertainment products are technically “profitable,” even as they earn studios millions of dollars. A couple months ago, the Planet Money folks did a great episode explaining how this works in very simple terms. The really, really, really simplified version is that Hollywood sets up a separate corporation for each movie with the intent that this corporation will take on losses. The studio then charges the “film corporation” a huge fee (which creates a large part of the “expense” that leads to the loss). The end result is that the studio still rakes in the cash, but for accounting purposes the film is a money “loser” — which matters quite a bit for anyone who is supposed to get a cut of any profits.

      • No Easy Answers in the Copyright Debate

        I still think that if something is available for sale legitimately, you should pay for it (books, music, photos, movies, sheet music). A lot of the Bach, Scriabin and Rachmaninoff in Mr. Hawley’s collection is certainly available, and handing it to friends on a flash drive is absolutely depriving the publishers of their revenue. True, the composers are long dead, but editing and publishing sheet music is still worth something.

        It’s those obscure, out-of-print, not-available-anywhere items in his collection that make a tougher case. How many hours are you obligated to research and dig just to find out if something is available for sale? In this case, the barriers to a legitimate purchase are ridiculously high. Isn’t digital piracy justified in that case?

    • ACTA

      • Greens call for ACTA transparency

        The Greens/ EFA group yesterday adopted an urgent appeal for transparency in the negotiations on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). With this action, the Greens/EFA protest against the decision by ACTA negotiators to keep a new version of the draft treaty secret after the 9th negotiation round concluded in Switzerland on 1 July. This decision clearly ignores the European Parliament’s Resolution adopted by a grand majority in March 2010. The Resolution clearly carried an expectation of a continuous policy of transparency. But instead, there was a one-time release of a draft text in April designed as a piecemeal appeasement of the parliament, and then again after a complete lack of transparency. The Commission’s flagrant disregard for the demands of the Parliament is completely unacceptable.

    • Digital Economy Bill

      • ISPs mark disapproval of the Digital Economy Bill

        The great and the good of the internet world turned out in force last night at the London Marriott, DJed and evening gowned, to learn who had won prizes at the ISPA annual awards dinner. What a difference a year makes: last year the talk was all around safety, particularly for children. Last night the focus had shifted, with digital economy and the right way to fund creativity on the net very much to the fore.

Clip of the Day

CLUG Talk – 30 October 2009 – Netbooks (2009)


07.08.10

Links 8/7/2010: Linux 2.6.35 Preview, Open Source Research Consortium

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Dell cuddles Canonical for big Ubuntu fluffer love

    Dell is working with Canonical to help customers float Ubuntu-powered open-source clouds while also cozying up to developers.

  • Desktop

    • Why does Windows XP refuse to die?

      A new poll into Operating System popularity by a British computer magazine has revealed that an incredible 37 percent of respondents are still using Windows XP. That’s more than Windows 7 which managed to woo 30 percent of the folk taking part, and Vista could only garner a pretty poor 16 percent of support. This being a PC magazine it should come as no great surprise to see Linux being used by 8 percent of respondents and Mac OS by 7 percent.

    • NHS Linux Club Donates Computers to Needham Housing Authority

      After a successful first year, the Needham High School Linux Club delivered its first batch of computers to residents of the Needham Housing Authority. Penny Kirk, Residents Service Coordinator, will distribute them to families who have requested them.

    • Updated: ATO yet to budge on Mac, Linux e-tax

      The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has remained defiant in forcing Australian taxpayers to electronically submit their tax returns through Windows-only software.

      A help topic posted on the ATO website attributes the lack of Mac or Linux-based e-tax software to priority focuses on compatibility with tax legislation.

    • ATO yet to give in on Linux, Mac e-tax

      A help topic put up on ATO’s website attributes the absence of Linux and Mac-supported software for the e-tax to priorities on compatibility with tax law making.

    • Travels With Teo: Linux Netbook Hits the Road

      A couple of months ago the nice ZaReason people sent me their Teo Ubuntu netbook to review. I was favorably impressed and gave it a positive review. Then they let me take it on my vacation, so little Teo traveled 2500 miles with us. This was the ultimate portability, performance, and battery test. How did Teo do? Splendidly.

    • Desktop Virtualization Tools for Ubuntu

      All in all, it’s clear that the market for virtualization solutions targeted at desktop Linux users is rich and flourishing. While the traditional staples, VMware and VirtualBox, remain the most intuitive options, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ubuntu endorse an “official” desktop virtualization infrastructure based on KVM or Xen a year or two in the future.

  • IBM

  • Ballnux

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • Looking at KDE, and looking at apps

        It looks like I’ll be at least making the migration from GNOME to KDE, even if I don’t leave the *buntu family of distros, so I needed to make a list of what apps I use regularly and see if they work under KDE (without needing to install libraries) and if not what apps may do the job. Apps I now use are listed in BOLD text if I absolutely need to use it regardless of what distro I use, although if I can keep the same features in a different program that will be acceptable.

      • Akademy 2010: Almost Like Being There

        Not everyone can make it to Akademy, although given the record number of people captured in the group photo, it probably seems like everyone did.

      • KDE Software Compilation 4.5 RC1 Release Announcement

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

      • KDE Desktop Tricks

        I started using KDE when version 4.0 was out. I had had a taste of KDE 3.5, which I didn’t like, but release 4.0 looked like a big step forward, so I was tempted to give it a go. Just like so many others, I found KDE 4.0 disappointingly slow, unstable and unintuitive. However, I did see lots of potential in it and kept using it release after release.

        Up until recently, I was mostly a GNOME user. I considered it faster, leaner, more intuitive… and certainly not as ugly as some say! No matter how hard I tried to like KDE, it would always feel a bit alien and I would always end up going back to GNOME. The tide has shifted lately, though, and I have found myself leaning towards KDE desktops more and more. I believe that is mostly a result of the incredible work the developers are putting in place to improve and polish the product, but also down to the fact that I have been learning more about its “secrets”.

      • The easy way to make a useful KDE Plasmoid
    • GNOME Desktop

      • Four Great Gnome Panel Applets

        Gnome is the most popular Linux desktop environment and one of it’s key features that makes it so wonderful is the “gnome panel”. For those unfamiliar the “gnome panel” is the bar that is typically located at the bottom (and top sometimes) of the screen where your menu, task-bar, and icon tray are located. If you have never done it, try right clicking on some blank space and click “add to panel”. You will be presented with a list of applets you can add to the panel. While there are a good number to choose from by default, there are piles of other applets you can find online to install. The following is a list of my four favorites I use on my various Linux systems around my house.

      • The GNOME Open Desktop Day

        With the upcoming release of GNOME 3.0, software development interests will focus increasingly on improved user experience, accessibility and application use. While the GUADEC 2010 conference aims to prmote all of these ideals through the work of the GNOME Foundation, the GNOME Open Desktop Day will place important attention on the desktop in government and education.

    • Xfce

      • The Xcfe “control panel”

        In this piece of the puzzle we are going to take a look at Xfce’s “control panel”, the Xfce 4 Settings Manager. From this tool you can configure nearly all of the preferences for the Xfce 4′s desktop. It’s a very handy tool to have installed and will keep you from having to poke around the menu system to find the various setting tools.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Spotlight on Linux: Sabayon Linux 5.3

        This release of Sabayon is proving to be easy, fast, and stable. It is available in x86 or 64-bit KDE or GNOME versions as well as a CoreCD consisting just of the basics. With the included XBMC, Sabayon can easily become a home theater center as well. It is also the only known live distribution to offer musical accompaniment during boot. All the technical aspects aside, the best thing about Sabayon is – it’s just plain fun and easy to use.

