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Links 6/5/2013: International Day Against DRM, Pirate Party Gains, Linux on Tablets Surges

Posted in News Roundup at 3:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Pixar Animation Studios uses Red Hat Enterprise Linux!

    It’s no secret that GNU/Linux is being used by the Hollywood studios to create block-busters. Pixar is working on OpenSubdiv, a new open source library that implements high performance subdivision surface drawing and evaluation on modern GPU and massively parallel CPU architectures.

  • A letter from Linux Evangelist

    Not to being totally free, that is a completely different kettle of fish. Linux is a tantalising sample and example of what freedom can deliver.

  • Spain’s Extremadura region switches 40,000 PCs to Linux and open source software

    THE SPANISH REGION of Extremadura has announced that it will switch 40,000 government PCs to open source software.

    The government of Extremadura has worked out what many already know, that open source software can deliver significant cost savings over using proprietory software. The region’s government has decided to switch 40,000 PCs to open source software, including a customised Linux distribution called Sysgobex.

  • How Linux Conquered the Fortune 500
  • Desktop

    • Linux World Embraces Google Chromebooks

      The latest incarnation of the Linux Kernel was released this week, and for the first time, it includes code for running Linux on Google Chromebooks. Chromebooks come loaded with Chrome OS — a web-happy, Linux-based operating system designed by Google — but the new kernel code will make it easier to run other versions of the popular open source operating system on these machines.

    • 5 Great Laptops for Kids

      Kids don’t always treat technology with care, so we selected systems that were either ruggedized against drops and spills, low-cost to make replacement less painful, or both. The K-5 set probably won’t be using any performance straining software tools, but they will definitely want to play games or get online, so we focused on laptops that would meet those needs without the expense of high-end processors. And finally, we looked for kid-friendly features, such as the educational tools found in the DirAction Classmate PC, or the dead-simple ease of use offered by Google’s Chromebooks.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • KVM Virtualization Gets New Features In Linux 3.10

      The Linux 3.10 kernel will feature new improvements and features when it comes to KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) virtualization.

      The KVM pull request for the Linux 3.10 merge window was volleyed on Sunday morning to the kernel mailing list. Interesting bits include:

    • Graphics Stack

      • Open-Source Radeon UVD Video Support On Fedora

        Are you itching to try out open-source AMD Radeon “UVD” video acceleration support over VDPAU on Fedora Linux?

        It was in early April that AMD provided open-source Radeon UVD video acceleration code at long last for the past few generations of Radeon HD graphics cards for use by their open-source Linux driver. This allows applications that support VDPAU (the Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix) to leverage GPU-based video hardware acceleration.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • PyGObject 3.8.1 Brings GStreamer Rules

        The first maintenance release of the stable PyGObject 3.8 library for the GNOME desktop environment has been announced some time ago, fixing a few bugs and introducing new rules.

      • First Development Release of GNOME 3.10 Arrives

        Matthias Clasen had the pleasure of announcing last evening, May 3, that the first development release of the upcoming GNOME 3.10 desktop environment is ready for download and testing.

        We, here at Softpedia, are monitoring the development process of the GNOME desktop environment very closely, and we can report that this first development release has very few updated packages, as compared with other testing versions from the past.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • The Elegant Mageia Linux Prepares a New Release

        Last week we looked at PCLinuxOS, an excellent Linux distribution based on Mandriva Linux. Today we’re kicking the tires of Mageia Linux, which is a fork of Mandriva. Mandriva Linux has had its ups and downs as a commercial venture, but despite the financial struggles it’s a first-rate distribution that offers enterprise support and a number of enterprise products such as Pulse, their enterprise IT management system, Mandriva Business Server, and training and consulting. Mageia was created in 2010 as an independent, non-profit project, not tied to the fortunes of a commercial company, after most of the Mandriva developers were laid off.

    • Arch Family

      • Open Build Service 2.4 understands Arch Linux packaging

        Almost a year after the last release of the Open Build Service (OBS), the openSUSE developers have announced version 2.4 of their software. The biggest new feature in the distributed packaging and build service is support for the PKGBUILD format from Arch Linux which becomes the third packaging format the service can now use – the other two being RPM and Debian’s packaging system. Furthermore, OBS 2.4 introduces the 64-bit ARM AArch64 architecture as a target infrastructure and kernel, and bootloader packages can now be signed to work with UEFI Secure Boot.

    • Debian Family

      • The new Debian Linux 7.0 is now available

        Debian Linux doesn’t get all the attention it once did, but as the foundation for other, more popular Linux distributions, such as Mint and Ubuntu, the release of a new major Debian version, 7.0, aka Wheezy, is still a big deal in Linux development circles.

      • Derivatives

        • Elive 2.1.40 development released

          We appreciate your feedbacks about the overall speed/lightness of the system compared to last stable version of Elive. You can say something in our chat channel directly from the running system. If you detect any lagging in the system please consider different setups like disabling composite (which you can select on the startup of the graphical system) in order to report improvements. We would also appreciate feedbacks about composite enabled or disabled in old computers, suggestions for better performances, and memory usage compared to Topaz.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Touch Progress

            Ubuntu is on an exciting journey, a journey of convergence. Our goal is to build a convergent Operating System that brings a uniformity of technology and experience across phones, tablets, desktops, and televisions, and smoothing the lines between those devices in terms of interoperability and access to content. It is a bold vision, but Ubuntu has a strong reputation both in terms of our heritage in the desktop, server, and cloud, and with our passionate and capable community. I just wanted to provide some updates on work that is going on in delivering this vision.

          • Ubuntu and Their UCK-y Problem.

            Within the past year, there has been an abundance of criticism aimed at Ubuntu and the Gnome 3 projects. At times, it resembled a scorched earth carpet bombing mission. The outer edges of the Linuxsphere are still hearing echos of that event and while it has calmed a bit, there are those who have left one or both of those projects in protest.

            And to be honest…..

          • Top 10 Ubuntu App Downloads for April 2013

            Canonical published a few minutes ago, May 3, the regular top 10 app downloads chart, this time for April 2013, extracted from Ubuntu Software Center.

          • One Linux over all: Mark Shuttleworth’s ambitious post-PC plans for Ubuntu

            Canonical Founder Mark Shuttleworth has really big, plans to put Ubuntu on your smartphone, on your tablet and (via OpenStack). What he doesn’t offer is details on revenue.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Android trounces Apple in Q1 2013 tablet shipments

      Tablet shipments continued to “surge” in the first quarter of 2013, growing 142 percent year-over-year, according to market analyst IDC’s latest “Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker” report. Additionally, Android vendors had an extremely strong first quarter, shipping 27.8 million tablets versus Apple’s 19.5 million iPad and iPad mini devices.

      More tablets shipped during the first quarter of this year than during the entire first half of 2012, with most of the growth “fueled by increased market demand for smaller screen devices,” largely based on a strong performance of Apple and Samsung, notes IDC.

    • Linux 3.9′s embedded gifts include MEMS and more

      The new Linux 3.9 kernel adds driver support for tiny MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems) devices made by ST, including accelerometers and motion sensors. Other Linux 3.9 features that affect the embedded world include SSD caching support, a lightweight suspend power mode, and support for Android’s “Goldfish” virtualization system.

      When Linux 3.9 arrived on April 28, its support for MEMS devices was hardly a marquee enhancement. Yet of all the many Linux 3.9 improvements of interest to the mobile and embedded world, MEMs support may have the most significant long-term impact. As devices continue to shrink and sensing applications grow in importance, there is greater demand for the tiny devices, which range in size from a millimeter down to 20 micrometers.

    • Android and Linux device FreeType fonts get a facelift

      f you’re squinting as you read this on a smartphone, here’s some good news: mobile fonts may soon be clearing up. In collaboration with Google and the FreeType project, Adobe has contributed its CFF (Compact Font Format) rasterizer to the open source FreeType font engine.

      The open version of CFF is designed to improve legibility of small fonts rendered by the lightweight, resource-efficient FreeType on devices running Android, Linux, iOS, and other Unix-based platforms.

    • Pico-ITX SBC aims ARM Linux at in-vehicle and mobile apps

      Via Technologies announced a tiny, low-power Pico-ITX SBC with optional 3G connectivity and battery power support, aimed at in-vehicle and mobile applications. The VAB-600 is based on an 800MHz ARM Cortex-A9 system-on-chip (SOC) with on-chip graphics acceleration, offers Ethernet, WiFi, and 3G connectivity, operates from 0 to 60° C, and runs either embedded Linux or Android 4.x.

    • Low-cost, future proof IVI demo runs on Raspberry Pi

      Abalta Technologies announced an in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) solution that inexpensively mirrors browser content from smartphones or tablets to Linux-enabled “head” units. The company’s Weblink IVI demo consists of a client app running on a Raspberry Pi-based simulated head unit acting as a remote touchscreen for WiFi- or USB-connected smartphones running a companion server app.

    • Phones

      • Firefox OS for Raspberry Pi: Now Available

        It has been quite some time since my last post about Firefox OS running on a Raspberry Pi, but the questions didn’t stop to come in “when will it be released”? Well, I’m sorry that it took so long (sometimes finding time is not that easy), but finally, here we are: the sources and build instructions are available!

      • Ballnux

        • Samsung Launches Galaxy Tablet, Smartphone Business Marketing Push

          So you think Samsung Electronics America is just a consumer brand? Guess again. Samsung has launched a B2B branding initiative to promote its laptops, Galaxy tablets, smartphones and management software into business accounts. For channel partners, the key opportunities could involve BYOD, mobile device management, vertical market applications and plenty more.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Android pico-projector tablet does it with mirrors

        Shezhen, China-based Promate Technologies claims to have created the world’s first tablet-projector. The “LumiTab” sports a modest 1024×600 7-inch IPS screen, runs Android 4.2, and uses a Texas Instruments digital-light-processing (DLP) chip to render “incredibly sharp 1080p HD images” on walls and projection screens, according to the company.

Free Software/Open Source

  • XBMC Media Center 12.2 Brings Numerous UPnP Fixes

    The second point release of the XBMC Media Center 12 software has been announced last evening, May 3, 2013, for the Linux, Mac OS X, Windows, Android and Raspberry Pi platforms.

    XBMC Media Center 12.2 is a maintenance release, which brings various improvements and bugfixes over previous releases. The infinite loop on add-on dependencies has been fixed in this release, as well as audio-related crashes for Linux builds.

  • How do you educate others on what open source really is?

    I’ve been educating library professionals about open source software for nearly seven years now, and sometimes I feel like I’ve made huge strides and other times, like today, I feel like I have so much more work to do.

  • Web Browsers

  • CMS

    • Drupal company Acquia partners with Capgemini

      Acquia has entered into an agreement with Capgemini Digital Services. Acquia will collaborate with Capgemini Digital Services to develop and operate content driven applications that deliver rich, immersive digital experiences for its clients.

  • Healthcare

    • ‘Huge growth potential for open source hospital information system’

      GNU Health, an free software hospital information system, medical record system and health information system, is rapidly becoming popular in hospitals around the world, says one of its developers, Sebastian Marro. “This project has the potential to grow really large.”

      Marro presented GNU Health at the Medetal conference in Luxenbourg, earlier this month. The GNU Health software is supported by a not-for profit organisation, GNU Solidario, set up in Spain. Marro, based in Argentina, is one of the board members of the NGO.

  • Business


    • GnuCash 2.5.1 (Unstable) released

      The GnuCash development team proudly announces GnuCash 2.5.1, the second release in the 2.5.x series of the GnuCash Free Accounting Software which will eventually lead to the stable version 2.6.0. It runs on GNU/Linux, *BSD, Solaris and Mac OSX.

    • FSF-certified to Respect Your Freedom: ThinkPenguin USB Wifi adapter with Atheros chip

      BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA — Tuesday, April 30th, 2013 — The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today awarded Respects Your Freedom (RYF) certification to the TPE-N150USB Wireless N USB Adapter, sold by ThinkPenguin. The RYF certification mark means that the product meets the FSF’s standards in regard to users’ freedom, control over the product, and privacy. The TPE-N150USB can be purchased from http://www.thinkpenguin.com/TPE-N150USB. Software certification focused primarily on the firmware for the Atheros AR9271 chip used on the adapter.

    • RMS Urges W3C To Reject On Principle DRM In HTML5
  • Licensing

    • Does your code need a license?

      Luis Villa, an OSI board member and Deputy General Counsel at the Wikimedia Foundation, sat down with us to share his thoughts on the behavior he is seeing in the community away from copyleft licenses and how to get involved in the upcoming Open Source License Clinic.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Tracking real-time health with Twitter data serves as an early warning system

      As the open source ethic has changed the way that we share and develop resources, crowdsourcing is redefining how we can create new resources based upon that willingness to share. One example of crowdsourcing at work for the betterment of us all is public health researchers turning to Twitter to collect real-time data about public health.

    • Open Hardware

      • Open source hardware projects from OSS Watch event

        At Open Source Junction 4 we invited attendees to present their hardware projects. Some were open source hardware, while some used consumer hardware components in conjunction with open source software to provide an innovative solution to a problem.

  • Programming

    • Research explodes myth that older programmers are obsolete

      There’s a prevailing ethos among IT hirers that younger is better when it comes to programmers, but a study by academics in North Carolina suggests that employers might be missing a trick by not hiring the grizzled veterans of the coding world.


  • Facebook loses millions of users as biggest markets peak
  • Facebook profits rise despite drop in US visitors to its website

    The Facebook website has lost 10 million visitors in the US and seen no growth in monthly visitors in the UK over the past year, according to data from market research firm Nielsen.

  • Security

    • Not all hackers bad: academic

      The arrest of a 24-year-old Australian claiming to be the head of an international hacking ring and a Twitter hack that briefly sent Wall Street into a tailspin last week has shone the light on hackers as Perth prepares to host its first “hacker con”.

      But the figures behind this weekend’s WAHCKon conference say the term hacker has been hijacked and most hackers are simply curious people with a computer.

    • What Happened When One Man Pinged the Whole Internet

      A home science experiment that probed billions of Internet devices reveals that thousands of industrial and business systems offer remote access to anyone.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Losing labs to Hurricane Sandy and animal rights protestors

      For better or worse, the biological research community has become heavily reliant upon an animal that most of us would try to kill if we found it in our homes: the mouse. Mice have lots of good points. There’s about a century’s worth of genetic research on it to draw upon, there are sophisticated tools for pursuing genetic studies, and it’s relatively closely related to us. Results from mice often translate into knowledge of human disease.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • George W. Bush Is a Swell Guy, Just Ask His Friends

      If the journalists who were far too generous in their coverage of Bush’s presidency are the same ones writing about how that presidency should be viewed now, he’s in safe hands.

    • Erin Burnett Wants a Different Kind of Terrorism Suspect
    • A Koch Hold on the Tribune and LA Times?

      That’s the unfortunate thought that raced trough my head while reading the report in Sunday’s New York Times that Charles and David Koch — the notorious billionaire bankrollers of climate-change denial, voter suppression, and much of the right-wing noise machine — could be the leading candidates to buy eight major daily newspapers from the recently bankrupt Tribune Company, including the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • President Obama To Nominate Cable and Wireless Lobbyist To Head FCC

      “The Wall Street Journal and others are reporting that longtime telecomm lobbyist Tom Wheeler will be nominated to head the Federal Communications Commission. According to the LA Times: ‘Wheeler is a former president of the National Cable Television Assn. and the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Assn. Despite his close ties to industries he will soon regulate, some media watchdogs are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. “As someone who has known Tom for years, I believe that he will be an independent, proactive chairman,” said Gigi B. Sohn, president and chief executive of Public Knowledge, adding that she has “no doubt that Tom will have an open door and an open mind, and that ultimately his decisions will be based on what he genuinely believes is best for the public interest, not any particular industry.”‘”

    • New FCC chairman is “former lobbyist for cable and wireless industries”

      President Barack Obama will nominate venture capitalist Tom Wheeler to be the next chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, The Wall Street Journal reported today. Wheeler is “a former top lobbyist for the cable and wireless industries” and will be nominated as soon as tomorrow, the Journal wrote. The Hill reporter Brendan Sasso said the White House has now confirmed that Wheeler will be nominated for the post.

    • Obama Nominates Telecom Veteran Tom Wheeler to Chair FCC

      President Obama on Wednesday nominated telecom veteran Tom Wheeler to serve as the next chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.

      If the Senate approves Wheeler’s nomination, he will replace outgoing chairman Julius Genachowski, who announced in March that he would step down from his post after four years. Until the Senate vote occurs, Democratic Commissioner Mignon Clyburn will serve as interim chair after Genachowski leaves in mid-May.

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • US and EU see opening for free-trade pact
    • Trademarks

      • Mozilla sends a cease and desist letter to Gamma International over malware

        SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Mozilla has sent a cease and desist letter to Gamma International, claiming the firm is using Firefox’s branding to trick users into downloading and using its malware.

        Mozilla’s hugely popular Firefox web browser is trusted by many users because it is not a commercial organisation like Google or Microsoft, making it a good target for those that want to steal some of its good will. Mozilla has alleged that Gamma International is trying to do just that, with its malware masquerading as the firm’s Firefox web browser, and Mozilla said it sent Gamma International a cease and desist letter.

    • Copyrights

      • MPAA Executive Tampered With IFPI Evidence in Internet Piracy Case

        Earlier this month Finland’s largest ever Internet piracy case ended with four men being found guilty of copyright infringement and two being exonerated. The case involved a so-called ‘topsite’ called Angel Falls and had an interesting twist. During the trial it was revealed that evidence gathered by a local anti-piracy group and the IFPI was also handed to a “senior MPAA executive” who tampered with the evidence before handing it to the police.

      • Pirate Party Enters Iceland’s National Parliament After Historic Election Win

        The Pirate Party in Iceland seem to have booked a major victory in Iceland’s parliamentary election today, scoring 5.1% of the total vote. It’s a truly remarkable achievement for a party that’s only a few months old, and also the first time that a Pirate party anywhere in the world has been democratically chosen in a national parliament. One of the main goals of the Pirates will be to fight increased censorship and protect freedom of speech.

      • Pirate Party wins seats in the Icelandic Parliament

        POLITICAL UPSTART the Pirate Party has won three seats in the Icelandic Parliament.

        The party won just over five percent of the national vote, just enough to ensure its place, according to a celebratory post from Pirate Party spokesman and evangelist Rick Falkvinge.

      • What Is TPP? Biggest Global Threat to the Internet Since ACTA

        The United States and ten governments from around the Pacific are meeting yet again to hash out the secret Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) on May 15-24 in Lima, Peru. The TPP is one of the worst global threats to the Internet since ACTA. Since the negotiations have been secretive from the beginning, we mainly know what’s in the current version of this trade agreement because of a leaked draft [PDF] from February 2011. Based upon that text, some other leaked notes, and the undemocratic nature of the entire process, we have every reason to be alarmed about the copyright enforcement provisions contained in this multinational trade deal.

      • The Pirate Bay Moves to .SX as Prosecutor Files Motion to Seize Domains

        Swedish authorities have filed a motion at the District Court of Stockholm on behalf of the entertainment industries, demanding the seizure of two Pirate Bay domain names. In addition to the Swedish-based .se domain the motion also includes the new Icelandic .is TLD. In a rapid response, The Pirate Bay has just switched to a fresh domain, ThePirateBay.sx, registered in the northeastern Caribbean island of Sint Maarten.

      • Pirate Site Blocking Legislation Approved By Norwegian Parliament

        Norway has moved an important – some say unstoppable – step towards legislative change that will enable the aggressive tackling of online copyright infringement. Proposed amendments to the Copyright Act, which will make it easier for rightsholders to monitor file-sharers and have sites such as The Pirate Bay blocked at the ISP level, received broad support in parliament this week and look almost certain to be passed into law.


Links 5/5/2013: New Debian

Posted in News Roundup at 6:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux Top 3: Xen Lives, Fuduntu Dies and KDE Slims
  • Linux Shorts: Mageia 3, Slackware, and Fedora 19
  • Linux Shorts: Sabayon 13.04, Korora 18, and SythOS
  • From GNOME Linux Desktop to OpenStack Cloud [VIDEO]
  • Kernel Space

    • Using FreeNAS’ new full disk encryption for ZFS

      Last month’s release of FreeNAS 8.3.1 adds new functionality that allows system administrators of the open source-based network attached storage solution to encrypt entire disks while using ZFS. ZFS has been the primary filesystem for FreeNAS since FreeNAS 8, and has supplanted FreeBSD’s UFS as the project’s focus. The new security functionality applies only to ZFS and is the first time that FreeNAS has supported encryption.

    • Linux 3.9 Clamps Down on Power, Speeds Up with SSDs

      Linus Torvalds is now releasing the second major new Linux kernel milestone of 2013. The Linux 3.9 kernel includes new features that will make the open source operating system faster and more efficient than ever before.

    • Linux User Experience Levels

      Sometimes I wonder about the experience level of all us Linux users. Are we mostly a collection of new users or are most Linux users hard core geeks? Well, much like the user-base of individual distros or even the ecosystem as a whole, pinning down the distribution of experience levels across Linux will never anything more than some kind of guess. Today, I’d like to venture another.

      I’ve mentioned before, but it bears repeating that my crystal ball of choice is a good poll. What better way to find out what folks’ experience level is that to just ask. I simply named the poll I’ma Linux: and offered various levels for tickable answers.

    • It Pays To Advertise FLOSS

      I have been noticing some ads for the Linux Foundation appearing on the web…

      Such advertising is one of the things that is needed to generate demand for FLOSS everywhere. The Linux Foundation may get a deal from Google or they may be able to afford the price. We bloggers can help by providing links to various organizations and individuals producing FLOSS. Every bit helps.

    • The Kernel Column – 3.9 draws near

      Jon Masters summarises the latest news from the Linux kernel community as the final 3.8 kernel release approaches and preparation for 3.9 begins

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Distributions

    • SolydXK Added to Distrowatch Database

      Today’s Distrowatch Weekly brought the news that a new distribution has been added to the official Linux database. You know what that means. It’s time to boot ‘er up.

      SolydXK is a Debian-based distribution aiming to easy to use, stable, and secure. Founders believe SolydXK would be suitable for home and small office settings. SolydXK comes in two flavors: SolydX featuring the Xfce desktop and SolydK featuring KDE. SolydXK began life as a variant of Linux Mint Debian with KDE, but later broke away and became its own distro. Its inaugural release came just two weeks ago and was promptly put right smack on this month’s cover of Full Circle Magazine. SolydXK 201304 features Linux 3.2.39, Xorg 1.12.4, GCC 4.7.2, and Firefox 19.0.2.

    • Too Many Re-Spins, Who Lives Who Dies?

      Ah, yes, it’s that old argument again. But this time there’s a twist. Everyday Linux User is asking visitors to his site which distributions they might save. His list isn’t exhaustive, but his early results are proving interesting.

      Gary Newell, proprietor of Everyday Linux User, says he continues to see that old complaint that there are just too many distributions that are merely re-spins. So Newell asks, “Imagine that tomorrow the world decided there can only be a limited number of distributions. Which distributions would you save?”

      I have a little trouble with his poll choices. His theory is about “re-spins” but yet he included some distros I consider grandfathers and some that were forked so long ago they are now their own full-fledged distributions. But as it is, it’s still an intriguing question and his early results are proving interesting as well.

    • New Releases

      • What is ExTiX 13 64bit?

        Previous versions of ExTiX were based on KNOPPIX/Debian. Version 7.0 of ExTiX was based on the Swiss Linux System Paldo. Version 8 of ExTiX was based on Debian Sid. Version 11 of ExTiX was based on Ubuntu 12.10.

      • SprezzOS 1.1.1
      • Vyatta 6.6
      • Press Release: Sabayon 13.04

        Linux Kernel 3.8.8 (3.8.10 available through updates, 3.9 available in hours) with BFQ iosched and ZFS, GNOME 3.6.3, KDE 4.10.2, MATE 1.6 (thanks to infirit), Xfce 4.10, LibreOffice 4.0, production ready UEFI (and SecureBoot) support and experimental systemd support (including openrc boot speed improvements) are just some of the things you will find inside the box.

      • GParted Live 0.16.1-1 Stable Release

        The GParted team is proud to announce a well-tested, stable release of GParted Live.

        This release includes another critical bug fix for a potential crash that might cause loss of data while moving or copying a partition. We strongly recommend that all users of GParted Live 0.15.0-x and 0.16.0-x upgrade to GParted Live 0.16.1-1 to avoid data loss.

      • OpenELEC Stable – Xtreamer x86_64 Version:3.0.
      • Semplice 4
      • SystemRescueCd 3.5.1
      • Manjaro released

        We are happy to announce a maintenance release for Manjaro 0.8.5, released two weeks ago. With this update we adjusted or install medias to the new repository structure we have now. This will ease the installation of Manjaro Linux for new users a lot. This release features pacman 4.1 and includes all updates from the 25th April 2013. Also we fixed slight issues we found in our initial release of Manjaro 0.8.5.

      • Kajona V4.1 released

        Simplified page-management with Kajona 4.1 “simplicity”

        Five months after the initial release of Kajona 4, the first update v4.1 focuses on simplicity.

      • Descent|OS 4.0

        Good morning, everyone! It’s Day Two of Linux Fest NorthWest, so I’m going to be heading out shortly, but I’m going to elaborate a little bit about what made it into Descent|OS and what didn’t for this release.

      • OpenXange 2013.04
    • Screenshots

      • Release Notes: aptosid 2013-01

        aptosid is a full featured Debian sid based live CD with a special focus on hard disk installations, a clean upgrade path within sid and additional hardware and software support. The ISO is completely based on Debian sid/main, enriched and stabilised with aptosid’s own packages and scripts and adheres to the Debian Social Contract (DFSG).

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Is there an easier transition to Linux from Windows than PCLinuxOS?

        In the past couple of weeks I have taken a look at two of the more popular Linux operating systems.

        Last week I tackled Debian and before that I tackled openSUSE.

      • Mandriva Business Server gets new apps and security fixes

        Paris the 15th of April 2013: Mandriva S.A. has released a host of security fixes as well as new addons for its server platform, Mandriva Business Server.

        Fully integrated with Mandriva Business Server, the Mandriva Proxy-Cache is based on the Squid proxy project and allows the filtering by white and black lists, as well as on an user basis. Specially packaged for the Mandriva Business Server, Mandriva Proxy can be purchased on Mandriva ServicePlace and will install on top of Mandriva Business Server in just a few clicks. Mandriva has also released a dedicated ssh management addon that lets administrators handle their users’ ssh keys in an elegant and straightforward way. It is available free of charge on the ServicePlace.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Sets JBoss Free with WildFly Application Server

        Red Hat is renaming and rebuilding its open source JBoss application server. The new name is WildFly and with it will come a faster and more transparent development process.

      • Smug Red Hat buoyed by UK gov’s open-source three-line-whip

        The UK government’s love affair with open-source technology has given software house Red Hat a shot in the arm, we’re told.

        The company boasted that its government and system integrator business has grown in the “high double-digit rates” over the last three years. Red Hat, which offers various flavours of the open-source operating system Linux, said subscriptions for its software make up the majority of its revenue from Whitehall.

      • Fedora

        • Korora 18′s “Flo” offers a friendlier Fedora 18

          The Korora Project is a Linux distribution which hails from Australia and has been offering a friendly Linux since 2005, when it was based on Gentoo. In 2010, it switched over to Fedora and became a remix – now the developers have released Korora 18, “Flo” based on Fedora 18. Actually, the developers just renamed the beta release as final as they found no major issues during the beta period. Korora 18 comes in two flavours with a GNOME and KDE desktop.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian 7.0 “Wheezy” released

        After many months of constant development, the Debian project is proud to present its new stable version 7.0 (code name “Wheezy”).
        This new version of Debian includes various interesting features such as multiarch support, several specific tools to deploy private clouds, an improved installer, and a complete set of multimedia codecs and front-ends which remove the need for third-party repositories.

      • Debian 7 “Wheezy” released

        The release of Debian 7.0, also known as Wheezy, has taken place – the community-driven and built Linux distribution’s most visible change is a new updated look with GNOME 3.4 and the GNOME shell as the default desktop. But there are important changes behind the scenes which will make Wheezy easier to work with and simpler to use to create private clouds. In all, the developers have worked for just over two years, since the release of Debian 6 “Squeeze”, to produce the new stable version of the distribution.

      • Debian 7.0 Wheezy Will Be Officially Released on May 5
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 13.04 Emerges to Less-Than-Stellar Reviews

            Raring Ringtail, the newest Ubuntu release, is landing with a thud, based on early reviews. It might have some appeal for businesses, though. “In essence, they’re aiming for a more predictable experience, and I think that could make this a potentially interesting offer for businesses that want to get out from underneath the cost and upgrade cycle of Windows,” said tech analyst Charles King.

          • Ubuntu 13.04 preps for mobile convergence

            Canonical released version 13.04 of its popular Ubuntu Linux distro, introducing a Developer Preview SDK for creating apps that run on the desktop as well as Ubuntu Touch-based smartphones and tablets. Ubuntu 13.04 (“Raring Ringtail”) offers a more lightweight memory footprint, faster boot, lower power consumption, faster graphics performance, and the debut of Canonical’s MIR display server.

          • The Connected Desktop – With Ubuntu Linux

            With the recent release of VMWare ESXi 5.1 and the associated fully featured web client management (which we may cover in a later article), Linux in general is getting closer and closer to the ‘do anything’ desktop operating system we have all wanted it to be for some time. Maturity breeds integration and although we have always had any number of tools to manage our command line servers, our Windows desktops and Mac OSX or other Linux graphical environments separately, we were lacking in a tool that put all the pieces together and managed our connections for us. There are several tools that are attempting to integrate system management, today we are going to talk about one, the “Remmina Remote Desktop Client”.

          • Mark Shuttleworth ‘Chillin’ on Ubuntu 13.04 [VIDEO]

            Mark Shuttleworth made the controversial decision to move Ubuntu Linux to the Unity interface back in 2010. It’s a decision that provoked lots of argument, but with the Ubuntu 13.04 Linux release out this week, Shuttleworth remains confident he is moving in the right direction.

            In an exclusive video interview with Datamation, Shuttleworth reflected on the difficult decisions and transitions he has had to make with Ubuntu Linux. Overall Shuttleworth stressed that he deeply cares about the community and its opinions as Ubuntu Linux continues to evolve.

          • Ubuntu Server 13.04 Includes Updated OpenStack, MAAS and Juju

            Canonical has announced today, April 25, the immediate availability for download of Ubuntu Server 13.04 (Raring Ringtail) operating system, along with Ubuntu 13.04, and all the other flavors.

            Ubuntu Server 13.04 includes the Grizzly release of OpenStack software, which delivers a massively scalable cloud operating system.

          • Ubuntu 13.04 Linux Server Debuts. Should You Upgrade?

            Every six months, Ubuntu Linux comes out with a new server release. It is however only once every two years that one of those releases is labeled as an Long Term Support (LTS) release.

          • Whether you love or loathe Ubuntu, 13.04 ‘Raring Ringtail’ won’t change your mind
          • Ubuntu 13.04 released: how to upgrade
          • Tracing Ubuntu’s Branding Evolution Since 2004

            Ubuntu has changed a lot since its early days, as we noted earlier this week. So, too, has what we could call the Ubuntu brand, or the image of the operating system as Canonical presents it to the world. And with Ubuntu 13.04 about to debut, this seems like a particularly appropriate moment to consider how Ubuntu and Canonical as brands have evolved over time to become what they are today.

          • Ubuntu 13.04 review

            A modest update, bringing no major enhancements but adding polish to the Ubuntu desktop

          • Ubuntu 13.04 Arrives, and Mark Shuttleworth Responds to Critics

            Canonical is banging the drums for Raring Ringtail, or Ubuntu 13.04 — the much awaited new version, which is available today following beta testing. As the Unity interface and other enhancements to Ubuntu have rolled along, many users have become used to more resource-intensive versions of Ubuntu, but version 13.04 actually offers reduced memory footprint, in addition to a number of other notable features.

          • Ubuntu 13.04 Link-o-rama
          • Hadoop + Ubuntu: The Big Fat Wedding

            Now, here is a treat for all you Hadoop and Ubuntu lovers. Last month, Canonical, the organization behind the Ubuntu operating system, partnered with MapR, one of the Hadoop heavyweights, in an effort to make Hadoop available as an integrated part of Ubuntu through its repositories. The partnership announced that MapR’s M3 Edition for Apache Hadoop will be packaged and made available for download as an integrated part of the Ubuntu operating system. Canonical and MapR are also working to develop a Juju Charm that can be used by OpenStack and other customers to easily deploy MapR into their environments.

          • Et tu, Ubuntu?

            Once a symbol of openness and freedom, Ubuntu partners with the Chinese regime

          • The Ubuntu Home Screen

            Reader Ollie Terrance wanted to get the look and feel of Ubuntu phone on his Android device. With a little help from Buzz Launcher and Widget Locker, that’s exactly what he did.

          • Canonical begins developing Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander

            The email mentions some of the changes we can expect in Saucy Salamander. The development version incorporates new versions of GCC and boost. GCC (short for GNU Compiler Collection) is a compiler system by the GNU Project supporting various programming languages. Saucy Salamander will use GCC 4.8 as the default compiler, which means it will have improved C++11 support, AddressSanitizer, and a fast memory error detector, among other things. The email also mentions that updates to Glibc and binutils will follow later during the development cycle.

          • Ubuntu 13.10 Daily Builds Are Now Available for Download
          • The Ubuntu Android Home Screen
          • Ubuntu Touch OS (For Smartphones and Tablets) – Keeps Getting Better

            News about the Ubuntu Touch OS have been received like a breeze of fresh air, mostly by those who are already Ubuntu fans, or by those simply bored with the Android experience and who would like a change of scenery, without switching to a different ecosystem / operating system. Others have received the news concerning Ubuntu on smartphones / tablets with little interest, but that’s mainly because the OS’ wide release is set for late this year, or early 2014.

          • Canonical’s Newest Ubuntu Faster, More Polished

            The Unity desktop has been seen as an attempt by Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth to position Ubuntu as an OS not only for desktops, laptops or netbooks, but also tablets and smartphones, with the same interface across devices. Shuttleworth says that Unity has buy-in from users, developers and OEMs, such as Dell, Lenovo and Acer.

          • Ubuntu 13.10 Release Schedule
          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux-programmable 4G LTE router tracks mobile assets

      CalAmp unveiled a 4G LTE cellular router and gateway for AT&T networks that runs embedded Linux on a 400MHz ARM9 processor. The LMU-5000LTE is equipped with LTE, HSPA, and EVDO routers, a 50-channel GPS, and multiple I/O, and features fleet tracking, as well as user-programmable PEG (Programmable Event Generator) monitoring software.

    • Tough Linux micro-box boasts isolated serial ports

      Artila Electronics has announced an ARM9 micro-box computer with eight isolated RS-485 serial ports and two versions of preinstalled embedded Linux, enabling boot-up from data flash in the event of NAND-boot failure. The Matrix-516 is equipped with a 400MHz Atmel AT91SAM9G20 SOC (system-on-chip), 64MB of RAM, dual Ethernet ports, and two USB 2.0 ports.

      The Matrix-516 appears to be a variation of the company’s Matrix-518, substituting eight 2.5KV-isolated RS-485 ports for the earlier model’s RS-232/422/485 ports. As far as we can see, this is the only difference, aside from the lack of the previous model’s audio out.

    • TheLittleBlackBox: An ARM-based, open source XBMC media center

      XBMC is a media center application that started its life as a project to turn the first-generation Xbox into an audio and video powerhouse. The project has since been ported to run on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and other platforms, and we’ve even seen it running on low-power devices with ARM processors such as the Pivos XIOS DS Media Play.

    • x86 SBC maker hops on ARM bandwagon

      WinSystems has introduced its first ARM-based single-board computer (SBC), based on Freescale’s 800MHz i.MX6 processors. The SBC35-C398 series SBCs are available in single-, dual-, and quad-core versions with varying display, expansion, and I/O capabilities, feature extended temperature operation, and are supported with embedded Linux and Android OS builds.

    • Why use commercial embedded Linux dev tools?

      When developing systems or devices based on embedded Linux or Android, does it make sense to use commercial development tools? In this guest column, Brad Dixon, Director of Open Source Solutions at Mentor Graphics, suggests several reasons why commercial development tools and support can potentially save time, resources, money, and opportunity costs.

    • Early emulation teams with GNU tools to speed-up embedded projects

      Mentor Graphics announced a version of its Sourcery Codebench GNU toolchain and IDE (integrated development environment) that incorporates electronic system-level (ESL) tools for emulating hardware environments, both pre- and post-silicon, on embedded Linux targets. “Mentor Embedded Sourcery Codebench Virtual Edition” integrates trace/debug, hardware analysis, and simulation tools and APIs.