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.0 Beta 2 Benchmarks Against Ubuntu, CentOS, openSUSE

        Following the release of the first beta for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.0 back in April we delivered our first RHEL 6.0 benchmarks while putting it up against CentOS 5.4 and Fedora 12. Now that the second beta of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.0 was released last week, we took the workstation build and have benchmarked it against the latest releases of Ubuntu, CentOS, and openSUSE.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva Linux 2010.1 Finally Released

        The Spring version of the popular Mandriva Linux distribution is now available for download on mirrors worldwide. With the release of Mandriva Linux 2010.1 “Spring,” we definitely know that Mandriva is alive and kicking. The final release comes in three editions: One Edition, Free Edition and Powerpack Edition. Mandriva Linux 2010.1 is available for both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures, with GNOME and KDE4 LiveCDs.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Shares of Red Hat (RHT) May Continue to Rise
      • Red Hat adds new premier SA partner

        Linux giant Red Hat has announced that Linux System Dynamics (LSD), an open source consulting firm, has been appointed a Red Hat Premier Business Partner for the Southern Africa region.

        Red Hat Premier Business Partners are top-tier Red Hat partners, who have demonstrated expertise in the Red Hat product portfolio and have met the stringent technical, sales and training requirements specified by Red Hat, in order to deliver the benefits of Red Hat services and products to customers.

    • Debian Family

      • Sidux 2010-01: Rolling Release KDE Goodness

        When it comes to Linux distributions, Sidux is an interesting character. While many distro’s “piggyback” on well known distributions (especially Ubuntu) and release their own “flavor” after the parent distribution is released, Sidux does things a bit differently. Sidux is still built on top of a parent distro (Debian) but is made to be a rolling release distribution by taking the packages that are in Debian Unstable, though adding customizations to make it stable.

        I tried out Sidux very briefly a few months back, and was turned off by the number of updates that were available initially and the fact that they broke my system. The problem was that so much time had passed since their last spin (the previous version was released in April of 2009), that there have been so many changes that the updates just completely broke my system. (Linux changes faster than any other operating system, bar none, so having updated spins is a very important thing).

        [...]

        Sidux is a really good distribution, though it’s not perfect. It’s clearly not for beginners, though there is a nice manual included so it may not be all that bad. As a power user, I had absolutely no problem using it and getting it up and running. I can see that excessive updates may be a problem to a beginning user, as package update overload can sometimes break things, but for me it’s been stable. As a matter of fact, if I wasn’t using Arch, Sidux would probably be my next best choice as I don’t think I could use anything but a rolling distro. Sidux is definitely well worth checking out, though I do recommend you try it in a Virtual Machine first to get the hang of it before installing it on a production machine.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Just what Will be for sale in the Ubuntu software centre Come October?

          The framework for supporting paid applications in the Ubuntu Software Centre will almost certainly be in place for Ubuntu 10.10 – but what could users expect to see on sale?

        • Fonts

          • First look: new Ubuntu font boosts Linux typography

            When Canonical unveiled Ubuntu’s branding overhaul and new desktop theme earlier this year, the company also revealed that it had commissioned well-known type foundry Dalton Maag to design a new font specifically for Ubuntu. The font will likely be used by default in Ubuntu 10.10, which is scheduled for release in October.

            Today Canonical launched a closed beta for the new font, making it available to testers and Ubuntu contributors. I tested it on my desktop computer, running Ubuntu 10.04. After installing the package, I enabled it in the GNOME appearance preference dialog. It matches the new Ubuntu logo font, but it’s designed for optimal screen readability. It looks very smooth on my LCD monitors and is very easy on the eyes. I think it’s a big improvement over Bitstream Vera Sans, the font that currently ships by default in Ubuntu.

          • The Ubuntu Font
          • New Ubuntu Fonts – No You Cannot Use Them Yet!

            Canonical Design has introduced new Ubuntu fonts which will be used in the next release, Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat. The new fonts will not be available to everyone, though, as it has been released as a private beta. Only Ubuntu Members are allowed access to the new font through a private PPA. The fonts will be released as a public beta on 8th August. So if you are not an Ubuntu Member, you have to wait till then.

          • Dear Canonical

            This “closed fonts beta” thing was a big PR mistake.

            It’s not enough for you to push a proprietary font into Ubuntu in the default install. No, you can’t even release it publicly. You just had to release it as a closed-doors, “members-only” beta.

          • Ubuntu font: what the glyph!

            Having read some of the comments and bugs I thought it might be useful to add some clarification on a couple of terms.

          • Finding Free Fonts for Linux

            You should be able to find the Liberation fonts on most distributions, though they may not be installed by default. Search for Liberation in your favorite package tool, and you should find a package with all three or separate packages for each. On Ubuntu 10.04, for instance, you’ll have the ttf-liberation package. Actually, if you do a search for ttf, you’ll see a number of fonts you can grab from the Ubuntu archives.

            But the open font movement, if can be called such, has progressed beyond Red Hat’s triple header of Freedom. Check out the Free Font Manifesto, for example. It links to a number of fonts that have licenses that allow redistribution and modification, as well as a manifesto about free fonts. Check out the blog as well if the free font issue is important to you.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • 10 reasons why Mint might not fail in India

            Last evening while reading the SA forums, I encountered a thread about Linux and what was required to bring it to the general public. One of the goons mentioned a post that indicated ten reasons why Ubuntu wasn’t ready for the desktop in India. I kid you not – the most ridiculous reason was because users couldn’t perform the important ritual of right click/Refreshing on the desktop five or more times before getting down to work.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • eZ430-Chronos and Linux

      In an earlier blog I wrote about the TI eZ430-Chronos. This is a $50 development kit with a twist. Instead of a generic target board, you get a wristwatch. Its more of a “Casio-style sports watch” than a Rolex, but inside is a fairly powerful MSP430 CPU and I/O including a 3-axis accelerometer, a temperature sensor, a pressure sensor, and a wireless connection back to a PC. You also get a USB programmer, and the USB receiver for the watch. Use coupon code HALFMSPTOOL (don’t know when that expires) and the price drops to under $25.

    • OK Labs promises secure mobile virtualization

      The platform is currently a prototype, based on Sirrix’ Turaya Security Kernel, which handles encryption, VPN and a trusted user interface; and the OKL4 Microvisor, which can host the Sirrix trusted desktop alongside a variety of guest OS, including Android and other Linux variants, in OKL4 secure cells. The platform will initially run on Nokia’s N900 product, which runs Linux-based Maemo.

    • FemtoLinux allows to run applications in kernel mode on ARM, MIPS and PPC

      FemtoLinux is a new Linux flavor optimized for real-time embedded systems. Our design goal is a low system call and interrupt-to-application latency and overhead. We achieve this by allowing to run critical Linux applications in kernel mode.

    • Tiny embedded PC offers 1080p video
    • Intel/Nokia/MeeGo

      • MeeGo: Zero to VT320 in Seventeen Seconds

        The video above shows the MeeGo VT320 video terminal start up. It takes 17 seconds from pressing the power button to a login prompt on the video terminal. That includes 11 seconds for the BIOS, 1 second for bootloader and a further 5 seconds for MeeGo to get its act together.

      • A niche player

        For one thing, it runs on the Linux-based Maemo 5 operating system. This is one very niche device aimed spe­cifically at those passionate guys that reside within the wider Debian and Ubuntu communities – the ones who love to tinker with things.

      • Netbook Apps Reinvent the Wheel

        Meanwhile, Google’s Chrome OS netbooks will dispense with the operating system completely when they become available in late fall in favor of apps from the Chrome Web App store.

        Of course, Linux and Windows netbooks like the ones Intel is targeting with the AppUp Store can run whatever software you want them to run — just like laptops and desktops. Their rebranding as things that run apps is, if anything, a step backwards.

      • Prototype Smartphone Uses Intel Chip and OS

        Steve Paine, who edits the Carrypad and UMPC portal got his hands on a prototype smartphone running Intel’s chips and MeeGo, a Linux-based operating system developed by Intel and Nokia.

    • Android

      • Android 2.1 Ported To The HTC Touch Diamond2

        It used to be that folks would be busy trying to get Linux running on various electronic devices, such as an iPod, but the latest trend is to get Google’s Android OS running on phones that don’t officially support it.

      • Report: More than half of Android apps are free

        Google’s Android Market offers the largest share of free apps at 57 percent, while the Windows Mobile Marketplace offers the smallest share at 22 percent, says a report on mobile app stores released last week by Distimo.