      The new Virtual Edition product combines the company’s Sourcery CodeBench and Sourcery Analyzer tools along with its Vista Virtual Prototyping and Veloce2 Emulation Systems platforms.

    • Gumstix sweetens its tiny ARM Cortex-A8 and -A9 COMs

      Gumstix has upgraded its Linux-ready DuoVero and Overo computer-on-modules (COMs). The OMAP4430-based DuoVero Zephyr adds 802.11b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth to the DuoVero design, and the Overo TidalSTORM is based on a TI 1GHz OMAP3730 processor, and doubles the RAM to 1GB compared to the previous Overo Tide.

      Gumstix has been upgrading and revising its Overo line of tiny, Linux-focused COMs since the first ARM Cortex-A8-based Overo Earth arrived in 2008. It is now doing the same with its newer, Cortex-A9-based DuoVero modules, which similarly use Texas Instruments (TI) DaVinci OMAP system-on-chips (SOCs). As before, both new COMs measure 2.28 x 0.67 inches (58 x 17mm), feature dual 70-pin expansion connectors, and are supported with open-source Linux development kits, including Yocto Project build system support.

    • For your robot-building needs, $45 BeagleBone Linux PC goes on sale

      The market for cheap single-board computers is becoming one of the most surprisingly competitive spaces in the tech industry. On the heels of the million-selling Raspberry Pi, a variety of companies and small groups started creating their own tiny computers for programmers and hobbyists.

    • Why The Small Cheap Computers Are Changing Everything

      From the user’s point of view the small cheap computers have huge advantages like price, performance, portability, and running FLOSS operating systems. Underneath that, in the chip itself is a magical combination that used to fill an ATX box with components. For x86/amd64 all of those components were managed well except the graphics which were closely guarded secret places where FLOSS was often second best because the manufacturers did not produce FLOSS drivers and were often not cooperative.

    • Meld 1.7.2 Allows for Manual Synchronization of Split Points

      The Meld developers have announced the immediate availability for download of the 1.7.2 version of Meld, a visual merge and diff utility targeted at developers, featuring a handful of improvements, bug fixes and updated translations.

    • Qualcomm Quad-core Processors For ~$10

      It’s an obvious thing but in case you didn’t notice, the price of IT using multiple sources of software and hardware competitively priced is good for you and everyone else on Earth.

    • Phones

      • IT In Kenya Evolves Free From Wintel

        What a difference a decade makes! Ten years ago, Wintel would have been the only way to go for the IT ecosystem but it was too expensive. Now Kenyans have the choice of small cheap computers running */Linux and are loving it. Wintel need not apply.

      • Ballnux

      • Android

        • Intel reportedly pushing Android convertibles

          Rumour loving Digitimes reports that several major vendors, including Lenovo, HP, Toshiba, Acer and Asus will launch Intel based convertibles sometime in the third quarter. Lenovo will lead the way and it will introduce its first Android based notebook a bit earlier, in May.

          Intel is rumoured to be targeting the sub-$500 market with Android based convertibles. Pricier designs, such as Haswell based Ultrabooks should cost at least a couple of hundred more and they will feature Windows 8 rather than Android. In terms of hardware, the convertibles will have to feature a completely detachable keyboard that will allow them to transform into a tablet. With a completely detachable keyboard, the whole concept sounds a lot like Asus’ Transformer series of Android devices.

        • Sony Launches An Android Open Source Project For The Xperia Z Smartphone

          Sony’s Xperia S AOSP experiment was well-received, though it was eventually moved away from the AOSP main branch to Sony’s own GitHub, owing to the limitations of what could be done with the hardware. Sony software engineers Johan Redestig and Björn Andersson want to help continue that work with Sony’s latest. The Xperia Z project will help developers and tinkerers interested in making contributions to Android, and to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 Pro platform do so using essentially a vanilla Android OS installation on the device, albeit starting out on Sony’s own GitHub, and not as part of Google’s own main AOSP project.

        • Android Phones Pinpoint Snipers

          The military has high-tech equipment to track sniper fire, using microphones carried by soldiers or stationary mics mounted at strategic points. Now that technology is getting shrunk so it can be used in the hands of civilian bodyguards with Android phones.

        • 50 Free Awesome Android Apps

          A free Android app is a great thing – if that app is really worthwhile. And fortunately, the number of free apps for Android is always growing, fueled in part by developers offering freemiums designed to entice you to try the app and then opt for the paid version because, hey, you actually like it. Other developers are looking to cash in on the BYOD trend, so they are offering freebies to individual users in the hopes that you’ll push your boss to let you use it for work too (but your boss will have to pay for the enterprise version). Other apps are of the open source, free and wild ilk, and still others are apps by developers looking to do something good for others.

        • Google Glass kernel software goes public
        • Jelly Bean on DROID Bionic Root Method Released, Instructions For Those Running Ubuntu
    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Software Isn’t Just Code. It’s Your Résumé

    OpenStack isn’t just a way for tech giants like HP and IBM to mimic Amazon’s wildly successful cloud services. It’s also a teaching tool.

    Created little more than three years ago by NASA and cloud computing outfit Rackspace, OpenStack is an open source project in the truest sense of the term. Hundreds of developers are now contributing to the project, and these developers span myriad different companies, including not only HP and IBM, but the networking giant Cisco, virtualization kingpin VMware, and myriad startups. And then there’s Dinkar Sitaram, a professor at the PES Institute of Technology in Bangalore, India who’s using OpenStack to immerse his students in the ways of open source software.

  • OpenFlow Inventor Martin Casado on SDN, VMware, and Software Defined Networking Hype [VIDEO]
  • Spain’s open source centre publishes model for desktop cost savings

    Cenatic, Spain’s open source centre, has published a model to help calculate cost savings that are possible by switching to open source software on desktop PCs. The model evaluates costs by taking into account the size and complexity of the organisation, Cenatic says. “The methodology is based on our experience with migrations and open source methodologies.”

  • Common Themes in Scaling

    Stick With Open Source – The software that powers many businesses, often also labeled “enterprise”, is equally as bad. Closed source, license restricted, and unbelievably expensive, enterprise software will cause more problems than it is worth at some point. Case in point, we once ran our entire stack on IBM’s WebSphere. The databases, the java application server, the web server, and the load balancer. The load balancer used a kernel loadable module that would break every time we patched the server, and we would have to go back to IBM to have a new binary built before we could patched in production. IBM’s turnaround time was normally around a week or so, but for a load balancer, it was completely unacceptable. Own your datacenter, own your software, don’t let a vendor tell you what you can and can not do, leave that up to your imagination.

  • FOSS: Breaking the Chains of Apple and Microsoft

    This local client had decided to abandon Microsoft and change out their office systems for new hardware with new operating systems. Thus already requiring retraining and all that comes with such a change. Of course, I made the pitch for Linux with all FOSS. In general, they only use their systems for e-mail and creating quote documents for clients. Under FOSS systems, the e-mail is covered with any number of FOSS e-mail applications, while the quote documents are covered with LibreOffice to create PDF files. One of the systems does run accounting software for billing and payments. But they do not do their own payroll, so LedgerSMB would work for their billing and payments accounting system.

  • Web Browsers

    • 18 Years Too Late, M$ Realizes IE Was A Huge Mistake
    • Chrome

      • Google’s Bug Bounties Remain on the Rise

        Bug bounties–cash prizes offered by open source communities to anyone who finds key software bugs–have been steadily on the rise for several years now, ranging from FOSS Factory’s bounty programs to the bounties that both Google (for the Chrome browser) and Mozilla offer. In fact, Google has been setting new records with the bounties it offers for meaningful bugs. And now, in a post on the Chrome blog, Google has confirmed that it has paid out more than $31,000 to a single security researcher who identified three Chrome bugs.

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Releases Firefox OS Simulator 3.0 As Firefox Extension

        At the beginning of this year, the folks at Mozilla rolled out the 1.0 version of the Firefox OS Simulator, which provided folks–especially developers–an opportunity to try out the company’s promising new mobile operating system. The simulator worked on computers rather than mobile devices, and many developers used to get a taste of the new platform.

      • A taste of Rust

        Rust, the new programming language being developed by the Mozilla project, has a number of interesting features. One that stands out is the focus on safety. There are clear attempts to increase the range of errors that the compiler can detect and prevent, and thereby reduce the number of errors that end up in production code.

      • Firefox OS Simulator 3.0 now available

        The Mozilla developers have now released the latest version of the Firefox OS simulator. Designed to allow developers to create and test applications for Firefox OS without having to try and get their hands on the limited supply of application-creator-oriented Geeksphone developer preview phones.

      • Could Firefox OS Phones Surprise Everyone?

        Earlier this week, I covered the imminent availability of the first phones for sale based on Mozilla’s Firefox OS mobile platform. The company has already detailed the first five countries that will offically get Firefox OS phones, but the very first phones–aimed at developers–arrived for sale this week and sold out nearly instantly. Mozilla partnered with Spanish start-up Geeksphone to move the phones, and the speed with which they sold could be a very promising sign as Mozilla reorganizes its staff and strategy around mobile phones.

      • Mozilla to FinSpy: stop disguising your “lawful interception” spyware as Firefox
      • Mozilla Announces Heka For Performance Data Collection

        Mozilla is a perennial favorite of the open source world, a poster child for success. Today Mozilla introduced Heka, which they describe as “a tool for high performance data gathering, analysis, monitoring, and reporting”. Gathering performance statistics of web servers is part of the day to day work of a sysadmin, so an announcement from Mozilla in this space is sure to be interesting.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

    • SkySQL Merges With MariaDB Creator Monty Program To Solidify Its Open Source Database Position

      Some consolidation in the world of open source database startups: SkySQL, a provider of open source database solutions, is merging with Monty Program Ab, the creators of MariaDB, an open source database technology that is used by Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia and other services. The merger is also a reunion of sorts: both companies employ key people from MySQL, the database company that was bought by Sun in 2008, and in turn became a part of Oracle. Monty Program was founded and led by Michael “Monty” Widenius, the founder of MySQL.

    • From MySQL to SkySQL to NewSQL

      SkySQL last week signed a merger agreement with Monty Program Ab forming one of the industry’s newest and perhaps most logical business agreements.

      SkySQL is a provider of open source database solutions for MySQL and MariaDB users, while Monty Program is the creator or the MariaDB open source database itself.

      NOTE: MariaDB is a community-developed fork of the MySQL relational database management system, which in itself is a open source Relational DataBase Management Systsem (RDBMS) formerly championed by Sun prior to Oracle days.

    • Wikimedia completes MySQL to MariaDB migration

      More bad new for Oracle owned MySQL, which is heading in the direction of OpenOffice. Wikimedia has completed the migration of the English and German Wikipedias, as well as Wikidata, to MariaDB 5.5.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Exploring SmartOS

      Continuing along in the vein of exploring all the options in datacenter virtualization, my journey has led me, unavoidably some might say, to Joyent’s SmartOS. SmartOS is a decedent of Solaris, one of the first Unix systems I learned on over a decade ago. Being based on Solaris, and on account of a number of other features, SmartOS is definitely a horse of a different color.

  • Healthcare

  • Business

  • Funding

    • Fundraiser for free software NPO accounting software launched

      The Software Freedom Conservancy has started a fundraising campaign to create an open source, free software accounting system for non-profit organisations (NPO). Conservancy’s goal is to raise $75,000 to fund a developer for one year to first evaluate existing technologies and then build a solution designed for non-profit accounting on the best available open source system.

    • Donay Launches A New Way For Businesses And Users To Incentivize And Reward Open Source Programmers At Disrupt NY

      Donay, a Dutch startup that’s officially launching at TechCrunch Disrupt 2013 NY, wants to make it easier for companies and users to provide incentives to open source developers. Say your company is using a popular open-source application, but you find a bug or need a new feature. Currently, there is no easy way to pay open source developers for their work and, Donay argues, that makes it hard for companies that don’t have in-house development shops to get bugs fixed or new features added.

    • Bloomington Named To Google Code Initiative

      Google Summer of Code selected Bloomington as a participant for a second year.

      Bloomington will be participating as a mentoring organization to student programmers through the company’s Summer of Code Initiative.

      Bloomington was the first city government establishment to participate in Google Summer of Code in 2012.

  • Project Releases

    • All Good Things Come in 3s, and Great Things are 3 Dot 3

      We are about to ship Eucalyptus version 3.3 – and there is no end to our pride and excitement!

    • Ack 2.0 enhances the “grep for source code”

      The developers of ack have released version 2.0 of their grep-like tool optimised for searching source code. Described as “designed for programmers”, ack has been available since 2005 and is based on Perl’s regular expressions engine. It minimises false positives by ignoring version control directories by default and has flexible highlighting for matches. The newly released ack 2.0 introduces a more flexible identification system, better support for ackrc configuration files and the ability to read the list of files to be searched from stdin.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Open source should be used to commoditise government IT, says Cabinet Office’s Tariq Rashid

      Open source technology should be used to help commoditise government IT to move from cost-heavy bespoke systems to the more competitive end of the market, Tariq Rashid, IT Reform, Cabinet Office has said.

      He also warned that by using customised IT solutions, or trying to aggregate demand to drive discounts, government departments were losing their power as a customer and missing out on the fierce dynamics of the commodity market.

      Rashid made his comments while speaking at the Open Gov Summit 2013 in London today, where he also reiterated the Cabinet Office’s current approach to IT – specifically, the drive towards user need, agile development and sustained value.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Modelling Chess Positions
    • Python4Kids New Tutorial: A Different View on Our Chess Model

      Cut to a polite, well dressed assistant at a counter with a big sign saying ‘End of Show Department’ behind him.
      Assistant Well it is one of our cheapest, sir.
      Chris What else have you got?
      Assistant Well, there’s the long slow pull-out, sir, you know, the camera tracks back and back and mixes…
      As he speaks we pull out and mix through to the exterior of the store. Mix through to even wider zoom ending up in aerial view of London. It stops abruptly and we cut back to Chris.

      In the last tutorial we saw how to model the position on a chess board. However, the interface was pretty basic. It looked like this:

    • Rails 4.0 goes to release candidate

      The developers of the Ruby on Rails web framework have announced that the first Rails 4.0 release candidate is now available “just in time for the opening of RailsConf”. Rails 4.0 is the first Rails release to prefer Ruby 2.0 and has a minimum requirement of Ruby 1.9.3. The release candidate includes over 1300 commits made since February’s release of the first beta of Rails 4, all landing on top of the numerous changes made since Rails 3.2. The Rails team hope that developers can “give this release candidate an honest try”.


  • Yahoo chairman resigns after one year
  • Creatures of the Dark: Wisconsin GOP Caught Deleting Records, Again

    According to the April 18 court filings, a forensic analysis of computers used during redistricting indicates multiple files were deleted just after Republicans were instructed to turn them over to Democrats — but before they had actually done so.

  • Did Backlash Against GOP Voter Suppression Increase Black Voter Turnout?

    Last September, the research group Project New America tested more than thirty messages on “sporadic, less likely voters who lean Democratic” to see what would motivate them to vote. “One of the most powerful messages across many different demographics was reminding people that their votes were important to counter the extremists who are kicking people off of voter rolls,” the group wrote in a post-election memo.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Over a Million Comments Filed on GE Salmon as New Evidence Emerges of Deeply Flawed Review

      The extended comment period on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) review and approval of AquAdvantage genetically engineered (GE) salmon ends April 26. As more comments flood in, the Center for Food Safety (CFS) reports that documents disclosed through a Freedom of Information Request (FOIA) “raise serious questions about the adequacy of the FDA’s review of the AquAdvantage Salmon application.”

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • My Village Was Attacked
      By US Drones in Yemen
    • How Dare Hamid Karzai Take Our Money!

      So the fact that Karzai received money from the United States, presumably in order to do things the U.S. wants him to do…

    • Syria and the ‘Red Line’ Nonsense

      If you were watching the CBS Evening News on April 25, you heard anchor Scott Pelley say, “The Obama administration says nerve gas has been used, and that is something President Obama has called a red line that cannot be crossed.” Moments later reporter Major Garrett weighed in to say, ” The White House says it cannot definitively prove the Assad regime used chemical weapons.”

    • Reporting ‘Says’ Rather Than ‘Says It Believes’ Could Make a War of Difference
    • They’re taking our kids
    • Summary of events in West Papua for April –beginning of May 2013

      There was a crackdown by the security forces on peaceful rallies held by civil society organisations in West Papua to protest the handover of West Papua by UNTEA to Indonesian administration. Fifty years ago on the 1 May in 1963, the United Nations Temporary Executive Authority (UNTEA) transferred administration of the Dutch colony of Netherlands New Guinea to Indonesia. From the moment Indonesia took over the administration from UNTEA, the oppression of the West Papuan people began and 50 years later the oppression continues and so does the struggle of the West Papuan people for self-determination During the crackdown two people were killed and three seriously wounded in the town of Sorong. In Timika fifteen people were arrested for simply raising their national flag, The Morning Star and six were arrested in Biak.

    • Wrong Bush Arrested at Bush Library Opening in Dallas

      DALLAS – April 25 – During the opening dedication ceremony of the George W. Bush Library & Policy Center in Dallas, Texas, Dennis Trainor Jr. of Acronym TV and Gary Egelston of Iraq Veterans Against the War wearing Bush and Cheney papermache impressions, were brutally arrested for walking off the curb. The Bush and Cheney characters were in the custody of CODEPINK Co-founder Medea Benjamin, dressed as a pink police, who was forced back to the sidewalk while the Dallas police dragged Trainor and Egelston to the ground. “It was an appalling use of brutal force immediately. What happened to a warning or a request ‘Sir, hands behind your back’?” said Medea Benjamin, who is still recovering from the whiplash of the event.

  • Cablegate

    • WikiLeaks wins case against Visa contractor ordered to pay ‘$204k per month if blockade not lifted’

      Iceland’s Supreme Court has ruled that Valitor (formerly Visa Iceland) must pay WikiLeaks $204,900 per month or $2,494,604 per year in fines if it continues to blockade the whistle-blowing site.

      The court upheld the decision that Valitor had unlawfully terminated its contract with WikiLeaks’ donation processor, DataCell.

    • Anonymous UK leader Malcolm Blackman cleared of raping woman at Occupy London camp

      A leader of the notorious “hacktivist” group Anonymous UK was cleared at the Old Bailey today of twice raping a woman inside the Occupy London camp.

      Malcolm Blackman, 45, had been accused of attacking the woman after she passed out drunk in her tent on the steps of St Paul’s.

      In another incident he was said to have tied her hands behind her back with cable ties before forcing himself on her.

      Blackman admitted keeping a “tally mark” of all the women he had slept with at the camp.

    • Political Rape

      Nigel Evans is fully entitled to the presumption of innocence; and the media seem more inclined to give it to him than they did to Malcolm Blackman, linked to Anonymous. In this particularly disgusting piece of journalism by Paul Cheston of the Evening Standard, the vicious liar who brought false accusations against Blackman is referred to as “the victim” – not even the alleged victim, but “the victim” – even after Blackman was found not guilty.


      It is particularly sickening that Blackman’s name and photograph has been published everywhere in relation to horrifying and untrue accusations of binding someone against their will with cable ties and raping them. This terrible publicity will follow him everywhere for the rest of his life. The deranged or malicious person who fabricated this story in court continues to have their identity protected.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Halliburton seeking settlement over Gulf oil spill

      BP’s cement contractor on the drilling rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 announced Monday that it is trying to negotiate a settlement over its role in the disaster, a focus of trial testimony that ended last week.

    • Keystone XL Pipeline ‘All Risk, No Reward’ State Dept. Told

      Opponents of TransCanada’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline packed a State Department public hearing on its latest environmental analysis of the pipeline to warn that it is all risk for the United States, with no reward.

    • Bayer and Syngenta Lobby Furiously Against EU Efforts to Limit Pesticides and Save Bees

      Bee populations have been declining rapidly worldwide in recent years — in the U.S., they have declined by almost 50 percent just since October 2012, according to The Ecologist. The problem is complex, with possible culprits including certain parasites (like Varroa mites), viruses, pesticides, and industrial agriculture. But two studies published in early 2012 in the journal Science suggested a particularly strong connection between the use of a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids and the decline of both bumble bee and honeybee populations.

    • Big Defeat for ALEC’s Effort to Repeal Renewable Energy Standards in North Carolina

      The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) suffered a big defeat in North Carolina today when a bipartisan group of legislators killed a bill to repeal the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standards, which require utilities provide a certain percentage of energy from renewable sources. ALEC typically operates in the dark but has expressed rare public support for the North Carolina effort.

    • Madison Joins “Fossil Free” Divestment Effort

      To date, 11 cities have announced their divestment, and student and community organizers are working on active divestment campaigns in cities and on University campuses around the country. Madison joins San Francisco, CA, Richmond, CA, Berkeley, CA, Bayfield, WI, Ithaca, NY, State College, PA, Eugene, OR, Santa Fe, NM, and Boulder, CO in committing to divesting, along with Seattle, WA, which committed to divestment last fall.

  • Finance

    • Jeffrey Sachs Calls Out Wall Street Criminality and Pathological Greed
    • Anti-Worker “Paycheck Protection” Bills Moving in Missouri

      Missouri is the latest front in the attack on organized labor with so-called “paycheck protection” bills moving through the legislature, with backing from the usual array of corporate interests. But according to the Washington D.C.-based Economic Policy Institute, the bills primarily disadvantage workers while preserving privileges for corporations.

    • Art Pope Groups Push Extreme ALEC Tax Agenda in North Carolina

      An array of right-wing organizations in North Carolina are arguing loudly for Governor Pat McCrory to radically alter how corporations and people pay taxes in the state — and the not-so-hidden hand behind the effort is North Carolina millionaire Art Pope, a close ally of the Koch brothers, who funds the groups and has been appointed as North Carolina’s Budget Director.

    • End Too Big to Fail: New Bipartisan Bill Aims to Prevent Future Bailouts, Downsize Dangerous Banks

      Last week, Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and David Vitter (R-LA) introduced the first bipartisan legislation aimed directly at putting an end to “too big to fail” financial institutions and preventing future bailouts of America’s behemoth banks.

    • Scott Walker Goes to Bat for “Legal Thievery” in Budget Bill

      Opponents of the budget provisions say rent-to-own companies prey on people already deeply in debt or those who have language barriers, while charging hefty interest at the rate akin to payday lenders. Bishop Listecki says it’s a method to keep those already struggling month-to-month in economic servitude. “If someone wants to pay seven times the amount for an item, they are more than welcome to pay more than seven times for the amount for the item,” he said. “The difficulty is when you are not told when you are paying seven times the amount.”

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Police Flex Muscles Again, Arrest Admin of Sweden’s #2 BitTorrent Site

        After being targeted by a police raid on a web host previously owned by Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm, Sweden’s #2 torrent site took just three weeks to come back online. Taunting the authorities with their return, Tankafetast rented cinemas and launched a clothing range but for the police there was clearly unfinished business. An admin of the site has now been arrested and questioned. The site, however, remains fully operational.

      • Pirate Bay Finds Safe Haven in Iceland, Switches to .IS Domain

        After The Pirate Bay’s new Greenland-based domains were suspended earlier this month, the world’s largest file-sharing site has found a safe haven in Iceland. From now on TPB can be reached via ThePirateBay.is without the imminent threat of another domain suspension. The Icelandic registry informs TorrentFreak that they will not take action against the domain unless a court order requires them to do so.

      • Rhapsody Wasn’t Happy, So Open Source Music Service Napster.fm Changes Its Name To Peer.fm
      • U.S. Government Fears End of Megaupload Case

        The U.S. Government has just submitted its objections to Megaupload’s motion to dismiss the case against the company. Megaupload’s lawyers have pointed out that the Department of Justice is trying to change the law to legitimize the destruction of Megaupload. However, the Government refutes this assertion and asks the court to deny Megaupload’s motion, fearing that otherwise the entire case may fall apart.


Links 5/5/2013: Chromebooks Growth, Further Catchup

Posted in News Roundup at 6:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • The Linux desktop is already the new normal

    We’re so busy seeking release from Windows that we overlooked all the ways Linux had already freed us

  • A Journey of Three Years.

    Linux interest, despite FUD, is on the rise. You can take a look at the numbers in Distrowatch. When I migrated to Linux in 2009, it took Ubuntu 2249 visits to be the first distro ranked. Today, the 3rd position has 189 visits more than that. Back in 2009, the last distro had 73 hits. Today, the 100th position is counted with three digits and has almost two times that number of visits.

  • Entire state moves to open source

    In a victory for the free software movement, the Spanish autonomous region of Extremadura has started to switch more than 40,000 government PCs to open source.

    All the computers will be migrated this year. Extremadura estimates that the move to open source will help save €30 million per year.

  • Microsoft Exchange rival Icewarp says selling Linux to Windows customers is easy

    ENTERPRISE MESSAGING VENDOR Icewarp claims that it is not hard to sell Linux to firms that have been using Microsoft’s software products once they become open to change.

    Icewarp, which produces a messaging and collaboration server that rivals Microsoft’s Exchange and Sharepoint servers offers its daemons on both Windows and Linux. However the firm told The INQUIRER that in certain regions firms are very keen

  • Font boost for Linux from Adobe and Google

    The FreeType font rendering engine has been enhanced with a new rasterizer for Compact Font Format (CFF) fonts, contributed to FreeType by Adobe and Google. The new rasterizer details were included in the latest changes file for the beta version 2.4.12 of FreeType. The new engine is said to be “vastly superior to the old CFF engine and will replace it in the next release”.

    Currently though, the new engine is disabled by default and has to be enabled at build time. The code itself is described as a “mature beta”. Google explains that CFF fonts place more of a burden for working out the display trade-offs on the rasterizer, more so than TrueType, and the new Adobe CFF engine for FreeType brings a higher quality engine to the open source font renderer, which is better able to make the appropriate trade-offs for a wider range of displays.

  • Open Ballot: Would you pay for Linux?

    Depending on how you pay for it, you’ll probably have to part with at least fifty quid for Windows 8, and double (or more) for OS X, and they come with almost no software compared to the average Linux distribution. Yet almost all Linux distributions are free as in zero-cost.

  • Desktop

    • Is the Linux desktop becoming extinct?

      After a decade of looking for the “year of the Linux desktop”, many Linux columnists have given up. Some say it isn’t coming, while others claim that Linux has simply failed on the desktop.

    • Dell’s Linux laptop has good hardware, decent toolkit

      Plenty of specialized companies out there sell PCs with Linux, but Dell is one of the very few mainstream contenders to have done so over the years. After some spotty initial offerings, it’s taken a different approach with its latest Linux PC. Rather than try to sell Linux hardware to the masses, which the company has said typically requires support, it’s focusing instead on developers, a savvy group that tends to need less help.

    • Low Cost Chromebooks Appeal to Linux Users Not Interested in Chrome OS

      Although many people think of them as older participants in the portable computing market, the fact is that Chromebooks based on Google’s Chrome OS first went on sale in June of 2011–not long ago. In a recent post on the state of Chromebooks, I noted that prices in the $200 range for Chromebooks like the Acer system shown here are attracting users, but also noted that market share numbers are not showing these system making a big splash.

    • Chromebook: To Hell With the Linux Desktop–Pre-Installation is Key.

      When you get right down to it, nobody cares about Operating Systems. Nobody wants to install an Operating System, with minor exceptions including your average ‘Gear Head’ (me) who likes to get grease under his finger nails and tinker with all manner of different technologies. I am in the minority.

      So, when you walk by that Chromebook at Best Buy, realize that it’s in the brick and mortar setting because it comes pre-installed. That is a must for any operating system to become wildly popular. You can’t succeed otherwise. It doesn’t matter which GUI you like. Not pre-installed? You are losing in the bigger game played by Microsoft and Apple.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • XFS In Linux 3.10 To Put On Extra Protection

      The XFS file-system with the forthcoming Linux 3.10 kernel will have an experimental feature for CRC protection of meta-data.

      The XFS file-system pull request for the Linux 3.10 merge window was submitted on Thursday to the kernel mailing list.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Metaphors behind icons – which are really useful?

      Every function should have at least four good alternatives. This is where you come into play. Please help us to improve the study with your ideas for alternative metaphors. These can be quite diverse and from different contexts. So every input is appreciated.

      Once we have found sufficient metaphors for each of these functions we need to create icons to these metaphors that fit in one icon set. And at this point we need your assistance again since we are not designers but usability experts. Icons should be redesigned to not have any biases because of the color, style, etc. It does not need to have a really fancy design with 3D effects or the like. But the layout must not influence users decision which one to choose in the upcoming test.

    • Compositing and “lightweight” desktops

      In the general discussion about “lightweight” desktop environments I have read a few times that one should disable Compositing in KWin. That’s done in Kubuntu’s low-fat settings package and also something Jos talked about in the context of Klyde.

      I have never seen an explanation on why Compositing should matter at all. It mostly boils down to “OpenGL is evil” and “I don’t want 3D”. So let’s leave the “educated guesses” behind us and have a proper look to the question whether Compositing matters for “lightweight”. (Remember: lightweight is a buzz-word without any meaning.)

    • Light weight KlyDE gives Xfce, Gnome some heavy weight competition

      KDE community offers one of the the most advanced desktop environments around, Plasma Desktop. But it is not limited to the desktops, KDE has developed technologies for every class of devices, whether it’s PCs, netbooks or tablets. The community develops software packages which are cross platform and are used on different platforms – some of the most notable KDE applications include Calligra suite, DigiKam, K3b and much more.

      I run KDE Plasma Workspaces on all my devices – Plasma Desktop on my PCs, Plasma Netbook on my, as obvious, netbooks and laptops and Plasma Active on my Nexus 7. The reason I chose Plasma over others is the features and functionality it offers which are missing from every other desktop environments.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE, A Community Made of Momentum – Aaron Seigo

        We just launched KDE Sutra, a KDE magazine by Muktware, to celebrate our 3rd anniversary. Aaron Seigo, the Plasma project leader, has written the introductory column for the magazine launch. Here I present to you Aaron Seigo! — Swapnil Bhartiya (editor KDE Sutra).

        KDE is a community with over fifteen years of history during which time it has consistently produced one of the premiere Free software desktops. It is one thing to make a new software project sound and look exciting; it is another to maintain interest and excitement across fifteen years. It is one thing to gather a group of developers to scratch a collective itch; it is another to evolve that into a thriving community encompassing thousands of participants and dozens of companies with a healthy and vibrant culture while managing generational turnover.

        Yet all of those efforts pale in comparison to keeping the technology itself relevant for that long. Who uses computers, how they use them, what computers look like and their capabilities shift from year to year, let alone decade to decade.

      • new release

        Hi everybody, after over a year of silence, I have something new to announce: I will make a new release available of the KDE SC on Windows tomorrow. There have been several problems in the past year that spoiled new release attempts, beginning with a build server leaving together with Nokia and ending with our web server which hosts the original binary releases. But these problems have been solved and so there we are. I hope this will make it also more obvious that KDE on Windows isn’t dead yet ;-).

      • Tokamak 6: A Plasma Workspaces 2 Milestone

        Members from the Plasma team assemble a couple times each year to get some face time with each other. This is good both for team building and for making large strides forward in the technology we maintain and work on. When we get together on our own, rather than as part of a bigger event, we call the events “Tokamaks”. We held the sixth such meeting last week in Nürnberg, Germany where we were hosted by SUSE with additional support coming from KDE e.V.

      • Fast, Mobile, Accessible-Akademy 2013 Sessions
      • Krita Support Services Now Available

        KO GmbH announces extensive support services for Krita, the award-winning graphics application. Krita is an advanced paint application with a complete set of professional paint tools that can handle extremely large images effortlessly. It is particularly well-suited for special effects work in the movie industry.

      • Plasma Pow-wow Produces Detailed Plans for Workspace Convergence
    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Starting Development Of GNOME Shell, Mutter 3.10

        With the first GNOME 3.10 development release due this week, the first GNOME 3.10 development snapshots (v3.9.1) of the GNOME Shell desktop and Mutter compositing window manager were checked in.

        GNOME 3.10 is tentatively set to be released on 25 September while this is the first development release due this week (GNOME 3.9.1). With just a little more than one month since the GNOME 3.8.0 release, there isn’t too much to look at for the 3.9.1 packages.

      • Multi-part items in Smoothie
      • Review: GNOME 3 Application Development: Beginner’s Guide

        The folk at Packt Publishing sent me an e-copy of GNOME 3 Application Development Beginners Guide a month or so ago.

        I’ve been putting off this review because I don’t think this is an very good book and it’s hard to write bad reviews.

  • Distributions

    • The great package format debate: why there’s no need for distributions to use the same package format
    • Poll: Which distros would you save?

      One of the comments that is quite often made on Reddit and in other Linux forums is that there are a lot of distributions that are just re-spins of Ubuntu, Fedora, openSUSE etc.

      Diversity is great and it is good that people put the effort in to creating a distribution.

    • Pardus 2013 Review – The mighty have fallen

      A Turkish distro that’s been on hiatus for a couple of years, is this latest version a long awaited sequel, or a disappointing reboot?

    • Distro Super Test – Raspberry Pi Edition

      We pit six Raspberry Pi operating systems against one another to find out which one is the king of the tiny computer distros

    • May 2013 Issue of Linux Journal: Raspberry Pi
    • Arch Linux on Raspberry Pi Running XFCE [Version 2]
    • Gparted 0.16.1 Fixes Another Critical Bug, Users Advised to Update ASAP

      GParted, a partitioning utility for creating, reorganizing, and deleting disk partitions with the help of tools that allow managing filesystems, is now at version 0.16.1.

    • SythOS – An experimental collaborative OS

      A rather long time ago (around a year and a half), I wrote a post about a system I was making which was supposed to be a cloud-based OS, named CosmOS. I didn’t really develop it that much, as I had a rather vague sense of what I wanted to do with it, and I immediately had problems with implementing the most basic concepts. Most of the idea was actually quite boring, and had already been developed by others. But since I had gone through all the trouble of making a tool for creating it (relinux), I decided to try it anyways, and just radically changed the whole design. And I did. I also found that I couldn’t have used the same name, as CosmOS was already the name of at least two different OS’s, and it was also the name of a directory of linux OSs (among other unrelated usages), so I kind of got that I had to change the name.

    • New Releases

      • Router Linux OpenWRT 12.09 released

        The OpenWRT team has released version 12.09 (code name: Attitude Adjustment) of the Linux distribution for routers. As was the case in the beta version, Attitude Adjustment no longer supports Linux kernel 2.4. This affects older router models with just 16MB memory and slow CPUs (200MHz), such as Linksys WRT54G models. Attitude Adjustment does now run on Ramips routers and the mini-computer Raspberry Pi (bcm2708), however.

      • Clonezilla 2.1.1-23
      • Red Flag 8.0
      • SparkyLinux 2.1.1 MATE Edition is out

        It’s available new iso images of SparkyLinux 2.1.1 “Eris” MATE Edition.

        On the beginning of April, the MATE team published new version of MATE environment 1.6.
        SparkyLinux 2.1 MATE Edition features MATE 1.4. It can be a little difficult to make clear upgrade of MATE, so I decided to make new iso images, which provide full system updates.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia 3 Delayed Again a Bit

        Fedo..uh, I mean, Mageia chairman, Anne Nicholas, today announced the final release date for Mageia 3 – again. Nicholas said they didn’t want to say they’d release when ready for fear they’d sound a lot like Debian. Yet Mageia 3′s release schedule is starting to look a whole lot like Fedora 18′s.

    • Gentoo Family

      • Gentoo Team Isolates Udev from Systemd (eudev)
      • Calculate Linux 13.4 released

        As ever, you are welcome to choose between Calculate Linux Desktop featuring either KDE (CLD), GNOME (CLDG) or XFCE (CLDX), Calculate Directory Server (CDS) for server solutions, Calculate Media Center (CMC) should you need any and, last but not least, scratch versions for those preferring minimal installations: Calculate Linux Scratch (CLS) and Calculate Scratch Server (CSS).

    • Slackware Family

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Debian developers set to party

        Twenty cities around the globe, ranging from Bangalore in India to New York in the USA, will be hosting parties this weekend. More are expected to announce they are joining in as the week progresses.

      • Debian 7.0 Wheezy: Hands on with a pre-release build

        The next release of Debian GNU/Linux, 7.0 or “Wheezy”, is less than a week away now — so I decided to take one last look at a pre-release build.

        My intention was to see how it looks and works in general, how it gets on with installation on various systems of mine, and whether and how it is working with GPT partitioning, UEFI BIOS, and Secure Boot.

        For this test, I downloaded the netinst image of the daily build on Saturday, 27 April. There are a lot of ISO images to choose from when downloading Debian; I generally take the net installer image because it is the smallest download and it gives me the most flexibility when installing.

      • Derivatives

        • Lightweight Debian: LXDE Desktop From Scratch

          In my neck of the woods the Internet doesn’t get any faster, and my six year old dual-core AMD computer still holds up nicely. I don’t like Gnome 3 and I don’t care about Ubuntu’s run everywhere there is lots of memory vision. Linux is all about choice, and I do have plenty of them.

          In this article I’ll take a look at Debian. Debian is one of the oldest distributions still in active development. It is a popular distribution for personal use among software developers, it is also the most popular Linux web server platform. Debian has a great community and the amount of software packaged far exceeds any other Linux disto out there.

        • First alpha release of Debian Edu / Skolelinux based on Debian Wheezy

          The Debian Edu / Skolelinux project is still going strong and made its first Wheezy based release today. This is the release announcement:

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 314
          • 13 Reasons to Deploy With Ubuntu Server

            Sometimes people ask me why they should use Ubuntu Server. It’s an understandable question, after all, Ubuntu gets a bunch of attention on the desktop (and more recently mobile), but people tend to forget that Ubuntu is an excellent server distribution, quietly humming along helping to run some of the world’s coolest companies at scale.

          • 13 Reasons to Deploy With Ubuntu Server (Part 3)
          • Ubuntu 13.04 Review – Spot the difference

            It’s that time again for a new Ubuntu – should you be raring to go with it, or is it a case of more of the same?

          • Weather & Clock app visual exploration
          • 10 Necessary Applications For Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail

            Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail was released a few days ago. It comes with many pre-installed applications for several purposes. However, these applications won’t be enough for some users to be able to effectively use Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail. So, here’s a list of recommended applications for Ubuntu 13.04.

          • Unity Desktop Smart Scopes Delayed Temporarily

            The Ubuntu Team originally approved some final modifications for the 13.04 release. After getting us all excited about the massive number of new Smart Scopes, the original approval was then retracted. Either way, I felt the need to inform everyone about the upcoming changes. Though unfortunately we must wait for 6 months for the Ubuntu 13.10 release.

          • Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail – Remarkably unremarkable

            Or maybe it should read the other way around, unremarkably remarkable. Which one is it? Well, I don’t know, take a look and judge for yourself. Now, the mandatory two paragraphs of introduction. For me, Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal was a fairly big flop. And it was nothing short of a disaster on my high-endish machine, where the Nvidia graphics stack was bonkered.

          • Install Tomorrow’s Technologies in Today’s Ubuntu 13.04

            Ubuntu 13.04 (Raring Ringtail) is now out, but it has been release without an important update for Unity, which didn’t made the cut before the launch day.

            The biggest feature of Ubuntu 13.04 (Raring Ringtail) should have been the Smart Scopes, a collection of scopes for Unity (like the existing Music, Video, and so on). The developers have decided that this feature is not ready, and Ubuntu 13.04 has been skipped.

          • Shuttleworth: Ubuntu Cloud & Mobile Equally Important; Android Alternative Needed

            What’s more important: Ubuntu’s success in cloud computing or on mobile devices? The answer is both, according to Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth. During a quick conversation with The VAR Guy at the recent OpenStack Summit, Shuttleworth said Ubuntu — a popular Linux distribution for PCs — must succeed both in the cloud and mobile worlds because they are the two biggest IT waves empowering customers today. Plus, he added, the world wants a Google Android alternative.

          • People behind ubuntu quality: Carla

            Carla hails from Italy and enjoys being the guinea pig for new ideas and kickstarting new projects and efforts on the team. She’s been a wonderful contributor to our ubuntu autopilot tests project, happily helping lead the charge towards automating our favorite desktop applications.

          • Ubuntu 13.10 Release Schedule

            Now that we know the codename of the next major release of the Ubuntu operating system, and that the development cycle will start tomorrow, May 2, we are happy to announce that the release schedule has also been published, as a draft, on the Ubuntu Wiki.

          • Ten New Kernel Vulnerabilities Affect Ubuntu 12.10
          • Ubuntu 13.04: The Linux desktop for everyone (gallery)

            Ubuntu 13.04: The Linux desktop for everyone (gallery)

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • A Drooling Attack Over the BeagleBone Black

      “I think we can all appreciate what products like the BeagleBone and Raspberry Pi can do for today’s youth,” said blogger Robin Lim. “Understanding how something works is important. These single board computers can even be the basis for some really creative school and commercial grade projects, which go beyond plugging them to a keyboard and monitor.”

    • Man wants Raspberry Pi as drone detector

      A US engineer is trying to sell the idea of an open source drone detection system built out of shedloads of Raspberry Pi kits.

      The Drone Shield, which is designed by John Franklin, will cost around $60 to $70 to set up. It will combine a, a signal processor, a microphone, and analysis software to scan for specific audio signatures and compare them against what known drones sound like.

    • Raspberry Pi Case by SB Components Review

      When the Raspberry Pi first came out, the board-only design got a lot of people desiring a case to go with it. Since then, a few companies and Kickstarters have popped up to supply cases to those that want them. With many different designs on the market, it’s hard to know what to go for, and mainly comes down to how you plan to use the case. SB Components have created a simple case that is suitable for many uses, at a price that reflects the Raspberry Pi itself.

    • The Little Black Box Open Source XBMC Media Centre Unveiled (video)

      A new open source XBMC Media Centre player has been unveiled this week in the form of the new The Little Black Box, which has been designed to specifically run XBMC.

    • ARM Mini-ITX SBC gets serious about serial
    • NFC-ready cashless payment device moves up to Linux

      USA Technologies (USAT) announced a cashless payment device equipped with near field communications (NFC), a magnetic card reader, and support for a variety of contactless payment standards, including Mifare. The ePort G10 runs embedded Linux on an ARM9 processor, and offers an LCD screen plus serial, USB, and Ethernet connectivity.

    • Phones

      • Rare National Smartphone Market Data via Mary Meeker – Analyzed further and reported also Per Capita + Bonus! Estimate of regional smartphone new sales market sizes for 2013

        Note, as the market is expected to be very near exactly 1 Billion new smartphones sold this year, you can take those numbers and convert multiply the percentages by 10 to get the number sold. So for China, 27% means 270 million smartphones this year as the Chinese market size, and for North America 13% means 130 million smartphones sold etc. Yes, China alone this year will see approximately twice as many new smartphones sold as in all of North America. And Asia accounts for almost exactly half of all new smartphones sold this year, led by China, but including the rich parts of Asia like Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong etc, and then the Emerging World parts of the ‘Rest of Asia’ ie India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines etc etc etc. Half of all smartphones sold this year will go to Asia.


        (This are based on 2012 numbers, expecting the ratio to be very similar this year, with the exception of if there is a major economic collapse that suddenly kills sales).

      • Android

Free Software/Open Source

  • Mapping the Apache Software Foundation
  • Open source potential in capital markets

    We’ve built a full market risk analytics platform for capital markets—with all the bells and whistles you’d expect, such as a declarative calculation engine, a flashy HTML5 GUI, and a comprehensive analytics library—and we’ve released it under the Apache 2.0 License. And, our key customers and users at the moment are some of the world’s most secretive technologists: hedge fund managers. To an outsider, this may look like a curious combination.

  • A change in the open source software market

    Last week North Bridge Venture Partners and Black Duck Software released the 7th Annual Future of Open Source survey. Previous years’ surveys have generated interest industry-wide, with implications that cross industries and ecosystems.

  • Why Open Source Software is Like Burning Man
  • Events

    • Linux Fest Northwest reprise

      Whew. That drive from Felton-to-Bellingham-and-back gets longer and longer. But it goes without saying, of course that it’s well worth it. The 14th annual Linux Fest Northwest was a success and while they take a break before getting ready for next year’s event — April 26-27, 2014, at Bellingham Technical College — I’m going to make my reservation at the Hampton Inn right now so I don’t forget.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox prefetching: what you need to know

        The basic idea behind prefetching is to speed things up for the user. An algorithm is involved that guesses which resources are likely to be accessed by the user in the recent future.Think of Facebook’s login page for instance. The most reasonable assumption is that the user will enter the username and password, and then click on the login link. If you prefetch some of the information you may speed things up for the user in the progress if a prefetched resource is indeed accessed.

      • Fake Firefox Spyware Riles Mozilla

        Samples of FinSpy, part of the FinFisher surveillance software suite sold by Gamma International UK Ltd to government organizations, have been found disguised as Mozilla’s Firefox browser, according to a report published Tuesday.

        The report, written by academic research group Citizen Lab, documents the spread of offensive computer network intrusion capabilites — hacking tools — marketed by Western companies.

      • Sued Opera designer fingers Mozilla’s ‘Search Tabs’ as root of $3.4M claim

        The former Opera Software designer accused of leaking trade secrets to Mozilla denied the charges yesterday, but confirmed that the lawsuit takes aim at a search revamp he worked on while a consultant for the maker of Firefox.

      • Firefox OS developer phones ship… sell out

        Spanish online phone seller and Telefonica partner Geeksphone announced the availability of the first two developer phones running Mozilla’s Linux-based Firefox OS distribution. The $194 Peak smartphone offers a dual-core, 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor and a 4.3-inch IPS display, with 8- and 2-megapixel cameras, while the $119 Keon has a 1GHz Snapdragon S1, a 3.5-inch HVGA display, and a 3-megapixel camera.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • There is no reason at all to use MySQL: MariaDB, MySQL founder Michael Widenius

      Swapnil: MySQL became the default database of a majority of projects and companies around the globe, what made MySQL so popular – what characteristics did it have? Was it it’s open source nature, technological superiority or marketing by Sun?
      Monty: MySQL was widely popular long before MySQL was bought by Sun. (This was one of the main reasons why Sun wanted to buy MySQL).

    • From GNOME Linux Desktop to OpenStack Cloud [VIDEO]

      The open source OpenStack cloud platform is being built by a diverse and large group of vendors and developers. Among those vendors is Linux leader Red Hat, a company that is no stranger to being part of a multi-stakeholder open source effort, like the GNOME Linux desktop, for example.

      Helping to lead Red Hat’s OpenStack efforts is Senior Principal Software Engineer, Mark McLoughlin. McLoughlin isn’t just a leader at Red Hat, he was also the leading contributor by code commits to the recent OpenStack Grizzly release. In an exclusive video interview with Datamation (see below), McLoughlin explains how his years of experience in the GNOME desktop community prepared him and Red Hat to help OpenStack to succeed.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice


      Between January 15th & April 27th 3,002 bugs were reported – I’m serious, no lie, over 3,000 bugs reported! Thanks (partly sarcastic?) to our fantastic users for reporting problems when you find them. This period covers 103 days (so about 29 bugs per day reported). Just maintaining our unconfirmed count would have been a tremendous success…..but, WE DID BETTER!

  • Education

  • Business

  • BSD


    • GnuCash 2.4.13 released

      The GnuCash development team proudly announces GnuCash 2.4.13, another bug fix release in a series of stable of the GnuCash Free Accounting Software. With this release series, GnuCash can use an SQL database using SQLite3, MySQL or PostgreSQL. It runs on GNU/Linux, *BSD, Solaris, Microsoft Windows and Mac OSX.

    • Why Do It? The Motivations Behind Free Software

      I have been developing free software for a long time, originally as an independent freeware author in Windows (oh the stories I could tell you there) and more recently in Linux. Why do it? And what are the values and principles that are most functional when working for free? I thought I would take some time out to share the strategies I have developed over the years that make this work.

    • Stallman speaks in Copenhagen

      This week the founder of the GNU project and the Free Software Foundation, Richard Stallman (RMS) gave two presentations at the Technical University of Denmark. The events were organized by KLID.

      On Wednesday the topic was Copyright vs. Community. Discussing the history of copyright, how it is being extended and (mis)used, and how Richard Stallman proposes to reform copyright.

  • Project Releases

    • Open Build Service version 2.4 released

      After one whole year of hard work, toil, tears and sweat from all our awesome contributors the latest release of the Open Build Service(OBS) is ready for you. Version 2.4 adds support for yet another package format, secure boot signing and appstream app stores. It also brings a constraint system to better match build hardware to build jobs and includes a lot of speed improvements. OBS 2.4 is the latest, greatest and rock solid release that is already used by our reference server since January. We strongly recommended to update to this version.

  • Public Services/Government

    • UK government: ‘Open source drives commoditisation of IT’

      Using open source software solutions helps public administrations to regain their power as customers, says Tariq Rashid of the IT Reform group at the UK Cabinet. It helps them to move from expensive unique IT to the commodity competing end of the market.

    • Open Source by default?

      “Over the last ten years, Open Source has become unremarkable. I think that’s a great achievement. We no longer argue about whether it’s secure or not, or whether it’s safe to use. We focus now on how best to use Open Source to get the best value for every tax dollar,” said Gunnar Hellekson, Chief Technology Strategist for Red Hat’s US Public Sector Group.


  • Digg working on a Google Reader replacement

    75% of the 8600 respondents share news via email, compared to 55% who share stories via Facebook or Twitter.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Why We Must Protect Next Year’s Boston Marathon from Ourselves

      I in no way doubt that next year will be a celebration of the city’s stouthearted fortitude. I have no doubt that people will arrive in droves to witness “the spirit of freedom prevail.” But I do think we need to separate the bravery of those who will gather in 2014, and what the security imperatives will undoubtedly be. We need to critically examine what’s proposed and, if necessary, raise our voices in protest.


      building movements now against the militarization of the police force.

    • 2 women hurt during L.A. manhunt to receive $4.2M
    • Cutting the Military Budget Is a Problem…for the Left?

      The point is that shifting spending from the military to other types of government spending would be more broadly beneficial to the economy. It’s hard to imagine many people on the left who wouldn’t support this. So why is it portrayed as a “quandary”?

    • McCormick Con Exposed the Truth about Iraq

      But McCormick was just small beer. He was the unauthorised con. The authorised con involved more money by a factor of twenty million; it was a multi trillion dollar con involving entirely fake and planted evidence as a justification for a war in which millions were killed or maimed, the infrastructure of a modern country bombed back to the Middle Ages, and vast personal fortunes made in the arms, mercenary, military support, banking and oil industries.

  • Cablegate

    • Prenda Law: EFF has “the same goals” as “terrorist group Wikileaks”

      Prenda Law’s litigation campaign against people allegedly sharing obscure pornographic films on BitTorrent hasn’t been going well. A growing number of judges has taken notice of accusations that Prenda stole the identity of a Minnesota man named Alan Cooper and named him CEO of the litigious shell company AF Holdings. Prenda’s lawyers have invoked the Fifth Amendment to avoid answering potentially incriminating questions about how Cooper’s signature wound up on AF Holdings legal documents.

  • Finance

    • The Rich Have Gained $5.6 Trillion in the ‘Recovery,’ While the Rest of Us Have Lost $669 Billion

      Oh, are we getting ripped off. And now we’ve got the data to prove it. From 2009 to 2011, the richest 8 million families (the top 7%) on average saw their wealth rise from $1.7 million to $2.5 million each. Meanwhile the rest of us — the bottom 93% (that’s 111 million families) — suffered on average a decline of $6,000 each.

    • Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley Set Foreclosure Accord Payments

      The two New York-based banks will pay $247 million to almost 224,000 borrowers, the Fed said today in a statement. The checks — meant to compensate borrowers who may have been mistreated in foreclosures during 2009 and 2010 that relied on improper documentation or faulty procedures — range from $300 to $125,000, depending on the how much harm may have been done.

    • Credit Suisse Sues Ex-Vice President Who Left for Goldman

      Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) sued its former vice president of emerging markets, Agostina Pechi, claiming she stole the bank’s trade secrets in a bid to win clients for her new employer, Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS).

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Don’t Quote Me by Name, But My Friends the Koch Brothers Respect the Hell Out of Press Freedom

      interesting piece (4/21/13) about the libertarian-right Koch brothers’ interest in buying the Tribune Company. Why would profit-seeking businessmen want to buy money-losing newspapers? Chozick reports that “the papers could serve as a broader platform for the Kochs’ laissez-faire ideas.”

    • FAIR TV: Syria Sarin Skepticism, Tom Friedman’s Sick Madness, Darkening the Tsarnaevs

      The Week magazine turned the Caucasian Tsarnaev brothers into non-whites.

    • The Sick Madness of Tom Friedman’s Culture

      It is worth asking questions about how different communities or societies react to violence. After the 9/11 attacks, the United States bombed and occupied Afghanistan, based on the argument that the government of that country had tolerated the presence of Al-Qaeda and thus must bear the retribution. As a result, many thousands of people who had nothing to do with terrorism were killed.

      Or on to the invasion of Iraq, which was sold as part of a “Global War on Terror” following the 9/11 attacks as well, even though there was never a connection between Iraq and the terrorist attacks. So why did the United States invade Iraq? Tom Friedman explained it to Charlie Rose on May 30, 2003.

      To Friedman, there was a “terrorist bubble” in that part of the world, and “we needed to go over there and take out a very big stick…and there was only one way to do it.”

    • Texas Fertilizer Plant Disaster: Little Coverage, Much of It Wrong

      The West Fertilizer Co. explosion last week in West, Texas, took the lives of at least 14 and left scores injured and homeless. But the story was largely obscured by blanket coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing. More than that, says legendary EPA whistleblower Hugh Kaufman, a guest on this week’s CounterSpin, what coverage there was often obscured the real story. Here’s a transcript of Kaufman’s appearance:

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Facebook’s Instagram to switch on face tagging
    • Open Letter to ISPs: do not become an arm of state surveillance

      Joint letter sent to BT, Sky, Virgin and TalkTalk by ORG, Privacy International and Big Brother Watch, asking ISPs to stand up for their customers.

    • Open letter to ISPs

      Three privacy groups have written to ISPs to demand that they stand up for their customers and warn them about the Snoopers’ Charter.

    • The CIA and the cloud

      “The Company” is a term that insiders have long used to refer to the CIA…

    • Why I Don’t Give A Rip About CISPA (and why you shouldn’t either)

      A recent, practical example: The Boston bombers

      This story recently came up that Russian intelligence warned the FBI about the Boston bombers. And yet, if you read the text, there’s disagreeing comments from government employees at all levels: “Yes they did.” “No they didn’t.” “I saw that but I thought it was that other guy’s job.” Even more mind–blowing, is the headline Boston Bombing Suspect’s Name Was in US Terrorism Databases!

      What if CISPA had been in place? It probably wouldn’t have helped much. Another stack of papers would have gotten shuffled around without getting read. Maybe it would have put the right dot on the right map. If it had, doubtless three other things that demanded attention would have been ignored instead.

      Call it “Penguin Pete’s Law of Surveillance”: It doesn’t matter how much data you collect. What matters is having the eyeballs to read that data.

  • Civil Rights

    • Have You Ever Tried to Force-Feed a Captured Human?

      U.S. Naval medics are forcing tubes down the noses of detainees at Guantánamo Bay in order to feed them against their will. The U.N. has said this violates international law. When does “suicide prevention” become torture?

    • British Embassy Promotes Despotism in Bahrain

      Apparently the Embassy commissioned these essays from Bahrainians to mark the occasion. Extraordinarily, they have published two essays from pro-despotism propagandists. If they had published two balancing essays from the majority community, I would have viewed the inclusion of the fascist views as wrongheaded but defensible. As it is, this is an appalling disgrace to the foreign office.

      Here are some genuine press stories the Embassy might have noted, but didn’t:

      Bahrain doctors jailed for treating injured protesters

      Teenager Killed in Bahrain on Protest Anniversary

      Bahrain Protest Crushed By Security Forces

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Doctors Call Out Novartis For Insane Pricing On Cancer Drug

      Novartis has been in the news lately for the lawsuit filed against it by the US government for kickbacks it allegedly gave to doctors for prescribing certain drugs. As we noted about that case, it should be no surprise that this sort of activity happens, given that the incentive structure we’ve created with patents is so extreme. Here’s one example of at least some principled doctors striking back against Novatis. Over 120 cancer researchers and doctors have published a paper calling out Novartis specifically for its pricing on the cancer drug Gleevec (marketed as Glivec outside the US). The doctors point out that it can cost over $100,000 per year for Gleevec currently. And, Novartis has been continually jacking up the price. There had been concern when the drug was first introduced a decade ago, that it was priced way too high at $30,000, leading the company’s then CEO, Daniel Vasella, to acknowledge the complaints, but to argue that it was “a fair price.” Well, now the company is pricing the drug at more than three times what it thought was a fair price, and it should be no surprise that people think this is outrageous profiteering by abusing a government granted monopoly to charge way more than any fair market price would allow.


Links 3/5/2013: Ubuntu 13.04 Release, Jolla Has New Management, News Catchup

Posted in News Roundup at 10:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Windows 8 vs Mac OS X vs Ubuntu Linux vs Chrome OS
  • The Linux Setup – Katherine Noyes, Journalist

    I currently run Fuduntu Linux on my main desktop PC. Until just recently I dual-booted Ubuntu and Windows 7, but I finally wiped Windows (hadn’t actually needed it for a long time) and installed Fuduntu, which came really highly recommended. I’m loving it so far. Meanwhile I also have a Samsung Chromebook and an Android phone. We have a bunch of other laptops in my family, but my 12-year-old son is constantly installing new distros on them (he got the Linux Diversity collection for Christmas), so I couldn’t tell you what’s on them at the moment. ;)

  • Will there ever be a perfect operating system?
  • Linux saved my life

    A couple of years into my IT studies and I came across Ubuntu 6, tried it and immediately got hooked. I tried many flavours of Linux and at some stage sported over 10 partitions on my laptop but finally settled back to Ubuntu Linux.

  • High Court organizes ‘’Ubuntu Linux Awareness cum Training Programme under Change Management” for Judicial Officers

    On the instructions of e-court committee Supreme Court of India and the Chief Justice, Mr. M. M Kumar and Mr. Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir, Judge Incharge e-Court Committee, High Court of Jammu & Kashmir, the continued training on “Ubuntu Linux Awareness Cum Training Programme under Change Management” for the Judicial Officers of Jammu and Samba districts was held on April 28, 2013 at J&K State Judicial Academy,

  • The Linux Setup – John Browning, Engadget

    John Browning. I’m a systems programmer/engineer for a privately held software company that makes statistical software. I also contribute to Engadget.com in my spare time. At my day job I manage high performance clusters/grids running RedHat Enterprise Linux. I’m responsible for creating a lot of tooling and automation, mostly in Perl. I get to invent cool new ways of doing stuff. I’ve been playing with Conary as of late. I’ve been using Linux since I was a tween.

  • Linux? What’s That?? — Soon No more

    Today, my mother showed me an article she read in a local newspaper. It was about Linux, free software, and how students from a private university (probably the biggest private university here) were using FLOSS.

    The article mentioned the benefits of FLOSS in educational contexts and how those students were using GIMP, LibreOffice, and Linux, of course.

  • Server

    • Linux on mainframes used more widely than you might think

      Linux tends to be associated with x86 hardware in a business context, but some well-known companies are running it on mainframes.

      “All of the large banks are using it [Linux on IBM System z], but don’t want to talk about it,” CA Technologies distinguished engineer Scott Fagen told iTWire.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Leaving out Linux

      I’ve often criticized Canonical and Ubuntu. In fact, I’ve criticized them often enough that some people are convinced that I have a grudge against them. But there’s one point on which I’ll defend them: their decision to minimize the use of the word “Linux” on their website and in other public communications.

      This policy is not new, but it is periodically rediscovered by various members of the free and open source software (FOSS) community. It rarely fails to provoke outrage. Is Ubuntu pretending it isn’t dependent on Debian and several dozen other upstream projects? The rediscovers ask. Is Canonical trying to claim credit for all the work of others that goes into Ubuntu?

    • Jim Zemlin at TEDx: What We’ve Learned from Linus Torvalds

      Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin is likely one of a handful of people in the world who has had a front row seat to the largest collaborative development effort in the history of computing, Linux. He understands that speed of innovation and quality of software development is dictated by forward thinkers who are working in collaboration.

      That is why he was recently invited to speak at TEDx about what the technology industry has learned from Linux, and specifically its creator Linus Torvalds, and how some of those lessons can be applied to a variety of efforts and projects across geographies and disciplines.

    • The Good & Bad Of Btrfs In A Production World

      A web hosting company has publicly shared their thoughts on the Btrfs file-system for Linux. While often discussed as the next-generation Linux file-system, Btrfs isn’t fully baked for use in a production world quite yet.

      Anchor, an Australian web-hosting company, shared their findings after doing extensive research and testing of Btrfs. Overall, the Btrfs experience was “very positive” but they ran into regular issues with hung tasks during snapshotting, a bug causing CPU soft lock-ups, problems when filling up a Btrfs file-system, and some other shortcomings.

    • Automotive Grade Linux

      The Automotive Grade Linux workgroup aims to get more open source technology in vehicles

    • Boosting Linux Power Efficiency with Kernel Scheduler Updates

      From data centers to embedded sensors, energy use is one of the toughest issues facing computing. The Linux kernel community has already made great progress in boosting energy efficiency, but there’s still more work to be done to optimize Linux systems, with one area of focus on power-aware scheduling.

      LWN editor Jon Corbet presented an overview of the issues and potential solutions for improving power management with the kernel scheduler in his Linux kernel weather forecast keynote last week at Collaboration Summit in San Francisco. And breakout session presentations by Preeti Murthy, a software engineer at IBM, and Morten Rasmussen, who works on the power management team at ARM, went into further detail on the kernel changes. All three presentations are available on YouTube and embedded here for your convenience.

    • What’s new in Linux 3.9

      The Linux kernel is finally able to use SSDs as hard-disk cache. Changes to the network subsystem promise to improve the way server jobs are distributed across multiple processor cores. Linux 3.9 also includes drivers for new AMD graphics chips and soon-expected Wi-Fi components from Intel.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Wayland Gets Flavored With Weston SPICE Back-End

        The latest back-end to be published for Wayland’s Weston compositor is for Red Hat’s SPICE.

        This new Weston back-end supports SPICE (Simple Protocol for Independent Computing Environments) remote rendering protocol as used by Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization on the desktop. There’s been a lot of SPICE driver activity as of late with a QXL KMS driver and talk of a potential Gallium3D wrapper driver. This new driver though isn’t out of Red Hat.

      • First X.Org Server 1.15 Snapshot Released

        Keith Packard has announced the release of xorg-server, the first X.Org Server 1.15 development snapshot ahead of the official release in the second half of 2013.

    • Benchmarks

      • Nouveau vs. NVIDIA Linux Comparison Shows Shortcomings

        One week after delivering updated Radeon Gallium3D vs. AMD Catalyst benchmarks on Ubuntu Linux, we have to share this morning similar results for the open-source and reverse-engineered “Nouveau” Linux graphics driver compared to the proprietary NVIDIA Linux graphics driver. While the Nouveau driver has come a long way and does support the latest Fermi and Kepler GPUs, it’s not without its share of shortcomings. Eleven NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards were used in this latest Phoronix comparison.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • News in kdepim 4.11: Scam detection

        So I decided to implement it.
        The phishing used several method that KMail try to detect…

      • The History on Wayland Support inside KWin

        Ever since a certain free software company decided to no longer be part of the larger ecosystem, I have seen lots of strange news postings whenever one of the KDE workspace developers mentioned the word “Wayland”. Very often it goes in the direction of “KDE is now also going on Wayland”. Every time I read something like that, I’m really surprised.

      • Jos Poortvliet talks about KlyDE [Interview]

        KlyDE, a light weight KDE experience was announced recently, there is a lot to know about this new project. We reached out to Jos Poortvliet, openSUSE community manager and one of the core team members of the KlyDE project to understand more about this project. Read on…

      • Plasma Pow-wow Produces Detailed Plans for Workspace Convergence

        Last week, members of the Plasma team met in Nürnberg, Germany to discuss open questions on the road to Plasma Workspaces 2. The meeting was kindly hosted by SUSE and supported by the KDE e.V.. For the Plasma team, the meeting came at a perfect point in time: porting of Plasma to a new graphics has commenced, is in fact well under way, and has raised some questions that are best discussed in a high-bandwidth setting in person.

      • The future of KDE: Wayland, Qt 5, uniform Plasma shell

        The road to Plasma Workspaces 2 has been laid out as the Plasma developers recently met in Nuremberg, Germany, to discuss their open issues around future developments. A new version of the KDE desktop will be based on version 5 of the KDE platform and on Qt 5, writes KDE developer Sebastian Kügler. It will be designed to run on X11 as well as on Wayland. With Wayland, KWin will be used as the compositor.

      • Dear KDE Community!

        Dear KDE Community,

        meet the mailing list where you can now talk about non-technical topics relevant to our community: kde-community. From a debate about our next conference to discussing our collaboration with other organizations and our goals as KDE community, this list is for anything which does not fit on the KDE development lists.

      • Good bye Notifications

        When I arrived at Tokamak 6 last week Alex was studying D-Bus communication between various applications. Before I had a chance to really sit down he complained about KWin talking to kded whenever for example a window got moved. This didn’t make much sense, so we had a look at it.

        As it turned out that was KWin sending out notifications. Which immediately raised the question of why? Why would a user want a notification that he started/finished moving a window? After all it’s an action the user triggered. What should be done with the notification? Show a message? “You successfully moved a window!”, yes thank you I can see that on the screen. Play an annoying sound? Pling! Hopefully not.

        Looking at what KNotify supports only logging to file or running a script make sense in response to the notifications emitted by KWin. But for logging to file it’s rather questionable why one would want that and why one would do that from inside a window manager. So what remains is running a script – fair enough that can be useful.

      • KDE is the most welcoming and warm community, says Krita maintainer Boudewijn Rempt

        KO GmbH, a Germany firm, has announced the commercial support for Krita, one of the commercial-grade sketching application. KO GmbH, the Magdeburg based company, was co-founded by Krita maintainer Boudewijn Rempt. We reached out to Rempt to talk about Krita and the commercial support for Krita. Read on…

      • The apps of KDE 4.10 Part IV: Amarok

        Ready to rock out with KDE’s premier music management application? Let’s rediscover our music with Amarok.

      • Plasma Worskpaces 2 On Wayland, A Converged Shell

        The future of the KDE desktop was planned earlier this month at a developer event held at the SUSE headquarters.

        Already we wrote about the results of KDE, Unity, GNOME, and Razor-Qt developers meeting up at SUSE’s Nürnberg offices. There were also clear statements about KDE support for Wayland. Now over on the KDE web-site is a nice summary of their Plasma planning.

      • KDE Post Install Changes
      • KDE Search and Destroy, I mean Launch
      • rekonq 2.3.0

        Here we are, finally ready for the 2.3.0 release. After the 2.2 one we targeted some things to fix and features to implement. We now are in the “almost done” level, meaning that quite all things have been done and that the code push is (hopefully) release level.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME Music development status

        Now we can browse the albums and their content making it our most complete view. Playback to the albums view and songs view is in development (works but is buggy).

      • GNOME 3.10 Release Schedule

        While many of you, GNOME fans, are still enjoying the newly released GNOME 3.8 desktop environment, the GNOME developers are working hard on the next major version, GNOME 3.10, due for release this Autumn.

        GNOME 3.10 will include many new features, such as automatically updated extensions, focus-caret tracking and color tinting functions for GNOME-Shell, new Maps and Videos apps, as well as Git integration and porting to the Wayland display server.

      • Design Goings On

        The GNOME 3.8 release kept me pretty busy. In the run up to UI freeze I was focusing on tracking bugs, providing guidance and testing. Then it was marketing time, and I was spending all my time writing the release notes as well as some of the website. (Kudos to the marketing team for a great 3.8 release, btw.)

        With 3.8 behind me, I’ve been able to turn back to some good honest design work. I’ve been looking at quite a few aspects of GNOME 3, including Settings and GNOME Shell. However, in this post I am going to focus on some of the application design activities that I have been involved in recently. One of the nice things here is that I have found the opportunity to fill in some gaps and pay some attention to some of the long-lost applications that are in need of design love.

      • LXDE and Calculate Snub GNOME 3

        PCMan has created what looks like a qt fork of PCManFM, and there are some indications there and elsewhere that other LXDE components may be moving in that direction.

  • Distributions

    • List Of Linux Operating System For Ham Radio Operator
    • Linux Stickers at UnixStuff

      Are you a proud Linux user? Do you want to express yourself and show your friends and people around you what is your favourite Linux distribution? You can help the Linux community to grow and enhance your notebook by buying unique Linux-themed stickers and key chains on UnixStuff.net.

    • What Is To Become Of The Little Guy…?

      Our last distro was an Ubuntu 10.04 respin that housed the educational apps and games that make the reglue respin unique. In that support for that LTS is now gone, we’ve had to move on to find another long term solution for Reglue.

      This wasn’t an easy decision to make.

      Reglue is challenged in many areas. Besides the financial struggles we face, there just isn’t a lot of time to spend adding and removing individual apps and games on each computer. Many days, I am the only one working. When those machines hit my workbench, I need a one-stop solution.

      Get it on the bench, get it working, and get it in the Ready Stack. SolusOS is my solution.

      Just to give you a peek behind the curtain, there were some in the organization that balked at my choice. Given the recent turmoil in The Linuxsphere, the question was asked pointedly:

      Is a small developer choice going to last for us?

      It’s an honest question.

    • Have Linux Distros Gotten Too Tubby?
    • Linux Format 171 On Sale Today – 50 Distros Tested!

      Also in the mag we’ve more on the UEFI debacle, a roundup of image editors, an inside look at audio editing with Ardour, Hotpicks and a gaggle/pride/murder of brain-expanding tutorials. Have fun!

    • Linux Distro Picker

      To celebrate the cover feature on the latest Linux Format, we’ve built a web app that helps you find out which Linux distro is right for you. Just enter details of what you’re looking for, and it will pick your perfect distro match.

    • elementary OS 0.2 review – Uphill

      After posting my Pantheon DE review, a lot of people emailed me, telling me that what I did was wrong, namely install this desktop environment from a PPA and run it on top of a Ubuntu desktop. All right then, so what should I have done, I asked politely. They said, test elementary OS, which is a Ubuntu fork all right, with the Pantheon desktop environment on top it. Aha. Same thing? Supposedly not. Go figure.

    • ROSA ABF 2.0

      ROSA is glad to announce version 2.0 of its environment for building and developing open software – ROSA Automatic Build Farm (ABF). The system got more than 100 different improvements which will help developers and maintainers to effectively control the whole life cycle of distributions (from creation of a source code to building ISO images).

    • Livarp – A lightweight Linux Distribution

      Recently I’ve posted an article about the Windows manager and desktop environments that use less resources on Linux and thanks to a comment of Sebastian I’ve discovered Livarp, a lightweight GNU/Linux Distro.

      Livarp is a DEBIAN-based distro that tries to take the best part of available Debian GNU/Linux applications without loosing accessibility or design, special attention was paid to the documentation that in a simple page collects all the most important information you need to know on the available software of this distribution and how to configure it.

    • New Releases

      • SolydXK Added to Distrowatch Database

        Today’s Distrowatch Weekly brought the news that a new distribution has been added to the official Linux database. You know what that means. It’s time to boot ‘er up.

        SolydXK is a Debian-based distribution aiming to easy to use, stable, and secure. Founders believe SolydXK would be suitable for home and small office settings. SolydXK comes in two flavors: SolydX featuring the Xfce desktop and SolydK featuring KDE. SolydXK began life as a variant of Linux Mint Debian with KDE, but later broke away and became its own distro. Its inaugural release came just two weeks ago and was promptly put right smack on this month’s cover of Full Circle Magazine. SolydXK 201304 features Linux 3.2.39, Xorg 1.12.4, GCC 4.7.2, and Firefox 19.0.2.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva Business Server gets new apps and security fixes

        Paris the 15th of April 2013: Mandriva S.A. has released a host of security fixes as well as new addons for its server platform, Mandriva Business Server.

      • First look at PCLinuxOS 2013.04

        The PCLinuxOS distribution was originally based on Mandriva, but has since split off and become an independently developed project. PCLinuxOS is a rolling-release distribution with the dual aim of being both powerful and easy to use. Officially PCLinuxOS ships with the KDE desktop interface, while community editions are available which provide Xfce and LXDE flavoured download images. The latest release of PCLinuxOS, version 2013.04, is significant in that it marks the first time the project has released 64-bit builds of the operating system. The new 64-bit builds are made available alongside the usual 32-bit ISO images. Aside from the new architecture support the latest release carries few new features, focusing mostly on updating existing software. In particular the latest release features the new KDE 4.10 desktop.