      • AT&T Says Apps Lock Down Is for Users’ Benefit

        The Android operating system is a free Linux-based open-source platform for mobile devices. It managed to appeal a lot to users around the world, mainly due to the fact that it can take great advantage of the hardware resources packed inside mobile phones. Already adopted by a wide range of manufacturers and carriers around the world, Android has all chances to lead the smartphone market in the near future.

      • Nexus one gets Linux

        Considering how hackable the Nexus One is already, we can only imagine a whole new host of interesting things thanks to Ubuntu running on the device. [Max Lee] set his heart out on getting not just Ubuntu on the Nexus One, but also Debian, and he wrote a perfect install guide to help out those wanting to give it a shot.

      • Ars reviews Android 2.2 on the Nexus One

        Froyo was unveiled at at the Google I/O developer conference in May during a keynote presentation by Google VP of engineering Vic Gundotra. Stabilizing the platform for an official Nexus One release took Google a little bit longer than expected, but the software is now being made available to users through an over-the-air update. We took it for a test drive to see how it compares to the previous version.

      • Motorola

        • Verizon Releases Droid X Video to Tell Us “This Phone is Awesome!” [VIDEO]

          Thankfully, Blake tells us that the Droid X is awesome. Otherwise, we wouldn’t know what to make of the 4.3-inch screen, 1GHz processor, 8-megapixel camera, 720p video…

        • T-Mobile Flavored Motoroi Spied at FCC
        • Motorola posts up video of the Charm

          OK, we admit it. Despite our public loathing of Motoblur, the Motorola Charm (just announced for T-Mobile) has piqued our interest a bit, given that it’ll be the first front-facing QWERTY Android phone. Motorola’s done up a cute little video showing off its latest. And while we’re not exactly convinced it’s going to be the Android messenger we’ve been dreaming of, we’re definitely looking forward to giving it a shot.

    • OLPC

      • Laptops distributed to four schools

        Manipur has been added to the global project One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), a mission to empower the children learn by providing one connected laptop to every school-age child with the commencement of distribution of the laptop to four schools today.

Free Software/Open Source

  • IBM, EU Create Research Consortium For Open Source

    IBM, in collaboration with the European Union, industry and academia, is launching a research consortium which aims to help businesses more easily take advantage of Internet-based services – or “e-services” – to create collaborative business operations and achieve shared business goals.

    The unique effort focuses on the development of a new computer science model that will enable organizations to greatly accelerate the typically time-intensive process around the coordination of e-services and increase the automation and efficiency around deploying new e-service blends. The research will enable even small to mid-sized businesses to create or join into flexible e-service blends, without investing in expensive IT expertise. The initiative will create open-source software to enable many organizations around the world take advantage of the technology.

  • OSS vs proprietary software quality and usage.

    In general I have found that, in terms of quality, number of bugs and ease of usage, there is no real difference between OSS and proprietary software. I know that many people will disagree. I also know that they disagree because they have a biased point of view. As these people are used to a particular piece of software, for example msoffice or photoshop, then the OSS equivalents, open office and gimp, seem to be inferior.

  • Events

    • ✈ Join Me At Open World Forum

      The conference landscape evolves constantly. Old events pass away, new ones arrive and it’s good to get pointers to know what’s worthwhile. I can recommend this year’s Open World Forum, happening in Paris on September 30 and October 1.It’s a volunteer-run conference for the open source and free software community and covers multiple tracks and events both for business and community interests.

    • [Announce] linux.conf.au 2012 – Formal bids request
    • Red Hat Summit and JBoss World 2010

      Slides and videos of the presentations at Red Hat’s annual convention provide a host of information about the features and capabilities of current and forthcoming Red Hat products. The presenters offered a particularly wide range of details on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, scheduled for release in the coming months, and on the various virtualisation products in the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation family.

  • Mozilla

    • Absolute 13.1.2 Makes the Switch to Google Chrome

      Absolute Linux 13.1.2 has been released bringing several updates and fixes as well as the switch to Google Chrome as the default browser, replacing Mozilla Firefox. Chrome was found to have several advantages over Firefox and the developers believed it to be the better choice for the light-weight distro. Firefox is still available on the second CD.

    • Firefox 4 Beta Is Fast, But Not The Only Browser In Town

      Firefox has successfully grabbed a quarter of the browser market, but Google Chrome is growing very rapidly, and the fact remains that the world is moving to a new, need-driven browser model. For many people, it makes sense to run more than one browser. I’ll definitely adopt Firefox 4, primarily because I use a lot of the best Firefox extensions, but I’ll run Chrome as well.

    • Buzzbird – Awesome Firefox Based Twitter Client For Linux

      Buzzbird is a Firefox based twitter client for Linux. And like Firefox, Buzzbird too, just works. Buzzbird is fast, have all the basic functionalities and it almost never crashes.

  • Databases

    • CSQL – Command Line SQL Interpreter

      CSQL is a very powerful command line interpreter. You are recommended to read our online Wiki CSQL Interpreter Tutorial. You will learn about reading, saving, and appending SQL statement, Shell command execution/registration, transaction processing, outputting schema information/syntax rules and examples, parameter setting, etc, which are beyond those provided by CUBRID Manager or other simple query editor tools.

  • CMS

    • Plone Chosen as New Publishing Environment for MIT’s OpenCourseWare (OWC)

      MIT OpenCourseWare ( http://ocw.mit.edu/ ) is a web-based publication of virtually all course content from the Massachusetts Insitute of Technology (MIT). It is a resource that is used by students, teachers and average people around the world via the web, giving average citizens access to a wealth of information previously only available to students who could attend one of the world’s most recognized and respected universities.

  • Education

    • An ‘open source manifesto’ to counter the ICT cuts

      1. Don’t buy any software. No, seriously, just stop buying software licences. If you’d like to carry on using your Windows machines, check out the Open Education Disc, with a comprehensive suite of absolutely free applications providing tools for (almost) every area of learning within and beyond the curriculum, including OpenOffice.org, Inkscape and the GIMP, to replace Office, Illustrator and Photoshop for starters.

      Furthermore, you’re allowed, indeed encouraged, to duplicate this so your pupils have access to the same software, legally and for free, at home too. Better still, put the temptation to buy more software firmly out of your grasp by switching to Linux desktops, such as the undeniably excellent Ubuntu. This comes as standard with a great suite of applications, with at the last count 30,046 packages (such as Tablix, a genetic algorithm based timetabler), that you can install (for free) over the net as and when you need them: think app store for a desktop, but all free and (generally) of very good quality.

      If you’re worried that your pupils won’t cope with an unfamiliar interface, don’t be, they’ll quickly adjust and will be far more discerning users of computers as a result; if you’re worried that this won’t prepare them for the world of Windows, don’t be, just have a glance at Ofsted’s comments about alternative operating systems.

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Inaugurating the first Free Software street

      The Free Software conferences held in Berga during the last weekend, where eyeOS participated with a conference and a workshop, ended with a very special moment: The official inauguration of the first “Free Software” street in the world.

      Richard Stallman, founder of GNU Project and Free Software Foundation, was invited and after speaking, officially inaugurated the street.

  • Project Releases

    • Midnight Commander 4.7.3

      Core

      * Mult-screen feature: support of many opened editors and viewers (#1490)
      * Reorganization of menu and configuration dialogs. More options are available in UI (#320)
      * Mark of text in input fields is available now, DEL removes selected/unchanged text (#2161, #2228)
      * Now copy/move dialog shows the full path with file name in the field “to:” (#1907)
      * Removed hardcoded shortcuts in dialog.c (#212)
      * Added new actions for panels: PanelMarkFileUp and PanelMarkFileDown (#2021)
      * Added new capability to create relative symlinks: menu item and “C-x v” default shortcut (#2042)
      * Now we can use external utility to copy/paste text to X clipboard (#30)
      * Cursor is hidden in menu and listboxes (#1771)
      * All hotkeys in MC (in menu, checkboxes, etc) in the middle of a word are in the lowercase now (#2168)
      * Use system realpath(3) function if available (#1911)
      * GLib deprecated functions are not used (#2085, #2249)

    • opentaps Open Source ERP + CRM Version 1.4.1 Released
    • New Maestro content management system rolls out

      CMS-Maestro is a new PHP-based content management system (CMS) released by South African Web development company Valente Online.