    • Gentoo Family

      • The new BeagleBone Black and Gentoo

        Some weeks ago I got an early version of the BeagleBone Black from the people at Beagleboard.org to create the documentation I always create with every device I get.

        Like always i’d like to announce the guide for installing Gentoo in the BeagleBone Black. Have a look at: http://dev.gentoo.org/~armin76/arm/beagleboneblack/install.xml . Feel free to send any corrections my way.

    • Arch Family

      • Manjaro: A Convenient Way To Play With Arch Linux

        The Manjaro Linux distribution describes itself as a “user-friendly” version of the popular Arch Linux platform. Manjaro Linux still follows Arch in a rolling-release manner, but it’s designed to offer greater user-friendliness and accessbility, complete with an easy installation routine.

        Beyond having an easy-to-use GUI installer, Manjaro is available in 32-bit and 64-bit flavors and also comes in spins for Mate, LXDE, KDE, and Xfce. Two weeks ago marked the Manjaro 0.8.5 release and then released last week were the MATE/LXDE/KDE desktop flavors to Manjaro 0.8.5. Being curious about this Arch-based distribution, I fired it up on a test system today.

      • Manjaro 0.8.5 KDE Review: With KDE 4.10.2 and added Steam!

        Within a short span of time, Manjaro seems to have hit the right cord with Linux users. In last 8 months, it had 6 major releases with almost all desktop flavors available in their kitty and currently ranked within top 10 in Distrowatch. For those uninitiated to Manjaro, it is an user-friendly spin of Archlinux with popular desktop environments which just works once you boot up. To me, Manjaro is going the Linux Mint way, to provide highly functional, pre-configured Linux distros to make Linux easy for those who are uninitiated. That they are going in the right track is evidenced by the popularity of the distro within a short span of time. Their first release of Manjaro 0.8.0 XFCE was on 21st August and now their fifth upgrade is out within 8 months!

      • Manjaro 0.8.5

        I’ve written lots of distro reviews over the years, but every once in a while I find a new one that turns out to be a delightful surprise. Manjaro 0.8.5 is definitely one of those. Manjaro is based on Arch Linux, and promises to provide an easy to use distro that is still highly customizable.

        Arch Linux has a reputation for not being as accessible for non-technical users as some other distros, so I’m happy to see Manjaro 0.8.5 change that and offer an alternative that combines the power of Arch with ease of use. Like Arch, Manjaro is a rolling release distro. So once you install it, you won’t need to install another release later on to keep it updated to the latest version.

    • Slackware Family

      • Running Slackware-Current

        Slackware 14 was released 17 months after the previous release and in theory there should have been a massive bump. While a lot happened under the hood, for example the introduction of kmod and gtk+ 3, it just felt like more of the same on the desktop and not really worth the upgrade from 13.37, in particular if you’d already updated your stock kernel before. With a Linux kernel 3.2.29 and KDE 4.8.5 the new release seemed quite modest and middle of the road at the time.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat, Inc. : Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst to Deliver Opening Keynote at Open Business Conference
      • Red Hat’s “Buy” Rating Reaffirmed at TheStreet (RHT)

        Red Hat (NYSE: RHT)‘s stock had its “buy” rating restated by analysts at TheStreet in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday, Stock Ratings Network reports.

        The analysts wrote, “Red Hat (RHT) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a buy with a ratings score of B. The company’s strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.”

      • Fedora

        • Announcing the release of Fedora 19 Alpha!
        • Linux Shorts: Mageia 3, Slackware, and Fedora 19

          Jaroslav Reznik posted late last week that Fedora 19 Alpha would be released tomorrow as rescheduled. Fedora 19 will feature things like MariaDB instead of MySQL, Scratch programming environment, optional Syslinux, systemd cron and chroot services, predictable network device names, new first boot wizard, 3D printing, and more Anaconda UI work. Fedora 19 is expected for release July 2, the next development release is due May 28.

        • Fedora 19 Sneak Peek

          An alpha version of Fedora 19 has been released, so it’s a good time to take a sneak peek at what Fedora 19 will have to offer users. As always you should note that alpha releases like Fedora 19 should be considered for testing purposes and fun only. You should not rely on it as your daily desktop distro.

        • This week in rawhide 2013-04-23 edition
        • Fedora 19 Alpha Version Arrives

          The much awaited Fedora 19 “Schrödinger’s Cat” alpha release has arrived, as announced here. In case you haven’t been following the evolution of this version of Fedora, it’s been through a number of delays due to issues pertaining to the UEFI Secure Boot scheme that has gained notoriety for helping lock many Linux users out of Windows 8 machines. Fedora has been one of only a handful of Linux distros that have been easy for users to put on some Windows 8 machines, due to UEFI workarounds.

    • Debian Family

      • Linux Mint Debian

        I came across a review of Linux Mint Debian Edition recently and decided to try it out. The review is quite comprehensive as to how Mint installs, what it looks like, and the software it comes with, so I’m just going to add a few points of my own.

        Linux Mint Debian Edition is based on “tested snapshots of Debian Testing”, so you get more recent software than Debian Stable, but with a more stable system than Testing. Debian Testing has been frozen for months as the bugs are knocked outgoing towards the new stable version, and even before that it had been pretty stable for many months. No surprise that Debian Mint is also very stable. I don’t know what it will be like when Testing is unfrozen and a cascade of new updates arrives. It would have been more interesting to test it then. Maybe I’ll try it again in a couple of months when Testing really is ahead of Stable.

      • Release date for Wheezy announced

        Neil McGovern, on behalf of the Debian Release Team, announced the target date of the weekend of 4th/5th May for the release of Debian 7.0 “Wheezy”.

      • Debian Project News – April 29th, 2013
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Is This The Coolest Ubuntu PC Ever Built?

            German hardware company Cirrus7 are gearing up to release a new Ubuntu-powered PC.

            The aluminium-cased Cirrus7 Nimbus is tiny, measuring just 22cm x 22cm with a height a smidge over 5cm.

            But since “mini-PCs” aren’t exactly hard to find Cirrus7 have made sure the Nimbus will stand out by making it fanless. From what we can discern the aluminium case is also a passive cooler, able to tame the heat from an Intel Core i7-3770T with a max TDP of 45W.

          • Press Reaction to Ubuntu 13.04 Is a Muted, “Meh” Affair
          • My take on Ubuntu 13.04
          • Ubuntu Drivers
          • The Connected Desktop – With Ubuntu Linux
          • Ubuntu 13.04 Winning Wallpapers Revealed

            Canonical has recently announced the winning wallpapers approved for Ubuntu 13.04. Canonical conducts this contest through Flickr and relies on user submissions. Ubuntu13.04 is scheduled to be released soon on April 25th, but you can get the wallpapers now if you want them.

          • The flavors of Ubuntu from A to Z—or at least from Kubuntu to Xubuntu

            The release of Ubuntu 13.04 is less than a week away, bringing with it some refinements to the Unity interface that users either love or hate. But Ubuntu with Unity is far from the only choice for Linux lovers or those looking to avoid Windows and OS X.

            In addition to the many Linux distributions such as Fedora, Debian, or OpenSuse, there is a thriving open source community maintaining desktop operating systems based on Ubuntu code but with different user interfaces. These often have whimsical names like “Kubuntu” and “Xubuntu.” While you can download the standard version of Ubuntu and apply a different user interface to it, most of these alternative distros are built with a non-Unity interface in mind from the start.

          • Ubuntu 13.04 Review: Linux for the average Joe or Jane

            Hard core Linux fans won’t care for it, but for the average user the new Ubuntu desktop Linux has a lot to offer.

          • Ubuntu 13.04 released: how to upgrade
          • Ubuntu 13.04 Is Out. Should You Upgrade?
          • What’s new in Ubuntu 13.04

            Canonical has released the latest version of Ubuntu, code-named “Raring Ringtail”. The H looks at what is new in the release, which its developers claim is one of the snappiest and most good looking versions of Ubuntu yet, but which otherwise seems rather low on features.

          • Ubuntu 13.04 (Raring Ringtail) review

            Some of the features that were to be included in Ubuntu 13.04 have been shelved in favour of presenting a polished and solid release, with most of the improvements residing behind the scenes. As a result, Raring Ringtail may seem a bit of a disappointment.

          • Ubuntu 13.04 boosts graphics performance to prepare for phones, tablets

            Raring Ringtail for Ubuntu desktops and servers now ready to download.

          • Raving Ringtail: The Mixed Motives of Ubuntu 13.04

            In October 2012, Ubuntu’s founder Mark Shuttleworth, blogged that Ubuntu 13.04 would be developed in private, so that the release would be a “magician’s reveal.”

          • Ubuntu 13.04 arrives, Ubuntu 13.10 named

            The release of Ubuntu 13.04 today sees the latest version of the popular Linux distribution visibly changed little from its predecessors. Canonical has chosen to emphasise the engineering process changes and improvements in quality that came from those changes, such as a more responsive desktop and better visual ambience, in 13.04 and made it clear that any radical changes, like the incorporation of the Mir display server, will happen in October’s release of Ubuntu 13.10.

          • Mark Shuttleworth ‘Chillin’ on Ubuntu 13.04 [VIDEO]

            Mark Shuttleworth made the controversial decision to move Ubuntu Linux to the Unity interface back in 2010. It’s a decision that provoked lots of argument, but with the Ubuntu 13.04 Linux release out this week, Shuttleworth remains confident he is moving in the right direction.

            In an exclusive video interview with Datamation, Shuttleworth reflected on the difficult decisions and transitions he has had to make with Ubuntu Linux. Overall Shuttleworth stressed that he deeply cares about the community and its opinions as Ubuntu Linux continues to evolve.

            The Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail release is set to be officially available on April 25th. The new Linux distribution will continue the evolution of the Unity desktop interface and provide updated applications. Shuttleworth described the release cycle, which pushes out new Ubuntu releases every six months as, ‘performance art’.

          • Canonical says smartphone focus makes Ubuntu 13.04 more efficient

            LINUX DEVELOPER Canonical has said the improvements in resource usage in Ubuntu Linux 13.04 are due to the firm’s ongoing work to adapt the distribution for smartphones and tablets.

            Canonical claims that its latest Ubuntu 13.04 release uses less resources, citing improved boot times, lower memory usage and better power management. Canonical CEO Jane Silber told The INQUIRER that the improvements are due to the firm’s work on bringing Ubuntu to smartphones and tablets.

          • Linux x32 Is Made Easier With Ubuntu 13.04

            While there isn’t yet a release yet of Ubuntu in the Linux x32 ABI flavor, some packages now found in Ubuntu 13.04 make it easier to setup this binary interface that brings some 64-bit advantages to the 32-bit world.

            The Linux x32 implementation is a native 32-bit ABI for Intel/AMD x86_64 systems for software that doesn’t need 64-bit pointers but can benefit from features assumed by 64-bit x86 processors. There’s been mainline Linux kernel support, GDB debugging support, glibc support, and GCC support.

          • Most Highly Recommended Books About Ubuntu Linux

            And back we are with a list of some great books about Linux. Though this time, unlike our earlier post, we’ll be focusing just on Ubuntu.

            Ubuntu, which is the most popular Linux distro around, has been one of the principal reasons that Linux ever took off as a mainstream operating system. Before Ubuntu, Linux was almost inaccessible to the so-called ‘normal user’. And, even though Ubuntu, now, is as easy to use as Windows, or even Mac OS X, underneath those glossy icons and helpful tooltips lays a system that is so powerful only few people manage to understand.

          • Ubuntu 13.04

            Ubuntu 13.04 has been released, so it’s time to take yet another look at Canonical’s popular distro. This time around Ubuntu’s code name is “Raring Ringtail.” It appears to be a reference to the ring-tailed cat. I had no idea what a ring-tail cat is, so of course I googled.

          • Ubuntu Tweak 0.8.4 released

            As you may know, Ubuntu 13.04 is officially release just now! At the same time, Ubuntu Tweak got an update too. This time, it’s Ubuntu Tweak 0.8.4!

            Ubuntu Tweak 0.8.4 is still a maintenance version, the support for Ubuntu 13.04, and fixed some critical bugs. Like this one:

          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 313
          • Get More Out of Ubuntu 13.04 With These Awesome Apps

            You’ve installed Ubuntu 13.04, followed our ’10 Things to Do’ guide, and now you want some top-notch apps to use on it.

          • Ubuntu 13.04 Emerges to Less-Than-Stellar Reviews

            Raring Ringtail, the newest Ubuntu release, is landing with a thud, based on early reviews. It might have some appeal for businesses, though. “In essence, they’re aiming for a more predictable experience, and I think that could make this a potentially interesting offer for businesses that want to get out from underneath the cost and upgrade cycle of Windows,” said tech analyst Charles King.

          • Ubuntu Server 13.04 Advances with OpenStack

            You may have seen the official announcements of Ubuntu 13.04 this week, or our coverage of it, but the analysis of this new version of the popular Linux distribution just keeps on coming. One of the most important things of all to realize is that the Ubuntu Server 13.04 release that became available this week includes capabilities based on the “Grizzly” release of the populuar OpenStack cloud computing platform, and deepens Ubuntu’s relationship with OpenStack.

          • Ubuntu 13.04: No privacy controls as promised, but hey – photo search!

            First the bad news: most of the big new features planned for Ubuntu 13.04, or Raring Ringtail, haven’t made it – they’ve been pushed back to 13.10, due in October. Despite this, the Ringtail is actually rather good.

          • First Vulnerabilities Hit Ubuntu 13.04

            On April 25, Canonical published details about MySQL vulnerabilities for its Ubuntu 13.04 (Raring Ringtail) operating systems.

            According to Canonical, several security issues have been fixed in MySQL and this update includes new upstream MySQL versions to fix these issues.

          • Full Circle Magazine #72 – Sixth Birthday Edition!
          • Performance Based, Ubuntu 13.04 Review

            The recently released, Ubuntu 13.04, not only brings up-to-date packages (including LibreOffice 4.0), which is pretty usual, but according to its ‘Release Notes’ page, ‘Unity’ desktop 7.0 too brings noticeable improvements, concerning memory consumption & performance.

            On a side note, I know this might sound a bit weird, but from all the Ubuntu versions that I’ve tried over the years, the best performing ones (less bugs & solid performance) were the ‘ .04′ numbered versions, the ones that get released in April. Where the ‘.10′ versions are usually buggy.

          • Mir Display Server Gets A Demo Shell, New Demos

            Canonical’s Mir Display Server now has a simple demo shell as well as a multi-window compositing demo.

            In continuing to monitor the public Bazaar development repository for Mir, there isn’t too much to report on this week. The only highlights were:

          • Whether you love or loathe Ubuntu, 13.04 ‘Raring Ringtail’ won’t change your mind

            A test of the newly-released Ubuntu 13.04 release across four systems shows it’s a solid release. But if you’ve previously been a fan of Ubuntu or feared it, this isn’t the release to make you think otherwise.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • See What`s New In Kubuntu 13.04 (Raring Ringtail)

              Kubuntu 13.04, the KDE-based Ubuntu flavor, has been released yesterday. Let’s take a quick look at what’s new.

            • Lubuntu 13.04 “Raring Ringtail” Review: Fast, efficient and functional

              Lubuntu is one of my favorite distros for it’s amazing resource efficiency and functionality. It may not be the most eye-candy in the Ubuntu clan but definitely the most resource efficient. LXDE traditionally consumes lower resources than Gnome or KDE and even XFCE. And most importantly, it is customizable enough to make it look really attractive. Though the release note of Lubuntu 13.04 didn’t state a whole lot of incremental improvements, still I was interested to check it out.

            • Review: Fuduntu 2013.2

              I haven’t checked out Fuduntu in over a year. I wasn’t particularly planning to do so either, because I wasn’t exactly expecting huge changes. But then I saw some news that changed my mind.

            • Farewell, Fuduntu: The Untimely Demise of a Winning Linux Distro

              The people behind some Linux distros have “the warrior mindset,” observed Google+ blogger Brett Legree. They “choose the road not taken, … chart their own course and stand out. I would say that Fuduntu is one of those, and from what I have read in the past few days, I do believe that the warriors who are part of it have something very special in store. I believe that they are up to the challenge.”

            • Where Will Your Linux Distro Be in Five Years?
            • Reviews: First look at Bodhi Linux 2.3.0

              Bodhi Linux is a Linux distribution which uses Ubuntu’s long term support releases as its base. Upon this stable base, which will be supported for five years, the Bodhi developers add the Enlightenment desktop and up to date applications. The result is a small, very fast Linux distribution which, thanks to the malleability of Enlightenment, sports a highly flexible interface. Bodhi can run on three different architectures (both 32-bit and 64-bit x86 along with ARM) and, according to the project’s website, Bodhi can be run on personal computers with just 128MB of RAM. The project has an attractive website which contains a good deal of useful documentation.

            • Linux Mint 14: First Impressions

              For the last three weeks my wife and I have been traveling, which has given us both a chance to try out Linux Mint 14 with MATE on her netbook and my laptop. So far, I’m favorably impressed.

              I’ve already reported that Mint was easy to install on both machines, except for one well-known bug which I’m sure will be fixed in the next release. I’m happy to say that, except for one glitch, it has worked perfectly on both machines.

              1. I like the MATE desktop environment (a fork of GNOME 2). I particularly like how the pop-up Start menu works. You can switch easily between “Favourites” and “All Applications.” When showing “All Applications” the applications and categories appear in two columns, and it’s easy to scroll through the applications. I came to dislike how KDE4 implemented this; whereas I find the MATE way easy to use.

            • Privacy Enhanced Ubuntu remix

              Today, Canonical have released Raring Ringtail, the latest version of their Ubuntu Linux distribution. Here at Tuxradar, we like Ubuntu, but we don’t like the way they send all your desktop searches to Amazon. We want to be able to use our computers without Jeff Bezos seeing all our data. So, we’ve created Privacy Enhanced Ubuntu. It’s exactly the same as Raring Ringtail, but doesn’t return Amazon results for searches in the default lens. There’s still an Amazon shopping lens there if you want to use it (click on the shopping bag icon in the dash).

            • Ubuntu without the ‘U’: Booting the Big Four remixes

              It’s the end of April, so that means that there’s a new release of Ubuntu. Well, actually, no – it means that there are eight of them. Don’t like standard Ubuntu’s Mac-OS-X-like Unity desktop? Here’s where to look.

              There are umpteen “remixes” alongside the eponymous distro. These mostly differ by having a different desktop – and therefore overall look and feel – but also in some cases different preinstalled apps. There are more than one hundred – many moribund, very specialised or otherwise of little interest – but seven enjoy official recognition. I’m going to look at the “Big Four” – Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu and Ubuntu GNOME. All have a different interface from the standard distro, meaning something for everyone.

            • Trisquel GNU/Linux flies the flag for software freedom

              Trisquel is a 100 per cent ‘free as in free speech’ GNU/Linux distribution started by Rubén Rodríguez Pérez nine years ago.

              “It started as a project at the university I was studying at. They just wanted a custom distro because… everybody was doing that at the time!” Pérez says.

            • Bodhi Linux Review – Enlightened Ubuntu

              An enlightened versions of Ubuntu, Bodhi is an incredibly lightweight and highly customisable distro using Canonical’s base. Is Bodhi crippled from this, or much better?

  • Devices/Embedded

    • $99 HDMI stick promises universal AirPlay

      Plair says it is now shipping its “Plair” media-streaming device to U.S. customers. Unveiled earlier this year at CES, the $99 embedded Linux-powered gadget is said to provide AirPlay-like beaming of multimedia content from Apple, Windows, and Android devices to “any HDTV” with an available HDMI port.

    • Death to Raspberry/Pi — Beaglebone Black is on a market

      As guys from/around Texas Instruments promised there is new Beaglebone Black on a market. Faster, cheaper, with video output and other extras. For me it looks like Raspberry/Pi killer done right.

    • $80 PC-on-a-stick runs Linux-based XBMC media center

      We’ve covered Android-powered PCs-on-a-stick extensively here on TG Daily. But what about a PC-on-a-stick specifically designed to run the Linux version of XBMC?

      Well, a crowd-funding project at Indiegogo wants to make it so and is building on the idea of various Linux-based operating systems designed to run XBMC on the wildly popular Raspberry Pi.

    • Phones

      • Jolla gets new CEO and board
      • Firefox OS developer phones sold out

        Spanish manufacturer/seller Geeksphone already has run out of the two Firefox OS phones that went on sale for developers today.

      • First Firefox OS phones now shipping worldwide
      • The first Firefox OS dev phones are on sale

        The developer test phones for Firefox OS are now on sale. They’re being produced by Geeksphone, a small Spanish outfit that used to make Android handsets for true open-source cognoscenti and that is now backing Mozilla’s operating system as the way forward.

        Geeksphone is far from the only company pushing Firefox OS – operators seem especially keen, largely because they want to shake up the Google/Apple smartphone duopoly. However, it is the only firm thus far to start selling devices using the operating system (ZTE will also sell Firefox OS phones from around the middle of the year).

Free Software/Open Source

  • Hosting Companies Shouldn’t Be Parasites

    A hosting company calls for hosting companies to support the open source software that makes them successful

  • FOSS: Breaking the Chains of Apple and Microsoft

    It has been a few weeks since I posted an article here at The ERACC Web Log. I have been kicking around some article ideas, but nothing has gelled until today. I do have some projects going that I will be writing about once they are done. I do not believe in writing articles just to have new content. In that direction lay mediocrity. I prefer actually having something worthwhile to write about. At least something I think is worthwhile.

    A recent event with a local client has started me thinking, again, about Microsoft, Apple, FOSS and vendor lock-in. I am not a proponent of vendor lock-in. This screen capture of my VirtualBox Windows XP Professional test VM speaks to that.VM with XP-pro on fluxbox window manager under linux

    This local client had decided to abandon Microsoft and change out their office systems for new hardware with new operating systems. Thus already requiring retraining and all that comes with such a change. Of course, I made the pitch for Linux with all FOSS. In general, they only use their systems for e-mail and creating quote documents for clients. Under FOSS systems, the e-mail is covered with any number of FOSS e-mail applications, while the quote documents are covered with LibreOffice to create PDF files. One of the systems does run accounting software for billing and payments. But they do not do their own payroll, so LedgerSMB would work for their billing and payments accounting system.

  • Components Becoming Major Source Of CVEs

    Earlier today Sonatype released the results of their annual survey. The survey looks at the extent to which developers use open source components, with a particular focus on how they balance the competing needs of speed and security. The data makes it clear that security is very often not the priority.

    The results of the survey show the massive extent to which developers now rely on components. Of course, this has been the case for many years, but the full maturation of the concept of component assembly rather than code writing is well illustrated here.

  • Developers: Are You A Giver Or Taker?

    Takers are people who, when interacting with another person, are trying to get as much as possible from that person and contribute as little as they can in return, thinking that’s the shortest and most direct path to achieving their own goals.

  • Events

    • Once again, Linux Fest Northwest nails it
    • OSI to Host DC Metro Open Source Community Summit May 10, 2013

      Another in the series of public meetings to be hosted by the OSI around its next face-to-face board meeting, OSI will also host the non-profit DC Metro Open Source Community Summit at the Mayflower Renaissance in Washington, D.C. The May 10th, 2013 program will include short sessions by some of our OSI board members and an “unconference” format for maximum attendee participation, collaboration, and learning.

    • North by (Linux Fest) Northwest

      Toward the end of this week — well, Thursday to be exact — I’ll be loading up the car with a few laptops, about 100 pieces of CrunchBang media (DVDs, not CDs), a paper #! banner, my daughter and her equipment and we’ll head north to Linux Fest Northwest in Bellingham, Washington on April 27-28.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla finalizes proposal for changes to Firefox’s customization options

        The last week has been filled with uncertainty in regards to proposed Firefox customization changes in the wake of the Australis theme release. Mozilla was heavily criticized for its initial proposal, both here on Ghacks but also on platforms such as Reddit, and posted a second proposal soon thereafter. The core issue at hand was that many users felt that Mozilla decided to take away customization options that were pare of the Firefox web browser for a long time, and that it did not really care about the opinion of the browser’s users. Some feared that Firefox would become just like Google Chrome, a browser that is offering barely any customization options.

      • Update: Opera claims former employee gave stolen trade secrets to Mozilla

        Update: In a post to his own Tumblr blog, Hansen says he believes Opera’s lawsuit is centered on the “Search Tabs” function of Firefox that was demonstrated in the video alongside “Junior.” Hansen claims the feature was originally a concept he developed for an open-source browser of his own he started working on after leaving Opera, which he called “GB”—a browser for which the revenue from searches would be donated to “green” causes. “In the summer of 2008, Opera’s founder and CEO at the time, Jon von Tetzchner reaches out and asks if I want to contribute more to Opera,” Hansen wrote. “I tell him about GB and propose that we could develop GB as a rebooted and simplified Opera browser. He is very interested, but when we start to talk business, and I tell him that I want no salary and no shares, but 1% of the search revenue as compensation, he says that’s not possible. So there is no deal. In fact, there is never any kind of deal or transfer of ownership of GB concepts to Opera.” A year later, Opera brought him on as a consultant; some of the design proposals he made during that period were based on his ideas for GB, he claims.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Funding

    • Non-Profit Accounting Software

      Software Freedom Conservancy have announced a fundraising campaign for an Open Source non-profit accounting system. The campaign seeks to raise $75,000 to fund a full-time developer for one year to first reevaluate existing solutions for their viability as a non-profit accounting system, and then improve and augment the best available system to create a new solution that will help non-profits around the world manage their finances better.

  • BSD


    • The FSF is hiring: Seeking a full-time outreach and communication coordinator

      The Free Software Foundation (FSF), a Boston-based 501(c)(3) charity with a worldwide mission to protect freedoms critical to the computer-using public, seeks a motivated and organized tech-friendly Boston-based individual to be its full-time outreach and communication coordinator.

    • FSF-certified to Respect Your Freedom: ThinkPenguin USB Wifi adapter with Atheros chip

      BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA — Tuesday, April 30th, 2013 — The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today awarded Respects Your Freedom (RYF) certification to the TPE-N150USB Wireless N USB Adapter, sold by ThinkPenguin. The RYF certification mark means that the product meets the FSF’s standards in regard to users’ freedom, control over the product, and privacy. The TPE-N150USB can be purchased from http://www.thinkpenguin.com/TPE-N150USB. Software certification focused primarily on the firmware for the Atheros AR9271 chip used on the adapter.

    • FreeIPMI 1.2.6 Released
  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

  • Licensing

    • Free as a bird

      This diversity is a testament to both the ingenuity of the teams responsible and the rights enshrined within the GPL. But more than anything else, it’s the ‘freedom’ found in the licence that has made Linux what it is today – an operating system found in the smallest and largest of devices; underground, underwater, in your hand, in space, at school, at the office – everywhere.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • The Rise of ‘Open Source’: It’s Not Just About Software

      Here in the tech world, it’s become increasingly common to see market research and reports testifying to the growing ubiquity of open source software, such as the one just last week from Black Duck Software and North Bridge Venture Partners indicating that open source is “eating” the software world, as the authors put it.

      What’s typically not recognized, however, is that this trend toward openness in software is just one piece of a much bigger picture. In fact, openness is a trend that’s taking hold throughout numerous aspects of the modern world, to the benefit of everyday people like you and me.

      “Open,” in other words, appears to be the future – whether we’re talking software or beyond.

      Ready for a quick tour? Most Linux advocates are already well aware of the benefits of open source when it comes to software, but here are two other kinds of openness I’ve come to appreciate from the writing I do outside the tech world.

    • Open Hardware

      • The case for Open 3D Printing (now with links)

        3D Printing is all the hype these days, at least among some communities. What it really is however spans a lot of different things, several different uses and in general many different realities. 3D printing has actual uses in lots of industries and can be considered to be born out of the need for more rapid prototyping. But it’s far to be the whole story about it. Rapid prototyping is clearly a well identified use of 3D printing, however new uses, from art to spare parts production (and more) have proven to exist as well. To this day, 3D printers that are affordable come in two different kinds and target a market that’s generally seen as a hobbyist one (not that it’s a wrong way to perceive it).

  • Programming

    • Guile 100: Challenge #6. plus new rules

      Challenge #6 in the Guile 100 Programs Project is to write a Guile CGI script that accesses a MySQL-family database. It is the second challenge in this month’s theme, which is “Web 1.0 — Web 1990s style”.

      The Guile 100 Programs Project is an attempt to collaboratively generate a set of examples of how to use the GNU Guile implementation of Scheme.

    • Capsule, The Developer’s Code Journal


  • How Facebook Designs the ‘Perfect Empty Vessel’ for Your Mind

    …obligations that are packed down into this term, user?

  • Government forces benefits claimants to use Windows XP and IE6

    THE UK GOVERNMENT has shown it’s at the forefront of modern technology and online services with its latest form for claiming benefits online.

    Those who want to claim either Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance or Overseas State Pension can simply visit the Gov.UK website, where they are then pointed to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) website to fill out a form online.

  • Hardware

  • Security

    • Compromised Apache binaries load malicious code

      Researchers at web security firm Sucuri have discovered modified binaries in the open source Apache web server. The binaries will load malicious code or other web content without any user interaction. Only files that were installed using the cPanel administration tool are currently thought to be affected. ESET says that several hundred web servers have been compromised.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • More Bodies Identified In Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion

      Authorities have identified four more sets of remains of first responders who battled last week’s fire and explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas. Wednesday’s blast and injured more than 200, according to officials cited by .

    • Texas fertilizer plant explosion: 14 bodies recovered from site

      Bodies include those of firefighters who were tackling a blaze at the West Fertilizer Company when blast occurred

    • Texas fertilizer plant explosion: no government watchdog visits since 2007

      Expert says Occupational Safety & Health Administration, which last visited West in 1985, is ‘undermanned and overloaded’

    • Bangladesh factory building collapse death toll exceeds 500

      Engineer becomes ninth person to be detained over country’s worst industrial accident, as number of deaths climbs to 501

    • Statement of the Ambassador of the Czech Republic on the Boston terrorist attack

      As more information on the origin of the alleged perpetrators is coming to light, I am concerned to note in the social media a most unfortunate misunderstanding in this respect. The Czech Republic and Chechnya are two very different entities – the Czech Republic is a Central European country; Chechnya is a part of the Russian Federation.

    • The Official Tsarnaev Story Makes No Sense

      We are asked to believe that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was identified by the Russian government as an extremist Dagestani or Chechen Islamist terrorist, and they were so concerned about it that in late 2010 they asked the US government to take action. At that time, the US and Russia did not normally have a security cooperation relationship over the Caucasus, particularly following the Russian invasion of Georgia in 2008. For the Russians to ask the Americans for assistance, Tsarnaev must have been high on their list of worries.

      In early 2011 the FBI interview Tsarnaev and trawl his papers and computers but apparently – remarkably for somebody allegedly radicalised by internet – the habitually paranoid FBI find nothing of concern.

      So far, so weird. But now this gets utterly incredible. In 2012 Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who is of such concern to Russian security, is able to fly to Russia and pass through the airport security checks of the world’s most thoroughly and brutally efficient security services without being picked up. He is then able to proceed to Dagestan – right at the heart of the world’s heaviest military occupation and the world’s most far reaching secret police surveillance – again without being intercepted, and he is able there to go through some form of terror training or further Islamist indoctrination. He then flies out again without any intervention by the Russian security services.

    • Ludicrous Claims Department

      Really? 30,000 attacks analysed, including researching the internet traffic of the perpetrators and their public statements?

      That is rather a lot of work. Firstly you have to identify the attack and identify the perpetrator. Then you have to access their internet use and go through it looking for relevant reading, comments or relevant messages.

  • Cablegate

    • “The Project” in Kazakhstan

      But I want to focus rather narrowly on one point. Assange talks at length of his disappointment at the presentation of the State Department cables by Wikileaks’ mainstream media partners. In relation to the Guardian, among other things he says this:

      “The Guardian redacted two thirds of a cable about Bulgarian crime, removed all the names of the people who had infiltrated – the mafioso – who had infiltrated the Bulgarian government. Removed a description of the Kazakstan elite, which said that the Kazakstan elite in general were corrupt, not even a particular name, just in general! Removed a description that a an energy company out of Italy operating in Kazakhstan was corrupt, so they have redacted for naming of individual names of people who might be unfairly put at risk, just like we do–that is what we require of them. They have redacted the names of mafioso, individual mafioso because they are worried that they might get sued for libel in London by this mafioso. They have redacted the names… they have redacted the description of a class of Kazakhstan elite, a class has been corrupt, and they have redacted descriptions of individual companies being corrupt because they don’t want to expose themselves to any risk at all.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • LSE Get It Wrong on North Korea

      If nobody from the LSE is ever allowed into the terrible North Korean dictatorship again, that will be a bad thing. But the benefit of the very wide spreading of truth by John Sweeney’s documentary is worth a very, very great deal more. The academics of the LSE may not entirely use their “access” to lick Kim Jong Whatever’s arse. But the said academics certainly don’t want to be associated with the spreading of the obvious truth that the said arse reeks to high heaven.

    • Guardian Channel Thatcher on Europe
  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Zombie Problem: Stop Dancing On The Grave

      Apparently the Communications Data Bill is dead. I wonder for how long? It’s a zombie bill that has been killed before…

    • Regulation Set To Strip Citizens Of Their Right To Privacy

      A coalition of international and european organisations, including Access, Bits of Freedom, Digitale Gesellschaft, EDRI, La Quadrature du Net, Open Rights Group, and Privacy International, release a commun campaign and website, nakedcitizens.eu. The site allows concerned citizens to contact their representatives in the European Parliament to urge them to vote in a way that ensures the protection of their fundamental right to privacy.

    • Experts say drop web snooping plans

      Today’s Times newspaper leads with an important development on the Communications Data Bill.

      A group of ten leading academics and computer science experts have added their voices to the growing chorus of objection over the bill, far beyond the scope of merely tinkering with the drafted legislation.

    • The taxman wants to HMRC who you’ve been calling

      As our Freedom of Information request shows, Between 2009 and 2011, HRMC made 41,351 snooping requests for details of phone calls and mobile texts. The only police forces to make more requests in the same period were the Metropolitan police and Merseyside police.

    • We’re under atax

      SNOOPING tax inspectors have made 41,351 requests to see details about people’s private communications in the past three years, The Sun can reveal.

    • The snoopers charter is dead
    • How HMRC treated its Goldman Sachs tax deal whistleblower as a criminal

      Tax officials used intrusive powers to rake through Osita Mba’s personal data in attempt to prove he had spoken to the Guardian

    • Japanese Police Urge ISPs to Block Tor

      Authorities in Japan are presumably worried about their inability to tackle cybercrime and, in a bid to stem one of the sources of anonymous traffic, the National Police Agency (NPA) is asking ISPs to block Tor.

  • Civil Rights

    • Bangladeshi Cartoonists Draw on the Garment Factory Tragedy
    • India and Women

      Since the horrific bus rape case, the problems of rape in India have been firmly on the western media agenda. Today BBC World is carrying two different and terrible stories – one of the rape of a five year old girl in Delhi, and one of the death of a rape victim in a botched abortion.

    • security theater, martial law, and a tale that trumps every cop-and-donut joke you’ve ever heard

      First, just in case it’s not utterly obvious, I’m glad that the two murderous cowards who attacked civilians in Boston recently are off the streets. One dead and one in custody is a great outcome.

      That said, a large percent of the reaction in Boston has been security theater. “Four victims brutally killed” goes by other names in other cities.

      In Detroit, for example, they call it “Tuesday”.

      …and Detroit does not shut down every time there are a few murders.

      “But Clark,” I hear you say, “this is different. This was a terrorist attack.”

    • No one should be jailed in secret, says top judge

      Lord chief justice issues urgent guidance to judges following court of protection’s imprisonment of Wanda Maddocks

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • What does the Special 301 really reveal?

      Perhaps the best way to understand what this report has to offer is through the understanding that the USTR, while wearing an official, government hat, actually represents the interests of a very specific group of American companies. Many of the report’s observations highlight not the state of the countries being discussed but the fear which those companies represented by the USTR have of rival economies there. In many ways, the Special 301 report is actually illustrative of a conflict within the USA itself. Economies such as Ukraine — newly vilified in this year’s report — are popular destinations for outsourcing from the USA, powering the disruptive American businesses challenging the dominance of the companies which grew huge in the last century.

      There’s no doubt that being listed in the Special 301 report is a diplomatic issue. One has to wonder how appropriate it is to the new meshed economy, though.

    • The U.S. government’s “watch list” on developing countries’ use of health rights

      Special 301 is an annual report by the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) which places countries on a “watch list” if USTR would like to see greater changes in their intellectual property rules or enforcement practice. This year’s report came out May 1st. We pay attention because USTR relies heavily on comments from big business, and USTR’s opaque standards and criticism of other countries could stymie the development of public interest policies in areas including health. For example, countries have sovereign rights to issue “compulsory licenses” on pharmaceutical patents. Compulsory licensing authorizes price-lowering generic competition with patented drugs in exchange for royalty payments to the patent holder. It’s a key strategy for improving access to affordable medicines, especially in developing countries.

    • Copyrights

      • Will the EU Parliament Let TAFTA Turn Into Another ACTA?

        On 25 April next, the “International Trade” (INTA) committee of the European Parliament will vote on a draft resolution on the proposed EU-US trade agreement, the “Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement” (TAFTA), also touted as the “Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership” (TTIP). After the ACTA, SOPA, PIPA and CETA fights, once again the negotiators of this new trade agreement try to use it as an opportunity to impose online repression. With Thursday’s vote, Members of the European Parliament can and must remove “intellectual property” provisions from the negotiations, and avoid an undemocratic trade agreement that will inflict the worst of both regimes’ rules on the other party. Instead, the current version of the resolution that will be put to vote on Thursday proposes to “include strong protection of intellectual property rights (IPR)” in TAFTA.

      • EU Parliament Opens The Door to Copyright Repression in TAFTA

        Today, the “International Trade” (INTA) committee of the European Parliament adopted a resolution1 on the proposed EU-US trade agreement – the “Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement” (TAFTA), also touted as the “Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership” (TTIP). The Parliament unfortunately decided to ignore the calls of civil society groups to keep “IP out of TAFTA”.

      • Anti-Piracy Chief Pleads Guilty to Drug Trafficking

        Following an undercover police investigation, the Vice President of Lithuanian Anti-Piracy Association LANVA has pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges. Vytas Simanavicius, known for his efforts to curb online piracy in the Baltic country, faces up to eight years in prison. Because of the looming incarceration, his role as an expert witness in a Microsoft court case against a local BitTorrent site has become uncertain.

      • The Pirate Bay’s Gottfrid Learns of Hacking Charges via TV News

        Last week Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm was charged with hacking into companies and a bank. While it’s no surprise that the news traveled quickly through the media, one might have expected that Gottfrid himself would be one of the first to hear the news. But Gottfrid’s mother Kristina informs TorrentFreak that her son learned of the charges by watching TV news in his cell. Even today he still hasn’t seen a copy of the lawsuit.

      • Accused Chinese spy charged with downloading porn, not NASA secrets

        Bo Jiang, the Chinese national accused of spying on NASA, was formally charged in a Virginia court this week — not for conducting espionage, but for downloading porn and pirated movies to his computer. A former research contractor at NASA’s Langely Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, Jiang was originally indicted on March 20th, when federal investigators arrested him just before he departed on a one-way ticket from Washington, DC to Beijing. At the time, authorities accused Jiang of sharing sensitive information with the Chinese government — he had a NASA-issued laptop with him at the time of his in-flight arrest — but as Bloomberg Businessweek reports, it now appears that their fears were unfounded.

      • U.S. Ambassador: Internet Piracy and Illegal Immigration are Both a ‘Compliment’

        U.S. Ambassador to Australia Jeffrey L. Bleich is back once again with a new Internet piracy missive. The long-time friend of Barack Obama caused controversy by getting involved in the Game of Thrones download debate last month, but now believes that he hasn’t got involved enough. Quoting the earlier words of HBO, Bleich says that if online piracy is a compliment to Game of Thrones, then the same holds true for illegal immigration or someone hitting on your partner.


Links 21/4/2013: GNU/Linux Desktops/Laptops at Dell, Google Glass Runs Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 11:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

[Away for a sunny vacation (100 degrees Fahrenheit) until May]

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux on the Mini PC

    The recent emergence of the mini PC has opened up new horizons for the Linux user.

    The form factor of the Mini PC is a square having approximately the same dimension as the long side of a DVD box and thin in profile. The mini PC is designed to be very power efficient, typically using a 65 Watt power supply. The CPU is a low-voltage power efficient type, there are no fans, and the power supply is often an external DC adaptor like that of a laptop. Because there are no fans, the computer runs silently.Fanless microserver aims Linux on Core-i7 at harsh environs

  • Desktop

    • It just works: Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition Linux Ultrabook review

      I’ve been terribly curious about the Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition since we first covered it back in November. This is a different beast from the flippy-touchscreen-equipped XPS 12—this Ultrabook contains zero touchscreens. However, it comes preloaded with Ubuntu Linux, and Dell has spent a substantial amount of time and effort in ensuring that it works—and works well.

    • Chromebook’s Files app gets brand new UI and app status

      The Files app of Chrome OS is getting a brand new UI as well as status of a ‘full-fledged’ Chrome packages app status.

      François Beaufort has also shared the instructions if you are interested in testing out the new UI of the file manager.

  • Server

    • IBM reportedly in advanced discussions to sell part of server business to Lenovo

      Revenue dropped five percent over that period as the company missed expectations, with a 13 percent drop in hardware revenues leading a one percent drop in profits in Q1 2013. Year-over-year, System x revenues dropped nine percent compared to a seven percent increase for IBM’s System z mainframe business, which the company is not looking to sell. Lenovo told investors today in a clarification announcement that it “is in preliminary negotiations with a third party in connection with a potential acquisition,” but it has not confirmed talks with IBM specifically.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Kernel comment: Bad show, NVIDIA!

        NVIDIA’s graphics driver supports hybrid graphics now. As in other areas, NVIDIA took it easy, waiting until other people had done the dirty work building the necessary foundations.

      • The Focus Of Wayland’s Weston Compositor

        Kristian Høgsberg has clarified the scope and goals of Weston, Wayland’s reference compositor. Now that Weston has become somewhat of its own desktop environment, Kristian has clarified its intentions to benefit future patches.

        In hopes of clarifying future development work that could be potentially accepted upstream, Kristian has written on the developer’s mailing list about clarifying the scope and goals for Weston.

      • Shader Optimization Back-End Might Go In For R600g

        For many months there has been a “shader optimization” branch of Mesa/R600g that sought to rather noticeably boost the performance of the AMD R600 Gallium3D driver. While this work by Vadim Girlin didn’t look like it would be merged, after being revived and cleaned-up, it might reach mainline Mesa/Gallium3D as a new performance-boosting option.

        Vadim Girlin had been working on shader optimizations for some time to more efficiently generate shader code and the back-end has evolved quite a bit in recent months. Diminishing prospects for this code has been that it doesn’t use the R600 LLVM GPU back-end, which will eventually become the default for AMD’s Gallium3D driver as it’s needed for OpenCL/GPGPU support. With this custom back-end not using LLVM, it looked like it wouldn’t be merged, but now the story is different.

    • Benchmarks

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Libre Graphics Meeting 2013

        The 2013 Libre Graphics Meeting is over and everyone has returned home and gone back to the drawing board or the keyboard. Krita has been very well represented at this LGM with three artists and a coder, giving three presentations and two awesome workshops!

      • Slick New Artwork and call for testers
      • Semantic Desktop: Akonadi and Nepomuk

        Praised, cursed, often misunderstood, what are KDE’s semantic desktop tools for anyway?

        The idea of taking the myriad kinds of information stored on a computer, and trying to find the relationships between it so it’s more usable, has been around for a long time. “Semantics”, the dictionary tells us, “is the study of meaning”. The goal of a “semantic desktop” is to take all the bits and pieces of information we as users collect over time, and make it more meaningful, and ultimately more useful.

      • Recoll, a great Nepomuk alternative

        Nepomuk is becoming a great tool, but it still has it’s drawbacks.

        A hobby of mine that I’ve done for over twenty-five years now is genealogy. Over the course of that time I’ve acquired a lot of documents and scans of documents, not to mention photos, web snippets, text notes, pdf files and other such things.

        As an ardent KDE user, the natural thing to do for keeping track of all these files – and being able to find them again – is by tagging for Nepomuk. With Dolphin I give them a tag or two, add a comment, and I should have no trouble finding the file in the future. While for many users that would hold true, for my usage (and I suspect many other users) there’s still a problem with relying solely on Nepomuk. It’s tags and comments don’t transfer to the cloud, or another computer. In other words, because Nepomuk’s stores all those tags and comments in it’s database and not in the file itself, the tags and comments don’t transfer elsewhere. With me, I sync all my research files in Dropbox, but when I access them with my laptop out in the field, none of those tags or comments are there. That’s a serious handicap to my research.

      • KDE Commit-Digest for 3rd March 2013
      • KDE’s Future Will be Wayland

        KDE’s Martin Grasslin blogged today that despite what the rest of the industry/community does, KDE’s future will be on Wayland. He said he and his fellow developers decided to travel the road more annoying, if not by choice by process of elimination.

        It’s been interesting to follow the various desktop camps as they discuss the future of their software in relation to desktop graphical servers. Xorg has been the recipient of some mighty harsh words as far back as when it was still XFree. GNOME already stated their interest in developing for Wayland and Grasslin thinks even the smaller projects will move away from X as well. Basically, Grasslin thinks Wayland is the future.

      • The relationship between Plasma and KWin in Workspaces 2
      • Migrating to kmail2

        Ok, I know, migrating to kmail2 is old news now. But only today I decided to try migrating to kmail2. Gentoo is going to remove kmail1 from their repository in a few months so I did not have much of a choice.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Gentoo Family

      • Another Gentoo Hardened month has passed

        Another month has passed, so time to mention again what we have all been doing lately ;-)


        Version 4.8 of GCC is available in the tree, but currently masked. The package contains a fix needed to build hardened-sources, and a fix for the asan (address sanitizer). asan support in GCC 4.8 might be seen as an improvement security-wise, but it is yet unclear if it is an integral part of GCC or could be disabled with a configure flag. Apparently, asan “makes building gcc 4.8 crazy”. Seeing that it comes from Google, and building Google Chromium is also crazy, I start seeing a pattern here.

    • Slackware Family

      • Alternative to Slackware Store

        There are a lot of ways to support Slackware Linux Project. One of them is by subscribing to Slackware Linux CD/DVD releases or by using Slackware Store to purchase merchandises or even donate to the project.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Hortonworks, Red Hat and Mirantis to bring easy Hadoop to OpenStack

        Hortonworks, Red Hat and Mirantis have announced that they will be cooperating on Project Savanna which aims to make provisioning Hadoop clusters on OpenStack systems fast and easy. Savanna is being designed as an OpenStack component with a REST API and UI accessible through OpenStack’s Horizon Dashboard.

      • Fedora

        • Rawhide week in review, 2013-04-15 edition

          Another week of rawhide rolling along and only one really interesting bug hit:

        • Pimp Out Your Fedora 18 Xfce Desktop

          So, the other day I wrote the Fedora Got Game story and have been continuing to make my transition from Fuduntu which as you may or may not be aware announced that it would close it doors.

          Initially, I had selected the Fedora 18 KDE 64-bit spin but found that it put a bit of a strain on my Netbook. Then, I opted to simply install the Xfce Desktop group onto the KDE spin. The problem with doing that is that your menu winds up having the combined items from both KDE and Xfce and so I opted to reinstall with the Xfce spin.

        • Fedora 19 Alpha status is Go, release on April 23, 2013
    • Debian Family

      • Debian 7 is Nearly Here

        McGovern said fixes are in the works for most of them. There was no mention of the new installer, but recent reports elsewhere state it is shaping up nicely as well with some new features. Ext4 is the new default filesystem, systemd is an option, and UEFI on 64-bit system is supported. Wheezy features Linux 3.2, GCC 4.7.2, Xorg 1.12.4, KDE 4.8.4, and GNOME 3.4.2.

      • Derivatives

        • Elive 2.1.37 Sneak Peek

          It’s been ages since I last took a look at Elive. A development release has just come out so now is a good time to take a peek at it.

          Elive is a desktop distro based on Debian, and it uses the Enlightenment window manager. Elive is geared toward providing you with a high quality desktop, with minimal hardware requirements.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Touch betas are ready for testing

            Nicholas Skaggs, a Canonical software engineer and quality assurance community co-ordinator, wrote, “I’m happy to announce the Ubuntu touch images are now available for testing on the isotracker. And further, the images are now Raring based! [That is to say, they're based on the soon to be released Ubuntu 13.04 codebase] As such, the Ubuntu Touch team is asking for folks to try out the new images on their devices and ensure there are no regressions or other issues.”

            Specifically, there are four officially supported devices and images for each of them: Nexus 7, grouper; Galaxy Nexus, maguro; Nexus 4, mako; and Nexus 10, manta. These are all early releases and I recommend that only power Ubuntu and smartphone/tablet users try them at this point.

          • After 9 years, Canonical stops offering Ubuntu on disc

            I’ve already decided that the next PC I build won’t include an internal optical drive. I just don’t need one often enough anymore to warrant the cost or installation. I can instead rely on a USB optical drive I already own. And I think that’s the case for a lot of PC owners now. They either use hardware that has already dumped the optical drive (e.g. Ultrabooks), or won’t consider it a great loss if their next system doesn’t include one.

          • Ubuntu Touch images available for testing

            Ubuntu Touch, Canonical’s mobile aspirations, is getting ready for the market. If the developer preview was nothing more than demo-ware, with place holders, now there are images which you can test of your device with some ‘working’ and functional apps.

          • Ubuntu Community Survey 2013 (By Nathan Heafner)

            Today I got in touch with Nathan Heafner, a community member who is actively participating, and wanted me to leave you with this message:

          • Ubuntu Touch betas are ready for testing

            Ubuntu Touch, the version of the Linux operating system for smartphones and tablets, is now available.

          • 10 Best Ubuntu 13.04 Features – From Social Lens to Window Snapping

            But what can you expect to find in it? Unlike the last few releases Ubuntu 13.04 features few dramatic changes, instead bringing some much need polish and performance-boosts.

          • Ubuntu 13.04 Preview

            A few days ago, I decided to give the Ubuntu 13.04 ‘Raring Ringtail’ Beta version a test. I downloaded the Daily Build and installed it successfully. The first thing I have got to share with you all is there are many things to put in mind whenever you’re using any program/system in beta. Do not set too much expectation or you will be let down or frustrated. I was doing some work related word processing using the new LibreOffice Writer and my first experience was terrible

          • App Ecosystem for Ubuntu Mobile Growing Steadily

            Despite all the technical and commercial hurdles, Canonical is well on its way to transforming Ubuntu for mobile devices into the real deal. For proof, look no further than the rapidly maturing application stack for touch-enabled hardware that both Ubuntu engineers and independent developers are churning out.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Fuduntu 2013.2 Review: As ever – Simple, Effective, fast and now with added Steam!

              This year January, I reviewed the 2013.1 update from Fuduntu and was extremely impressed by it. Since then Fuduntu has been one of my favorite distros and I use it on my netbook, dual boot with Linux Mint 13 XFCE. Fuduntu, though the name has resemblance to Ubuntu in it, is more of Fedora with the advantage of rolling release. However, to me it is truly Fedora + Ubuntu, as it combines the simplicity and professionalism of Fedora with the fun of Ubuntu. It means that once you install it, you need not re-install it again – by just downloading the updates, your system has always the latest release.With the present release, Fuduntu also comes with a Fuduntu Lite version for advanced users and netbooks, which actually provides the basic shell without much pre-installed applications. For this review, I used the Fuduntu “heavy” version only – may be I’ll take Fuduntu Lite next time.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Fanless microserver aims Linux on Core-i7 at harsh environs

      CompuLab has introduced a rugged, fanless, microserver based on 3rd Generation Intel Core Processors, clocked up to 2.5GHz. The Linux-friendly “uSVR” runs from -20 to 60° C, accommodates up to four internal 2.5-inch drives, networks via WiFi and up to six GbE channels, and expands modularly.

    • Guest post: more high altitude ballooning from Dave Akerman

      The payload will carry a model A Raspberry Pi, plus an Arduino Mini Pro, a UBlox GPS receiver, and 2 Radiometrix NTX2 transmitters. The latter will be on nearby frequencies primarily to avoid conflict with some other flights this weekend, but also to allow those with SDR (Software Defined Radio) receivers to listen to and decode the signals from both transmitters.

    • Automotive IVI Linux meets Yocto 1.3, Genevi 3.0

      Mentor Graphics has merged the Linux-based automotive infotainment technology it acquired in February from MontaVista Software into its own in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) platform. Additionally, the new Mentor Embedded Automotive Technology Platform (ATP) complies with Yocto Project 1.3 and GENIVI 3.0 requirements, says Mentor.

      Mentor’s ATP and its Sourcery CodeBench and Sourcery Analyzer development tools are aimed at simplifying the process of tuning the Linux kernel and selecting suitable components for Linux-based IVI systems. In particular, ATP’s support for LLTng (LInux Trace Toolkit, Next Generation), helps developers “more easily visually analyze and debug complex interactions between the Linux OS and automotive application software with the Mentor Embedded Sourcery Analyzer,” states the company.

    • Real-World Raspberry Pi

      The single-circuit-board Raspberry Pi computer, only as big as a credit card, makes it easy to gain experience with embedded Linux systems. We’ll show you some hands-on examples of how to use the Raspberry Pi in an everyday environment.

    • Phones

      • Ballnux

        • Samsung to launch Galaxy S4 at end of April in 50 countries

          Samsung Electronics plans to introduce its Galaxy S4 at the end of April in 50 countries and sources from the supply chain predict shipments in the first month will be close to 10 million units. There have been no rumors regarding component shortages.

        • Quick Thoughts on Miscellaneous Smartphone Developments Awaiting Q1 Results

          Samsung’s Galaxy S4 was revealed, all signs point to another hit smartphone and big growth for the Sammy. They keep expanding the Galaxy series as was expected and the juggernaut should continue to roll on. I found it funny that the Galaxy Camera only now arrived to American shores, we’ve had it here in Asia since last year. Samsung’s Q1 financial guidance said massive growth in smartphones, driving up their profits.. yeah, this ‘surprised’ some after the Christmas season, but not our readers, we know China’s gift-giving season is in January for Q1 and as Samsung is China’s top-selling smartphone nowadays (used to be Nokia) that means big good sales for the Samster…

      • Android

Free Software/Open Source

  • Airbnb Open Sources Rendr, A Library For Running Backbone.js Apps On Both Client And Server

    Airbnb today announced that it is open sourcing Rendr, its library for running Backbone.js apps seamlessly on both the client and the server. After launching its Chronos cron replacement a few weeks ago, this marks the company’s second major contribution to the open source ecosystem this year. Airbnb originally developed Rendr for its mobile site.

  • Workshop for university students on free and open source software

    A workshop to promote the use of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in Open Web Technology was organised successfully at S N Ghosh auditorium, of the J K Institute of Applied Physics and Technology of Allahabad University, on Saturday.

    The workshop was conducted by Mozilla foundation, an open source non-profit organisation working in open web technology.

    The workshop was inaugurated by head of the department of Electronics & Communication R R Tiwari who was also the chief guest of the workshop, aimed to benefit B Tech, MCA and BCA students of AU.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Manifesto Nears 1.0

        Mitchell Baker has blogged that since Mozilla is celebrating its 15 year anniversary, it was time to tweak their Manifesto first published in 2007. Mozilla gathered input for a year and three new proposed changes are suggested.

      • Mozilla Reconsiders, May Support WebP Image Format

        Want your website to load faster? Slim your images. According to the HTTPArchive, images account for roughly 60 percent of total page size. That means the single biggest thing most sites can do to slim down is to shrink their images.

      • Firefox Mobile OS to launch in five countries this summer

        Mozilla CEO says that the Firefox Mobile OS will be available this summer in Venezuela, Poland, Brazil, Portugal, and Spain.

      • Firefox OS Powered Keon Makes Its Way To The FCC

        We’ve already heard that another mobile operating system will soon be made available courtesy of Mozilla. This summer Firefox OS powered devices will be made available in 5 countries spread over Europe and South America.

      • Firefox OS Powered Keon Makes Its Way To The FCC

        If you’ve wanted to be one of the first people to check out the new OS then Spanish e-retailer Geeksphone has you covered as they will be releasing two Firefox OS powered devices which they say “will be available for dispatch anywhere on earth.”

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

    • MariaDB Foundation on course for community governance

      The MariaDB Foundation has expanded its Board of Directors and has appointed Simon Phipps as its Secretary and interim Chief Executive Officer. Rasmus Johansson has been appointed Chair of the Board, which also includes Andrew Katz, Jeremy Zawodny, and Michael “Monty” Widenius as members. Speaking to The H, Phipps said: “The key change here is the Foundation is now officially under the direction of a diverse Board rather than just one director.” With this change, it is on track to be completely member-led in the second half of the year.


    • An Open Letter to Richard Stallman

      A few days ago Guillermo Garron wrote a piece on his website after seeing you speak live. A link to that article was posted at Scot’s Newsletter Forums – Bruno’s All Things Linux, where a discussion ensued. During the course of that conversation, I thought that maybe it was about time that we started using a less bulky nomenclature for the GNU/Linux operating system. I posted a few suggestions, but I think I like GNix the best.

    • Guile-SDL 0.4.3 available
    • Free Software Foundation takes potshot at Windows 8

      The FSF contends that sometimes, proprietary software actually helps its fight for freedom but that Windows 8 is “so bad it’s almost funny” — the group claims that it is “full of spyware and security vulnerabilities” and that it is confusing for users.

      The group sets out its stall as follows:

      “As our society grows more dependent on computers, the software we run is of critical importance to securing the future of a free society. Free software is about having control over the technology we use in our homes, schools and businesses, where computers work for our individual and communal benefit, not for proprietary software companies or governments who might seek to restrict and monitor us.”

      This infographic is linked here, but not shown here in full due its arguably somewhat reactionary nature.

    • Forming a software foundation? Think again

      As an open source project gathers momentum and the possibility of corporate engagement beckons, developers can frequently be heard saying they need to start a foundation for their project.

      But do they? Ask many of the people who have gone down that path, and they’re likely to advise against it. The bureaucracy is daunting, the skills needed to run such an organization are similar to those of any other business, and there’s a very real risk the IRS will refuse to grant tax-exempt status.

  • Public Services/Government

    • FOSS in the Italian public administration: fundamental law principles

      We take a first reading of the recent modification to the fundamental law that governs the digital aspects of the Public Administration in Italy. These modifications require Public Administrations to prefer internally made solutions and FOSS solutions over proprietary ones, mandate an increased degree of interoperability and strengthen the push for open data.

    • FBI Seeks Open Architecture

      As I was skimming through a solicitation document the FBI posted surveying vendors that might provide it with new video monitor technology, one word jumped out at me: open.

      The FBI is looking for a system that will allow it to monitor video from all sorts of devices, including those it owns itself and those owned by other law enforcement agencies. It also wants to be able to plug tools into the system that help it identify faces and license plates.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Bioengineers Build Open Source Language for Programming Cells

      Endy is the co-director of the International Open Facility Advancing Biotechnology — BIOFAB, for short — where he’s part of a team that’s developing a language that will use genetic data to actually program biological cells. That may seem like the stuff of science fiction, but the project is already underway, and the team intends to open source the language, so that other scientists can use it and modify it and perfect it.

      The effort is part of a sweeping movement to grab hold of our genetic data and directly improve the way our bodies behave — a process known as bioengineering. With the Supreme Court exploring whether genes can be patented, the bioengineering world is at crossroads, but scientists like Endy continue to push this technology forward.

    • Open Data

      • Startup strives to build a better symptom search engine using patients own words, open source data

        A patient facing search engine app MedWhat wants to achieve something its co-founder believes is lacking from similar tools — fast, comprehensive responses to patient questions no matter how simple or complex.

        In an interview with MedCity News, entrepreneur and co-founder Arturo Devesa said he believes two ingredients are essential to achieving that: open source data from respected medical institutions and natural language processing — allowing people to ask questions in their own words. He envisions a platform that can transform mobile phones into virtual primary care physicians.

    • Open Access/Content

    • Open Hardware

      • You Built What?!: A Tractor For The Apocalypse

        A modular, open-source workhorse to help rebuild civilization.

      • Open-source hardware: Are you on board?

        Welcome to our 5 Engineers section, part of this blog and our Fun Friday newsletter, where we toss out a question and invite our audience to respond with their wittiest answers.

        This week, on the cusp of DESIGN West and its many open-source hardware and software (OSHS) sessions, we’re thinking specifically about open-source hardware (OSH).

  • Programming

    • Go at Google

      Rob Pike explains how Google designed Go to address major development issues they encounter while using other languages: long build times, poor dependency management, lack of robustness, etc.

    • jQuery 2.0 Released, IE 8 And Less Left to Bite the Cold

      jQuery, arguably the most popular JavaScript library, is out with their much awaited major release v2.0. It comes with a 12% reduced size footprint, API compatibility with v1.9.x, and 45 bug fixes & feature improvements. But the most notable change is dropping of support for Internet Explorer (IE) versions 8 and less.

    • Oracle Delays Java 8 To Next Year Over Security

      Oracle has decided to delay the release of Java 8 into 2014 over their engineers tackling various security-related issues with the language as of late.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • The IETF between open innovation and network load limiters

      The German Federal Ministry of Economics advocates an “unpatronising” internet, said Otto. The internet and social networks have become a powerful voice for freedom that mustn’t be jeopardised through control and regimentation, he added. However, Otto noted that citizens must also be able to defend themselves against online violations of their personal rights. The Liberal politician spoke out against giving governments more technical control over the global network through established bodies such as the IETF and the ICANN internet management authority. Otto also noted that genuine internet politics require an understanding of “how the underlying technologies work”.


  • Phone While Driving

    For years, we’ve discussed the problematic nature of “distracted driving” laws that seek to outlaw things like talking on your phone or texting while driving. It is not that we don’t think these behaviors are dangerous. It seems clear that those activities can take one’s attention away from driving and potentially increase the likelihood of an accident by a significant amount. However, the laws are often broad and inconsistent — and, worse, they can have serious unintended consequences. As we’ve noted there are lots and lots of things that can distract a driver which are still considered perfectly legal, such as changing the radio station, talking to passengers, eating, etc. Trying to ban each and every distraction one by one is a ridiculous and impossible task. In fact, studies have suggested that bad distracted drivers will often just find a different distraction to occupy their time. And, thanks to these laws, those drivers are often still texting while driving, but are simply holding their phones even lower, taking their eyes further off the road, so as to avoid detection… actually making the roads more dangerous. The real answer is to focus on stopping bad driving, not trying to call out specific activities.

  • Prenda Law: Let The Other Shoes Hit The Floor
  • Paul Hansmeier Pops Up In Prenda Law Defamation Case, Prenda Tries To Force It Back To State Ct.
  • KEI Works to Make the World a Better Place in Many Ways (Video)

    Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) director Jamie Love — formally James Packard Love — is the brain behind the “$1 a day” HIV drugs that have saved millions of lives in Africa and other poor parts of the world. Basically, he went around asking, “How much would it cost to make this HIV medication if the patent cost was removed?” At first, no one could answer. After a while, the answer came: Less than $1 a day. At that price, the Bush administration set up a massive program to deliver generic anti-HIV drugs to Africa. Jamie also works on copyright issues, boosts free software (he’s a Linux user/evangelist and had more than a little to do with the Microsoft antitrust suit), and generally tries to make the international knowledge ecology more accessible and more useful for everyone, especially those who aren’t rich. Or necessarily even prosperous. He’s a smart guy (read the Wikipedia entry linked above), but more than that he’s bullheaded. Jamie has worked on some of his initiatives for years, even decades. In many cases you can’t say, “He hasn’t succeeded,” without adding “yet” on the end. (You’ll understand that statement better after you watch the video, which we broke into two parts because it is far longer than our typical video interview.)

  • Yahoo China to end email service: media

    Yahoo’s China arm will shut down its email service later this year, state media reported Friday, illustrating the brand’s diminishing profile in the country.
    China Yahoo! announced it will close its email service by August 19, a move the China Daily said will leave it with just its web portal business.

  • Official, Authenticated, Preserved, and Accessible: The Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act

    Digital technology makes documents easy to alter or copy, leading to multiple non-identical versions that can be used in unauthorized or illegitimate ways. Unfortunately, the ease of alteration has introduced doubt in users’ minds about the authenticity of many of the digital documents they encounter.

  • Science

    • Computers Are Not Darwin Machines

      Most people think computers are built by intelligent design. How on earth can you say their development follows Darwin’s mechanism of “survival of the fittest”? Yet an article at Science Daily announces, “‘Survival of the Fittest’ Now Applies to Computers: Surprising Similarities Found Between Genetic and Computer Codes.” (Emphasis added.) Certain similarities between Linux code and bacterial genomes may obtain, but one thing should be clear: they are not Darwinian.

  • Security

    • The Secret Password Is…

      Since retinal scans still mainly are used in the movies to set the scene for gruesome eyeball-stealing, for the foreseeable future (pun intended), we’re stuck with passwords. In this article, I want to take some time to discuss best practices and give some thoughts on cool software designed to help you keep your private affairs private. Before getting into the how-to section, let me openly discuss the how-not-to.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Cablegate

  • Finance

    • Microsoft Excel: The ruiner of global economies?

      A paper used to justify austerity economics appears to contain an Excel error.

    • Saving Detroit: Globalization, the Destruction of Cities and the Rights of African Americans

      Detroit is a city that has been in the national and world news once again. Since March, when Gov. Rick Snyder declared a so-called “financial emergency” in Detroit, therefore setting the stage for the appointment of an “Emergency Manager”, many press reports drew a direct connection between the recent corruption trial of former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and businessman Bobby Ferguson. In fact just prior to Snyder’s declaration, Kilpatrick and Ferguson were found guilty of numerous corruption charges in the months-long federal trial.

      Of course the corporate and government-controlled media has never focused on who are the real culprits in the underdevelopment and consequent destruction of Detroit and other majority African American municipalities in Michigan. These media entities fall back on the same notions that have prevailed inside the United States since the period of Reconstruction, i.e. that African American political leadership is inherently corrupt and inefficient rendering them incapable of managing the affairs of governments locally, statewide and nationally.

    • Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) Beats Expectations

      What’s worrying investors the most appears to be the strange mixture of anemic customer trading revenue and institutional bravado when it comes to Goldman’s own money. Such high-risk/high-reward behavior was rather typical of institutions like Goldman Sachs (and indeed Goldman Sachs itself) prior to the crash, and it was largely seen as having created a toxic financial atmosphere.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • Self-Censorship on Chinese TV: An American Comedian’s Experience

      Now, he describes what happened after its wildly popular debut, and what it says about “doing business” in China.

    • Small bloggers good, small newspapers bad

      The latest twist in the Leveson saga is the Government’s proposed amendments to protect ‘small scale bloggers’.

      We previously warned the drafting meant groups like Big Brother Watch could be covered, along with websites like ConHome and Mumsnet.

      The amendment makes clear if you’re a multi-author blog with a turnover below £2m, you won’t be considered a ‘relevant publisher’ for the purposes of exemplary damages and cost protections. This is an important clarification. (Although the bill does still appear to lack a definition of ‘blog’, which could prove interesting – and expensive to argue in court.)

      However, the drafting only protects either ‘incidental’ publishers of news-related material, or multi-author blogs. So someone who is not a blog, who publishes news-related material on a regular basis, remains in scope even if their turnover is £10,000.

    • Fox Censors Cory Doctorow’s “Homeland” Novel From Google

      Copyfighter, journalist, sci-fi writer and Boing-Boing editor Cory Doctorow has fallen victim to the almighty content empire of Rupert Murdoch. In an attempt to remove access to infringing copies of the TV-show Homeland, Fox has ordered Google to take down links to Doctorow’s latest novel of the same title. Adding to the controversy, Doctorow’s own publisher has also sent DMCA notices for the Creative Commons licensed book.

  • Privacy

    • House passes Cispa cybersecurity bill with support of 92 Democrats

      House intelligence committee chairman Mike Rogers, left, with the committee’s ranking Democrat, CA “Dutch” Ruppersberger. Photograph: J Scott Applewhite/AP

    • Former DHS Official Says Boston Bombing Proves ACLU & EFF Are Wrong About Surveillance And CISPA
    • A call to arms for obfuscated bridges

      Facebook debuted its Android app family Facebook Home today. This means those of you with compatible devices (sorry Windows Phone and iOS users) have a snazzy new product to try out if you’re looking for a tightly-Facebook integrated mobile experience.

    • ACLU accuses the IRS of reading Americans’ private email without a search warrant

      The group believes the tax collection agency has run afoul of the Fourth Amendment guarantee against unreasonable searches.

    • Law professor makes a case for legally recognizing the Dangers of Surveillance

      The Dangers of Surveillance, written by Neil M. Richards, Professor of Law at Washington University in St. Louis, was recently published on the Social Science Research Network. In it, Richards proposed “four principles that should guide the future development of surveillance law.” Yet he said we must first recognize that: “Surveillance transcends the public-private divide;” that “secret surveillance is illegitimate;” that “total surveillance is illegitimate” and that “surveillance is harmful.” The courts may understand that surveillance could be potentially harmful, but “have struggled to clearly understand why.”

    • Apple Finally Reveals How Long Siri Keeps Your Data

      All of those questions, messages, and stern commands that people have been whispering to Siri are stored on Apple servers for up to two years, Wired can now report.
      Yesterday, we raised concerns about some fuzzy disclosures in Siri’s privacy policy. After our story ran, Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller called to explain Apple’s policy, something privacy advocates have asking for.
      This is the first time that Apple has said how long it’s keeping Siri data, but according to Nicole Ozer, the American Civil Liberties Union lawyer who first brought these Siri privacy questions to our attention, there’s still more that Apple could do.

    • Analysis: NSA Utah Data Center would be world’s biggest iPod

      Plans for a data center in San Antonio were also announced by the agency in 2007. Although the exact size of the San Antonio facility is unknown, it took the place of a 470,000 square foot former Sony microchip plant, reported DataCenterKnowledge.

      President Obama’s Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative calls for “upgraded infrastructure” and “increased bandwidth” as part of enhancing the nation’s cybersecurity capabilities. Yet, the San Antonio data center is only one part of the agency’s capacity.

    • Lawmakers Cite Boston Bombing, WikiLeaks “Hacking” as Reasons to Pass CISPA

      North Korean hackers and the Boston bombings might not appear to have much in common. But not according to some American lawmakers, who are using both to justify passing a controversial cybersecurity bill that civil liberties advocates claim “undermines the privacy of millions of Internet users.”

      Yesterday, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA, was approved by the House of Representatives by a vote of 288 to 127. The law was first introduced in 2011 and approved last year by the House, though it died in the Senate after an outpouring of opposition from privacy and civil liberties groups. But it has been resurrected and is heading to the Senate for the second time. Predictably, the storm of criticism has also reappeared. Rights groups have consistently raised concerns over how CISPA would allow corporations to pass unanonymized user data to federal government agencies for vaguely defined “cybersecurity” purposes—and be covered by full legal indemnity when doing so.

    • Snoopers’ laws could be used to ‘oppress us’, says David Cameron technology adviser
  • Civil Rights

    • In Which NY Times Reporter Jenna Wortham Accidentally Reveals How She Violated Both The CFAA & The DMCA

      Over the past few months and weeks there’s been much greater attention paid to both the CFAA and the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA, and how both are in need of serious reform. The attention to anti-circumvention was galvanized around the fact that unlocking your mobile phone became illegal again, after the Library of Congress allowed an exemption to expire, making many people realize that the anti-circumvention clause of the DMCA, also known as section 1201, meant that they often don’t really own the products they thought they owned. The attention to CFAA reform came in response to Aaron’s Swartz’s untimely death, and the light it shed on the parts of the CFAA that he was charged under. Of course, many of us have been fighting back against both laws for years, but the public attention on both has been key over the past few months.

    • Hacking the Law: Fights Over Cyber-Security and a Silicon Valley Divide

      To some, hacker Andrew “Weev” Auernheimer is a cause celebré. To others, he’s a famous douchebag. To many, he’s a polarizing figure in a debate that’s roiled Silicon Valley, pitting established tech companies against rogue innovators. When Auernheimer was sentenced to 41 months in prison for collecting and publicizing the names of 114,000 AT&T iPad users, reporters grappled over the right words to characterize him. A headline in Venture Beat reflected their ambivalence: “Terrorist, hacker, freedom fighter: Andrew Auernheimer parties tonight in expectation of jail tomorrow.”