      Easy to install and use, CMS-Maestro offers the basics such as page and article management and adds to that the ability to add additional widgets, and manage menus and a range of media formats. In a release the company says that “CMS-Maestro is built with extensibility in mind and is designed in a modular fashion, therefore additional features and functionality can be added easily to the Maestro”.

  • Licensing

    • Open source compliance: know your obligations

      One key element of open source compliance is to know your obligations. There is a lot of confusion about what open source means exactly and some people believe that open source means you can do whatever you want. While open source grants users many freedoms, open source code comes under specific license terms which often include obligations that have to be followed by companies distributing open source software.

  • Open Data

    • Opening up European public sector information: two recommendations

      Last week I participated in the third (and sadly final!) conference of Communia project, a European thematic network on the digital public domain. The theme of this conference was University and Cyberspace and several of the talks articulated a vision in which universities, academics, and students play a key role in creating, curating and promoting the digital commons.

  • Programming

    • Eclipse releases Helios train of 12 project apps

      Mike Milinkovich, Executive Director of the Eclipse Foundation, said the Helios release introduces important innovations in areas such as Git support, Linux development and JavaScript support.

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Parliament calls for EU ban on cloning for food

      The European Parliament reiterated its opposition to meat and milk produced from cloned animals yesterday (7 July), piling pressure on the European Commission to ban food produced in this way.

  • Security/Aggression

    • How to Get Politicians to Admit in Public That the Drug War Has Been a Complete Failure

      Every politician understands what is in his or her short-term interest. They know what the party leadership wants, what their campaign contributors want, and what lobbyists want. At what point does the long-term interest of the nation as a whole come into play? Who represents the interests of future generations? Today, our future is determined by cowardly politicians who can only think as far as the next election. Our economy is guided by short-sighted corporations that only care about hitting their quarterly numbers, lest their stock nosedives and they get taken over by a rival corporation.

    • Is Breaking CAPTCHA a Crime?

      Prosecutors in a New Jersey ticket scalping case are pushing the envelope on the federal computer hacking law, setting a precedent that could make it a felony to violate a website’s terms of service and fool a CAPTCHA, according to electronic civil rights groups intervening in the case.

    • Does Surveillance Make Us Morally Better?

      Imagine that right after briefing Adam about which fruit was allowed and which forbidden, God had installed a closed-circuit television camera in the garden of Eden, trained on the tree of knowledge. Think how this might have changed things for the better. The serpent sidles up to Eve and urges her to try the forbidden fruit. Eve reaches her hand out – in paradise the fruit is always conveniently within reach – but at the last second she notices the CCTV and thinks better of it. Result: no sin, no Fall, no expulsion from paradise. We don’t have to toil among thorns and thistles for the rest of our lives, earning our bread by the sweat of our brows; childbirth is painless; and we feel no need to wear clothes.

    • Tourists get ready for simulated kidnapping

      Mr Shim said a French company was already offering simulated kidnapping packages, in which people can pay to be abducted without warning, bound, gagged and imprisoned for between four and ten hours.

    • Anti-terror stop and search powers to be scrapped

      The police’s use of controversial counterterrorism stop and search powers against individuals is to be scrapped immediately, the home secretary announced today.

    • Another unmanned CCTV control room

      As we’ve seen so often before (indeed, we’ve got a whole category devoted to it) – law enforcement throws funds at this technology which then can’t be spent elsewhere, policing becomes dependent on that technology, and it promptly fails.

  • Environment

    • Sea otters worth $700 million in carbon credits

      Want to slow global warming? Save a sea otter. So says Chris Wilmers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, whose team has calculated that the animals remove at least 0.18 kilograms of carbon from the atmosphere for every square metre of occupied coastal waters.

      That means that if sea otters were restored to healthy populations along the coasts of North America they could collectively lock up a mammoth 1010 kg of carbon – currently worth more than $700 million on the European carbon-trading market. Wilmers explained this at the annual meeting of the Society for Conservation Biology in Edmonton, Canada, this month.

    • Heat wave air conditioners of doom

      From China to New York, the more we cool ourselves, the hotter we’re going to get

    • Parliament vote seals ban on illegal timber

      MEPs voted to approve a political inter-institutional agreement on a new regulation that sets obligations on operators that place timber or related products on the EU market.

      The new legislation issues a ban on illegally-harvested timber. Covering the whole timber supply chain from logging sites to European consumers, the law aims to guarantee legally-sourced products access to EU markets while halting deforestation in third countries.

    • Oil spotting blimp arrives in the Gulf

      The slow-moving airship will be arriving at the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport in Mississippi after more than a month of travel from Yuma, Arizona where it’s based. The blimp will ultimately operate from a mooring three miles southeast of the Mobile Bay shoreline in Alabama.

      The primary purpose of 178-feet long MZ-3A airship will be to spot and monitor for oil contamination along the Gulf Coast.

    • Can it really rain oil?

      But, does that mean oil in ocean water can’t possibly become involved in the hydrologic cycle? Nope. There is some evidence, according to the Christian Science Monitor, that floating oil can evaporate under the right conditions. In that case, though, you wouldn’t get oil droplets falling from on high. The more likely result would be normal-looking rain tainted with chemical compounds from the oil. According to Popular Mechanics, the only way you’d really get black “rain” is if a hurricane picked up polluted water and dumped it—sans evaporation—onto a coastal area.

  • Finance

    • Auto Dealers, Community Banks Dodge Consumer Oversight

      The financial overhaul bill awaiting final action in the Senate includes a new regulator whose aim is to make sure mortgages, credit cards and other products from big banks don’t abuse or confuse you.

    • INSIDE WASHINGTON: First study, then crack down

      What to do about the size of too-big-to-fail banks? Order a study. How to hold stockbrokers accountable for their dealings with clients? Another study. How to ensure the reliability of credit rating agencies? Study that, too.

    • E.U. Bank Stress Tests to Cover 65 Percent of Financial Sector

      In what could be a first step toward restoring confidence in the health of European banks, a panel coordinating stress tests of major institutions has confirmed that they will be much broader than initially planned, covering most of the market. It also set a date of July 23 for releasing the results.

      The Committee of European Banking Supervisors, made up of national regulators from across the European Union, said it will release results of the anxiously awaited tests for 91 banks. Those banks account for 65 percent of the E.U. banking market and at least 50 percent of the market in the respective countries, it said in a statement late Wednesday.

    • State Banking, Globally

      A standard refrain from U.S. banking industry lobbyists is “you cannot put us at a disadvantage relative to our overseas competitors.” The Obama administration has largely bought into this line and cites it in public and private as one reason for opposing size caps on our largest banks and preventing Congress from raising capital requirements.

      The US Treasury puts its faith instead in the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision process, a somewhat murky convocation of bank regulators from various countries that has a weak track record in terms of setting sufficient prudential standards (also the assessment of Dan Tarullo, now an influential Federal Reserve governor; disclosure, I have a part-time position at the Peterson Institute, which published his book). But, the official US reasoning goes, the crisis of 2007-08 was so traumatic, our European counterparts will now want to be more careful.

    • Wells Fargo Plans Layoffs at a Consumer Finance Unit

      Wells Fargo said Wednesday that it would no longer make subprime mortgages and as a result would close a 100-year-old finance division that specialized in those loans.

      The bank has a reputation as a conservative lender, but it has been battling heavy losses amid the financial crisis on its own subprime mortgages as well as on the loan portfolios it acquired when it bought the Wachovia Corporation.

    • SEC proposes new rules to make target-date mutual funds more transparent

      Target-date mutual funds — investment vehicles that automatically change your mix of assets as you near retirement — are thought by many investors to be a safer investment choice that’s relatively insulated from market gyrations as the funds get closer to the target date.

      But lately, people on the verge of retirement have been surprised to see how much these funds have been affected by recent turbulence on Wall Street. In some cases, the funds have performed far less well than had been anticipated.

    • Federal Reserve weighs steps to offset slowdown in economic recovery

      Federal Reserve officials, increasingly concerned over signs the economic recovery is faltering, are considering new steps to bolster growth.

      With Congress tied in political knots over whether to take further action to boost the economy, Fed leaders are weighing modest steps that could offer more support for economic activity at a time when their target for short-term interest rates is already near zero. They are still resistant to calls to pull out their big guns — massive infusions of cash, such as those undertaken during the depths of the financial crisis — but would reconsider if conditions worsen.

    • How Goldman Sachs gambled on starving the world’s poor – and won

      It starts with an apparent mystery. At the end of 2006, food prices across the world started to rise, suddenly and stratospherically. Within a year, the price of wheat had shot up by 80 percent, maize by 90 percent, and rice by 320 percent. In a global jolt of hunger, 200 million people – mostly children – couldn’t afford to get food any more, and sank into malnutrition or starvation. There were riots in over 30 countries, and at least one government was violently overthrown. Then, in spring 2008, prices just as mysteriously fell back to their previous level. Jean Ziegler, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, called it “a silent mass murder”, entirely due to “man-made actions.”

      [...]

      For over a century, farmers in wealthy countries have been able to engage in a process where they protect themselves against risk. Farmer Giles can agree in January to sell his crop to a trader in August at a fixed price. If he has a great summer and the global price is high, he’ll lose some cash, but if there’s a lousy summer or the price collapses, he’ll do well from the deal. When this process was tightly regulated and only companies with a direct interest in the field could get involved, it worked well.

      Then, through the 1990s, Goldman Sachs and others lobbied hard and the regulations were abolished. Suddenly, these contracts were turned into ‘derivatives’ that could be bought and sold among traders who had nothing to do with agriculture. A market in “food speculation” was born.

    • Should Taxpayers Continue to Subsidize Goldman Sachs’s Alleged Obscenity?

      The U.S.’s Financial Reform bill is over 2,000 pages. It includes exemptions and lots of opportunities to create loopholes. Behavior that caused our ongoing global financial crisis is guaranteed to continue, if we don’t have swift and effective deterrents.

    • Don’t Let Goldman Sachs Off the Hook

      When the nation’s most prestigious investment banks found themselves on the verge of total annihilation in the fall of 2008, the most radical and effective government response was not the infamous $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program. The wildest salvation scheme for Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and the securities system at large was a plan from the Federal Reserve to give these speculative institutions access to cheap loans from the central bank. It worked. With access to unlimited cheap funding from the Fed, the Wall Street titans survived. Hurrah.

    • Goldman Sachs: We’re With Krugie!

      A well-coifed, dulcet-toned Harvard Scot named Niall Ferguson says that’s a bad idea and bond market vigilantes will show up in the dark of night and pummel U.S. bonds to applesauce, twist Uncle Sam’s arm around his back, and force him pay through his bleeding nose to borrow.

    • Cohan: Let Goldman Be Goldman

      Poised as we are for the most comprehensive financial reform in this country since the Great Depression, it is time to fess up to the fact that it likely would not have occurred without a concerted effort by the Obama administration and the Democratic-controlled Congress to demonize Goldman Sachs.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • War of the Nerds: The Battle Over Wikileaks

      Army intelligence specialist Bradley Manning was charged yesterday for allegedly leaking video and documents to secret-sharing website Wikileaks. He faces up to 52 years in prison. Now, nerds are waging fierce campaigns to discredit both Manning’s informant and Wikileaks itself.

      Bradley Manning was arrested last month after his confidant, ex-hacker Adrian Lamo, turned him in. Lamo won Manning’s trust by portraying himself as a minister and a journalist, and likely traded on a shared queer identity to convince the 22 year-old, deeply troubled soldier to confess his illegal activities over instant message. Lamo immediately notified Army investigators and spilled the story to his long-time unofficial mouthpiece, Wired’s Kevin Poulsen.

    • Germany & Facebook aren’t friends

      A German data protection official said Wednesday he launched legal proceedings against Facebook, which he accused of illegally accessing and saving personal data of people who don’t use the social networking site.

      Johannes Caspar said his Hamburg data protection office had initiated legal steps that could result in Facebook being fined tens of thousands of euros for saving private information of individuals who don’t use the site and haven’t granted it access to their details.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • European Top Court Tells Monsanto It Can’t Abuse Patent Law To Stop Import Of Argentinian Soymeal

      Separately, some governments are now kicking off investigations into Monsanto’s advertising statements about the very same Roundup Ready soybeans. Combine all of that and Monsanto also reported dreadful earnings, with a 45% profit drop.

      Once again, we’re seeing what happens when you live off of artificial monopolies. They can make you rich in the short term, but they’re no trick to building sustainable businesses. What the government gives in the form of monopoly rights, it can also take away.

    • Washington Post Notes Summit Entertainment’s Twisted View Of IP Laws On Twilight

      The piece was written by Christina Mulligan, who recently got plenty of attention for her thoughtful piece on the mixed messages on copyright found in the TV show Glee. It’s great that a paper like the Washington Post is giving her a platform to write about these concerns. Hopefully it will finally reach some of our more stubborn and misguided DC-based politicians that intellectual property is being widely abused in troubling ways.

    • Copyrights

Clip of the Day

CLUG Talk 25 November 2008 – AGM: New Features in Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex (2008)


07.07.10

Links 7/7/2010: Mandriva Alive

Posted in News Roundup at 5:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The Last Straw

    When I adopted GNU/Linux the impetus to change was the persistent failure of that other OS to run through a single 45 minute period of class time without fail. Perhaps the latest vulnerability in that other OS will be the impetus for many more to migrate. This one is not a bug but a feature of that other OS to permit working with foreign character-sets. That other OS welcomes executable files to manipulate foreign characters and in the process allows the system to be owned by aliens. Malware is out in the wild exploiting this feature of that other OS.

  • Desktop

    • A closer look at Open Source World Summit

      As a sidenote on Linux lack of success in China on the desktop, I have to mention a discussion end of last year with CS2C that has been doing OEM (original equipment manufacturer) deals for quite some time, which was just a way to avoid the Microsoft tax for some PC makers. For the first time in the company’s history, people are actually keeping the preinstalled Linux system and using it, “forcing” CS2C to start a customer support line.

    • 6+ Great Alternatives To Windows XP That Are Free and Open Source

      Fedora is second most popular Linux Distro next to Ubuntu. Even the Linux God Linus Torvalds uses it (an old claim, not verified). The latest Fedora 13 (Goddard) as usual has lots of goodies like OpenOffice, KDE, and much more. A versatile operating system for home and office users.

    • Gems Found Going Down the Road

      In Windows, the process goes like this:

      1. Temporarily Disable System Restore.
      2. Reboot computer in Safe Mode.
      3. Locate nice.exe virus files and uninstall nice.exe files program. Follow the screen step-by-step screen instructions to complete uninstallation of nice.exe.
      4. Open the registry editor.
      5. Delete/Modify any values added to the registry related with nice.exe.
      6. Exit registry editor and restart the computer.
      7. Clean/delete all nice.exe infected files :nice.exe and related,or rename nice.exe virus files
      8. Delete all your IE temp files with nice.exe manually.
      9. Run a whole scan with antivirus program.
      10. Run the antivirus program in your USB drive.

      Very easy, right? The process can take more than an hour (that is, if you know where to start!)

      In Mandriva Linux, you say good-bye to Mr. Nice by doing this:

      1. Select nice.exe from your USB drive.
      2. Delete it. If you get a message saying you cannot do it,
      3. Change the permissions of the file and delete it.