    • Increasing CFAA Penalties Won’t Deter Foreign “Cybersecurity” Threats

      In the last three months alone, the House has released three different cybersecurity bills and has held over seven hearings on the issue. In addition, the House Judiciary Committee floated changes to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA)—the draconian anti-hacking statute that came to public prominence after the death of activist and Internet pioneer Aaron Swartz. Politicians tout this legislation as necessary to protect against foreign threats every single time they introduce a bill with “cyber” somewhere in the text. And it comes as no surprise that every hearing has opened up with a recap of computer security attacks faced by the US from China, Iran, and other foreign countries.

    • Ham Sandwich Nation: Due Process When Everything is a Crime

      Though extensive due process protections apply to the investigation of crimes, and to criminal trials, perhaps the most important part of the criminal process — the decision whether to charge a defendant, and with what — is almost entirely discretionary. Given the plethora of criminal laws and regulations in today’s society, this due process gap allows prosecutors to charge almost anyone they take a deep interest in. This Essay discusses the problem in the context of recent prosecutorial controversies involving the cases of Aaron Swartz and David Gregory, and offers some suggested remedies, along with a call for further discussion.

    • CFAA: Internet Activists Win First-Round Victory In Fight Over Anti-Hacking Law
    • IBM executives head to Washington to press lawmakers on cybersecurity bill

      Nearly 200 senior IBM executives are flying into Washington to press for the passage of a controversial cybersecurity bill that will come up for a vote in the House this week.
      The IBM executives will pound the pavement on Capitol Hill Monday and Tuesday, holding nearly 300 meetings with lawmakers and staff. Over the course of those two days, their mission is to convince lawmakers to back a bill that’s intended to make it easier for industry and government to share information about cyber threats with each other in real time.

    • Reddit co-founder calls out Google, Twitter, Facebook over CISPA
    • 34 Civil Liberties Organizations Oppose CISPA After Amendments

      Today, thirty-four civil liberties organizations sent a joint letter to Congressional Representatives urging them to continue to oppose the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). CISPA is a misguided “cybersecurity” bill that would provide a gaping new exception to privacy law. The House of Representatives is likely to vote on it on Wednesday or Thursday of this week. This means that there’s little time remaining to speak out against this bill.

    • Hacktivists as Gadflies

      Mr. Brown came under the scrutiny of the authorities when he began poring over documents that had been released in the hack of two private security companies, HBGary Federal and Stratfor. Mr. Brown did not take part in the hacks, but he did become obsessed with the contents that emerged from them — in particular the extracted documents showed that private security contractors were being hired by the United States government to develop strategies for undermining protesters and journalists, including Glenn Greenwald, a columnist for Salon. Since the cache was enormous, Mr. Brown thought he might crowdsource the effort and copied and pasted the URL from an Anonymous chat server to a Web site called Project PM, which was under his control.

    • GRAHAM: Boston proves “homeland battlefield,” Constitution obsolete

      The always patriotic U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham says the Boston bombing “is Exhibit A of why the homeland is the battlefield.” In an interview with the Washington Post:

      “It’s a battlefield because the terrorists think it is.” Referring to Boston, he observed, “Here is what we’re up against,” and added, “It sure would be nice to have a drone up there [to track the suspect.]” He also slammed the president’s policy of “leading from behind and criminalizing war.”

    • America cannot assert moral authority while Guantánamo remains open

      In 2009, defending the promise he made to close Guantánamo Bay, President Barack Obama insisted: “The existence of Guantánamo likely created more terrorists around the world than it ever detained.”

      This weekend, the case for the closure of Guantánamo Bay, promised by Obama on his second day in office, has never been more compelling. A hunger strike by the camp’s inmates, half of whom had been cleared for release, has underlined the growing desperation of those 166 still detained. Of that number, some 86 had been approved for transfer (while the rest had been earmarked for trial) but have become stuck in a political and legal limbo that has seen such transfers almost completely halted in the last two-and-a-half years. A recent report by a bipartisan panel of experts has condemned both the conditions there and the use of abusive interrogation techniques.

    • Michigan House Unanimously Passes NDAA Nullification Bill

      Local and state lawmakers opposing the tyranny of the NDAA and indefinite detention stand on very sound constitutional ground in their battle against federal overreaching. Any unconstitutional act of the federal government is prima facie void and must not be given the respect or force of law. In fact, such measures are not law at all.

    • Speakers on the National Defense Authorization Act in Belfast

      For many constitutional watchers, the Bill of Rights are in danger. That will be the message of speakers Debra Sweet and Michael Figura, who will be on a tour of Maine from April 19-21. After speaking in Bangor on April 19, Sweet and Figura will travel to Belfast to speak at the Belfast Free Library on Saturday, April 20 at 2:30 p.m. On April 21, they will wrap up their Maine tour in Portland.

    • Four Reasons Sens. Graham and McCain are Wrong about Military Detention for Dzhokar Tsarnaev
    • The Bill of Rights was written for Dzhokar Tsarnaev

      19-year-old Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev is in custody. Assuming that Tsarnaev is indeed guilty of these crimes, a very real threat to public safety has been taken off the streets. That’s the good news.

      The bad news is that the Tsarnaev brothers have taken the last vestiges of a free society in America down with them.

      The Bill of Rights was already on life support before this tragedy. Before the dust settled after 9/11, the 4th Amendment had been nullified by the Patriot Act. The 5th and 6th Amendments were similarly abolished with the Military Commission Act of 2006 and the 2012 NDAA resolution, which contained a clause allowing the president to arrest and indefinitely detain American citizens on American soil without due process of law.

    • America At Its Best … And Worst
  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Google moves to end EU antitrust probe without fine

      Google has formally submitted a package of concessions to European Union competition regulators in a strong signal that the world’s No. 1 search engine may be able to settle a two-year antitrust investigation without a fine.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Hitachi Loses Royalty Bid on TPV High-Definition TV Sales

      Hitachi Ltd. (6501) lost a U.S. patent- infringement trial in which it sought as much as four years of royalty payments from TPV Technology Ltd. (903) on sales of high- definition televisions.
      A federal jury in Marshall, Texas, last week said TPV, the world’s fourth-largest maker of LCD televisions, didn’t infringe four Hitachi patents and that two of them were invalid.

      The dispute is over inventions related to an industrywide standard for a process to transmit digital audio and visual signals, as well as program data, over the airwaves. Hitachi claimed that televisions made by TPV and its units infringed the company’s patents.

    • Trademarks

      • USPTO retracts objections to Apple’s ‘iPad mini’ trademark application

        In an Office action filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office last week, the attorney examining Apple’s “iPad mini” trademark withdrew their primary objections to the application, saying only a disclaimer clarifying the mark’s use of the term “mini” is needed in order to move forward.

      • Attorney Fee Award Against Charles Carreon for Abusive Trademark Litigation

        In a brief opinion issued today, Judge Richard Seeborg of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California awarded Christopher Recouvreur more than $46,000 in attorney fees and expenses for having had to defend himself against a series of wild and baseless threats of suit for trademark infringement by Charles Carreon. After we were finally able to get service on Carreon and moved for an award of the costs of service, Carreon served a Rule 68 judgment granting the declaratory relief for which we had sued. We then sought to have fees awarded on the grounds that Carreon had bought threatened trademark claims that had no reasonable basis, thus forcing Recouvreur to seek a declaratory judgment to protect himself against damages claims; that Carreon ducked service and then refused to pay the costs of such service but rather forced us to move to collect those costs; particularly after Carreon demanded the opportunity to conduct discovery over the fee claims, we also argued that his litigation conduct made the case exceptional.

    • Copyrights

      • Judge Won’t Allow ‘Mass-Suing’ of Movie Pirates

        Hundreds of thousands of people have been sued for copyright infringement in the past three years using a controversial litigation strategy.

      • The Empire acquires the rebel alliance: Mendeley users revolt against Elsevier takeover

        Mendeley, an open collaboration platform for scientific research, has promised that it won’t become less open after being acquired by journal publisher Elsevier, but some prominent users aren’t waiting around.

      • EFF On IsoHunt: Bad Facts Make Bad Law

        As Gary Fung is seeking a rehearing of the IsoHunt case in the 9th Circuit, two amicus briefs were filed yesterday. The first from the EFF and the second from Google. Neither brief suggests that Fung should get off as innocent, or that he did nothing wrong. Rather, both are worried about how the broad ruling by the court for the specific situation regarding Fung and IsoHunt will lead to further abuse by copyright holders and massive chilling effects on service providers. The EFF notes that while Fung/IsoHunt may have been bad actors, it appears that the court used this to go way overboard in creating new and dangerous standards for copyright

      • YouTube prevails in huge copyright suit with Viacom

        In an epic clash between old and new media, Google Inc.’s video website YouTube has scored another huge victory in the long-running skirmish over copyright infringement brought by television giant Viacom Inc.
        A federal judge in New York on Thursday ruled that YouTube had not violated Viacom’s copyright even though users of the popular online site were allowed to post unauthorized video clips from some of Viacom’s most popular shows, including Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and Nickelodeon’s “SpongeBob SquarePants.”

      • How Google Beat Viacom in the Landmark YouTube Copyright Case — Again

        Media giant Viacom just can’t win — at least when it comes to the company’s long-running, landmark copyright infringement lawsuit against Google‘s YouTube video service. A federal judge handed a major victory to YouTube on Thursday, one year after a federal appeals court breathed new life into Viacom’s $1 billion lawsuit. Viacom had accused YouTube of illegally hosting videos that infringe on the company’s intellectual property, including popular content like MTV videos and TV shows like Comedy Central’s “South Park.”


Links 19/4/2013: Enterprises Shift to GNU/Linux Servers, Debian 7.0 “Wheezy” Imminent

Posted in News Roundup at 10:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • Microsoft ending support for Windows XP

      Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) advises XP users to update to a newer version of Windows or an alternative like Linux by that date at the latest.

  • Server

    • When a Shell Isn’t Enough
    • IBM Pushes New SystemZ Back-End For LLVM

      IBM is becoming increasingly interested in SystemZ for a variety of purposes, including the use of the Gallium3D LLVMpipe driver. As a result, IBM developers have created a new LLVM back-end for their mainframe computers.

      Ulrich Weigand of IBM announced the new SystemZ back-end on Sunday with this mailing list message. He wrote, “We’re interested in this for the same reason we’ve been interested in the PowerPC back-end recently: to enable packages in upcoming enterprise Linux distributions that need LLVM support (e.g. 3D desktop support via llvmpipe).”

    • Intel targets software defined networks with Linux-based switch reference designs

      Intel is aiming at datacentres with new software-defined networking (SDN) products comprising reference designs based on x86 hardware for physical and virtual switch appliances, plus an optimised version of the Open vSwitch virtual switch software.

    • Linux: Enterprises Shift Servers from UNIX and Windows

      Over the next five years the shift towards Linux seems to be particularly clear, with 80 percent of large IT organizations planning to increase their purchases of Linux servers and only 20 percent planning to make additional Windows-server purchases.

    • With Roadrunner’s Retirement, Petascale Enters Middle Age

      Maybe I’m getting old, but the petascale era of supercomputing still feels new to me. On the other hand, the recent decommissioning of IBM’s Roadrunner, the world’s first petaflopper, suggests otherwise. Roadrunner booted up at the Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory five years ago in 2008. Its retirement last week marks the approximate mid-point between the first petaflop system and the first exaflop one — assuming, of course, you’re an exascale optimist.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel Log: Coming in 3.9 (Part 3)

      Linux 3.9 includes drivers for new AMD graphics chips and for Intel Wi-Fi chips that are expected to become available this summer. Changes to the network subsystem will enable the kernel to be more efficient when distributing network traffic across multiple processor cores.

    • The Kernel Column – 3.9 draws near
    • Freedreno Driver Begins Work On Adreno A320

      The open-source Freedreno driver that seeks to provide a fully open-source Qualcomm Adreno graphics driver for Linux with OpenGL ES acceleration by a Gallium3D driver, is beginning to support the Qualcomm GPU found within the Google Nexus 4.

    • IU saves nearly $20 million with open source financial system
    • Intel Does Fast Math With MKL On Linux

      Intel’s Integrated Performance Primitives (IPP) and their Math Kernel Library (MKL) provide for very fast math operations with modern processors.

    • Graphics Stack

      • X.Org Servers Updated To Fix Security Flaw

        Peter Hutterer has issued unscheduled updates to the X.Org Server 1.13 and 1.14 release series to address a new input security vulnerability on Linux.

        Coming about last week was CVE-2013-1940. Red Hat employees discovered, “An information disclosure flaw was found in the way X.org X11 server…used to register new hot-plug devices, when X.org X11 server was instructed (for that particular moment) not to receive input devices events. Formerly when registering new input device, X.org X11 server simultaneously enabled retrieval of input from the particular device (regardless of the setting). A local unsuspecting user, relying on the X.org X11 server disable input feature it to properly prohibit acquiring of events from this newly added hot-plug device, could supply a sensitive information that, due the above bug, would become available to the physically proximate attackers.”

      • Radeon HDMI Linux Audio Might Be Restored Soon

        Support for HDMI audio output with the open-source Radeon Linux graphics driver might finally be in a state where it could be re-enabled by default.

        While HDMI audio is important to many users, especially when it comes to HTPCs, the support within the open-source Radeon DRM driver has had the feature disabled by default. It’s been disabled by default for a long time now since for some Linux users having the support enabled has led to screen issues.

      • Wayland Bindings Come To JavaScript (Node.js)

        JavaScript bindings for the Wayland client have come in the form of a Node.js implementation.

      • Linux Gets IDed For Intel’s “Harris Beach” Ultrabook

        Harris Beach is Intel’s compelling Software Development Platform/Vehicle for Haswell in the form of an ultra-thin ultrabook.

        Harris Beach has been talked about in the public months back as an Intel reference ultrabook built around their forthcoming Haswell processors. Harris Beach is said to be a 17mm thick ultrabook and that the CPU found within this mobile device will have either a 10 or 15 Watt TDP, complete with high-end graphics capabilities.

      • Wayland 1.1 Officially Released With Weston 1.1

        The first post-1.0 release of the Wayland Display Server protocol and the Weston reference compositor implementation has been released.

        Kristian Høgsberg released Wayland/Weston 1.1 on Monday evening after last week laying out the 1.1 release plans.

      • Wayland 1.1 Officially Released With Weston 1.1

        The first post-1.0 release of the Wayland Display Server protocol and the Weston reference compositor implementation has been released.

        Kristian Høgsberg released Wayland/Weston 1.1 on Monday evening after last week laying out the 1.1 release plans.

      • Modern Intel Gallium3D Driver Proposed For Mainline

        Early this morning I delivered benchmarks of the new Intel Gallium3D driver developed by a LunarG employee. Coincidentally, hours later, the developer has proposed merging this Gallium3D graphics driver for Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge hardware into mainline Mesa.

        The “i965g-next” driver was started late last year and continues to be frequently worked on by Chia-I Wu. Checking in on it recently, there still was fresh Git activity, I decided to run some benchmarks comparing it to Intel’s official Mesa “classic” DRI driver. The DRI driver is still a ways faster than this experimental driver.

      • More Criticism Comes Towards Intel’s Beignet OpenCL

        Yesterday was marked by the first release of Beignet, an open-source Linux OpenCL solution for Intel Ivy Bridge hardware, however it has drawn criticism by open-source developers.

      • The First Radeon DRM Pull For Linux 3.10

        AMD’s Alex Deucher has sent in the first Radeon DRM driver pull request for early Linux 3.10 kernel changes to be merged into the drm-next repository.

      • Intel Enables Mesa Support For Bay Trail / Valley View

        Intel has now officially enabled support for their next-generation Bay Trail (a.k.a. Valley View) platform within their open-source i965 Mesa graphics driver.

      • R600g Tests Show Little Change On Mesa 9.2-devel

        Now having shown that Intel Ivy Bridge graphics are faster with the latest Mesa 9.2-devel Git code and also that the Gallium3D LLVMpipe driver is significantly faster, here’s a new round of AMD Radeon “R600g” Gallium3D performance benchmarks.

        The OpenGL benchmarks in this article are being done from an MSI WindBox system, which has been dusted off after not being tested in a while, and sports AMD Radeon HD 4330 graphics for the Intel Atom 330 “nettop” device.

      • Intel Releases NumaTOP 1.0 Tool

        Per its 01.org project page, “NumaTOP is an observation tool for runtime memory locality characterization and analysis of processes and threads running on a NUMA system. It helps the user characterize the NUMA behavior of processes and threads and identify where the NUMA-related performance bottlenecks reside.”

      • Mir Display Server Now Uses XKB Common

        XKB Common is a library for handling keyboard mapping and descriptions along with related tasks like parsing the descriptions, etc. The xkbcommon library is used by Wayland for handling keyboard mapping and is also used by KMSCON, GTK+, Qt, Clutter, and other open-source projects. More xkbcommon details for those interested can be found in its GitHub repository. This keyboard-related library is largely developed by well known X.Org developer Daniel Stone.

      • Intel i915 Gallium3D Driver Might Become The Default

        In the discussion about mainlining the new Intel Gallium3D driver for Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge processors, the long-standing i915 Gallium3D driver for older Intel hardware was brought out. It turns out that this driver might replace the classic i915 Intel driver as the new default.

      • Geometry Shaders Come To NV50 Gallium3D

        Initial patches are ready to provide support for OpenGL geometry shaders within the Nouveau NV50 Gallium3D driver.

      • NVIDIA Tegra DRM Prepares For Linux 3.10 Kernel

        The first NVIDIA Tegra DRM driver changes for the Linux 3.10 kernel are now known.

        Thierry Reding of Avionic Design submitted his first pull request for drm-next to merge his Tegra DRM kernel driver changes. The most notable change with the 3.10 kernel will be introducing host1x support, which is needed for introducing 2D and 3D acceleration to this open-source graphics driver used by NVIDIA ARM SoCs.

      • How-To Use Open-Source Radeon UVD On Ubuntu
    • Benchmarks

      • AMD Radeon Gallium3D More Competitive With Catalyst On Linux

        With the ever-changing state of Linux graphics drivers — both for the open and closed-source drivers — new tests have been conducted to compare the OpenGL graphics performance on Linux with AMD Radeon graphics. In this article are benchmarks of nine different Radeon HD graphics cards when being tested on the very latest AMD Catalyst (13.3 Beta 3) graphics driver as well as the open-source AMD Radeon driver consisting of Mesa 9.2-devel and the yet-to-be-released Linux 3.9 kernel.

      • Benchmarks Of The New ZFS On Linux: EXT4 Wins

        At the end of March was a new release of ZFS On Linux, a kernel module implementation of the ZFS file-system for Linux, and it was declared ZFS On Linux is now ready for wide-scale deployments. With this release (ZOL/SPL v0.6.1), new benchmarks are being done to compare ZFS to popular Linux file-systems. In this article is a brief preview against EXT4.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • KDE, GNOME, Unity, Razor-Qt Developers Met Up

      Last week at the SUSE offices in Nürnberg there was a meeting between developers of the KDE, GNOME, Unity, and Razor-qt desktop environments.

      The focus of this recent open-source cross-desktop meeting was to collaborate around specifications that are inoperable between the Linux desktop environments.

    • Open source desktop developers meet at freedesktop Summit

      KDE developer David Faure has written a report on the first freedesktop Summit, which took place from 11 to 16 April at the SUSE offices in Nuremberg, Germany. At the summit, developers from GNOME, KDE, Unity and Razor-qt discussed how to improve collaboration between their respective projects by creating new, and refining existing, cross-desktop specifications. The developers reached an agreement on how D-Bus will be implemented by applications across different desktops, talked about modifications to the trash specification and defined a new file format to cache and index .desktop files. The future of the accountsservice D-Bus interface was also discussed.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Ubuntu Gnome Obtains Official Status Recongnition

        Ubuntu users that prefer the Gnome Shell are in for a treat. Ubuntu Gnome has joined the ranks as an official Ubuntu edition. The first official Ubuntu Gnome release will be coming along with the eagerly awaited Ubuntu 13.04 which will continue to use the Unity desktop as before.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Slackware Family

      • Linux Potpourri: Slack Current, KDELyteDEsktop, and Sabayon systemd

        Volkerding says it’s been fun living on the bleeding edge, but he was actually thinking the next release should be a stable 14.1. “I’d rather be targeting the next release as 14.1 and a stable, evolutionary update to 14.0 rather than a 15.0 that’s churned out before the components have really have a chance to mature upstream. There’s enough of that happening elsewhere, and in my humble opinion it doesn’t need to happen here.”

      • Study: Most projects on GitHub not open source licensed

        Code-sharing website GitHub has grown so popular that it and open source are practically synonymous for many developers. But new research shows that most of the projects now on GitHub are released under license terms that are unclear, inconsistent, or nonexistent, leaving their legal status as open source software uncertain.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Closing In On The Last Few Bugs In Debian Wheezy

        There are about 10 bugs left to solve before releasing Wheezy, Debian’s next release. Most of those bugs have a solution found and it’s just a matter of having the changes percolate through the system. A few will develop pragmatic fixes. It could happen this weekend…

      • Debian 7 “Wheezy” to be yours on 4th/5th May
        Anurag Bhandari’s picture

        Debian, the world’s largest Linux distribution (in terms of repository-size) and the mother of Ubuntu, is set to release its awaited next stable version on the weekend of 4th/5th May this year. Codenamed “Wheezy”, Debian 7.0 will bring a huge amount of changes to the table. Debian is known to make its stable releases under codenames based on characters of the popular animated trilogy Toy Story. It’s interesting to note that Wheezy was a stuffed toy penguin in Toy Story 2 that resembled the familiar Linux mascot Tux.

      • Debian 7.0 “Wheezy” release planned for May 5
      • Debian 7.0 “Wheezy” To Release In Early May
      • Derivatives

        • Elive 2.1.37 development released

          We appreciate your feedbacks about the overall speed/lightness of the system compared to last stable version of Elive. You can say something in our chat channel directly from the running system. If you detect any lagging in the system please consider different setups like disabling composite (which you can select on the startup of the graphical system) in order to report improvements. We would also appreciate feedbacks about composite enabled or disabled in old computers, suggestions for better performances, and memory usage compared to Topaz.

        • Debian base for first Pardus Community Edition

          The developers of the Pardus Linux distribution have announced the first release of their new Pardus Community Edition. According to the announcement blog post, Pardus Community Edition is a “stable and useful” distribution based on Debian Wheezy. Pardus Community Edition 1.0 complements Pardus 2013 Corporate, which was released at the end of March.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • OpenStack Summit: HP, Canonical Ubuntu Flex Cloud Muscle

            Hewlett-Packard’s public and private cloud strategy leans heavily on OpenStack, the open source cloud platform. The same is true for Canonical’s Ubuntu Linux. Here’s an HP and Ubuntu update from OpenStack Summit 2013.

          • Ubuntu 13.04: GNOME vs Unity User Interface Update

            Ubuntu 13.04, which debuts next week, will have an official GNOME version. That news slipped under the radar for most folks, but it should please some Linux desktop users who don’t like Canonical’s Unity interface. And it could also impact Canonical’s big aspirations of “Ubuntu convergence” across all devices offered by channel partners.

          • Rhythmbox Says Goodbye to the Ubuntu One Music Store

            Canonical has announced that the Ubuntu One Music Store has been removed from Ubuntu 13.04, Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and Ubuntu 12.10.

            This news is not actually a surprise. It’s unclear how many customers are using the Music Store, but it seems that Canonical’s decision to remove the store from Rhythmbox has to do with the traffic generated by the web store counterpart.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Fuduntu’s development to end
            • Fuduntu Linux to shut down, new distro to follow

              Network World – The team in charge of maintaining and developing Fuduntu, a Linux-based operating system designed as a hybrid of Fedora and Ubuntu, voted Sunday to close down the project.

            • Kubuntu gets better artwork for 13.04

              Kubuntu, the KDE flavour of Ubuntu, is getting ready for the 13.04 release. Not only is it getting latest and greatest from the KDE stable, including 4.10.2, it’s also polishing the UI a bit.

            • The Future of Fuduntu

              I was pretty sad when I heard Fuduntu was going end-of-life. It seemed like a very promising distro was being mothballed just as it seemed to be gaining attention within the Linux community. I reached out to Lee Ward, who handles communication for Fuduntu, about the future of the distro, and he had some interesting details to reveal, including the idea that the future distro could be a rolling, curated version of OpenSUSE. It’ll be interesting to see what the new distro shapes up to be.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • HP: You Get From the Open Source Community What You Put In

    HP Cloud Services Vice President and General Manager Roger Levy stopped by #theCUBE at the #OpenStack Summit 2013 yesterday, to talk with co-hosts John Furrier and David Floyer about everything HP is doing in the cloud. HP sees winning DevOps as bringing automation into the private and public clouds and providing DevOps tools.

  • How to Bring More Women to Free and Open Source Software

    As an undergraduate engineering student Karen Sandler was used to being the only woman in a class. At the time she didn’t want to talk about why there weren’t more women in technology, though, believing the attention would only make things worse. That attitude has changed over time, however, as she experienced sexism more directly. At tech conferences, for example, her male colleagues would sometimes ask her whose spouse she was, not knowing that she was actually a speaker at the event.

  • French start-up Gaia Transparence ships open source position management tool

    Gaia Transparence announces the creation of the first open source software platform for financial trade and position management.

  • Napster.fm Is an Open-Source Social Music Player You Can Host Yourself
  • Facebook throws down efficiency gauntlet with real-time data and open-source dashboards
  • Open source monitoring software ready for final release

    Open source monitoring software should get a boost with the expected final release of the Assimilation Monitoring Project in late April.

    Originally, the Assimilation Monitoring Project (AMP) was started to fix the configuration woes and workload issues present in traditional monitoring software, but has evolved to include automation and a unique brand of scalability. AMP founder and project leader Alan Robertson expands on the details of its final release in this Q&A.

  • Improve Your Open Source Project Adoption by Catering to Integrators

    In the software ecology, a special type of evangelist works with organizations that are open to incorporating open source into their technology infrastructure. These “integrators” (sometimes called value-added resellers or just computer consultants) can encourage a business to adopt software because the integrator is a trusted outside party without a sales agenda. If you capture the integrators and keep them interested and dedicated, the growth of your project is guaranteed.

  • Events

    • 5 Favorite Sessions from Collaboration Summit Attendees

      Now more than halfway through the Linux Foundation’s Collaboration Summit in San Francisco, attendees have started to weigh in on the best sessions and experiences so far. Some cited Monday’s keynote presentations from heavy hitters such as Samsung and Jaguar Land Rover. Others focused on the technical discussions in Tuesday’s sessions, which covered a range of topics from Automotive Grade Linux to kernel scheduler load balancing. And for some, simply meeting the developers on the other side of an email list provided the best experience at the conference. Here, five Linux community members tell us their conference highlights so far. (See their abbreviated answers in video on Tout.)

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Intel CIO Kim Stevenson on big data, OpenStack, women in IT

      Intel CIO Kim Stevenson, who has been at the helm for a little more than a year, said OpenStack is the most useful cloud architecture for avoiding lock-in, outlined how the chip giant is using big data techniques, and talked capacity planning for her company.

    • Who is Using OpenStack?

      OpenStack is being deployed and used by organizations that many Americans know as household brand names. That’s the message coming from the OpenStack Summit where a conga line of big end users explained to capacity crowds why they chose OpenStack and how it is being used.

      In a live demo on the keynote stage, Mark Muehl, senior VP of product engineering at Comcast, showed how his firm is using OpenStack. Muehl brought out a TV set-top box and showed Comcast’s new X1, TV viewing guide system. That system is all powered at the back-end by an OpenStack cloud.

    • Why enterprises should get involved in the open cloud now

      While startups, developers, and small businesses flock to behemoth public clouds like Amazon Web Services and Google Compute Engine that give them a profoundly efficient bang for their buck, bigger enterprises largely stick to paying the high cost for private clouds. They are wary of potential availability and security issues that, rightfully, could hamper (or cripple) their business. The perceived risk-reward of saving money by turning IT operations over to a public cloud hasn’t yet permeated through to big businesses.

    • Flash is Just as Transformative as Open-Source Big Data, says IBM’s Steve Mills

      Steve Mills, the SVP and group executive of software and systems for IBM, discussed his company’s plan to invest$1 billion in flash storage with Wikibon’s Dave Vellante at a media event held this week in New York.

      Vellante starts the interview by pointing out that this is not the first time Big Blue decided to throw a billion at a major trend. A decade ago the company pumped $1 billion into Linux, and a few years after that it pledged to invest the same amount in analytics.

    • OpenNode – A Standards Based Cloud Platform

      Since we have been looking at FreeBSD, OpenVZ, and ProxMox, it seems only right to mention the other open source player in this market: OpenNode. OpenNode, like ProxMox, is a management layer built on top of OpenVZ containers and KVM virtual machines. Unlike ProxMox, which is built on Debian, OpenNode is similar to CentOS and Scientific Linux in that it is built off of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. A good fit, since the stable OpenVZ kernel is also released for RHEL.

    • NSA Building a Secure Version of OpenStack

      The NSA (America’s super secret intelligence agency) is no stranger to open source software and apparently they aren’t strangers to OpenStack either.

      NSA developer Nathaniel Burton was speaking at the OpenStack summit today, though he joked that he couldn’t reveal how many servers they had running OpenStack or what they are running on those OpenStack servers.

    • At NSA, The Cloud Is About Big Data And Moving Beyond IT

      NSA’s goal is to unify data and use it to do analysis, said Nathanael Burton, a computer scientist with the security agency in a keynote address today at the OpenStack Summit in Portland. But with its old infrastructure, the data was spread across different systems that did not work together.

    • U.S. intelligence agencies embrace OpenStack
    • OpenStack Is Taking Important Steps Forward

      This week, the OpenStack Summit is going on, and in conjunction with the conference there are lots of signs that the open source cloud computing platform is going to start heading into high gear for the remainder of 2013. Red Hat advanced its enterprise Red Hat OpenStack offering into an Early Adopter Program and announced the availability of RDO, a community-supported distribution of OpenStack that runs on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Fedora and their derivatives. Meanwhile, there are reports that some enterprises are ditching Amazon Web Services (AWS) for OpenStack, in a push to gain more control over their cloud-based futures.

  • Databases

    • Taking MariaDB Foundation Forward

      I’m pleased to tell you that I have a new role that I’ve already started within the scope of Meshed Insights. It’s a new and exciting departure for me.

      I’ve remained in touch with Monty Widenius ever since we were both at Sun together. At the start of the year, he asked if I would consider helping him move the MariaDB Foundation forward as an independent steward of the MariaDB database project. I agreed, and recently accepted his request to join the board of directors for the new Foundation, along with several others. To allow Monty to focus on the technical aspects of MariaDB, I also agreed to the new Board’s request to take on a part-time role as the interim chief executive of the Foundation, at least until a member-elected Board is seated.

    • MySQL competitor MariaDB gets decorated board

      The MariaDB foundation has announced the appointment of a new Board of Directors and a new interim chief executive. The board members include Rasmus Johansson, Andrew Katz, Simon Phipps, Michael “Monty” Widenius, and Jeremy Zawodny. The interim board has appointed Johansson as Chair and Phipps as Secretary and Chief Executive Officer.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Education

  • Business

  • Funding

    • Google and the FreeBSD Foundation fund Capsicum development

      The FreeBSD Foundation has announced that it and the Google Open Source Programs Office are jointly funding developer Pawel Jakub Dawidek to improve the Capsicum framework. Capsicum was originally developed by Robert Watson of the University of Cambridge and Ben Laurie from Google Research to extend the POSIX API and provide object-capability security to Unix-like operating systems. The goal of the framework is to give thin-client operating systems like Google’s Chrome OS a robust security model that is relatively lightweight. Capsicum has been available in FreeBSD since version 9.0 and Google is working on a Linux version.


    • Google reinstates federated instant messaging

      We want to commend Google for doing the right thing.

    • The State & Future Of The GNU C Library (GLIBC)

      Red Hat’s Carlos O’Donell provided an update this week on the GNU C Library along with some recent and upcoming features for glibc.

      The GNU C Library (glibc) faces increasing competition from other C library implementations like Google Android’s Bionic, uClibc on embedded systems, EGLIBC, and dietlibc, among others. With glibc losing some of its appeal even on modern Linux desktop distributions, Carlos O’Donell spoke this week at the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit about the state of this GNU project along with a look ahead at the glibc 2.18 release.

  • Public Services/Government

    • What’s holding back Open Source innovation in government?

      Much has been written about the use of Open Source in government over the last few years. Yet, despite a strong directive from Francis Maude, and the Cabinet Office, many central government workers in IT decision making positions still appear to be hesitant about implementing alternative software solutions into their existing technology stack. So, just what is holding back Open Source innovation in government?

  • Programming

    • Study: Most projects on GitHub not open source licensed

      That’s according to Aaron Williamson, senior staff counsel at the Software Freedom Law Center, who presented some of his findings on the matter at the Linux Collaboration Summit in San Francisco on Wednesday.

    • Making A Code Compiler Energy-Aware

      There’s a discussion on the LLVM development mailing list about making the compiler become energy-aware to provide an optimization level that would provide the most power-efficient binaries. However, it isn’t clear whether this would make sense over simply trying to assemble the fastest binary.

    • LLVM/Clang 3.3 Should Be Close To Building Linux Kernel

      Developing are reaching a point where the mainline LLVM/Clang compiler in an “out of the box” configuration can compile the mainline Linux kernel with only a few patches against the kernel’s source tree. This summer’s release of LLVM/Clang 3.3 should be a big milestone.

      Aside from Intel MKL and the state of glibc, another interesting topic at this week’s Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit was in regards to LLVM/Clang for building the Linux kernel rather than GCC. Building the Linux kernel with LLVM/Clang has long been pursued by developers and something we have been talking about on Phoronix quite a bit in the past two years or so.


  • Thatcher Lifted Millions–Says Who?

    This is notable for a number of reasons, not the least of which being that that John Burns gets to write news articles for the New York Times assessing the legacy of Margaret Thatcher. He’s made up his mind, obviously, and he tries to work that into his reporting for the paper.

  • Government’s Opinion Of You, In Thirteen Words

    Rarely has a legislator expressed what he thinks of the public with such eloquence and and brevity as Republican Tommy Tucker, Chairman of the North Carolina Senate’s State and Local Government Committee.

  • Science

    • Fish’s DNA May Explain How Fins Turned to Feet

      Often called a living fossil, the coelacanth (pronounced SEE-luh-canth) was long believed to have fallen extinct 70 million years ago, until a specimen was recognized in a fish market in South Africa in 1938. The coelacanth has fleshy, lobed fins that look somewhat like limbs, as does the lungfish, an air-breathing freshwater fish. The coelacanth and the lungfish have long been battling for the honor of which is closer to the ancestral fish that first used fins to walk on land and give rise to the tetrapods, meaning all the original vertebrates and their descendants, from reptiles and birds to mammals.

  • Hardware

    • Intel acquires Mashery API manager

      Intel has acquired Mashery, a company that develops management tools for web and on-premise APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). The tools are offered as a cloud service as well as locally (“Mashery Local”), and third parties can use them to access their own APIs. Components include caching features, security tools, dashboards, and options for generating API usage reports.

  • Poison/Gas/Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Al-Qaeda Pressure Cookers?

      The news that the Boston Marathon bombs used conventional pressure cookers led to a flurry of coverage suggesting that this was perhaps a link to Al-Qaeda inspired jihadists.

    • Altered States

      Nigeria shows much greater wisdom than the standard Western government line that the state can do no wrong and that all terrorist movements must be crushed by military force – something that often leads into an unending revenge cycle. Insurgency movements are indeed always caused – no matter how psychotic or vicious individual terrorists may be and no matter how evil some of their acts. For any terrorist or insurgency activity to have sufficient support in a host population to have a resilient existence, that population must believe itself to have a legitimate grievance. Ultimately the only way to overcome terrorism is to talk to the terrorists. Which is not to say I think this initiative will succeed; but it is certainly the right thing to try.

    • In Virginia’s Fairfax County, Robbing Banks for the CIA

      Theo started calling Washington-area lawyers asking them to defend Torres. He told criminal defense attorneys David Dischley and Michael Robinson that he worked for the CIA’s national resources division, which recruits citizens and foreigners to assist the U.S. abroad. He explained that Torres had been arrested during a government training operation gone bad. Torres, he said, was being tested for an eventual mission in El Salvador to infiltrate the criminal gang MS-13. Theo offered Dischley and Robinson $45,000 in cash to take the case.

    • Bay Of Pigs 52nd Anniversary Remembers Disastrous CIA Backed Invasion Of Cuba (PICTURES)

      In 1961 Cuba was ruled by a leftist administration dominated by Prime Minister Fidel Castro.

      With the Cold War in full swing the United States didn’t take kindly to the idea of a communist satellite state just 90 miles away from the Florida Keys.