  • Graphics Stack

    • Qualcomm Snapdragon open-source efforts prove frustrating

      Qualcomm has found itself unwittingly annoying the open-source community by posting the source code for OpenGL ES 2D/3D Linux kernel driver for its Snapdragon chipset, as found in the Nexus One, Dell Streak and many other devices. However, while the kernel driver is open-source, Qualcomm’s user-space driver remains closed; that prompted David Airlie, who maintains the DRM for the Linux kernel at Red Hat, to tell Qualcomm – and anyone else considering doing the same half-hearted thing – “If you aren’t going to create an open userspace driver (either MIT or LGPL) then don’t waste time submitting a kernel driver to me.”

    • Open Source 3D Driver for Snapdragon Released
  • Applications

  • GNOME Desktop

    • Mobile, desktop or cloud: Where does the future of open source lie?

      In the following Q&A, OSCON speaker and GNOME foundation executive director Stormy Peters discusses the risks of cloud computing, the continued importance of desktop computing, and the interesting relationship between new mobile form factors and free software adoption.

  • Distributions

    • Learning While Playing for a Better World

      I can’t think of a better way to learn something new by playing. Since the “spin era” has begun with Sabayon Linux by using molecule, it’s something new to learn. Joost has posted a quick run down of how to do a basic spin. I’ve been messing around with this molecule thing and have found that adding and subtracting packages is simple enough to do. I do find that specific customizations of the user and root accounts a bit more complicated. I’m still trying to figure that one out yet. Scripting isn’t my strong point at all. I understand what it needs to do, but assembling a script of commands and paths is like writing hieroglyphics. I’m not sure where the script should be placed at in my spec file nor when the script should be invoked.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva is alive!

        Mandriva is one of the cornerstones of Open Source, a technological pioneer offering the sole independent Linux distribution on the European market. Nevertheless the company has been faced with a mounting financial challenge for several years due in part to its size and lack of a clear publishing strategy.

        Mandriva also plays a strategic role in the Paris Saclay innovative ecosystem centred on the Pole System@tic Paris Region and Cap Digital. The company is involved in a dozen R&D projects in partnership with some 60 research and industrial laboratories working on themes such as the semantic desktop, Linux Real Time distribution, shared infrastructures or cloud computing.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Debian by its numbers, as seen by keyring-maint

        At keyring-maint, we got a request by our DPL, querying for the evolution of the number of keys per keyring – This can be almost-mapped to the number of Debian Developers, Debian Maintainers, retired and deleted accounts over time since the keyrings are maintained over version control.

      • Debian Editions
      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu 10.04 (Desktop)

          I’ve been using Ubuntu as my distribution of choice for VM’s and server instances, and on a lark I took a swag at installing Ubuntu desktop onto a VM yesterday. I’ve got to say, it’s a pretty usable setup.

        • Your Meerkat Needs You! Help Hunt down geeky app descriptions in the software centre

          Fixing poor descriptions of Software Centre applications is listed as a papercut milestone for Ubuntu 10.10 because, as one tester during Canonicals’ user testing day put it: “Software centre descriptions are geeky.”

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Open source robotics – is Qbo the ultimate project?

      Robotics and artificial intelligence enthusiast Francisco Paz has launched a new open source robot called Qbo. Paz’s five-year-long personal project is an attempt to realise the recently stated goal of Tomomasa Sato, director of the Japanese Robotics Association, to develop “an open source Model-T robot in which all global standards may be applied to achieve a result as revolutionary as Ford’s Model-T was for the car industry.”

      As with other projects in the growing open source hardware space, Qbo will be made, as far as possible, from off-the-shelf components, and all design plans, firmware and control software will be distributed under an open source licence.

    • Birth of a world beater

      An estimated 20 billion ARM processors are installed worldwide, around four per person and up to four or five per device.

      For Sophie Wilson (pictured at left), who wrote the original instruction set back in 1983 for what was conceived as a co-processor for Acorn’s BBC Micro computer, they are still a “little bit awe-inspiring.”

    • Mother of ARM

      Almost everything that ARM could be doing it is except for widespread use in PCs.

    • Nokia/MeeGo

    • Android

      • No Nexus Two says Google’s CEO

        Android is now activated on 160,000 phones daily, that’s almost 5m every month, demonstrating a significant take-up of the operating system and Android app Marketplace. Google has also just announced plans to expand into emerging markets in a bid for a further slice of the mobile market.

      • Android phone gets a features reboot

        “Adoption of Android-powered devices is growing globally by leaps and bounds. We want our users to have the enhanced experience that the Galaxy S Android 2.1 offers, whether for browsing the Web or tracking important tasks on your phone,” said Cathy Santamaria, Globe brand head.

      • iPhone apps pricier than most

        Apple wins the battle with Android for hosting the most paid applications, which are also on the whole more expensive than its open source rival’s.

        According to a report by Distimo, the iPad store boasts the largest percentage of paid-for apps, at 80%, with the iPhone commanding 73% of costly applications, in contrast to Google’s Android store where the majority of apps are free.

      • Motorola Charm Makes Picture Debut Complete With Android [Unannounced Motorola Charm Shows Its Face For Camera With Android 2.1 And MOTOBLUR In Tow]

        Ever since Google officially launched their open source mobile operating system entitled Android, handset manufacturers like HTC and Motorola have seemingly been scrambling to get as many smartphones onto the market, powered by platform, as humanly possible.

    • Adobe

Free Software/Open Source

  • Free at last: WeWebU OpenWorkdesk for CMIS is Open Source
  • World’s First Open Source MHEG and CI Plus Authoring Tool Released
  • Open Source: strategic software with economic value

    The Open Source Initiative has worked hard to show that open source software, which are products primarily known for offering access to software source code, can provide economic value and strategic advantages to business practices around the world.

    Twelve years ago, open source was implemented by software developers, and the importance of this non-proprietary software has only been compounded as open source developers and users have tailored their codes to truly evolve and grow as needed by individual companies and users.

    [...]

    According to the Open Source Initiative Web site, “the prehistory of the Open Source Initiative includes the entire history of Unix, Internet free software, and the hacker culture.” While the hacker culture may have been the birthing place of open source, different companies, users and communities have come to heavily rely on open source for several reasons.

  • Enterprise Open Source Support: Who Ya Gonna Call?

    This may seem obvious to some, but there are lots of commercial open source companies that don’t grok the importance of the “support first” mantra. Many commercial open source companies spend a lot of time detailing the feature-specific advantages their products have instead of detailing support options. It’s a cart-before-horse issue. Like Red Hat, Cloudera, Acquia and other commercial open source startups increasingly understand all of this. Their understanding will definitely make a difference over time.

  • Popular Facebook App “Bloo” Goes Open Source
  • PlanCake is an Open-Source and GTD-Friendly Task Management Tool
  • How to best deploy open source VoIP? Don’t go in cold
  • Open source alternative for Active Directory

    Originally, it was called the Fedora Directory Server, introduced in 2005, but it was later renamed to 389 Directory Server. It can interface with Microsoft’s Active Directory, and since it is LDAP based it is extremely fast and powerful, and can be interfaced with from other devices that support LDAP authentication. Even client authentication is possible (in Linux, configuring PAM to use it as an authentication service). It also offers a full featured console for easy remote administration.

  • Mozilla

    • MPL Alpha 1 released!

      Last week the Mozilla community had quite a few releases, and the MPL team, not wanting to be left out, is excited to announce the first Alpha draft of the next version of the Mozilla Public License.

    • a map of the open web
  • SaaS

    • Adobe Released Puppet Recipes for Hadoop

      Recently Adobe released Puppet recipes that they are using to automate Hadoop/HBase deployments to the community. InfoQ spoke with Luke Kanies, founder of PuppetLabs, to learn more about what this means.

  • Oracle

    • How Oracle has made Sun rise again

      Through the deal, Oracle acquired the Java software language that underpins its Fusion middleware, as well as the Solaris open source operating system and open source database technology MySQL. The deal also saw Oracle acquire Sun’s hardware business including servers, storage and desktop workstations.

  • CMS

  • Healthcare

  • Business

  • Semi-Open Source

    • Clearing the Air on the Open Core Business Model

      Don’t mention “open core” to Larry Augustin. Trust me, not a good idea.

      He gets a small twitch in his face and enough clouds build that, even though I’ve got a few inches, a lot more pounds, and some martial arts training on him, I felt it prudent to take half a step back when I stupidly lumped SugarCRM in with open core products in a barroom conversation with him last month.

  • Project Releases

    • IPFire open source firewall updated

      Following five release candidates, IPFire Project Leader & developer Michael Tremer has announced the release of version 2.7 of the IPFire open source firewall. IPFire is a Linux distribution that can be booted from a CD or USB drive, or installed to a computer’s hard disk drive.

    • Gimp 2.7.1 in Foresight, single-window mode

      Foresight been using stable release of Gimp until 2.7.1 released. 2.7.0 was too unstable to update to.

      Now users can easily use the “Single-Window mode” of gimp, it will make all windows in Gimp to be one. Looks more like photoshop.

    • Shotwell 0.6.1 adds basic support for RAW images

      The Yorba developers have released version 0.6.1 of their open source Shotwell photo manager for the GNOME desktop. According to the developers, the latest update to their free digital photo manager includes a number of bug fixes, language support improvements and several new features compared to the previous 0.5 release from mid-March.

    • FreeSWITCH Open Source VoIP Software Adds Support For T.38 Faxing
  • Government

    • Councils need to be more open-minded about IT

      But this can be taken one step further. By applying the principles of shared services to the exchange of best practice and technical knowledge, web teams from across the country can benefit from each other’s innovation and experience. And this is where open-source software is critical, particularly for applications such as web content management.

      The question for local authority leaders is whether the enthusiasm for efficiency savings will be enough to overcome traditional barriers to open-source uptake. These have been well documented and include shortage of vendor support, lack of control and worries over cost transparency. Potential users can also be put off by uncertainties about product road maps and, with so many parties involved, over where responsibility lies when things go wrong.

    • Jeremy Allison and Terri Molini on Open Source for America and change in Washington

      Jeremy Allison of Google and Terri Molini of Initmarketing, both presenting on behalf of Open Source for America (OSFA), joined us for the first Open Your World Forum. OSFA is organized to advocate for open source technology use in the US Federal government, and represents well over a thousand members, including tech industry leaders, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and academic research institutions.

  • Licensing

    • Are the Creative Commons Licences Valid?

      As readers of this blog will doubtless know, Richard Stallman’s great stroke of genius at the founding of the GNU project was to use copyright when crafting the GNU GPL licence but in such a way that it undermined the restrictive monopoly copyright usually imposes on users, and required people to share instead.

      That so-called copyleft approach has allowed a vast and thriving ecosystem to arise, but one that depends critically on the validity of the GNU GPL. If the GPL were shown to be unenforceable, then its terms would be void, and free software would have some problems. For that reason, every time somebody is threatened with legal action for allegedly violating the GPL, lawyers’ hearts beat a little faster at the prospect of a definitive ruling on whether it is valid or not.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • YouTube plans to open-source film ‘Life in a Day’

      Google-owned video sharing service YouTube is creating a movie titled Life in a Day with director Kevin Macdonald and producer Ridley Scott, besides roping in hundreds of its online open-source contributors, reports said.

    • Social Media Brings Open Source Sensibility to the Web

      This got me thinking that this social largesse was not unlike the open source movement. When left to their own devices people will help for free for the sake of helping and the social web helps drive this desire.

    • Open Data

      • When Open Public Data Isn’t…?

        As these examples show, the license under which data is originally released can have significant consequences on its downstream use and commercialisation. The open source software community has know this for years, of course, which is why organisations like GNU have two different licenses – GPL, which keeps software open by tainting other software that includes GPL libraries, and LGPL, which allows libraries to be used in closed/proprietary code. There is a good argument that by combining data from different open sources in a particular way valuable results may be created, but it should also be recognised that work may be expended doing this and a financial return may need to be generated (so maybe companies shouldn’t have to open up their aggregated datasets?) Just how we balance commercial exploitation with ongoing openness and access to raw public data is yet to be seen.

        (The academic research area – which also has it’s own open data movement (e.g. Panton Principles) – also suggests a different sort of tension arising from the “potential value” of a data set or aggregated data set. For example, research groups analysing data in one particular way may be loathe to release to others because they want to analyse it in another, value creating way at a later date.)

    • Open Access/Content

      • Report on the implementation of open content licenses in developing and transition countries

        The survey attempted to gather information from a broad spectrum of research institutions in developing and transition countries in order to get a better understanding of the current state of the implementation of open content licenses. Open content licenses or some explicit statement attached to the article when it is published in an open access journal or deposited in an open access repository help to refer to a specific type of libre open access.

    • Open Hardware

      • What Is Makerbot, Makerbot Inside and Outside

        “That’s one of the beauties of open source,” said Bre Pettis, one of the founders of MakerBot Industries, a company in Brooklyn, NY. What are Makerbots? Inventor Bre Pettis talks about how a Makerbot is like Ikea furniture, here are the reasons why it may be the next personal computer.

Leftovers

  • Introducing OpenCL
  • Digital Planet
  • FAQ 2.0 on SWIFT Agreement

    European Digital Rights has prepared a “frequently asked questions” document to explain the changes between the SWIFT agreement previously rejected by the European Parliament and the current text under discussion.

  • Science

  • Business Models

    • The Lack Of A ‘Golden Ticket’ Business Model Doesn’t Mean You Give Up And Go Home

      The role of the disruptor is not to make life easy for the disrupted. Swisher and these execs seem to be confusing the role of certain folks in the legacy industry with the overall entertainment industry itself. As noted, the entertainment industry is thriving. More movies, music and books are being created. More money is being spent. It’s just that it’s going to different players. There’s no reason to “figure out a way to keep talent from being dragged into the future.” The opportunities and wide open path are there. The problem isn’t that tech leaders haven’t made it easy for them. They have. It’s that these guys are so myopically focused on the way they used to make money they don’t realize that the new opportunities are already there and have been embraced widely by others.

    • Digital journalism: More work, more pressure but more opportunity

      Longer hours, more pressure, decreasing quality and less enjoyable work. Old media is a dark, dark place for journalism – at least that’s the mood of many of the journalists who were interviewed for the annual Oriella digital journalism study.

      There are some reasons to be cheerful, which include journalists not being quite as pessimistic as the previous year. Are things really that bad?

    • Time Magazine Dons An Online Condom

      Let’s get the easy stuff out of the way. Time.com didn’t go behind a paywall this week and there aren’t plans for that to happen. Technically, Time magazine didn’t put one up for its online content either—that is, you can’t pay to read the contents of current issues of Time (NYSE: TWX) online. What the Time Inc. flagship did was slip on the magazine equivalent of a condom, a barrier between online readers and the full content of the magazine.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Terrorism policy flaws ‘increased risk of attacks’, says former police chief

      Britain’s fight against terrorism has been a disaster, because its “flawed, neo-conservative” direction alienated Muslims and increased the chances of terrorist attacks, a former leading counter-terrorism officer has told the Guardian.

    • The Threat of Cyberwar Has Been Grossly Exaggerated

      There’s a power struggle going on in the U.S. government right now.

      It’s about who is in charge of cyber security, and how much control the government will exert over civilian networks. And by beating the drums of war, the military is coming out on top.

      “The United States is fighting a cyberwar today, and we are losing,” said former NSA director — and current cyberwar contractor — Mike McConnell. “Cyber 9/11 has happened over the last ten years, but it happened slowly so we don’t see it,” said former National Cyber Security Division director Amit Yoran. Richard Clarke, whom Yoran replaced, wrote an entire book hyping the threat of cyberwar.

      General Keith Alexander, the current commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, hypes it every chance he gets. This isn’t just rhetoric of a few over-eager government officials and headline writers; the entire national debate on cyberwar is plagued with exaggerations and hyperbole.

    • How dumb is the government when it comes to technology?

      What’s far, far more serious is the suggestion that the government be allowed to set up a National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace. This sounds good. The plan is to create an Internet-based identity ecosystem, “where individuals, organizations, services, and devices can trust each other because authoritative sources establish and authenticate their digital identities.”