    • The Bay of Pigs and Its Consequences
    • The Bay of Pigs—An Anniversary of Heroism and Shame

      “Wimps,” sneers Michael Moore in his book Downsize This, referring to men (and boys, some as young as 16) who 52 years ago this week hit a Cuban beach now known as the Bay of Pigs. “Really just a bunch of wimps. That’s right, wimps– and crybabies too,” sneers Moore. “Ex-Cubans with a yellow stripe down their backs.”

    • CIA Demolish Cloud Security Concerns: All Systems Go
    • Issa Tells CIA: Plan for Massive Benghazi Probe

      Escalating his investigation of the deadly terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi last year, Rep. Darrell Issa warned CIA and other government officials Wednesday to lawyer-up in preparation for a massive probe.

    • Lawyer up, Issa warns CIA staff

      House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is pushing ahead with his investigation of last year’s fatal attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, by preparing federal agencies to allow employees to lawyer up.


      Stone, who actually dabbled in horror early in his career via films like The Hand and Seizure, told a panel of filmmakers April 17 that he won’t be revisiting the genre.

    • Obama in Thrall to CIA Killing Machine

      ONE balmy evening, Baitullah Mehsud, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, was relaxing with his family on his father-in-law’s rooftop in the village of Zanghara, south Waziristan.

      Two miles above, a Predator drone trained an infrared camera on him as he lay on his back and was joined by his wife and uncle. The images were so clear that it could be seen that the ailing Mehsud was receiving an intravenous drip.

    • Nicaragua needs to navigate winds of change in Venezuela
    • Venezuela’s Maduro accuses US Embassy of supporting violent protests

      Venezuela’s post-election crisis is growing deeper, with at least seven people killed during clashes between the opposition and police. President-elect Nicolas Maduro says he has proof that the US embassy is financing the ongoing protests.

    • US drone attacks kill 5 in Pakistan and 5 in Yemen
    • Yemen Drone Strike: 4 Suspected Al Qaeda Members Killed By U.S. [Ed: only suspected]
    • Drones and Death Lists: The New Face of Warfare

      Watching Senator John McCain foam at the mouth with his calls for war against Syria reminds one that President Barack Obama has done well to resist strident demands from congress and the media to use the U.S. armed forces in a direct role to remove President Bashar al-Assad. Which is not intended to suggest that nothing is going on. Washington has long been fighting a secret war seeking to bring about regime change in Syria in the mistaken belief that the fall of Damascus will inevitably produce a similar result in Iran. The White House humanitarian interventionists and friends of Israel have only been stalled in their effort to bring down al-Assad by stealth due to legitimate and belated concerns that empowering the rebels might produce far worse results than a continuation of Baathist rule. One would have thought that a lesson had been learned from the disastrous intervention in Libya, but apparently Washington operates on a principle of never looking back. That coupled with an attention span that appears to encompass something like 48 hours means that the White House will be continuously refighting the last war with predictable results.

    • Maduro Blasts Kerry for Rejecting Venezuelan Election Win
  • Cablegate

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • California Ag-Gag Bill Exempts Factory Farms That Accidentally Record Their Own Abuses

      California lawmakers are considering an “ag-gag” bill today that not only criminalizes undercover investigators and whistleblowers, but carves out special exemptions if the industry accidentally documents its own abuses.

      As background: Ag-gag bills are facing massive public opposition across the country, and the industry is shifting how it talks about these bills. Factory farmers are moving away from attempts to outright criminalize anyone who photographs animal cruelty; instead, they’re introducing “mandatory reporting” requirements. Take California, for example. AB 343 says anyone who documents animal cruelty at farms and slaughterhouses has to notify the police. That sounds pretty reasonable, right?

  • Finance

    • It’s Time To Bury Not Just Thatcher – But Thatcherism

      She didn’t save Britain or turn the economy round.

    • Goldman Sachs Can’t Shake Fraud Lawsuit

      Goldman Sachs cannot dismiss Prudential’s claims that it falsely represented more than $375 million in residential mortgage-backed securities in its offering materials, a federal judge ruled in New Jersey.

      In September 2007, New Jersey-based Prudential Insurance and five investment subsidiaries held about $13.5 billion in residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) and $241.1 billion in total investments.

    • MacIver Institute Ideologues Manage to Turn Lemonade Into Lemons

      In 2010, Governor Scott Walker ran for office on a simple message, that he would turn Wisconsin’s economy around and create 250,000 jobs. There was good news for Walker in the Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs numbers released April 2013. Although Wisconsin still ranked 44th in the country in terms of job creation, the staggering economy had created 64,500 more jobs since Walker took office than previously known. There was a large upward correction in the BLS jobs data stretching back more than a year that not only impacted Wisconsin, but many states.

    • Pete Peterson Linked Economists Caught in Austerity Error

      A team of economists at the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at UMass Amherst broke a huge story this week that was promptly picked up by the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Financial Times, and newspapers around the globe. The economists proved that the essential underpinning “of the intellectual edifice of austerity economics,” as Paul Krugman put it, is based on sloppy methodology and spreadsheet coding errors.

    • Lithuania And Estonia Use Google Maps Street View To Catch Tax Cheats

      Ars Technica points out that Estonia is doing the same. This might lead to demands for houses to be blurred, as can be requested in Germany. But the Boston Globe article notes that it’s not just Street View that tax authorities are mining for clues about people not paying all their taxes:

      In the United States, the Internal Revenue Service has said it would be cross-referencing information from taxpayers’ Facebook and Twitter accounts if their returns threw up any red flags.

      In Britain, tax officials have revealed they are using Web crawling software to trawl auction websites for undeclared sales.

      Authorities in Greece have been using satellite imagery to locate undeclared swimming pools in wealthy neighborhoods.

      The ability to draw on the massive stores of data that are now publicly available means that even seemingly trivial information, when cross-referenced with more of the same, can allow governments and others to create surprisingly detailed profiles of people that may have far from trivial consequences.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

    • Oh Look, Rep. Mike Rogers Wife Stands To Benefit Greatly From CISPA Passing…

      It would appear that Rep. Mike Rogers, the main person in Congress pushing for CISPA, has kept rather quiet about a very direct conflict of interest that calls into serious question the entire bill. It would appear that Rogers’ wife stands to benefit quite a lot from the passage of CISPA, and has helped in the push to get the bill passed. It’s somewhat amazing that no one has really covered this part of the story, but it highlights, yet again, the kind of activities by folks in Congress that make the public trust Congress less and less.

    • US House of Representatives passes CISPA cybersecurity bill

      The US House of Representatives has passed the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protect Act (CISPA).

      Lawmakers in the House voted 288-to-127 Thursday afternoon to accept the bill. Next it will move to the Senate and could then end up on the desk of US President Barack Obama for him to potentially sign the bill into law. Earlier this week, though, senior White House advisers said they would recommend the president veto the bill.

    • CISPA Passes The House, As 288 Representatives Don’t Want To Protect Your Privacy

      This is not wholly surprising, but after some debate and some half-hearted attempts at pretending they care about the public’s privacy rights, the House has passed CISPA, 288 votes against 127.

    • CISPA Passes House, Obama Veto Threat Likely Untrue Making Senate Key Battleground

      After facing defeat with Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) – thanks in part to the late Aaron Swartz – the State and Big Business have regrouped and re-branded their bill Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). Relying on a lazy press to leave out the details and hoping that a dimwitted public will cower in the face of “cyberterrorism” threats. Somehow cyberterrorism translates into shutting down the internet for Hollywood. They don’t really have an explanation either.

    • CISPA Moving Through House
    • CIA and Google sponsor prophets

      Who would not want to see the future? Millions of people around the world spend a great deal of money paying for services of prophets and magicians. Whether the predictions come true is another matter, but there is certainly a steady demand. The official science is also not standing still and is trying all sorts of ways to look into events that await us in the years to come. Will the humanity learn to predict the future?

    • Insanity: CISPA Just Got Way Worse, And Then Passed On Rushed Vote
    • Reddit Cofounder Calls on Google’s Larry Page to Oppose CISPA
    • Shame: U.S. House of Representatives passes CISPA

      The US House of Representatives have passed the dangerous Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protect Act (CISPA) just few hours ago. The bill won by 288-to-127, and will now move to Democrate-controlled Senate which is not as desperate to pass this draconian bill as was the House.

      The House passed the bill ignoring the veto threat from the While House. The House also ignored the ‘mandate’ given by the people as over 1.5 million people signed petitions against it.

    • Police In Japan Are Asking ISPs To Start Blocking Tor
  • Civil Rights

    • Why We Need the New Yorker to Correct Its Error on Venezuelan Inequality

      My hat is off to Keane Bhatt, NACLA blogger and occasional Extra! contributor, for his tireless efforts to prod one of the United States’ most prestigious media outlets to live up to their professed standards of accuracy. The outlet is the New Yorker, a magazine whose name is practically synonymous with factchecking. It’s a tradition there; they brag about how seriously they take checking the facts.

      Which makes you wonder how Keane was able to find the glaring, major errors in the New Yorker’s recent coverage of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, all perpetrated by longtime contributor Jon Lee Anderson.

    • Brazil’s groundbreaking Internet Civil Rights Bill needs support!

      Here at Mozilla, we believe the Internet is a global public resource that must remain open and accessible. We believe in the importance of balancing the commercial goals of the Internet against those for the public benefit. Brazil’s Internet Bill of Rights, the Marco Civil da Internet, seeks to maintain this balance by guaranteeing basic rights for Internet users. We support this kind of effort to create a comprehensive, pro-Internet policy framework. If adopted, it could well serve as a reference model for future legislation.

      The legislation is groundbreaking in its intent. It secures important rights to Internet users through a civil framework rather than a criminal code. These rights include the right to privacy, freedom of speech, and access to information. It defends communications over the Internet, protects the sanctity of the Internet connection itself, requires comprehensive information in service contracts (particularly with respect to the protection of personal data), and limits third party access to connection logs and Internet applications.

    • Now is the time to talk about liberty

      …executive branch to detain US citizens indefintely and without due process.

    • Hagel, Syria and side-stepping the law

      …haven’t done anything to prepare the United States to cut off its ties.

    • President Obama must act to close Guantánamo

      The process of dying is never easy or painless. Death by starvation is particularly grueling: the body cannibalizes fat and tissue, wasting to skin and bones, leading to dehydration, incoherence and, ultimately, heart failure. It is a slow and agonizing ordeal, even for the most committed hunger striker. It took IRA member and British MP Bobby Sands more than two months to die in Maze prison when he starved himself to death in 1981. And for those who are force-fed, the process is even more excruciating; they may endure as food is pumped up their noses and into their stomachs like a veal calf, but eventually they will die as well. [...] prison has already claimed the lives of nine men [...]

    • Marathon Bombs Must Not Be a Justification For Trampling On the Constitution

      In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Boston that claimed three lives and wounded more than 170 others, the calls for a response will be loud — and inevitable. Yet, we still don’t know who the responsible parties are — and the trail has sadly gone cold. While it’s time to put politics aside, support for tougher pieces of legislation to combat terrorism will probably arise in the near future. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which gives the federal government vast new powers, has come under scrutiny from civil liberties groups, and rightfully so. It gives government the extraordinary power of detaining U.S. citizens indefinitely. After Monday’s events, I’ll guess that most Americans would support such a measure, but it’s times like these that we must not endorse actions that shred the Constitution.

    • San Diego Cop Thinks You Might Have Turned Your Cell Phone Into A Gun And That ‘Officer Safety’ Trumps Constitutional Rights

      We’ve seen several times before the reticence (a fancy $20 word for “antipathy”) many law enforcement officers have towards being recorded while on the job. They don’t seem to mind cameras they control (even though those too have proven problematic — but fixable), but if the average citizen starts “taping” an encounter, much ado is made about the impropriety (or illegal-ness) of the citizen’s actions.

      We’ve seen all of this before. But this one tops those stories. This is one of those has-to-be-seen-to-be-believed events. Fortunately, it involves a functioning camera installed in a surprisingly dangerous cell phone.

      San Diegan Adam Pringle was minding his own business illegally smoking a cigarette in a public area (I know — this falls under the “California Is Ridiculous” heading) when he was approached by Officer Reinhold, who then proceeded to cite him for outdoor smoking.

  • Intellectual Monopolies


Links 17/4/2013: Android Activations Over 1.5 Million Per Day

Posted in News Roundup at 7:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • 2014: The year of the Linux car?

    You read that right: Not the year of the Linux desktop, the year of the Linux car. Major automotive companies are investing in making Linux their cars’ operating system of choice.

  • Server

    • Intel launches ‘open’ Linux based SDN switch and server

      CHIPMAKER Intel announced two reference server designs for the fast growing software defined networking (SDN) market, sporting both its own silicon and its Wind River Linux distribution.

      Server vendors and their associated component vendors are all jumping into the SDN market as a new source of revenue from the datacentre as enterprises look to ditch expensive specialist network infrastructure hardware provided by firms such as Cisco, Extreme Networks and Juniper. Now Intel has joined the party, providing two reference server designs that include its Xeon processors, chipsets and network interface cards as well as its own Wind River Linux distribution.

  • Kernel Space

    • Inside Secure NFC controller gets Linux kernel support

      Inside Secure has announced its MicroRead NFC controller chip is supported in the new 3.9 branch of the Linux kernel, speeding up integration of the chip into a range of Linux based TVs, set-top boxes, GPS devices and industrial machines.

    • Linux in 2013: ‘Freakishly awesome’ – and who needs a fork?

      If there was a theme for Day One of the Linux Foundation’s seventh annual Linux Collaboration Summit, taking place this week in San Francisco, it was that the Linux community has moved way, way past wondering whether the open source OS will be successful and competitive.

      “Today I wanted to talk about the state of Linux,” Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, began his opening keynote on Monday. “I’m just going to save everybody 30 minutes. The state of Linux is freakishly awesome.”

    • PKSM: A New Data De-Duplication Method For Linux

      PKSM is a new system memory de-duplication method for the Linux kernel that was developed after seeing the current KSM and UKSM approaches as being ineffective.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Benchmarking The Intel Ivy Bridge Gallium3D Driver

        While Intel only supports their classic Mesa DRI driver when it comes to their open-source 3D driver on Linux, developed independently is also a Gallium3D driver for Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge generations of Intel graphics processors. In this article are benchmarks of the new Intel (i965) Gallium3D driver with Ivy Bridge HD 4000 hardware.

        There was an unofficial i965 Gallium3D driver in the past, but it was ultimately removed when the code fell into bit rot and really didn’t have any users. There’s also the i915 Gallium3D driver that is still maintained independently for supporting old i915 and i945 graphics hardware, but Intel Open-Source Technology Center developers only officially support their classic Mesa drivers.

      • Radeon UVD Support Merged Into Mesa

        After having gone through five public code revisions, AMD has finally committed their open-source Unified Video Decoder (UVD) support for accelerated video decoding over VDPAU into the Mesa Git repository.

      • Nouveau NVC0 Gets Multi-Sample Textures

        The most notable commit this morning is perhaps the Nouveau NVC0 (Fermi+) driver supporting OpenGL multi-sample textures, thanks to work done by Christoph Bumiller with this commit.

      • Nouveau NVC0 Gets Multi-Sample Textures

        A NVIDIA engineer has code dropped over 2,500 lines of new open-source code that enables application-level support for host1x hardware through a new Stream library.

        The “host1x” is found with NVIDIA Tegra SoCs and this new patch-set by NVIDIA’s Arto Merilainen allows accessing the host1x hardware from user-space. There’s already been 2D acceleration for NVIDIA Tegra hardware that’s been done using host1x. The new patches on Friday are in their second revised form.

      • Mesa To Expose AMD Performance Monitor Extension

        While Mesa has some level of support for GL_ARB_debug_output, Intel developers are implementing support within Mesa for AMD’s OpenGL performance monitor extension to assist game developers and others with monitoring the performance of their software.

      • Mir Display Server Now Supports VT Switching

        While there was the video of Unity Next running on Mir with a Google Nexus 4 hand-held, in terms of the overall feature completeness of the Mir Display Server, there is still much work ahead. Only on Friday did Mir even gain support for switching to virtual terminals.

        For those not closely following Mir’s Bazaar repository, it was only on Friday with revision 585 that support for VT switching was committed.

      • DRI3000 Still Being Developed For New X.Org DRI

        While there hasn’t been too much news on the work recently, DRI3000 (DRI3) is still being developed.

        Keith Packard has been the one large spearheading the development of this next-generation Direct Rendering Infrastructure update that seeks to overcome some of the shortcomings of DRI2. For those unfamiliar with what this planned DRI update is about, see the earlier articles on the topic.

      • Mesa 9.2 Brings Better Performance To Intel Ivy Bridge

        Following on from our earlier Nouveau Gallium3D benchmarks of Mesa 9.2-devel earlier this week, for our first benchmarks this Saturday we have tests of Intel HD 4000 “Ivy Bridge” graphics when running Mesa 9.2-devel and compared to the Git branches of Mesa 9.1 and 9.0. Overall, there’s some more open-source Intel graphics performance improvements to look forward to with this next Mesa release.

      • Gallium3D’s LLVMpipe Driver Is Now Much Faster

        The Gallium3D LLVMpipe driver that’s commonly used as the fallback software rasterizer on Linux desktop systems when no GPU hardware driver is present, is a heck of a lot faster with the current Mesa development code. The gains are surprising and quite remarkable.

      • Nouveau Queues Up More Changes For Linux 3.10

        The developers behind the reverse-engineered open-source Nouveau graphics driver for NVIDIA hardware are still hard at work on preparing new changes for introduction with the Linux 3.10 kernel.

      • Intel Makes First Release Of Linux OpenCL Project

        While Intel has previously shipped its OpenCL SDK for Linux and Windows, this SDK is closed-source and on Linux was limited to compute support only on the processor rather than any graphics support with Ivy Bridge and newer hardware. Fortunately, Intel has finally managed to put out a first release of Beignet, an open-source Linux project that supports OpenCL.

    • Benchmarks

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Commit-Digest for 24th February 2013
      • KLyDE: A New Lightweight KDE Project Started
      • A Lightweight KDE desktop on the way

        KDE is an extensive desktop environment which features a large number of applications, widgets and components. It’s not bloated by default, but most distributions ship extra features and apps in KDE that are not needed by most of the users. KDE developer Will Stephenson has recognized this shortcoming, and is currently developing a slimmed down version of KDE, codenamed KlyDE, or K Lightweight Desktop Environment.

      • Report from the freedesktop summit

        During the week of 8 April 2013, developers from the KDE, GNOME, Unity and Razor-qt projects met at the SUSE offices in Nürnberg to improve collaboration between the projects by discussing specifications. A wide range of topics was covered.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME 3 and Unity Alternatives: Cinnamon vs. Mate

        If you want a GNOME 2-like desktop, the leading contenders are both developed by Linux Mint. Users can choose between Cinnamon, which is built on top of GNOME 3, and Mate, a direct fork of GNOME 2.

        Mate and Cinnamon are the default alternatives offered in Linux Mint 14, the current release. Both are highly successful attempts to provide a GNOME 2-like desktop in response to widespread user dissatisfaction with GNOME 3 and Ubuntu’s Unity.

  • Distributions

    • Six good reasons to try Manjaro Linux 0.8.5

      Monday may have brought the disappointing news that Fuduntu Linux will soon close its doors, but another young, up-and-coming Linux distribution appears to be continuing along its upward path without interruption.

      Manjaro Linux, a distro I first covered only a few months ago, just released a fresh update, and it’s particularly notable for the addition of a graphical installer and other beginner-friendly features.

    • Fuduntu Linux is closing its doors
    • Fuduntu Linux discontinued, team plans to move onto a new distro

      Fuduntu is a Linux-based operating system designed to offer the ease-of-use of Ubuntu and the stability of Fedora. The operating system has been around for a few years, and gained a bit of attention recently by adding support for Steam games and Netflix video. Fuduntu has also long been available in netbook-friendly flavors.

    • Review: Manjaro Linux 0.8.5 Xfce

      That is where my time with Manjaro Linux ended. Overall, my experience with it was much more positive than last time; I partly expected this as last time, this distribution was still very young, whereas it has had a lot more time to mature since then. Anyway, it may be almost at the point that it is suitable for newbies, but maybe not quite yet; in any case, though, I can definitely recommend it to Linux beginners who want to experiment with distributions other than Ubuntu.

      You can get it here, though note that if you want to get the Cinnamon edition, the one that was released in the past week is the last one for the foreseeable future; this is because apparently the current version of Cinnamon conflicts with GNOME 3.8, so the Arch developers have stopped shipping Cinnamon altogether (or something like that).

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • Slackware Family

      • Slackware-Current Maybe Too Current

        If you have been following discussions on LQ, then you might have seen this thread where the original poster was Patrick himself. He basically asked for opinion about the future of -Current for this development cycle which will end up with Slackware 14.1 in the end.

        Although things has been working pretty well in -Current as of now (at least in most systems looking at the comments there), but there are some considerations by Patrick in three parts of the system: kernel, GCC, and XOrg. They are critical components for most Linux distributions.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat, Hortonworks prep OpenStack for Hadoop

        Merging the worlds of big data and cloud computing, Red Hat, Hortonworks and Hadoop integrator Mirantis are jointly building a software program, called Savanna, that will make it easier to deploy Apache Hadoop on an OpenStack cloud service.

        The software will “allow Hadoop to take advantage of the scale-out storage architecture that OpenStack offers,” said Adrian Ionel Mirantis CEO. “Enterprises will have a much easier way to deploy and use Hadoop at scale.”

        Mirantis launched the project earlier this month, donating the code to the OpenStack Foundation. OpenStack is a collection of open source software designed to offer shared compute, storage and networking services on an on-demand basis. And Apache Hadoop is a data processing framework for analyzing large amounts of data across multiple servers in a cluster. Both sets of software are increasingly being tested and deployed by organizations.

      • Red Hat releases community OpenStack distribution
      • Red Hat pushes open source cloud with OpenStack distro

        Linux software giant Red Hat has launched a community-led distribution of the OpenStack open source cloud platform.

        RDO — announced at the OpenStack Summit in Portland, USA, on Monday — is a free community-supported distro of OpenStack that will run on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), Fedora and their derivatives.

        OpenStack is an assortment of open source software designed to offer on-demand compute, storage and networking services, often referred to as infrastructure as a service.

      • Red Hat emulates Fedora Linux project with RDO OpenStack community

        OpenStack is sometimes called the Linux for clouds, and Red Hat, the dominant Linux distributor, seems to be all over that. The firm is now working to bring its Red Hat OpenStack distribution into the ever-crowding field of companies that want to peddle supported distributions of this cloud control freak. Red Hat Open Stack, or RHOS, is not ready for primetime, but a new RDO community – Red Hat is not saying what it stands for – is getting a Fedora-like early adopter community together running OpenStack on top of Red Hat’s Enterprise Linux and KVM hypervisor.

      • Red Hat Announces $300 Million Stock Repurchase Program

        The new program replaces the previous $300 million repurchase program, the final $179 million of which was completed since February 28, 2013 at an average price of $49.15 per share, inclusive of commissions, for a total of 3.6 million shares. “Over the last 13 months we have repurchased $300 million or 5.9 million shares of Red Hat common stock under the current program, equivalent to 3% of our shares outstanding as of February 28, 2013,” stated Charlie Peters, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Red Hat. “Our management team and Board of Directors have a strong conviction in our long-term growth prospects and our ability to generate profits and cash flow. We believe that stock repurchases demonstrate our commitment to building shareholder value as well as confidence in achieving long-term growth.”

      • Red Hat to repurchase another $300M of its own stock

        Pioneering open-source solution vendor Red Hat (RHT) announced today that its board has authorized a $300 million stock buyback program.

      • Red Hat Unveils Partner Network for Cloud Infrastructure Solutions by OpenStock
      • eCube Systems Announces NXTera 6.3 Support for Linux Redhat Enterprise 5

        eCube Systems, a leading provider of middleware modernization, integration, and management solutions, announced the immediate availability of a new version of NXTera 6.3 High Performance RPC Middleware with support for Linux Redhat Enterprise 5.

      • Hortonworks, Mirantis and Red Hat Partner on Project Savanna

        Two of the biggest players in the OpenStack community and a top Hadoop provider announced plans yesterday to join forces to advance the “Hadoop on OpenStack” project known as Savanna. OpenStack systems integrator Mirantis Inc., the company that started Project Savanna, will be working with Hortonworks Inc., the top commercial distributor of Apache Hadoop, and Red Hat Inc., the current leading OpenStack contributor, the three companies said today.

      • Red Hat builds on OpenStack

        Following its preview of an OpenStack distribution, Red Hat is now offering an updated version of the software as part of an “early adopter program”. The company has also initiated the RDO community project, which offers up-to-date OpenStack versions for Linux distributions within the Red Hat ecosystem. The Linux distributor announced the news at the ongoing OpenStack Summit Portland 2013.

      • Red Hat Announces “RDO” OpenStack Distribution

        From the OpenStack event taking place this week, Red Hat has announced RDO, which will serve as a new community-supported OpenStack distribution.

        RDO will serve as a new open-source community-based OpenStack distribution for Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (along with other “EL” derivatives). Effectively, Red Hat RDO is a new proving grounds for Red Hat prior to introducing new OpenStack functionality within their commercial products. In the OpenStack world, RDO is to Red Hat OpenStack as is Fedora to Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

      • Fedora

        • Benchmarking Fedora 18 Updates

          With Fedora’s more liberal updating of packages in their supported Linux releases, here’s a look at benchmarks of Fedora 18 in its stock configuration versus where it’s at today with all stable updates.

          While Ubuntu and many other Linux distributions tend to stick to the same kernel version and other key package versions for the entire release’s lifetime, Fedora releases generally follow more closely the latest upstream releases. Fedora 18 shipped with the Linux 3.6 kernel, GNOME Shell 3.6.2, X.Org Server 1.13.0, and Mesa 9.0.1. These package versions with Fedora 18 updates are now at the stable Linux 3.8 kernel, GNOME Shell 3.6.3, X.Org Server 1.13.3, and Mesa 9.1. Many other packages are also at new versions.

    • Debian Family

      • Linux Mint Debian Edition 201303

        I’m often asked what my “favorite” Linux distro is by readers. Well, if I have one, it has to be Linux Mint Debian Edition. LMDE has so much to offer Linux users since it combines the power of Debian with the elegance of Linux Mint. There really is something for everyone to love in LMDE.

        Linux Mint Debian was upgraded recently so it’s time to take another look at it. I downloaded the Cinnamon version for this review. You can also opt for the MATE version if you prefer that to Cinnamon.

      • Debian… The daddy of all distros?

        A couple of weeks ago I wrote a review of OpenSUSE. As one of the bigger distributions I asked the question whether OpenSUSE is a real alternative to Ubuntu.

      • Derivatives

        • Knoppix Pulls a Lot More Than Its Own Weight

          Like Puppy Linux, Knoppix is the Little Distro That Could. It’s a handy, user-friendly product that can boot from a disc or USB drive. However, don’t let that fool you into thinking it doesn’t have a full contingent of features and abilities. Knoppix covers all the basis and then some. Occasional boot stalls and restricted virtual workplace access keep Knoppix from achieving full Linux nirvana, but it gets you close.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Touch set to get Apps Collection, add yours now

            What is Ubuntu Touch, you ask? Touch is a super ambitious project sponsered by Canonical to get Ubuntu on mobile devices–you know–the phones and tablets kind. It’s the OS that will power the upcoming Ubuntu Phone. If you haven’t already, watch this longish viral video on Ubuntu Phone, explained in detailed by Mark Shuttleworth himself. Ubuntu Touch’s first installable preview was released was released on 21st February, and is up for grabs to be installed on a limited set of devices. Ubuntu Touch is slated for an end-2013 or early-2014 release.

          • Community Leadership Summit, Training, and Talks

            I just wanted to talk about a busy week of community management and leadership related content I will be involved in in July 2013 in Portland, Oregon.

          • Ubuntu’s Magical Approach to OpenStack [Video]

            Ubuntu Linux founder Mark Shuttleworth was among the earliest backers of the open source OpenStack cloud platform. The early OpenStack releases relied on Ubuntu as its reference Linux distribution and Ubuntu has been packaging OpenStack since its 11.04 Natty Narwal release in 2011.

            In an exclusive interview with Datamation at the OpenStack Summit, Shuttleworth talks about OpenStack in production environments and why a little magic known as Juju is a pivotal part of it all.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Oh No! Fuduntu Calls it Quits

              I can’t believe my eyes. Just as Fuduntu was getting rave reviews and moving up the charts, just a week after announcing their latest release the Fuduntu project “voted to end-of-life Fuduntu Linux.” It seems developmental issues are forcing this decision, and signals a time when ultimately all GNOME 2 users will end up having to move on.

            • The end of the road for Fuduntu
  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Samsung flexes its open source muscles where you might not expect

    When you think of open source, you probably think of Linux, engines such as the WebKit browser engine and the Java language and virtual machine, and open source software such as LibreOffice, Firefox, Apache HTTP server, Git, Asterisk, and MySQL. You may not think of appliances, TVs, and cameras — but that’s exactly where consumer electronics giant Samsung uses open source software.

  • Metasploit 4.6 Open Source Pen Testing Restores Webcam Exploits

    In the core Metasploit 4.6 open source framework, 138 new penetration testing modules have been included, enabling at least 80 new exploits. One of the exploits that Metasploit 4.6 includes is a webcam activation module. The basic idea behind the module is that it could enable a security researcher to gain access to webcams and microphones at a vulnerable location.

  • Contributing to open source projects from 9 to 5, and beyond

    Luis Ibanez was recently awarded a People’s Choice Award by our readers for his contributions to the site. It’s no wonder he has so much to say and impart on open source projects—he works on them fulltime!

    In this Community Spotlight, Luis sheds light on what projects he contributes to, why he believes it is important we all give back at some point, and what open source tools he can’t live without.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Clutter Providing Acceleration For WebKitGTK+

      A Clutter back-end for WebKitGTK+ is providing for hardware acceleration of some web content effects.

      The change to WebKitGTK+ actually happened a couple weeks ago but the Planet GNOME RSS feed has been a bit wonky lately so the news is only coming out today. Joone Hur, a Korean Linux developer working at Intel and specializing on WebKit development, added an experimental Clutter back-end to WebKitGTK+.

    • Chrome

      • Adobe says it will contribute to Google’s Blink

        Adobe’s director of engineering for the Web Platform, Vincent Hardy, has confirmed that the company is not taking sides in the WebKit/Blink web rendering engine fork and will be contributing to both WebKit and Blink as they are open source. In a blog posting, Hardy pointed out that “Adobe actively contribute to Web standards and browser implementations” – mostly WebKit and Chromium, but the company also has some Gecko contributions to its name.

      • Adobe To Contribute To Blink Rendering Engine

        Earlier this month Google announced the Blink rendering engine as a fork of the WebKit project. After announcing their WebKit fork, Opera confirmed their plans of moving to the Blink engine too. Two weeks later, Adobe is now saying they will contribute to Blink.

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Sets Sights on New Mobile Experiences

        You’ve probably heard the refrain before: “All of the great ideas have already been thought of.” That proposition, of course, has no business in the lexicon of thriving open source projects, and Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs made very clear in comments at the All Things D: Dive Into Mobile conference that he thinks there are lots more good ideas to come on the mobile technology front. As quoted by ABC News, Kovacs said, “We haven’t done a great job [on mobile browsing]. I’m expecting someone will do an Apple on the whole browsing experience.”

      • Mozilla Is Talking Firefox OS, and the First Five Countries to Get It

        As I noted yesterday, Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs (who will be leaving his CEO post this year) made very clear in comments at the All Things D: Dive Into Mobile conference that Mozilla has very ambitious plans for its new Firefox OS mobile operating system. Specifically, he sees it as an innovation-centric platform. As quoted by ABC News, Kovacs said, “We haven’t done a great job [on mobile browsing]. I’m expecting someone will do an Apple on the whole browsing experience.”

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Tops Dogs Team Up for Project Savana : Hadoop Simplified for OpenStack
    • OpenStack Summit: SDN Switches Become Low Cost Linux Boxes?

      The VAR Guy is at OpenStack Summit and he’s starting to drink the Kool-Aid. Customers like Best Buy, Comcast and Hubspot say they are deploying the cloud computing platform. But now, the conversation is shifting to networking in the cloud — a software defined networking (SDN) primer. Leading the conversation: Ben Cherian, chief strategy officer at Midokura, a startup focused on network virtualization. His key point: SDN (using Overlay Solutions) will allow switches to be far more like commodity Linux servers — giving customers the ability to scale and manage their networks far more effectively.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice Updated for Open Source Document Creation

      Version 3.6.6 is notable for speed increases to many operations, more than 50 bug fixes and various tweaks to the applications. For example, Impress, the presentation program, now supports widescreen formats for slideshows and comes with 10 new master pages. The Writer word processor’s RTF/DOCX import/export now handles document zoom settings. The program also provides support for contextual spacing and can import Office SmartArt. Exported PDF files can now be given watermarks and an import filter for CorelDRAW documents has been added. A complete list of the new functionality is available here.

  • Business

  • Funding

    • Google Summer of Code 2013 Ideas

      GNUnet is participating in this years Google Summer of Code under the GNU umbrella. Here an overview over GNUnet’s project ideas.

  • BSD

    • AMD Kernel Mode-Setting Continues On FreeBSD

      For being a project that’s just a few months old and up until recently wasn’t touched by BSD developers, the port of the open-source AMD Radeon kernel mode-setting driver from the Linux kernel to FreeBSD kernel is progressing nicely.


    • An updated GNUnet Java tutorial for developers is available

      Thanks to Florian Dold, an updated version of the GNUnet Java tutorial is available. Developers starting to hack on GNUnet using Java are strongly encouraged to have a look there. It covers basic installation, writing services, APIs and clients.

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

    • DOE supports truSolar’s efforts to develop open source risk scoring standards and rating criteria for solar projects

      The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and DOE’s Sandia National Laboratories (Sandia) extend their support for the truSolar® Working Group’s efforts to develop uniform open source risk scoring standards and rating criteria for solar projects that will facilitate lower transaction and capital costs, and improve project finance liquidity within the commercial and industrial solar segment.

    • Open Data

      • Open your data to the world

        When Neil Fantom, a manager at the World Bank, sat down with the organisation’s technology team in 2010 to talk about opening up the bank’s data to the world at large, he encountered a bit of unfamiliar terminology. “At that time I didn’t even know what ‘API’ meant,” says Fantom.

        As head of the bank’s Open Data Initiative, announced in April 2010, Fantom was in charge of taking the group’s vast trove of information, which previously had been available only by subscription, and making it available to anyone who wanted it. The method of doing that, he would learn, would be an application programming interface.

    • Open Access/Content

      • For Those Who Like Things Open – Check Out OpenCourseware ~mw

        Our readers are a curious bunch, and I never cease to be amazed at the knowledge they possess. Still, I suspect most of you are life-long learners. Although you may already be aware of it, you now have the opportunity to take college level courses on a vast array of subjects. There is no course credit, but you also don’t have to pay for the courses.

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Netflix To Possibly Use HTML5 Video Instead of Microsoft Silverlight

      If you longed to watch Netflix on your Linux computer, here is some good news for you. According to a blog post by Netflix’s Anthony Park and Mark Watson, they are planning to test HTML5 video and to switch from proprietary Microsoft Silverlight for video streaming. Modern mobile browsers have problems in running Microsoft Silverlight extensions and they want a more reliable solution so as to stream Netflix in all platforms without hurdles. Also, Silverlight has been discontinued by Microsoft since 2001 and they want a more future proof solution.

    • Netflix plans to dump Silverlight for HTML5 streaming


  • Health/Nutrition

    • Enough non-GM soy to fulfil Europe’s animal feed needs

      What’s needed is for advance purchase contracts to be in place so that farmers know that they have an assured market for their non-GM crop. Evidently the UK supermarkets listed above have consistently failed to tell their suppliers to do this. Instead their suppliers are relying on “spot” purchase, when the crop actually comes onto the market. That way, they are more likely to get the soy cheaper. Unfortunately in this game of greed and competition, the consumers – and the farm animals – are the losers.

  • Security

    • Old tricks are new again: Dangerous copy & paste

      Copying and pasting something does not necessarily mean the user will get what they think they are getting. With a little bit of HTML magic, one can even trick unwitting web site visitors into executing shell commands without their knowledge. The trick is by no means new, but it is currently being demonstrated again on several web sites which means Linux users especially have to be careful what they copy and paste.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Cablegate

  • Finance

    • Cooperatives and Workers’ Self-Directed Enterprises
    • Goldman Sachs’ move to trim compensation ratio seen as bid to placate shareholders

      Goldman Sachs revealed a cut in its closely watched compensation ratio when it reported first-quarter earnings on Tuesday, and in doing so sent a message to shareholders about the new economic and regulatory realities.

      “What the firm is saying is that we are still in the process of repricing parts of our business,” said Brad Hintz, analyst at AllianceBernstein.

    • Europe austerity measures are impacting on healthcare and increasing xenophobia

      “Rising unemployment and poverty across Europe have generated extreme-right statements stigmatising migrants” stated the Doctors of the World 2012 report ‘Access to healthcare in Europe in times of crisis and rising xenophobia’.

      The report, reported in the online newspaper EurActiv, shows a rise in xenophobic acts and regulations in Greece and Spain as well as other European countries.

      Dr Nikitas Kanakis from Doctors of the World Greece said “xenophobia and healthcare always go together”. He added “it’s about dignity and to live safely without fear”.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • USA Today: Venezuelans Voted for High Unemployment and Food Shortages

      Sunday’s election in Venezuela saw Vice President (or “Hugo Chavez’s hand-picked successor,” as he’s known to many in the corporate media) Nicolas Maduro narrowly defeat opposition candidate Henrique Capriles.

    • ‘Terror Returns’–but When Did It Go Away?

      But what happened in Boston that hasn’t happened since September 11? All we really can say with confidence so far is that somebody tried to kill a large group of people; as USA Today (12/19/12) itself has reported, such mass slayings are alarmingly common in the United States, with 774 people killed in 156 incidents between 2006 and 2010. “Mass Killings Occur in USA Once Every Two Weeks,” the headline pointed out.

    • Wisconsin Ethics Board Fails to Curb ALEC Shell Game

      In theory, Wisconsin has some of the strongest ethics and lobbying laws in the country — legislators cannot accept even a cup of coffee from lobbyists or others who have an interest in the outcome of legislation — but these laws are meaningless if the state ethics board does not take action to enforce them.

      Last week, Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board issued an ill-conceived decision in response to the Center for Media and Democracy’s complaint about an American Legislative Exchange Council “scholarship” program that allows corporate lobbyists to provide gifts of travel and perks to state legislators. The GAB agreed that some Wisconsin politicians had improperly attended corporate-sponsored events and failed to properly disclose receipt of ALEC “scholarships,” but failed to recognize that the corporate-funded “scholarships” themselves are improper and should be barred.

  • Censorship

    • Japanese court orders Google to censor autocomplete, pay damages

      A Japanese court has ordered Google to delete search terms related to a Japanese man who claimed that searches for his name autocompleted to include defamatory phrases.

      The ruling comes a year after Google rejected the court’s initial demands to censor its autocomplete function in 2012, in part arguing that it wasn’t subject to Japanese regulations.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • A Law to Nullify the NDAA?

      A state bill sponsored by Republican Tim Donnelly would guarantee Californians protection from the threat of indefinite detention made possible by the National Defense Authorization Act.

      The bill is called the California Liberty Preservation Act. If enacted, it would retain several fundamental civil liberties enshrined by the Constitution, “including the right of habeas corpus, the right to due process, the right to a speedy and public trial, and the right to be informed of criminal charges brought against him or her.”

    • Bipartisan testimony backs N.H. bill opposing indefinite detention of suspected terrorists

      Republicans and Democrats alike urged a Senate committee yesterday to support legislation that would forbid New Hampshire officials from helping the U.S. military detain suspected terrorists indefinitely without trial.

    • Hunger Strikes Put Guantanamo Back in the Spotlight

      Public debate here over the military prison at Guantanamo Bay heated up again following Monday’s surprise publication of a highly charged article by an inmate at the prison, one of dozens currently engaged in a months-long hunger strike over detainees’ “indefinite detention”.

    • Obama, is it time for martial law?

      Last week the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in Montgomery, Ala., issued a report to United States Attorney Eric Holder that said an alarming number of Americans are turning violently against their government.


      Last year, Congress, through the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA), authorized the president under section 1031 to declare the United States or certain sections of it, under certain circumstances, as a battlefield and authorize the military to make arrests and detain Americans without bringing criminal charges against them or bringing them to trial.

    • Oh, Please

      The Babbler calls the police-state currently tyrannizing Americans an “open society.”

    • Paid Sick Days Defeat in Philadelphia Followed Familiar Script

      When the Philadelphia City Council passed a paid sick days bill on March 14, it was the second of three wins in a two week period for the movement to let workers take a sick day without losing pay or their jobs. But the Council then fell one vote short of overriding a mayoral veto, providing a case study in how special interests aligned with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) work to oppose these common-sense bills.


Links 16/4/2013: Xen in Linux Foundation, Fuduntu Overhaul

Posted in News Roundup at 5:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Chromebook Pixel LTE arriving today

    The first customers will start getting the Chromebook Pixel LTE today, several weeks after the Wi-Fi-only version was available.

  • You’re Invited: Design the Future of Automotive Infotainment

    Like many of us you are probably using your car almost every single day: commute to work, take the kids to school, run errands, go shopping, or just for fun. You name it. And while spending all this time on the road you may be using the in-vehicle infotainment system built into your ride for navigation, listening to music from the radio, accessing content stored on my mobile device, making phone calls, getting traffic updates and much more. And whether or not you are entirely happy with the solution that the maker has built into your car you may have the one or other idea on how things can be improved. Or maybe you think this is all lame and you can do a much better job. Well, here is your opportunity.

  • Tux moves house… again!

    I’ve written about this already, when I first changed the HDD in my laptop. I moved the same HDD from an HP Compaq C300 to a Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Pi 1505. The HDD had 4 operating systems installed: Windows XP, Mageia 1 KDE, Linux Mint XFCE and Debian Squeeze. I made a conclusion at that time that WinXP survived the move the best.

  • Resilient OS v Clunker

    I’m often told by trolls that other OS has better hardware support. Well here’s a comparison where a supported version of that other OS could not survive a hard drive transplant while GNU/Linux laughed.

  • Don’t forget to blame the little guy for screwing Linux over.

    Everyone in the industry and particularly home users like to blame the obvious large targets for Linux never (at least at the time of this writing) quite making it to the average users Desktop in the masses. Many blame Microsoft, Apple, Patents or just anything proprietary in nature.

    However I feel that there is one particular reason, made up of millions of small contributors, of why Linux has truly never landed on the Desktop. Who or what is it you ask? Your local PC shop is just as guilty and equally damaging as any of the large proprietary companies conspiring to hold Linux down.

    They purposely keep Linux off the desktop and out of the picture for end users simply because the “Windows Virus, Adware, Spyware, Malware, Trojan and general shittyness repair money” is just to great, soo… a stable, working, capable, compatible, computer for the masses, is just out of the question.

  • Linux Top 3: Debian’s New Leader, Linux 3.9 and Xen
  • Server

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • INSIDE Secure NFC Solution Supported In Linux Kernel 3.9 Release
    • QXL KMS Driver To Be Merged For Linux 3.10 Kernel

      David Airlie of Red Hat has pulled in his own QXL KMS/DRM driver into his drm-next Git tree, which means this para-virtual graphics hardware with TTM/GEM support will premiere in the Linux 3.10 kernel.

    • “Very Disruptive” Change Hurts ARM Linux Support

      The Linux kernel is having to remove support for NWFPE and VFP emulation code due to a licensing conflict. Removing NWFPE and VFP from the kernel will effectively render older ARM hardware on Linux useless until a solution is determined.

      Russell King, the maintainer of the ARM code for the Linux kernel, announced this removal on the linux-arm-kernel mailing list. The NWFPE (NetWinder Floating Point Emulator) and VFP (Vector Floating Point) code is for emulating floating-point operations within the kernel. While this code is critical to ARM hardware without hardware floating-point support, the code needs to be dropped due to a licensing conflict.

    • NFC Solution Supported In Linux Kernel 3.9 Release
    • Hisense Mobile, Solarflare and Thomas-Krenn Join Linux Foundation

      The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced that Hisense Mobile, Solarflare and Thomas-Krenn.AG are joining the organization.

    • Welcome Xen as a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project

      The Xen Project is 10 years-old this week, and its contributors have doubled in the last few years. Xen usage continues to grow and today the project is being deployed in public IaaS environments by some of the world’s largest companies.

      Additionally, the Xen Project has adopted mainline kernel development practices and is progressing ever closer to the mainline kernel community. As of Linux kernel version 3.0, Linux can run unmodified as a Xen host or guest

    • Xen become a Linux Foundation collaborative project

      The Linux Foundation has taken over the development of Xen as a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project. Now Xen will be independently funded and will benefit from the collaborative development which will engage some of the biggest names in the IT world.

    • Citrix bequeaths Xen to the Linux Foundation

      In an effort to attract a more diverse set of contributors, enterprise software vendor Citrix has donated its open source Xen hypervisor to the Linux Foundation.

    • Linux Foundation takes over Xen, enlists Amazon in war to rule the cloud
    • Citrix bequeaths Xen to the Linux Foundation

      In an effort to attract a more diverse set of contributors, enterprise software vendor Citrix has donated its open source Xen hypervisor to the Linux Foundation.

      Citrix announced the donation Monday at the Linux Foundation’s Collaboration Summit, being held this week in San Francisco.

    • Citrix and Industry Leaders Usher in New Era for Open Source Xen
    • Linux Collaboration Summit keynotes stream live

      The Linux Foundation is offering live video streaming of all of the Linux Collaboration Summit’s day 1 keynote sessions to be held Monday, April 15. Day 1 keynotes feature presentations by Jaguar Land Rover, Samsung, Intel, Netflix, Yocto, OpenMAMA, Adapteva, and LWN’s Jon Corbet.

    • Xen becomes a Linux Foundation project

      Xen, Citrix’s popular open-source hypervisor, is becoming a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project with the backing of such major technology powers such as Amazon Web Services, Google, and Intel.

    • Talks by Jaguar Land Rover, Samsung, Adapteva Underscore Industry Trend Toward Collaboration

      The Linux Foundation’s executive director Jim Zemlin sees a new trend in the technology industry toward a collaborative development model. Companies are focusing their research and development efforts outward and participating more in open source projects to accelerate innovation and progress, he said in his opening remarks at The Linux Foundation’s Collaboration Summit in San Francisco.

      It’s no coincidence, then, that the conference kicked off this morning with a warm welcome to the Xen Project, the foundation’s newest collaborative project, which is also celebrating its 10-year anniversary today as a virtualization platform. The announcement comes on the heels of last week’s OpenDaylight software-defined networking project launch.

    • Jon Corbet’s Linux Forecast, Netflix and More from Collaboration Summit
    • 5 Great Quotes of the Day from the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit

      Keynote presenters had some interesting things to say at The Linux Foundation’s Collaboration Summit in San Francisco on Monday. Here are some top quotes. What did you take away from the sessions? Please share your favorite quotes and moments in the comments, below.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Intel OpenGL Performance On The Linux 3.9 Kernel

        Our latest benchmarks at Phoronix of the Linux 3.9 kernel are looking at the performance of the Intel DRM driver when handling an Intel Core i7 “Ivy Bridge” processor with HD 4000 graphics. The Intel OpenGL Linux graphics performance with this forthcoming kernel was compared to the earlier Linux 3.8, 3.7, 3.6, and 3.5 kernel releases.

      • Intel Mesa Driver Gets HiZ Support For Haswell

        If running the latest stable components powering the Intel Linux graphics driver (namely the Linux kernel, Mesa, and xf86-video-intel), the open-source graphics support for the forthcoming Haswell processors should be in fairly good shape. However, like Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge, it will take some time before the Linux graphics driver is fully-optimized. Fortunately, there’s another newly-enabled Haswell feature to report within Mesa.

      • New AMD Catalyst Beta Supports Linux 3.8, TF2 Fixes

        AMD has released a new Catalyst Linux graphics driver, which supports modern Linux kernel releases while having various other fixes in store too. Some of the OpenGL fixes will help those playing some Linux Steam client games.

      • Bitcoin Mining Comes To Radeon Open-Source OpenCL

        With the increasing popularity as of late with the Bitcoin virtual currency, the open-source Radeon Gallium3D OpenCL stack has advanced to support Bitcoin mining.

        Tom Stellard of AMD has spent the past few days working on getting the Radeon Gallium3D OpenCL stack in a state where it works to run the “bfgminer” Bitcoin mining application running on the open-source Radeon HD driver. After a few days, he has it working with some new code, but the performance isn’t all that great.

    • Benchmarks

      • Tuning Btrfs vs. F2FS, EXT4, XFS File-Systems

        When earlier this week delivering Btrfs benchmarks with various mount options for tuning the next-generation Linux file-system, some Linux users were hoping to see other file-systems tossed into the test mix too for reference. Here’s those numbers.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME 3.8 Classic for openSUSE 12.3
      • Trying KDE’s File Manager -Dolphin- in GNOME 3.8

        It was a time when the first letter of many programs in Linux was “g” or “k”, to declare if something was made for GNOME or KDE. Back then, KDE programs (made of Qt) was looking awful under GNOME (made of GTK) and vice versa.

        Nowadays with the very improved theming you can hardly understand if an application is written in Qt or GTK or even in another toolkit like Java. I remember when Mark Shuttleworth had talked 3-4 years ago for the development of a common environment in Ubuntu that could genuine run GTK or QT Apps, toolkit-invisible to users.

      • Gnome 3.8 Review… Still Shit!
      • GNOME Photos 3.8.0

        After a year of development, I am happy to announce GNOME Photos 3.8.0. This completes the last unfinished GNOME 3.8 feature – Photos is now the latest in the set of Finding & Reminding applications for GNOME 3.

  • Distributions

    • Specialized Gaming Distros Down and Out?

      Gaming on Linux is fun. A bit geeky, but fun. There is no dearth of free and open-source games for Linux. Some are plain awesome, some come handy when you want to kill time, and some exist just for the purpose of showing to the world that a geek in one corner of the world can build games on their own. The gaming universe is not as large on Linux as what it is on Windows, of course, but we’re getting there, one step at a time.

    • 10 Top Widely Used Linux Distributions of 2012

      Linux is one of the powerful and standard operating system which at present is growing faster and faster in computer operating system planet. It offers excellent performance and speed. Linux is very stable and reliable in terms of usage. It also provides several administrative tools and utilities that help you to manage your system effectively.

    • New Releases

      • [pfSense] 2.0.3 Release Now Available!

        I’m happy to announce the release of pfSense 2.0.3. This is a maintenance release with some bug and security fixes since 2.0.2 release. You can upgrade from any previous release to 2.0.3.

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Arch Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Bring in the clones – CentOS and Scientific Linux

        In March 2013 two projects, CentOS and Scientific Linux, released updates to their respective distributions. Both projects provide clones of Enterprise Linux free of cost. As such both projects are important to the Linux ecosystem as they provide a means for users to take advantage of stable, high quality software without the high cost associated with enterprise quality products. While both projects released clones of Enterprise Linux 6.4 and while both projects maintain binary compatibility with their upstream software provider, these projects do carry subtle differences. They may be binary compatible with each other, but each project takes a slightly different approach in their presentation and configuration. With this in mind I would like to talk about what it is like to set up both CentOS and Scientific Linux.

      • Red Hat Launches Open Source OpenStack RDO

        Red Hat is accelerating its involvement with the open source OpenStack cloud platform project with a new community distribution of OpenStack.

      • Red Hat Advances Enterprise OpenStack Distro to Early Adopter Program

        OpenStack is an open source framework for building and managing private, public and hybrid infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) clouds. RDO, the name for Red Hat’s OpenStack distribution (which stands for Red Hat Distribution of OpenStack), may not have a name as catchy as the Red Hat-sponsored Fedora Project, but its function will be similar.

        The Fedora community adds new features upstream before they become incorporated in the Linux-based operating system and eventually make their way into Red Hat’s commercially available Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). RDO will be a freely available, community-supported distribution of OpenStack that runs on RHEL, Fedora and their derivatives and offers a pure upstream OpenStack experience.

      • JBoss Data Grid 6.1: High Availability, Faster Recovery

        Red Hat this week unveiled JBoss Data Grid 6.1, an update to its in-memory database, with significant new functionality for high availability and disaster recovery. Its first update in nearly a year, Red Hat’s database for large-scale enterprise applications now supports data-center replication across geographically dispersed clusters as well as the ability to perform rolling upgrades without interrupting service.

    • Debian Family

      • Lucas Nussbaum is new Debian leader

        Lucas Nussbaum, an assistant professor of computer science from Universite de Lorraine, is the new leader of the Debian GNU/Linux project.

      • DPL election is over, congratulations Lucas Nussbaum!
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 12.04.2 LTS vs. Ubuntu 13.04 Benchmarks

            For those that may be currently running Ubuntu 12.04.2 as the latest Ubuntu Linux Long-Term Support release but are considering upgrading to Ubuntu 13.04 for better performance, here are benchmarks comparing the two Ubuntu Linux releases when tested on an Apple MacBook Pro and Lenovo ThinkPad. Overall, there’s a few areas where the new Ubuntu Linux release delivers worthwhile performance improvements over the year-old Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.

          • Enable Different Wallpapers for Each Workspace in Ubuntu 13.04
          • 7 Subtle Unity Changes You Might Not Notice in 13.04

            Ubuntu 13.04 will be released later this month, and whilst many will be focusing on the big bang-whizz changes – like new animation effects, features and app changes, few will give much attention to the subtler changes.

          • The good and bad of Ubuntu 13.04 beta 2
          • No Official pre-press Ubuntu 13.04 CD/DVD will be distributed by Canonical

            But starting from Ubuntu 13.04 (Raring Ringtail), pre-pressed Ubuntu CD/DVD will only be made available only for LTS release (the next one will be 14.04 LTS ) from this point forward. This is in-line with Canonical policy to only concentrate on supporting Ubuntu LTS.

          • Easily Sign The Ubuntu Code Of Conduct With CoC Signing Assistant

            Signing the Ubuntu Code of Conduct may seem difficult, especially for relatively new Linux users so to make things easier, Marten de Vries has created an application called Code of Conduct Signing Assistant which should make make it easier to sign the Ubuntu Code of Conduct.

          • Ubuntu Software Center Explored

            Over the years, the methods of installing new software onto Linux systems has evolved a great deal. These days, modern distributions use tools like the Ubuntu Software Center to make software installation as simple as point-and-click.

            In this article, I’ll explore the Ubuntu Software Center, it’s earliest beginnings, how the back-end works and where it still needs some fine-tuning for the future.

          • App Ecosystem for Ubuntu Mobile Growing Steadily
          • Flavours and Variants

            • 10 Reasons to Love Lubuntu 12.10
            • The Other Shoe Drops: Founder Announces Retirement, Fuduntu End of Life

              Sadly, following on the heels of that story, Founder +Andrew Wyatt made a formal announcement this morning regarding his planned retirement from active work on and end of life for the Fuduntu project.

            • Fuduntu Linux is closing its doors

              Fuduntu’s last release will be version 2013.3, he added. September 30 will be the last official day of Fuduntu Linux.

            • Fuduntu Team meeting held on April 14, 2013

              On Sunday, April 14, the Fuduntu team held a public meeting on IRC. Many things were discussed, including some issues that have major implications for both the team and community. Among the things discussed were introduction of team members, status of various teams, and the future of Fuduntu.
              The biggest topic discussed was the future of Fuduntu. The team has been striving to bring a stable system to the community and we believe we’ve been able to do that. One of the key aspects of that was using GNOME 2. However, as time has gone by, support for GTK2 has decreased dramatically. With this, apps using GTK2 have been moved to GTK3 and old versions are no longer being maintained for either bugs or security flaws.

            • Fuduntu Linux pivoting to rebase project

              The Fuduntu developers have decided that their current path of producing a GNOME 2 desktop with a Fedora based distribution as a rolling release is becoming technically problematic and have “voted to end-of-life Fuduntu Linux”. Fuduntu originally appeared in 2010 as a fork of Fedora designed for netbooks with power management applets and various optimisations for running on portable devices.The most recent release, Fuduntu 2013.2, appeared on 8 April.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Dedoimedo reviews OpenPandora – Chapter one!

      I rarely review hardware, mostly my own purchases, which usually come in the form of this or that laptop, some desktops, plus an odd phone here and there. Approx. a month back, I was contacted by Michael Mrozek, the CEO of OpenPandora GmbH, and asked to review their Pandora product, the world’s smallest, most powerful micro-gaming computer.

    • ARM-based device developers get SMARC COMs
    • Tiny COM runs Linux, Android on quad-core i.MX6

      CompuLab is shipping a Linux- and Android-ready COM built around the 1.2GHz Freescale i.MX6 processor, giving developers a choice of one, two, or four ARM Cortex-A9 cores. The CM-FX6 measures 75×65 mm, offers up to 4GB of DDR3 RAM, and uses dual 140-pin connectors to supply interfaces like I2C, CAN, SATA, and HDMI.

    • Interesting embedded device opportunity: mobile ALPRs
    • Raspberry Pi Tops 1 Million In Sales

      Raspberry Pi is racking up some major sales. The Raspberry Pi Foundation announced last week that more than one million of the popular Linux-based devices have been sold to date.

      Posting on the company’s blog, the team at Raspberry also announced that it has greatly scaled up production for the devices.

    • Phones

      • Tizen DevCon issues 2013 presentations list v1

        After reviewing more than 160 session proposals, the program committee of Tizen Developers Conference 2013 has published the event’s preliminary list of 45 presentations. The sessions will be organized in three tracks: Tizen project, process, and progress; app development and deployment; and platform and device development.

      • What’s Up Dock?

        If you have followed my column during the past few years, you’ll know that I am a big fan of having a portable Linux environment with me wherever I go. For years, this took the form of small laptops (like the Fujitsu P series) and most recently the Nokia N900, which took the form factor down to pocket size.

        When I got the N900, I thought technology finally had caught up to a dream of mine: the ability to carry my computer in my pocket and, when I’m out walking around, interface with it via the small keyboard and touchscreen. When I get home, I can dock it, and it will expand to a larger display with a proper keyboard and mouse and become my regular computer. The big advantage of this idea is that I can keep my files and environment with me wherever I go.

      • Ballnux

      • Android

        • Best Download Managers For Linux

          Downloading huge amount of files using your web browser can be quite tedious. Many times downloads are interrupted and sometimes, you’ll find that they are slower than usual. One of the worst things, however, when it comes to downloading files using web browsers is that the moment you close the browser or lose the connection, all your downloaded effort goes to waste. This is where download managers come in handy. These small applications are responsible for ensuring that you have an uninterrupted download that can be resumed anytime you want. Moreover, apart from giving you the core features, these tools also let you download your favorite content via proxy and FTP as well.

        • Android phones to top 1B by year-end, Eric Schmidt says
        • Facebook Home And The Promise Of Android

          If you’re an iPhone user, you might be feeling a little left behind, because Facebook launched an application called Facebook Home, touted by CEO Mark Zuckerberg as the “next version of Facebook.” In fact, you might be feeling this way if you’re an Android user, too. For now, only a handful of select devices can even run Home (officially) — notably missing from the lineup is Google’s Nexus 4, the latest in the lineup of Nexus-branded flagship Android phones — devices that users adopt in particular to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to new app releases.

          But Facebook promised that more handsets will be supported in time, as will tablets. Well, only Android ones, that is.

          It’s too soon to say whether Facebook Home will live up to the company’s claims and expectations of becoming the new way people interact with the social network, or whether it will go down only as a notable experiment on the social network’s part. If the latter, it won’t be a major loss to the company, as Facebook will continue to have access to data from a core group of heavy Facebook enthusiasts. It will learn what keeps users engaged, what posts and images catch their eye and their clicks, and, eventually, which advertisements do, too.

        • UDOO Mini PC Single Board Android, Linux, Arduino System Unveiled (video)
    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • EOMA-68 cards could lead to upgradeable tablets (and other computers)

        You know how you can upgrade some components in your computer when they start to feel stale instead of going out and buying a whole new PC? That’s a lot harder to do with a laptop than a desktop, and the only “upgrade” most mobile tablets offer is the option to add a microSD card.

        Rhombus Tech wants to change that by developing a platform that lets you swap out the CPU, memory, and other vital components of a tablet (or laptop, or desktop) when you want to upgrade — without requiring you to buy a new display, case, or other components.

      • Windows tablets don’t even rate a blip in the $64 billion tablet market, say report

        The ABI Research report says that an estimated 150 million tablets will ship in 2013, worth an estimated $64 billion. The total number of tablets will grow by a projected 38% over 2012, and the total revenue will grow a projected 28%.

Free Software/Open Source

  • You Use Open Source Tools? The Robot Recruiters Know It — and Like It

    As we’ve reported, the rise of the cloud and Big Data tools is also giving rise to a need for expertise in using these tools. Jobs for people with Linux and Big Data skills are readily available around the world.

    In an interesting spin on this trend, though, there are also some signs emerging that Big Data analysis tools could even match skilled workers up with their ideal jobs in ways that human recruiters can’t. And, these tools may put special emphasis on how savvy job seekers are with open source technology and general computing knowledge.

  • OSI Open Source Community Summit

    The License Clinic for US Federal Agencies is not the only new departure for the Open Source Initiative this May. OSI is also reaching out to a wide spectrum of open source communities with its Open Source Community Summit in Washington DC on May 10 2013, where we’ll be able to gain a much fuller idea of the needs of those communities. Sponsored by Google, Red Hat and Eclipse, and chaired by OSI President Simon Phipps, this is OSI’s first Community Summit.

  • BCS aims to promote open source awareness for females

    BCSWomen is working with BCS Open Source specialist group and Flossie to host a number of one-day career workshops to promote open source development as a second career opportunity.

    These events are part of the organisation’s campaign to advise more women to take up or return to careers in IT, with modern estimates claiming that women account for less than a fifth of ICT managers and 21 per cent of computer analysts.

  • Increasing participation of women in Free and Open Source Software

    Few women have been historically applying for Google Summer of Code, a program in which Google provides stipends for students to work for three months on FOSS projects. Last year, after many efforts by both the Google team and the community to increase the diversity in the program, about 100 of 1200 participants or 8.3% were women, which was a highest level of participation by women yet.

  • BCSWomen & Flossie team to bolster open source female job roles
  • Open-Source Software Maker Races to Funding Deadline

    In a bold experiment, nonprofit Mission software developer Yorba Foundation is bidding for sustainable support through crowdfunding for its open-source email program, Geary.

    Founded in 2009 by Google alumnus Adam Dingle, the Capp Street nonprofit aims to raise $100,000 in the next nine days via a campaign on the funding platform Indiegogo. If the plan works, Yorba’s strategy could blaze a trail for other open-source companies to support the creation of free software.

    “We want to be able to say, ‘Yeah this worked for us, and you should give it a try,’” said Jim Nelson, Yorba’s executive director. “This might be a way for other companies to raise money and keep going.” For now, Yorba gets its financial backing from Dingle.

  • New Open Source Engine on its Way!
  • Open Source Music Streaming Service Napster.fm Released

    When the MP3 format was unleashed onto the relatively young Internet, it was an absolute game changer. It finally made audio files small enough to practically distribute over the Internet, as high-speed connections were still a luxury item for the majority of Internet users. But while it was the MP3 format that made it possible, it was undeniably Napster that brought it to the mass media.

    In 1999, Napster completely changed the way people shared and listened to music; it helped start the trend of abandoning physical media for digital. Unfortunately, it also brought the wrath of the recording industry, and Napster was sued into oblivion after only 2 years.

  • Operating System Features I’d Like to See

    FOSS operating systems are great and I enjoy using and adapting them, but they are missing certain features which could make them even better.

    One issue with FOSS operating systems is the plethora of package managers. Fedora even has two different package managers: apt-get and yum. Slackware has their own version of apt-get that they call slapt-get. The three BSDs use pkgsrc and the Sharp Zaurus used a similar package manager called ipkg. If you use KDE you are probably familiar with kpackage.

  • Events

    • Linux Collaboration Summit keynote videos now available

      Videos from the Linux Collaboration Summit’s day 1 keynote sessions, recorded on April 15, are now available for on-demand streaming. The videos include presentations by Jaguar Land Rover, Samsung, Netflix, Yocto, OpenMAMA, Adapteva, and LWN’s Jon Corbet.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chrome OS devices get security updates

        Google Chromebook users running the stable channel of the Chrome OS are getting an update 26.0.1410.57. This update brings some security improvements. But since Chromebooks gets update automatically, you don’t have to do anything. Just keep an eye on the notification bubble and if there is one, restart your machine to keep it updated.

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Shows Off TowTruck, for Browser-based Collaboration

        Over at Mozilla, they continue to throw spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks. Mozilla Labs is out with an early alpha version of TowTruck, a project designed to facilitate Skype-style collaboration online, leveraging new features found in the Firefox and Chrome browsers. In a post announcing the experiment, Mozilla Labs warns that the technology is experimental at this point, but it looks like a very easy way to incorporate real-time collaboration into any website.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Rackspace attacks Amazon with new cloudy clones

      Look out, Amazon Web Services. Rackspace is cloning its own cloudy service – and to quote Jimi Hendrix’s Foxy Lady, it’s “comin’ to getcha.”

      Way back when, Rackspace Hosting teamed up with NASA to create the OpenStack community precisely to leverage the smarts and excitement of the open source community to take on the closed and controlled AWS cloud. Now Rackspace will take OpenStack and leverage its own experience in building custom infrastructure to house OpenStack clouds, and deliver it as a service to telecommunication and service provider customers.

    • Rackspace to offer OpenStack deployments for service providers
    • 9 Key Value Stores for Big Data
    • NetApp Unveils a File-Share Service Proposal at OpenStack Summit
    • Who Wrote OpenStack Grizzly

      The open source OpenStack Grizzly cloud platform release debuted the first week of April benefiting from over 480 contributors making over 7,600 updates.

      While the base of contribution is broad, one vendor stands at the top of the list, in terms of number of code commits made. While the initial releases of OpenStack were dominated by code commits from Rackspace and Nebula, for Grizzly, Red Hat now leads the list.

      Red Hat made 836 commits across core OpenStack projects and 1,854 commits across all OpenStack projects. Red Hat developers added 121,632 lines code and remove 87,145 lines of code.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Education

    • Teaching children how to code

      Coding is the language of the future, with the power to create and modify the computer programs and websites that increasingly shape our day-to-day lives. While millions of people in the United States spend hours each day engaged with interactive technologies, relatively few truly understand how they work; and fewer take an active role in developing software and websites.

      Still, some organizations are advocating more be done to teach young people about computer programing and coding. It is no secret that younger generations, born into an age of smartphone apps and near-ubiquitous Internet access, tend to be more enthusiastic and adept at using new technologies than their parents and grandparents. The key word here is “using” technology, as opposed to creating new programs and reimagining existing processes.

    • Lessons from Koha in open source project ownership

      While compiling OSS Watch’s list of Open Source Options for Education, I discovered Koha, an open source Integrated Library System (ILS). I discovered, with some confusion, that there seemed to be several ILS systems called Koha. Investigation into the reason for this uncovered a story which provides valuable lessons for open source project ownership, including branding, trademarks, and conflict resolution.

      Koha started its life in New Zealand (reflected in the name, which is a Māori word meaning reciprocal gift, or a gift with expectations). It was originally commissioned by the Horowhenua Library Trust (HLT), written by Katipo Communications Ltd, and released under the GPL. Crucially, Katipo held the copyright on the Koha code.

  • Business


    • Epiphany SDK Insights and Future

      The Epiphany SDK started life as a prototype binutils & GCC port by Alan Lehotsky, which would run code on a Verilator model of the Epiphany chip.

      Embecosm became involved in March 2009, initially providing an implementation of the GNU Debugger. Then over a period of 6 weeks starting that September we upgraded GCC to a commercially robust implementation, eliminating all regression test failures from the C and C++ compilers. This was still before the first silicon had been spun, and with testing against a Verilator model.

    • Stallman Spake

      It’s too much for ordinary consumers, the vast majority of users of IT, to deal with a pile of such issues when moving to Free Software. Over time more manufacturers are supplying drivers for Linux so this issue may well disappear, but in the meantime some compromise must be made in practice. There’s nothing wrong with the principles however. It’s the right way to do IT with shared, re-used, redistributable software because it’s the best quality at the lowest price and it respects the freedom of the users.

    • GNU/Linux is difficult?

      GNU/Linux emerges thanks to the free software ideology, but independently of this ideology, we have a great freedom of choice and decision. For example, customized our operating system according to our preferences, tastes or needs. In Windows we can customize it partially through skins or themes, we can change the window color, transparency, change the login screen, boot screen among other little things. But you set out to change some other aspect in particular? Suppose the taskbar makes you ugly, annoying or maybe want to add some extra functionality. It will be difficult get this directly, that is, that it allows Windows you do beforehand, maybe we can use external programs, most of which are pay and usually, the result only partially mitigates the need that we had. In GNU / Linux this is possible and more so, if you do not like what you see can change completely, if you already bored as seen Gnome you can exchange it for KDE, If KDE does not fill your expectations can change for XFCE. If specific application has not simply what you expect you replace the other. Want to try another version of GNU/Linux? Just download and try it!

    • Boston Marathon bombings

      Thank you to everyone for thinking of us at the Free Software Foundation office in downtown Boston as yesterday’s terrible news unfolded. We appreciate all the concerned emails and queries.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Cabinet Office appoints Open Standards Board to drive open source use

      The Cabinet Office has announced the appointment of an Open Standards Board to oversee the development of a level playing field for open source and proprietary software providers in government.

      Since November, departments have been required to ensure all new IT contracts with software suppliers abide by open standards principles, allowing interoperability and data and document format interoperability. The Cabinet Office central spend and control process is responsible for ensuring departments adhere to the policy when procuring software.

  • Licensing

    • A Dual Model of Open Source License Growth

      Every open source project needs to decide on an open source license. This decision is of high economic relevance: Just which license is the best one to help the project grow and attract a community? The most common question is: Should the project choose a restrictive (reciprocal) license or a more permissive one? As an important step towards answering this question, this paper analyses actual license choice and correlated project growth from ten years of open source projects. It provides closed analytical models and finds that around 2001 a reversal in license choice occurred from restrictive towards

    • Open source cola and the ‘Napster moment’ for the food business
  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Funf 0.4 brings under the hood changes to sensor framework

      The developers of the Funf open source Java-based sensor framework for mobile phones have released version 0.4 of their software. Most changes in this version, the developers say, are under the hood and affect the architecture of the framework. Changes include a new pipeline interface, a redesigned configuration process, and changes that mean that Funf now runs as a single service instead of spawning a service for each sensor probe.

    • Benchmarking PHP 5.5 Beta 3: Not Too Much Over 5.4

      PHP 5.5 Beta 3 was released today wotj a few bug-fixes and other minor changes. To complement the PHP benchmarks earlier this week, here are some benchmarks of the forthcoming PHP 5.5.

    • RunRev’s Open Source LiveCode

      RunRev is launching an open source version of its LiveCode application development software. The finance was raised by a Kickstarter campaign earlier in the year.

      LiveCode has achieved a certain amount of success as a paid-for product designed for cross-platform application design, but RunRev wanted more users, so raised $750,000 in a Kickstarter campaign.

    • Generating Reports With Code

      Last week I was running load tests against a new server and needed to produce reports from the results. I wanted to have graphs to show the response time as the test progressed, and thought this would be a good time to try a couple of different methods of creating the reports. The first report was generated with Microsoft Word and Excel, and as I struggled with Excel’s insane copy and paste, and Word’s inane auto layout decisions, the one thought that kept occurring to me was “why does anyone put up with this?” The next step was to break out the power tools with Python and LaTeX.

      I used siege for the load testing, and redirected the output to a file. The siege output gives me a nice baseline to work from, but simply redirecting the output also gives some cruft that needs to be cleaned up. During the first go around with Excel, I needed to open up each file in Vim to clean it up before I could import the data. In the process of cleaning up the files, of course the thought occurred to me that I should automate that task, but I try to avoid unnecessary scripting when I can. Once the graphs were created, they needed to be copied and pasted into the Word document, which I then spent ten minutes trying to get each graph to look uniform. Admitted, I’m not a Word or Excel expert, but I do know that repetitive tasks and document layout are two things that computers do well. I should let them do it.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Intel touts free HTML5 development environment

      Intel launched a free HTML5 Development Environment at IDF in Beijing last week. The tool is said to enable cross-platform development, test, and deployment of apps that can run on multiple device types and operating systems, and which can be distributed through multiple application stores.

      Intel says it’s investing in HTML5 “to help mobile application developers lower total costs and improve time-to-market for cross-platform app development and deployment.”


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