    • The Unintended Consequences of Katie’s Law: More DNA Samples Collected, More DNA Samples Untested?

      Last month, we discussed a bill nicknamed “Katie’s Law” that would give states financial incentives to collect DNA samples from individuals arrested for certain crimes. At the moment, less than half of the states currently collect DNA samples from these arrestees. If Katie’s Law were enacted, the remainder of the states would likely expand the scope of their DNA collection practices, greatly increasing the number of samples collected.

  • Environment

    • Heat wave smothers climate skeptic jokes

      As temperatures rise, smart-assed tweets about Al Gore from Republican senators appear to fall

      Living in Berkeley, Calif., it can be difficult getting excited about the weather back East. Every blogger on the East coast in my RSS feed has been moaning and bitching about the record-breaking heat wave, but in Berkeley, I was wearing a sweater in the mid-afternoon and the thermometer hadn’t broken 60. And guess what, the exact same conditions prevailed during the great Snowpocalypse-ageddon earlier this year. So while Washington and New York convulse in cataclysms of sweltering heat and pounding blizzards, in the Bay Area we just hope the fog lifts, eventually.

    • China’s green washout

      The launch of environmental disclosure rules was hailed as a turning point for eco-protection in China’s business world. But two years on, they have all but been forgotten, says Huo Weiya.

      When chinadialogue organised a talk last May to mark the first year since publication of China’s environmental transparency regulations, “Measures for the Disclosure of Environmental Information” (or “Measures” for short) Ma Jun, director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE), said the biggest problem had been “the almost total lack of action from business”.

      China’s firms may be unwilling to reveal environmental data, but when it comes to green marketing, there is no shortage of enthusiasm. In public, top executives never doubt the importance of environmental protection, nor do they deny their social responsibilities.

  • Finance

    • China’s New Focus on Africa

      If you want to see what’s wrong with Africa, take a trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo. The size of Western Europe, with almost no paved roads, Congo is the sucking vortex where Africa’s heart should be. Independent Congo gave the world Mobutu Sese Seko, who for 32 years impoverished his people while traveling the world in a chartered Concorde. His death in 1997 ushered in a civil war that killed 5.4 million people and unleashed a hurricane of rape on tens of thousands more. Today AIDS and malaria are epidemics. Congo, then, is not a place you’d normally associate with a yuppie.

    • China says foreign reserves not political `weapon’

      China tried Wednesday to allay concern about the political impact of its $2.5 trillion foreign reserves, saying they are not a “nuclear weapon” to control other nations and its vast holdings of U.S. Treasury debt “should not be politicized.”

    • China AgBank’s massive IPO highlights cash squeeze

      Agricultural Bank of China’s $22 billion initial public offering is making headlines as potentially the world’s biggest. It is also underlining the cash squeeze Chinese banks are facing after a massive lending binge.

    • Stocks extend gains after financial stocks climb

      Financial shares pulled the stock market higher Wednesday after State Street Corp.’s second-quarter profit forecast topped analysts’ expectations.

    • OECD: Rich country unemployment may have peaked

      Unemployment in rich countries may have peaked – but there are still 17 million more people out of work than at the start of the crisis, the OECD said Wednesday.

    • Amid Lack of Jobs, Suicide Hot Line Calls Surge

      In one of the darkest tallies of the nation’s still-sputtering recession, experts say financial desperation has played a significant role in increased calls to suicide-prevention hot lines — and likely has led to increased suicide rates.

    • Greece broadly on track with budget cuts

      The European Union’s executive says Greece is “broadly on track” with budget cuts and economic reforms linked to euro110 billion ($138 billion) in bailout loans from EU nations and the International Monetary Fund.

    • The More CEOs Make, The Worse They Treat Workers, Says A New Study

      In the study’s white paper, “When Executives Rake in Millions: Meanness in Organizations,” professors from Harvard, Rice and the University of Utah argue that rising income inequality between executives and ordinary workers results in “power asymmetries in the workplace such that top executives come to view lower level workers as dispensable objects not worthy of human dignity.”

    • Banks Redefine Jobs of ‘Prop’ Traders

      Some Wall Street firms aren’t waiting until the Volcker rule kicks in to shake up the trading desks that wager the banks’ own money.

    • Goldman Sachs had disappointed strategic investors

      Goldman Sachs reported an increase in the number of signs of slowing U.S. economic growth and China. Specialists Goldman Sachs warned of worsening situation in the U.S. housing market. Regarding China, the experts reported that the intensity of the recovery of the Chinese economy is now the most important factor to which regulators should pay special attention.

    • Goldman Sachs Just Became A Seller Of European Diapers

      Apparently there’s massive growth ahead for nappies, but we’re not sure if Goldman’s Ontex will target young children or European debt traders.

    • TPG and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) set to buy Candover’s Ontex NV

      TPG Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s (GS) private equity business are close to buying Ontex NV, Europe’s biggest private-label nappy manufacturer, for more than EUR1.2 billion. The deal to purchase Ontex from Candover nearly collapsed when Goldman Sach’s original equity partner pulled out, but the late addition of TPG has kept the deal alive, and the belief is the deal could be completed as soon as this week.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Search Engines Should Become Government Spies, Says EU Parliament
    • Q+A-Without search service, what would Google do in China?

      Google Inc (GOOG.O), which runs the world’s largest search engine, is in a pickle as it could lose its licence to operate a China-based search page, while trying to hold onto its anti-censorship stance.

      In a bid to appease Beijing and keep its China license, Google said this week it will stop automatically redirecting China users to its uncensored Hong Kong site.

    • Is Gillard wavering on Aussie ‘filter’ plan?

      Australians may not be censored online after all.

      Under new leadership, the Oz government’s commitment to instituting what’s euphemistically called a net ‘filter’ is starting to look a little shaky.

      Mandatory ISP filtering legislation will be “out by November”, Aarnet has the scheme’s frontman, Stephen Conroy, stating. And “Sooner rather than later.”

    • Ed Miliband: Labour overstepped the mark on civil liberties

      Labour overstepped the mark on civil liberty issues, leadership candidate Ed Miliband has admitted.

      The shadow energy and climate change secretary made the comment in an interview with Liberal Conspiracy in which he came close to endorsing gay marriage and branded himself a feminst.

    • Bradley Manning, American Patriot

      Army Specialist Bradley Manning, the intelligence analyst who leaked the “Collateral Murder” video of US pilots shooting down Iraqi civilians (including two Reuters photographers) in cold blood, is finally being charged. For revealing to the American people the truth about what’s going on in Iraq, Manning faces horrendous legal consequences – nearly sixty years in prison if convicted on all counts. One of the charges, incredibly, is espionage. He was a “spy,” according to the US government – for letting Americans in on the “secret” that we are committing war crimes in Iraq, and around the world.

  • Copyrights

    • 3 Million European Orphan Works and Counting!

      The major digital issue, with the still to be resolved Google Book Settlement, is Orphan Works. These are works that are still in copyright but where the rights owner can’t be traced, or fully determined and many believe is a goldmine of works that can’t be legally digitised today. Different countries have different rules over length of copyright and the criteria under which they get impacted. Some claim the number of titles impacted is relatively small and that there is little value in them, other would suggest the opposite. Now a review involving responses from 22 cultural institutions and published by the European Commission claims, that not only books are affected but that there is a significant high percentage of orphan works among photographs and audiovisual collections and the numbers are high.

    • UK Hairdresser Fined For Playing Music Even Though He Tried To Be Legal

      We’ve pointed out many times just how ridiculously complex various licensing collection agencies are in the music space, especially when multiple collection societies cover the same music. The whole system seems designed to make it nearly impossible for anyone to actually play music legally. Take, for example, this situation in the UK, pointed out by reader mike allen, involving a hairdresser who had paid for a license from PRS For Music just to be allowed to turn on a radio in his shop… only to discover that he failed to pay the other UK collection society, PPL (home of the infamous CEO who insists that “for free” is a bogus concept). So even though this guy thought he was legit, he still ended up with a fine for £1,569.

Clip of the Day

CLUG Talk 29 September 2009 – Virtualbox (2009)


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